A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Joel Winter CHURCH
Robert M. and Helen C. Search of New Harbor, Maine, in an article titled "Joel Winter Church," published in January 1971, wrote the following:
Joel Winter Church was born in Danbury, Fairfield County, Conn., 27 Feb. 1757, the younger and only surviving son of Asa Church of Stonington, Conn. A blacksmith by trade, Joel Winter was a soldier in the American Revolution even though his father, a Loyalist, "went off with the British Troops at the Time they made an inroad into Danbury in April 1777." The story of Joel Winter's life is typical of many revolutionary veterans. The years of struggle and poverty which they endured for decades after the close of the war, which were brought on to a large extent by the depreciation of the currency, led to the enactment by Congress, 18 March 1818, of an act "to provide for certain persons engaged in the Land and Naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War." The pensions paid under this act would, according to present day standards, be considered exceedingly meager, and yet the National Archives in Washington contains literally thousands of pages of applications and affidavits by and for veterans endeavouring to obtain the benefits of this act, although those "benefits" rarely exceeded eight dollars a month.
On the 24th of March 1778, Joel Winter Church enlisted for a term of three years in the "Company commanded by Cap't Stephan Osborn in the Regiment of Col. Jeduthan Baldwin in the line of the State of Connecticut on the Continental establishment" according to his pension application. The Massachusetts records say:
"Joel W. Church, Danbury - Cap't James Horton's (Conn.) Co., Col. Baldwin's regt of artificers - en Mar. 24, 1778-for 3 yrs. Roll dated - July 20 1780."
Jeduthan Baldwin, a native of Brookfield, Mass., "Col. of Engineers and Lieut. Col. commandant of artificiers" was a remarkable man. A day-by-day account of his activities during the early years of the war, 1775-1778, has been preserved by the De Burians of Bangor, Maine, who had his diary printed in 1906. His regiment, the forerunner of the Army Corps of Engineers, was composed of companies enlisted in Massachusetts and in Connecticut. Col. Baldwin had under his command artificers of almost every description from carpenters and masons to miners and sappers. The diary reveals Col. Baldwin's infinite attention to detail in his supervision of the work done by his men.
The diary ends just about the time Joel Winter Church enlisted in Danbury. From other sources we can trace the movements of Baldwin's artificers during most of the three years Joel Winter Church served in the regiment. In his application for a pension Joel states that he was in Col. Baldwin's Regiment throughout the three years "except that he was occasionally attached to an Artillery Corps at Morristown in New Jersey". The winter of 1779-1780 in Morristown, where General Washington gathered his troops from the Middle and Southern States, was probably more severe than the more publicized winter at Valley Forge. The conditions were almost unbelievable. There was insufficient shelter, many of the men having to sleep in tents while the weather was unusually rigorous. Bitter cold, high winds, and snow drifts four to six feet high made life miserable for the men. They had no warm clothing and boots were unobtainable. Their food supply gave out soon after Christmas and the men ate "horse's food-except for hay" making bread from the feed intended for the horses.
In the fall of 1780 Baldwin's Artificers were at West Point where, on Oct. 2d, Major John Andre was executed as a spy. It is said that Andre's coffin was made by them.
Joel Winter Church was discharged from the Army in March 1781 at Fishkill, New York. He seems to have returned to Danbury and within a few years to have married Beulah, maiden name unknown, who was born, according to the census records and Joel's application for a pension, about 1764. [NOTE: Other sources show his wife to have been Beulah Barnum (1764-1834)].
On 6 Oct. 1787, Joel Winter Church mortgaged his homestead in Danbury to Elisha Whittelsey for the sum of £17.4s.10d. This is a rather strange amount for the mortgage on a property that had, only five years earlier, been appraised at £80.
"Winter Church" is shown in the 1790 Census in Danbury as the head of a family consisting of three males over sixteen, two males under sixteen and three females. Joel Winter was then thirty-three years old. He was certainly one of the males over sixteen; the other two could not have been his sons. However, there are several members of this family unaccounted for in this census so it is possible that these two other males may have been Joel's uncle, Elias, and the latter's son John. The two males under 16 were probably Joel's sons Oliver L. and another who died before 1800. It is known that Hannah (Curtice) Church, Joel Winter's mother was alive in 1790-presumably living in her "eastern end" of the homestead-so the three females were probably the mother, his wife Beulah and his daughter Lucy.
Hannah (Curtice) Church seems to have died intestate early in 1791. Joel Winter Church was appointed administrator of her estate 10 February of that year, with Nathan Gregory as his surety in the sum of fl50. On 4 Aug. 1791 Nathan Gregory and Timothy Taylor took an inventory of Hannah's personal effects: "An inventory taken by, us Persons under Oath of the Real and Personal Estate of Widow Hannah Church...." There is, however, no mention of real estate. The total ' fl23.10s.2d, consists largely of clothing and jewelry: "1 Black Bonnet, 3 Caps with lace borders, 4 old caps ... 1 fan, 1 Gold ring, 1 tortis [!] ring, 1 pr old Silver Sleave Buttons, 1 pr Green Glass Specticles, 1 looking glass etc." There is a certain amount of linen and some furniture but the general impression given is that it was the inventory of a well-dressed woman.
The appraisors included in their inventory of the estate, which they represented as insolvent, a list of creditors:
To Joel Winter Church, £27.17s.8d; Doct. Sallue Pell, 18s.8d and Doct. John Wood, £1.16s.0d. Total £30.6s.4d.
Other charges reduced the estate by £2.17s.6d "which makes 13/7 on the pound which the Administrator is directed to pay." On August 20th Judge Joseph P. Cooke appointed Timothy Taylor, Nathan Gregory and Ebenezer Benedict, Jr., "to make a just Appraisement, under oath, of that part of the Dwelling House and Homelot which was set off to Hannah Church late of Danbury deceased as Dower in the estate of her late husband Asa Church late of Danbury deceased." They did so two days later, placing a value of £15 on the real estate even though eleven years earlier it was given a value of £33.6s.8d. This £15 rendered the estate solvent although there is no indication of this in the records.
Joel Winter Church appears on the Danbury Tax List in 1793, 1794 and 1795. On 8 April 1796 he paid off his mortgage to Elisha Whittelsey and the next day sold to Seth Comstock and Elijah Gregory, both of Danbury, for £200 his homestead "with a House and Shop thereon Standing, containing one acre be the same more or less-the Shop stands partly on the Highway and partly on Said Asel Benedict land-and partly on my own land." Mary Whittelsey and Elisha Whittelsey were the witnesses to Joel Winter's signature. This is the last reference to Joel Winter Church found on the Danbury records. No one of the name of Church is listed as head of a household in Danbury in the 1800 Census.
However, Joel W. Church is shown in that census in South East, New York, and in the 1810 Census in Patterson; both towns, then in Dutchess County, are now in Putnam County. By 1820 the Churches were living in Pawling in the south-east corner of the modem Dutchess County where Joel Winter died 10 April 1834, aet. 77.
As a resident of Pawling on 30 June 1829 Joel Winter Church applied for a pension under the Act of 1818. He had applied earlier but "from a deficiency in his proof and in the place of making the same his application was not allowed." In the 1829 petition to the Court of Common Pleas at Poughkeepsie, Joel Winter stated his service in the Revolution, adding that he was dependent on his trade as a blacksmith for himself and his family and that his financial condition had not changed since 1818. This "condition" is revealed in the inventory submitted with the application:
Real Estate I have none - Personal Estate, Wearing apparel and bedding excepted: one table, 6 chairs, 6 Cups & saucers, 6 knives & forks, One pitcher, 3 Glasses, 1 Tea Kettle, one hoe, 1 Broken vice, 2 riviting tools, one pot, one kettle, 6 Bowls, 2 jugs, 1 pair Andirons, One chest, 2 spades, 4 hammers, 1 pr Blacksmiths Bellows, 8 fowls, 1 pig, one frying pan, one spyder, 6 plates, One pint cup, 4 Bottles, Shovel and Tongs, 1 Axe, 1 Anvil, 4 pr. Blacksmiths tongs - all of which are old and principally poor
And the deponent further says that his family consists of himself and Beulah his wife aged sixty-five years sickly and infirm and his son David K. Church aged twenty-three years who occasionally lives with him is in feeble health and has no property And deponent has nothing but his trade to maintain himself and family. Sworn in open Court June 30, 1829 Henry I. Traver, Clerk //signed// Joel W. Church
Appended to this application is an affidavit signed by "James Hor-ton, Cap't Artificers" certifying that Joel Winter Church belonged to his "Company of Artificers both taken an oath to be true & faithful to these United States of America."
Joel Winter Church appears, as a pensioner on the rolls of New York State, 3 Oct. 1829, at the rate of eight dollars a month. He does not, however, seem to have received the pension. In March 1852 Abijah B. Church, son of Joel Winter, made out an affidavit in Romulus, Seneca County, New York, in an effort to be appointed administrator of his father's estate. He claimed that a sum not ex-ceeding $444 was due the estate in back pensions. This amount is equal to what would have been paid from 1829 to the date of Joel Winter's death. In this document Abijah states that his father left a widow "him surviving" and the following children "this deponent [Abijah], Lucy Lane, Rhoda B. Schooley, residing in the aforesaid Town of Romulus, Oliver L. Church and, David K. Church." For some reason this paper was not signed but was sent to Washington and is now in the National Archives.
On 12 March 1852 Abijah B. Church wrote a letter, which seems to be in his own handwriting, to John Rankin, Jr. The script and context of the letter indicate that Abijah had had the advantages of a good education.
Assuming that the children shown in Joel Winter's family are his, it is possible with the aid of Abijah's affidavit of 1852 and the Census Records, to reconstruct Joel's family as follows:
i. Oliver L., b. between 1774 and 1784, shown in the 1790 Census as one of two males under 16; in the 1800 Census as the one male 16-26 and in the 1810 Census in Patterson, N. Y., as the head of his own family; living, 1852.
ii. A son, b. before 1790; d. before 1800.
iii. Lucy, b. between 1784 and 1790, the girl 10-16 in the 1800 Census and 16-26 in 1810; mar. by, 1820 (when she is not shown in her father's family) _?_ Lane; living in Romulus in 1852.
iv. Abijah B., b. between 1790 and 1794, shown as the boy under 10 in 1800; 10-16 in 1810 and still in his father's family; mar. before 1825 when his oldest son, Daniel, was born. The name of his first wife, by whom he had eight children, is not known. He is shown in the 1860 Census of Romulus, aged 67, with wife Eliza aged 38, and five
v. A daughter, b. 1790-1800, and dead before 1810.
vi. A daughter (ibid.).
vii. Rhoda B., the girl under 10 in 1810; mar. by 1920 (when she no longer is shown in her father's family) _?_ Schooley; living in Romulus in 1852.
viii. David K., b. about 1806; said by his father to be 23 years old in 1829; and unmar.; living (not in Romulus) in 1852.
| HOME | EMAIL | SURNAMES |
Guide to the Genealogy of the Barnum/Barnam/Barnham Family Worldwide
©1998, 2012. The
format of this website and all original statements and narrative included on it
are copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Factual information may be freely
quoted for use in private genealogical research when accompanied by a full
source citation, including the date of acquisition. Click here to view the format of
a citation for an Internet resource. The publication of large extracts from
this site in any form requires prior written consent.
BACK TO TOP
Page built by Gedpage Version 2.21 ©2009 on 05 May 2013