Saturday, January 30, 2010

Enoch Crosby confusion

I have noted with regard to at least 2 local history biographical entries, that some CROSBYs seemed to be very concerned with their connection to Enoch CROSBY (1750-1835) whose experiences may have been the basis for the main character in James Fennimore Cooper's novel, The Spy. This may be one of the reasons we haven't been able to find any histories mentioning more of Isaac CROSBY's (1719-1815) children.

Enoch CROSBY (1750-1835) was the son of Thomas CROSBY and Elizabeth HOPKINS (see 22-May-2007 post "Crosbys of Dutchess and Putnam Counties, New York").

A 1939 history entitled When Phelps Was Young provides a confusing genealogy, which I have attached to this post. The genealogy seems to say that Enoch CROSBY (1750-1835) was the son of Theodore CROSBY and Prudence CLOSE and that Enoch's (1750-1835) son, Enoch (1761-1840) (an biological impossibility by the dates alone) moved to Phelps, Ontario County, New York. However, the writing could be saying that Theodore and Enoch (1750-1835) were brothers (which they were not, according to J. Kelsey Jones). Theodore and Prudence were said to be the parents of Enoch, Stephen, Joshua, Elijah, Theodore Jr., Sarah, Mercy, Lemuel and John. The name Lemuel intrigued me, as J. Kelsey Jones had proposed Lemuel as a possible brother of our Elisha. The book does mention a Lemuel CROSBY (again it is confusing as to where he fits in) who was the same Lemuel to whose will I have previously posted a link. Interestingly, the Phelps book does not mention Darius CROSBY, who named as Lemuel's brother in the Lemuel's will.
I have not been able to find any evidence of Theodore CROSBY who married Prudence CLOSE outside of this book.
A 1900 Westchester County, New York, biographical volume includes the biography of a great-grandson of one Darius CROSBY "of Scarsdale, a lawyer, who held the position of master of chancery in Westchester County in 1812." This Darius had a son Alexander H. CROSBY, "rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, of Yonkers." I don't know if this Darius was the brother of Lemuel or not. This book claims that Enoch Crosby was "a member of this Crosby family".
It is, of course, not unusual for people to claim close relationships to celebrities. I wonder in these cases if Enoch's fame overshadowed the real ancestry of Darius and Enoch (1761-1840).
Another possibility is that there is some illegitimacy that 19th century persons wanted covered up. This is the case with another of my ancestral lines, also from Dutchess County.

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