dfarnsworth Pam Priest 2 2 2005-02-08T20:39:00Z 2005-03-05T19:05:00Z 2005-03-05T19:05:00Z 2 588 3354 Great River Energy 27 6 4118 9.3821

Calvin D. Farnsworth and Family

David Elwin Farnsworth

Great-great grandson of Calvin David Farnsworth

Bismarck, North Dakota

January 2005

Table of Contents:



Calvin David Farnsworth           (1818 – 1898)

Lydia M. Nichols                      (1822 – 1910)



David Franklin Farnsworth        (1842 – 1923)

Sarah Elizabeth Lynes               (1844 – 1927)


Sarah Elizabeth Farnsworth       (1844 – 1935)

Abram G. Farrand                    (1836 – 1927)


Adelbert H. Farnsworth            (1847 – Before 1856)


Marshall L. Farnsworth             (1849 – 1923)

Mary Edith Payne                     (1854 – 1921)


Melissa Amelia Farnsworth       (1851 – 1934)

Luther Cummings Payne           (1847 – 1909)


Eva A. Farnsworth                   (1854 – 1858)


Charles W. Farnsworth             (1856 – About 1861)


Elbert Henry Farnsworth           (1860 – 1932)

Sarah L. Hill                             (1863 – 1918)

Elizabeth Porter                        (1869 – 1956)


James Ernest Farnsworth          (1862 – 1951)

Marian Esther Louise Cowles   (1869 – 1943)


Julia Estella Farnsworth             (1864 – 1944)

Frederick Josiah Lawrence       (1863 – 1931)


Ancestors of Calvin David Farnsworth


Children and Grandchildren of Calvin and Lydia





A couple years ago I decided to find out more about my Farnsworth family history.  While growing up I was aware that I had a great-great grandfather named Calvin David Farnsworth, who was a Baptist minister who had “come west” and settled in southeast Minnesota.  I sought more information on this preacher and his family and found very little information readily available --- where was he from, where did he live, where did he die, where is his grave, how many children did he have, what became of them?  While far from complete, this document provides the answers to many of those questions I first had concerning Calvin, his wife, and their children.


Most genealogical sources state that Calvin and Lydia (Nichols) Farnsworth had ten children.  The Nichols Family Genealogy published in 1923 by Nathan Round Nichols provides the names and birth dates of those ten children.  Lydia’s obituary in 1910 states that “She was the mother of eleven children, four of whom, with her husband, preceeded her in death,” implying that she may have had an unnamed child that either died at birth or shortly after birth.  In any case, this document provides the information I have found on Calvin and Lydia Farnsworth and their ten named children.  Since there is no one alive today who remembers Calvin and Lydia, I have relied primarily on historical records for tracing their lives.  Fortunately, there are still a few descendants living today who can shed some light on the lives of the Farnsworth children.


Calvin Farnsworth and Lydia Nichols were two New Englanders who were born in the hills of Massachusetts and Vermont, in 1818 and 1822, respectively.  Their Farnsworth and Nichols forebears had been in America for nearly two centuries, having both come from western England about 1645.  The trek westward began with Calvin and Lydia’s parents to the shores of Lake Erie in western New York and ended with Calvin and Lydia’s children (three of whom would die on the shores of the Pacific Ocean).   Typical of many Americans at this time in history, the Farnsworths moved west with the expanding frontier, which provided them with opportunities --- opportunities for business, opportunities for virgin farm land, and, in the case of Calvin, opportunities to save souls.


This document may be of some local historical interest, since Calvin and Lydia Farnsworth and their children were often pioneer families in the areas where they moved.  However, this document is intended primarily for the many descendants of Calvin Farnsworth and Lydia Nichols who may wonder about their ancestors who “came west.”


At the end of this document I have added some diagrams showing the Farnsworth ancestry of Calvin David Farnsworth, as well as a family tree showing Calvin and Lydia, their children, and grandchildren.  I have saved my acknowledgements until the end.


David Elwin Farnsworth

Great-great grandson of Calvin David Farnsworth

Bismarck, North Dakota

January 2005