I’m looking at land records involving the SMITHs, and I found these:
- Madison County deed book B p. 83, 9 Apr 1807 Noah TORRY and Abigail his wife conveyed to Simeon SMITH of Salem, Washington County, NY, 100 acres in Lot 36. I knew Simeon SMITH [Harriet (SMITH) HOLMES's father] came from Washington County, but I don’t think I had documentation of where in that county he was.
- Madison County deed book L p. 38, 5 Dec 1810 Simeon SMITH Jr. and Phebe SMITH his wife [Harriet (SMITH) HOLMES's parents] conveyed to Asa BEAL 25 acres in Lot 25. (These records are available online at familysearch.org.) Note the “Jr.”; also note that there is no “Jr.” or “Sr.” designation on the 9 Apr 1807 transaction, nor a wife’s name.
So was Simeon son of another Simeon? In fact it looks like he was son of another Simeon who himself was son of a third Simeon:
From vital records for Warren, MA: “Simeon, s. Simeon and Lucy, Aug. 11, 1751″.
The October 1834 pension application for Simeon SMITH of Erie County, PA says he was born 1751 in Brookfield, MA [actually Warren; Simeon and Lucy moved to Brookfield by 1754 when son Joel was born]; he enlisted in the Revolutionary War in Walpole, NH; after the war he moved to Salem, NY, then Madison County, NY and lived there 8 or 10 years, then to Pembroke, NY, and finally to Erie County, PA where he was buried.
According to a researcher, the vital records of Walpole, NH show Simeon SMITH, Jr. son of Simeon SMITH
born baptized 3 Jan 1779. (These vital records don’t seem to be online.) This is consistent with the age at death of Simeon SMITH buried at Hamilton Center.
I think this (pending verification of Walpole records) is adequate evidence that Harriet’s father Simeon Jr. was the son born 1779 in Walpole, NH of the Simeon born 1751 in Warren, MA.
(Edit: Paragraph added)
As for Charles SMITH: He (or someone of that name in the 16–25 age bracket) appears as head of household in Hamilton in the 1800 census. Ephraim SMITH (45 and over) appears on the next line, and Whealer SMITH (16–25) on the next. In 1810 C SMITH (26–44) and E SMITH (45+) appear on consecutive lines, and J SMITH (26–44), S SMITH (26–44) and E SMITH (26–44) are on consecutive lines on a different page. These presumably are Charles and Ephraim, and Simeon and his brothers Ezra and John. Two D SMITHs also appear in Hamilton, on the page before C and E SMITH. In 1820 David, Charles, and Nehemiah SMITH appear on the same page, and Ephraim SMITH on the next page, but not on consecutive or very nearby lines. Simeon and Ezra SMITH appear three pages later, six lines apart.
Furthermore, the Walpole records don’t show a son named Charles. Charles SMITH, father of Edwin, was born ca. 1874. The earliest birth to Simon and Lucy in the Walpole records is 1775. It’s possible Charles was born to that couple somewhere else — perhaps even Connecticut, which is where Edwin’s brother Landon said his parents were born (in the 1880 census). But it’s really starting to look doubtful. (Edit: Sentence added.) Instead Charles, and perhaps David, are looking a lot like sons of Ephraim.
Two receipts from the estate records for David MUIR, who died in 1836 in Hamilton, Madison, NY:
(The name “H. Holmes”, with the “l”, is written on the back.) That is, presumably, the autograph of my 2nd great grandfather, the first one I’ve found.
(The name “Hanner Holmes” appears also in a list elsewhere in the estate records.) It certainly looks like “Hanner”. Could this be the same woman later known as Hannah SMITH? I don’t know when Edwin and Hannah married but their first child was born 1841.
Here’s the above signature and that of Hannah SMITH from Edwin’s estate records:
Not overwhelmingly alike and in fact the start of the H is distinctly different. Then again, there’s 32 years’ difference between the two.
I don’t know.
David MUIR owned the half of Lot 83 that includes where Nathan HOLMES Jr. was living in 1853. MUIR died intestate and his property went to his widow Ann. In 1867 Nathan’s widow, also named Ann, apparently owned part of this same land jointly with Horatio G. SHOLES. So the question: Could Nathan’s widow and David’s be the same woman? Again I don’t know the marriage date but Nathan and Ann’s first child was born 1845. From burials in Earlville Cemetery the records are as follows:
PLUMB, Beulah L. d. 13 Oct 1888 ae 54yr HOLMES, Ann, wf Nathan d. 19 Aug 1883 ae 80yr Nathan d. 14 Mar 1856 ae 45yr Mott d. 10 Apr 1866 se 21yr MUIR, David d. 6 Jan 1836 ae 34yr
I presume this reflects the layout of the graves: the HOLMES family with Beulah PLUMB (who was a daughter of Ann and David MUIR — probably — Smith’s “History of Chenango and Madison Counties” says she was the daughter of a different David MUIR, who lived in Lenox and died in 1854, but her name and age correspond to a known daughter of this David) on one side and David MUIR on the other, and no sign of a separate Ann MUIR. I’ll buy it.
The 1853 map of Hamilton, Madison, New York shows someone named HOLMES owning land southeast of Poolville, on the south of Lot 76, near though not right at where Hiram and Jerome HOLMES appear to have been living around then, and near “Mrs. CHAPEL” who I believe was the widow of Grace HOLMES’s brother Peter CHAPEL. By 1875 this property was owned by E. BRAINARD. Looking through the land records for Madison County I find a deed (book CG page 442) for the purchase of what appears to be this land by Elijah BRAINARD from Bissell R HOLMES and Catherine BOOTH.
Who was Bissell R HOLMES? I’ve never heard of him. A quick attempt to find anything about him online has turned up next to nothing, except that he appears to have gone to Janesville, Wisconsin by early 1860. A man of mystery. He and BOOTH bought the land in 1848 (book BL page 335) at which time he’s described as “of Sherburne Chenango County”. Later on he buys some land that had previously belonged to Elijah HOLMES, and another piece of land from Lovina HOLMES, both of whom seem to be connected with the Hubbardsville HOLMES family, so perhaps he was too. In which case he’s not connected to my HOLMES line.
Looking further into the wills and estate records of various SMITHs I discovered those of Charles SMITH, ca 1774–1848, and he turns out to be the father of Edwin F. SMITH! Other children of Charles are Hyleman, Landon, Alnora; grandchildren are named as is Alnora’s husband Daniel YOUNGLOVE.
From census records, Charles’s children were born in Madison County. But Landon didn’t stay there. Documents in the estate records show he was in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio, and from the census we find he was a postmaster there in 1860, and in 1870 and 1880 an ice dealer. More to the point, in 1880 the census asked for the birthplace of each person’s parents, and Landon’s parents both are said to have been from Connecticut.
And… there’s a family tree on ancestry.com that says he was a brother of Simeon SMITH; both were sons of Ephraim SMITH, who died 1822 in Hamilton Center. They don’t cite sources for the family relation, and there is no will or estate record for Ephraim in the indexes online. Ephraim, Simeon, and Charles are all buried at Hamilton Center, though (according to findagrave.com), so it seems plausible. I don’t know, but I suspect the tree was built on assumptions based on the cemetery information.
If Charles and Simeon were indeed brothers then Rosaltha (SMITH) CURTIS and Chauncey HOLMES were second cousins on the SMITH sides. Is that close enough to account for Chauncey’s visit to Rose? It’s still possible Rosaltha’s mother Hannah was a daughter of Nathan HOLMES, making her Chauncey’s first cousin on that side of the family, a more plausible basis for a visit, I’d say. But I need better evidence than that.
At familysearch.org they’ve recently put some new probate records up: Estate records for Madison County up to 1876. These are the files of paperwork associated with probate cases. The index volume, unfortunately, shows no entry for Grace HOLMES, Hiram HOLMES, or Nathan HOLMES Jr. — nor indeed anyone with the surname HOLMES who I think is closely connected to my line. Madison County is known to have a bunch of documents missing. Several years ago some boxes of old records, apparently untouched for decades, were found in the county courthouse basement. I never did find out if there were any estate records in there. The ones online were filmed in 1965.
I did find the records for Edwin F. SMITH. (There’s an index entry for his wife Hannah’s records, too, but she died in 1878 so was not included in the uploaded files.) There seems to be no mention of next of kin other than Hannah and their daughter. Hannah’s referred to by her married name, of course.
Hoping for some light on the ancestry of either Edwin or Hannah I went looking at some other SMITHs. I found the records for Chauncy D. SMITH, who died in 1842 at the age of about 31. He had a big file: about 150 images. I get the impression his probate was complicated by at least a couple of factors: his sole beneficiary was his minor child, and his executor himself died before probate was finished. In addition Chauncy’s will has been online for some time, though I’d never looked at it before. I haven’t gone through these records with extreme care (and possibly never will!) but I’ve spotted a few things of interest.
The will mentions “my three sisters Phebe Willson Harriet Holmes & Angeline Shores”, and in Chauncy’s estate records Phebe WILSON is specifically described as a daughter of Simeon SMITH. Harriet was the second wife of Jabez HOLMES. (Four years after Chauncy’s death, they had a son they named Chauncy.) Phebe WILSON appears in Jabez’s household in one census and is described as the “sister” of the head of household. At first I thought she was a previously unknown daughter of Nathan and Grace, but I soon figured out she had to be a sister-in-law, and specifically I inferred she was a sister of Harriet. I have Harriet, Phebe, and Angelina in my database as daughters of Simeon SMITH (Angelina a half sister of the other two, with a different mother), but didn’t know about Chauncy, and the evidence for this family was rather circumstantial. Now it’s proved!
Jabez HOLMES’s name turns up a couple of times in Chauncy’s estate records. Between the handwriting, the abbreviations, and the legalese I’m not entirely sure what each entry means, but it looks like the estate was making some reimbursements to him as well as to many other people. At least one receipt bears his signature.
The file also contains at least one mention of Jonathan G. HOLMES. That would have been Jabez’s cousin, or so I believe he was, who was born in Montville, Connecticut, moved to Madison County, and later on returned to Connecticut. Nothing is said here to indicate kinship between Jonathan and anyone else, though.
Another name that caught my eye was H. Holmes TREADWAY. Who was that? I hadn’t recalled encountering him before, but it turns out Henry Holmes TREADWAY was a son of Ezekial TREADWAY and Sarah HOLMES, and Sarah is in my database. She was a daughter of Samuel HOLMES and Tabitha RATHBON of Colchester, New London, Connecticut; another of Samuel’s sons, Seth, moved to Brookfield and had a large family there. Samuel was a descendant of George HOLMES of Roxbury, Essex, Massachusetts, who was born in Nazing, Waltham, Essex, England. There’s nothing to indicate any close connection with my HOLMES line — though it’d be nice to have some yDNA results to verify that!
So far I’ve seen no mention of Edwin F. SMITH. Which is good from my point of view; I’m hoping he and Harriet were not related.
Oh look, more Mayflower ancestry. Sort of. Not on the HOLMES line; it’s via my BELDENs, and that’s why it’s “sort of”, because I’ve been told my ancestor Warren BELDEN was adopted; I don’t know who his biological parents were. Anyway allowing adoption, it’s another path back to Richard and Elizabeth WARREN, and to new ancestors Francis COOKE and Hester MAHEIU (okay, Elizabeth and Hester came later on the Anne):
Warren BELDEN > Mary Gay HOAG > Eliab HOAG > Nehemiah HOAG > Rebecca MOSHER > Benjamin MOSHER > Lydia TABER > Mary COOKE > John COOKE > Francis COOKE & Hester MAHEIU; also Mary COOKE > Sarah WARREN > Richard & Elizabeth WARREN.
Aside from the confirmation of my maternal grandfather’s VAN HUSUM connection, maybe the most interesting thing in my Family Finder results is one of my “remote cousin matches” — or actually two of them, but they’re mother and son. Normally I wouldn’t pay much attention to such remote matches, but I did notice they have a surname of interest: an ancestor named Eunice CHAPEL, born about 1798 in CT and married to William Champion Brockway from Lyme, CT.
My ancestor Nathan HOLMES was born in Montville, CT, not far from Lyme, and he married Grace CHAPEL of Montville. To add to the interest, Nathan and Grace named one of their daughters Eunice.
I wrote to my match and she responded that CHAPEL is not definite for Eunice’s maiden name. One indication in favor is that in 1860, according to the census, she was visiting in the household of Ezra S. CHAPELL — who named one of his daughters Eunice. William BROCKWAY had a brother, Christopher BROCKWAY, who married Christiana CHAPEL, Jun 1806, Lyme; they named one of their daughters (wait for it!) Eunice.
Baker’s History of Montville shows only one brother of Grace, Peter CHAPEL, who I believe is likely to be the Peter CHAPEL who is buried in Poolville Cemetery, Town of Hamilton, Madison County, NY. That Peter was born April 18, 1780, and I suspect he was in Poolville by about 1810. So I doubt he was this Eunice’s father. In that case Eunice would have had to have been no closer than a cousin to my Grace.
Eunice must have been a fairly common name then, I guess, because I noticed in searching through Baker he mentions no fewer than seven CHAPEL men who married women named Eunice. So perhaps there’s less to this than it might appear. But maybe…