Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hunting for Bester's Parents

After learning a little about Bester B. Peck’s adult life I advanced to the next genealogical step--find his parents.  (See post Bester B. Peck, Husband and Father, 1798-1863)

I searched the 1800, 1810 and 1820 Franklin, Connecticut federal census Peck households for a male matching Bester’s age. Several Peck men emerged as having a male corresponding to Bester’s age at each enumeration but further research proved this was not Bester. 

In my next attempt to locate Bester’s parents I examined the Early Connecticut Marriages, Franklin, New London, CT online at  I located six Peck men who married from 1782 to 1798 and researched the couples.  Thanks to Ira B. Peck’s “Descendants of Joseph Peck” and the Franklin, Connecticut Vital Records, I was able to eliminate five of them. 

The remaining couple, Bradford Peck and Lydia Barstow, married July 24, 1794. Fortunately for me, Bradford Peck was also included in Ira B. Peck’s “Descendants of Joseph Peck”. Bradford was a son of Darius Peck and Hannah Warner (of Franklin, Connecticut) born Nov. 5, 1773 and died in the U. S. service.  That was all Mr. Ira B. Peck wrote. 

A ‘google’ search for Bradford Peck pointed me to Evergreen Cemetery, Lee, Oneida County, New York where Bradford Peck’s tombstone read “Bradford Peck, War of 1812, died 1813, aged 40 years”.   This is a good match for Bradford’s birth date and tells of his military service. has a fair collection of military records and I found Bradford in three of their databases.  He was included in the U. S. Army Register of Enlistments, 1798-1914, as a Private in the Fifteenth Regiment Infantry under Captain Young.  He enlisted May 25, 1813 for five years and died 27 days later on June 22, 1813.  In the U. S. Pensioners, 1818-1872 databases, Mindwell Taylor was collecting payments as Bradford Peck’s widow.  Bradford was also granted a bounty land warrant per Ancestry’s U. S. War Bounty Land Warrants, 1798-1858, War of 1812 database with an image of Warrant No. 27768 dated Sept. 8, 1852.  Was this the same Bradford from Franklin, Connecticut?  What happened to Lydia? And where is Bester? 

I wanted to know more about his wife, Lydia Barstow.  I googled ‘Lydia Barstow’ and came up with a snippet view from a book titled “Descendants of John Barstow and George Barstow” authored by Arthur Hitchcock Radasch. The snippet told of Lydia’s birth and marriage to Bradford Peck and two lines above Lydia’s information I spotted another “Bester” born Jan. 6, 1793.  Someone else in Lydia’s family had a child with the unique given name Bester.  This was indeed worth investigating.  I located a copy of the Barstow Genealogy in the card catalog at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford, Connecticut.   I traveled to the Library to find ‘The Barstow-Bester Genealogy, Descendants of John Barstow and George Barstow’ discussed earlier and found Lydia parents were Yetonce Barstow and Esther Wood. 

Yetonce Barstow and 1st wife Esther were born in Norwich and resided in Franklin, Connecticut.  They had 2 daughters, Esther born August 25, 1766, and Lydia born March 2, 1774.  Daughter Esther married Edward Corwin in 1784 and had two children—Bester Corwin, born Jan. 6, 1793 and an infant child who died with his mother on Aug. 20, 1797.   Yetonce died Dec. 28, 1799 in Franklin, Connecticut outliving both his wives and his two daughters.   Daughter Esther (Barstow) Corwin passed Aug. 20, 1797 and daughter Lydia (Barstow) Peck June 6, 1798.  

More internet sleuthing determined a death notice for Mrs. Lydia Peck published in the Norwich newspaper, The Courier June 14, 1798:

     Died.—At Franklin, June 6, Mrs. Lydia Peck, consort of Mr. Bradford Peck, age 25
     June 8, in going to the funeral of Mrs. Peck some horses taking fright at a carriage, four persons were thrown to the ground; one of which (Mrs. Priscilla Barker, of Lebanon) was very much hurt, but is in a fair way to recover.

The Franklin Vital Records from the Barbour Collection also contained a death for Lydia, wife of Bradford, daughter Yetonce Barstow, died June 6, 1798 age 24. 

The ‘Bradford-Lydia’ scenario is coming together but more research needs to be done.

New London Connecticut 1813
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Benson John Lossing's Engraving from
Harper's New Monthly Magazine
December 1863

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