Friday, February 9, 2018

Bezaleel (Favorite Name) ~ 52 Ancestors #6

I am participating in this year's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks writing challenge from Amy Johnson Crow. Each week has an optional writing prompt and this week's writing prompt is Favorite Name.

As I have shared before, my interest in genealogy started with my Chapin ancestry. The name of my 4th great-grandfather, Bezaleel Chapin always fascinated me, as it's an unusual name.

A quick search of the given name Bezaleel [exact spelling] in federal census records at produces fewer than 30 in any given year and even fewer by the 20th century. Too bad my ancestor didn't live long enough to appear in more records.

Bezaleel Chapin was the son of Ephraim Chapin and Jemima Chapin (who were second cousins 1x removed). He was the seventh of eight children of his parents. In fact, two of his older siblings were twin boys, born in August 1764: Benjamin and Bezaleel. Benjamin survived, but the first Bezaleel died at about six weeks of age. It was common at this time for parents to name a later child after an earlier one that died.

He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts:

Springfield Births, p. 246, Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988,

Bezaleel Chapin Son of Ephraim Chapin
& Jemima Chapin of Springfield was born
March 21st anno Dom. 1769

Bezaleel grew up during the American Revolutionary War, watching many of the men of Springfield leave to fight the British, including his father, Captain Ephraim Chapin and his father-in-law, Lieutenant Simeon Chapin. He married Thankful Chapin, his third cousin 1x removed, in Springfield, Massachusetts, on 10 November 1790, after declaring his intention to marry on 20 October 1790.

Their six children, the first three born in Springfield, the last three born in Ludlow:

Orramel Chapin (1791-1866) - my third great-grandfather
Almeria Chapin (1793-1860)
Alfred Chapin (1795-1823)
Theodore Chapin (1800-1854)
Lydia Todd Chapin (1802-1886)
Lucy Doolittle Chapin (1805-1887)

Bezaleel appears in two federal census records, in 1800 and 1810, living in Ludlow, which was originally part of Springfield, but incorporated as its own town in 1774.

Bezaleel Chapin died on June 14, 1812, at the age of 43, in Ludlow, Massachusetts, and is buried in Fuller Cemetery in Ludlow. His FindAGrave memorial has some good photos of his gravestone.

He died intestate, without a will, and his probate materials list all of his children by name, even though most were underage. His wife, Thankful (Chapin) Chapin, remarried and lived to almost 80, dying in Rochester, New York. I wrote about her at Thankful Chapin Chapin Torrey (1774-1854).


See Surname Saturday ~ Chapin for all the details of my Chapin ancestry.

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

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