Monday, August 18, 2014

Sylvester Griffin- An Old Warrior Who Honored the Flag

Sylvester Griffin - An Old Warrior Who Honored the Flag 1848 and 1862 — Jackson County Iowa, Mexico and Shiloh________ Sylvester Griffin, son of Ashael and Polly (Loyal) Griffin, was born in New Haven, VT in 1800. He was the third son of seven children born to this couple. In 1820, Sylvester married Matilda Austin, daughter of Peleg and Abiah (Knapp) Austin. Between 1820 and 1843, they farmed in upper New York state and Ohio before finally settling in Iowa._____________ Described as an "eccentric" in the family "vanity" history, Sylvester was a warrior on behalf of his nation. Lying about his age - with the goal of enlisting in the military - seems not to have troubled him. ___________ In 1847, at the age of 47, he enlisted in Company C, the First United States Infantry under Captain C. M. Haile. When he was honorable discharged on July 28, 1848, his military record reported his age as 34 - not 48. Two of Sylvester's sons - Ira and Edwin - also served in the War with Mexico. Ira was discharged with a health problem 1847 and Edwin served through the end of the conflict. _____________ Between 1848 and 1861, Sylvester tended his farm in Jackson County Iowa during these years with one exception - in 1851 he was "smitten with gold fever" and walked from Davenport, Iowa to Stockton, California. This adventure apparently did not work out well as he returned to his farm in 1852 - after taking a steamer down the Pacific coast, walking across the Isthmus of Panama and catching another steamship up the Atlantic to New York City. _____________ During the next decade, Sylvester's first wife, Matilda, died and he remarried in 1858. Life on the Iowa farm could not hold his interest after the Confederate states seceded and the Civil War began. The fall of 1861 found Sylvester planning to join other Iowa volunteers in support of ending the "insult to the flag." ______________ Sylvester, at age 61, went 25 miles north to Dubuque to enlist rather than presenting himself in his home community where he - and his age - were well known by local residents. The family history reports that when Sylvester presented himself in Dubuque the question of his age was raised. _____________ Sylvester "indignantly proposed to refer the matter to his father, Ashley Griffin, of La Motte." The recruitment officer did not know that Ashley was, in fact, Sylvester's son. His enrollment was accepted but the official records of Company K, Twelfth Iowa Infantry, show a blank in the place of the age of Sylvester Griffin. _____________ The Iowa Twelfth Infantry trained in St. Louis and saw action in early 1862 at Fort Henry and Fort Donelson. Sylvester then spent time at the Paducah, Kentucky hospital while recovering from smallpox. He rejoined his unit at Shiloh on April 3, three days before that fateful Sunday. He and many other Iowans fought that day in the Hornet's Nest. Sylvester's youngest son, Asel, fought on that same line. _____________ Late in the Sunday, April 6th, Sylvester was mortally wounded. He was eventually transported back to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri on a hospital ship where died on May 24, 1862. He was buried in Andrew Cemetery, Iowa. ______________ Sylvester / Asahel / Samuel / Samuel. Submitted by Ken Griffin a great grandson ____________ We have added 2 military records. The first is a record of his death. Note the last column labeled cause of death. The notation is “G.S. Wound” ie a gunshot wound. The second document is a pension request from his second wife and widow Lucinda Griffin. It contains her signature and the signature of Sylvester’s son Ashley.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Joel Griffin White Cemetery, Rushford, N.Y.

Joel Griffin, Joel- Samuel- Samuel, ( Blog Nov. 2012) is buried in the White Cemetery just outside of Rushford, New York. There are two rows of small headstones and a large marker. Sharing the marker with Joel is his sons Oramel and Joel Jr. Just a short trip down the road is the community of Oramel founded and named after Oramel Griffin.

Abigail Bradley Halbert 1799-1867

Abigail Bradley was the daughter of Samuel Cornel Bradley and his wife Abigail Brownson. She was the baby in the family named after her mother. In the records of the Essex Congregational Society we have a record of her baptism, the daughter of Samuel Bradley. The key document from her life is her death record. Dated October 3, 1867 it records the death of Abigail Halbert at the age of 68 years 4 months and 12 days. That information suggests a date of birth of May 21, 1799. The death record notes that she was born in Essex, Vt. the daughter of Samuel & Abigail Bradley. Her marriage is found in Volume 1 of the town records “On the 15th day of September 1822 Horace Halbert & Abigail Bradley both of Essex were duly joined in marriage. ”________________Horace Halbert was born in Massachusetts, September 16 1797. A record of the family of John and Asenath Halbert, Horace’s parents, is found in a collection of family records located in the last pages of Volume 1 of the Essex town records. It would seem that the town clerks at that time gathered family histories for some of the earliest families to arrive in Essex and entered the data on those pages. The entry records the birth of part of the family in Massachusetts and starting in about 1803 the remainder of the family in Essex. Horace was a prominent farmer and his name appears any number of times in the town records serving in one office or another. His name is also prevalent in the Congregational records. Horace and Abigail are buried in the Essex Common Burial Ground next to his parents. His headstone reads, Horace Halbert Dec. 6, 1883 age 87 yrs. For Abigail, Abigail Bradley Oct 3, 1867 wife of Horace Halbert age 68 yrs. ________________ The Halbert’s only had one child, a son they named Alfred Bradley Halbert. There is a nice biography for him written in, The History of Chittenden County. “Halbert, Hon. Alfred B. deceased, Essex, was born in Essex, Vt., on January 13, 1826. He was the son of Horace and Abigail Bradley Halbert. His paternal grandparents were John and Asenath Webb Halbert, who were natives of Hinsdall, Mass., and settled in Essex, Vt., in 1807. His maternal grandfather, Samuel Bradley, was also a pioneer of Essex, VT. Alfred B. received an academic education and always took an active part in all public affairs of the town. He was justice of the peace for twenty nine years in succession, assistant judge of the county court in 1867-77 and 1878, represented his county in the State Senate in 1869 and 1870, was a member of the State Board of Agriculture from its organization, for many years. He was married to Lois A. Page, a daughter of Ephraim R. Page and Louisa Boynton Paige, of Fairfax, Vt. Mr. Halbert was an upright man and prominent in his own town and county. A public trust of some kind was ever in his hands and he was universally respected and beloved. All social and moral reforms had in him a strong advocate. He died universally respected and beloved.” Alfred died April 25, 1884. His death is recorded in the Essex Town records. It lists him as Alfred Bradley Halbert the son of Horace and Abigail Bradley Halbert. His cause of death is listed as Typhoid Fever. Alfred and Lois are buried together in the Mountain View Cemetery in Essex. Lois passed away May 2, 1891. Alfred and Lois did not have any children. In his will Alfred pays a glowing tribute to his wife to whom he leaves his entire estate. His father lived as a widower for sixteen years. Many of those years were probably spent as part of Alfred’s household. There is a notation in his will, “And should my father survive me I confide him to her care”, speaking of Lois.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Town records from Essex, Vermont

The Freeman’s Oath first appeared in early colonial America. Taking the oath meant that you had became a full citizen. This was an important distinction because only Freemen could vote or hold office. It also meant you were eligible to pay taxes. The practice continued into the early 1800s. One of the underlying themes was that the freeman's list represent men who were not under the control of another man, or not in the debt of another man and thus under his influence. For example an indentured servant or slave could not be a freeman for these reasons. To be admitted a freeman you had to meet certain requirements; Swear Allegiance originally to the Crown later to the colony or state, Must be a male over the age of 21, Hold membership in a duly recognized church, Own personal property valued at 40 pounds, Be of a quiet and peaceful manner. To become a freeman meant receiving a vote of approval from existing freemen. With a little variety the typical oath read as follows; I-----being by gods providence, an Inhabitant, and Freeman, within the Jurisdiction of this Commonwealth; do freely acknowledge myself to be subject to the Government thereof: And therefore do here swear by the great and dreadful Name of the Ever-living God, that I will be true and faithful to the same, and will accordingly yield assistance and support there unto with my person and estate, as in equity I am bound; and will also truly endeavor to maintain and preserve all the liberties and privileges thereof submitting myself to the wholesome Laws and Orders made and established by the same. And further, that I will not plot or practice any evil against it, or consent to any that shall so do; but will timely discover and reveal the same to lawful Authority now here established, for the speedy preventing thereof. ___________________ Samuel Griffin first appears on the Freeman’s list in 1797. His sons appear in the following years as they met the requirements. __________________ Another list kept in the town records was a list of the heads of households with “scholars” in the city schools. The list represented the children between the ages of 4 and 16. We have an early list that includes the ”widow Griffin” who is Mary Griffin, John Griffin’s widow. That list also includes Samuel Griffin. On other list we have Samuel Griffin Jun. and his two boys Orlo and Albert. Samuel's son Dan’s son Almon also appears on one of the lists. ___________ Note the town officers that were elected each year including; leather sealer, tything men, and fence viewers.

Family of John and Asenath Halbert Essex Vermont

Horace Halbert married Abigail Bradley. Franklin Halbert married Abigail's niece, Electa's daughter, Dorcus Goss.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Electa Bradley Goss 1781-1836

Electa Bradley’s birth is recorded as March 18th 1781 in the land deed ledgers in Sunderland, Vermont, the daughter of Samuel Bradley and his wife Abigail Brownson. (Blog May) Her uncle, Timothy Brownson, was the town clerk. Maybe it was he who recorded the birth of his niece, Electa, who he called “Lecty”. By 1787 the family had moved to Essex in Chittenden County, Vermont. Electa grew up in a household filled with the news of events concerning the building up of the newly independent United States of America. She probably listened to the stories of her father and Brownson uncles who were all honored for their service in the Revolutionary War. Her grandparents, Amos and Dorcus Brownson, lived but a few miles away. She would have known her father’s brothers, Joye, Eben, Stillman and Harding. She probably enjoyed a rich family circle made up of her siblings and a large number of cousins. Her father was a large landholder. Her life was, in all likelihood, centered on farm chores, chickens to feed and gardens to tend too. Her father’s house was a cross roads of life in Essex with Samuel Bradley being the town clerk, head of the still very active local militia, and most important, Deacon in the Congregational Church. Church services stretched out over 4 to 5 hours every Sunday with preaching, Sunday School, and social gatherings. Who was to inherit the family bible was always a feature in most wills. The earliest marriage records to have survived in Essex starts with that of Dan Griffin and Catherine Meriam, December 21, 1800. The marriage records for Electa and her sister Sylvia, wife of Samuel Griffin, have not survived. The assumption needs be that they predated December 1800. Electa married Thomas Goss. Thomas Goss was born, according to town records, March 24, 1782 in Barkhamsted, Connecticut to Thomas and Sarah Goss along with brothers Jesse and Simeon. Evidence suggests that the couple married in Essex where their first two children were born. Tax records for 1803 and 1804 place them in Madrid, St. Lawrence, New York living next to Thomas’ brother Jesse. By 1807 they are living in Norfolk, Connecticut. Entry into full membership in a Congregational Society required making a “Profession of Faith”. One of the privileges of full membership was the right to have your children baptized. Full membership was denoted in the church records with the notion “Owning the Covenant”. We have published examples of the Profession and Covenant previously on the Blog. The notation of Owning the Covenant for Thomas and Electa Goss in the First Congregational Society in Norfolk is dated February 15, 1807. The 1810 federal census place them in Norfolk. The 1820 federal census show them back in Madrid, New York. In 1830 they have returned to Essex. Electa died in 1836. The only record of her death is a note in the Congregational records. In 1840 Thomas is living alone in Essex. In 1850 he is living in North Hero, Vermont with a son. In 1860 he is living in New York with a daughter. We have not found a death record for Thomas Goss. _______________________ Given the multiple places that the Goss family lived it has proven to be somewhat of a challenge to identify were each of the children was born. There are three primary sources that provided clues to the identity of the Goss children. The first is a set of baptismal records from the Congregational records in Norfolk, Connecticut. The first is dated August 2, 1807. It records the baptism of Sarah, Abigail and Electa Alvira “Children of Thomas & Electa Goss.” The second, dated September 10, 1809 is for Samuel Bradley Goss “son of Thomas and Electa.” The second primary source is a deed record found in Essex dated in 1836. The deed marks the disposal of property that Electa received from her father, Samuel Bradley. As a part of the probate process her heirs are listed on the deed. The names recorded on the deed are; Thomas Goss, Dorcus and Franklin Halbert, Simeon H Goss, Edwin B Goss, Sally (Sarah) and Solomon Simons, and Elvira E Parker ie Electa Alvira from Norfolk. In addition there are two family marriages found in the Essex records. Abigail Goss to Horace S Liscum “both of Essex.” And Dorcus Goss and Franklin Halbert “both of Essex.” Starting with these clues we were able to assemble the following histories for Electa’s children. __________________________________ Sarah Goss was born, in all likelihood, in Essex, Vermont. All of the census records list her place of birth as Vermont in about 1801. She was baptized in Norfolk, Connecticut August 2, 1807. Sarah married Solomon Simons. On the deed regarding her mother's probate she is listed as Sally Simons. The deed record indicates that the signatures of Sally and Solomon Simons were collected by the probate judge in St. Lawrence County, New York. Starting in 1830 and continuing through the 1880 census records in Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence, New York he find the family of Solomon and Sarah Simons both having been born in Vermont. As a member of their household in the 1860 census we find Thomas Goss age 79 born in Connecticut. A record of her death is found in the newspaper archives dated June 25, 1882 in nearby Hauvelton, New York. ______________________ There is very little evidence for Vira Goss. She is buried next to her Bradley grandparents in the Essex Common Burial Ground with the notation that she was the daughter of Thomas and Electa Goss. The cemetery registry lists her death in 1808 at the age of 3 months. The Vermont death records list her death in 1808 at the age of 5 years the daughter of “Thos. & Electa Goss.” The evidence supports the later. In 1808 the family was clearly living in Norfolk. The Congregationalists were obsessed with baptizing children as soon as possible. Baptisms were preformed at home in the event of a very sick child. I have a baptismal record from Connecticut, which included the notation “baptized over her mothers casket.” Even at the age of only three months if Vira had been born in Norfolk we would in all likelihood have a record of the baptism. Given the birth dates of her siblings and the Vermont death record my conclusion is that she was born in Essex in 1803, before the family moved to New York. The question remains did her death occur on a trip back to Essex? Or did she die in Norfolk to be brought back to Essex for burial? ______________________ Abigail Goss was baptized with her sisters on August 2, 1807 in Norfolk. The birth order in the family suggests a birth in 1805 the 1807 date probably representing the birth date of her sister Elvira. Abigail married Horace S Liscum on February 14, 1830. The marriage record notes they were” both of Essex. “ The census records trace the family to Lancaster, Grant, Wisconsin where she lived near her sister Dorcus. The 1850 census list an age of 43 and a place of birth as New York. Listed in the household is a daughter, Melvina Electa. This evidence suggests she was born in Madrid, New York before the family moved to Norfolk in 1807. The birth order in the family argues for a birth date in 1805. Her death is recorded in family histories as August 7, 1857 in Lancaster. In a county biography for her son Florington it notes that his mother had died in 1857. The biography also noted that the family had arrived in Lancaster in 1845. Abigail’s husband Horace Liscum remarried July 1, 1860. It’s curious that she is not listed in the probate for her mother. ________________ Elvira Electa Goss was baptized in Norfolk on August 2, 1807. The transcription of the original record lists her as Electa Alvira. In her mothers probate she signs her name Elvira E Parker. Her brother Samuel was baptized in 1809 this suggest that the 1807 baptismal date for the three sisters probably represents when she was born the two other sisters being baptism at the same time. The probate record from 1836 is the only record we have found for Elvira. Elvira’s signature was witnessed by the Chittenden County, Vermont probate judge. ____________________ Samuel Bradley Goss, named after his grandfather, was baptized in Norfolk September 10, 1809. The 1820 census taken in Madrid, New York lists a son that matches the age of Samuel. We have not found any other information for Samuel. The historical pattern suggests that he did not survive long after the 1820 census. ________________________ The 1820 census in Madrid, New York lists a total of four boys in the family we can only account for two, Samuel and Simeon. The family left Norfolk sometime after Samuel’s birth and moved back to Essex for a time before leaving for Madrid, New York. The lack of burial records in Vermont hints that they were born in New York. A family birth order hints at dates of birth in 1815 and 1817. _____________________Dorcus Goss was born, according to her death record, on January 4, 1812 in Essex, Vermont. Dorcus married Franklin Halbert in Essex on June 21, 1837. The 1840 census finds them in Essex. In 1850 they are living in Fairfax, Vermont Dorcus is listed as 38 years old born in Vermont. Missing in the 1860 census records they are living in Lancaster, Wisconsin in the 1870 census. A member of the family is a daughter Ella Electa. It is my guess that they followed the family of her sister Abigail to Lancaster. There is a detailed record for the death of Dorcus Goss Halbert in the Wisconsin archives. It lists her death on February 23, 1901 at the age of 89. It notes her birth date of January 4, 1812 in Essex, Vermont. Her parents are noted as Thos. and Electa Goss, her spouse Franklin Halbert. _______________________ Simeon H Goss was born, according to the 1850 census, in about 1820 in New York. He is named after his father’s brother, Simeon. The 1820 census taken in August of 1820 in Madrid, New York show a son that is probably Simeon. The 1850 census taken in North Hero, Vermont lists him as age 30, a peddler, born in New York. His father Thomas Goss is part of his household. The census lists his wife Lucy M and children including a daughter named Electa. Simeon is listed in his mother’s probate records as Simeon H Goss. He is also found in the school records for Essex, which lists the heads of households with children in school. Most of his children though were born in nearby Westford. The 1860 census finds his family in Cambridge, Massachusetts without Simeon. His death is recorded in volume -5 page 161 of the Cambridge town records dated July 13, 1859. S H Goss, age 39, married, peddler, born in Vermont. The death of his wife is also in the Cambridge records dated January 23, 1896, Lucy M Bates widow of Simeon H Goss, age 75, born Westford, Vermont. _______________ Edwin B Goss was born in 1823 in Essex. He is listed in his mother’s probate as Edwin B Goss. Edwin followed his brother Simeon to Massachusetts. In Massachusetts he married twice. The marriage records provide us with some great information. On June 28, 1853 in Gardner, Mass. he married Eliza H Winston. The marriage record lists Edwin’s age as 30. It notes that he was born in Essex, Vermont the son of Thomas and Electa Goss. Sadly for our story there is are two death records found in Gardner, Eliza H Goss December 18, 1854 wife of Edwin B Goss. Also found December 19, 1854, Child Goss age 0, father Edwin B Goss, mother Eliza H Goss. There are no other records in Massachusetts for Edwin. We have found a census record in 1860 for a Edwin Goss age 36 (1824), born in Vermont, in Grant County, Wisconsin near Abigail and Dorcus with a young wife named Malina. We have also traced a family headed by a Edwin Goss starting in 1870 in Decorah, Iowa then on to Minneapolis, Minn. This Edwin is listed as born 1822/3 alternately in Vermont or Massachusetts. We have not found evidence that clearly identifies them as being the same person or Electa’s son Edwin.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Dorcus Bradley Hamilton

Dorcus Bradley Hamilton was born in Essex and lived in Essex most of her adult life where she remained close to her sister Sylvia the wife of Samuel Griffin. The marriage of Dorcus Bradley to David Hamilton is found in Volume #1 of the Essex town records. The entry starts, “I herby certify that the following Persons were legally joined in marriage in the year 1807”. On the list we find “September 20 David Hamilton & Dorcus Bradley Essex”. They are buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Burlington, VT. In the cemetery registry, Dorcus Bradley Hamilton, April 19, 1866 and David Hamilton, January 9, 1864. Within the records of the Congregational Society we find listed under the name David Hamilton a list of the children they had baptized, Emily, Fanny, Phebe, Clarissa, John Emerson, Harmon Meigs and Celestia Adeline. The Hamilton’s made their home in Essex for much of their life moving to Burlington later in life where the history for the marriages and deaths of their children are recorded. We have previously documented the family of Dorcus’ parents Samuel and Abigail Bradley on the Blog. There seems to be no direct evidence for the parents of David Hamilton. For example unusual for the day his parents are not listed on his death record. There is strong evidence of a Hamilton family in the earliest Essex records led by Charles Hamilton. Given the size of Essex in 1786 it is highly unlikely that he is not David’s father. David throughout his adult life was referred to as “Deacon” David Hamilton. He followed Dorcus’ father Samuel Bradley as a Deacon for the Congregational Society in Essex. The Griffin family letters also refer to him as the Deacon. An age of 78 in the cemetery records puts his birth around 1786 according to his marriage record in Essex. ______________________Much of the documentary history for Dorcus and David’s family play’s out in Burlington. We present here a brief history of the children listed in the Congregational records. __________________________Emily Hamilton died August 31, 1892 of “Old Age” in Burlington according to her death record. She is listed as Emily H. (Hamilton) Cook her parents are listed as David Hamilton and Dorcus. An age of 84 places her birth in 1808 her parents having married in 1807. Emily married Anson G. Cook. It was a 2nd marriage for Anson. Emily’s adult life was connected to her sister Celestia. In the 1870 census Emily and Anson are listed as “borders” in the household of Burnam Seaver and her sister Celestia (Lettie). Celestia in her will includes the proviso that her sister, Emily Cook, be allowed to remain in the Seaver home until her death. The 1860 census includes a son Wyllis (Willis) age 7. Anson left his entire estate to Willis before his death July 26, 1882. Emily is buried in the Elmwood Cemetery along with her parents. The cemetery records list her as Emily Hamilton Cook. ____________________________________ According to her death records Fanny was born in Essex August 22, 1811. Her death is noted as March 11, 1883. Her parents are recorded as David Hamilton and “D”. The death record lists her as Fanny Brown. Fanny married Edmund Brown. Fanny and Edmund made their home in Burlington. _____________________________ The death record for Phebe C. Hamilton is dated April 23, 1887 in Burlington at the age of 74. Her parents are listed as David Hamilton and Dorcus. Her place of birth is noted as Essex. Fanny shares a headstone with her husband in the Lakeview Cemetery in Burlington it reads, John Liscum / 1809-1883 / His wife / Phebe C. Hamilton / 1813-1887. Phebe and John raised a large family in Burlington. One of the executors for her will was her sister Celestia’s husband Burnam Seaver. _________________________________ Clarissa Hamilton married Henry Hall Bostwick. The couple made their home in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut. Her death record contains a lot of details; Aug 10, 1885/ Clarissa H. Bostwick / Maiden name, Hamilton / age 69 yrs 10 mo. / wife of H. H. / born Vermont / Parents, David born Vermont, Dorcus born Vermont. The headstone inscription in the Mt. Grove Cemetery in Bridgeport reads “Bostwick Henry H., died Sept 13, 1890, age 80. Bostwick, Clarissa Hamilton, wife, died Aug 10, 1885, age 66”. Bostwick family tradition places her birth on October 4, 1815. _________________________ There is a detailed biography for John Emerson Hamilton in the alumni records of the University of Vermont. “”Was born in Essex, Vt. 22 December 1817, the son of deacon David and Dorcus Bradley Hamilton. His preparatory training was received at the hands of Aaron G. Pease of the class of 1837. After graduation taught in Wellsboro, Pa. and also in Bath, N. Y. where he was elected superintendent of schools in 1852. So successful was his work in the educational field that in 1854 he was invited to become principal of the Oswego high school, which had been organized one year before. Here his rare ability as organizer and instructor had ample scope. After eighteen years service as principal he established in 1872 a boys’ English and Classical school in the same city, through which for twelve years more he exerted a vigorous formative influence on such youth as were seeking a more complete equipment for their life-work. In 1884 he was chosen superintendent of the city schools and secretary of the local board of education a position which he filed with intelligence and vigor till his death 11 June 1893. Mr. Hamilton enjoyed the confidence of the teachers and people of the city, and the schools were solidly prosperous and progressive during his administration. He was an active and influential member of the Congregational church, and for thiry-five hears the efficient superintendent of its Sunday school. In 1878 he was elected as alderman, and in 1880 filled the office of mayor. In 1870 the University of the state of New York recognized and acknowledged eminence in his profession by conferring on him the degree of Doctor in Philosophy. Mr. Hamilton married 22 May 1843 Adeline H. Parmelee, then of Williston, Vt. And a lady of education and refinement. She died eight years before him. Two sons survive, (Frank/Francis and Willson) one living is Oswego, and one in Los Angeles, Cal., and a daughter (Lottie) who is married to Lieut. Underwood of the U.S. Navy. Mr. Hamilton was characterized by a clear mind, a large amount of executive ability, and a vigorous will. He was one of the teachers who mould character as well as develop the mental powers. While his body waited for burial the flags of the city were at half-mast, and a large part of the population of Oswego seemed to mourn the loss of a personal friend and a public benefactor”. _____________________________ Harmon Meigs Hamilton was born, based on census data, in 1820. The name Meigs comes from his great grandmother Sarah Meigs the wife of Stephen Bradley. The only records we have recovered for Harmon are the census records. In the 1855 New York census he is living in Bath, N.Y. near John Emerson. In the census records he is described as an insurance agent /merchant. The census records document his wife Alice, who also went by Anna, and a son Edward both born in New York. Harmon ended up in Oswego with his brother John. The last record of him is the 1892 New York census in Oswego. _____________________________________ Celestia Adeline Hamilton was born, according to her death record, in about Dec of 1821. The death record lists her place of birth as Essex and her parents as David Hamilton and Dorcus. Her death is listed as October 15, 1891 at the age of 69 yrs. and 10 months. Celestia married Burnam Seaver. There are a number of spellings for Burnam’s name, Burnham, Burnam, Barnam. In his birth record he is identified as Enoch Burnam Seaver born in Williamstown, Vt., November 7th 1819 the son of Cyrus and Lucy Seaver. In his will he signs his name Burnam Seaver. Celestia and Burnam share a headstone in the Elmwood Cemetery in Burlington. Dea. Burnham Seaver / 1819-1888 / His wife / Celestia A. Hamilton / 1821-1891. On another side of the headstone is their son Osman K Seaver 1842-1863. ________________________________________ The Seaver household was to play a prominent role in the lives of the extended Hamilton family. In the cemetery records the lives of Celestia and Burnam are particularly well documented seeming to indicate that they were a prominent couple in Burlington society. He was referred to as Deacon Seaver. References to him in the history of the Methodist Episcopal Church in Burlington would seem to suggest that at some point in time he had left behind his Congregational roots to join with the Methodist. His status within the community is an indication of a large and prosperous household. Within this household the Seavers were to play host to other members of the family. In the 1870 census listed as borders in the Seaver home is Celestia’s sister Emily and her husband Anson Cook. In Celestia’s will is a provision to allow her widowed sister Emily to remain living in the Seaver home until her death. In her will Celestia also mentions her sister Phebe’s daughter Nellie Richardson (Cornelia). Celestia left the bulk of her estate to Emma Griffin and Emma’s son Orlo Burnham Griffin their signitures are found on the documents. The story of Emma is an interesting one. In the 1850 census as part of the Seaver household is the family of Oscar Laden including his daughter Emma age 2 all of them from New York. In the 1870 Census we find as part of the Seaver household Emma Griffin age 22 born in New York and her son Arlo Griffin age 2 born in Vermont. Emma and Orlo B are again part of the Seaver household in 1880 Emma listed as age 32 born in New York. Emma L.’s death record dated May 7, 1895 lists her parents as Burnham and Celestia Seaver. It is my assumption that Emma L. was born Emma Laden and was adopted by the Seavers. Of note for Griffin family history is the fact that Emma married Samuel Griffin the son of Orlo Griffin, namesake for Orlo Burnham, and the grandson of Dorcus’ sister Sylvia Bradley Griffin.