Tryphena Stone Harper

Tryphena is the third born of seven children.  Her parents Charles Stone, Jr.  and Polly Springs were married in the year 1782, Stockbridge, Mass.  Tryphena was born in Dedham, Mass. Sept. 15, 1787.  Her siblings were Harriett (born 1783 in New York), Lura (born 1785 in Mass.), Robert (born 1789 in New York), Jared (born 1794 in New York), Maria (born 1796 in New York)  and Sophronia (born 1799 in New York).

She was named after her grandmother Tryphena Collins Stone.  Some of her granddaughters in the generations to come will be named after her.

Charles and Polly had at one time lived in the Mohawk Valley after their marriage. But then moved back to Mass. because of Polly’s illness.  Polly would stay with her parents until 1791, after which she and Charles moved to Broome County, New York.  Tryphena was four years old when they moved to New York.

Tryphena met Oliver Harper in Chenango, New York and they married December 22, 1805.  They had 8 children: Alexander Hamilton (born 1807), George Washington (born 1809), Ruth Maria (born 1811), Charles Stone (born 1813), unnamed daughter (born 1815), Harriett (born 1816), John Marvin (born 1818), and Betsey (born 1824).

After 19 years of marriage Oliver was tragically murdered (May 24, 1824) in Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania by Jason Treadwell. Many articles have been written about the circumstances and trial.  The grief Phena and the children must have felt at this sudden loss was overwhelming.  Betsey was born two months before her father died.

Oliver Harper’s will appointed John T. Doubleday as executor to the estate and Phena guardian for the five younger children, Ruth, Charles, Harriett, John and Betsey.  Alexander and George were of age and chose their mother to be their guardian.  Hopefully the land sold by Mr. Doubleday would support Phena and her children.

Phena’s next tragedy would be the death of her oldest son, Alexander.  Alexander had moved to Washington, D.C. in the 1840’s to take a position working as a file clerk.  He then moved to Mariposa, California for the gold rush in 1850. As he was moving his belongings from a flood damage area to higher grounds, he accidentally shot himself.

George and John had moved to Ontario, Canada.  George married Mary Misener and they had four children:  Tryphena, Hannah, George and Nicholas.  He remained and died in Canada in the year 1863.  Another son who Tryphena has outlived.

John moves back to New York  and marries Ruth Ann Harris around 1845. They produced seven children:  Maryette, Warren, Alexander, John, Ella, Harriet and Betsey.  John passed in 1898 in Fenton, New York.

Ruth marries William Hopkins June 11, 1835.  They have eight children: Harriett, Josephine, Oliver, William, Mary, Tryphena, Alexander and Samuel. They move to Illinois in the late 1850’s.  Ruth passes away in Oswego, Illinois in 1863. Another child Phena has outlived.

Charles may have married but cannot find documentation.  He lived with his mother and sister Betsey.  He passed away in the year 1886, Chenango, New York.

Harriett marries Joseph H. Davis Feb. 11, 1839.  They have four children: Charles, George, Jennie (Betsey) and Oliver.   In the 1910 census Harriett and Betsey are living with her daughter Jennie Davis Lee.  Harriett passes in 1910.

Betsey does not marry and lives with her mother until Tryphena passes in 1878.  Newspaper clippings have her visiting and living with her nieces and nephews.  Betsey passes in 1911.

Phena Harper Will Family Search - Broome Wills Admin, Vol 6-7

Phena Harper Will
Family Search – Broome Wills Admin, Vol 6-7

She leaves her possessions to Charles, John, and Betsey, and an additional $50.00 to be paid to her grandson Samuel A. Hopkins.  Phena specifically left her bible, gold watch and dog to Betsey.  Finding the bible would bring joy to Phena’s GG grandchildren.

An ancestor not to be forgotten.

George Washington Harper

George was born Feb 10 1809.  He was the second son of Oliver and Phena Stone Harper.  He could be named after his grandfather, Judge George Harper,  who fought in the American Revolution or out of respect for the first President George Washington.

George was 15 years old when his father was murdered in 1824.  He and Alexander H (his brother) were listed as of age and stated their mother Phena Harper would be their guardian.

Alexander had moved to California and accidently shot himself while moving from one camp site to a higher camp site to avoid rains.  In Alexander Hamilton’s probate papers (1852-1854) George and John, another brother, were listed as living in Canada.

The reason he moved to London, Ontario, Canada is not known.  In the City of London Directory (1856-1857) he is listed as an “agent for the exchange buildings.”  His office was on Burwell and Bathurst Streets. In the Canadian 1861 Census his occupation is listed as Gentlemen.

He met Mary Misener. They married Oct 29, 1843 in Elgin, Ontario, Canada. Mary was the daughter of Richard and Hannah Cozzard Misener. She was born Sept 18, 1825 in St. Thomas, Ontario. George and Mary were the parents of 4 children, Mary Tryphena, Hannah Cornelia, George Hamilton, and Nicholas Misener.

George and Mary’s children, spouses and children, are as follows:

Mary (born 1846) married Phineas H Clark and they had 5 children – Louisa, Emily, Cecil, Harold and William.

Hannah (1849-1929) married twice – her first marriage was to Charles Whitehead and they had 2 children George & Hattie. Her second marriage was to William Walker and they had one daughter Alice.

George Hamilton (1852-1946) was also married twice – his first marriage was to Alice Tidey and they had 4 children Mary, Norma, John and George Hamilton. His second wife was Emily Mackenzie and they had no children.

Nicholas (1855-1936) was married twice also – his first wife was Minnie Fleming and they had five children Alice, Hattie, Laura, Ethel and Thomas. His second wife was Mary Page and they had no children.

Sadly George W Harper passed away Aug 30 1863 and is buried in Mount Cemetery, Ontario. Mary had lived with her children off and on throughout the years until she passed in 1905.

An Ancestor not to be Forgotten.

ONMID12701-C463-CanadaGenWeb-Cemetery-Ontario-Middlesex George W & Mary M Harper

Alexander Hamilton Harper

Alexander Hamilton Harper  was born Jan 29 1807 in Windsor,  New York. He is the oldest son of Oliver and Phena Stone Harper.   His parents must have admired Alexander Hamilton to name their son after him.  Alexander Hamilton was a brilliant man – he served under George Washington in the American Revolution, was the first Secretary of Treasury in Washington’s cabinet and was a leader in the Federalist Party.  In 1804  Alexander Hamilton fought in a duel with Aaron Burr and was mortally wounded.  If there is a relationship between the Harper’s and Hamilton’s I haven’t found it yet.

When Alexander was 17 years old he became the “man of the house.”  His father Oliver was murdered near Montrose, PA on his way home from selling lumber in Philadelphia. There have been many articles and speculation about the murderer, Jason Treadwell.  The ordeal was quite a shock to the family.  And Alexander’s grandfather Judge George Harper and his uncle George Harper Jr were in Montrose frequently to monitor the investigation.  Jason Treadwell was hung and is buried in Newman Cemetery .

At the age of 26 Alexander was appointed as the US Postmaster for New South Berlin, NY.  It was a position that paid him $300 a year.  His next position was in Washington, DC as a clerk from 1843-1845. He had written a letter to his mother in Nov 1844 hoping to come home and visit her.  In this letter he had mentioned,  “There is no probability that I shall ever be so fortunate as to get a good wife again, or so unfortunate as to get a bad one at all.”  He had attended a wedding in Philadelphia so memories must have been a bittersweet moment happy for the couple and remembering his wife. He also wrote in the letter to his mother the following:

I expect the rest of my life will be like the wandering Jew-condemned to wander the remainder of days, a sort of an isolated being, deprived of all the social engagements of life, living perhaps in a kind of negative state of happenings, until I completely rust out and die unlamented, and of course soon forgotten.

Then in 1850 he died in Mariposa, California at the age of 43.  In his mother’s bible she or someone had written he had accidentally shot himself.  Mariposa was a mining camp near the creek Aqua Fria.  In the winter of 1849/1850 there was a flood and fires, so he endured many hardships.  Mariposa was relocated to another location after the flooding.  Maybe during the move he became careless. Alexander’s probate papers, which were filed in New York City,  provided information to fill in some of the gaps of his life.

There are two pages I am attaching to this blog. The first page is from Clarissa Babcock claiming the estate owes her money for care of Alexander’s wife and baby. It gave dates of the care and was a bonus in finding Alexander’s wife Susan.  She is buried in the Riverside Cemetery, New South Berlin.  She died March 9, 1838 and was born June 2, 1819.  A very young 18 years when she died.  As for the baby I could find no record. The statement in his letter to his mother about finding another wife (good or bad) is now explained.  The claim was later denied by Phena. Mrs. Babcock was claiming care for  Susan in 1844, although she passed in 1838. So of course the claim was denied. New York Probate Records 1629 1971 New York Decrees 1828 1865 Bundle 73 73 Image 339 1195 AH Harper

The second page is a listing of his possessions when he died.  The authorities were shipping the items to the attorney Caleb S Butts, but were never received.  The money in his wallet ($103.07) was used to pay for his funeral expenses.  It seems he was well prepared for his adventure in
California.  Proper bedding, gun and clothes.

New York Probate Records 1629 1971 New York Decrees 1828 1865 Bundle 73 73 Image 350 1195 AH Harper

Alexander Hamilton Harper is an ancestor who will now not be forgotten.