Notes for: Nicholas Bodine

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It is now known from the estate papers of Jacob Bodine, Sr. that he had at least four sons: Jacob Jr., Abraham, Nicholas, and James. These four are mentioned as heirs; although, Jacob Jr. was deceased at the time Jacob Sr.'s estate was administered (Jacob Jr. had five children mentioned as heirs). Jacob Sr. probably had one other son who died without children before Jacob Sr.'s estate was administered on. This other son was not mentioned in the estate papers. The 1790 and 1800 census information does seem to imply that there were five sons. We also know that a Jacob Bodine did administer on the estate of a William Bodine in 1801 in Derry Township, Northumberland County (this later became Columbia County). It is not known who this William was, but Jacob Bodine must have been either Jacob Sr. or Jacob Jr. So William would have been a close relative. He could very well have been Jacob, Sr.'s son or Jacob Jr.'s brother.

The following ideas are based on the 1790, 1800, and 1810 Censuses for Jacob Bodine in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania. Between these censuses and the estate papers, we can make some pretty good assumptions at who those sons were.

The 1790 Census of Northumberland County lists four males under 16 (born about 1774-1790). We will assume they were Jacob's four oldest sons: Jacob Jr., William, Abraham, and Nicholas. All four of them would have been born by 1790.

The 1800 Census of Northumberland County lists two males under 10 (born about 1790-1800), and one male 16-26 (born about 1774-1784). According to this 1800 Census, Jacob had two males under ten. This would normally make you think that they were both born since the 1790 Census. As far as we know, Jacob may have had five sons: Jacob Jr., William, Abraham, Nicholas, and James; however, we don't know of any sixth son. I'm guessing that Nicholas would be one of the sons under 10. We know that he was born right about 1790; so depending on when the censuses were taken, he could have been nine years old at the time of the 1800 Census. Or we could imagine that Jacob and Nancy didn't remember his age exactly and just assumed that he was under ten when he actually was ten. Therefore, of the two sons under ten in the 1800 Census, only one was new. That would have been James. The two older sons, Jacob Jr. and William, would have been out of the house by then trying to start their own farms. Abraham was the son who was listed as 16-26. It would be good if Jacob Jr. and William could be found in an 1800 census, but I don't know of anything.

Jacob Jr.: Listed in 1790 (born 1774-1790). Not listed in 1800; so he was born about 1774-1790.
William: Listed in 1790 (born 1774-1790). Not listed in 1800; so he was born about 1774-1790.
Abraham: Listed in 1790 (born 1774-1790) and in 1800 (born 1774-1784); so he was born 1774-1784.
Nicholas: Listed in 1790 (born 1774-1790) and in 1800 (born 1790-1800); so he was born about 1790.
James: Not listed in 1790. Listed as under 10 (born 1790-1800) in 1800; so he was born 1790-1800.

The 1810 Census of Derry Township, Northumberland County lists two males: one 10-16 (born about 1794-1800) and one other 16-26 (born about 1784-1794). This must refer to the two youngest males who were on the 1800 Census: Nicholas and James. The one who is 10-16 would refer to James. He was born about 1793/1794-1800. This means James was probably no older than six or seven at the time of the 1800 Census. The one who was 16-26 in the 1810 Census probably refers to Nicholas since all the others were too old. William was dead by 1810 and Jacob Jr. and Abraham had their own families by then. Jacob is listed in a separate household in 1810, but Abraham is not. Therefore, we have the following:

Jacob Jr.: Listed in 1790, but not in 1800 or 1810. Born about 1774-1790.
.....Jacob Bodine, Jr. does seem to be one of the older males. He had his first child in 1803. If this family followed Dutch naming customs, and if Jacob Sr.'s father was also a Jacob (which we think he might have been), then Jacob Jr. would have probably been the oldest son. Dutch families usually named their first son after the paternal grandfather.

William: Listed in 1790, but not in 1800 or 1810. Born about 1774-1790.
.....This is probably the William Bodine who died in Derry Township, Northumberland County about 1800/1801. I mentioned him at the beginning of this discussion. William's inventory does not include any furniture, real estate, linens, bedding, dishes, etc. - just his tools, horse and horse stuff, four beehives, and clothes. This suggests that he was a young and probably unmarried man, but of age, i. e., at least 21. (Otherwise, there would be no administration of his estate. The belongings of minors are presumed to be the belongings of their parents.) If William were at least 21 when he died about 1800, then he would have been born before about 1779. No wife is mentioned, so he probably had not yet married. He was likely a relatively young man when he died, not a whole lot older than 21.

Abraham: Listed in 1790 & 1800 Censuses, but not in 1810. Born 1774-1790 & 1774-1784. Born about 1774-1784.
.....We know that Abraham Bodine was born about 1781. This would fit the census info. His first child may have been born about 1806. Jacob's first was born in 1803. William was probably 21 years old by 1801. Therefore, Abraham is probably younger than Jacob Jr. and William.

Nicholas: Listed in 1790, 1800, & 1810. Born about 1774-1790, 1790-1800, & 1784-1794. Born about 1790.
.....We know that Nicholas was born about 1790. This fits the census info.

James: Not listed in 1790. Listed in 1800 & 1810 Censues. Born 1790-1800 & 1794-1800. Born 1794-1800.
.....James Bodine administered his father's estate. He had to be born between about 1793/1794 and 1800. He was the youngest son. None of his older brothers were around to take up the responsibility of administering Jacob Sr.'s will. William and Jacob were dead. And Abraham and Nicholas were both probably in Canada. Based on the fact that he probably had sisters born in 1794 and 1795, I would venture to guess that he was born about 1793. If that is true, James could have been as old as 25 at the time he was named to administer his father's estate in 1817.

Since we know from Canadian census records that Nicholas Bodine was was 82 in 1871, then he could have been born in either 1788, 1789 or 1790. That means he coincides with the male who was between 16 and 26 on the 1810 Census. Actually, Nicholas would have been about twenty at that time.

Catherine E. Horman of Ferndale, Michigan did some study on this family. She traveled to Elgin County, Ontario and interviewed the Best family back in the 1960's. Some of her information is based on the following: records from Middlesex County, Ontario; registry Glencoe, Ontario; his land record on Longwood Rd. near Waidsville [? - probably Wardsville]; and the death notice of his eldest son John giving Nicholas' birth place as Pennsylvania (per Joan Best). From the information we have so far, John was not the oldest son. That may have been Catherine Horman's best guess.

Joan Best told me that Nicholas gave his ethnicity as "French" in one Canadian census.

She also sent me this, "Born abt. 1790 married about 1825 Charlotte ______. The familysearch reference states Charlotte Shardine but I have found no family by that name anywhere. The closest spellings have been anglicized to Sheridan. I believe that the letter writer (a letter recently discovered in an attic - see further below) was Nicholas. He says he has married a Charlotte four years before. The interpretation of the last name was Lawrence. I will be getting copies of the original letter soon and will take a look-see. The children he names in his letter are not among the children who are listed in familysearch. Nicholas was named twice in 1826 when he inventoried some estates in Elgin. He lived in Mosa, Middlesex Co., Ontario, which is very close to Southwold in Elgin Co."

Joan later looked at the letter herself and interpreted Charlotte's last name as "Sovereen." She says that there were quite a few Sovereens in the area where Nicholas and Charlotte lived. The name was consistently spelled either Sovereen or Sovereene back then.

I found some on-line records for a Nicholas and Charlotte Bodine buried in the Simpson Cemetery in Mosa Township, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada. They are probably this Nicholas and Charlotte. There were also some other Bodines buried in Mosa Township: John and Ellen (McArthur) Bodine in Oakland Cemetery and J. W. and Emily Jane Bodine in Big Bend Pioneer / Depew Cemetery. I'm not sure if these last four people were married. And a Vincent Bodine is buried in Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa Township, Carleton County, Ottawa. His dates are 1873-1900. (Someone sent the info on Vincent to Joan Best.) I also found a Nicholas in the 1871 Census of Ontario (Mosa) who "I think" is this one.

Here is an on-line record sent to me by Joan Best:

BODINE 1861 census @ca.on.middlesex.mosa
BODINE Charlotte
BODINE Nicholas
source: OGS London-Middlesex Branch publication #208 1861 Census Middlesex - Mosa

Nicholas completed an inventory of the estate of Sherman Hyde in Townsend Township in Elgin County, Ontario on January 7, 1826.

From some Canadian immigrant records, it is known that Nicholas was a militiaman sometime between 1812 and 1815. This comes from a "Statement showing Militiamen of 1812-1815 who had applied to participate in the gratuity voted by Parliament in 1875." Nicholas was 87 at the time. The full reference of this is "National Library of Canada: Parliamentary Sessional Papers," 1876, No. 7, page 13 (National Library of Canada:

And here is a message from Joan found at the Bodine Forum on the FamilyHistory site:

Message #117 Thursday, February 01, 2001
Subject: NJ to PA to Elgin & Middlesex Cos. Ontario 1811

Posted by: Joan Best
Message: Dave:

"...Bodines, Watsons and Bests all traveled together with others from the Jerseytown area, Columbia Co. PA in 1811. I have found these names and others in the group in Greenwood Twp., Columbia Co. 1810 census. These couples and siblings were all in their early 20s when they moved to take up land, 200 acres of good land a short distance from Lake Erie, unfortunately just before the War of 1812. Most of their descendants moved back to the US..."

Joan Best

Joan received a copy of a letter from Judy Laylon saying that Nicholas married about 1822 and in 1826 names his living children as James Alexandra and Frederick. Another son had died by then. From my information, Nicholas had at least one other son, John, in 1832. I have quite a few other children named as Nicholas's: Eliza, Jane, Margaret, and Adelia. All of these were born after 1826. These names came from the FamilySearch site.

Here is that letter as transcribed by Joan Best with some notes following:

Letter number 4: The "2" in 1826 is partially obscured (only the top is visible), but 1826 is the only date which makes sense in the context of the letter. Joan Best pointed out this information in regard to the date.

July 28th 1826
Brother and sisters I embrace this opportunity to inform you that we are all well at present and thanks be to the all mity for his kind faviors and hoping these few lines may find you in the same state of health . I am in the State of Pennsylvania at this time and it is 25 days since I left Canada and then tha were all in a reasonable state of health but Abrahams wife and Best is troubel with the asma and Abrahams wife is in a meloncolly state and has ben this 10 years past. She cant neither see nor talk but at the same time has children. Since shes bin this way shes had 3 or 4 if I am correct. She has in all ten children James Watson nine Betsey five Amy 6 or seven. I will now return on my story. I am at this time at Thomas Girtons as before stated from Canada. Williams and Thomas' famalys are well and send, there respects to you all.

I ohere side [Joan thinks this means "To other side." This is the end of first sheet. She thinks the two sheets of paper she has were back to back in the original.]

Second sheet:
I am married and have ben four years last winter and we have two children living boys and one dead and we call the oldest James Alexandra youngest Franklin. We suspect that you wold enquire who I married as she is a stanger of you all her name is or was Charlott Sovereene. I am living in Canada yet and expect to remain myndays in that place as I have got seteld there it is agrate while since I have had any sight of you Martha Desiar I seen when I was here before but I wood be verry happy to see you both once more but if we will we may talk to each other by pen and paper if the distance was not grat I wood come and see you but you must for give my indulgance as I have come a long jurney and my family will be expecting me home. I expct to leve this on the first of August for Canada and there to spend the remainder of my days as I am not as

Notes from Joan Best:
The letter appears to end in mid-sentence. I don't know if there was an additional page. Ruth Dengler, who also received a copy of the letter stated, "There were two more pages to this letter but Judy said too faint to scan." Ruth has transcribed this letter also, with some variations and a different interpretation of the meaning of parts of it.]

I believe the names and numbers on the first page of the letter refer to Nicholas's siblings who lived in Canada, not the names and ages of Abraham's children. The numbers do conform to the known number of children in each family. [Note from Dave: I think this is clear as well. The numbers do refer to the number of children each of Nicholas's named siblings had at the time the letter was written.]

From: joan best [joanbest1 at]
Sent: Friday, August 19, 2011
To: 'Nancy Przybylski'
Subject: RE: Nicholas Bodine family in Middlesex/Elgin Ontario

Mark and Dave,
I did find my Nicholas Bodine file. A lot of the information came from familysearch, the LDS web site. It is not always easy to tell with them if you are looking at someone else's material or original sources. This is where I found the George Sovereign family also. I knew something about the Sovereigns because I'd run into them when researching another family line in New Jersey. I have an email from 2001 from a Cheryl Siemens who did a cemetery lookup for me. She found that Charlotte and Nicholas Bodine were buried in the Simpson Cemetery in Mosa Twp., Middlesex Co. Ont.; John Bodine & Ellen Bodine [McArthur] are buried in Oakland Cemetery, Mosa; J. W. Bodine and Emily Jane Bodine in Big Bend Pioneer/Depew Cemetery, Mosa;

Dave, a long time ago sent me information from the 1871 census Elgin Co. Ontario for Nicholas, age 82. You can probably find this on line.