Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Roadblock - Abigail Price Goodrich

In previous posts I wrote about two other troublesome female ancestors, Ruth Dyer and Sally Church. A third Roadblock in my research is Abigail Price, the wife of John Goodrich. They are my 6th great grandparents. A future post will provide more information about John but for now I'll just give his basic information. John was born August 21, 1754 in Wethersfield, Hartford County, Connecticut Colony and was the son of Sarah Dewey and Benjamin Goodrich. While living in Hartford County, this John Goodrich was known as John Goodrich 3rd because he was the youngest of three men with the same name in the same area. When one of the older John's died, this John then became John Jr.

When I first started researching my Goodrich line I was told that the wife of John Goodrich was Abigail Price. And I have no reason to doubt that since one of their children, Bela Goodrich, named one of his children Price and another (my 4th great grandmother) was named Abigail. Obviously named after Bela's mother. Also, on October 1, 1776 (according to Records of Wethersfield as published in the New England Historical & Genealogical Register, Vol 18, p 53-59) John Goodrich and Abigail Price were married. But none of the other Goodrich family researchers I was in contact with knew any maore about Abigail or her parents.

The earliest record that I have found of Abigail was in August 1776 when the town of Newington, Connecticut as well as other towns in New England, recorded all the persons living in the town as recommended by the Continental Congress on December 26, 1775 so that taxes could be levied based upon population. This would be the forerunner of the United States Federal Population Census.

The 1776 Newington Census can be found online at Jane Devlin's website. It shows Abigail Price living in the household of Benjamin and Sarah (Dewey) Goodrich. Also in the household is their son John Goodrich, as well as their daughter Rhoda and other son David. In addition, there is a Mary, Elizur and Hannah Goodrich. I have no idea who they are and for now, it doesn't matter. The point is that Abigail Price was living in their household. Was she just living with them or was she a servant, or what?

There are currently 16 databases on WorldConnect that include Abigail Price with John Goodrich as her husband. Three of those have Abigail's parents as Rufus Price and Martha Grant and one just has her father as Rufus Price. Source information is pretty much non-existant. About three years ago I attempted to contact the submitters of those four databases but never received a reply.

A little over 2 years ago, a distant cousin and Goodrich researcher (whom I've never met but had worked with previously) and I decided to see what we could find out about old Rufus.

On September 17, 1750 Rufus Price and Martha Grant were married at Coventry, in Windham County, Connecticut Colony. And they did have a daughter, Abigail. Actually, they had two daughters named Abigail. The first Abigail was born June 21, 1753 and died March 29, 1755. The second Abigail was born August 29, 1757 at Coventry, which would put her at about the right age be the wife of John Goodrich.

We kind of got sidetracked for a week or so following the Grant lines. The Lathrops, Huntingtons, Rockwells, Minors, and Palmers. All early New England immigrant families. Impressive, indeed. But we came to our senses and realized we first needed to find out if Abigail, daughter of Rufus, was the Abigail Price that married John Goodrich.

We didn't really find out a lot about Rufus Price himself but through his sons, Rufus Jr. and Elijah we would find the evidence we needed. If nothing else, this provides a very good reason why siblings of ancestors (or siblings of supposed ancestors) should also be researcherd. Rufus Price Jr. served in the Revolutionary War from Tolland County, Connecticut and eventually attained the rank of Colonel in the New York militia. His pension record has been posted online by one of his descendant. It's detailed and interesting, but didn't really help us in our quest though it did put his family in the right place and time.

I had recently become a member of the Godfrey Library and at that time they still had remote access to HeritageQuest Online. For some reason, one late night, I decided to see if there was a pension record for Elijah Price, brother of Rufus. Still on dial-up internet access, it took forever to search and even longer to load the pages once they were found. Even though it didn't provide the information we'd hoped for, it was worth the wait.

What I found was an eight-page Pension File (R8462) for Elijah Price from Connecticut and New York with a widow Beulah. The second and third pages are the affidavit of Abagail Rose of the Town of Stephentown in the State of New York, Rensselaer County. It's rather lengthy and wordy so I'll just give a summary: Abagail Rose states that "she was well acquainted with Elijah Price late of Town of Owasco in the County of Cayuga & State of New York Deceased that she is Sister to the Said Elijah Price who was about two years and a half older than her self that on the commencement of the revolutionary War that they both resided at their fathers house in Tolland Ct.... That in 1778 this deponent moved from Tolland aforesaid to Stephentown aforesaid where she now resides that the year after 1779 their Father removed from Tolland to Stephentown & her Brother the Said Elijah Price came to Stephentown with her Father...." It continues on to the next page... dated the 21st day of June 1837 and it has the signature of Abigail Rose.

On another page in the file is the affidavit of Ruth Price that states "she was married to Rufus Price, brother of the said Elijah Price…." So, with that statement and that of Abagail Rose, I think it is pretty safe to say that Abigail, daughter of Rufus Price, Sr. did not marry John Goodrich.

John and Abigail Price left Wethersfield, Connecticut about 1805 and moved to Franklin County, Ohio. Along with them came their 9 children, 8-28 years of age. The three oldest children were already married and had started families of their own.

The only other record we have on Abigail is the St. John's Church Cemetery transcription found online at Worthington Memory. From what I've been told, the gravemarkers no longer exist.

Mrs. Goodrich born March 1754, died January 18, 1827. Cause of death was Dropsy.
Griswold burial list: Mrs Goodrich wife of Deacon John Goodrich died the 18th & was buried the 20th Jan. 1827 (of Dropsy) in tier next east of Dr Calvin H. Case & near it. age 72 years I believe.
There was also an entry for her husband:
Griswold burial list: Deacon John Goodrich died the 29th & was buried the 30th July 1834 in tier next east & near the foot of Calvin H. Case grave.

Research was pretty intense for several months back in '06. Nearly two years later, we're not any closer to finding the parents of "our" Abigail Price. We haven't given up. But we moved on to other research when we realized that the information we needed most likely wasn't going to be found on the internet or in any published books. It is probably going to require on-site research in Connecticut and Ohio.


charliemorrison said...

My wife owns the Goodrich school in southern Delaware County Ohio just north of the Franklin County line. It is about 1/4 mile from the Goodrich cemetery.

We believe this is the first one room school house built in Ohio, but have found nothing to substantiate it.

If you want a picture, let me know and I can get one for you. My wife took a really nice one last year and made a calendar using it.

Charlie Morrison
work 614-851-1100

Anonymous said...

I have access to Abigail Price Goodrich's parents family bible with her birth, and the birth of all the children inscribed. Please contact me for info
Shawn Doyle
Richland Town Historian, Pulaski, NY