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Helms/Helmes family in Moriah, 1840-1850
Posted by: Ginny Siggia (ID *****8979) Date: January 20, 2009 at 15:10:10
  of 1292

I'm writing a letter to various towns in Essex County with my question, but thought individual researchers might have clues too.

Noel (sometimes listed as Noah) Wheeler Helms (1810-c1850, spelled both Helms and Helmes) is related to me in a complicated way. I believe he died between 1840-1850 and wonder if his wife (whose name I don't know) did too. He appeared in the 1840 census in Moriah next to his brother Powell Clinton Helms and his father Niles Helms. Since the list is not alphabetical otherwise, I assume they lived next to each other.

In 1850 I can find no trace of Noel or his wife. My theory is that he and his wife had died by then. Further, I believe that the two female children under 5 listed in 1840 were named Amanda and Lovina. In 1850 Amanda Helms (age 13) appears in the household of my g-g-grandparents, Silas and Deborah Angell, in Mooers NY. Lovina Helms (age 10) is in the household of Niles and Susan Helms in Plattsburgh. N&S had a third son, Carlos, who by this time was 22. I doubt that Lovina is the daughter of N&S, who were 66 and 59 at the time. Even allowing for extended childbearing 49 is pushing it. In 1840 Niles Helms had two females age 5-10 and 15-30 living in his home; it isn't clear who they are but the ages are wrong for them to be Amanda/Lovina (who were under 5).

There is of course the chance that Noel's wife survived and remarried, but if Amanda and Lovina are the two children in the 1840 census, I wonder why they would not live with the mother and new father.

Thanks to another researcher, who did extensive research on the Fifield family, it looks like Amanda married very early (by 16) to a Fifield, bore 4 chidren in rapid succession, and died before her 22nd birthday. Mr. Fifield remarried nine months later to Caroline Helms, who would be Amanda's cousin if my theory is right.

Sadly, both Amanda and Lovina appear to have died within 6 days of each other, in 1859 in Mooers. This proximity of dates suggests disease rather than childbirth (Lovina was unmarried).

Does anyone know of any specific epidemics in either the 1840-1850 period (causing the deaths of Noel Helms & wife), or in 1859 (Amanda and Lovina)? I'm sure pneumonia, TB, and other nasties took their annual tolls, and maybe town reports would reveal more. However, any info is welcome.

I've checked every online cemetery I can find in Essex and Clinton Counties for traces of Noel & wife, without success. It may be that the cemetery I need isn't online, they are buried elsewhere, or they are buried in unmarked graves.

There are a lot of "maybes" in my theories and I hope to find more substantive proofs. Hope to hear from someone.



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