Sorting out the Samuels
In an earlier blog, I wrote about the family of Stephen and Mehitable (Eaton) Leavitt of Gilford. In their family record [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 98], it was determined (through Stephen's probate file) that the Samuel Leavitt who married Nancy Gilman was far too old to be the correct son of this couple, and had been erroneously placed in this family. It was found that Samuel T. Leavitt, of Gilford and Meredith (currently in the Desc. of Nehemiah book), would instead be the correct son of Stephen Leavitt.
Where, then, did this now unattached Samuel belong?
First of all, a correction must be made with the birth and death dates given him in the Samuel genealogy (1784-1866). It seems his death in 1860, at age 82, was misread in the Gilford, NH VR as 1866, and so entered into the Samuel book with a birth year calculated from the wrong death date. A new birth date of 21 Jan 1778 is now the more accurate one, based on the full age from his obit (see below).
So, who was the father of this Samuel?
The answer lies in a certain land conveyance, found in Strafford County Deeds: Vol. 136, pg 300. It read, in part:
I, Jonathan Leavitt of Gilford, County of Strafford, State of NH, Gent, for in consideration of the sum of $500. paid by my son Samuel Leavitt of same Gilford, Gent.
In this deed, dated 23 July 1814, Jonathan sold 20 acres of his homestead farm in Lot 18, 15th Range, in Gilford, and also part of his land in Lot 1, 16th Range. On this same day, he would also sell portions of his land holdings to sons Jonathan Jr and Miles Leavitt. Both of them would receive a portion of this lot in the 16th Range.
Previously, on 1 Sep 1813 [Strafford County Deed Vol. 81, pg 521], Jonathan had sold Samuel 1 1/2 acres in Gilford, where he now lived, but no lot number was listed, nor any relationship between the two given.
This Jonathan Leavitt was the son of Miles and Lydia Leavitt [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 89-90], and was a brother of Stephen Leavitt. Jonathan had purchased these lots back in 1808, the same day he (and wife Abigail) sold off his other land holdings in town, including property his mother had left him and his brother.
Samuel and his siblings
On January 1st, 1828, Jonathan (Jr) sold his shares of these lots to (brother) Samuel [Strafford Deeds, Vol. 134 pg 568]. In turn, Samuel would sell 50 acres of it to son Taylor [Belknap Deeds, Vol. 15, pg 14].
The 1840 census for Gilford (names listed in geographical, not alphabetical order) shows the neighborhood of these two lots, all four of the names belonging to the family of Jonathan: Martha, widow of Miles (Jonathan's son), Mary, his unmarried dau, living on her father's homestead with sister Hannah; Samuel, son of Jonathan, and Taylor, Samuel's son.
The census for Gilford, NH in 1850 again records the families together:
113/129 Samuel, 72, and Nancy, 72 value $1300
114/130 Martha Leavitt, 49, w/ family (no estate value)
115/131 (town farm)
116/132 Taylor Leavitt, 43, and his family val $100.
/133 Polly Leavitt, 70 and Hannah Welch, 66 (no value)
The death of Samuel
Samuel Leavitt, Esq. died on 7 March 1860, aged 82 yrs, 1 mo, 15 das, according to Concord's Independent Democrat published on the 15th. His obituary reads:
The U.S. Mortality Schedule for Gilford (pg 2) listed typhoid fever as cause of death, with 6 days duration. There was no burial place given, nor has a gravestone yet been found for him or Nancy (who died in 1870). They may be in McCoy Cemetery, in the plot with their son Jonathan.
Samuel had written a will on 5 Jan 1857 [Belknap County Probate, Vol. 8, pg 390], which was presented to the court on the 3rd Tues. in Mar. 1860. Son Gilman received $300, wife Nancy would get 1/4 of all crops raised on the farm, with privilege of house and barn, while Taylor, named the executor, received the real estate. On 10 Nov 1865, Taylor (and wife Lydia) would sell his rights [Belknap County deed, Vol. 42, pg 565] to both Lot 18, 15 R and Lot 1, 16 R in Gilford to his son John R.
On 19 Dec 1860, Jonathan (Jr) sold all of his right to Lot 18, 15 Range to Taylor Leavitt [Belknap County Deed, Vol. 35, pg 31]. Two days earlier, in deed Vol. 35, pg 19, Polly Leavitt and Hannah Welch also sold their share of the same lot to Taylor. The heirs of Miles and Martha Leavitt, on 16 Dec 1861 [Belknap Deed Vol. 36, pg 390], would also sell off their part in Lot 18 to Taylor.
The other Samuel Leavitt
With sorting these Samuels into the correct families, the move of Samuel Leavitt, Esq., to a different set of parents within the same genealogy book was a minor change. With Samuel T. Leavitt, however, it involves moving a whole family (with over 50 descendants currently in our Nehemiah database) into an entirely different book. With that, we now turn to Nehemiah and Sally (Philbrick), who we formerly had listed as his parents. Did they have a son named Samuel? Yes, they did. He didn't make it into any of the original NALF books, though, but was mentioned in the JPL writings that Emily had used to form this family in the Nehemiah genealogy. In "Notebook 6", pg 39, info was transcribed from a letter written by George A. Leavitt of Suncook, NH to JPL on 10 May 1878. It stated that (George's uncle) "Samuel lived in Cabot, VT". Back in 2018, NALF Secretary Anne Wilson, while travelling in Vermont, came across the Cabot Plains Cemetery. In it, was this stone:
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