The Douglas Archives

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The two Stephen Van Rensselaer Douglases

Stephen Van Rensselaer III (November 1, 1764 – January 26, 1839) was the 10th richest American of all time. If I have the right generation, he was the "Good Patroon" and one of the founders of Stephentown, which was named after himself.

It is of interest, therefore, that two Douglas children were given the name Stephen Van Rensselaer. But what is the connection?

* Stephen Van Rensselaer Douglas b. March 24, 1790, in Albany and who married Caroline H. Whitehead was the 9th child of Wheeler Douglas, son of Asa Douglas, a descendant of William Douglas, b1610, and Martha Rathbone, is my first candidate. I think he died 05 Apr 1867 in Stephentown, Rensselaer, New York.

* Stephen Van Rensselaer Douglass (two ses) was born in 1789 in Whitehall, Washington, New York, USA and died 1855 in Waukegan, Lake, Illinois, USA, is my second candidate. He was the son of John David Douglas, Jr, (one s) born August 11, 1766 in Kingstown, Washington, Rhode Island and died 1854 in Waukegan, Lake, Illinois and Abigail Pearse, born 1764 in New Britain, Columbia, New York, USA. Presumably John David Douglas, Jr's father was also John David Douglas.

Can anyone help with Stephen, born 1789?

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Comment by William Douglas on July 2, 2012 at 23:19

Thank you, Edward.

I think your man is the same as my first SVRD.

William

Comment by Edward Fenner Douglass III on July 2, 2012 at 22:30

Perhaps you have seen this before.  The following is a quotation from Charles Henry James Douglas' tome on the Connecticut Douglases -- essentially the descendants of William Douglas, b. abt 1610.

THIS MAY BE YET ANOTHER STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER DOUGLAS/S!  SORRY TO ADD TO THE CONFUSION.

From C.H.J. Douglas:
STEPHEN VAN RENSSELAER6 DOUGLAS (Wheeler5, Asa4, William3, William2, William1), born in Stephentown, N. Y., March 24, 1790. He was six years old when his father removed to Canada, and settled where the city of Brantford now stands. He married, March 12, 1809, Caroline H., daughter of the Rev.  Thomas Whitehead, a minister of the Wesleyan Methodist church in Canada, and President of the Conference in 1840. All their married life was spent on the farm his father had cleared in the township of Brantford, and within eight miles of Brantford city.

"He was," says one who knew him well, "a man of strict moral character; and although he never united with the church, still he was a regular attendant on the services of the house of God, and always welcomed the ministers to his hospitable home.  His wife was a model mother and noble christian woman, with a strong, retentive memory and well-balanced mind; and by her precepts and practice, trained up their very large family in the paths of righteousness and duty.  They both lived to see their children grown up, and most of them settled in life; lived to see the wilderness removed and the fruitful fields and fine farm houses in the place thereof.  He died April 5, 1867. His wife, Caroline, died Nov. 21, 1875." Children were born in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  END Quote

CHJD reports that he died in Canada, not in Stephentown.

I did not find his gravestone in either Canada or NY on Find-a-Grave.

Ed Douglass

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?


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