My Ancestral Connection to Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

On November 18, 1872, one hundred and forty-two years ago today, Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906), suffragist and women’s rights advocate, was arrested in Rochester, New York for having voted in the U.S. Presidential Election. In a trial held soon after, in which some suspicious and unfair conduct was committed by the judge, she was found guilty and fined $100. She vowed in court, “I shall never pay a dollar of your unjust penalty,” a vow she kept as she never paid the fine. Although she was found guilty, this trial allowed her to reach an even larger audience than she had before, as she went on speaking tours drawing large crowds to hear her speeches on the right of women to vote.

While researching my family history, I discovered that I have an ancestral connection to this historical figure in American history. When I began researching the ancestry of my paternal grandmother, Margaret Ann (Lapham) Kernan (1936-2004), I came across a publication called The Lapham Leader, a genealogical newsletter focused on the Lapham family in America. An article featuring Susan B. Anthony’s Lapham ancestry was featured in one of this publication’s issues. It was at this time that I became aware that Susan B. Anthony and I share an ancestral connection, which is descent from John Lapham (ca. 1635-1710) and his wife Mary Mann (ca. 1640-1712).

The following is a chart that shows the descent of Susan B. Anthony and my paternal grandmother, Margaret (Lapham) Kernan, from John Lapham (ca. 1635-1710) and his wife Mary Mann (ca. 1640-1712):

Susan B. Anthony’s Line: My Grandmother’s Line:
1 John Lapham (ca. 1635-1710) m. Mary Mann (ca. 1640-1712) 1 John Lapham (ca. 1635-1710) m. Mary Mann (ca. 1640-1712)
2 John Lapham (1677-1734) m. Mary Russell (1683-1751) 2 Nicholas Lapham (1689-1758) m. Mercy Arnold (1701-1758)
3 Joshua Lapham (1722-1799) m. Hannah Sherman (1727-1797) 3 Solomon Lapham (1730-1800) m. Sylvia Lapham (1731-1805)
4 Hannah Lapham (1773-1841) m. Humphrey Anthony (1770-1866) 4 Duty Lapham (1772-1846) m. Mary Colwell (1772-1808)
5 Daniel Anthony (1794-1862) m. Lucy Read (1793-1880) 5 Benjamin Lapham (1807-1860) m. Cemantha Broadway (ca. 1813-1846)
6 Susan Brownell Anthony (1820-1906) 6 William B. Lapham (1838-1925) m. Emoline Pauline Reynolds (1844-1886)
7 Horace Irving Lapham (1869-1927) m. Anna Margaret Leishman (1875-1951)
8 Theodore Alexander Lapham (1910-1955) m. Alice Lucretia Wellin (1916-1985)
9 Margaret Ann Lapham (1936-2004) m. William Kernan (LIVING)

Based on the generations of descent from John Lapham (ca. 1635-1710) and his wife Mary Mann (ca. 1640-1712) listed above, my paternal grandmother, Margaret (Lapham) Kernan, and Susan B. Anthony are 4th cousins, 3x removed. This makes Susan B. Anthony my 4th cousin, 5x removed.

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5 thoughts on “My Ancestral Connection to Susan B. Anthony

    1. Yes, I do have a second connection through Sylvia Lapham, and a closer one in fact. Sylvia was the daughter of Thomas Lapham (1705-1779) and Abigail Wilbore (1711-1775). Thomas was the son of John Lapham (1677-1734) and Mary Russell (1683-1751). Thus, Sylvia and Susan’s grandmother, Hannah (Lapham) Anthony, were 1st cousins. From this second connection, my grandmother and Susan are 3rd cousins, 3x removed. I chose the connection that I posted because I wanted to keep it within the main line of my Lapham branch, and Sylvia’s is a branch off that. I do wonder though which is more appropriate to say–that my grandmother and Susan are 3rd cousins, 3x removed or that they are 4th cousins, 3x removed? I suspect the former.

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