Sanford – Surname Saturday

Name Origin

Sanford is an English variant of Sandford that relates to geographical locations. Possibly refers to ancestors of the Sandford parishes in Devon and Oxfordshire, a township in Berkshire or Salop or other Sandford locations.[i]

Geographical

Today the vast majority of people with the Sanford surname live in the United States. It is most common in French Polynesia where one in 864 people have the surname.

In the United States, most people with the Sanford surname live in Texas and California while it is most common in Mississippi.

My Direct Sanford Ancestors

Historical

1880

In 1880 my 3rd great grandfather, William M. Sanford, was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan. Seventy-five other Sanfords were living in Washtenaw County at the time. His father had passed by then.

1840

In 1840, my 4th great-grandfather Ezra Sandford was living in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan, along with his wife and nine children. He was one of four Sanford households in the county.

1800

In 1800, my 5th great-grandfather, Ezra Clugston Sanford, was living in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont, along with his wife and five children. He was one of four Sanford families in the county.

1760

In 1760, my 6th great grandfather, Amos Gilbert Sanford, was living in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. Ezra Clugston hadn’t been born yet, but Amos was married and had two children.

Before 1720

I haven’t had the opportunity to research my other Sanford ancestors. However, it appears that Thomas Sanford was born in Essex, England, and immigrated to the colonies in the 1600s. His son, Samuel, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1643.

So, my Sanford relatives immigrated from Essex, England, and settled in Connecticut for several generations. They then moved west, to Vermont, then Michigan, and on to North Dakota in subsequent generations.

Thomas Sanford’s Descendants

My research has identified 777 descendants of Thomas Sanford, 78 of whom had the surname Sanford. Thomas Sanford was born in 1607, and the most recent Sanford that I have a birthdate for was born in 1846.

Ancestry ThruLines indicates 34 DNA matches with Marion Sanford for which there are family trees. There is another one matching with her brother, William A Sanford, and one more through Marion’s great aunt Sally Sanford. So, I have a lot of ThruLines results to analyze.

Sources:

Ancestry – Don Taylor’s Roberts-Brown 2020 tree on Ancestry.Com.

Endnotes:

[i] Internet: Forebears Sanford Surname Definition – https://forebears.io/surnames/sanford – Accessed 26 Aug 2020.

[ii] Tentative – Amos, the three Samuels, and Thomas Sanford are all tentative ancestors that I have not thoroughly reviewed.

John Parsons, Jr. & The Family Search Wiki

John Parsons, Jr. & The Hartford – Albany Turnpike

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes, the obvious eludes me. After my first pass on an individual searching Family Search, Ancestry, and drafting up a basic sketch for an individual, I like to go to my “stage 2” activities. That is to go through my hundreds of bookmarks looking for other potential sources. Virtually every ancestor I have came from somewhere different.  For example, my eight great-grandparents were born in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

Likewise, they died in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and “unknown.” Many of my ancestors began on the East Coast and migrated west every other generation or so, to Western New York, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, the Dakotas, Minnesota, and so on to me who was born in Oregon. That results in many places for me to learn how to research. It gets exhausting and overwhelming.

The Family Search Wiki

I’ve long advocated using the FamilySearch (FS) Wiki to help find specific things. I even manage the page for Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine Genealogy. But, I never thought about using the FamilySearch Wiki as the basis for my “stage 2” research. Then, I watched a Roots Tech 2020 talk on “Unlocking the Power of the FamilySearch Wiki” and reconsidered my lists of links. I thought I’d give it a try. To start, I’d use the FS Wiki and look at the entries for the towns my ancestor of interest lived in. My current work relates to John Parsons, Jr. He was born in 1764 in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. He lived and married there. Then in 1802 moved west to Windham, Greene County, New York where he died and was buried.

This file is attributed to DiltsGD and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

The FS Wiki page for Sandisfield had this really cool little map showing the “Routes and Turnpikes” that people used to migrate to and from Sandisfield. One of those routes was the Massachusetts 10th Turnpike dated 1800. References indicated to see the map between pages 56 and 57 and to see pages 76 to 78 of The Turnpikes of New England and the Evolution of the Same Through England, Virginia, and Maryland by  Frederic J. Wood(Boston: Marshall Jones, 1919), and provided a link to the Internet Archive version online.

Besides a nice map of the area showing the pikes, the accompanying article on pages 76 to 78 provided a lot of information. The 10th Mass Turnpike Corporation was created by an act passed in 1800. It began at the Connecticut line and ran thirty-six miles. It was known locally as the “Hartford and Albany turnpike.” The date the 10th Mass. Turnpike went into service isn’t given, however, I suspect that opening up the road helped John Parsons and his family locate west to Windham, Green County, New York in 1802.

Update to John Parsons, Jr.’s Ancestry sketch:

In 1800, the Tenth Massachusetts Turnpike Corporation was created to form a link in the turnpike system connecting Hartford with Albany. Known locally as the “Hartford and Albany turnpike” the road commenced at the Connecticut line and followed the Farmington River up the valley through Sandisfield, Tolland, Otis, and Becket, thence through Lee, Lenox, Richmond, and Hancock, to the New York Line. The new pike probably played a role in John Parsons, Jr. and his family’s relocation to Windham, Greene County, New York in 1802.

There wasn’t anything else in the FS Wiki Page of interest on the Sandisfield page. I wonder if there is something of interest on the Windham page….

Ancestor Sketch – John Parsons, Jr.

Brown/Sanford/Parsons Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One of my processes is to tentatively accept conflicting data regarding an individual. As I continue my research, I look for info to help corroborate either fact. When I finally do my ancestor sketch, I analyze the conflicting facts and make a decision as to what I think is correct and provide my analysis bout what I think is incorrect and why.  In the case of John Parsons, Junior, I have conflicting facts regarding both John’s birth and his death.  But, more about that in a bit.

Roberts/Brown – Ancestor #204

List of Grandparents

  • 6 – Grandfather: Clifford Brown| aka Richard Earl Durand | aka Richard Earl Brown (1903-1990)
  • 12 – 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown(1869-1928)
  • 25 – 2nd Great-grandmother: Marion Sanford(1846- c. 1895)
  • 51 – 3rd Great-grandmother: Mary E Parsons(1828-1888)
  • 102 – 4th Great-grandfather: Chester Parsons (1799-1887)
  • 204 – 5th Great-grandfather: John Parsons, Jr. (1764-1813)
  • 408 – 6th Great-grandfather: John Parsons, Sr.
  • 816 – 7th Great-grandfather: Timothy Parsons*[i]
  • 1632 – 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Parsons*
  • 3264 – 9th Great-grandfather: Joseph Parsons*
  • 6528 – 10th Great-grandfather: William Parsons*

John Parsons (1764-1813)

Birth

John Parsons, Jr., was born on 18 November 1764, the third child of John and Hannah (Wadsworth) Parsons. Some researchers have suggested he was born in Windham, Greene County, New York[ii]; however, I’m sure he was born in Sandisfield, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. Five of John’s siblings were all born in Sandisfield, including siblings both older and younger.  John moved to Windham in 1802, so it is easy to understand how someone could have make a mistake and entered the wrong place.

It must have been exciting times that John grew up in. His father was a lieutenant in the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolution. Samuel Wolcott’s. Living in far western Massachusetts, I suspect that young John was eager for the latest in news of the Revolution.

Sadness did strike in 1777, when John was 12 years old, and his mother died.

There is probably a romantic story to find about John’s courting of Mary Wolcott, the daughter of his father’s Captain during the Revolution. In any event, although it is not clear when John and Mary married. The birth of their first child, Samuel, in April 1789 suggests John and Mary likely married in 1788. John and Mary had seven children:

Children of John & Mary (Wolcott) Parsons, Jr.

Child Born
Samuel 1789 – Sandisfield, MA
Polly 1792 – Sandisfield, MA
Orrin 1794 – Sandisfield, MA
John 1796 – Sandisfield, MA
Chester 1799 – Sandisfield, MA
Parmelia 1805 – Windham, NY
Prudence 1808  – Windham, NY

1790 Census

John and his father were both enumerated as heads of households next to each other in the 1790 Census.

Parsons, John, Jr. 1 1 1

The John Parsons, Jr. household consisted of:

  • One male 16 & older, who has to be the head of the household, John Jr.
  • One male under age 16, who apears to be Samuel who was born in born 1789.
  • One female who appears to be John’s wife, Mary.

1800 Census

By 1800, the John Parsons, Jr. household had grown.

John Parsons, Jr.  3 1 – 1 – | 1 – – 1 –

Three males under 10:   Likely Orrin (Age 5), John (Age 4), & Chester (Age 0)

One male, age 10-16:     Likely Samuel (Age 13)

One male, age 26-45:     Obviously, John Jr. (Age 36) who is the head of the household.

One female under 10:     Likely Mary/Polly (Age 8)

One female 26-45:       Clearly Mary (age 33) his wife.

In 1802 John and his family moved from Sandisfield to Windham, Greene County, New York.

1810 Census

I have searched at length for John in the 1810 Census. I have not been successful in discovering John Parsons (Jr.) in the 1810 Census. I believe he is probably living with one of his children in Greene County, New York. As such, if I research each of his wife and all of his children, I may well find John living in someone else’s household.

Death

John Parsons died on 7 April 1813 in Windham, Greene County, New York. He was buried in section 1 at the Pleasant Valley Cemetery (also known as the Ashland Cemetery), about 2 and a half miles west of Windham. He was survived by hie wife, Mary, all seven of his children, and his father.

Events by Location


Massachusetts, Berkshire County, Sandisfield Town – 1764 thru 1801 – Birth, childhood, marriage, and birth of his first five children.

New York, Greene County, Windham – 1802-1813 – births of his two youngest children and his death.

New York, Green County, Ashland – 1813 – Burial at Pleasant Valley (aka Ashland) Cemetery.

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research each of John’s children and both his and his wife’s siblings for their location during the 1810 Census. Were John and Mary with them.

Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – John Parsons, Jr.”

John Parsons, AGBI, and the 1790 Census

Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Sometimes you encounter sources that don’t make sense. Recently, I encounter several trees that identified John Parsons being in the American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI), Volume 131, Page 462, and that the AGBI was the source. The AGBI isn’t really a source, rather, it is a finding aid. It is an index that points to actual sources. In this case, it directed the researcher to “Heads of fams. at the first U.S. census. Ms. By U.s. Bureau of the Census. Washington, 1908. (363p.): 34.”

Heads of Families – 1790 Census – Massachusetts:

Page 34, Column 1, Persons 3 & 4 show John Parsons, Jr. & John Parsons (Sr.) in Sandisfield Town, Berkshire County, Massachusetts.[i]

Parsons, John, Jr. 1 1 1

1 Male 16 & Older        John Jr. (Head of Household)
1 Male < 16                   Appears to be Samuel born 1789
1 Female                       Apparently Mary, John’s wife.


Parsons, John [Sr.] 2 2 5

2 Males 16 & Older

  • John (Head of Household)
  • Possibly Simon (17), Timothy (21), or Ashbel (24)

(Note: Frederick died before 1790)
(Note: John, Jr., was enumerated above.)

2 Males < 16

  • Apparently Gibson (age 8)
  • Apparently, Frederick (age 6)

5 Females

  • Clearly John’s 2nd wife, Mercy
  • Apparently daughter Sally (age 2)
  • Apparently daughter Mercy (age 12)
  • Apparently daughter Martha (age 15)
  • Possibly Roxey (age 23), or Mary (age 29)

(Note: John’s daughter, Hanna, died before 1790.)

Analysis

John Junior’s household exactly fits expectations for his household in 1790.

John (Senior’s) household fits expectations for John with his second wife (Mercy) and their children. Plus, there are several individuals in the household The only household individuals of question are several of his children from his first marriage. Which were still at home and which had either moved out or had died.

Neither Simon, Timothy, nor Ashbel appear to be enumerated elsewhere. So, the second male over 16 could be any of them.

Likewise, I haven’t found any records for marriages or deaths for John’s daughters, Roxey or Mary, so the fifth female could be either of them. 

Follow-up:

  1. Search for Simon, Timothy, and Ashbell in other records for 1790 to eliminate them from being in the household of John Parsons, Senior.
  2. Search for marriage records for Roxey and Mary. If married before 1790, verify if they might be in the census record of their husband(s).
  3. Search for evidence of death for Roxey, Mary, Simon, Timothy, or Ashbell prior to 1790. Eliminate them as being in John Parsons Senior’s household in 1790.

 Endnotes:

[i] 1790 Census – John Parsons, Jr. & John Parsons (Sr.) – Sandisfield Town, Berkshire County, Massachusetts. “Heads of Families – 1790 Census – Massachusetts – Page 34, Column 1, Persons 3 & 4. – Accessed 2 August 2020. https://www.census.gov/library/publications/1907/dec/heads-of-families.html.

Surname Saturday – White

Darling – White
By Don Taylor

Surname Origin – White

Simply, the surname “White” typically comes from a nickname, “the white,” signifying a person with white hair or pale complexion. Typically, it comes from English, Scottish, and Irish ancestors.[i]

Geographical

There are currently about a million people who bear the White surname. That is about 800 thousand in the United States, with about 150 thousand in England. Australia and Canada each have over 50,000 “Whites.”[ii]

In the United States, Texas, California, and Georgia all have move than 50,000 “Whites”.[iii]

Direct White Ancestors

    • 6th Great-Grandmother: Mehitable White (1689-1730)?
    • 7th Great-Grandfather: Thomas White (1665-1743)??
    • 8th Great-Grandfather: Joseph White (1636-1706)???
    • 9th Great-Grandfather: Thomas White (1599-1679)????

(Note: I have not personally researched any of these potential ancestors. I use the “?” above to indicate my confidence in the relationship.)

Certainly, our Whites came to America during the “Great Migration of Puritans from England to New England” (1620–1643). I need to research the individuals to feel right adding historical context to their lives.

Mehitable White Descendants

Mehitable White married Benjamin Darling in 1708.  My records have identified 393 direct-line descendants of Mehitable (and Benjamin).[iv] Fourteen of these descendants I have written about at least sixteen times previously.

  1.  Abner Darling(1747-c.1795)
  2.  Abner Darling (b. 1780-1839)
    – – – – –Abstract & Will of Abner Darling (1780-1839)
    – – – – -48-i – Andrew W. Darling(1805-1864) – Rufus’ Oldest Brother
    – – – – -48-ii – Abner C. Darling(1805-1864) – Rufus’ 2nd Oldest Brother
    – – – – -48-iii – Deidamia Darling (1813-?) – Rufus’ Oldest Sister
    – – – – -48-iv – Rufus Holton Darling – See #24 Above
    – – – – -48-v – Henry W. Darling (1818-1857) – Rufus’ 3nd Oldest Brother
    – – – – -48-vi – ?Sally Ann Darling (c. 1820-) – Rufus’ 2nd Oldest Sister
    – – – – -48-vii – ?Hannah Darling (c. 1825-) – Rufus’ Youngest Sister
    – – – – -48-viii – Franklin C. Darling (c. 1827-) – Rufus’ Youngest Brother
  3.  Rufus Holton Darling (1816-1857)
  4.  Rufus Harry Darling(1857-1917)
    – – – – – Rufus Harry Darling in the News
  5.  Robert Harry Darling(1907-1969)
    100 Years Ago – Robert Harry Darling – (1907-1969)
    – – – – – 6B – Robert’s Sister – Elizabeth Grace Darling – (1906-1987)

Mehitable is currently number 16 in my “To be Researched” plan in the Darling Line Research. However, her son, Ebenezer Darling (1718-1790) is only number five in my Hopefully, I will get to researching him later this year. Certainly, the White ancestors will prove interesting to research. I can’t wait to get to researching them.

AncestryDNA® Thrulines has identified two 7th cousins, one 6th cousin, and a 4th cousin for further investigation.


Endnotes:

[i] Internet:  Ancestry – “White Family History” https://www.ancestry.com/name-origin?surname=White.

[ii] Internet: Forebears – “White Surname Definition” https://forebears.io/surnames/white.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Internet: Don Taylor Genealogy – “Darling: The Ancestors of the Darling & Huber Family Line” http://dontaylorgenealogy.com/blog-page_3/.