The Anderson Report: August 2007 Research Trip

For this trip we had three main goals!

1. Separating out the Andrus (Andrews, Andress, Andros…) lines in Vermont.
This I did by calling all of the living Andrus families in Vermont in the hopes of doing DNA testing with them.

  • One group, the Andrus name came from their mother. This line does not qualify for DNA.
  • One group descended with the farm in Danby. We got a DNA sample on this line.
  • One group lived in Stowe. His wife was familiar with DNA so he gave a sample.
  • One knew they descended from Bildad and they were not in our area.
  • One group from Rutland City left the state and went to Huron County, Ohio. We will need to track them if we do not locate a match from the tests now in progress.

We are starting to separate out the lines. The results are back on the gentleman from Stowe (so are Ray and Merrill Andrus’s Jane Munday line).  They were not a match so that eliminates that line.
We are still waiting on "Family Tree DNA" for the rest of the results to come in.

2. Put Ruluf’s land in Essex County on the map.
Ruluf was Milo’s father. We found the land that Ruluf had once owned with the help of the Essex County assessor’s office. The land was located in Jay, NY. Jay was later divided off in the 1820’s and named Wilmington. Ruluf owned land in current-day Wilmington across from Fox Farm Road to the east. It consisted of 100 acres on the south side of “Lot 27”—part of a piece of land originally granted to a Nathan Mallory. Ruluf mortgaged this land in 1808 and lost it in 1809. John Smith (father of Ruluf’s future wife, Azuba), owned land across the street from Ruluf’s.

If you enter "Indian Rock Rd., Wilmington, New York, United States" on Google Maps this is what you will see:

View Larger Map

Half way down the Indian Rock Rd. loop (off highway 12) is where Ruluf’s land was located. If you go across highway 12, to the north of Fox Farm Road that is where John Smith, Azuba’s father, had his land. (Azuba was Ruluf’s wife and Milo’s mother.)


[This photo is taken from Ruluf’s land, looking west. The mountain in the picture is Whiteface Mountain. Whiteface Mountain is just north of Lake Placid.]

3. Get as much information as possible into our digital library so research can be done at home.
We gleaned information from:

  • Vermont Historical Society in Barre town and County: histories, old maps, box of original documents on Ezra Andrus family (Danby farm) containing 420 original documents—three days’ work by three people.
  • Vermont State Archives in Middlesex: all Andrus and variant spelling names—one day, three people.
  • Burlington Historical Society in Burlington Vermont: Andrus and Dutcher names—one day.
  • Tinmouth City offices: Andrus and Smith names, especially Joseph son of Isaac of Shaftsbury.
  • Poultney Historical Society: all associated names: genealogies, grave sites, tax records—especially Roswell and Isaac son of Isaac of Shaftsbury.
  • Pawlet City offices: all Andrus and Dennison’s land, birth, marriage, and death records.
  • Pawlet Cemetery: descendants of Ezra Andrus and other Andrus persons
  • Shaftsbury Cemetery: descendants of Isaac Andrus of Shaftsbury

The Trip

As for the actual trip, this trip did not go as planned!

We had scheduled time share rooms for Ray and Fay Andrus to accompany us on the trip but at the last minute something came up and they were not available. My mother came along as a replacement. So my husband Craig, my mother La Kay M. Weber and I left on Aug 23 for Vermont. We sat in Salt Lake for 4.5 hours due to a tornado which caused the evacuation of the entire Chicago Airport which delayed us to where we got to our hotel at 3:30am on the 24th. By afternoon we were up and visited Rutland City archives where they were going to charge us two dollars each for copies (no digital copies allowed) so we decided to do the other research first and what the State Archives had for their records before we decide exactly what we need there.

On the 25th we visited with the historical Society at Poultney, Vermont.  This was the place that dictated the timing of our trip, as they are only open for the summer months. We had Bonnie Goodard and Bill Homer visit here in years past, but they did not have my background in who we are traveling with or the ability to digitize the collection for us. Here because of our high tech scanner we were able to scan in about 450 pages.  These include a genealogy of the town as best it could be reconstructed after the records burned (This I think is why we have not gotten further on the Andrus line than we have). We also copied will extracts and the WPA project of historical documents, along with about 120 pages of things that could not be digitized (at 10cents a copy). This then becomes a research library for the family to use in our quest. We did establish that Ruluf was in Poultney by 1795 as an adult paying taxes.


[The school house Ruluf would have attended public meetings in when living in Poultney, VT from about 1795 to 1800.]

After dodging falling trees and downed power lines and closed roads, (I think the storm was following us) Saturday night we moved to Stowe which is about mid state near the State Archives in Middlesex and the State Historical Society in Barre. Here we spent Monday-Thursday in these 2 repositories and visiting with an Andrus family in that area.


[LaKay Weber (Laura’s mother) and Laura Anderson searching records at the Vermont State Historical Society in Barre, Vermont.]

In the 1950’s there was a Miss Hildebrand who did research for the Andrus family. She thought it significant that there was a Ruluf Dutcher in Poultney as early as 1763. He being listed as the surveyor on two survey documents from that time (these were state records and so did not burn with the City Records). Could this be where Ruluf got his name? Could one of Dutcher’s daughters be Ruluf’s mother? We do not know at present so we started tracking Dutchers. We located a Dutcher in Shaftsbury early on as well; Shaftsbury is where the most likely Andrus family is coming from. These people could be important in our research.

That weekend was a long one and things were to be closed on Monday so we took Friday and at our own expense we drove up to Boston.  I think the Andrus research is going to take us in that direction as the New England Historical society is there.  We researched on my Boston, Irish line. We figured out where they lived and where they were buried. (Believe it or not I am not an Andrus! My husband is.) This was thrilling for my mother and me. By Sunday night we were back in Killington, Vermont and on Labor Day we spent the time organizing what we had located on the Andrus lines and making appointments for the next week’s research.

Tuesday we went to Tinmouth (pronounced tinmuth) where in about 2 hours we digitized all of the Andrus land, birth, marriage, and death records for this town along with notes on the cemetery. This is where Lt. John of Ipswitch’s descendant Isaac of Shaftsbury’s son Joseph settled or I thought it him but had no proof. Here we located land documents that proved the connection. This Joseph could be important because Roswell and Isaac, two of Joseph’s brothers, lived in Poultney around the 1800 time frame which is when Ruluf is living there.  We do not see Joseph until he is older. He could have had children as early as when Ruluf is born. This line will be ruled out or become a primary target depending on the DNA tests. We then went for lunch at the local cemetery. (Only a genealogist would do that!)

Later that afternoon we went to the Burlington Historical Society where we spent a productive afternoon. The most useful thing that we located was a good document on the Dutcher’s that will help in that research.

Thursday we went to see a descendant of Ezra Andrus, a farm owner in Rutland County. This was our third time visiting him. After working with him on family records we got around to the sticky subjects of maple syrup (which we were buying from him) and DNA testing. I was much relieved to learn that he had softened on the question of having his DNA test done and we came home with a sample which is being tested now. If that matches our male family members’ DNA we will know out of what family we come. If not we will know what family to not trace further and to concentrate in other areas. I had prayed so hard for that sample and truly felt blessed to get what I needed from our trip.


[This is one of Ezra Andrus’ descendants which we are running a DNA test on. Ezra was  an Andrus living in Poultney in 1800. We are not sure if Ruluf was related to Ezra or not. The DNA test will hopefully tell us if we are from the same line as Ezra.]

We then made a stop at Pawlet and again in a couple of hours were able to copy the Andrus family records out of that Town hall. Here we found several things that were of interest. Many cousins on the John of Ipswitch line settled here, it is not far from Poultney and Wells where other Andrus family members are living at that time. We also located where Daniel Dennison, an uncle of John Dennison (John moved to Ohio with Ruluf) was selling land to an Andrus family member.

This about sums up our trip.  We are anxiously awaiting the DNA test results! 

I know everyone wants instant results! The closest thing I have found is DNA. As we do the DNA testing we will hone in on which line we need to be working on. I can figure out whether the people traveling with Ruluf are just there by happenstance, or whether they are family members. This will bring the breakthroughs!

How can you help?

We need researchers who can help put the things that we have located together. So 5 or so experienced researchers for a research committee. 

For further information, or if you would like to help transcribe documents or assist with research, please contact Laura Anderson at or Ray Andrus at .


5 Responses to “The Anderson Report: August 2007 Research Trip”

  1. De Lane Hyer on December 7th, 2007 12:41 am

    Great work Laura and family!
    Wish I could have been there. I hope the DNA helps us make some important connections, as well as some of the documents you have found.
    Thanks so much!
    De Lane

  2. Jim Carroll on December 7th, 2007 8:50 am

    Very interesting Andrus research! My G.G.Grandfather was Elliott Andrus b. 1805 in Rhinebeck, NY, died in Geneva NY around 1897 according to his death certificate. His father is listed as Isaac Andrus/Andrews. Have you or anyone come upon this line? Thanks!! I can be reached at:

  3. Laura Anderson on December 8th, 2007 5:43 am

    Dear Jim, Hello! This is Laura Anderson and I got your comments on my research! Could you tell me which Isaac you tie into. There are several! Also do you know any living Andrus males on your line who would be able to give DNA samples if you do not tie into the Isaac from Shaftsbury, Vermont line (already have a sample) we might want a to have your line tested! I am trying to separate out all of the Andrus lines in Vermont and New York the DNA testing is getting us so much farther in this effort I am excited about it! Laura

  4. Laura Anderson on December 8th, 2007 6:07 am

    Hi, thanks for replying. I don’t know how this DNA stuff works.
    The DNA stuff works by testing a very small part of the DNA Strand called they Y chromosome. This is shared by all biological males of that surname. There are 37 points on that part of the strand that mutate once in 10 generations so it is very reliable. I spent months researching the Isaac from Shaftsbury Vermont line to locate a living Andrus male from that line I then spent 2 years getting to know him well enough that he was willing to share a sample for research. I am just getting the results in. Our andrus DNA does not match theres so we do not descend from the same line. Do you know from which Isaac Andrus line you descend?
    If what you need is a direct Andrus surnamed male, then I haven’t found any. (sometimes something as simple as calling the Andrus’ in the phone directory in the area that they settled can help locate the person you are needing a sample from.)
    I am a direct descendant of Isaac Andrus through his grandson Marcus’ daughter Mary Gertrude. If that works I would be glad to participate.
    The trouble with death certificates is that they’re unreliable since the info used is oral from survivors. It appears that Isaac’s son Elliott married a person surnamed Homer or Horner and was born in Rhinebeck, Dutchess County, NY in 1805. Have you come upon any Andrus families near that area?
    Thanks again.
    Jim Carroll

  5. Andrea on May 21st, 2009 2:04 pm

    Excellent work!

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