Sunday, June 22, 2014

William Williams and Abigail Jane Beers

William Williams and Abigail Jane Beers are my third great-grandparents.

William Williams (son of Zadok Williams and Polly Bennett) was born at Ridgefield, Fairfield County, Connecticut in January 1835/6.  His death record indicates he was 60 years 6 months which would make his date of birth January 21, 1835.  In the family record section of a Bible in possession of my grandmother and appearing to belong to my great-great-grandfather, Frank Williams, William's date of birth was January 25, 1836.  William died July 21, 1895 at Weston, Fairfield County, Connecticut.  He married December 31, 1856 at Weston Abigail Jane Beers, daughter of Anson Beers and his second wife, Rachel Squires.  Abigail Beers (known as Abby) was born June 27, 1840 at Weston as calculated from her death record.  She died August 10, 1921 at Weston at age 81 years, 1 month, 14 days.  The family record section of the Williams family Bible lists her date of birth as June 25th, 1840.

William was a miller and had moved to Weston by 1860 according to the 1860 U.S. Census, although since he married Abigail in 1856 it is probable that he had moved to Weston either before or when they married.  William served in the Civil War, enlisting on August 28, 1862 in Company E, Connecticut, 17th Infantry Regiment.  He was discharged for disability on January 17, 1863.  He also has a record of service in Company K, 6th Regiment, Artillery, New York Volunteers.

By 1870 William and Abby were living in Norwalk, Connecticut.  By 1880 they are found in the U.S. Census in Weston.

William died in 1895.  His death record states his cause of death was paralysis; duration 10 months.  He is buried in Coley Cemetery (also known as Norfield Cemetery) in Weston.

Abby Beers Williams was born and raised in Weston.  After William died she went to live with her granddaughter, Maud (Williams) Beers and Maud's husband Eugene.  Abby appears in the 1900 census living with Maud, Eugene, and their daughter Elsie (my grandmother) who was two at the time.  Abby was still living with Maud and her family in Weston in 1920.  Abby's cause of death in 1921 was listed as fracture of femur, exhaustion.  I am still trying to locate where she is buried.

Children of William Williams and Abigail Beers:

     i.  Frank E. Williams, b. 6 Nov 1858 Weston, d. 7 Aug 1910; m. 7 Feb 1877 at Wilton Belle Middlebrook, daughter of Samuel Middlebrook and Artemesia Olmstead

    ii.  Emma J. Williams, b. 29 Jan 1861 probably Weston, d. 28 Jul 1895; m. Lester Bennett

The family record section of my grandmother's Bible

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Polly Bennett and Zadok Williams

Polly Bennett and Zadok Williams are my fourth great-grandparents.  They had three sons -- Sylvester, William, and Hawley.  I have found records of two of their sons - Sylvester and William - serving in the Civil War.  The family lived in Ridgefield, Connecticut in the 1800s where Zadok was a farmer.  The details of Zadok’s life require more research.  I have not found the exact date of his birth or his death, and I don’t know the names of his parents.  It does appear that he died before Polly because in the 1850 US census she and Hawley were living in Wilton in the household of Samuel Middlebrook.  Polly does not appear in any census records with Zadok from 1850 on.

Happily, there is more information about Polly including her ancestry that includes the Bennett, Osborn, Morehouse, Keeler, and Whitney families in Ridgefield.  Polly was born in 1804 in Ridgefield, to Josiah and Rachel (Osborn) Bennett.  She was about 29 when Sylvester was born in 1833.  Son, William, was born January 21, 1835 and son, Hawley was born in 1844.  By 1870 she was living with her son, William and his wife, Abigail (Beers) in Weston.  The last record I have found her in is the 1880 census where at 76, marital status “widow”, she was still living with William and Abigail. 

It must have been a difficult life for Polly.  It seems her husband died when their sons were still young and two of those sons went on to serve in the Civil War.  I'm still trying to locate her date of death and where she was buried.  

I am descended from Polly and Zadok through their son William.


   Coley Cemetery
William Williams

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day - 2014

William Irving Pinchbeck
A photo from 1956 of my father and me.
Remembering you, Dad, on Father's Day.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wilton Congregational Church

Two of my direct-line ancestors were deacons of the Congregational Church in Wilton, Connecticut.  James Trowbridge, my 9th great-grandfather, was ordained in 1726.  James Olmstead, my 8th great-grandfather, was ordained in 1767.  I am reviewing the list of members in the Manual of the Congregational Church, Wilton, Connecticut. 1726 - 1904 to find other ancestors who were members of the church during that time.

On Sunday, June 8, 2014, I became a member of the same church.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Flag Day - 2014

Flag Day is this Saturday, June 14.  This posting is a few days early, but today I visited the Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City.  One of the current exhibitions is a display of more than forty flags from their collection.  A Flash of Color: Early American Flags and Standards shows how the design of the American flag developed.  You can read more about the museum and the exhibit here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Richard Platt (1603 - 1684)

My 11th great-grandfather, Richard Platt, was baptized on May 6 1604 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.  He was a son of George and Mary Platt.  Like his father, Richard was a tailor.

Richard sailed from London to Boston, arriving in June 1637, with a group from Hertfordshire headed by Reverend Peter Prudden.  Richard's wife, Mary (Wood), and his four children at the time, Mary, John, Isaac, and Sarah, accompanied him.  By 1638 he owned several acres of land on the south side of Chapel Street near College Street in New Haven where his property adjoined that of Peter Prudden. Under the leadership of Rev. Prudden a group of 66 men formed a church society that settled in Milford.  Richard Platt was part of that group, and he was one of Milford's first settlers in 1639.  He is honored as a founder at the Memorial Bridge in Milford.

By 1641 Richard owned house lot #38 that included four acres, one rod of land.  That lot is located on the corner of present day Cherry and West Main Streets.  Richard was chosen a deacon of the first Milford Church in 1669.

Richard and Mary had another four children after settling in Milford -- Epenetus, Hannah (my tenth great-grandmother), Josiah, and Joseph.  Richard was buried in 1684 in Milford.  He signed a will on August 4, 1683, and his estate was inventoried February 13, 1684/5.  His burial place is not known.

Today I took a drive to Milford to see the Memorial Bridge over the Wepawaug River, built in 1889, that has the memorial stone honoring Richard and Mary Platt.  I also saw the location of his house lot.

A view looking south from the Memorial Bridge.

George Hare Ford, Historical Sketches of the Town of Milford Connecticut, New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Moorehouse & Taylor Co., 1914
Donald Lines Jacobus, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield, Volume I, New Haven, CT: Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1930
Charles Platt Jr, Platt Genealogy in America from the Arrival of Richard Platt in New Haven, Connecticut in 1638, New Hope, PA, 1963
George Lewis Platt, The Platt Lineage, A Genealogical Research and Record, New York: Thomas Whittaker, 1891