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One line of descent from
Robert Comfort, of Newtown, Long Island

It seems reasonable to suppose that the founder of this family, Robert Comfort, who is first attested on Long Island in 1698, had come from England. The name is commonest in the southeast part of that country, where — whatever its origins elsewhere — it probably derives mainly from the hamlet of Comports in the parish of Birling, Kent.[1] However, concerted efforts over the years by various investigators to establish a precise English origin for Robert Comfort have proved futile.[2]

None of Robert Comfort’s known sons remained on Long Island, and as the name did not survive there it was ignored by historians of the area. His presumed sons Robert and Benjamin both went, probably in the late 1730s, to Montgomery Tp., Ulster (now Orange) Co., New York, where their families became firmly established. This place had previously been settled by Palatine families,[3] and three of Benjamin Comfort’s children married therewith, imparting strains of German ancestry to all of his known descendants. His sons John and William married two sisters, Anna and Elisabeth Maul. John was father of John Comfort, Jr., a Loyalist, who went to Digby Co., Nova Scotia, and finally, after returning to the States for some time, settled in Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co., Upper Canada (now Ontario). John’s son Francis was the father of Margaret Comfort.

The following notes owe much to the work of the husband-and-wife team of Cecelia C. and Roland B. Botting, whose magnum opus, Comfort Families of America (1971),[4] which supersedes the account they had previously given of this family in A History of the Kennedy Family, 1st ed. (1957).[5] Prior to this there had been practically nothing on the family in print.[6] Two typescript works, Records of the Comfort Family (1902), commissioned from the professional genealogist Anna H. Cresson by Prof. Howard Comfort, of Haverford College,[7] and the brief but well-executed Comfort Families of Orange County, New York, ca. 1700-1946, by the able genealogist Arthur H. Radasch,[8] both of which the Bottings largely assimilate, do not appear to have received wide circulation, and would surely have remained less well known had they not been cited by the Bottings. Finally, there is a typescript cited by Radasch which the Bottings do not appear to have used and which we also have not seen, namely Elizabeth Horton et al., “John Comfort of Montgomery Town, Ulster (now Orange) County, N.Y., and some of his descendants,” 182 pp., NYG&BS Library. Comfort Families of America covers the family of Robert Comfort in great detail, devoting 510 pages of its text to his descendants; and it will be obvious in what follows that we have often relied upon it, although we have refrained from covering too much of the same ground except where new information was forthcoming. A few publications inaccessible to the Bottings, or appearing since 1970, have furnished additional material.

For church records we have consulted, among others:

  • Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens Co., Long Island, N.Y. (Collections of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, vol. VIII, New York, 1928).
  • Kenneth E. Hasbrouck (comp.), Montgomery Reformed Dutch Church [Records], 2 vols., typescript (New Paltz, New York, n.d.).
  • “[Records of the] Presbyterian Church at Good Will, Orange County, N.Y.,” as serialized in Jane Wethy Foley, Early Settlers of New York State, 9 vols. in 2 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993).

We are indebted to the following persons for information and assistance:

  • Mrs. Irene F. Lawson, of Fredonia, N.Y. (not a Comfort descendant), for information on the descendants of Hannah (Comfort) Patterson
  • Susanne (Embler) Devine, of Tucson, Arizona, for a welcome correction on the Sagar family;
  • The late Pamela J. Sears, a Maul (but not Comfort) descendant, who brought the 1999 Weller genealogy to our attention;
  • Brenda (Bell) Becker, owner of the original of the tintype of Francis Comfort and his wife;
  • Bett Peterson, who brought the existence of the tintype just mentioned to our attention;
  • Jay Crawford, for information on Nancy (Comfort) Crawford;
  • Barb Triphahn, for information on Nancy (Comfort) Crawford.


1. Robert1 Comfort,[9] of Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens Co., Long Island, born say 1665-75, died probably in 1715-22 (during which period his presumed son Robert ceases to be referred to as “junior” in Newtown records). He married ________. Robert Comfort is listed in the census of Newtown taken in August of 1698, which states that there were six members in his household, including himself.[10] As he had not appeared in earlier records, particularly the rate-list of 1683,[11] it seems clear that he was a comparative newcomer to the island. He is rather notably absent from public records, and we have found no mention of the name of his wife.
    The approximate location of Robert Comfort’s land can be guessed at. Although the names in the 1683 rate-list and in the 1698 census do not follow the same sequence as a whole, there are significant clusters in which they appear in the same or at least similar order. In 1698 the names of Robert Comfort, Richard Betts, Richard Scudder, and William Howard (of whom more below) occurs amidst those of John Alburtus, John Scudder, John Denman, Joseph Read, and John Way, and these last five men — or at least (in the case of Scudder and Read) men with the same surnames — are also found together in 1683. Thus they probably represent a real geographical grouping. This hypothesis is supported by a deed of 10 January 1695/6, which reads, in part:

Laid out for Cloas Simonson … eleven draft lots, ten of which he bought of Richard Beats Jr. and one of Richard Scudder. These lots begin at a highway which goes up into the hills on the east side of William Howard’s land, and so are laid out from thence east-westard the name of those men which was [sic] the first owners of them [sic] lots above-mentioned: Richard Beats Sr., Richard Beats Jr., Samuell Fish, John Hart, Thom Petit, Gershom Hasard, Samuell Ketcham, Phelip Ketcham, Nathaniel Petit, John Allin, Thomas Beats….[12]

One of Robert Comfort’s sons married a son of Thomas Betts, corroborating the inference that they were neighbors. A 1686 deed proves that Thomas Betts’s land bordered that of Samuel Scudder and John Denman.[13] The will of John Albertus, of Newtown, dated 4 January 1689, calls John Scudder “my brother-in-law.”[14] In 1699 William Howard purchased land of Francis Way,[15] and in January 1709/10 the will of Richard Betts, Jr., of Newtown, mentions his “lot of meadow in Plunders neck, lying upon the north side of William Howard’s meadow.”[16] In 1715 William Howard and Sarah, widow of the said Richard Betts Jr., were living “on the tract claimed by Flatbush.”[17] This must then have been the area known as New Lots.

    Although no direct evidence seems to exist for the names of any of his children, Robert Comfort is the only known man who could have been the father of the next generation of Comforts on Long Island. The Bottings also collected considerable nearly-contemporary evidence that John, Robert (Jr.), and Benjamin Comfort, below, were brothers; and it is pretty certain that all three named a son Robert. It may be noted that John and Robert both married women from Quaker families.
    Known issue (order inferential):[18]

  1. (possibly) Abigail Comfort,[19] who married 14 February 170_ at North Kingstown, Washington Co., Rhode Island,[20] Thomas North,[21] died ca. 1733. The Bottings, who were apparently the first to suggest this woman was a daughter of Robert Comfort, admit that it is difficult to explain her marriage on Rhode Island if she were originally from Newtown. However, by 1716 she and her husband had removed (or returned) to Newtown, and among their children, who were as many as eleven in number,[22] appear the names Robert and Benjamin, both of which recur repeatedly among the descendants of Robert Comfort. Thus onomastic evidence and her residence at Newtown support the view of a connection with his family. See Comfort Families of America for an account of her issue.
  2. John Comfort,[23] of Falls, Bucks Co., Pennsylvania, probably a farmer, probably born by 1694 as he seems to have been an adult in 1715, died between 20 May 1728 (when he made his will) and 5 June following (when it was proved).[24] John Comfort was a Quaker, and attended meetings on Long Island and in New York City.[25] He left New York shortly before his marriage in 1720 at Falls M.M., to Mary Wilson, born 2 January 1697, died ca. May 1729, daughter of Stephen and Sarah (Baker?) Wilson, of Burlington Co., New Jersey.[26] They had three children. This line is continued in Cresson’s Records of the Comfort Family. Among their descendants was Harry Frederick Comfort Crookshank (1893-1961), 1st (and last) Viscount Crookshank, Leader of the British House of Commons, whose mother, a Comfort from the U.S., married into the British gentry.[27]
  3. Robert Comfort, Jr.,[28] of Montgomery Tp., Ulster (now Orange) Co., N.Y., probably born by 1694 as he seems to have been an adult in 1715, when as “Robert Comfort, Jr.” he is listed as a member of Capt. Daniel Stevenson’s Military Company at Newtown. He is presumably the Robert Comfort who signed the codicil to the will of Henry Wileman, “now resident at Wilemantown, on the Paltz River, in Ulster County,” in 1743.[29] He was certainly alive on 15 August 1745, when his son Richard was born.[30] But the Bottings likely err in suggesting that he was the same Robert Comfort who signed the Articles of Association in Mamakating Tp., Ulster Co., in 1775, some 30 years later. He married 19 October 1722 in Newtown Presbyterian Church, Elizabeth Betts, living 1745, daughter of Thomas Betts by his wife Mercy (Whitehead), who are said to have been Quakers, and a granddaughter of Richard Betts and Joanna Chamberlayne (see nos. 218 & 219 in the Ancestor list for Margaret Comfort).[31] They had nine children. Among their descendants was Will Levington Comfort (1878-1932), the war correspondent and novelist.[32]
  4. 2Benjamin Comfort, probably born by 1695 as he seems to have been an adult in 1716.
  5. (almost certainly) Mary Comfort,[33] probably the “Mrs. Christopher Orsbon [sic!], widow,” buried from the Newtown Presbyterian Church on 10 March 1767.[34] She married 6 November 1728 in Newtown Presbyterian Church,[35] Christopher Osborn,[36] died 14 February 1767, and buried from Newtown Presbyterian Church.[37] No issue of this couple is found in extant baptismal records of the Newtown Presbyterian Church.

2. Benjamin2 Comfort,[38] of Newtown (now Elmhurst), Queens County, L.I., and Montgomery Tp., Ulster (now Orange) Co., N.Y., a tailor, son of Robert Comfort, was probably born by 1694, as he was presumably an adult on 15 January 1715/6, when as “Benjamin Comforth” he was requested to serve as a witness to the division of a salt meadow.[39] In a number of transactions dated between 1727 and 1736 he acquired considerable land at Newtown, the records repeatedly calling him a tailor.[40] But on 23 March 1737 “Benjamin Comfort, the taylor, and his wife Susannah” divested themselves of all of their holdings, namely, “a house, barn, orchard, and 28 acres of land,” for £207, ten acres of “lowe land,” “nine acres at Juniper Swamp,” and “five acres of land and salt meadow.” They moved thereafter, certainly before 1748, with their family up the Hudson River to Montgomery, N.Y., where there was a settlement of Palatines, including the Maul family, into which two of their sons would marry. According to Radasch, “the Comforts settled in the western part of the town [between Montgomery and Crawford] in an area that was later to be known as Comfort’s Hills.”[41] Benjamin Comfort was probably alive in 1756, when his son Benjamin is still designated “junior,” and as noted below he may well have survived his second wife, who died 1770. He married (1) 7 March 1724 in Newtown Presbyterian Church,[42] Elizabeth Haywood, died by 1733, possibly a daughter of William and Abigail (____) Howard, of Newtown, and a sister of Edward Howard, of the same place.[43] The name Haywood, so-spelled, is rare at Newtown, and quite likely it is simply a variant of Howard.[44] As previously noted, William Howard was probably a neighbor; and Elizabeth named a son William. On 6 September 1732 Edward “Haywood” conveyed five acres of salt meadow to “Benjamin Comfort, the taylor.”[45] Benjamin Comfort married (2) by 1733, Susannah ____, who as “Susannah Comfort” joined the Newtown Presbyterian Church in that year;[46] she died shortly before 25 July 1770, when as “Susannah, wife of Benjamin Comfort” she was buried in the Goodwill Presbyterian churchyard, in the town of Montgomery.[47] According to Radasch, “In the cemetery of the Goodwill Presbyterian Church … there was a stone inscribed ‘Susanna, wife of Benjamin Comfort….’ The age was weathered off. This stone was there in 1939, but could not be found in 1954.”[48] David R. Jansen states, “There was a stone (a red sand stone, badly weathered into layers) which reads ‘Susannah, wife of Benjamin Comfort, died July 25, 1770’ (her age was chipped off). This stone was still standing in March of 1939, but it could not be found in 1954.”[49] Radasch notes that since the stone referred to her as “wife” rather than “widow,” she was probably survived by her husband.
    The records of Newtown Presbyterian Church contain the baptisms of three of Benjamin Comfort’s children, but the name of the mother of Susannah (1731) is not given.[50] Radasch makes her “probably” a daughter of the second wife, assuming, apparently, that she was named for her mother; but the correspondence in names may have been coincidental and the matter is undecideable on chronological grounds, so we agree here with the Bottings that the matter “is uncertain.”[51]
    It is possible that in addition to the children listed below he was father of Jacob Comfort (1733?-1806). Radasch suggested this with reservations, but the Botting disagreed, assigning Jacob a different parentage,[52] and it is difficult to see how another child could be accomodated in the sequence.
    Known issue:

(by first wife, Elizabeth Haywood)

  1. 3John Comfort, born say 1725.
  2. William Comfort,[53] born say 1728, died between 14 July 1796 (when he made his will) and 17 August 1798 (when it was proved).[54] He married before 1755, his sister-in-law, Elisabetha Maul, baptized 25 September 1727 in Montgomery Dutch Reformed Church, died 25 July 1770, sister of his brother William’s wife, and daughter of Christoffel Maul, of Montgomery, by his wife Anna Juliana Sergius.[55] They had at least six, and possibly eight, children. He served as a baptismal sponsor for Mathys, son of Susannah (Comfort) Melsbach, on 7 June 1748, and with his wife Elizabeth Comfort he served in the same capacity for Susanna’s son William on 7 July 1754. He was appointed executor of the will of his brother-in-law Peter Millspaugh, below, in 1761. David R. Jansen states that William Comfort appears in lists of residents of the town of Montgomery from 1768 to 1778. He served with his brother John in the Revolutionary War, in the 4th Regiment of Ulster County Militia.[56] He is listed in the 1790 census of Montgomery Tp. In his own will of 1796 he left a farm of 150 acres to be divided between his sons William and Joshua, and mentions other children. His son, the Rev. David C. Comfort (1764/5-1853), was Director of the Princeton Theological Seminary, 1814-1831, and the latter’s son, David Comfort, Jr. (1807-1877), was Director of the seminary in 1860-1861 and 1863-65.

(by first or second wife)

  1. Susannah Comfort, born 14 April 1731, baptized 18 April following in Newtown Presbyterian Church, living 1761. She married before 1748, Peter Melsbach or Millspaugh, born ca. 1725, doubtless in Germany, died v.p. shortly before 13 November 1762, when his will was proved,[57] a son of Matthias Melsbach, of Wallkill, Orange Co., an immigrant from the Palatinate ca. 1734, who mentions his deceased son Peter in his 1769 will.[58] They had eight children, baptized in the Montgomery Dutch Reformed Church, and their sponsors included several of Susannah’s siblings. Among their descendants was Charles Frederick Millspaugh (1854-1923), curator of botany at the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago.[59]
  2. (by second wife, Susannah)

  3. Benjamin Comfort, Jr.,[60] baptized 17 March 1734 in Newtown Presbyterian Church. He and Annetje Weller, who was perhaps his wife, served as baptismal sponsors for Robert, son of Susannah (Comfort) Melsbach, in the Montgomery Dutch Church on May 15, 1756. According to Radasch, the death of a Benjamin Comfort on 2 July 1814 is mentioned in the records of the same church. This death date of 1814 is the one assigned by the Bottings to a different Benjamin (our no. 3.iv), q.v. for a discussion of the question. The Bottings state, “doubtless he was Benjamin [Comfort] who was noted as a freeman, a laborer, in New York City on June 20, 1758,” but they do not cite a source. On grounds which are not entirely clear, they attribute to him an only daughter, Susannah, wife of John Felter or Felten.[61]
  4. Robert Comfort, baptized 21 March 1736 in Newtown Presbyterian Church, of whom nothing further is definitely known. The Bottings suggest that he may have been the Robert Comfort who signed the Articles of Association in Mamakating Tp., Ulster Co., in June 1775. But if this Robert survived childhood, he was seemingly unknown to the Rev. David Comfort, Jr. (grandson of no. 2.ii above), who named only three sons in this family.[62]
  5. (probably) Molly Comfort, who served with Jacob Miller as a baptismal sponsor for Pieter, son of Susannah (Comfort) Melsbach, on 10 October 1761.

3. John3 Comfort,[63] of Montgomery, Ulster (now Orange) co., N.Y., son of Benjamin Comfort and his first wife, Elizabeth Haywood, was born say 1725, and died between 3 November 1794 (when he made his will) and 30 October 1795 (when it was proved).[64] He married in 1750-51, Anna Maul, baptized 17 April 1726 in the Goodwill Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, living 1794, died probably in 1800-10, daughter of Christoffel Maul, of Montgomery, by his wife Anna Juliana Sergius.[65]
    John Comfort’s parentage is suggested by the baptismal sponsorship of his third child; furthermore, he named his eldest son Benjamin (apparently for his father), and he named a daughter Susannah (apparently for either his sister or his step-mother). It is further corroborated in a statement by his grand-nephew, the Rev. David Comfort, Jr. (grandson of no. 2.ii above), that he had brothers William and Benjamin. John Comfort was member of the Goodwill Presbyterian Church, Montgomery, but his wife belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church in the same town (being still single on 24 May 1750, when she was confirmed). As the Bottings note, only their daughters were baptized in her church, while the one son for whom a baptismal record has been found was baptized in his. “John Comfort, Sr.” is listed in the 1790 census of Montgomery Tp. with two males over 16 and two females in his household. Radasch, in an uncharacteristic lapse, suggests that John “married a second time” as his will calls his wife Hannah; but in fact the names Hannah and Anna, as well as the diminutive form Annatje (found in records kept by the Dutch), were all considered interchangable at this period. This will leaves her “the house and farm and farming utensils, household furniture and all other moveable estate” during her widowhood. It mentions (in order) daughters “Rachel, Mary, Sarah, Deborah, and Susannah,” the last unmarried, and left land to each of his “four sons Benjamin, John, Samuel, and Daniel.”
    John Comfort served with his brother William in the Revolutionary War, in the 4th Regiment of Ulster County Militia.[66] The Bottings note that he “probably was, in September 1778, a member of Capt. William Simrall’s Associated Company of Exempts in Col. Hasbrouck’s Regiment, in Hanover Precinct, Ulster Co.” As kindly pointed out to us by Joan Comfort Mapes, he is listed as a qualifying ancestor on the Daughters of the American Revolution website.[67]
    Known issue:

  1. Hannah Comfort, baptized 30 April 1751 in the Montgomery Dutch Church with sponsors Christopher Maul and his wife Anna Juliana Seger [sic]; presumably died s.p. by 1794, as she is the only child not mentioned in her father’s will, which specifically mentions “five daughters.”
  2. Rachel Comfort, born 13 January 1754, baptized 17 March following in the Montgomery Dutch Church, with sponsors Johannis Maul and Maria Catharine Maul. She married 25 January 1781 in the Goodwill Presbyterian Church, Montgomery,[68] James Miller. Their only known child was a daughter, Jemima.
  3. Mary Comfort, baptized 3 February 1756 in the Montgomery Dutch Church, with sponsors Pieter Melsbach and Susannah Comfort; no further record found.
  4. Benjamin Comfort,[69] said by the Bottings to have been born 17 March 1757, apparently the one of this name who died 25 May 1828 in Sullivan Co., N.Y. (according to his tombstone, which gives his age at death as 71 years).[70] He was a corporal in the Revolution, serving with his brothers John and Samuel in the 4th Regiment of the Ulster County Militia. He married (1) 17 December 1780 in the Goodwill Presbyterian Church, Montgomery,[71] Elizabeth Youngblood, born 12 December 1763, died 1802-07, presumably the “widow [recte wife] of Benjamin Comfort” who died 9 May 1805, aged 41 years, 4 months, 27 days, and was buried in the Montgomery Dutch churchyard; she was a sister of her husband’s brother Samuel’s wife, and a daughter of Johann Wilhelm Youngblood (i.e. Jungbloet) by his wife Catharina, daughter of Jacob Buchstaver (i.e. Buchstäber).[72] He married (2) 21 May 1806 in the Shawangunk Dutch Reformed Church, Maria (Young) Lair or Lear, born ca. 1766, died 25 May 1828, widow of Adam Lair. Benjamin and his second wife are buried in the Old Baptist School Cemetery at New Vernon, Sullivan Co. He had nine or ten children by his first marriage and one by his second.[73]
  5. 4 John Comfort, born say 1758-59.
  6. Samuel Comfort,[74] born 1760 (according to his gravestone), died 1802, before 18 August He was a private in the Revolution, serving with his brothers John and Benjamin in the 4th Regiment of the Ulster County Militia. He married before 1785, Anna Maria Youngblood, born 1 May 1762, died 25 August 1847, aged 87 years (according to her gravestone), sister of her husband’s brother Benjamin’s first wife, and daughter of Johann Wilhelm Youngblood (i.e. Jungbloet) by his wife Catharina, daughter of Jacob Buchstaver (i.e. Buchstäber).[75] Both are buried in the Montgomery Dutch churchyard. They had nine children baptized in the Montgomery Dutch Church. Among their descendants was the Rev. E. Nicholas Comfort (1884-1956), a courageous Presbyterian minister and civil libertarian who resisted the KKK.[76]
  7. Sarah Comfort, baptized 2 November 1765 in the Montgomery Dutch Church, died 25 December 1841. She married by 1784, Christian Eichenburg, a disbanded Hessian soldier,[77] and had eight children, for whom see Radasch.
  8. Deborah Comfort, baptized 30 April 1768 in the Montgomery Dutch Church, with sponsors William Comfort and his wife Elizabeth Maul. She married before 1790, Malachi Sagar or Seger, baptized 31 October 1767 in the Montgomery Dutch Church,[78] died before the baptism of his last child in late 1796 or early 1797, son of Melchior Seger (or Seeger), of Montgomery, apparently a Palatine immigrant, by the latter’s wife Elisabeth Sensebach.[79] They baptized four children in the Montgomery Dutch Church (the records of these baptisms giving only the birthdates, not the dates of baptism):[80]
    1. Elizabeth Sagar, born 22 June 1790.
    2. Daniel Sagar, born 1 November 1792.
    3. Ester Sagar, born 27 September 1794.
    4. Malachi Sagar, Jr., born 30. October 1796; recorded as a son of “Deborah Sager, father deceased.”
  9. Daniel Comfort,[81] born 5 May 1771 (according to his gravestone), baptized 9 May following in the Goodwill Presbyterian Church, Montgomery,[82] died 12 September 1854 near Montgomery. He married 9 June 1796 (according to a family bible record), Phoebe Fulton, born 22 or 25 May 1777 in Leith Street, Edinburgh, Scotland, died 16 April 1864 in Orange Co., N.Y., sister of her niece Catharine Comfort’s husband John Fulton, and daughter of James Fulton, of Bethel, Sullivan Co., N.Y., by the latter’s wife Nancy Cunningham, immigrants from Scotland.[83] Both died at Crawford, which was part of Montgomery until it was set off as a separate town in 1823, and they are buried in the Montgomery Dutch churchyard. They had thirteen children, and left a huge progeny. He was grandfather of Walter Rockefeller Comfort (1858-1928), a merchant and philanthropist,[84] whose son, Harold Welsey Comfort (1896-1978) was President of the Borden Company.[85]
  10. Susannah Comfort, born 11 January 1777, baptized 20 December 1777 in the Montgomery Dutch Church, living 1797. She married after 3 November 1794 (the date of her father’s will), but evidently very soon after, her first cousin once removed, Levi Miller, born 26 June 1772, baptized 4 July 1772 in the Hebron Lutheran Church, Montgomery Tp., alive in 1797, son of Johannes Miller and Anna Juliana Weller, and grandson (maternally) of Heinrich Weller and Anna Catharina Maul, daughter of Christoffel Maul and Anna Juliana Sergius. For further discussion of this family see Ralph H. Weller, The Hieronimus Weller Family in America (Alcove, N.Y., 1999), pp. 65-66, from which we have taken some details. Known issue:
    1. John Comfort Miller, born 14 September 1795, and baptized in the Hopewell Presbyterian Church.
    2. Henry Weller Miller, born 17 May 1797, and baptized in the Hopewell Presbyterian Church.

4. John4 Comfort, Jr.,[86] of Annapolis Co., Nova Scotia, later of Montgomery Tp., Orange Co., N.Y., and finally of Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co., Upper Canada (now Ontario), son of John Comfort and Anna Maul, was born say 1758-59,[87] and died Jan. 1830 (?). He married by New York licence dated 13 July 1782,[88] Catharine Harris, born 5 October 1767, baptized 4 November 1767 in the Hopewell Dutch Church, East Fishkill Tp., Dutchess Co., N.Y.,[89] and died 10 August 1846 in Lincoln Co., U.C., daughter of Francis Harris, of Digby, N.S., by the latter’s first wife, Catharina Lent.
    The identification of this man as a son of John Comfort (no. 3) is supported by his naming his eldest son John (apparently for his father), and naming daughters Susannah, Hannah, and Mary (apparently for his sisters). Radasch believed, probably correctly, that he was the John Comfort, Jr., who served in the Revolution in the Ulster Co. Militia, 4th Regiment.[90] Despite this presumed military service in the Revolution he was undoubtedly a loyalist, for at the end of the war, in 1784, he took his family to Nova Scotia; and a traditional account of the voyage, deriving from his great-grandson, FitzHugh Patterson, exists in two different versions.[91] But he remained there only briefly, returning within a few years to New York, where he is listed as “John Comfort, Jr.” in the 1790 census of Montgomery Tp. with a household (including himself) of one male over 16, one male under 16, and 5 females. John Comfort and his wife sold land in Montgomery Tp. in 1798.[92] He is listed in the 1800 census. He was on overseer of highways in Montgomery in 1803.
    In 1812, John Comfort returned to Canada with his wife and seven youngest children, and settled at Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co., U.C., where he spent the remainder of his life.
    Known issue (aside from a son apparently born in 1790-1800 of whom no further record has been found):[93]

  1. Catharine Comfort, plausibly said to have been born 1 April 1783 in Orange Co., N.Y., died 10 February 1832. She remained in the U.S. when her parents came to Canada, and married (as his first wife) 20 January 1807 in the Goodwill Presbyterian Church,[94] John Dean Fulton, born 7 August 1775 at Edinburgh, Scotland, died 20 August 1861 in Bethel Tp., Sullivan Co., N.Y., brother of her uncle Daniel Comfort’s wife Phoebe Fulton, and son of James Fulton, of Bethel, Sullivan Co., N.Y., by the latter’s wife Nancy Cunningham, immigrants from Scotland.[95] She remained in the U.S. when her parents came to Canada for the second time in 1812. The Bottings state that she and her husband “are said to have moved to Virginia,” but this is incorrect. In fact, they went with other members of his family to the Fulton Settlement, Bethel Tp., Sullivan County, New York. They had seven children, who will be treated in Ross W. McCurdy’s forthcoming Harris genealogy. After her death John Fulton married secondly about 1833, ________, and thirdly 3 March 1841 in the Presbyterian Church, Bethel Tp., Sullivan Co., Elizabeth Hanford (1779-1839).
  2. Susannah Comfort, born say 1785,[96] died 16 July 1816 at Montgomery. She remained in the U.S. when her parents came to Canada for the second time in 1812, and married (as his first of six wives) 12 March 1812 in Goodwill Presbyterian Church,[97] Elisha Bodine, of Montgomery, merchant, born 27 November 1790 at Montgomery, died August 1871 at Rushville, Indiana, aged over 80 years, son of Francis Bodine, of Montgomery, by the latter’s wife Hannah Miller or Millard.[98] Elisha Bodine’s subsequent marriages, which have not always been stated in the correct order, were: (2) 25 February 1818 in Campbell Co., Kentucky,[99] to Sally Millspaugh (often incorrectly shown as the first wife), by whom he evidently had no issue as the family bible record shows no children born between 1816 and 1821; (3) 28 June 1821 in Hamilton Co., Ohio,[100] to Mary Stiles (the spelling in the bible record) or Stites (the spelling in their marriage record), born 17 October 1802, died 9 October 1828; (4) to Mary Mitchell, who was alive at the taking of the census on 4 September 1850; (5) 26 May 1860 in Rush Co., Indiana,[101] to Margaretta Conover; and (6) 11 July 1870, also in Rush Co.,[102] Lydia Ann Rowe, whom he is said to have married “a year before his death.” He had further issue by his third and fourth wives.[103] Elisha Bodine, shoe merchant, was enumerated in Ward 7 of Cincinnati, Hamilton, Ohio, in 1850, with wife Mary, aged 56 years, born in Kentucky.[104] Elisha Bodine, shoemaker, was enumerated at Rushville, Rush Co., Indiana, in 1860, with wife Margaretta, aged 56 years, born in New Jersey.[105] Elisha Bodine’s family bible record shows only three children born to him before his second marriage in 1818, and these must therefore have been by Susannah Comfort. All three were baptized in the Montgomery Dutch Church.[106] For further details of them see CFA:
    1. Eliza Catharine Bodine, born 22 or 28 March 1813.[107]
    2. John Comfort Bodine, born 9 September 1814, died 18 February 1846.
    3. Francis Alsworth Bodine (believed to have been male, but baptized as “Frances”), born 26 November 1815, died 1902.
  3. Hannah Comfort, born ca. April 1787, died 14 November 1853, aged 66 years and 7 months (according to her tombstone), and buried in Ballinafad Cemetery, Erin Tp., Wellington Co.,[108] She married by 1817, presumably in Canada, Archibald Patterson, a wheelwright, born ca. February 1784, died 27 October 1864, aged 77 years and 7 months (according to his tombstone), and buried beside his wife in Ballinafad Cemetery; said (somewhat dubiously, in our view) to have been a brother of John I. Patterson below.[109] According to a county history, “The first settler in Erin is said by some authorities to have been Archibald Patterson, who settled on lot 2, concession 8. It is, however, certain that George and Nathaniel Roszel came in November 1820…. The first town meeting [in Erin] was held at the house of Abraham Buck, on the 5th of January, 1824, when Henry Trout was appointed Town Clerk; Henry Trout, Sr., and Archibald Patterson, Assessors, and Philander Hopkins, Collector.”[110] Archibald Patterson appears in the first census of Erin in 1824, and in all of the early censuses and assessments thereafter.[111] The location of his land as stated above is borne out by these records, and the 1839 assessment and 1840 census give his family’s religion as Church of Scotland [i.e. Presbyterian]. Apparently Archibald Patterson’s land passed out of his descendants’ hands, for in 1877 the owners were men by the names of Campbell and Sinclair, who had no known connection with the family.[112] The treatment of children in the early census returns is purely statistical, but Archibald Patterson certainly had enough children of the right ages to account for those whose existence we propose below.[113] Although only the son Comfort Patterson is vouched for in CFA, the evidence for the identities of the other four Patterson children suggested here, while indirect, is we think convincing in its cumulative effect.[114] Known issue:
    1. Catherine Patterson,[115] born probably in 1817, died 1901 (?),[116] married in 1833, Arthur Thompson, born ca. November 1813 in Ireland, died 25 April 1896, aged 82 years and 5 months, and buried in Ballinafad Cemetery.[117] A brief memoir of her husband published in 1906 reads, in part: “He came to Canada in 1820, from Roscommon, Ireland, with his brothers and sisters, leaving his father and mother at home …. While coming over to Canada they were shipwrecked, losing all of their provisions, and were stranded on the banks of Newfoundland. [Arthur Thompson] came to Erin in 1832. He learned the blacksmith’s trade of David Farley, and started business for himself at Ballinafad, in Erin Tp., at the age of 19, being the first blacksmith of the township of Erin. He carried on the trade of blacksmithing for some years, and [afterward] settled on his farm, lot 2, con[c]. 7, of Erin, in 1838 …, and he succeeded in making a good home for himself and [his] family. He was a quiet, unassuming man, and a kind friend and good neighbor, and a man of strict integrity, and a successful farmer. He was a member of the English church, and a Liberal.”[118] Arthur Thompson first appears in the early censuses and assessments of Erin Tp. in 1834. Originally he settled on the west half of lot 2, concession 7, and on a 4-acre patch in the east half of the neighboring lot 1.[119] The 1839 assessment bears out the statement that he belonged to the Church of England.[120] Arthur Thompson is also listed in the 1871 census, in which he is called a farmer and his religion again given as C. of E.[121] In 1891 his household included his daughter-in-law, Mary J. Thompson, widow of their son Comfort, and the latter’s children; the census calls Arthur Thompson Church of England and his wife a Methodist.[122] They left their land to their daughter-in-law, and it appears in her name on a map of 1906.[123] Three of Arthur and Catherine Thompson’ children, John Alfred, Hiram, and Nancy, are buried almost directly beside Catherine’ parents, there being only one intervening grave (and that for someone named Thompson). Arthur Thompson himself is buried two rows over. They had nine children.[124]
    2. Comfort Patterson, born ca. 1820, died 25 July 1881. He married his double first cousin, Eliza Patterson, born 1818, died 25 November 1884, daughter of John I. Patterson and Elizabeth Comfort, below.[125] He and his wife were enumerated in the 1881 census of Grimsby Tp., Lincoln Co., in which he is called a laborer; there were no other members of their household at the time and we do not know whether they had issue.[126]
    3. Jane Patterson,[127] born 15 November 1823 in Erin Tp.,[128] died 19 December 1911, and buried beside her husband in Ballinafad Cemetery,[129] She married by 1850, Jeremiah (“Jerry”) Tryon Kentner, Jr., born 15 September 1824 in Erin Tp.,[130] died 30 May or 1 June 1904 in Esquesing Tp.,[131] aged 79 years, and buried in Ballinafad Cemetery,[132] son of Jeremiah and Elsie/Alice (Buchner) Kentner, of Ballinafad, and formerly of Beamsville, Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co.[133] Jerry Kentner appears in the 1871 census of Erin Tp., in which he is called a farmer, his ethnicity given as Irish (it was in fact doubtless German) and his wife’s as Scottish, and their family’s religion as Baptist.[134] On a map of 1877, he appears as the owner of the east half of lot 2, concession 7, and the north quarter of the east half of lot 3, concession 8.[135] He is also shown as the owner of the nearby west half of lot 32, concession 7 of Esquesing Tp., on another map of the same year.[136] By 1906 both of the lots in Erin had passed out of Kentner hands.[137] McMillan, the township historian, quotes an anecdote regarding Jerry Kentner at an agricultural exhibition of 1852, but as it is of a very trivial character we shall not bother to repeat it here.[138] Jane (Patterson) Kentner and her husband are buried in a row of Ballinafad Cemetery adjacent to that where lie Archibald and Hannah (Comfort) Patterson. Two unnamed “infant children” — perhaps Archibald and John — are buried with them.[139] They had eleven children, all born in Erin Tp.[140]
    4. James H. Patterson,[141] born ca. 1825, living 1871. He married by 1844, Hannah ____, born ca. 1830 in Ireland, of Irish origin, living 1871. James Patterson appears in the 1871 census of Erin, in which he is called a farmer, and his family’s religion given as Canadian Presbyterian.[142] The two infant children of this couple who are buried in Ballinafad Cemetery lie directly beside the family of Jane (Patterson) Kentner above, the names of their parents being given on the stone.[143] Eight children are known.
    5. Mary Patterson, dates unknown. She married 21 October 1845 in the Gore District by the Rev. Luther O. Rice, Wesleyan Methodist Minister,[144] Thomas Thompson, probably a brother of Arthur Thompson above-named. At the time of their marriage both were of Erin Tp. The witnesses were a William Tyler and a William Clark. Her husband is also doubtless the Thomas Thompson who was a witness at the marriage of Elizabeth Kennedy (daughter of William Kennedy of Ballinafad) to Joseph Kentnor, bother of Jeremiah Kentnor above, on 26 May 1846, by the same minister.[145] The circumstantial evidence for Mary Patterson’s parentage is not so strong as for the above children, and unfortunately her husband’s possible affiliation with this family was only discovered after the completion of some very tedious searches of census and other records which we are unlikely ever to have time to repeat. Two infant children of Thomas and Mary (Patterson) Thompson are buried in Ballinafad Cemetery, three rows away from Archibald and Hannah Patterson, and two rows away from Jeremiah and Jane (Patterson) Kentner and the infant children of James H. Patterson.[146] We know of no children who survived infancy.
  4. Elizabeth Catharine (or Catharine Elizabeth?) Comfort, born ca. 1789, died 1859 (?). She married perhaps ca. 1812,[147] John I. Patterson, of Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co., born 1790 in (it is said) Bethlehem Tp. (afterward New Scotland Tp.), N.Y., died (testate) 25 March 1862, son of James and Christina (____) Patterson, of Clinton Tp.[148] This couple had eight children, and were the grandparents of the long-lived William Fitzhugh Patterson (1865-1947), an informant of the Bottings and an important source of information on the Comfort family.
  5. Jane Comfort, born before 1790. She married (as his second wife) 25 October 1814 at Grimsby,[149] Jacob Nelles, born ca. 1775 in Montgomery County, New York, son of Jacob Nellis and Christina Fox. We do not know whether he was the “Jacob Nelles, inkeeper,” who served as a surety for the marriage bond of Catharine Nelles and Hiram Dyer at Grimsby, U.C., on 1 February 1828. The Bottings note that “there may have been issue” but give no names. However, this family is treated in a website based on the book Nellis-Nelles Immigrants from the Palatinate, 1710.[150] Issue:[151]
    1. Robert H. Nelles, born 1816 in Ontario; married by 1839, Laura ____, and had issue.
    2. Edward R. Nelles, born ca. 1819 in Ontario; married Eliza ____, and had issue.
    3. Francis C[omfort?] Nelles, born ca. 1819 in Ontario; married (1) before 1842, Salina ____, and had issue; married (2) 6 February 1866 in the Baptist Church, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, S. Annie Hamilton, without further issue. He is listed in Chicago directories of 1864, 1870, and 1889.
    4. Henry Nelles, born 1828 in New York State; married Catherine ____, without known issue.
    5. Almira Nelles, born ca. 1831. An earlier version of these notes identified her with the Almira Nellis who married 28 February 1849, Richard Van Horne, of Hornesville, Herkimer County, New York, and had issue. However, the 1860 and 1870 censuses agree that Almira, wife of Richard Van Horne, was born in the state of New York, so this statement must be retracted for lack of evidence.
  6. John Harris Comfort, born 29 July 1793 in Montgomery Tp., died 20 March 1850. He married ca. 1816, Mary [Glover? Marlett?], born 1796, died 1 October 1879 in South Norwich Tp., Oxford Co., Ontario, of “natural decay.”[152] He is described as “John H. Comfort, of Clinton, yeoman,” when he served as a bondsman for his younger brother Stephen in 1832; but the same records do not appear to contain any bond for his own marriage. Various maiden surnames have been proposed for his wife, but her death record is unenlightening on the subject, merely calling her Mary Comfort, widow; and the marriages of her children occurred before the registers required the inclusion of the mother’s maiden surname.[153] He and his wife had seven children.
  7. 5Francis Comfort, born 28 August 1800.
  8. Nancy Comfort, born 6 August 1802 in Orange Co., N.Y., died “very suddenly” 4 June 1884. The existence of this daughter, who is completely missed in Comfort Families of America, was brought to our notice, with ample supporting evidence, by a descendant Jay Crawford. She married (1) 25 July 1820, probably at or near Beamsville, Hiram Crawford, died 2 September 1852. She married (2) 8 November 1857, the Rev. Platt Betts, died 29 December 1861, and buried in Liberty Prairie Cemetery Pickett, Winnebago County, Wisconsin.[154] She had issue by her first husband. An unidentified newspaper death notice reads, in part: “Mrs. Betts died very suddenly at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. C. L. Keith, on June 4th, at 11 p.m. She had been unusually well during the day, had been visiting her granddaughter, Mrs. H. A. Brown, and others, and at nine o’clock returned home and in two hours she passed away. Her maiden name was Nancy B. Comfort. She was born in Orange Co., New York, August 6, 1802, and removed to Beamsville Canada, in 1812, and was married to Hiram Crawford July 25th, 1820. In 1846 they removed to Galesburg, Mich., and from thence to Dowagiac, Mich., in 1851. Mr. Crawford, her husband, died September 2d, 1852. After his death she went to Onno [Omro], Wisconsin, where she married Rev. Platt Betts, a Baptist minister, on November 8th, 1857. Mr. Betts died December 29th, 1861, since which time she has lived in Galesburg, mostly with her daughter Mrs. C. L. Keith. She has reared a family of eleven children, nine sons and two daughters. Six of those are now living, one daughter and five sons, all of whom are good, substantial citizens.”
  9. Stephen Comfort, of Clinton Tp., born about 14 March 1804 in Orange Co., N.Y., died 24 March 1891 in Jamestown, N.Y., aged 87 years, 10 days, and buried there in Lakeview Cemetery. He was described as a “yeoman” when he married (1) shortly after 5 March 1832 (date of bond), probably at Grimsby, U.C.,[155] Rhoda Adair, of Clinton Tp., born 1816, died 1836. The sureties for their marriage bond were [his brother] John H. Comfort, of Clinton, yeoman, and Henry Nelles, of Grimsby, merchant. He married (2) ca. 1838, Elizabeth Hager, born ca. 1814, died ca. 1853 at Waukegan, Illinois. He married (3) (as her first husband) ca. 1862, but separated from her ca. 1875, Rebecca Maud Jones, born ca. 1842, died 15 December 1908, daughter of Appleton Perry Jones, and afterward wife of Frank Crawford, of Ogdensburg, N.Y. He had at least fourteen children.
  10. Mary W. Comfort, born 14 December 1804 [?][156] in Orange Co., N.Y., died 5 April 1896. She married by 1842, but separated from him by 1851, Jesse Wickersham, of Clinton Tp., and later of Keokuk, Iowa, born ca. 1834 in Pennsylvania, died before 1893. They had five children.
Nancy (Comfort) (Crawford) Betts
Nancy (Comfort) (Crawford) Betts (1802-1884)
supplied by Jay Crawford
Francis Comfort and Jemima Wilcox
Francis Comfort (1801-1880) and his wife Jemima Wilcox (1801-1876), from a tintype in the possession of Brenda (Bell) Becker. The fact that Francis is missing a hand can be seen in the photograph. (Click for larger image)

5. Francis5 Comfort,[157] of Beamsville, Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co., Ontario, son of John Comfort, Jr., and Catharine Harris, was born 28 August 1800 at Montgomery, N.Y., baptized there 11 January 1801 in Clinton Presbyterian Church,[158] died 18 or 19 June 1880 near Beamsville, and buried in the Clinton Presbyterian Cemetery. He married 20 February 1822, Jemima Wilcox, born 27 December 1801 in Grimsby Tp., died 5 November 1876 near Beamsville, and also buried in Clinton Presbyterian Cemtery, daughter of Daniel Wilcox, of St. Anns, Gainsborough Tp., Lincoln Co., by the latter’s wife Mary McIntyre.[159]
    Francis Comfort’s land was lot 19, Concession VII of Clinton tp., which he purchased in 1836 from his brother John. About 1849 he lost a hand in an accident, and he describes in a letter of June of that year a disappointing trip in search of a mechanical replacement to New York City, where, visiting the shop of a “Mr. Selpos,” he saw a prosthesis which “is a great piece of mechanical skill and looks very natural,” but “found by putting it on it would be of no use to me, only for the looks.”[160] Following the accident he had to retire from farming and became and assessor, tax-collector, and census ennumerator. The census returns made in his handwriting demonstrate his fine chirography. He was well-educated for his time and place, and sent one of his sons to be educated at Johns Hopkins, and another at Western Reserve. Issue:[161]

  1. William Andrew Comfort, M.D., born 6 February 1823, baptized (along with several younger siblings) 24 June 1832 in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died 20 February 1905 at Campden, Ontario. Comfort graduated from Victoria University Medical Department, Coburg, in 1865, but apparently did further studies at Cleveland Medical College, and received his licence to practice medicine in the Province of Ontario in 1878.[162] See CFA for further details of his life and career. He married 2 December 1857 at Niagara Falls, N.Y., Julia A. Strickland, said in CFA to have been born 10 August 1835 at Lee, Massachusetts (but her birth does not appear in the vital records of that town), died 5 November 1911 at Beamsville. According to CFA, she “met Andrew at St. Anns, where she was teaching.” They had two children.
  2. Mary Catharine Comfort, born 29 December 1824, baptized 24 June 1832 in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died 23 February 1890. She married 26 January 1854, George Haney, of St. Anns, but had no natural issue.
  3. Eliza Jane Comfort, born 26 April 1827, baptized 24 June 1832 in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died unmarried in March 1892.
  4. John Harris Comfort, M.D., born 21 August 1829, baptized 24 June 1832 in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died 5 September 1920 at Port Dalhousie, Ontario, aged over 91 years. He graduated from the Victoria University Medical Department, Cobourg, Ontario, in 1862, and began practice as an allopathic physician (i.e. a general practitioner), working first at St. Catherine’s, Ontario, and later at Port Dalhousie, and receiving his provincial licence in 1866. He was a member of the American Medical Association.[163] He married 8 April 1857, Margaret Colloday, born ca. 1828, of Dutch ancestry (according to census records). They had two children.
  5. Daniel Comfort, of Rosewood, Levy co., Florida, born 28 October 1831, baptized 24 June in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died 6 July 1886 at Rosewood. He married 11 March 1863 in Lincoln Co., Ontario,[164] Mercy Louise Corson, born 3 November 1839, died 3 October 1923, daughter of Daniel Corson, apparently of Hamilton, Ontario, by Zelinda Wells, who has been called his second wife.[165] At the time of their marriage, the record of which supplies the names of both parents without giving the mothers’ maiden surnames, the groom was of Grimsby Tp. and the bride of Smithville, Ontario. They had one child.
  6. Margaret Comfort, born 11 December 1833, baptized 4 May 1834 in Clinton Presbyterian Church, died 20 January 1916. She married 23 October 1856, John Kennedy (IV), of St. Anns, born 29 February 1832, died 11 October 1897, son of John Kennedy, of St. Anns, by the latter’s wife Barbara Dean. According to the Bottings, Margaret Comfort worked briefly, about 1852, as a school-teacher at Chatham, Ontario. She and her husband are buried at St. Anns. They were the grandparents of Cecelia (Coon) Botting, compiler of the Comfort genealogy.
  7. Esther Comfort, born 31 July 1836, died unmarried 9 or 19 February 1885, and buried in Clinton Presbyterian Cemetery.
  8. Hannah Maria Comfort, born 25 February 1839, died unmarried 24 October 1915.
  9. Francis Alfred Comfort, M.D., born 22 November 1841 near Beamsville, died 21 January 1915 at Logan, Iowa, of heart disease, and buried there. He graduated from the Department of Medicine and Surgery of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1866, and began practice as an allopath (i.e. general practitioner), receiving state or regional licences in Iowa in 1886 and in New England in 1897.[166] He married 26 September 1847 at Chatham, Ontario,[167] Sarah Reid, born 26 September 1847 near Chatham, of Scottish parentage, died 14 May 1943 at Pawnee City, Nebraska, and buried at Logan, daughter of Robert Reid and Jane Neilson. Their marriage record calls him Alfred Comfort of Spring Lake, Michigan, aged 25 years, and her of Harwich, aged 20 years, and names both their parents; the witnesses were Hugh Neilson, of London, Ontario, and Abie McIntyre of Harwich. They had four children.
  10. Nancy Comfort, born 6 September 1844, died unmarried 6 January 1920, and buried at Logan, Iowa, where she had apparently spend her last years with her brother Francis.
Francis Comfort and Sara Reid
Dr. Francis Comfort, Jr. (1841-1915) and his wife Sarah Reid (1847-1943), with several grandchildren, from a photograph in the possession of Brenda (Bell) Becker. (Click for larger image)


Notes

1W.P.W. Phillimore, “English Ancestry of President Fillmore,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 65 (1911): 87-89; Cecelia C. and Roland B. Botting, Comfort Families of America: A Collection of Genealogical Data (Brookings, South Dakota: the authors, 1971) [hereafter cited as CFA], p. 1; John Cornford, “Tracing A Name: The origins of the Cornford, Comport and Comfort family names,” North West Kent Family History (North West Kent Family History Society), vol. 4, no. 10 (June 1988): 376-84.
2This project was the life work of the late Maurice Edward Comfort (1915-?), of Thorndale, Ontario, profesionally an actuary, who collaborated with the Bottings and corresponded with John Cornford.
3Henry Z. Jones, More Palatime Families: Some immigrants to the Middle Colonies, 1717-1776, and their European Origins (Universal City, California, 1991) [hereafter cited as MPF], p. vii.
4Cecelia C. and Roland B. Botting, Comfort Families of America: A collection of genealogical data (1971) [hereafter cited as CFA]. For some addenda, etc., see Lily Corson, “Corrections, 1824-1980, to Comfort Families of America,” 8 leaves [FHL 1,033,938, item 60].
5Roland and Cecelia Botting, A History of the Kennedy Family [1st ed.] (Hutchinson, Kansas, 1957), pp. 17-22. Subsequent editions of this latter work — renamed The Descendants of John Kennedy — dropped the Comfort material.
6The only earlier reference we can find is in a section on the Comfort family in pp. 75-7 of Sarah M. Fell’s Genealogy of the Fell family in America, descended from Joseph Fell, who settled in Bucks Co., Pa., in 1705 (Philadelphia, 1891), which we have not seen.
7Anna M. Cresson, Records of the Comfort Family, typescript, 178 leaves (Germantown, Pa., 1902) [FHL 517,002, item 1; the location of the original is not indicated on the film or in the Family History Library Catalog].
8Arthur H. Radasch, Comfort families of Orange County, New York, ca. 1700-1946, typescript, 35 leaves, in the collection of the National Library of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Washington, D.C. [FHL 858,851, item 8].
9CFA, 2-4.
10Charles Carol Gardner, “Census of Newtown, Long Island, August, 1698,” The American Genealogist 24 (1948): 133-37, at p. 136.
11“Rate list of Newtown, 1683,” in Documentary History of the State of New-York, ed. E.B. O’Callaghan, 4 vols. (Albany, 1849-51), 2:512-15.
12Town Minutes of Newtown, prepared by the New York City Historical Records Survey Project, 2 vols. (New York, 1940-1941), 2:228; spelling (except for personal names) and punctuation modernized.
13Town Minutes of Newtown, 2:321.
14Will of John Albertus, of Newtown, dated 4 January 1689, abstracted in Long Island Source Records from The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, ed. Henry B. Hoff (Baltimore, 1987), 130.
15Riker’s Newtown, p. 398.
16WNYHS 2:83.
17Riker’s Newtown, pp. 398, 149, 152.
18The evidence for these children is discussed at various places in CFA, especially pp. 2-4, 618-19. In my view, the Bottings’ arguments for the identity of John, Robert, and Benjamin is conclusive, but the evidence for another alleged son, Thomas, is weak and not contemporary (CFA, pp. 4, 524). The Bottings never state explicitly what they believe to have been the birth-order of these children, but the order in which they name the sons John, Robert, and Benjamin seems reasonable, as it corresponds to the respective dates of their marriages.
19CFA, pp. 4, 10.
20The record as published in Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850, ed. James N. Arnold, 21 vols. (Providence, 1891-1912), vol. 5, pt. i, p. 16, reads only: “COMFORT, Abigail, and ________, February 14, 170_.” The Bottings, without explanation, give the date as “Feb. 14, 1709(08?),” which may come from a family record prepared by a grandson, Robert North (1759-1837), which they cite, and which would accord well with the birth of the first child in this family in January of 1710.
21The Bottings take a credulous a view of a supposedly “traditional” account of his parentage. They state that “according to his granddaughter Charity Hardenburgh, he was a grandson and heir of Charles, 5th Lord North, and, at the time of his sudden death, was preparing to go to England to claim the title.” However, the 5th Lord’s only grandchildren were the illegitimate children of his son William, the 6th Lord (who died 1734), and as such were of course barred from the succession, so that the title was inherited by a cousin. In reality, Thomas North was perhaps the “Thomas [son] of John North” whose birth is listed in the town records of North Kingstown, R.I., the date being torn away (Vital Records of Rhode Island, vol. 5, pt. i, p. 89).
22Five children — Jeremiah, Susan, two unnamed sons and an unnamed daughter — are listed in the North Kingstown town records, but the years are all torn away (Vital Records of Rhode Island, vol. 5, pt. i, p. 89). To the Bottings’ account of this family, we may add that the daughter Dinah North must surely have been the one of this name who married 19 February 1733/4 in St. George’s Church, Hempstead, Gilbert Woolly [New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (hereafter NYGBR) 12 (1881):79], but this couple does not appear to have baptized any children there. One wonders if her husband may have been a brother of the Elizabeth Woolley who married 12 11th month [i.e. January] 1720/1 at Flushing, John Field (recorded in minutes of New York M.M.; see Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 3:119), and subsequently named a son Gilbert; see George E. McCracken, “The Fields of Flushing, Long Island,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 113 (1959): 197-216, 267-89, at p. 282. This Elizabeth Woolley, according to her marriage record, was a daughter of John Woolley, of Shrewsbury, N.J.
23CFA, p. 14.
24Hunterdon County Original Wills, 1721-1728, transcribed in full with accompanying inventory in Cresson, op. cit., pp. 3-9.
25Encyclopedia of American Quaker Genealogy, 3:82, and records quoted in Cresson’s typescript.
26Stephen Wilson, of Hopewell, in his will, dated 26 March 1707 and proved 19 May 1708, mentions wife Sarah and daughter Mary, and appoints as one of the executors Samuel Baker, who is called (at least in a modern abstract) his “brother-in-law” (Calendar of New Jersey Wills, 1:515). The Bottings give his wife’s name as Sarah Baker, but it should be noted that the will would only support such a view if the original, which we have not seen, explicitly calls Samuel Baker “my wife’s brother.”
27For Viscount Crookshank see Obituaries from the Times, 1961-1970, Who Was Who, 1961-1970, and the Dictionary of National Biography, 1961-1970 supplement. His father, Harry Maule Crookshank (1849-1914), a civil servant — who was not in any way connected with the Maul family mentioned elsewhere in this page — is listed in Who Was Who, 1897-1916, and in Burke’s Landed Gentry, 18th ed., 2:123. His maternal grandfather, Maj. Samuel Comfort (1837-1923), was U.S. Consul in India (see National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 9:418-19, and CFA, p. 19).
28CFA, p. 98; he is mentioned only briefly by Radasch, p. 2. The late Maurice Comfort, in a submission to the LDS Family Registery (record no. 14292), gave this man’s birthdate as 1698, but we know of no evidence for such as statement.
29WNYHS 4:42.
30CFA, p. 171.
31Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown, p. 31. This marriage is noted in Riker, Annals of Newtown, 375. Her father, Thomas Betts, of Newtown, mentions in his 1709 will (abstracted in NYGBR 65:249-50, reprinted in Long Island Source Records, pp. 138-9) an unmarried daughter Elizabeth. He also names his “father” Richard Betts. On Mercy Whitehead — called, apparently by mistake, Mary in the printed abstract of her husband’s will — see C.B. Curtis, “Daniel Whitehead and some of his descendants,” NYGBR 33 (1902): 101-5, at p. 102, reprinted in Genealogies of Long Island Families, 2:671-75.
32See Dictionary of American Biography, suppl. 1; National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 16:214; and CFA, p. 253.
33CFA, pp. 3-4.
34Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown, p. 53.
35Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown, p. 32.
36A William Osborne is attested at Hempstead, L.I., in 1667 [NYGBR 71 (1940): 5, citing Hempstead Town Records 1:248] and in 1673 [DHNY 1:658]. He was perhaps the same as the William Osborne of Gravesend who made his will in 1682, mentioning a son William (WNYHS 1:469-70); and a little later, in 2686 a William Osborne was among the patentees of Newtown (K.Co. 220), where he is mentioned several times in land records. But it seems impossible to construct any connected pedigree of this family, and no other mention of a Christopher Osborne has been found.
37Records of the Presbyterian Church, Newtown, p. 53.
38Radasch, pp. 1-3; CFA, pp. 260, 522 (for his second marriage).
39Will of Edward Hunt, of Newtown, dated “January 15, 1715/16,” abstract in WNYHS, 2:170-1, and (a better one) in NYGBR 65 (1934): 322, reprinted in Long Island Source Records, p. 143.
40David R. Jansen’s webpage Benjamin Comfort of Newtown, Long Island, NY, in the version archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20011213135042/ http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/3265/comfort.html, reproduces the texts of these transactions from extracts made by Cecelia Botting and deposited in the library of the Orange County Genealogical Society, from William O. Gorman’s Newtown Records: Edited for The Newtown Register, 2 vols. (Jamaica, New York: Queens Borough Public Library, 1934), to which we have not had access. These extracts were not included in CFA.
41Radasch, p. 3; S.W. Eager, An Outline History of Orange County (1846-47), 234-35, 274.
42NYGBR 56 (1925): 80; reprinted in Records of the Presbyterian Church of Newtown, p. 31.
43The family of William Howard and his wife Abigail is treated in Riker’s Newtown, pp. 398-401, which assigns them children Joseph, Edward, Abigail, and Hannah. This however fails to account for the seven members of William Howard’s household in 1698.
44There are no other references to an Elizabeth Haywood in the records of the Newtown Presbyterian Church. A “William Heyward” is mentioned as the underage ward of John Larrison, Sr., of Newtown, in the latter’s will dated 5 December 1670 (WNYHS, 1:14), and the 1723 will of Jonathan Fish, of Newtown, appoints his “friend” Thomas Hayward as one of his executors (WNYHS 2:281-2).
45David R. Jansen, op. cit.
46NYGBR 55 (1924): 163; reprinted in Records of the Presbyterian Church of Newtown, p. 2.
47“Burials at the Good Will Church,” in Jane Wethy Foley, Early Settlers of New York State, 9 vols. in 2 (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1993), 1:378.
48Radasch, p. 1, citing Elizabeth Horton et al., “John Comfort of Montgomery Town, Ulster (now Orange) County, N.Y., and some of his descendants” (1956-1960), MS in NYG&BS library.
49David R. Jansen, op. cit.
50NYGBR 55 (1924): 281; 57 (1926): 167; reprinted in Records of the Presbyterian Church of Newtown, p. 7.
51Radasch, p. 3; CFA, p. 514. We may note here our opinion that while it was very common during this period for men to name the first daughter of a second wife for the deceased first wife, it was unusual to name the eldest children of any marriage for the parents until the names of the grandparents and other favored relatives had been exhausted, which, as less than a decade had then passed since Benjamin’s first marriage, is unlikely to have been the case here; thus in the absence of better knowledge of the families concerned, the coincidence to which we have referred in the text would appear to have little evidential value.
52Radasch, p. 10; CFA, p. 101. However, the Bottings adduce no reason for adjusting this man’s birthdate to ca. 1726, which is in contradiction to primary sources cited by Radasch.
53See generally Radasch, p.8; CFA, p. 456.
54Orange Co. Probate Records, B:52, cited by Radasch, p. 6, and printed in full in CFA, pp. 622-23.
55Jones, The Palatine Families of New York, 1:605.
56Radasch, p. 8, citing New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, p. 264.
57WNYHS 6:405; Fernow Wills, no. 1140.
58WNYHS 7:344; Fernow Wills no. 1161. Further information on Matthias Melsbach will be found in Henry Z. Jones, More Palatine Families, 180; in Cuyler Reynolds, Genealogical and Family History of Southern New York, 1:307; and in the obituary of Edward Judson Millspaugh, a descendant of Peter, in New England Historical and Genealogical Register 77 (1923): xciv-xcv. The Bottings refer to Francis Corwin Millspaugh, The Millspaugh-Milspaw Family (Swanscott, Massachusetts, 1959), 312 pp., which we have not seen.
59For Millspaugh see the Dictionary of American Biography and the National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, 25:120-21.
60Radasch, p. 4; CFA, p. 522 (his name is missing from the index).
61They say “David Comfort II (p. __) stated that Benjamin had a dau. who married a Felter,” leaving the page reference blank. They probably meant the Rev. David Comfort on p. 484, since on p. 260 there is mentioned (but not described) a family record prepared by this man.
62CFA, p. 260.
63Radasch, pp. 5-6; CFA, pp. 260-61.
64Ulster County Will Book, B:233, as cited by Radasch, p. 6. This will is printed in full in CFA, pp. 619-20.
65Jones, The Palatine Families of New York, 1:605.
66Radasch, p. 8, citing New York in the Revolution as Colony and State, p. 264.
67The entry for him is as follows:
COMFORT  JOHN                                  Ancestor # A024717
Service:  NEW YORK           Rank:  PRIVATE
Birth:  1725   NEWTON, QUEENS CO  NEW YORK
Death:  10-17905  MONTGOMERY ORANGE CO NEW YORKI
Service Source:  ROBERTS, NY IN THE REV, P 161, 163
Service Description:  1) COL JOHN HATHORN, 4TH REGT, ORANGE CO MILITIA
Residence:  MONTGOMERY - ORANGE CO - NEW YORK
Spouse:  ANNATJE MOULD
There are also a number of references to the name of Comfort in the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine, which we have not seen, and Abstracts of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, ed. Patricia Law Hatcher (Dallas: Heritage Press, 1987), vol. 1, lists, without a date of death, a “John Comfort, Old Brick Church Cemetery, Montgomery, N.Y.”
68Foley, Early Settlers of New York State, 1:362.
69Radasch, p. 14; CFA, pp. 261 (where however he is misplaced as his parents’ second child) and 328 (for his second marriage).
70Radasch, p. 14, noting that “the authors of the manuscript on John Comfort of Montgomery [by Elizabeth Horton et al.] incorrectly concluded that this Benjamin was the one who died July 2, 1814.” The Bottings evidently overlooked this correction, and repeat the date of 1814 without comment. Even though they state that the present Benjamin “moved to Sullivan Co. and died there; his will was probate 1815 at Monticello, Sullivan Co.,” it appears that they are confusing him with his uncle Benjamin Comfort (no. 2.iv); but we have not personally examined the sources and cannot be absolutely certain of this. If Radasch’s identification is correct, he should appear in census records of date later than 1810.
71Foley, Early Settlers of New York State, 1:348.
72This identification is from Radasch, p. 14. For her parents, see Jones, More Palatine Families, pp. 134, 41.
73CFA misses the last child, Elizabeth, born 24 May 1807 (Radasch, p. 15).
74Radasch, p. 8; CFA, p. 383.
75For her parents see Jones, More Palatine Families, pp. 134, 41.
76CFA, p. 407; Bob Cottrell, “The Social Gospel of Nicholas Comfort,” Chronicles of Oklahoma 6 (1983-84): 386-413.
77Henry Z. Jones & Lewis Bunker Rohrbach, Even More Palatine Families, 3 vols. (Rockport, Maine: Picton Press, 2002), 1:131. There is a rather garbled account of this family in Portrait and Biographical Record of Orange County, New York, containing portraits and biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens of the country (New York, 1895), 802-3, which spells the name Eisenberg and confuses Christian with his brother Johannes, who married Charity (Rockafeller) Johnson, widow of Uriah Johnson.
78And not in 1741 (the birthdate of his father), as incorrectly reported in an earlier version of these notes. We are grateful to Sue Devine for bringing this point to our attention.
79David R. Jansen, Malachi Sager (Seeger) and Deborah Comfort, apparently now available online only in the version archived at http://web.archive.org/web/20000309144511/ http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Acres/3265/comfort_deb.html; Jones & Rohrbach, Even More Palatine Families, cited above, 2:650. Melchior Seeger, the father, was born in or about 1741 in Germany.
80Radasch, p. 7. CFA, p. 412, inexplicably misses their fourth child, Malachi (Jr.).
81Radasch, p. 17; CFA, p. 412.
82Foley, Early Settlers of New York State, 1:393.
83Roberta Fulton Hirth, [Descendants of James Fulton and Mary Montgomery], available online at http://www.frontiernet.net/~elisa96/hirth/wwdes2.htm.
84See Who Was Who in America, vol. 4; National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 26:169.
85See Fortune magazine, vol. 53, no. _ (April 1956), 128-9 (with portrait).
86Radasch, p. 11 (where however the record of his issue is brief and flawed); CFA, 328-31. The Bottings’ earlier account in Descendants of John Kennedy [1st ed.] (1957), 17-22, contains some serious confusions, especially in the last two pages, in which three of his wife’s siblings are mistakenly made members of the Comfort family. A rather sketchy account of John Comfort and his offspring was given in R. Janet Powell, Annals of the Forty 4 (1953): 25-28, with significant addenda in vol. 9 (1958), p. 90; we have not seen the second edition of that work.
87As noted by the Bottings, he is listed as aged “45 or over” in the 1800 census, which if correct would place his birth before 1756; and there is an available space in the sequence of his parents’ older children around August 1752. However, this placement would contradict the order of the sons as given in his father’s will, and would also make our subject some 15 years older than his wife. Radasch estimated his birthdate as “about 1758,” and we are inclined to agree.
88NYM 80.
89The dates of her birth and baptism are found in the Hopewell Dutch Church Records [FHL 533,470, items 3-8], also First Reformed Church, Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York [and] First Reformed Church, Hopewell, Dutchess County, New York, ed. Jean D. Worden (1981), p. 171. The version of this record printed in NYGBR 84:145 omits the birthdate.
90Radasch, p. 11, citing New York in the Revolution as Colony and State (Albany, 1898), p. 200.
91Annals of the Forty, 4:25-6; CFA, 621.
92Radasch, loc. cit., citing Orange County Land Records, liber F, folio 412.
93See CFA, 331-82, for their descendants. We have been able to refine slightly the ordering of their children. The existence of a son for whom we have failed to account (and who therefore probably died young) is indicated by the censuses of 1790 and 1800.
94Foley, op. cit., 1:348.
95Roberta Fulton Hirth, [Descendants of James Fulton and Mary Montgomery], available online at http://www.frontiernet.net/~elisa96/hirth/wwdes2.htm.
96Her father is shown in a Digby Muster Roll of May 1784 as having only one child, which must have been her older sister Catharine.
97Foley, op. cit., 1:348.
98Dave Bodine, Dave’s Bodine Genealogy Web Site, available online at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bodine/, especially Elisha Bodine Family Bible at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~bodine/b15109eb.htm; Denise Roberts Oliver-Velez, Bodines of Ulster and Orange Counties, New York, available online at http://www.wemba-music.org/Bodines%20of%20Ulster%20and%20Orange%20County.htm.
99Ancestry.com’s Northern Kentucky Marriages, 1795-1850, which notes that the bondsman was William Milspaugh, of Campbell Co. The slightly earlier date of 3 February 1818 given in Campbell County, Kentucky, court records, copied by the Rebecca Bryan Boone Chapter of the DAR, available online as Campbell County Marriages, 1816-1825, probably represents the date of the bond. The marriage is assigned to this earlier date in The Millspaugh (Millspaw) family in America, p. 220.
100See the certificate reproduced in facsimile on the webpage of Denise Roberts Oliver-Velez aforesaid; the date is also given in the family bible record.
101Ruth M. Slevin (comp.), Index to Marriage Records Indiana [1845-1920] (Indiana, Indiana Works Progress Administration, 1938-1940).
102Index to Marriage Records Indiana [1845-1920], as cited above.
103The family bible record gives the names of Elisha Bodine’s younger children as:
  1. Eliza Catharine Bodine, born 28 March 1813.
  2. John Comfort Bodine, born 9 September 1814, died 18 February 1846.
  3. Francis Alsworth Bodine, born 26 November 1815, died 1902.
  4. Benjamin Bodine, born 10 June 1822, died 29 February 1904.
  5. V[irgil] B. Bodine, born 14 November 1826.
  6. Calvin Bodine, born 18 March 1830, died 4 September 1831.
  7. Lucetta Bodine, born 12 October 1832.
  8. Jeremiah Bodine, born 4 December 1835.
1041850 U.S. Federal Census, Ohio, Hamilton Co., Cincinnati, Ward 7, p. 441; roll M432_689.
1051860 U.S. Federal Census, Indiana, Rush Co., Rushville, p. 514; roll M653_294.
106Hasbrouck, Montgomery Reformed Dutch Church [Records], vol. 2, pp. 11, 16, 19.
107The family bible gives the date as 28 March, while the church records give the date as 28 March.
108Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County [Transcriptions] (Kitchener, Ontario: Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1986), pp. 37, 38, for her and her husband’s tombstones.
109Thus CFA, p. 343, but the will of the latter’s father, cited below, makes no mention of Archibald.
110Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington (1906), p. 5.
111Early censuses and assessments of Erin Tp., Gore District, 1824 to 1840, all on PAC microfilm no. M-7746.
112Map in Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington 77, p. 82.
113He had a son born in 1825-6, which perfectly agrees with the known birthdate of his son James. We know that his household lost a minor daughter in 1830-32: whether to death or departure we cannot say. The loss of a daughter under 16 between 1833 and 1834 probably represents the marriage of his known daughter Catherine (who seems to have married at about the earliest age legally possible). This left two surviving daughters, of whom one turned 16 in 1834-39 and the other in 1839-40, which would seem to fit the suggested daughters Jane and Mary. The son who was a minor in 1834 and left by 1839 could well be his son Comfort, and the one son remaining with him in 1840 (who had reportedly just turned 16 during the previous year) could have been the James whom we propose. We may thus have been able to account below for all his children who reached adulthood, with the possible exception of a boy born in 1839-40 (perhaps not his own son), to whose identity we have discovered no clue.
114And was accepted as such by the Bottings when we shared our findings with them in 1992. First, as there were, besides Archibald Patterson, no other early settlers of Erin with this surname who appear as heads of families in the early censuses, we should be forced to presume that if the children below were not his, they somehow found their way to Erin unaccompanied by parents. Then there is the fact that every proposed child mentioned here had a burial plot in one of three adjacent rows of the small cemetery at Ballinafad, one of which includes the grave of Archibald and Hannah Patterson (James Patterson and Mary Patterson Thompson are not actually buried in their plots, but some of their children are). Finally there is for three of the proposed children additional onomastic evidence, to be cited below.
115There can be no reasonable doubt respecting her parentage. She named two of her children Archibald and Hannah, and gave the middle name Comfort to her youngest son John. The name Comfort also reappears in the next generation among the children of her eldest son Joseph.
116According to Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, which, however, says that she was then aged 79 years, implying a birthdate no later than 1822, which contradicts census records and gives an impossible age for her at marriage. She does not appear to be buried with her husband. We can only say for certain that she was alive in 1891, when she appears in the census of that year.
117Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 40. The names of his parents are unknown, but he was perhaps a younger brother to James Thompson (1800-1845), of Erin Tp., of whom there is a brief memoir in Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, pp. 65-6, stating that “He came to Canada via Quebec in 1820, and was eight weeks and four days in crossing.”
118Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, p. 65. We have rearranged the sentences of this memoir, which is very disorganized.
119He is still shown as the owner of the west half og lot 2 on a map of 1877 (Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington 77, p. 82).
120Censuses and assessments of Erin Tp., 1824-1840, as above.
1211871 census of Erin Tp., district 2, p. 36.
1221891 census of Erin Tp., Div. 4, p. 18.
123Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, pl. XXVI.
124The list in Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington omits a fourth child, Nancy, born ca. 9 April 1843, died 13 April following, aged 9 days, and buried with her brother Alfred in Ballinafad Cemetery (Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 37).
125CFA, p. 333.
1261881 Census of Canada, Ontario, Lincoln Co., Grimsby Tp., district 145, subdistrict I, p. 18; PAC microfilm no. C-13255 [Family History Library microfilm no. 1,375,891].
127The placement of her in this family is supported by the fact that she named her first two children Hannah and Archibald.
128Information from Irene Lawson, of Fredonia, N.Y.
129Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 39.
130Information from Irene Lawson.
131His tombstone says 1 June, but Irene Lawson’s records give the date as 30 May.
132Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 39.
133Jeremiah (“Jere”) Tryon Kentner (1779-1867), whose middle name has sometimes been misspelt Tyron, was born at Middletown, Connecticut, a son of John Peter Kentner (ca. 1750/57-1836) and Mary Tryon (1745-1825), who were married there on 2 June 1774 (information from Irene Lawson; Middleton VR; W.M. Tryon, The Tryon Family in America [Wheaton, Maryland: privately printed, 1969], p. 47). Jeremiah and his first wife Elsie/Alice Buchner (1780-1858), who settled in 1826-7 on the east half of lot 2, concession 7, are buried in Ballinafad Cemetery (see Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 45). The marriage record of “Jerry Tyron [sic] Kentner” and “Elsey Boughner” on 19 May 1801 in the Niagara District is quoted in William Yeager & Orrena Buchner Hanley, Sources in Buchner-Boughner Genealogy, Norfolk Historical Society Research Paper No. 7 (Simcoe, Ontario: NHS, 1977), p. 185. Her tombstone calls her Alice, but the birthdate given thereon agrees with the birthdate of “ca. 1779” known for Elsie Buchner, who was a daughter of Christopher Buchner (1744-1810), of Beamsville, from Sussex Co., New Jersey, by his wife Mary ____ (Ibid., p. 182), and she has been generally accepted as such. Kentner’s second marriage, in 1858, was to Charlotte, daughter of John and Ann (____) Sutton, of Georgetown, Esquesing Tp. (County Marriage Registers of Ontario — Wellington, 1:14).
1341871 census of Erin Tp., as cited above, district 2, pp. 54-5.
135Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington 77, p. 82, which calls him simply “J. Kentner,” and information from Irene Lawson.
136Illustrated Historical Atlas of the County of Halton (1877), p. 9; and information from Irene Lawson.
137Historical Atlas of the County of Wellington, pl. XXVI.
138C.J. McMillan, Early History of the Township of Erin (1921), p. 54.
139Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 39.
140Irene Lawson, in 1992, had traced over a hundred descendants.
141We have indicated in a previous note how his birthdate fits that of a known son of Archibald and Hannah (____) Patterson. This identification is supported by his naming of a daughter Hannah.
1421871 census of Erin Tp., district 2, pp. 59-60.
143Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 39.
144“Gore District Marriage Register” [part 5], Ontario Register 8 (1990): 41-62, at p. 44.
145“Gore District Marriage Register,” loc. cit.
146Twelve Small Cemeteries in Erin Township, Wellington County, p. 41.
147The Bottings (CFA, p. 332) cite no evidence for this date, but they are doubtless right in disputing the unlikely tradition, recorded in Annals of the Forty, 4:26, that this woman was only 14 years of age at the time of her marriage.
148Celia Ann Roberts, “Some Patterson Abstracts for Lincoln County,” Families (Ontario Genealogical Society), 18, (1979): 222-23. The author abstracts the will of James Patterson, from Clinton Will Book B, p. 217, no. 12945, proved 21 October 1863.
149This marriage is mentioned not only in CFA but in William Yeager, Marriages of non-Norfold residents by Norfolk County miisters, 1830-1870 (Simcoe, Ontario: Norfolk Historical Society, 1981), p. 92, which we known only from an index reference.
150Nellis and Nelles Family Associations, Nellis-Nelles Immigrants from the Palatinate, 1710 (Herkimer, New York, 1997-2004), 2 vols.
151This listing is taken from http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nelliswebsite/. We are grateful to Sandy Nellis Lane for bringing the site to our attention.
152Oxford County death registrations, 1879, no. 010860.
153Probably the latest marriage entered into by any of her children was the second marriage, in 1889, of her son Hiram [Elgin County marriage registrations, 1889, no. 002943]; unfortunately the parents are identified only as J.H. and Mary Comfort.
154https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/92780396.
155Marriage Bonds of Ontario, 1803-1834, ed. Thomas B. Wilson (Lamberville, N.J., 1985), p. 220.
156This is the date given by the Bottings, but it will be noticed that it is very close to that given for her elder brother Stephen.
157CFA, p. 344. For earlier accounts see Descendants of John Kennedy [1st ed.] (1957), 18-21, and Annals of the Forty, 9 (1958): 90.
158Foley, op. cit., 1:410.
159Cecelia and Roland Botting, Wilcoxes and McIntyres of Lincoln County, s.l., n.d., p. 13.
160The Bottings included only a brief extract from this letter in CFA (p. 622), but printed it in full in Copper State Bulletin (Arizona State Genealogical Society), vol. 9, no. 3 (1973?), pp. 75-6.
161See CFA 344-58 for a full account of their progeny, which apart from that through their daughter Margaret (Comfort) Kennedy does not appear to have been very extensive. They were not the parents of the Benjamin Franklin Comfort, said to have been born 1821 (i.e. a year before their marriage!), who married Elizabeth Roadhouse, as stated in Clarence & Sallie Gargis, Our Family Genealogy, at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Lake/1593/fam01226.htm. For the true parentage of this Benjamin Franklin Comfort, whose birthdate may in fact have been even earlier, see CFA, p. 149.
162The History of the County of Welland, Ontario: its past and present… (Welland, 1887), p. 165; Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968, at FamilySearch.
163Arthur W. Hafner, Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929, 2 vols. (Chicago, 1993), citing J.H. Comfort’s obituary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 75 (1920):953, which we have not seen; also Deceased Physician File (AMA), 1864-1968, at FamilySearch.
164Ontario Marriage Index, which erroneously transcribes the bride’s surname as Crown.
165Although her marriage record does not supply her mother’s surname, the given name Zelinda is so rare that secondary literature mentioning her was easily located. Daniel Wells, then of Malahide Tp., married 10 October 1832 by a minister of the Calvinist Baptist Church, Zelinda Wells. See Early London District Marriages, transcribed by Bill Martin, available online at http://my.tbaytel.net/bmartin/london_m.htm.
166Hafner, Directory of Deceased American Physicians, 1804-1929, citing F.A. Comfort’s obituary in the Journal of the American Medical Association, 64 (1915):682, which we have not seen.
167Since the Bottings conducted their work, these records have been serialized in the Ontario Register, where the present marriage is given in vol. 6 (1982):113-18, at p. 114. These records were subsequently published in collected form by Marily E. Wild, Early Chatham Presbyterian Marriages, 1848-1869 (Chatham: Kent County Ontario Genealogical Society, 1987), where this marriage is given on p. 6.


Some Sites of Related Interest

From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/ff/Comfort-Robert.cfm
This page first appeared 16 June 2002
Last revised 25 November 2017