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Sophronia (Burrill) Leonard vs Sophronia (Campbell) Burrill

My 4th great-grandmother, Sophronia, married Russel Leonard in or before 1830 and had at least two children, Charles Russell Leonard and Jenette (Leonard) Reynolds. Russel left to buy land in Michigan territory in 1833 and was never heard from again by his family. Sophronia soon remarried to Thomas Knapp and raised a large family with him. This is the brick wall in my Leonard line.


Family tradition says Charles Russell Leonard's mother was "Sophronia Burrill", alternatively written Burlet, Burrell, or Burlew in various documents. One family record gives her father's name as Joshua Burrill (of Pembroke, Genesee, New York), but she is not named in Joshua's will, unlike his other known children, leaving us with no evidence to prove this claim, and even casting doubt on it.


My DNA matches descendants of both Sophronia Knapp and of Joshua Burrill, so I do believe we are on the right track, but I don't understand why no connection has been found to link Sophronia to her father.

My DNA matches with descendants of Joshua Burrill's daughter, Martha (Burrill) Redman:


Many researchers confuse Sophronia with Sophronia, the wife of Nelson Burrill, which is understandable, given the many similarities between them. Both of these Sophronias were born about 1815 and both died in 1883, and they lived within about 30 miles of each other.


The most common mistake I see is Sophronia (Burrill) Leonard Knapp's birth date given as December 13, 1815, in Cortland, New York. This information is incorrect. People are confusing her with Sophronia (Campbell) Burrill, wife of Nelson Burrill. There is no documentation proving when or where Sophronia (Burrill) Leonard Knapp was born as far as I know.


Here's what has been found about Nelson & Sophronia (Campbell) Burrill of Elbridge, with sources:


Sophronia Maria Campbell[1] was born on 13 Dec 1815 in Onondaga, Onondaga, New York[1, 2, 3]. Sophronia Maria Campbell married Nelson Burrill and lived in Elbridge, Onondaga, New York. Elbridge is only about ten miles from Port Byron, where Sophronia (Burrill) Leonard requested information about her husband be sent. In 1840, the only boy in the "Nelson Burrel" household was under five, and would have been their son Nelson A. Burrill who had just been born in April of 1840. We don't see Sophronia's name on the census with him until 1850 and on that census the boy Nelson was 10. She was counted on the census in 1870 in Elbridge, Onondaga, New York. She lived in Elbridge in 1880[2]. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church at Jordan.[10] She died on 20 Apr 1883[9]. She went by the name of Sophronia Burrill[2]. She was buried in Jordan Village Cemetery, Jordan, Onondaga, New York. Her parents were reportedly born in Massachusetts.

Nelson Burrill[1, 2, 5] was born on 25 Nov 1811 in New York[1, 2, 5, 6]. He lived in Camillus, Onondaga, New York, in 1840[7]. His father was Jacob Burrill, a brother of Joshua Burrill of Pembroke, Genesee County, New York. Therefore, Nelson was a cousin of Sophronia (Burrill) Leonard Knapp, assuming she actually was a daughter of Joshua. Nelson was counted in the census in Elbridge, Onondaga, New York, in 1850, 1860, 1865, 1870, 1875, and 1880[2]. He died on 07 Jul 1881 in Weedsport, Cayuga, New York[6]. He also went by the name of Nelson Burrel[7]. He was buried in Jordan Village Cemetery, Elbridge, Onondaga, New York.

Nelson Burrill and Sophronia Maria Campbell had the following children:

  1. Nelson Alonzo Burrill was born on 5 Apr 1840.

  2. Horace L. Burrill was born on 3 Dec 1841. He lived in Weedsport, Cayuga, New York, USA in 1881 (as per father's obituary). He died on 1 Aug 1922. He was buried Weedsport Rural Cemetery. (See also, Burritt Family excerpt, below).

  3. Mary Alice Burrill was born on 23 Nov 1843. She died on 20 Oct 1844.

  4. Martha C. Burrill was born on 12 Sep 1845. She died on 20 Oct 1877.

  5. Francis M. Burrill was born about 1850.

  6. James A. Burrill was born about 14 May 1851. He died from typhoid pneumonia on 20 Nov 1873. (See bio here)

There are many similarities between the two Sophronias but as you can see by comparing the records, they are clearly not the same person. See The Life of Sophronia Knapp for more details.

Sophronia (Campbell) Burrill

Sophronia (Burrill) (Leonard) (Knapp)

Birth

​Dec. 13, 1815 New York

​Abt. 1815 New York

Marriage

​Bef. 1840

​Bef. 1833

1840

​Camillus, Onondaga, New York

​Scipio, Cayuga, New York

1850

Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

​Genoa, Cayuga, New York

1855

Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

​Locke, Cayuga, New York,

1860

Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

Springport, Cayuga, New York

1865

Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

Union Springs, Cayuga, New York

1870

Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

1875

​Elbridge, Onondaga, New York

Age 59, married to Nelson Burrill.

Springport, Cayuga, New York

1880

​Elbridge, Onondaga, New York, age Age 65, married to Nelson Burrill.

​Summerhill, Cayuga, New York

Death

​Apr. 20, 1883

​Dec. 3, 1883 Moravia, Cayuga, New York

Burial

Jordan, Onondaga, New York

Union Springs, Cayuga, New York

Another coincidence and common factor between both Sophronias is that neither of them is found in the 1883 New York Death Index.


 

Sources

  1. Yates Publishing, U.S. and International Marriage Records, 1560-1900 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004), _, Database online. Source number: 317.000; Source type: Electronic Database; Number of Pages: 1; Submitter Code: RB1. Record for Nelson Burrill.

  2. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Elbridge, Onondaga, New York; Roll: 905; Family History Film: 1254905; Page: 157D; Enumeration District: 169; Image: 0511. Record for Nelson Burrill.

  3. 1875 New York State Census.

  4. The Burritt family in America : descendants of William Burritt of Stratford, Connecticut, 1635-1940, by Lewis L. Burritt, p. 63 [Link]

  5. Ancestry.com and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1880 Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2010), Database online. Year: 1880; Census Place: Elbridge, Onondaga, New York; Roll: 905; Family History Film: 1254905; Page: 157D; Enumeration District: 169; Image: 0511. Record for Sophronia Burrill.

  6. JORDAN VILLAGE CEMETERY Index (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyononda/CEMETERY/JORDAN.HTM) BURRILL, Nelson. Born November 25th, 1811. Died July 7th, 1881. BURRILL, Sophronia, wife of Nelson BURRILL. Born December 13th, 1815. Died April 20th, 1883. BURRILL, James A., son of Nelson and Sophronia BURRILL. Died November 20th, 1873. Aged 22 years, 6 months and 6 days. BURRILL, Mary Alice, daughter of Nelson and Sophronia BURRILL. Died October 20th, 1844. Aged 10 months and 27 days. BURRILL, Martha C., daughter of Nelson and Sophronia BURRILL. Died October 20th, 1877. Aged 32 years, 1 month and 8 days.

  7. Ancestry.com, 1840 United States Federal Census (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), www.ancestry.com, Database online. Year: 1840; Census Place: Camillus, Onondaga, New York; Roll: ; Page:. Record for Nelson Burrel.

  8. Ancestry.com, Selected U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010), Database online. Record for Nelson Burrill.

  9. MyHeritage.com, Newspaper: Cayuga Chief, April 14, 1883, "At the residence of her son, H. L. Burrill, Esq., in Weedsport, April 20th, 1883, Mrs. S. M. Burrill, relict of the late Nelson Burrill, aged 66 years and 4 months."

  10. Our Church and Her Interests: Being a Souvenir of the Past History..., by J. Edward Close, p. 52, and 91-92. [Link]


 

See Nelson Burrill's info on this page:

Excerpt from The Burritt family in America descendants of William Burritt of Stratford, Conn., 1635-1940

My goal is to prove the parentage of Sophronia who married Russel Leonard who went missing in 1834.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please share!

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