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.”

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A Breakthrough, Pending Proof

I had a bit of a breakthrough recently regarding Joseph C. Felver’s parents! Just last week I wrote about finding the 1850 census where Joseph and Margaret Felver have an unknown 9 year old living with them.

I’ve believed for awhile that Joseph’s parents could be Frederick and Catherine Felver, but I couldn’t prove it. Joseph C., Peter, and Clark Felver all served together in the NJ 31st regiment, company B in the civil war. Plenty of people have been researching Peter and Clark and other children of Frederick and Catherine, but there seemed to be no information on where Joseph might fit in—if at all.

I did a bit more digging and realized that Peter is most likely Joseph’s younger brother and that they took him in when father Frederick died in 1840. At least, 1840 is the date that trees on ancestry.com give, although no one seems to have proof. I think there’s an extremely good chance that Frederick and Catherine were Joseph’s parents and that Peter was a younger brother. If Frederick did die in 1840, the mother (Catherine) would have likely needed help from the older children to care for the younger children.

No all I need to do is prove my theory! Seems like a trip to New Jersey is starting to come together.

This post is for D’Anne, the only other descendent of Joseph C. Felver I’ve corresponded with!

Having Children Out of Wedlock…in the 1840’s

Joseph and Margaret were married in 1846, when Peter was already around 5 years old.

Joseph and Margaret were married in 1846, when Peter was already around 5 years old.

I found an entry in the 1850 US Census for a Joseph “Felner” that I believe to be my ancestor. The “v” and the “n” are easy to mix up when transcribing. And, of course, the name could have morphed over the years. The census has them living in Mansfield, Warren County, NJ. I know that Joseph C. Felver lived in this area. “Boatman” is a new occupation for him, but he was young so it’s not surprising that his occupation may change over the years.

Joseph’s wife was Margaret, born around the same time as him, so this seems correct. Joseph and Margaret had a son named Mark born in 1848—also correct.

Then there is the Petty family listed immediately below. Margaret’s maiden name was Petty and this could easily be her family.

But wait! The Felner/Felvers have a kid named Peter who is 9 years old (so born around 1841). Joseph and Margaret are both 24 years old—you do the math. Plus, Joseph and Margaret married in 1846. I’ve never heard of Peter as a child of this family, so maybe he’s not. Could be a sibling’s child, a cousin, etc.

Or Joseph and Margaret did have a child together as teenagers. They did get married in Easton, PA—which has always struck me as odd since they were living in New Jersey and there seems to be any number of churches close by. Perhaps Easton was the closet place they could easily get married due to their out of wedlock child!