Adoniram Judson 8 BIGELOW

15326.321    Adoniram Judson 8 BIGELOW, son of  Barna 7 (Silas 6 , Solomon 5 , Samuel 4, Samuel 3, Samuel 2, John 1) and Elizabeth (BOYNTON) BIGELOW, was born at Hubbardston, Rutland co, VT on 20 April 1821. His marriage was on 27 October 1857 (see below) to Martha Jane Munroe who was born in Jefferson, Lincoln co, ME on 18 April 1831. He was named after an early missionary to Burma (see below). He sailed from New York City on 17 March 1849 and arrived in San Francisco on 10 October 1849 and resided there until January 1859 when he moved to Sacramento, CA. He died in Antioch, CA 07 January 1892 (1891?). Martha died 11 October 1891.
     Adoniram Judson Biglow was born in Hubbardton, Vermont, in the year 1821. He emigrated to California between March and October, 1849, at the first of the Gold Rush. Gold was discovered at Sutter's Creek in the Spring of 1848. Given the communication of the time and the rate of travel, Adoniram was one of the first to arrive in California. He first started a soap factory in San Francisco and later sold out and moved to Sacramento. Somewhere along the line, and I have never been able to determine when, his bachelor brother, Parcellus Kendrick Biglow, also came West, and the two were associated much of the time. When Adoniram died in 1891, he appointed by will Parcellus Kendrick to be the guardian of his son, David Carlton Orvis. Adoniram was something an historic figure. Having noted that there was a shortage of domestic bees in the State of California for the propagation of plant life, he determined to alter the situation In the next ten years he made two transcontinental trips to bring bees from the East Coast to California. He was California's pioneer bee man. He made the trek by sea to the Isthmus of Panama, walked across to the Istmus, and boarded other ships to continue. On the second trip he married Martha Monroe of the Vermont Monroes and brought her West. Her father was a preacher and had seven daughters, most of whom came to California. One of the sisters married a Poindexter, another a Billings, and a third a Brann. All were located in the San Francisco Bay area. Adoniram Judson was an intellectual type and a doer. He wrote a brochure on the care and management of bees in transit with particular attention to the way to insure their survival when carried on mule-back across the steaming jungles of Panama. Although certainly timely writing from information painfully acquired, it is now gloriously obsolete.
     California's Great Valley of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers is 450 miles long north and south, 50 to 100 miles wide east and west, and is completely surrounded by mountains--Coast Range on the West, the Siskiyous on the north, the magnificent Sierra Nevada on the east, and the Tehachapis on the south (just north of Los Angeles). The only break in the mountains is where the San Joaquin River, which flows north, and the Sacramento River, which flows south, join and flow through the Carquinez Straights into the San Francisco Bay and out through the Golden Gate. Near where the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers join lies roughly a right-angled triangle, approximately forty miles on the sides, terminating at the cities of Antioch, Stockton, and Sacramento In 1849 this area was all swamp, interspersed by many little, interconnecting rivers. At low tide the land was above water, and at high tide it was under water four to six feet, depending upon the season It contains a thousand miles of rivers.
     Adoniram Judson and a man named Upham saw where this swampland, now known as the Delta, could be reclaimed by building a levee to keep the water out at high tide. They hired Chinese Coolies (the railroads having just been built, thousands were released and available to work) and with wheel-barrows and two-horse scrapers they built a levee and reclaimed about 6,000 acres of land lying at the confluence of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin Rivers. This project commenced about 1870. If you will look at your California map near the town of Antioch, you will see a road from Antioch to Sacramento. This road from Antioch crosses the San Joaquin River onto Sherman Island, the name Adoniram and Upham gave to the reclaimed land. Sherman Island was the first of the Delta to be reclaimed. By 1920 the entire Delta was reclaimed. The levees permit intensive farming; the crops include pears, apples, tomatoes, grain, corn, beans, soy beans, and much of the asparagus reaching the East Coast comes from this area. When he was in his early sixties Adoniram sold out to Upham and purchased the land that now is the eastern half of the Town of Antioch. Adoniram died in 1891.

Children of Adoniram and Martha (Munroe) Bigelow:

15326.3211     Elizabeth Louise, b 21 March 1859 Sacramento, Sacramento co, CA; d 04 Nov 1928 Oakland, CA; m John Logan; no children; she was a nurse.

15326.3212t    Franklin Judson, b 03 May 1861 Sacramento; d 29 Aug 1925; m 22 Dec 1884 (see below) Antioch, CA, Mary Ann Jones; res. San Diego, CA; 6 children. (see below)

15326.3213     Pharcellus Munroe, b 19 Sept 1865 Sherman's Island, CA; d __ 1910; unm.

15326.3214t    David Carlton Orvis, b 13 (02?) Nov 1875 Sherman's Island; d_____1943; m 29 March 1902 Theodosia Bigelow, b 27 September 1881 at Gridley, CA; 2 children.

Bigelow Family Genealogy Vol II , p 347-348;
Howe, Bigelow Family of America;
FORGE: The Bigelow Society Quarterly; Vol. 9, No. 2 April, 1980
FORGE: The Bigelow Society Quarterly; Vol. 28 No.3.
correspondence between descendants and Bigelow Society historian/genealogist;
cemetery records: Antioch & Oakland, CA.
Marriages in Family Bible (Big Soc Lib): Martha Jane Monroe Bigelow:
Adoniram Judson Biglow and Martha Jane Monroe were married in the City of San Jose Santa Clara County, State of California by Rev. B. Brier October 27, 1857.
Franklin Judson Biglow and Mary Ann Jones were married in the Town of Antioch C.C. Co, State of California by Rev. E.O. Tade Dec 22, 1884.

Subject: Correction to A.J. Biglow page
Date: Wed, 13 Nov 2002 18:27:26 -0900
From: Mike Biglow <>
 I guess I had never bothered to read the website on A.J. Biglow
before, as we were the source of that information, I didn't see the need!
Also, I had not realized for a long while that you, Rod, had done such a
tremendous amount of good work to get the genealogy onto the web.
Anyway, regarding this URL:

First, A.J. spelled the family name "Biglow" as did apparently his
father  Barna, although A.J.'s brother Orvis Furman, the Amherst physician,
apparently used "Bigelow," at least as it shows in contemporary
newspaper articles.

Second, Adoniram Judson Biglow was definitely NOT the missionary to
Burma, nor has anyone in the family ever so stated.  However, he WAS
(obviously!!!!) named after Adoniram Judson, the famous missionary to
Burma, who's buried in New England and is listed in Webster's
Unabridged, 2nd edition, in the biographical section, among other places.
Adoniram Judson led a very interesting life, having spent most of his life in
Burma and translated the Bible into the local language.   A websearch
on "Adoniram Judson" brings up much biographical information on his
interesting life.

Whether the Biglow and Judson families were acquainted, I have no
idea.  I suspect it was one of those things done in an excess of religiosity
due to Judson's contemporary fame.  In any event, the Judson part of the
name has been appropriated into the "Antioch" Biglow family as a popular
middle name, and with several generations bearing it with one version
of the name up to a "V" by the 1990s!!

Thus, the sentence on AJB's webpage "One record states that he was an
early missionary to Burma, but we have been unable to substantiate
that" should be corrected to read "Adoniram Judson Biglow was named after
the famous first American missionary to Burma in the early 1800s,
Adoniram Judson.

Third, I was most interested to learn the source of the name
"Adoniram," Mr. Lipschultz, and it is truly a most bizarre name!  It was
replicated in the family only once in one grandson, who received it as a middle
name.  I went through a brief phase as a small child when I asked why
I was not named after my great-grandfather AJB, as his sterling napkin
ring was prettier than my other great-grandfather's, whose initials I do
share.  Fortunately, sane heads did prevail, and I of course have
long since retracted any such desire!! How Mr. Judson received his
Christian name I have no idea, although though your source as a Biblical name
certain makes sense, since his family was so religious.
Mike Biglow

Subject: Adoniram
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 2000 19:03:56 -0500
From: "H. Elliott Lipschultz" <  >

     I am a genealogist, historian. H. Elliott Lipschultz. my site is at
I discovered your ancestor Adoniram Judson this evening.  I have the e-mail:
Adoniram ancestor was adoniram ben-abda halevi.  He lived 3,000 years ago and you may read about him the Bible---King David/Solomon's Director of Internal Revenue. Do you think Adoniram Judson's given name from the old testament?  How common do you think Adoniram was as a Christian Given name?
H. Elliott Lipschultz

15326.3212    Franklin Judson 9 Bigelow, b 03 May 1861 Sacramento; d 29 Aug 1925; m 22 Dec 1884 Antioch, Contra Costa co, CA, Mary Ann Jones; res. San Diego, CA; 6 children.

Only have record  of 4 children:

15326.32121t    William Adoniram, b 13 Jan 1886 Antioch, Contra Costa co, CA; d _ June 1957 Antioch, CA; m Evangeline Trengrove; 2 children known;   

15326.32122     Franklin Judson, Jr, b 24 May 1887 Antioch; d 26 Feb 1962; m 06 Feb 1911 Hallie Ford (b 22 May 1893; d 18 Nov 1958 Antioch); 3 children: Harold Judson, Harvey Ford, and Mary Elizabeth Bigelow;

15326.32123     Harold Orvie, b 25 Apr 1891 Antioch; d 10 Mar 1957; m Marge ____ ;


15326.32125     Pharcellus Kendrick, b 31 Oct 1895 Antioch; d 16 Feb 1961 Antioch; m 14 Feb 1917 Emma Vanderhorst (b 07 Jan 1897); 3 children: Mildred Irma, Thelma and Vernon Bigelow (FTM)

Children listed in data base as:    
William Adoniram \Bigelow\ 1212362351  
Franklin Judson \Bigelow\ Jr\ 2212362351
Pharcellus Kendrick \Bigelow\ 5212362351
Harold Orvie \Bigelow\ 3212362351

Modified - 11/14/2011
(c) Copyright 2011 Bigelow Society, Inc. All rights reserved.
Rod  Bigelow - Director
< >

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
Box 13    Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
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