Monday, February 17, 2014

#52Ancestors (7) Sarah Calkins Spencer

This week we venture into the 'black hole' that is pre-1850 New York records, in search of what little data there is about my 4x great-grandmother, Sarah CALKINS SPENCER.

Fact: Sarah died in Varysburg, Wyoming, New York on 1 May 1849 and is buried in the local Varysburg Cemetery. Sadly, she did not live long enough for an appearance on the 1850 census. Her headstone noted she was 59 years at death, so she was born about 1790.

And that's the only real 'fact' I have. The few records I have of her husband Asa SPENCER (to be blogged about later) were from a time when women had few rights - the land, tax and church records only have Asa's name. I have found New York to be a particularly difficult location to research (especially from my computer) because very few early records exist.

Sarah is likely the daughter of John CALKINS and Catherine DUSTIN of Arlington, Bennington, Vermont. Many years ago, I found tantalizing connections on message boards, but the Calkins Society would only reveal information upon membership, which I never followed through with at the time. Additionally, there were several of the purported Calkins siblings of Sarah also residing in Varysburg. The related names settling together in early New England are another good clue to pursue.

Sarah and Asa had several children, some of whom were kind enough to have Sarah's maiden name listed on their death certificates. The known children are:
  1. Waterman (1808-1882), married Russel GODFREY, died in New York
  2. Wright (1811-1899), married Sarah 'Sally' JOSLYN/JOSLIN, died in Michigan
  3. Infant (1813-1813), died in Vermont
  4. William (1816-1900), died in Michigan
  5. Catherine (~1820-1843), likely married Stephen THAYER, died in New York
  6. Mary (~1822-?), details unknown
  7. Sarah Ann (1824-1916), married Abram LONG, died in Kansas
  8. Melissa (1826-1917), married Amariah LINCOLN, died in New York
  9. Marcia (1827-1895), married Benjamin JONES, died in New York
  10. Charles (~1832-~1859), details unknown
So those are my Sarah clues to date. Any connections? Let me know!

(c) 2014 Sally Knudsen