Remember Jerusha Taunt? I wanted to document her lineage as well, starting with her paternal line. Sadly, I only had it going back two more generations. Little did I know that there was a surprise waiting for me as I prepared this post!
Let’s start with the basics, beginning with Jerusha’s father, Seth Billings Taunt. He was the son of Levi Taunt and Jerusha Billings, born on September 26, 1772 in Stoughton, Plymouth County (now Norfolk County), MA. On March 11, 1794 he married Anna Capernaum in Braintree, Norfolk County, MA. One source, The Record of Births, marriages and Deaths and Intentions of Marriage in the Town of Stoughton… noted that the intention of marriage was filed in March 1794 between Seth Taunt and “Mrs. Anna Copernaun”. This brings two questions to mind: Which is the correct spelling of her surname (which I know is very subjective back then)? And “Mrs.” — was Anna really married before? If so, what is her maiden name?
The following are Seth and Anna’s children, the facts of whom all took place in Braintree unless otherwise noted:
- Anna, born August 3, 1794 (by this date you can see why the intention of marriage was filed!); died September 5, 1811.
- William, born after 1794; died July 15, 1797.
- Cynthia, born May 21, 1798; married Elisha Savil on December 20, 1818; died April 23, 1876.
- Jerusha, born February 7, 1801; died October 12, 1803 (obviously not my Jerusha).
- Seth, born December 16, 1804; married Mary J. Holbrook on January 19, 1825.
- Jerusha B. (as I stated before, I suspect that “B.” is for Billings), born May 28, 1807; married Ivory Goodwin on January 25, 1824; died October 20, 1870 in Lynn, Essex County, MA.
- William, born August 24, 1809; died before January 15, 1817.
- William, born January 15, 1817.
Seth died on April 17, 1837 and Anna on January 29, 1856, both in Braintree. I have no burial information on them at this time.
Going back a generation, we come to Seth’s father Levi, who lived in Stoughton. There are other Taunts in Stoughton around Levi’s time, and I suspect they are related, but I don’t know how. (Again, a job for an in-person research trip to the town!)
On December 7, 1767, Levi and his future bride Jerusha Billings (born August 3, 1750 to Seth Billings and Jerusha Redman) filed their marriage intention with George Crosman, Stoughton town clerk. They were married on February 25, 1768 by Reverend Samuel Dunbar, a long-time minister there.
Although the 1790 census shows more people in Levi Taunt’s home, I’ve only uncovered two children attributed to him and Jerusha:
- Charlotte (also listed as Charity and Charlety), born December 10, 1768; married Ebenezer Holmes on February 10, 1789.
- Seth, born September 26, 1772; outlined above.
Now for the interesting part. Normally before I write a blog post, I review what records I have and maybe do a quick second look in Google. Under a spelling variation of “Tant”, I came across Levi’s name in the History of the Town of Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, by Daniel Thomas Vose Huntoon. Though published in 1893, Huntoon wrote the book in the 1860s after having been Town Clerk in Canton (which had been part of Stoughton) and desiring to preserve the history from its records. Under Appendix XX, “Levi Tant” was listed as a private who was in the First Company under Captain James Endicott, among a contingent of minutemen who marched from Stoughton on April 19, 1775 upon hearing news of the Lexington alarm. Under Appendix XXI, “Levi Taunt” is listed among the “Soldiers who served in the Revolution after the Lexington Alarm”. So my sixth great-grandfather was a minuteman and a Patriot!
Other than this one book, I can’t easily find any other record of his service (which of course will mean more deep digging). However, I have no reason to doubt it either. What a find, just in time for Independence Day!