Monday, July 18, 2011

Only Youngs Once…or Twice

My 3x great-grandmother, Hannah Youngs was married to Joseph Hinds.  She was born in 1780 in Morristown, NJ and married Joseph Hinds there.  I know they moved to NY in the late 1700s or early 1800s, but I can’t seem to locate when either died, but based on the censuses, Hannah must have died between 1850 and 1860 and Joseph between 1860 and 1870.

The Youngs are the first family line with no census information, not including Hannah after her marriage to Joseph Hinds, so I won’t have the luxury of the census to provide confirmation of other sources.  Fortunately, there are church records to establish a base for my research, along with historical records of the early family members.

Hannah’s parents were James Youngs and Ruth Halsey.  James was born around 1752-1754 in Morristown.  Records can be found in documents of the First Presbyterian Church of Morristown, both online and in books at  His father was Reverend David Youngs of the First Presbyterian Church of Brookhaven, but there is a little concern because the records of David’s Presbytery indicate David’s death occurred 1751-1752.  The records of the Morristown church clearly state David is his father, but I’d like to find James’ birth record on Long Island to verify the year.

With David there is some dispute about lineage that I haven’t yet resolved to my satisfaction.  The line possibly traces back through John (1679-1750) who was married to Anna Hallock, through Christopher Youngs (1643-1695) who was married to Mary Budd, to Reverend John Youngs and Mary Warren.  The Reverend John was the first immigrant Youngs arriving in Salem, MA in 1637, moving on to New Haven, CT, and finally founding Southold, Long Island, NY.

On the website for David’s church, it states that David is the grandson of the Reverend John, while at the same time it indicates that is in dispute.  What I’ve uncovered suggests he would be the great-grandson.  Unfortunately, I’ve also uncovered a book (Biographical Sketches of the Graduates of Yale College, Vol. I) through that cites David as the son of John's brother, Judge Benjamin Youngs, and the grandson of Christopher Youngs who was the youngest son of the Reverend John Youngs, the first immigrant.   (Don't even get me started on the other garbage Youngs lineage people have put online.  You know, it's really starting to tick me off when I waste so much time sifting out junk.  Who are these people who don't care if a person is born in one country 20 years after being married in another!?!  But I digress...)  Fortunately, I found Benjamin and a list of his children in a 1908 issue of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.  David was not on the list.  The other Benjamin Youngs alive at the time were the wrong ages to be possibilities for David's father.  I'll continue my search for records, but I'm leaning toward John as the father.

Even if David didn’t get me back to Reverend John, David's wife Bethia will.  Her grandmother was Martha Youngs, daughter of Colonel John Youngs who was the son of the Reverend and his first wife, Joan Herrington.  This line is a little more straightforward. [UPDATE: Or so I thought.  Turns out Bethia is not Martha's granddaughter and so does not lead back to Reverend John]

So, while I still have to work out one knot in the chain, the lineage still ends up in the same place.  In a way I was hoping it wouldn’t.  As unrealistic as it is, I can’t help wanting all my ancestors to be on the “right” side of history and I feel some bit of disappointment when ancestors are discovered to have behaved in ways that I find objectionable.  I have found a long history of tolerance and defense of the disadvantaged in my family research.  I’ve encountered and exception with Reverend John Youngs.  

From the town history page on the Southold town website:
Southolders took pains to ensure that only those with like beliefs would become part of the community. (In 1657, when Quaker Humphrey Norton criticized Rev. Youngs in church, he was fined ten pounds, severely whipped, branded with the letter “H” (for heretic) on one hand and banished from Southold.

What a disappointment from a man who left England, with a large number of his parishioners, seeking religious freedom. 


  1. How did you determine that Bethiah Parshall is NOT Martha's granddaughter. I have her as such as her maternal grandmother. I've also looked at many others' records and fine all this lineage very confusing. I am also a descendant of the Reverend David and have had such a hard time determining his parents, but I agree it seems John, son of Christopher is most likely. But now I'm confused whether this Christopher is the son of the Reverend John or his brother Christopher - both of whom immigrated at the same time.

  2. First question-

    From the above site:
    Both the Parshall and Gardiner genealogies (and others) mis-identify the wife of David Parshall as Mary Gardiner, daughter of David-3 and Martha Youngs.

    The will of David-3 Gardiner, written 11 Oct 1732, says:

    "And further, I do give and bequeath to my daughter Mary Parshall, five shillings."

    This could not be the wife of David Parshall, as the death of Mary, wife of David Parshall, age 40, was reported in the Salmon Records on 21 Apr 1725 seven years before the above will was written. That entry is then followed by the death of David Parshall himself, on 25 Jan 1725/26, age 43. Therefore, David Parshall had no time to remarry a second wife who might have been a daughter of David Gardiner. His only known wife, Mary (__) was dead when the above 1732 will was written by David Parshall.

    However, on 26 May 1726, the Salmon Records reports that Israel Parshall (brother of David Parshall) married (for his second wife) the widow of Gershom Terry, who had died 27 Feb 1725, and who had referred to his wife Mary in his will. Note Gershom and Mary (Gardiner) Terry had a son named David Terry (name of Mary's father). Israel Parshall's first wife, Joanna Swezey, died 22 Feb 1724/25 (SR). Furthermore, Mary, second wife of Israel, was still living in 1637, when Israel Parshall wrote his will - and, thus, was living in 1732, when David Gardiner referred to his daughter "Mary Parshall" in his 1732 will.


    There is little doubt that the previous reports that Mary, daughter of David and Martha (Youngs) Parshall, married David Parshall, are erroneous.

    It is very likely she is the woman who married 1) Gershom Terry about 1710 and 2) Israel Parshall, 26 May 1726. She probably did not have any children with Israel Parshall, although she could have married him just before menopause. She is the matriarch of many Southold descendants who heretofore were not aware of her identity: the descendants of Gershom-3 (Gershom-2, Richard-1) Terry.

    The wife of David Parshall was Mary (___), identity unknown.

  3. Second question- It's not definitive by any means, but what I've found suggests the Christopher who was the father of John Youngs (the John who was husband of Anna Hallock) was Rev. John Young's son, not Rev. John's brother. But the Youngs lineage is far from clear.