Betsey Holmes (1800-1860)
Betsey Holmes was born on 01 Mar 1800 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut, USA as the fifth child of Thomas Holmes and Elizabeth Baldwin. She had seven siblings, namely: Thomas, David, Andrew Billings, Daniel, Sabra, Nelson Baldwin, and Albert Smith Holmes.
Betsey’s mother, Elizabeth Baldwin Holmes, died on 4 Mar 1810 when Betsey was only ten-years old. Her father remarried later that same year, on 11 Nov 1810, to Nancy Coats. Thomas and Nancy Coats had six children who were half-siblings to Betsey. They were Henry Tyler, Frederick Noyes, Franklin Harris, John Clinton, Charles Burrows, and Mary Esther Holmes.
When Betsey Holmes was about 18, she married Gershom Breed, son of Jabish Breed and Sarah Chapman. They married in Connecticut sometime around 1818. They started their married life in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. Then, sometime between 1822 and 1825, they moved to McDonough, Chenango, New York.
Gershom Breed and Betsey Holmes had the following children:
- Eliza Ann Breed was born in 1818 in North Stonington, New London, Connecticut. She died on 02 Nov 1834 in McDonough, Chenango, New York.
- Jabez N Breed was born in 1821 in Connecticut. He died on 16 May 1876 in McDonough, Chenango, New York.
- Frances Maria Breed was born in Jan 1823 in New York. She died on 20 Jun 1831 in McDonough, Chenango, New York.
- Dudley Breed was born in Apr 1825 in New York, USA. He died in 1907.
- James M Breed was born in Apr 1833 in New York. He married Ann Eliza Gailor on 06 Nov 1853 in Kane, Illinois, USA. He died in 1920 in New York.
Gershom Breed died on 4 August 1833 at McDonough, Chenango, New York and is buried there at McDonough Union Cemetery. He was only 38-years old when he died. Between 1831 and 1834, Betsey lost her two daughters and husband to death.
When she was 34, Betsey Holmes Breed married Jacob W. Phillips, son of Wilhelmus Philip and Magdelena Ostrander, about 1835 in Chenango, New York. He was a widower and brought nine children to the marriage, namely, William James, Elizabeth Sophia, Lena Maria, Barbara, Lucy Caroline, Charlotte, Peter Leander, Celinda, and Jacob Lonsbury Phillips.
In 1839, Jacob and Betsey moved with many friends and relatives from New York to Sugar Grove Township in Kane County, Illinois. Most of Jacob’s children moved with them to Illinois, but Betsey’s children from her first marriage remained in New York. Interestingly, her youngest Breed child was only about six at the time, but even he stayed behind in New York.
Jacob W Phillips and Betsey Holmes had the following children:
- Francis Jerome Phillips was born on 17 Apr 1836 in Chenango, New York. He married Mary Harkiston on 22 Oct 1861 in Kane, Illinois. He died on 06 Mar 1917 in Sugar Grove, Kane, Illinois.
- Harriet Eliza Phillips was born on 01 Jul 1838 in New York. She married William H Orme about 1857 in Illinois. She died on 11 Dec 1900 in Nebraska.
- “Tom” Albert Aveldo Phillips was born on 26 Dec 1841 in Sugar Grove, Kane, Illinois. He married “Millie” Amelia A Brace in 1866. He died on 31 Jul 1925 in Aurora, Kane, Illinois.
After Betsey’s father died on 18 Jun 1835, his estate was settled. Betsey, then already married to her second husband, Jacob Phillips, did not receive anything in the distribution. The estate administration determined that she had already received something in 1818, perhaps at the time of her marriage, that was considered her share. Distributions to the siblings included a little cash and things like a woolen coat and moleskin pantaloons.
In August 1847, Betsey became a widow for the second time when Jacob W. Phillips passed away. He left a will, leaving her as executrix. The will left her property that she could use as long as she remained his widow. Someone came forward and claimed that she was neglecting her duties as executrix, so that duty was taken from her. The probate process was probably difficult for her as she saw creditors come forward and the property had to be sold to pay the bills. In the end, the court allowed her to keep minimal property, namely just a mare, a colt and a couple cows.
When she was 50, Betsey Holmes Breed Phillips married Joseph Oscroft on 23 May 1850 in Kane, Illinois. Then, just a few days after the marriage, on 4 June 1850, Jacob’s property was sold to him.
Joseph Oscroft died 14 August 1857. Betsey Holmes Breed Phillips Oscroft died 5 March 1860 in Sugar Grove, Kane, Illinois at the age of 60. Joseph and Betsey are buried together in the Jericho Cemetery, Sugar Grove, Kane, Illinois.
How can I learn more?
The Phillips Family book covers the life and descendants of Betsey Holmes and her husband, Jacob W. Phillips. Also see the Phillips page for more information.
Where is she in the tree?
Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online..
Ancestry.com, North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), ancestry.com, Book Title: The Baldwin Genealogy, from 1500 to 1881.
“Betsey Oscroft,” Find A Grave, Web, 24 Feb 2017, https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=pv&GRid=47348244&PIpi=53577428.