Friday, September 25, 2015

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Week 91: #111 Mary (Metcalf) Underhill (1780-1855)

Amy Johnson Crow suggested a weekly blog theme of "52 Ancestors" in her blog post Challenge:  52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on the No Story Too Small blog.  I am extending this theme in 2015 to 104 Ancestors in 104 Weeks. Here is my ancestor biography for week #91:

Mary "Polly" Metcalf (1780-1855) is #111 on my Ahnentafel list, my 4th great-grandmother, who married #110 Amos Underhill (1772-1865) in 1801.


I am descended through:

* their daughter, #55 
Mary Ann Underhill (1815-1883) who married #54 Samuel Vaux (1816-1880) in 1839.
*  their daughter, #27 Abigail A. Vaux (1844-1931), who married #26 Devier James Lamphear Smith (1839-1894) in 1861.*  their daughter #13 Abbie Ardell "Della" Smith (1862-1944), who married #12 Henry Austin Carringer (1853-1946),  in 1887.
*  their son, #6 Lyle Lawrence Carringer (1891-1976), who married #7 Emily Kemp Auble (1899-1977) in 1918.
*  their daughter, #3 Betty Virginia Carringer (1919-2002), who married #2 Frederick Walton Seaver (1911-1983) in 1942.
*  their son, #1 Randall J. Seaver (1943-....)


1)  PERSON (with source citations as indicated in brackets):

*  Name:                       Mary "Polly" Metcalf[1–2]   

*  Alternate Name:       Polly Medcalf[6]    
*  Alternate Name:      Mary Underhill[3–5]  

*  Sex:                          Female   

*  Father:                     Capt. Burgess Metcalf (1741-1816)    
*  Mother:                   Jerusha  (1750-1817)   
2)  INDIVIDUAL EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Birth:                       about 1780 Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States[1]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1850 (about age 70), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[3]   
*  Census:                   1 June 1855 (about age 75), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[4]
*  Death:                     15 October 1855 (about age 75), Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[5]
*  Burial:                    after 15 October 1855 (after about age 75), East Aurora Cemetery, East Aurora, Erie, New York, United States[5]
3)  SHARED EVENTS (with source citations as indicated in brackets):
*  Spouse 1:               Amos Underhill (1772-1865)   
*  Marriage:              25 March 1801 (about age 21), Piermont, Grafton, New Hampshire, United States[1,6]

*  Child 1:                 Cyrus Metcalf Underhill (1804-1841)   
*  Child 2:                 Rev. James Pierce Underhill (1809-1884)   
*  Child 3:                 Almeda Underhill (1813-1859)   
*  Child 4:                 Mary Ann Underhill (1815-1883)   
*  Child 5:                 Frederick Underhill (1820-1820)   
4)  NOTES (with source citations as indicated in brackets):   

Two books provided information for the Amos and Mary (Metcalf) Underhill family:

*  Josephine C. Frost, editor, Underhill Genealogy,  Volume IV (n.p. : Underhill Society of America, 1932).[1]

*  W. Bronson Taylor,  Amos Underhill, 1832-1914 (Middle Grove, New York : the author, 1968).[2]

There is no birth record for Mary "Polly" Metcalf, daughter of Burgess and Jerusha (--?--) Metcalf of Piermont, Grafton County, New Hampshire.  Burgess Metcalf of Piermont was the only Metcalf head of household in the 1790 and 1800 U.S. Census records in Grafton County, New Hampshire, and had a female of the correct age group to be Mary..  

The approximate birth date of "about 1780" is supported by her age of 69 in the 1850 U.S. Census and the age of 74 in the 1855 New York State Census.  If she was born in 1780, then she was about age 21 when she married Amos Underhill in 1801 in Piermont. 

The Piermont [Grafton County, New Hampshire] town record of the marriage of Amos Underhill and Polly Medcalf says[6]:   

"March 20th, 1801, Mr. Amos Underhill & Polly Medcalf both of Piermont, were joined in Marriage this day by me, Thomas Russell Justice Peace"

Amos and Polly Underhill had five children in the years between 1804 and 1820, four of whom lived to adulthood, married and had children.

In 1811, the family resided in Haverhill, Grafton County, New Hampshire.  They left in a sledge or pung drawn by oxen and settled in Aurora, Niagara County, New York in 1811.  The homestead was first near the end of present-day Underhill Road, and later was on Underhill Road.[1]  

Amos Underhill served in the War of 1812 as a Private under Captain James J. Stevens in Colonel Warren's Company of the 48th Regiment of the New York Militia.[1] 

When the British crossed the Niagara River in December 1813, the Militia was called out.  Every free man was a member of the Militia, and each took his rifle and powder, horn and bullet pouch, and a blanket if they had one, and rushed to Buffalo.[1]

After Amos left, Mary carefully hid her dishes in the well.  She checked the load in her own rifle.  By nightfall she had the oxen yoked to the long sledge or pung.  They were backed into the lean-to on the side of the cabin and tied with feed before them.  She filled the box of the sledge with hay and put her sons to sleep in it. Through the long cold night she watched and waited with her rifle within reach.  She could hear the roar of the cannon and see the glow of fire against the sky.  In the first gray glimmer of dawn, she saw a man coming on the road.  He turned out to be a neighbor who told her that the town had been captured and burned, and that her husband had probably been captured or killed.  She knew the man was more excitable than reliable, so she waited longer.  Soon an Indian appeared, who told her the British had captured the town and burned all but seven houses, but they had retreated beyond the Niagara River.  He said her husband would be home before nightfall.[1]

In the 1850 United States census, the Amos Underhill household was enumerated in Aurora, Erie County, New York[3].  The household included:

*  Amos Underhill -  age 75, a farmer, real estate valued $1,300, born in Massachusetts
*  Mary Underhill- age 69, born in New Hampshire.  
*  Deloss Underhill - age 17, a farmer, born in New York, attends school
*  Don Carlos Underhill - age 14, born in New York, attends school.

Deloss and Don Carlos are sons of Cyrus Metcalf Underhill, who was deceased.

In the 1855 New York State Census, Amos Underhill was enumerated in Aurora, Erie County, New York[4].  The household included:

*  Amos Underhill - age 80, male, born in New Hampshire, married, lived in town 43 years, no occupation, a native voter, owns land
*  Mary Underhill - age 74, female, wife, born in New Hampshire, married, lived in town 43 years
*  Delos Underhill - age 21, male, grandson, born Erie County, married, lived in town 21 years, a native voter
*  James Underhill - age 23, male, grandson, born Madison County, married, lived in town 11 years
*  Casper Archer - age 16, male, servant, born in Germany, lived in town 6/12 years, a laborer, an alien

Mary Underhill died on 15 October 1855, and was buried in the East Aurora Cemetery in East Aurora, Erie County, New York[5].  Her gravestone has this inscription:

Wife of 
Amos Underhill
Oct. 15, 1855

1. Josephine C Frost, Underhill Genealogy, Volume 4 (N.p.: Myron C. Taylor, in the interests of the Underhill Society of America, 1932).

2. W. Bronson Taylor, Amos Underhill, 1832-1914 ( Middle Grove, N.Y. : the author, 1968).

3. 1850 United States Federal Census, Erie County, New York, Aurora Township: Page 102B (stamped), Dwelling #1581, Family #1587, Amos Underhill household; digital image, (, citing National Archives Microfilm Publication M432, Roll 498.

4. New York, Erie County Census 1855, 1865, 1875, Aurora town: Page 52 (penned), Amos Underhill household; digital image, (, citing original data at Hamburg [N.Y.] Historical Society.

5. Jim Tipton, indexed database, Find A Grave (, East Aurora Cemetery (East Aurora, N.Y.), Mary Underhill memorial # 43497188.

6. “New Hampshire Marriage Records, 1637 to 1947,” online database, FamilySearch (, Piermont, Amos Underhill and Polly Medcalf entry;  citing “Marriage Records.” New Hampshire Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord. FHL microfilm.


The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at

No comments: