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|This research is an example of a good hunch that finally was proven wrong. It
is known that Elizabeth, surname unknown, married Benjamin Johnson
around 1807 in NJ and later moved to Hector Tp., Schuyler Co., NY
around 1828. The hunch was that this Elizabeth is Elizabeth Saylor,
daughter of Samuel Sayler and Margaret Jones
of Springfield Tp, Burlington Co., NJ. Tim Parrott of Iowa City made the initial discovery of this
couple and made the conclusion as described below.
|Use these links to jump up and down this web page.
What supports the idea that Elizabeth Johnson is a daughter of Samuel Sayler and Margaret Jones?
There is a story that has been titled the "Doyle Story" that states that:
Elizabeth and Francis Sayler have not yet been found. Those that are identified so far have information on these web pages: Mary (Saylor) Shutts, Samuel Sailer, John Saylor, William Sayler, Charles Saylor and Lavinia (Saylor) Bowerman.
Sister Mary (Saylor) Shutts and brother John Saylor migrated to Hector Tp, Schuyler Co., NY in the early 1800's. Tim Parrott reasoned that it is possible that Elizabeth and Frances followed this route and has found these facts:
The land records for Benjamin Johnson in Ulysses and Hector Towns, Tompkins County have been examined. Remember that the Town of Hector was formed in Cayuga County in 1802; then it came under Seneca County from 1804 to 1817; followed by becoming part of Tompkins County from 1817 to 1854 when it finally came under Schuyler County where it remains today.
The land deed indexes have dozens of entries for Benjamin Johnson. Most transactions involve Benjamin Johnson and his wife Jane of Ithica. He was a prominent attorney, born in 1783 in New Hampshire and died in Ithica in 1848. Any sale of land involving Lot 75, Hector Tp., probably involves Ben Johnson and his wife Jane. Below a land sale involving his estate is noted.
Surrogate Court records
The breakthrough at identifying Benjamin's land came via his will. Benjamin Johnson died in 1863 and his will is transcribed below. In it he names his wife Elizabeth, that lot 85 "belonged to me" in the town of Hector and that he had a grandson Benjamin Brown, son of Isaac Brown.
Therefore, we can identify his land purchase in 1833 for part of lot 85, 61 acres, in the town of Hector. He also purchased more of the lot in 1845 and the details are transcribed below. He did not name his wife in these deeds so the will was needed to direct us to the correct transactions. The purchase in 1833 aligns with the 1855 census statement that the family came to Tompkins County in 1828.
Along with the will, the probate records also contained the Final Settlement, dated 12 years later in 1877 and his children are named. The Final Settlement is transcribed below and along with other sources Tim has constructed this list of 9 of the 11 children of Benjamin Johnson, (b. 10 Feb. 1785 NJ; d. 20 Oct. 1863 Hector, Schuyler Co., NY.) and his wife Elizabeth (b. 1788 NJ; d. 16 Apr. 1875 [Find a Grave], Hector, Schuyler Co., NY).
The key to solving the mystery of the mother’s maiden name was actually the family’s connection to Doniphan Co., KS. The daughters Catharine and Mary both moved there with their families, and I was able to find some short biographical sketches that mentioned old Benjamin and Elizabeth, but always neglecting to mention Elizabeth’s maiden name. For example, the following about the daughter Mary’s husband, Isaac Brown.
ISAAC BROWN, farmer, Section 31, P. O. Troy. This worthy fellow citizen is a native of New York, and was born in Tompkins County, now Schuyler, April 8, 1822; his father, Thomas Brown, and his mother, Jane, were natives of the Empire State. Isaac was reared as an agriculturist and always adhered to that branch of industry. Lived in New York State until 1872, when he came to Kansas, locating a short distance west of Troy; removed to his present home a few years ago. He was married in 1843 in New York, to Miss Mary Johnson a native of that State. She was born October 25, 1825; her father, Benjamin, and her mother, Elizabeth, were natives of New Jersey. The children born to Mary and Isaac Brown were seven. Helen M., Benjamin J., Ellen E., Mary V., William H., Adel K., and Libbie M. The family is identified with the Methodist Church.
Source: William G. Cutler's History of the State of Kansas ~ Doniphan County, Part 8):
Fortunately, I eventually found that the daughter Clarissa’s son, Joseph C. Rea, also settled in northeastern Kansas, near his aunts, uncles and cousins. It was then only a matter of time until I found the following biographical sketch in the Genealogical and Biographical Record of North-Eastern Kansas (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Co., 1900), pages 424-425:
“A native of New Jersey, he was born in Hunterdon county on the 12th of December, 1841. His paternal grandfather, Alexander Rea, was a soldier in the war of 1812 and married Miss Mary Stires, a lady of French descent. George Rea, the father of our subject, was also a native of Hunterdon county, New Jersey, and was reared and educated in that state. Having arrived at years of maturity he wedded Miss Clara Johnson, a daughter of Benjamin Johnson, one of the heroes of the Revolutionary war. Her father was of English birth and died at the extreme old age of one hundred years. His wife was in her maidenhood Miss Van Fleet, and she was still older at the time of her demise, which occurred after she had passed her one hundred and third year. George and Clara Rea became the parents of nine children, namely: William; John; Mary Elizabeth, the wife of John Otton, of Troy; Joseph C.; Emma; Lott; Samuel, of Great Bend, Kansas; Mrs. Amanda Drynple and Mrs. Alice Gano. The father of these children died in New Jersey at the age of sixty-eight years. In politics he was a Democrat and religiously he was connected with the Baptist church, in which he served as a deacon for many years. The mother is still living in New Jersey, at the age of eighty-seven years.”
So, it appears that “our” Benjamin Johnson was indeed the Benjamin Johnson who married Elizabeth Vliet (variously written as Vliet and Fleet, both of which are pronounced the same) in Hunterdon County, NJ, on 4 Apr. 1805! I did notice in the records of Hunterdon County that the "Van Vliet" family (of Dutch origin) was quite numerous there.
Tim was already nervous about the connection, after finding that list of Benjamin and Elizabeth's heirs/children in the 1877 settlement document. None of the usual Saylor family names were represented: Samuel, Charles, Francis, Lavina ... But now he is 100% convinced that this is NOT our "missing" Elizabeth Saylor.
|2. LAND RECORDS|
Hector Town, NY
Hector Town was formed in Cayuga County in 1802.
Hector town was part of Seneca County 1804-1817.
Hector became part of Tompkins County in 1817 and then in 1854 it became part of Schuyler County.
Cayuga County, NY Land Record Index
Starting 1794 to 1822
Image 99 to 102
No Benjamin Johnson found as a grantee.
Tompkins County Land Records
Grantee Index 1817 to 1860 A to K
Ben Johnsons - many start at image 492
Grantor Index 1817-60, A-K
Many Ben(jamin) Johnsons starting at image 617
There are dozens of land records involving Benjamin Johnson and his wife Jane of Ithica. He was a prominent attorney, born in 1783 in New Hampshire and died in Ithica in 1848. One of his probate records is "Ben Johnson, heirs of, bk 56, p. 210, [image 420]." Jesse Johnson appears to be the executor and thus most likely a son of Benjamin. This family is not connected to the Benjamin Johnson of Hector Tp.
1817/18 Ben Johnson (grantor),
Mortgage Index 1816-60, starting at image 94
Mortgage index arranged by book Must scroll through.
Deeds 1817-18, Book A, image 125
28 Aug 1816, Ben Johnson, of Ulysses, County of Seneca, sells to Richard Manning of the same place, for $10, 100 acres in town of Ulysses NW corner of lot 91 being the farm on which James Campbell now resides. Reg 23 Jul 1817. [page 113]
Deeds 1818-1821, Vol B-C, image 675
16 May 1817, Ben Johnson of the town of Ulysses, purchases lot 69, town of Hector, land of Samuel and John Seeley seized by court order and sold to Ben Johnson of the town of Ulysess, Tompkins County (late of Seneca County) for $800, no wife named. Entered 30 Sep 1819. [p. 98]
Deeds 1817-18, Book A, image 285
8 Sep 1817, Ben Johnson of Ulysses, County of Tompkins, NY sells to Benjamin Laning of the same place, $161, part of lot 75, Town of Hector, bordering land owned by William Gault, 100 acres. Registered 7 Nov 1817. [p. 263]
Deeds 1817-18, Book A, image 575
14 Apr 1818, Ben Johnson of Ithica, County of Tompkins, NY sells to Adam Sales of Ulysses, , $367, part of lot 75, Town of Hector, bordering land owned by Benjamin Lanning, 46.5 acres. Entered 14 Apr 1818. [p. 547]
Deeds 1817-18, Book B&C, film 850997, Vol B, image 471
27 Feb 1819, Ben Johnson of the town of Ulysses, County of Tompkins, NY and Jane his wife sells to Samuel Hanley of Hector, , $250, part of lot 75, Town of Hector. Entered 14 Mar 1819. [p. 435]
Deeds 1817-18, Book B&C, film 850997, Vol C, image 676
22 Sep 1817, Ben Johnson of Ithica, County of Tompkins, NY sells to Samuel S Seely for $1, 50 acres of lot 69, Town of Hector. Entered 20 Oct 1819. [p. 99] Samuel Seeley is one of the men who lost the lot due to debts when his land was forced to be sold by court order. See image 675 above.
These deeds are for "our Ben"
Deeds 1833-34, Vol Y-Z, image 162
8 Jun 1833, Benjamin Johnson buys for $600 from Sullivan D Hubbell and wife Susannah, all of the town of Hector, lot 5 of lot number 85 town of Hector, 61 acres, recorded 14 May 1834. Benjamin's wife is not named. [p. 295]
Deeds 1846-47, Vol VV-WW, image 584
2 Apr 1845, registered, Benjamin Johnson [wife not named] of Town of Hector, Tompkins County, for $440 buys from Horatio D Miller and Electa his wife, part lot 85, and bounded in part by the farm of Benjamin Johnson, 15 acres and 2 acres. On the 2nd day of April in the year 1845 before me the subscriber a judge of the Common Pleas of said county came Horatio D Miller and Electa his wife to me known to be the grantor described in and who executed the within deed ...that she [Electa] executed the same without any fear or compulsion from her said husband. [signed] John Saylor
|3. SURROGATE COURT RECORDS|
New York Probate Records, 1629-1971, Tompkins County
These films need digging into.
Benjamin Johnson - Surrogate Court Records
Benjamin Johnson, package number 738, died 20 Oct 1863, probated 28 Apr 1864,
Will of Benjamin Johnson
4 May 1861, In the name of God I Benjamin Johnson of the Town of Hector, County of Schuyler [formerly Tompkins] .. declare this my last will ..
First: I give unto my beloved wife Elizabeth Johnson all my household furniture and cloathing of every kind ... also use & control of about 2 acres belonging to me situated on lot 85 in the town of Hector.
Second: I give to my said wife the interest of $2000 to be hers absolutely ...
Third: I give ... to my grandson Benjamin Brown, son of Isaac? Brown $50 and I direct that the interest thereof be paid to him after the decease of my wife from the time of her decease till he shall arrive at the age of 21 ...
Fourth: ... the bequests to my wife Elizabeth Johnson are in lieu of her dower and in bar thereof
Witnesses: John W Brown, Solomon Craver, John W Osborn, all of Hector, Schuyler Co, NY.
Source: New York Probate Records, 1629-1971, Schuyler County, Wills 1854-70, V 1-2, film 850009, V 2, p. 67, on line at familysearch.org, image 388
NY Probate records 1629-1971, Schuyler County, Letters Testamentary 1855-1903, V 1-3, online at familysearch.org, image 89, Vol 1, p. 137 is supposed to be Ben Johnson but it is not.
At a Surrogate's Court, Held at the Surrogate's office in Watkins in and for the County of Schuyler on the 29th day of March A.D. 1877 ...
In the matter of the Final Accounting of William Hazlitt as administrator with the will annexed of the estate of Benjamin Johnson, Deceased ...
Balance for Distribution $2303.71 ...
It is Ordered, That the said accounts be, and the same are, finally settled and allowed, as adjusted and filed by the said Surrogate and it appearing that there is remaining in the hands of the said administrator with the will annexed after the payment of the debts, charges and expenses of the said estate the sum of $2303.71 it is further Ordered, Adjudged and Decreed that the said administrator with the will annexed distribute said sum so remaining in his hands as such administrator to the persons entitled thereto as follows:
To Clarissa Ray the sum of $329.10
" Ellen Mickle " " " 329.10
" John Johnson " " " 329.10
" Sara A. Pease " " " 329.10
" Cath. Miller " " " 329.10
" Mary Brown " " " 329.10
and that said administrator retain in his hands the like sum of 329.10 the same being the amount to which his wife Elizabeth would have been entitled were she now living, the said Elizabeth having died Dec. 25, 1866, leaving no children but leaving her husband William Hazlitt her surviving who resides at Trumansburgh N.Y.
Source: Schuyler County, New York, Probate Records. Final Settlements 1858-88, Vol. 1, pages 436-437, image 250.
Testator IndexHere is useful Tompkins County genealogy link to use.