Sunday, July 29, 2012

Disappointing Results from a NY County Historian's Office

So the Livingston County, New York, Historian has a database showing the records available through their office.  In my quest trying to find all the data on the Richardson family that moved to Livonia, Livingston Co, New York (originally in Ontario County), the database notes a file for Jonathan Richardson Sr, veteran of the Revolutionary War.


This is my Jonathan (I) Richardson, father of my ancestors Joseph and John Richardson and collateral relatives Daniel and Jonathan (II) Richardson. Joseph, Daniel, and Jonathan (II) Richardson all fought in the War of 1812 in Captain Gould Tyler's Company of Lieutenant Colonel Samuel Blakeslee's militia at the Battle of Black Rock.


I am currently working with the hypothesis (based on family stories and other records) that the Richardson family migrated to New York around 1803-1805, and possibly came from Leyden, Massachusetts (now in Franklin Co, originally in Hampden Co).


All I *really* know about Jonathan (I) Richardson is that he bought 73 acres of land in Livonia (Lot 70) in 1814 from Robert Bowne of New York City,[1] and that in 1821 he sold this land to Jonathan (II) Richardson.  The 1821 deed names Jonathan (I) Richardson as Sr, Jonathan (II) Richardson as Jr, and Jonathan III, Jonathan (II) Richardson's son, a witness to the deed, as Jonathan 3rd.[2] By 1829, the man known as Jonathan Jr in the 1821 deed is called Jonathan Sr and sells the land to his son, Jonathan (III), called Jr.[3]  With this deed, it appears that Jonathan (I) Richardson probably died between 1821 and 1829.


The file from Livingston County includes four documents:


A) A "Livingston County War Service Record" card (with a note that there is no card in marked graves).  It gives his name "Jonathan Richardson I", that he was born about 1742 (with a note to see back, given on a second page to me), that he died "between 1821 and 1829 - Gravesite unknown (Per L. Webster, Liv. Amer. Leg. Post)".


The back of the card gives the vital records for a Jonathan Richardson:
Jonathan Richardson, b. 25 Nov 1744, Billerica, Mass.
married: 6 Aug 1761 @ Attleboro, Mass.
To: Hannah Franklin, b. 6 Jul 1747, Attleboro, Mass.
Ref: Judy K. Cwiklinski [address withheld]


[Note, this is NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT my Jonathan Richardson. The Jonathan Richardson that was born in Billerica died in Chelsea, Mass, in 1813, and actually appears to have been the man that married Lydia Foster in Chelmsford, Mass in 1772.  The Jonathan Richardson that married Hannah Franklin appears to have died in Attleboro, Mass., in 1817, so is also not a candidate for being "my" Jonathan.]


B) A "Livingston County War Service Record" card for Jonathan (II) Richardson.  There is no date of birth given, but includes a date of death of 4/5/1850, age 87 (with a note to see back, given on a second page to me).  Under the "Nature of Duties Performed in Service" it states "transported men by team to scene of action after the burning of Buffalo." A second section states "Taken to Montreal, as prisoner of British, then taken to Halifax, released after 6 months."


References given include - "The History of Conesus" by W. P. Boyd; Smith - History of Liv. County - p. 329; and "Livonia: Mil. (envelope)" [unknown what this refers to]


It also notes that he was a Private in Captain Gould Tyler's Company, Col. Blakeslee's Regiment, New York Militia (per L. Webster Liv. Amer. Leg. Post)


The back of the card states:
"He died in Independence Twp, Allegany Co, NY. Ref: Mortality schedule 1850 Independence, Allegany Co, NY. His son Jonathan & wife Mianda are buried in the Whitesville [unclear] Cemetery, Allegany Co, NY." Ref: Judy K. Cwiiklinski


C) Typescript of a Memorial Day talk given by Michael West, May 29, 1972, and notes that West was "age 13 years."


This notes three Livonia men that served in the militia - Joseph Richardson, Jonathan Richardson, and Erastus Lewis.


D) A second typescript is an analysis of the gravestone of Jonathan Richardson, Sen (Jonathan (II) Richardson in the Annis-Powell Cemetery in Livonia, New York.  An image of this gravestone can be found on Find-a-Grave.  This analysis is by Lawrence J. Webster, the Historian of Harrison-Lee Post #283, American Legion, from September, 1989.  At this point, the analysis was for the research of the DAR application that I mentioned in an earlier post.


It states at the end: "At this writing, [eventual DAR applicant] has these problems.
     1) No definite gravesite has been found for Jonathan b. ca 1742
     2) The DAR will not accept the land deeds as proof of grandfather, son, and grandson relationship of the three Jonathan Richardsons.
     3) She has no proof that a Jonathan Richardson listed in Revolutionary War military units of the New Hampshire area came to Livonia, New York"




Based on the items I have seen cited in the DAR application, I am in agreement with the American Legion historian! So I am wondering what changed between 1989 and 1992, when the DAR app. was approved.


There was nothing new in this file for me.  There is still no proof (in my mind) that the Jonathan Richardson mentioned as serving in the Revolutionary from New Hampshire is the same man that moved to Livonia, New York, with his family between 1803 and 1805.




[1] Bowne, Robert H to Jonathan Richardson, 29 November 1814, Ontario County, New York, Deed Book 22: 468-469, Ontario Co, New York County Clerk, Deed records v. 22-23 1814-1815, Family History Library microfilm 0494835.


[2] Richardson, Jonathan Sr to Jonathan Richardson Jr, 2 February 1821, Ontario County, New York, Deed Book 37: 359-360, Ontario Co, New York County Clerk, Deed records v. 36-37, 1820-1821, Family History Library microfilm 0494842.


[3] Richardson, Jonathan and Rhoda to Jonathan Richardson Jr, 14 October 1829, Livingston County, New York, Deed Book 8:44-45, Livingston Co, New York County Clerk, Deed Records v. 8-9, 1829-1831, Family History Library microfilm 0510038.
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