Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Joseph Payson Problem - Part 1

I've had some genealogy fun this afternoon checking online databases for information about several Joseph Paysons.  My online database and ancestry Member Tree notes that Joseph Payson was born 30 April 1739 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson and that he married Abigail Pierpont on 1 January 1761 in Roxbury.  He is not in my ancestral line, but he is in my database because I try to add the children of Seaver/Sever females. 

I had an email yesterday from a person descended from a Joseph Payson who married Rachel Smalledge in Boston on 26 April 1763.  She inquired if her Joseph was the Joseph Payson in my database. 

Frankly, I didn't know.  I don't know when I entered my information, or the source, but it was probably back in the early 1990s, and likely from the LDS IGI.  I may have guessed that Abigail was the "right" wife, I just don't recall or have data for it.  Such is the state of much of my database in spite of my recent efforts to add source citations to authoritative sources.

Is there more than Joseph Payson born in Massachusetts in the 1730 to 1745 time frame (my estimate for the marriages noted above)?  Well, yes, there are several, including (from searches on Americanancestors.org, Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org):

*  Joseph Payson, born 30 April 1739 in Roxbury, to Ebenezer and Sarah (Sever) Payson (in Roxbury Vital Records book on AmericanAncestors.org)
*  Joseph Payson, born 22 June 1740 in Milton (baptized 27 September 1741 in Boston's Hollis Street Church) to Joseph and Mary (Gulliver) Payson (AmericanAncestors.org Church Records database).
*  Joseph Payson, born 2 January 1736 in Dorchester to Jonathan and Ann Payson (in Dorchester VR book on americanAncestors.org).

There are a number of marriages in the 1735 to 1775 time frame in the records:

*  Joseph Payson and Mary Gulliver on 12 April 1739 in Boston (Boston Marriage book) on 24 May 1739 in Milton (in Milton VRs)
* Joseph Payson and Mary Jefts on 25 October 1758 in Roxbury (Roxbury VR book)
* Josepg Payson and Abigail Pierpont on 1 January 1761 in Roxbury (Roxbury VR book).
*  Joseph Payson and Rachel Smalledge on 26 April 1763 in Boston (Boston Marriage book)
*  Joseph Payson and Mary Hill on 27 January 1774 in Sherborn (Sherborn VR book)

There are several other marriages in the records after 1775.  Which marrying Joseph belongs to which set of parents? 

Stay tuned.  I think I've sorted it all out.  I entered quite a bit of data into my database in order to try to noodle through it.  Here's a screen view of my database open on the left and the www.AmericanAncestors.org site open on the right in a separate window:

I often add information to my database this way - it saves clicks since I usually cannot remember more than one fact at a time!

It's been a fun afternoon!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Hang in there. I've got some Payson marriages in my family tree (none are ancestors). Did you know that Payson was sometimes spelled Persson?

Heather Wilkinson Rojo said...

Also, check this book (I don't have a copy but NEHGS has one because the author works there) The Pierponts of Roxbury, MA by Helen S. Ullman. In fact, maybe she can answer your question?

prolifenance said...

Joseph Payson was adm[itted?] to the Hollis Street Church on 25 Mar 1764 - the same day his daughter Rachel, my ggg, was baptized.

Would he have to be adm IF he was already a member? Ie, IF he was the Joseph of Boston?