Friday, October 9, 2015

Hunting for Abby . . . A Mystery Solved (October 9, 2015) -- Part IV

In this final post about finding the family of my 3X great grandmother, Abby [Hunt] Miller,  I reveal the last bits of evidence I have uncovered. These last items were discovered in a box of family documents that apparently were stored away in the back of a closet in my parents' house not too long after my maternal grandmother, Ruth E. [Cooke] Carpenter, died in 1979. When my parents later moved to New Hope, PA, the box was moved into a large storage closet in my sister's home and it remained there untouched until earlier this year when my sister said she had a box of photographs and other materials that I might want to look through.

One of the most important questions raised by a review of this analysis is whether or not the ostensible father of Abby Hunt was in fact Daniel S. Hunt as my grandmother's spoon notes indicated -- and as supported by the initials "DSH" on the heirloom spoon. While the vital records index for North Kingstown, RI shown in Part II, indicates that a "Samuel of Samuel" lived in North Kingstown and had a wife named "Susan" with whom he had seven daughters [Susan, Sally N., Charlotte, Ruth Ann, Lucy, Abbie, and Mary S.H.], there was no evidence of a Daniel S. Hunt having any presence or connection to North Kingstown. The supposition and assumption was that the "S" in Daniel S. Hunt stood for "Samuel" and that if Daniel was also known at some point as "Samuel, son of Samuel Hunt" in North Kingstown, then Maj. Daniel Hunt (who was born in North Kingstown) and his wife Susan/Susannah Northup (also born in North Kingstown) fit almost perfectly as the Samuel and Susan Hunt who were the parents of Abby, Charlotte, and Ruth Ann Hunt (and their four sisters) in North Kingstown, RI.

But is there any hard evidence to support the family notes and document clues about Daniel S. Hunt being connected to North Kingstown and particularly Cumberland, RI where Abby and Charlotte Hunt later came to reside in the Miller household at 551 High Street in Cumberland . . . and where their sister Ruth Ann Hunt came to marry Aurin Miller, who grew up at 551 High Street as the older brother of Abby's husband Eber Miller? Thanks to documents discovered in the long forgotten box of family records in my sister's house, the answer to this crucial questions is, "Yes!"

January 28, 1837 deed of North Kingstown property to Daniel Hunt from Lawton Hunt.

As shown in the 1837 deed discovered in the box of family documents, Daniel Hunt purchased from Lawton Hunt for $26.66 "one undivided half part of a certain tract or parcel of land situated in said North Kingstown, with a dwelling house & other buildings thereon." The subject parcel had been purchased by Lawton Hunt from one "Hazelton Hunt by deed bearing date August fourth, 1835, now on Record in said North Kingstown . . . " This provides clear evidence of the connection Daniel Hunt had to North Kingstown, RI and the Hunt family living and owning property there.

And what about a connection of Daniel Hunt to Cumberland, RI?  The two parts of an oversized deed also recently found in the box of family documents (shown immediately below) provide the necessary evidence of a Cumberland connection for Daniel Hunt.

Top half of the July 1, 1835 deed of Valley Falls property to Daniel Hunt from Nathaniel and Joseph Jenckes/Jencks

Bottom half of the July 1, 1835 deed of Valley Falls property to Daniel Hunt from Nathaniel and Joseph Jenckes/Jencks

The July 1, 1835 deed from "Nathaniel Jenckes of Burrillville and Joseph Jenckes of Smithfield" to "Daniel Hunt of Cumberland" for an acre and a half parcel of land with a dwelling house located in Smithfield at Valley Falls at the price of "Six Hundred and Five Dollars" provides clear evidence that Daniel Hunt resided in Cumberland in 1835.

Based on the newly discovered deeds shown above, the proven connection of Daniel Hunt to both North Kingstown and Cumberland, RI makes it overwhelmingly likely that the Daniel S. Hunt of my family notes and the "DSH" on the heirloom spoon is the Maj. Daniel Hunt, husband of Susan [Northup] Hunt, both of North Kingstown, RI, who are buried in Brayton Cemetery. Moreover, it also  makes it overwhelmingly likely that "Daniel S. Hunt" is indeed the son of Samuel Hunt of North Kingstown, RI who may have been known as "Samuel" and who fathered Abby, Charlotte, and Ruth Ann Hunt (and their four sisters) with his wife Susan/Susannah Northup as shown in the vital records index for North Kingstown.

And finally, perhaps the most surprising and valuable find among the recently uncovered family documents, is the portrait photograph of the woman shown at the top of this post. The date of the photograph is unknown, but, as the two images provided below clearly indicate in the handwriting of my great grandmother, Sarah [Freeman] Carpenter . . . the woman in the portrait is my 3X great grandmother Abby [Hunt] Miller (March 17, 1807 - April 23, 1893)!

Front of the Abby [Hunt] Miller portrait

Back of the Abby [Hunt] Miller portrait

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The scanned images shown above are all from original documents in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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  1. What a wonderful picture and good detective work. It amazes me when you are searching for answer that one day poof, it is there.

    1. Thank you for your kind comment Claudia!

      We who are absorbed by genealogy live for these kinds of "Eureka moments." ;-)