R is for Rachel

I had a different subject for “R” planned out but as many of you know things in genealogy just pop up and demand attention. So today I’m going to talk a little about Rachel Flanders.

While I was searching for the parents and origin of Louise Bergen who married Uriah Flanders I decided maybe it was time to look at the husband. In the 1850 Census Uriah is the head of house. He’s living with a Rachel Flanders, John Flanders and a family by the last name of Collins.


I assumed maybe that was his first wife. After more research I learned that Uriah had an older sister named Rachel. She was only about two years older than Uriah. The Rachel listed above is 4 years older. I still strongly believe that this Rachel (above) is his sister. The John Flanders listed is his younger brother I know for a fact.

In the following census records I found Rachel living with John. Uriah has moved on to live with his now wife Louise. Below is the 1870 Census of Rachel and John, living with his wife Julia.


So is it safe to assume that this Rachel listed in 1850 is his sister? Does the 2 year age difference matter? I haven’t  been able to find another marriage record for Uriah other than the one to Louise. Nor have I been able to find the birth record for Rachel. The information I have on her comes from the book “Flanders from Europe to America.”

Whether Rachel was Uriah’s first wife or she was his sister, I think it’s safe to say that she has my attention now and I want to find out more about her.


18 responses

  1. I would bet she is the sister. I have seen census ages be off by as much as 5 years. Don’t forget that a lot of people were illiterate, record keeping was not very accurate, and census enumerators made lots of mistakes!

  2. And looking at your post again, have you evaluated the fact that Betty Collins might be another sister, perhaps widowed and living with her oldest male relative?

    1. Thank you for bringing that to my attention. Uriah did have a sister by Betsy so that’s a possibility that it could be her. That would mean he took care of his three siblings after his parents died. That’s kinda of awesome.

  3. Since both the young boys were born in Massachusetts, you might be able to find their birth records there which would name their parents (including the mother’s maiden name). Sorry if you have done this already, I’m just thinking aloud….

    1. Until now I haven’t even considered that they boys were related to him so I haven’t looked into it. I’m going to do that now. I don’t live anywhere up north so it might be a while to find out if the birth records aren’t online. Thanks again for thinking aloud because it’s help me out a lot 🙂 !

      1. The Massachusetts Vital records are available online. The LDS website has the database.

  4. Just found your blog today, thanks to GeneaBloggers.

    I definitely agree with Genealogy Lady: census records can show a lot of errors. I’d feel better about assuming she is the sister, though, after finding a later census record listing relationships (like 1880). I know that is pushing it, as she’s getting older. Or, moving forward, can you find her death certificate? Unfortunately, she’s of an age so that her date of death likely preceded the governmental listing of parents’ names on the certificate…but if she remained single all her life, perhaps there might be a will?

    Best wishes as you continue working with these frustrating puzzles, (I do like your “Most Wanted” page!) and documenting them in your blog. I enjoyed taking a look around. And thank you for listing my blog in your favorites 🙂

    1. Thank you for checking me out 🙂 I will start looking into Rachel more this weekend. I am interested in finding out more. Also I do love reading your blog and I hope that you can get the connection to Ohio soon 🙂

      1. Thanks…I think I’ll be pleasantly surprised with the outcome of the Ohio research journey!

        I had meant to mention that, in my experience, even published books of family genealogies may contain errors. While you may have found some information in Flanders From Europe to America, check it out for yourself! In my own research work, I’ve discovered that some of the published genealogies I’ve found actually contain errors–sometimes mistaken identities like swapping one person’s data for someone else of a similar name. Don’t assume a published work is totally error-free until you’ve proved the links yourself. Besides, it may save you a lot of agony. Better than jamming the puzzle piece in the wrong slot, just because some book says so. At least, that’s been my experience!

  5. Have you found Uriah and Rachel in the 1860 census? I agree with the “Genealogy Lady” check out FamilySearch.org for birth and death records. I suspect you are correct, but more evidence will prove your hunch.

    1. in 1860 Uriah is with his wife while Rachel has moved in with John. That’s what lead me to believe that the Rachel from 1850 was not his wife, but sister instead.

      I will have to look up the births as soon as I can. Thank you for the advice!

  6. Also to let you know, many families in southern New Hampshire traveled over the Massachusetts border to work in larger cities like Lowell. There was a thriving textile industry in northeastern Massachusetts in the 19th century. I am a born and bred Massachusetts girl and 1/4 of my family tree comes from the Mayflower and related early New England lines. I have a lot of experience researching in New England. If you ever need any advice or get stuck, let me know. 🙂

  7. Sorry I may have repeated myself because I couldn’t get the comments to work. If I did, I hope you can delete the ones before this one. In the New Hampshire Death and Burial Records Index, 1654-1949, it has Betsy G. Collins born 1821 in South Hampton, New Hampshire as widowed. Her parents are Ruben Flanders and Judith Harriman. She died 5 Nov 1885. Look like the Genealogy Lady was right when she said “She might be another sister.” She was born in New Hampshire, but her children were born in Mass., I believe. Well I’m starting to write a story on her. :-). Welcome to Geneabloggers. Sorry, if the other posts show up as well. I was having trouble sending a post and finally registered with WordPress.

  8. Love the name of your blog. Your novice attempt is advanced. Welcome aboard look forward to your continued research.

  9. Maybe this will work now. Having a hard time sending a message, but I’m computer challenged. 🙂 Tried registering with gravatar. I did register with WordPress. Maybe it will work this time. Noticed you can’t click yship to get to my blog (not that you would want to), but I’m trying to figure out how on enable this. I’m computer challenged. 🙂
    My blog is:
    My e-mail is:

    1. Yep I got them 🙂 I will check out your site now 🙂

  10. I entered through google this time. Maybe that will help. I’m experimenting


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