Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Ellis Munroe Stevens was born in Killingworth in 1841. He was baptized in the Second Society September 12, 1841. Ellis was the son of Daniel Stevens and Mercy Griffin (Blog May- August 2012). Ellis would have spent time as a young child in the original Griffin Homestead on Roast Meat Hill now occupied by his grandparents Worden and Rhoda Griffin. I imagine that he heard the stories of his grandfather Samuel Griffin. His oldest brother was named Samuel Griffin Stevens. Ellis is the perfect candidate for a story on the Blog. He like so many of our cousins was a genuine Civil War hero. What makes his story so interesting to tell is that the letters that he wrote home while serving in the Union Army have survived. Across America there was an almost universal sentiment in each community to honor those who served and died in the Civil War. Cemeteries are filled with markers noting Civil War service. Communities commissioned memorials to be written of their young men who went off to serve. In Killingworth someone took steps to conserve the letters written home to Daniel Stevens by his sons Ellis, Emerson and Francis. They are now housed in the archives of the Connecticut State Library under the title “Letters home to Daniel Stevens of Killingworth” In addition to the letters home from the soldiers there also letters written by the rest of the family. These letters give us a first person view of life in Killingworth. The letters paint a picture of a family that was very close to each other. None of the children had made a home in Killingworth instead they had moved to the surrounding communities. From their commentary however they indicated that it was an easy trip to run into Killingworth to see their parents. Almost all of the later letters contain a plea for their by then widowed father to come for a visit. The letters paint a picture of a family that was very involved with each other in various enterprises. There are a number of letters that describe the anticipation of getting together for Thanksgiving. While the letters indicate that their father, Daniel, was a shoemaker there is ample evidence that 1860’s Killingworth was still dominated by agriculture. In one of his letters home Ellis inquires about the state of the hay harvest. There are letters from the girls reminding their father that they had dibs on some of his cranberry crop. There is mention of 2 quarts of chestnuts, picking a hill of beans and planting sweet potatoes. There are pleas to save some of the apples. In a letter from Samuel Griffin Stevens there is a reminder of their upcoming plans to butcher their hogs and plans to get together to make sausage. There is a line in a letter with the wish that Daniel was there to share in the eating of the mince pies. And always there is a rich description of what is happening in the lives of the grandchildren. The letters provide several very interesting insights. The girls of the family were in a constant state of woe for the well being of their brothers. Their sister Sabra is constant in her fears that the boys might not survive the war. There are any number of historical references to the effect that the lists of the dead and wounded published in the newspapers had on the national psyche. Imagine the effect on families as they scanned the papers to see if their kin was among those listed. From a letter written by Ellis’s sister Sabra, “He said that you had not heard from the boys. I see in the list of the wounded Ellis’s name he is wounded in the knee how bad I don’t know. Em (Emerson) I don’t know whither he is dead or alive”. The family was in a state of panic that the boys might reenlist when their initial term was up. But reenlist they did. It is easy to ascertain that their primary reason for reenlisting was for the bonus money that was to be paid. They wanted the bonus money in order to be able to support their aging father. There is almost not a letter written from the battle field that does not mention that they have or will shortly be sending money home to their widowed father. There are pleas for him to hire a house keeper for his comfort. The letters written from Antietam, Fredericksburg and Petersburg are very careful to not to describe the horrors of their surroundings to add to the worries of their father._____________________ Ellis joined the 8th Connecticut Infantry Regiment in September of 1861. The 8th became part of the command of General Burnside. From February to July of that year they were involved in the campaign to capture the forts that protected the major seaport along the coast of the Carolina’s. There are a number of letters written from Roanoke and New Bern. By the fall of that year they had moved back to the Washington DC area. In August Ellis wrote “Father I am very glad to hear from you it seems as though you spoke it to me. I am going to try to come home after Richmond is taken.” In the early days of the war it was a common sentiment on both sides that the war would not last long. There was very little appreciation for the horrors to come. In September Robert E. Lee went on the offensive and brought the Confederate Army north and the war took on a new dimension. The 8th Ct was in the front lines of the resulting campaign. They were engaged at the battle of Turner’s Gap in the lead up to Antietam. We recorded the events of Antietam on the Blog in September 2013. The 8th CT under Colonel Harland faced the full wrath of the Confederate attack in the late stages of the battle. The unit history notes of the 400 men standing in that exposed forward position 190 were killed outright. In the official reports of the attacking Confederate Army we find the following description of the attack on the 8th CT, “The fire soon became general. It was hot and rapid. The enemy returned it with vigor, and showed a determination to hold their position stubbornly.” From a journal entry of one of the survivors “Great battle fought yesterday. At about four PM we engaged the enemy with infantry. The rebels got a cross fire on our Regt. from three ways our fellows fought with undaunted bravery. John E. Tuttle my chum was shot through the bowels we held the enemy in check until reinforcements came up. We were ordered back across the river to get something to eat having nothing for three days but a few biscuits. We drawed up in line of battle across the river and called the roll our Regt. could muster but 130 men our company but 14. This morning we had fresh meat and coffee and hard bread breakfast and feel much better. This morning my heart is full of thanks to God that I am still alive.” Ellis wrote home to his father “ I am very well except a slight wound on the knee. We have had two very hard fights with the rebels and whipped them. We lost a good many men and the rebels lost a good many also. You can get the particulars of the fight in the papers better that I can write them. Emerson did not come with us as he had no shoes.” The irony of Emerson was that their father was a shoemaker. Ellis’s letters consistently understate the dangers he faced. It is hard to imagine a lead ball striking you anywhere and leaving but a “slight wound”. In a number of subsequent letters Ellis reminds the family of the fate of some of the young men from the community. But after Antietam he does not burden his father with his anguish for friends shot down in the battle. After Antietam Lee withdraws the Confederate Army south behind the river barriers in northern Maryland. In December the Federal Army attacked him in the famous battle at Fredericksburg. The battle lasted 3 days. On the first day the Federal Army forced a river crossing and captured the town of Fredericksburg. On the morning of the second day of battle he writes home to his father, “We had a pretty hard artillery fight yesterday. We have taken Fredericksburg.” During the remainder of that day the Federal Army and the 8th Ct would be on the losing end of one of the signature battles of the Civil War. The Federal’s attacked a smaller Confederate force with disastrous results. The culmination of the battle was the attack on Marye’s Heights where the Confederates, standing behind a rock wall, inflicted terrible casualties on the Federals. The 8th Ct was deployed to draw troops away from the main attack on Marye’s Heights. The Federal Army was forced to withdraw, having suffered over 12, 000 casualties, killed, missing and wounded. Ellis and Emerson were both listed among those wounded. In a letter home that January Ellis describes their “New Years supper” “I had some baked meat baked in an old Dutch Oven some turnips and potatoes smashed, some fried onions and some butter some condensed milk and coffee.” Soon after Fredericksburg Ellis joined the Quartermasters Corps as a Sergeant. The transfer may have been a reaction to his having been wounded. The move to the Quartermasters Corps took him out of the front line fighting. He reported to his father that one of his roles was as the unit postmaster. It appears in the letters that he took advantage of his role as postmaster to keep tabs on his brothers Emerson and Francis as well as all of the solders from Killingworth. He ended the war serving with the units in front of Richmond and Petersburg. His marriage to Sarah M. Burr age 20 of Haddam is found in the Haddam town records dated January 24, 1864. Ellis M. Stevens is listed as age 23 from Killingworth. His occupation is listed as soldier. The war would come to an end in April of 1865. _________________________Ellis and Sarah made their first home in Haddam where their first three children were born. They eventually ended up in North Branford where they began farming. There is a description of Ellis’s farm in an 1880 agricultural census. The census listed 30 acres tilled, 30 acres permanent meadow, 25 acres mowed and 12 acres of hay along with two horses. Looking at the census Ellis’s farm was somewhat larger than most of his neighbors. In North Branford two more children were born. Ellis died at the young age of 41. The detailed death record dated April 22nd 1882 included the following information; Ellis M. Stevens, age 41 years 6 months, married, born Killingworth CT., died North Branford, father Daniel Stevens. His cause of death is listed as “Cardiac Rheumatism.” Modern rheumatic heart conditions are more often than not the result of a bout with infection. It is my guess that Ellis died a young man from the lingering effects of his battlefield wounds. Ellis is buried in the Bear Plain Cemetery in North Branford. His headstone reads, Ellis M. Stevens, Q. M. Sergt. 8 Regt., Conn. Vols, Died, April 22, 1882._______________________ The 1880 census taken in North Branford shows Ellis and his family; Ellis age 39, Sarah M. age 37, Elbert W. age 13, Flora B. age 10 and Willie E. age 2 months. Although the 1880 shows but three children there were actually five children born to Ellis and Sarah. In the town records for Haddam we find a birth record dated October 27, 1866. It notes the birth of a male child born to Ellis M. Stevens age 26, of Killingworth and Sarah M. Burr age 22, of Haddam. The 1880 census identifies the child as Elbert W.. When Elbert was baptized into the Congregation Society in Middletown as an adult the baptismal record identifies him as Elbert Wilmer Stevens son of Ellis M. & Sarah, born in Haddam Oct. 27, 1866. Elbert is buried in the Old Farm Cemetery in Middletown. His death is recorded as April 30, 1940. ________________ The 2nd child born in Haddam was a “F” born January 3rd 1868. Under the heading of, name, the clerk wrote “maiden name”. History seems to indicate a daughter who did not survive very long probably name Sarah after her mother. _____________ Also in Haddam is the record of another female child born March 12, 1869. This is the Flora B. found in the 1880 Census. The town record also denoted that she was the “3RD” child born into the family of Ellis M. Stevens and Sarah M. Burr. Flora’s headstone is also found in the Old Farm Cemetery in Middletown. There is no date given. She is present in town records as late as 1931. Her headstone records her name as Florence B. Fowler Stevens. Flora had married Nathan Fowler. ____________________ The birth of the next child in the family is found in North Branford. Dated July 22, 1874, Adelmer, born to Ellis M. Stevens age 34 and Sarah M. Burr age 31. The clerk noted he was their 4th child. Adelmer’s death is recorded as October 8, 1874 at the age of 2 months. ______________ The 5th child, according to the Clerk’s record, was also born in North Branford. Willie Elmore was born March 29, 1880. In the 1900 census he is part of his sisters Flora’s household. The census taker listed his name as William E. Stevens age 20. __________________________ After Ellis’s early death Sarah remarried. Sarah is buried in the Burr Cemetery in Haddam next to her parents Nelson and Rebecca Burr. Her headstone reads, Clark, Sarah Burr Stevens, wife of Charles A. Clark, died 1903.________________Ellis / Mercy Griffin / Worden / Samuel / Samuel Griffin of Killingworth
Monday, August 18, 2014
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, 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 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
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.
Sunday, August 10, 2014
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.