I’m working on my brother-in-law’s La Grange line. It’s well documented and goes back to the originally immigrant, Omie de La Grange, who arrived in New Amsterdam in the mid-1600s. The problem is that I have a hole right smack in the middle of the tree!
John S. La Grange died in 1916 in Rotterdam, Schenectady Co., NY. He was married twice. First to Phebe Sitterly and then to Catherine Porter. His death certificate says he is the son of John La Grange and Unknown Smith. Drat! No first name for the Smith.
I’ve done some research on the line. While I have found plenty of information on John S. La Grange, his children, and his grandparents, Elias La Grange and Annatie Van Patten, I found virtually nothing on his parents. Using church records and the census, I’ve narrowed down that John and his uknown Smith wife died sometime between 1840 and 1850 when their children appear in the census with other people.
I found something curious when I got to the 1840 census. I found this entry in Duanesburgh:
John La Grange, 4 females, 2 males
Henry J. Smith, 5 females, 2 males
Not a whole heck of alot to go on, that’s for sure! The La Grange’s were living in Duanesburgh at the time, so I am 98.5% sure this is the right John La Grange.
I followed the Smith’s to see if I could put any pieces together.
Here is the family in 1850:
1850 Census, Duanesburgh
Henry J. Smith, 54, Farmer
Zacharia, 17, Farmer
Mary C., 15
William V., 19, Farmer
All born New York
Here they are in 1870:
1870 Census, Duanesburgh
Zachariah Smith, 26, Farmer
Cornelia, 20, Wife
Catherine Smith, 48, Farmer
Barney, 21, Teacher
Emma, 18, House Keeper
Nicholas, 15, Farmer
All born New York
The census doesn’t help me alot because ol’ unknown Smith was already married to John La Grange by 1850. Both possibly deceased by the time that census was taken.
The one bit of information that does pique my interest–naming patterns of John S’s children. His first son was named John Henry La Grange, most likely not named after the fabled character 😉 Sables Smith and Barney Smith. John S. La Grange and his first wife, Phebe Ann Sitterley had 7 children before Phebe’s death in 1874. One of the son’s was named Barney Sables La Grange.
Henry and Barney are relatively common, but Sables? I searched the census for various years and found only one Sables/Sable and variations in New York–Sables Smith
I feel I am on to something. The presence of the name Sables in both families gives me hope. But, how do I figure out what John’s wife’s name was and if she connects to these Smith’s? So far my searches for marriage, cemetery, baptismal, and other records have turned up nothing despite the fact that the rest of the family is well documented. I know that the relavent piece of information is out there waiting for me to find it–but where?