Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Allen line: Timothy Ford bt 1611-1684, Immigrant

We know at least a few things about Timothy Ford.  It is quite likely that he came from Devonshire, England.  He may or may not be connected to the Henry and Catherine Drake Ford from that area.  I have it on my tree as fact, but looking at it more closely, he didn't have children named Henry or Catherine so I am a bit skeptical.  Also, Henry was a Sir Henry and Catherine was from a family connected to Sir Francis Drake.  So one would think that he would at least be accorded the title of "Gentleman" and I haven't found him referred to as such.  So maybe they were distant cousins, but Timothy was probably not their child.  (I hope I'm wrong; I like the Francis Drake connection.)

Timothy is believed to have come to New England in 1637 and to have stayed in the Cambridge area for a couple of years before traveling to New Haven.  We don't know whether he went to New Haven for religious reasons or for some other purpose, but it appears that his marriage took place at about this same time.  New Haven was the most Puritan town, and the strictest, in New England so we can hope he went willingly, knowing that life would be different in New Haven than it was in Boston. 

Most sides give his wife's name as Eliza Gordy, but I haven't found any documentation as to that name.  Torrey's New England Marriages doesn't give her even a first name, so I guess the verdict is still out on the name of his wife.  The marriage, however, is supposed to have taken place before 1640, as Samuel Ford was born in that year, and at least five other children were born after that.  Timothy signed his name to the New Haven Covenant in 1639 and received land during the first and second divisions of land there.  He took the "oath of allegiance" in 1644, which basically said he would do what the government (local) said.  215 other men took the oath at the same time, probably all the residents except for perhaps the very sick and those temporarily away from home.

He is believed to have been a farmer, and seems to have been hard pressed for funds in the early years of his marriage, but gradually acquired more land.  He moved to Fairfield, where he owned land before 1650, but was back in New Haven by 1652.  He was fined there, then for a defect in his arms (there were strict rules as to what kind of guns and swords each man must have, and the type and amount of ammunition0 and he tried to excuse himself by saying the requirements were different "where he came from".  Since he was fined, apparently the judge didn't buy the excuse. 

When the meeting house was built, the Fords were assigned seats toward the back of the room, which indicates a low social status, but 25 years later they were in the center of the room, and he was in the 7th row, which may mean he was more prosperous or it may mean simply that age had its privileges. 

His wife, referred to as Goody Ford, died in 1681 and Timothy died August 28, 1684.  He had sold some of his land to one of his sons in 1679, but his estate was still valued at 166 pounds, 17 shillings, and two pence. He had come up in the world. 

Timothy didn't leave a lot or records behind, but apparently he kept out of trouble except for the one arms violation, and that was hard to do in a town like New Haven.  My respects to this gentleman, our ancestor!

The line of descent is:

Timothy Ford-possibly Elizabeth Gordy
Bethiah Ford-Matthew Bellamy
Matthew Bellamy-Mary Johnson
Hannah Bellamy-John Royse
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 descendants

Friday, January 27, 2017

Harshbarger line: Jacob Whetstone born 1738

At last, here's another Harshbarger ancestor with information available, at least a little bit.  Jacob Wetztein was born in either Pennsylvania or Germany in 1738.  His parents were Isaac Wetzstein and possibly Anna Maria Maag, although there is some confusion as to his mother's name.  Isaac was supposedly born in Wuerttemburg, Germany and Anna Maria was born in Zurich, Switzerland.  Both are believed to have died in Pennsylvania but I've found little documentation for that at this point. 

Jacob, however, did live in Brunswick Township in what was Berks and then became Schuylkill County in Pennsylvania.  He married Anna Maria Schaeffer (various spellings) on January 23,1770at St. Gabriel Church, Douglasville.  She was the daughter of Johann Jacob Schaeffer and Maria Barbara Kobel.  While Jacob was either an immigrant as a young child or a second generation Pennsylvania, Anna Maria was in the third generation in America. (Possibly grandparents, parents, and children all came together.)

Jacob was 32 years old when he married.  This may indicate that there was an earlier marriage, or it may indicate that he waited to marry until he had found the right woman and had the means to support a family.  The family started arriving in 1771 and by 1775 three sons had joined the family.  It would have been a happy time for the couple, except for the war clouds on the horizon.

Jacob joined the Pennsylvania Militia, the associators, and was a Captain under Colonel Daniel Houser, in the first company of the Fourth Battalion.  This unit fought under George Washington at the battle of Germantown, so Jacob is not only a Revolutionary War soldier, but a hero.  Although the unit was on active duty for only a few months, Jacob was still listed as a captain (second company, this time, I don't know what happened to the first) in 1780.  I haven't been able to determine whether he served additional time but he would have been subject to regular drills and border patrol, if nothing else. 

I'm not going to hazard a guess as to how many children this couple had, because some of the information I'm finding on line is contradictory.  I'm willing to guess that there were more children than the three mentioned above, though.  The Whetstones are stated as living near McKeansburg, but church records are either incomplete or inconclusive.  I've found a church record for only one son. 

Both Jacob and Anna Maria lived long lives, with Anna Maria dying in 1818 and Jacob in 1833.  They are believed to be buried on or near their farm, but perhaps if their church could be identified more records could be found. 

I'm glad to have found this man, my children's ancestor.  If this is all I ever learn of him, we know that he was respected enough to be elected captain of his unit, and to have served honorably in what was a very difficult battle.  That is enough reason to give him honor and respect.  Thank you for your service, Jacob Whetstone!

The line of descent is:

Jacob Whetstone-Anna Maria Schaeffer
John Whetstone-Mary Magdalene
Catherine Whetstone-Henry Cook
William Cook-Elizabeth Brown
Barbara Cook-William Withers
William Withers-Della Kemery
Goldie Withers-Grover Harshbarger
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

From Catherine Whetstone-Henry Gook on down through Cleveland Harshbarger, these are all people who were born or died, or both, in Whitley County, Indiana.  It's a deep history the family has there! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Beeks line: Samuel Burgess Immigrant or not?

I'm not sure whether this man is an immigrant, or not, but he's a Beeks ancestor and as such deserves at least a few lines.  There is much confusion in on line sources about this man, from his hometown to his parents to whether or not he came to the New World.  I am starting to suspect he never arrived here.  If he did, he died shortly after his supposed arrival.  Much of the confusion comes because he had a son Samuel Burgess, of whom there is an abundance, relatively speaking, of information.  I am quite sure that Samuel 1, as I am labeling him, is not the Samuel who was a representative in 1712 and who died in 1714.  That Samuel is likely the son of Samuel 1.

But was our Samuel here, or did he intend to come here?  I found one reference to a Samuel who owned land already, in 1683, in what became Bucks County.  Was that our Samuel 1, or was it Samuel the son?  I'm not sure about that.  Most of the references in the 1690s I can somewhat confidently say were Samuel the son, not the Beeks ancestor. 

Samuel was born in 1623, the son of Daniel and Catherine Burges.  His birthplace is generally given as Bristol, England, which is quite possible.  Sometimes it is given as Wales, which seems a little less likely but still possible.  I haven't found records yet that proved it either way for me.    He married, about 1638, Eleanor or Elin Peeres (could be Pierce or Pers or some other variation), and they appear to have had at least three children, Joan, Samuel, and Sarah.  Other children are also listed but these must be the children of Samuel the son, as their birth dates are in the 1690's.  And of course, one of those grandchildren is named Samuel, also. 

It's possible that the land owned in 1683 belonged to Samuel1, and it's possible that he didn't survive to come to Pennsylvania.  It's also possible that it belonged to Samuel the son, who apparently arrived late in 1683, with an interesting cargo.  Or Samuel 1 could have purchased it in England for Samuel the son.  I've not found enough information to make a guess about this yet.

Some trees say that Samuel died as early as 1665, and that Elin or Eleanor died in 1701.  Samuel would have died in England is the 1665 date was correct, but Elin is supposed to have died in 1701 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Is this again a case of mistaken identity, or did she perhaps come to the New World with her son, and she is the true immigrant?

There is nothing about this man that is clear at the present time, or I haven't yet found the proper records and documentation.  However, if he didn't come to Pennsylvania he at least instilled in his family and perhaps even his widow the desire to do so.  For that, I honor him. 

I'd love to hear from someone who is working on this family and perhaps has sorted them out better than I have! 

The line of descent is:

Samuel Burgess-Elin Peeres
Joan or Jane Burgess-James Moone
James Moon-Mary Wilsford
Simon Moon-Louretha Humphrey
Jacob Moon-Jane Rees
Thomas Moon-Jean Gray
Margaret Ellen Moon-Owen Traveler Reese
Eliza Matilda Reese-Samuel G Dunham
Margaret Catherine Dunham-Harvey Aldridge
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants
Elia Matilda Reese-Samuel G Dunham

Friday, January 20, 2017

Holbrook line: Gregory Belcher, Immigrant 1606-1674

Another immigrant, another set of questions...At least we have some answers to some questions for this man.  It appears most likely that he was the son of Thomas Belcher, and was baptized on March 30, 1606 at Wardend, Aston, Warwickshire, England.  His mother was probably Deborah Hunt Belcher, although that doesn't seem to be as accepted as does the name of his father.  Wardend is now part of Birmingham, which is an industrial city now.  However, when the Belchers lived there it was just a small village with an old church, and seems to have been a farming or sheep-raising area.

We don't know when Gregory decided to come to America.  He is sometimes said to have come with Winthrop's fleet in 1630, although the first mention I've found for him is in 1637.  By this time  he is in Braintree, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He married Catherine Allcock, daughter of John and Alice Allcock on December 11, 1627.  As far as I can tell, no one has yet located the birth records for their early children.  Likely some, perhaps the first four, were born in England and at least the last three births were recorded in Boston.  "Samuel the sonne of Gregorie Belshar was borne 24th day, 6th month, 1637," with Mary following in 1639 and Joseph in 1641.  I'm not an expert by any means but it seems to me that if Samuel's birth was recorded in Boston he was likely born either in Boston or on the ship coming over, so Gregory and Catherine may have been here earlier than some have been willing to state.

In 1670 he and his son in law, Alexander Marsh, purchased the iron works with 200 acres of land in Braintree.  Perhaps the iron works helped support Gregory as he aged, or perhaps this was a way that he could help his son in law get established and support his family. 

Gregory died November 25, 1674 and his widow presented the inventory on January 29, 1675.  By hard work, smart land acquisitions, blessings and luck, he had acquired an estate valued at 629 pounds, 5 shillings. (He had also given at least one farm to a son, in this case, Joseph, in 1664.) While this would not have made Gregory a rich man, it was enough to comfortably provide for his family.  Catherine died in the spring of 1680.

One bit of information that I found that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere was that on August 31, 1657, "Andrew Rounsimon a Scott servant to Gregory Belchere dyed" in "Brantrey".  I would love to know more of Andrew's story.  Did he come to Massachusetts voluntarily, or was he forced by the English government?  Was he an indentured servant?  Was he a young boy, or an old man, or somewhere in between?  There weren't a lot of our early immigrants known to have servants, so this is intriguing.

The line of descent is:

Gregory Belcher-Catherine Allcock
Joseph Belcher-Urania (Ranis) Raynsford
Elizabeth Belcher-John Paine
Stephen Paine-Sarah Vallett
Stephen Paine-Sarah Thornton
Nathan Paine-Lillis Winsor
Deborah Paine-Enos Eddy
Joseph Brown Eddy-Susan Lamphire
Susan Eddy-Hiram Stanard
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Allen line: Samuel Eldred or Eldridge1620-1697, Immigrant

Well, we know his first name and we know he was an immigrant.  The rest of the "facts" in the title are up for interpretation, to say the least.  His name was generally spelled Eldred in the records I have looked at, but sometime after his generation the name is more commonly seen as Eldridge, as well as various other spellings.  We say he was born in 1620 because that seems to be his christening record, although he, in various court documents, put his birth year at about 1612. And there are various reports as to when he died. It seems reasonable, based on the evidence, to think that he died in 1697 or shortly thereafter.  I have seen a date as late as 1710, but that would put him at either 88 or 98 at the time of his death, which seems to stretch belief just a bit.  (Yes, I know some people lived to be 90 even then, but it wasn't common.)

His parents are believed to be John and Anna Watson Eldred.  His christening was on November 27, 1620at Ipswich, Suffolk, England.  He had at least two brothers and a sister.  His father died just a few days after Samuel married Elizabeth Miller at St Mary of the Quay in Ipswich.

By this time Samuel was a cordwainer (shoemaker) so he had a trade to support a wife.  He is on record as a resident of Boston in 1641, so the couple must have come to America very shortly after their marriage.  Samuel was a member of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery in Boston in 1641, and either when he joined or later in his life was a sergeant.  Military training was a fact of life for men of a certain age in Boston, and his training would come him handy later in his life.

Samuel and his growing family moved frequently.  It's hard to tell what the reasons were for some of the moves, but we can make guesses about some of them.  He lived in Charlestown, Medford, and Chelsea (Romney Marsh), and those moves may have been for economic reasons.  He doesn't seem to have owned land in those locations, so he wasn't a first settler in any of them, but he may have been invited because people in those villages needed a shoemaker. 

In 1660, however, the family moved to Wickford, Rhode Island.  The statement is made, without proof so far as I know, that this was a Baptist family and they followed Roger Williams, 24 years after his forced eviction from Massachusetts Bay Colony.   Other interpretations were that he was a follower of Anne Hutchinson, and left because of her banishment.  This doesn't seem likely, as that exile took place 22 years earlier.  At any rate, Samuel probably felt uncomfortable by 1660 and for whatever reason, went to Rhode Island. 

He had some role in a dispute with Connecticut and apparently took that state's side.  He tried to empanel a jury, for which he had no authority, and ended up being briefly imprisoned by Rhode Island officials, and rewarded with 18 rubles from Connecticut authorities.  (I wish I understood this better, but this is the best I can do for now.)  He and his family suffered great loss in King Phillip's War, and were given corn in the time of their distress (1676).  So it sounds like at least the crop was lost, if not everything they owned.  Samuel himself was involved in the War and assisted in capturing 18 native Americans at one time.  It was not noted what became of the prisoners.  By Samuel's calculations, he would have been about 64 years old at this time, yet he found himself in battle, and then starting over as far as crops and possibly a home go 

Samuel and Elizabeth had at least seven, and possibly eight children.  They were Elizabeth, Samuel, Mary, James, Thomas, John, Daniel, and possibly Enoch Kenyon.  They were born from 1642 to 1663, with Enoch's birthplace and birthdate not noted.  Elizabeth, Samuel's wife probably died in or shortly before 1697, and Samuel died sometime after Apil 13,1697, when he deeded land to son John.  There is a burial plot on that land and Samuel and Elizabeth are believed to be buried there, but there is no stone or marker for them. 

Samuel led an interesting life and took part in some of the events that allowed America to thrive.  We should be proud to honor such a man.

The line of descent is

Samuel Eldred-Elizabeth Miller
Daniel Eldridge-Mary Phillips
Daniel Eldridge-Abigail Fish
Sarah Eldridge-Thomas Chester
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Betsy Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants

Friday, January 13, 2017

Harshbarger line: Christian Bracker or Bracher

Caution!  This blog post is full of conjectures and speculation.  I'm writing it only because I am hoping someone will respond with information, not because I have information to share.  All thoughts are purely my own, and I am responsible for misleading everyone if this speculation turns out to be totally incorrect.

The subject of today's post is Christian Bracker, or possibly Bracher.  The only reason we know at present of his existence at all is that his name is in the marriage record of his daughter, Eva, when she married Johan George Harter (Herder) on October 26, 1752 in the records of St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Upper Saucon township of what is now Lehigh County, Pennsvylvania.  At the time, it was Northampton County, but just barely.  Prior to 1752 it had been Bucks County.  I am only beginning to check the records of those last two counties but so far I haven't pulled up any mention, anywhere, of Christian.  So, was his name noted in the record because he was known to the people of the area, or because he wasn't known and the pastor was trying to leave genealogy clues for us?  At this point, a coin toss might be in order, if a decision needs to be made.

I have located one potential marriage for a Christian that seems to fit what we can guess about Christian.  Since Johan George Harter was from Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, it is possible that the families knew each other and settled near each other in Pennsylvania.  In looking for a Christian Bracker in Wuerttemberg, Germany, I find a Christian Bracher who married Rosina Barbara Neuschander in Botenheim, Neckar, Wuerttemburg, Germany on July 12, 1730.  Eva Bracker Harter is believed to have a birthday of April 14, 1730, which is close to the marriage date.  She may have arrived before the marriage or the birthdate may be off by a year.  None of Eva's known children are married Barbara or Rosina, as far as we know, so this might not be the right couple, or at least not the right wife.  Still, that area seems to be a good area to start researching, for someone who knows enough German and has access to local records. 

So if Christian Bracker did come to Pennsylvania and was known to the pastor, what became of him?  Again, there is only speculation.  If he was still alive by 1755, he very well may have travelled elsewhere for safety as the native Americans attacked the settlers rather consistently for several years then.  He may have traveled with his daughter, or with other family members.  Based on a projected birth date of about 1705, he may have died at any time, as life was hard for these people.  Or he could have been one of those who lived to a ripe old age of 85 or even 90.  I'd like to think he died late in life, but if so, there would likely be more records than we are currently finding.

So, as you see, there is nothing known of Christian except that he had a daughter Eva.  There are hints of his origin and of his wife, but there is as yet no proof that I am aware of.  He is a mystery but perhaps the mystery will be solved one day.  Most mysteries are. 

The line of descent is:

Eva Bracker-Johan George Harter
George Harter-Mary Kitterman
Johan George Harter-Mary Miller
George Harter-Elizabeth Geiger
John Harter-Mary Bennett
Clara Harter-Emmanuel Harshbarger
Grover Harshbarger-Goldie Withers
Cleveland Harshbarger-Mary Margaret Beeks
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Beeks line: Jans Pieterse Meet 1660- , Immigrant

Technically this post should be about the father of Jans Pieterse Meet, Pieter Jansen Meet.  However, what little I know of Pieter Jansen Meet can be written in two or three sentences. He married Styntje Jacobs in Amersfoort, Utrecht, The Netherlands in 1654 and came to New Netherlands in 1663 with their four children, ranging in age from 19 to 3, and died in 1695 in Hackensack, New Jersey.  So far that is what I know of the immigrant father, although I'll be looking for more information about him. 

Jans Pieterse Meet (somehow some of the family became Meads) was just three years old when the family came to New Amsterdam on the ship "Rose Tree" in 1663.  It may or may not have been a surprise to the family that about a year later, they were no longer living in a Dutch colony, as England took it over in 1664.  Still, although the government was now English, the colony and all the settlements around it were composed of Dutch immigrants, and the family would have found friends and possibly relatives already here.  There were people to "show them the ropes" of how to live in the New World. 

We don't know what trade or occupation Pieter Jansen practiced, but his son Jans Pieterse was a weaver.  He may have learned this from his father, or he may have been apprenticed in some fashion to another tradesman.  Of course, he also acquired land as he matured.  On May 11,1687, he was married to Grietje Mandeville, the daughter of Gilles Jansen de Mandeville and Elsie Hendricks on Manhattan Island.  He was listed as a "poll" at Bushwick but by 1692 the new family was living at Flatbush, which appears to be a different location, although both are part of what is now the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

The record of where he lived and when is a bit confusing.  He purchased property in 1695, 500 acres in what is now Mountain View, New Jersey.  He joined the Dutch Reformed church in Hackensack in 1699.  Yet in 1703 he was reported as living in New York City  There were at least 6 children born to this couple-Maretje, Jan Janse, Jacob Janse, Christina, Elsje, and Gilles, but it's not clear where each was born.  On October 7, 1710 he and three other men purchased 1000 acres in Morris County, N.J. He's believed to have died in New Jersey. 

He wrote his will on November 1, 1709 and is thought to have died about 1714. I haven't yet located a copy of the will, but reports are that it wasn't probated until April 27, 1745, if that last date isn't a typographical error.  I'd love to find the will, and an inventory, and if the 1745 date is correct, try to figure out why it took almost 30 years for this to go to probate.  But for now, that part of the story is a mystery. 

The Beeks family has so many interesting lines in it, from German to Dutch to English to French, but for some reason the Dutch lines particularly intrigue me.  I'm glad to know this much about this family, even though I wish I knew more!  Most of the information in this post came from the information on Geni, a Rootsweb post, and the Mills-Burkholder genealogy.  I'd like to find more!

The line of descent is

Jans Pieterse Meet-Grietje Mandeville
Maretje Meet-Peter Demarest
Lea Demarest-Samuel David Demarest
Sarah Demarest-Benjamin Slot
William Lock-Elizabeth Teague
Sally Lock-Jeremiah Folsom
Leah Folsom-Darlington Aldridge
Harvey Aldridge-Margaret Catherine Dunham
Cleo Aldridge-Wilbur Beeks
Mary Margaret Beeks-Cleveland Harshbarger
Their descendants

Friday, January 6, 2017

Holbrook line: Griffith Bowen, Welsh immigrant and emigrant

Griffith Bowen is an interesting man.  He was from Wales, he came to England and then returned to Wales in about 1650, went on to London, has a royal descent from some of the early Welsh princes, and was married to someone of royal descent.  He also is referred to as "Gentleman", which is a step up from our usual "yeoman."  In fact, given the term "Gentleman" one would think there would be more information available than I have been able to locate.  Much of what I will write here is from the article "Griffith Bowen of Boston" found in English Origins of New England Families, Second Series, Volumes II and III, but that source doesn't include Francis's wife's name.  Oxwich woul

Griffith was born about 1600 in Oxwich, Gower, Glamorgan, Wales, the son of Francis Bowen and Ellen Franklin.  Oxwich would have been a beautiful and interesting place to grow up as it is on a beautiful bay in the south part of Wales.  The church there dates back to at least the 15th century so was 200 or more years old when Griffith was born.  There was also a castle nearby, although I haven't found who controlled it during this time period.  Griffith was one of at least 6 children born to Francis and Ellen, which may be one reason why his early history has not been noted, or at least, found.  He is on record as having owned land in 1632.  We don't know when he became a Puritan, but apparently he did.

In 1638 he sold two different tracts of land and apparently used some of the profits to bring his family to America.  He had married Margaret Fleming (there is some speculation that he may have had an earlier wife) and altogether he is credited with having 10 children, some in Wales and some in the New World.  So with most if not all of his children in tow, the family came to the New World in 1638.  Griffith and Margaret were "taken in for members" of the congregation of the church in Boston in December or 1638, shortly after they arrived.  In March, he was granted some land at Muddy River, and shortly after that he was made a freeman. 

He was granted a house lot in1643, and this is where he raised his family.  By this time, the oldest of his children were teenagers, but there were also infants to care and provide for.  About 1650, something happened to convince Griffith to return to Wales, which may not have been the best move for him.  Some of his children remained in Massachusetts Bay Colony, but we are not sure with whom they lived, or how they were provided for or provided for themselves.  I'd like to think that the ones who stayed, stayed because it was their choice. 

Back in Wales, Griffith was in financial trouble fairly quickly so he may have left America due to financial reasons, also.  He was imprisoned at Southwark about 1660 because as a customs officer, he had failed to remit about 388 pounds due the Commissioner of Customs.  Griffith reported that he had already sent the money up to London but it may not have been by the most trustworthy of carriers, if indeed he had sent the money.  Earlier he had been the victim of a hoax, when he bought land for 524 pounds, which should have set him up for life.  However, as it turned out, the land was not the owner's to sell, as it belonged partly to the City of London and partly to the University of Oxford.  What a headache he must have had when this came to light!  He filed suit, of course, but for reasons unknown, he lost both the suit and two subsequent appeals. 

In 1669, he was granted rights to a water grainmill and a fulling mill, for a period of 31 years, as long as a yearly rent was paid.  So either the king took pity on him, or someone was slipped something under the table in order to make this happen. 

Griffith hadn't disposed of all his land when he left Boston, because in 1669 he gave his new son in low two small parcels of land in Boston.  That same year, he suited Francis Bowen, John Bowen, and Edward Woodridge for property he said he had placed in the hands of his son Francis, but Francis claimed the property was rightfully his.  It appears that he lost this case, also. 

Griffith died probably about 1676, We don't know what happened to his English or Welsh estate, if he still owned land or rights to the mills or other property.  He did own property in Boston and Muddy River, and after about seven years a committee was appointed to divide the land and other property, giving a double part to Francis Bowen, Griffith's eldest son.  It seems that four adult children in the Colony shared in the estate, as well as Francis in Wales. 

There are a couple of interesting side stories involving the children of Griffith.  Son Peniel was born in 1644, "at a farm nearer to us (Dorchester) than to Boston, his wife (Margaret Fleming) was delivered of this child by God's mercy without the help of any other woman.  God himself helping his pore servants in a straight"  So said Rev. John Eliot.  Also, son William was a mariner, and was captured by the Turks, and died in captivity about 1686.  He may have been waiting for a ransom, or perhaps was being used as a slave. 

So ends the story of Griffith and Margaret, as we know it now.  Margaret especially earns my sympathy.  I'd sure like to know more of Griffith's story, and why he was in court so often.  Did he remain a Puritan when he returned to Wales?  What else can be found about him?

Our line of descent is:

Griffith Bowen-Margaret Fleming
Mary Bowen-Benjamin Child
Mehitable Child-Samuel Perrin
John Perrin-Abigail Morris
Benjamin Perrin-Mary
Mary or Mercy Perrin-David Fay
Euzebia or Luceba Fay-Libbeus Stanard Jr.
Hiram Stanard-Susan Eddy
Louis Stanard-Mary Alice Hetrick
Etta Stanard-Loren Holbrook
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Their descendants

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Allen line: John Fish 1620-1689

Much is in dispute about John Fish.  Most sources list him as having been born at Market Harborough, Great Bowden, Leicester, England in 1620/21, the second son of Robert and Alice Fish (her maiden name seems to have been Fish also; it is frequently seen as Fyshe, perhaps in an attempt to differentiate between the two families).  Robert died in 1639, leaving his wife with 10 children, some in early adulthood and the youngest just four months old.  It appears to be during this time period that John and his brother Thomas came to the New World, most likely to find a way to support themselves and perhaps hoping to send money back to their mother. We don't know what kind of education he had in Market Harborough, although he later taught school, so he certainly learned at least the basics.  There was a good preparatory school in Market Harborough, and he may have gone there with the hopes of going on to a university.   

When John arrived in New England, he disappears for a few years.  This means he likely wasn't a landowner or the head of a family, and it also means he may not have been a member of a church.  He apparently shows up in Wethersfield and Mystic, Connecticut, and also in Stratford and finally Stonington by 1670, when he is listed on a record of inhabitants.  He was apparently a man with a temper, and seems to have moved from at least one of these locations (Stratford) due to quarrels with his neighbors.  I haven't seen the records, but it is reported that he seems to have made some unwarranted accusations that eventually made their way to the courts. 

John and his son Samuel were among the volunteers who fought in the Narrangansett War of 1675-76, and eventually, in 1700, Samuel was awarded land in his own name and also his deceased father's name in Voluntown, as a reward for their service. 

John apparently had three wives, but only the first, Mary Ireland, gave him children.  His second wife was Martha Stark, who was unfaithful and absconded with Samuel Culver in 1674.  John was able to obtain a divorce six years later, and then in 1681 married Hannah Palmer Hewitt Steery.  He would have been about sixty years old at this time.  He was at this time a school teacher, instructing the children of Stonington in reading, writing, arithmetic, and grammar.

He was also a land surveyor, and laid out many of the public lands.  By grant and by purchase, he became the proprietor of quite a lot of land in Stonington and at Groton, "considerably over one thousand acres".  So far I have been unable to locate a specific date of death, although it is believed to be about 1689.  I've also not located his will, although it seems that with over 1000 acres of land he would have had a will of some sort, unless he died very suddenly.  More research needs to be done, as usual.

If we are looking for an ancestor to emulate, perhaps John Fish is not the one.  He seems to have had a bit of a temper, and perhaps wasn't easy to live with, moving as frequently as he did.  But I'd love to hear his side of the story, because drawing any real conclusions.  He certainly came to the New World with hopes and dreams, and I hope they were realized, at least to some degree.  For his service to his country, we owe him gratitude. 

The line of descent is:

John Fish-Mary Ireland
Samuel Fish-Sarah Starke
Abigail Fish-Daniel Eldridge
Sarah Eldridge-Thomas Chester
Bathsheba Chester-Jonathan Havens
Betsy Havens-John Starr
John Havens Starr-Clarissa Falley
Harriet Starr-John Wilson Knott
Edith Knott-Edward Allen
Richard Allen-Gladys Holbrook
Their descendants