Retracing ancestors steps and "walking where they walked."


My 2003 genealogy field trip was planned to  visit as many areas as possible where I had ancestors who settled or lived for a while before moving on to some new "frontier." MEYEUR in Syracuse NY, BRIGGS and McKEE in Coeymans NY, MAIN in NY and CT. BAUM & MOYER in Bucks county PA, PUGH in Chester county PA, WEAVER and SPESSARD in MD, PUGH in NC, HUNT & DENTON in VA, TN and KY, BAUM and WEAVER in Clermont & Brown counties OH, MAIN in Butler county OH and finally MAIN and HUNT in INdiana.

MEYEUR, my maternal grandmother's grandparents monument was found in Syracuse NY.

BRIGGS, my maternal great grandfather's wife's parents monument was found in Coeymans NY. Alas,  in Coeymans NY we searched for a NYS Historical Marker honoring Thomas McKEE, as publisher of their first newspaper. The sign was being repaired three years ago and we learned that it had yet to be repaired and as of a month ago disappeared from where it had been stored/ignored for three years.

Chenango County NY land records for 1800-1810 included those of an unknown William MAIN. Graves were found in McLean NY for Asa (1768-1841) Main  and his wife Content. This Asa may be a brother of my Christopher Sr, or he may be unrelated. An Asa Main Jr. deed was copied in Cooperstown, Otsego County NY for a purchase in 1808, probably using funds from received from a prior sale to my Christopher Main.

At the North Stonington Historical Society I saw a hand written Genealogy of the Ezekiel Main family with A. A. Aspinwall's preface saying he knows it is not complete. A map of Stonington prior to 1807 was purchased at the Stonington Historical Society Library showing both Stonington and North Stonington and familiy cemeteries in the town(ships). Current Main(e) named landowners in North Stonington CT  along the RI border were identified and one was even meet by chance during a visit to the town hall.. All Main(e) named folks in the towns of Stonington & North Stonington were identified by lifting a page from the So East CT phone book. Help determining who Christopher Main Sr and Amelia Weaver's parents were was sought from the historical societies in both Stonington and North Stonington, and the Indian & Colonial Research Center.  Deeds and  wills were sought from the Town of Stonington and North Stonington. Rhode Island checking included the Westerly Public Library and the Hopkinton and Westerly Town Halls. An internet buddy was finally met and she led us on a hunt for MAIN graveyards.

Before we left CT we made a pass at finding a BRIGGs graveyard near Sherman CT in Fairfield County. I had hoped to find the grave of Zephaniah BRIGGS my mother's source for her DAR membership. It was not to be, but the CT & NY border area was certainly scenic & colorful.

New Windsor NY was where my McKEEs got their start before moving north towards Albany. We found on old Episcopal church founded in 1731 that was there way before my McKee folks arrived in 1812, but no trace of my McKees. Then it was on to PA and Bucks County where the first of my BAUMs settled after their arrival in 1767. The next day we found Pughville in Chester County PA where the Pughs settled before moving down to NC. On the way out of PA we went through Lancaster, York and Gettysburg renowned in their own right and on the list of places to see.

Chewsville & Hagerstown MD were the next stops as they are integral in my search for a Michael WEAVER who married a Maria SPESSARD in Washington County MD in 1802. Traces of the SPESSARDs were found, but no findings of the WEAVERs. We drove south through the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia where my HUNT ancestors spent some time  and we enjoyed some of the scenic beauty of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Then it was on to NC where the PUGHs had come from PA. Hillsboro NC the county seat of Orange County has a small marker commemorating the hanging of some Regulators, among them a Pugh, for actions against British rule before the Revolutionary War. My Jacob Pugh was supposedly born in 1767 on the "headwaters of the Rocky River" so I had to locate that. The Cane Creek and Rocky River Friends meeting sites were also part of the legend they had to be visited. Ashboro, seat of Chatham Co, and Salisbury, seat of Rowan Co, were checked for marriage records and deeds. While my PUGHs went from NC direct to Marion County IN near Indianapolis around 1822, other families in my ancestry were taking different routes.

The HUNTs and DENTONs were both in the Shenandoah Valley of VA, then into TN while it was still western NC before going on into KY. They settled along the Licking River in what became Bath and Fleming counties. We became terribly lost finding our way across KY on some back roads long after dark. It got worse when we found out that our county seat destination was small enough not to have a motel so it was on to the next town that did. Things got better when a HUNT relative provided lots of wonderful material that made getting there worthwhile. 

Next we visited Maysville on the Ohio River and then back inland to Germantown KY looking for MOYERs. Then back to the Ohio River and Augusta KY where my WEAVERs, from MD, supposedly spent time and had children before moving across the river into Clermont County OH. The ferry across the Ohio seemed like reliving history. It was so much of a lark for me that we did it twice, both times going from KY to OH. The Baums and Weavers lived in a part of Clermont Co that became Lewis Twp of Brown County OH in 1818. My BAUM people, who had come down the OHIO river from PA in 1798, successively lived in Hamilton County (1798) then Clermont County of the Northwest Territory (1800), then Clermont County (1803) OH and then Brown County (1818) OH, without moving. These changing borders can be seen here.