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My 3rd great grandfather, James Douglass was born in September, 1798, in Delaware County, New York. He later lived in Caroline, Tompkins Co., New York. And later kept moving west until he died in Otoe Co., Nebraska in 1886.

In 1798, there does not appear to be any other Douglass family in Delaware Co., except those who descended from James Douglass, b1723 and died in 1809, in Harpersfield. Later, after 1800, other Douglass families moved to the county, but, my line does not connect with them.

In Tompkins County, there were other Douglass families, but, through DNA testing, we have determined that we are not related to William Douglass, who had a very large family. The other family was in the Dryden area, and came there from New Jersey. I am still trying to find more information relating to them.

I believe that the father of my James, could be William Douglass in Caroline after 1800, and who appears in the 1830 census, but not in the 1835 census, or after. My theory is that he is the William Douglass in the 1800 census in Kortright, Delaware Co., and is also the William Douglass mentioned in the will of James Douglass, b 1723.

Information that could prove or disprove my theory would be greatly appreciated. Also, where was James, b 1723, born and what was the maiden name of his wife Elizabeth, b 1728?

I look forward to hearing from you.


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Dorothey, Can you tell me the names of the Douglass families from NJ you mention as being in Tompkins Co (Dryden?). I have some information on several Douglass lines that went from Morris Co NY to western NY after the Rev. Do you know if any from the Dryden area family done a DNA test?
Betsey H Howes
Hi Betsey:

Nathaniel Douglass was in the 1820, 1830 & 1840 Census for Dryden, Tompkins Co., NY.
I did not find him in 1850, but found to males, presumeably his sons.

James S. Douglass and Julius Douglass. It appears that the S. stands for Sutfin.

I followed them through then census and in 1880 Julius shows parents born in New Jersey. James S. lists NY

In the 1850 census for Dryden, we find:

Sutfin Douglass 38 Millwright B NY
Julius 28 Shoemaker B NY
Betsy 65 B NJ ( I assume their mother)
Anne E. 25 B NY

It seems that I have more info, but, need to find it.

I do not know if there has been a DNA test with this family.

Betsey Heath Howes said:
Dorothey, Can you tell me the names of the Douglass families from NJ you mention as being in Tompkins Co (Dryden?). I have some information on several Douglass lines that went from Morris Co NY to western NY after the Rev. Do you know if any from the Dryden area family done a DNA test?
Betsey H Howes

Hi Russell,


Thanks for responding.  I am curious how you came to the conclusion that my group connects.

According to DNA testing through FamilyTree, my line may descend from Nicholas of Mains, through his son, Malcolm, who was executed in the Ruthven affair.  Later found innocent. Malcolm apparently had a descendant that did come to the Virginia/Maryland area.






It was just a guess , Double SS Douglass , Seemed a shot in the dark , but but they were in the area it seems. I got those from the library of virginia online . I just hope its of use to you .




Thank you.



Most Welcome !

I have a note of a Libbie Douglass who was born in New York in about 1866 to James Sutfin Douglass and Caroline Tamma Bryant.

Libby is my 2nd great aunt.  She was born Sarah Elizabeth Douglass, Sept 21, 1865 to James Sutfin Douglass and Caroline Tamma Bryant, in Dryden NY.  She died May 5, 1950.  She married Frederick Eugene Bascom, Nov 11, 1903.  Their son, Harold Douglass Bascom, lived in Ithaca, Ny - when I was a child in the 1950’s - went to Harold’s  house for holiday meals etc.

FYI, Sutfins are associated with the Morris County NJ Douglasses descended from immigrants Robert and Mary Hempstead Douglass of New London CT.

In my tree, Sutfin and their Gray, Trimmer, Neighbor (Nachbar) etc are found around German Valley, Washington Township, NJ, at the foot of Schooley's Mountain, intermarried from many directions with various Robert/Mary descendants. The New England migrants melded with new German immigrants and the old Dutch clans in NJ in that period.

Caroline County is close SW of Albany, NY. My Douglass aunt married second a Schuyler and moved south of Albany NY. Founding father, first Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton met his wife, Eliza Schuyler, in Morris County NJ, in fact introduced by Douglass relatives. Other Robert/Mary descendants and associated NJ fams moved to NY, as well, after the Revolutionary War.

One or two "s" is irrelevant in America, b/c sometimes in the same document it's spell both ways -- and also sometimes Duglas, Dowglass and other alternatives, again even in the same record. Spelling conformity wasn't their thing.

As for DNA, remember that matching DNA doesn't itself mean anyone's info is correct. All can have matching trees and all still be wrong, relying on circular distribution of info. Betsey is connected to a DNA group that dissected a few lines from Robert/Mary into smaller pieces, which can help in sharing documentary evidence in narrower circles, at least.

P.S. Two of those censuses show that James and Flora raised two Arnold children. The names of the boy, Franklin Douglass Arnold, leads me to think James/Flora may have had an older daughter married to an Arnold.

Multiple CT and NJ Douglasses and Arnolds married. Several Franklin Douglasses in my tree all seem to descend from Asa, who shares my GG Robert's father William, 1610-1682. William is the go-to  given name for the hundreds of American families descended from William 1610.

Benajah and Martha (1762-1818) Arnold Douglass had a son, Dr Beriah, who had a son, Dr Franklin Douglass b about 1827 in New York. I don't know what became of him, but they all moved from various NY towns to Appleton WI. Could Beriah have had a son James and a daughter who married an Arnold cousin of his grandmother?  

I haven't figured out all of these cousin clan yet, in part because of adoptions in central NJ (probably  smallpox epidemic) and a murder in Knox County OH that left others orphaned and adopted out again. Certain religious non-conformities may have caused generational gaps, too.


Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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