Saturday, April 13, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Tell Us About an Elusive Ancestor

Calling all Genea-Musings Fans: 

 It's Saturday Night again - 
time for some more Genealogy Fun!!

Here is your assignment if you choose to play along (cue the Mission Impossible music, please!): 

1)  We all have elusive ancestors - those persons that we cannot connect to parents or children, or a wife without a known surname.  Identify one of those elusive ancestors, and how they are related to you..

2)  Tell us what you do know about your elusive ancestor - what events, dates and places do you know for them?  Who did they marry, what are the names of their children?

3)  What research do you plan to perform to solve your elusive ancestor problem?

4)  Share your information in your own blog post (but please comment on this post with a link to your post), in a comment to this post, in a Facebook status or a Google Plus Stream post.  

Here's mine:

My elusive ancestor is Mary Kent.  She was born in about 1726 in New Jersey, and married William Cutter (1722-1780), and they had 8 children, all born in Woodbridge, Middlesex, New Jersey:  Stephen, Richard, Sarah, Mary, Hannah, Samuel, Kelsey, and Keturah. 

Mary is one of my 5th great-grandmothers, and I descend through her first son, Stephen Cutter (1745-1823).

Mary Kent's parents are unknown. It is possible that she was the daughter of Stephen Kent, and the granddaughter of another Stephen Kent who resided in WoodbridgeMiddlesex County, New Jersey.  There are some town records with birth, marriage or death entries in this area in this time period, but there are very few records for Kents.  I have reviewed the will abstracts of all of the Kent persons in northeastern New Jersey in the 1700s and Mary is not identified in them.  

It is possible that she was the daughter or sister of William Kent, who witnessed the will of Richard Cutter, her husband's father, in 1757.
However, there are no records to prove these suppositions. 

What I plan to do next:  Obtain and review land records for Middlesex County for all Kent persons and Cutter persons in hopes that a Kent is mentioned in one or more of them.  

I hope that other descendants of Mary (Kent) Cutter will contact me ( if they have more information about her.  

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2013, Randall J. Seaver


Geolover said...

Since you do not know who Mary Kent's parents were or where they lived and when, why do you say she was born in New Jersey?

Connecticut and New York are among the possibilities.

Alison McIntyre said...

My elusive ancestor is my great grandfather John McArthur. He was born in Perthshire, Scotland November 10, 1830. He married Ellen Dale 09 Aug 1853 in Lachute, Quebec, Canada. His parents were John McArthur and Catherine McGibbon. That information comes from his second marriage to Marion Baikie June 23, 1884 in Ottawa, Carleton, Ontario, Canada.
From a family letter written long after the events, is information that his mother died of smallpox in Halifax Harbor before she could off the boat. I went to the Archives in Halifax and read ship records, coroner’s records, and newspapers. I learned a great deal about life in Nova Scotia but nothing about the family. (According to the coroner, one woman died of “a visitation from God”, it did not say how he determined this.)
The group that was already there came to Halifax to meet the newcomers. According to the letter they had taken up land in Long Island, New York but instead of returning there they decided to go to the Dalesville, Quebec area.. I doubt that there was any open land in Long Island, New York by then so I have considered other Long Islands. There are at least three in Nova Scotia. There is a Long Island Road in Grand Pre. I have read that after the Acadians were forced out settlers were needed to maintain the dikes and among others they were recruiting former British soldiers. I suspect that my Gaelic speaking highlanders would not have found them compatible neighbors. This, of course is pure speculation. The 1838 census of Nova Scotia does not seem to cover that area.
They are said to be related to the McArthurs in Dalesville. I have not been able to establish the connection.
The family was Baptist so there won’t be any birth records and I have not found anything on Scotland’s People or FamilySearch.

Unknown said...

My elusive ancestor is my gggg-grandfather John Crandall/Crandle. I don’t know when he was born but he married Elisabeth Pratt in Dighton, Massachusetts on 18 Sep in 1772. Elisabeth was born 10 Nov 1937. Perhaps John Crandle’s birthday would be in the same ballpark but who knows?

After searching the book re Soldiers and Sailors of Massachusetts serving in the Revolutionary War, I found John Crandel from Dighton served as a private in Capt. Ephraim Hathaway’s Co. in Col. Pope’s (Bristol County) Capt. James Nikols’s Co. (Berkley County) in Col. John Daggett’s Regt. at RI; and in Capt. Henry Brighthorn’s Col. Janes Dean’s Regt.

Also, a John Crandol from Dighton served in Capt. Jacob Fuller’s Co. in John Jacob’s Regt. with service at Rhode Island.

Fast forward one generation and John Crandall married Phebe Francis Freeman in Dighton, Massachusetts on 3 Jan 1802. Since both the bride and groom are listed as being “from Dighton,” I assume he is John and Elisabeth Crandal’s son although his mother would have been 41 years of age at his birth reckoned to be in 1788/9 from his tombstone.

John and Phebe Crandall moved to Ontario County, Bristol, New York ca. 1803 where they had 9 children and he served in the War of 1812 retiring from the New York militia as Capt. John H. Crandall.

John and Phebe’s youngest child, David Freeman Crandall (my gg-grandfather) was ten years old when his father died in 1829.

What I plan to do next: Obtain and review all probate (land records, wills, court records) in Bristol County, Massachusetts for anyone named Crandle/dal/del/dol as well as for Pratts and Witheralls (multiple spellings) since Elisabeth Pratt’s mother was Hannah Witheral before marrying Jonathan Pratt.

I hope many descendants of Witheralls, Pratts, and John Crandalls will contact me ( with helpful information so I can securely attach my elusive ancestor John Crandall of Dighton to our family tree.

Devon Noel Lee said...

Better late than never Elusive Ancestor: Oscar Ward