[[Rider-2024|Stevens]] will stated that his 4 youngest children were adopted: Laura, James, Simeon, and Betsy.
His oldest child, Sarah/Sally, was dead at the time the will was written so she was not mentioned.
I have been digging into Stevens' family and local community to see how he and his wife adopted these children. The first four are each only a year apart. I am thinking they were a set of siblings (just a guess). Betsy was born nearly 20 years after the others so probably not related to the other kids.
Stevens' daughter, Sarah, married a man who was likely orphaned as well and was similarly taken in by a local Deacon. Vermont was quite harsh in the late 18th century so not surprising that local families might take in children in need.
In any case, I was looking for any data on these kids (or even orphans in general in this area). The kids were born just prior to the Revolution (1770-1775) so I am thinking either the parents may have died because of a house fire or the war or killed by Natives or were arrested as loyalists (??). Hoping for suggestions on where to look for data. They all reached majority and married. Sarah died first at around age 20 (she had two children who were also raised by Stevens). The other 4 all outlived Stevens (he died in 1829).
Thanks for any help you can provide. :-)