Loyalist to Mormon – Syphers continued

I’ve decided to really dig in to this branch of my family because it is so intriguing, has several plot twists, and is an international thriller (from New Brunswick to Maine, Ohio, Utah, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and Minnesota).  These Syphers relatives seem to have it all.

So in the last post, I found the Loyalist claim that Lodewyck Syphers had made in 1784 to the British Crown for compensation for his “losses to the Rebellion”.  They were settled around the Grand Lake/Gagetown/Jemseg area just downriver from Fredericton (sorry, just need to post another beautiful picture to remind me to plan a visit)


Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons
Grand Lake, NB via wikipedia commons

So Lodewyck Syphers’s eldest granddaughter, Sarah Ferndon Syphers, married a William Henry Earl in 1814ish and they became part of the Mormon Pioneers – William was baptized in 1843 as a member of the Ordained Seventy, ordained in the Nauvoo temple in 1846, and made the Mormon Trek to Utah.

William and Sarah were married in New Brunswick, where their first four children were born, then they moved to Scarborough, Ontario in 1823 (birth records are so useful for tracking migrations), where their next six children were born. I assume this is where they became familiar with the Mormon religion as they then picked up and moved to the Nauvoo Temple in Illinois where Sarah was baptized in 1841. They may have been baptized in Toronto as well?  From “The History of the Church in Canada”  –

“Parley P. Pratt’s 1836 mission to Toronto was equally impressive. One of the first people baptized in Toronto, Isabella Walton was the key to several important conversions. She introduced her brother, Isaac Russell and his friend Joseph Fielding to Elder Pratt, and before long, they joined the Church. Her friend John Taylor and Joseph Fielding’s sisters Mary and Mercy also joined. Branches were organized in Toronto, Scarborough, Churchville, and Markham.”

I happened to check the Cypher spelling in the LDS temple records index that I’m browsing and found a bunch of baptisms at the Nauvoo Temple in 1841!  They all were at the instance of Sarah Syphers Earl – William, her father, Lodavich, her grandfather, William, her great uncle, and Elizabeth, her great aunt.  Now I know these baptisms weren’t in person, as they all were not living.  It seems in 1841, Joseph Smith revealed the ‘baptism for the dead’ doctrine  – so Sarah was able to act as a proxy for her deceased family members.  Interesting who she chose or didn’t choose, isn’t it?

members performing baptisms for the dead via lds.org


I don’t mean to spend too much time on an indirect line, but I find that information can be pieced together when every angle is approached.  So we have established that the elder sister of my 3rd great grandfather was heavily entrenched in the Mormon community.  Now let’s see if any other siblings followed… stay tuned for next time!





American Loyalist Claims – Lodewick Syphers, my 5th ggpa

I’ve written about my Dutch ancestors of Sleepy Hollow and how they were prominent settlers of the Tarrytown/Poughkeepsie area in the late 16- early 1700s.  That side is named ‘Storm’ and here is my mother and I during our trip to Sleepy Hollow last year repping the family crypt: (it was around Halloween and the cemetery was quite busy, headless horseman and all you know…)

But today’s story is about the descendant side of Petronella ‘Nelle’ Storm, granddaughter of the above Dirck Storm, and her marriage to William Syphers (sometimes seen as Cyphers, as in my other post) around 1732.

Their son, Lodywyck, (Lodewick, Lodewyck (etc., etc.,) was born in 1737, married at the Reformed Dutch Church in Hackensack, NY, in 1770 and then fled to New Brunswick as a Loyalist.  I’ve really been fascinated with this part, wanting to know the reasoning and the drama, I’m sure it was quite horrible.  It’s made a great story too, telling people that my Dutch ancestors were Loyalists and fled to Canada and settled a place off the Saint John River called “Syphers Cove” (yes it’s still there – need to plan a visit!)

Saint John River near Fredericton, photo courtesy of Canoe New Brunswick

So today, I just decided to revisit ye olde Syphers side on my family tree to see if there was any new info to be found, when up popped up the “American Loyalist Claims” for Lodewick Sypher.  Amazing!

To the Commissioners appointed by Act of Parliament to inquire into the Losses and Services of the American Loyalists.

–The Memorial of Lodewick Sypher late of the Province of New York but now of Nova Scotia


That your Memorialist was ever uniformly and steadily attached to His Majesty’s Person, and the British Government, and was opposed to the measures of the American Congress.  That he joined the Royal Army in 1776 and rendered them every service in his power for the suppression of the Rebellions and the reestablishment of the British Government in America.

That in 1770 he was attainted by a Law of the State of New York – for having joined the British Army, and, his Property an account and appraisement of which is herewith presented, was Confiscated, Sold, and applied to the use of the State.

That your Memorialist has thereby lost his <underlined>all and is reduced to great Want, and Distress, and by the unfortunate determination of the Rebellion, he has been obliged to leave his Native Country, and has removed to Nova Scotia.  In full confidence that he will there have extended to him the benefit of the late Act of Parliament for the Relief of the American Loyalists.  He prays that you will take his case into consideration in order that he may be enabled under your report to recieve such aid, and relief, as his Losses and Services may be found to deserve.  He further prays that time may be allowed him to produce further Proofs of the Facts contained in this Memorial of also of his losses by the Rebellion.

–Lodewick Sypher, by his attorney, Isaac Ogden

Newman Street No. 64

19 March 1784

So this gives a bit more info – I’d like to find out where their land was, and what occupation Lodewick followed, etc.  He stayed in Nova Scotia up to his death in 1822, when one of his sons, William Syphers, moved a few miles west into Houlton, Maine and my line continued from there.  That line became Mormon which makes for another interesting story that needs much more research…

Until then.

Tuesday Twigs: Creative Muses

Everyone should be listening to their muse and expressing outwardly their creative juices.  Too often we do not.

Clio, muse of History
Clio, muse of history, my inspiration; image in public domain

I thought today to climb around in my family tree looking for ways that my ancestors expressed the creative.  Let’s sing, dance, and be merry!

In the 1950s, my 2nd cousin once removed, Verjean Mardelle Rancore (such a creative name, right?) sang at 4-H meetings, was in the 4-H sewing club, and was cast in her high school play, “Aaron Slick from Pumpkin Creek”.  In 1956, she was cast as Aunt March in the all-girl production of “Little Women” at Falls City (Oregon) High School.  [1]

She won the ‘Homemaker of Tomorrow” contest at her high school in 1956 (love that name, huh?) and was eligible for a scholarship and a trip across the United States. [2]  Verjean was valedictorian of her 1956 graduating class and attended Pacific University at Forest Grove, Oregon, where she studied optometry. [3] [4]

She married Charles Simpson in 1960 and disappeared from the newspapers.  Then this from the 11 May 1963 Oregon Statesman:

verjean Rancore

But then look what I found from the Pacific University online site!!

“Boxer Love Story: Jean (Rancore) Simpson ’60 and Chuck Simpson ’60, O.D. ’61

by Jean (Rancore) Simpson ’60
Friday, February 14, 2014

Chuck and I attended Pacific from 1956-1960. We worked at the movie theaters in Forest Grove to put ourselves through College. Chuck was an optometry student and I graduated as a secondary teacher. Meeting at the theater and working together for 3 years, we became good friends. I had a few different boyfriends at that time and never thought of Chuck in that way. We made a bet my senior year on a Pacific football game. I lost and had to buy us coffee; that was our first date.

He asked me to a dorm party for Christmas, and by the time Christmas break was over, he had asked me to marry him. I said yes but we didn’t announce our engagement (because in those days, you announced it in a special way at a sorority meeting, etc.). My roommate had gotten engaged over vacation, and I didn’t want to steal her thunder. I got my ring from Chuck on the second of February; he couldn’t wait until Valentine’s Day as he had planned. We announced our engagement and planned an August wedding.  As the end of school approached, we decided separate summer homes and a big wedding was a waste of money, so we made plans for May 7.  We were married in Old College Hall on May 7, 1960 and spent a weekend honeymoon at the Oregon coast. We graduated with a BS a couple weeks later.  Another year at Pacific got Chuck his OD and boards passed. Then we left for the Army in Penn. where our 1st child was born.

We eventually settled in Baker City, OR (on the dry side) with 2 daughters and a very happy life. Chuck died in 2003, long before he should have. We had been married 43 years. I still remember our days at Pacific and wish he were here.”

So I guess this turned into more of a quick biography than a melange of creative glitter – thank you for your indulgence.  I guess this could be a theme as I am always looking for those special details about people.  Creativity manifests in so many different ways and the outlets certainly change according to the times.  How will your creativity be remembered by the future historians?



1 –  The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] Wed 25 Jun 1952 pg 15: Newspapers.com

2 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] Wed 31 May 1950,pg 2: Newspapers.com

3 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] 7 May 1956, Sun, pg 11: Newspapers.com

4 – The Oregon Statesman [Salem, OR] 13 Sep 1956, Thurs pg 9: Newspapers.com

5 – http://www.pacificu.edu/about-us/news-events/boxer-love-story-jean-rancore-simpson-60-and-chuck-simpson-60-od-61



Tuesday Twigs: The Fuller Family Mystery

As you may have seen, last week I helped plan and attend a family reunion near Fort Dodge, Iowa.  One of the many fantastic experiences was dropping by the Webster County museum in Otho, Iowa and talking with the docents there.  Upon hearing that we were related to the Fullers of the region, they picked up the phone and called Roma Fuller to come down and talk to us!  Now I knew that there were three branches of Fullers living in and around Otho township at the same time:  our David Fuller, a Sylvester Fuller, and a Clark Fuller.  It turned out that Roma was descended from the Sylvester Fuller line and generously sent me a packet of information this week detailing her lines.

I hadn’t devoted much time to sussing out where those Fuller lines connected, if at all, so figured I might as well, since Roma had contacted two other of her Fuller cousins with instructions to contact me and I’ve since had a phone message and an email message!  The universe is telling me to work on this!

Talk about dopplegangers – my David Fuller was born in 1823 in New York, died in 1900 in (Otho) Iowa, the father of the other Sylvester Fuller, David Fuller was born in 1823 in New York, and died in 1900 in (Dubuque) Iowa.  Eerie.

Alright, sometimes I make things too tough.  There it is, when I search my Lindstrom family tree:  Sylvester Fuller, paternal grandfather of husband of sister-in-law of 1st cousin 2x removed.  Yikes – that’s not complicated. But it still doesn’t mean that there isn’t another relationship between the same-generation Fullers.  Onward.  Okay, it looks like this line is too far apart for a reasonably close connection.  Sylvester’s grandfather was born in Vermont in 1793 and my Fullers of that generation were all in Leyden, Massachusetts.  I’m sure they are connected somehow, but I don’t have the time or inclination to go down that rabbit hole.

The other candidate is Clark Fuller, who was born in 1794 in New York.  From my Lindstrom family tree he is my paternal grandfather of husband of sister-in-law of 2nd great-uncle.  His parents were Cornelius and Zilpha Knapp. Cornelius’ father was John Fuller, born in Hebron, CT and died in Dutchess County, NY.  (I’m going with established family trees for reference for efficiency, and if I find anything, then go into any primary sources that are available) Looks like the same story… I’d have to wade into the thicket of branches and sort through all the dead wood.  

I guess it would be nice to find out what relationship there is between Roma Fuller and I, since she did take the time to send me her tree info.  Again, there’s nothing direct.  Her husband is the husband of the sister-in-law of my 1st cousin 2x removed.

I’ll send her the cliff notes.

image courtesy of BionicBotanist (CC attribution)
 UPDATE:  I’ve since connected to Roma Fuller via facebook and corrected her family connections.  She’s the wife of nephew of husband of sister-in-law of my 1st cousin 2x removed!


Tuesday Twigs: Family Reunion!

Dave Fort dodge 003
Lindstrom cousins, Fort Dodge Iowa; image via personal collection

We had a Lindstrom family reunion over the weekend in Fort Dodge, Iowa.  Although none of us currently reside there, it was the place where the Oscar Lindstrom and Alta Fuller met and married.  I, being the family genealogist, had charge of all the historical bits and bobs.  I’ll have to tell you the story of the above picture, of which I am especially proud.

I had created a ‘tour map’ of the Otho township area in Webster County, marking pertinent places such as the cemetery (where we placed flowers on family graves), the church where the said marriage took place, and farm locations from 1909.  We decided to do a scouting mission on Friday night after we got to Fort Dodge, to make certain that the roads were still open and accessible .  I knew the land where the first farm had been was vacant, just land now, but the second farm had buildings (thanks to google maps!).  We drove on the dusty gravel roads and located the farm – did I see old buildings back there?  We pulled in to check it out – although my kids did not share my enthusiasm, I got out to see if the owners were about.

The current owners were there and I had a great conversation with Debbie Krug.  She was absolutely enthusiastic when I asked if we could all visit the following day and even showed me the original barn and corncrib on the property!  What a find!

The next day, when our convoy of seven cars arrived, she graciously allowed us all the time we needed to tromp around and look at the barn boards, etc.  We have several cousins in the construction industry and also many who grew up on farms, so there were plenty of examinations and discussions!  She even took our picture (above) in front of the old corncrib!  And gave me copies of the original chain of deeds to the property!

This was really a lesson to me in the power of asking and approaching people.  This amazing opportunity, which some cousins said just made the whole reunion for them, would never have happened had I not the social courage gained from years of navigating and publicizing my own historical research business.  When you love what you do, the enthusiasm is contagious. Yay!

Tuesday Twigs: Wedding dresses

from personal collection

So this is my first cousin 2x removed Iona Kallstrom wearing the wedding dress of her grandmother, my great-great grandmother Marian Syphers Fuller (for fun?).  Marian was married to LeMay Fuller on 12 December 1883 in Scranton, Iowa.  This picture was taken in the mid-1940s, so the dress would have been about 60 years old – how vintage!

from personal collection

This is me wearing my grandmother’s wedding dress for my wedding in 1996.  Eleanor Johnson and Oscar Christenson were married 28 October 1940 in Mahnomen, MN.  Just as vintage as when cousin Iona wore her grandmother’s dress!

Even though I don’t have any pictures (yet!) of the original brides in these dresses, it is fun to see them being worn by the next generations.  Do you have any wearable heirlooms?

Tuesday Twigs: Cold branches


tree” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by  .christoph.G. 

I’m helping to organize a family reunion this summer and am trying to fill out those branches that the family has lost touch with over the years.  It is really challenging detective work to suss out living people and connections and places but the internet and social media are a godssend for research like this!

So the question is, once I’ve found long lost relatives on places like facebook, how do I approach them without sounding creepy or stalkerish?  I really do want to reconnect with them and let them know about our mutual family tree and the upcoming reunion.

Have you had success with the ‘cold call’ approach for long lost relatives?  What suggestions do you have for making the best approach?  Thanks for all your help and I’ll surely let you know how it goes!