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The Genealogy of
Lieutenant Daniel Bissell IV

**A Continuation of #695 in Edward P. Jones' Bissell Genealogy**

Version 5.0, August 2007

Compiled and edited by Roger Bissell

Important caveats and requests:
  1. The information on this web page is NOT guaranteed to be complete or free of error. Readers are welcome to send in additions and corrections, which will be incorporated into the web page as quickly as possible.
  2. Standards vary as to whether some of the material included on this page amounts to a violation of privacy. Readers are urged to let the compiler know of any such material, which will be deleted from the page as soon as possible.
  3. Please send all communications about this web page to the compiler at REBissell@aol.com. 

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.

As listed in Edward P. Jones' Genealogy of the Descendants of Captain John Bissell of Windsor, Connecticut by 1639, Daniel Bissell IV (1754-1824) appears as #695, son of Daniel Bissell III #313, grandson of Daniel Bissell II #139, great-grandson of Cornet Daniel Bissell I #35, great-great-grandson of Cornet-Lieutenant John Bissell II #5, and great-great-great-grandson of Captain John Bissell #1. This line of descent may be more readily seen as follows:

Captain John #1àCornet-Lieutenant John II #5àCornet Daniel #35àDaniel II #139àDaniel III #313àLieutenant Daniel IV #695

[Compiler’s note: my deepest and most sincere apologies to those who might have been misled by an earlier version of this webpage, in which I said that the second generation person was Cornet-Lieutenant Samuel #5. This was a simple lapse of attention on my part when plugging in the names….August 2007.]

A great deal is known about Lieutenant Daniel Bissell IV, "the Spy," but not nearly so much about his children and grandchildren. Some of his descendants were very helpful compiling this record, and my sister, Julie Bissell Tupker, managed to uncover some information on descendants of his son, Daniel Voltaire Bissell of Michigan, but many gaps remain. We are indebted to William Nicklin, a descendant of Daniel, for much of what appears on this page.

E. P. Jones lists Lieut. Daniel Bissell IV (The Spy) of Windsor (Conn.), Hinsdale, Massachusetts, and Randolph, Vermont as follows:

b. 12-30-1784 (Windsor Vital Records)
12-30-2750 on the original Bissell farm.
m. 1st Tradition says before the war, leaving a
son Noah -- not confirmed.
m. 2nd 12-30-1781 [1789] Theodea Hurlbutt [Theda Hulbert]
Rhoda Hurlburt of Vermont
d. 8-15-1824 leaving a wife and several children [Dec. 28 1824]
He moved with father to Randolph, Vt. And in
1810 moved to Richmond, N.Y.
See page 244 in "Historic Town of the Conn.
River Valley".

Jones lists the following children of Lieut. Daniel IV and Rhode Hurlbut [Theoda Hulbert] Bissell (the asterisk indicating that E. P. Jones included information on later generations elsewhere in the text). (Note well! This list is not complete. The full list of children and a fuller listing of descendants follows this reformatted excerpt from Jones.)

*1347. Sophia Bissell b. 4-20-1792, m. John Bentley, d. 1871.

*2307. Huldah Bentley of Ann Arbor, Michigan, m. Robert King Ailes

3275. Annet L. Ailes, b. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, m. ___ Peterson, member of D.A.R.

3276. Harriet Ailes, b. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, m. William L. E. Mahon, member of D.A.R.

*1348. Huldah Bissell b. 7-18-1798, m. 1824 Alvah Butler (he was b. 1798 and d. 1884), d. 1882.

*2308. Susan Edson Butler, b. 1829, m. Edwin Ruthven Martin, d. 1864.

*3277. Mary Edwinna Martin, b. 1856, m. 1880 Willard Alonzo Field (he was b. 1854 and d. 1897).

3790. Margaret D. Field, b. in Muskegan, Michigan, m. H. Franklin Jones, member of D.A.R.

*2309. Lucy Butler, b. 1841, m. 1863 Perry Jennings (he was b. 1840 and d. 1913).

3278. Jessie Gertrude Jennings, b. in Troy, Michigan, m. Hugh Hayden.

*3279. Belle Jennings, b. 1866, m. 1886 Charles Aspinwall (he was b. 1858).

3791. Bertha Aspinwall, b. in Troy, Michigan, m. George Maitrot, member of D.A.R.

3792. Alda Aspinwall, b. in Oakland County, Michigan, m. ____ Terry, member of D.A.R.

*1349. Daniel Lucius (Lines) Bissell b. 4-30-1808, m. Frances Evelyn Chapin

2310. Amelia Catherine Bissell, b. ca. 1830 in Pem Yar (Penn Yan), New York, member of D.A.R.

*1350. Daniel Perez Bissell, M.D. of Randolph, Vt. b. 5-29-1802, 5-27-1801?, m. 9-22-1830 Mary Ann Dutton of Moscow, N.Y.

2311. Mary Eliza Bissell b. 12-24-1833

2312. Daniel Lucius Bissell b. 4-7-1837, d. 4-3-1838

2313. Frank Bissell b. 5-20-1841

1351. Daniel Daniel Bissell b. 6-29-1803

*1352. Dr. Daniel Haskell Bissell b. 8-5-1794, m. Lucy Grosvenor.

2314. Helen M. Bissell b. 1831 in New York, m. Henry L. Arnold

2314.1 Alice Arnold b. Geneseo, New York, member of D.A.R.

*2315. Albert Gallatin Bissell of Munsing, Michigan, b. 1827 in New York, m. Cornelia Gibbs.

3280. Theodore Eaton Bissell, b. in Munsing, Michigan, member of S.A.R.

Much more information has been discovered about Lt. Daniel Bissell IV since Jones wrote his book in 1939. The following list of descendants is still incomplete, but many new leads are presented here for the first time, thanks to the help of William Nicklin and my sister, Julie Bissell Tupker.

Referred to in records as Daniel Bissell Jr., Lt. Daniel Bissell IV (the Spy) was one of only three Revolutionary soldiers who are known to have received the Military Badge of Merit. An extensive account of his patriotic service, including his assignment and later commendation by George Washington, is given in Stiles' History of Ancient Windsor (pp 336-343). Here is that text:


Among the names of Windsor soldiers in the Revolution occurs that of DANIEL BISSELL, accompanied on the official return by the ominous suffix, "deserter." The record was as undoubtedly authentic as it was unpalatable; but enquiries among the old people suggested a probability that there were some extenuating circumstances, or possibly a satisfactory explanation. Investigations were at once instituted, and finally we had the extreme pleasure of vindicating the deserter's character, and of bringing to light the record of a life of devotion to his country's interests, and of suffering in her service, such as has been seldom paralleled, even in the roll of brave deeds which ennoble the page of American history.

For, if honor and gratitude are due to him who boldly maintains a just cause by force of arms and personal bravery, how much more it is due to him, who, renouncing glory's brightest dream, takes upon himself the unenviable character and office of a spy in his country's service? Such a one not only subjects himself to the ignominy of a felon's death, if detected, but expatriates himself from all human sympathy. He knows—and it is the most terrible thought that a noble heart can feel—that not only his comrades are covering his name with exceration, but that those who are nearest and dearest to him, are either unconscious of his real character, or, if conscious, are dragged down and suffering from the contempt which he has brought upon them. For him, all hope of return is past, and the future has but one bright hope to illumine his pathway, the hope that his country will profit by the sacrifice which she demands of him. Such was Hale, whose martyr-memory is precious to every patriot heart; such too, though more fortunate, was DANIEL BISSELL of Windsor.

The following account of his military service and adventures is gleaned from a package of documents, now sacredly preserved, in the keeping of his son, Dr. D. Bissell, resident physician at the Quarantine on Staten Island, New York. They are copies from the original documents in the Department of War, at Washington, and their authenticity is fully attested by the seal of the department and the signature of the Secretary, John C. Calhoun, under date of December 5, 1820.

DANIEL BISSELL, the eldest son of Daniel and Elizabeth (Loomis) Bissell of Windsor, was born in 1754, and arrived at the years of early manhood with a character marked by a great degree of personal courage, self-reliance, prudence, and strict integrity. Upon the breaking out of the Revolution, he enlisted in the Continental line, where his sterling qualities of head and heart speedily gained the esteem of his comrades and the confidence of his officers.

He served through the war with credit—was present at the battle of White Plains, also at Trenton and Monmouth; at the latter place he was slightly wounded in the cheek. In the summer of 1781, he was selected by Gen. Washington to obtain information of the enemy's force and plans in the city of New York and on Long Island. We will let out hero tell his own story, in his own way, in the following affidavit:

"State of New York, Ontario County, ss: I, DANIEL BISSELL, of Richmond, of more than sixty years of age, do testify and say, that on the thirteenth day of August 1781, Col. Heman Swift, of the 2d Connecticut Regiment, called on me early in the morning, and stated to me that he dined at Head Quarters the day before, and His Excellency found it necessary to send within the British lines, to ascertain their position and force, some person, and that I was determined on for the undertaking, and further stated that His Excellency conceived that the great danger was in passing the several examinations. After some further conversation on the subject passed between us, I agreed to accept the perilous tour. Col. Swift then directed me to go to a certain place near Head Quarters, where Col. David Humphrey would meet me. Soon after I arrived at the place appointed, the Colonel came and put into my hand a paper, requesting me to go to some bye-place and read it over, through the course of the day, then destroy it, go to my Regiment, get some refreshment, put on and carry with me two suits of clothes, wear in my watch, silver buckles, &c., which I wore in the American army, so as it should have the appearance of deserting;[note: Still further to avoid suspicion and secure the accomplishment of the design in hand, Bissell was entered and published in the official returns, as a deserter from the American army. His real character and design were thus known only to Washington and a few of his principal officers. The astonishment and mortification of his numerous friends, when they heard him returned as a deserter, can be better imagined than described; though his character was afterwards satisfactorily vindicated] and at the time the army was on the parade for evening roll-call, quit the Regiment, go to a bridge between the army and Col. Schammel's Light Infantry, where I should meet Col. Swift, who would give me further instructions. Col. Swift directed me to call on Col. Schammel at his marquee at nine o'clock in the evening; and Col. Schammel went with, and conducted me by his Camp guards and sentinals, and informed me that he had ordered off all guards and patrols from the North River road (until after midnight) down as far as Croton Bridge, that being the extent of our lines. I was then to answer (if hailed) 'friend to Britain.' The paper Col. Humphrey gave me was as follows, to the best of my recollection:

"'As Gen Arnold [note: the traitor Arnold then in the British service] is now in Virginia, with all the new raised corps, there will be no recruiting parties in New York; and as the fleet is now at the Hook, consequently there will be no press [gang] in the city; and with the money you carry in, you can get a protection from the Mayor or Police of the city, to go to Lloyd's Neck, thirtymiles on Long Island, to cut wood for the Crown. After this, you will return to King's Bridge or Laurel Hill, and view the works there, obtain the number of each regiment, the number of men each contains, by whom commanded, their several alarm posts, the number of cannon mounted in each work. You will view all the works on York Island in the same manner; get the whole number of regular forces, distinguishing the British from foreigners; the number of new raised corps, and also the number of militia enrolled for the defense of the city. Get what information you can of their works and force at Powler's Hook, also that of Staten Island. Obtain the number of Shipping in the Harbour, and that at the Hook; and when you have completed your business here, you will pass over to Brooklyn, view the works there, ascertain their force on Long Island. When you have got the business completed, the seventh or ninth night, be at a place called Whitestone, not far from Lloyd's Neck, where a boat will attend to fetch you off. In case you cannot attend on one of those nights, you will then make your escape off at the east end of Long Island.'

"Then followed all the probable questions that would be asked me, in the several examinations, together with their answers. But when I arrived at New York, to my great disappointment, I found that Gen. Arnold had returned and had established his recruiting parties in every place where deserters could come in; that the British fleet had got into New York and shut out the French fleet; and that the press-gangs were in every part of the city; that the Commander-in-chief, Sir Harry Clinton, had issued a late order that there should be no more protections given to deserters. After avoiding the press-gang for three days, and being attacked with a violent fever,[note: Mr. Bissell has been heard to say that he had fully h possessed himself of the details of the proposed attack on New London, when he was attacked with illness and thus prevented from making any use of his knowledge, as he dared not attempt to swim the river in his enfeebled condition.] I caused my name to be enrolled in Arnold's regiment. I was soon after sent to the Hospital at Flushing, in December following removed back to York Island (Harlem Heights), put into a barn which was their Regimental Hospital, where I remained until May. Here my suffering was truly great; without fire the greatest part of the time, only wood allowed for the purpose of cooking our pork and pease; without attendance, but one additional blanket to two men; without shifting my clothes for three months; covered with head and body lice; unable to walk. In this situation, I was taken out of the Hospital to do Quarter-Master Sergeant's duty, for said Regiment, by Capt. Robert Rowley, who acted also as a Quarter-Master to the same; and through his kind attention to my health, I owe my escape from them. [note: Although Mr. Bissell in his affidavit has not mentioned the particulars of his escape, yet they are not without interest. It seems that from early boyhood he had been in the habit of talking in his sleep, and during the temporary delirium of his fever in the British hospital, he probably betrayed his secret to his attending physician, who was also warmly attached to him. After his recovery the doctor gave him a quiet hint to that effect. Bissell's mind was immediately made up to leave. Taking into his confidence a comrade who was also desirous of escape, the two obtained permission of the officer of the guard, to leave the lines in search of a pig which, as they pretended, had strayed away. Accompanied by a boy, whom they took along as a blind, they started forth. Their adventures were numerous and exciting. Coming to a small river, they were obliged to swim across, Bissell supporting his comrade (who was a larger man, but no swimmer) on his shoulders, and the boy swimming by his side. At another and wider river, they were at a loss how to cross, and were deliberating on the subject, when they espied a person approaching in a boat from the other side, whom they hailed. He seemed to be much frightened, threw overboard what seemed to be a quarter of beef, and was about paddling off in the opposite direction, when Bissell seized a small stick about the size of a horse-pistol, and threatened to shoot him immediately, if he did not come ashore. This he thought best to do, and on reaching the beach, was ordered by Bissell to put the party across the river, and "no questions asked or answered." This the man did, and appeared to feel quite relieved when well rid of his load. He was probably a renegade farmer who was smuggling in beef to the British army on New York Island. Before they had been long absent, their intent was suspected, and they were pursued by a detachment of the British light-horse. Luckily, however, they reached a large swamp, in which they hid themselves for some time, with nothing but their heads out of water, while their pursuers, accompanied by bloodhounds, were riding and beating around in vain search. But the water with which it abounded threw the dogs off their scent, and after two or more hours of the most agonizing suspense, Bissell and his comrades were delighted to hear the bugle sound a recall, and the footsteps of their pursuers gradually receding. They climbed up into the trees, and there cold, wet, and hungry spent a forlorn night. But at length their sufferings had an end. [From his Memorial in the Connecticut General Assembly of 24 Oct., 1782, asking for a settlement due him, Conn. State Archives, Revol. War, xxiii. 251, he says he was not able to complete these services and "return from them until 29th of Sept. last."] Supplemental Note.—In my boyhood days I listened from time to time to the recital of thrilling incidents in the experience of Uncle David [sic] Bissell, while he was acting as spy. These stories were told me by two of his sisters, Mrs. John Haskell of Windsor Locks, and Mrs. Pember of Vermont; also by several of his nephews and nieces, among them the late Herlehigh Haskell, who had much to do with Uncle David when a boy. The most exciting part of the story to me was that of his escape. Procuring a pass to go beyond the lines to buy a pig to eat the debris of the camp, with the boy taken as a blind to their real intention, they pushed on beyond the pickets, but found no means to cross the North (Harlem?) River, where they hoped to; and pushing on farther, knowing that they would be pursued and overtaken soon, they came to a swampy pond which had bushes in it, and there hid themselves. Soon they heard the coming of their pursuers. Buried to their necks in water, the boy became frightened and began to cry. Uncle Daniel said, "I shall drown you in a minute if you make the least noise," and he used to say, "I should have done it." The boy kept still until the bugle call announced that the pursuit was ended.—JAMES HASKELL HAYDEN, 1891]

"When I returned from the British Army to the American Head Quarters, and after being there two days committing to paper the information which I had obtained, Col. Humphrey informed me that his Excellency said that he could not reward me in the way and manner he intended when I went in; my being detained there so long, also there being so many supernumerary officers, Congress had ordered there by no more commissions given; and asked me if I wished to be discharged from service. I told the Col. I had been in every campaign of the War (and out of health) that my wish was to continue through. I was then asked to join the Invalid Corps and receive a pension. This I declined on the ground, that my Country was poor and it would be of no advantage to me. He said I might do duty or not as I pleased. I went to my Regiment and did orderly sergeant duty until May following, when I obtained permission from his Excellency to go to Susquehannah. And on my return to the regiment I found the last division of the army had been furloughed the day before; my clothese which I left in the regiment were all stolen. I found there had been a General Order for me to attend at Head Quarters and receive an honorary certificate and a badge of military merit. These were given me by Jonathan Trumbull, then secretary.

"In the year 1777 or 78, Congress passed a resolution that any non-commissioned officer or private who should furnish himself with clothing (regimental) should receive thirty-six dollars, seventy-five cents per year. Agreeably to the resolve, I furnished myself with clothing the most part of four years as it will appear by the Books of the 2nd Connecticut Regiment, now at the seat of Government. Thirteen months I clothed and victualled myself while in actual dangerous service for my country, and sacrificed a constitution as good perhaps, as any ever entered the American service. In Washington's administration I petitioned Congress for compensation for extra services, and for money paid for clothing in the War. Daniel Buck, Esq., member of Congress from the state of Vermont, carried forward my petition, he was to call on the President, show him my certificate and badge of merit. The President did advise Mr. Buck to put in a petition for me. Accordingly he did. Mr. Buck, on his return to Vermont, informed me I was barred by law, this being the year the Limitation Act took place. James Fisk, Esq., member of Congress from Vermont, carried forward my second petition; on his return informed me that the committee on claims, reported in favour of the petitioner; that it went to the second reading, when Mr. Talmadge, a member from Connecticut moved to havethe petition put over to the next sitting of Congress (and carried). Here the business has rested ever since. Furthermore the deponent saith not.


"Personally appeared Daniel Bissell, of Richmond, Ontario County, State of New York, and made serious oath, that the above, within and foregoing written deposition by him subscribed contains the truth, according to the best of his recollection and belief. Sworn to, this 7th of January 1818 at Richmond, before

"WM. BAKER, Justice of the Peace."

The Honorary Certificate [note: The establishment of this badge was announced to the army in general orders, dated: "HEAD QUARTERS, NEWBURGH, Wednesday, Aug. 7th, 1782: "Honorary Badges of distinction are to be conferred on the veteran non-commissioned officers and soldiers of the army who have served more than three years with bravery, fidelity, and good conduct: for this purpose a narrow piece of white cloth of an angular form is to be fixed to the left arm on the uniform coats. Non-commissioned officers and soldiers who have served with equal reputation more than six years are to be distinguished by two pieces of cloth set in parallel to each other in a similar form. Should any who are not entitled to these honors have the insolence to assume the badges of them, they shall be severely punished. On the other hand, it is expected those gallant men who are thus designated will on all occasions be treated with particular confidence and consideration.

"The General, ever desirous to cherish a virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of military merit, directs that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. Not only instances of unusual gallantry, but also of extraordinary fidelity and essential service in any way shall meet with a due reward. Before this favour can be conferred on any man, the particular fact or facts on which it is to be grounded must be set forth to the commander-in-chief, accompanied with certificates from the commanding officers of the regiment and brigade to which the candidate for reward belonged, or other incontestible proofs, and upon granting it, the name and regiment of the person, with the action so certified, are to be enrolled in the book of merit which will be kept at the orderly office. Men who have merited this last distinction to be suffered to pass all guards and sentinels which officers are permitted to do.

"The road to glory in a patriot army and a free country is thus open to all. This order is also to have retrospect to the earliest stages of the war, and to be considered as a permanent one."

Four days later, another order was issued in explanation of the foregoing, and to prevent any misapplication of the badges. "HEADQUARTERS, NEWBURGH, Aunday, August 11, 1782

"In order to prevent misapplication of the honorary badges of distinction to be conferred on the non-commissioned officers and soldiers in consequence of long and faithful service, through any mistake or misapprehension of the orders of the 7th instant, the General thinks proper to inform the army that they are only attainable by an uninterrupted series of faithful and honorable services. A soldier who has once retired from the field of glory forfeits all pretensions to precedence from former services; and a man who has deservedly met an ignominious punishment or degredation cannot be admitted a candidate for any honorary distinction unless he shall have wiped away the stain his reputation has suffered by some very brilliant achievement, or by serving with reputation after his disgrace the number of years which entitle other men to that indulgence. The badges which non-commissioned officers and soldiers are permitted to wear on the left arm as a mark of long and faithful service, are to be of the same color with the facings of the corps they belong to, and not white in every instance as directed in the orders of the 7th instant." (From an article by Peter Force, Esq., of Washington, in the Historical Magazine, vol. III, p. 1.) At present only two others are known to have received this badge. See the article above referred to.] which accompanied the Badge of merit, above alluded to, was as follows:

"I, GEORGE WASHINGTON, Commander-in-Chief of the American Army, &c., &c., &c. "To all to whom these Presents shall come, sendeth Greeting:

"Whereas it hath ever been an established maxim in the American Service, that the Road to Glory was open to all, that Honorary Rewards and Distinctions, were the greatest Stimuli to virtuous actions, and whereas Sergeant DANIEL BISSELL of the Second Connecticut Regiment, has performed some important service, within the immediate knowledge of the Commander-in-Chief, in which his fidelity, perseverance and good sense, were not only conspicuously manifested, but his general line of conduct throughout a long course of service, having been not only unspotted but highly deserving od commendation.

"Now, therefore, Know Ye, that the aforesaid Sergeant BISSELL, hath fully and truly deserved, and hath been properly invested with, the Honorary Badge of Military Merit, and is entitled to pass and repass all Guards and Military Posts, as freely and as amply any Commissioned Office whatever; and is further recommended to that Notice which a Brave and Faithful Soldier deserves from his Countrymen.

"Given under my hand and seal, in the Highlands of New York, this Ninth day of May, A.D. 1783.


"Registered, "JONATHAN TRUMBULL, Secretary."

This certificate was highly prized by the recipient, and in after life carefully preserved between the leaves of an old family Bible, which, together with all his earthly goods, was lost by the burning of his house in Richmond, N.Y. A copy, however, had been made, the authenticity of which was subsequently attested by the following affidavits and letters:

"To all whom it may concern, by these Presents be it certified and made known: That Daniel Bissel of the town of Windsor, in the State of Connecticut, was a Sergeant in the 2d Regiment of the Troops of the said State, in the service of the U.S., in the year 1781. That the Commander-in-Chief, to whom the undersigned were then aids-de-camp, having had occasion to employ an intelligent, faithful, and brave man to obtain, by personal inspection, information of the strength and position of the British army in New York at the time of the junction of the American and French armies, near the White Plains, at the opening of the campaign in the before mentioned year, did through the agency of one of the undersigned, and on the special recommendation of Col. Heman Swift then commanding the Regiment, to which the said Daniel Bissell then belonged engage the aforesaid Sergeant Bissell, in this perilous and important undertaking, under pretext of being a deserter to the enemy, and in order to render the deception complete, of being returned as such, on the succeeding muster-rolls; That he did so quit the lines of the American Army, about the 14th of August, 1781, and enlist in one of the Provincial Regiments, so called, in the service of the King of Great Britain, and become Quarter Master Sergeant in the same, whereby he had an opportunity of learning the force of the several corps from the number of rations delivered at the Commissary's store. That having been constrained by inevitable causes to remain for nearly thirteen months, he did then return to the American Head Quarters with interesting intelligence. That General Washington, having been well satisfied with his whole conduct, did give him an honorable discharge from the army, lest from any future contingency he might fall into the hands of the British, and be capitally punished for the performance of his patriotic and secret service to his country. And the undersigned do further certify and make known, according to the best of their knowledge and belief, that the before named Sergeant Daniel Bissell, did receive a highly creditable certificate, together with what was termed the Badge of Merit; and that they are ignorant of his having ever received any other reward for his meritorious services.

Given under our hands and seals, in Boston, in the State of Massachusetts, this 29th day of May, in the year of our Lord 1817.



Accompanying this was a letter from Major Humphreys, in which he says: "We hasten to furnish you with a certificate in conformity to our joint and distinct recollection of facts, in the hope it may prove of some avail in procuring you a compensation for the perilous undertaking, in which we believe you engaged from motives of patriotism."

This testimony was further corroborated by two of his fellow sergeants, who were in the same regiment with him, and who were afterwards his neighbors in Richmond County, N.Y.

Sgt. Bissell was afterward Paymaster in Col. Bradley's Regiment in 1780, Conn. State Archives, Revol. War, xxii. 168. He also served in the campaign against the Indians in 1799, known as the Adams War. He then held the rank of 1st lieutenant in the 16th regiment of U.S. Infantry.

Still later [note: after 1780, not after 1799] he removed to Vermont, where he married a second wife. In 1810 he removed to Richmond, N.Y., where he died in August, 1824, aged 70 years.

His character was that of an upright, fearless, public-spirited citizen. His naturally fine constitution never recovered from the privations and sufferings to which he was exposed during his service as a spy within the British lines at New York; and the maladies to which his after life was subject undoubtedly tended much to cripple his energies, and to thwart the success which those energies would otherwise have accomplished. Yet he brought up a large family of children, all of whom have taken responsible and useful positions in life. And, to his latest hour, the remembrance of his patriotic service was a source of honorable pride, which fully compensated him for all the sufferings which it had entailed upon him. [end excerpt]

 Daniel married December 30, 1789 at Randolph, Vermont to Theoda Hulburt. He died August 21, 1824, age 70 years. She died June 14, 1844, age 77 years. They had six sons, all of whom were given the first name of Daniel, and three daughters.

1. Theoda Bissell was born June 20, 1791 at Randolph, Vermont, died July 11, 1791 at Randolph.

2. Sophia Bissell was born August 5, 1792 at Randolph, Vermont, died 1872. She married John Bentley, and they had six children:

a. J. Monroe Bentley died 1871. He married Mary Ann Jones, and they had four children:

i. Daniel Bentley

ii. William Bentley

iii. Esther Bentley. She married L. Vickery.

iv. Althea Bentley. She married George Pulcipher.

b. Lorinda Bentley. She married Charles Safford, and they had two children:

i. Spencer Safford

ii. Wesley Safford

c. Haskell Bentley. He died without issue.

d. Huldah Bentley born January 12, 1883. She married Robert King Ailes, and they had four children:

i. Elizabeth Ailes born July 19, 1872.

ii. Annette L. Ailes born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She married ____ Peterson and was a member of the D.A.R.

iii. Harriet Ailes born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She married William L. E. Mahon and was a member of the D.A.R.

iv. Charles Ailes

e. Daniel B. Bentley. He married Jane Scoville, and they had three children:

i. Mary Bentley. She married Darwin Giles.

ii. Jennie Bentley. She married Martin Chute.

iii. Harry Bentley.

f. William Bentley. He died without issue.

3. Daniel Haskell Bissell, M.D. was born September 21, 1794 at Randolph, Vermont and died November 3, 1882 at Geneseo, New York. A biography of Dr. Bissell and his father is found in the 1881 History of Livingston County, New York. He was awarded a doctor of medicine degree from Yale College in 1826. He married June 5, 1828 at Lima, New York to Lucy Grosvenor, who was born March 3, 1798 at Mansfield, Connecticut and died September 1, 1868 at Geneseo. They had seven children (also in their 1850 household was a Frederick Bissell born about 1842 in New York; this may have been their nephew, son of Daniel Lucius Bissell):

a. William Henry Crawford Bissell born September 7, 1824 at Moscow, New York. He entered the Union Army in 1862 from Chicago, Illinois. He married May 15, 1855 to his cousin, Mary Ann Bissell (1833-1892). They lived at Wilmington, Illinois, and they had a daughter:

i. Laura Bissell born July 4, 1861. She married March 28, 1879 to Theodore Wayne, and they had four children:

(1) Frederick D. Wayne born April 7, 1880.

(2) Harry J. Wayne born November 9, 1881.

(3) Ellis Atwood Wayne born November 9, 1884.

(4) Lena Irene Wayne born 1889.

b. Albert Gallatin Bissell born August 21, 1826 at Moscow, New York, lived at Detroit, Michigan, and died in 1896 at Cleveland, Ohio. He married June 19, 1855 to Cornelia Gibbs, who died December 1892 at West Bay City, Michigan. They had one child:

i. Theodore Eaton Bissell born September 5, 1859. He married October 26, 1887 to Anna Eliza Wicker, and they had a son:

(1) Harry Gibbs Bissell born July 2, 1889.

c. Mary Almira Bissell born June 10, 1828, died April 9, 1842.

d. Henry Hobart Bissell born August 4, 1830 at Moscow, New York, died December 15, 1830.

e. Helen Maria Bissell born November 7, 1831 at Moscow, New York, lived at Geneseo, New York, and died in 1910. She married October 20, 1853 to Henry L. Arnold. They had seven children:

i. George Bissell Arnold born February 14, 1855 at Geneseo, New York and died in 1909 at Chicago, Illinois.

ii. William Henderson Arnold born July 6, 1857 at Conesus, New York, died September 12, 1858 at Conesus.

iii. Alice Henderson Arnold born August 3, 1859 at Geneseo, New York and died in 1942. She married May 22, 1884 to John Clarke Cone.

iv. Louise Sutton Arnold born June 11, 1861 at Conesus, New York, died August 25, 1871 at Geneseo, New York.

v. Henry Lodowick Arnold born April 11, 1863 at Conesus, New York, died in 1942 at Geneseo, New York. He had a daughter:

(1) Alice Arnold born at Geneseo, New York.

vi. Lucy Grosvenor Arnold (twin of Alan) born September 15, 1871 at Geneseo, New York, died in 1942.

vii. Allan Miller Arnold (twin of Lucy) born September 15, 1871 at Geneseo, New York, died in 1942 at Canandaigua, New York.

f. Laura Emaline Bissell born January 7, 1836 at Moscow, New York, lived at Geneseo, New York, and died in 1911. She married May 13, 1861 to Theodore F. Olmstead. They had a daughter:

i. Frances Emaline Olmstead born December 11, 1872, died November 26, 1873.

g. George Washington Sutton Bissell born August 29, 1840 at Geneseo, New York and died November 14, 1841.

4. Daniel Voltaire Bissell was born June 28, 1796 at Randolph, Vermont and died July 12, 1845 in Oakland County, Michigan. He married first about 1818 to Elizabeth Curtis (daughter of Sylvester Curtis and Mary Johnson) in Ontario County, New York. [Note: as an appendix to this webpage, I am including my sister, Julie Bissell Tupker’s explanation of how she came to connect Daniel Voltaire Bissell to the Curtis family.] Elizabeth died August 26, 1841, age 43, at Oakland, Michigan, which puts her year of birth at about 1798. They had at least eight children (according to the census of 1840. Daniel is listed in the 1830 census of Ontario County, New York, but moved to Troy, Oakland Co., Michigan Territory in September of 1831, and then to Pontiac in 1837. He is listed as a petitioner in Michigan Territory in 1833 and in the 1840 census of Pontiac, Oakland County, Michigan.

In his 1840 household, there were eight children of the following ages: female 20-30, 2 females 15-20, 1 female 10-15, 2 females 5-10, 1 male 10-15, and one male 0-5. Thanks to information from researchers William Nicklin and Cara Barillo, and the efforts of my sister, we have identified all eight of these children, as shown below. Daniel married second to “Christeina” Higgins (also spelled elsewhere as Chastina and Christine) in Pontiac on June 26, 1844. He was shown as age 46 (should have said 47, he being just two days short of age 48), and she was shown as age 35. Almost immediately following Daniel’s death, Christina remarried on September 30, 1845 at Pontiac, Michigan to Sidney Gilbert, Sr, and they are listed in the 1850 census of Oakland County, Michigan, with her being shown as age 38 (but probably closer to 40-41, unless she was younger than 35 when she married Daniel in mid-1844). The children of Daniel and Elizabeth were:

a. Mary [Jane(?)] Bissell born ca. 1820 in New York. She was the daughter listed as age 20-30 in the 1840 census, and she was listed as age 30 in the 1850 census in the Oakland County, Michigan Poor House. Apparently she had mental problems and died unmarried, with no children. We have this newspaper article dated April 6, 1853 from Pontiac Jacksonian:


Dead Body Found—The body of a female was found dead in the road near Orchard Lake on Monday morning.  It proved to be that of an unfortunate insane person, named Jane Bissel, who has long been an inmate of the county poor house, from which, it seems she wandered on Sunday, and was found as above. [Note: it’s possible that her younger sister Jane, who lived in the area, gave the pertinent information about Mary, and that the writer of the story confused the two person’s names. However, it’s also possible that the older daughter was named Mary Jane and the younger one Jane; their father, after all, was one of six sons named Daniel!]

b. Theoda Bissell b. ca. 1822 in New York. She was one of the two daughters shown as age 15-20 in the 1840 census. Theoda married May 31, 1849 in Boone Co., Illinois to William McLane, and they were living next door to brother Philo and his wife at Edgewood, Iowa in the 1860 census, at which time Theoda was shown as being 38 years old and born in New York. They had four daughters:

i. Hellen E. McLane b. ca. 1851 in Illinois.

ii. Flora L. McLane b. ca. 1853 in Illinois.

iii. Frances (Fanny) A. McLane b. ca. 1855 in Illinois. She married Cyrennes Rowley, and they moved to Graham, Kansas. They had:

(1) Matt Rowley b. ca. 1879 in Iowa.

(2) Ollie Rowley (daughter)

(3) Amy Rowley

iv. Harriet (Hattie) J. McLane b. ca. 1857 in Iowa. She married John Brockway, and they moved to Graham, Kansas. They had:

                (1) Mattie Brockway b. ca. 1875 in Iowa.

c. Harriet Perkins Bissell b. Feb. 15, 1824 in Richmond, Ontario Co., New York and died July 9, 1886 in Holly Township, Oakland Co., Michigan. She was the other daughter shown as age 15-20 in the 1840 census. Harriet married first in Dec. 22, 1841 in Oakland Co., Michigan to Samuel Barrett Jr., who died, according to her obituary, in February 1846 (though he was still alive and appeared in the census of 1850). On Jan. 6, 1853, she remarried in Waterford Twp., Oakland Co., Michigan to John H. Landis. According to the correspondence mentioned below, she was still the wife or widow of Samuel Barrett in 1859. However, this obviously cannot be. Since daughter Candace b. 1857 was obviously named after Harriet’s sister, the 1859 reference to “Mrs. Harriet Barrett” was probably an error due to lack of information on the part of her sisters Jane and Orphia, who were writing from across the state. Harriet had the following children:

        i. George Henry Barrett b. Nov. 10, 1842 in Michigan.

        ii. Albert C. Barrett b. ca. 1845 in Michigan.

iii. Henry J. Landis b. ca. 1854 In Michigan.

iv. Candace Landis b. ca. 1857 in Michigan.

                v. Philo Landis b. ca. 1867 in Michigan.               


Cara Barillas of Manchester, Michigan, who is a descendant of Harriet Bissell Barrett Landis’s son Henry, helped us to tie most of Daniel Voltaire’s children together with the following letters dating back to the 1850s. (Robert Barrett of is also a researcher of this family, being descended from one of the sons of Harriet’s first marriage.) In an email dated June 6, 2005, Cara writes:


Well going over the first letter that I pull out of the stack....(blue and the handwriting is legible and the pen stokes are from another era...it says" 5 Waterford Mich." then it is hard to read but I think it says "Sept. 21 4" Then I can read it and it says "Mrs. Harriet Barrett Grand Blanc Mich" (addressee) Grand Blanc is fairly large town south of Flint Michigan off I-75. it is not that far from Oakland county where the Landis family settled and their descendants. Flint has some too! The letter goes onto say "Beloved and respected sister" This is signed by a sister named Orphia.  It is also signed Candace Bissell and that is the way she spells it (signed on another part of the letter). I am wondering how you came upon your spelling of her name. Someone else on this letter speaks of a son. That part is not signed and the handwriting is different from the others. Oh yes the letter has the date either "Sept 2 or 21, 1851" These letters are in remarkable condition BTW. My great aunt Emma (Emaline) Landis Britten kept all of these and I think she got them from Candace Landis, her father's sister. Emma was the older sister to my grandmother, Marguerite. Both of them told us about her funny and humorous Aunt Can as they called her. I guess she was quite the cut-up! Her brother was Philo and Henry.


Next letter…This one is dated Jan 30th 1859. This is written to 'Dear sister and brother' (Grand Rapids, western part of Michigan) It is signed Jane Martin" and speaks of Orphia again. (spelling could be incorrect) It mentions a daughter. The next letter is addressed to "Mr. Andrew Bissell" (do you know how this is?) or "Mrs. Harriett Barrett" "Pontiac Mich" Again this is a city in Oakland County south of Flint and Grand Blanc. It has the signatures of Orphia and Jane Martin.

More recently, Cara sent us a copy of Harriet’s obituary, which reads:

Mrs. Harriett P. Landis died at her home in township of Holly, Friday July 9th, 1886 at 10 pm. Harriett P. Bissell was born in the State of New York, Genesee County (this is scratched out and written in pencil is ONTARIO CO.), town of Richmond, Feb 15th, 1824. In September 1831, with her parents she moved to Troy, Oakland Co., Mich, and lived there until about the year of 1837 then moved to Pontiac, her parents both passing away there, leaving a family of eight children, six daughters and two sons, but two are now left. Mrs. N. M. Martin of Grand Rapids, and Mrs. Peter Hughes of Saginaw City. On the 22nd day of Aug 1841, she was married to Samuel Barrett, in Feb 1846 was left a widow with two sons. On the 6 day of Jan. 1853 she was married to J. H. Landis (JOHN) in the township of Waterford. On the 20th day of April 1856 they settled on a piece of land in the township of Holly, where their present home is, felling the sturdy oak for a place to set their log cabin and here they labored side by side to procure a home for themselves and children. About three years ago her health began to fail and slowly but surely disease did its work; paralysis of the heart finished the work July 9th 1886 when God in his great wisdom saw fit to relieve her of suffering and toil. She leaves a husband, three sons and one daughter, with a host of friends to mourn her loss. She was loved in the community for her kindly graces and for her many deeds of kindness to any who were in need. She died with a hope in Christ. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. E. B. Bandcroft at her home… Monday July 12th. She [was buried at] Lakeside cemetery in…

d. Jane Bissell b. ca. 1826 in New York. She was the daughter shown as age 10-15 in the 1840 census, and she was shown as age 23 in the 1850 census. She married Nathaniel Millard Martin about 1847, and they lived in Oakland Co., Michigan before moving to Grand Rapids prior to 1860. There is some confusion about her husband’s name. The 1850 census shows him with initials that appear to read “A. N.,” although this could be “N. M.” Researcher William Nicklin says that one of Daniel Voltaire’s daughters married “Millard Martin.” In 1860, “Nathaniel M.” Martin’s household in Grand Rapids, Michigan had Jane age 32 b. NY, and in 1870, “Willard” Martin’s Grand Rapids household had Jane age 44 b. NY. Combining the results of the two censuses, it can be seen that they had the following nine children:

        i. Marian Martin b. ca. 1848 in Michigan.

        ii. Hellen Martin b. ca. 1849 in Michigan.

        iii. Edward Martin b. ca. 1851 in Michigan.

        iv. Ella Martin b. ca. 1855 in Michigan.

        v. Frank Martin b. ca. 1856 in Michigan.

        vi. Flora Martin b. ca. 1857 in Michigan.

        vii. Theodore Martin b. spring 1860 in Michigan.

        viii. Alice Martin b. ca. 1861 in Michigan.

        ix. Howard Martin b. ca. 1863 in Michigan.

e. Andrew J. Bissell born 1827 in Oakland County, Michigan, was a blacksmith and a gunsmith. He was the son shown as age 10-15 in the 1840 census, and in the 1850 census of Oakland County, Michigan, he was listed as age 22 in the Bloomfield Twp., Oakland Co., Michigan home of Freeman Waugh 65, farmer Connecticut and wife Clarissa 69 New York. [Note: Clarissa may be sister of Christine/Chastina, and thereby an aunt of Andrew.] Andrew married February 21, 1853 at Pontiac Michigan to Mary Ann Caldwell (b. 1834). In the 1860 census, Andrew was shown as age 35. Andrew apparently died before the 1870 census. Mary Ann may have remarried. They had:

i. Adeline (Addie) Bissell b. 1853 at Pontiac, Michigan. Apparently her father had died by 1870. She was in the 1870 Oakland Co. Michigan household of Charles and Sarah Murray.

ii. Porter Bissell b. 1855 at Pontiac, Michigan. He appeared in the 1870 LaPeer Co. census, but was listed with an Oakland Co. post office in the household of Elizabeth Varnum age 75 and Elvira Varnum age 34. He was also in the 1880 LaPeer Co. census, living with his aunt Alvira Varnum.

iii. Harriet Bissell b. 1857 at Pontiac, Michigan. She probably d. before 1870.

iv. William Bissell b. 1859 at Pontiac, Michigan. He probably d. before 1870.

v. Nathan Joseph Bissell b. 1862 at Northville, Michigan. He was a resident of New Hudson, Michigan when he m. Nov. 15, 1884 to Ida A. Marsh at Brighton, Michigan.

f. Candace Bissell born ca. 1832 in Oakland County, Michigan. She was one of the two daughters shown as age 5-10 in the 1840 census. Candace married in November 7, 1853 in Boone Co., Illinois to George Leidley. They were in the 1860 census of Dakota Co., Minnesota, but they have not yet been located in the 1870 or 1880 censuses. They had:

        i. George E. Leidley b. ca. 1854 in Iowa.

        ii. Elisabeth Leidley b. ca. 1857 in Iowa.

        iii. Mary Leidley b. ca. 1859 in Minnesota.

g. Orphia Auretta Bissell born ca. 1834 in Oakland County, Michigan. She was the other daughter shown as age 5-10 in the 1840 census, and she was listed as Orphy age 15 in the 1850 census in the Waterford Twp., Oakland Co., Michigan home of “A. N.” Martin and wife Jane, who was Orphia’s older sister. (Data from William Nicklin said one of Daniel Voltaire's daughters married “Millard” Martin. Clearly, this is “Nathaniel M.” Martin aka “Willard” Martin, as listed in the 1860 and 1870 censuses with wife Jane and identical lists of children in Grand Rapids.) Orphia married May 26, 1852 at Oakland Co., Michigan to Peter Hughes (b. 1830, Canada). They lived at Saginaw, Michigan. The 1880 census shows them with:

i. Herbert Hughes born ca. 1854 in Michigan.

ii. Millard M. Hughes b. ca. 1856 in Michigan.

iii. Carrie Hughes b. ca. 1859 in Michigan.

iv. Marshall P. Hughes b. ca. 1861 in Michigan.

h. Philo Curtis Bissell born ca. 1836 at Oakland County, Michigan. He was the son listed as age 0-5 in the 1840 census, and he was listed as age 13 in the 1850 census in the Unadilla Twp., Livingston Co., Michigan home of David Burd. [Note: I suspected that Philo was a son of Daniel Voltaire Bissell, and research efforts of my sister, Julie Bissell Tupker, verified this. See Appendix.] Philo married October 15, 1859 in Grant County, Wisconsin to Isabella/Isabell M. Shipton (born ca. 1843 in Missouri). In the 1860 census, they were living at Edgewood, Clayton Co., Iowa. Philo went out west to Nebraska and Wyoming after the Civil War, and he wrote back regularly and sent back money to the family. He was last heard from in Montana, and it was thought that he may have died in an Indian attack in Wyoming. Isabella remarried before 1880 to George A. Underwood (b. ca. 1852 in Illinois), and they had at least 4 children together, as shown by the 1880 census of Delaware Twp., Delaware Co., Iowa. (Another researcher of this family is Cheron Gibson of San Diego, who is descended from Isabella’s mother.) Philo and Isabella had two children:  

i. Rosanna Bissell born ca. 1862 at Edgewood, Iowa. She was named after her mother’s mother, Rosanna Hill Shipton Gibson. She has not been located in the census after 1870, nor has a marriage record been found for her to date.

ii. Arthur Curtis Bissell born April 1865 at Edgewood, Iowa. He was listed as “Arthur B. Bissell” in the 1880 census household of his mother and step-father. The 1900 census of Elk Twp., Clayton Co., Iowa showed Arthur C. Bissell age 35, born April 1865 in Iowa, with wife Nellie age 30, born April 1870 in Michigan, and two children, listed below. They married about 1887, having been married 13 years as of the 1900 census. They were in the same location in the 1910 and 1920 censuses, with two more children, listed below. [Note: descendants of Arthur Curtis Bissell live in the Edgewood, Iowa area today and Curtis Bissell, a direct descendant of Philo Bissell, passed away September 2, 2003, at Edgewood, Iowa, having been born April 28, 1943. My sister, Julie Bissell Tupker, had a couple of long phone conversations with Curtis who was not aware of his family history back from Philo C. Bissell. It was Curtis who told her that Philo's middle name was Curtis. Curtis Bissell had in his possession at one time a number of letters written to the family from Philo when he was out West. The letters were stolen from Curtis Bissell's home, probably for the postmark antique value. Curtis also had a couple other very, very old family heirlooms that had presumably been owned by someone in the Bissell family. The antiques may have come from Michigan or even New York. According to family lore, Arthur Curtis Bissell stayed behind in Iowa when his mother, Isabella Shipton Bissell Underwood, stepfather and the rest of his family moved west. It was thought that he stayed, based on the belief that someone should be there if his dad, Philo, returned from Wyoming.] Arthur and Nellie had five children, two of the first three still alive in the 1900 census, and another two appearing in the 1910 and 1920 censuses:

(1) Clark A. Bissell born Aug. 1891 in Iowa.

        (2) Elsie M. Bissell born Aug. 1896 in Iowa.

        (3) Edith R. Bissell born about 1902 in Iowa.

(4) Harold J. Bissell born May 1, 1907 in Iowa and died January 1969 in Clayton Co., Iowa. Harold may have been the father of Curtis Bissell mentioned above.

5. Hulda Bissell was born July 18, 1798 at Randolph, Vermont and died August 10, 1880. She married April 4, 1824 to Alva Butler, who was born January 19, 1798 at Middletown Springs, Vermont and died April 7, 1883 in Michigan. They had six children:

a. Daniel Bissell Butler born April 2, 1825, died April 27, 1909. He married June 4, 1848 to Ann Tharrett. They had three children:

i. Lewis Cass Butler born September 19, 1849. He married and had two children:

(1) Fred Butler born 1877.

(2) Alice Butler born 1880.

b. Mary Jane Butler born April 12, 1827, died September 16, 1849. She married December 14, 1845 to Edwin A. Martin. They had two sons:

i. Arthur E. Martin born September 27, 1846. He married December 1869 to Mrs. Josephine Cole. They had a daughter:

(1) Minnie Martin born 1872, died 1875.

ii. Albert G. Martin born November 12, 1848. He married April 18, 1871 to Helen L. Foote. They had five children:

(1) Claude E. Martin born April 29, 1872, died April 1, 1872.

(2) Harry T. Martin born 1874, died May 14, 1875.

(3) Maude L. Martin born July 4, 1881.

(4) Minnie May Martin born 1883.

(5) Carl B. Martin born 1886.

c. Susan Edson Butler born October 30, 1829, died 1864. She married February 16, 1851 to Edwin Ruthven Martin as his second wife. They had five children:

i. John A. Martin born December 10, 1851, died August 13, 1876.

ii. Mary Edwinna Martin born October 15, 1856. She married September 1, 1880 to Willard C. Field (1854-1897). They had two children:

(1) Carl Field born April 25, 1885.

(2) Marguerite Field born December 29, 1891 in Muskegan, Michigan. She married H. Franklin Jones and was a member of the D.A.R.

iii. Andrew J. Martin born May 3, 1859, died February 12, 1863.

iv. Emma E. Martin born December 1, 1861. She married November 18, 1885 to Leslie Simpson. They had a daughter:

(1) Gertrude Simpson born August 21, 1886.

v. a son born September 13, 1864, died September 16, 1864.

d. Henry Hobart Butler born April 1, 1832, died January 2, 1904. He married October 28, 1862 to Lucy A. Wells. They had a son:

i. Hobart J. Butler born July 26, 1867.

e. Samuel McCosky Butler born December 1, 1837, died December 10, 1908. He married first October 1, 1868 to Mary Voorhes, who died May 13, 1874, and married second in 1875 to Ida M. Throwbridge. He had a son with each wife:

i. William Voorhes Butler born April 2, 1874, died March 22, 1956. He married October 4, 1904 to Grace Alice Darrow and they had two children:

(1) Helen Elizabeth Butler born February 13, 1907. She married October 4, 1932 to John Wilson Nicklin, who was born March 10, 1906 and died February 11, 1964. They had two children:

(a) William Butler Nicklin born February 20, 1936. He married first April 2, 1960 to Judith Ann Crockett (they divorced in 1980) and second February 5, 1982 to Christy Crane Forman. (Bill was a tremendous help to us in compiling this information). He and Judith had two children:  (i) William Scott Nicklin born December 27, 1960. (ii) Elizabeth Sue Nicklin born April 9, 1965. She married June 23, 1990 to Kevin C. Hollingsworth.

(b) Anne Elizabeth Nicklin born December 18, 1937. She married August 31, 1957 to William Davis Swan, Jr. who was born June 3, 1932. They had two children: (i) Kathryn Ann Swan born August 1, 1958. (ii) David Christopher Swan born January 5, 1961.

(2) William Darrow Butler born June 22, 1919, died March 7, 1964. He married February 27, 1942 to Patricia Ann Nesbit. They had a daughter:

(a) Nancy Fawcett Butler. She married and had two step-children from her husband's previous marriage.

ii. Raymond M. Butler born July 29, 1883.

f. Lucy Grosvenor Butler born April 27, 1841. She married October 31, 1863 to Perry J. Jennings (1840-1913). They had three children:

i. Isadore Belle Jennings born July 1, 1866. She married October 20, 1886 to Charles Aspinwall.

ii. Edwin J. Jennings born March 3, 1871.

iii. Jessie Gertrude Jennings born October 12, 1876 in Troy, Michigan. She married Hugh Hayden, and they had a daughter:

(1) Belle Jennings born 1866. She married in 1886 to Charles Aspinwall (b. 1858). They had two daughters:

(a) Bertha Aspinwall born in Troy, Michigan. She died George Maitrot and was a member of the D.A.R.

(b) Alda Aspinwall born in Oakland County, Michigan. She married ____ Terry and was a member of the D.A.R.

6. Daniel Percy (Perez) Bissell, M.D. was born May 27, 1801 at Randolph, Vermont. He became a licensed medical practitioner from Yale College in 1826, and he received an honorary doctor of medicine degree from the University of Western New York in 1855. He married September 22, 1830 to Mary Ann Dutton, and they had three children:

a. Mary Eliza Bissell born December 24, 1833. She married Daniel Waterman, but they had no children.

b. Daniel Lucius Bissell born April 17, 1837, died April 3, 1838.

c. Frank Bissell born May 20, 1841.

7. Daniel Baron Bissell was born January 29, 1803 at Randolph, Vermont and died December 11, 1866. He married March 22, 1836 to Caroline N. Bartlett, and they had seven children:

a. Frances Caroline Bissell born 1838. She married November 14, 1878 to J. H. Moore.

b. Edward Spencer Bissell born 1840, died 1883.

c. John Bartlett Bissell born 1842, died May 1885. He married 1870 to Alice Chamberlain. They had four children:

i. Lawrence Bissell born 1873.

ii. Egbert Bissell born 1878.

iii. Florence Bissell born 1882.

iv. Louis Bissell born 1885.

d. Charles Haskell Bissell born 1843. He married 1868 to Caroline Chamberlain.

e. Jeannie Theoda Bissell born 1847 (twin of Mary Jeannette). She married 1880 to George W. Clark. They had a son:

i. George Clark born 1884.

f. Mary Jeannette Bissell born 1847 (twin of Jeannie Theoda). She married May 18, 1873 to Horatio C. Scott. They had a son:

i. Robert Hamilton Scott born August 6, 1876.

g. Carrie Louise Bissell born March 22, 1864.

8. Daniel Wadsworth Bissell was born in 1804 at Randolph, Vermont and died May 19, 1882. He married Irene Washburn Thayer, and they had five children:

a. Frances J. Bissell born February 1829, died 1873. She married 1846 to Elmer Holloway, and they had two children:

i. Emma Holloway born 1850.

ii. Fred Holloway born 1853.

b. Daniel Perez Bissell born April 4, 1831. He married in 1854 to Emma N. Caldwell, and they had three sons and one daughter, reportedly living in Indianapolis.

c. Mary Ann Bissell born May 3, 1833, died November 17, 1892. She married May 8, 1855 to her cousin, William Henry Crawford Bissell (1824-1888), and they had a daughter:

i. Laura Bissell born July 4, 1861. She married March 28, 1879 to Theodore Wayne, and they had four children:

(1) Frederick D. Wayne born April 7, 1880.

(2) Harry J. Wayne born November 9, 1881.

(3) Ellis Atwood Wayne born November 9, 1884.

(4) Lena Irene Wayne born 1889.

d. Elmira M. Bissell born July 2, 1835. She married October 23, 1859 to Jacob W. Vanderhoof.

e. Daniel Pierce Bissell born April 14, 1841, died December 16, 1884. He married and had two children. (Note: both Daniel P. and Daniel Pierce were listed as sons in the family's 1850 household.)

9. Daniel Lucius Bissell was born April 30, 1808 at Randolph, Vermont and died in 1873. He married Fannie Evelyn Chapin, and they had four children, none of whom married or had children:

a. Amelia Caroline (or Catherine?) Bissell born about 1830 at Penn Yann, New York. She was a member of the D.A.R.

b. Frederick Haskell Bissell

c. Daniel Lucius Bissell

d. Charles Judd Bissell



The Connection of Sylvester Curtis to Daniel Voltaire Bissell


by Julie Bissell Tupker



Roger, you had asked quite a while ago that I write up a short paragraph on how I came to connect the Curtis connection to Daniel Bissell and his descendants. I have two separate sections on this, one being a description of my research and thought processes to connect Philo, Theoda, and Candace to the Curtis family, and the other, in a letter to Bob Barrett, being an explanation of the connection to the particular Curtis line and how I came to make that connection.   


1. I went to the Curtis family forum to review my posts and found the one where I outlined the Curtis connection I believe to be the one that hooks up Daniel’s first wife, Elizabeth (?Curtis?) Bissell to the Curtis family. I wrote:


I have made a possible connection of Daniel V. Bissell of Ontario Co, NY to Elizabeth Curtis (b about 1798), daughter of Sylvester and Mary Johnson Curtis. They were originally from Rupert, Bennington VT and moved to Richmond, Ontario NY where Daniel Bissell's father lived. We found a death record in Oakland Co, Mich (where Daniel Bissell died in 1845) that said an Elizabeth Bissell died in Oakland Co, in 1841. We believe her to be Elizabeth Curtis, daughter of Sylvester and Mary. She had a brother named Philo/Phillip, and Daniel Bissell's last son was named Philo. Philo Bissell's full name was Philo Curtis Bissell. The name Curtis has been handed down through the family.


I did a census search for Philo Curtis, and interestingly, I found one 50 years old in Clayton Co, Iowa who was born in New York. He had had kids born in Illinois and later in Iowa to an obvious 2nd wife (born in Ireland and half his age). I then found in Illinois records a Philo Curtis married twice in the 1840s in Boone Co, Illinois, which is where two of Daniel Voltaire Bissell’s daughters, Candace and Theoda, were also married. It was finding the Boone Co. marriages and finding Theoda Bissell McLane in the 1860 census next door to Philo Bissell that connected them for me, and then searching Boone Co, Illinois for the Curtis name, just in case the girls had been farmed out to relatives who were still there. I don't remember just now if it was this Philo Curtis, or who I found there, but I remember finding a Philo Curtis in the area. I'll be digging out all that old research on my computer in the basement in the next couple months and will write it all up for you and to post to the website.


2. I thought I'd do a little census looking backward and checking the LDS site to see where my thought processes were, rather than wait and forget about it, and sure enough, I can see exactly why I felt that Daniel V. Bissell's wife was Elizabeth Curtis, daughter of Sylvester Curtis and Mary Johnson. 


In 1800 I found Sylvester Curtis in Ontario Co, Pittstown, and next door to him was Sylvester JOHNSON and Isaac JOHNSON. I suspect they were parents or siblings of Mary Johnson Curtis. 


In 1810, I found Sylvester Curtis in Ontario Co, Honeoe, and his neighbors were Sylvester, Isaac and Willard Johnson.


Then in 1820, I find Daniel V. Bissell next door to Mary Curtiss in Ontario Co, Richmond. Mary is apparently the widow of Sylvester Curtis and the mother of Elizabeth, who we believe to be the wife of Daniel V. Bissell. 


Remember that Philo Bissell's marriage record said his mother's name was Elizabeth, and we found the early 1840s newspaper death notice of Elizabeth Bissell, wife of Daniel V. Bissell, in Oakland Co, MI, so we know her first name was definitely ELIZABETH. Also, due to the fact that she first and middle named her last son, Philo Curtis (Bissell), it is obvious that she was naming him after a close relative—in this case, most probably her brother Philo Curtis who was born sometime about 1808. The Ancestral File says he was born approximately 1808, but the file gives the births of his siblings in stair step dates, which means that whoever submitted the file was probably guessing. Also, note that Daniel and Elizabeth (Curtis?) Bissell named their oldest known daughter, Mary. It would make sense that, though this name is very common, she would have been named her after Elizabeth’s mother, Mary Johnson Curtis. (The submitter of this information to the Ancestral File is Marvene Michael, 2010 Ryan Ave., Santa Clara, CA 95051.)


There is one item on the Ancestral file that I question, and that is the death of Sylvester Curtis as being in Rensselaer, NY (1812 Dec).  It most probably was in Dec of 1812, but it sure looks like the family was in Ontario Co from 1800 through 1820 at the least.  What I think may have happened is that the researcher confused Pittstown, Ontario Co NY with Pittstown, Rensselaer Co, NY. Pittstown in Ontario Co was the original name for a town that changed names at least three times from Pittstown to Honeoye in 1808 and to Richmond in 1815. This seems the most likely scenario.