Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Holbrook line: Nathaniel Treadway, Immigrant

I didn't put the birth date of Nathaniel in the title for this post, because as far as I can tell, it's undetermined.  There are a lot of trees on line that give him a birthdate of August 7, 1604 in Wiltshire, England.  No doubt there was a Nathaniel Treadway born on that date in that location but we have little reason to think this is "our" Nathaniel Treadway.  Our Nathaniel was likely born about eleven years later.  His parents were Nathaniel and Mary Howe Treadway, who were married in Colchester, Essex, England on September 23, 1614.  This makes a birth date in 1615 more likely, although as far as I know, no records have yet been found for his birth. Colchester at the time was a town built around the cloth trade, and Nathaniel was a weaver, so it may be a matter or missing records that keep us from locating his birth records.

Nathaniel was in Sudbury, Massachusetts by 1639, which is where he is presumed to have married Suffrance Haynes, daughter of Walter and Elizabeth Gourd Haynes.  The date is generally given as May 10, 1640 but it's possible that it was a year earlier.  Their first child, Jonathan, was born November 11, 1640, and they had at least six other children.  Sometime between 1642 and 1646 the family moved to Watertown, Massachusetts which was their "forever" home.

Nathaniel seems to have been a man of some influence.  He was a selectman in Watertown for seven different years.  He was also a highway surveyor.

Nathaniel died July 20, 1689 at the age of 73.  His estate indicated a value of 377 pounds, including four books.  He also owned four cows, two oxen, and fifteen sheep, as well as several parcels of land. Suffrance had died seven years earlier.

There is much yet to be learned about Nathaniel.  I found a brief mention that he was a "meeting house man".  I'm not sure whether this means he was a member of the church, or had some town or church position, or what it means.  I've not found a record of him as a freeman, which seems a little bit out of the ordinary.  How educated was he?  As a selectman, one would think he could probably read and perhaps write, but four books are not sufficient to make a judgement that he was or was not literate.  Perhaps more of his books had already been given away.  I'd like to know more about this ancestor of ours.

The line of descent is:

Nathaniel Treadway-Suffrance Haynes
Elizabeth Treadway-Joseph Hayward
Lydia Hayward-John Hanchett
Hannah Hanchett-John Stannard
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba (Euzebia) Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Friday, September 14, 2018

Holbrook line: Samuel Morse 1576-1654 Immigrant

What would it take for a man of 50 to decide to take his family across the ocean to a land they had only heard of, with challenges both known and unknown?  He was a "husbandman", meaning that he farmed either land owned by someone else, or a small farm.  So he didn't have much money in England, and perhaps he thought life would be better here. 

We do know a little more about Samuel than we do about some of our ancestors.  His parents were  Reverend Thomas and Margaret (probably King) Morse, and he was born on or shortly before June 12, 1576 in Boxted, Essex, England.  Boxted is a small village on the northern border of Essex, not far from the North Sea.  The current population is about 1350 people.  Two groups of religious dissenters had gone from this area to New England in 1630, so in addition to economic reasons, perhaps the Morses were following family, or certainly, neighbors. 

Samuel married Elizabeth Jasper, daughter of Lancelot and Rose Shephard Jasper, on June 29, 1602, at Redgrave, Suffolk, England.  This was about 40 miles from Samuel's home at Boxted, but we don't know how they met.  Perhaps Samuel's father had preached at Redgrave, or maybe Elizabeth visited someone in Boxted.  At any rate, they met, married, and settled down in or near Redgrave, where several of their children were born.  Their last three children were born at Burgate, Suffolk, England, which seems to be quite close to Redgrave. 

Samuel, Elizabeth, their twenty year old son Joseph and a 2 year old granddaughter traveled together on the ship Increase in 1635.  Samuel was listed as 50 and Elizabeth as 48.  It is uncertain how the other children got to New England but there are only ship and other records for a small fraction of those who arrived in New England, so that is not a problem.  Samuel and Elizabeth first went to Waterwon, and then to Dedham, which are both towns settled by those settlers who had come over from Boxted in 1630.  The Morses were iamong the first settlers of Dedham in 1637, when Samuel was admitted to the church.  He was made a freeman on October 8, 1640.

We don't know what education Samuel had but he must have had at least the basics because he served Dedham as a treasurer and a selectman, he was an assessor for the meetinghouse rate, and he was a fenceviewer and highway surveyor.  One would think that the treasurer's position would require basic math skills, and the selectman's job may have required literacy. 

In 1652, Samuel and Elizabeth moved on to Medfield, where they were early settlers.  I find it hard to fathom moving across the ocean, living in one town, going to another, and then finally, at the age of 67, starting over in another village.  Starting over may well have meant building one's own home, clearing one's own fields and helping with the common, and helping develop roads for the new village.  It would have been a lot of work!  Samuel still owned land in Dedham when he died in December of 1654, but it's unclear whether he also owned land at Medfield. 

His estate was valued at 124 pounds, 7 shillings, of which 40 pounds was real estate.  I don't know what his net worth would have been when he left England, but he seems to have improved his circumstances here. 

He left descendants who would not only improve their circumstances, but improve the country.  John Chapman, otherwise known as Johnny Appleseed, is a descendant, as are Wild Bill Hickock, Emily Dickinson, William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge, and the two Presidents Bush.  There are also some famous entertainers in the list such as Raquel Welch and Elizabeth Shue.  We are cousins, very distant, to all these people! 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Morse-Elizabeth Jasper
Mary Morse-Samuel Bullen
Elizabeth Bullen-Benjamin Wheelock
Benjamin Wheelock-Hulda Thayer
Mary Wheelock-Ebenezer Thayer
Abigail Thayer-Jesse Holbrook
Amariah Holbrook-Molly oh where are you Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susannah Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

If I have this figured right, Hulda Thayer was Ebenezer Thayer's niece, so Abigail Thayer's grandmother Hulda was also her aunt.  Can that be right?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Holbrook line: William French about 1605-1681, Immigrant

William French is another confusing ancestor.  I'm quite sure he knew who he was, where and when he was born, and pretty much his entire life story, but he hasn't chosen to share this information with us.  Neither has anyone else, to date.  Plenty of people seem to think they know his parents, but there was an article published 100 or years ago proving that the William French born or christened March 15, 1603 in Halstead, Essex, England died in 1621, the son of Thomas French and Agnes Olmstead.  So that is not our ancestor.  There is another William French who was born in 1606 in Halstead, Essex, England but so far I haven't been able to trace that William down.  Perhaps he is ours and perhaps he is not. 

We also don't know who his wife was, beyond the name of Elizabeth.  She may have been Elizabeth Symmes or Elizabeth Godfrey, but I've seen no evidence for either theory.  The family came from somewhere in England and arrived on the ship "Defence" in the summer of 1635.  William was admitted as freeman in Cambridge soon after his arrival.  There were at least four children born in England and six in Cambridge, Massachusetts Bay Colony, although Robert Charles Anderson lists nine and is doubtful about one of those.  Elizabeth died and William married Mary Lothrop on May 6, 1669, and four children were born to this couple, all in Billerica, Massachusetts Bay Colony.

There are some fascinating questions about William beyond the usual who were his parents.  For instance, he is listed as being a tailor by occupation.  So, did he become a tailor here, or did he learn the trade in England for preparation here, or had he practiced the trade in England for several years?  The reason this is interesting is because he seems to have been quite an educated man.  He wrote to a friend in England about the religious professions of an Indian and that material was eventually included in a pamphlet published in England called "Strength out of Weakness; or a Glorious Manifestation of the Further Progress of the Gospel among the Indians of New England.  Held Forth in Sundry Letters from divers Ministers and Others." 

William was admitted to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company in 1638, and was elected sergeant in 1642, and October in 1647.  He still owned an old musket and gun barrel at his death.  The French family moved from Cambridge to Billerica in 1652, and there William served as a deputy to the General Court at least three separate times.  He was empowered to marry others, which I believe was a civil rather than a religious duty at this time.  He acquired, bought, and sold land several times during his lifetime, but still had land valued at about 104 pounds when he died, which was included in his estate's value of roughly 207 pounds, after debts were paid.  This was a fair amount for a tailor to leave, especially since his will showed that he had provided for his first family at an earlier time.  He did leave twenty shillings to each of his grandchildren. 

The line of descent is:

William French-Elizabeth
Hannah French-John Brackett
Hannah Brackett-Joseph Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Jordan
John Stannard-Hannah Hanchett
Libbeus Stannard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stnnard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants




Friday, September 7, 2018

Holbrook line: Philip Phetteplace 1621-March 22, 1698 Immigrant

I'm writing this blog post on the theory that writing even one paragraph about an ancestor is better than ignoring him completely  I don't put the odds of finding more information very high, since the distinguished genealogist Donald Lines Jacobus tried in 1969, and found only a couple of comments in the records about Philip.  We know more about his family background than we do about other of our ancestors, but less about his life.  That dash between 1621 and 1698 is just not very full.

Philip was born or baptized April 14, 1621 in Ringwood, Hampshire, England, to Walter and Parnell Cole Phetteplace (Fetteplace, and other spellings, of course).  Jacobus traces this family back to about ..1210 A.D., and others have said the family came over from Normandy with William the Conqueror.  Regardless, the family had been in the area of Ringwood for probably 200 years before Philip was born.  Ringwood is located just north of the south coast of England, on the border with Dorset county.  It has a currently population of about 14,000 people but was probably smaller when Philip was a child.

We don't know when Philip married but speculation is that it was later in life.  We also don't know when he came to the Colonies, or when he arrived in Rhode Island.  We don't even know when he married.  We know that he asked for admittance as a freeman to the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island on September 22, 1671, and he was granted that status on October 14.  In 161, he witnessed the will of Philip Sherman, and acknowledged his signature when the will was admitted to probate in 1687.

His four known children, who may have been born in Rhode Island, were Sarah, Walter, Philip, and Samuel.  His namesake, Philip, was a Quaker but we have no indication of our subject's religion.   Portsmouth was the home of Anne Hutchinson for a time, and was later referred to as a town full of New Light Baptists.  Perhaps he was some kind of religious dissident, and perhaps not.  The other observation we can make is that he was able to sign his name, based on the will testimony.  Whether he had more education that that, we don't know.

Philip died at Portsmouth March 22, 1698 but I haven't located a will or inventory. 

It's frustrating to know so little about a man.  He had dreams, he had a vision of a better life in America, he had values he would have wanted to implant in his children.  What were they?   What were his views on slavery?  How did King Philip's War affect him, if at all?  This dash, the one between 1621 and 1698, if just frustratingly thin.

The line of descent is:

Philip Phetteplace-unknown
Walter Phetteplace-Joanna Mowry
Sarah Phetteplace-Elisha Eddy
Enos Eddy-Sarah Brown
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

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Holbrook line: William Holbrook 1620-1699 Immigrant

William was born in or near Glastonbury, Somerset, England shortly before June 14, 1620.  His parent were Thomas and Jane Powyes Holbrook.  William was an immigrant, probably about 15 years old, who may or may not have arrived with his parents when they came to America in 1635.  His name is not on the manifest of the Marigold, as his parents and siblings are, so the record could have been a mistake or it is possible that William traveled separately.  He went first to Weymouth with his family, and was made a freeman there in 1647.

He married Elizabeth Pitts about 1643, probably in Weymouth.  They had ten or possibly 11 children together, but not all lived to adulthood.  He must have been a man who was admired, because I've found reference to him both as "Deacon Holbrook" and "Captain Holbrook".  He was assigned land in the new settlement of Mendon and went there in 1663.  I have also seen comments that he owned "vast tracts" of land although the records I've looked at indicate more modest holdings, as he bought and sold perhaps 40 acres at a time.

We don't know much about his life but we can guess that it was upended when King Philip's War began in 1675.  Half a dozen settlers were killed in the first raid in 1675.  The settlers left the area in great haste, and a few months later the settlement was burned to the ground.  William did not return to rebuild in Mendon.  Instead, he want to Scituate, Plymouth Colony, where he and Elizabeth lived out their lives.  We don't know when he was given the title of "Captain", or whether he served in the militia during this time. 

From William's inventory, it appears that he was either a weaver or a merchant in textiles, or possibly both. William Bradford II was involved in the paperwork of settling the estate.  Elizabeth died about 1696 and William married that same year to Abigail Wright Sharpe Clapp.  He provided for her out of his estate, which totaled about 170 pounds, plus whatever real estate he had.  He scratched his initials instead of signing his name, but that could have been due to age and illness rather than illiteracy. 

Here's the sad thing about his life.  His inventory included a "Negro man" with a value of 26 pounds.  We don't know when and under what circumstances he was purchased or acquired (perhaps he came with second wife, perhaps not).  We don't know how old he was. We don't know his name. We don't know so much about this man, but we know there was a connection with William.  This is hard to write about.  We have a few other New England ancestors who "owned" slaves, but not many.  This is hard to accept and to write about, but we need to know the good, the bad, and the ugly about our ancestors, if we are to understand them and their world. 

There's much we don't know about William Holbrook, but it's a joy to know this much.  I treasure every ancestor and look forward to the hunt to learn more about him.

Our line of descent is:

William Holbrook-Elizabeth Pitts
Jane Holbrook-Alexander Balcom
Sarah Balcom-Timothy Sheldon
Martha Sheldon-Thomas Mathewson
Deborah Mathewson-Joseph Winsor
Lillis Winson-Nathan Paine
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

This is Gladys Holbrook's maternal line.  She also has a paternal line that ends up with William's parents, Thomas and Jane Powyes Holbrook.  So, as so often happens, she is her own distant cousin.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Holbrook line: John Thompson 1642-1715

OK, John Thompson is not quite an immigrant.  However, I'm no longer sure of the identity of his parents. I had a whole blog post written and ready to post about Simon Thompson, whom I believed to be his father.  I no longer believe that.  I've found several sources that appear to be authoritative saying his parents were John and Sarah (possibly Trevore) Thompson and his paternal grandparents were David and Amyas Cole Thomson.  These seem to be more likely for our John, and this is the way it is given in a published genealogy plus on line trees, so that's how we'll leave it for now.  It's important that I get this right, because we have two lines of descent from this man. 

I will say that John Thompson appears to have been born in 1642, although some sources say 1645, possibly in Dorchester.  So his parents were already here, and John Thompson and Sarah possibly Trevore would appear to have been here, and in the correct location.

Before 1663, John is believed to have lived at Weymouth, Massachusetts.  He married Thankful Woodland, daughter of John and Martha Woodland in about 1665, in Dorchester.  Some sources say the marriage occurred in Mendon, but Mendon was not yet a settlement so that appears unlikely.  The actual settlement of Mendon occurred in 1668, although there may have been a house or two before then. All 10 of their children were born in Mendon, and John and Thankful probably intended to live out their days there. 

Life wasn't as peaceful as it sounds, however.  The Thompsons left Mendon in late 1675 and went to Dorchester or one of the "safer" towns, due to the outbreak of King Philip's War.  Mendon suffered the first casualties of the war in 1675, and the natives returned to burn the town to the ground in early 1676.  The Thompsons were some of the earliest families to return to Mendon in 1677, and to start rebuilding their lives.

John was chosen surveyor for the town in 1680, the first such office to be filled since the burning of the town. He was also a town selectman, and is noted in some records as being an Ensign.  If so, he probably was involved in military action during King Philip's War. He may have lived until 1715, but I have not been able to locate a death record or a will.  

This is not much to define the life of a pioneer and a patriot.  I wish I had more information.  I wish I knew how he met his wife.  I wish I knew what stories his father must have told, about his amazing grandfather.  There is so much I'd life to know, but at least I can honor his name by writing this blog post.

The line of descent is:

John Thompson-Thankful Woodland
Martha Thompson-Ebenezer Thayer
Deborah Thayer-John Rockwood
Joseph Rockwood-Alice Thompson
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

The second line is:

John Thompson-Thankful Woodland
John Thompson-Hannah Wight
Joseph Thompson-Mary Holbrook
Alice Thompson-Joseph Rockwood (so they would be second cousins)
See above



Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Holbrook line: Chad Brown, Immigrant

We have more than one ancestor who made it to Wikipedia.  Chad Brown, variously described as Reverend, Pastor, and Elder, has his own article that tells much about his life.  I've found other articles, too, including one from the Register, published by New England Historical and Genealogical Society, that detail the first four generations of his descendants.  So he is easy to write about.  The hard part is choosing what to include in this post, and in trying to restrain my pride in this man and his descendants.  We actually have at least two lines of descent from him, and there are some Browns I haven't yet identified, so there could be more yet.

Once again we have a mystery as to his parentage, however.  We know that he married Elizabeth Sharparowe, daughter of John and Margaret Castley Sharparowe, on September 11, 1626 in Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England.  We could probably guess that Chad came from the same general area, but we don't know that for sure.  Wycombe is a town known for its cloth industry and its paper industry during the 17th century.  We don't know whether Chad was involved in either of those, but it does give us a sense that the town was industrial before industrial was widespread, and the town must have had a certain energy to it.  We wonder what kind of education Chad received, in light of his later achievements.

Chad, Elizabeth, their son John, and possibly other children arrived on the ship Martin, arriving in Boston in July of 1638.  Whether by plan or by "encouragement", they soon moved to Providence Plantations in what became Rhode Island, where Roger Williams was teaching.  He signed agreements in 1640 and another one sometime between 1639 and 1644, to agree to the Providence Compact and to set up a government for Providence in 1640.  He took over pastoral duties for the Baptist church in 1643, when Roger Williams, the first pastor, went to England on colony business.  The church at this time met outside, or in bad weather, in someone's home.  The first church building in Providence was not built until some sixty years later.  Chad served as pastor for about 10 years, including time he was apparently an unofficial pastor, or perhaps an assistant.

There is not a good record of when he died, but there is a mention of a widow Brown, not further named, being listed on a tax list in 1650.  He was mentioned as deceased in a deed from 1663, but he could well have been deceased for quite a while by that time.  I tend to think it was shortly before 1650, because the church record says that he ended his pastorate before 1650.  This would have left Elizabeth with seven children to raise, with John at 20 being the oldest.

Chad had acted as an arbitrator in the early days of Providence, and also as a surveyor.  These jobs, combined with that of pastor make me think he surely had at least a grammar school type education, and perhaps higher than that.  He reportedly left a will but I have not been able to locate a copy.  The inventory would be valuable, to see whether he had books, and also to see how he supported himself other than as pastor.  It doesn't seem likely that this would have been a "paying job".

I think I would have liked Chad Brown.  From the bits and pieces we can see, he was a man who lived out his faith by serving others.  His record as pastor of the First Baptist Church shows his dedication to the Lord.  Some of his sons became members of the Anglican Church and some of his descendants became Quakers.  I wonder what he would have said to that?

The two lines of descent are:

Chad Brown-Elizabeth Shaparowe
Daniel Brown-Alice Hearndon
Hosanna Brown-Mary Hawkins
Othniel Brown-Deborah 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

The second line is

Chad Brown-Elizabeth Sharparowe
John Brown-Mary Holmes
Sarah Brown-John Pray
Mary Pray-Richard Brown
Deborah Brown-Othniel Brown
as above

Fun face:  FamousKin says that Amelia Earhart and John Ritter are descendants of Chad Brown, so they are our distant cousins.