Monday, April 28, 2014

52 Ancestors - Thomas Jefferson Belknap

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

Me-My Mom-Ruby Alberta Belknap-Donald Belknap-Thomas Jefferson Belknap

Thomas Jefferson Belknap or T.J. Belknap as he's found in some records, is an intriguing  fellow to follow. Born in New York, U.S.A. and dying in Hazelton, British Columbia,Canada, he has records scattered  in numerous states in the U.S.A. and a couple of provinces in Canada. These are some of my finds for his last residence in northern British Columbia, Cananda. 

Thomas Belknap Death
My 2nd great grandfather's death registration is a wealth of information. Thomas was a resident of Moricetown, B.C. when he died June 17, 1942 at the Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton, British Columbia, Canada. Dr. Donald Murphy attended him from August 8, 1941 till his death. He died from arterio-sclerosis due to cerebral hemorrhage. The record states he lived in the Hazelton District for 23 years and in Canada 33 years. That would put his immigration year as 1909. But according to the 1916 and 1921 Canadian census, his immigration year is 1899. Which would be shortly after the death of his wife, Mary Elizabeth in 1898. Thomas is stated as being a widower, his wife is listed as Mary S(E) Fiddler, and a Canadian of English origin. Thomas was born in Port Linden (Port Leyden), New York on November 3, 1850. His parents were Martin H(S) Belknap and Betsy Bristle(Bristol) both born in U.S.A.. Thomas worked at his occupation of stone mason for 50 years till 1925. The informant is Thomas's daughter Mrs. W.H. VanHorn (Birdie) from Hazelton. She's probably the one providing the information about her father. That would make most of the information she gave as secondary. 

Thomas Petition for Naturalization
The naturalization records for Thomas are an interesting read. Thomas was granted naturalization on August 17, 1904, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. But he had to write to Ottawa in 1927 to obtain a copy and ended up filling out more paperwork for a new section under the Naturalization Act . His reason for requesting another copy was that his originals were destroyed by a fire at his ranch in Telkwa in May 1922. Included in his naturalization records are letters from The Old Age Pension Department, which was probably his goal for asking for the records.  The Petition for Naturalization verifies some of his information from his death registration. His birth date is stated as November 3, 1950 in Leyden, New York, U.S.A.  Thomas declares he came to Canada from Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A. and arrived at the port of Portal on the 14th day of November, 1899 by the 500 Railway. So it seems the dates match the census records. Very exciting to see my 2nd great grandfather's signature on some of the pages. Most times he signed as Thomas Jefferson Belknap and one time as T.J. Belknap.

In Skeena, British Columbia, Canada,Thomas shows up in the 1921 census. He's living with his daughter Birdie, her 3rd husband (William VanHorn) and William's three sons from a previous marriage. Thomas is listed as a 70 year old widower from the U.S.A.. He states his occupation is manager of a Sawmill owned by his son-in-law, William VanHorn. 

Thomas and his wife Mary had three children: Martin Henry Belknap, Birdie Eldora Leona Belknap and Donald Francis Belknap. Martin ended up in Los Angleles, California, Unitied States, Birdie in Washington, United States after her husband and father die, and Donald in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. 
More posts about Thomas's family:

Thomas Belknap, death certificate 1942-09-609993 (1943), British Columbia Division of Vital Statistics, Surrey Public Library, Cloverdale, Surrey, British Columbia.

Thomas Jefferson Belknap, File 6869, Citzenship and Immigration Canada; Naturalization Records 1927; Access to Information and Privacy Division, Ottawa, Ontario, Cananda.
1921 Census of Canada, Telkwa, Skeena, British Columbia, population schedule, subdistrict No. 12, Township 6289, enumeration district (ED) Skeena, p. 27, dwelling 392, family 393, Thomas Jefferson Belknap; digital images, ( : accessed 28 April 2014); Library and Archives Canada. Sixth Census of Canada, 1921. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada, 2013. Series RG31. Statistics Canada Fonds.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

52 Ancestors - Robert's Roots - Robert Stoddart - Irish Sergeant

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

Robert - his Mom - Maurice Randall Stoddart - Milford Clayton Stoddart - Robert Stoddart - James St. Clair Stoddart - Robert Stoddart

Robert's 4th great grandfather, Robert Stoddart, was an Irish carpenter serving in the British army during the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815) and the War of 1812 (1812-1815). Robert Stoddart enlisted in the 99th Regiment of Foot, or Prince of Wales's Tipperary Regiment of Foot in 1804 which was renumbered to the 98th in 1816. For his service in the military he received a pension and a land grant in Dalhousie (Falkland Ridge), Nova Scotia. Sergeant Robert Stoddart even had a settlement named after him, Stoddartville. A short description of Stoddarville is found in the book "Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia" on the Nova Scotia Archive's website.

Robert Stoddart is in the  WO25/548 on The UK National Archives website that can be downloaded for free. The first page states -  disbanded Sept. 1818, 98th late 99th Regiment. There's a memo stating the age of the men to be estimates from August 1813 as far as page 25, this would include Robert. The title is the 99th or P[rince] Wales Reg., Description of the Non Commissioned Officers, Drummers, & Private Men, Halifax, Nova Scotia, September 1813. Robert Stoddart is on page 12, image 28/117, third from the bottom. His name is recorded as Stoddors, Robert, his date of enlistment is recorded as Sept. 30 1804, his age about 35, his height as 5'8", and there's a description of how he looked such as brown hair and grey eyes. Not to forget the 2nd page with his birth place as Longford, Longford, trade of carpenter, and most interesting is the dates of when he served in the West Indies (June 9, 1806 to May 27, 1811). Also, recorded is his  discharge date of June 25, 1818 in Fredericton. His total service time is recorded as 16 years and 67 days. Somehow I  got 13 years, 8 months and 26 days of service from September 30 1804 to June 25, 1818.
On, Robert Stoddart can be located in the "UK. Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Register of Soldiers Who Served in Canada 1743-1882". He is on page 257, image 150/211, 4th person from top. The date of admission is recorded as October 21, 1821. He's stated as a sergeant and his age 37.  His length of time is recorded for each of his ranks: 5 6/12 years as a private, 7 4/12 years as a corporal, and only 5/12 years as a sergeant. His service time in the West India Service is recorded as 4 11/12 years and total service time as 15 8/12. His rate per day is 7. There's a complaint of reduction. The record states he was born in Ireland. His height is 5'11"  and description - black, blue, sallow, and the trade of carpenter. In remarks he is listed in Nova Scotia with some numbers. Do these numbers lead to other records? 
From what I've discovered, it looks like the Prince of Wales Tipperary regiment served in Bermuda from 1806 to 1811, then the regiment was sent to Nova Scotia till they were disbanded in 1818.  Sergeant Stoddart's total years of service seem to be a little off by my calculations , but I'm not sure how they were calculated. These are just a couple of records that I've discovered about Robert Stoddart's time in the British army. I'm sure there's more.

Ships to Nova Scotia 1815-1838 - Robert's regiment is listed under 1818, New Halifax - Annapolis Road 
Mentions of the Prince of Wales Tipperary regiment in Google Books:

The National Archives (U.K.), "WO 25. 98 (late 99) Foot. WO 25/548," digital image, The National Archives ( : downloaded 7 January 2011), Record for Robert Stoddors.

The National Archives of the UK; Kew, Surrey, England, "UK, Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Registers of Soldiers Who Served in Canada, 1743-1882," digital images, ( : accessed 22 April 2014), entry for Robt Stoddart, Class: WO 120; Piece: 35.

Monday, April 14, 2014

52 Ancestors - Birdie Eldora Leona Belknap (Reed, Pandelis, Vanhorn)

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

Me-My Mom-Ruby Alberta Belknap-Donald Francis Belknap-Thomas Jefferson Belknap (Birdie is the daughter of Thomas and sister to Donald)
I wasn't intending on posting about my great grandaunt, Birdie, but while going over records for her father, Thomas Belknap, I've discovered more about her. I have a soft spot for my relatives who didn't leave any descendants. They shouldn't be forgotten. Birdie was a letter writer and a post card sender. Maybe in her own way she was leaving a little part of her for future generations. See my post on Birdie - Matrilineal Monday - Birdie Eldora Leona Belknap. 

While looking over the border crossing record of Thomas Belknap at Sweet Grass, Montana, USA in March of 1909, I realized that I missed a 2nd sheet that had an important clue about his daughter, Birdie.  The page stated that he was going to his daughter - Mrs. Birdie Reed at 26 W Broadway, Butte Montana. Reed? Somewhere I missed a marriage? I had found records of marriages to a Alex Pandelis in Montana, USA in 1917 and to William Henry Van Horn in British Columbia, Canada in 1920.

Looking at the 1909 Butte, Montana City Directory on page 647 is a Del Reed listed as a butcher living at 26 W Broadway. Looks like this maybe Birdie's husband. 

I quickly found Birdie in the 1910 census under the name Birdie Reed, living as a roomer in Butte, Silver Bow, Montana, USA. She is listed as a domestic living with the Edgar Pinkston family. It's stated that she is married and has been married 6 years with no children. That would mean that she was married about 1904. Not sure where Mr. Reed is. 

I haven't found any evidence of a marriage, but I did find in the Minneapolis, Minnesota death index on February 27, 1906  a death for a baby boy. His father's name is stated as Dell Reed and his mother as Birdie Belnap. He's buried in the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis. The same cemetery as Birdie's mother, Mary Elizabeth Fiddler. 

From just one missed page, I discover other records that gave a little insight into my great grandaunt. Still looking for more records. So note to self, always check for a 2nd page. 
More posts about Birdie's family:

"Border Crossings: From Canada to U.S., 1895-1956," digital images, ( : accessed 13 April 2014), entry for Thomas J Belknap, sheet 5, page 56; citing National Archives Microfilm Publication: M1464; Roll: 93; Record Group Title: Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service; Record Group Number: 85.

R.L. Polk & Co.'s Butte, Montana, City Directory, 1909 (Montana: R.L. Polk & Co., 1909), p. 647, entry for Reed, Del; digital image, (htttp:// : accessed 13 April 2014).

1910 U.S. Census, Silver Bow County, Montana, population schedule, Butte Ward 8, enumeration district (ED) 0117, sheet 3B,, dwelling 73, family 78, Birdie Reed; digital images, ( : accessed 14 April 2014); citing NARA microfilm publication T624, FHL microfilm 1374849.

"Minnesota, Death Record, 1866-1916," index, Family Search ( accessed 13 April 2014), Birdie Belnap in entry for Reed, 27 Feb 1906; citing Minneapolis, Hennepin, Minnesota, Public Health Center, St. Paul; FHL microfilm 1499034.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 Ancestors - George W Knox

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

George W Knox is my 4th great grandfather on my mother's side.

Me-My Mom-Ruby Alberta Belknap-Bessie Beatrice Landers-Angeline Henrietta Littrell-Letis Ellen Knox-George W Knox.

Although I've found quite a few records and information on George, I ran into a brick wall when trying to find anything on him after the 1860 census. Some of the things I discovered about George W Knox:

  • George was the son of Moses Knox and Susannah Perkins born in Maine, United States about 1807.
  • George marries Clarissa Fuller (daughter of Ezra Fuller and Avis Briggs) September 9, 1827 in Jay, Franklin, Maine.
  • George is found in 1830 census living next to his father-in-law Ezra Fuller in Jay with a total of 3 persons - two being himself and Clarissa, and one female being under 5. I think this may have been their oldest daughter, Letis Ellen, born in 1830. 
  • George is still in Jay, Maine in the 1840 census. He now has one male under 5 (probably George E), one female between 5-9 (probably Lydia), one female between 10-14 (probably Letis Ellen), and himself and Clarissa. 
  • In the 1850, George and his family are living in Mercer County, Illinois at Township 14 N R 4 W. They now have two more children, Sarah and Samantha. According to his daughter's (Letis Ellen) obituary the family came to Mercer County in 1842 by wagon. They are not the only family from Jay, Maine who made the journey to Mercer County, Illinois. George's father and some of his brother's and sister's are part of the group migration, as well as some from Clarissa family. 
  • In the 1860 census, George and his family are still in Mercer County, Illinois, with one more child (Joseph Benjamin). 
I've not been able to find George nor Clarissa in the 1870 census, they don't seem to be in Mercer County. But in the 1880 census, his wife (Clarissa) is listed as a widow living  with their children Lydia and Joseph in Abington, Mercer, Illinois. So what happened between 1860 and 1880? 

I've looked for George in other records and have not found much. No gravestone on Find-A-Grave, that I could find. I've looked on Ancestry and Family Search. I posted a query on a message board on Ancestry, and I've even e-mailed the Mercer County Historical Society. They were very helpful in death dates for George's wife and a daughter but nothing on George's death. They even gave me the e-mail of a cousin who has been most helpful.
 If you have any information on George W Knox, please e-mail or leave a comment. Thanks
More posts about George's family:
Fearless Females - Mini Profile (George's daughter, Letis Ellen Knox (Littrell))
"Maine, Marriages, 1771-1907," index, Family Search ( accessed 26 February 2013), George W. Knox and Clarissa S. Fuller; citing Jay,Franklin,Maine, reference ; FHL microfilm 11037.
1830 U.S. Census, Oxford County, Maine, population schedule, Jay, p. 177, line 11, George Knox; digital images, ( : accessed 7 April 2014); NARA Series: M19; Roll Number: 50; Family History Film: 0497946.
1840 U.S. Census, Franklin County, Maine, population schedule, Jay, p 105., line 9, George Knox; digital images, ( : accessed 7 April 2014); NARA microfilm publication M704, roll 140, FHL microfilm 0009703.
 1850 U.S. Census, Mercer County, Illinois, population schedule, Township 14 N R 4 W, p. 377A, dwelling 462, family 462, George Knox; digital images, ( : accessed 7 April 2014); NARA microfilm publication M432.
1860 U.S. Census, Mercer County, Illinois, population schedule, Township 14 N 4 W, Mercer, p. 222, dwelling 1519, family 1519, George W Knox; digital images, ( : accessed 7 April 2014); NARA microfilm publication M653; FHL microfilm 803211.
Keithsburg Happenings, The Times Record, Aledo, IL, 23 November 1916, Vol XXXIII, #23, Part 2, p. 12. Obituary of Littis Ellen Littrell.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

52 Ancestors - Mary Elizabeth Fiddler (Belknap)

Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge.  Each week focus on one ancestor and post something about him or her.

My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Fiddler, was truly an American. She was born, raised, married, gave birth, and died in United States. She was the daughter of pioneer stock, born December 2, 1856 in Hardin County, Iowa. Mary's parents, (Henry Fiddler and Frances George), and grandparents, (Jacob George and Martha Cantwell), were one of the earliest settlers in the area. 

When Mary was 19 she married the youngest son of Martin Belknap and Betsey Bristol, Thomas, in Iowas Falls. Thomas's and Mary's children, Martin Henry in 1877 and Birdie Eldora Leona in 1880, were born in Eldora, Iowa. I guess that is where the Eldora in Birdie's name comes from. Later, one of Mary's great granddaughters would be named Eldora. My great grandfather, Donald Francis, was born in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1882. 

By the 1885 Minnesota Census, Mary and her family has moved to Ransom, Nobles County,  Minnesota, along with some of her in-laws: Thomas' father, (Martin and his family), his brother, (Richard and his family), and his sister, (Sarah Scott and her family). 

The Belknaps seemed to be a family on the move. In the U.S. City Directories Thomas can be found living in Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1892 to 1898. This is were Mary dies at the age of only 41 on July 26, 1898. She buried at the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis. She left behind her three children, Martin 20, Birdie 17, and Donald 16. I've not found any evidence that her husband, Thomas, ever remarries. He leave Minneapolis shortly after her death.
More posts on Mary's family: