While creating a Family Tree for Jacob DuBois Hasbrouck, a local New Paltz Civil War soldier, I stumbled upon a pretty peculiar family. Rowena Deyo (b. 1812), daughter of Julia Kelsey (1780-1854) and Joseph Deyo (1776-1834), married a man named Stephen Lake (b. 1809) in the mid-19th century in New Paltz Landing right on the Hudson River. The names the couple created for their children were a pretty interesting, yet, bizarre way of showing pride in the United States. Their children were named: Erie Lake, Huron Lake, Superior Lake, Michigan Lake (Superior and Michigan were twins), Seneca Lake, Ontario Lake, Oneida Lake, Lamar Lake, and St.Clair. Searching to verify that these were in fact the names of the children of Rowena Deyo and Stephen Lake, we found it amusing to see their names appear on several Federal Censuses. The New York Federal Census for 185o appears above. Sadly, Stephen is gone (most likely died) before 1870 and Rowena appears incorrectly as Loena on the Poughkeepsie 1870 Census.
All of these Lakes, the water masses, are either the Great Lakes or are lakes found in central New York. I think that Rowena Deyo and Stephen Lake had an interesting and certainly unique means to pay homage to the country that they were from. Our work with the New Paltz families is far from over, so stay tuned!
~Zack Rousseas, intern
N.B.I’ll be back for next semester