Ancestry of Samuel Russell

Russell families of Somerset Co., Maine (upper Kennebec River Valley)

I have not yet been able to identify with certainty Samuel Russell's parents. My cousins Maynard Jalbert and Betty Jalbert Pecoraro have spent long hours looking into this question too.

Recently however, I have come across a couple of pieces of information that have led me to suspect that Samuel moved to New Brunswick from the area of the upper Kennebec River valley, near Moscow, in Somerset County, Maine.

The evidence: Sam was a lumberman who moved from the Kennebec valley to New Brunswick -- probably the Baie des Chaleurs region -- in about 1825. When he moved to the upper St.John River valley sometime in the 1850s, he settled in exactly the same place -- now St.John Plantation -- as a number of American lumbermen who moved to the upper St.John in the early days, between 1810 and 1820, from Moscow, in Somerset County, Maine. These men included Jesse Wheelock and Barnabas Hannawell; Nathan and John Baker and Walter Powers were also from Moscow, and settled a bit downstream from today's St.John. These American lumbermen, all from around Moscow, settled along the upper St.John to ply their trade. Moreover, we know that John Baker spent several years in the Baie des Chaleurs area working in the lumber business before he returned to settle on the St.John. It seems certain that there was a network of lumbermen connecting Moscow and the upper Kennebec River valley with both the upper St.John River and the Baie des Chaleurs region.

Given these facts, it seems likely that Sam also came from that area around the upper Kennebec River valley, perhaps from around Moscow, Maine, and was part of that network of lumbermen.

Russell families in Somerset County, Maine

Here is some information on Russell families from the upper Kennebec River valley, in Somerset County.

I had originally thought I had found a good fit for Samuel in the Samuel Russell who was the youngest son of Calvin RUSSELL and Hannah BAILEY. The age of their youngest son as recorded in the 1810 and 1820 US censuses fit with the birth date we have for Samuel, 1806. In fact, Samuel, son of Calvin and Hannah, was born at Canaan on 25 Jun 1807, but is not "my" Samuel. Here's what I found on that family:

Calvin RUSSELL was born in Lexington, Massachusetts, on 12 Jan 1762. When the American Revolution broke out he was living in Groton, Massachusetts.

"He enlisted Sept.29, 1778, in Capt. Longley's co., Col. Cogswell's regt.; discharged Dec. 31, 1778; company detached to guard and fortify posts about Boston; also, served in Capt. Moses Barnes's col, Lt. Col. Pierce's regt., May 17, 1779, to July 1, 1779. He received bounty from Groton for enlistment for a term of three years, May 1, 1781,a nd was private in Capt. Sylvanus Smith's co., Col. Rufus Putnma's regt.; served in the same company until 1783. When he applied for pension, under the Act of 1820, his discharge was closely questioned. He explained that as there were more troops at West Point than were necessary, they were required to cut three cords of wood each for use at the garrison to entitle them to a discharge." (from Louise Helen Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, Skowhegan, Me., 1941, p.1007)

After fighting in the Revolutionary War, Calvin moved with his father Ephraim and brothers Ephraim and Joseph from Massachusetts to Canaan in Somerset County, Maine. He lived in what is today Skowhegan (then part of Canaan) until 1824, and was living in Moscow in 1835. Here is a description of him from the above-cited work: "he was a hunter and trapper, and seemed to have no settled abode, but moved from place to place where game was abundant. ... In the application for pension he said, 'My income does not exceed $5 a year.'" (pp.1007-1008)

Calvin RUSSELL was married to Hannah BAILEY in 1784. Hannah BAILEY was born in 1762, and died in 1846.

Calvin RUSSELL appeared in the 1810 US census, living in Canaan, Somerset County, Maine, in a household with two males under the age of 10; two males 10-16; one male 16-26; and himself, aged over 45; one female under 10; three females 16-26; and one female over the age of 45. (1810 US census of Somerset County, District of Maine, Roll #12, p.464, as transcribed on Rootsweb Canaan, Maine website at He appeared in the 1820 US census, still living in Canaan, in a household with one male between the ages of 10 and 16; one male aged 16 to 18; one male over 45; one female 10-16, one female over 45. One person in the household was working in agriculture, and another in manufacturing. (1820 US census of Somerset County, Maine, p.116, as transcribed on Rootsweb Canaan, Maine website at He appeared in the 1830 US census of In Canaan as aged between 60-70, with a 60-70 year old female (p.34). These dates are consistent with the ages of Calvin and Hannah. A few families before him is a Samuel B. Russell, a 20-30 year old male, with a female under 5, and a female 20-30 years old. Calvin Russell appeared in the 1840 US census of pensioners of the Revolutionary War, as aged 78, living in Bingham, Somerset County, Maine. (from transcription at Calvin RUSSELL died in 1852 in Moscow, Maine.

Calvin RUSSELL and Hannah BAILEY had the following children (information on children of Calvin Russell is from Coburn, Skowhegan on the Kennebec, p.1008; and from the 1810 and 1820 censuses mentioned above):

childi. Calvin RUSSELL, Jr. was born between 1784 and 1794. He was married to Lydia CUMMINGS.
childii. Betsey RUSSELL was born between 1784 and 1794.
childiii. Rhoda RUSSELL was born between 1784 and 1794. She was married to Francis RUSSELL (son of Joseph RUSSELL -- her father's brother -- and Elizabeth GOODRIDGE).
childiv. Hannah RUSSELL was born between 1784 and 1794.
childv. Luther RUSSELL was born between 1794 and 1800.
childvi. Isaac RUSSELL was born between 1794 and 1800.
childvii. Ephraim RUSSELL was born between 1802 and 1804.
childviii. Cynthia RUSSELL was born between 1804 and 1810.
childix. Samuel RUSSELL was born in Canaan, Maine on 25 Jun 1807. He married Elizabeth/"Betsey" BEAN in Pittston, Maine, about 1828. The couple had a number of children, some born at Canaan between 1829-1835 and later at Pittston. (Thanks to George E. Russell for this information).


Other Russells in the 1830 census:

In attempting to locate Samuel I also looked for other Russells in the general area of Moscow, Somerset County.

In Bingham, which is adjacent to Moscow, I found Calvin Russell, a 40-50 year old male, with 2 boys under 5, a girl 5-10, a girl 10-15, a girl 15-20, and a 40-50 year old woman (p.262). This is probably Calvin Jr., son of Calvin Sr. and Hannah listed above. On the next page is Luther Russell, aged 30-40, living in a household with a 60-70 year old male, 2 boys under 5, 1 boy 5-10, 1 girl 5-10, a 20-30 year old female, and a 60-70 year old female (p.263); again, probably Luther the son of Calvin Sr.

In Moscow itself there is only one Russell, a Francis Russell, a 30-40 year old male living with 2 boys 5-10 years old, 1 boy 10-15, one boy 15-20, one girl under 5, one girl 10-15, and a 30-40 year old female (p.272). This Francis may be the Francis who is the son of Joseph Russell (brother of Calvin Sr), and husband of Calvin Sr.'s daughter Rhoda Russell (they were first cousins).

There are also a number of other Russells in the Moscow area that I have not been able to link directly to this family:

In Solon:

In Brighton:

Jason RUSSELL the elder moved to Norridgewock from Mason, New Hampshire, in about 1784. He was the son of Jason RUSSELL and Elizabeth LOCKE, who moved from Metonomy, Massachusetts to Mason, NH in 1768. Jason RUSSELL marrried Rebecca LAUGHTON in Norridgewock on 8 Nov 1786; in the 1790 US census of Lincoln County, he is in "a settlement east of Norridgewock town", age over 16, living with a boy under 16 and 2 females (ages were not broken out for females in that census). Jonathan and Josiah Russell are in the same place; these are probably his brothers. Jason RUSSELL, Jr. is clearly Jason and Rebecca's son; Silas and Stephen may be other sons. (Information on this family is from the website "Early Russell Families of Mason, NH," at

In Number 2 in the 2nd Range:


I am continuing to search for information that would help me identify the parents of Samuel Russell. If you know anything about thes families, or any other Russell family from Somerset County (Kennebec County until 1809), please contact. me, or go to the Discussion Forum/Message Board Posts on Samuel Russell and Ellen Baldwin. Thanks.

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Last revised 14 Aug 2006