Did Sarah Royce marry Samuel Lincoln (ca. 1682-83)?

+3 votes
In connection with my G2G question yesterday (whether Sarah Royce actually married Samuel Lincoln), I have elsewhere received a problem to solve.  It was suggested that after they were convicted of fornication (September 1682) before marriage, that they must have married since their daughter was known as Lydia Lincoln, and that if they had not married that she would have been known as Lydia Royce.

However, since the father Samuel Lincoln was clearly known, and Lydia was raised by him, couldn't she still be called Lydia Lincoln even if her parents were never married?
WikiTree profile: Lydia Chapman
in Genealogy Help by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 6 (68.0k points)

Find a Grave has Samuel married to Martha Lyford with several children 


There are, on Wikitree, 2 Samuel Lincolns , born different years, and both have a daughter Lydia, born different dates

Both lines are connected to Pres Abraham Lincoln


It was a different Samuel Lincoln who had the daughter Lydia with Sarah Royce.  He was born in 1658 (Taunton, Massachusetts).  Here is his profile:


1 Answer

0 votes
I agree that she might have been called by her father's name, even without a legal marriage.

Sarah, d/o Jonathan Royce, b. Oct 1665 {Norwich VR}; m. Samuel Lincoln of Taunton, Mass. according to Jacobus, Donald Lines (compiler). ''Families of Ancient New Haven, Vol I-VIII. and Index Vol IX'' New Haven: 1931. Reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1974, 1981, 1997. Originally published as New Haven Genealogical Magazine, Volumes I-VIII. Rome, NY and New Haven, CT 1922-1932.

I suppose he might have been being kind, but I think yes there was probably a marriage
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
I don't know what Jacobus was basing his statement on (that Sarah Royce and Samuel Lincoln were married).  Perhaps because their child was called Lydia Lincoln (but I still don't think that is a good enough reason).

I suppose it is possible that they were married for a short time and then divorced (which again would leave Sarah free to marry John Chapman).  But if there was a divorce, wouldn't there be court records about the divorce?
I do think Lydia Lincoln received the last name Lincoln because the marriage did take place of her parents.  I'm not sure what the laws were then and whether the fine was the result of Sarah Royce and Samuel Lincoln committing to marry thus not making it rape of a minor but reduced to a fornication charge.  Someone into old legal ramifications may be able to clear that up. Was 17 years old considered a minor those days thus making that a rape charge?    Normally the child in most cases was given the name of the current marriage partner of their mother unless the mother was not married.  I know of people where it didn't matter that the actual father was not the one the person was married to currently and the child was given the surname of the non-father because he was the husband of the mother currently.   I do not think there is enough evidence to say that Sarah Royce married John Chapman as opposed to some other Sarah.  In the absence of actual marriage records listing the names, it appears impossible to proof this and John's wife should probably remain Sarah unknown until some further evidence comes to light.  I think the case is stronger that Sarah married Samuel Lincoln, but she could have married and divorced him shortly after or he divorced her.  Not all records survived those days as there were fires and record keeping wasn't always kept in a safe place.   I think it would be solved for John Chapman if someone can actually prove the death date for Sarah Royce.  Obviously if she died earlier, she could not be the mother of all his children and another Sarah would have to be considered.  In the absence of records or proof it is all just speculation.

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