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Charles Leonard in 1840

Charles Russell Leonard, was reportedly born in Springport, Cayuga County, New York, in 1830. When the census was taken that year, however, there were no Leonards living in Springport. According to family history, he was named after his father and his mother's name was "Sophronia Burrill". His father had disappeared in 1833 and by 1840 his mother, Sophronia, was living in Scipio with her new husband, Thomas Knapp. The closest Leonard in 1840 was Joshua Leonard of Venice, which borders Scipio's southern edge.

The 1840 census only provides the name of the head of household but from Thomas' entry we can see there were two young boys in the home.

Thomas Knapp on the 1840 U.S. Federal Census, Scipio, Cayuga, New York

The 1850 census gives the names of everyone in the home and based on the information provided in 1850, the two boys in the home in 1840 were most likely Joseph Knapp and Thomas Knapp Jr., so where was Charles Russell Leonard in 1840 and 1850? He would have been 19 or 20 in 1850 and he was married by 1854 and reported moving to Genoa two months before the census was taken in 1855.

Thomas Knapp on the 1850 U.S. Federal Census, Genoa, Cayuga, New York

Other Leonards counted on the 1840 census in and around Cayuga County are shown on this map:

The following newspapers may provide more details:

"The Levana Gazette, or Onondaga Advertiser, the first paper published in Cayuga co., was established July 20, 1798, at Levana, in the town of Scipio, (then Onondaga County), by R. Delano. The Western Luminary was published at Watkins' Settlement, in Scipio, in 1799." See also The Aurora Gazette (1799-1805), The Western Federalist, The Auburn Gazette, The Cayuga Tocsin (1812-1847), The Cayuga Patriot, The Cayuga New era, The Advocate of the People, The Cayuga Republican, The Auburn Journal and Advertiser, The Auburn Journal... [Source: Historical and Statistical Gazetteer of New York State, p. 198]


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