Tag Archives: Rachel (Chapman) 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 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.

© 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.

https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/510d47da-f27b-a3d9-e040-e00a18064a99
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.

https://www.loc.gov/item/91680390/
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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1858: Why did Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee leave her marriage?

Sepia Saturday 492: First in a new series on why my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee may have left her marriage in 1858.

Major personal crossroads are reached by a winding path extending back for years. Deciding how to move forward draws from the deep well of an individual’s life experience —  even when the choice of which path to take is spurred by an immediate event.

Such was the situation I believe my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee faced when, at 46, she left her husband — my third great-grandfather Zebulon Blakeslee — on 1 Nov. 1858, never to return.

Two previous series have examined the Blakeslees’ separation — and their ultimate divorce in 1866. Yet I have found no record giving Hannah’s motivation for taking the path she chose.

So this new series will endeavor to circumstantially answer the remaining mystery: Why did Hannah leave? And what better place to begin than with Hannah’s personal history.

1882: Going into the World by Evert Jan Boks (1838-1914). The decision by my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee to leave her husband in 1858 cannot have been easy. Yet apparently once she had made the tough choice, she never looked back. Image: mimimatthews.com

Hannah’s childhood

Hannah was born on 8 Feb. 1812, most likely in Conklin, Broome Co., N.Y.  She was the  fourth of six children — with three older siblings (brother Isaac and sisters Catherine and Rachel) and two younger (sister Lydia and brother Asher).

Her parents were my fourth great-grandparents — Waples Hance (1760-1843) from Shrewsbury, Monmouth Co., N.J., and his second wife Rachel Chapman (1784-1837) of the Conklin area.

Waples settled in Conklin circa 1788. However, allegedly due to a land dispute he moved just across the border into Pennsylvania — where from 1815 his farm, home and livestock appear on the tax rolls of Lawsville in Susquehanna County’s Liberty Township.

Hannah was three when her family moved to Lawsville —  where her father continued paying taxes until his death in 1843.

Image by 12019 on Pixabay
A New York Farm. The small, rural hamlet of Lawsville, Susquehanna Co., Penna., became Hannah’s childhood home — with her immediate world a sparsely populated agricultural expanse punctuated by forested hills straddling the New York-Pennsylvania border south of Binghamton, N.Y.

Thus small, rural Lawsville became Hannah’s childhood home — with her immediate world a sparsely populated agricultural expanse punctuated by forested hills straddling the New York-Pennsylvania border south of Binghamton, N.Y.

Early marriage and motherhood

Not surprising in these circumstances that Hannah married at age 16 — younger than the average marriage age of 20-22 for nineteenth century women — and chose a man who, like her father, was from elsewhere.

My third great-grandfather Zebulon Blakeslee was born in Connecticut in 1807. In his divorce petition he stated that he and Hannah married on 19 Nov. 1828. He was 21 at the time — five years Hannah’s senior.

What were her hopes for marriage to Zebulon? A solid partnership with a good provider? A stable, hardworking father for her children? Or a chance to leave Lawsville and see a bit of the world? There is no way to know without direct testimony from Hannah.

Suffice to say that by the time of the 1830 U.S. Census3Hannah and Zebulon were living in Lawsville a few houses down from her parents — where court records indicate Zebulon had bought land in 1827.

And on 7 Dec. 1830, at age 18, Hannah gave birth to their first daughter Rhoda Ann Blakeslee.2

Up next: Hannah’s early married life with Zebulon. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.

© 2019 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.

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