I am the 3rd great granddaughter of Abner Lord Otis. I know that he married Almira Goddard in Feb 1846. Yesterday, I found evidence that he sailed to California, on the "Henry Lee", in Feb. 1849, leaving Almira, and 2 children, Eliza Jane and Roy Nelson, "California" with Almira's parents.
I don't know what happened to Abner from that point. Almira passed away in 1852, and is buried in the Granby Street Cemetery.
Does anyone have any additional information regarding this family? I also know that Abner had another wife, Rachel Brewster, that passed away in 1843. They had a son, Abner Day Otis, who died from disease during the Civil War.
I would love to know what happened to Abner L. He was part of the Hartford Unified Mining and Trading Company.
I read several articles in The Hartford Courant regarding the "Henry Lee" and it's 7 month trip to San Francisco in search of gold. Aside from the mention of A. L. Otis listed as a passenger, I wasn't able to find any other info on him.
In case you didn't see Almira's death notice in the April 30, 1852 issue of The Courant::
In North Granby, Ct, Mrs Almira Otis, wife of Abner Otis and daughter of Orrin and Minerva Godard, age 25.
Sounds like the family felt that Abner was still alive.
Are there Calif Gold Rush websites that might help you find obituaries, mining claims, or info on microfilms etc?
I've looked a bit for that kind of information, but haven't found him. I didn't think about mining claims. I'll try that. I searched for others in the company on the 1850 Census, and found many of them, spread over about 3 counties in CA. I then would search for his name, hoping maybe that it had been transcribed incorrectly, and that's why I didn't find him. No luck.
Thanks for trying and for the suggestions.
Abner Lord Otis born:1823 in Granby,Connecticut
On February 14 1841 he married Rachel Brewster in
Abner D. Otis born: January 23 1843 to Rachel D. and Abner in Franklin, New London,Connecticut
Almira and Abner married January 26 1847
Elisa Otis born:January 1 1848 in Grandby,Connecticut
Roy N. Otis: born 1850 in Granby,Connecticut to Abner and Almira. Roy married Nettie Hodge on March 25 1872 in Westfield,Mass.
I am also a 3rd great granddaughter of Abner Lord Otis. I have this that was written by my late mother:
"The story in our family is that ABNER LORD OTIS went to California to look for gold, found it and was returning home by ship rounding the Horn when he was robbed and thrown overboard. I can find no documentation of this, but I did find that one Harvey Godard was appointed as guardian in 1858 to Eliza J. Otis, age 10, and Roy Nelson Otis, age eight. Harvey Godard filed the following account in 1870 in Granby:
Money in Savings Bank $82.50
Money from Estate of Orrin Godard 500.00
Money received from Abner L. Otis, Oct 1866 57.50
Services of War over and above his support 200.00
Ballance due Ward $1191.62
Note the date of the “money received from Abner L. Otis, 1866”. If he went to find gold in California, presumably after 1849 and his children were made wards of Harvey Goddard, in 1858, how was it that they got money from Abner as late as 1866? A petition was filed by Roy Nelson Otis stating that his guardian Harvey Godard has "never settled and adjusted his accounts as such guardian with court or with petitioner. Therefore he prays that said Harvey Godard may be cited before yr. hon. court to "adjust said accounts as guardian”. The petition is dated Granby, Dec. 3, 1878. Harvey Godard was ordered to appear before the probate office in Granby and adjust his accounts."
My mother knew her grandfather, Walter Otis, well and he was the great storyteller of that generation. I believe he is who talked with her about Abner. Abner Lord Otis was his grandfather.
My mother wrote a novel inspired loosely on Abner Lord Otis's family while he was in California - "In Plain Sight" by Carol Hurst.
I'm still trying to piece together who the correct father is for Abner Lord Otis. Does anyone have that information?
That is fascinating information. Thanks. I am familiar with your mother's writing. I have read, "A Murder in Plymouth Colony". I am going to look for the one that you mentioned.
I recently found an Abner Otis on the 1880 Census, in Lake County, OH. He is married to Esther. She is 36 yrs. He is 51, which works, but he lists his birthplace as OH, and his parents' birthplace as NY. He is also on the 1870, Lake County, OH census, listed as Abney Otis. However, I found a cemetery record for Esther (Tuttle)and her headstone says, "Wife of Abner Otis".
As far as I can tell, they had 4 children: Annie born about 1869, Wallace born about 1873, Sophia born about 1875, and Eddie born 1880.
Is it possible that he didn't actually die, but remarried on his way back to New England? Perhaps he paid Harvey in 1866, for the care of the 2 children, and then moved on with his life.
My family records list Abner's parents as Ebenezer Hayden Otis and Mary Lord. The only evidence I have for that, is his middle name.
As you probably know, there is also mystery surrounding Ebenezer. According to cemetery records, he is burried alongside Mary Lord in Linwood Cemetery, Colchester, CT. However, there are several postings on Ancestry that talk about him marrying and then divorcing Octavia Williams, in IL around 1892. According to these posts, they had a son, Ebenzer Widger Otis. I have not been able to find record of any of this, but it is intriguing, since the parents that I have listed for Ebenezer Hayden Otis are Stephen Otis and Betsey Widger, although there is a birth record for a Hayden Otis, parents, Stephen and Lucy. It's all confusing.
The International Marriage Index at Ancestry shows a marriage record for Ebenezer and Mary Lord listing his birth year as 1819, which doesn't make sense, since their oldest child, Alfred Hayden, was born in 1812.
Sadly, I'm at the mercy of transcriptionists at this point. Anyway, thanks again for the information. Perhaps by working together, we can solve this family puzzle.
I had some volunteer researchers in Lake County, OH do some checking, and it looks as thought the Otis gentleman married to Esther Tuttle was in fact named Adna Otis. He was born in 1828. The marriage record, census records prior to his marriage, and his headstone all refer to him as Adna. I'm fairly convinced that our Abner was not in OH from 1868-1880.
That still doesn't solve the mystery of the payment from Abner to Harvey Goddard in 1866? Is it possible that that is simply the date that Harvey made the deposit?
There was a Jerome Goddard that traveled on the Harvey Lee with Abner. I may try and find him post Gold-Rush. Perhaps Abner had given him some gold to take back in case something happened to him.
Just a thought.
I'd love to work together on this. I'm about to head out of town for a few days but I'll check in when I get back. I have an email address for you from January 2009. I'll send a note to that address and we can continue talking through email.
I have read this thread with great interest because I have also been searching for Abner L. Otis.
My interest is in his connection to the family of his first wife, Rachel Day Brewster. Rachel was the sister of my 2nd great-grandfather Austin Brewster and I have very little information about him. He lived in Ohio City (west side of Cleveland), Ohio. He came to Ohio a single man, then returned to Franklin CT to marry Eliza Leeds/Leids Hempstead on 25 Oct 1835. They returned to Cleveland and remained there until they died (he in 1874, she in 1886).
Rachel (Brewster) Otis had several siblings who removed from New London Co., CT to NE Ohio (Cuyahoga and Ashtabula Counties). Lake County OH lies between those two other counties.
Do you find references to Brewster or Frink families in connection with the Mr. Otis who was living in Lake County?
Thanks. Judy (Wilmot) Davison
Just read this thread about Abner Lord Otis.
I am researching the genealogy of Gen. John Lord Otis, b. 15 Jul 1827 in Lyme, CT s/o Hayden Ebenezer & Mary (Lord) Otis. He m. 01 Mar 1847 in Northampton, MA Catherine Preston, and d. 15 Mar 1894 and s buried in Florence, MA.
I would be pleased to find the ancestry of this Hayden Ebenezer or Ebenezer Hayden Otis, b. 23 Nov 1794 in Lyme, CT s/o Stephen Otis, d. 10 Feb 1858 in Colchester, CT