Queries from GSV Members


Note: GSV members may submit queries to appear on this site. Please send an email to diantha.howard@uvm.edu - with "GSV query" as subject, including your GSV member number. (If you don't remember your GSV number, include your name and address.)
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I am looking for the past 52 years for the birth record and/or parents of John Cummins (any spelling).  His family Bible says "born 21 Jun 1814 Vermont", however someone with different handwriting has added "Windsor" before the "Vermont".  I found his marriage to Louisa Brooks (a descendant of the Stonington, Connecticut Bennetts) in Medina, Ohio in 1837.

 John Cummins moved to Wisconsin Territory between 1839 and 1840, per births of his children.  Many resources show he was a town supervisor, held first school in his home, boarded a school teacher, charter church member, farmer, adventurer, etc.  Death came to him at age 86, in Waseca County, Minnesota (with a picture of himself in his obituary.)  Among all the newspaper articles about him, have not found any mention of visits, births, deaths from his family.

I have studied Vermont boundary and political changes in hopes of any clues.  Have I been looking in the wrong place for his birth all these years?  Thank you for any interest in this subject


My brick wall is my great grandfather Joseph F Senter born about 1858, in Rutland, Vermont and died 1897 in Athena, Umatilla, Oregon.  He was married several times. 
-Have not found his birth record
-Have not found his death record
-Have not found his parents or siblings if any.
# 1 wife: Rosella Gillespie
They had a son Joseph Senter born, about 1889, in Eugene, Oregon and died, 1892, in Clear Lake, Skagit Washington
-This son died about four months after he married Ora Oberholtzer
-Have not found their marriage record or divorce record
#2 wife: ??
They had a daughter Bessie Audrey Senter born 1891 in Pullman, Whitman, Washington and died in 1967 Daly City, San Mateo, California
- she is listed as a daughter of the next wife but her birthdate is about 12 months before he was married to the next wife.
-Have not found what I believe to be her real mother.
#3 wife:  Ora Oberholtzer
Married 1892
They had two sons 
First Guy Ned Senter born 1893 Pullman, Whitman, Washington and died 1959 Troy, Latah, Idaho
Second Day Franklin Senter born 1897 Athena, Umatilla, Oregon and died 1961Yakima, Yakima, Washington
If Ora is Bessie’s mother she would have been illegitimate. 


robert at rbkinc dot com


RIFENBURG / RIGHTENBARK / HOCAM We are seeking information about Adam Rifenburg or Rightenbark and his wife Mercy Hocam.  The spelling might be Reiffenburg, Rightenburg, Richtenbach, Rightenbark.  He married Mercy probably in 1779 in Vermont or New York.  Adam was from New York.  He may have been a deserter from the British army during the Revolutionary War.  Family tradition says that a daughter Polly Rightenback or Rightenbark was born in Orange,
Vermont 23 August 1780.  Later, several children were born in New York:  John, Stephen, and David.  We do not know where their son Daniel was born.  Adam and Mercy went to New York about 1785-1805 and moved by 1805 to what is now Ridgebury, Bradford County, Pennsylvania. We would like to know if there are any records about them while they were in Vermont for the period 1779-1785.

David and Elaine:


I am trying to find the names of the parents of my second great grandfather -Sampson Burke Brown, born 1823,in Morristown, VT- died1866 in Marshfield, VT - lived in Hyde Park, VT - and is buried in Lake Elmore cemetery.  He was married to Rebecca Sarah Brackett.  They had several children. Daughter Flora is my great granmother.
Thank you


carol underscore bacon at comcast dot net

MARTIN I need help in finding the parents of my 4th grt gf Edward Martin, b. Vermont (?) ca 1774, perhaps the son of John Martin who was in Danby 1771.  Edward married, perhaps at Ferrisburg, ca 1795, Elizabeth Chase, b. Nine Partners, NY,  24 Apr 1776, the dau. of Abraham & Lydia (Allen) Chase.  Edward doesn’t appear on any census list in Vermont or Ferrisburg until 1810 when he was living next door to Jonas Martin, the son of Reuben and Sally (Williams) Martin.  Edward Martin disappears from the census lists of Ferrisburg before the 1820 census, when his wife Elizabeth appears as head of household with 10 members in her household.

I have traced 6 children of Edward & Elizabeth, born between 1797 and 1814: Phebe, Eliza (my ancestress), Edward, Jr., Allen H (Henry?), Lydia (married Reuben’s son of William) and Susan.

It is possible that Edward is either a son or a nephew of Reuben Martin, whose son William married Edward’s wife’s sister Lydia Allen, but I have not been able to establish any link between the two families except for this link and proximity of residence.

Reuben’s first children were born in Lanesborough, Berkshire, Mass.  I have traced his lineage back to one Lieutenant Samuel Martin who came to America in 1640-1645 and settled in Connecticut. His progeny ultimately went to Woodbury, Litchfield, CT, where Reuben was born in 1746.

Thanks for any help/suggestions.

Would love to correspond to any descendants of Edward& Elizabeth, or their children.

John Wood:

JLW 562 at gmail dot com

KING, Adoption I am trying to find information on what happened to Marsilvia (also known as Mary) Marble King, wife of Rodney King, Sr and mother of Rodney, Jr and Carrie.  Carrie, born 1839 in Wilmington, VT, was adopted, probably as an infant, by David and Harriet Bills of Wilmington.  Perhaps Mrs. King died as a result of Carrie's birth, but I have not been able to find a death record.  I also would like to know if and how one can find adoption records for that time period.  Thank you for any assistance in my search.

Mary Henderson:

marhenders at my fair point dot net

BAKER, WELLS, HARMON I am looking for info on the parents of Charles Harmon Baker and Harriet "Hattie" Elizabeth Wells. Charles was born 18 Nov 1847 in NY state, (Halfmoon or Gloversville?) Harriet was born 4 Jan 1862 in NY state, (Oppingham or Mayfield?) Charles' parents were J. Baker and Margarate Harmon. Harriets parents were Morris and Eleanor Wells.

Paula Parker:

angel light at t d s dot net

DAMON, BOWKER I’m seeking additional genealogical information for Daniel Damon (b. 1742 in Scituate, Massachusetts) and his wife Hannah Bowker (b. 1740 in Scituate, Massachusetts).  The 1800 US Census reports them residing in Springfield, Windsor County, Vermont.  Did they die there, perhaps before 1810 as they have not been found in the 1810 census?

Leon Harris:

Lee dash vi at rochester dot rr dot com


I descend from John Harris, born Oct 31, 1777 in Manchester Vermont through his son Hiram, born about 1804 in Vermont.  Hiram died on May 14, 1878 in St Lawrence County, New York.  John’s parents, according to the Vermont Vital Records, were Alexander Harris and his wife Diadama.  John died of disease while in military service at Sackets Harbor, NY on January 27, 1815.  Other known children born to Alexander and Diadama were Anna, born December 17, 1774 in Manchester; Diadama, born July 22, 1780 in Manchester and Alexander, born June 9, 1783 in Manchester. 

I would appreciate additional genealogical information regarding Hiram’s siblings, John’s wife (mother of Hiram), Alexander (father of John), and Diadama (mother of John).  Did Alexander or possibly his father serve as a Patriot in a military or governmental capacity during the American Revolutionary War?  Did Diadama’s father serve in similar a capacity?  Did Alexander and Diadama have additional children?

Leon Harris:

lee dash vi at rochester dot rr dot com

CLARK / SHAW / TARBELL Seeking parents and ancestors of Sarah/Sally CLARK, widow of John SHAW (married 1794) & Edmund TARBELL (married 1811). Her 1st husband John SHAW was buried in Mt Holly.

Carol Skaggs:


Seeking  information on Gideon BAKER (1743-1825)  and/his (supposed) parents, Thomas (1719- ) and Eleanor (HUTTON) BAKER.   Did his parents remain in England or did they  emigrate?  Was Gideon born on this side of the pond or in England?  Were his siblings, Mary, John, Dimmis, Nicholas, Thomas, Deley also in New England or not?  By what path did Gideon get to Vermont? What was Gideon’s 1st wife, Mercy’s (1743–1778) maiden name and where did she come from?  There is a death  record for a Mercy Baker (no date or other info) found in Windham County, Vt.  Might this be Gideon’s wife?   Did the family live in Windham early on?   Gideon is first found (1790) in Harwich, Rutland Co., Vt.  (Harwich is later called Tabor).  Was 2nd wife,  Debby’s maiden name TABOR?   He lived in that place until his death in June 1825.  His tombstone does not include the names of either wife.  Any clues gratefully accepted.

Connie Trombley:

snow shoe 72 at gmail dot com


Seeking information birth and/or adoption of  Bertha Phillips, born 9 Sept. 1878 in Essex Junction, Vermont.  Unknown whether Phillips is her birth name or her adopted name.  It is unknown whether it was a “legal” adoption or if she was just “taken in” by a family.   There is some question as to birth date:  Obit. states she was born 9 Sept. 1800, but the year may be  incorrect.  She is found in 1900 federal census living with Ellen L. Wright family in  Milton, Chittenden Co., Vt.  – listed as a servant.  Birthdate given is  Sept. 1878.  About 1905 Bertha married George Baker of Clinton Co. New York.  The 1905 New York State census for Plattsburg, Clinton Co. states her age as 26 (June of 1905).  This fits with the 1878 year.   Later George and Bertha settled in town of North Elba, Essex Co., New York (village of Saranac Lake, NY) where they remained.  Bertha died April 1965 in  Saranac Lake, NY.  Any information as to Bertha’s birth name, birth parents, or family that  raised her would be appreciated.  What happened to her parents?   Have not been able to find Bertha Phillips in the federal census, in Vermont, in 1880.   Were adoption records “sealed” in the 19th century as they are today?

Connie Trombley:

snow shoe 72 at gmail dot com

TAFT I'm looking for any info about William P Taft. We know he was born around 1809 in St Albans, Vermont (via his sons' Sherman and Charles death certificates and a Cleveland, Ohio obit). He first officially shows up in documentation in a 1840 Cleveland census, although his obit says he left Vermont and moved to Cleveland around 1833.  Considering Eunice, his wife, was also born in Vermont,  we assume they got married in Vermont right before they moved to Cleveland, around the early 1830s. We have zero documentation of him in Vermont (beyond Cleveland files) and/or of his parents and siblings. There is one census that notates his father being born in Vermont and his mother Connecticut, but that's it.

Any info would be very helpful! Thanks!

Amanda Taft:

amanda taft at mac dot com

 I am searching for more info on a Accident on a river in New Haven, Addison,Vermont. It happen in 1840 not sure what name of the river or exact date in  1840 I am looking for more info on the accident. any hints ? newspaper ? other sources
The whole family were drowned in a vessel on the New Haven river in Vermont.

John Carpenter:

john I say what at a o l dot com

CARPENTER I am looking for more info on Lt Gov Benjamin Carpenter of Guilford,Vt I am interested in Photos and Military career info and early life before being LT Gov.

John Carpenter:

john I say what at a o l dot com

SAWYER Looking for information on Asa M. Sawyer, born Dracut, Middlesex, MA in 1786, son of Reuben Sawyer and Tryphena Messor.  He lived in New Hampshire from 1817-1820, moved to Vermont in 1820 and died in Waterbury, Washington, Vermont in 1860.  I am looking for the name of his wife and date and place of marriage.  I have found the death record of one of their children which lists Asa's wife's name as Ann ?.   

Judith Gorin:

n i r o g at me dot com

I'm looking for information on my my great-grandfather John Kelly, who I believe was born in Lebanon, NH and Barnard, VT before moving to Jackson Co. Kansas in 1870.  He may have been married to Bridget Connor who died prior to 1870.  John's parents may have been Barney and Bridget Kelly.  Barney later married Margaret Brannon.  I've been told that Barney and Margaret, along with other family members, are buried at St. Mary's Cemetery in Claremont, NH.
Any help or information would be greatly appreciated.

Jim Kelly:

Jim dot Kelly at wasbhurn dot e d u

BENNETT, SILLOWAY I wish to confirm that William Bennett, born about 1798, is the son of William Bennett and Prudence Andrews of Corinth, VT. The family appears in the 1791 census, and four older children are found in the VT vital records.  William, jr gives his birthplace as Vermont in several censuses. He married Louisa Silloway, daughter of Aaron Silloway and Sally Colby of Berlin, VT. Both the Silloway and Bennett families migrated to Wyoming County, NY by 1820.

Marilyn Myers:

m m myers at stny dot rr dot com

GOULD I am searching for the parents of Rodney Gould, b. 1811, d. 1869. He married Ruth Minott 11 Oct 1835, Middlesex, VT. In the 1840, 1850, 1860 the family is living in Montpelier, VT. Ch. Mary Evaline, Ruth, Nancy Augustus, Clara, Alma, Olive, George and Eugene. Any help will be appreciated.

Joanne Hayward:

dj hayward at gmail dot com


Looking for information on Elijah Williston and his brothers-in-law John and Stephen Kellogg.

The History of Franklin and Grand Isle counties, Vermont shows that Elijah Williston and John Kellogg took the Freemen’s Oath September 3, 1793 and Stephen Kellogg took it on September 2, 1794 in the Town of St. Albans, VT.

 Elijah Williston (1767-1847) married Lucy Kellogg (1772-1815) about 1791.

Grace Smith:

graceMI at comcast dot net

MILES , TIBBETTS Seeking information about Edmund and Betsey (Tibbetts) Miles who were the parents given
on death record of Mary Ann (Miles) Miles. Mary Ann was b. ca Aug 1817, either Canada or
VT; she mar. Thomas Miles ca 1838 prob. VT; she d. 28 Sep 1891 Wheelock VT; Thomas and
Mary Ann had children born in St. Johnsbury, Albany, and Wheelock.

Elizabeth Oatley:

e oatley at road runner dot com


Samuel SHERMAN married in Rochester, MA, 1777, Olive CLARK. His children were not recorded in Rochester. He was a blacksmith & sold his house & blacksmith shop in Rochester 1789. [Plymouth Co Deeds] History of Woodstock states that he was a blacksmith in Woodstock, VT 1794, but gone by 1799. His inventory was recorded in Waterbury, VT 1803, and his wife Olive was living at that time. Very few vital records for this family have been found.

Probable children: Olive, Avery, Sylvia, Betsey (possibly married Asa MAXHAM), Polly, Ira, & Royal. Avery m. 1) Fannie SHELDON, 2) Mary WALDRON, & d. in Waitsfield, VT 1873. Ira m. in Waterbury Keziah ROBINSON & d there 1856. Royal apparently married several times & d. in Duxbury, VT 1879.

I am interested in further details about any of these people. In particular: Did Olive remarry? None of the children were very old when Samuel died. Where were Samuel & Olive buried? Avery & Ira were buried in Hope (Village) Cemetery, Waterbury, but I didn't find stones for Samuel & Olive.

Diantha Howard:

diantha dot howard at u v m dot e d u


Looking for dates of death and locations of Noah Bliss and his wife, Alithea Drowne Bliss, probably in the Calais region.

Noah: b. 1734, Rehoboth, MA; probably died after 1790
Alithea, b. 1735, Rhode Island
Married: 1756, Rehoboth, MA

Children who died in Vermont:
Joshua, d. 1831 in Calais; married Sybil Peck
Noah, Jr., d. 1840 in Whiting; married Mary Carpenter
Patience, d. 1839 in Calais; married Caleb Mitchell
Ezra, d. 1850, Marion, NY; married Nancy Hicks
(7 children born Calais or Washington County)

Grace Smith:

graceMI at comcast dot net

PARKER I am seeking the parents of Loren Parker.  Loren Parker was born abt. 1818, died 10 Sep 1899 in Reading, Windsor Co., VT., and is buried in Hapgood-Spite Cemetery.  He was married to Mary Thurston who was the daughter of Edward Thurston and Delia Wallace.  Their children were as follows: Hiram, Franklin, Lucian, William, Edward, Augustus, Susan and Frederick.

Shirley Arendt:

arendt at att dot net

RICH Seek clarification of ancestors/descendants: David RICH m. Ruth BERRY 1783, Wallingford, New Haven Co., CT. First 3 children: Roxa, Rosana, & Rachel said to have been born in Charlotte, Chittenden Co., VT, but with overlapping birthdates, 1780s. 3 additional children are reportedly Divan Berry RICH, Rena RICH, and Martin RICH. David RICH was living in 1850 at Caroline, Tompkins Co., NY, ae 89y, born Connecticut.

Janet Pease:

j k pease at net zero dot net

Y-DNA, WEST, WHEATON Looking for information on and descendants of Ichabod WEST, d. Shaftsbury VT ca 1788. He m1. 1736 Sarah WHEATON, m2. ca 1759 Abigail -----. Named 16 children in 1786 will: Thomas, Ichabod (m. Susanna), Levi (m. Lucy DEVOTION), Barnet, William (m. Phebe GOFF), Sarah (m. Jonah SANFORD?), Ebenezer (m. Tabitha PARDY? FOX?), James, Elizabeth (m. Wareham GIBBS?), Abigail (m. Jonah SANFORD?), Daniel (m1. Sarah WHITFORD, m2. Martha SWEET), Samuel (m. Experience BOSWORTH), Noah (m. Mary Ann GIBBS), David (m. Mary?), Jerusha (m. Abner STEVENS), Esther (m. Rufus STEVENS).  West ancestry goes back to Francis and Susannah (SOULE) West.   Need surname of wife Abigail.   Need living West lineage descendants (male) for Y-DNA test.

Louise Throop:

l w throop at a o l dot com


I would like some information on Lucy Sawyer who was born in 1801 (or 1790) possibly in Vermont or Connecticut. Died Jan 1861 in Leicester, VT. She married Stephen Sparks in 1818 in Leicester and had a daughter, Sarah Sparks, b. 1826 in Leicester, and died 1899 in Hartford, CT. Sarah Sparks was my great grandmother. I can not find any information about her family. MY grandmother was Addelaide Hitchcock, whose father was John Ambrose Hitchcock, and he married Sarah Sparks. ALso I am related to James Garfield through someone in Leicester but not sure who. It could be the Hitchcocks, Sparks, or Parkers. John Hitchcock's mother was Hannah Parker.

Jim York:

sirj428 at cox dot net

I am looking for info on the Pier name:
     Thomas 1689 (CT) - 1778 (MA)
        Ethan 1744 (MA) - 1831
            Chauncey 1770 (CT) - 1813
                Orris 1797 (VT) - 1883 (VT)
                    Frederick 1849 (VT) - 1922 (VT)
    I am interested particularly in Chauncey (Chancy) who married Catherine (Caty) Baldwin b. abt 1770 in NY.  She  is my brick wall.  He was listed in the 1791 VT census.

Stephanie O'Rourke:

s orourke at a o l dot com

SMITH / WILSON My maternal gr-gr-grandfather was Johnston Smith b 1791 in VT, d 1877 in MN, who md Emeline Stiles Wilson b 1817 in VT, d 1903 in CA. Their Smith children were (1) James Wilson, b 1838 in VT, d 1902 in CA; I have all of this line down to me, (2) Charles Edson b 1841 in VT, d 1909 in CA, (3) Helen J. b Abt 1844 in VT, d when and where?, (4) Rufus Dana, b 1846 in VT, d 1935 in CA, (5) Frank Jerome b 1849 in VT, d Abt 1930 where?, and (6) Ella, b 1853 in VT, d when and where? I have their spouses and children, and am willing to share. I'm also looking for the great grand-children of Johnston and Emeline. Thank you.

Sandy Sanford:

ssanford at sbcglobal dot net

WOODWARD I am interested in any information related to *Theodorus Woodward* (1761-1842), who was born in Kent, CT, and died in Norfolk, NY. He married first *Sally Ferguson* ( -c.1798),
second *Esther Stark* ( - 1817), and third “old Mrs. Woodward” ( - 1843). Theodorus
lived in Orford, NH (c.1771), Vershire (c.1781-1800), Chelsea (c.1802-1823), and
Tunbridge, VT (c1809), and moved to Norfolk, NY around 1823. His children were a
daughter? (1791 census), *Jehial* (1791-1875), *John* (1800-1852), *Cyril* (1802-a1860), *Harry* (1804-a1850), *Harriot* (1806-), *Hannah* (1808-1906), *Calvin Porter* (1811-a 1880).

Alan Rogers:

rogers  alan at comcast dot net

BOWMAN Looking for information on Samuel BOWMAN, in Waitsfield, VT by 1812, married there 1813 Relief HAWLEY. A child's death certificate suggests he was born in Barnard, VT. From census records he was born 1780-1790. His estate was administered 27 Mar 1850, 'of Fayston', but I haven't found his & wife's graves.

Diantha Howard:

diantha dot howard at u v m dot e d u

page last modified 20 September 2017