Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Harriet E. (Smith) Peters has certainly revolutionized genealogical research since the days when I started and to see a census you had to send off to the National Archives for microfilm, and when it arrived in the mail you went to the library to read it. You now have access to millions of records for a few hundred dollars per year, and can post your research online where others can pay to steal it. Not a bad business model, but all that stealing or copying, as the perpetrators would call it, makes a mockery of serious research.
I’m going to take as an example a couple who lived in Hornby for a short time in the 1850s before moving west. Harriet E. (Smith) Peters appeared in the 1855 Hornby census. I have been corresponding with Harriet’s 2nd great-granddaughter who has a family Bible with the inscription: "Barnabas C. Peters was married to Miss Harriet E. Smith at Hornby Forks, NY by G.A. Hendrick May 9th, 1850.” They lived in 1850 Orange which was then in Steuben County. We know a great deal about Harriet and her family after 1850 through mainly censuses but we also have her obituary when she died in 1907 Idaho. 
What we don’t know is who her parents were. That hasn’t stopped at least eleven (a lot of these were duplicate) postings listing John and Clarissa (Finch) Smith as her parents without any proof whatsoever and furthermore ignoring evidence that indicates John and Clarissa were NOT her parents. Probably only one of those listed John and Clarissa as Harriet’s parents, the others stole, er.. copied the original tree to theirs without even doing any research.
I decided to contact five of the “John and Clarissa were the parents of Henrietta” submitters and ask them how they came to that conclusion in the face of contradictory evidence. I asked:
What proof have you that Harriet E. Smith, husband of Barnabas C. Peters, was the daughter of John and Clarissa (Finch) Smith? I have found nothing to suggest this is true but several facts which refute it. For example, in the 1840 census, there is only one female listed in John’s household who was Harriet’s’s age however you list three daughters born during that time frame. From 1880 on, Henrietta always listed the birthplace of her mother as Vermont but Clarissa consistently listed hers as New York.
Two folks just ignored me. I received the following three replies:
1.    Obviously, I have a lot of misinformation thank you for contacting me to let me know. I'll check it out sometimes I get behind in making corrections please forgive me if this has caused you any problems.
2.    I am not an expert at all in this stuff. I have been trying to go through my stuff and straightend [sic] it out. I will go over her and see what is going on and fix it as I can. I am busy with other aspects of my life and am not on very often.
3.    Best way to resolve without question is for me to delete her profile.
Ref: Harriet Eliza Smith (1833 - 1909), wife of my 7th cousin, 7x removed.
When I'm matching records using Ancestry Documents, and other peoples tree, to populate a branch of a tree, it goes reasonably quickly. But then it takes a long time to go back through and engage brain, and apply reason to identify bogus information and amend the tree to reflect.
This portion of my tree is far removed from any main branch, thus I'll just delete the profile for her and her husband, which will prune all children, siblings, and ancestors from the tree. (Done today)
Thank you for apprising me of the error.
That pretty much confirms my suspicions. People steal the faulty, undocumented research of others and post it as their own, thus perpetuating errors ad infinitum. When called out on their plagiarism, they declare they just don’t have the time to research their family history correctly, think its just fine to copy and post the garbage research of others and intend (maybe) to correct it sometime. Number three decided to spite me by deleting that branch of his “tree”. I wish he’d deleted the whole thing. His was so bad he had John Smith listed with three concurrent wives and large families.
If anyone does have proof or at least a preponderance of evidence which suggests who Harriet’s parents were I would really like to hear from you.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Andrew and Bertha (Taylor) Williams

Some folks lived in Hornby only a short time but still have a story to tell, sometimes a tragic one. Such is the case for Andrew Beach and Bertha Eugenie (Taylor) Williams. They appeared in the 1905 Hornby census with their two-year-old son Harold. Born in Pennsylvania, they were married in 1898, lived in Ashland, Chemung County in 1900 and Elmira in 1910.

An article in the 22 October 1907 Elmira Star-Gazette reported that in June 1907 they were living in Hornby where Andrew worked at a sawmill. He was involved in an accident that severed his foot. Bertha was pregnant and while he was being treated at Corning Hospital, she gave birth there to twin girls, Ethel M. and Edith Rose. 

The girls were taken home to Hornby but Ethel died 29 September, age three months and her sister Edith died three weeks later on 21 October. Bertha went on to bear two more sons, Clifford and Carlton, before Andrew died of Bright’s disease in 1914. She remarried Ernest Wood and lived until 1950. 

Descendants still live in the area. One noteworthy granddaughter of Andrew and Bertha, Elizabeth “Bette” Williams, was very interested in genealogy and I wish I could have corresponded with her before she died in 2013, age 69. She was a Barbizon model, then a nurse and finally a special education teacher.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Parley Coye

Parley Coye was an early settler of Hornby who first appeared there in the 1825 census. I believe he was the Parley Coye in the 1820 Truxton, Cortland County census and the son of Levi and Hannah Lilly of Union, CT. The sexes and ages of family members in the censuses and onomastically, the use of the given names in the families listed in The History of Union, Conn. compiled by Rev. Harvey M. Lawson, 1893, support this theory. The obituaries of Alva, Parley's son, and Sarah, his daughter, list their birthplace in 1815 and 1817 as Georgetown which is in Cortland County and Alva's further states he moved to Hornby about 1824. It should also be noted that according to the 1850 census Mortality Schedule, widow Olive Coye age 65, born Connecticut, died of cholera December 1849 in Hornby. She was probably the Olive Underwood in Rev. Lawson's book listed as the wife of Parley Coye. Olive's brother Jesse was also an early settler of Hornby.

Parley and Olive had at least six children, all of whom have been identified by the research of direct descendant Tom Euchner in Iowa. Levi married Hannah Goodsell and remained in Hornby. Polly married John Hilton and Caroline married Morris Randall. Both couples lived in Chemung County. Alva, married Fanny (whose maiden name remains unknown) and moved to Amboy, Lee County, Illinois. Louisa married George Jacob Murphy and they followed Alva to Amboy. Records from there spelled the name Coy. Sarah was the sixth, although she was identified as a McCoy in A Record, Genealogical, Biographical, Statistical, of Thomas Stanton, of Connecticut, and His Descendants. 1635-1891 compiled by William Stanton, 1891. She married first Elijah Hill and moved to Amboy. After his death she married the widowed Samuel Bixby who had also moved from Hornby to Amboy.

Identifying Parley and Olive's children was a very satisfying genealogical exercise and I'd like to take credit for it but most of the research was done by Tom. We have been corresponding for about six months. It may be interesting for the die-hard genealogist to see how the connections were made so here goes.

The oldest son Levi appeared in the 1850-1880 Hornby censuses so that was the beginning. I didn't know who his parents were; however, I suspected it was Parley who appeared in the 1830 Hornby census. Years ago while searching the internet for items about Hornby, I found in the book Greene Family by Frank L. Greene, 1894, Celestia (Coye) Greene, born Hornby 1839, daughter of Alva and Fannie. Her obituary appeared in the USGenWeb Archives verifying the information in the Greene book.

Tom sent me Alva's obituary. It indicated he resided in Hornby from 1824-1850 and identified his daughter Celestia. It also identified his nephew Henry Murphy who was Tom's great-grandfather. Tom had Henry's marriage record which listed his mother as Louisa Coy. Tom, who has spent many hours in the library perusing the Amboy News also sent me an article he transcribed from 21 March 1885, "Alva Coy … has gone east to visit a sick brother." [Levi Coye died less than a month later in NY]. So Louisa, Alva and Levi were siblings.

My internet searches for Hornby stuff had also led to the discovery in The Genealogical and Family History of Western New York by William Richard Cutter, 1912, a biographical sketch of John C. Hilton of Hornby who married Polly Coye. Tom's library work came through again with this 4 July 1885 article, "Mr. & Mrs. Hilton, of Steuben Co., New York, have been visiting at Samuel Bixby's and at Alva Coy's. They returned home this week."

So Polly was visiting her brother Alva, but why Samuel Bixby? Samuel (also from Hornby) was living with his second wife Sarah, widow of Elijah Hill. She was identified as a McCoy but Tom and I thought she was a Coye, the fifth sibling. Then Tom found the following article in the 2 November 1881 edition of The Amboy News, "Levi Coy, of Hornby, N.Y., and his sister Mrs. Morris Randall and her husband of Chenango [sic] Co., N.Y., are visiting their brother Alva Coy, and their sister Mrs. Samuel Bixby, of this place." So not only did we positively identify Sarah as a Coye, we were able to identify the sixth child Caroline (Coye) Randall, wife of Morris.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


The John Judd Hazen family appeared in Hornby only in the 1860 census, but thanks to The Hazen Family in America, compiled by Tracy Elliot Hazen and published in 1947, we know a great deal about where they came from and what happened to them. John, the son of Anson and Hannah (Townsend) Hazen, was the descendant of immigrant ancestor Edward Hazen born 1614 England. He was a lumber dealer in 1860, living in Hornby Forks with his wife Esther Jane Hale of Williamsport, PA and four year old son William Hale Hazen who was born in Hornby 3 October 1856.

The family returned to Williamsport. There was a stillborn daughter born March 1862 and Esther died in November at the age of twenty five. John returned to his birthplace of Carmel, NY where he died in 1864 age thirty five.

Their son William lived in Williamsport with his maternal grandparents William H. and Eliza (Bradley) Hale into the 1870s. In June 1880 he was in Carmel, a locomotive engineer boarding in the household of butcher Charles Brewster and wife Mary Tandy. He married their daughter Nellie in July and they had four children before divorcing in 1895. That same year he married Gertrude Wheeler with whom he had three more children. They lived in Brooklyn where in 1900 he was a saloon keeper and in 1910 a chauffer. Gertrude reportedly died about 1914. I have yet to discover what happened to William, but have some additional information on his children posted at the Hornby site.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I have done quite a bit of research on the Erwins for whom the Town of Erwin is named. Carrie Maria Erwin married my great-granduncle Fred Rogers and lived in Hornby most of her life. There's a nice picture of her at: Her grandparents were Arthur and (2nd wife) Sarah (Clark) Erwin. Although to the best of my knowledge there were never any Bowyers in Hornby, I claim Isaac and Sarah Ann (Furman) Bowyer of Rathbone as my 4th great-grandparents.

I was working on that Bowyer line, specifically that of John F. Bowyer, whose sister was my 4th great-grandmother, when I discovered another Erwin connection. John F. and Emma Emily (Mather) Bowyer had two children, Elizabeth and Charles. I found both the marriage announcement and the obituary of Charles' only son John Curtis Bowyer. His only surviving relative listed in the obit, besides his wife, was a cousin Mrs. Eugene M. Bates of Webster [Monroe County, NY].

So Mrs. Eugene M. Bates had to be the daughter of his Aunt Elizabeth Bowyer. I found Elizabeth Erwin in the 1930 census, Buffalo District 326, Erie County, NY, listed as widowed mother-in-law in the household of Eugene M. Bates and his wife Hazel. I found Elizabeth and Hazel with Harry Erwin in 1910 and 1920 Buffalo, Erie County, NY. I did not immediately connect Harry to the Steuben County, NY Erwins however because he was born in Michigan. I then discovered Harry (born in Michigan) living with his father Henry in the 1880 census, Town of Erwin, Steuben County, NY. Henry was the grandson of Arthur above and his first wife Sarah Lamphear.

Anyone else have a Bowyer or Erwin connection?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Francis P. Harrison

Mr. Harrison died Thursday. He was my 3rd cousin once removed, we having both descended from Hornby pioneers Peter and Eliza Jane (Perkins) Rogers. His obituary can be found in the Corning Leader at:

or Carpenter's Funeral Home site which has a picture:

Mr. Harrison's 3rd great grandfather was John D. Harrison who was born in England in 1778 and was an early settler in what would become Hornby.

According to Millard F. Roberts', "Historical Gazetteer of Steuben County, New York", 1891:

John Harrison came from England, and resided for a time in Orange
county. In 1817 settled in this town near the present residence of
his son, John T. Harrison. He married Priscilla Sayre, by whom he
had nine children.

Two of his sons, Nathan and Melvin, were married to my 2nd great grandaunt Phoebe Ann Rogers (not concurrently!). Nathan was Francis' great grandfather.

Please post a comment if you are related and/or want to know more or discuss this family.


I have created this blog to make it easier for me to pass on to Hornby researchers what I have been doing to add to the genealogy of Hornby residents past and present.