An Afternoon Down the Frear Rabbit Hole

My laptop has been slowing down lately. (Me, too.) I decided to do some clean up and hopefully solve the problem. Into the deep gray matter of the old gal and I found a significant number of downloaded files that had to go. Some with recognizable names. Some with the typical gibberish that required me to open them to decide to either rename them appropriately and move them to the proper folder OR delete them. I have been at it for hours now. Not so much because of the volume of files but because they are my research finds. Newspaper articles and documents and I HAD to read them.

Down the Rabbit Hole She Went

I went down the genealogy rabbit hole and am having the best time. Who wouldn’t enjoy re-reading old finds? It’s as if I went visiting old friends and was reminiscing over an ice cold lemonade. Genealogy friend, remember the time when I discovered my 2x great grandmother, Harriet Meyer Frear Martin had a sister Deborah Ann Frear? That was quite a delightful surprise, all right.

When Harriet died in 1887, her old hometown newspaper – the Newark Union in Wayne county, New York- published a death notice listing her siblings. Deceased and Living.

I knew about John Lawrence Frear and Phoebe Frear Keller and Cornelia Frear Bloomer, but not Deborah. When I found this little tidbit, I was off and running to learn about her. She had lived with Harriet and her family in Auburn for a short while and then, aging and widowed, went to Michigan to live with the youngest of the Frear siblings -Phoebe. Deborah died in Michigan and I was able to get her death certificate as well as Phoebe’s and compare it to Harriet’s NYS record. There they were…daughters of Simeon J. Frear and Cornelia Meyer (also spelled Myer and Meyers).

And Deborah left a small estate. Having no children of her own, she left her Martin nieces and nephews each a share of her wealth. Or course, her surviving sister, Phebe was at the top of the list. She also listed her brother John’s children and the sole surviving child of her brother Samuel, Cornelia Johnson. She gave me a gift, too. In one enumeration of her heirs, she had neatly packaged her Frear siblings and their extended families.

My 2x great aunt…my surprise. It was good to visit with her this afternoon.

Deborah Ann Frear (1815-1899) is buried along side her husband, Simeon Phillips in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.

Deborah J. Martin-Plugh

Genealogist, Author and Contributing Writer

(c) Copyright 2021

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