Ancestor Sketch – Joel Cruff Taft

Roberts-Barnes-Taft Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Researching Joel Cruff Taft had its challenges. The most obvious one is tracing an individual through the early (before 1850) censuses. The second problem in researching Joel was regularly running into his grandfather, Silas Taft, who was a “minuteman” in the Revolution. I’m looking forward to writing about him

Joel Cruff Taft – Ancestor #42

List of Grandparents

  • Grandmother: Essie Pansy Barnes(1903-1982)
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Joel Clinton Barnes(1857-1921)
  • 2nd Great-grandmother: Mercy Eliza Taft(1822-1884)
  • 3rd Great-grandfather: Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)
  • 4th Great-grandfather: Asa Taft (1774-1839)
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Silas Taft (1744-1812) – Patriot!
  • 6th Great-grandfather: Stephen Taft (1710-1803)

Joel Cruff Taft (1800-1849)

Christmas, 1800, was doubly blessed when Asa and Sarah (Whitney) Taft had their fourth child, Joel Cruff Taft, on Christmas Day. I’m not sure where the name “Joel” came from, but Asa’s mother’s maiden name was Cruff, which is the likely source of Joel’s middle name.

Joel had three older siblings:

      • Asa Perry, six years older.
      • Lurancy, four years older.
      • Amanda, two years older.

Joel was the first of their children born in Broome County, New York. The Taft’s had moved there from Peru, Berkshire County, Massachusetts in either 1799 or 1800. Joel’s mother had two more children, Seth (in 1803) and John (in 1805), before she died in 1813, while Joel was only 12 years old. Asa remarried and had eleven children altogether.

I have not successfully found the ten-year-old’s father, Asa Taft, in the 1810 Census.

Marriage

In 1819, Joel married Tamise Sutherland in Triangle, Broome County, New York.

They had ten children.

The Children of Joel Cruff Taft & Tamise (Sutherland) Taft

Silas 28 Apr 1820
Mercy Eliza 27 Mar 1822
Sarah Emaline 27 May 1824
Amanda J. 14 Feb 1826
Catherine Tammy 25 Aug 1828
Candace Irene 25 Aug 1830
Joanna Lucy 7 Mar 1832
Lurancy Caroline 11 Nov 1834
Platina 19 Mar 1835
William 30 Apr 1842

The 1820 Census found Joel living near his brother, Silas, and his father, Asa, in Lisle, Broome County, New York. In his household are his wife and his oldest son, Silas.

In 1822 property that had been his mother’s was sold to Justus B. Sutherland; Joel and several of his siblings benefited from the sale.

The 1830 household of Joel Taft suggests tragedy. Silas, who would have been ten years old, isn’t enumerated in the household, suggesting he died before 1 June 1830. The 1830 Census does indicate four females in the household that fit the profile for his four youngest daughters.  There was another male child in the household, under the age of 5, who I haven’t been able to name.

The 1840 Census finds Joel still in Broome County. All of his known daughters are accounted for.

  • Females – Under 5: 2     Platina (age 4) Lurancy (Age (5)
  • Females – 5 thru 9: 1     Joanna (Age 8)
  • Females – 10 thru 14: 3     Candance (Age 10), Catherine (Age 12) (Amanda (age 14)
  • Females – 15 thru 19: 1     Sarah (Age 16)
  • Females – 40 thru 49: 1     Tamise (age 44)

The 1840 Census also indicates there were two males in the household besides Joel. One was 10 to 14 and one was 20 to 30. Certainly, the one from 10 to 14 is the same unknown male child enumerated in the 1830 Census. But could the 20 to 30 year old be Silas?  Possibly.

In 1841, his daughter Platina died at six years of age.

In 1847, his daughter Amanda died at the age of 20.

Joel died on 19 April 1849 in Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana. He was survived by his wife Tamise and at least seven of his children, Mercy, Sarah, Catherine, Candance, Jeanne, Lurancy, and William. I haven’t determined death dates for his sons Silas and “unknown.”

Events by Location

New York, Broome Birth (1800)
New York, Broome, Barker 1840
New York, Broome, Lisle 1820, 1830
New York, Broome, Lisle Marriage
Indiana, Sullivan, Fairbanks Death (1849)

Note: Barker, Lisle, and Triangle are all within six miles of each other. It is possible that the Census takers recorded the locations differently during each enumeration.

Followup

Research Joel’s other children, particularly Seth’s death and the heretofore unknown name son.

Follow property records to determine if Joel lived in several places or if the various places’ names changed during the census recordings.

Sources

  • 1820 Census (A), Ancestry.Com, Asa Taft, Asa Taft Jr., Joel C Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York.
  • 1830 Census (A) (NARA), Ancestry.Com, 1830 Census – Joel Taft – Lisle, Broome, New York. Year: 1830; Census Place: Lisle, Broome, New York; Series: M19; Roll: 85; Page: 109; Family History Library Film: 0017145
  • 1840 Census (NARA), 1840 Census – J C Jogt (J C Taft) – Barker, Broome, New York. Year: 1840; Census Place: Barker, Broome, New York; Roll: 266; Page: 400; Family History Library Film: 0017179
  • Daughters of the American Revolution, “Descendants Search”, DAR, Name Restricted – Nat’l # 887132 – Ancestor #A112392 https://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_descendants/?action=list&MyPrimary_Seqn=1001593&MyLineageCount=1.
  • Family Group Record, Family Search, Joel Cruff Taft (K8BN-FDM) – See File: 20170512 Family K8BN-FDM.pdf. Marriage Place: Triangle, Broome, New York, United States
  • Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007, Family Search, William Taft & Elizabeth Scott – Marriage 23 June 1883. “Indiana Marriages, 1811-2007,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX : 10 December 2017), William Taft and Elizabeth Scott, 23 Jun 1883; citing Sullivan, Indiana, United States, Marriage Registration, Indiana Commission on Public Records, Indianapolis; FHL microfilm 004171419. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XXN4-KFX.
  • S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889­-1970, Ancestry.Com, Joel C Taft – Volume: 265. National Number 52981 – State Number 1007 (Indiana). http://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&db=SARMemberApps&h=1149463.
  • United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975, Family Search, Broome County Deeds 1819-1824 – Vol 8 – Pages 108&109. Joel C Taft to Justus B Sutherland – 25 Jun 1822. “United States, New York Land Records, 1630-1975”, database with images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:D5L9-RBMM: 29 January 2021), Joel C Taft, 1822.

Ancestor Biography – Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

Roberts/Barnes Line
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.It is usually the birth record, and how comfortable I am with that record, that defines how comfortable I am with my feeling that I know an ancestor.  Nelson Barnes’ birth records, parents, and childhood records do not give me a warm fuzzy feeling.  I have no sense of the cat purring behind my ear.  But, here is what I think I know.

Roberts-Brown 2017 – Ancestor #20

List of Grandparents

  • Grand Parent: Essie Pansy Barnes
  • 1st Great: Joel Clinton Barnes
  • 2nd Great: Nelson Barnes
  • 3rd Great: (Possibly Joel Barnes)

Nelson Barnes (1816-1884)

Birth

Thomas Wolfe, in A History of Sullivan County, Indiana,[i] indicates that Nelson Barnes was born in New York on 24 March 1816. It is very clear; however, Nelson Barnes’ Find a Grave Memorial [ii] indicates he was born on 6 December 1816. The photo on the memorial is too pixelated to be able to determine what it might say. So, I have submitted a Find-a-Grave photo request to try to get a higher quality image to look at.

Source ages and places of birth for Nelson Barnes

Document Age Supports Birth in
1850 Census 35 – Pennsylvania December 1816
1860 Census 44 – New York March 1816
1870 Census 54 – New York March 1816
1880 Census 64 – New York March 1816
1884 Find-a-Grave If age 68 in January 1884, then December 1816
1884 Find-a-Grave New York 6 December 1816
1909 (Wolf book) New York 24 March 1816
Photo of marker for Mercy Eliza Taft Barnes and Nelson Barns.
Marker for Mercy Eliza Taft Barnes and Nelson Barns. Photo by Wabash Valley Genealogy Society Cemetery Committee via Find a Grave

Normally, I like to use the document closest to the event. However, in this case, three of the four census records and the Wolf book indicate a different birth date makes me uncomfortable accepting the December 1816 birthdate. I’ve decided to ignore the Pennsylvania birthplace states in the 1850 Census as just wrong. His marker might indicate his age at death as 68 years and 29 days. If so, that would put his birth in December 1816 also.  So, I’ve requested an updated find-a-grave image of his marker. Hopefully, the bottom line will be more readable. An improved image might clear his birth month up for me.

Childhood

I have not found any documents, so far, that clearly identify Nelson Barnes’ parents. That said, there are 11 family trees on Ancestry that share Nelson Barnes as an ancestor.  All 11 of those trees indicate that Nelson Barnes’ parents were Joel and Lucy Wilson (Taft) Barnes. None of these researchers appear to have identified any siblings for Nelson nor have are any siblings identified on the Family Search family tree (ID: M1PY-5V8). Finally, the idea that Nelson married a Taft and that his father also married a Taft makes me uncomfortable.  Are the identities confused by the researchers or did it really happen this way? Having Nelson’s father named Joel would explain one of his sons being named Joel. In the future, I will research Joel Barnes (the elder) and see if I can connect him to Nelson, but in the meantime, the relationship of Nelson to Joel and Lucy is very tentative.

Marriage

Nelson Barnes and Mercy Eliza Taft were united in marriage in New York on October 21, 1839.[iii]

Adulthood

Their first child, a daughter, has one of the most unusual names I’ve encountered – Tryphenia.  Tryphenia (or Tryphena) was born in in 1841 in New York.  Records seem to conflict about if she was born in Broome County (Binghamton area) or King’s County (Manhattan).

Likewise, their second child, also a daughter – was born in 1844, also in New York.

The family then located to Sullivan County, Indiana where Nelson and Mercy had seven more children, all in Sullivan County.  They were:

  • Theodore              1847
  • Susan                    1849
  • Abraham              1852
  • Cyrus                     1855
  • Joel                        1857
  • Lucy                       1860
  • Martha                  1863

Nelson was a farmer and attended Methodist Episcopal church. The 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 census records all clearly show him living in Sullivan County.  Although some researchers indicate that Nelson served in the Civil War, I do not agree and believe the 45-year-old father of 8 remained out of the war. See “Nelson Barnes – Civil War Veteran?” for details.

Stories

In February 1879, Nelson and Mercy’s son Cyrus died at the age of 24.

Death & Burial

Nelson died on 21 January 1884 and is buried in Drake Cemetery, Fairbanks, Sullivan County, Indiana.[iv]

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Research potential ancestors, Joel and Lucy Wilson (Taft) Barnes, and see if there is a descendant path to Nelson Barnes.

Endnotes and Sources

[i] Citation:  Wolfe, Thomas J. 1909. A history of Sullivan County, Indiana, closing of the first century’s history of the county, and showing the growth of its people, institutions, industries and wealth. New York: The Lewis Pub. Co. Page 235.

[ii] Find A Grave Memorial# 37229135 – Nelson Barnes (1816 – 1884). Accessed 27 Mar 2017. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=37229135

[iii] Wolfe, Thomas J., History of Sullivan County, Indiana, A, Files (Personal),  See Item i above.

[iv] Find a Grave, Find a Grave, Nelson Barnes (1816 – 1884). See Above. See item ii above.