Wednesday, February 19, 2014
We have previously written a short history for Susan Amelia Griffing/Griffin Calhoun the daughter of Harry Allen Griffin and his 2nd wife Ursula Dickinson Wright. Susan’s only connection to her parents if found in her death record found in the Madison town records. She is listed as being age 68 on her death on April 8, 1893. The record lists her father as Harry Griffing. While the extended Griffin family uses the, Griffin, spelling, the Griffing, spelling was used in Madison. Most references to Susan use the, Griffing, spelling. As we have pursued other research projects in Connecticut we have gradually accumulated a collection of documents relating to her children. The documents shed light on family names and marriages. We have also documented the existence of another child born in the family. The marriage of Susan Amelia Griffing, of Madison, to Albert Calhoun, of Killingworth, is recorded in the Madison town records dated February 1, 1846. The defining document for the family is the 1860 census taken in Clinton, Connecticut. It lists as head of the house Albert Calhoun age 36. Susan is listed as age 37. Also listed are their children Catherine age 13, Jane age 10, Elisha age 9, Alfred age 6, Fanny age 4 and Franklin age 2. _________ A word about the Hale Collection. The collection represents the lifetime work of Charles R. Hale. Mr. Hale started his collection in 1916. To honor his father he started to document the cemetery records for Civil War Veterans. His work attracted the attention of the Connecticut State Library. With their sponsorship he devoted much of his life to collecting cemetery inscription and obituary notices. The Hale collection is a corner stone for anyone researching Connecticut history. Its true value is that it contains information found in no other sources. Many of his lists of cemetery inscriptions represent the only remaining sources for that information. The originals have been lost. As with many transcriptions the Hale Collection is troubled with errors. _____________ As part of the Civil War Collection for Clinton the Hale Collection lists the death of Alfred Calhoun “Albert Calhoun, d. Jan __ 1863, ae 38, in the Army”. The nature of the collection would indicate that somewhere in Clinton is a Civil War headstone for Albert however its actual location has been lost to us. The US, Registry of Deaths of Volunteers records his death on January 9, 1863 in Falmouth, Virginia. The cause of death is listed as chronic diarrhea. Albert joined Company G of the 15 Infantry regiment July 21, 1862. The history of the regiment lists the compensation given to the enlistees. They were to be paid $12.00 per month. In addition they were paid a state bounty of $50.00 and a US bounty of $27.00 on enlistment. For married men such as Albert their wife received an additional $72.00 per year. If a soldier had more than 2 children at home he received an additional $48.00 per year. Albert had left 7 children at home. The unit spent the first part of their enlistment as part of the defenses of Washington. In December of 1862 they were part of the command of General Burnside at the Battle of Fredericksburg. At Fredericksburg they under the units commanded by Col. Harland. Numbered in this same command were Ellis and Emerson Stevens, Susan’s cousins. We previously wrote of their involvement at the battle of Antietam. By the next January Albert was dead. In the Civil War Pension Records under the name of Albert Calhoun we find a claim filed by S. A. Bradley on December 22, 1869. By 1869 Susan Amelia Calhoun had married William J. Bradley. ____________ The 1870 census finds the family living in Essex, Connecticut. The census lists Bradley William J. age 34 and Susan A. age 42. It then lists under the last name of Calhoun, Alfred age 13, Fanny age 12, Frank age 11 and Albert age 9. It also lists Bradley Susan age 2. Gone from the list are Catherine, Jane and Elisha. Added to the family list is Albert born after the 1860 census. The inconsistency in the census dates has raised some questions. In the 1880 census, taken in Guilford, in the household of William Bradley Susan is listed as age 55. The birth record for her daughter Fanny in 1856 lists Susan Griffing Calhoun’s age at 32. Albert is listed as age 31. The date on the 1870 census was obviously recorded incorrectly. _____________We have not been able to identify Albert Calhoun’s parents. What we do know is that he met and married Susan Amelia Griffing in Madison. Clinton and Madison are on opposite banks of the Hammonasset River. The ancestral family home for the Griffin’s was in Clinton and there was still a large Griffin presence there. From our collection of family records the indications are that most of the children were born in Clinton. The first child, Catherine was born in 1847. It is hard to understand why Albert would leave behind a wife and 7 children to join the war effort. From our collection of letters from the Stevens family ( Mercy Griffin) we know that collecting bonus money for enlisting or reenlisting was important to family finances. Ellis and Emerson Stevens helped support their father by reenlisting. But off to the war he went only to die unceremoniously in a regimental hospital of diarrhea. By probably 1867 Susan had married the much younger William Bradley. The 1870 census finds the family in nearby Essex. William Bradley is listed as a member of the 1st Congregational Society of Essex in 1868. Susan joined the congregation on her, Profession of Faith, May 7, 1871. By the time of the 1880 census the family has moved to Guilford. The Guilford records contain baptismal records for children belonging to Jane, Elisha, Alfred and Franklin. Subsequent to 1880 the family spread out among the surrounding towns of New Haven and Madison. Susan and William Bradley are buried in Hammonasset Cemetery in Madison. “Susan A. Bradley_ wife of W.J. Apr 8, 1893, age 68 yrs”. William J. Bradley (CoF., 12th C.V.I.) died Aug 28, 1916. The 1900 census lists his date of birth in February of 1834. In 1895 he remarried taking a lady named Mary as his wife. ______________ The only record we have for Catherine is the 1860 census were she is listed as age 13. Her parent’s married in February of 1846 she was apparently born in 1847. By the time of the 1870 census she had left the household. Her sister Jane married in Essex but there are no records for Catherine in either Clinton or Essex. ______________ Jane E. Calhoun, named after her mother’s sister, was listed as age 10 in the 1860 census. In the Essex town records we find a record of her marriage. “ October 23, 1868, Alexander Ingraham to Jane E. Calhoun, ages 25/18. There residence listed as Ottawa County, Ohio and Essex, Connecticut. Their current residence, Middle Haddam, Congregationalist”. Alexander and Jane were very active in the Congregational congregations in each town they lived in. Jane and Alexander lived for a short time in East Hampton and Bristol Connecticut. Their first child Stanley was born in Bristol. Their second child, Lester, was born in Ohio near his Ingraham grandparents. Samuel, as noted in the 1880 census, was born in Indiana. There are some indications that Alexander worked for the railroads, which must have taken him there. By the 1880’s they were living near her parents and siblings in Guilford. The 1880 census lists them as living next door to her parents. The 1900 census lists her date of birth as February 1850. The census also notes that she was the mother of eight children. Jane and Alexander are buried in the Alderbrook Cemetery in Guilford. The Hale collection included the dates 1850 to 1910. The Hale collection for Alexander lists his date of birth as 1843 noting that he was a Civil War veteran. In the 1920’s we find him living in a veterans home in California. His nearest relative listed as his son Samuel then living in Oregon. _____________ Elisha A. Calhoun the 1900 census lists a date of birth March 1851. The 1930 census, the last record of him, has him living as a border age 78 in Madison. In 1870 while the rest of the family is living in Essex the census lists the 18-year-old Elisha living as a border in Madison working as a farm laborer. In the Guilford town records we find a record for his marriage dated January 4, 1881, “Elisha A Calhoun and Almira Stephens, 28/21. Clinton, Conn. / Guilford, Conn.” In other town and church records Almira is referred to as Almira “Stevens”. A stillborn daughter was born September 11, 1881. The couple later adopted a son listed as Albert P Calhoun in the census records baptized as Albert Griffin Calhoun in the Guilford 1st Congregational Society. From 1910 onward Elisha and Almira seem to be living separate lives. We do not have a death date or burial record for Elisha. Almira died December 14, 1917. ____________ George Alfred Calhoun, in the 1860 Clinton census he is listed as Alfred age 6. George referred to himself as Alfred as a younger man and George A. as he got older. In the Madison town records we find his marriage to Lucy M. Bailey. The record is dated September 28, 1883, George A. Calhoun and Lucy M Bailey ages 28/20 he from Clinton her from Madison. In the birth records for his children he is listed in some as Alfred in others as Geo. A. or George. The 1900 census lists his date of birth as October of 1855 Lucy’s as September 1863. The census also notes they were the parents of 3 children. The couple is buried in the Hammonasset Cemetery next to his mother. The inscriptions read, “Calhoun George A., born 1855, died 1933. Calhoun Lucy M., born 1863, died 1933. ______________ Fanny M. Calhoun listed as age 4 in the 1860 Clinton census. Her birth is recorded in the Madison town records on May 17, 1856, “Fanny M. Calhoun / F / Albert Calhoun 31, Laborer, Susan Griffing Calhoun 32 / temporary Madison”. Fanny is part of the household of William J. Bradley in the 1870 Essex census. We have not discovered any other records for Fanny. _______________ Franklin Pierce Calhoun is listed as Franklin age 2 in the 1860 census. In the 1870 Essex census he is listed as Frank age 11. Franklin’s posterity has been very active in recording his family history. From their collection we find his date of birth March 9, 1859. We find a marriage record in the Madison town records dated October 11, 1882 for Franklin P. Calhoun and Alice R. Spencer. The record lists their ages as 22/18. It lists his place of birth as Clinton and hers as Madison. The reverend W. J. Marwick records their marriage “Married at my residence”. The date is October 11, 1882 Franklin P. Calhoun and Alice R. Spencer of Clinton and Madison respectively. In the birth record for their son Albert Franklin, recorded in Wallingford, we find listed his full name, Franklin Pierce Calhoun of Clinton Ct. age 40. The 1900 census notes that he was the father of 4 children 3 still living, Florence Estella, Ether M, and Albert Franklin. The 3rd child born into the family was an unnamed son born January 8, 1893. The records would seem to indicate a stillborn child. Franklin is buried in the Alderbrook cemetery in Guilford near his sister Jane Ingraham. The Hale Collection records, Frank P., born 1859, died 1919 and Calhoun, Alice R., wife of Frank, born 1863, died 1930. ____________ Albert Calhoun. We have documented a number of times on the Blog the practice of naming a child after another child who had died at a young age. In the Calhoun family we have two sons named Albert. In the Clinton town records we find a birth notice under the year 1860, “Feb 25 / the name was left blank / Male / Albert and Susan A. Cahoon”. The Clinton town clerks misspelled Calhoun as Cahoon. In the death records for the year 1860, “March 18 / son of Albert Cahoon / M / age 28 da”. In the Hale collection of cemetery inscriptions listed after his father Albert we find “Cahoon, Albert, his child, d. Feb 12, 1860 ae 2”. While the Hale transcription has the dates wrong it gives us the name of the child Albert. _______________ William Albert Calhoun is the Albert Calhoun listed in the 1870 Essex census under the household of William J. Bradley and his mother Susan, age 9. In the Clinton town record for the year 1861 we find the record for his birth. Born March 7 a male child to Albert and Susan A. Cahoon ages 26 and 27. In the Clinton death records for the year 1877 we find the record of his death. The date was September 15. William A. (Albert) Calhoun a 15-year-old male. The record notes that he was born in Clinton but was living in Madison working as a farmer. It notes the cause of death as typhoid fever. His parents are listed as W. J. and Susan Bradley. The Hale Collection lists him next to his father and older brother of the same name, “Cahoon Albert, his s., Sep 15, 1877, ae 15”. It is my guess that his death was registered in Clinton because he was to be buried there next to his fathers Civil War marker. _______________ Susan Bradley was born in Essex February 4, 1868. The record notes the birth of a female child last name Bradley. The parents are listed as William J. Bradley and Susan A. Bradley. She is in the 1870 Essex census Susan Bradley age 2. The last record we have of Susan is the 1880 Guilford census, which lists her as age 12.______Susan Amelia Griffing / Harry Allen Griffin / Edward / James / Samuel Griffin Killingworth, Connecticut
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Submit Griffin was the daughter of Capt. Edward Griffin and his wife Submit DeWolf. Called Mitte by her father Submit was born in the Killingworth 1st Society among her grandfather James’s Griffins other grandchildren. Although we do not have birth records for Edward’s children we have been able to extrapolate their approximate dates of birth Submit’s being in about 1791. I am sure her birth was a topic of discussion in the home of her uncle Samuel living in the 2nd Society. We have previously written of Edward’s family on the Blog. The journey of discovery for Edward’s family started with his will. As we have previously noted his will is without doubt the most comprehensive will we have ever reviewed. The inheritance granted to each daughter was sufficient to give them a head start in establishing their own home when they married. Edward’s request of the executor’s of his will, who were some of the most prominent men in the area, was that they help his wife settle on a farm of her choosing that would provide for her and her children. Submit moved her family to Colebrook in Litchfield County, Connecticut. The Griffin farm became a noted landmark in the small community. We find Submit, referred to as Submit Jr., listed in the church records along with her mother and brother Edward. There is a small cross by her name, which indicates she had moved out of the congregation. We also find Submit listed with her sibling’s in the probate records. In the probate records she is listed as the wife of Martin Lawrence. The probate record notes the residence of all of the children. It notes that Martin and Submit were from Colebrook. In January of 1818 Submit sells here share of the family farm to her brother Charles. Here the story went cold. We have been able to trace all of the Griffin siblings except Submit and her brother Edward. Sources in Colebrook noted that Charles and Edward had moved to Ohio. In the 1830 census they are found in Summit County, Ohio. Recently Roberta Cole Lader, a great grand daughter of Edward Griffin, shared her discovery of the biography of John Deacon of Hudson, Summit County, Ohio. The biography provides the genealogy of his wife Julia Ann E Lawrence. John’s biography notes that Julia Ann Lawrence was born May 23, 1813 and came west with her family in 1818. Later census records identify her place of birth as Connecticut. Julia Ann’s parents are noted as being Martin Lawrence born March 20, 1793 in Dutchess County, New York, the son of Chauncey Lawrence and Sallie Clark, and Submit Griffin. _________________The 1820 census for Hudson, then Portage County, Ohio records the family of Martin Lawrence with 3 young daughters under the age of 10, and his wife. There is no biography for Martin and Submit no family oral tradition that has survived to make all of the family connections for us. The documentary trail that does exist, although vague, does provide strong hints of what became of Submit Griffin. __________ In the 1830 census Martin has moved about 15 miles to Salt Creek, Wayne County. By 1830 the family is made up of the 3 girls and has added 3 younger boys. By 1830 Submit’s brothers Edward and Charles Griffin had moved to nearby Copley. ____________The 1840 census, also in Salt Creek, shows the family reduced to 2 girls and one boy. Julia had married John Deacon in 1832. The census also records the family of a 2nd Martin Lawrence in the community a young man with a wife and young son. ____________The 1950 census was the first census that provided the names of everyone in the household. In the 1850 census for Springfield, Clark County, Ohio we find the following; Martin Lawrence age 57 (1793) Cabinetmaker, born New York. Mary Lawrence, age 49, born Ohio. Martin Lawrence, age 28, carpenter, born Ohio. Elizabeth Beal, age 20, born Ohio. Registered in the house next door is Chauncey Lawrence, age 25, carpenter, born Ohio. Chauncey’s household included his wife Sarah and daughter Cath. At first glance this census information seemed at odds with the 1840 Salt Creek census. A search of the Clark County marriage records provided the following information. Martin Lawrence, widower, married Mary Beal, widow, November 10, 1842. Martin Lawrence and Elizabeth Beal were married December 14, 1852. The marriage record noted, “He produced a decree of divorce from a former wife.” Chauncey Lawrence’s marriage to Sarah Ellen Beal is dated May 8th 1846. A review of the Wayne county records produced a marriage license for Martin Jr. and Elizabeth Reihart dated April 4, 1838, which explains the entry for the younger Martin Lawrence in the 1840 census for Salt Creek, Wayne County. ______________ Based on this information we are able to make sense of another piece of the puzzle. Roberta Cole Lader also found a cemetery record for a Submit Lawrence. In the Spring Hill Cemetery in Bath, Summit County Ohio there is a headstone for Submit Lawrence dated September 2, 1841. The cemetery records include the following; Submit Lawrence died September 2, 1841 age 49 years and 10 months. That suggests a date of birth in November of 1791. I think it is a fair conclusion that this is the burial site for Submit Griffin daughter of Edward Griffin born in Connecticut according to family history in 1791. Submit’s daughter Julia Deacon lived a few miles away in Hudson. Submit’s brother Charles Griffin owned a large farm that straddled the Bath and Copley town lines. In 1842 we find her widower husband Martin Lawrence remarrying. ___________To obtain a fuller view of the Lawrence family we need to review the 1860 census. In the 1860 census taken in Sabula, Iowa we find living next to each other the Lawrence brothers each listed as a carpenter all born in Ohio. Martin now age 38 and his wife Elizabeth Beal and their two children. Chauncey now age 35 and his wife Sarah and daughter Kate/ Cath. And the 3rd brother listed in the Salt Creek census records Horace age 30 along with his wife Rachael and their two children Emma and Edward. Julia Ann was married and living in Hudson, Ohio listed at age 47, born in Connecticut. Missing are the other two sisters listed in the earlier census records. The final piece of the documentary trail is found in the Evergreen Cemetery just outside Sabula. In the cemetery there is a headstone for Martin Lawrence. The headstone records that he was born March 20, 1793 and died January 31, 1855. Buried in a family plot is his wife Mary Prior/Beal. The cemetery records the death of Martin Lawrence Jr., March 11, 1872. Horace’s wife Rachael C. ( Taylor) Lawrence and four of Martin Sr.’s grandchildren, one a child of Horace named Mary Submit Lawrence, are also buried in the family plot. Horace left Sabula later in life he is buried in the Evergreen Cemetery in Red Oak, Iowa. The dates on his headstone read August 10, 1829 to July 25, 1912. As we have noted in our article, Griffin’s at Vicksburg, Chauncey was killed at that battle in 1863. He is buried in the Vicksburg National Cemetery. The 1870 census shows Chauncey’s widow, along with her daughter and son-in-law Eli Whitney, living with his brothers in Sabula. _____________To tell the tale of the family of Martin Lawrence and Submit Griffin we can draw on the histories written for the larger Lawrence family. Martin’s father Chauncey’s children were born in Dutchess County, New York. Chauncey joined the great migration to the Western Reserve moving his family en mass to Greene County, Ohio. His son Martin had met and married Submit Griffin in Colebrook, Connecticut. In early 1818 Martin and Submit sold their land in Colebrook and followed his family to Ohio. Submit’s brothers Edward and Charles Griffin were to follow. Martin and Submit lived for 20 years in eastern Ohio first in Hudson, later in near by Salt Creek. By 1842 they had moved to Springfield in Clark County. It seems that about the time they were preparing to move Submit passed away. They buried her in Bath near her daughter Julia and her brother Charles. By 1860 the family had moved to Sabula, Iowa a city that sits on the Mississippi River. Sabula was a town based on the lumber industry shaping the timber transported down the river from Minnesota, a perfect spot for a family of carpenters. From information gleaned from the Lawrence family history we can fill in some of the missing pieces. In the 1840 census taken in Salt Creek Chauncey is missing he was living in Springfield, Ohio with Martin’s brother Clark Lawrence. In the 1850 census Horace is missing. In 1850 Horace is living in Madison County near the rest of the Lawrence family. He is listed as part of the household of Chauncey Barlow. He is listed as age 20, single, and a carpenter, born in Ohio. Lawrence family history points out that Chauncey Barlow’s mother was Martin’s sister Polly Clark Lawrence. Horace’s marriage to Rachael C. Taylor is recorded there dated February 21, 1852. A hint at all of the family connections is found in the use of common family names. Chauncey Lawrence and Chauncey Barlow both named for their grandfather. Horace Lawrence named after his father’s brother Horace and Martin Jr. for Martin Sr. Submit’s sisters had named their children after their siblings. Submit name her daughter after her sister Julia. ___________ Submit Lawrence Griffin / Edward / James / Samuel Griffin.
Julia Ann E. Lawrence married John Deacon on April 5, 1832 in Hudson, Summit County Ohio. Much of the available information for Julia comes from the biography of her husband, John Deacon, found in the history of Summit County. John Deacon became one of the leading citizens in Hudson. His biography is one of a select few included in the Summit County History. “ John Deacon, retired farmer: One among the oldest living pioneers of this township is the above, who was born in Lancaster, Penn., Nov 28, 1802 and came out with his father, Marmaduke, in 1805 and for three-quarters of a century has remained constantly on the farm his father located on. April 5, 1832 was wedded to Julia Ann E. Lawrence who was born May 23, 1813.” The biography gives a detailed picture of Julia’s genealogy naming her parents as Martin C. and Submit Griffin Lawrence. Speaking of Martin “He was born in Dutchess Co., N.Y. March 20, 1793. He was the son of Chauncey and Sallie H. ( Clark ) Lawrence.” “Mrs. Deacon came West to Ohio with her parents in 1818 who located in this township. To Mr. and Mrs. Deacon have been born eleven children, ten living: Horace, John W., David, Emily, Cyrus B., Edmund W., Lucinda E., Lewis, Fredrick B., Louisa M., Caroline M., deceased. Mrs. Deacon has been a member of the church since 15 years of age. On account of the feeble health of Mr. Deacon the care and management of the farm has fallen upon his wife, who conducts it successfully.” On Ancestry.com we find the following post. “I now live in the house that John Deacon (1802-1884) built in Hudson, Ohio in 1847.” Ancestor.com also has some excellent Family Trees for the Deacon family. We have the death records for John and Julia that are found in the Summit County records. For John it records his death on August 22, 1884. The record notes that he was 81 years, 8 months and 22 days old at his death. It notes that he died in Hudson and was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. For Julia A. a death date of December 4, 1889 at the age of 77 years, 6 months and 11 days. It notes that she died in Alliance and that she was born in Milford, Connecticut. ________________ There is a bit of confusion surround Julia Ann. There are several different spellings for her name. There is also some confusion as to her place of birth. John Deacon in his will writes her name Julia Ann E. Deacon. John’s biography uses the same spelling. Her death record lists her as Julia A. The 1850 census uses the Julia Ann spelling. On their marriage license and in the other census records her name is written Juliann, which could be how the recording clerk heard the name. There are also variations in the place of her birth. John’s biography lists it as Cincinnati, Ohio. The biography states that she came west “to” Ohio, which would seem to indicate she was born somewhere other than Ohio. The 1850, 1870 and 1880 census records list it as Ohio. The 1860 census lists her place of birth as Connecticut as does her death record. The 1880 census lists her place of birth as Ohio, her fathers as New York and her mother’s as Connecticut. We have previously posted our history for her parents, which places her birth in Connecticut. __________ John Deacon published his will March 14, 1867. “I John Deacon of Hudson, Summit Co., Ohio do make and publish this my last will and testament.” He writes “To my wife Julia Ann E. Deacon.” He leaves to his wife all of his household goods and personal property as well as his real estate with the caveat “as long as she remain unmarried”. On her death he stipulates the following “To my son Cyrus Deacon $100.00”. He leaves Edmund the same amount. He then writes, “The residue of said real and personal estate left after the …..2 above named legacies of $100.00 is to be equally divided between, Horace L., John, Caroline Campbell, Emily Slaughterbaugh, Lucy Deacon, Lewis Deacon, Fredrick Deacon, Ida Deacon”. He notes that he had already given his son David $1,100.00. In October of 1878 he amends his will. Of the division he writes, to Horace L., Caroline Campbell, Emily E Slaughterbaugh, Lucy Eaton formerly Deacon, Lewis D., Fredrick D., and Ida Musson formerly Deacon”. He adds, “The reason of this change is that my son John Deacon has already been largely helped by me, but has made a poor use there of, and also does not treat me well”. John and Julia Deacon are buried in the O’Brian Cemetery in Hudson their graves marked by a large handsome headstone. ___________ Julia Ann E. Lawrence Deacon / Submit Griffin / Edward / James / Samuel Griffin.
The sermon, Sinners in the hands of an angry God, given by Jonathan Edwards, might be the most famous sermon preached to any Congregational congregation. The image that he presented of being suspended over the gates of hell by but a tiny thread was real to many early Americans. Religion and salvation was serious business. The names given to the girls in Congregational families also reflects such a belief system. Women were expected to be obedient and subservient. In Congregational Societies we find names such as Obedience, Patience, Comfort, Content, Deliverance, Temperance, Prudence, Thankful, Precious, Hopestill, Bliss, Freegrace, Renew, Relief, Wisdom, Grace, Felicity, Remember, Mercy, Experience, Trial, and Concurrence now Constance. Those of us who are a little older have memories of family stories of an aunt Goody short for Goodwife. A common name was Mehetable, which is Hebrew for, God rejoices. Faith, Hope and Charity names that are still commonly used invoking very different images than that held by the Congregationalists. I don’t know how to categorize such names as Freelove and Desire. There are any number of biblical names, Ruth, Ester, Bathsheba. All of these names provide a commentary on the view of women held by Congregational Societies. And yet least we gain a totally wrong impression in the 1700’s we have examples such as John Adam’s, a devout Congregationalist his father a Deacon, and his wife Abigail. Their letters reflect a marriage based on love and a deep respect for each other. John sought and valued Abigail’s opinion on some very weighty matters. Until late in the 1800’s women could not own land in their own right. We have noted several times on the blog the existence of land deeds where a daughter was left property by her father. The catch was the deed was not recorded under her name but instead it was recorded under husband’s name. In the town and church records in Congregational America women were more often than not referred to not by their own name but as the wife of their husband, Mrs. John Brown etc. A death record might read, The wife of John Brown died June 2, 1719. In church records we commonly see, The wife of John Brown was baptized August 10, 1723. As a mark of the respect she held in Killingworth Thankful Griffin Buell’s death is recorded as, The widow Thankful Buell. The other women listed nearby are listed in the manner just discussed. In my Bradley line I have a grandfather who named twin daughters, Silence and Submit. The name Submit was not uncommon. Among all of the names listed above it seems to strike the most negative cord among 20th century women. In the case of our Submit Griffin, who inherited the name from her mother and passed it on to a granddaughter, her father seems to have had a desire to soften the overtones of the name by referring to his daughter as “my Mitte”.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
We have written previously of the journey Minerva Griffin took with her family from Vermont to Fillmore County, Minnesota. We thought we would post a few of the documents from the life of this remarkable pioneer woman. Minerva’s husband David Brainard Griffin was killed in the Civil War. His collection of letters and memorabilia titled “Letters home to Minnesota” is part of the collection of artifacts at the Chickamauga Battlefield Historic Site. In the letters he refers to her as Nerva. Found in the history of Fillmore County is a brief notation “D. Brainard Griffin, of Vermont, came from Illinois, and his place was in section 15. He died in the service of his country during the Rebellion. Almon Griffin has a claim in section 16 and died during the war.” With the death of her husband and parents Minerva became matriarch to the extended Griffin clan living on one of the scattered homesteads on the Minnesota Prairie. With the aid of her two brothers, Allen and Henry, and nephew Horace Churchill, she was able to keep kit and kin together. The combined homesteads contained over 360 acres, which represent the two original grants plus additional acreage purchased by her father Almon. The plat map does not represent the original land holders but is from a much later date. She was able to maintain the homestead, passing it to her daughters in her will, which we have posted. She oversaw the marriage of her daughters Alice and Ida and the marriage of her sister Catherine’s daughters Helen and Eliza. She was to suffer another tragedy when her nine-year-old son Edgar Lincoln died by accidental poisoning on April 28, 1870. Minerva married William Andrews in 1868. Her death is recorded in the country records on February 9, 1895. The record notes her father as Almon Griffin.