52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #30 – Colorful

Colorful might be a word to describe someone larger than life, someone who is bold and different according to Amy Johnson Crow our guide through 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. There is one woman who best fits this description in our ancestral line, Phoebe Newton Goodell Judson. The mother of Lynden, Washington. Born in Vermillion, Ohio in 1831 and died in 1926 in Lynden, Washington.

Phoebe Goodell Judson article
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Phoebe is the first cousin of my 3X Great Grandmother Lois Emerette Goodell Totten. Emerette’s mother, Elmina Brigham Goodell, died in 1843 in Lodi, Ohio, when Emerette was little more than one year old.  Emerette was sent to live with her cousin Phoebe Newton Goodell’s family in Vermillion, Ohio, for several years and was raised by other relatives in Lockport, Niagara County, New York.

Holden and Phoebe Goodell Judson

The Goodell’s were a family of strong faith, both Emerette’s father, Joel Charles Goodell and his brother Jotham Weeks Goodell, Phoebe’s father, as well as the girl’s grandfather William Goodell were ministers and missionaries. Jotham Goodell, Phoebe’s father, first traveled the Oregon Trail in 1843, settling on the banks of the Willamette, in Oregon. Little did Phoebe think at age 21 she would follow in his footsteps with her husband Holden Judson and their two year old daughter, Annie Judson. Leaving Vermillion, Ohio, by wagon to Sandusky City and by train to Cincinnati and traveling by steamer to St. Louis they continued their journey to Kansas Landing, or as we know it, Kansas City. They purchased their wagon and oxen and prepared for their journey on the Oregon Trail to Puget Sound in 1853.

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Photo from Linda Bitterlich

Phoebe wrote a journal of her travel on the Oregon Trail and settling in the Washington Territory when she was 95. She wrote ” The greater portion of our journey across the plains seems more like a dream than a reality, but this, my first ride in a ‘prairie schooner’ is as fresh in my memory as though it had occurred yesterday.”

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Her journal was later published as a 315 page book titled “A Pioneer’s Search For An Ideal Home.”  All of this information was introduced to me when my my sister Linda and I attended an “Aunt Phoebe” reunion in Washington many years ago. We met cousin Karen Parsons in Seattle and headed for Whidbey Island to witness first hand the places Phoebe and Holden Judson and their daughter Annie lived. My sister Sharon was in the Whidbey Island area and joined the reunion.  Annie, Phoebe and Holden’s daughter, married the son of Isaac Ebey who was an original settler on Whidbey Island.  Isaac Ebey built a “hotel” for arriving ship passengers and Phoebe and Holden Judson lived and worked there for a short time with their daughter and her husband.

Isaac Ebey’s home/boarding house. We were unable to go inside but were able to wander all around it.

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Ebey’s Landing and home is a National Historic Reserve managed by the National Park Service. Access to the property is limited. Ebey’s landing is located on Whidbey Island near Coupville, Washington.

Phoebe Judson plaque

This Historic marker above describes the community founded by Phoebe and Holden Judson. Lynden is a city north of Seattle not far from the Canadian border. There is a museum to visit there with a wealth of information about the Judson’s.

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A huge risk was taken by the pioneers during the Indian Wars. Isaac Ebey was killed and his head was never found as the story goes that I heard.

If you would like to read the book A Pioneer’s Search For An Ideal Home let me know I have a couple of copies of the book. I would highly recommend this book for my cousins and their children. It describes the daily life of a pioneer woman crossing the plains on the Oregon Trail.


52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #29 – Music

Other than my last name being Singer I have struggled to find something to write about using the “Music” prompt this week. I know I have cousins who are musically inclined. Cathy Jo and Jim have a daughter who plays an instrument, Bruce played in a band, my sisters and I played the piano and Linda and I played the cello for many years in the junior high and high school orchestra. Uncle Bob plays the piano and his great granddaughter played at the recent 90th birthday celebration for Aunt Charlotte. I’m sure there are others, I just don’t know about them.

Then it came to me we are related to a whole family that is musical. That would be the Gresham’s, some who are pictured below!


Grace Irene Squires (my great grandmother) had a brother Clarence; his daughter Mae Squires Gresham, Grandma Hancock’s cousin, had 3 children,  Warren, Allen and Elizabeth.

Photo on the left is Elizabeth Gresham Long, Warren Gresham, Warren’s son John and wife Gayle Gresham. The two smaller photos include my daughter Rosemary and myself when we visited Warren in Elbert a few years ago during Memorial Day Weekend. We missed Allen Gresham who was out of town.

Performers in the Gresham family that I know are Warren and his son John, John’s wife Gayle and their two children Kate and Kenny. Gayle is also a very talented and successful songwriter.

Gayle Gresham

Gayle Gresham

John and Gayle Gresham

John and Gayle Gresham

Photo on the left is a campfire sing along with Kate and Kenny Gresham, John and Gayle’s children and Warren Gresham. The top right photo is Warren, Gayle and John Gresham and the lower right photo is daughter Kate, John and Gayle Gresham.

I have had the privilege of watching Gayle perform and tell stories about her family history. Warren, John and Gayle are also family genealogist’s as is Allen’s son Bob Gresham who recently visited the original Levi Squires and Edwin Squires farms in Wisconsin. But that’s another story.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #28 – Travel

In the beginning of my research for my husband’s ancestors we visited a Jewish cemetery in St. Louis. John was wise enough to advise me to take pictures of all the surrounding gravestones because it was possible they could be related and I would have the photos to study. Indeed that was the case. One gravestone in the group was for Sarah Grossman, not a Singer or a Silverblatt as all the others in the group and I became very curious about this young lady who was only 28 years old when she died.


What really peaked my interest was the picture of Sarah on the gravestone. Although the photograph was blurred from weather and time she appeared to be a very pretty young lady. My challenge became who is she, where did she come from and why is she here?


The script on the gravestone, written in Hebrew tells me that Sarah’s father is Tzvi Hirsh Silverblatt.  Tzvi Hirsh or Harris is buried in the row in front of Sarah, he died in 1904 at age 40 of tuberculosis. The grave next to Sarah is her mother Lizzie Rudner who died in 1907 at age 39 of tuberculosis.

Sarah Grossman b606

After several years of study I found the answer to all my questions and here is the story of Sarah and her siblings travels. With the 1900 census information I was able to learn Sarah was born in 1888 in Friar’s Point, Mississippi, Bessie in 1894, Louis in 1895 and David in 1901. Friar’s Point is a small city on the Mississippi River.

 In 1902, the family including Sarah, her sister Bessie and brothers Louis and David moved to San Antonio, Texas to open their own mercantile store. Sister Ruth was born in 1903 in San Antonio. When their father died in 1904 Lizzie and the children stayed in San Antonio and managed the store. Lizzie, their mother died in 1907 and the children went  back to Friar’s Point under the guardianship of their uncle William Silverblatt. The 1910 census only lists Louis and younger sister Ruth living with William Silverblatt. After a lot of census searching I found Bessie in Memphis, Tennessee living with their mother’s sister and her family while Louis and Ruth stayed in Friar’s Point and David was sent to a Jewish orphanage in New Orleans. More details were revealed in the will of Lizzie Silverblatt. Lizzie had a life insurance policy valued at about $4100.00 when she died. Her brother-in-law was paid $10.00 per month as guardian for her children. Lizzy specifically requested her diamond earrings to go to Sarah.

Mizpah Arch 1908

The Mizpah monument at Denver’s Union Station 1908. The “Welcome” on one side and “Mizpah” on the other. Sarah would have taken a train from Memphis to arrive in Denver in 1908 and been welcomed by this structure.

Sarah, being 20 years old in 1908 left Memphis when she contracted tuberculosis and came to Denver, Colorado. In 1910 the census shows she boarded at a house on Hooker Street near Colfax. In 1911 Sarah married fellow boarder David Grossman. According to her death certificate, Sarah’s cause of death was pulmonary tuberculosis with contributing influenza at the beginning of 1917 and she died a month later, 31 January 1917. Sarah and David had no children.

Bessie stayed in Memphis, married and divorced, then married Sam Florman. They had two children, He owned several mercantile stores in Tennessee and Arkansas. David left the orphanage at 18 years old and moved to Arkansas to work in one of Sam and Bessie’s stores. David married Nancy Hughes and they had two children. Louis married Irene Wiggington and they lived in Trenton, Tennessee, they had two children. Ruth stayed with William Silverblatt’s wife, Matilda, after he died in 1919. Matilda was hit by a car and killed in St. Louis in 1942. I never found Ruth after the 1930 census.

Cemetery records show Bertha Wyner, daughter of Fannie Silverblatt Singer (William, Beckie and Harris’s sister), purchased all the plots at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery and kept everyone together. Two other graves for William, Beckie, Harris and Fannie’s parents Samuel and Jennie Silverblatt are located nearby and according to the clerk at the cemetery the records are in an old Russian Hebrew dialect and at this time no one is available to translate.

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2018 #27 – Independence

Netflix is currently running a series called TURN – Washington’s Spies. If you get an opportunity to watch it you should. The show clearly depicts the sentiment of the time with neighbor turning against neighbor, shop owners and farmers turning into spies as they watch their rights and freedoms slipping away with British military occupation after the initial Boston rebellion. This blog #27-Independence, highlights the Scofield family, founding fathers of Stamford, Connecticut, a state that played a pivotal role in George Washington’s military success. Connecticut also played a very important role in early declaration of banning Tories and providing food and other provisions for the colonial army.

Connecticut map

To help you understand the family connection, Scofield’s are the ancestors of Mary Frances Foreman Hancock, my grandmother. Her mother Grace Irene Squires Foreman, her father Edwin Squires, his mother Sabrina Scofield Squires, her father Neazer Scofield, and her mother Thankful Scofield.

And to add to any confusion Neazer Scofield married Thankful Scofield, his first cousin. Neazer’s father Samuel Scofield and her father Sylvanus Scofield were brothers. Boy does that screw up a family tree chart!

Neazer Scofield

Neazer Scofield grave

Neazer Scofield was born 22 May 1754 in Stamford Connecticut, British Colonial America. He married Thankful Scofield on 17 August 1775 at age 21.

The first military record for Neazer is for March 1775 when he is listed as a private in a company of militia as substitute for Ebenezer Weed, serving under Capt. Betts of Norwalk, for 115 days, and was a volunteer in June 1775 at Stamford under Capt Simeon Selleck for twelve days.

In July 1776 he served in a militia company under Capt. Jesse Bell at New York for two months. In February 1777 Neazer was drafted into a militia company of Town Guards at Stamford and Stanwich Connecticut. He enlisted 20 June 1777 as a private under Capt. Reuben Scofield for six months. In the summer of 1778 he served in the militia at White Plains for six or seven days, and in the same year under Capt. Benjamin Weed for the same period.

Neazer’s father Samuel was reputed to have a wooden leg possibly as a result of service in the French and Indian War. The Encyclopedia of Connecticut Biography: Genealogical Memorial (Vol 4, Page 29) mentions that Samuel “served in the American Army”. This is substantiated in the Adjutants-General’s ‘Record Service of Connecticut Men’ (1889). “Samuel Scofield, 3d” is listed in the “Men that served at home but did not go to the Saw Pits or West Chester”. He was discharged on Jan 28, 1777 and served 1 Month and 4 days. He would have been 60 years old.

Samuel Scofield’s wife Elizabeth Ambler, mother to Neazer and his other children died in 1767 and Samuel married Deborah Bell Weed, a widow. Interesting that Neazer Scofield served as a substitute for Ebenezer Weed and served under the command of Capt. Jesse Bell and Capt. Reuben Scofield as well as Capt. Benjamin Weed.

So, from the time of the immigrant Daniel Scofield, who invested 25 pounds sterling to invest in property in the town of Stamford, Connecticut through the  French and Indian War with Samuel Scofield and the American Revolution with Neazer Scofield, you can be proud to say the Scofield’s actively served to make America free.

Other Revolutionary War soldiers in our family were Elijah Brace – Litchfield, Connecticut; Joel Brigham – Marlboro, Massachusetts; Benjamin West – New York; William Goodell – Massachusetts; Ebenezer Sprague, Rhode Island. There are more, I just haven’t finished the research.