Lost on the 4th of july
The Fourth of July, 1824 - For the residents of the small town of Shelburne, New Hampshire, in Coos County, the celebration of our nation's birth had to be put on hold that Sunday morning. 15-year old Abigail Y. Leavitt, who was residing with Mr. Robert Ingalls, had gone missing the night before, failing to return from gathering evergreens. A party of 60-70 townspeople, comprised of those who were able to trek the heavily forested mountains above the Ameriscoggin (ie. Androscoggin) River, began their search. Concord's New Hampshire Patriot was one of many newspapers to write about the actions that day, as described in these clippings:
Did her mother remarry after 1820, when the pension payments ended, and then moved out to Illinois? Did any of her children accompany her on this trek? There are a couple of them not yet accounted for. [Note: pension file not yet available on Fold3's War of 1812 online collection]
Who WAS her mother, other than "Lois"? The marriage intents of Joseph Leavitt in 1804 [Bethel Town Recs, no pg #] failed to name his bride to be. A clue, perhaps, is found in the name of this daughter, "Abigail Y." Leavitt. "Y" surnames were not common, and early Bethel had the York family residing there. Standing out among them is one Abigail York, who was the wife of Jonathan Bean, and they did have a daughter named Lois Bean, born 1786 [Hist. of Bethel, pg 479]. A lead to work on!
Abigail was born on 16 Jan 1810 [Bethel Town Records, pg 78]. She married John E. Swan by 1832 and had two children before she died in 1835. She is buried in the Middle Intervale Cemetery, Bethel. She is found in the Desc. of Thomas Leavitt v.4, pg 50, though there are errors in that connection. The History of Bethel, ME, pg 581, also shows problems with the family genealogy, as copied from the Town Records (pg 64 and 78).
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