Saturday, January 30, 2010

Thoughts on Crosby research by a qualified observer

A retired professional genealogist, whose permission I haven't obtained yet to provide her name, graciously agreed to review these posts. She had the following comments:

I think Foster could be an important clue, and possibly Susan was born Susan Foster. But with Isaac (1719-1815) marrying Marcy Foster, and Obadiah marrying another Mary Foster, we can’t be sure why Elisha and Susan chose to use the name on their third son. The grandson, Elisha Foster Crosby, is definitely of interest.
I’m not sure that Elisha didn’t come to New York with a herd of New Englanders, rather than having been born there. Obadiah’s probable father was born in Massachusetts, and it is possible that he and Elisha were as close as first cousins. Obadiah and Elisha could be brothers who married Foster sisters/cousins, OR they could be distant cousins who are found together mainly because they married Foster sisters.

If Elisha did come via Dutchess County:
1. He is too young to be a son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Hopkins) Crosby, and too old to be their grandson.
2. He is too young to be a son of David and Reliance (Hopkins) Crosby, and only David, Jr. (b.1737) could have had a son born in 1762.
3. Joshua and Lydia (Hopkins) had four/five sons who could have had a son born in 1762:
Reuben [whose sons were Abiel, James, Tertullus],
Joshua Jr. [whose children in his Will were Nathan, Josiah, Reuben, Joshua, John, Samuel, Theodocius, and daughter Lydia Foster],
and ?Isaac.

Because Elisha’s eldest son was Joshua, I like that line. But that’s I’ve been working too long with Hudson Valley Dutch naming patterns.

4. Isaac and Mercy (Foster) are a mess. All of his sure and unsure sons are too young to have been the father of Elisha, but Isaac himself could have had an Elisha as JK Jones suggests.

Too many possibilities!

I don’t trust Fanny Crosby. Ten years ago I investigated the family because the client wanted to know his relationship to Fanny. The client was via Thomas and, at that time, I tentatively concluded that Fanny’s father was through Joshua and her mother was through Isaac. I have the letters I wrote but, to make room for my own papers, I disposed of many of my client folders last year. (Wish now that I had the sources that I looked at but didn’t use in my report.) Anyhow, I don’t remember if Fanny had three siblings or three half-siblings, but they aren’t important in her self-serving autobiographies. We aren’t told if her loving grandmother was maternal or paternal. The birth and death of her one child is entirely omitted. The attempt to explain Fanny’s blindness by a blundering doctor who applied hot poultices for an eye inflammation is not credible. Poultices hot enough to damage the corneas would have caused skin burns first, and would have been violently resisted by the baby. You don’t apply poultices to normal eyes, so the eyes were a problem before the doctor was called. The blindness was more likely caused by whatever had first caused the inflammation of the eyes, but the germ theory of disease had not been developed in 1820. Also, we know the parents were cousins and the blindness could have been caused by recessive genes, but Fanny’s affliction occurred before genetic theory was developed in 1900.

The story about Isaac Crosby is also fanciful. He may have had nineteen children (by, I agree, two wives) but there is no record that he served in the Revolutionary War. He would have been in his late fifties and early sixties then, back in the days when sixty was really old. The sixties may be the new fifties now, but then they were old sixties. As to earlier service, there is no record of him in the New York Colonial Muster Rolls 1664-1775. In Dutchess County rolls for 1758, when Isaac would have been a reasonable 40, the only Crosby was Reuben, 23, born Dutchess [son of Joshua]. Other Crosbys 1755-1761 were Theodorus, 20 in 1760, born Boston [son of Joshua] and Elijah, 19 in 1761, born Boston, [also a son of Joshua]. There was an Ebenezer, 22 in 1755, no location given, and three entries for Michael Crosby, 30-33, born Ireland, serving in NYC, Suffolk, and Westchester.

In the Philpse Highland patent, sections 1,3,4,5,7, and 9 were owned by two daughters who married and remained Tories. The papers pertaining to their lands do not survive. Only sections 2,6, and 8 were owned by the patriot son and some of those papers do survive. Some of his lessees were Tories and their plots were confiscated by the Committee of Forfeiture, and generally appear in vol. 8 of Dutchess Deeds. Most of the Oblong residents were patriots, but a few were Tories who are in vol. 8.

Do you think that Susan died in Schoharie county, and Elisha and young Phebe moved to Bainbridge with his son Joshua or daughter Patty? Elisha lived with them until he died in 1818, and Phebe until she married neighboring Benjamin Peck there in 1817. So Elisha didn’t need to buy his own land in Chenango county. You didn’t find Elisha in Schoharie deeds, but I agree that the Mortgages in Schoharie should be read.

Of course, Susan might have been a Rooker and that’s why two seemingly unconnected men signed a co-lease. I wish more was known about Joseph Rooker. Is Rooker the real spelling of his name, or is it something like Hooker with a R/H handwriting problem?

One more thought, after spending three days in Albany working on 1779-1789
tax lists:
re Obediah p. 15:
While the lease does not prove that Obediah ever lived on the Rensselaerville lot, the fact that he paid personal as well as real estate taxes does prove it. When no one lived on a land, there was no personal property to tax, and the name was taxed only for real estate. If personal
property was taxed, Obediah, or someone, was in residence.


david said...

History of Ontario county

Crosby, Theodore. In the year 1813 Enoch Crosby, with his wife and a large family of children, emigrated from Dutchess county to Ontario county and took up their abode in the town of Phelps, about one and one-half miles south of the village (then known as Vienna). Here both the pioneer and his faithful wife died, he aged seventy-seven and his wife seventy-nine years. In their family were twelve children, and all of them are dead but two: Alfred, of Phelps, and Theodore, of Canandaigua. Theodore Crosby, the subject of this sketch, was born in Dutchess county, November 7, 1802, hence, at the time of his father's removal to Phelps was a lad of eleven years. Until twenty-two years old Theodore lived at home and worked on the farm, but in 1824 he started out to make his own way in life. He married Melinda, daughter of Elam Crane, and at once moved to a farm near the city of Rochester, where he remained five years, then sold his farm and returned to Ontario county. One year later he bought a farm in Hopewell and there he lived until 1861, when he moved to the county seat and devotes the remainder of his active business life to dealing in cattle, sheep and general stock. In this pursuit he is still engaged, and although ninety-one years of age still retains all his mental faculties and enjoys business life seemingly as well as he did half a century ago. From what we have stated here it must appear that Mr. Crosby has led a very busy life, and we may say in addition that, notwithstanding the multitude of his business transactions and operations, he has never been charged with unfairness or deceit; on the contrary, it is said by his old acquaintances and associates that his business has ever been characterized by straightforward honesty and integrity, and his success has been as well merited as it has been abundant. Mr. Crosby married Melinda Crane in 1825, and their married life extended throughout a period of sixty years, and until her death in 1885, at the age of eighty years. Of their children only one grew to maturity, Marietta, who became the wife of Charles Hopkins, and now lives in Canandaigua.

Beverly L. Royer said...

Thank you for posting this.