Saturday, September 12, 2015

Much Married 3rd Great-Grandpa Garner's Second "Wife"

     Today's blog is a sequel to one I wrote two weeks ago titled, Grandpa The Bigamist  (If you have time, please skim that first piece, this one will make much more sense if you do.)  In that blog I speculated that when Grandpa Jeremiah was married in Canada in 1868, his second bride, Betsey Grandy, was his neighbor from New York.  She being the Betsey Grandy whose child was buried in the same cemetery as the Garner family.  Betsey lived with her husband John Grandy in Sterling, New York right next door to Grandpa's town of Wolcott. 

     To find proof of that, I used cemetery indexes, a single sentence from a website I was unable to access, and Ancestry's public family trees.  Not that I would blindly accept anything I found in a family tree unless I could see the sources.  I also used Cyndi's list to locate Canadian marriage records; websites Ancestry and Family Search have some, but they didn't give the bride's maiden name which was what I needed since along the way I had discovered Betsey in Sterling was a Chase before she was a Grandy.  I did in fact find the record of the Canadian marriage with the bride's name and it was Chase, convincing me that my theory was correct, but still ... I wasn't quite satisfied.

     Now however, after more searching, I'm ready to say I have proved Betsey's identity, even to myself.  This is the icing on the cake, the piece de resistance-- the nail in the coffin?  I'm convinced Grandpa Jeremiah and Betsey Chase Grandy did run away together and ended up in Canada.  Below you will see Betsey's (Elizabeth) death record from Canada:

     Note Elizabeth's birthplace, Sterling, Cayuga, NY!  I've since found Jeremiah in many city directories in Canada, listed as an innkeeper as in the record above, and he was Methodist and lived in Hastings.  Everything fits.  Except the "L" Garner which should be J. Garner, but I have no doubt it's a mistake by clerk J. Ryan.

     It appears Jeremiah returned to New York around 1891.  He died there in 1894, quite likely at the home of his daughter Frances in Red Creek, NY--still in the same neighborhood as Wolcott and Sterling.  Why did he come home to stay after all those long years?  The 1891 census of Canada shows his third "wife" Angeline living with her son, and though she says she is a married woman, Jeremiah is not with her.  Did she toss him out?  Was he becoming reflective and feeling a bit guilty as he grew older and looked back over his life, longing to see his family?  That part I'll probably never know, but at least I'm ready to say about the early years in Canada, "that's how it happened".


  1. Great blog. It's so frustrating to know so much but still have so many questions. I feel the same way about so many of the stories I uncover.

  2. Thank you Michelle, isn't that the way? The more you uncover, the more questions arise. At least we'll never run out of things to look for...