Monday, May 26, 2014

Was My Thomas J. Newton Related to Gershom Newton of Cambridge, Vermont?

I wrote about Who Really Was the Father of Sophia Newton (183?-1923)? several weeks ago, and reader David Adams (who writes the A New England Ancestry blog) emailed me saying:

"I did some checking this afternoon and found one family, Gershom or Gerthom Newton in Cambridge, Vermont in both 1830 and 1840. It doesn't look like they had any children after 1835, but they might have had one in the 1832-1835 period."

As soon as I received that, I recalled that I had found those census records, including:

1)  The 1820 census record, he was enumerated as Gersham Newton in Cambridge, Franklin County, Vermont, with:

*  1 male under age 10 years
*  1 male age 26-45
*  2 males over age 45
*  2 females age 26-45

2) In the 1830 U.S. census, he was enumerated and indexed as Gresham Newton in Cambridge, Franklin County, Vermont, with:

*  1 male age 5-9
*  1 male age 10-14
*  1 male age 50-59
*  1 female age 0-5
*  2 females age 10-14
*  1 female age 15-19
*  1 female age 50-59

3)  In the 1840 census, Gerthom Newton was enumerated in Cambridge, Lamoille County, Vermont with:

*  1 male age 15-19
*  1 male age 50-59
*  1 female age 10-14
*  1 female age 50-59

4)  In the 1850 U.S. Census for Cambridge, Lamoille County, Vermont, Gershom Newton and his family were enumerated with:

*  Gershom Newton - age 67, male, a farmer and physician, born Mass.
*  Martha C. Newton - age 68, female, born Conn.
*  Caroline E. Newton - age 21, female, born Vermont

5)  Gershom Newton died on 25 December 1853, recorded in Cambridge.  Here is his death record card in the Vermont Vital Records, 1720-1908 on

Note that there are five different spellings of his first name in five different records!

My estimate is that Thomas J. Newton, the second husband of Sophia (Buck) Brigham (1797-1882) was born between 1780 and 1810.  None of what I've found to date supports an assertion that Thomas J. Newton was the son of Gershom and Martha Newton of Cambridge, Vermont.

I will have to dig out my Newton notebook from the hidden bookcase.  I recall finding town records and probate records for Gershom Newton in Lamoille County, Vermont many years ago, but no mention of Thomas Newton.

There are several other Newton families in Franklin/Lamoille County, Vermont in the 1800-1850 time frame.  I need to find their census records, and any other records, and analyze all of the evidence I have.  I should be able to find a set of Newton's in northern Vermont that could be the parents of my Thomas J. Newton.  Or in Maine.  Or New Hampshire.

It is very possible that my Thomas J. Newton was the nephew of Gershom Newton - his father was Francis Newton (1751-1830), who married Eleanor Woodward (1754-1839), and they had 9 children born in Sutton, Massachusetts.  Francis Newton was a Revolutionary War soldier and is buried in Plainfield, New Hampshire.  

Thank you, David, for the spur to dig through these records and refresh my memory a bit, and to find my thinking cap and put it on.  

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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver

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