Friday, September 20, 2019

Holbrook line: John Thompson 1667-1749

John Thompson was a second generation New Englander.  His grandfather had come to America and his father was born here.  So in many ways he's of an invisible generation.  He was too late to be chronicled in the Great Migration materials and too busy making a living to leave much of a record behind him.  Except, in this case, there is a book called "Annals of Mendon 1659-1760 that gives some brief mentions of him.  This is a cause for rejoicing in the genealogy world.

John was born on Christmas Day in 1667 in Mendon, Massachusetts.  Perhaps that gave the family a reason to celebrate the day, even though Christmas celebrations were either banned or greatly frowned on by the Puritans who ruled Massachusetts Bay Colony.  John's parents were John and Thankful Woodland Thompson, and he was the first of 9 children born to the couple.  As the first child and the first son, he may have been spoiled just a little as he grew up, but it seems that no child in New England was coddled for long.

Of course, for many years he was referred to as "John Jr" in town records.  Before he showed up in town records, he had at least one life experience that would have made him mature quickly.  Mendon was burned by the native Americans in King Philip's war. Before that happened, the natives had killed about six settlers in a surprise attack, and the town was abandoned.  So it was a desolate settlement that was burned, but still, it was home.  Town records seem to be silent about where people went or when they came back.

The first notice I found of John was in 1689, when he was about 22 years of age.  He was taxed 13 shillings and 10 pence for the pastor's salary, and this probably happened every year.  In 1695, the tax records show that he was taxed 5 shillings 5 pence in "country pay" (wood, hay, grain, whatever the family could spare) and 1 shilling three pence in actual cash money.  John married Hannah Wight, daughter of Samuel and Hannah Albee Wight, but the year is missing from the records.  Their nine children were born from December of 1689 to 1708, which indicates they were likely married in early 1689 or sooner.

John was active in the town and in protecting his family.  In 1694 and 1695 he received bounties for killing wolves.  He may have found them on his land, or he may have tracked or trapped them.  Perhaps he would have interesting stories to tell us about these events.  In 1710 he was given permission with John Corbet and others to build a sawmill on the town commons land that abutted the Charles River, so he likely had additional income from that investment.  That same year, Sergeant John Thompson was chosen as a town selectman.  By 1719 he was an ensign, basically a second lieutenant.  There were still threats from native Americans in and around the area, and this was a responsible position.

The next reference I found to him was in 1727, when he was on a committee to "perambulate" the town limits between Bellingham and Mendon.  He probably lived in north Bellingham, which was a daughter town of what had once been a much larger Mendon, although I've not found land records yet.

The final document I've found is John's will, It doesn't seem to be dated, but John died March 6, 1749.  He provided for his widow and his six sons, with son John getting more than the others, and cash was to be given to the daughters after his widow's death.  There is also an interesting admonition at the end saying in rather flowery language that he commends his children to God and that they need to behave as Christians toward each other.  I've not seen that in a will before.  Unfortunately, I didn't find an inventory.  Hannah lived another ten years, so she was about 92 years old when she died in 1759.

The line of descent is

John Thompson-Hannah Wight
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, September 17, 2019

Holbrook line: Hezekiah Vickery 1683 ish to 1736

Hezekiah Vickery is just a fun name to say.  It's also a fun name for some of the family to remember, as Hezekiah 2:16 and 3:11 were often cited in our house as I was growing up, as ammunition in a debate between my parents.  It took me many years to figure it out.  But I digress.

Hezekiah was a son of the more conventionally named John Viccary and was born in Dorchester County, Maryland about January 1, 1683.  His mother has been variously identifieds Mary, Margaret, or Anne,  She may or may not have been Margaret Mary Ballentine.  John came to Maryland as an indentured servant in 1681, but he must have served a short term as his son, Hezekiah was born probably about 18 months after his father's arrival.  John established himself in Dorchester County and purchased 200 acres there, recorded on March 10, 1696 as Bristol.  I haven't yet located a will for John but perhaps some of this land went to Hezekiah when he came of age.

Hezekiah appear to have gone to Virginia relatively early in his adult life, which is where he likely married Merci Holland, daughter of James Holland and his unknown wife.  There are references which are apparently to locations in Virginia where James was a witness as early as 1704.  If Merci was born in 1693, then the marriage would have had to have taken place after that.  Some internet sites give the marriage date as 1710, so Merci was sill a very young bride.

The couple had perhaps six children together.  I say perhaps because most of the children were born between 1710 and 1722, but Joseph was born about 1735.  I'm not convinced he's a child of this couple, but he may have been just a "surprise".  That wouldn't be the first time there was a baby born after parents thought they were done with such things.   

It appears that Hezekiah and Merci settled in what became Orange County, where Hezekiah purchased 50 acres of land called "Pleasant", from James Holland.  This was in Spotsylvania County, which was formed in 1720-21, and then later, in 1734, Orange County was formed from it.  The county is described as being in the "Central Piedmont".  At the time Hezekiah settled there, he would have been one of the pioneers in the area, and would have worked hard to clear (if necessary) and plant those 50 acres.  Possibly he had been a tenant farmer before that, but needed land to support that growing family of his. 

Hezekiah must have worked hard, because he met an early death.  He died prior to August 17, 1736, when Merie Holland obtained letters of administration for his small estate.  The inventory submitted two months later showed a value of a little less than 9 pounds, which tells us a lot about the way Hezekiah and Merci lived.  I've not found a death date or location for Merci yet.  Perhaps she remarried, but we don't know that.  Most

of her children were in their teens and able to either work on the farm or be bound out to learn a trade.  It's every parent's hope that their children will do better financially than they did, and probably that was one of Hezekiah and Merci's greatest wishes.  They had every chance to do so, as they lived in a thriving area and what could stop them?  Well, the French and Indian War and skirmishes with native Americans both before and after may have had an influence on their children's lives.  But Hezekiah taught them well and they were all builders of America.

The line of descent is:

Hezekiah Vickery-Merci Holland
Marmaduke Vickery-Elizabeth Nation
Jeretta Vickery-Joseph Nation
Elizabeth Nation-Christopher Myers
Phoebe Myers-Adam Brown
Phoebe Brown-Fremont Holbrook
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants






Friday, September 13, 2019

Holbrook line: Thomas Holbrook 1625-1697 Immigrant

There's not as much readily available information about our ancestor Thomas Holbrook as I would like, so I'll continue to look.  Because he is an ancestor at least twice, he's important to our family. 

However, I do know this mucxh.  Thomas, sometimes referred to as Thomas II, was born in 1624 and christened at St John the Baptist, Glastonbury, Somersetshire, England.  His parents, Thomas and Jane Powy oe Powis Holbrook, were from Wales.  Thomas may or may not have learned some of the stories about Glastonbury as a young boy, from Joseph of Arimathea's appearance there to the stories about King Arthur.  There were Saxon ruins as well as those of the Normans, and a very old church, so Thomas had a lot of places to explore. 

Thomas's parents came to Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1635 on the Marygould. along with Thomas and three of his siblings.  The family settled in Weymouth and that is where his parents died in 1677.

Records are scarce or hiding, so we don't know when Thomas went to Braintree, although he was there by 1653.. Actually the two towns are very close together so it is possible that he didn't have to move at all, but that the change in address took place due to events around him.  He married Joane Kingman, daughter of Henry and Joanna Drake Kingman, probably shortly before the move.  Thomas Sr was a Puritan as was Henry Kingman, so that is likely the way these Holbrooks raised their children, too.

Braintree contributed men to foght in King Philip's War, although it appears that the town itself was not molested.  One of those men was Thomas Holbrook.  This was more likely to be Thomas's son, Thomas born 1653 than it was our Thomas, but the possibility exists.  And if enough men left Braintree, our older Thomas would have acted as militia.  

Thomas had a small inheritance when his father died in 1677, and Joane received twelve pounds from her father's estate, plus a chest.   Thomas and Joane had at least five children together, four of whom lived to adulthood.

I haven't yet been able to learn much more about his life, except that he was likely a church member and then, his will.  He had a Great Bible and other books, a gun and a sword, farm animals, what appears to be quite a lot of boots (if I'm reading this correctly, Was he also a shoemaker?) and quite a bit of land.  His estate was valued at 687 pounds.  Joane died in 1696 and Thomas in 1697.

For now, we will have to leave Thomas as just a shadow of a person, bare outlines telling his story.  It would be nice to find more, to learn more about his life and how he impacted the Colony.

Oh, yes...The Presdients Bush, and President Taft, among others, descend from this couple.

The line of descent is

Thomas Holbrook-Joane Kingman
Peter Holbrook-Alice Godfrey
Mary Holbrook-Joseph Thompson
Alice Thompson-Joseph Rockwood
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susanna Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-ary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

The second line is the same through Peter Holbrook and Alice Godfrey; then

Joseph Holbrook-Mary Cook
Jesse Holbrook-Abigail Thayer
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
(the rest as above)


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Allen line: Samuel Ely 1639-1692

The jury is out as to where Samuel Ely was born, but fortunately we do know bits and pieces about his life and we have his will and inventory.  We also know that he was a man of many sorrows-certainly more than most of us can even imagine. 

Samuel was the son of Nathaniel and Martha Ely.  Martha's maiden name is unknown, and also unknown is the birth record for Samuel.There seems to be no birth record for Samuel but since his father had been in Hartford since 1635 (Nathaniel is recognized as a founding father of the city) it is most likely that Hartford was the place of his birth.  Somewhat unusually among our ancestors, he seems to have had only one sibling, a sister named Ruth.  The possibiity exists that the two were born to a different mother, who died in or shortly after childbirth.  Martha may have been a stepmother. 

Samuel moved with his family to Norwalk, Connecticut in 1651 and then on to Springfield, Massachusetts by 1659.  Nathaniel was welcomed but Samuel had to have a security bond in order to live there, perhaps because he was young and single and perhaps because a reputation may have preceded him.  He wasn't the first young man of whom security was required.  Samuel married Mary Day, the daughter of Robert and Editha Stebbins Day, in either Hartford or Sprinfgield.  The Days and the Elys had been close friends in Hartford so it's possible the wedding took place there, we just don't know. 

What we do know is sad.  Samuel and Mary had sixteen children together.  They had to make the walk to the graveyard 10 times for their young children.  Of those who died young, one lived to his early teens but the others died much earlier, mostly as infants or toddlers.  I cannot fathom the sadness of losing ten children, nor can I imagine what happened.  I wonder if there was a genetic defect that affected some of the children but not others.  Regardless, the family must have been much pitied. 

Nathaniel Ely had run an ordinary (tavern) and Samuel carried on the tradition of hospitality.  Whether or not he ran an ordinary, too, he did entertain selectmen and other town personages and was reimbursed by the town for expenses.  Samuel doesn't seem to have taken as many town jobs as his father did.  Perhaps he was kept busy caring for Mary as she went through so many pregnancies and losses.  Or perhaps he was busy making money, and supporting his family.  He did act as an appraiser of cattle, and sat on a committee to audit the town books, and his yard was used as a town pound from time to time, so he was very much a part of the town. 

I've been unable to locate anything placing Samuel Ely in military service at the time of King Philip's War, but "Ely's Tavern" was one of three garrisoned houses (built more strongly, and had at least a few troops to protect it) in 1675.  The town was attacked by Agawam and other Indians on October 5, 1675, with all but thirteen homes being destroyed.  There were further skirmishes during the war, or rather, ambushes, with Indians attacking settlers on their way to church, for example.  From this, we can tell that not all of the town left, or at least they didn't leave for long.  We don't know about Samuel and his family but it is likely they stayed in their garrisoned house, offering food and shelter to neighbors in need. 

 Samuel died March 19, 1692.  He was only about 53 years old, and death must have come suddenly for he left no will.  His widow, Mary, and two oldest sons, Joseph and Samuel, proposed a settlement to the court that appears to have been accepted.  Mary was to get 1/3 of the estate, plus money to raise her youngest children.   The two oldest sons were to receive 60 pounds, the two younger sons 50 pounds, and the two daughters 30 pounds, when they were of age.  Thomas Day, Luke Hitchock and John Hitchcock appraised his estate at 400 pounds.  He had the typical farm type animals and implements, four pounds worth of books (quite a lot for the time and place) and enough tables, chairs, and eating utensils to either furnish a house very well, or to equip a tavern.  He had a cider press and a still, which again supports the tavern idea.  In fact, a further agreement notes that Mary Ely and Samuel Ely (junior) were granted a license to continue operating the "ordinary" after Samuel's death. 

Mary married Thomas Stebbins and then John Coleman, and died October 25, 1725 at the age of 84.  She had seen more sorrows that most women ever fear, and we can be proud to be the descendants of Samuel and Mary Ely. 

The line of descent is

Samuel Ely-Mary Day
Joseph Ely-Mary Riley
Mary Ely-Thomas Stebbins
Ruth Stebbins-Samuel Hitchcock
Margaret Hitchcock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Root
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook


Friday, September 6, 2019

Allen line: Moses Royse, date and location unknown

Here's what I know about Moses:  He was born, he married, and he died.  Pretty much everything else is a mystery.  There were several Moses Royse's in the time period we're talking about, and in the same or near by towns.  I am asking for help.  If anyone has figured this man out, with dates and documents, I would be so excited to hear from you! 

Here's what might be accurate:

Moses Royse was born about 1689 or possibly later, to John and Sarah Perrigo Royse.  If this is the correct couple, then he we born in either Norwich, New London County, Connecticut, or in Mansfield, Tolland County, Connecticut.  His parents were born in Norwich but at some point moved to Mansfield.  He came from a large family, perhaps as many as ten children, and his father may have outlived him. 

Moses may have married a woman named Hannah, whom some have identified as Hannah Beebe.  Others say Hannah Beebe married someone else, and so the name of Moses's wife remains unverified.  One Moses Royse who had a wife named Hannah. They had at least three children and I've seen as many as eight children listed.  Moses died in 1768 and her first name is found in the estate papers.  However, that Moses Royse is thought to have been from Stratford. and not everyone is convinced that is our Moses Royse. 

If it is our Moses Royse, when did he move to Stratford?  On the other hand, it does help make more sense of a thought that Moses Royse was an Indian trader in the Highlands of New York, which would not have been far from Stratford.  Also DNA seems to tie this Moses back to John Royse, and to Robert, who is believed to be John's father. 

Since I'm not sure about any of this, I am not, at this point, going to describe the estate papers I found, or the inventory.  It is available on Ancestry if a fellow researcher wants to look at it.  We don't know for sure when Moses died.  The one I have in my tree right now says July 30, 1768 but then it also says, Windham, Connecticut.  So I wouldn't put up an argument if you agreed, or if you disagree. 

Obviously I would like to figure this out.  If our Moses was an Indian trader, that could make for some interesting stories.  Did he also spy, and if so, was it for the colonists, the British, or the French?  He probably lived through the French and Indian war, if 1768 is a correct date, and he may have been right in the thick of things with hair raising stories.  Of course, he could have been a stay at home farmer, merchant, or seaman, too.  If someone can help with this man, please let me know!

Here's the line of descent, which I hope is correct:

Moses Royse-Hannah
John Royse-Hannah Bellamy
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants



Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Holbrook line: Joseph Trumbull 1647-1684

Joseph's father, John, didn't leave us a whole lot of clues about himself, and like father, like son.  Joseph also stands mostly mute in the records I've found, other than birth, date, and death records.  We are grateful for those, of course, but wish for more.  It would be nice to find a will or estate papers, but so far they haven't been located.  So this will be a short post. 

Joseph was born March 19, 1647 in Rowley, Massachusetts to John and Elin or Elinor Chandler Trumbull (usually spelled Trumble during this time period).  He was one of at least six children, and he apparently lived his whole life in Rowley until his marriage to Hannah Smith, the daughter of Hugh and Mary Smith.  They were married May 6, 1669.  The two were born just five days apart and may have known each other from a very early age. 

By 1670 the couple had gone to Suffield to live.  From the viewpoint of a family historian, that was a poor choice.  Suffied at the time was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but it became part of Connecticut in the 1740s.  That means records could be in either location, or in neither, as the search for a will is showing.  I did find one reference to Joseph in the book "Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts 1639-1702".  On September 3, 1680, when Joseph would have been 33 years old, he was fined 10 shillings for been "overtaken by drink", and "being very sorry and acceccted with it Confessing it himselfe and proffering to satisfie the Law by paying ten shillings for the same", the guilty please was accepted and Joseph apparently stayed out of trouble for the rest of his life.  It wasn't considered a serious offense, for just a few months later Joseph was made a freeman, giving him the right to vote.

One of the big mysteries is whether or not Joseph served in King Philip's War.  I've found that he along with all or almost all the other town residents left town during the war, returning only after several months, to find the town burned to the ground.  Joseph Trumbull had hidden tools from Major Pynchon's saw mill, and was paid for doing so.  It must have been a terrifying time for the family, and for the other settlers in Suffield, who most likely had traveled south down the Connecticut River to a safer town like Hartford, or even further south.  There were three small children at this time, so it wouldn't have been an easy time, either during the exile or during the rebuilding of their homes and their lives. 

The only clue I've found so far about Joseph's possible participation is a suggestion that Joseph's early death may have been as the result of injuries suffered in a battle with native Americans, with no date given for that event.  I don't know what the basis for that speculation might be.  There are a lot of other causes for early death, including any number of diseases, other injuries, and underlying health conditions.

By the time Joseph died on August 15, 1684, he was the father of five children.  Hannah delivered the last of their children just five days later.  She was a young widow, with six mouths to feed, and she next married John Strong in 1686, and then Nicholas Buckland in 1698.  Hannah lived until March 27, 1719 and died in Windsor, Ct. 

I don't know enough about Joseph to speculate about his life.  Based on the names of their sons, (Judah, Ammi, Benoni and John), I suspect that he, or Hannah, was deeply religious.  Based on Major Pynchon's trusting him to hide the tools for the sawmill, he was trustworthy.  And if he drank a little too much, so did most of the colonists, at one time or another.  I suppose he had land and farmed, but that is a supposition.  We know where he was, but not what he was.  Still, as so often, something is better than nothing.

The line of descent is:

Joseph Trumbull-Hannah Smith
John Trumbull-Elizabeth Winchell
Hannah Trumbull-Medad Pomeroy
Medad Pomeroy-Eunice Southwell
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stannard
Libbeus Stanard-Euzebia or Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendats


Friday, August 30, 2019

Holbrook line: Nicholas Cook 1659-1730 Baptist

Nicholas Cook is interesting to me because he was an early Baptist, yet was permitted to live in his hometowns without apparent harm or discrimination.  He may or may not have known our ancestor Roger Williams, but he would surely have known of him, because Bellingham, Massachusetts, his final earthly home, was not far from Rhode Island.  But I'm getting ahead of his story.

Nicholas was born February 9, 1659/60 to Walter Cook.  His mother may have been Catherine Brenton.  I look at all the reasons why Catherine is Nicholas's mother, and then I look at the arguments against it, and I just scratch my head.  Walter was definitely married when Nicholas was born, and Nicholas is his son.  He was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where his father had settled before moving on to Mendon.  Mendon was a large territory but not a higly populated town.  In fact, Mendon had to be abandoned during King Philip's War.  The settlers had already fled but the native Americans burned the small settlement anyway. Based on the reported birth locations of Walter's children, it appears that the family moved to Mendon sometime between 1664 and 666, so they were there perhaps 10 years before the war broke out.

Nicholas would have been about 16 years old as the war began, so he may or may not have been involved.  I didn't find his name in the books "Soldiers in King Philip's War", so perhaps he was detailed to help care for the women and children, wherever they had gone.  It would have been perhaps 40 miles for the family to travel back to Weymouth, but perhaps they did travel that far.  We just don't know.  and

Nicholas married Joanna Rockwood or Rocket, daughter of John and Joanna Ford Rockwood on November 11, 1684 in Mendon. Nicholas was about 25 and Joanna was just seventeen years old at the time.   The couple set up housekeeping and had eeven children together, so Nicholas had much to do to keep these mouths fed, and Joanna was constantly busy, too.  Nicholas is listed as a husbandman, so he owned land.

Mendon was founded in 1660, and it was much larger than its present boundaries at the time.  One of the towns that it "birthed" was Bellingham, and that is where Nicholas and Joanna lived.  Nicholas is considered one of the first two founders of the town,  Both men (the other was Jacob Bartlett) were Baptists, but we don't know for sure whether they became Baptists after the town was formed, or whether they had formed their decisions earlier.  Bellingham has been described as a town of Quakers and Baptists during its early years, so it must have attracted dissenters and protected them, too, as necessary. 

Nicholas was chosen constable for his section of town in 1708, indicating he had a certain standing in the town.  Joanna died two years later, and Nicholas had children to care for.  The youngest was just three years old and the oldest about 20.  Two years after Joanna's death, he married Mehitable Hayward Staples, widow of Abraham Staples.  She had four children when she married, and the new couple had a son, so a large family became, in my way of thinking, enormous.

Nicholas died at Bellingham on December 1, 1730.  For a husbandman, he had a sizable estate valued at 1200 pounds.  I found his inventory, and there is discussion in the estate pages (found in Suffolk County) about how the estate should be divided.  Nicholas didn't leave a will, so the court did the best they could with the division of land and property.  Somehow the 1200 pounds worked out to about 79 pounds for each of the children, which may mean that Mehitable was still alive and got her widow's third.  

Nicholas's inventory included 4 pieces of property, with the most highly valued being one that had his homestead on it.  He had books valued at one pound, and militia arms, so he perhaps had not yet been excused from training duty.  Most of his other inventory was either household goods or typical farming equipment, including several cattle of various types, swine, and sheep, as well as what were probably cash crops of grains. 

I've been glad to make the very brief acquaintance of Nicholas.  These men (and women) who stood up for their religious convictions fascinate me.  What gave them the strength to resist government and peer pressure, to follow their own understanding of God's Word?  Did they suffer for their stand? 

The line of descent is:

Nicholas Cook-Joanna Rockwood
Mary Cook-Joseph Holbrook
Jesse Holbrook-Abigail Thayer
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