Saturday, March 21, 2015

May I Have Your Child? - 52 Ancestors #12

William Harlow was born about 1624 and in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1637. He was a cooper by trade and was married three times before his death in 1691. His first wife was Rebecca Bartlett and they had four children before she died in 1658.

His second wife was Mary Faunce and this marriage added five more children between 1659 and 1664. Mary died just days after giving birth to her son, Nathaniel.

William's third wife was Mary Shelley and the family kept on growing, adding five more daughters in ten years.

On April 12, 1667, William entered into an agreement with Nathaniel and Lydia (Cooper) Morton. Nathaniel had lost his father when he was eleven and was raised by his uncle, Gov. William Bradford. Nathaniel and Lydia did not have any living sons and they had lost a married daughter and a young son within two days of each other two months before this deal was made. They asked William Harlow if they could foster his son, Nathaniel and William agreed to the deal. Nathaniel Harlow was raised to the age of twenty-one in the home of Nathaniel and Lydia Morton and received an inheritance when Nathaniel Morton died.

Now it seems odd that one would just give away a son but William Harlow may have seen this as a chance to give his son something he otherwise could not provide. He ended up with 13-15 children in all (conflicting sources). The Mortons were related to little Nathaniel through is mother - Mary (Faunce) Harlow was Nathaniel Morton's niece, the daughter of his sister, Patience (Morton) Faunce.  Or to put it another way, Nathaniel Harlow was the great-nephew of his foster father, Nathaniel Morton.

Still I have to wonder how the conversation got started and how it was explained to the other children. How did Nathaniel Harlow feel about the deal as he grew up? When did he know? Since he seems to have retained the name Harlow, he must have figured it out? Did he have contact with his birth father and siblings?

Family of Nathaniel & Lydia (Cooper) Morton

  1. Remember born about 1637 and died July 24, 1707. Married Abraham Jackson.
  2. Mercy was born about 1639 and died February 19, 1666/67. Married John Dunham. 
  3. Lydia was born about 1641 and married George Elliston. 
  4. Hannah was born about 1646 and died after November 25, 1696. Married Benjamin Bosworth and Isaac Cole. 
  5. Eleazer - died January 16, 1649/50
  6. Stillborn daughter November 23, 1650
  7. Elizabeth was born May 3, 1652 and died April 6, 1673. Married Nathaniel Bosworth.
  8. Johanna was born November 9, 1654 and married Joseph Prince.
  9. Nathaniel - died February 17, 1666/67.
  10. Nathaniel Harlow was born September 30, 1664. 

Family of William & Mary (Shelley) Harlow - with step-children from his previous marriages
  1. William (with wife, Rebecca Bartlett) born and died in 1650
  2. Samuel (with wife, Rebecca Bartlett) born January 27, 1652
  3. Rebecca (with wife, Rebecca Bartlett) born June 12, 1655
  4. William (with wife, Rebecca Bartlett) born June 2, 1657
  5. Mary (with wife, Mary Faunce) born May 19, 1659
  6. Repentance (with wife, Mary Faunce) born November 22, 1660
  7. possibly John (with wife, Mary Faunce) born 1662
  8. Benjamin (with wife, Mary Faunce) born October 19, 1662
  9. Nathaniel (see above)
  10. Hannah was born October 28, 1666
  11. Bathsheba was born April 21, 1667
  12. Johanna was born March 24, 1669
  13. Mehitable was born October 4, 1672
  14. Judith was born 1676

Harlow Line:
William Harlow - 9th great-grandfather
Mary Harlow
Ebenezer Dunham
John Dunham
James Dunham
James Dunham
Florilla Dunham
Nina King Ellingwood
Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Morton Line:
Nathaniel Morton
Mercy Morton
Eleazer Dunham
Mercy Dunham
Mary Kempton
Rebecca Burbank
Hannah Keene
Timothy Cox
Christiana Cox
Francis Llewellyn Cotton
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

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