Friday, July 20, 2018

Holbrook line: Thomas Wight, Immigrant

It's a joy to write about Thomas Wight, even though as is often the case we don't really know who his parents are or where he was born.  On my tree, I show Robert and Elizabeth Fulshaw Wight as his parents, but I don't have any documentation.  In researching for this post I find another somewhat likely couple but I haven't done the work to see if it can be documented so I'm not about to muddy the waters now.  Family tradition says that he was from the Isle of Wight but tradition is sometimes suspect, too. 

So what we know is that Thomas arrived in about 1636, and is first found in Dedham, Massachusetts where he was listed as one of the first twelve inhabitants of that town.  On the Dedham Compact, he is listed as number 37 to sign but it's quite possible that either there was a large group of men to sign the compact, or he may have been away from town for some reason when the compact was first signed.

We know that he had a family when he arrived in Dedham because he was given 12 acres for a house lot, which was the amount given married men at the time.  His wife's name was Alice and is believed to be Alice Roundy, but again documentation for when and where has not been located.  It appears that there were probably three children with them when they came to America, and the couple had three more children here.Some lists show two additional children but that seems unlikely.  Thomas later received grants of planting ground, meadows, and marsh, and his land was on a brook so fishing was a likely source of food, also.  It was probably a fun place to grow up, for the children, if Puritans were allowed to have fun. 

Thomas, it appears, was wealthy, at least by the standards of the day.  He was a selectman for six years in Dedham, meaning he helped govern the town, and generally selectmen were persons of wealth and influence. He was also a member of the church, accepted into membership in 1640.

In 1649, the town of Medfield was formed and Thomas was one of seven men chosen to take charge of the "erecting, disposeing, and government of the said village". Thomas moved to Medfield permanently in 1652 and for 20 years served as a selectman there.  He is said to have had no formal education (the basis for that, I don't know) but the townspeople respected him greatly, it appears.

Thomas's wife Alice died in 1665 and that same year he married Lydia Eliot Penniman.  She was the sister of John Eliot, known as "The Apostle", and she was Thomas's widow when he died March 17, 1673/74.  I didn't find a copy of Thomas's will but I did find a copy of the inventory and it gives us a clear peek into his home as it was when he died.  The inventory is separated into several rooms or buildings, listed as "The parlor", "The little bedroom", "the hall", "the buttery", "in the garrett". some other categories I can't decipher, and a long list of lands.  His estate was valued at over 460 pounds, which, together with the number and quality of the items listed, indicate wealth.  The very first item that was listed, in the parlor, was books, so perhaps he had an education, after all.

Much of the information in this post comes from a book I found on line, "The Wight Family: Memoir of Thomas Wight of Dedham, Massachusetts' written by Danforth Phipps Wight and published in 1840.  (Another reason to love the internet!)

I would of course love to know more about Thomas, especially about his ancestral families and why he came to America.  Since he married a sister to John Eliot, he must have been a godly Puritan, and I'd like to know more about his religious beliefs.  I'd like to know what decisions he may have had a part in, in the two towns he was most closely associated with.  And I'd like to give him my honor and respect.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Wight-Alice Roundy
Samuel Wight-Hannah Albee
Hannah Wight-John Thompson
Joseph Thompson-Mary Holbrook
Alice Thompson-Joseph Rockwood
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Holbrook line: William Knight, Immigrant

It's hard to write a blog post when there is not a lot to go on as far as documentation.  One must read between the lines, and perhaps draw incorrect conclusions.  The good thing is that someday, someone will figure out a lot of these mysteries.  I hope to be around to witness at least some of these new discoveries. 

William Knight is a good example of this.  We do have some information, but some of it is conflicting and much information is missing.  We'll either look at this glass as half full or half empty, and I guess I'm voting for half full. 

After all, we do know at least two and perhaps three of William's wives. We know when he arrived in Massachusetts Bay Colony, and we know what he left as an estate.  That is more information than we have for some of our ancestors, anyway. 

We don't know for sure where or when William was born.  One suggesting is December 15, 1670 in London, Middlesex, England, with parents of John Knight and Margery Lascelles.  I think this is probably not our William Knight, as it would leave him coming to America as a man of 65 and fathering children here.  It's possible, but unlikely. 

One of the challenges is that there are at least three proposed wives for William.  One is Ann Ives, who probably died between 1612 and 1622, when there is a distance of ten years between the noted children.  But his records in America indicate his wife may have been Emma Potter, whom he had married by 1635.  How do we account for his children born in the 1620s?  And finally, he had a second or third wife Elizabeth Lee Ballard, who was living when William died and whom he married  in or soon after 1640.  He seems to refer in his wife to having had four children with Elizabeth, in addition to those he had earlier. 

He refers to sons John, Jacob, and Francis, and to daughters Ann and Hanna, as well as to two of Elizabeth's children by her first husband, and to the four children (unnamed) that he has with Elizabeth.  I'm not sure why Margery, our connection, wasn't mentioned in the will but there could be any number of reasons, including that he may have given a marriage gift, either of land or money. 

William died March 5, 1655/56, in Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He had been in America about 20 years, having arrived at Salem in either 1635 or 1636.  He owned land in Salem in 1636, so probably he arrived in 1635.  There is a William Knight who was made a freeman in 1638 in Boston, but I don't know whether this is our William or not. 

William's inventory is interesting.  He owned a dwelling house, barn, and fifteen acres of plow land, six acres of meadow in Rumley marsh and five acers of meadow in the town marsh, plus oxen, cows, sheep and swine.  He has a significant amount of household goods, more than many farmers had, which partl can be explained by the fact that he lived in seaside towns where goods were more readily available than on the frontier.  For instance, he had "stolls, chears, and a table", which was more than was usual for the time.  He had three spinning wheels, so the women of the house must have been kept busy with the wool from the sheep.  I see no mention of books, not even a Bible.  The total inventory including uncollected debts was about 163 pounds.

I wish I knew more about William, especially the niggling little question of whether he was really Margery's father, or whether there are more William Knights than have yet been discovered.  I'd like to know his religion, and his occupation if he did more than farm.  If I learn that this is not Margery's father, then I'll update this post but as of now, I think it's at least somewhat likely. 

The line of descent would be:

William Knight-Ann Ives
Margery Knight-William Hayward
Huldah Hayward-Ferdinando Thayer
Jonathan Thayer-Elizabeth French
Hulday Thayer-Benjamin Wheelock
Mary Wheelock-Ebenezer Thayer
Abigail Thayer-Jesse Holbrook
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

There is also a second line:

Samuel Hayward (son of William Hayward and Margery Knight above)-Mehitable Thompson
Mary Hayward-Joseph Rockwood
John Rockwood-Deborah Thayer
Joseph Rockwood-Alice Thompson
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susanna Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
and on as above

Once again, we are our own cousins.  


Friday, July 13, 2018

Holbrook line: John Annable, Immigrant

I'm going to say a couple of things in this post that go counter to what is posted on many trees on line.  I'm even going to advance a theory, or half of a theory, as to who this gentleman really is.  What I am not going to do is answer the questions as to when and where he was born, when he came to America, and other questions about his origins. 

Most trees say that John's parents were Anthony Annable and Jane Mumford.  It is true that they were early immigrants, but I've seen no record of John being their child. Also, they settled in Barnstable which would mean John had somehow gone from Cape Cod, to the very northern part of Massachusetts to live, far from his family.  This would have been very unusual in those early days of Massachusetts. 

Furthermore, I've found evidence of a record that says John Annable was in Essex County, (probably in the area of Ipswich although it wasn't officially formed until 1634) as early as 1625.  He appears in court records as early as 1638.  This presents another problem.  John's birth date is given as 1618-1625, with only one giving a firm date and place.  If this ias our John Annable, then he came to America almost as soon as he was born, and it may be his father, who may be John Annable, that we are seeing in the early years at Ipswich.  Or, the alternate theory would be that he was born earlier than the guesses, for that is what they seem to be, and that he married late, or married a second time, fairly late in his life.  There don't seem to be any death records for John Annable prior to our John's death, so I'm suspicious that our John may have been born as early as 1603, in order to be at Ipswich by 1625.  And the date could go back further than that. 

What I have been able to learn about John is that he was a tailor, which implies he had learned a trade somewhere, presumably in England.  Would the very earliest settlers in Ipswich have needed a tailor, or did he do something else to support himself?  This was a town made up largely of farmers and fishermen, so he probably engaged in one or both of these occupations to start with. 

He appeared in court primarily as a witness but there are two cases in the 1650's that mention him.  In one, he was suing Edward Gilman, Jr. for withholding pipe staves, apparently paid for, and in another he is acknowledging a debt to Mr. John Ward of Haverhill of 14 pounds.  This may be more in the line of record keeping,  as in today's liens and mortgages, rather than an actual appearance in court.  He was also a witness several different times. 

He married, variously between 1647 and 1649, Anna Whipple, daughter of Matthew and Ann Hawkins Whipple, and they had at least seven children. (Matthew Whipple was a clothier.  Is this where John got his training, from or in connection with his father in law?)  John died October 6, 1664, intestate (without a will).  Administration of the estate was granted to Anna and the eldest son John, which was a bit unusual for that time and place.  The estate was to remain in her hands for the bringing up of the children, and John was to receive 20 pounds and each of the other children 10 pounds as they came of age. 

The inventory, taken by Robert Lord, shows a value of 181 pounds, which was pretty fair for a tailor.  It includes a "dwelling house, barne, and land about" it valued at 80 pounds, plus six acres of marsh and four of upland, and quite a few household good, a few items that may be related to the tailoring trade, several items of real furniture, books, farm animals, and food stuffs.  He was relatively prosperous for a tailor.

I am sure there are Annable researchers out there.  I'd sure love to hear from some of you, with your own questions and research, to see if we can give John a father and mother, and to understand how John came to be in Ipswich.  Please contact me or leave a message on this post!

The line of descent is:

John Annable-Anna Whipple
Elizabeth Annable-John Whittemore
John Whittemore-Elizabeth Lloyd
John Whittemore-Lydia Clough
Josiah 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, July 10, 2018

Holbrook line: Edward Winn, Immigrant -

Edward Winn should be fairly well documented.  After all, he's a direct ancestor of President Grover Cleveland, so shouldn't we expect to know more about him than about the average guy who came to America?  Well, we might expect it, and there is perhaps a little more information than we're used to finding, but the amount is still pretty minimal, and in some cases, conflicting. 

For instance, was he born in  in Ipswich, Suffolk, England in , or he was born in Thornton Curtis, Lincolnshire in.  I would be happier if I could find an exact birth or christening date.  I tend to think the Ipswich, Suffolk information could be a guess based on that being the point of his departure to Massachusetts, but at this point anything is possible.

He married Joanna, probably Joanna Sargent although I have seen it suggested that her name was Hatch) in England and they came to America with at least three of their children sometime before 1640.  There seems to be at least a hint that the family spent some time (weeks? months? years?) in Charlestown when they arrived here, and in 1640 Edward was one of several men who were asked to plan the settlement of Woburn, Massachusetts.  The family was there by 1641, and Edward was admitted a freeman there in 1643. 

After that, there is little that is on record.  The birth of his son Increase is recorded in 1641 as the first child born in Woburn.  He is listed in a deponent's index, and I'd love to read that deposition for it might tell his age, where he was from, his current occupation, and his statement about the case he is testifying in.  So far I haven't found the court records, though.  His wife Joanna died in 1649 and Edward married Sarah Beal that same year.  She also died, and he then married Anna or Hannah Page Wood, a widow.  There are three references to land owned by Edward Winn in a book of early land deeds, but the land, whatever its size, is described only as a boundary for someone else's land.  Also he was a town selectman from 1660-1664. 

He died in Woburn on September 5, 1682, having helped to found a town and in one way or another, having seen it through the first 40 plus years of life.  For that, he deserves to be honored. 

The line of descent is:

Edward Winn-Joanna probably Sargent
Ann Winn-Moses Cleveland
Enoch Cleveland-Elizabeth Counts
Sarah Cleveland-Israel Joslin
Sarah Joslin-Edward Fay
David Fay-Mary or Mercy Perrin
Luceba Fay-Libbeus Stanard
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, July 6, 2018

Holbrook line: Richard Langer, Immigrant

Richard Langer is another of those "quiet men" who lived their lives, for the most part, under the radar so that 350-400 years later, there are few traces of his life.  Fortunately, he left a will in Hingham, Massachusetts Bay Colony, when he died on January 25, 1661, and that tells us pretty much everything we know about him.

His birth year is given as about 1595, variously at either Cambridge, Cambridgeshire or Beaminster, Dorset, England.  I don't find anything that would support either location but someone must have found something, in order to be willing to hazard these guesses.

We don't know when Richard arrived in the Colony, or whether he married in England or in his new home land.  This leads me to guess that he may have come as an indentured servant, but that is only a guess.  We do know, from a history of Hingham, that he arrived there in 1636 but it isn't clear whether he arrived directly from England or whether he had been in another part of the colony.  In the entire book, this is the only reference to him, so as stated earlier, he led a quiet life.

Hingham was a subject of religious controversy in the middle 1640's but there is no indication as to which side Richard was on, or whether in fact he took sides at all.  Still, it would have affected his life as neighbors opposed neighbors.  We can only hope there was a satisfactory outcome to the dispute.  

In his will, there is no mention of a wife so she died before him, but how long before that is a mystery.  We know he had three daughters because they are mentioned in his will.  His will left all of his lands to his grandson, Joshua Lincoln, who was about 16 at the time of Richard's death.  He also left a green rug to his daughter Margaret (Joshua's mother) with instructions that she was to give 4 shillings to each of her two sisters, Dinah and Elizabeth.  The will is dated February 20, 1659, 23 months before he died.

I don't have death dates for Thomas and Margaret Langer Lincoln's children, but it looks like Joshua would have had several brothers and sisters who would have been living when Richard wrote his will. Joshua must have been his "favorite", to have been given all the land.

His estate showed two house lotts, a great lott and a lott of meadow, valued at a total of 21 pounds, two shillings.  This was a small estate.  There is no mention of personal property, so perhaps he was living with Margaret and Thomas when he died.  He may have given his daughters other items or money earlier, if this was the case.

As you can guess, I'd like to know more about this ancestor of ours.One fun fact, especially appropriate to this week, is that his descendant is John Hancock, he of the large signature on the Declaration of Independence. 

The line of descent is:

Richard Langer-Margaret
Margaret Langer-Thomas Lincoln
Sarah Lincoln-Thomas Marsh
Thomas Marsh-Mary Burr
Deborah Marsh-Isaac Lazell
Deborah Lazell-Levi Rockwood
Susannah Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Holbrook line: William Filley, Immigrant

William Filley's birth date and location, and death date and location, are unknown.  We can make some reasonable guesses, that he may have been born in about 1617, probably somewhere in Devonshire since that seems to be the only place where this surname is found, and he probably died in Windsor, Connecticut because he lived there for the great majority of his life in America.  I have seen documents, which I can't decipher, which others have said give his parents as "Godfridus Bailey and Mary Filley Harris, but I am not at all convinced that this is our William.  The location is wrong, for one thing, and for another, this would make William "illegitimate".  I'm not saying it's impossible, but I'm just saying that at this point, I'm not buying the story.

There are also varying stories as to when he arrived in America.  One story says he arrived with Major Holmes in 1633, when a trading post was established at what became Windsor, and testimony in 1654 states that William had lived at Windsor "these twenty years".  Most say he arrived in 1638 with the group led by Reverend Ephraim Huit or Hewett. I don't know whether the two stories are mutually exclusive, or whether William might have come early and then returned to England, before coming for the final time in 1639, If he was with the early group, then he may have been there for the Pequod War, whether or not he returned to England.  (If he came with Rev. Huit's group, he apparently was not as much of a Puritan as the majority of those sailing were, since he didn't formally join the church until 1673.)

Pretty much everyone agrees that he was in Windsor by 1640, and that he married Margaret there in 1642.  One might reasonably ask whom this Margaret was, but the silence in the records so far is complete.  Nevertheless, we do know more about William Filley once he is married and settled down.  He and Margaret had at least nine children: Samuel, John, Mary, Elizabeth, Hannah, Margaret, Abigail, Deborah, and William, born between 1643 and 1665.  William acquired various tracts of land, "trading up", and in 1686 he and Margaret were shown to have had a house with six acres, another tract of 18 acres of farmland, a horse, two oxen, and one swine.  This showed a relatively prosperous household for this time and place. 

As far as his civic duties go, he was a constable for one term beginning in 1662, responsible for enforcement of the local laws and ordinances.  It is likely that his name appears on town petitions but I haven't found them yet.  We don't know when William, or for that matatere, Margaret, died, although it must have been after they were listed in the 1686 record mentioned above.  Their children stayed mostly in the Windsor area for generations, and we may very well still have cousins there. 

Every generation has been part of what makes America great, but he was one of the very earliest pioneers.  My hat is off to him, and to Margaret!

Here's our line of descent:

William Filley-Margaret
Elizabeth Filley-David Winchell
Elizabeth Winchell-John Trumbull
Hannah Trumbull-Medad Pomeroy
Medad Pomeroy-Eunice Southwell
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stanard
Libbeus Stanard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Friday, June 29, 2018

Holbrook lines: Jonas Bowen, Immigrant

I'm going to play it conservative here and say that the Jonas Bowen I am writing about is an ancestor in the Holbrook line.  That much I am relatively (sorry for the pun) certain abouot.  I also have seen information that I think says that Jonas is also an Allen ancestor, but that is confusing.  In order for these to be one and the same man, he would have had to have been born about 1605 and lived to be about 94 years of age.  It's possible, but not probable and definitely not proven, in my opinion.  However, he definitely lived in the same area as some of our Allen ancestors, the Corbins and the Wilkinsons.

So we'll still to the apparent facts.  Jonas was most likely born in England or Wales, possibly close to the border between the two since the name may have originally been "ap Owen".  I have seen various names suggested as being Jonas's father, (John, Nathaniel, Obadiah) but nothing has been proven.  We don't know for sure when Jonas appeared in the colonies, or where.  However, we do know that he was in Baltimore County, Maryland by 1676 when he was on a tax list.  This probably indicates he had actually arrived some time earlier, in order to accumulate the property he was taxed on (I haven't yet seen the mentioned tax list, so can't comment further than that).

Jonas was married to Martha Henchman, daughter of Nathaniel Henchman and possibly Ann.  Jonas may have been married earlier, as mentioned above, and he was at least a few years older than Martha, it's believed.  (Martha's birth date is given as about 1649).  Jonas and Martha had several children together, including Jonas, Benjamin, Martha, John, and Onner (Honor), and possibly Elizabeth. 

In "Settlers of Maryland 1679-1783", Peter Coldham Wilson lists four parcels of land owned by Jonas, dating from 1679 to 1695 and totalling 300 acres, all in Baltimore County, and evidently located on the Patapsco River.  Of course, he may have sold some parcels as he bought others.  He is also known to have had land surveyed in 1673, which indicates that perhaps he lived there even prior to that date, since surveys may not have been requested as soon as the land was occupied.   

Jonas may have served in the militia during the 1675-76 troubles with the native Americans, and I saw a mention that he may have been a constable at one time.  I'm still looking for more information regarding both of those statements.

Jonas wrote his will March 26, 1699 and was dead by April 13 of that same year, when his will was probated.  I have a copy of his will but it's difficult to read.  It does have at least 12 "Items" on it, so there was property to dispose of.  Some of the children were still underage.  His wife Martha died in 1704.

I'd love to know so much more about Jonas.  When and where was he born? Did he have a first wife?  Who was she?  What religion was he?  Did he have an occupation other than farming?  Did he raise tobacco, and if so, did he have indentured servants, or slaves? What is the connection, if any, that makes him an Allen ancestor? 

The line of descent is:

Jonas Bowen-Martha Henchman
Martha Bowen-John Merryman
Martha Merryman-Alexis Lemmon
Alexis Lemmon-Rachel Stansbury
Sarah Lemmon-Abraham Hetrick
Isaac Hetrick-Elizabeth Black
Mary Alice Hetrick-Louis Stanard
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants