Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oscar's Ancestors

Keep you fingers crossed.

I have yet to prove this so caution is recommended before getting too excited, but, I may have found Oscar's family tree, and an impressive one it is.

In his letters to the Censor, he mentions having visited Buffalo, Lock Port and Syracuse, New York, to visit aunts, uncles and cousins that he had never met. He seems to come from a large family. It is known from early New York census records that there were very few Langfords living in New York. This leads one to believe that it is very likely that Oscar was related to other Langfords in the state.

I first did a search on to find family trees that had been developed by others with Oscar or his brothers or sisters included. I was able to find only one tree that was promising. It had Oscar's parents as Charles and Fanny (maiden name unknown) Langford. In emailing the Fredonia Library, I had discovered that a Fanny Langford had died in 1840, when Oscar was three. This would explain why he saw himself as an orphan.

So then, I decided to search for early records of Charles Langford in New York. I estimated his birth year as 1795 based on the ages of his children and found only one Charles Langford that was close to this age. Charles Langford was listed as one of three sons who lived to adulthood of George Langford and Abigail Elliot. This Langford family moved to Oneida County New York from either Rhode Island or Massachusetts near the border with Rhode Island. 

I then realized if this was an important early family in New York, there may have already been a study of their family tree done. I searched the library in Fort Wayne, Indiana known for their collection of early genealogy studies. I searched the New England Genealogical and Historic Society in Boston. I found a promising book but nowhere online or close by. Another George Langford had written a study of his family in the 1930s but it was out of print. So, I searched ebay, amazon and other sources for old books, but found none.

Then I searched the internet seeing where else one might pop up. I found another George Langford descendant who had gone to the trouble of putting it on his Langford website. Click to go to his homepage then select on the right "George Langford, Sr.: Genealogy of LANGFORD and the Allied Families of SWEETING; ROBERTSON; BELL."

It suggests a complete line going back to very early American history which I believe is the tree of Oscar Langford, but will, without verification, just cross my fingers for the time being.

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