After going through my notes after I posted the last reply a couple of days ago, I can say that it is likely that Rufus is the son of Nathaniel Messenger, but not of the one who was married three times, but of his son, Nathaniel Jr. and wife Tryphena, also of Granby.
I began by looking at both the 1790 and 1800 census records for Granby. In 1790, there were seven Messenger families residing in Granby (Nathaniel, Nathaniel Jr., Amos, Daniel, David, Israel, and Nathaniel Sr's brother, Elijah) Of these families, I have identified all of the males in five of the seven. The two with unidentified males are:
(Nathaniel Sr 2 males over 16 - Nathaniel and likely his son Lemuel, who did not marry until 1791)
(Nathaniel Jr. 2 males over 16 - Nathaniel Jr. and likely an un-married brother or son - Rufus?)
Now in 1800, the Granby Messenger households were the same as 1790 (minus Elijah), with the exeception of one additional household, that of Lemuel Messenger. In Hartland, there is one Messenger family, one that was not there in 1790, that of Rufus Messenger.
I would eliminate Rufus being the son of Nathaniel and Eunice (Higley) Messenger in that he is not listed in Nathaniel's estate distribution. I believe that he is probably the son of Nathaniel Messenger Jr and his wife Tryphena.
One other note. I believe that Tryphena, whose parantage is unknown, may possibly be a daughter of William and Joanna (Lee) Hayes; sister to Dudley and Rosannah Hayes, the Rosannah who married Nathan Goddard, and whose daughter Rosannah married Rufus Messenger. Tryphena was buried at West Granby cemetery in a lot owned by Dudley Hays' deceased son Ozias. I'd have to check the Hays genealogy along with probate records to see if she is named.
Let me know what you think.
East Granby, CT
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