Was Bette Hurd Joseph’s Only Wife?

My 6x Great Grandmother, Bette Hurd, was born 26 September 1729 in Stratford, CT. She is the oldest of 5 children born to David and Susanna (Bostwick) Hurd.

Under the Hurd Family heading

Bette married Joseph Bostwick 7 February 1751 in a service officiated by Rev Jeadiah Mills. They had 3 children: David 1752, Elnathan 1753, and Mary 1755.


Now, researchers have Bette dying 17 June 1759. None of them provide documentation of this. Also, they have her having a fourth child, Zachariah in 1757. I haven’t found evidence of this either. There is a Joseph married to Mary that had Zachariah in that year. There is another family of researchers that indicate Joseph and Mary have the exact same children as the researchers that indicate they were born to my Joseph and a second wife named Ann Hurd. Ann Hurd and Bette Hurd are said to be sisters according to the researchers that have Bette dying in 1759. I have seen no one disputing this. However, I think I found evidence that has disputed this and I will try to untangle it here.

Bette’s father, David Hurd died in 1758. He left a will that very clearly states his only living child is Betty Bostwick. The will also names Susanna Hurd his wife, Joseph Bostwick his son in law, David his grandson, Elnathan his grandson, and Mary his granddaughter. All of these names add up to what I have found.

Will of David Hurd 1758

The evidence that led me to make another discovery was in this same will there seemed to be an addendum that was dated 1775. What caught my eye is that it was indicating that Bette was dead. The land was being divided up between David and Elnathan which is what was supposed to happen after Bette’s death according the the will of David Hurd. Then I found this dated 19 September 1774:

Probate of Betty Bostwick 1774

It was a Probate for Betty Bostwick, her husband Joseph filed it. It shows the estate she owned and this is what was divided up in more detail in the addendum of the will of David Hurd.

Probate Betty Bostwick 1774

The conclusion I have come to is that Bette lived until 1774. Did Joseph remarry? Possibly, but not to Bette’s sister because according to the will, Bette was the only living child when her dad, David Hurd died. The second family attributed to Joseph I believe is a different Joseph Bostwick. That was a frequently used name in the family, just like the name John was and care needs to be taken when trying to sort them out. Thus far, I have not found a second marriage for my Joseph and there is no indication in his will that there was another wife, although if there was, she could have died before him.

I have not found where Bette Hurd Bostwick is buried but I feel confident that she died in 1774 not 1759.


Ancestry.com Bette Hurd Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) Parent: David Birth: 26 Sep 1729 – Stratford

Ancestry.com Bette Connecticut, Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) Spouse: Joseph Bostwick Jr. Marriage: 7 Feb 1750/1 – New Milford

Ancestry.com David Hurd Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999
Death: Abt 1758 – Connecticut, USA

Ancestry.com Betty Bostwick Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999
Death: Abt 1774 – Connecticut, USA

Hurd, Dena D. Soekland A history and genealogy of the family of Hurd in the United States, and a partial history of the New England families of Heard and Hord, including a treatise on nomenclature, heraldry and coat armour, and ancestry Published 1910

Bostwick, Henry Anthon Genealogy of the Bostwick family in America : the descendants of Arthur Bostwick, of Stratford, Conn.1901


2 thoughts on “Was Bette Hurd Joseph’s Only Wife?

  1. It’s frustrating when you come across published genealogies that provide no sources for their conclusions. It’s particularly frustrating when those unsourced genealogies are copied and shared many times over by other genealogists. It’s as though the abundance of replicas gives the claims a basis in truth, meanwhile the facts never hold up. Good work taking a hard look at what the records tell you.


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