Biography of Sawin Twitchell, 
Richland, NY

Many thanks to Esther Rancier for sharing her information on the Twitchell family. Esther is researching in Richland and Mexico the Soul/Soule, Brace and Daniel P. Smith families, and would appreciate hearing from anyone researching these surnames.   Esther Rancier at:

For more information on the Twitchell Family, please contact the 
Historians and Historical Societies.

 On 10 June 1599 in Chesham Parish, Buckinghamshire, England Benjamin Twitchell was born.  He married 1 September 1652 Mary Riggs in Dorchester, MA.  They had 13 children.

 Benjamin’s namesake born in Dorchester 1652/53 married 5 April 1685 Mary White.  This couple resided in Sherborn, MA by 1688.  They had 5 children.

 Their son Ebenezer, born 10 December 1691, married 3 December 1717 Sarah Pratt.  They had 4 children.  Born 6 October 1720, their oldest son Gershom married about 1747 Hannah Sawin of Watertown, MA.  They had 7 children.

   They named their oldest son Sawin.  He was born 6 October 1769.  Sawin married twice.  His first wife was Prudence Drury, born 1771 in Sherborn, MA.  They wed ca. 1791.  It is unclear if she was the mother of any of Sawin’s 12 children.  After she died, Sawin married before 1799 Mary Bailey from Litchfield, CT.  By 1800 they removed to Andover, VT.  Probably most of their children were born there.  Only the youngest four may have been born in Richland, Oswego Co., NY.  The family moved there ca. 1814. 

 No one from this family was enumerated in a Richland census until 1830 when Sawin headed a household with 4 males and 5 females.  Several of the children had apparently set up households of their own which were not listed.  
 Sawin died 18 April 1837 in Richland.  Mary probably died before 1850.

 Sawin’s oldest son Andrew, born 1799, married Mary/Mercy B. Wilson, born 23 October 1806.  They had 5 children.  Lydia, Mercy, Andrew and Leonard resided elsewhere.  

 The youngest son, Leonard D. Twitchell, born ca. 1822, by 1880 lived in Cleveland, OH.  He married Elizabeth Transue on 17 May 1846.  They had 4 children in 1880 all born in Ohio: Frank, age 18; Lawrence, age 16; Stella, age 11; and Cora, age 8.

 Andrew’s oldest son, Marquis, was enumerated in the 1850 Richland census which called him Marcus [sic].  He was a wheelwright, age 26, with a net worth of $300.  He was married to Lusett [sic] Wyman, age 24.  They had 2 children:  Andrew C., age 3 and Perley, age 1.  By the 1860 Orwell census Marquis, age 35 with a net worth of $1025 was a carpenter with his second wife Mary Wyman, age 27.  His children were listed thusly: Andrew, age 13; Lucy, age 11; Mary, age 8; Willis, age 5; and Olive, age 1.  In 1870 the Orwell census recorded Marks [sic], age 45, a carpenter with a net worth of $1500.  His wife was given as Mary S., age 39.  The children still at home were as follows:  Andrew, age 23; Mary, age 17; Willis, age 14; and Olive, age 11.  Marquis and his wife Mary S. were both buried in the Pekin Cemetery at Orwell.  Marquis’ tombstone read: Feb. 5, 1825-July 11, 1903.  Mary’s stone said: 1832-May 27, 1906.  The grave of his first wife is here also.  Her name was given as Sophia who died “April 20, 1853, age 26 yrs.”  
 By the 1930 Albion census Willis Twitchell at age 75 still worked as a farm hand.  He had married Viola H., age 77.  His single daughter Emily, age 42, a practical nurse still lived at home.

 Sawin’s son John Sawin Twitchell, born 18 December 1807 in Andover, VT, married Adeline Greenwood.  This couple was not included in a Richland census until 1870.  By then John S. was age 64, a farmer with a net worth of $8390.  His wife was then age 58.  The others in the household were son Homer, age 35; daughter-in-law Marsha, age 30 and grandson Freddy, age 6.  John S. died before 1880.  

 By the 1910 Richland census little Freddy became Fred M., age 46, a diary farmer, married for 24 years to Effa, age 44.  Their children were Roy and Ray, born 28 September 1893.  Ray Twitchell died February 1965 still in the Richland-Orwell area. He became one of the last Sawin Twitchell descendants in the area.
 In 1814 the first Twitchell son to be born in New York State was James who later married Polly Chapin.  Historian John Churchill declared that James was born in Jefferson County and that his father was Stephen Twitchell, born in MA.  Other records do not agree.  Most Sawin records make James his son born in Richland or Pulaski.  James, himself, in the 1880 census placed his father in Vermont where Sawin did live for several years.  All the members of Sawin’s family came to Richland for a time.  No one else claimed a Stephen Twitchell for a father.  Sawin did have a son Stephen, a man likely too young (born 1801) to be James’ father.  James and Polly did name one of their sons for his Uncle Stephen.  According to the 1860 census James and Polly had the following children:  Antoinette, age 24; Stephen L., a sailor, age 22; Jane, age 19; Henry C., age 15, farm hand; Candace, age 11; Martha, age 8; Jesse, age 1.  Plus in the 1870 census Anna, age 11, was named.  Antoinette, Candace and Anna became teachers. The LDS Ancestral File provides the following dates of birth and death including those who died young:

 Antoinett [sic] b. 11 Dec. 1836; d. 17 Mar. 1915.
 Stephen L. b. ca. 1841; d. 24 Mar. 1892.
 Josiah b. ca. 1843; d. 22 Feb. 1846.
 Henry C. b. 26 Aug. 1845; d. 20 Oct. 1910.
 Maria b. ca. 1847; d. 15 Apr. 1867*.
 Jane b. ca. 1848; d. ?
 Candace b. 2 Aug. 1850; d. 27 June 1916.
 Martha b. 23 Oct. 1853; d. 15 Apr. 1918.
 Anna B. b. 13 Mar. 1860; d. ?
*Maria’s death date may be in error as she was not included in the 1860 census.
 The place of birth was omitted from the Ancestral File material as all births were given as Pulaski with Candace’s birth in Sandy Creek, NY.  James and Polly always lived in Richland thus making Richland the more likely place of birth. 

 A marriage record for only one daughter, Martha G., was located.  Martha G. married Frank Clark on 7 April 1877.  Frank and Martha appeared in the 1880 Richland census with a two-year-old daughter, Maud Clark.  

 In 1860 James declared a net worth of $1100.  By 1870 he gave his worth as $3000.  In the 1880 census a son Charles G., age 14, was included.  Polly would have been 51 years old at the time of his birth, so he was probably a grandson or a nephew.  Soon after the census both James and Polly reportedly died.  

 Living near his father, Stephen L. worked as a carpenter by 1870.  His net worth was stated to be $1200.  He married Martha, age 24.  They had by 1880 3 children:  Lewis E., age 10; Ellen A., age 9; and Sherman E., age 7.

 James and Polly’s other son, Henry C., married in 1870 Carrie Moody, daughter of Harry and Caroline Moody of Richland.  Henry C. worked as a carpenter and joiner.  He attended the Methodist Church.  This couple had no children.  In 1880 they made a home for Caroline Moody, age 76, and Harris S. Moody, age 10, a nephew.  Harry C. died 20 October 1910.  He had been married for 39 years.

 The youngest son of Sawin was Ebenezer Twitchell, born ca. 1818.  He married Polly A. in Oswego. They had a daughter, Helen M., born 9 December 1844 and who died 26 December 1906 in Park City, Utah.  She was often called Nellie.  They also had a son Frederick S., born 1851 in Richland.  By the 1880 census Frederick, age 29, born in NY, was a clerk in Hastings, Dakota Co., MN.  His wife was Mary E., age 27, born in CT.  They had 2 sons both born in MN: Floyd F., age 4 and Bertram J., age 3.  The spelling of their name was Twichell.  Ebenezer and Polly A. also had another son Frank A., born 1861 in MN.  This household was enumerated in the Hastings, MN 1880 census. At the same time another son, James, born ca. 1848 lived in Hastings also.  His wife was Lola, born ca. 1850 in IL.  They had 3 children: Sarah, age 8; George, age 5; and Burton, age 1.  James was a grocer who also spelled his name as Twichell.   

 Also listed in the 1860, 1870 and 1880 census was the family of Augustus Twitchell and his wife Pauline Brown, daughter of Daniel Brown and Sally Winch.  He was born in 1825 at Oswego.  She was born in Pulaski during 1831. They had 3 children:  Lenora “Nora” still single in 1892; Mary who married D. S. Barrett; and Augustus Brown Twitchell, born 1861.  Pauline died before 13 December 1890.  Augustus died 1 June 1892 at age 66 in Richland.  None of these people were closely related to Sawin Twitchell.   Many researchers believe that Augustus was the son of Luther and Persis Twitchell who came from Stoddard, NH.  

 None of the various other Twitchells in Richland were relatives of Sawin descendants.  The most well known Twitchell of them all was Henry W. Twitchell, a dentist who built a Victorian hone on Pulaski’s Lake Street in 1897 which was still standing in 2002.  H.W. began his dental practice in 1865.  He used laughing gas to relieve pain.  He was also a Richland tax collector at one point.  With his wife Martha they had 2 children: Frederick, born in 1848 and Julia, born ca. 1856.  Frederick became a telegraph operator.  In 1860 Henry had a net worth stated as $3000.  By 1870 he declared $5500 in worth.  By 1880 both of his children were gone from his home in Pulaski.  Henry W. and his wife were both born in CT.  They were not related to any of the previously mentioned Twitchells.           

 Churchill, John C. Landmarks of Oswego County, New York.  Syracuse: Mason, 1895.
 Family Group Record.  Available [online] [3 June 2003]
 Marston, Hope Irwin.  Salmon River Odyssey: The Town of Richland and Its Hamlets.  Syracuse: Pulaski Historical Society, 2002.
 Pekin Cemetery, Rte. 22, Town of Orwell, Oswego Co., NY.  Available [online] [3 June 2003]
 Social Security Death Index.  Available [online] [3 June 2003]
 Twitchell, Augustus obituary Pulaski Democrat, June 1892.
 Twitchell Family Genealogy Forum.  Available [online] [1 June 2003]
 U.S. Census Hastings, Dakota Co., MN 1880.
 U.S. Census Albion, Oswego Co., NY 1930.
 U.S. Census Orwell, Oswego Co., NY 1850, 1860, 1870.
 U.S. Census Pulaski, Oswego Co., NY 1880, 1910.
 U.S. Census Richland, Oswego Co., NY 1830, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1910, 1930.
 U.S. Census Cleveland, Cuyahoga Co., OH 1880.
 U.S. Census Andover, Windsor Co., VT 1800.
 WorldConnect Project.  Available [online] [3 June 2003] 

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