Which Isabella?  The correct wife for Isaac Savage

Which Isabella - The correct wife for Isaac Savage of Georgetown, Woolwich, Hallowell and Augusta Maine

Isabella (1727-1808), wife of Isaac SAVAGE of Georgetown, Woolwich and Hallowell, Maine seemed like a very straight forward subject for research.

The published vital records of New England are the envy of genealogists throughout the South and West.  Unfortunately these legendary "official sources" can be wrong. Genealogists who copy uncritically from the vital records published in the early 20th century occasionally perpetuate the mistakes of earlier genealogists without even realizing that the data they so carefully copy may not even be an official town record at all.  In fact, that data may be "private records", "family records", "bible records" or the unpublished and undocumented work of a local genealogist/historian.  Often the correct lineage of an individual is easily discovered once the less readily available (or more difficult to decipher) original vital records, deeds and probate records are researched.

There are 3 works treating the Savages of Woolwich that are widely cited by modern researchers, especially Internet genealogists. Two of these are unpublished typescripts in the collection of the Maine Historical Society -Marion L. Dunn's, James Savage of Woolwich, ME (      -1748)1 and some of his descendants  and Early Families of Woolwich, Maine  by Dr. Buck.22  Unlike Dunn's relatively well-documented genealogy, Buck's completely undocumented typescript is readily available on microfilm from the Family History Library.  The 3rd item, cited by Dunn as well as numerous Internet genealogists is the very poorly documented  Families of Georgetown, Maine Pioneers, by Helen Kernoul. 3

According to all three family reconstructions - Isaac SAVAGE, son of James and Christian/Christine SAVAGE, married Isabella ALLEN born c. 1727, daughter of David and Francis (ROGERS) ALLEN of Georgetown, 1 September 1750 in Georgetown .  Dunn's source is the published Georgetown Vital Records (hereafter VR.)  This marriage intentions entry for Isaac and "Below ALON" includes a note in square brackets that corrects the brides name to Isabella Allen and corrects the date to 5 September 1750.4  The note is followed by the abbreviation P.R. 9, which refers to "Family Records compiled by Dr. Buck" of Woolwich. " 5
The original marriage records of this period for Georgetown are either missing  or have never been microfilmed.6  So it was not possible to check the original marriage intention for Isaac and Isabella.  Elsewhere in the published Georgetown births it is apparent that the transcriber of the original Georgetown records had problems with the old handwriting.  Isaac and Isabella had the births of four children recorded in the Georgetown records.  The published VR gives their names variously as Jack and Isabellah, Isack and Isabella and Isaac and Isabelah 7.  A review of the original showed quite plainly and consistently that the names were Isack and Isabellah.  It is likely the surname "Alon" was another misreading. Looking at the available records in the handwriting of Samuel Denny, town clerk during this period, his capital "A"s and his "n"s were very readable and consistent.  However, the letters in between were often hard to read.

There are no ALLEN births in the published Georgetown VR. There are several marriages, none of which are earlier than 1796.  And there is one death entry for "Francis ALLIN, wife of David ALLIN deceased departed this life October 15 1797 in the 91 year of her life." 8  David and Francis (ROGERS) ALLEN had several children, whose births were not recorded in Georgetown, including a daughter named Isabella.  The births of the ALLEN children appear in the published VR of Phippsburg 9.  The source for those births is not the official town records. It is P.R. 58 -Private Records Rogers Family data Josiah Drummond.  Isabella ALLEN's marriage does not appear in the published Phippsburg VR.  Dr. Buck apparently made the connection between the ALLEN family of Phippsburg/Georgetown with the Isabella "ALON" who married Isaac SAVAGE.

With the assumption that the Buck manuscript had Isabella's last name correct, the search began for probate records for either David or Francis ALLEN.  On page 317 of The Probate Records of Lincoln County, Maine 10 was a transcription of the will of Frances ALLEN of Georgetown, widow.  The will was dated 23 September 1788 and submitted for probate on 25 May 1798.  Among the numerous bequests are items of clothing "unt (sic) my daughter Isabale (sic) MALCOM…" and "to my granddaughter Frances MALCOM."
A general search on Ancestry.com produced a marriage, in Boston on 24 October 1759 between Isabella ALLEN and Allen MALCOM 11.  In the Georgetown VR there are two births recorded for Allen and Isabella MALCOM.  Frances MALCOM born 26 September 1762 and David Allen MALCOM, born 4 March 1767 12.

A check of the 1790 census revealed an Allen MALCOM living in Newcastle, Lincoln County, Maine 13.  By 1800 this Allen MALCOM appears to have died and the Widow MALCOM is living next door to Allen MALCOM, junior still in Newcastle 14.  Since Isabella and Isaac SAVAGE were busy becoming grandparents, buying and selling land and trading weaving work with Martha BALLARD in Hallowell, Maine during the 1790's, Isabella ALLEN is obviously not the wife of Isaac SAVAGE.

So who was the Isabella that married Isaac SAVAGE in 1750?

According to the Georgetown records "Joseph SAVAGE son to Isack and Isabellah SAVAGE of Georgetown was born in York (emphasis added) March 2 1752" 15.  The next three children recorded for Isaac and Isabella in Georgetown are all recorded as born in Georgetown.  When all the children were recorded again in Hallowell before 1770, the same wording was used again 16 .
Isaac SAVAGE had no known ties to York County.  Perhaps the connection was Isabella's.  The index to the published York VR was scanned for any Isabella whose last name began with "A" and ended with "n". There was one. The Joseph AUSTIN family had a daughter Isabellah born 21 January 1727 17.  No marriage record was found for this Isabella in the York VR.

Joseph AUSTIN of York, Maine left a will dated 10 December 1777 18,  in which he left property to his daughter Isabella, wife of Isaac SAVAGE.  No residence was given for this Isaac and Isabella SAVAGE.  Court proceedings in 1784 indicate Isabella and Isaac SAVAGE sold her inherited land to John and Daniel MOULTON shortly before the estate division in 1784 19.  Again no residence was given for the SAVAGEs.

York County deeds provide the final proof.  On 18 June 1784, "Isaac SAVAGE of Hallowell in the County of Lincoln and Isabella wife of said Isaac, formerly Isabella AUSTIN, daughter of Joseph AUSTIN late of York, deceased" sold the land she had inherited from her father to John and Daniel MOULTON 20.

Joseph SAVAGE, oldest child of Isabella and Isaac SAVAGE, was apparently named for his maternal grandfather, Joseph AUSTIN.

Family Summaries -

Allen MALCOM, son of Michael and Sarah MALCOM, was born 9 August 1733 in Georgetown, (then York County) Maine 21.  He married 24 October 1759 in Boston, MA,  Isabella ALLEN, daughter of David ALLEN and Francis ROGERS 22.  Isabella was born c. 1728 possibly in Bristol 23.  Isabella (ALLEN) MALCOM died between 1800-1810, probably in Newcastle, then Lincoln County, Maine.  Allen MALCOM died between 1790-1800, probably in Newcastle 24.

Children of Allen and Isabella (ALLEN) MALCOM:

Frances MALCOM was born 26 September 1762 in Georgetown, then Lincoln County, Maine 25.  Francis was unmarried in 1812 when her Aunt Anna ALLEN wrote her will 26.

David Allen MALCOM was born 4 March 1767 in Georgetown, then Lincoln County, Maine 27.  He is probably the Allen MALCOM junior who appears in New Castle, Lincoln County, Maine in the 1800 Census 28.  David appears to have married and possibly had at least 1 son and 2 daughters 29.

Isaac SAVAGE, son of James SAVAGE and Christian/Christine HUNTER, was born c. 1720 possibly in Nesquasett, (then York County) Maine 30. Isaac died 31 January 1809 in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine 31.  Isaac married (intentions) on 1 September 1750 Isabella AUSTIN, daughter of Joseph AUSTIN and Sarah GRANT 32.  Isabella was born 21 January 1727, York, York County, Maine 33.  On 10 November 1808, Midwife Martha Ballard noted in her diary,  "the wife of old Mr. Isaac Savage expired at 9 hour the morning, his life is not expected" 34.  Isaac SAVAGE was constable and pound keeper in Woolwich, Maine in 1762 35.  He moved to Hallowell sometime before 1769 when his daughter Lucy's birth was recorded there 36.  On 12 May 1791 Isaac, his brothers and his sons signed a petition asking for the creation of Augusta as a separate town 37.
Children of Isaac and Isabella (AUSTIN) SAVAGE:

Joseph SAVAGE was born 13 March 1752 in York, York County, Maine 38.  He married Alice/Ellis CARSON daughter of Adam and Alice CARSON in Hallowell on 23 November 1773 39.  Joseph died between 1810 and 1820 possibly in Meigs County, Ohio where many of his children had settled 40.

Hannah SAVAGE was born 14 November 1732 in Georgetown, then York County, Maine 41.  She married William CARSON probably a son of Adam and Alice CARSON  on 13 June 1773 in Hallowell, then Lincoln County, Maine 42.  Hannah may be the Hannah CARSON who married Jonathan PARKER in Augusta 27 December 1799 43.

Tabitha SAVAGE was born 16 October 1755, Georgetown, then York County, Maine 44.  Tabitha married Samuel BADCOCK/BABCOCK on 16 December 1774 in Hallowell 45.  Martha BALLARD delivered at least 2 children of Tabitha's, (each recorded as a son of Samuel BABCOCK) between 1786 and 1791 46.  The births are not recorded in the Augusta Town Records.

Sarah SAVAGE was born 30 July 1757 in Georgetown, then York County, Maine 47.  Sarah married Eliab SHAW in Hallowell on 13 April 1775 48.    Sarah died 17 December 1825 age 68 in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine 49.  Sarah and Eliab SHAW recorded the births of 7 daughters and 2 sons in the Augusta VR 50.

James SAVAGE was born 16 March 1759 in Woolwich, then York County, Maine 51.  James married Sarah SAVAGE on 20 June 1783 in Hallowell, then Lincoln County, Maine 52.  James and Sarah do not appear to have recorded the births of their children in either Hallowell or Augusta.  He appears to have died between 1810 and 1820, probably in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine 53.

Benjamin SAVAGE was born 15 February 1761 in Woolwich, then Lincoln County, Maine 54.  He married Sarah BRACHET in Hallowell on 31 January 1783 55.  Benjamin and Sarah did not record any children in either Hallowell or Augusta.  He may be the Benjamin SAVAGE of Winthrop, Maine in the 1790 census 56.  Nothing further has been found on Benjamin.

Mary SAVAGE was born 20 October 1762 in Woolwich, then Lincoln County, Maine 57.  Mary married John BADCOCK in Hallowell on 21 November 1780 58.  Martha Ballard recorded the births of several children born to John.Badcock in her diary between1790-1793 59.  These children are not recorded in the Augusta town records. Mary died 23 January 1808 in Augusta, Kennebec County, Maine 60.

Dorcus SAVAGE was born 12 June 1765 in Woolwich, then Lincoln County, Maine 61.  Dorcus married John JACKSON in Hallowell on 20 July 1786 62.  Nothing else has been found for this couple in Hallowell or Augusta.

Jesse SAVAGE was born 26 May 1767 in Woolwich, then Lincoln County, Maine 63.  No marriage has been found for Jesse and he doesn't appear on the 1790 census.  He is probably the son of Isaac and Isabella who died 20 May 1783 in Hallowell 64.

Lucy SAVAGE was born 13 July 1769 in Hallowell, then Lincoln County, Maine 65.  Lucy married William STONE on 1 December 1786 in Hallowell 66.  Lucy died in Augusta, Kennebec, Maine on 2 September 1852 aged 88 67.  Although she and William STONE did not record any children in Augusta, there are several Stone marriages in Augusta VR that appear to be possible children of this marriage 68.

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