Monday, August 26, 2013

Mystery Monday/Dr. Richard Wiggins


      I haven't paid the attention to my maternal line that it deserves, nor have I written much about it.  One mystery I'm having trouble solving is that of Richard Wiggins and his supposed medical profession.  Briefly, this is what I know about Richard--

  • He was born in New York about 1810 to William Wiggins and his wife Elizabeth
  • Around 1839 he married Hannah Ostrander, daughter of Barent and Heyltje (Devoe) Ostrander
  • Richard's children were William, Charles, John, George and Hannah
  • The 1840 census shows him in Wolcott, NY with family
  •  Hannah died in 1848
  • The 1850 census shows him widowed and living with his parents, again in Wolcott, occupation physician
  • At some point they all moved to Ionia County Michigan where Richard married Susan Grey
  • August 18, 1857 Richard died and his children returned to NY to their Ostrander relatives.
          Then there is this--

 Landmarks of Wayne County, New York, Geo. Washington Cowles 1895, pg 232

Wiggins, William H., of Red Creek, is a veteran of the late war, having served three years in the famous 9th Heavy Artillery, enlisting in 1862. [Co. G] He was born in Wolcott in 1840, son of the late Richard Wiggins, a physician, of whose five children 
 William is sole representative. In 1808 he married Aurilla Garner, of Wolcott, and they have two children, Mary, (my great grandmother),born May 18, 1870, now engaged in school teaching, and George, born August 28, 1873. Mr. Wiggins is now engaged in farming on the farm where he located in 1870.

     I've searched newspapers, books and lists of New York State doctors to no avail.  Maybe Richard was a self-styled doctor with no formal training but a knack for healing people so they flocked to him when they were in need of medical care?  I'm continuing to look for additional sources, hopefully this mystery will be solved soon.

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