Posts Tagged ‘Oriskany’

A Cousin Story – Cecelia “Celia” “Kess” Perry/Parry Stevenson

When my g-grandmother Georgianna (Hughes/Clough) Hall passed in 1964, a Cecelia Stevenson sent condolences from Indianapolis, Indiana.  Next to her name, in my grandmother’s handwriting, was written “relative”.  Something about this intrigued me.  I searched for cousin Cecelia “Celia” Perry/Parry for years and am finally able to share a small part of her story.

In Georgianna’s address book was written:

• Mrs. L.A. Stevenson – Celia Cynthia [address crossed off] Indiana.
• C.K. Stevenson – 1320 N. Delaware Indianapolis Indiana

I never put two and two together! I hadn’t realized this was my missing Celia Parry!


Cecelia “Celia” was born 12 August 1899 in Galeton, Pennslyvania to George Perry/Parry and Elizabeth “Lizzie” Phillips.  She was a first cousin to my g-grandmother, Georgianna.   Georgianna’s mom, Kittie (Perry) Hughes/Clough/Shipman, was a sister to Celia’s father George.

celia's tree

Lizzie (Phillips) Parry
Lizzie Phillips

Celia’s mother gave birth to at least eight children (censuses indicate nine), three of whom died in 1891 of diphtheria.  At the time, Celia’s father, had deserted the family, to marry another woman (story here). Her mother’s sister, Miss Alice Phillips, cared for the family. Celia’s mom and eldest brother Daniel, age eight, recovered, but the younger children—George, Alice, and Arthur—died.  When George’s second wife learned he was a bigamist, he disappeared.

By 1893, George and Lizzie reunited and relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota where their children William “Will” and Elizabeth “Bessie” were born. George’s mother Ann (Jones) Perry Evans passed in 1896 and her obituary places George in Oregon (no other evidence places the family there).  By 1897 the family removed to Galeton, Pennsylvania, near George’s sister Cordelia (Perry) Palmer/Spoor, where their last two children, Celia and Frederick “Fred” were born.  By 1910, they were living in Westmoreland, Oneida, New York.

When Celia was thirteen (5 April 1913), her 50 year old mom died in Oriskany, Oneida, New York, cause unknown.

It seems the family then returned to Pennsylvania.  On 30 March 1916, at age sixteen, Celia gave birth to  baby boy  in Williamsport, Lycoming, Pennsylvania. She named him Richard [side note: my Autosomal DNA matches that of Richard’s daughter]. The name of the boy’s father is unknown, but based on family lore, it is possibly something like “Schwartz”.

The boy was adopted by Henry and Jennie (Dykeman) Seltz of Galeton, Pennsylvania. Perhaps Celia selected the adoptive family, as they were neighbors to her aunt Cordelia’s step-son, Leland Spoor (she likely thought of Leland as a first cousin; his mother died when he was two and Aunt Cordelia raised him).

Celia’s photo album (now with her granddaughter) includes photos of little Richard and Mrs Seltz.  The Seltzs must have kept in touch!

seltz nd dick

By 1920, Celia was a “roomer” in the home of Eugene and Laura McKee in Jamestown, Chautauqua, New York.  She was employed at a garment company as a machine sewer.  On 1 March 1920, she married her fellow roomer, Phillip Lee Kessler, a street car railroad conductor, son of Charles Kessler and Nellie Phillips (no known relation to Celia’s mother). The marriage was short lived; the pair divorced 12 Aug 1921. Despite the divorce, Celia’s nickname “Kess”, stuck for the remainder of her life.

When Celia’s dad passed in 1923, she signed as the informant on his death certificate, listing her residence as Galeton, Pennsylvania.


Her father’s obituary, however names Cincinnati, Ohio as her place of residence.

She was enrolled at the Good Samaritan Nursing School in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated in 1924.  After graduation, she took a position in the same town as a nurse for a private family, rooming with fellow classmate and good friend, Marie Barlow and a 59-year old widow named Mary Sohngen. The three paid a total of $75/month rent.

Celia next married Lincoln Augustus Stevenson, son of Frank Stevenson and Catharine Freil.  In 1932 they were living in Columbia, South Carolina.  They had a daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, born 12 Sept 1933 in Indiana. She was likely close to Lincoln’s 10 year old son by a prior marriage, Richard Lincoln Stevenson, as he was named in her obituary.

Although Celia and Lincoln were divorced by 1940, she continued to use the name Mrs. Celia K Stevenson for the remainder of her life; Celia appears in the 1940 census as a nurse at St. Francis Hospital in Beech Grove, Marion, Indiana. She worked 48 weeks that year and made a total of $660 (she also received more than $50 from other unnamed sources).  Eight year old Mary Cynthia was not found in 1940, but when her father died in 1950, she was listed as resident of Indianapolis.

Stevenson death

Cynthia’s daughter offers the following detail:

Due to WWII, my mom Cynthia “Cindy” was sent to a Catholic boarding school, St. Joseph’s Academy, in Tipton, Indiana.  She became a Nun but never did her final vows.  She went to St Mary ‘s Notre Dame and then to St Louis University where she met her husband (“my dad”).

Cindy has another half brother-  Young Stevenson, of Montgomery Alabama.  He has five kids and lots of Grandkids!

Cecelia never drove a car and lived for years at 1320 N. Delaware, Indianapolis ( I still remember that address); a studio apartment.  She inspired me to become a nurse.


On 10 September 1946, Celia’s eldest brother Daniel died in Wellsville, Allegany, New York. 

In 1947 Celia’s aunt Alice E. Phillips (her mother Lizzie’s sister) died. Alice had never married and did not have children.  There was a four year court proceeding over her will – numerous newspaper notices offer details of her sister and brother arguing over the inheritance – A number of them named “Cecelia Parry Stevenson” as a heir (she was not one of those directly involved in the suit).

Heirs of Alice Phillips

In Summary:

Celia’s mother Lizzie (Parry) had siblings Alice, Arthur, Lena (Hatcliffe), Mary Ann (Valentine), Rose (McBride) and Fred.  At the time of the trial, only Lena and Fred were living.  Alice never married, worked hard, lived frugally and left a sizable estate.  She had changed her original will, which was essentially a 50/50 split between Arthur and Lena (with Arthur’s portion in a trust, paying him income for life) to one which left the majority of the estate to Arthur.
Lena contested this, saying he forced Alice to revise the will,  utilizing his attorney  (just six months after the initial will was written) and supplying his own associates as witnesses. She further claimed Arthur was a drunk who rarely worked, who physically and orally abused Alice, forged signatures on checks to draw money from her bank account and threatened her with “the bug house” if she didn’t modify the will to be in his favor.  Alice feared him; he kept her isolated from friends and family as she was not mobile in her last years.
The testimony of the witnesses tended to prove these facts. Arthur admitted that he threatened Alice with the “bug house”.  Lena won the case, the jury having found that the will was procured through undue influence. Arthur appealed and lost. According to newspapers, the case was settled in 1951.
Read details here, type Alice Phillips in the search box

In 1953, Celia served on a panel at St. Vincent’s entitled “The Nurse as the Priest’s Assistant in the Spiritual Care of the Sick”.


In 1954, Celia’s picture was in the local paper, as an attendee at a private duty nurse’s brunch (likely on the far right).


In 1968, she was a prize winner at the Grand Opening of a local shopping center!


On 1 May 1977, Celia’s brother Fred died in Conneaut Lake (shore), Pennsylvania.  She never mentioned other siblings to her grandchildren.  Although one grandchild, while in college was in touch with her brother Daniel’s daughter, Elizabeth I. “Bette” (Parry) VanDurme in New York.

The whereabouts of Celia’s sister Elizabeth “Bessie” Parry (who married John Burge) and brother William “Will” Parry are unknown.  The last source mentioning them was in probate notices, related to their Aunt Alice, in 1951. Her sister might be the Elizabeth Burge who died 8 Dec 1966 and is buried with John Burge (d. 1978), at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hammondsport, Steuben County, New York.

 Celia died 2 December 1997 in Greenwood, Johnson, Indiana at the age of 98. The inscription on her tombstone reads: “MRS SANTA CLAUS”.  The cemetery office and local historical society could not provide further information about this title.

UPDATE: Celia’s granddaughter writes:  “We called her Grandma Cel”….”By the way, ” Mrs. Santa Claus” was because she always sent cards at Christmas signed that way.  I think I was a teenager before I realized it was her!”




Celia’s children

  • Son Richard Dykeman Seltz, who she gave up for adoption, married Mary Johnson and had four children. He died 12 March 1996 in Kissimmee, Polk, Florida.

Richard Dykeman Seltz, 79, of 728 Yucatan Court, Poinciana, died March 12. Born in Williamsport, Pa., he moved to Poinciana from Galeton, Pa., in 1986. He was a self-employed glove manufacturer and a member of the Masonic Lodge of Couldersport, Pa., and the Elks Club of Kissimmee. Survivors include his wife, Mary; sons, Richard H., Houston, Texas, Scott J., Chatham, N.J.; daughter, Jeanne Wenzel, Jacksonville, Anne Seltz, Rockville, Md.; eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Fisk Funeral Home, St. Cloud, was in charge of arrangements.

  • Daughter, Mary Cynthia Stevenson, married a man named Charles Ford and had three children.  She died  9 July 1989 in Sarasota, Florida.

Mary Cynthia Ford, 55, Sarasota, died July 8, 1989.  She was born Sept. 12, 1933 in Fort Benjamin Harrison, Ind. and came to this are three years ago from Pelham, NY. Survivors include two sons, Christopher of Northport, Conn., and Carl of Westport, Conn., a daughter, Cathleen of Richmond, Va., two brothers, Richard Stevenson of Sarasota and Young Stevenson of Montgomery, Ala., her mother Cecelia Stevenson of Indianapolis, and a granddaughter. Services will be at 11 a.m. today at Toale Brothers Funeral Home, Gulf Gate Chapel. Memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society, 3807 Bond Place, Sarasota, 34232.

Cynthia Obituary

  • Stepson Richard Lincoln Stevenson died 19 April 2010 in Sarasota, Florida

Richard Lincoln Stevenson, 87, of Sarasota, formerly of Fort Wayne, Ind., died April 19, 2010. Services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday at Sarasota National Cemetery.

He is survived by his son, Alan; children by marriage Mark and Marian Kennell, Karl and Becky Kennell and Kathleen and Jon Sutter; grandchildren Lydia Mortensen, Michelle Sexton, Erin Stevenson, Alex, Katie and Trevor Kennell; four great-grandchildren, sister Patricia and Ed Epperson, brother Young and Susan Stevenson; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Shirley; a son David; a sister, Cynthia Ford; and a brother, Sherrad Denley.

Richard was just 19 when he enlisted in cadet school and became a World War II pilot flying in the Pacific. He flew a C-47 called “Gooney Bird” as a member of the legendary Jungle Skippers in the 317th Troop Carrier Group, which later became the 375th. He followed his retirement from the Air Force Reserves in 1956 with a 30-year career as an accomplished jeweler and gemologist. He was also an award-winning gardener, who could literally make anything grow, especially his beloved orchids. He will forever be remembered for his stories that touched the hearts of so many.


Celia kept in touch with her college roommate, Marie.  Marie’s son recently shared  his memories and photos:

I knew her (1950s – 1990s) as a very caring, wonderful person. She was very close friend, originally to my parents.  Kess trained with my mother, Marie Barlow (her maiden name), at The Good Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing in Cincinnati, OH.
My mother, before she met my father, came from Grafton West Virginia, to Cincinnati to become a nurse.  Kess, my mother and another nurse actually shared an apartment near the Hospital/ school for several years in the 1920s.
Unfortunately, much of my info about her is from memories now. My older brothers, who have all passed, may have had pictures and a more complete history of her. But the pictures they had did not survive the years. I have little knowledge of the marriages, or children. (Back in the 30, 40s and 50s, children did not talk unless a parent said okay)  So the adults kept private issues among themselves. Later in life, she did talk about a daughter and son-in-law and their children, but I don’t recall details now. I believe Kess actually survived her daughter by a year or so. The daughter had a difficult medical condition, I believe. Kess died at a Convalescent Retirement home near Indianapolis.

Over the years, Kess came to visit when she could, but the last 20 – 30 years of her life were very difficult. Her mobility was very difficult due the pain, arthritis, I think. From about 1940s to 1990s, she lived in a modest apartment on N. Delaware Ave in Indianapolis, IN with a major hospital nearby. She worked there at one time, I think. I visited her a few time over the years. She came to Cincinnati for various holidays and events, including the funerals of my mother and father, for my college graduation, 1968, and later for my wedding in 1978.

She is buried in Section J, Lot 576, grave #8, Washington Park East Cemetery.

Kess’ grand-children could be still living. I am thinking also that they are part of the reason for Mrs Santa Claus. I believe, there were times when Kess would send small gifts or notes to children and others, anonymously.
Another thought about Kess, relates to her Garden. I believe she was a volunteer at the President Harrison Home. Volunteers would help with the Gardens, among other things, there. That home was nearby on N Delaware Ave. –



UPDATE: And the COOLEST part of this whole story???  After this was posted, Celia’s six grandchildren, three by her son Richard “Dick” who she gave up for adoption and three by her daughter Cynthia “Cindy” have  met online!!  Happy dance!  The best part of genealogy – connecting cousins!!

Error in Online Trees and FindAGrave

Several online trees have Celia linked to Curt Stevenson and Lydia Fullmer.  These are the wrong parents!  This Celia’s maiden name was Stevenson.  She married Frank Meals and died in 1978 in Pennsylvania.


Censuses (right click and open image in another tab to see a larger version)


celia 1900


celia 1910


celia 1920


celia 1930


celia 1940


52 Ancestors, week #11 – The GOOD and The BAD, Catherine (Owen) Jones

No Story Too Small has issued a New Year’s Challenge: “Have one blog post each week devoted to a specific ancestor. It could be a story, a biography, a photograph, an outline of a research problem — anything that focuses on one ancestor.”

The “GOOD”, about writing stories, after years of research, is that you quickly find holes in your research. The “BAD”, about writing stories, after years of research, is that you quickly find holes in your research.

Now that we are in week #11, The”BAD” news is that I am finding it difficult to select an ancestor for whom I have a “story”.  The “GOOD” news is, this exercise is forcing me to become more methodical.  My typical research process involves me going to and searching for a particular ancestor. I look at the results in the “collection tab”.  I see a collection that reminds me of another ancestor.  I search that collection for ancestor #2 and find nothing.  I then think, “maybe will have something”.  I log in, and notice they have some new collections. One catches my interest, and reminds me of ancestor #3, I move to that collection.  In the process, my iPhone dings “I’ve got mail”, it is a message asking about today’s blog post, I stop everything and do some research on ancestor #4 to answer the question and so on….an endless cycle.  Next thing you know, I have searched for 20 ancestors in 20 places and have accomplished nothing.

This week, I will tell the story of Catherine Owen, a 4th g-grandmother (my paternal grandfather’s 2nd g-grandmother through his mother Georgianna) who was born in Anglesey, Wales and died in Oneida County, New York.  Sadly, I don’t know much about her. The GOOD part about today’s ancestor is that I have discovered several new things about her, one being that I likely had her paired with the wrong  parents and grandparents.  The BAD news is that I wasted an hour deleting the wrong family AGAIN (not to mention the hours I spent researching and adding the wrong family). Okay – enough “GOOD” and “BAD”!


In Sept 2012, reports: ” the Royal couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton, have been living in a rented farmhouse near Rhosneigr [in the Parish of Llanfaelog, Anglesey, Wales] for the past two years.  The hamlet, which has a population of 745, has a spectacular sandy beach with a cluster of cottages.  It has become a magnet for tourists as it has a reputation as one of the best spots in the UK for  both windsurfing and surfing”.

Rhosneigr, was the birthplace of Catherine Owen, likely in a home called Ty Bach.

Anglesey is a island in northwest Wales. It is separated from the mainland by the Menai Strait, a narrow stretch of water, and connected to the mainland by two bridges, the original Menai Suspension Bridge and the newer Britannia Bridge which carries the North Wales Coast Railway line.  With an area of 275 square miles, Anglesey is the largest Welsh island, and the fifth largest surrounding Britain.

A Topographical Dictionary of Wales
Samuel Lewis, 1833

LLANVAELOG (LLAN -VAELOG), a parish in the hundred of LLYVON, county of ANGLESEY, NORTH WALES, 6 miles (W. by S.) from Llangevni, containing 615 inhabitants. This parish is pleasantly situated on the bay of Carnarvon, which abounds with soles and turbot, of which considerable quantities are taken during the summer : the shore is rocky and difficult of access. The soil is generally good and in a state of cultivation. The living is a perpetual curacy, annexed to the rectory of Lhanbeulan, in the archdeaconry of Anglesey, and diocese of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Maelog, is a very ancient structure, supposed to have been built in the early part of the seventh century. There are places of worship. for Independents and for Calvinistic and Wesleyan Methodists. Several charitable donations and bequests have been made to the poor of this parish by various benefactors ; but many of them are host. Not far from the church, on an elevated spot of ground, is a large cromlech, consisting of five upright stones, supporting a large stone nearly in a horizontal position, about twelve feet long, beneath which is a small cell or cavity. The average annual expenditure for the support of the poor is £ 167. 11.

National Gazetteer (1868)

“LLANFAELOG, a parochial chapelry in the hundred of Llyfon, county Anglesey, 3 miles N. W. of Aberffraw, and 6 from Gwindy, its post town. The Ty Croyes station on the Chester and Holyhead railway is within a short distance of the village. It is situated N. of Carnarvon Bay, and includes the hamlet of Pengornisiog, Many of the inhabitants are engaged in the fishery. The living is a curacy annexed to the rectory* of Llanbeulan, in the diocese of Bangor. The church, dedicated to St. Maelog, is a modern structure, said to have been erected on the same spot as one built about the 7th century. The Calvinistic Methodists have a place of worship. There are charities of about £2 per annum. There are two cromlechs in this parish.”


Catherine was likely born to Owen Williams and Elizabeth, and baptized 20 September 1796 as Catherine Williams in Llanfaelog.  She became Catherine Owen.  Patronymics, a naming custom, involves a child taking his/her father’s first name as their second name. For example, Owen Williams’ father (and Catherine’s grandfather) was William Parri/Parry. Instead of taking his father’s surname and becoming Owen Parri/Parry (as is the custom in 2014), Owen took his father’s first name, William(s), as a second name and became Owen Williams. His daughter Catherine then took Owen as a second name and became Catherine Owen.  In earlier times, the Welsh would use “ap”  between the two names meaning “child of/son of”; this was later replaced by adding the genitive suffix “-s” to most second names.

Other than birth place and residence, little is known of Catherine’s early life.

Catherine married Robert Jones on 9 August 1824 in Llanfaelog.  He was born in nearby Aberffraw to John John Amram and Ann, his wife [possibly Roberts], and was baptized on 19 Nov 1796.  Catherine’s death notice claims that they were born on the same day, likely August/September 1796



It was likely a wedding celebration that lasted for three days, a tradition mentioned in the following article in the Rome, New York newspaper about another couple who immigrated from the same area.


Catherine and Robert had eight known children over 19 years: Ann (1825),  William (1827), John (1829), Elizabeth (1832), Owen Robert (1834), Margaret (1837), Ellin/Ellen (1839) and Jane/Jenny (1844), all who took the surname Jones. At least four of them were baptized at Bryn Du, Llanfaelog, in the Calvinistic Methodist Chapel. There was no Methodist Chapel in Rhosneigr until 1828.  Nearby Bryn Du Methodist Chapel was first built in 1795 and demolished in 1859 and it was likely Catherine’s childhood place of worship.



Above: Baptismal transcription for William , John, Elizabeth & Owen listing a residence of Pendref (Pen y dref/Pendre), Robert Jones’ occupation listed as laborer. Mother and children were born in Llanfaelog, father was born in Aberffraw.

Ann Jones baptism

Ellen Jones baptism

Above: Ann & Ellen’s baptisms listing a residence of Pendref (Pen y dref/Pendre). Robert Jones’ occupation listed as laborer in 1825 and farmer in 1839.

The Jones’ family lived in a home known as Pendref (Pen y dref/Pendre), also in Rhosneigr very close to Catherine’s birthplace. The first seven children were born there between 1825 and 1839 [the 8th child’s baptism has not been located – Jane/Jenny]. They are all included on the 1841 Welsh census.

1841 census

On the 1841 tithe schedule, two occupiers of part of Pendre are Robert Jones (presumably Catherine’s husband) and Owen Owens, on land owned by Reverend Evan Williams. An index of place names on the 1841 Ordnance Survey shows  a place called Pendre near Maelog Lake.

Ty Bach and Pendref on map


Visible on both pictures are the houses Cefn Dref (left) and Pen y dref (center)”. Pen y dref  is likely not the same home, but depicts the view and approximate location.


Catherine’s grandson Rev. Robert W. Roberts writes of his mother Elizabeth: “When my mother was about 12 years of age [1844], she became a domestic to help support the family. She often had to get up way before the day, to gather the sheep for milking; she too helped with the milking. The milk was made into butter, buttermilk and cottage cheese. I have often heard her relate how as a young girl, a neighbor was a world traveler and brought home from China a tea bush, mother took a branch from this and planted it near her home.”

Dale Burnell (no relation), shares some letters in his possession, written by farm families in Anglesey,  in that time period.

August 24 1846 “….It is quite good here at present, high prices for all kinds of animals” and good price for the oats, 22 shilling a peck and up – The barley and wheat quite a bit poorer, wheat 47s. a peck, barley 28s. a peck. There are very good wages to laborers, from 15 pence to 20 p. a day, and food, and they are hard to get for those wages. Harvest wages are 2 shillings a day and food. The harvest So far is quite wet and slow and smaller crop, one third less than last Year- The potato crop is worse than last years, they are as if they were going to leave the country altogether and they have failed in many neighboring countries. They are completely done for in many places and likely to fail everywhere soon. The railroad from Chester to Holyhead is going very fast, sane 17,000 men are working on it; the miners’ wages are 5 shilling 6 pence a day; laborers 2 s. 6 p. to 3 s. a day. There are 860 horses working. They are now building many houses in Holyhead; they are predicting it will be the largest town in Wales soon, everything there is on the increase. They are thinking of building new docks so ships from foreign lands can unload here instead of going to Liverpool and convey their goods on the railroad to every part of the Kingdom….”

“…I am glad to hear of your situation in America. You have mentioned that Dodgeville is one of the best places in America and You have mentioned the mines there. I would like to know about the wages and the nature of the work- You know about Our condition here ; which would be best for us all as a family to come over or not, and what would be the cost. David and his mother are quite enthusiastic about coming, and I am quite anxious to know the truth about the work, the wages, and the climate…”

January 13, 1850 “…We also here are all healthy as a family. We should all be thankful to the Lord for his care over us always. The cholera has killed its thousands this year in Wales and England. In Liverpool 13 thousand died of cholera, Manchester 11 thousand, London 140 thousand , and in Wales many thousands, and in Amlwch and Borth from 30 to 40, but it has now completely left us, and the consequence was that hundreds turned to religion in every denomination alike…it is very bad here at present, everything low in price and no demand. There are hundreds of cows in the fairs with nobody asking their price and so it is impossible to sell high, and everything else the same. The price of oats is 13 shillings a peck, barley from 22 to 23 s. a peck, wheat 38 s. a peck, butter 8 or 9 pence a pound, potatoes 8 p. a quarter. They go [sell] badly this year, same as last year. Beef 5p.a pound, live fat pigs 21 to 2 3/4 pence a pound. It’s very bad in the mountain, many working for 10 p. a day, others for 5p. a day, and many getting nothing. It is very difficult to live, and the farmers are complaining more than ever this year. The railway is running from Holyhead to Chester, but they have not finished the bridge. There are hundreds of people without work and so almost starving….”

Although we don’t know the exact reason why our family emigrated; in the 1840’s many left Europe due to deteriorating economic conditions, religious & political concerns and the effects of famine. Luring many, were letters arriving from friends and family already living in Oneida County, New York, reporting fertile and inexpensive land and freedom from tithes ( a mandatory tax paid to the local church in the form of goods such as crops or farm animals, or money, which until 1891 was the duty of the tenant, not the land owner).

Most Welsh farmers were tenants, including our Jones family.  The land system made it impossible to own the  land on which they worked, even if the farmer were frugal and saved enough money. Although farmers were offered long leases, which might give him the feeling of ownership, thus encouraging improvements, he lacked the satisfaction of ownership.

The Welsh potato crop failed in 1846.  In 1847, heavy snow, a late, cold spring and destructive summer thunderstorms resulted in poor harvests. By 1848/9, the Corn Laws had been repealed (trade laws designed to protect producers of any grain that requires grinding against competition from less expensive foreign imports), so despite a better harvest, the farmers gained little due to the lowered price of provisions, which also caused a reduction in the wages of farm workers. In the years following, the economy continued it’s decline and the Welsh emigrated to the United States in numbers larger than any other period (223,078 in 1850 as opposed to 5,551 in 1825).

The Jones family emigrated from Wales, likely by rail to Liverpool, where they departed on the ship Julia Howard, 19 June 1849. The journey was dangerous, quarters were tight, conditions unsanitary and food scarce. Many fellow travelers died en route.  They arrived in New York, 27 July 1849, and docked on the East River, Pier 20, with merchandise and about 270 passengers.

Julia Howard


ship manifest Julia Howard

ship manifest Julia Howard pg 2

Jones Passengers

Manifest # Name Age Country which they belong Country they intend to become inhabitants Notes on the Voyage
107 Robert Jones 52 Wales America Farmer
108 Catherine Jones 52 Wales America Female
109 John Jones 19 Wales America Farmer
110 Elis Jones 17 Wales America Female
111 Owen Jones 15 Wales America
112 Margaret Jones 12 Wales America Female
113 Ellen Jones 8 Wales America Female
114 Jenny Jones 4 Wales America Female
133 Mrs Jones 48 Wales America Female
134 David Jones 12 Wales America
135 Owen Jones 11 Wales America
136 Wm Jones 9 Wales America
137 Elias Jones 7 Wales America
137 Ann Jones 27 Wales America Female
139 Wm Jones 22 Wales America Farmer
140 Ann Jones 24 Wales America Female
141 Ann Jones 23 Wales America [can’t read]


Julia Howard 27 July arrivals

The New York Daily Tribune published 28 July 1849, describes the horrendous weather which welcomed them:

“The most sultry, dog dayish weather of the season yesterday with two or three April showers from about 2 o’clock till nearly sunset. At 7 o’clock a brisk rain commenced attended with thunder and lightening, which rapidly increased to a miniature deluge. The atmosphere was kindled up with flashes of lightening of extraordinary brilliancy, but the thunder, instead of doing its part by regular claps, scarcely got above a few growls. Between 11 and 12 o’clock the moon was doing her best to “conquer a peace” with the clouds but her pale and sickly look gave no sign of success. The temperature at that time was still oppressive and threatened to murder sleep.”


Although, there were few barriers to entering the United States, there was no immigrant depot (Castle Garden opened 1855 and Ellis Island in 1892), thus the dangers and hardships did not end on arrival. There was no central location to exchange money or buy tickets to their final destination.  They arrived during Irish Potato Famine, a time when immigrants in general encountered hostility. They may have lost money and possessions to thieves. Runners for forwarding agents and boarding houses took advantage of the immigrant’s ignorance of the ways of their new country.  The fraud became so rampant that in 1847, New York appointed a Commission to investigate.  They deduced that the conditions were far worse than reported, saying:

“As soon as a ship with these emigrants reaches our shores, it is boarded by a class of men called runners, either in the employment of boarding-house keepers or forwarding establishments, soliciting custom for their employers. In order the more successfully to enable the latter to gain the confidence of the emigrant, they usually employ those who can speak the same language with the emigrant. If they cannot succeed in any other way in getting possession and control over their prey, they proceed to take charge of their luggage and take it to some boarding house for safe-keeping, and generally under the assurance that they will charge nothing for carriage hire or storage. In this way they are induced to go to some emigrant boarding-house of which there are a great many in the city, and then too often under a pretense that they will charge but a small sum for meals or board, the keepers of these houses induce there people to stay a few days and when they come to leave usually charge them three or four times as much as they agreed or expected to pay, and exorbitant prices for storing their luggage, and in case of their inability to pay, their luggage is detained as security.” 

There were Welsh and British protective societies who worked to protect the immigrants and at times the officers on the vessel assisted them.  We don’t know if our ancestors encountered difficulties.

In 1849, New York’s appearance was quite different. The painting below, by Robert Bond, circa 1850, depicts Broadway looking north at Grand Street (a few miles from the waterfront).

NY 1850

NewYorkandBrooklyn1850sNew York & Brooklyn – circa 1850

Our Jones ancestors headed to upstate New York.  This map dated 1849  helps visualize the next leg of their journey; likely a canal boat from New York City to Utica then on to Oreskany.

Map to Utica

The journey in those days from New York to Utica was tedious and rough. Up the Hudson to Albany might take about eight days, if they were fortunate. If encumbered by a lot of baggage or delayed by bad weather or low water, it might take longer. From Albany they likely took a boat up the Mohawk River to Utica, then walked the nine miles to Oriskany.

The Jones family settled overlooking the Oriskany Creek near the area which became Summit Park, [according to family oral history] in the Village of Oriskany in Whitestown, Oneida, New York, home to many other Welch settlers. They likely knew others from their homeland who had settled there.

A year later, the 1850 census, places Robert, a laborer, and Catherine, both 53, and six of their children, Ann [my g-g-grandmother], Elizabeth, Owen, Margaret, Ellen and Jane/Jenny, in Whitestown (likely the Village of Oriskany).  Their son John (according to his obituary) was in nearby Whitesboro employed as coachman. Their son William’s whereabouts are unknown, but it is believed that he did immigrate with the family.

1850 census


By 1860, Robert and Catherine, both 64, had relocated to nearby Floyd Hill to the area of Camroden, a little hamlet situated about three miles north of Floyd Corners, near Holland Patent, where numbers of Welsh settlers located and gave it that name.  Until the late 1880’s, little English was spoken in this “village”, which at the time had its own store, 2 churches, a school house and a blacksmith shop.



Floyd Blacksmith Shop & General Store

Robert was a farm laborer with a net worth of $1,000 (average for the area), he did not own property. They resided on a farm in an area known as “rural area 4” [ Asa Reuben Grems owned the property by 1920],  likely on Old Floyd Road.  Robert may have been employed by his wealthy neighbor Col. David Moulton (assets and property valued at $100,000), a prominent citizen whose political influence gained him the sobriquet of “King of Floyd.” (according to his obituary).

1860 census

In 1865, Robert and Catherine, both 69 were still in Floyd. They now owned their land. Their frame house was valued at $150. The agricultural schedule tells us they had 14 improved acres, valued at $500.  They had $100 of stock and $25 of tools and implements.  One acre had been plowed, nine acres were pasture, four acres were meadow and they produced six tons of hay in 1864.  They planted potatoes and Indian corn (for grain); 1/4 acre each crop in 1864 (resulting in 50 bushels of potatoes and 10 Bushels corn) and 1/2 acre each in 1865. They had seven apple trees (which netted seven bushels of fruit in 1864). They owned one horse over two years old and four chickens.  One calf was born to them in 1865.  They had three milk cows and three butter cows in 1864 (netting 200 pounds of butter), just two each in 1865. They had slaughtered one pig in 1864 (which equated to 125 pounds of pork).

This census gives a bit of detail: both had only been married once, Catherine has given birth to seven children and Robert has become an American Citizen. Their 29 year old daughter, Margaret, resides with them.


robert Jone 1865 pg 2.jpg

robert Jone 1865 pg 3.jpg

By 1870, Robert (no longer working) and Catherine, both 74, owned a farm of about 20 acres and log home valued at $500 in Camroden, Floyd and had possessions valued at $1,000. They were living among Welsh farmers and were neighbors of Reverand John R. Griffiths [see census, and also map below],  pastor of the Welsh Congregational Church (likely their church).  Robert was a United States citizen with the right to vote.

1870 census

Camroden map

Robert JOnes Farm

Robert Jones died of “a cancer” (according to his wife’s death notice) 11 Aug 1875 in Floyd and is buried at Wright Settlement Cemetery, Rome, New York.

His tombstone reads: “GENEDIGOL OR BERFFRO, MON FU FARW AWST 11 1875 YN 78 MLWYDD OED” which translates to: “Born in Aberffraw, Anglesey, died August 11 1875, aged 78″

The top reads:”Am hyny by ddwch ch withau barod, canys yn yr awr ni thybioch y daw Mab y dyn”. Which translates to something like:”Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh”. [Matthew 24:44]

The bottom writing is too faint to make out.

robert jones grave

His will written in 1871 reads:

I Robert Jones of the town of Floyd, County of Oneida, State of New York being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this life do thirby make and ordain declar this be my last will and testament that is to say After all my lawful debts aforesaid and discharged the residue of my estate real and personal I give and bequeath and dispose of as follows to _rt:

To my wife I give all my estate real and personal excepting this place I now live on that I give to my daughter Ellen wife of Hugh Jones City of Utica after the death of my wife. 

Likewise I make and constitute and appoint Catherine Jones my wife and James Jones to be executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affix my seal this sixth day of February in the year 1871.

Robert Jones, X his mark 

Witnesses James Jones & Thomas M. Thomas & Hugh W. Jones all of Floyd, Oneida, New York. [Future research – who are they? Thomas M. Thomas in 1875 states he is of Camronden and has been acquainted with Robert for 8 years]

probate robert jones

will Robert

In 1880, Catherine was living with her daughter Elizabeth’s family in Floyd.

1880 census

Catherine died 11 May 1884 in Floyd at the home of her daughter Elizabeth, and is buried at Wright Settlement Cemetery, Rome, New York

Catherine obit

The death notice states that “Mr. and Mrs. Roberts” were born on the same day, but I believe it is a typo and the writer meant “Mr. and Mrs. Jones”, unfortunately it doesn’t give us their birth dates, but likely it was between August 12 and Sept 19 in 1796 – since Robert died 1875 August 11 before his 79th birthday and Catherine was baptized 1796 September 20 – although…. Catherine’s tombstone reads that she was 87 and 6 months, which puts her birth in 1796 November, also the month Robert was baptized….which means we could have the wrong baptism and parents for Catherine…..but in speaking to Welsh researchers it is likely rounding and she was 87 and 8 months at death.

catherine owen grave

Her tombstone reads: “GWRAIG ROBERT JONES FU FARW MAI 11 1884 YN 87 ML A 6 MIS OED”  Which translates to:”WIFE, ROBERT JONES, DIED MAY 11 1884 AT AGE OF 87 AND 6 MONTHS.”

The bottom reads: “Coffadwriaeth y cyfiawn sydd fendigedig”, in English “The memory of the just is blessed.” [Proverbs 10:7]

Her will written in 1875 reads:

I Catherine Jones late wife of Robert Jones of the town of Floyd, County of Oneida, State of New York being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this life do thirby make and ordain declar [declare] this be my last will and testament that is to say After all my lawful debts aforesaid and discharged the residue of my estate real and personal I give and bequeath and dispose of as follows to _rt: 

To my daughter Ann of the City of Rome I give one hundred dollars ($100) and a feather bed. 

Also to my daughter Margaret, wife of Owen Jones, of Floyd I give one hundred dollars ($100) which they owe me and the Cubord [cupboard]. 

Also to my daughter Elizabeth, wife of Elias J. Roberts of the town of Floyd, I give four hundred dollars ($400) & the Desk. 

Also to Robert Jones, son of my late son William I give fifty dollars ($50).

Also to William Jones, son of my late son William I give fifty dollars ($50) and Peter Williams bible. [future research – who is Peter Williams?]

Also to my daughter Ellen, wife of Hugh Jones City of Utica, give one hundred dollars ($100).

I authorize the executor of this will to withhold from the above money in equal proportions from each sufficient to place a Tomb Stone by a grave if it will be necessary. Likewise I make and constitute and appoint William Jones to be Executor of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name and affix my seal this twenty six day of November in the year of one thousand eight hundred and seventy five.

Catherine Jones, X her mark 

Hugh W. Jones, witness, Floyd, Oneida County, New York. [future research – who is Hugh W. Jones? He was deceased when Catherine’s estate went to probate, his brother Owen E. Jones testified that he recognized the handwriting]

William Jones, Floyd, Oneida County, New York [future research – who is William Jones?, he states that he has known Catherine for 30 years]

will Catherine

Jones after (1)

The Children

Ann (1825-1896): Ann (my direct Ancestor) married George Perry and had four children – Cordelia “Delia”, Katherine “Kittie”, William C. and George – after George’s death, she married James Evans.  She lived in Oriskany, Floyd, Rome and Frankfort, New York.

Ann Jones

William (1827): William married and had at least two children.  He was not living with the family in 1850. He is mentioned as “deceased” in his mother’s will written in 1875 and his children William and Robert Jones of Marcy, New York are listed as heirs at the time of his father’s death in 1875.

probate robert jones

John (1829 – 1902): John moved to California seeking gold, he settled in Placer County where he married Bertha Bion and had at least six children – Florence, John C., George Washington, Bertha E., William C., and Margaret Viola.

John Jones

Elizabeth (1832-1920): Elizabeth married Elias J. Roberts, had at least five children, Jane “Jennie”, John M., Rosa, Katherine “Katie” and Robert (who became a Reverend). They resided in Westernville, Floyd and Rome, New York.

Elizabeth death 2

Elizabeth obit

Owen Robert (1834-1906): Owen first married Ann Jones and had five children, according to his obituary – the four I have identified include Thomas Lincoln, Elizabeth Jane “Lizzie”, William O. and David.  Ann reportedly died in 1868.   He  married second, Mary Jane Davis, reportedly in 1870, and had at least ten children, according to his obituary.  I have identified eight – Katie, Phoeine, Annie, Albert “Bert”, Daisy Ellen, Franklin O., Alice Maud and Arthur Floyd.  He moved to California in the 1870’s and settled in Clipper Gap. Another child,  Johnnie, age one in 1870,  died, age seven, 10 Mar 1876 in Clipper Gap [I am uncertain if he was Ann or Mary’s child, since his birth year of 1869 is after Ann’s reported death but before his reported 1870 marriage to Mary].

Owen Jones death

Owen obits from Sam

Margaret (1837 – about 1882): Margaret married Owen Jones and had at least five children, Jane, Katie, Ellen, Mary and Delma. They remained in Floyd, New York.

owen jones husb marg

Ellin/Ellen (1839 – 1903): Ellen married Hugh R. Jones and had seven children, Jane Ann, John F., William O., Samuel Hugh, George P., Katherine and Margaret. They resided in Utica, New York.

Ellen Jones obit

Jane/Jenny (abt 1844): Jane/Jenny died before 1875, likely without children as neither she nor her heirs are listed in her parent’s wills or probate notice. Interestingly Ellen’s obituary claims that she was the youngest of eight children and Owen’s obituary claims he was one of seven children. In 1850, Jane was age 6; she is not found with her parents in the 1860 census – I wonder if that is an indication that she died as a young child.

probate robert jones

(1) Historical Information – The Welsh in Oneida County, New York, Paul Demund Evans –

(2) Census data –

(3) Pre-1837 Calvinistic Methodist Births/Baptisms in Anglesey transcribed by Joyce and Douglas W. Hinde.

(4) Baptisms, Llanfaelog Parish Registers –

(5) Newspaper clippings –

(6) Gravestone photos – courtesy of a living cousin who visited Rome.

(7) Misc. information written by Rev. Robert W. Roberts – courtesy of a living cousin.

(8) Excepts of Anglesey letters held by Dale Burnell;

(9) 1858 Land Ownership May – visit to Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2014

(10) New York 1849 map – The David Rumsey Maps Collection offers 47,000 free downloadable hi-resolution maps and images, with a free login (you can view and download maps at a lower resolution  without a login); (

(11) Modern Maps –

(12) Catherine’s birth/parents

Catherine owen birth

(13) Pendref and 1841 tithe information


(14) Probate of William Parri/Parry of Ty Bach, grandfather of Catherine Owen, mentioning her father Owen Williams – The will is several pages, page 1 pictured below:

Will page 1

will abstract

(15) Map and photos of Pendref and Ty Bach – A book entitled “Rhosneigr, Then and Now: A Pictorial History of the Village”  beautifully depicts the area and shows the location of Ty Bach and Pendref (click on the image to see a larger version). This book is now out of print, although you may find used copies on Amazon/Ebay/Abebooks. You may also view and search an online scanned copy: [scroll to the bottom].

Page 14 describes the photos: “Visible on both pictures are the houses Cefn Dref (left) and Pen y dref (center)”.  Likely not the same home but might depict the view and approximate location.

Both homes are also listed on  the Anglesey old series Cassini map 114 (1839-1841) which was created from this Ordnance Survey available from

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