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Blog posts May 2017

Same house, yes or no??,,,,,

May 30, 2017


While doing more research I found that my great grand aunt Phebe L Parker Banker Edmonds inherited a house and land from her second husband Jonathan C Edmonds on the Harford Dryden Rd. in Harford, NY.  Yes, I still believe I have the correct person!!  I found online court records showing his will and her taking ownership.  I have a picture from a distant cousin of a house that was supposedly "Aunt Deal's House" in 1931.  Which, by the way, is the same year that Phebe died.  I have suspected for a while that the house that was Aunt Deal's was actually Aunt Phebe's house and Aunt Deal inherited it.  Aunt Deal as she was called was actually Lydia Adelia Parker Kirk Couch, an older sister to Phebe and one of the twin sisters in the family.  Aunt Deal would out-live all of her siblings.

Anyhow, I went on google maps and starting searching.  I love google!!  I virtually drove up and down the Harford Dryden Rd for about 10 miles in each direction looking at houses trying to see if I could find the same house or one similar and I think I have found it!!  Granted, things have changed a lot over the years, but there is still enough there of the original in my opinion that I think it is the same house.  None of the other houses on this road, especially in Harford, come near the correct size and shape so that helps in narrowing it down.

Take a look and tell me what you think.

Not the best picture in the world, it is a copy of a copy I think.  But notice the little porch on the left side on the second floor, the wrap around porch, the tree on the right side, etc.

This is an older picture from google.  The porch has changed slightly, but the upper porch is still there.  The trees are basically the same.  This is a side view, which makes it appear slightly different.

This is the most recent picture on google.  There is no more wrap around porch.  But look where the sidewalk goes!  Obviously there was once a wrap around porch or at the very least a much bigger porch than there is now.  Also you can just make out the little porch on the left hand side upstairs.

I tried to get a little bit different angle so the upstairs porch would be more visible.  To me it seems like many of the basic components are still there or at least evidence they were there.  Of course these pictures are not nearly as good as they would be if I could be there physically.  In my opinion, this is the same house albeit quite a transformation over the years.  What do you think?

I wonder what our ancestors would think if they knew we could look at where they lived when they were alive, all from the comforts of our home?  Have you ever gone back and looked at a home that you lived in when you were young?  Did you do it from the computer or in person?  I like google earth because I can travel to places like this and see what things look like today.  I find it very interesting.

Speaking of interesting, I did not find in the online court records that Aunt Deal ever owned property in Harford, Cortland County, NY.  Neither did I find a will leaving her the house, but she was the last surviving family member at the time of Aunt Phebe's passing so it would have gone to her automatically.  Still, no probate records either.  Either the court records are not complete or perhaps for tax purposes Aunt Deal just left it in Phebe's name until she, herself, passed?  Who knows for sure?  

I have found no death records for Phebe other than where she is buried and her headstone says 1931 for year of death, but not an exact date.  So, I am currently scouring newspapers from 1931 in Cortland County trying to find an obituary or death notice that will allow me to pin that down.  It is a time consuming process as I am searching one page at a time, starting January 1st. and working my way through.

I never found any records on how Isaac W Banker died other than the death notice said he died suddenly and when the funeral was.  I guess that might remain a mystery.  I hope I am able to find more on Phebe.

One other short note.  I found that Phebe's step daughter from her second marriage died the year before her and Nellie's husband remarried that night!!  There was no obituary for Nellie but there was a wedding announcement in the paper for her husband's "quiet wedding" with just a few close friends and family present.  NO MENTION HIS WIFE DIED THAT VERY DAY!!  Something does not smell right in Denmark!! (as the old saying goes)  That is a mystery I truly want to unravel!!  

So many questions and not enough answers is what keeps a genealogist busy, LOL.

Until next time,,,,,,,



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What are the odds,,,,,,,,

May 22, 2017


I took the day yesterday to do some genealogy.  And what a day it turned out to be!!  What are the odds I would find another newspaper article in the same newspaper two years later that made reference to my missing great-grand-aunt Phebe L Parker?  Not only that but what are the odds each newspaper article would have parts of her spouse's name wrong?  In my last post, I have an obituary for my great-grand-aunt Rosilla Parker Weidner which mentions a sister, "Mrs. Isaac Parr" which by process if elimination was determined to be Phebe L Parker.  Wonderful!  That gave me a lead, and I was excited. 

So I searched and searched for Isaac Parr or Phebe Parr in both Harford and Hartford, NY.  As you may recall there are both in the state of NY.  I believed very strongly that it was the Harford, without the t and it has turned out I was correct.  But there was no Isaac Parr that fit the information I knew to be true.  I was frustrated.  I had exhausted all possibilities.  I knew there were several other mistakes in the obit so now what do I do?

Yesterday I decided to take another look through the same newspaper to see if I could find anything else.  Sure enough I found another newspaper article dated about 2 years later that again made reference to Phebe by way of the spouse's name.  This time the name was a J. Banker.  Seriously?  Could she have remarried in 2 years time or was the name wrong in the first one?

Off to ancestry to do some more searching.  Long story short, I believe I have the name straightened out.  What are the odds the first article had the first name right but the last name wrong, and the second article had the first name wrong but the last name right?  Confused yet?  So was I!!  But after a lot of searching, comparing dates and locations with what little information I had.  I have determined, and I am pretty sure I am right, that Phebe's husband was actually an Isaac W. Banker.  To add confusion to the mix, Phebe was using her middle name, which I did not know what it was.  It has shown up as Louise, Louisa, and Ludemia!!

I also discovered that Phebe was married a second time.  Just one year after Isaac died she married a fellow by the name of Jonathan C Edmonds.  They were married for about 12 years before he died in 1917.  After that, Phebe remained unmarried until she died in 1931.

Here is the second article.

Mrs. Henry Rader was my great-grand-aunt Mary Amelia Parker Rader. It was at her house that her sister Rosilla died.

There is still much research to do.  I want to find out the cause of death of Isaac W Banker.  I found that Phebe's second husband committed suicide and have a newspaper article about his death.  But I am still researching Isaac.  I am also searching for the exact death of Phebe and concrete proof that I do indeed have the correct person.  I am 99% sure I do, but I want more proof.  What I have now is pretty strong circumstantial evidence and a ton of notes, LOL.

Thank you to for the articles I have found thus far and also to as I have found many articles on there as well.  Newspaper articles, both obituaries and stories can provide a wealth of information for someone who takes the time to search.  Genealogy is not always as easy and the commercials seem to make it look.  You have to be a detective and pay attention to even the tiniest of details and always, always think outside the box. It's OK to make assumptions, but then follow through and find the proof!!  

Many ask is it worth it to have some paid subscriptions to sites like, and  YES, it is!!  But don't limit yourself there.  There are plenty of free sites to take advantage of as well.,,, and many others.  Use them all.  You will find that each have some records the others don't.

Keep searching my genealogy friends.  The truth is out there!!

Until next time,,,,,,,


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Kicked down another brick wall,,,,,,,,,

May 6, 2017


Yesterday I spent a lot of time working on genealogy and managed to kick down another brick wall!!  I am so thrilled!!

Remember my last post about thinking outside the box?  Well, here is another way to think outside the box and it paid off for me.  I went on trying to find an obituary for my great grand aunt Rosilla Parker Weidner.  I was getting no where searching under the proper spelling.  Yes, I did find a not of articles about the Weidner family in general but not the obituary I was hoping for.  I did not know when Rosilla had died so I was doing a broad search of just the name Weidner and going through one paper at a time.  That can be a long and tedious process.  After a while I gave up and decided to see if I could find a better obit of her sister, Mary Amelia Parker Rader who also lived in Luzern County, PA.  All I have is a death notice and not a full write up.

So, I checked the Wilkes-Barre papers first, nothing!  I decided to check the Pittston papers just in case.  About half way through the process I found an obituary for Rosilla!!  I would have NEVER have found it doing the search I was doing because there were a ton of misspellings in the obituary.  First her name was spelled wrong, they had Rossilla instead of Rosilla, they had Widenor instead of Weidner.  And there were other words misspelled.  But at least I found it!!

So there is a tip for you, try different spellings and also look at other relatives in the same area.

To top it off in finding Rosilla's DOD I also found a missing sibling listed in the obituary.  For years I have not been able to find any information on Phebe L Parker.  Many in the family assumed she died young because we just could not find anything on her past the age of 15.  By process of elimination I have determined that the sister listed as Mrs. Isaac Parr is actually Phebe L Parker!!  Now to find her in Hartford or Harford, NY is another matter.  

There are both a Hartford, with a t and a Harford, NY.  The one with the t is in Washington County and the one without the t is in Cortland County.  I am leaning towards the one without the t because we already know we had relatives from Cortland County plus in 1935 when her sister Lydia died, she owned a house in Harford, Cortland County.  I am guessing but not proven yet, that house had actually belonged to Phebe.  Time will tell.  I still have a lot of research to do yet, but at least I have some good clues to follow.  Let's just hope they did not misspell Isaac Parr in any way, LOL.

Think outside the box and be creative in how you search!  It pays off!!

Until next time,,,,,,,,


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Sometimes you have to think outside the box,,,,,

May 2, 2017


Have a brick wall you cannot bust through?  I think all genealogist have been there at one point or another.  I have been there for years with my great great grandfather Benjamin Burlin Parker.  I track down every lead I come across.  Several times I thought I had it figured out but could never find and concrete proof to confirm the theory.  He was born in 1816, birth records were scarce back then.  Sometimes you are lucky and find what you need, other times,,,  not so much!!  We do not know for sure where BB Parker was born.  One census shows his father was born in Connecticut.  But I have not found any concrete leads there.

A while back I posted a newspaper article which stated my great grandfather, George W Parker was first cousins with Alton Brooks Parker, which if were true would mean that Alton Brooks Parker's father and my great great grandfather were brothers.  I searched that direction until the cows came home only to find no evidence that it was true.  :-(  I believe there is a family connection, but not first cousins.  But still, no proof and that search has run dry.

Time to think outside of the box.  There was 2 other Parker families in the same town as my Parker family, at the same time.  Neither have proven to be a connection at this time although, I suspect there is.  The one that I am currently researching is that of Charles M Parker, born 1836 and died 1864.  He was just 28 years old when he died.  He left behind a wife and 3 children.  One of which was a daughter Kate Parker, born ant. 1861.  My great grand aunt, Mary Amelia Parker was born act 1847.  Below is a picture of Kate and a picture of Mary Amelia.  Do you see the resemblance?


Kate is on the left and Mary Amelia is on the right. Slightly different ages and time frame but look at the face.  Do you see the resemblance?  The jaw line, the mouth and nose.  To me, they could be sisters, even though I know they are not.

So, because of this resemblance I have decided to research the family of Charles M Parker to see if there is a connection and perhaps break through my brick wall.  And maybe even help a descendant of his family in the process.

I found a Phineas Parker who I believe was Charles' father and low and behold, he was born in Connecticut!!  Possible connection?  Maybe!!  Age wise, I am leaning towards the possibility of him being my Benjamin Parker's uncle.  Which would mean he would be a brother to Benjamin's father.  So, now I need to find Phineas' father and siblings.  Fortunately, Connecticut seems to have good church records and with any kind of luck I will find a birth record for Phineas which will lead me to his parents.  Now I just have to find the time to do it, LOL.  I also have a couple of books about Parkers in America that I need to go through as well.  I often do not think there are enough hours in the day, LOL.  Actually, I think most genealogist feel that was from time to time.

Until next time,,,,,,


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