Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Travel Tuesday -- Friuli, especially Raveo, home of my grandmother

Hard to believe it's been almost a year since I embarked on my trip to Italy in search of my mother's genealogical past and to show my husband and daughter a little of the culture, arts, food, and people of Italy.

  I was most interested in visiting the area my grandmother was from. Close to the Austrian border, and in a part of Italy that I had never seen.  I'm not really great yet at using embedded Google maps, and couldn't get it to display all the town names when I made it. The top red is Raveo, the main town

of the family. The yellow pin is Enemonzo, the town they moved to after grandmother was born in Raveo, and the latest home.  The green pin is where we stayed in Tolmezzo, and the middle pin is the town of Colza, which we discovered as birthplace of one of the ancestors in some of the records, but I only passed through it, it's  a frazione (subdivision) of Enemonzo now. From Tolmezzo to Raveo is about 7 miles,  From Raveo to Enmonzo is about 4 miles. The towns are in the Carnia Valley.  It is a beautiful area and off the beaten tourist track. I think only skiers in ski season or really serious summer hikers visit the area.  There is only one bus from Udine (capital of region) to Tolmezzo most days... of course we missed it, necessitating a long expensive cab ride!!!

I spent most of my 2 1/2 days in the region ensconced in the archives of church records, so I will have to go again in the future to really look at the land and connect with the people....maybe next year? I'll have to rent a car, as this area isn't covered well by public transit, so I'll avoid winter, as the area gets lots of snow!

Wikipedia has a great history of the region. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friuli . The Friuli language -- not an Italian dialect, it's a separate language--- is spoken as well as Italian..... I can't follow it at all, and my Italian was somewhat better, but I'm glad my cousin and the genealogist I was with spoke English! 

According to the relative  I met in Raveo, there are about 300 people in Raveo now (486 in 2004 according to Wikipedia) and probably never had more than 1000 people.  Since our family lived there from at least 1700 to 1890, I must be related to everyone in the town!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Family Friday --- who are these people???? Fessias???

Well, I'm in New York visiting with my cousin Dolores to share the info I found in Raveo, Italy, and she has pictures with no names we are trying to figure out.  I think these are of my Fessia line, specifically of Pietro/Pedro older brother of my grandfather who went to Chile instead of coming to America with the rest of the family.....
So I'm going to post them here, let the relatives in Chile know of this post, and hope that they can identify the people in the photos ( use left to right or by rows)....  Then I'll get back to the Italian research posts, I promise!!!!

Photo 1

Photo 2

Photo Three

Photo 4

And we think this one may be of Giovanni Battista / John, the youngest brother of Augosto and Pietro who lived in Utica  ?????

Thanks everybody!!!!!!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Matrilineal Monday My Italian journey part 3 -- the Raveo story including the surnames, and research lessons I learned.

Well this portion takes place after the Fessia journey in Gaglianico (part 2), but it has a lot of new information, and I want to get it all down on paper before I forget!!! So part 2 will be out of order.

I thought I knew a lot about Italian research, from the classes at National Institute of Genealogical Studies, researching the microfilms at Salt Lake, transcribing and translating documents, and reading all the books on Italian research I could find!     But there is always something new to learn.

My grandmother  Maria Jacomina Teresa Antoinetta Antonipieri emigrated from the Friuli region of Italy with her first husband Angelo Felice  in 1911.   I thought she was born in Enemonzo, and her parents moved there from Raveo, a smaller town about 5 km away. So I started in Raveo.  A cousin(?),  and now dear friend, Danilo Antonipieri,  whom I had found on Facebook, [love social media for finding relatives!] had picked me up in Tolmezzo where I was staying, and then drove me to Raveo.....

The town is small. maybe 300 people now, and is set in the beautiful Carnia valley, very close to the Austrian border.....

I had hired (through Ancestry.com --progenealogists.com) an Italian genealogist, Gabriele Musumeci, to set up appointments with the local parish keeper of the records, and to be there to translate since although I read Italian fairly well, I don't speak it well.... and he was worth his weight in gold!  (Although even he had to ask questions because they tend to sometimes use words in Friulani, a separate language, which sorta sounds like Italian, Slavic and German mixed....)

It was a beautiful day, and Signore Bonanni met us at the parish office.  When we asked to look at records of Antonipieri.... he pulled out a beautiful book separate from the church records, which when opened, contained pages of hand-drawn family trees!   Neither Gabriele or I had ever seen such a wonder, and I was so excited I could barely keep from happy dancing trough the room!  The book was prepared by the priest about 1900 for all the families in the town. He also raised funds in 1894 to rebuild the church, and a plaque is located on the church.

If there is sainthood granted for genealogists, I nominate Father Barnaba Colledani!!!   The book didn't contain all dates for everyone, but made it easy to prepare a bare bones pedigree to start looking for data.....    My thoughts were that we sure did need to get a LDS camera crew here to digitize the book and the church records before another earthquake  (there was a bad one here in 1979) destroys the records!

Here is a sample of the trees, this one for the Noselli  family [tree #71, page 65] which is one of mine.  I took pictures of whole pages with my iPad, and then zoomed portions, as there was, alas, no copy machine!!!  I wanted to be able to read every thing... but we only had about a half day to look at the records.  Signore Bonanni allowed us to use all the  church record books  which went back to about 1862, although the majority of records started about 1700,  unlike the priest at Gaglianico.....

and of course Antonipieri "Chiandat"  was the first tree in the book, followed by  the next page Antonipieri "Bonella" and the a third page Antonipieri .... which led to the first new lesson in Italian genealogy....... Some towns use the old Roman system of a first name, a surname, and a name to denote the branch of the surname family which was called cognome then (or vulgo in the Latin Raveo church records) , which now in Italian means surname!  In Roman times, the surname was nomen, with a praenomen (first name), and then a cognome, which could be a branch or nickname.... found this on Wikipedia which I love!
so New Lesson #1 ...  named family branches!!
 Now how to enter into Rootsmagic.... guess I'll use Nickname slot as it puts " " around it....

We found my great grandfather Daniele Anonipieri at the bottom of the  Antonipieri "Bonella" tree [#2, page 4].  the top of that tree  (also a Daniele) was in the first row of children of the previous Antonipieri "Chiandat" tree.  We asked Signore Bonanni if he knew why the split, and he said that Daniele had gone "on coook" [ not sure of spelling, that's just what it sounded like...]  When we asked  what that meant, he explained was like the Cuckoo bird. who moves into another bird's nest... instead of the wife ( Maria Ariis called Bonella) coming to live with his family, he went to hers, hence the new branch of the tree Antonipieri "Bonella"!  Even though both households were in Raveo!

We spent the afternoon at the parish archive in Enemonzo, returned to Raveo the next day for a half day to finish looking for records.... In the two days, we managed to take pictures and locate records  giving names back to before 1700, about 7 generations!!!!!! Have never managed that in US records in all my 40 years of genealogy. Of course it helped that they remained in the same town for 200 years!   The surnames in my tree include several Bonannis from different branches, Ariis ( diff branches) , Vriz/Vritz, Noselli, Iaconissi, Valino, Buttini, Pascoli, Piazza. I suspect that the reason the priest created the trees was to make sure the people weren't too closely related.... although we found one marriage in the family which had a papal dispensation for the marriage.  Here's my grandmother's parents' marriage entry (second one).

It turns out that they were related also, about 4th cousins.....   I'll add more info in part 4 about both Enemonzo and Raveo research, as this is getting too long!   And I'll update my ahnentafel page with the new generations. But I'll close with a picture of Signore Bonanni (l), Danilo Antonipieri (r) & me(c) in front of the old Bell tower.   Ciao!!!  Arrivederci!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My Italian Journey- the beginning background

This is a start to a set of blogs about the search for my Italian roots, half of my heritage. I have spent most of my 40 years in genealogy researching my father's side of the family.  I have done a couple of "Surname Saturday" posts to at least publish my mother's parents' surnames so that I might connect with relatives around the world, because that's where the Italians have gone--- everywhere!

I was able to do a little more on my Fessia line than the Antonipieri  line  (see posts of January 30, 2010 and  August 17, 2009) [OMG was it that long ago?!].
I found Fessia cousins in Chile through Facebook, and also some Antonipieri  cousins. It helps to have "rare" Italian surnames!

The only documents I had were my grandparents' death certificates (with parents listed as unknown--- really?!) and the names of their parents as remembered by my mother, who only knew one  grandparent who came to America.  It helped when the LDS church microfilmed the province records in the Piemonte region of Italy.  On my trips to Salt Lake, I had to request them from the vault, 4 at a time,twice a day, as instead of filming all one town across the years, each film (or 2) covered one year across many towns..... There are decennial indices, however, they are from the start of the Italian country, so 1876, 1886, etc.... rather than 1870, 1880 etc like I went looking for originally.... but those records only go back to 1866 and a couple of 1840s baptisms attached to later marriages.... and they haven't microfilmed those earlier church records yet, at least not in the areas of Italy I need..... and they hadn't filmed anything in the Friuli province of Italy where grandmother was from...
And of course over the years I had sent letters in Italian with International Reply Coupons, and International money orders for donations/costs--- which disappeared into a black hole somewhere, as I never heard any reply!!!

So although I've been using the records from FHL, I decided to see what else I could learn, and started to plan my "bucket list" trip to Italy,since I'm retired now.  I'm pursuing an American professional certificate [40 courses, like a degree!] at National Institute for Genealogical Studies [www.genealogicalstudies.com], and the electives are allowed from any of the country certificate courses. I took  the course on Italian Civil Records:Part I, Although I was very good at translating and transcribing the records already, I learn something new from every course. I I found out about a private Facebook group  for Northern Italian research, and of a website for the Italian Archives!!!!   And wonder of wonders, the Italian Udine province archive main page had a choice of English!!! They have a project to list something for everyone born between 1850 and 1900.
you can search on surname , or surname and first name.... I found a listing the marriage of my great grandparents,with just the year 1878, but the birthplace of Raveo, and the names of their parents!!!! For the first time in 40 years, I filled in the 4 names in that generation!!  And really started making  trip and plane reservations.

I went back to Salt Lake with Leland Meitzler's  Christmas Tour, and made arrangement through Progenealogists (now owned by ancestry,com)to hire a genealogist to make appointments at the parishes in Gaglianico (BI) Piemonte,and Raveo and Enemonzo (UD) Friuli, and perhaps to even have the genealogist to meet me at the locations.....  A real necessity because although I can translate genealogical documents, and understand about half of the conversations, I don't speak the language well at all!
The trip itinerary changed from mostly genealogy, to a tour of Italy,since my husband and daughter were also going, but I had carved out at least 2 days in each area for my research....

Then I talked to my 2nd cousin Dolores Tafuri, who has the pictures postcards and even my Grandmother's Italian passport!!!!  She made copies  of everything,  and I was astonished at what was there.... so I had lots to take with me.....   and the next posts will be about the trip, the genealogical lessons and the data ..... I'm still on cloud 9 and I've been home a month!!!
Ciao til next blog

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

One of my veteran ancestors- Grandpa Fairchild

Although I haven't blogged in some time, it seemed fitting to post on Veteran's Day. I have done some posts in the past listing my veteran ancestors and the wars they served in, but today I thought I'd do a more in depth biography.  It's too soon to do an adequate biography on my father, and we are in the centennial of WWI, so I decided to profile his father, my Grandpa Fairchild, a veteran of WWI.
He died when I was only 5, and I have limited memories of him, but they are full of the love he showed to us.  The rest I pieced together from what my parents told me, and the photos, documents and letters that have remained in the family ....This will be a LONG post!

Grandpa and my Dad ---date of picture unknown (about 1930?)

      Victor Miller Fairchild was born April 18, 1895 in Portville, Cattaraugus county, New York to Fred W. and Lucy Gertrude Miller Fairchild, Grandpa did not have an easy early life.  His mother died a short 2 years later, after giving birth to his sister Marian. Vic and his sister were raised primarily by his grandmother and aunts, until his father remarried in 1903, when Vic was 8 years old.  He attended school in Portville, graduating from Portville High School , where he played baseball, a sport he avidly followed the rest of his life. I don't know why he decided to become a dentist, but he attended the University of Buffalo, receiving his DDS in June 1917, and his license to practice in October 1917.  He was back home in Portville, NY.
But his life would be changing.    Victor had registered for the draft at the age of 22, while in Buffalo on June 2, 1917, just one week before the date on his degree. He had not claimed exemption from the draft, and the next item I have is from the post card he wrote home from the train on the way to Fort Dix, NJ postmarked Jul 25, 1918. Whether he volunteered or was drafted, I do not know.  I have an entire set of letters and cards he sent home to his parents from that one to the last letter he sent from France in July 1919.   They provide a fascinating look at the day to day life he spent in the army, although not as a true combat soldier. Most are written on paper from the YMCA or Red Cross, and most envelopes and letters have an officer's signature that they have been reviewed....

 I have a picture of a tent, marked on the reverse " My first home at Camp Dix. The second night it rained and we didn't have the ditch dug and there was 6" - 8" of water in the tent"
Grandpa is middle back row
He must have been drafted because his first letters describing the life at camp- "drilling, pulling weeds, carrying bales, filling ticks (mattresses or pillows?), digging ditches, working in kitchen, putting up buildings" and also that he might have a chance at filing commissioned officer papers at induction, and complaints about the men in the regular barracks, his address was Company 32, 8th Battalion. Although he failed to become an officer, he changed companies and moved into a separate barracks. He was then in Co E, 348th Infantry. Then he was assigned as a Dental Assistant and would be in the 87th Division  The letters continue with the preparations for going overseas, and he warned that he would not be sending letters of great detail, because he didn't want holes cut in them.  A great example is the letter describing the trip overseas as he wrote it as it occurred, and the version he wrote home after the Armistice was signed   "Dear Father, I certainly had one fine trip across the Ocean and was not seasick".... I'll transcribe those and post as a separate page ... but  from the latter letter, he went over on the Mauritania, the sister to the Lusitania, which had been torpedoed.... the next picture is of the postcard sent home, and the letter of the trip.... the only hole, the actual date in August of the journey (26).

He could only tell them he was in France, but not where, he wished he could speak French, as "it would come in handy" He said he was eating about twice as much as he did at home, and when he got home, he wanted to "live behind the candy counter" at his father's store. He has been on the move in France, and has seen quite a few German prisoners....  In October, the address on the letters becomes Sanitary Detachment 335 Machine Gun Battalion still part of the 87th I think.... and he's able to get a "warm shower bath once a week" He spoke of sending his friend at home a card, but couldn't put his address on it, so asked the parents to give it to the friend...  He sent home a coupon in mid October that would allow his folks to send him a 3 lb Christmas package and his suggested contents for "hard candy like lemon or lime drops, 2 or 3 packages of Sen-Sen,  some gum, a knife to replace his lost one, and whatever they wanted to send in the remaining room".  He describes the locales, astonished that the French wear wooden shoes, and use 2 wheel carts rather than 4, and that it rains a lot....
He writes of the celebration when word came that the Armistice was signed, and the letter carries the name of the town-- Angers, for the very first time.  He then writes a day later that he hopes that it will be the last letter, and that they expect to move and be home before Christmas.
In December, the 335th moves from Angers to St Nazaire, and he's not sure how long they will be there.. He heard of a friend's death (Leon Barber) from his parents... He receives a bunch of his hometown newspapers, and is happy he will have more time to read, but that the medical and dental units may be kept in France longer, as they will process all the soldiers through for examinations and shipping home first.
        Around Christmas, he asks if his Dad might cable him some money so that in January when he might get 14 days leave he could go visit Paris and some of the rest of France.... his $8.50 pay wasn't going very far....  By February, he still hadn't gotten leave, because Paris had been closed to soldiers... and due to his moving to Dental Infirmary, Camp 1 in the same place, letters had not been reaching him... In March he writes" Last week I thought sure I would have to go to Russia but they picked two other dental officers to go from here"
Also in March, he is moved to an "Isolation Camp," as he came down with the mumps!  There were many soldiers getting them every day.... he was to be in quarantine for 18 days....
His leave request for London hadn't come through..... ( he's now in Camp # 3)
In May, his leave request for London finally was approved, and he thought that he would try to go throughout England and Scotland as much as he could as well in the time.
Then follow several letters written on Knights of Columbus paper (strange for a Presbyterian!) from Paris, London, and Dublin Ireland,   He's writing that they will go to Belfast, Glascow and Edinburgh. When in Paris the YMCA took them out to Versailles, where the Peace conference was being held, and that he stood by the table upon which the Peace was to be signed.  His next letters from St. Nazaire describe his leave journey, and that they were at the Firth of Forth on Queen Victoria's birthday, and there was a big celebration.  His letters in June describe the dwindling number of soldiers and consolidating of barracks and mess halls, and his desire to get home. The last letter is dated July 6th, and states that they were relieved of duty,  he was packing and had to go get "deloused" whether he wanted or not ... they were to close the port by the 20th and any remaining soldiers would have to go to Brest to go home. He figured he would have about a week before he would get on board a ship,

            Following his return, he set up in dental practice in Olean, a larger city next to Portville. At some point, he met Grandma, who was a nurse in a nearby town in Pennsylvania.  They were married at her sister's home in Lock Haven Pennsylvania in June  1921, and Dad, their only child, was born in 1923.   They lived in Olean for the rest of his life. He was an elder in First Presbyterian Church, served on the Select Service Board for WWII.   He was a member of the 8th District Dental Society of New York, the New York State Dental Association, Delta Sigma Delta Fraternity, and the City Club of Olean, and went to many baseball games in Buffalo and New York City, getting a baseball signed by Dizy Dean and his team in the early 1950s.  He died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage (stroke) just 10 days after his 63rd birthday... he was so beloved, that over 500 people (non-relatives) attended and signed the pages of the memorial book at his funeral.

          There are many unanswered genealogical questions I have about him. Did he know that when he was in Scotland, it was close to the birthplace of his birth mother's  father and grandfather? Did he know that Dr. Raub, one of the other dentists in town, was a second cousin?  My Dad never answered those, and others either, so I can't fill some familial blanks, but I do know about Grandpa's life during the Great War, due to the letters and postcards, which either his dad or stepmom kept, and then he and Grandma kept also........

Thanks Grandpa, for your service, along with that of Dad, my brother, our Civil War, Revolutionary War, and colonial wars ancestors, for allowing us to live in a great, peaceful and free country!!!!
  Happy Veteran's Day everybody!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Monday Madness-- The search for Ariel Brace Wadsworth and his families ......

Well-- Monday Madness seems to be my favorite theme, as I've gotten more frustrated in finding documents. And even when I think I have finally found something,  a problem always occurs...
  This time, it's getting 4 letters from the DAR in my attempt to connect to additional American Revolutionary soldiers. All four letters concern the same lineage tie, from Mary Ann Wadsworth Petty to her father Ariel. Now, at least 2 others have connected to  these  patriot men through  Ariel  and his wife only about 10 years ago, so I figured should be easy, right?!
  Nope. The Bible record which was used then is no longer considered acceptable.... sigh.... I need to write up this one man going through all I know, to see if anyone can think of records I might have missed... I'm afraid it will be long and boring but here goes...
 It all starts with the proverbial "black sheep" of the family.  I'm not sure if this guy was born with wanderlust,  gave up easily, or was just a weird guy, but he has consumed many almost uncountable research hours over the last 40 years,  so it's only fitting that I document his story, or as much of it as I have discovered, although it will take several posts to cover it all...
             Ariel ( also found as Arel, Biel, and even Royal-- try ah Rah' all in a Boston accent) B. ( we all believe stands for Brace, his mother's maiden name) Wadsworth was born in Hartford CT on 19 April  1791.,  the 11th ?  child and  8th? son of James Wadsworth ( a Minuteman answering the alarm at Lexington and Concord!!!) and his wife Mary Brace.  The birth is shown in at least one Bible Record in the Connecticut State Library.....
He's baptized in Hartford CT on 14 July 1800 (age 9) along with 4 siblings, an older adult brother Rodney,  a brother William, and sisters Katey and Anna Cadwell Wadsworth. He's listed as Ariel Brace in the minister's book, so that's our official naming point He is always Ariel Brace or Ariel B. from here on..
             Viets, Roger,. Records of Rev. Roger Viets, rector of St. Andrew's, Simsbury, Conn. : and missionary from the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts, 1763-1800. Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1893.  p. 48
        His next record appears in 1809 (age 18) where he appears in the Records of the church in Bolton, CT [in the NEHGS Register 1900 , vol 54 p 85] getting married :
1809  May 15  Ariel Wadsworth    Susanna Skinner
     The birth of their son Ariel S(kinner) Wadsworth is not recorded in any Barbour or church records (Hartford or Bolton). The next records are from both Bolton, CT church records and cemetery inscriptions:
           NEHGS Register 1902 vol 56, p 350 
1810 Decemr10 Susanna wife of Ariel Wadsworth      18
           NEHGS Register 1929 vol 83  p. 104
Susannah, consort of Ariel Wadsworth died December 11, 1810 in her 19th year. [note one day discrepancy]
He does not show as a head of household in the 1810 census anywhere.

         So before he's 21, he's married, had a son, and lost his wife leaving him with an infant son.. This is where things start getting a little dicey....
He marries our ancestress, Roxey Rouse Robinson... but not recorded anywhere in official records that we've been able to find.  After all, he needs someone to take care of the baby!
Roxey was born in Windham, CT, a town 18 miles to the east of Bolton (Google maps), and she's about 9 years older than Ariel (b. 27 July 1782- Barbour Records, Windham, p. 215)  in her late 20s, so a real spinster....   The date of the wedding that we have found ( more about that Bible record later!) is May 1811, no place known...
         The children have given their birthplace in the later censuses usually as Massachusetts, although once CT is listed. The family tale that has passed down was that CT was conscripting for the war of 1812, and Ariel didn't want to serve, so they moved to Massachusetts.... His occupation of farmer and waggoner [early 19th century version 18 wheel trucker!!!!] meant he did do a little traveling. He had 4 daughters with Roxcy.   He doesn't show up on the 1820 census anywhere as head of household....
The birth years of the daughters are 1813 ( Roxcy married John Dort), 1815 (Mary Ann, married Rev. Zenas T. Petty), 1818 (Susanna married Abram Sanford) and 1821 (Elizabeth, married George Reynolds).
  He first shows up in the census as head of household in 1830 in Belfast, Allegany Co NY, quite a distance away from Hartford, Bolton and ??? Massachusetts!
    A deceased cousin from Alabama had the book in which Roxcy wrote her receipts and notes. I believe that is where I first saw the birth dates of the daughters. But my thermal copies from 1980 have long since disintegrated, and I am trying to locate her by now married daughters to see if they still have the book. The most interesting item in the book was a page on which Roxcy had a date in 1835 where she wrote "Ariel B runaway and left me". Another date in 1836 follows with "I left the farm".  That date corresponds with the sheriff's sale of the property I located in the Allegany Co deed books.She also had listed a visit by Ariel S. Wadsworth, her stepson.  [He has his own interesting saga!]
That is a good place to end the first part of Ariel's saga, although it contains the most mysteries, it's not by far the weirdest,.... stayed tuned for Terrible Tuesday's chapter!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday Madness ! the tale of Isaiah Burton or Button or???

Well, I have been chasing the Burton lineage since about 1978.... I found my 3x great grandfather Varnum Burton. He was living in Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, NY where he died in 1902... and in the Historical Gazeteer and Bigraphical Memorial of Cattaraugus County, N. Y. edited by William Adams, pub Syracuse NY 1893, p. 710, it states that he was born in Ulysses NY on July 11, 1808, and that "His father,  Isaiah, a native of Hopkinton , R.I., was a Revolutionary soldier."   It also stated Varnum, his wife, and 3 children had arrived in Hinsdale  Feb. 9, 1841.  So the search for the father and the rest of the family began.  Alfred Burton bought 63.5 acres from the Holland Land company, then sold 11 acres to Sally Luddington.  in 1842. In 1845, Thomas Luddington sells the same 11 acres to Varnum Burton.  Turns out that Alfred and Sally are the siblings to Varnum.

The 1850 US census for Hinsdale shows an 89 year old male, born R.I, living with Alfred and his wife. There is no name, and it is not obvious if the marks on the page are ditto marks to the above name , the child named Horace.   But not to be deterred, I looked for other copies --- Remember the enumerators made more than one copy!!!! There is a county copy of the census still extant on negative microfilm, ( which is why I won't show here) which has name and it could be read as Isaiah or Josiah.....  So far, so good.  On 1855 state census, no old guy still living with any of them, and also Thomas Luddington has died leaving widow with kids... So  he died between 1850 & 1855....

I had luck finding Varnum Burton  ( Farnham on one census!) in Madison County, but no Isaiah.   And I found variations in surname of Barten, Bertin, Burtin.... And in Rhode Island, most of the vital records seemed to be taken from tombstones, so I left the frustrating Burtons alone, revisiting every couple of years, although through Varnum's wife, I was able to trace back to Ides, and found other Revolutionary Patriots, and eventually John Howland , a Mayflower ancestor, so wasn't totally a bust.

I tracked Alfred, who sold his land in Hinsdale and disappeared.  I found they had moved to Lowden, Cedar County Iowa because his second wife had filed a deposition there in support of minor's pension for his son George's widow whose husband had died at Andersonville during the Civil War.   I'm nothing if not thorough in trying to turn over any rock to find this family... did I mention how long I've been looking for them??!

Then this week, I looked again in my Burton notebook, because I'm taking the US Land Records class from the National Institutes of Genealogical Studies, and one of the assignments asks about the first use of deeds..... so I thought I'd try running the Burton names again in Ancestry, etc.... and happened on a guy's tree listing an Isaiah Button / Burton....
hmmmm... so I looked, and he had the kids all listed  Alfred, Varnum and Sally Luddington, along with 2 more I didn't know: Eunice Paine and Clarissa Sanford.... Wow! Varnum named one of his daughters Eunice.   And the tree had attached the Revolutionary war pension of Isaiah Button..... Could hardly contain my excitement!! A pension is a done deal for proving service and a deposition listing all the kids--- Jackpot!!!
Happy dance ---and yet how could I never have tried BUTTON before??? what a rookie mistake!

I immediately contacted the tree owner,  and offered to share all the info I had accumulated on the descendants, and told everybody I might have had  Isaiah finding me just like Geoff  Rasmussen's new book!

I pulled up Fold3.com and looked at the pages of the pension.... sure enough there is a deposition from Cattaraugus, signed by Alfred and Sally stating that their father had died 10 March 1851.... listing the children, but it also said that he had not had a pension, had applied in 1832 but been denied.... hmmm  maybe no happy dance as this is in a pension file.

Looked at the rest of the pages, and was brought down quickly.  Isaiah had been deposed in 1832, and was 99/100  years old, gave birthdate of June 4th 1733! He died Dec 1 1832, and the last payment was made in 1834...
He would have been 118 if he died in 1851, and I'm sure the pension office would have been really aware of that!!

And there is a letter from a Cattaraugus county lawyer, suggesting that if the service the 5 heirs stated was already used, perhaps there were 2 Isaiahs. Added to the fact that the pensioner had stated that he had never left R.I and all the children were born in New York, and my balloon was burst!!! Oh well... but it's not a total loss, as I have a death date for my Isaiah, and the list of the children with the wives' married names,  and a new surname to try.... but why they all changed from Button to Burton???
Oh and now all those trees on ancestry, and the book published in 1970s by Robert Nye that state that Isaiah was born in1732 and died in 1851 that are circulating with WRONG INFO.....  I'm so frustrated and what a maddening family!!!!!
Oh well, tomorrow is another day!