2A-L: John Francis (Guthrie) Ford

John Francis (Guthrie) Ford 1873NY – 1926NY & Dora E Emlaw
of Franklin and Onondaga Counties, New York, USA

Parents: George Guthrie 1830IRE-1873NY and Margaret Walker 1840ENG-1910NY
Stepfather: John B Ford 1841CAN – 1897NY
Birth: 26 November 1873
Birth Location: New York, USA
Marriage: Dora E Emlaw in 1899 NY
Occupation: Laborer / Farmer
Death: 24 March 1926
Death Location: Syracuse, Onondaga County, New York, USA
Burial Location: Forest Cemetery, Saint Regis Falls, Franklin County, New York, USA

Parents: Zebulon Emlaw 1840CAN – 1916NY and Elizabeth Martin 1848NY – 1918CAN
Birth: June 1882
Birth Location: New York, USA
Ford Children: Frank Harold (1900), Margaret (1903), Lawrence (1904), Ethel P (1906), William Earl (1907), Alley J (1910), Manfred A (1912)
Marriage 2nd: Frederick ‘Fred’ Merritt on 27 Nov 1929
Death: 1945
Death Location: Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
Burial Location: Forest Cemetery, Saint Regis Falls, Franklin County, New York, USA


John Francis’ story first came to my attention through the Y-DNA match of a man with the Ford surname to my father and other members of GFG2A of the Guthrie DNA Project. It is by no means unusual to discover potential adoptions or paternal events in one’s family tree whether close or distant to the current generation. Everyone in the family went by the Ford surname, and it seemed questionable whether the Guthrie part of their family story was even known.

George Guthrie, born 15 April 1830 in Northern Ireland came to Vermont by way of New Brunswick, Canada (if the right immigration record has been found) with his sister, Evas after a devastating year in Clomany, County Donegal during the Irish Potato Famine. George worked as a laborer and then a farmer in New York when the family settled there.

Margaret Walker was born in England, the daughter of an English mother and an African father. Her mother’s racial origins are unknown, and because Margaret is at times documented as black, mulatto, or white, it seems more likely that it was one of the latter two. Great Britain declared the end of slavery in England and all of its foreign holdings prior to Margaret’s birth, so she was born free no matter her parents’ potential standing. (We don’t know for certain either of them were slaves, just that her father was born in Africa, so it seems likely.) Margaret was living in Quebec, Canada by the time she was nine years old, classified as a servant during the 1851 Census of Canada East. It is unknown whether she arrived with her mother and then was hired out, or immigrated by some other means. By 1860, Margaret had moved to Vermont where she was still working as a servant.

George Guthrie and Margaret Walker likely met and married in Vermont, and moved to New York after the birth of their first child. The couple had 5 daughters born before John Francis came into the world on 26 Nov 1873.

The 1870 US Census of Hopkinton, Saint Lawrence, New York is the only one where George Guthrie is listed:
George K Guthery, 40, white, Ireland, laborer, both parents of foreign birth, cannot read/write
Margaret Guthery, 31, black, England, keeping house, both parents of foreign birth
Eva Guthery, 9, mulatto, Vermont, both parents of foreign birth, attending school
Mary A Guthery, 7, mulatto, New York, both parents of foreign birth, attending school
Wealtha J Guthery, 4, mulatto, New York, both parents of foreign birth
Calista Guthery, 2, mulatto, New York, both parents of foreign birth

George Guthrie died sometime after John Francis was conceived. Since he was born 26 Nov 1873, this could have been as early as February 1873, anytime in 1874, or prior to the NY State Census of 1875, which does not list George. They had moved from Hopkinton in Saint Lawrence County to Dickinson in Franklin County, NY. This is where the timing of everything gets a little fuzzy. We don’t know exactly when George died, and we don’t known exactly when Margaret married John B Ford. According to John Francis’ obituary, he was born on the Ford Farm in Franklin County, yet the 1875 NY State census lists Margaret Guthrie as the head of her household, and all of the children with the Guthrie surname including John Francis who was then 20 months old.

The 1875 New York State Census:
Dickinson, Franklin County, NY
Log House (versus a Frame House)
Margaret Guthrie, 34, F, Black, England, (Listed as “now married” rather than “now widowed”) Day Laborer, Alien, Over 21 and not able to read/write
Evas C Guthrie, 14, F, Black, Daughter, Vermont, Single
Mary Ann Guthrie, 12, F, Black, Daughter, St Lawrence, Single
Wealthy J Guthrie, 9, F, Black, Daughter, St Lawrence, Single
Calista R Guthrie, 7, F, Black, Daughter, St Lawrence, Single
Martha L Guthrie 4, F, (Blank), Daughter, St Lawrence, Single
John Francis Guthrie, 1-8/12, M, (Blank), Son, Franklin, Single

John B Ford was born in 1841 Bathurst, Gloucester, New Brunswick, Canada to Patrick and Jane (Beckwith) Ford. They moved to Potsdam, Saint Lawrence, New York prior to the 1850 census when John was 9 years old. He grew up there and was a Civil War Union soldier in Company B 16th NY Infantry with the rank of Private. He enlisted on 27 April 1861. The company was mustered on 16 May 1861 and mustered out 11 Dec 1862.

During the 1870 Census, John B Ford was living in Hopkinton, Saint Lawrence, NY, 30, a white male, farm laborer, born in NY and a citizen eligible to vote. Same town as Margaret Guthrie.

During the 1875 NY State Census, John B Ford is listed in Dickinson, Franklin, NY. Same town as Margaret Guthrie. He is listed as a white male, 34 years old, and living in the Adam and Marina Johnson household as a boarder. Born in Canada. Single. Working as a laborer. Listed as a naturalized voter. This data suggests that John Francis (Guthrie) Ford was not born on the Ford farm in Franklin County as the family believed. John wasn’t even living there himself.

There seems to be a typographical snafu in the New York State Marriage index, listing a 1 May 1899 marriage of John B Ford and Margaret Guthrie nee Walker in St Regis Falls – certificate number 6989. The year 1899 is after John B Ford’s death. Should the year be 1877 instead? That would make much more sense. Need an original image. By the time 1880 rolls around, Margaret (Walker) Guthrie has married John B Ford.

The 1880 US Census
Dickinson, Franklin, New York
FOARD, John B, white, male, 38, married, farmer, Self: Canada, Father: Ireland, Mother: Canada
———Margret, black, female, 39, wife, married, keeping house, Self: England, Father: Africa, Mother: England
———John F, mulatto, male, 6, son, single, Self: New York, (Step)Father: Canada, Mother: England
GUTHRIE, Evas C, mulatto, female, 19, boarder, single, Self: Vermont, Father: Ireland, Mother: England
———-Mary A, mulatto, female, 17, boarder, single, Self: New York, Father: Ireland, Mother: England
———-Wealtha J, mulatto, female, 15, boarder, single, Self: New York, Father: Ireland, Mother: England
———-Clista, mulatto, female, 12, boarder, single, at school, Self: New York, Father: Ireland, Mother: England
———-Lillie, mulatto, female, 9, boarder, single, at school, Self: New York, Father: Ireland, Mother: England
CLARK, Hiram, white, male, 22, single, laborer, Self: New York, Father: Vermont, Mother: Vermont
HANLY, John, white, male, 24, single, laborer, cannot read/write, Self: Ireland, Father: Ireland, Mother: Ireland

Note that John Francis Guthrie is listed as the son of John B Ford and wife Margaret. Even the location of John Francis’ father’s birth is listed as Canada rather than Ireland. So it seems that it was John B Ford’s intent to raise his new wife’s youngest child, and her only son, as his own.

The 1890 Veterans Schedules list John Ford as residing in Waverly, Franklin, New York. Veterans’ Data: Rank – Private, Enlistment April 1861, Discharge 8 June 1865, Regiment – 16 New York Inf company B, Length of Service – 4 yrs 2 months. Post Office – St Regis Falls.

John B Ford, stepfather to John Francis (Guthrie) Ford died on 27 September 1897 at the age of 57. He either shares a stone or is in the same plot as his stepdaughter Calista (Guthrie) Schuyler. His obit is listed under Reading and Resources, below.

The family marriage that did occur in 1899 is that of John Francis (Guthrie) Ford (25) and Dora E Emlaw (17). They married on 29 October 1899 in Moira, New York. Dora was the daughter of Zebulon and Elizabeth (Martin) Emlaw. They resided in Waverly, Franklin, New York on the Ford Farm. The following year, during the 1900 census, John was officially the head of the family. All Guthries in the household: Evas, Lillie, and Julian, are listed under the Ford surname. This is the only census they are listed this way, so it may simply be the error of the census taker assuming that the sisters and nephew had the same surname as John, Dora, and his mother.

The 1900 US CENSUS:
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
FORD, John, head, white male, Nov 1873, 26, married x1 yr, Self: New York, (Step)Father: Nova Scotia, Mother: England, farmer, owns house, farms
———-Dora, wife, white, female, Jan 1883, 17, married x1yr, 0 children, 0 living, Self/Father/Mother: New York
———-Margaret, mother, white, female, Apr 1839, 61, widowed, 8 children, 5 living, Self: England, Father: Africa, Mother: England, Year of Immigration to US: 1848, Number of Years in US: 52, housework, can read, cannot write
———-Evas, sister, white, female, May 1861, 39, single, S: Vermont, F:New York, M: England, Seamstress
———-Lillie, sister, white, female, Sept 1871, 29, single, S: Nw York, F: New York, M: England, housework
SCHUYLER, Phillip, nephew, white, male, June 1889, 10, S: New York, F: New York, M: New York, at school
FORD, Julian, nephew, white, male, Mar 1894, 6, S: New York, F: New York, M: New York

The 1905 New York State Census:
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
FORD, John, head, black (white crossed out), male, 31, Nativity: United States, Farmer
—–Dora, wife, white, female, 22, Nativity: United States, house work
—–Frank, son, black, male, 5, Nativity: United States
—–Margaret, daughter, black, female, 2, Nativity: United States
—–Lawrence, son, black, male, 1, Nativity: United States
GUTHRIE, Eva, sister, black, female, 44, Nativity: United States, at home
SCHUYLER, Phillip, nephew, black, male, 15, Nativity: United States, laborer saw mill
FORD, Margaret, mother, black, female, 66, Nativity: England, 50 years in the US
Guthrie, Julian, nephew, black, male, 11, Nativity: United States, at school

Sometime between 1905 and 1910, the household separated into two dwellings, but were still located very close to each other on Dickinson Central Road. John’s family was on their own in one house, while his mother and the other relatives were in the other. 

The 1910 US Census:
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA – Dickinson Center Road
FORD, John, head, male, mulatto 36, married x1 10 yrs, Self: NY, (Step)Father: Canada, Mother: England, Occupation: Equalizing Farm, Industry: Stave Mill Farm, Working on own account, not out of work, reads/writes, rents the property, a farm
_____, Dora, wife, female, white, 26, married x1 10 yrs, 6 children born, 6 living, Self/Father/Mother: NY, no occupation, reads/writes
_____, Frank, son, male, mulatto, 9, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY, attended school
_____, Margaret, daughter, female, mulatto, 7, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Laurence, son, male, mulatto, 6, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Ethel, daughter, female, mulatto, 4, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, William, son, male, mulatto, 2, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Allie, son, male, mulatto, 1, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY

Does anyone know what an “Equalizing Farm” might be? Or does this mean he equally spends time between the Farm and the Stave Mill?

The 1915 New York State Census:
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
FORD, John, head, white male, 41, US citizen, labor in Stave Mill
_____, Dora, wife, white female, 31, US Citizen, housework
_____, Frank, son, white male, 15, US Citizen, farm hand
_____, Margrett, daughter, white female, 13, US Citizen, School
_____, Lawrence, son, white male, 11, US Citizen, School
_____, Ethel, daughter, white female, 9, US Citizen, School
_____, William, son, white male, 7, US Citizen, no occupation
_____, Alley, son, white male, 5, US Citizen, no occupation
_____, Manford, son, white male, 3, US Citizen, no occupation

The 1920 US Census
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
FORD, John F., head, home owned, mortgaged, male, white, 46, married, reads/writes, Self/Father/Mother: NY, watchman, Stave Mill, worker
_____, Dora M, wife, female, white, 36, married, Self/Father/Mother: NY, no occupation
_____, Frank H, son, male, white, 19, single, Self/Father/Mother: NY, Roller at Lumber Camp, worker
_____, Lawrence D, son, male, white, 15, single, attended school, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Ethel, daughter, female, white, 13, single, attended school, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, William, son, male, white, 12, single, attended school, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Alley J, son, male, white, 10, single, attended school, Self/Father/Mother: NY
_____, Manford A, son, male, white, 7, single, attended school, Self/Father/Mother: NY

The 1925 New York State Census:
Waverly, Franklin, New York, USA
FORD, John F, head, black, male, 50, US Citizen, Laborer (shipping clerk)
_____, Dora, wife, white, female, 39, US Citizen, housework
_____, Lawrence D, son, black, male 21, US Citizen, laborer, (asst. farmhand)
_____, William E, son, black, male 17, US Citizen, laborer (soldering)
_____, Allie J, son, black, male, 16, US Citizen, Laborer (farm)
_____, Manford, son, black, male, 12, US Citizen, School
FORD, Frank H, head, black, male 24, US Citizen, Occupation: X
_____, Bertha E, wife, white, female, 20, US Citizen, housework
_____, Harold _, son, black, male, 1, US Citizen
_____, Floyd B, son, black male, (blank age), US Citizen

In March of 1926, John came down with a serious case of the flue developing bronchial pneumonia. He died only a few days after contracting the illness. His widow Dora remarried on 21 Nov 1929 to Frederick F Merritt. He was a widower with an adult daughter. Frank and Dora were listed together in the 1930 census, but not in 1940 where Frank (listed as married) is living on his own in Brandon, while Dora “Ford” (listed as widowed) is is living with her son Allen (Alley) Ford in Waverly. Dora died in 1945 and was buried with her first husband John Francis (Guthrie) Ford at Forest Cemetery in Saint Regis Falls, Franklin County, NY.

Y-DNA Project Participants: Yes (Genetic Match to GFG2A)
Autosomal DNA Participants: No


OBITUARY of JOHN B FORD (Stepfather of John Francis (Guthrie) Ford):
Adirondack News., 2 October 1897
John Ford died Monday night aged about 56 years. Mr. Ford has been sick all summer and gradually wasted away until the final end came. He was born in Bathurst New Brunswick, in 1841 and removed to the United States when a small boy. In May 1861 he enlisted in the union army in the l6th N.Y.I. and served 
for two years. On Aug. 1, 1863 he re-enlisted In the 9th Maine Infantry, and served until June 18, 1865 when he was honorably discharged. He was one of the charter members of Durkee Post of this village and served as its commander three terms and was always deeply interested in all matters pertaining to the welfare of the post. Mr. Ford was one of the first settlers in this town, coming here when the country was almost an unbroken forest, and has always been active in local affairs and politics; has served the town two or more terms as commissioner of highways, also his district as pathmaster, school trustee, etc., at various times. Although quick to resent an insult, he was a good meaning man, always loyal to his family and friends, honest and Industrious, and his death will be mourned by an unusually large number. A wife, son and several step-daughters survive him. Burial In Forest Cemetery.

Malone Farmer, 27 November 1929
Fred Merritt of this town and Mrs. Dora Ford of St. Regis Falls were united in marriage on Tuesday evening. Congratulations are extended to the Mr. and Mrs. Merritt. They will reside in the Frank LeClair house.
(Found on Find-a-Grave)
Note: New York State Marriage Index lists the date as 21 Nov 1929 in Bangor, NY