The Hayes Family History Site

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

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Finally…. conclusive proof as to the parents of George Oakley Yerks arrived today via US Mail.  George Oakley Yerks is the great, great grandfather of Colleen Hayes, my wife.  Since acquiring George’s Brooklyn Death Certificate several years ago, there has been a lingering doubt in my mind as to who his parents really were.  This is because the Death Certificate indicated that his parents were George Yerks and Elsie Donlap.  I have spend countless hours researching all George Yerks’ and Elsie Donlap’s, but could find nothing that made any sense.  With nothing to go on, I resorted to Census records and an obituary as my only proof of lineage.  I was able to determine that George was living with William and Lucinda Yerks in the mid 1800′s and that he had a sister name Emeline.

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”.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

150 Years Ago….

April 12, 2011

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.
    http://hayesfamily.us/index.php/2008/10/28/226/
  • 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.

Grandpa's Anniversary Letter

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:

Anniversary

October 4

1922-1972

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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.

Jackie

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is a story that Philip Jr. wrote (and Daddy typed) for a school project.

The Speedy Little Munchkin

By Philip L Hayes Jr., age 8

My Cousin Ann was over to my house for a sleep over. After a long day of playing, we fell quickly to sleep.

(Poke. Poke) Stop. (Poke, Poke) Stop it Ann, I said. Much to my surprise, I poked a leprechaun in the eye. (Poke, Poke).  “What?  A leprechaun?” I rolled off the bed and crushed the leprechaun who was sitting on the floor.  I got up off the floor and saw the leprechaun in his real form. The leprechaun had a smile upon his face.  He has  a black belt in Karate., but his suit is as green as grass.  The leprechaun said “play”.  “Alright” I said. “Let me get dressed and eat breakfast”.  I put on my blue jeans and got my red shirt on that had “Go Yankees” printed on it.  I went downstairs to the kitchen and split my pistachio muffin with the leprechaun. “I will name you ‘Hamburger’”, I said.  “Hamburger… do you want to play hide and seek?”  He is as small as a kitten, so he was hard to find as he ran around in the kitchen.

#$%&# CRASH #$%&#

A frying pan hit him in his head as he crawled around in the kitchen cabinets. I could see that he had stars circling his head.  I went over to him and said, “Lets not play that game again”.

“What is that noise?” Ann said as she came down the stairs a bit groggy and scared.  My leprechaun, Hamburger, said, “Play”.  Ann was shocked as she looked at the leprechaun. “Play” he said again.  “Yes, lets play chase the cat” I said.   The leprechaun had to be the cat, because he was the size of a kitten and was as fast as a speeding bullet.   He was so fast that Ann and I decided to make a trap to catch the speedy little munchkin.   We put a dollar under a box that was propped up with a stick that had a string attached to it.  When he went to grab the dollar, we pulled the string and the box fell over the speedy little munchkin. He was caught.

We removed the box from over our friend and there he stood, holding the dollar in front of his face.  We then asked him to take us to his pot of gold.  He said… “OK, but it is very dangerous”.  He gave us a shield and a bronze sword.  We set off in search of the pot of gold.  After a couple of miles we came across a fire-breathing dragon.   I swung my sword furiously and cut of his three heads.  I said “Yahoo!”.   Then a bird came down and started pecking me in the head.  I screamed in pain and started swing swinging my sword at the bird. The bird picked me up by my shirt as Ann and Hamburger held on tightly to me.  He flew us all the way to the pot of gold.

The Leprechaun said, “You passed my test. You earned the pot of gold.  Good work!”  Ann and I decided to take only half of the pot of gold, leaving the rest for our friend.  But our friend said that he wanted us to take it all, because he was going to stay with us for now on.  Hamburger told the bird to pick us up and bring us back home. And so he did.

The end.

The following is a biography of Nathaniel Cutler Sr. (b. 1 Jan 1808, d. 12 Apr 1886).  Nathaniel is Colleen Yerks’ great x4 grandfather .  He lived in Mount Kisco, New York for most of his life, but may have been born in North Castle. He married Sally Ann Weeks in 1829 and had several children.

John Cutler 1828 – 1850
Cornelius Cutler 1833 –
Amy Cutler 1834 –
Cyrus Cutler 1836 – 1918
George Washington Cutler 1836 –
Araminta Cutler 1838 – 1855
Julia Cutler 1842 –
Stephen Cutler 1842 – 1865
Nathaniel Cutler 1844 –

According to the recently discovered bio, I have learned that his father was John Cutler and comes from old Westchester County stock. The Cutlers apparently are of English origin.  Nathaniel is buried at the St Marks Episcopal Church Yard in Mount Kisco with his wife. I have been there many times.

Read the rest of this entry »

Ralph Yerks was the third and youngest son of George Oakley Yerks and Annie Cutler.  According to his draft registration card filed on June 5, 1917, Ralph was single, living in Rye and was working as a plumbers helper.  His two brothers, Leroy (later known as James Leroy) and William Benjamin also registered for the draft on June 5, 1917.  The oldest son, William Benjamin Yerks was a single Teamster and also lived in Rye with his mother and father.  Leroy Yerks had married Kathryn Regan of Goldens Bridge in the summer of 1911. The year he registered for the draft, he and his family (wife and two boys)  were living in Somers and had requested an exception for his “Family” status.

On June 6, 1917, Ralph Yerks was enlisted and reported to Fort Slocum in New York City. Fort Slocum, was a US military base occupying Davids’ Island and Hart Island at the western end of Long Island Sound. There he was assigned to Company K of the 9th Infantry Regiment.  Once overseas, the 9th Infantry joined the 2nd Infantry Division.

Read the rest of this entry »