Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Harrison Griffin, Essex, Vermont, 1813-1895

Harrison Griffin was the youngest son in the family of Samuel Griffin and Sylvia Bradley. There are no surviving records that supply us with his date of birth. The census records indicate that he was probably born in 1813 in Essex, Vermont. There is a commonly used date of death for Harrison December 12, 1890. Family tradition suggests that at the time of his death he was living in Colchester. There is a strong argument against the 1890 date. His wife Sylvia’s date of death was in 1895. In her death record she is listed as “married.” That document argues that Harrison died after 1895. Also there is a letter written by his brother, Albert, to his son, Charles, also dated in 1895, that referenced a living 82 year old brother Harrison. By 1890 and beyond both Colchester and Essex were keeping very detailed death records. It is easy to find the death records for both of Harrison’s wives but there is no record in either of those places for the death of Harrison Griffin. The same is true for his burial location. ---------- Harrison grew up on his father’s farm in the area know as the Lost Nation. By the time he was a teenager his father had amassed several hundred acres of farm and pasture land. The family history indicates that the Griffin’s were a typical farm family. This means that Harrison grew up working side by side with his siblings. The surviving family letters paint a picture of a very close family of modest means. The one thing they seemed to be rich in is foodstuff. There are descriptions of fruit orchards and maple groves. There are discussions of sheep herds. In surviving family letters there are wishes that the missing sibling were there to enjoy a good ham and beans supper. There are letter entries discussing the best potato varieties. One of the constant themes in the extended family is a reference to cutting timber and clearing new land. ---------- Harrison made his first land purchases from his brother Orlow and his father Samuel. Harrison bought and sold property until he settled on a farm in what is now Essex Junction. The farm was centered on the adjoining lots 28 and 33. You can find Harrison’s farm identified in the 1869 map of Essex. One of the landmarks for his property is the location of the Griffin School. In 1853 Harrison and Phebe Griffin sold a portion of their property to School District No-2. ---------- There are a number of purposed locations for the marriage of Harrison and Phebe S Larkin. We have posted a copy of the original marriage certificate below. The record is found in the Williston town records it is dated “This 6th day of Oct. 1841”. It is between Harrison Griffin of Essex and Phebe S Larkin of “Beekmantown in the State of New York”. ----------- Most of the current family histories for Harrison and Phebe are unclear on where Phebe was born and who her parents where. In her death record for example in the section that usually lists a person’s parents a listing, which often includes a mother’s maiden name there is only written “Larkin”. ---------- The hint for finding Phebe’s family is the hint of Beekmantown, N.Y found in her marriage record. It may seem out of place for a marriage in Williston, Vermont to include a person from Beekmantown, N.Y. until you refer to a map. On a map you will see that Beekmantown was located on the New York side of Lake Champlain across from Burlington and Essex. ---------- From the records of upper New York there are detailed well-documented records for the family of Hiram Larkin and Mary Marshall. The records include that of their daughter Phebe Sophia Larkin born in Beekmantown February 2, 1823. ---------- If you reference the history of Hiram, looking on web sites such as Ancesrtry.com, you will find posted a copy of his will. In the will he references his grandchildren, Ella and Ida Griffin who we recognize as the daughters of Harrison and Phebe Larkin Griffin. --------- Childbirth was not kind to Harrison and Phebe. There are five small headstones in the Griffin Plot in the Essex Common Burial Ground that reference Harrison and Phebe S Griffin. ---------- Griffin, infant son, June 18, 1842 ---------- Griffin, infant son Oct 12, 1843 ---------- Griffin, infant son Sep18, 1844 ---------- Griffin, infant dau June 21, 1845 ---------- Griffin, infant son Mar 5, 1848 ---------- The couple eventually had two daughters, Ella P Griffin born November 4, 1851 and Ida A Griffin born September 1855. There is a listing for Harrison, Ella and Ida Griffin in the school records in Essex. ---------- Phebe S Griffin’s death record, at the age of 34 years and 13 days, is found in the Essex town records. It is dated February 21st 1857. It lists the cause of death as ‘consumption”. There is evidence that whosoever supplied the vital information to the town clerk did not have much to offer. Under place of birth they entered “Essex” and under “Parents” they simple entered “Larkin” instead of the usually definitive identify found in most death records. ---------- We find a marriage record for Harrison Griffin, age 44, born, Essex and Sylvia M Baker, age 36, born Colchester, in the Colchester, VT town records. The marriage certificate is dated September 22, 1857. ---------- Found in the Essex town records is a birth record for “Dan B Griffin”. It is dated March 18 under the year 1860. Dan’s parents are identified as Harrison Griffin & Sylvia Baker. Likewise under the year 1863 we find record for the birth of Mariah E Griffin. The date is March 15. Mariah’s parents are identified as Harrison & Sylvia Griffin. ---------- There is a death record for Sylvia in the Essex town records. It is dated September 6, 1895. She is listed as Sylvia M Baker Griffin, age 73 years 5 months and 5 days, Female, married. Born in Colchester her parents are listed as Elisha and Melissa Baker. ---------- Harrison and Phebe are recorded in the 1850 Census in Essex. We find Harrison’s family living in Essex in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census records. In the 1870 census we find listed in the household of Harrison and Sylvia Griffin, Ella-18, Ida A-14, Dan B-10, Maria E-7. ---------- In a letter written to his brother, Albert, dated April 4, 1871 Harrison wrote, ---------- “I have two girls, one past 19 and the other past 15 by my first wife & one boy past 11 and one girl past 8 by my 2 wife”. ---------- The 1880 Essex census lists the household of Harrison and Sylvia Griffin and their two children, Dan and Maria. Living next door we find the household of Miles Cunningham and his wife Ella. We find a marriage record in the Marriage Index of the Burlington, VT town records for a Miles Cunningham and Ella Griffin dated September 25, 1876. Ella and Miles raised a family of six in Burlington, VT. Ella’s death recorded is found in the Burlington town records. The record provides a date of birth, November 4, 1851 and date of death December 11, 1917. Her parents are listed as Harrison Griffin and Phebe Larkin. --------- We have been able to trace a marriage record for Ida in Massachusetts. The marriage is registered in Clinton, Worcester, Mass. Dated July 20, 1878 it is between Ida A Griffin, age 22, born Essex, VT, parents Harrison and Sophia and George L Taylor also age 22 of Massachusetts. Ida and George Taylor made their home in Bolton, Mass. The 1900 census lists her date of birth as Sept. 1855. It also notes that she did not have any children. There is a death record for Ida in Bolton dated April 4, 1918. It lists her as “Ida A Taylor wife of Geo. Taylor”. Her age is give as, 62 years, 6 months, 6 days. (September 28, 1855) It notes that she was born in Essex Junction, VT the daughter of Harrison Griffin of Vermont and Sylvia Larkin of New York. Note that she gave her stepmother’s fists name and her birth mother’s last name as well as her birth mother’s place of birth, New York. Ida was two years old at the time of her mother’s death Sylvia was the only mother she had know. --------- Dan B Griffin was born in Essex March 18, 1860. You can track Dan in the census records in Colchester. The census records indicate that he was a naturalist for the State of Vermont. Dan never married. There is a Death Certificate for “Daniel B Griffin” in the Colchester, VT town records. It lists his date of death as June 19, 1921 the son of Harrison B Griffin. ---------- Maria E Griffin was born March 15, 1863 in Essex VT. Her death record is also found in the Colchester town records. The date of record is February 5, 1898. It gives her full name as Eunice Maria Griffin; age 33 years, 11 months 5 days. It list her place of birth as Essex, VT the daughter of Harrison and Sylvia Griffin. It also notes that she was “single”.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Samuel Griffin 1776-1851 Essex, Vermont

The birth of Samuel Griffin Jun. is recorded in the ledgers of the Killingworth Congregational Second Society; the date is March 17, 1776. Samuel grew up with his ten siblings on the home lot on Roast Meat Hill Rd. His three older half sisters, Lois, Polly and Azuba were married and in their own homes by the time he was a teenager. Life in the Griffin home was probably centered on the large room that made up most of the first floor of the house. A large fireplace, that covered much of one wall, dominated the room. All of the family’s meals were prepared in the fireplace. During the rest of the day it served as the heat source for the home. In the evening I suppose that it provided the light for schoolwork. ---------- Samuel’s father made his primary living in his joiners shop. The homes in Killingworth are all wood frame houses. There is a rich tradition of fine woodwork in their exterior trim and interior finish. Lumber is a common asset listed in many of the wills I have reviewed in Killingworth. All of this speaks to the Griffin boys helping their father in his carpentry business. ---------- The original home lot was surround by a modest amount of farmland. I am sure Samuel was involved in all of the activities that a farm boy is usually exposed to. You can still identify the foundations for a barn and a corncrib on the home lot. The living history of Killingworth is filled with stories of butchering hogs and making sausages. There are reference to fruit trees and cranberry bogs and mince pies. In the history of the extended Griffin family there are references to cider presses. Milk and cheese were surly a part of everyday fare. The animal power to run the farm is more likely to have been oxen than horses. In the wills and land deeds it is common to find references to acreage dedicated to pasturage. With six brothers in the household it is quite likely that there was enough rough and tumble to suit any young man trying to measure his boundaries. ---------- Life in North Killingworth was centered on the Congregational Society. His father Owned the Covenant meaning the family were members in full standing. Sundays involved going to a series of meeting that took up most of the day. Society records noted that one of the activities that the society was involved in was managing the local schools. His firm signature that is found in the deed records is an indication that Samuel spent some time in those schools. It is my own personal fantasy to imagine the boys sitting by the fireplace listening to the stories told by their father of his exploits in the French and Indian War as he worked his loom. --------- Samuel’s Aunt Thankful Griffin Buell and her large family lived a short distance down Roast Meat Hill Rd. In addition his uncle James and his family lived in South Killingworth. Given all of the hints of the closeness of those early New England families I am sure Samuel enjoyed a good deal of cousin time. ---------- It was the young men of Samuel’s generation who were faced with the reality that the continuous expansion of Killingworth has reached its inevitable limit. For the young men of his generation the oldest son inherited the family farm and the rest of the boys in the family turned their eyes elsewhere to make their fortune. For the young men of Killingworth elsewhere was New Hampshire or Vermont. ---------- Joel and Asahel were the first to leave. They are listed in the 1790 census in New Haven, Addison County, Vermont. John joined a group that surveyed the Essex, Chittenden, Vermont Township. With John marking the way by 1800 Samuel Griffin Senior and his three sons, Samuel Jun, John and Dan were all settled in Essex. Their sister Mercy and her husband Ithamar Pelton joined them. ---------- Samuel Griffin Sen. purchased Lot 142 in the large central valley that dominates Essex. His sons John and Dan joined him on his new farm. Samuel Jun on the other hand purchased Lot 81 in the area known as the “Lost Nation”. From the Bicentennial History of Essex, ---------- “In the western part of the town nicknamed Lost Nation by the early settlers, beginning on the Reservoir road opposite the Moses Yandow farm the first farm was settle by Samuel Griffin. His house was on a knoll on the south side of the road where the foundations are still visible.” --------- The majority of Lot 81 ran down the bottomland created by Indian Brook. While more rugged in nature the bottomland was made up of some of the richest land in the township. Both father and son acquired addition properties adjoining their original lots both eventually building up large successful farms. ( See Blog June 2014) --------- There is a headstone in the Essex Common Burial Ground that puzzled family historian for a long time. It sat next to Samuel Griffin Senior and his wife Mercy. It is damaged and hard to read. A transcription read, --------- ” Zilpha Griffin – June ye 11, AD 1799– In memory of – wife of Samuel Griffin Jun’r- in the 48 yr of her age. “ --------- The listed age of “48” did not compute if she was the wife of our Samuel Griffin Jun. The mystery was solved with the discovery of a set of records documenting the family of Samuel Buell found in the Essex town records. The record listed the death of Zilpha Buell on June ye 11, 1799. A bit of basic research on the family of Samuel Buell reveled the fact that he had lived in Killingworth Connecticut with the Griffins. The baptism of his daughter Zilpha is record there on Aug 12, 1781 making her age 18 not 48 at the time of her death. ---------- Thus it appears that Samuel Griffin married Zilpha Buell in Essex in 1798/99 with her death following soon after. After her death Samuel took as his second wife Sylvia Bradley the daughter of one of the most prominent men in Essex, Deacon Samuel Bradley. There is no record of their marriage but it probably occurred in the spring of 1800. --------- The birth of Sylvia Bradley is found the land records in Sunderland, Vermont. It notes that “Silvey” was born Feburary 23rd, 1783, the daughter of Samuel Bradley and Abigail Brownson. Her father moved the family to Essex in the 1790s. ------- Samuel and Sylvia built up a large farm that seemed to be quite adequate in its ability to provide for their needs. Life was such that Samuel was able as an older man to join in the fight during the War of 1812. We can find in the military records an entry that reads, --------- “Samuel Griffin 3 Reg’t (Tylers) Vermont Private” ---------- Samuel and Sylvia had nine children together all of whom survived to adulthood. The children are listed in the baptismal records of the Essex Congregational Society; Zilpha, Philemon, Minor Bradley, Orlo, Albert, Harrison, Sylvia, Lois Rosette and Electa Celinda. ---------- The first child born in the family was a daughter who they named Zilpha probably born about 1801. I find it curious that Samuel would ask his second wife to name a daughter after his first wife. Zilpha married David Day III. They had a family of eleven losing all but four of their children at an early age. The family lost two boys, Edgar and Albert in the Civil War. Zilpha and David also died young. They are buried in the Essex Junction Village Cemetery. Her headstone reads,” Zilpha Day Died 15 Feb 1843 wife of David Day III”. David died in 1845. --------- Philemon was born September 4, 1803. There are a few land deeds between Philemon, the oldest son, and his father Samuel as father tried to help a son get a start in life. Consumption took Philemon at an early age. From the Burlington Sentinel, --------- “In Essex, April 15, of consumption, Philemon Griffin age 25 years. --------- His headstone reads, --------- “In Memory of Philemon Griffin who died April 15, 1829 in 26 year of his age”. -------- Philemon married Anna Mariah Sanford. There is no evidence that the couple had any children. Anna eventually remarried. --------- Minor Bradley Griffin was born probably in 1804. He carried his mother’s maiden name. Minor too was destined to die as a young man. His headstone reads, --------- “In Memory of Minor Griffin who died Oct. 2, 1830 in the 26 year of his age.” --------- Minor married Sarah Ann Hinckley. Again there is no evidence that the couple had any children. --------- Orlow Bronson Griffin was born in March of 1807. His marriage to Hannah Thompson is found in the Vermont Sentinel, --------- “Essex, VT Orlo B Griffin and Hannah K Thompson married 16 Apr 1830”. --------- Orlow and Hannah had 15 children together six are buried in the Griffin family plot in the Essex Common Burial Ground as unnamed infants. Two other children died at a very young age. Orlow purchased a three-acre home lot from his father near his father’s house. It is my read on history that they farmed in concert with an eye toward Orlow eventually taking over his fathers land. However fate intervened with an early death for Orlow. He died June 6, 1851 at the age of 44. We have a number of postings on the Blog for his son David Brainard. -------- The next child born in the family was Albert Bailey Griffin. Albert carried his grandmother’s family name. Albert was born February 28, 1809. Albert married Abigail Varney from Colchester in about 1825. The couple had three sons, Sidney who lived until the age of four, Albert Bailey who survived only a few days and Charles Emerson. Albert was the only sibling to leave Essex moving to Munson, Ohio. In Munson he joined with the Mormon movement. He eventually moved to Nauvoo Illinois and then became a part of the Mormon migration to the Rocky Mountains and Utah. In Utah Albert participated in the Mormon tradition of polygamy taking as a second wife Laura Emily Beebe. The couple had seven children together. Albert is buried in Kanarraville, Utah his death occurring February 11, 1896. --------- In 1895 Albert wrote a letter to his son Charles in which he related elements of his family history; --------- “I was born and you was in Essex Chittenden Co. Your mother was born in Colchester Chittenden Co. joining Essex on the West. Colchester lays on Lake Champlain joining Burlington city and Essex to. Your grandfathers folks were Quakers ( refering to his wife Abigail) ---------- I got a letter from my brother Catty Harrison he is a cripple with rheumatism 82 years old. My sister Lois Rosetta Hunt lives in Essex very poor heath. Electa Celina my youngest sister lives in Nebraska were a number of Counties have lost their crops and have to be helpt. Sylvia Fuller and her husband are both death the lived in Essex.” A photograph of Albert is posted below. --------- Harrison Griffin was born in 1812/13. Harrison married Phebe S. Larkin. Together they had seven children. Of the six children only two survived to adulthood, Ella and Ida. There are five small headstones in the Griffin family plot in the Essex Common Burial Ground that lists 4 unnamed sons and one daughter the children of Harrison and Phebe Griffin. --------- After Phebe’s early death Harrison took Sylvia M. Baker as his second wife. Together they had two children Dan and Mariah. There is a family history for a date of death for Harrison December 12, 1890. The death of both of his wives is duly recorded in the Essex town records but there is no such record for his death. There is also no record of his place of burial. However there is evidence that he was still living at the time of his wife, Sylvia's, death in 1895. In that same year, 1895, his brother Albert made reference to his still living 82 year old brother Harrison in a letter to his son Charles. An item found in the Death Certificate for his son Dan, identified as Daniel B Griffin, noted that he was buried in Essex Junction. There is no record for Dan in the Essex Junction cemeteries. When the original township divided between Essex Center and Essex Junction Harrison’s farm was found in Essex Junction. I have a suspicion that on that property is a small family graveyard. Harrison helped manage his mother’s affairs in the later years of her life. -------- Sylvia G Griffin was born November 26, 1814. In 1840 she married Willard Fuller. The couple had five children together. Their primary residence was Cambridge, Vermont. Her death is found in the Essex town records under the year 1890, ---------- “December 12- Sylvia Griffin Fuller- female- married-heart disease- (Born) Essex- Samuel & Sylvia Griffin”. --------- Sylvia is buried in the Essex Junction Village Cemetery. --------- Rosetta Lois Griffin was born March 30, 1818. She married Eleazer Hunt. The couple had five children. Evidence from the land records indicates that the Hunts purchased land from her father. Her death is recorded in the Essex town records. It is found under the year 1898, “Feb 25-Lois Rosetta Griffin Hunt”. It lists her age as 79 years, 11 month and 7 days. Her cause of death is “Exhaustion “ from the results of a broken thigh. Her parents are listed as ”Samuel & Sylvia Bradley Griffin. She is buried in the Essex Common Burial Ground. Rosetta kept up a lengthy correspondence with her brother Albert in Utah. From one of the letters; --------- “I am blest with a kind husband good home and enough of the world to make me comfortable which is worth a great deal to me ………dear brother let us live the life of the Christian that we may dwell together in the world to come is the prayer of your sister it is the heart that God looks at and not the name. I enjoy the peace of mind that this world can neither give or take away and it is a help to me in getting through this world of sin and sorrow.” --------- Electa Celinda Griffin was born October 21, 1820. Electa married Chauncy Wolcott. The family had three children together making their home in Colchester. Electa described herself in a letter dated September 12, 1882, --------- “I am quite fleshy you see. I weigh 182lb short and stubby, pretty fair looking they say for a women of 62 years old the 21st day of Oct.” --------- Chauncy died in 1885. After his death Electa followed her two children, Sarah and Sidney, to Webster County, Nebraska. Some family tradition places her death in Mt. Clare, Nebraska sometime after 1889. However there is a letter that she wrote to her brother, Albert that is date January 1895. In the letter she provides some details of her life. After the death of her husband, Chauncy, Electa made the move to Nebraska. She wrote that she lived alone in Cowles, Nuckolls Co. Nebraska for six years before remarrying. She identifies her new husband as Mr. Conant. In the 1895 letter she wrote that they had moved from Cowles to Mt Clare, which was 14 miles north. Those towns are now located in Webster County Nebraska. --------- From the surviving family histories and traditions and a collection of letters that have survived written to Albert in Utah by his siblings we get a picture of a very close knit farm family of modest means. In letters addressed to Albert later in his life we read such sentiments as, “Yours with a sisters love”, “ My long absent but not forgotten brother”, “I received a very kind letter from you in due time …. Will you imagine my joy at reading a few lines from you, it really did seem like old times, I clasped it to my lips and raised my heart in prayer to God, to thank him for once more hearing by letter from you”. The sources describe a farm that had cattle, sheep and hogs. There are references to fruit trees and maple groves. The deed records show that the family had the means to continually acquire additional property as they expanded their holdings. We have descriptions of old houses and new houses as the family upgraded its living conditions. Everywhere is the description of cutting timber and clearing new land. The children all seemed to have an attachment to the family farm. The deed records show that they all sought to purchase a part of the farm from their father later in his life. --------- Religion was also a strong theme in the family. Many of the letters exchanged between the siblings have a religious tone. All of the children were baptized in the Congregational Society. But, we also find in the Congregational records a notation that each of the Griffin’s had had “Fellowship Withdrawn” in 1844. It seems that the Griffin family had all joined the Methodist congregation led by family friend George Whitney. (Blog April 2016 Griffin’s at Butlers Corners) ---------- Samuel Griffin died September 19, 1851. His wife sent the news to her son, Albert, living in Utah via a letter; ---------- “Underhill, VT May 30, 1852 --------- Dear Beloved children I now will try to write a few lines to let you know that I have not forgotten you o, No your mother has not forgotten you altho time seems long and the distance great yet tis good to received a letter from you tho directed to Harrison. Was glad to hear that you were all well now. Albert you understand that there has been great changes in your family, yes indeed there has. Your father is no more with us he fell asleep in Jesus we trust last Sept 19th. He was worn out by sickness pain and ditness, he made his will and fixed the affairs to leave. Sold the land, some to Orlo’s two boys and some to Wolcott and took notes for cash but reserved a home for me in the house that you built having settled his business he said I give all up. I give myself up I shall soon know what it is to die. You may wonder why I am at Underhill, well I will tell you, Sylvia Fuller lives there and so I live with her and family. I came here last Jan. my health is not very good I feel the infirmities of age hasting on and soon, very soon, I shall be gone when a few more greifs I have tasted, but I will not murmur nor repine. God has lead me through so far and I trust myself with him, he is the same yesterday, today and forever, yes Albert although I may wander and stray yet God is true and has marked out the way that we should follow his steps and has said be thou faithful unto death and he will give a crown of life. This from your mother and friend Sylvia Griffin.” ---------- In his will ( Blog May 2014) Samuel names four of Zilpha’s children, Edgar, Ellen, John and Albert Day. He names Orlow’s two boys, David and Henry. He does not mention all of his other grandchildren. The logic seems to be that these grandchildren had already lost their parents and a grandfather was looking after their interests. He names three of his children, Electa Wolcott, Sylvia Fuller and Harrison Griffin. ---------- Sylvia Bradley Griffin died February 10, 1873. Samuel and Sylvia are buried in the Essex Common Burial Ground. They are buried in a row with Orlow, Philemon and Minor. The Griffin plot is also populated with small headstones marking the burial place of their numerous grandchildren who all died in infancy. Samuel’s parents, his brother John, and two of his children, and his first wife, Zilpha are buried together in a separate part of the Cemetery.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Eber L Bradley 1828-1910

Eber L Bradley left behind a very small documentary footprint. One of the few documents for him is the 1910 census taken in Malheur City, Oregon. The census records an Eber Bradley, age 81, born in Ohio, his father born in Vermont. Making the connection between the Eber from Malheur and the Eber the son of Eber Bradley born in Butler County, Ohio would be almost impossible if it were not for a very nice little biography written of him in a Malheur County History. According to the history Eber moved to Malheur in 1867. This raises the question, Why does he not appear in other census records. The answer lies in the fact that Eber was the census taker for Malheur. If you look at the 1880 and 1900 census pages you will see that they are signed by, Eber L Bradley. It is interesting that he did not include himself in the census data. The history notes that he never married. It paints a picture of him as one of Malheur’s leading citizens. Malheur was a typical western town that grew up around a gold strike it is now a ghost town its only trace is the small cemetery the home of 160 souls one of them, E L Bradley. ---------- Eber 1828 Butler Ohio / Eber 1802 Essex, Vermont / Harding 1776 Guilford, Ct,

Monday, November 21, 2016

John Harding Bradley, 1828-1873

Eber Bradley married Elsea Rynearson October 30, 1827 in Hamilton, Butler County Ohio. The 1840 census taken in nearby Milford notes that Eber Bradley was the father of seven sons. The family history provides a list of their names ; Eber Jr., John, Frank, Fernando, Jacob, Abraham, Garrett, William and Stephen. Working backward from the few know dates of birth you would expect John to be born in 1828/1829. ---------- Census records track Eber to Huron/ Yellow Spring/ Benton, Iowa. At one time or another a single location went by those three names. The Iowa census records note that the Bradley family arrived in Iowa in 1843. A biographical note for William Bradley notes he moved to Iowa with his father in 1843. John does not appear in the Iowa census records with his father. Tracking him has proven to be a distinct challenge. Evidence for him is circumstantial. But the evidence never the less is quite compelling.--------- There is a rich trail for a John H Bradley in California. He appears in the 1870 census in Township-2 Santa Barbara, Ca. The census noted that he was 42 (1828 ) born in Ohio. That area would later become Ventura, Ventura County. John H Bradley became a well know citizen in venture. In 1871 he founded the Ventura Signal the area’s first newspaper. ---------- Probably due to his standing in the community his cemetery record is quite detailed; Born Oxford, Butler, Ohio, 16 March 1828. Died Ventura, California 11 September 1873. He is buried in the Cemetery Park in Ventura. Oxford and the Milford from the 1840 Ohio census for the family of Eber Bradley are subsets of the same location. There are bits and pieces of John’s history scattered on the various genealogical web sites. Most quote his grandchildren as the source of the material. Noted as John “H” Bradley in various historical references his grandchildren remember the “H” standing for Hardin/Hardon. In all likelihood the “H” stood for Harding his grandfather’s name. There is a line that is quoted from his obituary, “he removed to Iowa with his father in 1843” ---------- So he have a John H Bradley born in the same location as the son of Eber Bradley, in the year that we would have supposed, moving to Iowa with his father in the same year that history records Eber, arriving in Iowa, the bearer of a distinctive Bradley family name. What are the chances that John H Bradley is not the son of Eber and Elsey Bradley? ---------- John Bradley married Sarah Ellen (Nellie) Newby December 7, 1865 in Linden, San Joaquin, CA. --------- John / Eber / Harding / Stephen / Stephen / Stephen of Guilford, CT

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Franklin M Bradley 1831-1919

Within the family history of the family of Eber Muzzy Bradley ( 1802 Essex, Vt) and Elsa/Elsey/Eliza Rynearson is a list of their 9 sons. Eber, John, Frank, Fernando, Abraham, Jacob, Garrett, William and Stephen. The census records support the existence of the 9 sons. The 1840 census, which lists seven sons (William was born 1842, Stephen 1844), and the marriage record for Eber and Elsa (1827) identifies Butler County, Ohio as the birth place for the first eight sons. The 1856 census for E. M. Bradley taken in Huron, Iowa provides the names and age for the last six. Clearly identifying the first three sons poses a challenge. This is certainly true for, “Frank”. ---------- As you search through the census records for possible candidates for an older Frank Bradley you find a “Franklin Bradley” age 29 ( 1831), born, Ohio, in Benton, Iowa in the 1856 and 1860 census. Benton is the same small town where Eber is found in 1860. With a date that matches what we would expect for “Frank” and a birthplace of Ohio and residence in the same town as his supposed father it seems a pretty safe conclusion that we have found father and son. ---------- The 1856 Iowa census list the number of years each person has lived in Iowa. The census indicates that Eber and his sons have lived in Iowa for 13 years. The 1856 census for Franklin also notes that he had lived in Iowa for 13 years. ---------- The start of the Civil War in 1861 disrupted the lives of the Bradley brothers. After the war they scattered to the far parts of the western United States. Tracking where they ended up is a genealogical challenge. This is certainly true for Franklin Bradley. An easily arrived at assumption is that the brothers would enlist in Benton or Yellow Springs. However the records we find are for Bradleys, that enlisted, are in Burlington, Iowa. The explanation is found in the records of the Yellow Springs Presbyterian Church. In the records for Elsey Bradley we find a notation that she “dismissed to the 1st Congregational Church in Burlington” in 1861 thus placing the family in Burlington. Elsey, Stephen, Garrett and Abram V. are all listed in the Yellow Springs membership records. ---------- We can trace Franklin to his time and place of death using his military records. Note that information from one record can be found in the other records. These points make it easy to follow the connection between them. The records provide a physical description for Franklin, his place of birth, where and when he enlisted, the units he served in, and his time of death. ---------- We have recovered an enlistment record, ----------- “Engr. Reg’t of the West—Franklin M Bradley—Age 30 (1831), height 5 9 1/2--- dark completion, blue eyes, brown hair--- born Butler Co, Ohio---Enlisted Sept 30, 1861, Burlington, Iowa. ---------- We have also recovered a set of more detailed service records; ---------- Franklin M Bradley---Military History; Enlisted Sept 30, 1861, Burlington, Iowa, 1 Mo Engrs, Reenlisted Jan 18, 1865, 4 U.S. V.V.----Domestic History; Born Ohio, 5 ft 9 inches, dark completion, blue eyes, grey hair, place of residence, Phillipsburg, Ks.-----Date of death Oct 13, 1919. ---------- We find a record of him in the, U.S. National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers in Leavenworth, Kansas in 1919. ---------- There is also a record for his burial in the Leavenworth National Cemetery. “Bradley, Franklin M, 4 U.S.V.V. Oct 13, 1919.” ---------- The military records place Franklin in Phillipsburg, Kansas late in his life. Franklin’s father, Eber, and his two brothers, William and Jacob, are buried together in the Fairview Cemetery in Phillipsburg. In the 1900 census in Phillipsburg we find William and Jacob. Also in Phillipsburg in 1900 is a Frank Bradley born May 1831 in Ohio. It would seem a given that we are looking at three brothers. However the census records add a bit of confusion, they note that Frank’s parents were born in New Jersey. A first reading of the record would lead us to reject this Frank as our Franklin. But also note that in the 1910 census for William notes that his father was born in Kentucky whereas the 1900 census noted that his father was born in Vermont. Anyone who was studied census records understands how fickle they can be at times. The 1915 Kansas Sate census notes that the 83 year old Frank Bradley born in Ohio came to Kansas from Iowa. ---------- The 1860 census in Benton lists Franklin age 29, Nancy Jane age 26, Henry age 6, Louis age 4 and John age 1. We should also note that Louis’s full name was Louis Harding Bradley, Harding being Franklin’s grandfather’s name. Death records for Henry and Louis, who eventual made their way to the Spokane, Wash area, list their parents as Franklin Bradley and Nancy Jane Humphrey. ------------------- Franklin / Eber Muzzy / Harding Bradley / Stephen Bradley

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Union Cemetery, Killingworth, CT, the Burying Yard

The Union Cemetery sits on the Roast Meat Hill Road in Killingworth. A stone fence separates it from the home lot purchased by Samuel Griffin Jr. in 1761. It is a beautiful little spot. The first time I visited the cemetery it supported a grove of tall stately evergreens. Many were knocked over in a storm 4 or 5 years ago. It is populated with very old headstone, many very weather worn. In the oldest section many are unreadable. There are 428 souls interred in the cemetery. It was actively used until the late 1800s. ---------- We find a land deed dated in 1784 in which Samuel Griffin purchases a small piece of property from the city of Killingworth that is identified as the "Burying Yard". The property is identified as being next door to other property owned by Samuel.There is a rich tradition of family cemeteries throughout New England. It is my assumption that with the burial of his wives Marah Griffin and Mercy Nettleton and a daughter Molle in the Burying Yard Samuel saw it as an eventual Griffin Family Cemetery. ---------- At the time Samuel made the purchase there were only a handful of people buried in the cemetery probably fewer than 25. That being said it was still a well know place in the area. In the land records, land deeds are referenced by their relationship to know locations rather than specific north, south, east and west coordinates. The “Burying Yard” was a common reference point for the land deeds in the surrounding area. ---------- In one corner of the cemetery is a small collection of older headstones that the years have erased the names. I have always assumed that the Griffins are buried there. The oldest readable headstone in the cemetery is for Mary Parmelee dated in 1744. Most of the early headstones are for the Clark, Parmelee and Lane families. Samuel purchased his original home lot located next to the Burying Yard from Benjamin Turner Jr. Benjamin’s father is buried in the cemetery he died August 31, 1751. Benjamin Turner Sr. was given the original land grant for the property that included the Burying Yard and the original Griffin home lot. It is my guess that it was he who started the cemetery. ---------- The cemetery has a strong connection to the Congregational Society. The Reverend William Seward, who officiated for the marriages of Samuel Griffin Jr. and his three wives, Marah Griffin, Mercy Nettleton and Mercy Bailey, is buried there. The Rev. Seward also baptized all of Samuel’s children. ---------- “Rev William Seward, died Feb 5, 1782, age 70.” ----------- We have made reference many times to Deacon Abraham Pierson and his influence in the Congregational Society that was home to the Griffins. He is also buried in the Union Cemetery; ---------- “Deacon Abraham Pierson, Rev War, died May 11, 1823, age 67 yrs”. ---------- Also buried in Union cemetery is Samuel’s sister Thankful Buell and her husband Nathan who died quite young in 1770, ---------- “Thankful Buell, wife of Nathan, died Feb. 16, 1816, age 85 yrs”. Her headstone is the last one posted. ---------- The Buell family lived but a short distance away on Roast Meat Hill Rd. The large Buell home was a local institution. It served at times as a tavern and a meeting place. ---------- In addition to Samuel’s family a good portion of his son, Worden’s, family is found in the Burying Yard. The headstones of Worden and his wife Rhoda Hull are found just over the stone fence from the home lot nestled up under one of the large trees. ---------- “Worden Griffin, died Feb. 17, 1847, age 75 yrs.” ---------- “Rhoda Griffin, wife of Worden, died Dec 9, 1848, age 75 yr.” ---------- Worden’s son Harmon and his wife and children are also buried here. ---------- “Harmon Griffin, died Feb 20, 1860, age 59 yrs.” ---------- “Betsey M. Griffin, wife of Harmon, died Feb 7, 1847, age 39 yrs.” ---------- “Charles H. Griffin son of Harmon & Betsey m., died Jan 15, 1829. ---------- “Eliza M. Griffin, daughter of Harmon & Betsey M., died Apr 11, 1830, age 28 days.” ---------- With the death of Harmon the Griffin family name ceased to exist in Killingworth Connecticut. By the time of his death Harmon and his father Worden had amassed about 500 acres surround the original home lot. ---------- Worden’s daughter Mercy Griffin and portions of her family are also buried in the cemetery. ---------- “Mercy Stevens, wife of Daniel died Jan 15, 1861, age 62 yrs.” ---------- “Daniel Stevens, died Mar 25,1866, age 71 yrs.” ---------- “Ellis M. Stevens, son of Daniel & Mercy Stevens, died June 2, 1839, age 9 mos.” ---------- “Harmon L. Stevens, son of Daniel & Mercy, died Apr 15. 1842., age 6 Yrs.” --------- Ellis and Harmon share a headstone. --------- Mercy Griffin Stevens named a son Samuel Griffin Stevens. A collection of letters that we found in the Connecticut State Archives titled, “Letters home to Daniel Stevens of Killingworth” provided us with rich insights into the Griffin family life in Killingworth. There are several essays on the Blog based on material from those letters. They introduced us to the family of Mercy Griffin Stevens. ---------- At some point in time ownership of the Burying Yard passed back to the city.