Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Allen line: Aaron Stark(e) 1608-1685

Oh, what a mess he was!  We don't know anything about his early life although it's believed he was of Scotch descent.  He seems to have been in the New World as early as 1627, when he is reported to have landed in Salem, Massachusetts.  This was the main port of Massachusetts Bay Colony at the time. We lose sight of him for about ten years, which may mean he stayed out of trouble, and it also probably means he stayed out of church.  He is not known to have been a Puritan, despite possible being associated with Rev. Hooker. 

During his early years in the colonies he is reported to have "misbehaved" with an animal  young men, and finally a girl.  For the girl, he was ordered to be branded and whipped, and when the girl was ready, to marry her.  Apparently the marriage didn't happen, and apparently there was some question about the virtue of the girl involved, as there was another court case involving her the next year . There is no evidence that Aaron and Mary Holt ever married.

It's believed that Aaron's wife was Sarah, possibly Lambert, with no real documentation for that last name.  So for now, we need to consider that as an open question.  From the ages of his children, it seems that he married late in life, perhaps around 1650 when he would have been in his early 40s.  It may have taken him this long to establish himself and rebuild his damaged reputation. 

There is an Aaron Stark from Windsor who participated in the Pequot War under Captain Mason, and it's believed this is our Aaron Stark since he was later awarded land based on his service during this conflict.  He is also reported to have participated in King Philip's War.  He had a son Aaron who would have been about 26 years old at the time of King Philip's War, and he seems to be a more likely candidate to fill the military mission.  It's possible that our Aaron was credited with military service, but was one of the "old men" who stayed behind to help protect the women and children while the men were out fighting native Americans.

Aaron's first known residence was in Stonington, Ct where he stayed for several years.  Finally, in 1666, he was made a freeman there.  Three years later, he was accepted as a freeman in New London  This means he was a respectable person who owned property, so he had indeed come up in the world.  It's nice to see that he was rehabilitated from the scandals of his early days.  Sarah may have settled him down.  There were at least 6 children born to Aaron and Sarah:  Aaron, Mehitable, John, Sarah, Elizabeth, and William.  Some lists also show a Margaret, but I think she was probably the daughter of the son Aaron Stark.  His final move seems to have been to Mystic, Ct and he seems to have died there in 1685. All of these locations were in close proximity so he may not have moved far, at all. 

That's what is known about Aaron Stark, in a nutshell.  He was a rehabbed citizen, a soldier of the early years of our county, and he came from nothing to owning his own land.  He may not be the first ancestor we think of when we think of those we are proud of, but I would like to hear his side of the story.  Perhaps the whipping/flogging he received gave him something to think about, and aided somehow in his reformation, or perhaps the early charges were greatly exaggerated.  We'll probably never know, now, but he lived with those charges every day for the rest of his life  That takes some kind of courage, and for Sarah, it took some sort of compassion.

The line of descent is:

Aaron Stark-Sarah
Sarah Stark-Samuel Fish
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