Monday, December 7, 2015

Thankful Chapin Chapin Torrey (1774-1854) - 52 Ancestors #49

Last week's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from blogger Amy Crow Johnson of No Story Too Small had the theme of "Thankful." I wrote about my Mayflower ancestors. However, I noticed that several other bloggers wrote about ancestors with the given name Thankful, which I thought was a great idea because I have a few in my tree.

The closest Thankful in my family tree is Thankful Chapin, born the fifth of ten children of Simeon Chapin and Lucy Doolittle. She was possibly named for her paternal grandmother, Thankful (Dickinson) Chapin, who died in 1773.

Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 (
Springfield Births, Marriages and Deaths. Record of Birth for Thankfull Chapin.

This record from Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988, at appears to be a scan of an old book that has been taped in the middle, covering the last letter of Thankful's father's name. The transcription is:
Thankfull Chapin Daughter of Simeon [indexed as Semea and Simer in the two entries]
Chapin + Lucy Chapin of Springfield
was born July 12th anno Dom. 1774.
She married her third cousin once removed, Bezaleel Chapin, who was also born in Springfield. (I have multiple Chapins in my ancestry: see Surname Saturday ~ Chapin of Springfield.)

She and Bezaleel had six children before he died in 1812:
Orramel Chapin (1791-1866)
Almeria Chapin (1793-1860)
Alfred Chapin (1795-1823)
Theodore Chapin (1800-1854)
Lydia Todd Chapin (1802-1886)
Lucy Doolittle Chapin (1805-1887)

All of these children moved out of Massachusetts and died far away from where they were born: in New York, Illinois, and Wisconsin! I wonder if some of her children moved away and never returned to Massachusetts to see their mother. I hope they exchanged letters.

Thankful's second husband was Elijah Torrey, a widower with possibly four young children (from the Chapin genealogies, secondary sources which I know have errors). I have not done much research on this family.

In 1850, Thankful and Elijah "Torry" are enumerated in the 1850 U.S. Census in Ludlow, Massachusetts. He died in 1851, and is buried in Ludlow.

Thankful lived just two and a half more years, dying on April 15, 1854, in upstate New York. I discovered her burial location online at the University of Rochester, Mount Hope and Riverside Cemetery Records, which can be searched.

University of Rochester, Mount Hope and Riverside Cemetery Records, Online images
(, Page 338 ("To" surnames).
Record for Thankful Torry, buried Apr 17, 1854.
Burial Date: 1854 Apr 17
Name: Thankful Torry
Age: 80
Cause of Death: Dropsy
Residence: Henrietta [This is a small community just south of Rochester.]
Where Interred: 13W
She is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester and her gravestone is surprisingly legible, identifying her birth place as Springfield, her birth date and her death date, as well as her full name of Thankful Chapin Torrey. See it at Find-A-Grave.

I descend from Thankful (Chapin) Chapin Torrey as follows:

Thankful Chapin
Orramel Chapin
Susan Arville Chapin
Charles Chapin Adsit
Elizabeth Adsit
Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr.


  1. Very interesting. I had to look up dropsy and found out that it is edema. I like seeing the use of old medical terminology.

    1. Yes, it's always interesting to see these old causes of death.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.