Robert Erwin Clifford – (1858-1891)

Robert Erwin Clifford (called by my grandmother “Robert Clifford Jr.”, but I’m not sure “Jr.” is really warranted because I think his middle name was different than his father’s) was the brother of my great-great-grandmother Anna Clifford.  He was born 11 Mar 1858 in Alburg, Grand Isle, Vermont to Robert Clifford and Agnes McWhirter, both of whom were Irish immigrants. Robert was in the 1860 and 1870 Census reports for Alberg, Vermont with his family, then sort of fell off the face of the planet.  My grandmother had noted in her genealogical records “Robert left home and was never heard from again”. So I went looking for him.

The first thing I found was a very small news item in the “Winooski Wavelets” section of the March 4, 1891 “Argus and Patriot” in Vermont. It said:

Robert Clifford, a station agent at Eastman, P.Q., a former very popular townsman, died last week. Lizzie and Nellie Clifford, his sisters, went to attend the funeral.

So this explained why he had “vanished”. He had moved out of the country to Quebec, Canada. It also showed that at least two members of his immediate family knew of his death, even if my line of his family didn’t seem to know he had died.

I found a photo of his gravesite on His gravestone is in the South Stukely Cemetery, South Stukely, Quebec, Canada. Plot: Range 9 Lot 3 No 2.  It says he died on 23 Feb 1891 at the age of 32.  One source of confusion could have been that his father, Robert Clifford, died 14 Mar 1891, and the son (also Robert Clifford) died 23 Feb 1891, less than three weeks apart. Perhaps the news of the “Death of Robert Clifford” got conflated in my part of the family.

Robert had married Jennie Adeline Dingman on 24 May 1886 at the Stuckley-Sud Anglican Church near Eastman, Quebec, Canada.  Jennie Adeline was born 24 May, 1865 to Alvin Dingman and Harriet Melinda Horner, and had three brothers: Hubert, James, and Frank Dingman.


Clifford/Dingman Marriage 1886.

Robert and Jennie had had three children, and I was able to find baptism records for all three of them:

Jennie Francis “Francis” Clifford (28 Jul 1887 – 1942)
Harry Gordon Clifford (b 26 Nov 1888 – 1963)
Inez Winifred Clifford (b 17 Oct 1890 – 1955)

In several of the records that mention him, Robert was listed as a “Station Agent”, which is someone who worked to handle freight stock, handle the track switches, sell tickets, and perhaps might have done accounting or operated the telegraph.

This photo shows the Eastman train station where he worked from at least 1886 to his death in 1891.  The photo was taken about 1905:

In February of 1891, Robert was killed in an accident at the train station where he worked.  He was on top of a train car that derailed due to ice buildup. The train slid down an embankment and he was crushed in the ensuing crash.


Waterloo Advertiser, Waterloo, Quebec. 1891-02-27, p2. Courtesy of Serge Wagner.

His burial record doesn’t give much more information, except that his wife was one of the witnesses at the funeral:


Jennie and the kids are shown in the 1901 Census for Eastman, where she is listed as a widow.  Her father and brother are listed nearby.  She is also in the 1911 Census with all three kids.  Harry is listed as a “stationary engineer in saw mill”, Frances is listed as a “sales lady in retail grocery store”, and Inez is listed as working as a “domestic (servant) for a private family”.  Their mother has her occupation listed as “none”.

Jennie died in Eastman on 14 Jan 1914 at the age of 48, and was buried next to her husband.


Jennie Dingman Clifford Burial, 1914

A little bit about Robert and Jennie’s children:

Jennie Frances Clifford is in the 1891, 1901, and 1911 Census records for Eastman.  There is a record of her going to visit her Aunt Margaret Clifford in Winooski, Vermont from 1917 where she is listed as living at Notre-Dame-de-Graces, outside Montréal with her brother Harry.  She is in the 1921 Census for Saint-Jean-sur-Richlieu where she is listed as “single”, so I don’t believe she ever married.  There are indications she died in 1942 in Hemmingford, Canada, but so far I haven’t found documents that show this.

Harry Clifford became an engineer, and I was able to find him in the 1921 Census living with his sister Francis in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec, Canada, which is just outside Montréal. He was married to Margaret Estella “Maggie” Marshall, and had two children, Robert Marshall Clifford (b 4 Sept 1915) and Dorothy Evelyn Clifford (b 7 Feb 1919 – 9 Jul 1955). Dorothy married Douglas Humphries Pimlott, and they had at least two sons, Peter Clifford Pimlott (1948-2010), and Mark Pimlott (who was born 13 Jun 1950 in my home town of Madison, Wisconsin, USA).  Harry died in Ormstown, Québec in 1963.  Most members of my Cairns family line were from Ormstown… just an odd coincidence.

Inez Winifred Clifford married George James Brown (1891-1979) at Saint-Jean-sur-Richlieu on 14 Oct 1920.  I have not found any children so far for them.  She died in 1955 in Hemmingford, and is buried there.


The Prielipp Family and the Prussian Explusion

In the Summer of 2013, I managed to track down a living descendant of Otto Prielipp, whom my great-grandfather had helped come to America. I had a suspicion at the time that his family and mine were related, a suspicion I have since been able to confirm. In fact, it is quite likely that the Prielipps are the reason that my great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt decided to come to America.

This living descendant, Donald Otto Prielipp (1929-2015), was my 3rd cousin twice removed.  His great-grandmother, Hanna Auguste Friedricke “Friedricke” Winkelmann (b 1839) was the sister of my 3x-great-grandmother Wilhelmine Winkelmann. She married Wilhelm Friedrich Julius Prielipp in the town of Karolina, Kris Czarnikau, Posen, Prussia on 14 Feb 1864. The couple had at least seven children in Karolina, Gornitz, and Stieglitz (all of which were very near each other). Whereas my branch of the family came to America in 1885 and 1892 and was thus spared the fury of the Red Army at the end of WWII and the subsequent Prussian Explusion (1945-1947), Donald’s family was not so fortunate. Here are his recollections of his family and their story, with additional details added from my research, as he related them to me during our phone conversation.

“My grandfather was Franz Wilhelm Hermann Prielipp, but he went by Hermann.  He was born in the town of Karolina, Kreis Czarnikau, Posen, Prussia on 31 Mar 1865 to Wilhelm Friedrich Julius Prielipp and Hanna Auguste Friedricke “Friedricke” Winkelmann.  Hermann’s wife was Emma Therese Osten, who was born in the town of Putzig, Kreis Czarnikau, Posen Prussia on 10 Jul 1866 to Carl Wilhelm Osten and his wife Henriette Quast.  Hermann and Emma were married on 29 Sept 1890 in the town of Grünfier, Kreis Carnikau, Posen, Prussia where Hermann was listed as an “eigenthümer”, or owner of a small farm.

Hermann was, indeed, a farmer in Gornitz and he owned about 10 acres of land between the small towns of Gornitz and Ascherbude. His father Wilhelm Friedrich Julius Prielipp had owned the land before him, and had built a house, a granary, a barn, and a storage barn on the property.  About 1/3 of the land was Scotch Pine, and they used it for firewood and lumber. Another acre of the land was the farm complex itself with the house and barns and so on. The rest of the land was in wheat, barley, and rye. Hermann worked the farm until he died.  He died in his field of a heart attack before World War 2.  Note: Hermann Prielipp died in Gornitz 25 Mar 1929, per his death record.

My father, Otto Karl Prielipp was born on the farm in Gornitz on 26 Jul 1904.  He had an older brother, Emil W Prielipp (b 26 Feb 1903), a younger brother, Walter Karl Prielipp (b 10 Jul 1907), and at least two other brothers, (Carl and Adolf), and a sister (Ida Hulda Prielipp, b 12 Sept 1899).  My father came to America in 1922 when he was 17 year old aboard the “SS Mount Carroll”.  Your great-great-grandfather Wilhelm Schmidt had arranged a job for him working in the paper mill in Rothschild, Wisconsin in the “beater room” with your great-grandfather Edwin Schmidt.  He married my mother, Lillian Mable Pfleiger, in Rothschild, Wisconsin on 5 May 1828, and we lived in Rothschild for many years.

After WWI the province of Posen where the Prielipps lived was given back to the Poles, but the Germans were not displaced and there were no problems with harassment or anything at all. Then when Germany began its rise to power in the 1930’s my dad’s mother wrote to him to ask him to come back to Gornitz. She said that there were lots of jobs and that the conditions were very good. My father Otto said, “no way”. He could see which way the political winds were blowing and wasn’t about to go back there.

At the end of WWII, the Red Army began to sweep through the Eastern Prussian provinces, pushing out the retreating Germans.  The troops had been encouraged to rape, pillage, murder, and destroy everything they could, and this extended to the German-speaking people living in those provinces.   The Russians came through Gornitz and killed almost all the male Germans.  My uncle Adolph was the eldest brother of the family and would have inherited the family farm from Hermann. The Russians tore the house apart and ripped the beds to shreds looking for money, and then they beat Adolph to death with their guns.

Adolph’s mother (Emma Therese Osten Prielipp) was ejected from the house in the middle of winter and they found her frozen to death on the side of the road.  This would have been around January, 1945.  Note: Emma Osten died in Gornitz on 18 Oct 1944 of old age, per her death record.  The Red Army was not near Gornitz at that time, so she could not have been the one killed as described.  Perhaps another woman in the family had her story conflated with Emma’s?

There was a Radtke family in the town, and Otto’s sister Ida Hulda Prielipp (b 12 Sept 1899) was married to Hermann Adolf Radtke. They had a daughter named Hilda Radtke.  I was friends with that family and every other year for 20 years either my family would go to Germany and visit them or the Radtkes would come to the US to visit us in Easton, Wisconsin.

Mr. Radtke was a principal, or superintendent of the school. He got in touch with Hilda, and then when the Prielipps went to Germany one year, they packed up and drove to Poland from the town of Volmersted where Hilda lived (probably Wolmirstedt, Börde, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany).  They showed us around their area and we got to know their family very well. Four years later when we went back to Germany, we all went first to Volmerstead, and from there to Gornitz. We spent a week in Gornitz about 1980. It was an interesting linguistic exercise. Our guide was a Hungarian man, who knew German. Fritz knew German and English. We only knew English. Every conversation was three or four languages translated back and forth. That’s how we learned the history of our grandparents and uncles. There was nothing left of Gornitz when we went there. Some private residences remained that were occupied by Polish people.

With the guide who knew Polish and Hungarian and German we could visit with those people and they were very hospitable. With the people from the Radtke family, we all spent 2-3 hours with them and they were very agreeable, and we could ask any questions about our family’s stay in Gornitz.

Then we went to the farm where my father Otto grew up on, where his father Hermann had farmed. Hermann’s father Wilhelm Prielipp had lived on the farm after the first World War, and he was badly crippled from a fall off a ladder off one of the buildings, so he looked like a question mark, all hunched over. He couldn’t work, but he could shuffle around. He lived in the grainary. They had built him a kind of an apartment in there. He and his wife lived in it. When Hermann’s father was young he went to Russia and worked in logging, and did river drives.  Eventually he took over the farm in Gornitz.

Hermann had an older brother named Adolph. There was also a brother Carl and one other brother. One of those brothers was killed in WWI.  Then there was Emil and Otto, and a younger son named Walter.  Walter fought in the german army, was captured by the French, and in a French prisoner of war camp when the allies came through France at the end of WWII.  Emil and Otto brought Walter to the United States and he lived with Otto’s family for a period of time and looked for work and finally found work in Milwaukee, so he went to Milwaukee and worked in a leather tanning factory and was married and has since died. He never had any children.

Emil had three kids. His son Robert was a mathematician and taught at a college in Wisconsin. He had no children. Second son was named Ronald. He was also a mathematician who taught at University of Kansas in Salinas. He still lives there.  He married a woman named Beth, and they have no children. Ronald’s legs don’t work, so he’s in a wheelchair. He lives in a full-care facility. Beth is trying to sell the house. She plans to join him at the facility. Their third son was Walter. He went west and worked for Boeing in Seattle.  He was married with no children, and his wife is a union activist, she’s involved in politics in Washington. Walter died in 2009.

In terms of my immediate family, my brother Russell Prielipp is retired. He and his wife Bonnie have no children. They live in NJ and are doing relatively well. Our sister Marian Prielipp Doddington works for a design firm in Washington DC.”

Donald mentioned that he had an article on the death of his grandfather Hermann Prielipp. It’s in German and gives the date of his death. He was going to try to find it for me, but he passed away before that happened. He also mentioned that he helped build the home of my mother’s first cousin Gloria Johnson on Grand Avenue in Wausau, Wisconsin. This home was right next door to my great-grandparents’ house (Edwin Schmidt and Olga Hanson).


Donald Prielipp

Donald passed away on 23 Feb 2015 in Redding, California.  He was 85 years old.

Krueger Records from Parish Wittenfelde, Kreis Cammin, Pommern, Prussia

Once again I sent my hired researcher in quest of any Prussian records, this time for the Krüger/Krueger family in parish Wittenfelde from 1824-1850.  Wittenfelde was in Kreis Cammin, Pommern, Prussia and the records mention the towns of Stuchow, Staarz, Königsmühl, Bandesow, Medewitz, Völzschenhagen, Wittenfelde, Moltstow, Tetzlaffshagen, Kambz, and Völtzin, among others, not all of which were in the parish.  The transcriptions are below.  I have scans of the actual documents also.


Wittenfelde Parish. Towns in the records are in yellow.

1. Johann Joachim Kuhfahl, instmann (farm worker) in Staartz, married Sophia Krüger.


1.1. August Ferdinand, born on 5 Feb 1824, baptized on 15 Feb 1824. (Wittenfelde, 2/1824).  Godparents: 1. Joachim Friedrich Köbsell, young farmer in Staartz. 2. Michael Friedrich Hakbarth, shepherd son in Königsmühl. 3. Dorothea Wilhelmine Zautken, shepherd daughter in Bandesow.

2. Caspar Friedrich Krüger, shepherd in Medewitz, was married to Maria Louisa Pipenberg.


2.1. Hanna Caroline Ernestine, born on 7 Jun 1824, baptitzed on 14 Jun 1824 (Wittenfelde, 7/1824).  Godparents: 1. Maria Elisabeth Kiekhefeern wife of the miller Hoge in Medewitz.  2. Miss Friederike Hannemann, from Völtzin. 3. Carl Gottlieb Hannemann, Pfarr Colonus (tenant of the church farm) from Wittenfelde

2.2. Amalia Charlotte Louise, born on 7 Aug 1826, baptized on 19 Aug 1826. (Wittenfelde, 11/1826).  Godparents: 1. Maria Christine Falke wife of Pipenberg in Moltstow. 2. Miss Charlotte Louise Krüger from Tetzlaffshagen. 3. Michael Friedrich Pipenberg, herdsman in Simoetzel (east of Greifenberg).  (She died on 21 Sept 1829 from consumption, age 2 years/14 days. Wittenfelde, 10/1829).

3. Ernst Friedrich Schmeling, kossäth (farmer on small farm) in Stuchow, oldest son of the deceased kossäth Christoph Heinrich Schmeling from Stuchow married on 8 Jun 1824 Dorothea Wiilhelmine Krüger, youngest daughter of Christoph Gottlieb Krüger, Wirtschafter (economist/manager) in Schruptow.

4. Johann Gottlieb Krüger, farmer in Medewitz, was married to Anna  Louise Stäve (Stewe).

Anna Louise Krüger née Stewe, wife of farmer Krüger in Medewitz, died on 14 Apr 1837 from consumption, age 48 years/6 month/12 days, buried on 18 Apr 1837.  She left behind a widower and 5 minor children.  (Wittenfelde, 1/1837)


4.1. Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger, born in 1816.

4.2. Joachim Friedrich Krüger.

4.3. Johann Gottlieb Krüger, born in 1821.

4.3. Caroline Wilhelmine Sophie Krüger, born in 1824, confirmed in 1838 in Wittenfelde, from Medewitz, age 14 years/ 3 month. (Wittenfelde, 5/1838).

4.4. Louise Ernestine Wilhelmine Krüger, born in 1826.  She died on 14 Jul 1836, age 9 years/8 month/20 days, buried on 17 Jul 1836. She drowned while fetching water from the family well.  (Wittenfelde, 3/1836)

4.5. Johanna Wilhelmine Ernestine Krüger, born on 26 Feb 1830, baptized on 16 Mar (Wittenfelde, 5/1830).  Godparents: 1. Miss Maria Louise Hannemann from Medewitz.  2. Miss Hanna Louise Hannemann from Kambz.  3. Johann Wilhelm Varchow, farmer’s son in Medewitz.

Confirmed in 1844. (Wittenfelde/Medewitz, 3/1844)

to 4.1. Christian Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger (b 1816, above), farmer’s son in Medewitz, age 24, married on 4 Dec 1840 to Friederike Louise Ladwig, age 19, daughter of Michael Heinrich Ladwig, shepherd in Königsmühl, both parents are deceased. Note: On 30 Nov 1840 the groom acknowledged the fatherhood of the illegitimate child born on 7 Jul 1839.  (Wittenfelde, 6/1840)

4.1.1. Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Krüger, illegitimate child, born on 7 Jul 1839, baptized on 14 Feb 1839.  (Wittenfelde, 10/1839).  Godparents: 1. Johann Friedrich Warschow, farmer’s son in Medewitz.  2. Joachim Friedrich Krüger, farmer’s son in Medewitz.  3. Ernestine Wilhelmine Last, miller’s daughter in Medewitz.

4.1.2. Johann August Ludwig Krüger,  born on 13 Feb 1849, baptized on 25 Feb 1849.  (Wittenfelde, 5/1849).  Godparents: 1. August Ferdinand Labs, master tailor in Völschenhagen.  2. Johann Gottllieb Ludwig, laborer in Güskow.  3. Miss Marie Sophie Ladwig from Königsmühl.

to 4.2. Joachim Friedrich Krüger, farmer in Medewitz, age 24, married in 1846 Wilhelmine Friederike Kasten, daughter of farmer and courtman Kasten in Behlkow. (Marriage announcement on 2nd , 3rd and 4th Sunday after Epiphanias in Wittenfelde 1846).


4.2.1. Auguste Wilhelmine Bertha Krüger, born on 17 Sept 1847, baptized on 26 Sept 1847.  (Wittenfelde, 17/1847).  Godparents: 1. Gottfried August Labs, tailor in Völschenhagen. 2. Engel Lossin wife of Dobberphul in Carnitz. 3. Friedrike Watchow, farmer’s daughter in Muddelmow.

4.2.2. Ottilie Ernestine Wilhelmine Krüger, born on 12 Sept 1849, baptized on 14 Oct 1849.  (Wittenfelde, 25/1849).  Godparents: 1. Martin Kasten, farmer’s son in Belckow.  2. Ernestine Wilhelmine Stewe widow of Lüdke from Stuchow.  3. Hanna Ernestine Krüger, farmer’s daughter from Medewitz

to 4.3. Johann Gottlieb Krüger, son of the pensioned farmer Johann Krüger in Medewitz, died on 30 Nov 1846 from typhus, age 25 years/9 month/4 days, buried on 3 Dec 1846. He left behind a father, 2 brothers and 2 sisters. (Wittenfelde, 13/1846)

to 4.4. Gottlieb August Ferdinand Labs, tailor in Völschenhagen, age 26 ¾ , married on 31 Oct 1845 Caroline Wilhelmine Sophie Krüger, age 21, daughter of Johann Gottlieb Krüger, farmer in Medewitz. (Wittenfelde, 3/1845).

5. Johann Gottlieb Heinrich Tesch, kossäth and Krüger (barkeeper), was married to Wilhelmine Dorothea Krüger.

Dorothea Wilhelmine Krüger, wife of Kossath Johann Tesch in Stuchow, died on 5 Dec 1849 on Consumption, age 47 years/4 month/8 days, buried on 8 Dec 1849. She left behind a widower and 2 daughters in 1st marriage and 3 sons and a daughter in 2nd marriage. (Wittenfelde, 12/1849).


5.1. Johann Ludwig Julius Tesch, born on 14 Feb 1837, baptized on 14 Feb 1837.  (Wittenfelde, 4/1837).  Godparents: 1. Carl Ludwig Jüch, day-laborer in Stuchow.  2. Johann David Raasch, day-laborer in Stuchow. Dorothea Maria Tesch, daughter of the kossäth and Church warden Tesch in Stuchow.

6. Dorothea Marie Krüger, wife of büdner Johann Gottfried Wetzel in Neuenhoefe, died on 20 Nov 1842, age 73 years/1 month/11 days (b 1769), buried on 24 Nov 1842. She left behind a husband, 4 sons and 2 daughters.  (Wittenfelde, 17/1842).

7. Michael Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger, farmhand in Klötzin, was married to Caroline Wilhelmine Henriette Mierke.

Caroline Wilhelmine Henriette Mierke, wife of farmhand Michael Friedrich Krüger in Klötzin, died on 27 Aug 1844, age 24 years/11 month/5 days (b 1819), buried on 30 Aug 1844.  She left behind a widower and a young son. (Wittenfelde, 8/1844).


7.1. Carl Wilhelm Augus Krüger, born on 20 Jun 1842 in Stuchow, baptized on 25 Jun 1842.  (Wittenfelde, 8/1844).  Godparents: 1. Michael Friedrich August Mierke, herdsman’s son in Stuchow.  2. Carl Krüger, farmhand in Benz, deputy: altsitzer (pensioner) Johann Krüger in Tetzlaffshagen.  3. Wilhelmine Charlotte Mierke, herdsman’s daughter in Stuchow.

8. Carl Friedrich Krüger, farmhand in Schwirsen, age 24 ½ , married on 21 Jan 1845 Hanna Friederike Schmidt widow of Buth, age 25, daylaborer in Schwirsen, daughter of Ludwig Schmidt, shepherd in Königsmühl, both parents are deceased.  (Wittenfelde, 1/1845)

9. Gottlieb Heinrich Ferdinand Krüger, herdsman in Stuchow, age 22 , married on 10 Jul 1846 Caroline Friederike Henriette Schmeling, age 21, step daughter of Johann Tesch, barkeeper in Stuchow. (Wittenfelde, 2/1846).


9.1. Auguste Dorothea Krüger, born on 18 Aug. 1846 in Stuchow, baptized on 22 Aug 1846.  (Wittenfelde, 15/1846).  Godparents: 1. Johann Tesch, barkeeper in Stuchow.  2. Dorothea Tesch wife of the coachman Barkow in Stuchow.  3. Christine Knuth wife of the kossäth Jüth from Stuchow.

10. Johann August Gottlieb Krüger from Medewitz, age 14 years/2 month/3 days (b 1832), confirmed in 1846 in Stuchow.  (Wittenfelde/Stuchow, 3/1846).

11. Hermann Krüger, joiner in Stuchow, was married to Wilhelmine Schützke (Schätzke).


11.1. Caroline Friederike Auguste Krüger, born on 23 Jul 1846 in Stuchow, baptized on 25 Jun 1846.  (Wittenfelde, 14/1846).  Godparents: 1. Carl Thiele, forrester in Stuchow.   2. Dorothea Friederike Sanow wife of the laborer Kuhphal from Stuchow.  3. Caroline Albertine Schmidt, daughter of midwife Ehlke in Stuchow.

11.2. Wilhelmine Josephine Ernestine Krüger, born on 9 Nov 1848 in Stuchow, baptized on 10 Dec 1848.  (Wittenfelde, 26/1848).  Godparents: 1. Ferdinand Krüger, herdsman in Stuchow.  2. Wilhelm Kuhphal, daylaborer  in Stuchow.  3. Ernestine Stewe widow of Lüdke from Stuchow.  4. Philippine Wendland, wife of the miller Burow in Stuchow.  5. Henriette Hege, daylaborer daughter in Stuchow.

12. Johann Ludwig Krüger, farmhand in Medewitz, age 24, married in 1846 Anna Sophie Friederike Hinz, age 22, daughter of Franz Emanuel Hinz, day-laborer in Ribbekardt. Marriage announcement on 24th, 25th Sunday after Trinitatis and 1st advent in Wittenfelde 1847.


12.1. Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Krüger, born on 30 Sept 1848 in Medewitz, baptized on 1 Oct 1848.  (Wittenfelde, 17/1848).  Godparents: 1. Johann August Pump, herdsman in Medewitz.  2. Johann Gottlieb Böttcher, farmhand in Medewitz.  3. Friederike Wilhelmine Ginner, farmer’s daughter in Medewitz.

13. Carl Gottlieb Krüger, resident of Medewitz, was married to Anna Marie Friederike Wilhelmine Bartelt.


13.1. August Friedrich Wilhelm Krüger, born on 4 Dec 1848 in Medewitz, baptized on 14 Dec 1848.  (Wittenfelde, 22/1848).  Godparents: 1. Wilhelm Friedrich Bliese, teacher in Medewitz. 2. Johann Carl Bärenwaldt, farmer’s son in Medewitz. 3. Justine Bärenwaldt, farmer’s daughter in Medewitz.  The child died on 15 Dec 1848. (Wittenfelde, 11/1848).

13.1. Wilhelmine Friederike Elwine Krüger, born on 3 Dec 1849 in Medewitz, baptized on 9 Dec 1849.  (Wittenfelde, 31/1849).  Godparents: 1. Wilhelm Krüger, daylaborer in Tetzlaffshagen.  2. Wilhelmine Bärenwaldt, farmer’s daughter in Medewitz.  3. Miss Friederike Krüger, from Medewitz.

14. Wilhelm Krüger, daylaborer in Lüttkenhagen, was married to Friederike Otto.


14.1. Auguste Henriette Louise Krüger, born on 21 Jul 1848 in Lüttkenhagen, baptized on 6 Aug 1848.  (Wittenfelde, 20/1848).  Godparents: 1. August Borchardt, farmer and mayor’s son in Lüttkenhagen.  2. Henriette Sophie Retzlaff wife of the Cartwright Dreyer in Bandesow.  3. Miss Caroline Dorothea Krüger from Cammin.

15. Christoph Gottlieb Krüger, resident of Stuchow, died on 22 Feb 1848 on dropsy, age 73 years/3 month/2 days (b 23 Nov 1774), buried on 25 Feb 1848. He left behind a widow and 2 daughters, the youngest is minor.  (Wittenfelde, 2/1848)

Kamrath Family Records from Massow, Kreis Naugard, Pommern, Prussia

I sent my researcher in Germany to look for some Kamrath family records in the national archives in Stettin (Szczecin, Poland).  He found many of the records I requested, and also brought back dozens of records from other Kamrath families residing in Massow.  I’m posting the basic facts of these records here, but I do have scans of the original documents as well (if someone finds their family member among these and wants them).

1. Carl Friedrich August Kamrath, photographer in Massow, was married to Marie Magdalene Koch.  Their children were:

1.1. Hermann Martin Friedrich Kamrath, born on 7 May 1874 in Massow, bapt. on 27 May. (Massow, 41/1874).  He died on 29 May 1874.

1.2. Paul Hermann Adolph Kamrath, born on 13 May 1875 in Massow, bapt. on 19 May. (Massow, 23/1874).  He died on 4 Aug. 1875.

1.3. Martha Pauline Charlotte Kamrath, born on 5 Apr. 1876 in Massow, bapt. on 17 Apr. (Massow, 31/1876).  She died on 27 Jun. 1876.

1.4. August Christian Erhard Kamrath, born on 14 May 1877 in Massow, bapt. on 21 May. (Massow, 29/1877).  He died on 25 Aug. 1877.

1.5. Still born twin, born on 14 May 1877 in Massow. (Massow, 30/1877).

1.6. Auguste Marie Gertrud Kamrath, born on 1 May 1878 in Massow, bapt. on 30 May. (Massow, 37/1878).

1.7. Martha Luise Mathilde Kamrath, born on 10 Nov. 1879 in Massow, bapt. on 21 Dec. (Massow, 99/1879).  She died on 7 Sep. 1880.

1.8. Carl Julius Erich Kamrath, born on 11 Apr. 1881 in Massow, bapt. on 17 Apr. (Massow, 25/1881).

1.9. Pauline Johanna Margarethe Kamrath, born on 22 Oct. 1883 in Massow, bapt. on 25 Nov. (Massow, 70/1883).  She died on 22 Feb. 1884.

1.10. Carl Albert Paul Kamrath, born on 2 Jun. 1888 in Massow, bapt. on 13 Jul. (Massow, 51/1888).

Karl Julius Erich Kamrath, Kanzleibeamter (city clerk) in Massow, was married to Anna Maria Elisabeth Joecks.  Their children were:

1.8.1. Fritz Richard Karl Kamrath, born on 7 Feb. 1905 in Massow, bapt. on 12 Mar. (Massow, 8/1905).

1.8.2. Karl Franz August Kamrath, born on 30 Sep. 1906 in Massow, bapt. on 17 Nov. (Massow, 70/1906).

1.8.3. Paul Adolf Kamrath, born on 20 Dec. 1907 in Massow, bapt. on 6 Feb. 1908. (Massow, 86/1909).

 Albert Friedrich August Kamrath, Postillion (postman) in Massow, was married to Minna Auguste Bertha Klockow.  Their children were:

2.1. Gustav Karl Franz Kamrath, born on 9 Jan. 1900 in Massow, bapt. on 9 Feb. (Massow, 2/1900).

2.2. Franz Emil Karl Kamrath, born on 27 May 1901 in Massow, bapt. on 30 May. (Massow,44/1901).

2.3. Erich Paul Emil Kamrath, born on 18 Mar. 1906 in Massow, bapt. on 24 May. (Massow, 17/1906).

2.4. Paul Erich Carl Kamrath, born on 15 Oct. 1907 in Massow, bapt. on 26 Dec. (Massow, 76/1907).

2.5. Karl Ernst Albert Kamrath, born on 19 Feb. 1915 in Massow, bapt. on 14 Mar. (Massow, 19/1915).

Karl Paul Albert Kamrath, Lehrer (teacher) in Massow, was married 1st to Ella Brünka Hedwig Baatz.  Their children were:

1.10.1. Heinz Karl Gottfried Kamrath, born on 15 Aug. 1914 in Massow, bapt. on 14 Sep. (Massow, 51/1914).

1.10.2 Gerda Bianca Erika Kamrath born on 9 Dec 1916 in Bad Polzin (Kreis Naugard).

Karl Paul Albert Kamrath, Lehrer (teacher) in Massow, was married 2nd to Margarethe Agnes Klara Trantow.  Their son was:

1.10.3. Horst August Louis Kamrath, born on 10 Aug. 1920 in Massow, bapt. on 19 Sep. (Massow, 51/1920).

Christian Friedrich Kamrath, bricklayer in Massow, was married to Dorothea Louise Sophie Falk.  Their children were:

3.1. Andreas Julius Wilhelm Carl Christian Friedrich Kamrath, born on 1 Jul. 1816 in Massow, bapt. on 28 Jul. (Massow, 20/1816).

3.2. Hanne Dorothee Friederike Bertha Kamrath, born on 23 Aug. 1822 in Massow, bapt. on 22 Sep. (Massow, 41/1822).

Gottfried Kamrath, bricklayer in Massow, was married to Anne Sophie Friederike Curow.  Their children were:

4.1. Dorothea Marie Wilhelmine Adelheid Kamrath, born on 12 Mar. 1824 in Massow, bapt. on 4 Apr. (Massow, 29/1824).

Christian Friedrich Kamrath from Massow, was married to Anne Sophie Butz.  Their children were:

5.1. Johann Michel Friedrich Kamrath, born on 1 Oct. 1825 in Massow, bapt. on 5 Nov. (Massow, 63/1825).

Johann Ludwig Friedrich Koch, citizen and baker in Massow, son of the kämmerer (treasurer) Christian Ludwig Koch, born on 6 Dec. 1818, married on 15 Oct. 1846 in Massow to Miss Luise Pauline Uecker, born on 22 Jun. 1822, daughter of the deceased master miller Ernst Gottlieb Uecker in Landsberg an der Warthe, Kries Neumark, Brandenburg, Prussa.  Marriage announcement in Gollnow. (Massow, 17/1846).  The couple had at least fifteen children among them:

Maria Magdalena Koch, born on 3 Sep. 1848 in Massow. (Massow, 43/1848).

Carl Friedrich Wilhelm Koch, master baker in Massow, married on 27 Aug. 1816 in Massow Miss Henriette Wilhelmine Arndt. (Massow, 6/1816).  Some of their children were:

1.       Johann Friedrich Ferdinand Koch, born on 25 May 1817   in Massow. (Massow, 24/1817).

2.       Charlotte Wilhelmine Jacobine Koch, born on 13 Feb.1819   in Massow. (Massow, 13/1819).

3.       Johann Carl Friedrich Koch, born on 7 Sep.1822   in Massow. (Massow, 43/1822).

Carl Friedrich August Kamrath, worker in Massow, was married to Hanna Auguste Wilhelmine Timm.  Their children were:

6.1. Elisabeth Bertha Emilie Kamrath, born on 13 Jul.1875 in Massow. (Massow, 41/1875).

6.2. Bertha Auguste Kamrath, born on 5 Sep.1877 in Massow. (Massow, 60/1877).

August Friedrich Wilhelm Kamrath, farmer son in Massow, was married to Caroline Wilhelmine Emilie Knack.  Their children were:

7.1. Richard Carl Hermann Kamrath, born on 26 Aug. 1876 in Massow. (Massow, 69/1876) .

7.2. Robert Gottlieb Franz Kamrath, born on 3 Sep.. 1878 in Massow. (Massow, 51/1878).

7.1. Anna Mathilde Wilhelmine Kamrath, born on 8 Jul. 1880in Massow. (Massow, 36/1880).

Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Kamrath, farmer’s son in Massow, was married to Caroline Luise Marie Genske. Their children were:

8.1. Anna Emilie Auguste Kamrath, born on 2 Oct.1877 in Massow. (Massow, 70/1877).

8.2. Karl August Hermann Kamrath, born on 25 Apr. 1880 in Massow. (Massow, 24/1880).

8.3. Franz Friedrich Ferdinand Kamrath, born on 19 Jan. 1882 in Massow. (Massow, 4/1882).

8.4. Wilhelm Gustav Albert Kamrath, born on 8 Jan. 1885 in Massow. (Massow, 2/1885).

8.5. Hermann Friedrich Wilhelm Kamrath, born on 16 Jul. 1888 in Massow. (Massow, 66/1888).

8.6. Albert Paul Adolf, born on 17 Jun. 1891 in Massow. (Massow, 30/1891).

Johann Friedrich Kamrath, worker in Schönhof, was married to Luise Friederike Grunewald.  Their child was:

9.1. Ernestine Wilhelmine Emilie Kamrath, born on 15 May 1879 in Massow. (Massow, 49/1879).

Christian Friedrich August Kamrath, laborer in Massow, was married to Hanna Luise Fick.  Their child was:

10.1. Martha Auguste Luise Kamrath, born on 4 Aug. 1885 in Massow. (Massow, 94/1885).

Hermann Gottlieb Friedrich Kamrath, farmer in Massow Ausbau, was married to Luise Ernestine Friederike Emilie Neumann.  Their children were:

11.1. Paul Hermann August Kamrath, born on 27 May 1889 in Massow. (Massow, 35/1889).

11.2. Hedwig Emilie Kamrath, born on 19 Jul. 1890 in Massow. (Massow, 52/1890).

11.3. Frieda Else Kamrath, born on 19 Mar. 1894 in Massow. (Massow, 17/1894).

11.4. Erna Minna Luise Kamrath, born on 11 Mar. 1895 in Massow. (Massow, 16/1895).

11.5. Alice Amanda Adelheid Kamrath, born on 16 Aug. 1898 in Massow. (Massow, 56/1898) .

11.6. Emma Maria Liesbeth Kamrath, born on 30 Sep. 1899 in Massow. (Massow, 76/1899).

11.7. Max Hermann Erich Kamrath, born on 6 May 1901 in Massow. (Massow, 35/1901).

11.8. Kurt Alfred Franz Kamrath, born 26 Aug 1901 in Massow, baptized 10 Dec 1901.  (Massow 63/1905).

 Emil August Friedrich Ferdinand Kamrath, Bauunternehmer (builder) in Massow, was married to Emilie Friederike Wilhelmine Reinhardt.  Their children were:

12.1. Helene Elsa Marie Kamrath, born on 13 Nov. 1892 in Massow. (Massow, 73/1892).

12.2. Willi Georg Fritz Kamrath, born on 29 Oct. 1894 in Massow. (Massow, 85/1894).

12.3. Paul Arthur Emil Kamrath, born on 25 Mar. 1900 in Massow. (Massow, 20/1900).

12.4. Johanne Antonie Hedwig Kamrath, born on 24 Jun. 1902 in Massow. (Massow, 43/1902).

12.5. Gertrud Emmy Else Kamrath, born on 23 Feb. 1904 in Massow. (Massow, 17/1904).

12.3. Margarethe Else Hildegard Kamrath, born on 11 Jan. 1906 in Massow. (Massow, 4/1906).

Carl August Johann Kamrath, Ackerbürger (farmer and citizen) in Massow, was married to Wilhelmine Marie Mathilde Klockow.  Their children were:

13.1. Fritz Gottfried Julius Kamrath, born on 25 May 1894 in Massow, bapt. on 1 Jul. (Massow, 42/1894).

13.2. Minna Charlotte Bertha Kamrath, born on 12 Apr. 1895 in Massow, bapt. on 15 Apr. (Massow, 27/1895).

13.3. Heinrich Karl Albert Kamrath, born on 11 Jul. 1898 in Massow, bapt. on 28 Aug. (Massow, 49/1898).

Julius Johann Ferdinand Kamrath, Nachtwächter und Vollzugsbeamter in Massow, was married to Wilhelmine Friederike Luise Kamrath.  Their children were:

14.1. Fritz Hermann Kamrath, born on 8 Feb. 1892 in Massow. (Massow, 13/1892).

14.2. Anna Maria Luise Kamrath, born on 29 Apr. 1895 in Massow. (Massow, 32/1895).

14.3. Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Kamrath, born on 20 Sep. 1899 in Massow. (Massow, 72/1899).

14.4. Erich Wilhelm Fritz Kamrath, born on 29 Jan. 1904 in Massow. (Massow, 8/1904).

Wilhelm Friedrich Hermann Kamrath, worker in Massow, was married to Emilie Friederike Auguste Möser.  Their children were:

15.1. Emilie Wilhelmine Auguste Kamrath, born on 25 Jul. 1901 in Massow. (Massow, 62/1901).

15.2. Fritz Albert Carl Kamrath, born on 20 Jun. 1904 in Massow. (Massow, 61/1904).

15.3. Hedwig Minna Berta Kamrath, born on 11 Jan. 1906 in Massow. (Massow, 3/1903).

August Kamrath, master shoemaker in Massow, was married to Johanna Maass.  Their children were:

16.1. Emilie Wilhelmine Auguste Kamrath, born on 19 Oct. 1903 in Massow. (Massow, 83/1903).

Wilhelm Friedrich August Kamrath, worker in Massow, was married to Bertha Wilhelmine Auguste Göttling.  Their children were:

17.1. Hedwig Wilhelmine Ernestine Kamrath, born on 23 May 1903 in Massow. (Massow, 46/1903).

17.2. Emil Carl Wilhelm Kamrath, born on 29 Nov. 1904 in Massow. (Massow, 92/1904).

17.3. Frieda Eena Anna Kamrath, born on 18 Dec. 1909 in Massow. (Massow, 71/1909).

 Otto Reinhold Ferdinand Kamrath, farmer in Massow, was married to Martha Marie Friederike Luise Rollenhagen.  Their children were:

18.1. Willy Robert Martin Kamrath, born on 20 Aug. 1906 in Massow. (Massow, 62/1906).

18.2. Gerhard Ernst Gustav Kamrath, born on 29 jan. 1910in Massow. (Massow, 7/1910).

 Johann August Albrecht Kamrath, farmer in Massow, was married to Bertha Mathilde Emilie Erdmann.  Their children were:

19.1. Helene Dora Charlotte Kamrath, born on 18 Mar. 1905 in Massow. (Massow, 22/1905).

19.2. Gottfried Georg Kamrath, born on 7 May. 1908 in Massow. (Massow, 26/1908).

August Friedrich Albert Kamrath, dealer in Massow, was married to Bertha Ernestine Luise Brandenburg.  Their children were:

20.1. Ernst Paul Johannes Kamrath, born on 26 Oct. 1906 in Massow. (Massow, 79/1906).

 Johann Friedrich Kamrath, worker in Massow, was married to Ernestine Wilhelmine Emilie Mützel.  Their children were:

21.1. Fritz Gustav Hermann Kamrath, born on 17 May 1906 in Massow. (Massow, 15/1906).

21.2. Hedwig Anna Elisabeth Kamrath, born on 5 Jun. 1907 in Massow. (Massow, 37/1907).

21.3. Anna Hedwig Martha Kamrath, born on 28 Jun. 1910 in Massow. (Massow, 40/1910).

21.4. Paul Willi Ferdinand Kamrath, born on 19 Jan. 1915 in Massow. (Massow, 6/1915).

21.5. Erna Martha Emilie Kamrath, born on 3 Jan. 1918 in Massow. (Massow, 2/1918).

 Wilhelm August Albert Kamrath, railroad worker in Massow, was married to Emma maria Johanna Lettow.  Their children were:

22.1. Willi Gustav Albert Kamrath, born on 4 Nov. 1910 in Massow. (Massow, 69/1910.

22.2. Erich Wilhelm Hermann Kamrath, born on 2 May 1912 in Massow. (Massow, 43/1912).

22.3. Paul Wilhelm Hermann Kamrath, born on 8 Mar. 1914 in Massow. (Massow, 21/1914).

22.4. Gerhard Erich Paul Kamrath, born in 1915 in Massow. (Massow, 24/1915).

22.5. Fritz Paul Gerhard Kamrath, born on 25 Jun. 1919 in Massow. (Massow, 23/1919).

22.6. Hermann Richard Willy Kamrath, born on 20 Feb. 1922 in Massow. (Massow, 15/1922).

 Albert Paul Adolf Kamrath, locksmith in Massow, was married to Margarethe Helene Auguste Thurow.  Their children were:

23.1. Erna Hanna Margarethe Kamrath, born on 24 Jun. 1919 in Massow. (Massow, 26/1919).

23.2. Erwin Albert Wilhelm Kamrath, born on 7 Jul. 1922 in Massow. (Massow, 52/1922).

 Marie Luise Charlotte Kamrath had two illegitimate born twins:

24.1. Elisabeth Magdalena Kamrath, born on 5 Apr. 1920 in Massow. (Massow, 27/1920)

24.2. Edith Frieda Kamrath, born on 5 Apr. 1920 in Massow. (Massow, 28/1920).

 Fritz Gottlieb Julius Kamrath, farmer in Massow, was married to Marie Auguste Emma Maass.  Their child was:

25.1. Johanne Edith Christel Kamrath, born on 30 Jun. 1922 in Massow. (Massow, 48/1922).

James Ritchie 1822-1913

Since I have published excerpts from his diary, and a letter he wrote to his cousin Margaret Duff, I thought I’d put together a brief biography of my 1st cousin (4x removed) James Ritchie.


James Ritchie, courtesy of Catherine Duff.

James was born in the town of Bankfoot in Perthshire, Scotland on 27 Jun 1822, and baptized in the parish of Auchtergaven the same day . He was the middle child of seven children born to William Ritchie (1782-1831) and Marion “May” Duff (1792-1869), and their only son. His mother May Duff was the sister of my 3x-great-grandfather Reverend William Duff.  His father William Ritchie was an “officer of excise” or an “inland reserve officer”, that is to say, he was a tax man.

James Ritchie Baptism, 1822

James Ritchie Baptism, 1822

Death visited the Ritchie family often, unfortunately.  James’s sister Marjory died in 1821 as an infant, and his sister Jane died in 1825, also in infancy.  In 1828 his sister Charlotte died at the age of 10 years, and another sister (also named Jane) died in 1829 at three years of age.  Finally, in 1831, when James was only 9 years old, his father William Ritchie died.  That left his mother May, James, and his sister Charlotte Nicoll Ritchie as the only surviving members of the family.

I cannot find James in the 1841 Census for Scotland, and I’m guessing he might have been away at University as he would have been 19 years old.  James became a Civil Engineer, and he is listed as such in the 1851 census where he is living alone at 131 Point Street in Stornoway, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland.   Stornoway is on Lewis Island, to the north of Scotland, and was a part of Ross at the time.

1851 Census, Stornoway, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

1851 Census, Stornoway, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

In the 1861 census he’s living with his mother and his sister Charlotte Nicoll at 3 Melville St. in Perth Burgh, Perthshire, Scotland.  He is again listed as a civil engineer.  In 1865 he wrote some diary entries describing his trip to Liverpool to take his nieces Isabella and Margaret Duff to begin their journey back home to Nova Scotia.  They are worth a read.

On 22 Mar 1870 James married Annie Cowan Thomson in Redgorton, Scotland.  He was 47 years old.   Annie had been married previously to Dr. William John Thomson in Calcutta, India when she was 22 years old.

Ritchie Thomson Marriage, 1870

Ritchie Thomson Marriage, 1870

The couple ended up having four children:  The first son Charles Ritchie died in infancy.  His daughter, Dr. Beatrice Ritchie (1872-1962), studied at the Jex Blake School of Medicine for Women in Edinburgh and got her MD with distinction from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (Brussels) in 1893.  In 1895 she married her former teacher Dr. William Russell (Professor of Medicine at Edinburgh University), and had six children, four of whom were doctors [I will give brief biographies of them below].  During and after the First World War Beatrice worked for the Scottish Women’s Hospitals.

Beatrice Ritchie & her daughters c1902

Beatrice Ritchie & her daughters c1902

James and Annie next had a son, William Ritchie, who also became a doctor.  William seems to have moved to Ontario, Canada and married a woman named Annie Eliza Dane.  Last came another daughter, Annie May Ritchie, who married John A. Robson, a minister’s son and a solicitor [lawyer] in Edinburgh.

In the 1881 and 1891 Census, James Ritchie is listed as living at 6 Athole Place, Perth East Church, Perthshire, Scotland, and still listed as a civil engineer.  In 1901 he has moved to St Ninians, Stirlingshire, Scotland.  It’s just himself and his wife living there with a domestic servant.

James died in Roberton, Lanarkshire, Scotland on 10 Aug 1913 at the ripe old age of 91 years.  I have his probate documents in which he was described as “James Ritchie, Civil Engineer Lands Valuator, and Surveyor who resided sometime at 6 or 7 Athole Place Perth, thereafter at Birkhill Stirling, and thereafter at 10 St. James Terrace, Hillhead, Glasgow West who died at Roberton in the county of Lanark upon the 19th day of August, 1913”.

James Ritchie probate index, 1913

James Ritchie probate index, 1913

James was said to have been involved in the creation of the railways running through the Scottish Highlands.  Interestingly, his estate showed that he owned shares of the Illinois Central Railroad Company and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway in the United States.  His entire estate was valued at about £ 9,000.  James was buried in Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh, Scotland with his wife, his son-in-law Dr. William Russell, his daughter Dr. Beatrice Ritchie, and his grand-daughter Dr. Beatrice Annie Sybil Russell.

Dean 2c Cemetery Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland

Dean 2c Cemetery
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland

There is a large obelisk in the Kirkstyle Cemetery which is located between Berryhill Farm (the Duff Family farm) and the town of Bankfoot (where the Ritchie Family lived).  The inscription reads:

“Erected by James Ritchie in memory of his father William Ritchie who died 19th May 1831 aged 49 years, and mother May Duff who died 4th January 1869 aged 76 years, and sisters May, Jane, Charlotte, Jane, and Charlotte Nicoll Ritchie.”

Ritchie Family Grave

Ritchie Family Grave

I think it shows the depth of his devotion to, and love for, his family.

Children of Beatrice Ritchie and William Russell

As mentioned above, James’s daughter Beatrice Ritchie and her husband Dr. William Russell had six children, one of which (Ivan) died from tuberculosis in infancy.  Four of their children became respected physicians in their own rights.  Each merits a full biography, but I will give brief details here:

Beatrice Annie Sybil “Sybil” Russell (1986-1978) became the house physician in Northampton, then house surgeon at Bolton in Lancashire.  She got her MD in 1939 from Edinburgh University.  She spent about 25 years working as a consulting physician training nurses and midwives in the Gold Coast Hospitals in Africa before retiring in 1950.  During that time she published papers on malaria and anaemia in Africa.

Helen May Russell (1897-1987) graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1920 and was a house surgeon at Bolton, Lancashire like her sister Sybil.  She then became a resident at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh.  She was one of the first two women to ever pass the MRCPE [Member of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh] exam in 1924, and one of the first two women to become a Fellow of that society in 1929.  She got her MD that same year.  She had a long and distinguished career which ended with her appointment as pathologist at the Manchester Christie Hospital from 1944 until her retirement in 1962.  She published 28 medical papers in her career.

Margaret Scott Russell (1899-1961) met a Russian named Michael Chramtschenko, who had fled from the Nijnl-Novgorod region during the Russian Revolution of 1917-1918.  Michael’s father had been a General in the Russian Army and Governor of Nijnl-Novgorod, but he was killed during the revolution.  Michael fought during the Revolution, then fled through Poland and Scotland to reunite with Margaret Russell.  The two had met when Margaret was working in Russia with refugees.  The lovers planned to be married, and Michael went to Ontario, Canada.  Margaret followed.  They were married there in 1924, and stayed there until Margaret’s death in 1961.  The couple had no children, but Michael remarried and has living descendants from that marriage.

Margaret, Sybil, & Helen Russell c1909

Margaret, Sybil, & Helen Russell c1909

William Ritchie “Ritchie” Russell (1903-1980) was educated at Edinburgh University where he qualified in 1926.  His MD thesis earned a gold medal in 1932, and is still cited as a landmark work in the field of head trauma studies.  Ritchie married Jean Stuart Low in 1932 and had two children.  He worked in Oxford at the Military Hospital for Head Injuries during WWII.  He later became the first chair of Clinical Neurology at Oxford in 1966.  He established a retirement community called Ritchie Court which still exists.  His son, Michael Russell is a third-generation doctor in Dorset.


William “Ritchie” Russell

William Ritchie Russell

William Ritchie Russell

Photo courtesy of the Ritchie Center.

Charles Scott “Scott” Russell (1912-1971) studied at Edinburgh University and obtained his MB in 1935.  Hebecame the first professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Sheffield University in 1950, was a prolific author and researcher on the subject.  Scott became renowned as the man who, in 1968, proved a link between smoking and low infant weight.

Dr. Scott Russell

Dr. Scott Russell

It is not an overstatement to say that the Ritchie family was a medical dynasty in Scotland.


Revolutionary War Pension for Sgt. David Morse (1756-1840)

As I have written before, David Morse was my 5x great grandfather.   He was born in Preston, New London, Connecticut on 27 Feb 1756 to Nathaniel Morse and Mary Morgan.  David had four brothers and three sisters.  He grew up in New London, and about 15 December, 1775 he enlisted in the Continental Army in Norwich, Connecticut to fight against the British.  According to David’s testimony, he enlisted as a Sergeant in the 17th Continental Regiment under Capt. Timothy Percival and Col. Jedediah Huntington “about the middle of December” for the annual salary of $96.

David was discharged from the Army about 1 Nov 1776 after he was seriously injured by a falling rock during the construction of fortifications on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor.  He went home to Preston where he was married and had nine children with his wife Esther Laribee.  After she died, David remarried to my 5x great-grandmother Sarah Lathrop, and they had four more children.

David was, by all accounts, a poor man who worked when he could as a mason.  Unfortunately, the injuries he sustained during the war had, by his own account and the accounts of many others, left him unable to do much physical labor.  He and his family struggled to get by.  In 1818, the US Government passed a law granting pensions to those who could prove they had served during the Revolutionary War, and were in financial need.  David applied for this pension, and the next 35 years would involve him, his family, and his widow Sarah trying to get what he was owed for his service.  The military website has 91 pages of paperwork from David’s various pension applications over the years, and this document is going to give an overview of this paperwork.

From my vantage point in the present I have very little means to judge the validity of David’s claims of injury, sorrow and woe.  It’s very likely that some claims made in these documents are not true, or are exaggerated: at two points, for example, mention was made of David having been shot by a musket, a conclusion which I doubt because David himself never once mentioned having seen combat.  I can only say that literally dozens of people, including State Senators, judges, lawyers, neighbors, brothers, children, Justices of the Peace, Court Clerks, and doctors, came forward to try to help him obtain his pension, as we will see.  These documents provide many invaluable bits of information about David, his wife, his children, his siblings, and their lives from 1775 to 1855.

Many of the pages will only require a very short description, but the more detailed pages I’ll transcribe more fully.  Instead of going through them in numerical order, I’m going to present them in roughly chronological order.

21 Apr 1818.  Page 25.  Sworn testimony in Franklin County Court in New York before Cone? Andres.  “David Morss of the Town of Chateaugay (Franklin, NY) is a native of Preston in the State of Connecticut, now aged sixty-three years and is now residing in the Town of Chateaugay and that by reason of his reduced circumstances in life he stands in need of assistance from his Country for support, and that in the month of October or November in the year 1775 he enlisted as a Sergeant in the Army of the United States to serve against the common enemy in the Revolutionary War for the term of one year in a Company commanded by Capt. T(imothy) Percival in the regiment commanded by Col. (Jedediah) Huntington in the Connecticut Line of Continental Troops, and that he did serve during the said year, and that previous to the expiration of his service he again enlisted to serve as a Sergeant in the same company and regiment for the term of three years exclusive of the first year and to commence at the expiration of the first year.  He further stated that that he continued in the company and regiment as a Sergeant until about the first of November, 1776 when he was regularly discharged near the city of New York as a consequence of a wound received by the fall of a stone while laboring at the fortification on Governor’s Island in the month of August in the same year, which not only disabled him for the service, but wholly unfitted him for any kind of labor for a year after his discharge, and from that time to the present has greatly affected him.  He further stated that at the time of his discharge he received a regular written discharge, but about twenty years ago (c 1798) he gave his discharge to Jeremiah Halsen Esq. of Preston, Connecticut for the purpose of obtaining a pension from the United States and that this discharge has never been returned to him, nor any pension obtained, and that it is not in his power to now procure the said discharge.  He stated that there is no person in this vicinity by whom he can prove any of the above-mentioned facts relative to his service and that the above is the best and only evidence now in his power.  Signed, David Morss.  Sworn and subscribed this 21st day of April 1818 before me, Cone Andreas, Judge, who certifies that I am personally acquainted with the above-named David Morss , that the above deposition is the only evidence which as been exhibited to me in this case, that it appears to my satisfaction that David Morss served in the Revolutionary War and it appears to my satisfaction that the affidavid is in all respects true.  April 21st 1818, Cone Andreas, Judge.”


Col. Jedediah Huntington

21 Apr 1818.  Page 64.  Slip of paper.  “David Morse, papers, sergt.  Col. Huntington’s Connec’t Reg’t.  Dec 1775 for 1 year 1776 3 years, discharged in Dec 1776.  21 Apr 1818.

2 May 1818.  Page 27.  Top of page.  Statement from Asa Wheeler, Clerk of Franklin County (NY) Court that Cone Andres, Esq. who made the previous affidavit was a Judge of the Court of Common Please, and was signed by Asa Wheeler on 2 May 1818.

11 Sept 1819.  Page 23-24.  Envelope reading “David Morss application & proof for a pension”.  Written and crossed out: “Returned for the judge’s certificate that from the reduced circumstances of the applicant he is in need of his country’s assistance for support. 11 Sept 1819.  Testimony of two credible and disinterested witnesses to prove the service of applicant taken and ??”.  On the reverse side is written and not crossed out: “Returned for correction as there were no enlistments prior to Dec. 1775 for so long a term as nine months.  The judge will certify that by reason of the applicant’s reduced circumstances, he needs his country’s assistance for support.  11 Sept 1819.”

12 Nov 1819.  Pages 27-28.  Sworn court testimony in Franklin County Court, New York.  “David Morss, applicant for a pension named in the foregoing declaration states that the relation by him given in the previous declaration is in all respects true excepting that according to his best recollection he now verily believes that he enlisted into the Company of Capt. T. Percival in the Regiment commanded by Col. Huntington in the Connecticut Line of Troops as mentioned by him, on or about the middle of December in 1775, and not earlier.  For that after much reflection he now well-recollects that about one week after he enlisted he marched with a small detachment of recruits from Preston, Connecticut for Roxbury near Boston, and that on the first or second day of the march he met his brother at Plainfield in Connecticut and that they greeted each other with a “Merry Christmas”, from which circumstance and others which now occur to him, he does not doubt that it was on the 25th day of December 1775 that he met his brother in Plainfield, and that this was no more than eight or ten days after his enlistment.  (Preston to Roxbury is about 85 miles and would have taken many days to accomplish.  The route does pass through Plainfield.)


He further states that at the time of making his declaration these facts did not occur to him and that at that time he had no date by which he could fix the known time of his enlistment, and that his infirmities occasioned by the fall of a stone while laboring at the fortification on Governor’s Island (in New York Harbor) increase with his age and has now almost entirely unfitted him from any kind of manual labor.  Signed, David Morss.  Sworn the 12th day of November 1819 before me Cone Andreas, Judge.”

12 Nov 1819.  Page 65.  Sworn testimony of Cone Andres Esq, judge of the Court of Common Pleas for Franklin County, New York, certifying that he is personally acquainted with David Morse, and that he appeared before the judge on 12 Nov 1819 to make the above sworn affidavit. Testimony of Asa Wheeler, County Clerk stating that Cone Anders is a judge as stated.

12 Dec 1819.  Page 10.  Sworn court testimony before Truman Chittenden, judge of Chittenden County Court in Vermont.  Elijah M. Morse, of Essex, Chittenden, Vermont, aged 53 years, stated that he was the brother of David Morse of the town of Chateaugay, NY, and that he had personal knowledge that David “enlisted in the Fall of 1775, and served as a Sergeant in the Company commanded by Capt. Percival in the Regiment commanded by Col. Huntington in the Connecticut Line of Continental Troops until the Fall of 1776 when the said David Morss was discharged in consequence .. of a wound occasioned by the fall of a stone while laboring upon the fortification near New York, and that the said David Morss was so much injured and disabled by the said wound as to be wholly unfit for business for a long time after his discharge from the army.”

14 Dec 1819.  Page 11.  Testimony of Phineas Lyman that Truman Chittenden Esq. from the above document is, indeed, a judge of the County Court as written.

16 Dec 1819.  Page 12 & 13.  Sworn court testimony before Dudley Chale, chief judge of the Superior Court.  Nathaniel Morss (sic) of Royalton, Windsor, Vermont, aged 67 years, testified that he is the brother of David Morse and that David served during the Revolutionary War.  The details of his service presented are the same as outlined by Elijah Morse.

At the bottom of the page, there is a further statement from the same date (continued on the next page) that the aforementioned Dudley Chale was personally acquainted with Nathaniel Morss, and that “he is a person of integrity and .. veracity”.  There is a statement on the bottom of page 13 that is not filled out as to the date or names.  It was supposed to be signed by a clerk of the court.

13 Jun 1820.  Page 5 (duplicate on page 7).  Sworn court testimony from Malone, Franklin, New York on 13 June 1820.  David Morse testified that “he served in the revolutionary war, enlist[ing] in the month of December 1775, he enlisted into the Company commanded by Capt. [Timothy] Percival in the Regiment commanded by Col. Huntington in the Connecticut line for the term of one year and that he served as a Sergeant in the said Company until the Fall of the year 1776 when he was discharged by reason of a wound received on Governor’s Island near New York.”  It further states that he applied for his pension on 21 Apr 1818, and was granted a pension No. 16.971 dated 18 May 1820.  The paper then contains a detailed listing of David’s possessions, in total amounting to about $31.75 in value.  He mentions the fact that he has 70 acres of land and a home, both of which he is about to lose due to non-payment, and has a rented cow for which he pays 75 cents per week.

13 Jun 1820.  Page 9.  Same page, with overleaf removed.  Testimony of David Morse continues.  “That by occupation I am a mason, but that in consequence of my age and infirmities I am unable to labor but a small part of the time .. in consequence of the wound received on Governor’s Island in the year 1776.  I have never since enjoyed health, that I have since had both my legs broken which causes me to be lame at this time so that I am entirely unfit to labor and should not attempt it if I were not compelled by necessity.  (signed) David Morss.”  He continues with some important information about his current situation:  “My family consists of myself, my wife and four children, all of whom are dependent upon me for support, to wit, my wife Sally, aged fifty-five years, who is in a decline and unable to perform much labor.  Charlotte and Maria Morss, twins, aged 13 years, that Charlotte is in health but Maria is sickly and unable to perform any labor.  Mary Morss, aged 12 years is in an ill state of health and unable to render any assistance.  Hannah Morse, aged 11 years, is healthy, but too young to render any assistence.  (signed) David Morse.”  This testimony was signed by Asa Wheeler, clerk of the court of Common Pleas, who further states that he certifies the falue of David’s property is $56.75.

13 Jun 1820. Page 8.  Overleaf on previous page.  List of David Morse’s possessions continued.  It is mentioned that he owes $351 to various persons “over and above what I have contracted to pay for my land”.

13 Jun 1820. Page 6. Cover for above testimony.  “David Morss (sic), Record of Schedule Oath 16.971.

8 Mar 1821.  Page 67.  Letter signed by 21 neighbors, friends, and family of David Morse.
“This may certify that we are personlly acquainted with David Morss (sic) of the town of Chateaugay in Franklin County and we are his neighbors and are well acquainted with his circumstances in relation to his health and property.  His property has been recently sold by the Sheriff on execution and did not pay near all that was due on the judgement and the judgement was a bonafide debt.  The said David Morss is the same David Morss that has applied for a pension under the act of Congress of the 18th March 1818.  In regard to his health, he is very infirm and a considerable part of the time is really unable to do any labour.  This representation is made with a view to assist him to obtain his pension which we believe and know he stands in great need of to prevent him from suffering for the necessaries of life for himself and family.  Chateaugay, March 8th 1821.  Signed, George W. Douglass, John Douglass, Abram Atwater, Russell Fairman, Thomas Starks, Wolcott Duane, John Shannon, Rufus Morse, John Mitchell, Simeon Bellows, James Hatch, Gates Hoyt, Amasa Fairman, Thomas Smith, Gideon Collins, Mathew Signeur, John Kessal, John P. Bishop, Eliam Roberts, Nathan Ren??, H.G. Douglas.”

23 Mar 1821.  Page 68.  Statement from Reuben H. Walworth, notary public, certifies that the persons whose names appear above are inhabitants of Chateaugay where David Morse resides, that he is personally acquainted with most of them and that they comprise a great part of the most respectable inhabitants of that town.”

23 Mar 1821.  Page 69.  Letter from Palmer Walworth to J(ohn) L. Edwards esq.  “Platsburgh March 23, 1821.  Sir, we send the annexed certificate on the subject of David Morse’s pension claim the inventory was sent in July 1820.  The old man is lame and certified true.  Have directed him to furnish the reportment  with evidence of that fact from some respected physician.  Yours, Palmer Walworth.”

2 Apr 1821.  Envelope stamped from Plattsburgh, NY.  March (1821).  “Section of Pension, John C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, Washington, D.C.  Received 2 Apr 1821.”

Note: John Calhoun (1782-1850), to whom this letter is addressed, was Secretary of War at the time, but would also be a Congressman, Vice President, Senator, and Secretary of State in his political career.  He was a noted firebrand advocating for the secession of the South more than a decade before the Civil War.


John C. Calhoun in 1822

c 1821.  Page 4.  Bi-fold paper, Certificate of Pension.  1st side is handwritten note: “Notice sent to Messrs. Palmer and Wat?, July 1821, Plattsburgh, NY.”  Other side:  “16.971R  New York.  David Morse of Chateaugay in the state of New York who was a Sergeant in the regiment commanded by Colonel Huntington of the Connecticut line for the term of 1 year.  Inscribed on the roll of New York at the rate 8 dollars a month to commence on the 21st of April 1818.  Certificate of Pension issued the 18th of May 1820 sent to Asa Harkall, Esq. Malone, NY.  4th of March 1820 – 179.69 all’ce ending 4 Sept. 1820 – 48.00 Mo. 10/30 4/31 $227.69.  Revolutionary claim, Act 18th March, 1818.”  Then a note at the bottom: “Discontinued, Franklin Co.”

1 Mar 1823.  Page 79.  Envelope addressed to “Hon. J.C. Calhoun, Secretary of War, Washington City.  1 March 1823, NY, David Morss. Rec’d 18 Aug 1823.”

c1823.  Page 54.  Bi-fold paper.  “Copy of the oath and schedule of David Morse for a continuance of his pension under the act of March 1, 1823”.

10 Jun 1823.  Pages 55-58.  Testimony from court of common pleas, Malone County, New York, judges Benjamin Clark, Henry L. Waterhouse, Roswell Bates & James Campbell Esq.  David Morse, aged 67 years, resident of Chateaugay in Franklin County, swore as to his service in the Revolutionary War.  The details are similar to those attested to in other documents.   It states that he made his first pension application on 21 Apr 1818, and that he received pension certificate number 16970 dated 18 May 1820, that he has not sold property to diminish his financial standings to be eligible for a pension, nor does he have any property in trust with others to hide it.  It then gives a detailed listing of his personal property:

“No real estate.  One iron pot, one small kettle, one cracked tea kettle, one small basin, one grid iron, one shovel & tongs, one iron ??, one iron bar, two trowels, one stone hammer, one old horse collar & traces, one hand saw & one square, one small auger, 12 1/2 and one .75, a few other articles of husbandry, one spinning wheel and table, three old chairs, one old stool, one ?? platter, 5 earthen plates, one teapot and three tea cups w/ saucers, one earthen platter, and two tubs.  One churn, one pair pincers, one shoe hammer, and a few other articles of furniture worth not more than two dollars.”  The entire value of his estate was given as $19.47.  He then states that he owes “over and above what [he] has any means to pay more than $500.”

David then enumerates the changes in his life since his last pension petition:

“That since the initiation of my first schedule the following changes have been made in my property, vis., The real estate then in my possession was sold by the sheriff of the County of Franklin under a judgement against me and has been out of my possession more than one year.  I have returned the cow to the owner, I have fattened and killed the swine for the use of my family, I have been obliged to sell some articles of iron are and tools and implements mentioned in my former schedule to procure necessities for my family, others have been broken and worn out except such as are contained in this (inventory), I have received the debt due from – Prestage and discharged the same.  That by occupation I am a mason, but that in consequence of my age and infirmity I am unable to labor.  That in consequence of the wound received in the service of my country in the year 1776, I have never since enjoyed health, that I have since had both of my legs broken in consequence of which I have since then been lame.  That my family consists of myself, my wife, and three daughters to wit my wife Sally aged fifty-eight years, who is sickly and unable to perform much labor – Charlotte Morse, aged 18 years who is unable to support herself – Mary Morse aged 16 in bad health and unable to support herself – Hannah Morse, aged 14 years – and that my family are principally dependent on me for support and are in my opinion unable to support themselves.  Signed, David Morse.  Sworn and declared on the 10th day of June 1823 in open court.  Asa Wheeler, Clerk.”  Asa Wheeler then signs below saying that he believes the total amount of property value exhibited in the schedule is $20.22.

2 Aug 1823.  Page 80.  “New York Supreme Court.  Isaac Sebring vs David Morss.  I, John Wood Esq, late sheriff of the County of Franklin in the State of New York do certify that in January 1831 while I was Sheriff of said county I sold all the real and personal property then owned and in the possession of David Morss of the Town of Chateaugay in the said county under and by virtue of an execution paid in the above-entitled cause (Sebring vs Morss), dated at Malone 2 Aug 1823, John Wood late (former) Sheriff.” Attested to by Asa Hascall, Justice of the Peace.

2 Aug 1823. Page 81.  Asa Wheeler, clerk, certifies that John Wood was sheriff.

2 Sept 1823.  Page 40.  Bi-fold paper.  “David, Morss, Sergt. served 1 year from 1775.  1st Sched. dated June 1820, Real estate, 70 acres of land, not paid for, no price affixed to it, personal property $50.75, indebted to whom not stated $351.  Sched. under act Mar 1823, personal property $20.22, in debt $500, accounts for the decreased property and it appears by a certificate properly authenticated from the Sherrif that he sold under execution all the property of the claimant, but not details what kind of property.  Claimant aged 67 years “a mason”, unable to labor in consequence of “infrirmities”, wife 68 years, sickly, 3 daughters 18, 16 and 14 yrs, unable to support themselves.  Asa Wheeler Esq. Malone, NY.  Restored 2 Sept 1823, letter to David Morss 12 Mar 1821.  ?? 1820″.

Mar 1834. Page 59. Small note.  “In the case of David Morse, upon an appplication fro an invalid pension, you have his applit. and the efforts of David Morse, and Mr. Morse requests Mr. Edward’s attention to the same.  Get the pension blanks in all cases and send them to me by mail.  James McNiece.  Direct to James McNiece, Johnstown, Mong. Co. NY”.

The next several items seem to be related to David Morse contacting John Edwards in Washington D.C. who was the Commissioner of Pensions in 1834 and became the congressional representative from New York from 1837 to 1839.  Mr. Edwards was from Johnstown, NY where David also lived at the time.

5 Mar 1834.  Letter.  “Chateaugay, Franklin Co. NY.  March 5 1834.  J. L. Edwards Esqr.  Comm. of Pensions.


Having served my country in the war of the Revolution for about three and a half years as a sergeant in Capt. Percival’s Company of Infantry in Col. Huntington’s Regiment in the Connecticut Line of Contenental Troops, I am advised that under the act of congress of the 7th June 1832 I am entitled to receive an increase of my pension to ten dollars per month.  For this purpose I now enclose my pension certificate filed under the act of the 18th March 1818 and I have to request a certificate under the act of 7th June 1832 if by the provisions of that act I am entitled to an incrase and if not so entitled that you will return the enclosed certificate.  In either case, please send to the care of Asa Hascall, Esqr. at Malone, Franklin Co. NY.  My place of residence is at Chateaugay in the same county and state.  Respectfully, your obt. servt.  David Morss”.

6 Mar 1834.  Page 48.  Envelope. Malone, NY, Mar 6.  David Morse 5 Mar 1834, Frex, 12 March 1834.  J.L. Edwards Esqr.  Commissioner of Pensions, Washington City, D.C.”

3 Apr 1834.  Pages 83-84.  Letter from David Morse and Asa Hascall to J. L. Edwards Esq.  “Malone, Franklin Co. of NY, 3 Apr 1834.  To J. L. Edwards Esq. Commissioner of Pensions.  Sir, you will oblige me by returning to Asa Hascall at Malone my pension certificate issued under the act of 18th March 1818 bearing date 18th May 1820 which is now at your Department.  Your obedient serv’t.  David Morss.

Sir, Mr. David Morss desires that you will have the goodness to send his pension certificate which I sent to your department on the 5th of March last back to me, having come to the conclusion that it is better for him to abide by his old certificate under the act of the 18th March 1818 than to apply under the act of 7 Jun 1832.  The old gentleman says he served as a sergeant in Capt. Percival’s Company of Inf’r in Col. Huntington’s Reg’t, in the Connecticut Line of Continental Troops from the Autumn of 1776 to the Autumn of 1777, about one year, when he was discharged in consequence of a severe wound which he received, from which he received in about two years so as to be again fit for duty and that after his recovery he performed several tours of service in the Militia of Six or three months each, amounting in all as he thinks to as much as two years militia service in which he always served as a sergeant but his recollection of these different terms of service and of the names of the different officers under whom he served is so indistinct that he declines the undertaking to particularize under oath.  I assisted Mr. Morss in preparing his first pension certificate and have known him for about 18 years.  I believe him to be about 80 years of age and know that now he is quite infirm and super ??.  I remain very respectfully your obedient servant, Asa Hascall, Malone, 4 Apr 1834.”

5 Apr 1821.  Page 82.  Envelope.  “Malone, NY.  J.L.  Edwards Esqr.  Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, D.C.  David Morse , New York April 16th.  David Morss asks his pension certificate to be returned.”

24 Aug 1837.  Page 51.  Certificate from Drs. James W. Miller and William H. Johnson regarding the health of David Morse.  “Johnstown, Montgomery County, State of New York.  August 24th 1837.  It is hereby certified that David Morse, a Sergeant in a Company of Infantry .. is rendered incapable of performing the duty of a soldier by reason of wounds or other injuries inflicted while he was actually in the service aforesaid in the line of duty, vis. a aruale? ventral hernia about one inch above his navel, an inguinal hernia of the of the left side which is partially retained by a truss, that he has a scar on the upper and inner portion of his left thigh which may have proceeded from a musket ball.  By satisfactory evidence and accurate examination it appears David Morse in the fall of the second year of the Revolutionary War received the above-mentioned wounds and that his is thereby in the opinion of the subscribed surgeons in consequence of the above-mentioned injuries and his age totally disabled from obtaining his livelihood by manual labor.  Signed: J. W. Miller MD, W. H Johnson, MD.  Subscribed and sworn the 24th Aug 1837 before John W. Caty, Justice of the Peace of Mongtomery County”, who further testifies that the physicians mentioned are “reputable in their profession as physicians and surgeons”.

24 Aug 1837.  Page 52.  Sworn testimony in Montgomery County Court, NY.  “I, David Morse of Johnstown in the County of Montgomery and State of New York, saith that I was a soldier of the Revolution in the War between the United States and Great Britain, and was a Sergeant in a company commanded by Captain Percival in Colonel Huntington’s Regiment of Infantry in the Connecticut Line of Continental Troops, and am now a pensioner under the act of Congress of 18th March 1818, as will appear by reference to my pension certificate on file in the pension office of the United States, that (I) was wounded several times by musket balls and otherwise while in the service of the United States in the Revolutionary War .. that (I am) very much disabled on account of said wounds and injuries and have not for the greater part of the time been able to procure (my) subsistence or livelihood from or by manual labor.  That (I am) at present in indigent circumstances and altogether unable to support (myself).  Signed: David Morss”.  Subscribed and sworn the 24th Aug 1837 before John W. Cady, JOP.

25 Aug 1837.  Page 53.  Letter from George D. Ferguson, clerk of the County of Montgomery, New York, certifying that the people who foreswore the affidavit of David Morse had done so properly.

25 Aug 1837.  Page 63.  Letter from James McNiece to John Edwards.  “Johnstown 25 Aug 1837.  Sirs, Enclosed are the papers in the case of David Morse for an invalid pension that we spoke to you about at ?? before your departure for Washington.  I wish you would proceed in this case with all convenient speed and let me know by mail what progress.  I shall expect an answer in a few days.  In haste, Yours Respectfully, James Mc Niece.”

1837.  Page 60.  Slip of paper.  “Dav. Morse, Copy  Papers.  Hon. J. Edwards”.

1837.  Page 61.  Slip of paper.  “Copy David Morse’s papers for Hon. Jon. Edwards. AR, Morse, Inv’d N. York.  (Not allowed)”.

25 Sept 1837.  Page 62.  Envelope.  “David Morse New York, Invalid, Hon. J. Edward H.R.  Hon. John Edwards, Representative in Congress, Washington D. C.  Received Sept 25 1837, Att. to Hon. J. Edwards same, Dec 27 1837, same, Jan 13 1838, copies of papers handed to Hon. J. Edwards Dec 31, 1838.  72137”.

28 Jun 1844.  Page 77.  Letter from John Shew to J. L. Edwards, Comm. of Pensions.  “Broadalbin, Fulton County, NY.  28 Jun 1844.  Sir.  A man by the name of David Morss was a Sergent in Capt. Percival’s company in Col. Huntington’s Regiment and was pensioned at the rate of eight dollars per month under the act of 18th March 1818, given at the war office of the United States 18th May 1820.  The original certificate was surrendered up at the time of drawing the arrears due his widow at the time of his death.  I believe he died in 1841 or 1842.  I am of the opinion that when the act of June 7th 1832 was passed he might have surrendered up his certificate of 18th May 1820 and applied under the said act of June 7th ’32 and received sergeant’s pay, which would amount to some considerable more than what he then was provided had he served about two years as a sergeant.  The question which I now want answered is this; can his widow now obtain that amount of money from the 4th March 1841 to the day of his death, i.e. the difference between $96 per annum and that of a seargent’s pay in the line?  It would be about two years.  I have not now the precise time of his death before me but it can be proven, and I believe it to have been in the year 1841.  It would amount to more than two hundred dollars.  An answer would be most thankfully rec’d.  Very respectfully, John J. Shew.  Hon J. L. Edwards, Comm. of Pensions.”

3 Jul 1844.  Page 76.  Envelope.  Hon. James L. Edwards, Comm. of Pensions, Washington, D.C.  David Morss, New York, 1818.  Broadalbin Jul 3.

6 Jul 1844.  Page 43.  “Certificate of David Morss, Sergeant, Act 18 March 1818, returned to Asa Hascall, Malone, NY.  See letter 8th May 1834, letter to J. T. Shew, July 6 1844, File Sept 20.”

16 Jul 1852.  Page 2: Damaged bi-fold paper.  “Let[ter] to E.B. Smith July 16, 1853.  811.  New York [Volume] A.  Sarah Morse, widow of David Morse, who served in the Revolutionary War as a Sergent in the Connecticut Line, inscribed on the roll at the rate of $96, 0 cents per annum, to commence on 3 Feb 1853, certificate of pension issued the 7th day of June 1853, sent to E.B. Smith Chateaugay, Franklin Co. NY.  Recorded on a roll of pensioners under act, page 74, Vol A, Feb 1853.”

16 Jul 1852.  Envelope.  “Department of the Interior, Pension Office, Official Business.  Nr. 1204, Appl. of Sarah Morse, widow of David.  N York, act 3 Feb. 1853, Rec’d: E.B. Smith Chateaugay, Franklin, NY.”

c 1853. Page 1.  Index card for “David Morse (Morss)” from Connecticut and his wife Sarah.  Number W1982, then another index number: BLH26775-160-55.

24 Mar 1853.  Page 14.  Sworn testimony before Giles W. Smith, justice of the peace of Franklin County, New York for the purpose of obtaining widow’s pension benefits.  “Sarah Morse, a resident of the town of Burke in the County of Franklin, State of New York, aged eighty-eight years .. [stated] that she is the widow of David Morse who was a private in the Regiment commanded by Colonel Huntindon (sic) in the Connecticut line of State Troops or Regulars in the army of the Revolution and whose name was inscribed on the pension list roll of the Albany New York agency at the rate of $8/month some time in the year 1818 or 1819, and who drew a pension at the rate of $8month from some time in the year 1818 to the day of his death on the 9th of July 1840.  She further declares that her maiden name was Sarah Adams (she was actually Sarah Lathrop, and her first husband was Dr. Oliver Adams), that she was married to the late David Morse by Esq. Parkhurst at the town of Sharon, Vermont on the 21st day of February 1804, and lived and co-habitated with said David Morse as his wife from that date until the time of his death – that her said husband died at the town of Johnston, Fulton, New York on the 9th day of July 1840, that she was not married to him prior to his leaving service.  She further swears that she is now a widow and that she has never made any application for pension, and that she knows of no public record of her marriage and that the family record of her said marriage is lost.  Signed ( by an X and “her mark”), Sarah Morse, G. W. Smith, Samuel Pond (her son-in-law).”

Signed at the bottom by Giles W. Smith who further certifies that “I am well-acquainted with said Sarah Morse and know her to be a person of truth and veracity and the widow of said David Morse who was a revolutionary pensioner, and that she is now aged and infirm and unable to appear in open court, and so blind as to be unable to write.”

24 Mar 1853.  Page 15.  Sworn testimony of Rufus Morse (son of David Morse) before Daniel Mitchell, justice of the peace of Franklin County, New York.  “Rufus Morse, aged fifty-eight years, says that he is a resident of the town of Chateaugay, Franklin, New York, where he has resided during the last forty-four years, and knows that the said David Morse was a revolutionary pensioner on the Albany New York Agency .. that he was also well acquainted with Sarah Morse for the last forty-nine years, and knows that she is the widow of said David Morse – that he was present at the marriage of David Morse and Sarah Adams, and was a witness thereto, that he has been constantly and continuously acquainted with said David Morse and his wife from that time until the death of David, and knows that they, during the whole of said time, lived and cohabitated together as man and wife, and that she has not since the death of David Morse intermarried with any other person but still remains [his] widow.  Deponent further states that he is himself a son of David Morse by a former marriage (to Esther Laribee), and that his mother, the first wife of David, died on or about the 31st day of December 1803.”  Daniel Mitchell further states that he knows Rufus Morse and “knows him to be a person of truth and veracity and liken him to be of the age stated in his affidavit.”

25 Mar 1853.  Page 18.  Sworn testimony in Franklin County Court, New York, of Samuel Percy, resident of Chateaugay, NY aged fifty-five years, who states that he was well-acquainted with David and Sarah Morse from 1809 onward, and that David was a war pensioner from 1818, that Sarah was his wife, and that they raised a family together in Chateaugay.  Subscribed and sworn before Elisha B. Smith, Justice of the Peace, who certifies that he “is well-acquainted with Samuel Percy and know him to be a person of truth and veracity.”

26 Mar 1853.  Page 17.  Sworn testimony in Franklin County Court, New York, of Russel Fairman, resident of Chateaugay, NY aged seventy-seven years, who states that he was well-acquainted with David and Sarah Morse from 1809 onward, and that David was a war pensioner from 1818, and Sarah was his wife.  Subscribed and sworn before Edgar A. Keeler, Justice of the Peace who certifies that he “is well-acquainted with Russell Fairman and know him to be a person of truth and veracity.”

31 Mar 1853.  Page 16.  Sworn testimony in Franklin County Court, New York , of William G. Roberts, sixty-six years of age and resident of Chateaugay, New York, who states that David was a war pensioner, and that he knew David and Sarah Morse from 1809 until the present day, and that they were married and raised a family of children together.  Signed by Edgar A. Keeler, Justice of the Peace.

8 Apr 1853.  Page 30.  Envelope.  “Mrs. Sarah Morse, application and proofs to obtain pension.  Presented by E.B. Smith, Chateaugay, Franklin Co. New York.  P. Office address.  1853.”

8 Apr 1853.  Pages 31-32.  Sworn testimony in Rensselaer County, New York.  David Nutting (grandson of David Morse), Mary Nutting (daughter of David Morse), and Mary L. Cole (grand-daughter of David Morse) appeard bfore the commission of Deeds and stated that they “were well acquainted with the late David Morse, who was a Revolutionary Pensioner on the Albany New York Agency at the rate of Eight dollars per month, that they have been acquainted with David Morse for the last twenty years, that they were each of them well-acquainted with him when he resided in the town of Chateaugay, Franklin, NY, and were ? to his removal from said town to the town of Johnston, Fulton, NY.  That they were also well-acquainted with him during the whole time of his residence in the town of Johnston, that he moved there some time in the year 1835, and resided there until his death on 9 July 1840.  They further stated  that were well-knowing to the death of David Morse, they residing in the same town with him at the time of his death, and attending his funeral and seeing his remains after his death and previous to the burial.  They were also well-acquainted with Sarah Morse, his widow, who now resides in the town of Burke, Franklin, NY, and have been acquainted with her for the same length of time both in Chateaugay, and in Johnston, and that during the whole time she lived and co-habitated with David Morse as his wife until his death.  They have personal knowledge that David Morse was a Revolutionary Pensioner, having frequently seen his pension certificate, and know that the same was given up after his death on his said widow applying for and receiving the arrears of pensions due at the time of his death.  Deponents now reside in the city of Troy, Rensselaer, New York where they have resided for several years past, and that previous they resided in Johnston, Fulton, NY, and that they are in now ways interested in the application of said Sarah Morse for a pension.  Signed; Mary L. Cole, Mary Nutting (her mark), David Nutting.  Sworn on 8th April 1853 before John Moran, Commissioner”.

1 Apr 1853.  Page 19.  Sworn testimony in Franklin County Court, New York, that Giles W. Smith, Daniel Mitchell, Edgar A. Keeler, and Elisha B. Smith were all Justices of the Peace when they took the testimonies given above.  Signed, sealed, and attested by Francis D. Flanders, clerk.

25 May 1853. Envelope. May 25, 1853, Sarah Morse in ?? to be filed in the papers of 14th of April, Chateaugay, Franklin Co. NY.”

9 Apr 1853.  p 75.  Albany Pension Agency.  April 9th 1853.  It appears by the books of this agency that David Morss, Serg’t at $96 per annum was a pensioner under the act of 18 Mar 1818, and that he died on the 9th of July 1840.  L Jenkins for the Pension Agent.”

9 Apr 1853.  Pages 34-36.  Sworn testimony in Albany County Courty, New York, of Henry B. Smith, State Senator from the 15th Senate District of New York.  He stated that: “He resides in the town of Chateaugay, Franklin, NY, where he has resided since the year 1811 and previous to that he was well-acquainted with the late David Morse, and has been acquainted with him from some time in the year 1811 until the year 1835 when he removed to Johnston, that David Morse was a Revolutionary Pensioner”, etc.  The rest of the details are similar to that of the preceding testimony, except that he notes that Sarah Morse now resides in the town of Burke, NY, having moved there after her husband’s death.


Hon. Henry B. Smith (1806-1863)

13 Apr 1853.  Page 37.  Elisha B. Smith, Justice of the Peace, Franklin County, NY, certifies that he knows Giles W. Smith, Daniel Mitchel Edgar, Francis D. Flanders, John Moran, John Willard, and B. Harper as being the public officers who administered oaths and gave certificates in said case.

13 Apr 1853.  Page 88.  Letter. To L.P. Waldo, Esq.  Commissioner of Pensions, Washington, April 13, 1853.  Sir, This will be handed to you by Elisha B. Smith Esq. of Franklin Co. NY.  Mr. Smith was one of my constituents, when I was in congress and stand high as a man of integrity.  I then knew him and his connections.  I have no reason to doubt that he continues to maintain the same good character since I left that part of the county to reside here.  Your ob’t sv’t R.H. Gillet.”

19 May 1853.  Page 74.  Letter from E.B. Smith to Loren P. Waldo, Commissioner of Pensions.  “Chateaugay, Franklin County, NY, 19 May 1853.  Dear Sir.  I beg leave to call your early attention to the case of Mrs. Sarah Morse, widow of the late David Morse, a revolutionary pensioner.  I presented the papers some time the first part of April last.  The widow is very old (eighty-eight), very poor and destitute, and her case is one about which there can be no doubt, unless it is in the formality of the papers, and I trust you will, under the peculiar circumstances of the case, give it your earliest attention.  Very Respectfully, your obt. servt. E.B. Smith.  April 14th Hon. Loren P. Waldo, Com. of Pensions”

13 Jun 1853.  Page 73.  Letter from Pension Office.  “Sir, David Morss was inscribed upon the New York roll as a Sergeant in the War of the Revolution at the rate of $96.00 per annum paid at the Albany Agency, New York.  To what time was he paid?  I have the honor to be, respectfully, your obt. servt. L(oren P) Waldo Commissioner.  Pensioned under act March 18, 1818.  Died 9th July 1840 and paid to his death.  F Burt, Auditor.  Francis Burt Esq’r, Third Auditor of the Treasury.”


Loren P. Waldo

12 Jul 1853.  Page 72. Letter from E. B. Smith to L(oren) P. Waldo Esq. Commissioner of Pensions.  “Chateaugay, Franklin County, NY.  12 Jul 1853.  Dear Sir, Yours (your letter) enclosing Pension certificate of Mrs. Sarah Morse was duly received.  It appears by the certificate that her pension commenced on the 3rd day of February 1853.  I would inquire of you if she is not entitled under the act of 4rd February 1853 to any back pay, either from the death of her hsuband or from some former law, and if the opinion of the Attorney Gen. has been taken on this act, and if so what it is.  Yours truly, E.B. Smith.”

12 Jul 1853.  Page 70-71.  Two-page legal justification stating that Sarah Morse, who became a pensioner’s widow on 9 Jul 1840, and was therefore entitled to receive his pension from that date.

c Jul 1853.  P 78.  Brief signed by E.B. Smith, Chateaugay, Franklin, County, NY stating that Sarah Morse’s marriage to David Morse was “proven by parole proof, certified to be credible.”

3 Apr 1855.  Page 20.  Envelope reading “Sarah Morse, widow of David Morse.  60348”.

3-4 Apr 1855.  Page 21 & 22.  Sworn testimony before Giles W. Smith, justice of the peace of Franklin County, New York for the purpose of obtaining widow’s pension benefits.   “Sarah Morse, aged eighty-nine years and a resident of the town of Burke (Franklin, New York)  .. [stated] that she is the widow of David Morse who was a sergeant in the company commanded by Colonel Huntington in the State of Connecticut in the Revolution War, that he enlisted at Norwich in the State of Connecticut in the year 1776 and was honorably discharged from service, and that he received a pension for said service, and that she now receives a pension from her husband’s service and that no written discharge was received by her husband to her knowledge, as will appear from the muster rolls of said Company.  She further states that she was married to David Morse at the town of Sharon, Vermont about the 19th day of February 1804 by one Parkhurst, a Justice of the Peace and that her name before the marriage was Sarah Adams, that her husband died at Johnston, Fulton, New York on the 9th day of July 1840, that she is now a widow and has remained so since his death.  [She states that] no public or private record of her marriage [has been found].  She makes this declaration for the purpose of obtaining the bounty land to which she may be entitled under the acdt of March 3rd 1855, never having received Bounty Land or knowning that she is entitled except for the above services, and she believes no Bounty Land was ever received by her husband.  Signed ( by an X and “her mark”), Sarah Morse”.

On the same day testified Samuel Pond (her son-in-law), aged sixty-four years, and Maria Pond (her daughter), aged fifty-years, “of Burke (Franklin, NY) known as credible witnesses [who] declare that they are personally acquainted with Sarah Morse, widow of David Morse, that they were personally acquainted with David Morse and his wife during his lifetime and know that they lived and co-habitated together as husband and wife and that David Morse performed the military services mentioned above, that David Morse is now dead and that Sarah Morse is now a widow, and they are disinterested in this claim.  [Signed] Samuel Pond & Maria Pond.”  Sworn before Giles W. Smith, Justice of the Peace, who further certifies that Sarah Morse is nearly blind and cannot see to write.

Francis J. Flanders, Clerk of Court in Franklin County, NY certifies that he was present at the above testimonies.  Signed 4 Apr 1855.

2 Oct 1855.  Page 86.  Pension form letter.  “Act of March 3, 1855, Revolutionary Claims.  Pension Office.  2 Oct 1855.  The Claim of Sarah Morse for bounty land under the act of the 3rd of March 1855, No. 60,348 has been examined and suspended.  The revolutionary service of David Morss, the husband of the applicant does not appear of record in this office (under Capt. Percival & Col. Huntington of CT in 1776).  The 3rd section of said act requires a service of “Fourteen Days” to be established by “Record Evidence”. Upon the production of such evidence of service, the claim will be plausibly considered.  Very respectful, J. Minot, Commissioner.  Mrs. Smith and Keeler, Chataugay, Franklin Co, N. York (over).

19 May 1856.  Page 3.  Bi-fold paper.  “60348 Act 3 Mar 1852, Apr 11, 1855.  Sarah Morse, widow.  David Morse, sergeant.  Col. Huntington Conn. Militia.  Sep. 1776 Pensioner, Revolutionary War, New York ?? 53 – No. 811.  W: 160 New York 19 May 1856, (Signature).  E.B. Smith and E.G. Keeler, Chateaugay, Franklin Co. N.Y.”

26 May 1856.  Page 87.  Letter.  Chateauguay, May 26 1856.  To J.D. Woodard, Esq. Dear Sir, I herwith send you ?? of Com. Pension in relation to the application of Sarah Morse for bounty land under act of 3 Mar 1853.  I wish you to attend to said application your ?? if possible.  Yours Obdt, E.A. Keeler.”

3 Jun 1856.  Page 85.  Note from J.D. Woodard.  “Sarah Morse, widow of David Morse, No. 60348, Revolutionary War, Additional evidence.  See Revolutionary Pension papers of Sarah Morse and act of March 14, 1856 in amendment of act of Mar 3 1855, and letter of E.A. Keeler within transferring agency of this claim to me.  P?? to send me a warrant from Mrs. Morse.  Respectfully, J.D. Woodward, Plattsburg, NY Court of Pensions.”

c 1873.  Page 45.  Index card.  “7437 David Morse”.

c 1906.  Page 44.  Envelope addressed to Mr. James Minot, Court of Pensions, Washington DC.  Postmarked June 3, Plattsburgh, NY.  “60.348.  Sarah Morse Additional Evidence 3 Mar 1855 & May 14 1856, Revolutionary Claim, 60348 Sarah 26775”.

3 Feb 1906.  Page 90.  Letter from F. P. Morse Esq.  “US Pension Agency, Received 3 Feb 1906.  Minerva, Feb 1 1906.  US pension Agt. Dept.  Sirs, I wish to obtain a certified copy of the pension Certificate issued to David Morse who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War, and who had a claim pending in 1823 for back pay due him.  He was then (1823) living at Chateaugay, NY.  Will you please advise me as to the way in which I can obtain the same and oblige.  Yours Respectfully, F.P. Morse, Minerva, NY.”

6 Feb 1906.  Page 89.  Letter from F. P. Morse Esq. to J.L. Davenport, Acting Commissioner of Pensions.  Minerva N.Y. 6 Feb 1906.  I wish to obtain a certified copy of pension granted to David Morse, who served as a soldier in the Revolutionary War and who resided in Preston Conn. or Chateaugay, NY at the time such pension was granted.  (He had a claim pending for back pay in 1823) showing date and place of service and under what command.  I have been advised to apply to you in regard to obtaining such copy and am willing to pay for any assistance or advise you may be able to render.  If you can not attend to the matter, I will take it as a great favor if you will advise me in regard thereto.  Awaiting your reply.  I am, yours respectfully, F. P. Morse Esq.”

5 Mar 1906.  Page 39-40.  Envelope.  “Pension, Widow, &c, File 1982, Sarah Morse, Widow David Morse, Sergt. Rev. War, Act Feb. 3 1853, Index, Vol. M, Page 58.  March 5, 1906, History to F. P. Morse, Minerva, NY, M.R.  6 Mar 1906, History to Mrs. R.D. Montgomery, of Madison Wisconsin, M.R.

5 Mar 1906, Page 29.  Form letter to Frederick P. Morse of Minerva, NY, from the US Department of Interior, Bureau of Pensions.  Letter informs F(rederick) P. Morse (great-grandson of David Morse via David’s son Absalom P. Morse) of the known service record of David Morse in the Revolutionary War.  Details are pulled from the pension documents above, and it states that he served for 10 1/2 months under Col. Huntington, and also “Performed several tours in the militia service (of Connecticut) from 3 to 6 months each, accounting to about 2 years”.

16 Feb 1906.  Page 46.  Letter: “To the commissioner of Pensions.  Dear Sir.  Will you kindly give me all the information in your power in regard to a pension issued to David Morse of Connecticut, soldier of the Revolution – in a letter written in 1828 he speaks of receiving a pension and of also expecting to receive “back pay”.  He was born at Preston, Conn. but was living in Chateaugay, New York State in 1828.  Any information you may be able to give me will be gratefully received by yours very sincerely, Mrs. R.D. Montgomery (Ellen H Morse, daughter of Sanford Wardwell Morse, sister to the afore-mentioned Frederick P. Morse), 1335 Rutledge St. Madison, Wisconsin.  16 Feb 1906.”

Unknown date. Page 47.  Card: “26775”, and signature.  Perhaps “Alex Russ”?

Unknown date. Page 50.  Pack of folded paper.  “David Morse Pension Papers, Invalid”.









50th Wedding Anniversary of Horace and Anna Thomas – 3 Jul 1922

I found this wonderful article today about the 50th wedding anniversary of my great-great-grandparents Horace Luther Thomas and Anna Clifford.  The article is from the Burlington Free Press, 5 Jul 1922, page 9.


Winooski News – Mr. and Mrs. Horace L. Thomas Celebrate Their Golden Wedding

Mr. and Mrs. Horace L. Thomas of Main Street were pleasantly surprised at their home Monday evening by about fifty of their friends and relatives on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of their wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas, who were married in this place July 3, 1872 by the late Rev. Mr. Ingalls of the Episcopal Church, of which Mr. and Mrs. Thomas are members. Seven children were born to them, five of whom are living: Mrs. W. E. McBride (Anna Thomas), Mrs. W. H. Howard (Emma Thomas), Mrs. G. C. McKenney (Nellie Thomas), all of this city, R. Erwin Thomas of Essex Junction, and Frederic C. Thomas of this city. There are also five grand-children. Mrs. Thomas before her marriage was Miss Anna Clifford. Mr. Thomas has for the last 38 years been connected with the Burlington Light & Power company, and is now superintendent of the works at the gorge. He was also a member of the Old Steamer Hose company and was connected with that company for a long terms (sic) of years. On Monday evening at the golden jubilee Mr. and Mrs. Thomas were presented with a substantial sum of money in gold. Lucinda Smith of Burlington catered. Among those present were the five sisters of Mrs. Thomas (Catherine Clifford, Sarah Clifford, Elizabeth Clifford, Margaret Clifford, and Nellie Clifford). Those from out of town here to attend the jubilee were: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pierce (Lillian Stewart), Mrs. Edward Beardsley (Elizabeth Stewart), Mrs. Philip Start (Maggie Stewart), Mrs. Archie Stewart (Stella Cooney) and (her) daughter Marion (Marion Gertrude Stewart, who was 6 years old at the time), all of Rutland.

All the Stewarts were the children of Margaret McWhirter, Anna Clifford’s aunt, and so were all Anna’s first cousins.


Horace Luther Thomas & Anna Clifford


Margaret McWhirter Stewart, c1909