Fordham Family

Susan Fordham

Susan Fordham was born in 1792 in Benson, Rutland County, Vermont. She was the youngest child of Gideon Fordham and Mary Culver.

So far, there is no documentary proof of this connection, but the census record is extremely compelling. Probably the most significant proof is that in the 1810 census the Fordhams: Gideon (Pere), three sons including Silas and Apollus (documented) and Sephus (not documented) and William Woolcott. There is a John Smith listed also and that could be another son-in-law, because I don't know who Polly Fordham married.

The Fordhams were in Genesee County, NY in 1810. Gideon was also in Rutland County, Vermont in 1790 and 1800 which clearly places him in the correct area for Susan to have been born there.

Susan evidently spent her earliest childhood in Vermont, but moved in 1806 to Genesee County, NY (The date comes from the Gazetteer and Biographical Record of Genesee County, NY that Francis Fordham and his father, Silas, moved there in 1806 as farmers and Gideon is mentioned as one of the earliest settlers.)

She married William Wolcott by 1809 or so, because William is shown with a wife and female child in 1810. Between 1810 and 1820, Susan and William had at least another six children. In the 1820 census for Leroy, Genesee, NY, the family shows 8 persons plus 1 other free person.

In the 1830 census for Mina in Chautauqua Co., NY where they landed next, Susan and William show a family of 13 people. The years between 1809 and 1830 produced the following children:

The next appearance of the Wolcott clan is in Scott, Sandusky County, Ohio in the 1840 Census. By this time, many of the children had married including Newell, Polly, Nancy, William L., Chauncey, and Mary and they show up in different towns notably Madison.

In 1842 William died and, after more than 30 years of marriage, Susan was a widow. The remainder of her life was probably consumed with managing her farm and keeping up with her offspring. Many moved out of the county and the state. Those who remained included Nancy (herself a widow by 1858), Osero, and George. Susan seems to have taken on seeing after a number of her grandchildren too, including George and Norman Hazelton after daughter Mary's death, and possibly a couple of Erastus's children.

The relationships among the children and with Susan are by no means clear. Susan died in 1841 at age 12 and is buried in Quinshan Cemetery. Osero vanishes after 1850. There's still a lot of research to be done.

From 1842 to 1870 at least, Susan remained in her own home and evidently ran the farm. She died in 1879 at the age of 88. Her place of burial is unknown.

Updated June 12, 2008

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