There has been much confusion about the wives of Gad Sedgwick. It is claimed that he published intention to marry one woman, married another, then after she died, married her sister, with a time line that includes a child born to the sister a year before they were married.

I think not. It's much simpler than that.

What has been written:

Refer to "A Sedgwick Line of Descent Dating from the 1600's" 1 page 9.
Roy Mason Sedgwick concludes this sequence of events:
Marriage bans were published between Gad and Betsy Johnson in 1791.
Instead, Gad married Lydia Stanley in 1792.
Lydia died in 1793.
No other wife has been identified.

Refer also to "A Genealogy of the Sedgwick Family in America Since 1635" 2 page 108.
Francis Morris Sedgwick cites this sequence of events:
Gad married Lydia Standly, July 3, 1792, in West Farmington.
Lydia died February 27, 1793.
Gad married Lucy B Standley October 8, 1795.
BUT
Daughter Betsey Johnson Sedgwick was born June 15, 1794.

Why did Gad name a daughter after a woman he never married? Clearly there is some confusion.

Some official data:

Look at some transcribed records from the West Hartford Congregational Church 3
Notice these details:
Gad and Betsey Johnson published intent to marry April 23, 1791.
Gad and Lydia published intent to marry on July 8, 1793.
Notice also the 1793 deaths of "A child of Gad Sedgwick" and "The wife of Gad Sedgwick".

Here are some more records of the West Hartford Congregational Church. 4
The 1793 bans with Lydia Stanley is the same record that was transcribed above.
Gad and Lydia marriage record says 1792, but the transcriber indicates *(probably "1793")
Lucy Benjamin Stanley was baptized in 1809 and married Henery Graham in 1812.
What the Stanley records say:

There is a book entitled "The Stanley Families of America." 5 It was published in 1887.
James K Stanley transcribed these notes from the book:
The Stanley book says on page 306
"ALLYN STANLEY" - Eldest child of Allyn and Elizabeth (Webb) Stanley,
was born in 1767; married Sylvia __________, and died Jan 16, 1793.
SHE MARRIED, SECOND, JULY 8, 1793, GAD SEDGWICK.
Their child was LUCY BENJAMIN STANLEY;
m., May 13, 1812, Henry Graham, of Farmington.
Then, in the appendix to the book, it says:
"306 Line 6, For "SYLVIA" read "LYDIA".

Jim included these remarks:
So, Lydia Stanley, wife of Allyn Stanley, married Gad Sedgwick in 1793.
Case solved, except for Lydia's maiden name.

Information on the Allen Stanley's is in the West Hartford church records.
They have the marriage of Allen Stanley/Elizabeth Webb, and the death of
Allen Stanley on 16 Jan 1793, but not on the marriage of Allen Stanley.
What I think:

I think Jim Stanley is right. I think the Stanley book is right. I think that the original transcription of 1792 for the marriage date of Gad and Lydia Stanley is erroneous. I think that because of that incorrect date, Francis Morris Sedgwick and Roy Mason Sedgwick came to the wrong conclusions. (I don't know where some of Francis' data came from.)

I am convinced that this was the sequence of events:
Gad married Betsey Johnson in 1791.
Allen Stanley married Lydia Unknown, date unknown.
Allen Stanley died in January of 1793.
Betsey died in February of 1793.
Gad and Lydia were married in July of 1793.
Their first daughter was Betsey Johnson Sedgwick.

This scenario leaves no mysteries.

What do you think?

Of course, even though I'm thoroughly convinced that this is accurate, I'm only making my best guess. I think we have more facts together in one place than have ever been together before.

Write me, please and tell me if you agree, disagree, have any additional data, or otherwise know something the rest of us don't. Then let's find the missing pieces to prove or disprove it!

-Dennis Sedgwick genealogy@sedgwick.org

New Flash:
Melissa Levy hazards this guess:
"I would bet that Lydia (Sylvia) Stanley was Lydia Darrow,
as they named their second daughter Lydia Darrow Sedgwick."
-Good starting point for some more searching!
Notes and Sources:

1. "A Sedgwick Line of Descent Dating From the 1600's", Roy Mason Sedgwick 1968/1969.
Typewritten Manuscript. Copy at the LDS FHC Salt Lake City. (929.273Se28se)

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. West Hartford Congregational Church Records Vol 1 1713 - 1841.
LDS Microfilm #6261. Available at the LDS Family History Center, Salt Lake City.
I personally transcribed these records from the microfilm of the old record book.

4. West Hartford Congregational Church Transcribed Records
Printed from microfilm by James K Stanley. LDS film number unknown by me.

5. "The Stanley Families of America", I.P. Warren, 1887
James K Stanley has a copy. Here is his Stanley Family Genealogy
Also available online at GenealogyLibrary.com.