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Fourth Generation

104. DANIEL COMSTOCK83,93,94 was born on 19 July 1686 in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island.9,56,81 He died on 22 December 1768 at the age of 82 in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island.9,59

"The monthly meeting of Friends, 1708, Dec. 20, denied him 'to be of our profession till he repent and amend his ways,' for beating and abusing a man."
Daniel's parents were Samuel Comstock and Elizabeth Arnold, early settlers at Woonsocket. I have nothing to indicate either of their families were Quaker. Samuel & Elizabeth's family was the only Comstock family in Providence during this time period, early 1700's.

The name of Daniel Comstock's first wife and mother of his two sons is unknown. If he distributed lands to his sons about the time they reached age 21 [1735 to Azariah and 1738 to Daniel], it is likely he married sometime prior to 1714. He would have been age 28 in 1714 - if he married about age 25 as many did, that would have been say 1710-1712. His residence was Providence at that time. As the record above from 1708 indicates he was Quaker, and he was still Quaker when he married his second wife in Smithfield in 1750 - it is likely clues to this marriage and first wife could be found in Quaker records if they exist. Also the name Azariah is not used by any other Comstock family - which might be a clue to his wife's family.

History of Woonsocket:
p.52 Daniel listed as taxpayer, June 16, 1713.

The Early Records of the Town of Providence
Vol. IX, p.183 Oct 14, 1706 Daniell Comestock of Providence ...had taken up a Stray maare. Apprized by Daniell Matheson & Edward Inman at 1 pound, 5 shillings.
Vol. IX, p. 176 Ffebruary ye 10th 1708. Daniell Comstoct of Providence ...had taken up a stray mare. Apprised at 25 shillings per Tho. Arnold and Richd Arnold Junr. Also in Vol.XVII p.251 dated January 31 1708/09.
Vol IX, p.175 Aprill ye 24th, 1710. Daniell Comstock of this Towne of Providence ...taken up a stray horse.
Vol IX, p.168 Ffebruary ye 15th, 1712. Daniell Comestock of providence ...upon ye fourth day of sd ffebruary hee tooke up a stray maare. Apprised at Twenty shillings by Richard Arnold & Richard Aldrich.
Vol IX, p.169 June ye 13th 1712. Daniell Comestock gave notice that hee had taken up two stray maares. Aprized, the Chesnut Coloured maare at 3 lb 5 s; the other at 1 lb 15 s by Richard Arnold & Thomas Smith.
Vol. IX, p.163 December the 18th 1714. Daniell Comestock of this Towne of Providence ...had taken up a Stray Coult. Apprised at 20s by Tho. Arnold & Joseph Chillson.
He also testified to the identity of "John Browne of this Towne of Providence (as he saith he is & so said Daniell Comestock) a scotsman."
Vol IX, p.152 May ye 18th 1721. Daniell Comestock Gave Notis that he had taken up a stray horse.

Smithfield RI, DB 1, p.51-52 28 Mar 1733 Joseph Cook sold 31 acres to Daniel Comstock. This was the same 31 acres Joseph Cook had purchased from Daniel's nephew, David Comstock, on 30 Mar 1731. Stated in this deed is that this was land formerly laid out to Samuel Comstock on 18 May 1716. Acknowledged by Cook on 1 Jun 1733. It is not clear whether the land was laid out to Capt. Samuel Comstock, or his son of the same name who was also the father of David.

Smithfield, RI, DB 1, p.253-255 20 Mar 1731/1732 Hazadiah Comstock, Daniel Comstock, John Sayles [husband of Elizabeth Comstock, a sister], Ichabod Comstock, David Comstock [son of Samuel Jr, dec'd, and a nephew of the others], Thomas Comstock, John Comstock, and Job Comstock sold to John Balcom, 8 acres of land in Smithfield. The land was on both sides of the highway on the north side of the Great Hollow, bounded on the north & west by John Arnold, on the south by Thomas Smith, and on the east with Balcom. [This is undoubtedly a sale of land that belonged to Capt Samuel Comstock, father of most of the above named] The deed was recorded 10 Feb 1735/1736.

Smithfield RI, DB 1, p.256-257 10 Jun 1735 John Comstock to Daniel Comstock, 10 acres bordering the Branch river and the land of their brother Ichabod Comstock.
Rhode Island History; 1878 states that Daniel resided for many years at Branch Village which is listed as one of the small towns in the county of Providence.

Smithfield RI, DB 1, p.388 21 Dec 1735 Daniel Comstock to his well beloved son Azariah, four acres part of his homestead in Smithfield. Recorded 4 Apr 1738.
p.389-390 8 Aug 1735 Daniel to Azariah 50 acres, part of homestead farm. Bounds land of Ezekiel Goldthwayt and the highway. Also recorded 4 Apr 1738.
p.390-391 8 Apr 1738 Daniel Comstock to well beloved son Daniel, 30 acres off the north end of land laid out to Daniel Comstock by Thomas Fenner, Surveyor. Recorded ______ 1738 [probably same day as the previous deeds to Azariah]
p.406-407 13 Nov 1738 Daniel Comstock to Daniel Comstock Junr, 20 acres on the north side of other land of the Grantor; mentions other lands of the Grantee laid out by Thomas Fenner. Recorded 2 Dec 1738.
p.472-473 27 Jan 1738/39 Daniel Comstock to Azariah Comstock, 30 acres. Near dwelling house of Azariah Comstock, adjacent land recently laid out to Daniel Comstock, Junr, other lands of Azariah Comstock.

The earliest of the above deeds to Azariah and Daniel seem to have made to his sons about the time they reached age 21.

A list of Deputies and Representatives in the General Assembly from Smithfield are listed in History of the Town of Smithfield, by Thomas Steere, E. L. Freeman & Co., Providence, 1881
p.166 1740 Both May and October, Daniel Comstock.

Providence Court of Common Pleas [Civil Cases]
The following is a case believed to be initiated by this Daniel - his son of the same name was about age 25 and probably not as likely to be involved. Also the son was usually referred to in other records as Daniel Junr.
Dec 1742. Daniel Comstock of Smithfield vs. Obadiah Sprague of Smithfield [probably the brother of Zerviah Sprague, his daughter-in-law]. Debt Damage of 876 pounds, 5 shillings. Defendant made Default. Daniel Comstock awarded 435.2.6 deducting 108.3.4 appearing to have been paid.

Smithfield RI, DB 2, p.417-418 14 May 1745 Daniel Comstock of Smithfield sold for 145£'s old tenor money paid by Jonathan Read late of Salem, Essex Co, Massachusetts Bay Colony now a resident of Smithfield a Parcel adjacent the eastern part of Read's Land, 16 acres. He was on the north side of the highway and west side of a little brook, also bounded on the northeast with lands of Daniel Comstock. Signed with his mark - a "C".
p.418-419 11 Dec 1745 Daniel Comstock's Agreement with Jonathan Read concerning boundary between their land. The dispute over the deed description of 50 acres of land near the Branch River sold to Jonathan Read by Obadiah Sprague on 1 Mar 1745. Signed by Jonathan Read, but not signed by Daniel Comstock.
p.420-421 6 Dec 1745 Daniel Abbot of Providence sold to Daniel Comstock of Smithfield a parcel near where Daniel Comstock was living, 45 acres. Begins at Jonathan Reads NW corner, land he purchased of Obadiah Sprague, then to the dividing line between Massachusetts and Rhode Iland, land of Joseph Chilson, land of Eleazor Arnold deceased, then land of Daniel Comstock, and Daniel Comstock, Junr's land. Signed: Danll Abbot. One of the witnesses was Jonathan Read.
p.552-554 28 Jul 1746 Daniel Comstock of Smithfield to Jonathan Read of Smithfield, one acre on the NE corner of Thomas Cruffs' land and the boundary of said Jonathan Read, and the SW corner of 60 acres laid out to the said Comstock. Signed with his "mark".
p.617-619 16 Nov 1747 Ananias Mowry sold to Daniel Comstock, 3 acres, to be taken up in the Common or undivided land on the East side of the 7 mile line within the township of Smithfield in the 20 acre division upon original right of John Steer. Witnessed by Nathaniel Staples & Joseph White. [This deed could also be that of his son Daniel, Jr., who was now old enough to be a landowner.]

Smithfield, RI, DB 3, p.303-305 6 Dec 1745 Daniel Comstock to Daniel Comstock, Junr, 45 acres in Smithfield. Signed with "Mark" of Daniel Comstock. Rec. 27 Aug 1753.
[This deed recorded same date as probate of Daniel Junr's Will]

1748 Daniel and his son Daniel Jr were on a list of freemen, Smithfield. Azariah was added in 1749.

History of Woonsocket
p.64 - A List of the Highways of Old Smithfield in 1748, And the Names of Those Who Were Obliged, By Law, To Keep Them In Repair. District No.1 includes Daniel Comstock and his sons Daniel Comstock, Jr. and Azariah Comstock as well as his brothers Hezadiah and Ichabod, and Anthony a son of Hezadiah. It also included Benjamin Buffum, father of Elizabeth that Daniel would marry as his second wife in 1750. John Comstock was in District No. 9. District No. 16 included Joseph Comstock, Hezadiah Comstock, Jeremiah Comstock, and David Comstock, Esq.
From History of the Town of Smithfield, by Steere, 1881
In 1748 the population of Smithfield was 450 persons. The town was divided into sixteen highway districts, to be worked by those named with the first person named as surveyor. District No. 1 began at Patience Arnold's and extended northwest over the Branch River and all roads west and northwest of said river. Daniel Comstock Jr. was the first named.

Page 032, Smithfield Monthly Meeting, Smithfield, Providence Co., RI
Daniel COMSTOCK, of Smithfield [marriage to]
Elisabeth BUFFUM, daughter of Benjamin Buffum, of Smithfield
2nd day, 6th month, 1750 (2 Aug 1750), Smithfield
Thos. Aldrich, Caleb Aldrich, Luke Aldrich, Robert Aldrich, John Farnum,
Richard Estes, Daniel Callum, Daniel Case, Jonathan Read, Seth Aldrich,
Thomas Smith, Oliver Man, Thomas Arnold, Ebneser Cook, Ichabod Comstock,
Joseph Kelly, Moses Farnum, John Lapham, Daniel Southwick, Lydia Kelly,
Elesabeth Comstock [sic], Patience Arnold, Mary Lapham, Ruth Southwick,
Marcy Man

DB 3, p.402-403 16 Nov 1751 Daniel Comstock Jr. to Joseph Buffum, both of Smithfield. 10 acres to be taken up in the Common or undivided land on the East side of the seven mile Line. Witnessed by Mary ? [illegible] and Margret Buffum. Rec. 30 Jun 1754.

In 1768, Elizabeth made administrator of Daniel's estate.

Microfilm #0959526
Central Falls RI Filmed at City Hall 15 Mar 1974
Item #2 Council & Probate Journal 1749-1768
A true and perfect Inventory of All and Singular the
Chattles and credits of Daniel Cosmtock Late of Smithfield
who Departed this Life The Twenty Second day of December
AD 1768. Taken by us the subscribers this twenty eighth day of December
Annodi 1768
p. 545
Oliver Mann
Stephen Arnold
Ezekiel Cosmtock
At a Town council held in Smithfield in the County of Providence &c
on the 28th day of December AD 1768 Elisabeth Comstock administrator
Exhibited the Foregoing Inventory who on Solomen Engagement Declared
That she had Set forth All the personal estate of the afsd Decd that has come
unto her knowledge and if anything more belonging unto sd Estate
Should hereafter come unto her hand or knowledge She would add
the same unto sd Inventory & Oliver Man, Stephen Arnold & Ezekiel
Comstock on engagement Declared that they had made a true
Appraisal of the Goods comprised in sd Inventory. Therefore it is
voted that Sd Inventory be accepted of as a lawfull Inventory &
Ordered to be Recorded attest John Sayles Junr. Conl. Clk. Pro Tem.
Accordingly Recorded per Danl. Mowry, Junr. Conl. Clk

Smithfield RI, DB 6, Pt. 2, p.31 26 Dec 1768 Azariah Comstock of Richmond in the province of New Hampshire, Blacksmith, sold to Israel Comstock, Daniel Comstock, and Jacob Comstock [his nephews, sons of brother Daniel], a tract of 100 acres, one half of all the land "my Honrd Father Daniel Comstock late of Smithfield died Seized of in quantity and quality". Zerviah Comstock also signed the deed. Rec. 10 Jan 1769.

DANIEL COMSTOCK and ??? [COMSTOCK] were married before 1714. ??? [COMSTOCK] was born about 1690.9

Nothing has ever been discovered about the first wife of Daniel. She was undoubtedly a neighbor from one of the closely associated Rhode Island families. There is a good chance she had a father or brother named Azariah since she named one of her sons that name and it had not occured previously in the Comstock family - the other son was named Daniel for his father. There is the possibility that she was Quaker. Daniel himself was chastised for fighting in the Quaker monthly meeting in December of 1708 - he would have been about 22 years old. Then many years later, 1750, he would marry his second wife Elizabeth Buffum, in the Quaker brotherhood at Smithfield.

Searching the Vital Records of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 by Arnold reveals that not many people were named Azariah. I found only one instance of the name prior to 1749 - that of the birth of Azariah Dring, 27 Mar 1710, in Little Compton, Newport, RI. Azariah was apparently the child of Thomas and Mary Butler - I find no online genealogies that trace Thomas Dring's ancestry. An earlier Thomas Dring was a publisher in London.
In 1749 and for a few years following, the Shove [Swansea] and Crandall [Hopkinton] families show sons named Azariah.

I belive the Quaker records could hold the key to this mystery. Here are some facts about Quakerism in Rhode Island from The Narragansett Friends' Meeting in the XVIII Century: with a Chapter on Quaker Beginnings in Rhode Island, by Caroline Hazard, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1900

The first mention of Quakers in Rhode Island was the year 1657 when a letter arrived from the commissioners of the United Colonies addressed to the governor of Rhode Island, .....divers Quakers are arrived which may prove dangerous to the colonies….last year a companie of Quakers arrived at Boston….our request that you …remove those Quakers that have been received and for the future prohibite theire cominge amongst you...
Dated Boston, 12 Sept 1657, signed: Simon Bradstreet, president

At the time the above letter was written, the Massachusetts government was banishing and sending Quakers into Rhode Island. Apparently they simply wanted to hand the problem over.

There was a reply from Rhode Island. Benedict Arnold was president of the colony. Signers of the letter were William Baulston, Randall Houlden, Arthur Fenner & William Field. Oct 13, 1657
….as concerning these quakers (so called) which are now amongst us, we have no law among us whereby to punish any for only declaring by words &c, theire mindes and understandings concerning the things and ways of God as to salvation and an eternal condition.

Mary Dyer was one of the very active Quakers in Massachusetts, jailed several times and finally hung June 1, 1660. Within a year of Mary Dyer's death, the Rhode Island yearly meeting was established which grew till it became the general meeting for the whole of New England.

George Fox came 30 3rd month [May] 1672 ….attended the June yearly meeting for Friends in New England. He had meeting at Narragansett, across the Bay from Newport. The meeting house on the old Pequot trail was destroyed by Indians in Dec of 1675, killing those inside including women & children. This was the incitement of the Great Swamp Fight which ended King Philip's War.
There are no records of Friends meeting on the west side of the Bay until 1702. when Greenwich meeting was established & included Narragansett friends.

In 1699, the Rhode Island quarterly meeting was established, consisting of three monthly meetings, Rhode Island, Dartmouth & Narragansett [1st called Kingstown meeting but changed to Greenwich & included all the Friends on the West side of the Bay from Narragansett to Providence.] A meeting-house was built in East Greenwich in 1699. Records begin 5th month, 1699 at the house of John Briggs. A month later it was held at Jabez Green's. Meeting house then built in East Greenwich. Monthly meetings here included representatives from South Kingston, Providence & Warwick.

In 1707, meetings were held in rotation, three yearly at Providence, then three at Kingstown. This continued until 1718, when Providence became a distinct monthly meeting.

DANIEL COMSTOCK and ??? [COMSTOCK] had the following children:







DANIEL COMSTOCK and Elizabeth BUFFUM were married on 2 August 1750.9,95,96 Elizabeth BUFFUM97, daughter of Benjamin BUFFUM and Elizabeth [BUFFUM], was born on 26 April 1709.98 She died after February 1783 at the age of 73.99,100

Death of Elizabeth is given as 1768 in the Comstock books. However, she was administrator for the estate of her husband Daniel Comstock who died Dec 22, 1768. She is listed in the Southwick book as second wife of Jonathan, "widow Elizabeth Comstock, nee Buffum, widow of Daniel Comstock" . She was still living when Jonathan Southwick wrote his will 21 Feb 1783.

Jonathan Southwick wrote Will 21 Feb 1783. "I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Southwick, my wife, all and everything whatsoever that she brought with her into my estate, together with all the rents now due upon and for her right and privilege in and unto her first husband's estate, according to an agreement that she and I made before our marriage; and further my will is, and I hereby direct and order my two sons John Southwick and Zacheus Southwick (by first wife), for and in consideration of the larger part of my estate herein willed unto them for the intent and on account of their paying our sundry sums to divers of my family, to render and deliver unto her my said wife the following articles in the manner and proportion hereafter expressed, viz: The said John Southwick to render and deliver to her six bushels of merchantable Indian corn yearly during her life, and that the said Zacheus render and deliver to her twenty pounds of merchantable fresh pork yearly during her life, or in other articles to that value as she and the said John and Zacheus may agree, which as I judge it a reasonable and sufficient maintenance, do make no further provision for her."
George Comstock was one of the witnesses to this will.

Rhode Island History, 1878
States that Elizabeth had brothers, Joseph and Benjamin Buffum.