Gant/Belding Genealogy Page
Welcome to Betty Lou Malesky's genealogy page. Even as a child I was curious about my ancestors, where they came from, what motivated them and where they fit in our nation's history.
The pursuit of genealogy answered these questions while posing many new ones. Genealogy allows me to indulge my love of history, writing, research and travel. And what is more satisfying than a good mystery especially if it involves your own family. Fortunately, I have a loving husband who tolerates my eccentricities and always encourages me to persevere.
After over forty years "doing" genealogy, I am still searching and still learning. The following are some elusive ancestors who have successfully escaped detection so far. Any clues? Please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elusive ancestors on my Father's side:
Ambrose Cornelius GANT, b. ca 1820 Loudoun or Fairfax Co., VA, was captured by the Union Army and sent to Camp Chase, OH although he said he was not a member of the Rebel army. Conditions at the camp were harsh and he died of pneumonia two weeks later on 26 Dec 1863. (Was he a descendant of the Ambrose GAUNT who m. Sarah VAUGHAN, daughter of Cornelius VAUGHAN, 26 May 1787, in Fauquier Co., VA?) Ambrose C. GANT left four young children and a widow:
Jane Marie JORDAN, b. ca 1827 in VA, who was married for the second time 22 Mar 1873 to Abraham F. WALKER in Loundoun Co., VA. I know so little about her. Who were her parents? Her son Ambrose Cornelius GANT, my great grandfather, married Jul 1881 Annie Jerusha DALY, daughter of:
John Wesley DALY, the son of Patrick DALY, was b. May 1836 in Linster Province, Ireland. He m. May 1859 Clementine Augusta MATTOCKS. Her father was:
Richard Tremaine MATTOCKS, the son of Robert and Mary MATTOCKS, was baptized 26 Dec 1792 at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Halifax, NS. Both father and son were sea captains, who settled in Westchester Co., NY ca 1800. Richard T. died in VA 4 Sep 1885, but his origins remain a deep mystery like the sea. His wife was Jerusha MOTT, b. 17 Jun 1798 in NY. She was the great granddaughter of:
Nathaniel LEONARD, b. ca 1712 in Monmouth Co., NJ, m. Deliverance LIPPIT ca 1737. His will was proved 29 Dec 1763 in Middletown, NJ where he had lived all his life. He surely belongs among the descendants of Henry LEONARD(1) who came to Monmouth from Lynn, MA, ca 1675, but what is his line of descent? To unravel the tangle of the numerous Nathaniel LEONARD's in NJ is possibly an impossible goal.
Mary Emma HOPKINS, was b. 16 Jan 187l Brooklyn, NY, to Francis K. HOPKINS and Catherine DAVY. She m. 23 Nov 1892 in Wash. DC to Meredith Allen JENKINS, b. 18 Mar 1861 in Erie Co., PA. They moved back to Erie, PA in 1904 where he was a baker. This was my great grandfather whom I met only once the year before he died, when I was 12 and he was 90 years old. I was fascinated with his stories of the late 1800's and with the amazing extensive genealogy he had done of his paternal grandparents' descendants. I've traced Mary Emma's maternal ancestry through Orange Co., New York back to Dutch New Amsterdam's Hendrick Hendricksen Van Doesburg but her father's ancestry hasn't been solved. Meredith's grandfather was:
Ransom JENKINS b. ca 1785-7 in MA or NH, who according to family tradition, walked from Springfield, MA to Chautauqua Co., NY in 1811 where he stopped at an inn and met:
Deborah CASS b. ca 1794 in NH(?) who was working at the inn in Hanover, NY. They married in August, 1812, settled in Chautauqua Co., NY and later in Erie County, PA. Who were their parents and where did they live prior to 180O? Her father was supposed to be Jonathan or Nathan CASS, names common to many CASS lines. Their son John Cass JENKINS married:
Rozillar PERKINS, b. ca 1827, daughter of Joseph (b. 1801) and Anna (Irish)(b. 1804) PERKINS. According to census records, the Perkins lived in Boston, Erie Co., NY, then Erie Co., PA and all were born in NY. Rozillar's parents Joseph Perkins and Amy Irish moved on to Big Rapids, MI around 1870. I've not found any reference to them prior to the 1840 census
Other paternal surnames are: COLES, CRAWFORD, DICKINSON, GORTON, GROVER, HOWLAND, JACKSON, LAWRENCE, MOTT, SHEPHERD, SCOTT, STOUT, THROCKMORTON, TILLEY, TILTON, and WRIGHT
Elusive ancestors on my mother's side:
Reuben FARLEY was elusive until I was able to tie him to the Farley family of Colrain and Charlemont, Franklin Co., MA. Born 3 Nov 1781 he married Abigail Hastings in 1804 and moved his family to Greenwich, Huron Co., OH by 1834. He was a Universalist minister, said to preach throughout northern OH until his death 2 Jun 1857. His daughter Eleanor FARLEY was m. 7 Sep 1741 in Huron County to Henry BELDING, the son of:
Benjamin BELDING, b. 1801 NY, and his wife Jane. They lived in Sawpits (now Port Chester,) Westchester Co, NY until 1829 when the family arrived in New London, Huron Co., OH. He is probably of the Connecticut BELDEN/BELDING families, but where does he fit? And who was Jane, his wife? Was he the son of the Benjamin Belding who died in 1802 in Westchester Co.? I have much information to share on Benjamin's descendants in OH if you are of this family.
Seth BLANCHARD of Brookfield, MA was b. 1778 in MA, m. Lydia RICE of Sturbridge, MA 3 Apr 1804. Their marriage bans were posted in Brookfield, 30 Jan 1804 but his birth is not recorded there. They moved to Harmony, Chautauqua Co., NY ca 1804 where they had six children. Many BLANCHARD lines are well documented, including those of two other contemporary Seth's. Where does mine fit? Seth's daughter Lorinda married Myron BLY, son of Myron BLY whose father was:
Asa BLY, b. ca 1765, is said in a 1786 Berkshire Co., MA deed to be of Brookfield, MA, however he doesn't appear in the Brookfield birth records. He later lived in Hoosick, Albany Co., NY, then in Otsego Co., NY, and finally bought land in Chautauqua County where his sons Myron and Theron BLY settled ca 1805. Asa BLY died in Otsego County in 1822. He was married to:
Desire SMITH, b. ca 1767, died 24 Feb 1820 and is buried in Ashville, Chautauqua Co., NY. Her tombstone says, "The virtuous mother's highest praise does not consist of length of days, For when her mortal forms at rest her children rise and call her blest." What more could a mother ask? She was the daughter of:
Dr. Gaius SMITH and his wife, Keziah Page. He lived in Bennington, VT and served in Capt. Ebenezer Wood's Company during the Revolution. His only son Leurendus died at age 17 in 1794 and is buried in Bennington. The family included four daughters in addition to Desire: Rachel, the eldest who m. David Brown; Hannah b. 1770 who m. Zenas ASHLEY, and moved to Burlington, Otsego, NY ca 1800-1805; Vernera b. 1781 m. Joseph Rudd and settled in Edmeston, Otsego Co, NY; and Myra who m. Ralph Chapman and also went to Otsego. The doctor died 26 Sep 1819, and his will was probated 4 Oct 1819, but his birthplace, his parentage are unknown.
William S. COLEMAN, my great grandfather was b. 18 May 1860 in NJ to John and Phoebe (Sheridan) COLEMAN. He m. Bertha Eunice CARR as his second wife about 1885 in Lackawanna Co., PA. He died in Scranton, PA 15 Apr 1911. My grandmother remembered visiting Coleman uncles who were railroad engineers when she was a child. William's father John Coleman was a blacksmith in Oxford, Warren Co., NJ. The census reports he was born in PA but I've been unsuccessful finding him there. John Coleman's wife Phobe was a daughter of Thomas Sheridan and his wife Sarah of Warren Co., NJ. Bertha CARR's parents were:
Jeremiah Gardiner CARR and Polly VOSBURG, who m. 1 Dec 1855 in Wyoming Co., PA. His family roots in Rhode Island are well documented. Polly's ancestry was finally revealed in 2004. She was actually Polly Remington, daughter of George Remington and his wife Eunice Vosburg. Perseverence paid off despite several references and a family tradition all mistating her real surname.
Other maternal surnames are: ABBOTT, ADAMS, BARTLETT, BARNES, BASS, CARR, CHAPIN, COOPER, FARNUM, GARDINER, GILBERT, HAYWARD, MOFFETT, NICHOLLS, PEARCE, PHELPS, REMINGTON, RICE, SAMPSON, SAYLES, THAYER, TIBBETTS, UPHAM, WAITE, and WILLIAMS
When I began my search as a teenager, I knew my great grandparents names and was told their families had come to America "a long time ago." You can imagine my excitement when I discovered each of my parents' lines led to a Mayflower ancestor. But there are so many more to be discovered.
I like to compare my adventures in genealogy to an ever-expanding jigsaw puzzle composed of an endless number of mysterious, hidden pieces. Each time another piece is fitted into the puzzle, it opens the door to a whole succession of new challenges and possibilities. With the tools and resources of the Internet at my fingertips, many more opportunities are available for finding clues and maybe even solutions to some of those perplexing ancestry problems.
If you share any of my family surnames I'd like to share information with you. Most of my ancestors originally came to New England, and continued moving westward until they settled in Ohio where I was born. They are primarily Englishmen, with a few Scots and Irishmen and two Dutch lines. To correspond with me, click on my e-mail address below. Happy hunting as you search for more pieces to solve the mystery of your ancestry puzzle.
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Before you leave, I have A SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP I'd like to tell you about. While finding my ancestors has been an adventure, the greatest adventure of my life began when Jesus found me. Many of my forefathers were strong in their Christian faith, but through succeeding generations, many others fell away and were doomed to eternal darkness. But God always preserves a remnant to pray for those who will seek Him.
My godly grandmother prayed and planted that seed of faith in me, and it lay dormant for many years. Although my Grammy went to be with the Lord in 1971, in 1983 I remembered her in my darkest hour.
My husband had suffered a massive coronary and after 48 hours in intensive care his life was hanging in the balance. I had scorned God and ignored His commandments all my adult life. Now from the depths of despair I began to pray for Joe, and the love of Jesus lifted me from the pit and showed me His saving grace.
I found the truth of Psalm 30:5 (KJV) "...Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning," as I learned he had passed through the crisis during the night. Joe told me a long forgotten Scripture had been echoing in his spirit as he lay near death. "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" Mark 8:36(KJV) So began our walk with the Lord fifteen years ago.
We have faced many life challenges during these years, as our faith in God was tested and refined, but He has been with us every step of the way. He is faithful to deliver when we seek Him and believe His Word.
In October, 1997 the EMS rushed me to the hospital at 3:30 a.m. After many inconclusive tests, the surgeon told us I would need exploratory surgery. A large mass in my abdomen might be Krohn's disease, a tumor or a ruptured appendix. She also said I was gravely ill and might not survive the operation.
Jesus was by our side, and the peace of God buoyed my spirit as I was wheeled into the operating room. I knew if I didn't wake up in the hospital, I would wake up in His presence. Surgery revealed a ruptured appendix, perforated colon, massive peritonitis and gangrene.
The surgery was successful, and to my surprise I opened my eyes to see my husband standing at my bedside. Two days later, however, my open wound was attacked by pseudomonas, a virulent infection that kills 75% of its victims. As our church family prayed for a miraculous healing, I read God's Word and continually prayed every healing Scripture I could remember. God answered our prayers and when I left the hospital on the tenth day my doctor said, "You have your miracle." Now a year later, I can testify that my joy in the Lord has increased tenfold as I live each day as if it were my last.
I knew my spirit would live on in Jesus, whether or not the surgery was successful. Would you like the same assurance? John 3:16 (KJV) tells us, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." You can pray along with me right now, and know that God will hear your prayer.
"Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. I believe you died on the cross for my sins, were buried in the tomb, and rose again on the third day. I confess that I am a sinner. Please forgive me, Lord. Cleanse my heart, and be Lord of my life. Fill me with your peace as I trust in you. Thank you Jesus for saving me and making me whole. In your name I pray, Amen."
If you said this prayer, please let me know so that I can rejoice with you. Then wherever you are, find a Bible believing church to disciple you and ground you in the Word. Begin to read the Book of John. You will discover the gospel message in Jesus' own words, as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago. Truly God humbled himself and became a man that you and I might enjoy eternal life in His presence.
And now my prayer is that "The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of his the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)