McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)
Family historians are often stricken with BSO- Bright Shiny Object syndrome. Basically, that means we are working on one thing, find an interesting tidbit that makes us do a few extra online clicks, then a few more just to check one fact, then another, and then it is 3am…
That happened when writing the post for Monday, 25 July, about the birthdate of Edward Byron Payne (affectionately known as EBP in our household). Somehow- I actually know how, but won’t bore you, dear reader, with the details- I ended up on Find A Grave (FAG), looking at the memorial for Harvey Deming. Gazing at the headstone photo for Edward B. Payne’s maternal grandfather, the date of death jumped out– 26 July 1847. That was the day after Edward, called Biron in his first census (1850), was born! (And today is the 169th anniversary of his death.) So poor dear Nancy S. (Deming) Payne, age 34, was ‘lying in’ (giving birth) as her father was dying. Truly the circle of life… and sad that Nancy would not have her father for more years to watch his grandchildren grow, and EBP would never know his maternal grandfather.
So many take for granted the wonderful folks who take photos and create memorials for our ancestors on FAG. Today was a good reminder about how useful they can be in helping us to tell our stories. Noticing that the day after EBP was born, his grandfather died, makes our family history a story, rather than dry dates and ‘begats.’
But now, look closely at the additional photo that FAG Volunteer Alan Lathrop also posted on Harvey’s FAG memorial:
A close look shows that the headstone on the left is for John Deming, the father of Harvey, and grandfather of Nancy S. (Deming) Payne, EBP’s mother.
Nothing terribly special about that, as family members are often buried close to each other. But look closer at another of Alan’s photos:
And note the date of death for John Deming: 26 July 1815.
He died on the same day as his son, but 32 years earlier! Nancy was only about 2 years old, so she likely did not remember her paternal grandfather.
John had died in Crown Point, New York per FAG (but cannot find the source of that information), and Harvey in Middlebury, Vermont, about 45 miles from where his daughter Nancy had given birth to Biron (EBP), in Middletown, Vermont. John and Harvey were both buried in Salisbury, Vermont, about 10 miles from where the Payne family was living in 1846-7.
One more BSO-type Heritage Rambling… Family researchers believe that Janna Deming was the father of John Deming. But get this- he died on 24 July 1796- the day before EBP’s birthday (and 51 years earlier). This cluster of late July deaths in the Deming family is very interesting. Definitely a BSO.
Notes, Sources, and References:
- Vermont Vital Records for 1720-1908 on Ancestry.com indicate the death of Harvey Deming as 6 July 1847 on one card, and 26 July 1847 on another. John’s card has the 26 July 1815 date; these cards were completed in 1919.
- The place of death of John Deming needs to be verified. Crown Point, NY is about 30 miles from Salisbury, VT, so it would be possible for them to move the body that far, though it would have been challenging in July of 1815.
- Find A Grave memorials– http://www.findagrave.com
John Deming: Find A Grave Memorial# 103144340
Harvey Deming: Find A Grave Memorial# 103143906
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