The Hayes Family History Site

Including Members Of The Hayes, Tierney, Lewis, Beattie, Sheehan, Yerks, Condos, Smith and Other Families

Archive for the 'Found Relatives' Category

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.
Phil Hayes

A short time later Jackie, from the County Archives, wrote back to me.

Hi Phil,

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.

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Yesterday, I decided to revisit to look for any possible new records they may have added to their database.  My first query was for the “Kelty” surname in Manchester, England.  The Kelty surname is on my fathers side.  Bingo!  I quickly found some new related birth records.  Since I was not really prepared to do in depth “Kelty” research, I moved onto the next surname that popped into my head.  That name was Beattie.

Jonathan Beattie is my great great grandfather on my mother’s side. He was born in Kirkcudbright, Scotland in 1829 and is the second child of Robert Beattie (b. abt 1804) and Elizabeth Gordon (b. abt 1807). He left Kirkcudbright for the United States in 1842 at the age of 17 and was the only one of nine brothers and sisters that came to the United States.  This family surname has always been a favorite of mine to research.  I have had tremendous success mapping out all the branches of Jonathan’s descendants and have even become good friends with some of the new found cousins.

Well, today the Beattie family tree just got much bigger.  I queried for a “Robert Beattie” born in 1804 in Kircudbright (Jonathan’s father).  Shoot… no direct matches found.  But the third listing from top was a Robert Beaty, born 10 Feb 1804 in Kircudbright to Robert Beattie and Ann Cameron.  Could that be him?

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I have finally found the elusive Frank Edward Smith, estranged husband of Jean Louise Baron Smith and estranged father to Marie, Patricia and Eileen Smith .

Frank Edward Smith was born February 27, 1893 in Humboldt, Iowa to Hiram Gregg Smith and Julia Geeslin Smith.

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After the major “Smith” family break through earlier today,  I came across a very interesting geneaology query posted on July 14, 2001 at the Smith surname forum:

I am looking for any information on  Hiram Gregg Smith. He died sometime before 1913 in Iowa and was married to Julia Ann Geesline in 1884 in Humboldt Co., Iowa. They are reported to have had at least 5 known children including my great-grandmother Leta Ethel Smith. E-mail me directly. Shawn Butler

I was very excited.  I finally found another Smith relative.  Shawn had actually posted another similar query at the forums on March 9, 2001.

Looking for any information on Julia Ann Geesline born in Johnson Co. 5 DEC 1868 and later married Hiram Gregg Smith

The bad news is that the email address attached to his postings is no longer valid.  Unfortunately there are just too  many Shawn Butlers out there to try to find him without more info.

For the last several months I have been researching Frank E Smith, Colleen’s great grandfather.  Having access to limited online resources, it was difficult to find any information beyond Census Records.  But with the Census info I had and the help of Martha Schmitdt of the Humbolt Genealogy Society, I have finally discovered some concrete information about the Elusive man who abandoned his family back in the 1930’s.

Today, Martha wrote the following email to me:

I checked birth, marriage & death records at the Court House yesterday. Hiram Gregg Smith and Julia Ann Geeslin were married 17 Dec. 1884 at Rutland, Iowa.
The births of Leta Ethel (30 May 1887), John William ( 3 Aug. 1889), and Franklin Edward ( 27 Feb. 1893) are at the Court House. The family was living in Weaver Township where Gregg was a farmer. His parents were nearby.
In 1895 they were living in Gilmore City as were his parents. The humboldt newspapers are digitized which means there is a name index. In 1898 there was something in the South Weaver column about Gregg Smith as a former resident being in Fort Dodge. In 1903 he visited someone in Gilmore City.
I didn’t find any deaths on the death index at the court house. I checked 3 cemeteries: one in Weaver Twp., one at Gilmore City and one at Humboldt. I didn’t find any Smiths from these families. There is a Sumner Smith at Humboldt, but he was much older than yours.
If you want copies of the court house records, I can hand copy them for nothing. A genie copy is $5 a piece.
This confirmed my research.  I did ask Martha for copies of anything she found.

When I first started doing my genealogy research, I learned that my great, great grandfather, Henry Lewis, married a woman named “Anna Roche”. In fact, my great aunt, Grace Lewis” gave me the first first insight into a family that I had only heard of by name.

“Anna Roche was born in Brooklyn, but her mother came from Dublin, Ireland, where she was educated to become a doctor at the University there. If it was not that she was your great, great grandmother, we would not be writing this today. Your grandfather (Thomas) was about 4 pounds when he was born and she kept them alive in a little cigar box in the back of one of those old-fashioned coal stove’s. She kept him for one year, until he was a very strong baby.

Your great great grandmother had other children besides Anna Roche. She had Rose, Anna and another daughter and a son. I do know the boy moved to Cleveland Ohio and had seven sons. Rose married a man named Booth and had no children. Rose moved to Port Chester after her husband died and lived with one of her sisters who married a man named Gackstetter. They had David, Walter, John, Harold and Mabel. They were the ones I visited for many years and enjoyed very much. At one time Mabel and I, and one of her brothers came to visit you at your home in Larchmont. That it that is what you remember. No one in the family kept up with them but myself and now I have not heard from them in years. The other sister, Anna, lived up in Port Chester too, and had six girls and one boy. Their name was Hickey, bur all are married with different names. At one time they had a family gathering and there were 15 members of the family. Many more did not come. I do not know anything more about them today.”

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Several weeks ago, I received a phone call from Lynn Williams in response to a letter I had sent her, telling her that I believed we were cousins through the Tierney branch of our family tree.  She confirmed that she was the granddaughter of Irene Tierney.  Irene is the daughter of Thomas W. Tierney.  Thomas W. Tierney is the brother of my great grandfather James F. Tierney.  That makes us second cousins, once removed.

We had a wonderful conversation, exchanging stories of what we knew of the Tierney’s.  Then she dropped the bomb. She has a picture of her great grandfather… AND HIS FATHER!  “His Father” is James Tierney (b. 1835 in Ireland, d. Feb 1888 in Manhattan) and is our shared relative.

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We know that Anna Roach (b.abt 1838 in ireland) immigrated to and lived in New York City. She married Henry Lewis of Wales. Her mother lived with her for a while in the 1860’s, carefully caring for Thomas, Anna’s newborn 4 lbs. son and my great grandfather, by “putting him in a little cigar box on one of those old-fashioned shelves.”

I have been deeply curious about the Roach’s because of the mis-spelling of her last name on Anna’s grave. Initially, I though the grave was correct and that the Census record keepers were just sloppy. But as I collected various death records, I became convinced that “Roach” is the proper spelling of her last name.

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The other day I was contacted by a John Beattie who responded to my online inquiry about Beattie’s in and around the Birkenhead area of England. He confirmed that his grandfather was John Beattie, son of Charles Belford Beattie of Kirkudbright. Charles had moved to Birkenhead, England along with the many of his siblings (see: The Great Beattie Migration to Birkenhead and Liverpool, England). According to English Census records, John was living with Charles in 1901 and was listed as a dock labourer.

Today, John followed up with some very exciting information about the Beattie’s, including pictures of the gravestone belonging to Elizabeth and Robert Beattie in Kirkcudbright I’ll post them separately. The picture also explains another mystery which I will explain when I post those pictures.

John Beattie (b. 1884 in Birkenhead), son of Charles, had three sons; Jack, William, Edward (b. Dec 28 1910); and three daughters; daughters Peggy, Ann and Ivy. All are now deceased. Edward was this John’s father.

This John was born in 1951 in Birkenhead and emigrated to Toronto after he was married in December of 1976. John and his wife Gill had two sons who are living in Toronto also.

The Beattie family keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger.  How exciting!