Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   

Fifth Generation


190. John COMSTOCK79 was born on 16 April 1724 in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island.82 He died on 16 May 1790 at the age of 66 in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island.57

The Comstock books have this family very confused. John's wife Ruth, born 1724, could not have been the mother of the younger children ascribed to this family. Yet when John died, his widow was Ruth. I believe it is likely that John married twice, both times to a lady named Ruth [probably Ruth Aldrich] and the second Ruth was much younger resulting in a second family. Any descendants of this family should obtain the original records for clarity.

John Comstock of Smithfield was admitted to vote 5 May 1752. He was on a list of freemen from Smithfield, 1753

1774 Census of Smithfield. John Comstock had 4 males over 16, two males under 16, and 4 females over 16. Since this is just the number of people in the household, it is impossible to determine if all were one family, or some were servants, or other relatives. By 1774, Ruth was surely past child-bearing age.

12 Jul 1788 John deeded 1/2 of the home farm to sons William and Levi. Later records of theirs indicate they were very young and were not counted in 1774. John would have been quite old and may have been guaranteeing this property for the sons born to the second wife.

Ruth Comstock, widow, and Wanton, her son, presented John's inventory 21 Jun 1790. [My question her is did this record actually state that Wanton was Ruth's son, or did it refer to Wanton as a son of John Comstock, deceased. That could be key to whether or not Ruth is Wanton's stepmother, not his mother.]
Here is what one record actually says and it does NOT state that Wanton was anyone's son, just that he was Administrator and Ruth, Widow, was administratrix.
LDS Microfilm #0959526
Council & Probate Journal 1770-1797
Central Falls RI Filmed at City Hall 15 Mar 1974
Item #1 on film
No index; few page numbers:
Town Council in Smithfield June ?blot AD 1790
Present: Joseph Farnum, Presd. Jesse Jenks, James Appleby Jun.
Arnold Pain, John Man, Enos Smith
Ruth Comstock Widow as Administratrix & Wanton Comstock
Administrator upon the personal estate of John Comstock late of
Smithfield Yeoman Deceasd Exhibited an Inventory of Said Estate
Who on Engagement Declared they had Set forth all the personal
Estate of the said Decsd That Did Belong unto him at the Time of his Death
that had come unto their hands or Knowledge and If anything more
hereafter Should come unto their hand & Possession they would add the
Same unto Said Inventory. And Stephen Comstock, John Sterett
Daniel Smith Junr the prizers of the Goods, comprised in Said
Inventory On Solemn Engagement Declared that they had mad
a True Apprisal thereof. According to the best of their judgment
Therefore the Said Inventory is Accepted of as a Lawfull Inventory
and is Ordered to be Recorded their giving Bond According to Law &c
Administration granted.

After John's death, Ruth married Francis Hamilton. Apparently they were in Oneida Co, NY by 1800 - please read second wife Ruth Aldrich's notes.

22 Feb 1805. William & Levi Comstock of Paris, Oneida Co NY, deed Stephen Charles Mowry 1/2 of a farm in Smithfield, RI, where our father John lived and died excepting the dower of Ruth Hamilton out of said deed. [Although this deed states that John was the father of William & Levi that lived in Oneida Co, it apparently did not say that the dower of Ruth Hamilton was that of their mother, although I believe she would have been.]

3 Sep 1810. William Comstock & Patty his wife, Kanah Mills & Joanna his wife, all of Paris, Oneida Co NY. Oliver Gillette & Rhoda his wife of Hamilton, Oneida Co NY, are seized in fee of land late in possession of John Comstock, dec'd. The said William, Joanna, & Rhoda being natural heirs of Nancy Comstock, dec'd who was heir of John Comstock, they appoint Levi Comstock their attorney to lands of our sister Nancy, dec'd.
[This is probably regarding the property of their sister Nancy - perhaps a half-sister - that had died in 1795. It doesn't include other siblings, but it does include those living in New York that appeared to be the younger, second family of John Comstock, dec'd. They were likely all minors at the time of Nancy's death and could not have taken possession of their inheritance then.]

John COMSTOCK and Ruth COMSTOCK were married on 19 January 1746/7 in Smithfield, Providence County, Rhode Island.82 Ruth COMSTOCK, daughter of Ichabod COMSTOCK and Zibiah WILKINSON, was born on 20 January 1723/4 in Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island.77

There is something very wrong with the dates concerning Ruth and her children in the old Comstock books. She is given as the mother of all the children and said to have remarried after the death of John Comstock in 1790. Yet she is given a birth of ca 1724 and the couple married in 1746. If she was born in 1724, then several of the children were born when she was well into her 50's, maybe even 60's, which seems highly unlikely.

I believe that Ruth Comstock died some earlier and that before 1780, John had married Ruth Aldrich.

This record would seem to be contradictory but perhaps there is an error in the transcription because I do believe Wanton was a son of Ruth, nee Comstock, the first wife.
Ruth Comstock, widow, and Wanton, her son, presented John's inventory 21 Jun 1790.
Does this record actual state that Wanton was Ruth's son, or does it say he was a son of the deceased? I believe John Jr. and Wanton to have been the eldest of the sons - however, they were born at least ten years after the marriage of Ruth Comstock to her cousin John. Zibiah may have been older and there may have been other children never identified.

John COMSTOCK and Ruth COMSTOCK had the following children:

348

i.

Zibiah COMSTOCK was born in 1750. She died on 24 May 1820 at the age of 70 in Thompson, Windham County, Connecticut.

1791, 8 Apr. John [Jr] and Wanton Comstock, both of Woodstock, and Zibiah Comstock, spinster, of Smithfield, deeded 4 acres in Smithfield and 4/7 of the house "our father John died seized of".

This appears to be the only record of Zibiah.

New Boston Cemetery - Thompson CT
Zibiah Comstock died 24 May 1820 age 70 bc 1750


The 4 Aug 1800 census of Woodstock includes:
William Comstock
John Comstock (also in 1790 census)
Wanton Comstock in the 1810 and 1820 census - born 1763; died 22 Aug 1833 in Thompson, CT VIR
John N. Comstock b 1767; died 15 Mar 1822 CT VIR
Zibiah Comstock b 1750; died 24 May 1820 Thompson CT VIR

349

ii.

Nancy COMSTOCK died on 13 April 1795.

Nancy died unmarried according to the Comstock books. Francis Hamilton, her father-in-law [stepfather], was appointed administrator of her estate, 29 Jun 1795.

1810, 3 Sep William Comstock & Patty his wife, Karah Mills & Joanna his wife, all of Paris, Oneida Co NY. Oliver Gillette & Rhoda his wife of Hamilton, Oneida Co NY, are seized in fee of land late in posession of John Comstock, dec'd. The said William, Joanna, & Rhoda being natural heirs of Nancy Comstock, dec'd who was heir of John Comstock, they appoint Levi Comstock their attorney to lands of our sister Nancy, dec'd.

The above power of attorney does not list all the siblings of Nancy - but it does list those living in New York. In 1795, when Nancy died, the above were her younger siblings [perhaps half-silbings] and likely underage. They had never received their distribution.

+350

iii.

John COMSTOCK.

+351

iv.

Wanton COMSTOCK.

John COMSTOCK and Ruth ALDRICH were married. Ruth ALDRICH, daughter of Reuben ALDRICH and Ruth VERRY, was born (date unknown).

This second wife named Ruth isn't in the Comstock books. However, the children ascribed to John Comstock could not have been born to his first wife. His wife at the time of his death was Ruth; therefore he apparently married a second Ruth. That she was Ruth Aldrich is indicated in the will of Levi Aldrich in Smithfield, in 1799, when he names a sister as Ruth Hamilton.


There is something very wrong with the dates concerning Ruth and her children in the old Comstock books. She is given as the mother of all the children and said to have remarried after the death of John Comstock in 1790. Yet she is given a birth of ca 1724 and the couple married in 1746. If she was born in 1724, then several of the children were born when she was well into her 50's, maybe even 60's, which seems highly unlikely.

Then there is this:
Ruth Comstock, widow, and Wanton, her son, presented John's inventory 21 Jun 1790.
Does this record actual state that Wanton was Ruth's son, or does it say he was a son of the deceased? I believe John Jr. and Wanton to have been the eldest of the sons - however, they were born at least ten years after the marriage of Ruth Comstock to her cousin John. Zibiah may have been older and there may have been other children never identified.

1790 Census. Smithfield, Providence Co, RI
Ruth Comstock. 1 white male over 16, 1 under 16, 2 females
Ruth was next to Stephen Mowery in this census. In 1805, sons William and Levi would deed have of their father's farm in Smithfield to Stephen Charles Mowry.
This may or may not be the widow of John Comstock, but it is a possibility. I believe it is most likely the second wife, who was also named Ruth. She should have two males under 16, and possible two females plus herself in her household.


Nancy, daughter of John Comstock, died 13 Apr 1795. Francis Hamilton, her father in law [stepfather under the old meaning of the term], was appointed administrator of her estate, 29 Jun 1795. Would be interesting to see if he had failed to distribute the estate, or if it mentions minor siblings, or even lists all of Nancy's heirs. Obviously Nancy had property which indicates she was likely at least age 21, or several years older, when she died.

I think it is possible that the younger Ruth was Ruth Aldrich, daughter of Reuben and Ruth Verry Aldrich, who had married 22 Nov 1744. A son of Reuben & Ruth was Levi Aldrich of Smithfield and in his Will presented to the Town Council in Smithfield, 27 May 1799, he names sisters as Hannah Comstock [wife of Stephen & son of Hazadiah Comstock Jr, an older brother of this John Comstock], Unie [Eunice] Mowry, Ruth Hamilton and Patience Aldrich. An online database suggests that the children of Reuben & Ruth Aldrich were born between 1746 and 1767.

The marriage of Ruth Comstock to Francis Hamilton must have also been his second marriage.
He appears to have had children himself. Anne Hamilton (daughter of Francis Hamilton) , married 24 April 1800 in RI to Amasa Mowry, who was born 4 April 1778 in RI.

1790 Census. Smithfield Rhode Island
Francis Hamilton. 1 white male over 16, 2 white males under 16, 2 females.

1800 Census. Paris, Oneida Co, NY
Francis Hamilton: 2m under 10, 1m 10-16 [Levi?], 1m 16-26 [William?], 1m over 45. 3f 10-16 [Rhoda would fit here?], 1f 16-26 [Joanna?], 1f 26-45 [if this is Ruth, widow of John Comstock – it’s obvious she was much younger than her husband and not the Ruth Comstock born 1724. It’s also possible to account for those young children of John – William, Levi, Joanna, and Rhoda among the young people in the household. This also places Joanna in New York to meet and marry Kanah Mills.]

A confusing abstract of a power of attorney does not clear up the problem.
1810, 3 Sep William Comstock & Patty his wife, Kanah Mills & Joanna his wife, all of Paris, Oneida Co NY. Oliver Gillette & Rhoda his wife of Hamilton, Oneida Co NY, are seized in fee of land late in posession of John Comstock, dec'd. The said William, Joanna, & Rhoda being natural heirs of Nancy Comstock, dec'd who was heir of John Comstock, they appoint Levi Comstock their attorney to lands of our sister Nancy, dec'd.

The John A. Comstock book does give all the above as siblings and children of John and Ruth (Comstock) Comstock and states that Nancy died unmarried. But cemetery records in New York reveal William and Levi and Rhoda were born too late to be Ruth's children. The reference to "natural heirs" seems a bit odd. Are they her natural heirs because the other children of John were half-siblings? Or just a lawyer's slightly unusual wording? There should have been other heirs [siblings or half-siblings] of Nancy - specifically John Jr., Wanton, and Zibiah. John Jr. possibly recently deceased, but he left children. John Jr & Wanton were living in Thompson Co, CT - Zibiah may never have left Smithfield. They were not present in New York to be a part of this document. And these younger persons were all minors at the time Nancy died and could not have received their share.

In 1810, the Oneida census used only an initial for given names. There were two listed as "E" Hamilton, but there was no "F" Hamilton. In Madison Co NY, also by initial, there were three listed as "F" Hamilton.
One could be eliminated because he was age 16-26. The other two F. Hamiltons were listed in Hamilton, Madison Co, one after the other with a "Jn" in between.
The first F. Hamilton: 1m 10-16, 1m 16-26, 1 m over 45; 2f under 10, 1f 16-26, 1f over 45 [Would appear to possibly a married child with young children living with them - the young males could also be sons, see Very & Reuben Hamilton, later]]
The second F. Hamilton, a possible Junior: 1m 16-26, 1f under 10, 1f 16-26, and 1f over 45

Hamilton, Madison Co NY in 1820 had a very large family, or there are two families living together.
Francis Hamilton: 1m -10, 1m 16-18, 1m 16-26, 1m 26-45, 1m +45. 1f -10, 1f 10-16, 1f 16-26, 1f +45
It is quite possible a married child and grandchildren are living in the home [as in 1810]
Hamilton is found on the same page as Oliver Gillette who married Rhoda Comstock.

Several households away on the same page is Samuel Comstock: 1m -10, 1m 26-45, 1f 26-45. This Samuel seems to be a descendant of old William Comstock's son John - Samuel married Rhoda Lord. His family will continue to be found in Madison Co. Samuel & Rhoda are buried Hamilton Center Cemetery.


And I found this online - which seems at first to be a completely different and younger Francis Hamilton - it is possible he was the son of the older Frances. However, I think it could be the same man and his age has been grossly understated. He was much older, born before 1755. He married a younger Ruth [under 45 in 1800]. The sons Very & Reuben are seen online with assorted birth years. There is also the possibility that this is a Francis Jr as implied in the 1810 census - but that Francis had no young boys in 1810. In both 1800 and 1810, the older Francis Hamilton did have young males that could fit the approximate ages of Very and Reuben below.

"This Hamilton family starts with Francis HAMILTON who was born about 1785. He came from Scotland and settled in Rhode Island in the early days of the United States. Later he settled in Madison County, New York state. Hamilton married into the Berliner family."
There are discrepancies in the birth year of Francis in the following database, but he's still some twenty years younger than I believe he was.
1. Francis1 Hamilton was born Abt. 1776, and died Unknown in ?. He married Unknown. She died Unknown.
Children of Francis Hamilton and Unknown are:
+ 2 i. Very2 Hamilton, born Bet. 1796 - 1797 in Rhode Island; died December 28, 1859 in Poolville, Madison County, NY.
3 ii. Reuben Hamilton, born Abt. 1810; died Unknown.
2. Very2 Hamilton (Francis1) was born Bet. 1796 - 1797 in Rhode Island, and died December 28, 1859 in Poolville, Madison County, NY. He married (1) Harriet Gillette. She was born Abt. 1700 in Madison County, Ny, and died Aft. 1740 in Georgetown, Madison County, NY. He married (2) Mary Crumm. She died Unknown.
[The connection with the Gillette family should be noted as Rhoda Comstock, stepdaughter of Francis Hamilton, married Oliver Gillette.]

The 1830 Census, Hamilton, Madison Co NY, suggests indeed that Francis Hamilton might have had a son named Reuben. Perhaps Reuben and his wife are the couple that have been living with Francis in 1810 & 1820. In 1830, Reubin Hamilton is listed with 1 male age 40-50 [b. 1780-1790], 1m 80-90 [could this be Francis, b. 1740-1750?], 1f age 30-40.
It is also interesting to note that in this 1830 census, next to Oliver Gillet, is a young Reuben Gillet...he was age 20-30 and seems to have a spouse of the same age. They lived quite close to Reuben Hamilton.
There were 11 other Hamilton households in Madison Co at this time - three of the families in Hamilton; the families of Charles and Henry, other than Reuben.

In 1840, there was no Reuben Hamilton, but there was a Vary Hamilton. He had 1m under 5, 1m 5-10, 2m 10-15, 2m 15-20 and 1m 40-50 [Vary, b. 1790-1800]. There was 1f under 5, and 1f age 20-30.

I believe the following was Vary Hamilton in 1850. Georgetown, Madison Co NY, Hh 237
"Berry" Hamilton, age 54, b. NY. Mary Ann, age 30.
Charles 18, George 15, Harriet 11, Ambrose 7, Lucy 4, Sarah 2.
In Hh 236 was
Lyman Hamilton, age 29. Achsa, age 22, Lucy age 1.

FindAGrave.com
Lyman G. Hamilton, b. 1821, d. 1900, buried Erieville Cemetery, Nelson, Hamilton Co NY
Achsa M. Hamilton, b. 1828, d. 1907, buried with Lyman

The unusual name "Very" also ties the wife of Francis Hamilton to the Aldrich family, indicating the possibility that Very Hamilton was born to Francis and his second wife, Ruth Aldrich Comstock. Reuben Aldrich, b. 27 Jul 1728, Smithfield, RI, died before 1802 in Smithfield. He married Ruth VERRY, 22 Nov 1744 in Smithfield.
Not all databases found on the Internet list a daughter Ruth, but here is a list of children seen with possible birth dates.
Reuben & Ruth Verry had:
Reuben, b. 1746
Eunice, b. 26 Jun 1753, married Eleazer Mowry, 7 Nov 1773
Hannah, b. 1760, married Stephen Comstock
Nathan, b. 24 Aug 1762; died 26 Feb 1851
Levi, b. 1766, d. 1799 leaving the will which mentions his siblings
Patience, b. 16 Jul 1767

John COMSTOCK and Ruth ALDRICH had the following children:

+352

i.

William COMSTOCK.

+353

ii.

Levi COMSTOCK.

+354

iii.

Joanna COMSTOCK.

355

iv.

Rhoda COMSTOCK was born in 1789. She died in 1852 at the age of 63.

Rhoda married Oliver Gillett about 1810. He was born 1780, died 1852. It is quite likely Rhoda was not his first wife and he had children when he married her.]

1810, 3 Sep William Comstock & Patty his wife, Karah Mills & Joanna his wife, all of Paris, Oneida Co NY. Oliver Gillette & Rhoda his wife of Hamilton, Oneida Co NY, are seized in fee of land late in posession of John Comstock, dec'd. The said William, Joanna, & Rhoda being natural heirs of Nancy Comstock, dec'd who was heir of John Comstock, they appoint Levi Comstock their attorney to lands of our sister Nancy, dec'd.

1820 Census - Town of Hamilton, Madison Co NY:
Oliver Gillette also found in Hamilton in 1820. 1m under 10, 1m 10-16, 1m 26-45, 1m +45. 1f under 10, 2f 10-16, 1f 26-45.

1830 Census. Hamilton, Madison Co. NY [indexed as Oliver Zittel]
Oliver Gillet. 1m 15-20, 1m 50-60. 1f 15-20, 1f 20-30, 1f 30-40 [Rhoda]

1840 Census. Hamilton, Madison Co, NY
Oliver Gillet. 1m 20-30, 1m 60-70 [himself]. 1f 10-15, 1f 15-20, 2f 20-30, 40-50 [Rhoda]

1850 Census. Hamilton, Madison Co NY, Hh 1457
Oliver Gillett, age 70, b. CT. Rhoda Gillett, age 60, b. RI
Born in NY: Melissa, age 35. Dianah, age 34. Lorenda A., age 19
Wm Comstock, age 28, b. NY.

Rhoda and Oliver, are buried Poolville Cemetery, Hamilton, Madison Co, NY.
Her stone: 1789 - 1852
Oliver Gillette: 1780 - 1852