Sunday, June 14, 2015

Westward to Wisconsin? Looking For John Vincent-UPDATED


     In typical fashion, for me at least, I've been distracted yet again from the research into my Irish families and am now on the trail of John Vincent, known as John I. Vincent in some circles.  I've read that he appears in his father's (Capt. Jeremiah Vincent) will, but he's really hard to nail down after that.  I know he and three siblings were probably born at Half Moon, New York, (love that name), to the Captain and his unknown first wife around 1778.  Some trees online have his mother as Mary Merritt, but she was the Captain's second wife and they didn't marry until John was already 13 years old.

     None of the trees have any mention at all of when or where John  might have died.  A few say John's wife was Mary Clements who died in Victory, NY at some point, but none mention where this information was obtained.  Everything I've seen agrees that John had only one child, a son named Thomas, born in 1803.  Having only one makes me think perhaps Mary C. died at a young age.  Let's just assume for a moment that is the case and that John then married a woman named Lucretia.  Let's also assume he went west afterwards.  I know that's alot of assuming going on, and I'm not for one second suggesting any of this is fact, but I do have a reason for speculating.

     While searching I discovered that Captain Jeremiah and his second wife Mary Merritt had two children of their own, Elizabeth and Stephen, (who would be half siblings to John), in addition to those  he had with his unknown wife.  I also learned that Stephen had a son named James Vincent who moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin after a stint in the California gold fields.  There were several John Vincents floating around, but upon searching the 1860 census, the closest match I could find to John I. was a man living in the very same La Crosse, Wisconsin.  I tried searches on that person, but found nothing much except his and his wife Lucretia's burials on Find A Grave.

     I did find a bio of Stephen's son James Vincent however, who became a prominent lumberman, which states he moved his family including his parents to La Crosse.  What if that family also included his Uncle John and Aunt Lucretia?  It's certainly possible given that no one knows what became of John, and he wouldn't be the first disappearing ancestor I've found in the mid-west.  This John is the right age, was living in the same county as his (maybe) half brother, and was born in New York-- though in the mid 19th century a large part of the population of Wisconsin was born in New York. 

After further research, this theory has been disproved.  The John Vincent who married Lucretia was born in Dutchess County, then moved northwards to Niagara before heading west.


  1. It seems like you have a lot of bits and pieces to chase after so hopefully they turn something up. A nice lengthy obituary is always on my want list!

  2. Gotta love those obituaries! Thanks for commenting.

  3. The John Vincent who you reference married Lucretia Waite, and is in the 1850 census with their son Hiram in Cohoes NY. His other son Norman has a nice bio online somewhere, he having been a carpenter who built bridges with the US Cavalry during the war and much of St Louis WI later before being killed by a tree he was felling. There is also a bible record online somewhere, with a list of kids that has Hiram E misnamed as Herman but otherwise jibes well. I have the Vincents more out of Saratoga, but its not a clear line John being born before the books were started by the state. But the people he is with in WI match his family (though not all went West, and can be found in NY later, Hiram dies in Bath NY Vet home in 1913 for instance). Another record out there is Thomas a son IIRC who died when hit by wood from his saw mill. Seems lumber was their thing. Oh and Lucretia daughter of Daniel Waite, who moved to NY from CT, he being a rev war militia man. Blue bloods up that tree leading to James Cudworth etc.

    Very interested to see what you pin down. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thank you for sharing all that information!