Winning some, losing some: More Cluster Research

These last few weeks weren’t good weeks for genealogy.  I had hoped to find more on Eleanore Jane Newell, the mother of Mary Stockford and wife of Joseph Stockford.  Eleanore Jane has no records after the filing of her husband’s will for probate.  She survived him as she signs her name on probate records along with her children.  I have a tenuous lead through a man named Joseph Newell and his wife, Mary Jane Newell, who were witnesses to Joseph Stockford’s will. Another researcher also believes her maiden name was Newell, and I subscribe to this lead due to cemetery records – more cluster research.

Joseph and Mary Newell also lived in Henry County at the same time as Joseph and Eleanore Stockford.  J. Stockford and his son, Argee, are buried in the same section of Locust Grove Cemetery (Ridgeville Corners, Henry County, Ohio) as J. Newell and some of his family.  It is highly probable that J. Newell is Eleanore Jane’s brother.  Since men are easier to trace than women, I attempted to focus on J. Newell’s lineage.

His burial record states he was buried as a veteran, identifying Co. C, 193rd New York Infantry as a unit he served, in April 1865.  His burial records say he enlisted in 1862 and was from Boston, Erie County, New York.  Conversely, the unit record implies he was only active for two months until the end of the Civil War before being discharged.  Census records support an origin of New York for both Joseph and Eleanore Jane.

1840 County map of New York from showing Erie, Onondaga, and Chemung counties.

Company C of the 193rd was formed in April/March 1865 from the New York counties of Auburn (Cayuga County), Rochester (Monroe County), and Syracuse (Onondaga County), was in Virginia by July 1865 and mustered out by January 1866.  Muster rolls for the 193rd list “Newell, Joseph – Age 38 years.  Enlisted at Syracuse, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. C, April 6, 1865; discharged, June 26, 1865, at Elmira, N.Y.”  He never made it to Virginia with this unit.  What the 193rd record doesn’t provide is his actual date of enlistment, just the date he mustered into the unit.  The military lead still leaves some questions unanswered, two key question for me are:
1) Is his burial record accurate in recording his original enlistment in 1862 (but in a different unit), and he met his three year contract obligation after transferring to the 193rd in 1865? 
2) Why was he discharged?

Newell, Joseph – Age 38 years.  Enlisted at Syracuse, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. C, April 6, 1865; discharged, June 26, 1865, at Elmira, N.Y.

193rd Unit Rosters

So, I have several areas in New York to scour for the Newell family.  I started with a lead that presented in the form of other people’s research (online trees). One “Ancestry hint” that keeps cropping up, due to other researchers association, is for a man in Wayne County, New York.  I have ruled this association out through a combination of overlapping residences in New York and Ohio and an analysis of the 1878 publication, Thomas Newell and his Descendants.  This completely debunks the entire lineage through this attribution that is accepted in other online trees.

Next I backed up and began looking in Erie County. There I found a man named Joseph in Concord married to a woman named Catharine Millis with several children to include Nathanial and Lafayette.  I can confirm that Catharine Millis lived and died under the Newell surname in Dundee, Monroe County, Michigan, near her children.  Nathaniel also ended up in Monroe County. I cannot confirm the death or burial for Catharine’s husband.  I could find only one record for his death in the form of a Find-a-Grave profile.  This one “” record (or hint) is questionable for me because:

1) It does not cite the source for the information, and

2) The headstone has no inscription. It’s a blank hunk of marble or granite. 

Both of these issues suggests the possibility that this is either an unused, empty plot or is the wrong Mr. Newell. It’s not good evidence of anything.

If this is the same man, I propose he and Catharine Millis divorced, and he remarried to Mary Jane ___ and relocated to Ridgeville, Ohio where he died and is buried.  Why you ask? Because this Dundee, Michigan family has ties to Ridgeville, Ohio.  Sons of Catharine, Nathanial and Lafayette, lived in Ridgeville briefly, but long enough to pay taxes and leave one marriage record, not much else.

Before I pursue the Erie County Newell family further, I will have to look at any men named Joseph Newell born about 1820 in New York to see if they can be traced to Ridgeville, Henry County, Ohio or ruled out as plausible candidates. I also have to research the history of the localities affiliated with the known Newell connections to see if history holds any clues to their family. They may still be connected to a main Newell family who were early American pioneers in Connecticut, contemporaries to our Massachusetts Gage immigrants. If this connection could be made, it would tie a branch of the Rhoades family to the pre-founding of the United States!

In the case of this week, I may have made some progress, but this progress did not lead to the demolition of a brick wall – just a chip.