Compiled by Virginia Washburn Barden
Indexed extractions from seven Sampson Scrapbooks in the Library of the Chautauqua County Historical Society at Westfield, New York
Clayburne B. Sampson was the historian of the Town of Ellery, and at his death, his collection of genealogical and historical research was bequeathed to the County Historical Society. These \”scrapbooks\” are merely a collection of marriages, births, and deaths: newspaper clippings pasted into books done probably by a relative a generation or two older than Mr. Sampson.
The date of death is on the same line with the name, directly following it. Because of the style of newspaper reporting then in vogue, many actual dates are missing; the report of a death on \”Monday last\”, leaves the reader a century later at a loss about the time of the event. These unrecorded dates are indicated here by the use of asterisks: \”**1900\”, or when there is not any indication of any date as \”n g\” meaning \”not given\”.
Someone long ago supplied some missing dates of death in hand-written marginal notes which are used here when printed dates are lacking. Some appear to be questionable, but it is the purpose of this offering simply to present the material, rather than to verify and to correct.
There is, however, the possibility of some clarification of these mysterious dates in the Historical Society for a patient researcher. Mr Sampson left a detailed genealogical card file showing marriages and deaths, and some births, of many of these people. U sing this file is time-consuming, but it might be rewarding for a serious researcher.
The staff of the Chautauqua County Historical Society\’s Museum Library is limited and cannot undertake extensive research on behalf of a distant correspondent. However, they will honor a request for information about a particular entry. Instructions for contacting their staff at McClurg Mansion are on page 2.
Newspaper notices being what they are, most of these items do not have additional information of interest to a family genealogist. But sometimes it is important to have an actual copy of the newspaper clipping, and for that reason there is a key to the source of most clippings. In several cases there is a picture reproduced in the clipping, in which case it is so noted. The scrap books are labeled by letter, A, B, C, D, H, J, and pages noted for each. Thus a researcher with the actual scrapbooks in front of him can find the original clipping almost immediately. Book \”E\” contains only births.
Most of these families are from the Town of Ellery, but some are in the neighboring townships of Busti, Gerry, and Ellicott; even these seem to have had some Ellery connection. In preparing this index an attempt has been made to include two things of use to a genealogical researcher: the place of death, and the cemetery where the burial took place. In New York State, death records since 1885 have been kept by the Clerk of the Town in which the death occurred, and a copy of this record, labeled \”for genealogical purposes only\” may be obtained for a fee. This usually records names of parents of the deceased, cause of death, and name of person furnishing the information. The inscriptions of most of the cemeteries in Chautauqua County have been copied, and those records are available to researchers.
Clayburne Sampson himself copied and shared the inscriptions of the cemeteries in the Town of Ellery; these are on file at the Historical Society and in several other locations.
Two items of interest seem always to appear in the obituaries: the people who furnished the music at the funeral (always listed first) and the bearers. Neither is listed here, except when the named bearers were noted as relatives. The listing of surviving siblings and of surviving children is given here as found in the original obituaries because there seems to be a pattern to the naming. When male and female are interspersed, that is the order of age, elder to younger; sometimes sisters are all listed, elder to younger, then brothers are listed in like order.
There has been no attempt to edit the data printed by the newspaper: for example, there are listings for members of the \”Hardy\” family, and also listings for the \”Harvey\” family. It would appear that this might be the same family, but determining which is not the purpose of this listing. It will be noted that some births are listed in improbable biological progression, but it is left for the researcher to choose which date to accept.
Most of the terminology is familar to searchers; you will find
d = died
d y = died young
b = born
AE = age AE76y4m24
da = age 76 years, 4 months, 24 days
consort = wife
relict = widow
rem = (re)moved