Friday, July 27, 2012

Lemuel Patchen, 1770 - 1850s

My great great grandfather was Thomas Patchen, born about 1796 in Canada.  I was able to follow his family from Oswegatchie, St. Lawrence co., New York in 1830, to his death in Janesville, Waseca co., Minnesota in 1870.  This article is about Lemuel Patchen, who is likely Thomas' father.

A Lemuel Patchen and his wife, Lucy Davern, had two children, Lewis and Talcott, in Saratoga county, New York, in the early 1790s.  Saratoga county is located in east-central New York, not far from Schenectady or Albany.  Lemuel was born in Connecticut in about 1770.  In about 1808, a court record says that Samuel Crofut became guardian for Lewis and Talcott Patchen, whose father, Lemuel, had "absconded to Canada".  We don't know what happened, but it appears that Lemuel had abandoned his family and gone to Canada, sometime between about 1793 and 1808.

Skipping ahead to our Patchen family.  We know that we are descendants of Andrew Jackson Patchen and Emily Douglas.  Through census records and other genealogy research, I was able to trace our family back to Thomas Patchen in Oswegatchie, New York (along the St. Lawrence river, opposite Ontario, Canada) in 1830.  Andrew Jackson Patchen was one of his sons.  Thomas was born in Canada in about 1796.

It turns out that there is a Lemuel Patchen in Oswegatchie beginning about 1820.  (At least that's the first record, the 1820 census.  He could have been there up to several years earlier.)  The information in this census is not precise.  It appears that he is with eight children born between the early 1790s and about 1810.  Following Lemuel in subsequent censuses, I find that he was born in Connecticut in about 1768.  All of these proximities in date and place make a strong case for linking our Thomas Patchen to this Lemuel Patchen, and that this Lemuel could be the same that "absconded to Canada".  One additional piece of information is that Shirley K.,  a Patchen descendant, informed me several years ago that she had found a census record from August township, Grenville co., Ontario, Canada, from the 1813 census, showing Lemuel Patchen and Thomas Patchen, and that Thomas was living next to a Perrin family.  Though I have not seen any such records myself, Shirley and other Patchen researchers have said in the past that Thomas Patchen's middle name was Perrin (or Perrien), and they suspected that was Lemuel's wife's maiden name.  So the Patchens living next to a Perrin family would be further evidence of the link to our family.

So while I'm not absolutely certain, yet, I think it is very likely that this Lemuel is Thomas' father, and that this is the same Lemuel whose sons are Talcott and Lewis.  It's like a tooth that a dentist puts a "watch" on.  For now they're related, but we'll keep an eye out for any evidence that either supports or refutes the relationship.

(BTW:  If you have further information on Lemuel, or Thomas, please contact me or leave a comment.)