Saturday, July 29, 2017

Update: Located in Illinois

I'm excited to announce another breakthrough; let me refresh the details for you (borrowing from The Rise of the Fergusons):

The year is 1835, and the younger of the Brothers Callin of Ohio, John Callin, has just died of tuberculosis. While the farm where John's children and nephews grew up must have begun to feel crowded by the end of the 1820s, during the 1830s and 1840s these children began to grow up and set off on their own.
Indeed, at least the older of John's children would have been married by the time of his death. His son, George Callin, was married though he may not have moved out to Huron county, yet. His daughter, Ann Callin Campbell, had certainly struck out on her own with Henry Campbell. And we have discussed how his nephew Alec Callin will soon embark on his journey to Iowa, taking wife and children with him, as well as his widowed mother (John's sister-in-law).
The Callin Family History (or CFH) is not very elaborate when it comes to conveying all of this activity and motion. It tends to compact a great deal of an individual's history into very little text. For example, the book has two lines about John's next two eldest daughters which seem to say very similar things, but which have very different stories to tell:
Sarah, born 1808, married John Scott, moved to Ills. About 1840.
Eliza, born 1811, married Jas. Ferguson, moved to Ind. 1851.
This doesn't specify when Sarah and John were married, though it might be safe to guess that it was probably within a year or two of 1830; Sarah would have been in her early twenties, then. But the real tragedy is that we know nothing else about this couple - because none of their children are named in the CFH, and we have no idea where in Illinois they might have gone.
After years of periodically running the same searches without seeing any results, Ancestry has added at least one Ohio marriage database containing a record of John Scott and Sarah Callin, who married in 1823 in Richland county, Ohio. I've also been checking in with other sites when I don't see results in Ancestry, and when I looked for Sarah and John at FamilySearch.org, I got a death record for a James Callin (1832-1916) which listed his father's name and his mother's maiden name: Sarah Callion.

That's all I needed. I began to pull that thread, and we now have another populous branch to add to the revised Callin Family History!

Joseph Scott was born in Pennsylvania in 1765. He may be the Joseph Scott who appeared in Washington, Pennsylvania, on the 1790 U.S. Census, but according to other researchers, he moved with his wife, Elizabeth Mary (1778-1848), to Ohio where all of his children were born. His oldest child, John Scott, was born in Richland county, Ohio, on 6 October 1798.

John Scott married Sarah Callen in Richland county on 18 January 1823. Depending on which record you trust for her birth date, she would have been anywhere from 15 (using the Callin Family History date of 1808) to 22 (using the date on her Find-A-Grave memorial). John and Sarah had their first three children there in Richland county before the Scott family relocated to Winnebago county, Illinois in about 1836.

North Burritt Cemetery, Winnebago, IL
John and Sarah's fourth child, Rebecca, was apparently born enroute, while they were in Michigan, putting them in that state in 1837. They settled in an unincorporated area called Harrison, near Rockford, Illinois. There, they had three more children. In the coming weeks, we'll look at these children and their descendants in more detail:


  • George Scott (1827–1905)
  • James Scott (1832–1916)
  • Sarah E Scott (1836–1854)
  • Rebecca Scott Sharp (1837–1928)
  • Nancy A Scott (b. 1840)
  • Cyrus H Scott (1843–1931)
  • Lucina Scott (b. 1845)


Sarah and John lived out their lives in Harrison, and died just a few weeks apart from each other; he died on 20 January 1872, and she died on 6 February 1872. They are buried in North Burritt Cemetery

 - -- --- -- -

I have seen several other names of researchers who seem interested in this branch of the family, so I'll be reaching out to them to let them know about this blog and the Callin Family History project. As always, if you are related to anyone named in the blog, I'd like to hear from you.

I'm on FTDNA if you'd like to look for our genetic connection, we have the Callin Family History group on Facebook (be prepared to explain how you're related before I approve any join requests), you can reach me at my Gmail address (callintad), and, of course, you can drop a comment below.

I always appreciate corrections, clarifications, and even new mysteries!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Breaking News: New Find-A-Grave photo for Mary Callin in Muscatine

Thanks to Find-A-Grave member Kelly Muldoon for fulfilling this photo request in the Oak Grove Cemetery, Muscatine, Iowa.

In case you don't recall the post The Distance of Close Connections, here's a quick quote:

Alec Callin, who felt The Pull of the West and moved further, from Ohio to Iowa. Just to refresh you on the details, the CFH says this of Alec:
"Married and moved with his family and mother to Iowa about the year of 1840. The mother referred to was 'Aunt Mary', wife of James 2nd who was killed with a gun. She sold the farm and went with Alec to Iowa where she died some years later. Nothing has been heard from that branch of the family since 1845."
There are several records of land grants to an Alexander Callin, one identifying him as a resident of Muscatine, Iowa in July 1854, and showing that he purchased a plots of land in the young state. There is also a Mary Callin buried in a Muscatine county cemetery, having died in 1846 at age 77.
The existing Find-A-Grave memorial for Mary Callin had that information - and if the photo had only been "head on," it would have merely confirmed what we already knew. I've scoured the records in the area trying to find connections to the Callin family in that area. But because Kelly also posted this photo, I got a bonus clue:

Mary Callin's memorial in Muscatine
(click to go to Find-A-Grave)

 I won't keep you in suspense - the memorial carved on the other side of that stone belongs to one Callin Rayburn. I had seen that name pop up in some of my searches, and it was interesting, but other researchers on Find-A-Grave connect his mother, Eleanor Callen Rayburn, back to the Patrick Callen family from Armstrong county, Pennsylvania.

This isn't concrete proof (pun intended), but it is a clue literally set in stone - at the very least, our Callin family was close enough to the descendants of Patrick Callen to be buried side by side in an Iowa cemetery.

I have a lot of work to do to see if I can find more information, but this is tantalizing and exciting!

(And, as always, if you're related to these Rayburn and/or Callen folks, please let me know! I'd love to compare notes!)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Things Are Looking Opp

I read somewhere recently that only about 7% of available genealogical records are online. So I always have to be careful about accepting records just because they're the only ones that fit what I know. Usually, I can take a record that I'm not 100% sure about, and test it against other kinds of records or searches, and if I can falsify it (meaning, I can use the information in two or more sources to prove that they aren't for the same family), I at least know that I've ruled out an incorrect line of research.

I try to communicate to you when I'm not certain about a detail or a relationship, and I try not to put more information in these posts than I think I can positively prove. This family made that very difficult, so I will do my best to show my sources, and let you decide how much confidence to assign to what I've written here.

The Opp families that lived in and around Easton, Pennsylvania, typically came to Philadelphia from town in the Rhineland during the 1730s or 1740s. They were generally members of the Evangelical Reformed Church (Evangelisch-reformierte Kirche), and many of them can be documented through church records available through Ancestry.

When I began writing up my Opp family, I discovered that I had fallen victim to a couple of common problems. Most of these Opp men I am researching were given traditional Reformation-style German names; almost all of them appeared in earlier records with the first name "Johan" or a variation. Their middle name was typically the name they used once they arrived in America, and it was common to name sons after themselves and their male relatives. As it turns out, I confused two men who lived in Easton and operated taverns - both of whom were named either "Johann Jacob Opp" or simply "Jacob Opp." After reviewing the available records, I think I've figured out who is who.

I suspect that three men with the Opp surname - Jacob, Michael, and Valentine - were either brothers or cousins who emigrated from the Rhineland when they were in their twenties. Their daughters married into families with names like Bixler and Bidleman, which were prominent in their way in the community. The Bixlers, in particular, would be important members of the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society, which published some of the sources I will cite and runs the Sigal Museum (also at that link) in Easton.

Johan Michael Opp (1732-1803) appears in the Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Church and Town Records, 1669-1999 database. He was buried at St. John's Lutheran Church in Easton, Northampton county, Pennsylvania on 28 May 1803. He is listed in many church and tax records as "Michael Opp" or "Michael Opp Sr," to differentiate him from his son, Michael Jr, who lived nearby.

Satellite image of the old Michael Opp farm
The senior Michael was a weaver, and property and tax records placed him in Easton. I took a description of the boundaries of his farm from Historic Easton from the window of a trolley-car, published in 1911, and used Google maps to make the image to the right, depicting the site of the old Opp farm. The Northampton County Courthouse and Prison occupy the western half of what was once Michael Opp's farm.

I believe Michael's wife was called Catharine Elizabeth, but I know very little about her. If my research bears out, then this couple would be my 6th-great grandparents. And their son, Jacob "Junior" would be my 5th-great grandfather. I found a mention of them in two articles published in 1997 in the local newspaper:

J Floyd S. Bixler, an early corresponding secretary of the Northampton County Historical & Genealogical Society, wrote a history of Easton's early taverns in 1931. He noted that the Golden Swan Tavern was located at 460 Northampton St. This is confirmed by James A. Wright, whose 1993 history of taverns reaches beyond Easton to encompass all of Northampton County. Jacob Opp Jr., son of Michael Opp, was an early landlord at the Golden Swan. That was before 1813.
The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania; Thursday, July 24, 1997, Page: 13

Bixler tells the story of Theophile Cazenove, an agent for the French Land company on a tour of observation. "This Frenchman was a man of distinctive tastes, and traveled with a coach and four, a valet, a coachman, and a postilion," says Bixler. "He also had an extra saddle horse along for a change when he became weary of his coach." Cazenove stopped at the Golden Swan. He had a party of three men and three horses. Jacob Opp was the proprietor at the time. He charged Cazenove $3.90 for the night's lodging. One assumes this included supper and breakfast. Bixler comments, "Jacob Opp was no profiteer." Profiteer, no. But promoter, yes. Good service and a good price prompted Cazenove to write that the town of Easton could be proud of the Golden Swan. Bixler writes, "As he Cazenove always chose the best hotels, and was a critical judge of the service rendered, we may judge that Opp's Golden Swan Hotel was a credit to Easton in its day."
The Morning Call from Allentown, Pennsylvania; Thursday, July 24, 1997, Page: 25

Church records from St. John's Lutheran Church in Easton also establish that Jacob was Michael's son. For a long time, I mistakenly believed Jacob's father was "John Jacob Opp," who is described in two histories of the area:
In September of 1757 this property was conveyed to Adam Yohe, who had previously occupied the premises as a tenant. Yohe conducted a tavern which he called the Red Lion. This was Easton's principal hostelry during the French and Indian War. Yohe disposed of the property in 1760 to George Cungware who still owned it in 1772. Later Jacob Opp became owner and continued to operate the tavern. Just when Opp secured possession is not known but as the 1776 assessment list refers to him as a tavern keeper owning a house it is assumed that he lived here during the war. In 1806 the Orphans Court adjudges the property to Elizabeth, the daughter of Jacob Opp, and the wife of Abraham Horn. Eve, the eldest daughter of Opp, married Daniel Wagener. Opp's daughter Catharine married Christian Bixler.

A frontier village, pre-revolutionary Easton p. 239-240; by Andrew Dwight Chidsey, 1940; Easton, Pennsylvania

Notably, this source ruled out the relationship to my ancestor:
John Jacob Opp, father of Catherine Opp, was born in Chur-Paltz, Germany, in the year 1740, came to the colony of Pennsylvania and died in 1805. He was appointed a commissioner of Northampton county June 22, 1776, to receive bounty money to be paid to the three hundred and twenty-seven men who completed Northampton's first quota to the forces of the Flying Camp, as shown by the muster roll of Revolutionary militia. In addition to the sum of $981, he was also to exchange all saltpetre made in the county, this to be handed over to Capt. George Huber, to be used in the manufacture of gun-powder. John Jacob Opp became a large landowner in Easton, and by his wife, Anna Maria Hoffman, had four daughters, one of whom became the wife of Christian Bixler, the founder of the jewelry business which has been in the Bixler family one hundred and thirty-three years...

History of Northampton County (Pennsylvania) and the grand valley of the Lehigh, p. 316; by William Jacob Heller, American Historical Society, Boston New York etc., 1920
Michael Opp and his wife had at least one other son, Michael Jr. (1767-1843), and a daughter, Anna Margareta, who married Michael Odenwalder (1750–1828) on 8 March 1775. Michael Sr. left behind a will, recorded in an index record in Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993. It looks like I will need to make a trip to Easton one of these days to find that will and learn more about these folks.

Jacob Opp Junior (1763-1848) may have been named for an uncle or grandfather, which suggests to me that Michael Opp Sr. and John Jacob Opp (of the Red Lion tavern) might have been related. Whatever the case, my Jacob - the proprietor of the Golden Swan - married a widow named Elizabeth Reynale, probably around the time of Michael's death in 1803, if not a bit later. Elizabeth had a son from her first marriage, and she and Jacob also had a son in 1811 who they named Henry. Jacob relocated the family to Dansville, New York, around 1814.

Once again, property and tax records seem to support what the local histories published later claim about their biographical information. Jacob figures into the biography of Elizabeth's son, Dr. William H. Reynale:

Dr. Reynale was one of the earliest physicians and surgeons of Dansville. He was born at Quakertown, Hunterdon county, N.J., Feb 27, 1794. Very early in life he lost his father. His mother died in 1835. Soon after his father's death he was adopted by Henry Bidleman, a maternal uncle [N.B. - suggesting Elizabeth's maiden name must have been Bidleman] who was an accomplished scholar... After a severe and critical course of medical reading, he entered the University of Pennsylvania in January, 1811, as a medical student, and was graduated from there April 9, 1814. Soon after this he went to Dansville, at the invitation of Jacob Opp, a connection of Dr. Reynale, who was at that time building the well-known flouring and grist-mill south of Dansville, which is now, and has been for several years, owned by Benj. F. Readshaw.

History of Livingston County, New York : with illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers, pg. 194-195; by James H. Smith, Publisher: D. Mason, Syracuse, N.Y., 1881

And according to his newspaper obituary, "Dr. Reynale came to Dansville for the first time in 1814, with his stepfather, Mr. Jacob Opp." (Dansville Advertiser, Dansville, Livingston County, New York; Thursday, August 11, 1870 - emphasis mine.)

Jacob's move to Dansville was further documented in the History of Livingston County:
[Col. Nathaniel] Rochester took up his residence in Dansville in , and purchased a large tract of land, embracing most of the water power within the village, including the mills built by Daniel Sholl for the Pultney estate. He added to the other mills a paper mill, which was the pioneer of its kind in Western New York. In 1814 he disposed of his property in Dansville, in part to Rev. Christian Endress, of Easton, Penn., and in part to Jacob Opp, from the same place. ...Jacob Opp's purchase, which embraced the present Readshaw mill and site, was made in January, 1814, and in May of that year he moved his family here from Easton. He continued his interest in the mill property till about 1840, and died in Dansville in 1847, aged 84 years. Henry B. Opp is the only one of his family left here.

p. 162

The grist-mill owned by Benjamin F. Readshaw, on the corner of Gibson and Main streets, to which reference has been made in connection with the early settlement of the town, occupies the site of the gris-mill built in 1796 by David Sholl for the Pultney estate. It was soon after burned and rebuilt by Sholl, who eventually became its owner, and was succeeded in possession of the property by Col. Nathaniel Rochester, the founder of the city of Rochester. In January, 1814, Mr. Rochester sold it to Jacob Opp, who owned it till about 1840. The mill contains three runs of stones, which are propelled by water from Little Mill creek, with a fall of thirteen and a half feet.

p. 174

Henry B. Opp (1811–1884) was born in Easton, and at the age of three, moved with his family to Dansville, New York, in Livingston county. Henry was known as a miller, though after his father sold the mill around 1840, when Henry was 29, records list Henry's occupation as farm laborer.

Around 1839, he married Susan Karcher (1818–1903), daughter of William Karcher (1782–1852) and Magdalena Welch (1786–1869). Henry and Susan are my 4th-great grandparents. They spent their entire lives in Dansville, where they had five sons and two daughters.

     I. Henry K Opp (1840–1908) served in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. He was the paymaster aboard the USS Pocahontas. After the war, he married a woman named Mary, and they settled in Wellsville, New York, where he ran a clothing store.
Jacob Edward Opp

     II. Jacob Edward Opp (1842–1913) was my 3rd-great grandfather. He married Mary Elizabeth Palmer, and we looked at their descendants in a previous post.

     III. William Opp (1845–1920) served in the 21st Regiment, New York Cavalry during the Civil War. In 1868, he married Martha E. Fenstermacher (1846–1919), and they raised three daughters:

     A. Theda W Opp (1871–1961) remained single her whole life, working for many years as a saleslady in a dry goods store in Wellsville. About her 70th year, she moved to Rockland, Maine, to live with her niece's family. She is buried in Wellsville.

     B. Adela "Addie" Opp (1873–1954) also remained single, working as a clerk or as a housekeeper to support herself. When Theda went to Maine, she appears to have gone with her, and she, too, was buried in Wellsville after her death.

     C. Edna P Opp (1877–1954) was born in Dansville, grew up in Wellsville, and married William F. Yewdall (1870–1932) in 1901. She moved to Thomaston, Maine, to live near her daughters after his death, and her sisters follow a few years later.

     i. Helen Marlee Yewdall (1908–2008) married Joel Murray Miller Jr (1908–1987), and was 100 years old when she died.

     ii. Margaret F Yewdall (1914–2011) married Dr. Frederick Collins Dennison (1908–1994). He served in the Knox County Hospital for many years. They are survived by their daughter, three grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

     IV. Amelia J. Opp (1847–1922) She married Samuel H. Peterson, whom you might recall from the post about his grandfather, Samuel Peterson, New Jersey Shipwright. Samuel (b. 1847) was five years old on the 1850 Census, but later records dispute his birth date. On the 1860 Census, Samuel and his sister, Annie, appear listed in the same James Palmer household as their grandfather, Sam Peterson. According to a newspaper obituary for Amelia, they married in 1873, and moved to New York state.

Samuel and Amelia were in Deerpark, New York, according to the 1875 New York State Census, and they were in North Dansville with their daughter and three sons in 1880. When Amelia shows up in 1900, she is listed in North Dansville as a widow, but I have not been able to find Samuel's death records. Amelia lived in North Dansville until her death in 1922, and she was buried near two of her sons in Green Mount Cemetery.

They had a daughter and three sons, altogether:

     A. Susan Peterson was born in 1874, and only appeared in the 1880 U.S. Census. It is possible that she grew up and married, or may have died young. Until some records turn up, I do not know.

     B. James Henry Peterson (1875–1942) lived in East Rochester, New York, where he likely worked for the Foster & Armstrong Company manufacturing pianos. He married Julia H Sullivan (1878–1950) about 1903, and they had five children. The couple is buried in the Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Rochester.

     i. Charles H Peterson was born about 1904, and appeared in the 1905 New State census and the 1910 and 1920 U.S. Census records with his family.

     ii. Helen Amelia Peterson (1907–1942) married Joseph Seward Little (1897–1939) in 1937. He was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War I who died just two years later while living in the Veteran's Administration facility in Tucson, Arizona; he was only 41.

     iii. James H Peterson Jr (born 1907) followed his father in the piano-building business.

     iv. George Peterson was born about 1913, and was seven years old in the 1920 U.S. Census, which is the only record I have for him.

     v. John Richard Peterson (1916–1985) married Margaret Jean Race (1926–2003) in the 1940s, and they lived in Rochester, where they raised four sons and a daughter. They were survived by their children and seven grandchildren.

     C. Samuel Hoffman Peterson (1878–1951) was a lifelong bachelor and resident of Dansville. He worked in a plant nursery for many years.

     D. Henry K Peterson (1880–1962) married Charlotte Alice "Lottie" Wilcox (1880–1964). He served as superintendent of mails at the post office at the time of his retirement, and lived in Dansville his whole life.

     V. Lewis Isaac Opp (1851–1927) was a lifelong bachelor who spent his whole life in the Dansville area. He died at 74 of a stroke.

     VI. George Benjamin Opp (born 1859) lived with his older brother, Henry, in Wellsville, from at least 1870. I have not found any records for him more recent than his appearance in Henry's household in the 1880 U.S. Census.

     VII. Mary Elizabeth Opp (1864–1867) died at age 3, and was buried in Green Mount Cemetery, in Dansville, near her parents.

 - -- --- -- - 

There you have it - to me, it always seems like a lot of names, but also a lot of "lifelong bachelors," which makes finding modern cousins tricky. I especially dislike having so many mysterious loose ends, but until more records are online - or I find time to travel around the Eastern seaboard! - they will remain mysterious.

Of course, if you recognize any of these folks from your own research, I'd love to hear from you. I welcome any corrections and updates.

You can reach me at my Gmail address, callintad, or through the comment section below. I'm also on Twitter @tadmaster, and on Facebook. (Be prepared to tell me how we're related before I approve any Facebook requests, though - a boy can't be too careful these days.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

James C. Palmer and Martha Peterson

James C Palmer was born in April 1814 in New York. He married Martha Peterson (1815–1882) around 1836; they are my 4th-great grandparents. Our previous post focused on Martha's father, Samuel Peterson, and on his descendants.

I know very little about James Palmer, as the earliest record I have found online that identifies him is the 1860 U.S. Census. He appears in four of the U.S. Census records (1860, 1870, 1880, and 1900), three state census records (two for New Jersey, and one for New York), and about 16 city directories, so we know that he was born in New York state (the minority of records say New Jersey), that he worked as a shipwright, like his father-in-law, and that from 1871 forward, he and his family lived in Jersey City, New Jersey.

The family's first documented appearance was in Washington, Middlesex county, New Jersey, in 1860, according to the U.S. Census. The household in that record included Martha's father, niece, and nephew. Sam Peterson died in 1862, and in 1865, the remaining Palmer family (plus two Petersons) lived in Brooklyn, New York, according to that year's State Census. By 1870, they were in Jersey City, and all of the subsequent records show James living there.

James and Martha had four daughters, spread out over 19 years. When Martha died in 1882, at age 66, James lived on his own for about ten years, but eventually went to live with his second-youngest daughter, Sarah Decker.  He died in 1904 at the impressive age of 90.

I. Mary Elizabeth Palmer (1837–1889)

Jacob E. Opp, about 1910
Sources are pretty evenly split on the subject of where Mary was born; most records say New York, a few say New Jersey. As with her father, the earliest record I have that lists Mary is the 1860 U.S. Census. She appears three times in the U.S. Census (1860, 1870, and 1880) and once in the New York State Census (1865). The only other records I have is of her death, in the New Jersey, Deaths and Burials Index, 1798-1971.

Mary Elizabeth married Jacob Edward Opp (1842–1913) about 1867. (They are my 3rd-great grandparents.) Jacob was a Civil War veteran and railroad engineer from North Dansville, Livingston county, New York, and his pension record from the National Archives was very helpful to me when I began researching this branch of the family. I'll talk more about him and his ancestors in future posts.

Mary and Jacob had three children, two daughters and a son. They raised their family in Paterson, Pasaic county, New Jersey, but also appear to have been close to the Opp family in Dansville. After Mary died in 1889, Jacob relocated from Paterson to his daughter's home in Newark, but still appeared in the U.S. Census in his mother's household in Dansville on the 1900, as did his daughter's family (the Freys).

The records imply that Jacob never stopped working as an engineer, driving trains right up until his death from pneumonia on 17 July 1913.

     A. Lillie May Opp (1868–1881) died young, only aged 13 years 6 months. She is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Dansville, Livingston county, New York.

     B. James Henry Opp (1870–1941) married three times, and had a total of eight children. Because marriage and birth records were sparse, I can't be sure that I correctly associated children with the correct mother, so please let me know in the comment section at the bottom of this post if I need to make any updates.

James was born in Dansville on 11 March 1870, and grew up in Paterson. His first marriage was on 14 July 1889, when he married his cousin, Evelyn Stevens (b. 1870). His mother died in September of that year.

James and Evelyn had two children together, but did not stay together for very long. Evelyn remarried in 1900, and we will discuss her later in this post.

     1. Richard Dana Opp (1890–1944) was born 11 August 1890 in Jersey City, and married Helen Platt (1886–1965) in 1913. A few years later, he joined the New York National Guard in 1917, where he served in the 7th Infantry as a corporal. A couple of years later, he joined his father in relocating to Elmira, New York, where he worked for the Aluminum Ware Manufacturing Company.

I don't know when they were married, but in 1920, he was listed in the U.S. Census with his second wife, Anna S Klein (1890–1973), and in 1922, Helen Platt Opp took her father-in-law, James H. Opp, to court over an unspecified debt.

     a. Richard Dana Opp Jr. (1917–1991) was born on July 22, 1917, in Bronx, New York. He entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1937, and would eventually retire from the U.S. Marine Corps at the rank of Lt. Colonel. He and his wife, Ruth O'Connor (1913–2002), had one son and one daughter, both of whom are still living. He died on February 13, 1991, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, at the age of 73, and was buried in Arlington, Virginia.


     b. Edna Mae Opp (1920–1993) was born on March 28, 1920, in Elmira, New York. She worked in a credit union until World War II broke out, and she then enlisted in the Women's Army Corps (W.A.C.). After the war, her arthritis forced her to move to a hot, dry climate, and so she relocated to El Paso, Texas. She lived there with her mother until Anna's death in 1973. Edna died on June 2, 1993, in El Paso, Texas, at the age of 73, and was buried there.

     2. Lillian Elizabeth Opp (b. 1893) married William Corwin Johnson Jr (b. 1888) in 1916, and we know they had a son (possibly still living), and two daughters: Charlotte Elaine Johnson Bloch (1917–1989) and Lillian Joy Johnson  Franklin (1921–2003).
   
James married his second wife, Lillian Jones (1871–1915), on 20 January 1896.  James worked in New York City, and the family lived in Newark, New Jersey. In 1900, James's company, Opp & Grundy, went into bankruptcy. Still, he worked hard and eventually got back on his feet.

They had five children before Lillian's death in 1915.

     3. Julian Theyer Opp (1899–1978) was a mechanic who lived in Union county, New Jersey. He married Charlotte L Jacques (1913–1997) around 1930, and they had two daughters, who may still be living.

     4. Lucinda Opp (1901–1902) died before her first birthday, and was buried in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Westchester County, New York.

     5. Emily A Opp (1904–1917) was born on 23 February 1904 in Kings county, New York. She died just over a month before her thirteenth birthday on 15 January 1917, and was also buried in Sleepy Hollow.

     6. Stanley Walter Opp (1912–2001) was born in New York City, and grew up in Newark, where he met his wife, Eleanor Bertha Ficke (1915–2004). They married around 1937, then lived in Denville, New Jersey, from 1944 until 1973. He was a warehouse supervisor at Bendix Corp. in Teterboro for 29 years, retiring in 1971. They had two children, one son, Stanley Charles Opp (1938–1993), and a daughter, still living.

Stanley and Eleanor then moved to Tuckerton, New Jersey, where he was a licensed optician. They lived there from 1973 until 1989, and retired to Mount Bethel, Pennsylvania. He received his optician degree from Camden Community College in 1980. He also owned and operated, with his late son, the Stanley Shell, later known as Stanley's Sunoco, in Denville.

     7. Dorothy Opp (b. 1915) remains a bit of a mystery; her brother Stanley's 2001 obituary mentioned her (as "Dorothy Campbell") and said she died previously, but did not say when. And she appeared in the 1940 Census in her younger brother James's household in Hillside, New Jersey, where her surname looks like "Comboy" (possibly a mis-hearing of "Campbell").

After the 1915 death of Lillian, James H. Opp's third marriage was to Jessica Viola "Jessie" Owens (1896–1987). They had one son in 1917, and then about a year after that, in 1918, James and his business associates took over the Aluminum War Manufacturing Company headquartered in Elmira, New York. James and his family all relocated to Elmira, and James purchased the famous Glove House there.

James's oldest son, Richard D., worked for him at this company, and James soon took over as president of the company from his partners. But within a couple of years, questions over the company's finances led to the Opps giving up control of the company, and moving back to New Jersey. It isn't clear that anyone did anything wrong, but the newspapers of the time implied that this was a local controversy.

     8. James Henry Opp Jr (1917–2010) married Shirley Cole (1920–1986), and they had two children: a daughter, still living, and a son, James Michael Opp (1956–1989). The family lived in Southern California from the mid-1950s, and James and Shirley are buried in Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, Los Angeles county.

     C. Emily Amelia Opp (1871–1913) married Emil C Frey; they are my 2nd-great grandparents, so I will cover their family in more detail in future posts. I told much of Emil's story here on the blog a few years ago in Love and Loss in Old New York (and New Jersey).

II. Emily M. Palmer (b. 1842)

Emily married Alexander Charles Radcliffe (1819–1900)  on November 5, 1871, in Jersey City, New Jersey. They had one son, Loder B Radcliffe born and died in 1873. After Alexander's death, Emily was living in Philadelphia, where she was last seen in 1912. I have not found any record of her death.

III. Sarah D. Palmer (b. 1854)

Sarah was born in May 1854 in New Jersey, and she married James L W Decker (b. 1858) on October 9, 1884, in Jersey City, New Jersey. They had four children in 11 years. They appeared together with their children in the 1900 and 1910 U.S. Census, and on birth and death records for the three younger children; there is also a marriage record for them in the New Jersey, Marriage Records, 1670-1965 database.

I don't know precisely when Sarah or James died, but she is listed in a U.S. City Directory at their home on Graham St. in 1918 as "wid. Jas. W." - and she appears in the 1930 Census in the household of her son-in-law, John T. Denmead.

     A. Theresa Decker (b. 1885) last appears in her parents' home on the 1910 U.S. Census, where they lived on Graham St. in Jersey City. She is single and 25 years old, with no listed occupation.

     B. Gordon Thayer Decker (1888–1952) married Marie Augusta Harnisch (1892–1972) on 21 December 1915, and they lived in the house on Graham St. with his parents. Gordon and Marie soon had their daughter, and they moved to East Orange around 1920. Gordon worked as a machinist and engineer until the 1940s, when he and Marie appear to have retired, either to San Diego, or to New York. Marie appears in both New Jersey and San Diego on the 1940 Census; in New Jersey, she lived with Gordon and her elderly parents, and in San Diego, she lived with her daughter and son-in-law.

Gordon died 8 April 1952, and was buried in San Diego, and Marie died there in 1972.

     1. Lois Decker (1917–1977) married Robert Edward Cullmer (1911–1968) of Montclair, New Jersey, probably in 1935. They moved to San Diego, California, where their son was born: Robert Morrison Cullmer (1937–2001).

     C. Grace P Decker (1889) died in June 1889 at five months of age.

     D. Caroline C Decker 1897–1993) was born on March 10, 1897, in Jersey City, New Jersey. She married John Tennant Denmead, Jr. (1894–1939) about 1921. They had six sons between 1922 and 1939, when John died. One son is still living.

Caroline remarried Julius Leo Briegel (1898-1977), and lived in Netcong, New Jersey, for many years. She was an assistant librarian at the Netcong Library from 1957 to 1967. She was a member of the Netcong Board of Education from 1950 to 1967, and served on the Juvenile Conference Committee of Morris County Juvenile Court from 1960 to 1965. She was a World War II Gold Star Mother and a past president and member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Lakeland Post 2347 Ladies' Auxiliary of Netcong.

She died in 1993 in Passaic, New Jersey, at the age of 96, and was buried in Netcong, New Jersey.

     1. John T Denmead III (1922–2013) was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, and lived most of his life in the Netcong/Stanhope area. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps. during WW II as a water survival instructor in Fresno, California. After the war, Jack worked as a salesman for Vita Frost Frozen Foods until it closed. He then worked as Superintendent of Building and Grounds with Lenape Valley Regional High School for over 25 years before retiring in 1987.

Jack was well known in his community for his historical knowledge of lakes Musconetcong and Hopatcong. He conducted water safety instruction for the Sussex County American Red Cross, certifying lifeguards in the area.

Jack married Patricia Jane Black (1923–1993) in 1943, and was survived by his brother, three children, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

     2. Donald R Denmead (1923–1943) enlisted in the Army Air Corps, and served as a ball turret gunner on the B-17 #4230872, 'Ole Puss,' which collided with another aircraft on 16 December 1943. The plane crashed into North Sea, and Sgt. Denmead was lost with the rest of the crew.

     3. James G Denmead (1928–2013) James served in the Marine Corps during World War II, and married Doris Louise Tobin (1923–2002) on 11 October 1952. He worked for Fablock Mills in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey, as a computer data and construction manager. He was a member of the Warren Township American Legion Post 293. In his spare time he enjoyed oil painting, and sang with  the Hounds for Harmony Barbershop Chorus in Plainfield, New Jersey.

James and Doris are survived by their daughter.

     4. Bruce P Denmead (1933–1991) was born on June 12, 1933, in Dover, New Jersey, and lived in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, much of his life. He was a dispatcher at Jersey Central Power & Light Co. in Phillipsburg for 28 years before retiring in 1986. He was a member of Westley United Methodist Church in Phillipsburg. He also was a Cub Scout Webelos leader for Pack 62 in Budd Lake.

He died on January 20, 1991, at the age of 57, and was buried in Easton, Pennsylvania. He is survived by his wife, a son, four daughters, and seven grandchildren.

     6. Harry Wadsworth Denmead (1939–2008) was born on April 21, 1939, in Dover, New Jersey. He married Mary Ann Parliment (1940–2013) on 24 October 1958 in Vance, North Carolina, and enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1963-1965. They resided in Netcong prior to moving to the Budd Lake section of Mount Olive Township, New Jersey, in 1965.

Mary Ann was a nurse, working for many years at Dover General and Karen Ann Quinlin Hospice. Harry retired in 1998 after 38 years as a production planner with Westinghouse in Randolph. He was a life member of Stanhope United Methodist Church in Stanhope, and he was a member of the Barber Shop Harmony Society for 50 years.

Harry died on Wednesday afternoon, Oct 1, 2008, at St Clare's Hospital, Denville, after a short illness. MaryAnn died on Friday morning, April 19, 2013 at her home in Netcong after a long illness. They were survived by a son, two daughters, and two grand-children.

IV. Carrie W. Palmer (b. 1856)

When Carrie Palmer married Charles H Stevens (1840–1921) on October 8, 1879, in Jersey City, New Jersey, she was 22 years old. He was a boot & shoe maker with two children from a previous marriage. They had two more children.

Carrie's new step-children were William A. Stevens (b. 1866) and Evelyn Stevens (b. 1870). She is the Evelyn Stevens who married her step-cousin, James Henry Opp (1870–1941). After they divorced, Evelyn remarried George W. Gifford (b. 1868) on 11 August 1900.

Carrie died in 1931 in New Jersey at the age of 75, and was buried in Morristown, New Jersey.

     A. Charles H Stevens Jr. (1882–1923) married Jeannette "Jennie" Kalshoven (1886–1979) in 1908. He worked as a bank clerk, and died at only 41 years of age. They were survived by a son, Charles H Stevens (1910–1985).

     B. Clara R H Stevens (b. 1892) married William Fredrick Wing (1889–1942) on 22 December 1912, and they appeared together in her parents' household on the 1920 U.S. Census - but by 1922, William was no longer listed in Jersey City with Clara. He seems to have remarried by 1925. The last record I have of Clara is her listing in the 1922 U.S. City Directory for Jersey City, living in her parents' home on Grant St.

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As you can imagine, this is a very time consuming project! I'm planning to continue, but it certainly won't be a weekly exercise.

If you're a relative of any of the people named here, I am always eager to hear from cousins - especially if they can help me fix any mistakes I might have made in the course of my research.

If you've had your DNA tested through FTDNA.com, look for me in your Matches; you can reach me through my "callintad" Gmail address (listed there on my profile, too) or you can drop a comment below.