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Addendum to the Eastman Family History

By: Matthew Bivins Rogers


1Roger "the Immigrant" Eastman was born April 16, 1610 in Wales. He migrated to America in 1638 and married Sarah (Smith?). Most studies support this statement however Roger The Immigrant's wife's name has never been verified.


2Peter Eastman who married Esther Laird was born June 16, 1712. He was the second of Peter and Mehitable's sons to be born as the father's namesake. The earlier Peter died the day after he was born September 8, 1709. It appears Peter the first was born premature as his older sister, Mary was born less than six months earlier March 21, 1709.


Peter was married at least once before he married Esther Laird and all of Peter's children appear to have been born before he married Esther.


3Peter Eastman the son of William Eastman, who married Phebe (Fillmore). The Guy Rix compilation identifies Peter as the son of Joseph and Phebe (Hendricks) Eastman. Mr. Rix also includes a caveat explaining his confusion as to John and his supposed brother Peter's true parentage. He refers to a record in which the name "Phebe Hend---" appears with the rest of the name torn off the paper. The "Family Records of Peter Eastman" identifies Peter as the son of William Eastman, the unknown author also refers to the record in which the name "Phebe Hend---" appears with the rest of the name torn off the paper, however in his caveat the re record is only used to explain John Eastman's parentage.


some studies identify Peter as the son of Peter and Esther Laird born sometime before 1743. In these instances they'll state he first married Lois (Strong) and second married Phebe (Fillmore). We believe the Peter in our study was the son of Joseph and Phebe (Hendrix) Eastman, born in 1763 and his only wife was Phebe (Filmore).


The confusion likely arises from the compilation by Guy Rix. "History and Genealogy of the Eastman family of America (Containing Biographical Sketches and Genealogies of Both Males and Females)", compiled by: Guy Rix, 1901. It is available online through Heritage Quest.


We don't want to discount Guy Rix's compilation, but it does appear he had trouble researching the Eastman's as they moved away from Massachusetts, especially with the New York families. 


Mr. Rix places notes and caveats within his work, which infer he was unsure about some of his findings. When researching these families it's wise to seek verification, independent of the Rix publications. The entries in the Rix book we consulted are: Peter Eastman (#86), Joseph Eastman (#89),  Peter Eastman (#252 son of #86) and Peter Eastman (#256 son of #89). By comparing these entries it's easy to understand how they could create confusion. 


Matthew Eastman married Sally Sanborn. Most genealogy studies state Matthew and Sally were married in 1825. They also show the couple only had three children: Warren S, Emily A. and Matthew Jr. These same studies state Matthew was born December 14, 1797.


The research we've done on our Eastman ancestors will question the three facts in the previous paragraph. We will show...

  1. Matthew was born December 14, 1787 not in 1797, 

  2. He was married before he married Sally (Sanborn) in 1825 

  3. He had two other children that are not included in other studies.

The 1850 census enumeration for Matthew Eastman enumerates him living with his wife Sally, his two sons Warren Sanborn and Mathew Jr, his daughter Emily and Sally's mother Sarah Sanborn. There's also Rachel Eastman living with the family. She is one year younger than Warren and may be his first wife. Rachel does not appear in any other census connected with the family.  The 1850 census clearly shows Matthew Sr.'s age to be 62. 


The 1860 census enumerates Matthew living with his wife Sally, his son Matthew Jr, Henry Lindsley and Sally's mother Sarah Sanborn. Matthew's age isn't so clear in this census. It looks like the enumerator first wrote 22 and then wrote a 7 over the first 2 in the column in an attempt to change 22 to 72. One could dispute whether his age is enumerated as 22 or 72 in the 1860 census, but there's no way it could be interpreted as 62. The census was enumerated July 20, 1860. Matthew would have to be shown at 62 years old if he were born in December, 1797. 


The 1850 and 60 census enumerations support our claim Matthew was born in 1787 and not 1797 as previous studies claim. We have since found cemetery transcriptions that also collaborate this.


A Matthew Eastman, first shows up independently in the 1810 census of Sheldon, Genesee County, New York. He and women we presume to be his first wife are shown to be between the age of 16 and 25. They're probably newlyweds in 1810 and they haven't had a chance to produce any children. Enumerated on the next row above Matthew is Peter Eastman, who is between the age of 26 and 45. This Peter may be Matthew's Father. 


The enumeration of 1820 shows Matthew and his wife between the ages of 26 and 45. This census shows two sons under the age of ten, living with the couple. Peter Eastman is enumerated on the fifth row below Matthew. 


The 1830 census shows that Matthew is between the ages of 40 and 50. His wife is between 30 and 40 years of age. The couple has one son under the age of 5 and one between the ages of 10 and 15. This suggests one of the couples sons from the previous census of 1820 died in infancy. The ages of the sons match that of Warren S. Eastman and the older son Orren Andrew Eastman. Enumerated five rows above Matthew, is Peter Eastman Jr. the Senior Peter Eastman, is two rows above that.


The 1840 census for Matthew Eastman, enumerates one boy less than 5 years old, one boy between 5 and 10 years old, one man between 50 and 60 years of age and another man between 80 and 90 years of age. There is also a girl between 5 and 10 years old, a women between the ages of 40 and 50 and another women between 70 and 80 years of age. We believe the older couple are Sally (Sanborn's) parents James and Sarah (Elkins) Sanborn. Peter Eastman is enumerated two rows above  and Peter Eastman Jr. four rows below. If you've been able to follow the logic so far, you've noticed there is a son missing from the 1840 census who should be between 20 and 30 years old.


The 1810 through 1860 census enumerations do not prove Matthew and Sally (Sanborn) were married before 1825. They do suggest Matthew was married before this date and Sally (Sanborn) may be his second wife.


We believe the missing son from the 1830 census is Orren Andrew Eastman, found in the 1840 enumeration of Java, Genesee County, New York. This is the only census Orren Andrew Eastman is enumerated in. He appears with a wife who has two children from a previous marriage. These children were born while Orren was still living with his Father and makes it appear the family of Orren Eastman was established before 1830. In fact the family was established in 1837/38. 


Orren married Ann Marie (Kearney) O'Neil some time around 1837/38. Ann was the widow of Cornelius O'Neil and had two children from her previous marriage.


1840 is the only census we know of that Orren is enumerated in, independently of his father. Orren died September 30, 1845 in Jennings County, Indiana. 


One of the reasons we believe Orren is the son of Matthew and Sally Eastman, is because of the research William A. Hastie did on the family. William was the husband of Orren's Granddaughter Ann S. (Stearns). He interviewed Orren's Daughter, Hester Ann (Eastman) Stearns/Murdock before 1910, while his Mother in-law was living with him. The findings from these interviews were transcribed in a letter written by his son Charles and sent to Charles' cousin, Hester (Battcher) Coyne in 1967. When Hester (Eastman) was telling William Hastie the history of her family, there were no genealogy resources available to her, all she had to rely on was the memory of what had been passed down to her from her elders.


The Charles' Hastie Letter states Orren Andrew Eastman was the son of Matthew and "Sarah" Eastman of Attica, New York. The names Sally and Sarah being interchangeable and easily confused we believe it would have been easy for Hester Eastman to confuse them. We have searched and found no other couple, which so closely resembles the one Hester describes, living in Genesee or Wyoming Counties New York, between 1790 and 1870.


Since starting this study, other information about Orren Eastman has come to us from the Phebe (Eastman) Sprout, Letter, transcribed by Judy Mills Boie. Judy's family also believes Orren was the son of Matthew and Sally Eastman and until now our families have not known of each other. Through the history of Judy's family we've learned Sally Naomi (Eastman) Eastman/Tyler was the mother of Orren. 


The mystery remains: who is Orren's father? Is it possible Matthew Eastman and Sally Naomi (Eastman) were married at one time and later divorced?


The "The family Records of Peter Eastman” LDS File #15589 from the archives in Salt Lake City, which tells of Matthew Eastman marrying his cousin Sally and that she ran off with another man, came to us late in this study. It has some problems with names and dates, but most stories of this nature have some basis in truth.


This study appears to be prepared sometime before 1945 and is independent of anyone researching the family today. In the hundreds of studies we've examined it only appears to be sourced with a caveat in the research of Pomala Black, which is how it came to our attention. Our research and speculation seems to be confirmed by this report.


Given the research we've conducted, with the resources available to us, we do not believe it's a mere coincidence, Orren Eastman's son is named Matthew Warren. We believe Matthew Warren was named after his Grandfather and Uncle.

We have four independent sources inferring a relationship between Sally the daughter of Dr. Nathaniel Eastman and a Mathew Eastman.

  1. The Charles Hastie Letter; a transcription from an interview of Oren Eastman’s daughter, Hester (Eastman) conducted before 1910. Identifies Orren’s parents as Matthew and Sally Eastman and Orren’s Uncle as Rowley Eastman. http://www.colemancoyne.com/KearneyIntro.htm 

  2. LDS file #15589, “The family Records of Peter Eastman”, page 44, provided by Pomala Black; tells the story of Sally Eastman the daughter of Dr. Nathaniel Eastman running away from her first husband Matthew Eastman the son of Peter and Phebe (Filmore) Eastman http://www.colemancoyne.com/MatthewSally.htm

  3. "The Eastman Family in Jennings County, Ind." With permission of Harold Eastman of Spencer Twp. Identifies the first husband of Sally Naomi Eastman as Matthew Eastman. (source available upon request with permission)

  4. The letter provided by Judy Boie, from Phebe (Eastman) Sprout dated May 1844 that mentions Orren Eastman and his “Mother”. It doesn’t identify his mother as Sally Naomi (Eastman) specifically, but it infers the relationship. (source available upon request with permission)

Only one of the sources above identifies Mathew as the son of Peter Eastman. However the 1810 and 1820 census records can support the claim Mathew was married as early as 1810, before he married Sally (Sanborn) in 1825 and he had at least two children born before 1820.

It would be easy for Orren to be overlooked when researching the family. He died more than twenty years before his Father. His wife had remarried twice after his death and she had no direct relations living near Attica, New York after 1850. All of Orren's children had either died or, in the case of his daughters, been married off by the time Orren's Father's estate would have been probated. Given the estrangement of Orren's Mother, and other circumstances It's quite possible Orren's children and his widow would not have been mentioned in Matthew Eastman's Will.


Our research sources are available upon request. Any comments, suggestions or criticisms are welcome and appreciated.


contact coleman@colemancoyne.com 

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