Sunday, June 10, 2012

Richardson - problem ancestors (DAR Application)

Sigh. I don't know what to do with these guys. They aren't rascals, like The Legal Genealogist's George Washington Cottrell. They are a simple, post-American Revolutionary family that lived in western New York and didn't leave a lot of records but left A TON of descendants. And give me a headache.

I have been working on gathering the descendants of man known as Jonathan Richardson. According to a DAR application (and a second one recently accepted under the same documentation), this Jonathan Richardson (b. abt 1743 (possibly Massachusetts), d. bef 1829 (probably Livingston Co, New York)) married a woman named Hannah Warren.  He and his family moved to Livonia, Ontario Co, New York (now Livingston County) around 1804-1806, probably from Leyden, Hampshire Co, Massachusetts (now Franklin County).  It appears that they had at least three sons (Jonathan, Joseph, and Daniel); I posit a 4th (John) based on family histories stating that my 4th great-grandparents were first cousins, but there were almost certainly other children.

This Jonathan Richardson supposedly served in the Revolutionary War.  The DAR application gives his service in the following detail:

  • In Quebec, 1776, and at Ticonderoga with New Hampshire Forces (typed)
  • Served with the Green Mountain Boys - Maj. Brown's Detachment (handwritten)
  • Served with General Arnold - Col. Ethan Allen - Seth Warner @ 4 July 1775 [sic] (handwritten)
  • Pay roll on Captain John Parker's Comp [sic] (handwritten)
Sources cited for this military service:
  1. Pension Records
  2. History of the Revolutionary War, New Hampshire Sate Papers, Vol. I, Vol. IV, pp. 172, 176, 177.
  3. Misc. Revolutionary Documents of New Hampshire, Vol. 30
  4. NH State Papers by Batchellor, pp. 435 439 [sic]
  5. New York in the Revolution by Roberts pages 61 and 62
I won't argue this point currently - but I am unclear as to how the same name/different person scenario is resolved here.  Jonathan Richardson is not the most uncommon of names, and I have been unable to find a pension record for him specifically that may answer some of these questions.

Thanks to a wonderful online cousin, I now have all of the documentation used for the last two generations of the DAR application (i.e. Jonathan Richardson and one of his sons, in this case, Jonathan Jr).  A section of the application is for a list of the "Children of the Revolutionary Ancestor" besides the one through which the applicant descends.

This application gives the names of six children: Jonathan, Lemuel, Daniel, Francis, Joseph, and Elijah, and states that they are proven through the "Co Hist."

Looking through all the sources given on the application for those generations, including the three county histories - I find nothing on the wife or the children of Jonathan Richardson. *SIGH*

I am not trying to fault anyone's research or take anything away from my wonderful cousin that just got her DAR application approved, but I am somewhat irked.  Where did this information come from, and why can't I find it anywhere?  Who are these three other sons Lemuel, Francis, and Elijah?  They don't appear to be in any records in Ontario or Livingston counties with their Richardson relatives.  There are no Richardson families in Leyden, Massachusetts in 1810, approximately five years after I posit that the entire family moved.

A forthcoming post will establish all the evidence that I currently have on the Jonathan Richardson that lived in Livonia, New York in the last years of his life.  As for the DAR application, my next step is to make a request from the DAR for the supporting documentation for Jonathan Richardson.  Hopefully they will have something in their files to help me.

(c) 2012, Sara Gredler
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