Genealogy Wise

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Cross posted from my personal blog

One of the joys of completing family trees is that you get to piece
together puzzles in the family. Its hugely satisfying work to toil away
on a family unit, putting information together so that you can make some
sense of what happened to the family as a whole.

Currently, I have a puzzle in my family tree that I will likely need
assistance on. The patriarch of our family - the farthest back I have
gone in the Sinnett family of my line - has a conundrum.

Francis Sinnett - born possibly in Quebec about 1801 - has a 'wife
situation'. From what I can apprise.. he had two wives. One named
Hannah, born in New Brunswick in 1811 and married to Francis in 1833. No
last name is provided and I'm not able to locate any information on her
aside from one census when she was about 60 years old.

The other wife that I can find is Savannah Carl, born in 1801 in
Ireland. She married Francis in 1822 and had a daughter, Letitia. I know
this because she is listed as such on Letitia's death certificate from
Massachusetts. The marriage date I obtained from someone else's family
tree who is tracking this family unit. So, it may be incorrect.

My question... are they really the same person? Hannah and Savannah? Its entirely possible.. now to discover the truth!!

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Comment by Richard Norwood on February 26, 2012 at 9:49am

I'm posting a comment here to add some new information about Francis Sinnett's wife, mother of his daughters, Letitia and Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, who married John Ogden, removed to Stoughton, Massachusetts, where she died.  Her death record provides the following information:  

age 79, widowed, husband, John Ogden; father, Francis Zinet; mother, Rosannah McArdle, b. Ireland. Buried 6 Feb 1907, Evergreen Cemetery, Stoughton, MA. Undertakers, Lowe, Smith, and Powers. Nathaniel W. Faxon, M.D., physician. [This record indicates that she was born around 1828, which is probably about right.]

Letitia, who married first Thomas Liston and second Simpson James Murphy, also ended up in Massachusetts after spending most of her married life in Millville, York Co., New Brunswick.  Her death record provides the following information:

She died on 28 Jan 1892 in Westford, Middlesex, Massachusetts, at age 63; of La Grippe.   Her mother was listed as Rossanna Carl.  I can't locate a copy of the record, but this is what I transcribed and saved from it.  [This record says she was born around 1829, but she was probably born a little earlier.]

So there are two records of sisters, both of whom died in Massachusetts.  The information was reported by different people, presumably family members, one of whom remembered his or her grandmother's maiden name as Carl and the other as McCardle.  At least Rosannah, if spelled differently, is the same.  We also don't know if the ages at death are correct, though they are in the ball park.

From other records, Letita and Elizabeth's three brothers were born between 1833 and 1840 at four and three year intervals, so it is likely that she was the mother of all of the children.  The question remains as to whether she was also the Hannah of the 1871 New Brunswick census.  Hannah is not the expected nickname for Rosannah, but it is possible.  A second wife is also quite possible for Francis Sinnett.  No death record has been found for either Rosannah Sinnett (or variant spellings) or Hannah Sinnett in New Brunswick.

I have looked for CARLS AND MCCARDLES in New Brunswick leading up to the 1820s but have not been successful in making a connection.  Information keeps being uncovered, so perhaps we will be successful sometime in the future.

Comment by Gail Ann Gruszka Reitz on September 9, 2010 at 7:28pm
I have a similar problem to your in my family tree, one of my relatives has been in two different censuses with two husbands. One census lists all her kids at the address and the next one she only lists three. On the later one it lists a different husband. Now I'm wondering if her first husband died between the censuses. A true delema dont you think?




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