A One-Name Study
for the BARNUM/BARNHAM Surname
Notes for Emma FAIRCHILD
"Emm Fairchild, First Wife of Francis Barnum, and the Family of Her Father, Thomas Fairchild." By Gary Alan Boughton. - In a previous article on the Boughton family of Danbury, Connecticut, the late Mary J. Bigelow and I left unsolved the identity of Emm, the wife of Joseph Boughton; my own curiosity has led me on to further research which has resolved this problem. Early Danbury families are of particular interest to me. The absence of early land, town and church records makes researching Danbury families especially difficult, and this was certainly the case with Emm, wife of Joseph Boughton.
The only direct evidence for the identity of this woman is in the last of a series of three deeds relating to the estate of Thomas Fairchild of Woodbury. In the first of these, dated 30 April 1752, "Catherine Saymore of Norwalk" sold to Robert Fairchild of Stratford for £5 "my right to all the Sequesteration Lands Common & undivided Lands all former & future divisions in the Township of Woodbury & in their North and South Purchases Viz: all my Right to Common & undivided Lands in s[ai]d Woodbury acrueing to me as one of the Heirs of Thomas Fairchild formerly of s[ai]d Woodbury Deceas[e]d." On 26 May 1752, David Barnum of Woodbury made a similar sale to Robert Fairchild of the "Common & undivided Rights" of Thomas Fairchild, the consideration in this instance being £3, and then on 18 June 1752, Joseph Boughton of Danbury sold to Robert Fairchild, also for £3 "all the Right title & Interest, which my Wife Emm. Dec[ease]d had in the Common & undivided Lands & sequestered Lands in the Township of Woodbury in s[ai]d Colony with all Former Divisions & all future Divisions which shall be layd out in s[ai]d Town Accrueing from the Estate of Thomas Fairchild Deceas[e]d." This latter deed was the basis for the tentative suggestion that Emm, the wife of Joseph Boughton, was a Fairchild, but all we really learn is that she was in some way an heir of Thomas Fairchild, not that she was necessarily of that surname. Note also that David Barnum and Joseph Boughton were paid the same amount by Robert Fairchild.
These are undoubtedly the lands referred to on 24 April 1753 in a court of probate held at Woodbury, when "Captain Robert Fairchild of Stratford... Grandson of Mr. Thomas Fairchild of Woodbury who deceased in the year 1686" requested "that Administration might be granted to him on some Real Estate of s[ai]d deceased which was not known where or omitted, when the inventory of s[ai]d deceaseds estate was taken & exhibited in the County Court at Fairfield." The case was deferred for a week, and when the court reconvened it denied the request, although no explicit reason was stated. Robert Fairchild immediately entered an appeal, and posted a bond of £50 pending the outcome of the appeal.
The Thomas Fairchild referred to in these deeds was born at Stratford on 26 February 1645/6, son of Thomas, joined the Woodbury church soon after 5 May 1670, and was admitted to full communion on 4 March 1678/9. According the inventory of his estate, taken at Woodbury on 16 April 1686, Thomas Fairchild died on 27 March 1686, leaving goods (including "tooles belonging the smiths and carpinters trads") and lands valued at £403 2s. 6d. "Susanna Fairchild widow to Thomas Fairchild Deceased" presented this inventory at court on 2 November 1686, and appended to this document was the notation that "The Children of Thomas Fairchild Deceased are Samuel Alexander: Emm
Ruth & Catharina, the age of the Children: Emm 14 years past; Samuel 10 years Jenua[r]y next; Ruth 8 year old 15th day of next January; Alexand[erl 6 year old next February; Catheraine one year and half old-"
The distribution of Thomas Fairchild's estate is missing from the file, but it is recorded in the court book: "At A court held in Fairfield 2d Novem[be]r 1686 The Inventory of the Estate of Thomas Fairchild deceased was Exhibited to this Court in order to A setlement in distribution therof the deceased Thomas Fairchild dying Intestate and leaving A widdow and five Children two sons and three daughters and ther Apearing as presented to this Court Clear Estate of the deceased £349 2s 6d the which the Court doth distribute as followeth the widow Susanna Fairchild to have the use of the houseing and lands untill the Eldest sonn com to the age of twenty one years and then he to have his portion out of the lands and houseing and what lands belongeth to the youngest sonn she is to improve untill he Com to the age of twenty one years alsoe and alsoe one hundred and Eighteen pound out of the moveables provided as to her owne desire and Ingagement before the Court [then?] relinquish her third p[ar]t of all land dureing her life acording to law to the eldest Sonn Samuel Fairchild Seaventy Eight pounds thirteen Shillings and six pence To Alexander Fairchild Sixty one pounds Eight Shillings to be payd each of them in lands at the age of twenty one years and to the three daughters Emm Ruth and Catherine each of them as thay Come to age of Eighteen years or at day of marriag if thay marry so[o]ner Thirty pounds and Seaven Shillings Susanna Fairchild Relick to the deceased is apointed administratrix of s[ai]d Estate & mr: Zacheriah Waker and John Sherman are apointed overseers of s[ai]d Estate."
Of the five surviving children of Thomas Fairchild noted above, four are easily traced into adult life in the Woodbury land records. "Joseph Heicock & Ruth Fairechilde were Married the third day of Novemb[e]r 1697." On 4 April 1701, Samuel Fairchild of Stratford and Joseph Heicock of Woodbury agreed that Heicock would carry out an engagement, dated 31 May 1698, which Fairchild had incurred as "an adminstrator to pay out to the severall legatees the proportions according to a settlem[en]t of the stated County Court at Fayrefield," presumably referring to the estate of Thomas Fairchild. Among the lands laid out by the town of Woodbury to Joseph Hickok was the "26th lott about four acres & an halfe... this belongs to Thomas Fairchilds Accommodations," 4 June 1705. "Joseph Hickok died of a canser octob[elr the 20th 1717" and "Ruth Hicok widow departed this life may 28th 1727."
On 13 May 1702, "Allexand[e]r Fayrechilde and Jo[h]n Pickett being absolute proprietors and Intrested in land w[i]thin the Township of woodberry w[hi]ch was Thomas Fayrechildes deceast as appeares fully in the severall p[a]rticul[a]r transactio[n]s and settlem[en]t of the Estate of sd Deceast" sold to Joseph Heicock and Benjamin Heicock eight acres of land "Bownded as in the Record of the same to the deceast." Alexander Fairchild of Stratford and John Pickit of Danbury sold land to John Curtis and Joseph Hickok on 1 January 1708/9.
The probate file of John Pickett includes "An Inventory of the Estate of John Pickitt off Danbury Deceased Who: departed this Life May: 23 1712." "Catherin Pickit Widow Relict of John Pickit late of Danber[y] Dec[ease]d and francis Barnam" were the adminstrators of the estate; included was "An: Acout of the number: And age off the Children of John: Picket: Deceased."
Since Ensign Francis Barnum married Deborah Hoyt in 1696, it is assumed that Emma Fairchild must have died prior to that year.
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