Entering family data into a genealogical database gives me a good opportunity to get to know the entire family. Once this step is completed, I generally make an inventory of what I know (or what I think I know) and what I still want to learn.
What do I know about Edward Marden and his “Indian” wife?
Edward Marden, the 1st
- Edward was born about 1751 of unknown parents at an unknown location. He is the earliest identified ancestor of the family in question.
- Edward died 16-Mar-1835 in Lyman, NH.
- He served 4 years in Major Whitcomb’s New Hampshire Ranger Corp during the American Revolution. When this company disbanded, Edward transferred to the New Hampshire Line of the Continental Army under Col. Henry Dearborn for the remainder of the war. Edward served the entire war, from Dec-1776 to Jun-1883!
- Edward had at least three wives. Only the last is identified by name. She was Chloe Barnes.
- Getchell states “Various personal corresp. have testified that his wife was an Indian.” I wish she had elaborated a bit more about who said what and when! Or better yet, published those letters in the Appendix so I could see things for myself.
- Edward had only one known child, a son named Edward (Jr.).
Edward Marden Jr.
- Edward Jr. was born in 1779 according to the Getchell and Annis Genealogy sources.
- Edward may have had a 1st wife named Rebecca Belding Jameson. She was the daughter of Samuel Jameson and an unidentified wife (perhaps named Roxanna). There appears to be two sons by this wife, Hamilton and Jesse. Neither Rebecca nor her parents are mentioned as being “Indian”.
- Edward married Elizabeth Annis on 17-Nov-1808 in Warner, NH. Elizabeth is the daughter of David Annis & Elizabeth Hunt. Neither Elizabeth nor her parents are identified as “Indian”.
- Edward & Elizabeth had 7 children.
- Edward married widow Lydia Edson 24-Apr-1851 in Craftsbury, VT.
- Edward was a basket maker.
- He lived in Lyman, Bath, and Benton, New Hampshire, Craftsbury, Albany, and Coventry, Vermont according to descendants. One son is listed as born in Lunenburgh, VT and another states he was born in Granby, VT.
- Edward seems to have had a problem putting down roots and settling in one place for any length of time.
Other Family Members or Data of Interest
- Hamilton Marden, the probable son of Edward Jr., had a wife whom descendants claim was Mary Ann Roberts, “an Indian (or half-Indian)”. However, there appears to be some serious questions about how many wives he had, what their names where, and how many children they had together.
- Chapin & Nathaniel, sons of Edward Jr. appear to have moved around as much as their father.
- I found the name spelled Mardin, Marden, and Mardean.
What I would like to learn
- Where did Edward Marden Sr. come from?
- It there anything more we can learn about Edward Sr’s first two wives?
- Was Edward Jr. really conceived and born during Edward Sr.’s service time as a Ranger in the war?
- Where did Edward Jr. learn the skill of basket making and what kind of baskets did he make?
- Why did Edward Jr. live in so many different places?
- It there anything more we can learn about Edward Jr’s wives?
- How much of the data I just entered can be verified by historical record.
- Is Ms. Getchell still alive and can I find her contact information?
- Can I locate some of the other resources Getchell mentions in the Marden Genealogy?
After reviewing what I found, it appears the Edward Marden who had a Native wife was the grandfather of Nathaniel Marden rather than his father, as our original correspondent believed. No documentary evidence of an “Indian” wife was found. In fact, the letters in the Annis Genealogy make no mention of “Indians” what so ever. But in all fairness, the letters leave out a lot of other important details as well. I will need to continue to explore the family looking for additional information.
These published books represent information compiled from other sources and should not be accepted as source documentation. Since they seldom mention what the original source was, it is important to verify the data as well as check for errors. Trust me, this step really is necessary!
It now appears Edward Sr. could have had a Native wife and there is only one known child from this union. I believe my next step should focus on verifying the data I collected for Edward Sr. and Jr..