May 17, 1719 Lebanon New London County Connecticut, USA
Feb., 1793 Norwich New London County Connecticut, USA
Due to interest in both the Abel(l) and Gifford families of early Lebanon and Norwich, Conn., at p. 59 of the 1940 pub. "Robert Abell of Rehoboth, Mass...." is found the descendant family of Capt. John Abell (Dec. 1678-aft. Oct. 1769) of Lebanon, Conn. Following the death of known wife Rebecca Sluman in 1738 at Lebanon, the sketch includes the following statement:
• He [Capt. John Abell] prob. married 2nd, September 20, 1744 [Norwich VRs], Hannah, dau. of Samuel and Experience (Hyde) Gifford.
While two children b. in 1746 and 1748 are attributed to this 2nd marriage, this marriage makes no practical sense. Hannah Gifford, dau. of Samuel and Experience (Hyde) was b. of record at Norwich on Sept. 20, 1724, suggesting that on Hannah's 20th birthday she willingly m. a 65 year old widower, whose purported youngest child by her was b. when he was short of 70 years of age. All manner of family associations have been erected trying to validate this 2nd marriage claim.
What the authors of the Abell genealogy did not investigate was that a John Abel was bapt. at the Lebanon, Conn. church in 1719, but his birth does not appear in printed Lebanon vital records. Nor is this John associated with another Abel surnamed family then residing at Lebanon.
Following is the more likely marriage association and John "Abel" family of Norwich, Conn. ------
John Abel (q.v. Abell), the presumed unrecorded s. of Capt John Abell and Rebecca Sluman, bapt. May 17, 1719 at Lebanon, Conn. [Lebanon Ch. Rec.] Unlike his siblings, his birth is not of printed record at Lebanon, but he was baptized in both chronological and ascending page order in the church records with three of the known children of Capt. Abel and Rebecca Sluman whose births are recorded in the printed Lebanon vital records.
[The two oldest surviving children of Capt. John and Rebecca (Sluman), Sarah and Solomon, were bapt. at Norwich in 1722, "the children of John [Abel], of Lebanon." In the Lebanon Ch. Recs. dau. Bethiah is stated to have been bapt. on Oct. 18, 1713 versus b. on Sept, 18, 1718 per the printed Lebanon vital records. Bethiah's bapt. record in 1713 is also in chronological and ascending page order making it clear the year 1713 is correct, not 1718 as printed.]
At age 25 on Sept. 20, 1744 at Norwich, Conn. (by Rev. Benj. Lord), John "Abel" m. Hannah Gifford on her 20th birthday, dau. of Samuel Gifford, Jr. and Experience Hyde (q.v. Hide), b. of record Sept. 20, 1724 at Norwich. In the Sept. 28, 1753 will of Samuel Gifford, Jr. of Norwich, dau. Hannah is called "the wife of John Abell."
John Abel and Hannah Gifford had the following two known children of record at Norwich under the surname of Abel, both bapt. at the Norwich Cong. Ch. also under the surname Abel:
• i. Hannah Abel, b. Mar. 7 (bp. Mar. 9), 1745/46; d. in her youth Jan. 7, 1755.
• ii. Jerusha Abel, b. Mar. 11 (bp. Mar. 13), 1747/48; m. Dec. 6, 1767 as Jerusha "Abel" at Norwich, Thomas Williams, s. of Ebenezer and Hannah (Bacon) Williams of New London, Conn., b. at New London Feb. 6, 1734/5. [Montville (formerly the North Parish of New London) Church Recs.]
According to Hale's Connecticut Cemetery Inscriptions and Newspaper Notices, 1629-1934:
• Mrs. Hannah Abel, wife of Capt. John Abel, d. at Norwich, Conn., age 62, as reported by a newspaper pub. on Aug. 24, 1786.
In addition, Capt. John Abel, age 73, place not stated, died per a newspaper pub. Feb. 19, 1793.
In both cases, the reported age at death is a virtual match to John Abel and wife Hannah Gifford. Although no additional primary or secondary documentation was readily found adding confirmation to the memorialist's basis of the above Abel family, it certainly makes more sense than as published in 1940.