Looking for a link between the Jesse Andrews family of Warwick, R.I. of 1810 and the Jesse Andrews family of Ashford, CT, 1820 has required a lot of patience and thought. Here are 10 things I tried recently, and where they led me. The story of Jesse and wife Sarah, parents of my ggg-grandmother Hannah Andrews, was detailed here. My purpose is to find out what happened to the Warwick couple, and if they ended up in eastern Connecticut.
Word of caution: I am related to Jesse and Sarah Andrews in Ashford, 1820. I am only related to the Warwick folks if they are the same people. Someday, I will know.
- A census of the census. My idea, here, was to take the population of the 1810 census in Warwick and compare it, name by name, to the population of Ashford in 1820. I wanted to see if others had migrated to Ashford, too. This was fairly easy to set up, I opened each census record in Ancestry.com, scrolled back to page one, and using the typed index at the bottom of the page, copied that text one page at a time. It was easy to just move the selected text to an open spreadsheet, with the mouse, and then move ahead to the next page of the census. This resulted in a total of about 1,100 names. I re-sorted the combined list and read it for duplicate first + last names that spanned the two places. There were 5: John Howard, Thomas Howard, William Howard, John Phillips, and John Smith. Fine, but I don’t know what to make of that. Inconclusive.
- Local history. I consulted Warwick’s Villages, Glimpses from the Past by Donald A. D’Amato (2009), The History of Warwick, Rhode Island by Oliver Payson Fuller (1875) and Edward Field’s State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at the end of the Century Volume 2 (1902) for more information about what was going on in Apponaug/Cowesett/East Greenwich around 1790-1820. During this time some mills sprang up in Apponaug. There was a minor port and shipyard in Apponaug Cove, and a slightly larger port in East Greenwich. As detailed in my last post, I know Jesse Andrews had a Seaman’s Certificate in 1798. Although I’ve only found one record of him shipping out internationally, in 1799, he may have worked in the shipyard or on local vessels. Other events during that time include the War of 1812 (no participation that I can see; Jesse was a little old for that), the Great Gale of 1815, and the financial panic of 1819. All of this could have driven them from their coastal life, inland, farming.
- The 1798 Direct Tax, Rhode Island. As you can see on this Rhode Island Historical Society finding aid, “Direct Tax Records,” the federal government required the states in 1798 to compile “a particular list or description of each dwelling house” in order to create a tax assessment plan. The descriptions of the houses often covered size of the lot, dimensions of the house, number of windows, outbuildings, owner’s name, lessee’s name, etc. Luckily, Warwick is among the surviving records, which I viewed on microfilm. Since Jesse and Sarah married in 1795 in Warwick and were included in the 1800 census for Warwick I was hopeful that I would find them there. Alas, no, they were not in there, not even as tenants. There were no Andrews at all. But, if accurate, this lack of an entry may be telling me that Jesse and his bride were living with family, or living in nearby East Greenwich.
- Talking to a genealogy buddy. Another genealogist and I had a talk about the problem. She suggested that I should focus on the wife, Sarah. Sarah is the daughter of Joseph Arnold of Warwick, but there were several JosephArnolds in Warwick in 1795, and no sign of a daughter Sarah among them. But somehow I need to pursue this anyway. So far I only have a probate record for one Joseph (not the right one), but need to pursue the others. I tried looking at deeds at the Warwick City Hall, but that was not too helpful.
- Looking at Sarah’s father. It seems very likely that Sarah’s father, Joseph Arnold, was alive at the time her marriage was recorded in 1795 (because Jesse’s father was specifically listed as “deceased”). Joseph Arnold was a popular name in Warwick around this time. One Joseph Arnold paid for a tavern license each year, as shown in the Warwick town council records that I viewed in at City Hall. I think that may be the Joseph Arnold at Apponaug corners (see below), not the one I am looking for.
- Reviewing published genealogies - The Arnold Memorial and the William Arnold Outline are the works that pertain to the “Pawtuxet” Arnolds (both can be downloaded as pdf’s from the FamilySearch.org book section). I read each of these works entirely this time. I had been disheartened previously with the lack of a suitable Joseph/Sarah father/daughter match, but this time I realized that The Arnold Memorial is quite brief and concentrates mostly on wealthierArnolds (for instance, through probate records). I realized that her absence from the book probably meant nothing.
- Maps. The Warwick Historical Society has an extraordinary collection of old maps online. I was amazed to find a map of the exact neighborhood and exact time period I wanted, that is, Apponaug 1805. And, more amazingly, it contained a sketch of a Joseph Arnold house. Putting together the details on the map, what I learned from The Arnold Memorial, and an examination of deeds at the Warwick City Hall, I was able to eliminate THAT Joseph Arnold and his son, Joseph Franklin Arnold. That was a big help.
- Another approach to the census. With a couple of JosephArnolds eliminated, I decided to look at every census record for Joseph Arnold in Warwick and East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Now that I had eliminated some JosephArnolds, it got easier. I identified two likely census records:
- 1790 – In East Greenwich, next to Jonathan Andrews, Whipple Andrews, and Joseph Card. Probably my most significant find to date, and I’ve been working hard on this for months. The Jonathan Andrews that had a son Whipple would have been the uncle of Jesse’s father, Philip (Jonathan and John Andrews were sons of Benoni Andrews). Joseph Card was the husband of Jesse’s aunt, Welthian (Philip Andrews’ sister).
- 1810 – In Warwick, there is a Joseph Arnold living right next door to Jesse Andrews. It seems like more than a coincidence, although it could possibly be a brother of Sarah’s, I suppose, instead of her father. Freelove Andrews appeared near him in several census records, and could possibly be his sister in law, Freelove (Rice) Andrews, if Jesse’s brother Christopher died young. Or, it could be Jesse’s mother, who was a widow, name unknown.
- Cemetery Maps. There are hundreds and hundreds of cemeteries in Rhode Island. Early on, there was little central control by any church. Each family would have its own cemetery. Looking up the “Joseph Card Lot” gave me a spot in East Greenwich where I believe the families mentioned in the 1790 census records may have been living. I base this on comparing the nearby family cemetery names with the 1790 census. To see many of the R.I. lots on the map, try this set of links at Google Maps. Note that sometimes, small lots were later moved when local cemeteries were built.
- Military records for Jesse’s father. Jesse’s father was Phillip Andrews, born 1741 in East Greenwich, R.I., who died between 1786 and 1795. I had seen Philip’s ancestry in a manuscript at the Rhode Island Historical Society although I had little other evidence to go on. Looking more intently for evidence now, I came across two entries in Ancestry.com about military records for Philip Andrews:
- he “Served in Col. Harris’ Regt. in 1760, and in Capt Tew’s Co. in 1762” – this was taken from A List of Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors in the Old French & Indian War 1755-1762 by Howard M. Chapin, 1918 (I have a reprint from Clearfield called Rhode Island in the Colonial Wars, 1994, 2010). Looking at my copy, I see there is also a Joshua, Benjamin and William Andrews in Col. Harris’ Regt. I don’t know if those names mean anything.
- he was listed in Roll Box 88, Roll State R.I. in the U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls. (I need to try to find him in the 716 pages; perhaps when the National Archives website reopens I can find an index.) That set of records is filled with original documents on Rhode Island regiments; I would highly recommend it (Ancestry.com. U.S. Revolutionary War Rolls, 1775-1783. Regiment: Crarys Regiment, 1777-79 (folder 45); Elliotts Regiment of Artillery, 1776-78 (folder 46); Kimballs…).
- I waited much too long to research the earliest Andrews in order to link them to the proper Joseph Arnold. Knowing all the descendants helped me to recognize the name Joseph Card when it appeared as a neighbor of Joseph Arnold in 1790.
- I suspect Jesse was living in Cowesett (in Warwick) before he left Rhode island but have not proved that yet.
- I have a lot of names I didn’t have before: Joshua, Benjamin and William Andrews served with Philip Andrews in 1760, there are neighbors in the 1790 and 1810 census, names appear in Warwick in 1810 and in Ashford in 1820 (perhaps coincidentally), and names nearby Jesse in the 1800 census. Also, there will be names from Phillip’s Revolutionary War service, when I can find the page. Perhaps I can make a connection to Ashford, or to some Massachusetts town that Jesse and Sarah may have stopped in for a while. I think almost nothing gets solved without knowing the community.
- The Benjamin Arnold that served in the military with Phillip is particularly worth following up on. If my guess is right, Jesse named one of his older sons Benjamin. There may be more siblings for Jesse and his brother Christopher.
- NEXT: visit the Warwick and East Greenwich town halls for vital, deed and probate records (I have tried before, but I often find a return visit turns up more). A visit to the Connecticut State Library might help me pin down Jesse’s wife Sarah’s 1861 death record, with a maiden name, which could pretty much clinch this one way or another.
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