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?
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 Ancestry.com|
|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.
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