Finding Sarah Carpenter Lake Eggleston

It was almost a year after the publication of my Eggleston book, that I first had the need to make a correction/addition to it. In early October 2011, I received an email from John in Texas, who had been researching at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City and found my book just before closing time. He was not able to find it again before the end of his trip, but he found my email address and sent a brief email with the subject: “Wilkerson Eggleston.” As we began to correspond, I realized that he had a piece of the family puzzle that most of us didn’t realize was missing.

The Carpenter Piece of the Puzzle

He had the probate record of Hezekiah Carpenter dated 2 May 1803. The list of heirs included Wilkerson Eggleston, Sarah Robinson, wife of Thomas Robinson, Jabesh Eggleston, Reuben Lake and Samuel Rogers, who were mentioned as heirs of Sarah Eagleton, who was deceased. He was trying to figure out how all of these people fit into the family of Sarah Carpenter.

The known family composition and history at that point was thus:

Asa Eggleston had three wives, Martha Button, Sarah Lake, and Joanna.

Asa and Martha had children:Lydia who married Samuel Rogers, Asa Jr. who married Content Hadsall, Elipha who married William Hadsall, John A. who married Martha Hadsall, and Amy who married Robert Kenyon. Martha probably died about 1775 in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

There is a marriage record for Asa and Sarah Lake December 31, 1775 in Hopkinton. Asa and Sarah had sons Jabez and Wilkinson/Wilkerson.

Asa married Joanna after Sarah’s death. Previous records had her as his only wife and all of his children as hers. His marriage to her was too late for her to have been the mother of these children. I later found evidence that Joanna and Asa had a son Thomas. They may have also had one or more daughters.

When Asa died, Samuel Rogers and Wilkinson Eggleston were granted administration of his estate.

Putting the pieces together:

The first conclusion was that Sarah, the daughter of Hezekiah Carpenter married a Lake and then Asa Eggleston. That all made sense. It also made sense that a grandson of Hezekiah Carpenter would name a son after him – Hezekiah Carpenter Eggleston, son of Wilkerson Eggleston.

Unfortunately, databases online didn’t seem to have a complete family of Hezekiah Carpenter which matched the information in the probate record. One had Hezekiah Carpenter and Phebe Bowen with a daughter Sarah born 1755 Hopkinton, with a death date “before 1803” and showed Sarah’s husband as “Eggleston.” This was likely based on that probate record.

Then I searched and found a Reuben Lake born in 1745, and concluded this would have been the first husband of Sarah Carpenter, not her son or son-in-law. This Reuben was son of William Lake and Thankful Carr. He was born 20 Apr 1745 in Little Compton and died 11 June 1773. That date fits with Sarah’s remarriage to Asa Eggleston in 1775. Rueben married Sarah 24 April 1770 in Johnston, Providence, RI. The record for this marriage has the name of Reuben’s wife as Sarah Baker, which raises the additional question of another marriage prior to her marriage to Reuben. In the 3 years between the marriage and Reuben’s death they could have had 2 children, a son Reuben Jr. and Sarah (Robinson) who were listed in the will. The two Lake children explain the extra children in the family of Asa Eggleston in the 1782 RI Census.

It is also possible that Asa and Sarah had a daughter Sarah who married Thomas Robinson or a daughter who married a Rogers. Asa and Martha’s daughter Lydia married Samuel J. Rogers, which raises questions about the Samuel Rogers who was named as an heir of Sarah. One question is whether Lydia was Sarah’s daughter rather than Martha’s. Or the Samuel Rogers mentioned in the probate record might be a grandson if a daughter of Sarah had married a Rogers and then died. Sarah could have had another daughter from a previous marriage to a Baker. So some questions do remain, but we now know that Asa Eggleston’s second wife Sarah Lake, was Sarah Carpenter, the daughter of Hezekiah Carpenter.

The Missing Piece

 Hezekiah’s will was quoted in the Mayflower Society’s “Silver Book” family 126 for John Billington. It had been hidden there until John found it while doing research on this Billington family, which Hezekiah Carpenter belonged to.

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