Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Cheddar Man - 52 Ancestors #47

Robert Rogers is referred to as a "Cheddar Man" in colonial records. This sounds way more interesting than it turns out. Evidently, Robert Rogers was born in Cheddar, Somerset, England. He was probably baptized on January 11, 1618, in Cheddar, but there are not enough records to make this a certainty. While Rogers nickname turned out to have a simple explanation, there are other things about Robert that make him an interesting character.
Cheddar, Somerset, UK
Robert came to New England as part of a group that settled on the Agamenticus patent of Sir Ferdinando Gorges. He arrived between 1634 and 1641, probably closer to the later date. Robert never took the oath of a freeman. In order to take that oath, a man had to belong to a Congregational or Puritan church. Sir Ferdinando Gorges intended his patent to be Anglican and it is likely that Robert Rogers belonged to the Church of England. That would put him on the outside of the Puritan society of Newbury, Massachusetts, where he settled.

Robert had a series of court cases that also seem to show that he didn't quite fit in.

  • On the 27th of the 5th month of 1643, he was charged with "receiving stolen wine" and "being consenting in it." It would appear that Samuel Bacon was the wine thief and Miles Thompson, Toby Davies, and Robert Wyar were his drinking companions. Miles Thompson was another of my ancestors, a 10X great-grandfather. 
  • In September 1653, Robert Rogers was named among "those who have neglected the watch at Newbury." 
  • "Robert Rogers was admonished upon his presentment and was bound to good behavior." Some interaction between Robert and two women took place in the orchard of Richard Dole. The women were Hester Bond and Mary Rolfe. The women testified that Robert said, "he was sorry there was such a difference between them, but if she [Hester] had kept her tricks to herself they might have lived well enough." Hester replied, "she was afraid he was in drink, but he said no, he was in cold blood." Unfortunately, there are no more detailed records to shed light on the nature of the dispute or any previous interactions. 
Robert Rogers died on December 23, 1663, in Newbury. Susanna married William Thomas on March 8, 1665, and died on March 29, 1677, in Newbury. 

Robert & Susanna Rogers
Thomas Rogers
Isaac Rogers
Rebecca (Rogers) Blaisdell
Stephen Blaisdell
Susannah (Blaisdell) Rowe
Stephen B. Rowe
Charles H. N. Rowe
Anna J. (Rowe) Hayes
Eva D. (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

* If you search the internet for "Cheddar Man," you will find some interesting stories about prehistoric remains found near the village of Cheddar in England.

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