Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Holbrook line: Ebenezer Southwell, the father of Eunice Southwell Pomeroy

If you've been following the posts for the Holbrook line, perhaps you'll remember that when I wrote about Thomas Judd, a reader questioned me about the Ebenezer Southwell-Elizabeth Judd line that I had included in my line of descent.  She didn't think I had the correct parents for Eunice Southwell Pomeroy, and after looking at what she said, I was starting to doubt it, myself.  I spent a couple of weeks scratching for information, some of which seemed to point one way and some of which pointed another way.  Finally, a kind person answered my query on an Ancestor Message Board, which makes sense of much of what I had found.  I needed her help to connect the dots, and I greatly appreciate Rose's help.

Since so many trees on line are showing Ebenezer's brother, Enoch, as the father of the Eunice who married Medad Pomeroy, I'd like to put what Rose pointed out and what I found independently in writing.  First, as to Eunice, she is listed in the "Records of the Congregational Church in Suffield, Ct" as "Unis" Southwell. She was baptized there October 5, 1735, so her birth may have been a few days before that. Enoch Southwell, Ebenezer's brother, did indeed have a daughter named Eunice who was born in Northampton, Ma on October 11, 1735/36, but she was not married when she inherited part of her father's estate in 1778.  A deed in 1779 calls her a "singlewoman".  Our Eunice Southwell married Medad Pomeroy August 18, 1758 and died April 6, 1760, about a week after our Eunice Pomeroy was born. 

Now, on to what I've learned about Ebenezer in the search to verify that he was indeed the father of our Eunice.  Ebenezer was born in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1694 to William Southwell and Sarah Stebbins. He had two brothers and five sisters, and Ebenezer was the oldest of the sons.  He married Elizabeth Judd, daughter of Samuel Judd and Maria Strong, on June 12, 1721. We are not sure what motivated him to move to Suffield, which was then part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but later became Connecticut, about 1723.  There may have been economic reasons, or he may have gone with a relative or neighbor, or perhaps the young married couple just wanted to be on their own.  The Southwells had at least 9 children, with Eunice possibly being the youngest of them. 

There is a little bit of information in the "Documentary History of Suffield in the Colony and Province of Massachusetts Bay 1660-1749" by Hezekiah Spencer Sheldon, about Ebenezer.  He was elected one of several "Tything Men" on March 14, 1736/37.  A tything man was expected to make sure church tithes were collected, to maintain order and discipline during church services, and to make sure there were no travelers on the road on Sunday, unless they had a truly serious reason to not be at their church service.  In the movies, sometimes we see someone in a church building who had a long stick he could use to nudge children or to wake up their parents, and that would have been Ebenezer's job.  I'm not sure how long he held that position, but he was elected surveyor of highways on March 10, 1739/40 , and then constable in 1741. In 1745, he was again a surveyor of highways. 
He signed his name as "yeoman" on a petition to separate Suffield into a "West Suffield" but I didn't note the date for that. The town of Suffield had spread and grown enough that it was quite a ways for the people in the west to travel to church each Sunday. 

I also found records of Ebenezer as as grantee for land in Hampden County, Massachusetts in 1751, purchased from Abraham Burbank.  I'm a little confused about this because by 1751 Suffield, or West Suffield, was considered to be part of Connecticut.  This may be Ebenezer's son Ebenezer,  or I may not have interpreted it correctly.  This is from volume 1 of an index for Hampden County that I found on Family Search. I haven't seen the original document. 

The final record of Ebenezer is of his death on June 17, 1781 in Suffield.  He was about 87 years old when he died.  I have not yet located a death date for Elizabeth, so I will keep searching for that. I also haven't seen a will yet for Ebenezer. As usual, more remains to be done!

The line of descent is:

Ebenezer-Southwell-Elizabeth Judd
Eunice Southwell-Medad Pomeroy Jr.
Eunice Pomeroy-Libbeus Stannard
Libbeus Stannard Jr-Euzebia Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents