Sunday, October 16, 2016
Sarah Trumble, The Wife of Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut.
Sarah Trumble, The Wife of Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut.
by Todd Gerlander
Much of the following originally appeared in "The "Lost" Trumbull: The Descendants of Joseph Trumble Jr. (1705-1731) of Lebanon, Connecticut, the Eldest Son and Business Partner of Captain Joseph Trumble Sr. and Brother of Connecticut's Revolutionary War Governor, Jonathan Trumbull Sr." by Lee Gerlander and Todd Gerlander, published in "The Connecticut Nutmegger", Connecticut Society of Genealogists, Inc., Volume 46, Number 3, December 2013. The article was a culmination of decades of research, beginning back in the early 1970's on the Trumbull-Bulkeley-Johnson family connection. The following study focuses on pages 198 to 200 of that publication, with additional evidence regarding Sarah (Trumble) Johnson (my ancestral grandmother), the daughter of Joseph Trumble Jr. (1705-1731) of Lebanon, Connecticut, and Sarah (Bulkeley) Trumble Welles (1702-1798), daughter of Rev. John Bulkeley of Colchester, Connecticut. Without an actual marriage record of Elijah and Sarah Johnson, the case is made, and evidence is presented that it was Sarah (Trumble) Johnson who was the wife of Elijah Johnson, and the mother of his children.
This paper will also show that Sarah (Hopson) Clark, the wife of Asa Clark, was never married to Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut, nor was she the mother of his children. She never legally went by the name Sarah Johnson. Sarah Hopson was born 29 January 1737 according to the Vital Records, not 29 January 1727 as stated in The Genealogy of Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Massachusetts: Generations 1 to XIV (Los Angeles, Calif.: Commonwealth Press, 1951), by Paul Franklin Johnson, which appears to be the only reference (undocumented) for it? The documentation and evidence points to Sarah Trumble, who legally went by the name Sarah Johnson.
Further information on the fact that Asa Clark and his wife Sarah Hopson were part of the migration of New England Planters to Nova Scotia (1760-1768), and that Sarah (Hopson) Clark never married a Waters/Watrous proves she was never Sarah Johnson, the wife of Elijah Johnson of Colchester, Connecticut.
SARAH TRUMBLE, baptized at Lebanon First Congregational Church, Lebanon, Connecticut, 05 September 1728, died about 1810; she married (1) ELIJAH JOHNSON, about 1743/44, who was born at Colchester, Connecticut, 20 September 1718, son of John and Mary (Ramsey) Johnson  he died at Colchester 28 August 1755. Sarah married (2) DELIVERANCE WATERS or "WATROUS", after 1760.
Concerning the marriage of Elijah Johnson and Sarah Trumbull: The signature used by Sarah (Trumble) Johnson in signing for her portion of her grandfather, Captain Joseph Trumble, Sr.'s estate and the signature used by Sarah (Trumble) Johnson, signing for her portion of her late husband, Elijah Johnson's estate, appear identical.
In The Genealogy of Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Massachusetts: Generations 1 to XIV (Los Angeles, Calif.: Commonwealth Press, 1951), the author Paul Franklin Johnson incorrectly lists Sarah Hopson as the wife of Elijah Johnson. This genealogy lists the birth date of this Sarah Hopson as 29 January 1727. However, both Gordon Hopson Tully's The Hopson Family of Colchester. Conn., 1700-1760/1770 ([Upper Montclair, N.J.: Tully, 1974?]), a typescript at the Connecticut State Library, Hartford, and the Barbour Collection, Colchester Vital Records, lists her birth date as 29 January 1737. The latter source also lists her older sister Betty/Elizabeth's birth date as 16 February 1735 (p. 87). If the marriage between Elijah Johnson and Sarah Hopson were correct, Sarah would have been nine years old when her supposed first child Catherine was baptized on 14 September 1746 (Records of the First Church of Colchester, Connecticut). Johnson's genealogy provides no evidence or proof for this marriage.
In fact, Sarah Hopson married Asa Clark on 4 December 1755 in Colchester, Connecticut. In the church marriage record she is listed as Sarah Hopson, not as Sarah Johnson, nor is the term "widow" used as in other such entries. It is also questionable that Sarah Hopson, a woman in mourning, would re-marry less than four months after the death of her first husband.
In 1755, Sarah (Trumble) Johnson signed an administration bond with her Uncle (her mother's brother) Oliver Bulkeley in her late husband, Elijah Johnson's estate.
Sarah (Trumble) Johnson was named in her grandfather, Captain Joseph Trumble Sr.'s will: "To my Grandaughters Sarah & Katherine Trumble the Daughters of my son Joseph I give twenty five pounds apiece old tenor to be paid them out of my moveable estate by my Executor." Sarah Trumble signed the discharge on 01 March 1756 as Sarah Johnson.
28 November 1759, Sarah Johnson sells land in Colchester, Connecticut for the sum of nineteen pounds lawful money to pay debts (land formerly owned by her late husband Elijah Johnson as stated) to Epaphras Lord of Colchester, Connecticut. The deed is signed Sarah Johnson. If it was Sarah Hopson she would have signed Sarah Clark, since Sarah Hopson married Asa Clark in Colchester, Connecticut, 04 December 1755. Sarah Trumble was still Sarah Johnson in 1759, not marrying Deliverance Waters until after 1760. There are numerous land transfers involving Sarah Johnson in the Colchester Land Records to settle debts. Sarah Johnson acting as Administratrix of the estate of her late husband Elijah Johnson. All are signed Sarah Johnson, none are signed Sarah Clark.
In 1759 Captain Peter Bulkeley of Colchester, Connecticut, became the legal guardian of the children of his Niece Sarah (Trumble) Johnson and the late Elijah Johnson also of Colchester. Their great-uncle, Captain Peter Bulkeley, was the brother of their grandmother, Sarah (Bulkeley) (Trumble) Welles. Their uncle John Johnson of Colchester, Elijah Johnson's brother, witnessed and signed the bond.
15 May 1809, Sarah "Watrous," the late Sarah Johnson, sold her dower rights from the estate of her late husband Elijah Johnson of Colchester. In 1809, Sarah (Hopson) Clark was living in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia with her husband Asa Clark, who she married in 1755. Sarah (Hopson) Clark was never Sarah "Watrous", and therefore never Sarah Johnson.
It is also interesting to note that Elijah and Sarah Johnson named their first born daughter, Catherine, and their first born son, Joseph. Sarah Trumble's sister was named Catherine, and her father, grandfather, and great grandfather were named Joseph. Both Sarah Trumble and her sister Catherine Trumble named their first born son, Joseph.
Children of Elijah and Sarah (Trumble) Johnson, all born in Colchester, Connecticut:
1) CATHERINE, born 01 August 1744; baptized 14 September 1746.
2) LUCY, baptized 13 March 1748.
3) JOSEPH, born 17 June 1750; baptized 29 July 1750; died 17 November 1808.
4) GURDON, born 3 November 1752; baptized 1752; died 21 October 1786.
5) ELIJAH, baptized 4 January 1756.
Child of Deliverance and Sarah (Trumble) (Johnson) Waters or Watrous.
1) THEODORE WATERS or WATROUS m. (1) JEMIME ARCHER.
Now regarding what we know about Sarah (Hopson) Clark,
SARAH HOPSON, born at Colchester, Connecticut, 29 January 1737;[17-20] died at Cornwallis, Kings County, Nova Scotia, 1823; she married at Colchester, Connecticut, 04 December 1755, ASA CLARK, born at Colchester, Connecticut, circa 1731; died at Cornwallis, Kings County, Nova Scotia, 19 May 1819.
Children of Asa and Sarah (Hopson) Clark born in Connecticut and Nova Scotia: 
1) Jehiel, born in Connecticut; buried in Wilmot Churchyard, 05 January 1797.
2) Sarah, born in Connecticut, 1758; died Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, 1830.
3) Lucy, born 15 March 1760; married 26 May 1778, Asael Bentley, son of David and Ann Bentley.
4) Lydia, born 20 June 1762.
5) Asa, Jr., born 05 May 1765 at Cobequid, Nova Scotia.
6) Charles, born 21 December 1767.
7) Jerusha, born 12 June 1770.
8) Jerusha, born 11 June 1771.
9) Lavinia, born 17 October 1773.
10) Hannah, born 25 February 1776.
11) John Hopson, born 28 July 1778.
12) Ephraim, born 12 April 1780; married 27 February 1811, Rachel Robertson.
Disregarding all of the undocumented online genealogies/webpages which list other undocumented online genealogies/webpages as sources, and with no vital records, legal documents, etc., what appears to be the only "source" published in a family genealogy which lists Sarah Hopson as the wife of Elijah Johnson is "The Genealogy of Captain John Johnson of Roxbury, Massachusetts 1630-1951", Paul Franklin Johnson, Los Angeles, CA, Commonwealth Press, 1951.
This "source" is problematic since the author provides NO documented source for this marriage, he also changes the birth date of Sarah Hopson to 29 January 1727 (without any explanation of why?
One can only conclude it's because Sarah Hopson was born 29 January 1737 and she would have been between seven and nine years old when this "marriage" supposedly took place?), where the Colchester Vital Records and other early published sources list it as 29 January 1737. Johnson's genealogy also lists her marrying (2) ________ Waters, when we know Sarah Hopson married Asa Clark, the one provable fact which is not even mentioned in the Johnson genealogy? (Sarah Johnson, the wife of Elijah Johnson had to marry a "Watrous" or Waters who sold her dower rights from the estate of her late husband Elijah Johnson of Colchester in 1809. This was not Sarah (Hopson) Clark.)
Sarah (Hopson) Clark was never legally Sarah Johnson, whereas Sarah (Trumble) Johnson was.
It was Sarah Hopson's older sister, Elizabeth Hopson (born 16 February 1735) who married Elijah Johnson's brother, Elisha Johnson in Colchester, Connecticut, 13 May 1753. Sarah and Elizabeth Hopson's parents, Captain John Hopson (1707-1751) married Lydia Kellogg (1710-1761) on 28 May 1730 in Colchester, CT. Sarah Hopson was born 29 January 1737, not 29 January 1727.
Also to note, "The History of Kings County, Nova Scotia, Heart of the Acadian Land", Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton, M.A., D.C.L., Salem Press Company, 1910, pg. 883, states that "Asa Clark or Clarke was the founder of the King's County Clarke family" in Nova Scotia. Sarah Hopson went to Canada with her husband Asa Clark with the migration of New England Planters to Nova Scotia (1760-1768). The book, "Nova Scotia Immigrants to 1867" by Leonard H. Smith Jr. and Norma H. Smith lists both Asa Clark "s. of Noah/Sarah (Tainter)" and his wife Sarah "d. of John/Lydia (Kellogg) Hobson" and that they went from "Conn. to Cornwallis (grantee) ca. 1760". It is possible they were living in Nova Scotia as early as 1760, and that their third child Lucy was born there? The birth of their daughter Lucy, 15 March 1760, is the first of their children listed in the Cornwallis township book, which would suggest they were living there? But, it was probably 1761, since the Colchester Land Records list Asa Clark and his wife Sarah selling land to John Kellogg. They were living in Cobequid or Portapique, Nova Scotia in 31 December 1764 when Asa Clark received a grant of land in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia. They were still in Cobequid, Nova Scotia when their son Asa, Jr. was born 05 May 1765. Sarah (Hopson) Clark died in 1823, and is buried with her husband in the Upper Canard Cemetery, Kings County, Nova Scotia. Since her husband Asa Clark died 19 May 1819 on the "Clark Homestead" in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia, Sarah (Hopson) Clark was NOT the Sarah Watrous/Waters who sold her dower rights from the estate of her late husband Elijah Johnson in Colchester, Connecticut in 1809. Sarah (Hopson) Clark was married to Asa Clark from 1755 to his death in 1819. She never married a Watrous/Waters, so it was not possible for her to be the wife of Elijah Johnson.
From the vital records (birth date) and evidence listed above, including her move to Canada, it is not possible that Sarah (Hopson) Clark was the wife of Elijah Johnson. The evidence points to and supports Sarah (Trumble) Johnson as the wife of Elijah Johnson.
1. Connecticut Church Records, Index, Lebanon First Congregational Church 1700-1883 (Hartford: Connecticut State Library, 1942) 206; her death date is based on her selling her dower rights in 1809.
2. William E. Johnson, John Johnson and Other Johnsons (McDonough, N.Y.: the author, 1940), 54; hereinafter cited as Johnson, John Johnson.
3. Barbour Collection, from Colchester Vital Records, 93; Johnson, John Johnson, 42-43.
4. Johnson, John Johnson, 54.
5. Marriage date based on the name she signed on legal documents.
6. Johnson, John Johnson, 57.
7. Barbour Collection, from Colchester Vital Records, 87; Frederic W. Bailey, ed., Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Ancient Church Records prior to 1800, 7 vols. (New Haven: Bureau of American Ancestry, 1896-1906; repr. 7 vols. in 1, Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1968), 3:102; hereinafter cited as Early Connecticut Marriages.
8. Family Records [Heretofore unpublished] Collected in Commemoration of the Three Hundredth Anniversary of the Settlement of Connecticut (New Haven, Conn.: The Connecticut Chapter of the National Society Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, Inc., 1935), 53; hereinafter cited as Family Records.
9. Town of Colchester Records, 1742-1883, RG 62-028, Series 1, Court and Justice of the Peace Records, 1742-1882, file 1804, Estate of Elijah Johnson (1755).
10. Windham Probate District, Estate of Joseph Trumble Sr., Lebanon 1755, File #3830.
11. Colchester, Connecticut Land Records
12. Town of Colchester Records, 1742-1883, RG 62-028, Series 1, Court and Justice of the Peace Records, 1742-1882, file 1798, Estate of Catherine, Elijah, Gurdon, Joseph, Lucy Johnson (1759).
13. Colchester Land Records, 16:371.
14. Johnson, John Johnson, 54-55.
15. Pedigree Resource File, database online at FamilySearch.org, citing "George E. Watrous; Danielson, CT (1996); Personal records and family history notes (1996); copy in poss. of Steven B. Watrous."
17. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, New England Historic Genealogical Society, Volume XLII, 1888, "Memoranda of all the Inscriptions in the Old Burying Ground at Colchester, Conn." by Frank E. Randall, Esq., pg. 387.
18. The Kellogg's in the Old World and the New, Volume 1, Timothy Hopkins, 1903.
19. The History of Kings County, Nova Scotia, Heart of the Acadian Land, Arthur Wentworth Hamilton Eaton, M.A., D.C.L., Salem Press Company, 1910, pg. 883; hereinafter cited as Kings County.
20. The Hopson Family of Colchester, Conn. 1700-1760/1770, Gordon Hopson Tully, 1974.
21. Kings County, 604-606.
22. Early Connecticut Marriages, 3:102.
23. Kings County, 883.
24. Kings County, 605.
25. Kings County, 605-606.
26. Cornwallis Township Book, Cornwallis, Kings County, Nova Scotia.
27. Kings County, 605.