Thursday, February 5, 2015

52 ANCESTORS, 52 THEMES: No.5, Plowing Through... John S. TERWILLIGER 1800-1873

This year's challenge by Amy Crow is another weekly blog, but based on Themes. Last week, it was Closest to My Birthday.  This week the theme is PLOWING THROUGH.  Hmmm, plowing through... fields of grain?  snow in winter?  mounds of laundry?  sinkfuls of dirty dishes?  bushels of fruit/veggies to can?  disease/death of family members?   doing what needed doing no matter what? 

I found this particular theme frustrating and couldn't readily find an example ancestor to write about.  Finally I decided to simply pick an ancestor to write about.  Consider this is my own plowing-through exercise!  

The photograph of my 3rd great-grandfather John S. TERWILLIGER taken about 1865, was provided by a third cousin (much appreciated!).  

John S. TERWILLIGER, b. was 16 Sep 1800 New Scotland, Albany, New York, & apparently baptized 23 Mar 1760 in Schenectady, Albany, New York. (I suspect the middle name is Simon, for his father.)  John S.'s parents were Simon TERWILLIGER & Jane (Jennetje) KOEN, both also born in New Scotland township.  

John S. TERWILLIGER was the third of the 4 children, all sons, of Simon & Jane [Koen] TERWILLIGER.  I can usually find one or more of these brothers living nearby on Censuses: Conrad, Richard, George. 

In approximately 1823, John married the first time to Margaret REID, likely in New Scotland. The marriage date is approximate and is estimated by looking at the birth year of the eldest son, my ancestor.  Margaret was apparently born in Scotland and emigrated with her parents - however, this has not been confirmed. Their children were the following, born in New Scotland: 
  1.  James M.,  b 30 Jan 1825, d. 18 Oct 1909, Roselle, Union NJ; m. 1851 to Harriet F. BUELL, 2 living sons [Grove & Harry]
  2.  George,  b 26 Apr 1827, d. 1890, Sterling, Whiteside, IL;  m. abt 1852 to Matilda B. Fowler, 3 girls
  3.  Nancy,  b 13 Apr 1830, d. 2 Jan 1915, Sterling, Whiteside, IL; m. John Harpham about 1855, 3 girls, 1 boy
  4.  Jane Reid, b 26 Feb 1835, d. 8 Apr 1922, Boston MA; m. approx 1865 to Dr. John Skinner, 4 boys [with marvellously interesting names!]
  5.  Mary E., b 24 Apr 1837, d. 15 Mar 1907; m. abt 1860 to Roswell O Brown; 1 boy known

Margaret REID, his first wife, died 11 Dec 1838 in DeWitt, Onondaga, NY, when their youngest child was about 20 months old, the eldest child 12 years old.   Two years later his father, Simon died.  By this time, John S. TERWILLIGER seems to have moved to Centreville, NY.

Shortly after, he married his 2nd wife, Jane DeGroff on 13 Feb 1841, and they had the following children: 
  6.  Jane, b abt 1842, d. before 1850
  7.  Sara C, b. 5 Mar 1845, d. 26 Dec 1928; never married [schoolteacher], very close to her eldest stepbrother, my ancestor, James M., and his eldest son, James Grover "Grove" TERWILLIGER
  8.  Lida, b. abt 1849, d. infant

His second wife, Jane DeGroff died 14 Jun 1849 in DeWitt, likely after birth of her third daughter, Lida.  Around the same time, he seems to have not only owned a farm but also a grocery store in Syracuse, as the 1855 Census lists his occupation as "Merchant", and that he owned the land. 

John then married for the third time on 4 Dec 1856 to Harriet Margaret Ives; no children. Harriet appears to have outlived him, and I have not yet found a death notice or obituary for her, nor a burial record.  

He died 31 Aug 1873 and was buried in the Collamer Cemetery, by Syracuse.  His unmarried daughter by 2nd wife Jane DeGroff, Sara(h) C. Terwilliger details are etched on the same obelisk as his own information.  Sarah died 26 Dec 1928.

I copied down thfollowing obituary found for him from an Albany newspaper [must get proper copy!].  There were a number of "John Terwilliger" men in New York, but the names of the sons and their residences helps clinch this as being his death notice. A few details about where he lived, for how long, and when are slightly incorrect.  

Albany NY dated, Aug. 31, 1873

--- John Terwilliger, one of the old residents of this county, died at his farm, near the city, last Sunday night, and aged seventy-three years. He settled in the northern part of DeWitt in 1836, where he resided twenty years.   After living in the city about four years, he moved to a farm near Centerville, where he has since lived.   Mr. Terwilliger was the father of James Terwilliger of Syracuse, and George Terwilliger, formerly of this city, but at present residing in Illinois.   The deceased was a man of pure life and character, a devoted Christian, and respected by all who knew him.  

If you have any further information on John S(imon) TERWILLIGER, his three wives, and his children, do please let me know via calewis at telus dot net or in the Comments below. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.


John said...

Hi Celia! Do you know a Joanne with an email address of Perhaps her name is Joanne Griffin? Back in 2001 she posted the following on the Terwilliger family forum on Maybe she is still active and has info on your John S. Terwilliger?

"I am looking for information on John's family. He was married to Margaret Reid b 2/28/1803 and they had at least one child, Jeannie or Jeanne Reid Terwilliger b 2/26/1885. Anyone know John's parents or siblings? Or Margaret Reid's? Thank you very much. I am guessing he was from New York."


Celia Lewis said...

Thanks John. You're right, Joanne Griffin is my 3rd cousin - she's who I got the photo from! We shared lots of info when I visited MO where she lived, back in 2008!

I appreciate your taking the time to check with me about her message. I had barely begun doing genealogy at the time she posted. Can't remember how or when we connected - and I also found another 3rd cousin in her same line, living in Paris. Oh to visit Paris!

By now we all have all of John's parents and siblings, but absolutely nothing about Margaret Reid's. Much more digging needed I can see... But I say that every time I post about an ancestor. Thanks again.

- Celia


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis