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King revived

12 Jan 2018

I was looking at this site and discovered something forgotten: A draft of a blog post nearly 3 years old. I think I was holding off on completing it and posting it pending, I hoped, confirmation John COOK’s wife was indeed Barbara KING. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten that confirmation.

Well, with some light editing, here it is:

I went through the deed records for the 28 Chenango County land transactions involving Charles KING I could find. In most of them the parties of the first part — the grantors — included the wives. They were never included in the grantees, though. Which probably says interesting things about societal views of both women and property, but let’s not get into that.

In two land sales in 1812, and the aforementioned one in 1817 (with most of the children of Gideon and Jane COOK as grantors), Charles’s wife is listed as Susannah. There’s one sale in 1819 (the aforementioned one with George KING, John COOK, and two others) where no one’s wife is mentioned. Then in all but two of Charles’s twelve sales from 1821 on, his wife’s name is given as Sally. In one sale, in 1834, her name is given as Sarah — but she apparently signed it Sally. Then in Charles’s last land transaction, in 1843, no wife’s name is mentioned at all.

So that seems pretty clear. Charles was married first (or earlier, anyway) to Susannah COOK. Assuming for now they didn’t divorce, Susannah must have died between 1817 and 1821, and Charles married someone named Sarah, nicknamed Sally. She perhaps died in 1842 or 1843, and Charles perhaps died soon after.

Apropos of nothing, but just interesting, was a record from 1823:

Whereas Charles King… did… present a petition to John Tracy Esquire, first Judge of the Court of Common Pleas in and for the County of Chenango, showing that William R. King, late of said town and county, was indebted to him in the sum of one hundred dollars and upwards above all discounts. And that the said William R. King had departed this state, or was concealed within the same, with intent to defraud his Creditors. And also, praying for a warrant from said Judge in pursuance of the Statute in such Cases made and provided to the Sheriff of said County, commanding him to attach and safely keep all the estate, real and personal of the said William R. King in whatsoever part of said County the same might be found…

And so on, the outcome of which was that 75 acres of land belonging to William R. KING, who along with Elhanan W. KING had purchased land from George KING and who I suppose was a son or grandson of George, was seized by the county and sold to Charles, who almost immediately sold it (with George and Elhanan also listed as grantors) at a substantial profit.

Quite the family. This, and single mothers in two consecutive generations… maybe I shouldn’t assume Susannah and Charles weren’t divorced. It’d fit the 19th century soap opera they look like they were living.

All right. Still don’t have documentation of the name of John COOK’s wife but let’s just assume for the moment she was indeed Barbara KING.

In principle she could have been daughter of someone other than George KING. I don’t believe it. Who? She almost certainly didn’t marry until around 1804 or perhaps a year or two earlier, but that means her marriage to John happened while he was living in Norwich. She probably lived there too. But excluding John and George H. KING (they came from Massachusetts, not Rhode Island, and had no daughters named Barbara) and Hiram KING (John’s son, and too young), the only KING left in the 1800 or 1810 Norwich census was George. He came from Glocester, RI. He was old enough to be Barbara’s father. From the censuses it’s clear he lived very near Gideon and John COOK. So did Charles COOK, who was probably George’s son, certainly George’s partner in some land transactions, and husband of John’s sister Susannah.

I just don’t believe there was some phantom KING lurking around, providing a daughter to marry and no other trace.

So, all right, I’m taking it as more or less established that Barbara was George’s daughter. Let’s inquire into George.

As noted, there were triplets born in Scituate, RI on 25 Nov 1755: Hope, Patience, and George KING, children of Isaac KING. I don’t know what became of Hope, but Patience married Benjamin ALDRICH and, as I mentioned in a comment on my previous post, they moved to Norwich, NY! Here’s her gravestone: From the censuses it seems they didn’t live particularly close to George, but they did live in the same town.

In addition, another child of Isaac, also named Isaac, lived for a while in Chenango County. Not in Norwich, but it appears at least one and maybe a few of his children were in Norwich — an Appleby KING is there in the census for 1830 and 1840, and I’m guessing that was Isaac’s son of that name.

And there was an Isaac KING living in Norwich, in 1820, very close to George and Charles. He was a head of household. (And he was, if the census is to be believed, between 10 and 15 years of age! There were other members of the household including a woman age 25 to 44, but Isaac was named as head. Strange.) Most likely a grandson of George; named after George’s father?

But, as I said, there unfortunately is a gravestone in Scituate for George — or so it’s reported.

However, I’m having doubts. I can’t find any other good references for George’s death in 1756. I can find another listing for the same cemetery. It shows two fewer burials than Absent are the triplets’ father Isaac, and George. That site looks to be fairly carefully and thoroughly done. I trust it more. Face it, is a useful resource, but is prone to errors — if there isn’t a legible picture of the inscription, it’s best regarded with skepticism. I’ve communicated with the creator of the page for George’s grave, but she hasn’t settled my concerns.

Isaac died in 1757. He wrote a will, but he wrote it in 1752, so not surprisingly he failed to mention the triplets. His wife, Sarah MOON KING, survived him and married Joseph JENCKES. I’ve seen no mention of a will written by either that might name George, but there is mention of estate proceedings, the records of which might name next of kin.

Unfortunately I’m spoiled; for most of New York, microfilmed probate and land records are available online at Not so for Rhode Island. So to adequately research George, I’d have to do one of four things… order microfilms from Salt Lake City and view them at the local Family History Center, a painfully long, slow process; carve out time to go spend a few weekdays in the Providence County courthouse; hire a Providence area genealogist to do the searching for me… or punt until such time as the microfilms get digitized and put online. None of which, almost three years after writing the first draft of this post, has yet happened. But at least I’m posting this.




From → treetops

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