Thin Threads – the Robert and Rachel Coventry family


I am trying to put information together about the Robert and Rachel Coventry family. Unfortunately, at the moment, it feels like the bits of information I have are just a bunch of thin threads, tiny clues that I am trying to put together to weave into a tapestry.

But…..when do you know your threads are strong enough to hold? Or when are they too thin, and threaten to unravel all of your hard work?

Robert and Rachel (Clark) Coventry were born in Columbia County, New York and got married sometime before ~1818 in Columbia County. I am trying to decide if all 8 children that could possibly be their children really are. These potential children are tied to the parents through thin – if coloful! – threads, and I’m looking for where do I look next.

My question

Where do I look next to find out more about their movements between Columbia County, Sullivan County, and Schoharie County from 1820-1850? What happened to Robert first, and then Rachel? And…why did the kids scatter between those 3 places by 1850?

What I’ve got

Here are the records that are the basis for what I’ve got so far after my initial online searches:

  • Robert, born 1793 in West Copake, Columbia, New York
  • Rachel, born 1794 in West Copake, Columbia, NY
  • Cynthia, daughter, born 1818 in Manorton?, Columbia, NY
  • 1820 Census – Hillsdale, Columbia, NY – Robt Coventry (yes, I promise, it’s Coventry and not Coomtrny 🙂 – one male, age 16-26, two females ages 20-26 and 0-10
  • James Spencer, born 1822 in Hillsdale, Columbia, NY (word of mouth from his descendant)
  • information showing 4 children in the family (Problem – I have no idea where this info came from!)
  • 1830 Census – Liberty, Sullivan, NY – Robert Coventry, father. Multiple children, match the ages from the data
  • 1840 Census – Broome, Schoharie, NY – Rachel Coventry, mother, multiple children, match the ages of the family in 1830 + 10 years
  • 1850 Census – Can’t find a Robert or Rachel Coventry anywhere. The rest of the potential children are scattered throughout Columbia, Sullivan, and Schoharie counties.
  • According to some online trees, and the page, Robert died back in West Copake, Columbia, NY in 1850.

I have started looking into the land records but haven’t gotten very far – turns out the Sullivan County Courthouse burned in 1909. Argh.

Their “possible” children in 1850

I don’t know if these are all children in the same family; but for now, I’m researching them all until they are confirmed. In future posts, I’ll share more about how I found each of these children and why they might be a part of the family. For now, I’ll just list where they were in 1850:

I looked through the 1820-1850 census indexes for any other mentions of Robert or Rachel Coventry. There are a few others, but none match the ages and dates as well as these do.

My Plan

I’m currently looking for the local genealogical/historical societies, or genealogy libraries, in these areas to ask them where to go next. But I am sure there is more that I can do to find them during these years.

What happened to them? Why did their family scatter to the four winds upon their (possible) deaths? And, are all of these kids really their children?

I can move into finding death certificates for them soon, but I don’t have good death dates for most of them yet.

So……any thoughts about where I should go from here?

Categories: Coventry | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Thin Threads – the Robert and Rachel Coventry family

  1. I take it you are familiar with this 1999 post that suggests Robert and Jacob are the sons of James and Elizabeth Van Dusen.

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