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 – Inventory Papers

Transcription Tuesday
Brown/Sanford
by Don Taylor

This week, for “Transcription Tuesday,” I am continuing my review of the Probate of Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)[i]. The first section of the Inventory Papers are images 4, 5, and 6 of the 19 images contained in the probate file.

Image 4 (391 – Cover)

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Inventory Papers (front)

Ezra Sanford
Commission to
O. Dunham to appraise.

Image 5 (392 – Cover – left side)

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Inventory Papers – Front Page Notes

Bennington County fs Pownal 10th July 1813 Personally appeared Obadiah Dunham before me and was duly sworn to the faithful performance of his duty as directed in the within commission before me.

Samuel Wright, Justice of Peace

Bennington County fs Pownal 10th July 1813

Isaac Kimbell was sworn to the faithful discharge as his duty as a commissioner on the estate of Ezra Sanford estate, late of Pownal deceased, according to the ?? Commission. 

Before Me —- Obadiah Dunham Justice Peace

Image 6 (393 – a standard printed form with blanks filled in*)

Estate of Ezra Sanford – Inventory Papers – Appraisers assigned to do inventory.

To Obadiah Dunham & Isaac Kimbill of Pownal in the district of Bennington good and sufficient freeholders.

GREETING.

By virtue of the authority vested in me, by the laws of this state, I do hereby appoint you the said Obadiah & Isaac commissioners to appraise the estate both real and personal of Ezra Sanford late of Pownal deceased, and you are hereby directed and empowered to apprize the same according to its true and just value in cash, according to your best judgment, and to make a true Inventory thereof under oath of your fidelity therein, and the same return into the registry of the court of probate for the district of Bennington together with this commission under your hands, and a true copy of said inventory to give to the administratrix of such estate on or before the first Monday of August 1813.

Dated at 5th this day of July 1813

Josiah Wright PROBATE JUDGE

Attest, B Edwards

Register. Protem.

Facts I learned

I learned that Obadiah Dunham and Isaac Kimbill were likely family, friends, or neighbors of Ezra Sanford. I had seen Obadiah’s name before, but it was clearer and more readable in this document then it was in previous documents.

==============================================

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.

* Handwritten entries are in bold.


Endnotes

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

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.

==============================================

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/.

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.

Probate Record – Ezra Sanford – Sales Paper – Part 2 of 2

Transcription Tuesday
Brown/Sanford
Transcription by Don Taylor

(See Part 1 of 2 here)

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

This week, for “Transcription Tuesday,” I continue looking at the Probate Record for Ezra Sanford of Bennington County, Vermont[i], who died in 1813. The “Sales Papers” consisted of a cover page and two handwritten pages. The cover page indicated that this was the “Division of Ezra Sanford Estate. Recorded Book 5th Page 234 to 237 by Jona E Robinson, Register.” It also indicates that it was received, examined, allowed and ordered to be recorded on October 4th, 1813.

Page 2 of the Sales Papers:

There up ?? brook to the foot of the Ridge, there over the ridge
on her Mama;s East line to Timothy Barbers land, thence East
ward on ?? Barber & Isaac Henshals Line to Road at the foot
of the Ridge, thence up the North line of the Road to the Road
that leads Northward to Isaac Heshels & thence Northward
on the West Line of ?? Road to the ??? began at.

We also set to Lucy Sanford the following piece of Land, beginning
at a stake on the south side of the road in the East Line
of the old Williams Lot so called, thence on the East Line of
?? Lot southword to Josiah Wentwout Northward corner
& so in southward on ?? Wistcounts line to Benjamin Bakers Land
Thence on ?? Barber Land westward to the Road thence North
aly on the Road to Timothy Barber Land thence Eastward
by an ?? Timothy Line to the Mill Brook thence down
the mill brook to the Mill, thence on the Mill lane to
the road, then easterly on the south side of the road to the
first bound, also we set to Lucy thirty acres of wood
land lying on the south side of the wood lot & east
of the line that leads by Elis Dunhams lying in a regular
form __ __ __ __

Ezra Sanford had received one thousand
one hundred and thirty three dollars and ninety in credits
Electa Sanford had received sixty five dollars & forty seven
cents in advance.
Sally Sanford had received seventy nine dollars and thirty three cents
& Lucy Sanford had received sixty-one dollars and eighty three cents —

??? 20th September 1813 we have attended to the business
of our appointment and decided the landed estate of Ezra
Sanford late of Pownal deceased as above described & have also
dre?? the personal estate amongst the widow and lawful
heirs.

We the undersigned ??? { Jos?? Blackinton }
our ratification to this division by { Jebadiah Faunhan }
countersigning the same { Isaac Kimbell }

Mercy Sanford
Sally Sanford
Lucy Sanford
Ezra Sanford

—————

Comments:

Paragraphs above are mine for my clarity, not the original writer.

  • —————

Facts I learned

  • Ezra Sanford left a large estate, many parcels of land and over $1000 in cash.
  • Lucy Sanford inherited two pieces of land.
  • Ezra, Electa, Sally, and Lucy all received money.
  • I noted: Electa did not sign the division agreement.
  • Mercy, Sally, Lucy, and Ezra were all living on 20 Sep 1813.

==============================================

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 or can interpret the words I have ??ed, please let me know your thoughts via the Contact Form at the bottom of the page.


Sources

[i] Ancestry.com. Vermont, Wills and Probate Records, 1749-1999 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015. Vermont, Bennington County, Bennington District, Probate Records; Author: Vermont. Probate Court (Bennington District); Probate Place: Bennington, Vermont – Entry for Ezra Sanford Probate – Page 16 (00404).