Jefferson County, NY Pioneers

of Rutland, Jefferson County, New York

Joseph Russel of Champion and Rutland, was born in Massachusetts in about 1782. A diligent search of all of the Joseph Russel(l) births in Massachusetts has not revealed his actual date of birth or who his parents might have been. In the 1850 census of Champion, Joseph is listed as a carpenter, born in Massachusetts with a wife named Dorchus, born 1792, and some of their children. The marriage date of the couple is unknown. Joseph was a soldier in the War of 1812 and is probably the Joseph Russel of the 159th Reg. Hecox New York Militia. From various sources, it is known that wife Dorcas (alternate spelling) had the maiden name of Brooks, and was actually born on 9 August 1791, daughter of Benjamin Brooks (1761-1836) and Deborah Carter (1769-1842); her birth was recorded in the town records of Charlemont, Massachusetts. Joseph Russel died 4 December 1877 and is buried in the South Champion Cemetery with wife, Dorcas, who died in 1878 and she shares a grave stone with Joseph and their daughter, Lucy. (Thank you Bruce Coyne, for the Findagrave submission)

Children of Benjamin Brooks and Deborah Carter:
Elijah b 19 Nov. 1787
John b 3 Sept. 1789
Dorcas b 9 Aug. 1791
Samuel b 18 Oct. 1793
Theodorick b 22 Feb. 1797
Laura b 20 June 1799
Dorothy b 20 August 1801
and, Willard T. b 1808, reportedly in Jefferson Co., NY. This entry is supported by the census taken at Rutland in Jefferson Co., in 1820 in which the name of Benjamin Brooks is listed. Apparently, Benjamin and wife, Deborah, moved on to Indiana where both are buried in the Stuckey Cemetery in St. Joseph County, Indiana.

Turning to Joseph Russel and wife, Dorcas, the 1855 census of Champion, Jefferson County, lists Joseph as 73 years and Dorcas as 63 years. They identified that they had been residents for 35 years and she stated she had been the mother of 14 children. The children listed are:

Willis B. Russel, age 34 born 1821
Lucy Russel, age 41, born 1814 (dressmaker)
Willard A., age 22, born 1833
Arthur A., 18 born 1837
From the 1850 census at Champion, another child:
Winsor age 23, born 1827

Also in the 1850 census and household of Joseph, is John Russel, age 64, carpenter born Massachusetts, circa 1786. He may have been a brother of Joseph. To coincide with the number of years as residents of Jefferson, the 1820 census of Rutland identified Daniel and Joseph Russel. Perhaps Daniel was another brother.

Within the land records of Jefferson County, Vol. E., p. 409:
A grantee deed on 22 February 1813 from Isaac and Ann Bronson to Joseph Russel and John Russel of Rutland, 75 acres.

A grantee deed on 24 June 1808 from Elihu Stow of CT, Vol. F. p. 270, to Benjamin Brooks of Champion, 105 acres at Champion.

A grantor deed, Vol. O., p. 21, on 11 February 1820 between Benjamin Brooks and wife Deborah of Rutland and Thos. Ricketson of Champion. The land identified was that sold to Benjamin Brooks on 24 June 1808 and is the land identified above. Deborah was examined to determine if she had been influenced to sign the deed and she volunteered that she had not been influenced. Witnesses to the transaction included Theodore Brooks and Daniel Eames.

In the Estate Box R-23/392 under Dorcas Russel, is a short letter by son, Arthur Russel of Rutland, in which he stated that his mother, had died on 4 December 1877, and had received a pension on 14 April 1865, No. 45183. He was seeking back payment to cover his mother's final expenses. She could have claimed on husband Joseph, who was in the War of 1812, or from one of her sons who had served in the Civil War.

What we know of the sons:

Willard A. Russel was born in 1833 and married on 20 March 1870 at Lake, Ohio to Mary E. Manchester. He served in the Civil War.

Arthur A. Russel was born in 1837 and had also served in the Civil War.

Winsor Russel, born 1827, removed to Gravenhurst, Muskoka, Ontario Canada, and there married Henriett Johnson Whiffle or Whipple and died on 24 July 1916.

Lucy Russel, born 1812 and died 1890.

On 26 February 1878, Arthur Russel filed the following proof of death:

Arthur Russel of Rutland of said county being duly sworn deposes and says that he is upwards of 21 years of age, that Dorcas Russel, his mother, and who resided in Rutland aforesaid, departed this life on the 4th day of December 1877. That she left no minor child or minor children and said deceased has no property of any value whatever either personal or real other than a claim against the US Government being for a pension due her at the time of her death of $24.00 under certificate No. 45183 issued 14 April 1865--and deponent further says that he paid her funeral expense accounting to $23.50 to J. W. Empey of Copenhagen, NY, and further that the deponent paid her doctor bill in her last sickness with $1.50 to James H. Tamblin and that he paid such expenses out of his own money. /s/ Arthur Russell

Based on the above statement of Arthur, it was Dorcas who deceased on 4 December 1877. However, the tombstone indicated it was Joseph who died on the above date.

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