Friday, December 12, 2014

52 Ancestors #49 - Phoebe Stevens and the Stevens family involved in Bizarre Mixup in Stoddard, NH AND Linking Towne Family to the Cook Family of NH

This post will:
* show the linking of the Towne Family (last seen in the previous post) to the Petts sisters. 
The Petts sisters' children married one another, producing my husband's mother (a "Cook").  
* Also, one of the great grandmothers brings to this post a bizarre tale of a shocking mix-up to a mourning Union family.
*             *            *           *
Ezra Towne & Elizabeth's Daughter, Rebecca Towne
Rebecca Towne, daughter of Ezra Towne (Post #48) and Elizabeth (last name unknown) were my husband’s 6th gr grandparents.

Ezra Towne  (of Post #48) was born  April 30, 1736 in Topsfield, MA and died December 1795 in New Ipswich, NH.
Ezra Towne (there were two, this is the elder one, he had a son he named Ezra) was married 2 or 3 times.
I'm certain his daughter Rebecca’s mother (his wife’s) first name was Elizabeth but don't know her last name.

Why the doubt? The Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire  by E.S. Stearns tells me her name was Elizabeth Dutton. 
While other sources claim Elizabeth Dutton was the 2nd wife. 
And they say his first wife was also named Elizabeth but provide no maiden name for her. Quite possibly.

I have to be satisfied with the information I have:
Children from a marriage with an Elizabeth (?)
1 Ezra B 1759, Topsfield, MA;  D 1831
2 Rebecca B July 25, 1763; D 1802 *husband's 5th gr grandmother
3 Elizabeth B 1765
4  Elijah B 1767 D 1828, Mason, NH

Ezra may have had other wives and children (I don't have space to include here)

5th Great Grandparents: Towne Joins the Petts Family
*Rebecca Towne (1763-1802) & Jonathan Petts Jr*

Rebecca Towne, daughter of Ezra Towne & Elizabeth [unknown] was my husband’s 5th gr grandmother.

Rebecca's Birth
Rebecca Towne was born July 25, 1763 in New Ipswich, NH.

Marriage, Move and Family
Rebecca Towne married Jonathan Petts Jr (son of Jonathan Petts–see Post #46).

Jonathan Petts was born September 13, 1753 in Townsend, MA and died September 20, 1828 in Stoddard, NH.

Rebecca and Jonathan Petts Jr were wed February 12, 1783 in Townsend, MA when Rebecca was 19.
Early on this branch of the Petts family had moved to New Hamsphire. 
And, that is what Rebecca Towne and Jonathan Petts did: they lived in Stoddard, NH.

Children of Rebecca Towne & Jonathan Petts Jr
I can’t verify all children as I have no access to good, verifiable records, but I am certain of:
David (1788-1867) *husband's 4th gr grandfather
Other children, possibly:
Kezia (unsure) (1792-1870)
Jonathan (1796-1864)

Rebecca Towne died there in Stoddard, NH at 38 years old on either January 23 or 24 [certificate vs gravestone] in 1802 in Stoddard, NH.
Jonathan Petts Jr died at 75 on September 20, 1828 in Stoddard, NH.

4th Gr Grandparents      

*David Petts & Clarissa Parker*
David Petts (1788-1867) was Jonathan Petts (Jr) & Rebecca Towne’s son (my husband’s 4th gr grandfather).

David's Birth
David Petts was born in 1788 in Stoddard, NH.

Marriage and Family
David Petts married Clarissa Parker.  Clarissa Parker was born July 14, 1793 in Nelson, NH.

Their children were
1 David Towne (1810-1856) *my husband's 3rd gr grandfather
2 Lyman Parker (1813- 1879
3 Louisa Malvina (1818-1873)
4 Frederick Augustus (1821 -)
5 Lawrence C  (1825- ?)
6 Clarissa Sabrina (1830-?)
7 George Shepard (1831-1901)
8 Albert Livingstone  (1833- )
9 Lucy Orinda (1840-1868)

Death and Burial
David Petts died first in February 16, 1867. Then Clarissa died in August of 1871 in Nelson, NH.  Both David Petts & Clarissa Parker are buried in Munsonville, NH.

3rd Gr Grandparents:
*David Towne Petts & Phoebe Stevens*

David Towne Petts (1810-1856) was the son of David Petts and Clarissa Parker and my husband’s 3rd gr grandfather.

David Towne Petts was born on November 25, 1810 in Weston, Windsor, VT. He likely grew up in New Hampshire as his family lived there most of the time.

David Towne Petts married Phoebe Stevens on October 22, 1833 in Stoddard, NH.
Phoebe Stevens was the daughter of John Stevens (1779-1840) and Azubah Proctor (1776-1840).

Stevens Family Buries an Confederate Soldier

While researching the Petts-Stevens family, I read a strange story that happened to the Stevens family in Stoddard New Hampshire. This story has to do with the Stevens Family of Stoddard NH and a Civil War tragedy.  I'm not certain, but I don't believe it was the immediate family of Phoebe Stevens & David Towne Petts, it could have been her cousin. I'm sure it affected them all deeply.
Here is the story:
"They [the Stevens family] lived in Stoddard, New Hampshire.
During the Civil War, they were notified that their son had been killed.
His body was returned to them. They traveled to the Keene NH railroad freight station to retrieve the casket.
When the casket was opened, they found not their son, but the body of a Confederate Soldier.  
The son's body was returned later, but the War Department refused to take back the body of the Confederate Soldier.
The family decided to bury both boys in their family cemetery in Stoddard.
They owned their own cemetery because in earlier times, a member of the family had died of smallpox and someone who died of a disease like that could not be buried in the town cemetery. 
This cemetery can still be seen in Stoddard.”

A more sanitized version can be found on the County of Cheshire website:

<< Stoddards Unknown Solider (Click to go to website of Historical Society of Cheshire County, NH)

Stoddard’s Unknown Soldier
Although the Robb Cemetery in South Stoddard, New Hampshire is far from any Civil War battlefield, a young unknown victim of that war was buried there late in 1864. He is buried beside Henry Stevens, another young soldier. It is with Henry Stevens that the story of Stoddard’s unknown soldier begins.
Young Henry longed to join the Union Army from the beginning of the Civil War in 1861. It was not until 1864, however, that he could be spared from the family farm in South Stoddard. He enlisted in the 18th New Hampshire Regiment on September 13th of that year.
Henry never made it to the battlefield, however; three weeks later the Stevens family received word that he had died of typhoid fever at a military hospital in New York.
His body was sent home and prepared for burial. Soon after the arrival of the coffin, however, a messenger arrived with word that a second coffin, also marked “Private Henry Stevens, Co. A, 18th New Hampshire Volunteers,” had arrived at the depot.
The first coffin was found to contain the body of a young man unknown to the Stevens family. The second coffin contained the body of young Henry.
Military officials could not identify the stranger, and furthermore, they refused to take him back. Consequently, the Stevens family buried the young stranger in the family lot beside their own son and cared for the stranger’s grave as they did for Henry’s.” >>

So, though David Petts & Phoebe Stevens escaped direct involvement, I’m sure it still the events caused quite a stir. It's quite likely that this Stevens family is related to Phoebe.

Returning to the family of David Towne Petts & Phoebe Stevens of Stoddard, NH

Their children were:
1 Ferdinand (1834-1933)
2 Rosina  (1835-1861)
3 Lyman Gustavus (1836-1927)
4 Rosanna (1837-1838)
5 George A Petts (1842- ?)
6 * Myranda Petts (1843-1917) *my husband's 2nd gr grandmother
7 * Christiana L Petts (1845-1871) *also my husband's 2nd gr grandmother

* Myranda & Christiana’s children, first cousins, wed one another, and are twice-over great grandparents of my husband.* See Post # 6

David Towne Petts ' Work
David Towne Petts farmed to some extent in Nelson, VT, where for 10 or 12 or twelve years he was a cattle drover.
Then they moved to Stoddard NH where he conducted a hotel for 6 years. Eventually he  moved to Marlow, NH and managed on a hotel there for about 1 ½ year before his death.

David Towne Petts & Phoebe Steves Death
David Towne Petts died in Marlow, NH on December 3, 1856 at 46 years of age.
However, his widow, Phoebe Stevens Petts, lived to be 89 and could be found in the Keene, NH City Directories of the late 1890s. Phoebe died in Keene, NH on April 3, 1902.

Bringing the lines together:

I realize how confusing family trees can be, here is a chart bringing together the early Towne Family together with the later Petts Family, and ending with my husband's mother.
Towne family (red) Petts family (blue). Rebecca Towne joins the Petts.

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