Thursday, July 31, 2014

52 Ancestors #31 - Theophilus Wilson

Theophilus Wilson was my 9th great-grandfather. He was born in England about 1601 and died in Ipswich, Massachusetts on January 10, 1691. he was made a freeman in March 13, 1639. His parents were Rev. Thomas & Christian (Ower) Wilson. He was baptized, probably by his father, at St. George the Martyr, in Canterbury, Kent, England on December 20, 1601. Theophilus married Elizabeth ________ about 1634. 

Linking the family tree - The relationship between Theophilus Wilson, child of Rev. Thomas, and Theophilus Wilson, immigrant to Ipswich was demonstrated in an article published in 2009 in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (see citation below). It includes a search of records in England which show no records for Theophilus after 1636, the will of Rev. Thomas Wilson, and various statements and documents in New England from Theophilus Wilson's twin sisters, Martha (Wilson) Bachelor and Mary (Wilson) Treadwell, who emigrated with their husbands. His nephew, Samuel Taylor, son of Robert & Jane (Wilson) Tailer is another New England emigrant who helps establish the identity of Theophilus Wilson, immigrant. 

The children of Theophilus & Elizabeth (___) Wilson were:

  1. Thomas born about 1634 in England, married Jane Swan, and died about 1703. 
  2. Seaborn born about 1636 in presumably at sea on the voyage to New England, married Lt. David Fiske, Jr. on September 5, 1655 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and died on January 12, 1721 in Woburn, Massachusetts. 
  3. Elizabeth born about 1639, married John Pinder before August 16, 1658, and died March 29, 1671 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. 
Rev. Thomas Wilson & Christian Ower
Theophilus Wilson & Elizabeth
Seaborn Wilson & David Fiske, Jr. 
Anna Fiske & Timothy Carter
Benjamin Carter & Sarah Stone
Timothy Carter & Sarah Walker
Timothy Carter & Frances Freeland
Elias M. Carter & Rebecca Williamson
Augustus M. Carter & Mary Frances Stanley
Edward M. Carter & Fannie May Capen
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Prior posts about Rev. Thomas Wilson include:
Battle of Britain
Let Thanksgiving Bee Made For All Men

Wilcox, Doris Schreiber, “Massachusetts Descendants of The Rev. Thomas Wilson, Author of the Pilgrims’ Christian Dictionarie: Theophilus Wilson, Martha (Wilson) Bachelor, Mary (Wilson) Treadwell, and Their Nephew Samuel Taylor,” New England Historic Genealogical Register, Vol. 163, 2009.

52 Ancestors #30 - Rev. Thomas Wilson

This is a reposting of my first blog entry. 

Thomas Wilson, author of A Christian Dictionarie

Thomas Wilson was the minister at St. George the Martyr Church in Canterbury from 1586 to 1622.  He was also a prebendary* of Canterbury Cathedral. He was buried in his parish on the 25th of January 1621-22. He was the first to attempt to compile a dictionary of the Bible in English. The first edition appeared in 1612 and a second in 1616. Other editions were published after his death. He also published other works including Commentarie upon the most divine Epistle to the Romans  and Christ's Farewell to Jerusalem. 

In attempting to find information about the church, I discovered an interesting but sad story. The church was destroyed during a bombing raid that devastated much of downtown Canterbury in World War II. All that remains is one tower. On the night of May 31st/June 1st, 1942 Canterbury was targeted as part of the so-called "Baedeker Raids."** This attack was likely a reprisal for an R.A.F. bomber raid on Cologne the night of May 30th. About one fifth of the City of Canterbury was destroyed that night as about 100 bombs and 6,000 incendiaries were dropped in two and a half hours. Fire damaged many properties because the majority of buildings were made of timber. Forty-three people died, forty were seriously injured and forty-one had less serious injuries. Follow-up attacks came on June 3rd and June 7th but these were not as destructive as the June 1st attack. 

The church had a long history. There is evidence of a church on the site from 1100 A.D. It had been enlarged, most recently in 1879 when another local church was closed and the two congregations merged. 

Quotes about Thomas Wilson:
Robert Cushman (a member of the Pilgrim group in Leiden) - "a very excellent preacher in Canterbury, who was both a lover of goodnesse and good men." 

Historian Peter Clark - "probably the most distinguished preacher in early Jacobean Kent [who preached] themes from middle-of-the-road Calvinism." 

*prebendary - an honor granted to senior priest in the Anglican Church usually awarded for long and dedicated service to the diocese. 
** Baedeker was the publisher of an English travel guide book reportedly used by the Germans to choose their non-military targets. They looked for cities with at least three stars for historical significance. 

10th Great-Grandfather
Rev. Thomas Wilson & Christian Ower
Theophilus Wilson & Elizabeth
Seaborn Wilson & David Fiske
Anna Fiske & Timothy Carter
Benjamin Carter & Sarah Stone
Timothy Carter & Sarah Walker
Timothy Carter & Frances Freeland
Elias M. Carter & Rebecca Williamson
Augustus M. Carter & Mary Frances Stanley
Edward M. Carter & Fannie May Capen
T. Richard Carter & F. Lyndell Cotton

52 Ancestors #29 Henry Herrick

Henry Herrick was my 10th great-grandfather. He came from England about 1630 and settled in Salem and then Beverly, Massachusetts. His birth is estimated as about 1598 based on when he was released from training for defense and he died between November 24, 1670 and March 15, 1671. 

Henry was active in the community and was made a freeman on May 28, 1631. He was the constable in 1656. The job of the constable in colonial times was to collect the taxes. He signed with his mark but his inventory included "Four Bibles and Other Books," making it difficult to determine whether he was literate or not. He is called a "yeoman" in records.

Around 1634, Henry married Edith (or Editha) Laskin, daughter of Hugh Laskin. She was born in England about 1612 and is show in records as late as March 27, 1677. 

Henry & Edith had eight children: 

  1. Thomas born about 1634, married Hannah Ordway (but they divorced soon after citing his "impotency"). She is called his "reputed wife" in the court notes. 
  2. Zachariah was baptized on December 25, 1636 in Salem, married Mary Dodge, daughter of Richard, about 1654, and died in Beverly on May 20, 1695. The will of Richard Dodge, Sr. mentions "my daughter Mary Herrick's five daughters." 
  3. Ephraim was baptized on February 11, 1638 in Salem, married Mary Cross, daughter of Robert & Anna (Jordan), on July 2, 1661 in Salem, and died September 18 1693. 
  4. Henry was baptized on January 16, 1640 in Salem, married first Lydia (possibly Woodbury, not proved), married second Sarah (Alcock) Giddings, widow of John Giddings, daughter of John Alcock of York. 
  5. Joseph was baptized August 6, 1645 in Salem, married first Sarah Leach on February 7, 1665 in Beverly, married second Mary _____ bef 1686, married third on January 29, 1707 in Salem, Mary (Folsom) March, widow of George March, daughter of John Folsom.
  6. Elizabeth was born about 1647, married Philip Fowler on January 23, 1672 in Ipswich. 
  7. John was born about 1650, married Mary Reddington on May 25, 1674 in Beverly. 
  8. Benjamin was born before 1656 and died before March 27, 1677. His estate was divided among his siblings, except Thomas, who was curiously omitted and provided an income for his mother. 
There are a number of secondary sources for the Herrick family and many have tried to link Henry Herrick to Sir William Herrick of Beau Manor, Leicestershire, England but Robert Charles Anderson dismisses the claims in his Great Migration sketch of Henry Herrick. Anderson also dismisses claims that Henry Herrick came to New England in 1629 as a misinterpretation of the first list of Salem church members. These claims highlight the need to examine sources for oneself and attempt to locate primary sources whenever possible. 

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Pirate's Life & Ironic Death

Thomas Pound and Thomas Hawkins were indicted by a grand jury for piracy. Among the grand jurors was my 9th great-grandfather, John Capen. 

Pound had initially hired Hawkins to take him on a fishing vessel to Nantasket but soon after they were under sail, revealed his true purpose of becoming a pirate and invited Hawkins to join him in his venture. Hawkins agreed. They abandoned the fishing vessel and confiscated a ketch, the “Mary.” Sailing into Casco Bay (Portland, Maine), they sent a man ashore with a fictional tale that they had been attacked and needed assistance. They stole the arms and clothing of the soldiers who came to help them and also took a calf and three sheep. As they sailed for Cape Cod, they “traded” ships for a larger sloop, the “Good Speed,” owned by David Larkin. 

Pound taunted the governor of Boston and said that anyone who dared to come after the pirates would die. Near the New Hampshire border they relieved another ship of its cargo of flour, sugar, rum, and tobacco. Eventually a Nor’easter forced the ship away and it sailed to Virginia. Hawkins and Pound had a falling out and Hawkins attempted to escape on a Portuguese whaler but the captain, Jacobus Loper, decided that turning Hawkins over to the authorities in Boston was a better idea. Shortly thereafter, Pound and fourteen other pirates were captured after a battle with authorities that left both sides with casualties. 

The pirates were found guilty of piracy and murder and sentenced to be “hanged by the neck until they be dead.” At the last possible moment, word came that Governor had postponed the hanging and eventually Pound and Hawkins were exiled rather than executed.

Now for the ironic twist, the “Rose,” carrying Pound and Hawkins into exile was attacked by a French privateer armed with thirty guns. Hawkins would die from his wounds after this battle near Cape Sable Island (off Nova Scotia).  Pound faired much better and ended up a country gentleman in England and died in 1703.

John Capen - on grand jury for Thomas Hawkins
James Capen & Hannah Lawrence
James Capen & Elizabeth Call
James Capen & Sarah Pinson
Thomas Capen & Mary Wyman
Thomas Capen & Mary Abbott
Timothy Capen & Sarah K. Abbott
Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott
Fanny May Capen & Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott were second cousins - Timothy Capen's sister, Deborah was Mary Jane's grandmother. Deborah married William Ackley - their daughter, Sarah Ackley married John Abbott and they were the parents of Mary Jane. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

52 Ancestors #28 - Isaac Buswell

Isaac Buswell, my 11th great-grandfather, was a weaver who emigrated to Salisbury, Massachusetts about 1638 and became a freeman there in October 1640. I found information about him in The Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts, by David W. Hoyt. Since this book was published in 1897, I decided to see what might have been published more recently and I found an article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register from 2004, which detailed the English origins of this Buswell family. 

Isaac was born about 1592 in Husbands Bosworth, Leicestershire, England. According to British History Online, the name comes from the Old English personal name "Bar." The prefix 'Husbands' came into usage in the late 16th and early 17th century, probably to distinguish this village (made up of mostly husbandmen) from Market Bosworth. Isaac was the ninth child of eleven born to Roger & Margaret (___) Buswell and the grandson of John Buswell, yeoman & sheep farmer, & his first wife. Some sources state that Elizabeth Hall was the first wife of John Buswell. Isaac's sister and brother-in-law, Richard & Rebecca (Buswell) Smith settled in Wethersfield, Connecticut. 

Isaac was married three times. His first wife was possibly Elizabeth _____ and she was the mother of four of his six children. She was buried on April 20, 1631 in Husbands Bosworth. Isaac's second wife was Margaret______  and she died in Salisbury on September 29, 1642. It does not appear that they had any children. The third wife of Isaac Buswell was Susanna _____ and they married about 1644. She and Isaac had two children.

Isaac & Elizabeth

  1. Phebe was baptized on February 29, 1624, Husbands Bosworth. She married John Bill on May 2, 1645. 
  2. William was baptized on February 19, 1626, Husbands Bosworth. He was a weaver and planter. He married Sarah (____) and died on June 21, 1699, Salisbury, MA. 
  3. Samuel was baptized on August 17, 1628, Husbands Bosworth and died before July 27, 1704. He married Sarah Keyes in July 1656. He is called planter and husbandman. 
  4. Gabriel was baptized on April 3, 1631, Husbands Bosworth and buried there in May 1631. 
Isaac & Susanna
  1. Mary was born on August 29, 1645, Salisbury, MA. She married Philip Brown on June 24, 1669. 
  2. Isaac was born on July 29, 1650, Salisbury, MA. He married Mary Eastow on October 11, 1671.

Isaac Buswell died in Salisbury, Massachusetts on July 8, 1683. According to Find-A-Grave, he is buried in the Salisbury Colonial Burying Ground but there is no picture of a stone for him.

  1.  John Buswell
  2.  Roger & Margaret (____) Buswell
  3.  Isaac & Elizabeth (____) Buswell
  4. John & Phebe (Buswell) Gill
  5. Morris & Elizabeth (Gill) Tucker
  6. Joseph & Phebe (Page) Tucker
  7. Ebenezer & Deborah (Blake) Tucker
  8. William & Hannah (Tucker) Rowe
  9. William & Susanna (Blaisdell) Rowe
  10. Stephen & Elizabeth (Hilton) Rowe
  11. Charles & Loann (Churchill) Rowe
  12. George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
  13. Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
  14. Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother
J.M. Lee, R.A. McKinley, "Husbands Bosworth," A History of the County of Leicestershire: Volume 5: Gartree Hundred, British History Online,

Thursday, July 24, 2014

52 Ancestors #27 - Edward Mellen Carter

The Lewiston Daily Sun - July 24, 1923


Bethel Man Hit by Auto on State Road Succumbs From Internal Injuries

Well Known in Bethel Where He Was Engaged in Lumbering Business With Father

Edward Carter, aged 43, of Bethel died at Ste. Marie's hospital yesterday morning from injuries sustained when he jumped from a wagon on the Lisbon-Lewiston road about midnight Sunday directly into the path of an automobile owned and operated by Harry S. Morton of Brunswick. Mr. Carter was driving a four horse team when he jumped to the ground intending to fix something in the rear of the conveyance. He evidently was unaware that a machine was approaching. 

County Attorney James A. Pulsifer and Dr. Blinn Russell, county medical examiner, investigating the cause of death stated that they were were satisfied that the accident was in no sense the fault of the driver of the fatal car but largely attributable to fate and the victim's negligence in not ascertaining if the road was clear before jumping from his perch on the wagon. 

Mr. Carter who has for several years been identified with his father, Augustus Carter, of Bethel in the lumbering business in Maine, New Hampshire and Canada has recently been engaged in road construction work. He was so employed at the time of the accident driving one of two four horse teams over the State road on his way to Lewiston. 

He was born in Bethel March 26, 1875, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Carter. In early life he married Miss Fannie Capen, who, with five children, also his father, one sister, Miss Frances Carter, and an uncle Herbert Carter, all of Bethel, survive him. Mr. Carter's father gave up business about a year ago since which time the son had been employed in road work part of the time.

Edward Carter was my great-grandfather. His wife, Fannie, never remarried and raised her five children as a single mother. The children were Edward Augustus (Gus) age 12, Rebecca Williamson (Becky) age 10, Thomas Richard (Dick) age 8, Stanley Capen age 5, and Paul Albert age 1. 

Newspaper accessed at