Bunce Genealogy and History Supplement, Part 6 of 10

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The Leominster Public Library provided information that Ella (COLE) KEOUGH’s middle name was Cornelia, not Cornelius, and that she was born in Leominster, not "Carlisle, Ill.", on 5 Aug 1875. It was the family of Ella's grandfather, Jesse O. Kennedy, that resided in Carlyle, Clinton Co., Illinois. Additionally, the Leominster City Directory of 1896 shows Ella C. COLE was then residing with her parents at 56 Main St., and she was a teacher of oratory and physical culture. This confirms a family story that one of the aunts of Evelyn V. (COLE) ULLBERG BUNCE CORBITT was a singer. The probate record for Charles Leonard COLE dated September, 1920 shows that Ella C. KEOGH was then residing in Teer, Orange Co., North Carolina. The defunct website at Marriage Records of Leominster, Massachusetts, reveal "Ella Cornelia COLE and Frederick William KEOUGH of New York m. June 9, 1899 in L."

At the time of her father’s death in January, 1869, the address for Harriet M. KETCHUM was recorded as being at Mauston, Juneau County, Wisconsin. Source: Probate record for John Jay KRESS filed in the Surrogate’s Court for Yates Co., New York at Penn Yan, New York, dated 16 Jan 1869.

GENERAL NOTES ON KRESS FAMILY:  There is strong evi­dence that the KRESS family on pp. 44-50 of this genealogy were descendants of Christian KRESS, who was born in Germany in February, 1728, and came to America on the ship "Rawley" on 23 Oct 1752, along with his wife, Mary. He died in what was then Chemung, Tioga Co., New York on 27 Mar 1800, at age 72, leaving a will which named Samuel KRESS as one of his heirs.

The following is quoted from p. 712-13 of Kress Family History, a book commissioned by the founder of the Kress 5 & 10-cent stores, compiled by Karl Friedrich von Frank zu Döefering with the American line contributed by Charles Rhodes Roberts, published in Vienna, Austria in 1930, which traces the KRESS family back to about the year 1000 A.D. The KRESSes were barons in Germany from an early period. It had been passed down in the family that our KRESS line were cousins of the man who founded the KRESS 5 & 10-cent stores, a descendant of Karl KRESS, but this book does not provide the connection.

Christian KRESS was born in Germany in February, 1728, and came to America on board the ship "Rawley" with George Grove as captain from Rotter­dam [the Netherlands], last from Plymouth, on October 23, 1752. In 1759, he resided in North­ampton County, Pennsylvania, where Mary Eva, daughter of Christian and Mary KRESS was baptized at Salisbury Church on November 15, 1759. In 1765, he resided at Walpeck, Sussex County, New Jersey, near the Delaware River. His daughter Leah was baptized there, June 8, 1777. He later removed to Chemung, Tioga County, New York, along the Chemung River, where he pur­chased January 22, 1790, lot number 14, of 162 acres.

He died in Chemung, March 27, 1800, aged 72 years. His will dated March 24, 1800, and probated October 10, 1800, be­queathed to his wife Mary the use of his property during her life, and after her death to be divided equally among his child­ren: John, SAMUEL, Jacob, George, Elijah, Lea VAN GORDON, and Sarah BENNET, and the children of his deceased daughter Mary BISHOP.

Jacob KRESS, born at Walpeck, N.J. August 21, 1765, married at Walpeck May 31, 1787, Anna DEPUY. He died at Elmira, N.Y., in 1863. His sons were George, John, Oscar, Rev. Elijah born March 30, 1801, died May 11, 1850, and Benjamin.

Benjamin KRESS, born at Chemung, August 18, 1808, died at Elmira, February 5, 1862. He was a merchant at Covington, Tioga Co., Pa., where he resided. One of his sons was John Alexander KRESS, who became a Brigadier General in the Regular Army of the United States.

p. 713: The relationship of the descendants of Christian KRESS to the KRESSes of Steinau has not yet been established, but, because of the resemblance of Brig. Gen. John A. KRESS to the descendants of Carl KRESS (No. 334), it is probable that Christian KRESS came from the Steinau district, especially as he arrived in America the same year and month as Carl KRESS (No. 334) and lived in the same county.

Some additional notes on Christian KRESS and family:

On p. 1067 of Stafford C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York, published in 1873 in Penn Yan, New York mention is made that two brothers of Samuel KRESS were early settlers in Yates County, i.e. John and George, which match the names of two other sons of Christian KRESS, mentioned in his will. Also S. C. Cleveland’s history stated on p. 919 that Samuel KRESS had come from Newtown in 1804 to settle in Starkey, Yates Co., New York. Another book, History of Yates County, New York by Lewis Cass Aldrich, published in 1892, p. 377, states that Newtown was the former name of Elmira, New York, which is a town near to what is now Chemung. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York also states on p. 430 that Newtown is now Elmira, Chemung Co., New York which is where Christian KRESS bought 162 acres of land in 1790 and where he later died.

Sources:  Most of the information on the KRESS line in the Bunce Genealogy and History is from pp. 919-21 of Stafford C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York, as well as records from the 1850 Starkey, Yates Co., New York census, copies of the probate records of Christian KRESS, Samuel KRESS, Sr., John Jay KRESS and Samuel KRESS, Jr.; abstracts of newspaper articles in the books Genealogical Gleanings from Abstracted from the “Yates County Whig” 1823-1855, Penn Yan, New York, and Genealogical Gleanings Abstracted from the “Yates County Chronicle,” Penn Yan, New York May 1856 to October 1867, compiled by Dianne Stenzel, and published by Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD; in addition to the personal records in possession of members of our family, such as photographs of early KRESS family members and letters.

The January 1869 probate record for John Jay KRESS gives the address for his son, Andrew J. KRESS, as Starkey, Yates Co., New York. Andrew J. KRESS was appointed one of the two executors of his father’s estate, in addition to his uncle, Isaac KRESS. His birthdate was extrapolated from his age on the 1850 census for Starkey, Yates Co., New York. According to a record found at the Yates County Historical Society, Andrew J. KRESS was born in 1826 near Himrods and married about 1848, Adaline SHANNON, and they had 3 children: John J., George A. and Lisa V. Mrs. Adaline (SHANNON) KRESS died at Sonora 13 April 1878, at about age 55. She was said to have been a daughter of Noahdiah SHANNON, and granddaughter of Daniel SHANNON.

Elizabeth “Betsey” (STARKEY) KRESS was a sister of Mary (Starkey) Semans, wife of David Semans, Jr., and John STARKEY after whom the township of Starkey, Yates Co., N.Y. was named. They were the children of William and Mary (MOFFITT) STARKEY of Kent Co., Maryland. John STARKEY came to what was then Reeders' Corners, Yates Co., N.Y. in 1812, later known as Starkey's Corners, with his sisters Elizabeth and Mary, and was instrumental in getting a post office for the township. John STARKEY married Catharine, dau. of Joshua WYCOFF, and they had 5 children: Wilmer M., Susan M., Nancy W., Mary and Maria. See History and Directory of Yates County, New York, by S.C. Cleveland, pub. 1873, pp. 920, 985-88. Additionally, the Office of the Yates County Historian has the following cemetery record in the Starkey Methodist Cemetery, where her gravestone is reads: “KRESS, Elizabeth (Starkey) 1828 Nov. 6, d. age 36 [1st wife of Samuel KRESS, [Jr.]].”

It is believed that Catharine (SLAUGHTER) KRESS was of Dutch descent and was baptized with the name of Tryntie SLAWTER in the Shawangunk Dutch Reformed Church in Ulster Co., New York sometime between April 21 and May 5, 1765, daughter of John SLAWTER/SLUYTER and Metie LOYS (English spelling would probably be "Lewis"), his wife. Source: book entitled Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Shawangunk, Ulster County, New York by Mrs. Jean D. Worden. Shawangunk is a mountainous region that straddles the border between Ulster and Orange Cos., New York, and Samuel KRESS, husband of Catharine Slaughter, was said to have been born in Orange Co., New York per Stafford C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York, p. 919. The same source states Catherine Slaughter, wife of Samuel KRESS, Sr., was born in 1765 which matches the above baptismal information for Tryntie Slawter. Additionally “Tryntie" is Dutch for "Catharine." The gravestone for Catharine (Slaughter) KRESS at the Old Baptist Cemetery in Dundee, Yates Co., New York reads: "Catharine KRESS 1837 May 28, d. ae 72y 2m 14d," which would have given her an approximate date of birth of 14 Mar 1765.

The date of birth given in this genealogy for Charles B. KRESS was taken from his age of 20 years on the 1850 census for Starkey, Yates Co., New York, where his name appeared on the record for the household of his father, Samuel KRESS, Jr., the 224th family enumerated in the census.

The following obituary was sent to me by a great-great granddaughter of Charles W. KRESS:

[Obituary of Charles Wesley Kress]
Hornellsville Weekly Tribune, p. 4
March 5, 1897


Last evening the Rev. Charles Wesley Kress died at his home on Maple Ave., aged 75 years, after a long illness.

He was one of the best, oldest and most respected citizens of the city. The following obituary is given:

Mr. Kress was born in Starkey, Yates County, N.Y. November 17, 1822. He came to this town in May, 1842. July 27, 1843, he was married to Miss Fanny Burdick of this place, who survives him, together with their four daughters, Mrs. Elmer Lowe [Caroline Winfield Kress, my G-Grandmother] of Kankakee, Illinois, Mrs. Mary Kreemer and Mrs. Harvey Gregory (Jeanette) of this city and Mrs. Mark Northrop (Ellen) of Buffalo. He leaves also a sister, Mrs. H. E. Buvinger (Susan Kress) and three brothers, Isaac, of Wellsville, Grandison of Addison, and Scott of Kansas. Eight grandchildren survive him.

On coming to Hornellsville, Mr. Kress engaged in his trade, that of carpenter and builder, but he also identified himself in religious work which, in the year that followed, became more and more the occupation of his life. Though not regularly ordained a minister of the Methodist Episcopal church until the session of Conference here two years ago, he has been accus­tomed for years to the conduct of religious services and has officiated at more funerals than have many pastors. In every school district in this section have been heard his earnest words of teaching and of appeal to duty.

Eight years ago last December there was given in Park Church, in this city, a complimentary reception of fifty years of membership in the Methodist Episco­pal Church. Deeply interesting reminiscences were here brought out of his services as choir leader, Sunday school superintendent, trustee and class leader in Park Church, from the time when its mem­ber­ship was less than 30 until it had increased to three hundred. In all those years, he was faithful and abounding in good works, nor did his zeal abate in any line of Christian activity as long as health con­tinued. It is not often that any church can present a record of so many years of busy and faithful services. His name will long be honored both in his church and in all the region where he lived and labored so long.

The following are records from New York state census records for the family of Charles W. Kress:
1855 Hornellsville, Steuben Co., NY Census
Charles Kress, age 34, b. Yates Co., Carpenter
Fanny Kress, age 36, b. Livington Co.
Caroline Kress, age 1, b. Steuben Co., NY

(SAME HOUSEHOLD) — Brother to Charles
Isaac S. Kress, age 24, b. Yates Co., Railroad Employee (here 5 years)
Mary Kress, age 24, b. PA
Alvey Kress, age 2, b. Steuben County

1875 Hornell, Steuben Co., NY Census
Charles Kress, age 52, b. Yates Co., Carpenter
Fanny Kress, age 54, wife, Munroe(?)
Carrie Kress, age 21, Dau., b. Steuben Co.
Mary Kress, age 18, Dau., b. Steuben Co.
Janette Kress, age 16, Dau., b. Steuben Co.
Ellen (Ella) Kress, age 13, Dau., b. Steuben Co.
Elmer Low, age 23, Boarder, b. Alleganey Co., Cabinet Maker
William Low, age 10, Boarder, b. Alleganey Co., Painter (Brother of Elmer)
Andrew Jackson, age 23, Boarder, b. Alleganey Co., Cabinet Maker

February 1892, Hornellsville, Steuben Co., NY Census
C. W. Kress, age 69, Clergyman
Fannie Kress, age 71, Housekeeper

A biographical sketch of the family of Eliza (GABRIEL) KRESS, wife of William KRESS, is on pp. 915-17 of S.C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York, 1873. It states she was the youngest of 5 children born to Peter and Olive (SEARS) GABRIEL: Alanson, b. 1794; Leverett, b. 1795; Susan, b. 1797; Lewis, b. 1799; and Eliza. The GABRIEL family had come from Old Milford, New Haven Co., Connecticut to Yates Co., New York in 1803, and settled in the Town of Starkey. On p. 1102 of the same book, Eliza (GABRIEL) KRESS' name appears on a list of members of the First Christian Church of Starkey and Reading.

The date of birth given for Emily KRESS on p. 45 of this genealogy was taken from her age of 15 years on the census of Starkey, Yates Co., New York, where her name appeared on the record for the household headed by her father, Samuel KRESS, Jr., the

Halsey S. KRESS’ middle name was Sanford, so the picture on p. 146 of “Sanford KRESS” in the Bunce Genealogy and History is most likely one of Halsey Sanford KRESS, rather than a picture of his brother, John S. KRESS, who moved to Michigan, whereas Halsey S. KRESS stayed in Starkey, New York, and the Bunces in Kansas seemed to have stayed in closer touch with their New York relatives, who also visited them in Kansas. The reason for this interpretation is that there are several references to Halsey Sandford KRESS in Stafford C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York,, i.e. on pp. 725, 919-20 and 1151. On pp. 725 and 919-20, he is referred to as Halsey S. KRESS, but on p. 1151, his name appears on a list of grape growers of Starkey, as “H. Sandford KRESS” with three acres under cultivation. Additionally, there is a land record in the Office of the County Clerk for Yates County, which was recorded in Book 41, pg. 74, in 1868, which was between “Halsey Sanford KRESS” as grantee, and “John J. and Margaret J. KRESS,” as grantors. There was an early businessman mentioned in Cleveland’s History on pp. 1122-23 and 1137 named Halsey Sandford, who served as the first town clerk in Starkey. In 1831, he left Starkey to return to Seneca County, where he became prominent. It is probable that Halsey Sandford KRESS was named after him. Also in the book, Genealogical Gleanings Abstracted from the “Yates County Chronicle,” p. 42, paragraph 407 is the following entry: “Sandford KRESS and Martha AYRES, both of Starkey, Yates Co., were married 24 Dec 1857 by Rev. D. Corey, in Starkey.” The date of birth for Halsey S. KRESS was based on his age (20) at the time of the 1850 census for Starkey, Yates Co., New York where his name appears in the household of his father, John Jay KRESS, the 211th family enumerated for the census. The probate record for John J. KRESS shows that Halsey S. KRESS was residing at Starkey, New York in January, 1869. According to a record found at the Yates County Historical Society in Penn Yan, New York, “Sanford KRESS d. Himrod, 23 Mar 1905 (76),” and his wife, Mrs. Martha AYRES KRESS died 30 Apr 1905 (69).

According to Cleveland's History and Directory of Yates County, New York, p. 725 (see biographical sketch below), Halsey S. and Martha (AYRES) KRESS had two children:  Ida and Arthur, but no further record has been found of Ida. Their son, Arthur, may have been the J. Arthur KRESS for whom an obituary was found at the Yates County Historical Society, which states he died at Dundee, New York at age 92 on Jan. 25, 1957, and was buried at Grove Mount Cemetery in Himrod. He was born June 7, 1864, and was a retired farmer. His wife was Mary Emma (CULVER) KRESS, who had died Aug. 7, 1940, at age 76. They were married at Milo, Yates Co., New York 27 Nov 1884. J. Arthur KRESS was survived by three daughters, Mrs. Herbert Brown of Himrod, Mrs. Edna Jayne of Dundee and Mrs. Charles Davis of Dundee, as well as seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. A record was found they had also had a infant daughter named Cecil KRESS, who died at Starkey on 27 Feb 1894.

Hiram KRESS was erroneously listed as a son of George W. and Sarah (RAPLEE) KRESS. According to the defunct web site Family Tree House, Hiram KRESS was a son of a brother of Samuel KRESS, Sr., and would have been George W. KRESS’ cousin, not his son. His parents were George C. and Mary (_____) KRESS, who lived for a short time in the Town of Starkey, Yates Co., New York, and then moved to Jackson Co., Indiana. A passing mention was made of him in the chapter on the Town of Starkey on p. 1067 in a section entitled “Other Pioneers”:

“George KRESS, a brother of Samuel KRESS, Sr., was a very early resident, living on the Judson Millard place, near Dundee, where he was the original settler. He was some years a Justice of the Peace.”

It states in S.C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York that Joanne (AYRES) KRESS was a daughter of Wilson and Agnes (SCHENCK) AYRES (see biographical sketch below). Joanne’s birthdate given in this genealogy is based on her age (36) in the 1850 census of Starkey, Yates Co., New York, 210th family enumerated. In an obituary found in the Frank Swann Collection at the Yates County Historical Society, Mrs. Joanna KRESS, wife of Isaac KRESS, died in Chicago, Illinois on Dec. 26, 1891. She had two daughters who survived her, Mrs. Jeptha RANDOLPH and Mrs. Elizabeth LACHEY of Chicago, as well as a brother Garrett S. AYERS of Himrod. Below is the biographical sketch on the AYRES family into which both Isaac KRESS and his nephew, Halsey S. KRESS, married.

From History and Directory of Yates County, New York published 1873, Penn Yan, New York, ed. by Stafford C. Cleveland, vol. 1, chapter on Town of Milo, p. 725:


Wilson Ayres was born at Winsor, New Jersey, and married Agnes Schenck of that place. They settled in Starkey in 1826, and died there, he in 1853 aged seventy-two, and she in 1869 aged eighty-nine. Their children were James, Peter, Garrett S., Margaret, Sarah Ann, Joan, Semantha and John.

James married Macy Helm and settled on the home­stead. They have two children, Martha and Jacob. Martha married Halsey S. Kress. They have two children, Arthur and Ida.

Peter married Margaret Hilligus of Starkey. They set­tled in Jerusalem and had two sons Frederick W. and John T. Frederick W. married, emigrated to Oregon and died at San Franciso leaving three children. John T. married and resides Elmira. He has three children.

Garrett S. born in 1808 at West Winsor, N. J., married Hester Bigger of Starkey. He settled at Himrods, a tanner and subsequently built the first hotel there after that of Stephen Card. He kept the house himself about five years. He is now a substantial farmer.

Margaret died unmarried residing with her brother.

Sarah Ann is the wife of Thomas J. Lewis of Benton.

Joan married Isaac Kress of Starkey.

Semantha married James D. Booth of Starkey. They lived first at Dundee, and moved thence to Corning where he is a practicing physician. They have two children. John died at twenty-one.

The date of birth given for Harriett KRESS in this genealogy was taken from her age of 8 years on the 1850 census of Starkey, Yates Co., New York, where her name appears in the household of her father, Samuel KRESS, Jr., the 224th family enumerated in the census.

The birthdate given in this genealogy for Isaac KRESS, brother of John Jay KRESS, is based on p. 921 in S. C. Cleveland's History and Directory of Yates Co., New York, where it states he was born in 1809. However, his age was recorded as 42 years in the 1850 census of Starkey, Yates Co., New York, 210th family enumerated, which could have been correct as of the official date of the census, if his birthday was after 1 Jun 1850. He lived next door to his brother, the 211th family in the census. On p. 1138 of S. C. Cleveland's History, the name of Isaac KRESS appears on a list of men who served as supervi­sors (somewhat similar to a mayor) for the town of Starkey, Yates Co., New York. Isaac KRESS served a term of one year in 1870.

The probate record of Samuel KRESS, Sr. shows that his son, James KRESS, was a resident of Jackson Co., Michigan in 1845. The birthdate given for James KRESS in this genealogy is from p. 921 of Stafford C. Cleveland's History and Directory of Yates County, New York.

At the time of the 1850 census for Starkey, Yates Co., New York, John J. KRESS' age was given as 62, indicating he was born about 1788. The New York state census for 1865 showed John Jay KRESS, age 77, farmer and landowner, had been born in Orange Co. and his wife, known in our family records as Margaret MURDOCK, but in the Yates County records as Margaret Murdough/Murdaugh, was age 75, had been the mother of 14 children and also had been born in Orange Co., New York. The 1855 New York state census, however, states Margaret MURDOCK was born in Ulster Co., New York, which lies to the north of Orange Co., N.Y.  Perhaps the town she was born in had been moved to a different county due to changes in the boundaries of the counties?

On p. 1093, chapter on Town of Starkey, section on Starkey Methodist Church of the book, History and Directory of Yates County, New York by S.C. Cleveland, published 1873 was found the following:

“On the old Lyons Circuit, there was preaching as early as the year 1806, every two weeks, at the house of Andrew Harrison in Eddy Settlement. But there is no record or tradition that can be ascertained of the existence of any class within the limits of Starkey previous to 1820. In that year a class was organized at Reeder’s Corners, and John Starkey was the first class leader. The original members so far as can be learned were: … Among later members were John J. Kress and wife …”

A short entry on p. 952 states:  “Andrew Kingin … came from Philadelphia to Newtown, and thence to Reading in 1811, and settled at Reeder’s Corners, since known as Starkey Corners.…”, so it appears the family of John Jay KRESS were members of the Methodist Church at Starkey Corners.

At the time of the 1865 census John J. and Margaret (MURDOCK) KRESS were residing with their son George W. KRESS, age 32, farmer, and his wife, Sarah I. KRESS, age 23, and their son, Lee E., age 3 and 11/12ths years old. Sadly, Lee Ellsworth KRESS was said to have drowned in Seneca Lake about 1875. Per a handwritten record found in Frank Swann Collection at the Yates County Historical Society in Penn Yan, New York, George W. KRESS died 24 Oct 1877, a suicide.

Since the section on “Memorabilia” from the Bunce Genealogy and History is not included in this on-line edition, the following item from that section is the text of John Jay Kress' handwrit­ten will from the probate record on file for his estate in the Surrogate's Court at Penn Yan, New York, filed with the Court on January 16, 1869, and adjudged a valid will by Judge William S. Briggs of the Surrogate’s Court on March 9, 1869:


I, John Jay KRESS, residing in the town of Starkey, Yates County, N.Y., being of the age of seventy-eight years and upwards, and of sound mind and memory, do make, publish and declare this to be my last will and testament that is to say:

First, I direct all my just debts and funeral expenses to be paid and suitable monuments to be erected at my grave.

Second, I give and bequeath to my wife Margaret KRESS in addition to her legal claim to dower my best horse, harness and buggy, all my household furniture, the use of that part of the house which I now occupy and the privileges connected therewith and stable room for her horse during her life.

Third, I further direct my executors within two years after my death to sell all my real and personal estate, subject to the dower right therein of my said wife, as above mentioned, and distribute the proceeds as follows.

Fifth, [sic] My executors are directed to pay my daughter Margaret Harriet KETCHUM wife of William KETCHUM twenty five dollars and no more and also give up to her all notes which I now hold against her, or which I may have at the time of my death.

Fifth, I direct my executors to distribute the remainder of the proceeds of said sale equally among the rest of my children (not including Margaret Harriet) then living, share and share alike, and to the legal representatives respectively of those who may be dead and divide my clothing equally among my five boys.

Sixth, I direct that if any of my said children or heirs present any claims against my estate for any cause which they may claim accrued during my lifetime, then the child or heir making such demand shall be excluded from all benefit which he or she would otherwise be entitled to by the provisions of this will.

Seventh, I direct that all notes (except the notes of my said daughter, Margaret H. KETCHUM) and obligations which at the time of my decease I may hold against any of my children shall be deemed and considered a part of my personal estate, the amount of the notes or obligations held against each child not exceeding the share of my estate to which such child will be entitled by the provisions of this instrument to be turned(?) out to such child and applied towards such share and if such amount shall exceed such share, then the excess to be collected of such child and distributed equally to and among the other children who are then living and the respective legal representatives of those who are then dead.

Lastly I do hereby nominate and appoint my two sons Andrew J. KRESS and George W. KRESS and my brother Isaac KRESS to be the executors of this my last will and testament hereby revoking all other wills by me made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 20th day of July, 1865.

John J. KRESS (ss)

The above instrument was subscribed by the above named John J. KRESS in our presence and in the presence of each of us, and he at the same time declared it to be his last will and testament and requested each of us to sign the same as subscribing witnesses.

L. I. Wilkin, Residing in Dundee, Yates Co., N.Y.
W. G. Harpending, Residing in Dundee, Yates Co., N.Y.

The “heirs at law and next of kin” listed on the probate record are as follows:  “Eliza Ann McLOUD, George W. KRESS, Halsey S. KRESS, Andrew J. KRESS, and Mary Jane OVENSHIRE respectively, residing at Starkey, Yates County, New York; Samantha NORRIS residing at Barrington, Yates County, State aforesaid; Susan A. SLAUGHTER, residing at Benton, County and State aforesaid; John S. KRESS and William KRESS, respectively, residing at Reading, Schuyler County State aforesaid; Mary B. BUNCE residing at Tescumseh, in the State of Kansas; Jane O’BRIEN residing at Fall River State of Wisconsin; Harriet M. KETCHUM residing at Mauston, State last aforesaid; John REED residing at Milford, Oakland County in the State of Michigan and William W. REED residing at Argentine, Genesee County in the State last aforesaid.” Emphasis added.

Although John Jay KRESS’ will provided for “suitable monuments” for his grave, there are no gravestones for either his or his wife's graves in Yates Co., New York. I was told in July, 1996 by the then County Historian Frances Dumas that many gravestones are missing in the county.

John S. KRESS was residing at Reading, Schuyler Co., New York in January, 1869 according to the probate record for his father, John Jay KRESS. Of additional interest is the fact that his middle name was very likely “Starkey.” This information is found on p. 129 of S.C. Cleveland’s History, where it says:  “Zeruah [BROWN] married Anthony RYAL, and had four children, Lucy A., Rachel, Mary and John H. Lucy A. married William KRESS, and Rachel married Starkey KRESS. Both live in Reading.” This matches what is found on p. 920 of the same History where it says:  “John S. [KRESS] married Rachel, daughter of Anthony B. RYAL, and they had a son, Charles.” The logical conclusion is that John S. KRESS’ middle name was Starkey. He probably was named after an early influential settler in the area. Additionally, the first wife of Samuel KRESS, Jr., John Starkey KRESS’ uncle, was Betsey STARKEY, a sister of John STARKEY. A record at the Yates County Historical Society says John Starkey KRESS died at Reading, New York at the age of 62 years, 2 months and 30 days on 31 Oct 1879. He and his wife, Rachel (RYAL) KRESS, are buried in the Hillside Cemetery at Dundee, New York. Mrs. Rachel KRESS died at Watkins (now Watkins Glen), Schuyler Co., New York 3 Feb 1896.

Lee Ellsworth KRESS’ name appeared on the 1865 New York State census in the household of his grandfather, John Jay KRESS, 21st dwelling enumerated in the census, at the age of 3 years and 11 months. As the census was taken 7 Jun 1865, this would have given him a birthdate of about 7 Jul 1861. There is a probate record on file in his name at the Yates County Clerk’s office dated 1875, which would appear to have been the year he died.

Martha (AYRES) KRESS was a daughter of James AYRES and his wife, Macy HELM, according to p. 725 of S. C. Cleveland’s History and Directory of Yates County, New York. Martha had one sibling named Jacob. James AYRES was a son of Wilson AYRES and his wife, Agnes SCHENCK. See also note for Halsey S. KRESS above.

Dorothy (BUNCE) ZORNMAN LUNDBOM passed away on 14 Oct. 2004 in Milwaukie, Oregon at the age of 95 years leaving many descendants.

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