Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Part IV: Isaac Chase to Sarah Simmons

Several months ago, I shared an announcement from FamilySearch, American Ancestors (New England Genealogical Society) and the General Society of Mayflower Descendants that they are working together to make available records for descendants of Mayflower passengers. In exploring the website for this collaboration, I found that I purportedly descend from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins through my grandmother, Fern Laurine Stoddard. In a previous post, I proved the generational linkage between my Rhoda Chase and her father, Isaac Chase. in this post, I will continue my efforts to prove (according to the genealogical proof standard) the generational linkages between Fern Stoddard and her proposed ancestors John Alden and Priscilla Mullins.

Generation 5: Isaac Chase to Sarah Simmons

Compiled family trees report that Isaac Chase was born 12 December 1791 in Little Compton, Newport, Rhode Island and that he was the son of Timothy Chase and Sarah Simmons.[1] The same compiled trees report that he married Phebe Ogden on 18 August 1818 in Sparta, Livingston, New York, and that he died 26 May 1861 in Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah.

Isaac Chase portrait ca. 1840

Isaac’s Birth and Parentage

While no record of Isaac’s birth has been located in town records of Little Compton, we do find that two presumed siblings, Abner and Sisson Chace [sic] were born there on 26 April 1784 and 6 February 1786 respectively to Timothy Chace and his wife Sarah.[2] Perhaps the most direct evidence of the birthdate and parentage of Isaac Chase is his patriarchal blessing dated 9 February 1842 in Nauvoo, Hancock, Illinois, given by Hyrum Smith which named his parents as Timothy and Sarah Chase and reported that he had been born 12 December 1791 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.[3] This information was likely provided by Isaac himself. Isaac’s birthdate and birthplace were confirmed in an 1847 list of individuals in the Joseph B. Noble company who departed for the Salt Lake Valley on 19 June 1847.[4]  The details of Isaac’s birthdate and birthplace generally align with his reported age and birthplace in the 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses.[5] While the death record of Isaac confirms his exact birthdate of 12 December 1791, it states that he was born in Massachusetts and that he was the son of Timothy and Lucy Chase.[6] Perhaps the information for this record was provided by someone unfamiliar with Isaac’s origins and parentage, as it is the only record found thus far that conflicts with the details previously described. Later family reminisces and histories consistently report that he was born in Rhode Island to Timothy and Sarah.[7]

Entries for Isaac Chase and his family in the Camp of Israel Schedules and Reports, Spring 1847 emilgration camp, third 100, first 50.

Isaac’s marriage to Phoebe Ogden

According to compiled family trees, Isaac Chase married Phoebe Ogden, widow of William Ross, on 18 August 1818 in Sparta, Livingston, New York. In fact, Livingston County was not formed until 1821. Therefore, if the date and place of this proposed marriage correct, then Isaac and Phoebe would have been married in Ontario County. Except for a short stint between 1847 and 1850, the state of New York did not require registration of marriages until 1880. Therefore, it is unlikely that a state-issued certificate of this marriage is still extant (if it ever existed at all). While announcements for some early marriages from Ontario County were published in local newspapers, we find no mention of the marriage of Isaac and Phoebe in extracts and indexes of these records.[8]

Modern compiled records (including FamlilySearch Family Tree) often state that Isaac and Phoebe were married in Sparta, but at least two earlier compiled records report conflicting information. A 1907 compiled genealogy regarding the Ogden family of Elizabethtown reported that Phoebe married Isaac Chase in 1818 in Seneca County, New York.[9] A 1913 compilation of biographies for Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah reported that Isaac Chase married Phoebe Ogden in August 1818 in Seneca County.[10] A 1915 biography of Phoebe Ogden Chase reported that she married Isaac in 1818.[11] Since Isaac’s daughter, Rhoda Chase, was still living at the time these biographies were published, she may have been the informant for this information. Nevertheless, in her own history, Rhoda only stated that “Father’s parents moved from the state of Rhode Island when he was quite a small boy to the state of Vermont. When he became a young man, he came to the state of New York and married Phoebe Ogden Ross, widow of William Ross.” [12]

A much later undated compiled history of Isaac Chase of unknown authorship (though which includes many detailed references and footnotes) offered additional insight regarding available records and what they can tell us regarding the marriage of Isaac and Phoebe.[13] From this history, and through independent verification, we learn that both Isaac and Phoebe reported that they were married in 1818 when they received their endowment in the Nauvoo temple in December 1845.[14] Also, David Ogden Chase, son of Isaac Chase and Phoebe Ogden, at some point between 1861 and 1885 recorded in a notebook that his parents were married 18 July 1818 in Cayuga County, New York.[15] This makes sense given that Phoebe’s youngest daughter by her previous marriage, Clarissa Ross, was born in 1814 in Genoa, Cayuga, New York.[16] Also, Isaac was known to have been residing in Genoa as early as 2 April 1817 when he and Amos Scott purchased two acres of land from David Ogden, the uncle of his future wife.[17] After the death of her husband, it is likely that Phoebe was residing with her family near Genoa or Northville (now known as King’s Ferry). Therefore, it is most likely that they were married in the same county. By 1820, Isaac and Phoebe were living in Sparta, Ontario County, New York where all of their children would be born.[18]

Land indenture by David and Polly Ogden in favor of Amos Scott and Isaac Chase, 2 April 1817

Death of Isaac Chase

The death of Isaac is well-documented in contemporary sources. Though his death record offers information regarding his birth and parentage which conflicts with other sources, it is a primary source for information on the details of his death. It reports that he died 26 May 1861 of consumption (tuberculosis).[19] An obituary published a few days later confirmed the date of his death. [20]  

Obituary of Isaac Chase, 1 June 1861 in The Mountaineer.

Conclusion

From this analysis, we conclude that Isaac Chase was born 12 December 1791 in Little Compton, Rhode Island, married Phoebe Ogden sometime in 1818 (likely in the summer and likely in Cayuga County, New York), and died 26 May 1861 in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory.

While documentary evidence supports these family relationships and generational linkages, it is important to note that biological relationships can differ from documented genealogies because of adoptions, cases of misattributed parentage, or other reasons. In this case, there is genetic evidence to support Isaac’s descent from Timothy Chase and Sarah his wife. This evidence will be explored in a future blog post. Next up, to prove the identity and parentage of Sarah Chase, Isaac’s mother.    


[1] “FamilySearch Family Tree,” Isaac Chase (1791-1861), ID: KWJ1-KTY, https://familysearch.org, accessed January 2021.

[2] James Newell Arnold, Vital record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850 : first series: births, marriages, and deaths; a family register for the people (Providence, Rhode Island: Narragansett Historical, 1891-1912), p. 101, Family History Library 974.5 V2a v. 4, viewed digitally, https://familysearch.org, accessed January 2021.

[3] “Josephine C. Bradshaw collection, 1829-1937,” Patriarchal Blessing of Isaac Chase, 9 February 1842, Nauvoo, Illinois, Church History Library call number MS 1560, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/, accessed January 2021.

[4] Church History Catalog, “Camp of Israel schedules and reports, 1845-1849 / Spring 1847 emigration camp / Third 100, first 50, returns, 1847 June,” entry for Isaac Chase, image 2, line 1, call number MS 14290, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/, accessed March 2021.

[5] 1850 U.S. Census (population schedule), Great Salt Lake, Utah Territory, sheet 65b, Isaac Chase household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021; and,

1860 U.S. Census (population schedule), Great Salt Lake City Ward 13, Great Salt Lake, Utah Territory, sheet 187, Isaac Chase household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021.

[6] Utah, U.S., Death Registers, 1847-1966 (index and images), death of Isaac Chase, 26 May 1861, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, no. 1307, p. 47, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021.

[7] Rhoda Chase, “Early Reminisces of the Chase Family,” in Memoirs of the Chase family, ca. 1916-1920, call no. MS 8434, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/, accessed March 2021; and,

Kate B. Carter, The Chase Mill, 1852, Liberty Park (Salt Lake City: Utah Publishing Company, 1957), p. 9, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/memories/KWJ1-KTY, accessed March 2021; and,

Harriet Louisa Chase, “Early History of Harriet Louisa Chase as Told by Herself to her Daughter May,” bef. 1907, https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/memories/KWN2-CWC, accessed March 2021; and,

Frank Essholm, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneer Books, 1913), p. 800, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/, accessed March 2021.

[8] Syracuse Public Library, Local History Department, “Marriages from Ontario C ounty newspapers published at Canandaigua, 1803-1879, https://www.familysearch.org/library/books, accessed March 202; and,

Crystal W. Fegley, Marriages and deaths from misc. newspapers, for Waterloo, Seneca Falls, Ovid, Trumansburg and Geneva, 1807-1908 (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1970), https://www.familysearch.org, accessed March 2021.

[9] William Ogden Wheeler, The Ogden Family in America: Elizabethtown Branch and their English ancestry: John Ogden, the Pilgrim  and His Descendants 1640-1906, Their History, Biography and Genealogy (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott Company, 1906), p. 281, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021.

[10] Frank Esshom, Pioneers and Prominent Men of Utah (Salt Lake City: Utah Pioneer Books, 1913), p. 800, https://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/, accessed March 2021.

[11] James Thomas Jakeman, Daughters of the Utah Pioneers and their Mothers (Salt Lake City: Western Album Publishing Company, 1915), https://archive.org/, accessed March 2021.

[12] Rhoda Chase, “Early Reminisces of the Chase Family,” in Memoirs of the Chase family, ca. 1916-1920, call no. MS 8434, https://catalog.churchofjesuschrist.org/, accessed March 2021.

[13] Isaac Chase, Utah Pioneer 1847, p. 17, https://www.familysearch.org/library/books/, accessed March 2021.

[14] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Temple Records Index Bureau, Nauvoo Temple endowment register : 10 December 1845 to 8 February 1846 ( 1974), p. 10,11, Family History Library 977.343/N1 K29c.

[15] George Ogden Chase, George O. Chase notebooks, 1861-1886, vol. 2, Church History Library call no. MS 3359.

[16] Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Temple Records Index Bureau, Nauvoo Temple endowment register : 10 December 1845 to 8 February 1846 ( 1974), Family History Library 977.343/N1 K29c.

[17] Cayuga County (New York). County Clerk , Deed records, 1794-1901; index, 1793-1956, “Deeds, Cayuga Co. v. T-U 1817-1819,” Indenture between David Ogden and Polly Ogden in favor of Amos Scott and Isaac Chase, 2 April 1817, Genoa, Cayuga, New York, vol. T, p. 416, Family History Library microfilm 851939, viewed digitally, https://familysearch.org, accessed March 2021.

[18] 1820 U.S. Census (population schedule), Sparta, Ontario, New York, sheet 92, Isaac Chase household, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021.

[19] Utah, U.S., Death Registers, 1847-1966 (index and images), death of Isaac Chase, 26 May 1861, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, no. 1307, p. 47, https://ancestry.com, subscription database, accessed March 2021.

[20] “Died,” Mountaineer (Salt Lake City, Utah Territory), 1 June 1861, p. 4, https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/, accessed March 2021.

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