The Fall Festival Mesier House tour was wonderful. We put lots of hard work into researching “eerie” local history stories and writing what we found into an interesting tour of the homestead. I’d say it was a success! We had lots of guest and they loved the home (as most do when they visit!).
That being said…
Ahh, feels nice to have sole devotion to the Mesier Family research again! I’ve been working on a lot of genealogy lately; connecting with Andrew Hendricks sparked my curiosity in discovering more Mesier descendants. Ancestry.com has been helpful, but I’ve reached a few road blocks, unfortunately. I’m not sure if some if the ancestor’s I’ve been following just didn’t have children, or if I’m just not finding them! It has been a little frustrating. However, I have expanded my knowledge of the family tree significantly, and I want to share some updates on the genealogy.
There is one major correction that must be noted. Earlier I had written that Peter Mesier (1696 – 1770) was the son of Peter Jansen Mesier (1640 – ) and brother of Abram Mesier (1663 – 1752). I realize now that a) date wise this makes little sense (Peter J. would not have had a child at 56 years old, 30 years after his first child) and b) it makes more sense that Abram Mesier was Peter Mesier’s (1696) father. Therefore, Abram Mesier and Elizabeth van Cowenhoven are the parents of that Peter Mesier who married Jenneke Wessels. Sorry for my mistake and the confusion (and there are many at times!).
One of my first endeavers was to find out about Henry Mesier’s, one of Matthew and Joanna Mesier’s son, children and their descendants. This particular branch of the family is a curious case for us at the homestead because in the 1890s (and when the home was given to the village), the Mesier family seems to drop off the grid. Thus, we want to know about this Henry Mesier’s children and where they resided and what they did. I felt confidant we could obtain this information, but I wonder if we can find out why they seem to have left Wappingers.
Henry Mesier had three children with this wife Elizabeth Wetmore. Their names were Althea (commonly misspelled in census records), Joanna, and Henry. The eldest, Althea, is recorded to have lived in Manhattan by 1894, where she married George Wharton McMullins. She died in 1948, apparently having reared no children. Joanna also lived in Manhattan by 1898 and married there as well to Creighton Spencer. She died in 1932, also childless. I’ve spent hours on ancestry trying to confirm that these two women indeed had no children, hoping to find otherwise. But that was to no avail, unfortunately. I thought that this fact was so strange! I would have thought it would be very uncommon for a woman have no children whatsoever in the early 20th century.
The youngest child and son, Henry Mesier, did have children. His absence from Wappingers is more explicit, also. Henry Mesier was a preist and often moved to serve various parishes. By 1900 he was living in Queens as a boarder (lodger). Then, by 1910, he was living across the river in Kingston, New York and was by that time married to Judith Teleki Walter. Census showed that he lived from then on in Pomfret, Garden City, and Kings, all in New York. He died in Kings in 1934. There are numerous newspaper articles from towns and cities around New York that cite his sermons and presences in churches. This explains his leave of Wappingers.
We can speculate why the Mesier homestead was, at this point, unused by the family. Mathew and Joanna’s six children all died by 1890, and the home would have belonged to Henry’s three children, Althea, Joanna, and Henry. We know this because they are named in wills and in the petition against them by William Henry Reese, who orchestrated the donation of the home to the village. I don’t believe that the three heirs to the home fought the petition – perhaps they welcomed and suggested it. After all, it seems they had left Wappingers at that point, anyway, for Manhattan. Henry would have had good reason to leave; his position as a priest would have demanded it. The two girls, though, I’m not sure why they left. It could be that their husbands were settled in the city and they naturally would have assumed that location, but that’s a little unclear yet.
That is my thinking on the subject, but I also wanted to follow these lines in hopes of discovering more living descendants. This matter could take a bit, and I imagine I’ll be working on this throughout the project.
Thus I ventured to uncover descendants of Henry and Judith Mesier. The couple has two children, Catherine Elizabeth Mesier and Mary Mesier. This was a little sad for me because I’d love to connect with someone who yet bears the name “Mesier,” and seeing as Henry and Judith had only girls, there was no hope that this line would provide that for me. Of course, it’s worth to follow anyway! Catherine Elizabeth didn’t seem to marry by her death in 1955, but Mary married a man name George E Dimock Jr. Mary, with her father, lived in many towns in New York and after his death was a lodger in New York City. She was attending university there, and became a teacher. In 1946 she married George, and together they moved to New Haven, Conneticut. From there they left for Massachusetts, and in 1998 she died in Northampton. With George she had two children, Bridget and Peter. It’s unclear by the records (that I’ve seen so far) if Peter is still alive, but his wife, Wai-Chee Sung, is. The last record I found of him was his residence in 1988 in Brooklyn. Between the two I’ve yet to find any record of children. I’d still have to spend more time with this line to find more information. I haven’t researched much of Bridget, either.
Circumstance has it to follow a direct “Mesier” line (that is, descendants bearing the name), we would have to go back to Peter Mesier and Jenneke Wessels’ first child, Abraham. Abraham married Catherine R. Elizabeth, and one of their sons, Peter A. Mesier, married his first cousin, Catherine Mesier. Catherine Mesier was one of the daughters of Peter and Catherine Sleght, our main line. Peter A. and Catherine Mesier had one son, Edward S. Mesier who had two wives, and by his second wife Georgianna Hyslop had a son, Louis Mesier. Louis did marry, to a Maria Gautier, but unfortunately it appears that they had no children. Imagine my frustration! My only hope now is to find the other children of Abraham and Catherine R Mesier and follow their sons’ lines. That is what I’m working on now.
I have a few very interesting finds to share with you all for tomorrow, but I’m afraid I have to end this blog post here. It’s time for class!