Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Genealogy offline: A question of access, investment, and wayfinding

It comes to me very often that the problem of genealogy is that the instructions are all together too prescriptive. If this, do this. If that, do that. 

One of the most common tropes that I see in blogs is that "it's not all online", and then proceeds to talk about records that exist as if they are the same for everyone in every state and every country.

I think the biggest thing I learned in 2015 is that there really aren't standard records available everywhere for everyone from every time period. Sounds easy, right? I mean, NY is not the same as IL or MI. But I think genealogy can fool you into thinking this is the case, because so much of our training is about making lists. 

For example:
-Found an ancestor who lived 1800-1890.
1.got the US censuses for 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880.
2. then research helpers suggest finding state censuses for the 5 year marks in between (1855, 1865, etc.). 
3. then they suggest looking for newspaper articles to fill in
4. then they suggest looking for vital records to fill in
5. then they suggest looking for land records to fill in
6. then they suggest looking for military records to fill in.
7. then you get into the land of offline records: schools, letters, books, etc. 

The problem with this prescriptive approach is that with the online records available, people are facing an onslaught of information all at once, and get paralyzed at a certain level. Many people stop somewhere in between steps 1-4 and never hit steps 5-7. If they do hit steps 5-7, they get flustered when they can't find what the list says they should be able to find.

The problem with offline records (and even blended offline/online where the database index is online and you have to order for offline delivery) is three parts:
1. Access - generally you have to have access to a physical address to get access to a particular record, or to search when the particular search you started with doesn't work for one reason or another (spelling-ARGH!).
2. Investment - you're going to spend more per record search, consultant hire,or copy fees in terms of dollars. In terms of time, its going to take a lot longer to search offline that it is with a fully indexed record on FamilySearch or Ancestry.
3. Wayfinding - you have to be able to find your way to the proper archive. Sometimes this is easy, if they have a website with clearly listed records that you can plan to find. Other times it takes a series of phone calls, emails, and visits to come to find out if your record is actually at that location OR has been taken elsewhere OR destroyed OR you're in completely the wrong spot entirely. 

Wayfinding is often the hardest part of the problem, because sometimes even the archivists don't know about record availability for a certain time period. I was recently at the NY State Archive, and came back home and found out that what they had told me was false information. Or when I was in Watertown, NY, the local librarian/genealogist/history buff told me information didn't exist any more - which was only partially true, part had been filmed eons ago by the LDS-FamilySearch folks. It wasn't because they didn't like me or didn't want to help me, it was just that they were specialists in their particular part of the archive and not other parts or other archives.

Generally speaking though, you have to know where to go, what you can spend, and how you can get to offline records, and then expect that there is massive variation in what is available. One county might have every state census back to the first immigrants. The one next door might only have a few decades worth. Having the flexibility in-brain to say that this variation is okay and being able to move onto the next part of the search (or hopping off the search path entirely) is a valuable skill that is only honed through practiced off-line research, so its no wonder that people are scared and wondering why they can't find something that they saw online for somewhere else. 

We have to stop prescribing to every genealogy problem a list of steps. We need to encourage people to cast a net, catch all the fish, sort the little fish from the big fish, sort the types of fish, and then figure out which ones to bring home for dinner, and then figure out where to cast the net again, to borrow a metaphor. The net can go many places - offline, online, to a consultant, to a volunteer - but it doesn't need to go in a certain order or the same places every time in order to catch some fish for dinner. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Reinvigorating the Case: Handknit Hose and Daniel Walker (1772-1851)

Hand Knit Hose by Donna Flood Kenton based off of 16th century hose design

Daniel Walker (1772-1851) is a stubborn case of mine. Genealogy-wise, he's one of my most interesting men. On the run from the revolutionists in the US? Check. Heartbreaking story of betrayal by friends and countrymen? Check.

Yet he continues to elude me by not providing any documentation that his son Joshua is the father of MY Daniel Walker (1825-1867). They were in the same area at the same time, named their kids many of the same names, but there's little to no paper trail of the familial relationship. So far investigations into land records and church records have failed, though I have one church left to cover: the Methodists.

I placed Daniel (1772-1851) into a pile of "things to do" and figured it would come back at some point. I have the same pile with my knitting ::grins:: often putting things off because of a commission or on-demand knit with deadlines causes leisurely pursuits to go awry.

Recently though, both "to do" piles have intersected yet again. I was contacted by another cousin who's willing to do the maddening work of discovering the paperless ancestor and go through what could be tangled identities of people with the same name in the same town. That also made me think about knitting socks, as Daniel Walker (1772-1851) was a proud Loyalist who would have worn stout handmade stockings that had been from the same pattern that was produced in England. It was queried of the Loyalist Association what socks could have been worn during the time period and I sent on the reference that Donna Flood Kenton's "Hand Knit Hose" would have been a period correct stocking pattern. Her website has gone away over the years, but through the blessing of the Internet Archive, we can continue to use her pattern to this day.

I have set about cleaning my craft room and found my pair of "socks in progress". I'm determined to make 2016 the year that we find my Daniel Walker and straighten out his family AND finish my pair of socks!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nous sommes le globe, a free knit hairband pattern


Thanksgiving is one of the most interesting holidays because it does so much to bring people together. In light of the attacks in France and other parts of the world, it makes me happy when people take an opportunity to join one another around the table in celebration of the things that bring us together instead of driving each other apart.

Several of my knitting friends are releasing new work to in honor of the people's creativity and love in France and Belgium. With a French theme, these projects are fun and light in what could be a dark world.

When I think of France, I think of the time I spent there. Luxury. Chic. Fashion. So I used some yarns that to me are luxurious, with alpaca and mohair (nice mohair, not 80s mohair). A simple repeat creates graphic repetition with a nearly mindless pattern that one can complete in as little as one night.

And with a nod to my French speaking and knitting friends, this pattern is in English AND French (merci à mes amis pour l'édition de ma traduction!):


Please be sure to check out some of the other patterns (all will be up by the end of the day on 25/11/15):
Patriot Square Coast by American Crochet
Fierte by Stitches N Scraps
• French Flag Graph by Creative Threads

If you are looking for donation opportunities to help support France and victims of terrorism throughout the world, here are a few options:

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
• Croix-Rouge Francais
• Secoirs Populaire
Doctors without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres

By the way, if you're wondering - "Nous sommes le globe" means "We are the world". One world, all standing together against radicalism.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

My Top 5 Genealogy Books

File:Great Books.jpg


I read Heather's update to her "Top Ten Genealogy Books" back in August and I realized that I've never talked about what books I like to use! I mean, I talk about the web all the time, but certain books of mine are dog-eared, falling apart from use, and highlighted all over the place as I've used them over and over and over again,..and mine are completely different from what she uses!

I actually held off on posting this, and I'm glad I did, because my #5 book is a recent addition to my library. While sometimes you get a new book and love it because its new, #5 has been holding steady as one of my favorite books of all time, and I'm really glad I found a copy of it!

1. Descendants of Andrew Webber by Lorenzo Webber. My most used book is probably the Webber family book. It's available online, but I have a nice copy I had made just for me to write corrections into and peruse off-line. You can see it here, conveniently marked for my ancestor! :-)

2. Wills and Other Probate Records: A Practical Guide to Researching Your Ancestor's Last Documents by Karen Grannum. It's a little older now, but I still use it to research different terms in wills, reminding me what probate is, how and where to find records. In tandem, Judy Russell's The Legal Genealogist I've made great strides in finding ancestral wills and probate records in the last couple years. (my husband says to note this is the SECOND copy I've bought because the first copy I wrote all over...)

3. The BCG Genealogical Standards Manual by the Board for Certification of Genealogists. I've got this one AND the 50th Anniversary version. I'm new to this in the past few years, and they can be a bit snoozeworthy on their own, but used in context of any genealogical problem I have, they are invaluable for helping me figure out where I've MISSED something in my quest to figure the problem out. Usually it is a missing citation or research log, but once I find it, I can keep going on the problem, and that makes this book worth its weight in gold to me.

4. The Evernote Bible - Guide to Everything Evernote, Including: Tips, Uses, and Evernote Essentials by Tyler and Brandon Collins. I am a huge note-taking fan. I have notebook after notebook of personal, professional, and genealogical notes. I've been scanning them into Evernote and organizing them into families and personal and professional notebooks. This book is great for helping me use a sometimes confusing program.

5. A Better Place: Death and Burial in Nineteenth-Century Ontario by Susan Smart. I know this sounds weird. It's not exactly genealogy, though the book does have a genealogy section. This book is a comfort to read, with the focus on the rituals and behaviors of the living around the dead. The first-hand accounts of ceremonies and rituals makes it a wonderful read, and the poetry and verse makes what could have been an extremely dull study of death rituals instead extremely enlightening and entertaining to read. I've enjoyed reading this book multiple times since acquiring it this year.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tatiana's Pupkin Pie



My husband is an awesome chef. He's made all sorts of things to help our beagles eat. I actually thought I already posted this but it seems to have disappeared, so I'm posting it again! Little Tatiana is no longer with us but we celebrate her life every time we make this for another puppy :-)

This dish is based off of Alton Brown's Good Eats Pumpkin Pie . All techniques are exactly the same. The only differences are some ingredient substitutions , some left out ingredients and some different amounts.

Ingredients:
6 ounces kibble
2 teaspoon ground ginger
Enough canola oil to bring the crust together, about a tablespoon.
Filling:
1 13.5oz can of dog food.  (If you have one that your dog won't eat use that. It should about the texture of canned pumpkin. If yours is too thick add some moisture to thin it out,  like water or broth.  If the dog food you use is in chunks,  puree it.  If the result of that is thinner or wetter than canned pumpkin reduce it until it is the right consistency on the stove.)
3oz or so of canned pumpkin  (optional).
1 cup nut milk (almond milk is the most available,  but any will do).
2 tsp spice blend of allspice, Ceylon cinnamon, and cloves.
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/8 cup brown sugar, Demerara sugar, or molasses.
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk

Instructions:
Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

For the crust: Combine the kibble and ginger in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the kibble is fine crumbs. Drizzle the oil into the crumb mixture. Pulse 8 to 10 times to combine.

Press the kibble mixture into the bottom, up the sides of a 9-inch glass pie dish. A metal measuring cup works great for this.  Place on a half sheet pan and bake the crust for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool crust at least 10 minutes before filling.

For the filling: Bring the wet dog food (and pumpkin if using) to a simmer over medium heat in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Add the nut milk, spice blend, and salt. Stir and return the mixture to a simmer. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool for 10 minutes.

Whisk the brown sugar, eggs, and yolk until smooth in a large bowl. Slowly add the wet food mixture, to temper the eggs, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Keep whisking the whole time you are adding the warm wet food mixture to eggs to help winding up with scrambled eggs. Pour the filling into the warm pie crust and bake on the same half sheet pan until the center jiggles slightly but the sides of the filling are set, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Pie can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance.

Generally we slice this into at least eighths and serve one slice at a time as a "heavy snack". We then lighten up their regular food. If this is a full meal we serve two slices.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sniff and Savor Collar Accessory (a new crochet pattern)

Bear, photographed by Shawn Phillipps
Bear, photographed by Shawn Phillipps

Our latest senior foster pup, Bear is adorable. I mean, who doesn't love that cute little face! And the furry paws! I adore him. Sometimes he needs a little help calming down. I'm not usually one for the fancy, frou frou world of essential oils, but they have really helped our other senior foster encounter new situations like getting petted, going to Petco, and meeting other dogs. 

So following in the line of my most popular pattern in Norway (hello Norwegians!) I analyzed a common household shape (a tube) and made it apply to a collar accessory that my other dog already owns, a Sniff-It. 

This FREE pattern uses a bit of needle felting as well as crochet, so kids, be careful around those felting needles! 


Monday, April 6, 2015

Speedy Gonzales (marketing in the crochet/knitting world)



Quick Crochet Patterns: 1,590,000 results
Fast Crochet Patterns: 1,130,000 results
Fast Knitting Patterns: 1,220,000 results
Quick Knitting Patterns: 1,560,000 results
Arm Knitting Patterns: 664,000 results

Sigh. Why must people continue to devalue our crafts by selling their hard work as quick or fast? Is everything anyone is looking for fast or quick? Why do we continue to sell this work as such?

There are two things these patterns almost universally have in common:
1. They are in the bulkiest weight yarn possible.
2. They are simplest of the simple stitches. Garter stitch or stockinette in knitting. Single crochet or double crochet in crochet.

But the secret no one talks about is the fact that there are an incredible amount of stitches that are simple to learn and can be done by any person with experience in a short timeframe. Yes, there really are experienced people that can do a blanket in a weekend, but they don't go around saying "Look! I did this quick crochet project!". They say "Look at this great pattern! It was super fun to learn and I got into the rhythm of the stitches, and the yarn patterned out beautifully."

And how many of us have heard knitting or crocheting lamented because someone gave them a bulky, scratchy sweater that they hated?


What comes with experience is the understand of what amounts to the project management triangle. As the saying goes in our world, there are fast, good, or cheap, but you can only pick two. Fast project with cheap materials = low quality crap that ends up in a thrift store. Fast project with good quality = low quality crap that ends up in a thrift store. Cheap materials with good quality = Can sometimes be an excellent project if chosen with the right intent in mind and an understanding of the giftee (i.e. using a HL I Love This Yarn or Caron Simply Soft for a project for a baby outfit for a new mom, or using RH Soft for a pet project).

Which brings me back to the beginning video of Speedy Gonzales. For those of you whippersnappers who don't know who he is, Speedy Gonzales was a super fast mouse who was one of the characters on the Warner Brothers cartoons, starting around 1953, and broadcast well into the 1980s. Speedy was a nice friend to have around - he could save his fellow mice buddies from the evil cats. But at the same time, Speedy wouldn't speak in coherent Spanish, and he would try to take all the women from his buddies.

By focusing on speed at the expense of all else, Speedy lost out on the things that make life interesting. His women weren't wooed, they were taken. Instead of enjoying the scenery, he speeds by. The same thing happens when crafting. You can speedily do something, but then the connection and the interest in the project speed on by.

We need to think about how we market our work as crafters and designers to focus on quality, not quantity. Fun, interesting patterns that can be done without the use of the words fast or quick or super bulky that can still be completed in a weekend. Even Speedy reformed his ways - his last appearance was helping his nephew Lightning Rodriguez win an Olympic race on Tiny Toons.

Think about it folks. Instead of saying how quick something was, talk about how much fun it was that you couldn't put the pattern down all weekend. Instead of saying how fast something was, talk about how interesting the pattern developed over the course of your stitching. We can make the world a better place by reforming how we talk about our crafting works!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Rules and the craft

Isn't this a great tattoo design by RageFish21 on DeviantArt? He has some awesome drawings over there. You should check him out when you get a chance.

I titled this post "Rules and the Craft" because it applies in so many situations. The craft could be genealogy, it could be writing, art, music, knitting or crochet, or your hobby of choice. Every St. Patrick's Day, I think about the Irish (not the least because my grandmother believed she was Irish) not because of drinking crappy beer and dressing in green, but because the Irish are a longstanding symbol of rebellion and spirit in the face of untenable circumstances. 

This year I have been thinking of rebellion more often because it seems like there are rules for everything. Rules for how to write (not grammar, but more like "do this" type things), rules for storytelling, rules for how to knit or crochet, rules for how to use Facebook to not become a depressed maniac, etc.  At a certain point, it seems like we live our life within a set of bars and its disturbing how many people just live with that. 


Listening to my favorite album of late by Sia, her song "Elastic Heart" expresses this feeling rather well. Two selves fight each other within her psyche, going in and out of the cage. 

This article and this article have be going around Facebook lately as well as oodles of "instructional" help for everything from how to do one's makeup to how to write a book. 

Everytime I see the posts about how to write a book, I think about how Ernest Hemingway would have reacted to someone telling HIM how to write. Or that he needs to focus on blog headlines. Did he need to follow a series of prompts to write his work? I don't think so.

That's why I write how I write. It's my decision how to write this blog. When I write patterns, I try to be clear and give as much information as possible. When I'm on my blog, when I'm telling a story, I speak in my voice and tell the most organized story that I can. Part of learning to write is to learn that our voice is okay even if we use too many dashes and commas and use the word AND too often. Worrying about all these "rules" leads to a horrible situation: the tyranny of the blank page, the empty needles, the hook without yarn. 

Do you know what my rules for writing are?
1. Start writing.
2. Do it often.
3. Don't tell other people "you're doing it wrong".

And the same thing applies in just about any other craft. There's some guidelines to live between (grammar, stitch names, spelling, paint types) but we should feel more free to do as we can. When you think about how many human beings that are in the world and the unique talents that each of them has, we can let these "rules" go and start enjoying our given talents rather than beating ourselves up about them. There are so many people I know who like to write but are paralyzed with fear because someone told them they should work on their sentence structure or word choice and all they can think about is the "rules" rather than what they want to tell.

To bring this back to the opening, St. Patrick is a great example. His legend is banishing the snakes from Ireland while on a fast. He wasn't thinking about how to kill them, he wasn't thinking about all the rules of snake management or who should be taking care of the problem. He saw a problem, he rebelled against it, and the Irish gave him love in return. That's what it comes down to: you will get a good response from someone somewhere, so you should give your craft of choice a shot! Be a rebel. Start doing something today!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

52in52: Rachel Sipes Graves (1827-?) and Autoimmune Disorders


Home is actually a difficult topic for me. No, not because anything bad happened. But I'm under 40 years old and I've lived in:
-3 cities in Michigan
-3 cities in Indiana
-4 cities in Illinois
-3 cities in Minnesota
-2 cities in New York

That's 15 different places. Which one do I call "home"? My definition of home has become over the years to be wherever I feel a tie to, so that includes .

So when I saw this week's theme of "close to home", my mind did not immediately go to the location based home, but more so the ancestor that has captivated my heart for the longest time, because I think her story hits a connection to me very close to home.

When I started in genealogy, my purpose was two fold: one, it was because my grandmother gave me a list of her siblings and when they were born just before she passed on, and two, because I was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 10, and the doctors were knee deep in a study that said type I diabetes was strongly inherited, and my family didn't know anything about how deep or shallow the diabetic connection was on either side of the family.

I researched quite a bit on each side of the family but found that the Graves family had a link to many, many autoimmune disorders that were carried down throughout the family. I just kept working back and working back, and finally I stumbled upon Rachel Sipes, who married Enoch Graves. Enoch is a hoot to research on his own (he has three different obituaries under three different names, none of which is Enoch!) but Rachel has really stolen my heart when it comes to research because of this:

1884 Census from the state of Michigan. Enoch and Rachel's family start with line 14. Click it and it will go full page.

"Line 15, Rachel, 56, female, white, wife, married, no, Canada, New York, Canada, House wife, ulcers on legs, no other infirmity, did not attend school within year, can not read or write, 12 years in Michigan"

Did you catch that part about "ulcers on legs"? Her son Hezekiah has the same infirmity. Before the discovery of insulin in 1921, untreated diabetics often died very young, and found their risk of loss of limb, ulcers, gangrene, stroke, heart attack and death were much, much higher than the normal population. I believe this is where the genetic mutations that have started the progression of diabetics, celiacs, sarcoidosis, LCMH, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, thyroid disorders, and severe psoriasis started. Not having listed these sorts of symptoms on previous records, my conclusion would be that she and her son Hezekiah/Heisikiah had one of these autoimmune conditions that were triggered as she got older.

I've had a lot of experience tracking this woman down. At first, we thought her last name was Shanks. A few hundred documents later, we've pretty much confirmed her name was Sipes. Due to a curious family document, Rachel Shanks was listed with two daughters, Susan and Mary Jane, who were adopted into the family. I had originally thought that she was the Rachael Sipes that married Peter Buckendale the Younger, one of the founding settlers of York, Ontario because she had two daughters listed on the document as . However, that Rachel died young, and the settlers pretty firmly believe that was what happened (though they did admit when I visited that it was possible she just disappeared, never to be found by Peter again).

Susan Buckendale's marriage certificate to James Innis. Is this Rachel my Rachel? 

Rachel captures my heart because of her tie to diabetes in the family, but she's also lived through multiple moves between different cities in Oxford County, Ontario, and Sanilac County, Michigan. And yet she's still a woman of mystery. We can't find a death for her. She's not recorded as being buried next to her daughter Rebecca or her husband in Mt. Zion Cemetery, though there's a disturbing amount of unmarked space around Rebecca's grave.

And then there's this:
"18 November 1846, page 79, Gore District marriage records of Rev. Robert Lindsay, Presbyterian Church: Thomas GRAVES, Waterloo, to Rachel SIPES, Blenheim. Wit: Thomas Linton, M. McRay."
There's two possibilities here: 1. Enoch uses a different name again, just like his obituary and it is their marriage. 2. Thomas is someone else, perhaps a cousin? He dies quickly, and Enoch marries his widow.

In either case, Rachel and Enoch had a prolific marriage that tied them to generations of family in Sanilac County, Michigan, parts of which are still there today.

Rachel and Enoch's children:
Mary Jane Buckendale Graves 1843 –
Susannah Buckendale Graves  1846 –
John Hazelton Graves  1851 – 1927
Hezekiah Graves  1851 – 1898
Marshall Graves  1855 – 1915
Sheldon Hall Graves  1857 – 1930
Daniel James Graves  1858 – 1916
William Graves  1862 –
Douglas Alexander Graves  1863 – 1919
Burley Graves  1864 –
Enoch Graves  1865 – 1935
Rebecca Graves  1866 – 1881
Charles Henry Graves  1871 – 1945

I know its probably a strange view of "close to home" for an ancestor that is still a bit of a mystery and for which I don't have a full picture. Yet she is always "close to home" because she is that ancestor whom I do have a interesting tie and she never fails to lead me to something interesting in my research no matter how many times that I pick her case up and put her back down. I've always got an ear out to see what I can learn about her and her situation in life.

If you want to learn more about the discovery of insulin, I highly recommend Janice Yuwiler's book:
Yuwiler, Janice M. Insulin. Detroit: Lucent Books, 2005. Print. Great Medical Discoveries. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

52in52: John Seals / John Soales / Jan Celes and his daughter Phoebe

Birds Eye  View of Trinity Church from the public domain

Good deeds can be taken several different ways. Great land deeds, heroic feats, or people who do good things. Well, I'm going to take it a different way: a scoundrel's line gets redemption through his deed. I'm sure this story has been told a hundred times before, but it was new to my family. My father's grandmother had no idea that she had Dutch ancestors on her mother's line.

John Seals was born in 1594 in Little Waldingfield, Suffolk, England. Some say Lavenham, Suffolk, England, but its not entirely clear either way which town is correct. I suspect John would enjoy that fact that we cannot find a confirmed place of birth for him! In fact, most of John's early days in Little Waldingfield are unproven, though the family generally accepts that John married Phillip or Phillippa Soales in 1625, and little Phoebe was born first in 1626. They had a second daughter, Sarah, of which it is debated whether or not she died young or was left with a relative in England to live. 

They immigrated to the US in 1630 as a part of the Winthrop fleet, sailing with 1,000 other immigrants (they are listed on the Winthrop Society website as a recognized settler), immigrating to Charlestown in 1630.

This all sounds pretty normal, right? It sounds like a normal family immigrating to a new life of religious freedom. However, John's behavior starts to get him into trouble in Charlestown almost immediately. In 1632, the town records indicate “...the first known thief that was notoriously observed in the country, his name was John Sales who having stolen corn from many people in this scarce time was convicted thereof before the court and openly punished [whipped] and all he had by law condemned and sold to make restitution." Oops...embarrassed (hopefully) John picks up and moves to Boston with Phoebe in 1633.

Except his bad habits get him in trouble again. From the Boston records:

 ”John Sayles (Sales) being convicted of feloniously taking away corn and fish from diverse persons the last year and this, as also clapboards, etc., is censured by the court after this manner: That all his estate shall be forfeited, out of which double restitution shall be made to those whom he hath wronged, shall be whipped, and bound as servant with any that will retain him for 3 years, and after to be disposed of by the Court as they shall think meet. John Sayle is bound with Mr. Coxeshall for 3 years, for which he is to give him 4 pounds per annum; his daughter is also bound with him for 14 years [until she was 21].”

This time he brings Phoebe down with him. He tries to run away in 1634, and is severely whipped, then in 1637, he succeeds in getting away from the Puritans and surfaces in 1638 in New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island with Phoebe. He "Dutchifies" his name to Jan Celes and continues to stir up trouble in New Amsterdam, ranging from wounding the livestock of the neighbors to ordering farm supplies and not paying for them. In 1645, " “who, being wounded and lying sick abed”, Jan Celes writes his will and testament and passes on to the next life. From reading about him, I can only imagine that he must have had some sort of mental illness, illness, or addiction issues to do something like "cut the cow of little Manuel with a chopping knife", for example (from the records of New Amsterdam).

Phoebe, I'm guessing, was irritated by her father and his behavior reflecting on her. In 1637, she is released from her bond to Mr. Coxeshal (from the Boston records):

"In regard Phebe Seales was, by order of Court, put apprentice to John Coggesall, of Boston, merchant, who at this instant request of the Courte, accepted same and for that the said girle hath proved over burthesome to him, the Court, as formerly, so nowe, have thought it is just to ease him of it; and whereas the said girle was put by the said John Cossesall to one John Levins, of Roxbury, to be kept at a certeine [ ], it is now ordered, that M. Debutie, calling to him M Brenton and Will; Parks, chosen by the said 2 parties shall have power to end the difference between the said parties; and disposeing of the said Phebe, as they shall think equall. "

Just two years after coming to New Amsterdam (1640), she marries Teunnis Nyssen and is forever known as "Femmetje Jans", "Phaeba Faelix" (Daughter of Jan and Phebe Seals in the Dutch translation).

Which brings me back to the beginning. Just how did a deed redeem "Old Jan" as he was known? The map above from Early Manhattan History's Tumbler shows the area of the island that John Seals owned. South of number 11 and west of number 9, its not marked on the map, but it was there. John left in his will half his property to Teunis Nyssen and the other half to Maria Roberts. Maria's half was sold when she remarried, but Teunis' property stayed with him until 17 June 1651, when he sold it to Augustyn Heermans. Augustyn then deeded the land to Rutger Jacobsen, who deeded it to Trinity Church. Trinity Church didn't immediately use the land, leasing some to Abraham Mortimer. (from The Iconography of Manhattan Island)

So with one deed, the scoundrel John Seals unwittingly started a chain to one of the oldest and proudest monuments of virtue, piety, and good behavior in the USA, Trinity Church.


For further reading:
-Elder, Barnett, and Related Genealogies: Citations and Will of John Seals (#4614).
-History in the Headlines by the History Channel - contains a lovely 1660 map of New Netherland.