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Re: Isaac Chauncey & Jerules Ward
Posted by: Cliff Chancey Date: January 05, 2001 at 07:35:02
In Reply to: Re: Isaac Chauncey & Jerules Ward by Marge McGrew of 258

Dear Marge:
Thanks for being so clear about your sources. In trying to figure out a plausible explanation, I've come to the conclusions that your Pauline Chauncey likely was the daughter of Isaac Chauncey and Jerusha Ward, and that Isaac was the son of Charles and Sarah (Ingram) Chauncey of western Massachusetts. First let me talk a little about the western Massachusetts Chaunceys--they are one of the more obscure branches of the New England Chaunceys (for good reasons).
Charles and Mary (Gaylord) Chauncey, Charles's son Israel and his family; and Charles' and Mary's son David and his family all joined the Shakers during the early 1780's. As you might know, the Shakers believed in complete chastity and kept themselves removed from the world. The result of course is that most members of the Chauncey family died without heirs. The Shaker libraries at Case Western Reserve and the Shaker Mseum in Chatham, NY, have manuscripts relating to the Shaker Chaunceys. Two of Israel's sons did not stay with the Shakers: the two youngest, Roswell (or Rozzel) and Russell. All the descendants of Israel and Elizabeth (Ingram) Chauncey alive today descend from Roswell or Russell. Both Roswell and Russell moved west and the usual difficulties with records surviving pioneer treks and geographical separation have made connecting Israel's line with descendants of his near relations a challenge.
Here's what is known from family manuscripts.
1. The family Bible of Russell Rawson Graham Estabrook Chauncey [son of Israel and Elizabeth (Petty) Chauncey; grandson of Charles and Sarah (Ingram) Chauncey] lists the following: Israel Chauncey born April 1744; Elizabeth Chauncey born Nov. 19, 1745; Rocksena Chauncey born Feb. 22, 1763; Cynthia Chauncey born April 22, 1764; Lucinda Chauncey Oct. 13, 1768; Levi Chauncey born Dec. 7, 1765; Rozzel Chauncey born March 13, 1770; Salome born May 20, 1772; Russell Chauncey born Dec. 7, 1774; Israel Chauncey died Oct. 15, 1785; Lucinda Chauncey died July 18, 1789; Cynthia Chauncey died Feb. 22, 1795; David Chauncey died January 5, 1805; Charles Chauncey died November 1785. Note: Internal evidence indicates that some of these entries were made later than the event (e.g., Charles's death listed as Nov. 1785, without a day--it's also at the very end of the record page). [I have a xerox of this page.]
2. The genealogical record produced by Lucius Boltwood (ca 1863) in Sylvester Judd's History of Hadley [Massachusetts] (1905 edition). The children of Charles and Sarah (Ingram) Chauncey are listed as Catharine, bapt. Jan. 4, 1741; Dorothy, bapt. April 1, 1744; and Isaac, bapt. Aug. 22, 1745. The children of Charles and Mary (Gaylord) Chauncey are listed as Eunice, bapt. June 5, 1748;and David, bapt. April 18, 1750.
Note: There's no mention of an Israel Chauncey born ca. april 1744.
3. A personal statement by Elizabeth (Petty) Chauncey in the Testimonies of early Shakers, in which she talks about the events of 1780.
Note: Her descriptions are fascinating and full of local color. These were printed in 1819.
4. John M. Smith's Hisotry of the Town of Sunderland, Massachusetts [1899 editon] with genealogies supplied by Henry Taft and Abbie Montague. They give the same children for Charles Chauncey (1712-1785) as the Hadley History except that David is listed as being baptised on April 8, 1750, rather than the 18th. Also, another daughter Mary, bapt. Feb. 24, 1754, is listed. However, there's still no Israel. However, just after Charles's lisitng, there is another listing for an Israel Chauncey, who married Elizabeth Petty on Feb. 16, 1763.
5. The History of the Town of Amherst, Massachusetts, compiled by Carpenter and Morehouse (1896 edition). Charles Chauncey was listed as having property in Amherst in 1759; Israel Chauncey appears in the valuation list (poll tax list) for the first time in 1760--as he should if he was born in 1744, since 16 years olds became listable.

What to make of these sources? Earlier family historians, most notably Stanley T. Dunn in his 1981 reprint and augmentation of William Chauncey Fowler's Memorials of the Chaunceys, gave arguments why Isaac (bapt Aug. 22, 1745) should be identified with Israel (born April 1744). Family records and public lisitngs make clear that Israel was a son of Charles and Sarah (Ingram) Chauncey, so Dunn and others have assumed that Isaac was a misprint. I believe that the evidence now indicates that it wasn't.

The most plausible explanation is that Israel (born 1744) and Isaac (born 1745) were both sons of Charles and Sarah (Ingram) Chauncey. Why aren't they both listed together in the local histories? The histories were compiled a hundread years after their births, and Charles (1712-1785)appears to have moved around locally during the 1740's and 1750's. (How else to explain his 1745 appearance in Sunderland--on the north boundary of Hadley, or in Deerfield--across the river from Hadley--around 1745 when Isaac is listed as born June 4, 1745 [your record]?) I can only suppose that the death in May 1745 of Charles's father Isaac, minsiter of Hadley, may have caused some moving around as Isaac's estate was distributed.
Well, Marge, this has been a long message. I've ended up agreeing with Robert Chancey. I'll keep investigating and let you know.
On your Pauline Chauncey: I usually take tombstone dates as highly reliable. Hers leads to a birthdate of Jan. 3, 1776. Your IGI record lists her as born Dec. 2, 1775. Maybe this is a transcription error, but it highlights a typical difficulty, as I'm sure you've discovered all too well.
I look forward to working through some of these challenges with you,


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