14 November 2009

Richard Newcomb (b. 1811)

Is there a mixup among two Richard Newcombs, their parents, and their wives?

According to B.M. Newcomb, Elisha Newcomb (#189, b. 1776 d. 1848) married Phebe Thayer. They had a son named Richard (#529) born in 1811. He married Jane F. Homans, daughter of Treston and Hannah, a second marriage for both. BMN does not list their children.

Also according to BMN, Elisha Newcomb (#174 b. 1774) married Phebe Atkins Newcomb (his third, her second). They had a son named Richard (#485) born 28 Jan 1811. He married, first Sarah Currier, second Martha. BMN lists five children for this Richard Newcomb.

So, we have (possibly) two Richards, both born in 1811, both with parents named Elisha and Phebe, both with more than one marriage.

Richard #529 had a brother named Sylvanus. Richard #485 had a son named Sylvanus.

In the 1850 census, Richard #485 (identified by his two surviving children living with him) is in the same household with Jane F. Homan, age 28, born in New Hampshire. Also in the household are William A. Homan, age 28, Lucy Homan age 7 and William A. Homan age 5. Richard's occupation is  fisherman. In the 1860 census, there is a Richard Newcomb, fish dealer age 48, born in Massachusetts, with Jane F. Newcomb age 37, born in New Hampshire, and William A. Homans, age 15, as well as Lemuel W. Newcomb (son of Richard #484). Is this really Richard #174, as BMN would suggest, or is it Richard #485? I tend to think that the Richard (#485) who was living in the same household with the Homans family would be the same Richard who later married Jane.

It would be easy for JBM to have confused the two Richards, since they were both born the same year and had parents with the same first names, and they all lived in Massachusetts. However, if we believe JBM was confused, we still don't know which Richard actually belongs to which parents. It's also possible there was only one Richard, accidentally attributed to two different families because of the parents' similar names. There are other Richard Newcombs with wives named Martha, but those I have identified in the census so far are not either of the Richards in question.

While BMN gives the impression that Jane's maiden name was Homans, looking at the census records makes it seem that it was her married name. On Ancestry.com, "Massachusetts Marriages 1633-1850" lists the marriage of William A. Homans to Jane J. Fall, 25 Jan 1843, Ipswich, Essex Co.

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