Thursday, August 14, 2014

New York Thursday with Elizabeth (Bassett) Porter's mystery in the July NYGBR

How could Elizabeth (Bassett) Porter (1798-1855) be included in her parents' family Bible record but never mentioned as an heir in her father's 1876 probate proceedings -- especially when New York law required all heirs to be named? In the July issue of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record I tell the story and try to cope with the conflicting evidence by confirming Elizabeth's ongoing role in the family, and looking into how probates were handled in Madison County, New York, in the 1870s.

NYGBS members can read this and other new and continued articles at the society's a preview and await the physical issue's arrival in their genealogy library. Non-members can become members here.
web site; non-members can access

Elizabeth was the husband of "Col." Harry Porter (a private in the War of 1812) and the oldest sister of my mother-in-law's great-grandfather Samuel Clark Bassett. One curiosity of this story is that Harry and Elizabeth in the late 1830s settled in the same small Illinois town where I grew up in the 1950s -- and are buried three blocks from our house!

Like most NYGBR articles, this one has a double purpose: to resolve a knotty problem (highlighting a prized New York record type) and to document a New York family. The documentation (genealogical summary) occupies more space than the problem-resolution part and is continued in later issues. Many thanks to editor Karen Mauer Green for her relentless help and encouragement in bringing this project into print.

Harold Henderson, “A Missing Heir: Reconnecting Elizabeth (Bassett) Porter to Her Parents, Lewis and Dorcas (Hoxie) Bassett” [Part 1], New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 145 (July 2014): 165-184.

Harold Henderson, "New York Thursday with Elizabeth (Bassett) Porter's Mystery in the July NYGBR," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 14 August 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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