Sunday, February 20, 2011

Samuel Porter of Chautauqua County

In my previous post on Chautauqua Porters, I mentioned two of the three Porters listed in the town had a female of the right age to be my Nancy Porter.  I can pretty much rule out Samuel Porter, shown below in the Chautauqua 1830 census.
Samuel and his wife are buried in the town of Chautauqua.  He dies 18 Oct 1863 and his head stone lists his date of birth as 20 June 1787.  His wife, Mary Justina, dies on 14 Nov 1848 (she is listed as his wife on the head stone).  Her age at death is recorded as 68 years 7 months 14 days.  Using my handy date of birth calculator, I compute her date of birth as 31 Mar 1780.  I wonder if the census taker placed her in the wrong column on this record?

The reason I know the female born 1815-1820 is not my Nancy Porter is because of the 1850 census along with a small passage in the History of Chautauqua County, New York.  The 1850 census from the town of Chautauqua, is shown below.
Samuel Porter, aged 63 is living the household of Robert Huse (actually spelled Hewes).  There is also a 15 year old female named Hortensey Porter living with them, too.  The section from the The History of Chautauqua County, New York is displayed below.
So we know that Samuel is living in the house of his son-in-law Robert Hewes.  Olive is 30 years old in 1850 making her born circa 1820.  I think it's a safe bet to say the female born 1815 to 1820 in Samuel Porter's household is Olive.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Nancy Porter, Where Are You?

I just got back from Roots Tech 2011 in Salt Lake City.  I have to admit the conference felt more like technology looking for a use rather than a use in need of technology.  Sometimes a pen and paper is all you really need.  Of course the conference proximity to the Family History Library was another great reason to attend Roots Tech and will certainly be the reason I attend the 2012 conference.

I decided to try and break through a couple of my toughest brick walls.  One of these lines I have blogged about quite in depth - my Fox family.  The other line I worked on is that of my great great grandmother's family, Nancy Porter.  Nancy marries Horace Pratt on 11 Feb 1835 in Chautauqua County, New York.  You will see this marriage date listed every where.  According to one source, the marriage announcement was listed in a local paper in the town of Chautauqua as published by the Chautauqua Genealogical Society.

As is usually the case, no one seems to actually be able to 'find' the particular issue of the "Gleanings" newsletter that listed this information.  I even contacted the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society hoping they might be able to clear this up.  Unfortunately, they too could not locate the particular source for this information.  Luckily for me, my great great grandfather, Horace Pratt, applied for a Civil War pension based on the service of his son, John Nelson Pratt.  By this time, Horace's wife Nancy had been deceased for years.  Horace listed his marriage to Nancy Porter in the town of Chautauqua, New York on 11 Feb 1834.  This is a year off from the generally listed 11 Feb 1835.

Horace Pratt can be found in the 1840 Federal census in Livingston County, Michigan.  I figured he was part of the mass migration to Michigan from New York in 1836.  The population of the Michigan Territory quadrupled in 1836.  Three out of every four new Michigan residents were born in New York.  Nancy Porter dies 25 Jan 1872.  The photograph, below, is the only picture I have of her.  According to family lore, she was sickly and never fully recovered from the births of her last two children.  She looks exhausted in this photo.
I started my hunt for Nancy in Chautauqua County, New York.  I once read that most marriages took place in the county were the bride lived.  If this is the case, Nancy Porter would have been living in Chautauqua County.  There really is not much to go on, but as usual, I'm always up for the family tree hunt.

I have started with the 1830 federal census for Chautauqua County, looking for any Porter families which have a female who would be approximately 13 years old.  Of course this is assuming Nancy Porter is living in Chautauqua County in 1830.

I've listed the Porter families for the town of Chautauqua below:
 Two of the Porter families have females in the 1815 to 1820 age bracket which theoretically matches my Nancy Porter.  I can also tell you that there are three other Porter families living in Chautauqua County.  I just thought it would be best to start looking in the actual town of Horace and Nancy's marriage...