If you are doing research on a family or the Sterling area, you can post your message here.  If you have any additional information or an answer to a question, you can reply to the comments here.

44 Responses to Research

  1. Anita Davis Surphlis says:

    I am researching information on my paternal Great-great-great Grandparents who lived in Sterling, NY in 1860. Their names are William James born 1818 and died before 1893 and Phoebe Ann Doan James born abt 1820 and died in Martiville May 1898. My great great grandparents were Jessie James son of William and Phoebe James and Adeline Sweeney James. I am trying to find more inforamtion on this family. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Anita Davis Surphlis

    • Alice Pearson says:

      My mother-in-law was a Doane. In working on the family tree we were pleased to find Phoebe. Jesse N. and Elizabeth (Braford) Doane had 12 children: (1)Daughter born between 1821 and 1825 (this must be Phoebe); (2)son unknown born between 1821 and 1825; (3)daughter unknown born between 1826 and 1830; (4)Loanda 1833-1914 married Robert McMillen ; (5) Mary born abt. 1834; (6) Laura born abt. 1835 (7) Sarah born abt. 1836; Rebecca Doane 1838-1860-1863 married Lewis Perkins; (9) Ethan P. 1840-1916 (my husband’s great grandfather) ; (10) Esther born abt. 1841; (11) Charles 1842-1910 married Alvira J. Young; and (12) Albert 1844-1863 killed in the Civil War. Jesse and Elizabeth left NY abt. 1851 settling in Genesee County, MI. Elizabeth’s parents, Hosea and Doratha (Spencer) Braford, also came to Michigan. Jesse died abt. 1853 and Elizabeth abt. 1854.

      • Robert McMillen says:

        Thank you for the information on the Doane family. Loanda was my great-great-grandmother and I knew little about her but her name before seeing your entry on this web site. If you’re interested, I do have information on her descendants which was provided by my grandfather and compiled by my sister.

        Bob McMillen

    • Robert McMillen says:

      According to the census taken in June 1855, William and Phebe James and their five children, including 5 year old Jesse, were renting a place in Oswego County, Town of Oswego. I can send you a copy of the census page, if you like.
      According to what my grandfather told me almost 40 years ago, it was located on what is now called Wall Street. He also said that Phebe’s younger sister, Loanda, sometimes stayed with the James before she married my great-great-grandfather.

      Bob McMillen

  2. Susan Dugan Burgermaster says:

    How much fun it is to read about Sterling NY, the town I visited as a child with my family. My grandfather was Hugh B Dugan and my father was Hugh Carlyle Dugan and my brother is Sloane Dugan. So many family names! Such fun we had hopping in Grandpa Dugan’s old car where we could peek through the floor boards and see the ground on our way to to Uncle Allen and Aunt Francis’s farm. Good stuff for a little “city girl” living in Nutley NJ.

    Thanks for such fond memories,
    Susan Dugan Burgermaster

    • Becky Faxon says:

      Would you happen to have any family photo’s that were taken in Sterling that you would be willing to share? I live in Sterling and am interested in the history. Any photo’s that also include buildings are of interest.
      I remember your Aunt Francis and Uncle Dugan and Butch, they lived down the road from me when I was growing up.

  3. Chuck and Daria Bour says:

    We are members of the Sterling Historical Society and understand that you will be discussing our house, the Ha Ha, located at 14672 Fancher Ave. during your next meeting on October 24, 2011. We will be sorry to miss that! We have owned the cottage since 2005 and have thoroughly enjoyed our place, many wonderful neighbors, Little Sodus Bay and the Village of Fair Haven. So much to do and so much history-there is no place like it. In three words-we love it! Keep up the good work; we look forward to visiting the museum soon!

    Chuck and Daria Bour

  4. Joanne French says:

    I am the ggranddaughter of Myron C. Peters and Delphine “Della” Washburn. They lived in Sterling, NY and Hannibal, NY. They are buried in Fairdale Cemetery. I am trying to track any records you might have. We live in NC now but will be up in Syracuse, NY later this spring. I’m also searching for John & Mary Peters, parents of Myron C. Peters, born in England. Any ideas of where to search would be appreciated.

  5. Kathleen J Leone (McIntyre) says:

    Hello, I am looking for Jeanette and Paul McIntyre. I am working on the McIntyre side of the family tree. Grandparents were Sylvester and Virginia McIntyre. Is there a possibility of contacting Jeanette McIntyre for further history? Thankyou in advance, Kathleen Leone

  6. Brian Dorn says:

    Hello. I’m looking for info on Louis Dorn and the Fralick Farm on Center Road in Sterling. If you have any information, shoot me an email at and put Dorn farm in subject.

  7. Anita Adams says:

    I would like to trace a relative who lived in Sterling, Cayuga, New York. He is William Benedict, born in 1847 in Cayuga. He appears in two New York state census. In 1875 he appears with his mother, Cathrine M. Ellis, 58, who is a widow, born in Cayuga. In 1915, he appears as Wm. H. Benedict, 68, with his wife, Harriet A. 56. (In the period between 1875 and 1915, he is shown in the US Census with his mother, wife, and two children in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Can you tell me any details of his birth or death in Sterling? Thank you, A. Adams

  8. Jim Shake says:

    My wife is descended from Andrew Rasmussen Jr (1793-1866). Andrew’s brother William (1794-1882) died in Michigan. Andrew Jr married a Sarah Irwin (about 1818) and William married an Elizabeth Irwin (about 1822).

    Were these two Irwin women the children of Isaiah Irwin who was living in Sterling in 1820? If not, who were their parents?

    • Whitney says:

      Jim I think I can answer your question. I am a direct descendent of William and Elizabeth Irwin. William, and Elizabeth’s father, George may be Isaiah’s sons. The census records seem to hint towards that, yet there are discrepancies. There currently is little evidence pointing at Sarah being Isaiah’s daughter, but perhaps she is a grand daughter?

      Isaiah Irwin of Sterling NY, originally came from Ireland to Argyle NY as seen in 1800 census. He arrived in Sterling in 1820. I know his first wife was Grace (also from Ireland). His second wife was Lettisia. I need help finding his place of burial, and where in Ireland he came from.

    • Vicki Davey says:

      I am a direct descendant of Isaiah Irwin who lived in Sterling from about 1817 until his death in 1850. I have always believed that Elizabeth and Sarah C. Irwin were sisters, and daughters of Isaiah. I have not found any absolute proof of this yet, only circumstantial evidence. I also have much about the Rassmussen family in my database. I’m happy to chat about it.

      • Whitney says:

        Sarah Irwin 1797-1830 married Andrew Rasmussen 1793-1866

        Andrew Rasmussen, son of Andrew Rasmussen 1755-1813 and Catharine Helmer 1757-1836

        Sarah Irwin’s family comes from PA, I find this to be exciting as I suspect the Irwins of Sterling NY are closely related to the Irwins of PA.
        Her parents Matthew Irwin 1748-1830 and Mary Irwin 1766-1827
        Matthew Irwin is the son of Christopher Irwin and Jane McDowell! He was born in Wayne PA, died in Washington PA.

        But there’s more, Isaiah Irwin is Sarah Irwin’s husband’s grandfather! Andrew Rasmussen (1793-1866), son of Andrew Rasmussen (1755-1813) and Elizabeth Elvira Irwin (1804-1869). Elizabeth Elvira Irwin, she is a daughter of Isaiah Irwin.

  9. William Teachout says:

    Any info regarding the naming of Teachout Road: Who, what, when, etc.
    Thank you,
    William Teachout

    • Joe Deutschman says:

      I can’t tell you specifically about the name of that road, but I can tell you that direct ancestors of mine, with the family name Teachout, lived in Sterling at least back to the early 1800s. Feel free to contact me directly if you’d like more information. Since it’s not a very common name, I suspect your family tree probably branches from mine somewhere back there.

      • nanette moller says:

        Teachout was also spelled Techot and Tichot. This name is in my family tree as well, in upstate NY, & Oswego area. Where did this family come from? Is the name Dutch? Or were they colonists who settled here after the Revolutionary war?
        Thank you in advance for sharing what you may know.

    • Marc Teachout says:

      The road is named for My Great Great Grandfather who settled on the road in the 1840s.

  10. marierink says:

    My great/ great/great grandparents lived in this community 1850. They owned a farm. The names Thomas C. McFarland and Lettie McFadden McFarland. I wonder is there any one living there related? Also any information about these people I mentioned.

  11. Brian Dorn says:

    i was wondeirng if anyone had any old pictures of the farm on 15123 Center Rd in Sterling? if u do or know anyone who has some shoot me a message!

  12. Liffey Thorpe says:

    I believe my great-great-grandfather Zenas J. Smith, son of Isreal J. and Emeline (Dutcher) Smith, born 1831, was a resident of Sterling when he joined the 111th NY Regiment Co K in 1864. Private Smith was captured while on picket and incarcerated at Salisbury in SC where he died in January 1865. I have been trying in vain to find information about Zenas’s parents. His father, Isreal, was a “carmaker” who was born in Vermont and died in Sterling in 1869. His mother, Emeline Jane Dutcher, died in Sterling in 1889.

    Liffey Thorpe
    Brooksville MAINE 04617

  13. Stefan House says:

    I was wondering if anyone had any pictures of Cottage Farm they would be willing to share. I would like to have photos of both interior and exterior shots. Photos from any time period would be welcome. The more the better.

    I would like to make copies of them to have at the house for historical perspective.


  14. Kay Tiernan says:

    Always enjoyed visiting Sterling- especially my Aunt Frances Dugan.

  15. Sue Ann Brenchley says:

    My family connections to Sterling are through the Taber, Crockett, Hunter, Phelps and Miller families. It has been many years since I’ve had the chance to visit. At this point, I find I am in need of a headstone photo in the Sterling Cemetery, looking through the photos I have, I am missing the one of George A Miller and Sarah J (Corwin) Miller. There names are listed in a cemetery index found on line, however, I missed getting that photo. If someone local to the area could take a photo and email it to me, that would be greatly appreciated.

  16. Kay Tiernan says:

    Does anyone know of Emile Dugan – she was my grandmother and I think we share health concerns. Her husband was Hugh B. Dugan. Enjoyed visiting y Aunt Frances Dugan immensely!

  17. Malcolm Macmillen says:

    My great grandfather James Jack apparently lived in or very near Sterling Valley at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries. He may have been associated with the United Prebyterian Church there. Does the church still exist and is there a member of the ckergy I could contact. Any assistance would be gratefully appreciated.

  18. Lora Sheridan says:

    My grandparents, Alexander and Mary Knopp lived in Sterling about 1935. They had a child that passed away and is in a cemetery in Sterling. Can anyone help?

  19. Joanne French says:

    Searching for info on John and Mary Peters who lived in Sterling in 1880’s and 1890′s. Daughter was Emma Peters married to William Hewitt. Another son was John H. Peters and Myron C. Peters.

    John and Mary Peters are buried in Fairdale Cemetery and lived in Hannibal and Sterling. John died on 10 May 1881 and Mary died on 19 Oct 1892. She was living with her daughter Emma and her husband William Hewitt. I am trying to find death certificates for them with not much success.

  20. John Kegel says:

    While researching family history, I came across a reference to a book entitled “Turner Family History” by Mary Turner. Does anyone know where I might purchase this book as a library location wouldn’t work since I now live in Utah. Thank You

  21. Libby Kauppila says:

    I am researching my great, great grandfather Issac Hoppins who was the first white child born in the the southwest part of town (Sterling) March 16, 1807. He later married Caroline Furbish (b. 1814 d. 1877). They had many children and their son Edmund Jaynes Hoppins is my great grandfather. He was born in Sterling New York July 28, 1851. He married Amy Eliza Turner from Grand Rapids Michigan about 1878 in Sterling New York. Edmund died February 15, 1900 in Danville Illinois. I would love to hear from anyone who has information, stories and/or pictures of any of my ancestors. Thank you.

  22. Donn Collins says:

    I am tracing my Great Grandfather Myron Collins and his wife Elba. I can not find any death records or cemetery records. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Myron’s folks were Merritt and Clarissa. They lived in Sterling in and around the 1850’s. Any info on were they lived and any dependents would be very helpful. Thank You so much. Donn Collins

  23. Kendra O'Connor says:

    I am looking for information and/or pictures of a roadhouse or tavern that used to be located on Lake Road near Eight Mile Creek. It was owned by my g-g-g-grandfather William Adle circa 1900.

    Thank you!

  24. brenda says:

    My many times great grandfather is pierre dumas. I have his lineage directly to me but nothing from France before he came here. Does anyone know about his french lineage?

  25. Marilyn garner says:

    I am looking for any information on John McBride and wife Nancy. Both born in Ireland and lived around Irwin Road and buried in the old cemetery near Woodworth Rd. She died 1868 and he died 1888. Looking for evidence that she was Nancy Houston McBride. Head stone says Dixon??

  26. Daniel Finnegan, Jr. says:

    Hi, I recently bought the Williams farm at 1493 Old State Road in Sterling. I know it’s an old house built in the late 1800’s. I love the old barn and everything about the place. I was just seeing if anyone had information about the place. Old pictures would be great to! I love old farm history and I’m so glad I can call it my home!

  27. Anne Marie Barrera says:

    I’m looking for information on two of my ancestors born in Sterling, NY. Sarah Ellen O’Rourke born in 1865 and Patrick Nugent born in 1864. Also, if anyone knows of the nearest Catholic church during the 1860s, I would be most appreciative for any guidance.

  28. Ann Hecathorn says:

    Searching for information about the Benjamin Pierce family who were in Sterling at the time of the 1830 census. Benjamin is a brother of my ancestor.

  29. Cathy Haas says:

    I am trying to trace my family and have come to a dead end and would appreciate any information someone may have. My 3x great grand parents are John Caprin (Capron?) and Angeline Blanchard. I have found through the various census that John was born in March 1829 in Jefferson County, NY while Angeline was born Feb 1835 in Canada. They lived in Sterling, NY from 1850 to 1910.

    I believe John died in 1912 and Angeline in 1915. I am not sure if any of their 8 kids stayed in the area. I know my 2x great grandfather Edward Reed Capron moved west. I can find no info on John and Angeline’s parents or siblings. There are family rumors about them working on the Erie Canal.

    We have always spelled the family name Capron but I see that John sometimes spells it Caprin. Any info is much appreciated! Thanks!

  30. Karen Bove says:

    My father, Emil J. Bove, M.D. practiced medicine in Fair Haven, 1935-37. I would like to know the address of his office ( I think it was next to the Hardware Store) and the address of his home, where his wife Jessie, son Kevin and daughter Karen lived. Can you find that out for me? If the home is still standing, is there a picture of it available? Thank you so much!

  31. Jill Bramer says:

    I’m looking for information on William L. Blaisdell (1846-1941) was the oldest Civil War veteran in Cayuga County. I live in his home & I believe his spirit is still lingering around. If anyone has any info or a picture would be very helpful. Thanks

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