Mark Anthony Child - 1771-1843 (72 Years Old)
Mark Anthony Child was born on May 10, 1771, in the Oblong Patent of Amenia Township, Dutchess County, New York. He was the fifth of nine children born to Captain Increase and Olive Pease Child. Mark was the first family member of this child lineage to be born in New York after his father accepted a teaching job among the dutch who had settled the Hudson River Valley. As a result, Mark was not raised around his extended family of child cousins similar to the five generations that proceeded him in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but rather was nurtured through his immediate family of brothers and sisters. Because two of his siblings had tragically died before his birth, Mark was considered the third child of Increase's family under his elder brother and sister who were very close to him in age.
When Mark was only four years old, the Revolutionary War broke out after the Lexington alarm rang throughout the colonies in 1775. Because Mark's father had four years of battled-hardened experience in the French-Indian War, he was called to lead the Minute Men Company of Amenia in the fight against the British. Consequently, Mark was raised without a father figure for several years while Captain Increase Child carried out his duty defending the colonies. This time period must have been very difficult for Mark and his siblings, based on the fact that their mother Olive had no way to sustain the family, other than the small loans that they had received from various creditors.
|Birthplace of Mark A. Child|
Valley of Amenia, Dutchess County, New York
This must have been a very unsettling time for a seven-year old boy, as Mark beheld the dead bodies that had been unearthed by wolves from the shallow graves that bordered their property. Nonetheless, Mark found reassurance from his family during this gloomy time of uncertainty, based on the fact that they had grown very close from their dependence on each other. In addition, because Mark's father had paid his sacrificial dues to his country so that freedom could ring very loud for his descendants, Increase was fortunate to not fight in any more campaigns, where he spent the majority of his time with his family after they arrived in upstate New York. There is no doubt that the six-year period (1778-1784) that Mark's father spent with him and his siblings on the Child farm in Stillwater was used as a time to reconnect with his family and heal from the mental and physical scars that he received in battle.
|Childhood of Mark A. Child:|
Valley of Amenia, Dutchess County, New York
It is interesting to note that the long-lasting effects that occurred with Increase Child's descendants from this religious change was not based on different interpretations of the Holy Bible, but rather transpired in the subtle form of being compelled to break with one's own traditions. As a result, when Increase attended the Presbyterian Church for six years in Amenia, it forced him out of the mindset that Congregationalism was the only way for the Child family. This new experience gave Increase the mental capacity to free his mind from the boundaries and limitations of tradition, and start considering the doctrinal issues from the scriptures that were more relevant and essential for ushering in the restoration of the gospel in the latter days.
When Mark's father moved his family to the town of Stillwater, New York in 1778, there were only two churches that had been established since 1762--Baptists and Congregationalists. Now that Increase Child had the perfect opportunity to reunite himself with Congregationalism once again, known as the "Yellow Meeting House" in Stillwater, it is remarkable that he did not return to the Puritan traditions of his Child ancestors, but rather chose to worship at the First Baptist Church of Stillwater. It is most likely that Mark's father chose the Baptist faith over family tradition because of his understanding of the ordinance of baptism found in the Holy Bible.
|Captain Increase Child Farm|
The Battlefield of Saratoga, Stillwater, New York
While the Child family had prospered for six years where the Battle of Saratoga was fought, the First Baptist Church of Stillwater also flourished by establishing eight branches throughout the northern border of Albany County. However, a major class division surfaced among the Baptist congregation of Stillwater by 1784, which resulted in many of its members leaving to establish a large branch on a tract of land that had become available in the northern part of the Baliston District, known as Milton. As a result, approximately fifty families from the township of Stillwater, including the Increase Child family, moved to the frontier region of Baliston and established the Milton Branch of the Baptist Church.
|Baptist Old Stone Church of North Milton, New York|
When the Child family moved to North Milton around 1784, Mark had experienced his third major move by the time he was only thirteen years old. During the next three years, Mark helped his father Increase once again establish a working farm that they could sell to an incoming settler. By 1787, the Child family sold the farm and purchased a new plot of land just a few miles to the north around the township border of Milton and Greenfield. Although the new tract of land was formally located in the southern part of the Greenfield Township, the family of Increase Child still attended the Baptist church of North Milton, which is why many of the early journal entries from the Child family mention both of these towns together.
|Mark A. Child Homestead|
in South Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York
|1866 Map of Greenfield, New York|
168-acre Homestead of Mark A. Child
After Mark A. Child helped his father Increase for six years in establishing a very successful farm, the time had come for him to branch out and set up his own homestead. However, because the Revolutionary War came at such a high cost for the family of Captain Increase Child, along with never receiving an inheritance from his father's 269-acre estate in East Woodstock, Connecticut, the journal of his brother Salmon Child indicates that none of the siblings received any parcels of land or money from their father when they initially started out. As a result, when Mark Child married Hannah Benedict on December 8, 1973, he does not show up in the census records six years later. This suggests that Mark may have moved in with his in-laws who bordered the Child homestead, or he may have continued assisting his father during this time period.
After Mark A. Child and Hannah Benedict were married, the daughter that they conceived several months later tragically passed away during childbirth in 1795. Although they experienced this unfortunate tragedy, this trial did not discourage them from trying to have more children, where they brought forth their firstborn son named Alfred Bosworth Child on November 19, 1796. Mark and Hannah continued to bring forth more children, where two more sons were born by the turn of the century.
By the summer of 1800, it is possible that Mark may have received a small inheritance from his father after Increase sold his interests in the printing business that he had established with his son William three years earlier. It was around this same time that Mark acquired a plot of land a few miles north of the Child homestead in South Greenfield, which consisted of 168 acres. It is uncertain whether Mark purchased the land around him lot by lot over the next decade, or whether he bought the land in a few large tracts. Nonetheless, by 1810, Mark's name appears in the census records showing that he had prospered by running a very large farm in this region. In addition, the family of Mark and Hannah also flourished during this same time period when they brought forth more children, consisting of two more boys and three girls. In the following decade, Mark and Hannah produced another son and a daughter, which totaled eleven children that survived into adulthood. There is no doubt that the family of Mark A. Child was extremely blessed during the early 1800s, where they did not have to experience the death of any of their children, other than the misfortune that occurred with their first child when they were newly married.
|Children of |
Mark Anthony and Hannah Benedict Child
When Mark A. Child married into the Benedict family during the 1790s, it is unclear whether he continued to worship at the Baptist Church in Milton, or whether he changed churches and started attending the congregationalist Church with his in-laws. Because Mark's father-in-law, John Benedict, was one of the original organizers of the First Congregational Church of Greenfield that was established in 1790, it is highly likely that he persuaded Mark to attend church services with the Benedict family if he lived with them. Nevertheless, what is certain is that Mark stopped attending the Baptist Church sometime after his marriage for some unknown reason. There is no doubt that Mark A. Child was a very religious man, where his break with the Baptist Church was clearly not due to a lack of faith on his part, but most likely resulted from doctrinal issues that he supported with passages from the Bible.
During the early 1800s, it appears that the Harris neighbors of Mark A. Child must have influenced his decision to embrace the Universalist form of Christianity. It was during this time period that the handful of followers that adhered to the Universalist denomination in Greenfield met in schoolhouses and private homes to discuss their beliefs. However, this all changed in 1868, when Mark A. Child and four other Greenfield settlers raised the financial means from the Freemasons to erect a chapel at the village of Porter Corners, which is located in northern Greenfield. The only condition to their financial contribution was based on building a lodge room in the upper level of the church where the Freemasons could use the hall for their ceremonies, thus giving life to St. John's Masonic Lodge #90 of Greenfield.
|Universalist Church erected by Mark A. Child|
at Porter Corners, New York
Around they ear when Mark A. Child embraced the theology of Universalism, this church was considered the ninth largest Christian denomination in America. Because the Universalist Church ultimately developed from the Baptist movement, it is possible to see how Mark transitioned from the religious beliefs of his father. As a result, Mark adhered to the majority of Baptist doctrines that he was raised with, but differed in his belief on universal salvation, in that all mankind was ultimately destined to be reconciled to God. hence, by the 19th century, the Child family in New York was starting to experience the spiritual divisions that resulted from the various ways of interpreting the scriptures.
|Map of Mark A. Child Sites|
in Greenfield Township, Saratoga County, New York
When the original organizers of First Universalist Church of Greenfield erected their edifice in 1816, they also raised the funds to purchase a plot of land that could be used as a formal burial ground for the members of the congregation. As a result, the Mitchell Cemetery was set apart during the inauguration so that the Universalists could adhere to the notion of having a proper Christian burial.
Shortly after Mark A. Child took part in establishing the Universalist Church, his wife of twenty-five years, Hannah Benedict Child, sadly passed away on March 11, 1818. At only forty-five years old, Hannah was laid to rest in the Mitchell Cemetery, thus making her one of the first members of the Universalist congregation to receive a Christian internment at the new burial ground. There is no doubt that this unexpected tragedy had a great impact on Mark and his children, due to the fact that he was left to raise his large family by himself. While the eldest son of Mark A. Child had married the previous year, there were still ten children in his home that were left without a mother that ranged between the ages of one and nineteen years of age.
|Burial of Hannah Benedict Child|
Mitchell Cemetery, Greenfield, New York
By the following year, Mark started courting a woman named Submit Peacock, who stemmed from one of the main families that worshipped at the Universalist Church. Because this congregation consisted of only a handful of families from Greenfield, it is evident that Mark's choices would have been extremely limited in the women he could have dated, if he wanted to marry within his own faith. As a result, when Mark turned forty-eight years old in 1819, he married the twenty-nine year old Submit Peacock, who was nineteen years younger than him. It is unclear why Submit waited until she was twenty-nine years old to marry, because the majority of women during this era married very young. It is possible that she may have been a widow, although there is no evidence that she had any children prior to this marriage. However, what is remarkable is the fact that she was willing to take on the demanding responsibility of raising ten children that she was not biologically related to. Submit must have been a very patient and tolerant woman for the Lord to place her in the path of Mark A. Child, in order that his children would have a mother figure in the home.
Mark Anthony and Submit Peacock Child
While Mark's new wife had the added responsibility of raising his existing children, Submit was still young enough to give birth to her own children, thus creating her own biological offspring. This blessing not only gave her the sacrificial experience of giving life, but it also gave her the immutable bond and connection to her new husband Mark. As a result, Submit gave birth to a baby girl named Polly on November 8, 1820. During the next decade, Mark and Submit Child would bring forth three more daughters and a son, thus totaling five children from their union.
|Mark A. Child Farm|
in South Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York
|Henry Peacock Home near the Mark A. Child Home|
in Greenfield, New York
|St. Lawrence River|
near Townships of Hammond and Morristown, New York
Because Alfred B. Child had established a working farm after seven years, he was in a good position to buy more land in 1829, where he purchased one hundred and sixty acres. Around this same time, his younger brothers John and Rensselaer learned of his success, so they both migrated to St. Lawrence County to be with their elder brother. It is most likely that Alfred supported his younger brothers when they arrived and helped them both establish working farms of their own. By 1833, John Child had helped organize the first Religious Union Society of Morristown. Because no churches had been erected in this border region, this society was based on the Baptist, Universalist, Congregationalist, and Presbyterian faiths worshipping together.
By the mid-1830s, many of the children of Mark A. Child had moved to the border region of the Morristown and Hammond townships in St. Lawrence County, which was clearly the motivating factor for him to leave the Child homestead in Greenfield. In addition, his brother, the Honorable Salmon Child, was in the process of moving his remaining family from Greenfield during this time, where they eventually ended up settling in Walworth County, Wisconsin. Furthermore, because Mark's younger brothers had previously moved away as well to establish their own printing presses and medical offices, it was apparent that the Child family in Greenfield was dwindling in its numbers. Consequently, sometime during the mid-1830s, Mark moved the remainder of his children, approximately ten of them from both of his marriages, to the region of the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York. Mark's eldest daughter Betsey stayed behind with her husband William, who was from the neighboring Harris family that helped erect that Universalist Church in Greenfield. The other descendant of Mark A. Child who remained behind was his second eldest son Ephraim Child, who was already in his upper thirties thriving as a successful stonemason throughout Saratoga County.
|1865 Map of Hammond-Morristown Border|
St. Lawrence, New York
The homestead of Mark A. Child established when he settled around the border of Morristown was eventually taken over by his youngest son from his first marriage, Mark A. Child Jr. The 1840 census records reveal that his youngest son was married at this time, while he was living next to or at the homestead of Mark A. Child Sr. The success of the Child homestead is revealed in a letter that Mark and Submit Peacock Child wrote to their son-in-law in Michigan around this time period: "Our wheat looks fine this quarter. Money plenty, produce high...Our farm has advanced at least five hundred dollars in value since we bought it." Although the home of Mark A. Child Sr. is slowly deteriorating, it remains standing today and is located near the intersection of Watson and Hamel Roads.
|Mark A. Child Home|
in North Hammond, St. Lawrence County, New York
When Alfred B. Child converted to Mormonism in June of 1838, he packed up everything that he could fit in one wagon and set off for the Midwest to be with the main body of Latter-day Saints. The various letters that were sent between Alfred and his extended family in St. Lawrence county made it very clear that none of his relatives wanted him to leave. Because Mark A. Child was in his late-sixties by this time, he must have realized that he would never see his eldest son again after he bid him farewell that summer. In addition, it must have been heartbreaking for Mark A. Child to have his eldest son leave from his presence once again, especially after he had made the sacrifice to move his remaining family over the Adirondack Mountains to the northern boundary of the state of New York.
|Burial of Mark A. Child Sr.|
Chippewa Cemetery, Morristown, New York
of Mark Anthony Child and Hannah Benedict Child, New York
Life Story of Mark Anthony Child
Mark was the third son and fifth child of Capt. Increase and Olive Pease Child. He was born in Oblong, Dutchess, New York, on May 10, 1771, and died in February 1843 in Milton, Saratoga, New York. Mark A. Child married Hannah Benedict December 8, 1793, daughter of John and Hannah Carter Benedict of Woodstock, Windham, Connecticut. Mark married, 2nd, in 1819 to Submit Peacock and had five additional children besides the twelve by his first wife Hannah.
Mark learned how to farm from his father and made it his vocation. He lived in Stillwater, Milton, and Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York. Mark was a leader of people and people believed in what he said. Mark was not completely satisfied with all the beliefs of the Congregationalist. Perhaps some of the ideas of his uncle William Child rubbed off. Mark was a very religious man as each generation had been before him. Mark formulated his ideas into a religion and formed a Church. Mark was the dominant man in establishing the First Universal Church of Greenfield. The original members met in homes and as the congregation grew they met in local schoolhouses. As the members outgrew the local schoolhouses, the decision was made to build a Church building in 1816. The society was organized and incorporated in 1819 with thirty members. The Church was called the First Universal Church and Society of Greenfield. Mark A. Child and John Harris presided at the first meeting. The officers of the Church were Frederick Parkman, Abner Medbury and John W. Creal who composed the first Board of Trustees. From 1840 to 1844 a flourishing Sunday-day School and Bible Class of sixty scholars was held. Upon the death of Mark A. Child in 1843 the Church began to die out and has never been revived.
A Wm. Harris married a daughter of Mark A. Child named Betsey Child.
Mark A. Child was a tall man, thin faced, with the prominent Child nose, wore a mustache, and had dark brown hair. He had the ability to attract and rally people to the religious cause. His religious teachings were passed on to his family who were also very religious.
In the Deeds of Saratoga County, New York, from 1792-1831, p.73 are found several Child deeds:
"Mark A. Child of Greenfield to Silas Pattan of Lyons, Wayne Co., 1826."
"Mark A. Child wife Submitty of Greenfield to John Miller of Stillwater, 1826."
"Ephraim Child, wife Polly of Stillwater to Wm. Strang of Stillwater, 1816."
"Ephraim Child, wife Polly of Stillwater to Wm. Strang of Stillwater, 1816."
"Ephraim Child, wife Polly of Stillwater to Tobias Poet of Stillwater, 1821."
The above Ephraim Child listed in the deeds is the brother of Mark A. Child and is an M.D., served in the county medical society and in the War of 1812 as a physician.
Mark A. Child was a great father and loved children. His first wife Hannah Benedict Child bore Mark twelve children and his second wife Submitty bore five children and raised all seventeen children. The first two children were born in Greenfield, Saratoga County, New York, and then in 1797 Mark moved his family to Milton, Saratoga County, New York.
The Standing Order of the Congregationalist were very strict in keeping the Sabbath. They were very strict in keeping all forms of Religion as they understood them. The Congregationalists kept the Sabbath from Saturday night to Sunday night sundown. There was no labor indoors or outdoors as soon as the sun was set. All food was prepared and put in the pot prior to sundown. The parents took their whole family to meeting, returned home for dinner, and then the parents would teach us religion exercises until the sun set, which was watched closely by the children and parents. As soon as the sun went down the men prepared for the week's work.
found on ChildGenealogy.org
MARK ANTHONY CHILD, born in Woodstock, Connecticut, May 10, 1771; died February 1843, Greenfield, Saratoga, New York; married December 8. 1793, Hannah Benedict, married 2d 1819, Submit Peacock. Mark was the third son and fifth child of Captain Increase CHILD and Olive PEASE. As a polygamist, Mark married his second wife (that is, after Hannah Benedict), Submit Peacock, and had five children with her besides the twelve he had with Hannah. He is described as having been a tall, thin-faced man that wore a moustache and had dark brown hair. He was devoutly religious and in 1797, he moved the family to Milton, Saratoga, New York.
Mark Anthony Child, third son and fifth child of Increase and Olive Pease Child, born in Stillwater, Saratoga County, New York, May 10, 1771, died in St. Lawrence County, New York, February 1843, married Hannah Benedict, December 8, 1793. She was born January 1, 1774, died 1818; married 2nd about 1819, Submit Peacock. Had eleven children by the first wife, and five by the second.
Histories of Child, Rawson, Coffin and Holtzclaw Families
Compiled, written, and published by Fern Roberts Morgan
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