Monday, May 31, 2010

Haden Family - Anthony of Goochland, Part IV

Sorry, but there are more "traditions" surrounding Anthony Haden.  These are easier to refute.

Tradition:  Anthony served under the great Marlborough.
Marlborough’s battles were between 1704-11 and ended when he was accused of embezzling public funds. Seems very early for a man born in 1694 to have been in battle. No proof can be found and this tradition seems most unlikely.

Tradition:  Anthony settled first in North Carolina in 1720 where he was Councillor of State for 10 years. No, I don't think so.
No records of any Haden, any spelling, are listed in the Index of the North Carolina Colonial Records. No early land records exist, etc. that have a similar name. There is simply no proof found he ever lived in North Carolina at all. If the Bible record of his birth is accurate, he would certainly have been young for such a responsibility in government. It is my opinion that Anthony was never in North Carolina, although two of his sons moved there and a third son owned land in the "Carolinas". A migration directly into North Carolina and then a move to King William and Goochland Counties in Virginia would be highly unusual for that time and place. However, for sons to move from Virginia to North Carolina, looking for cheaper land, would be the normal course of events. Although Anthony owned land and slaves, he held no governmental or vestry positions in Virginia - that would not seem to be his profile.  Because of this "tradition" some of Anthony's children are sometimes seen as "born in North Carolina".  No, I don't think so - his children were surely all born in Virginia.

Tradition: Anthony served in the Revolution with sons and grandsons [would have been 80+, now how unlikely can that be!]
The Blakey Family says he fought at Battle of Point Pleasant where he was a Lieutenant. Said to have negotiated a treaty with the Cherokees, Chickasaw & Choctaw in 1780.
None of this is in the Calendars of the Draper Papers or any records I can find of Indian treaties. He is not listed anywhere in books that list soldiers from Virginia in the French & Indian Wars or the Revolution. Not mentioned in anything else anyone has been able to find.
Battle of Point Pleasant was the only major battle of Dunmore's War. It was fought on October 10, 1774, primarily between Virginia militia and the Indians.  It took place along the Ohio River near modern Point Pleasant, now West Virginia.  It seems highly questionable that a man 80 years old would be taking part in this campaign.
Some of Anthony's sons and grandsons did serve in the Revolution, but it seems highly improbable Anthony was even living by the time of the Revolution, and indeed I've found proof he was not. Grandson Anthony has Revolutionary records – he served as a Captain. I believe the records were simply confused. And there are records of that Anthony D. Haden who applied for his pension from Pittsylvania Co, VA. Perhaps early researchers were trying to account for two men named Anthony Haden from Virginia and made the assumption one of them must have been the very old Anthony.

Tradition: Anthony Haden died in 1797 at age 103.
Last record known to be his is the Tithable list from Hanover Co in 1763. He would have been about 60; old for that time. Taxed on 200 acres of land.  All other records found can be attributed to the grandson Anthony, who was born 26 Mar 1746 and old enough to create his own records by about 1767.

And then I found a deed, showing that Anthony was deceased and that his son Zachariah had inherited the homeplace and was selling it in 1774.

7 Oct 1774
Goodland Co, VA, Deed Book 10, p.491
Zachariah Haden and Elizabeth his wife of Goochland to John Hopkins of said County. For 120£ a tract of land containing 250 acres “in the county of Goochland on the Great Byrd Creek, being formerly purchased by Anthony Haden, in two separate parcels, the one of Thomas Stone Containing two hundred Acres, and the other of Edward Rice Containing Fifty Acres Both granted to the said Anthony by Indentures of Bargain and sale Recorded in Goochland Court and by the said Anthony Devised to his son Zachariah Haden, the present Granter thereof” Begin at Spanish oak on Byrd Creek, on said Edward Rice, line of markt trees in said Hopkins line, on Obediah Daniel, corner red oak on Byrd Creek, down the Byrd according to its meanders. Signed: Zachariah Haden, Elizabth Haden. Zachariah & Elizabeth Haden acknowledged the deed and she relinquished dower 17 Oct 1774.

In 1774 the word “devised” was a particular legal term with a single meaning – a bequest from a will.. So Anthony obviously left a will – probably in Hanover Co where so many records were lost. In 1769, the will of Edward Rice in Goochland as mentioned in the above deed, specifies land that bordered on Zachariah Haden, indicating that by 1769, this property already belonged to Zachariah and Anthony was probably already deceased. I also have the two deeds mentioned above when Anthony bought the acreage - and this is the only land Anthony bought that he had not otherwise given to his older sons years prior.
There are also conflicts concerning Anthony's wife and children.  I'll leave those for future posts.

Haden Family - Anthony of Goochland, Part III

I once heard a professional genealogist make this recommendation. 
"If you have a theory or premise about an ancestor and can find no record to support that theory, perhaps you should look again at the theory."
If Anthony Haden was born in England and immigrated as a young adult, there should be some record.

Many persons have looked for evidence of Anthony Haden's birth/marriage in England without any success.  One researcher alerted me to the parish records of Ryton Parish, County Durham, as he believed he had found the entry for Anthony Haden's marriage.  Examination of the LDS Microfilm #0814230 revealed this marriage.
1711, Oct 28 Anthony Haddon and Mary Duglas, Winlaton [Home of many Douglas families]  The researcher thought "Mary" might have been mistaken for "Marg" an abbreviation of Margaret, but I did not agree - the name was plainly Mary.  As I read through the records, the surname was often written as "Hawdon".

There are other records, possibly of the same Anthony, or maybe not.
Bapt 12 Jul 1685 Antho s. ______ [unreadable, could be any other surname...]
Burial 8 Feb 1688 Antho Hadden of Colebournes
Bapt 18 Aug 1706 Will, s Antho Hawdon of Sibdon   [this child born before the marriage record]
Marriage 28 Oct 1711  Anthony Haddon & Mry Duglas, Winlaton
Bapt 6 Feb 1725 John s. of Anthony Haddon of Batehouse   [born 14 years after the marriage record above and no children earlier/between - seems there were children baptized elsewhere or this isn't the same man]

The surname Hawdon is recorded as early as 1606 and continues through the end of these records in 1808. I suspect these as perhaps being the same family with the name pronounced as “haw-den” with the “haw” to rhyme with the call of a crow as in “caw”. This could explain the use of the double d, rather than the spelling as Hayden. Today in the UK, the name Haden/Hayden is pronounced almost as High-den which explains the reason behind the phonetic Haiden spelling seen early in the colonies. Those with the spelling as Hawden included Ann, Anthony, Catherine, Cutbert, Elizabeth, George, Isabel, Jane, John, Joseph, Magdalene, Mary, Ralph, Thomasin, William.

The film with the Ryton records has other records from parishes in Durham. The surname Hawdon also occurs in Whickham, Stanhope, & St. Margaret’s. Whitburn records included baptisms, burials, and marriages and the surname Haton was prevalent here, never Hawden – there was a single occurrence of the surname Haddon: 1586 Feb 29 Elizabethe Haddon was buried. The surname Douglas was seldom present in these other parishes.
The problems with the parish records are these.  To start with, I do not believe that this is the same surname.  If Anthony Haden of Goochland was born in 1694 as indicated in the Bible record - he did not marry in 1711.  The bride was Mary, not Margaret.  The same Jouett Bible records contains a birthdate for John Haden, believed to be the eldest child of Anthony & Margaret as 10 May 1723.  In England the custom was to baptize soon after birth - the John Haddon, son of Anthony of Ryton Parish was baptized in February of 1725, and it seems most unlikely he would have been the first child of a couple married in 1711 in a time of no birth control methods.
No other parish records have been found that even come close.
Anthony Haden of Goochland has been linked to a manor known as Haddon Hall in England.  Some suggest he was born there, and have even altered the name to "Haden Hall", but Haddon Hall was the name of the manor, not the name of the family that lived in it.   Here is a webpage complete with pictures and floorplan and a map: 
"Haddon Hall is a fortified medieval manor house dating from the 12 th Century, and is the home of Lord and Lady Edward Manners whose family have owned it since 1567."  and
"Haddon Hall is probably the finest example of a fortified medieval manor house in existence. Present-day Haddon Hall dates from the 12th Century to the early 17th Century, whereupon it lay dormant for over two hundred years from 1700 until the 1920s, when the 9th Duke and Duchess of Rutland restored the house and gardens, and once again made it habitable."
It is open to visitors from April to October, located near Rowsley in Derbyshire.

There is a tradition Anthony was "of Norfolk" in England.  Nothing can be been found to support this.  Some give the location of Haddon Hall as Norfolk to make it "fit".  Not.  Since English surnames were often derived from places, it is not impossible that some form of the name - Haden, Hadden, Hawden - did originate from the area near the Hall in Derbyshire.  It is always possible that some tradition of Anthony's family being from the area of Norfolk in England did persist in the family, but the grain of truth could have been that it was some generations earlier and not Anthony himself.

Anthony Haden has been given ancestors.  Again, they are "traditional" ancestors.  And, I think I found the original source of these "ancestors" and it was not even Anthony's family, but the family of Thomas Haydon of Spotsylvania County, Virginia.

There was a periodical published for a short time by a man named Charles Hayden who lived in Chicago, called The Hayden Family.  An article was published in 1929, prior to all of the books regarding the Haden family as given in the first "Anthony of Goochland" Blog.  I believe the early researchers had access to this article.
From  Vol I. No. 2. Second Quarter. April 1, 1929 p.59.

Copy of letter from Harrodsburg KY, dated Sep 4, 1928 to Charles Hayden [editor]
Dear Sir:
The papers I sent you through Mr. Hutton need not be returned, as I am very glad the opportunity was afforded me to give you the information in regard to the Haydon family.
My husband was Ezekiel Haydon, son of Ezekiel W. Haydon and grandson of William Haydon who lived in Jassamine [sic] County Kentucky. My maiden name was Sue S. Stephenson, daughter of Thomas Stephenson who was in the war of 1812. I am now in my eighty fourth year and I am enjoying wonderful health.
There is no stone in "The Pioneer Cemetery" (Kentucky's First Cemetery) marked Noah Hayden though there is some unmarked graves.
I hope you come to Kentucky some time and look up the Haydons of whom you may be proud to acknowlege as relations.
Thanking you again I am very sincerely your friend and kindred.
Mrs. Sue S. Haydon
An editor's note is at the bottom of the page "Anthony Haydon line"
But he was wrong.....

Here is the lady's Haydon husband's genealogy.
Susan Stephenson married 30 Jan 1862, to Ezekiel Waller Haydon, born 17 May 1836 in Kentucky and died 9 Sep 1897 in Independence, MO.  Ezekiel was the son of another Ezekiel, born 10 Oct 1793, Jessamine Co KY, died 1844 in Kentucky - married to Jane Dale, 19 Sep 1820, Woodford Co KY.  The elder Ezekiel was the son of William Haydon Jr., born circa 1766, Spotsylvania Co, VA, married Sarah Garnett, and died 1838, Jessamine Co KY.    William was in turn the son of John Haydon, born 1728, Northumberland Co VA, married possibly to Christan Brown and then to Lucy Morton, 31 Jan 1765, Spotslyvania Co.  John died Jul 1801 in Jessamine Co, KY, leaving a will that named Lucy and fifteen children - one of whom was probably the Noah whose grave Mrs. Sue Haydon could not find.  John was the son of Thomas Haydon, , born circa 1698, Northumberland Co VA, died 1782, Spotsylvania Co VA and Thomas's father was another Thomas, born 1640, England, died 1717, Wicomico Parish, Northumberland Co, VA.

Then in a later edition of The Hayden Family is apparently more of the data sent to Charles Haden from Mrs. Sue Haydon.
Vol 1, No. 4. Fourth Quarter. October 1, 1929 p. 166
Editor's note at the top of the page "Anthony Haydon line"
The article says:
"John Haydon" Born 1600; Beheaded 1656. "A man of herculean size and strength feet in height, weighing 320 lbs. and to have valiently handled on many a bloody field, a sword which weighed 26 lbs....  He was beheaded with many others for his principles..... his only regreat was that he did not live long enough to see his son James, hanged for espousing the cause of the Royalist."
After the paragraph about these men, John and James Haydon there is this note:
This record furnished by Sue S. Haydon.
"This line is traced on down through James born 1626 in England, Samuel born 1649 in England.  Anthony born 1694 in England and emigranted to Amera.  (Genealogy of the Haydon family obtained from John Haydon, who made the synopsis from the original record kept in the family of his father, which was unfortuately burned with his father's residence many years since.)
I have no positive proof at present but have reasons to work on the supposition that Anthony and Thomas Haydon of Spotsylvania Co VA were brothers. I find their descendants married in families of the same name."

On the next page, page 167, Douglas C. Vest, Assistant Attorney General of the commonwealth of Kentucky wrote a letter apparently in response to an earlier article:
"Mr. William Haydon of Frankfort, KY, has recently shown me a letter written to by you.  As my mother was a Haydon (Owen Co, KY) I am interested in tracing the line back as far as possible. 
By records in this state, we can directly trace back as far as William Haydon, who a resident of Lexington in 1779, and was my great-great-great-grandfather.  Can you give me the date of William Haydon's birth and death and tell me whether or not, he was the son of Anthony Haydon Sr who came to America.
I desire to tell you that the records of Woodford Co KY show that, John Haydon, b. Va. 1723, d. Ky. July 1801, m. Lucy Dale, widow of John Dale. 
If John was the son of Anthony Sr. how could he have been born in Va. in 1723?  Anthony came to America according to your records in 1730.

The editor printed in a footnote the following. "There is a flaw in the records furnished by Mrs. Sue Haydon, probably a typographical error. I hope to have an answer soon."

Now what I know that Mr. Douglas Vest did not is that William Haydon his ggg grandfather actually owned the land where Lexington would be located.  I received documents from the Kentucky Land Office about him when I inquired about my husband's William Haden of Logan Co KY who was about the same age.  Mr. Vest's William Haydon was a half-brother to John Haydon who married Lucy Dale.  John Haydon who married Lucy Dale was born 1728, not 1723.  1723 was actually the year that John Haden, son of Anthony was born instead of John Haydon, son of Thomas Haydon of Spotsylvania Co.  This is not the first time that I've evidence of confusing cross-over between the two different families.

My observations:  No answer from the editor seemed to be forthcoming in the volumes that exist. There was no further explanation of the flaw in the records. But in the years to come, traditions concerning Anthony's ancestors as Samuel, James, and John appear.  This publication seems to be the origin as the later stories are very similar.  As is evident to me, if these men whose actual record has long since been lost were anyone's ancestors, they were ancestors of Thomas Haydon, who was born circa 1640 in England, since the records were handed down in his family [and lost years earlier in a fire].  Even then, there are serious problems with the dates compared to what records can now be found and researchers of Thomas Haydon don't claim them, either.  No one has produced any records of these English Haydon martyrs.  It would also appear since the date of 1694 for Anthony's birth, which is from the Jouett Bible record, as well as the birth of a John in 1723 have appeared in this picture - that perhaps information about the Anthony Haden family had appeared at some other time in an edition of The Hayden Family  Only a handful of editions survive, filmed by the LDS.  The July edition of 1929 which was between the two quoted above, had nothing about Anthony's family, but possibly something had been printed earlier prior to the receipt of the letter by Mrs. Sue S. Haydon.

Anthony could not have been part of these traditions of the Haydon family and the Haydons left many record tracks in Virginia. DNA has proved these families are not related.  Good solid research has adequately separated these two families and sorted out the various Johns and Williams.  I can point out that the name "Anthony" doesn't occur among the many descendants of Thomas Haydon.  There are other names, such as Jarvis, that appear often in the Thomas Haydon family that do not ever appear among Anthony's descendants.

It is very true that descendants of both Thomas Haydon's family and descendants of Anthony Haden's family married into the same family. However, that happened in Missouri, and not until the 1830's. Abner Haydon married Amanda Kirtley, 15 Feb 1838, in Boone Co, MO. Abner was a grandson of the John Haydon who married Lucy Dale. Amanda's sister Zerelda married Joel Harris Haden, 4 Jul 1838, Boone Co, MO., and after Zerelda's death, Joel Harris married another Kirtley sister, Sarah, on 18 Sep 1872. Joel Harris Haden was a great, great grandson of Anthony of Goochland. By one of those strange quirks of fate, members of both families had migrated from Virginia to Kentucky and on to Missouri, along with the tide of those headed west.  They had not arrived in Missouri by the same route, as the families did not live in any of the same counties in Kentucky, nor had they lived near each other in Virginia.

Now there are a few other "traditions" that must be examined in the next post.

Note:  I did not include this earlier.  The entries from the Bible of Capt. Jack Jouett were published in Kentucky Ancestors, Vol. 3 #4, Apr 1968. The Bible itself was published in 1803.  Many of the entries were timely.  The sheet pinned in the Bible traced the earlier three generations of William Dabney Haden's family - many of these dates can be proved with other records.

Haden Family - Anthony of Goochland, Part II

I'm continuing with the early records of Hadens found in colonial Virginia.  I can not prove Anthony was Virginia-born, but certainly there were Hadens available in the right time and place to have been his family.

Although Anthony Haden had come from King William County to Goochland County, he later moved to Hanover County.  Hadens were already present in that county.  Few records of early Hanover County exist today - it is said the court house papers were used as cannon wadding during the Revolution.  Certainly they are missing.  The St. Paul's Parish Vestry records show evidence of Hadens in Hanover County as early as 1719.  Although I will most often use the Haden spelling, the name is also found as Hayden, Haydon, and Haiden.

St. Paul’s Parish was created when St. Peter’s Parish was divided in 1704. The Parish lay in New Kent Co from 1704-1720; then was in Hanover Co. St. Martin’s Parish was part of Hanover beginning in 1727.

St. Peter’s Parish had been formed 1679 in New Kent. In 1691 when King & Queen Co was formed from New Kent there was a provision for the inhabitants of Pamunkey Neck to be restored and added to St. John’s Parish from which they had been taken & the Pamunkey River be the bounds between the two Parishes. [Parish Lines, Diocese of Virginia; Charles Francis Cocke; 1967, p.106]
Note:  Remember in the previous post that both John Haden & William Douglas of King William were living in St. John's Parish and King William County had been the area known as Pamunkey Neck.

Records from The Vestry Book of St. Paul's Parish, Hanover County, Virginia, 1706-1786 by Churchill Gibson Chamberlayne , 1940, Reprinted GPC, 2007, include the following.  These records are not complete and some years are missing.  Processioning - the walking of the lands to determine property holders' boundaries - was ordered by the Vestry to be done every four years.  The property owner was supposed to be present.  Some years are entirely missing and some reports of the processioners are incomplete.  Sometimes both the orders for persons to procession and the returned report are present.  More often, only the orders naming the land owners and the two processioners are present.  Detail varies, I'm sure according to the diligence of the processioners and the recording clerk.  Often the neighbors surrounding the entries of John Haden remained similar enough that it was evident a person of that name lived in the same place for some years.

12 Feb 1719   Jno. Haiden's lands were not processed; he being not present.   The description of this processioning is:  "Lands of David Crawford, Wm Barksdill, Thos Grubbs, Jno Mallory, John Haiden, and Thos Spencer, being one precinct, of which David Crawford & Wm Barksdill were overseers."  If this is the same John Haden of the patent in King William, he has moved from King William County, or he's an absentee landlord.    Dates throughout the 1720's indicate a lot of gaps in the records and the scheduled processionings either did not take place, or the returns have been lost.  He wasn't mentioned in the 1720's.

Vestry held 29 Oct 1731.    A John Haiden/Haden appears on two different processioning orders.  Either there are two men of the same name, or one man owns two tracts of land.
One order reads:  Michael Holland, Wm McGehee, James McCloughland, Saml Gentry, John Lovewell, Wm Macon, John Haiden, Cornelius Tinsley, Richd Anderson, Jno Ragland, Wm Merideth, Thos Lacy Junr, Roger Williams. Holland & Gentry processioners.  Holland & Gentry made return and had complied with the order, so apparently processioned all these properties.
Another order:  land of Wm. Clopton’s orphans, John Haden, Thos. Dickenson, Cornelius Dabney, Chas. Hudson, Anthony Pate, James Brewer, Mary English, Jonathan Ashworth, Wm Hanes, Adam Reatherford, David Gwin, Wid: Broadhust, Edmund Massey, Saml Bumpass, James Nuckles, Benj Whealer. Nuckles & Gwin to see to the Processioning.  [A Cornelius Dabney had been one of the original leasees from the Pamunkey Indians - believed to be the father of this Cornelius living in St. Paul's Parish.] 

It has been 12 years between the processionings and none of the neighbors in either order were the same from 1719 to 1731.  It is possible John Haden had moved.  It is also possible, if this is the same John Haden who had land prior to 1699, he could be growing elderly - the Lost Virginia Records gives the list of ownership changes from 1679 to 1699 - we don't when in this 20-year time span John Haden had acquired his land in Pamunkey Neck.  It is possible there is a son of the earlier John, given the same name, especially by 1731 and maybe even as early as 1719.  The possibility of a third generation John Haden cannot be completely eliminated but seems less likely. Since no deed records from this time period in Hanover survive, I can only speculate.  Although not all the land owners were present, Nuckles & Gwin did make report and they had processioned John Haden's land.

11 Feb 1735/6  John Haiden again present for processioning in the orders directed to Nuckles & Gwin.  Same neighbors as in 1731.  No orders can be found for the other area.  Nuckles & Gwin recommended the precinct be divided because of its size.

In 1740, there was some problem completing the processioning in a timely fashion and again Nuckles & Gwin recommended division.
First was orderd into one precinct for processioning the lands of Wm Clopton’s Orphans, John Hayden, Thomas Dickerson, Cornelius Dabney, Charles Hudson, Anthony Pate, James Brewer, Mary English, Jonathan Ashworth, William Haynes, Adam Reatherford, David Gwin, Widdow Broadhust, Edmund Massie, Samuel Bumpass, James Nuckolds, Benj. Whealer. James Nuckolds and David Gwin to see the said processioning performd.   Most of these gentlemen have been on the previous processioning lists with John Haden.

James Nuckols & David Gwin were processioners:
"Who made the following return …..received the within Order too late, could not perform it according to Law, therefore humblys prays the precinct may be divided …lands of Martin Baker, Majr Kimbro, James Nuckolds, Samuel Bumpass, Edmund Massie, Thos Massie, John English’s Orphans, John Hayden, William Cloptons Orphans be in one precinct.
And that David Gwin, Adam Reatherford, Wm Hanes, Joseph Hix, Jonathan Ashworth, Widdow English, Cornelius Dabney, Robt Walker, Thomas Dickenson, James Brewer, Rowland Blackburn, Jeremiah Frazer, Edwd Pate be in one precinct. Given under our hands this 23rd of Mar 1740. James Nuckolds, David Gwin"

Also in 1740, a John Haden became one of the processioners.  The possibility still exists that we have two John Hadens in the Parish, or that he owned two separate tracts of land. 
Here is his assignment: and some of the neighbors are familiar from the Holland & Gentry precinct of 1731.
Orderd into one precinct for processioning, the Lands of Michael Holland, Wm McGillaray, James McCloughland, Saml Gentry, John Lovewell, Wm Mackain, John Haden, Cornels Tinsley, Richd Anderson, John Ragland, Wm Merideth, Thos. Lacy Junr, Roger William.
Michl Holland, Gent and John Haden to see the Sd processioning perform’d.

The next processioning of 1744 again shows John Hayden in two different precincts.  James Nuckols and David Gwin processioned the "lands of John Hayden" as well as their own - some of those listed since 1736.  Several of the owners failed to show their Lines and their lands were not processioned.

Also in 1744, Michael Holland and John Hayden were again ordered to procession the same lands as in 1740, but there is no record of their return report.  

As a reminder, by 1745, Anthony Haden, formerly of King William County, was a resident of Goochland County.

No processioning notes for 1748 survive. 

The next orders for processiong took place in a Vestry meeting, 30 Sep 1751.  Cornelius Tinsley and Richard Anderson were to procession a neighborhood that matches the one previously assigned to Michael Holland and John Hayden.  However, listed as one of their assignments was "John Hadens Orphans", another was the "lands of Michael Holland, dec'd."  So a lot has happened in the intervening years and there exist no probate records from these years to help.  Also the other precinct that had contained a John Haden and his neighbors [one of which was always Dabney] from the early years, is missing in 1751, so there is no way to tell if there had been actually two Johns.

17 Nov 1755 - the processioning again lists John Hadens Orphans, same neighbors as in 1751.  The other precinct - that included the Dabneys and John Haden earlier is listed, but there is no Haden at all.   Were there two?  Did one move?  Did one of the Johns own two tracts of land, one of which he has sold?  Impossible to know.

The 1759 processioning lists John Haden's orphans, same neighbors.  The precinct that had the Dabneys is there but again no Haden is evident.  A 1763 tax list indicates the former property of John Haden's orphans was still there in Hanover County, although by then I would not think any children would be underage, and the tax list says "estate of" not "orphans of".  I should point out that if there had been very young children or a will with life estate for a spouse when John Haden died, his lands could have been tied up and the estate not settled for a number of years.

In 1764,  a Thomas Haden is listed. in the parish, but none of his neighbors are names from either of the earlier precincts, so he doesn't appear to be in the same place as John Haden had been.  It has been five years but it seems unlikely all the neighbors would have changed.  Is Thomas one of the earlier "orphans"?  No way to know, but he doesn't seem to live in the same place.  A 1763 tax list exists.
Virginia Tithables from Burned Record Counties, by Robert F. Woodson & Isobel B. Woodson, 1970, p.49
Haden, Anthony of Hanover Co, 1763, 200 acres. [probably land of his second wife, the widow Isabel Clement, and I believe this is the last known record of Anthony, the Elder.]
Hadin, John's Exors, Hanover, 1763 (1755), 580 acres.
Hadin, Thomas, Hanover, 1763, 200 acres.

Sometime between 1749 and 1755, Anthony Haden moved from Goochland to Hanover, as evidenced in his deeds.  There is a deed of Anthony's that Thomas Haden witnessed in 1761.  Perhaps I should note here that the Hadens were literate and signed themselves and did spell the name Haden.
Mar 6, 1761. Henrico Co VA Anthony Haden of Hanover, deeds his son-in-law Jacob Ferris and his daughter Ruth Ferris, a negro woman, Aggey and two children Amey and Sarah. Wit: Geo. Clopton and Thomas Haden.
Not only does this deed place Anthony in Hanover and name a daughter and son-in-law probably living in Henrico County, it is witnessed by a Thomas Haden.  It is also notable that George Clopton was involved - the Cloptons had been neighbors of the John Haiden in Hanover since the processioning of 1731.  Some have tried to say that Thomas was a son of Anthony Haden, but since there is evidence Anthony gave land to all other known sons, and nothing to Thomas, I don't believe he was a son.  Thomas is not a given name used much in Anthony's family, either.  The possibility must be considered that Thomas was perhaps a nephew or cousin.

Although I believe it likely Anthony died fairly soon after the tax list of 1763, and no one else in his family is known to have been in Hanover, there continue to be records of other Hadens.   One would have expected Anthony Haden, or an estate, to appear in the processionings since he is on the tax list in 1763.  However, in the vestry records of 1759 and 1764, it is noted that several precincts are lacking - neither the "Order" or the "Return" exists. 

In 1767, Thomas Haden was again processioned.
In 1771, Isaiah Haden was processioned.  A new name.  A name never used in the family of Anthony Haden.  Isaiah continued to live in Hanover Co, although indications are he was in St. Martin's Parish.
Then there are several vestry entries indicating Thomas Haden had died, or was absent, leaving children to the care of the parish.
22 Oct 1772    To Anne Wade for Keeping Thomas Haden’s Child from the 1st day of October for 1 Year to come 9£.
To Gideon Via for Keeping Thos Haden’s child 3 Weeks. 7sh 6p
To Mary Wade for Keeping another “Do” 7sh 6p  [presumably the "Do" was for Thos Haden's child]
Note:  I would interpret this to mean Thomas and wife perhaps both deceased and Mary Wade & Gideon Via cared for a child temporarily until placed with Anne Wade.  Possibly there was "another" child.  However there is evidence of a living Thomas Haden after these dates.
3 Dec 1773    Ordered that Anne Wade be paid for keeping Thomas Hadens Child from the first October last to this time at the rate of £9 per Year and from this time at the rate of £5 per Year for 1 Year to come.
22 Sep 1774    To David Wade & Anne his Wife for keeping Thomas Hadens Child 10 months & 8 days @ £5 per annum. 4£ 5sh 6p

There were no more entries about the child or children.  I've also wondered if Thomas Haden lost a wife and had a nursing baby that he could not care for.  It's a puzzle.  There is no connection between Anthony Haden's family and anyone named Via or Wade.

There is a single mention of a Thomas Haden in the Goochland County records, when he witnessed a marriage consent in 1778, four years after the last time the parish paid for upkeep for Thomas Haden's child.
William & Mary College Quarterly; Vol. 7, Series 1, p.105, “Marriage Bonds in Goochland County”
11 Feb 1778.  Solomon Williams to Lucy Holland. Security, James Williams. John Holland’s letter of consent to daughter’s marriage witnessed by John Massie and Thomas Haden. The latter, Lucy Holland, aged 21, Dec 6, 1779.
Again, neither the Massies or Hollands were families closely associated with Anthony Haden's family, although the early John had lived near the Hollands.

Isaiah Haden was in the processioning in St. Paul's Parish in 1779.

Then there are some later Hanover tax records that suggest Thomas Haden either did not die, or perhaps the child under the care of the parish was also a Thomas and has now grown up.

Hanover County Taxpayers, Saint Paul's Parish, by William Ronald Cocke, 1956.  Covers 1782-1815.
Haidon, Thomas  was listed once, in 1782 [no slaves,horse,cattle – just himself as tithable, so this could be a young man just come of age]
Haden, Isaiah was listed in St. Martin's Parish in 1782, 1783, 1784, 1785, 1786 1788-89 and 1790.  The last two times, he appears with another adult male in his household.

There are a few more records of Isaiah Haden that survive and I include some records of his neighbors to show they were all in the general area.
William & Mary College Quarterly; Vol. 22, Series 1, “Records of Hanover County”, p.121
21 May 1784. Minor Mead [signed Minor Meed] of Hanover to Stephen Haynes. 350 acres on Stag Creek, willed to sd Meed by his Father. Adj. Rich’d Winn, Cornelius Toler, Jno Hicks & Jno Mead.
2 Apr 1786. Jno Meed & Elizabeth his wife of Hanover to Stephen Haynes. 20 acres, part of Homestead.
5 Dec 1786. Isaiah Haden & Ann his wife of St. Paul to Wm Lumpkin. 284 acres. Hadin’s Homestead, South Anna.
25 Sep 1786. Jno Meed & Elizabeth his wife to Lipscomb Moore. 209 acres adj Isaiah Haden, Jno. Butler & Stephen Haynes.
14 Feb 1788. Isaiah Haden & Ann his wife of St. Paul’s to Richard Littlepage. 247 acres. Haden’s homestead on South Anna River adj Jas. Cross, Wm Lumpkin.
Definitely the same Isaiah as in processionings, as the names Haynes, Mead, and Winn were in his neighborhood.

Interestingly, there is a later Anthony D. Haden living in Pittsylvania Co, VA - he applied for his Revolutionary Pension, File S-18103 and his widow applied after his death for his pension and for bounty land.  The same person gave testimony about his service on two occasions - one time he said Anthony D. entered the War from King William County - another time he said Hanover County.  This Anthony D. Haden has no place in the family of Anthony the Elder of Goochland.  He did have land adjoining that of a John Haden in Pittsylvania Co.  Descendants of John have not been able to trace him further back than the early 1800's in Pittsylvania Co, nor have they found proof of any relationship to Anthony D. Haden, although they appear to be of approximately the same age and interact with each other.   DNA tests show descendants of John to be perhaps distantly related to the descendants of Anthony the Elder of Goochland.  No male descendants of Anthony D. have been located although he certainly had sons.
Virginia, Pittsylvania County, August Court 1835.
Evidence produced to the Court to be certified that John Haden, Silas Haden, Sarah Haden, Joseph Haden, & Elizabeth Haden are the children and only heirs at Law of Anthony Haden Dec'd, late of the County of Pittsylvania who is reported to have been a Soldier of the Revolution and that the said Anthony Haden died intestate and that the said children are over the age of twenty-one years.
Papers certified by Will.Tunstall, Clerk of the County Court, 12 Sep 1835.

Is there a connection between the Hadens found early in King William, those found in Hanover County by 1719, and Anthony the Elder of Goochland?  Were there members of Anthony's family here prior to his first appearance in the Virginia records in 1742.   I believe that it is very likely Anthony was a second or third generation Virginian.  I believe it also likely that he had other relatives and they likely lived in Hanover and later Pittsylvania County.  There is no proof at this time.

Only a handful of DNA tests have been done by possible Anthony Haden descendants. Not enough to be really helpful except that it is certain the descendants of Anthony Haden have no common heritage with the family of the Thomas Haydon who lived in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, and had numerous sons and descendants. Nor do they have common DNA with the Haydens who were Catholics and residents of Maryland in colonial times, and they do not have common DNA with the Haydens found in New England early on. Speculation has existed that Anthony was somehow related to one or another of these groups by various researchers. He was not.

I will deal further with some of the other traditions surrounding Anthony Haden in the next post.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Haden Family - Anthony of Goochland

Anthony Haden was my husband's ancestor - his sixth great grandfather.

I must admit I have put off posting corrections and conflicts I've found in the Haden family - probably because there are so many.  The progenitor - Anthony Haden first said to be "of King William County" and later of Goochland and Hanover Counties - is perhaps the most controversial subject.  So many myths surround him - from his birth to his death.  I will attempt to deal with only what I personally have discovered about him.  It will take more than one post just to talk about Anthony Haden.

To begin with, I do not believe that he was the immigrant although this is what is proposed in all the books in print.  There are at least four books that are widely circulated - three of them now out of copyright and digitized - that contain traditions that have been interpreted by readers and reproduced as fact, and also contain some outright errors.  All four are on microfilm from LDS.  Three of the books are about the Blakey family and indirectly deal with the Hadens, as one of Anthony's daughters married Thomas Blakey - these are now available in digital format.  My Father's Family by Edith Attkisson Rudder, Leader Publishing Co, Salem, IN, 1947.  The Blakey Book by Bernard B. Blakey, Little Falls, MN, 1977.  A Genealogy of the Blakey Family and Descendants : with George, Whitsitt, Haden, Anthony, Stockton, Gibson and many other related antecedents, compiled and edited by Lue Adams Kress, Caldwell, Idaho, 1988.  Most of the research on the Blakeys seems fairly accurate - there are early Bible Records, at least one of which is available on the Library of Virginia website.  Other families in these three books did not fair so well.  Especially the Hadens and also the Whitsitt and Proctor families who are included in the last two of the Blakey family books.  John Haden of Virginia, by Dorothy Kabler Haden, Adams Press, Chicago, 1968, is well written and contains a chapter of "traditions" which she plainly says are only traditions for which she has found no proof - it is obvious her caveat has been ignored by many.  A fifth book, which is actually a reprint of four installments from The American Historical Magazine, published by the Tennessee Historical Society Quarterly, 1904, "Annals of a Scotch-Irish Family: The Whitsitts of Nashville Tennessee" by William H. Whitsitt, Richmond, VA, 1904, also perpetuates the Haden [and Proctor] errors.  It was republished as a book by the Friends of Mill Creek Baptist Church Graveyard, Nashville, NT, 1996.  Some similarities in data can be found in all of these - the later authors obviously had access to the earlier books.

I had accepted that Anthony Haden was the immigrant in the beginning, but as I begin to research other families and also learn more about early colonial Virginia, I became aware that many of the genealogies in print seem to have reached the conclusion that an ancestor was an "immigrant" when they could no longer go back up the family tree.  An assumption often proved incorrect by more current and thorough research.  This is a situation quite often confronted in the Virginia counties that have lost most of their pre-Revolution or pre-Civil War records.  Nothing about the life of Anthony - the first record in 1742 shows he was then of King William County and buying land in Goochland County, VA - suggested he was an immigrant.  His deeds show close association with neighbors who had been in Virginia for a few generations and he distributed his land and slaves to his sons and daughters in the typical Virginian manner, even leaving the home place to the youngest son.  He signed his own documents.  In his later years, he moved to Hanover County, probably after marrying again.  Anthony's first wife Margaret did not appear on his deeds after 1745, and since dower releases were required in Virginia, it is likely she died soon after that year.

I have just mentioned two facts that do not appear in any of the printed material - Anthony leaving land to his youngest son and the taking of a second wife.  But I'm not going to explain those in this post.  Later.  I have substantiation for both.

Unfortunately King William, and its parent county, King & Queen, have had major loss of records, as has Hanover County.  However among the references I have been able to find concerning the earlier years prior to 1742, I have found indications there was a John Haden/Hayden quite early in Virginia.  And he lived near a William Douglas, in a part of King & Queen Co that became King William, in a time frame that could have made them possible parents of Anthony and his wife Margaret, long thought to have been the daughter of a William Douglas although no proof actually exists.  You will often see in print or in databases on the Internet, a birth for Margaret in Scotland - but the truth is that Margaret Douglas died at age four, when you continue in the parish records that list that birth.

I digress.  Some have even linked Margaret Douglas to the family of the Reverend William Douglas of The Douglas Register but that is not possible.  He listed his family in the book and he was at St. James Northam after the probable death of Margaret Douglas.  All of the books state she was a Scot, but like her father's name, there is no evidence of recorded proof.  That many of her descendants were named "William Douglas" as their given names is indisputable and appears to be the best reason for ascribing that name to Margaret's father.  The Haden family did abide greatly by the English naming patterns.  Only one record - a Goochland deed in 1745 - lists Margaret as the wife of Anthony Haden.

As in all family traditions, there rests that small grain of truth.  I think it quite likely Anthony was of English descent, and his wife was Margaret Douglas.  Perhaps her heritage was Scot - I just don't think either was the immigrant, but Virginia born.

I will not list all details concerning proof documents in the following, but can furnish more - if you are a dedicated Haden researcher.  Please contact me with questions.  The books now digitized on Ancestry were not there when I did this resesarch - I did my work in libraries.  Please understand that I don't have the last word, either.  I cannot connect the following records directly to Anthony Haden, but the presence of Hadens in Virginia in an earlier generation or two cannot be denied.  This is a work in progress and there exists the possibility that there is nothing else to discover and such a connection will never be proved. 

Based on all records I can find, the eldest son of Anthony & Margaret Haden, was named John.  The name John, although admittedly a very common name, was certainly perpetuated in all branches of the their descendants. That might suggest Anthony's father was also a John Haden.  Interestingly, there were two John Hadens transported to the colonies in an earlier time.  Nothing is known about whether or not either of them were ever in Virginia and they would probably have been two generations earlier than Anthony.
The Complete Book of Emigrants, Vol I, Peter Wilson Coldham
p.457 12 Apr 1660 John Haden bound to George Ingleton to serve 5 years; by “Little John” for Barbados.
Vol II.
p.179 10 August 1671 The following apprenticed in Bristol: John Hayden to Mathew Cradock, 7 years Virginia by “Trial” [name of ship]

English Duplicates of Lost Virginia Records, Louis des Cognets, Jr. 1958, is also available on in digital format.  Page 57 and following, describes early leases the settlers had obtained from the Indians, from the Queen of the Pamunkeys.  This was an area around the Pamunkey river in Virginia - now parts of many counties, including King & Queen and King William.  The English crown eventually claimed this same land and wanted the rents from it. Several persons had held leases for 99 years – named by Order of Assembly held at James City on 25 Apr 1679 and should have priority and first grants - one of these was a Peter Adams.  Between 1679, and 1699, several of the original leaseholders had divested and by 1699, John Hayden is shown with 370 acres he received from George Adams, a son of Peter Adams, quit rents paid.  There are other surnames on both lists that are familiar as later associates of the Haden family in Goochland County, particularly Dabney as a Cornelus Dabney was one of the original leaseholders.

In Cavaliers and Pioneers, Vol. III, Nugent, p.48 [also in digital format at Library of Virginia], there is a patent to John Hayden, 196 acres in King & Queen County, St. Johns Parish, Pamunkey Neck, adjacent Thomas Nichols, dated 25 Apr 1701.  Patent Book 9, p.368.    Note:  King William County was formed in 1702 out of the area of King & Queen, known as Pamunkey Neck, which lay between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi Rivers.

Digression.  Circa 1745, John Haden, son of Anthony & Margaret, married Jean Moseley, whose mother was a Nichols. Any relationship to Thomas Nichols is unknown, but the occurrence of the surname in a relatively unpopulated Virginia is noted.

There are a number of patents signed in the same area, Pamunkey Neck, in 1701 - many of these names match those from the 1699 English Duplicates list, and apparently are finalizing their right to these lands.  Many of the same names are also found on the Quit Rent lists in 1704 in King William County.
Two of these names which appear in 1704 in King William are:
Wm Douglas – 200 acres
John Haydon – 150 acres
The Quit Rents of Virginia 1704, compiled by Annie Laurie Wright Smith, reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co, 1975, also digitized on

On p.168 in Cavaliers, there is a patent to William Douglas, 275 acres, in King William County, St. Johns Parish on the Mattopany River.  23 Dec 1714.   Patent Book 10, p.226.  
This places William Douglas in the same place and he was also there prior to 1714, as shown by the Quit Rent rolls.  Possibly he purchased his earlier property from an individual and therefore would not be in the patent books.  Other patents listing neighbors suggest both Haden and Douglas to have been near the Acquinton Swamp.

Then, of course, in 1742, Anthony Haden purchased his first tract of land in Goochland Co, and he was said to be of King William County.  By 1745, other deeds show that he was by then living in Goochland.  The fact that over the next few years, Anthony buys land which he gives to his sons, and gives slaves to his daughters, in all likelihood, as each was married, would indicate that he was a middle-aged man when he moved to Goochland County.

There is a single record of Anthony Haden's birth.  It appeared on a handwritten slip of paper in the Bible of a descendant many years after the fact.  The notation was simply:  Anthony Haden the Elder was born Aug 26 1694.  The Bible originally belonged to Capt. Jack Jouett whose daughter Elizabeth married William Dabney Haden, a great grandson of Anthony.  The Bible had descended to Elizabeth Jouett Haden as it also contains births and marriages of her children.  Family data from Anthony down to William Dabney was included in the Bible, or on the loose paper.   William Dabney's father was also named Anthony Haden, hence the need to write in "the Elder". There is no place of birth for Anthony, nor is there any data for his wife, and there is no death date.  However, this year of 1694 would certainly fit well with the age of man giving land and slaves to marrying sons and daughters in the mid 1700's.  It does seem reasonable to me, that since a birth date for Anthony survived in the family history, if he had been the immigrant, that would also have been notable enough to record.

So we have nothing to tie together these early Haden and Douglas records in King William County to Anthony of King William circa 1742, and likely some years earlier.  There are simply so few surviving records of that period. 

Hanover County is another place where traces of Hadens are found prior to 1742.  Although most of the county records of these years are missing, some parish records survive.  The information therein about another John Haden/Hayden [or could he be the same as the John in King William?] will be the subject of the next post.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Comstock Family Origins - Part Two

An alternative viewpoint regarding possible German ancestry for Christopher Comstock can be seen at

If you descend from Christopher Comstock, certainly you should read this blog, as well as the following.

Many of the older history books that now appear on the Internet, particularly on Google books, are known to contain numerous errors.  Inevitably they were compiled from a variety of sources and over a relatively short period of time.  Standards of genealogical proof have improved greatly in the past 100 years, as well as our ability to access records.  These books are important to our research but as clues to possibly more accurate resouces.

One of the most complete compilations of Comstocks is, The Comstock Family in America, published in Los Angeles CA, 1949, written by John A. Comstock. Yes, this book, too, contains errors, as all do; it remains a masterful work.  This book is not found on the Internet in its entirety as the copyright is still in effect and unfortunately it is out of print - but it can be purchased on CD for a reasonable fee from Quintin Publications.  John A. Comstock's manuscript papers are in the library at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society in Boston - many, many boxes of papers. [They have been microfilmed by LDS but I would think extremely hard to read on film as it was often difficult with the materials in hand!]   I have been privileged to visit that library in Boston and look at some of this material.  I reviewed all of the material on the early Comstocks - the first three generations or so - and then only at my own family line which is from Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island.

Two earlier books were written by Cyrus B. Comstock as mentioned in my previous blog, and John A. Comstock's book contains much material that is obviously from those two books to which he gives credit.
What was even more interesting, is that John A. Comstock had also used data from Samuel Willett Comstock, who descends from Christopher Comstock [usually represented as a son of the immigrant William although the evidence is admittedly circumstantial].  Samuel Willett Comstock was also a source for C. B. Comstock - Samuel was born 1865 in Boston and was a member of NEHGS from 1929-1936.  He was still living in Devon, CT, at the time John A. Comstock began his book and John gives him credit for sharing all his material.  Samuel Willett Comstock's manuscript collection is also at NEHGS and that collection, containing 22 volumes of material, was even more interesting.  Part of Samuel W. Comstock's collection was the correspondence of Noah D. Comstock.  Noah Durham Comstock [1832-1890] and his wife [Ellen, nee Comstock, 1836-1914, a sister to Cyrus B. Comstock] both descended from Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island, my ancestor.  Noah was the one that had collected much of the data used by Cyrus B. Comstock, and then by John A. Comstock.  Noah's prodigious correspondence is dated from as early as 1849 and was bound, in what was obviously a homemade binding and was extremely fragile - the tight binding even precluded photographing without extra hands to support the pages.  It was evident that much of the early history of the Comstock family as presented in The Comstock Family in America dates back to the correspondence of Noah Durham Comstock.  However, it is also true that much of the data has been additionally proved with actual New England records by some of the researchers along the way.  Samuel W. had also traveled overseas to research and added his own results and thoughts.  It was obvious that both Noah and Samuel had planned a book, but never got quite that far.  This research through the manuscripts also provided some much earlier documentation for data in John A. Comstock's book that was not directly sourced, although he does give many examples of primary source material throughout his book, as did Cyrus B. Comstock.  All of these Comstock family researchers devoted many years and experience to their quest.

Royal R. [Ralph] Hinman of Hartford, CT, compiled several volumes of A Catalogue of the Names of the Early Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut, published by the Press of Case, Tiffany & Co, Hartford, 1852-1856.   His work is available for download as one volume, apparently republished or rebound together, from Google Books.  [I'm not sure this is all of Hinman's work but it does contain the material on the Comstocks and at least five volumes.]   He was an attorney and states in his introduction that he had worked for about five years before beginning his compilation - a relatively short time to study so much about so many people.  Without doubt he had collected the material rather than doing the actual research and he furnished no sources.  He did state that he planned to research further in the records, but I believe this was never completed as he never completed his alphabet of names.  What is immediately evident in his first two paragraphs about the Comstocks [p.682] is that he omitted a generation.  He lists children for Samuel Comstock, son of William who had gone to Rhode Island - but these are instead the children of the grandson Samuel, one of the two sons of the Samuel, son of William.  He calls Samuel a Welchman in one instance. Hinman makes errors and omissions as he lists the Comstocks.  A particularly serious omission is that of Abijah, son of Moses Comstock, who was a son of Christopher.  Hinman also suggests Moses had a son David - but that David who married Sarah Leeds was the son of Samuel, Moses's brother, not Moses's son as Moses had no son named David.  Although Moses left a will naming his children, it's obvious Hinman never saw such a document, but made assumptions about the children of Moses.  Many of the Comstock males he lists show no relationships to others, although with the use of John A. Comstock's book, they can now be placed accurately in the family tree.  Some of the marriages are wrong, as are spelling versions of wives' surnames.  Descendants of Daniel & John Comstock are extremely confusing on p.687, and could not ever be sorted without an accompanying genealogy.  Under the paragraph re James Comstock who married Thankful Crosby, 1763, he quotes from "an aged man many years since of the Comstocks of Montville".  The Comstocks in Montville were descendants of Daniel Comstock, but this aged man was not further identified.  The quoted material is confusing, mixes generations, and has errors.  One example of outright error is the genealogy of James Comstock, killed at Ft. Griswold - James was a descendant of Daniel but not by the line herein shown.  Hinman contradicts himself regarding the number of children the immigrant William Comstock may have had and he obviously did not know that William Comstock had previously been in Watertown, Massachusetts, before removing to Connecticut.  In other words, Hinman's work although providing many ideas for research, is not particularly reliable in and of itself.

One of the Comstocks interested in knowing about his family was Dr. John Lee Comstock, a contemporary of Hinman's living in Hartford at the same time - they can both be found in the 1850 census although their families seem to be quite far apart - at least they are numbered quite far apart.  John Lee Comstock is a descendant of Daniel, proved son of William Comstock - his lineage can easily be traced in the John A. Comstock book.   Dr. Comstock was a medical doctor who had written many books dealing with a wide range of human sciences.  Hinman lists his accomplishments which are many.  One does wonder about how he could be expert in all these fields in this time period.  In reference to Comstock's book on Philsosphy, Hinman states "written by a man who never had an hour's instruction or explanation from any of the learned professors of the country."  Although Hinman seems to regard this self-education as an asset, I would hesitate to place John Lee Comstock as an authority on this or many of the other subjects he wrote about.  Comstock also wrote a history of Greece, a history of the "Hindooes" and "Cabinet of Curiousities".  Although a scholar, he was not a genealogist, nor did he write anything in the area of the history of his own family.  However, it is possible he furnished Hinman with some information, although he probably wasn't the elderly man mentioned - John Lee was younger than Hinman.  It is quite possible John Lee Comstock had corresponded with Noah D. Comstock who beginning in 1849 was collecting Comstock family data. There were numerous other Comstock descendants in the general area of Hartford that could have been consulted for Hinman's work.  John Lee apparently did accept the story about the German Komstohks whose lineage can not now be found, as related in my previous blog.  The second of Cyrus B. Comstock's books describes John Lee Comstock's sister quoting the story of the German Komstohks saying "from my deceased brother I received what I have written, who as he informed me, upon a visit to Frankfort on the Main by a gentleman whose name I do not recollect, copied and gave it to him".

I very much suspect John Lee Comstock was the victim of one of the many genealogical frauds that have occurred throughout history.  Note that he himself did not actually see the original German pedigree, only a copy, and, in fact the statement by his sister says that this "gentleman whose name she did not recollect" is the one who had visited Frankfort, not her brother.  This is not to refute that John Lee Comstock may very well have been an upright, honest and well respected gentleman.   However, it is certain the researchers noted above who spent years of their lives studying the Comstock family, did not place any credence on the suggested German heritage.  It is fairly evident that John Lee Comstock would not have had a great deal of time to spend in genealogy research, given the number of books he was writing on many other subjects.  Many of the churches in Germany still retain records going back hundreds of years - the fact that this record, and not any trace of this family can be found in Germany, does seem somewhat suspect.  The records, could of course now be lost, but it is also possible they never existed, particularly since at least one historical event mentioned, that of the Benedict treason, cannot be substantiated.  It is also evident that the early Comstock researchers made attempts to find these records prior to World War II and likely prior to World War I. Historical events are even less likely to disappear from history than surnames.  The study of genealogy will eventually prove to any researcher that almost anything is possible, but before a fact can be accepted, some sort of primary record must be discovered.  As yet, there is no such record of these German Komstohks beyond what amounts to heresay, originating with an unknown person.

An aside: Go here to read about fraudulent lineages.
I'm sure there were men other than Gustave Anjou that made a living this way.  Certainly in my husband's Haden family, only a few decades ago, an elderly lady in Texas paid out hundreds of dollars over several months as a retainer to a researcher in England.  Although he sent her bits and pieces of data, no actual copies of documents were ever furnished her and, indeed, proved not to exist. All the data sent to her was proved incorrect or nonexistent when the actual depositories and records were researched by another person. Both names and dates had been altered to make the genealogy "fit" and manufactured in entirety when necessary.  We like to believe that in the field of genealogy and family research, we are above this sort of duplicity, but that simply is not so.

Posted on the Internet are several pages from the John A. Comstock book regarding the "Coat of Arms" promoted as being that of the Comstocks. That reference is here:
Unfortunately there is an entire page in the book which is omitted from this Internet posting - the book shows a picture representing the Crest as well as the proposed family for Frederick Komstohk, listing birthdates of five children and written in a sort-of-German hand.  This is the document disputed as being a fake by Samuel Willett Comstock, because the writing, supposedly German, is incorrect for the era in which it is supposed to have been written.  [Based on German handwriting I've seen, this is a true observation. My stepfather's mother had come from Germany as a child and still could speak and write some German.  I had a German pen-pal in the 1950's.  And I've seen numerous examples of German writing in the colonial records of both Virginia and North Carolina which was very different from the more modern versions - this document as pictured was obviously written with the more modern characters.] When reading excerpts on the Internet, I suppose one should always be aware that something could be omitted, perhaps something important - in this case the illustration.  This chapter from John A. Comstock's book is the one in which Samuel Willett Comstock refers to both this document in connection with Dr. J. L. C. [presumably Dr. John Lee Comstock as Samuel Willett's manuscript papers show he did refer to others by their initials while documenting information], suggesting that this emblem and record of Fredrick's family had come from the doctor.  The coat of arms in this picture is slightly different from the one described by Hinman, but is apparently intended to be the same. It is interesting that John A. Comstock still presents this crest as the Coat of Arms for the Comstock family, in spite of lack of authenticity. But then most surname books do illustrate a crest that has been adopted by family lines, whether or not it was actually awarded someone in the family line. 

Here is a reference to Coats of Arms by the Society of Genealogists in London.
One can Google and find many places today, ready and willing to create a family coat of arms for you for a price - I suspect it was no different in the mid 1800's except that the creator could not advertise on the Internet.

No one has been able to find the suggested Comstock Coat of Arms in British heraldry.

And this Frederick Komstohk was said to be in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1611. If he was an important enough personage to have been bestowed with a coat of arms, it seems likely some reference to him or to his family, would have survived.  Something other than this single document that has no provenance.

Another point. The births of the children of Frederick Komstohk as shown on this parchment would preclude Christopher as the eldest and only an eldest son was the inheritor of any sort of British Coat of Arms.  Hinton relates that Christopher had brought the "family" coat of arms [coats of arms were not actually given to families - only individuals] engraved on a silver tankard which had been melted down at some point.  Sad that it was lost - impossible to confirm what might have been on that tankard.  It is true that there are German coats of arms that represent certain areas of the country, or the entire country of Germany, not necessarily a particular family.  Just "Google" German Coat of Arms for examples.  And we all know about family traditions concerning this sort of relic - there's often a grain of truth, but only a grain.  Apparently no tradition exists about exactly how Christopher came by ownership of the object.  The possibility exists of a tankard made in Germany that made its way across the pond.  Certainly among the artifacts found in excavations in Williamsburg that date back to the earliest settlers, are included objects from several different European countries, brought with the colonists.  Such objects were often passed down in families - Christopher could have received it from his father - and that father easily have been William Comstock, the only older person of that name known to be in the colonies at that time, or it could have been someone else.  The story is clouded by time.  At least actual records of an older William Comstock do exist.  Christopher did name sons Samuel and Daniel and a daughter Elizabeth.  Common enough names, but cannot be discounted since they also could have been for his siblings.

It is interesting that the blog offering the proof that Christopher was a son of this Frederick Komstohk whose very existence is not proved except by heresay, offers only two solutions.  That John Lee Comstock "created" the Coat of Arms, and lied about it, or that he did not and, therefore, it must be genuine.  Genealogy is seldom this black and white, and other possibilites exist.  I would certainly consider the possibility that someone else had created this crest, passed it off as authentic, and it was accepted by John Lee Comstock in all good faith.  That perhaps John was presented with this crest at the same time he received the German pedigree from this unknown gentleman.  As this is a common situation - even today many people accept by faith anything in print or found on the Internet - I can easily believe this is an alternative possibility.  Particularly in that earlier time when honor among gentlemen was more common.  It is true that no direct quote exists from John Lee Comstock claiming to have accepted all three items - the crest, the family of Frederick Kohmstohk, and the nine generation pedigree from Germany - however, the implication that he was some sort of source for all three is present in the later researchers' comments.  Regardless of the origin of this German heritage, it cannot now be substantiated, nor could it be over 100 years earlier.

In 1896, in History of Norwalk by the Rev. Charles M. Selleck, footnote on p.250, [another book available for download online] is repeated the family dates concerning Frederic Komstohk exactly as shown in the omitted picture from John A. Comstock's book - which shows Frederic was born Frankfort, Germany, and Christopher was born as his third son, 1618 in Scotland. Then he goes on in a separate paragraph to give a second story that Comstock was born about 1625, a Welshman and three generations removed from Baron von Komstock.  As these two paragraphs seem to offer slightly different stories, there is actually no one place where Frederic is seen as part of the family of Baron von Komstock and since the pedigree cannot be found, it isn't likely he can be placed in the family.   The story of the silver cup or goblet is repeated by Selleck.  Although John Lee Comstock had been dead many years by the writing of this history, it is obvious the stories had been kept alive by family members [references in John A. Comstock's book as late as 1949] and in Hinman's writing [1850's], with which Selleck would have been familiar.  Selleck, did not of course, verify every word of his 500+ page book; he compiled from many sources and likely Hinman, and the Comstock writings preserved in the family, were among these sources. Throughout the last half of the 19th century, several Comstock genetlemen had worked on the family history.  The results of their work appear in the books by Cyrus B. Comstock, 1905 and 1907, and by John A. Comstock, 1949, and with rejection of the German pedigree.

I can only sum up by repeating, the absolute proof for all the proposed children of William Comstock who was in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony by 1640, moved to Wethersfield and then Pequot which became New London, Connectict, and was referred to as "old goodman" Comstock by 1662, does not exist.  He is said to have lived to old age and outlived his wife Elizabeth.  There is no will or estate record of any kind.   History of New London by Frances Manwaring Caulkins, 1895, lists only three children, but then she likely didn't have access to all the Comstock data from other areas, particularly that from Rhode Island.  The major books had not yet been published by C. B. Comstock.  Again these large history volumes tend to contain many errors - the compilers relied on information from a great many sources, and the reliabilty varied considerably.  This doesn't necessarily discredit the intention of the historian - it's just that one must use other sources as well.  The fact remains that William was the only man of his surname and his generation found in New England.  The next generation Comstocks found are John, Daniel, Samuel, Christopher, and Elizabeth who married Edward Shipman, as recorded in Saybrook, CT.  All have Connecticut connections, most in New London, at some point in their lives, and their paths cross.

William most certainly had sons John & Daniel as shown by deed of 4 Dec 1694 in which grandsons William Comstock of Lyme [son of John] and Daniel Comstock of New London [son of Daniel] conveyed land at Nyantik which said land was given to our grandfather William Comstock, deceased, by the town of New London, 20 acres. This is the 20 acres granted William Comstock. On 12 Jun 1647, William Comstock was granted a lot at Pequot [later, New London] by the town, also 10 acres of upland, and 10 acres on East side of River Thames.

Daniel and Samuel, close to the same age, are closely involved with each other in several respects - both going to Providence, Rhode Island, but Daniel returning to New London. He had been in Providence on 19 Feb 1645 when he accepted a grant of 25 acres of land.
24 Jun 1648, Daniel Comstock, with other young men, was arrested in Providence for giving a false Indian alarm.
By 1660, Daniel Comstock was paid 20 shillings in New London for killing a wolf.
Daniel and Samuel Comstock had adjoining lots in Providence and Samuel remained in Providence. Town records refer to both men, indicating Samuel may have retained at least a part of Daniel's town rights - Daniel was one of the first 100 citizens of Providence.  Daniel named a son Samuel & Samuel named a son Daniel. Both the older William Comstock and Samuel Comstock were in Hartford Court Records in 1648 - a map shows Wethersfield to be adjacent to Hartford and the court was held in the larger town.  By 1653 Samuel is found in records both at New London and Rhode Island; giving rise to the presumption that Samuel Comstock of Providence was also the son of William of New London.  Samuel died quite young leaving two young sons named Samuel and Daniel in Providence.

There is also some evidence that both John and Samuel Comstock were apprenticed out when they were youths. John, 1639, and Samuel in 1648. Since they would have been under legal age, yet not very young children, this somewhat indicates their ages. It also suggests a consistency in family custom, and perhaps a relatively low income, explaining perhaps why there was no disposal of the effects of William Comstock when he died. Another notable point, Samuel as an apprentice in 1648, could not have been the son of Frederick Komstohk as his son Samuel is shown with a birth year of 1612, in the peculiar document.

Proof for Christopher and Elizabeth is less evident and seems to rest on their surname, names used for their children, and the fact that no other older Comstock is present.  Either, or both, could have been from another family, or could have been some other relation to William.  It was not uncommon for cousins, nieces & nephews to come with older relatives to the new world.  Elizabeth and Edward Shipman did live in Saybrook CT, where John Comstock was also found - their children were named Edward, Elizabeth & William.
Saybrook is quite near New London, by the way, and the marriage record of Elizabeth Comstock and Edward Shipman exists.  Elizabeth died quite young, by 1659, and Shipman remarried. 

Since the Comstock surname was one found in England, and many instances of its occurrence there can be cited, including a location from whence the name could have derived  ....and such a surname has not been found in Germany, it seems most likely all were of British Isles heritage.  Looking at a map, Devon, a shire or county in England, and Wales are just acros a bay from each other.  Certainly there is less proof for German origins - all of a secondary nature, and little reliability.  It seems almost certain, too, given the habits of the citizens of this time in history, that somewhere in Christopher's family the name of Frederick would have been bestowed on a child, had that been the name of his father.  Instead the names of his descendants are consistently common British Isles or New England given names - none suggest German heritage.

In the manuscript papers at NEHGS, there were assorted versions of the Comstock origins that had come from different branches of the family. One letter suggested they had come from Switzerland. Wales was mentioned as a possibility as well, for both Christopher and Samuel.  Devonshire, England has been chosen by those who did all the actual research as likely because there was a town named Culmstock and many British surnames were derived from a place - that basis is stated in their writings.  German surnames more often derived from the occupation. Various other sources, as in the histories above, have suggested the German origin.  Dutch origin is also not out of the question, as there are records of Samuel Comstock in New Amsterdam [New York], prior to his appearance in Rhode Island.

A fun place to look at surnames is:
One can research the locations and find out where a surname occurs today.
The Learning Center tab on Ancestry also leads to interesting facts and distribution of surnames. The occurence of the name Comstock was concentrated in Devonshire in England as late as 1891.

Proving whether or not the younger generation of Comstocks in New England were indeed kin to each other and kin to William Comstock could be done with DNA studies.  I have hoped for some time that someone would undertake to moniter such a study for the family.  FamilyTreeDNA shows no project for the surname.  Those tested must be male descendants that still carry the Comstock name and can trace their ancestry back to John, Daniel, Samuel or Christopher.  I have male first cousins still carrying the Comstock name and would be happy to pay for a test for one of them - that would be descent from Samuel Comstock of Rhode Island.  However, multiple men must be tested because of the possibility of paternal accidents after so many generations.  DNA could prove after adequate testing whether or not they were all related, although it would not indicate what the relationship would have been.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Comstock Family Origins

The name Comstock, with various spellings, [Columstock, Colmstoke, Coomstocke, Cumstocke, etc] is found in England from the 1200's forward.  There is in fact a village called Culmstock in Devonshire - many early English surnames were taken from locations where the individual lived.  The first Comstock believed in America, William Comstock, was in Watertown, Massachusetts Bay Colony by 1640.  There is proof via a deed of grandsons, that William certainly had sons named John and Daniel.  Various records and relationships suggest strongly that he also had sons Samuel and Christopher and a daughter Elizabeth who married Edward Shipman.  His wife of record in New England was Elizabeth, perhaps Elizabeth Daniel although the surname is unproved.  William Comstock appears to be the only possible parent available for these five younger Comstocks.  Comstock is not a commonly found name this early in America.  Cyrus B. Comstock, a descendant, wrote two books about the Comstock family in the early 1900's, Some Descendants of Samuel Comstock of Providence, RI, and A Comstock Genealogy: Descendants of William Comstock. 

Cyrus B. Comstock, in the Introduction to the Samuel Comstock book, states several instances of the forms of the name Comstock as found in England over several centuries.  As the Massachusetts Bay Colony was settled by so many from England in this early time period, it is supposed that is where William Comstock had come from, although no proof of his passage has ever been found.

There is said to be a pedigree of nine generations of Komstohks in Germany and this pedigree has persisted in challenging researchers and encouraging some to presume that William Comstock, or some of those named as his sons, came from Germany.  Cyrus B. Comstock does review this problem in his Introduction, p. 2, and I quote it here:

"There is a story of the existence in the Muniment office at Frankfort, Germany, of pedigrees of nine generations of Komstohks prior to Charles von Komstohk, a baron of the Roman Empire, who escaped to England in 1547, because he was implicated with other noblemen of Austria and Silesia in the von Benedict treason.
Careful search at Frankfort-on-the-Main, and at Breslau, fails to find any trace of a Baron von Komstohk, or of a von Benedict treason.  Dr. John Lee Comstock of Hartford, CT, accepted this story.  His sister, quoting it, says, on 5 Sept. 1865, 'from my deceased brother I received what I have written, who as he informed me, upon a visit to Frankfort on the Main by a genleman whose name I do not recollect, copied, and gave it to him.'"
C. B. Comstock states further, "Dr. Comstock was probably misinformed by this unknown person."

The book, History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men, compiled by D. Hamilton Hurd, 1882, has a sketch of W. H. H. Comstock.
In this sketch the above story about Charles Von Komstohk is repeated, describing in detail a crest, or coat of arms, but then does not actually tie this heritage into the family of W. H. H. Comstock in any way.  Instead he describes the father of W. H. H. Comstock, one Peter Comstock, as saying "there came from England four brothers of that name to New London, CT".  Since the family of William Comstock did move to New London about 1849, this last statement seems to be relatively accurate.  Certainly it is curious that no attempt was made to tie the extensive genealogy of W. H. H. Comstock in this article back to that of Charles Von Komstohk - one can only presume the author knew of no actual connection.  And, in fact, W. H. H. and his father Peter are descendants of Daniel Comstock, one of the proved sons of William.
This article is available online:

The American Heraldry Society has a webpage, Roll of Early American Arms,,
showing a crest for Christopher Comstock [one of the implied sons of William Comstock] and for John Comstock [a proved son of William Comstock] which is apparently the same crest, or arms, described in History in New London.  The chart shown says that Christopher and John are sons of Frederick Komstohk, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.  The chart gives two sources with descriptions.

Matthews, John. Matthews' American Armoury and Blue Book. 1907; rpt. New York: Crest Publishing Co, 1962.
Mostly a collection of arms in use by prominent socialites of the day, but with a historical section in the back of the book. Illustrated, but in a style that shows its age. (Joseph McMillan)
Crozier, William Armstrong. Crozier's General Armory. 1904; rpt. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co, 1972.
Crozier was an eminent genealogical scholar, but for some reason he did not discuss the sources for the arms included in this collection. He gives the name, date, and location for the earliest known member of the family in America, which tends to create the false impression that this was the first known user of the arms in this country. Nevertheless a valuable resource, although without illustrations. (Joseph McMillan)

A more recent book about the Comstock family, A History and Genealogy of the Comstock Family in America, by John A. Comstock, 1949, also discusses the German origin story.  John A. Comstock repeats the story, simply referring to it as "myth".  He states Gen. C. B. Comstock had made careful search without finding any trace of a Baron Von Komstohk or of a von Benedict treason.  Samuel Willett Comstock, another family researcher, had shared his extensive research and  referred to this German story in a letter dated Jan. 20, 1933 that "he personally investigated it in Germany, Scotland, and England, and nothing of the sort was ever heard of it there."

Another family tradition cited by John A. Comstock, is that some early references to Christopher Comstock speak of him as a Welchman.  The advocates of this theory point to the motto on the Coat of Arms, which is in the Welch language.  [The same coat of arms as shown in the above Heraldry.]  John A. Comstock also gives facts about this Coat of Arms, disproving any Welch or German theories of origin.  He, in fact, devoted a chapter to "The Comstock Coat of Arms".  In this chapter he describes a record on parchment of a coat of arms and family data of a Frederick Komstohk, born in Frankfort-on-Main and married in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1611 to Mary McDonald and lists four sons - Samuel, Daniel, Christopher & John and a daughter Katherine who died young.  An illustration of the document is in the book. Samuel Willett Comstock commented on this document, "the writing is in new, not old German, which proves it's a fake".  [In my humble opinion, an exceedingly good indication that the document was fraudulent.  I have seen German signatures, etc. on 18th century deeds in Virginia and North Carolina, and the writing is considerably different from this "parchment" on which the handwriting looks amazingly modern.]  It is also true that a German immigrant to Scotland would not likely be bestowed with any sort of a coat of arms.  It is also true that two men in New England, John and Daniel Comstock, are conclusively proved as sons of William Comstock of Watertown and New London.

John A. Comstock points out that the coat of arms has a motto found on several others recorded in Burke's General Armory.  He referred to the books of heraldry listed above, both published on American Armory, and goes on to say that the standard works on armory of the British Isles, inluding Burke's, contain no mention of any Comstock coat or arms nor any reference to such a family.  Samuel Willett Comstock stated that after his lengthy research, in his opinion, the emblem was born in Hartford, CT in 1849 and could be attributed to Dr. J. L. C. [Dr. John Lee Comstock].

My conclusions are these.

1.  William Comstock living in Massachusetts Bay Colony by 1640 was in all probability from England, if not elsewhere in the British Isles.  This time and place, does not lend itself to immigrants coming from Germany.
The other younger Comstocks in New England, of the next generation, if not all four his sons, were likely some relationship to William.  DNA tests from the lines of the sons would be helpful.

2.  Although it is known that some persons did travel from Germany to England and then on to America, I believe the German "pedigree" in this case to be bogus - both the nine generations pedigree and the fraudulent coat of arms with family record of Frederick Komstohk.  To my knowledge, no actual pedigree has ever been produced.  Coats of arms were bestowed on individuals, not on families, although as sort of a "social" thing, many have tried to adopt various crests or arms.  This appears to be be just this sort of society trophy.  There is no indication in any record that any of the sons, John, Samuel, Daniel and Christopher, were anything other than English speaking gentlemen. 

It is unfortunate that this highly unlikely German relationship appears in print in these books and is available on the Internet as well.  The unwary will continue to "discover" and promote this highly suspect ancestry.