Moses Cowdrey and family

I have already written about the Buttles line of the family that made the move from Connecticut to Pennsylvania but as I mentioned there, Jarvis Buttles returned to Connecticut for his bride Alma Cowdrey. I’ve been working on this line lately and thought I would put it out into the genealogical stratosphere in the hopes that someone knows more than I do. The Cowdrey line is complicated due to the wild spelling changes that occurred during the 19th century as various branches of the family chose “their” spelling: Cowdrey, Cowdery, Cowdry.

Cowdrey_Moses_propertymap_1855

Alma Cowdrey was the fifth child of Moses Cowdrey (1773-1858) and Zeruiah Phelps Cowdrey (1776-1861). The Cowdrey’s were settled in the north west corner of Hartland Township in Hartford County, Connecticut. Many of Alma’s siblings scattered across the midwest but a few stayed in Hartford and surrounding counties. Here is a breakdown of what I know of each:

  • Lester Cowdrey (1798-1813): lived just long enough to merit a death notice in the Hartford Courier.
  • Lucy Cowdrey (1800-1862): twin to Lydia, she married Samuel Gates and had four children: Infant (1819), Orson Cowles Gates (1820-1885), Unwin Cooper Gates (1824-1859) and Jemuel Clinton Gates (1829-1915). They appear to have stayed in Hartford. Samuel is involved in the settlement of Phelps Cowdrey’s estate.
  • Lydia Cowdrey (1800-): twin to Lucy, she married Lemuel Foster (born in Barkhamsted, Connecticut in 1799, graduated Yale Seminary in 1831). In 1832 Foster was commissioned by the American Home Missionary Society to Illinois, arriving in Jacksonville, Illinois on October 10, 1832.  A journal (kept first by him, then by her) describes their home missionary experiences in Illinois during the mid 19th century.
  • Phelps Cowdrey (1803-1811): died young.
  • Alma Cowdrey (1805-1843): married Jarvis Buttles and moved to Bradford County, Pennsylvania. Interesting that the 1850 Census for Moses and Zeruiah includes Julina Buttles, daughter of Alma and Jarvis. She died young and I am not sure if she had been sent east for medical treatment.
  • Jerusha Cowdrey (1809-1838): married Samuel Jones Hayes in McLean County, Illinois. They both died very young with no issue.
  • Phelps Cowdrey (1811-1853): married Emily Holcomb and had four daughters: Zeruiah Miriam, Lydia Foster, Emily Jerusha and Alma E.Cowdrey. He died insolvent and without a will, a fact gleaned from his estate record and the notices appearing in the Connecticut Courant August 1853.
  • Lester Cowdrey (1814-1899): married Emeline Emmons, remained in Hartland his entire life. They had one daughter Sarah Jane Cowdrey Bushnell (1844-1918).
  • Julina Cowdrey (1816-1899): married Milo Hart (1811-1895) and settle on a farm in Watertown, Connecticut. They have six children:  Melissa Hart, Lucius Hart, Rachel Janet Hart, Adaline Hart, Owen Hart, and Foster Hart.
  • Melissa Cowdrey (1817-1885): born when her mother was 43! Married Lucius L. Loomis and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin where they had three children: Gertrude Loomis, Lysander Loomis and Luella Loomis.

This family scattered all over the place and I would imagine that they kept in touch by mail. However, I don’t have much beyond the record of marriages and deaths that Alma C. Buttles passed on to her children. If anyone has insights, please share.

Lois Buttles Whitney

This week in #52Ancestors brings me to a westward migration story that made me rethink some of my historical assumptions.  For those of you that had always pictured the westward parade of settlers to be young men out to seek their fortune or newly weds looking for adventure, this family definitely bucks that trend.

Whitney_SamuelandLois_cemeterymonument_Lois Buttles was born on 17 March 1782 in Granby, Connecticut to Jonathan and Lois Viets Buttles.  Even in 2018, Granby is described as a rural town, located in the foothills of the Litchfield Hills of the Berkshires…and… the outskirts of town are filled with dense woods and rolling hills and mountains. Imagine it in the 1820’s.  Lois married Samuel Platt Whitney on 10 March 1799 in North Granby and they preceded to have 12 children, all but one living to adulthood.

  • Samuel Hart Whitney (1800-1874)
  • Lois Whitney (1802-1885)
  • Jonathan Rasselas Whitney (1804-1886)
  • Agnes Whitney (1806-1893)
  • Marcus Israel Whitney (1807-1893)
  • William Lewis Whitney (1809-1836)
  • Seth Whitney (1812-1875)
  • Nelson Whitney (1814-1836)
  • John Viets Whitney (1816-1888)
  • Lucy Susanna Whitney (1819-1828)
  • Harriet Atwood Whitney (1821-1894)
  • Lurena Whitney (1824-1909)

The family lived in East Granville, Massachusetts for most of their early marriage (the first 25 years), farming the land, attending church, and in the case of Samuel, voting in every election. Then, in 1834, they moved westward to Montville, Ohio to join Jonathan and Seth in what is now Geauga County .  This must have represented a huge upheaval for the family.  By 1834, seven of their children are over 21 years and at least four of them are married with families.  Of their children, six relocate to Ohio, and settle in or around Montville.  The 1840 Census shows Samuel’s family of four people: Samuel and Lois with one son between 20 and 29 years, and one daughter 10 to 14 years.  Seth Whitney and wife are listed on the same page and so are living nearby.   Jonathan R. Whitney is listed on the next page with six children.  Clearly moving to Montville agrees with this family.

Whitney_SilverWeddingAnniversary_Plain_Dealer_1870-04-14_2In 1870, they celebrated their silver wedding anniversary at the home of their son John Viets Whitney.  This story not only made the local Geauga press paper but also appears in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Lois survives her husband’s death in 1871 but dies just before son Seth on 19 August 1875.  She and her husband are buried in the Montville Cemetery.  Once again, I find myself discovering Ohio roots after living in that state for so many years.  I see a road trip in my future!

Happy Birthday, Lois Buttles Whitney!