So, I’ve been mapping all the dead Phillipses near Marion, New York, hoping that geography can show me something about possible relatives for Luke. You know my theory that Luke’s dad is Isaac Phillips, the only Phillips near where Marion would be in 1810 who had small children.
Well, up in the Furnaceville Cemetery, just northwest of Marion, there’s an interesting Phillips family–Sayles Phillips, his wife Amelia, their sons Harley and Theron, and one of their daughters, Cordelia. Sayles died in 1851. His kids, who are all roughly the same age as Luke either lived to be old or died in the Civil War. That’s how Harley and Theron went. Amelia also died in 1862, in what we can only surmise was “No husband, two dead sons? Fuck this shit, I’m out.”
Sayles is interesting because he seems to bring us back to the Phillips family in Connecticut I’ve long thought we must be a part of. This would be the family of Elijah Phillips and Rhoda Sayles. Let’s go over the suspicion-raising things. Luke says his parents were born in Connecticut. Elijah and Rhoda got married, had kids, and died in Connecticut (though Elijah was, I think, from Rhode Island). Luke has a daughter named Rhoda. Elijah and Rhoda’s descendants contain a lot of Rhodas. Elijah Phillips has a son, Asa, who has a son, Johnathan, who has a son, Anson, who has a son named Hildreth, who lived in Michigan, who is certainly the Hildreth Phillips that got my great-great uncle Barlow the job (remember, his son told me that Hildreth Phillips got his dad a job and Carroll, the son, always assumed it was my Grandpa, also named Hildreth, but he would have been a young child). Plus, this branch of the Phillips family came through Canada to Michigan, as my Uncle B. told me was the case. I just cannot accept that two Hildreth Phillipses whose lives somewhat intersected aren’t related. I cannot.
But, while it’s unlikely that Sayles Phillips would be named Sayles Phillips if he weren’t a relative of Rhoda Sayles Phillips, I haven’t found the connection. I know Isaac was around 1780. And Rhoda tended to have children once every two years:
John Sayles 1777
So, I guess it’s possible that he might fit between Michael and Polly, but the kids I was able to find in a church register were Michael, Hannah, and Polly. If Isaac were born between any of them, he’d probably have been caught by the church.
That’s frustrating. You’d think a name like “Sayles Phillips” would result in a traceable family, but so far, no. Still, I wonder if I will find that Sayles is Luke’s brother, and both of them are sons of Isaac.
But I’m starting to realize that I’m going to have to go there to chase this stuff down.