Friday, July 20, 2012

What If?

The first husband of my 8th great-grandmother, Tamsen Wentworth, was killed by Indians in Dover, New Hampshire. His name was James Chesley and he was the son of Philip Chesley.

The History of New Hampshire by Belknap says "A party of French Mohawks, painted red, attacked, with a hideous yell, a company who were in the woods, some hewing timber, and other driving a team, under the direction of Capt. Chesley, who was just returned the second time from Port Royal. At the first fire, they killed seven and mortally wounded another. Chesley with the few who were left fired on the enemy with great vigor, and for some time checked their ardor; but being overpowered he at length fell. He was much lamented being a brave officer. Three of the scalps taken at this time were soon recovered at Berwick, Me."

Recorded in the Journal of Rev. John Pike:
Sep 17, 1797. Capt. Samuel Chesley - his bro. James Chesley, & 6 more stout young men were slain by the Indians, as they were Cutting and halling timber, not far from Capt. Chesley's house. The Indian yt killd James Chesley was slain upon the spot by Robt.Thompson. Philip Chesley and 3 more escaped. 

After the death of James Chesley, Tamsen married John Hayes. What if James Chesley was not killed that day? My family tree would be very different. When John Hayes married Tamsen Wentworth, he was marrying into a very important and influential New Hampshire family.

Hand Hewing Timber
John Hayes & Tamsen Wentworth
Hezekiah Hayes & Margaret Cate
William Hayes & Olive
Isaac Hayes & Alice Garland
Richard Hayes & Rebecca
Sydney Hayes & Aphia Delphinia Cole
George H. Hayes & Anna J. Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Too Many Mouths to Feed

Although New England was generally a very prosperous place, not all immigrants were successful. This is the story of one such immigrant. Samuel Eddy was baptized in Cranbrook, Kent, England on May 15, 1608. Samuel does not appear in any ship's records but his brother, John, arrived in the Handmaid, in 1630. Since Samuel is shown to be in Plymouth in 1630, it is the general consensus that he likely came with his brother. Two sisters also came to the colonies: Abigail (Eddy) Benjamin, wife of John Benjamin and Anne (Eddy) Wines, wife of Barnabas Wines. The Eddy immigrants were the children of Rev. William and Mary (Fosten) Eddy. I am connected to John Eddy through my grandfather, Clayton Blake and to Samuel Eddy through my grandmother, Linona Yates.

Samuel was a tailor in England and continued in that profession in the colonies. He made uniforms for soldiers in King Philip's' War. He married a woman named Elizabeth. There is speculation that she may have been the sister of Thomas Savory of Plymouth. This is based on a transfer of land from Samuel Eddy to widow Ann Savory. The record states that the land was received from "our brother-in-law Samuel Eddy." Samuel and Elizabeth had five children: John b. 25 December 1637; Zachariah b. abt. 1639; Caleb b. abt. 1643; Obadiah b. abt. 1645 and Hannah b. 23 June 1647. 
Riches to Rags? 

In 1632/3, Thomas Brian, servant of Samuel Eddy, was brought before the council for running away from his master and was privately whipped. So it seems that initially, Samuel's family was doing well enough in their new home but that would change.

Evidently the tailoring business was not doing very well because three of the children were placed with other couples to be raised. Five was not a large family by the standards of the time but there may have been other children who died young and were not recorded. Still the family could not take care of them and in April 1645, they placed the first of their children, John, with the family of Francis and Katherine Goulder. Then the court record of 2 March 1646/7 states "Whereas Samuell Edeth & Elizabeth, his wife, of the town of Plim(outh) aforesaid, having many children and by reason of many wants lying upon them, so as they are not able to bring them up as they desire, and out of the good respect they bear Mr. John Browne, of Rehoboth, one of the Assistants of this government, did both of them jointly desire that he, the said Mr. Browne, would take Zachery, their son, being of the age of seven years, & bring him up in his employment of husbandry, or any business he shall see meet for the good of their child till he come to the age of one & twenty years," which Browne agreed to do. In March of 1652, Samuel and Elizabeth made a similar arrangement with Mr. John Browne for their son, Caleb, when he was nine years old. Further evidence of the poverty of the family is seen in the records that show Samuel Eddy regularly hired one of the cows which were maintained for the town's poor.

After putting out the oldest three boys, Samuel & Elizabeth had at least two more children. I wonder why the family ended up living in poverty despite Samuel's skill and evidence of better times in the 1630s. Was there an event that changed the circumstances of this family? Was there a family connection with John Browne or was he just someone known and respected by Samuel & Elizabeth?

Samuel Eddy & Elizabeth Savory?
John Eddy & Hepzibah Doggett
Alice Eddy & John Leach
Giles Leach & Anna Waterman
Elizabeth Leach & Jonathan Shurtleff
Lucy Shurtleff & Calvin Cole
Calvin Cole Jr & Betsey Judkins
Aphia Delphina Cole & Sydney Hayes
George Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

John Eddy, Sarah Eddy, Elizabeth Marion, Samuel Dearborn, Mary Dearborn, Benjamin Blake, David Blake, Micajah Blake, Galen Blake, Charles G. Blake, Harriet Mae Blake, Clayton L. Blake - my grandfather.

Plymouth Colony: Its History & People 1621-1691 by Eugene Aubrey Stratton. Ancestry Publishing. Salt Lake City. 1986.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Gallons of Corruption

Okay, I just need to write this post. Every time I start, I end up getting sidetracked looking up my connections to the various people involved in this incident. At one time I taught US history in an integrated class with an English teacher. When we covered the Salem Witch Trials, he always pointed to this testimony as an example of the hyperbole that fueled the hysteria.

Benjamin & Sarah (Farnum) Abbott are my 9th great-grandparents and because of the intermarrying of the Abbott family, they are related to me in a myriad of other ways also. Benjamin had an antagonistic relationship with Martha Carrier, who happens to be my first cousin, 11 times removed. After several nasty verbal exchanges, Benjamin inevitably became sick and Martha was accused of being the cause of his troubles. Martha had an interesting background that tarnished her reputation in the community and made her an easy target. 
Cotton Mather called Martha a "rampant hag"
Cotton Mather wrote The Wonders of the Invisible World - The Trial of Martha Carrier. Her trial was held in Salem on August 2, 1692. Benjamin Abbott testified about the verbal abuse directed at him by Martha and then went on to relate his story of illness. (Bold text was added by me for emphasis)

"Presently after this he was taken with a swelling in his foot, and then in his side, and exceedingly tormented.  It bred a sore which was lanced by Dr. Prescott, and several gallons of corruption ran out of it.  For six weeks it continued very bad; and then another sore bred in his groin, which was also lanced by Dr. Prescott.  Another sore bred in his groin, which was likewise cut, and put him to very great misery.  He was brought to death's door, and so remained until Carrier was taken and carried away by the constable; from which very day he began to mend, and so grew better every day, and is well ever since. Sarah, his wife, also testified that her husband was not only all this while afflicted in his body, but also that strange, extraordinary, and unaccountable calamities befell his cattle; their death being such as they could guess no natural reason for."

As my esteemed colleague would point out, the human body  does not contain gallons of anything, including blood. Combined with the vivid, disgusting mental image, this story would make quite an impression on our students. Unfortunately, my colleague moved on to another school before I made the connection between Benjamin Abbott and my family.

Just to add to the memorable accusations, Martha's nephew, Allen Toothaker, testified against her:
"Toothaker had received a wound in the wars; and now he testified that Martha Carrier told him he should never be cured. Just before the apprehending of Carrier, he could thrust a knitting needle into his wound four inches deep; but presently after her being seized, he was thoroughly healed."

What I wonder is why he was thrusting a knitting needle into his wound in the first place and could that have been the reason it wasn't healing...perhaps?

Martha was one of five people hanged on August 19, 1692. Also executed on that date were George Burroughs, John Proctor, John Willard, and George Jacobs, Jr.

Martha Carrier's grandfather was Edmund Ingalls - my 11th great-grandfather through my grandmother, Fern Lyndell Cotton.

Benjamin Abbott & Sarah Farnum (spelled in various ways)
Jonathan Abbott & Zerviah Holt
Jonathan Abbott II & Martha Lovejoy
Jonathan Abbott III & Mehitable Abbott - 3rd cousins
Zerviah Abbott & John Ellingwood
John Ellingwood, Jr & Rachel Barrows
Asa Freeman Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Nina K. Ellingwood & George Gibbs
Annie Florilla Gibbs & Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Josiah Winslow - Governor of Plymouth Colony

My mother's ancestry goes back to the Winslow family who were some of the earliest settlers of Plymouth. Edward and Gilbert were passengers on the Mayflower, brother John came on the Fortune in 1621 and the two younger Winslows, Josiah and Kenelm came about 1631. My family descends from Kenelm so this Josiah is my first cousin, 11 times removed.

Josiah Winslow, shown here was the 13th Governor of Plymouth Colony, serving from 1673 to 1680. He was born in 1628 to Edward Winslow and Penelope Pelham (daughter of Herbert Pelham, the first treasurer of Harvard College). Josiah was the first governor of Plymouth born in the New World. By the time he took office, the colony was well established and no longer reliant on Native Americans to teach the colonists survival skills. The expanding British settlements of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were expanding and putting pressure of the lands of the Native Americans. Chief of the Wampanoag, Metacom (or King Philip) and Josiah did not have a good relationship and this contributed to the outbreak of King Philip's War. Josiah's half-brother was Peregrine White, the first English child born in New England.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Mappy Monday - Isles of Shoals & Great Island

File:Isles of Shoals Map.png

Isles of Shoals - nine small islands that straddle the border between Maine and New Hampshire have been a base for fishermen from the earliest days of New England settlement. No one lives year-round on the islands now but that was not always the case. My 7th great-grandfather, Aaron Ferris bought land there in 1669 and also at Great Island (present-day New Castle, NH). 
Great Island
Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire [database on-line]. Provo, UT, Operations, Inc. 1998. 
Ferris, Aaron, fisherman, first ment. 1668, of Isles of Shoals in 1669 bot land and a house frame on Great Isl. In 1683, of Great Isl., he bot 20 a. at Spruce Creek, but was still of Great Isl. when he sold his house there in 1695. In 1697, of Kit., he sold the rest of his land on Great Isl. to John Muchemore of Star Isl. Liv. 1712...In 1709 with w. Grace he sold to dau. and son, Grace and Tho. Huff, their entire est. for life supp., and in 1712 Tho. Huff gave 1 1/2 a. to br-in-law Ebenezer and sis. Mary Emmons. Ch: Grace m. Tho. Huff. Mary likelier Ferris than Huff, wife of Ebenezer Emmons (1). (Edw. Vittery m. one Anna Farris in Boston 13 Nov. 1713). 

Aaron Ferris & Grace
Mary Ferris & Ebenezer Emmons
Thomas Emmons & Elizabeth Deering
Eliakim Emmons & Molly Wildes
Jacob Emmons & Sarah Shepard
Laura Emmons & Gilbert Yates
Estes Yates & Eva Delphinia Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Blacksheep Sunday - Frequent & Abominable Drunkenness!

John Barnes is my 10th great-grandfather. He came to Plymouth in 1632 and was a yeoman and merchant. John Barnes shows up frequently in the court records; often engaged in some practices which the General Court deemed illegal or at least unfair. He was also in court a few times for slandering his neighbors and also for his drunkenness. It got so bad that he was disenfranchised (his right to vote was revoked) for "frequent and abominable drunkenness." Finally in 1661 the court ordered that "ordinary keepers of the town of Plymouth are hereby prohibited to let John Barnes have any liquors, wine, or strong drink at any time" under penalty of 50s. fine. An ordinary is a tavern. 

Plymouth court records show that on 5 March 1671/2 a coroner's jury viewed "the corpes of Mr. John Barnes" and stated that "being before his barn door, in the street, standing stroking or feeling of his bull, the said bull suddenly turned upon him and give him a great wound with his horn on his right thigh, near eight inches long, in which his flesh was torn both broad and deep, as we judge, of which would together with his wrench of his neck or pain thereof (of which he complained) he immediately languished, after about 32 hours he died."

I have to wonder if he was drunk when he was gored by the bull.

In 2007, cousin Bill West put his spin on the story and adds some details.

John Barnes & Mary Plummer
Jonathan Barnes & Elizabeth Hedge
Mary Barnes & John Carver
Mary Carver & Moses Barrows
Moses Barrows & Deborah Totman
Asa Alden Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood, Jr.
Asa Freeman Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Nina King Ellingwood & George Gibbs
Annie Florilla Gibbs & Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton