Janet's Letters

(As transcribed by Mike Borchardt, 7 Feb 1997)

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Letter #1 of 12

April 7, 1978

Mr. Errol Rowley
Fairmont, Minnesota

Dear Mr. Rowley,
In an effort to put my family history together, I was referred to Fairmont, Minn., and wrote to the County Clerk. I received a nice letter from him with quite a bit of information. I had asked him if he knew of a descendant of the Rowleys I was checking on that I might write to and he gave me your name.

I hope you won't mind my writing to you even though you may not claim my branch of the Rowley family. I am anxious to get any information possible on the Rowleys around Fairmont, Minnesota.

    Darius Rowley- born 1-29-1827 - Pennsylvania, died - 2-1-1909 Mn.
        He was the son of Peter Rowley and Alice Dustin - my 
    great great grandparents - brother of my great grandmother- lived 
    in this area.
        His children (Darius and Louise Rouse Rowley's)
            1. Timothy Rowley - born 12-27-1856 Kewaunee, Wis.
                                died - 4-2-1948 Fairmont. Mn.
            2. Oliver Rowley - born 10-25-1861 Mn.  "
                               died - 1-13-1931     "

I am hoping to learn about Peter Rowley's and Alice Dustin's parents - where they lived and where they died - and to learn of their descendants. Peter was born in 1795 and Alice Dustin in 1799.

Peter Rowley was born in New York state, lived in Oswego County around 1820- moved to Pennsylania (sic) in 1826 - then to Ohio and to Wisconsin in 1834 - 1st settler of Two Creeks, Wis. in 1842 - I lose him there - hope to find where he died to check on his parents.

Thank you very much for taking time to read this.

Would appreciate your checking the following page - if you would - if you do not care to - please just put in enclosed envelope and send back to me -

Yours truly,
(signed) Janet Richardson (Mrs. R.W.)

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Letter #2 of 12

May 8, 1978

Dear LaVonne,

Thank you very much for answering the letters I wrote to Errol Rowley and Mrs. Ed Rowley - you sent me so much interesting information - I appreciate it very much!

Am enclosing several papers for you - many of the dates and names I got from your letter - I checked those in pencil.

As to Lemuel: I found him on a deed Feb. 22, 1852 in Wisconsin- from U.S. land grant - Manitowoc Co. - signed by James Buchanan, Pres. of U.S.A. Again I found him on a deed where he and wife Betsey Rowley of Two Rivers, Co. of Manitowoc, State of Wisconsin were selling a piece of property - 18 Aug., 1859. Then again on a deed where he was buying property from Darius Rowley and his wife Louisa of Manitowoc Co., State of Wisconsin - same date 18 Aug., 1859- then you told me that Darius moved to Minn.- E.C. Oct 8, 1859 - so that would tie together.

Timothy's death certificate says he was born in Kewaunee / 1860 Census of Town of Rowley lists Betsey Rowley, 41 and Polly D.- 12, no mention of Lemuel - wonder if he died? or moved to Kansas as you had heard? I will check cemetery records in May when I am there - May 22, 23, 24. Manitowoc Co. did not keep death certificates before 1864. They do not have a death certificate for Peter Rowley or Alice Dustin Rowley. 1860 Census has no mention of Peter or Alice - and with Darius and Lucy Ann gone, I wonder if the family moved to E.C. I'll check in Manitowoc Co.- then if I find nothing- perhaps you would check cemetery and church records for me - I would appreciate that!

Lucy Ann Curtis' death certificate says she died, widowed, in Fairmont - probably is buried there, do you think?

You speak of your 3rd cousin coming in June - I'm curious as to relationship as Mrs. Pfunder of Minneapolis (her husband was a great grandson of Mariett) said that they had driven to Fairmont (she married into the family in 1916) to a celebration at which Peter Rowley had given a paper on the Rowley family history -this Peter would have to have been the son of Darius - she said that she had had a copy of it. - do you suppose we can get a copy from Martin Co. Historical Society? I will write them after I get back from Wisconsin - thank you for sending me their address.

I am trying to link Alice Dustin with Hannah Dustin, 1697 (World Book- Haverhill, Mass. where there is a statue to her). Note of my father's says Alice, a direct descendant of the famous Hannah Dustin. I have been a dues paying member of the Dustin Family Association since my father's death in 1964, he was before me, but I never asked him the relationship - and now I have been working on that angle for a year- so I am anxious to find out Alice Dustin's parents' names. In the 1850 Census of Wisconsin I find Peter Rowley, Allice and it looks to be an N.H. after her name as place of birth all this time I thought it was N.Y. Mariett's death certificate lists mother's place of birth as York State. but I have no idea who furnished the information. Darius' d.c. lists mother's place of birth as unknown.

I have written a number of letters to County Clerks. The one I wrote to Oswego Co. N.Y. was answered by the Historian of the Town of Volney, Oswego Co. a Mr. Byron Rowlee (said name used to be spelled Rowley) - he wrote and offered to help me. I have answered his letter and hope to hear from him.

I am also trying to link Peter Rowley to Henry Rowley of Barnstable, Mass., 1632- but have a few gaps at present. Mrs. Pfunder referred me to him and my brother tells me he remembers Dad telling him that our ancestor shipped on the Speedwell - as far as I can find out the Speedwell never came, and passengers came on a later Mayflower- will have to do a bit more checking on descendants of the Plymouth Colony-

My mother told me that I would be eligible for the D.A.R. - but I wasn't interested - still not thinking of joining, but do wonder what ancestor makes me eligible- would have to be a Rowley or Dustin who fought in Revolutionary War.

Do you have any idea where Abby Ann Tower died? Avaline? I do find a great variety of spelling of names - I find Mariett, Mariette, Margaret, Mary E. so maybe your Margett is correct??? I see you have Avaline, perhaps Velina is a nickname -

The Register of Deeds in Manitowoc Co. did send me an interesting note - for you - the earliest entry in original entry book is dated 1847 and is to Darius Rowley.

                Alice Dustin --- Peter Rowley
              b. 1799   chr:            b. 1795
           Mariett b1822              Darius-----etc    b. 1827    
       Martha McMillan (O'Hara)b.1861     Timothy Rowley   b1856
     Donald McMillan O'Hara  b. 1885       Lillian Rowley (Borchardt) b. 1908
 Janet O'Hara Richardson b. 1918           LaVonne Borchardt b. 1939

Does this make us 5th cousins? My grandmother and your grandfather were first cousins. We have lived in Grand Rapids, Mich. 31 years - my husband is a lawyer here - have 3 grown sons and one grandson.

Thank you, again for writing to me- hope to have more information after my trip to Wisconsin and will certainly appreciate any you have for me or any suggestions as to where I might find some.

(signed) Janet Richardson

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Letter #3 of 12

June 7, 1978

Dear LaVonne,
Spent three days in Wisconsin- May 22, 23 and 24 - looking up the Rowleys (and McMillans). I have alot of leads and have written a number of letters since I got back - hoping to get the desired information, but still didn't answer my questions as to names of parents of Peter Rowley and Alice Dustin.

Still could not find where Peter Rowley or his wife died. I was hoping to check cemetery records or death certificates for names of parents. So, I would appreciate your asking your cousin - and possibly checking cemetery lot to see if you find them there. In which case I will write the cemetery.

I did find in the Court House in Manitowoc in the record of marriage licenses: Valena Rowley m. Aaron Woalker (sic) Two Rivers 3/1/1853 by Justice of the Peace W.W. Waldo of Manitowoc also Lucy Almira Rowley m. Christian Schultz 9/15/1852 by Tim Harrington, Justice of the Peace (maybe that is why Mariett's paper says Lucy A. -- now Curtis - interesting that she married in Two Rivers, Wis. and died in Minn as did Darius. Wonder if C. Schultz died in Wis. or Minn? Wonder if they had any children?

In Brown County Library in Green Bay, I found in the book "Wisconsin Volunteers- War of the Rebellion 1861-1865":

Peter Rowley- musician -Co. E 14th Infantry (handwritten:) Two Rivers

enlisted Sept. 26, 1861, discharged Feb. 12, 1862 disability hard to believe that he would have enlisted at age 66, but if this is true, we should get alot of information from his papers. I filled out the form they gave me and sent it to the National Archives in Washington, D.C. The librarian told me that if he had a disability, he would have received a pension and they would tell me where it was sent and when he died.

In the library in Two Rivers, I found in a book about volunteers in the Civil War -

Peter Rowley, Two Rivers Sept. 26, 1861
Oliver Rouse Kewaunee Oct 12, 1861

I am curious as to this entry (if you are ever interested in more information about him, you could write the Brown County Library- Local History Dept. 515 Pine St. Green Bay, Wis. and ask librarian to look up more details in the book I mentioned above and get form for National Archives - sorry I didn't check that out for you - but my poor brain let it slip by). Would you guess this to be a brother of Darius' wife or her father? You see, I am trying to find Peter's father's name and if Darius had one son named after his father, Peter, and one son named after his wife's father, Oliver, then possibly the third was named after his grandfather and that might be Timothy --?? Mr. Rowlee, who has been helping me says there is a Timothy (I had told him about this possibility some time ago) listed (along with two other possibilities) in Land Bounty Rights - Rev. War - N.Y. Hopefully, the Archives will shed some light on this, but if you come across anything, I'd be very happy to learn of it. If I find the answer, I'll let you know.

I did get up to Rowley's Bay - near northern tip of the Door Co. Peninsula - map of Wisconsin - lovely country. It was named after Peter Rowley. The area has been unspoiled for years- now someone has put a restaurant there and a few cottages to rent- they are hoping to do a history of the area so were glad to talk to me - hope to get more information from them.

(signed) Janet Richardson

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Letter #4 of 12

August 4, 1978

Dear LaVonne,

Thought you might like this paper I received from the Sturgeon Bay Museum after my trip to Manitowoc County. I thought it was very interesting.

I sent for Peter Rowley's service record in Civil War and from that I learned that he was born in Nassau, New York - think I have his father's name- Timothy - there was a Timothy in land deeds in Williamstown, New York in 1811, and Peter enlisted in War of 1812 from Williamstown, and is listed in New York census 1820 in Williamstown - that Timothy's wife's name is Lucy and, of course Peter and Alice had daughter, Lucy - as well as daughter Abby - I now have learned that Alice Dustin's parents were Moses and Abigail Dustin- have Moses Dustin's service record from Revolutionary War- and have traced him to Hannah Dustin. Will send you a copy of the Hanna Dustin story as soon as I receive some more copies.

I guess I still believe Peter Rowley's wife to be Alice - not Ellis - I find it in note of my father's- Alice, a direct descendant of the famous Hannah Dustin (World Book H- Haverhill). I have received it from many relatives I have now found since I went to Wisconsin. I found it in the 1850 census of Manitowoc County - Two Rivers - Peter, Allice - and names of the children who were at home - have also come upon several sisters of Alice's, I believe.

Darius Rowley had sons - Timothy, Peter and Oliver, right? Was Oliver named after his wife's father- I found an Oliver Rouse in Kewaunee.

When Moses Dustin applied for a pension as a citizen of Erie Co., Pa., in 1832, one person who was a reference, who had known him 15 years - was Darius Orton (I found Darius Orton and Lemuel Orton in D.A.R. Books as Revolutionary soldiers.) That accounts for those names of Peter's sons, I would guess. Darius Orton, Jr. married Mercy Dustin (Born 1796). (Alice was born in 1799).

The Mormon Church has opened a branch here for Genealogy Research where we can go out and order micro-films sent here. I will do that - so far I am in correspondence with a man who is writing a history of Volney, NY - under the CETA Program, and has been very helpful. I do make an occasional trip to the State Library at Lansing, Mich.

The relatives I spoke of locating were all through the McMillan branch - Maryett having married Neil McMillan - I found daughters of first cousins of my father's I had never heard about-

Was so sorry to learn of your accident - that was a shame- I'll be glad to send you what information I come upon.

(signed) Janet Richardson

Notes handwritten on the edges of the letter: "Also find Alice Dustin on death certificate of Darius, Lucy + Mariett as mothers name. Moses Dustin - above b. 1765 'On the Merrimac River, N.H.' (Must have been?) another Moses Dustin in Rev. War"

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Letter #5 of 12

Sept. 18, 1978

Dear LaVonne,

Would you please give your cousin a great big hug for me!!! The item you sent me in regard to death of wife of Moses Dustin is the proof I need!! I have been searching and searching for one thing that proved the Moses Dustin I have been researching is the correct one. I had no doubt of it as I have so much circumstantial information, but I wanted one proof - a birth certificate, a death certificate or a deed. I have written many letters, will enclose one I got back today along with letter from you - Please send it back for my records, but thought you might find it interesting and timely.

Moses Dustin, born in Londonderry, NH 1/26/1765 - left NH, leaving two married daughters in NH- I believe he must have moved to Williamstown, NY - as that was where Peter Rowley was and married his daughter, Alice- my great great grandmother- and yours, right? Then he lived in Harbour Creek, Erie Co., Pa- 1830 Pa. Census - applied for pension as citizen of Harbour Creek in 1832, 1840 NY Pensioners finds him in Ripley, NY as does National Archives letter - daughter living near there in 1843- Mrs. Lorenzo Phelps- then he moved to Stratford Coos Co. NH to live with a daughter, his wife being dead 1850 - 1850 NH census finds him living with Sally Curtis (Mrs. Thomas) 86 yrs. old - died 2/2 1852. Also listed in Harbour Creek 1830- Rachel Dustin (Mrs. Alvah Rowley- brother of Peter), and she was sister of Alice's and Mercy (Mrs. Darius Orton, Jr.) and son Moses Dustin, Jr. Each time I have come up with a location, I have sent for a deed and each time I have come up with another daughter, I have sent for a death certificate - tho I was positive I had the right man- but now you send me proof indeed- Many many thanks! I sent for certificates- but they never had records of them- (handwritten note:) "So never received one."

I do find some discrepancies from time to time - and the only small problem was that I had heard from another relative who had given me Moses' wife's name as Abigail - so we must check that out, but this article definitely refers to the right Moses - so I believe we'll have to go with the Mercy until we find out why they said the other - I just got a card from Dustin Family Association saying they were sorry they hadn't sent requested booklets, if I would tell them what I had ordered, they would send them off at once - that's why you didn't get one like I had promised - did I send you the Dustin genealogy? Don't bother answering that, I'll check it out - and will send one along if I haven't.

Yes, I have checked in Manitowoc Co. for Peter and Alice Rowley, that is why I thought they might have moved -had hoped to find a cemetery in May when I was there - I have written the Archives to see if he received a pension, and if so where last payment was sent but haven't received answer to that yet-

Thanks, again. I sent the information to the Dustin Family Association along with my reorder.

(signed) Janet Richardson
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Letter #6 of 12

February 27, 1979

Dear LaVonne,

Thank you for your letter.
Through corresponding with the Duston-Dustin Family Association, I have now come upon another descendant of Moses Dustin who is also checking on the family. I wanted to give you a couple of corrections I have found. First I think I listed Alice's birthday incorrectly - I had said 1799 - as on the letter of Maryett's which I have she listed her birthday as Aug. 17, 1822 (think I sent that to you incorrectly, too) and said her mother, Alice Dustin was 23 when she was born, so I put down 1799 - now find that Alice was born Nov. 11, 1798 - so she became 24 later that year after Maryett was born. Alice was born in Stark, N.H.

When you wrote me that your cousin thought her name was "Ellis", I was so certain that that was not right - now I think I owe your cousin an apology - please give it to him for me. The woman who wrote me the other day said she found Alice's name sometimes written as "Ellise" - no wonder he had it - his information has always been very good! When you first told me that, I did think of the 1850 Census of Two Creeks, Wis, where she was listed as "Allice". I had death certificates for Maryett, Darius and Lucy Curtis, all listing her name as Alice. So he was not wrong!!

I have now learned that the wife of Moses Dustin was Mercy (just as your clipping about her death said - I don't know where my relative got the Abigail - Alice did name a daughter Abigail) Wheeler - who as you know, died Feb. 27, 1846, age 75, in Ripley, N.Y.

The Duston-Dustin Family Association asked me to send what information I had on descendants of Moses Dustin for the books they are revising, so I sent all I knew about - which included names you sent me, which takes it through your mother's generation. I added your name - tho I didn't have date of birth - do you want to add anything more - badly enough to type a list up for me to send in? If you don't want names in for any reason, please let me know - tho I think it's fun to have a famous relative! I haven't found any skeletons yet!!

The sun is shining, and it looks as tho we may survive the winter of '79 - for awhile I wasn't sure we'd make it-

If you come across any more gems - or your cousin does, I'd love to hear about them - still working on the Rowleys - stuck for the moment.

(signed) Janet

If this looks crooked, it's only because it is!!

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