Hannah (Sylvester) Leonard - mother of Russell Leonard?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019

In a continued attempt to identify the parents of my 4th great grandfather, Russell Leonard, I revisited an old theory of mine, regarding Joshua Leonard and Hannah Sylvester. The details are shared here in hopes that they will help us prove or disprove the relationship.


In History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, these facts are found on page 231 and pages 356-357:

History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts

Note: Joshua was born Nov. 8, 1773, a son of Amos and Jemima Leonard. [Vital Records of Worthington, p. 44]. Amos died in Worthington on March 16, 1816, at age 75, and his wife also died there, nine years later, on Aug. 20, 1825, age 82. [Vital Records of Worthington, p. 144].


Amos Leonard is listed in Manning Leonard's Memorial, genealogical, historical, and biographical, of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and some of his descendants, p. 86, stating that he arrived in Worthington after 1769, His son, Joshua, is named, saying only that he had sons Bartlett and Nehemiah and that some of his descendants lived in Lyons, New York.


His wife's name is not given, but notice that Hannah Sylvester's father's name was Nehemiah and her mother's maiden name was Bartlett, as shown below. Two of her brothers were both named Bartlett (both died young). She also had another brother named Russell.

Memorial, genealogical, historical, and biographical, of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts

Joshua was found on the census in Worthington in 1800 and in Chesterfield in 1810. Joshua Jr. and Russell's births are found in Chesterfield Vital Records:


Chesterfield Town Records Book 3, p. 32

The reasons I believe Joshua and Hannah may have been the father of my ancestor, Russell Leonard, is because Joshua Leonard lived in Scipio, Cayuga County, New York, in 1820 and there was a male matching Russell's age group living in the home. In 1823, Scipio was divided to form Venice and Springport. Joshua was counted on the census in Venice in 1830 and 1840. Russell and Sophronia's son, Charles Russell Leonard, was born in Springport in 1830 and four years later, Sophronia placed an announcement in the newspaper stating that Russell left to buy land in Michigan territory on Nov. 1, 1833, and had not returned as of May, 1834. She was remarried and was living in Scipio in 1840. Charles was not found in the home but there was a boy matching his age group in the home of Joshua. The first census I have found Charles on was in 1855 in Genoa, Cayuga, New York.


In 1850 and 1860 Joshua Sr. was living Butler, Wayne County, New York. In Manning Leonard's 1896 book, he stated that Joshua's descendants "live" in Lyons. Charles Russell Leonard lived between Scipio and Groton most of his life but he was counted on the census in Rose in 1892 and in Lyons in 1900. There were at least a dozen Leonards in Lyons and all of them were descendants of Joshua.


Regarding Hannah Sylvester's ancestry, on page 357 of Families of Chesterfield, we see Hanna Sylvester listed (#25), as a child of Nehemiah Sylvester, but stating that town records call her a daughter of Nathaniel, his brother.

History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts

*Notice the typo in Nehemiah's birth year. It should be 25 May 1746 - not 1846. He married Mary Russell in 1768 and Hannah Bartlett in 1773 in Chesterfield, Hampshire County, Massachusetts.


Whether her father was Nehemiah or Nathaniel, her grandfather was Nehemiah Sylvester, born in Scituate in 1714 or 1715, and her grandmother was Mehitable Damon, daughter of Zachariah Damon, Jr., all shown on page 356 as follows:

History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts

Chesterfield is in Hampshire County in western Massachusetts, part of the Springfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is about 32 miles northwest of Springfield, where descendants of John Leonard lived.


Worthington was first settled in 1764, with few inhabitants, due to its high elevation. Many early settlers moved into western New York and Ohio for better opportunities, according to Wikipedia. The second Congregational Church there burned in 1887 and another was built in the same spot.

You can tour Worthington on Google Maps. The First Congregational Church is show here on the left, across from the Worthington Town Hall.


Other evidence possibly supporting my theory that this is the family of my connection to this family is that my father's DNA matches another descendant of Israel Sylvester (1646-1727) on three different chromosomes:

My father's DNA also matches a descendant of Hannah Bartlett:

Furthermore, a match was found when comparing my father's DNA to a descendant of Hannah Bartlett's grandfather, Lt. Samuel Bartlett, of Duxbury: (Notice it's on the same Chromosome as one of the matches with Israel Sylvester, above).

Note: Samuel Bartlett descended from two Mayflower families - Brewster and Warren, and his wife, Hanna (Pabodie) was an Alden descendant. Hannah Sylvester's husband, Joshua Leonard, descends from two other Mayflower passengers (James Chilton and his wife), therefore if my theory is correct, our Leonard line leads back to at least FIVE different Mayflower passengers!


Click here to see findings for Hannah and Joshua Leonard and let me know what you think. Was Hannah Sylvester the mother of Russell Leonard, my 4th great-grandfather?


Sources:

  • Scituate, Massachusetts, Second Church Records, 1909, p. 10. "Richard the sonn of Israel Silvester", born May 4, 1679. [Link]

  • History and Genealogy of the Families of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, p. 356-357. [Link]

  • Vital records of Scituate, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, Vol 1, Births, p. 317-322. (See both Silverster and Silvester) [Link]

  • Vital records of Scituate, Massachusetts, to the year 1850, Vol 2, Marriages and Deaths, p. 258 [Link]

  • Church records of the town of Chesterfield, Massachusetts, 1762-1820, by Corbin, Walter E., 1931 [Link]

  • Chesterfield births Book 3 p. 32 [Link] "Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QS7-9979-7DLB?cc=2061550&wc=Q4D4-W3F%3A353350301%2C353394901%2C353394902 : 20 May 2014), Hampshire > Chesterfield > Births, marriages, deaths 1796-1842 vol 3 > image 19 of 90; citing Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Boston.

  • Memorial, genealogical, historical, and biographical, of Solomon Leonard, 1637, of Duxbury and Bridgewater, Massachusetts, and some of his descendants, by Manning Leonard, p. 86 [Link]

  • Joshua Leonard (Wikitree)

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