Thursday, June 21, 2012

Richardson conundrum

So I ordered (via fax) copies of the documentation for Jonathan Richardson Sr (the progenitor in Livonia, New York) from the DAR last week and they came on Monday.

I was excited to see that they had included documentation of later generations that I didn't expect.  Also, copies of four deeds from Franklin Co, Massachusetts (at the time of their creation, the land was in Hampshire County).  These four deeds appear to fit with the fact that a Jonathan Richardson (occasionally identified as a "Jr") sold land in Leyden, Massachusetts, around the time that the Jonathan Richardson family appears to move from Massachusetts/New Hampshire/Vermont/eastern New York, and appear in Livonia.

However, it also brought up more issues.  The documentation include a circa birth date (c.1742) and a place (Brattleboro, Windham Co, Vermont, which I *guess* could be correct, considering that Brattleboro was the first Vermont settlement [1]), as well as a wife's name: "Hannah Warren."


I have not seen "Hannah Warren" on any document; I have not seen the name Hannah; I have not even seen a name for a wife of Jonathan Richardson Sr.  I know he had one - men obviously can't give birth - but her identity is a mystery to me.

Of the aforementioned Hampshire County deeds (now Franklin), there are two where Jonathan buys land, one in 1794 and one in 1796, and two where he sells the land - both in 1804.  (I plan to fully transcribe and post these later.)  The two where he sells land do not include a wife renouncing her right to dower (for a great post on dower, see The Legal Genealogist for an example in Michigan; the comments discuss Massachusetts not having repealed the right of dower until 2008, to take effect in 2011[2]).  So now I am really at a conundrum.  Is this "my" Jonathan?  Is it his son, Jonathan Jr?  Where is the wife that should be there, if, as I hypothesize, this is "my" Jonathan Sr?  Jonathan Jr was already married in 1804 so if it was him, his wife Rhoda should have signed away her right to dower.  I was under the impression via the 1810 census that she had moved to Livonia with the family, but maybe I am operating under a false assumption.  That could be a sister or sister-in-law rather than a wife.

The other choice is that the researcher did not think those pages important, and so did not copy them and include them in the DAR application!  But now at least I know that there is something there.

But I am still at an impasse as to connecting these two men as one person, and if either of them are really the man that supposedly served in the Revolutionary War.

*spin, spin, spin* These guys give me hurt-y brain.  On the plus side, at least I know that I am not the only one - I just got an email from a distant cousin that explained that she stopped work on this line because they made her crazy.

(I am tempted to put a LOLcat here, but I will deny myself the pleasure of silly cat photos.)

[1] Wikipedia (, "Brattleboro, Vermont," rev. 17 June 2012.

[2] Judy Russell (The Legal Genealogist,, "Reversion of Dower," 17 April 2012.
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