Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mystery #4: Julia Seeley

Little is known about the Julia Seeley who married Samuel Gordon in Bradford County, PA. Her gravestone inscription indicates that she was born in 1813 and died in 1899. According to the 1850 Census, Julia was born in Pennsylvania.

Reportedly, Seeley descendants still living in the Gillett, PA area have no knowledge of her parentage. There have been many guesses. One has her as the daughter of a William and Fannie Gray Seeley. But, that daughter was named Juliette and was born in 1812. Records of the Seeley Genealogical Society show Juliette being born in Sullivan County, NY. Another researcher of this surname believes that Julia was the daughter of one of the three James Seeleys living in Bradford County, PA in 1820, with the common ancestors, Nathaniel Seeley and Jemima Collins.

Mystery #3: John Shoens

According to the 1855 New York State Census for Camillus, Onondaga County, NY, John Shoens (aka Shones, Showens, Showan) was born in Oneida County around 1799. According to deed records, he started purchasing land in Onondaga County around 1829. At the time of his death in 1856, he was listed as 57 years old. The mystery arises because the surname Shoens does not appear in any census before 1830. The closest matches are two 'Shons' (Hendrick and Jerom) in Albany County in the 1790 Census. A John Shoenee was enumerated in Worcester, Otsego County in 1800. No variations of the surname were found in Census records for 1810 and 1820. Where was he in those years? Since the census records prior to 1850 only list the head of the family, it is possible that he may have been orphaned and/or was apprenticed and living with an unknown relative, friend or master.