This week’s blogging prompt is the State of New York. Blog about an ancestor or your families connection to New York. If you don’t have any connections to New York, find a New York resource useful for genealogy research to highlight and write about. This week’s prompt runs from 3/17/2013 – 3/23/2013. If you choose to follow along, I would appreciate a mention to the Hidden Genealogy Nuggets website.
Abel Ford is another one of my favorite ancestors. He was born in Sharon, CT on August 28, 1745. He had six brothers and sisters- David, Johnathan, Jesse, Eliab, Polly, and Isaac. Their parents were Jesse Ford and Mary Crooker. They were originally from Pembroke, MA. Their ancestor, Widow Ford, was one of the first settlers of Plymouth Colony. She came to Plymouth Colony on The Fortune in 1621.
Abel lived in Sharon, CT until the mid to late 1850’s. This was the time of the French and Indian Wars. In 1757, Abel’s father Jesse rode his horse from Sharon, Connecticut to Fort William. Jesse died at Fort Stanwix in 1758 when Abel was just about 13 years old. Sharon, CT was a small town that had some Indian troubles. This may have been why the family moved to Canaan, NY.
Abel Ford and Abigail Skinner were married on December 8, 1768 in Amenia, Dutchess County, NY. Reuben, Zilpha, and Stephen, three of their children, were born before the United States declared its independence from England.
Abel Ford supported his young country and voluntarily took up arms in the militia against England. A large portion of the United States Army was made up of militia. Militia were part-time soldiers who joined for short periods of time to defend against England.
In 1776, Abel was in Captain Ebenezer Benjamin Company. He went with the company to Fort Edward and from there he marched to Johnston. He was dismissed in the fall after serving for at least one month.
In July of 1777, Abel was again called to service. He served as an Orderly Sergeant in Captain Benjamin’s Company. The lieutenant was Jonathan Ford (Abel’s brother); the 2nd lieutenant was John Muncey. One of the privates in his company was John Castle. In John Castle’s pension file, he remembers serving under Orderly Sergeant Abel Ford. He was dismissed after serving for about a month.
In the fall of 1777, he was again called up and volunteered. He was sent to Bemis Heights where British General Burgoyne was poised to attack. He was engaged in the action at this time. General Burgoyne eventually ended up in defeat and lost the battle. This helped Benjamin Franklin secure the cooperation of France to enter into the American conflict on behalf of the American colonists. Abel served during this time until two or three days before General Burgoyne surrendered.
The state of New York was looking to raise money for the war effort. In 1779, during the middle of the war The King’s District part of Albany County imposed a tax. For most residents, it was a 20% tax. Abel’s real estate property was valued at 40 pounds. His personal estate was valued at 19 pounds. The tax in which he had to pay was 11 pounds, 16 shillings.
Abel served at another time, again at Bemis Heights under Colonial Waterman.
In May of 1780, he served as a sergeant in Captain John Davis’ company. Colonial W. B. Whiting gave the following order to Captain John Davis. “The enemy are on the march towards our frontier. You are therefore hereby ordered to cause one-half of your company to march forthwith to Johnstown with eight days’ provision, well armed and accoutered, there to receive further orders.” Abel served for at least another month during this time. Abel recalled that he went to Cherry Valley whilst under Captain Davis’ command. It appears more likely that he went to Cherry Valley while attached to James Phelps command.
At yet one more time, he served under Captain James Phelps Company for about two months. During this time, he was engaged in pursuing tories, and kept guard at a place between Kinderhook and Albany.
After the Revolutionary War, Abel returned to live in Canaan, Columbia County, New York. On September 30, 1793, Abel leased lot 202, which contained 160 acres in the town of Rensselaerville. Stephen Van Resselaer in an attempt improve his land offered land free of use for seven years. After that, if someone wanted to remain there, they need to pay annually 22 and a half bushels of wheat, a days service with carriage and horses and 4 fat fowls.
In 1810, Abel and Abigail Ford were living with their son Reuben and his family. On July 3, 1813, Abel’s wife of 44 years died in Rensselaerville. She is buried in Scutt Cemetery in Preston Hollow, New York. In 1820 and 1830, Abel was living with his son Salmon in Rensselaerville, New York.
For revolutionary war veterans the United Sates Congress passed a Pension Act of 1818. Abel did not qualify under this act, but many veterans of the war did. You needed to have served for at least nine months. Abel had served only about 7 months.
Another act of the United States Congress in 1832 enabled Revolutionary War more war veterans to receive a pension. This act allowed veterans who served at least six months to receive a pension.
On August 13, 1832, Abel Ford appeared before Joseph B. Moore, a judge of the county courts on the county of Albany and the state of New York. He recalled for the judge the times in which he served and with whom his officers he served under. Old age had affected his ability to remember the details of each time he served. He could no longer write his name because he had lost his sight and become disabled. He was awarded a pension of 23 dollars, 33 cents per year.
On May 24, 1835, Abel Ford died at the age of 89 in Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York. He is buried in Scutt Cemetery in Preston Hollow, New York.
Children of Abel Ford and Abigail Skinner
1. Reuben Ford, 6-Oct-1771 in Canaan, New York, d. 25-Nov-1856 in Preston Hollow, New York, m. Eunice Parke, b. About 1775, d. 7-Jul-1857 in Preston Hollow, New York, both are buried in Scutt Cemetery in Preston Hollow, New York.
2. Zilpha Ford, b. 7-Apr-1774, d. Unknown
3. Stephen Ford, b. 29-Apr-1776 in New Canaan, New York, d. 9-Mar-1852 in German, Chenango County, New York
4. Samatha Ford, b. 15-Oct-1780, d. unknown
5. Abigail Ford, b. 27-Feb-1783, d. 23-Jan-1864 in Mt. Upton, New York
6. Salmon Ford, b. 7-Jun-1786, d. 18-Aug-1855, he is buried in Scutt Cemetery in Preston Hollow, New York.
7. Lovina Ford, 10-Aug-1788 in Canaan, Columbia County, New York, d. 3-Aug-1822
1. 1790 US Census, Canaan, Columbia County, New York, Household of Abel Ford, Series: M637 Roll: 6 Page: 220
2. 1800 US Census, Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York, Household of Abel Ford, Series: M32 Roll: 22 Page: 86
3. 1800 US Census, Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York, Household of Reuben Ford, Series: M32 Roll: 22 Page: 89
4. 1810 US Census, Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York, Household of Reuben Ford, Series: M252 Roll: 26 Page: 81
5. 1820 US Census, Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York, Household of Reuben Ford, Series: M33 Roll: 63 Page: 33
6. 1820 US Census, Rensselaerville, Albany County, New York, Household of Salmon Ford, Series: M33 Roll: 63 Page: 33
7. 1840 US Census,
8. 1850 US Census,
9. Cemetery Transcription of Scutt Cemetery, Preston Hollow, Albany County, New York, http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ny/albany/cemeteries/scutt.txt – http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ny
Abigail w/ Abel Ford d.7-3-1813 61 yrs.
Abel Ford d. 5-21-1835 90 yrs.
Nancy ? w/Solomon Ford d.5-20-1846 51yrs. 10 mo. 11 da.
Solomon Ford d. 8-16-1855 69 yrs. 2 mo. 9da.
Reuben Ford d. 11-25-1865 85yr. 1mo. 19da.
Eunice ? w/ Rueben Ford d.7-7-1857 83yr. 2mo.
10. Picture: Abel Ford Gravestone
11. Revolutionary War Pension Application File of Abel Ford, Series: M805 Roll: 329 Image: 110 File: S10688
12. Revolutionary War Pension Application File of John Castle, Series: M805 Roll: 170 Image: 213 File: W23834
13. Transcription of Page 2 of he January 30, 1889 issue of the “Chatham Courier.” http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/county/columbia/docs/marching_orders.htm
14. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ancestral File (R), Copyright (c) 1987, June 1998, data as of 5 January 1998.
A few New York Genealogy Links
- New York Genealogical & Biographical Society
- Central New York Genealogical Society
- Western New York Genealogical Society
- Western New York Historical Society
- New York State Archives
- New York State Library
New York Newspaper Archives at Genealogy Bank