Orlow and Phenie Cordelia Jones Babcock were my great-great grandparents.

Daniel P. Babcock was born 1 February 1818 in Riga, Monroe County, New York. 1 “… Left two sons—Harlow N., born Oct. 11, 1850; married Lydia Fisher, of Waushara Co., Wis., Feb. 22, 1873, and now lives in Stoughton, Dane C., Wis., where he is foreman in a large flouring-mill; Charles F., born April 29, 1857, in Springvale; is living with his mother on the homestead, which consists of 85 acres of land, valued at about $40 per acre; P. O. Ladoga.”2

So, according to Civil War records, Martin Van Buren, Orlow, and George Washington, all thought of William and Sarah Babcock as their parents.

One more item was found.  I thought about looking for the death certificate for George Washington Babcock.  Remember, it is known through hand-written letters by Orlow’s wife, Phenie, that Orlow and George are brothers.  Recently put on the Internet are the Morgan County, Tennessee, death certificates.  George’s provides the following information3 (his son Clarence is the informant):

Name:   Geo Washington Babcock

Birth:  25 June 1844

Birthplace:  Centerville, New York

Death:  17 March 1922

Name of father:  William Babcock – born Canada

Name of mother:  Sarah Austin – born Unknown

Now there are more questions:

  1. Did Daniel have two children, Orlow and George Washington, before he married to Adelia Sturtevant?
  2. Did Adelia Sturtevant know that Daniel had these two sons?
  3. Was there a reason that a relative’s personal copy of a family tree stated that the father of Orlow was Daniel P.?  Could it be that he didn’t want such a family story getting around?
  4. Could it be that the relative told my grandmother about Daniel, and she believed him?  And, maybe she didn’t want such a story being known either? Did she assume the story was true?
  5. Was the information really true? Or, are the parents of Orlow and George really William and Sarah?

So many questions!

Any ideas and suggestions are always welcome!





  1. The History of Fond du Lac County Wisconsin…  Chicago:  Western Historical Company, 1880.
  2. Ibid.
  3. “Tennessee, Death Records, 1908-1951,”digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 11 June 2012); entry for Geo Washington Babcock; citing Tennessee Death Records, 1908-1951, Tennessee State Archives, Nashville, Roll 144, Certificate 77.