Thursday, February 28, 2008


Today's featured cemetery is the Gifford Hollow Burying Ground on land that is part of the Partridge Run State Wildlife Management Area. This small, abandoned burying ground of the Furman and Gifford families is difficult to find. To my knowledge, it was last cleared of brush and weeds in 1996 when photographs of all readable stones were taken by a Gifford descendant, J. Dudley Richards.

  • Here is a 1936 article from the Albany Evening Journal on the history of West Mountain that I found on the Old Fulton NY Postcards site. It tells of the purchase of 2,600 acres (by the following year it totaled 3,300 acres) of sub-marginal mountain-top land by the Federal Resettlement Agency, which the following year became the Farm Security Administration. The FSA paid much more than the land was worth on the open market and then helped the farmer's re-locate on more productive land elsewhere. New and improved access roads were then built and the former fields were resown one last time with crops suitable to feed wildlife. Cut-over woods were allowed to revert to their natural growth.
  • The former, abandoned, upland farms were eventually turned over to the State of New York and became the heart of today's Partridge Run State Wildlife Management Area. It now consists of 4,594 acres (18.59 km²) improved with hiking trails, and parking lots and is available for birdwatching, cross-county skiing, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing and trapping. Partridge Run and nearby Cole Hill State Forest are units in the Helderbergs Management Area of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • On page 16 of the HELDERBERGS UNIT MANAGEMENT PLAN ( is the following (in part):
    Acheological and Historical Sites
    The New York State site location maps list no known archaeological or historical sites on the Unit. There are at least two cemeteries and numerous old house foundations and stone walls located on the Unit. Protection of cultural resources of historic significance is provided for under the New York State Historic Preservation Act.
  • If I am correct, there are four cemeteries in the Partridge Run WMA. Two of them, Turner Burying Ground and the Cook Family Burying Ground, are kept clear of brush. The Mathias and Peter Shultes Family Burying Ground consists of just two stones and could be kept clear with an hour of work once a year. The Gifford Hollow Burying Ground would take a few men a day a year to keep clear. As part of the requirement for the protection of cultural resources of historic significance, I would hope that the DEC would be able to provide the manpower to do annual clearing. It is my opinion that a family buying ground is a cultural resource of historic significance and should be at a minimum kept clear of brush. Neglect allows fallen stones to be covered with branches and dirt and lost forever.
  • A couple of years ago Karl Parker, Sr. Wildlife Biologist in the NYS DEC Region 4, proposed to place road signs near the approaches to each of the cemeteries. I presume that has been done.

1936 newspaper article on the history of Berne

I have decided to post a series of photos of local cemeteries, one each blog. The above photo of the Bogardus Farm Burying Ground was taken in October, 2005 by Gerald Dietz. He photographed each stone while his brother, Allen, transcribed them. The results are now posted on the Berne Historical Project site. Before that there was no record of who was buried there. This cemetery really needs to be cleared of brush and cleaned up. There are undoubtedly fallen stones that should be found and at least transcribed, and at best reset.

  • Here is an interesting article on the history of Berne that I found on the Old Fulton NY Postcards site. Among other subjects, it talks about former Associate Chief Justice of the United States Joseph Philo Bradley who was born on a farm on Cole Hill a mile from where I grew up. Also discussed is White Sulphur Springs Hotel which has been boarded up for the last fifty years or so.
  • There is a picture of a house in the 1936 article with a caption:
    This neat dwelling in the heart of Berne hamlet was erected more than a century and a quarter ago and used as a tavern. Recruiting for the war of 1812 was conducted in the building.
    It looks like it has a NYS Historical Marker in front of it. Can someone identify this building for me and send me a current photo, please.
  • The article also has a photo of the Lutheran Church with the caption:
    As the largest available auditorium at the time, this old church was the scene of a political convention at Berne in 1845. Three hundred delegates from 10 Capital District Counties assembled to vote support at the polls for only those legislative candidates opposed to the patroon system of rents.
    Henry Christman, in Tin Horns and Calico, a Decisive Episode in the Emergence of Democracy. ISBN 0-685-61130-2, says there were 150 delegates from 11 counties. The meeting was a turning point in the Antirent Wars.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Morey, Plue, Newell, Martin

Today's picture, by Allan Deitz, is of the West Berne Reformed Church Cemetery. It is in typical condition of most of the fifty or more small family burying grounds in the Town of Berne. I believe the brush was cut a few years ago.

  • Betty Fink wrote:
    I don't know if you know about the Old Fulton NY Post Cards site. Tom has over 5 million pages of newspapers, mostly from central New York, but has recently added quite a few from Albany and those have sections about the surrounding towns including as far away as Middleburg.
    It's free and it's fun even if traffic is a little high sometimes.
  • I searched the site for "Berne" and found 5000 hits! The second one was a 1918 Albany New York Evening Journal page with people that owed land taxes. I try to have everyone who lived in Berne in the Berne Genealogy and I was able to add a number of names. Also found that some people I had thought died earlier than 1918 were still alive.
  • My brother Ralph asked how I do my searching for people. Here is my reply:
    My best source is which I subscribe to. It has all the census records up to 1930 (newer ones are not allowed to be published). It also has a public record index for living people giving their age, address and tel. no. This site also has posted family genealogies which gives exact dates of birth, maiden names, ancestors, siblings, etc.

    Then I use Social Security records to find when and where dead people were born and died. I also use and
  • I researched the paternal ancestors for Pat (Morey) Favreau, our Town Clerk. My reply:
    Your father, Nelson Morey, was third youngest of ten or more children of Nelson H. and Mamie E. (Duncan) Morey. They lived on Falls Road, Catskill, Greene, NY up until after 1913 when they moved to Washington County. He was a Democrat according to the 1913 tax records on from a search on Google.

    His great grandparents were Horace and Louisa Morey from Catskill (1880 census records can be found on

    I used to find that Mamie's maiden name was Duncan. That came from Pat's aunt's obituary.
  • Shelley Lynn Plue Googled her name and found it in the Berne Genealogy. My reply to her:
    We are 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, and 10th cousins, through at least 8 sets of shared great-grandparents on your father's side. The closest are Peter and Libby (Milner) Becker and Washington and Sophia (Williman) Barton. Attached is a 24 page journal of over 500 of your father's Berne area ancestors.
  • My sister Marilyn sent me the obituary for John R. "Dick"Newell and posted it on the Berne Historical Project site.
  • The other day she posted the obit for Clyde. J. Martin.

Monday, February 25, 2008

NYALBANY, Gary Donhardt, Nancy Curran, Betty Fink

I enjoy looking at old post cards of Berne that are being sold on eBay. Here is one of the Lakeside Hotel at Thompsons Lake. Indian Ladder, A History of Life in the Helderbergs, by Gary L. Donhardt, gives a fascinating in depth history of this resort (and of all of Thompsons Lake). In 1884 William J. Hart and his wife Elimna (Emmaline) built the first resort on Thompsons Lake. Lake View House, on the southern shore of the lake, soon drew large crowds of summer visitors from as far away New York City. By the turn of the century they had more than 100 overnight guests some of whom were from Oregon, Alaska, and Europe. In 1906 it was sold and the new owners remodeled it and named it the Lakeside House. It had 125 rooms and bungalows were added. The Hotel burned in 1917.

  • I subscribe to the Albany, New York mailing list on Rootsweb. It discusses genealogy and history of Albany County. A great resource for those with Albany County ancestors.
  • A couple of days ago it had a question from a researcher of the family of Charles Speenburg Zeh born 1888. Well, Zeh is a family I study since they were from Schoharie and Berne and are my ancestors, too. I could not place Charles, but Nancy Curran was able to. I was surprised to learn that he was from Berne! I had him as Charles L. Zeh, son of George R. Zeh and his wife Carrie. Thanks to Nancy's thorough research I realized that my Charles L. and Charles Speenburg Zeh were one and the same. Also, thanks to Nancy, I found that his mother was Carrie Speenburg.
  • While I was at it I researched William Henry Zeh, Jr. born 1884, Knox.
  • The results of my research will be posted this weekend when I update the Berne Genealogy which I do at the end of each week.
  • Nancy Curran is a professional genealogical researcher specializing in the Albany area. Here is her contact info:
    Nancy Johnsen Curran
    Genealogy research and photography in the capital region of New York State

    The Continuum
    P.O. Box 9419
    Niskayuna, NY 12309
    Phone: (518) 393-5905 Fax: (518) 377-3810
  • There was a request on the mailing list as follows:
    I have been trying to find the parents of my gggrandfather, John Clarkson Brayton/Braton....... He was born in Albany NY-1838, and moved with his parents to Montrose, Lee Co., IA ------- In Albany, NY their name was Brayton, when they got to Iowa they changed their name to Braton....... I do not know John's parents name or if he had any brothers/ sisters, canyou help me? Thank you. Anne
I have not researched that family so could not help. Betty Fink did some research and found that in 1830 the only Brayton or Brayton sounding name in Albany County was John P. Brayton in Bethlehem. He was also there in 1840.
  • Betty Fink is a fellow researcher specializing in Ablany County. She has an excellent site at

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Huntersland, Steve & Anne LaMont, Hank Jones

Before continuing with Huntersland, I wanted to share a posting from ebay:

Early Postcard - Thompson's Lake, Berne, Albany Co., NY
Postcard, ca. 1906, undivided back, used but in good condition. Captioned THE COVE, THOMPSON’S LAKE, N.Y. Near Altamont, Berne, and Vorheesville in Albany County New York.

And now more on Huntersland:
  • Part of a letter from Hank Jones to an email I forwarded to him from Steve & Anne LaMont asking how they could obtain a copy of his book for the Middleburgh Library:
Hal Miller has told me of your interest in obtaining a copy of my book A Few More Left: The Story of Isaac Hillman which contains a large section on his ancestral Barkman/Barrickman family. Isaac himself lived in MIddleburgh in 1820 with his brother Garret Barickman before changing his name to the anglicized "Hillman" and moving to Troy and then California during the Gold Rush.

I'd be happy to send you a gratis copy of my book with my compliments. Years and years ago Frances Spencer helped me as a teenager in assembling Huntersland/ Middleburgh data about the family, and I've always been grateful for her kindness.

Best wishes on your own studies of your lovely and historically-important area. So many of the Palatines I write about in my several books settled there (see my website for more on these volumes).

Please send me your address, and I'll mail off a copy to you right away.

All the best,

Hank Jones
{Henry Z Jones, Jr., Fellow, American Society of Genealogists}

PS: If ever you run across an old photo of Daniel Barkman's father (1777-1851), do let me know - I'd love to see it! I am delighted to correct the erroneous photo caption I gave on page 310 of my book: the man whom I thought to have been my great great grandfather Garret BarickmanNoah Dibble (1788-1864) of Breakabeen was actually old Daniel Barkman of Huntersland.

  • And Steve & Anne's reply:
Thank you so very much. If you are ever in this area, you must come into the NEW Middleburgh Library and see the History/Genealogy Room. The library was built in 2003 and is quite beautiful and our room is highly thought of in the area. Marian Lynes Bouck did a tremendous job organizing the collection from the old library and also for bringing in a lot of new material. Steve and I volunteer there every Thursday morning and help indexing all the scrapbooks, etc. for easier reference. We have also added a few books to our Genealogy section and are very happy to add yours.
  • The next letter is from Mark Traver via my brother Ralph, Town Historian:
    Hi Ralph, I love the web-site.   I have traced my genealogy back on the
    Church family from Schoharie County to Berne. I have tracked down
    many headstones, but was stuck on Simeon Church 8/11/1750-6/4/1841 and
    wife Theodora Beebe 6/6/1841. I knew that they were buried in the
    Jacob Dumond burial ground, could not find where it is located. The
    web-site says it is located on Miller Road just over the town line.
    My wife and I drove up and down Miller Road on Saturday, but found no
    obvious site. There was one area a third of the way in from Gifford
    Hollow Road on the left across the road from a house. There was a flag
    pole and a little memorial set-up. Do you have any knowledge of its
    precise location? Thanks Mark T.
I have sent an interim reply but am waiting for possible additional information.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Huntersland, Middleburgh

Today's focus is on Huntersland, Middleburgh on the western town line in Schoharie County. It adjoins Huntersland, Berne, which is on West Mountain.

  • First a couple of photos from Susan Richtmyer. The upper photo is Marriman Scutt of Huntersland, Middleburgh. He was born about 1828 and died after 1880.
  • The lower photo is Daniel Barkman (1803-1886) of Huntersland, Middleburgh.

  • I wrote Henry Z Jones an email forwarding Susan's photo of his ancestor Daniel Barkman. Hank is the author of a book on his Middleburgh ancestors including Barkman, Hillman, Sweet, Dibble and Crippen. Here is his reply: Many thanks! Susan had just forwarded it to me this morning, but I do appreciate yours also - a welcome double-dose of Daniel Barkman.
    I had seen this gentleman before in an un-labelled photo in Isaac Hillman's photo album from 1877: as I noted on page 310 of my "
    A Few More Left: The Story of Isaac Hillman", I had wrongly thought it was my great great grandfather Noah Dibble of Breakabeen; now it's finally been straightened out just who he was - Daniel Barkman. What a great face!
  • Next a follow up on the search for Terry Effner supposedly buried in "West Hill Cemetery" from Anne LaMont: Steve checked the cemetery records at the Middleburgh Library and found them in the Middleburgh Cemetery. Case solved.
  • I should note that Steve and Anne LaMont are the unofficial historians for Huntersland.
  • Also from Anne: The Middleburgh Library has records of the Middleburgh and Huntersland Methodist churches and I have some records of the Huntersland Methodist Church here. There are hundreds of pages, therefore too extensive to copy.
  • From Julie Mooney of Menlo Park, California: I was researching George Heligis ( this is the spelling used from circa 1860 in California) B: 1835 approx - in New York. And his son, Frank Jesse Heligis born in New York in 1858. I think this is a fit [with George Helligas b. ca, 1832 on Bradt Hollow Road, Huntersland, Berne, son of Jesse and Eunice Helligas]. And now, I am trying to find a marriage record of George, married approx 1856 to a Maria ( O'Hara, I suspect) somewhere in your area. She was from Ireland and I am sure they were married in a local church. George is a seaman on a ship in San Francisco in the 1860 census and his daughter Anna Heligis was born there in 1861 or 1864. San Francisco records are very sketchy due to the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. They also had two more sons George and John who died in an epidemic in 1868. So I think her father would be listed as John on any marriage record…or Francis…and I am sure she was catholic.
  • If George Heligas was married in Berne it was probably at the West Mountain Methodist Episcopal Church which existed from about the early 19th C. to the early 20th C. I would like to find who, if anyone, has the records of the church. See the Berne Historical Project site for the history of the church.
  • I wrote Anne Lamont and asked if she had any information on inquiry on George Heligas. Here is her reply: The only Heligas in the Middleburgh Methodist Church as follows:
  • - Married Sept. 29, 1924
    Hillijas, Raymond - Altamont - age 24 Born in Middleburgh Farmer
    Slater, Gertrude - Middleburgh - age 18 - Born in Fultonham
    Parents: William and Anna Castle Hillijas
    Ellsworth and Elvina Schrom Slater
    - There are no Heligas in the Huntersland records.
    - Middleburgh records start in August 1856 and Huntersland records start in 1872-1873
    - I do not have any Heligas in my Huntersland Genealogy records, nor the Christian Church.
    - The first paper in Middleburgh was started in 1871, so there would not be any items. The only other paper that may have had any notice of marriages would have been Schoharie. I don't know when they started, buy they are earlier than Middleburgh.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

van Woert, Effner, Heligas, Stewart, Church, Beebe

What a week! After our computers got stolen over a week ago I switched to a laptop that the thieves missed. Then it got ¨corrupted¨ and I could no longer access the Internet. Finally this afternoon we got our stolen computers back. One was destroyed, as was one of the two monitors. Gracias a Dios (TG!) my computer still works and my genealogy records are intact. We paid off the police and the ¨Justice¨ department to get justice. Most of the things stolen are now in the hands of the police and we will never see them again. They say they were not recovered. The thieves are in jail for 6 or 7 years (still not sentenced).

Now for Berne genealogy:

  • From Cindi Christman: I understand that you are looking for further information on Jacob Schoenderwoert. I live in Oneonta, NY and have been comiling the family tree for my mother's side. Our history goes back to Jacob van Woert (shortened) who came here from the Albany area. What information do you have on him? Thanks, Cindi Christman
  • From my aunt Jerry Becker: We got a call this morning from Palmer and Shayler Funeral Home in Middleburg. They had gotten a call from a funeral home in Arizona about a woman who had died and wanted to be buried here. In her things they found reference to "West Hill Cemetary" and they decided they probably meant West Mt. Cemetary which is by the old Methodist Church. They are going to check with the funeral home out there again to see if they can get any more information. If it is in Berne that has to be the one. Her Grandparents are supposed to be buried there but there is no stone. She wants to be buried by or near them. The grandfathers name is Terry Effner and we wondered if in your research you have run across that name? I looked in the old cemetary yearbook I have (1945-47) and the name isn't there. He could well have died after that and no stone was ever put in. Mr. Coltrain from Middleburg wanted to know who took care of the cemetary and we told them the town highway men keep it mowed. Do you know of anyone who might have records of that cemetary?
  • From Julie Mooney: I think this is my family!!! I was researching;

    George Heligis ( this is the spelling used from circa 1860 in California) B: 1835 approx - in New York. And his son, Frank Jesse Heligis born in New York in 1858. I think this is a fit. And now, I am trying to find a marriage record of George, married approx 1856 to a Maria ( O’Hara, I suspect) somewhere in your area. She was from Ireland and I am sure they were married in a local church. George is a seaman on a ship in San Francisco in the 1860 census and his daughter Anna Heligis was born there in 1861 or 1864. San Francisco records are very sketchy due to the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. They also had two more sons George and John who died in an epidemic in 1868. So I think her father would be listed as John on any marriage record…or Francis…and I am sure she was catholic.

    I want to thank Harold Miller for sending this as it is the link I have been seeking….Thanks in advance for any leads you can provide.

  • From my sister Marilyn:
    H. Delite Stewart
    WESTERLO - H. Delite Stewart, 85, of Westerlo, died at The Hospice Inn at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, on April 27, 2001.
    She was born in Medusa on April 17, 1916, daughter of the late Harry and Grace (Kelsey) Mackey.
    She had worked as a rate adjuster, having retired on 1985 from Farm Family Insurance in Glenmont. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Westerlo and the M.B. I. Guild.
    She is survived by husband, Philip Stewart; a daughter, JoAnn Garry of Albany; tow grandsons, Robert F. and Steven J. Garry; two great-grand=children, Hannah and Eve Garry; and two sisters Joyce Eufemia of New Port Richey, Fla. and Gene Smith of Medusa. Her Brother Donald Mackey died before her.
    Interment in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery will be at the convenience of the family. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
    Arrangements are by the Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.
    Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Westerlo Memorial Fund.

  • From Mark Traver via my brother Ralph: I have traced my genealogy back on the Church family from Schoharie County to Berne. I have tracked down many headstones, but was stuck on Simeon Church 8/11/1750-6/4/1841 and wife Theodora Beebe 6/6/1841. I knew that they were buried in the
    Jacob Dumond burial ground, could not find where it is located. The web-site says it is located on Miller Road just over the town line. My wife and I drove up and down Miller Road on Saturday, but found no
    obvious site. There was one area a third of the way in from Gifford Hollow Road on the left across the road from a house. There was a flag pole and a little memorial set-up. Do you have any knowledge of its
    precise location? Thanks Mark T
It will take me a day or two to research these requests.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Busy day yesterday dealing with the banks and credit cards in the aftermath of our robbery the previous day. As the day went along we found many more things missing from the house: rugs, a floor lamp, coasters for glasses, a wooden figure, and a clock. The good news came in the evening that the culprits have been caught and our computers recovered. Hopefully we will get the other stuff back also.

Getting back to business:
  • If anyone knows any Hempstead descendants please pass on to them the following update on the Hempstead family reunion:

Dear Hempsted Descendants,

I'm SO sorry to do this, but after I sent my most recent message I received correspondence from our headquarters informing me of a conflict and the need to change the dates of the reunion. I know that some of you have already passed the word on to other relatives and I truly regret the need to change the date at this point. Some things can't be avoided though, so here's the update:

Our Hempsted family reunion will take place the weekend of 20 and 21 September, 2008, NOT the following weekend as originally planned. Please spread the word. Also please let folks know that if they want to be included on our email list for updates from the source here in New London
that they should feel free to write.

Once again I apologize for any inconvenience or confusion that this might have caused.

And so we move forward....



Rick Spencer, Site Administrator
Hempsted Houses
A Connecticut Landmark
11 Hempsted Street
New London, CT 06320
860.443.7949 <> History Moving Forward.
Formerly the Antiquarian & Landmarks Society

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hempstead, Utterville, Rivenburgh

I really have hesitated to write a blog for today, since it has been such an unusually terrible day. It started off with a noise in the night that awoke me. Our house was being burglarized. Someone was leaving the bedroom with my wallet and keys when I heard the bedroom door close.
I found out later he had a butcher knife from the kitchen and had come in over the roof. I slowly descended the stairs unarmed to find the door to the street was open. Looking out I saw some one peering around the corner of the adjoining house. I took chase even though I was in my underwear. He ran a block and turned a corner and jumped on his motorcycle. In the meantime his accomplice must have left in a larger vehicle with two computers and everything that goes with them, my wallet and keys, the silverware, and a half used tube of toothpaste that was next to my wallet. I don't yet know how it will affect the Berne genealogy as I did not have a very recent backup. Somethings will be lost. Somethings I can re-enter.

After a couple of hours I fell into a restless sleep to be awaken at 6:30 as usual by the garbage truck stopping. I had to get up, as I do every morning, to take out the garbage. Unusual for me, I tried to go back to sleep only to be awaken at 7 am by an earthquake. It lasted almost a minute but turned out finally to be much ado about nothing, TG. It took most of the day to take care of reporting the robbery to the police, trying to change the locks on the house and the car, calling banks about credit cards, etc. Much time was spent but little accomplished. Tomorrow much more of the same.

Here is a summary of genealogy events:
  • From Ed Healy: Here is the latest news on the Hempstead Family Reunion. Please pass this along to all who may be interested. Please post this link in any Hempstead message boards your are a member of. See for Hempstead Notices.
  • From Anne Lamont in reply to the question "Where is Utter Ville": To the best of my knowledge, Utterville is at the corner of High Point Road and Huntersland Road, just past the Christian Church. Josiah Utter had a saw mill somewhere near there, possibly on the lower end of Cook Hill Road. It's the little collection of houses at the corner. I thought years ago, when I first came to this area I saw a road sign there saying Utterville, but Steve does not remember it. Middleburgh News used to run a column called Utterville and most of it was on the people who lived in that area.
  • From Susan Rightmyer : I noted in your blog spot that you receive obituaries and thought you might be interested in the attached for Ellen Rivenburgh [Forwarded to my sister Marilyn for posting on the Berne site]. I will check with my Aunt Florence Rivenburgh Dietrich to see if she can recall where Utter Ville was located.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stephens, Griswold, Houghtaling, Reinhart, Scutt, and more

Hi folks! Those who know me know that I spend much of each day working on the genealogy of Berne area families and researching the history of Berne. The results of my work, and those of many others, are posted on the Berne Historical Project web site. I have so many day to day projects that I want people to know about that I have decided this is the easiest way to communicate with fellow researchers. Here are some of the projects I have been working on this past week:
  • My inspiration for this blog came from a posting I read this morning from Midge Frazel on her blog The Stewart Family of North Stonington, Conneticut. As Midge knows, in the 1790's dozens of families from Stonington moved to Knox. The Stephens / Stevens family mentioned in her blog was one of them. Here is an article that I wrote on this phenomena that was published in the Feb. 2002 edition of Historical Footnotes, Bulletin of the Stonington Historical Society.
  • Margaret Torok last week gave me corrections to the descendants of Peter Houghtaling that will be posted when I update the Berne Genealogy this weekend.
  • Charles W. Griswold, a descendant of Elijah Griswold b. 1762 in Middletown, MA called my attention to the fact that Elijah was living in Berne in 1800. (Elijah "Grissel" in the census record, which is why I had never heard of Elijah Griswold.) This was a family I had not researched, but with Charlie's help it will be included in the next Berne Genealogy update.
  • Cousin Arlene Johnson, a descendant of the Civil War soldier Peleg Reinhart called gave me an update on his son Theodore who was her grandfather.
  • Cousin Susan Rightmyer gave me an update of Edwin Scutt Rivenburgh, Avery Southwick, and their wife Mary Acker. I guessed that Edwin's mother was a Scutt and Susan confirmed it. I did more research on her ancestors and sent her 23 pages of her ancestors.
  • Responded to a request for information from Jeff Saddlemire who attended BKW. I did not even know he existed but was able to give him a journal of his ancestors going back 15 generations. Jeff replied: "Hal you almost have it back to Adam & Eve! I have concluded that in Berne almost everybody is related to someone just over the next hill if you know what I mean." Jeff also called my attention to this Saddlemire site posted by my fellow researcher Gerry Saddlemire. Unfortunately I have lost contact with Gerry.
  • In the 1925 federal census for Berne the families of John Hall, Russel V. Shafer, and Levi Rivenburg lived in "Utter Ville." It was somewhere on West Mountain. At the turn of the 20th C. there was an Utter family that lived on West Mountain. Has anyone ever heard of Utter Ville?
  • Leslie Campbell wrote me that the father of Charles Campbell b. 1771 was Alexander not Martin. Glen Swartz tells me that according to Charles' marriage record to Anna Swart his father was Martin so I will stick with Martin for now.
  • Phil Lankau, a grandson of Avery Southwick and Mary Acker, wrote, "I would just like to thank you and anyone else that has taken so much time to devote to the website. It has been so unbelievably helpful to me in finding my ancestors." I sent him about 25 pages of his Berne area ancestors.
  • Marty Duell wrote me: "Thanks so much for keeping everyone in touch.
    I have sent all my pictures to Will [Osterhout] who is writing a book with the pictures I sent. Great times. Finaly after all these years they may be made avaiable to who wants them. Its has been great to have you provide such info over the years." Willard Osterhout is editing his fourth book with early photos of Berne families.
  • Julie Kennel gave me the corrected spelling of her name and I sent her a 23 page ancestor report.
  • My sister Marilyn Nardolillo recently sent me obituaries (as she does almost daily) for Joseph Orsini and Thomas Bates.