A Genealogy of the Barnum, Barnam and Barnham Family

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A One-Name Study for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname



Notes for Oliver CASTLE


Oliver Castle was born 1 June 1786, Roxbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, son of Oliver Castle and Thankful Strong. His father, Oliver died that same year, so young Oliver never had an opportunity to know him. His father left his silver shoe buckles to Oliver in his will. His mother remarried to Joel Bacon, Baptist Clergyman on 11 Sept 1788. Oliver had an older brother, Amos, three half-sisters, Sarah, Lucy and Cynthia, and one half-brother, Joel Jr., who were the children of Thankful and Joel. They may have lived somewhere near Middletown, Connecticut, as they all appear on the 1790 census of Middletown. In 1793 Joel and Daniel Bacon and their families moved into North Lansing, Cayuga County, New York, where Joel became a farmer near Lansingville. Joel had been a Baptist minister and apparently Oliver and Amos were brought up in that ministry also. They appear, again, in the Milton, Cayuga County, New York census. Oliver must have met a Hiram Southwell near there, and also his future wife, Charity Barnum, whom he married 10 June 1805. She was the daughter of Abel Barnum and Hannah Sherwood of Genoa, New York. Charity was b. 29 Feb 1788 Ridgefield, (Stratford), Fairfield County, Connecticut. In 1803 a hurricane passed over the area of Hartland, Niagara County, New York, destroying everything in it's path for a width of 1/2 mile. Oliver and an Isaac Southwell settled on that windfall. Oliver cleared the land with the assistance of his wife and Southwell. They cut trees and put up a small log house, which they occupied for a number of years before building a farmhouse. In 1805 Oliver purchased land on the Holland Land Purchase, Township 15, Range 5 (Hartland, Niagara County, New York), then part of Cambria. His farm was located about 1-1/2 miles southwest of Johnson's Creek. The farm remained the property of the Castle Family until the Spring of 1878. On that farm there existed an ancient earthwork built by the Indians many years earlier. That information appears in the Niagara County Histories. Oliver was one of the first settlers there, and the first preacher on the Holland Land Purchase. he was not ordained, but united with the Christian Church at Orangeport and also the First Christian Church at Royalton and Hartland, at the age of 19. There is now a plaque noting that at Orangeport Church. Oliver was elected as one of the four town assessors in Cambria on 3 Apr 1810. He died 3 Dec 1812 at the age of 26, much like his father, who died at the age of 25. He is buried in Hartland Central Cemetery, Hartland, New York. There was no will and no mention of the cause of death at this early age. There were no apparent epidemics but the War of 1812 was in progress and the cause could have been an Indian skirmish although Oliver, being a preacher, was unlikely to have been involved in the war, at least, voluntarily. His estate was administered by his sons and his wife, Charity. Charity remarried, to Dexter P. Sprague. She died 16 Jun 1858 and her son Ezra, the only living child (his brother Amos having died in 1838) inherited Charity and Oliver's estate. Children: Amos, b. abt. 1806 in Hartland, Niagara County, New York; Ezra, b. 19 Aug 1808 in Hartland; Elizabeth, b. 1810-1812, died young, buried in Hartland Central Cemetery, Hartland.

References: Niagara County History Letter; Obituaries; Cyclopedia of Biographies, Niagara County, New York; The History of Hartland, New York; Holland Land Purchase by Turner; Amos N's will; Oliver's will; Thankful's will; Cemetery visit; Charity's Deed Proving heirs; L & P records; Land Map, Niagara County Office; Barbour Collection of Vital Records; The History of the Orangeport United Church of Christ.
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