Saturday, February 7, 2015

Not Far Enough - 52 Ancestors #6

I'm going to stretch the meaning of the prompt again this week to tell the tale of a bad man who tried to outrun his past but it caught up with him anyway! 

The bad man in this case was the Rev. John Lyford and he wasn't my ancestor but connected to my ancestor's family (I'll explain later). 

On the surface, Rev. John Lyford appeared to be a Godly man who traveled to the Plymouth Colony to minister to the Pilgrims in that community. However, the colonial leaders soon discovered that he was allied with the Church of England and maligning the Separatists in his letters to England. Once Governor Bradford found out, Rev. Lyford apologized. A little while later, it became evident that he hadn't changed his ways and he was banished. 

But that was just the start of Lyford's secrets. His wife, Sarah, came forward to tell of his infidelity, even fathering a child out of wedlock with another woman before she married him. She couldn't keep any maids because of his sexual harassment and molestation of them. 

Eventually, the BIG secret was revealed. The reason Rev. John Lyford had to leave his previous ministry in Ireland and come to the colony was that he had raped a girl in the parish while she attended pre-marital counseling with him! The woman's husband "tooke some godly friends with him, to deale with Liford for this evill" (Bradford's Journal). He had to leave in fear of even greater punishment. 

After leaving Plymouth, Lyford bounced around from Nantasket (Hull, MA) and Cape Ann to Virginia, where he died in 1638. He was a truly evil and despicable man! He could run but he could not go far enough to outrun his bad behavior! 

So what's my connection to this scoundrel? His wife, Sarah, married as his second wife, my 11th great-grandfather, Edmund Hobart. 

Edmund Hobart & Margery Dewey (first wife)

Line 1:
Nazareth Hobart - daughter of Edmund & Margaret (Dewey) Hobart
Martha Beals
Samuel Dunham
Ebenezer Dunham
John Dunham
James Dunham
James Dunham 
Florilla Dunham
Nina King Ellingwood
Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Line 2:
Rev. Peter Hobart - son of Edmund & Margaret (Dewey) Hobart
Elizabeth Hobart
Joshua Ripley
Hezediah Ripley
Joshua Ripley
Joshua Ripley
Nancy Ripley
Galen Blake
Charles Galen Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather

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