Isaac Storms — 1779 to c. 1839

The following is my interpretation of the data. As such I am not suggesting that there might not be an alternate interpretation. There is some data to suggest it's likely, but there is much that is NOT documented, nor is it likely to be. That said, take this for what it's worth.

Isaac Storms and Martha Hilton were first cousins related through Isaac's father, David Storms, and Martha's mother, Anna Storms. There is no known record of Isaac and Martha's marriage, however Martha and Isaac went on to produce a pretty respectable family of children:

Several later biographical sketches of Isaac's grandchildren place the family in Oneida and Oswego counties, New York for at least the births of the children shown in bolded text. The number of children is derived from several, sometimes conflicting census records (1810, 1820, and 1830).

After a lot of cross referencing and sifting, I believe the list above is complete and as accurate as is possible without traveling to New York and researching primary sources first hand. (I'll write the my analysis, sources, and link to it from here, but it's not done yet.)

Life and Times of Isaac Storms

Isaac Storms was born in 1779 in Saratoga, Albany County, New York. His parents were David Storms and Anna Hunt. He was baptized in the Dutch Reformed Church, Schaghticoke, NY on 31 Mar 1779. Isaac's father, David, was born and raised in Sleepy Hollow from good Dutch stock. Some sources say that the Storms were of Viking descent. Anna Hunt, may have been the daughter of a William Hunt of the Hunt family in Dutchess County, NY. (A lot has been put together on the Hunts, but there isn't much on William or his line. It's mostly conjecture.)

Isaac was the fifth of seven children and the third son. He was probably as at home in Albany as he was in Saratoga. David Storms is shown on the 1790 Census for Easton, Albany, NY and presumably Isaac would have shown up as one of the children.

There is no known record of the marriage that took place between Isaac and Martha Hilton. My best guess is that they were married around 1802/03 probably in Albany where Martha's family lived at the time.

As mentioned, Isaac's father was David Storms (or Storm—both are used almost interchangably from 1775-1820). Martha's mother, Anna (aka Annatje) Storms was David Storms' youngest sister. Their parents were David Storms and Catrina Lent.

Anna Storms married Richard Hilton and together they produced 9 or 10 children. Martha was their third child, born in 1784. Unlike some of her sibs who were duly baptised in the Dutch Reform Church, Martha was baptised by Rev. Dempster who was a well-regarded, but intinerent, preacher in the Saratoga area.

Martha's older brother, Peter, was about the same age as Isaac. As first cousins, Isaac and Peter may have been fairly close. About the same time Martha and Isaac married, Peter Hilton married Betsey, whose last name is unknown. Some sources suggest Storms and others say Watson. I haven't seen any conclusive data to prove it either way. I haven't found any records for Watsons in Saratoga in the time period that would work, but it could just as easily have been Albany. Or Betsey may have been yet another Storms cousin.

Oneida and Oswego County

In any event, Peter Hilton and Isaac Storms appear in successive listings on the 1810 New York Census for Lee township, Oneida county. Both men are 30ish with a bunch of very young children--Peter with three and Isaac with four youngsters.

Things change dramatically by the 1820 Census. Isaac remains in Lee, but Peter has moved to Orwell. Betsey must have died around 1815-1817, though we have no record of exactly when. Peter's move may well have coincided with his marriage to Sarah Preston who was a good ten years younger than Martha.

One can only speculate that Betsey was sorely missed by Martha. As young mothers and sisters-in-law and possibly cousins, they must have shared closely the bearing and rearing of their children between them. In fact, Martha may have taken Betsey's death harder than Peter. By moving to Orwell, the kind of kinship Martha may have felt for Betsey would have been more difficult to achieve with Sarah, though Martha's next daughter was named Sarah. Martha seems to be very much about naming her children after kin.

With the daily, unrelenting work that had to be done, and with his sons, Richard and David, growing to young manhood, Isaac was probably not so much affected by Peter's removal to Orwell.

(Another cousin, Chauncey G. Storms, lived nearby in Annsville as well as the uncle for whom Isaac was named.)

In 1830, Richard Hilton, Peter and Martha's father, also appears on the census for Orwell, though Richard is shown as a landowner in Oneida county much earlier.

In 1830, the Isaac Storms family appears for the last time on the New York censuses. Isaac is well into his 50s and the boys—Richard and David—are both grown men. By this time the family is living in Redfield. Daughter Sarah (aka Sally) was born in November 1820 in Redfield according to the William L. Wolcott biography. However, if that is actually correct, then their move from Lee to Redfield must have taken place just after the census, but before Sarah's birth. In any case, they lived in Redfield from about 1820 to 1836.

From the late 1820s through the mid-1830s, several of the Storms children married. By 1832 or so, Richard married Louisa Hilton, his cousin most likely, and possibly Peter Hilton's oldest daughter from his marriage to Betsey. David married Anna Platt and Sabrina Storms married James Smith.

Two other daughters, shadowy and unnamed in these early censuses, may have been Anna and Esther, who would have been married in Oswego County before moving West. My hypothesis is, but remains to be proven, that Anna married James Taft in about 1828 and Esther married Christopher (aka Christian) Rima in about 1829. Both young families appear in the 1830 census close to known family in Redfield, then appear with known family in Sandusky County, Ohio. They also appear in Hillsdale county, Michigan briefly. Both the Tafts and the Rimas eventually move to Howard County, Iowa where they seem to stabilize after the 1860s.

Note: James Taft, Anna's husband, appears in the Redfield census for 1830. There are a bunch of Tafts in adjacent towns including Annsville, which is where Isaac's uncle lived. One branch of the Taft family, headed by Ebenezer Taft, is heavily centered in Ashtabula, Ohio and has laid claim to James. I'm not convinced that this is the correct branch. Based on the clannishness of the Storms/Hilton family, I think it's more likely that Anna married someone among the Oneida County Tafts which also had antecedents in Albany and Herkimer Counties.

On to Ohio

In about 1837, the Storms clan to moved to Sandusky county, Ohio. Isaac and Martha brought the youngest girls, Permelia, Sarah, and Deborah. Richard and Louisa Storms moved with their two babies, Eliza and John. David and Ann Storms and James Smith and Sabrina (Storms) Smith with their baby daughter formed part of the party. I am including the Rimas and Tafts in the entourage. According to the obit for Madison Taft, Anna Storms Taft's son, the family moved in 1837 to Sandusky county, Ohio. Also included in that extended family was Martha's youngest sister, Parmelia (Hilton) Carpenter and her husband, James.

Isaac purchased 80 acres of land from the government in 1837. Whether it was age, work, illness, or accident, Isaac D. Storms died before the 1840 census. His burial place is unknown, but could be one of the unmarked plots at the Pember Farm cemetery or he may have been buried on his farm. In any case, the Storms family remained in Sandusky county only a few more years. Isaac's property was on the edge of the "Great Black Swamp".

Isaac is missing in the 1840 Census for Sandusky county, but an older woman (probably Martha) is living with Richard. Living with her son may have proven just too difficult, especially since Richard's wife, Louisa, was going a little crazy at the time.

The William L. Wolcott biography states that Martha died in Hardin County, Iowa. It is more likely that whoever provided the information for the biography supplied that bit of information meaning Howard County because both the Tafts and Rimas landed there. It is possible that Martha went with them, but she doesn't appear in any of the family's census listings for 1850, so my guess is that Martha died in Ohio after 1840; possibly before the family moved to Michigan. So far, finding out what really became of Martha has proven fruitless.

In about 1845, the Storms children had moved to Hillsdale and Newago counties in Michigan. The Ohio farm was abandoned.


Baptisms at the Schaghticoke Dutch Reformed Church 1752-1866
Owners of Land - Town of Lee 1814
New York Census, Oneida County, 1810
New York Census, Oswego County, Lee Twp, 1820
New York Census, Oswego County, Redfield Twp., 1830
Bureau of Land Management Records, Ohio
Portrait and Biographical Album of Hillsdale Co., MI, 1888. (William L. Wolcott bio)
Robert Woodley -- Info on the Hilton Family
Lisa Hoffius -- Storms Family Website
Leslie Potter, various email

Updated June 12, 2008


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