Saturday, May 14, 2011

Surname Saturday: RHEUA, wife of SAMUEL BROWN b 1777 CT, of Poundridge, Westchester Co NY

The last few blogposts have dealt with the BROWN family of colonial era Poundridge, Westchester Co NY.  I am going to continue here with my current research, which involves RHEUA, the wife of SAMUEL BROWN (see previous post for the pics of their gravestones).

I have been trying for several years to figure out the maiden name of RHEUA, wife of SAMUEL BROWN.  Here are the facts so far:  She was born around April 17, 1777, this date gleaned from her headstone which says: died July 17, 1865; 88 years, 3 mo. According to 1850 and 1860 census records for Poundridge, Westchester Co NY, she was born in Connecticut (most likely Fairfield Co CT, which is where many in Poundridge originally came from). In 1850 census, her first name is was listed as "Rhuama", and in 1860 her name was listed as "Ruhamah".   But her gravestone and other records show her first name as "Rheua".

She was married about 1796 to SAMUEL BROWN, most likely in Poundridge, Westchester Co NY.  Their eldest daughter, MARY "POLLY" BROWN, was born 1797, and married SIMEON DIBBLE.

So what on earth was RHEUA's maiden name?

I have several theories, but no hard evidence.  And very few clues.

I have looked through birth records from Fairfield Co CT, and have come up empty-handed.  I have not been able to find a marriage record for RHEUA & SAMUEL in Westchester Co NY or Fairfield Co CT, either.

My current "pet" theory, and one which I have not been able to prove, is that RHEUA was a daughter of EBENEZER DeFOREST (Rev War) and his wife MERCY.  So far I have not been able to find a birth record indicating that they had a daughter named Rheua or Ruhamah.

However, there are a few facts that make this seem quite possible.

1) According to the 1831 Rev War Pension Application of EBENEZER DeFOREST, applied for in Poundridge, Westchester Co NY, he was living in Fairfield Co CT at the time of the Revolutionary War.

2) Both SAMUEL's father SOLOMON BROWN and EBENEZER DeFOREST (listed as DeFreeze) were present in the 1790 Poundridge, Westchester Co NY census. I don't have access to the actual records, but a transcription I found shows the two families living close by. So EBENEZER had moved to Poundridge by 1790.

3) SAMUEL & RHEUA BROWN lived next door and/or nearly next door to EBENEZER DeFOREST at the time of  the 1800, 1810 and 1820 census, and next door to EBENEZER DeFOREST's son JAMES DeFOREST at the time of the 1830 census.  EBENEZER applied for his Rev War Pension in 1831, but may have been living with one of his children? (not listed in census)

4) In the 1850 Poundridge, Westchester Co NY census, SAMUEL N. DeFOREST age 22, a shoemaker,  is listed in the household of SAMUEL age 77 & RHEUA age 74 BROWN. Was he a nephew or grandnephew of RHEUA?

Also listed in the household were NEHEMIAH NORTON age 24 and his mother LETITIA NORTON age 40.  I have not been able to discern how or if they are related.  According to records I have found so far, LETITIA was not a daughter of SAMUEL & RHEUA BROWN.

So that's it, in a nutshell.  If anyone out there can recommend resources or shed light on the DeFOREST family, it would be most appreciated.

Other surname possibilities for RHEUA:


I have explored several different RHEUA's from these families, but still have not found the one who married SAMUEL BROWN.

Have a great day!


© Betty Tartas  2011

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