Friday, August 14, 2009

Found another Devier Lanfear!

I wish that every county had a historical or genealogical society like the Historical Association of South Jefferson, New York. When I visited the area in 2004, I visited this organization and was amazed at how much information they had for the different family surnames of the county. Of course, I was looking for surnames Smith and Bell then, not Lanfear/Lamphear/etc.

I have had little luck finding parents for my Devier Lamphear Smith, but I'm turning over the "rocks" one at a time. After my initial search for Lanfear/Lanphear/etc. families in the census, land and probate records of Jefferson County, I emailed the HASJNY about a month ago asking if they had any information about families with these surname variants. I heard immediately from Debbie quick, and she promised to send me a copy of what she had.

A package came on Wednesday, and I eagerly opened it. There were 12 sheets, mainly family group sheets with information gleaned from Jefferson County residents and material donated by other researchers. All but one page concerned descendants of William and Lydia (--?--) Lanfear, for whom I had very little information.

On one family group sheet was the name Ernest Devier Lanfear, born 8 September 1853 in Erie county, Pennsylvania. He was the son of Walter and Mary Jane (Dodds) Lanfear, and Walter was born in Lorraine, Jefferson County, NY to Orrin and Lucinda (--?--) Lanfear. Orrin was a son of William and Lydia (--?--) Lanfear who settled in Lorraine, Jefferson County in 1804. Even better, the contributor of this information was included on the Family Group Sheet! I will compose a letter and send it off ASAP (doing things the "old fashioned way" with snail mail).

I checked on the WorldConnect family tree database on Rootsweb, and found some information for the Orrin, Walter and Ernest Devier Lanfear families. There appear to be several researchers interested in this family line from William Lanfear, and now I have several more researchers to contact to see if they know anything more about an adopted baby boy in the early 1840s.

Now I see a little light when I peer into the Lanfear cave... but I'm not sure if it's a big train of data coming toward me or just a flicker of hope that may be extinguished because there is no more data.

This certainly counts as part of conducting a reasonably extensive and exhaustive search of all available records and repositories - and not just on the Internet!


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Great news! I hope it leads you to your Devier.

Despite my best intentions I still haven't gotten up to the So Jeff center this summer. I do find myself looking for Lanphere on my cemetery prowls now. I'm headed up to Ellisburg this morning but by the time I'm done working and visiting I doubt I'll get any further north.

MerRhosyn said...

I stumbled upon your recent blog post while researching some ancestors. My husband is a direct descendant of Ernest Devier/Devere Lanfear. I'd be happy to share what information I have with you. You can contact me via e-mail at niamhaine at hotmail dot com.