One Child or Two?

More Mellen errors and omissions.

I’m revising Descendants of Simon Mellen, c. 1636-1694, and have found yet another problem with his descendants. This time with the family of John(5) Mellen and his wife Martha Fitch Wendell at pages 109 through 112.

Somehow, I assumed that there were two children, one who died young, the unnamed infant who died in 1802 and another, named Martha F. who was born and died in 1805.

The error came about from misreading some of the records, published sources, that I used to build the family sketch. One of the offenders is Binney’s account of the family which I have described as troublesome. It turns out that he was correct in this instance, however. The other two sources in the problematic sketch are the Cambridge vital records and Sharples’ volume of church records.

In the Cambridge vital records, volume 2, is an entry for an unnamed infant child surnamed Mellen who died 5 March 1802. There is no corresponding entry in volume 1 for a birth of this child. The death entry also appears in the Sharples compilation. Binney, on the other hand, wrote that it was Martha Fitch Mellen who was born on 5 March 1802 and died 6 March 1802.

Binney’s statement is backed up by an account of the family in a handwritten manuscript copied from an original, location currently unknown. The copy apparently is in the possession of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. It is available on the FamilySearch platform.

See also my earlier post on the two sisters who seemed to have been born to close to each other.