Pictured above from left to right - Lucyette Thorp, Reverend Wallace Walter Thorp & Horace Henry Thorp
I was recently doing a bit of research on my 3rd great grandfather, Monson THORP and his family.
Born 27 Feb 1801 probably in Connecticut, died 17 May 1888 in Skaneateles, Onondaga, New York.
He married Lany/Laura COOPER unknown date. Lany was born 16 Feb 1815 in Cato, Cayuga, New York and died 16 Jul 1886 in Skaneateles, Onondaga, New York.
I have done quite a bit of research on this direct line. However, I have not located Monson’s parents, nor confirmed Lany’s parents, nor have I located their marriage record.
This THORP line is one of my favorites because my great grandmother was Mae Eve THORP who married William Val GOULD. They were my Dad’s grandparents, whom he called Meema & Beepa and he spoke of them often. He was their only grandchild and I suspect he was doted on, as there are many pictures of him with his grandparents.
Here is a picture of my Dad as a child, circa 1914, with his grandparents on the left and his parents on the right. They are William & Mae Thorp Gould and his parents are Harry & Marie Lindsay Gould.
(CLICK ON ANY IMAGE TO ENLARGE IT)
While I was conducting my recent research on Monson & Lany I came across a couple of New York state census records that I hadn’t seen before.
TIP: These state census records DID NOT show up in the “hints” section on my Ancestry tree. I have recently begun to click on the “search records” area on my tree when I am viewing an individual. This leads to many more discoveries than you will find in your hints.
Monson Thorp and Lany Cooper had 8 known children:
Ann M., 1831-about 1903, married William ARMITAGE
Rev. Wallace Walter, 1833-1913 married Julia Maria AUSTIN (photo of Wallace at top of page)
Horace Henry (my direct line) 1836-1907 married Catherine DORSEY (photo of Horace at top of page)
Lucyette born 1838 died of Typhoid fever in 1866, age 27 (Photo at top of page)
Stephen B. born 1840 survived the Civil War and died of consumption in 1871, married Henrietta BARNES
May “Polly” 1841-1892 married David Preston FLOWER
Edith Eliza 1843-1915 married George Beech SURDAM
Monson Jr. 1847-1939 married Eudora Louise SEARLS
This would have made Lany about 15 or 16 years old at the birth of her first child, Ann M. Thorp in about 1831. Having children that early is certainly not unusual back then. HOWEVER……………………………..
When I located the 1865 New York state census for Monson and Lany it states that they had both been married 2 times! WHAT?! And, Lany is the mother of 6 children. But, they had 8 children. Something is amiss here.
Here is the census record:
Here is a close up of the family.
Here is a cropped view of the heading of those numbers & tick marks on the census record shown above. NOTICE column 11 “ Of how many children the parent” and column 12 “Number of times married.”
This sheds brand new light on this family.
Here are my questions:
- Were the first two children, Ann M. and the Rev. Wallace Walter, born to another woman & Monson?
- Is Lany even the mother of 6 of the 8 children? She could have had other children by another marriage.
- Who was Monson’s first wife? Who was Lany’s first husband?
- Where are those marriage records? New York is such a difficult place to find records. Are the marriage records even in New York?
- How many of the 8 known children born to Monson do I have death certificates for? Do those certificates/records show Lany as the mother?
That being said, what was my evidence that the children I listed above, were in fact, the children of Monson and/or Lany Thorp?
The answer is PROBATE RECORDS. I sent for and received probate records for both Monson & Lany Thorp back in 2008. The probate record for Monson, dated 30 Jun 1888 (the date it was presented in court) lists 6 of his 8 children, including married names for three daughters. The only children not listed on the probate record are Lucyette who died in 1866 and Stephen who died in 1871.
Interestingly as I was reviewing probate records for this couple, I noticed that Lany Thorp’s record also listed children, but not ALL the children that are listed on Monson’s probate. And, she died prior to him by 2 years. She lists Horace, Mary, Edith and Monson Jr. as her heirs/next of kin. Since Lucyette & Stephen are deceased, this leads me to further believe that Ann & Rev. William Thorp, listed on Monson’s probate, were his children from another marriage.
Is this fun or what?
Here are the first pages of both probate records for your review.
This has been an awesome day of discovery. In wanting to share with you what I found on the state census record I have ended up discovering so much more. I will be making a trip to the Family History Library next spring. I hope that I can find some of the records (like the marriages for Monson & Lany) that will help uncover some mysteries about this family.
If you think you might be related to this family, please contact me. I’d love to hear from you.
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