By Don Taylor
Contemporary writers said Ezra was a “remarkably muscular man, possessed of great nerve and quickness of perception.”[i] They also said he was “a mechanic, a respectable member of society, a kind husband and parent, a good neighbor and an honest man.”[ii] Wow. What great things were said about my 5th Great-Grandfather, Ezra Clugston Sanford. He is definitely an ancestor that I would have loved to have met in person. He sounds amazing.
Ancestor #200 – Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)
List of Grandparents
- 6 – Grandfather: Richard Earl Brown
- 12 – 1st Great-grandfather: Arthur Durwood Brown(1869-1928)
- 25 – 2nd Great-grandmother: Marion Sanford(1846- c. 1895)
- 50 – 3rd Great-grandfather: William M Sanford(1824-1915)
- 100 – 4th Great-grandfather: Ezra Gay Sanford(1792-1855)
- 200 – 5th Great-grandfather: Ezra Clugston Sanford (1763-1813)
- 400 – 6th Great-grandfather: Amos Gilbert Sanford (1733-1777)
- 800 – 7th Great-grandfather: Samuel Baldwin Sanford (1703-1758)*
- 1600 – 8th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1680-1729)*
- 3200 – 9th Great-grandfather: Samuel Sanford (1643-1691)*
- 6400 – 10th Great-grandfather: Thomas Sanford (Immigrant Ancestor) (1607-1681)*
* Italicized individuals were newly added as a result of my research into Ezra Clugston Sanford. Their information and relationships have not been confirmed.
Ezra Clugston Sanford was born 22 April 1763 in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut. He was the fourth of ten children born to Amos Gilbert and Mary Cluckstone (Clugston) Sanford. Newtown was a thriving town of nearly 2000 people when Ezra was born.
In 1763 the Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War and France ceded New France (Canada) to Great Britain. Just days after Ezra’s birth, Chief Pontiac of the Odawa people, along with 17 other nations, began attacking the British Fort Detroit in what become known as “Pontiac’s War.”
Ezra was baptized in the First Congregational Church in Newtown, CT on 8 May 1763.
Siblings of Ezra Clugston Sanford
|David Clugston Sanford||1757||Hannah Rowlin||1836|
|Elizabeth Sanford||1759||Isaiah Honeywell||1809|
|Caleb Clugston Sanford||1761||Lucinda Pike||1783|
|Samuel Clugston Sanford||1765||Miss Rand||1832|
|John Sanford||1767||Miss Russ||?|
|Mary Dianta Sanford||1772||?||1851|
|Amos Sanford||1774||Betsey Pardee||1831|
In 1780, Ezra’s uncle, Thomas Sanford, built a house at 71 Riverside Road in the Sandy Hook section of Newtown which stands today and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[iii]
When Ezra turned 21 in 1784, another Treaty of Paris was ratified—this time to end the Revolutionary War.
Ezra married Mercy Gay on 11 October 1786 in Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut. The couple had four or five children.
Children of Ezra and Mercy (Gay) Sanford
|Electa Sanford||1790 – Litchfield Co., CT||?|
|Ezra Gay Sanford||1792 – Litchfield Co., CT||1855|
|Sally Sanford||1796 – Pownal, VT||1881|
|Lucy Sanford||1799 – Pownal, VT||1870|
The 1790 Census indicates that Ezra is living with three females in Litchfield. One is his wife, and one is his daughter Electa. That leaves one unknown female. That female could be anyone, including another child. Ezra and Mercy were married in 1786 and had Electa in 1790. However, a four-year gap between marriage and their first child is longer than I would expect. As such, I believe that this unknown female in the household is a daughter born about 1788 and who died before 1800. (See: Ezra Sanford in the Early Censuses for details.)
Ezra, Mercy, and children moved to Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont in February, 1792.[iv]
1800 Census – In the 1800 Census. Ezra is the head of a household consisting of 3 males and 4 females. There is one unknown adult male in the household and one female that was there in 1790 that is not listed, but the other members of the household are enumerated as expected.
Ezra Sanford 1 – – 2 – | 2 1 – 1
- 1809 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 17 July 1809, Page 3, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal but had mail waiting for him at the post office.
- 1810 Census – The Ezra Sanford household is still in Pownal, with Ezra and Mercy with four children, Ezra (Jr.). Electa, Lucy, and Sally/Sarah.
- 1812 – The Vermont Gazette (Bennington, Vermont) on 11 May 1812, Page 4, indicated that Ezra was living in Pownal and was a commissioner in the probate of Leah Barber’s estate. \
Death & Burial
- Ezra Clugston Sanford died on 22 June 1812 at the age of 50 years and 2 months in Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont. He was buried in the Towslee Cemetery in Pownal.
Will & Probate
I wrote about Ezra’s estate previously. Please see:
- Estate of Ezra Sanford – Guardian Papers – 1813
- Probate Record – Ezra Sanford – Sales Paper – Part 1 of 2
- Probate Record – Ezra Sanford – Sales Paper – Part 2 of 2
Events by Location
Newtown Township, Fairfield County, Connecticut – Birth, Baptism.
Sharon, Litchfield County, Connecticut – Marriage, 1790 Census.
Pownal, Bennington County, Vermont – 1800, 1810, Death, Burial.
Further Actions / Follow-up Research
- Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their support of the Revolution.
- Research the Sanford family of Newtown, CT, and learn about their education.
- Research death dates and marriages of Ezra’s siblings.
- Determine death information regarding Electa Sanford (1790-?)
- Determine property that may have been owned by Ezra Sanford in both Connecticut and Vermont. Check for tax records also.
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