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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Aunt Audrey's Wedding

As some of you may know, I possess a trunk owned by my great-grandparents, Emily and Gustave Wassweiler. Amongst the items in the trunk was a box.
Now I realize that this box likely belonged to my Aunt Audrey.  Audrey Emily Tully. I will send these items to my cousins, as they truly belong to them - but for now I am selfishly gleaning all the genealogical facts that I can.

The announcement:

 Next on the agenda is a shower, right?  Who is invited to a shower?  Friends and family that's who!  Let's take a look at the guests in attendance.  Only live people will attend ☺so we know which of our relatives are living at that time:

  Notice the bunches of envelopes in the top box.  Looks like wedding invitation response cards, doesn't it? BINGO! and SCORE!

You wonder why I say "score"??  As a genealogist I think like a detective.  From these cards I can discover: - the guests that will attend.  Helps 1. if/when a photo is found to identify those in the photo
                                                     2. who is alive at that time
                                                     3. where the attendee mailed their card and likely associated residence                                                          4. handwriting of the sender which may be matched up with other  writings that I may possess.
So... I've compiled a table of these facts which may help others:

For those interested I've scanned the cards of relatives which you will find below.  I find it interesting to see their handwriting:

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Stories…

Tonight I ask you to ponder a  possibility:

My twice great grandfather, John Tully, was he or was he not the John Tully that was “blown through a wall”?

First, a little bit about Grandpa Johnnie: Born in Ireland about 1857, John came to the United States at about age 12.  From where, where to?? I sure haven’t been able to find out!

I find John at age 17 in 1875 living in Fishkill Township with his brother, Frank Tully and Frank’s wife Annie.  

 I next find John in 1880 still in the Town of Fishkill, but narrowed down to Fishkill Landing (the part of Beacon closest to the river).  Apparently John is married and has an 11 month old baby (my great grandfather Charles Augustus) but no wife.  Why? Where is she and why isn’t she caring for this baby?

Then in 1892 he is with his wife, Mary and more kids…and John Riley.

1895 has him having been “laid up” after a long siege.

In 1900 he is widowed and back living next door to his brother Frank on Newburgh Ave. in Fishkill Landing.  When did Mary die??  Where is Thomas?  Thomas is only 15!

These are the known facts about John… now consider this:

May 1893, John would have been about 36 years old with a wife and 3 children of his own.  We know he is a “Laborer.” Read this:

Is this Grandpa Johnnie??  That would have been one hell of a commute for the 1890s!  BUT… my brothers and I recently cleaned out my father’s garage after my Dad died.  He had lots of things from not only his house, but his father’s (my grandfather, Thomas Tully – who was the son of Charles Augustus, and grandson of our subject). 

There was so much junk that we kept some old wooden boxes to transport this stuff and to use in our own homes.  It didn’t occur to me that these boxes had a common theme:

So, where did these come from? What do you think???

Monday, April 1, 2013

Is there a Doctor in the house?

This may not be genealogy related, but it will be someday! ☺

My daughter, Sarah, a medical student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, will be travelling to Peru in June with a group of other medical students on a medical mission to help the medically underserved in that region. This mission is organized through the International Service Learning Group ( but each student must pay their own expenses (travel, lodging, meals, etc.). The students are looking for donations to offset the costs of supplies and equipment.

Sarah attended Riverhead Central Schools from K-12 and is a 2008 graduate of Riverhead High School and a 2012 graduate of Binghamton University. Her family still resides in Riverhead and would be more than happy to pick-up any donations or receive them on Sarah's behalf at 48 Ellen St., Riverhead NY 11901.

Please help if you can!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Saturday night stories... Mom & Janet

Tonight I have a photo from 1947 of Janet Wisniewski and her  cousin, Charlene Pavlovic:

 I can only guess, but this is probably Easter. It is also probably in front of the driveway of Janet's house on North St. in Beacon, New York.

Charlene is my Mom and she adores her cousin Janet. Look how adorable the two of them are ... belies what imps they truly were!  Janet's Mom is Eloise Gifford Wisniewski, the sister of Charlotte Gifford Pavlovic.  Charlotte is my Mom's Mom.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pavlovic, in triplicate

Posed on a sunny August afternoon in 1943 are Gary, Francis and Charlene. I can't say where the photo was taken, but based on what Francis (my grandfather) is wearing, it appears this may be upon his return home from work.  In 1943 Poppy he was route salesman.

Gary is just over three years old with obvious glee in his eyes.  Poppy is 25 years old; I can't read the look on his face ... sun in his eyes? pissed that's he's having his picture taken?  Charlene (my Mom) is a babe at about 9 months old - obviously not walking as the bottom of her shoes are clean.

In 1943 the Pavlovic's lived at 24 Lutheran St. in Newburgh NY. That dwelling is a big, brick multi-family unit - so I don't believe that they're at home.

In 1940 they lived with Frank's in-laws, Charles and Sadie Gifford at 10 North St. in Beacon, New York.  Perhaps this is where the photo was taken.

I'm guessing the following photo to have been taken in early 1944.  This is Frank's wife, Charlotte (Gifford) holding Gary and Charlene.  This was mounted in a sort of cardboard folder.  It makes me wonder if this style was perhaps taken and given to servicemen before they left for service.  Frank served in World War II in the Navy. He was received on board the USS Converse on August 22 1944 - there must have been some sort of training, etc.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Our Townsend line

The Townsend Society of America has lost track of this line after Johanna Hawxhurst Birdsall (see Hawxhurst page).

I'd like to make sure that our line is both recognized and preserved.  Preserved?? not the quite the word I'm looking for ... known for future generations:

Henry Townsend (1619 - 1695) is my 11th great grandfather.  From all accounts a truly wonderful, kind, gentle and fair man.  Henry will have his own page at some point, but for now, this is to prove our line.

John Townsend (1653 - 1705), the son of Henry Townsend and Ann Cole, was born in 1653 in Warwick, Rhode Island.  A kind, gentle Friend (Quaker), John married Johanna Forman.  They had, amongst others, a daughter:
Hannah Townsend (1680 - 1757) daughter of John Townsend and Johanna Forman.  Hannah was born February 11, 1680 in Oyster Bay, Long Island.  Hannah married Samson Hawxhurst in January of 1698.  Hannah and Samson had a child:

Johanna Hawxhurst (1702 - 1758). Johanna married Daniel Birdsall on March 29, 1727
HAWXHURST, SAMSON. On page 253 the date of marriage of Johannah Hawxhurst and Daniel Birdsall is given as January 23, 1726/7. That is the date their intention to marry was published. They were married March 29, 1727. (Friends' Records, Westbury, Long Island.)" source: The Macdonough-Hackstaff ancestry,By Rodney Macdonough,1901,pg.470

from "Genealogies of Long Island Families", Vol I, Chapter: Hawxhurst Family, page 481.


This is where we pick up the trail for Townsend Society of America:

 Amy Birdsall (1732 - 1812), daughter of Johanna Hawxhurst and Daniel Birdsall. Amy did in fact marry, she married Richard Washburn in 1748. 

SOURCE: Excerpt from Ada C Haight, The Richard Washburn Family Genealogy, Ossing, NY, 1937 p. 9-12
"The son of Sarah Cornell and John Washburn, named John also, married October 14, 1704, Hannah Hallett. This couple crossed Long Island South and took up their residence in what was known in those days as Norht Castle, Westchester County. It is their son, Richard, born June 27, 1730; died ____ who married Amy Birdsell, born March 4, 1723; died October 16, 1812, and is buried at Chappaqua in the old Burying Ground, that this book has stressed the genealogy of.
"John, son of Sarah Cornell and John Washburn, born in ___, 1683; married October 14, 1704, Hannah Hallett, the daughter of Samuel Hallett who died in 1724 at 73 years of age. He was the son of William Hallett who was born in Dorsetshire, England, 1616. He came from England to Greenwich, Connecticut, then to Long Island, in 1652. Here he purchased land at Hallett's Grove (Astoria). In the fall of 1655, Indians destroyed his house and plantation at the Grove. He was fined and imprisoned by Governor Stuyvesant for entertaining Quakers and a Church of England minister. He died at the advanced age of 90 years. Samuel Hallett made is will in 1716 and it was proved in 1727. In it he mentions his granddaughters, Mary Cornell, Hannah Washburn, and Sarah Hazard and his son, Samuel. It is this John Washburn who came to Westchester County and settled in North Castle, NY"\

Note that many genealogies have Amy Birdsall’s birth date transposed as 1723 when it is actually 1732. As you see in the paragraph above, our ancestors "crossed Long Island South" - which I believe should have been "crossed Long Island Sound" - on the map below, directly north of Oyster Bay is Westchester County:

panned out a bit:

In 1752 Amy Birdsall and Richard Washburn had Joseph Washburn b. May 29, 1752 in New Castle, Westchester County. 

On February 1, 1775 Joseph married Freelove Matthews.  From her first name you can probably guess that she is Quaker.   

 Joseph served in the Revolutionary War.

The Washburn family in America,, Volume 2
Front Cover
Brenton Pomeroy Washburne, Robin P. Washburne

Page 29

On June 22, 1788 Freelove and Joseph had Stephen Washburn (1788 - 1860)

Stephen married Phebe Whitson in August of 1808 and together they had Whitson Washburn (1809 - 1868) on November 1, 1809.


Poor Stephen (and some other Washburns) had to confirm his father's service in the Revolution by serving in our "second war of Independence" - the War of 1812. He stood at nearly 5'11" with a sallow complexion, dark hair and grey eyes.  He reported under Lt. Gerow at Sandy Hook, was accused of desertion at the rendezvous - later acquitted of the charge. 

Whitson Washburn was born November 1, 1809 and lived in Ossining with his parents. 

In 1834 Whitson and Stephen (brother? father?) leased the "State Farm" from Mt. Pleasant State Prison (now known as Sing-Sing). In 1837 they assigned the lease to James W. Robinson.

Whitson married Rachel Curtis

Here in 1850 are the Washburns in  Ossining, Westchester, New York. Note that Whitson and Rachel have a daughter Emma, age 5.  Next door is Whitson's parents: Stephen & Phebe

By 1860 Whitson and Rachel have "jumped the river" and are farming in Ramapo, Rockland County, New York.  Emma is now 15 years old.

 In 1865, Whitson and family are found in  Monsey, New York and taxed on a "carriage" and "PianoForte"