How to confirm that a Taunton gravestone transcription is incorrect

+3 votes
111 views

This probate record seems to indicate pretty clearly to me that Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscombe of Taunton, wife of Francis Luscombe was still alive when her father wrote his will in 1736 (left side, next to third "item")

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-C9Y5-RTKL?i=331&cat=277787

On the other hand, the Taunton VR show her death 16 Feb. 1733-4, age 49:

https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/massachusetts-vital-records-1620-1850/image?pageName=139&volumeId=7810

A land record shows her daughter Mary "Molley" who married Nathaniel Fuller (middle, right side):

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZN-P9W2-M?i=210&cc=2106411&cat=191284

And Molley's gravestone and the announcement of her death both show a birth year of about 1739 (and her husband was born about 1740).  

So it seems to me the easiest resolution to this conflicting data is that Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscombe's gravestone transcription is incorrect -- she needs to have died later because of her father's will and also because it is highly unlikely she would have had daughter Mary at age 55.  

Is there a way to confirm that her gravestone record is incorrect without travelling to Massachusetts?  

Edit: The big sticking point here seems to be the age of Molley Fuller, who in the deed is noted as a "daughter" of Elisabeth Crossman.

Several newspapers ran the following text in November of 1825, e.g., Providence Patriot & Columbian Phenix of 9 November, 

"Mrs. Mary Fuller, in the 87th year of her age, wife of the late Mr. Nathaniel Fuller -- leaving upwards of three hundred descendants, several of them of the fifth generation."

See also the Rhode Island Republican of 10 November and Rhode-Island American of 11 November and Newport Mercury of 12 November, Essex Register of 14 November, etc.

This is corroborated by the gravesite information at the RI Historical Cemetery Commission website (death year mis-transcribed though):

http://rihistoriccemeteries.org/newgravedetails.aspx?ID=240197

That same site shows husband Nathaniel is born ca. 1740, which is corroborated by a notice in the Rhode Island Republican of 17 June 1812 announcing the death at Providence of Mr. Nathaniel Fuller, age 72.  Here's Nathaniel's profile:

https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Fuller-11346

In particular, the linked profile of his child Isaiah Fuller has an image of a death notice from which we can infer a birth year of about 1780. (That the listed children are theirs comes from the complicated probate record of their son Nathaniel Jr., which lists 52 heirs and from which I recreated the families of his eight brothers and sisters who had issue -- all had predeceased him.)

WikiTree profile: Elizabeth Crossman
in Genealogy Help by Barry Smith G2G6 Mach 8 (87.7k points)
edited by Barry Smith
Added a profile link to the question so I'd have some clue who we are talking about when chasing all these FamilySearch URLs.
I had that issue with a tombstone on Findagrave someone misread the tombstone ~ no luck in getting it changed, so there is a duplicate ~ or it doesn't look like a duplicate because of the dates.I had written proof and contacted a museum that was in charge of he cemetery and she agreed with me. Mistake make in reading the date on the tombstone. Any one can make a mistake.
This particular gravestone date appears in Taunton vital records, published in 1929. A series of calamity's befell Taunton's early vital records, so most of the records we have were assembled decades ago by local historians, based on gravestones, family bibles, interpretation of deeds and wills, etc.

2 Answers

+5 votes

The will is consistent with her having died before it was written. It says he had already given a great deal to his daughter Elizabeth Liscomb, but not her full portion, that he wanted to do her and her children justice, and therefore he was giving her children the house and land that he had given her by deed. And there was an additional bequest to his grandson Robert Liscomb. All that suggests to me that she was deceased.

by Ellen Smith G2G Astronaut (1m points)
Yes, it could be read that way, but it could also be read as the will of a man who doesn't trust his son-in-law to have "control" under coverture (one of these sons was a minor, by the way). The item just previous explicitly calls his daughter Hannah "late of Bridgewater".  Why not call Elizabeth late as well? Perhaps  he just forgot.

But if so, how does one explain the land record of Nathaniel and Molley Fuller?  They had children all the way into the 1780s.  If she was really born by 1734, then she was about six years older than Nathaniel and having multiple children after age 46. And if Mary was already born when he wrote the will in 1736, why was she not listed two items later when he names his four grandchildren through his daughter Elizabeth?

It appears to me that this was a man with a large estate who had only one surviving child (Nathaniel), but a bunch of grandchildren (some adults and some minors), and he wrote this will to direct the distribution of his estate to the various grandchildren. Nathaniel is the only one of his children named to receive anything, all the rest of the estate was directed to go to grandchildren -- and at least one set of great grandchildren (see below).

A provision of the will related to the children of Elizabeth Luscomb says: "unto my grandchildren Robert Luscomb and Richard Luscomb and to their sister Elizabeth Loring and to the children of Mary Willmouth, deceased..."

I do see the deed.  I note that the deed was executed not by Mary Willmouth, but by Elisabeth Willmouth of Taunton, possibly a daughter of Molly Willmouth, who had died before Robert Crossman made his will. The deed does refer to Robert Crossman as her grandfather, but the word "grandfather" might have been used for her great-grandfather.

Note that I don't know anything about the children of Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscombe other than what I see in these documents (I know nothing about Molly's gravestone, as it isn't documented here yet), but I think that close examination is needed to make sure all the details are correctly understood.

I had considered that Mary Fuller might be a daughter of Mary Willmouth, except that she would need to have been born by 1736 (I need to find a death date for Mary Willmouth), which still seems unlikely.  I'm editing the question with more information about the Fullers.
And thanks for thinking about this with me Ellen.
Taunton vital records show that Deacon Robert Liscomb died on 2 February 1801, age 91 y, 8 m, 9 d. That man, apparently born in 1710, would be the son of Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscomb and Francis Luscomb.  He is one of the grandsons who would have been an adult at the time that Robert Crossman made his will.

His wife, Bathsheba, described as wife of Deacon Robert Luscomb, died about 15 September 1763 in her 49th year.
Mary seems to have been conveyed the land as one of the children of Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscombe or their heirs mentioned in the will.  So she would need to be a direct descendant.  If she truly was a granddaughter of Elizabeth, it is strange that she would refer to Elizabeth as "mother", especially since her grandmother seems to have passed before Mary was even born. Robert was still alive when the deed was executed, so if she were his daughter, why wouldn't he have had control of the land?

When Robert Crosman conveyed land to Elizabeth, he actually conveyed it to his friends John King and Richard Godfree Junr. in trust for Elizabeth. 

https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9ZS-1XNL?i=323&cc=2106411&cat=191284

This strikes me as odd.  Why not just give it directly to her?

+1 vote
You may have already figured this one out - but I suspect he described his daughter Hannah as "late of Bridgewater" and did not describe Elizabeth in the same manner because Hannah lived in Bridgewater before she died and Elizabeth had still resided in Taunton before her death. He mentions the land he his giving to his grandchildren is where his "son-in-law Francis Liscomb now dwells".

I would conclude she was deceased when he wrote his will otherwise he would have specified any inheritance would go directly to her and if he didn't want the son-in-law to have control he would specify if she predeceased him it would then go to her children.
by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Mach 6 (66.3k points)
Thanks for your answer.  It certainly sounds like you say. But then how is it explained that the deed states Mary Fuller is Elizabeth's daughter, while Mary had children until 1780 and her death records indicate a birth around 1739.  It sounds like she was legally an heir of Elizabeth.  If she were a granddaughter, it would be maybe reasonable that she called the man who was actually a g-grandfather just "grandfather", but strange to call her grandmother "mother".  One might think this would happen if she was adopted by her grandmother, but again this would require Mary's birth by 1734.
Regarding the deed, I agree that it reads Elizabeth was Molley's mother. It looks like it was executed in 1763, way after Robert Crossman died. I also believe Elizabeth Willmouth signed it as a witness to Nathaniel and Molley Fuller.

I would look for additional vital records for Mary/Molly. I see Richard's profile has a birth date of 1720. Do you have other known siblings of Richard?

It also could be a case similar to my grandmother's nephew - his father was the oldest child and his mother died a few days after he was born in 1926. Even after his father remarried he lived with his grandparents (my great grandparents) and my grandmother really considered him more of a brother than a nephew. Her brother Lester was 13 years older than her and Lester Jr was only 11 years younger.
I think she wouldn't be a niece or great-niece, because she was conveyed the land as a legal heir of Elizabeth (Crossman) Luscombe, and so she would be a direct descendant of Elizabeth as otherwise the land would have just gone to Elizabeth's other descendants.  If May truly was born after Elizabeth, then she would need to be a granddaughter.  But then it's very strange to be referring to her grandmother who was dead before she was born as "mother".

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