My tenth Great-Grandfather is Johannes Nevius. He was born in Solin or Soligen, Westphalia about 1626. He emigrated to New Amsterdam and married Ariaentje Blyck on November 18, 1853. He was a ferryman by trade but was also a literate man who held some prominent posts in early Colonial America. He was a schepen (modern day alderman or magistrate) from Oct 1654-1655. In 1658 he was the secretary to the Burgomaster of New Amsterdam also known as the City Secretary.

On 7 September of 1664 he witnessed the surrender of New Amsterdam by Colonel Peter Stuyvesant to Colonel Sir Richard Nichols of England.

Surrender of New Amsterdam

I found the above information in the records here in the New Jersey and New York sections of the Genealogy Center.

From Pennsylvania section records I found the will of his grandson Joris Neefies, and the baptism of his great-grandson, Cornelius Neafus.

Cornelius Neafus married and moved to Kentucky. In the Kentucky records I found he owned land and passed it on to some of his children. His daughter Susannah Neafus (2 Great-granddaughter of Johannes) married Jeremiah Fryrear and moved to Scotland County, Missouri.


The descendants of Jeremiah Fryrear and Susannah Neafus Fryrear have moved to Iowa, Louisiana, Arizona, Texas, and on to California.

Johannes never traveled further than the New York / New Jersey area. His descendants have moved from New Jersey across the continental United States to California.

Here at the Genealogy Center we have information from all of the 50 United States.

Come in and let us assist you as you seek out your ancestors (where they lived/married/died) and/or the paths they may have traveled.

Good Hunting!

For years I have been told that my 2nd great-grandfather and mother (Henry C. Matthews and Mary Ann Davidson) are buried in the Bear Creek Cemetery in Adair County, Missouri. Henry was born in Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky to Daniel and Rachel Matthews. Mary Ann Davidson, was born in Indiana or Missouri or Tennessee. (Three different records and three different locations.)

Recently I ventured to the http://www.findagrave.com website and SURPRISE!

Someone (not from my line) has stated the grave I thought was my 2nd great-grandfather and mother belongs to a Henry C. Matthews, born in Indiana to John and Nancy Denny Matthews, and wife Mary Ann Taylor.

So I am now on a quest. Which Henry C. and Mary A. Matthews really are buried in the Bear Creek Cemetery? If these are not my ancestors, where are my 2nd great-grandparents buried?

Matthews, Henry C. and Mary A. tombstone

Unfortunately, there are no dates on the marker to give any indication of births or deaths. On to other records.

My search of family history materials does not reveal an obituary for either Henry or Mary. The marriage record of Henry C. Matthews and Mary Davidson indicates they were married on 27 December 1855 in Adair County, Missouri. (At least I have a marriage record and cemetery plot in the same county.)

The 1870 Federal Census shows Henry MATTHEWS with his wife and their children, while the 1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 census records all show their children spelling the name both MATTHEWS and MATHEWS. So far, J.R.(James R.) Matthews marriage to Alice McCormick is the only one that indicates parents as H.C. Matthews and Mary Davidson.

Family history and oral records indicate at least two of Henry C. and Mary Ann Davidson Matthews’ children are buried in this same Bear Creek cemetery though there is no record in http://www.findagrave.com. I have not yet found documentation confirming or denying the children are buried in this same cemetery.

What to do next?

I continue to search for deeds, wills, marriage certificates, and other documents that could provide additional information. To obtain these documents I must contact the County Clerks for both Schuyler County Missouri and Adair County Missouri. I also need to contact both the Schuyler County Missouri Historical Society and the Adair County Missouri Historical Society. (Bear Creek Cemetery in very close to the county line dividing Schuyler county from Adair county. Records could be in either place.) Hopefully I will obtain records that can help answer my questions regarding the deaths or burials of Henry C. Matthews, his wife, Mary A. Matthews or their children.

I am anxious to walk the cemetery myself, but that will have to wait until I venture back to northern Missouri.

Not every search is a “quick find” as this case proves. It will be most rewarding when I am able to identify which Henry and Mary Matthews are buried in Bear Creek. I will be overjoyed when I find the true resting place of my ancestors.

I wish you GOOD HUNTING in your searches.

Lizzie Carpenter

I have been working on the Diary of Lizzie Carpenter from 1880-1890.  I know that Lizzie dies in 1882 and her husband takes over the diary after that.  I’ve reached June 8, 1882 and know she dies by September.  I’m melancholy as I realize what is going to happen soon.  I’ve been following her life for nearly 30 years.  I’m “tolerbly” knowledgeable about her.  I loved how she used “tolerbly” for nearly every description. “There’s tolerbly no one here.” “The weather is tolerbly cool today.”

On June 8, 1882 in her journal she writes “We had a Phrenologist to lecture at Bethany some two or three weeks ago – in his lecture he said every nineteen years repeated itself – or was the same in regard to seasons – crops – fruits etc – I believe it is true – and now I remember nineteen years ago – was a very plentiful year – I have it set down in my old day book and now whoever sees nineteen years to come, may find an account of this fruitful year in this my journal.”

I decided to see where 2015 fell in the “every 19 years” from 1882.  This is the year.  I couldn’t believe that. We’ve gone through 19 years seven times since 1882.  So, 2015 should be a plentiful and fruitful year for us.

I will miss Lizzie Carpenter as I finish her entries in her diary. She has been a wonderful caring woman.  She loved her sons and husband. She cared for her neighbors and family. She worked very hard although she would say “I did tolerbly little to day.”

Family history stories provide interesting and sometimes conflicting accounts of the same event.

Sylvanus (Vene) Cooper Gambell and his wife Nellie F. Webster Gambell along with their daughter of 1 year, Margaret Gambell all perished when the schooner Jane Grey sank on May 2, 1898.

Vene Gambell was a missionary from Iowa, on the way to St. Lawrence Island, Alaska when the ship sank. According to Captain Crockett, the ship started to flounder about 2:30 a.m. when most of the passengers were asleep. The first launch lowered was swamped and sank. The second launch held 27 survivors.

One of the family histories states that Nellie was “offered the opportunity to be rescued but she preferred to share her husband’s fate.”

Another account quotes a newspaper story which reads, “Mr. Gambell refused place his wife and child into the launch stating, “The vessel is doomed and we shall die together.” Somewhere between these two versions is the truth.

I will be checking to see if there are additional accounts of the last moments of the Jane Grey to verify which story is correct, or if both are correct.

When you find conflicting stories seek out as many different resources as possible. Census records, bible records, family histories, newpapers, official documents – wills, deeds, military records, etc. – all provide information and may or may not be correct. Do your best to document what you find and where you obtain it, so you will know and be able to provide “the real truth.” Multiple resources help to establish correct information and possibly verify or correct “tales” or assumptions.

Good Hunting!

The Genealogy Center has been at the Haggard Library for seven years.  We have been able to add so many books, microfilm and computers for you to use to research and study.  We have also been able to provide you with some great databases to use.

On January 14th, Cheryl Smith will provide a “Hands on” instruction class in using the databases to search.  It will be from 9:30-11 am.  She hopes to give you some tips in Ancestry.com, Fold3, Family Search, and HistoryGeo.com.

On every Monday night in February from 7-8:30 pm we will have a guest speaker.  The class is Inspire 365: Excelling, Empowering & Educating Lives Through the History of Black Americans.  The speaker will discuss several Black Americans and how they affected history during each class.

We will offer classes on March 25 – Preserving Photographs & Documents; April 16 – Start Something new-Genealogy 101; and May 13 – Did My Ancestor Own Land? Please check the PPLS Brochure online or grab one at a library to learn more about them. I’ll have more on them in February.

The Legacy Users Group will also meet on the fourth Tuesday of each month from January – May.  They meet from 1:30-5 pm.

Come check out our area downstairs at the Haggard Library and plan on attending one or all the classes we will offer.


  • Air Force Memorial Registry Book, 2012
  • Veterans of Craighead County, Arkansas
  • Cross County, AR History and Families
  • Randolph County, AR – A Pictorial History
  • A Newspaper History and Genealogy of Dodge County, GA, Vol. 9-10, 1910 – 1917
  • Oglethorpe County, GA Newspaper Clippings, Vol. 14-16, 1892-1894
  • Calhoun County, IL Pictorial History
  • Cass County, IL 175th Anniversary History and Families
  • Gallatin County, IL History and Families Pictorial History Bicentennial Edition
  • Jasper County, IL – A Pictorial History
  • Richland County, IL – A Pictorial History
  • Richland County, IL History and Families, 1841-2013
  • Schuyler County, IL Pictorial History
  • Schuyler County, IL Family Histories
  • Stark County, IL History and Families
  • White County, IL – A Pictorial History
  • Barren County, KY History and Families
  • Breckinridge County, KY History and Families
  • Butler County, KY History and Families
  • Caldwell County, KY Bicentennial Edition
  • A Pictorial History of Clark County, KY
  • A Pictorial History of Knott County, KY
  • Martin County, KY Veterans
  • Meade County, KY History and Families
  • Montgomery County, KY Pictorial History, 1796-2013
  • Nelson County, KY 225th Anniversary, 1785-2010
  • Owen County, KY History and Families
  • Powell County, KY – A Pictorial History
  • A History of Rankin County, MS, Vol. 1-2
  • Original Land Entries for Callaway County, MO
  • Camden County, MO – A Pictorial History
  • Lewis County, MO History and Families, 1833-2013
  • Madison County (MO) Memories
  • Remember When… A Pictorial History of Mississippi County, MO
  • New Madrid County, MO History and Families, 1812-2013
  • Perry County, MO History and Families
  • Phelps County, MO Heritage
  • Ralls County, MO History and Families
  • Ripley County, MO History and Heritage
  • Through the Years – A Pictorial History of Sikeston, MO
  • Bonne Terre, MO History and Families Sesquicentennial Edition
  • Stoddard County, MO History and Families
  • Sullivan County, MO History and Families
  • Washington County, MO History and Families
  • Wright County, MO History and Families 150th Anniversary, 1841-1991 Vol. 1
  • Our Heritage Robeson County, North Carolina, 1748-2002
  • South Carolina State Grants, Vol. 2
  • Rambles in the Pee Dee Basin, South Carolina
  • The Cornbread Whistle: Oral History of a Texas Timber Company Town
  • Captain W.W. Withenbury’s 1838-1842 Red River Reminiscences (TX)
  • My Eighth Great Grandparents by Bob Tooms Dunfield
  • Southside Virginia Families, Vol. 1-2

Congratulations! The Genealogy Corner of the Collin County Clerk’s Office won an award for the 2014 Best Practices Award from the National Association of County Recorders, Elections Officials and Clerks (NACRC), according to county officials. It’s a publicly accessible archive that offers a wide variety of online research tools for anyone interested in the history of Collin County.  This was put together by the Collin County Clerk Stacey Kemp and her staff.  Over 8,000 licenses, dating from 1884 to 1949, have been scanned and indexed, and are now searchable online. This includes historical marriage licenses, School Census records, Collin County elected officials, Birth indexes, death indexes, marriage indexes, Interactive Cemeteries locator, and Men and Women from Collin County in the Armed Forces during WWII. According to the announcement from the NACRC, the three-year project resulted in a treasure trove of information for genealogists and historical researchers that is accessible from any computer 24/7.  Before the Genealogy Corner, genealogist or researcher would have to make a trip to the County Clerk’s Office.  Now they can do much of their research online.  This information came from Dick Eastman’s announcement on his blog – Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

I think they have done a great job.  I’m glad they won.  Thank you Stacey Kemp in your belief in helping genealogists and local history researchers!

Here’s the new link to their page — http://www.collincountytx.gov/county_clerk/genealogy/Pages/default.aspx


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