The Only Child of Cornet Joseph Daby of Stow, Mass.

I’m working on the parents of a Joseph Daby of Stow, Massachusetts, who died by 15 June 1767 when his will was admitted to probate in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He’s the father of Mary (Daby) Puffer Brown, my ancestress. Work on Mary is incomplete, particularly after her second husband Amos Brown died in 1766, but the connection of her to Joseph (died 1767) is solid enough that I decided to work on him, partly in hopes that something may turn up on her.

Joseph (died 1767)’s FindAGrave page indicated his father was  “Cornet” Joseph Daby who died in Stow in the 1734/1735. The FindAGrave page for Joseph (died 1767) was accessed simply because I wanted to get a look at his stone. There was nothing on the memorial for Cornet Josesph to indicate how the relationship to the Joseph who died in 1767 was determined.

Cornet Joseph was married twice:

  • Jane Plimpton in Sudbury, Mass. on 14 January 1676–located in town vital records.
  • Elizabeth–mentioned in Cornet Joseph’s will and listed as his wife in 1732 when a daughter is born.

A little more about Abigail Daby–the daughter of Cornet Joseph and Elizabeth.

Abigail Daby:

  • was born in Stow, Massachusetts on 21 December 1732 to Joseph and Elizabeth Daby (page 28 of Stow, Massachusetts Vital Records)
  • married in Sudbury, Massachusetts on Mar. 8, 1748-9 to Jonathan Wood (page 187 of Sudbury, Massachusetts Vital Records)

Cornet Joseph Daby’s will from Middlesex County, (written in January of 1734/1735 and admitted to probate two months later) indicated he had only one child: Abigail. His will uses the phrase “only child Abigail” twice and does not mention any other children, grandchildren, etc. He does mention his wife Elizabeth, a brother-in-law (surnamed Plimpton), and a nephew Joseph Daby. The Joseph Daby purported to be the son of the will writing Joseph was alive at the time this will was written and it seems highly unusual for the phrase “only child” to be used if there were other children. Even if the will writing Joseph had meant to disinherit children, the typical practice would to have been to mention them and indicate they were to receive nothing or to give them a token bequest.

Abigail’s request for her brother Joseph Clark to be appointed her guardian on 23 January 1746/1747 also indicated that she was Cornent Joseph Daby’s only child.

Based on the evidence I’ve found, it seems safe to conclude that Cornet Joseph had one daughter and was not the father of the Joseph who died in 1767.

There are quite a few entries for these Dabies in FamilySearch. For now, I’ve decided to focus on the vital records for the area, the probate records, and the land records that can be located and see what conclusions they allow me to reach.

And sometimes it’s good to use FindAGrave for the stones and just the stones.

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4 thoughts on “The Only Child of Cornet Joseph Daby of Stow, Mass.

  1. Don’t rely on findagrave entries. Both of my grandmothers have the wrong birth year. And that’s just 2 generations. I presume their children supplied the information. My research proves those dates wrong simply by the census. One is only off a year but the other is off by 6 years. You can’t be in a census if you aren’t born yet. On the other hand you aren’t likely to have your birth year off by 10 years when you do finally show up in a census with your young siblings and “young” parents.

    • I don’t. Typically I use them just for the stone image and that’s it. Occasionally one can contact another researcher through them, but not always.

        • I understand what you meant now 🙂

          The year of birth is wrong on my aunt’s stone–she was made younger by 10 years on the stone than she actually was. She was never shy about her age and everyone knew how old she was. She was buried where he husband grew up as a child, a 1000 miles away from where she lived and grew up, and I think it was either a mistake or someone didn’t want it common knowledge that she was 10 years older than her husband.

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