52 Ancestors – Week 2018-29
By Don Taylor
Like many of my ancestors, Deborah Buel Maben, was a pioneer wife. She was born, raised, and married in eastern New York (Greene County). After she married she headed west with her husband to Michigan Territory. She was there when Michigan become a state. She passed away and was buried in Benton, Washtenaw County, Michigan, in the land she and her family settled.
By Don Taylor
Following families through the pre-1850 Census is always a challenge. I was researching my 4th great-grandmother, Deborah Buel Maben. She married in 1824 and I’ve been able to follow her through her husband in the census records during her married life. I began working to find evidence of her in the 1820 Census. I knew she was married in Greene County, New York and I quickly found what appeared to be her father, Robert Maben (Mabin in the census Record).
Next, I mapped the family out with what I believed I knew about the family. Do the children I know about fit the Census record?
Robert Mabin 2 1 1 1 1 – 2 2 – 1 –
< 10 = 2 Presumed to be Addison T,. Age 3
Presumed to be John, Age 9 10-16 = 1 Unknown Child –
16-18 = 1 Presumed to be James, Age 17
16-26 = 1 Duplicate of above person (James)
26-45 = 1 Presumed to be Robert Maben, Age 39
Over 45 –
< 10 = 2 Presumed to include Mary E. Maben, Age 5
Presumed to include Electa Maben, Age 2 months.
10-16 = 2 Presumed to Include Deborah Buel Maben, Age 15
Presumed to Include Sarah, Age 13
26-45 = 1 Presumed to be Electa, Age 38
Over 45 –
In this case, every child I know about appears to be enumerated along with Robert Maben and his wife, Electa, fit the age ranges given in the census. Now, I’m confident that the Maben family was in Lexington, Green County, New York in 1820.
And what so often happens with records, there are new questions. Who is the unknown male child from 10 to 16 years of age? I know of no child in the Maben family who fits that criteria. Could this be a cousin, an adoptee, or a child of Robert and Electa? I don’t know yet, but it will definitely cause me to keep an eye out for other records that suggest another child.
A child between 10 and 16 in 1820 had to have been born between 1803 and 1810.
James was born in 1803
Deborah in 1805
Sarah in 1807 and
John in 1811.
The only gap in that series is 1809. So, I suspect this unknown boy living in the household of Robert Maben is a heretofore unknown son. I’ve added him to my tree as a hypothesis with the above information. It is certainly possible that this person is possibly some other and I will keep that possibility in mind.
So many possibilities exist. Another one revolves around Robert & Electa’s eighth known child, Charles B. Maben. It is possible I have his birthdate wrong and he was really born much earlier than the 1824 date, I have for his birth.
By Don Taylor
Following ancestors through all the census records is often difficult, particularly in census records before 1850, when only the head of household was named. Tracing my 4th great-grandfather, Chester Parsons was straight-forward from the 1880 census back to the 1850 census, even on to the 1830 Census, while Chester was in Saline, Michigan. Before that, he was a young man in someone else’s household not in Michigan. The path to understanding is to take what you know, hypothesize what should be, then see if research fits.
What I think I know.
Chester was born on 1 December 1799 in Sandisfield, Berkshire, Massachusetts.
Chester married his first wife in Greene County, New York in 1824.
In May 1826, Chester and his young family moved from New York to Saline, Washtenaw County, Michigan Territory.
He and his family appear in 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, and 1880 censuses. The family seems to have been very stable living in Saline, Michigan, for over 60 years.
Chester’s father, John Parsons, died in 1813 in Greene County, New York.
In 1820 Chester would have been 20 years old.
Because Chester probably lived with his father when his father died in 1813 and Chester probably resided in Greene County when he married in 1824, I presume the 20-year-old Chester also was living in Greene County during the 1820 Census. If so, who was he living with?
Search & Results
A quick search on Family Search of all families with the Parsons surname living in Greene County, New York in 1820 yielded four candidates, Samuel, Orrin, Albert, and Stephen. I’m looking for any of those people that might have Chester living with him.
Samuel Parsons – This Windham household consists of 1 Male (Age 26-45) and no other males. Chester’s oldest brother was named Samuel and would have been 33-years-old. This Samual is possibly, even likely, Chester’s brother.
Orrin Parsons – This Windham household consists of two males (one 16 to 26 and one under 10. There is also a female 16 to 26 in the household. Chester’s 2nd oldest brother was named Orrin and was 25 at the time. It is likely this was him with his wife, and first, previously unknown, son.
Albert Parsons – This Windham household consisted of five individuals, apparently Albert age 16-26, male 10-16, and male under 10 and two females, one, an apparent wife 16 to 26 and another age 10 to 16. There is no known Albert Parsons in my research before this. I will probably need to do more research to determine this Albert’s place in the family or determine he isn’t related. In any event, Chester is not in that household either.
Chester’s father John died in 1814. It appears that Samuel and Orrin each married and established households of their own. Chester, his brother John, and their mother were probably either missed in the 1820 Census or were living in the household of someone without the surname Parsons in Greene County, New York.
It is possible that Chester and family lived with sister Mary/Polly in 1820. Research Mary/Polly Parsons’ life.
It is possible that Chester and family lived with a female sibling of John Parsons, Jr. Research the lives of the other Parsons of Sandisfield, Massachusetts that located to Windham, Greene County, New York between 1800 and 1820.