Saturday, November 15, 2014

52 Ancestors #48 - The Reluctant Husband

Thomas Herrick was the oldest son of Henry & Editha (Laskin) Herrick and the older brother of my 9th great-grandfather, Zachariah Herrick. He seems to have been the black sheep of the family. He was left a legacy in his father's will but would only receive it if he met the stated conditions. He was left out of his brother Benjamin's will, although all the other Herrick siblings received a portion of the estate. 

So why was Thomas ostracized by his family? It seems his father wanted him to "not live his life as a single man." His father died in 1670 when Thomas was about 35 years old. Several of his younger brothers were already married - Zachariah at age 18, Ephraim at age 23, Henry at age 23, Joseph at age 20, and only brothers John, age 20, and Benjamin, age 14, were also unmarried when their father died. 

What did Thomas stand to lose by not marrying? The will states, "Also I give unto my soon Thomas all my wearing appaearell except my best great coat & that 20 acres of land where his house standeth, with ten pounds to be payed to my soon John wn my executor seethe need to supply his wants, And if in case he live and dye a single pson, the lands shall remain to my sons Ephraim & Joseph, equally devided & the ten pounds to my son Beanjamin if not make use of to supply him." 
At some point Thomas did marry but I have not found a record of the date. There is a description of a divorce petition in the Essex Quarter Court records dated November 26, 1673. It seems to imply that the marriage had not been a long one. 

Divorce of Thomas & Hannah (Ordway) Herrick:
Whereas Hannah, the reputed wife of Thomas Herrick, at the last Ipswich court, preferred an account against said Thomas, accusing him of impotency, after some deliberation and testimony, court adjudged said marriage between said Thomas Herrick and Hannah Ordaway null and void. She was given her liberty as if such pretended marriage had never been, and he was to return to said Hannah as much as he had received of her, or of her father or other friends in way of marriage portion; she was to make no further claim to his estate. [EQC 5:252).

I do not know if this "marriage" was enough for Thomas to gain his inheritance or not. 

My Herrick line is:
Henry Herrick & Editha Laskin
Zachariah Herrick & Mary Dodge
Sarah Herrick & Samuel Morgan
Luke Morgan & Ruth Stone
Luke Morgan & Martha Pulcifer
Samuel Morgan & Judith Dennen
Martha Morgan & William Yates
Moses Yates & Martha Whittle
Gilbert Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Yates & Eva Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

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