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Generation Two

     2. William2 Gifford (Benjamin1); born say 1802 possibly in Farmerville, Seneca Co., NY;5,6 married Eunice Case, daughter of Aaron Case and Abigail Olmstead [?], 1826 in Columbia, Bradford Co., PA, marriage performed by Charles Taylor, Esq;6,7,8,9 he died 31 May 1849 in Ovid, Seneca Co., NY.9

     The life of shoemaker6 William Gifford was relatively short and he left few records behind him. He appears as head of household in only two federal census enumerations: the 1830 U.S. census enumeration of Bradford County, Pennsylvania,10 and the 1840 U.S. census enumeration of Seneca County, New York.11 In the latter, William is probably the male age 30-40 years, placing his date of birth between 1800 and 1810. The 1830 census enumeration includes two male candidates for William Gifford: a male age 20-30 years (born between 1800 and 1810) and a male age 30-40 years (born between 1790 and 1800). This census evidence, coupled with the date of his marriage, would place his date of birth sometime between 1800 and 1805. The only evidence found to date for his parentage is the March 1908 letter from his daughter Mary to Erastus Ely Case. She states that her father was the son of Benjamin Gifford and Mary Tilton,6 and that he was born in Farmerville, New York. Benjamin and Mary (Tilton) Gifford were natives of New Jersey, who had migrated to Seneca County, New York, in 1806. Therefore, despite the fact that his children appear to accept their father's birthplace as New York,12 it is likely that William Gifford was born in Monmouth Co., New Jersey, and came to New York as a very young child.

     There was quite a bit of movement between New York's southern tier counties and the northern tier counties of Pennsylvania.13 When and why William Gifford moved to the Bradford County, Pennsylvania, area is not known at this time. However, by 1826, he had met, courted and married Eunice Case of Troy Township, in a marriage witnessed by her brother Abraham and his wife Sarah.9

     William Gifford first appears in Bradford County records in a release dated 24 November 1829.7 This release marks William as the husband of Eunice Case, one of the heirs of Aaron Case. On 6 March 1833, the same day this release was recorded, William Gifford "of Troy Township, Bradford County and State of Pa.," bought land from his brother-in-law Aaron Case for the sum of $45.

. . . all that certain tract, piece or parcel of Land lying and being in the Township of Troy, Bradford County & State of Pa. and bounded as follows. viz. Beginning in the centre of the County road leading from Williamsport to Newtown adjoining James Hickock. Thence South forty two degrees East eighteen perches to a post standing on the South Bank of the Creek. Thence North Fifty seven degrees East fourteen perches and four tenths to a post. Thence North Twenty six degrees West nineteen perches to a post in the centre of said road. Thence South Fifty three degrees West Nineteen perches and five tenths along said road to the place of Beginning, Containing one acre and one hundred and fifty four perches of land. . . It being part of a Lot of Land granted from the Commonwealth of Pa. to Henry Drinker the Elder of the City of Philadelphia and from the said Henry Drinker to Aaron Case of Bradford County State of Pa. decd. and from Aaron Case by will to widow & heirs and from widow & heirs to Aaron Case & from Aaron Case to William Gifford.7
William and wife Eunice sell this same land for the sum of $100 to John Smith, also of Troy Township, in a deed dated 12 July 1833.7 Both deeds were recorded 2 April 1836. These deeds mark William Gifford's last appearance in Bradford County records.

     William Gifford's household in 1830 includes himself, probably the male age 20-30; a female age 20-30, probably wife Eunice born in 1805; a boy less than 5 years of age, probably son Benjamin born in 1829; and an unknown male age 30-40.10 Although this male may be a relative of William's or a farm laborer, it is quite likely that this is Eunice's older brother Philip who was born in 1792. He is currently unaccounted for in this census. Sometime between 1833 and daughter Mary's birth in 1836, the William Gifford family removed to Seneca County, New York. The household is found in the 1840 U.S. census enumeration of Covert Township in Seneca County.11 All members of the family at the time appear to be accounted for in this enumeration: one male under 5 [William Bradford b. 1838], one male 10-15 [Benjamin S. b. 1829], one male 30-40 [William]; one female under 5 [Mary M. b. 1836], one female 5-10 [Julia A. b. 1831], one female 30-40[Eunice b 1805].

     William Gifford died 31 May 1849 in Ovid, Seneca County, New York.9 He was less than fifty years of age. Although a rudimentary search for Gifford families in some Seneca County records was undertaken many years ago, a detailed study has not been made since the identification of William Gifford and his parents. Hopefully, more information will be found when such a study is made.

     Eunice 3 Case (Aaron2, Philip1); was born 7 November 1805 in Troy, Bradford Co., PA.6,14,15,9,16 She died 9 April 1890 in Richmond Twp., Tioga Co., PA.17,18,19,16 She was buried in Prospect Cemetery, Mansfield, Tioga Co., PA.16 Eunice (Case) Gifford,  photograph in possession
of Jeanne Smith.

     Eunice was the youngest daughter of Aaron and Abigail Case. All evidence supports the 7 November 1805 birthdate found on her tombstone with one exception: an affidavit dated 30 July 1863 in her application for mother's pension lists her age as 56 years giving a birth date between 31 July 1806 and 30 July 1807.9 She was less than sixteen years of age when her father's death occurred. Although close families were probably the norm, the Case siblings maintained especially close ties throughout their lives. Perhaps the early death of their father contributed to this strong extended family.

     Eunice was roughly 21 years of age when she married William Gifford. His untimely death in 1849 left the widow with seven children ranging from two years to twenty years of age. Her extended family came to her rescue. She appears to have left Seneca County, New York, and returned to Pennsylvania. The 1850 U.S. census enumeration of Richmond Township, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, shows Eunice living in a household with son Benjamin, age 21, listed as head, Julia A., age 19, and Hiram, age 3.20 The remaining children appear to have been scattered among the relatives. William was found in the household of James L. Linderman, listed as Bradford Gifford, age 12.21 Linderman's wife Abigail was Eunice's niece, daughter of her sister Elizabeth and Ansel Williams. Stephen Gifford, age 7, was found in the household of Oliver Williams,21 Eunice's nephew. Daughters Mary and Matilda have not been found in the 1850 census enumerations of Eunice's many relatives. It is possible that they went to their father's relatives after his death.

     The 1860 U.S. census indicates changes in Eunice's household. Her occupation is listed as "weaving." She owns no real estate, but has $200 in personal property. Daughter Mary, age 24, now resides with her and is listed as a "tailor." Son Bradford, age 21, is a farm laborer and son Hiram H., age 13, is a school boy.22 Her older children, Benjamin and Julia, were married with their own families; son Stephen still resides with the Oliver Williams household; daughter Matilda is still unaccounted for in this census year.

     The Civil War took a large toll on Eunice Gifford's family. All four sons enlisted and served during the conflict. Benjamin, William Bradford and Stephen enlisted in the same company, Company F of the 1st New York Light Artillery, in the fall of 1861. Her youngest son Hiram enlisted in June 1863 in Company B, 26th Pennsylvania Infantry Volunteers, at the age of 16. William succumbed to typhoid fever in 1862 and both Benjamin and Stephen received disability discharges due to phthisis.

     The death of William Bradford Gifford removed a significant source of income from Eunice's household. Nephew Philip Williams states in an affidavit dated 28 October 1863: "Wm. B. Gifford worked at day labor for the support of his mother Eunice Gifford & I, Philip Williams, further certify that I acted as agent for the said Eunice Gifford & hired out her said son Wm. B. Gifford & received his wages and applied the same to her support he also paid her house rent up to the time of his enlistment."9 Eunice applied for a mother's pension and received the sum of $8 per month commencing 19 May 1862, the date of her son's death.

     The Eunice Gifford household shown in the 1870 U.S. census of Mansfield Boro includes Eunice, age 64, son Hiram, age 25, a laborer with $300 in personal property, his wife Sarah, age 21, and their infant son William who was born in March of that year. Eunice is no longer listed as a weaver and now owns real estate valued at $800.14 A deed dated 9 December 1864 between Robert J. Brown and wife Harriet M. and Eunice Gifford shows that Eunice had purchased part of Lot no. 103, three-quarter acre in size, in Mansfield Boro for the sum of $275.23 This lot is shown on an undated map of Mansfield Boro as being in the east part of Mansfield south of Cory Creek. The lot is labelled as belonging to a "J. Gifford."24 To date, no further records relative to the land purchased by her have been found in the cited sources.25

     By 1880, all of Eunice's children are in households of their own. Sons Benjamin and Hiram reside in Michigan, daughter Mary lives in New York, sons William and Stephen are deceased, daughter Matilda lives in neighboring Sullivan Township, and daughter Julia resides near her mother in Richmond Township. However, Eunice is not alone in her home. Residing with her is widowed sister Martha Utter, age 76.15

     Eunice (Case) Gifford died at the home of her daughter and son-in-law Julia and Plinn Davis in Richmond Township at 1:40 p.m., Wednesday, 9 April 1890.18 The cause of death was a "paralytic stroke."19 She was buried in Prospect Cemetery next to granddaughter Fannie (Davis) Harris. This lot is marked by a large four-sided stone probably added long after Eunice's death. Her inscription reads "Eunice Gifford// born// Nov. 7, 1805// died// Apr. 10 [sic], 1890." A small stone marker is labelled simply "Grandma."16 Her obituary appeared in the Mansfield Advertiser 16 April 1890.26,19 Administration of her estate was granted to F. W. Clark on 23 December 1892 Mansfield, Tioga Co., PA.18

     Eunice (Case) Gifford was widowed at the age of 44, still relatively young. She would remain a widow for the rest of her life, almost 41 years. With the help of her extended family, she raised her seven children, outliving three of them. She was survived by two sisters, four of her seven children, thirteen of her nineteen grandchildren, and seven of eight great-grandchildren. In the 41 years of her widowhood, her house was never empty.

Eunice Gifford signature,
1862.

     The seven known children of William2 Gifford and Eunice Case were as follows:




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Susan Goss Johnston, copyright June 2001, revised August 2002