Ancestor Bio – Almira Chamberlain Sanford (1804-1845)

52 Ancestors – Week 2018-07
By Don Taylor

Almira Chamberlain married young and died young, at only 41 years of age. She was a pioneering woman who went west with her husband, from her native Vermont to Genesee and Orleans counties in New York. Then again further west, Almira moved to Saline, Washtenaw County Michigan.

Research Brown Line – Ancestor #101

List of Grandparents

Almira Chamberlain Sanford (1804-1845)

In the year Almira Chamberlain was born, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr mortally wounded Alexander Hamilton in a dual, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Emperor of France, and Louis & Clark left on an expedition to explore the newly purchased land west of the Mississippi. Almira was born on 21 August 1804.[i] I believe her father was Benjamin Chamberlain, her mother is unknown. The 1810 Census suggests that she had two older brothers and an older sister.[ii]

Marriage

Almira married Ezra Sanford in 1819. [iii]She was 15 and Ezra was 27. The young couple headed west and were in Bergen, Genesee County, New York by August 1820 when the census was taken.[iv]

They had nine children – eight boys and one girl. They were Ezra (1820), William (1823), Henry (1824), Amos (1827), Ann Maria (1829), John W. (1831), Orlo (1835), George Poindexter (1835), and Charles A. (1838). All of the children were born in New York except for Charles who was born in Michigan.


The family was in New York through the 1830 census and appears to have consisted of Ezra, Almira, and their first five children.[v]

In 1834, her son Henry died at the age of ten.

In 1836, Ezra headed west with 16-year-old Ezra, (Jr.), and 13-year old William to prospect a new homestead. The following year he returned to New York for his wife and other children and located them in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan, arriving on July 4th, 1837,[vi] the year that Michigan became a state and only five years after Saline became a town.

The 1840 Census suggests that Ezra junior had created his own household, but Charles, George, Orlo, John, Ann Maria, Amos, Henry, and William were still home. [vii]

Almira (Chamberlain) Sanford died in Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan on July 7th, 1845. She is buried at Benton Cemetery.


Endnotes

[i] History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, William Sanford – Pages 1408 and 1409. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (1881). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages and townships … and biographies of representative citizens : history of Michigan. Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co. https://archive.org/details/cu31924028870520.

[ii] 1810 Census (FS), Family Search, 1810 Census – Benjamin Chamberlain Head – Bennington, Vermont. “United States Census, 1810,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XH21-YST : accessed 7 February 2018), Benj Chamberlain, Bennington, Vermont, United States; citing p. 87A, NARA microfilm publication M252 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 64; FHL microfilm 218,668.

[iii] See Endnote #1 above.

[iv] 1820 Census (FS), Family Search, 1820 – Ezra Sanford – Bergen, Genesee, New York. “United States Census, 1820,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHLV-7VN : accessed 24 September 2017), Ezra Sanford, Bergen, Genesee, New York, United States; citing p. 43, NARA microfilm publication M33, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 72; FHL microfilm 193,727.

[v] 1830 Census (FS), Family Search, Ezra Sanford – Clarendon, Orleans, New York. “United States Census, 1830,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHG5-KP2 : 29 July 2017), Ezra Sanford, Clarendon, Orleans, New York, United States; citing 96, NARA microfilm publication M19, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 115; FHL microfilm 17,175.

[vi] See Endnote #1 above.

[vii] 1840 Census (FS), Family Search, 1840 Census – Ezra Sanford – Saline Township, Washtenaw, Michigan. “United States Census, 1840,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XHYX-63Z : 15 August 2017), Ezra Sandford, Saline Township, Washtenaw, Michigan, United States; citing p. 140, NARA microfilm publication M704, (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 211; FHL microfilm 14,797.

Searching for Almira Chamberlain’s Parents

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Finding the parents of early 19th century women is always a challenge. So, I knew that determining the parents or my 4th great-grandmother, Almira (Chamberlain) Sanford was going to be difficult. Almira married Ezra Sanford in 1819 when she was only 15 years-old. She had nine children and died quite young, at only 41 years of age.

All the information I have about her life is from secondary sources. First, The History of Washtenaw County, Michigan states:

William Sanford, Farmer, was born in Genesee Co., N. Y., March 30, 1823. His parents were Ezra and Almira Sanford, the former born in Bennington Co., VT, Aug 19, 1792, and the latter born in the same place, Aug. 21, 1804. They were married in 1819, and were blessed with 9 children, 5 of whom are living.[i]

The other source I have is the death record for William Sanford, which provides his parents names as Ezra Sanford and Almira Chamberlin (or Chamberlain).[ii]

If I believe that these two records are accurate, then I can hypothesize three scenarios.

  1. Her family was in Bennington County, Vermont in 1810 when she was five-years-old and there will be evidence of her in the 1910 Census records.
  2. Her family was in Bennington Co. in 1800, four years before she was born.
  3. In 1820 her family was either in Bergen, Genese, New York where she and Ezra were in 1820 or they are still in Bennington Co. Vermont.
  4. Finally, it is possible that her family came and left Bennington County after 1800 and before 1810 making it impossible to determine the family from these census records.

1810 Census

The 1810 Census is clear. There is only one Chamberlain household in Bennington County, Vermont.

The Benj. Chamberlain household consists of three males and three females. Excluding the oldest male (clearly Benjamin) and the oldest female (most likely his wife) who are both over 45 year of age that leaves:

  • Two males, from 10 to 16 years of age,
  • One female under 10 and
  • One female from 16 to 16.

In 1810, Almira would have been five years old and fits into the one female under ten.

1800 Census

With the 1810 census findings kept in mind, Benj. Chamberlain should be found in the 1800 census.  His age could be either 26 to 45 or over 45. His wife would be the same. But there should be at least two males under 10 and one female under 10 in the household.

The only Chamberlin in Bennington County in 1800 is a Calvin Chamberlin. He appears to be 26 to 45 but the children in the household are all older than 10. So, there is no way this can be the same household with a different first name being used.

Next, I looked for a Benjamin Chamberlain in the 1800 Census anywhere. The search yielded 14 results on Ancestry.

Location Children Under 10 Status 1810 Status
Brattleboro, Windham, VT 3 boys, 1 girl Possible Still in Brattleboro.
Chelmsford, Middlesex, MA None
Dalton, Berkshire, MA 2 boys & 1 girl Possible Likely
Glastonbury, Hartford, CT 2 boys, 3 girls
Greenfield, Hillsborough, NH None
Newbury, Orange, VT 1 boy, no girls.
Philadelphia, PA 2 boys & 2 girls Unlikely
Plymouth, Windsor, VT None
Schenectady, Albany, NY 3 boys & 1 girl Possible Still in Schenectady.
Standish, Cumberland, ME None
Thetford, Orange, VT None
Thetford, Orange, VT 1 boy & 1 girl
Turner, Cumberland, ME 2 boys & 1 girl
Windham, Greene, NY 1 boy, 1 girl

Of those 14 Benjamin Chamberlains, only four had a combination of at least two boys and one girl, however, one of those seems unlikely due to location.

Back to the 1810 Census

Then, I look at the 1810 Census again. Two of the Benjamin Chamberlains were still in their 1800 location during the 1810 Census. Only the Benjamin Chamberlain living in Dalton, Berkshire, MA was no longer found in Dalton. Dalton is only about 20 miles south of Bennington County, so that move seems possible, even likely. Certainly, much more likely than moving 250 miles northeast from Philadelphia to Bennington County.

Conclusion

Armed with these census facts, I feel comfortable enough to hypnotize that Benjamin Chamberlain, who lived in Dalton, Massachusetts during 1800, is likely the father of Almira Chamberlain and lived in Bennington County, Vermont in 1810. As such, I’ll create a tentative relationship and continue researching this as a possible family unit.

Endnotes

[i] History of Washtenaw County, Michigan, William Sanford – Pages 1408 and 1409. Chas. C. Chapman & Co. (1881). History of Washtenaw County, Michigan: Together with sketches of its cities, villages, and townships … and biographies of representative citizens: history of Michigan. Chicago: Chas. C. Chapman & Co. https://archive.org/details/cu31924028870520.

[ii] Michigan Death Certificates, William Sanford (Birth 30 Mar 1823 – Death 05 Jul 1915)- Charlotte, Eaton, Michigan.

Schools I’ve Attended – Jordan Jr. High

My Life
Those Places Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.We rented the house on Fremont Avenue for only a few months in 1962. During the summer of 1962, Budgar[i] bought a duplex at 2419 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN and we moved there. We lived downstairs and had renters living upstairs. Grandma Kees lived with us for a short time. Budgar and her argued all the time. He called her a liar and she knew he was an abuser. In any event, Budgar threw Grandma Kees out before Christmas, 1962.  It is interesting that I have no photos whatsoever of anyone at that house. Not me, not my mother, not Budgar, not even my sister Sharon, who was born in the fall of 1962.

Budgar wouldn’t give me an allowance. He said I needed to earn my way. So, while living on Bryant, I had a paper route most of the time. I always delivered the morning paper. I’d get up about 3:30, get my papers about 4 am, and have my route delivered by 5:30. I’d be home by 6 for breakfast and to get ready for school.

Photo of 2419 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis, MN in May, 2013.
2419 Bryant Avenue – Today (May 2013)

Across the street from where we lived on Bryant was the Franklin Junior High attendance area. Likewise, two blocks south was also Franklin Junior High attendance area, so we lived just about as far away from Jordan Junior High as was possible and still be in the Jordan attendance area. During the winter, some of my friends and I would hop on the back bumper of the city bus. It was really dangerous because the bumpers on the bus only stuck out about a half an inch and the sign on the back of the bus wasn’t sturdy enough to rely upon.  Better than the city bus, we learned the route a postman took and could hop the back of his mail truck for several blocks. We’d also just hop the back fenders of moving cars occasionally.  I think all of us could hop off the back of a car moving at 30 miles per hour without falling. On really snowy days we would just grab a passing vehicle and slide on our shoes for blocks on the snow-packed streets. Budgar hollered at me a couple of times about my needing to walk and not shuffle my feet as I was going through shoes way to fast. Little did he know…. I remember putting linoleum inside my shoes to make it through the summer and not need new shoes until winter.

I attended all three years of Junior High at Jordan starting with 7th grade in 1962 and completing 9th grade in 1965. It was the longest I ever attended a school. There were a couple of excursions during that time, but more about them later. I remember school lunches at Jordan (after my grandmother moved out) or any other school I ever attended.

Photo of Mr. Goodrich in 1963
Mr. Goodrich in 1963 Source: Jordanian 1963

By the time I got to the 9th grade, I was pretty much incorrigible and continually battled with Budgar and with my teachers. I had a Home Room teacher named Mr. Goodrich. He and I didn’t get along at all. I think I received the paddle from him every day for two weeks straight. I am sure I was the bane of his existence in 1965. Within the 20-minute homeroom period, I pretty much always smarted off. Sometimes, I’d be sent down to the Vice-principal’s (Mr. Carlson’s) office, but mostly, Mr. Goodrich and I would step out into the hallway, and he’d give me from one to three good swats with a paddle, depending upon what I had done. For me, it was something of a game and a mark of status in the school.

Music Room, Jordan Jr. High (c. 1937)

During junior high, I learned that I was good at almost everything scholastic and I didn’t need to study. I did great in science and math, very good in history, civics, and social studies, and about average in English. I was a klutz in sports. Even though I once did 1000 sit-ups without stopping, I couldn’t climb a rope up 20 feet in gym class. (I had core strength but no upper body strength). I did well in the shop classes they had, particularly well in print shop but I still did okay in woodworking and metal shop as well. I got a few stitches in my head because in woodshop someone came around the corner with the base for a soapbox derby car and smacked me in the head by accident. I was also in the school orchestra and learned how to play the cello using a school-owned instrument. I had enough skill that my orchestra teacher suggested I try out for the Minneapolis Junior Symphony Orchestra. I asked Budgar to buy a cello for me. Of course, he wouldn’t. I had to have my own instrument to be considered for the Junior Symphony and couldn’t afford one on my newspaper delivery income, so I never had a chance to try out. I wonder how different my life would have been had he purchased that cello… I still love the sound of the cello; it is my favorite instrument.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, MN (1924 photo)

I remember gaining some “cred” when a school bully was picking on skinny little me. (I was probably over 6 foot and under 135 pounds in 9th grade.) We were to meet in the alley behind Frank’s Grocery store, a half a block from the school.  He and I fought; there were probably 50 kids there to see the fight. My first punch was a lucky punch that broke his nose; after that, I kept hitting on it whenever I could. Blood everywhere. Don hit me a few times but nothing damaging. After a few minutes of fighting, the police showed up, and everybody ran. Neither Don nor any of the other school kids messed with me after that. I didn’t look for fights, and they didn’t look for me either.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Photo of Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985
Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985.

Jordan Junior High was at 29th and Irving Avenues in North Minneapolis. It was named after Charles Morison Jordan, a Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. The school opened in 1922. It was razed in 1985. Today the school location is Jordan Park. Next to it is the Hmong International Academy.


Endnotes

[i] Budgar is a combination of “Bud” my step-father’s nickname and “Edgar” his actual first name. In the 1960s, I always called him “Bud,” and I learned to call him “Budgar” later in life.

Cousin Bio – Olga Ruth Babcock (1916-2001)

By Don Taylor

Hypothesis

The John Montran Project is a personal project to explore the hypothesis that my great-grandfather, John Montran married twice. Once to Ida May Barber and once to Maude Minnie Winter. He had one daughter with Ida (Donna) and had two daughters with Maude. I hope to be able to confirm or refute that the two John Montrans were the same individual. In this article, I look at John Foster Montran’s granddaughter Olga Ruth Babcock. If my great-grandfather Montran is the same person as Olga’s grandfather, she and I would be 1st cousins, once removed.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Montran Project

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: John Foster Montran

Olga Ruth Babcock Hinds Buchanan (1916-2001)

Olga Ruth Babcock was born on 18 May 1916, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. She was the first child of Minor Howard Babcock and Thelma M (Montran) Babcock.

In 1917, when Olga was a one-year-old, her family immigrated to the United States. In 1920  the young family is living in San Francisco where Olga’s father is a bookkeeper for an Auto Sales company.

In 1922, Ruth’s brother, Montran Howard Babcock was born.

In 1926, Ruth’s father became a naturalized citizen. Because Ruth was a minor, she also became a citizen as part of her father becoming a citizen.

In 1930, Olga’s parents had migrated to Inglewood, California. Minor was an accountant and her mother was apparently keeping house. Birth, Marriage & Death Collection

Olga married James R. Hinds on 24 September 1938. Apparently, the marriage didn’t go well because James filed for divorce in Reno, Nevada on 14 October 1940.

Sometime between 1935 and 1940 Olga’s father died. Olga’s mother was the proprietor of a guest house that included 11 lodgers as well as Thelma, Olga, and Montran.

On 15 August 1941, Olga married Chester White Buchanan. Chester died in 1963 and is buried at Inglewood Park Cemetery, in Inglewood.

Olga’s brother, Montran, died in 1972 and her mother, Thelma, died in 1974.

Olga lived until 2001. I have not been successful in finding any information regarding burial or another memorial.

In all my research, I have found no evidence that Olga had any children.  As such, this lime may be a dead end.  I will look at Montran’s life next.


Sources

Minor Howard Babcock born 17 Nov 1891 Hartington, Ontario, Canada
Thelma M. born 23 June 1895, Philadelphia
Olga R born May 18, 1916 Moose Jaw Canada
Montran B. born June 11, 1922, Inglewood, CA
Naturalized: Sep 17, 1926. http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?viewrecord=1&r=an&db=USnaturalizationOriginals&indiv=try&h=4172998.

Mitochondrial DNA and Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.One of the great controversies in my genealogical efforts is in my Brown/Manning ancestors and relates to the parentage of Minerva Ann (Tolliver) Mannin. I know quite a bit about Minerva. She was born in Carter County, Kentucky in 1821. She married Enoch Mannin on October 15, 1843. Her husband Enoch led a group of 9 families (including her) to move to Minnesota in September 1882. At first, Enoch and Minerva settled in Stearns County but relocated to Cass County about 1888. Minerva died in May Township, Cass County, Minnesota on 24 Oct 1902.

I wrote about Minerva and her life in 2014 (See: Minerva Ann Tolliver (1821-1902)). The controversy revolves around her be Native American. Many researchers believe she was Native American. Indeed, she might have been, but I don’t think so. One bit of evidence is that she was never identified as “Indian” in any of the census records nor any other document I have seen. The other is that neither my mother nor my aunt have any segments that indicate a Native American lineage.  Surprisingly, both have segments on their X chromosome that indicate Sub-Saharan African. Their matching X-chromosome would have come from their common father, Richard. He would have received his X-chromosome as a recombinant X from his mother, Mary Elizabeth (Manning) Brown. She would have received one of her X-chromosomes as a replica of her father’s (John William Manning) X-chromosome. And he would have received his X as a recombinant X from his mother, Minerva Ann (Toliver) Mannin. It is also interesting to note that the percentage of Sub-Saharan African DNA on my mother’s and my aunt’s test results is consistent with the percentage of DNA that I would expect to be Sub-Saharan African if Minerva were 50% black. I wrote about this, also in 2014 in an article, “DNA, the X Chromosome & Minerva Tolliver Manning.”

It may be that mitochondrial DNA may be the answer.  Your mitochondrial DNA came from your mother, who got hers from her mother, who got hers from her mother and so forth. If a female line descendant of Minerva were tested and the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) showed ancestry from North America/Asia that would be convincing evidence that Minerva was Native American.  If the results showed ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa, that would be compelling evidence that Minerva was of African Descent.  If a mtDNA descendant were of European ancestry, we’d have no joy and have nothing to prove one way or another.

I would love to have a mtDNA descendant of Minerva take a mtDNA test and learn of the results. If you are such a descendant, please contact me.

Minerva Ann Tolliver had five daughters. The following chart shows the female descendants that I know about.  I know it is not complete, so If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals that information would help me further understand this family line. Minerva’s daughters were:

  1. Nancy Ann Mannin. Nancy married Jessie Monroe Barnett and had five daughters
    1. Frances M Barnett (1870-?) – I have no further information.
    2. Emma Nettie Barnett (1874-?) – I have no further information.
    3. Flarra Belle Barnett Flarra married George Wesley Horn and had two daughters.
      1. Helen Elvira Horn. Helen married Harold Anderson – I have no further information
      2. Dorothy Ellen Horn. No Issue.
    4. Sarah A Barnett (1883-?) – I have no further information.
    5. Sadie Barnett – I have no further information.
  2. Sarah Jane Mannin. Sarah married Joseph Hatfield Bryant and had four daughters
    1. Nancy Ellen Bryant. Nancy married John M Horn and had one daughter (that I know about).
      1. Mary A Horn (1903-?)
    2. Alice May Bryant. Alice married Sherman Morgan and Charles Lemmon and had three daughters
      1. Della Morgan
      2. Esther Lemmon
      3. Mary Etta Lemmon
    3. Hattie Ellen Bryant. Hattie married William Berry and had one known daughter.
      1. Dawn (Harvey) Berry
    4. Clara K Bryant. Clara married Oscar Harvey and had three known children.
      1. Evelyn Harvey
      2. Lois Harvey
      3. Dawn Harvey (Could this be the same Dawn as Hattie’s child?)
    5. Adella Mamie Bryant. Adella married Elmer Boaz Knowles They had five daughters.
      1. Elsie Lillian Knowles. Essie married Vernon Smalley – No further information.
      2. Alice May Knowles – No further information
      3. Clara Lavina Knowles – Married Luther Elbert Parker. They had two daughters that I know of. Both of them appear to be living.
        1. Daughter 1 Living
        2. Daughter 2 Living
      4. Lorraine Grace Knowles – Married Richard Markham Taylor. They had three daughters. Two of them appear to be Living.
        1. Daughter 1 Living
        2. Evelyn Joyce Taylor (1937-1984)
        3. Daughter 3 Living
      5. Bessie Katherine Knowles. Bessie married Albert Dickerman. They appear to have had one daughter
        1. Lillian Katherine (Dickerman) Breyer 1942-1990.
  3. Mary Ermaine Mannin – Married George Washington Gates in 1899 – No further information.
  4. Gresella Mannin (1856-1897) – No further Information.
  5. Prudence Mannin – Prudence married Frank P Bare – No further information.

Although this chart only shows female descendants that I know about. If you are male and your mother or your mother’s mother is any of these individuals, you too carry the mtDNA of Minerva. If you have information that connects you to any of these individuals, I would love to receive that information to help make my records more accurate.

Once again, if you are a descendant of Minerva (Tolliver) Mannin and carry her mtDNA, I am extremely interested in hearing from you. Please use the form below.  Thank you.

My public tree is on Ancestry.Com. Please see it for further details on this tree.

Further Action

  • Expand upon the Lorraine Grace Knowles & Richard Markham Taylor family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
  • Expand upon the Bessie Katherine Knowles & Albert Dickerman family unit and contact any mtDNA testing candidates.
  • Further research the descendants of Nancy Ann Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Sarah Jane Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Mary Ermaine Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Gresella Mannin.
  • Further research the descendants of Prudence Mannin.