Did Sarah Royce marry John Chapman (ca. 1684)?

+4 votes

A couple years ago, Sarah Royce (b. 1665), profile Royce-81, was removed as wife of John Chapman (Chapman-241).  And then Chapman's wife Sarah was given a separate profile as Sarah Unknown (Unknown-256167).

However, I am not convinced by the arguments given for doing this.  She and Samuel Lincoln were convicted in 1682 of fornication before marriage and they had a daughter Lydia (late 1682 or early 1683).  But there is no evidence that she ever married Samuel Lincoln, and she would have therefore been free to marry John Chapman about 1684.  

    Most troubling to me, the only thing that would argue against her marriage to John Chapman is the often quoted date that Sarah died on November 3, 1688, Norwich, Connecticut. But I have been unable to find any source that she (or anyone else) died anywhere in Connecticut on November 3, 1688. Does anyone know where that date came from & surname given for Sarah (if such a death record exists at all)?  

WikiTree profile: Sarah Royce
in Genealogy Help by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 7 (74.1k points)
retagged by Kenneth Kinman
William Chapman was named in the Will of David Royce

     And as I recall, the legatees of that will (including William Chapman) refer to David Royce as "Brother and Uncle".  And if Sarah Royce (as wife of John Chapman) was William Chapman's mother, that would indeed make David Royce his uncle. I think the other William Chapman (who married Lydia Lincoln) was an uncle of that William Chapman.
Personally, I might consider re-attaching her as a Chapman spouse and changing the death date. Several citations have later death dates. An argument for the changes can be made in the bio section. The disconnect was done in 2014 and there doesn't seem to be an adequate reason for it, other than conflicting dates.
Thanks Eddie,

        I am going to wait a bit longer and see if there is any feedback against re-attaching her to John Chapman.  If there isn't any, there would then be two wives named Sarah (Sarah Royce and Sarah Unknown) following the re-attachment, and their profiles could then be merged.
I do the Vice Presidents for Robin Lee and the US PRESIDENTS project and I've encountered numerous spurious attach and detach done by good intentioned folks who just don't do the research !

Just a while ago, a lady posted a G2G claiming everything on a profile was wrong and the parents needed to be detached because she knows the fellow was born in 1818 in Mahoning County Ohio. I live in Mahoning County which didn't exist until 1846 !  I researched the guy she referred to before commenting and the info there is correct so ....

3 Answers

+2 votes

Here are a couple of sources that might be of interest (I have not yet seen the NEHGS article):




New England Historic Genealogical Society. NEHGS Register, Vol. 80, p. 108 1926.



by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 7 (74.1k points)
+2 votes

It should be noted that it was William Chapman "of Colchester" who was a legatee of David Royce (Sarah Royce's younger brother).  Many people seem to have mistakenly thought that this was William Chapman Jr. (who married Lydia Lincoln), but I have found no evidence that William Chapman Jr. ever lived in Colchester.  It was his nephew William Chapman (son of John Chapman) who lived in Colchester.


 "Norwich Deeds," vol. 3b, page 443:
"To all people to whome these presents shall come, Greeting -- John Roise of Mansfield and William Chapman of Colchester both of ye county of Hartford and Jonathan Roise and Thomas Stodder of Norwich in ye county of Hartford and Jonathan Roise and Thomas Stodder of Norwich in ye county of New london and Joseph Benatt of Stonington in ye county of New london we being heirs to ye estate of our Brother & uncle David Roise late of Norwich Deceased all of ye colony of Connecticut in New england now know ye that we are the abovenamed...for and in consideration of one hundred pounds currant money paid or secured to be paid before ye signing and sealing of these presents by Samuel Gager of sd Norwich..." 

This deed is dated 5 March 1712/1713, and is signed by Joseph X benit, William X Chapman, John roise, Jonathan Roise, Thomas X Stodder, Deborah X Stodder. 

by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 7 (74.1k points)
edited by Kenneth Kinman
0 votes

No. Sarah's father, Jonathan Royce's estate was distributed in 1690 to the following persons [Src: "Parentage of Mary, Wife of John<sup>2</sup>Beach of Wallingford." New England Historical and Genealogical Record 80:108/9]

:To the Widow Royce 90-00-00
:To William Bachouse 15-00-00
:To Samuell Lincolne 05-00-00
:To John Royce 10-00-00 - he having recd part formerly £9 and if any of the children die before they come of age the portion to be divided among the survivors. John is also given some land to build a house on.
:To John Beach 31-15-00   
:To Jonathan Royce 31-15-00
:To David Royce 31-15-00
:To Ruth Royce 31-15-00
:To Hanah Royce 31-15-00
:To Abiah Royce 31-15-00
:To Deborah Royce 31-15-00

The distribution was made to Samuel Lincoln. Had Sarah survived, married John Chapman and been having children with him in the 1680s, distribution would have been made to John Chapman instead.


by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
Hi Anne,

      But something similar happened in the case of the estate of his son David Royce. The probate record for David's estate also makes no mention of any of the Chapmans.  And yet the Norwich deed (which I quoted in the comment above) clearly names William Chapman of Colchester as one of David's heirs.  And William Chapman calling him uncle David Roise shows that William Chapman's mother was a sister of David Roise (Royce).  

     So the five pounds Jonathan Royce left to Samuel Lincoln would have been for the benefit of Lydia (Jonathan's granddaughter).  But Jonathan may have given the Chapmans something more valuable (land) just as William Chapman would later get land from David Royce. Or perhaps Jonathan had given Sarah her share (money or land) when she married John Chapman about 6 years earlier.  There are many pieces to this puzzle and looking at just one piece can lead to false conclusions.  But for me the biggest piece is William Chapman "of Colchester" being an heir of his uncle David Royce.
The relationship of "nephew" between William Chapman and David is just as easily explained by William Chapman being the husband of Lydia Lincoln, which explains why the heirs of Sarah are not otherwise mentioned in David's distribution. The fact that you can't find a record of William Chapman in Colchester is easily explained in general lack of records.

Is William Chapman receiving this "deed" the only piece of evidence you have that Sarah may have married John Chapman? Because if it is it's pretty flimsy, considering her daughters relationship to William Chapman.
Lydia's husband William Chapman Jr. (uncle to William Chapman of Colchester) apparently has no records outside of the New London-Groton area on the coast.  No records of him living inland at Colchester (the area where his brother John Chapman's family lived).

Suggesting that William Chapman Jr. moved to Colchester for a short period of time (the period of time during which David Royce happened to have died) and then moved back to New London is what seems like pretty flimsy non-evidence to me. I think the confusion concerning these two William Chapmans has been going on for quite a long time.
I was incorrect.  Lydia's husband William Chapman did live in Colchester when he made his will in 1724 (and left his farm to son Solomon).  This certainly seems to muddy the waters.  However, I have found no evidence that he lived in Colchester when David Royce died.  He seems to have been still living in Groton at that time.

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