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THE EDITORS’ VIEW

When, after years of painstaking research, a genealogist discovers the definitive answer to a long-standing question and breaks through the proverbial brick wall, the choice to prepare the work for publication is quite clear. Readers of peer-reviewed journals such as THE RECORD enjoy articles that highlight thorough research and sound conclusions, especially when those articles explain how a puzzle was solved. The value of an individual’s work is multiplied many times over—and for decades to come—when findings are published. Others interested in the same families clearly benefit, while those working on the same geographical locations and time periods find new sources to explore, methodologies to employ, and historical context to put their ancestors’ lives into focus.

But what if after those many years of research the question remains unanswered? What if many shreds of evidence point in the right direction, but never result in a clear conclusion? Does the work still merit an article when we remain uncertain of the answer?

Author Perry Streeter faced that decision. In this issue he shares with us his quest to learn more about Louisa, the second wife of Thomas Streeter of Steuben County, New York. Without knowing her maiden name, and with only an alleged date of birth and the likelihood that she was born in Connecticut, he began exploring possibilities in Connecticut town vital records. Step by step, he whittled the list until only one woman remained: Louisa Beard, who was born in Salisbury, Connecticut, in 1774 to Aaron and Lucy ([–?–]) Beard.

Perry studied the Beard family in detail, amassing every piece of evidence, investigating the possibility that Louisa could be Thomas’s second wife. Alas, Louisa Beard has not been found in any record other than her birth, but he can’t rule her out entirely. Her parents and her brothers, Ai and Parks Beard, appear in numerous records, many in Chenango and Greene counties in New York—places that Thomas Streeter surely visited. Thomas had associates in areas where the Beards lived and where they had friends or family. Perry has identified numerous potential points of contact between these two families, any of which could have resulted in a romance between Thomas and Louisa.

Did Thomas Streeter meet and marry Louisa Beard? Perry is not yet convinced he’s found the answer. Does that mean he should wait before he writes? Absolutely not. The evidence he has pieced together on the Beards defines a previously unstudied branch of the family. Sharing his research— including his proposed solution, clearly identified as an open question— enables collaboration with others and preserves his work for future generations, which is more than enough reason to write.

Laura Murphy DeGrazia, CG, FGBS

Karen Mauer Green, CG, FGBS

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THE NEW YORK
Genealogical and Biographical Record

VOLUME 145 APRIL 2014 NUMBER 2

CONTENTS

 
WAS LOUISA, DAUGHTER OF AARON AND LUCY ([–?–]) BEARD OF CONNECTICUT, MASSACHUSETTS, AND CHENANGO COUNTY, NEW YORK, THE SECOND WIFE OF THOMAS STREETER OF STEUBEN COUNTY, NEW YORK?
by Perry Streeter .......... 85
 
THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF GEORGE M. HOLMES OF ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK, 2 MARCH 1862–30 JULY 1862
contributed by Paul R. Huey, Ph.D ..........  100
 
JOHN AND MARY (LYON) (STUDWELL) WILSON OF GREENWICH, CONNECTICUT, AND BEDFORD AND RYE, NEW YORK
by Frederick C. Hart Jr., CG, FASG ..........  115
 
IDENTIFYING THE PARENTS OF WILLIAM H. MACKEY (1786–1864) OF RENSSELAERVILLE, ALBANY COUNTY, NEW YORK
by Patricia A. Metsch(concluded ) .......... 125
 
THE ANCESTRY OF ELDER HENRY HAIT, PRIMITIVE BAPTIST PREACHER OF CONNECTICUT AND NEW YORK
by Michael Grant Hait, CG (continued) .......... 135
 
Regular Features
 
THE EDITORS’ VIEW ........... 83
 
NECROLOGY OF MEMBERS ........... 155
 
REVIEWS .......... 156
Buggy, Joseph. Finding Your Irish Ancestors in New York City.  By Suzanne McVetty, CG, FGBS