The earliest record (to my knowledge) of my 3rd great-grandfather, James McNeal, is the 1808 publication in Leeds of his intentions of marriage with Abigail (Nabby) Hicks, daughter of Zephaniah and Sarah "Sally" (Stinchfield) Hicks. I have found only one clue as to his origins. In the 1880 and 1900 censuses, their son Daniel reported that his father (James) had been born in Vermont. However, to date I have not come across any Vermont records that bear this out. I would be interested in hearing from anyone who might know of his birthplace, parents, and anything about his life prior to his arrival in Leeds. (Note: The 1810 thru 1830 censuses suggest that he was born between 1770 and 1775, which would make him considerably older than Abigail, who was born in 1790. It may be that he had been previously married, but if so, when, where and to whom is unknown.) (Further note: Houghton Sumner, who appeared in Leeds at about the same time as James, was born in Vermont in 1783, but in the interim he was in Massachusetts - specifically, in Scituate, where he married Mary Rogers in 1805. I am not aware of any connection between him and James.)
I have quite a bit of information about the children of James and Abigail (many of whom - for reasons yet unknown - began using the name "Neal" instead of "McNeal" in the 1830s and 1840s) and would be happy to share it with anyone connected to this family.
Thank you for taking the time to respond. The Abigail who filed intentions to marry Solomon Raymond in 1836 was (given his age) probably the daughter who was b. 1819. I believe she must have died before they could actually marry, as I have found no further record of her. Quite a few years ago, I read a microfilm of the Fayette records but did not find her death. That is not at all surprising, as deaths were rarely recorded in most towns at that time. It seems that marriages intentions were almost always recorded (sometimes in two towns, if the couple were from different towns); marriages were recorded if the minister submitted his records; births were recorded for some families (although this varied widely from town to town); and deaths were the least likely to be recorded. Often, cemetery inscriptions - if they can be found, or if they existed in the first place - are the only records of deaths.
I did check Kennebec deeds at the courthouse in Augusta a few years ago, as well as some Oxford deeds at the state archives there. Although I found deeds involving a couple of his sons, the only ones I found for James himself were for his sale of some land in Leeds early on. Now I'll check the deed site you mentioned. (Thanks for the tip!)
I'm curious as to your connection to this family, as I have found only one other person who is descended from them (and she know much less than I do). Jane, the first child of James and Abigail (Hicks) McNeal, was my great-great-grandmother. -- Ed
The Maine State Marriage index does indicate a marriage took place for Solomon and Abigail,later in the month of July. They are saying the record is in Fayette. I will let you know if I find it. Solomon probably went to that area to live for a bit but the families started moving west, several to Oxford County.
Do you happen to to know what Sally Hix( or Hin,) married as his second wife, William Raymond,the grandfather of Solomon Henry ,Jr. I saw thatmarriage record, The H and I are clear to see but the last letter is not distinct. Later entries for others with the last name have the same issue.
I have printed many of these out.from the Wayne Vr, CD they publishers write protected so I can not down load directly and play with elements to enhance the viewing.
"Sally Hix" was Sarah (Sally) (nee Stinchfield), the widow of Zephaniah Hicks, who died in Leeds in 1812. They were married in Winthrop in 1789, lived in Wayne and Leeds, and had eleven children. She was born in New Gloucester in 1770 to Thomas and Sarah (True) Stinchfield and, despite what the history of Leeds says, was still living in 1850, when she was enumerated in her grandson's household. Her first child was Abigail Hicks (b. 1790), who married (Leeds, 1808) James McNeal and whose death in Fayette in 1843 was reported in a newspaper. Sally's two youngest daughters married into the Raymond family in Wayne in 1825: Hannah (1804-after 1860) married William Raymond's grandson, John Raymond (1804-after 1870; brother of Solomon), while Anne (1809-1843) married William's youngest son, Nathan Raymond (1804-1881). (I had been corresponding with a descendant of John and Hannah until he passed away late last year.)
Please let me know if you have further questions.
Thank You for this information. Were you able to locate the original documents? While many town History books are in my collection Leeds is not one. Do you know what newspaper had Abigail McNeal wife of James was reported?
I did locate the marriages of two of The Hix men to Raymond women on the Wayne Records on CD from Picton Press. I was not looking for them all, golly Sally had a lot of children Recently discovered is the pension record of William Raymond, who mentions but not by name, his wife who was very feeble and could not even cook his meals.
The Fayette Town records arrived today. I have not located a family grouping for the McNeal family nor any entry for Abigail's death or marriage.On page 104 under publishments is the record that Solomon Raymond.Jr of Wayne and Miss Abigail McNeal of Fayette July 23, 1836.
My guess is that Abigail and Solomon recorded intentions in Wayne on the 9th and then needed the time to travel to Fayette. Perhaps work or weather caused the several day difference between publishments.
I will give this another run thorough to be sure ,however projections for success are diminishing. I did locate the family group of Nathan Raymond,but not as yet the death of William who was purported to reside with him.
Again thanks for the information and resource hints. Let me know if the original documents here interest you. Regards, Hattie
The death of Mrs. Abigail McNeal, age 52,in Fayette on 12 June 1843 was published in The Maine Farmer on 24 June 1843. I found this in abstracts published by David C. Young and Benjamin Lewis Keene in 1997.
The births of the Hicks children are in the vital records of Leeds, which I viewed on microfilm. So are Abigai;'s marriage to James McNeal and the births of their first five children. Their other children were born in Fayette but were not recorded there.
William Raymond was enumerated in Fayette in the 1840 census as a Revolutionary War veteran. He died in 1841 in Fayette. By the way, the wife described in his pension file was probably his first wife, Elizabeth Wing.
Thanks for the location of the documents, The Cd's of Maine records are costly, but when many relatives are in one place, so much less expensive than a trip to the location, or requesting many records from the town or state.
When you have searched yourself it is easier to be assured the search was complete. Am so happy that now Familysearch .org has Probate and with the deed availability mentioned before. Maine is doing well in allowing access to documents.
Yes, it is likely Elizabeth, as the application was for 1819 and the marriage for 1824.. When I started working on William Raymond, Elizabeth was the only spousal record . I am still fussing with her ancestors as she is mine.
The record of Abigail McNeal with Solomon Henry Raymond ,Jr so soon after marrying my third great grandmother was always a mystery.
Is there and E mail where you can be reached not through this site?
My e-mail address is email@example.com. Feel free to contact me that way.
By the way, William Raymond's exact date of death was 23 April 1841. I found it in a "U.S. Pensioners" database on ancestry.com that showed the payments that were made to him.
Thought you folks might be interested in seeing these two store ledgers from Fayette - they're from JH Underwood's General Store and have many listings of local residents - one of the names we happened to run across is Nathan Raymond in the 1831 book, he may well be in the later ledger as well. Very interesting to see what goods he purchased in the store!
Sorry, no, I don't think Nathan's name is among the photos we shot of the ledgers but I will take a closer look to double check.