Arthur Dykeman timeline and trail

Updated: Feb 5, 2019


Naming patterns can be extremely useful in tracing family history, but they can also be a source of great confusion, for obvious reasons. Take for example, my 2nd great-grandfather, Arthur Dykeman.


His name was revealed to me on my great-grandmother, Vena Dykeman's, marriage license, she gives her parents' names as Arthur Dykeman and Olive Jane Jacobs.


A search of the New York State marriage license index on Ancestry.com produced license #21035, which proves Olive J. Jacobs and Arthur Dykeman were married November 7, 1897, in Candor, Tioga County, New York, and their first daughter, Vena Dykeman, was born in September the following year.


Since the 1890 census was destroyed by fire, a search of the 1892 New York State Census was done to determine the name of his parents and the results produced two men named Arthur Dykeman living in Candor. One was born abt. 1863, married with two children, and the other was born abt. 1871, a 21-year old laborer.

Obviously, the unmarried Arthur would be more likely to be the one that married Olive Dykeman five years later in 1897, but assuming in genealogy can easily lead us down the wrong path or branch, so a look at the 1900 census should clear it up. In a perfect world, we should find Arthur and Olive living together with their little girl, Vena. Unfortunately, the only Arthur Dykeman counted on the 1900 census in Candor was the older one, who was still married to Anthela. This indicates that he almost definitely wasn't the one who married Olive Jacobs. This older Arthur and Anthela were also counted together on the census in Candor in 1905, 1910, 1915, 1920, 1925, 1930, and 1940. The same Arthur had been counted in the home with his parents, Orrin and Betsey Dykeman, in Candor in 1870.


The younger Arthur was born about 1871 and was counted on the census in Candor with his parents, Hiron and Mahala Dykeman, in 1875 and 1880:

Arthur E. Dykeman, born abt. 1871, was living in Candor in 1880, in the home of his parents. Other men named Arthur Dykeman born between 1870 and 1872 counted on that census are shown here for the purpose of recognizing them on later censuses and eliminating them as possible matches for Arthur:

  • Arthur Dykeman, born abt. 1871 in NY, living in Queens, New York, with his parents, Isaac and Mary Dykeman.

  • Arthur S. Dykeman, born abt. 1873 in Canada, living in Flint, Genesee, Michigan, with his parents, Daniel and Catharine Dykeman.

Arthur, would have been about 29 in 1900. But where was he? He was not in Candor. It is learned that just two months after Arthur and Olive were married, Arthur's mother died a tragic death in Candor. Arthur sold the land he had inherited from his parents to his brother, Charles, for $250, and may have wanted nothing more than to leave Candor.


A search of the 1900 census, for men in New York named Arthur Dykeman born around 1871 produced only one result. Arthur Dykeman, age 29, (born Jan. 1871), a married man, working as a "Servant" in the home of farmer, Charles Upson, in Genoa, Cayuga County, New York. Genoa is about 37 miles north of Candor. His wife and daughter weren't found in the home. This appears to be Olive's husband, Arthur.


At that time, his wife, Olive, and daughter, Vena, were living with her parents, John and Polly Jackobs (Jacobs), in Candor.

In 1905, Olive was a housekeeper living in the home of 41-year old John Swansbrough in Danby, Tompkins County, New York. Arthur and Olive's daughter, Vena, was still living with her grandparents. In 1907, Olive married John Swansbrough. She died in 1914.

A search of the 1905 census for Arthur Dykeman, produced the following potential match:

Arthur Dykeman, age 33, an electrician, married to a 26-year old Englishwoman named Amy Ryde. They lived in Troy, near Albany, New York - about 164 miles from Candor. Arthur and Amy are buried together in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Could this be Olive's ex-husband? His name was Arthur Richard Dykeman and according to his headstone, he lived from 1873 to 1964. Keep in mind that Arthur's ancestor, Cornelius Dyckman was the progenitor of numerous Dykeman's in the Albany area so the name was not uncommon in the region. This could easily be the Arthur Dykeman that was living in Queens in 1880, son of Isaac Dykeman, mentioned above.


The same year, 1905, another Arthur Dykeman, age 33, born in New York abt. 1872, was counted on a census taken 1,125 miles west of Candor, in Morris, Stearns County, Minnesota. He reportedly been living there a year and two months working as a laborer and his marital status was not recorded. Then in 1910, it appears that same Arthur Dykeman was living in Homer, Buchanan, Iowa, working as a hired man on the farm of Edwin Forranter. His age was 38 (born abt. 1872 in New York) and he was widowed, according to the census. Homer, Iowa, is about 360 miles southeast of Morris, Minnesota.


Note: Mahala (Hovey) Dykeman's obituary states that her son, Burt Dykeman, went west. Could Arthur have followed him?


On the census of 1910, Olive was still in Candor, listed as John Swansbrough's wife, married for three years. Nothing further is known of Arthur Dykeman. If you have any information about him, please comment below or contact me!

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