Sunday, June 30, 2013


iram SCRIPTURE (1772-1849) and Elizabeth PARKER (1771-1862) were my fourth great grandparents. They were married in Connecticut and settled in Oneida County, New York. To this marriage arrived several children, one of whom was Hiram SCRIPTURE (1807-1851), my third great grand uncle. (See my previous blog post for more information about Hiram’s family (

I know that Hiram married someone named Margaret and settled in Michigan to raise a family.  Up until a week ago I believed that Margaret’s maiden name was Spear/Speer/Spears/Speers. On the “Michigan Marriages, 1822-1995” database on FamilySearch, Langdon Scripture, Hiram and Elizabeth’s son, supposedly had a mother by the name of Margaret Spears. (1)

I was in for a surprise!

Recently I ordered a microfilm of assorted Oneida County, New York records from  I had actually ordered this film to investigate another line of my family. However, while I was reviewing the film, I discovered the following entry:

m. Apr. 28, 1835, in Barrre, N.Y., Hiram Scripture, Jr., formerly of Westmoreland, Oneida Co., N.Y., now of Monroe Co., Mich., to Miss Margaret Parker.” (2)

Now this was startling in a few ways and provoked more questions:

(1) As noted above, I thought that Margaret’s maiden name was Speer or something similar to that.

(2) Why did Hiram and Margaret get married in Barre, New York, which is in Orleans County? Most of my ancestors lived around Oneida, Chenango and Madison Counties.  If Margaret was from Barre, how did Hiram meet her? Did he live there too sometime between living in Oneida County, New York, and moving to Michigan? Did they marry in Barre for some other reason?

(3) Was Margaret Parker related to Hiram’s mother’s Parker line, i.e., did Hiram marry a distant cousin?

Hiram Scripture is a fairly uncommon name, and the notice was correct about Oneida County, New York. It was also correct about Michigan.  The year 1835 would be a reasonable time for Hiram to marry—he was born in 1807. My records show that Margaret was born about 1815. So, based on the apparent accuracy of the article, I am inclined to believe that Margaret’s maiden name was indeed Parker.

Still, since this was a secondary source, I needed to back it up with some more evidence.

Hiram died in 1851 in Washtenaw County, Michigan, when Margaret would have been around 36 years old. She remarried a man by the name of Orlando Rosebrook. Margaret Rosebrook’s gravestone can be seen at Find A Grave ( She died in 1900 and is buried in Tuscola County, Michigan.  (3)

I then went to Seeking Michigan ( and viewed a copy of Margaret Scripture Rosebrook’s death certificate. Sure enough, on the death certificate, her father’s name is listed as Parker (last name only). Her mother’s name is listed as Sophronia Spear. Margaret died in 1900 at the age of 85, making her birth around 1815. Her age at first marriage is listed as 21. That would make an 1835 marriage to Hiram just about right. The death certificate states that she had four children, and that matches my records. In addition, the certificate notes that Margaret was born in Michigan, whereas her parents were born in New York. (4)


Sophronia Spear died on 26 Jul 1870 in Washtenaw, Michigan (6), and is buried in York Cemetery in Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan (7), the same cemetery where Hiram Scripture is buried. (8) What is perplexing is why there is no reference to the name Parker.  Perhaps Sophrunia Spear never married Mr. Parker. 

So what have I learned?
  • It is excellent practice to order microfilms from
  • Women can be tricky to research because of their many name changes.
  • Keep an open mind as to locations when searching for your ancestors. They may appear in unusual places.
  • There are many conflicting sources for genealogical information. You have to cast a wide net and examine and compare each piece of information.
Next steps:
  • See if I can find out why the marriage of Hiram and Margaret was in Barre, Orleans, New York.
  • Try to discover Margaret Parker’s connection, if any, to the family of Elizabeth Parker, Hiram’s mother.
  • Visit the York Cemetery in Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, to see if I can gather any additional information and to get photographs of the gravestones of Hiram Scripture and Sophrunia/Sophronia Spear.
  • Attempt to locate a reference to a marriage between Sophrunia/Sophronia Spear and a man with the surname Parker.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Elegant Floral Designs, 2003.


(1) "Michigan, Marriages, 1822-1995," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 Jun 2013), Langdon W. Scripture and Louisa E. Conrad, 04 Apr 1894.

(2)  “Marriages and Deaths, 1827-1837” compiled in 1972 by Charles Gordon Pond, Jr. from marriage and death notices in bound volumes of newspapers on file at the Oneida Historical Society, Utica, New York,  entry for Scripture-Parker, handwritten page 111, names beginning with “S,” FHC Film 1435189, Item no. 1, Death & Marriage Notices from Utica, N.Y. Newspapers (

(3)  Find A Grave, Inc. Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Margaret Rosebrook (1814-1900), Elmwood Township Cemetery, Tuscola County, Michigan, Memorial No. 28095871, created by Papaduck34.

(4) Michigan Department of State, death certificate no. 67 (1900), Tuscola County, Margaret S. Rosebrook [indexed as Margrett]; digital image, State of Michigan, Seeking Michigan ( accessed June 29, 2013).

(5) Ibid.

(6) Genealogical Death Indexing System, Michigan Department of Community Health, entry for Sophronia Spear ( accessed June 30, 2013).

(7) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Sophrunia Spear (unknown - Jul. 28), York Cemetery, Milan, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Memorial No. 25699441, created by Angela Peters.

(8) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image ( accessed June 30, 2013), Hiram Scripture (unknown - Jul. 27, 1851), York Cemetery, Milian, Washtenaw County, Michigan, Memorial No. 71379605, created by Leta Knauss.

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