Friday, August 5, 2011

Josiah Pomeroy or Phelps, son of Captain Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps

I may have found a clue in the Berkshire County, MA Probate Index, concerning Josiah Pomeroy, illegitimate son of Captain Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps. Josiah was born 11 Nov 1772. The Connecticut Town Birth Records: pre 1870 (Barbour Collection) database on states that Levina Phelps had a son Josiah Pomroy, b. Nov 11, 1772; reputed father Josiah Pomroy. Also, under Levina Phelps is the following: Levina, m. Daniel Pepoon, b. of Hebron, Dec. 28, 1780.

I have always wondered whether Josiah went by Pomeroy of Phelps, and whether he was raised by Daniel Pepoon. Daniel and Lavina had three children, Nancy, born 9 Aug 1783 in Hebron, CT.; Lavinia, born 1785 in Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., MA; and Joseph, born between Sep 1781 and Nov 1785, possibly in Hebron. Lavina (Phelps) Pepoon died 1 Nov 1785, leaving Daniel a widow. Daniel married second Elizabeth James on Feb 17, 1789 in Canaan, Columbia County, NY. The family was living in Stockbridge in 1790, where Daniel was a proprietor of a coffee house, later owned by his daughter Nancy's father-in-law, Capt. David Campbell (also known as the Campbell Coffee House). Daniel was also one of ten founders of the Berkshire Bank, and as a director, was personally liable when the bank fell. Daniel is found as head of household in Pittsfield in the 1810 US Federal Census.

The Berkshire County, MA Probate Index lists a Josiah Phelps of Tolland, CT with a will probated in Berkshire County Dec 12, 1828 (#4823). Is this Josiah son of Josiah Pomeroy and Lavina Phelps? A check of the Pepoon surname in the database does not reveal a given name of Josiah, but Daniel does not appear on the index either. A Pepoon from Stockbridge, with first name blocked out (for privacy?) had an adoption and name change on May 1, 1883 (#14375), but this would be too late to be our Josiah.

The Berkshire County, MA Probate Index can be found online at The Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants website at

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