Thursday, April 28, 2016

Polly (Bagg) Bush and Her Family, part 1



When Sophia Bagg (c 1791-1859) left bequests in her will1 to the children of her sister Polly, she also left a legacy to me. Thanks to Sophia’s will and the 1861 inventory of her possessions made following her death2, I have been able to trace the lives of Polly and her family.

Sophia, Polly, Stanley and Abner Bagg were the children of Phineas Bagg and Pamela Stanley of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, my four-times great-grandparents through Stanley. In this post and the next one, I’m going to look at Polly, the eldest, and her children and grandchildren. 

Polly Bagg (1785-1856), was born in Massachusetts or Connecticut.3 She married Massachusetts-born William Bush and they settled in West Haven, Vermont, not far from the southern tip of Lake Champlain. Perhaps Polly and William Bush had difficulty making ends meet in the early years of their marriage. A letter written in August 1824 by her brother Abner indicated that he was sending Polly a bag of wool, “a present to a poor unfortunate sister.”4  

Polly’s four children were Pamelia Ann, Mary Sophia, William Stanley and Phineas Bagg.5
 
Part of the 1861 inventory of the estate of Sophia Bagg, widow of Gabriel Roy.
The two Bush daughters had very different lives, with Mary Sophia living in Quebec as a French-speaking Catholic and Pamelia Ann settling in Oregon. Neither was able to attend the 1860 inventory of their aunt’s will: Mary Sophia was already dead, and Pamelia lived too far away. Pamelia’s brother Phineas Bagg Bush represented Pamelia at this 1861 family gathering. Sophia had left Pamelia 200 pounds, about $5,400 U.S. in today’s currency.

Sophia and her husband, Montreal-area landowner Gabriel Roy,6 adopted Polly’s daughter Mary Sophia Bush (c 1815-1841) and brought her up in their St. Laurent home. In 1835, Mary Sophia Roy Bush married Louis Charles Lambert Dumont (1806-1841), the seigneur of Milles-Îles. He was the owner of a vast territory of forests, mountains, rivers and farms in what was basically a feudal system of land ownership in Quebec prior to 1854. 

Both Mary Sophia and her husband died suddenly, on separate dates, in 1841. Their only child, Marguerite Virginie Lambert Dumont (1838-1874), who was just three years old at the time, became heir to the seigneurie. She was brought up by a notary in the town of Saint-Eustache, north of Montreal. When she was 15, she married her cousin, Charles Auguste Maximilien (CAM) Globensky (1830-1906). Virginie had eight children and died at age 36.

Virginie and husband C.A.M. Globensky are portrayed in this painting, located behind the altar of the Catholic church in Saint-Eustache.
Polly’s other daughter, Pamelia Ann (1812-1880),7 had a much longer life, but no children. The inventory of Sophia’s will identified her as the wife of John W. York, a Methodist Episcopal minister in Oregon.

The 1840 U.S. Federal Census showed that Pamelia was no longer living in Vermont with her parents at that time. The Early Oregonian8 indicates that Pamelia had a first husband, George Quinton, but I have so far been unable to find a marriage record, place of residence or his date of death. 

In 1847, she married clergyman John W. York in Marion, Illinois. Born in Georgia in 1801, John W. York had previously lived in Missouri and he had been married twice before.9 According to the 1850 census, he had three teenage daughters.10

In 1852, Pamelia and John moved to Oregon, settling in Corvallis, Benton County. Corvallis was located on busy transportation route and was a growing town.11 John was admitted to the Oregon Conference and worked as a minister there for many years, travelling the area circuits and overseeing the construction of a new church.

In the 1880 census, Pamelia was listed as an invalid and she died that December. John died in 1884. Both are buried in Mount Union Cemetery, Philomath, Benton County, Oregon.12
 
I will write about brothers William Stanley Bush and Phineas Bagg Bush in my next post.

See also:
Polly Bagg Bush: A Surprise Sister, Writing Up the Ancestors, May 23, 2014

The Doomed Marriage of Mary Sophia Roy Bush and Louis Charles Lambert Dumont, Writing Up the Ancestors, Jan. 27, 2015, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2015/01/sophia-mary-roy-bush-and-louis-charles.html

Marguerite Virginie Globensky, Writing Up the Ancestors, Jan. 27, 2015, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2015/01/the-story-of-marguerite-virginie.html

Notes and Footnotes
1. Notary J.A. Labadie, 18 mai, 1856, #14278, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

2. Notary Leo Labadie, 28 January, 1861, #6248, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

3. I previously believed that Polly (Mary was probably her real name) was born in Pittsfield, MA, however, Pamelia told the census-takers in 1880 that her mother was born in Connecticut. This makes sense because Polly’s mother, Pamela Stanley, was from Litchfield, CT, and the two towns are not far apart. I have not found any record of Polly’s birth or marriage, only census records and a photo of her gravestone.

4. This letter is in Abner Bagg’s letterbook, PO70/B1, the Bagg Family Fonds, held at the McCord Museum in Montreal.

5. Searches on www.ancestry.ca for William Bush in the 1820, 1830 and 1840 United States Federal Census show the family living in West Haven, Rutland, Vermont. In 1830, there were only five people in this household rather than the expected two adults and four children; Mary Sophia had already gone to live with her aunt in Lower Canada.

6. I have yet to find photographs or portraits of any of these individuals except for Virginie. Sophia and Gabriel Roy must have had their portraits done, so if you come across images of any of these people, please contact me at janhamilton66@gmail.com.

7. Pamelia appears in records and censuses as Pamelia Ann Bush (most likely her correct name at birth), Amelia Bush, Permilia Duinton, Pamelia Ann Bush York, Parmelia York, P.A. York and Pamelia A. York. In her will, Sophia referred to her as Ann, so perhaps that is the name she usually used.

8. Oregon Secretary of State, “Pamelia Ann Bush,” Early Oregonian Search, https://secure.sos.state.or.us/prs/profile.do?ancRecordNumber=100338, accessed April 23, 2016.

9. “Oregon Conference,” Minutes of the Annual Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church. Spring Conferences of 1884. New York: Phillips and Hunt, 1884, p. 334, https://googlebooks.ca, accessed April 24, 2013.

10. The 1850 U.S. Federal Census on Ancestry.ca showed John W. York, 48, farmer, and Parmelia York, 38, living in District 68, Clinton, Illinois. With them were Martha York, 19, Ann York, 17, and Emily York, 15. Also with them were Nathan Dougherty, 22 and Andrew Carr, 20. I don’t know who these young men were, perhaps farm workers. 

11. For more information about the history of Corvallis, Oregon, see the website of the Benton County Historical Society, http://www.bentoncountymuseum.org/index.php/research/benton-county-history/

12. Pamelia Ann Bush York, Find a Grave, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25056543&ref=acom, accessed April 23 2016.



Friday, April 15, 2016

Lucie Bagg’s Mother, Ruth Langworthy



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Researching the story of Lucie Bagg, the daughter of my four-times great-grandfather Phineas Bagg, was complicated, but writing about Lucie’s mother has been even more challenging. I was even confused about her mother’s name: I knew that her last name was Langworthy, but was her first name Ruth or Lucy?

I eventually concluded that it was Ruth for reasons I’ll explain later. Meanwhile, I am pretty sure that Ruth grew up in Pittsfield, MA, and that she moved with Phineas from Pittsfield to La Prairie, Lower Canada, around 1795. 

Phineas’ first wife had probably died between 1792 and 1794, years when there was so much sickness and death in Pittsfield that the minister gave up recording the names of the deceased.1 Phineas was left to bring up four children between the ages of about two and 13. He soon got into debt and lost his farm to repay his creditors. With nothing left, he must have decided to leave Pittsfield with his children and Ruth, traveling up the Hudson River toward Lake Champlain and Canada.  

Houses in the old part of La Prairie
They settled in La Prairie, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River near Montreal, where Phineas became an innkeeper. There, Ruth’s name appears in the baptismal records of their two children. These records are the only times her name appears in any official documents, but they are also the source of the confusion about her first name.

When baby Lucie Bagg was baptized on 12 January, 1798, the priest wrote the mother’s name as Luce Langworthy. When son Louis Bagg was baptized on 17 March, 1800, and when he was buried several days later, his mother’s name appeared as Ruth Langworthy.2

Here’s my theory: both children were baptized at Notre-Dame-de-La Prairie-de-la-Madeleine church in La Prairie, a Catholic church in a town where most of the population, including the priest, spoke French. The “th” sound is not used in French. Perhaps when the priest asked the mother’s name, he misunderstood the reply and wrote Luce instead of Ruth. That is one reason why I have concluded that her name was Ruth.

There is evidence for the existence of a Ruth Langworthy around that time and place,3  with several references to Ruth Langworthy of Pittsfield, MA in the genealogies section of www.familysearch.org. These genealogies, submitted by users, identify her parents as Andrew Langworthy and Ruth Brown. One submission says she was born in 1771. Several others say she was born in 1768 and married James Rathbone (or Rathbun) in 1787. One says she died in 1788. 

The Langworthy Family; some descendants of Andrew and Rachel (Hubbard) Langworthy who were married at Newport, Rhode Island, November 3, 1658, compiled by William Franklin Langworthy and found in the New England Historic Genealogical Society library in Boston, notes that Andrew Langworthy was in Pittsfield in the 1790s. It says Andrew was born in 1741 in Stonington, CT and died 1808 in Pittsfield, MA and his wife, Ruth Brown, was born in 1743 in Plainfield, CT and died in 1825, Utica, NY. The book says the family must have been in Pittsfield by 1790 because Andrew, a Baptist, refused to pay a tax levied on all inhabitants to build a Congregational church there. It lists 11 children, including Ruth and another child named Ruey (could this be Lucy?), with no birth dates for either of them.4
 
I explored the possibility that the mother’s name could have been Lucy for two reasons: because her daughter was named Lucie (with the French spelling), and because a well-sourced family tree calls her Lucy. The Adams Family Tree, a public member tree on Ancestry.ca,5 has several sources for Lucie Bagg, including her baptism record, but I suspect the compiler did not see the baptism and death records of Lucie’s little brother.  

Phineas Bagg
There is one thing I am sure of. Phineas Bagg and Ruth Langworthy were not married. In her 1856 will,6 Phineas’ daughter Sophia Bagg, widow of Gabriel Roy, left a bequest to Lucie Bagg, identifying her as “fille naturelle du feu M. Phinehas Bagg, mon père,” (natural daughter of gentleman Phinehas Bagg, my father). The term “natural” invariably referred to an illegitimate child.7
 
Perhaps Phineas and Ruth did not have time to arrange a wedding. Or maybe their relationship was more about convenience than love. Phineas must have needed a partner to help establish the family in a new place, and perhaps Ruth was keen to start a new life.  The other possibility – and this is pure speculation since I do not know the death dates of Pamela Stanley or of James Rathbone -- is that either Ruth or Phineas was still married.

I have been unable to discover the time and place of Ruth’s death. 

See also: 

Janice Hamilton, “An Economic Emigrant,” Writing Up the Ancestors (blog), Oct. 16, 2013, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2013/10/an-economic-emigrant.html

Janice Hamilton, “Lucie Bagg: Her Story,” Writing Up the Ancestors (blog), March 30, 2016, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2016/03/lucie-bagg-her-story.html

Janice Hamilton, “Who Was Phineas Bagg?” Writing Up the Ancestors (blog), Oct. 11, 2014,

Photo credit: Janice Hamilton

Notes and Footnotes: 

1. Rollin Hillyer Cooke, “Records of the First Church, Pittsfield, Mass” Rollin H. Cooke Collection, Berkshire County, MA, [microfilm, reel 2, vols 26 and 27], Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society, 1961.
I went through this manuscript at the archives of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. For many years, the minister of the First Church, Pittsfield carefully recorded the deaths in the community, noting the cause of death for many individuals. But in 1792, he simply wrote, “lost about 30 persons.” Similarly, 26 persons died in 1793 with no names or details recorded, and in 1794, he wrote, “lost 36 persons, 14 being grown up.”

2. “Quebec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1968” [database on-line].  Ancestry.com, www.ancestry.ca (accessed 8 April, 2016), Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin. 
La Prairie did not have a Protestant church at the time, so the children were baptized at the local Catholic church.

3. I searched for both Ruth Langworthy and Lucy Langworthy on www.ancestry.ca, www.findmypast.com, wwwamericanancestors.org (the website of the New England Historic and Genealogical Society) and www.familysearch.org. I found no results for Lucy at all, and all results for Ruth were in user-submitted collections.

4. William Franklin Langworthy, compiler. The Langworthy Family; some descendants of Andrew and Rachel (Hubbard) Langworthy who were married at Newport, Rhode Island, November 3, 1658. Hamilton, N.Y.: W.F. and O.S. Langworthy, publishers, 1940. p. 249-250.

5. “Public Member Trees,” [database] www.Ancestry.ca, Adams Family Tree, Stuart Lauters compiler http://person.ancestry.ca/tree/16093254/person/1077026843/facts (accessed 28 Feb. 2016).

6. Labadie, Joseph-Augustin, # 14278, 18 Mai 1856. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

7. Two articles that explain the use of the term “natural” child are: Judy G. Russell, “The Natural Son,” The Legal Genealogist (blog), March 28, 2012, http://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog/2012/03/28/the-natural-son/ (accessed April 12, 2016) and Donna Przecha, “Illegitimate Children and Missing Fathers. Working Around Illegitimacy,” Genealogy.com (blog), http://www.genealogy.com/articles/research/52_donna.html (accessed April 12, 2916).