Friday, January 23, 2015

Holbrook line: Edward Larkin, another immigrant abt 1610-1652

Edward Larkin has as many unanswered questions as do most of our other immigrant ancestors.  It's not sure where he was born, although 1610 seems to be a reasonable guess, and Kent, England may have been his birthplace. Some trees are showing a birth date of June 2, 1615 in Berkhampsted, Sussex, England, but I am not locating the documentation for that.  Neither is it known when he came to the New World.  I've found an undocumented statement that he came with his mother in 1629, and another that he came in 1634.  I am not sure that either of these statements are correct, because he is not featured in the Early Migrations or The Great Migration Begins, as far as I can tell. 

We do know that he was in the New World by 1638, when he married Joanna Butler, or possibly Cutter.  He and Joanna settled in Charlestown, Massachusetts, (which was across the river from Boston, and in those days, a few miles away) and joined the church there in 1639.  Edward became a free man in 1640, signifying that he had joined the church and owned property.  This of course gave him a right to vote in matters that might come up.  We know he could read and write because he signed his will, and because there were books in his inventory.  

By occupation, he was a turner and a wheelwright, and a husbandman.  As a turner, he would have formed the spindles used in the wheels he made. This was likely a valued occupation in early New England, so repairs and replacements could be made quickly instead of having to wait for goods from England. As a husbandman, he probably grew enough food or animals to help feed his family, but perhaps no more than that.  He was also a member of the local artillery, as was every able-bodied man. Edward and Joanna had at least six children-John, Elizabeth, Hannah, Thomas, Edward, and Sarah, and probably Increase who was born in 1652. Edward had described his wife as "bigg with childe" in his will.

If he was born in either 1610 or 1615, or at some point in between, he was not an old man when he died, and perhaps was not even 40.  His children were still young and he left his wife control of everything until his oldest son was 21. The Larkin's daughter, Hannah, had been adopted by Edward's sister, Joanna and her husband, John Penticost, who were childless.  Hannah was not given money in her father's will, except for 10 shillings with which she was to buy books, at the age of 18. This shows that books were valued in the Larkin household, since her father wanted her to have them above all else, to remember him.

Edward wrote his will on July 15, 1651 and it was proved February 6, 1652, probably shortly after his death. Joanna would have needed to have control of the assets, since she had hungry mouths to feed and the new baby to care for.  The estate was valued at just over 123 pounds.  Joanna is believed to have married a second time, but there are too many Joanna's in this family to keep straight, and none of the marriage dates, and births of subsequent children that I am finding make chronological sense. Although her death date is given as 1686, this appears to be the death date of another Joanna Larkin who married a Dodge. I'd sure be glad if someone could straight this out for me!

The line of descent is:

Edward Larkin-Joanna possibly Butler
John Larkin-Joanna Hale
Sarah Larkin-David Fay
Edward Fay-Sarah Joslin
David Fay-Mercy Perrin
Euzebia (Luceba) Fay-Libbeus Stanard Jr.
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendents

Fun fact:  I don't know where this came from, but there is a story "out there on the web" that is pretty ludicrous.  It purports that Edward Larkin did not die, but simply disappeared and showed up in Providence, Rhode Island, where he married a woman named Lydia and had a second family.  Obviously, there were two Edward Larkins and some one down through the ages has confused the two.  Our New England Puritans were quite conscientious and it is not possible that the witnesses of the will, who would have had to swear in court, would have covered up such an event.