Monday, August 25, 2014

Methodology Monday with Mysterious New Yorkers

In the April and July issues of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, Perry Streeter doggedly pursues his likely 5-great grandparents, Aaron and Lucy ([-?-]) Beard, from western Connecticut and Massachusetts into southern New York. Both died in the 1820s. His 4-great grandfather Thomas Streeter married a woman named Louisa whose children mostly reported her born in Connecticut. A process of elimination in Connecticut's well-preserved but not perfect vital records suggested the Beards as her parents.

It did not get easier from there. From a genealogist's point of view, Aaron and Lucy were not ideal ancestors. But they did produce a handful of records. In 1777 Aaron was fined for not serving in the American Revolution from Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, just a month after their son Ai Frost Beard was born there. They also had a son named Parks. These distinctive names plus patterns of association among Baptists and among lumber-industry workers helped confirm the family as they moved around -- including, implicitly, Louisa, who produced no records after her birth. Aficionados of early-day travel will appreciate Streeter's analysis of the route of the Catskill Turnpike, which helped suggest an answer to the always relevant and always provocative question, "How did those two [in this case, Thomas Streeter and Louisa Beard] ever meet in the first place?"

Like many NYGBR articles, this one is followed by a substantial genealogical summary documenting the family beyond those involved in this intricate problem. Several went to southeastern Michigan. Not all families make colorful reading, but these do, and there's more to come in October -- or whenever you want to check out the author's extensive research-oriented web site.

Perry Streeter, "Was Louisa, Daughter of Aaron and Lucy ([-?-]) Beard, the Second Wife of Thomas Streeter of Steuben County, New York?," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 145 (April 2014): 85-99, and (July 2014): 222-236.

Harold Henderson, "Methodology Monday with Mysterious New Yorkers," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 25 August 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


Perry Streeter said...

Laura Murphy DeGrazia brought this post to my attention. Thank you so much for your kind words in your discussion of my article! As you well know, such things are a labor of love so any acknowledgement or positive feedback is greatly appreciated. I remain hopeful that further evidence will one day surface to confirm (or refute) that Louisa Beard was indeed identical with my 4-great grandmother Louisa ([–?–]) Streeter, the second wife of Thomas-1 Streeter and the mother of his nine children. Many of the Streeter children also migrated to the Midwest, so some of your readers may be interested in the genealogical summary (or the sources cited therein) at the end of the following NYGBR article from 2011:

Streeter, Perry, “Streeter Immigrants of Greene and Steuben Counties [New York]: The Common Origins of Elizabeth (Streeter) Faulkner, Thomas Streeter, and William Streeter, at Dunnings Farm, East Grinstead, Sussex, England” 142:47-61, 117-130; available online as

I would be extremely grateful to anyone who can solve the “cold case” mystery of what became of Richard-2 Streeter, youngest child of Thomas-1 and Louisa ([–?–]) Streeter, after Richard is last found in Doon Township, Lyon County, Iowa in the state census of 1885. I have made contact with multiple living descendants of “Uncle Richard” but his ultimate fate remains unknown.

Congratulations on your lead article in the July issue of the NYGBR! Now I need to revisit every case in which a New York State probate record failed to provide the direct evidence that I was seeking—in some cases, I may have given up too easily when other evidence might still reveal a connection that I assumed too quickly did not exist!

Harold Henderson said...

Thanks, Perry. I enjoy your web site -- a lot of info and very systematic.