Walter & Rosa Marie Brummitt in Colorado

I hope you’re having a fabulous weekend! I’m just popping in to let you know about a resource you may have overlooked. The Colorado State Archives has a lot of records online. You can find the Archives at If you have family who lived in Colorado, I recommend searching their database. I found this database yesterday. Since finding it, I’ve located a marriage record for my husband’s grandfather’s brother, Walter WILLIAMS.

Marriage record for Walter WILLIAMS and Rosa BRUMMITT from Colorado State Archives online.

On my side of the family, I found a marriage record for Aubrey HOVEY and Cora BAKER. Cora was the daughter of my 3rd great grandfather, Jehue BAKER. Here is their marriage record:

HOVEY-BAKER marriage record from Colorado State Archives online.

In addition to those marriage records, I found one that goes with the family tree I did for a friend last year. I’m sure he’ll appreciate knowing he can find this free and online.

James BAXTER and Mabel EDER marriage record from Colorado State Archives online.

There are a lot more records on the site other than marriage records. It just happened that those were the records I could find for my family. If you have Colorado people be sure to go take a look and bookmark it so you can get back there if you want to.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives

Notes on a Saturday Morning

If you’re expecting an in-depth blog post this morning, this won’t be it. I’m just posting a few notes about what (or rather, who) I’m looking into this morning.

Drake Family

This morning on the Drake line, I’m looking into Margaret FERRERS KIRKHAM who is said to be my 13th great grandmother through my paternal line. She was born around 1504 in Baddesley Clinton, Warwickshire, England and died around 1529 in England. She married Thomas KIRKHAM. According to Wikipedia, in the 13th century large swaths of the Forest of Arden were cleared for farmland and it was likely at this time that Margaret’s family built a moated manor there. The house has a very interesting history (including a stained glass coat of arms and a murder inside the manor!) which I encourage you to learn about.

FERRERS Crest and Coat of Arms.

The family manor is currently owned and operated by the National Trust. The manor has appeared in an episode of Sherlock Holmes and an episode of Antiques Roadshow. According to Wikipedia, Baddesley Clinton manor is a “Scheduled Ancient Monument” and the park/garden area is on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens.

A Wikipedia photo of Baddesley Clinton FERRERS manor.
PHOTO CREDIT: By DeFacto – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
A nice interior shot of the manor from Wikipedia.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Peel (, CC BY-SA 4.0,
A Wikipedia photo with a nice shot of the moat included.
PHOTO CREDIT: Mike Peel (, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Just in case you’re wondering about our 13th great grandfather, Thomas KIRKHAM and Margaret FERRERS’ husband, here is his Coat of Arms:

Kirkham Crest
KIRKHAM Crest and Coat of Arms found on Ancestry.

You can find an article on the KIRKHAM family on Wikipedia.

Bates Family

This morning on the Bates line, I’m looking at Jeanne FAMELAR CLAUSS who is said to be my 12th great grandmother through my BULLOCK-DALE branch on the BATES line. Jeanne married Pierre CLAUSS. There is one researcher who has referred to Pierre as the “Knight of Marchaumont” but I haven’t been able to verify any such title this morning. Jeanne was born about 1587 in France. The family lived in Sedan, Ardennes, France, which is on the border of France. The area has an interesting history according to Wikipedia. During Jeanne and Pierre’s lifetime, Sedan was a sovereign principality of the La Tour d’Auvergne family. With the help of the Holy Roman Empire, Sedan defeated France but was immediately beseiged again by France. The prince of Sedan submitted to France and the area was annexed into France for which the prince’s life was spared. Wikipedia has the “60-second commercial version” (as my brother would say) of the history of the area. It’s very interesting.

You can meet a distant cousin who blogs and who shares Jeanne as an ancestor by going to her post about Jeanne at Through the Looking Glass blog. She includes a pretty picture of the area of Ardennes, France where Jeanne lived. I’ve found some crests and coats of arms for the two families but there is some variation in what the look like so I didn’t want to post anything until I’m sure of the correct ones. Sadly, I wasn’t able to find much on this family during my research time this morning.

I did find a funny Coat of Arms for the area of France where Jeanne and Pierre were from though. I kind of like this one. It’s for the area of Sedan, Ardennes, France:

Coat of arms of Sedan
Sedan Coat of Arms.

I like that coat of arms. It’s very different. Sedan was, for a time, an asylum for Protestant refugees. It’s a beautiful place and I encourage you to go in search of photographs of the area when you have a few minutes to spend online.

Williams Family (Bart’s)

Bart’s family: Let’s talk about Susanna FANSHAWE LUCYE, the woman said to be Bart’s 11th great-grandmother on his paternal line through the PAGE and DUKE branches. Susanna was born in Valence House in Dagenham, Essex, England. The location has been built over but the house itself remains and is open as a museum in Dagenham.

Valence House Museum. Photo taken by Gurdeep Bhatia in August of 2019.

I highly recommend browsing their website. The museum does have images and records that pertain to Susanna and her husband, Sir Timothy LUCYE, but they are not online and can only be seen at the museum – some can be seen by appointment only so if you plan a trip, plan ahead for that. If you’d like a virtual tour of the Valence House Museum (I love virtual tours!) you can find that on Vimeo. At approximately 4 1/2 minutes into the video you will see a section of wall that has a painting dating back to the time of Susanna FANSHAWE LUCYE. Following that scene, you will see portraits of the FANSHAWE family that are hanging in the museum. This video is on Valence House’s Vimeo channel so there will be other videos there that you can watch that pertain to the house and museum.

Another interesting find was the FANSHAW Crest and Coat of Arms:

FANSHAW Crest and Coat of Arms.

Flickr has a photo that is accompanied by a tomb inscription for Timothy and Susanna. An extensive history of the FANSHAWE-LUCYE family can be found at the Internet Archive. It will look like a blank link. Just keep scrolling down or do a search of the page and you will find the information. The LUCYE family also has their own website where you can find their family history. You can find LUCYE Coat of Arms and history here as well.

EnglishGathering - The Lucy Coat of Arms (Family Crest) and Surname History.
Crest and Coat of Arms for LUCY/LUCYE/LUCEY families. I like this one!

I love the amount of information available online about this family and hope to research them more in-depth in the future. The LUCYE family also had a manor. It was called Charlecote Park. You can see it and find out more here. The house-museum is actually having a huge Heritage Days celebration right now that ends tomorrow. Mark that celebration on your calendar for next year! Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth I stayed in the room that is now the drawing room. Another fun item: William Shakespeare supposedly hunted rabbits and deer on the property as a young man. A portion of the property was made into a “hostelry destination for notable tourists” according to Wikipedia and hosted such people as Sir Walter Scott and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The National Trust now runs the property. Here’s a photo from inside Charlecote Park. I mean, is this not GORGEOUS?!

Lucye House in Charlecote, England. This is a photo of the dining room from the National Trust website.

Wolf Family

Bart’s maternal line is a lot harder than all of these other lines so this one will be shorter and more of a plea for help. Bart’s 4th great grandfather is Fredrick FISCHER. He was born around 1800. He married Christena HINEMAR (possibly HEINEMANN). Frederick was from Germany (possibly Prussia) and I believe Christena probably was, too. I have made no headway on the FISCHER family beyond Fredrick and his daughter Wilhelmina Ida “Minna” FISCHER. I only know Fredrick’s name. I don’t know any exact dates for him.

If you can help me with the FISCHER or HINEMAR lines, I would appreciate it.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my short weekend blog post. I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful weekend. It’s National Preparedness Month so be sure you have your emergency plans in place and that everyone in your family knows what to do in an emergency.

Lisa @Days of Our Lives Genealogy

Heads Up!

I know I haven’t written a post in a while. I’ll get back to writing when I can. In the meantime, I came across someone else’s blog post that may be interesting to my husband’s relatives on his dad’s side – those related to Milo Greenwood DEWITT. Milo was a Woodsmen of the World member and I’ve written about that here and here and more about Milo here and here.

The post I found yesterday that I think you may be interested in is about the Woodsmen of the World uniforms. The person in this post is not related to the DEWITT family as far as I know but he did share membership in the Woodsmem and was photographed in his uniform. I recommend reading this for a little more insight into the Woodsmen with uniform details that would have pertained to our Milo DEWITT. You can find the post here. Enjoy!

Just because I know how much you all love photos (I do, too!), here is a photo I haven’t yet shared. It’s Milo and Rebecca’s daughter, Minerva Ann.

Minerva Ann DEWITT BLACKSHEAR, daughter of Milo and Rebecca BELL DEWITT.

I’m looking forward to getting back to writing soon. I hope your summer is going well.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy Blog

She’s a Brick Wall

This is going to be a short post. The theme this week is ‘brick wall’. I’m going to highlight a problem line from my husband’s family tree. I’m writing about his paternal 2nd great grandparents, Samual and Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS. Since Samual’s father was also named Samuel and I’ll be mentioning them both, I’ll be calling the older one Samuel Sr. and then calling the younger one (the actual subject of this post) Samual. I’m spelling their names as I found them on records. Another caveat: I’m not entirely sure Malinda’s last name is KAYLE but it’s the only lead I have in regard to her maiden name. ‘Samual Williams’ is a popular name so as you can imagine, making headway is very difficult. I have my own Samuel WILLIAMS (unrelated to his) who stumped me for years and still is somewhat a mystery to me.

Samual Williams

Samual WILLIAMS was born between 1850 and 1854 probably in Hancock County, Illinois (but also possibly in Missouri- I really don’t know). I believe his parents were Samuel Sr. and Nancy Ann (MONROE) WILLIAMS. I believe that Samual’s father died when Samual was very young. I believe by age 10 (and possibly well before that – maybe as young as age 2), Samual was already an orphan.

While writing this blog post, I’ve discovered a new family tree on Ancestry that looks to be Samual’s parents and a brother I was unaware of. Below is a photo from that family tree of a man I believe may be Samual’s brother. The man is Jay Williams and he’s on the far left. If you belong to my husband’s WILLIAMS family and you see a family resemblance please be sure to let me know in the comments section below.

Photo of Jay Williams, far left.

Malinda Kayle Williams

Malinda KAYLE was born between 1854 and 1856 in Arkansas. I don’t know who her parents are. I believe she also died at a fairly young age and probably before her children were grown.

Mr. and Mrs. Samual Williams

Samual and Malinda were married in August of 1870 in Izard County, Arkansas. Together they had 4 known children – William, Walter, George, and Dee Barton. There was possibly also a 5th child but I’m not sure. (Dee Barton is my husband’s great grandfather.) I don’t know the death dates or burial places for Samual or Malinda (KAYLE) WILLIAMS.

Final Thoughts

I would absolutely love for someone to help me break through this brick wall. If you have information about this family or you think you have a connected WILLIAMS family please contact me and let me know. I hope you have a great week!

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

A Rose by Any Other Name?

“…a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” ~ Juliet in Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

“…[A] rose by any other name would smell as sweet…” – but would it really? Is Cherokee County, Oklahoma just like Cherokee County, Kansas or Cherokee County, Georgia? This week’s theme is “name’s the same”. In the past I’ve done this theme using first names. This week I wanted to do something different – taking a look at place names that are the same. Often, as immigrants moved westward they named a new place after an old place. I find that interesting so today we’re looking at same-place-names.

Cherokee County, Georgia

My mom’s BATES family started out in Georgia. I got to visit Cherokee County, Georgia a few years ago and was able to go to some of the places that played a part in the BATES family history. It looks amazingly like Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Rolling hills, lots of green trees and forests. It was a nice trip and a beautiful place.

Georgia near my 3rd great grandparents’ homeplace.

I could have chosen a better picture but the picture above is one that is special to me. I took it on my trip to Georgia. This was as close to my 3rd great grandparents’ homeplace as I could get that day.

The ancestors in my BATES line who lived in Cherokee County, Georgia were:

  • John C. and Mary Jane (MOBLEY) BATES (my 3rd great grandparents); John was born in Cherokee County, Georgia about 1818. John fought for the Confederacy during Civil War. He was a prisoner of war at Rock Island – the Yankee version of Andersonville Prison. Until recently, I thought he’d died as a prisoner of war at Rock Island. However, I discovered he was a part of a prisoner exchange. He managed to survive until his arrival in Savannah, South Carolina. There, he passed away. He was so close to home and yet so far away. I’m very proud of his service. I believe his family thought he died at Rock Island. He is recorded in the Murray County, Georgia books as having died as a prisoner of war.
John Bates
John BATES’ grave in South Carolina.
  • Jesse A. and Delila (ARENT) BATES (my 4th great grandparents); In 1832, Jesse was appointed postmaster of Hickory Flat, Cherokee County, Georgia in 1832. Jesse and Delila remained in Cherokee County, Georgia until their deaths. They are said to be buried at the Hickory Flat Cemetery but when I went I could not find their graves. After Jesse died, Delila married William JOHNSON:
Cherokee County, Georgia marriage record of Delila (ARENT) BATES and William S. JOHNSON.
  • John and Frances Lucinda “Fanny” (BURNETT) BATES (my 5th great grandparents); like Jesse and Delila, John and Fanny were supposed to be buried in Hickory Flat Cemetery. I was unable to locate their graves when I went there. Another researcher has documented other efforts to locate the graves and no one has succeeded. John BATES was a blacksmith. Fanny’s dad (John Harrison BURNETT) died in the winter of 1777/1778 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Which means he must have known and interacted with George WASHINGTON. What an amazing history. This is definitely going on the list of future stories to write.
  • Burwell Meadows and Elizabeth Ann “Eliza” (MANNING) MOBLEY (whose daughter, Mary MOBLEY, married into the BATES family; they are my 4th great grandparents). Reuben MANNING (father of Elizabeth MANNING MOBLEY above) wrote a deed that I especially love. The deed can be found in Henry County, Georgia, Deed Book F, p 186:

Reuben MANNING of the state of South Carolina, Chester District, sold to Burwell MOBLEY of Henry County on 12 October 1832 for the respect I have for Burwell MOBLEY and his three children which are my grandchildren: Mary Jane MOBLEY; Sarah H A MOBLEY and Joseph Manning MOBLEY, 101 1/4 acres, the east end of Lot #90 in District 12. Witnesses: William WOODWARD and Sarah WOODWARD. Recorded 11 Feb 1834.

Henry County, Georgia, Deed Book F, p 186.

“For the respect I have for Burwell MOBLEY and his three children”. That’s an amazing thing to write about a son-in-law. I love that!

  • Vashti (COLEMAN) MANNING (grandmother of Mary MOBLEY who married John BATES; my 5th great grandmother); I found a transcription of a letter to Vashti from her father-in-law, John WILLIAMSON. Vashti married It was an interesting read. I’d sure like to know the story behind it. You can see the letter here:
Letter written in 1831 to his daughter-in-law, Vashti Coleman Williamson
Transcription of a letter from John WILLIAMSON, Sr. to his daughter-in-law, Vashti (COLEMAN) MANNING WILLIAMSON.

So, as you can see – some interesting finds coming out of Cherokee County, Georgia. Georgia’s smelling pretty rosy to me!

Cherokee County, Kansas

We’re going to head west to Cherokee County, Kansas. Cherokee County, Kansas is still very green and has plenty of trees but it isn’t quite as hilly. Like it’s same-name in Georgia, it has lots of rural areas. This area of Kansas is rich in mining, though. In this single county, you can find my ancestors on both my dad’s and mom’s side, my husband’s ancestors from his dad’s side, and even the ancestors of my daughter-in-law and ex-son-in-law! Cherokee County, Kansas is a gold mine for me! Today though, I’m going to focus on my husband’s people for this area of Cherokee County, Kansas.

The one that I’m certain spent time in Cherokee County, Kansas is my husband’s great grandfather, George Benjamin PAGE. George mined in 1918. At that time, he was working in Baxter Springs, Cherokee County, Kansas at Pioneer Lead and Zinc Company. The photo below is George PAGE on his drill in Blue Goose Mine. His helper is Arie BRIGGS. The mine was located just across the state line in Picher, Ottawa County, Oklahoma but is a good example of what George did in the mines.

George PAGE on his drill with his helper Arie BRIGGS at Blue Goose Mine in Picher, Ottawa County, Oklahoma. Thanks to Gerald WILLIAMS for sharing the photo.

You can read more about George in one of my other posts:

Cherokee County, Oklahoma

It’s time to head south now to Oklahoma. Like the other two Cherokee County locations, Oklahoma has lots of rural areas and green trees. Like Georgia, it also has foothills. For this location, I’m going to focus on my Dad’s family. The following ancestors are known to have lived in Cherokee County, Oklahoma:

  • Joseph L. and Mary Elizabeth (LANE) LARKIN (my 3rd great grandparents); for a very short period between about 1906-1910, Joseph and some of his extended family lived in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. During this time they also appeared in the city directory of Tulsa. Based on all the evidence I have, I believed their permanent residence was in Cherokee County, Oklahoma but they worked in Tulsa for Tulsa Vitrified Brick and Tile Company. On the days they worked, they stayed in Tulsa and lived in a tent city near the brick plant. I believe they lived in a tent city because there is a wonderful article (well, wonderful for me- not so much for Joseph and his son William) that my sister-in-law found that talks about a fire where William lost money.
William Larkin 16 sep 1906 sun. Morning Tulsa Daily World OK -
The Morning Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, OK), 16 September 1906.

You can find more of my posts about Joseph LARKIN or his wife, Mary Elizabeth LANE LARKIN, here:

  • William and Minerva Jane (UNDERWOOD) LARKIN (my 2nd great grandparents); this William is the William in the article above and I’m confident that his dad Joseph was living with him in the tent city in Tulsa. Listen, $55 doesn’t sound like much today but I looked it up online and his $55 in 1906 had the same purchasing power as $1,598.56 in today’s money! In addition to the money, they lost the majority of their possessions. This was a HUGE loss for the family. You can find more articles about William LARKIN here:
  • William Larkin: Farmer, Mine Owner, and Road Paver
  • Brick by Brick
  • Infant LARKIN (my 1st cousin 3 times removed); I include the infants because there is no one to remember them, so I will remember them. This baby belonged to Samuel Anglus and Frances (DEAN) LARKIN (my 2nd great granduncle and 2nd great grandaunt). The baby was born and died in 1917 while the family lived in Cherokee County, Oklahoma. The following year Frances was appointed Postmaster at McBride, Cherokee County, Oklahoma. Samuel owned a business in Hulbert, Cherokee County, Oklahoma. I imagine Samuel must have been quite a character and at some future point I hope to write his story. This article located on screams, “Write my story!”
SA Larkin Manslaughter
The Daily Oklahoman (Oklahoma City, OK), 17 March 1934.

Coming Full Circle

We’ve finally come back around to our original question – is a rose [or a Cherokee County] by any other name really just as sweet? And to that, I would give you a slightly fuller version of Juliet’s line from Romeo and Juliet, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Yes, it would. A Cherokee County is as lovely in Georgia as it is in Kansas and as it is in Oklahoma. You know, I still have at least 5 other Cherokee Counties in the US that I have not visited and to that I offer another of Juliet’s lines (although slightly modified), “O Cherokee, Cherokee, wherefore art thou, Cherokee…” to which I also respond- Alabama, Iowa, Texas, and North and South Carolina!! I’m ready to travel!

I love all three of these Cherokee Counties. Not just because these places helped sustain my ancestors and gave them a home but because they are each interesting and beautiful in their own way. Before I could afford to travel, I would pull out maps and daydream about all the places I might go some day. We have a beautiful country. I hope you are fortunate enough to be making some summer travel plans even if it’s close to home. Pull out your maps and DREAM BIG!

Wishing you the best summer travel plans,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives Genealogy blog

Valentines in the Catskills

The theme for week 6 is ‘valentine’. I vaguely remembered seeing the name Valentine when working on our family histories. It turns out my husband has a paternal 8th great-granduncle named Valentine Felter KELDER that will work perfectly for this week’s ’52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks’ theme. My husband is related to Valentine through his paternal DEWITT line which is interesting because the DEWITT name unexpectedly (at least, unexpectedly for me) entered into Valentine’s story. The line of ascent is my husband’s great grandmother Lucille DEWITT WILLIAMS CULLOM to her father Milo, to Milo’s father Frances, to Frances’ father Richard, to Richard’s father John, to John’s father Peter, to Peter’s mother Maria KELLER DEWITT, to Maria’s father Jacob KELDER, and to Jacob’s parents Franz KELDER and Anna Barbara ADAM KELDER who are also the parents of Valentine Felter KELDER. Valentine apparently went by the name Felter, at least later in life. In this post though, I will refer to him as Valentine. His grandson who was his namesake also went by Felter and will be referenced later in the post.

Valentine Felter KELDER was born in 1720 in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York. Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York is located on the banks of the Hudson River. Dutchess County was only about 37 years old when Valentine was born there. Dutchess County was named for Mary of Modena, Duchess of York. (Wikipedia) Before being settled by the Dutch, this area of New York was home to the Native American Wappinger people – “an Eastern Algonquian-speaking tribe from New York and Connecticut”. (Wikipedia) The town of Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York got it’s name both from Rhineland in Germany and also from a local man of influence named Wilhelmus BEEKMAN. Once the Dutch settled in the area, the next wave to inhabit the location were Germans from about 1715-1730. From 1730-1775 it was mostly New Englanders who settled in the area. The KELDER family were among the Germans who settled in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York but they were early immigrants, arriving in New York City in 1710. The KELDERs came from Germany- some say Hesse-Darmstadt and some say Darmstadt-Dieburg. I don’t know enough about German geography to say one way or the other nor do I have the documents to prove either argument. I do suspect though, based on the devotion of the family to the Dutch Reformed Church, that a few generations before Franz KELDER the family was probably living in the Netherlands. The surname KELDER is of Dutch origin and comes from the Middle Dutch word ‘kelder’ which means ‘cellar’. KELDER is considered an occupational surname stemming from the occupation of ‘keepers of the cellar’ or a ‘waiter in a cellar’, particularly in a wine cellar. KELLER (the surname of later generations of the family) is a related name to KELDER. (Ancestry)

Images from Wikipedia showing the exterior and interior of the Old Dutch Church.

How the KELDERs Ended Up in Rochester, Ulster County, New York

In 1731 Valentine’s father, Franz, was granted 300 acres of land by the trustees of Rochester, Ulster County, New York and the family moved there and established themselves. The land was located “northwest of the Kings Highway extending to the Marbletown line”. (Town of Rochester Historic Farmstead Inventory. Marbletown is in Ulster County, New York.)

According to a variety of descriptions I found online, it appears that Franz KELDER’s 300 acres fell between the two black arrows. One description stated the property was bounded on one side by the Marbletown town line and on the other by the Rochester town line. All the property lies within Ulster County in New York and is at the edge of the Catskill Mountains.

Franz’s “homestead was located on Whitfield Road where the stone house on the Accord Speedway stands today”.

I believe this may be Franz KELDER’s stone house near Accord Speedway. There is another stone house nearby but it is slightly further from the speedway. Based on descriptions, I believe this one to be Franz KELDER’s home. Franz was Valentine and Jacob KELDER’s father.

According to the farmstead inventory, Franz also “operated a mill there”. (Town of Rochester Historic Farmstead Inventory) We know this was a sawmill because the sawmill was given to Joseph KELDER (Franz’ grandson and Valentine’s son) in Valentine’s 1796 will. (See below.) Franz’ heirs inherited pieces of the property. The property now known as Arrowhead Farm became the property of Valentine and Christine KELDER. The property is now considered a Rochester “Historic Farmstead” and is part of the KELDER-RIDER-DEWITT Farm. The official Historic Farmstead Inventory describes the whole of the property (including Arrowhead Farm) as “a distinctive example of an 18th-century farmstead”. (Town of Rochester Historic Farmstead Inventory)

Valentine and Christine SCHMIDT KELDER

In 1741 in Ulster County, New York, Valentine married Christine SCHMIDT. Valentine and Christine had 9 known children together- 7 boys and 2 girls. Just as a side note, Valentine’s father-in-law was Valentine SCHMIDT. Valentine KELDER also had at least one grandson named after him. Generations of the KELDER/KELLER/KELLAR family were members of the Dutch Reformed Church. My husband’s 8th great grandparents, Jacob and Barbara (HEIN) KELDER, along with Jacob’s brother Valentine and Valentine’s wife Christine, (and many other family members) were members of the Dutch Reformed Church in the various places they lived over the years in Ulster County, New York.

In 1796, Valentine wrote his will. It says he was in good health and of sound mind at the time so I’m not certain what prompted him to write the will other than for that time period, he was past what was considered an average lifespan. Wills are always interesting to look at in detail and I’d like to take a look at Valentine’s. In the research I’ve found, there is always a daughter listed as the first child of Valentine and Christine and her name was Mareitje. She isn’t mentioned in his will so perhaps she died prior to him passing away. I don’t know for sure since I haven’t found any information about her. It’s possible she wasn’t his child since in his will he refers to Joseph as his firstborn. As the recognized firstborn, Joseph received his father’s “fowling piece”. A fowling piece is a specific gun used for shooting birds and other small animals.

This is a fancy example of a fowling piece found at

Joseph also received the farm and woodland near Rochester, Ulster County, New York where he was then residing plus the house, barn, outhouses, sawmill, streams and “appurtenances” that went along with that property.

Many researchers list a son named Isaac that was supposedly the second-born son but he was not mentioned in Valentine’s will nor have I found information about him.

Valentine’s next child, Elizabeth KELDER CRISPELL received the bed and bedding that belonged to her deceased mother Christine plus 10 pounds of lawful New York currency.

The next of Valentine’s children was Petrus but he had already died a few years prior to Valentine. Valentine left his 2 daughters and Jenny (Petrus’ widow and the mother of his girls) a piece of land known as “Callepriest” (I’m not sure this is the name of it- the handwriting was very difficult to read). This was a piece of land Valentine had bought from Jacob DEWITT and consisted of 40 acres near Rochester, Ulster County, New York. The land was situated between Marbletown, Ulster County, New York and Rochester, Ulster County, New York. Petrus’ two daughters were also to receive one milk cow each to be procured by their uncles- Joseph and William- and delivered to the girls immediately upon Valentine’s death.

The next child was Johannes Smith KELDER. Valentine left his son Johannes a farm and the lot of land where Johannes was then residing near Rochester, Ulster County, New York. Johannes was named the administrator of Valentine’s will. Johannes’ son Hendrick was given Valentine’s “negro man farmer”. Valentine indicated that after his debts were paid and the funeral was paid for and after everyone received their property, whatever remained of Valentine’s estate was to go to Johannes.

Next in line was Valentine’s son William. The way Valentine spoke of William and what he was leaving to William leads me to believe that he didn’t expect William to live much longer and, in fact, William did die about the same time Valentine did (about 1810). Nonetheless prior to his passing, Valentine left William the right to go freely in and out of land given to Jenny and to Joseph and to bring his oxen, horses, hays (?), and wagons in and out to cut and carry away firewood and timber for Williams own use. To Williams’ sons, Felter KELDER, Jr. and Petrus KELDER, Valentine left the farm where their father William was then living and they would receive it as Tenants in Common. Legally, this meant that Felter, Jr. and Petrus owned the property together and both had equal rights to the property. Neither could claim sole ownership of any particular piece of the property and when one of them died, their portion was passed to the deceased’s estate and not to the remaining ‘tenant in common’. Additionally, each was free to give or sell their portion of the property to someone else. There are other intricacies to tenancy in common but that’s the basic premise. (Legal Dictionary)

Many researchers list two remaining children – Henricus and Abraham- as being children of Valentine but he doesn’t name them in his will and I’ve found no information about them.

Valentine Felter KELDER’s mark- “FK”- on his will.

The People Who Helped Build Ulster County, New York

KELDERs and DEWITTs were influential in Ulster County, New York, and their properties have been well-preserved overall. If you’re interested in the KELDER, RIDER, or DEWITT families or their allied families, I highly recommend looking at the Town of Rochester Historic Farmstead Inventory papers I’ve linked to in this blog post. They are a goldmine! The papers give not only a history of the property but a genealogy and history of some of the families. I’ll link them here so you can find them easily:

The Arrowhead Farm & Domino Farm properties contain Whitfield Cemetery and Kelder Cemetery where many KELDER-DEWITT family members are buried. Domino Farm is the last operating dairy farm in Rochester, Ulster County, New York. Sadly, none of the original, complete buildings exist on these two farms but there are remnants of an early Dutch barn that survive inside of what was the hay barn in 2010. Many of the late 1800’s buildings do still exist and some are still in use such as the wagon house, granary, and a second hay barn. One photograph attached to the Domino Farm inventory indicates there is one building on that property that may have been in existence when Valentine KELDER died. It’s #5- Barn I.

Buildings located on “Domino Farm” section of the KELDER-RIDER-DEWITT Farm. Photo from the farmstead inventory.


KELDER-RIDER-DEWITT Barn I. The original barn was built about 1810. Sections of the original 1810 barn exist within this newer barn. Photo from the farmstead inventory.
KELDER-RIDER-DEWITT Barn I, different angle – from farmstead inventory.

Diagram of original 1810 Barn I:

Diagram of original 1810 Barn I.

The only building on the Arrowhead Farm section of the property that was identified as being old enough to have been in existence when Valentine was alive is the stone homestead which was built around 1760. See photo below.

1760 stone homestead on the Arrowhead Farm section of the KELDER-RIDER-DEWITT property – photo from farmstead inventory.

There is so much more to be said about the KELDER family but I’ll leave it at this for now. I’ve got a “future trip wish list” already started for the Catskills. One day we’ll get there. I hope that you’re using your “pandemic time” in a way that gives you hope for the future- like planning a trip you’d like to take one day. Today I’m wishing you hope and a bright and beautiful future.

Until next week,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives blog

Stories for the Boys: Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning’s End

For readers who are not my grandsons: the ‘Stories for the Boys’ series is a series of stories specifically written for my grandsons so they have a little of mine and their papa’s personal history along with all the ancestral history. These stories will always be marked ‘Stories for the Boys’. I don’t care who reads them, it’s just easier if you understand why and to whom they’re written.

If you’re familiar with the lyrics in the title of this blog post (and you boys probably aren’t), you’re probably humming the song right now. It’s one of my favorites- Closing Time by Semisonic. If you aren’t familiar with it, here it is but don’t blame me if you’re humming it for the next week:

The theme this week per Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is ‘beginnings’. ( Just like we began 2020 with hope, now our 2020 “beginning” comes to an end and we welcome the new beginning of 2021. I had hoped it would be a peaceful and good year but with all the election uproar it doesn’t appear that we’ll find much peace this year. Despite that, there are positive points to this first week of 2021. Do you remember the friend I spoke about in my ‘Madeline’ posts several years ago? My best friend from my childhood? If not you can see the 2 short posts here and here. Well, she moved back to the area and we’ve had such fun getting together and getting to know each other again as adults. Ashton and Theodore- you probably won’t remember it but you met her today at my house. Ashton even took a picture of us but I won’t post that here today. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll return to this post and put the picture up. Instead, I’ll post another one Ashton took from today.

Grandma Lisa

Boys, I hope when you’re older you have some good friends. Ashton, keep your friend Hayden. Be a good friend to him. August, don’t forget your friend Mason. Always be a good friend to him. Theodore, keep your new friends from your new school but don’t forget Marley from your old school. Foster, always remember your friend Wingrum and enjoy playing with him. Be a good friend to him. I hope you all treasure your friendships. I hope all of you boys’ friends are good friends to you also. Those friendships are very important. Be sure you keep up your friendships as you grow up. Resolve the arguments and misunderstandings with your friends. They are worth it and their friendship is worth it. When you’re old like me, you’ll be glad you did.

So today on our 2021 new beginning, I wish you boys many very good friends whom you can trust and depend on – forever friends that you can still call and visit when you’re old like me. I love you boys so much and I hope you have a wonderful year of new discoveries, good friends, and good memories. Papa and I love you forever.


Grandma @ Days of Our Lives blog

Stories for the Boys: Y2K

This year I’m going to try again to participate in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks with Amy Johnson Crow- one of my fave genealogists. I’m sure I won’t post every week but I’m hoping I’ll post more often than I have been. The last couple of years have been hectic with building the new home, always planning ahead for the next big project in my job, and other life issues. Time gets away from me. This is a fresh start, which happens to also be the theme for week 1. (If you’ll recall, this was also the theme the first time I started doing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. You can check out my first “fresh start” post here.)

Hope and Uncertainty- Traits that Defined a Decade

I hope your new year has started out with health and good news. I hope you’re in a good place financially, mentally, physically, and in your relationships as well. I hope you check off your bucket list this year, meet some of your goals, make new friends and visit old friends, and make exciting new discoveries. This new year (and new decade) came in quietly for me. My grandsons were asleep as we bid farewell to the old year and old decade. It’s been a long time since I rang in the new year with little ones in the house.

The New Year’s Eve that I’ve been pondering this week happened in 1999. The “experts” had been telling us for a while that the year 2000 may destroy our computers. It was called ‘Y2K’. As a shortcut, computers had been coded with a two digit day and two digit year. Now, with the new millennium knocking on our door, they thought the coding in the computers could not handle a century other than 1900’s and that our computers would all revert to year 1900 instead of 2000. Panic set in. Some people were preparing to live off-grid in case there was no power.

Headline and partial article from The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City OK, 4 July 1999.
Wait, what?!?! We get a repeat in 2030?? I wonder if this still applies… The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City OK, 16 March 1999.

People were advised that if they were planning an international trip, they should fly before or after the date change as the FAA said their computers for the international flights would not be ready for the change. Some airlines significantly reduced international flights over the New Year holiday. Newspapers talked about how stocks would be affected, how hospitals would be affected, how power plants would be affected, how your microwave/home security system/garage door opener would be affected. Y2K was an issue that encompassed all of life in 1999. Businesses, utilities, and banks were going out of their way to assure the public they would be ready for the year 2000 and there would not be any problems (or at least, the problems they had would be minor inconveniences.)

The Daily Oklahoma, Oklahoma City OK, 18 July 1999.

There were also the ever-present concerns about what those with power would do.

The Times-News, Twin Falls ID, 15 March 1999.

So on New Year’s Eve we did what the experts advised. We prepared.

Y2K preparedness tips. Lincoln Journal Star, Lincoln KS, 5 December 1999.
Y2K and PC’s. The Times-News, Twin Falls ID, 5 December 1999.

We shut down our computers and hoped (and prayed) for the best, not really knowing if the new year would bring chaos and disaster or if it would allow us to laugh at ourselves, sigh in relief, and move on. That night Bart and I chose to have family time. We couldn’t think of a better way to head into uncertain times than heading in together as a family. We poured some sparkling cider (an annual tradition during the Thanksgiving to New Year’s season in our little family) and enjoyed each other’s company. (Even into adulthood my kids still wanted their sparkling cider on New Year’s Eve.) We had just discovered radio dramas so we lit some candles, turned on a radio drama, laid down, and listened until the kids fell asleep.

For some, it was not the most pleasant New Year’s Eve they had ever had.

Many who would normally have gotten New Year’s Eve off had to work in the event of Y2K glitches. News-Press, Fort Myers Florida, 25 November 1999.

As you may (or may not) know by now, there was no disaster with the coming of the year 2000.

The Daily Oklahoman, Oklahoma City OK, 1 January 2000.

A few computer glitches, but not the disaster some had expected. Life went on. Twenty years later, the takeaway from Y2K is be prepared, don’t panic. I hope that remains the status quo for generations to come.

Joy, Happiness, Love

May your joys be as bright as the morning, your years of happiness as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and your troubles but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love. ~Old English Blessing

To my little boys (and Shaina) for whom this story was written, surround yourself with family and people who love you. Go with the flow and don’t stress. You are right where you should be and if you pray, God will take care of you no matter your circumstances. And finally, I wish you boys joy, happiness, and love throughout your lives. Love, Grandma

Much joy, happiness and love.

Lisa @ Days of our Lives blog

Shot Through the Heart, #3

Oh my dear 80’s friends. You have not heard 80’s music with your heart until you’ve heard my 5-year-old grandson sing it in the shower when he thinks no one is listening. I love this kid.  WARNING: If you have earbuds in, be ready to remove them.  If you’re playing this at work, maybe turn the volume down before you get started.  It gets a little loud in places.    #HeMightHateMeLater

(Those of you trying to access this on Sunday night may want to try again tomorrow. My internet isn’t very strong at home and likely will not upload the audio file. It will upload tomorrow when I arrive in town and have much better signal strength.)


I’ve decided to go back in and add the actual chorus lyrics to the song he’s singing.  The 17-second portion you heard is within the chorus section below.


Shot through the heart and you’re to blame

You give love a bad name

I play my part and you play your game

You give love a bad name

Yeah you give love a bad name

The song is You Give Love a Bad Name by Bon Jovi (in case you didn’t know).  It came out about 1986.

Until next time,

Lisa @ Days of Our Lives