Monday, August 17, 2015

Who Were the Parents of my 4th Great-Aunt, Angeline (King) Vaux (1813-1852)?

My Ancestry Member Tree had the name of my 4th great-aunt as Angeline (King) Vaux (born in about 1813 in New York, married John Palmer Vaux in 1833, had eight children in Erie County between 1835 and 1850, died on 7 August 1852, and buried in East Aurora Cemetery in East Aurora, Erie County, New York), and that her father's name was Clement King with an unknown mother.

1)  Another Ancestry member challenged the identity of the father in an Ancestry message, so I went looking for evidence in records to prove or disprove the assertion that the father was Clement King.

There are, of course, no birth records for the 1813 time frame in New York records, there are no death records for 1852, and there are no census records for 1820, 1830 or 1840 that might place her in a family group.  The only records I have found are:

*  an 1850 census record in Aurora, Erie County, New York with her name as Angeline Vaux, age 37 born in New York)

*  a  Find A Grave memorial for Angeline King, wife of John P. Vaux, died August 7, 1852, age 38

2)  One record type that might provide a relationship is the probate records of Clement King, if they exist.  I reviewed the New York Probate Records, 1629-1971 record collection on Family Search, for Erie County.  In the Estate Index, 1800-1929 I-L volume, I found that Clement King had an Estate File No. 12152.  I found the file in the Estate Papers, 1800-1929, Case 12127-12164 volume in images 795 to 819 of 1153.

There was no will, inventory or account in the Estate File, although there may be a Will in Volume 5, page 10 of an Erie County Will Book (which is not on the Erie County list in this collection).  There were several Letters Testamentary in the Estate File, one of them is shown below (image 809 of 1153):

The handwriting is somewhat difficult to read.  fortunately, image 817 shows the newspaper notice that was published for six weeks in the Albany Argus newspaper, starting on  November 9, 1852:

The heirs of Clement King listed in these pages are:

*  Salley Carney, Erie county NY
*  Darius King, Erie County, NY
*  Mary Corwin, Wayne County, NY
*  Elizabeth Henshaw, Michigan
*  children of Leonard Le Bar, names and places unknown
*  Hannah Earle, Erie county NY
*  Elisha Earle, Michigan
*  Arnold Earle, Michigan
*  John N. Palmer, Wisconsin
*  Jeremiah Palmer, Wisconsin
*  Asa Palmer, Iowa
*  Edmund Palmer, Chautauqua County, NY
*  Henrietta Faucher, place unknown
*  Adin Faucher, place unknown
*  Elizabeth Faucher, place unknown
*  Adams Faucher, place unknown
*  Edwin Faucher, Ohio

There is no mention of Angeline (King) Vaux, or of the 8 Vaux children, in that list.

Lewis N. Conklin is the executor of the will of Clement King, and Alfreda A. (Conklin) King is the widow mentioned in several of the other Letters Testamentary.

So I think this qualifies as Negative Evidence - this record indicates that Angeline King was NOT an heir of Clement King.

3)  If she was not the daughter and heir of Clement King, then who was her father?  Was it another man named King who resided in Erie county in the 1830 to 1860 time frame?  Or was it another surname altogether?  If so, why was her name given as Angeline King on her gravestone in East Aurora Cemetery.

One factor that may have caused some confusion was that after Angeline (King) Vaux died on 7 August 1852, and Clement King died in late 1852, his widow, named Alfreda A. (Conklin) King married John Palmer Vaux in about 1853, Angeline's widower.  Did the gravestone carver given false information about Angeline's name?

As a result of this study, I have removed the relationship link between Angeline and Clement King.  I don't know who her father is at this time, but I'm sure that it was not Clement King.

4)  Although this is not my ancestral family, I like a challenge and will pursue it to some extent.  I found no other online family tree (I looked on Ancestry, MyHeritage, Geni, WikiTree, FamilySearch Family Tree, WorldConnect) with a surname other than King.

The records I have thought about searching for are:

*  Other King families in Erie County, New York in the 1830 to 1860 U.S. Census that might be Angeline's parental family.  I can do this online at
*  Other King probate records in the Erie County, New York probate records - perhaps Angeline and/or her Vaux children are mentioned.  I can do this online on FamilySearch.
*  John and/or Angeline Vaux land records in Erie County, New York - perhaps they mention a parent or a sibling.  Perhaps they name a King as a neighbor.  I can do this online at FamilySearch.
*  The Clement King will in Erie County that might mention Angeline but does not provide a bequest to her.  This is not online, so it's a candidate for researching at the FHL in February 2016.
*  There may b e a church record or a newspaper record for the marriage of Angeline King (?) and John Palmer Vaux.  Contacting an Erie County historical or genealogical society may be useful.
*  A death record or certificate of one of the Vaux children that lists their mother's maiden name.  There may be records online in FamilySearch or Ancestry record collections.

5)  We discussed the relative value of the Internet in genealogy research last week - in Yes, Janet, the Internet is Progress!    Finding the probate records noted above are just one example of how researchers can find original or derivative records with primary information and direct evidence of relationships in an online record collection, in this case on FamilySearch.  I was able to do the task in less than one hour at home on my own computer.

If I had performed this search two years ago, before the probate records became available at FamilySearch, it would have taken me several weeks to order the correct Estate Index and review it, several more weeks to order the correct Estate File volume and review it; at least two months and maybe more if I had waited until my next trip to the Family History Library.  Another option would be to hire a professional in Salt Lake City to find the records on microfilm, which would have taken several days or more.

6)  These probate records are "golden" IMHO, as long as the researcher understands the details of the record collection and the record types.  The images above are the original estate file papers, primary information and direct evidence of relationships between Clement King and his heirs.

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