Friday, December 13, 2013

Catharine Conklin, wife of Jacob Lamb?

A current research conflict I am trying to resolve is in my Lamb line from Westchester County, New York. I am trying to prove or disprove 1) that the wife of Jacob E. Lamb (my 4th great-grandfather) was Catharine Conklin; and 2) that her parents were Francis Conklin and Hester Brown or John Conklin and Eleanor Hileker.
The Unpublished Works of G. MacKenzie, a loosely documented genealogy, states that Catharine Conklin was the daughter of John Conklin and Eleanor Hileker and the wife of Jacob Lamb[1].  This genealogy also states that Francis Conklin and Hester Brown had a daughter named Catharine and she married John Sloat. This is in direct conflict with information on a proven descendant list from The Daughters of the American Revolution which states that Catharine Conklin was the daughter of Francis Conklin and Hester Brown, who married Jacob Lamb in 1807[2].
The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYG&B Record) has transcripts of baptisms recorded in the Reformed Dutch Church (RDC) of Cortlandtown, and confirmed my suspicion that there were two Catharine Conklins, one (Catharina) was born on 15 Mar 1789 to John Conklin and Eleanor Hileker[3]; the other (Catrina) was born in Sept 1790 to Francis Conklin and Hester Brown[4]. It also verified that Catharine Conklin was the wife of John Sloat[5] and the other Catharine Conklin was the wife of Jacob Lamb[6]. So how am I to distinguish one Catharine from the other and determine which is the wife of Jacob Lamb?
My approach is to create a FAN list from the church, census, probate and land records. In doing so, I’m hoping to see possible family connections that may lead me to additional clues for further research, and maybe provide enough information to determine which Catharine Conklin, if either, is the wife of Jacob Lamb.
Since census records prior to 1850 only list the names of heads of households, Catharine’s name does not appear in the census as Jacob’s wife. The first document where they are named as a couple is from the church records, referenced above, where in 1809 they baptized their daughter, Leah. Locating marriage records for this church will be added to my to-do list.
According to the Journal of Reverend Silas Constant, Francis Conkling and Esther Brown were married in Peekskill, New York, on 20 May 1787[7]. I searched, but there was no entry for Jacob Lamb and Catharine Conklin. The RDC of Cortlandtown church records show that Francis Conklin and Hester Brown had the following children baptized:
  • a daughter, Catrina, born Sept 1790, baptized Sept 1791;
  • a daughter, Elizabeth, born 26 Sept 1792, baptized 30 Jun 1793;
  • a son, Hendrick, born 17 Aug 1795, baptized 22 Nov 1795[8]; and
  • a son, Thomas born 4 Jun 1797, baptized 30 Jul 1797[9].

The MacKenzie genealogy includes an additional daughter, Mary, who was born 5 Apr 1789, but I was unable to find her in the church records I was searching.
John Conklin and Eleanor Hileker baptized the following children in the same church:
  • a daughter, Catharina, born 15 Mar 1789, baptized 1 May 1789;
  • a son, John, born 15 Aug 1791, baptized Sept 1791;
  • a son, Abraham, baptized Jun 1793;
  • a daughter, Weinthe, born 8 May 1796, baptized 22 Nov 1795[10]; and
  • a daughter, Peggy, born 16 Feb 1799, baptized 21 Apr 1799[11].

An error in both transcriptions of the MacKenzie genealogy and of the NYG&B Record regarding Weinthe’s birth and baptism casts doubt on both documents, and I need to locate another source for the original records to verify the information.
I’ve found that probate records can be a rich source of genealogical information and sometimes lists heirs or next of kin by name and relationship to the deceased. FamilySearch has the New York probate records for Westchester County online and I found an Eleanor Conklin as administratrix for the estate of John Conklin, intestate, in 1800[12]. His estate files are a two-page document, signed by Elenor Conklin, Thomas Clarke and Henry C. Varht, but unfortunately lists no heirs or next of kin. I did not find probate records for Francis Conklin or his wife Hester in Westchester County. The one entry for Esther Conklin appears to be an unrelated family.
A look at the 1790 census for Cortlandt, Westchester County, find two John Conklins[13], but neither have household compositions that correlate with the ages of the children in baptismal records. I did not expect to find John Conklin on the 1800 census since it appears he died in 1799. Instead, I find Eleanor Conkling, a widow, enumerated next to Francis Conkling[14]. It is unclear if either of them is from the families I am looking for since neither of their household compositions match those of the children in the baptismal records.  Jacob Lamb doesn’t appear on the census records as head of household until 1810[15], which is what I would expect given his first child was born in 1809. The composition of his household does match with the ages of his children found in the baptismal records, although there are two additional people—an unidentified young man, aged 16-25, which could be a younger brother; and a woman over the age of 45, which could be an older sister, mother, or mother-in-law.
Further research and analysis of these records should be done, as well as a continued search for new ones. I certainly have not exhausted all the available resources; my research so far has been limited to what I have found on the internet. A good place to start is the MacKenzie genealogy which gives a brief bibliography of sorts. I would also like to find others who are researching this family in the hope we may combine our efforts to solve this conflict. I’m open to suggestions, so feel free to leave your ideas or comments below.

10 Jan 2014: In reviewing the original Dutch Reformed Church Records of Cortlandtown, now on Ancestry.com, I confirmed that Weinthe, the child of John Conklin and Lena Heliker, was born on 8 May 1796, but her baptism was 22 Nov 1796 and not 1795.



[1] Long Island Genealogy, The Unpublished Works of G. Mackenzie (http://www.longislandgenealogy.com/mackenzie.html : accessed 3 Dec 2013), Catharine Conklin (1789). 
[2] National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, "DAR Genealogical Research System," database, Descendants Database Search (http://www.dar.org : accessed 17 Mar 2013), Francis Conklin (NY service); citing Anna Reynolds Bradley, national member no. 335870, ancestor no. A024989.
[3] Samuel Burhans Jr., "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 73 (Apr 1942); digital images, New York Genealogical and Biographical Society (http://cdm15648.contentdm.oclc.org.nygbs.idm.oclc.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15636coll26/id/364/rec/2 : accessed 23 Sep 2013) 140; Records are accessed through the online eLibrary.
[4] Burhans, "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," (Apr 1942) 73:142
[5] Burhans, “Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York,” (Oct 1942) 73:281.
[6] Burhans, “Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York,” (July 1942) 73:197.
[7] Josiah Granville Leach L.L.B., editor, The Journal of the Reverend Silas Constant; online book, Open Library (https://openlibrary.org : downloaded 4 Dec 2013), p. 98 and p. 372.
[8] Burhans, "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," (Apr 1942) 73:142, 143.
[9] Burhans, "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," (Jul 1942) 73:191.
[10] Burhans, "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," (Apr 1942) 73:140-143.
[11] Burhans, "Records of Baptisms of the Reformed Dutch Church of Cortlandtown, Westchester County, New York," (Jul 1942) 73:191.
[12] "New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971," database and images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 16 Oct 2013); John Conklin (1800); citing Westchester County Surrogate Court Probate, Administration, Guardian and Estate Tax Files, file no. 3-1800; Westchester County Courthouse, White Plains.
[13] 1790 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, p. 215 (penned), col. 2, line 1, John Conklin Jr; and  p. 218 (penned), col. 1, line 25, John Conklin Sr; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M637, roll 2.
[14] 1800 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, Cortlandt Township, Pound Ridge, p. 100 (penned), line 38, Eleanor Conkling; and p. 100 (penned), line 37, Francis Conkling; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 Dec 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M32, roll 27.
[15] 1810 U.S. census, Westchester, New York, Cortlandt Township, Pound Ridge, p. 1009 (penned), 182 (stamped), line 29, Jacob Lamb; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 12 Oct 2013); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm M252, roll 37.

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