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Sunday, February 15, 2015

TRAVER, Willett R.

This photo of Willett Traver was located at the Antique Fair last weekend at the South Florida Fairgrounds in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The name written on the back is "Willett R. Traver" but unfortunately the location is unknown as the mat has been trimmed and there is only a remnant of the photographic studio's name remaining.

Fortunately, the name is unique enough, I believed it would be possible to track him down. The Traver family was well-known in Dutchess County NY at the end of the 19th century, and that is where Willett was found.

born 22 Nov 1851
died 05 May 1894
buried Wurtemburg Cemetery, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY

His wife was Lizzie E. Schultz (1860-1946)

1865 NY State Census, Clinton, Dutchess County
TRAVER, William Curtis, 42
TRAVER, Ann, 43
TRAVER, Zuletta (Ruthella), 17
TRAVER, Willett, 13
TRAVER, Mary E (or May), 13
TRAVER, Maria A, 11

1870 Census Clinton, Dutchess County, NY
TRAVER, William, 47, farmer
TRAVER, Ann, 48, keeping home
TRAVER, Willett, 18
TRAVER, Merritt, 18
TRAVER, Ann, 15
TRAVER Catherine, 10

1892 New York State census, Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY
TRAVER, Willett, 40, clerk
TRAVER, Lizzie E., 31, dressmaker
TRAVER, Alice A., 8
TRAVER, Julia A., 70

The 1892 State Census did not describe any relationships, so one is left to assume that Alice (8) is the daughter of Willett and Lizzie. This was later confirmed on the 1920 Federal Census where we find Alice at the age of 35, living with her husband Ethan Coon (occupation florist), daughters Margaret (5) and Catherine (3), along with her mother Lizzie E. Traver (59) and her husband's father Robert. Lizzie is described as the widowed mother-in-law of the head of the household.

Further research shows that Margaret Coon married a man named Bowman. Younger sister Eleanor (born 1921) married a man named Closs.

Willett's mother was born as Ann Bishop.

It seems that Willett was a twin, as a sibling of the same age appears on two Census reports. However, in 1865 the sibling is reported as a female named Mary E., and in 1870 is reported as a male named Merritt. I believe Merritt is correct, as there is a record of Merritt Traver, same birthdate as Willett Traver, marrying a Lucy Lambert Cookingham in 1875 in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, New York.

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