I know it has been awhile since your post, but you were writing about a Gates family in Steuben Co., NY. According to my uncle my great, great grandmother's name was Mary Gates. Going by the 1850 Federal census she and her husband Leonard Briggs are living in Dansville. Leonard dies in 1858. By the 1860 census her son Leonard, Jr. and possibly a daughter Polly are living with their half brother Spencer Briggs and his wife. I can't find Mary or her son Warren (my great grandfather) in that census. However in 1862 Warren is in Fremont enlisting in the Union Army. After the war Warren returns to Fremont, marries and raises a family. All I know about Mary is information fron that 1850 census, which her birth year as abt. 1824 and her birth place as NY. Have you found a Mary Gates who fits this description. Any help would be appreciated.