In my quest to acquire all things that are historic in nature and related to the Yerks family, I found the postcard below on eBay. I was able to purchase it for just $3.50. Although G.W. Yerks is not a direct relative of Colleen’s, he is a distant cousin.
George W. Yerks was born at Unionville (now Hawthorne), New York on February 4, 1848. He died in Albany on August 9, 1903. He was the son of William H. and Mary A. (Clark) Yerks. George was educated at Amenia and finished his education at Claverack Academy. After graduation he became employed by the United States government. He then went to Albany and established himself in the fancy grocery business on Broadway, under the firm name of Benjamin & Yerks. In 1877 he became a sole proprietor.
But in 1878, just one year later, he admitted a new partner under the firm name of George W. Yerks & Company. He held offices of honor and trust in the city; was trustee of the Madison Avenue Reformed Church and a member of the Fort Orange Club. On July 8, 1868, he married Adaline Maria, who was born in Cleveland, Ohio and died in Albany on October 30, 1900. Adeline was the daughter of George Whitman and Adaline (Powell) Benjamin.
Source: Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York and the Hudson River Valley”, volume III
Nathaniel, son of John, was born about 1808, Somers, Westchester County, New York and resided in the town of New Castle, where he was a successful farmer, and died at the age of 18 years. He was a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and a Democrat in political allegiance. He married Sarah Ann Weeks, born in the town of Somers, daughter of William and Rachel Weeks, representatives of old Westchester families, and she like himself was a faithful member of the Methodist church, and died at the age of 70 years. They were the parents of nine children: John, died at the age of 21 years; Cornelius, lived in Mount Kisco; Anna, wife of unknown Ferguson, resided in the same place; Cyrus, lived in goldens Bridge, Westchester County, New York; George Washington, lived in Dutchess County, New York; Stephen; Julia; Nathaniel, mentioned below; Araminta, died at the age of 19 years. Three of the sons were Union soldiers in the Civil War, participating in many battles. They were Cyrus, George W. And Nathaniel, all members of the Fifth New York heavy artillery, the second being a sergeant.
Nathaniel, six son of Nathaniel and Sarah A (Weeks) Cutler, was born December 21, 1844, in New Castle. He grew to manhood on the paternal farm, aiding in its labors and attending the local schools. He was still a minor when he entered the military service in the Civil War, and was stationed most of the time in Virginia, being honorably discharged at Harpers Ferry. He attained the rank of Corporal in Company H, Fifth New York Heavy Artillery, under Col. Graham, and participated in all the battles of the Shenandoah campaign under Gen. Sheridan. He resided for many years upon a farm of 72 acres in New Castle, most of which was under a high state of cultivation, having an orchard of 6 acres and excellent buildings, affording an ideal rural home. It is located 2 miles from Mount Kisco. Mr. Cutler is a charter member of the Stewart Hart Post, Grand Army of the Republic, of Mount Kisco. He has been identified all his life with the Republican Party in politics. He is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, a public spirited and enterprising citizen, and has given warm support to all those offices calculated to advance the morale, intellectual or material welfare of the community in which he lived. He now resides with his elder son in Fallsburg, New York.
He married, December 28, 1870, Martha Ida Sutton, born, reared and educated at Claverack, Columbia County, New York and and represents an old and well-known family. Nathaniel Cutler and his wife have two sons: Walter S, mentioned below; William Edward, a farmer, and owner of 200 acres of land in Liberty, Sullivan County; he married, in 1901, at Mount Vernon. Katherine Gettle, of Mount Vernon, New York, and they have two children: Madeline and Claire. Mrs. Cutler is descended from Joseph Sutton, a member of the society of friends, who came from Southern Court, England, and settled in Westchester County, New York, accompanied by his brother John. James, son of Joseph Sutton, was born in a log cabin on the paternal homestead in Westchester, and was the father of Walter Sutton, born in the same place, whose son, James T Sutton, was also born in the same place; he was a farmer by occupation, an active supporter of Democratic policies and died at the age of 79 years old. On reaching manhood he married his second cousin, Phebe, a member of the Society of Friends, who died at the age of 79 years, daughter of William Sutton, a son of Joseph Sutton, the pioneer. William Sutton married Charlotte Hunt, a daughter of Josiah and Lydia (Palmer) Hunt, who bore blood relation to Lord Effingham, of England. Their son, Joseph T Sutton, was the father of Martha Ida, wife of Nathaniel Cutler, and of William Edward Sutton, who lived in Seattle Washington, and was reared and educated in Westchester County, where he was for sometime a successful teacher and settled in the middle of his life in the West. He married Emma, daughter of Benjamin Acker.
Walter Sutton, son of McDaniel and Martha I (Sutton) Cutler, was born February 5, 1874, in Peekskill, New York, where he grew to manhood. He was educated at Mount Kisco High School, where he graduated in 1892, and subsequently in engaged in surveying and civil engineering in Westchester County. In 1902 he removed to Liberty, Sullivan County, New York, where for eight years he was a lumber merchant. In 1910, he removed to Fallsburg, and purchased a flour and grain business which he is conducting with gratifying success. Mr. Cutler is a charter member of Liberty Lodge, No. 728, Knights of the Maccabees, and is a member of the Society of Friends. He married in Liberty, December 27, 1900, Harriet E Major, born July 28, 1880, in Mount Vernon, New York, daughter of Gustav and Harriet (Ely) Major of that town. Mr. Major was a contracting carpenter and builder in Mount Vernon and an active participant in public affairs. He had children: Esther, Harriet E, Emily, Carrie and Gertrude. Children of Walter S Cutler: Dorothy, Roy, Florence; all students of the public school.
I recently received a packet of information about Patrick Hanley from the New York Police Department. Patrolman Patrick S Hanley was appointed to the New York City Police Department on April 3, 1890 and was issued Patrolman Shield number 4866.
According to Patrick Hanley’s Police Department “Transfer and Assignment Card”, Patrick was born in Ireland on 9 September 1865. But according to an Irish birth record I found, he was actually born on the thirteenth of September in the Garryfine / Rockhill area of Limerick County. He was Naturalized in Brooklyn Court in 1886. His former occupation was “Laborer” and he lived at 400 Prospect Avenue in Brooklyn. This was just five blocks from his sister, Catherine Hanley Lewis, who was living at 493 13th Street in Brooklyn in 1900.
The newspaper article below was published in the Mount Kisco Record on December 20, 1890. It tells an interesting story how Chappaqua residents banded together to prevent a conflagration that could have destroyed their town. A fire that started at Mr Alexander Yerk’s store quickly spread and challenged the residents of Chappaqua to save their town as there was no “Chappaqua Fire Department ” until 1910. The story gets even more interesting when you look through the newspaper and gather related articles. Prior to the fire, Mr Alexander Yerks was a well respected and generous member of the community. In the five years leading up to the fire, he was also known for making the “Alexander Yerks Hall” available to the community for social events. Countless community organizations including church groups utilized the space.
From the Mount Kisco Recorder:
- 18 Mar 1887 – Alexander Yerks hosts a “Japanese Surprise Social”
- 27 Jan1888 – Alexander Yerks and the Chappaqua Baptist Church hosts a “Donkey Socialable”
- 11 Jan 1889 – The Mount Kisco Recorder calls for his recognition of service to his Country. He spent three years fighting for the North during the Civil War.
- 21 Jan 1889 – Cassius Yerks, Alexander’s son, left the Chappaqua Shoe Factory and took a position with a shoe Factory in Lynn, Massachusetts.
- 18 Jan 1889 – Alexander Yerks made signifiant improvements to his property, formally used as a Wheelwright Shop.
- 19 Apr 1889 – Alexander Yerks opens his new Grocery Store.
- 5 Dec 1890 – Just 15 days before the fire, the I.O.G.T (possibly the International Order of Good Templars) voted to change Yerks’ Hall into a “Lodge Room”.
Way back when, I picked up a Brooklyn Death Certificate for George Oakley Yerks from the New York City Archives. He was the great x2 grandfather to Colleen Yerks Hayes, my wife. The Death Certificate disrupted everything I thought I knew about George Oakley Yerks and his parents. According to his Death Certificate, his parents were listed as George _________ and Elsie Donlap. My previous research, largely based on Census Record research, had led me to believe that his parents were Lucinda and William Townsend Yerks. For about a year, I aggressively pursued other leads and possibilities with no luck whatsoever. So, With nowhere else to go, I have recently continued Yerks family research on the premiss that my initial Census Record research had been correct. But something still made me feel uncomfortable about that, until this past Monday.
Last week, I acquired two important dates of Deaths for William Townsend Yerks and Emeline Schenck. They came to me by way of Kim at the Onondaga County Public Library. They hold a copy of the Birth, Marriage and Death indexes for the State of New York. “Wm T Yerks” died on August 12, 1900. Emeline Schenck died on March 4, 1939. So armed with that information, I headed over to the Town Clerks office in Bedford, where they both died, in search of the details reported on their Death Certificates. The Town Clerk informed me that it may take about an hour or so to do the research and get everything typed up, so I decided to head over to the Mount Kisco Library to see what I could find on Microfilm about their deaths.
One hundred and fifty years ago… today….
- Henry William Lewis, an immigrant from Wales, was on board a ship that was fired upon by the canon batteries at Morris Island, marking the beginning of the Civil War.
- Jeremiah D Sheehan prepared to join the war as a private in Company C of 3rd Infantry Regiment New Hampshire (23 Aug 1861).
- Cyrus Cutler of Bedford, New York, prepared to join the war with Company H, New York 5th Heavy Artillery Regiment (02 Jan 1864).
- Jonathan J Beattie joined the Civil War was a Seaman with the US Navy.
Note: The following Hayes Family Genealogy Treasure was found by Jerry Hayes, grandson of Harry and Isabelle Lewis. His write up about it first appeared in his personal blog, “Finding A Voice For My Thoughts” on March 26, 2011.
In one or two other posts here I have mentioned this box of stuff I found in the basement that was full of treasures from my youth. I was down in the basement again today and took a look through that box again and found the letter my Grandpa & Grandma wrote to me and my brothers on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. It was written on a typewriter (so very typically Grandpa) and I scanned it but I’ve also transcribed it here:
Dear Jerry Peter & Philip
In view of our approaching 50th wedding anniversary and since you are a member of our family, we are asking you to bear with us for a few minutes while we hold forth on the well-worn subject of “Time”. It intrigues us just now because we are especially aware that we have used up quite a bit of it, possibly not in all respects in the best way, but perhaps in just about the way our limited talents permitted us.
We wish that our past fifty years had been full of noble or notable accomplishment. But only a few people seem to have been that able or fortunate. We have tried with considerable success to enjoy our lives together and to do well in establishing a family. We are happy about the results.
The passing of Time has been celebrated, regretted, recorded, and otherwise treated with great and enduring interest since Time began. In fact, we would not have Time if it did not pass. It never stood still despite fairy tales to the contrary. Without Time, we do not exist. Imagine anything existing before Time began-or after it ended!
Man has always been concerned with Time, for example, the time taken by the Earth to rotate on its axis and its orbit, the time taken by the Earth to evolve from its probable beginning, the time taken by man to become what he is, and the time between events in history.
Time engages man continuously from his birth to his death, from the rising to the setting of the sun and the beginning to the end of his undertakings, Time has been a favorite of poets who have mentioned its wing and its habit of fleeting, its capacity for being wasted, it ravages, its corridors, it footprints, its value, it healing, and humorously, what the Walrus said about it in “Alice”.
Our concern with Time is all of this and more but our special concern just now is the fact that fifty years of it have been enjoyed in our happy marriage. We are celebrating this happiness by giving a token like the enclosed to each member of our family. Please use it and enjoy it.
We hope that none of you will send us any gift in return since we have more possessions that we can manage.
Thank you for scores of happy incidents in our lives!
And remember us with the same love we send you!
Grandma & Grandpa
I just have to smile at how Grandpa is talking about Physics and Time. Gee I guess the nut, this nut, didn’t fall from from that tree. Did it?
After months looking for the final resting place of William Yerks (b. 1801) and his wife Maria (b. 1803), I decided to pursue a lead that I had dismissed long ago because I just couldn’t see how it could be related.
Several years ago, I came across a record at the Find-A-Grave website that listed a William Yerks being buried at “Potter’s Field” in Valhalla. It gave no date of birth or date of death. So, stuck at a brick research wall, I decided to write to the Westchester County Archives to see if they would have any additional information about the people buried at Potter’s field.
There is a William yerks buried in Potters Field in Valhalla. Can you tell me whether there are any records for Potters Field that might provide me with date of death or other info? Apparently he is buried in Row I , a double grave that is shared with Isaac Stokes .If you think you may have records, I will come down from Connecticut to research him if necessary.Thanks.Phil Hayes
A short time later Jackie, from the County Archives, wrote back to me.
Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. We have very little on Potters Field, unfortunately. As it was connected to the county Almshouse, that would be the place to look. From the index, I see there was a William Yerks who passed away in the Almshouse in 1876. He was from Mount Pleasant, and was 75 years old. If that sounds like your man, you are welcome to come in to see the record; we’re open Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 9-4. The amount of information is in these Almshouse records varies, some are very sketchy, and some have a decent amount of detail. It depends on who was keeping the records.
I was already interested in the Almshouse because Armenia Yerks, daughter of the William Yerks that I was looking for, showed up in the 1900 Census there. Now I also had a William Yerks who was within the same age range as the one I was looking for.