Saturday, September 13, 2008

Owen Family


The Owen family gets confusing around the time of the Revolutionary War in the area of Goshen, NY. Descendants of Edward Owen of Connecticut and descendants of the Long Island, NY Owen family all ended up in the same area, with several Jonathans thrown in to confuse the issue even more. An extensive study done by James William Hook of Connecticut, and published in The American Genealogist (Vol. 30, #3, July 1954) indicates that the ancestors of Timothy Owen of Long Island and Goshen descends from the Long Island Owens, so it appears that that is where our American Owen family begins.

The Long Island Owen family appear to be the emigrant Reverend George Owen, DD of Wales and sons. He mentions his wife, Mary, and children, George (eldest son), William, John, Charles, Mary and Elizabeth. The will was dated 1 July, 1690. The inventory attached to the probate papers was dated 1 November, 1690, indicating that George had died somewhere between July and November. This inventory is quite extensive, which explains how he and his sons were able to come to the new country.

Dr. George Owen's inventory, presented above indicated several land holdings such as mills, livestock, crops and a large main property. The house on that property included such rooms as a loft chamber, a ____ chamber & closet, a purple chamber & closet, a study, a great parlor, a little parlor with silver plate, a rood chamber and closet (Merriam Webster defines rood as”a large crucifix on a beam or screen at the entrance to the cancel of a church”)1, and a rood room, which are appropriate to a doctor of theology. There was also a nursery, a maid's chamber, and a groom's chamber.Others include a stout house and a brew house, a long room, etc, which may or may not be part of the main property. He had a stable, a coach and four, and mentions goods in the granary at M____house. I don't know if that's the name of the main house or another. In the body of the will he left his wife Mary the land and fields of Colby, with the water corn grist mill; to his children he left the lands of Melina and Eglosyrow with one water corn grist mill, each having the profits for a term of 2 years, then passing it on to the next, and finally remaining with the oldest son, George. George also received the lands at Broomley in Norberth Parish.2

George Owen was found to be the first Owen in Brookhaven, Suffolk County, Long Island when he obtained a land grant in October 1679. A record from 1701 of a land transaction mentions Jonathan Owen, a brother of Jonathan, and indicates the land was owned by Jonathan's and George's father, and that he had probably died before this transaction. A will of Charles Owen of Wales, proved in NY, mentions his mother Mary, as well as the will of his father, George, Owen, DD. This will led the researcher to the Senior Owen's will and ties the Owen boys together (except William) as brothers. Other Owen names mentioned in early Long Island land records (Evan, Moses) appear to be the sons of the younger George. Occupation is another thing that ties these gentlemen together. They were all listed as being joiners or carpenters.

There are numerous land records involving the Owen brothers as well as tax lists from early Long Island. There are George's ear marks for cattle, lists of freeholders, and records of offices held by George (trustee and constable).

Although not provable without uncertainty, it appears that the children of George are George, Sarah, Aaron, Timothy and Eleazer. (In the article the children of John, Moses and Jonathan are also indicated, with sources.)3

Sarah married Eleazer Hawkins, and they had 10 children and lived in Stony Brook, LI,NY. Aaron moved to Westchester County, where he bought land. Eleazer was mentioned in Long Island land records, but no further.

Timothy Owen ended up in the Goshen/Warwick , Orange, NY area, producing a will at Goshen in February of 1761, which was proved on 4 March, 1761. The listing of children in his will (Ruth, eldest son listed as “crazy”, Timothy, John, Israel, Anning, Mowbray, Sarah and Elizabeth) lend credence to Timothy's marriage to Ruth Mowbray. The Mowbray family, another early Long Island family, will be discussed later.

Timothy's will:

Page 23.--In the name of God, Amen. I, TIMOTHY OWEN, of the Precinct of Goshen, in Orange County, cordwainer. "Knowing that I am every hour liable to Death, and being of sound mind," All my estate to be sold, and all debts and funeral charges paid, and the remainder to my five sons and two daughters, Timothy, John, Israel, Anning, Mowbray, Sarah, and Elizabeth. My daughter Ruth having received her portion at her marriage. As several of my children are young, their parts are to be kept at interest till of age. "And whereas my eldest son is crazy, and fearing the same may increase upon him, my executors are to take charge of his portion, and supply his wants so long as it shall last. I make my friends, Gersham Owen, Nathaniel Owen, of Ulster County, and Ebenezer Owen, of Pochaik, executors." Dated February 16, 1761. Witnesses, (Rev.) Abner Brush, John Gale, Jr., James Little. Proved before John Gale, Surrogate, March 4, 1761.4

You will note that he calls himself a “cordwainer”. The dictionary defines a cordwainer as a person who made shoes and other articles from soft leather. Historically a cobbler repaired shoes.

Ruth married Thomas Gustin of Connecticut. (A genealogy of the Gustin family connected the Connecticut and Long Island Owen families, refuted by the Hook article). Timothy, in the Revolutionary War in Seneca County, NY, was in Warwick in 1790, but then returned to Seneca County. Israel married Jane Ferrier and served in the Orange County Militia in the Revolutionary War. Anning also went to Seneca County in about 1800. Mowbray served in the Ulster County Militia, was in Warwick in 1790 and also moved to Seneca County about 1800. There appear to be no records of daughters Sarah and Elizabeth.5

It is son John that we want to follow. He was living in Goshen in 1790 with his family, which included 3 males over 16, 1 male under 16, and 5 females with 1 slave.Administration of his estate went to his brother, John Owen of Warwick, in 1796. A Family Treemaker CD lists John as the husband of Elizabeth Boyle, with children listed as Millicent, Sarah, Archibald and Nellie, probably an incomplete list given the listing in the 1790 census. This source lists John's birth year as 1743. A record of marriages from the First Presbyterian Church, Goshen, Orange, Ny lists the marriage date of John and Elizabeth as 10 January, 1779.6 We will follow Archibald, from records of Elizabeth Horton at the Orange County Genealogical Society.

Archibald is listed in the 1800 census in Goshen, with 2 males from 10-15, 1 males from 16-25, 1 female from 10-15, 4 females from 16-25 and 1 female over 45 (mother, Elizabeth?). As Archibald was about 25 at this census, these are probably his siblings. One slave was also listed.7 Archibald married Margaret Cain 14 February 1801.8 By the 1810 census he is listed with younger children and no older female, indicating that Elizabeth (if that was indeed her in the earlier census) died before this census. On the 1820 census, the family has continued to grow, and 3 people are listed as engaged in agriculture. There is no longer a slave listed. 9

Archibald's will, made 6 May, 1842, and proved 10 April 1848 mandates that his wife, Margaret (Cain) Owen, was to receive firewood provided at her door by son Archibald, Jr. Archibald, Jr was to receive all of the family real estate. The other children, Frances (Mrs. John Poppino), John ( in Illinois), William G, Daniel Cain, Priscilla (Mrs. Samuel S. Millspaugh) of Yates County, NY received various amounts from the estate.10

Son Daniel Cain Owen, born about January, 1804, also lived in Goshen, where he is listed in the 1830 census. Elizabeth Horton's notes list his marriage to Juliana Hulse as 16 December, 1824 in the First Presbyterian Church in Goshen, NY. By the 1830 census the couple is listed with 1 male under 5, 1 female 5-10, 1 female 10-15.11 Son Edward M. was born 28 February, 1828 in Big Island, near Goshen, NY.

Big Island is near Goshen, Warwick, Florida and Chester, NY.

Starting with the 1850 census, the family is listed in the Town of Goshen, and we see Edward Owen for the first time listed with his father, Daniel, Edward's wife Lucretia, and son William H Owen, who was born 31 May 1849. Daniel's wife, Juliana had died in 1847. A second William Owen is also listed-Edward's brother (He died 17 April, 1845 at age 31).12 Daniel, Edward and brother William are all listed as farmers.13 Edward was married to Lucretia Margaret Elmer on 12 January, 1848 by the Rev. William Timlow of the Amity Presbyterian Church, outside of Warwick, NY.14 The Elmer family is a very old Connecticut family and will be discussed elsewhere.

Edward and Lucretia moved around a bit, although they stayed in Orange County. They remained in Goshen until after the 1860 census, with the family growing to 6 children. By 1870 they are in the Town of Montgomery outside Walden, with 9 children. They are now living 4 families away from Hiram and Chrissy Crans, parents of Renwick Crans, who will become the father of Mary Irene, William Owen's future wife.

Edward and Lucretia had at least 11 children, born between 1849 (William H, the eldest) and 1869 (George Washington Owen, the youngest). A cousin, discovered on the Owen and Elmer message boards, who is a granddaughter of George Washington Owen, reports that she thought there were twins born after her grandfather, but I have not found any record of them. There is an Edward Owen listed in Newburgh, but his father is reported as Joseph.

Edward and Lucretia are listed in several land transactions. In 1861 they bought from Abraham Dickerson land in the Town of Crawford, which was the farm purchased by George Crawford from Henry Weller in 1847, about 100 acres.15 In 1864 they bought from Marcus Sears a lot in the Village of Montgomery on the East side of Union Street that was occupied by George Comfort. It was bounded on the east by “Mead Alley”.16 They sold this same piece of property in 1867.17 Margaret also inherited land in Warwick from the estate of Joseph Wilcox, deceased.18 As Margaret Lucretia's mother was Sally Wilcox, it may be that he was a grandfather. Joseph Wilcox's daughter, Harriet married Archibald Owen, Jr, so there is more than one Owen-Wilcox connection.

The purchase of the farm from Abraham Dickerson appears to have resulted in the move of Edward and Lucretia from Goshen to Walden in the Town of Montgomery by the time of the 1870 census. According to the 1875 NY State Agricultural Statistics Edward had about 335 acres of land worth abourt $10000 in land and buildings and another $2500 in stock (worth $186,753 and $46688 respectively in 2007). He grew wheat, oats, rye, Indian corn and potatoes. He also harvested 400 bushels of fruit from 75 trees and sold 14400 gallons of milk from his cows. 19 In an 1878-79 Directory for Orange County Edward is still listed as a farmer in the Town of Montgomery. Edward and wife remain in the Town of Montgomery until the 1900 census when they are living in Blooming Grove Township in the Village of Washingtonville with son Daniel. Edward and Daniel are listed as farmers.20

William H. Owen, born 31 May 1849 married Mary Irene Crans, daughter of Renwick Crans, probably around 1870, based on the birth of their oldest child around 1871. By the 1875 NY State census William and Irene were living in Walden, near Edward and Lucretia.21 He is listed as a farmer just as his father is.

At the time of the 1880 census, Edward and Lucretia and William and Irene have continued to live near each other in the Town of Montgomery. The younger children, Jasper, Susan, Lizzie and George continue to live at home with Edward and Lucretia. William and Irene now have Cora, Alfred and William, ages 8, 5 and 3. Both are still listed as farmers.22

Mary Irene Crans

Born 15 September, 1850 in

Little Britain, NY

Died 24 May, 1936 in

Walden, NY

Between the 1880 and 1890 censuses, William and Irene's family grew to 7 children, with Harriet (Hattie) the last and eighth child born in 1891. By the time of the 1900 census, the two oldest children, Cora and Alfred were living away from home, and the rest of the children still lived at home. William Renwick, 23 is listed as a blacksmith. David M.,18 and Edward, 15 are listed as farm laborers (Interestingly, in the Town of Crawford a David M. and Edward E. Owen are listed as servants/farm laborers). Francis (Frank), Nellie and Hattie are at school.23

The one room schoolhouse the Owen children attended. It is

across from Hill Street, on County Rte. 17, Searsville

Alfred became a plumber and was in that business for about 60 years in Bloomingburg, Sullivan County, NY. Cora, the eldest child, married George Hultslander in December of 1891, just a few months after Hattie, the youngest child was born. Unfortunately he died in November of 1893. She later (about 1897) was married to Fred DeGraw.

By 1900 Edward and Lucretia have moved to the Village of Washingtonville in Blooming Grove Township. Son Daniel has remained with them, and he and Edward are listed as farmers.24 However, Edward died in February of 1901. His death is listed as having occurred in Craigville, NY, located between Chester and Washingtonville. 25

On the 1910 census Cora and Fred with son Reginald are living on Orchard Street in Walden, and sister Nellie, who is now 19 is living with them, “working out” as a dressmaker (She was an excellent seamstress).26 Now she is in position to meet her future husband, Edward Stoehr.

Cora & Fred De Graw, Nellie & Edward Stoehr

William continues to farm, with son William R continuing to live at home, still listed as a blacksmith. Edward is helping his parents on the farm and Hattie remains at home in the Town of Montgomery.1 Frank has recently married (about 1909) Mary Ella Sease and is living in Walden, working at the knife works. 28 Alfred remains in Sullivan County. His wife is listed as Sarah L, and there are three children by 1910. 29 His obituary later lists his second wife, Emma Catherine Hagan. David has remained working on the farm in the Town of Crawford.30

Margaret, widow of Edward M Owen has moved in with her daughter Lizzie, who married Almeron Scott, and is now living in the Town of Hamptonburg in Orange County. They are working a fruit farm in 1910.31 Margaret died of bronchial pneumonia in 1912 while living there.

To quickly follow the rest of Edward M and Margaret Lucretia's other children: Dewitt/Daniel C -this is confusing. On the 1860 census, Dewitt C appears with a birth year of 1852. In 1870, Daniel is listed as being 18, which would mean he was born in 1852. Neither is listed on the 1875 NY State Census. In 1880, neither Daniel or Dewitt is mentioned, but in 1900, Daniel is back, listed as a son , age 35, with a birthday of September, 1864. There does not appear to be another Daniel in the family tree fits that birth date.

Nothing more is known of Jasper either. He is listed with no other occupation than “at home” on the 1880 census at age 30, so there may have been some health issues, and he is not listed with the family after 1880. Also, nothing more is known of Anna, except from Helen Stoehr Piddock's notes. She noted that she married Mr. Jewel, and Helen did have some photos of people named Jewel in her collection from Maybrook, NY.

Joseph stayed in the Orange County area, marrying Mary Millspaugh and having 6 children. According to Helen Stoehr's notes, Ellen married Alonzo Wood, possibly moving to Pennsylvania. Floyd married and stayed in the area. Susan married Joseph Lux, had children and lived in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As mentioned earlier, Lizzie married Almeron Scott, and farmed in Orange County, having at least 2 children.

George Washington Owen married Angelina Cruver, moved to Iowa between 1900, 1910, and had several children. By 1930 the family was in Michigan. One of his children-Eva- was the mother of the cousin, now in her 80s, who remains actively pursuing the Owen/Elmer genealogy from Michigan.

William died on 18 February, 1913 of bronchitis.32 By the 1920 census Mary, his widow had moved in with son Edward. He had married Genevieve Vietz and was living on Walnut Street in Walden, NY. Brother David is also now living with them, listed as a railroad laborer.33

Nellie has now married Edward Stoehr (1912), and Helen was born (1916). They are living on Coldenham Road, Walden, NY, where they will remain .34 Edward Carl Stoehr was born in 1921. (See the chapter on the Stoehr family)

By the 1930 census David was living on East Main Street (a house behind the Fowler Building) with his brother William R., who is still listed as a blacksmith. David is now listed as a laborer for a country club. Irene is also living with them. She died in 1936 of “hypostatic pneumonia, cerembral hemorrhage and chronic cardiac debilitation”35.

Children of William H. & Mary Irene (Crans) Owen:

Nellie Irene, Harriet (Hattie) M

back row,

from left to right:

Alfred, Dave, Edward and Frank

(Taken between 1950-1959)

David never married, nor apparently did William. Harriet (Hattie) married Harry Gale before 1919. They remained in Walden and had two daughters, Dorothy (who later married Mr. Grimes) and Irma (who later married Sid Slater). Cora moved to Ohio where she died in 1927. Edward and Genevieve had 5 sons, including Norman, a Walden Policeman. Frank and Mary Ella had one daughter, Marie Owen Wood, who taught in Washingtonville, NY. They owned a house on Pleasant Avenue in Walden.

Dave died 13 November,195936, so the above picture was taken before that time. When Alfred died, William and Frank were mentioned as survivors, but Edward was not, so Alfred's date of death was probably between 1960 and 1967.37 William died after Alfred. Edward died 13 January, 196038, Frank on 1 December, 196739. Nellie remained in the house on Coldenham Rd, Walden, growing wonderful vegetables, until her death in 1976.40 Hattie remained in her house in Walden, until shortly before her death in 1993 at age 100 at daughter Irma's house on East Main Street, Walden.


2.The National Library of Wales, Aberstwyth, Wales;Will of George Owen-Wiston-Doctor of Divinity-Colby - SD/1690/224

3.Hook, James William: The American Genealogist, Vol. 30, No. 3, July 1954, p. 129-142

4.York City Wills, 1760-1766. Database, 2008

5.Hook, James William: The American Genealogist, Vol. 30, No. 3, July 1954, p. 129-142

6.Coleman, Charles C.: Early Marriage Records of First Presbyterian Church at Goshen. Database: Orange County Gen Web;

7.1800 US Federal Population Schedule, Goshen, Orange, NY, p 360. Database:

8.MEC note collection from Orange County Genealogical Society, Goshen, NY

9.1820 US Federal Population Schedule, Goshen, Orange, NY, p 254. Database:

10.11.Elizabeth Horton notes from Orange County Genealogical Society (taken from will, Orange County, NY (Liber 0, p553)

11.1830 US Federal Population Schedule, Goshen, Orange, NY, p 280. Database:

12.Elizabeth Horton notes from Orange County Genealogical Society, Goshen, NY

13.1850 US Federal Population Schedule, Goshen, Orange, NY, p 357. Database:

14.Warwick Historical Papers, Historical Society of the Town of Warwick, Orange County, NY, OCGS, 1998, p221

1.Orange County Land Records, Goshen, NY: Liber , p

17.Orange County Land Records, Goshen, NY: Liber , p

18.Orange County Land Records, Goshen, NY: Liber , p

19NYS 1875 Census, Agricultural Statistics, Town of Montgomery, Orange, NY, p 61-64, from OCGS, Goshen, NY

20 1900 US Federal Population Schedule, Washingtonville, Town of Blooming Grove, Orange, NY, p 2B. Database:;

211875 NY State Population Census, Walden, Tn of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, 2nd ED, p 2 @OCGS, Goshen, NY

221880 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Tn Montgomery, Orange, NY, ED 24, p 40, 41. Database:,

23. 1900 US Federal Population Schedule, Tn Montgomery, Orange, NY. ED 28, p 16. Database: Http://

24.1900 US Population Schedule, Washingtonville, Blooming Grove Tnship, Orange, NY. Database:,

25NY State Death Certificate # 09270, 25 February, 1901

261910 US Population Schedule, Walden, Tn of Montgomery, Orange, NY. Database:

271910 US Population Schedule, Tn of Montgomery, Orange, NY. Database:,

281910 US Population Schedule, Walden, Tn of Montgomery, Orange, NY.Database:,

291910 US Population Schedule, Tn of Mamakating, Sullivan, NY. Database:,

301910 US Population Schedule, Tn of Crawford, Orange, NY. Database:,

311910 US Population Schedule, Tn of Hamptonburg, Orange, NY. Database:,

32NY State Death Certificate # 8773, 18 February, 1913

331920 US Population Schedule, Walden, Tn of Montgomery, Orange, NY, ED 134, p 3B. Database:,

341920 US Population Schedule, Walden, Tn of Montgomery, Orange, NY, ED 133, p 6B. Database:

35NY State death certificate # 33791, 26 May 1936

36Obituary clipping

37Obituary clipping

38Obituary clipping, funeral service brochure

39Obituary clipping, funeral service brochure

40Town of Cornwall, Orange, NY Death Certificate

Stoehr & Miller Family

This blog will be the story of my family line. Most everyone came to and stayed in Orange and Ulster Counties in New York. There are currently two "chapters" which will be all that is posted until more are written>

STOEHR (& Miller)

The Stoehr family was the last of our line to arrive, so I thought I'd start with them.

The original ship's records were burned in WorldWar II. This record was created from arrival records in New York.

Christoph (Christian) Stoehr arrived in New York with his family in 1856. They sailed on the Shakespeare which left from Bremen, Germany and arrived in New York on 20 August, 1856.1 Christian is listed on the ship's log as being a miller/baker. The Stoehr name and origin is rather unclear. One meaning of Stoehr is sturgeon, and it's said that you can find a sturgeon on the Stoehr coat of arms. Another possible meaning is from the German phrase, “der Stoere”, which means tall or great. There have been Stoehrs throughout Germany, but research by Dr. Hermann Stoehr puts them in Northern Hessen.2

Christian and his wife, Anna Maria (Mary Anna Kaberich) were from the Obergeis-Spangenberg area of Germany. Both are northwest of Frankfurt, with Spangenberg somewhat north of Obergeis.

Their death certificates list their parents as Andrew and Elizabeth Stoehr and Nicholas Kaberich and Katherine (Welter) Kaberich. Mary's obituary indicates that the couple was married in Germany on 3 July, 1847. They had four children before traveling to America They arrived with those children, which included Elisa, Heinrich (Henry), Nicolaus, and Anna Barbara. Christian was then 35, Anna Maria was 27. Henry was about 6 years old at the time of their trip, and Anna Barbara was only 11 months. I have not been able to find the Stoehr family on the 1860 census, but Christian's obituary reports that he “came to the United States about 1856, settling on a farm on Honk Hill, where he remained about a year and a half. Honk Hill is on Route 55, just northwest of Ellenville in Ulster County, NY. The obituary also reports that he moved into Ellenville about 40 years before his death, which would be about 1859.3 Family legend has it that they purchased land somewhere in New York, closer to the city, and then traded it for some land they had seen on a trip upstate. He is listed as a boatman in the census reports that show the family as living in Ellenville.
It being too early for Ellis Island, the Stoehr family probably entered through Castle Garden, New York City (see for more details).

Christian and Mary had several more children after arriving in America. Mary's obituary and census reports indicate that 11 children were born to the couple. I've been able to find 10 from census lists. Of those eleven, eight were living at the time of Christian's death.

Christian had been in America about four years when he filed his Declaration of Intent, the first step in becoming an American citizen, on 27 August, 1860. The process was completed on October 24, 1864, when citizenship was granted.

The remaining children I've found were born in Ellenville. They were: Mary, born 1857; Charles, born 1859; George, born 1863; Magdalena(Lena), born 1865; Emma, born about 1868; and William, born about 1871. The family were charter members of the Lutheran Church in Ellenville, where some of the children were baptized on 26 December, 1863 (Mary, Charles and George).5

The 1870 census for Kerhonksen, Ulster, NY lists Christian as Frederick (his middle name?). He is listed as being a boatman, as were his two sons, Henry, now 20, and Nicholas, now 18. The Delaware & Hudson (D & H) Canal was begun in the early 1800's as a means to carry coal from northeastern Pennsylvania to the Hudson River and down to New York City. It was begun as a private venture, had 27 locks and 137 bridges. It eventually evolved into the D & H Railroad, and employed many local people. Christian worked until about 1897, when a stroke forced his retirement. An 1873 Directory of Ellenville also lists a C. Stoehr as running a saloon on Canal Street. Charles would only have been about 13 years old. This could possibly have been Christian, although he's listed as a boatman on the 1870 and 1880 census lists.6

Henry and Nicholas soon went their own ways. Nicholas became a fireman on the railroad about 1872. He worked on the local branch of the O&W Railroad for 5 or 6 years, then went to New York City to work on the elevated railroad for about a year, then went south to work once again with his colleague from Ellenvile, Charles McPherson. He also was married, to Ophelia Stohlman, probably in 1877. In May of 1880 there was a tragic accident on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad. Mr. McPherson and Nicholas were instantly killed. The newspaper report of the train wreck reported that Nicholas and Ophelia had had one child who was deceased, but none living. Ophelia had moved south shortly before the accident (You can see a transcript of the article from the Ellenville Journal at the end of the blog).7

Nicholas' wife, Ophelia Stohlman was the daughter of John Stohlman. On the 1880 census Mr. Stohlman and his entire family are listed as being born in Germany. Ophelia is listed with them as Ophelia Stoehr, as apparently she moved back in with her parents after Nicholas died in the train wreck. Unfortunately it appears that the census-taker listed Ophelia's younger brothers and sisters as Stoehr also. 8

Henry married Frances Miller, the daughter of Bernard and Margaret (Graef) Miller, in 1874. The Miller family entered American around 1847-48, near the time of Frances' birth. It's uncertain whether Frances was born in Germany or New York. On the 1860 census for Napanoch, Wawarsing, NY, Bernard Miller is reported as being a “bottle cover”. On that census the Millers had several other children, including Michael, born about 1844, Josephine Miller, born about 1846, John, born about 1851, William, born about 1853, Mary E, born about 1857, and George born 1860, all before John listed as being born in Germany. Michael was listed as a boatman at age 16 on the 1860 census (possibly how Henry and Frances became acquainted?). Bernard is listed in various censuses as being born in Germany, Bavaria and Prussia. He is possibly listed as John on the 1870 census, but as Margaret is listed as head of household on the 1880 census, it appears that Bernard must have died sometime between 1870-1880. 9

By the 1880 census, Henry was married and had 2 children, Edward (my grandfather) , born 17 June, 1877 and George, born 23 July, 1879, although his family has not been found on the 1880 census for either Ellenville or Walden. On the 1900 census for Walden Henry and Frances are found living on Orange Avenue. The family had grown, with Edward and George being joined by Nicholas G (December 1882) and Frank (October 1886). They are listed as having had 7 children with 4 living.10 At this point Henry is listed as being a day laborer. Both Edward and George are listed as apprentice cutlers. The Schrade Knife Works had made its home in Walden in 1904, but the area had had several knife factories before Schrade, including the New York Knife Works, established circa 1856.11

Apparently young Edward was quite a dandy and liked his hats!

It seems that the Stoehr family women were the land buyers of the family. Ulster land records indicate that Mary Stoehr first bought land in the Town of Wawarsing in 1875, consisting of 2 lots. Frances, Henry's wife and Minnie, Charles' wife also bought land in 1876. Emma bought one of Mary's 2 lots in 1894, with the use of it reserved for Mary for the rest of her life. There is an inconsistency in the record of the sale to Emma. It also reserves use of the land for “Nicholas”, Mary's husband and Emma's father. Unless this is also a middle name of Christian, it seems unlikely that it could be either Christian's and Mary's son Nicholas who died in1880 or Henry's son Nicholas, born about 1882. He would only have been about 12 years at the time of the sale.

Christian continued to work as a boatman until a year before his death according to census records. A directory of 1892 lists a Christian Stohr as a “gardiner”12. About 1898 he suffered a “paralytic stroke”. Later gangrene set in, a partial cause of his death, which occurred on 2 July, 1899, while living on Baxter Street in Ellenville.13 See Appendix for a copy of Christian's and Mary's obituaries. On the 1900 census, Mary is listed as a widow, still living on Baxter Street.14

In Ellenville, Elisa married Michael Miller (brother of Frances, Henry's wife); Anna married John Loesch; Mary married Charles Eck (owners of the Fantinekill cemetery lots where Christian and Mary are buried) on 22 December, 1879; Charles married Minnie Schupp; nothing more is currently known of George; Lana married Thomas Van Deusen; Emma married Joseph Kalb on 10 May, 1896; and William married Louise Yatto. Notes from Helen Stoehr Piddock indicate that Margarite Stoehr married a brother of Frances. Their daughter Lillian married a Rose, and Helen spoke of cousin Billy Rose. Whether this is another name for Elisa who married Michael Miller, or Margarite is the missing 11th Stoehr child is not clear.

In Orange County, Edward and George appear to be the first to purchase land in Walden. Records indicate sales to George and to Edward in 1905 and 1909. Henry and Frances purcased land in 1913, 1916. Edward and George purchased more land in 1919 and 1925. In 1930, Edward purchased land from his father Henry, who died 6 years later, on 15 December, 1936. Most of the land was in the Coldenham Rd, Orange Avenue and Grove Street area. One deed, in 1905 to Edward from Lila Atherton mentions land “at the intersection of the south side of Coldenham Road and the east side or line of the lands of the Wallkill Valley Railroad Company”.15 This appears to be where Nellie and Edward built their house (35 Coldenham Rd). George and Mabel built a house just across the street and slightly up the hill from Edward's house. It was about the same time that the Interstate Bag Company built its plant across the street from Edward and just down the hill from George. (You may see more of Walden's history in Images of Walden and Maybrook by Marc Newman:

Edward's brother George married Mabel Clineman on 14 October, 1904. The Clineman family was an old Walden family. Aunt Mabel's great great grandfather, Thomas Clineman was born in Germany in 1730, died in Walden, 22 May, 1810. He had a son Thomas, who had a son Sylvanus who married Mary Millspaugh, who had a son Thomas16 who was Mabel's father. They had lived close to the Stoehr's on several censuses. Mabel and George had 3 children: Ethel who married Mr. Newell Fisher and had 2 children; Maizie, who married (1)Frederick Thiele, (2) Mr. Allen Williamson, and lived in New Jersey; and Frances, who died in 1908 at 3 years from diphtheria.

In Ellenville in 1910 Mary is listed as living with her daughter and son-in-law Emma and Joseph Kelb on Pickford Lane, just 2 houses away from son Charles and his wife, Minnie.17

On the 1910 census, Edward is still living with his parents, although they now live on Coldenham Road. Both Henry and Edward as well as younger brother Frank, are listed with “Pocket Knife” as occupation.18 Nellie Owen is living with her sister and brother-in-law Cora and Fred DeGraw, on Orchard Street in Walden, “working out” as a dressmaker.19 She was an excellent dressmaker and taught my mother to sew.

Edward and Nellie married on 30 October, 1912. He was now 35 years of age, while his young bride ( born 12 November 1888) would be 24 years old in another month! But weren't they a handsome couple. They eventually had 2 children, Helen Miller Stoehr, born1 April, 1916 and Edward Carl Stoehr, born 9 April, 1921.

By 1920 Mary Stoehr was living with daughter Lena Van Deusen in Ellenville on Essex Street20, in Ellenville, and this is where she would remain until her death on 9 March, 1921, at 92 years of age from arteriosclerosis and old age.21

Christian & Mary (Anna Maria) Kaberich Stoehr Henry & Frances (Miller) Stoehr

Henry, at age 69, is still working at the cutlery works as a driller. George has also continued working there and is now a polisher. Frank and Edward are now cutlers, but Edward is also listed on the Farm Schedule. At the end of the article is a copy of Edward's World War I Registration Card from 1918 where he lists himself as a cutler at the NY Knife Company.2

Edward C Stoehr Helen Stoehr

By the time of the 1930 census, it appears that Henry and Frances are still living on Grove Street, but he is no longer working26 Edward and Nellie remain on Coldenham Road with Helen and Edward C.27 Edward is now listed solely as a farmer, as is George, who is also listed on Coldenham Road, with Mabel and May (Maizie).28 Also in 1930, on 30 October, Frances, Henry's wife, died of chronic myocarditis.29 It was in that same year that Henry sold at least some of his land to Edward and Nellie.30 However, Henry's death certificate, 16 December, 1936, still lists his residence as 15 Grove Street. He died on 15 December, 1936 of apoplexy.31

Helen Stoehr apparently led an active social life. In a newspaper article she is listed as being on the refreshment committee for the Junior Prom at Walden High School in 1932, probably graduating in 1933. 32 Edward was also active during his high school years, earning 2 letters for sports participation: he was manager of the football team in 1937 and manager ofthe basketball team in 1937-38. He graduated in 1938.

Helen went to be trained as a nurse, graduating from the Flower Hospital School of Nursing in 1936. Helen's future husband, Charles A. Piddock was a graduate of West Point in 1932. Whether she met him from his stay in nearby West Point, or when she went through her training is unclear, but they were married in New Orleans on 28 February, 1942. A letter to her mother indicated how excited she was.

1942 was a busy year for the Stoehr family. The four years between Edward's graduation in 1938 and 1942 are not completely accounted for, but it appears that he worked at the Interstate Bag Shop for at least part of this time. On 25 October, 1942, Edward was inducted into the army. The Bag Shop wrote a monthly newsletter, The Interstate Gab, about the current service news of their employees. Helen wrote a blurb about Edward's service career in the edition of the newsletter that appears to have been written around Christmas, 1943. It reports that after his induction he reported to Camp Upton, Suffolk County, NY on 4 November, 1942; was then assigned to the Air Corp and sent to Atlantic City, New Jersey for basic training. He was then sent to Buckley Field, Denver, Colorado for an armoring course; he graduated from that in February, 1943 and was assigned to the Army Air Field in Carlsad, New Mexico. At the time of the report he was a Private First Class in the Bombardier Training Squad.33 Edward moved on to become a corporal at Dibble General Hospital, Menlo Park, California, which is where he was discharged on 4 February, 1946. He was an airplane armorer at the time of his discharge.34 Family stories report that Edward sustained an injury to one eye when a firecracker exploded in some gravel. He lost the eye and wore a glass eye, which kept him from combat or overseas duty during the war.

Returning to Walden, Edward continued to work at the “Bag Shop”, right across the street from his parents' house. He met, pursued and married Ethel Polhamus. They married on 23 April, 1947, while on a visit to Edward's sister and brother-in-law, Helen and Charles Piddock, who were stationed in Washington, DC at the time. Edward had been reported to not want a long engagement or a church wedding. They were married in Chevy Chase, Maryland, which had no waiting period. Ethel's wedding dress looks as if it were handmade, which is entirely possible as Helen had learned excellent dressmaking skills from her mother. The hat was purchased at Garfinkel's Department Store, a very fashionable store in Washington, DC (that later purchased Brooks Brothers).

From Edward & Ethel Stoehr's wedding booklet, 1947

Given some of the Stoehr land at 88 Coldenham Road, Edward and Ethel built a a home there with help from Edward's father and a family friend Gerow Quick (“Quicky”), and three children followed in 1948, 1950 and 1952.

Edward went to work as a truck salesman for Brockway in Newburgh, NY. He began his own business, Stoehr Equipment Company, about 1960, at the same time the family built a larger house on Walnut Street in Walden. Edward put up a building on Rt 208 in Walden to house his business of assembling Morrison Tool Bodies and Great Dane Trailers. He had a heart attack and died at home on 5 April, 1964. Ethel had gone to work at Montgomery Worsted Mill when Edward had begun his own business, and she continued there until her retirement. She died at home from cancer on 17 February, 1995. Edward and Ethel are both interred at the Wallkill Valley Cemetery in the Stoehr plot with their parents and George and Mabel.

Helen Stoehr, with husband Charles Piddock lived in a variety of places around the world during the course of his Air Force career. They had two children. Charles retired as a Brigadier General, and they moved to Phoenix Arizona, where he died 9 November, 1973. Helen died in Phoenix 3 December, 1990. They are interred in the cemetery at West Point.

The Miller Family

I have not been able to find documentation of the arrival of the Miller family into the US, but from census reports and a letter from one of the grandchildren, it appears that Bearnard and Margaret(Graef) Miller entered the country about 1847-1849. Notes from Helen Stoehr Piddock indicated that Bernard was a carriage or harness maker from the Speyer area of Germany. William Gregg, an attorney in Port Jervis, NY wrote a letter to Helen (Stoehr) Piddock stating what he knew of the Miller family history. He reported that when the Millers first entered America they located in Greene County, NY, where there were some relatives of the mother's family. They later removed to Ulster County, first to Napanoch, then to Ellenville. He reported that in 1856 when his mother Margaret Miller was born the family was in Napanoch.

According to census records, the family was in WawarsingTownship in 1850. Bernard (whom, it appears, is listed as John) is with wife Margaret, and children Michael, Josephine and Frances (who later married Henry Stoehr). Bernard is listed only as a laborer. On the 1860 census they are in Napanoch and Bernard is now listed as a “bottle cover”. Son Michael is now listed as a boatman. Added to the first three children are John, William, Mary and George, all of whom are listed as being born in New York. It appears that Bernard is again listed as John on the 1870 census, although this is not certain. The other names in the listing are correct, but the ages are not as they have appeared on other censuses. By 1880, Bernard is no longer listed. The Gregg letter reports that he died before 1879 from injuries received while working on the D&H Canal.

Edward Stoehr's WWI Draft Card:

1Zimmerman, Gary J. & Marion Wolfert, compilers. German Immigrants: Lists of Passengers Bound from Bremen to New York, 1847-1854, With Places of Origin. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1987, p 145.

3Ellenville Journal, Ellenville, NY. 7 July 1899.

4"Ulster County, N.Y. Naturalizations 1830-1906", Prehn, 1987

5Records of the Lutheran Church, Ellenville, NY from the Huguenot Historical Society, New Paltz, NY

6Kingston, Ellenville and Saugerties Directory for 1873-4; JH Lane, Publisher, Kingston, NY 1873

7Ellenville Journal, Ellenville, NY 14 May, 1880

81880 US Federal Population Schedule, Ellenville, Town of Wawarsing, Ulster County, NY, p 349 D

91860 Federal Population Census, Town of Wawarsing, Napanoch, Ulster, NY

101900 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, p 27A

12Ulster County Directory, 1892, page 263

13Ellenville Journal, 7 July, 1899, Ellenville, NY

141900 US Population Schedule, WawarsingTownship, Ulster County, NY, ED 745, p 2

15Stoehr, Edward from Atherton, Lisa: Orange County, NY deeds, Liber 475, page 542, 8 May, 1905.

16Millspaugh Record Book, Francis Millspaugh, 21 March 1969, p. 316

171910 US Population Schedule, WawarsingTownship, Ulster County, NY, ED 177, p 9A

181910 US Population Schedule, Montgomery Township, Orange County, NY, ED 41, p 16A

191910 US Population Schedule, Montgomery Township, Orange County, NY, ED 42, p 15A

201920 US Population Schedule, WawarsingTownship, Ulster County, NY, ED 218, p 1B

21Ellenville Journal, 17 March, 1921: obituary of Mary (Anna Maria) Kaberich Stoehr; Ulster County Death Certificate, 11 March, 21

221920 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, ED 134, p 19B

23Stoehr, Henry, Frances from Tucker, Herber: Orange County, NY Deeds, Liber 565, p 410, 3 June 1916

241920 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, ED 133, p 6B

25WW1 Draft cards at

261930 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, ED 36-52, p 15B

271920 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, ED 36-51, p 4A

281920 US Federal Population Schedule, Walden, Town of Montgomery, Orange County, NY, ED 36-51, p 4B

29NY State Death Certificate #62001, Orange County, Walden, 31 October, 1930

30Stoehr, Edward and Nellie from Stoehr, Henry, Orange County, NY Deeds, Liber 712, p 344, 1930

31NY State Death Certificate #76655, Orange County, Walden, 16 December, 1936.

32Middletown Times Herald, 23 February, 1932

33Interstate Gab newsletter, article written by Helen Piddock

34Enlisted Record and Report of Separation #492, 4 February, 1946 (see Appendix A)


Charles McPherson and Nicholas Stoehr Instantly Killed

A telegram received by Rev. O. Valentine brought sadness to this village on Sunday last, announcing the sudden death by railroad accident of Engineer Charles McPherson and Nicholas Stoehr. McPherson was engineer on the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railroad, and Stoehr was his fireman. They were driving the Texas express train on Sunday morning last, when about quarter to four o'clock the train being just east of Bismarck, MO., and seventy-five miles south of St. Louis, ran into a wash-out caused by the storm of the preceding night. The engine was wrecked and several of the cars were overturned. McPherson and Stoehr were instantly killed. Fortunately only two or three passengers were injured, and those not seriously.

A fearful storm had been raging, the water descending in sheets accompanied with frequent and blinding flashes of lightning. The night was very dark, and it was impossible for the engineer to see any distance ahead of his engine. Passengers by the wrecked train are profuse in praise of the bravery and thoughtful care displayed by Engineer McPherson. At the time of the accident he was driving slowly- not above ten miles an hour. The accident occurred on a short curve, where the water had washed the earth from under one side of the track, so that it settled immediately when the engine struck it.

How alert and prompt was Engineer McPherson, is attested by the fact that while making the fatal plunge he had checked the speed of the train. He went to his death bravely, with a firm grasp upon the handle which applied the air brakes that had given the passengers their first warning of the accident. His body, with that of Fireman Stoehr, was found crushed beneath the engine. Both were dead when taken out. They were terribly scalded, McPherson's eyes being forced from their sockets by the steam, while his entire body with the exception of one leg below the knee was cooked. He was also crushed about the hips. Stoehr was also badly mangled, his chief injuries being about the head.

Relief was sent to the scene as soon as possible, and in the afternoon the bodies of McPherson and Stoehr were borne to their families in Saint Louis.

The sadly bereaved young wives were the recipients of much sympathy and the kindest attention on the part of the Railroad Company. The bodies were prepared for transportation at their expense, and Conductor L. G. Baldwin was commissioned to accompany Mrs. McPherson and her two children and Mrs. Stoehr on their sorrowful journey to Ellenville, where they arrived on Wednesday afternoon by special train from Summitville. Mr. Baldwin, as agent of the Railroad Company, secured for the ladies free passage and transportation over the different railroads on the route. They came free over the Midland also, having reached Middletown by No. 4 on the Erie.

On arrival here the remains of McPherson were conveyed to the residence of Mr. B. T. Carpenter, father of Mrs. M., at Fantinekill; and those of Stoehr to the house of Mrs. Stoehr's father, corner Warren and Park Streets. The funeral took place at 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon from the Episcopal Church.

The untimely and sad death of these young men will be sincerely mourned in this community, and their sorrowing wives will receive a generous measure of sympathy.

"Charly" McPherson was one of the oldest engineers on the Midland road. He came to Ellenville from Rome, Oneida County, and we believe ran the first engine on the Ellenville Branch. Nearly six years since he married Jennie, youngest daughter of Mr. B. T. Carpenter, whom he leaves with two children. He remained in the employ of the Midland Company, by whom he was much esteemed, until a little less than four years ago, when he removed to St. Louis and found employment with the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway, in whose service he lost his life. Genial and generous, his character was unblemished, and his deportment most exemplary. During his residence here he won for himself a host of warm friends, and had perhaps not an enemy in the world. He was much loved by all the railroad men in this vicinity, and many and warm are the tributes paid to him by his old comrades and acquaintances. The company by whom he was lately employed regarded him as one of the most competent and careful engineers in their employ. His engine was generally assigned to pull the President's car, and once a month he drove the pay train over the entire road, a distance of 1,300 miles. Had he lived Mr. Baldwin assures us that he was soon to have been promoted.

Mr. McPherson had an insurance on his life, the precise amount of which we have not learned; he was also a member of the Brotherhood of Engineers-a benefit association. He leaves his wife and children well provided for. He was about 35 years of age.

Nicholas Stoehr, the son of Christian Stoehr, one of our worthy German citizens, was a young man of good character and excellent habits. He was one of the first firemen for Engineer McPherson on the Midland, and the two served together in that relation during five or six years, first and last. They shared each other's confidence perfectly; they loved each other like brothers in life, and in death they were not divided. A year ago last March Stoehr went to New York and served on the Elevated Road for a time; but mutual desire for each other drew him about six months ago to his old companion and superior, with whom he remained till the fatal day. Stoehr also was a very careful and competent man, always diligent and attentive to his duty. So highly were his services appreciated by the company, that they were about to advance him to the post of engineer in charge of a train. He was about 28 years of age, and some three years since married a daughter of Mr. John Stohlman, of this village. They buried one child, but have none living. Mrs. S. joined her husband in St. Louis only three months ago.

Mrs. McPherson and Mrs. Stoehr will remain in Ellenville. Mr. Baldwin, to whose kind and considerate courtesty they feel much indebted, remained in town for the funeral, and will start for the West today.

(Ellenville Journal, 14 May, 1880)