Candle Hill Farms

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Blog posts March 2016

I love my work,,,,,,,

March 30, 2016


I absolutely love my work!!  Always wish there was more of it but it is slowly starting to pick up.  I will probably be missing for about a week on the blogs because of the case I am working on but I will be happy to fill you in on it once it is done.  I can't share names but I can tell you about the journey to finding the information I needed.

Basically what I do is genealogy in reverse, LOL.  Well it seems that way.  Instead of starting with a living person and working our way back in time we start with someone back in time and work our way down to a living heir.  Typically starting in the 1800s and coming forward.

Finding the living who were born after 1940 can be a bit of a challenge but still doable if you have the right resources.

I'll get into this more when I return.  Won't be this week, hopefully by next Monday.  Sorry but I have to really keep my brain in the game on this case, LOL.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,


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Cutesy stuff,,,,,,,,

March 28, 2016


I hope you had a wonderful Easter Sunday.  It was nice here, the rain stayed away until late in the day and the sun shined through.  We had a nice dinner with home made strawberry shortcake for dessert.  Yummy!

I have gotten a research case for the oil and gas industry and so am behind a bit on my blog.  So today I have decided to post some cutesy stuff I saved from Facebook or other places on the web and hopefully, I will be back to full swing soon, depending on how long this case takes.  But I love the work!!  So am very happy to have it!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,,


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My personal resources,,,,,,,,

March 23, 2016


Most researchers and genealogists will have their own stack of resources.  Generally most will have to do with their own family research, but there will be others in their arsenal which can aid in other searches.  I am no exception.  I am acquiring a rather large stack of reference books.  A lot pertaining directly to my own family and some that I have helped others with.  This stack keeps growing. 

I have all three books in the Halfway Brook Series of books  by Louise Austin Smith, these books pertain to the Eldred, NY area.  Louise writes primarily about her ancestors in that area but many of the neighbors and towns people are included, along with a wealth of information on the history of that area in Sullivan County, NY.  Visit her web site at

Naturally a lot of my books center around Sullivan County and Orange County NY state, but not all.  I have:

Brass Buttons and Leather Boots, this is about Sullivan County, NY and the Civil War and dedicated to the men who served in the 143rd NY Vol. Infantry.  My great-grandfather served in the 143rd.

History of the 143rd Regiment, NY Volunteers Infantry, Sullivan County by Robert G Yorks.

Sullivan County A Bicentennial History in Images by John Conway

History of Sullivan County by James Eldridge Quinlan written in 1873 and reprinted 1975

A History of Deerpark in Orange County, NY by Peter E Gumaer first published in 1890

Retrospect, An Anecdotal History of Sullivan County, NY by John Conway

Reminiscences by John Willard Johnston

The Legend of Cushetunk, The Nathan Skinner Manuscript and The Early History of Cochecton

Bloody Mohawk, The French and Indian War and American Revolution on NY's Frontier by Richard Berleth

Minisink Valley Reformed Dutch Church Records, 1716 - 1830

The 2 volume directory of the Laurel Grove Cemetery in Port Jervis, NY

The burial directory for the Cemetery in Sparrowbush, NY

Parker in America

Gazetteer and Business Directory of Sullivan County for 1872-1873

Burial Directory for the 4 main cemeteries here in Clinton, IL

I have purchased a few more books since I first published this list about a year ago.  Someday in the near future I will have to go through and inventory them all.  If you are researching ancestors in Orange or Sullivan Counties NY and think I might have information you can use from one of these resources I am certainly happy to look anything up for you.  Just leave me a comment or send me an email at

Due to the holiday, I will not be posting again until Monday the 28th.  Happy Easter everyone!!

Until next time,,,,,,


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Resources and,,,,,,,,,,

March 21, 2016


Good Monday morning to you all!!  Finally, I am happy to announce I have a "Resources" page started.  I will be adding more from time to time but it is a good start.  So, don't forget to pop on over to that page before you leave and check it out.  If any of the links don't work please leave me a comment so I can fix it.  They should all work but you never know.  And check back often for any additions.  

Of course, I would prefer you click on the ads if any of those listed on the resource page has an ad on my site.  It won't cost you anything but I make a little money from it and that helps support my 3 blogs.  I would truly appreciate it.  :-)

Well last week I mentioned to you that my brother told me that my grandmother Parker was living in Eldred, NY when she met my grandfather, before they got married.  I spent the entire weekend searching for any evidence this might be true.  And, not surprisingly, I found none.  The one person that I thought could possibly have been a brother to my grandmother was not related at all.

She was just 19 years old when she and grandpa married in Jersey City, NJ where she was born and raised.  For her to have been in Eldred prior to that she would have most likely been with relatives and there were none.  I find no evidence she left NJ prior to her marriage to grandpa.  Unfortunately, there is no 1890 or 1895 censuses to look to for additional information.

In the meantime, while searching for additional information on the John A Smith that was in Eldred, I found a little more information on her brother John A Smith Jr.  He did not move out of Jersey City.  He married a Mary Cullen and they had at least 3 children together and it appears he died before 1930.  I am just beginning to dig on him now and see what else I can find.  Perhaps one of his children will provide leads when I find their obituaries or other records?

Genealogy is like one big giant jigsaw puzzle that has a few pieces missing, LOL.  Finding the pieces and then putting them in the right place is a challenge but so much fun.  :-D

Until next time,,,,,,,



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It's that time again,,,,,,,

March 18, 2016


Hard to believe it is the end of the week and I did not get accomplished nearly what I wanted to.  I still have not found my complete list of resources, hopefully over the weekend if all goes well.  I'd like to have that on here by the beginning of the week if at all possible.  I am learning though, that as I get older my time management is lacking, LOL.  Seems I get involved in a project and forget about the other projects on the to do list for the day.

I did get some very nice corned beef and cabbage made which I will post about on Monday over on Grandma's Rolling Pin.  And I have been on the search for some more family information.  One was just reading through old newspapers online.  That is when I really lose track of time.  I love reading through the old papers, quite interesting stories!!  The other I am trying to determine if John A Smith who was in Eldred, NY at one time is actually my grandma's brother.

The latest "story" coming from my brother is that my grandma who was born in Jersey City, NJ was actually living in Eldred when she met my grandpa, before they were married.  She would not have been with her parents as I can track them in the censuses as having never left Jersey City, but I have not tracked John A Smith Jr yet.  He would have been an older brother to my grandma so I suppose it is possible it could have been him.  Her brother Jacob died young in a work related accident in Jersey City so I know it was not him.  The younger siblings would have been too young to be living on their own during that time frame.  It could have been another relative she was living with but I just don't know at this point so that is what I am concentrating on now.

It seems when doing genealogy when you find answers you always wind up with a thousand more questions, LOL.

​If you have any questions about doing genealogy, please leave me a comment and I will try to help you.  I have been doing genealogy as a hobby for about 25 years now and professionally for about 3 years.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,


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Do ya have any Irish in ya,,,,,,,,,,

March 16, 2016


It's a day early but Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  I won't be writing tomorrow so I wanted to tell my Irish story today.  We are also having our St. Patty's Day Diner today because Win works tomorrow.  The traditional, Corned Beef and Cabbage, yummy!!

Anyway, my story is very similar to the one you see on the commercial where the guy said they thought they were German, only to find out they were actually Irish.  We were always told growing up that my grandmother on the Parker's side of the family were German.  Grandma was born Annie E. Smith, her parents were John A and Eva Green Smith.  And John A Smith was supposed to be from Germany.

At one point I was even told there was a name change from Schmidt to Smith.  My brothers Don and Bill were told it was Smythe to Smith.  Yup, mom told different stories to different people.  Anyway, I have never found a name change in the history of the family and to top it off, they were not German!

John A Smith Sr.'s parents were Phillip Joseph Smith Jr and Mary Waters.  They were both born in Philadelphia, PA.  Phillip went by his middle name, Joseph.  His father was Phillip Joseph Smith Sr.  According to all the records I have found on him so far, he was born in,,,,,, drum roll please,,,,,, Ireland!!  Luck of the Irish to me, LOL.

Although it does not appear to come from the Smith side of the family there is however, German in the family, but it comes from Eva Green Smith's family.  Both her parents were born in Germany.

So, as you dig into your family ancestry you never know what you might find.  Remember, family stories are nice and sometimes very helpful, but sometimes they are wrong.  A story is nothing more than a story until you can find real evidence to back it up.  It will hopefully provide you with some clues as to where to look and will turn out to be accurate but don't just assume it is 100% correct.  People's memories often play tricks on them.  Always back things up with evidence.

I will leave you with an Irish Prayer, until next time,,,,,,,,


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Free resources,,,,,,,,,,

March 14, 2016


I thought I would start a list today of free resources that I often use when researching genealogy.  Some are pretty obvious and I am sure most of you know about them already but there might be some newbies out there who do not know.  I'll try to start a resource page sometime this week and keep them there permanently where I can continue to add on to them, but no promises for it being this week.  I have a busy schedule this week.  Anyhow, let's get started.  a web site run by volunteers to create memorials for deceased family members in local cemeteries.  I have several of my Parker ancestors memorials created and linked together.  this site is primarily for NY state.  very hard to navigate until you get used to it, but it has tons and tons of old newspapers and pictures you can view for free.  If you are searching any ancestors in NY state this is an awesome site!  another wonderful site for old newspapers in NY state, search by county I have found several articles about my ancestors in Sullivan County, NY  Brought to you by the Church of the Latter Day Saints, family search has an extensive amount of records available for free use.  You can also create a tree and download and save any records you need.  I have not been to one of their "libraries" yet but I sure want to go.  I have found a ton of records on both my Aber and my Parker families in their web site. has two free search engines, which could lead you to tons of records and family trees.  yes, google!!  You would be surprised sometimes what you might find on google when searching for your ancestors.  Of course, it is a crap shoot and no guarantees, but then you might get lucky too.  Sometimes google will lead you to another person researching the same family.  Sometimes you find an old newspaper article that provides you a ton of clues.  You just never know.  very area specific for Eldred, Sullivan County, NY but I use it quite a bit because that is where my Parker ancestors are from.

And always search the local genealogical and historical societies in the area your ancestors lived.  Often they will have free information online about the area and some of its prominent citizens.  Most are willing to do searches for free or a minimal charge or know someone who is willing to do searches for you.

This is just a small list to get things started.  There are a ton more free sites and as soon as I have time to put the list together I will create a page for them, so be watching for that.

Until next time,,,,,,


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End of the week brain dump,,,,,,,

March 11, 2016


It is the end of the week already.  I sure don't know where the time goes!!

After posting some of the family pictures this week I realized I did not do a very good job of organizing my pictures and documents and I really need to do that.  I think I will get about 4 thumb drives.  I will put anything related to the Aber/Conklin side of the family on one, the Parker/Smith side of the family on another one. General pictures on a third and the multitude of graphics I have saved over the years on the 4th one.  

Hmmm, maybe I should buy 5 and have one as a back up in case there is something I have not thought of?  This MacBook is only a few months old and I already have well over 1000 documents saved on it.  I need to get them saved down to thumb drives before anything goes wrong.  I am real leery of that since I have had a couple of desktops with windows crash.  That is why I went to Mac, it's not supposed to happen as easily but I am still gun shy, LOL.

So, I won't get that organizing done this weekend because I need to buy the thumb drives yet, and I also have some other projects in the works for this weekend.  But I think I will shoot for next weekend for sure.

​Monday I have tentative plans to share with you some free resources I use frequently in my genealogy research.  I am sure you will find some of them useful.

I hope you have an awesome weekend!

Until next time,,,,,,,



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The Parkers of Sullivan County,,,,,,,

March 9, 2016


I thought today I would post some pictures of my Parker family from Sullivan County.  Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of pictures.  Most of what I have were given to me and I am forever grateful.

My uncles.  Uncle Ben was missing as he was deceased when this was taken.

This was my Uncle Ben.  1900 - 1948

Aunt Emaline, Aunt Blanche and Grandma

Grandpa Warren Parker

Believed to be my Great Grandma Ruth Hulse Parker, unfortunately I do not have a picture of my Great Grandfather George W Parker Sr.

My mom, Beatrice Parker Aber and my Uncle Harvey Parker.

My Great-Great-Grandfather Benjamin Burlin Parker  1816 - 1889

That is it for today.  I have many more pictures and might create a page with pictures of my Parker family and one for the Aber family although I have even less pictures of them.  Any relatives out there have any pictures they want to share please, please contact me!!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,


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Great Uncle Howard Pelton,,,,,,

March 7, 2016


I hope you had a great weekend!!  As you know last week was dominated with finding out more info regarding my Great Aunt Edith Parker Pelton Besson Maas.  I do not have any pictures of her, I wish I did.  Maybe someday I will come across some in my searches or someone will give me some.

I do have a picture of her first husband, Howard Pelton and of the glass factory where he worked in Barryville, Sullivan County, NY.  They made "Rich Cut Glass" and Howard was apparently an excellent cut glass artist, creating many original designs himself.  I have a couple of pieces of the beautiful crystal and hope to find more and make a collection of it.  I believe these pictures came from Louise at halfway  I am forever grateful to Louise as she has helped me tremendously with my family history searches.  She has written 3 books on the Eldred area and primarily her family and their neighbors and friends.  Halfway Brook Village was the original name of Eldred, NY, named then after the brook that runs through the village.  The name Eldred came from the surname of the first local post master.

Anyhow, Howard was born 28 Aug 1882 in Pennsylvania and passed in October of 1926 in Barryville, Sullivan County, NY, he was 44.  He and Aunt Edith were married between 15 and 20 years when he passed.  I do not have an exact marriage date at this time but going by censuses they were married at least 15 years.

Howard is the man in the middle of the front row.  I did a little work on this image to make it more visible.

The sign says "Rich Cut Glass for Sale"  The glass factory was located in Barryville, NY

I cropped this and brought it in a bit closer.  Howard was a foreman at the glass factory.

Until next time,,,,,,,,

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End of the week brain dump,,,,,,

March 4, 2016



Wow, what a week this has been!!  TGIF!!  It has been a very productive week with my genealogy search, especially regarding my Great Aunt Edith Parker Pelton Besson Maas.  Not only did I find where she was buried, but where she was living when she passed, her third husband, which I did not know about.  But I also found out she had a massive heart attack, was a diabetic and was a very tiny gal.  I now have her memorial up on find a grave and will be linking her to her parents and siblings.  This feels so incredible to be able to finally know where and who she is.

Also this week I started two other blogs. is my cooking and home blog.  I will share recipes, how to videos or step by step pictures, tips and tricks in the kitchen & home and being more frugal.  The other blog is a Christian blog. is a blog where I will discuss bible studies and scripture.  I am not an ordained minister, nor do I pretend to be, I am just an ordinary person who feels a need to discuss a Christian life and using the scriptures to guide our daily lives.  My opinions may not always fall in line with your minister's opinions.  I strongly encourage you to do your own research and let God be your guide and teacher.

These blogs were created to make money.  That is why there are advertisements on each of the pages.  Please feel free to click on the ads while you visit my sites.  The adsense ads pay per click where the other ads pay commissions per sale.  Making money blogging will help keep me off disability.  Yes, with my health issues I would qualify for SSD but I would rather work.  And believe me, it is work setting up blogs and maintaining them.  Your support would be most appreciated!!

Sometime next week I plan to have a "Sign up for our Newsletter" option available on each of the blogs.  That will simply be so you can be notified of new posts or anything special going on.  I will not flood your inbox with a ton of email every day.  I won't sell or give away your email address and it won't go to the advertisers either.  It would help me if you were to sign up for the newsletter and it will keep you informed as to the happenings on the site.  So don't miss another blog post and sign up when this option is available.

Until next time,,,,,,,,



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Cold calling,,,,,,,

March 3, 2016


Today I am going to talk to you about "cold calling".  Most genealogists at some point or another will have to make some cold calls, that is to call someone they don't know, out of the blue to ask genealogy questions.  This is not always an easy thing to do.  And in this age where there are a lot of scams out there people are hesitant about giving any information over the phone.  Rightfully so!!  Here are some tips to help make this easier for both you and the person you are calling.

First, immediately identify yourself and the purpose of the call.  Give your full name, not just a first name.  Plan on giving more information than you expect to get in return.  Smile!!  They really do hear it in your voice.  Be specific about who you are researching, what information you are hoping to get, and how you discovered the person you are calling might be able to help.  Do all this BEFORE asking any questions.

For example, as you all have been reading this week I have been on the hunt for more information regarding my Great Aunt Edith Parker Pelton Besson Maas.  During this we discovered a Lang family engraved on the back of the same headstone as my great aunt and her husband.  Who are they?

The younger George on the right has a year of birth but no death so we can assume he might still be alive.  Of course there is always the possibility he died and is buried elsewhere.  But I went on the hunt for him.  I wanted to know why they are on the same stone and also if he knew my great aunt.

I found him living really not too far at all from where the cemetery is in Cuddebackville.  And I cold called him!!  His wife answered the phone and the conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hello, my name is Alice Aber and I am researching my family genealogy, specifically my great aunt Edith Parker Maas"  Through my research I discovered that the Lang family shares a headstone with my great aunt and her husband in the Rural Valley Cemetery in Cuddebackville, NY.  I was wondering if I could speak to George Lang regarding my great aunt and the headstone as his name is on the headstone too."

Wife:  "I don't know about this.  I doubt he knows anything about some Edith person.  Who did you say you were?"

Me: "My name is Alice Aber, I am originally from Port Jervis but live in Illinois now.  I would be very happy to answer any questions you might have first to put your mind at ease."

Wife:  "Well, I don't know if he will know anything but let me go ask him."

Me:  "Yes, ma'am, thank you very much."

A few minutes later George Lang came on the phone and we had a lovely conversation that lasted nearly an hour.  He remembered Edith, knew she died of a massive heart attack, she had diabetes really bad and was extremely careful with what she ate and she took insulin shots.  He said she was a tiny gal.  He talked about the house on Hudson St. and how the one niece in Port Jervis got it and he had heard there had been a big fight with another niece in Milford about it but he did not really remember the outcome of the fight.

He told me the reason it was a shared headstone was Henry Maas and George Lang Sr were cousins.  Henry had bought a ton of plots in the cemetery and sold them to family members.  George bought the plot from Henry that was right behind his and they decided to save money by  using the same marker, LOL.

Of course during the process of this information Mr Lang decided to share a lot of his family history.  This will often happen especially with older folks.  LET THEM TALK!!  You owe them for your information, the least you can do is be polite and let them talk and share their memories.  You just might get some other tidbits of info that you can use.

However, if it seems like it is starting to go on forever and you really do need to get off the phone here is a nice way to close the conversation and leave them feeling really good about the phone call:

Me:  "Well, Mr. Lang, I have taken up so much of your time and I surely do appreciate your willingness to talk to me.  You have given me a great deal of information.  I will let you go now but can I call you back if I run into any more questions that I think you might be able to answer?"

They almost always say yes.  Then thank them again for their time and their help.  You cannot thank someone enough when doing genealogy.  And even if you think you will never have a need to call them again, you never know, you might.  Not only that, you just made someone's day, you made them feel good about themselves and feel useful and that is always a good thing.  :-)

Until next time,,,,,,,,

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More questions,,,,,,,

March 2, 2016


A genealogist will always have more questions than answers.  If they run out of questions they might as well give up genealogy.  Of course we realize some questions may never be answered, but the real fun is in the pursuit of the answers.  Especially when we do find some of the answers, LOL.

A very special thank you go out to my friends Lanore and her son Jeff who went to the Rural Valley Cemetery in Cuddebackville, NY and took the following pictures for me.  Thank you both, you rock!!


There she is, my Great Aunt Edith is on the right.  On the left is Margaret, Henry's first wife.  Henry is in the middle.  On the back of this marker is another family.

Same monument.  I wonder who they are?

So, here come the list of questions I now have:

Why does the one social security record I found indicate Great Aunt Edith was still alive in 1976? I believe that record, (we just get to see the index on was her filing for the death benefit on her husband Jean Louis Besson in 1953, he was her second husband, but at the bottom it said in 1976 her name showed as Edith Parker Besson Maas.  Why didn't Henry file for a death benefit on her?  Clearly, he lived another 10 years past her.  Who was using her name in 1976?  Does this have anything to do with the house she owned on Hudson St. in Port Jervis, NY that my Aunt Emaline took over?  Does the "big fight" between Aunt Emaline and her sister Edith have anything to do with why there are no Social Security Death Records for Great Aunt Edith?  And why are there no Social Security Death Records for her?  Why did mom have me shovel the sidewalk and driveway at that house when I was a kid if Great Aunt Edith was already deceased?  Who lived in the house then?  Who owned the house?  I was never allowed to knock on the door, just shovel and leave.  Why all the mystery?

I'm sure before all is said and done I will have several more questions about this little mystery.  In the meantime, I have started creating a memorial for Great Aunt Edith on and will be linking her to her parents and siblings.

Regarding the back side of the marker I am going to think for the moment they are related to Henry Maas or his first wife Margaret.  But of course, I will have to research them and find out for sure.  I just can't seem to let questions remain unanswered without at least putting my best effort in to find the answers.

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,

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Follow up,,,,,,,,,

March 1, 2016


Here is the latest news on Great Aunt Edith.  I spoke to the funeral home yesterday, and while they do not own the Rural Valley Cemetery, they are on the board and did indeed have the cemetery directories.  Great Aunt Edith is buried there, Section 2, Lot 61.  Unfortunately, they did not have a date of death.  Apparently, she was cremated and buried at a different time so they are unsure of DOD.  She is buried with her third husband and his first wife.

I have confirmed her husband's name was Henry Albert Maas and his first wife was Margaret.  Henry died in February of 1969.  I suspect Edith died in the mid to late 70s but do not know as of yet.

The good news is, I have a friend that will go out to the cemetery one day soon and get the information for me from the headstone and hopefully take a picture for me too.  If she cannot take a picture I can always put a request on for someone to take a picture.  I am/was a volunteer for until I had problems with my health and can't walk much any more.  

I will be creating a memorial for her on and linking her to her family now that I know where she is buried, but I might wait until I have her DOD.  I have memorials for as many of my relatives on the Parker side of the family as I can find or have information on, and have linked them together.  Some future genealogist will have it much easier than I did finding family, LOL

I'll keep you posted!

Until next time,,,,,,,,,,,

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