Hezekiah Thayer married Christian Aspinwall in 1729 -- who were his parents? [closed]

+3 votes

Hezekiah Thayer married the widow Christian Aspinwall Thayer in 1729 (her first husband had been Moses Thayer). That much is well documented, but published genealogies disagree on the origins of this Hezekiah Thayer.

Some sources say he was the son of Cornelius Thayer and his wife Abigail, and was born in 1708. Others say that he was the son of Nathaniel Thayer and his wife Hannah, and was born circa 1696. (In either case, his wife's first husband was a close family member -- either a brother or a first cousin -- possibly a double first cousin, since Abigail and Hannah may have been sisters.)

Wikitree has two conflicting profiles for this man: Hezekiah son of Cornelius and Hezekiah son of Nathaniel. It would be nice to be able to reconcile these two profiles into a single profile that links to one set of parents, but discusses his Disputed Origins).

Evidence to consider:

  • I've not seen a birth record for either Hezekiah. In general, these families don't seem to have been consistent about registering births.
  • The names Cornelius, Abigail, Nathaniel, and Hannah all are absent from the lists of children attributed to Hezekiah and Christian, so we can't use family names as a clue.
  • Published sources that link this Hezekiah to Cornelius and Abigail include the "Thayer Family Memorial" book published in 1874 and a number of other older books that might be derivative of the Thayer Memorial, including the 1883 "History of Braintree, Vermont" and "Hudson-Mohawk Genealogical and Family Memoirs" (1911) by Cuyler Reynolds.
  • Published sources I've seen that link him to Nathaniel and Hannah are (1) the 1964 book "Genealogies of the Familes of Braintree, Mass.", by Waldo Chamberlain Sprague, which identifies some of its sources, and (2) a descendants list on the Thayer Families Association (TFA) website, which does not identify its sources, but apparenlty is based on relatively recent TFA publications I've not seen.
  • The entry for Cornelius and Abigail in the Sprague book states "There was no son Hezekiah as given in the Thayer Memorial (1835) and elsewhere."
  • Legal documents related to Nathaniel's estate (quoted by Sprague) name a Hezekiah as a son of Nathaniel and Hannah.

Considering the foregoing, I'm inclined to pick Nathaniel and Hannah as Hezekiah's most likely parents. This is based primarily on the presumed greater reliabilty of the late-20th and early-21st century publications, as well as the fact that Sprague identified some of his sources.

I'm still bothered by the absence of children named either Nathaniel or Hannah. However, I note that this Hezekiah would have been 33 years old at his marriage to Christian, making it likely that he had been married previously -- maybe he had used his parents' names for earlier chlldren who have been lost to history.

What do others of you think? Is there relevant information in sources that I haven't seen (such as articles in the NEGHR)?

WikiTree profile: Hezekiah Thayer
closed with the note: Resolved
in Genealogy Help by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1m points)
closed by Jillaine Smith

2 Answers

0 votes


One option is to merge the two profiles and detach ANY parents, create a "Disputed Origins" section that links to each set, with citations for each.

In the meantime, here's a citation for Hezekiah's marriage:

Braintree Marriages 1640-1793 (Groom)


Thayer         Hezekiah       Thayer        Christian                      Nov 03 1729    749   by Rev. Mr. John Hancock

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (704k points)
0 votes
They are different people with differrent parents, wives and children.In other word, two men with the same name

Hezekiah 1708 was born betwenn Eliakim 1705 and Jeremiah 1716. The proof I have for him is from the American Genealogical-Biograpical Index.  Vol 176. Pg 78. Reference: History of Braintree,VT. (notice Vermont) By Royce Bass, Rutland, VT. 1883 p. 208

I find no record of him ever marrying. He died in his 40's.

My Thayer family also settled in VT. after Braintree, Ma to Braintree, VT.
by Donna Jean Wykoff G2G1 (1.1k points)
edited by Donna Jean Wykoff

Well, yes -- in Wikitree they are currently represented by two completely separate profiles, and each profile has a wife that isn't shared by any other man's profile. But sources do not show the existence of two different Hezekiahs, and when you look closely at the biographies associated with these profiles, they don't look so much like different people:

  1. The two profiles start out life with different information, being born to different parents (Nathaniel & Hannah vs. Cornelius & Abigail) in different years (1696 vs. 1708).
  2. In 1729, the lives of these two separate profiles converge, when both of them marry "Christian" on 3 November 1729. Although there currenlty are three different profiles for "Christian," all three represent the same woman. Christian Aspenwill and Christian Aspinwall are different spelings of the same last name at birth, and Christian Thayer was her name at the time of her marriage in 1729 because she was the widow of Moses Thayer. There was only one Christian, and she married only one Hezekiah on 3 November 1729.
  3. I've not yet seen any source that shows both Nathaniel and Cornelius having sons named Hezekiah. Do you have sources showing that both of them had sons by this name?
  4. Wikitree currently links Hezekiah and Christian to just one child (our ancestor, Hezekiah, born in 1730), but published sources list other children from this marriage. Both sets of sources show just one set of children. Some sources show them as children of Hezekiah born 1696 son of Nathaniel, and other sources show them as children of Hezekiah born 1708 son of Cornelius, but they are the same kids.
  5. I've not much studied dates of death and burial places for Hezekiah, but I recall seeing different sources give the same death date and the same burial location for Hezekiah-son-of-Nathaniel and Hezekiah-son-of-Cornelius.

What is your basis for saying that these are two different people? Have you found recods that show tihs?

In going through the genealogy from the Thayer families.com and the Richard Thayer First 5 generations, this is what I find.

Richard and Dorothy Thayer had a Nathaniel in 1657 m Hannah Hayden.They had a Hezekiah Thayer in 1696 d 1774. m Christian Aspinwall in 1729.

Nathaniel 1657 had a brother Cornelius b 1670. m Abigail Hayden b1671. They did not have a Hezekiah. They did have Moses 1704 d1727. He married Christian Aspinwall in 1723. Moses died in 1727.

Then in 1729 Christian married Hezekiah 1696.

Hezekiah and Christian had a Hezekiah b 1730 who was a revolutionary soldier..

I was mistaken. There is just the one Hezekiah.1696.

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