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  CARTER, since c.1608
Related Families:  Parkhurst | Whittemore | Locke | Sawyer | Stone | Taylor
Britton | Diepolder (Steiner) | Fraser | Jenkins

Migration: Suffolk Co., ENG>Watertown, MA>Woburn, MA>Reading, MA>Weston, MA>Hebron, CT>Kent, CT>
Warren, CT>Oneida Co., NY>Jefferson Co., NY>Chelan Co., WA


Presented to the Woburn Public Library by the late Leonard Thompson, Esq., in 1895.
Woburn, Massachusetts, 22 November 1642, O.S.
From the Painting by Albert Thompson

    This painting is of great historic interest, since it represents some of the first settlers of Woburn, Massachusetts.  The establishment of the church preceded the incorporation of the town, as was customary in those days.  Woburn was originally a grant of land made in 1640, by the General Court of Massachusetts to Charlestown, and was known as "Charlestowne Village."  On 5 November 1640, the Church of Charlestown chose seven men as Commissioners "for the erection of a Church and Town upon the recent grant of the Court."  On 8 February 1641, the Commissioners came from Charlestown to find a suitable location.  The Meeting House was built on land now occupied by the Common.  The ordination, as illustrated, followed.  On 27 September 1642, O.S., the General Court incorporated Woburn with these five words:  "Charlestowne Village is called Wooburne."
        The characters represented in the painting are as follows:  Beginning at the left (standing) is John Cotton, Minister of the First Church of Boston;  Richard Mather, Minister of the First Church of Dorchester;  John Elliot, Apostle to the Indians from the FIrst Church of Roxbury;  Capt. Edward Johnson, one of the founders of both the church and town of Woburn;  Thomas Carter, one of the lay members of the church;  John Wilson, Minister of the First Church of Charlestown; and finally, a visiting minister, unnamed.  Seated on the bench with his hat beside him is Increase Nowell, Magistrate from Charlestown.  The others are members of the church.

        (1) Rev. Thomas Carter, born 1608 in Hinderclay, Suffolk County, England, died 5 September 1684 in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts.  He graduated from Peter College, Cambridge University, England, and was the first minister in Woburn, Massachusetts, giving his first sermon there on 5 December 1641. He married Mary Parkhurst, baptized in Ipswich, Suffolk County, England, 28 August 1614, died 28 March 1687.
        In Watertown, Thomas Carter was granted a homestall of ten acres and, in 1642, a farm of 92 acres and a lot in the town plot.
        The high esteem in which he was held in Watertown may be inferred from the fact that it is noted in the Woburn Town Records that he had not been applied to sooner because "it had been doubted whether Watertown would be wiling to part with him."
     A painting of Thomas' ordination ceremony hangs today in the Woburn Public Library.  Thomas preached in Woburn for the first time on 4 December 1641, this being the second service of public worship ever held in the new town, and he used for a text Genesis 22.  The townsfolk called the sermon "incouraging to trust in the Lord for the Means."  Their love for him and his reputation seem to have made a favorable impression upon the people of Woburn, for the town records state:

        After much persuasion, Thomas finally yielded his consent reluctantly and became the first minister in Woburn, being ordained 22 November 1642.
        In Gov. John Winthrop's History of New England from 1630 to 1649 is given the following account of the ceremony:
  "The village at the end of Charlestown bounds, was called Woburn when they gathered a church, and this day Mr. Carter was ordained thier pastor with the assistance of teh elders of other Churches;  some difference ther was about his ordination;  some advising in regard they had no elder of their own, nor any members fit to solemnize such an ordinance, they would desire some of the elders of the other Churches to have performed it;  but others supposing it might be an occasion of introducing a dependancy of Churches, etc., and so a presbytery, would not allow it, so it was performed by one of their own members, but not so well or orderly as it ought."
        Capt. Edward Johnson, one of the prinicipal founders both of the church and the town of Woburn, was present at the occasion, and thus describes the ordination in his Wonder Working Providence (1654):
  "After he [Thomas Carter] had exercised in preaching and prayer the greater part of the day, two persons in the name of the Church laid their hands upon his head and said, We ordain thhe Thomas Carter to be Pastor of this Church of Christ:  then one of the elders present, desired of the Church, continued in prayer unto the Lord for his more especial assistance, of this his servant in his work, being a charge of such weighty importance as is the glory of God and the salvation of souls, that the very thought would make a man to tremble in the sense of his own inability to the work."
        At his ordination, the town presented Thomas with a house, which they built for his use, and also granted him a salary of £80 annually, one-fourth of which was to be in silver and the rest in various necessities of life at current prices.  The compensation was increased in 1674 by twenty cords of wood annually to be delivered at his door.
        From the time of his ordination, Rev. Carter ministered constantly to the townsfolk without aid for thirty-six years, when the Rev. Jabez Fox was chosen assistant pastor.  He continued in service with Rev. Fox for six years until his death in 1684, thus making the entire period of his ministry at Woburn more than forty-two years.
        Concerning the character of Rev. Thomas Carter, Johnson, in his Wonder Working Providence, describes him as a "reverend Godly Man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of Christ," and as one who had "much encreased with the encreasings of Christ Jesus."
        Sewell, in his History of Woburn says:         By another it is said of him:         In the following lines, addressed to him in the Wonder Working Providence, Thomas Carter is represented as a plain man, but a faithful and successful minister and as a pastor of distinguished humility and meekness:
"Carter, Christ has his wayes thee taught, and thou
Hast not witheld his Word, but unto all

With's word of power dost cause stout souls to bow,

And meek as lambs before thy Christ to fall:

The antient truths, plain paths, they befit thee best,

Thy humble heart all haughty acts put by;

The lowly heart, Christ learns his lovely best,

Thy meekness shews thy Christ to thee is nigh.

Yet must thou show, Christ makes his bold to be

As lions, that none may his truths tread down;

Pastoral power he hath invested thee

With; it maintain, leest he on thee do frown.

thy youth thou hast in this New England spent,

Full sixteen years to water, plant and prune

Trees taken up, and for that end here sent;

Thy end's with Christ; with's saints his praises tune."

       Rev. Thomas Carter died 5 September 1684, and from the fact that his will, which is on record in the Middlesex Probate Office, is noncupative (verbal, not written) it is conjectured that his last sickness must have been very sudden or brief, and two items in the bill for the funeral expenses suggest that it may have been some malignant disease.  The bill was presented to the selectmen on 6 October 1684, and at a general meeting of the inhabitants on the same day, by unanimous vote, it was ordered paid.  It was also voted that the rate for Mr. Carter's salary should "be compleated and payd for this yeare as formerly."
Parents of:

        (2) Thomas Carter, born in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 8 June 1655.  The exact date of his death is not known, but he was living as late as 21 September 1722 when he and his wife acknowledged a deed originally given by them in 1688.  He married in 1682 Margaret Whittemore, born 9 September 1668, died 5 October 1734, daughter of Francis Whittemore of Cambridge and his wife Margaret Harty (or Hartz).  Thomas is described in deeds as "husbandman," and was evidently possessed of considerable lands, some of which were given to him by his father.  In September 1713, he deeded land to his son Eleazar a dwelling house, barn, etc., with 25 acres of land with a garden and orchards bounded by land of "my brother, Timothy Carter."  Other deeds are recorded but no will has been found.

Children (all born in Woburn, Massachusetts):

  1. Mary, born 5 October 1683
  2. Thomas, mentioned below
  3. Eleazar, born 10 April 1689, died 3 October 1758; married Eleanor
  4. Daniel, born 10 August, died 16 March 1754;  married Sarah Center
  5. Ebenezer, born 24 September 1695, died 1 March 1746;  married Lydia Butters
  6. Ezra, born 22 June 1701, died 19 July 1774;  married Jerusha White


        (3) Thomas Carter, born in Woburn, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts, 13 June 1686. In 1710, his father conveyed land to him on "Reading Line," the deed being signed also by his mother, "Margaret Carter."  In a deed dated 1711 he is called "Thomas Carter of Reading, Wheelwright."  He married at Reading, Massachusetts, 19 February 1713, Abigail Locke of Woburn, Massachusetts.  On 19 February 1720/1721, Thomas "owned ye covenant" in Weston, Massachusetts, and his three children, Thomas, Abigail and Elizabeth, were baptized.  Two other children, Anna and Benjamin, were also baptized in Weston later.  Thomas' brother, Daniel, was living in Weston in 1723, and perhaps earlier, and had several children born there.
        On 20 October 1726, William Smith of Weston sold to Thomas Carter of Weston land in Hebron, Connecticut, and 12 December 1726, Thomas and wife Abigail "of Hebron" conveyed land and house in Weston, Massachusetts.  From the records, it appears that the family moved from Reading to Weston about 1718 or 1719 where they remained until 1726 at which time they removed to Hebron, Connecticut, (Middlesex, Massachusetts, County Records, Vol. 44, p.140; Hebron, Connecticut, Land Records, Vol. 2, p.48).
        On 10 April 1729, Abigail died due to complications during the birth of their seventh child. Thomas then married Sarah Gilbert on 9 December 1730, daughter of Samuel Gilbert and Mercy, daughter of Isaac Warner and Sarah Boltwood. In 1756, the Church of Christ was officially formed in Warren, Cennecticut and Thomas Carter's name appears at the top of the list of new members next to that of Jonathan Sackett. Thomas died 18 November 1772 at age 88.

Children of Thomas Carter and Abigail Locke:

  1. Thomas, mentioned below
  2. Abigail, born 1717, Reading, Massachusetts
  3. Elizabeth, born 5 March 1719/20, Weston, Massachusetts
  4. Benjamin, born 13 May 1722, Weston, Massachusetts
  5. Anne, born 1 April 1725, Weston, Massachusetts
  6. Joseph, born 9 May 1727 in Hebron, Connecticut, died 28 July 1728 in Hebron, Connecticut
  7. infant, born 28 March 1729 in Hebron, Connecticut, "still born 7th child, and the mother died 10 April 1729." (Hebron Records)
Children of Thomas Carter and Sarah Gilbert (all born in Hebron, Connecticut):
  1. Joseph, born 13 September 1731
  2. Sarah, born 21 December 1732
  3. Samuel, born 31 May 1734
  4. John, born 18 June 1736
  5. Mercy, born 14 April 1739
  6. Eleazar, born 23 August 1740
  7. Israel, born 28 March 1742
  8. Benoni, born 10 July 1745


        (4) Thomas Carter, born 1715 in Reading, Massachusetts, died 28 August 1774, Kent, Connecticut. He married in Hebron, Connecticut, 2 April 1747, Sarah Sawyer, born 1717, died 11 September 1774, Warren, Connecticut. They removed to Kent, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, about the same time as the other members of the family did, and resided their unto their deaths.
        Warren town records indicate that in 1774 tragedy struck the family. Six members of this family of fourteen (including children and grandchildren) were swept away by an outbreak of fever or some epidemic at that time.  The record is as follows:

"Departed this life in the year 1774, viz. -- Benjamin Carter, July 29the sone to Thomas Carter then seignor, Thomas Carter Junior Died August 21 AD 1774.  Thomas Carter Seignor & Adoniram Carter's Infant child Died August 28th 1774.  Adoniram Carter Died Sept. 5, AD 1774.  Sarah Carter Died the 11th September 1774 wife to Thomas Carter seignor."
A poem wa swritten by Joel Finney and was apparently dedicated to Cloa Barnum, widow of Adoniram Carter, who with their only child, "scarce six weeks old," was among the victims of this terrible visitation.  Finney may have rather had in mind Anna (hopkins) Carter, widow of Thomas Carter V.  The "Poem" consists of thirty stanzas of four lines each, some of which are reproduced below:

Composed After the Sickness and Death which happened in the Family of Thomas Carter,
in Kent, Connecticut, in the Summer, A.D. 1774.  by Joel Finney
To strains of woe, I tune the mournful lyre, 

While dying numbers groan across the wire;

In deepest sable hung, my viol plays 

Sad notes of grief in undissembling lays. 

Urania’s bold assistance I must crave, 

While I view death and the dark silent grave, 

And try to paint a grievous tragic scene, 

Which in the town of Kent has lately been. 

In seventeen hundred seventy-four, we see, 

A raging sickness seiz’d the family 

Of Thomas Carter, as you now shall hear, 

Which filled the place with dread and awful fear. 

The fever rag’d to that extremity, 

Of fourteen persons six, we see must die, 

And change this life for that which is to come, 

Their earthly ones for their eternal home. 

Muse, view the house amidst this awful gloom, 

See spirits take their flight to hear their doom, 

While every corner’s filled with dolorous moans, 

And doleful shrieks mingle with dying groans. 

The aged parents both resign their breath, 

Embraced in the icy arms of death, 

With their three eldest sons in youthful bloom, 

Take up their lodgings in the narrow tomb. 

With one grandchild an infant daughter dear. 

Must leave this world before her judge t’appear, 

Scarce six weeks old, this we plainly see, 

From death’s arrest no age nor rank is free.

The eldest of these sons, a widow left 

With two small children fatherless bereft; 

Methinks I see her with her children stand 

Lamenting sore with one in either hand. 

Where can I go, she cries, to find redress 

Or comfort in my present sharp distress; 

The answer’s plain you sure must go to God, 

Submit to him and own his right rod. 

Behold the widow of the second son, 

Husband and child her earthly all is gone, 

Thus by herself she stands, o’erwhelm’d with grief, 

And thinks her case admits of no relief. 

Now the third son, although he had no wife 

To mourn his early exit from this life 

Yet there is one who was betroth’d to him, 

Whose parting seems like tearing limb from limb. 

I crave the leave to make a short address, 

To those four brothers who are fatherless; 

Your parents both are took away by death, 

When God commands, we must resign our breath.

This in particular I dedicate, 

To the fair lady thus bereav’d of late, 

At whose request these lines were first composed, 

An now, at length to public view disclosed. 

I credibly have been informed of late, 

You have re’enter’d on a married state; 

I hope that you a happy life may lead, 

And be in bands of wedlock blest indeed.


Children of Thomas Carter and Sarah Sawyer:
  1. Thomas, born 31 March 1748
  2. Adoniram, born 25 June 1751
  3. Benajah, born 29 March 1754, died 30 July 1774.
  4. Adonijah, born 29 March 1754
  5. Benjamin, born 6 March 1755, died 29 July 1774.
  6. Braddock, mentioned below
  7. Frederick, born 1 December 1761
  8. Rufus, born 19 April 1762


        (5) Braddock Carter, born 17 December 1756 in Warren, Connecticut; married 10 July 1783, Warren, Connecticut, Martha "Pattie" Stone.  On 3 February 1792, William Stone, "In consideration of the Support of & Maintenance of me & my wife Martha, during our natural lives," deeded land to Bradock Carter and Martha his wife, "except my household furniture & Waring Apparel & my wives Waring Apparel."  In addition he gives two cows, seven sheep, and one horse, "during their natural lives;"  the cows go to Marchant Stone Carter when the term expired, (Warren County Land Records, Book 3, p.64).  On 10 April 1793, the above agreement was given up; and Bradock Carter and William Stone relinquished all claims on one another "from the beginning of the world to the present time."
        In the 1800 census of Oneida Co., New York, Braddock was enumerated in the Town of Deerfield, as being of age 45+, with wife age 26 to 45, plus three sons under 10, two sons between 10 and 16, and two daughters under 10.  Living two houses away was William Stone--perhaps a brother-in-law--enumerated as being of age 45+ years, with wife 26 to 45.
       Braddock was enumerated in the 1810 and 1820 censuses of Jefferson County, but not in the 1830 census, suggesting he was deceased by that time.


  1. Merchant Stone, mentioned below
  2. Benajah, born 17 October 1785,  in Warren, Litchfield Co., Connecticutdied 27 February 1787.
  3. Benajah, born 6 May 1787 in Warren, Litchfield Co., Connecticut; married about 1817 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, Luna Hildreth, daughter of Adam Hildreth and Sally Baldwin.  Benajah, a.k.a. "Benager," accompanied his father and brother Merchant to Jefferson County, New York and participated in the War of 1812, as a member of Britton's Regiment of New York Militia.  Parents of:
    1. Benajah, born about 1819, died 30 October 1855, age 36, buried in Omar Cemetery, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York; married Isabel Cole, daughter of Moses Cole III and Lucinda Snow.  Benajah was a sailor on the Great Lakes and died when son Orrin was two years old.  Isabel subsequently married James Francisco and removed to Illinois.  Information on this couple comes partially from the research of John Collins at <>. Benajah & Isabel were parents of:
      1. Zina, born 23 October 1843 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
      2. James Benajah, born 16 October 1849, in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
      3. Armelia J., born 1852 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
      4. Orrin Nelson, (at right), born 22 January 1854 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York; married 1881 in Morris, Illinois, Nettie J. Steven. He was Justice of the Illinois State Supreme Court  He worked his way through Wheaton College and graduated with the A.B. degree in 1877. He studied law in Chicago with Judge M.F. Tuley and General I. N. Stiles as his preceptors. He taught from 1880 to 1882.  He was admitted to the bar in 1880 and practiced at Morris for about 8 years. He served as states attorney for Grundy County from 1883-88 conducting some important criminal trials, notably the prosecution of Henry Schwartz and Newton Watt for the murder of Kellogg Nichols, an express messenger while on duty in his car on the Rock Island Railroad. Both men were convicted and sentenced to life. From 1892-1894 he was general attorney for the sanitary district in Chicago. In 1894, he was elected county judge of Cook County and has been twice reelected. He resides with his family in Evanston. Member of the Union League Club, Congregational club and Hamilton Club.
        1. Allan J.
        2. Ruth G.
    2. Sarah, born about 1821 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
    3. Arnold (Alfred), born 22 August 1824, died 17 December 1887 in Osborn, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin; married 25 December 1851 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co. New York, Jane Celestine Wilson, born 23 July 1833, died 1914.  Parents of:
      1. Albert B., born 26 October 1852 in Jefferson Co., New York.
      2. Adelina Lavina, born 15 August 1854 in Jefferson Co., New York.
      3. Angelina, born 19 June 1856 in Jefferson Co., New York.
      4. Arvista, born 17 June 1858 in Dodge Co., Wisconsin.
      5. Anamile (Anna), born 23 August 1860 in Missouri.
      6. Adelbert Benager, born 30 November 1863 in Dodge So., Wisconsin.
      7. Ai, born 28 November 1868 in Osborn, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.
      8. Charles, born 28 March 1872 in Osborn, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.
      9. Violet Jane, born 25 February 1875 in Osborn, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.
      10. Albert Arnold, born 23 February 1866 in Osborn, Outagamie Co., Wisconsin.
    4. Philinda, born about 1825 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
    5. Martha, born about 1829 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
    6. Braddock, born 1830 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York; married 17 November 1861 in Fowler, St. Lawrence Co., New York, Jane G. Aldras.
    7. Nelson, born 1833.
    8. Waitstill, born September 1843 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York; married Anna in 1873 in Town of Champion, Jefferson Co., New York.
  4. Earl, born about 1788 in Deerfield, Oneida Co., New York; married Paulina Franklin.  Parents of:
    1. Pattie, born about 1810 in Oneida Co., New York.
    2. Franklin P., born 1815 in Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York; married about 1849 Salinda Baird.  Parents of:
      1. Ida, born about 1850 in Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York.
    3. Mary C., born 1829 in Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York.
    4. Hubbard Earl, born 1829 in Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York.
  5. Elisha, born about 1789 in Deerfield, Oneida Co., New York.
  6. Martha "Pattie," born about 29 May 1801, died 7 November 1883, age 82 years, 5 months, 9 days, in Town of Clayton, Jefferson Co., New York, according to vital records for that place; married 1 January 1818 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, Rufus Parrish, born 1794 in Fort Ann, Washington Co., New York, died 15 September 1873, buried in Clayton, Jefferson Co., New York, son of John Parrish and Elizabeth Rice (Royce).  Parents of (all born in Brownville, Jefferson Co., New York):
    1. Alzina Parrish, born about 1820; married Elias C. Davis.
    2. John B. Parrish, born 1821, died 1883; married Nancy Knight.
    3. William R. Parrish, about 1826, died 1905; married Celestine Glass.
    4. Charles Parrish, born about 1827.
    5. Gilbert Parrish, born about 1829, died 1894.
    6. George Parrish, born about 1831.
    7. Remos, born about 1833.
    8. Westall Parrish, born 1837, died 1909; married Martha, born about 1800, died 1893.
  7. Sarah, born about 1802 in Brownville, Jefferson Co., New York.
  8. Zina, born about 1804 in Brownville, Jefferson Co., New York.


        (6) Merchant Stone Carter, variously called "Marchant," born 7 April 1784 in Warren, Litchfield Co., Connecticut, died 1840/1849 in Clayton, Jefferson County, he was one of the earliest settlers of the Town of Orleans, Jefferson County, New York, where he followed the occupation of farmer. He participated in the War of 1812 as a member of Britton's Regiment of New York Militia, with his brother Benajah Carter.
        He married Betsey Taylor, born 20 February 1797 in Montgomery Co., whose father was supposedly from near New York City.  Descendants of two separate branches of Merchant and Betsey's family have a tradition that Betsey was "an Indian."  Reuben Carter of LaFargeville, (descendant of John D. Carter), recalls stories that Merchant's wife was a Native American.   Kathleen Carter Philow (descendant of Byron, below), used to tell relatives that she had "Indian-blood" and about how she loved her old "Indian grandmother."  Kate was well-known among friends for making natural home remedies for all kinds of ailments, which she claimed came from this grandmother.  While of course Betsey Taylor was long-dead by Kate's birth in 1902, her story way well still be true if considered in light of the fact that Kate's grandmother Clarissa (Britton) Carter (who was living until Kate was five years old) had known Betsey Taylor very well since childhood and probably learned many "home remedies" from her mother-in-law which could have later been picked up by Kate.
        After Merchant's death, Betsey married Nathan Marble.  In 1847, Lyman Britton conveyed land to Nathan Marble, who was then step-father of Lyman's future son-in-law, Byron J. Carter.
        Betsy died 6 February 1873 and is buried in Tanners Corners Cemetery, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson County.


  1. Clarissa, born about 1818; married about 1845/1846 Abner Evans of Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.  In the 1850 census of the Town of Orleans, her siblings Taylor and Amelia Carter were living with them; they were living in between the homes of brother Hiram Carter, and Nancy Coon (sister of Lyman Britton). Parents of:
    1. Adelaide Louise Evans, born 9 September 1846; married 24 January 1867 in LaFargeville, Jefferson Co., New York, Bradley J. Green.  Parents of:
      1. Emmett A. Green, born 7 July 1870 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
      2. Edna A. Green, born 22 March 1876 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
      3. Elsie E. Green, born 19 September 1883 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.
    2. Uri R. Evans, born 21 August 1848, according to Town of Orleans vital records for that year.
  2. Taylor, born about 1821. He was enumerated in the 1850 census in the Town of Orleans as a 29 year old farmer in the household of his sister Clarissa Evans.
  3. Hiram, born about 1823; married 18 June 1848 in Town of Orleans, Belinda Evans, born about 1824, Rev. John Welkey officiating.  Parents of:
    1. Charles J., born 10 October 1856, died 12 May 1939; married Adelaide B. Garlock, born 1 January 1854, died 12 July 1936.  Parents of:
      1. Eugene G., born 7 October 1882, died 19 March 1955
  4. Emeline, born about 1825; married 14 June 1847 in the Town of Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York, Lafayette Hawn, Justice of the Peace Hiram Dewey officiating.
  5. Betsey; she may be the 23 year old woman enumerated in the 1850 census of the Town of Orleans, as wife of Nelson Cole, who was living next door to the family of Benajah Carter.
  6. Amelia, born about 1835. She was enumerated in the 1850 census in the Town of Orleans as 15 years of age in the household of his sister Clarissa Evans.
  7. Byron J., mentioned below
  8. John D., born in Town of Orleans on 14 February 1844, died 1925; he married on 10 December 1878 Sarah Peabody of Fisher's Landing, born 1852, died 1910.  They are both buried in Walton St. Cemetery, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York.  Parents of:
    1. Harry R., born 1879, died 1925; married Celia Forsyth, born 1883.  They are both buried in Walton St. Cemetery, Town of Alexandria, Jefferson Co., New York.
  9. Elisha


        (7) Byron J. Carter, born February 1838 near De LaFarge Corners, Town of Orleans, Jefferson County, New York, died 21 September 1918 age 80 years 7 months 3 days; married about 1858, Clarissa A. Britton, (at right) born August 1834 in the town of Alexandria, Jefferson County, New York, died 28 December 1907 age 73 years 4 months 1 day.
        Sometime in Byron's early youth his father died or left the area and his mother subsequently remarried to Nathan Marble. In 1847, Byron's future father-in-law, Lyman Britton, conveyed land to Nathan Marble.
        In the 1850 census of the Town of Orleans, he was enumerated in his step-father's house as age 12, in school, along with his brother John, age 9, in school.

        Soon after Byron's marriage to Clarissa in 1858, the couple removed to Brookfield, Missouri, the birthplace of their first child, Charles, in 1859, as indicated in the 1870 census. They had removed back to Omar by mid-October 1860, when that census was taken.
        In the 1860 census of the Town of Orleans, Byron was enumerated as a 22 year old farmer born in New York, having real estate worth $1,900 and personal property worth $200, and Clarissa "A." was enumerated as his 26 year old wife. With them that year was their first-born child, Charles, age 1. The family resided next door to Clarissa's mother Eliza Britton, by then age 49 and divorced, who was living with her sons Otis N. and George, both day laborers.
        In 1863, (the same year Eliza Britton died), Byron Carter was enumerated on a list of Class I individuals available to provide military service (i.e., he registered for the draft) and was described as a married farmer, age 22, living in Town of Orleans.
        On 18 August 1870, Byron and his family were enumerated in the census on the same property as in the 1860 census (William Bobier was neighbor in both years). He reported his age as 33, occupation as farmer, birthplace as New York, and real estate value as $1,600; "Clarisa" reported her age as 35, and occupation as "keeping house." With them were their children Charles, 11, Minnie, age 8, May, age 7,
Leland, age 4, Effie, age 2, and Byron, age 4 months, all born in New York, except the eldest who was born in Missouri. Charles, Minnie and May were attending school that year.
        In the 1880 census of the Town of Orleans, taken June 7th, Byron, a farmer, age 43, and Clarissa, a housekeeper, age 45, were enumerated with children Charles, 20, a farm laborer, and Minnie, 18, May, 17, Effee, 12, all at school, and Floyed, age 2; everyone's birthplace and parents' birthplaces was erroneously listed as "New York." In that year they were living next door to the family of Clarissa's brother, Otis N. Britton.
        Sometime between the 1880 census and 1890, Byron and Clarissa divorced. In Child's 1890 Business Directory, "Mrs. Clarissa A. Carter" was listed as residing alone on "r12" in Omar, having a house and lot of 25 acres.
As for Byron, the 10 December 1892 edition of the Watertown Herald reported: "Fisher's Landing, Dec. 9—Byron Carter, an old resident of Omar, and vicinity recently returned from one of the far off Western Teritories, after an absence of several years." (Perhaps he had gone back to Missouri).
        In the 1900 census of the Town of Orleans, Clarissa was enumerated as "Mother" in the home of her son Floyd on Spring Street in Thousand Island Park, Wellesley Island. Clarissa's age was reported as 65, her birthdate as August 1834, her birthplace as New York, father's birthplace as New York, and mother's birthplace as "Don't know." She reportedly had seven children, four of whom were still living. She could read and write. Strangely, Clarissa was listed as still married, and having been so for 42 years (establishing her marriage to Byron around 1858).
        In contrast, Byron, was also enumerated in Thousand Island Park that year; however, he indicated his status as "divorced" and the length of his marriage as 30 years (calculating to a divorce in 1888).
        Byron lied about his age that year, indicating that he was born in February 1850, and was therefore only 50 years old; perhaps this was for job security reasons since he was the oldest laborer amongst the 18 enumerated employees of Levi Johnson and Edgar Spangenberg, operators of a store and hotel on the island.
        By 1905, Clarissa was back living in Omar; a gossip column about Omar happenings, published in the March 21st afternoon edition of the Watertown Daily Times, stated "Mrs. C. Carter is visting her son F. L. Carter at T. I. Park."
        Clarissa died on
26 December 1907, age 73 years 4 months 1 day. Minutes from the Surrogate's Court at Watertown, published in the Thursday, 27 February 1908 edition of the Watertown Daily Times, stated: "Clarissa A. Carter, town of Orleans: will proved and letters testimentary issued to Floyd L. Carter of the village of T. I. Park." She was buried in Omar Cemetery.
        By 1910, Byron had remarried to Ella W., age 51 of New York; this was indicated as a second marriage for both of them, and they reported themselves as having been married for eight years, placing their wedding in 1902, (recall that Clarissa was referred to as "Mrs." Carter in the 1905 news article). Ella was most likely Ella W. Lawrence, who, like Byron, was enumerated in the 1900 census in the employment of Johnson & Spangenberg at Thousand Island Park; in 1900 she had reported herself as 35 years old, born August 1864, occupied as a chambermaid, and married for 16 years but by then a widow. She had no children of her own.
        Not only had Byron remarried by 1910, but he had also moved to the Town of Adams, where and he and Ella were enumerated that year on Fisk Bridge Road. Byron reported himself as 71 years old, born in New York to parents from Rhode Island, living on his "own income" in a house that he owned outright.
        Byron continued to spend time in the Thousand Islands even after moving to Adams. A 1911 gossip column states: "Byron Carter of this village has gone to Thousand Island Park for the summer. This is Mr. Carter's twelfth consecutive season on the St. Lawrence river."
        The 5 March 1913 edition of the Jefferson County Journal indicated that: "A very pleasant gathering was held at the home of Mrs. W. E. Collins at Omar, Feb. 22, it being the 75th birthday of her father, Byron Carter. His children and their families were all in attendance. The day was spent in visting and music. All wish him many returns of his birthday."
        By 1917, Byron had removed back to Omar and was suffering from failing health; the September 12th edition of the Jefferson County Journal reported: "Byron Carter of Omar is slowly recovering from a severe illness."
        Byron passed away at his home a year later, on
Saturday, 21 September 1918, age 80 years 7 months 3 days; his son, Floyd, signed the death notice. Byron's obituary, published the following Monday in the Watertown Daily Times, indicated that for a prior few years before his death he was nearly blind and needed help to get around. The funeral was conducted on Monday September 23rd by Rev. O. B. Raymond of LaFargeville, and Byron was buried the same day in Omar Cemetery (where his first wife Clarissa was interred).
        Ella's fate after Byron's death is not clear. At Omar, there is a headstone inscription for Ella W., "wife of Byron", with a birth year of 1857, but no death year; Floyd indicated Byron's marital status as "widower" on his death notice, but Byron's obituary says that his widow survived him.

        The photo above right is inscribed on the back "F. L. Carter, Fisher's Landing" and was until recently in the possession of the Jim Burshaw family of Bellville, Ontario, Canada, (descendants of Minnie Carter, below), who received it from the estate of Floyd Carter; considering the photo's age, provenance, and the woman's resemblance to both the Britton and Carter families, it presumably depicts Clarissa Britton in her later years. 

The Family Bible of
Byron Carter & Clarissa Britton

Vital Registers

Writing is in the hand of Ada Diepolder, wife of Floyd Carter, and daughter-in-law of Byron and Clarissa. Writing is in the hand of Ada Diepolder, wife of Floyd Carter. Earlier entries, probably written by Clarissa, are visible beneath the first few lines on each page First entry appears to be earlier, written over by Ada. Next four are by unknown hand. Remainder are by Ada, except the last, which is of her own death recorded by daughter Kathleen.

This photo is of Leland G. Carter, second son of Byron & Clarissa, who died in 1876. The reverse is inscribed "Presented to George S. Britton by Byron Carter."
Though unlabeled, given the relative age of the photo and of the man depicted, this is likely Charles Carter, son of Byron & Clarissa.
This photo depicts either Leland Carter or his younger brother Byron J. Carter, Jr., both of whom died in 1876. Facial features are a strong match to the man identifed below as Byron Carter.
The woman at left has strong resemblance to the man identified below as Byron Carter, and may have been a sister; the same may be the case for the middle woman. The woman at right appears least like the others.

Based on age and style of this photo relative to the age of the man, it almost surely depicts Byron J. Carter. Identification is supported by strong resemblance to the photo of his known child above, and by virtue of this being the only photo of a grown man in the collection.
This unlabeled photograph probably depicts one of the daughters of Byron & Clarissa: Minnie, Effie or May.
This unlabeled photograph probably depicts one of the daughters of Byron & Clarissa: Minnie, Effie or May.
This unlabeled photo may depict Charles Carter at a younger age, but is more likely his brother Floyd, based on comparison to later pictures.

        Based on age and inscriptions, a line of ownership of this family Bible can be traced: It belonged first to Byron Carter & Clarissa Britton, passing then to their son Floyd Carter, whose wife Ada Diepolder recorded most of the entries. By the time she passed away in 1974, Ada had been living with her daughter Kathleen for several years, who inherited her mother's belongings including the Bible. Kathleen died in 1984 and through unclear means, the lawyer for her estate and his secretary were named (and contested) as sole beneficiaries of her estate and received its full contents, which included this Bible. The lawyer and scretary both died within two years of settling the estate and all trace of Kathleen's belongings, including the Bible, were lost. In 2009, a gentleman from Morristown, New York, located and purchased this Bible at an estate sale in upstate New York, and put it up for auction online. A good samaritan looking for her own family bible saw the auction and thought to search online to see if the family named in it could be located—as a result of her thoughtfulness, Mark Wentling, great-grandson of Ada, was alerted to the auction and purchased the Bible, bringing it back into the family from which it came.


  1. Charles M., born 11 June 1859 at Brookfield, Missouri, died 11 May 1934 at Omar, Jefferson Co., New York; married in 1882 Maria Delia, 12 March 1860, died 24 December 1941, daughter of Ralph Gurnee of Omar Village.  In the 1910 census they were enumerated together in election district 35, Town of Orleans. Both reported their ages as 50, and "Maria" reported her occupation as a farm laborer on the "home farm," while Charles was listed as a farm laboroer who was "working out" (presumably meaning he was away, since Maria was listed as head of household). Charles received a common school education and worked on a farm until he was 16 years old, when he became a sailor on the Great Lakes.  Hi sobituary states that he was a marine engineer on the St. Lawrence RIver. His funeral was conducted at his home by Rev. C. V. Sparling of the Omar Methodist Episcopal Church, and he was uried at Omar Cemetery. Parents of:
    1. Frederick Charles, born 31 January 1883 in Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, died 11 February 1961; married Henrietta, daughter of Frederick Coffeen, son of Henry Coffeen, one of the first settlers of Watertown. Fred was known as a fine horseshowman and could be seen in many of the parades and agricultural events in Watertown and Jefferson County during his day. In the 1910 census of Town of Orleans, he is listed as a 27 year old engineer.
  2. Minnie B., born 1861, died 15 August 1899; married Edward W. Flunder, a Canadian from Ontario. From correspondence from her grandson, Jim Burshaw, (dated 18 Oct. 1997) comes the following: "They had two daughters which were born in Syracuse, New York, U.S.A., where my Grandfather operated a business.... Their eldest daughter Louise married a man by the surname Clarke. They had five daughters, Ariel, Beth, Lonnelle, Aversa and Blythe. One son Richard. This family lived in Utica, New York. Their second daughter LilyMae, my mother, married Wilfred J. Burshaw of Belleville, Ontario, Canada. They had five children, Hilda, Dorothy, Viola, Joseph and myself, James. My mother came to Ontario, Canada in the early 1900's to live with her Father and Step-Mother. Her mother Minnie B. (Carter) Flunder died in 1899 when my mother was two years old and her sister Louise was five years old. Apparently her Father Edward Flunder then moved back to Ontario with his eldest daughter Louise and made arrangements with your Great-Great-Grandmother and Great-Great-Grandfather, Floyd and Ada Carter to take care of my Mother until he got settled back in Ontario, Canada." Minnie B. Carter and Edward W. Flunder were parents of:
    1. Louisa Flunder (at right) ; married Mr. Clarke, they resided in North Brookfield, and Utica, New York. A letter she wrote as a child from her father's residence in Ganonoque on July 23, 1901, to her "Aunt Ada" still exists, and expresses her sympathies at Ada's father's sudden death from a heart attack. Parents of:
      1. Ariel
      2. Beth
      3. Lonnelle
      4. Aversa; married 1940, Morris Mason, died 1979 (For more information on descendants contact Brian Hughes).
      5. Blythe
      6. Richard
      7. Keitha
    2. Lily Mae Flunder (at right and below); married Wilfred J. Burshaw of Belleville, Ontario, Canada. Her mother died in 1899 when she was two years old; her father sent her to stay with her Uncle Floyd & Aunt Ada (Diepolder) Carter at Thousand Islands Park, Wellesley Island, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, until he could transfer his business from Syracuse to Ontario. Her descendants still reside in Belleville, Ontario, and supplied numerous photographs and documentation for this website. Parents of:
      1. Hilda; married Mr. Richardson.
      2. Dorothy
      3. Viola
      4. Joseph
      5. James
  3. May Eva, born 26 April 1862 in Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, died 21 January 1937 in Omar, Town of Orleans; married 5 March 1888, Walter E. Collins, born 19 October 1856, died 16 December 1914, son of Erwin S. Collins and Adelia Dillenbeck (Erwin's brother Joseph was keeper of Rock Island Lighthouse from 1865 to 1870, and Erwin's grandfather was keeper there from 1849 to 1853; this is of interest because Eva Mae's brother Floyd married the daughter of a later keeper who served from 1886 to 1901).  In a pamphlet made for the Collins family, their grandson Garth Collins wrote of Walter: "He was a cheesemaker and made cheese in  several different factories in the Town of Orleans in Jefferson County.  One was at Collins Landing.  The factory stood about where the main bridge  abutment is located.  In later years he and Grandma Collins bought and operated the general store in Omar.  About the same time he became a U.S. Customs officer stationed at T.I.Park.  In those days steamboats landed passengers there who stayed at the hotels flourishing there in that era."  Of Eva Mae, Garth wrote: "Grandma Collins was a wonderful person.  I used to stay with her in her apartment over the store, a huge seven room apartment.  I loved to be there with her.  She always made goodies for me."  They are both buried in Omar Cemetery, Omar, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York.  Parents of:
    1. Leland Wesley Collins, (at right), born 6 February 1889 in Omar, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, died 16 April 1952 in Alexandria Bay, Jefferson Co., New York; married 1 September 1917 in Clayton, Jefferson Co.,New York, Helen Adelaide Garlock, born 10 July 1894 in Clayton, died 13 June 1968 at E. J. Noble Hospital in Alexandria Bay, daughter of Lester Garlock and Hattie Carris.  After marriage, they lived in Omar where Leland ran a grocery store until 1935.  After selling the store, he was employed by the New York Life Insurance Co. until the time of his death.  He was a musician, having been organist at the Methodist Church of Omar for many years, and played the piano at the lodge meetings which he attended.  Leland was substitute pianist for the Dixon Orchestra, on those rare occasions when Thelma Dixon was ill.  They played during the ‘20s and ‘30s for square dances, and whenever called, and had a regular schedule with grange, firemen, and other organizations holding dances.  He was a member of the Methodist Church, and the Thousand Islands Grange of Omar; LaFargeville Lodge 171 F & AM, and Theresa Chapter RAM.  Helen (Garlock) Collins attended Clayton school and the teacher training class.  She was a life member of the Calumet Chapter O.E.S., Clayton, and a member of the WSCS of the Alexandria Bay Methodist Church.  [Details about Leland and his parents comes from the research of Nan Dixon].
              The photo at right was given to Mark A. Wentling in April 2002 by his cousin Dr. Maynard H. Mires, who wrote as follows:  "I am enclosing a priceless photo which I want you to have, as it is supposed to tell a story.  Taken about 1912, it shows Leland Collins with two very pretty girls on his knees.  The taller girl, on his right knee, is Ethel E. Coon (later my mother); the other girl is her cousin, Helen Garlock.  The story is that Leland loved them both, and couldn't make up his mind!  However, as we know, he eventually married Helen in 1917.  In the meantime, my mother-to-be had gone off to Watertown City Hospital school of nursing and rec'd her R.N. in 1917." Parents of:
      1. Garth Garlock Collins
      2. Natalie Collins
  4. Leland G., born 1865, died 1876.
  5. Effie C., born 1867, died January 1924.
  6. Byron, born about April 1870, died 1876.
  7. Floyd Lewis, mentioned below.


Flunder Family, ca. 1905

"First Row from Left to Right: Mother, Helen, Lorena, Aunt Minnie (note: not Minnie Carter), Lillie, Papa (Ed Flunder). Second Row from Left to Right: Nellie, Florence, Grandma Flunder, Kenneth, little Ted." Photo courtesy of Brian Hughes.


Children of Louisa Flunder & Mr. Clarke, at North Brookfield, NY

(a gift from the Jim Burshaw family of Belleville, Ontario, Canada in July 2002)

        The reverse of this photo reads as follows: "For Uncle Taylor, June - 1930; Left to Right: Bethany 13, Aversa 8, Blythe 6, Ariel, 15yrs; Lower row: Keitha 3yr, Edna May Munson, 2yr 3mos, That was a little girl across the street. She lives in Cortland now and Keitha loves her dearly. As usual Ariel is in the shadow."


        (8) Floyd Lewis Carter, born 23 December 1877 in Clayton, a resident of Omar, Town of Orleans, Jefferson County.  Floyd grew up in Omar and spent his entire life in this vicinity and at nearby Fisher's Landing.  He married, Ada Blanche Diepolder, born 23 May 1878 in LaFargeville, Town of Orleans, Jefferson Co., New York, a daughter of the keeper of a nearby lighthouse that stood on a lonely island just offshore.
       When Ada was five years old her mother became sick with consumption, and after three years of illness she died at the young age of 25 years, leaving her husband--now twice a widower--alone to care for their eight year old daughter.  A few months after her mother's death, a petition Ada's father had filed the previous year to become keeper of Rock Island Lighthouse was approved, and in September 1886 he and Ada moved to the island making the recently-built dwelling there their new home.  Throughout her childhood, Ada lived on the island with her father, and when she was old enough, he sent her to school in Rochester, New York, where she stayed with her grandmother, a German immigrant.  Ada blossomed into a beautiful young lady; in fact, it's said she used to boast that she had the reputation of being known as "the "prettiest woman on the St. Lawrence," referring to the famous river that stretches from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean.
        In 1895, at age 18, Ada took her first teaching job at the Tanners Corners district school (#8), situated in the Town of Alexandria on the road between the villages of Omar and LaFargeville.  Though she had spent much of her childhood with her father on Rock Island, their permanent home was in LaFargeville.  Her job now took her closer to Omar, and it was probably this role as the local schoolteacher in the public eye which provided her with the occasion to meet a local gentleman of her own age -- Floyd Carter.
        On 29 November 1896, Floyd and Ada were married, "somewhat to the sadness of her parents, it was said," (according to a local summer resident's diary).  Indeed, on the day of her wedding, Ada's father expressed his distaste for the union by treating it only as a sidenote in the lighthouse station logs: "At Clayton and bought a stove. (Daughter married)."  He must have finally relented in his disapproval, for his later station logs provided details of Floyd's visits, fishing, and hunting exploits on the island.
        Except for a few years spent at Thousand Islands Park on Wellesley Island, across the channel from Rock Island, Floyd and Ada lived in the village of Omar all their married lives.  Floyd operated an automobile and engine repair service (logo from letterhead at right).  He was also a carpenter with a reputation for excellence in woodfinishing, and was called on to do work on some of the expensive luxury rivercraft used by the wealthy summer residents of the 1000 Islands.
        Endowed with a creative spirit, Floyd combined the best of both his carpentry and automotive skills, when in 1911 he invented what was called the "motor ice boat."  On March 9th, the Thousand Island Sun newspaper reported as follows:  "Motor Driven Ice Boat Built -- A power driven ice boat has been perfected by Floyd Carter of Thousand Island Park.  Instead of sails, the boat has a small engine connected up with a propeller like that of an aeroplane.  The steering gear is located in the front.  Comparing the size of the propeller with the man beside it, it can be seen it is over six feet high.  With good weather the boat can skim along at 20 miles an hour."  In later years, other local residents built upon Floyd's design, and in 1934 a motor ice boat was patented by Morris Knight.

        The Carter family has been gifted with musical talents, and Floyd was no different.  He was a well-known violin maker, and taught both of his children how to play.  The violin pictured below is one he handcrafted from the timbers of the War of 1812 ship-of-the-line "New Orleans," which was built in Sackets Harbor and demolished in 1884.  [It is currently in the possession of a cousin, Dr. Maynard H. Mires of Delaware, who received it as a gift from Floyd's daughter Kathleen, along with a wooden carrying case made by Floyd that Kate used for carrying her violin to orchestra engagements.]
        In the 1910 census of the Town of Orleans, (E.D. 35), Floyd and Ada were enumerated together, age 32 and 31 respectively. Ada indicated that her father was born "Bav. German." In this year, Floyd reported that he was a carpenter, working on his "own account" (i.e., contract) from his house and boat. Ada reported that she had no occupation, and that she had given birth to two children who were living in that year (Katherine H., age 7, attending school, and Ivan D., age 2), so it can be surmised that she had quit teaching school by that time, perhaps to care for her children.
        In 1917, their eldest son, Ivan, died.
        Floyd died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack early one morning in 1935, leaving Ada a widow after 38 years of marriage.  Floyd's obituary, dated Theresa, 5 February 1935, was published in the Watertown Daily Times and read as follows:



       "Floyd L. Carter, whose funeral was held at his home in Omar today at 8, was very well known here, a son Austin Carter marrying a Theresa girl.
        It was recalled here today by those who are interested in violins that Mr. Carter was an expert in the work of making these musical instruments. It was told that one he made was of unusual value and sold for $600. He was also an expert in wood finishing and was sought after to do fine work on some of the expensive river craft of the St. Lawrence.

       Mr. Carter died suddenly at his home in Omar Sunday morning about 4. Heart disease caused death.

       Mr. Carter got up about 4 and went to look at the fire in the furnace. He then glanced at the thermometer and spoke to his wife about the weather. After returning to bed his wife heard him make a peculiar noise and upon investigating, found him dead.

       He was born in Omar, son of Mr. and Mrs. Byron J. Carter, and had lived in this village and Fisher's Landing all of his life. Mr. Carter was a carpenter and auto repair man but had been retired for some years.

       Thirty-eight years ago he married Miss Ada Diepolder. Besides his wife he is survived by one son, Austin S. Carter of Omar; one daughter, Mrs. Kathleen Abbott; one sister, Mrs. May E. Collins of Omar."

       After Floyd's death in 1935, Ada continued to live at their home in Omar.  By now, death was a well-known spectre to Ada that had visited her often:  first death took her mother when Ada was eight, followed by her grandmother in 1895 only a year before her wedding, then her father dropped dead of heart failure while tending the lighthouse in 1901, and finally her first-born son died in 1917 at only ten years of age.
        After Floyd's death, Ada's personality is said to have changed; she became fervently religious and would dress in black from head to toe, then march into the village of Omar and preach hellfire from the street corner.  She also began to keep a tighter hand in her children's affairs.
        Sometime in the late 1960's or early 1970's, she sold the home and moved in with her daughter, Kathleen, who resided with her husband Nelson on the Philow farm near Omar, where they operated a roadside gas and food station for passersby.  It is said by relatives that she spent many hours in her later years entertaining graciously attentive visitors with stories of her childhood spent at the lighthouse with her father watching the big ships go by.
        Ada died on 7 May 1974 at age 95--by then a great-great-grandmother--and the funeral was conducted from Kathleen's home.  The services are thought to have perhaps been attended by her son Austin who had left New York permanently in 1946, and he followed his mother a few months later after a lengthy illness.


  1. Kathleen H., (at right), born 3 July 1902 at Thousand Islands Park, Wellesley Island, Jefferson Co., New York, died about 1984, buried on Wellesley Island in the St. Lawrence River.  Kate was known as one who was not at all afraid to speak her mind—and do so bluntly—but those who knew her best are quick to point out that she was also a very kind-hearted woman. Like her father she was mechanically inclined and used to fix her own cars well into old age. Kate had a large handwritten family tree hanging on her front porch which was given to her by a cousin, Dr. Maynard H. Mires.  She married first a Mr. Abbott, a locally well-known taxidermist and fisherman, who had his own television show.  Her second husband was Nelson Philow, whose family farm they occupied, which is where Kate lived out her days, caring for her mother for many of them. In addition, Kate and her husband operated a roadside stand across the street from their house, serving sandwiches and ice cream to passing motorists and truckers. Kate was a well-known nurse, working for Dr. Pilpel and on her own, mixing her own special concoctions (especially cough syrup) that resulted in the miraculous recovery of her grateful patients. As recently as 2003, local residents are still telling stories of how "that Kate Philow saved my life!"
  2. unknown male, born 11 August 1905 at Thousand Islands Park, Wellesley Island, Jefferson Co., New York
  3. Ivan D., born 7 September 1907 at Thousand Islands Park, Wellesley Island, Jefferson Co., New York, died 1917.
  4. Austin Sinclair, mentioned below


(a gift from the Jim Burshaw family of Belleville, Ontario, Canada in July 2002)

(From left to right) Caroline Richardson (in arms) granddaughter of Lily Mae Flunder; Kathleen (Carter) Abbot (later Philow), daughter of Ada; "Aunt Ada" (Diepolder) Carter; Lily Mae (Flunder) Burshaw; Hilda (Burshaw) Richardson, daughter of Lily Mae; Pat Burshaw, granddaughter of Lily Mae (in front of Hilda); Kathy Burshaw, granddaughter of Lily Mae (in front of Lily Mae). Lily Mae was looked after by Ada and her husband Floyd Carter when her mother died in 1899. 


        (9) Austin Sinclair Carter, born 16 July 1913 in Omar, Town of Orleans, Jefferson County, New York, died January 1975 in Chelan Hospital, Chelan, Chelan Co., Washington, following an extended illness. Austin spent his early life in the Thousand Islands area of Jefferson County where he met and married Dorothy Armenta Fraser of Theresa.

        For about a year, Austin, Dorothy, and their two daughters, lived in Thousand Islands Park on Wellesley Island in a house which extended over the water and had a boat dock for a basement.  Since the Thousand Islands Bridge had not yet been built, they had to use a boat to get off the island or go to the mainland.  Later, Austin applied his skills helping to construct the Thousand Islands International Bridge.
        Austin and Dorothy soon divorced and they rarely saw one another again.  However, once while Austin was working as a customs agent Dorothy saw him on her way into Canada.  Austin was stationed in Canada during his service with the Army Air Force in World War II.
        Within a couple of years, it is said that Austin married another woman and had a child, but that they too divorced and she and the child went to live in Florida, while Austin moved west to Chelan, Chelan Co., Washington, near Wenatchee, in 1946.  For two years he was employed with the Lake Chelan Boat Company.  From 1948 until 1950 he was employed with Howe-Sound Mining Co. at Holden.  Since 1950 he was self-employed as a carpenter, like his father, Floyd.
        On 8 January 1963, he married Betty J. Randolph at Chelan, mother of one daughter and two sons.  He was a member of the Chelan Valley Lodge No. 118 of F.&A.M. (Free and Accepted Masons), Charles B. Reed Council No. 14, R. & S.M., past high priest of Wenatchee Chapter No. 22, R.A.M., Columbia Commandery No. 14 Knights Templar, El Katif Shrine and Chelan Eagles Lodge No. 2218.
        Funeral arrangements were handled by Precht Rose Chapel and services were conducted that Wednesday at 2 o'clock from the Masonic Temple in Chelan by the Chelan Valley Lodge No. 118, F.&A.M. with R.J. McHenry as Worshipful Master. Concluding services and interment followed in Fraternal Cemetery.  Memorials were made to the Shrine Hospital for Crippled Children and the Shrine Burns Institute Services under the direction of the Precht Rose Chapel, Chelan.
       Dorothy had grown up on the Fraser farm in Theresa, Jefferson County, New York, a few miles from Austin's home in Omar.  As a young girl, she and her sister Jennifer helped out on the farm milking cows and threshing oats -- and she even trained a cow she named "Grimmer" to ride like a horse, which she did proudly.  After her divorce from Austin, Dorothy went into business with her new interest, John "Jack" Ware, and opened a restaurant and gas station in Sandy Creek, Jefferson County.  Jack had a past record of forgery and Barbara, Dorothy's daughter, relates that during the war he put his "talents" to use by forging ration coupons, so there was always plenty of sugar, flour and wheat for the whole family.  However, Jack was restless and one day he emptied Dorothy's bank account and took off with her 1939 Pontiac -- and they were not making any cars during the war -- so she sent the state police after him.  She got a phone call one day and it was Jack saying, "Call off the cowboys, Dorothy, I'm comin' home!!!"  They ended the relationship after his return.
        Soon after Jack left, Dorothy fell in love with Sammy Denato.  They bought a home in Sackets Harbor, Jefferson County, now owned by her granddaughter, Debra Brown.  Around the perimeter of the porch she built a decorative stone wall by hand and erected a ship's mast in the front yard, and together they inscribed "Dot & Sammy 1965" in the concrete step behind the house--all of these can be seen today.  Tragically, two weeks before they were to be married, Dorothy died of a massive coronary.  She was 49.
        But Dorothy did live long enough to enjoy the music of her daughters, Lila and Barbara (at right with Grandpa John Fraser), better known on both sides of the river as the Carter Sisters.  Wonderful singers and talented guitar players, the duo performed at clubs and jamborees, and they had weekly shows broadcast live from the Boonville radio station.  Lila played steel guitar while Barbara sang popular tunes of the day, often being compared to Patsy Cline.  It is said even today that local radio announcers receive calls from Canada and New York from people asking "Whatever happened to those Carter Sisters?!"

Dorothy Fraser with grandson Johnnie, daughter Lila and her husband Bill, circa 1956.
Northern Pioneers, 1956 at Hongos in Carthage
Barbara Marie Carter on acoustic guitar; Lila Mae Carter on slide guitar; Bill Phillips on bass (rear, left) and Pete Misercola on fiddle (rear, right)

Children of Austin Carter and Dorothy Fraser:

  1. Barbara Marie, mentioned below
  2. Lila May (at right), born 1935, died 1982 age 46; married William Robert Phillips, born 23 April 1930 in Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence Co., New York, died December 2005, Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, son of Murray K. Phillips and Carolyn J. Woods.  Lila was well-known in New York and Ontario as one of the best pedal steel guitar players in the area.  After a career in her youth playing with her sister as the "Carter Sisters" Lila went on to perform with the Jerry McGee Band, the Northern Pioneers, the Country Stars, and the Hoedowners.
    1. Yvonne Marie; married Robert Barnes, parents of:  Brent, Danny, Steven and Melissa Barnes.
    2. John Murray; married Bambi Lynn Favry.

    3. Children:
      1. John Murray Phillips Jr.
      2. Scott Michael Phillips
    4. Robert Steven father of:  Robert, Jr., Lila, Jessica and Matthew Phillips
    5. Trina Marie; married Steven DeCillis, parents of:  Hannah DeCillis
Possible children of Austin Sinclair Carter and unidentified woman:
  1. male child


Lila Carter with husband Bill Phillips and children Trina, Johnny and Robert Steven.


        (10) Barbara Marie Carter was born 27 December 1933 in Theresa, Jefferson Co., New York.  In her early years, she lived with her parents at Thousand Island Park, on Wellesley Island, in a home with a boathouse below--since the international bridge had not been built yet, most homes were equipped with boats for passage to the mainland.  Her parents divorced in 1942, at which time she and her sister Lila were taken in by their grandparents, John Farley Fraser and Elsie June, after a brief stay with her grandmother Ada B. Carter of Omar.  Her father soon left the state of New York, never to return until his mother's funeral in 1974, and her mother went into business for herself.
       Early in life Barbara and her sister exhibited tremendous musical talent.  Barbara played guitar and was especially noted for her singing ability, widely compared to Patsy Cline.  Lila sang as well, but gained her fame more for playing steel guitar, for which she developed a reputation of being one of the best players in that part of New York State and Canada.  By their teenage years, Barbara and Lila were locally famous, performing at jamborees, fairs, and on radio under the name the "Carter Sisters."  The Boonville radio station was one of the stations that aired their shows.
        When the two women grew up and married, they formed a band with their husbands called the "North Country Ramblers."  The group's performances in the early 1950's were broadcast by WATN radio in Watertown.  It was around this time that talent scouts from the Ted Mack Show in New York City held auditions in the area, promising an on-air performance and a recording deal to the winner.  The North Country Ramblers auditioned and won--the only problem was that the show's producers didn't want the band, they just wanted Barbara!  Barbara was faced with a difficult choice: on the one hand she had an opportunity to launch a recording career, but on the other she had a promise she and the band members had made before the audition that if they won it would be all or none of them to go to New York City.  Ultimately, Barbara honored her word, and turned down the offer to appear on the Ted Mack show.  She never again got the chance to record, but she spent many happy years traveling the road with the band in New York and Canada pleasing the crowds on both sides of the border with her amazing voice.
        For work, Barbara and Lila took jobs in the late 1950's at the print shop of Orville Weston, in Watertown, near Mercy Hospital.  Later, Barbara worked at the Mohican, a grocery store, where she met her lifelong friend Lucille.  In the mid-1960's, Barbara followed her husband, a military serviceman, to Ohio, (where the above picture was taken in 1964).  In later years, they settled in a house in Sackets Harbor, Jefferson Co., New York, where Barbara opened a hairdressing salon in their home.  More than 30 years later she continues to operate the same business, enjoying a loyal clientele.

Bill Phillips with nephew Vurlynn "Butch" Wentling, circa early 1960s.

  1. Vurlynn Roderick Wentling, (at right), Watertown, Jefferson County, New York, and spent his early years in Watertown and in Sackets Harbor. He married at the First Presbyterian Church of Watertown, Ann Elizabeth Jenkins, of Camps Mills, town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County. The couple resided at 204 West Washington Street, Sackets Harbor, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County, New York, until their divorce nine years later.  He now resides in Uxbridge, Massachusetts with his wife, Sandi.

Children of Vurlynn Wentling and Ann Jenkins:

  1. Laura Ann Wentling; married David Blanchette.
  2. Mark Avery Wentling, author of these pages.
  1. Debra "Candy" Wentling (at right, and below); married Clifford Brown
    1. Sarah Brown
    2. Shane Brown

Barbara Marie Carter was married for 30 years to William O'Brien and they were the parents of:

  1. Michael O'Brien
  2. Tina Marie O'Brien


Vurlynn "Butch" Wentling and Ann Elizabeth (Jenkins) Wentling, with children Laura Ann and Mark Avery, on 12 September 1976 at the Jenkins home in Camps Mills, Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County, New York.

Back row: Barabara (Carter) O'Brien, daughter Candy and son Butch Wentling,
Ann (Jenkins) Wentling, Bill O'Brien (Barbara's second husband).
Front Row: Laura Wentling, Mark Wentling, Tina O'Brien, Mike O'Brien

Mark Wentling, Laura (Wentling) Blanchette, Butch Wentling, Barbara (Carter)
O'Brien, and
Candy (Wentling) Brown
, April 14, 2007.

Mark and Barbara, Summer 2008.

© Mark A. Wentling, 2000-2009
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Last updated 9 March 2009