Sarah Sedgwick married George Bidwell of West Hartford, Sept 15, 1781.
This entry appears in the records of the West Hartford Congregational Church 1:
"1781 Sep 15th George Bidwell & Sarah Sedgwick of Hartford were married"

Some sources say she was the daughter of Stephen, some say she was the daughter of William. I have concluded that she is the daughter of Stephen. Here's the story:

Refer to "A Genealogy of the Sedgwick Family in America Since 1635" 2 page 5. Francis Morris Sedgwick says that Sarah the daughter of William, born Nov 17, 1767, married "Mr Benham."

Look at a transcript of Isabel Sedgwick's Bible 3. Frederick J Sedgwick or Hubert M Sedgwick apparently extracted this list of the children of William in the Bible he had apparently obtained from his sister. It says that Sarah the daughter of William married George Bidwell. I would love to find the Bible to see if the marriage notes are included, or added to the transcription. I am convinced that they were added to the transcription.

In the book Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut 4 page 501, Lucius Barnes Barbour, a famed genealogist of Connecticut, says "Sarah Sedgwick dau of William (Hfd) m George Bidwell Sept 15, 1781 (W Hfd)."

In The American Ancestors of William R. Benham 5, Lela Shepherd Wilkins says that Sarah Sedgwick the daughter of William Sedgwick married Major James Benham Jr. at Amenia, Dutchess, NY.

According to the records of the New Hartford, Connecticut, First Congregational Church 6, "October 14 1785 mar James Benham to Sally Sedwick." This must be James and Sarah, but this is not Amenia, New York. It is significant that at the same church on "June 2 1785 mar Chauncey Seymour to Isabel Sedwick." This Isabel is unquestionably William's daughter, which would increase the likelihood that this Sally is William's daughter Sarah.

The booklet "A Sedgwick Line of Descent Dating From the 1600's" 7 by Roy Mason Sedgwick, a descendant of Stephen, shows a family group sheet for Stephen which includes daughter Sarah and indicates she married George Bidwell.

A complicating factor was that there is no record of the baptism of Sarah the dughter of Stephen at the West Hartford Church. Consequently, some lists, including those of Francis Morris Sedgwick and Hubert Merrill Sedgwick, do not even list her as a child of Stephen. I believe I have discovered why she does not appear.

In the records of the West Hartford Congregational Church 1 appear these two records on the same page, with a handful of baptism entries between them:

"1762 Feb 14th Sarah, daughter of Stephen Shepherd was baptized"

"1762 Sept 5 Sarah, daughter of Stephen Shepherd was baptized"

In the Farmington Connecticut Town Records 8 the following record appears:

"Sedgwick Sarah dau Stephen Sep 5 1762"

September 5 1762 was a Sunday. Can there be any doubt that this is what happenned? She was born in the early morning and baptized the same day. When the pastor made his entry, he was marvelling at the similarity of "Sarah dau Stephen Sedgwick" to "Sarah dau Stephen Shepherd" of only a few months before. He absent-mindedly recorded the "Stephen Shepherd" again, and frustrated genealogists for centuries.

So, given these facts:

* Sarah the daughter of Stephen really exists.
* She was 19 on September 15, 1781.
* Sarah the daughter of William was 13 on September 15.
* Sarah the daughter of William was narly 18 on October 14, 1785.
* Another daughter of William was married in the same church as the Benham marriage.
* The descendants of Sarah (Sedgwick) Bidwell claim that she was the daughter of Stephen.
* The descendants of Sarah (Sedgwick) Benham claim that she was the daughter of William.
I believe that Hubert Sedgwick and Lucius Babour were in error, that Sarah the daughter of Stephen married George Bidwell, and that Sarah the daughter of William married James Benham. Since these gentlemen had no record of Stephen's Sarah at all, they had to conclude that William's Sarah married George Bidwell, and wonder who Sally was, if they saw her at all.

I'd still love to see that Bible.

-Dennis

Notes and Sources:

1. West Hartford Congregational Church Records Vol 1 1713 - 1841.
LDS Microfilm #6261. Available at the LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City.
Transcription here at Sedgwick.org

2. "A Genealogy of the Sedgwick Family in America Since 1635", Francis Morris Sedgwick, 1934. Typewritten Manuscript. Only known copy is at the LDS FHC Los Angeles.
Complete manuscript is online here at Sedgwick.org in the Books section.

3. The Sedgwick Collection of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, Box 7 Folder M.
A portion of Hubert M Sedgwick's unfinished manuscript in the folder explains the transcription.

4. Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut, Lucius Barnes Barbour
Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore 1982. Copy at the LDS FHC Los Angeles.

5. The American Ancestors of William R. Benham, Lela Shepherd Wilkins, 1994.
Copy at LDS FHC Salt Lake City. (929.273B436wi)

6. New Hartford, Connecticut, First Congregational Church Records 1739-1799.
LDS Film #1010759 Item 4. Available at the LDS FHC, Salt Lake City.

7. "A Sedgwick Line of Descent Dating From the 1600's", Roy Mason Sedgwick Undated.
Copy at the LDS FHC Salt Lake City. (929.273Se28se)

8. Farmington Connecticut Town Records, Birth Deaths, Marriages
LDS Microfilm #1215116, item 3. Available at LDS FHC Salt Lake City.

An excerpt of a report I received from Judith Burritt.

"18. Sarah SEDGWICK was born on 5 Sep 1760 in Farmington, Hartford, CT. She died on 14 Feb 1843 in Starksboro, Addison, VT. She was buried in Hinesburg, Chittenden, VT. bur. in Calkins cem. on rt. 116, just north of the Starksboro town line: "Sarah, wife of George Bidwell died 14 Feb 1843 aged 82 yrs." She was Methodist.50 Also spelled SEDG(e)WICK.

"She was married to George BIDWELL (son of Amos BIDWELL and Phebe WILLIAMS) on 16 Sep 1781 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.31 by the Rev. Nathan Perkins. George and Sarah first lived in Caan, CT after their marriage. George BIDWELL31,50,51 was born on 3 Oct 1756 in Hartford, Hartford, CT.31 Or October 7th, according to Sedgwick Bidwell (History of Addison County)."

Note: Stephen Jr married Hannah Tillitson, January 3, 1760. She gave birth on December 13, 1760 to to a child who lived only a few minutes, then died herself on December 18 as a result of this birth. Stephen then married Lucy Woodford on September 10, 1761. According to the records, Sarah was born in 1762, not 1760.