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Jane (Southard) Pudney Back of Jane (Southard) Pudney's photo
Jane (Southard) Pudney
The pictures in the photo album on this website all belonged to Hannah Rich, of South Kortright, Delaware County, NY. In 1861 Hannah married William Blakely Peters of Bloomville, also in Delaware County, NY. In trying to identify this picture the first Jane Southard who springs to mind is Hannah Rich’s own mother, Jane Ann Southard, originally from Dutchess County, New York.

In fact, the genealogical landscape is littered with women named Jane Southard, so a mistaken identification would be easy. Exactly who is this Jane Southard Pudney shown here?

The first Southards settled in America in the 1600s and were concentrated in Rhinebeck (Dutchess County) and Hempstead (Nassau County). Several of them, including Thomas Southard (b. 1616), were born in Leyden, Holland, no doubt in the Protestant Pilgrim settlement there that eventually relocated to the New World. This Thomas died in 1688, but he left many children and many, many grandchildren. A century later, six Southards (Abel, Caleb, James, John, Solomon, and a Thomas Jr. or the III) were among the refugees who in 1776 fled Long Island for Connecticut. For more about this evacuation and a map, see Jane Oliver Rich’s picture.

It seems likely that any Jane Southard—whoever she might have been—was related to one of those refugees.

Can this woman here be the mother of Hannah Rich, b. 1838? The best indications that this Jane Southard was too old to have been Hannah Rich’s mother are the age of the woman and the style of her dress. Hannah’s mother, we know, was born in 1801, which means she would have to have been between 50 and 60 at the time this picture was taken. This Jane Southard looks older. She is also wearing a heavy velvet dress of an earlier style—see the dropped shoulder seam and the heavily gathered waist with no waistband. These suggest a woman from the generation before Hannah’s mother, someone born in the late 1700s.

Fortunately, we don’t have to remain in a state of uncertainty for long. If one logs onto FamilySearch, the genealogical site of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and specifies a birthdate in the late 1700s - say 1780 - one finds Jane Southard, born about 1787 in Fishkill, NY. According to the marriage on-line IGI records, twenty three Southards were married at the Dutch Reformed Church in Fishkill between 1788 and 1820. Among the marriages recorded is Thorn (or Thorne) Pudney to Jane Southard on March 19, 1803.

A further search for Thorn Pudney finds he once owned what is presently one of only two gambrel-roofed houses remaining in East Fishkill, built in the last half of the 18th century. Thorn Pudney, who had already purchased a portion of the land on which the house was situated, bought Obadiah Bacon's portion in 1815 and christened the farm "Arcadia" as it appears on the 1867 map of East Fishkill. Until 1875, the home remained in the Pudney family and then was purchased by Edward Palen, who with his son-in-law William Bogardus began producing dairy products. The home's final owner, Gustave Fink, donated it to the East Fishkill Historical Society in 1975.

It is undoubtedly this Jane, the Jane who eventually married Thorne Pudney, who appears in the 1790 Federal Census, living in Fishkill Township of Dutchess County. Unfortunately the enumeration is not organized into households, but other Southards living in Fishkill at this time were Richard Southard "the 1st," Anne Southard, Deborah Southard, John Southard, Isaac Southard, Richard Southard "the 2d," and Martha Southard.

A genealogical bonus appears on the Brooklyn Genealogy Information page in a notation: in 1722 a John Pudney married a Mary Thorne. The marriage took place in Jamaica in the County of Queens. It seems logical that these are ancestors of Jane Southard Pudney's husband Thorne Pudney, and that he was given his mother’s or grandmother’s maiden name for his first name, a fashion that has returned in the first years of the 21st century.

As you might expect, given the migratory habits of the families represented in Hannah Rich’s photograph album, members of the Pudney family—an alternate spelling is Putney, as in Putney, Vermont—arrived early in Delaware County, NY. According to The History of Delaware County 1797-1880 by WW Munsell,The History of Delaware County 1797-1880 by WW Munsell, the pioneer wagon maker in Stamford township was James Pudney, who arrived from the Catskills in 1812. There is no evidence, however, that Jane Southard Pudney and husband Thorne ever lived in Delaware County.

Hand detail The remaining mystery, then, is this: what is Jane Southard Pudney holding in her hands? High magnification of the original sheds no light on this.

About the photographer: Craig's Daguerreian Registry has this to say about the Doremus who took this picture: “Doremus, R[obert] Ogden: Probable photographer in New York City, NY, in 1859. One of the original signers of the constitution of the American Photographical Society, adopted March 26, 1859.”

R O Doremus’ picture appears on the History on Hand website. It may well be that Professor Robert Ogden Doremus, as he was, was an original signer of the American Photographical Society’s constitution, but it is not likely he did so in the capacity of a photographer: he was a well-known chemist of the day and a magnetic lecturer. An excellent description of him appears in an article published in 1912: Midnight Oil And Beach Combing”: “Then the professor of chemistry appears, Dr. R. Ogden Doremus. He is over six feet in height — a graceful man, with easy manners and a pleasant face.

“The left sleeve of his frock-coat is empty, and swings loosely as he bends over the table, but he manages his right arm and left armpit so cleverly that his deficiency causes him very little inconvenience. His voice is agreeable and his phrases are well chosen. From time to time he interpolates a humorous suggestion or allusion, as, in describing the various sources of lime, he exhibits an oyster shell, and regrets that it is not a half shell with a Shrewsbury [a small cake or biscuit] on it. He speaks vivaciously, and the hour slips by very pleasantly; he bows gracefully and retires; the blackboard doors close again, and again the students lapse into babel.“

Doremus Photgraphic Gallery - NJDr. Doremus was a president of the New York Philharmonic, a research chemist who demonstrated explosives for Emperor Napoleon III, a skilled MD and toxicologist who improved the standards for medical jurisprudence and was called upon frequently to testify at trials, and the person who recommended that chlorine be added to New York’s drinking water to destroy germs he believed were causing a cholera epidemic. (He was right.) For more about this extraordinary person, see this article by Vincent S. Larkin.

Sadly—since Robert Ogden Doremus was a man of so many interests and talents—there is no evidence he ever took photographs, at least commercially. There is, however, a photograph titled "Western Hanging" by L H Doremus Photographer of 240 Main Street, Paterson NJ .” It seems likely that *he,* in fact, is the photographer who took Jane Southard Pudney’s picture, in Paterson, New Jersey.

Please Note: In 2005 this album came into the loving care of Hannah Rich Peters’ and William Blakely Peters’ great-granddaughter, Carolyn Flanders McPherson, and is presented here for the first time. For more detailed information on the photo album and its contents you may view the introduction here.

Patricia and Carolyn have attempted to identify all persons in the album and learn more about them through research of various records. If you can help us identify or add further information to this photo, please contact:
Email Carolyn

Additional Links

Next Photo - Jane Rich
Photo Album of Hannah (Rich) Peters
Photo of Jane Oliver Rich
History of East Fishkill, New York (Outside Link)
Brooklyn Genealogy (Outside Link)
History of Delaware County by W.W. Munsell 1797-1880
-----An outside link to Delaware County, NY - Genealogy & History Site
Craig's Daguerreian Registry (Outside Link)
History On Hand (Outside Link)
Larkin's "Inventory to the Records of the Philoclean Society..."
-----An outside link to Rutgers University Libraries
"Western Hanging" by L H Doremus
-----An outside link to History On Hand
PDP's Roots & Branches Blog
Updated June 01, 2014
Album photos provided by Carolyn F. McPherson 2005
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