167 Years Ago Today

On March 26, 1846, one hundred and sixty-seven years ago today, Duty Lapham (1772-1846), my 5th great grandfather, died in Hamilton, Madison Co., New York. Following his death, he was buried in Smith Valley Cemetery in Lebanon, Madison Co., New York.

Headstone of Duty Lapham
Headstone of Duty Lapham

Duty Lapham was born in about 1772 (some put it as about 1775) in Gloucester, Providence Co., Rhode Island the son of Solomon Lapham (1730-1800) and Sylvia (Lapham) Whipple (1731-1805). Duty was first married to Mary Colwell (1772-1808), with whom he had at least six children, including Benjamin Lapham (1807-1860), my 4th great grandfather; and later to Amanda (Pease) Wheeler (177-1869), with whom he had at least three children. In the History of Madison County, State of New York by L. M. Hammond, Duty is mentioned as “one of Madison County’s pioneer settlers, whose name is honorably and well known from an early period by the inhabitants of Hamilton” (pg 419). He is also identified as being a Deacon of the First Baptist Church of Hamilton, which his headstone notes with the abbreviation “Dea.” above his name.

9 thoughts on “167 Years Ago Today

  1. What a lovely name – Duty. I see he became a leading light of the Baptist Church, but did he come from a Baptist or Quaker family? They tended to go in for those kind of names.

  2. I’m trying to prove that Duty was the son of Solomon. Do you have an idea of when or why he moved to Madison County? I’d appreciate any help.

    1. Hi, thank you for the reply. I cannot be sure of exactly when Solomon moved to Madison Co., New York. Most accounts suggest he may have married his wife in Madison Co., New York, but I have not verified if that is true or not. It is also claimed that all of their children, the first being born in 1797, were born in Madison County. So it appears that 1797 would be a starting point. Why he moved there is unclear. However, it is a fact of history that many people were moving to New York at this time to take advantage of available land. A land deal between Governor George Clinton and the Oneida Indians in 1788 resulted in new land being ceded, which is often referred to as the “Twenty Townships.” Hamilton, which eventually became part of Madison County, was among them; and it is one of the places Solomon and his family are said to have lived. Hope this helps.

  3. Thanks so much for your reply. I’m trying to help a lady join DAR and her line goes through Duty to Solomon, but I can’t find any proof besides family trees. I’m trying to figure out when and where Duty Lapham was born (probably either Dartmouth MA or Rhode Island, but I can’t find a record anyplace) and when and where he and Mary Colwell were married. Duty’s parent’s apparently moved to Rhode Island, from Dartmouth probably in the early 1770’s, about the time Duty was born – does that sound right to you? And it seems Duty and Mary would have been married in either Rhode Island, where I haven’t found a marriage record for them or New York where they died. Mary’s father, Benjamin Colwell died in Onieda County New York. OR I need some type of record stating that Duty is the son of Solomon and his wife Sylvie.

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