The Genealogy of Jerijah Bissell II

A Continuation of #397
in Edward P. Jones' Bissell Genealogy

by Roger Bissell 

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Introductory note: this is one of a series of "continuations" of families listed in Edward P. Jones' genealogy of the descendants of Captain John Bissell of Windsor, Connecticut. Building on Stiles' History of Ancient Windsor, Jones traced a number of lines of Bissells no further than the late 1700s or early 1800s, and other researchers (including myself, as compiler of this series) have subsequently managed to bring those lines on down to the present. Some continuations have already been published, and this series will simply extract the data from those works and present it here. Others have been more loosely gathered and are being published here for the first time. In still other cases, published continuations are being more completely filled in or extended for this series. Some day, building on the foundation laid by Stiles and Jones, a new genealogy of the Connecticut Bissells will be published and submitted to appropriate libraries, and it is hoped that this series will play an important role in helping to bring that about....Roger Bissell, Orange, California, November, 1999. [Additional analysis and probate information added February, 2000.]

As listed in Edward P. Jones' Genealogy of the Descendants of Captain John Bissell of Windsor, Connecticut by 1639, Jerijah Bissell II (1751-1835) appears as #397, son of Jerijah Bissell I #202, grandson of Thomas Bissell III #60, great-grandson of Thomas Bissell II #8, great-great-grandson of Thomas Bissell I #3, and great-great-great-grandson of Captain John Bissell #1. This line of descent may be more readily seen as follows:

Captain John #1-->Thomas #3-->Thomas II #8-->Thomas III #60-->Jerijah I #202-->Jerijah II #397

Because of considerable discrepancies in spelling, it is not appreciated by some researchers that Jerijah Bissell II actually does appear in each of the censuses of East Windsor, Connecticut from 1790 to 1830. In 1810, for instance, he is referred to as "Jerrigah" and in 1820 as "Jariah." Although it is not presently known what his wife's name was, it appears from census data that Jerijah Bissell II was married only once and that he died a widower, his wife having died sometime between the 1820 and 1830 censuses. Also, although it is apparent that Jerijah Bissell II had a total of eight sons and two daughters (and thus only 10 children, not 18 as claimed by some researchers), only the following are listed by Jones:

921. Horace

922. David

923. Seymour

924. Alfred

925. Jerijah III

It's important to bear in mind that these sons are not listed in chronological order of birth. David was born about 1799, Alfred about 1793, and Jerijah III about 1784. Thus, not counting the two daughters, who were probably born first, and the three sons born between about 1774 and 1800 and who apparently died before 1810, the proper birth order for Jerijah II's sons is probably:

925. Jerijah III b. early-mid 1780s

921. Horace probably b. March 18, 1790 (extraneous date given for cousin Horace #985)

924. Alfred b. 1793

923. Seymour b. ca. 1794-1798

922. David b. 1799

The 1790 census showed Jerijah II as age 16+ (actually, 39 at the time), with wife and 2 daughters of indeterminate age and 4 sons age 0-16, which puts their births sometime between 1774 and 1790. Since Jerijah II's wife was shown as age 26-45 in the 1800 census and age 45+ in the 1810 census, this indicates that she was age 36-45 in 1800 and thus 26-35 in 1790. To have had 6 children by 1790, allowing 2 years per child, Jerijah II and his wife would have to have married about 1777, putting her in the 13-22 age range. Jerijah II was probably about 26 years old when they married, and his wife about 20, although this is only speculation.

The 1800 census showed Jerijah II as having two daughters age 16-26, which puts their births sometime between 1774 and 1784 -- and two sons age 10-16, which puts their births sometime between 1784 and 1790 -- and four sons age 0-10, which puts their births sometime between 1790 and 1800. Since his namesake, Jerijah III, is known (according to the 1820 census of Madison County, Illinois) to have had at least two children by 1810, this son must have been born closer to 1785. (Furthermore, if Jerijah II followed the traditional rule of naming the eldest son after the paternal grandfather, Jerijah III would have to have been born sometime around 1780-1785.)

Alfred was born in 1793 and David in 1799, so it appears that 2 of Jerijah II's earlier born sons died young, as did one of those born between 1790 and 1800. This leaves two sons unaccounted for in the census -- corresponding to Horace and Seymour, both of whom were mentioned in Jerijah II's 1833 will. (Jerijah III was not mentioned in the will, because he had died in Illinois in 1826 -- not, as some researchers suggest, because he was still a minor in 1833.) Horace was born in early 1790, Seymour sometime in the mid-1790s.

By the 1810 census, Jerijah III had married and left the household, settling in Madison County, Illinois, where he appeared in the 1820 census and died in 1826, leaving a wife and at least 7 children. Jerijah II ("Jerrigah") was still back in East Windsor, Connecticut with his wife. Also in their 1810 household were a daughter age 16-26 (probably 26 and thus born about 1783-4), two sons 16-26 (Alfred, age 17, and Horace age 20), one son 10-16 (Seymour age 12-15), and one son 0-10 (David, age 10).

The 1820 census of East Windsor, Connecticut shows Jerijah II ("Jariah") with his wife. Others in the household included one female age 16-26 (probably a daughter-in-law), one female age 10-16 (probably a granddaughter), two sons 26-45 (Alfred and Horace, the latter probably married and having a wife and daughter in the household), and two sons 16-26 (David and Seymour). (It's possible that Jerijah II's wife had died by this time and that the woman aged 45+ was the wife Horace. That would give a better explanation for there being two women age 50-60 in Jerijah II's 1830 household.)

By the 1830 census, Jerijah II was 79 years old. He appeared in the 70-80 age group, along with a male 50-60 (Horace), two males 40-50 (one Seymour, the other probably a son-in-law), one male 20-30 (probably a grandson), and one male 10-15 (probably a grandson). Also appearing were two females 50-60 (probably a daughter and a daughter-in-law), and one female 20-30 (probably a granddaughter). This analysis is very tentative.

What is known is that Jerijah II could not have died until after the 1830 census, so the Jerijah Bissell dying in Illinois in 1826 must have been his son, Jerijah III. Jerijah II was in Connecticut in 1831, applying for a Revolutionary War pension, and he made out his will on July 30, 1833 and a codicil thereto on June 15, 1835. An inventory of his estate was dated August 7. The will and codicil gives extra clues about Jerijah II's family, so here is the text of those documents:

[WILL] Know all men by these presents, that I Jerijah Bifsell of East Windsor in the County of Hartford and State of Connecticut, of lawful age & of sound and disposing memory, do make constitute & appoint this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking and annulling all others.

And first I commend my immortal Spirit to god who gave it: And my body to the Earth out of which it was taken. And my worldly goods in the manner and form following viz.

I give and bequeath to my Son, Horace Bifsell all my wearing apparel.

I give and bequeath to my son, Seymour Bifsell to him and to his Children if he have any all my Lands in the State of Illinois. And if he should die without children, then I give and bequeath the said Lands to my Son Alfred Bissell, and if he should die before his son Edward Bifsell is of age, then I give and bequeath the said lands to the said Edward Bifsell to him & to his heirs &c forever: But if the said Seymour Bifsell should have any children, the land shall be for him and his heirs & afsigns &c forever.

All my personal Estate as Monies on ... and; Notes, and accounts due me, arrears of pension, and all other of my personal Estate, except my wearing apparel, I give & bequeath to Alfred Bifsell, my Grandson, the Son of my Son David Bifsell, the same to be collected and secured by my Executor of this my last Will & Testament and the Interest of it paid annually for the benefit of the said Alfred, my Grandson; & if he (the said Alfred my Grandson) shall live to be twenty one years of age) then the whole of said personal estate shall be paid over to him, the said Alfred Bifsell my Grandson, but if he the said Alfred my Grandson, should die before he arrives at the period of twenty one years; then the said personal Estate, viz the Monies on hand, the Notes accounts arrear of pension &c shall go to & for the benefit of the said Edward Bifsell, my Grandson, to him & to his heirs afsigns &c forever.

And I do hereby constitute and appoint Jess Charlton of East Windfor aforesaid to be the Executor of this my last will & testament & directing him to procure & set up a suitable ... of Monuments, at my Grave, & to pay my Funeral Charges out of the assets of my personal estate, within disor... and before any part of it shall enure to, & for the benefit of the ... within named, and to be deducted therefrom.

Signed Seald and declared to be my last Will and Testament this 30th day of July 1833 in presence of the three subscribing witnefses, Jerijah Bifsell [Jefse Charlton, James Charlton, Harriet L. Charlton]

[CODICIL] I Jerijah Bifsell of East Windsor in the County of Hartford & State of Connecticut being of sound & disposing memory do this day make this writing as a codicil to my last will & Testament.

And first I give & bequeath to my son Horace Bifsell all my personal estate after my funeral expences & my just debts be paid, As my wearing apparel, my Notes & accounts & my moneys of which I may be pofsefsed,

And my former will now in the hand of Jefse Charlton of East Windsor is to be & remain good & in no respect cancelled in relation to my real estate therein bequeathed.

In testimony thereof, I have hereunto set my hand & seal at East Windfor aforesaid this 15th day of June 1835, & do declare this to be a codicil to my last will & testament aforesaid. Jerijah Bifsell [Jefse Charlton, Amelia Bissell, Hannah A. Bifsell]

Amelia Bissell is the wife of Jemmy (James) Bissell, a son of Jerijah II's brother Thomas and his first wife Hannah (d. 1793). Hannah A. Bissell is Jemmy and Amelia's daughter, Hannah Amelia, who would have been 15 at the time she witnessed the codicil. The inventory also mentions Jemmy Bissell and Eleanor Bissell, Jemmy's step-mother, the second wife of his father Thomas.

For vital statistics of the descendants of #924 Alfred Bissell (1793-1870), click on this link: Connecticut #924 Alfred Bissell

For vital statistics of the descendants of #922 David Bissell (1799-1860+), see following.

The Genealogy of
David Bissell (1799-1856+)

Vital Statistics for the Descendants of #922
in Edward P. Jones' Bissell Genealogy

Jerijah Bissell II's youngest son, David, still living in East Windsor, Connecticut in the 1830 census, was shown as age 30-40, with sons age 10-15 and 0-5. His son Alfred was born in 1824 and appeared in the 1850 census of Pike County, Illinois, so it appears that David's first-born son was born about 1820 and died young.

David, who must have married the first time about 1820, was a widower with two young sons by 1830 and married again three more times after his move to Illinois about 1832. He married second on January 10, 1833 in Pike County, Illinois to Ruth Osborne, the mother of David's son Henry born 1833. David then married on August 24, 1837 in Adams County, Illinois to Rhoda Frost, his third wife and the mother of his son William born 1845. It appears that this marriage ended in divorce sometime between 1850 and 1852, for Mrs. Rhoda Bissell married J. C. Beston on November 13, 1852 in Adams County, Illinois. David married a fourth time on June 1, 1857 in Pike County, Illinois, to Lucy Foot, and he died before the 1860 census.

1. Alfred Bissell, a veteran of the Mexican War, was born June 2, 1825 in Connecticut and married March 25, 1852 in Louisiana, Pike County, Missouri (right across the Mississippi River from Pike County, Illinois) to Nancy Catherine Parks (born about 1832 in Illinois). They lived at Pittsfield Township, Pike County, Illinois and had at least six children:

a. Lura Emma Bissell born December 22, 1853, Pittsfield, Pike County, Illinois, died December 6, 1903, Portland, Multnomah County, Oregon. She married September 4, 1875 in Pike County, Illinois to William Henry Sitton (1853-1914). They had:

i. Mary Eden Sitton born September 15, 1877 at Detroit, Pike County, Illinois, died 1887 at Alma, Harlan County, Nebraska.

ii. Helen Bell Sitton born August 17, 1880 at Detroit, Pike County, Illinois, died April 16, 1940 at Seattle, King County, Washington.

iii. William Arthur Sitton born June 25, 1884 at Detroit, Pike County, Illinois, died August 12, 1958 at Tacoma, Pierce County, Washington.

b. William E. Bissell born about 1853/4 in Illinois
c. Mary Bissell born about 1856 in Illinois
d. L. A. Bissell born about 1857 in Illinois
e. Nellie Bissell born about 1869 in Illinois
f. Harvey Bissell born about 1873 in Illinois

2. Henry Bissell, a veteran of the Civil War, was born about 1833 in Illinois and married on October 11, 1866 to Elizabeth Hoover. They lived in Montezuma Township, Pike County, Illinois and had at least six children:

a. Laura C. Bissell born about 1867 in Illinois, married December 24, 1892 to Charles J. Ruble in Pike County, Illinois. [Living with Henry in the 1910 census were two granddaughters, Sadie Ruble born about 1894 and Trula Ruble born about 1899. One or both may be daughters of Laura or Lulu.]
b. Olive Bissell born about 1869 in Illinois. Single, living at home in the 1910 census.
c. Lulu M. Bissell born about 1871 in Illinois, married October 10, 1892 to Albert Ruble in Pike County, Illinois.
d. Eli Alfred Bissell born about 1874 in Illinois.
e. William H. Bissell born about 1879 in Illinois.
f. Howard Bissell born about 1882 in Illinois.

3. William Bissell born about 1845 in Illinois, not known whether he married or survived past the 1850s.