Family Profile


Barbara Severance

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This is what I know.

Sometime in 1886 or 1887, when my grandmother, Catherine I CONEY was fourteen (14), born 1871, she married my grandfather, Truman O VAN OSTRAND, born in 1857. His father was Peter VAN OSTRAND. I know that one of their homes burned to the ground one day when they went to town for supplies. There may have been another home that they owned that burned down. My grandfather was a farmer. He died in Spencer in 1933 and my grandmother died in Binghamton in 1953. My grandmother had a sister, Mayme or Mamie CONEY who is buried in Elmira NY. She also had a brother, George CONEY, whom I know nothing about. Truman must have had some brothers or sisters, but this I do not know. They both must have had aunts and uncles. I don't even know their parents names, except one. Truman's father's name was Peter VAN OSTRAND. Truman O VAN OSTRAND and Catherine I CONEY had eleven children, six sons and five daughters. All are deceased.

Archibald VAN OSTRAND-never married. At the time of his death in 1963, he owned a farm (many years) on route 96 just over the Tompkins County line as you are heading north toward Ithaca in the town of Danby, NY.

George VAN OSTRAND was married at least once and had at least one child, a daughter. He and Archibald iived together for years on the farm mentioned above.

Melvin VAN OSTRAND married Grace Irene (maiden name unknown) and had several children. A son, Leland Melvin VAN OSTRAND, twin daughters and at least one other daughter, maybe more than one. Leland was their only son and of this date is still living.

Charles VAN OSTRAND married Mattie or Matty (maiden name unknown) and had at least two children, a son they called Buster and a daughter, Marge. Matiie or Matty died. He then married Helen COWELL and for many years they lived on Cowell Road in Spencer NY.

Truman VAN OSTRAND married Hazel (maiden name unknown) and together they had no children. She had been previously married. Truman and Hazel are buried in a cemetery in Owego NY.

Robert VAN OSTRAND married Ina (maiden name unknown). This is what I was told: Before they were married, Ina lived with her parents in a large house that people call "the fork in the road". As you drive on route 96 north toward Ithaca, NY, there is a left curve just outside Spencer. The house in on the right and not far from Cowell Road. Robert and Ina had several children. The oldest three are a son Robert VAN OSTRAND who lives in Windsor, NY. A daughter Doris (Nickname Dodee) VAN OSTRAND now KOHLBACH Windsor, NY and another daughter, Virginia VAN OSTRAND. There were other children also. Robert and Ina VAN OSTRAND lived in Windsor for several years. Both are deceased.

Kathryn VAN OSTRAND married Bernice VAN BUSKIRK from Spencer (at leat when they married both were from Spencer NY). They had two sons, Harold VAN BUSKIRK, born March 16, 1919 and never married. He died January 5 , 1997.

Glenn VAN BUSKIRK, born August 14, 1912 and died on January 30, 1997. He married a girl who died while she was young. They had no children. A daughter of Kathryn was Ruth VAN BUSKIRK , born May 6, 1916, married a man named FLEMING. Ruth died March 8, 2000 and lived on Grand Avenue in Johnson City NY for many years.

Daughter, Isabelle VAN OSTRAND, married Cecil HOLLISTER. He was an electrician and was electrocuted while working at the candy factory in Johnson City NY in the very early 1930s. They had three children. A son, Donald Cecil HOLLISTER, born March 30, 1913 and died October 1968. Another son, Marion(Jake) Warren HOLLISTER served in the US Army for many years and lived in Ohio. He is deceaed, also. A daughter, Helen HOLLISTER born May 17, 1923, maried Irwin CLAPPER, divorced many years ago. Presently married to Thomas DECKER.

Daughter, Adelaide VAN OSTRAND now deceased, married Charles DAVIDSON and had one son Charles, whom they always called, Junior.

Beatrice VAN OSTRAND married Lawrence VAN BUSKIRK, brother to Bernice VAN BUSKIRK who maried Kathryn VAN OSTRAND. They owned and operated a very successful restaurant in Johnson City, NY during the 1940s and 1950s, while also owning and running a farm on East Maine Road in Johnson City, as well. They had one son, Bernard VAN BUSKIRK, now deceased.

Last, but certainly not least is my mother, a daughter to my grandparents, Mildred VAN OSTRAND, born July 6, 1909, married my father, Dana R ELLIS on July 3, 1928. Mildred died December 24, 1971. She had two sons Dana L ELLIS and Roland ELLIS. In their early school years, both attended school in Spencer, NY because the boys lived with their grandparents, Truman VAN OSTRAND and Catherine CONEY in Spencer on the farm until sometime in the 1930s. I am the daughter, Barbara ELLIS. Married and divorced from George GELATT, then married to and widow of Russell G SEVERANCE.

My mother, Mildred VAN OSTRAND ELLIS was the tenth of eleven children born over a period of twenty-five years and I am the youngest of three children born over a period of twelve years, so you can see that a lot of family members were old before I was born. My grandfather died years earlier and my grandmother was 69 at the time of my birth. Had my grandfaher lived, he would have been 83.

I loved the family members whom I knew and are now deceasd and I love the few who are still living. However, I need a lot of help in learning about the long-ago family that I did not know but who are responsible for me having been born. I dearly want to know who they were and what kind of life they had.

Can anyone help me????

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Ernie Miles