OF ALBERT BOHANNON
Town of RICHLAND,
SOURCES ( plus many others)
Compiled by Shirley Schiess,
who has been researching these lines for over 50 years. She is searching
for Bohannon/Behunin, Lords/Laur, Knight, Quimby, Simmons, Parsons, and
others from Oswego and surrounding counties. This is an on-going project
in which any and all help would be appreciated. Please contact her at <sschiess.satx.rr.com>.
For over 10 decades, the descendants
of Albert Bohannon have been trying to trace the man and his history.
For many years, it was assumed (because of the surname) that he was of
Scot or Irish descent. However, recent research from two different
searchers has shown that the more likely possibility is he was of French
decent, by way of Canada. He was born about 1750, probably in the
wilds of Ontario. His father has been generally accepted to be Robert Bohannon.
Many spelling variations of the surnames have been found. Canadian
histories indicate almost no settlements west of Kingston, Ontario, by
1750. However, in a book, “Forgotten Pathways of the Trent”, the
author describes many French outposts and settlements all along Lake Ontario
and further west. Most histories of that area commence with the arbitrary
ousting of the French by the English after the French and Indian War.
Robert probably married more than
once. His last wife, might have been Angelique___, also from France,
and among their children might have been:
1. George born about 1746
2. Albert, born about 1750, married
5. James, who probably lived near
6. Aurelia, who probably lived in
New Haven, Oswego, NY
other children could have been Clyde
or Clive, Mandy and Leslie.
Western New York was unsettled territory
until after the Revolutionary War. There was a fort at the town of
Oswego that was used periodically. Several battles were fought in
the area, including one near Oriskany, just east of Rome. After the
war, veterans were given script to claim lands in the far western areas,
including the Scriba Patent area, which encompassed part of Oneida County.
Oneida had been formed from Steuben County in 1795. It is possible
Albert took an active part in the battles, but no records have been found
The name Bohannon is of Scot and/or
Irish derivation. However, it is probable it is an Anglicized version
of the French name; therefore, much easier to pronounce after the family
migrated to New York. When Albert’s son, Isaac, and other family
members used the Behunin spelling, it might be closer to the original name.
Albert is first found in records
in the 1800 census of Rome, Oneida, New York, with a wife and 3 children.
He married Nancy Lords about 1790, which means he was 40 years old and
she was much younger, probably born about 1770. It is probable that
Albert had been married before. There are a number of other people
in the 1800 census who were connected by marriage to the Bohannon/Lords,
such as Knight, Wright, Otis, Parsons and others. At that time, Rome encompassed
parts of what is now Richland in present Oswego County. The History of
Oswego Co. mentions settlers “Nathan Tuttle, Nathan Wilcox from Canada,
and Albert Bohannon who settled on Snake Creek in 1801.”
There has long been confusion about
Albert’s first name. It is given in many records as Albert Alpheus
Bohannon. In the early 1900’s a descendant contributed a pedigree chart
to the Archives at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City with Albert’s
parents as Alpheus Bohannon & Nancy Corbin. Later research revealed
that this Alpheus (who married Nancy Corbin) was actually Albert’s
not his father, hence the confusion. There is no record anywhere
that his name was anything but Albert. His son, Isaac, recorded his father’s
name in several records, always as Albert.
Albert died in 1823, place unknown.
His wife, Nancy, died in 1832, place also unknown. There have been a number
of family stories passed down through the generations, none of which have
been verified. Nancy’s parents are unknown, but recent research indicates
she probably was from Quebec, southeast of Montreal, Canada, and that she
might have been married first to a John McFarland, who died about 3 years
after their marriage. It is probable that Albert and Nancy lived near New
Haven in Oswego Co. for a time, as some of the land he owned is near there.
It is also possible that Nancy had a sister, Minerva, who married John
Parsons and lived in Butterfly, New Haven, Oswego, New York.
Several Lords and Bohannons moved
into Oswego County very early in the 1800s. Some of the Lords are
probably relatives, others probably not. There were three Bohannon
brothers from New Jersey who moved into the area, but no connection between
them and Albert has been found, although they might have been cousins.
Albert was probably a farmer, but also a superior craftsman, able to build
and improve upon many kinds of machinery.
In a census taken in 1814 showing
landowners in Oneida Co., Albert is listed as owning 100 Acres in Lot 66,
Township 21 (Richland) value $550. On 26 Aug 1814 Albert purchased
56 acres of Lot 66 Township 21 for $224. On 7 Sep 1821 he purchased
land in Lot 93, Township 21, a block in a proposed village in the tract
called Roberts purchase on Scriba’s Patent, Block #1, of about 3 ¾
acres for $90. He also owned 46 acres in Township 21, Lot 46, no
value given. The village lot was located on what is shown as Salmon
Creek in old maps, but now known as Grindstone Creek. There is a
very old cemetery in what was once the village of Butterfly (New Haven
Township), but a great many of the stones are missing or disintegrated.
Perhaps this marks the resting places of Albert and Nancy. However,
traces of them have been found around Rome, New York, after 1800, and in
Otsego County. It is probable that Nancy had a brother, James, who lived
in Kingston whom Albert and Nancy visited. Nancy is on the 1830 census,
so cannot be the Nancy Lords who drowned in the St. Lawrence River.
She almost certainly did not have a child at age 59, as some accounts state.
Children of Albert Bohannon and Nancy
1. Zelpha born abt 1798
in Vermont or New York md. Thomas Knight
Isaac Behunin (as he spelled his name)
was maybe born in Pulaski, Township of Richland, Oswego, New York. He married
(1) Meribah Morton born 16 Mar 1804 in Vermont. She died 3 Jul 1834,
(2) Almina Tyler, born 23 Apr 1811 in Sempronius, Cayuga, New York,
abt. 1834, within a few weeks after first wife’s death.
2. James born abt 1800 in Vermont
or New York md. Maggie____ .
Probably moved west, possibly an
early settler in Oregon
3. Isaac born 20 Oct 1803 in Richland,
Oswego, New York, see below
4. William born 1804 in Texas, Oswego,
New York md. Helen Quimby (?)
5. Albert born 1807 in New York
6. Alpheus born 1815 in New York married Mary Ann Corbin, see below
7. Polly (Pollyanna?) born 1817
in New York
8. Angelina born 1819 in New York;
maybe married a Pinkerton
In the 1820’s and 1830’s, New York
underwent a whirlwind of religious zeal and conversions. Preachers
were holding tent revival meetings all over the central New York area,
until it became known as the “Burned Over Area.” It was in 1820 that
a young man in Palmyra, New York, by the name of Joseph Smith, claimed
to have seen a vision, and that an angel later delivered to him an ancient
manuscript inscribed on plates of gold. By April of 1830 when he organized
the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (called the Mormons by
their persecutors, named for the Book of Mormon, the book transcribed by
Joseph Smith from the ancient manuscript), there were several thousand
converts to the new Church; then began the first of nearly 20 years of
persecution. Joseph Smith, his family and followers were forced to
leave New York, and flee to Ohio, where they began to build up a town near
Cleveland named Kirtland. There, hundreds of converts began to join them.
Among these were Isaac Behunin, his first wife and their children. Isaac
and Meribah joined the Church in January of 1833, and then they went to
Ohio. The Church was encouraging some members to move to the western part
of the state of Missouri to start a new colony, so Isaac and many other
converts undertook the journey to Missouri. Somewhere along the way, it
appears that Meribah died, leaving a baby and other young children.
Isaac married again within a few weeks to Almina Tyler, probably partly
because of a need for help with his young family. By 1837, the persecutions
of the Church members in Ohio were so intense, that most of the members
also left for Missouri.
Again, the Mormons underwent severe
persecution in Missouri. Part of the problem was due to the fact
that most of the members of the new Church were for a Free State, while
many of the older residents wanted a Slave State. Also, the Missouri
frontier was filled with a rough group of citizens who did not like the
great influx of Mormons, fearing a political takeover, and they did not
like the new religion. Soon, Church members were burned out of homes,
businesses destroyed by armed mobs, rape and pillage and even massacre
occurred. Joseph Smith and some of the other Church leaders were
accused of treason and put in jail for months. The Governor of Missouri
issued an order that the Mormons must either leave the state immediately
or they would be killed on sight. In the middle of a very cold and stormy
winter, hundreds of people trekked east across Missouri, and across the
Mississippi River to a place of refuge in Illinois where they started a
new city, named Nauvoo. Joseph Smith and his followers were finally freed
from jail, and joined the others. Many of the Mormons signed “Redress Petitions”
against the state of Missouri, and filed them with the federal government,
trying to regain some compensation for the lands and property they had
lost. Isaac Behunin’s read:
“Damages which Isaac Behunin received
in losing of property by the unlawful acts of the citizens of the state
of Missouri total loss Seven hundred and Seventy five dollars $775.00.
Quincy, Illinois May the 31 1839
I hereby certify that the above
is a true account according to the best of my recollections.
/s/ Isaac Behunin
Sworn to before C. M. Woods, Adams
Co., Ill. 31 May 1839”
Of course, nothing was ever recovered
by any of the petitioners. Isaac and Almina settled in Nauvoo where
he bought Lot #2, Block 142 on 1 Nov 1839 for the sum of $700, $350 of
which was paid in cash and the remainder in a note due in 1849 for $350
plus interest (no interest amount specified). Isaac Behunin signed
the note. He was said to have been illiterate, but his signature here and
elsewhere are written well and in a flowing manner with good script.
Peaceful times in Nauvoo did not
last. Long before his note was due, trouble started again for the
Latter-day Saints and soon the mobs were riding the countryside. In June
of 1844, charges were again filed against Joseph Smith and his brother, Hyrum, and they were taken to the jail in Carthage (about20 miles from
Nauvoo) for their own protection until court could be convened the next
day. A mob of about 50 men stormed the jail, killing both Joseph
and Hyrum and wounding 2 others. For two years, the Church members endured
their armed tormenters. Then, in February of 1846, the first of the
evacuations of the city began, wagons crossing the Mississippi River on
the ice, to go to a place of refuge in the west, they knew not where. Isaac
and his family were among them.
They crossed Iowa in the snow and
mud, arriving at Council Bluffs where they stayed about 4 years, then they
crossed the plains to Utah. Because of the huge number of people
pouring into an unsettled area in Utah, some of the new arrivals were asked
by Church leaders to spread out to settle other areas. As the territory
grew in population and new areas were needed, Isaac and his family moved
a number of times. There were Indian battles, blizzards, dust storms
and lack of water that made life difficult. Isaac and 4 sons served
in the Utah Militia against the Indians. He was asked to help establish
settlements in several areas of southern Utah, eventually being asked to
investigate and settle the area of the Virgin River in far southern Utah.
There was fertile soil in an ancient lakebed canyon just north of the Virgin
River, and that is where Isaac settled his family. He regarded it
as a refuge of peace and safety where they could finally find a home. He
named the area Zion, and today it is known as Zion Canyon. A monument
recording the event now stands at Mt. Carmel at the east entrance to Zion
National Park. Isaac died 10 May 1881 and is buried at Mt. Carmel,
Kane, Utah. Almina died 29 Sep 1883 and was buried in Ferron, Emory,
Isaac and (1) Meribah (Morton) had:
1. Joseph b 1824 Chittenden,Vt
Isaac and (2) Almina (Tyler) had;
2. Emma b 1825 Chittenden, Vt
3. Philo M. b 4 Feb 1828, prob.
Oswego, New York
4. Isaac Morton b 9 Sep1831 Oswego
5. William Moroni b 18 Nov 1834
at Richland, Oswego, New York
1. Andrew Ira b 14 Aug 1835
Springfield, Erie, Penn. (perhaps)
Alpheus Behunin/Bohannon, born
1815 at Selkirk, Richland, New York (brother of Isaac above), died 13 Oct
1889, buried Daysville Ceme., Richland, Oswego, NY. He sometimes spelled
his name Behunin. He married Mary Ann Corbin, born 1805, dau of Benjamin
Corbin and Jane Blair. They lived near Selkirk and owned land there.
2. Alma Moses b 13 Mar 1837 at Kirtland,
3. Polly b 10 Jun 1838 at Missouri
4. Stephen Mosiah b 18 May 1843
at Nauvoo, Ill
5. Hyrum S. B 22 Apr 1845 at Nauvoo,
6. Elijah Cutler b 7 Nov 1847 at
Council Bluffs, Iowa
7. Almina b 30 Sep 1850 at Provo,
8. Benjamin b 4 Feb 1853 at Manti,
Utah, died Jun 1853
1. Mary Jane b 1840 in Pulaski,
married David Whaley, son of George and Margaret Whaley and had: Willock,
Margaret, Alice, Amariah, and Mary E.
2. Pamelia b 1842 in Pulaski
3. Sarah Ann b 1844 died 1937, married
James A. Eaton, son of Simeon K and Joanna (Towne) Eaton.
They had Madge, Carrie, Cora T. & H. Avery.
4. George b 20 Oct 1845, md, Clara
McChesney King, had: Sarah L., Frank B., and George Henry.
5. Alice, b 1849 md William
Nelson, had: Capt. Albert & Charles N.
6. Josephine b 28 Aug 1853
md George Jones b 24 Oct 1847, son of Erastus Chauncey Jones and
Walworth. Had: Marion Esther, Ida Irene, Milo Egbert, Frank Samuel,
Alice Mabel, Cora Josephine.
7. Edmund b Jan 1855 md 1873 (1st)
Louisa, d 1874; (2nd) Charlotte Poitier (d 1877)& had Charlotte;
(3) Mary Ann Hager had: Cora M., Mary A., Frederick Leslie, Sarah L., Zilpha,
Benjamin E. Edmund drowned in Lake Ontario in 1884; Mary Ann Hager
md (2) Charles Middleton.
8. Martha b abt 1858 md 10
Apr 1877, Rev. William Breman, had: Alice
Behunin Family Organization.
Behunin Clan, ca 1940, unpublished
U.S. Census, Oneida Co., NY 1800,
U.S. Census Oswego Co., NY 1820-1880
N.Y. State Census Oswego Co.,
N.Y. Marriages of Richland
Township in 1875 NY State Census
Pulaski Democrat newspaper
– many items from this paper
Daysville News newspaper
Oswego Commercial Advertiser
& Times, newspaper, Oswego New York
Oswego Palladium, newspaper,
Oswego, New York
Oneida County Land Office Land
Owners of 1814, County Court House
Cemetery Records of Oswego Co.,
Family History Library in SLC # F6010721
Moss, Fenton E. compiler The
Story of Isaac Behunin, The Man Who Named Zion’s Canyon, privately
Moss, June Behunin, Behunin Ancestral
Search in N.Y., Behunin Family Historian 1970
Esshom, Frank, Pioneers and Prominent
Men of Utah, Western Epics, Inc. 1966
Burns & Miller, First Families
of Utah, from 1850/51 census of Utah
Carter, Kate, Our Pioneer Heritage
– Pioneer Forts of the West, DUP, Utah 1966 V9
Cannon, Nell Interview 1961 Quoting
Family Bible of Elijah Cutler Behunin
Behunin, Elijah Cutler, Interview
About Life in Zion Canyon, published in Salt Lake Tribune &
Richfield Reaper newspapers in 1930, acknowledged by J. W. Thornton,
Ranger Naturalist at Zion National Park
Miller, Lila B. History of the
Behunin Family, unpublished, FHL F#320828 Item 1
Whitney, Newell K. Collection, Note
for Land Purchase Nauvoo, 1839, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints Historian’s Office, Salt Lake City, Utah
Johnson, Clark V. Editor, Mormon
Redress Petitions, Missouri Conflict 1833-1838, in FHL in SLC
Pedigree Charts & Family Group
Frost, Leslie M. “Forgotten
Pathways of the Trent” Pub. Burns & MacEachern Ltd., 1973, FHL
in SLC 971.3 H2fa.
Smith, Violet Interview 1964,
report on trip to NY for Behunin research
Stephens, Rhoda Behunin, Research
Papers on Behunin Family,
Stephens, Trent D. Research Files
on Behunin Family
Oswego & Oneida Counties, Surrogate
Oswego & Oneida Counties, Deed
Indexes, Grantors & Grantees. Copies of deeds
Belleville, Ontario, Canada, Historical
Society Holdings in 2001, personal search
Johnson, Crisfield. History
of Oswego County, New York. Philadelphia: Everts, 1877.
Churchill, John C. Landmarks
of Oswego County, New York. Syracuse: Mason, 1895.
Descendants of Josephine Bohannon,
unpublished manuscript in possession of Roy Tanner of Pulaski, New York
Jones Family, unpublished manuscript in possession of Roy Tanner of Pulaski, New York
Court Houses and Historical Organizations,
personal search in these counties: Oswego, Oneida, Wayne, Otsego,
Hamilton, Montgomery, Herkimer, Cayuga, Seneca, Ontario, Fulton, also in
the NY State Historical Society in Albany.
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