Having recently begun (once again)to attempt to "sort out" the lineage of my 3rd. Great-Granfather - Henry Hinckley.
Note that my Hinckley Family research has bee conducted with a particular emphsis on those Hinckleys having moved from New York (almost certainly Monroe County) to Van Buren County, SW-Michigan in the mid-late 1830's.
Whereas a Jonathan N.(Niles?)Hinckley (1772-1855) is well documented in several Van Buren County, MI. History Books, Probate Files, Land Plats and so on, my ancestor Henry has to date - only appeared in early (1840 & 1850) Federal Censuses for Antwerp Township, Van Buren County, MI. This, in addition to his Probate File (same location,) and on the Death Certificate of his Daughter Eliza N. Hinckley-Williams (my 2nd. Great-Grandmother.)
Although he is always referred to as "Henry Hinckley."I'm uncertain as to whether or not he may have had a precendent given name other than Henry. Note that all references to Henry Hinckley indicate that he was born in New York
in 1805-06. Note also that my research has uncovered the fact that he died (in Antwerp, Van Buren County, MI) in the 1854-56 "timeframe." This, having been ascertained from his Probate File whereas his widow Lana petioned for
guardianship on behalf of a gentleman named Joseph.Gilman.
Henry Hinckley appears as Head of Household in the 1840 and 1850 Federal censuses for Antwerp Twp. - then, as expected, is "gone" in 1860. The minor children mentioned in the Probate Petition for Guardianship (executed 3 years earlier) are, as anticipated, listed as living with said Joseph Gilman in Antwerp, Van Buren Co, MI in 1860. Mother and Henry's widow Lana, and other Hinckley children are enummerated seperately -but- must have lived virtually right next door as their ennumeration entry is directly below that of Mr. Gilman.
Having recently discovered the "existence" of one "Gershom
Hinckley, Jr" (a elder brother to Jonathan N. Hinckley,) in addition to information that follows, I have virtually concluded that "my" Henry Hinckley was, in fact, Gershom Jr's son, and therefore a nephew to the "more celebrated" Jonathan N. Hinkley. Being a "stickler" for proofs, however, I cannot prove this relationship until such time that a Will and/or Probate file for Gershom, Jr. (or birth/Baptism record) for Henry can be consulted. This assumes that such a document or documents exist.
Although it would aid my research tremendously, I cannot locate a Death Certificate for Henry Hinckley as he died in the mid 1850's -and- Death Records for Van Buren County, MI do not include any entries prior to 1867.
I offer the following as a basis for my assumption of Henry's relationship to Gershom Hinckley, Jr. and his his brother, Jonathan N. Hinckley:
1) Henry's (calculated) year of birth is 1805-06. This date easily "fits" into a time period when Gershom, Jr. would have been of an age to have fathered a child.
2) Henry came to Van Buren County, Michigan sometime before 1840 and lived (and died) in Antwerp Township, Van Buren County, MI.
3) Henry's land was located in Township 3S, Range 13W, Section 4 i.e. Antwerp - an 1844 map of Antwerp Twp notes that an "H. Hinckley" lived on said land.Of particular note is the fact that a purchase for the identical "plat" is recorded as having been purchased by Jonathan N. Hinckley in September of 1838. For the record, the majority of Jonathan N's other land purchases were made in the
neighboring Township of Columbia, Van Buren County, MI. where he (Jonathan N.) is known to have lived and died.
4) A Family Treemaker "Personal Page" reveals that Gershom Hinckley, Jr. fathered a child named "Henry N. Hinckley" born in 1805. No other information regarding Henry is available on that website - and.....have failed thusfar in attempting to contact the "author" of said website.
5) Included among Henry Hinckley's children ennumerated in the 1850 Federal Census for Antwerp Twp, Van Buren County, Michigan is an infant (5/12 i.e. 5 months old) whose given name is either Gersham or Gershom. Note that the infant child Gersham/Gershom is presumed to have died before 1860 as no further mention of this child occurs with regard to any/all "solid" information relating to Henry. Recall that available Michigan Death Records do not go back far enough to "capture" a death certificate for the child - assuming any record was ever filed.
Based on the information above, it is very difficult not to "assume" that Henry Hinckley is, in fact, the son of Gershom Hinckley, Jr -and- nephew to Jonathan N. Hinckley. But, "hard proof" has yet to surface.
Any/all assistance in establishing this alleged link would be GREATLY appreciated.
Gary A. Beam