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Amos Edgerton, son of Jonathan and Freedom (Buell) Edgerton.

 

         born:

1771; West Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.  (FG6)

died:

February 28, 1824; Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY. 

 

married:

June 18, 1805; Canton, Hartford Co., CT.

 

Zerviah Graham, daughter of Daniel and Lois (Phelps) Graham.

 

         born:

May 3, 1775; West Simsbury, Hartford Co., CT.

died:

April 4, 1855; Phelps, Ontario Co., NY.  (GI)

buried:

Old Pioneer Cemetery; Phelps, Ontario Co., NY.  (GI)

 

Children:

  1. Freedom, b. July 11, 1806; Canton, Hartford Co., CT.
  2. Pauline, b. January 8, 1809; Canton, Hartford Co., CT
  3. Junius, b. March 6, 1811; Canton, Hartford Co., CT.
  4. Franklin, b. April 26, 1813; Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY.
  5. Volney, b. June 15, 1815; Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY.
  6. Sidney, b. August 17, 1818; Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY.

 


Amos Edgerton was born at West Simsbury, Connecticut in the year 1771, the youngest son of Jonathan and Freedom (Buell) Edgerton.  Amos’ mother, Freedom, died in June or July of the same year.  A few sources have listed a precise birthdate of November 10, 1771 for Amos Edgerton; but this is clearly impossible, as Amos’ birth would then postdate the death of his mother.

 

Amos Edgerton was married on June 18, 1805 at Canton, Connecticut to Zerviah Graham, daughter of Daniel and Lois (Phelps) Graham of West Simsbury.  Zerviah was born in West Simsbury on May 3, 1775.  Some secondary sources have listed her full name as Zerviah Sophia Graham, although no documentation of this middle name has been found in primary records.  Amos and Zerviah had a family of six children:  Freedom, Pauline, Junius, Franklin, Volney and Sidney.

 

The household of Amos Edgerton was recorded in the 1810 Federal Census of Canton, Hartford County, Connecticut (pg. 689), with the following enumeration:

 

1 male “of 26 and under 45”  (Amos);

1 females “of 26 and under 45”  (wife Zerviah); and,

2 females “under 10 years of age”  (daughters Freedom and Pauline).

 

Amos’ elder brother, John Edgerton, was also residing in Canton at the time of this census and was listed as a head of household on the same page of the census roll.  Circa 1813, the two brothers removed with their families to Madison County, New York and settled in the town of Cazenovia.  Another brother, Isaac Edgerton, had settled a few years earlier in nearby Florence, Oneida County, New York.

 

The household of Amos Edgerton was recorded in the 1820 Federal Census of Cazenovia, Madison County, New York (pg. 37), with the following enumeration:

 

1 male “of 45 years and upwards”  (Amos);

2 males “of 10 and under 16”  (?);

4 males “under 10 years of age”  (sons Junius, Franklin, Volney and Sidney);

1 female “of 45 years and upwards”  (wife Zerviah); and,

2 females “of 10 and under 16”  (daughters Freedom and Pauline).

 

Amos Edgerton was a school teacher and writer.  During the early part of the nineteenth century, he taught at the Cazenovia Seminar and was at work in the preparation of a series of textbooks on mathematics when he was stricken with blindness and died not long afterwards.

 

Francis A. Porter’s “Some Descendants of Jonathan Edgerton” (The American Genealogist, January 1968, Vol. 44, no. 1, pg. 123), provides the following biography of Amos Edgerton:

 

“Amos Edgerton, youngest son of Jonathan and Freedom (Buel) Edgerton, was born in West Simsbury, Conn., in 1771, shortly before his mother’s death on 22 June of that year.  He married Zerviah, daughter of Daniel and Lois (Phelps) Graham, born in West Simsbury in 1775.  In 1803 he was living in Simsbury, and in 1805 witnessed a deed signed by his brother Jediah in Hamilton, N.Y.  Amos next appears in the 1820 census of Cazenovia Township, Madison County, N.Y. with a family of six sons and two daughter, all under sixteen.  He was then living next to his older brother John, as noted previously.  Before 1830 Amos removed from Cazenovia, probably to some locality further west in the state.”

 

The following excerpt is taken from a biography of Amos Edgerton’s youngest son, Sidney Edgerton, written by Sidney’s daughter, Mrs. Martha Edgerton Plassmann (see Contributions to the Historical Society of Montana, Vol. III; Boston, Mass.:  J. S. Canner and Company, Inc.; 1966):

 

“Amos Edgerton was a descendant of Richard Edgerton, one of the founders of Norwich, Conn.  By profession a school, teacher, he had taught in almost every state then constituting the Union.  He was a scholar, not a business man, never accumulated property, and undoubtedly found it difficult to provide for his family.  More especially was this true during his later years which brought with them the terrible affliction of blindness, yet he continued to teach until his death, notwithstanding his total loss of sight.

 

Upon his widow then fell the double burden of the support and care of her family of six children:  Junius, Franklin, Volney, Freedom, Paulina and Sidney.  Few women have been better qualified for such a task.  Zerviah Edgerton was of Scotch and English ancestry, the daughter of Daniel and Lois (Phelps) Graham of West Simsbury, now Canton, Conn.  Her father and many of her relatives were soldiers of the Revolution.

 

Mrs. Edgerton was a woman of fine physique, rare intellect and strong character.  With a cheerfulness that never flagged, she accepted her hard lot.  In those days there were few occupations open to women, and those few were poorly recompensed, but with unfaltering courage the mother toiled day and night at the loom or with the needle to keep her flock together and supply their wants, until the limit of human endurance was reached, and her boys were one by one forced to leave home to make their living.”

 

Amos Edgerton died at Cazenovia, New York on February 28, 1824.  His widow, Zerviah, later removed with the children to Phelps Township in Ontario County, New York.  According to the Ontario County Surrogate Court Index, Mrs. “Zeriah Egerton” died at Phelps, New York in 1855.  She was buried at the Old Pioneer Cemetery in Phelps, New York, where her gravestone was inscribed, “ZERVIAH / Wife of / AMOS EDGERTON / DIED / Apr. 4, 1855 / Aged 79 yrs & 11 mos”.  Amos and Zerviah’s eldest son, Junius Edgerton, was buried adjacent to Zerviah at the Old Pioneer Cemetery.

 

Two of Amos and Zerviah’s sons – Franklin and Volney – resided in Phelps for a number of years and raised families there.  Both were listed in Federal and State Census records of the mid-1800’s.  Franklin later removed to Marshall, Calhoun County, Michigan, where he died in 1888.  The eldest daughter, Freedom, was married to Ira Sanders and settled at Leon, Cattaraugus County, New York.  The second-eldest daughter, Pauline, was married to Richard Church Darling and resided for a time in Randolph, Cattauraugus County, New York before moving west to Calhoun County, Michigan in the mid 1830’s.  The youngest son, Sidney, removed to Summit County, Ohio, where he was married to Mary Wright and raised a large family; he was a prominent lawyer and politician and was a member of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses.

 


 

Original Source Documents:

 

1810 Federal Census – household of Amos Edgerton; Canton, Hartford Co., CT.

1820 Federal Census – household of Amos Edgerton; Cazenovia, Madison Co., NY.

Gravestone photo – Mrs. Zerviah (Graham) Edgerton; Old Pioneer Cemetery; Phelps, Ontario Co., NY.