Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dr. Phineas Stevens Research by google and e-mail

I can't help myself!  I've managed to squeeze in some family history research between these events this month:  the tsunami, the baby shower I gave for my neighbor, my presentation of my trip to Haiti after the earthquake at the Adventurers' Club, feeding the feral cat while another neighbor is gone, undergoing  nuclear medicine thyroid scans to check on my thyroid gland, showing another neighbor's visitor around Manoa Valley, dining with Canadian friends on the Marina, attending our Honolulu Co. Genealogy Society, keeping up with my 24 hr fitness class, walking 3.8 miles a day, volunteering at the Army Hospital, and MOST IMPORTANTLY - watching every Genealogy Webinar I can sign up for on my computer!
   So, the research I got carried away with first was for the family of Capt Phineas Stevens.  I usually start my immersion research by clicking on a link on some new database that popped up in a blog or email, that I can't resist trying out.  This time I was busy with the familiar  a search tactic I often use, but this time I was trying to sort out my Phineas Stevens family of MA, VT, NH, NY and finally WI from other Phineas Stevens families.  Some of Capt Phineas Stevens sons became Revolutionary War Loyalists so they lived in Digby, Nova Scotia for awhile.   
       Anyway, since I have three direct ancestors in a row named Phineas Stevens, I often try a search of that name.  Capt Phineas Stevens (1707-1756) had a son who was a medical doctor (Dr. Phineas Stevens 1744-1799).    In I read in the History of  Barnet, Vermont by F.P. Wells, a chapter "The Journal of Samuel Stevens," (a son of Capt Phineas Stevens) which noted:  "June 2, 1775 - Solomon Stevens went to Cambridge to College."   Now I am thinking that if one son of Capt Phineas Stevens (Solomon) went to Cambridge --meaning present Harvard at Cambridge, MA, I believe-- that probably the other sons did too.  Maybe there would be some alumni list at Harvard Medical School showing "Phineas Stevens, MD." 
        So a tactic I tried, which I am usually reluctant to do - was to send a personal e-mail to some one or some place to ask a question.  I don't know why I don't do it more often, shy I guess.   I googled Harvard and found out that the medical school wasn't begun until 1782.  But I sent an e-mail to the alumni association anyway for information about who I should ask regarding a pre-revolutinary war student or alumni lists.  So the Office of Alumni Relations sent me an e-mail suggesting I contact the Countway Library of Medicine in Boston.  I did, and Jack Eckert, a Librarian there, did some research and came up with a Phineas Stevens (1716-1755) who was a minister at Boscawen, with a son named Phineas (not my line), and a Samuel Stevens who apparently died in 1809 the same year he graduated (not sure who he is).  He also found a Phineas Stevens of Barnet, Vermont b. abt 1803 who attended DARTMOUTH MEDICAL SCHOOL in 1824, but did not graduate.  Well, too late for MY Dr. Phineas Stevens but since my line founded and lived in Barnet, VT,  they are most likely related.  Although I haven't yet found the information I'm seeking, I was thrilled that the kind Librarian took the time to look after my question and send me an answer.  Thank you to all the kind librarians out there.
    It was a bit of adventure for me to send off an e-mail request.  Of course I know many who do it all the time with great results, so I pledge I will try to do it more often.  With my many activities (see above) I tend to forget what I do from one day to the next... I find it hard to keep track of who I connect with on family trees.  But I must keep organized so I keep track of my correspondence and reach out to others who may be willing to help me.    Such an important path of research should not be avoided!
  1788 Signature of Phineas Stevens (a Loyalist doctor) on a Canada land document after he fled the United States and settled near Digby, Nova Scotia with his brothers Enos, and Simon Stevens.  Photo taken when I took the ViaRail train from Edmonton to Halifax, Nova Scotia, then drove down to Digby to do research there.

All the brothers returned to Vermont and New Hampshire eventually.  Dr. Phineas Stevens was the first doctor in Barnet, VT, and died there in 1799.  His son, Phineas Stevens III, was born in Digby in 1785, married Fanny Grout (m. 1808 Barnet, VT) and settled near Jamestown, Chautauqua Co, NY by about 1815.  After Fanny died in 1832 he remarried to Sarah Knight and I think they ended up in Wisconsin.  I'd like to verify that it was this (my) Phineas Stevens, or not, who had been in the War of 1812 from VT or NY, and who died 27 Jul 1846 in Rock Co., WI.  


Anonymous said...

Dear Donna,

re: Phineas Stevens of War of 1812.

Found your post while searching out genealogical info on one Phineas Stevens in my personal branch. There might not have been more than one Phineas Stevens in the War of 1812, but here are references to my Capt/Major Phineas Stevens of the War of 1812.

1. Stevens, Plowdon. Stephens-Stevens genealogy, lineage from Henry Stephens, or Stevens of Stonington, Connecticut, 1668. New York, New York: Frank Allaben Geneaological Company, 1909. p.77
(scan of this book is on Google Books)
2. Smith, H. Perry, ed. (1884) History of the City of Buffalo and Erie County: With illustrations and biographical sketches of some of its prominent men and pioneers. Vol 1 of 2. Syracuse, N. Y.: D. Mason & Co.
3. A broad online tree of Stevens' that connects well old established trees together with less strong links and collates other unique information:

You may be able to find the relative placement of your ancestor in these trees.


P.S. totally jealous that you are in Honolulu. Go to Leonards's and have a malasada for me.

Donna Hague Wendt said...

Thanks Chris, that provides lots of Stevens history and genealogy to peruse! I'll have a malasada in your honor!
I'm wondering about this Phineas Stevens described below:
In Public papers of Daniel D. Tompkins, governor of New York, 1807-1817 / by Daniel D. Tompkins, New York (State). Governor (1807-1817 : Tompkins), Hugh Hastings Wynkoop Hallenbeck Crawford Co., 1898
"Capt. Phineas Stevens Appeals from the Sentence of a Court Martial With Success."
General Orders: city of Albany, January 2d, 1802
On the appeal of Captain Phineas Stevens, of Lt-Col John Tillotson's regiment, in General (Benjamin) Ledyard's brigade..... held in Aurora, in the town of Scipio, on the 28th day of October last for his trail: Disobedience of orders," [etc...] end result = the sentence was disapproved and " annulled and said Captain Stevens accordingly discharged from his arrest."
[note: Aurora and Scipio are in Cayuga, NY-dw]

Mathmac said...

You should request the Master's thesis by interlibrary loan. VERY readable and well-researched. by Eric Emery, it is an unpublished MA Thesis on Phineas Steven's papers.