by: Madeleine Putnam Melo
My great-grandmother, Ida May Clough’s father was Orson and Orson’s parents are Benjamin Clough and Lydia. I believe Lydia’s maiden name is Amsdale. The 1850 census is the best clue I have on this family. It is an Erie Co. NY census and shows Benjamin Clough age 65, farmer, born in Mass., Lydia Clough age 63, born in Mass, Orson Clough age 22 born in Mass., Hirietta Clough age 31 born in Mass., Mariah Clough age 3 born in Ma.., Laura Clough age 1 born in Ken., Abner Amsdale age 90 born in Mass., and Julia Marsh age 18 born in V. T. So what to make of this census! I know that later Orson Clough marries and has children with Julia Marsh. I found a record of their marriage in: Marriage from Buffalo Newspapers 1811-1884. I later found a birth record for a Lydia Amsdill in the Vital Records of Pelham, Massachusetts to the year 1850 “AMSDILL (see Amsdale) Lydia, d. Abner and Susan Sept. 16, 1787.” YIPPY parents.
Interestingly there is a Benjamin Clough age 41 next door in the 1850 census, this is the same Benjamin we find in Illinois in 1860 and living next door to Benjamin and Lydia. In 1850 next door to Benjamin and Lydia is another Amsdale age 55- Is this Lydia’s brother and family? See Clough Brick Wall part 1
Research at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City helped me find more clues, they have recorded a source as being “the Family Bible of Benjamin J. Clough” there is a recorded Benjamin J. Clough Birthplace; Belchertown, Hampshire, Mass 20 Mar 1785. WOW that coincided with the 1850 census listing his age as 65. No name of parents, so off I go to prove this information. This is my thick and high brick wall.
Working back from 1850- of course the censuses before 1850 listed only head of household and number of persons in the household
In the 1840 census for Erie, Hamburg, there is a Benjamin J. Clapp, next to Abner Amsdill- Is this Orson’s father?
In the 1830 census for Erie, Hamburg, there is a Benjamin Clough with a son under 5 yrs of age, that coincides with Orson being 22 in 1850. But the 1850 census says Orson was born in Mass, not NY.
In the 1820 census for Niagara, Hamburg, there is a Benjamin Clough next door to a Calvin Clough and on the same page is an Abner Amsdill and a Robert Amsdill. Hmm.
In 1810 Benjamin would have been 25 if the “Clough Family Bible” has been correctly quoted. And sure enough in Wellinik, Niagara there is a B.J. Clough next to a C. Clough both with boys under 10. Hmmm. So probably not father and son, but possibly brothers?
In 1800 there is a C. Clough in Ashfield, Hampshire, Mass with 5 sons, one of the correct age to be my Benjamin.
My search for Calvin Clough in 1790 was not achieved. There is no C. or Calvin Clough in the records I have tried from 1790-1799, so where is he and is he Benjamin’s father?
Also in Salt Lake City I discovered the book The Genealogy of the Descendants of John Clough of Salisbury, Massachusetts. A previous find with the Putnam genealogy had taken me back to England, Yippy Yippy, I thought I had it now.
Wrong, not a single Benjamin Clough of the right age and time period to be found in Descendants of John Clough of Salisbury, Massachusetts
Oh come on there has to be at least one.
No, there is not, ok, how about Calvin. Yes, there is a Calvin- this is what the Descendants of John Clough have to say about Calvin:
308- CALVIN (Ephraim, Jonathan, John, John) Born Feb. 1, 1771 at Stafford, Conn. On Oct. 6, 1782 he married Anna Patrick of Belchertown, Mass (Church Records) In the 1790 census his residence was Hebron, N.Y., and in the 1800 Census he was listed at Ashfield, Mass., and had six children from 10 to 26 years of age, names unknown.
Well, the “what’s going on here.”
1. If Calvin is born in 1771 and marries in 1782 he is 11 years old.
2. If Benjamin in born in 1785 Calvin is 14 years old.
3. I could not find him in an 1790 census, but lets assume that is accurate.
4. If he had an older child of 26 in 1800 that child would have been born in 1774 when Calvin was only 3!, even if we hypothesize a typo and it is really 1761 Calvin would have been only 13 years old.
If you go back to Ephraim it says he was born in 1724 at Thompson, whereas all his older siblings were born in Salisbury. Ephraim’s story is quit lengthy in the book, so will not copy here. Ephraim married a Mary Johnson (Is it possible that Benjamin gets his middle name from this grandmother?) The genealogy book lists 13 children for Ephraim, Calvin being the 12th and the birth date of 1 Feb 1771! Calvin’s oldest brother is born 1748 (Ephraim would have been 24 years old) and the youngest born 1773 (Ephraim would have been 49 years old) All quite reasonable.
I even went to Belchertown, Mass., many years ago, but was unable to learn more of the Cloughs that had lived there so long ago.
I did discover that Benjamin and Lydia Clough moved to Illinois after 1855, by looking for their son Benjamin. Benjamin and Lydia are buried in Will County, Illinois and I did find them on “Find a Grave”,
but have been unable to find any obituary for them or further information with that Illinois connection. It appears that they moved to Illinois to live with a daughter and also the son Benjamin is next door in the 1860 census.
So I will continue the research until I can verify Benjamin’s parents.
The circumstantial evidence is that Benjamin could be the grandson of Ephraim. Other siblings of Calvin do not have descendants listed in the John Clough genealogy.
The proximity of Ephraim Clough, Calvin, the Patricks’ (Calvin’s wife’s maiden name), Benjamin and the Amsdales’ (Benjamin’s wife’s maiden name) suggest to me that they are all one family, but do I have the line of descendants correct. Benjamin in reality could be the son of any of Ephraim’s son’s.