Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Genealogy Bank

Today I am thankful for Genealogy Bank and I will tell you why. I have spent the most time searching for information on my ancestor Abel Kent Sr. than anyone else for several reasons. The primary reason, however is due to a document located in the Connecticut State Library. This document has become a source of a birth date for Abel Kent that I can now say with confidence is a mistake made by a well intended man. This man attempted to group all the families of Suffield, Connecticut into family groups utilizing the Suffield records. The page he wrote about the children of Noah and Deliverence (Granger) Kent listed their son Abel with a birth date of September 20, 1753. This is actually the birth date (in a different year) of Abel's sister Deborah. Thanks to an article dated March of 1766, found on Genealogy Bank, I learned my ancestor Abel Kent was living in Lanesborough, Massachusetts in 1765. This article gave me more than that though. It contained an important piece of history for that town that I had never seen before despite reading all the local history books and even better, my ancestor Abel Kent was involved. The event in the article described "The Lanesborough Affair". I learned an important piece of history and a great family story which lead to the arrest of my Abel. Before this article, I did not know Abel had ever lived in Lanesborough, although I knew his brother Noah lived there. This article led me to further research at Chicago's Newberry Library to learn more and leads me to another person I am thankful for today. My friend James, who went to Pittsfield to research Lanesborough and New Ashford for me. I did not even ask him! I now have dozens of documents detailing what once was 20 missing years of Abel Kent's life that I did not know. These documents provide further proof that Abel was indeed the son of Noah and Deliverance (Granger) Kent and could not possibly have been born in 1753, therefore had to be born on September 26, 1742. The newspaper article found on Genealogy Bank told me a great piece of lost history that my ancestor was involved in and lead me to so many more great documents, thanks to my friend James. The 20 year gap is now filled with land documents, documents that detail Abel's service to the towns of Lanesborough and New Ashford, his participation in Shays Rebellion, another huge piece of American history and more. Today, I am thankful for Genealogy Bank. I am thankful for my friend James, who taught me so much of what I know about genealogy everyday. If you want to read more about Abel Kent Sr., Lanesborough, The Lanesborough Affair or New Ashford, I have published more on my website Early American Ancestors and put many of the documents found there, including a transcription of the article found on Genealogy Bank regarding The Lanesborough Affair.

1 comment:

  1. Cathy,

    I was fascinated to read this post, as well as the articles on your Early American Ancestors website. I think, but am not yet absolutely sure, Abel Kent Sr. is my ancestor. One of the points of confusion has been his birth date. In, the birth date for the Abel Kent who appears the most likely candidate for my family tree is listed as September 20, 1753. Having read your post, I now see how the error crept into the record.

    I believe my lineage to Abel Sr is as follows:

    me (Steve Kent) -> Alan Burnett Kent -> Vernon Kent -> Horatio Nelson Kent Jr. -> Horatio Nelson Kent Sr. -> Carlton Kent -> Abel Kent Sr.

    If you have any information which confirms or denies the correctness of this, I'd appreciate hearing from you. I also look forward to reading the description of Shays Rebellion on your website.


    Steve Kent
    Fairfax, VA