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Lemuel Stewart War Record
War Record of Lemuel Stewart
New info!

1913 Petersburgh School Class
1913 School Class

Frank & Myrtle Church's Family
Frank & Myrtle's Family

Schuyler & Fidelia Church

<<Schuyler Church and Fidelia Glynes were married on July 15, 1860. This may have been their wedding picture or taken a few years later.


This photo on cardstock shows Fidelia and young son Charlie. He looks to be no more than two years old so that would place the time around 1865.>>>


<<<(Below, left and right of Petersburgh photo): Frank & Myrtle Church pose for portraits in 1913>>>

Fidelia Glines & Charlie Church
Frank & Myrtle Church
Petersburgh - 1900
Myrtle Church

The reverse side of the photo postcard above showing Myrtle standing beside Frank in the chair, with Myrtle's handwriting addressing the postcard to brother Henry Church.

Young Frank Church

Frank Church as a young man
(thanks to the late Hazel Bierwirth Sapino for this treasured picture)

Petersburgh, NY, about 1900, looking east up Main St. toward Sawyer's Store; Jones & Jones Store on the right. Wagon on the left is in front of the Post Office, second building on the left side of the photo.
Half-sister Henrietta Church in the 1920's>>Henrietta Church ThomasEmmajane Church <<Sister Emmajane Church

Brother Henry Church around 90 years old in a 1960's photoHenry Church

Marion Church Powers

Marion Church,
about 1916

Church Family of Petersburgh NY Reminiscences

The Legend of the Church/Stewart Origins

(excerpts from Descendants of William Steward of North Stonington, Connecticut by Roger Steward)

...Also provided by Beverly Skalisky from Sharon Patchett is this uncertain but interesting account of the Steward family's American beginnings:

"Two British sailors who had been pressed into service jumped ship along the New England coast in the 1660's and lived with the Indians for a time to avoid being caught. According to Frank Church (Petersburg, NY) the two sailors, Church and Stewart, formed a bond of friendship and swore the two families would always be closely associated. No hard evidence but Frank's mother lived to a ripe old age and his grandmother lived to be 103, so the stories may have been handed down." (Ed. note: Frank Church's mother Fidelia Glines died at 39. See story below.)

Frank also mentioned elsewhere in this work. His mother was Fidelia M. Glines, and his grandmother was Patience Ann Stewart, who lived to be 103 years, daughter of John Steward, who lived nearly 85 years. Given that Patience's grandfather Lemuel Steward moved his family from Petersburgh, NY to Grafton, NY in 1796, while his first born, John Steward, did not make that move until about 1805, it may be that John Steward was raised by his grandparents, Eliphalet Steward and Elizabeth (Church?) or at least remained very close to them. This tradition could easily have first been handed down to Frank Church.

The second of the Dutch and English wars from 1663-1667, in which England took possession of New Amsterdam (now New York) in 1664, provides an historical foundation for the Steward/Church family legend of the two impressed seamen. The fact that Scotland took no part in this war imples the Scottish sailors, who willlingly served in the Dutch fleet, had first been impressed by the British, so there may have been both impressed Scottish and British seamen deserting along the New England coast. - Roger Steward, page 1-5

...Among the hand-written papers provided at the North Stonington Historical Society on Sept, 26, 2000, was further reference to to Elizabeth "Church" wife of Eliphalet Steward:

"Eliphalet Stewart's wife is only known as Elizabeth - thought by Frank Church that she was Elizabeth "Church" -- From footnote on page 2 of Lt. William Stewart's group sheet, Oct. 4, 1979, written by Mrs. Morgan (Dorothy) Stewart.

Believing this name to be correct, Frank Church of Petersburgh, New York may have been the original source of this assessment. - Roger Steward, p. 2-3

The Church "Indian," the Tragic Deaths of Fidelia Glynes and Eddie Jay Babcock (and Other Stories)

The story: John Stewart (1780-1865) was the first-born son of Lemuel Stewart and an "Indian" maiden prior to Lemuel Stewart's marriage to Rebecca Rose in Preston, CT in 1782. Supposedly upon Rebecca's arrival in Grafton as Lemuel's new bride she was handed the young child. This anecdote by Esther Church Bierwirth, daughter of Frank Church, and told to the author of this website personally, has a strong possibilty of a factual origin. John Stewart's daughter Patience Ann Stewart may have related the tale to her great-granddaughter Esther herself. Esther remembered attending Patience Ann's 100th birthday party in 1916 when she was eleven years old, and Patience Ann lived three years after that. For the purposes of this genealogy we will assume that this relationship is factual. It could also provide a basis for Roger Steward's suppostion above that John Steward may have been raised by his grandparents Eliphalet and Elizabeth Steward: being a half-Indian child, it could be that he was never totally accepted by his new step-mother Rebecca Rose Stewart. (See the "Church Family Indian" for an expanded essay on this subject.)

The story: Fidelia Glynes Church, Schuyler Church's first wife, and mother of his seven children ranging in age from 1-1/2 to 18, contracted a case of measles at the age of 38 just 15 days shy of her 39th birthday. A doctor was called to treat the worsening illness. Her mother, wanting clean bedding for the doctor's visit, replaced her bedsheets with fresh, but cold linen. Fidelia caught a chill from the cold bedding and the measles "turned inward", becoming the dreaded "black" measles from which she was unable to recover. (Ed. Note: Fidelia is buried at the "Kenyon" cemetery northwards off Potter Hill Rd. just to the east of the Grafton/Petersburgh Town Line.)

The story: Thomas Glynes, father of Fidelia, had a been a French sailor who came to this country with Lafayette, deserted his ship, and made his way to Petersburgh where he married and started a family. However, the authorities found him out, arrested him and handed him over to the French who returned him to France where he was hung for desertion.

Ed. note: This is an intriguing tale, but more than likely considerably mixed up with some contemperaneous event, may be referring to perhaps Glynes' father or grandfather, or might be a distortion of the Stewart/Church "Origins" story above. Historically and chronologically, the facts don't add up for this anecdote about Thomas Glynes. Anyone with any info on this mystery?

The story: Eddie Jay Babcock in the summer of 1882 had only been married to Harriet Church for nineteen months; their infant daughter Myrtle was nearly nine months old that July day. Eddie Jay, in the process of tending the crops at the family farm on the outskirts of Petersburgh village, had covered their potato plants with a sprinkling of the insecticide "Paris green," a bright-green powder derived from acetate of copper to keep potato bugs at bay.

The powder somehow came in contact with a sore on Eddie Jay's foot. When he came in from the field, he felt ill and noticed a red streak running up his leg. A doctor summoned for the emergency diagnosed his condition as incurable (for that era) "blood poisoning." Within 24 hours he was dead at the age of 21.

The story goes that his aunt and mother ignored his deathbed pleas to see his wife. The two older women somehow blamed Harriet for the misfortune, refusing her admittance into the sick room.

The Story: Elsie Grogan Church, wife of Nathan Church, lost an arm in an wagon accident. Coming home from a trip to Hoosick Falls, Nathan and Elsie had imbibed a little too heavily in the 'hard cider', so to speak, and at one point during the trip home over the rough roads in a horse-drawn wagon, she fell off; one of the large wooden spoked wheels rolled over her arm and it had to be amputated. Think about what an operation like this must have been like in those days - on a kitchen or trestle table no doubt, with a tough, old country doctor wielding a saw, and hopefully a handkerchief sprinkled with chloroform or ether for the patient.

- (All stories from the recollections of Esther Church Bierwirth handed down to her through the family.)


"The Church Family of Petersburgh, NY featuring descendants of Frank and Myrtle Church" website
©2002 by Daniel J. Bornt, e-mail to: