Hill Richardson
From where and when born??

To prove where Hill Richardson and Sarah Lee (his wife) were born and where can be challenging. We only have census records to work with and they can be tough to read. But by comparing of writing styles etc, we can figure it out.

We start with a 1850 census record from Cassadaga Village, Stockton Town, Chautauqua Co., New York. This is the first of the US census records that include "where were you born" and your age at the time of the census.

 We have Hill Richardson living next to Freeman his son. You can see Hill and Sarah's birth place and also there age.


The first problem that pops up is Hill age. Question is, is it 73 or 75? By comparing the two images below we can figure that out.

Hill_1850_age.jpg           Hill_1850_age_cross.jpg

The image on the left is of Hill and Sarah. 
The image on the right is about two families down on the same page
(unknown family) and are sisters age 15 and 13.
So both writing were made by the same person.

If we compare the the two images, Hill is clearly 75 years old and Sarah is 78.

Hill is born in 1775, or possibly in 1774 because this census was taken in October of 1850 and if he was born in November to December of 1774, he would be 75. But probably in 1775.

Sarah is 78, and is born in 1772 or 1771

The next problem we have is "where are they born" and we must do some comparing here also.

Hill_birth.jpg         Hill_last_Name.jpg

The image on the left is of Hill and Sarah
On the right is of the first part of Hill last name on the same census.

Clearly Hill is born in a state starting with a "R"as it matches the R in his last name. So probably Rhode Island and we will look at the second letter of RI next.

Sarah is born in CT (Connecticut). The census taker wrote Mass first, then CT over the top of it. We will confirm that shortly.

By comparing other writing of "RI" (Rhode Island) by the same census taker we can see the second letter is "I"

Hill_1850_born.jpg    Hill_cross1.jpg

On the left is Hill and Sarah
On the right is a sample of RI on the same page down lower on a unknown family.

They are clearly the same but on Hill's some ink is missing at the bottom of the I on the line. But clearly he same, or RI

RI_001.jpg    RI_002.jpg    RI_003.jpg
Here are a few more sample taken from pages 2 or 3 pages away, but by the same census taker.

After 1850. Hill and Sarah have passed away, no further information is available on them on census record, well, none directly that is.

In 1880, on census records they required your birth place and also the birth place of your Father and Mother. So if we can find any of the children of Hill and Sarah still alive in 1880, we have more information available.

We are luck we have two of the "know children" still alive in  1880, Arunah and William (at the time of this writing, John and Lousia have not been proven and we don't know where they are in 1880 or if they are even alive and the rest of the Brothers and Sisters have passed away).

So we have Arunah's census record of 1880 in Casadaga Village, Stockton Town, Chautauqua Co., New York.


Clearly Arunah is born in NY (New York) (sorry it is just a ditto mark and points to NY above it on the original.
Father (Hill) is born in R.I. (Rhode Island) and Mother (Sarah) is born in Conn. (Connecticut).

Same image, just a little larger

Now to be fair and honest about all this. The image below is of William Richardson, the son of Hill Richardson. This is his census of 1880 in Lewis, Cass Co., Iowa where he lived in 1880.

It shows he and his parents all were born in NY (New York).

Either he did not know where they were born (probable, as the boys don't usually take notice of details like this and girls do) or he didn't want to say or could not be bothered with it.

Another possibility is, his wife did the census and she didn't know of her in laws.

But it clearly doesn't match the above information from his father or brother.


My conclusions are
Hill Richardson is born in 1775 in Rhode Island
Sarah Lee Richardson is born in 1772 in Connecticut

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