Memories of Emeline Tyler Roper, Part 1

Town of Winfield
Herkimer County, N.Y

Most of us researching in Herkimer and Montgomery Counties are descended from people who left generations ago. We dream of finding original documents in our ancestors' own hand. Sue Wood wrote me that:

"I have a copy of a handwritten "Memories" of my great-great grandmother, Emeline Tyler, born "eighteen hundred and thirty three in the Town of Winfield. My father's name was Samuel Tyler." Her mother was Persis Goffe, the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Coston) Goffe. Samuel Tyler was the son of Samuel Tyler and Clarissa Noble. The Tyler's lived near and were related to the Goffe family. They lived outside of West Winfield; also the Slade, Huntley, Myer Clark, Eldridge and Brace families. I have an old hand drawn map made by, I believe, the husband of Emeline Tyler, John Augustus Roper, but sure wouldn't swear to it. At any rate it shows where each of these people lived."
Sue Wood

Emeline was born and raised in West Winfield, the family moving to Wisconsin in 1846. Hers is a story of the families who left the Mohawk Valley in the 1840s, and representative of our own ancestors' experience moving to and beyond the Great Lakes.


We had great fun and enjoyment, translating her Memories! She must have been a truly lovely woman to have gone through what she did and still maintain such an eager outlook and joy for life. Emeline's daughter, Lura Belle urged her to write down her life experiences in 1918. She died 3 June 1919 at the age of 86 years. Her husband, John Augustus Roper died April 19, 1926 at the age of 96 years.

Emeline didn't use any punctuation and she spelled words as they sounded to her. I have put in some necessary corrections so that the material would make sense but I have done them in italics so that you can tell when it was my correction. I hope that you enjoy reading this as much as we enjoyed it.

(I've typed these pages in the order in which I have them. Toward the end of the papers she got confused on the numbers, so I put them in, what I could determine, was the correct order. These are handwritten on 5 x 8 sheets of paper, for the most part on one side - 73 pages.)

Suzanne (Brandenburg) Wood
Patricia (Brandenburg) Seabolt

Emeline & Edith
Edith McIntyre
Emeline Tyler Roper
handwritten page

Actual handwritten page

Memerys of the Past

I was born eighteen hundred and thirty three in the State of New York Hurkimer (Herkimer) County Town of Windfield. My fathers name was SAMUEL TYLER the first thing that I can remember very plain is that my father and mother had a large family of children and I was the sixth childe and I was four years old the eighteenth day of July and my Uncle and wife came to visit us he was my mothers brothers and he wanted to take one of my mothers children. This is March 1918

page 1 This that I am writing is what I can remember of my passed life the first thing I remember very plain is my borhter next older than I am and my sister next younger than I am and I can remember of a baby sister that we loved so much my brother BRUCE (Eliza Brewster) that was two years older than I and my sister MODENIA that was two years younger than I was we always played togeather and when I was four years old my mothers brother and his wife came to visit our folks my Uncle JOHN GOFF was liveing with his second wife and the children that he had by his first wife was all growen up and gon and he did not have any children by his second wife he had one son his youngest childe was twelve years old

page 2 and he had to go away from home to schoo(l) and my uncle and wife wanted one of my mothers girls and my sister Modenia was to young to leave mother so they took me and I felt so bad to go away from mother and the children. I was four years the eighteenth day of July and they took me before Christmas and how well I remember that ride it was in winter was good roads and they had one horse and a cutter and they fixed me a seat in front of them and cover(e)d me up with blankets and I was nice and warm but I just sat and cried for I was leaveing my dear mother and the children but I did not make any nois(e) for I was afraid of my uncle and aunt and we had to stay over night in a hotell all night for it was a long way to my uncles home and I felt so bad that I could

page 3 not eat anything and they thought I was sick but when we got to there home my cousan that was home on his vacation was good to me and made nice little things for me to play with but I did not like him when I first got there for he was such a big boy and my brother that I played with at home was a little boy but I liked him better after a fiew days but when the vacation was over he had to go away to school and then I was all alone for they did not have any neighbours near my uncles but they had a little black dog his name was Martin Vanburan and he liked me and he would always go with me every place I went (.) the school was so far off that I could not go to school for I was to small and when my

page 4 Aunty was able she would teach me at home but she was not well and I remember that the little dog and I use to wander around in the fields and when the chesnuts and walnuts and beachnuts was ripe I would take my little basket and go to get the nuts and little Martin Vanburan would always go with me and would scratch around in the leav(e)s and help me find the nuts how I did love that little dog he was all the company I had and when I got my little basket full of nuts Mart and I would go home and my aunty would say that I could (have) the nuts and put them in my play house for you know i always had a play house and I had to make my owen dolls out of rags that my aunty gave me she never made me any dolls for she was always sick and just as soon as I was big enough I had to wash the dishes and peal potatoes

page 5 but my au(n)ty would let me go and play and I would rool up rags and make a big family of dolls and I would have them all have a name and of corse I would visit with them for they was all I had to talk to but I had to read every day with my Aunt ROXY that was her name (John Goff md. as his second wife ROXANNA CADY, Moravia, NY on the 21 Apr 1837) she was good to me but once when I was washing the dishes I broke a tea cup and I went and hid it and when my Aunty asked me where it was I told her I did not know and she got a whip and said she would whip me for telling a lye but not for brakeing the tea cup and I tell you I did not ever tell any more lyes I was so shamed and I remember once when I was washing dishes that my uncle scholdid me for being so long washing the dishes he said EMELINE aint you ashamed to be so long washing the dishes when you are

page 6 eight years old and that summer I went a long ways off to schoola nd I could not go but three months just in the summer for it was so far and I was afraid of the teacher and all the big boys the teacher was a man I just went a little that summer that I was eight years ou(l)d and I went a little the next summer and in the fall after I was nine years old my Aunty was sick all the time she could not speak loud she just had to wisper and I was so sorry for her when I was seven years old my father and mother came to see me and when they went back home how I did cry I wanted to go home with them and my mother cryed but they did not take me home with them but in the winter after I was nine years old my Aunty died and then my uncle took me back home

page 7 he took me in the spring and I was ten in July after and I was so happy to get home with my brothers and sisters my mother had two children born when I was liveing with my Uncle my little sister MATILDA and my brother ELON (Elon Joseph) I had never seen until I went home my brother Elon was a baby one year old and my sister Matilda was five years old and how glad I was to see them my brother Bruce was so glad to see me for he remembered me but of corse my sister Modenia did not remember me but we soon got acquainted and she was the one that I had to sleepe with and she got mad at me one night and she bit me and I tell you I did yell and my sister CARLEY (Caroline Axenia) came to our bead and she talked to Dena and Dena was sorry and she never

page 8 bit me again but we use to fight she could run faster than I could and when we got a quareling she would pull my hair and hit me and then she would run and I could not ketch her but we loved each other the best of all the children when I first got home my little baby brother loved her better than he did me and he would cry to have her hold him and he would not go to me for he did not know me and I would cry becaus(e) he did not love me so much as he did her but she and I was always playing together I had two brothers and two sisters that was grown up my brother WELLS (Samuel Wells) was the oldest one of my fathers family and then my brother CHAR(E)LS was next and then my sister ELIZABETH (Elizabeth Persis) was next and then my sister CARLEY (Caroline Axenia) was next then my brother

page 9 BRUCE (Eliza Brewster) and then EMELINE that is myself and then my sister MODENIA and then my sister FIDELIA and then my sister MATILDA and then my little brother ELON (Elon Joseph) the last one of ten children that was a big family but how happy we was all togeather how we all loved our dear Mother my sister Elizabeth was a very smart girl to work and she thought that my sister Modenia and I must work some and one day we was playing out in our barn and sister Lib came out and said we should come right in and she had some knitting work for us both and she sat us down in some chairs and said when we had knitted twenty times around that stockin we could go out and play and Modenia cried and said she would not do that and I said just knitte and we watched

page 10 her and just as soon as she left the room we both got up and ran over to our Uncle ORANGE GOFFS they had two girls just our ages there names is ELIABETH and ERMINA and we did like them and we liked our Aunt PHEOBE and they was glad to see us they did not know that we had run away and the girls took us up stairs and we had such a nice time playing and eating maple sugar for the girls knew where there mother kept the maple sugar and we staid until it was dark and then we had a little piece of woods to go through to get home and we was afraid and we ran all the way home and when we got there and had our supper sister Lib said we must knitte and I sat down and went right to

page 11 knitting but my sister Denia began to cry and said her head ached and in a little while Lib said we could go to bead but in the morning we m(us)t knitte that twenty times around before we could go out and play and so we both knitted til she was gon then we ran out in the barn my brother Bruce had to go and work for one of our neighbours do his chores and go to school and Denia and I had to go to school one day there was a man came to our hous(e) and told my father that if he would let him have me he would cloth me and send me to school for the work that I could do a helpin to take care of his little girls and he took me and I tell you I did feel very bad but I had

page 12 to go for my father was a poor man and he had ten children but of corse my brothers that was young men both worked and took care of them selv(e)s and my sister Elizabeth worked she spun wool for the folks that was makeing cloth she could spin very fast and every one all around wanted her to work for them she was so good to work my sister Carley had to stay at home to help mother and go to school Elizabeth was my oldest sister(.) the man that took me did not let me go to school they kept me at home takeing care of three children they had three little girls the baby was eighteen months old and the oldest girl was five years old and there

page 13 and the biddle (middle) one was three years old and I had to be with them children all the time I hat (had) to do everything for them so there mother could do her work and not have to keepe and haid girl and I had to wash dishes and get the vegitables ready to cook so of corse I could not go to school and they would both go away to town and leave me to take care of the children and they would stay until twelve oclock once they satid until one and I was so afraid of something comeing that I just suffer(e)d the children liked me but of corse when the baby woke up she would cry for her mother and then I would have to walk the floor until she went to sleep again of corse they would let me go to school some of the time

page 14 but they never bought me any cloths they never gave me so much as an apron and I staid there eight months and then I was sick and my father sent for me to come home and when I got well MR FOX came to take me back but my father would not let him have me he told MR FOX that as he did not send me to school or get me any cloths he could not have me again but MR FOX did not want to give me up he said he would do better if I would go back but I tell you I was so glad when he left for I did not like him he was always cross to me but the children loved me and I loved them and I liked her when she was good(.) I know she was sory for me when I was afraid to stay alone with the children

page 15 in the night for she said I could have the big dog come in the house and stay when they was gon and he was a big dog and I liked him(.) she said I must not go to sleepe until she got home I tell you I was glad to get home to stay then I went to school with our children and when I was twelve years old my father sold his farm in New York and went to Wisconsin that was in the Spring of 1846 and what a buisy time we all had getting ready to go of corse us younger children ws glad to go but my poor mother felt so bad to leave our DEAR OLD GRANDFATHER he was over ninty years old (this was John Goff born 7 May 1755 who married Elizabeth Coston) and of corse my mother felt so bad to leave him but we all went my mother had a brother liveing in Wisconsin (probably her brother Theodore)

page 16 and my father had a sister liveing in Wisconsin my two brothers Charley and Bruce took my fathers horses and lumber wagon and drove them to Buffalow and father and mother and the other children went to Buffalow on the Era Canall and how well I remember that trip the canall boat was just like a small house(.) we all slept in bunks made on the sides of the boat it was nice in the boat and thare was a big long rope fassand (fastened) to the boat and that rope was hitch(ed) to a horse on the land and a boy road the horse on a nice smoth path and the hors(e) drew the boat of corse we did not go very fast and where we went under the bridges us children would get off of the

page 17 boat and run until we came to another bridge then we would get on the boat again we children did enjoy it so m(u)ch the weather was lovely and when we got to Lockport they open(e)d great doors and our boat was put in and then they let the water in and raised the boat up and then the boat went in another place and the water was run in until the boat was raised again until it ws raised five times and then we was up on the levil water and the rope was hitched to the horse and he took us on the same as before(.) I think we was seven days before we got to Buffalow how well I remember when we first go there my brother Charley and Bruce was there to meete us and how we all did work to get all of our things

back side of page 17 my sister Carley was liveing with my mothers brother HIRUM GOFF he lived in the City of Albyon he was a lawyer there and when our boat went through there my sister and our Uncle came on the boat to see us my sister Carley was liveing with my Uncle and going to school we all felt bad to leave her

page 18 off of the canall baot and then we all went to a big steam boat the name of the big boat was the Era and after we all got on that boat we was on Lake Era and it was night and of corse we all went in our beads but the next morning we children was all sick and could not eat any breakfast but after a fiew days we got better and we had a nice time for the weather was fine and the boat run very smoth and one day a very nice man came and wanted me to go to his room and take care of his little girl when he and his wife went and ate there meals and I went and it was a dear little girl and I did love to take care of her and I went every day and we was on that boat three weeks and we had a

page 19 nice trip we got to Milwaukee the first day of June 1846 then Milwaukee was small we went to a Hotell and it was a long woodden building near where we got off of the boat and we all staid there over night and then we all road in our big waggon and how well I remember that ride the weather was lovely and the Perarias (prairies) was all cover(e)d with beautiful wilde flowers and we children would get of(f) of the wagon and run on ahead of the team for there was such a big load in the waggon that the horses could not go fast and we would pick our aprons full of the beautiful flowers how nice everything looked to us we was so happy we was going to Jefferson County that was where my Fathers

page 20 sister lived we did not stay there but a fiew days then we went to Dodge County my mother had a brother liveing there and my father bought a farm there and thare was a log house on it but it was not finished it did not have any doors or windows in it but my mother went in it(.) my brother Charley had to go back to Milwaukee and get our goods that we could not bring with us and he had to go with our horses and waggon for there was not any other way to get them in those days and it was fifty miles to Milwaukee and it took him about a week to go there and get back but our mother had a fiew thing(s) that we brought with us and they hung blankets up for doors and they boardid up

page 21 the windows and we made beads on the floor so we could stay there nights we had an upstairs in our house but no stairs to go up on so my oldest brother was with us and he made some stairs just as soon as he could he made doors and got the windows ready just as soon as he could but when we got supper the first night they built a fire out side to make tea but when we wanted to go up stairs to sleepe our big brother had to put us up there and take us down in the morning but the next night he got the stairs done and then we could go up all right and when our brother got home with our things we brought a stove and beads with us but us children was so happy for every thing looked beautiful to us but mother

page 22 was very home sick for she had left our dear old grand Pa back in New York of corse we felt very sorry for her(.) how well I remember the first summer that we lived in Wisconsin there was not any school for us children to go to and my brother would dig potatoes for every seventh bushel and my sister Modenia and I had to go with him and pick up the potatoes of corse we had to walk a long way to get to some farmers potatoe field but we went and worked all day with him we got a nice lot of potatoes and in the fall we would go and help husk corn and they would give us every fifth bushel and that is the way we got our corn and when we got our corn and wheat ground to make flower and meal my father had to take a load of corn and wheat and go to

page 23 Janesville to get it ground to make our bread(.) it ws over thirty miles but there was not any milles nearer and no way too go onely with our horses and wagon that was when the country was new there was lots of ingans (indians) around and we children was afraid of them sometimes they would come and look in our windows and we would run and hide(.) that summer we all had soar eyes and had to be in bead for a fiew days and we all got well but our sister Fidelia her eyes did not get well and mother had an old docter come to see her and he said he would have to take her home with him so he could take care of her eyes all the time and she went and my sister Modenia went with her to take care of her Fidelia was

page 24 eight years old when they went it was fifteen or twenty miles from our home and they stayed with that old docter family three months then the docter brought them home(.) her eyes was well but one of them was blinde how glad we was to have them home but so sorry for our dear sister she had beautiful eyes before they got soar but she had to ware glasses(.) the next year after we got to Wisconsin they hiard a lady to teach school and one of our neighbours had just built a big new barn and he said that they could have his stable to teach school in and she taught school in that stable three months and we went to school there and the men would be drawing there hay in on the barn floor when was was reading and the hens would cackel

page 25 of corse we learned some we all liked the teacher she was a lovely girl but the third year that we was there they built a school house it was nearly one mile from our home and in the summer they hiard a lady to teach and in the winter there was a man to teach for all the big boys went to school in the winter and then the teacher always had to board in them days my father had four children that went to school in the summer my brother Bruce and I worked out my two oldest brothers was away moste of the time and my oldest sister Elizabeth worked away from home moste of the time when we had ben in

page 26 Wisconsin three years she was married to WILLIAM CADELL and she went to Illinois to live how sorry we was to have her go so far away to live but when she wrote that she had a good home and kinde husband we felt better she lived there four years and she had two children and they her husband died with colery and how well I remember the night she came home she had two children one little baby six weeks old and a little girl three years old how glad we all was to see her and I can think now how sad she looked and she was so thin and she looked so sick but the baby was such a nice little boy he was so good we all loved him but little GEORGY ANNA

page 27 was three years old and she was the smartest little childe of her age that I ever knew she had a black doll and she called in Dina and she had a little chair that she sat in and held her Dina and when she got up in the morning she would sit in her little chair and of corse all us children would be around her and she would tell us what she dreamed and I never heard a little childe tell such wonderful dreams as she would tell us of corse we knew that she did not dream it but we all did love to hear (her) tell her dreams(.) I tell you she was a very smart child and she made a very smart woman she was always a good woman and of corse we all loved her like a sister for she lived in our family until

page 28 she was elev(e)n years old but the dear little baby boy lived onely one year then he was taken sick and died how sorry we all was for we loved the dear baby then after her baby died she got better and she went away and worked but little Georgy lived with my mother she and our brother Elon was children togeather but my sister Modenia and I had to work out for we had to earn our owen cloths we had to do house work for there was not any other kinde of work to do but we was glad to get that work(.) how well I remember when we had ben in Wisconsin three years I think it was early in the spring of 1849 the small pox came in a little town called Oakgrove it was three miles from us and

page 29 my mother had the small pox when she was small and my Uncle THEADORE GOFF had it the same time my mother did and the people at Oakgrove sent for them to go and take care of the sick and of corse they went that was before my sister Eliabeth was married she was home with us and we all had to be vaxenated and we had to eat just corn meal pudding and molassis for six weeks we all did not eat anything but that then we all had small pox and our mother had to go home to take care of us we was all sick but some of us was quite sick our little brother Elon had ben vaxinated for kind pox before that and it worked so strong that he was not sick we was all vaxinated for kinde pox the same time that our little Elon was but it did not work in any of our arms but his and it made very sick (this is how the sentence is!)

page 30 and he is a man now and he went all through the Civil War and had to go and take care of the small pox and he never had it(.) but after we all got well It ell you we had a time washing and cleaning every thin(g) that was in the house(.) the country was so new then that everyone lived in small log houses and everyone done all there owen work and each one took care of there owen sick we did not have any nurses in the country when we went to Wisconsin the country was so new that Juneau was not named it was called Dodge Center and Horicon was called The Foot of the Marsh(.) once the first summer that we lived (there) I went to visit our cousan that lived on the east side of Rock River and my cousan WALLACE GOFF was with me he and I was the

page 31 the same age and when we came home we was riding in a lumber waggon and when we got to Rock River we took off our shoes and stolkins went acrost the water was low and wadid acrost and there was not a house there and now it is a nice little city and its name is Horicon(.) when we first lived there we use to see droves of prarie wolv(e)s and hear them bark we was afraid of them and there was baggers arount (I think she meant beggars, or badgers) but that was when we first lived there when we had ben there four years the survaiors came there to get ready for the rail roads to come there and the towns grew larger and Juneau was named and then Horicon was named and one time there was give hundread indians taken away from Horicon they took them to there reservation(.) after we had ben in Wisconsin five years my sister

page 32 Carley came from Albion and then of corse there was a lot of young folks always comeing to our house for we had two brothers that was young men and one sister that was a young lady and they would have so many parti(e)s and my sister Carley was a very lovely lady and she was very nice lookin and the young men liked her and one of the young men wanted to marry her and he did not want to wate for there was so many fellows that liked her he was ancious and New Years six or seven young men got up a big load of young folks they had a big wagon with some kinde of a rack on it with seats all around it and buffalows and blankets and my two oldest brothers and the oth(er) young men that was with them all had there girls and of cors my sister Carley and the young man that wanted.

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Created: 1/1/99
Copyright © 1998 - 2002 Suzanne (Brandenburg) Wood
Copyright © 1998 - 2002 Patricia (Brandenburg) Seabolt
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