Newport New Hampshire Milliner, Author, Poet, Editor and "Mother of Thanksgiving": Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale (1788-1879)

Sarah J HaleBorn Sarah Josepha Buell, on a farm in the small town of Newport New Hampshire, she had a limited education, which was typical for women of the time.

Encouraged by her brother Horatio, who was a student at Dartmouth College, he guided her home studies, enough so to be able to teach. She married a young attorney by the name of David Hale.  When he died unexpectedly from pneumonia, she was left with five young children.  She wrote a book of poems and a novel, while she ran a millinery shop.

In 1830 she wrote a poem (that became famous) “Mary Had A Little Lamb,” published in her book, “Poems for Our Children.”  Eventually she was asked to become the editor of Ladies Magazine and Literary Gazette which became, in 1834 the “American Ladies Magazine.” In 1836 she became the editor of “Godey’s Lady’s Book.” This magazine was like an old-time version of The Ladie’s Home Journal–it contained advice, household hints, fashion, fiction, etc.

In 1840, Sarah began campaigning for a national day of Thanksgiving. By 1852, 20 out of 31 states had agreed. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in 1863, choosing the last Thursday in November. In 1941 President Roosevelt made it a federal holiday, but changed the day, through an act of Congress, to the fourth Thursday (when it’s been held ever since).

In 1850 Sarah wrote “Women’s Record: or, Sketches of All Distinguished Women from ‘The Beginning’ til A.D.” 1850, a biographical encyclopedia of women and their significance in history.  Sarah became a good friend of Emma Willard, founder of a “female seminary” in Troy, New York, that became the now famous Emma Willard School. Sarah sent both of her daughters there.

In addition Sarah encouraged female authors and urged the higher education of women. She led many causes, including the completion of the Bunker Hill monument, and other shrines, and founded or supported organizations benefiting the needy, especially poor women.

New Hampshire’s Historic Marker #6, commemorating Sarah’s life and accomplishments, can be found in Newport NH, on the north side of the street, near the post office. The house where she lived in Philadelphia is located at 922 Spruce Street.

Every year since 1956, the Richard’s Free Library in Newport New Hampshire has presented a yearly award, “The Sarah Josepha Hale Award,” in recognition of a distinguished body of work in the field of literature and letters. (Robert Frost won the first award in 1956).

Janice

*Additional Reading*

All About Sarah Josepha Hale

Biography of Sarah J. Hale

Letter from Sarah J. Hale to President Abraham Lincoln (American Memory)

Book: “The Genius of Oblivion” (partial)

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***FAMILY TREE OF SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL***
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William Buell [Bewelle, Beville], of Dorchester MA and Windsor CT was born at Chesterton, in Huntingdonshire, England, about 1610 and emigrated to America about 1630. He first settled at Dorchester MA and afterwards moved to Windsor CT (abt 1635-36) where he died, 23 Nov 1681. William Buell Sr. was in the first land division in Windsor CT. In his will he gave his tools to his two sons, Samuel and Peter, and to his daughter, Mary Mills he gave L5 more than to his other daughters.  He gave his son Peter the land in Windsor. William Buell and his wife, in October 1650 were indicted in Plymouth Colony as “Baptists.” Accounts were made with William Buell for work done on the meeting house, and  he was paid for “the Elder’s Pew, Deakon’s Pew, Magistrat’s Pew, and their Wives’ Pew.”  His will was dated 26 July 1681. Inventory offered by his wife Mary, dated 26 July 1681 for L147.2s.7d.  Widow Mary Buell died at Windsor CT 1 Sep 1684. William Buell’s mother probably came with him to Windsor CT, as the Windsor record says “Goode Buell died at Windsor 3 Dec 1639.”   He had married at Windsor CT 18 Nov 1640 to Mary –. She d. 2 Sep 1684.
Children of William & Mary Buell:
1. +Samuel Buell, b. 2 Sep 1641 Windsor CT
2. Mary Buell,b. 3 Sep 1642 Windsor CT; removed in 1669 to Weatsque CT and d. 24 June 1718 at Massaco, East Simsbury CT. She m. 23 Feb 1660 at Windsor CT to Simon Mills. Had issue.
3. Sergeant Peter Buell, b. 19 Aug 1644; in 1670 removed to Simsbury CT. He d. 8 Jan 1729 age 84 at Simsbury CT. He m. 31 March 1670 at Windsor CT to Martha Cozzens, dau of Thomas Cozzens of Taunton MA. She d. 22 May 1686 at Simsbury CT. Had issue. He m2nd, abt 1687 to Mary/Mercy Strong who d. 4 May 1688, aged 22 yrs. No ch by that marriage. He m3rd, prob at Windsor CT 30 June 1699, Mrs. Mary Bissell, widow of Jacob Bissell, and dau of Jonathan and Mary (Kelsey) Gilbert Jr. of Windsor CT.  She b. 21 Oct 1667 and d. 19 Aug 1834. Had issue by third wife.
4. Hannah Buell, b. 8 Jan 1647 Windsor CT; d. 26 Sep 1704 Windsor CT. She m. 17 Sep 1663 at Windsor CT to Timothy Palmer, son of Nicholas Palmer of Windsor CT. He b. 20 March 1641 and d. 29 Aug 1713. Had issue.
5. Hepzibah Buell, b. 11 Dec 1649 Windsor CT; m1) Thomas Wells; m2) Daniel Billings
6. Sarah Buell, b. 21 March 1654 Windsor CT, d. 1734 unmarried
7. Abigail Buell, b. 12 Feb 1656 Windsor CT, d. 16 Nov 1681 unmarried

Samuel Buell, first child of William Buell of Chesteron, Huntingdonshire, England, Dorchester MA and Windsor CT, was born at Windsor CT 2 Sep 1641. He removed in 1664 to Killingworth CT, where he lived for the rest of his life, dying there 11 July 1720, aged 79 years [in the part of Killingworth now called Clinton].  He was an extensive landower, and held public offices. He had 12 children, 7 of them sons.  Samuel Buell gave by deed, dated Feb. 15, 1696, to his well beloved son, Samuel Buell Jr., “Seven acres of land for a house and lot, with a dwelling-house there on,” “Salt Meadow, four acres,” “four and a half acres of land in the neck” (plow land) “also two acres by the Westerly end of my house,” [and a few more pieces of land].  He removed from Windsor to Killingworth, where his son John remained until he arrived to manhood. He then removed to Lebanon where some of his children were born, and after that to Litchfield Ct about 1720/21 and became a proprietor of the new settlement at Bantam. He married 13/18 Nov 1662 to Deborah Griswold, dau of Edward Griswold of Windsor CT. She b. 28 June 1646 and d. at Killingworth CT 7 Feb 1719.
Children of Samuel & Deborah (Griswold) Buell:
1. +Samuel Buell, b. 20 July 1663 at Windsor CT
2. Deborah Buell, b. 18 Oct 1665 at Windsor CT; she m abt 1710 at Killingworth CT to Nathaniel Porter, son of John Porter of Windsor CT. He b. 20 Apr 1660. Had issue.
3. Hannah Buell, b. 6 Sep 1667, died young.
4. Mary Buell, b. 28 Nov 1669; m. 27 July 1669 at Killingworth CT to Hezekiah Porter, son of John Porter of Windsor CT. He b. 7 Nov 1673. Had issue.
5. Deacon John Buell, b. 17 Feb 1671. In 1695 settled at Lebanon CT, and in 1721 at Litchfield CT. He d. Litchfield CT 9 Apr 1746. He m. 20 Nov 1695 to Mary Loomis, dau of Thomas & Hannah (Porter) Loomis of Windsor CT. Had issue.
6. Hannah Buell, b. 4 May 1674, died. abt 1761 in Windsor CT. She m. 5 Dec 1699 to Joseph Porter, son of John Porter of Windsor CT. He b. 7 Feb 1675. Had issue.
7. Ensign William Buell, b. 18 Oct 1676. He removed to Lebanon CT and died there 7 Apr 1763.  He m. abt 1705 at Hartford CT to Elizabeth Collins, dau of Joseph Collins of Hartford CT. She d. at Lebanon CT 7 Dec 1729. Had issue. He m2nd, 23 Apr 1730 at Lebanon CT to Martha Smith. She d. 25 May 1751, no issue from 2nd marriage. He married 3rd, 12 Nov 1751 at Stonington CT to Mrs. Jerusha Dean.
8. Major David Buell, b. 15 Feb 1679 and d. 25 Feb 1749 Killingworth CT. He was a prominent militia man. He married 11 May 1701 at Killingworth CT to Phoebe Fenner, dau of John & Sarah Fenner of Saybrook CT.  Had issue.
9. Josiah Buell, b. 17 March 1681, died young.
10. Mehitable Buell, b. 22 Aug 1682; removed to Lebanon CT about 1701 and died there 30 Apr 1704, aged 21 yrs 8 months. She m. 18 Nov 1701 at Killingworth CT to Capt. Nathaniel Porter. He b. 15 Nov 1680 and died (killed) at Fort Ann NY in 1709, aged 29 years. One child.
11. Lieut. Justice and Capt. Peter Buell, b. 3 Dec 1684; removed about 1712 to Coventry CT where he d. March 1769. He m. 8 Oct 1713 at Coventry CT to Hannah Wells. She d. 20 Feb 1719. Had issue. He married 2nd, Mrs. Martha (Huntington) Grant, widow of Noah Grant on 7 Jan 1729. She was the dau of John and Abigail (Lathrop) Huntington and was b. 9 Dec 1696. She had married 1st) 12 June 1717 to Noah Grant. He d. 16 Oct 1727 in Tolland CT.  Had issue.
12. Benjamin Buell, b. abt 1686, d. 18 Feb 1725 at Killingworth CT. He m. 28 June 1710 to Hannah Hutchinson of Hebron. She d. 1728. Had issue.

Samuel Buell, first child of Samuel Buell of Windsor CT, was b. 20 July 1663 at Windsor CT. He removed to Killingworth CT where he died 2 Nov 1732. He was commissioner of deeds from 1706 to 1716. In his will ten written pages describe his household items totalling L101.2s.0d. He married abt 1686 at Killingworth CT to Judith Stevens, dau of William and Mary (Meigs) Stevens of Killingworth CT. She d. at Killingworth CT 31 Oct 1732.
1. Samuel Buell, b. 29 May 1687 and d. 15 June 1688 at Killingworth CT
2. Capt. Samuel Buell, b. 8 March 1690 Killingworth CT; d. 8 Nov 1750 Killingworth CT. He m 3 May 1711 to Abigail Crittenden, who d. 6 Nov 1735 Killingworth CT. He m2nd, 26 Jan 1737 Elizabeth Benton. She d. 14 May 1748. Had issue by both wives.
3.Ensign Josiah Buell, b. 7 March 1692 Killingworth CT; d. 11 Oct 1732.
4. Deborah Buell, b. 24 Jan 1694 Killingworth CT; d. Aug 1767 Killingworth CT; m. 12 Sep 1714 Killingworth CT to Daniel Dudley of Saybrook CT.
5. Mary Buell, b. 17 May 1696 Killingworth CT; m. 3 Feb 1714 Joseph Waterous of Saybrook CT.
6. +Lieut. Daniel Buell, b. 19 June 1698 Killingworth CT
7. Nathaniel Buell, b. 29 Sep 1700 Killingworth CT; removed to Oblong, Duchess Co NY late in life. He m. 14 Nov 1721 Killingworth CT to Deborah Horton, dau of Rev. Mr. Horton of Sag Harbor LI. Had issue.
8. Lydia Buell, b. 9 March 1703; d. 8 Aug 1710 Killingworth CT.
9. Mehitable Buell, b. 8 May 1705 Killingworth CT; m. 18 Feb 1730 in Killingworth CT to Elnathan Smith.
10. Lucy Buell, b. 25 May 1708, d. 8 Aug 1708 Killingworth CT.
11. Joseph Buell, b. 24 Aug 1710 Killingworth CT; removed to Somers CT in 1740 and later to Newport NH. He married 10 Apr 1733 to Anna Submit Colton of Killworth. She d. 27 Dec 1772 at Newport NH. Had issue. He m2nd, — Lane. Had one ch, Molly who m. John Hardee.

Lieut. & Deacon Daniel Buell, son and sixth child of Samuel Buell, was born 19 June 1698 at Killingworth CT, and d. there 9 May 1782. He was a lieutenant in the army and took an active part in religious affairs. He held the office of Deacon in the church he attended, and was a large landowner. Daniel Buell deeded land north of the meeting house in North Killingworth, North Society 19 Nov 1744 to Josiah Waterous (Killingworth records vol vii, page 120). Deacon Daniel Buell was one of the original proprietors of Newport NH and at a meeting of the proprietors, held at Killingworth CT, 25 Dec 1764, he was chosen one of the assessors, to asses taxes on the proprietors and commit a warrant to a person chosen to collect the same. He was also chosen moderator at a proprietor’s meeting held at Killingworth CT the last Tuesday in April, 1766. In his will he bequeathed to his eldest son, Daniel Buell, late deceased and his heirs a full double proportion of his estate. Among those was Gordon Buell (grandson) a tract of land lying in the township of Newport NH. To Asa (grandson) Buell he gave the homestead, consisting of land, buildings, fruit trees, salt meadow, and also his firelock, saddle, and bridle. To grandson, Nathan he gave a right of land in Newport NH that he bought of Moses Yemmon.  To his daughter-in-law, Thankful Buell he gave the remnants of his lands, buildings, fruit trees… He married 21 Sep 1720 at Saybrook CT to Elizabeth Post. She died 26 April 1779. They had eight children:
Children of Daniel & Elizabeth (Post) Buell:
1. Daniel Buell, b. 23 Jan 1722 Killingworth CT; d. abt 1780. He m. 4 Jan 1744 to Esther Parker and had issue.
2. Elizabeth Buell, b. 25 Nov 1723 Killingworth CT; She m. Killingworth CT 1 Dec 1743 to Josiah Hull Jr. He was b. 23 Feb 1720; had issue.
3. Gurdon Buell, b. 1 Feb 1728 Killingworth CT, and d. 6 Apr 1745, aged 19 years.
4. +Nathan Buell, b. 24 Sep 1724 Killingworth CT
5. Aaron Buell, b. 21 Sep 1730 Killingworth CT; d. 11 Nov 1807 at Newport NH. Among other Newport position, on April 29, 1778 he was chosen moderator and at the same meeting collector and one of a committee to lay out lots in the fourth division. He was one of the selectmen of the town and frequently chairman of the board. He was one of the sixteen who formed the first church in Newport NH. He m. 26 Dec 1754 to Hannah Post of Saybrook CT. Had issue. He m2d) at Newport NH 16 Apr 1786 to Amy Park. She was b. 8 Nov 1745 and d. at Newport NH 10 Apr 1800. Had issue by 2nd wife.
6. Mindwell Buell, b. 7 Oct 1732, d. 30 Oct 1742 Killingworth CT
7. Lucy Buell, b. 1 May 1735 Killingworth CT; m. 20 March 1757 to Abner Parmele. Had issue.
8. Freelove “Love” Buell, b. 28 Oct 1737 Killingworth CT; removed to Newport NH about 1780 where she d. 26 July 1825. She m. 19 Nov 1761 at Killingworth CT to Jeremiah Nettleton. He b. 7 Oct 1738. Had issue.

Nathan Buell, son and fourth child of Lieut Daniel Buell, of Killingworth, CT. He was b. 24 Sep 1728 and he d. 12 June 1770. He served as a soldier in the war of the Revolution, through two terms of six months each. He was a man of great native shrewdness. He married 4 Dec 1751 in Killingworth CT to Thankful Griffin, daughter of Samuel & Mary Griffin. She was b. 14 Oct 1731. After Nathan’s death, his father Daniel took in the entire family. She d. 16 January 1816.
Children of Nathan & Thankful (Griffin) Buell:
1. +Gordon Buell, b. 21 Feb 1752 in Killingworth, Middlesex Co CT.
2. Mary Buell, b. 8 Aug 1755/1756 Killingworth CT; removed about 1784 to Newport NH where she died 7 May 1828, aged 72 years. She married 5 Feb 1784 at Killingworth CT to Jeremiah Kelsey, of Newport NH. He b. 10 Feb 1753. Children born at Newport NH [KELSEY]: Jeremiah, Mary, Asa, Daniel, Jeremiah 2d, John and Samuel.
3. Amanda Buell, b. 11 Sep 1757 Killingworth CT; d Oct 1837 Killingworth CT, age 80 years. She m. 9 Apr 1778 at Killingworth CT to Constandt Redfield, sixth son of Theopolis Redfield of Killingworth CT. He was b. in 1753 and d. 15 Jan 1839 in Guilford CT (at the house of his son Ebenezer). He served during the American Revolution. Children [REDFIELD]: Pardon, Martha, Theodore, Mary, Siba, Lydia, Lyman, Ebenezer, Ruth, James and Amanda.
4. Asa Buell, b. 10 Jan 1760 Killingworth CT; d. 24 May 1827 in LeRoy NY where he had removed in 1806. He served three years in the army from 1777 to 1780. He married 30 Dec 1784 at Haddam CT to Mercy Porter, dau of Ezra Porter of Haddam CT. SHe b. 3 May 1759 and d. at LeRoy NY 11 Dec 1843, aged 84 yrs. Children: Thankful, Daniel, Elizabeth, Asa, Lucretia, Clarinda, Wyllis, Jeremiah and Heman.
5. Siba Buell, b. 5 Apr 1763 Killingworth CT; d. 26 March 1853, almost 90 yrs at Killingworth CT; not married.
6. Nathan Buell, b. 13 Apr 1765 Killingworth CT; d. 31 Dec 1857 aged 96 at New Milford PA, where he had removed. He m. 23 Jan 1792 at Killingworth CT to Hannah Turner. She b. 1757 and d. 14 March 1834, aged 77 years.  Children, Mary, Arphaxad, Capt.

Gordon Buell, son  and first child of Nathan and —, b. 21 Feb 1752 in Killingworth, Middlesex Co CT and d. 24 March 1819 in Newport, Sullivan Co NH. He married 10 Apr 1783 in Saybrook CT to Martha Whittlesey, of Saybrook CT, daughter of Joseph & Sarah (Whittlesey) Whittlesey. She b. 26 Feb 1751 and d. 25 Nov 1811 at Killingworth CT. At the death of his father, he, with his brothers and sisters, were brought up by their grandfather Daniel, who kept his daughter-in-law and her six children, and brought them up in a way they should go. They were well trained and provided for. Gordon was given a goodly portion of land in Newport NH, allowing his brother Asa to settle on the homestead in Killingworth CT. A deed given by Gordon BUell, on Dec 13, 1788, 13th Book of Killingworth Records page 162, deeds to Asa Buell Jr. a certain piece of land called the Dog-pease in North Killingworth, containing twenty acres, more or less, and deed dated 17 January 1781.  He removed to Newport just shortly before the American Revolution, in which he served as a captain. He never recovered from the exposure and suffering incurred while fighting the battles.
Children of Gordon & Martha (Whittlesay) Buell:
1. Charles Whittlesey Buell, b. 27 Sep 1784 Newport NH. He was lost at sea. He married at Newport NH 2 Apr 1806 to Malinda Alden of Newport NH. They had two children: (1) Cynthia Maria Buell, b. 26 Dec 1806 Newport NH and Sarah Emeline Buell, b. abt 1808 at Newport NH.
2. Horatio Gates Buell, (named after his father’s old commander) b. 13 January 1787 Newport NH, removed to Glen’s Falls NY and d. at Ballston Spa NY 28 Feb 1833, and is buried at Glen’s Falls NY. He graduated from Dartmouth College in Hanover NH in about 1809 with first honors. He rose to a high position in the legal profession and was for many years a judge at Glen’s Falls; He married at Wilton, Saratoga Co NY 4 July 1819 to Elizabeth McGregor, dau of James & Elizabeth (Cameron) McGregor of Wilton NY. She was b.
31 Dec 1794 and d. 10 March 1824, aged 31 years.. Had ch: James Buell (b. 23 March 1820 Glens Falls NY); Horatio Hale (b. 17 July 1821 Glens Falls NY); Martha Maria (b. 21 Aug 1822 Glens Falls NY and m. — Plum); and Elizabeth, b. 1 March 1824 at Glens Falls NY.
3. Sarah Josepha Buell, b. 24 Oct 1788 in Newport, NH; She removed to Boston MA in 1828, and then to Philadelphia in 1841 where she died 30 Apr 1879, aged 90 yrs. She was married at Newport NH by Rev. Abijah Winn, to David Hale, son of David & Hannah (Emerson) Hale of Keene NH. He was born at Keene NH 3 July 1783 and d. at Newport NH 25 Sep 1822. He was an eminent lawyer, a brother of Salmon Hale of Keene NH (the family were of Haverhill MA).
4. Martha Maria Buell, b. 19 Apr 1793 Newport NH; d. 25 Nov 1811 Newport NH

Sarah Josepha Buell, dau of Gordon & Martha (WHittlesay) Buell, was b. 24 Oct 1788 in Newport NH. She married 1813 to David Hale. He was born 1783 in Alstead NH and died in 1822. Lawyer and mason.
Children of David & Sarah J. (Buell) Hale:
1. David Emerson Hale, b. 19 Feb 1815 Newport NH. He removed to Boston MA with his mother in 1828, where he resided until his death. He died 30 Apr 1839, aged 24 years. He was a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He graduated at West Point in 1833 at the age of 18. He was placed in the First Regiment of the Artillery and was in the hard service of the Cherokee War.
2. Horatio Emmons Hale, b. 3 May 1817 Newport NH. He removed to Boston MA in 1828, and then to Philadelphia in 1841. He removed to Clinton, Canada in 1869. He married at Jersey City NJ 21 Jan 1854 by Rev. Dr. Edson Rockwell of Brooklyn LI to Margaret Pugh, daughter of William Pugh of Clinton Canada West, formerly of London, England. He d. 1896. He was an Ethnologist (linguist). Their children were: (1) Alfred Jarvis Hale, b. 5 Jan 1855 and d. 21 Jan 1855 at Chicago IL; (2) Florence Hale, b. 2 Jan 1856 at Jersey City NJ. She m. 1873 Richard Ransford of London England. No ch; (3) William Buell Hale, b. 18 July 1868 at Clinton Canada.
3. Frances Ann Hale, b. 20 March 1819 Newport NH. She moved to Boston MA in 1828 and then to Philadelphia PA in 1841, where she was residing in 1879. She m. at Philadelphia PA 23 Apr 1844 to naval surgeon, Lewis Boudinot Hunter.  Children: [HUNTER]: (1) Richard Stockton Hunter, b. 20 Feb 1845 Philadelphia PA, m. 1872 Lucy Robins, lawyer; (2) Horatio Hunter, b. 1847, died in infancy; (3) Frank Hunter, b. abt 1849, d. infancy; (4) Mary
Stockton Hunter, b. July 1852 Philadelphia PA; (5) Frances Hale Hunter, b. May 1855 Philaelphia PA; (6) Charles Hodge Hunter, b. 24 Dec 1858 in Philadelphia; (7) Sarah Josepha Hunter, b. 16 Nov 1862 Philadelphia PA; 8) Lewis Hunter, b. 4 Jan 1867, d. 8 Apr 1869.
4. Sarah Josepha Hale, b. 4 Dec 1820 Newport NH. She removed with her mother in 1828 to Boston MA, and then to Philadelphia PA in 1842 where she died, unmarried 4 May 1863
5. William George Hale, b. 29 Oct 1822 Newport NH. He removed with his mother in 1828 to Boston MA and then to Philadelphia PA in 1842. He removed to New Orleans LA and died there of malarial fever 8 Jan 1876, aged 53 years. He graduated from Harvard College in 1842, the second of his class. He became a lawyer, and removed to New Orleans LA where he settled. He married at Mount Washington, Bullet Co KY, 2 Aug 1854 to Fanny Eliza Simmons, dau of James W. Simmons of Charleston SC. She was b. 3 June 1831. Their children were: (1) Fanny Josepha Hale, b. 23 May 1855 New Orleans LA; (2) Hubert Hale, b. 13 June 1857, d. Apr 1860 New Orleans LA; (3) William Hayne Hale, b. 29 Oct 1858 New Orleans LA; (4) Susan Buell Hale, b. 2 Aug 1860 New Orleans LA; (5) Harriet Louisa Hale, b. 2 Apr 1863 New Orleans LA; (6) Sarah Mary Hale, b. 20 March 1866 New Orleans LA; (7) Richard Hale, b. 9 Nov 1868 New Orleans LA.

SOURCES:
1. History of the Buell family in England : from the remotest times ascertainable from our ancient histories, and in America, from town, parish, church and family records… by Albert Welles; New York: Society Library, 1881, 423 pgs.
2. 1790-1930 United States Census

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