Search billions of records on


Volume 11 Issue 9                                                                           September 2006




Philena Wiser, widow of Josiah Wiser (son of Benjamin Wiser Senior)


Last month, I wrote about Philena Wiser, wife of Josiah, who resided in Campbell Township, Steuben County, NY in 1850.  Further research shows that she was residing in Lindley Township, Steuben County in 1840.  This would indicate that by 1840, she was widowed.  Therefore, Josiah must have passed away between 1830 and 1840.  In 1840, in Philena’s household was 1 male, 20 to 30 years of age (this may be Thomas Ferry), 1 female, age 5 to 10 years of age (I don’t know who this is, a daughter that I was unaware of) and 1 female 40 to 50 years of age (this is Philena).  Lorenzo would have been 18 (so I’m not sure where he was living in 1840, maybe with a relative or as an apprentice to someone, or he was the one male, 20 to 30 years of age).  I searched a number of records but could not find Philena or Thomas Ferry living in Steuben County after 1850.


Account Books of Truxton, NY (Kingsleys, Samuel Wiser, John Rainbow)


I made a quick trip to New York and Salt Lake City this past week.  For those I didn’t get to see in New York, I apologize; but it was a fly in one day, stay a couple of days, fly out the next day, type of trip.  I did review a couple of records that I had not seen before, one was an account book for Truxton, New York recorded by the overseers of the poor, dated 1808-1839.  Of course, knowing the economic circumstances of our family, I was not disappointed in what I found.


From the first page, on “8th Apr 1808, John Kingsley chosen overseer of the poor said town that year”.  Rather interesting as I have believed that John Kingsley was the father of Simeon and the rest of the Kingsley children, but to this point in time, had never found a record documenting that John Kingsley was actually living in Truxton, but this record shows that John was there by 1808.  On the same page, “dew from Simmeon Kingsley on a bond given to the Town of Truxton seventy five cent for bail for Wm Herrington.”


There is a notation that  “temporary relief was granted to John Rainbow for $6.95.”


Also in the record (there are no pages recorded) “paupers released 9th April 1832 Samuel Wiser released by order of Justice Fergurson, $6.00.”  I am not sure how this all works, but if the town paid for the housing of the poor, then those who housed them were paid, and this record would indicate that Samuel was released from the debt that was owed. 


Later on, 15th Aug 1832, Polly Crandal released by order of Justice Fergerson, $18.97. 


Now what I believe is a very important record for our family as we believe our Samuel died in 1834 per family records; “Truxton February 24th 1835, this day settled with the overseer of the poor of Truxton and find due to the said overseers of the poor the sum of two hundred and fifteen dollars and eight five cents when they shall have paid all the foregoing accounts; Timothy Hulbert, supervisor, John Pierce, William Blanchard, Justices, Increase M. Hooker, and Stephen Bogardus, overseers of the poor; …by temporary relief to Widow Wiser , .84 [84 cents], by temporary relief to Amanda Wiser, paid to Ellis Maxson, cash $12, clothing $8.59, total $20.59.   I believe that this record is referring to our Betsey (Babcock) Wiser who would have been a widow in 1835.  Imagine caring for her seven children on 84 cents.  I believe that Amanda Wiser is the wife of James Wiser and I’m not sure if by this time she had separated from him.  


Baptist Church Records of Truxton, New York (Crandalls, Schellingers, Morses)


I had previously gone through these books, but they were so hard to read that I had missed a number of family members who I found mentioned when I looked at the original books. 


This is from the Book of Records of the Baptist Church of Christ of Truxton, Dec. 26, 1829;” Lord’s Day, March 22, 1835; the following persons were baptized, Sue Crandal (this is Susan Babcock, wife of Asa Crandall, and sister of our Betsey who married Samuel Wiser),…Amanda Wiser” (this is the same Amanda Wiser named above.


From further in the record, “the following persons were baptized, Betsey Kingsley, Mariette Shellinger, …April 10th, Lord’s Day, July 7th, a request was presented for a letter for Br. [Brother] Asa Crandall & postponed till next chh [church] meeting, Saturday, Dec 21, 1839, in stated chh meeting, …2nd-the case of Br. Asa Crandall, letter of dismission postponed till next chh meeting, Eld. [Elder] Purinton agrees to write him a private letter.”


At the end of this book, “A list of the names of the male member of the Baptist chh of Truxton August first 1830, Benjamin Crandell died, Justus Crandall, d. [dead], David Crandal, females joined the chh 1830 by baptism, Mailine Skellinger, Asa Crandal [obviously not a female], Sophia Skellinger, Mrs. Morse (this is Alathea Wiser Morse], 11 Nov 1838, received Alathear Morse by letter, 1835, Jan 30, members received by baptism, females, Susanna Crandall, Amandy Wiser, Mariett Scellinger, Betsy Kingsley.


From a latter book, dated April 1861; members Baptist Church,Truxton, Maline Schellinger, died 1873, Mrs. M. Schellinger, died 1874, widow Albro [I believe this may be Sabra Morse Albro, daughter of Luther and Alathea Wiser Morse], Lydia Albro Barnes, Truman Albro excluded Oct 26th 1861, Mrs. T.[Truman] Albro, Jane Albro. 


Truxton School Commissioners Records, 1815-1843 (James Albro)


This was a copy of the original records and very difficult to read.  There was some information about the number of students, etc., but I couldn’t really read all of the columns:


All years he was commissioner for School District No. 19:

1821-Jas. Albro, $4.38 library, $23.56.

1824, April 3, James Albro, $14.38

1829, James Albro, $8.95

1836, Jas. Albro, $10.36


Even when we believe that we have researched every record in Cortland County, we continue to find additional items about our family. Keep researching and let me know if you ever find more on our family in its early days.




Please accept our condolences to those who recently lost family members.


Waterville, ME Morning Sentinel, 6 Jun 2006; St. Albans-Ralph C. Ward, 90, a resident of Nokomis Road, died peacefully Sunday, June 4, 2006, at a Pittsfield hospital surrounded by his family. Born in Troy on Oct. 6, 1915, he was a son of Fred and Ethel Hunt Ward. Ralph graduated from Unity High School with the class of 1934. He was employed by Hood Dairy as a creamery worker in Unity for 12 years, and then in Newport for more than 20 years, where he retired in 1980. Mr. Ward enjoyed bowling and playing cards all his life. He was a past member of the Star in the West Masonic Lodge A.F. & A.M. No. 45 in Unity. He was predeceased by his wife, Marjorie (his wife, Marjorie Evie Atwood’s ancestry to Benjamin Wiser Sr, her mother, Ina Maude Wiser, Elmer P. Wiser, Solomon Wiser, Benjamin Wiser Jr., Benjamin Wiser Sr.), and a brother, Stanley Ward; two sons-in law, George Goodblood and Merton Spencer. Ralph is survived by four children, two sons, Arnold Ward of New Jersey, and Reuel Ward of Skowhegan, and two daughters, Virginia Goodblood of St. Albans, and Gloria Spencer of Hancock; five grandchildren, Diane Chabot of Dexter, Douglas Ward of New Jersey, Heather Ward of Palmyra, and Paula and Damon Ward, both of Skowhegan; three stepgrandchildren, Peter Swanson, Dwayne and Kathie Goodblood; three great-grandchildren; a sister, Avis Farwell of Falmouth; several nieces and nephews; and two special friends, Barney and Mary Hall. Visiting hours will be 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, June 7, at Donald H. Shorey Funeral Chapel, 35 Hartland Ave., Pittsfield. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday, June 8, at the funeral home with the Rev. Randy Hall Officiating. Interment will follow at the Village Cemetery in Palmyra. Arrangements are entrusted to Donald H. Shorey Funeral Chapel, 35 Hartland Ave., Pittsfield. 


Burley ID South Idaho Press, 25 Sep 2005; Rupert - "Ray" Raymond L. Commons, a long time resident of Rupert, Idaho, passed away on September 19, 2005, at his home in Rupert after a courageous battle with cancer.  He was born in Baxter Springs, Kansas, on October 29, 1925 to Raymond R. and Ruby Vaughn Commons. At age 16, he left Kansas to move to California to work in the ship yards in San Diego. He was a certified pipe fitter. He enjoyed the work in San Diego. Soon after he moved there, World War II broke out and he joined the Army Air Corps.  After the war, he went to college in Kansas. After college, he came to Idaho to be with his father, Raymond R. Commons, and help him with The Commons Drilling Company. His father was working with Julion Clawsen on the "Minidoka Project," which was designed to expand irrigation in Minidoka County. His main occupation was helping his father drill wells, opening up the valley to farming, dairies, and other agriculture projects that have literally put the word "potato" on the map for Idaho.  In 1947 he met Violet Hendricks (her ancestry to Benjamin Wiser Sr., her father Lorin Vern Hendricks, Alla Arminda Wiser Hendricks, John McCormick Wiser, Samuel Wiser, Benjamin Wiser Sr.) of Rupert, and they were married in April 1948. He continued to work with his father for several years, drilling wells all through the valley and in southeastern Idaho - drilling literally hundreds of wells through his life time.  At one point, he opened the Firestone Tire and Retread Shop, servicing Rupert and Burley. Soon realizing his first love was drilling wells, he went back to work with his father full time until his father retired, at which time Ray took over the business.  In the late 1960's he branched into farming. At this point, he had many farms through the area; where he raised potatoes, grains, and beets. He enjoyed Idaho and loved the people and the acquaintances that he met. His family is proud to know that his efforts were a major contribution to the success of this valley and all of Idaho. He also enjoyed bowling, fishing and traveling around the world with his wife. He enjoyed his family, and we will miss him greatly.  He was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, having served in the Rupert 5th Ward bishopric, Rupert Stake high council and ward clerk.  He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, and one daughter.  Surviving are his wife, Violet Commons; two daughters, Connie (Richard) Wilcox of Twin Falls and Sandra Aston of Boise, Idaho; and his son Terry (Melanie) Commons of Chubbuck, Idaho; 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.  Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, September 24, 2005, at the Rupert LDS 5th Ward building, 324 E 18th St., with Bishop Brent Griffin officiating. Interment will follow the services at the Rupert Cemetery with military grave side rites. Viewing will be held for friends and family today from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hansen Mortuary Rupert Chapel and one hour prior to the services on Saturday at the church.


Twin Falls, ID Time-News, 23 Jan 2005; Rupert-Karin Louise Commons Ghaibi (her ancestry to Benjamin Wiser Sr., her mother, Violet Hendricks Commons, Lorin Vern Hendricks, Alla Arminda Hendricks Wiser, John McCormick Wiser, Samuel Wiser, Benjamin Wiser Sr.), Rupert resident, passed away in Las Vegas, Nev. Karin was born May 9, 1952, in Burley, Idaho. She was the daughter of Ray and Vi Commons. She graduated from Minico High School and attended Ricks College and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. She married Hossien Ghaibi and later divorced. She is survived by one daughter, Jaleh (Scott) Fiddler, and one grandchild, Jacie, of Utah; her parents, Ray and Vi Commons of Rupert; two sisters, Connie (Richard) Wilcox of Twin Falls, Idaho, and Sandra Aston of Boise, Idaho; and one brother, Terry (Melanie) Commons of Pocatello. She was preceded in death by her maternal and paternal grandparents. The funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2005, at Hansen Mortuary Rupert Chapel, 710 Sixth St., with Bishop Brent Griffin officiating. Friends and family may call one hour before the service. Burial will be in the Rupert Cemetery.




Thanks for any suggestions in regards to our family newsletter. Please contact me at or at 6 Baton Rouge, Roswell, NM  88201, or at (505) 623-2534.