Ancestor Sketch – Ezra Clugston Sanford

Brown/Sanford Line
By Don Taylor

Contemporary writers said Ezra was a “remarkably muscular man, possessed of great nerve and quickness of perception.”[i] They also said he was “a mechanic, a respectable member of society, a kind husband and parent, a good neighbor and an honest man.”[ii] Wow.  What great things were said about my 5th Great-Grandfather, Ezra Clugston Sanford.  He is definitely an ancestor that I would have loved to have met in person. He sounds amazing.

Ancestor #200 – Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)

List of Grandparents

  • 6 – Grandfather: Richard Earl Brown
  • 12 – 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown(1869-1928)
  • 25 – 2nd Great-grandmother: Marion Sanford(1846- c. 1895)
  • 50 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William M Sanford(1824-1915)
  • 100 – 4th Great-grandfather: Ezra Gay Sanford(1792-1855)
  • 200 – 5th Great-grandfather: Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)
  • 400 – 6th Great-grandfather: Amos Gilbert Sanford (1733-1777)
  • 800 – 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Baldwin Sanford (1703-1758)*
  • 1600 – 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1680-1729)*
  • 3200 – 9th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1643-1691)*
  • 6400 – 10th Great-grandfather: Thomas Sanford (Immigrant Ancestor) (1607-1681)* 

* Italicized individuals were newly added as a result of my research into Ezra Clugston Sanford. Their information and relationships have not been confirmed.

Birth

Ezra Clugston Sanford was born 22 April 1763 in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He was the fourth of ten children born to Amos Gilbert and Mary Cluckstone (Clugston) Sanford. Newtown was a thriving town of nearly 2000 people when Ezra was born.

In 1763 the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War and France ceded New France (Canada) to Great Britain. Just days after Ezra’s birth, Chief Pontiac of the Odawa people, along with 17 other nations, began attacking the British Fort Detroit in what become known as “Pontiac’s War.”

Childhood

Ezra was baptized in the First Congregational Church in Newtown, CT on 8 May 1763.

Siblings of Ezra Clugston Sanford

Name Birth Married Death
David Clugston Sanford 1757 Hannah Rowlin 1836
Elizabeth Sanford 1759 Isaiah Honeywell 1809
Caleb Clugston Sanford 1761 Lucinda Pike 1783
Samuel Clugston Sanford 1765 Miss Rand 1832
John Sanford 1767 Miss Russ ?
Annise Sanford 1770 ? ?
Mary Dianta Sanford 1772 ? 1851
Amos Sanford 1774 Betsey Pardee 1831
Gurdon Sanford 1776 ? ?

Photo By Magicpiano – CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

In 1780, Ezra’s uncle, Thomas Sanford, built a house at 71 Riverside Road in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown which stands today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[iii]

When Ezra turned 21 in 1784, another Treaty of Paris was ratified—this time to end the Revolutionary War.

Marriage

Ezra married Mercy Gay on 11 October 1786 in Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut. The couple had four or five children.

Children of Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford

Name Birth Death
Electa Sanford 1790 – Litchfield Co., CT ?
Ezra Gay Sanford 1792 – Litchfield Co., CT 1855
Sally Sanford 1796 – Pownal, VT 1881
Lucy Sanford 1799 – Pownal, VT 1870

The 1790 Census indicates that Ezra is living with three females in Litchfield. One is his wife, and one is his daughter Electa. That leaves one unknown female. That female could be anyone, including another child. Ezra and Mercy were married in 1786 and had Electa in 1790. However, a four-year gap between marriage and their first child is longer than I would expect. As such, I believe that this unknown female in the household is a daughter born about 1788 and who died before 1800. (See: Ezra Sanford in the Early Censuses for details.)

Adult

Ezra, Mercy, and children moved to Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont in February, 1792.[iv]

1800 Census – In the 1800 Census. Ezra is the head of a household consisting of 3 males and 4 females. There is one unknown adult male in the household and one female that was there in 1790 that is not listed, but the other members of the household are enumerated as expected.

Ezra Sanford 1 – – 2 – | 2 1 – 1

Ezra Sanford in the 1800 Census
  • 1809 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 17 July 1809, Page 3, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal but had mail waiting for him at the post office.
  • 1810 Census – The Ezra Sanford household is still in Pownal, with Ezra and Mercy with four children, Ezra (Jr.). Electa, Lucy, and Sally/Sarah.
  • 1812 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 11 May 1812, Page 4, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal and was a commissioner in the probate of Leah Barber’s estate. \

Death & Burial

  • Ezra Clugston Sanford died on 22 June 1812 at the age of 50 years and 2 months in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont. He was buried in the Towslee Cemetery in Pownal.

Will & Probate

I wrote about Ezra’s estate previously.  Please see:

Events by Location

Newtown Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut – Birth, Baptism.

Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut – Marriage, 1790 Census.

Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont – 1800, 1810, Death, Burial.

Further Actions / Follow-up Research

  • Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their support of the Revolution.
  • Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their education.
  • Research death dates and marriages of Ezra’s siblings.
  • Determine death information regarding Electa Sanford (1790-?)
  • Determine property that may have been owned by Ezra Sanford in both Connecticut and Vermont. Check for tax records also.

————–  Disclaimer  ————–

Continue reading “Ancestor Sketch – Ezra Clugston Sanford”

Ezra Sanford – Probate – Inventory – 2

Transcription Tuesday
Brown/Sanford
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for “Transcription Tuesday,” I am looking at the second part of the Inventory Papers of the Probate of Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)[i]. The Papers are images 10, 11, 12, and 13 of the 19 images contained in the probate file. Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford are my 5th great-grandparents and are among my few known New England ancestors.


Image 397 – Inventory of estate (title)

Inventory of the estate of Ezra Sanford of Pawnal – Rec? Aug 2nd 1813Recorded Book, 5th Pages 354.526 by I. E. Robinson Reg.

Image 398 – Inventory of estate (description)

At a probate court held on Aug 2nd 1813.

The forgoing inventory was ???  approved & ordered to be recorded by Jonah Wright, P. Judge.

Image 400 – Inventory of estate (Page 1)

Page 1st

An Inventory of the estate of Ezra Sanford Late of Pownal Deceased taken the 12th day of July 1813. [ii]

1 – 48 Acres Land 2682
1 Cow called Hill Clean 15
1 ?yned Black Cow 17
1 Brindet Cow 16
1 Yellow Cow 17
1 ??end Cow 15
3 Two year old ?teass 30
2 Two year old heffers? 20
5 One year old ??? 27.50
5 ???? 15
1 Mare 25
2 Young horses 30
40 Sheap [sic] 40
5 goats 90 / 1 old lone 36/ 21
1 Waggon 30
1 Wood shed 75
PLUS 25 Lines of additional personal property[iii]
Carry over to page 2nd $3-176-12

Image 399 – Inventory of estate (Page 2)

Broat over from Page 1st $3-176-12
PLUS 37 Lines Of additional personal property[iv]
Pownal July the 12th 1813 $3-383-42

We your commissioners certify the above and forgoing is a true inventory of the estate of Ezra Sanford late of Pownal deceased sworn unto us by the Administrators of said estate attest

Obidiah Dunham   —  } Commissioners
Isaac Kimbill — }

Facts I learned

I learned that Ezra was pretty well to do. Although he only had 49 acres of land, he had five cows, 3 horses, 40 sheep, and lots of personal property, altogether totaling to over $3,300.

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NOTE:  The Cambridge Dictionary defines “transcribe” as to “make a complete written record of spoken or written words.” My transcriptions are seldom perfect but I do my best to convert handwritten documents into typed words for my genealogical purposes.  If you see anything that I have incorrect, please let me know your thoughts via the Contact Form at the bottom of the page.


Endnotes

[i] Author: Vermont. Probate Court (Bennington District); Probate Place: Bennington, Vermont – Ancestry.com. Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[ii] The original document is handwritten with lines linking the individual items to the value. Rather then using lines like the originally, I’ve created a table to better display the information. I have also truncated the table to include his land and livestock leaving his personal property off.

[iii] Ibid.

[iv] Ibid.

Ezra Sanford – Probate – Order Papers

(Third article in a series about the probate of the estate of Ezra Sanford.)

Transcription Tuesday
Brown/Sanford
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for “Transcription Tuesday,” I am looking at the Inventory Papers of the Probate of Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)[i]. The Order Papers are images 7, 8, and 9 of the 19 images contained in the probate file. Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford are my 5th great-grandparents and are among my few known New England ancestors.

Image 395 – Commission to distribute (Title)

Commission to distribute the estate of Ezra Sanford
——  —–
B.5.P237

 

Image 394 – Commission to distribute (Preamble)

For the Probate district of Bennington least by one of yourselves-

Given under my and and seal in and of office this second day of August in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen

Josiah Wright P. Judge

Bennington County 20th September 1813 Obediah Dunham and Isaac Kimbill were duly sworn on the within _____ before John Mackinton, Justice of Peace Pownal 20th September 1813 John Macinton was duly sworn on the within before Obadiah Dunham ???  ??? to the business of our appointment on on the within commission made at division of the estate of Ezra Sanford late of Powal division both real and personal which are herewith return.

            Josse Blackington        \
            Obadiah Dunham        }   Commissioners
            Isaac Kimbill                /

Image 396 – Commission to distribute (Detail)

To Obediah Dunham, Isaac Kimbill, & Jesse Blackington all of Pownal in Probate District of Bennington sufficient freeholders – Greetings,

Pursuant to the powers to me given in and by the laws of this State – I do hereby appoint and authorize you those, Obadiah Dunham, Isaac Kimbill, & Josse Blackington a committee to distribute to emer among the lawful heirs of the estate of Ezra Sanford Late of Pownal deceased so much as by law ??? belongs to them or ?? of them as the will accommodate without prejudice to or showing the whole performance being had to the males in doing which you as to deal impartially as you are sworn, moreover if any of the heirs of the said deceased have received anything of him in his lifetime in advance towards their portions you are to signify the same to me and how much each one has received –

When you go about your business let all parties con ??? have notice and if any dispute arise about the quantity of any parcel of land you may procure an artist for the survey that, and if all parties are satisfied with your proceedings, let them signify the same by county signing. Finally, Seal up this commission with your doing therein and return the same with all convenient speed into the Register’s office.

Facts I learned

I was reminded that the handwriting legibility of clerks was not a requirement for them to be elected or appointed to office. I was also reminded that some documents have no genealogical value. Better luck next time.

ENDNOTES

[i] Author: Vermont. Probate Court (Bennington District); Probate Place: Bennington, Vermont – Ancestry.com. Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

 

Ezra Sanford in the Early Censuses

Brown-Sanford
Census Sunday
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One essential action in researching an ancestor is to find that individual in all of the census records during their lifetime.  Ezra Clugston Sanford was a frustration for me.  He died on 22 Jun 1813, in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont, so he should be in the 1810 census.  Search as I would, I couldn’t find him. Finally, I used a FAN (Friends, Acquaintances, and Neighbors) search technique and found something quite interesting.

1800 Census

Looking for Ezra in the 1800 Census was a success[i].  I found:

1800 Census – Ezra Sanford – Pownal, Bennington, Vermont

Ezra is the 7th entry down from the top.

Ezra Sanford in the 1800 Census

Ezra Sanford || 1 – – 2 – || 2 1 – 1 –

1800 Males in Household

  • Under 10     = 1       Ezra (Junior) would have been 8.
  • Age 26-45 = 2       Ezra (Senior) should be 47.
  •                                     Unknown male.

1800 Females in Household

  • Under 10     2       Lucy would have been 1
    Sally/Sarah should have been 4.
  • 10-16            1        Electa would have been 10.
  • 26-45           1       Mercy would be 39.

So, the 1800 Census shows all of the children of Ezra and Mercy that I would expect. It does suggest Ezra is two years younger than he probably is, but I’ll accept that. Finally, an unknown male was living with Ezra and Mercy in 1800.

1790 Census

Ezra and Mercy married in 1786. I would expect the Ezra Sanford Household of 1790 to consist of:

1 (or 2) Free white male(s) age 16 and up and two white females.

Ezra was born in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut, but he married Mercy in Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut. Finally, the couple lived in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont in 1800, so I would expect Ezra and Mercy to most likely be in one of those three locations in 1790.

A search for Ezra on Family Search yielded three results for the 1790 Census.

Ezra – Litchfield, Litchfield, Connecticut – 1 – 0 – 3.

Litchfield and Sharon are about 25 miles apart so, and this is possibly them.

Ezra – Redding, Fairfield, Connecticut – 2 – 1 – 3.

Reading and Newtown are about 11 miles apart. Likewise, this is a possible location.

Ezra – Warwick, Orange, New York – 3 – 1 – 7.

Warwick, New York is about 85 miles from Sharon and Newtown and over 150 miles from Pownal.  Also, their having a household with seven females would make this a very complex household.  Based upon the location and household makeup, I’m sure the Warwick Ezra is not mine.

Which is my Ezra – The one living in Litchfield or the one living in Reading?  To clarify, I went to the 1800 Census and looked there for Ezra. (Mine was in Pownal, VT) It shows an Ezra Sanford living in Redding, Fairfield County, Connecticut, in 1800, so my Ezra must be the one living in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1790[ii].

Ezra Sanford in the 1790 Census

Ezra – Litchfield, Litchfield, Connecticut

Ezra Sanford   1  || 0  3.

  • Free white male 16 or older = 1 – Ezra.
  • Free white females = 3           Mercy
  •                                                 Electa (probably born in 1790)
  •                                                 Unknown daughter (probably born 1787-1789)

1810 Census

I returned to searching for Ezra in the 1810 Census.

A search for “Ezra” in Bennington County yielded 11 results. None of them had a surname beginning with San…. or ending in …ford.

A search for “Sanford” in Bennington County yields six results. Four were in Sandgate, and two were in Dorset township. I found it interesting that NONE of the findings included anyone in Pownal. I then browsed the 1810 Census records on Ancestry.Com. There, various townships were listed, but Pownal was not one of them. I manually reviewed all of the pages of a group under, “Township not listed.” I was not successful finding anyone resembling “Ezra Sanford.”

Finally, I looked at the names in the 1800 census that were near Ezra. They included people like Obadiah Dunham (who we’ll see named in Ezra’s probate actions) and Israel Osborn. I was able to find them enumerated in Peru, Bennington County, Vermont. Peru?  Peru is a town at the opposite corner of Bennington County from Pownal could this really be?

<<Insert Peru/Pownal Image>>

Pownal misidentified as Peru on Ancestry.Com

Then I noticed that although the search and Ancestry  Page designation indicated it was Peru, the top of the actual page indicated it was Pownal. Very near in the 1810 Census record for Obadiah Dunham is an entry for “John Samford.”[iii]

John Samford – 1 – – 1 || – 2 1 – 1

This looks like “John Sanford” to me.

My view of the name indicated that “Sanford” was just as likely, if not more likely, as “Samford.” So, I wondered, could this be Ezra? The household consisted of the following:

    • Male 10-16     Ezra (Junior) would be 17 ???
    • Male >45         Ezra (Senior) would be 47
    • Female 10-16  Lucy would be 11
    • Female 10-16  Sally/Sarah would be 14
    • Female 16-26  Electa would be 20
    • Female >45     Mercy would be 49

So, the location and family unit for Ezra Sanford appears to fit John Samford/Sanford. John does not show up in Bennington County, Vermont, in either the 1800 nor the 1820 Censuses, so I believe that “John Sanford” in the 1810 Census is Ezra Sanford. I don’t know if Ezra’s full name was “John Ezra Sanford” or “Ezra John Sanford” or if the census enumerator just got his name wrong, but I am fairly certain that John is Ezra, and that the location of Pownal is correct. Thanks to looking into Ezra’s neighbors, I was successful finding who I believe to be Ezra.

My goal to find Ezra Sanford in all of the census records during his life is successful.  Another good day.

Continue reading “Ezra Sanford in the Early Censuses”

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Guardian Papers

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Guardian Papers (for Lucy Sanford) – 5 July 1813

Transcription Tuesday
Brown/Sanford
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.This week, for “Transcription Tuesday,” I am looking at the “Estate of Ezra Sanford, Mercy Sanford, Admrx || Mercy Sanford Guardian – Bond – $1000.” [1]

This document provides the guardian papers wherein Mercy Sanford received guardianship of Lucy Sanford, her minor daughter and heir of the estate of Ezra Sanford. The document was a printed form with specific information handwritten in.  I have identified the handwritten parts with bolding.

KNOW all men by these presents, that Mercy Sanford as principal, and Aticiah Dunham as surety, are bolden and stand firmly bound unto Josiah Wright, Esq. judge of the probate of wills, and granting administrations within and for the district of Bennington in the full sum of one thousand dollars, to be paid unto the said Josiah Wright his successor or successors in the said office, or to his or their assigns; for which payment will and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, and administrators, and every to us, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals, dated this 5th day of July Anno Domini, 1813.

The condition of the above obligation is such, That if the above bounden Mercy Sanford who is nominated, appointed, and allowed to be guardian unto Lucy Sanford minor and heir to the estate of Ezra Sanford late of Pownal, deceased, shall will and truly perform and discharge the trust and office of guardian unto the said Lucy and that in and by all things according to law: and shall render a plain and true account of her said guardianship upon oath, and all and singular such estate as shall come to her hands and possession, by virtue thereof, and of the profits and improvements of the same, so far as the law will charge bring therewith, when she shall thereto be lawfully required; and shall pay and deliver what and so much of the said estate, as shall be found upon account remaining in her hands, the same being first examined and allowed by the judge or judges of the probate of wills,  &C. for said district, for the time then being, until the said minor when she shall arrive at full age, or otherwise, as the said judge or judges, by his or their sentence or decree, pursuant to law shall limit and appoint, then the above obligation to be void and of no effect, otherwise to remain in force and future .

Signed, sealed and delivered in the presence of

Benjm Edwards

Marcy Sampson
Obadiah Dunham

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Guardian Papers – 1813 – Via  Ancestry.Com.

Facts I learned

From other records, I knew that Lucy was about 14 when her father died. So, her requiring guardianship would be expected.

I found it interesting that the document indicated Mercy as Lucy’s guardian, however, the signature reads as “Marcy” to me. Consequently, I’ve added “Marcy” as an alternative name.

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NOTE:  The Cambridge Dictionary defines “transcribe” as to “make a complete written record of spoken or written words.” My transcriptions are seldom perfect but I do my best to convert handwritten documents into typed words for my genealogical purposes.  If you see anything that I have incorrect, please let me know your thoughts via the Contact Form at the bottom of the page.

Endnotes

  1. Vermont; Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999, Ancestry.Com, Probate – Ezra Sanford (1753-1813) – Page 03 (00390). Guardianship Papers – Assigning Mercy Sanford as guardian for Lucy Sanford, 5 July 1813. https://search.ancestry.com/collections/9084/records/325523/.