The Family of John and Serena (Rice) Covell - An overview

John Covell and Serena Rice of the Town of Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York, were married in Carroll about 1827. They lived in Carroll until 1843 when they moved to the Town of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. Carroll is the southeasternmost town in Chautauqua County, bordering on Cattaraugus County to the east and Pennsylvania to the south. South Valley is the southwesternmost town in Cattaraugus County, bordering on Chautauqua County to the west and Pennsylvania to the south. The move from their home in Carroll to their home in south Valley was about 11 miles almost due east.

[Note: The Town of Carroll was formed from the Town of Ellicott on March 25, 1825. Earlier events in the area that became Carroll are in the records as Ellicott.]

John Covell was born about 1804 in the Town of Pittstown, Rensselaer County, New York, the son of Seth Covell and Lydia Sisson. He moved with his parents and siblings to the Town of Ellicott (now Carroll), Chautauqua County, New York, about 1810. He died on May 28, 1854, in Maysville, Kentucky. Why he died there is not known. Maysville is on the Ohio River, and he may have been on a river trip west, taken sick, went ashore to a doctor in Maysville, and died there. But that is just my speculation. His final resting place is not known. He may have been buried in Maysville, or he may have been buried on or near his farm in South Valley. That area was flooded in the 1960's by the Kinzua Dam and reservoir, and many graves were moved elsewhere. If John's grave was near his farm, and if it was marked by a stone, quite probably the stone was no longer readable, and he is buried elsewhere in a grave marked "Unknown."

John Covell was a farmer. On May 4, 1847, at the first South Valley town meeting, he was elected Justice of the Peace and Inspector of Elections. He was elected Justice again in 1849 and 1854. His home property in South Valley was on Lot 1, Township 1, Range 9. That is on the south side of Bone Run Road (County Road 33) near where it intersects the west bank Perimeter Road along the Allegany River. The property is now partially or completely flooded by the Kinzua reservoir and is not in use.

John Covell's father, Seth Covell, owned part of Lot 42, Twp. 1, Range 10, in the Town of Carroll. This property is immediately north of the hamlet of Fentonville, and less than a mile north of the Pennsylvania border. The property of Benjamin Covell, brother of Seth, was also less than a mile north of the Pennsylvania border. The History of Chautauqua County, New York, by Andrew W. Young, 1875, page 447 reads as follows:

"Benjamin Covel was born in Harwich, Mass., in 1761. In 1777, he enlisted in the Revolutionary army, and served during the war. (...) His father, John Covel, removed with his sons to Pittstown, N.Y., about 1786, where he died in 1806 aged 73. Benjamin removed in 1810, with a large family, to the present town of Carroll, where he resided until his death, Nov. 27, 1822, aged 61. At that time all of his sons and daughters, his brother Seth and nephew Simeon, were living in the neighborhood; and the settlement was called Coveltown. In a sketch of Benj. Covel and family, it is said they 'were active in getting the first bridge built across the Connewango at Coveltown, by Capt. Charles Taylor.' From this it is naturally inferred that they resided near the Connewango; whereas it appears from the Land Company's books, that Benj. Covel took up, in December, 1810, lot 2, tp. 1, r. 11, on which Alexander T. Prendergast and Seth Cheney now reside, in Kiantone."

Benjamin Covell's property described above, "lot 2, tp. 1, r. 11," is about one mile west of Connewango Creek. His brother Seth's property was on Lot 42, Twp. 1, Range 10, which borders on the east side of Connewango Creek, straight east from Benjamin's property, and on Lot 43, immediately north of the eastern part of Lot 42. Several other Covell family members were living in that same area, Coveltown. The bridge across the Conewango would have been a great benefit to the family. According to data collected by the Holland Land Company in 1829, Edmund Rice owned the contract to purchase 123 acres on the east side of Lot 42. Edmund Rice is the older brother of Serena Rice who married John Covell. According to the 1829 Holland Land Company data, there was a log house on this 123 acre plot, and Luther Forbush was the resident. Eighteen years later, his son, Daniel Forbush, married Louisa Covell, daughter of John and Serena Rice Covell. These property details are important because the many family connections help prove that John Covell is the son of Seth Covell.

Serena Rice was born on August 12, 1807, in the Town of Wendell, Franklin County, Mssachusetts, the daughter of Samuel Robinson Rice and Lucy Brigham. She moved before the 1820 census with her older brother Edmund Rice and younger brother Wheeler Rice to Ellicott (now Carroll) where they lived among the Covell families. Serena died in the Town of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, on February 16, 1864. She is buried in Fentonville Cemetery in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. She is buried next to her son, Edmund, and near her brother, Wheeler Rice, and his wife.

The family group of John and Serena spanned almost the continent. Serena was born about 70 miles west of Boston, and moved to western New York. Serena's daughter Lucy Jane was born in western New York, moved to the midwest, Houston County, Minnesota, then Barron County, Wisconsin, lived briefly in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and died at her home on the Pacific Ocean at Aberdeen, Washington. Serena's son Seth took a similar path, moving from western New York to Barron County, Wisconsin, then to the area near Seattle, Washington. Serena's sons John and Charles, and daughters Augusta and Emeline (Emma), migrated to eastern Washington State. John Covell's father, Seth Covell, was born at Harwich on Cape Cod, migrated to eastern New York after the Revolutionary War, then to western New York.

All of the Covell children were in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, or Carroll, Chautauqua County, through the 1865 census. The first three Covell children to go west were Lucy Jane who married in 1866 and went west to Houston County, Minnesota, with her husband, Alonzo J. Barton; Charles Malford Covell who went to Red Rock, Mower County, Minnesota in 1867; and Franklin Covell who is not in the 1870 census of South Valley, but also could not be found in the census elsewhere. By the 1860's, railroads reached from Cattaraugus County, New York, to La Crosse, Wisconsin, and no doubt the Covell children went west from South Valley on the railroad.

This family group and their close ancestors helped found, preserve, and settle this nation. On April 19, 1775, Serena's grandfather, Joseph Brigham, Jr., answered the Lexington Alarm of Paul Revere's famous ride, "The redcoats are coming," and fired some of the "shots heard around the world." The British soldiers were on their way to Lexington and Concord, where they planned to sieze the weapons of the patriots. The redcoats succeeded at Lexington, but were soundly defeated and turned back at Concord as the patriots streamed in from the surrounding area. Serena's grandfather Brigham later was given a Lieutenant's commission. John Covell's father Seth and grandfather John served in the Revolutionary War. Four sons of John and Serena Rice Covell served in the Union Army in the Civil War. A daughter and a granddaughter married Union Army veterans.

Children of John and Serena Rice Covell:

  1.

Augusta B. Covell was born on May 6, 1828, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. She died at age 84 on January 31, 1913, while living with her brother Charles and sister Emeline (Emma) in Dover (now Stayman), Chelan County, Washington. Augusta is buried next to her brother Charles in Fraternal Cemetery (originally IOOF Cemetery), near the city of Chelan in Chelan County, Washington. Augusta never married and had no children.

According to census data, Augusta lived with her brothers Edmund and Lewis, and sister Emeline (Emma), in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, from 1843 through at least 1880. On May 25, 1889, in Barron County, Wisconsin, Augusta B. Covell signed, in her own hand, a statement that she was a resident of Barron County, Wisconsin, that she had been present when her sister Lucy married Alonzo J. Barton on July 4, 1866, (in South Valley) and that she was present when he died on October 14, 1888, in Barron County, Wisconsin. The statement is in Alonzo's service pension file, WC 264387. This places Augusta's removal from South Valley to Barron, Wisconsin, between late 1880 and October, 1888, and she was living with her sister Lucy in Barron in 1900. When the Covell families left Barron shortly after the turn of the 20th
 

  2.

Helen Louisa Covell was born on March 7, 1830, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. She used the name Louisa throughout her life. She died at age 60 on May 21, 1890, in the village of Cameron, Barron County, Wisconsin. She is buried in Wayside Cemetery in the city of Barron, Wisconsin. Her cemetery plot is next to that of her brother-in-law, Alonzo J. Barton, where it was intended that her sister, Lucy Jane (Covell) Barton, also would be buried.

Louisa married Daniel J. Forbush on May 23, 1847, at the village of Frewsburg, Chautauqua County, New York. Daniel was born in Massachusetts on March 31, 1828, the son of Luther and Serena (Masters) Forbush, both of Massachusetts. Daniel died in Barron, Wisconsin, at the age of 77 years on August 16, 1905. He is buried next to his wife, Louisa, in Wayside Cemetery in Barron. He was a carpenter. They had one child, daughter Serena Eliza Forbush. Louisa and her husband lived in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York, where he was a farmer at least through 1880, and the family moved to Barron County, Wisconsin, in the 1880's.

Louisa and Daniel grew up together. In 1829, when Daniel was one year-old, and when Louisa would be born the following year, the John Covell and Luther Forbush families lived on Lot 42 in Township 1, Range 10, i.e., the Town of Carroll. A Lot is 360 acres, but Lot 42 was larger to account for the terrain, but nevertheless, the two families were close together.
 

  3.

John Harrison Covell was born on January 25, 1832, in Warren County, Pennsylvania, just across the state line a few miles south of the family home in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He used the name Harrison while he was a younger man living in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, perhaps not to be confused with his father. He died at age 83 years on December 11, 1915, at his home in Usk, Pend Oreille County, Washington. Pend Oreille County was formed from Stevens County on March 1, 1911; thus John Harrison Covell's earlier records there refer to Stevens County. He is buried in Newport Cemetery (originally Odd Fellows Cemetery) at Oldtown in Pend Oreille County with his wife and their three children. His grave marker reads "Harrison Covell, 1st Sgt Co H 154th NY Inf."

When John's father, also John, died in 1854, John Harrison Covell became the head of the family. He enlisted as a Union soldier in the Civil War in 1862. He was 1st Sergeant in Company H of the 154th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment and fought at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and others. He was injured in the battle of Gettysburg and spent six months in the hospital. After returning from the war, John Harrison Covell married Charlotte Moore in 1865. Charlotte was born in the Town of Kiantone, Chautauqua County, New York, on July 22, 1833, the daughter of Frederick and Sarah (Clark) Moore, natives of New York and Massachusetts, respectively. She died at age 89 years on November 12, 1922, at her home in Usk, Pend Oreille County, Washington. She is buried in Newport Cemetery at Oldtown in Pend Oreille County with her husband and their three children. John and Charlotte started their family on the Covell family farm in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. His siblings Augusta, Edmund, Lewis, and Emeline, left the farm and moved about four miles to a farm near the junction of Sawmill Run Road, and South Sawmill Run Road, a few miles west of what was then the village of Onoville in South Valley. The Sawmill Run Roads run west to the village of Frewsberg and the hamlet of Fentonville, about six miles away, where the Covell families originally settled. John and Charlotte had two sons and a daughter, all born in South Valley, where John Harrison Covell was a farmer.  In 1892 the family moved to the Calispell valley in the state of Washington where John Harrison was a farmer. The oldest child of John and Charlotte never married. Their two younger children married but had no surviving children.
 

  4.

George Washington Covell was born about 1834 in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He died at about age 22 between June 1, 1855, (the date of the 1855 state census) and January 1, 1857, when his father's estate was administered and there is no mention of George Washington Covell or a wife or children. He is shown as George in the 1850 census and Washington in the 1855 census. Thus he was probably named after the father of our country. No record has been found of him after the 1855 census. He probably died in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. His burial place is not known. Probably, he was buried next to his father. He was a teacher. He was not married and had no children.
 

  5.

Edmund R. Covell was born in March, 1836, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He died at age 82 or 83 in 1919 probably in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. He is buried next to his mother in Fentonville Cemetery, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He never married and had no children.

Edmund served as a Union soldier in the Civil War. He served in Company A of the 188th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He was a farmer in South Valley at least through 1880. On April 19, 1883, Edmund Covell witnessed the signatures of A. J. Barton and Lucy J. Barton his wife of the Town of Stanley on a deed for the sale of 160 acres in the Town of Stanley, Barron County, Wisconsin. The property was the South-East 1/4 of Section 2, Township 34, Range 11, i.e. on the northwest corner of 23rd Street and what would be 17th Avenue if it was extended to this area. In 1900 Edmund was working on the farm of his brother Seth in Cameron, Barron County, Wisconsin.
 

  6.

Lucy Jane Covell was born on March 4, 1838, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. She died at age 83 on June 3, 1921, in Aberdeen, Grays Harbor County, Washington. She is buried in Sumner Cemetery, Sumner, Washington, not in Puyallup as shown on her Washington State Death Certificate. Her gravestone reads "Lucy." The Sumner Cemetery record gives her name as "Mabel Barton," but that is Lucy's daughter Mabel who made the funeral arrangements.

In 1855, Lucy was a teacher in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. She married Alonzo J. Barton on July 4, 1866, in South Valley. Alonzo was born in the Town of Poland, Chautauqua County, New York, on February 23, 1836, the son of Joseph and Sarah (Akerley) Barton, the former of Salisbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, and the latter of the Town of Mayfield, Montgomery (now Fulton) County, New York. Alonzo served in the Civil War as a Sergeant Major in the Ninth Regiment of the New York Volunteer Cavalry and fought as part of the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg and other battles. He was captured in hand-to-hand combat at Brandy Station on October 11, 1863, and imprisoned in Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. He returned to South Valley, Chautauqua County, New York, after the war, and he and Lucy were married. In 1866, Lucy and Alonzo moved to Yucatan, Houston County, Minnesota, where Alonzo farmed. In 1872, they moved to Barron County, Wisconsin, where Alonzo farmed, was twice elected County Sheriff, was twice elected County Register, and was running for a third term when he died. Lucy and Alonzo had six children, the first four born in Minnesota and two born in Wisconsin. Alonzo died at age 52 on October 14, 1888, in Barron, Wisconsin, and is buried in Wayside Cemetery in Barron, Wisconsin. Shortly after 1800, Lucy and most of her children moved to Washington state. Three of Alonzo and Lucy's children married and had children.
 

  7.

Seth Warner Covell was born on March 24, 1840, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He died at age 81 on November 1, 1921, in Seattle, Washington. He is buried in the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Cemetery in Snohomish, Snohomish County, Washington.

Seth was a Civil War soldier in the Union army. He enlisted from Carroll for three years on August 13, 1862, at age 22. He was mustered into Company H, 154th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment as a private on September 25, 1862. He was taken prisoner of war on May 2, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia. On October 21, 1886, in Cameron, Barron County, Wisconsin, Seth married Harriett Maria Wallace Covell, widow of his brother Franklin. Harriett Maria Wallace was born in Buffalo, New York, on June 21, 1859, the daughter of James Matthew and Ann Eliza (Lockwood) Wallace, the former born in Bloomfield, Canada, the latter born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. Harriett died in Machias, Snohomish County, Washington, on January 2, 1913. She is buried in the GAR Cemetery in Snohomish. Seth and Harriett had four sons and a daughter, all born in Barron County, Wisconsin, where Seth farmed. They also raised Harriett's son from her first marriage. In 1901 Seth moved from Barron County, Wisconsin, to a ranch in Machias, Snohomish County, Washington, where he lived until he moved to Seattle in 1920. The four sons of Seth and Harriett grew up, married and had children. Their daughter died as a teenager.
 

  8.

Charles Melford Covell was born on June 7, 1842, in Carroll, Chautauqua County, New York. He died at age 74 on August 5, 1916, in Dover (now Stayman), Chelan County, Washington. He is buried next to his sister Augusta in Fraternal Cemetery (originally IOOF Cemetery), near the city of Chelan in Chelan County, Washington. Charles Melford Covell never married and had no children.

Charles was a Civil War soldier in the Union army. On September 3, 1864, in Jamestown, New York, Charles enlisted in Company F, 9th New York Volunteer Cavalry Regiment. He saw action with General Sheridan's army in the Shenandoah Valley from mid-October of 1864 until the spring of 1865 when Confederate General Early's army was driven out of the valley. Charles went with his command to join General Grant at Petersburg, Virginia, from where they pursued General Lee's army until Lee surrendered. Charles was mustered out on June 30, 1865. After the war, Charles returned to South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York, where he lived with his family for two years. Then he moved to the Town(ship) of Red Rock, near the city of Austin, Mower County, Minnesota, where he lived for five years.

Charles moved to Barron County, Wisconsin, about 1872, about the same time as Alonzo J. Barton and his wife, Lucy Jane Covell Barton, sister of Charles, moved to Barron County. Charles homesteaded 40 acres in Section 3 of Chetek Township, just south of 12th Avenue on Edgewood Road (about 1/4 miles from the homestead of his brother-in-law, Alonzo Barton). In about 1878, Charles homesteaded 160 acres in Section 27 of Sumner Township, at Route 8 and 28th Street. Charles lived in Barron County for about 30 years until 1902 when at the age of 60 he moved to Dover (now Stayman), Chelan County, Washington, on the west bank of the Columbia River, where he lived with his sisters Augusta and Emma until he died in 1916. Their home was on the south side of Chelan Butte, sometimes on the Dover flat near the Great Northern railroad and the Columbia River, and sometimes higher on the "Covil Bench" (Section 4, Twp. 26 North, Range 22 East) on the butte. Charles was a farmer, but there is also a reference to his having a "railroad grading camp" at the Dover flat. He served as Deputy Postmaster at Dover from 1914 until he died. He served as a member of the school Board of the Dover School District No. 30 for one-year terms in 1902, 1911, and 1913. "Georgia Bartram Peterson especially remembers Mr. Covil (sic) because he accused her of not being able to spell — the year of 1912-13 when Georgia taught at the Dover school."
 

  9.

Lewis D. Covell was born in 1844 in South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. He died at age 42 on January 1, 1887, at which time he was a resident in the village of Onoville in the Town(ship) of South Valley, Cattaraugus County, New York. His burial place is not known. He is not buried in Fentonville Cemetery as incorrectly stated on the Fentonville Cemetery website. His name is on that cemetery record as the person who was billed for expenses for the Covell grave plot. Probably Lewis was buried with his father and brother George: all probably were moved to some other cemetery and buried as "Unknown" when the Kinzua dam and reservoir project was underway. Lewis D. Covell never married and had no children.

Lewis remained at home in South Valley where he was a farmer until the early 1880's. On February 27, 1883, Lewis bought 37 acres in Section 21, Twp. 34, Range 11, from Alonzo J. and Lucy J. Barton. This property is on the edge of the village of Cameron, Barron County, Wisconsin. On December 10, 1884, Lewis Covell of Fentonville, New York state, sold Lots One and Two of Block Five in Covell's Addition to the Village of North Cameron, Barron County. Lots One and Two were sold to two different individuals. It appears that Lewis removed from South Valley to Barron County, Wisconsin, in the early 1880's, but decided to return to New York. There is a Lewis Avenue in Cameron, Wisconsin. Lewis Avenue runs east from North 10th Street to Bolivar Street. Lewis Avenue is almost certainly named for Lewis Covell who died when many members of the Covell family lived in Cameron and owned that property.
 

 10.

Franklin M. Covell was born in 1847 in South Valley, Cattataugus County, New York. He used the name Frank. He died at age 36 on March 20, 1883, in the Town(ship) of Stanley, Barron County, Wisconsin. In the 1880 census of the Town of Stanton, Dunn County, Wisconsin, Frank Covell (family #61, indexed on HeritageQuest as Frank W. Corel) is shown with his wife Harriett Wallace, daughter of James Matthew and Ann Eliza (Lockwood) Wallace, as described in full in the above sketch of Seth Warner Covell. The Covell and Wallace families were living in the same dwelling. Frank and Harriett had no children on the enumeration date. They were probably recently wed because they had two sons, not twins, by February 1882. The Wallace family had a three year-old son who was born in Vermont. Thus they had not been in Wisconsin for more than a few years.

Frank Covell was in the family home in South Valley through at least 1860. I have not found him in the 1870 census. In 1876, Frank Covell was the grantee of a warranty deed for property in Dunn County, Wisconsin. He may have bought it earlier and had it recorded in 1876. On February 8, 1882, Frank Covell "of Dunn County," sold a property in Dunn County, Wisconsin, on a "land contract," or "contract for deed." He died barely a year later in Barron County, Wisconsin. Therefore, he moved from Dunn County to Barron County between February, 1882, and March 1883. Frank and Harriett (Wallace) Covell had two sons. After Frank died, his brother Seth married his widow.
 

 11.

Emeline Covell was born in 1849 in South Valley, Cattataugus County, New York. She used the name Emma, and she was Em to those who knew her. She was living in Machias, Snohomish County, Washington, with her brother Seth in 1920. I know not what happened to her after that. Seth moved to Seattle later in 1920, and died in 1921. Emma was married for an unknown time and divorced between the years 1880 and 1909. She had no children

Emma was with the family in South Valley through the 1880 census in which she was recorded as Single. I could not find her in the 1900 census. She must have been married because in the 1910 and 1920 censuses she is recorded as Divorced. The 1910 census recorded that she had no children born to her. In 1910 she was living with her brother Charles and sister Augusta in Dover, Chelan County, Washington. "Leola Stanaway Kennedy remembers that Emma (Em) Covil (sic) was postmistress of Dover sometime between 1912 and 1916 when she was fetching mail and groceries during the period that her father's grading camp was on Dover Flats and later when they lived farther up on the Butte. Anna Ballard, on the other hand, puts the date at 1908 or '09 and has the Covils (sic) moving back to their homestead on the bench somewhat later; she 'never knew which of them was postmaster.'" By 1920, both Charles and Augusta had passed away, and Emma was living with her brother Seth in Machias, Snohomish County, Washington.

Of the 11 children of John and Serena (Rice) Covell, eight are on record as living in Barron County, Wisconsin. George Washington Covell died young. There is no record that John Harrison Covell went to Barron. Emma Covell might have gone to Barron with everyone else, but there is no record. After the first few in 1872, it seems that most of the children of John and Serena (Rice) Covell went to Barron in about 1882 or so.

by James C. Barton in the Year of our Lord 2008.


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