Civil War - Civil Union:
The Elderkin Family in North America
Civil War-Civil Union
Chapter 1: 1842-1862
Chapter 2: 1862-1863
Chapter 3: 1863-1882 Chapter 4: 1883-1912
Chapter 5: 1912-on
Descendancy Chart (to come)
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Civil War-Civil Union is copyrighted 2003
Before recounting David’s travails and Mary’s heroism, it is important to place these characters within their familial and historical contexts.
The first Elderkin to set foot in North America was John Elderkin, who was born in England in approximately 1612. He landed at Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts in 1637, and traveled about New England before settling in New London, Connecticut in 1651. He was a builder who constructed corn mills in Dedham and Reading, Massachusetts; Providence, Rhode Island; and New London, Connecticut, where he also constructed a church.[i]
John Elderkin was about 44 when he married Elizabeth Drake, his second wife, in Windsor, Connecticut in June of 1687.[ii] The couple did as most of their generation did – they multiplied themselves many times over, and so did their children. Many of the Elderkins living in the United States today are descended from John Elderkin and Elizabeth Drake. There is an extensive body of research into their progeny.
Most of the family stayed remained in New England, but John Elderkin’s grandson Joseph Elderkin and his wife Mary (Story) Elderkin left their families behind in the late 1740s and moved their large brood to Horton, Kings County, Nova Scotia. It is not clear why they made the long journey north from the comfortable prosperity the family enjoyed in New England. It would have been too early for them to have been British loyalists fleeing the Revolution. Perhaps their decision was one of the first links of chain migration to Nova Scotia which ensued later in the 18th Century.
Joseph Elderkin’s children quickly populated the Kings County, Nova Scotia area. The youngest, Jeptha, married Emma Johnson on December 23, 1779. The couple had twelve children.[iii] William was the second oldest boy. He moved to Cumberland County, Nova Scotia and married Nancy Troop, an Annapolis County, Nova Scotia girl from Granville, on January 11, 1813.[iv] In March of 1828, when they had five children under twelve, Nancy died.[v]
Unable to care for the children alone, William seems to have turned to Nancy’s unmarried younger sister, Catherine, for help. She must have been up to the task, for two years later, on July 10,1830, the widower William Elderkin and Catherine Troop wed.[vi] Catherine was 33. William and Catherine set to work on raising their own children, Charles Frederic (b. 14 June 1831), Julia Augusta (b. 9 Aug 1833) and David Troop (b. 11 June 1838), as well as the older ones from his first marriage, (George b. 23 August 1816), Catherine (b. 9 September 1818), Sarah Moriah (b. 3 June 1821), Thomas Hanley (b. 22 November 1823), and William Johnson (b. 27 January 1826).[vii]
Weaver, William L., History of Ancient Windham, Elderkin Genealogy
Parts XC-XCII, Elderkin Historical Series: Number One (Republished
by Roland D. Elderkin, 1949), 5.
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