Saturday, November 19, 2016

Do you have WATERMAN Ancestry?

You might have Mayflower connections!

Robert Waterman born c. 1608 came from Norwich, England with this brothers Thomas and Richard. The brothers landed in Salem, 1636. Richard was sent to New England by the Massachusetts Bay Company to kill venison.  Thomas settled in Roxbury but Richard was a Hutchinson sympathizer and banished to Rhode Island by 1638.
Robert, our immigrant ancestor, migrated from Salem to be found in Plymouth 1638.  Removing to Marshfield, he settled near Green Harbor later in 1638.  He was the 5th and final original founder of that town.  In Marshfield, he married Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Bourne of Marshfield.  He built a house near his brother-in-law Josiah Winslow and father-in-law, Thomas Bourne.  Robert and Elizabeth raised their 4 surviving children there.  Their oldest son Joseph, died young.  Their surviving children, John, Thomas, a second Joseph and Robert were all born in Marshfield, living through to adulthood. 
When Robert died in 1662, he willed his son Joseph, our ancestor, his house and land. As they were underage, Joseph and Robert were assigned neighbor Anthony Snow and their uncle, Josiah Winslow as guardians.  When he became of age, Joseph married Sarah Snow, the daughter Anthony Snow his guardian and Abigail Warren. Both Joseph and Sarah are buried in the Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield.  They brought up their children in this house and it remained in the family for over 6 generations.
Many of Joseph and Sarah’s children were married into Mayflower families. Of his children, Sarah, Joseph, Elizabeth, Anthony, Abigail, Bethiah, Lydia and Robert you will find the other lines of Richard Warren, descendants of John Alden and William Brewster and William Bradford.   See Mayflower Families through Five Generations Vol 18, Part One - Richard Warren for details.
My line of descent is as follows.
Robert Waterman  m Elizabeth Bourne
Joseph Waterman  m Sarah Snow *descent of Richard Warren
Sarah Waterman   m Solomon Hewitt
Joseph Hewett      m Sarah Dingley
Tabitha Hewet       m Kenelm Baker  *descent of Edward Doty
Kenelm Baker       m Susannah Bonney
*Hewet Baker       m Martha C. Stoddard
Rachel Baker         m George W. Gerrish, Jr
Chester Gerrish     m Ida Ratliff
Bertram Gerrish Sr. m Elinor Emery

*Hewet Baker has the largest number of Mayflower passengers of all my Emery / Gerrish lines.  He has through all his paternal and maternal lines – Bradford, Brewster, Doty, Howland and 3 Warren lines! 

Sources: The Pioneers of Masachusetts; GSMD certification; The Compendium of American Genealogy; New England Families Genealogical and Memorial Vol II (Cutter); various sources in "Whose Family it it Anyway? owned by Irene Clough Hahn on 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Did your Ancestor or Relative ride the Orphan Trains?

Have you experienced either of these scenarios while working on your family tree?  You come to the point where you know there should be a child but you can’t find them or suddenly there are more children in a family then should be there.  Could these missing or extra children have traveled the Orphan Trains?

The orphan train program was developed and run during the years 1850 to 1930.  Over 100,000 children and 1,000 adults rode the trains from the East coast urban cities to the West for relocation and a better life.
The industrial revolution brought many of the children of farmers to the city for work.  The urban cities such as Manchester, NH, Lowell and Worcester, Mass, and other factory centered cities in New England, became overcrowded.  Unsupervised, children overran the streets or were treated as small adults put to work at a very early age.  As interest in child welfare grew, Christian societies became involved. One such person who took an interest was Charles Loring Brace.  He was born in 1826 in Hartford, CT and championed ‘old fashion’ New England values.  After he became a minister, he went into missionary work to found the New York Children’s Aid Society in 1853 working with the poverty strickened in New York City.  He worked on a plan called placing out. 

The Plan

This plan, originating in the Boston area, was developed for in-state placement only, but Loring took his plan across America.  It basically became a movement for children to be taken out of the urban area and relocated in less populated and rural areas of the country.  Although the idea was sound it their minds it was not 100% practical in reality.  Life on the other side of the Mississippi was not the same as what children knew on the East Coast.  As the idea became accepted, children were gathered from
poverty strickened parents as well as orphans to join the program.  Newspaper ads were placed in western newspapers to announce when the trains would arrive at their location.  If they needed extra help on the farm or in the house they were free to come and look over the new arrivals.  Many of the children’s names were changed, they became members of their new household, some as part of the family and some were treated as indentured servants - after they served a period of time and were of age they could go their own way.  Some were lucky to get good homes with loving ‘parents’ but some were maids and farm hands without any parental love or care involved.

In the book “The Orphan Trains, Placing Out in America” Marilyn Irvin Holt documents many instances of abuse and adversely good parenting for these children. If you have a suspicion that your relative might have been on the trains, the organizations for further information is: The Orphan Train Heritage Society of America (OTHSA), headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.

The National Orphan Train Complex, also known as the "National Orphan 
Train Museum and Research Center", is located in Concordia, Kansas. The Museum and Research Center is dedicated to the preservation of the stories and artifacts of those who were part of the Orphan Train Movement from 1854-1929. The museum is located at the restored Union Pacific Railroad Depot in Concordia which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Complex in maintains an archive of riders' stories and houses a research facility. Services offered by the museum include rider research, educational material, and a collection of photos and other memorabilia.

Sources: “The Orphan Trains, Placing Out in America” by Marilyn Irvin Holt

Sunday, October 9, 2016

The Weeks Brick House, Greenland, NH

The immigrant progenitor

Leonard Weeks was born about 1633, presumably in England.  It is believed that he was an employee in some capacity for Captain Francis Champernowne.  Champernowne was a shipmaster and a man of great means, both economically and in relationships.  Weeks immigrated between 1640 and 1655 into the Southern New Hampshire / Maine area.  He worked on one of Champernowne’s farms (now the site of the Portsmouth (NH) Country Club).

It appears that between 1656 and 1667, Weeks received the first of several land grants.  This indicated he no longer was an employee but was a self-sustaining member of the community.  During this time, he married a daughter of his neighbor Samuel Haines.  Her first name is unknown.  The union did not produce any children.  She died before 1667 when Weeks married Mary Redman (Rodman?) the mother of his 8 children.  Mary died in 1694.  Sometime between Mary’s death and his own in 1706, he married a third time to Elizabeth___.  No issue was produced from this union.

In his will, Weeks left his 90 acre farm to his second son, Samuel.  In 17th century Greenland, NH it was the center of activity.  The location was ideal for the needs of the times.  The area provided access to Great Bay which allowed passage down to the Piscataqua River and on to the Atlantic Ocean for transportation and fishing.  Land transportation was ability for inland usage. 

Samuel the second son

Leonard’s second son, Samuel (1670-1746) was born and died in Greenland.  Samuel married Eleanor Haines.  She was the granddaughter of his father’s neighbor and the mother of his 8 children.  Samuel inherited the homestead and by 1710 had built a 36’x22’ (with walls 18” thick) brick house, made of hand
The Weeks Brick House RT 33 Greenland, NH
hewed logs and brick made on the site.  He was authorized to build a mill for both lumber and grain on the Winnicut River.  His economic status showed in his probate inventory.  He kept horses, cattle, oxen, grew wheat, corn and kept bees for honey.  He had expanded his landholdings.  Samuel was the most successful farmer of the Weeks homestead owners.

Samuel was a captain in the Greenland militia and served in various positions of civil offices.  He was a founding member of the Greenland Congregational Church in 1706.   He willed the family homestead to Walter, his second son.  His other lands and farm at Great Bay were willed to his 3rd son, Matthias. 

The Brick House

It was said that Samuel built the house as he did to show a commitment to permanence in the face of uncertainty of the times. The house has become an enduring symbol of the strength of the family. It had quite a history.  Built in 1710, it has seen 9 generations of Weeks family members living in it.  It has survived Indian raids, earthquakes and fires until 1968 when the property sold out of the family.  At that time, urban sprawl was rampant and developers were eager to get control of the property.  The Descendants of Leonard Weeks in America, Inc. bought the house and land for long term preservation.  It was placed on the New Hampshire Historic Site and was listed on the National Register of Historic places as well as being deemed Conservation land by the State of New Hampshire.

Today, the mission of the property is to become museum quality in all aspect of serving the community in historical conservation and education.  Each year the descendants of Leonard Weeks gather to walk in his footsteps and learn about local history.  The older our country gets and as new generations come along, a lot of important history is lost as the previous generations pass on.  It is important to preserve and protect the history we have left.  Houses and other history that has withstood the test of time is, to me, symbolic of the endurance of the people who settled our country.  Something that should be embraced.


Sources: The Brick House & Gardens
Leonard Weeks, of Greenland, N. H. and descendants, 1639-1888: with early records of families connected, including the following names:--Bailey. Bartlett. Brackett. Burley. Chapman. Chesley. Clark. Eastman. Folsom. Fowler. French. Frost. Haines. Hilton. Home. Lane. March. Mead. Moody. Moore. Philbrook. Pickering. Perkins. Rollins. Sanborn. Scammon. Thompson. Wiggin and Wingate by Chapman, Jacob pub. 1889

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Great Storm of 1635

Have you ever had a moment that you saw or realized something and you thought “WOW, for the Grace of God, go I”?  One day I was reading about the Angel Gabriel, a 240 ton galleon, in the Great Storm of 1635.  Although I did not find any ancestors on the passenger list, I thought it was truly sad.  These poor people had left everything behind, took their faith in hand, sailed across the ocean and then when they almost get to their destination lose everything but their lives.  Five of the over 100 passengers and crew died that August day at Pemaquid Point.  I felt sad for the sacrifices they made.  But… I read more.

They didn't travel alone

The story went on to say the ship did not sail alone. Leaving from Bristol, England on May 23, 1635 sailing with the Angel Gabriel were the James, Bess, Mary and the Diligence.  The 220 ton James and the Angel Gabriel traveled together as they crossed the Atlantic.  They were heading to New England, the other three ships for Newfoundland. 

Bad Weather

Because of rough seas the small fleet of ships traveled the coast of England to wait out the storms. One month later, they set sail bound for their destinations across the Atlantic. By August 15th, the Angel Gabriel and the James had arrived at the coast of Maine when the storm hit. To ride out the storm, the James stops at the Isles of Shoals looking for a safe harbor. The Angel Gabriel is anchored off Pemaquid Point. At anchor the Angel Gabriel is destroyed. They lost all their cattle and other provisions and 5 passengers perish in the storm. The James at the Shoals, barely survived. As they drop their three anchors the powerful winds snapped the cables almost immediately. Although it may not have seemed like it a the time, this might have saved the ship and their lives. With nothing to hold them, they tried to outrun the storm. They headed towards the rocky coast and the Piscataqua. BUT as suddenly as a blink of the eye, the storm changed course.

Calmer Skies

The James barely escaped the deadly rocks they were heading for! The next day, August 16, under calmer skies the James sailed south, passing Cape Anne, Salem and Marblehead to anchor at Nantasket. By August 17th, the James, with rags for sails limped into Boston Harbor with all the 100 passengers and 23 crew members (and their cattle) intact! It took them 12 weeks and 2 days to get there, but they got there!  

Information gleaned from:

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anthony Emery

Anthony Emery was born about 1601 in Romsey, Hants, England and died between March 09, 1679/80 and May 10, 1700 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  He married Frances about 1631 in England.

Independently minded

Anthony, his brother John and their families sailed on the ship James in 1635, listing their occupations as carpenters.  While John settled into life in Newbury, Massachusetts, Anthony removed to Dover, New
Hampshire in 1640.  The patterns of Anthony's behavior throughout his life seem to prove that he was a man who was definitely independently minded.
This behavior is seen in Newbury as early as December of 1638 when the Massachusetts Bay General Court fined him for “a pound breach.” two years before Anthony set up business as an innkeeper in Dover.  By March, 1643/4, Anthony Emery had lost his house and all his goods in a fire.  He petitioned the court to allow “Mr. Smyth” to run the business for him until he got his house back in order.  Three years later, on August 26, 1646, he was fined for selling drink at twice the going rate.  The following year, on September 7, 1647, the court forbade him to sell wine, ale or beer and if he did, he would be fined 20 shillings a week.  

By 1649, he and his family were in Kittery and their troubles with the courts did not seem to stop.  In October of that year, George Web accused Frances Emery, Anthony's wife, of being a witch.  They took him to court for slander and defamation.  Web was found guilty and forced to make a public apology to
Frances Emery.  The very next year, in 1650, Anthony Emery was in court again for selling drink against court orders.  He must have presented himself in a better light 
because at the same court on the same date, the order was given for Anthony Emery to keep a house of entertainment as well as set up the operation of a ferry and to keep room and board for strangers.  By March, 1651/2 he was presented at court once again for being so overwrought with drink that he could not tell the truth.

Large landowner

Throughout this time frame, Anthony had acquired a large amount of land.  In 1648, he sold land in Dover to Thomas Layton (Leighton?) and removed to Kittery, in an area called “Cold Harbor”.  This was an area that is north of what is now Eliot, north of Sturgeon Creek, across the river from Dover Neck.  Land records show that on November 15, 1648, he bought a house, field and three marshes near Sturgeon Creek from John White.
In March 1650/1, he sold two houses and land which was approximately three and a half acres in Dover to William Pomfrett of Dover.  In 1650, he was granted 200 acres and in the years from 1652 to 1671 he was granted an additional 410 acres of land.  York land records indicate that in July of the same year, he bought another parcel of land consisting of a little marsh and a house and uplands with 1500 foot of boards for the payment of two steers recorded as named Dragon and Benbow.
On May 18, 1653, when Kittery was submitted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Anthony Emery signed with his mark to become a Freeman on that date, bringing him under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay government once again.  By November 12, 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony had several persons who entertained Quakers brought into court, Anthony Emery being one of them.  He was ordered to pay a fine for lying in court and lost his business license.

Civic minded

With all the problems he had keeping his business running, it is interesting that he was active in the town as well.  He was a grand jury member for the York Court on October 1649, lower (petit) court several times during 1650 and 1651 and once in 1655.  He was on the Province of York Governor's Council in 1652, a commissioner to end small causes at Kittery in 1655 and Kittery constable in 1658.

Removed to Rhode Island

Something happened that caused a reversal of activity.  Anthony Emery sells his house and his land to his son James, May 12, 1660.  This land consists of one hundred acres of upland on the south side of Sturgeon Creek, a marsh and meadow and other upland near Mast Creek.  In October 1663, Anthony deeds James marshland near York Pond and twenty acres adjoining it.  By September of 1673, while a resident of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, he released the mortgage on the property at Cold Harbor to son James.
In September 1660, he was one of three men to take up residence in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.  Given his problems with the courts and questionable behavior towards authority, plus the fact that his wife sued him for one third of the value of the lands previously sold, makes one wonder if he was removed to Rhode Island by the courts or if he chose to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony on his own.  It is questionable that his wife accompanied him on the move.

Anthony Emery served Portsmouth in community affairs as well.  He was Deputy for Portsmouth to the Rhode Island General Assembly in 1672, served on the grand jury in 1666 and again in 1669.  He also served on the coroner's jury in 1661, was constable in 1666 and on the committee for the town highway in 1675.  Perhaps with his service, the court was lenient with him when he was indicted for digging a well in which a man had drowned.  He was acquitted when he explained to the court that he had filled in the well.

His Will
When he wrote his will March 9, 1680/1, he states his occupation is a cordwainer. In his will he gives to his daughter, Rebecca all his lands in Portsmouth, RI as well as all his personal goods.  His son James wills all Anthony's original lands to Rebecca upon his death as well.  It is not known the exact date of Anthony’s death, but it is assumed that it was between 1680 and 1700.
Anthony and Francis had two children.  James was born in Romsey, baptized in 1631, Rebecca was born about 1633.  Many genealogists have given Anthony a 3rd child.  But when he was a resident of Dover NH, the court order Anthony to take custody of  Benjamin Rogers, one of George Rogers orphaned children. The last recorded mention of Frances his wife was in 1660.  She is not mentioned in his will and no further records were found for her.  It is possible that she divorced Anthony and perhaps remarried.

My lines through Anthony Emery are

Line 1
James Emery m Elizabeth Nock
Job Emery m Charity Nason
Sarah Emery m Samuel Brackett, Jr
Samuel Brackett m Mehitable Ricker
Elizabeth (Brackett) Crosby m Daniel Emery
Daniel C. Emery m Hannah Goodwin
Rufus M. Emery m Julia Ann Fernald
George Philip Emery m Emma Trafton
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman

Line 2
James Emery m Elizabeth Nock
Daniel Emery m Margaret Gowen
Noah Emery m Elizabeth Chick
Daniel Emery x Elizabeth Beetle (not married)
Daniel C. Emery m Hannah Goodwin
Rufus M. Emery m Julia Ann Fernald
George Philip Emery m Emma Trafton
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman

Information gleaned from: The Great Migration Begins:Immigrants to New England 1620-33. Generalogical records for John and Anthony Emery
Old Kittery and her families by Stackpole, vol 1 page 97 for reference of Anthony Emery's 3rd child
Pictures: Google images

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Thomas Spencer –The Progenitor of the Spencers of Maine

Although the name Spencer appears to be Anglo-Saxon, it is actually taken from the “Low” Latin and morphed into the French Despensier. The English converted it to become a proper name - Spencer or Spenser, which means ‘one who weighs out’. In old England, the Buttery or cellar was called a spense and the officer controlling it was called the spenser. Historically, in the Latinized form, the name is found as far back as the year 1085 with entry in the Doomsday book.

Spencer arrives in the Colonies

17th century Barque

Thomas Spencer, born in England in 1596, came to the Colonies in 1630 on the barque Warwick to work for Captain John Mason. Mason, who was responsible for settling the Piscataqua, Strawberry Banke, and Newichawannock plantations contracted his workers in England, sending them to the Colonies for a number of years. 

Once they arrived in New England, they were housed at Mason Hall until the settlements were ready to live in. At the end of their contract they were free to go back to England. Many workers brought their families and planned on staying after the work was finished. Thomas and his wife Patience Chadbourne came to the plantation with the intend to stay. Patience was the daughter of William Chadbourne. She and Thomas were married before 1629. Together they had 3 sons, William, Humphrey, Moses, 4 daughters, Susanna, Elizabeth, Mary and Margaret. Their first child William, was born by 1631. 

Spencer establishes his home

Thomas' original land 

When Mason's died in 1635, the group disbanded. While some looked for better homes elsewhere, Thomas Spencer stayed where he originally settled. His home was in South Berwick at the convergence of the Great Falls and Salmon Falls rivers. Thomas was industrious and motivated to work for himself. He was a planter, lumberman and tavern keeper.

Humphrey Chadbourne had built a large English manor house but when he was ready to leave for England, he gave it to Thomas and Patience. He also gave his son Humphrey and Thomas each half ownership in his sawmill. Thomas became successful in the lumber business.


Thomas was an impartial tavern keeper. He entertained all on equal terms. As a result he lost the right to vote when he was found guilty of entertaining Quakers. There is probable evidence to believe that Thomas and Patience were Quakers. They were presented in court for neglecting to attend public Sunday meetings for a period three month. This first offense was in 1663 but in 1675 they were in court again. He, along with Richard Nason and Anthony Emery were found guilty of entertaining Quakers, fined 5 pounds each and disfranchised.

Typical scene from a tavern  

When Thomas died in December, 1681 Patience may have continued to operate the tavern. Patience died 1683. They were predeceased by their daughter, Mary. In 1664, daughter Mary and her husband, Thomas Etherington, died at sea on their way to Boston. It is probable they were traveling on business as her husband had an estate in Boston. Their deaths left two young daughters, Mary and Patience. Her brother William assumed guardianship for Mary. Patience's guardianship is unknown. 

Thomas' Will

History shows that Thomas was a religious, honest and generous man. He provided well for his family and was fair to all.
In the 1679 will of Thomas Spencer, he provides for his dwelling house and all its gardens, etc to go to his eldest son, William. By six weeks after his death, William is to pay £10 each to his sisters, Susannah and Elizabeth. Thomas also gave his wife, Patience all other property to dispose of at her discretion. 

An amendment was written to acknowledge the deaths of his daughter Mary and her husband, Thomas Etherington as well as their daughter Mary Wincoll. Thomas gave their portions of his estate to Mary Wincoll’s son, his great grandson, John Wincoll, Jr.
Tradition says that Thomas and Patience are buried in now unmarked graves in the Old Fields Cemetery which was originally part of his property in South Berwick.

Sources: The Maine Spencers, WD Spencer, 1898
Chadbourne Association.
Old Kittery and her families, Stackpole, 1903
Images: Google
Map: Old Kittery and her families, Stackpole, 1903

My Lineage from Thomas Spencer (10th greatgrandfather)
Line #1 - Mary
Mary m Thomas Etherington
Patience Etherington m William Hearl
Mary Hearl m Gabriel Hamilton
Hannah Hamilton m Jeremiah Paul
Mary Paul m William Remick
Elizabeth Remick m Peter Dixon
Abraham Dixon m Statira Spinney
Sarah Dixon m John Frank Trafton
Emma Trafton m George Philip Emery
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman

Line #2 - MargaretMargaret m Daniel Goodwin 
Daniel Goodwin m Amy Thompson
Nathaniel Goodwin m Mary Tibbetts
Solomon Goodwin m Abigail Hooper
John Goodwin m Mary Plaisted
Hannah Goodwin m Daniel C. Emery
Rufus Emery m Julia Ann Fernald
George Philip Emery m Emma Trafton
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman

Line #3 Elizabeth
Elizabeth m Thomas Chick
Richard Chick m. Martha Lord
Elizabeth Chick m Noah Emery
Daniel Emery x Elizabeth Beetle*
Daniel Emery m Elizabeth Brackett Crosby
Daniel C. Emery m Hannah Goodwin
Rufus Emery m Julia Ann Fernald
George Philip Emery m Emma Trafton
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman
* Parents of 2nd Daniel were not married 

Forrest and Ruth Whitman Emery are my grandparents

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Elder William Wentworth of Dover, New Hampshire

The Wentworth name has been a part of New England history since the early 1600’s.  Walk around several towns in this area of New England and you will find the Wentworth name on roads, civic institutions and buildings, lakes, towns and various types of businesses throughout the area.  But what about the immigrant, Elder William Wentworth, the bearer of that name? 

Wentworth Lineage

William Wentworth was baptized in Alford, Lincolnshire, England 16 March 1616/7.  He was the son of William and Susanna Carter Wentworth.  In the Wentworth Genealogy, English and American by John Wentworth, the author has documented his ancestry going back 19 generations to Reginald Wentworth, Lordship of West Riding, Yorkshire as the historical beginnings of the Wentworth family.  William Wentworth is a proven gateway ancestor on the Oliver Wentworth line to King John Lackland and well as through Isabel Sotehill, Oliver Wentworth’s wife, to William the Lion (1143-1214) King of Scotland. His grandmother, Catherine (Marbury) Wentworth’s line goes to Henry III.  Also there are many ancestral branches which tie to various royal lines throughout the generations.

Follower of Rev John Wheelwright

No records for this William Wentworth exist after 1636 in England nor do records exist to prove his immigration date to the Colonies.  One theory is that Wentworth left England with Rev. John Wheelwright and his followers.  Or possibly, he arrived in the Colonies two years after Wheelwright.  If he went to Boston with Wheelwright’s group in 1636, there is no record.  In 1636 Boston, Rev. John Wheelwright, along with Anne Marbury Hutchinson his sister-in-law, was banned. They were charged with sedition and contempt.  

Arrives in Exeter
Wheelwright was in Exeter and initiated the Exeter Combination.  (Anne Hutchinson went to Rhode Island at this time).  The first confirmation of 21 year old William in the Colonies was when he signed the Exeter Combination at Exeter, New Hampshire in 1639, along with several other Wheelwright followers.  Among the signers were Christopher Helme, Christopher Lawson, Augustine Storre and Edward Rishworth.  All listed here and perhaps more, were in one way or another all related.  See page 69 of the Wentworth genealogy for detailed information. 

His years in Wells, Maine 

The jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay government had extended to Exeter.  In 1642, with his previous banishment still in effect, Wheelwright was forced to flee to Wells, Maine. The faithful, including William
followed. The group was key in establishing the town. Wentworth stayed in Wells from 1642 to 1649 and served in many civic capacities including town constable and juror.  

Settled in Dover, NH

By 1650, he was being taxed in Dover and from 1651 to 1670 he held many town offices.  In 1655/6, he was appointed Ruling Elder of the Church.  He followed Edward Starbuck and Hatevil Nutter in that capacity. 

Garrison in Dover, NH
In expectation of problems with the local Indians, the Governor ordered the meeting house fortified and garrisons built.  There were approximately 50 garrisons within a 15 mile radius of what is now downtown Dover.  In 1684, during the Coccheo Massacre, the Penacooks attacked.  One of the garrisons, owned by Elizabeth Heard, was being guarded by 78 year old William Wentworth.  Awakened by a barking dog, he managed to close the gates, saving the garrison and all who were inside.  This was the only garrison that survived the Coccheo Massacre. He is considered a hero of the Massacre in Dover by his actions that night. 

The Wentworth Descendancy

Wentworth married twice.  His marriages have created questions for researchers.  Based on information derived from the dates of the eldest son, Samuel in 1641 and other factors, it is believed that his first wife was Elizabeth Kenny.  It would seem likely they married in Exeter and had their first child before Wheelwright’s group left for Wells.  Records or proof of information on the second marriage is not readily available.  Tradition says that he married second a very young woman as there is a 30 year gap between his first child and his last.  His children are Samuel, b 1641; John b abt 1647; Gershom b abt 1649; Ezekiel b abt 1651; Elizabeth b abt 1653; Paul b abt 1659; Timothy, Sarah, Ephraim and Benjamin b abt 1670. 
William Wentworth is the progenitor of many prominent descendants in the American colonies and the United States.  John, his grandson through son Samuel was the Lt Gov of New Hampshire.  Bennington Wentworth, royal Governor of New Hampshire from 1741 to 1766. He was the son of John above and great grandson of Elder William. He was a large landholder and instrumental in Vermont becoming a state. Bennington, Vermont was named for him. Other descendants included judges, representatives to the Continental Congress, a mayor of Chicago.  The author of the referenced source here, John Wentworth was a US Representative. And the list goes on….

My lineage from Elder William Wentworth, 9th great grandfather is

Elder William Wentworth m Elizabeth Kenny
Samuel Wentworth m Mary Benning
Lt Gov John Wentworth m Sarah Hunking
Capt William Wentworth m Margery Pepperell
Sarah Wentworth m John Fernald
Hannah Wentworth Fernald m Benjamin Fernald
William Wentworth Fernald m Elizabeth Makepeace Weeks
Julia Ann Fernald m Rufus M. Emery
George Phillip Emery m Emma Trafton
Forrest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman
Elinor Francena Emery m Bertram Gerrish

Sources:The Wentworth Genealogy English and American by John Wentworth, 1878 Chicago
The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants by Gary Boyd Roberts2004 Baltimore
Pictures: Google Images

Sunday, September 4, 2016

David Thomson the Founding Father of New Hampshire

Where the Puritans and the Pilgrims settled in the Colonies primarily for religious reasons, other settlers came to New England for commerce.  Many commercial ventures were set up for fur trading, salted fish and timber.

David's early life

Sir Ferdinando Gorges
As a young Scottish boy living in London, David Thomson developed many connections with important people.  His widowed mother was a servant to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, his mentor.  At the age of 14, David was sent by Gorges to the coast of Maine to assist in setting up a fishing colony located near present-day Phippsburg, Maine. A year later, the colony failed. In 1608, the colonists returned to England with the fishermen after the Spring fishing season ended.
When Thomson went back to England he lived at Plymouth Fort.  There he met William Cole who owned a shipyard.  He married Cole’s daughter Amias on 18 July 1613.  David was 20 years old, Amias almost 16.  In April 1615, Amias’ father gave them a house.  Four children were born in this house, but only two, Priscilla and John, survived past infancy.
After Priscilla was baptized, her father left on a fishing expedition to New England with Captain Abraham Jennings and was accompanied by his former teacher, Dr. Richard Vines who certified him as an apothecary.  Thomson decided he wanted to live on the Piscataqua and asked Gorges for a patent.  His son John was born in January 1619.  By the spring of 1619, Thomson sailed with Captain Dermer and Squanto, the Indian who famously helped the Pilgrims. (It has been said that when Squanto was taken to England, he lived at the Gorges house and young David Thomson was tasked with teaching him English.)  They examined the New Hampshire/Maine coastal area including the Isles of Shoals and the Piscataqua River.  During this trip, they rescued an Indian boy who was stranded, taking him back to his family on the mainland.  In 1623, after Thomson had established his residence, the Sagamore of the tribe gave Thomson the boy.  Later, when Phineas Pratt had visited it was reported that Thomson kept a Native servant.   

6000 acres and an island

In 1619, when Thomson arrived back in England, he convinced the merchants to center their fishing at the Isles of Shoals. In August of 1620, his father-in-law, William Cole was assisting with the repairs for the Mayflower and Speedwell after their failed first attempt at crossing the Atlantic.  Staying in Plymouth for 12 days, the men met with David Thomson for information of New England
Rye Harbor, NH
while Amias visited with the women. Later, Thomson sailed to New England on his ship, the “Jonathan”, crossing the ocean in 8 weeks, sailing to the Isles of Shoals and up the Piscataqua River.  They built a fort at Odiorne’s Point, (Rye, New Hampshire) for the fishermen to winter there. In 1622, Thomson went back to England, reporting to Gorges. By the spring of 1623, Thomson, his wife and son, along with their servants sailed to New England to settle.  Priscilla, 
his daughter remained with her grandparents. 
He became an agent for the Council of New England and was awarded his patent in 1622. The charter granted Thomson 6000 acres and an island. The charter was written so broadly that he was allowed to choose the location from anywhere within the boundaries stated on the grant. This charter was at that time the largest charter granted to one person and when executed, making him truely the Founder of New Hampshire.  

Connections with the Pilgrims

In England, in 1620 he became friends with the Mayflower passengers while they were waiting for repairs at Plymouth Fort.  Later when he was at Odiorne's Point, he had many activities involving the Pilgrims.  He visited them in Plymouth Colony and they came to his residence. Bradford and Winslow mention David Thomson in their correspondence and diaries.  At a time when the Plymouth Colony was struggling for food, Myles Standish asked Thomson for provisions.  He personally delivered to the Plymouth Colony enough salted fish to carry them through until they were self-sustaining again. The second Thanksgiving was celebrated in appreciation for the assistance. When they auctioned off the remains of the failed colony on the Kennebec, Edward Winslow accompanied Thomson to the auction.

Another fishing settlement

The fishing between Dover and Bloody Point (Newington) was plentiful. Thomson built another settlement at Dover Point.  When he left for Boston, Edward Hilton and Thomas Roberts took over managing the settlement.  They all previously had been members of the London Fishmongers Guild together and had built up a long-time trust for each other. The grant and the indenture was signed over to Edward Hilton. 
By 1626, Thomson had built a house and was living on his island in Boston Harbor.  A fellow Royalist and friend, Samuel Maverick had bought Noddle’s Island nearby. Thomson helped him build a house there. Noddle’s Island is in East Boston, where Logan Airport is currently situated. 

Questionable death

Thompson's Island, Boston Harbor
In 1628, a short time after he and his family settled in on Thompson’s Island, David Thomson died under questionable circumstances.  Many theories still remain whether it was accidental, intentional or from natural causes.  His children including his last son, Miles, born about 1627 and widow Amias survived.  After David's death Amias married Samuel Maverick. When the couple moved to Chelsea the island was claimed by Massachusetts Bay Colony.  John Thomson, son of David initiated a lawsuit to retain ownership. It was not until 1650 that he was able to prove his father’s ownership of the island. He ultimately lost the property for bad debt. 
Samuel Maverick and Amias Cole Thomson were parents of three children: Nathaniel, Samuel and Mary.  They also raised Amias’ son Miles.  It is likely that Thomson named his last son after his friend Myles Standish.  
Samuel and Amias Maverick received a grant in Manhattan settling on Lower Broadway.  They both died in 1670. John the oldest son, died in Mendon, Massachusetts in 1685 and Miles the last son, died in an Indian Raid in Berwick, Maine 1724. Nothing further is known of Priscilla who stayed in England. 

My Ancestral lines from David Thomson and his son Miles.
David Thomson m Amias Cole
Miles Thompson m. Ann Tetherly
Amy Thompson m. Daniel Goodwin                                 John Thompson m Sarah Emery
Nathaniel Goodwin m Mary Tibbetts                                     Elizabeth Thompson m
Solomon Goodwin m Abigail Hooper                            1) Mainwaring Hilton                        2) Alexander Gray
John Goodwin m. Mary Plaisted                                   Ebenzer Hilton m Mary Lord              Daniel Gray m Mary Walker
Hannah Goodwin m Daniel C. Emery                             Mary Lord Hilton m James Savage     John Gray m Elizabeth Boynton
Rufus M. Emery m Julia Ann Fernald                            Jacob Savage m Hannah Gray         Hannah Gray m Jacob Savage
George Philip Emery m Emma Trafton                                               John Gray Savage m Sarah Oliver
Forest Bartlett Emery m Ruth Whitman                                             Patience Savage m John Oliver Ratliff
Elinor Francena Emery m Bertram Gerrish                                        John Nelson Ratliff m Lectina McKinney
                                                                                                  Ida Ratliff m Chester Sherman Gerrish
                                                                                                  Bertram Gerrish m Elinor Francena Emery

Just a note: Both Savage and Gerrish lines have documented Gateway Ancestors
Information gleaned from the following sources:
Early History of the New Hampshire Settlements The narration of a video prepared by Alice Haubrich (1905-2005) Curator of the Piscataqua Pioneers, 1990.  Alice Clark Haubrich Curator The Piscataqua Pioneers This "Commentary" was published in The Genealogical Record, Vol.13, No.3, May/June 1990, a publication of The Strafford County Genealogical Society, P.O Box 322, Dover, NH 03820.
Colonial Era History of Dover New Hampshire by John Scales reprint 2008
Pictures: Google Images

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Candelmas Day Massacre

January 25, 1692 was a snowy morning in York, Maine.  Within a few short hours the peaceful village was destroyed.  Thirty, a Jesuit priest, had incited the raid. Along with an estimated 150 members of the Abenaki tribe under the command of officers of New France attacked his hometown of York, Maine. This event during the Second Indian War or King William’s War, became known as the Candelmas Day Massacre.

Just as with the Raid on Salmon Falls in 1690, the town quickly became a bloody shamble. The natives killed about 100 settlers, with 80 hostages taken on a forced walk to Canada, many dying on the way.  Forty of the forty-five homes were burned to the ground.  Many children who saw their family members scalped and killed were taken prisoner. To gain their release, Benjamin Church, the Indian fighter from Plymouth Colony had captured a number of Indian women and children.  Church used his captors to negotiate the release of many of the town's children.  Capt. John Alden, son of the Mayflower passenger, also was instrumental in ransoming the release of other children as well.

York was originally settled around the mouth of the York River. The settlers depended on it for trade and their livelihood. In order to shut it off from use, the natives set fire to all the undefended houses around the river destroying any thought of escape for those settlers.

Once the battle was over, the settlers reassessed their position. They rebuilt the town moving it from the mouth of the river to the higher ground of today's
York Village today
York Village. However, the one item that can not be replaced is
all the church and town records that were kept before 1695. All aspects of the settlers' history and life was destroyed during this raid. With the help of neighboring towns it took the village approximately three years to rebuild and resettle.

Perhaps my Trafton line was more fortunate than others. My 7th great grandfather, Thomas Trafton, survived this attack with one exception. Similar to other families who had lost members, Trafton’s son Charles was captured and taken to Quebec. Charles was baptized as a French Catholic, given a French name and lived in Canada, only returning when his father died.

My Trafton ancestors
Thomas Trafton(1620-1706)m Elizabeth Moore
Zaccheus Trafton(1687-1765)m Annabel Allen
Jotham Trafton(1741-1804)m Abigail Lewis
Jotham Trafton(1777-1849)m Lydia Parson
John Trafton(1811-1906)m Lavina Chadbourne
John Frank Trafton(1848-1919)m Sarah Elizabeth “Lizzie" Dixon
Emma F. Trafton(1866-1921)m George P. Emery
Forrest Bartlett Emery(1894-1961)m Ruth Whitman
Elinor Francena Emery(1924-2004)m Bertram Gerrish

Picture - google images
Quebec, Genealogical Dictionary of Canadian Families (Tanguay Collection), 1608-1890

Monday, August 22, 2016

Troubles with the Natives - Berwick becomes a town

Berwick suffered greatly in the Indian Wars. For the most part, they had lived in peace with the Natives for over 30 years until the tribes throughout New England came together as the Wabanaki (see map) and worked with New France (Canada). With the exception of King Phillip’s War, the wars were instigated by New France who was trying to curb the colonist expansion northward. Gone was the peace, friendliness and trust. Living with the natives would never be the same.

Peace is broken

Massasoit, the old Great Sachem of the Wampanoags, dies during the winter of 1661/62. Massasoit was a friend to the colonists and helped sustain a peace with the settlers for over 50 years. By July 1662, the colonists accused and arrested Alexander, Massasoit's oldest son and heir, for plotting war. Alexander dies while in custody under suspicious circumstances. Philip, Massasoit’s youngest son and Alexander’s brother, accused the colonists of poisoning him. This gave Philip the reason he needed for planning war. By 1675, King Philip’s War broke out in Plymouth Colony and spread throughout New England.  Philip was killed at Mount Hope in 1676 but fighting continued in the upper regions of New England after Philip's death. Historians feel that King Philip's War literally went down in history as a war without end.

Settlers are targeted

In Berwick, Richard Tozier’s house above Salmon Falls was targeted. 15 people were in the home except Tozier who was in the command of Captain John Wincoll. A brave 18 year old girl held the door shut while the others escaped to the garrison. The Natives, seeing what happened struck down the girl but she survived. The next day the house and barns of Captain Wincoll were burned to the ground. In October of 1675, a band of 100 Natives attacked Richard Tozier’s house again, burning it to the ground. Tozier and his son Thomas were killed. As Lt. Roger Plaisted was in charge of the garrison house, he sent his men out and as the Natives laid in wait, three of his soldiers were killed. The next day Lt. Plaisted along with his son and several others were killed as they went out to gather the bodies in the field from the attack the day before.

War continues

In 1690–1691 during King William's War, sometimes called the Second Indian Wars, the village was burned and abandoned in the Raid on Salmon Falls as well as during Queen Anne’s War 1702-1713. Peace lasted from 1713 to 1722. Lovewell’s War broke out lasting until December 1725. During this time, near Love’s Brook, our ancestor Miles Thompson was killed and his son captured. Another man was attacked at the same location. He survived but lived a miserable life. Because of his injuries, he wore a silver caul and was subject to convulsive fits all his life. By 1720, the town ordered the construction of garrisons or ‘places of refuge’ at specific residences with assignments of neighbors to lodge within the said garrison. 

Berwick becomes a town

Berwick went by several names: originally called Kittery Commons, Kittery North Parish, and later called the Parish of Unity. Parish of Unity was in reference to the ship that transported the Scottish prisoners of war from the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 to the colonies. Many of the Scottish prisoners settled near Berwick in an area near the northern Eliot-York border, which to this day is known as Scotland Bridge.
Kittery signed the petition to fall under the government of Massachusetts 16 November 1652. In 1713, the Massachusetts General Court granted incorporation as Berwick to become the ninth town in Maine. The new town contained land mass for what is known as North and South Berwick today. When referring to all three locations they are sometimes collectively referred to as “the Berwicks”. 

Many of my ancestors living in Berwick within this time period are:

William Chadbourne               John Andrews
Hugh Gunnision                     Alexander Shapleigh
Nicholas Frost                        John Diamond
Humphrey Chadbourne           Thomas Withers
Abraham Conley                     Richard Tozier
Thomas Spencer                     Lt. Roger Plaisted
John Wincoll                           Miles Thompson
Richard Nason                        Anthony Emery
Gowen Wilson                        Various indentured servants from Scotland

Sources include: Old Kittery and her families by Stackpole
Who When Where in King Philip's War by Edward Lodi
The Maine Spencers. A history and genealogy, with mention of many associated families by Wilbur Spencer for King William's War; Queen Anne's War and Lovewell's War.
Wabanaki Map - Commentary: When Indians ruled Maine's seas - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram