Letter from Ann W. Borthwick at the Berlin Peck Memorial Librar in Kensington, Ct, 5/1/1999:

"Dear Mr. Dunscombe,

The Daniel Dunbar we have found in our records graduated from Yale. It is stated that is the Litchfield Law School founded by Tapping Reeve in 1798.
In several places, please note the discrepancy in dates.
He practiced law from 1804 to 1841 in Berlin and lived 825 Worthington Ridge, Berlin which was constructed during 1804. His office was in his yard.
He married Katharine Chauncy Goodrich, daughter of Rev. Samuel and Elizabeth (Ely) Goodrich who was born Ridgefield, 5 August 1821, on 12 September 1819.
Daniel joined the Berlin Congregational Church in 1818 and Katharine joined by certificate 5 August 1821.
He kept the first library collection and also had his law books. He was a Town Clerk and Treasurer from 1825-1832.
Daniel d. 11 Dec. 1841 @ 67 and Katharine d 15 Oct 1873 @ 83 years. They are buried in the South Cemetery which is a part of Maple Cemetery today.
They had a son, Edward. Edward was born in Berlin Ct. He went to New York, where he published a commercial paper that was the originator of Bradstreet's Commercial Rating Agency.
There is an Edward Ely Dunbar, who died at Montevideo, S.A. 18 Feb 1871 and is buried in the South Cemetery.
There was a Daniel Dunbar Jr., b. Berlin 19 July 1828, d. 26 May 1839. Buried South Cemetery but there is another, who d 26 May 1839 @ 17 buried in the Beckley Cemetery.
We have found a Lyman Dunbar. His first wife was Julia Patterson. She joined Berlin Congregational Church, 2 February 1823 by Certificate and died 1831 @ 34 years. His second wife was Cornelia M. Deming. She joined the Berlin Congregational Church on e June 1822. She was dismissed during 1833. Please, do not think there is anything wrong when a person was dismissed because church members had to attend church almost every week to maintain their membership. An additional notation says that they lived in Buffalo, NY. Almost certainly she was dismissed because they moved away."

The identity of his parents is uncertain, as he may have been confused with a David Dunbar in some published works. See correspondence below:


I found your website and enjoyed it. I also saw the photograph of Daniel's gravestone that you put online which states his age as 67 at the time of death. I believe this is an error.

*Plymouth Congregational Church records list DAVID, son of Aaron, bp May 22, 1774, in Northbury.
They list no DANIEL.
Under that listing is DAVID, m. Sally Fenn, May 28, 1798.
DAVID and wife admitted into full communion June 7, 1799
DAVID and w admitted to the church June 7, 1799

*The Barbour records of Watertown list DAVID, son of Aaron and Mary, b. 3-28-1774.

This Daniel [b. 7-7-1770 in Wallingford] had to be the son of Samuel Dunbar [b. 12-18-1726, Wallingford] and Lois Holt, [b. 10-30-1726], as this is the only Daniel in the records that I can find. [Barbour Collection, Vol. 48, p. 135; Wallingford]
Samuel and Lois had 12 children. Daniel was the youngest.

Samuel was son of John Dunbar Jr. and Elizabeth Fenn
Aaron and Daniel were actually first cousins.


Hello Ed,

I'm glad you got back to me. I feel certain that the Daniel you are descended from was the son of Samuel Dunbar and Lois Holt. The primary records that state he was their child. One the CT Barbour records, [Plymouth] and the other the Congregational Church records in Northbury. These records are at the CT State Library if you live anywhere near there. I don't, but they were copied and sent to me.

I believe the error came from the book "The Town and City of Waterbury" which mistakenly lists Daniel instead of David with the birthdate of March 28, 1774. As far as the gravestone goes, they are often wrong. I was not aware of this myself until I tried to submit a photo of one to the Mayflower Descendant Society as proof of date of birth of one of my ancestors. In her case, the date was correct, but the Society stated that many,many, times stones were placed years after the death and the dates were often wrong, based on faulty historical sources, as above, or on equally faulty memories of old relatives. In Daniel's case, it appears that his stone was erected at least 30 years after his death, as it included his son's name.

Unless Daniel and David were twins, and none of the records mention him, which I doubt, Daniel could not have been born to Aaron and Mary. The only Daniel in the records was son of Samuel and Lois.

I learned the hard way that if you really want proof of anything, you have to check the original records yourself. I have had to correct many mistakes in my own records.

I thought at first that the Daniel and David thing was a mistake and that David was written in error as son of Aaron and Mary. But, after I found the record of his christening and marriage, all saying David, I realize that there aren't going to be that many mistakes for one person. I will be glad to send you scanned copies of these records if you like.

Good luck with your research and thanks for posting it online!



Dear Ed,

In the first letter you write:
E-mail from Tom Dunbar, 8/12/2004: (dunbar@rtt-law.com)
ďJust been enjoying your web page and in particular the pics of Edward Ely, and Margaret and seeing Daniel Dunbarís home in Berlin. Iím the great great grandson of Lyman Dunbar, Daniel Dunbarís youngest brother who went to Buffalo, NY in the 1820ís. (His wives, Julia Pattison and Cornelia Maria Deming were both from Berlin)." ....

Lyman Dunbar [the first one] was born in 1785 and d. 1780, age 5 [Barbour records] Lyman Dunbar [2nd one] was b. Nov. 16, 1790, bap. Feb. 26 1791, son of Aaron and Mary. He d. 12-9-1859 in Erie Co NY [Settlers of Early NY State by Foley.] This Lyman was the younger brother of DAVID, son of Aaron and Mary. This DAVID was b. 3-28-1774 in Watertown [Watertown Barbour Rec., p. 201] This is the date that Jacobus [Families of Ancient New Haven] gave for DANIEL. To make matters even more complicated, you are correct, Samuel and Lois Holt did have a son named DAVID, as well as a son named DANIEL. David the 2nd [there were two, first one died young] was b. Feb. 9, 1756 in Wallingford. I don't know where or when he died. DANIEL was b. July 7, 1770 in Wallingford, son of Samuel and Lois. [Wallingford Barbour records]. Fortunately, if your ancestor was definitely named DANIEL, there was only one of them, the one that apparently m. Katharine Goodrich.

I will be glad to send you a copy of the barbour records. I can scan them if you like and send them via email. This error has evidently gone on inperpetuity due to Jacobus' inadvertant error in writing the name DANIEL instead of DAVID by the March 28 1774 birthdate for Aaron and Mary's first child. Not only do the Barbour records list the name DAVID, but so do the Plymouth Church records, which I also have a copy of and can send to you if you like. I have check the records for Plymouth, Harwinton, Waterbury, Wallingford, Watertown, Waterford, and Litchfield for any other DANIELS and found none. Surely two records wouldn't both be wrong; I guess to find out for sure you would have to go to the CT State Library and get the originals if they still exist.

As if this wasn't bad enough, John Dunbar who m. Temperance Hall had a son named DAVID, who was a twin to Jonathan, b. May 26, 1770. He was christened in the same church as DAVID, b. 1774, son of Aaron and Mary . So, there are two DAVIDS four years apart bp. in the same church. The reason that I think the DAVID who m. Sally Fenn was son of Aaron and Mary is that the record of the baptism and marriage are right next to each other. But, it is conceivable, and at least one tree has it listed that way, that the DAVID who m. Sally Fenn was son of Jonathan and Temperance Dunbar.

Is this clear as mud? I think if you see the records you will understand this mess, at least as well as it can be understood . . . . .



One last thought. Mary Potter's father was named Daniel, which makes a good case for Aaron and Mary to have had a son named Daniel. Maybe this was why Jacobus wrote Daniel. OR, maybe he had access to the original records and the church records were wrong; AND, maybe the Barbour records were transcribed from the church records. I don't know at this point which end is up. I do know, that both VR that I have seen, compiled genealogies notwithstanding, have the name DAVID written as being born to Aaron and Mary on May 28, 1774.

So, where do we go from here?



You're welcome. My husband thinks I'm nuts, too. If this bug hasn't bitten you, then you just can't appreciate the disease. It's incurable.

I think I am going to consider Daniel son of Samuel and Lois until proven otherwise. VR trump compiled genealogies in nearly all cases. They do make mistakes in transcriptions, though, and I have found one in the Dunbar family before. The NEHGS has a transcribed copy of a "Mr. Welton's manuscript", which has the Episcopal church rec. from "New Cambridge". In it, Moses Dunbar's son Zina is listed as a daughter. I had to hire a genealogist to check the original record at the CT library before I could prove conclusively that Zina was indeed a son. The original said "son" in two different places. The person who transcribed it had just continued the word daughter with ditto marks [and there were several] from above. However, the NEHGS record, which is online, still says daughter. There is also a question as to his birthdate. The county history books state that he was b. in March 24. 1770. His christening date was
May 30, 1773. Also, his name, Zina [h] spelled with an h in the records, has been mistranscribed to read Zeriah, and it is printed that way in several accounts of Moses life. When you see the original, it can be definitely seen as Zinah, son. If there were only one record that said DAVID, I would not be so quick to believe that it wasn't Daniel. However, in this case there are two records that agree. I'll let you know if I find out otherwise, and you do the same.




Iíve been reading through our correspondence tonight. I missed the idea that Lois Holt and Samuel Dunbar apparently had two sons, one David and one Daniel. Is that what you think? I thought we were debating whether their son was named David or Daniel Ė but apparently you have information indicating that they had two sons Ė David born abt 1756 and Daniel 1770? Do you have death dates?

Iíve gone back through my records and found several items relating to Dunbars which may be of interest. Iíll type them out below:

E-mail from Tom Dunbar, 8/12/2004: (dunbar@rtt-law.com)

ďJust been enjoying your web page and in particular the pics of Edward Ely, and Margaret and seeing Daniel Dunbarís home in Berlin. Iím the great great grandson of Lyman Dunbar, Daniel Dunbarís youngest brother who went to Buffalo, NY in the 1820ís. (His wives, Julia Pattison and Cornelia Maria Deming were both from Berlin). I noticed you make Daniel the son of Asaph Dunbar and Polly Potter. He was in fact the eldest son of Aaron Dunbar and Mary Potter according to Families of Ancient New Haven by Donald Lines Jacobus and Vital Records. Mary Potter was descended from Thomas Yale and his Welsh line of course goes backÖ and back! Aaronís elder brother was Moses Dunbar the only loyalist hanged for treason in Ct. during the Revolution, and his father was John (III) Dunbar. I petitioned the Court of the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh in 1998 for a posthumus grant of arms to John (III) and it was granted in October 2000, descendants bearing the name can matriculate their arms from Johnís. In 1996 at the Stone Mountain Highland Games in Atlanta we got a few descendants of Johnís sons Moses, Aaron and Miles togetherÖ probably for the first time since the 1790ís! I was not aware of the Stewart connection with Florida, although if I remember correctly young Daniel Dunbar Jr. died down there of appendicitis at his uncle Asaphís. Thatís something Iíve wanted to pursue. Best wishes!Ē

If you have evidence to support your placement of Daniel as son of Aaron and Mary, I would love to see it. I am working on placing all of the CT Dunbars. I am a descendant of Moses through his son Zina. Moses has two unidentified children which I am attempting to identify through process of elimination. That's how I came across your Daniel information.


Linda Smith
Nashville, Tn.