|An Intriguing DNA Match ... Maybe|
After spending four days upgrading a family member's laptop from Vista to Windows 7, I decided I had earned some goof off time. While reviewing our DNA matches the other week an intriguing match gave me an excuse to follow a bright shiny object to see where it might lead. It may or may not pay off later.
I say bright shiny object because normally with a DNA match I do more diligent work DNA-wise before diving into the genealogy when I don't see a common ancestor in the match's attached tree or a known person also in my tree. But in this case it was too intriguing to just simply note the possibility and revisit it later.
Back in the 1990s we were stuck on one of Dad's third great grandfathers. Eventually we learned Seneca Rider, who was living in Madoc Township, Hastings, Ontario, Canada, in the mid 1800s, was from Albany County, New York, but we could not find any clues to his parents. On a visit to the Archives of Ontario we finally found a Rider family connection but still had no idea which Rider son was Seneca's father. There were a handful to choose from and about half were not researched by anyone. I had a gut feeling about one Rider son but "gut feelings" don't really count as proof. It took few more years and a visit to the Albany County Hall of Records and the Surrogate's Office to find a will with the answers ... and more questions, of course.
From the will we learned Seneca's parents were Samuel Rider and his "wife" (there's the first new question) and he had siblings Anne Rider, Joel Rider and David Rider. Researching Joel and David was easy; most done that night in the hotel via internet. Researching Samuel had its ups and downs. We are still no where with determining who was Seneca's mother -- we don't even have a first name! The only other thing we learned about Anne (our second new question) came from Joel's probate administration in 1856 ... "children of Ann Hazzard (supposed to be dead) also next of Kin." The 1911 fire in Albany destroyed or water damaged a lot of historical records including probate records thus the loose papers for both Samuel and Joel's probates do not exist.
So the grand total of what we know about Anne Rider Hazzard is: born sometime prior to 1790 in Dutchess County, New York; her husband was a Hazzard whose first name is unknown to us; she had children whose names and sex are unknown; her place of residence is unknown to us; and she was possibly deceased before 1856. This grand total of knowledge has not changed since it was learned.
We usually keep an eye out for our various surnames while researching because you never know what scrap of information might help in the future. So throughout the years I have investigated possibilities for Anne, primarily in New York, but nothing had panned out to be our Anne. One interesting fact we've always been aware of is that grandpa Seneca is buried in Hazzard's Corners Cemetery in Madoc Township. We had wondered could it be a relation but peaking around that Hazzard family did not pan out any clues at the time either. (This was mostly done in the beginning days of genealogy on the internet.)
So if you got a DNA match to a Hazzard or should I say the "Joseph Hazzard" of Hazzard's Corners wouldn't you chase the "bright shiny object" too? Just in case.
I started with the Ontario census to refresh my memory of Joseph Hazzard, his wife Elsy Lloyd and his family. By his birth year 1797 and birth place United States (mostly) he could be a candidate for being a child of my "aunt" Anne Rider Hazzard.
Next came a review of online trees. I don't trust the vast majority of online trees to be correct but reviewing what is out there should be done to be thorough. After playing around with the search parameters for just a tree search at Ancestry.com, I determined that I saw the most "appropriate" trees using: Joseph with exact checked; Hazzard; 1797 birth year exact; spouse of last name Lloyd. This returned 43 public trees and 14 private trees. Of the 43, four results had a different wife; 26 had the right wife but no parents; and 13 had the right wife but gave him parents Rowland Hazzard (born Rhode Island and died Dutchess Co., NY) and Mary Pease/Peace. Though I was a little concerned by these parents I continued on knowing there are a lot of errors in online trees. In this case the majority of trees did not have parents listed. Of the 14 private trees, all I could see was they matched the search parameters Joseph Hazzard born 1797.
I then moved onto Ontario Vital Records and Michigan Vital Records where most of the trees indicated some of his children lived. My main focus was on death and marriage records for the information provided regarding the birth places of Joseph and wife Elsy's children and the birth location of Joseph provided either by a child when marrying or the child's informant upon death.
Joseph Hazzard appears to have gotten away without a death certificate/record of his own. Though that was disappointing it likely would not have answered the question of his parents since it was not always asked for the certificates. From these various vital records Joseph's children birth places varied: Fredericksburg, Addington, Madoc, and the generic Canada. From these various vital records Joseph's birth place was given as: New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
Since no one could agree on an answer for Joseph's birth I then looked at this from another angle: who was this Rowland Hazzard? Taking a closer look I saw he died in Dutchess County, New York, and left a will. Much of his property mentioned was in other states. He did have a son Joseph but there was no indication from the will of where Joseph was residing. So then I sought out any published genealogies on the Hazzard family.
That brought me to the Internet Archive and the digitized version of "The Hazzard Family of Rhode Island 1635-1894" by Caroline E. Robinson. On pages 77 and 78 Rowland Hazard and wife Mary Peace are detailed showing their connection to Rhode Island and that Rowland died in Dutchess County, New York. Their son Joseph is described as Joseph Peace Hazard born 17 Feb. 1807 in Burlington, New Jersey, and that the family removed to Bristol, Pennsylvania, afterwards. The author also states that their son Joseph Peace Hazard toured Europe in 1856 and that he spent much time abroad until 1879. Joseph Peace Hazard's death is noted as being at the residence of his brother Rowland G. Hazard in Peacedale, Rhode Island.
Based on dates and locations, it is pretty clear the Joseph Hazzard of Madoc, Hastings, Ontario, Canada, is not the son of Rowland Hazard and Mary Peace. A check of original records would further confirm this.
Published genealogies are derivative sources and vary greatly in quality even when they do include sources. When you use them always realize that you still have to do your genealogy work and look at original records or images of those original records like microfilm and digital images.
Having eliminated the "Are Rowland and Mary his parents?" question I turned back to Joseph Hazard and locating earlier documents or signs of earlier documents. The early 1800s for what was Upper Canada now Ontario is a sort of "black hole" for genealogists. For what little is available, much of it is not online though some has been indexed/abstracted/transcribed and published.
The children's birth places though varied gave indication of where Joseph and Elsy were prior to residing in Madoc. So my search began there with websites focusing on Hastings County, Lennox and Addington County, Prince Edward County and The Bay of Quinte. Very little information was found though I did learn he owned land in Thurlow Township, Hastings, Ontario, from about 1822 to 1823. I did see that there is another Hazzard family that was Friends (Quaker) in Prince Edward County but there appears to be no connection between the two families. Also, a "Jacob Hazzard" is mentioned as among the first settlers of Madoc Township, The name (no other details) appears in the same list of people mentioned in two books. As of right now a search (primarily internet) of any possible parents of Joseph has come up with no solid leads.
Then I turned to a newer online resource that takes a little getting used to how to work with it. At the Library and Archives of Canada (LAC) website under Genealogy and Family History are a variety of databases and digitized microfilm of original documents. Under the Land category are several databases including the Land Petitions of Upper Canada, 1763-1865. Now a lot of genealogists hear land petition in Canada and think United Empire Loyalist but these petitions do not just cover loyalists or the sons and daughters of loyalists. There were a variety of regulations over the years so these petitions not only include loyalist related petitions but also petitions of military and civilian settlers.
I have used this land petitions database before and found much success with it but Hazzard was not a surname I had checked before. A check Upper Canada Land Petitions Search Engine for Hazzard produced just two results: one for a Joseph Hazzard with the place Thurlow and one for a Elsy Hazzard/Lloyd with the place Madoc. A check for Hazard produced four results: a Thomas Hazard of King; Henry Hazard of Sherington and two for Lot Hazard of Murray. (No connection between the Joseph Hazzard I seek and these last three Hazard men has been found as of yet.)
For many of the digitized collections at LAC, the one thing to note is that the search database is separate from the digitized images. So rather than clicking a link in the results table you have to use information in the results table to manually locate (aka browse) for the images on another webpage containing the digitized microfilm rolls. I find it easier to use the archived pages of the Upper Canada Land Petitions microfilm then getting the similar page to come up on the new LAC website.
What did the petition of Joseph Hazzard -- yes, it is our guy -- say? The petition for Joseph Hazzard was enlightening but did not fully answer the question of his parents identity.
|Library & Archives Canada|
To His Honors
Samuel Smith Esquire Administrator administering the Government of the Province of Upper Canada and ___ and ___ and ___ In Council
The Petition of Joseph Hazzard now of the Township of Thurlow, yeoman, Humbly Showeth,
That Your Petitioner was born in the State of the New York, that he has resided in this Province about twenty three years, that his Father is dead, that is Mother is alive, that he is the only son now alive of their issue, that he had a Brother who served in the Glengarry Fencibles, that the said Brother was Killed in action with the Enemy at Fort George on the 27th of May 1813, that your Petitioner obtained a certificate from L.Colonel Battersby who commanded that Regiment which stated that your Petitioner's Brother was killed as above stated, that your Petitioner applied to Sir F. P. Robinson to obtain the Land to which his Brother would have been entitled had he survived the War, that Sir F. P. Robinson promised to send the said Certificate to York
digital film# c-2045, image 00471
|Library & Archives Canada|
Wherefore your Petitioner prays that your Honor will be please to order to have located one hundred acres of land in the name of his deceased Brother to be claimed by his heirs.
As Petitioner will ever pray
27th March 1820
H 13 no. 135
The Petition of Joseph Hazzard for Land in the name of his deceased Brother
Entered in Land Book [?] Office page 474
29th Oct. 1823
The Surveyor General is requested to report here the information of the Honorable Executive Council By Command
[hard to read signature]
It does not appear that the Petitioner's Brother James Hazzard ever received any land.
5 Nov. 1823
Recommended that on Location of 100 acres be made to be claimed before the commission to ascertain the title to land by the Heir of James Hazzard a deceased soldier J.B. P.[?].
Order issued 10th Nov. 1823
Land as a soldier of the late Glengarry Fencibles
S. Gene. [not sure if signature or title]
Sgd.[?] 29 Oct 1823
Another Petitioner for [?] of [?]
He did not Survive the War
Upper Canada Land Petitions, 1783-1865, database index and images. Library and Archives of Canada website citing Upper Canada Land Petitions, "H" Bundle 13, 1821-1823 (RG 1, L3, vol. 230(a)), microfilm c-2045, digital images 00471-00473
So from this document with Joseph Hazzard's signature dated 27 March 1820 we learn in this own words that Joseph Hazzard was born in the state of New York; his father is dead by 1820; his mother is alive as of 1820; he had one brother James Hazzard who died in the War of 1812; and that Joseph was brought to Upper Canada 23 years prior or sometime shortly after his birth in 1797.
This provides further proof that Joseph Hazzard who resided and died in Madoc Township, Hastings, Ontario, was not a son of Rowland Hazzard who died in 1835. It does not prove any relationship to my Anne Rider Hazzard but it does not rule out a relationship either. I sincerely hope that no one runs out and puts Anne Rider as the mother of this Joseph Hazzard after reading this post. We have not found proof of his parents yet. We have just found clues to direct our search. (You can, however, remove Rowland and Mary as his parents.)
From Elsy Lloyd Hazzard's land petition dated 15 October 1834 we learn that she is the daughter of George Henry Lloyd late of the township of Fredericksburgh of Midland District a U.S. Loyalist; she is married; is requesting 200 acres of land as a daughter of a Loyalist; that James Nelson Lloyd (no relationship stated) made oath that Elsy was who she said she is; that Elsy was living in Madoc Township by 1834; her father is deceased; and that both Elsy Hazzard and James Lloyd could not write their names. Joseph, Elsy's husband, is not specifically mentioned in this petition. By the way, Elsy Lloyd Hazzard's first name has be found spelled Elcy, Elcey and Elsie in various documents. I have used Elsy the earliest spelling which appears in her land petition.
From here I investigated what I could regarding Joseph's brother James Hazzard for any possible leads to their parents. I was able to confirm his military service which had the notation of first being thought a prisoner of war and then acknowledged as deceased. Nothing further can be learned at this point because the regiment's records are located in London, England. There is a book on the regiment which was added to my Research To Do List for when I get to a library that has it in its holdings. (None are close by to me.) I hope it can provide further information about James Hazzard.
So where do I go from here?
Well, if I want to continue to pursue this lead I will need to add to my Research To Do List any published books for the areas and time frames I am dealing with that look like they might have potential. I am most likely to find these books at larger libraries like a state library/archive or a destination library like the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I will need to review any photocopies from resources that I have already looked at to see if I have any previous notes that now might make sense. I will also need to look at land and probate records starting with the abstract indexes for Hastings County and Lennox And Addington County in Ontario. These land and probate records are on microfilm and can be rented from the familysearch.org website to view at a local Family History Center at a Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ Church. (You don't have to be Mormon to use a Family History Center.)
But I also have work to do DNA-wise. This match only appears on one of three possible tests I manage. I would be more confident of the match had it appeared on at least two of our tests. But the match appears at both AncestryDNA and Family Tree DNA and it is a closer match than it should be -- possibly due to endogamy though I still have to rule out that it is just by chance.
What ever happens it was a nice diversion to "goof off" and knock the dust off my genealogy searching.
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