Category Archives: Hance

Daniel Chapman: A new fifth great-grandfather?

Sepia Saturday 506. Sixth and final in a series about recent research discoveries at the NYS Archives & Library: Could Daniel Chapman be a new fifth great-grandfather?

Genealogy research trips offer uninterrupted time to ponder possibilities while perusing the records. At home, day-to-day concerns crop up — but at a repository, especially a distant one, there is a total focus on the research. And that’s when new ideas percolate — as they did for me at the New York State Archives.

In search of my Chapman heritage

While researching the tax records of my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance in Chenango, Tioga Co., N.Y. (now Conklin, Broome Co.), I started wondering about the heritage of his wife Rachel Chapman. Who were her parents? What was her history? How to find out more about my fourth great-grandmother?

July 2019: A Conklin, N.Y. farm. J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident of Conklin, Broome Co., N.Y. (formerly Chenango, Tioga Co.). He is the only Chapman in the area’s early nineteenth century tax records — occupation:  farmer. Was Daniel the father of my fourth great-grandmother Rachel (Chapman) Hance — and thus my fifth great-grandfather? Photo by Molly Charboneau

Waples and Rachel’s oldest child Isaac Hance [older brother of my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee] was born 5 June 1802 — so they likely married circa 1800-1801.

The 1800 U.S. census for Chenango, Tioga Co., New York 1 shows Daniel Chapman with one female in his household aged 10-15. She was presumably his daughter, and her age coincides with the circa 1784 birth year of Rachel (Chapman) Hance. The same census return shows Waples Hance — enumerated as Waples Haner — single and living nearby.

Daniel Chapman’s tax records

J.H. French’s 1860 Gazetteer of New York State, in a footnote on Conklin, N.Y., also mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident. Could he be the father of Rachel (Chapman) Hance? Then he might be my fifth great-grandfather.

So I took a look at the tax records — and, as summarized below, Daniel Chapman was the only Chapman I found in the 1799-1804 tax assessments for Chenango, Tioga County.

Town of Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y – Tax Assessment Rolls 1799-1804 Sources: New York State Archives and
Year Name of Possessor Description: Real Estate Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Estate Tax to be paid
1799 Chapman, Daniel House & Farm $425 $30 $0.45
1800 Chapman, Danl House & Farm $425 $30 $1.12
1802 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $40 $0.93
1803 Daniel Chapman House & Farm $425 $70 $0.82

Not only that, but the unalphabetized tax list for 1802 shows Daniel just three names away from Waples Hance — echoing their 1800 U.S. census2 enumerations and implying they were near neighbors. Could that be how Waples and Rachel met?

These preliminary clues indicate that I may have discovered a fifth great-grandfather — and an entirely new Chapman family line to research. What a nice surprise! And a great conclusion to my research trip.

Archival research: a worthwhile journey

Like the Gloversville city directories, early New York State tax rolls are also available online. Yet microfilm scrolling of the directories and tax records let me look at the big ancestral picture in a short period of time and place forbears in context.

That, along with the GAR research on my Union Army ancestor, made my trip to the the New York State Archives and Library a unique and worthwhile experience — one I highly recommend.

Up next: A Stoutner by any other name — launching a new series about my maternal ancestors. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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NYS Archives: My ancestor Waples Hance in early tax rolls

Sepia Saturday 505. Fifth in a series based on recent research discoveries at the NYS Archives & Library: New details for my paternal ancestor Waples Hance.

Rounding out my recent research trip to the New York State Library and Archives, I was able to access some early tax records for my paternal fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance — who moved in the late 1700s from his childhood home in New Jersey to New York’s southern tier.

Finding evidence of Waples’ arrival in the Binghamton, N.Y., area — and the possible name of his wife Rachel Chapman’s father– were among my research goals.
1841 Atlas of New York State Counties and Senatorial Districts. Click to enlarge. This map shows the various homes of my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance — from his childhood in New Jersey and adult years in Broome County, N.Y. (at lower right in district 6) to his senior years in Susquehanna Co., Penna. (south of Broome County). Image: NYPL Digital Collections

Waples and Rachel were the parents of Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee — whose 1866 divorce I wrote about last year. And I can’t help but wonder whether her decision to leave her husband Zebulon in 1858 might have been inspired, in part, by the example of her father — who picked up stakes to start a new life with a new wife far from his New Jersey home.

Waples’ story in brief

I have not yet written in detail about my fourth great-grandfather Waples Hance (born circa 1760) because I am still documenting his story — particularly his early life in Shrewsbury Township, Monmouth County, N.J.

However, numerous written sources, including J.H. French’s Gazetteer of the State of New York, indicate that as an adult he lived in Conklin in Broome County, N.Y. — arriving there circa 1788, when he would have been about 28 years old.
Bird’s eye view of Binghamton, N.Y. (circa 1882). My ancestor Waples Hance lived in this area from circa 1788. Before any bridges spanned the Chenango and Susquehanna rivers, he purportedly operated a ferry near where the two rivers meet. I am still documenting this and other details of my fourth great-grandfather’s life. Image: Library of Congress

Tioga County tax rolls

So in the New York State Archives, I looked at tax records for that period — when Conklin was in Town of Chenango (from which Binghamton was formed in 1855) in Tioga County (half of which became Broome County in 1806).

Tax assessment rolls on microfilm for Tioga County, from 1799 to 1804, covered the period I was interested in — and I found several entries for Waples Hance that firmly place him in Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y. during that time.

Town of Chenango, Tioga County, N.Y – Tax Assessment Rolls 1799-1804 – Source: New York State Archives 
Year Names of Possesors Description of Real Estate Value of Real Estate Value of Personal Estate Tax to be paid
1799 Hance, Waples House & farm $340 $30 $0.36
1800 Hance, Waples House & farm $340 $40 $0.94
1801 Hance, Waples House & farm $200 $56 $0.66
1802 Waples Hance House & farm $200 $30 $0.46
1803 Hanse, Waples Land $360 $40 $0.65

Like Gloversville city directories, some early tax assessment rolls for Tioga County have been digitized. Yet, I found more entries for my ancestor Waples Hance by scrolling the microfilm than through online searching — plus I was able to see other entries on the rolls and place my ancestor’s house and farm in a broader context.

A Chapman family mystery

The tax rolls also allowed me to delve into one more family mystery: Who was the father of Waples’ wife, Rachel Chapman?

French’s Gazetteer, in a footnote on Conklin, N.Y., mentions Daniel Chapman as an early resident. Could he be the father of Rachel (Chapman) Hance? If so, he might be my fifth great-grandfather — and judging by the tax rolls, he certainly appears to be a good candidate! More on what I discovered in the next post.

Up next: Finding a new fifth great-grandfather. Please stop back! Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2020 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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1850-58: The later married years of Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee

Sepia Saturday 494: Third in a new series on why my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee may have left her marriage in 1858.

Nothing in her early married years (1840-50) appears to explain why my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee left her husband in 1858. So I examined her later married years (1850-58) for possible clues.
Women’s fashion in 1850. The later years of my third great-grandmother Hannah’s marriage brought many changes. Could the pace of events have created rifts in her marriage? Photo:

Hannah and Zebulon Blakeslee lived on a farm in 1850 with their younger daughter Mary Elizabeth, 12. Their older daughter Rhoda Ann, 19, lived on the farm next door with her husband William Whitney.

Their situation appeared stable, with both farms depicted as comparable to those of their neighbors in the 1850 U.S. census. Yet the ensuing eight years brought many changes for Hannah, as summarized in the timeline below.

Timeline: Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee’s Later Married Years (1850-58)
Year Location Event
1850 & 1852 Conklin, Broome, NY Birth of Grandsons Duane & Albert Whitney3
1851-1854 Conklin Centre, Broome, NY Farmer Zebulon was also a postmaster and offered therapy for stuttering from their home
1854 Brookdale, Susquehanna, PA Hannah & Zebulon move there; he was postmaster until 1855
1855 Conklin, Broome, NY William & Rhoda Ann Whitney remained on their farm2
1856 Brookdale, Susquehanna, PA Daughter Mary Elizabeth wed tanner Arthur T. Bull
1857-1858 Brookdale, Susquehanna, PA Store owner Zebulon paid merchant and “real/acre” taxes
1858 Brookdale, Susquehanna, PA Birth of granddaughter Emma Eulalie Bull

Mother, grandmother, empty nest

With the birth of Duane Whitney in 1850, Hannah became a grandmother at the relatively young age of 38 — while her younger daughter Mary, 12, was still at home. Two years later her second grandchild, Albert Whitney, was born.

From 1850-54, the Blakeslees and Whitneys lived next to each other in Conklin, N.Y. — which would have made for convenient grandmotherly visits by Hannah. Meanwhile, Zebulon cobbled together several jobs as a farmer, postmaster and folk cure practitioner to make ends meet.

But in 1854, Zebulon apparently gave up the farm — or left it to William and Rhoda Ann Whitney — because he moved with Hannah and Mary back across the border to Brookdale, PA. There he opened a country store near the local tannery — and Hannah no longer lived close to her grandsons.

Two years later, their daughter Mary Elizabeth and Arthur T. Bull (my great-great grandparents) got married — leaving Hannah with an empty nest at age 44.

In summary: many life changes over a short period of time.

Conklin and Brookdale: different as night and day

On a recent road trip to Binghamton, N.Y., I drove south through Conklin toward Brookdale to get a sense of the rural environment where the Blakeslees once lived.

Image by 12019 on Pixabay
A New York Farm. Conklin, N.Y., is sunny and bright with broad expanses of farmland stretching west from the Susquehanna River to meet distant, rolling hills. Was Hannah disappointed to relocate to forested Brookdale, Penna. in 1854 — leaving her young Whitney grandsons behind?

Much has changed in the 160 years since they resided there — and the Brookdale community as they knew it no longer exists. Yet the cross-border areas remain as different as night and day.

Conklin and nearby Corbettsville. N.Y. — where Hannah’s parents and other Hance relatives are buried — are sunny and bright with broad expanses of farmland stretching west from the Susquehanna River to meet distant, rolling hills.

But just across the Pennsylvania border the road to Brookdale darkens as it parallels the Snake Creek and enters forests that at times climb sharply up steep inclines.

Ancestors of those tannin-rich trees once fueled the Brookdale tannery whose workers shopped at Zebulon Blakeslee’s store. Yet I have to wonder: Did their shadows cast gloom over Hannah, who may have missed the young grandsons she had to leave behind?

A happy occasion capped off the eight years of change when Hannah’s first granddaughter Emona Eulalie Bull was born 1858. Yet that was the same year that Hannah left Zebulon for good. A coincidence? Or somehow connected to her bold action?

More in the next post. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2019 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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