Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Allen line: Matthew Bellamy about 1618?-1690

Matthew Bellamy seems to be one of our hidden ancestors, and yet, there is enough in the record to know that he was here, and that he was educated enough to be a school teacher for many years.  He deserves to be more thoroughly researched. 

Matthew apparently spent his entire life in various towns and villages in Connecticut.  He may have been an early immigrant, but so far I am unable to pinpoint his arrival.  His father is given as John Bellamy, supposedly born in London, England, but again, I have no proof and more work needs to be done.  We don't know his birth date but he is known to have signed the plantation covenant of New Haven, Ct in 1639.  He would have been at least 21 to have done so.  That puts his birthdate at 1618 or earlier.  He took the oath of fidelity in 1644 and taught school at various times at New Haven, Milford, Stamford, Guilford, Saybrook and Killingworth in Connecticut.  One wonders whether he was more or less chased from town to town (too stern?  too lenient? not completely in accord with church beliefs?) or whether he regarded it as his mission to start or continue schools in each of the new locations. 

He married Bethia Ford, daughter of Timothy Ford and possibly Eliza Gordy in 1671 in Stamford, Ct.  This was a late marriage and possibly second marriage for him, although no records have been found to indicate an earlier marriage.  He would have been at least 53 years old at this time.  Bethia, however, is believed to have been born in 1653, so she was a much younger woman.  Regardless of the difference in their ages, the couple had five children.  Matthew, Bethia and Elizabeth all died as infants.  What a sorrow this must have been to the couple!  They did, however, have two children who lived to adulthood, Mary and Matthew (a second time.  It wasn't unusual to name a younger child after an older deceased sibling, especially when that was the father's name.) 

The circumstances of his death are not known.  The dates are variously given as 1689-1692, and it is believed he may have been lost at sea.  Bethia died in 1692, but I haven't yet located wills or estate papers for either of them. 

The information for this blog post came from very limited sources, mostly an article printed in 1907 in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.  It's time for another look at this man.  I'd like to know when and where he was born, how he acquired his education, and something about his early life.  Did he have a "first family"?  When did he actually arrive in New England, and where?  Did he come for economic or for religious reasons?  I think his story might be a fascinating one, if we only knew it!

The line of descent is:

Matthew Bellamy-Bethia Ford
Matthey Bellamy-Mary Johnson
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
Elizabeth Royse-William McCoy
James McCoy-Nancy Ann Lane
Vincent McCoy-Eleanor Jackson
Nancy McCoy-George R Allen
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants