Monthly Archives: March 2019

Tombstone Tuesday – March 26, 2019 – Mary Pratt Skinner

Mary Pratt was the daughter of Richard and Mary (Torke) Pratt born July 30, 1643 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Richard and Mary had seven children; Mary (1643) , Thomas (1646), Elizabeth (1649), Mercy (1650), John (1655), Martha, (1663) Hannah (1665).

Mary Pratt married Thomas Skinner in 1666. Mary and Thomas had eleven children; Mary (1666), Thomas (1668), Abraham (1671), John (1673), Richard (1675), Hannah (1678), Joseph (1678), Benjamin (1681), Ebenezer (1684), Nathaniel (1686), Abigail (1691).

Three hundred and fifteen years ago today, on March 26, 1704, Mary Pratt Skinner died, in Colchester, New London County, Connecticut. She is buried in Connecticut but the exact location is unknown.

Mary Pratt is my seven times great grandmother.

Rest in peace, Mary

Love, Jan

Tombstone Tuesday – March 19, 2019 – John Riley


John was born on December 22, 1833 in Quebec, Canada, the son of John and Amanda (Sanderson) Riley. John had two half brothers; James A, and David A,

On September 15, 1859 in Elgin, Ontario, he married Dorotha Best. In the 1861 Canadian Census, John is twenty eight. He is living in Elgin, Ontario with the Best Family and his wife.  In the 1870 Federal Census, John and Dorothy are living in Burnside, Michigan. They have one daughter whose name is Mary A. Riley. She was born in January of 1861. On October 9, 1873, a second daughter was born.  Her name was Myrtle Riley.  She died on October 28, 1873. In the 1880 Federal Census, John, Dorothy and their daughter Mary are found in Burnside. He is a farmer.

One hundred and thirty-three years ago, John Riley died in Burnside, Michigan. He is buried in the Fox Farm Cemetery near Burnside, Michigan.


Rest in peace, John

Love, Jan

John was the husband of my first cousin five times removed.

Tombstone Tuesday – March 12, 2018 – Martha Griffiths Smith

Martha Griffiths Smith


Martha Griffiths was the daughter of Rev. Joseph Griffiths and his wife, Elizabeth (Lozier). She was born October 27, 1817 in New York. Joseph and Elizabeth had twelve children; Joseph (1806-1822), John (1807), Charles (1810-1822), Mary (1813), Elizabeth (1815) , Martha (1817), William (1819), Rachel (1822), Joseph ( 1824-1830), Julie Ann (1826-1829) , Margaret (1830), Alfred (1831).

Martha married John Dewitt Smith after the death of his first wife Eleanor Blauvelt Smith in 1850. John and Martha had a daughter, Elizabeth, in 1854.  In the 1860 Federal Census, John and Martha are found in Orangetown, Rochland County, New York.  John is 53 years old and Martha is ten years younger. John’s occupation is listed a “Gentleman”. His real estate is valued at $30,000 which is a lot of money for 1860. Their daughter Elizabeth is six years old. In the 1865 New York State Census, they remain in Orangetown, New York.  In the 1870 Federal Census, John Dewitt Smith lists his occupation as farmer. He has $20,000 in real estate value, Elizabeth is now 16 and Martha is 63. They have a servant working for them, Minnie Fields, and a laborer whose name is Jesse Blauvelt. Jesse was likely related to John Dewitt Smith’s first wife, Eleanor Blauvelt.

One hundred and twenty six years ago, Martha died in Orangetown, New York. The follow is a transcript of her obit found on posted by Jenny.

The Funeral of the Late Mrs. Martha G Smith”

The funeral services for Mrs. Martha G. Smith widow of the late John D. Witt Smith, who died Saturday last, was held on Tuesday last at her late residence on Broadway, north of First Avenue. The house was filled with friends of the deceased and the services were solemn and impressive. The Rev. J.L. Campbell, of New York, who a few years ago was Mrs. Smith’s pastor in the Nyach Baptist Church, was present and conducted the service and spoke feelingly of the deceased and her good work in her Master’s cause. The interment was at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Mrs. Smith is the daughter of the late Rev. Joseph N. Griffiths, who in 1817 held the first religious services under the auspice of the Baptist Church in Rochland County.  Rev. Griffiths, who may have said to have been the father of the Baptist Church in Rochland County died in 1860 at the age of three score and eight years. Mrs. Smith became connected with the Nyach Baptist Church in her early years and her labors for that organization and the cause it represents were faithful to the last. Side by side with other devoted members, she worked for the upbuilding of the church and was identified with all its interests, her labors never ceasing until her final illness brought her to her bed and broke the cord which bound her to the earth.

Mrs. Smith leaves one daughter, Lizzie Hopper, wife of G.H. Hopper, one of the dry goods merchants of this place. One sister also survives her, Mrs Margaret Gurnee, widow of the late Alfred Gurnee.”

As the Obit states she is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery.


Oak Hill Cemetery


Rest in peace, Martha

Love, Jan

Martha is my seventh cousin two times removed.


Tombstone Tuesday – March 5, 2018 – Ernest R. Smith

Smith Ernest R Gravestone Photo

Ernest Roy Smith was born on May 20, 1895 in Madison County, Indiana. He was the son of Branson and Cynthia (Whetsel) Smith.  Ernest had one brother, Harry (1889) who was four years older and seven half brothers and sisters; Charles (1865-1874), Dora (1867), Ida (1869), George Albert (1871), Thomas (1873), Flora (1877-1877) and Cora (1877).

In the 1900 Federal Census, Ernest and his brother are found with Branson and Cynthia in Fall Creek, Indiana. Branson is a farmer. Ernest is four years old and not yet in school. By the 1910 Federal Census, Ernest is in school. At the age of eighteen, on June 4, 1914, Ernest enlisted in the army. He served as a cook during WWI. This information is available thru his Veteran’s interment record. I do not find his enlistment record. He was discharged on June 4, 1920 in San Francisco, California. In the 1920 Federal Census, he is found living with his wife, Ruth and his mother-in-law, Anna Van Buren. In the 1930 Federal Census, Ernest, Ruth and a daughter, Mildred on twentieth Street in San Francisco, California. In the 1940 Federal Census, Ernest is not listed with Ruth and Mildred.

ErnestSmithWWIIDraft Registration

But on Ernest’s Registration for the WWII draft, he states that he lives at 984 Valencia Street in San Francisco. He lists Hannah Plamondon as a person who will always know where he is. It appears that he is a boarder in her home at this time and I did find him in the 1940 Federal Census listed with Hannah. Looking back a few years it appears that Hannah and her husband, James, ran a boarding house at this location in San Francisco. In 1948, after the death of his first wife Ruth, Ernest married Zelma Elizabeth Hook.


Death Certificate for Ernest Smith

Fifty nine years ago today, Ernest Roy Smith died in San Francisco, California. He died of Lung Cancer. At the time of his death he was working as a bottler for the Hamms Brewing Company.

He as buried with full military honors in Golden Gate National Cemetery with first wife Ruth Smith (who died in 1948) according to National Cemetery Interment records in San Bruno, California.


Interment Record

GoldenGate National Cemetery

Golden Gate National Cemetery

Rest in Peace, Ernest.

Love, Jan

Ernest is my first cousin three times removed.