Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Fruitful Day

I spent most of the day in an orgy of genealogy data-gleaning.  I was still trying to find the reason for the naming of Edward Phelps Knapp and fell into the motherlode of records; An application for a pension for the widow of Edward Phelps of Stoddar, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, who was Eunice Hardy Chase's 2nd husband.  Eunice Hardy was the mother of Margaret Chase Knapp, the mother of Orlando James Knapp. 

Margaret was the oldest of Eunice and Nathan Hardy's children, and was named for Eunice's mother, Margaret.  Unfortunately, I've not been able to find her maiden name, which is astonishing as the places these people lived, to wit Massachusetts and New Hampshire, has hundreds of years of records available, and most of them online. 

Edward Phelps was a soldier in the Revolutionary War.  He collected a pension from the government for serving in that war.  To collect his pension, he had to prove who he was and that he had actually been in the war.  The records he used to prove his claim are all on file in the National Archives.  Then, after he died, his widow, Eunice Hardy Chase Phelps, had to prove that she was his widow.  It was fascinating reading.  The NA had photos of Edward's sworn testimony and those of his wife and other witnesses.  One of those testimonies was made by Ellen Knapp Lowell, Eunice's granddaughter.  She swore her statement in 1853, a year before she died, and the year she gave birth to her 2nd child. 

Also included in the documentation packet was a photo of a page from Edward Phelp's bible, where he wrote the particulars of his marriages, and the deaths of his only child, a son, and his brothers.  This helped me go back many generations on him.  I was "in the zone" for most of the entire day.

After gathering all that information, I hit a dry patch.  I can't find Margaret Chases' maiden name.  I can't find the date Nathan died.  The rest of the immediate family of birth of Orlando James Knapp continues to tease me with tiny bits of information here and there.  I can't find a lot of dates of death for these people.  Once they all moved to New York, information gets sketchy.  People I expect to find in cemeteries simply are not listed, though that doesn't mean they're not there. 

Anyway, an altogether glorious day of genealogical exploring.  I had a good day.

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