Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Holbrook line: Captain Miles Standish, Immigrant,

I/m really surprised that I haven't written about Miles (Myles) Standish yet, so the timing of this, during Thanksgiving week, seems appropriate.  There is a lot of material about the Captain available, but there is still much to learn.  Robert Charles Anderson thinks it is possible or even likely, but not proven, that Miles is the son of John Standish, of the Isle of Man, son of John, son of Huan.  It has long been thought that Miles came from either the Isle of Man or Lancashire, and the two families seem to be somehow related, although the connection has not yet been found.  He seems to have been born about 1583 or 1584, 

Another mystery is when and under what circumstances he went to fight in the "Low Country".  The two options put forth most often are that he went as a mercenary, during the war between the Low Countries and Spain, or that he served under Sir Horatio Vere, who was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to fight in Holland. Vere is known to have recruited soldiers in both Lancashire and the Isle of Man.  It seems that there would be some sort of record if that were the case, but of course the English Civil War of the 1640s, as well as other causes of decay, confusion, and misplacing of records all mean that we may never find a roster with the name of Miles Standish on it.  In any case, it appears that he retired from military service and stayed in Holland, where he had ample opportunity to meet with the men who would soon be known as Pilgrims. 

Miles was hired by the Pilgrims to be their military advisor, so it appears that he wasn't one of the Pilgrims.  He was Protestant, though, and hIn 1620, whas been called Puritan.  If this is accurate, the difference in beliefs between his own and the Pilgrims would not have been large' primarily, the Separatists wanted to live separately, away from established religion as they knew it, and the Puritans were interested in reforming the Church of England, to make it a simpler and less ornate religion. 

In 1620, when the Pilgrims left Holland and then England for the New World, Miles and his wife Rose were on board the Mayflower,  Rose, however, died during that first winter, along with many of the other Pilgrims, due to exposure and disease as well as inadequate food.  His second wife, Barbara, arrived on the ship "Anne" in 1623.  This seems to be someone Miles already knew but Anderson is not willing to identify her further.  It has been suggested that she was the sister of Rose, 

Captain Myles' s occupation is listed only as "soldier", but he did much more than construct the defenses at Plymouth Plantation.  He led men on military expeditions, which were mainly again the native Americans but also against the Dutch in the war against the Dutch.  He is said to have had a violent temper, but he was working in difficult conditions with difficult men so I'll give him a pass on that.  He was a councilor, a free man, an assistant, deputy governor, treasurer of the colony, and on the Council of War.  He was also the commander of the military forces.  He was still listed os able to bear arms in 1643, when he would have been just about 60 years of age. 

While we don't know the extent of his education, he was the treasurer so he must have had at least rudimentary arithmetic skills, and perhaps more than that.  He had several dozen books in his inventory when he died, including three Bibles, Honer's Iliad and Caesar's Commentaries.  I think we can say he had an education, whether formal or not .

He and his wife had 7 children, and by 1643 had moved with his family to Duxbury, a new settlement in Plymouth Colony.  There he lived out his days, and died on October 3, 1656,  Barbara died sometime after October 6, 1659.  (She apparently did not remarry).  Myles's estate was valued at 358 pounds, 7 shillings, which was not too bad for a "soldier".  He must have had a good business sense, too. 

Although I certainly wish the situation with the native Americans could have been handled differently, in general Myles Standish is worth our respect and honor.  The situations that he lived through were remarkable and more difficult than we can imagine.  I'm glad we're part of his family.

The line of descent is:

Miles Standish-Barbara
Josiah Standish-Sarah Allen
Josiah Standish-Sarah Doty
Hannah Standish-Nathan Foster
Nathan Foster-Elizabeth Lansford (Lundsford)
Jude Foster-Lydia M
Betsy Foster-Josiah Whittemore
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Friday, November 16, 2018

Holbrook line: Richard Hildreth, Immigrant

The only reason I haven't written about Richard Hildreth before is that he is one of the recent funds I made when finally determining the identity of Lucy Snow Whittemore.  That connection leads to several more immigrant families, and this is one of them.  Much has been found about Richard Hildreth but much more needs to be found. Still, my view on writing these posts is that something is better than nothing. 

Among the "minor" details we don't know about Richard are the names of his parents, his birthdate or location, and the maiden name of his first wife.  We're not at all sure about the maiden name of his second wife, either.  Other than that,,,

We do know that he was in Massachusetts Bay Colony at least by May 10, 1643, when he was made a freeman.  At the time, he resided in Cambridge.  Some records indicate that he lived at Woburn but had his children christened in Cambridge, so it's possible that he moved. The two towns are about eleven miles apart now, but I don't know where the boundaries were then.   Richard had come to America with his first wife, Sarah, and their two children.  Sarah died at Cambridge June 15, 1644.  He must have married Elizabeth, who may have been a Hinchman or Henchman, (but I've found nothing to document that) very soon after Sarah's death, because second wife's first child, Elizabeth, was born on September 21, 1646.  Sarah and Richard had at least seven children.  Based on the ages reported on their gravestones, Elizabeth was about 20 years younger than Richard and was probably only about twenty years old when she married. 

In Cambridge, Richard was well respected and was a selectman of the town.  He was also referred to as "sergeant", and most likely would have had this title as part of the military training band.  Sometime in his life, he lost the use of his right hand.  Whether this was as part of a military expedition, a training accident, or some other kind of accident is not known, not is it known exactly when this loss occurred. 

He acquired land in Chelmsford in 1653 and he and the family had moved there sometime before 1658, when his a son was born at Chelmsford.   In 1664 the Court granted him 150 additional acres of land because of the loss of his right hand, so we know that the incident occurred before that date.  There doesn't appear to be a skirmish or war to which we can attribute it, but as mentioned above, there are several explanations.  The Court would likely not  have given land to those who had suffered non-military injuries, as far as I can tell. 

Richard was a member of the church at Chelmsford and must have also been a member earlier, when he attained freeman status.  

Richard died at Chelmsford February 23, 1693 and Elizabeth followed him a few months later.  He had disposed of most of his property by the time of his death, as his inventory shows a value of only about 17 pounds.  However, it did include four books, which tells us something.  His mind may have still been active even at such an advanced age.  His son Ephraim had the use of Richard's estate while Richard lived, and was appointed executor of the estate.  Oldest son James was to get 20 shillings more than the others when the estate was settled. 

So we're left wondering...Was his wife a Hinchman?  How did Richard support himself, before and after the incident that cost him his right hand?  Where was he born, and who were his parents?  The search goes on.

The line of descent is:

Richard Hildreth-Elizabeth
Elizabeth Hildreth-John Stevens
Joseph Stevens-Elizabeth Tidd
Elizabeth Stevens-William Snow
Lucy Snow-Josiah Whittemore
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph R Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Holbrook line: Henry Brown, Immigrant

I've written earlier of Henry Brown's parents, William and Jane Mills or possibly Burgis of Rusper, Sussex, England.  Henry was one of their seven children and was christened on December 28, 1626.  Henry was with his parents on the voyage to America in 1645, when his mother and a sibling died during the ocean crossing.  Henry was just 18 years old, and now he would have to help his father settle, as well as his two remaining sibilings.  William settled on Long Island but Henry went to Providence, Rhode Island.  This leads me to wonder what his religious beliefs were, and whether he was more comfortable under the religious freedom that Rhode Island offered, or whether his reason for going there was something entirely different. 

Henry probably had received a good education in England, as his grandfather was a pastor.  From the number of offices Henry held as an adult it is apparent that he also was regarded as a man of common sense.  He was made a freeman in 1655, and at various times from 1656 to 1684 he was commissioner, constable, on the grand jury, town treasurer, deputy, assistant, and on the town council. It appears that he left his home in 1675 or 1676, during King Philip's War.  He would have been about 50 years old, so possibly he served in the militia during that time although I haven't found his name on a militia list.  He may have aged out by the time of the war. 

He married Waite Waterman, the daughter of Richard and Bethiah Waite Waterman probably before 1670.  He sold a house, one of the original home lots that had already been through several owners, in 1668 so it's possible this was in preparation for his marriage.  Or perhaps Waite didn't care for the location for some reason.  It was at almost the very north end of town and she may have wanted to live closer to her parents, who were aging. 

Henry and Waite had at least five children, including son Richard who was born in 1676.  Waite died sometime in or before 1682, leaving a family of young children.  Henry remarried in 1682 to Hannah Field Mathewson, daughter of John Field and widow of James Mathewson.  They had one child together. 

We know that Henry was taxed at a rate of 8 shillings in 1687 and was on the list of those from whom a poll tax was due in 1688.  After that, there is little notice of Henry in the records I've consulted. 

He wrote his will on September 22, 1698 and was dead by February 20, 1702/03, when the will was probated.  Unfortunately, I've not found a copy of the will, which I would dearly love to see.  Did he love books as much as his father did?  What religion did he profess?  How had he made a living all these years?  And was he a happy man?  All we really know is that he was well respected in the community, and that he had a wife, and children.  Yet, he is part of our family and we can respect him, just as his community did.  

The line of descent is:

Henry Brown-Waite Waterman
Richard Brown-Mary Pray
Deborah Brown-Othniel Brown
Sarah Brown-Enos Eddy
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Eddy=Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Holbrook line: Another John Page, Immigrant 1614-1687

We only think we know the year of John's birth.  It appears to be based on his age at his death, which is always a little bit suspect if proof can't be found.  So the year may be off, and we don't know his place of birth, and we don't know his parents.  They were not John Page and Phebe Paine Page, whom I wrote about last week.  They were not Robert and Lucia Warde Page as they were too young.  I have seen a Robert Page and Margaret Goodwin listed, but they are not stated to have had a son John, although they continued to have children for years after Robert's death.  Trust not in that suggestion!

So we don't know where John came from.  It's believed he arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony about 1635, but is not mentioned in Robert Charles Anderson's "Great Migrations" books. Speculation is that he came with George Marsh's family in 1635 as an indentured servant, and then married "the boss's daughter".  He became a freeman at Hingham in 1640, which meant his indenture, if any, was complete by then.  This implies church membership, and also gave John the right to vote and to hold office, sit on juries, and be an active citizen.  About this same time, he married Mary Marsh, daughter of George Marsh, as their first child was baptized at Hingham on July 11, 1641.

 In 1646, he was granted land in Haverhill, but apparently didn't move his family there right away as more children were baptized in Hingham after that date.  (Of course, they could have simply liked the pastor in Hingham, or had other reasons for having the baptisms done there.)  It appears that John was a carpenter and he may have been busy building homes and warehouses for Haverhill residents for several years, until he also was able to build a home for his own family.  John and Mary had 12 children, including a still born son and an infant son who lived only a few months.  In addition, they adopted Abigail Marsh, daughter of Mary's brother Onesiphorous, when she was fifteen years old, so it was a large family and probably needed a large house!  John's house lot in Haverhill was on the river, which meant the boys probably did a lot of fishing, and there may have been some trading going on, too.  A river lot was much to be desired. 

John died November 23, 1687, and Mary died in 1697.  He died without a will, but his estate wasn't settled until 1723.  We don't know why there was a delay or what prompted the final settlement, but his grandson, Thomas Page, was the final executor.   

John Page was a pioneer, who lived on the frontier during the early days of Massachusetts settlement.  Since he was a carpenter, he literally helped build America.  We can be proud of him.

The line of descent is:

John Page-Mary Marsh
Mercy Page-John Clough
Benoni Clough-Hannah Merrill
Benjamin Clough-Faith Hart
Lydia Clough-John Whittemore
John Whittemore-Lucy Snow
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Holbrook line: Stanard or Stannard?

It's long been a debate in our family as to whether our grandmother's name was to be spelled Stannard or Stanard.  She used the spelling Stannard but her father and her grandfather used the spelling Stannard. 

Here's the explanation, as found in The Colville Examiner of February 8, 1919, page 4, located on the Chronicling America website.  (Colville is the county seat of Stevens County, Washington).

"  "What's in a Name"-Is Easily Explained

"The correct spelling of our county school superintendent's name has been a matter of controversy-that is, among outsiders.  In the office there is no controversy, for the county superintendent spells her name Stannard, and her father (her deputy) spells his name Stanard.  Each states the reason for the particular spelling, and lets it go at that.  But it has been a matter of supposition among many of the Examiner readers that this paper was not correctly reading proof when these names were spelled differently.  And recently, in the Baptist church news, it did look rather queer to see Supt. L.E. Stanard in one line, Leader Miss Elizabeth Stannard in the next. 

But the Examiner was correct in both cases, and if any argument arises, it may have to be settled by the Stanard ancestry (or Stannard).  For it was along about 1800, when the grandfather of the present L.E. Stanard was an innkeeper in Madison County, York state, that the change of spelling originated.  It seems that the innkeeper had ordered a sign for his inn, as was the old custom, and the signboard was one of a certain size, and the lettering was also of a certain size.  The lettering proved too long for the board, hence to adjust matters the sing painter simply left out an n from the name, and behold-a nice sign, perfectly proportioned. 

The innkeeper, to keep matters straight with his sign, then had to drop an n from his name, and he did so, although his three brothers did not.  The succeeding generations of the innkeeper have maintained the spelling Stanard, but all the other relatives use Stannard. 

The present county superintendent wishes to retain the original spelling, but her father says he was born Stanard, and Stanard he will remain.  So each has a name, and a reason for the name, and the Examiner's proofreader is not to blame when a different spelling appears."

This is interesting for several reasons.  First, it more or less confirms an old family story, but according to this article the change came 100 years earlier and a thousand miles away from Franklin County, Kansas, which is where we thought the change came.  Secondly, we now have an occupation for Louis E Stanard's grandfather.  This may be Libbeus Stanard, Jr., who was a veteran of the War of 1812, but wasn't born until 1785.  It more likely was his great grandfather, Libbeus Stanard Sr., who was a veteran of the Revolutionary War and who died in Madison County, New York, in 1846.  Either the "about 1800" date is incorrect, or it was actually the great grandfather who was the innkeeper.

The county school superintendent referred to is Elizabeth Stannard, elected in 1916, before women had the right to vote in national elections.  I found a record on line in some sort of public document that stated in the 1918-1919 school year, there were 118 "districts", presumably each with a school, in Stevens County, Washington.  Elizabeth was quite a woman, but no wonder she needed an assistant!  Just visiting each school once a year would have kept her busy, but she also had to supervise and report on extracurricular activities, community centers, how many events were held and whether they were educational or patriotic, and various other busy work.  She eventually left her job and went to teach high school in Spokane, Washington, where she retired after many years of teaching Latin. 

Did anyone notice that I've sort of tied elections, and veterans, into this same post, which will post on election day, just a few days before Veteran's Day?  It worked out nicely! 

The line of descent would be

Libbeus Stannard Sr.-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stanard Jr.-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stannard (she actually did spell her name with two n's, also)-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

And now we know!




Friday, November 2, 2018

John Page 1586-1676 Immigrant

Recently I broke through a "brick wall" and here is the first of what I hope will eventually be several blog posts about our "new" ancestors.  I was hoping to find an inspiring story about this man, about  how he started from nothing and became a respected member of society, or maybe how he was already a respected member of society when he arrived here.  Sadly, neither situation seems to be the case.  John Page was a man with faults, perhaps more faults than some of our other ancestors.  His family here appears to be somewhat dysfunctional.  It's not really the kind of post I like to write.  But here it is.

John Page was most likely christened on September 25, 1586 in Boxted, Essex, England to Robert and Susanna Syckerling Page.  He was "about 90 years old" when he died in 1676, and he stayed in the same general area until about 1630.  One June 5, 1621, he married Phebe Paine, daughter of William and Agnes Neves Paine, at Lavenham, Suffolk, England.  These two towns were about 14 mile apart but of course their homes may have been closer than that.  When the Pages prepared for their move to America in 1630, they were living in Dedham, which was about 11 miles from Lavenham.  Other folks from Dedham went with the Winthrop Fleet also, so the Pages were not alone. 

Technically they weren't alone anyway, because at least two of their children, our two ancestors, were with them on the trip.  Both children were born after several years of marriage so it's possible that there were other children, or other pregnancies, that we don't know about.  Also several of Phoebe's siblings were in the area, so she probably saw them from time to time.  And then, they were part of Rev. George Phillip's company, so they had brothers and sisters in Christ.  John and Phoebe would have two more children in Watertown, but Daniel didn't live long.  Samuel would join Phoebe against older brother John in a lawsuit after father John died in 1676. 

John was appointed constable of the new town of Watertown in 1630, and admitted freeman there in 1631.  He was a grantee in several land divisions in the early years of the town, but by 1642 was no longer receiving land through the town land divisions.  Apparently he had already sold his homestead, which meant he was no longer eligible to acquire land by grant.  He was in financial trouble early, writing such a desperate letter back to Dedham that a pastor there sent him some flour so he could feed his family.  Was the man a poor money manager, or a speculator, or had he simply miscalculated how much money and food he would need in the New World? Maybe the loss of his home by fire in 1631 had forced him over the edge, financially.  

John and Pheobe's daughter Phebe caused them grief.  As she matured, she resented her father and had various ummm various escapades with men she wasn't married to.  (This is a G rated blog, so I'm trying to be careful here).  Apparently she could still get along with her mother, but her relationship with her father was cold and distant.  She sued a man for defamation, for saying she was with child while unmarried, but there were a lot of witnesses against her and she lost the case.  This was when Phebe reported she just wanted to go far away and lie down and die.  Fortunately for us, she was not granted her wish. 

We know little else about John.  He apparently withdrew a little ways from town onto land he owned, and lived the rest of his life there.  He and his wife Phebe lived in a half a dwelling, the other half perhaps occupied by John Page Jr.  (Son John had gone to help settle Groton, Massachusetts but had returned to Watertown when Groton was burned during King Philip's War).  John died December 18, 1676 and Phebe died less than a year later, on September 25, 1677. 

There was quite a fight in court about John's estate.  The inventory was not totaled but it included land valued at 50 pounds, and a Bible and two small books, plus various household goods and 2 cows.   The court ruled that son John, executor, was entitled to all of the estate because of the care he had given his father in his old age.  Samuel and Phoebe got nothing.  This apparently caused quite a fuss in the town, as people took sides in the dispute, but the court ruling stood. 

That's what we know about John Page.  We don't know how faithful to the church he might have been, or how his life changed as he met economic reverses.  We don't know why it seems that he didn't overcome them.  We don't know why his daughter held him in such low esteem, or why she had her various escapades.  We simply don't know why he might be diagnosed today as "failure to thrive".  But he's our ancestor, and without him, where would we be?

Our line of descent is:

John Page-Phebe Paine
Phebe Page-James Cutler
Jemima Cutler-Zerubabbel Snow
William Snow-Elizabeth Stevens
Lucy Snow-Josiah Whittemore
Josiah Whittemore-Betsy Foster
Mary Elizabeth Whittemore-Joseph Holbrook
Fremont Holbrook-Phebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Richard Pray, Immigrant 1630-1693

Update:  After consideration, I've re-worded a couple of sentences in the blog regarding the physical fights that this couple had.  I may have given the impression, by using words from some of the records,  that Mary may have brought some abuse on herself.  I've been asked by someone I love and respect to remove that wording, and so I have tried to clarify each person's role in their lose-lose situation.  Of course, without being in the room with them, we will never know all that went on in their home but it's fair to draw a picture without drawing a conclusion. 

This blog post may or may not be something you want to read.  If you imagine that all our ancestors were devout Christians who kept a civil tongue in their head and treated their families with great love and respect, you may not want to read this post.  If, however, you are of the belief that it's a good thing to know about all our ancestors, warts and all, read on.  And if you like scandal, this is the post for you!

Richard Pray is generally accepted to be the son of Quentin and Joan Valliance Pray, of Frant, Sussex, England, although these doesn't seem to be documentation for his birth.  Likely this means he was baptized somewhere else, perhaps in an ancestral church elsewhere, but it sure would be nice to find his baptismal record.  Actually, his baptism may be one of the few times he was ever in church, or maybe I'm not giving the man the breaks he deserves.  We don't know for sure when he came to America but it was after 1635, as neither he nor his father is listed in those papers.  Many websites say his place of birth was Kittery, York, Maine, but that seems unlikely.

According to his testimony in a court case in 1685, he was 55 years old at the time, so was likely born about 1630, give or take a year or two.  We don't know for sure when he married, or whom, but her name was Mary and she was the mother of his children.  This was not a loving couple, but she seems to have started as many fights as he did.  She also seems to have suffered injuries more often and more serious than he did.  At any rate, the two did not get along, and by 1671 one of them requested a divorce.  It was granted, but a higher court nullified the decision.  The request was made again in 1672 and denied.  These two people, both of them apparently victims of both physical and verbal abuse, would have to live out their marriage vows, although not necessarily in the same location.

Locations are confusing for me, regarding Richard Pray.  He was supposedly an early settler of Rhode Island, in 1645, but he would have been only about fifteen at the time.  How did that happen?  He was involved in several court cases in Salem, fined there for swearing, and appointed in 1655 by the court of commissioners to keep a house of entertainment, with a sign to be posted outside to advise strangers. I am not sure whether this was in Massachusetts, or in Rhode Island.

We know he was in Rhode Island in 1675-1676, as he is noted as being one of the few people to "stay and not go" during King Philip's War.  This gave him some leverage when native Americans captured in the war were sold as slaves, as he received a share of the profits.  (I know, I know, this is bad and unacceptable, but it's a fact so it needs to be told.  Wife abuser, slave trader or slave holder, or both, I'm telling it like it is, but not liking it.)

In 1681, Mary, Richard's wife, was given a license (no location given) to keep a public house of entertainment for one year.  Again, no location was given.  Were they in the same town, or were they separated by many miles? Mary was dead when Richard married his second wife, Elizabeth White Hearnden, widow of Benjamin Hearnden.  (Benjamin Hearnden and Elizabeth are also our ancestors, just to keep things interesting.)  Did Richard finally find true love?  Did Elizabeth go into this relationship with her eyes wide open?  Enquiring minds want to know.

Richard died in Providence, Rhode Island sometime in 1693.  He had sold or given his small amount of land to his son Ephraim before his death.  We don't know how or if the other children were acknowledged, or what provisions were made for Elizabeth, since I've been unable to locate a copy of his will.

There is so much I'd like to know about Richard.  Since his first marriage was such a disaster, what made his willing to try it again?  Was Elizabeth a different kind of person than Mary had been?  What about Mary?  Did she find love, or at least friendship, with anyone?  How did the children turn out, living in a home where the parents fought so much?  Where was Richard from, and was his father really Quentin Pray?  And why did he stay in Providence, having received warning that the natives were planning to burn that village?  Maybe he wasn't the kind of ancestor we would want to claim, but here he is, folks, larger than life, warts, crimes, and all.  If I ever learn that the records are mixed up and our Richard Pray was not the kind of man this blog post portrays, I sure will be happy to correct the record!

The line of descent is:

Richard Pray-Mary
John Pray-Sarah Brown
Mary Pray-Richard Brown
Deborah Brown-Othniel Brown
Sarah Brown-Enos Eddy
Enos Eddy-Deborah Paine
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants