A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Asa 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:
Asa Church, born in Coventry, Windham County, Conn., 29 Feb. 1736, was one of the ten children of Daniel and Eunice (Winter) Church now known to have been living when, in 1750, the family removed to Kent. Eunice, Daniel's first wife and the mother of all his children, died that winter and the following September Daniel married the widow Elizabeth (Starr) Mygatt of Danbury, to which town Daniel and some of his family removed within a few years. Asa seems to have been one of the children who moved to Danbury with his father. It is known that he owned land in Danbury but the destruction of the town records by the British in April 1777 makes it impossible to trace his transactions. On 17 July 1755 Asa Church married, in Sharon, Conn., Hannah Curtice. Elias, the oldest of Daniel Church's sons, remained in Kent when the family went to Danbury. There is an unusual entry on the Kent Land Records recorded 25 June 1762 by Robert Ranson, Register. It does not deal with land, therefore it would seem that it was recorded at the special behest of Elias Church who, for some reason, wished it to be a matter of public record that he had repaid in kind his brother Asa what was owed him:
Know all men by these presents that I Elias Church of Kent in Litchfield County Do for ye Consideration of ten pounds Lawfull money Deliver unto Asa Church for a debt ye said Asa - Church hath against me of ten pounds one three year old Colt of a whitish coller Both Passes [paces] and trots for his own use and behoof as my own proper Estate for ye consideration before written in Confirmation whereof I sign this Bill in presents of us Benjamin Skiff, Amos Chappel //signed// Elias Church
The only deed concerning Asa Church found on the Danbury Land Records is dated 27 Jan. 1777 although it was not recorded until 15 March 1785, eight years after the burning of Danbury. In this deed, which is a mortgage deed from his brother Caleb on the latter's homestead, Asa joins with his brother, acting as Caleb's surety, on a note to "Major David Starr and the rest of the School Commity of sd Danbury for payment of thirty pounds lawful money on interest for money the sd Caleb Church borrowed of sd Committee some time in the spring of the year 1774".
Asa Church's brother-in-law, Benjamin Starr, was stricken with camp fever while serving in the army before White Plains. He obtained leave of absence but died 3 Sept. 1776 before reaching home. On the 14th of the following November, Asa Church and his sister, Christiana Starr, were appointed Administrators of Benjamin's estate. They were held in a bond of £1,000, Daniel Church signing the bond with them. The inventory, dated 24 December of that year, showed a total of real and personal property amounting to £265.8s.7d. After the payment of debts due and the usual expenses there was left only £15.8s.1d. "clear" which the Court ordered paid to the "wid. Christiany Starr." The real estate was distributed to the widow and children 3 April 1777. Later that same month guardians were appointed for the children, all of whom were under age at that time. Asa Church was appointed guardian of Benjamin Starr, Jr., whose date of birth is not known and who seems to have died before 1792. Caleb Church acted as bondsman for Asa in the sum of £100. Asa served as bondsman in the adoption of three of the other children-each in the sum of £100. In this same month, April 1777, Asa deserted to the British when they invaded Danbury.
Christiana (Church) Starr, with her twin sister, Triphena, was born in Coventry, Windham County, Conn., 17 Sept. 1745. She was, therefore, only thirty-one years old when her husband died. Benjamin and Christiana were the parents of ten children, three of whom, triplets, died at birth. On 9 Sept. 1782 Christiana married Josiah Rockwell by whom she had several more children. After the death of her second husband she lived with a daughter in Yonkers, N. Y., where she died about 1811.
The records show that in the March 1778 session of the Assembly: Hannah Church-of Danbury, the wife of Asa Church, late of Danbury, showed the Governor and Council that her husband had joined the British Army and was then in New York and that she had no estate to support her; and prayed for liberty to go to New York to her husband. The Governor and Council gave her liberty to go to New York, with such necessary apparel as the Committee of Inspection of said Danbury shall think proper; and General Silliman was directed to grant a flag or passport to said Hannah accordingly.
In May of 1782 Hannah Church again appealed to the Assembly: Upon the Memorial of Hannah Church of Danbury Shewing to this Assembly that Asa Church her late Husband went off with the British Troops at the Time they made an inroad into Danbury in April 1777 and soon after died in New York, that agreeable to the Law then in force his moveable Estate was Seized and disposed of for the Benefit of the Public and all his real Estate order to be leased out by which means she was deprived of the Improvement of any part of said Estate towards her support and the Honest Creditors debarred of recovering their just Debts, that her only surviving Son early entered into the Service of his Country where he faithfully Served for three Years and was then discharged and that the real Estate of her said Husband which is but small value has never been adjudged forfeit to the State and thereupon Praying said Estate may be settled according to Law as Per Petition on File - Resolved by this Assembly that the Court of Probate for the District of Danbury be and the said Court is Hereby Authorized and directed to grant Administration on the Estate of the said Asa Church Deceasd which has not already been disposed of agreeable to Law and order the Same to be settled in the Same manner as Intestate Estates by Law are ordered to be Settled."
As a result of this petition, Caleb Church was appointed, 27 July 1782, administrator of his brother's estate with John Trowbridge of Danbury as surety in the "penal sum of £200 Lawfull money." There are ten original papers relating to this estate on file in the Connecticut State Library. Asa seems to have been more prosperous than the other members of his family. There, thirty-five debts, all of them small, are listed as due the estate. Eight of them are against other estates; some of them may have been the result of his blacksmithing. The fact that he was a blacksmith is shown in the inventory and it was probably in his father's shop that Joel Winter learned the trade. Asa's two older brothers, Elias and Caleb, were both indebted to him, and the inventory shows that his younger brother "Daniel Church of Lee, Mass." owed him 15s. The total inventory of Asa's estate amounted to £55.18s.2d, £100 being in real estate. In view of Hannah Church's statement that Asa's personal estate had been expropriated and that his real estate was of "little value" this seems rather a large inventory. It is hard to understand why Asa was the only member of his family to remain loyal to the King.
The Distribution of the Estate of Asa Church Late of Danbury Deceased Set out to the widow Hannah Church Relict of sd Deced-the East End of the House the lower and upper rooms and with one half the Seller also set out 50 Rods of Ground, said Land running North from the South East Comer Eight Rods by the widow Benedict Land, then running westerly Nine Rods & 1/2 by sd widow Benedict's Land then Southerly 4 Rods to a stake, one rode North of the Barn, then running Easterly to a Larg Appel Tree 4 rods through sd House then running 3 Rods Easterly to the first mentioned stake, it being the whole of the sd widows Part in the real Estate which makes £33.6s.8d. Set out in moveable Estate £17.9s.5d. Which makes the whole of the widow's thirds £51.6s.1d. Set of to Joel Winter Church two shears in sd Estate viz Remaind of sd House & Lot with barn which makes also set of the sd Church the River Lot at in Moveable Estate which makes the whole of sd House & Lot with barn which makes £46.13s.4d. also set of the sd Church the River Lot at £20.0s.0d. in Moveable Estate £3.1s.8d. which makes the whole of sd Winter's part £69.15s.0d. Set of to Hannah's the wife of Joshua Porter in moveables £34.17s.6d. it being the whole of sd Hannah Part in said Estate. Dated in Danbury 10 feb. 1783 and signed by John Trowbridge and Noble Benedict, Distributors.
Two weeks after Caleb Church's mortgage to Asa was recorded, 1 April 1785: "Hannah Church widow & Relict to Asa Church late of Danbury, decd and Joel Winter Church only surviving male heir to the Estate of sd Asa, decd" signed a release of the mortgage the estate held against Caleb.
| 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