The Family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell - An Overview

Three of the sons of John and Rejoice (Smith) Covell married and had children (Refs. 1 and 2). The children of sons Benjamin and Richard, and some of their spouses, were named in the Revolutionary War service pension files of Benjamin (Ref. 3) and in family records for Richard (Ref. 4). However, there is no similar record of the children of Seth.  Seth's son Thomas is known through The Life and Times of Samuel Gorton, by Adelos Gorton, 1907. Seth's son Seth Benjamin is known through his death certificate that includes his parents' names. The objective of this work was to identify the other children of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell and create, in effect, a family group sheet that would point the way toward other records of the children.

Seth Covell was born in 1772 or 1773, probably in Harwich, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, the son of John Covell and Rejoice Smith (Refs. 5, 6, & 7). He died at age 62 on July 16, 1835, in the Town of Middlebury, Genesee County (now Wyoming County), New York (Ref. 8). Seth married Lydia Sisson about 1792-1793 (Ref. 9). She was born about 1772-1773 based on her grave marker in Dale Pioneer Cemetery in Middlebury, Wyoming County, New York, or 1774 if she is Lydia, daughter of John Sisson and Mary Thurber as is probable, born in Rhode Island. She died at age 77 on April 27, 1850 (Ref. 8), probably in the Town of Caneadea, Allegany County, New York. Seth and Lydia are buried in Dale Pioneer Cemetery in Middlebury (Ref. 8).

The Family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell: 1800 - 1850 Censuses should be consulted in connection with this overview. It probably would be helpful to print it first, and have it in hand while reading this essay.

Seth and Lydia lived in the Town of Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York, at least until August, 1810, when they were recorded in Pittstown in the 1810 census. Sometime between then and August, 1820, they moved to the Town of Ellicott (now Carroll), Chautauqua County, New York, where they were recorded in the 1820 census. They may have been in Chautauqua County as early as December, 1810, when Seth's brother, Benjamin Covell, purchased property in the Town of Kiantone (then part of the Town of Ellicott) (Refs. 10 and 11).

Seth Covell and his family resided on part of Lot 42, Twp. 1, Range 10, in the Town of Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. This property is immediately north of the hamlet of Fentonville, and less than a mile north of the Pennsylvania border. The property of Benjamin Covell, brother of Seth, was also less than a mile north of the Pennsylvania border. (Refs. 12 and 13).

The History of Chautauqua County, New York, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, page 447 reads as follows:

"Benjamin Covel was born in Harwich, Mass., in 1761. In 1777, he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and served during the war. He was at the taking of Burgoyne, at Sullivan's defeat, and at the battle of Monmouth, N.J. He was married, in 1784, to Sibyl Durkee, in Washington, Conn. His father, John Covel, removed with his sons to Pittstown, N.Y., about 1786, where he died in 1806 aged 73. Benjamin removed in 1810, with a large family, to the present town of Carroll, where he resided until his death, Nov. 27, 1822, aged 61. At that time all of his sons and daughters, his brother Seth and nephew Simeon, were living in the neighborhood; and the settlement was called Coveltown. In a sketch of Benj. Covel and family, it is said they 'were active in getting the first bridge built across the Connewango at Coveltown, by Capt. Charles Taylor.' From this it is naturally inferred that they resided near the Connewango; whereas it appears from the Land Company's books, that Benj. Covel took up, in December, 1810, lot 2, tp. 1, r. 11, on which Alexander T. Prendergast and Seth Cheney now reside, in Kiantone."

Benjamin Covell's property described above, "lot 2, tp. 1, r. 11," is about one mile west of Conewango Creek. His brother Seth's property was on Lot 42, Twp. 1, Range 10, which borders on the east side of Conewango Creek, straight east from Benjamin's property, and on Lot 43, immediately north of the eastern part of Lot 42. Several other Covell family members were living in that same area, informally called Coveltown at the time. The bridge across the Conewango would have been a great benefit to the family. According to data collected by the Holland Land Company in 1829, Edmund Rice owned the contract to purchase 123 acres on the east side of Lot 42. Edmund Rice is the older brother of Serena Rice who married John Covell. According to the 1829 Holland Land Company data, there was a log house on this 123 acre plot, and Luther Forbush was the resident. Eighteen years later, his son, Daniel Forbush, married Louisa Covell, daughter of John and Serena Rice Covell. These property details are important because the many family connections help prove that John Covell is the son of Seth Covell.

Seth and Lydia lived in the Town of Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York, at least until 1830 when they were recorded there in the 1830 census. Within a few years, Seth and Lydia moved to the Town of Middlebury, Genesee (now Wyoming) County, New York, where Seth died in 1835.

See the three households in Hume, Allegany County, New York, in the 1840 census shown at The Family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell: In the 1800 - 1850 Censuses. By the 1840 census, Lydia, now a widow, and most of her sons were in the Town of Hume.   George's household included himself, Seth B., and Milford, along with George's wife Angeline, Seth's wife Jemima, and mother Lydia. George and Seth B. apparently were recently married; their wives were young and there were no children in the household. Thomas C. and Erastus M. each had his own family and home in Hume. The family of John and Serena remained in Carroll where Serena's brothers, Edmund and Wheeler Rice, and their families lived.

By the 1850 census, Lydia had passed away. Thomas C., George, Seth B., and Erastus M. each had his own household in the Town of Caneadea, Allegany County, New York. Caneadea is immediately south of Hume. The Genesee River runs generally north-south through both, and through Oramel where Thomas C., Seth B., and their wives and some of their children are buried. Milford had moved to Orangeville in Wyoming Co., NY, with his wife, Eliza, and their 2 year-old son, Edwin. John and his wife Serena were in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, still near the earlier Covell family home in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York, just a few miles away across the county line. Mary apparently had remained in Middlebury with her parents, Seth and Lydia, had married, had a family and had passed away. Her husband, Jacob Howard, had remarried, and the children of Mary and Jacob were living in Middlebury with their father and stepmother. With Seth and Lydia and their daughter Mary gone to their heavenly rewards, and with all of their sons married and starting their own families, the family torch passed to their children.

There is no record in Genesee County, New York, of Seth Covell or Lydia leaving a will or any other probate record. I found no record in the LDS FHC microfilms of the original records.  Richard C. Lamb told me that he called Genesee County, and they searched and found nothing. I found no record of a property transfer involving Seth Covell or Lydia in the Genesee County Grantor and Grantee Indexes. There are several Covell entries but none for Seth or Lydia. Hence, there was nothing to probate. There are no vital records before 1880 in the state of New York. Therefore, other records are used below to identify the children of Seth and Lydia.

Children of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell:

  1.

Thomas C. Covell was born on January 14, 1794, (Ref. 14), in Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York. He died at age 90 on February 15, 1884, in Oramel, Allegany County, New York (Ref. 15). He is buried in Oramel Cemetery. He married Laura Roberts. She was born October 18, 1796, (Ref. 14) and died on November 30, 1872 (Ref. 15). Laura is buried next to her husband in Oramel Cemetery.

I am told by Richard C. Lamb that an old Covell Bible in his line gives the above birth dates for Thomas Covell and Laura Roberts (Ref. 16). The Librarian at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants confirmed that their records show that Thomas is the son of Seth Covell (Ref. 17). I assume that descendants of Thomas are researching Thomas and his descendants.

NOTE: There are discrepancies in the data regarding the birth and death dates of Laura (Roberts) Covell. The 1850, 1860, and 1870 censuses have Laura's age as 54, 64, and 74 years respectively. Since she was born in October as per Richard C. Lamb's Covell Bible and as per Cutter's book, then she would be 55, 65, and 75, after the census in 1850, 1860, and 1870, and her birth year would be 1795. Richard C. Lamb's Covell Bible states that Laura was born in 1796, and Cutter's book has the same. Cutter's data came from Thomas Covell's grandson, Abel Covell, as one can infer from Cutter's text. The Oramel Cemetery web site by Brenda Ford Miller states that she died at age 79 in 1872: that would have her born in 1793.

Perhaps the discrepancies can be resolved as follows: In the 1800's a person might give his or her age thusly; "I am in my 73rd year," meaning their most recent birth anniversary was their 72nd. If Laura expressed her age that way in the census, that would explain why the census seems to be saying she was born in 1795 instead of 1796. Laura was born in 1796 and died in 1872 as per the Oramel Cemetery record. Thus she was 76 years old when she died, not 79 as per the Oramel Cemetery record. I am not doubting the accuracy of Brenda Miller's web site: I am doubting the gravestone inscription or death record she used as a source. My experience is that death records are not a very reliable source of birth dates.

Cutter's book has its own error. Cutter used Laura's October 18, 1796, birth date, (correct) added the 79 year age at death (incorrect) and stated that she died in 1875 (incorrect).

  2.

Mary Covell was born between late 1795 and early 1800, based on her older brother Thomas' birth date and her entry as a female under 10 years of age in the 1800 census of Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York. According to the obituary of her son, shown below, Mary Covell married Jacob Howard. The 1850 census shows a different wife for her husband, and her children living with their father and his new wife, therefore, Mary Covell must have died before 1850, and Jacob Howard remarried.

Brenda Ford Miller alerted me to the existence of the following obituary. The Wyoming County Historian's office sent me a photocopy of it. The obituary is from The Western New Yorker newspaper of Warsaw, New York, dated September 27, 1917.

"Howard:
John Sisson Howard died at 10 o'clock Thursday evening, Sept 20, in the apartment occupied by his son in the Hoffstetter Black, in his 86th year. He was a son of the late Jacob and Mary Covell Howard, and was born in the town of Middlebury on Dec 14, 1831. He married Miss Alvira Worden of Middlebury on July 4th, 1852, who died March 23, 1907. He moved to Wisconsin in 1852, and resided in that state until 1912 when he moved to this village, where he has since lived with his son. He is survived by two sons, Osee R Howard of Warsaw and Orin D Howard of Oregon, also one brother Jacob Howard of this village, and five grandchildren. The funeral services were held at the Mortuary Chapel in Warsaw cemetery at 2 o'clock Saturday afternoon. Rev O C Baker officiating. Burial in Warsaw Cemetery."  (Note: The newspaper stated "Hoffstetter Black." It probably meant "Hoffstetter Block.")

Mary Covell Howard with a son carrying the name Sisson, the son born in Middlebury, can be no one other than the young female in the family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell in the 1800, 1810, and 1820 census.

The 1850 census of Middlebury shows Jacob Howard (family #106) married to Sally, age 57, hence she was born in 1792 or 1793. This is not Jacob Howard's first wife, nor the mother of his children, for two reasons. 1) Sally was a nickname for Sarah, not Mary, and, 2) Sally was born in 1792 or 1793 which is before the birth of Thomas Covell, who was the oldest son of Seth and Lydia Covell. (Note that in the 1810 census, the oldest son is in the age group 16 thru 25, and the only daughter is in the age group 10 thru 15).

The 1860 census of Middlebury shows Jacob Howard (family #123) married to Polly, age 63, hence she was born in 1796 or 1797. Polly was a nickname for Mary, but this is a third marriage for Jacob Howard as indicated in Column 11 on the census sheet. Jacob Howard was "married within the year." Jacob Howard's first wife was Mary Covell, his second wife was Sarah (Sally) as per the 1850 census, and his third wife was Mary (Polly) as per the 1860 census.

The children shown in the 1850 census are the children of Mary Covell Howard. John Sisson Howard is so identified in his obituary, and the spacing of the other children in the 1850 census indicates the same mother, who thus died sometime after the birth of George in 1838 or 1839, and before the remarriage of Jacob Howard sometime in the 1840's. At the time of George's birth in 1838 or 1839, Mary Covell Howard was in her early 40's and George would be her last child regardless of when she died after his birth.

  3.

John Covell was born in 1803 or 1804 (Ref. 18) in Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York. He died on May 28, 1854, in Maysville, Kentucky (Ref. 19). Only three of John's children have descendants alive today. Each of those three branches have one or more persons interested in their family history. None have found a family Bible dating back to John's father, Seth. John died in 1854, before there were death records in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, where he lived, nor in Maysville, Kentucky, where he died.

Proof of John's descendancy from Seth Covell includes the following:;

  • The 1855 census of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, NY, family of John Covell, headed by the deceased John Covell's son Harrison, includes all the children of John and Serena (Rice) Covell except the 2nd oldest, Helen Louisa, who was married at the time. Her death certificate shows her birth date and identifies her as the daughter of John Covell and Serina Rice (sic) (Ref. 20). The 1855 census shows that the oldest children were born in Chautauqua County, New York, back to 1828. The John Covell (Covill, Coville) families in the censuses of Chautauqua County were in Carroll, and the family age and sex groups exactly match John Covell's family. This places John Covell in Carroll back to the 1830 census, and the oldest child places him in Carroll back to 1828. He is among the Covell families in what was then informally called "Covelltown."

  • The 1850 census of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, NY, family 36, shows John Covell as 46 years old. Therefore, he would be 16 years old in the 1820 census. The only Covell family in the 1820 census of Carroll, Chautauqua County, NY, with a male in the 16 - 18 year old group was the family of Seth Covell.

  • An 1829 journal of the Holland Land Company shows John Covell resident with Seth Covell on a property that had been contracted to Thomas Covell in 1821. Thomas Covell, child 1 above, is another son of Seth Covell (Ref. 21).

  • John Covell as the son of Seth Covell fits the family of Seth Covell in the census years 1800, 1810, 1820, and 1830 (Ref. 22).

  • The other Covell families in Carroll in 1820 did not have a John (Ref. 23).

There are additional pieces of evidence, one of which is discussed below with reference to Erastus M. Covell. At this point it is appropriate to ask two questions. 1), if this John Covell is not the son of Seth, then who is the person fitting John's age and sex in Seth's household in the censuses?, and 2), if this John Covell is not the son of Seth, then who could possibly be John's father?

Also, see the family of John and Serena (Rice) Covell.

  4.

Erastus M. Covell was born in 1806 or 1807 in Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York (Ref. 24). He died in Stanton Town(ship), Dunn County, Wisconsin, about 1894 (Ref. 25). Erastus was married twice, first to Lucy Ann, born about 1815, shown in the 1850 and 1860 censuses, and, in 1861, second to Betsey E., born on February 26, 1837, in Cuba, Alleghany County, New York. Betsey is shown as the wife of Erastus in the 1870 and 1880 censuses. Betsey died on May 2, 1911, in the hamlet of Wilson, St. Croix County, Wisconsin, about six miles west of the hamlet of Knapp, Stanton Town(ship) Dunn County, Wisconsin (Ref. 26).

Erastus first shows up by name in the census with his own family in the 1840 census of the Town of Hume, Allegany County, New York, as E. M. Covell, age 30 thru 39, with a wife age 20 thru 29, and two daughters, one under 5, and one 5 to under 10. Therefore, Erastus was married in the early 1830's. Erastus' brothers, Thomas, George, Seth B., and Milford were also in Hume in the 1840 census.

Erastus next shows up in the 1850 census of the Town of Caneadea, Allegany County, as Family #305, Erastus M. Coville, age 43, with wife Lucy Ann, age 35; and daughters Mary, age 16; Sophia, age 13; and Rosella, age 2. The first two are the daughters in the 1840 census. All members of the family were born in New York. Erastus' brothers, Thomas, George, and Seth C. were also in Caneadea in 1850. Milford had moved to Orangeville, Wyoming Co., NY.

In the 1860 census, Erastus, Family #41, was in Caneadea, with wife Lucy Ann, but Erastus is now shown as born in Rhode Island, and Lucy born in Connecticut. The two older girls are gone, at age 26 and 23, probably married. Rosella is now shown as Rosalee, age 12. There is another daughter, Mary, age 8, born in New York. Erastus' brother, Thomas, was again in Caneadea, this time as Family #73. Seth B. was still in Allegany County, but in Rushford as family #1050. Brother Milford had moved to the Town of Fairfield, Fayette Co., Iowa, as family #1849. Brother George had moved to Michigan, but could not be found in the 1860 census. The 1870 census shows George and Angeline Covell in Michigan with a 12 year-old daughter who was born in Michigan, hence they must have been in Michigan in 1860.

On February 3, 1866, Emma Covell, daughter of Erastus and Lucy Ann, married Joel McCarty in Durand, Pepin County, Wisconsin (Ref. 27). The 1880 census shows Emma, wife of Joel McCarthy, as 32 years old, therefore she was two years old in the 1850 census. Therefore Emma was two year-old Rosella in the 1850 census.

In April of 1868, if not earlier, Erastus staked a claim on 84.17 acres in the North 1/2 of the North-West 1/4 of Section 6, in Township 26 North, Range 13 West (Ref. 28). That property is in Eau Galle town(ship) of Dunn County, Wisconsin. The Homestead Act of 1862 provided 160 acres of land for free "for everybody over 21 years of age who will live on the land, build a home, make improvements, and farm for 5 years." Erastus' certificate is dated April 1, 1873, therefore, he was on that property in April, 1868 at the latest.

In the 1870 census, Erastus was in Eau Galle town(ship), Dunn County, Wisconsin, Family #55, as E. M. Covil (sic), age 63, born in New York. Family #19 in Eau Galle consisted of Joel McCarty, age 34, born in Canada; his wife Emma (daughter of Erastus), age 22, born in New York; and their three children, Elbert, age 3; Viola, age 2; and Earnest, age 5/12, all three children born in Wisconsin.

On April 1, 1873, Erastus M. Covell was awarded a homestead patent for 84.17 acres in the North 1/2 of the North-West 1/4 of Section 6, in Township 26 North, Range 13 West (Ref. 28). This is the property in Eau Galle town(ship) of Dunn County on which Erastus settled at least as early as April 1868.

On December 11, 1873, a document received in the Dunn County Register's office showed that Erastus M. Covell was grantee on a mortgage from grantor Charles C. Austin (Ref. 29). The property was the South-East 1/4 of the North-East 1/4 of Section 10, Township 26, range 14. A 1/4 of a 1/4 is 40 acres. This property is in the Town(ship) of Eau Galle about 2 1/2 miles west southwest of Erastus' homestead property in Eau Galle. The document is filed in Mortgages Vol. 4, on page 583.

On April 18, 1876, the land patent for Erastus' homestead property was received in the Dunn County Register's office (Ref. 30). The grantor was the United States. The grantee was Erastus M. Covell. This was for the North fractional half of the North-West 1/4 of Section 6, Township 26, Range 13. The land patent is in Deeds Vol. 17, on page 24. The land patent was awarded to Erastus in April, 1873, but he didn't file it in the Register's office until April, 1876, three years later. This shows that one cannot rely on the recording date of a property transaction being shortly after the property transaction. One has to go to the document itself for the date.

About 1876, the Dunn County Grantee Index shows that Frank Covell was the grantee, and Joel McCarty was the grantor, of a warranty deed for a property in Dunn County. This is document No. 15938, entered in Deeds Vol. 19, page 80. This is a significant item. Frank Covell is the son of John and Serena (Rice) Covell. Joel McCarty is the husband of Emma Covell, daughter of Erastus Covell. Frank Covell's father, John Covell, is the brother of Erastus Covell. Emma Covell and Frank Covell are 1st cousins.

In the 1880 census, Erastus was in Stanton town(ship), Dunn County, Wisconsin, Family #23, as Erastus M. Cavell (sic), age 73, born in New York, his father born in Massachusetts, his mother born in Rhode Island. Along with his residence in Allegany County, New York, with the other Covell brothers, that ancestry labels him as a son of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell.

In the same 1880 census of Stanton town(ship), Frank Covell, son of John and Serena (Rice) Covell, is shown with his wife Harriett Wallace, daughter of James Matthew and Ann Eliza (Lockwood) Wallace. Frank Covell is Family #61, indexed on HeritageQuest as Frank W. Corel (sic). Frank's in-laws, James and Ann Eliza Wallace are in the same household, shown as Family #60. The same 1880 census, family #14, shows that Joel McCarthy's wife is Emma, age 32, born in New York. Emma is Emma Covell, daughter of Erastus Covell, married in Durand, Pepin County, Wisconsin, on February 3, 1866, as discussed above.

In 1882, Frank Covell, son of John and Serena (Rice) Covell, sold on a contract for deed, the property he had purchased from Joel McCarty, son-in-law of Erastus Covell, as shown in Frank's probate file in Barron County, Wisconsin. Frank's probate file (Ref. 31) reads in part as follows:

"That on the 8th day of February, A.D. 1882, the said Frank W. Covell made, executed and delivered to one E.O. Burton, the following contract, to wit:
THIS ARTICLE OF AGREEMENT, made and concluded this Eighth day of February, one thousand, eight hundred and eighty-two, by and between Frank W. Covell, of Knapp, Dunn County and State of Wisconsin, party of the first part, and E.O. Burton of the same place, party of the second part, [details of the payments by E.O. Burton to Frank W. Covell, for the purchase of property described as follows] the following tract, piece or parcel of land, situated in the County of Dunn, State of Wisconsin, and described as follow, to wit: North-west of the South-east of section Thirty-six, Town. twenty-seven , Range Fourteen.

(N.W. 1/4 of S.E. 1/4, 36, 27, 14.)"

In today's language, this would be described as follows:
The North-West Quarter of the South-East Quarter of Section 36, Township 27, Range 14.

The probate file of Frank Covell is based on "The petition of Hattie Covell widow of the late F.M. Covell by A.J. Barton her attorney..." Alonzo J. Barton is the husband of Lucy Jane (Covell) Barton, Frank's sister. The administrator of the estate was Seth W. Covell, Frank's brother. This leaves no doubt as to the identity of Frank Covell.

What is remarkable about this property is that it is slightly less than 3/4 of a mile from the property Erastus Covell homesteaded as described above. In short, Frank W. Covell, son of John and Serena (Rice) Covell travelled some 850 miles from South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, to Dunn County, Wisconsin, to buy property less than 3/4 of a mile from Erastus M. Covell, Frank's uncle, i.e., the brother of Frank's father John Covell. Frank's father, John Covell, died in 1854. Erastus was the sibling that was closest in age to John, hence it is not surprising that Frank followed Erastus to Eau Galle, Dunn County, Wisconsin.

Further, the 1882 contract in Frank W. Covell's probate file describes him as "Frank W. Covell, of Knapp, Dunn County." Knapp is 12 or 13 miles north of the properties of Frank and Erastus, and in Stanton township. In the 1880 census, both Frank and Erastus were in Stanton township. Erastus' widow died in Wilson, a short distance west of Knapp. All of which means that not only did Frank move west to join his uncle Erastus, the two moved north to the Knapp area.

Stanton town(ship) did not exist at the time of the 1870 census, but Weston and Eau Galle town(ship)s did. Weston is between Stanton on the north, and Eau Galle on the south. Therefore, the 1870 census entry in Eau Galle for Erastus Covell means today's Eau Galle, and not today's Stanton. "On November 15, 1870, the Town of Stanton was created out of the Town of New Haven, including at that time what is now the south half of Tiffany Township. Tiffany was created in late 1873 or early 1874, leaving Stanton the 36 mile shape it has held for the past 128 years." (Ref. 32) Therefore, Stanton existed in 1880. Therefore, the 1880 entries in Stanton for Frank and Erastus Covell meant today's Stanton, not today's Eau Galle.

An 1888 Dunn County Wisconsin Plat Book, page 16, (Ref. 33) shows property owned by "Covell" on Section 3, Town 28 North, Range 14 West. This property is immediately south of Knapp, and is almost certainly the property of Erastus. It was almost certainly here that Erastus died about 1894, and six miles west, along what is now U.S. Federal Route 12, is Wilson, where his wife Betsy died in 1911.

This same Plat Book, page 13, shows property on Section 36, Township 27 North, Range 14 West, in the name of George McCarty. We met that piece of property above in Frank Covell's probate file. The 1880 census of the Town(ship) of Weston, bordering on Eau Galle, shows Family #14 George McCarty, age 33, is the younger brother of Joel McCarty, age 44. The Grantee Index of Dunn County, Wisconsin, 1876 entry in which Joel McCarty sold part of that property to Frank Covell is discussed above.
 

  5.

George Covell was born in late 1810 (Ref. 34), either in Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York, or in Ellicott (now Carroll) in Chautauqua County, New York. He died in 1889 in Ada, Kent County, Michigan (Ref. 35). He married Angeline, born August, 1819, in New York (Ref. 36). She died in late 1900 in Ada, Kent County, Michigan. George and Angeline are buried in Ada Cemetery (Ref. 37).

In the 1850 census of Caneadea, Allegany County, New York, Family #139 was George Coville (sic), age 39, born in Rhode Island (sic); his wife Angeline, age 30, born in New York; Ellen, age 9, born in New York; and Elmira, age 1, born in New York. George's household was next to the household of Family #140, Seth B. and Jemima Coville (sic). I couldn't find George and Angeline in the 1860 census.

In the 1870 census, they were Family #17 in Ada, Kent County, Michigan, consisting of George Covell, age 59; Angeline Covell, age 50; and Ida Covell, age 12, born in Michigan. Since Ida was age 12 in 1870, born in Michigan, the family must have been in Michigan in the 1860 census. In fact, Ida was born on July 19, 1857 (Ref. 38), placing George and Angeline in Michigan before that date. The head of the household of Family #17 was Victor Leland, age 25, born in Indiana. His wife was Elmira, age 21, born in New York. She was almost certainly, Elmira Covell, daughter of George and Angeline Covell, age 1 in 1850.
 

  6.

Seth B. Covell was born on October 23, 1816. Seth B. Covell is identified as a son of Seth and Lydia Covell by his Certificate and Record of Death (Ref. 39). The Certificate states that he was "80yrs. 8mo. and 7ds." old when he died on July 17, 1896, in Oramel, Allegany County, New York. Based on that data, he was born on November 10 or 11, 1815, depending on how they calculated his age at death. However, his gravestone in Oramel Cemetery, Allegany County, New York, reads, "born Oct 23, 1816." His ages in the 1850, 1860, and 1880, censuses indicate his year of birth as 1817, 1815, and 1814, respectively. A death record is usually filled out immediately after death, and the information is provided by anyone convenient at the moment. The gravestone is usually a result of a family discussions at a later date, hence it is more likely to have more knowledgeable input. On that basis, we use the birthdate from the gravestone.

Seth B. Covell married Jemima White before 1844, based on the age of the first born child of Seth and Jemima. Jemima died at age 88 yr 1 mo on March 11, 1910, according to the Oramel Cemetery web site prepared by Brenda Ford Miller, a descendant of Seth and Jemima. Seth and Jemima are buried in Oramel Cemetery, Allegany County, New York.

In the 1840 census, Seth B. and Jemima were in the household of G.[eorge] Covell in the Town of Hume, Allegany County, New York.

In the 1850 census, Family #140 in the Town of Caneadea, Allegany County, New York, consisted of Seth B. Coville (sic), age 32, his wife Jemima, age 28, and children Aurilla, age 5; Augusta L., age 2; and Milford, age 3 months. Next to them was Family #139 Seth's brother George Coville (sic) and his family.

In the 1860 census, Family #1050 in the Town of Rushford, Allegany County, New York, consisted of Seth Covel (sic), age 44, his wife Gimima (sic), age 37, and children Augusta Lillian, age 13; and Josephine, age 5. Infant Milford Alfonso, born February 7, 1850, had died on December 24, 1851, at the age of 1 yr, 10 mo, and was buried in Oramel Cemetery. I did not find Aurilla who would be age 15.

In the 1870 census, Family #313 in the Town of Belfast, Allegany County, New York, consisted of Seth Covill (sic), age 53, his wife Jemima, age 48, and children Augusta, age 22; Josephine, age 14; and Mary, age 8.

In the 1880 census, Family #157 in the Town of Belfast, Allegany County, New York, was headed by Seth B. Covell. age 65, born in New York, his father born in New York, and his mother born in Rhode Island. His wife was Jemima, age 58. Daughter Mary A., age 17, was living with them. Daughter Augusta had married Julius Ford. I assume that descendants of Seth B. have already researched, or are researching, Seth B. and his descendants.

  7.

Milford Covell was born in July 1819 in Ellicott (now Carroll) in Chautauqua County, New York. He first shows up in the 1850 census of Orangeville, Wyoming Co., NY, as 31 year-old head of family #555, with wife Eliza, age 23, and son Edwin, age 2.

In the 1860 census of Fairfield Twp, Fayette Co., Iowa, Milford Covell, age 40, a farmer, is head of family #1849. His wife is Eliza, age 33, and they have son Edwin, age 12, and daughters Alice, age 9, Lucy, age 7, all born in New York, and daughter Lydia, age 3, born in Iowa. Therefore, Milford Covell moved to Iowa between 1853 and 1857.

In the 1870 census of Putnam Twp, Fayette Co.,Iowa, Milford Covell, age 51, a farmer, is head of family #37. His wife is Eliza, age 43, and they have son Edwin, age 22, and daughters Lucia, age 17, and Elizabeth, age 12. Edwin and Lucia were born in NY, and Elizabeth was born in Iowa. Alice would be 19, and perhaps she is now married. Lucy became Lucia. Lydia became Elizabeth.

In the 1880 census of Fairfield Twp, Fayette Co., Iowa, M[ilford].D. Covell, age 60, a "retired farmer," is head of famiy #156. His wife is Eliza, age 53, and they have a daughter Elizabeth, age 21, born in Iowa, and her husband, living with them. Milford Covell's father was born in NY and his mother was born in RI.

In the 1900 census of Fairfield Twp, Fayette Co., Iowa, Milford Covell, age 80, a farmer, is head of family #147. His wife is Eliza, age 73. No children are living with them. Milford Covell was born in NY in July, 1819. Milford Covell's father was born in NY and his mother was born in RI.

Summary: It can be said with a high degree of confidence that the seven individuals described herein are all the children of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell that survived infancy.

1. They fit every federal census from 1800 in Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York, through their years in Chautauqua County, New York, to 1850 when each is identified by name.

2. None of them can be identified as children of Seth Covell's brothers, Benjamin and Richard Covell, all of whom are known from the service records and/or family records of Benjamin and Richard.

3. Each has at least one other piece of data that supports their being a child of Seth and Lydia Covell, as follows:

Thomas b. 1794: He was accepted by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a son of Seth and Lydia.

Mary b. 1795 to early 1800: The obituary of John Sisson Howard in Middlebury, Wyoming County, New York, born in 1831, names Mary Covell as his mother. The time, the place, and the name Sisson are significant.

John b. 1803 or 1804: The 1855 census of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, shows that John's children were born in Chautauqua County, New York, beginning in 1828. There was only one John Covell/Covill/Coville in Chautauqua County during those years, and he was in Ellicott (later Carroll and Kiantone) along with all the other Covell/Covill/Coville families. John was 46 years old in the 1850 census, hence would have been 16 years old in the 1820 census. In the 1820 census, the Seth Covell household was the only one of the Covell families in Ellicott that had a son in the age range of 16-18 years.

An 1829 journal of the Holland Land Company shows John Covell resident with Seth Covell on a property in Chautauqua County that was contracted in 1821 to Thomas Covell, a son of Seth. None of the other Covell families of Chautauqua County in that time frame had a John Covell.

Erastus M. b. 1806 or 1807: The 1880 census of Stanton, Dunn Co., WI, shows Erastus' father was born in Massachusetts, and his mother in Rhode Island, the birth places of Seth and Lydia.

George b. 1810: In the 1840 census of Hume, Allegany County, New York, the numbers in the age and sex groups of the household of G. Covell are such that they could be George Covell, Seth B. Covell, Milford Covell, Jemima White (wife of Seth B.), Angeline (wife of George) and Lydia (Sisson) Covell. None of these persons are found elsewhere in the 1840 census.

In the 1850 census of Caneadea, Allegany County New York, the households of George Coville and Seth B. Coville were adjacent.

Seth B. b. 1816: His Certificate and Record of Death names his parents as Seth and Lydia Covell. He was accepted by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a son of Seth and Lydia.

Milford b. 1819: Milford relocated to Iowa between 1852 and 1857 and was in Iowa for all censuses through 1900. In the 1870 census of Wisconsin, Milford's brother Erastus shows two children born in Iowa in the 1860's. We might guess that Erastus was in Iowa with or near his brother Erastus.

References and Notes:

  1. John Covil (sic) and Rejoice Smith were married June 26, 1758. The marriage is recorded on pages 355 and 425 of a manuscript titled, Genealogical Notes of Harwich Families, by Josiah Paine, Harwich, Mass.   Josiah Paine was born September 7, 1836, in Harwich. At about age 20 he began collecting data for a history of the town and its people. By talking to the older folks, he was able to collect, first hand, data going well back into the 1700's. The original manuscript is SG PAI II [222] in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections Department of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.
     

  2. A typewritten transcript of a letter dated January 9th, 1911, from Miss Sarah E. Covell of LeRoy, New York, to a Miss Brown, stated:

    "To John Covell and Rejoice Smith were born three sons, Benjamin, Richard and Seth and eight daughters - their names so far as I know are Lucy, Bethiah, Anna, Betsey."

    From the text of the letter filled with family names and dates, one learns that the author, Miss Sarah E. Covell, is a great granddaughter of Benjamin. She was born April 1, 1839. She wrote:

    "I have always been interested in our family history as was my grandfather [Richard Covell, son of Benjamin] and father [Ichabod Covell] so through them I learned much of their work and their character..."

    The typed transcript of the letter is on LDS FHC Microfilm Number 0230617, one of the several films of the data collection of Ruth Chisholm.
     

  3. Benjamin Covell's service record file can be ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, DC, under the following description: Benjamin Covell, Enlisted in Massachusetts, Number. S.43361, B.L.Wt.2307-100. A transcribed list of Benjamin's children is included herein.
     

  4. Richard Covell's service record file can be ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington, DC, under the following description: Richard Covell, Enlisted in Massachusetts, Number. W.6738. However, the service record file does not include his children. These are found in family records that are included in the great volume of Covell material collected by Ruth Chisholm and available on LDS FHC Microfilm 0230617. A transcribed list of Richard's children is included herein.
     

  5. Seth Covell is named as the son of John Covell in the records of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and in the letter by Sarah E. Covell, described above.
     

  6. Seth is named as the brother of Benjamin Covell (a son of John Covell) in The History of Chautauqua County, New York, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, page 447.
     

  7. Seth is named as the brother of Richard Covell (a son of John Covell) in Richard's service record file, described above.
     

  8. Inscription list of Dale Pioneer Cemetery, Town of Middlebury, Wyoming County, New York, published in Historical Wyoming, January, 1953, Vol. VI, No. 2. Photocopies are available from the Wyoming County Historian, office in Warsaw, New York.
    Seth Covell, d. July 16, 1835, 62y
    Lydia, wife Seth, d. April 27, 1850, 77y
     

  9. Lydia Sisson is stated to be the wife of Seth Covell in The Life and Times of Samuel Gorton, by Adelos Gorton, 1907, pages 375 and 376. Library of Congress Call Number: F82.G71. LDS FHC Microfilm 1036278 Item 3. UMI (ProQuest) G1154. The date of marriage of Seth and Lydia is estimated based on the birthdate of their earliest known child.

    Lydia Sisson is most probably Lydia5 (John4, George Jr.3, George2, Richard1) Sisson, born in Warren, Rhode Island, on July 13, 1774. This is based on the facts that Lydia, the wife of Seth Covell, was born in Rhode Island, that the Rhode Island Sisson family history indicates that all Sissons in early Rhode Island were descendants of the immigrant Richard Sisson, and that Lydia5 is the only known descendant named Lydia born in Rhode Island in the time frame of interest. Reference: Descendants of Richard and Mary Sisson: ten generations from 1608, by Joan and David Sisson, 1999. Library of Congress Call Number: CS71.S619 1999. The Sisson material was generously provided to me by Paula Mason.
     

  10. Western New York Land Transactions, 1804-1824, Extracted from the Archives of the Holland Company, by Karen E. Livsey, 1991, Benjamin Covell, pages 55 and 273.
     

  11. History of Chautauqua County, New York, from its First Settlement to the Present Time; with Numerous Biographical and Family Sketches, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, page 447.
     

  12. Holland Land Company Delinquent Contracts in Chautauqua County, New York, compiled by Lois Barris, 1991, published by the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society. Maps of Lots, Townships, and Ranges for all of Chautauqua County are on pages 144 through 149.
     

  13. New York State Atlas & Gazetteer, published by DeLorme, Yarmouth, Maine, 1998 Edition, includes 79 pages of large, 11 by 15 inches, detailed maps of the state of New York, including the very small village of Fentonville and Conewango Creek on page 40.
     

  14. Genealogical and Family History of Western New York, W. R. Cutter, 1912, Vol. 2, page 534. From the text, it is clear that the data was provided to Cutter by Abel M. Covell, a grandson of Thomas and Laura Roberts Covell.
     

  15. Oramel Cemetery inscriptions, Caneadea Town death records, death certificates, and burial permits compiled by Brenda Ford Miller and presented on the Oramel Cemetery web site.
     

  16. email from Richard Lamb, dated 10/8/2006, Subject: Seth Covell and Family.doc.
     

  17. email from Paul S. Bumpus at the library of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, dated 12/19/2006, Subject: RE: Stephen Hopkins lineage.
     

  18. 1850 Census: South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, Family #36, John Covill (sic), age 46.
     

  19. Petition for Administration. Cattaraugus County, New York, Box 837, deceased, John Covell of the Town of South Valley, October 15, 1854.
     

  20. Barron County, Wisconsin, Registration of Death, Record 23838, Full name of deceased: Helen Louisa Forbush, Name of father of deceased: John Covell, Name of mother of deceased, Serina (sic) Rice, Place of birth of deceased: Carroll, Chautauqua Co., N.Y., Date of birth of deceased: March 7th, 1830, Date of death: May 21, 1890, Date of registration: June 21, 1890.
     

  21. Holland Land Company Delinquent Contracts in Chautauqua County, New York, compiled by Lois Barris, 1991, published by the Chautauqua County Genealogical Society, page 30. The Holland Land Company contract with Thomas Covell is also shown in Western New York Land Transactions, 1804-1824: Extracted from the Archives of the Holland Land Company, Karen E. Livsey, 1991, page 291.
     

  22. Attachment titled, The Family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell: In the 1800-1850 Censuses showing the family of Seth and Lydia (Sisson) Covell in the 1800, 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, and 1850 Censuses.
     

  23. Attachments titled, Children of Benjamin Covell, son of John and Lydia (Sisson) Covel and Children of Richard Covell, son of John and Lydia (Sisson) Covell showing the families of Benjamin Covell and Richard Covell, the only brothers of Seth Covell that grew to adulthood and had children.
     

  24. The year of Erastus' birth is based on his age stated in the federal census. 1850, age 43; 1860, age 54; 1870, age 63; 1880, age 73. Therefore, he was born in either 1806 or 1807.
     

  25. The 1911 obituary of the wife of Erastus Covell stated, "Her husband died in Knapp about 17 years ago." 1911 minus 17 equals 1894. The obituary was printed in the Dunn County (Wisconsin) News on May 11, 1911, under the heading "Deaths." A photocopy was obtained from the Archives of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Area Research Center in Menomonie, Wisconsin.
     

  26. The date of death of Betsey Covell is in a brief note in the May 4, 1911, edition of the Dunn County (Wisconsin) News, under the heading "Wilson." It states that she died on "Tuesday morning." May 4, 1911, was a Thursday, therefore Betsey Covell died on May 2, 1911. All other information about Betsey Covell is in her obituary in the same newspaper a week later, and mentioned in the reference immediately above this.
     

  27. Emma Covell's marriage to Joel McCarty was recorded in the Pepin County, Wisconsin, marriage registrations Vol. 1, on Page 100. Emma's parents are listed as Erastus Covell and Lucy Ann Covell. Joel's parents are listed as Adam McCarty and Lucinda McCarty. Joel's residence was Weston, Dunn County, Wisconsin. The "marriage was consumated" on February 3, 1866, in Durand, Pepin County, Wisconsin. An image of the marriage record is on LDS FHC Microfilm 1266885.
     

  28. Homestead Certificate No. 545, Application 969. Patentee: Erastus M Covell, Issue Date: 4/1/1873, Land Office: Falls St. Croix, Wisconsin. Images of the certificate can be printed from the Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records web site at www.glorecords.blm.gov/     Select "Search Land Patents."
     

  29. The mortgage was recorded in the Grantee Index for the years 1857-1875 of Dunn County, Wisconsin, on December 11, 1873. An image of the Grantee Index record is on LDS FHC Microfilm 1377794, item 2.
     

  30. Erastus Covell's land patent for his homestead property was recorded in the Grantee Index for the years 1875-1881 of Dunn County, Wisconsin, on April 18, 1876. An image of the Grantee Index record is on LDS FHC Microfilm 1377794, item 3.
     

  31. Frank Covell's probate file is Barron County, Wisconsin, Court probate record #97, "The Estate of Frank W. Covell, 1895." An image of the file is on LDS FHC Microfilm 2057110.
     

  32. email from Valerie Windsor, Town of Stanton Clerk-Treasurer, 11/18/2008, RE: Stanton History. She provided the quotation from an article on the history of Stanton, Wisconsin
     

  33. Plat Book of Dunn County, Wisconsin, Published by C.M. Foote & Co., Minneapolis, Minn., 1888. Page 12 shows Erastus Covell's property in Eau Galle but he no longer owned it at the time of the 1888 plat. Page 13 shows Frank Covell's property in Weston that was mentioned in his probate record. Page 16 shows the Covell property in Knapp. Copies of pages can be purchased from the Dunn County Genealogical Society, PO Box 633, Menomonie, WI 54751.
     

  34. The year of George's birth is partly based on his age stated in the federal census; 1850, age 39; 1860, not found; 1870, age 59; 1880, age 70. His year of birth is stated to be 1810 on his gravemarker in Ada Cemetery, Ada, Kent County, Michigan. That is consistent with the census data.

    Note: The Ada Township Cemetery in Kent County, Michigan, was visited and headstones transcribed by the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) on or about November 10, 1925.
     

  35. Gravemarker of George Covell in Ada Cemetery, Ada, Kent County, Michigan.
     

  36. 1900 Census of Ada, Kent County, Michigan, Family #38, Family of George Elkins, grandson of George and Angeline Covell
     

  37. The gravemarkers of George and Angeline Covell are in Ada Cemetery, Ada, Kent County, Michigan.
    George Covell, b. 1810 d. 1889
    Angeline Covell, w. of Geo; b. 1819 d. 1900
     

  38. Ida A. Covell's gravemarker in Ada Cemetery, Kent County, Michigan, is as follows:
    Ida A. Covell
    d. of Geo. and Angeline
    d. Apr. 19, 1879, a. 21y 9m (i.e., b. July 19, 1857)
     

  39. Seth B. Covell's Certificate and Record of Death is "State of New York - Bureau of Vital Statistics: Certificate and Record of Death: Registered No. 28999," It was issued in the village of Oramel, town of Caneadea, Allegany County, New York, date of record July 17, 1896.

by James C. Barton anno Domini 2009.


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