Nielsen Hayden genealogy

Col. Joseph Lemuel Chester

Male 1821 - 1882  (60 years)


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  • Name Col. Joseph Lemuel Chester 
    Born 30 Apr 1821  Norwich, New London, Connecticut Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Died 26 Apr 1882  London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Nunhead Cemetery, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I18626  Ancestry of PNH, TNH, and others
    Last Modified 30 Nov 2018 

    Father Joseph Chester,   b. 1789,   d. 1832  (Age 43 years) 
    Mother Prudee Tracy 
    Married 10 Sep 1811  [1
    Family ID F11301  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • A pioneer of evidence-based genealogical research, he spent the last two decades of his life in England researching the English ancestry of various American families. In 1869 he was one of the founders of the Harleian Society. In 1877, Columbia University granted him an honorary LL.D in recognition of his genealogical work. Oxford University followed with another honorary degree in 1881. His literary executor was George Edward Cokayne, Norroy King of Arms, founder of the Complete Peerage.

      His connection to the maintainers of this database is that, under the sponsorship of Chicago mayor and sometime congressman John Wentworth,* he performed the primary research establishing with reasonable certainty the medieval ancestry of the New England immigrant William Wentworth (1616-1697), one of TNH's "gateway ancestors."

      His other connection, mostly demonstrating that all of human history is a gigantic tangled knot, is that his first published literary work was a volume of poetry entitled Greenwood Cemetery and Other Poems (1843), the title poem of which is absolutely about Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, whose bounds stand half a block from where this database's maintainers lived from 2004 to 2018.

      I stand upon Mount WASHINGTON, and gaze
      Enraptured on the view within my sight:
      The city's spires--its broad and noble bay--
      Lie, like a vivid panorama, spread
      By master hands in lines of glowing life:--
      Turning, the restless ocean meets my eye
      And faintly, when the southern breeze is full
      I hear thy roar, far sounding Rockaway!


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      * In an entirely gratuitous Mormon connection, before entering electoral politics this John Wentworth was a journalist, and in that capacity he wrote to Mormon founder and prophet Joseph Smith with several inquiries about Mormonism. Smith's answer, known in church history as the "Wentworth Letter," is now considered one of the foundational documents of LDS belief.

  • Sources 
    1. [S2484] Family Histories and Genealogies: A Series of Genealogical and Biographical Monographs, Volume 3, by Edward Elbridge Salisbury and Evelyn McCurdy Salisbury. New Haven: Press of Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor, 1892.