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David Ingraham (1803-1870) and Anna Howard (ABT 1812- BEF 1860)
A Life that Begins in New Ashford, Massachusetts
David Ingraham was born 5 July 1803, most likely in New Ashford, Berkshire County, Massachusetts, as it appears that he (and his parents) spent most of his life there, and always remained within the county of Berkshire. He was the son of Jonathan Ingraham and Mary Howard.
Berkshire County is located on the western edge of the state of Massachusetts. 2 Its county seat is Pittsfield and the Berkshire hills are in the centre of the county. New Ashford is located in the northwestern region of the county, close to the border with New York. It remains mostly rural today, so it was undoubtedly a rural area then. Today, however, it is considered part of the Pittsfield, Massachusetts Metropolitan Statistical Area. New Ashford was first settled in 1762 and incorporated in 1835.
A Life with Anna
Five years before the town’s incorporation, David married Anna Howard in about 1830 in New Ashford, Massachusetts. He was 27 years old; she was 18. She had been born between 1810 and 1812 in Vermont. Details of the lives of David Ingraham and Anna Howard are thus far fairly elusive. More research needs to be done. However, their existence is confirmed in two country-wide censuses: 1850 and 1860. Part of the problem lies in David’s name, which is very common, and the fact that, as yet, there is no confirmed middle name attached to it, although one source on Ancestry.com identifies his middle name as his mother’s maiden name, Howard.
David and Anna had at least eight children, born between Anna’s 20th and 41st birthdays. All but Frank are confirmed in the 1850 Census from Adams, Berkshire County, Massachusetts:
- David Almon b. 8 July 1832 in New Ashford, Berkshire, MA d. 15 August 1919 3
- Betsy b. 1834
- Hannah b. 1840
- Nancy b. 1842
- Elvira b. 1844
- William b. 1846
- Charlie b. 1848
- Henry Frank b. 1853
David without Anna
In the 1850 Census, David is 47, a laborer, and working in Adams, Berkshire, Massachusetts, along with his 19-year-old son, (David) Almon. Anna is 40 years old and taking care of the younger children: Betsey, 16; Nancy, 12; Hannah, 10; Elvira, 6; William, 4. [It is unknown why Charlie, who would have been 2, is not listed in the census.]
The next ten years must have been tough. In 1853, Anna gives birth to her last child, Henry Frank. She dies either in childbirth or sometime between 1853 and 1859, because she is not in the 1860 Census.
David, at the age of 56 in 1860, is a widower, and he still counts himself as a farm labourer. He assesses his personal estate at $90, a small number even for those times. He also claims no real estate, so he must be working on other people’s farms. He is living in New Ashford, Massachusetts, with his three youngest sons: William, 11; Charles, 9; and Henry Franklin, 7. His oldest son, David Almon, had married five years before and moved away from New Ashford (though he would return). In 1860, as well, the Civil War was about to occur and David’s oldest son would go to fight for the Union cause.
The date of David’s death was found in ancestry.com Personal Family Tree section, so it may not be accurate. That document says that he died on 2 Sep 1874 in Berkshire County, and perhaps we can assume that it was probably New Ashford.
This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of David Ingraham and Anna Howard. This page last updated on April 21, 2019.