7 April 2017
Subject: Mary and Martha Timmerman Diaries
Mary Timmerman Dayton (1845 – 1923) (wife of Henry Dayton) and Martha Timmerman Brewer (1848 – 1926) (wife of Ebenezer Brewer) were sisters, both daughters of George F. Timmerman (1813 – 1902) and Rosina Walrath Timmerman (1818 – 1898). There were other siblings however these two were the diary writers and the authors of the information noted in this work.
The two sisters lived near Orleans Four Corners, Jefferson County, New York (and for a time Mary from Philadelphia, Jefferson County, New York) routinely wrote in their diaries from 1870 up to nearly they day they died. Both are buried beside their parents and some of their siblings in the Orleans Cemetery, Orleans Four Corners, New York.
Mary and Martha captured simple events of the bygone era, the weather and effects on life, church happenings, and they captured many births, weddings, and anniversaries. They also captured a good many deaths and funerals. These births, weddings, anniversaries, deaths and funerals were extracted and are listed under the “Timmerman Births Marriage and Death Extracts” link. Ernest Cook of the Watertown Daily Times, and friends of the family, years later and after their deaths wrote many of the diary entries from 1870 to 1916 in a newspaper column. The column ran sometime in the 1930s but the dates are unknown. Ernest did not simultaneously capture diary entries from both, but would alternate the writings; capturing Mary’s writings in some years and Martha’s in other years—therefore 100 percent of the entries were not printed. That being said, a significant portion was. All known newspaper clippings were photographed and are listed under the “Timmerman Diary Pages” links. To help in your personal research, a “Surname Index” is provided.
Although the information is wonderful for both genealogical and history researchers, verification through others means, where possible, should occur. Apparently someone noted some errors in the dated newspaper columns—for example some of 1908’s writings were in fact from 1903. This happened between 1911 and 1912 as well. There may be other years noted in error. The printed information has not been verified against formal vital statistics.
The newspaper clipping (booklet) of the Timmerman Diaries is the data source of this project. This booklet is in the possession of the Town of Orleans Historian Kelly Orvis. Kelly doubles as the Town librarian in LaFargeville, Jefferson County, New York. The pages of the booklet were photographed 8 February 2017 and the information was extracted page by page at home over the next three weeks. Whether the original diaries yet exist or where they are today is unknown; however no effort was made to locate the original writings.
We hope the information is helpful in researching your and Town of Orleans and Orleans Four Corners ancestry.
Nancy “Nan” Dixon
Copyright 2016 Jefferson County NYGenWeb — a member of the NYGenWeb Project
If you have any questions or comments about this page, please contact,
County Co-Coordinator Nancy Dixon or
Co-Coordinator Bruce Coyne.
Return to Jefferson County Genweb Page