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:
A Gilford, NH Family Reorganized
The family of STEPHEN LEAVITT, printed in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt on pages 98-99, had been found to contain a few errors many years back. The major one involved his son Samuel, listed in the book as being born in 1784 and dying on 7 Mar 1866. According to Stephen's probate, his son Samuel was still a minor in 1814, so this eliminated the one listed in his place. "Sorting out the Samuels" will be a future entry, but the following research about Stephen and Mehitable Leavitt of Gilford, New Hampshire will be shared, with a reorganization of the family.
Stephen Leavitt was probably born circa 1754 (based on his age during enlistments in Rev. War), a few years off from the 1757 year that Daniel T. Leavitt wrote on 12/17/1877 (and Emily Noyes included in her book). He died on 2 Apr 1812 [D.T.L. letter, 12/17/77] in Gilford (actually still a part of Gilmanton at that time). He was the son of Miles Leavitt, who died at Crown Point on 10 July 1756 while serving during the French & Indian War. He was married to Mehitable Eaton around 1781 (based on birth date of first born child). She died on 15 Jan 1825 [Gilford VR].
In the will of his grandfather Ephraim Leavitt, Stephen was one of four grandchildren (all children of the deceased Miles Leavitt) to receive all the land Ephraim owned in Gilmanton, to be equally divided among them. This included part of the 40-acre lot #27 in the 1st Division, which was sold on 4 Jun 1776 to Paul Bickford [Strafford County Deed, Vol. 3, pg 320]. At this time, Stephen was in Epping, a yeoman. On 5 Feb 1780 [Vol. 3, pg 514], Martha Thurston (and husb Benjamin) sold all of her right to her grandfather's Gilmanton land to her brothers Jonathan and Stephen (another brother, Samuel, had died by 1771). Martha and Stephen were both living in Chichester, NH when this deed was signed. The next deed would be dated 22 Sep 1784 [Vol. 7, pg 119], when Stephen, now a husbandman of Gilmanton, was highest bidder on Lot #2, 5th Range, 2nd Div (original right of Ephraim), which had been put up for sale due to delinquent taxes. On 6 Dec 1784, he sold this [Vol. 7, pg 117] to Ebenezer Smith of Meredith (himself owning 15 acres in said lot). Brothers Jonathan and Stephen also owned Lot #15, 13th Range, in Gilmanton, and jointly purchased Lot #13, 14th Range [Vol. 8, pg 32]. They would partition these properties between themselves on a later date.
Revolutionary War service [War Rolls on Fold3.com]
Only one Stephen Leavitt was known to reside in Epping, NH, so the following service records likely belong to him. He did not file for a pension.
- Stephen of Epping, age 21, husbandman, enlisted 26 May 1775 in Capt. James Norris' Co., 9th NH (Poor's) Regiment; paid off on 1 Aug '75, having served 2 months, 11 days
- Stephen of Epping, age 22, 5 foot, 7 inches tall, black hair and eyes, enlisted 1 Jan 1776 in Norris' Co., Col. Poor's Reg't; listed as deserter on 28 Mar '76
- Stephen of Epping, private, Capt. Wiggin's Company, Col. Pierce Long's (1st NH) Regiment, served at Portsmouth, NH from 30 Sept to 7 Dec 1776, 2 months, 7 days in service. Mustered in again on 7 Jan 1777, being part of the company fit for marching to Ticonderoga (receiving advance pay), was at the fort on 27 Feb when muster roll called. Another card in his file lists 7 Aug 1776 to 11 Jun 1777 as his service time.
Strafford County Probate
Stephen died intestate, having left no will. Administration was granted to son Jacob on 20 Apr 1813 [Vol. 20, pg 184], with son Benjamin and Miles Leavitt Thurston as bondsmen. Jacob would have just turned 21 years of age, and it is interesting that his two elder brothers hadn't been chosen for the task of caring for the estate.
It would be another year before guardianship of the youngest children of Stephen was granted. Vol. 19, pgs 197-199 lists the five appointments, which took place 15-18 April 1814: Samuel Leavitt of Gilford, husb., guardian of Stephen, "a minor above the age of 14 years" (so born ca 1793-1800); John Smith of Gilford, guardian of Samuel, minor above 14 years; Miles L. Thurston, grdn of Sally Leavitt, minor above 14 yrs; Ebenezer Smith of Gilford, Esq., grdn of Jonathan, minor under 14 years of age; and the widow Mehitable, granted guardianship over dau. Mehitable, minor under 14 years.
The inventory of the estate of Stephen Leavitt was taken on 28 Apr 1813 [Vol. 16, pg 340-344], which included part of Lot 5, 5th Range, in Gilford (32 acres on west side of road), value $160, and his homestead farm (about 100 acres) in Gilford, valued at $1650. A portion of his land needed to be sold to pay off the debts and, when his widow Mehitable had her dower set off on 19 June 1813 (approved 13 July), she received 12 plus acres of homestead farm, with rooms in the mansion house and part of barn, 108 square rods of orchard, and 1/3 of 70 acres in Lot 3, 14th Range, in Gilford [Vol. 15, pg 325].
The children of Stephen and Mehitable (Eaton) Leavitt:
As listed in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt, on pages 98-99, they were probably all born in the part of Gilmanton, NH which would become Gilford in 1812. Errors have been marked, and their proper order of births numbered, with family record following. There were ten in number, as written by Daniel T. Leavitt, in letter to JPL.
i. LYDIA LEAVITT, b. 23 Dec 1781, d. 26 Mar 1855; married ca 1806, DANIEL MOULTON THURSTON of Gilford, b. 27 Apr 1784, d. 26 Feb 1842, Adrian, MI. Moved to Michigan in 1829; had three children, b. 1807-09 [Thurston Genealogies, pg 347]. Their dau, Mrs. Eliza Gouldsborough of Grand Rapids, MI, wrote to JPL in 1878, providing mother's birth date.
ii. BENJAMIN LEAVITT, b. 8 Nov 1783 [grave], d. 7 Oct 1873 [grave]; marr. JEMIMA AMES, d. 28 Nov 1856, AE 71 yrs. Six children listed in Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 104
iii. MILES LEAVITT, b. 8 Feb 1788, d. 27 Jan 1870; Marr. 3 Sep 1815, SARAH BROWN, b. 19 Jun 1797, d. 7 Sep 1871 [Gilford Town Rec]. They had twelve children [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt, pg 122]. JPL corresponded with son Edward S. Leavitt, as well as Ida and John Hatch, ch of dau Eleanor (Leavitt) Hatch. He also wrote to son John P.
iv. ESTHER LEAVITT, b. 15 Feb 1790 [Ida Hatch letter, 2/9/1879], d. 1 Mar 1886, Gilford, aged 96 yrs, 10 das [NH VR]; married 26 Oct 1815, DANIEL FROHOCK, b. ca 1797, d. 25 Oct 1873. She was erroneously listed as having died young, and listed as a child of Stephen's brother Jonathan [Desc of Samuel, pg 90]. Both buried in Lamphrey Cem, Gilford, listed on monument with several of their children [Find a Grave]. In 1878, she was living with son Richard Frohock, Esq., in Gilford Village (JPL wrote to him in 1878).
v. JACOB E. LEAVITT, b. 1792, d. 10 Jan 1862 in Moultonborough, aged 70 [NH VR; grave, McCoy Cem]; marr. SALLY FLANDERS, b. , d. Campton, NH, 25 Jun 1881, AE 84 [grave, McCoy Cem]. Numbers listed for Jacob's household in the 1820-40 Gilford, NH censuses would suggest only three children. Moved to Moultonborough, NH prior to 1850 census.
1. Hannah D. Leavitt, b. ca 1816, d. Campton, NH, 29 Jul 1891, aged 74 yrs, 7 mos; marr Benjamin Adams. Several ch, listed on Find a Grave (Blair Cem, Campton).
2. Jacob E. Leavitt, b. 25 Sep 1820, d. 15 Jan 1863; marr. 1 Jan 1846, Sarah A. Conner, b. 14 Aug 1824, d. 20 Apr 1898. Five children (and wife) were listed under his father in Desc of Samuel, pg 98 (Caroline B is error; only four ch in probate - a 5th, Ai Hanson Leavitt, d. young).
3. Elizabeth F. Leavitt, b. ca 1824, d. 3 Sep 1864, AE 40. Marr. Enoch Flanders Jr, 5 Jan 1848.
vi. SAMUEL T. LEAVITT, (Samuel Jr until 1817) b. ca 1793-4 (age 56 in Aug. 1850 census), d. 5 Nov 1852, aged 60 [NH VR]; marr 1st, 17 Nov 1814, to HANNAH DUDLEY SANBORN, b. 26 Jan 1796, d. 9 May 1817 [Genealogy of the family of Samborne or Sanborn in England and America, 1194-1898, pg 195], the dau of Joseph and Sally (Thing) Sanborn.; 2ndly marr, 24 Dec 1817, DOROTHY J. STEVENS, b. ca 1797, d. 1875 [grave]. Buried in Laconia's Union Cemetery. Attempts were made by JPL, in 1878, to make contact with his son Alvah E. Leavitt in Detroit, MI for family history. He was erroneously placed in the Desc. of Nehemiah book, pg 27/44.
vii. STEPHEN LEAVITT, b. 10 Mar 1796 [per Dan'l T letter, 12/17/77], d. 24 Feb 1870; Marr. 20 Nov 1822, CHARLOTTE SARGENT, b. 4 Dec 1799, d. 7 Jun 1857. They had three children [Desc. of Samuel, pg 129], including Daniel T. Leavitt, who corresponded with JPL.
viii. SALLY/SARAH LEAVITT, b. 1798, d. aft 1870 census; marr. (as his 2nd wife), HENRY MALLARD, b. 1787, d. 16 Jun 1844, AE 56 yrs.
1. Clarissa "Clara" A. Mallard, b. 3 Aug 1838, Gilford; marr John A. Davis. Her name given to JPL by Daniel T. Leavitt in 1878, as contact for further info from this family.
2. William H. Mallard, b. ca 1842, Gilford, NH
ix. JONATHAN LEAVITT, b. 1800, d. 18 Sep 1883, Laconia, NH, aged 83; Marr. 6 May 1822 [New Hampton, NH VR, v.1 pg338] SUSANNA SLEEPER, b. 1795-97. Lived in Alton, NH, 1840-50 censuses; Gilmanton, NH, 1860; Pittsfield, 1870. Two known ch, listed on pg 99 of Samuel gen.
1. Susan T. Leavitt, b. ca 1821-25 (aged 15-19 in 1840)
2. Joseph A. Leavitt, b. ca 1833-4, d. 1 Aug 1885
x. MEHITABLE LEAVITT, b. 23 Sep 1804, d. 31 Aug 1851, Gilford; Marr. 15 Feb 1827 [NH VR - rep from Gilford], JOHN F. COLEMAN, b. 1 Aug 1805, Dover, NH; d. 23 Nov 1864. Information on family came from dau Laura in 1878 (JPL).
1. Laura Ann Coleman, b. 5 Aug 1831, d. ; marr. David H. Rice, 9 Apr 1851, Lowell, MA. Living in Bristol, NH in 1878 when she replied to JPL's letter for family info.
2. Henrietta Addams(sic?) Coleman, b. 31 Oct 1837, d. 15 Feb 1848
3. John Woodman Coleman, b. 30 Dec 1833, d. 7 Dec 1854
1. William S. Leavitt - no descendants of Stephen Leavitt made any mention of there being a son with this name, nor has he been found in any records to support his placement here. Also, the marriage to Anna Leavitt in 1806 belongs to a Tuftonboro and Moultonborough NH line. Based on his placement in the above list of children, directly below Samuel's name, I believe one of the letters to JPL (this one not yet found) made mention of Samuel T.'s son William S. Leavitt as a contact, which was misinterpreted as a son of Stephen. This William S. Leavitt (1820-1903) lived in East Milton, MASS in 1878.
2. Eliza b. 1809 - she was not a child of Stephen Leavitt, but a daughter of Lydia (Leavitt) Thurston. In the 8 Jan 1878 Daniel T. Leavitt letter to JPL, he listed all of Stephen's offspring, and the contact info for each of them. It looks like Emily may have misread this letter, and thought Eliza was listed as one of the children.
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