Researching Alfred Allen

One of Abel and  Jane (Holt) Allen’s sons became a doctor and lived in Parishville, NY.  In 1870, he was 13 and still living in Stockholm with his parents. I am having a hard time finding him in 1880 census records because there are several Alfred Allens and I have no way to distinguish them. In 1900, he lived in Parishville with his wife Minnie and her parents. They had been married 12 years and had no children. (According to the newspaper, they were actually married in 1884.)  My search in is intriguing.

Norwood news., January 24, 1882

Courier and freeman., February 27, 1884
This one, I don’t really understand:


St. Lawrence Republican and Ogdensburgh weekly journal., December 31, 1884alfred6

Courier and freeman., February 18, 1891
Jane Allen was still alive in February 1891.
alfred7 but she died a short time later:

The Ogdensburg advance and St. Lawrence weekly Democrat., March 05, 1891


And here is Hattie Seaver, niece of Alfred and Amos Allen; which person is the mother of Hattie?  The Ogdensburg journal., January 23, 1894


There are many notes through the 1880’s and ’90s about Dr Allen being called for various ailments,including diphtheria, broken bones, lumber accidents and sick children. Finally, I found this one, a little more personal, about the doctor’s summer home.

St. Lawrence Republican and Ogdensburgh weekly journal., May 06, 1896alfred9

Courier and freeman., August 01, 1900



The Massena observer., October 04, 1900

The Massena observer., October 11, 1900alfred12

The St. Lawrence herald., November 02, 1900


The Northern tribune., September 25, 1901


Norwood news., October 01, 1901


Courier and freeman., October 02, 1901

Finally, with this article, we get an idea of what it was all about:


And sad news:

The Massena observer., October 10, 1901


JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association, Volume 37 Oct. 1901


This article mentions that Alfred’s father Abel Allen was a native of Peru VT. And another gives his date and place of birth.

Courier and freeman., October 16, 1901,
The Ogdensburg journal., October 08, 1901

Researching Amos Allen

Sometimes in my research, when I get stalled I try to add info by seeing if the person’s name is mentioned in the local newspapers. I usually use, sometimes Fulton County Postcards .

I found this interesting note in “The Ogdensburg advance and St. Lawrence weekly Democrat” May 28, 1891. Amos was my great grandfather’s first cousin through their mothers. There was only one uncle there and he was still alive so this had to be on his father’s side. I have no clue about this uncle or if this was a true story.


Amos was the oldest son of Abel Allen and Jane Holt (sister to my great-great-grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Holt Smith). He was born in Ellenburg in 1840. By 1850, the family had moved to Madrid in St Lawrence County. I can’t find any of the family in the 1860 census, YET.

Records show that Amos enlisted in Company G, New York 83rd Infantry Regiment on 14 Jul 1863 from Brandon NY in Franklin County. His residence was listed as Stockholm. His occupation then was farmer and he was single. Using and Fold I found several documents about Amos’ service to our country.

The Ogdensburg journal., July 08, 1890 has this blurb:

amos allen 2

which indicates that Amos and Mary (?) were married in July but we don’t know which year. This also shows that his wife was still alive in 1890.

However by August 13, 1890, the Ogdensburg Journal states that “Mrs Amos Allen is very sick.” and the Saint Lawrence Herald Aug. 15,—”Mrs. Amos Allen, who has been very sick during the past week, is improving.”

The Ogdensburg journal., November 04, 1890 says “Another blacksmith shop has been opened at the old stand on Water street by Amos Allen.”

Courier and freeman., September 09, 1891 says, “Mr. Amos Allen, our wheelright and blacksmith, is over run- with work. There is also two other blacksmiths in our village kept very busy.”

image_681x476_from_2932,2951_to_4634,4142I have found from other records that Amos’ wife was Mary. Since she was 49 when she died in 1896, she was born approximately 1847. According to census records, they had two children: Frank born in 1864 and Mina born 1870 who married the William Couglar mentioned above.


image_681x476_from_1715,2554_to_3752,3980I am still working on figuring out who this niece is. Is this a misspelling of Seaver? as Hattie Seaver has been listed several times as visiting her uncle Amos Allen. Or could it be a different girl? Sevey, Sirvis, Siwiz or Seaver?

Norwood news., October 17, 1899 reports that image_681x465_from_583,3299_to_3101,5020(1)

and The Ogdensburg journal., October 25, 1899


Now, a mention of a brother: The Massena observer., October 17, 1901image_681x458_from_1954,200_to_3748,1408

Another sale:image_681x458_from_286,717_to_2877,2461He was obviously an esteemed citizen of the town: The Ogdensburg journal., August 23, 1905


The Ogdensburg advance and St. Lawrence weekly Democrat., November 15, 1906 announces the death of Amos’ son:image_681x427_from_774,8360_to_4928,10967

Courier and freeman., March 06, 1907


The Ogdensburg journal., March 06, 1907:image_681x465_from_1201,5711_to_3422,7229and in the same paper


 and finally some mention of his Civil War service:

The Massena observer., March 07, 1907

An interesting side note: Amos’ son, Frank, married Charlotte Stearns (the Lottie who is mentioned a couple times in these clippings.) Amos’ daughter, Mina, died in 1909. Her husband, William Couglar remarried to Charlotte Stearns Allen.

Finding details of Amos’ life through the newspaper articles and census & military records makes a story of his life rather than a recitation of facts of birth, death and family members.

I intend to follow the same process and find out what I can of the Allen siblings. There were six brothers and two sisters:

Asahal Allen, 1842–
Albert Allen, 1844–
Alferd Allen, 1846–
Alven Allen,1847–1908
Harriet Allen, 1856–
Alfred Allen 1857–1901
Aaron Allen, 1863–
Abbie Allen,  1865–
It always strikes me as odd that all children have names starting with “A” except Harriet.

NEW Information: Amos wife Mary Allen:

Name: Mary L. Allen
Gender: Female
Burial Date:
Burial Place: Chase Mills
Death Date: 02 Aug 1896
Death Place: Vermont
Age: 49
Birth Date: 1847
Birthplace: Can
Occupation: Lady
Marital Status:
Spouse’s Name:
Father’s Name: Chas. Woodard
Father’s Birthplace: Vt
Mother’s Name: Mary Woodard
Mother’s Birthplace:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: B00039-6
System Origin: New York-EASy
GS Film number: 1311929
Reference ID: item 1 rn 137

Citing this Record:
“New York Deaths and Burials, 1795-1952,” database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Mary L. Allen, 02 Aug 1896; citing Vermont, reference item 1 rn 137; FHL microfilm 1,311,929.

I’m not sure why it would have death place listed  as Vermont.

Lucky ~ Week 11

Do you have an ancestor who was lucky at something? Lucky to be alive? Lucky at cards? Lucky in love? Maybe you have an ancestor with a name that reminds you of luck or fortune. There’s always “luck of the Irish.” Maybe you have a story of how luck played a role in finding an ancestor.

Another one that stumps me…

I am the one who is lucky. Lucky to be alive. I look through all the family trees and see children who died at a very early age. It could have been me.

One Sunday in May 1965, I complained of feeling unwell but my Uncle Louis and Aunt Evelyn were visiting so my whining was shushed and we visited with them. The next day, I complained more and was taken to the doctor. He sent us immediately to the hospital where I was scheduled for surgery early the next morning. I remember smelling the ether and being asked to count backwards. Dr DeGrandpre did a great job removing the ruptured appendix. I have a very long jagged scar on my stomach and an indentation where there had been a drain hose to rid my body of the awful green poison. I spent three weeks in the hospital and learned to hate apple juice and love my nurses. The nurses taught me to make hospital corners when making the bed. I had tons of coloring books. I remember Deputy Dawg especially. I had a visit from a minister who asked me if I knew how close to dying I had been. That still throws me. I think I still have the get well card sent to me my Mrs Chilton and the children in my fourth grade classroom. When I returned to school later in May, it was the day for state tests. Pretty sure I aced those! Early in June, I went for a weekend to Lake Clear to the Girl Scout camp. We stayed in lean-tos. I remember hiking and being told I needed to take it easy. But eventually, I was allowed to lead the group along the trail.

Move ahead to August 1970. My sister and I were goofing off after breakfast/early lunch. We were putting off having to go to the barn and clean the milk house. Our four-month old nephew was asleep on the bed. I had a birthday party to go to later that afternoon. Cleaning the milk house was never fun and we definitely were procrastinating. Suddenly, there was an incredible loud noise and everyone was looking around like crazy trying to figure out what had happened. The barn was rocked off its foundation. It was eventually shown that the hot water heater had been defective and had exploded. It was found on the other side of the road, a matter of maybe 200 feet (see first comment below for correction to this). So our procrastination saved our lives. Scott slept through the whole thing but when someone peeked into the bedroom to check on him, the squeak of the door woke him up.

This is what the barn currently looks like, 48 years after the events described. The line shows approximately where the water heater tank was found.

And, not least of my luck, in 2013 my husband started a new job which meant we had new health insurance which led to us needing to change doctors. The new doctor I saw wanted to know what the lump on my neck was and had an ultrasound done followed by a fine needle aspiration which led to a diagnosis of thyroid cancer. My previous doctors had done an ultrasound (I’m not sure what year) and then tested thyroid function annually which always came out normal. I had one functioning thyroid lobe which worked. In July 2014, I had my thyroid completely removed, did a course of radioactive iodine treatment and learned to live with daily thyroid replacement medication.



Where there’s a Will (or probate record) ~ Week 9

I spent several years looking for information on Levi Holt. We knew that he was the parent of Mary Elizabeth Holt, my great-great grandmother who married William Smith, immigrant from Ireland. From land transfer documents we found that her sister was Jane married to Abel Allen. And we had a photo of Levi Holt, Mary and Jane’s brother.

Several years ago I found a obituary for Levi Jr Plattsburgh Republican. (Plattsburgh, Clinton County, N.Y.), May 27, 1893, Page 4, Image 4 stating that “Mr Holt was the only son; he had eleven sisters of whom only two survive him, one of whom is in Minnesota to hear the sad news.” I have spent a lot of time looking for the other nine sisters. A couple of years ago, using Ancestry, I came across the probate record below.

This states “the deceased left no will and testament but died intestate.” There is a lot of information in these two short pages.

Transcribing this is a process. I transcribed those words I recognized and made educated guesses on some of the other words and some are still a mystery to me. Eventually I was able to put together the names of daughters and their husbands and added them to the tree. I have even been in contact with a descendant of Catherine McCreedy who shared pages from a family bible.

  • Catherine Holt 1806–1844 married Thomas McCreedy
  • Susan Holt 1810–1874 married nathan Thurber
  • Louisa Holt 1814- married John Sherman
  • Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Holt 1816–1869 married William Smith
  • Jane Holt 1820- married Abel Allen
  • Hanna Holt (I’m not sure I have transcribed this name correctly)
  • Maria Holt 1823–bef 1900 married Chester Bosworth
  • Levi Holt 1826–1893 married Susan Stanton and Amelia (?)
  • Charlotte Holt

Charlotte and Hanna are elusive. Since they weren’t married at the time of their father’s death, I can’t trace them through their husband’s name.

In a surrogate court held at the village of Plattsburgh in the county of Clinton on the sixth day of August in the year one thousand and eight hundred and forty two Present (?)
Elearn Miller Surrogate
In the matter of granting administration on the estate of Levi Holt deceased on the day and at the place aforesaid Abel Allen of the town of Mooers in the county of Clinton appeared and made application for letters of administration of the goods chattels and credits of Levi Holt late of the town of Ellenburgh in said county ****** to be granted to him the said Abel Allen in right of Jane Allen his wife and a daughter of the said deceased and made satisfactory???? of that the said Levi Holt was lately a resident of the said county of Clinton and died at his residence in the town of Ellenburgh in said county on the eleventh day of May 1841 (2?) a natural death leaving a widow viz. Jane (Jeanne? Jennie?) Holt (since deceased) and one son and eight daughters (to wit?) Levi Holt now residing in the town of Plattsburgh in said county Jane Allen the wife of the said Abel Allen Maria Bosworth the wife of Chester Bosworth and Charlotte Holt all residing in the town of Mooers aforesaid, Polly Smith wife of William Smith Louisa Sherman the wife of John P Sherman and Hanna? Holt residing in the town of Ellenburgh aforesaid Susan Thurber the wife of Nathan C Thurber residing in the town of Belmont County of Franklin and Catherine McCreedy wife of Thomas McCready residing in the town of Brownhelm County of Lorain and state of Ohio _______________ ______________ in that the said Levi Holt and Charlotte Holt are infants under the age of twenty one years and that neither of them have a general guardian and that the said deceased left no will and testament but died intestate that the funeral property of the said deceased at the time of his death would not amount ____ to more than one hundred and fifty dollars. In the application of the Abel Allen it is ordered that a special guardian be appointed for the said Levi Holt and Charlotte Holt infant heirs of the said deceased and Chester Bosworth in the town of Mooers in the said county having consented ___________ such guardian and ________________________ and filed such ____________________________ in this ?? thus far I the surrogate _______________ ____________ ___ That the said Chester Bosworth be appointed guardian to the said infants to attend to and ???? of the infants in the ???/

Elearne Miller surrogate

Heirloom ~ Week 8

Is there a special item that’s been passed down in your family?

Last night I talked to Cy about this at dinner and we started to make a list of things that I have that are passed down from my ancestors:

  • Butter Churn
  • Clock
  • Boston Rocker
  • Brass Kettle
  • Bowl and Pitcher
  • Larkin Desk
  • Hazel

Now some of these are pretty interesting and I may write about them someday but as I was getting ready to take photos this morning, I came across a box of smaller keepsakes.

Inside that were several watches. So this post became about Time Pieces .

The photo on the left shows an eight-day clock. My grandfather George and his friend went to town one day in 1907 and bought matching clocks for their mothers. The matching clock came up in an estate sale several years ago after Pearl (Hobbs) Cashman died. (Pearl’s granddaughter and my sister have been friends since forever.) I’m not sure which relative was the purchaser of the clock. (One of many instances where I wish I had made notes of the story.)

The second photo shows at the top my mother’s wristwatch that she wore to school every day.

In the middle is a watch belonging to my grandmother Sadie. She was wearing it attached as a pin to her dress in a photo.Sadie







The watch on the bottom of the right hand picture belonged to my grandfather, Pete. I don’t think there was much to be handed down from his family as the house he lived in burned about 1944 and he came to live on the farm with my parents sometime around 1949-50 (?). The watch may not be very old but one of the few things that belonged to him. He was admitted to the hospital in September 1969. The watch stopped and he died the next day.

D.C. “Smokey” Smith

I am not keeping up with all the prompts of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

I still need to think out responses to

  • Week 8 (February 19-25): Heirloom
  • Week 9 (February 26-March 4): Where There’s a Will

In the meantime I am using Ancestry (nearly) every day to find more fascinating family “stuff.”

Today I came across an obituary for a fourth cousin. We are both descended from Ebenezer Ayer and both have ancestors who married a SMITH. I sincerely doubt they are any way from the same Smith family.

Smokey with Minnie Pearl and George Morgan pic from

Here is the obit copied from It does not say which newspaper carried this.

The country music industry lost a legendary member when D. C. “Smokey” Smith passed away at home on Monday, February 3, 2014, due to complications following two surgeries for a traumatic brain injury.

The former local radio and television personality, entertainer, recording artist, promoter and owner of Smokey Smith Tours would have been 92 on February 12.

He was born on February 12, 1922, in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. It was there he learned at an early age that singing and playing guitar created the perfect tempo for his life.

Smokey’s career began in California, which spanned most of the 1940’s as a recording artist and ballroom singer. It was there his reputation for constantly puffing on his favorite cigars earned him the lifelong and much preferred identity of “Smokey.”

He later migrated to Des Moines in 1950, becoming a popular entertainer and broadcast personality on KRNT Radio. When KRNT-TV (now KCCI) began airing in 1955, he had the area’s first live primetime country music television show. He later worked for local radio stations KWDM, KWKY and KNIA in Knoxville.

Smokey also promoted country music shows at KRNT Theater for 24 years. The early success of those events led him to include six other Iowa cities on his tours before expanding into six other states as well. This distinction earned him membership into an elite group of promoters known as “package show specialists” that controlled vast territory in their respective regions.

It wasn’t an easy task handling every last detail of every event, some bordering on catastrophic, from an occasional headline artist who didn’t show up to inclement weather which often did. Yet, adversity could never stifle that hair-trigger laugh so instantly recognizable even in a crowded room.

His tenacity proved to be the collateral earning him recognition as one of the premier promoters in the country. This wasn’t the only reason he also became an icon in Nashville’s entertainment community. Hiring every name act of the era would have probably qualified in itself, however, he also provided significant leadership in 1953 during creation of the Country Music Disc Jockeys Association.

By 1958 Smokey was serving as treasurer of the group and again displayed foresight in supporting a drive encouraging the membership to disband in favor of creating a much broader coalition known as the Country Music Association. He became one of the very first board members of the organization now recognized worldwide.

Smokey was a 33rd degree Freemason for 61 years, a 60-year member of the Knights Templar and the Za-Ga-Zig Shrine. A sampling of his many awards includes the Johnny Cash Award of Merit; induction into both Nashville’s Country Music Disc Jockey Hall of Fame and the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; the. International Media Award presented by the Reunion of Professional Entertainers (ROPE) in Nashville and many other Iowa and regional awards..

The State Historical Society of Iowa honored him in 2011 by recognizing his many achievements with a special exhibit of personal memorabilia entitled “Smokey Smith: Iowa’s Mr. Country Music.” It was the first time the organization chose to honor an Iowa personality from the country music industry.

Smokey was always humbled by the special attention he received, even to the point of questioning whether he deserved it at times. To him, the crowning achievement in life was his family, especially the granddaughters and great grandchildren that simply knew him as “Papa.”

His huge success in life was only eclipsed by a gregarious persona best described by entertainer Wanda Jackson, who lovingly saw him as “kind of a Santa Claus figure with a cigar.” He had that that type of personality, too, she said, “always jovial and laughing all the time, just a happy guy.”

Smokey was preceded in death by his mother, Vanera Smith; wife Lucille Smith and their son, Leon Smith. He is survived by his daughter, Carol (Terry) Manley, of West Des Moines; granddaughters Diane (Brian) Ahrenkiel of Waukee; Christi (Christopher) Power of Van Meter and Mindy (Layne) Wardenburg of Clive; great-granddaughters Carolyn and Caylee Power; great-grandson Andrew Mason Ahrenkiel; sisters-in-law Estelline Jones of Marshfield, Missouri; Ophie Anderson of Burleson, Texas; Janell Shackelford of Austin, Texas, nieces, nephews and many dear friends..


Valentine ~ Week 7

This week’s prompt:
Is there a love story in your family tree? Maybe a couple was married on Valentine’s Day or you have a valentine that one ancestor gave to another. Maybe you have an ancestor named Valentine.

I find no one married on Valentines Day and no one named Valentine. The best love story is that of Frankie Davis and Watson Merrill.


They lived together for 37 years and had 12 children.


Frankie died in May of 1918. The family always said that Grandpa died of a broken heart in August of that same year.