Monday, February 18, 2013

Amanuensis Monday ~ 1898 Letter From An Adsit Cousin

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

After teasing my readers by sharing an 1898 postcard from a distant Adsit cousin to my second great aunt, I found that I had already transcribed his letters years ago. Following is the first letter in the series. My editorial comments are in red.

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
Allen C. Adsit, Judge
Grand Rapids, Mich. March 2d, 1898
Mrs. Belle Adsit Wheeler,
Chicago, Ill.
Madam: Yours of yesterday rec'd. Yes, I belong to the "Adsit" family and have spent a great deal of time during the past year in studying the genealogical history of the name. I have succeeded in getting more knowledge on the subject than anyone else possesses, I think. I am still at work at it, however, and expect to get more. No genealogical book has ever been published in regard to the family; [six decades later, there was a book published by Newman Ward Adsit] such a work would entail a larger amount of work than I have time to devote to it, to say nothing about the expense it involves. I have got sufficient facts concerning the first of the name, who settled in this country and his immediate descendants to enable those who bear the name to make a genealogical tree of their own family, I think.

[page 2] In regard to your family, assuming that you are a daughter of the late James M. Adsit, [yes, recipient of this letter, Belle Wheeler, was James' daughter] I will say that our great grandfathers were cousins. Your great grandfathers name was Martin Adsit; he was a son of Benjamin Adsit, who was a son of John Adsit. [That line is what I show.] John Adsit settled at Lyme, Conn. about the year 1716; he had 4 sons and two daughters [with his second wife]. I found the record of their births in the town records of that town last summer. Benjamin was born in 1728; the names of the other 3 brothers were John 2d Samuel + Stephen. I am a lineal descendant of John 2d. I have the names of all of the children of John 2d, Samuel and Stephen, but not of all the children of Benjamin. I am still looking for them. Your great grandfather Martin was born in Dutchess Co. N.Y. in 1761 [I have 1762]; he married a woman named "Hait" or "Haight" [I have Rhoda Haight] in Dutchess Co. but subsequently settled in Spencertown, Columbia Co., N.Y. where your father was born. Martin's sons names I have, one of whom was Leonard, your grandfather. Some of Martin's descendants still reside in Columbia Co. N.Y. A cousin of yours Henry H. Adsit + I were in the same Regiment together during the [Civil] war (44 N.Y. Vols). He was from Chatauqua Co., N.Y. and now resides at Bradford, Pa. I have the record of your great grandfather's service in the Revolutionary War. [I know he served; just need to find the source material] The names of all those brothers [John, Samuel, Stephen, Benjamin] are found among the state records of the Revolutionary War at Albany N.Y. All of them settled in Dutchess + Columbia Counties N.Y. prior to the War. Samuel + Benjamin settled in Dutchess Co. in 1760. Stephen in 1765 and John 2d

[page 3] in Columbia Co. in 1774. All persons who bear the name "Adsit" are lineal descendants of one of those 4 brothers. [I'm not sure how to prove that, but it's very possible.] I have found the name in England but it is spelled "Adsett" there. A short time ago I found a record in Dutchess Co. N.Y. of the last wills etc. of Samuel + Stephen and I have copies of them, one was made in 1793 and the other 1805. I wish you would send me a record of your father's family, names, etc. of your brothers and sisters. I will cheerfully give you any further information I have, concerning this subject, if you will state, as near as you can, what you wish to learn. You may have some ancient records concerning the family, if you have, be kind enough to let me know what it is. I want to make my history as complete as possible.
Allen C. Adsit.
Allen Clark Adsit and Belle Adsit Wheeler are 4th cousins. Allen Clark Adsit and I are 4th cousins 3x removed.

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