These stairs lead to the rooms where my Great-Great-Great Grandfather James Ramsay Dey was raised in Ramsayburg, New Jersey in the mid 1800’s.  He lived with his Grandparents  James and Catherine Ramsay in the home where they also ran a general store business next to the Delaware River.  His mother died when he was just a few years old.  His father, Dr. William Dey, remarried and most likely died of alcoholism when he was 13.

His life was full of tragedy and renewal and I love each piece of new of information I discover that makes him more real to me.

Our ancestors stories lie within the records, letters and events of their times.  They want to tell the story of who they were, what they accomplished, where they traveled, who they loved, what heartache they suffered and what may have led them to make their choices.

But the fascinating part of the journey up the stairs to each one of our ancestors, is that through telling us about their lives, we learn how we came to be who we are.

5 Responses to About

  1. Kathleen says:

    So, this doesn’t really explain where or how you got this picture. Is it genuine? Did you take the picture? Did someone else take the picture? Is this just a inference that these stairs represent the stairs that you’re talking about? Please advise.

  2. I am tracing my lineage back also. I think I can be traced to George Soule as well. Cool.

  3. Marcia Hron says:

    Rachelle . . . not certain of your name, but I just discovered your fascinating blog “Ascending the Stairs”. I SALUTE YOU for the wonderful depth of information you have shared with your posts and links. I have traced my “Jenkins Patriots” lineage for over 30 years . . . back to “John Jenkins of Sandwich,” who was a Quaker convert in Sandwich, MA as early as 1648 (perhaps earlier).

    Rachelle . . . I would LOVE to have contact with you! My name is Marcia Hron, I am registered with Ancestry.com and my email address is: hronbp1@msn.com PLEASE CONTACT ME . . . WE HAVE A GREAT DEAL TO SHARE.

    FOLLOWING is the information I have on “John Jenkins of Sandwich,” and his wife, Susanna Cooke, of Boston:


    (I) JOHN JENKINS, the first Jenkins appearing in colonial records, was perhaps the son of Edward Jenkins who came from England in 1620. No documentation was found of John’s origin. Records begin with John Jenkins (I) and wife, Susannah Cooke Jenkins of Sandwich, Massachusetts who should not be confused with the records of John Jenkins and his wife, Mary Ewer, of Barnstable, Massachusetts of approximately the same age and period of time. In “PUBLICATIONS OF THE COLONIAL SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS, Volume XXXIX,” “Records of the First Church in Boston, 1630-1868,” edited by Richard D. Pierce, page 48: “The 26th Day of the 1st Moneth 1648. Our sister Susannah Cooke Jenkins now the wife of one John Jenkins (I) of Sandwych had (with the Consent of the Church by their silence) letters of Dismission granted hir onto the Church of Sandwych.” The priceless first record proves that John Jenkins (I) was a resident of Sandwich the first month of 1648. If he was in Sandwich prior to 1648, we have no proof. John and Susannah were no doubt recently wed when the transferral from the church of Boston to the church of “Sandwych” was recorded. It is believed that Elizabeth was their first child according to Quaker records and she was born little more than a year later, in May of 1649. Found in a Quaker record, originally published around 1655, “NEW ENGLAND JUDGED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD” by George Bishop, 1703, “Sufferings 1656-1665 in N. W.” a section relating to John Jenkins of Sandwich reads as follows: “and tho’ he had lived at Sandwich about Ten Years, and had three Children; and the very first Year he came, he was made a Freeman, etc.” It goes on to record numerous tribulations John suffered because of his Quaker faith. Frederick Freeman, 1858, also mentions John Jenkins of Sandwich in “THE HISTORY OF CAPE COD”. John is listed (among others) as a contributor towards the building of a place for public meeting in 1655. The transcript of the “SANDWICH TOWN MEETING RECORDS 1651-1682, page 29, also records John Jenkins as pledging toward a new meetinghouse in 1655 and being elected surveyor in 1680 (see page 154). In the “PLYMOUTH COLONY RECORDS,” Vol. III, page 116, it is noted that he was elected highway surveyor on June 3, 1657. John Jenkins (I) of Sandwich is also made reference to in “A TRANSCRIPT OF PROPRIETOR’S RECORD BOOK OF SANDWICH,” (about 1657) furnished by Russell A. Lovell, Jr., Archivist and Historian for the town of Sandwich. The transcript records John Jenkins as being the owner of several parcels of land in the area. The land descriptions given in this transcript are strange to today’s standards as parcels have no legal description other than, for example: “Bounded by stakes betwix their meadows and bounded upon the Northeast side by a new Ditch in part and one stake as the way runneth, and soe extending to the maine River.” Persons of Sandwich were at this time under the jurisdiction of Plymouth. In “RECORDS OF PLYMOUTH COLONY,” Vol. 8, edited by Nathanial B. Shurtleff, M. D., (published originally as “RECORDS OF THE COLONY OF NEW PLYMOUTH IN NEW ENGLAND,” Boston, 1857) John Jenkins of Sandwich was fined several times between 1658 and 1660 for attending Quaker meetings and for refusing to take the oath of fidelity to the government. Bishop’s “NEW ENGLAND JUDGED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD” also bears out the fact that John Jenkins was several times fined for his Quaker activities. In “RECORDS OF PLYMOUTH COLONY,” Vol. III, page 204, John Jenkins was among the group of Quakers ordered to Plymouth Feb. 5, 1660-1 for hindering the marshall in securing “Strange Quakers” (English preachers). The group was disenfranchised from town offices and meetings in 1658 (page 153). There is little question that John Jenkins (I) was disciplined in his faith. Since the first Quaker missionaries arrived in Massachusetts in 1656, it seems John was among the earliest converts. The Quaker views were at a variance with the teaching of the dominant church of the area and much has been written of the extreme persecution they suffered, including loss of life, during the span of his lifetime. “THE HISTORY OF CAPE COD,” PAGE 228, records John Jenkins (among others) of Sandwich, being summoned to court to give a reason for not taking the oath of fidelity to the government, professed that they “Held it unlawful to take the oath.” All were fined. On page 68 of the above-mentioned publication, we find record of a town meeting held on Feb. 23, 1675 in which were recorded “all those that can made appear their just right to the privileges of the town.” The name of John Jenkins (among others) was listed as one of those entitled to the “privileges”.
    JENKINS PATRIOTS – American Descendants of John Jenkins
    PAGE 11
    On July 10, 1678, John Jenkins was one of three “Friends” who “In the name and behalf of the rest of their fellow townsmen that are of their religion to declare their dissent against the town’s disposing of any privileges belonging to them as townsmen.” “THE PLYMOUTH SCRAP BOOK,” “the Oldest Original Documents Extant in Plymouth Archives,” copied and edited by Charles Henry Pope, 1918, page 44 records Zacheriah Jenkins of Sandwich as the administrator of the estate of John Jenkins (deceased) of Sandwich on October 28, 1684. Apparently, John Jenkins (I) died shortly before October 1684 at Sandwich. It is assumed that his wife, Susannah (Cooke) Jenkins preceded him in death. On pages 129-130 of this same publication an inventory of the estate of John Jenkins is given and sworn to by “Zachery” Jenkins. It reads as follows:


    This following is an inventory or an account of ye Estate of John Jenkins, deceased:

    l. s. d. Item his upland & meaddow Land Vallewed at 38-00-00 His Clothes with some money, beds and beding at 14-00-00 The house and housing at 20-00-00 The nete Cattell & Swine and Horse kind at 42-04-00 A Cart & Wheels & Plow & other things belonging unto at 01-11-00 A Loome & the things belonging therunto at 04-00-00 The Iron Potes: Kittels pans & that which pertains to at 03-00-00 The Pewter: 1 wool, 16sflax, 16slinnen & wollen 04-10-00 Butter & Cheese at 1, Scales & Weights at 9s. 01-09-00 The Bedsteds chests tables barrells & severall other things of small valew 01-05-00 The English Grane or Corne at 02-00-00 His Bibles and other books at 01-05-00 Debts due to him as by his book appears 07-10-00 140-14-00

    • Rachelle says:

      Undoubtedly, my Quaker family would have known your Jenkins family. It must have been so difficult in those years to have gone against the Puritans and chosen a different church. The people who chose to be Quakers would have shared a special bond and needed one another! It’s been a while since I worked on this line of my tree, but your posting makes me want to go back. Thanks for sharing!

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