Monday, May 4, 2015

Anna Ursula Spanknable (1772-1831)

Anna Ursula Spanknable is the daughter of Johannes Spanknable and Elizabeth Kring. Also known as Ursula, she was born (17 Feb 17717) 17 Feb 1772 from Johannes bible and a newspaper article as reported on a previous blog about Johannes ( She married Wilhelm (William) Smith on 26 April 178967 William was born 19 May 17637 in Canajoharie, Albany, New York7 (per his Revolutionary Pension file)

I have found the following possible children for William and Anna Ursula

  1. John W1 b: 17894 (12 Nov 1789 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7)
  2. Daniel1 Smith b abt 17915 born in 1810147 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7, he died in 1888 in Fulton county, New York7
  3. William1 Smith born 8 Mar 179267 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7 spouse: Sarah Smiley7 died 30 July 1870 in Lima, Allen, OH7
  4. Henry1 Smith born 9 Jun 179467, spouse: Clary 17
  5. Anna Smith b: 17 April 179624 aka Hannah147 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7 married Jacob P Ouderkirk17 and died Feb 1871 in Lysander, Onondaga, New York7
  6. Christopher Smith born 19 Nov 179826 (born 20 Nov 1801 in Lassellsville, New York7) he married Eliazabeth “Unknown” 7 and died April 1870 in Ephratah, Fulton, New York7
  7. Elizabeth1 Smith b: 12 April 180127 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York 7married Christopher Smith17
  8. Catharine1 (Katherine7)Smith b: 6 April 180367 in Lasselsville, Montgomery, New York7 baptized 24 April 18036 married Alexander Ramo1
  9. Margaret1 Smith b: 30 March 180627 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7 married Thomas Welch17 and she died 23 Nov 1898 in Kane County, Illinois7
  10. Jacob1 Smith born: 20 Jul 1808237 born in Lasselsville, Montgomery, New York, USA27  married Mary Pedrick 27. He died after 1880 in Saint Johnsville, Montgomery, New York7
  11. Solomon1 Smith born 4 May 181367 in Lassellsville, Montgomery, New York7 and baptized 16 July 18136. He married Margaret Failing7 and died Nov 1879 in Montgomery county, New York7

Ursula died 22 Sept 18317 and is buried in Dillaborough Cemetery, Lassellsville, Fulton County, NY, USA. She was 59 years, 7 months and 5 days old. William died on 22 May 18527 and is also buried in Dillaborough Cemetery. William was a soldier of the Revolution. Age at death was 92 years and 19 days.

You will notice some conflicts of information in the above summary such as: When was Daniel Smith born?  When was Christopher Smith born? These still need to be resolved, however, I am putting these on my back burner until I get back to this generation. I will be researching all of Johannes Spanknable's children first, then I will do his grandchildren. What I do know is that I only had one known child for Ursula and William and now I have eleven. 

1 – DAR Member Dora Baum Moller; Nat’l #: 560426 application file for Ancestor #: A106102 William Smith
2 – DAR Member Mary North Argersinger ; Nat’l #: 361986 application file for Ancestor#: A106102 William Smith
3 – DAR Member Ida A Maybe; Nat’l #: 322167 application file for Ancestor #: A160102 William Smith
4 – tree: Scott Family tree; owner: sunshine196403
5 – 1850 US Federal Census; Ephratha, Fulton, New York, page 183B (age 59) 
6 – Reformed Dutch Church of Stone Arabia in town of Palatine, Montgomery County, New York; [database on-line]. Provo, UT: Operations Inc, 2005
7 – Family Group Record for William Smith; submitted by Joe Long, TX 29 April 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#476 - Johannes Spanknable (1747-1825)

Johannes is my Revolutionary Patriot ancestor (my 6th great-grandfather) and even though I have traced my lineage back to Johannes; I have not research all his descendants. Therefore, this will be my new project, as I research and search for his descendants (both living and deceased), I will be recording my research here so that I can then share a link back to the Facebook page I created for Johannes located at

From The Story of Old Fort Plain and the Middle Mohawk Valley by Nelson Greene, O’Connor Brothers Publishers, Fort Plain, New York, 1915, page 65; it states that John Spankable (now Sponable) house was located within a radius of five or six miles from Nicholas Rechtor’s house. Rechtor was located about three miles west of the stone grist mill Sir William Johnson had built for the use of that region which was then known as Tilleborough.  This was known as the settlement of Ephratha (New York).

The first document I reviewed was his Revolutionary War Pension file, there is a photocopy of his bible pages. It is written in German and the edges of the pages are torn but you can see the first date is 1747. It looks like it might be his birth date. The next date is 1770 which I believe is his marriage date to Elizabeth Kring. Followed by 1754, which I believe is his wife’s birth date. Then there are a series of more dates and even though I can’t make out all the months, it appears they are followed by the day of month. These appear to be the births of seven of his nine children. These dates match closely to an article that was printed in the newspaper (shown with an asterisk after their birth date below)  when Johannes’s papers were donated by Delos Hoffman (his 2nd great-grandson). This newspaper article list nine children as follows:

Ursula born Feb 17, 1772* married to William Smith
Philip born August 11, 1773* married Nancy Youlker
John born Sept 19, 1775* (married Elizabeth Lighthall)
Harmanius (aka Harmon/Herman) born June 7, 1782* married Elizabeth Cool
Henry born May 2, 1784* married Catherine Cool (served War of 1812)
Katherine born Nov 15, 1786*, married Alexander Remour
Anna Elizabeth born March 22, 1789* married Jacob Youker, Jr
Christopher born April 9, 1791, died Jun 12, 1792
Anna Elizabeth born March 22, 1793 married Philip Cool

I added John’s spouse, which didn’t appear in the article. This branch of the family (my branch) had moved out of the area and settled in Marengo County, Illinois area. I also added the aka Harmon/Herman because I have found Harmanius listed as Harmon and as Herman. I have also found that Henry and Harmanius seem to get confused and currently I have the same descendants listed under both sons. I hope to clear this up with my research project.

So far, Johannes has sparked 13 DAR applications. 1 through his daughter Ursula, 2 through his son Philip, 2 through his son John Jr, 1 through his son Henry and finally 7 through his son Harmon.

I have found that some on-lines trees have added another daughter Anna Sponable 1780-1846. However, I haven’t been able support this with other documents at this time. Since the bible pages did include births in this date range, I wonder why this is not included. Plus perhaps this woman is actually a spouse of a Sponable. Also, the trees list she is buried in Fort Plain, Montgomery County, New York, and this might be the Anna Sponable with no readable dates on her stone buried between George and Philip Sponable.  George Sponable who died 16 Nov 1851 age 46 years, 10 mos and 8 days. Philip Sponable’s stone is unreadable. So until I can figure out who George is and any possible relationship to a Philip and Anna, I will not include her as Johannes Spanknable’s child at this time.

I also found interesting information about Johannes in the Compendium of Early Mohave Valley Families by Maryly B Penrose, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc, © 1990, page 761.

Under Birth/Baptism: Spanknebel, Johannes & Elisabeth [?]: Herman, b. 6/7/1782; bapt. 6/9/1782 (DRGF:58). Sponsors” Joh:  Ludw:  Kring & Maria. This matches Harmanius birth date listed in the newspaper article (mentioned above) plus the bible pages, previously mentioned.

Under Death Record: Spanneknebel, Christopher, d. 6/12/1792, age 1 year, 2 months, 3 days; buried 6/14/1792 (RDSA:233). This too matches Christopher’s information included in the newspaper article. However, the bible didn't include any dates after 1789.

Under Probate Abstract: Spanknable, Johannes, (of Palatine), will dated 9/8/1825; probated 12/26/1827. legatees: wife, Elisabeth; sons, Philip, John (decd. & his heirs), Henry, Harmanus (decd, & his Henry H., Philip, John, Catharine and Harriet); daus., Ursula (wife of William Smith & her daus.), Elizabeth (wife of Jacob Youker) and Maria (wife of Philp Cool, Jr.). Executors: son, Philip; son-in-law, Jacob Youker; Christopher Getman. (WMC 57:270). This listed all his children except Katherine.  

To date, I have been unable to find any further information on Katherine or her husband Alexander Remour. Perhaps they moved out of the area and had a falling out and thus he didn't include her. According to another descendant, he has seen Elisebeth’s (Johannes Wife) will and she included Katherine. I hope to get a copy of that will, for clues on Katherine’s whereabouts.

Under Pension Abtract: Spanknable, John, m. Elizabeth [?], 2/9/1770; d. 12/20/1825. (Elizabeth Spanknable, b. 1751/2; resident of Ephratah, Montgomery Co., N.Y. on 10/11/1836) John enlisted and served as a private in Cap. Nicolas Richter’s Co., Col. Jacob Klock’s 2nd Regt., Tyron CO., Militia; he fought in the battle of Oriskany and was captured by the enemy; John was taken to Canada where he remained a prisoner for upwards of four years.

In the Syracuse and its Environs: a history by Franklin H chase, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc. New York and Chicago, 1924, pg 123.

Johannes Spanknable (Anglicized Sponable), upon coming to the Mohawk Valley of New York, settled at Ephratah, Fulton County, and when the colonies were fighting the Indians he enlisted in the Tryon County militia, serving under Colonel Joseph Klock. He was later captured by Indians, and while in their hands was claimed by a young Indian maiden as her own, but upon his refusing to take her for his wife, he was attacked, clubbed into unconsciousness, and left as dead. He recovered and made his way to a British camp, where he expected succor, but instead, was sold into slavery and held by a Frenchman for four years before he could escape and return to his home. When the colonies took up arms against the mother country, he proved his loyalty by enlisting in a New York command and was engaged in a battle fought near Johnstown, New York. He married Elizabeth Kring, founded a family and died in 1823, at Palatine, Montgomery County, New York.

As you can see, in the above paragraph his death date appears incorrect. How could his will be dated 1825 if he died in 1823. His military pension states he died on 20 December 1825 so this is the date I will go with.

Finally, on his FindAGrave memorial, it lists his birth date as 1741 and his death date as Sep 12, 1827. However, the picture of the stone does not show any of this information. My question, did the person who created this memorial add this information herself? Where did she get this information? The creator also had that Johannes arrived in Philadelphia aboard the ship “Boston” in Nov 1754. In 1770 he married Elizabeth Kring in Clarkstown, Rockland Co, N.Y. They moved to Fulton co. where they had 8 children. Johannes served in the Revolutionary War. After the war he returned to his family where he farmed and did tailoring work.

Was Johannes only 7 when he arrived here? Was he an indentured servant or did he come with parents? Who were the eight children, who is the creator missing that I have? Where did the creator find this information?

In conclusion I have decided on the following facts, until I find anything that changes this…
Johannes was born in 1747 (according to his bible).  He married Elizabeth Kring on 9 Feb 1770 and moved to Ephratha, Fulton Co, New York. He had nine children of whom he mentioned eight in his will (please note this is a transcribed will and it might be missing the ninth child). He died on 20 Dec 1825 and two of his sons, John Jr and Harmanus (Harmon/Herman) died before him. His wife Elizabeth was born in 1754 and died on 17 Jan, 1843 (according to her Final Payment Voucher).

Perhaps not the most concrete of facts, but I am happy with what I found and that I have supporting documents for my conclusions. Next I am moving onto his first child, Ursula and will be using the DAR application as my first clue of her descendants. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

AncestryDNA Helper extension for the Chrome browser

I don't often find a product that I love so much that I have to sing it praises but for the AncestryDNA Helper extension, I am making the exception.

Why do I love this product, basically because it took a task that I was trying to do manually and made it automatic. PLUS ... it added another aspect to the project that I didn't know how to do but wanted to do.

First of all, let me explain what I was trying to do with my AncestryDNA results. I was trying to figure out my mother's heritage. My mother died back in 2002 and a few years after her death, I confirmed that she was born before her parent's married and thus I questioned if her father was her biological father. I end up contacting the State of Wisconsin Child Services and confirmed that she was adopted by her step father (her mother's husband) but not until after she turned 18 years old and needed to submit her birth certificate to enroll in College. This is when my mother first found out and she never breathed a word of it to any of her nine children. Wisconsin is a closed adoption state and will not release her father's name without due cause. It is kind of silly since all the parties involved are deceased and it would be nice to know my heritage since I have been doing my genealogy for over 30 years.

Anyway, my mother was married twice, her first husband died and left her a widow with six children, she later married my father and had three more, with me being the youngest. Therefore I thought I would compare some of my siblings DNA with my DNA. I tested my oldest half brother and my youngest-older half sister along with one of my full sisters. I was inputting the results of our matches into a spreadsheet and then running a formula that compared my results against my siblings. It would compare the two columns and produce a report of all the matches in a third column. I ran this report as follows: ME vs my full sister, ME vs my half brother, ME vs my half sister, my full sister vs my half brother, my full sister vs my half sister and finally my half brother vs my half sister.

I was doing this all manually and you can see where there is room for data entry errors, because if I didn't type in the name of the tester exactly the same, it would not match. AncestryDNA Helper now can do that list for me and compare my list against my siblings. It does all the names, not just the few pages I was doing because it was such a big project.

Conclusions I came across are as follows: Matches of ME vs my half-siblings are probably my mother's ancestors. Matches of my full sister vs my half-siblings are probably my mother's ancestors. Matches of ME vs my full sister that don't match my half-siblings are more likely my father's ancestors but still could be my mother's ancestors and matches of half-siblings that don't match me or my full sister are more likely their father's ancestors but sill could be my mother's ancestors.

At least this gave me a spot to start my looking at the matches between ME and my full sisters vs my half-siblings. However, the hard part was to determine what might be my mother's biological family line. I was able to determine some of the lines through my mother's mother's family and that was real exciting. However, there were so many tree's that I didn't recognize names and wondered if they had any common names among all these trees that lead me to my mother's father's family. This is were AncestryDNA Helper has taken these matches one step further. It has a feature called "Ancestors of Matches". It has an Incidence Score which is the number of times the exact same name with a similar birth year from different DNA matches occurs in this ancestors list. This can help you discover clusters of matches who all share the same common ancestors. Maybe you link up to those people somewhere in that same family or maybe it's just a coincidence but this might open up branches of your tree you haven't discovered yet.

To find out more information about this FREE extension, you read this correct, it is FREE at the following websites: and

Now the scan can take a while, it took about 3 hours for each tester, but considering the time I was spending keying in all the names, running the excel matching formulas myself  and it was only on a few pages of matches, I will take the computer doing the work over me any day. Plus for those of you who want to thank the creator for this wonderful tool, you can via PayPal. I am sending him a thank you contribution too, something I have never done before either.