I recently discovered that Joseph Wallace died in Haverhill, Massachusetts on 11 June 1861, aged 80. [Massachusetts Deaths for 1861, 147:198] This death certificate has much information that will lead me to new avenues of research on his parents Nathaniel5 and Deborah (---) Wallace. Sadly, Joseph left no probate papers in Essex County, Massachusetts. This is not surprising since he is living with a daughter and her husband in both the 1850 and 1860 U.S. censuses. How then to assemble his family in the absence of both probate papers and birth records in Moultonborough?
We start with the death certificates of two children whom we can prove were his. Rebecca (Wallace) Towns, with whom Joseph is living in 1850 and 1860, died at Haverhill on 12 February 1878 and her death certificate gives her parents as Joseph and Rebecca Wallace. [Massachusetts Deaths for 1878, 301:187] Daniel R. Wallace's death certificate in Lowell from 5 January 1908 gives his parents even more specifically as Joseph Wallace and Rebecca York. [Massachusetts Deaths for 1908, 55:375]. Further Daniel's marriage in Andover from 18 February 1849 shows his parents as Joseph and Rebecca Wallace. [Massachusetts Marriages for 1848-49, 37:130]. Based on censuses and their ages at death, Rebecca was born ca. November 1818 and Daniel ca. 1823.
Next we have Joseph Wallace (Jr.) who is in Moultonborough in the 1850 census age 33. He is then in Center Harbor in 1860 age 46. He dies before the 1870 census when his wife is listed alone back in Moultonborough. Based on name, age, and location I believe this is the third child we can assign to Joseph (Sr.). Joseph (Jr.) was born ca. 1816.
Rebecca (Wallace) Towne married her husband at Methuen (which is next to Haverhill) on 20 March 1842. [Vital Records of Methuen, Massachusetts to the Year 1849 (Topsfield, Mass.: Topsfield Historical Society, 1909), p. 282] Marrying in the same town is a Deborah Wallace to Reuben G. Griffin on 19 September 1833. This Deborah dies at Boston on 29 July 1887, aged 75 with parents given as Stephen and Sally, birth place as Center Harbor, N.H. [Massachusetts Deaths for 1887, 384:231] Stephen Wallace, son of Reuben Wallace of Sanbornton is given Abigail Tilton as a wife. Based on her age; her name [that is, Joseph would have named a daughter after his mother], and the fact she marries in the same place as a known daughter of Joseph, I believe she too is his daughter and the death certificate is incorrect in naming her parents. It should be noted that she was a widow and in an "asylum" when she died. Deborah was born ca. 1812.
This leaves the two children who appear in New Durham. My ancestress, Mary Chamberlain Wallis and Nathaniel A. Wallis who married Hannah Avery Pinkham on 6 March 1850 at New Durham. I've always considered this a case of siblings marrying siblings. Certainly Hannah Avery Pinkham was the sibling of Luther Hale Pinkham, the husband of Mary. After the death of Nathaniel A. Wallis, Hannah remarried at Dover on 16 October 1868 to Edmund B. Sherman. This couple then moves to Haverhill, Mass. The connection to Haverhill is now apparent. Hannah's son by her first husband, George A. Wallace dies at Haverhill on 28 February 1906. [Massachusetts Deaths for 1906, 44:135] The death certificate gives Nathaniel's birth place as Tuftonborough. I think the added connection to Haverhill for Joseph strengthens the connection to Nathaniel and Hannah, and therefore to Luther and Mary. Nathaniel was born ca. 1825 and Mary ca. 1814.
So, the children of Joseph and Rebecca (York) Wallace appear to be:
- i. Deborah, b. ca. 1812
- ii. Mary Chamberlain, b. ca. 1814
- iii. Joseph, b. ca. .1816
- iv. Rebecca, b. ca. 1818
- v. Daniel R., b. ca. 1823
- vi. Nathaniel A., b. ca. 1825
How does that square withe the census information for Joseph? Joseph married Rebecca York on 4 September 1808 at Moultonborough. In the 1810 census he is at Moultonborough next to his father Nathaniel with a household consisting of a man 26-44 and a woman 26-44. This squares well for Joseph b. 1781 (and 29 in 1810) and Rebecca born ca. 1784. In 1820, Joseph has one boy under 10 (Joseph Jr.), one man 26 to 45 (Joseph Sr. now 39); three girls under 10 (Deborah, Mary and Rebecca); two girls 10 to 16; one woman 26 to 45; and one person engaged in agriculture. The two girls 10 to 16 are a bit of a mystery since they do not show up in the 1810 census. However, there is a farm hand enumerated--perhaps these are his daughters? The problem with these early censuses is the guessing over who is who within a household. If you take out those two girls 10-16, who are clearly not in the previous census, the children match perfectly.
In 1830, Joseph is still in Moultonborough with a household of one boy under 5 (Nathaniel A.); one 5-10 (Daniel R.); and one 10-15 (Joseph Jr.); one man 40 to 50 (Joseph himself); two girls 10 to 15 (Mary and Rebecca); one 15 to 20 (Deborah); one 20 to 30 (one of the other girls in the 1820 census); and one woman 40 to 50 (Rebecca). Again, except for the extra girl, this fits well.
In 1840, still at Moultonborough, Joseph has two males 15 to 20 (Daniel R. and Nathaniel A.); one 20 to 30 (Joseph, Jr.) and one 50 to 60 (Joseph Sr.); 2 women 20 to 30 (Rebecca and someone else); one 30 to 40 (another mystery, but still perhaps the earlier woman); one 50 to 60 (Rebecca) and one 60 to 70 (very likely Meribah Wallace, Joseph's sister who isn't separately enumerated in 1840, but shows up in 1850 in Moultonborough in the poor house aged 75). Again this holds together. Deborah marries in 1833. Mary marries in April 1840 and is clearly enumerated with her husband Luther H. Pinkham in New Durham.
Lastly, the other children all marry in the 1840s to precisely in 1850. Joseph and Rebecca then appear with their daughter Rebecca and her husband Cyrus Towns in Londonderry, N.H., aged 69 and 64.
Using the above deductive reasoning, I believe we have a good and true picture of the family of Joseph and Rebecca (York) Wallace and their six children.