Inspirational Message

Inspirational Message

Sunday, April 27, 2014

52 Ancestors: #15 Eunice wife of Joel Higley

After posting #14 Joely Higley, I received an email from a distant cousin.  I had never put much thought into filling in Eunice's pedigree, I had done a preliminary search but the results weren't helpful. I really didn't have enough information to work with.  What I had been given stated that she was a Haskins and was born 14 January 1746 in Simsbury, Hartford County, CT.  I am still waiting on another Higley researcher to respond to my most recent email asking for the source of the Haskins information.  This new found cousin quoted from the book:

COMPILED BY JUDGE OLIVER SEYMOUR PHELPS, Of Portland, Oregon, and ANDREW T. SERVIN. Of Lenox, Mass. In Two Volumes.—VOL. II. published by Eagle Publishing Company, of pittsfield, mass. 1899. 

On page 1295 in Volume II it states: 218. IX. Eunice, b. Simsbury, Ct., about 1750, m. Joel
Higley. Settled in Ohio.

This Eunice is the daughter of Jonathan Phelps and Martha Loomis.  

In 2009, I received a 33 page report on the Higley family which states that Eunice Haskins b. 14 January 1746 is the daughter of Alexander Haskins and Thankful Evans.   

On I searched for Thankful Evans and received the following result:

Name: Thankfull Evins
Gender: Female
Christening Date:
Christening Place:
Birth Date: 31 Mar 1712
Death Date:
Name Note:
Father's Name: Samuel Evins
Father's Birthplace:
Father's Age:
Mother's Name:
Mother's Birthplace:
Mother's Age:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: 7450325
System Origin: Connecticut-ODM
GS Film number: unknown
Reference ID:

"Connecticut, Births and Christenings, 1649-1906," index, FamilySearch
( : accessed 27 Apr 2014), Thankfull Evins, 31 Mar 1712; citing ; FHL microfilm unknown.
In my searches for books on HeritageQuest for Higley or Phelps,  all agree that Higley and Phelps families came from Windsor to Simsbury.  The above would seem to be a possible match for Thankful Evans who married Alexander Haskins.
When I search for Alexander Haskins, I only get results for Alexander Hoskins.  There are two such men, father and son, presumably.  One born in 1705 and one in 1739.  There is a Eunice Hoskins born 14 Sept 1734 in Windsor, CT to Alexander Hoskins and his wife Mindwell.  This Alexander, born in 1739, died in 1773 at age 33.  A search for Mindwell with no surname comes up empty. A possibility would be to search for a will for Alexander in 1773.

The Higley family did move to Ohio in 1803 and both the Higley book and the Phelps book agree on this point.  A theory is that Eunice was really a Phelps and since her mother remarried to Zebulon Hoskins after Jonathan's death in 1757, she either went by the name Hoskins or her descendants incorrectly identified her by the name Hoskins.  Larkin's History of Meigs County, Ohio is the first source I found for information on my Higley line.  Eunice in this book is noted as Haskins.  

Simsbury Historical Society's website states they are creating an archives database that will be linked online. I am eagerly awaiting its debut. Otherwise, I need to visit them in Simsbury, CT to look through their archives.  

Here is the list of records I would like to find:

1. The will of Jonathan Phelps. Page 1294 states: His will, dated 28 Sept., 1737, probated at Hartford, mentions his wife Martha, sons Jonathan and Austin, three daughters, Martha Barber, Eunice and Margaret Phelps.  Another books states the year was 1757 not 1737. From page 1324:  "214. Martha Phelps, b. Westfield, Mass, 29 Aug, 1735, removing soon with her father to Simsbury, Ct., m. 6 July, 1755, Daniel Barber, b. Simsbury, 1732, where he settled, and d. is April, 1779, and where his wife d. 15 Dec, 1821, in her 87th year. He was a farmer."  This would make the 1757 date more probable.

2. The will of Alexander Hoskins who died in 1773.  Perhaps it names his daughter Eunice as an heir. I found a Hoskins genealogy that names an Alexander born 1706  but doesn't give any further information on him. 

3. A marriage record to Joel Higley.  His first child, Rachel, was born about 1762. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

52 Ancestors: #14 Joel Higley

Joel Higley 
1739 - 1825

Joel Higley, an American Revolutionary Soldier, was born in Hartford County, CT.  


Joel married Eunice Haskins who was also born in Hartford County.  They resided in this place until they moved west to Meigs County, Ohio.  This where I first learned that I had Higley ancestors.  My aunt had shared family group sheets with me back in the mid 1980s and when the Internet became available to the general public, I started searching for more information.  The project was one of my first and favorite places to find information that had been transcribed by volunteers and placed online at no charge, that FREE to everyone.  When I began this search I had only a name, Sophia Stearns Williams.  She married the Reverend James Gibson Mitchell in Meigs County, Ohio.  When I searched for the Williams surname, up popped the name Electa Williams.  A bell rang loud and clear, since Sophia and James Mitchell had a daughter named Electa who married William Cushing Hoag, my 2nd great grandfather.  The link to Electa Williams took me to Rootsweb's World Connect Family Tree project.  The source for the information is listed as Larkin's Pioneer History of Meigs County.  I found the digital image of the book on, one of my favorite places to find information.  All the pieces started coming together!  Since my first discovery I have since found enough evidence to prove Joel Higley was my ancestor and add him as a patriot to my NSDAR membership.   Archive had several digital books on Granby, CT.  I plan to do more research on Joel to learn who his parents were and when they came to America.

Love the hunt!