Archive for the ‘Miner’ 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:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/10/17/my-top-ten-genea-mysteries/

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Lydia Minor married Russell Lamphere in 1807 in Preston, Connecticut.  They may possibly have had fourteen children in nearby Norwich, and she died in Norwich in 1849.  Lydia is my gggg-grandmother through the following line – my grandmother Edna Darling–>Russell Darling–>Emma Louella Lamphere–>Russell Lamphere Jr.–>Lydia Minor.  I last wrote about Lydia over a year ago.

The evidence

I reviewed my scanty evidence of Lydia Minor previously:

  1. a marriage notice in the Norwich Courier, May 20, 1807:  “At Preston, Miss Lydia Miner, to Mr. Russell Lamphere.
  2. a death notice in the Norwich Courier, Jan 23, 1849:  “At Norwich Falls, on the 18th inst., Mrs. Yydia, wife of Russell Lamphere, aged 62 years. ” [most likely a typo for Lydia]
  3. an entry in “History of Floyd County, Iowa” (1882) contained in a memorial to their son, Williard “son of Russell and Lydia (Miner) Lanphere, natives of Connecticut, where they died. … He is one of a  family of fourteen, and is the tenth child.”
Death norice of Lydia Miner Lamphere, from the Norwich Courier, January 18, 1849

Death notice of Lydia Miner Lamphere, from the Norwich Courier, January 23, 1849

And the one piece of new evidence that has surfaced in the last year or so:

  1. A Norwich Bulletin article from 12 Sep 1898 entitled “Letters of the People: Old Times and Old Folks” was sent to me by a thoughtful researcher who found my blog.  It gives a reminiscence of Russell and Lydia by their son, when he was elderly:
  • “Russell Lamphere, father of William Lamphere of William Street, who is a genial old gentleman, fond of stories (<-note these remarks refer to William, not Russell) also had fourteen children – seven boys and seven girls – perfect method, you see, for the Lampheres were sterling Methodists.  The most of the children lived to be over 75, and the eldest to be 86!  William Lamphere and Captain William Sherman are the oldest residents of the Falls.”
  • ” … Their mothers “when women were women, and fashion models had not been invented” as he says, did all their housework, with ten children to care for, and besides found time to meet the demands of society.”
picture for Mrs. H.D. Burdick's Millinery shop, from the slightly mis-named book Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889

picture for Mrs. H.D. Burdick’s Millinery shop, from the slightly mis-named book Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889

The question:  Where was Lydia born?

One major question about Lydia Minor is whether she was born around Preston, Connecticut, where she married in 1807, or perhaps in nearby Westerly Rhode Island, where her husband was born.  I examined the children’s reports of her birth place, on various census records.  I have identified 10 possible children for Russell and Lydia, with varying degrees of certainty.  Analysis of that evidence would take several pages, but contact me if you are interested in a particular individual.

View of Preston, from Connecticut Historical Collections, by J.W. Barber, 1836.

View of Preston, from Connecticut Historical Collections, by J.W. Barber, 1836.

Here is what the possible children reported about their mother’s place of birth:

  • Nancy, b.?   Married Samuel Munro in 1833 in Plainfield, Connecticut?
  • Lydia, b. 1807.  Married Henry Palmer, 1830, Norwich.  Died 1852.
  • Lucy Ann, b. 1808.  Married Burnham Cook, 1833, Norwich Falls. Died 1865.
  • Eliza or Elizabeth, b. 1811.  Married Joseph Thomas Fletcher, 1829, who died young. Married Ashael A Parkerson, 1847. In the 1880 census she indicated that both her parents were born in Connecticut. She died in 1896.
  • Caroline, b. 1814.  Married Jeremiah C Brown in Norwich, 1832.  No evidence after 1850.
  • Russell Jr, b. 1817.  Married Hannah Andrews 1838, in Colchester, Connecticut.  In the 1880 census he indicated both parents were born in Rhode Island. He died in 1898.
  • William, b. 1818. Married Jane Elizabeth Hopkins 1844.  In the 1880 census he indicated both parents were born in Rhode Island. In the 1900 census he indicated that both parents were born in Rhode Island.  He died in 1901.
  • Williard, b. 1820.  Married Mary J. Hoisington in the 1850’s in Iowa.  In the 1880 census he indicated his father was born in Rhode Island and his mother was born in Connecticut.  Williard died in 1902. No 1900 census found.
  • James D., b. 1829.  Married Mary —.  In the 1880 census he indicated both parents were born in Connecticut. James died in 1887.
  • Louisa H., b. 1832.  Married Nathan Locke Potter, died before 1876.

Reports are evenly divided between Rhode Island and Connecticut. Williard is the only one who splits the birthplace of his parents, to assert that his mother was born in Connecticut.  And yet, just the fact that any of the children, all born and raised in Connecticut, would say their mother was born in Rhode Island seems significant.

Norwich Plain c1840 from Old House of Ancient Norwich by M.E. Perkins, 1895.

Norwich Plain c1840 from Old House of Ancient Norwich by M.E. Perkins, 1895.

Consulting standard sources

Most of the standard sources on the Minors were produced by John Augustus Miner, including Thomas Minor Descendants 1608-1981 (Trevett, Maine, 1981) and earlier versions of this genealogical work, such as The Lyon’s Whelp, 1970.  The Barbour collections for the southeastern Connecticut towns have all been consulted, as well as the genealogical journals indexed on the NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org.

There is only one Lydia mentioned in Thomas Minor Descendants 1608-1981 who could be this Lydia Minor. Since Lydia’s brief obituary is specific about her age, we can estimate her birth at around 1787.  The book mentions a Lydia born in Stonington, Connecticut, January 27, 1787 to Lodowick and Jerusha (Peabody) Minor.  Here and there (but NOT in the book) one sees an indication that this Lydia married Paul B. Maine and moved to Chenango, New York, died 4 Jul 1874, and is buried in Center Cemetery, Pharsalia (former name, Stonington), New York.  I have been unable to get a death record.  Two siblings of that Lydia – Isaac and Lodowick – also settled in New York but not particularly near Lydia, or each other.  I have not yet searched for a probate record for Lodowick, Sr., which might settle this.

And yet I have sensed all along Lydia could easily have had an undocumented birth; her own children were not registered, that I have found.  Tying her to Lodowick and Jerusha is based on name and date only and as time goes on and I find no other matching names or places I feel more certain that is not her.

Stonington 1836

Finding a clue in Westerly

While searching Westerly deeds recently for Russell Lamphere’s family, I learned that Russell grew up in Westerly and had departed before 1808.  Norwich, Connecticut was a growing mill town and he may have headed there for work.  Clearly he could have met Lydia in either spot before their marriage in Preston (not far from Norwich), Connecticut in 1807.

I made a thorough review of Minors in James Arnold’s Vital Records of Rhode Island, volume 5.  In the Westerly Marriages section, p. 46, I found something I’ve never noticed before:

  • 4-253 Minor, Eliza, and William Lanphere 2d, Dec. 23, 1812.

This is not so far off from 1807, the year of Lydia’s marriage.  A thorough search for Eliza’s parentage has revealed nothing so far.  However, I note that Lydia named a daughter Eliza or Elizabeth in 1811.

Stonington, pictured in Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889.

Stonington, pictured in Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889.

I searched for William Lanphere 2d (noting that “2d” may not have meant then what it would mean today).  The Lanphere Family Research Aid by Shirley Bucknum suggests that the William Lanphere who married Eliza Minor in 1812 was the son of Nathan4 (Nathan3, John2, George1) and that Eliza may have died before 1830, when William married (2) Achas Stillman.  A DAR record (DAR set, Albany, NY B58, p144) was cited for some part of this, and apparently there are recorded births of children in Westerly.

Why this seems significant

William Lanphere’s father, Nathan Lanphere, married three times and William was the son of Nathan and his third wife, Sarah Saunders.  William had many siblings.  As I read through the Lanphere Family Research Aid for this family (p. 11), I was surprised to see that one of the sisters, Abigail, married Wait Clarke in 1799 (apparently recorded in Westerly).  Wait Clarke had appeared at the probate hearing for Russell’s father, Daniel Lanphere.

In conclusion

Eliza Minor is probably the biggest clue I’ve had on the Lydia Minor mystery in two years.  But she is only a clue, there is no real evidence at this point, and no combination of details to prove anything.  Eliza could be a cousin or sister of Lydia, or not.  I notice there are more mentions of Minors in the Westerly deeds than in the Westerly vital records, suggesting to me that Minors came across the line from Stonington, Connecticut (where the Minor population was much larger) from time to time.  I suspect that the births of Lydia and Eliza were either not recorded, or were recorded in a way that is now hard to find.

Since my discovery of the identity of Russell’s father, Daniel, I have struggled to find Daniel’s exact parentage in a community that had several Daniel Lanpheres.  However, if they are from the line I suspect (Russell5, Daniel 4, Daniel3, John2, George1) then Russell and William would have been second cousins.

So Russell’s second cousin married a Minor, in Rhode Island, perhaps?  I think I can officially say I now have a fifth clue for Lydia.

View of Norwich, 1836, from Connecticut Historical Collections, by J.W. Barber, 1836.

View of Norwich, 1836, from Connecticut Historical Collections, by J.W. Barber, 1836.

Next steps

  • Explore Minor probate records in Westerly or Stonington for names that look familiar from Lydia and Eliza’s children, and could possibly be the father of Lydia, Eliza, or both
  • Find the spouses of Eliza’s children, and see if Eliza’s parentage could be mentioned in genealogies for those families.
  • Continue to explore the Seventh Day Baptist connections, since Wait Clarke and his wife were lifelong members of the church.
  • Look for a death record for William’s sister Abigail (Lanphere) Clarke.
  • Continue to explore the location of Lydia’s wedding, Preston, Connecticut.
  • Look again for neighbors of Russell Lanphere’s boyhood home (now that I am close to finding the spot) through census and deed records and Russell and Lydia’s life in Norwich, Connecticut.
  • Explore other sources for obscure stories, such as the Narragansett Historical Register or Rhode Island Roots.
  • Continue to seek the burial spot of Lydia and Russell.

The post you are reading is located at: https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2013/03/02/a-sister-for-lydia-minor/

An ad for Westerly Grantie monuments from Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889.

An ad for Westerly Granite monuments from Leading Business Men of Westerly, 1889.

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My Lydia Miner

I guess we all have ancestors that we single out for extra research.  Mysteries that must be solved, clues that keep us awake at night, and that nagging sense that this person needs to be found; we’re not sure why.

For me one of those people is my gggg-grandmother, Lydia Miner Lamphere.  Lydia was born around 1787.  I don’t know who her parents were.  She married Russell Lamphere in Preston, Connecticut in May, 1807.  They spent their lives in Norwich, Connecticut (The Falls) and had 14 children.  Lydia passed away on 18 Jan 1849 in Norwich Falls, Connecticut.  I know what you’re thinking … just missed the 1850 Census, AND, just missed the 1850 Mortality Schedule which goes back 12 months from the census date, June 1.

I had assumed that Lydia was born in Stonington or North Stonington, Connecticut, the long-time stomping ground of the Miners.  But in the 1880 Federal Census, two sons report that she was born in Rhode Island.  That likely means Westerly or perhaps Hopkinton in southwestern Rhode Island. In fact, the Lampheres were also from Westerly.

I have no government or church VR’s for Lydia, but several decent sources.  There is her marriage announcement in the Norwich Courier of 20 May 1807.  I found this in GenealogyBank.com :

Lydia's marriage announcement

Lydia’s death notice in the Norwich Courier was indexed in the Hale Collection of Newspaper Marriage and Death Notices.  I looked at the index on microfilm that I ordered at the local Family History Center.  I knew the newspaper announcement wouldn’t give many more details than the index but I wanted it anyway.  The Courier from 1849 is hard to find, so, checking in the Library of Congress’s “Chronicling America” “U.S. Newspaper Directory 1690 – present” I found the Courier for 1849 and drilled down to “view complete holdings information”.  This showed me some rather old data about the libraries where those issues were held.  But it worked, and I located that issue at the New London County Historical Society.  The society allows you to purchase a copy of an article; I sent them a check and they emailed it to me.  They were very nice to deal with.   Here it is:death notice of Lydia

I think of her as MY Lydia Miner because I am always looking for her, but finding, instead, other Lydia Miners.  The closest Lydia Miner I have found is the one born in Stonington, Conn. 24 Jan 1787 to Ludowick and Jerusha (Peabody) Miner.  According to many, she married Paul B Maine on 6 Jun 1804, and died in Chenango, NY 4 Jul 1874.  I have a list in my files of 8 other Lydia Miners that, likewise, didn’t make the cut.

The reason I say that Lydia and Russell had 14 children is a passage from a book called History of Floyd County, Iowa (1882) where their son Williard is memorialized:

Williard Lanphere,  farmer, postoffice, Charles City; son of Russell and  Lydia (Miner)  Lanphere, natives of Connecticut, where they died. Williard was  born  Feb. 25, 1820, in Connecticut, where he was educated. He is one of a  family of fourteen, and is the tenth child. He went to New York in 1836,  remaining  about seven years; thence to Ohio for a short time; thence  to Wisconsin, and  then to Iowa in 1852, and to Floyd County in 1856,  where he entered land; he has  now a farm of forty acres on section 24,  Cedar Township. In 1848 he married  Mary, daughter of Isaac and Mary  (Sawyer) Hoisington, natives of Vermont and Massachusetts respectively.  By this union there have been eight  children, four living – Carrie  (wife of Everton Canfield), Franklin, Phineas and Olive.  Mr. and Mrs.  Lanphere are members of the Wesleyan Methodist church. He votes the  Democratic ticket.

There are no birth records for Lydia’s 14 children, that I have found.  I did go to Norwich VR Department but to no avail. I have more or less collected evidence of 6 of the 14 children:

Norwich Falls, oil on canvas, John Trumbull, 1806

Lucy Ann Lamphere, 1808-1865

Lydia Lamphere, 1808-1853

Eliza Elizabeth Lamphere, 1811-1896

Russell R Lamphere, 1817-1898

William Lamphere, 1820-1901

Williard Lamphere, 1820 –

If my dates are correct, there may be two pairs of twins.  I have found others who COULD be their children, but no real evidence.  My ggg-grandfather is Russell R Lamphere.  Looking at the list, a couple of things strike me.  If they were married in 1807, Lucy Ann is likely the first child, so the name Lucy is significant.  I know of no Lucy’s in the Lamphere line.  It could be Lydia’s mother’s name.  Another thing, if it took them until 1817 to name a child Russell Jr, then they either had all daughters before then, or named the sons after some other close relatives — so finding additional sons may give me additional clues.

This story is not over.  I have a few ideas, specifically:

  • to keep trying to find Lydia’s parents in Rhode Island, since previously I have mostly concentrated on Connecticut
  • to search that “Lucy Miner” name
  • to satisfy myself once and for all that she is NOT the Ludowick Miner daughter.

but mostly I think this brick wall may wait until I learn more and get some new methods.


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