William H. Leonard

b. Winhall, Vermont (just east of Manchester)

according to his 1881 marriage certificate, his parents were William H. (should be D.) and Nellie Leonard, both born in Vermont

  • there are two families of Leonards in Winhall in the 1850 US Census:
  • Job and Betsey, both 63 – Job is a doctor
  • in the same household, Louisa, 44, and William, 32, a carpenter
  • then three small children, Marie, 8?, William, 6, and George, 3
  • in the next household are farmer Job M. Leonard, 40, and Lucy Leonard, 22
  • so I’m guessing our William is the son of (then-widowed son) William and grandson of Dr. Job and Betsey – Louisa seems to be another grown child of Job and Betsey (she appears in the 1860 census as a “Maiden Lady” in the household of Wm and Antoinette) and the family next door may be another grown child or children
  • following up on William’s father William (Sr):
    • William Darwin Leonard was b. Sept 10, 1818 in Winhall
    • the public Tannahill Family Tree in Ancestry lists the following info (with Wm’s middle name erroneously given as “Darling”):
    • death date unknown, but he was still alive in 1880, living in Winhall w/ (second wife) Antoinette, Dan (16),  Lucy (15) and Bessie (14) – in the 1900 US Census Antoinette is listed as widowed
    • wife was Antoinett L. (“Philetta” on Wm Jr’s 1881 marriage cert?), 1835-1917
    • they had a very large family – there are 8 children under 17 living with them on the farm in Winhall in 1870, by which time William Jr (26) is married and living in Worcester – Antoinette must have been a second wife, since she was born in 1935 and Wm Jr in 1844 – there’s a 15-yr age difference between Wm Sr and Antoinette, so this makes sense
    • Antoinette Laura (Howe) Leonard d 1917 of sclerosis of the liver at 81
  • William Darwin Leonard b 1818 in Winhall, VT
  • Philetta/Phyletta, seemingly of Leicester, MA (hence the Leicester connection) who died of Dropsy on June 25, 1868 at 29 and was buried in Leicester, leaving three young children


  • William Jr fought in the Civil War and then moved to Massachusetts, living in Leicester (presumably with his mother’s relatives), Worcester
  • he married Harriet at some point between 1865 and 1870, but they were divorced by 1880
  • he remarried, to the older Sarah Haynes, in 1881
  • they bought a 70 acre farm on New Salem Rd in Wendell in 1883
  • William died suddenly of a heart attack in 1903 at 59

served in Co C, 14th Reg’t Vermont Volunteers during Civil War

in the 1865 Mass Census he’s 21 and living in Leicester and working as a painter

  • he’s in the household of a John and Fanny Cogswell (I think) – John is a painter from Leicester, Fanny is born in Winhall, VT, so possibly a relative/friend of the Leonards
  • also in the household are the Cogswells’ 18 yr old son and a 73 yr old who is possibly John’s father, listed as a laborer
  • the neighborhood has many working-class occupations and a handful of farmers

in the 1870 US Census William, 26, is living in Worcester with:

  • his first wife, Harriet, 21, born in Mass.
  • their 6-month-old son Henry A.
  • William is working as a painter and has an extremely modest personal estate of $150

in the 1880 US Census he’s 36, divorced, living in Worcester, and working as a painter and glazier, along with

  • his 10 yr old son Harry A
  • his housekeeper, Sarah Haines, 51

m. Sarah F. Haynes in Worcester on Jan 12, 1881 – this was his second marriage, her first

  • his parents are listed as William D. and Philetta, hers as John and Sarah
  • William’s occupation is given as Glazier
  • his birthplace is listed as Windhall, VT, hers as Newburyport

in the 1900 US Census William (56) and Sarah (64) are living in Wendell

  • he’s listed as a farmer
  • Elisha and Ellen Woodard are on one side of the Leonards, John and Lillian Wentworth on the other
  • Sarah’s father’s birthplace is Maine, mother’s is Mass.

d. Aug 30, 1903 (buried in Wendell Center Cemetery) suddenly, of heart disease at 59

his estate was probated on Sept 14, 1903

  • Sarah and son Harry were his only heirs
  • Harry was living at 2235 Cottage [Anne?] Ave in Chicago at that point
  • looks as though George A. Fleming was the executor/administrator for the estate
  • the appraisers were his neighbors Elisha Woodard and John Wentworth and Andrew Baker
  • George A. Fleming, Charles Ballou, and Charles H. Cogswell [is that the Leicester connection, I wonder?] seem to have given a bond [I’m not sure how all this works] for $2000 for the estate
  • the real estate was valued at $800 and the personal property at $600
  • Sarah petitioned the Overseers of the Poor for a widow’s allowance (I guess she couldn’t/didn’t inherit the property?) – the handwritten notes on the cover letter for her petition say “son by former marriage in Chicago; Per[sonal property?] $314.70; Debts $200; Estate $398.61 at auction [presumably this is the sale to Georgie Shumway]; R.[eal] E.[state] $750 clear; Debts re ? = Wrote for his estimate”