The Bones of David Robinson

The Bones of David Robinson

Somewhere in the lush countryside above Cayuga Lake lie the bones of a Revolutionary New_York_In_The_Revolution_2nd_ed_1898 David Robinson_Page_1Way soldier, David Robinson (1740-1823) my paternal 5x great grandfather and his wife, Polly Raynor (1751-1824). They came to Lansing, Tompkins County from Suffolk County (Long Island) around 1790. With them they brought their children including my 4x great grandmother, Jerusha.

Within a few months, Jerusha had met young widower John Bowker who had migrated from Ulster County with his brothers Noah and Joseph and settled in Lansing.   John and Jerusha married and had twelve children – all who survived to adulthood and provided them with many children and grandchildren. At the time of their deaths they had 140 children, grandchildren and great grandchildren which included their son Jonathan, my 3x great grandfather.

Like Jerusha’s parents, there are no records of her burial nor John’s, but the lots of the Robinson and Bowker land ownership are well documented and as tradition has it, they are most likely buried on their own property.   Subsequent generations are buried in Miller Cemetery on Breed Road and others in Groton Rural Cemetery in Groton

When I was asked *where* my Revolutionary War ancestor David Robinson and his wife Polly may be buried, I could only reply that I had found no recorded burials. That said, their daughters Juliana and Elizabeth are recorded as being buried in the ‘inactive’ Lane or Ostrander Farm Cemetery in North Lansing with their husbands, Henry Carter and Daniel Lane.  The supposed site is located on property previously owned by Orry Ostrander that most likely bordered the West Groton/Locke Roads and Breed Road in North Lansing.

Here are interesting notes that historians made that may explain why no Robinson burials have been recorded.

“From the notes of Dorothy Ostrander, past Town of Groton Historian, the first two headstones in this record “…are the only two stones found in what used to be a large cemetery on the present Orry Ostrander farm. They say the cemetery once covered 7 acres. Many stones were removed and used as the foundation in part of the barn. Also, when Orry Ostrander decided to move his sidewalk one day, he found the stones to be gravestones too. All that remains of the cemetery itself is a brushy area with a couple trees approximately 12′ by 25′ and the two stones above although there may be more stones buried under the rubble that has been dumped there (stones off the plowed field) over the years. Headstones have been recorded as read to include misspelling.”
The next 8 headstone inscriptions in this record are from the stones that were used as the sidewalk at the Orry Ostrander farm.

Four of those eight stones belong to the Robinson’s two daughters, Elizabeth and Juliana and their husbands, Henry Carter and Daniel Lane.

From the notes of Isabelle Parish, past Town of Lansing Historian, “People removed all the stones from this cemetery and they were standing beside a garage by one of the houses on the road. The cemetery itself is in one of the fields; unsure which one.
Written August 18, 1953 by S. Haring and I. Parish: Back of the house now owned by Orrie Ostrander on Locke Road, just east of where the new road to Locke turns north-east. We were told there were no stones left where the cemetery was. Mr. Ostrander found many in the barn wall when he moved there some twenty years ago. There were perhaps 25 gravestones.”
Taken from the local history book, North Lansing’s Remembrance of Things Past, “The Lane Cemetery: Two acres surrounded by a large iron fence about one half mile back from Breed Road constitutes the Lane Cemetery. Many of the headstones from the cemetery were used in the foundation of the barn which is still standing on the Orry Ostrander farm. Most of the rest of them were used in a sidewalk which leads from the front porch to the edge of the driveway, then from the other side on the lawn to an old well. In 1960, there were only two head stones still standing. They are in a field at the top of the hill standing under a large old hickory nut tree. It is said that Mr. Lane was the first person who owned the land. Then John Buckley bought the farm from Lane. The government then bought the land from Mr. Buckley. Mr. Orry Ostrander who still owns the farm, bought it from the government in 1938.”

Chances are that David and Polly Raynor Robinson’s headstones are part of the foundation of a barn or were part of the pile of rubble mentioned in 1953 by Haring and Parish.

Time for a field trip with the assist of the Lansing historian and perhaps an archaeological dig.

Deborah J. Martin-Plugh

Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher

© Copyright 2018. All Rights Reserved.

Written in Ink. Not Stone.

Confirmation with a bit of mystery…isn’t that always the way?

Analyzing evidence is an art as much as it is a science.  Not every thing is a slam dunk because we are always dealing with information provided by human beings.  Information with bias or best guess affected by faulty memory.  And then there is the challenge of reading unfamiliar handwriting.  Graphologists nod here!

I just received two death certificates from New York State in today’s mail….for my paternal 3rd great grandparents, Jonathan Bowker (1798-1891) and his wife Emeline Powers Bowker (1806-1888) of Lansing, Tompkins County, NY.  Through past research I pretty much proved my Bowker and Powers lineage, but since the Bowkers died after New York State began to require death certificates, I thought it worth spending the $22 each to secure an official document.    Names.  Check.  Dates.  Check.  Places…almost check.    And parents…Check with a mystery.

Jonathan’s father, John Bowker (1771-1855),  was purported to be born in Ulster County, New York, but his son’s death certificate states his father’s birthplace was “Mass”.   Both make sense as John’s father and mother (Silas Bowker and Esther Hobbs) were from Massachusetts and migrated to Ulster County where Silas was a scout in the Revolutionary War.   So…this is one of those toss of the coin at this point.

As for Emeline’s death certificate…everything checks out with my research evidence.  Except I cannot read the handwriting that states her mother’s first name.  My research shows that her mother was Ruth Roberts, second wife of Jacob Powers.  And everything points to it.  Jacob’s first wife, Rhoba Tabor, bore him ten children, but she died in 1804 and is buried in Sharon, Connecticut.  He then married Ruth and fathered at least five children with her…including Emeline. Emeline Powers Bowker DC Crop

But! (isn’t there ALWAYS a ‘but’) Emeline’s death certificate isn’t clear and it even looks like it says “Phebe” which I know isn’t right…could it say Rhoba?  Ruth?…it just doesn’t look like it.  Not even close and I am pretty good at this.  I take into account that my 2nd great grandmother, Sarah D. Bowker Case Johnson, cared for them in their elder years in her home and so I assume she would know these family details.  But then…could Phebe be Ruth’s real name and she chose Ruth as her ‘familiar’ name?  After all, the Powers were Palatine immigrants to the Hudson Valley who were originally Pauer.  Her grandfather was Joest Power with no “s” and he was often called Justus in Dutchess County records.  Or could the good doctor have interviewed Sarah and in the midst of the bureaucratic necessity of paperwork forgotten and guessed a name to get the chore done and over?

As line number 10 reminds us…

I hereby report this Death, and certify that the foregoing statements are true according to the best of my knowledge.  (signed by George Beckwith, M.D.)

Oh my…a genealogist’s challenge….but then we love a challenge, don’t we???

To keep my sense of humor and stay on track, I bow to Mark Twain.

The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.

Deborah Martin-Plugh

Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher

(c) Copyright 2014.  All Rights Reserved


Jersey Boy

A Note to My Readers:  On May 1st of this year, I sent a request in to the New York State Vital Records in Albany for the death certificate of John R. Case, my 3rd great grandfather.  It is now September 1st and I have put patience aside and a phone call to the department on Tuesday is on my “to do” list.  This isn’t the first time the seven weeks wait advisory on the form turned into months…seven months to be exact…and two of the four documents were not my requested information.  At that point, I made my way through the frustrating automated phone message maze and happily found a real live person who was incredibly helpful.   I had the correct documents within a week.  I kept her direct phone number in my contact database.  I learned to ask for that kind of information in my career.  Networking with helpful and knowledgeable people is a must have tool for anything we do and genealogists can certainly benefit from developing a contact database…an address book for you non-marketing people.  And make sure you say PLEASE and THANK YOU. 

I do think I know why my second and third requests are bogged down though.  The first time I ordered from the NYS Vital Records Department, it was for ONE death certificate.  It arrived within a month. The second time it was for four.  That took seven months.  And this time…two.  I have a feeling that ordering multiples puts a wrench in the research process for some reason only the folks there know.  So the next time, I will send separate requests in…in separate envelopes with separate checks.  I will let you know if my theory bears fruit.

Working Around the Edges

In the meantime I have been working around the edges of  my 3rd great grandfather John R. Case with what I do know.  John was born in New Jersey in 1809.  At some point he arrived in the area of Summerhill, Cayuga County, New York where he met and married Sarah Learn, daughter of  John Learn and his wife, Elizabeth Freece.  The Cases had three sons, William J. (my 2nd great grandfather), James Henry and Adam A. and a daughter whose name is unknown to me at this time.

Summerhill New York 1859

John and Sarah Case ran a farm in Locke, New York on what is now Route 90 just past the Summerhill line.  Sarah died in 1851 and must have been ill for some time because her 11 year old son James was living with her parents in 1850.   Sarah was just 41 years old when she died and most likely was the victim of consumption…a disease that plagued families in the area for decades.  She is buried in Miller Cemetery on Breeds Road in Locke and  just a row away from where her parents were laid to rest.

After Sarah’s death in 1851, John married again to the spinster Huldah A. Loomis from nearby Groton.  Huldah was 22 years his junior.  In 1860 James Henry Case was living with his father, John and his second wife, Huldah on the farm where she had stepped in to mother the young man who was just 8 years younger than she was.

During the 1850’s William and Adam continued to live with their father John and helped run the 45 acre farm.  They plowed the rich fields above Cayuga Lake with a pair of oxen to sow the crops of barley, corn, winter rye, peas, beans and potatoes.  In spring they tapped the maple trees and made maple syrup for market.   The small apple orchard of about 75 trees produced about 20 bushels a season and the five milk cows on the Case farm produced about 400 pounds of butter every year.  Holsteins were the favored breed of milk cow and it is easy to imagine the big black and white “bossies” dotting the rolling hills above the lake.  It is still one of my favorite sights when I drive through the central New York country side.  Seven chickens produced eggs for market that brought in a neat $500 in the year 1865.  There were two horses and pigs for meat and sheep for wool. In fact, the Cases produced flannel for market as well.  Large stands of woods were part of John’s farm…large enough for deer to inhabit.  In fact the farm that is there today still is thick with trees.

John’s Boys

Before 1860 William and Adam had married and were off their father’s farm.  Twenty-six year old William was farming in Lansing with his maternal grandfather, John Learn and living with his first wife, Mary and their daughter, Sarah and infant son John J. Case.   Adam was a new bridegroom at twenty-three, working as a farm laborer in Genoa and living with his nineteen year wife, Lucy Boyce.

William J. Case had lost his wife, Mary in 1861 leaving him to raise their daughter, Sarah and newborn son, John J.   In 1862 William married Sarah D. Bowker, my paternal 2nd great grandmother.  Sarah was barely 14 years old when she became 28 year old William’s wife.  The young teen bride barely out of her girlhood took over the duties of his household and became a mother to his 7 year old daughter and 3 year old son.  Sarah’s parents, Jonathan and Emeline Bowker, owned one of the largest farms in the Groton, New York area and were descendants of Revolutionary War soldier Silas Bowker who had settled the area after the war for independence.  Before she turned 15 years old,  Sarah bore a son, William J. Case, Jr. followed by a daughter, Emma Lillian, my great grandmother  in the winter of 1865.  Sarah was a capable girl.  She was the youngest child and  had after all seen to her aging parents household on their large farm.

And in the fall of 1869 Sarah became a widow when she was nineteen years old.  Like so many in the area, 36 year old William had succumbed to consumption.

1860 Federal Census Death Enumeration

Though Sarah was a strong girl and had an extended family of Bowkers and Powers, she could not care for her stepson, John, her own children and manage the large farm in Summerhill.  It fell to his grandfather, John R. Case to take in the 10 year John and see to his upbringing.  Huldah was now mothering her stepson, James and her step grandson, John.  And the farm needed the extra hands.  John R. was aging and son Adam had just lost his wife, Lucy in 1865 and was newly remarried and they were raising his young ones, Alice, Katy and Samuel.  Martha died in the 1870’s leaving Adam once again without a mother for his children.

Will’s widow, Sarah remarried to a local farmer, Sylvester Johnson, and together they raised Will’s children, Will, Jr. and little Emma.  Sarah and Sylvester moved on to the Bowker farm where she could help her parents and where Sylvester could care for the Bowker farm business.

The Road to Jersey…is through Albany?

With his son, Will, gone and his son, Adam with troubles of his own,  John and Huldah increasingly turned to James and little John for help on the farm.  When John R. Case died in 1890 at the age of 81, he had owned and run his farm for over 50 years.  Every morning of those 50 some years John rose to milk the cows and turn them out to pasture.  He had hitched up the oxen and turned over the fields and sowed the crops for endless seasons.  And in the spring he walked among the tall maples, his breath sending wisps of clouds into the air, crunching through the snow and finally driving the taps into the trunks to catch the amber sap.  In the autumn with the geese honking overhead and the shortening days, he harvested the crisp apples from the orchard.   The Jersey boy had fought the hard winters, managed through the difficult years of the Civil War, buried his wife and son and his daughters-in-law and raised his grandson, John.  He was a good neighbor, father, husband and grandfather and part of the Cayuga lake pioneer community that rings with the names Learn and Bowker, Boyce and Powers, Miller, Robinson and Freece.   He lies among them in Miller Cemetery next to his wife, Sarah Learn.  In the middle of the glade stands the obelisk, encrusted with tufts of mold and a skim of lichen, but tall and straight among his extended family members.

John R Case and Sarah Learn Monument

And yet unlike the others I have not found him among his own.  I believe Mariah Case who married Jefferson Learn to be his sister…and perhaps Isaac Case of nearby Genoa…and another Jersey boy… to be his brother.  But I am guessing…a good guess with reason to believe I am right…but with no documentation or direction…except to Albany…where for six months someone is “processing” my request for his death certificate.    Enough time to sow and harvest a crop or two.  Pick some apples.  Churn some butter.

Deborah Martin-Plugh

Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher

(c) Copyright 2012.  All Rights Reserved

The Oft Travelled Road

For those genealogists who ask yourselves time and time again..”Why didn’t I see this before?”

Periodically I return to the places where the trail has ended in the hopes that new information will provide an answer to the puzzle.  And sometimes that trail is so familiar…each bend and rise, leaf and blade of grass…that I realize that I was so preoccupied with my destination that I failed to enjoy the walk.

Today I was in that “occupied with the answer state of mind”…looking for the parents of my orphaned great great grandmother, Martha Colwell.  Throughout her marriage to David Penird, she had maintained ownership of her Summerhill farm…through David’s years as a Civil War Union Soldier and his subsequent jaunts to the Dakota Territory and the post war Deep South.  How did a female orphan come to own a farm?

And so I went to Summerhill.

Summerhill Map 1875 District 9

After purposefully looking at New York state historic maps of Cayuga and Tompkins county dating back to the mid and late 1800’s for the umpteenth time, I stopped being purposeful and just scanned them…looking at names and places. Visiting familiar family members in the way we genealogists like to do. No particular reason…just a neighborly howdy do.

Oh..yes…there are the Bowkers and the Cases and the Johnsons.  And of course, the Powers and the Robinsons.  Oh and there is David Peniard (Penird), my 2nd great grandfather, in the 1875 Summerhill map around the corner from the S. Johnson place and down the road from the Cases.

Interesting I…WAIT! That location! Those names!

1859 Summerhill New York Map

I pulled up the 1859 Summerhill map and RIGHT SMACK there in the same location as the 1875 Peniard farm is the farm that had belonged to Jonathan Bowker.   The Bowker farm was passed down to his daughter, Sarah D. Bowker Case who after being widowed married Sylvester Johnson. And the home of Sarah’s daughter, Emma, who married David Penard’s son, William.


I sat back and took a few moments to put together the analysis before my head exploded with everything I knew.   Feel the history.  Now connect the dots.

With a casual visit to the Summerhill area of 1859 and 1875, I had painted the picture of my great grandparent’s childhood and how they knew each other. Willie Penird and Emma Case probably went to school number 9 that was just a few steps down the road from both farms.  Perhaps they courted along the country lane now named Howell Road.  Perhaps the young lovers found a shaded grove in the lovely Finger Lakes countryside to share a picnic and a stolen kiss.  Could they have married at the Summerville Methodist Episcopalian Church? Among the extended families of Powers, Robinsons, Cases and Bowkers? How nice for David and Martha’s son, William,  to marry into the pioneer families of Summerhill…

Author’s Note

If  your head is spinning with this narrative, it should be.  This post wasn’t designed to give the reader a step by step primer or “how to” or even a clear and concise pedigree of the families named, but rather to bring you along with the energy of the genealogist who has an epiphany and the mind storm that pulls us up and away as surely as a tornado in Kansas. Speaking of Kansas…OK…that can wait for another day. I am fine. No intervention or rehab needed. Really.

Deborah Martin-Plugh

Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher

(c) Copyright 2011.  All Rights Reserved

Square One. Home. Notes from the Field

Note to my Readers:  Square One.  GO. It’s where we all start…the beginning.  And where we all endeavor to move away from…far away if we want to make “progress”…learn, grow, change, discover.  Except.  I learned that a visit to Square One is valuable time spent and where the answers to many puzzles and ultimate success often reside.  And that you have to pass GO , move on, land on Boardwalk, buy a railroad or a hotel,  Go to Jail (heaven forbid!), take a Chance and learn before you figure that out.

Lesson learned.  Again.  In a previous post I had found the name of my paternal great great grandmother, Sarah D. Bowker Case Johnson, and that after the young widow remarried, I had no idea what had become of her.  I was wrong.  I always knew.  Just as in the game of  MONOPOLY, I had gone round the board and just had to go to back to Square One.  GO!

Sarah D. Bowker Case

I had the ultimate family history researcher’s triumph…finding the maiden name of a grandmother.  I had the thrill of finding her parents and siblings upon learning her name was Bowker.  I found the child Sarah Bowker, her parents Jonathan and Emeline Powers Bowker and her seven siblings.  In the late 1700’s the large Bowker family had settled in Groton and Lansing and Summerhill, New York and the documentation goes back to Silas Bowker, Revolutionary War soldier from Ulster County, New York.

1870  Summerhill, New York

In 1870 newly widowed Sarah Case and her two children, Willie and Emma,  were reported in the Federal Census living on their farm in Summerhill, Cayuga County, New York surrounded by Bowker, Powers and Case family members.  William had died the year before of consumption.   Five farms away was the large farm of David Penird, six year old Emma’s future father-in-law.  Sarah may have been widowed with two small children and a farm to run, but she was definitely not alone.

1880 Federal Census

Ten years is a long time and it is easy to forget that when you are primarily relying upon the Federal Census information to keep track of individuals and their families…especially in the life of a young widow and her growing children.  There is a farm to run and children need a father and a 23 year old woman needs a husband.  Children grow up.  Widows remarry.  And there I lost Sarah, young Willie and his sister, Emma, my great grandmother.  My early research in the 1880 census and local records revealed none of the Case family members…mother or children.

1890 Federal Census

1890 Census Fire Damage

The big information VOID.  In 1921, the 1890 Schedules were destroyed by a fire in the National Archives.  In 1932 a list of papers to be destroyed was sent to the Library of Congress which included the original 1890 schedules that still remained. Congress authorized the destruction of the papers listed and in 1934 those remaining schedules were destroyed by the Department of Commerce.   A few records remain.  The surviving fragments consists of 1,233 pages or pieces, including enumerations for Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, and Texas. The records of only 6,160 of the 62,979,766 people enumerated survived the fire.

Local record keeping was usually concerning land ownership and taxes, and, of course, voting and that was a man’s domaine so I held no hope that a remarried Sarah would show up there.  Church records were kept and lost and so it is serendipity when they exist and are archived for research.  The same holds true with burial records.  Twenty years is an genealogical researcher’s eternity with no concrete information on Sarah or her children.  Did Sarah die and were the children adopted by other family members?  Did Sarah remarry and have more children?  Did she migrate west and leave her children behind…William to marry Katie Johnson and Emma to marry her childhood friend, William Penird?  How could I have found Sarah only to lose her again?

1900 Federal Census

Deadwood City, North Dakota Territory 1879 Before the Fire

Six year old, Emma L. Case, from the 1870 census was now a grown, married woman of thirty six with children of her own.  Seven to be exact.  On December 13, 1880 at the tender age of 16,  Emma  married William J. Penird in Groton, New York.  William and his father, David had just returned from Deadwood City in the territory of North Dakota.  They worked as laborers rebuilding the city after the fire that destroyed most of Deadwood in 1879.  They were living at 867 Main Street between Watson and Harvey, Attorneys At Law and Deadwood’s German-born doctor.

Eldest child, Lillian was born in 1883 and then Floyd in 1884.  Ida was born in 1887 and John in 1888.  Little Ida and John died within days of each other in 1890 after a terrible epidemic had swept through Auburn, New York….the same year Emma gave birth to my grandmother, Sarah Leona, her grandmother’s namesake.  The youngest children, Ethel and Harold came long in 1892 and 1899 respectively.

Emma’s older brother and only sibling, William J. Case, had married Katie Johnson in 1884 and had four children of his own.  Like Emma and her husband, they suffered the loss of a child-their first born, William J. Case III in 1887.  Son John William was born in 1889 and daughter, Olia M., followed in 1892.  The baby of the family, Helen May was born in 1899.  Helen died in 1909 at the age of 10.

William and Katie raised their family in Groton among many of the extended Case family members.  William never lived on a farm again.  Emma and William settled in the Auburn, New York area where the extended Penird family owned farms and businesses.

It was in this census that I searched for Sarah.  She would be 43 years old and it seemed reasonable that she would be close to her grown children.  Many women would either combine households with their grown children or live within a short distance….especially when there were grandchildren to love and nurture and farms to be run.  But Sarah did not appear to be near either of her children…not Sarah D. Bowker Case anyway.


The “brickwall” reality of genealogical research is that sometimes the information void…particularly for females is fixed and certain.  And every family researcher learns to make peace with that.  Almost.

I had left Sarah and her fate to the brickwall limbo several years ago and had concentrated on her husband’s family members…the Cases and the Lern/Learns.  Good documentation…a bit of forensic problem solving, but they left a good trail in Summerhill,  Locke and Groton, New York and surrounds.  And some good pioneer stories.  For another time…another blog.

Square One

I have been a researcher for years now and I like to think that I improve my skills constantly.  I learn from reading history books, genealogical research materials and most informative of all, from my fellow researchers and historians.  More research materials are available every day and I have found archival libraries that are rich and deep for the intrepid and determined.

And I have learned to go back and look at my old research.  I go to Square One with a more educated understanding of the data.   And much of the time, it is like visiting the family and gaining a more profound understanding of their relationships.  It also leads to finding that a guess you made regarding a relationship is not quite right.  Close…but not correct.  And this is how I found Sarah.

Sarah D. Bowker Case Johnson

The fact is that years ago I had found Sarah and her children at the beginning of my Case family research.  Her son, Willie had married Katie R. Johnson.  I had made a leap of faith from an old Case bit of family information that lead me to place her with Sylvester and Sarah D. Johnson as her parents.  As she wasn’t a Case family member, I left it at that.  I could verify that data at some other time.  I moved down the board.  First, I didn’t have the knowledge that Sarah Case was Sarah “D”  Bowker and second, I was still a novice without much understanding about analyzing the information.

My discovery of Sarah’s maiden name was the single most important thing in finding what had become of her after 1870.  The Bowkers and the Cases and the Learns had huge families and surely she would be among them.  And then there were the Johnsons…her daughter-in-law’s family.  And the name Sylvester that had been linked with Katie in old Case family lore.  In one short moment I realized that Sylvester WAS her father-in-law, not her father.  In their time, the titles were interchangeable and the old Case family data that called him “father” reflected that practice. 

This time I looked for Sylvester in the 1880 census and there he was in Summerhill… farming…with Sarah “D” and, “son”,  William “C” Johnson and “daughter”, Emma L. Johnson.  Sarah’s children were recorded under their stepfather’s name.


In 1900 Sylvester and Sarah were now on their farm in Groton and caring for their eleven year old grandson, John Case.  John’s mother was expecting her third child and no doubt the farm and his grandparent’s attention were just the right summer diversion for John.  The Bowkers, the Cases, the Learns still were significant families in the Groton and Ithaca areas and were the Johnsons neighbors…as they always had been.


By this time the aging Sylvester and Sarah had moved on to another farm in Newfield, New York…just a few miles south of Ithaca on Route 96…and a few miles away from their granddaughter, Sarah Leona, and her husband, Albert H. Martin and their two small children, Albert Ernest and Emma Lillian.  Albert Ernest is my father.  My grandfather was born in Brooklyn and grew up there though his father and mother were from Auburn, New York.  I always thought that he went to the Danby-Newfield area because of his Martin-Jennings family members.  I now know that the family that drew them there was my grandmother’s.

Sarah was a great grandmother in 1910 and died that year on March 11th  at the age of 63.  She is buried in Groton Rural Cemetery…yards away from her first husband, William J. Case and her son-in-law, William J. Penird and her son, William and his family members.  Sylvester died in 1944 at the age of 93 and is buried next to Sarah.

Authors Note:

Sarah has given me a wonderful and challenging opportunity to learn more about being a better genealogist, but more importantly, in the process I learned of her as a child and my Bowker heritage.  I  came to know about her as a child, a mother and grandmother.  And it is nice to think that she held my infant father and that as her great great granddaughter, I have been able to not only document her life, but to appreciate it.  A bit like coming home…to Square One.

Deborah Martin-Plugh

Author, Historian and Genealogical Researcher

(c) Copyright 2010.  All Rights Reserved