Saturday, June 30, 2012

serendipity strikes again ...

... and as usual eats up hours of time. This time I was testing out the search engine that fold3 is working on and tossing in whatever family names came to mind. One of my favorites to throw in is the given name Hatevil. As you can imagine it is not a common name so I don't get buried in results when I use it. The name goes way back into early New England and is attached to a handful of surnames mostly if not all connected to Hatevil Nutter.

But I digress. I had already limited my search area to Revolutionary War and up pops a dozen or so results, many of them being official papers signed and/or attested to by Hatevil Knight, a town official and a son of my direct ancestor Joseph Knight and his wife Elizabeth Nutter, and brother to my direct line, Susanna Knight who married John Stanton.

Among the results is one referencing page/image 18 in the pension of Edward Rollins, a name I recognize as fitting into the family. When I check my database, sure enough, there's Edward, who it turns out is a half brother to Hatevil and Susanna Knight as their mother had first been married to Edward Rollins Sr. The statement brings up some information I had not previously known and reads as follows:

I Hatevil Knight of Rochester in the county of Strafford and State of New Hampshire aged seventy eight years, depose and say that I was acquainted with Edward Rollins late of said Rochester deceased. That he was a Soldier in the Revolution at different times and that afterwards he was married to Miss Anna Wentworth of this Town. That he the said Edward Rollins died in this Town twenty seven years ago and that afterwards his widow the aforesaid Anna married with John Stanton and that the said John Stanton died more than ten years ago and that she the said Anna has remained a widow ever since the death of the said John Stanton. That she has always been a reputable person to me well known.

The statement is signed by Hatevil Knight and is dated 7 July 1843 in Rochester. I had not previously followed this Edward Rollins and never particularly looked for a pension or even for any service in the Revolution (shame on me!). I had him listed with his birth and death date and that was it. Although I knew about his mother's two marriages, I was unaware of his marriage to Anna Wentworth nor her subsequent marriage to a John Stanton.

After much poking around on various internet resources including Ancestry, NEHGS, USGenWeb and Find-A-Grave as well as digging through the rest of Edward Rollins' pension, I have determined that Edward Rollins married Anna Wentworth 15 December 1778 and married John Stanton 17 February 1822. John died 6 April 1828 at Brookfield. In a statement dated 4 March 1847 in Rollins' pension application, it is said that Anna has lived in Charleston, Penobscot County, Maine, for 10 or 11 years and previous to that in Rochester, Strafford County, New Hampshire.

Anna Wentworth Rollins Stanton died in Corinth, Penobscot County, Maine, 6 September 1854, and is buried in the Paine Cemetery in nearby Charleston. In spite of scrolling page by page through both the Charleston and Corinth sections of the 1850 census of Penobscot County, I have not located Anna. I did find what appears to be her son Anthony. Another son Stephen appears in the pension file but his tombstone in the Paine Cemetery states that he died in 1847 at the age of 66 years, 4 months, so he is not found in 1850 of course. Sure wish I had checked that before spending a considerable amount of time looking for him in the census!

Anna's second husband John Stanton is most likely part of my Stanton family as all the Stantons in early Strafford County appear to be one family. It is possible that she is the second wife of my direct line John Stanton but there may be other cousins to the line to be found that could fit.

Well, I certainly have learned to look deeper in the collateral lines, even half-brothers may have something to add to the family story.

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