Compiled by Lois Barris
Miss Elizabeth Crocker, Chautauqua County Historian for many years, died on May 14, 1999 at age 104. Her mother, Ella Stone Crocker was a lifelong genealogist and Eljzabeth inherited her mother\’s reputation as an expert in this field. Miss Crocker became an icon of sorts with many a story told of her vast holding of information on Chautauqua County people.
Several months after her death, boxes of notebooks, letters and manuscripts, were delivered to the county for the use by her successor. The present historian, Michelle Henry, went through this material, sorting out that relatively small amount which was of historical importance. Ms Henry invited The Chautauqua County Genealogical Society to participate in surveying the papers for information of interest to genealogists. This work was done in the summer of 2000. Not a lot of new or exciting information was found CCGS members reorganized several office-sized boxes into five boxes of family folders and produced a card file index of these.
The newly indexed file, housed in the office of the County Historian where space is at a premium, was seldom used by researchers. It was found to be of little use to those at the courthouse who answered research queries. Ms Henry offered the file to CCGS provided that we could make it available to the public. We accepted the offer and the material was transferred to a corner of the Garland Room in the Barker Library at Fredonia. A committee of CCGS members re-sorted and integrated the folders into our existing Family Files. The card index has been converted to a computer index to the integrated file. We hope it will be useful to researchers in this new format.
But- Along with those boxes of folders came another gem from Miss Crocker\’s estate– six small file drawers of index cards. Here was the source of those fables about her information on Chautauqua County people. We were very disappointed to find that ninety percent of this information already appears in our publications. We carefully checked each card and disposed of the cards with duplicate information. The remainder is a mish-mash of information from Ella Crocker\’s files, from old newspapers (information which probably exists in other holdings in the county), information furnished by the various municipal historians, etc. From these came the information in this book. Relatively few items have source information, some have no dates, but we have included herein any information ftom the file that could provide a clue for a genealogist.
We have used the title Gleanings Three to honor Virginia Washburn Barden who used the Gleanings title on two previously published collections of genealogical information. We have included what source information there was on the cards so the original can be checked by those who choose to do so. If we have not included source information, none existed on the card.
Most cards had abbreviated information that we could usually decipher. When we could not, we included the information given in hopes the researcher will understand it. Usually d meant died and m meant married, etc- short hand familiar to most researchers. An * indicates that the information following the asterisk was taken from a 2nd card for the same person. On the next two pages are the abbreviations for the references found on some of the cards.
Lois Barris 2004