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Archive for the ‘Tefft’ Category

About two years ago I posted my top 10 problems and that post actually led to the solution of one of those problems.  So I am trying here, again, and my list today is somewhat different, due to progress made in several areas.

1. Catherine Young (Bennett) (Baldwin) Ross (1832? – 1907).  The first “gap” in my mother’s family tree is for the parents of my gg-grandmother, Catherine Young (Bennett) (Baldwin) Ross, known as “Grandma Ross” to my grandfather.  Grandma Ross took my grandfather in for a while after his mother died and his father was busy with other things.  He knew about her three marriages because he scrawled all the names on the back of this picture – he was descended from her second husband, Edward Baldwin.

Catherine was born in Surrey, England, possibly 04 Jun 1832.  The borders of Surrey were altered around that time, making this extra-difficult.  Her father’s name may be William B and her mother, Catherine (from her death record).  In the 1900 census she gave her immigration year as 1843; the 1905 census says 1840.  Searching English census records, ship passenger lists and American records has turned up a few speculative possibilities but nothing that seems to fit together.  My earliest record for her is an 1860 census record with her second husband at Belmont in western New York; eventually she had four children, William Blackstone Bennett, Anna Jean Bennett, Harriet Elizabeth Baldwin and Miles Edward Baldwin.  I have found no trace of any member of her original family.

My latest research track:

  • try and pin down her elusive first husband, William Bennett, who was born in Massachusetts.  I suspect she was divorced rather than widowed.
  • Keep investigating the idea that her first marriage might have taken place in Massachusetts, and even the divorce could have happened there.  It did not happen in Allegany County, New York.
  • Keep pursuing possible clues from DNA.
Catherine Baldwin, circa 1900 in Providence, RI, in her 60's.

Catherine Baldwin, circa 1900 on Marshall Street, Providence, R.I. around 1900.

2. Sarah Arnold (1776? – 1861?).  Having confirmed my relationship to Sarah’s husband, Jesse Andrews, I now need to move on to determine which part of the large Arnold family in Warwick Sarah’s father, Joseph Arnold, is from.  That name is pulled from Sarah’s 1795 marriage record in Warwick, Rhode Island.  Sarah is, as far as I can tell, not mentioned in The Arnold Memorial or other books published about the Pawtuxet/Warwick Arnolds, which probably means that she was not mentioned in any local birth or probate records (although I continue to check).  A Joseph Arnold is sometimes noted nearby Jesse and Sarah in census records. 

This would be an ideal common-name problem for me to tackle because I have good access to many records. No excuses!

My latest research track:

  • make my own documentation of all possible Joseph Arnolds, using vital, probate and land records in Warwick and East Greenwich.
  • try to pin down any further details of the neighbor Joseph Arnold, including nearby possible grown children.
  • Explore Joseph Arnold more widely in court, military and cemetery records.
  • I do not know the names of most of Sarah’s children, but continue to try and find those names, possibly in Norwich, Connecticut, as hints to her family.
One of several pages of Joseph Arnold deeds indexed at Warwick City Hall.  Note the "S.D." and "S.W." indicating "Son of D" and "Son of W".  Not every deed has that, of course.

One of several pages of Joseph Arnold deeds indexed at Warwick City Hall. Note the “S.D.” and “S.W.” indicating “Son of D” and “Son of W”. Not every deed has that, of course. That would be too easy.

3. James Lawrence (1807-1882).  My 4x-great grandfather James Lawrence was born in England in 1807, and his father’s name may have been James.  In 1835, he married Ann Shortridge (Shortriggs) in Dorchester, Massachusetts.  The next twenty years found them in North Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, and Connecticut before ending up in Providence by 1860 with several of their almost-grown children.  According to the 1865 census, he was a machinist.  If I could learn more about James’ origins, it might help me to verify my complicated relationship to the Lawrences through DNA testing.

My latest research track:

  • Keep looking for ship passenger records and court naturalization records for James.
  • Other than birthplaces listed by his children years later, I am having trouble pursuing him across the eastern U.S. through the 1830’s – 1850’s, although I do have an 1850 census record for them in Virginia.  Try finding clues from that for further research.
  • Learn more about Dorchester resources such as directories, businesses, and immigrant populations there.
Places fo birth:  England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Rhode Island.  My father was right.  My mother DOES descend from a long line of gypsies.

Places of birth for James’ children, from the 1865 census: England, South Carolina, North Carolina, Connecticut, Rhode Island.

4. Jessie Ruth MacLeod Murdock (1861-1936).  Thanks to a helpful cousin who saw my blog post, I learned about a 1954 local genealogy book written by the nephew of my brick-wall gg-grandmother back in Pictou, Nova Scotia. That was a great moment, but imagine my surprise as I obtained the book and saw her listed as “adopted” – a sentiment I do not believe she shared.  Although I now know more about my gg-grandmother Jessie’s early life in Pictou, Nova Scotia, I continue to know nothing about her mother, Rachel, and her relationship to the people who may have adopted her, William and Mary MacLeod.  Jessie came to the U.S. around 1881, according to the 1900 and 1905 census.  I can find no evidence of her journey or any relatives coming with her.  She married Louis Murdock in 1883, making me wonder if she was related to Louis’ adopted father, William Murdock, also from Pictou.  There are some Rachel’s in the Murdock family.

My latest research track:

  • investigate land and probate records of the Murdocks in Pictou through microfilm at the New England Historic and Genealogical Society library in Boston.
  • see if the name of her third daughter – Jessie Ellen – can be matched with any people from Pictou.
  • naturalization records
The MacLean farm which became the home of William and Mary (MacLean) Murdock, from page 192

The farm in Lorne, Pictou, where Jessie MacLeod spent her teen years, from page 192, The Pioneers and Churches.

5. Lydia Minor (1787-1849). Now that I have solved the Andrews problem, I plan to move one generation back to the Lydia Minor problem.  She married Russell Lamphere in Norwich, Connecticut in May, 1807 “At Preston”, as reported by the announcement in the Norwich Courier. Lydia and Russell had seven boys and seven girls in Norwich Falls, Connecticut.  No vital records for the marriage, the children, or Lydia’s death has been found.  A Norwich Courier notice indicates she died 18 January 1849.

Russell was from Westerly, Rhode Island, and at age 32 in 1808 his father’s probate papers said he was “late of Westerly now residing in Norwich”, however census and town records show him moving between Westerly and Norwich several times.  So the marriage at Preston could be because she was from Preston, or perhaps they were both originally Westerly residents.

Lydia’s 1849 death notice gives her age as 62, making her birth (if true) around 1787.  There was a Lydia Minor born to Jerusha Peabody and Ludowick Minor in nearby Stonington, Connecticut in 1787, however, I am pursuing another person that may be THAT Lydia.

My latest research track:

  • Examine deeds and probate for a potential “Minor” family in Westerly and Preston
  • Look for probate for Lodowick Minor at Stonington.
  • Keep pursuing the possible sister for Lydia, Eliza.
A quote from Lydia's 80 year old son, William, from the Norwich Bulletin, 12 Sep 1898, reminiscing with a friend about his mother.  Sent to me by a kind researcher in Norwich.

A quote from Lydia’s 80 year old son, William, from the Norwich Bulletin, 12 Sep 1898, reminiscing with a friend about his mother. The article later makes it clear both families had 14 children each, in Lydia’s case, 7 boys and 7 girls.  Sent to me by a kind researcher in Norwich.

 6. Maria Shipley Martin (1848? – ?).  Maria or Mariah Shipley Martin, my gg-grandmother, has a fascinating family tree that includes immigrants from Scotland and England who came to Nova Scotia in the 1700’s.  So she is one of those mystery ancestors whose origins are well known, but she disappears from records after 1892, when her daughter got married at her home in Milton, Massachusetts.  I suspect, by that time, she was separated from her husband, but I have never found any further record of her.  Massachusetts was pretty strict about death records so perhaps she had gone with a relative to another state before her death, or perhaps she did, indeed, divorce and remarry.  My family had no knowledge of this branch, so I have found the stories of her children Bessie (my great grandmother), Clara, Hazel and Daisy, but I have found very little about Minnie, May, and John Anderson Martin.

My latest research track:

  • keep looking for a divorce record in several counties.  Look further for a second marriage in Massachusetts.
  • Look for her death record at the NEHGS library in Boston.
  • Try Milton, Mass. city directories.
  • Try naturalization records.
A book of her grandson's sayings and some fabric scraps, put together by Maria's daughters in 1898 after the death of daughter Bessie.

A book of her grandson’s Teddy’s sayings and some fabric scraps, put together by Maria’s daughters in 1898 after the death of daughter Bessie.

7.  Nancy (——-) Lamphere (1752?-1833). Nancy may be a Tefft, but I have no confidence in that so I am open to all names.  She married Daniel Lamphere around 1774 and had six children.  The only records I have for her are her husband’s probate in 1808 (and later), a number of Westerly deeds that she is mentioned in, and the birth records of her children in Westerly. She may have died around 1833.  If she was living next to her son Russell Lamphere in 1810 (perhaps in her third of the house), then apparently she was sometimes called Anne, an obvious variant that I haven’t been using very much.  

My latest research track:

  • Explore middle names that were used by Nancy’s children for their own offspring.
  • Do a thorough review of all the neighbors from early census records, and also those mentioned in the deeds.
  • Look at the spouses of her children for possible connections.
Transcription of Nancy's mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon.  So, Nancy was not able to write her name.

Transcription of Nancy’s mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon. So, Nancy was not able to write her name.

8. Rachel Smith (1734? – ?).   I estimate that my 7th great grandmother Rachel was born around 1735 (based on first child born mid-1750’s), and signed a deed in 1768.  She may have been a Smith.  She married Thomas Arnold around 1754 and they had 5 children that I know of: Lucy, Asa, Catherine, Aaron, and Philadelphia. My most recent clue is that Thomas Arnold purchased some property from John and Mary Smith very early on in Smithfield.  The children ended up in Cumberland, but the story of Thomas and Rachel seems to end around 1775 and although the children stayed in Cumberland, I can find no further trace of Thomas and Rachel – perhaps they died young.  Truly, this one may never be solved which, of course, just seems like a fun challenge.

My latest research track:

  • Pursue the early, local Smiths
  • Keep looking for the exact John and Mary Smith that sold land to Thomas Arnold, following clues in the deed, which I now have.
  • Try looking at town council records for Smithfield.

 

Smithfield records, held in Central Falls, will probably be the best source of Rachel's family.

Smithfield records, held in Central Falls, will probably be the best source of Rachel’s family.

9. James Anderson (1748?-1796).  With the help of some fellow researchers I know so much about my 5x-great grandfather James Anderson of Fells Point, Baltimore, later Chester, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.  Usually, knowing this much should have led, long ago, to knowing about his origins, but not so in this case.  His original family and place of birth remain a mystery.

My latest research track:

  • My cousins and I are focusing on DNA at this point.
  • Of the latest clues uncovered here and there, the ones that seem the most realistic are for other, earlier Anderson privateers off the coast of Maryland.  I may be able to explore those clues further in Maryland court records online, or at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
  • Think about how to acquire further records which may be held in England.

New York No 759. These are to Certify that Capt James Anderson was by a Majority of Votes regualrly admitted a Member of the New York Marine Society at a Meeting held the 11th day of June A.D. 1781 Given under my hand and the Seal of the Society this 11th day of June - Annoque Domini 1781.  Geo. Fowler Sec. [illegible] President.

New York No 759. These are to Certify that Capt James Anderson was by a Majority of Votes regualrly admitted a Member of the New York Marine Society at a Meeting held the 11th day of June A.D. 1781 Given under my hand and the Seal of the Society this 11th day of June – Annoque Domini 1781. Geo. Fowler Sec. [illegible] President.

10. Nathaniel Brown (1741? – 1798).  The last one is from my neglected line of Haydens/Parmenters, a closely intermarried family in Sudbury, Massachusetts that has not been that difficult to trace.  Nathaniel Brown married Elinor Hayden in 1761 in Sudbury and was “of Framingham” but I know the neighborhood where my ancestors lived was right on the border between Sudbury and Framingham, so he may have been very close by.  Nathaniel and Elinor had 11 children, and he died rather young in 1798.  There is a strong theory that he is the son of Thomas Brown and Abigail Cheney, originally of Cambridge, but no real proof.  And Brown was a common name in early Sudbury so anything is possible.  Deeds and probate have not solved this yet.

My latest research track:

  • Keep looking through probate records for local possible fathers of Nathaniel, to see if they mention him
  • Go through Nathaniel’s earliest land transactions more carefully.  He took over the farm of Elinor’s father, so the transactions are not that revealing.  Could he have been a cousin?  How did he have money for a purchase?
  • Learn more about the early history of Sudbury and the place of the Browns in it.
An early Sudbury house built by the Parmenters, in a line more closely related to Midge's husband than to mine.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

An early Sudbury house built by the Parmenters.  Photo by Diane Boumenot.

In closing

It’s possible I wrote this so I could choose my next project.  Still not sure which it will be.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/10/17/my-top-ten-genea-mysteries/

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Some background

I made some good progress this year with the Lampheres when I found some Westerly, Rhode Island deeds that showed that my ggggg-grandfather, Daniel Lamphere, had two families of children, the first with wife Eunice (possibly Wise) beginning in 1759, and a subsequent set of children after 1775 with second wife Nancy (possibly Tefft) (the story of that is here).  The Westerly vital record books show both of these families (vol. 3, page 100 and vol. 4, page 67 – both indexed in Arnold’s Vital Records of Rhode Island, vol. 5, Westerly Births & Deaths section, p. 111 & 112) and on first glance one would think these were two different Daniel Lampheres.  Neither wedding – to Eunice or to Nancy – has surviving documentation, although the marriages are real enough, per the birth records, and Daniel’s last land records which name Nancy as his widow, and name both sets of children as belonging to him.

Knowing there was only one Daniel Lamphere, and suspecting (not completely proven yet) that his correct place in the fourth generation of  the Westerly Lampheres was Daniel4, Daniel3, John2, George1, I turned my attention to the identity of Daniel’s second wife, Nancy, who is my ggggg-grandmother.  Nancy was identified tentatively as a Tefft in the usual Lamphere resources (see details below).  Nancy is related to my grandmother in the following way:

Nancy, likely born around 1750, was my grandmother's ggg-grandmother

Nancy, likely born around 1750, was my grandmother’s ggg-grandmother

Learning more about Nancy

This is the convoluted problem with Nancy:

  1. Several unreliable sources suggest her name may be Tefft
  2. She became Daniel’s widow in late 1808 and by her right of thirds, held onto one third of the Westerly, R.I. farm which I have tentatively located (see blog post here).
  3. Although I have no documentation of the wedding, their first child, my gggg-grandfather Russell Lamphere, was born December 2, 1776, and five additional children by 1792.

    To Mr. Daniel Lanphear and Nancy, his wife, RUSSELL their eldest son born December the 2d AD -- 1776

    To Mr. Daniel Lanphear and Nancy, his wife, RUSSELL their eldest son born December the 2d AD — 1776. The other children were Marcy, William, Nancy, Triphena,and Daniel.

  4. There was a neighbor to the Lamphere property over a period of many years named John Tefft.
  5. A Partial Record of the Descendants of John Tefft by Maria E Maxon Tefft (Buffalo: Peter Paul Book Company, 1896) presents, on page 30, a John Tefft family featuring a daughter, Anna (for which Nancy would be a nickname), who married Daniel Lamphere.  Surprisingly, Anna was born in 1790 (and Arnold’s Vital Records of R.I., vol. 5, Westerly, p. 138 shows the same birth dates) .  Since my ggggg-grandmother Nancy married by 1776, the person in the book is about a generation off.
  6. The book A Partial Record reports some information about John Tefft’s property: “The Tefft homestead was built in 1739, and is situated one mile and a half from the busy part of Westerly, R.I. and is owned by William R. and Walter Frazier, great great grandsons of John Tefft.”  I turned to my map of the Lamphere property location, as well as a Beers 1870 map from this page on historicmapworks.com, which shows a “Wm Frazier” and “Frazier”.  That location definitely borders the Lamphere property.
  7. John Tefft’s will is abstracted in the Rhode Island Genealogical Register, v. 9, page 54 (Westerly, R.I. Probate vol. 2 1811-1821, p. 347-348).  The will was proved 28 Feb 1820, and mentions many of the same children, and their spouses, reported in A Partial Record, including daughter Anna Lanphere, wife of Daniel Lanphere.

With so much to back up the John Tefft family whose daughter, Anna, born 1790, married Daniel Lanphere, I have to conclude that there was a real Anna Tefft, daughter of the neighbor John Tefft, who married a Daniel Lanphere.  But it is clear that is NOT MY ggggg-grandfather Daniel Lanphere, but must be some later Daniel Lanphere.

Transcription of Nancy's mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon.

Transcription of Nancy’s mark on the 1817 deed to Nathan F. Dixon.

Looking at other Daniel Lanpheres

My Daniel Lanphere had two sons “Daniel” named in the Westerly birth records, one born in 1768 in the earlier family and the other in 1792 in the later family. This seems strange since there is no indication that the elder one was dead before the later one was born.

A Daniel Lamphere had an 1812 probate record in Westerly, abstracted in Rhode Island Genealogical Record naming three minor children, Daniel, Sophronia, and Pamelia, who chose Lemuel Vose as their guardian (Lemuel’s brother was married to a Mary Lamphere, connection unknown).  I am not finding a marriage record nor have I read the original probate record yet, (The Lanphere Family Research Aid mentions that a wife, Elizabeth, is named in the will), but Nancy, born in 1790, is very unlikely to have been the wife here, she would be a little too young.

There are other Daniel Lampheres.  There is a Daniel Lamphere, died 1854, buried in the Joshua/Lemuel Vose Lot in Westerly, near his two wives:  Nancy Ann, died 1832, and Fanny, died 1838.  Surely, that is the Daniel that was taken in as a child by Lemuel Vose in 1812.  I can find no last name for Nancy Ann – could she be Anna Tefft?

Looking at census records for Westerly, Rhode Island:

  • 1810:  no Daniel Lamphere head of household
  • 1820:  one Daniel Lamphere, household of a couple with three children
  • 1830:  one Daniel Lamphere, a household of 12
1810 Federal Census, Westerly, R.I., showing cousin Nathan Lamphere, cousin John Crandall, son Russell Lamphere (who may have been managing property but was usually living in Connecticut), and Anne Lamphere.  It seems likely that this was Nancy.

1810 Federal Census, Westerly, R.I., showing cousin Nathan Lamphere, cousin John Crandall, son Russell Lamphere (who may have been managing property but was usually living in Connecticut), and Anne Lamphere. It seems likely that this Anne was Nancy.  Courtesy of Ancestry.com, page 3 of 7 in Westerly.

My conclusions about Nancy Tefft

All along, I suspected that the Tefft books were simply placing my Nancy Tefft in the wrong generation, somehow.  But now, with evidence to substantiate what the book says, I am starting to think that A Partial Record is right about Nancy Tefft. She married a Daniel Lamphere, just not MY Daniel Lamphere.

But the bigger question is, how does this change my research:

  • Is the whole “Nancy Tefft” idea that I see mentioned over and over as my Daniel Lamphere’s wife a simple error based on the Tefft books, possibly encouraged by the neighboring properties, but really my ggggg-grandmother has a completely different surname?
  • Could there actually be two generations of Nancy Tefft/Daniel Lamphere marriages?
  • If her surname is not Tefft, how will I find other possibilities?

I think I have explored all of her deeds, and I am unable to find a death record, and probate for her seems unlikely since she essentially deeded her third of the farm to Nathan F. Dixon in 1817.  Based on the census, she seems to have lived past 1830.

All in all, the details in the book looked shoddy to me, but they turned out to be reliable enough that they are truly pointing in another direction.  Now I am left with a completely undocumented wife … essentially, starting over with her.

Next steps

  • Considering that I truly have no idea what her name is, look for new possibilities.  I have taken the Tefft suggestion much too seriously.  I will not even use it as a tentative name in the database anymore.
  • Keep searching for death, probate, subsequent deeds, census or burial info for Nancy.
  • Find out what happened to the first wife, Eunice – continue the search for a divorce record at the Rhode Island Judicial Archives, or death information for Eunice in other places.
  • Continue to explore the stories of each of the 15 children listed in the Westerly birth records for Daniel Lamphere.
westerly 7th day baptist

Old Seventh Day Baptist Church, Westerly. Some Lampheres were originally members, but there is no evidence that Daniel and Nancy were.

Sources

Westerly vital records are transcribed in James Arnold’s Vital Records of Rhode Island 1636-1850, which can all be found here – Westerly is in the second half of volume 5.

http://www.Findagrave.com, Vose Lot, also known as Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Westerly #023.

- The Lampheres

The NEHGS articles, available to members on the NEHGS website, http://www.americanancestors.org, or in many genealogically-oriented libraries, are the standard source for Lamphere generations one through three:

  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 153 (April 1999): 131-140.
  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants, Part 2.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 159 (October 2005): 333-340.
  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants, Part 3.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 160 (January 2006): 47-59.

The Ancestry of Harry E. Figgie, Jr., of Cleveland, Ohio by Patricia Law Hatcher.  Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2007.

Two sources commonly accessed by Lanphere researchers should be used with caution, since they are drafts only and contain many known errors and omissions:

  • The Lanphere Family Research Aid by Shirley (McElroy) Bucknum.  The Genealogical Society of Portland, Oregon, 1979, plus rev., 1981.  The author states there is no copyright on the book, so that it can be shared.  I will try to take better pictures of the booklet in the future and put it online, in the meantime, try this link to an archived pdf copy.
  • The Lanphere and Related Families Genealogy by Edward Everett Lanphere.  Typewritten manuscript, 1970.  This is present in many genealogical library collections, but is also available at this link for subscribers to Ancestry.com.  The main section, starting on page 1, is called “The Lanphere Line”.  Googling that term may produce other online copies.

Tefft Ancestry- The Teffts

A Partial Record of the Descendants of John Tefft by Maria E Maxon Tefft Buffalo: Peter Paul Book Company, 1896.

The Tefft Ancestry, Comprising Many Hitherto Unpublished Records of Descendants of John Tefft of Portsmouth, Rhode Island by Charles H. W. Stocking.  Chicago: The Lakeside Press, 1904.

The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island by John Osborne Austin – add. by G. Andrews Moriarty.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1978.  Teffts are on p. 392-393.  Covers early generations only.

Sypher, Francis J.  “Ancestry of William Tefft of Herkimer and Oneida Counties”, The New York Biographical and Genealogical Record, v. 139 (2008) p. 95-102.

Hatcher, Pat.  “Peter Tefft and Occam’s Razor”, The New York Biographical and Genealogical Record, v. 139 (2008) p. 103-108.

Mathew, Linda L. “John Tefft and his Children: A Colonial Generation Gap?”, Rhode Island Roots, v. 18 1992, p. 76-80.

The Descendants of John Tefft (1614-1676) compiled by Rachel Saul Tefft.  Reprinted by Higginson Book Company, Salem, Massachusetts, 1997.  Accessed at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The post you are reading is located at: http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2013/12/30/when-good-evidence-turns-bad/

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By Their Deeds

This is the story of how Westerly, Rhode Island Land Evidences helped me solve the puzzling problem of Daniel Lanphere.

One of my research goals at the Family History Library a few weeks ago was to seek information about Daniel Lanphere of Westerly, Rhode Island, the father of my gggg-grandfather Russell Lamphere.  I am related to him in the following way: my grandmother Edna Darling -> Russell Darling ->Emma Lamphere ->Russell Lamphere ->Russell Lamphere ->Daniel Lamphere.

I’ve been doing a literature search for several years. 

There is a source I trust for the first three generations of Westerly Lanpheres: the three New England Historic Genealogical Society articles by Scott Andrew Bartley (citations at bottom of this post).  But the poorly documented fourth and fifth generations, from a variety of sources including books and journals, vital records, census records, and probate, contain several Daniel Lanpheres.  [When not transcribing, I will spell the name Lanphere in the rest of this story.]

Probate and Vital Records were not solving it.

Probate records first came to my attention thanks to a mention in the Rhode Island Genealogical Register, vol. 16, Will Index, p. 174.

Daniel’s probate record did not specify his descendants except for his son Russell of Norwich “oldest son in these parts” along with mentions of his wife, Nancy.  That always confused me, because Russell was the oldest son, period, according to the Westerly vital records.  Russell is the oldest of six siblings born to Daniel and Nancy Lanphere, as seen here:

To Mr. Daniel Lanphear and Nancy, his wife, RUSSELL their eldest son born December the 2d AD -- 1776

To Mr. Daniel Lanphear and Nancy, his wife, RUSSELL their eldest son born December the 2d AD — 1776

I travelled to Westerly to view the probate file myself, as mentioned in my previous post on Daniel Lanphere.  That didn’t help.  This is a classic case of a probate record being a little vague and Rhode Island vital records not being complete, complicated by the fact that there are several individuals with the name Daniel Lanphere.

And then I found the deeds.

When I got to the Family History Library and all that microfilm, I started with the Westerly Land Evidence records I was most sure about, that mentioned Daniel and his son Russell (quite recognizable because Russell moved to Norwich/Plainfield Connecticut, and was married to Lydia, things I proved long ago).

Daniel Lanphere mortgaged property to son Russell in 1808:

I Daniel Lamphere of Westerly … in consideration of the sum of two hundred dollars received of Russell Lamphere of Norwich [Connecticut] …have sold conveyed and confirmed … to him the same Russell Lamphere his heirs and assigns forever a certain tract of land situate in Westerly … containing … about sixty acres, the farm by me now improved … bounded as follows, to wit.  On the North by land belonging to David Lamphere, on the East by land belonging to Maxson Lamphere and land belonging to John Tefft on the South by the highway which heads from Pawcatuck bridge on the west by land belonging to Nicholas Vincent of New York.  To have and to hold the above granted … premises with the buildings thereon standing and all the appurtenances thereunto belonging … Provided nevertheless … I the said Daniel Lamphere well and truly pay the aforesaid sum … then this deed to be null and void …  In witness whereof … fourth day of July 1808, in presence of Nathan F. Dixon, William Lamphere.                    — Daniel Lamphere        – Westerly Land Evidences, v. 13, p. 361, entered July 5th, 1808

The index at the front of volume 13 makes it clear that Russell gave the mortgage to his father

The index at the front of volume 13 makes it clear that Russell gave the mortgage to his father

Daniel died a few months after the mortgage was granted.  Russell became the Administrator of the estate.

… I Russell Lanphere Administrator on the estate of Daniel Lanphere late of Westerly … by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Supreme Judicial Court of the said State at their April term for said county of Washington AD 1810 and pursuant to the direction of the court of probate of said Town of Westerly, and for and in consideration of the sum of ninety dollars to me in hand … well and truly paid by Nathan F. Dixon of said Westerly … the highest bidder at public auction for the estate hereby conveyed holden on the 23rd day of August AD 1810 … have sold …  which the said Daniel Lanphere at the time of his decease … a certain piece or lot of land bounded as follows … thence east to [empty space] Tiffts Land … containing nine acres.    In witness whereof —  Priscilla Dixon, Joseph Eaton — Windham County [Connecticut], Plainfield, Joseph Eaton, Justice of the Peace, Windham County               – Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 220, entered Nov 14 1814 Jesse Maxson, Town Clerk

So I have clearly identified my gggg-grandfather Russell’s link to this exact Daniel. 

So now I know the neighbors in this era are Maxson Lanphere, David Lanphere, John Tefft, and Nicholas Vincent.  There is other evidence to suggest, but not prove, that John Tefft is Daniel’s father-in-law.

The next deed showed that Russell sold the property (except for the portion his mother Nancy had by widow’s rights) to Nathan F. Dixon. 

… I Russell Lanpher of Plainfield in the County of Windham in the State of Connecticut  yeoman for and in consideration of four hundred and ten dollars received … of Nathan F. Dixon Esq of Westerly … a certain [piece or parcel of land situate in said Westerly containing by estimation about sixty acres … bounded northerly on David Lanphere’s land.  Easterly on land of Maxson Lanphere and [empty space] Tifft southerly by the highway and westerly by land owned by Sally and Phoebe Carr.  And I covenant … that I am well seized of such Estate under a deed of mortgage dated the fourth day of July [1808] … executed … by Daniel Lanphere late of Westerly deceased… which mortgage was executed to me as collateral security of a certain note of hand the same day executed by said Daniel Lanphere to me for the sum of two hundred dollars with interest annually payable in one year from the date thereof which mortgage deed I do hereby assign to the said Dixon …  I Russell Lanphere … do covenant … I am well seized and possessed of six undivided thirteenths of said estate by deed thereof subject only to my mother Nancy Lanphere‘s dower… and I Lydia Lanphere wife of said Russell Lanphere do release … all right of dower and power of thirds … this 30th day of December [no year given] …      Russell Lanphere and Lydia Lanphere her mark  In presence of Priscilla Dixon, Jeremiah Thinsman  Windham County, Plainfield, Joseph Eaton, Justice of the Peace, County of Windham …            – Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 221, entered Nov 16 1814 Jesse Maxson, Town Clerk

Russell and Lydia's signatures on the sale

Russell and Lydia’s signatures on the sale

Here is where I got a little confused.  Russell owned SIX UNDIVIDED THIRTEENTHS of the property?  Why would the property be split thirteen ways?  There were six children.

The next entry was very startling.

… Whereas I Joseph Crumb of Grafton in the County of Windham in the State of Vermont by virtue of five several powers of attorney to me executed by

  • one George Lamphere of Royalton [Vermont]… dated … the eighteenth day of December [1810] …
  • one executed by John Clarke and Marcy his wife of Lydon in the county of  Hampshire, State of Massachusetts [June 18th 1811] …
  • one executed by Jesse Lanphere of Plainfield in the County of Grafton in the State of New Hamshire [30 May 1811] …
  • one executed by Eliphalet Davis and Eunice his wife of Royalton [Windham, Vermont] [18 Dec 1810] …
  • one executed by Nimrod Lamphere and Roda his wife of Petersburgh in the County of Renssliere and State of New York [6 March 1811]

being authorized to sell their right in an undivided tract of land situate in Westerly … which they inherited from Daniel Lanphere late of Westerly deceased the said George Lanpher, Marcy Clarke, Jesse Lanphiere, Eunice Davis and Roda Lamphier being five of the children and heirs at law of Daniel Lanphiere deceased. … in consideration of one hundred dollars received from Russell Lanpher … give … all the rights of interest they have … in an undivided tract or parcel of land by estimation fifty-one acres … bounded as follows on the North by land belonging to David Lanphere, on the East by land belonging to Maxson Lanphere … land belonging to John Tifft … land belonging to the Grantee on the South of the highway which leads from the Pawcatuck Bridge on the West to land lately owned by Nicholas Vincent … free of all incumbrances except a mortgage deed executed to the said Russell Lanphere … and the widows right of dower … I set my hand [20 June 1811]  — Joseph Crumb  In presence of Nathan F Dixon, Isaac Champlin  .. and whereas the said Joseph Crumb having intermarried with Prudence Lanphere daughter and one of the heirs at law of Daniel deceased … sold to Russell her share of the estate … agrees he will … deliver her deed thereof …             – Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 222, entered Nov 17 1814 Jesse Maxson, Clerk

So the deed, above, lays out six more children of the same Daniel Lanphere. 

They are: George, Marcy, Jesse, Eunice, and Roda, as well as Prudence (married to Joseph Crumb).  The first five sold their portion of their father’s estate to Russell Lanphere for $20 each.

But I’ve never heard of any of them.  I spent the afternoon wandering through the “Daniel” section of my Lanphere research binder, and my digital records of Lanphere books and documents.

There was another Daniel Lanphere of Westerly, married to Eunice, with the following family, pictured below as they appear in Arnold’s Vital Records of Rhode Island, volume 5, page 111:

Daniel and Eunice Lanphere

Daniel and Eunice Lanphere

I knew my Daniel was married to a Nancy, so I had always assumed THIS Daniel was not my ancestor.  But the children’s names match, except for the name “Marcy.”  Several of the named spouses match Westerly vital records. 

So Daniel had TWO families, one 1759-1772 and the other 1776 – 1808.  To my knowledge, no one has identified these two as being the same person, with wife (1) Eunice and wife (2) Nancy. 

In this next record, widow Nancy gets her “thirds”:

… Whereas Daniel Lanpher late of Westerly deceased died seized of a certain small farm or tract of land situate in Westerly … Nancy Lanpher … was the wife of Daniel … entitled to one third part of said farm … whereas it is agreed by the widow and the sd Dixon together with William Lanphere another of the heirs at law to submit the assignment of said dower …  to set out and assign to the widow her dower or third part of the estate …  — Nancy Lanpher her mark, Nathan F. Dixon, Wm Lanpher … set off to the said Nancy the whole of the west part of the dwelling house wherein she now lives …  the North Pasture so called, bounded … the fence or wall … to the head of the Lane leading to the house … a small garden to the southward of the Crib containing about a rod of ground … to be used in a prudent manner …  Witness Wm Rhoades, Joseph Pendleton        — Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 223, entered Nov 17 1814 Jesse Maxson, Clerk

Another daughter, Nancy (daughter of Nancy; married to George Crocker) appears to sell her share to widow Nancy:

… We George Crocker and Nancy Crocker wife of the said George in Waterford in the County of New London in the state of Connecticut … for … the sum of twenty dollars … paid by Nancy Lanphere widow and relict late of Westerly …  a parcel of land with a dwelling house and barn thereon standing … containing forty nine acres … the late homestead farm which … the late Daniel Lanphere died seized and possessed which we hold be virtue of the said Nancy Crocker being a lineal descendant and lawful heir to the said Daniel Lanphere deceased. –Nancy Crocker, George Crocker In presence of David G Otis, George Williams August 25th 1815     — Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 259, entered September 8 1815 Jesse Maxson, Clerk

And then the heirs I knew about, the other children of Daniel and Nancy, sell their shares to Nathan Dixon:

… We William Lanphere, Triphenia Lanphere, Daniel Lanphere and Milly Lanphere all of Westerly … children and heirs at law of Daniel Lanphere late of said Westerly deceased for the consideration of twenty dollars received by each of us of Nathan Dixon of Westerly … quit claim … to said Nathan Dixon  … our respective shares in the Real Estate of which our said father Daniel Lanphere died seized of … being a tract of land where the said deceased last dwelt containing about sixty acres … bounded as follows … land belonging to David Lanphere … land belonging to Maxson Lanphere … land belonging to John Tefft … the highway which leads from the Pawcatuck Bridge … land now owned by the Miss Carrs formerly owned by Doct. Vincent.  … premises with the buildings thereon … we are each of us seized of the undivided thirteenth part of said tract of land …   – William Lanpher, Triphina Lanphear her mark, Daniel Lanphear, Permily Lanphear … In presence of Thomas Noyes 2d, Joseph Pendleton, Enoch Lanphear … April 14 & 18, 1815       — Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 310, entered September 20 1815 Jesse Maxson, Clerk

In 1817, widow Nancy appears to sell a great deal of her property to Nathan Dixon, with a kind of reverse mortgage arrangement:

… I Nancy Lanphere widow of Daniel Lanphere … in consideration of the sum of twenty five dollars to be paid by Nathan F. Dixon … each and every year … annually … during the period of my natural life … all the right … which I have in the estate … (except the part of the dwelling house where I now live …) I do release to the sd Dixon … Nancy Lanphere her cross  — In presence of Ichabod Taylor, Priscilla Dixson … April the 25 AD1817     — Westerly Land Evidences, v. 14 p. 349, entered May 10 1817 Jesse Maxson, Clerk

The Daniel who married Eunice (Wise?), often called Daniel, Jr, is usually purported to be the son of Daniel (and Catherine Prosser), descended from John2 and George1. 

The property itself certainly seems to back up this theory, I see signs from various other deeds that I copied that it descended directly from George to John to Daniel to Daniel. Several of the neighbors are also descendants of John2.   My husband, who is a Westerly native, plans to help me find the locations mentioned and pinpoint this land.  And further Westerly records, and old maps, will probably clarify these relationships.

In Summary

I am thrilled to have made a previously unknown connection in the Lamphere line.  If this had been in the probate records, I would have found it long ago.  It was the deeds that showed me the story.

Next Steps:

  • Each of Daniel’s families seems to have a son, Daniel.  I have no evidence that the first Daniel died before the second was born, so I should look for that.
  • I have no evidence of the first wife’s death.  There is no vital record for that, but I might be able to find a burial record for her.
  • Likewise I have no record of either marriage in the vital records (other than the sets of children) but I will continue to pursue that
  • The first wife may be Eunice Wise but I do not know the real source of that information.
  • Explore the neighbor, John Tefft, who may be the widow Nancy’s father (or, perhaps, a brother)
  • Prove the parents of Daniel.

Sources

All land records are from Westerly Land Evidences, volumes 9 – 14.  The list of FHL microfilms containing these records can be found here.

Westerly vital records are transcribed in James Arnold’s Vital Records of Rhode Island 1636-1850, which can all be found here – Westerly is in the second half of volume 5.

The NEHGS articles, available to members on the NEHGS website, http://www.americanancestors.org:

  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 153 (April 1999): 131-140.
  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants, Part 2.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 159 (October 2005): 333-340.
  • Scott Andrew Bartley. “George Lanphear of Westerly, Rhode Island and his Descendants, Part 3.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register 160 (January 2006): 47-59.

Robinson, Vera M., transcribed by.  “The 1774 Census of Rhode Island: Charlestown and Westerly.” Rhode Island Roots 29 (December 2003): p. 197.

Two sources commonly accessed by Lanphere researchers, should be used with caution:

  • The Lanphere Family Research Aid by Shirley (McElroy) Bucknum.  The Genealogical Society of Portland, Oregon, 1979.  Re-reading her introduction just now, I see that she states there is no copyright on the book, so that it can be shared.  I will try to take better pictures of the booklet in the future and put it online.  For now, it is available in many genealogy libraries.
  • The Lanphere and Related Families Genealogy by Edward Everett Lanphere.  Typewritten manuscript, 1970.  This is present in many genealogical library collections, but is also available at this link for subscribers to Ancestry.com.  The main section, starting on page 1, is called “The Lanphere Line”.  Googling that term may produce other online copies.

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It’s been a busy week – I’ve visited four sites in three days.

Westerly, Rhode Island Town Hall

The question:  I am looking for property deeds or other information for Daniel Lanphere, who died in Westerly in 1808.

Westerly Town Hall

Daniel Lamphere is the father of my gggg-grandfather, Russell Lamphere, Sr.  I am seeking more clues about Daniel Lamphere’s parents.  I have Daniel’s 1808 probate records, which don’t help on that point, so I thought I would try to see where his property came from.

I was unable to find all the records I wanted, and time ran out, so I think I will just re-group and re-analyze everything I do have.  One highlight of the day was finding Russell Sr’s original birth record – I’ve only seen transcriptions.

Russell their Eldest Son born December the 2nd AD 1776.

The siblings are:  Russell Lanphere 1776, Marcy Lanphere 1782, William Lanphere 1785, Nancy Lanphere 1787, Triphena Lanphere 1789, and Daniel Lanphere 1793 (?).

I was thrilled to find this because there is quite a gap between Russell and his next sibling, Marcy, and I always wondered if it had been correctly transcribed.  I have never found a marriage record for the parents, Daniel and Nancy.  Her name is sometimes mentioned as Tefft.  The old Tefft genealogy seems to support this theory, but the years don’t quite work out.  So, any documentation I can get is good.

Coincidentally, I ran into some Tefft researchers at the town hall.  While they couldn’t help exactly, it sure was fun meeting them.  And they said something nice about people who write blogs!  What a good day.

Seeing this list makes me realize that I don’t know too much about most of these siblings; I have found them to be hard to trace.  I think it would be worthwhile to try some more.

The link to the post you are reading is:

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Top Five Brick Walls

I see on the blogs recently that “brick wall” is a controversial term. So let me acknowledge these are problems I simply haven’t solved yet. I’m hoping that putting them here will spark someone else to give me an idea. I can always hope!!

1. EDWARD BALDWIN, 1833 -. I am missing the parents of Edward Baldwin. Edward may have been born in Massachusetts around 1833 (I would suspect the Springfield –> Worcester area based on subsequent family history). I know he lived in Belmont (Allegany County), New York with his wife, daughter and step-daughter, and that his son was born in Belmont around 1863. See my blog post Edward Baldwin – Birth Record Wanted.

2. HANNAH ANDREWS, 1819 – 1878. Hannah may have been born in Massachusetts, but she married Russell Lamphere Jr. at the Congregational Church in Colchester, CT in 1838 and in that (Norwich, CT) record she was “of Ashford”, CT. According to her Providence, R.I. death record, Hannah’s parents were named Jesse and Sarah Andrews, and she was born in Coventry, CT. There is a couple by that name who raised a large family in Montague, Massachsuetts but I am quite sure they are not her parents since they seem to have other children born around the time of her birth, and they never moved to Connecticut. Hannah had one brother that I know about, ALDEN ANDREWS, who lived at some point near Springfield, Mass., so perhaps that is her birthplace. I’m stumped. For some details of her married life, see my post The Girl from Alabama.

3. LYDIA MINER, 1787 – 1849. Lydia is doubtless from the southeastern Connecticut/southwest Rhode Island area but I cannot place her in any specific family. She married Russell Lamphere Sr. in 1807 in Norwich, CT. They raised 14 children there. This one should not be that hard. See more in my blog entry My Lydia Miner.

These last two are only challenges. Someone set a stopwatch, because I’m giving myself 6 months:

4. NANCY TEFFT married Daniel Lamphere in 1773. She was probably born in R.I. and after her marriage, lived in Westerly, R.I. I have two sources for her first name but only one unreliable source for her last name. The Teffts were mostly from Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

5. LUCY ARNOLD was married in Smithfield, Rhode Island to Richard Ballou around 1777. This is fairly certain. However, there were many Arnolds in Smithfield and I can’t seem to pin her down.

Any and all leads or thoughts are most welcome. thanks!!

–Diane

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