Sherwood is the child I have the least amount of information on. I’ve only got his name in one record, total, but I do have echoes of his existence elsewhere, and together they do make a good argument that he was part of this family as well.
Here’s what I have for him:
- ~1828 Birth – according to the 1850 census
- 1830 Residence – Liberty, Sullivan, NY Federal Census – possible child in the household of Robert Coventry
- 1840 Residence – Broome, Schoharie, NY Federal Census – possible child in the household of Rachel Coventry
- 1850 Residence – Copake, Columbia, NY, Federal Census, with wife Mahalia Coventry – this is the one record I have with his name
And that’s it. I believe he was still alive in 1855 but I can’t find them in the 1855 NY Census. I do however find his wife, Mahala Coventry, in many later census records:
- 1860 Residence – Thompson, Sullivan, New York – July 21, Sullivan County Poor House, with Frank Coventry
- 1860 Residence – Bethel, Sullivan, New York – Oct 2, living in the same dwelling as Calvin Coventry, with Frank Coventry (so yes, she’s in the 1860 census 2x)
- 1870 Residence – Liberty, Sullivan, New York – living as a servant in the Daniel Leroy household
- 1875 Residence – Liberty, Sullivan, New York – living next door to the Martin and Sarah Benton family, and Chauncey’s daughter married a Benton
- 1880 Residence – Fremont, Sullivan, New York – living with Mary Canon, her daughter
Why Sherwood may be part of the Robert and Rachel Coventry family:
- His age in the 1850 census (22) puts him at the right age for one of the children in the Coventry household.
- He is living in Copake, which is close to where someone says Robert Coventry (the father) died in 1850 (the original Ancestry.com page I found)
- He and his wife are living with Rufus Clark in 1850. Rufus Clark is one of the children born to William and Janetje Clark, who are also Rachel Clark’s parents!
- Mahala Coventry is found from 1860-1880 in the Liberty/Bethel/Thompson area, in one case living in the same household as Calvin Coventry, and in other cases living near the Benton family, which is who Chauncey’s daughter married into.
I haven’t usually gotten into the children in my posts, but in this case the story of the children tells a little about the family. Sherwood and Mahala had two children, Frank and Mary, born between 1850 and 1860. Mary later married a Canon, but she is not shown as living with Mahala in any census records until the 1880 census, where Mahala is shown as the mother-in-law in the household. Frank was adopted by or taken in by Peter Alberty. I’ll have to do a complete post on Frank one of these days, but to summarize, Peter Alberty lived close to Mahala Coventry in 1860; they are on the same page in the census where she is living with Calvin. Frank Coventry is then shown with Peter Alberty in the 1870 census. In 1880, Frank is alone, but his name is Frank Alberty, as in all later censuses. He is a blacksmith, just as Peter was. And then the twist – Frank’s death certificate (1923) shows his father as Frank Alberty, and mother as unknown. Though I haven’t researched this extensively, it’s likely that Peter Alberty had an older son, Frank Alberty, who did not have a son named Frank of that age in his own family in the census records. More research is needed. (And a couple side-notes: There are 2 Frank Alberty’s in Pennsylvania through the early 1900s, born within a year of each other, Frank S. Alberty and Frank E. Alberty. More on them in another post. Finally, others have researched the Alberty line, finding Frank S Alberty, and show his name as Frank Sherwood Coventry Alberty or Frank Sherwood Alberty. I haven’t seen yet where there is any documentation that shows his middle name as Sherwood, I’ve only seen the middle initial, S., so I hope to find something eventually.)
- Where are Sherwood and Mahala in the 1855 NY Census?
- Could there be newspaper records for around when Sherwood likely died, between 1857 and 1860?
- Could there still be records remaining from the poor house Mahala and Frank lived in in 1860?
- Where is Mary in 1860?
- Could there be adoption records for Frank being adopted into the Alberty family?
- Where did Mahala die? She was found in 1880 and then disappeared after that.
- Search page-by-page in the 1855 census in Copake for Sherwood and Mahala, and if they aren’t there, search in Sullivan County – Bethel, Thompson, Liberty areas.
- Look for newspapers for the city or county for Columbia and Sullivan Counties for between 1857 and 1860 for info about Sherwood.
- Learn about poor houses in NY, and adoption in PA.
- Broaden search for Mary in 1860 and in later years; see if I can find her death certificate.
- Search the NY VR index for Mahala. Will need to go to NY to do so….