Washington, NJ Newspaper Excerpts

Belvedere Apollo, Sept. 7, 1900

Belvedere Apollo, Sept. 7, 1900

I recently wrote to the Warren County (NJ) Library to ask for copies of two obituaries that I hoped would shed some light on family connections. Unfortunately, the obituaries didn’t include any of the information I had hoped.

The obit for Jonathan Petty fro 1875 just read “Petty – At Washington, on Wednesday, Oct. 20th”. The obit for Benjamin Felver from 1900 was informative—indicating he was one of the oldest members of the Mansfield lodge of Odd Fellows and that he was injured in the Civil War and had subsequently been on the “sick list” for the past 30 years—but it didn’t make mention of any survivors, like I had hoped.

There is some good stuff for anyone doing genealogy research in Warren County, NJ.

1875 deaths reported October 29 also included: Catharine A. Teel, wife of Robert G. Teal, aged 30 years; Charley Woodruff, son of John and Bernice Woodruff, aged 3 years; and Catharine Vannatta, wife of Edward Vannatta.

In early September 1900 newspaper mixed obituaries with other Washington, NJ news:

– “Elmer Pronty has returned from Ohio and will spend the winter with his grandmother Mrs. John Gaston”

“Mrs John Folkner, who died some few days ago with brain fever, aged 23 years, was a highly respected person of Balesville. She was raised in that locality. She leaves a kind husband and a very young child to mourn her untimely death.”

“Josiah, better known as ‘Shorty’ Lewis of Broadway was in town Labor Day with a heavy load of ‘red eye’. While in this condition he cut the harness on John Hays’ horse and struck at several persons with a large penknife.”

What you know based on what they knew

Parents' names from Hiram Felver's death certificate

Parents’ names from Hiram Felver’s death certificate

The first time I saw Hiram Felver’s death certificate I was confused. His father was listed correctly as Joseph Felver, although I’m not positive he was born in Washington, NJ. His mother, Margaret, was born in Washington, NJ but her maiden name certainly wasn’t Mary Updyke—it was Petty.

I couldn’t figure this out for awhile. Where did the name Mary Updyke come from and how did it get listed on Hiram’s death certificate? Why would Hiram’s wife, Clara, give the wrong information?

That’s when I reminded myself to check the dates. Clara (nee Rawlings) Huested Felver was Hiram’s second wife. She was a widow and married Hiram two years after his first wife, Emma Gould Felver, had passed away. When Clara and Hiram wed in 1897, Hiram’s mother was already deceased so Clara would have likely never known her. Clara would have known Hiram’s father, Joseph.

Most likely, Clara gave a maiden name for Hiram’s mother that she thought might be correct. I may never know what made her think it was Updyke, which sounds nothing like Petty, but perhaps there is an Updyke family connection somewhere else in the line that I haven’t uncovered yet.