I'm choosing to write about a man who must have been of average size, weight, intelligence, occupation, religion, education, and whatever else would have been significant because I can find very little about him.
I know Levi was born December 10, 1751 in Bellingham, Suffolk County (then, now Norfolk), Massachusetts to Joseph Rockwood and Alice Thomson or Thompson. Both of those lines are well documented and go back to very early Massachusetts days. He was apparently the oldest of 8 children. His siblings were Deborah, John, Alice, Joseph, Melatiah, Cephas, Daniel, and possibly another sibling unnamed. Cephas died at sea in 1786,
We know that his wife was Deborah Lazell, daughter of Isaac Lazell and Deborah Marsh, who moved from Hingham to Bellingham. The Rockwoods were also from Bellingham.
Levi and Deborah also had several children: Rachel, Susanna, Hannah, Joseph, Levi, Nathan, Martin, and Reuben. Levi was only 55 when he died, and his wife died about 9 months later. They are buried in Center Cemetery, in Bellingham. Levi apparently didn't leave a will, because there is only an administration on file for him, case #15947. I haven't seen a copy of it.
Levi the son of Levi apparently married Tryphena Holbrook, the daughter of Amariah Holbrook and my brick wall Molly Wright. If I have this figured correctly, they were first cousins.
The apparent absence of records about Levi is somewhat surprising, since Bellingham was not a large town and is relatively well documented. He is not found on Fold 3, or in the Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors volume, or on the DAR website, so apparently he did not participate in the Revolutionary War, although he was of the right age to do so. Was he physically handicapped in some way, or was he a Loyalist at heart, or did he even care about the world beyond his village? The militia of Bellingham was off like a shot toward Concord and Lexington in April of 1775, but his name is not included there.
I also am not able to locate his name, so far, in a volume that would tell us what religion he practiced, or didn't practice. Because of the family names found in the Baptist Church records, it is tempting to think he was a Baptist. Yet, I haven't found his name there, nor have I found it in the Congregationalist records. Perhaps I haven't looked at the right documents yet.
I don't even know what the man did for a living. Was he a farmer, or a merchant, or engaged in a trade or manufacture of some sort? I don't know, and I wish I did.
Levi is an example of the anonymous man, I guess. He lived, married, had children, and died, and there is nothing remarkable about him. Yet, he was my ancestor, and he was one of those who helped build America, in one way or another. I respect him and I'd love to find out more about him.
Our line of descent is:
Levi Rockwood-Deborah Lazell
Susanna Rockwood-Nahum Holbrook
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Lois Holbrook/Gladys Holbrook
their children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, etc
Update, February 17, 2014: Levi Rockwood did serve in the Revolutionary War. According to Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War:
Rockwood, Levi, Bellingham: Private, Capt Jesse Holbrook's co of militia, which marched on the alarm of April 19, 1775; service 11 days; also, corporal, Capt. Sabin Mann's Co, Col Wheelock's Regt, marched April 22, 1777, discharged May 10, 1777; service, 20 days; company marched to Rhode Island; also, Capt. Amos Ellis's co; 4th Suffolk Co Regt commanded by Maj. Seth Bullard; entered service July27, 1780; discharged August 7, 1780; service 14 days, including travel (2 days) home; company marched to Tiverton R.I. on the alarm of July 27, 1780.
I don't know why I didn't find him the first two times I looked at the Massachusetts Soldiers volumes, but I'm glad I made another search. It's fun to have Revolutionary War veterans in our family!