Saturday, June 15, 2013

Surname Saturday - Bernard Capen

Bernard (or Barnard) Capen was a shoemaker who came to America in 1633 from Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England. He took the oath of a freeman on May 25, 1636. In some old records his names is written as Barnard and his surname is recorded as "Gapin." His stated age at his death on November 8, 1638 was 76 which would put his birth about 1562. He married Joan Purchase on May 31, 1596. She was the daughter of Oliver Purchase and one of four Purchase siblings who emigrated to the American colonies.
Photo courtesy of Don Blauvelt - posted at Findagrave

There is an article about the Barnard Capen house on the Dorchester Atheneaum site. It tells the history of the house which was restored in 1909 and seems to have been dismantled and moved twice. I couldn't find anything about the current status of that house. However, the parsonage house of Rev. Joseph Capen, son of John and grandson of Bernard, is located in Topsfield, Massachusetts and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Rev. Joseph was my 8th great-uncle.
Parson Capen House - photo from Wikipedia
Two of Bernard Capen's descendants are President Calvin Coolidge and President Ulysses S. Grant.
President Calvin Coolidge - photo from Wikipedia
He is my 8th cousin, twice removed
President Ulysses S. Grant
He is my 7th cousin, 4 times removed

  1. James was born about 1598 and is called a "scrivener" in his will. 
  2. Ruth was born on August 7, 1600 and there is no further record of her.
  3. Susanna was born on April 11, 1602 and married twice. On April 14, 1624, she married William Rockwell and on May 29, 1645 she became the second wife of Matthew Grant. 
  4. Dorothy was born about 1608 and she married Nicholas Upsall on January 17, 1630 at the Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England. 
  5. Elizabeth was born about 1610 and she married Thomas Swift on October 18, 1630 in the same church as Dorothy. 
  6. John was born January 12, 1612. He married twice. On October 20, 1637, he married Redegon Clap and on September 20, 1647, he married Mary Bass. In 1680, John served on the jury for the witchcraft trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury. She was found guilty but given a reprieve and released to her husband. She was not allowed to travel more than a few yards from her house unless accompanied by a minister. 
  7. Honor was born about 1616 and she married William Hannum. 
Line of Descent
John Capen m. Mary Bass
James Capen 1654-1718 m. Hannah Lawrence
James Capen born 1683 m. Elizabeth Call
James Capen 1709/10-1763 m. Sarah Pinson
Thomas Capen born 1739 m. Mary Wyman
Thomas Capen 1762-1808 m. Mary Abbott
Timothy Capen born 1793 m. Sarah K. Abbott
Edward Abbott Capen 1839-1930 m. Mary Jane Abbott - First cousins, once removed - See below
Fannie May Capen born 1878 m. Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Sister of Timothy Capen - Deborah Capen born 1796 m. William Ackley
Sarah Ackley born 1820 m. John Abbott
Mary Jane Abbott - same as above

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: American, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995).
Dorchester Atheneum

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