When I got started on my family history when I was around 12 years old I started the way most people start … by asking questions to my elders. I asked my Mom and Dad to tell me “whatever they remembered” and got the very basics and spread out from there. One of the “tips” I got from both my Father and my Aunt Muriel was that their Grandmother was named Eugenia and that she “was a BLAUVELT” from Stony Point/Haverstraw area New York.
Problem was that this name was all I had to work with. I found my Grandmother Marian’s birth certificate and sure enough it listed Eugenia VanVailor BLAUVELT as her mother – BLAUVELT being her “maiden” name.
I talked Dad, Mom, my Aunt and even my Sister into driving me up to Stony Point to look around and check out records and I couldn’t find her. At all. Grandmother Eugenia remained my “brick wall” for over 10 years!
That is – until I was able to gain access to Ancestry.com’s census records and spent a few HOURS tracing her assumed birth date time period and where I thought she lived (at this point it was Brooklyn, New York). I didn’t use her last/maiden name – I just looked for Eugenia. Jackpot! I found a Eugenia with the “correct” time and birthday along with a SEVERELY butchered name that appeared to be BLAUVELT. Her brother was listed as “Hamilton” which was also the name of her son (and my Grandmother Marion’s brother). Family names are always a great way to connect families!
Eugenia’s parents were listed as Thomas BLAUVELT and Rachel BABCOCK. In the 1870 census all the names were correct except Eugenia’s since she was listed as “Virginia.” Yet – on the 1880 census the names were all correct.
Cross-referencing is the KEY in genealogy!
Once I found Thomas BLAUVELT and his wife Rachel BABCOCK I was finally able to get back to the “beginning” of the BLAUVELT family in America. All using census records along with the already published genealogy of the family.
My BLAUVELT line is as follows:
Eugenia VanVailor BLAUVELT (my Great-Grandmother)
… (parents) Thomas William BLAUVELT & Rachel BABCOCK [source: Ancestry.com census records]
… … (parents) Abraham BLAUVELT & Martha CONKLIN [source: Ancestry.com census records]
… … … (parents) Abraham BLAUVELT & Margrietje BLAUVELT
… … … … (parents) Johannes BLAUVELT & Annatje QUACKENBUSH
… … … … … (parents) Gerrit BLAUVELT & Katrina MEYER
… … … … … … (parents) Huybert GERRITSEN (BLAUVELT) & Willemtje Ariaens /SMIDT SMITH
… … … … … … … (parents) Gerrit HENDRICKSEN (BLAUVELT) & Marretje Lamberts MOLL
Gerrit, son of Hendrick, arrived at “The Rocks” at Swede’s Landing, DE in March 1638 aboard the Kalmar Nyckel. He then traveled up the Hudson River to Rensselaerwyck. On 7 May 1646 he married Marretje Lamberts Moll in the New Amsterdam (NYC) Dutch Church. He received a grant of farmland on Manhattan Island on what is now Broadway near Maiden Lane and became known as the Blau Boer (Blue Farmer), his farm, the Blau Veldt. On 22 October 1679, he married Josyntje Janse. In due time, all the surviving children of Gerrit, with the exception of Elizabeth (child of the second marriage) became shareholders in the Tappan Patent, and resided there. [source]
The above photo is of my Great Grandmother Eugenia along with I would assume her sister. Eugenia is on the left side. There is a STRONG family resemblance to between her and my Grandmother Marian and also Marian’s brother Henry.