WHO IS THIS?

HELP!! MISSING FAMILY MEMBERS ………….INFORMATION NEEDED
As Historian for the Vermilyea Family, I am always searching for information on family members that for lack of parent’s names can’t be added to our family tree. I have been unable to make a positive identification for the two remaining families listed below.  If you have any information, even a clue — please contact me with your findings.
Some of these persons show up on records with numerous surname spellings.
Your help would be appreciated.
Sandra
UPDATED July 28, 2017

James Vermilye, (UNKNOWN) UPDATED January, 9, 2017

John Vermilya (UNKNOWN – Previously connected to David Vermilya, #35 in the Third Generation) UPDATED July, 4, 2017

13 thoughts on “WHO IS THIS?

  1. 1. Albert Vermilia/Vermilyea was the son of George Vermilyea and his wife Maria Peck.
    GEORGE VERMILYEA, son of Philip and Rebecca (Elliot) Vermilyea, was born at Cortlandt, Westchester County, NY 27 March 1796. As a young man he accompanied most of his family in their removal to NYC, and married there, 10 May 1821, Maria Peck. Maria Peck was born in (according to family records) Dutchess County, NY, April 1794, daughter of Elijah Peck and his wife Mary Elizabeth Goodwin (see below).
    George Vermilyea appears in NYC directories 1823, 1824, and 1830; I have not found him in the 1830 census, but in 1840 he was at Cortlandt, Westchester County, most likely having been drawn there by his sister Nancy, wife of Edward Lyons; George Vermilyea’s household included one male 40-50 (George himself, 44), one male 15-20 (son Albert, 15), one female 40-50 (wife Mary, 46), one female 15-20, and two females 10-15. By 1850, George Vermilyea was living in Peekskill, age “56” (he was actually 54) working as a servant, and living in a household where he appears to have no relatives; this would indicate that, sometime between 1840 and 1850, his wife Maria Peck died, and his three daughters either died or married, most likely the latter. I have found no place or date of death for him.
    Children of George Vermilyea and his wife Maria Peck (married 1821):
    1. Daughter, born say, 1822 (15-20 in 1840).
    2. Albert, born 14 December 1824, q.v.
    3. Daughter, born say, 1827 (10-15 in 1840).
    4. Daughter, born say, 1829 (10-15 in 1840).
    Albert Vermilyea, son of George and Maria (Peck) Vermilyea, was born at Brooklyn, Kings County, NY 14 December 1824. About 1842, at age 17, he left Cortlandt and settled at Glens Falls, Warren County, NY, where he became a butcher and prominent businessman. He married, at Glens Falls, 1849/50, Mary Salter. She was born in Washington County, NY January 1831, daughter of William and Isabel Salter. Albert and Mary (Salter) Vermilyea had three children:
    1. An unidentified child, born say 1852, died young.
    2. Albert, born 1855, died at Glens Falls 1877, unmarried.
    3. Mary Emma, born April, 1857. She married, at Glens Falls, 18 April 1883, James Woodruff Hunting; he was born March 1860, and died at Glens Falls 5 January 1909. Mary Emma Vermilyea Hunting married (2nd) Frank Gilchrist; she died at Glens Falls 12 June 1931.
    Albert Vermilyea died at Glens Falls 24 April 1906; his wife Mary Salter died there 8 January 1927. Both are buried, along with their children, in a family plot at the Bay Street Cemetery, Glens Falls.
    PROOF OF ALBERT VERMILYEA’S PARENTAGE. This proof is provided by Albert Vermilyea’s close connection with his maternal aunt Elizabeth Crandall (born 12 July 1798), who was the younger half-sister of Albert’s mother Maria Peck. Elizabeth Crandall married at NYC 21 August 1814 William George Keech (1784-1827), a boat builder and soldier of the War of 1812; their daughter Mary Jane Keech (1819-1901) married between 1855 and 1860 John Pocklington (1820-1890) of Sandy Hill, Town of Kingsbury, Washington County, NY. John Pocklington and his wife Mary Jane Keech had no children; following his death in 1890, Mary Jane (Keech) Pocklington removed to Glens Falls, where she died 13 April 1901. Her newspaper death notice states that she was survived by her cousin Albert Vermilyea of Glens Falls, and a few weeks later Albert and Mary Vermilyea were appointed Administrators of her estate in Washington County.
    The 1850 census of Glens Falls, Warren County, NY shows Albert Vermilyea (26) and his wife Mary (19) sharing a household with Eliza Keach (45—she was actually 51) and Mary J. Keach (26—actually 31); the listing makes clear that only Eliza Keech owned real estate, indicating that Albert and Mary Vermilyea were living in her home. By 1855 Albert and Mary Vermilyea were living in their own home in Glens Falls, and Elizabeth “Keatch” and her daughter Mary J. Keatch were living outside of Glens Falls in Queensbury, Warren County. The listing states that Elizabeth Keatch was age 56, a widow, born in Dutchess County, and that she had lived in this town for eight years (since 1846/47); her daughter Mary J. was 32, unmarried, and born in NYC. By 1860 Mary Jane Keech had married John Pocklington, and she, her husband, and mother Elizabeth Keech are found together at Sandy Hill, Kingsbury, Washington County in 1860, 1870 and 1875.
    Sometime before 1855, Elizabeth (Crandall) Keech began the process of applying for a pension and bounty land based upon the service of her late husband William George Keech in the War of 1812; the records generated by this application, which have proved invaluable in proving the ancestry of Albert Vermilyea, are available on line at Fold 3.
    In 1855, Elizabeth Keech of Queensbury, Warren County, NY stated that she was the widow of William George Keech, a soldier of the War of 1812, who died at NYC 22 August 1827. She testified that she had married her husband as Elizabeth Crandall at the Oliver Street Baptist Church, NYC on 21 August 1814. (The original record shows that the witnesses to the marriage were Mrs. Sarah (Peck) Harvey and Miss Maria Peck, older half-sisters of the bride.) Also in 1855, Silvanus C. Doolittle of NYC and his wife Abigail (Peck) Doolittle (1790-1857) swore to the truth of the above statements (Abigail P. Doolittle also stated that she was the half-sister of Elizabeth (Crandall) Keech); that same year, Cornelia E. Crandall (born 1800) of NYC, sister of Elizabeth Keech, signed an affidavit supporting these claims. Some time later, Albert Vermilyea and Mary Jane Pocklington of Glens Falls, Warren County, and Eliza Ferdon (1809-1873), also of Glens Falls, did the same. (Eliza, widow of James Ferdon, was born in NYC c.1809; she may have been the daughter of John Harvey and Sarah Peck, who were married at NYC in 1808. She is buried in a cemetery plot at Glens Falls with the Pocklingtons and Elizabeth Keech, a plot originally purchased by Albert and Mary Vermilyea.)
    How do all these families fit together? In two queries placed in the Boston Transcript 1927 (#5862) and 1929 (#8739), a J.M.F.D. was seeking information about Mary Elizabeth Goodwin (1770-1815) of New Haven, Ct.; she married (1st), c.1789, Elijah Peck, who died 1795. Meanwhile, family trees at Ancestry state that Elijah Peck married 1789 Mary Elizabeth Goodwin, that they lived in Dutchess County, NY, and that Elijah Peck died there in 1795, after which the widow married Zaccheus Crandall (I am not so sure about the name being “Zaccheus,” as no such person can be found in Dutchess County records). According to these trees, Mary Elizabeth Goodwin had seven daughters by her two (Peck and Crandall) husbands, as follows:
    1. Abigail Peck, born at Rhinebeck 26 March 1790. (She married Silvanus Clark Doolittle, and died at NYC 6 October 1857).
    2. Sarah Peck, born 17 July 1792 (the Ancestry trees claim that she was born at St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England, which strikes me as ridiculous, but the birthdate is probably right). (She married, as Sarah Crandall (her step-father’s surname, quite common), at NYC, 2 January 1808, John Harvey; in 1814, Mrs. Sarah Harvey witnessed the marriage of her half-sister Elizabeth Crandall to William George Keech.)
    3. Maria Peck, born April, 1794. (In 1814, Maria Peck was a witness at the marriage of Elizabeth Crandall to William George Keech. She married, 10 May 1821, George Vermilyea.
    4. Nancy (Ann) Peck, born at Northeast, Dutchess County, 7 January 1796. According to the Ancestry trees, she married, at Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, 15 October 1820, David Mann; she died in Indiana 13 June 1835.
    5. Elizabeth Crandall, born in Dutchess County 12 July 1798 (the Ancestry trees give the year as 1800; in her War of 1812 pension affidavits, Elizabeth Keech gives her birthday as 12 July, but the year as 1798. In view of her 1814 marriage, I feel confident that 1798 is her true birth year). Elizabeth Crandall married at NYC 21 August 1814 William George Keech; she died at Sandy Hill, Town of Kingsbury, Washington County, NY sometime between 1875 and 1880.
    6. Cornelia E. Crandall, born 16 December 1800 (the Ancestry trees give her birth year as 1804, but in the 1850 census she gave her age as 49—born 1800—which I feel confident is correct. She was unmarried in 1855, and probably never married.
    7. Amanda Crandall, born 30 November 1802. No further record.
    I normally place almost no faith in any tree at Ancestry, but since the birthdate of Elizabeth Crandall (12 July) from the Ancestry tree matches her birthdate from the War of 1812 pension application, I feel certain that someone involved in putting this tree together had access to a Peck/Crandall family record. The Ancestry researchers list only two marriages for these seven women (Sarah Peck to John Harvey and Nancy Peck to David Mann), so it is obvious that they were unaware of Elizabeth Crandall’s marriage to William George Keech, or of her subsequent pension application. For this reason, I regard the list of children given above—with the changes indicated–to be credible.
    As to the three unidentified daughters of George Vermilyea and Maria Peck (in addition to their son Albert), if living in 1901, or if they died before that date leaving children, they or their children should be listed as heirs to the estate of Mary Jane Pocklington, their childless cousin. (Albert Vermilyea was Administrator for the estate, and presumably knew of his sisters’ or neices’ and nephews’ whereabouts.) Those records are at Fort Edward, in Washington County, and I will take a look at them sometime in the next few weeks. With any luck, they should provide the names of George Vermilyea’s other children.
    Of course, the New Harlem Register (NHR) does not indicate that George Vermilyea and Maria Peck had any children, but as I have pointed out many times, the fact that NHR says that something happened doesn’t mean it actually happened, and the fact that NHR doesn’t say that something happened doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. NHR is an extremely unreliable book.

  2. 3: HARRIET VERMILYEA CRANDALL. Harriet Vermilyea Crandall was the daughter of William Vermilyea (born 1784, living 1826) and his wife Rachel Ruttan (born c.1791, living 1842), who later married Peter Henry.
    PROOF OF HARRIET VERMILYEA’S PARENTAGE. There is no direct evidence or document stating that Harriet was the daughter of William and Rachel, but this connection can easily be proven by process of elimination, showing that there was only one Vermilyea family in this area (Prince Edward County, Ontario) having children in this time frame (1825-1829) into which Harriet could fit. This proof will involve three steps:
    1. Determining and confirming Harriet’s true birth date.
    2. Identifying all the possible Vermilyea couples who could have been her parents.
    3. Establishing which of these couples had the required window or gap in their group of children sufficient to accommodate a child with Harriet’s birth date. This will involve determining and confirming the true birth dates of at least some of the children in these families, since a few of these dates are currently presented inaccurately on this website.

  3. 3 (Part Two): HARRIET VERMILYEA’S BIRTH DATE. The 1901 census of Ontario asked residents for their full dates of birth, day, month , and year. As to the day and month (i.e., the birthday), the responses were nearly always accurate, since everyone knows his birthday, and most people know the birthdays of their close family members. As to the year of birth, however, the responses were accurate most of the time, but not always; some people didn’t know the exact birth year of other family members (they may have been lied to), and some individuals, whether through vanity, senility, or other reasons, gave the year of their own birth incorrectly. So in these situations, we can take the day and month as given, but not always the year.
    In the 1901 census, Harriet Vermilyea Crandall gave her DOB as 27 May, 1827. Meanwhile, her death certificate states that she died 20 May 1903, age 76; this actually works out to a birth year of 1826, but since she was only seven days away from her birthday, perhaps the age was simply rounded up from 75 to 76. The best way to check this is to see what age/YOB she gave in other censuses (1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891) but in order to do that accurately, it’s necessary to understand certain things about these censuses, things that many genealogists seem not to understand.
    1. The 1851 census was actually taken starting 12 January 1852, and asked for the age AT NEXT BIRTHDAY. This means that the age given is the age the person would be on their birthday later in 1852, or if born in January, in 1853. (From the birth years you have assigned to the Canadian Vermilyeas based on census records, it appears that you may not realize this.)
    2. The 1861 census was taken starting 14 January 1861, and asked for the age AT NEXT BIRTHDAY. This means that the age given is the age the person would be on their birthday later in 1861, or if born in January, in 1862.
    3. The 1871 census was taken starting 2 April 1871, and asked for the age AT LAST BIRTHDAY.
    4. The 1881 census was taken starting 4 April 1881, and asked for the age AT LAST BIRTHDAY.
    5. The 1891 census was taken starting 6 April 1891, and asked for the age AT LAST BIRTHDAY.
    Here is the age/YOB given by Harriet Vermilyea in four censuses (she can not be found in 1861):
    1851: 25/1827
    1871: 44/1826
    1881: 53/1827
    1891: 64/1826
    As these things go, this is fairly consistent, and makes clear that Harriet was almost certainly born 27 May 1827, or possibly 1826, but definitely not 1825 or 1828.

  4. 3 (Part Three): HARRIET VERMILYEA’S PARENTAGE. Having established that Harriet Vermilyea was definitely born 27 May 1827, the next step is to see which Vermilyea families were having children at this time, but had no children between say, October 1825 at the latest, and say, January 1829 at the earliest. This would allow for the minimum necessary gap of 19 months between the child born before Harriet, and the same gap between Harriet and the child born after her. This represents a total interval of about 38 months (three years, two months), which is about the shortest stretch over which a family of this period could have three children; in the vast majority of cases, the interval would be more like 48 months, or two years. If the interval were any shorter, it would be like trying to park three cars in a two-car garage; it simply doesn’t work.
    Although many genealogists seem not to understand this, for a colonial or early 19th-century family to have three children in three successive calendar years (e.g., 1826-1827-1828) was essentially impossible. This is because, until the second half of the 19th century, and the advent of infant formula, nearly all mothers nursed their new-born children for about a year after their birth. And since it is extremely difficult for a woman to conceive her next child while she is still nursing the last, this had the effect of creating a natural year-plus-nine-months gap between each child born to a family and the next. In fact, since most women did not conceive immediately after they stopped nursing, the interval was, on average, much closer to two years, and in some families, two-and-one-half, three, or even five years. But even in extreme cases, where women nursed their children for shorter periods, the interval between any two births to a given mother is almost never shorter than 19 months. There were, of course, exceptions to this rule. If a child died in early infancy, as too many did, the mother would cease nursing, and could give birth to her next child much sooner, perhaps giving birth to two different children in a space of one year. But that, of course, assumes that the first child died in infancy. If the child did not die, or lived at least a year, that short an interval would not be possible. In addition, there were some women, nearly always wealthy, who employed the services of a wet-nurse. In these cases, a woman could of course conceive more children over shorter intervals, but in a rural community like Prince Edward County, very, very few women employed wet-nurses. Therefore, in looking for the parents of Harriet Vermilyea, we are looking for a family that had no children of record between 1825 and 1829, or at a minimum, between October 1825 and January 1829.

  5. 3 (Part Four): HARRIET VERMILYEA’S PARENTAGE. As it happens, there were three, and only three, Vermilyea families in Prince Edward County at this period who could possibly have been the parents of Harriet. They were:
    A. William Vermilyea (born 1784, living 1826) and his wife Rachel Ruttan, married 1809. (After William’s death, his widow married Peter Henry.)
    B. Peter Vermilyea (born 1790, died 1840) and his wife Mary Osterhout, married 1816. (After Peter’s death, his widow married Joseph Garrat.)
    C. Solomon Vermilyea (born 1795, died 1863) and his wife Elizabeth Jones, married 1821.
    Of these three, Solomon and Elizabeth can be easily ruled out as possible parents of Harriet. First, their family is very well documented (no child Harriet); second, Solomon had a son Reuben Bedell Vermilyea, born 8 July 1826, followed by a daughter Matilda H. Vermilyea, born 15 April 1828, a little more than 21 months apart. The birth dates of both these children have been solidly confirmed, and it is obvious that Harriet (born 27 May 1827) could not fit between them.
    Although not as thoroughly documented as Solomon and Elizabeth, Peter and Mary Vermilyea can also be safely ruled out as the parents of Harriet, and for the same reasons. Peter and Mary had a son Peter Jr., whose gravestone states that he was born 9 February 1825. Of course, the age (and thus, YOB) on gravestones can sometimes be off by one year, even two, so it is worth checking Peter Jr.’s age/YOB as given in censuses:
    1851: 27/1825
    1861: 34/1827
    1871: 45/1826
    This suggests at least the possibility that Peter Jr. was actually born in 1826, and that the gravestone overstated his age by one year. I think that could well be the case, but if it is, Harriet is immediately ruled out as belonging to this family, since it would make her only 15 and 1/2 months younger than Peter Jr. So, for the sake of argument, let’s say that Peter Jr. was born 9 February 1825, as the gravestone states.
    Peter Sr. and Mary next had a daughter Jane. She was born, according to the 1901 census, 26 September 1827, and this YOB is supported by her death certificate, which states that she died 30 May 1902, age 74 (i.e., born 1827). If this YOB is precisely correct, that also rules Harriet out of this family, since obviously, it is not possible that Harriet could be born in May, and Jane in September, of the same year. However, just to be on the safe side, here are the age/YOB census records for Jane:
    1851: 22/1830
    1861: 30/1831
    1871: 42/1828
    1881: 52/1828
    1891: 63/1827
    These records are not particularly consistent, but they do show that, as a younger woman, Jane tended to understate her age, then as she got older, to state it more accurately. Now, is there a chance that Jane was actually born in 1828, that is, on 26 September 1828, and would that mean that Harriet might fit into this family? Not really. If Peter Jr. were born 9 February 1825, with Harriet born 27 May 1827, that part would be fine, since Harriet would be two years and three months younger than Peter Jr. But if Jane were born 26 September 1828, which is the latest possible YOB according to these records, Jane would still be only 16 months younger than Harriet, and that interval is just too short. And besides all this, we know that Jane wasn’t born in 1828, because the next child of Peter Sr., the daughter Hannah, was born in December of 1829, making a September 1828 birth date for Jane impossible.
    The gravestone of this daughter Hannah (she married, by 1861, as his second wife, Wilson Searles) states that she died 4 July 1897, age 68 years, six months. If she were precisely 68 years and six months old at death, which is not likely, her birth date would be 4 January 1829. However, it is safe to assume that the odd days of her age were rounded down on the gravestone (stonecarving was expensive), and that she was actually 68 years, six months, and X number of days old at death. This would place her birth date from 5 December 1828 to 4 January 1829; almost certainly, she was born in the month of December, and if the stone is correct, she was born in December of 1828. Again, this would be an irreconcilable conflict with the birth date of Jane: if Jane were born in September of 1828, it would be flat-out impossible, since Jane could not be born in September, and Hannah in December, of the same year. And if Jane were born in September of 1827 (which she definitely was), and Hannah in December of 1828, then Hannah would be less than 15 months younger than Jane, which is also impossible.
    Here are the age/YOB census figures for Hannah:
    1851: 23/1829
    1861: 30/1831
    1871: 41/1829
    1881: 51/1829
    1891: 61/1829
    We almost never see census data this consistent; it is very clear, at least to me, that Hannah was born in December of 1829, two years and two months after her sister Jane, and 20 months before her brother William, who was born 14 August 1831. Obviously, the gravestone overstates Hannah’s age by one year, which, as I have said, is fairly common.
    To sum up, Peter Vermilyea Sr. and his wife Mary had children during this period as follows:
    Peter Jr., born 9 February 1825 (possibly 1826, but not likely)
    Jane, born 26 September 1827
    Hannah, born December 1829
    William, born 14 August 1831
    Quite obviously, Harriet Vermilyea, born 27 May 1827, does not belong in this family, as her birth date is in direct conflict with that of Jane; even if Jane were born in 1826 or 1828, which is basically impossible anyway, Harriet still does not fit. Thus, by process of elimination, it is clear that Harriet was the daughter of William and Rachel (Ruttan) Vermilyea. As further proof of this connection, I would draw your attention to the fact that Harriet and her husband Francis Crandall named a son Peter Henry Crandall, obviously in honor of Harriet’s step-father Peter Henry, who had married Harriet’s mother Rachel Ruttan. What’s more, Harriet’s daughter married a son of William Walter Vermilyea, and grandson of William and Rachel (Ruttan) Vermilyea, making him, according to my theory, the bride’s first cousin. In my experience, marriages between first cousins are very much more common than second-cousin marriages; that is the reason why, as soon as I learned about the marriage, I was certain that Harriet Vermilyea Crandall was the daughter of William and Rachel.

  6. 3 (Part Five): HARRIET VERMILYEA’S PARENTS, WILLIAM VERMILYEA AND RACHEL RUTTAN:
    WILLIAM VERMILYEA, son of Peter and Mary (Jewell) Vermilyea, was born in 1784, probably at Saint John, New Brunswick. I say probably at Saint John because I believe (I am not 100% certain) that his father Peter is the Peter Vermilyea, Loyalist, who enlisted 1782 as a soldier in Colonel Beverly Robinson’s Loyal American Regiment, and went to Saint John in 1783. If Peter is that man, then he obviously returned to the States (as many Loyalists did), since in 1790, as Peter Vermilyea Jr., he was recorded at Washington (present-day Stanford), Dutchess County, NY, with a family of one male over 16 (Peter Jr. himself), two males under 16 (sons William and Peter), and three females (wife Mary, and daughters Sarah and Ann). In 1795, Peter left Dutchess County with his father Peter Sr. and other family members to settle at present-day Gayhead, Greene County, but by 2 October 1797, he was living at Christie’s Seigneury, Quebec, on the east side of the Richelieu River, south of Montreal. On that date, he signed an Oath of Allegiance to the British government, and stated that his family then included one adult male (Peter himself), one adult female (wife Mary), and four sons and three daughters, all under 14 years of age. (Since daughter Sarah was born 1786, daughter Ann 1788, and son Peter 1790, this definitively establishes William’s birth year as 1784, as otherwise he would have been 14 or over.) Some time later, and definitely by 1808, Peter Vermilyea brought his family to Loughborough, Frontenac County, Ontario, where he purchased land from Michael Sloot, adjoining Sloot’s son-in-law Peter Ruttan Jr.
    William Vermilyea married, at Loughborough, 30 August 1809, Rachel Ruttan. She was born at Adolphustown, Prince Edward County, c.1791, daughter of Peter Ruttan Jr. and his wife Jemima Sloot.
    (Note: on your website, you state that Rachel Ruttan was born 1796, a date you apparently got from some on-line source. While I certainly agree that all internet sources give 1796 as Rachel’s YOB—they are all copied one from the other, with no actual research involved—I consider that date preposterous, as it would make Rachel only 13 at marriage, something that I have never seen, and that, I am quite certain, never happened.
    Peter Ruttan Jr. and Jemima Sloot were married 5 December 1790. The 1794 census of Adolphustown (28 March 1794) shows the couple with only one child, a daughter. The next year’s census (1795, probably March) still shows them with only one daughter. Then, in the following year (6 April 1796), the couple are shown with two children, both female. Clearly, a second daughter had been born between 1795 and 6 April 1796.
    All students of the Ruttan family agree that the two eldest children were Rachel, who married 30 August 1809 William Vermilyea, and Jane, who married 13 February 1812 John Freeman, had her last child in 1837 (remember that fact), and died at Loughborough in 1888. Now, since we know that one of these was born before 1794 (and almost certainly 1791/92), and the other in 1795/96, simple common sense would suggest that Rachel, who married in 1809, was the older daughter, and Jane, who married in 1812, the younger. However, the gravestone of Jane Ruttan Freeman gives her date of birth as 9 February 1794. Seeing this, and not bothering to confirm it with other records, a Ruttan researcher concluded that Jane was the older daughter, born 9 February 1794, which perforce makes Rachel the younger daughter, born in early 1796. But of course, all this rests on the accuracy of the gravestone. Is the birth year (not the month and day, but the year) on that stone accurate?
    As I have frequently pointed out, gravestones often (at least 15% of the time) get the age of the deceased, or the year of birth, and sometimes even the year of death, wrong by a year or two. This is understandable, since the person who best knows the correct information—the deceased—isn’t there to correct the record. And in cases where the gravestone is erected many years after the death, which in the 19th century was very, very often, it is especially likely that there will be an error in the inscription. Added to this is the fact that, when a person dies at an advanced age (Jane Ruttan Freeman was in her early 90s), there is an especial tendency to exaggerate the age. (All of us have heard about relatives who supposedly “lived to be 102,” but when we check the facts, the person was 96 or 97.)
    In the case of Jane Ruttan Freeman, both of these factors were in play. Her gravestone (a photo is on line at Find-a-Grave) clearly dates from 1900 or later, at least a decade after her death; this in itself is a cause for doubt as to its accuracy, and when we consider her advanced age, the possibility that it was overstated has to be considered. With this in mind, I decided to do what the Ruttan researchers on the internet had apparently never done; I checked the census records, to see what year Jane Ruttan herself said she was born. What follows is her age/YOB, as given in three censuses:
    1851: 56/1796
    1861: 65/1796
    1871: 75/1796
    Clearly, Jane Ruttan was telling us something: that she was born in 1796 (not 1794), that she was married, in 1812, at age 16 (not 18), and that she had her last child, in 1837, at age 41, (not 43, which is considerably less likely). The gravestone, erected years after her death, had overstated her age by two years, making her 94, instead of the correct 92. Of course, this makes Jane, not Rachel, the child born in 1796, and Rachel, not Jane, the child born before 1794. As I have said above, I am confident that Rachel was born 1791 or early 1792, making her 17 or 18 at marriage.
    I apologize for treating this issue at such great length, but the point is, when you see something on line like that 1796 YOB for Rachel, which would make her 13 at marriage, you need to know immediately that it can’t be right.

  7. 3 (Part Six): HARRIET VERMILYEA’S FAMILY.
    William Vermilyea (born 1784) married, at Loughborough, 30 August 1809, Rachel Ruttan (born c.1791). They remained at Loughborough for a few years after William’s father Peter and the rest of the family moved on to Hillier, and were still in Loughborough at the time of the so-called “1819 Census.” (Note: that census is in fact undated; the “1819” date comes from the fact that it was attached that year to a petition to the Provincial government; all we know for certain is that it was taken no earlier than early 1816.) That census lists William Vermilyea, his wife Rachel, sons Peter and William (in that order, making clear that son Peter was older than William), and daughters Jemima and Mary (in that order, making clear that Jemima was older than Mary). Probably by the end of 1816, William and Rachel Vermilyea left Loughborough, and joined the rest of William’s family in Prince Edward County. I have not tracked him after that, but the family likely ended up at Murray, Northumberland County, where son William and daughters Nancy and Harriet were living in 1852. William Vermilyea was living in 1826, when he sold his land at Loughborough to members of the Ruttan family, but deceased by about 1830, when his wife Rachel married (2nd) Peter Henry (born 1801); Peter and Rachel Henry were at Cramahe, Northumberland in 1841, but soon left for Nauvoo, Illinois, as early converts to the LDS church. I have found no date of death for William or his wife Rachel.
    Children of William Vermilyea and Rachel Ruttan (married 1809):
    1. Jemima, born 1810, and named for her maternal grandmother Jemima Sloot, wife of Peter Ruttan, Jr. She married, 1827 or later, an unidentified Mr. Ferguson, and died before 12 September 1842, when her mother Rachel (Ruttan) Henry had her baptized posthumously at Nauvoo.
    2. Peter Ruttan, born 27 February 1812, and named for his maternal grandfather. He married 1834 Margaret Van Dyck, and died at Prince Edward 12 February 1878.
    3. Mary, born 1814, and named for her paternal grandmother Mary Jewell, wife of Peter Vermilyea. She married 3 November 1831 John Marmaduke Massey, and died, most likely at Percy, Northumberland, 21 March 1841.
    4. William Walter, born very late 1815 or early 1816. He married (1st) 1836 Mary Osterhout, and (2nd) 21 January 1846 Hannah Preston. He died at Murray, Northumberland, 1 December 1874.
    5. Child, born say, early 1818. We are surely missing a child born in this year.
    6. Nancy, born 12 December 1819. She married (1st) 1838 Benjamin F. Cope, and was at Murray in 1851; she married (2nd) at North Monaghan, Peterborough, 26 July 1862 William Taylor. She went to the States, and died at Frenchman, Churchill County, Nevada 22 March 1892.
    7. Charles Barnabas, born 15 March 1822. He married (1st) at Cramahe, Northumberland, 2 August 1841 Mary Cummings. This couple was at Plato, Kane County, Illinois by 1843; sometime after 1863, Charles Barnabas left his wife and family, obtained a divorce in 1870, and by that year’s census was living in Indiana with Harriet Keller, whom he married at Chicago, Cook County, Illinois 12 November 1873. He resided at Mill Creek, Town of Lincoln, Laporte County, Indiana, where he died 8 February 1903. (Note: on your website, you give this man’s birth year as 1824, taken from the 1900 census. As I have said, these statements can be unreliable, and since that YOB would make him only 17 at his marriage (possible, but quite unlikely), I feel certain that 1822 (which he gave as his YOB in a different census) is correct.
    8. Child (?), born say, 1824/25. I feel certain that we are missing a child here; perhaps land records in Ontario (a division of land among William Vermilyea’s heirs) will answer the question.
    9. Harriet, born 27 May 1827. She married by 1851 Francis Crandall, and lived at Hillier, Prince Edward County, where she died 20 May 1903. (Note: on your website, you state that she died 1902, based on her (inaccurate) gravestone. Since we know the stone to be incorrect, I suggest that you drop that reference from your site.)
    10. Child (?), born c.1829 ?
    (Note: the dates of birth on your site for Jemima, Mary and William are all incorrect, and the YOB you have for Mary would mean that she married at age 13, something that never happened. Once again, when estimating birth years, you really need to think hard about what you are doing, and consider the implications. Men rarely married before age 20 at the very earliest, and for women the age was 16. Couples almost never had two children born less than 19-20 months apart, and women almost never gave birth past the age of 42/43. If the estimated YOB you are proposing for an individual is going to mean an exception to these rules, you will need evidence to back that up, and estimated birth years, by definition, don’t have evidence.)

  8. 4 (Part One): PARENTAGE OF ISAAC VERMILYEA.
    Isaac Vermilyea, son of Peter and Mary (Pinckney) Vermilyea, was born at Fordham Manor, Westchester County (present-day Bronx, NYC), 1754. As a baby, he was brought by his parents to the West Ward of Cortland Manor (present day Cortlandt), Westchester County; about 1775, he accompanied them on their brief move to the Great Nine Partners Patent (present-day Stanford), Dutchess County; when his parents returned to Cortland Manor about 1779, Isaac remained behind in Dutchess.
    Not long after the start of the Revolutionary War, Isaac Vermilyea embraced the Loyalist side, and enlisted in one of the British provincial military units; in 1779, Isaac Vermilyea, “a deserter from the enemy,” was brought before the Dutchess County Committee of Safety. He was required to post a bond to ensure future good behavior, and pledged not to travel more than one mile from his residence, except for performing duty in the Patriot militia. (This is the reason that Isaac’s name appears on the rolls of the local Dutchess County troops.)
    Isaac Vermilyea married (1st), most likely at Rombout Precinct (present-day East Fishkill), Dutchess County, 1780, Mary Caniff. She was born at Rombout c.1755, daughter of Jonas Caniff, a Loyalist, and his wife Aeltje Michaels; at the time of her marriage, Mary may have been a widow with one child (see below). Following his marriage, Isaac Vermilyea broke his parole, and re-enlisted with the British forces, serving out the war as a soldier in the Westchester Refugees. At the conclusion of the war, all those who had taken up arms for the British were obliged to leave the country, and in the summer of 1783, Isaac and his wife gathered in NYC with other Loyalists to take passage for the Maritimes; while there, they baptized their daughter Mary at the Dutch Reformed Church (see below). (Note: NHR mistakenly assigned this child Mary to Isaac Vermilyea (born 1757), son of Isaac Jr. and Mehitabel (Hadley) Vermilyea. But that Isaac died unmarried, as his 1821 will—which NHR’s editors never examined—makes clear.)
    Isaac Vermilyea next appears at Annapolis (present-day Digby) County, Nova Scotia; a muster roll of Loyalists dated June 1784 shows him with a household of one man (Isaac himself), one woman (wife Mary), two children under ten (daughters Sarah and Mary), and one child over ten (unidentified, but perhaps a child of Mary from an earlier marriage). Mary Caniff, first wife of Isaac Vermilyea, died at Digby c.1785, and Isaac married (2nd), place unknown, c.1786, Jemima Jewell. She was born at Rombout Precinct, (present-day East Fishkill), Dutchess County, c.1755, daughter of Isaac and Rebecca (Somes) Jewell, and sister of Richard Jewell (1746-1822), a Loyalist who, because he did not take up arms, was allowed to remain in Dutchess County.
    Like many Loyalists, Isaac Vermilyea was unhappy with his situation in Nova Scotia, and decided to risk returning to the States. By 1789 he was at Brooklyn, Kings County, NY, where he executed a Power of Attorney, allowing his wife Jemima, still back in Nova Scotia, to sell his property there; she soon joined him at Brooklyn with their children. I have not found Isaac Vermilyea in the 1790 census, but in 1800 he was at Brooklyn with a household of 20001-11001: Isaac was the man over 45 (born 1754), and wife Jemima the woman over 45 (born 1755); the daughter under ten was Jemima (born 1796), the daughter 10-16 was probably Mary (born 1783, with her age understated); the two sons were George (born c.1791) and another unidentified (born c.1793). In 1810, Isaac Vermilyea was recorded (as Isaac “Furmelyer”) with a household of 00101-00000; this indicates that wife Jemima died sometime between 1800 and 1810, and that Isaac was living alone with one of his sons, perhaps George, born c.1791. Isaac Vermilyea died at the Brooklyn Almshouse in 1815; there is no probate file on record for him.

  9. 4 (Part Two): CHILDREN OF ISAAC VERMILYEA BY HIS TWO WIVES
    Children of Isaac Vermilyea and his first wife Mary Caniff, married 1780:
    1. Sarah, born in Dutchess County, NY 22 October 1781; she went as an infant with her parents to Nova Scotia in 1783, and to Brooklyn, Kings County, NY by 1789. As an adolescent, she was apparently sent up to Fishkill, Dutchess County to live with her maternal grandfather Jonas Caniff. She married, at the Fishkill DRC, 18 May 1800, Cornelius J. Griffin. He was born at present-day East Fishkill in 1776, son of Joshua and Jane (Losee) Griffin. In 1810, Sarah and Cornelius Griffin were recorded at Fishkill, directly next to Sarah’s step-uncle Richard Jewell; by 1820, they had followed Joshua Griffin, father of Cornelius, to New Berlin, Chenango County, NY, but eventually settled at Eaton, Madison County, NY, where Sarah died 4 October 1855. (Note: The name Sarah definitely did not come from Isaac Vermilyea’s family, as he had no sister or aunt by that name; she was evidently named for her maternal aunt Sarah Caniff (born 1775), her mother Mary Caniff’s youngest sibling. While Dutch tradition would dictate that the first two daughters of Isaac and Mary Vermilyea would be named Mary and Aeltje, for the two grandmothers, by this period that tradition was starting to wane; it is also possible that, given her YOB (1755), Mary Caniff had been married before, and that she had already named a daughter Aeltje. In any case, there is no doubt that Sarah belongs in this family. She named a son Peter Vermilyea Griffin (clearly for her younger half-brother), and in 1810 she was recorded next door to Peter and his uncle Richard Jewell. Meanwhile, the other possible parents for Sarah (all those having children in Dutchess County at this time) can be ruled out: Gerardus Vermilyea (1739-1799) left a will naming no such daughter, as did his brother David Vermilyea (1741-1828); John Vermilyea (1754-1821) had moved to Otsego County, NY by 1795, and it is extremely unlikely that he was Sarah’s father.)
    2. Mary, baptized at the NYC DRC 2 July 1783 with no sponsors, and named for her paternal grandmother Mary Pinckney, wife of Peter Vermilyea. She is apparently the female child aged 10-16 in 1800, living with her father and step-mother at Brooklyn. She was named in the will of her grandfather Jonas Caniff, dated at Fishkill 21 August 1802; he calls her “my granddaughter Mary Ver Milyea,” which indicates that she was still unmarried at that time. No further record. (Note: As I mentioned above, this child Mary was erroneously attributed by NHR to Isaac Vermilyea (born 1757), son of Isaac and Mehitabel (Hadley) Vermilyea, who was the (unmarried) first cousin of this Isaac.)
    3. Child (?), born 1785? Possible, but doubtful.

  10. 4 (Part Three): CHILDREN OF ISAAC VERMILYEA BY HIS TWO WIVES
    Children of Isaac Vermilyea and his second wife Jemima Jewell, married 1786:
    4. Peter, born at Annapolis (present-day Digby) County, Nova Scotia, 1787, and named for his paternal grandfather Peter Vermilyea. He was brought to Brooklyn as an infant by his parents, but evidently as a boy sent up to present-day East Fishkill to live with his maternal uncle Richard Jewell, a well-to-do farmer who had no children. Peter Vermilyea married, at Fishkill, 1809, Margaret Schenck (pronounced “Skenk”). She was born at Fishkill 7 February 1788, daughter of Ralph Schenck, a Revolutionary War soldier and pensioner, and his wife Aeltje (Aletta) Sebring. Peter Vermilyea and his wife made their home with Peter’s uncle Richard Jewell, and in the 1810 and 1820 census, can be found under his name; in 1810, they were listed directly alongside Cornelius Griffin, whose wife Sarah Vermilyea was Peter’s older half-sister. Some months before Richard Jewell’s death (9 December 1822), Peter and Margaret apparently moved to NYC, where Peter most likely worked with his younger brother Phillip as a coach-smith. (The New York City directories for 1822 and 1823 list Peter “Vermilere,” smith, at 83 Chapel St, while the directory for 1824 shows Phillip “Vermilere” at 88 Chapel St.; that may be a misprint, or a case where the building number was changed. For the significance of the unusual “Vermilere” spelling, see below.) They did not remain in NYC for long, and by 1824 had settled at Mamakating, Sullivan County, NY, perhaps purchasing their land with the legacy left Peter by his uncle Richard Jewell. Peter Vermilyea died at Mamakating 7 November 1842; Margaret died there 27 January 1861. They are buried at the Stanton Cemetery near Wurtsboro. (Note: this Peter Vermilyea is your “Who is This?” #8. NHR, of course, had incorrectly made him a son of the Peter and Mary (Jewell) Vermilyea (his uncle and aunt) who went to Hillier, Ontario. Evidently, NHR’s editors had found some of Mamakating Peter’s descendants in the NYC area, who provided them with the family record used by NHR, as well as the information that Peter’s mother was a Jewell; learning this, the editors leapt to the (false) conclusion that Mamakating Peter had to be a child of Ontario Peter, whose family they knew nothing about. I do not believe that they learned about the Jewell connection by examining Richard Jewell’s will, since it is fairly obvious that NHR’s researchers did not bother to read even Vermilyea wills.)
    5. Phillip, born at Brooklyn 1789, and named for his paternal uncle Phillip Vermilyea. (See below, 4 (Part Four)).
    6. George, born at Brooklyn 1791. (The name George was at this period unheard of in the Vermilyea family, but was an important and much-used name among the Jewells.) On 4 October 1813, George Vermilyea, born at Brooklyn, age 24 (sic), enlisted in Captain Humphrey’s Company, 6th US Infantry. His birthplace of Brooklyn clearly marks him as a child of Isaac and Jemima (Jewell) Vermilyea, although I feel that, unless he was a twin of Phillip above (unlikely), the age in the enlistment record is overstated by two years. He is surely one of the two sons under ten in the 1800 census. No further record.
    7. Son, born 1793. (By rights this couple should have had a son Isaac, named for his father, and for his maternal grandfather Isaac Jewell.) He would be the other of the two sons under ten in the 1800 census. No further record.
    8. Jemima, born at Brooklyn 25 January 1796, and named for her mother. (Her birth date comes from the NYC Methodist baptismal registers, which recorded the date of birth, but not of the baptism.) She was the daughter under ten in the 1800 census. No further record.
    In view of Jemima Jewell’s YOB (1755), it is extremely unlikely that she and Isaac Vermilyea had any children after Jemima, since that child would have to be born 1798 or later. Therefore, I think this family as I have given it is complete.

  11. 4 (Part Four): PHILIP VERMILYEA/VERMILLERA
    5. Philip Vermilyea, son of Isaac and Jemima (Jewell) Vermilyea, was born at Brooklyn, Kings County, NY in 1789. He married, probably in the NYC area, 1814, Ann_______________(born c.1793), whose parentage has not yet been established. Philip was a coach smith by trade, and appears in NYC directories sporadically from 1824; in most records, he is found under the very unusual spelling “Vermillera,” and it is clear that he favored and promoted this spelling, indeed, that he invented it. (As I have pointed out countless times, the way a name is spelled in any given record is nearly always irrelevant, and tells us nothing about an individual’s connection to any other person. There is, however, one exception to this rule: when the spelling is so distinctive or unusual, as in this case, that it actually changes the way a name is pronounced. In every situation that I have encountered this form of the name “Vermilyea,” the person in question was either this Philip, his brother Peter, or one of Philip’s descendants.)
    I have not found Philip Vermilyea in the 1820 census, but in 1830 he was in the 6th Ward of NYC, with a household of one male 40-50 (Philip himself, age 41), one female 30-40 (wife Ann, age 37), one male 10-15 (son Philip Jr., age 15), one male 0-5 (son Edward, age 1), one female 10-15 (unidentified daughter, age say, 12), and one female 5-10 (daughter Mary, actually age 3).
    Philip Vermilyea died at his residence, corner of Hester St. and Center St., NYC, 4 November 1834. NYC Death Registers give his birthplace as “Kings County” and his age as “45 years;” he was buried in Potters’ Field. Letters of Administration on the estate of Philip Vermilyea, late of NYC, were granted to Adam Miller, a creditor, on 23 October 1837. The petition for probate states that he died in 1834, and that he was survived (as of 1837) by four children; the widow signed the document as Ann “Vermillera.”
    In 1840 Ann Vermilyea, widow of Philip, was living in the 14th Ward of NYC with a household of one female 30-40 (Ann herself, her age greatly understated), one female 10-15 (daughter Mary, 13), one male 10-15 (son Edward, age 11), and one male 5-10 (son Richard, age 6). In 1850, Ann was recorded at NYC, age 57, living with daughter Mary and son Edward. Ann, Mary and Edward were also recorded at NYC in 1855, with Mary’s age given accurately and those of Ann and Edward wildly overstated. Ann Vermilyea died at NYC 8 August 1861, after a fall at her residence; she is buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn.
    Children of Philip Vermilyea and his wife Ann_______________, married 1814:
    1. Philip Jr., born 1815. A blacksmith, he removed before 1837 to Richmond, Virginia, where he married 23 November 1837 Martha Christian. He was still living at Richmond 18 October 1861, when he appeared in court. (This Philip Vermilyea, who used the “Vermillera” spelling, is your “Who is This?” #9.
    2. Unidentified daughter, born say, 1818. Listed in 1830 census, but deceased by 23 October 1837.
    3. Mary, born 17 March 1827. (Note: this and the following two birth dates are from the NYC Methodist records, showing Mary and her two brothers’ baptisms by Rev. Stilwell on the same date). Mary was living with her mother in 1850; no further record.
    4. Edward, born 9 December 1828. He was living with his mother in 1850, but died unmarried; buried at Greenwood.
    5. Richard, born 19 July 1833. He was living with his mother in 1840; no further record.
    (Note: Having missed all the children of his father Isaac, NHR’s editors were unaware of this Philip Vermilyea’s existence; they mistakenly assigned the wife Ann and the three children Mary, Edward and Richard to the wrong Philip, i.e., Philip son of Philip and Rebecca (Elliot) Vermilyea. That Philip Vermilyea was born at Cortlandt, Westchester County, NY 12 November 1794, and appears sporadically in NYC directories as a laborer, sailor, and pilot (i.e., a pilot who guided ships into New York Harbor). He married (1st), at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, NYC, 12 November 1818, Amanda Griffin; she was born say, 1801, and died at the NYC Almshouse 5 September 1827. Since Philip Vermilyea had at least one more child after 1830, it seems clear that he married a second time; most likely, his wife was that Mrs. Susan Vermilyea, widow, who married at NYC 24 September 1839 Robert Dale Hare. Hare was a sailor, and at the time of their wedding, both he and Mrs. Susan Vermilyea lived in the same boarding house. Philip Vermilyea, son of Philip and Rebecca, died at 35 Mangin St., NYC, 11 August 1834. He is a very good candidate to be the father of George Vermilyea, who married 1854 Rosanna Anspach, your “Who is This?” #2.)

  12. 7, 11, 12: MARY E. (VERMILYEA) LANNIGAN, SARAH ANN (VERMILYEA) LANE, AND WILLIAM E. VERMILYEA
    Abraham Vermilyea, son of Edward and Sarah (Hyatt) Vermilyea, was born at Harlem, New York (then a village north of NYC) on 5 June 1793. He was by trade a butcher, and lived mostly in NYC, where he appears sporadically in city directories. He married, probably at Harlem, in 1815, Mary Seaman. (Note: NHR’s editors never made contact with any of this couple’s descendants, and got Mary’s surname (inaccurately) from distant relatives, who either misremembered it as “Seamore,” or misinterpreted the name Seaman as “Seamore” in some family record. Church baptismal records, however, make clear that the name was SEAMAN.)
    Abraham Vermilyea died at Harlem 20 July 1832, the same day as both his parents, victim of a cholera epidemic. On 20 December 1834, John G. Farrington, grocer of NYC, a creditor, applied for Letters of Administration on his estate; the probate record names the widow Mary, and states that there were three minor children, unnamed. More than fifty years later, Dorcas Hyatt (1797-1885) died at Yonkers, unmarried, leaving no surviving brothers or sisters, and no nieces or nephews. But because she did leave a substantial estate, with no direct heirs, the court drew up an enormous list of all her living relatives, descendants of her uncles and aunts, including her aunt Sarah Hyatt (1770-1832), wife of Edward Vermilyea. Since Edward Vermilyea himself left no probate record, the record of Dorcas Hyatt’s heirs serves as an excellent substitute, naming all the living grandchildren of Edward and Sarah (Hyatt) Vermilyea (there were no children then living), with their addresses, as of 1886 (See below).
    Children of Abraham Vermilyea and Mary Seaman, married 1815:
    1. Sarah Ann, born at NYC 11 February 1816. She married, at the Harlem DRC, 12 May 1834, John Samuel Lane. She died at NYC 24 August 1878, and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn. The Hyatt estate records include a complete list of her children as of 20 November 1886. (She is your “Who is This?” #11.)
    2. William Edward, born at NYC 27 August 1818, and baptized with his sister Mary Eliza at the Harlem DRC 1 October 1823. Like his father, he was a butcher in NYC. As of 20 November 1886, he was living at Darien, Ct. (He is your “Who is This?” #12.)
    3. Mary Eliza, born at NYC 11 October 1822, and baptized with her brother William Edward at the Harlem DRC 1 October 1823. She married, at NYC, 21 October 1841, by the Rev. B. B. Hallock, John Lunnigan. John Lunnigan died at NYC 4 May 1870, and was buried at the Union Cemetery, Queens (this cemetery was removed c.1892, and the bodies re-interred elsewhere). As of 20 November 1886, Mary (Vermilyea) Lunnigan was living at 125 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn, NY. (She is your “Who is This?” #7.)
    (Note: NHR did not give Abraham and Mary (Seaman) Vermilyea a family. Once again, the lesson is, just because NHR doesn’t say that something happened, that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.)

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