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Seventh Generation


673. William Ogilvie COMSTOCK was born on 11 May 1815 in Galway, Saratoga County, New York. He died on 12 April 1883 at the age of 67 in Greenfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts..

William Ogilvie COMSTOCK and Margaret Eliot LAMB were married on 3 June 1856. Margaret Eliot LAMB was born (date unknown).

William Ogilvie COMSTOCK and Margaret Eliot LAMB had the following children:

907

i.

Samuel Willett COMSTOCK was born on 14 December 1865 in Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

The extensive collection of Samuel's correspondence concerning the Comstock family, is in the NEHGS library - some under his name but much of it is in the John Adams Comstock collection. John A. gave Samuel W. Comstock credit for much of the research represented in his book The Comstock Family in America. Samuel's descendancy from the immigrant William Comstock is represented primarily by direct line ancestors and does not include siblings. Samuel was the 5th child of eight.

Samuel was a manufacturer and wholesaler of spruce lumber until his retirement in 1929. Interest other than his passion for genealogy included coin and stamp collecting.

Samuel Willett's collection is not as large as John A.'s - but it is 22 manuscript volumes.  SG COM 11 [87]
Summary:   Correspondence, clippings, notes, etc. on the Comstock and Willett families.
(#1) Comstock letters, 1849-1869. (#2) Comstock letters, 1870-1877. (#3) Comstock letters, 1878-1895. (#4) Comstock letters, Oct 1895-Sept 1902. (#5) Comstock letters, Oct 1902-June 1903. (#6) Comstock letters, July 1903-Dec 1904. (#7) Comstock letters, 1905-1910. (#8) Comstock letters, 1907-1915. (#9) Comstock letters, 1916-1919. (#10) Comstock letters, 1919-1930. (#11) Comstock letters, 1848-1930. (#12-16) Bks A,C,D,F, G containing genealogy. (#17-18) Descendants of William of New London. (#19) Descendants of Samuel of Wethersfield, Conn. (#20) Descendants of Christopher. (#21) Descendants of Samuel of Providence. (#22) Volume containing excerpts from vols. A,B,C,D,E,F, & G including missing vols. B,E, & H.
Samuel Willett Comstock was born 14 Dec 1865 Boston MA.  He was a member of NEHGS from 1929-1936.  Undoubtedly he donated his collection, or his family did, to the NEHGS library.

When I began to examine the 22 volumes, this is what I found.  The letters [Volumes #1-12] had been bound into books, apparently by Samuel W. and a great many of them, especially the earlier letters, were actually the correspondence of Noah D. Comstock, an earlier Comstock researcher - I did not find how Samuel came by these letters.  When I looked up Noah Durham Comstock in John A.'s book I discovered both he and his wife descend from "my" Samuel Comstocks [father & son] of Rhode Island.  There was also the note on p.329 of "Comstock Family", Family #1409, that Noah had collected much of the data used by Cyrus B. Comstock for his two books.  Cyrus wrote two books on the family ca 1905.  So there you go  - I guess you could say right back to the horse's mouth.  About the binding of the books - the letters were not pasted onto pages but glued into strips of paper in the binding.  The letters are filed consecutively by date and there was an index in the front of each "book" by the correspondent's name.  Sometimes the edges of the letters were obscured by the binding; some had faded and some handwriting hopeless.  The binding is quite tight and the letters in very delicate condition.  I do not believe they could be copied at all - and I could not photograph the pages without extra hands to hold down the pages.  I really needed two extra people.  Maybe this is why this collection has not been microfilmed.  The group I went with are all very casual acquaintances and doing their own research so I hesitated to ask them to spend a large block of time with me trying to photo these pages. 

Volumes #12-16 contain handwritten notebooks of what appears to be a rough draft of a book.  Apparently Samuel W. had aspirations.  From the correspondence between Lyndon W. [a close Comstock relative of mine] & Noah D. it was apparent that Noah had aspirations for a book as well.  I would think both Noah D. & Samuel W. ran out of time and the task eventually settled on John A. Comstock.   I thoroughly examined Volume #12 looking for the earliest data - again for any clues to some of the wives of the earliest Comstocks, but not much of the rest except for some selected letters found in the indexes to the volumes of letters.   The narrative was obviously taken from his research papers as in Volume #21, etc.