Holford Family of NY and PA

I started my research on this family with what turned out to be incorrect information, and I'm still not sure I have it all correct. Please check with me before quoting information on this family, and do let me know if you find errors or can supply additional data, especially the names of the missing spouses.

First Generation

Edward Holford is said to have been born about 1740, perhaps in England, and to have died about 1810 in Dutchess Co. NY. He appears in the 1790 Dutchess Co. census with four males under 16 and three females (all ages; the 1790 doesn't give age brackets for females). I don't know the name of his wife, and I have conflicting information on the names and spouses of his children, so am not listing them here. If anyone has solid data for this family, please let me know.

Second Generation

John Holford, supposedly a son of Edward, married Mary Ann Carl in 1795 in Frederickstown NY. Some treatments of this family say he was born in 1780, but this seems unlikely with a 1795 marriage. John and Mary Ann lived in Dutchess, Delaware and Genesee counties in New York before moving to Susquehanna Co. PA. John left Mary Ann about 1815, but returned several times over the following years, and in 1831 she filed for divorce on grounds of desertion and adulterous practices. (Thanks to Bill Owens-Smith and Anne Holford Hart for copies of the court records).

Third Generation

Children of John Holford and Mary Ann Carl
Edward Holford (ca. 1805-bef. 31 Aug 1866) m. Ruth _____ (ca. 1803-1885)
William C. Holford (1810-1862) m. Florence Benson (1817-1875), moved to Wisconsin
Charles Holford
John Holford
probably James Loren Holford, who married Nancy (Smith?) and died before 1840
daughter, name unknown

Charles testified in his mother's divorce case, 1831; can anyone tell me more about him?

The daughter is mentioned as living in Dundaff, Susquehanna Co. PA at the time of the divorce suit. What was her name?

In 1830, Mary is the only Holford listed in Pennsylvania, and her household includes 5 males and 3 females under age 20. Is she the mother of all these children, or are some of the youngest actually grandchildren?

In particular, I am interested in identifying the boy under age 5, who I suspect is William Lewis Holford (see below).

Although Mary lived until 1844, she isn't listed by herself in the 1840 census. Was she living then with a married daughter?

I don't find John Holford as a head of household in 1830 using the census index on Ancestry.com, although the court papers state that he was living in Cattaraugus NY in 1831.

I would also like to get solid proof that Edward is their son. He must be living somewhere else in 1830, although not as head of household, since Mary has no household member over 20 besides herself.

Fourth Generation

Children of Edward and Ruth Holford
Ferdinand J. Holford (ca. 1830-1865) m. Elizabeth Starks
Amelia Holford (ca. 1832-bef. Jul 1899) m. Joseph Chase
Eliza Holford (ca. 1834-1855)
James Loren Holford (1837-1887) m. Nancy J. Warren (?)
Matilda Holford (ca. 1840-aft. 26 Aug 1899) m. Alfonso F. Rounds
George Holford (ca. 1844-?), probably died young
Helen Holford (ca. 1846-?) m. Freeman Carpenter

Ferdinand is listed as age 19 in 1850, but is presumably the boy in the 10-15 age bracket in 1840, there being no child in the 5-10 bracket living with Edward in that year. He died in the Civil War at Alexandria VA, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Edward and Ruth lived in Clifford township Susquehanna Co. In 1850 they have all the seven children listed above. Only James and Helen are still at home in 1860. In 1870, Ruth is living with Helen and her husband, in 1880 with Amelia and her husband.

Probable Children of James Loren Holford and Nancy Smith
George W. Holford (ca. 1824-1915) m. Alvira, maiden name unknown
William Lewis Holford (ca. 1830-1913) m. 1) Mary, surname unknown; 2) Margaret Lake;
  3) Elizabeth Wheeler

Fifth Generation

Who was William Lewis Holford?

As indicated above, I suspect that William Lewis Holford was the son of James Loren Holford and Nancy Smith, but the search for him hasn't been easy.

In 1850, a Lewis and Mary Holford were living in Bradford Co. PA. In 1860, Lewis and wife "M." were in Susquehanna Co., adjacent to Edward and Ruth.

At one time I assumed that Lewis was the son of Edward and Ruth, based on the proximity in the 1860 census, but I now think that he is Edward's nephew. This conclusion is based on depositions made in connection with Elizabeth Wheeler Holford's claim to receive his Civil War pension after his death (thanks to Anne Hart for these documents!).

I can't find a Lewis, or William L., in 1870 or 1880. In 1900, William Holford age 75 is living with wife Elizabeth age 44 in Harmony, Susquehanna Co. PA, with children Nancy 19, Josephine 17, and Loren G. 15. In 1910 William L. and Elizabeth are still in Harmony PA, with John P. Putnam age 11, listed as grandson. William says he has been married three times, Elizabeth twice, which would be consistent with his being the same person as Lewis, already married by 1850.

Children of Lewis Holford
John S. Holford (ca. 1846-?)
Charles Mallory Holford (1854-1936) m. 1) Nancy Adaline Watkins, 2) Alice Connelly (1856-1920)
E. [Elnora?] Holford (female; ca. 1855-?)
A. Holford (female; ca. 1857-?)
Mary A. Holford (ca. 1859-?)
William Holford (ca. 1863-?))
Edward F. Holford (1867-?)

John appears with Lewis and Mary in 1850, age 4, and is missing from the family in 1860. William and Edward are definitely sons of Margaret Lake. I am not sure yet which wife was the mother of the children born in the 1850s. Previously I was given 1861 as the marriage date for Lewis and Margaret, but the pension documents suggest that they married sooner.

In 1870, Charles and Elnora Holford, ages 17 and 15 respectively, are living with Ann and Horatio Benjiman in Wayne Co. PA. He is listed as farm labor, she as domestic servant. Since I don't know of another Charles Holford of this age, I think these are Charles and the girl "E" from the 1860 census.

Thanks to Will Watkins for the information that Charles Mallory Holford married first Nancy Adaline Watkins. She died probably within the first year of their marriage, and he then married Alice Connelly. To the best of my knowledge, all his children were by Alice.

In 1880, William Holford age 17 is living with Charles and his wife Alice, listed as brother.

Sixth Generation

Children of Charles Mallory Holford and Alice Connelly
Harriet M. Holford (ca. 1876-?) m. John Fenton Shea, moved to Tennessee
Raymond Holford (1878-1899)
Kathryn Connelly Holford (1880-1942) m. Albert Harrison Harris (1873-1950)
Harry E. Holford (1884-1978) m. Gertrude Bull (ca. 1882-?)
Charles Ward Holford (1891-1982) moved to Oregon, m. 1) Grace Anne Crabtree, 2) Mildred Garrett
Dean Holford (1895-1900)


Thanks to Nancy Holford Dehut, Jess DeLevant, Anne Holford Hart, Warren Holford, Marlene Bates Johnson, Bill Owens-Smith, Diane Botts and Alice Robinson for information on this family. All have been friendly, generous, and VERY helpful!

I also relied heavily on census records in reconstructing the families.

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Elizabeth Harris, ncgen@mindspring.com