I recently attended a meeting where a challenge was issued – Do something dealing with Family History that you have never done before. The initial challenge for me was thinking of something I had never done before. After setting aside genealogy to make it through the holidays, I tried to get back into it at the beginning of the year by returning to some lines I had worked on previously. I became a little frustrated as I found myself banging up against the same brick walls again. I played around with my DNA results after being tested in December and I was introduced to the Relative Finder feature on FamilySearch which was a fun new tool. Then I added my husband to Relative Finder and learned that he was related to some pretty impressive people. Most of these were through his Stark line. This is his adopted line, which we knew little about, so curiosity got me looking into it. I also looked at his mother’s line which had been thoroughly researched by his aunt, but things were messed up on FamilySearch. All of this was interesting, but I didn’t feel like I was accomplishing much.
One thing I had always hoped to be able to do was to teach and inspire my children to get involved in Family History so they could carry on this work after I am no longer able to. This would seem a very worthy goal.
I have three daughters who throughout their adolescence and into adulthood often mocked me for my interest in dead people. I think they resented the time I spent seemingly obsessed with old records when I should have paid more attention to what they were doing. (I probably should have paid more attention to them) Their lack of respect for records and old things left me worried that they would toss out all those papers, binders, books and heirlooms after I was gone.
On Valentines Day 1952, my brother was born– and died. It was never a secret. All of us kids grew up knowing that there was another baby who died before we were born. When it was mentioned, it was simply stated as a fact, but it was not really talked about. I never saw a birth certificate among those for the rest of us, and certainly not a death certificate. There was no grave to place flowers on when we made our Memorial Day cemetery visits. He didn’t even have a name until decades later when Dad finally filled in the blank space on the family group sheet. Of course, there were no photos, or even the smallest of objects kept to remember him. How strange that a life so brief and seemingly unnoticed, could have such a huge impact on generations.
It was almost a year after the publication of my Eggleston book, that I first had the need to make a correction/addition to it. In early October 2011, I received an email from John in Texas, who had been researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and found my book just before closing time. He was not able to find it again before the end of his trip, but he found my email address and sent a brief email with the subject: “Wilkerson Eggleston.” As we began to correspond, I realized that he had a piece of the family puzzle that most of us didn’t realize was missing.
The Carpenter Piece of the Puzzle
He had the probate record of Hezekiah Carpenter dated 2 May 1803. The list of heirs included Wilkerson Eggleston, Sarah Robinson, wife of Thomas Robinson, Jabesh Eggleston, Reuben Lake and Samuel Rogers, who were mentioned as heirs of Sarah Eagleton, who was deceased. He was trying to figure out how all of these people fit into the family of Sarah Carpenter.
I have always felt that this work is a collaboration between family members on both sides of the veil and that they are probably more anxious for us to know them, than we are. I truly feel that both Donna and I were directed on that summer day in 2010 – me to find Mariett and include her story in the family history, and Donna to learn more about the family. The bonus is forming a relationship with another living cousin.
During the summer of 2010, I made a decision to finally finish and publish the book I had been writing on the Eggleston Family. My research had spanned more than a decade. I had started writing early on, adding to it as I learned more. One of the great blessings of this process was finding many living cousins along the way. Some were very distant cousins, but others were second cousins that I did not know. I even became better acquainted with first cousins during that time. I had tried to include whatever information these cousins shared with me about different ancestors.
Anyone familiar with genealogy knows that no research or resulting book is ever “completed”. There will always be remaining questions, and hopefully information coming to light in the future to help solve the mysteries. When it comes to writing up the results of research, it is necessary to reach of point of decision that what is now known is enough to write, publish and share. So in 2010, after completing a rather large and involved project with the Weber County Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum, I decided now was the time.
Vedia Eggleston’s Postcard Book contained a few cards with New Year’s Greetings.
Vedia Eggleston Jones’ Postcard Book contains several cards with Christmas Greetings, some sent exactly 100 years ago. It appears that Vedia was in Malad, Idaho for the holidays, probably attending school there.
One Saturday afternoon in January 2011, after having lunch in downtown Ogden with my daughters, I and my youngest decided to go across the street to our favorite Antique Store (which was new then but sadly is not there anymore) before heading home. We were wandering around different areas when I heard her calling to me from upstairs, saying something about Egglestons. I hurried to her to see what she was talking about. She had picked up an old Postcard Book filled with postcards with the names of Egglestons and asked if these were our family. I did recognize many of the names and started getting really excited. This store sold things on consignment and this album was priced rather high, intended to be sold intact. There were other old postcards being sold individually and I guess they thought that this was worth the cost of all of the individual cards. Anyway, it was more than I was ready to pay for it. I did talk to the store owner and left my name and a message for the owner of this album.
Ambrose Hill was born March 21, 1744 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. He died February 26, 1816 in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont. He was buried in Cornwall. He was on a list of Revolutionary War Soldiers buried in Cornwall, Vermont. Ambrose married Lucy Beach October 10, 1764 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. Lucy Beach was born January 27, 1746 in Goshen, Litchfield, Connecticut. She died March 18, 1838, in Cornwall, Addison, Vermont.
Ambrose Hill served in the Revolutionary War. His widow Lucy received a Pension for his service. According to information in his Pension file ( Pension File No. W21338 ) Ambrose Hill was a resident of Richmond, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, when he enlisted in April 1775. He served 15 days as a Corporal under Colonel Patterson; six months as Orderly Sargent under Aaron Rowley, Colonel Jonathan Smith; one month and four days as Captain under Colonel Powell, and was in the battles of Bunker Hill, Benington, Stillwater, and at the surrender of Burgoyne and evacuation of Ticonderoga.
Seth Burgess was born May 31, 1745 in Canterbury, Windham, Connecticut. He died January 24, 1814 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York. He was buried in the Kellogsville Cemetery in Sempronius in February 1814. He married Selinda Olive Cady about 1767. She was born November 16, 1748 in Windham County, Connecticut. She died August 20, 1837 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York.
Seth Burgess served in the Revolutionary War from Berkshire County, Massachusetts. The early history of Berkshire County parallels the history of the Revolution. In its earliest days there were stirrings of rebellion and the residents of Berkshire were very involved. In 1777 it was voted that in order to encourage enlistment in the Continental Army, a bounty of $10 would be assessed to anyone refusing to serve. Later, in August 1777, it was voted that if any one drafted to serve should refuse to march or to get a substitute, he would be fined $40. This money was to help pay the soldiers. Seth Burgess apparently took the option to serve in the Army.
Ron Eggleston made a trip this summer to upstate New York where his branch of the Eggleston family lived, died and many are buried. He explored the Kinne Cemetery where he found family headstones.
Grave of Asa Eggleston (ll) in Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp NY
Grave marker for John Mitchell Eggleston and his two wives, Old Kinne Cemetery, Antwerp
Monument of Joel and Sophia Eggleston and three of their children, Old Kinne Cemetery
Ron found an open vault there in the cemetery, which stirred his curiosity. His inquiry led to a family story, which had inspired some local folklore and creepy activities. Details of this story were found in a newspaper article in the Commercial Advertiser of Canton, N.Y. dated Tuesday, July 11, 1916. This article was titled: “Mystery of Open Vault: Gruesome Night in Northern New York Cemetery”