Christopher Watrous
Ledger Book
Durham
February 3, 1812


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Contributed by Susan Wellington
The above pages are a selection from the account book. A copy of the account book (48 pages) is on file on CD ROM at the Vedder Library.


CHRISTOPHER WATROUS (from Chris Burningham cburni@xmission.com) 

The Barbour Collection shows: - Watrous, Christopher, son of Gershom and Mehetable b. Dec 17, 1782 Lyme Vital Records Vol. 1 Pg 162 

Christopher Watrous married Lucy Sears, daughter of Isaac Sears; 24 Sept 1804 in East Hampton, CT. Christopher and Lucy had five children: Phineas, Sears, Betsey Caroline, Harriet and William. 

The family legend/story about Christopher and Lucy drowning in the Hudson River is not accurate, herein are the more accurate details: Source- Beers, History of Greene County, 1886, J.B. Beers Publishing Company FHL US Film #0908908.

 The Katskill Creek....

 "The Katskill Creek is a very rapid stream in time of high water, and much difficulty has been experienced in maintaining bridges across it. Probably the first bridge across the stream was built by Jacob Carter. It has been rebuilt several times and in 1878, a substantial iron bridge was constructed, which, like its predecessors is called the Carter Bridge. He also built a bridge across the Katskill at Brown's mill, and soon after its completion, he was seen approaching it from the north side of the stream; but as he did not appear on the south side, search was made for him which resulted in finding his body in the water below. Whether it was a case of accidental drowning will never be known.

 March 3d, 1831, the stream was very high and full of floating ice. The bridge at Oak Hill was very much weakened by the undermining of the abutments. Vincent Stillwell attempted to cross it with horses and sleigh, having with him his brother-in-law, Christopher Waterous, and Waterous' sister. They were thrown into the stream, and Mr. Waterous and his sister were drowned. It was two weeks or more before Mr. Waterous' body was found. "

       - Christopher's Watrous’ wife did not die in the Hudson River as the family story goes. Lucy Sears was Christopher Watrous' widowed wife after his demise. Who the sister was in this tragedy is not known at this time.

While looking for evidence about Christopher Watrous' death, two indentures of Christopher Watrous' property were found. In the Index of Deeds, Greene County, New York two quit claim deeds were granted by Sears Watrous to sisters Betsey Caroline Watrous Wetmore and Harriet Watrous Snyder. They were recorded December 26, 1832 and December 27, 1832. In these deeds reference is made to the deceased Christopher Watrous, and that Betsey Caroline and Harriet are rightful heirs at law to his property. Betsey Caroline was married to Hiram F. Wetmore and Harriet was married to John Snyder. FHL US film #479682.

There were earlier indentures in the land records of Greene County which shows land transactions (quit claim deed) between Isaac Sears Sr. and wife Grace, and Christopher Watrous and another granting of land to Christopher Watrous and Isaac Sears Jr. and wife Polly. This is recorded Nov. 28, 1827, FHL US film # 479666 and vols. K & L #479679

The Greene County Historical Society, Vedder Research Library returned a search for Christopher Watrous. Their records showed that in the Stone Bridge Cemetery, Town of Durham there is a tombstone transcription entry. It shows an entry reading: "Fairbrother Watrous", d. March 3 1831, age 48. This is Christopher's burial site. Also the 1813 tax assessment roll of Greene County placed Christopher Watrous in the town of Durham, owning 14 acres and one house valued at $200.00. The Greene County Supervisors Reports for 1819 include a list of constables with Christopher serving as a constable in Durham. Both the 1820 and 1830 censuses carry the enumeration of his Durham household. In 1820 Christopher Watson (a note questions the spelling of his surname) was living next to Isaac Sears, Jr. while Isaac Sears (Sr) and Chauncy Sears were living nearby. Christopher's household at that time consisted of 1 male under 10, 2 males between 10 and 15, 1 male between 26 and 44, 1 female under 10, 2 females between 10 and 15, and 1 female between 16 and 44. This would indicate that Christopher had 6 children or another female not identified as of yet.

Lucy Sear's sister, whose name was Betsey, was married to Vincent Stilwell. Betsey died January 28, 1833, age 39- only 2 years after Christopher Watrous' death. Vincent was left a widower. Vincent Stilwell then married Lucy - Christopher's widow. We find them living in Durham, NY in the 1855 census. There are two entries in the church membership of the First Presbyterian Church of Durham. One pertains to church membership and another notation of itself. Noted as:

"...1831 Sept 4 widow Lucy Watrous ...dismissed (she joined the church on that date and was dismissed later since the list refers to members admitted by Rev. Seth Williston, as pastor). A note on the line beneath her name reads "married to V. Stilwill" and beneath that: "Betsey, wife of Vincent Stilwell died." No dates are provided for Lucy's dismissal or remarriage. p.188

pp. 237-238 Sept. 1, Vincent Stillwell died 14 Aug 1880, age 90 years

Lucy Stillwell died 6 March 1879, 86 years

Vincent and Betsey are both buried in the Stone Bridge Cemetery, in Durham, NY.

1810 Census Greene County Town Durham Christopher Waters

http://www.hopefarm.com/1810cens.htm#Durham



Names

from Christopher Waterous account book

Adams

Joseph

Bagley

Cutting

Bagley

Bernard

Barker, Jr.

James

Blakely

Ambrose

Carter

John

Clark

Alen

Davis

Henry

Every ?

Obidiah

Francis

David

Goff

Asel

Griffins

Richard

Hopson

Heman

Hotchkiss

George

Jewel

Joseph

Jewel

Elias

Jewel

Ebenezer

Rice

Amusiah

Rickerson

Guilermo

Savor

William

Sears

Isaac

Sears

Chauncey

Sears, Jr

Isaac

Shenfels

John

Shenfelt

William

Sheperd

Arbane

Smith

Thomas

Southerlin

Solomon

Steadman

Levi

Stilwell

Vincent

Tyler

Elisha

Tyler

Isaac

VanAllenburgh

Thomas

VanTaple

Theodorus

Wagoner

Philip

Watrouse

Gilbert

Watrouse

Jane

Weaver

Ichabod

Wheeler

 

White

Rebecah

 


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