Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Allen line: This is why I go to the Allen County Public Library

I'm fortunate to live within about 35 miles of the Allen County Public Library, and I try to get there every four weeks, although sometimes it's more like six weeks, to do research there.  Sometimes I hit gold, sometimes I find nothing, and many times I find bits and pieces that need to be researched to find out if they are gold, or fool's gold.

Saturday was one of those days.  I think I've hit gold, and possibly some fool's gold, but I'm not entirely sure which is which.  I went to the library specifically to start researching ancestors who were in Virginia during the American Revolutionary War.  I have two ancestors that I know were there and were veterans, James Allen who died in Goochland County, Va in 1801 and Moses Parrish, who died in 1800, also in  in Goochland County, Virginia in 1800.  I was searching for clues that might lead me to two more ancestors, Michael Dunn and John Campbell, who are believed to have also been in the Revolutionary War, but so far I have been unable to identify them or to find any records for those two men.

What I did find was some tantalizing information about James Allen.  First, I found that he was also an ensign earlier, as James Allen from Goochland County is listed in the book "Virginia's Colonial Soldiers" by Lloyd Dewitt Bockstruck on an August 21, 1769 muster.  I'm not sure what the militia would have been called for, this long before the war broke out but at this time James would have been a good British subject.  I also found a William Allen, who was a captain in Goochland County in 1740.  I wonder if this is some relation?  One of the sons of James Allen and Sarah Crowdas was named William, and James Allen who married Tabath Parrish also had a son named William.

I found James,Allen listed in the 6th Virginia regiment along with Isaac, George, and Henry Allen. There was also a Richard Allen in the 6th V.R., but I'm not sure whether or not he was from Goochland.  The younger James also named a son Isaac, and the older James had a son named George.  So I'm beginning to think that there may be a connection between at least James and Isaac and George, and possibly William who was in the militia in 1740.  It's only a theory at this point, but it seems worth pursuing.

(Background:  The 6th Virginia Regiment was formed in 1775 at Williamsburg and participated in the Battles of Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine, Germantown and Monmouth.  They were also at Valley Forge. This doesn't mean our Allens were at all these battles, but I was able to find the payroll records for Isaac Allen, and it appears that he at least was at most of these battles.  He was discharged in February of 1778, but I don't yet know why. If the record of James was similar, then he would have served in these battles and somehow survived.  I need to find out what more I need to know to do more research about James!)

I found a query in the Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly asking for the parentage of James Allen Senior, dated back in 1964 or 1965. So people have been looking for his parents for at least 50 years, and we seem no closer to finding the answer than we ever were.  But clues like this may help.

I want to research these Allens who seems to share names and at least county locations, to see if I can find that connection.  I think I'll start with Isaac, because that is a less common name than James or William, and see what I can find out.  I also want to learn more about James, who was apparently an officer in the militia and then in the Revolutionary War, to see where he may have been and when, if ever, he was involved in fighting.  And maybe sometime along the way, I'll stumble across Michael Dunn or John Campbell, although I think they were Irish or Scotch-Irish and likely more in Augusta County, or possibly even Fincastle County (Kentucky) during the War.

I found a marvelous resource at the library called "Virginia in the American Revolutions-A Source Guide for Genealogists and Historians" which I looked up on the DAR website.  It seems to be available only there, but it is definitely now on my wish list.  It's over 1300 pages with sources and maps and background information.  I don't think I can do this research without it!  (My husband also has ancestors from Virginia whom I need to research for a possible Revolutionary War connection, so I really need this book!)

If someone reading this has any additional information about any of the Allens mentioned in this blogpost, or any of the other people I briefly mentioned, I would love to hear from you.  My email is

Here's the Allen line of descent:

James Allen-Sarah Crowdas
James Allen-Tabath Parrish
Archibald Allen-Margaret Dunn
George Allen-Nancy McCoy
Edward Allen-Edith Knott
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, March 25, 2016

Harshbarger line: Johann "Hans" Wendel Laber, 1701- , Immigrant

I've found another Harshbarger line ancestor to write about, and no surprise, this family is German.  It's also no surprise that there are differing birth locations, and different death dates, for him.  However, I'm going to write of what I've found so far in the hopes that someone will see this and straighten me out.  Wendel was born on or before March 10, 1701 (this is probably a christening date) in Steinsfurt Parish, Northern Kraichgau, Germany.  This area is in southwestern Germany and would track closely with the history of other Harshbarger ancestors.  . 

Wendel was the son of Johannes Balthasar Lauber and Anna Elisabeth Wanner, and was one of at least eight children born to this couple.  I've not found any information as to his father's occupation, but it was likely to have been farming.   

We do know that Wendel married Anna Margaretha Mueller or Muller in Steinsfurt in 1726.She was the daughter of Andreas Mueller.  The young family stayed only in Steinsfurt only a few short years after their marriage.  They arrived on the ship "Dragon" in Philadelphia on September 30, 1732, along with their  two daughters.  I don't yet have birth dates for all of their children, so I am unable to say whether the family was already expecting another birth while en route to the New World, but there were 8 children born after the first two daughters. 

Again, it is hard to trace the first few years of their life in America.  The family probably first settled in Germantown, but by 1746 they had saved enough money to purchase 180 acres of land in Clay Township, Lancaster County, Pa. This is on the northern edge of the county, bordering on Berks County, and was probably excellent farm land. The Old Zion church was founded about 1747, and the Laber's apparently attended there.  His death date is actually unknown and is variously given as 1739 (wrong), 1749, 1757 and about 1762.  We know that his estate was probated December 27, 1762., although I have yet to find it on line.  He was buried in the Brickerville Lutheran and Reformed church cemetery, probably about 16 months after his wife had died, if we use the 1762 date as his date of death.

There is obviously much more I would like to know about this family.  Why did they come to America?  How long did it take them to finally obtain permission, and how much did it cost?  Had the family "always" been Lutheran?  How did they support themselves in Germany, and here in the New World?  Did they have to serve a period as indentured servants?  What was life like on their farm?  
While the general outline of his line may be known, sort of, I'd always like more details!

The line of descent is:

Wendel Laber-Anna Margaretha Muller
Martin Laber-Anna Catharina Enck
Henry Dulibon or Tulipan-Catherine Laber
Elizabeth Tullepen-Conrad Mentzer
Catherine Mentzer-Lewis Harshbarger
Emmanuel Harshbarger-Clara Ellen Harter
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beeks line: John Wilsford, Immigrant 1643-after 1695

I wonder if there is wishful thinking about this ancestor, or at least about this ancestor's ancestors, on the internet.  I've found trees that say that John is the son of Thomas Wilsford and the grandson of Thomas Wilsford and Elizabeth Sandys.  This would give our John a famous pedigree indeed.  However, it doesn't make sense to me for a number of reasons, including geography both in England and in the New World, religion (Quaker vs Church of England) and economic status.  So until we find actual records supporting the more famous pedigree, let's just consider John's parents as unknown.

John was from Leicestershire, England, most likely, as that is where he married his wife Alice Towle in 1665.  There are entries for at least two of his children, John and Mary, in the "England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes1588-1977" found on FamilySearch.org.  So as early as 1666, when John was born, this was a Quaker family.

The Wilsfords had other children, also.  There was an earlier Mary, Thomas, and Hannah, of all whom died young. The other child who survived was Sarah, who was two years younger than our Mary. ( Perhaps the fact that a  child was named Thomas caused someone to connect this John to the wealthier family in Virginia.)  John and his family show in the Monthly Meetings of Old Dalby in Leicestershire, until about March 1675/76.  Two years later (1678)  they are at the Huntingdonshire Monthly Meetings, so they must have moved in that time period, probably to Fenny Stanton.  They stayed there about 7 years and then were given a certificate to remove to Pennsylvania, except that they actually settled in what is now New Jersey, near the Chesterfield Monthly Meeting.

John was a miller, and acquired land by 1685 near the Falls of the Delaware River.  He had first lived at Crosswicks Creek in Chesterfield.  In 1692 he had land surveyed, 200 acres at the SE corner of his formerly surveyed land, along Shabbaconke Creek, adjoining Joshua Eley.  John Wilsford Sr. and John Wilsford Junior sold 200 acres in Hopewell Township, Hunterdon County, NJ to Nathaniel Fretwell.  This is the last we hear of John Senior, so he died sometime after this sale of land.  (A lot of dates on the internet say he died September 28,1695, but this should be read as "After September 28, 1695."

Alice Towle Wilsford died March 31, 1688, so she didn't live long in the New World.  Life was hard, especially for women.  John outlived her by at least 8 years but assuming he died about 1696, which may not be a safe assumption, he would have been only 53 years old himself.

We are fortunate to have a little more information about John Wilsford than for some of our immigrant ancestors.  We know he was a member of the Society of Friends (Quaker), which means we know something of the way he would have lived his life.  We know he was a miller, so we know his livelihood.  And we know that he had three children who liked near him, in their early adult years. Of course, I'd love to know more, such as just when he died, but this is a good start.

As always, I'd love to hear from anyone who knows more about this family, or who is a part of this family!

The line of descent is:

John Wilsford-Alice Towle
Mary Wilsford-James Moon
Simon Moon-Louretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Maraget Moon-Owen T Reese
Eliza Reese-Samuel G Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, March 18, 2016

Allen line: Henry Burt 1595-1662, Immigrant

Question: What do Ethan Allen, Grover Cleveland, and Winston Churchill have in common? 
Answer:  They are all descendants of Henry Burt, as are we of the Allen family.  I think that's so cool!  I haven't done the actual research to bear this out, but these are statements I've found on-line, and they appear to be plausible. 

This blog post is mostly based on research found at dunhamwilcox.net.  It is a thoroughly referenced source, and I'm grateful to have found it.  There's even an online book about Henry and his descendants, which is rather wordy but interesting.  Basically I'm using these and other sources to paraphrase what they've found, and to add my own little twist to this ancestor's story.

Henry Burt was born in 1595 in Harberton, Devon, England, the first child and first son of Henry and Iseult or Isolde Burt. (Her parents are as yet unknown.). Henry Senior was a clothier and seems to have done rather well for himself by the time he died in 1617.  Harberton was small (population about 1300 currently) so for a person to own 93 sheep and 32 lambs, plus cloth and yarn, several houses, an orchard, nursery, various out buildings, and more, he must have been at least of the middle class. 

Our Henry was one of at least seven children (these children were mentioned in the will, there may well have been others who died before Henry Sr.s death in 1617).  He was left 5 dwellings in his father's will, but there seems to be no mention of the sheep, cloth, and yarn that would have given Henry a trade, so perhaps that went to son John, who was left half the residue of the estate.

Henry did in fact become, or already had been, a clothier also, and was doing well enough financially in December of 1619 to marry Eulalia Marche.  He was a Puritan, of such measure that he occasionally read Sunday sermons to the congregation in his later years, apparently when the church was without a pastor or the pastor was ill or out of town.  Henry was in his early 40's when he decided to move his family to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

It's believed that they came, perhaps as a family, to Boston in 1638, although it could have been earlier.  By 1638 they were in Roxbury, where we learn that their home burned.  This would likely have included the tools of the clothing trade also, so it was a terrible loss.  It appears that there was some sort of "settlement" of about 8 pounds to the family, as recompense, and by 1639, the family was in Springfield, Massachusetts, which had been founded just four years earlier.

Henry quickly settled down in Springfield.  His town lot bordered on the Connecticut River.  He was on an early jury, was selectman for the town several years, and was made a freeman in April of 1648.  He was "Clerke of the Band", the militia, starting in 1648 also, and in 1649 was chosen "Clerke of the writts for this Towne." He was involved in two or three lawsuits during his lifetime, suing for debts he was owed.  Plus, there was the reference to his reading sermons on Sunday, perhaps because he was Clerke, perhpas because he had a strong speaking voice, or perhaps because he was regarded as a pious man. 

The Burts had children, a lot of children.  I'm finding lists of anywhere from 11 to 19 of them, some of whom died young.  It may have been after the birth of one of her children in England that Eulalia herself was thought to have died.  The family tradition is that she was laid out in her coffin and regained consciousness during her own funeral.  Further tradition has said that she brought the coffin to American with her and was buried in it many years later.  I suspect the "regained consciousness during her funeral" may be true but I wonder about the coffin story.  It's fun to think about it, though!

Henry died in Springfield on April 30, 1662, without a will.  However, there is a thorough inventory.  It includes, among other things, the house and land in town, two other parcels of land, farm implements and animals, two guns, and books valued at 10 shillings.  The total estate was 181 pounds, of which 47 pounds was owed, mostly to "Mr. Pynchon."

Eulalia, mother of many children, did not remarry, and died August 9, 1690, outliving her husband by 28 years.  She evidently still had her own housing, for she gave cows, bedding, land and household goods to her children.  This post is about Henry, but it certainly appears that he chose wisely in marrying Eulalia. 

There is much more that could be said about Henry, but this is intended to be a sketch only, so we at least know a bit about our immigrants.  Sometimes that leads to famous cousins, and interesting stories, and those are some of the reasons I write this blog. 

Here's the line of descent:

Henry Burt-Eulalia Marche
Abigail Burt-Francis Ball
Samuel Ball-Mary Graves
Mary Ball-John Hitchcock
Samuel Hitchcock-Ruth Stebbins
Margaret Hitchock-Richard Falley
Samuel Falley-Ruth Roote
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Holbrook line: Thomas Blower 1587-1639 Immigrant

Can we call a man an immigrant if his daughter had come to Massachusetts a couple of years earlier?  I'm not sure how accurate the label is, but since he was the oldest ancestor of this family to arrive here, I'm calling him the immigrant. 

I don't have a lot to write about Thomas and most of what I've found was in The Great Migration:  Immigrants to New England Volume I.  Thomas was baptized at Stanstead, Suffolk, England on April 23, 1587, the son of Thomas and Susan Vincent Blower.  He probably had brothers and sisters since his parents lived until at least 1597,but we don't have their names, and we don't know what the elder Thomas did for a living.

Thomas married Alice Frost, daughter of Edward and Thomasine Belgrave Frost on November 19, 1613 in Stanstead.  She was about seven years younger than he, having been baptized December 1, 1594.  Seven of the children were born in England, and the eighth, Pyam, was born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  (Note:  Pyam is not a certainty but Anderson says there is no other logical parent for the child, except this couple.  It's also possible that he may have been adopted by this couple, formally or informally.)   The other children were Hannah, Alice, Joshua, Thomas, Mary, John, and a second Thomas.  Hannah, Joshua, and the first Thomas all died young, in England.

Thomas and possibly his wife and children on the Truelove, in 1635.  Alice had come over earlier,  Their first residence was Boston and they may have stayed there.  There is no mention of Thomas becoming a freeman; in fact, it appears that he had financial difficulties and his wife may have had legal difficulties (she was a midwife).  In 1640, a resident of Hitcham, Suffolk wrote to John Winthrop regarding. 24 pounds that he claimed Thomas Blower owed him.  Unfortunately, by this time Thomas was deceased, so we don't know if the gentleman ever collected his debt.  Thomas is believed to have died by September 9, 1639.

Reading between the lines, one wonders why Thomas came to Massachusetts.  Was it to be with his daughter, to escape economic pressures, or to help his wife evade legal problems?  Perhaps it was some combination of the the above, and perhaps Thomas hoped to make a fresh start in the New World.  We don't know how he supported himself or the family, but we do know that his wife remarried in 1640, to William Tilly.  With small children to support, she needed to find security quickly, and remarried quickly, as many widows did. 

Now that I know Alice Frost Blower became Alice Frost Blower Tilly, and that she was a midwife, I'm anxious to learn more about her.  Midwifes sometimes left records, and it would be fascinating to find hers! 

I'd like to find an occupation for Thomas.  Perhaps he didn't work and that is why Alice was a midwife, but if that's the case, I'd like to know what his physical limitations were.  I'd like to know whether he was a member of a church.  I'd like to know what dreams he had when coming to the New World, and whether or not they were fulfilled.  He's an interesting ancestor, since we know so little about him.

The line of descent is:

Thomas Blower-Alice Frost
Alice Blower-Richard Brackett
John Brackett-Hannah French
Hannah Bracket-Joseph Stannard
John Stannard-Hannah Jordan
John Stannard-Hannah Hatchett
Libbeus Stnnard-Eunice Pomeroy
Libbeus Stannard-Luceba Fay
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Friday, March 11, 2016

Harshbarger line: More about the Kepner and the Schlagmann families

How sweet it is...when I actually find a source I was looking for...when the information is presented by a well known genealogist not likely to make mistakes...and when it gives a glimpse into the lives of German ancestors, before they emigrated to Pennsylvania (or wherever).  It is rare that we know more about these ancestors than when and where they were born and died. especially if they were not wealthy.  In the case of these families, we know more.  The NGS Quarterly of September 1973, issue 3 tells us about the ancestral family of Bernhard Kepner or Kepler, the subject of my last Harshbarger post.

Johannes Kepner , father of Johannes Bernhard,was the son of Andreas Keppner and his wife Anna.  Johann was a sexton "under" the local monastery. His wife is believed to be named Barbara.

Andreas Kepner, our Johann's grandafther, was an innkeeper.  He purchased the inn at Groslach from his mother Elizabeth, after the death of his father. There was a death tax to be paid before the transfer could be made.  George's widow had to pay 40florins and Andreas paid 80 florins.  Andreas was the owner of the inn for about 13 years. 

George Kepner was originally a klostermetzger (monastery butcher). He apparently worked himself up in the world, by buying a farm in 1599.  he then bought the inn at Grosshaslach, but it's not clear what happened to the farm.  Grosshaslach is a very small village in Bavaria.  It seems that the monastery referred to in this area was a Lutheran monastery, which means that it was likely not as cloistered as a Catholic monastery would have been. 

Johann Bernard's wife, Anna Barbara Schlagman, also has her family traced back.  Her father was Johann Peter Schlagman, his father was Peter Schlagman, and it is possible that Peter's father was Kilanius Schlagmann, donkey driver, who was buried at Sulzfeld, where later generations lived and died.  There was a Rabensburg castle near Sulzfeld, and it is possible that Kilanius worked for the castle.  From the sounds of it, this was a very humble job.  Of course, if "donkey driver" actually meant "merchant or trader of donkeys", then he may have had more status than a mere donkey driver.

Either way, we can take these families back a few more generations, and get just a slightly bigger hint of what life was most of our German ancestors could have been like in the 1600's in Bavaria.  It is more than we know about most of our German families, and I'm pleased to have this much to help "fill in the dash".

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Beeks line: Richard Kent abt 1590 to 1654, Immigrant

I'm treading lightly with this Beeks ancestor, because there is a lack of information (as in, none documented) about his early years.  He is believed to have been raised in either Nether Wallop or Over Wallop, Hampshire, England, but I've not found the proof for that.  His parents are believed to be Thomas Kent and Ellen Pyle.  If these are his parents, he may have had as many as 8 siblings, so it would have been a lively household. 

There doesn't seem to be much information about his spouse, either.  Most sites list her as Emma, I found one reference to "Emma Mason" and one to Dorothe Short.  Emma is believed to be the mother of his children, and he was married to Emma when he died.

Thomas came to Ipswich, Massachusetts on the Mary and John in 1634 and settled briefly at Ipwich, and then moved to Newbury the very next year.  He is listed on a plaque as being one of the first settlers of the town.  We aren't sure when his family arrived, although I found a reference to daughter Rebecca's arrival in 1638, with Richard's brother Stephen.   She was 16 at the time, which makes one wonder about the birth of John in 1645.  Did both children have the same mother? 

Richard and his family settled in Newbury where Richard acquired land.  He is listed as a "maltster", or someone who produced the malt that was used in beers and vinegar.  We don't find a record of public service, or of military service.  However, during this time period he was doubtless part of whatever training band or loose-knit group of militia that the town had, as every able-bodied man was required to so serve. I've yet to find a record of church membership, which may explain why I've not found mention of him as a freeman, either.  However, his will indicates that one salmon should be given yearly to Mr. Noyes, probably Rev. James Noyes of Newbury, and to Mr. Roggers of Rowley, probably Rev. Ezekiel Rogers, of Rowley.  So perhaps I just haven't looked hard enough for the records, yet, because obviously he had some Christian convictions.

Little else is known of his life in Newbury.  His son John was born there in 1645. There are a couple of occasions we might wish we didn't know about, both suits brought by John Godfrey.  Richard was sued for slander in 1642, outcome not found, and a year later he was sued for an "unstated infraction" and was to be whipped.  He recovered, and continued to support his family. 

He netted fish with his weir (that's how the salmon were to be acquired) and he farmed.( He had land directly fronting the Parker River, which would explain the reference to the salmon.)
 His will proved September 26, 1654 and appraisal showed a value of a little over 233 pounds, including a dwelling house, barn, orchard with 82 bearing trees and a nursery, tillage land, pasture land, meadow, and another parson of land bought of Mr. Rawson.  His estate also included two oxen, 4 cows, one two year old steer and 2 yearlings, 3 calves and six swine, and four stocks of bees.  His other possessions were typical farm and household equipment.  There was no mention of books or a Bible.

He left his wife her choice of ten pounds per year or 30 pounds all at once, and the fruit from "her" apple tree.  I haven't found a death date yet for Emma.  I'd like to know more about Richard, of course Emma or Dorothy or whomever was the mother of Rebecca.

Here's the line of descent:

Richard Kent-Emma or Dorothe
Rebecca Kent-Samuel Scullard
Mary Scullard-John Rolfe
Mary Rolfe-Benjamin Dunham
Jonathan Dunham-Mary Smith
Samuel Dunham-Hannah Ruble
Jacob Dunham-Catherine Goodnight
Samuel Dunham-Eliza Reese
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Fun fact.  Richard Kent, who was whipped for some infraction, was an ancestor of President Barack Obama.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

Holbrook line: Stephen Paine, Immigrant

At last, I've found an ancestor who has been well researched.  I am so grateful for Sidney Paine, who wrote a fine article in volume 143 of the NEHGS Register, found on AmericanAncestors.org, and to American Ancestors for also making available the Vital Records of Rehoboth, Massachusetts on line.  There is a wealth of information in these two sources, and they are the answer to a genealogist's prayer.  There are still questions, of course, and still more information I would like to find, but it's wonderful to have this much to draw on.

Stephen Paine was born in about 1602 (some sites say 1599) in Great Ellingham, Norfolk, England.  This was a small village a few miles inland from the sea.  His parents were Dann Payne and Margaret Williams, and Dann was a linen weaver by trade.  His only known sibling was a brother, Edward.  He married Neele Adcocke (sometimes referred to as Rose), daughter of John Adcocke and Elizabeth Eldred, although it doesn't appear that their marriage records have been located.

By 1638, much had happened in the family of Stephen and Neele Paine.  Their four children had been born.  Stephen had become a shipper of wheat and malt, including a shipment from Yarmouth, Norfolk, England to New England in 1638.  Stephen had sold land he had inherited to his father in law, and also to his mother and step-father.  Apparently this left Stephen rather well off, or at least not as deprived as many of the early immigrants.  When the family sailed from Ipswich, Suffolk, England in the Diligent in June of 1638, they also had four servants with them.  Their daughter Rebecca apparently died on the voyage and son John died shortly after.  So the family now consisted of Stephen and Neele, and their sons Stephen and Nathaniel. 

When the family landed at Boston, they went directly to Hingham, Massachusetts Bay Colony, where they stayed about five years.  Stephen was made a freeman there in 1638, and a Deputy to the General Court at Boston in 1641. By 1643, he had purchased a significant amount of land in what became Rehoboth, and moved there about that time. On the List of Purchasers, Settlers and Inhabitants with the value of their "allotments", about 1643, Stephen Paine's holdings are valued at 535 pounds, a value matched only by "Mr. Peck."

Stephen led what appears to be a good life in Rehoboth.  He was a "miller", meaning he ran a saw mill, and was active in town civic life.  He was elected to the first Board of Selectmen in December of 1644, and was elected as a Deputy to the Court at Plymouth continuously from 1647 to 1660, and then often until 1671.  He was well respected in his town.  He continued to buy land, owning land in what became Swansea, Massachusetts, Warren, Rhode Island, and Attleboro, Massachusetts.  These were all areas adjoining Rehoboth at the time.

His wife Neele died in 1660 and Stephen then married Elizabeth Alice widow Parker.  By the time Stephen died in August of 1679, he had outlived his first wife and all of his children.  His bequests were to his grandchildren a daughter in law, and two servants.  Elizabeth or Alice would have received her one third, also.  I haven't found an inventory for him yet, and I would love to do that!

We can be proud of Stephen, who not only stayed out of trouble but was respected.  He served his town for many years, made a living, and apparently improved his circumstances by his own hard work. He left us a fine heritage! 

The line of descent is:

Stephen Paine-Nelle Adcocke
Stephen Paine-Ann Chickering
John Paine-Elizabeth Belcher
Stephen Paine-Sarah Vallett
Stephen Paine-Sarah Thornton
Nathan Paine-Lillis Winsor
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph B Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Allen line: John Williams, Immigrant

Maybe I don't have enough information to write about this man.  In fact, I certainly don't have enough information.  What information I have found is confusing.  He was born here, or he was born there. There are no records of when he arrived in the colonies.  He married her or he married her.  He died then or he died 54 years later.  Do you see what I am talking about?  This post is going to be based mostly on either/ors, with a few things thrown in that I do believe related to our ancestor.

The first either/or is the place of his birth.  Most sources list St Giles, Cripplegate Parish, London, England in 1618, with his parents being Robert Williams and Elizabeth Stratton.  Others say he was born in Norfolk, England, or unknown parents.  Since we can't pin down where he was born or the names of his parents we also know nothing about his life in, presumably, England. 

We don't know when he came to the Colonies, but we know he is listed as a founder of Windsor, Connecticut, and there is probably a record of him there in 1639.  I say "probably" because I can't find another researcher who has pointed this out, perhaps as a matter of delicacy.  It shows our ancestor, if this is indeed our John Williams, in a somewhat unsavory light, as he was sentenced in Hartford court in 1639 "to stand upon thee pillory from the ringing of the first bell to the end of the lecture, then to be whipt at a cart's tail and to be whit in a like manner at Windsor within eight days following."  (From The History of Ancient Windsor by Henry Reed Stiles).  The charge was "behaving in an unclean manner" which could mean anything from visiting a prostitute to touching a woman, or any manner of other possibilities.  Two other men were sentenced with him at the same time, but whether they were all involved in the same event is not clear.  At this time, John would have been about 21 years old, old enough to know better but perhaps too young to care.

He apparently recovered from this event and saved enough money to buy land in 1644, 14 acres.  This wasn't enough to support a family but it was probably enough to raise pigs, sheep and chickens for a family to live on.  This was important because in the same year John married, in Windsor, Connecticut.  His wife was Mary, but it's not clear what her last name was.  It may have been Burley, or Berkly, but does not seem to be Bulkeley, as has often been reported.  (That means a whole lot of my family tree is wrong and we are not nearly as much of royal pains as I had believed.)

John and Mary, however are our ancestors and they did raise a family in Windsor, of at least eight children.  We find John's name on a list of horsemen formed in Windsor in 1657-58, but he isn't on a list of people who purchased pews in the church in 1659-1660. Mary died, apparently in Windsor, in 1681 and five years later John married Esther or Hester Kelsey.

 There doesn't seem to be any further reference to him in Windsor after 1658, until his will written February 10, 1707/08, in which he says is is of Windsor.  However, there is a confusing reference to John and Mary in Westfield, or it may be that it was their daughter who was in Westfield, Massachusetts.  Someone by his name was a fence-viewer in Westfield.  More research needs to be done to track the last years of his life.  There are those who say that he died in 1658,but that doesn't appear to be correct.

At any rate, his will in 1707/08 says he was of Windsor.  The will was filed four years later but when  filed in 1712 it was contested because no executor had been named and because John "as [a} person 96 years of age, had become childish and infirm in his intellectuals."  The court approved Hester to claim her widow's share of the estate, but there were court proceedings 25 years later attempting to divide up a small part of the estate among heirs of his heirs.  The estate, when originally inventoried, had been valued at 222 pounds.  Hester lived until 1720.

The line of descent is:

John Williams-Mary Burley
Mary Williams-John Gunne
Mary Gunne-Samuel Root
Martin Root-Eunice Lamb
Martin Root Jr-Ruth Noble
Ruth Root-Samuel Falley
Clarissa Falley-John Havens Starr
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Fun fact:  John and Mary are the ancestors of Humphrey Bogart, making him a distant cousin.