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Looking in All the Wrong Places

A Lesson in Patience and Persistence.

In genealogy: Women can be problematic.

Too often women's identities disappear from records in history.

They marry, they have a new name.

They may remarry. They inherit another new name.

Too many Johns and Williams have multiple wives with the same name.

Too many Janes, Sarahs, Sallys or Pollys to sort through.

In this case, it should have been easy.

Jacob Dick’s wife was Tryphena. Tryphena Dick. [Surname was later modernized to Dix.]

A unique first name does help.

Jacob and Tryphena appeared in the 1855 NYS census; Jacob was 55 years, calculating his birth to 1800 in Rensselaer County, NY; his wife, Tryphena, age 56 years, being born about 1799 in Dutchess County, NY.[1]

Dutchess County has good records for those years.

...and with a unique name like Tryphena, it should be easy to find her…at least that was the optimism. Because, realistically, what was the probability that many females named Tryphena were born in Dutchess County about 1798-1800?

So the trail was on, confident to find a birth record and Tryphena’s parents. A search in published church records for Dutchess County resulted with no Tryphena born 1795 - 1805.

Hmmm...somehow by googling, [Tryphena, "Dutchess County”, 1799], this book was found online:[2]

AHA! Andrew Wiltse and Mary Wicks had Tryphena, born 13 June 1799. Could this be the Tryphena married to Jacob Dick? She was the right age, and of Dutchess County.

Looks good.

Except Wiltse could be Witlsie, Willsie, Wilsey, etc. ...but that was okay – Tryphena was found! Name variations are part of the fun!

Sometime between 1812 -1825, Andrew and family moved to Orleans County in upstate New

York.[3] That works, as it was probably then that Jacob and Tryphena met and were married.

Let's review:

No birth record for a Tryphena in 1799.

No marriage record for Tryphena and Jacob.

No burial located for Tryphena and Jacob.

No probate record could be found for Andrew Wiltse in Dutchess County or Orleans County.

For years, I have been looking for a link that cements the fact that Tryphena Wiltse was indeed the wife of Jacob Dick.

I followed the Wiltse family from Beekman/Fishkill area north to Barre, Orleans County... I followed Tryphena's siblings (including her brother Andrew Stockholm Wiltse, who also died in Orleans County[4] ), her grandfather (Henry) and great grandparents (Cornelius) - looking anywhere and everywhere for a lead that mentioned a daughter, a granddaughter or relative known as "Tryphena Dick."

And I went nowhere.

Patience. Persistence.

Then somehow, one day, in a moment of time, I was in the DAR Library researching in their GRC (Genealogical Records Committee) collection database, searching for a Jacob Dick and found

this: [5]

Tryphena Avery. Implied wife of Jacob Dick.

Daughter of Moses F. Avery and Jane Waters of Dutchess County.[5]

That is when you want to yell, “YES! I found her!”

Except – you are in a library. In a quiet place.

…and, not only her maiden name, Avery, but also her mother’s name: Jane Waters!

Furthermore, before 1810, Moses moved the family to Brunswick, Rensselaer County[7] – the same town where Jacob was born and lived.[8]

Correct person. Appropriate dates. Right Location. Ya’ gotta like it!

So I’ve thrown out the Wiltse family file.

Now the search is on for documents concerning the Moses F. Avery family and parents of Jane Waters.

I prefer to think women are not problematic.

Women offer challenges.

Above all, remember: Patience. Persistence.



[1] 1855 New York state, population schedule, Rensselaer County, Brunswick, dwelling 38, family 42, Jacob Dick; image, ( : 4 September 2013) citing New York State Archives, Albany.

[2] Wiltsee, Jerome. A genealogical and psychological memoir of Philippe Maton Wiltsee and his descendants: With a historical introduction referring to the Wiltsee nation and its colonies (G.W. Myers : Atchison, KS) 1908. p. 243.

[3] New York, Military Equipment Claims, War of 1812, p. 5, #772, Andrew L. Willtsie, database ( : 10 October 2013) citing Index of Awards on Claims of the Soldiers of the War of 1812, Adjutant General's Office, New York State Archives, Albany.

[4], Mount Albion Cemetery, Albion, Orleans County, New York, Andrew Stockholm Wiltse, Memorial #40490092 by Joanne.

[5] Ohio DAR GRC report, “Hartford Times, Conn., genealogy -- questions and answers,” prepared by Edna Erb Schirack/Larry Schirack, Fort Greeneville Chapter, S2 V010, p. 152, dated 31 January 1948.

[6] 1790 U.S. census, Dutchess County, New York, population schedule, Northeast, p. 136, #263, Moses Avery; image, ( : accessed 22 June 2016), citing National Archives microfilm publication M637, roll 6.

[7] 1810 U.S. census, Rensselaer County, New York, population schedule, Brunswick, p. 494, Mores [Moses] Avery; image, ( : accessed 22 June 2016), citing National Archives microfilm publication M252, roll 35.

[8] Arthur C. Kelly, Baptism Record of Gilead Lutheran Church, Brunswick, NY, 1777-1886, (Kinship: Rhinebeck, NY) 1980, p. 89, entry #1951, Jacob Dik.

#Dicks #Avery #Waters #Brunswick

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