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The Two Wives of EBENEZER Adsit
Posted by: jan mongoven (ID *****9107) Date: June 29, 2003 at 08:58:20
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We have always assumed that EBENEZER ADSIT married BETSEY ALGER at Lyme in 1772 and that she was his only wife and the mother of his many children (source: Newman Ward Adsit’s important work). I respectfully disagree and invite a discussion.

My sources ( 1. “History of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Connecticut 1665-1993,” Susan H. Ely, containing vital records by Elizebeth Plimpton, 1995; and 2. “Vital Records of Lyme, Connecticut to the End of the Year 1850,” Verne Hall & Elizebeth Plimpton, 1976) indicate he had two wives:

N.W. Adsit tells us ELIJAH ADSIT, the couple’s first child, was born on 12 Jul 1744. Elijah was baptized on 2 Oct 1744, according to Congregational Church records in “History” (p. 256). However, on page 317 of “History,” the following is recorded: Sept 1744 Death of “ELIZABETH wife of EBENEZER ADSIT.” So, unless there was another Ebenezer Adsit in Lyme, the church record tells us that Elizabeth died two months after the birth of her first baby and before his baptism.

Both “History” and “Vital Records” offer no mention of the 1772 marriage of ELIZABETH and EBENEZER. The timing makes sense, however, given ELIJAH’s 1774 baptismal date. Most online family historians point to ROGER and ELIZABETH (GREENFIELD) ALGER as the parents of “BETSEY” ALGER. Indeed, “Vital Records” (p. 6) indicates the date of birth of “Elizabeth Alger” as 30 Nov 1752. So she would have been about 20 at the time of her marriage – very conceivable. Also, Elizabeth could have been called “Betsey.” But could Ebenezer’s first wife, Elizabeth, have been someone other than “Betsey” Alger?

So, we are left with the important questions regarding the second wife. Which ELIZABETH ADSIT died in Sept 1744? Who was the second wife of EBENEZER ADSIT and the mother of his many subsequent children? This is important genealogically because this woman gave birth to STEPHEN, ROGER G., ELIZABETH, SARAH, HANNAH, LUCY, EBENEZER JR. (who married SOPHIA WHITE), WILLIAM, and POLLY. Stephen’s birth took place in 1776 in Canaan, Columbia County, New York. There is no record of a second marriage or of STEPHEN’s birth in either of the Lyme sources, so we can assume that EBENEZER moved away from Lyme in about 1775. Did Ebenezer marry in New York? And who was the woman who died in 1815 after she’d migrated with Ebenezer to Westbrook Village, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada?

I realize this information throws a monkey wrench into a lot of researcher's work. I hope others join the debate. Thanks.
Jan Mongoven


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