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Home: Regional: U.S. States: New York: Otsego County

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David FINK (b.1837)+Polly PAULK (b.1834) Otsego, NY
Posted by: george stevens (ID *****2021) Date: January 14, 2003 at 15:27:38
  of 1120

Seeking FINK and PAULK backgrounds of David FINK (b. July 1836, prob in Milford, Otsego County, NY) and Polly PAULK (b. March 1834, prob in Exeter, Otsego County, NY). They were married ca 1854 (probably in Otsego County NY) and lived in Milford, Otsego County, NY, until 1875 when they probably moved with their ten children to Gibson/Driftwood, Cameron County, PA. There they are listed in the 1900 US Census and appear to have died in PA before the 1910 Census.

My wife is a 2xGreat Grand-daughter of David Fink and Polly M. Paulk who were married in Otsego, NY, ca 1854 and lived there until at least 1875. I strongly suspect that they both lived in Otsego for about twenty years prior to their 1854 marriage, and have not yet identified their parents, but there are several Fink and Paulk family candidates in the earlier 1830 and 1840 US Censuses. David and Polly Fink are listed in the 1860 and 1870 US Census as famers in Portlandville Post Office, Milford Township, Otsego County, NY. They also and later are enumerated in the 1900 US Census in Gibson, Cameron County, PA. I have not yet found them in PA in 1880 and 1890, but I suspect they were
then and there.

A. "David Fink" (b. July 1836 NY, prob in Otsego Co.; d. ca. 1905, Gibson, Cameron Co., PA)
B. "Polly M. Paulk" (b. March 1834 NY, prob in Otsego Co.; d. ca 1905, Gibson, Cameron Co., PA)
Prior to the 1850 Census David and Polly do not appear as named individuals in the 1840 Census, but apparently are living with their parents. They also do not appear (I have not been able to find them in 1880 in Milford, Otsego, NY) in the 1880 Census, and I suspect that they moved to PA ca 1875. The 1900 Census said Polly (then in McKean Co, PA) had 12 children, of whom 10 still were living.

The 1860 & 1870 US Censuses list nine of these twelve children (then living in Otsego Co NY) as:
1. William Fink b. ca 1854
2. Marvin Fink b. ca 1858
3. Jesse Fink b. ca 1861
4. Nathan Fink b. Aug 1862
5. Eugene Fink b. 1 March 1865
6. John Fink b. ca 1866
7. Asa Charles Fink b. Sep 1867
8. Sarah Fink b. Nov 1869
9. Annie Fink b. ca 1870-74
10. Unknown 10th child
11-12. Two other children reportedly died

When (#5. above) Eugene Fink died just short of his 100th birthday in December 1964 in Driftwood, Cameron County, PA, his local obituary stated that he came as a boy of ten years to Driftwood in 1875 and had been born in Cooperstown, NY on 1 March 1865. This single clue led me back to the County in which Cooperstown is located, and there, in the 1860 and 1870 Census I found the above named children whom I believe to be his siblings.

I think it would be wonderful if you could steer me towards repositories of vital records of this family which might still survive in Otsego and might help me to enlarge the footprint uncovered thus far. My wife and I drive up to Wyoming County each summer and we easily could swing by Otsego County to do a little research on this family of David Fink and Polly Paulk/Polk.

In looking for PAULK/POLK/PALKs in Otsego County, the task ismade easier by the fact that there are so few of them in the following Censuses:
31 Mar 1822: Abigail "PALK" age not given, Christened at Congregational Church, Exeter, Otsego, NY
1830: Nathan "POLK"/30-40, 2xfemales/30-40, 1xfem/70-80, 1xfem/5-10, Exeter, Otsego, NY
1840: Nathan "PAULK"/30-40, 2xfemales/30-40, 1xMale/10-15, in Exeter, Otsego, NY
1850: Nathan PAULK 47; Martha PAULK 47; Mercy Wms 35; Abigail PAULK 56; Exeter, Otsego, NY
(Nathan was born in MA; Martha was born in CT; Mercy was b. in NY; Abigail was b. in CT).
1860: (Nathan PAULK reportedly in listed on page 30 but I haven't seen the imagery/microfiche)
1870: Nathan PAULK, 74 in Exeter, Otsego, NY, with 2 females, 64 & 65, one poss surnamed Paulk
1880-1920: I cannot find any PAULKs in Otsego County, NY. But in the 1930 Census. in Plainfield, Otsego, NY, there suddenly appear John P. POLK & Eliza POLK, both aged 60, possibly related.

I think it would be wonderful if the names of any children of Nathan and Martha PAULK have survived or if there are additional data about this family, which migrated into Exeter Township, Otsego Co., NY, from a fairly well documented extended family of PAULKs that lived on both sides of the CT-MA line in Hampden County MA and in the adjoining county of Tolland, CT. Early Abigails abound in this family and there are two Nathans, Nathan Lord PAULK and Nathan Moody PAULK who just possibly might be related to the Nathan POLK or PAULK who shows up in Exeter, Otsego, NY ca 1830 and who may be related to the Abigail PALK/PAULK who was baptized in 1822. Nathan Lord PAULK was born 12 Feb 1813 in Tolland, Tolland County, CT, and on 19 Aug 1832 in Stafford, Tolland, CT, married Mary A. Squires. The fact that he was born in CT and married a Mary would seem to disqualify him, though he might be related. Nathan Moody PAULK was born on 19 Nov 1788 in Somers, Tolland Co., CT, and may not have married. Another Nathan (O.?) PAULK was killed in the Civil War and is buried somewhere down in TN. Another branch of the CT/MA PAULK family moved in 1754 down into VA, NC, GA following a charismatic Baptist minister; their descendants took root throughout the south. That's about all I have on PAULKs in Exeter, Otsego, NY, out of the PAULK family of MA and CT.

As for the parents of the David FINK who ca 1854 married Polly PAULK, probably in Otsego Co., NY, there are several candidate families. In the 1850 Census, in Milford, Otsego, NY, there are Jacob FINK, 40, born in NY and a farmer, his wife Lana, 35; their children Margaret 21, John 18, David 17, Hannah 16, Lana 14, Lydia 12, Harriet 9, and Ira age 1. I suspect that this David may have married Polly M. PAULK, but there may be other candidates. For example, in the 1840 Census there is a John FINK in nearby Maryland Township, Otsego County, NY. John is 20-30, with a young wife 15-30, and a son 0-5 years old. On 18 June 1838 John Fink of Maryland, Otsego, NY, was married to Jane REED. Also in the 1840 Census, and also in Maryland, Otsego, NY, there is another, older John FINK and presumably his wife. Both are aged 70-80 and no others are listed in the household. Also of interest is the family of Jeremiah FINK of Westford, Otsego County, NY. Jeremiah is listed in the US Census of 1820 and 1830. Jeremiah has a large family and seems to have died after 1840. He may be rthe same Jeremiah FINK who married Patience RICHMOND. Jeremiah & Patience had children to include Marilla, Betsey, Jacob, Lovice, and Peter. After Jeremiah died, Patience remarried and lived in another NY County. In the 1850 Census Patience has remarried James PATTEN and is living in Wayne County, NY. There are several other FINKS who appear in 19th Century Otsego County, NY, but these appear to be the main families. I hope to link them all together and then trace them back to earlier FINKs, probably out of Germany to NY, perhaps in 1710. There were some fairly well known German Finks in Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, NY, who fought in the French & Indian War, the Revolution, and War of 1812 (Andreas Finck, Christian Finck, Andrew Finck Sr., Christian Fink, Andrew Christian Fink) before moving on to the midwest ca 1840. I suspect these Otsego County Finks may be distantly related to the Stone Arabia, Montgomery County, FINKs, but this will require proof and much additional research.

Incidentally, the David A. Fink listed on page 318 of the 1878 History of Otsego County, NY, by Evarts & Fariss is not our David Fink. His name was mistyped and should read David A. Finch, who is elsewhere well documented as having served in the Civil War.

I do hope that this letter does not overwhelm you by asking for too much or enclosing too much data. I have tried to do my homework in preparation of our visit to Otsego County, this coming summer, but I am hoping that you can steer us in the right direction to knowledgeable county historians, local genealogists, and to repositories where we may find records, footprints, graves, traces, land and tax records, deeds and wills, shadows of these FINKs and PAULKs who lived in Milford and Westford and Exeter and Maryland Townships, in Otsego County, some 150-180 years ago.

Cordially, George H. Stevens & Margaret W, Stevens
705 Gleneagles Drive; Fort Washington, MD 20744
E-Mail: GHStevens3@AOL.COM

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