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Dennis Prue

Dennis has been researching family trees for more than 30 years. His expertise has been invaluable in helping to break through brick walls.


This Old Tree, January 2016

I received a query via our group’s Facebook page on a Daniel Tibbetts. The woman wanted to know if he was the son of Philip Tibbetts of Shapleigh, Maine and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire.

I first went online, at both Rootsweb and Ancestry’s public tree for any hints or clues of what might help with the lady’s request for help to find Daniel and see if he was truly the son of Philip Tibbetts. Most online trees had Philip’s son, Daniel, born about 1803 but no further information.

I then browsed Jay Bullard’s home library to look at what the Tibbetts Genealogy book had on that Philip Tibbetts family. Philip Tibbetts of Huddleston [now Shapleigh] married Sarah Grant of Berwick, Maine on May 9, 1780 in Berwick, Maine. They had 11 children according to the Tibbetts’ Genealogy and where they currently were living, as follows:

  1. William of Wakefield, NH.
  2. Benjamin of Shapleigh, ME.
  3. John of New York City.
  4. James of Shapleigh, ME.
  5. Merribah married William Malcham, living in Wolfeboro, NH.
  6. Mercy married to John Woodman Jr. of Shapleigh, ME.
  7. Lucy married Rev. William Tripp Jr. of Sanford, ME.
  8. Philip P. born about 1798.
  9. Hezekiah b. July 18, 1801, living in Wolfeboro, NH.
  10. Joel married to Mehitable Pickering of Newmarket, NH.
  11. Daniel of New York City. There were no dates of a birth or death for Daniel, just that he lived in New York City.

I knew that Jay had done research on the Tibbetts family (he has several lines) and Jay’s family group sheet for Philip’s family was as follows:

  1. William 1781-1858 m. Lydia Grant
  2. Benjamin 1783 m. Hannah Libby
  3. Merribah 5 Nov. 1784-d. 25 Nov. 1858 m. William Maleham
  4. John about 1785
  5. James b. 1787 m. Sally Emery
  6. Lucy b. 25 Dec. 1789-d. 3 May 1822 m. Rev. William Tripp
  7. Mercy b.1791-d. bef. 1850 m. John Woodman
  8. Joel b. 1795 m. Mehitable Pickering
  9. Philip P. b. 1798 m. Abigail Roberts
  10. Hezekiah b. 18 July 1801-d. 3 Jun 1877
  11. Daniel b. about 1803 (per online trees)

I then check the census listing for Philip Tibbetts in 1790, 1800 and 1810.

  1. The 1790 Shapleigh, ME census listed 3 males under 10, 1 male 16+ and 4 females.
  2. The 1800 Shapleigh, ME census listed 3 males under 10, 3 males 10-15, 1 male 16-23, 1 male 45+, 1 female under 10, 2 females 16-25 and 1 female 45+.
  3. The 1810 Shapleigh, ME census listed 1 male under 10, 2 males 10-15, 2 males 16-25, 1 male 45+, 1 female 16-25, 1 female 45+.

I decided to try to find more information on Philip’s sons, John & Daniel, who are, according to the Tibbetts Genealogy, living in New York City. There is a reference in the Tibbetts Book, page 370, of Philip selling his share of land that he and his son John (of NYC) were co-owners of, to his son John of New York City on March 12, 1817.

So I then started looking at Ancestry and Familysearch.org to find information on the two brothers and also on the New York Vital Records on discs that Jay has.

I found information on John, listed in the 1820 census for NYC. Deaths for NYC, extracted from the newspapers I found John G. Tibbetts, and his wife Margaret W., who died in 1849, and that John died in 1855.

In the 1850 census, I found some of John and Margaret’s children and more of them in 1855 but John is not living with his children. I found him living as a boarder, age 57, born in Maine. Also found online a link for Find a Grave for John. He is listed as John Grant Tibbets, born March 12, 1793 in Berwick, Maine d. May 3, 1855. His wife, Margaret W. [ELY] Tibbets, is listed b. Aug 1798, died Feb. 3, 1849. They had at least 8 children that I was able to find.

John G. Tibbets death notice in the newspaper extract stated he had a son and gives the names of 3 sons-in-laws. So this also helped me find the children.

Interesting fact is that John G. and Margaret’s second daughter is named Sarah Grant Tibbetts after her grandmother, Sarah Grant Tibbetts. John G and his son John G. Jr. were both blacksmiths.

I lucked out with John and hoped to be as lucky with Daniel. The only census record with a possible Daniel Tibbetts in New York City was listed as follows: 1820 census – D. Tibbetts, head of household with the following numbers: 2 males under 10, 2 males 26-44, 1 female under 10, 1 female 26-44.

The only other reference for Daniel was found in the U.S. Atlantic Ports, Seamen’s Protection Certificates extracts 1792 to 1869. Daniel Tibbets, residence of New York City, age 26. He was 5 ft. 9 inches tall and his complexion was dark. The date was 26 May 1815.

Census listings by name – if person is in census at home, marked with Y, if not at home, marked with X.

a-1790 b-1800 c-1810
Philip Y Y Y
Sarah Y Y Y
William Y Y Y
Unnamed Daughter Y X X
Merribah Y Y X
Benjamin Y Y X
James Y Y Y
Lucy Y Y X
Daniel X Y X
Mercy X Y Y
John X Y Y
Joel X Y Y
Philip X Y Y
Hezekiah X X Y

The above chart is based on matching the children of Philip Tibbetts with the known birth years and from ages found at death.

John Grant Tibbets date of birth moved from 1785 to 1793, based on his age in 1850 and his headstone.

Daniel, based on ages of the other sons of Philip, and his Seamen certificate, would have been born about 1790, not 1803 that people have been putting in their online trees.

Contrary to popular belief Philip Tibbett’s son Daniel based on the number of sons listed in 1800 and from information out of New York City is born in 1790 and not in 1803. Even the Tibbetts Genealogy did not assign him a year of birth just stated his residency was New York City, like his brother John Grant Tibbetts.

Creative Commons License
This Old Tree, January 2016 by Dennis Prue is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at ac-gs.org.