Friday, April 3, 2015

Allen line: Robert Royse 1605-1676 Immigrant

Robert Royse is another of our immigrant ancestors in the Allen line.  (Stay tuned for a fun fact at the end of this post.)  Like many ancestors, we aren't really sure where he came from but it is looking more and more likely that he was christened November 3, 1605 at Ketton CumTixover in Rutland, England, the son of William Royce and possibly Joan Casebird.  (The father I show on my Ancestry tree is Thomas, but that appears to not be as likely as I thought when I entered that information.  It's the wrong location, and Thomas is not a name that was used in any subsequent generation.) 

If William is Robert's father, then he was the fourth of at least nine children born between 1600 and 1616.  That is all that we can say about his childhood and youth, that he had a family and that the family ate well enough that Robert survived.  He married Mary Jackson (shown in the records as "Jugkson") on April 8, 1627 in Saint Michael, Stamford, Lincolnshire.  The young couple had several children, during the first 10 years of their marriage, of whom three died as infants. 

We don't know when the family arrived in New England.  Nehemiah was the last child born there, in 1637, and the next known child, Samuel was born in November of 1644 supposedly in New London, Ct.  The problem with that story is that New London wasn't founded until two years later, in 1646.  It seems unlikely that a single family would have gone to the area ahead of the colony, so more research needs to be done here. However, we do know that at least 4 children were born in the New World, starting in 1644.  That leaves a gap of 7 years in which other children may have been born, and possibly lost.

He owned several pieces of land in New London, some given to him as a recognized early settler of the town, and some that he purchased.  He sold most of this to his sons in the early 1660's.  Even so, his estate when he died in 1676 was valued at 420 pounds, 11 shillings.  This was a good estate for a man who had been a leather worker, shoemaker, and "ordinary" keeper during his life at New London.  He had also been constable of the town and deputy to the General Court during the 1660's, indicating that he was a respected member of the town. His will reportedly left property to his wife, five sons, and three daughters, although we only know of two daughters.  (Perhaps one was born during the 7 year time period mentioned above.) 

The best write up of Robert's life that I found was on Wikitree, and I have used some of the information in that article for this post.  The article lists sources that I want to follow up on, and perhaps more can be learned about the life of this ordinary ordinary keeper, who came to New England and made a better life for himself and his family.

The line of descent is:

Robert Royce-Mary probably Jackson
Jonathan Royse-Deborah Calkins
John Royse-Sarah Perrigo
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 descendents

Fun fact:  Robert is the ancestor of President Millard Fillmore, so we are distantly related to another president.  Is anyone keeping track of these connections?