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This article was written several years ago by the grandchildren of Fred & Lizzie Siems – Norman Siems (son of Edward Q Siems) and Ruth Studeman Batzing,(daughter of Marion Siems Studeman)

Printed with permission of Ruth Batzing of Webster, Monroe Co, New York, USA

Please Note: Some corrections to names and dates have been made.

In the 1860s Edward Qualtrough (1823 – 1891) and his wife Esther Bridson Qualtrough (1826 – 1894) bought the house and land at what is presently 1240 Five Mile Line Road, Penfield from a Mr Ross. At one time before the Qualtroughs owned it, the house served as a rest house and tavern for stage- coach travellers.

On October 10th 1868, Edward Qualtrough and his brother Richard bought additional and adjoining land to the north from Austin Ross. November 20th 1869, Richard sold his share to Edward and settled on the Qualtrough Road. The road was named in his honour. Richard was married to Catherine Kennedy and they had one son, Leslie.

Edward and Esther (nee Bridson) Qualtrough had 4 daughters:

Ella Christine (Tina) 1857 – 1880

Mary Jane (Mrs Frank Woodhull) 1859 – 1947

Elizabeth Catherine (Mrs Fred Siems) 1861 – 1945

Mona Estel 1864 – 1942

Frederick Siems (1856 – 1941) came to America at the age of 15. He came to this area because his older sister had already settled in Rochester. For approximately 8 years he worked as a farm hand on the Edward Qualtrough farm. There he met Elizabeth (Lizzie), Edward’s and Esther’s daughter and they were married on February 1, 1880. For the first 3 years of their married life, Fred worked a farm nearby owned by Jane Miller on "shares". The Miller farm was across the road from the Qualtrough farm. Fred and Lizzie returned to the Qualtrough farm about 1886.

When Edward died in 1891, her left the farm to his 4 daughters giving his wife life use of it. Esther, Edward’s wife, died in 1894 and in Dec 1904 Mona and Mary Jane sold some of their shares to Fred. (A photo of the house on the property- in my possession- shows Fred and Lizzie Siems standing in the front yard, the picture being taken about 1900.)

Fred and Lizzie had 4 children:

Edward Qualtrough Siems 29 May 1881 – 18 May 1958

Joseph Howard Siems 11 November 1884 – 13 September 1969

Elizabeth (Bessie – Mrs Leroy Crane) 12 June 1888 – 5 July 1941

Marion Sophia (Mrs Carl Studeman) 27 November 1894 – 17 April 1955

Mary Jane Qualtrough Woodhull moved from the farm when she married but Mona Qualtrough never married and lived and worked on the farm with Fred and Lizzie Siems.

The farm was sold in 1926. Sometime in the late 1920’s the old farmhouse was torn down and the present house and garage were built. However, the horse-barn and other original buildings are still standing as monuments to the past.

Edward and Esther Qualtrough, Fred and Lizzie Siems, Tina and Mona Qualtrough, Edward Q Siems and Bessie Siems Crane are all buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Penfield.

Note: Penfield is in upstate New York, near Rochester.

© 2021 by Malcolm Qualtrough, Elizabeth Feisst and the late John Karran Qualtrough. 

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© Copyright by Malcolm Qualtrough, Elizabeth Feisst and the late John Karran Qualtrough.