Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Jane Stevenson's Mother-in-Law

In the last post, I suggested that Elizabeth Pratt was Jane's mother-in-law.Jane and her children lived with Elizabeth in 1850, shortly after the death of Jane's husband, Stephen. After a careful study of the sources, I've concluded that this is the case. I've made the changes in the Family Tree profile records to reflect my conclusion.

I found Jane, with her two sons - Edgar and Stephen - and her daughter - Elizabeth, in the household of Lot Pratt in Newark, New Jersey, in the 1850 census. 
From 1850 Census, Newark, New Jersey
Lot, age 83, was married to 70-year old Elizabeth Pratt. Wondering who Lot and Elizabeth were, I searched and found them, an unconnected couple on the Family Tree. There were no parents or children, but there was a marriage, of a "Latt" Pratt and an Elizabeth "Roos," Middlesex, New Jersey, 11 Nov 1819.

The source for this marriage was the IGI, but not, as I expected, from an extracted record . Instead, it was "Community Contributed IGI (Personal family information submitted to the LDS Church)." I can't determine who contributed this record, nor could I determine what source was used. That led me to find my own source for this marriage: Middlesex County (New Jersey) register of marriages, 1827-ca. 1892. Microfilm of original records in the Middlesex County Courthouse, county clerk office, New Jersey, filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1970 (FHL 851752 Items 1 - 2). The second entry on the page reads: "I do certify that I have this day dutifully / married Lott Pratt and Elisabeth Ross - / Witness my hand this 11th day of November 1819 / Ichabod Potter, Justice of the / Peace for Middlesex County / Received November 7, 1822 & recorded by Dean Oto."

Lott Pratt and Elizabeth Ross marriage record

It seems clear to me that the Elizabeth Pratt whom Jane lived with in 1850, is the Elisabeth Roos who married Lott Pratt in 1819. She was the mother of Steven Weeks Ross born in 1812. Elizabeth Ross was Elizabeth Hedden, born in 1780, married Aaron Ross in 1801. She would have been aged 70 in 1850. Her granddaughter was named "Elizabeth" after her.

What first kept me from merging the records for Elizabeth Roos and Elizabeth Hedden is her marriage to Lott Pratt. My caution stemmed from the fact that the marriage occurred in 1819 and that her first husband, Aaron, is listed in the Family Tree as having died in 1822. Aaron's death, however, has no source to support it. Likewise, Ancestry.com has thousands of records for an Aaron Ross with undocumented death dates of 1846, 1822, and 1815.

I believe that Elizabeth Hedden Ross become a widow sometime after the birth of her youngest child.  The death of her husband took place sometime between 1814, when Elizabeth's last child, Sarah Ann, was born, and 1819. The year 1815 seems plausible.

I believe that all of this adds up to a strong case for merging the Family Tree record for Elizabeth Roos and Elizabeth Hedden. The sources in support of the merge I made are attached to Elizabeth's Tree record (L4QP-1NX). I welcome alternate views. I would love to find a source for Aaron Ross's death, whether it supports my belief, or brings it all crashing down, I don't care; I welcome it.

A closer examination of the 1850 census shows some of the rest of Elizabeth's (and Aaron's) family. Two houses near Lott and Elizabeth Pratt's home are occupied by Elizabeth's widowed daughter and her son; another widowed daughter-in-law, her son and daughter-in-law, and their two children.

The 1860 census has Elizabeth Pratt, then an 80-years old widow, living in the household of her youngest daughter, her husband, and their three children. Elizabeth's widowed daughter is still with them.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Many Hands Make Light Work

Jane Stevenson

Jane Stevenson
The purpose of this new blog is to create a forum to discuss the ancestors and siblings of JANE STEVENSON, born 5 December 1820, died 21 September 1895. 

My name is Max Evans and I am her great-great grandson. She married my great-great grandfather, William Clark, in 1851. Her first husband, Stephen Weeks Ross, died in 1849. You can find a summary of her life in the story I wrote,"William and Jane: A Match Made in ... Council Point?

I have many, many questions about her immediate family, so I started a discussion on her Family Tree profile. I repeat it here. I invite those who have recently posted information on her profile, as well as others, to comment. Working together, I hope we can identify sources to support, or refute, assertions on the family tree.

Discussion - Questions about the parents and siblings of Jane Stevenson
I am looking for records for the birth of Jane Stevenson (Ross Clark). The US Censuses are ambiguous. The 1850 census indicates her birth in New Jersey, age 30. The 1860 has her born in Canada, age 39. The 1870, born in Canada, age 48. And the 1880, in Canada, age 59. The tree shows her born 5 December 1820 in "Upper Canada, Ontario, Canada" (which I believe is redundant; isn't Upper Canada the earlier name for Ontario?).

Based on the census responses, I'm inclined to believe the birth data in the tree for Jane. But I would like to know why the family was in Canada. Consider this timeline, according to the Family Tree

1742  -  Jane's grandfather, Samuel Stevenson II born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey
1785  -  Jane's father, Samuel Stevenson III born in Upper Canada, Ontario, Canada
1792  -  Jane's mother, Sarah Lust born in Sussex County, New Jersey
1808  -  Jane's parents, Samuel III and Sara, married in Morris County, New Jersey
1810  -  Jane's sister, Eliza, born in Canada
1812  -  Jane's sister, Hannah, born in Canada
1816  -  Jane's sister, Sarah Ann, born in Sussex County, New Jersey
1820  -  Jane, born in Upper Canada, Ontario, Canada
1822  -  Jane's sister, Emily,born in Canada
1823  -  Jane's mother, Sarah Lust Stevenson died in Sussex County, New Jersey
1824  -  Jane's brother, William,born in Sussex County, New Jersey
1826  -  Jane's sister, Juliet,born in Upper Canada, Ontario, Canada

Is Samuel II really the father of Samuel III? All of the other children of Samuel II were born in New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Why was Samuel III born in Canada? Did he go to Canada after 1782 with his family and return before 1888? Many Stevensons from New Jersey and Pennsylvania were Quakers. Perhaps he left to avoid difficulties caused by Quaker pacifism near the end of the Revolution, and returned home after the end of hostilities. (The war ended with the treaty of Paris in 1783.)

Consider the birth order of Jane and her siblings, by place: New Jersey, Canada, New Jersey, New Jersey, Canada, Canada, New Jersey, Canada, Canada, New Jersey, Canada, (mother dies New Jersey), New Jersey, Canada. The last two cannot be born after the mother's death. Is the family in the Tree of Samuel III and Sarah really conflated from two families? One in New Jersey and one in Canada? I think so, but I need sources.

Jane married Stephen Week Ross in New Jersey where they lived until his death in 1849. They had five children, one about every two years. The youngest two died. After Stephen's death, Jane and the three children are found in the census living with Lot and Elizabeth Pratt. Elizabeth Pratt was formerly Elizabeth Ross (or Roos), according to an IGI entry for a 1819 marriage in New Jersey. Since Stephen Weeks Ross's mother, according to the Tree, was named Elizabeth, and his father died about 1819, I think Jane lived with her mother-in-law, and her husband, until Jane and her three children moved west to join the overland journey to Utah in 1851.

In addition, two of Jane's sisters on the tree, Sarah Ann and Emily, were shown as also married to Stephen Week Ross and as the parents one and two, respectively, of her children. This cannot be right, unless he was practicing polygamy before the practice became public in 1852 in Utah. I deleted these relationships.

I hope someone can provide sources that help us straighten out this tangle.