Clarissa Pratt Rowe is my 3x great grandmother. She married Jonas Keyes Flint. According to my grandfather’s notes, she was born in Mendon, Vermont. According to the History of Royalton, Vermont : with family genealogies, 1769-1911, Jonas married “Clarissa P., dau. John A. and Mary of Tunb(ridge)”.
Unfortunately, when I first started putting together my family tree a couple years back, I got stuck at this point and moved on to others who were easer to trace. With some new resources now available, I recently gave Clarissa a second look.
Long story short, I pieced together some clues and it eventually led me to Clarissa’s death record. Clarissa’s parents were Joseph Rowe and Laura Carlton. While this contradicts the History of Royalton, there is enough other evidence to support this conclusion. Not only can I not find a John and Mary Rowe in a census, but I can find Joseph, Laura and Clarissa together in the 1850 census. I could also find a widowed Joseph living with Clarrisa in the 1870.
I did have access to the censuses a few years back and obviously, saw the evidence differently back then. One of the things I was hung up with was the birthdate. The census of 1900 says May 1836. This contracts other censuses which have an age, but usually incidate either 1834 or 1835. Normally, give greater weight to the census of 1900 because it has the month and year while all other censuses have just an age. I now believe the census of 1900 to be wrong. Interestingly, the Vermont death record is also wrong. The birthdate was May 11, 1854, the death date was July 19, 1915, yet she was aged 81+ years. I am now accepting May 11, 1834 as Clarrisa’s birthdate.
Now that I am comfortable that Joseph and Laura are Clarissa’s parents, the next step is to trace their parentage. As luck would have it, I found photographs of their headstones on FindAGrave.com. This gave me an approxiate birthdate and death date for both. I then found Laura’s birth record on FamilySearch.org. Her parents were Abraham and Betsy Carlton. I haven’t done any research beyond that, but now have a lead when I am ready.