Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Collection Keeps Growing - Thanks to our Members!

This morning we received a framed poster advertising the popular drama "The Rough Diamond" and the Shrewsbury Brass Band, performing at the Shrewsbury (Massachusetts) Town Hall on March 13th and 14th, 1872. Admission was twenty cents (fifteen cents for children under twelve) and the Committee of Arrangements was F.T. Pomeroy, C.M. Boutell and F.H. Newton. This poster was graciously donated to the APHGA by member Michael C. Thank you Michael!

Michael believes that F.T. Pomeroy was Frank Theodore Pomeroy, born 3 Oct 1852 in Stow, Middlesex Co., MA, to parents Theodore Breck and Sarah (Moore) Pomeroy. Theodore and family were living in Shrewsbury in 1870, according to the US Federal Census, where Theodore was a shoe dealer. Frank graduated from Wesleyan Academy in Wilbraham, MA in 1874 and became a Methodist Episcopal Clergyman. He married on 22 Sep 1880, Ellen Gertrude Northway, and the couple lived in Worcester and Middlesex Counties, in Massachusetts.

Frank's pedigree is as follows: Theodore Breck, Seth, Medad, Seth, Ebenezer, Medad, Eltweed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Item In the Collection!

We've just added a little whimsy to our collection with the addition of the sheet music of "The Whiffenpoof Song", written by Meade Minnigerode, George Stewart Pomeroy and Tod B. Galloway. The version we recently acquired is a revision by Rudy Vallee, copyrighted in 1936. The original song was written in 1909 at Yale College, where George Stewart "Doodles" Pomeroy was a member of the glee club. George was the son of George Strickland Pomeroy and Valerie C. Konig, and a descendant of Eltweed Pomeroy. He was born 6 Jul 1888 in Wernersville, Berks County, PA, graduated with a B.A. from Yale University in 1910 and in 1912 was coach of the glee club, now known as the Whiffenpoofs. George would later go on to establish the Dives, Pomeroy and Stewart Department Store in Wyomissing, PA.

Several versions of the Whiffenpoof Song are available on YouTube, including Rudy Vallee's version at, and my personal favorite, Elvis Presley's version at!

Which is your favorite version?

Who Painted the Lemuel and Hart Lester Pomeroy Portraits?

A few years back, Bill, Sandra, Jerry and I visited with Dottie H., descendant of Lemuel Pomeroy and his wife Hart Lester. At that time she had two beautiful portraits of Lemuel and his wife, painted in their later life, by an unknown artist. Dottie has since donated the portraits to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, MA.

Recently, in transcribing many letters written by the Rufus Pomeroy and Isaac Pomeroy families, kindly lent to us by Susanna C., one of our researchers, Kate P., has been researching early letter writing, and the lives of women in 1800s Massachusetts. She came across a great blog that features early American Artists at In looking at these, we both saw some similarities in style of the Lemuel and Hart (Lester) Pomeroy portraits to an artist named Chester Harding. Now we are looking for a Chester Harding and portrait artist expert to look at these portraits and help us unravel this puzzle.

I'm attaching images of the portraits. If anyone recognizes the artist, or has any tips they can give us to help us identify the artist, please let me know, by contacting me via e-mail at

Friday, August 5, 2011

Josiah Pomeroy or Phelps, son of Captain Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps

I may have found a clue in the Berkshire County, MA Probate Index, concerning Josiah Pomeroy, illegitimate son of Captain Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps. Josiah was born 11 Nov 1772. The Connecticut Town Birth Records: pre 1870 (Barbour Collection) database on states that Levina Phelps had a son Josiah Pomroy, b. Nov 11, 1772; reputed father Josiah Pomroy. Also, under Levina Phelps is the following: Levina, m. Daniel Pepoon, b. of Hebron, Dec. 28, 1780.

I have always wondered whether Josiah went by Pomeroy of Phelps, and whether he was raised by Daniel Pepoon. Daniel and Lavina had three children, Nancy, born 9 Aug 1783 in Hebron, CT.; Lavinia, born 1785 in Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., MA; and Joseph, born between Sep 1781 and Nov 1785, possibly in Hebron. Lavina (Phelps) Pepoon died 1 Nov 1785, leaving Daniel a widow. Daniel married second Elizabeth James on Feb 17, 1789 in Canaan, Columbia County, NY. The family was living in Stockbridge in 1790, where Daniel was a proprietor of a coffee house, later owned by his daughter Nancy's father-in-law, Capt. David Campbell (also known as the Campbell Coffee House). Daniel was also one of ten founders of the Berkshire Bank, and as a director, was personally liable when the bank fell. Daniel is found as head of household in Pittsfield in the 1810 US Federal Census.

The Berkshire County, MA Probate Index lists a Josiah Phelps of Tolland, CT with a will probated in Berkshire County Dec 12, 1828 (#4823). Is this Josiah son of Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps? A check of the Pepoon surname in the database does not reveal a given name of Josiah, but Daniel does not appear on the index either. A Pepoon from Stockbridge, with first name blocked out (for privacy?) had an adoption and name change on May 1, 1883 (#14375), but this would be too late to be our Josiah.

The Berkshire County, MA Probate Index can be found online at The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants website at

Berkshire County, MA Probate Index Now On Line - Mystery Pomeroy

I was reading Dick Eastman's blog this morning ( and noticed the article about an online probate index for Berkshire County, MA ( As there are many Pomeroys in Berkshire County, I thought I'd take a look.

The index takes you to scanned pages of the typed index, and I transcribed all the Pomeroys. One really caught my eye as it was an adoption and name change which took place in Hinsdale Aug. 10, 1865 (Probate # 18863). The mystery is the first name of this individual, as there seems to be a tear in the page, or an ink stain, right over the first name, completely obliterating it! This index is in order by Surname, then First name, and this person falls between Curtis Pomeroy and Fannie S. Pomeroy, but who is he/she? Does anyone know this family? If so, please contact me at

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Two Great Articles in the CNY 55+ Magazine feature the Central New York Genealogical Society and their 50th Anniversary Conference

Check out the latest issue of CNY's 55+ Magazine, featuring two articles on genealogy. The first article "CNY Genealogical Society Turns 50" by Aaron Gifford, focuses on the Central New York Genealogical Society and their upcoming October conference (page 39). The second article, written by our good friend Richard Palmer, and titled "It's Genealogy Not Gynecology" focuses on Dick's genealogy roots and his early membership in the CNYGS (page 41).

Here's the link to the site: