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Re: The Relative Value of the Sources
Posted by: Gusman Date: September 08, 2001 at 19:53:38
In Reply to: Re: The Relative Value of the Sources by Richard Alan McCool of 1583

Posted by: Richard Alan McCool Date: September 06, 2001 at 16:50:16 #696
In Reply to: Re: The Relative Value of the Sources by Gusman.

Mr. McCool <Dear Ed,

The fatal flaw in your argument is that you have no idea when exactly Simeon Lawson began spelling his name that way (if, indeed, he ever did). Once again, I would urge you to locate and read the Lossing article Doug had pointed to. This will explain everything to you that you will need to know in order to make an informed decision about this family--and a whole lot of others of Dutch heritage.

You are victimizing yourself by using one or two snapshots from within a continuum. The bottom line here is that you will never find Hannah's ancestry until you come to this realization.

I am rooting for you--but sooner or later you will have to lend a hand to your own research object.

Richard

PS--I should also point out that the New York Dutch-descending (by which I mean to include the New Jersey branches)routinely used the wife's maiden name on her grave stone into the mid-1800s, and later. This would, of course, be spelled as the deceased will have spelled it at the time of her death and may bare only slight resemblance to how her father spelled the name during the course of his life.

One also gets the impression that you may think of church baptismal registers as some sort of autograph book. These folks did not write their names in these books, anymore more than we do today. As you well know, the pastor who performed the ceremony, or the church clerk, will have made the notation--and spelled the name as he will have thought it to be spelled.>

RESPONSE BY GUSMAN

McCool - <The fatal flaw in your argument is that you have no idea when exactly Simeon Lawson began spelling his name that way (if, indeed, he ever did).>

Gusman – Not knowing when Simeon Lawson “began spelling his name that way” is not a fatal flaw. It is not even a minor flaw. Fact is it is NO flaw. As a genealogist you, of all people, should recognize that a woman’s maiden name is nearly without exception the same as her fathers surname. The few exceptions would be she was abandoned prior to the child knowing her maiden name or an adoption when the maiden name is locked by the Courts or at a later accountable age when the lady on her own volition has her maiden name changed for whatever her reasons may be. The practice of the daughter inheriting the surname of her father at birth extends back into biblical times, Roman times, prior to the completion of the Doomsday book and throughout the middle ages into the colonial period and is current today. In the case of Annetje Lawson and Simeon Lawson there is much cream at the top of the bottle. I thought you had an intimate knowledge of the third generation of Van Sicklen as recorded in Van Curen’s Van Sicklen genealogy. I will take the time and space to quote you the specific excerpt from that genealogy. Therein lies the rich thick cream concerning Annetje Lawson and her father Simeon Lawson.

Quote - “Generation No. 3

8. Cornelius Van Sicklen (Ferdinand, Cornelius, Ferdinand, Reinier, Ferdinandus) was born September 04, 1775 in Poughkeepsie, NY, and died March 19, 1850 in Brighton, Canada. HE MARRIED ANNETJE LAWSON JULY 08, 1795 IN FISHKILL, NEW YORK, DAUGHTER OF SIMEON LAWSON AND MARGRIET VAN KEUREN. SHE WAS BORN OCTOBER 23, 1774 IN NEW HACKENSACK, NEW YORK, AND DIED MAY 12, 1849 IN BRIGHTON, CANADA.

More about Cornelius Van Sicklen:
Verification1: January 14, 1776, Poughkeepsie DRC Christening

More about Annatje Lawson
VERIFICATION1: NEW HACKENSACK DRC CHRISTENING” –

Unquote

Mr. McCool, you owe me an apology for telling myself and the internet world that my argument about Annetje Lawson and Hannah Lossing, Sept. 5 #691 post, was flawed because – “you have no idea when exactly Simeon Lawson began spelling his name that way (if, indeed, he ever did).”. Mr. McCool, even without the Van Sicklen genealogy and New Hackensack DRC record, who would the father of Annetje Lawson have been if not a Lawson surnamed man?

If the Van Sicklen genealogy and the New Hackensack DRC Christening records are correct those documents become added fuel pointing out your error when you state – “ you have no idea when exactly Simeon Lawson began spelling his name that way (if, indeed, he ever did” , Van Curen in his Van Sicklen genealogy records Annetje (Hannah) Lawson’s father as Simeon Lawson. Under Annetje Lawson’s name (recorded as the daughter of Simeon Lawson) there is a reference to a New Hackensack DRC christening record. I have not seen the New Hackensack record but have no problem believing that it records the christening of one Annetje Lawson, the daughter of Simeon Lawson and his wife. If any other father’s surname appears on the New Hackensack record, then why would Van Curen have chosen to record Simeon Lawson as the father of Annetje Lawson. If I am correct, then the New Hackensack DRC record and the Van Sicklen genealogy both confirm the father of Annetje Lawson as Simeon Lawson. The maiden name of Simeons’s daughter will be Lawson.

As to your comment – “if, indeed, he ever did”, I have only this to say. Annetje (Hannah) Lawson’s maiden name would not be Lawson if her birth father did not spell his surname as Lawson. Put another way – Annetje (Hannah) Lawson’s maiden name is Lawson because her father was surnamed Lawson. The New Hackensack DRC record and the Van Siclen genealogy are in a sense the frosting on the cake but not needed to confirm the maiden name spelling for Hannah Lawson.

At this point, I recommend that you reread my posting of Sept 5 #691 – It appears from the comments in your response to that posting that you probably gave considerably less attention to the post than it deserved because and probably before you completed the first paragraph, you decided I was blowing smoke about Simeon Lawson and wrote it off as “non-sequitur

I say this with reluctance about your discussions with me, I have detected an underlying tone of superiority or arrogance by yourself not very becoming to the reputation subscribed to you by Van Curen. It has become quite evident in your latest posting when you state – “The fatal flaw in your argument….- You are victimizing yourself by using one or two snapshots from within a continuum….The bottom line here is that you will never find Hannah's ancestry until you come to this realization.”

Need I repeat that the ancestry connection of both Hannah Lawson and Hannah Lossing to their respective fathers is known by their maiden names. Ancestry early than their father’s names are not relevant to the Eastling, Van Siclen, Van Sicklen debates.

The 1801 Fishkill birth record is face value evidence about the birth parents of Maria. When dealing with face value evidence and the absence of living witnesses or legal documents such as notarized affidavits, in a Court of Law, speculation cannot be a factor. The Fishkill record in itself establishes the legality of the birth mother of Maria, who is Hannah Lossing. The legality of Annetje’s (Hannah) Lawson’s name is founded on the New Hackensack Christening record, even without the Van Sicklen genealogy. The Courts will uphold the legitimacy of the New Hackensack DRC christening record as a true and legal record of whatever names appear on that record. Never having seen the New Hackensack DRC record, I am nevertheless confident that the names in that record are Annetje Lawson, Simeon Lawson and his wife.

CONSEQUENTLY, MY ARGUMENTS ABOUT HANNAH LAWSON AND HANNAH LOSSING NOT BEING ONE AND THE SAME PERSON CONTAIN NO FATAL FLAWS.

McCool - <You are victimizing yourself by using one or two snapshots from within a continuum. The bottom line here is that you will never find Hannah's ancestry until you come to this realization.>

Gusman - Hannah Lawson’s immediate ancestry (her father) is evident from the New Hackensack DRC christening record and the Van Sicklen genealogy created by Van Curen. Ancestry for Hannah Lossing is determined by her maiden name, which was inherited from her birth father. When or if Father Lossing ever had a different surname is not relevant. At the birth of Hannah Lossing, her father’s surname was Lossing and that is an unarguable fact. When or if Simeon Lawson ever had a different name is equally not relevant, Simeon’s surname was Lawson when Annaetje Lawson was born as recorded by the New Hackensack DRC record according to Van Curen.

If Hannah Lawson had been the birth mother of Maria, there would had to have been a conspiracy between a minimum of four people to record Hannah Lossing as the birth mother of Maria The people conspiring would have been Hannah Lawson’s husband, Hannah Lawson herself, the Church Pastor and the church recorder. Perhaps you would care to explain why those four people (at the least) would have engaged in a conspiracy to change the maiden name from Hannah Lawson to Hannah Lossing as the birth mother of Maria. I suspect there would have been raised eyebrows in the Fishkill church as to why Hannah Lawson and her husband would have changed the Lawson maiden name to Lossing if Hannah Lawson had been the birth mother of Maria. The church community would surely have known that Hannah Lossing was the pregnant lady ergo the birth mother. What was to be gained by the perpetration of such a maiden name fraud?

McCool - < One also gets the impression that you may think of church baptismal registers as some sort of autograph book. These folks did not write their names in these books, anymore more than we do today. As you well know, the pastor who performed the ceremony, or the church clerk, will have made the notation--and spelled the name as he will have thought it to be spelled.

Are you saying that the church clerk didn’t know how to spell the name Lawson and spelled Lossing in place of Lawson? If Hannah Lawson had written her own name, don’t you think that Hannah Lawson would be the name we read today? Of course I know it was no “autograph book” – is your comment about an “autograph book” an effort at humor or sarcasm?

The following will refute on going allegations by yourself should you attempt to explain why Hannah Lawson did not appear in the 1801 Fishkill DRC record because the Church clerk and/or Pastor misspelled Lawson to read Lossing.

Shall I say a “neat item” contained in the Fishkill DRC 1801 church birth/baptismal record, perhaps unknown to you is this. Immediately above the parents Cornelius FV Sicklen and Hannah Lossing, there is recorded parents for another child (James Willis Jones) born Aug. 27 1801, thirty days prior to Sept 15 1801, the birth date of Maria to Hannah Lossing. As evidenced by the writing, the same recorder wrote both entries for both sets of parents. I will send as an attachment directly to yourself a copy of the Fishkill record if you desire but only if requested by yourself. The names of the parents for the James child are – Mathew P. Lossing and Margaret Lossing – no doubt 2nd or 3rd cousins. Such marriages were not an infrequent event before laws controlling interrelated marriages were in place. Perhaps Hannah Lossing was a sibling of either Mathew Lossing, or Margaret Lossing, or a more distance cousin. What relationship may have existed is not important. The significance of two additional Lossing names appearing thirty days earlier than Maria Lossing is self-evident proof of the following.

There appears to have been at the birth of Hannah Lossing’s child, a colony of Lossing families living in the area of the Fishkill DRC church and attending the Fishkill DRC church. The Fishkill DRC baptismal entry of Mathew and Margaret Lossing is confirmation that in 1801, not all of the Lawson’s and Lossing’s had melded into common or transmuted names, regardless of what Van Curen or you may believe you derived from the Lawson/Lossing article you deem to be so conclusive. The additional Lossings’ appearing in the Fishkill DRC 1801 record is also face value evidence of the strongest kind that the recording clerk did not misspell the name Lawson to become Lossing.

A peculiarity that both you’re and Van Curen’s arguments have is that each of you believe that you must always add personal speculator evidence when there is no supporting documentation or living witnesses to support your speculations. When a document is not supported by living witnesses or corroborating evidence from additional authenticated documents, face value evidence of a document cannot be altered by speculation of events not contained within the document. Speculation is just speculation, nothing more and always remains unproven.

However speculation is a powerful and influential tool and when used by people skilled in the power to manipulate the thinking of others, it’s application can be extremely useful when attempting to prove a point not otherwise provable. In this situation you imply with your statement - “ the pastor who performed the ceremony, or the church clerk, WILL HAVE SPELLED THE NAME AS HE WILL HAVE THOUGHT IT TO BE SPELLED.” You throw a red herring at a reader implying that the name Lawson should appear in the Fishkill DRC 1801 document but does not because the Pastor or church clerk spelled Lawson as Lossing. Fact is there is nothing about or within the Fishkill DRC 1801-baptismal/birth record that permits or encourages speculation about the spelling ability of the recorder. It is conceivable, and this is my speculation, that with the absence of data proving otherwise, the church recorder may have himself or herself been a Lossing. You and Van Curen are challenged to proving otherwise! Contrary to your implication that the recorder incorrectly spelled Lawson as Lossing, quite the opposite is true – the presence of entries for two additional Lossing’s a month prior to Hannah Lossing is impressive evidence that Hannah Lossing’s maiden name was correctly spelled.

The two ladies Hannah Lawson and Hannah Lossing are different people with different although identically named husbands. Conclusive evidence to that fact lies in their inherited birth names and the face value evidence of the New Hackensack DRC record for Annetje Lawson and the Fishkill DRC record for the birth of Hannah Lossing’s child.

McCool - <This will explain everything to you that you will need to know in order to make an informed decision about this family--and a whole lot of others of Dutch heritage.>

Gusman - Frankly speaking, I doubt that the article to which you refer and appear to be quite impressed with and which I have yet to read, will deal specifically with the Hannah Lawson versus Hannah Lossing controversy from the viewpoint of father daughter naming conventions, New Hackensack DRC and Fishkill DRC records, including an existing colony of Lossings attending the Fishkill DRC in 1801. I would be more than willing to read your referenced article but I will need specific instructions for accessing same.

I have the impression that you have so completely locked your thinking into place about Lawson’s and Lossing’s that you are unwilling to view the relationships from the perspective of inherited birth names on a one to one basis such as daughter and father that you may have lost sight of the small picture. It is somewhat like seeing the forest but not the individual trees in the forest. When one walks into the perfect picture of a forest there are many imperfect trees to be found. I told you in my previous posting that I was going to put a new spin on Lawson versus Lossing. I am surprised you could have supported Van Curens assessments when you appear not to have known that Simeon Lawson was the father of Annetje Lawson and apparently have never given serious thought to the significance of daughters inheriting their fathers surname.

McCool - < PS--I should also point out that the New York Dutch-descending (by which I mean to include the New Jersey branches) routinely used the wife's maiden name on her grave stone into the mid-1800s, and later. This would, of course, be spelled as the deceased will have spelled it at the time of her death and may bare only slight resemblance to how her father spelled the name during the course of his life.>

Gusman – I would not argue the point that a maiden name could be spelled somewhat differently on a gravestone than the surname of the father, however, I will go out on the proverbial limb and state that with a name the spelling of which is as simple, straight forward and common as “Lawson” , the maiden name Lawson would appear on a gravestone spelled as “Lawson”, if the maiden name appeared at all. Of course anything can happen. In any event the New Hackensack DRC and Van Curen’s own Van Sicklen genealogy both establish that Annetje (Hannah) Lawson’s maiden name was Lawson at birth, marriage and death. For whatever it is worth, the maiden name of my wife’s grandmother, buried in Holland, was spelled on her grave marker exactly the same way my wife’s grand mother’s father had been spelled. Should that be viewed as an aberration in the conventional spelling of father’s surname versus daughters maiden name?

McCool - < and a whole lot of others of Dutch heritage>

Gusman – My wife is a first generation born American. Her parents emmigrated from Holland about April 1925. I have, with the assistance of a Dr. XXXX (not medical) in Holland, traced her fathers ancestry (my wife’s maiden name) back to about 1750, prior to which there are no traceable records. The research in Holland was undertaken by a native born man living in Holland. A researcher, who was so thorough that he uncovered in Holland a post card written by my wife’s father while he was in the Holland Cavalry during WWI. When the post card was written, my wife’s mother was merely a fiancée of my wife’s father. All of the credit for the Holland part of the research goes to Dr. XXXX, with none to myself. However, along the way, I learned from the researcher much more about Holland naming customs, Napoleons influence, when and how records originated and the evolution of the Holland record keeping and naming conventions, etc. than you appear to be willing to credit me with knowing. It was the picture of the gravestone of my wife’s grandmother that prompted my question to you about a Holland custom of placing the wife’s maiden name and not the surname of her husband on her gravestone. I was testing you. You passed that test but you surely flunked the test about father daughter surname/maiden name conventions and their ancestral relationships.

There is an old “polock” saying - “never underestimate the opposition, it may out flank you”. You understand that being about 50% Polish, I don’t need to be “politically” correct and use the word Polish when referring to my own origins.

McCool - < I am rooting for you--but sooner or later you will have to lend a hand to your own research object>.

Gusman – Thank you for the comment. I am convinced that my appraisal of Hannah Lossing and Hannah Lawson, based on the face value evidence of two documents, the New Hackensack DRC which confirms the name of Lawson for Annetje (Hannah) daughter of Simeon Lawson and the 1801 Fishkill DRC birth record, a copy which I have, and which confirms the name of Maria’s mother Hannah Lossing, are sufficient in themselves to establish that there never had been a crossover of birth mothers for the child born Sept 15 1801 named Maria.

As an independent researcher engaged by a third party wrote within the last year – “if the Fishkill 1801 baptismal/birth record proves anything at all, it proves that Hannah Lossing, not Hannah Lawson, was the birth mother of the child born Sept 15, 1801." My goodness you should have read how Van Curen tore that lady's reputation apart. It was something to read and beyond character assination. The individual who had engaged the researcher wrote me and requested that I inform Van Curen to stop writing to her.

I have enjoyed the debate.


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