Tuesday, January 18, 2011

James H. Dill in Newspaper, Cemetery and Book Records

Continuing my online research (see James H. Dill in the Vital and Census Records) looking for clues of the life of James H. Dill, perhaps a brother of my Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith, I checked the online historical newspapers, cemetery records, and did a Google Books search.  Here are some of the results:

1)  Newspaper articles:

a)  From the Boston Daily Advertiser, dated 16 October 1822 (on http://www.genealogybank.com/):

"For Gibraltar and Malage, The stanch sailing fast brig CARAVAN, James H. Dill master, having three quarters of her cargo engaged, and loading, will be despatched immediately.  for freight or passage, aplly to LEMUEL POP, Jr. or THO'S THAXTER, State street.  N.B. A gentleman will go out in the brig and take charge of any business entrusted to his care."

b)  From The National Advocate [New York City?], Monday, 19 July 1824, in "List of Letters Remaining in the Post-Office  on the 15th Day of July" (in 19th Century U.S. Newspapers" on http://www.americanancestors.org/):

"Capt. James H. Dill"

b)  From the Spectator [New York], dated 20 March 1827:

Extract of a letter from Capt. James H. Dill, late master of big Potomac, of boston.
--ST. CRUZ, Tenerife, Nov. 20, 1826
--Sir: I am sorry to have to announce to you the unfortunate loss of the Potomac.  When we had performed our quarantine, and discharged our cargo that we had to Grand Canary, we came directly to this place, and were waiting here to obtain license from the government to take passengers, for within a few months an order has been sent out here, froim the King, preventing all foreign vessel from taking natives of these islands away; consequently we kept the vessel here to to wait the result of an interest with the government, to go on with the expedition, and finally, a few days previous to the loss of the vessel, we succeeded, and had taken in a large quantity of stores, &c for the passengers; and, the day before we were ready to sail for Lanzaretto, there came on one of the most tremendous hurricanes that the oldest inhabitants remember to have witnessed in these islands.  Notwithstanding it came on very suddenly, and right on shore, I had got off a chain cable and anchor, from the shore, before the communication to the vessel became impracticable, -- but the storm raged with increasing fury, every vessel parted, and went on to the beach, one after another, the wind hauling every fifteen minutes, so that no vessel could ride a strain on more than one cable, till at length my small bower parted, and the chain was let go, and a scope veered out -- the sea was very bad, the boats all washed away, the vessel was unable to bear so hard labour, and leaked very badly; still, every thing was done to keep her free, and to save her, but all in vain -- at half past 9, the best bower parted, and the chain and anchor would not bring her up, and she was dashed against the rocks, and in five minutes nothing was to be seen of the Potomac but some small pieces afloat in the surf; and with her my mate and cook shared the same fate; the rest, some made their escape by throwing themselves from the yards and rigging on to the rocks, and some were thrown up by the sea on to the rocks, with broken arms and legs; and I have scarcely recovered yet sufficiently to write you a description of the shocking scene.  The general destruction in all the islands, has not left a vessel that we can procure.
[The Potomac was to take her passengers to Lanzaretto and proceed to Monte Video.]"

There are many articles about a James H. Dill in New York City during the 1830 to 1850 time frame who was appointed by the Governor of New York to several offices there, including a Notary Public and Commissioner of Deeds for Kings County.  I am unsure if this is the same person as the Ship Captain.  I don't think that it is, the 1840 U.S. Census shows a James H. Dill residing in Brooklyn, Kings County, NY with several children.  The 1850 census shows a James Dill age 58 in Southfield, Richmond County, NY married to an Eliza Dill with four children. 

2)  Cemetery Records

I went on to Find-A-Grave and input James Dill and New Jersey in the search fields, and was rewarded with :

a)  James H. Dill
Birth: 1796 Massachusetts, USA
Death: 1862
husband of Ruth T. Dill
father of Mary Elizabeth Burnet
Burial: Hillside Cemetewry, Madison, Morris County, New Jersey, USA

b)  Ruth T. Dill
Birth: 1799, Massachusetts, USA
Death: 1866, New Jersey, nUSA
wife of James Dill
mother of Mary Elizabeth Burnet
Burial: Hillside Cemetery, Madison, Morris County, New Jersey, USA

3)  Google Books (http://books.google.com/):

Biographical and Genealogical History of Morris and Sussex Counties, New Jersey, Volume 1,  Lewis Publishing company, 1899.

in the sketch on page 290 for J.D. Burnett is this paragraph:

"Samuel D. Burnett, father of our subject, also carried on agricultural pursuits and was one of the valued citizens of the community, whose interest in public affairs, manifested by active co-operation therein, led to many public improvements, notably the beautifying of the Madison cemetery.  He was a very active church worker sand a consistent member of the Presbyterian church, in which he long served as a member of the board of trustees.  He was united in marriage to Miss Mary E. Dill, a daughter of James Dill, a sea captain, and to them were born seven children, as follows: James D., Samuel F., Roland C., William I., Mary E., Ruth, who became the wife of William Linn, of Chatham, and Martha."

I found the Samuel D. Burnet family in the 1860 U.S. Census residing in Chatham, Morris County, New Jersey, with Mary E. Burnet aged 37 born in Massachusetts.  In the 1870 U.S. census, the family  resided in Chatham, Morris, New Jersey; Mary E. Burnet was age 45 born in Massachusetts.  They were also in the 1880 US Census in Chatham, with Mary E. Burnet aged 57 born in Massachusetts, and parents born in Massachusetts.  In the 1900 US Census, Mary E. Burnet was a widow residing in Chatham with two of her adult children, age 75, born September 1824 in Massachusetts, parents born in Massachusetts.

All of this indicates that James H. Dill was a sea captain born in Massachusetts, married to Ruth, with a daughter Mary Elizabeth Dill, who married Samuel D. Burnet and had seven children.

I may have missed some newspaper articles or Google matches.  More searching is required.

So far, I have no conflicting evidence that the sea captain and the man residing in Chatham, Morris, NJ with wife Ruth is the James H. Dill that married Ruth Cushing in 1819 in Boston. 

But I have no evidence at all that this is the same James H. Dill, Esquire, that bought the land of Alpheus B. Smith in 1841 in Medfield, Massachusetts, and a relative of Elizabeth H. (Dill) Smith. 

What about online family trees?  Now I have a daughter's name - perhaps a descendant has posted an online tree?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a great example of how to write up research in progress.

I read your blog often and really appreciate all of the time and great information you put into it.

Thanks Randy!