Page 27 of the Sharon, Massachusetts Vital Records show Jacob Fisher and his wife Sarah had a son Jacob born 30 Apr 1776:

Jacob, s. of Jacob and Sarah, Apr. 30, 1776

Page 94 of those records show a marriage record of Jacob Fisher to Sarah Hodges on 7 Oct 1773:

Fisher ... Jacob and Sarah Hodges Oct 7, 1773.

I am interested in who are the children of Jacob Fisher and Sarah Hodges. I am presuming they are the same as the parents in the previous record so one child is Jacob born 1776. But the question holds even if they are different.

Through the DNA testing, I found I shared common DNA with someone. We both have Fishers in our ancestry (my paternal grandmother). However we have not yet been able to connect the dots and so we are trying to extend our Fisher line to find common overlap. The reason for asking about the children is look for links with my shared-dna correspondent. Note if we can find a potential connection, the dna evidence may be collaborating, non-definitive, evidence.

  • 1
    If that record is complete then it looks like they only had 3 children: Betsy, Jacob, and Sarah. Are you wanting to know if there are more?
    – user47
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 15:28
  • A quick search on familysearch.org confirms those three.
    – user47
    Commented May 3, 2013 at 15:37
  • @JustinY - duh! I missed that in rewording the question and focusing on getting it reopened. I actually had it in my notes but lost track and should have read closer. You should make an answer (as opposed to comment) that says that since it would be the best answer.
    – Duncan
    Commented May 7, 2013 at 4:46

4 Answers 4


The entry for the marriage of Jacob Sr and Sarah suggests that they were both long-term residents of Sharon (because other entries on the same page give another township of origin for outsiders). If this was the case, we would expect to find their births in the records of the same location. One possible explanation for not doing so, may be changes in the town boundaries. It may be necessary to search Foxboro or Stoughtenham as precursor authorities.

The records of deaths in Sharon enter image description here

show the deaths of two Jacobs. Sep 8 1842 at age 66 is consistent with the 1776 birth of Joseph Jr; making May 31 1811 the possible d.o.d of his father.

There is also a death of Sarah wife of Jacob on Nov 20 1792 (in her 38th year) which would suggest a d.o.b abt 1755.

At the 1800 Census, the only Jacob Fisher living in Sharon has a household of 1 male and 1 female over 45 years and one male aged 10-16. That and the death date for Sarah suggests Jacob Jr has moved away and that Jacob Sr remarried (see Elizabeth m 1794, and d 1825) and may have had another child. (Note also the possibility of another marriage before Sarah, to see Elizabeth d 1773.)

In 1800, there were three other Jacob Fishers in Mass. One of these resides in Mansfield (in the same county as Sharon). The ages of that family (head of household and spouse 16-26 years, child under 10) is consistent with what is known about Jacob Jr. The other two Jacobs are recorded as being older (in 1800) than Jacob would have been.

At the 1810 Census two Jacob Fishers are resident in Sharon. Both are reported to be over 45 years of age (a considerable exaggeration for Jacob Jr). The father's household includes a female of similar age and the son's two females (one 10-16 and the other 16-25).

By the 1820 Census, there is one household headed by Jacob Fisher (aged over 45) which included 4 females (one less than 10, one 16-25. and two over 45). This would be consistent with known facts if Jacob Jr took in his father's widow (his stepmother).


In his course on inferential genealogy, Tom Jones suggests that most genealogical questions come in two flavors, those of identity or relationship.

Rare is the case where early vital records of New England towns provide enough information that all by themselves, the information is sufficient to prove the identity and genealogical relationships of those whose records are there memorialized. We know the US census do not report about relationships until 1880; we don't even have a record of household member names until 1850.

The vital records and census provide clues; when considered with other records--tax, court, probate, burial, obituaries and news items, town records and histories, military records, etc.--the vital and census records often help solve the problem.

The premise of this question is that a man, Jacob Fisher (1776-1820) is the son of Jacob and Sarah (Hodges) Fisher.

Although limited resources are being observed, there seem to be some obvious inconsistencies between the premise and those (few) resources.

  1. The vital records Fortiter provides show no record of a Jacob Fisher d. 1820. Indeed, the vital records of one Jacob Fisher report his death 1842, ae 66; suggesting he might be the man born 1776 to Jacob and Sarah (Hodges) Fisher.

  2. See Almon D. (Almon Danforth) Hodges, Jr., compiler, Genealogical record of the Hodges family of New England, ending December 31, 1894 (1894), p. 173. Hodges provides an unsourced biography for Sarah5 Hodges (Josiah4, Henry3, 2, Wm1), b. Stoughton, 1754 or 1755; d. Sharon, 1792. Sarah reportedly m. 1773 at Stoughtonham (now Sharon), Jacob Fisher of Stoughton, son of David & Deborah (Boyden) Fisher. Various details about this Sarah (Hodges) Fisher including a details about her children: Jacob, Betsey, Sarah, Spencer, Abner, Thomas and Hannah. The son Jacob6 Fisher (who died at Sharon in 1842) said m. "Mary Witherton [?]"

  3. Same source, p. 117 has unsourced biography for Sarah (Hodges) Fisher's father, Josiah Hodges m. Mary Coolidge.
  4. Moreover, one published source reports that Jacob Fisher (1776-1842), son of Jacob and Sarah (Hodges) Fisher, with his wife, Mary Withington, had but one child--a daughter, Hannah. This daughter (Hannah) is said to have died unmarried in 1849, at about ae 50. See Charles Frederick Robinson, Weld Collections (1938), p. 96-97, reporting a biography for Samuel6 Weld. More details available from the source, but this Mary (Withington) Fisher is reported the granddauther of Samuel6 Weld by his daughter Hannah (Weld) Withington. Mary (Withington) Fisher reported b. 1777; d. Sharon, Mass, 1848; m. Roxbury 1799. Robinson provides various sources in the biography, but none explicitly for this grand dau. Mary (Withington) Fisher.

As with all sources, biographies are subject to error and omission. It is often helpful to learn if more current work is available. Likewise, to confirm the sources and discover inconsistencies yourself.

Updated: The profile Duncan provides for his Jacob Fisher (d. 1820), reports a death at Bolton, Worcester County, Mass. and a wife Ann Pierce (m. at Boston in 1803). See Bolton Births (Fisher), Bolton Marriages (surname Fisher) and Bolton Deaths (surname Fisher). The Jacob Fisher 1820 death record gives the wife's name (Ann), but doesn't provide his age at death. Just when this Jacob Fisher was born is not obvious from the records of Bolton, but the birth date in the profile seems to be that of the different man who was of Sharon.

  • Wow, I really want to know how you found all that information in archive.org!
    – fbrereto
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 0:12
  • 1
    Hi @fbrereto :-) ... search ""Jacob Fisher" Hodges Sharon InternetArchive" (without the outside quotes). Then search the ocr version for "Jacob Fisher" (again without the quotes). Pick up the page number from the ocr search, then find that page in the book.
    – GeneJ
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 0:41

Just stumbled onto this old posting, but since I'm also researching "my" Jacob Fisher (married to Sarah Hodges), I thought I'd post this: (I never saw JOEL as a son of theirs on any of the above documentation. He is MY direct relative and his father/mother are Jacob and Sarah. . . or at least I think they are ;)

History and Biographical Record of Lenawee County, Michigan, Vol. 1, W.Stearns & Co. Printers, 1879, Pg. 154-156:

NELSON FISHER was born in Pompey, Onondaga county, New York, October 30th, 1809. His father, Joel Fisher was born near Boston, Massachusetts, May 20th, 1780 where he lived until he was about twenty years old, when he went to Onondaga county, purchased a new farm, and lived there until 1826. He then sold out, and moved into Chautauqua county, and purchased a farm inHarmony, where he lived until his death, which occurred October 8th, 1850.

January 30th, 1803, he married Miss Charlotte Rancheon, of Pompey, Onondaga county, New York, by whom he had seven children, Nelson being the third son and fourth child. Mrs. Charlotte Fisher was born in Connecticut, November 16th, 1775. Her father died when she was very young, and she, with hermother, moved to Onondaga county, New York. She died in Harmony, New York, November 1st, 1838.


I too am looking for the connection of Joel Fisher to Jacob and Sarah Fisher. I found some thing interesting in the "The Fisher Genealogy Record Of the Descendants of Joshua, Anthony, and Cornelius Fisher, Massachusetts Publishing 1898" where a mention is made to children born in Sharon Mass. to Jacob Fisher. Spencer b. 1778 and Joel b. 1780 seem to be missing from this account.

Joel Fisher is my 4x Great Grand Father.

Excerpt regarding Jacob Fisher

  • 1
    Jay, I've removed your contact address as those aren't allowed in questions or answers in this site. You are of course welcome to include them in your profile to enable others to contact you.
    – user6485
    Commented Oct 19, 2017 at 12:36

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