Thursday, November 3, 2011

Was Mary Ann (Coe) Pomeroy in Le Roy, NY between 1816 and 1822?

It’s been a busy week and a half, and I’ve finally found a few minutes to report on our trip to Le Roy, NY. Lee and I spent three days at the Le Roy Historical Society and Jell-O Museum, an hour at the Myrtle Street Cemetery and a few hours at the Woodward Memorial Library in Le Roy, searching for any clue that Mary Ann (Coe) Pomeroy and her sons Francis and Edwin Pomeroy were in Le Roy between late 1816 and 1822.

Mary Ann’s older brother, Martin O. Coe, and his wife Clara (Hatch) Coe had moved to Le Roy by 1812, Martin having served at Black Rock and in the area during the War of 1812. Mary Ann and Martin’s father Ithamar Coe, with his wife and several children, moved to Le Roy by November 1816, when Ithamar was installed and ordained as a deacon of the First Presbyterian Church of Le Roy.

Mary Ann and husband Spencer Pomeroy had signed a “Cancel of Marriage Contract” on 19 Oct 1816 in Pompey, NY. This was not a legal divorce, as at the time divorces could only be obtained through the Chancery Court of New York State. The essence of the “contract” is that Spencer and “Mariam” “disannull the marriage covenant” between them and that Spencer gives “Mariam” the “liberty and full right to marry and live with any one that she may make her choice”. This contract puts me in mind of notices found in newspapers during this time period where a husband states that as his wife has left his bed and board that he is no longer financially responsible for her, but the lack of wording regarding the financial aspects of this annulment or contract make me wonder why such a document was drawn up and signed by the parties. One theory that we are pursuing is that Mary Ann planned to move with her children to Le Roy along with her parents and siblings. A notice of a letter remaining in the Sandusky, OH Post Office for “Mariann Pomroy” as of 31 Dec 1822, and published in the Sandusky Clarion 15 Jan 1823, is the earliest evidence of Mary Ann’s removal to Huron County, Ohio.

1820 US Federal Census research has been inconclusive, as Mary Ann has not been identified as a head of household. Her husband, Spencer Pomeroy was found in the 1820 US Federal Census in Manlius, NY as head of household with two free white females, one aged between 26 and 45, and the other aged 45 and upwards. We surmise that the older female was Spencer’s mother, Sarah L. (Allen) Pomeroy. The younger female is the correct age range to be Mary Ann (who was born 8 Jun 1790 in Ballstown, NY), but where are her sons Francis and Edwin? Francis W. Pomeroy, born 12 Aug 1807 in Pompey, would have been about 13 years old, and Edwin V. Pomeroy, born 10 Oct 1809 in Pompey, would have been about 11 years old. It seems likely that they would have been living with their parents at this age.

Ithamar Coe is listed as head of household in Le Roy, NY according to the 1820 US Federal Census. This enumeration, dated 20 Feb 1821 lists the following people in the household: 1 free white male of 10 through 16; 1 free white male of 16 through 26; 1 free white male of 45 and upwards; 1 free white female of 10 through 16; 1 free white female of 26 through 45; and one free white female of 45 and upwards. The older male and female are likely Ithamar Coe and his wife Sarah (Ball) Coe. As Ithamar and Sarah had several children, it is important to rule them out when trying to figure out who the remaining four people in the household were.

Ithamar and Sarah’s oldest child, Sally Phoebe Coe, born 1 May 1784 in MA, married Colonel Anson Hungerford 12 Sep 1802 in Clinton, NY. He was born 21 Sep 1779 in Farmington, CT and died 12 Jul 1864 in Watertown, NY. She died 15 Aug 1859 in Watertown. Anson Hungerford was enumerated in the 1820 US Federal Census as head of household in Watertown. The number of people in this household is consistent with what we know about this family.

Ithamar and Sarah’s second child was Martin Oliver Coe, mentioned above. Martin was born 24 Sep 1786 in Ballstown, NY and married Clara Hatch (born 14 May 1790 in Pawlet, VT) 15 Sep 1810 in Pompey, NY. He was enumerated in the 1820 US Federal Census as head of household in Le Roy. The number of people in his household is consistent with what we know of his family.

Leicester Coe, the third child of Ithamar and Sarah, was born 1 Jun 1788, probably in Ballstown, NY. Very little is known of Leicester (or Lester) and we suspect he may have died as a child or young man. If he were living in 1821 (when the Le Roy census was taken), he would have been 32 years old, which makes it unlikely that he was the free white male enumerated in the Ithamar Coe household between the ages of 10 and 16, or the free white male between the ages 16 through 26.

Persis Matilda Coe, the fifth child of Ithamar and Sarah (Ball) Coe, was born 25 Feb 1794, probably in Clinton, NY. She married Dr. Benjamin Bliss on 21 Sep 1817. Benjamin Bliss is enumerated in the 1820 US Federal Census in Le Roy, NY as head of household, on the same page with Ithamar Coe and Martin O. Coe. The number of people in his household is consistent with what we know of this family.

Sophia Coe, the 6th child of Ithamar and Sarah (Ball) Coe, was born 28 Jun 1797. She married William Morgan 28 Oct 1819, probably in Le Roy. William Morgan is enumerated in the 1820 US Federal Census as head of household in Le Roy, NY. His household appears to contain people who are additional to his immediate family. Listed in the household were 1 free white male under 10 (likely William and Sophia’s son Gustavus Adolphus Morgan, born about 1821); 1 free white male of 10 through 16; 1 free white male of 16 through 26 (likely William Morgan, born 31 May 1797); 1 free white female of 16 through 26 (likely Sophia Coe); 1 free white female of 45 and upwards. We do not know who the free white male of 10 through 16 or the free white female of 45 and upwards was.

Orman Coe was the 7th child of Ithamar and Sarah (Ball) Coe, and was born 28 Apr 1799 in Paris, NY. He married Ruth Jane Rowe (Born 29 Dec 1806 in Paris), on 28 Sep 1829. He is likely the free white male of 16 through 26 who is listed in Ithamar Coe’s household according to the 1820 U.S. Federal Census.

Seth Coe, the youngest child of Ithamar and Sarah (Ball) Coe, was born 22 Mar 1801 and died 11 Aug 1819. This rules him out of any 1820 census enumeration.

So, could Mary Ann (Coe) Pomeroy and her two sons, Francis W. and Edwin V. Pomeroy be living with her family in Le Roy when the 1820 US Federal Census was taken on 20 Feb 1821? At that date, Mary Ann would have been 30 years old, her son Francis would have been 14 and her son Edwin would have been 11. Mary Ann was the right age to have been the free white female of 26 through 45 in the Ithamar Coe household, and either of her sons would have been the right age to be the free white male of 10 through 16 in that same household. Additionally, either of her two sons would have been the right age to be the free white male of 10 through 16 found in the William Morgan household. But how can we know this for sure? While several of our researchers had visited the Le Roy Historical Society and Jell-O Museum a few years back, Lee and I decided to make an additional trip based on our continuing research of the Coe and allied families in Le Roy during the time that we are trying to locate Mary Ann and her sons.

I had done some previous research on the history of Le Roy, concentrating on the makeup of the town during the time that Martin and Ithamar settled there. I was looking for other families who had come to Le Roy from Pompey, NY, hoping to find a connection between them and the Coe family. I identified the following families who were in Pompey prior to moving to Le Roy: the Daniel Judd family; the Timothy Hatch family (father of Clara who married Martin O. Coe); the Joseph Annin family; the Levi Farnham family; and the Salmon Butler family. It is interesting that another Coe family (if related, very distantly) also settled early in Le Roy. I additionally looked for people of families that left Le Roy to settle in Huron County, OH around the same time that Mary Ann and he children seemed to move there. To that end, we found a Pixley family in Le Roy who may have been related to the Reuben Pixley family that settled early in Pompey and later moved to Huron County, Ohio.

The Le Roy Historical Society has an impressive collection of primary and secondary source records relating to the history of Le Roy and surrounding communities. Lee and I reviewed scrapbooks, ledgers, diaries, vertical files, genealogies, school records, letters and reminiscences of early settlers, scholarly journals, maps and books during our visit. Although we did not find any specific references to Mary Ann (Coe) Pomeroy, or her sons Francis and Edwin, we did find some additional information about the Coe family and the Pompey families we were interested in. One interesting source identified Ithamar Coe’s half brother, Luther Coe, as teaching school in Le Roy during the winter of 1803 – 1804. While we knew that Luther had come out to Le Roy, this is our earliest reference to him in this place.

We really enjoyed our visit to the Historical Society, and want to thank their welcoming staff members. I was quite surprised to see how many people visited the Jell-O Museum – the place was humming! We would also like to personally thank Lynne Belluscio, the Curator of the Historical Society and Jell-O Museum, and would like to recommend that any Le Roy area researchers consider visiting this unique and resource packed museum and historical society. They’re open every day from April 1st through Dec 31st and on weekdays from January 1st through March 31st.

Lee and I took 292 photographs while in Le Roy, now we will start the arduous process of transcribing and reviewing the information we found, and adding this to our databases and to the Mary Ann Coe book. Well, it looks like winter has come early to the Northeast, so it’s the perfect time to settle down in front of the computer screen and start typing!

Oh, before I forget, Le Roy, NY will be celebrating its bicentennial next year. If I remember correctly, the date of the celebration will be Friday, June 8, 2012. For more information, contact Lynne at the Jell-O Museum. We’ll be attending, and hope to see you there!

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