Friday, October 2, 2015

Hunting for Abby ( October 2, 2015) -- Part III of "A Mystery Solved?"

In Part II of this analysis of the mystery of my 3X great grandmother, Abby Hunt, I arrived at the tentative conclusion that I had found the family of Abby -- her siblings and parents. But, I also stated that additional data raised some inconsistencies and questions that prevented a definite conclusion.  In this part of the analysis, I discuss those inconsistencies and the data that raise questions as well as some newly discovered family documents that shed light on this inquiry.

As previously related in Part II, the 1860 Federal Census for Cumberland, Rhode Island indicated a Charlotte Hunt, age 61, was living in the Eber and Abby [Hunt] Miller household. The enumeration day for this Cumberland census was 13 July 1860.

Recalling from Part II the research that indicated "Charlotte" was not a very common female name in the mid-19th Century, it was a surprise when my research also disclosed a "Charlotte D. Hunt" age 60, living in the household of William C. and Mary S. Barney in Warwick, Kent County, Rhode Island. While the page image on for the 1860 Warwick, RI enumeration is almost completely illegible, the enumeration day at the top of the page is clearly 5 July 1860. The transcription for the Warwick census at (shown below) clearly states that among the Barney household members on 5 July 1860 is one "Charlotte D. Hunt." 

By 1870, the Barney household no longer includes a "Charlotte" or "Charlotte D." Hunt among the household members.

But, as we have already seen, the Eber and Abby [Hunt] Miller household in Cumberland, RI did have a 70-year-old woman named "Charlotte Hunt" living in the home on enumeration day that year.

I was puzzled by this discovery of two Charlotte Hunts of almost exactly the same age and my tentative conclusion about finding the parents and siblings of my 3X great grandmother Abby Hunt was shaken further when I recently discovered among family papers I inherited the church pew rental receipt shown at the top of this post.  The receipt is clearly made out to "Mrs. Charlotte Hunt" and is signed by the same W. Cooke, clerk, who signed the pew receipts for Eber Miller, head of the household in which Charlotte was living.  [See the Eber Miller pew receipts as posted here on August 28, 2015.] Did this mean that the Charlotte Hunt living in the Miller household in Cumberland was a married woman and thus was not the sister of Abby, but rather her sister-in-law?

I ruminated on this turn of events and recalled that my grandmother's spoon notes had stated that Abby Hunt's father was "Daniel S. Hunt" and that the heirloom silver spoon I have does indeed contain the engraved initials "DSH" on the handle. But the discovery of the "Charlotte Hunt" clue in the Cumberland census of the Miller family, led to discovery of a Samuel Hunt -- son of Samuel Hunt -- living in North Kingstown, RI with a wife named Susan and seven daughters including girls named Abby, Charlotte, Ruth and Mary among others. It was therefore possible that Daniel S. Hunt was either known by his middle name, which could have been Samuel, or the transcription or indexing misnamed him somehow.

And then I also discovered among old family papers the notes my great grandmother, Sarah [Freeman] Carpenter, made for the "Family of Major Daniel Hunt & Susannah Northup."  Sarah's notes are shown immediately below.

My great grandmother clearly cites as her source for the Hunt family data "Pages 82 & 3 North Kingston Births A.V.R. Vol. 5 & 6."  Unlike the images of pages 82 and 83 from Rhode Island Vital Extracts  1636 - 1899 shown in Part II, however, Sarah's notes provide additional information that includes the middle names and marriages of the daughters of Daniel and Susannah Hunt. Her notes show that Charlotte's middle name was "Dupont" -- thus "Charlotte D. Hunt" -- and that Charlotte died "unmarried." Moreover, Ruth Ann Hunt is shown as having married Aurin Miller and Mary Sweet Hunt is shown as having married a man with the surname "Barney." Mary S. Hunt is indicated to have died in 1879.

Another recent discovery among family papers is what appears to be a family tree also done by my great grandmother. Sarah [Freeman] Carpenter, the wife of Samuel Eber Carpenter. It is a descent chart for  Ruth Ann Miller, daughter of Eber and Abby [Hunt] Miller.  Ruth Ann Miller was the mother of Samuel Eber Carpenter. The first half of the tree is shown below and it can be seen that the chart states that both Major Daniel Hunt and his wife, Susannah Northup are buried in Brayton Cemetery in Apponaug, RI.

From Find-A-Grave Memorial #78739671 -- photo by Rick O. (#46911607) taken at Brayton Cemetery. 
From Find-A-Grave Memorial #78739518 -- photo by Rick O. (#46911607) taken at Brayton Cemetery. 

As it turns out, Mary Sweet Hunt and her husband William C. Barney are also buried in Brayton Cemetery and Charlotte D. Hunt is buried there with them and their children.

From Find-A-Grave Memorial #13499992 -- photo by Rick O. (#46911607) taken at Brayton Cemetery. 
Summarizing all the research, family notes, and artifact evidence presented thus far, I now arrive at the following conclusions with respect to my 3X great grandmother Abby Hunt and her family . . .

1.  Abby Hunt was the daughter of Maj. Daniel S. (possibly for Samuel) Hunt and his wife Susannah or Susan Northup.
2.  Daniel Hunt and his wife Susannah/Susan Northup lived in North Kingstown, RI where their seven daughters were born: Susan; Sally Northup; Charlotte Dupont; Ruth Ann; Lucy Tripp; Mary Sweet; and Abby. So far as is currently known, Daniel and Susannah had no sons -- so the Charlotte Hunt living in the Miller family household in Cumberland, RI was not a married woman and sister-in-law of Abby [Hunt] Miller..
3.  Charlotte D. Hunt never married and lived with at least two of her sisters and their families.  She lived with her sister Abby and her husband Eber Miller in Cumberland, RI during the period 1854 - 1870, but she also lived for a period of time with her sister Mary and her husband William C. Barney in Warwick, RI ending sometime around July 13, 1860.  Charlotte was in Warwick for the federal census enumeration day there on July 5, 1860, but she was living in the Miller household later that same month when the federal census enumeration day took place there on July 13, 1860. Charlotte lived in Cumberland with her sister Abby before 1860 as shown by her 1854 pew receipt for Christ Church in Lonsdale, the Miller family's church. Charlotte probably lived with the Miller's in Cumberland from July 13, 1860 until sometime after July 21, 1870 when the 1870 census showed she was still in the Miller household in Cumberland.
4.  Charlotte died unmarried in 1875 and was buried in the family plot of her sister Mary S. Barney and Mary's husband William C. Barney, Sr. The 1854 pew receipt made out to "Mrs. Charlotte Hunt" was a clerical error and should have read simply Charlotte Hunt or Miss Charlotte Hunt.

While I am now 95% sure I have found the parents and siblings of my 3X great grandmother Abby [Hunt] Miller, questions are now raised about who the parents of Maj. Daniel S. Hunt and Susannah/Susan Northup are.  As Part IV of this analysis will demonstrate, I have some clues to follow and I have a big reveal regarding other documents recently found among family genealogical materials.
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Gravestone photos via Find-A-Grave as stated.  All such photos were contributed by Rick O. whose service to the genealogy community is much appreciated.

Images of the pew receipt, Hunt Family notes, and Ruth A. Miller ancestry chart are from original documents in the collection of the author.
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Copyright 2015, John D. Tew
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1 comment:

  1. Nice explanation of those HUNT people - teasing out who is a direct ancestor, sibling, or in-law. Sometimes it does seem unnecessarily complicated, doesn't it?
    I have a similar issue with a family in late 1700s with similarly-named men, aged within 10 years of each other, also living within 5 miles of each other, and oh-dear, related to each other. Better minds than mine have not made a 'final' decision as yet.
    Great post, John. I enjoyed very much.