Ancestor Bio – Elishaba Smith

52 Ancestors – Week 191
By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.Elishaba Smith was born, lived her entire life, and died in New London County, Connecticut. What makes that statement so odd and what provided such a source for learning for me was that I learned that there is no county government nor county seat for New London County.  There isn’t a county government in any of Connecticut’s eight counties. In Connecticut, the towns are responsible for all local government. Although some neighboring towns might share resources, water, gas, the county is a mapping convention and has no government.

Darling-Huber 2017 – Ancestor #99

List of Grandparents

  • Grandfather: Robert Harry Darling
  • 1st Great-grandfather: Rufus Harry Darling
  • 2nd Great-grandfather: Rufus Holton Darling
  • 3rd Great-grandmother: Sally Ann Munsell
  • 4th Great-grandmother: Elishaba Smith
  • 5th Great-grandfather: Hezekiah Smith

 

Elishaba Smith (1748-1803)

Elishaba Smith was born on either 15 or 16 February 1747 in Lyme, New London. She was the child of Hezekiah and Sarah (Chadwick) Smith.

Childhood

Connecticut was an up-and-coming place in the mid 1700s. In 1758 the New London Summary was founded by Timothy Green. The newspaper was discontinued when Timothy Green died in 1763. However, the paper was immediately replaced by Timothy Green’s nephew, also named Timothy Green, with the New London Gazette.

Marriage

Elishaba married Timothy Munsell in Lyme on 11 Feb 1768.

They had seven children.

Children of Timothy and Elishaba (Smith) Munsell

Child Born Died
William Wescott Munsell 24 Jan 1770 20 Jan 1867
James Munsell 28 Jun 1773
Anna Munsell 07 Sep 1775 18 Jun 1777
Timothy Munsell 16 Apr 1778
Thomas Munsell Abt. 1784 1849
James Andross Munsell 09 Jul 1781 Abt. 1845
Sally Ann Munsell Abt. 1786 Unknown

Adult

Leaf1790 Census shows the Timothy Munsell family living in New London. It indicates three males living there under the age of 16.  Timothy (Age 12), James Andross (Age 9), and Thomas (Age 6) would have been the correct ages to fit the family.  William Wescott was born in 1770 and would have been 20 at the time so he must have lived elsewhere.

The census record also shows two females in the household. Elishaba (age 43) and Sally Ann (age 10)

1798 – Timothy Munsell died leaving Elishaba a widow.

1800 Census show Elishaba Munsell as the head of household. Living with her is one female between 10 and 16 years of age who is presumed to be Sally Ann who was born between 1784 and 1786.

Death

Elishaba Munsell died on 16 Sep 1803. Her burial location is unknown.



Sources

 

 

 

Probate Record for Timothy Munsell

Anamnesis Monday
Transcripts by Don Taylor

Cover page for Timothy Munsel Probate DocumentsProbate records are wonderful when you can find them as they provide so much detail and texture about an individual’s life.  I just loved learning that Timothy Munsell‘s family spent a dollar (6 shillings) for “Spirits.”  I also learned the things he had that were of importance. Apparently, no horse but he did have two hogs.

Ancestry.Com is a great resource for Wills and Probate Records. These images come from “Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999” original data from “Connecticut County, District and Probate Courts.” For all the images and higher quality images see Ancestry.Com. (You must have Ancestry account or be using a library account to access.)

 

Image 1204 – Inventory

Lyme Nov 20th 779

Inventory of Estate of Timothy Munsell

Late of Lyme Deceased

                               £  s  p

  • Wearing apparel 2-12-0
  • Bed & Bedding     2-10—
  • Pewter ware              6
  • Crockery Ditto         6
  • Iron ware                 16
  • Tables & Chairs      12
  • Cupboard & Drawers     6
  • Old Iron                     6
  • Wheel Skeel              3
  • 1 Old Case                 6
  • 1 Lanthorn                2
  • 1 Hogg  150 ?? ? 1-17-6
  • 1 Ditto 50 ??          12-6
  • 5 Bushels Corn     15
  • 1 Bible & Psalm Book     4
  • 1 Pair Heelyard     2
  • Forrage                  1-4
  • Land                       3

———

[Total]                   £ 16-0-0

Elisha Rice

Reynold Peck

Accept’d and called to the above amount execbty(?)
Only the land is allowed to the widow for ????
by order of the judge attest – L. Law Ats


Image 1210 – Receipt

Receipt – One Dollar for Spirits

 

Received Lyme Oct 27 – 1798

Elisheehia Munsell one dollar for spirits

 

 

If you have any suggested corrections to my transcriptions, please feel free to use the comment form below.

 

A Dollar for Spirits? – Timothy Munsell (1745-1798)

Howell-Darling-2017 Research

Darling/Munsell Line
By Don Taylor

IPhoto of Don Taylor with cat Nasi. have often wonder how money worked in the post-colonial period.  I know originally there were 20 shillings in a pound, but the old pounds and shillings worked in comparison with dollars. I’ve read many descriptions that read like a technical journal – “how many grains or grams were in something….” I knew that the early Americans had to have a simple system for day-to-day conversion, but it eluded me until I looked at the probate record of Timothy Munsell.  In the records, there was a list of expenses done in pounds, shillings, and pence and the receipts for payment were done in dollars. Building the casket cost 2 dollars, but was entered as 12 shillings in the ledger.  Likewise, digging the grave cost one dollar, but was entered as 6 shillings in the ledger. Simple. No more confusion on my part.  It is clear, from looking at the ledger, that a pound is 20 shillings and 12 pence makes a shilling.  Again simple.

Receipt – One Dollar for Spirits – Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 for Timothy Munsell – Image 1210.

However, with genealogy, when one thing becomes clear, often something else leaps up and confuses me. In this case, there was an expense for “spirits.” I just don’t understand enough about 18th-century burial practices to know what this really means. Was this the cost of the process to clean and wrap the body and prepare the spirit for its journey? Or was this payment for the booze for a spirited party following the burial?  Either seems possible, but I suspect it was the latter. However, a dollar (6 shillings) doesn’t seem like that much of a party, even in 1798 money. I would love to hear from anyone that had a definitive source for my understanding this conflict.

Howell Darling 2016 – Ancestor #98

List of Grandparents

 

Timothy Munsell (1745-1798)

The Munsell surname is also spelled Munsill, Monsell, and, sometimes, Maunsell. Regardless of record, I have standardized on the Munsell spelling.

Birth

Timothy Munsell was born on 24 Nov 1745 to John and Mary (unknown) Munsell.[i]

Nothing is known of Timothy’s childhood.

Adulthood

Timothy married Eleshiba Smith on 11 Feb 1768 in Lyme, New London, Connecticut Colony.[ii]

There is some confusion regarding the children of Timothy and Eleshiba, their number and their birthdates. I have settled upon the following:

            NAME                                    Birth               Comments

  • William Wescott Munsell     24 Jan 1770
  • James Munsell                        28 Jun 1773
  • Anna Munsell                          07 Sep 1775
  • Timothy Munsell                     16 Apr 1778
  • Sally Ann Munsell             1780              3rd Great Grandmother
  • James Andross Munsell         09 Jul 1781
  • Thomas Munsell                       1784                 “Supposed son”

I suspect that James (b. 1773) probably died before 1781 thus freeing up the given name of James for James Andross in 1781.  James Andross was also known as Andress, Andrus, and Andrew Munsell so it may be that James for James Andross was a confusion in some records. Further investigation is needed to clear up that question.

Some records indicate that Timothy Munsell may have served during the Revolutionary War as a private for Connecticut. However, The Daughters of the American Revolution have provided notice for ancestor #A082980 which states: THIS LINE MAY NOT BE USED FOR MEMBERSHIP IN THE DAR. It appears there were two Timothy Munsells in Lyme, CT, during the revolutionary war. One was born in 1735 and appears to have served while our Timothy Munsell was born in 1748 and did not serve.

Timothy Munsell died on 26 Oct 1798 in Lyme, New London County, Connecticut.

He was buried before 12 November 1798 in Lyme, New London County, Connecticut.[iii]

His burial cost $2 for the casket, $1 to dig the grave, and $1 for the spirits. [iv]

His land was appraised at £3. His personal property was valued at £12. His wearing apparel was the most valuable, worth £2 12s. His bed and bedding, valued at £2 10s, and a hogg, valued at £1, 17s, 6p, were the top valued items of personal property.[v]

I currently have 23 individuals with the surname Munsell identified and 69 known direct descendants of Timothy and Eleshiba (Smith) Munsell.

Ancestry DNA

Looking at Ancestry DNA, I viewed Shirley’s closest DNA Matches that have trees with the Munsell surname and found the following cousins.

  1. W1 – Shares 61 cM – Common Ancestor Abner and Sally Anne (Munsell) Darling.
  2. M0 – Shares 31 cM – Common Ancestor – Unknown ancestor of William J Munsell?
  3. GS – Shares 25 cM – Common Ancestor Abner and Sally Anne (Munsell) Darling.
  4. SM – Shares 24 cM – Conflict. Sally Ann Munsel with the spouse of Warren Darling.

(Note: For privacy concerns, I only use initials of individuals matched.

 

Further Actions / Follow-up

  • Follow-up on children of Timothy Munsell. Did he have two children named James? If so, did the first James died before the second James was born?
  • Learn why Timothy Munsell is no longer accepted as Revolutionary War Ancestor. It appears to relate somehow to John Munsell b. 7-16-1735 Lyme, CT, d. 7-17-1819.[vi]
  • Follow and document the Ancestry DNA descendant lines resolve any conflicts and add linkage into William J. Munsell’s ancestry.

Endnotes

[i] Munsell, Frank, Genealogy of the Munsell family (Munsill, Monsell, Maunsell) in America, Internet Archive, Page 173 – Timothy Munsell born in 1745. https://archive.org/details/genealogyofmunse00muns.

[ii] New London Vital Records – Page 315 – Timothy Munsell.

[iii] Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999 (, 2015), Ancestry.com, Timothy Munsell – Image 1206.

[iv] Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, Ancestry.com, Timothy Munsell – Image 1208.

[v] Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999, Ancestry.com, Timothy Munsell – Image 1204.

[vi] Daughters of the American Revolution – Genealogy Research – Ancestor Search – Munsell, Timothy – Ancestor #: A082980 – http://services.dar.org/public/dar_research/search_adb/?action=full&p_id=A082980

Ancestry Hints and Timothy Munsell

Darling Research
Treasure Chest Thursday

Email saying I have 7 new hints on Darling-HuberI love those Ancestry hints.  I received another message that I had hints in my Darling-Huber research. This time regarding my wife’s 4th great-grandfather, Timothy Munsell.  Because it was a direct ancestor, I jumped at the chance to investigate and see what they had. (See Three approaches to Ancestry Hints for why.)

1790 Census

Because of the 1790 Census,

1790 Census Timothy Munsell - 1 3-2
1790 Census
Timothy Munsell

Timothy Munsell  – 1  3  2

Free White Persons – Males – 16 and over: 1
Free White Persons – Males – Under 16:  3
Free White Persons – Females: 2

I was fairly sure that:

The one male 16 and over was clearly Timothy.

I was fairly certain the two females identified were his wife, Eleshiba, and his 10-year-old daughter Sally Ann.

That left three males under 16 (born between 1773 and 1790) that I didn’t know who they were. I had entered them into my system as sundry relations, “unknown” with a note they were possibly sons of Timothy Munsell.

Timothy and Eleshiba had another son that I knew about, William, but he was born in January of 1770 and thus would have been 20 during 1790 census. I just figured he wasn’t at home any longer.

Ancestry Hint

The Ancestry Hint brought me to “Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) – Lyme Vital Records 1667-1852” – Pages 172 and 173 provided names and birthdates for the children:

All entries are per Vol 1, Page 150 – Items bolded were new bits of information for me.

Anna, d. Timothy & Elishaba, b. Sept 7, 1775; d. June 18, 1777
James, s. Timothy & Elishabe, b. June 28, 1773
John Andross, s. Timothy & Elishaba, b. July 9, 1781
Sally Ann, d. Timothy & Elishabe, b. Oct 23, 1784
Timothy, s. Timothy & Elishabe, b. Apr/ 16, 1778
William, s. Timothy & Elishaba. b. Jan 24, 1770, at New London

So, I learned the names and birthdates of the three previously unknown children and confirmed they were the children of Timothy and Elishabe. I also learned of a sixth child, Anna, that died when only two years old.

One more thing, I also learned that Timothy’s parents were John and Mary (I knew his father was John before this). And now know he was born Nov. 24, 1745. (Before, I had he was born “before 1752.”

Timothy, s. John & Mary, b. Nov. 24, 1745            L-6      156

Treasure Chest This Ancestry hint provided new information; it confirmed other information regarding a direct ancestor, and it identified two new ancestors. That is what I cal a real genealogical Treasure Chest.

Follow-up Actions

Get copies of registration pages and not rely upon printed transcription in the book.

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

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