The Queenealogist’s Home Page

The Queenealogist and her castle


Welcome to the Queenealogist’s home page. Searching for someone in one of our family trees? Look below for links to our family history articles.

If you discover something of value in our castle archives, you may copy it for personal use only, assuming you understand that some data have not been documented. Of course, the Queenealogist would appreciate being given credit for her authorship. It takes a lot of work to run a queendom, and a few thanks go a long way. Additions and/or corrections are warmly appreciated, especially if they come accompanied by vital records, old photographs, or dark chocolate.

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Please include “genealogy” or “family history” in the subject line of your email.

Cordially, Elaine Schenot, a.k.a. the Queenealogist



From the Queenealogist's Own Family Tree


The WATSON Family of West Greenwich, Rhode Island

PART ONE tells the story of Samuel Watson of the 3rd generation, designated #7 in The American Family of John Watson of the Narragansett Country, Rhode Island. We call him “the Patriarch” because he was the first to settle in West Greenwich. His family stayed there for the better part of 100 years. Patriarch Samuel Watson had six sons – Robert, Silas, Hazard, Nicholas, Freeborn, and Samuel Jr., whose story is told in Part Two – and a daughter, Mary, who married Peleg Moon.

PART TWO features the life of the patriarch’s namesake son Samuel Watson Jr. – designated #26 in The American Family of John Watson of the Narragansett Country, Rhode Island. Samuel Watson Jr. had nine children, including sons Hazzard, Benjamin, Daniel, Samuel, and Jeffrey, whose lineage is described in Part Three; and daughters Alice, Esther, Sarah, and one as‐yet unidentified daughter. (Our vote goes to Alice Watson as the most interesting of Samuel #26 Watson’s children.)

PART THREE describes the life and descendants of Jeffrey Watson (son of Samuel #26 and grandson of the patriarch).
Updated 15 April 2024: The section on Elhanan W. Watson Jr. has been added, completing Part Three of this Watson opus.

A companion article, The Watson Family’s Greatest Hits, features old newspaper clippings, family stories, photos, and a bit of commentary about some of Nehemiah Watson’s children—especially his sons. They seem to have been proud Swamp Yankees.

More articles related to this branch of the Watson family:

Simeon, likely son of Silas Watson describes a family connection made possible through Y‐DNA evidence involving Watson men with well‐documented lines of descent from patriarch Samuel Watson.

(We Have Questions) About Silas4 Watson is an extension of Silas’s own story. It explores perplexing and fascinating aspects of our research on Silas Watson and his relationships. This includes The Mystery of the Q Eggleston‐Watsons, with links to essays for three likely brothers – all surnamed Watson, all genetically Eggleston.

A note for folks with the Watson surname: If you are interested in comparing your genetic heritage with other Watsons, check out the Watson Y‐DNA Project. “It is primarily for males who carry Y‐DNA, but females are welcome, especially if they carry the WATSON surname.”

WATSON Genealogy: Regarding Samuel #26 WATSON
This article is a proposed correction to the published Watson genealogy The American Family of John Watson of the Narragansett Country, Rhode Island. It offers evidence that John Watson has Samuel #26 married to the wrong woman; names the woman Samuel #26 really married; provides the names of their nine children; and suggests which other Samuel WATSON most likely married Nancy PRATT.

No time to read the articles? Click here to look at the WATSON images and pictures.

Alice WATSON and the Location of the Lost Watson Lot
now has an additional article – “Alice: Lost and Found – The Location of Alice Watson’s Gravestone”
Alice Watson was the daughter of Samuel #26 WATSON. Click here to read about where her gravestone turned up.

The Saga of Ira WATSON and Nellie ORMSBY
This article could prove useful to some folks from Rhode Island whose surname is WILSON. It wasn’t always so.
Related families include the surname MILLER. Updated 8 August 2023 with changes to our wording about where Ira Watson was born; a little more data about his second wife, Kate Epps; and a Fun Factoid about Ira Watson’s middle name.


The Ancestors and Descendants of Benjamin Franklin GATES & his wife Harriet L. FOWLER

This compact history traces the (mostly paternal) ancestry of Benjamin & Harriet (Fowler) Gates of New London county, Connecticut, as well as several generations’ worth of their descendants. The names of living individuals and a few other details have been omitted from this history for the purpose of privacy. Related families include these surnames: BROOKS; DOTZAUER; FENGAR; FOWLER; GARDNER; GATES; LOCKWARD; MATTHEWS; MILLER; MINOR/MINER; PAYN/PAYNE; POPE; STEPHENS; STEWART; STOCKTON; THRALL; WATSON; and WHITON.


What Happened to Helena: The Case of the Disappearing DOTZAUER Daughter
Updated 25 September 2018 with new information regarding the Dotzauer children’s uncle.
Lena Dotzauer went missing in New York City in the 1880s. Her brothers tried to locate her but never succeeded.
Now her story can be told.


The HECHT Family of Dayton, Ohio
Updated 17 September 2014 with corrections regarding the family of Charles and Amalia Hecht.
To see a family photo of Charles and Amalia (not Amelia, as previously written) with their five children circa 1907, click here.

No time to read the narrative?
Click here to read the wills of Martin, Michael, and Margaret HECHT.
Click here to view the HECHT photos.


The JERGENS Family of Dayton, Ohio

Updated 7 January 2019: The section on Phillip Jergens, Jr., and his wife Mary Abele, as well as the section on their daughter Ida and granddaughter Charlotte L. Meyers. Related families include these surnames: ABELE; BREEN; DESSECKER; EDEMANN; HECHT; HECKLER; KLEINFELDER; LEYES; LOGEL; MATUSOVIC/MATHEWS; MEYERS; REDIESS; STEFFEN; and ZINK.

Also: Infighting among the 2nd Generation: Zink v. Jergens, updated 7 January 2019 with new information derived from newspaper accounts.
and The German Origins of Philipp JERGENS of Cincinnati, Ohio, with information about Philipp’s family in Germany.

No time to read the narratives? Click here to look at the JERGENS pictures. We have added new photos of Mary & Phillip Jergens, Jr., and their descendants.


The LEYES Family of Dayton, Ohio
Updated 28 March 2019

No time to read the narrative? Click here to look at the LEYES pictures, updated 5 Oct 2014 with Joseph and Mary (Shutte) Leyes’s 1883 formal wedding portrait; and a newspaper clipping announcing their golden wedding anniversary in 1933.


CHENOT: A History of the CHENOT / SHENOT / SCHENOT Family in America, including a link to the LAVERY branch.
Updated 20 September 2018 with a variety of new information, including the name of Joseph Lawrence Schenot’s wife, and Joseph Francis Schenot’s secret second family.


VON DREELE: The Descendants of Caroline BECKMAN & John Herman VON DREELE
Updated 17 April 2023 with the addition of a photo of the I.O.O.F. Orphan Home’s children, where Edith (von Dreele) Laudenslayer’s four children went to live in 1927.



Malcolm Schenot celebrates his 90th birthday, August 2005

IN MEMORIAM: Malcolm Robert Schenot, 1915-2006
and Almeda Elizabeth (Laudenslayer) Schenot, 1919-2008

Both Almeda and Malcolm Schenot wore blue on the day we celebrated Mal’s 90th birthday in August 2005.

Malcolm and Almeda were pleased to help us reconstruct their family histories. Mal enjoyed being interviewed for the Chenot / Shenot / Schenot story. While his memory wasn’t sharp on every detail, his unique perspective lent an often humorous slant to the family lore. He gave us boxes of old photographs to keep (this generosity also freed up some closet space for them), asking only that we return his album of pictures from his soaring-plane flying days. Almeda told us stories about life at the Odd Fellows Orphan’s Home in Sunbury, Pennsylvania, where she grew up; stories about her Grandfather von Dreele and his fourth wife; stories of her mother talking about all their various relatives – and how she never really listened to her mother. Almeda had a gift for speaking the truth in an unvarnished way, which we truly enjoyed.

Malcolm died on December 18, 2006, at the age of 91. Almeda followed him scarcely more than a year later; she died at age 88 on January 3, 2008. We’re sad that our conversations with them are ended. Go with God, Malcolm and Almeda. We love you.


The eight children of Peter and Cecilia (Leyes) Jergens, June 2004


IN MEMORIAM: Eugene Joseph Jergens, 1924-2005

Eugene J. Jergens, called “Bud” from childhood, stands (second from right) with his seven siblings at a family reunion in June 2004. Bud died in Dayton, Ohio, on February 23, 2005.

Bud Jergens participated in our Jergens family history project. He obtained a copy of his parents’ marriage record from Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Dayton, and explained why getting married on a Thursday wasn’t unusual for a truck gardener and his bride in 1917. He took the time to write down the names of all his descendants and send them to us.

Bud once counseled the Queenealogist when she was still single: “You chase him until he catches you.” His advice worked.

Godspeed, Uncle Bud.


Rita Schmidt and Elaine Schenot, August 2002


IN MEMORIAM: Rita Marie (Jergens) Schmidt, 1918-2009

Rita Marie (Jergens) Schmidt was a gracious and beautiful soul, and I was blessed to have her as my godmother. In the photo of the Jergens siblings (above), she stands in the middle, wearing a pink top and white slacks. Rita died in Hemet, CA, on July 6, 2009. We love and miss you, Aunt Rita.








Ray Scheublin (1919 - 2011)


IN MEMORIAM: Raymond Scheublin, 1919-2011

When we wrote to Ray Scheublin some years ago, seeking to learn more about his mother and her parents, he promptly responded by sending us a box filled with old photos. It was a treasure trove! Ray didn’t know why his Lavery grandparents were buried in two different cemeteries in New York City, or why his mother, named Elizabeth, was always known as “Lillian.” But he was pleased that we were interested in his family, and thrilled when we managed an amateur (but pretty successful) restoration of a faded photo of his mother and her sister Clara as young girls. In response to receiving our reprint of this photo, Ray wrote something like, “If I live to be 100 (and I’m rapidly approaching that), I will never know how you did this!”

Ray passed away at the age of 92 on December 30, 2011, in Portland, Maine. He was a son, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. Ray also was a graduate of Lexington (MA) High School, and served in the Army Air Force during the Second World War. We never had the chance to meet face-to-face, nor even to talk on the phone (he had difficulty hearing). But his great generosity in sharing his family’s history with us revealed a sweetness of spirit we’ll never forget. God bless you, Ray.


Elaine and Margaret




IN MEMORIAM: Margaret Jergens Watson, 1919-2012

Margaret Jergens Watson was one of the authors of the Jergens family essay. In the photo of the Jergens siblings (shown above, with our tribute to Eugene Joseph Jergens), she stands on the far left, wearing her favorite denim jumper. Margaret celebrated her 93rd birthday in June before she died peacefully in her sleep on July 24, 2012, in Port Charlotte, Florida. We have absolutely no doubt that her beloved sister Rita greeted Margaret with open arms at the doorstep of Heaven.

Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace; you have fulfilled your word.  (Luke 2:29)


Jerome Jergens (1931 - 2013)




IN MEMORIAM: Jerome Joseph Jergens, 1931-2013

We called Jerome Jergens on February 16, 2013, to ask about his cousin Joseph Herman Jergens. In his deep southern Ohio drawl, Jerome gave us the answer that allowed someone adopted as an infant to know his true biological roots. Not long after, Jerome helped his sister to draw the layout of the houses, buildings, and fields on the property once owned by the Jergens family of Dayton. Jerome Jergens departed this life on March 27, 2013. We are deeply saddened at his passing and grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him some important things about our family history. Farewell, Uncle Jerome, and thanks.




Mary Ann (Jergens) Guntle (1920 - 2015)



IN MEMORIAM: Mary Ann (Jergens) Guntle, 1920 - 2015

Any time we called Mary Ann (Jergens) Guntle to chat on the phone, we knew we’d always get the truth on any topic. She was also kind and caring and frequently funny. Mary Ann died on February 14, 2015, at the age of 94. She was an American original who lived her life “on her terms,” as her eldest son has said. We will miss you, Aunt Mary Ann – your calm voice, your laugh, and your deep respect for the stories of those who went before you.




Elmer Ellsworth Watson, Jr., in February 2003

IN MEMORIAM: Elmer Ellsworth Watson, Jr., 1915‐2016

Elmer Ellsworth Watson, Jr. – known as “Doc” to most people outside his family – shuffled off this earthly coil on July 27, 2016, at the extraordinary age of 101 years, five months, and a day.

Doc described himself as a Swamp Yankee. We discovered through our Watson research that he was right on target. Sharing our findings with him prompted a lot of surprised, appreciative laughter. Being a native of New England was important to Doc. If you referred to one of the ubiquitous stone walls as a “rock fence,” he would correct you immediately and emphatically. And you never made that mistake again.

On the other hand, if you needed an answer to a question, he’d make one up if necessary.

Doc Watson was a character whose many stories could fill a book. And some of those stories were true. Rest in peace, Doc.

Bob Scheno and Malcolm Schenot in August 2005




IN MEMORIAM: Bob Scheno, 1928‐2017

Bob Scheno could make Malcolm Schenot laugh. This photo shows the two cousins (Bob on the left, Mal on the right) in August 2005, at Mal’s 90th birthday celebration.

Bob delighted in helping us recreate the history of the Schenot family. Through his memories of his grandfather Joseph Francis Schenot – and the stories that “Grandpa Joe” told Bob – we were able to turn mysteries into meaning, pushing back the veil of time to the 1870s and ’80s when Joe was a boy. One such story tells us that when Joe’s friends came to the door, Joe’s father Louis would ask Joe, “Qu’est qu’il dit?” (“What does he say?”) Louis was a first‐generation American but his primary language was French.

Bob himself grew up to be a devoted Francophile.

He was born Robert Charles Schenot, Jr. but chose to retire the silent T at the end of his surname (another good story). On our last visit with Bob, we took him out to dinner. He said he would treat us to a meal the next time we saw him. Sadly, that occasion didn’t occur. Dearest Bob, we’re sure you are rejoicing in Heaven right now. But you still owe us dinner.

We miss you.


Peter J. Watson in 2005

IN MEMORIAM: Peter Jergens Watson, 1948‐2023

In March 2021, Pete Watson said “yes” when we asked if we could get him a Y‐DNA test. We wanted to put a descendant of John Watson of the Narragansett Country, Rhode Island on the map over at the Watson Y‐DNA Project.

It turned into a group project when our friend David B. Watson of Indiana, another direct line male descendant, joined us. Unsurprisingly, Pete and David were a match. Our group grew larger when we were contacted by folks seeking their Watson roots: Barbara, who administers a couple of Y‐DNA projects at FamilyTreeDNA; and Rich Watson of Pittsburgh, whose Y‐DNA profile had languished at the Watson Project until David’s and Pete’s results showed up.

Upgrading to the “Big‐Y 700” test would provide the level of detail necessary to confirm that Rich descended from the same Watson line as Pete and David. Before we could ponder spending the extra $$$ necessary to upgrade, Pete went ahead and paid it. His interest had grown to enthusiasm.

Barbara—a retired professor of chemistry—interpreted Pete’s and Rich’s Big‐Y test results. She found that “Rich has 23 private variants/mutations, Peter has 25.” Of those private variants, Rich and Pete shared 22. “This is relatively few private mutations since a common ancestor.” We believe that common ancestor was patriarch Samuel Watson, grandson of John Watson. Barbara confirmed the consistency of the results with this common‐ancestor assignment and declared, “Success! Rich has found his family.” (See Notes below.)

And so, a brand new haplogroup was born—I-FTA81938. Any man whose Y‐DNA matches at this granular level of testing is a direct line male descendant of John Watson of the Narragansett Country.

Pete was thrilled. On June 19, 2021, he wrote to the group, “Wow. This is fantastic! Welcome to the family Rich ;‐) As I understand it the more data we manage to compile, the more we can link together the various branches of the Watson family tree.”

Pete left this world a lot sooner than anyone expected. But his data will live on as part of a body of knowledge, available to future Watsons hoping to discover their roots. Thank you again, Peter, for doing this project with us. It is your legacy, and it meant the world to us.


Notes on the Common‐Ancestor Assignment
Pete Watson and David B. Watson descend from sons of patriarch Samuel Watson: Pete from Samuel Watson Jr., and David from Robert Watson. Our research tells us that Rich Watson very likely descends from Silas Watson, another of patriarch Samuel’s sons. Rich’s ancestor Simeon Watson probably was Silas Watson’s youngest child.

David B. Watson is a great‐great‐grandson of Ransom H. Watson, who settled in Elkhart County, Indiana, in 1844.  Ransom H. Watson appears on page 90 of the book The American Family of John Watson of the Narragansett Country, Rhode Island.



Our original site was launched 30 Dec 2004
We moved to RootsWeb on 1 Oct 2009
On 28 March 2023 we shuttered our RootsWeb site and re‐opened here

This page was last updated on 16 April 2024

Thanks for stopping by, and please come again!


© 2024 Elaine Schenot