Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fones Home

There’s more than one wild child in the family, I’m sure, but there’s one who really stands out:  Elizabeth Fones.  Elizabeth led quite a life—interesting enough for someone to write historical fiction based on it, The Winthrop Woman.

Elizabeth Fones, my 9x great-grandmother, was born January 21, 1610 in Groton Manor, England to Thomas Fones and Ann Winthrop.  Ann was the sister of John Winthrop, a strict Puritan who became governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and who became Elizabeth's guardian after the deaths of both her parents.
Scandal number one:  Elizabeth married her first cousin, John Winthrop’s son Henry.  About a year after their marriage, Henry sailed to America, leaving Elizabeth behind because of her pregnancy--their daughter, Martha (my ancestor), was born while her father was at sea.  The day after he arrived in Massachusetts in 1630, Henry drowned in the North River.
In 1631 Elizabeth followed her uncle, by then Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, sailing with her daughter, Martha, to America. A year later Elizabeth married her second husband, Robert Feake.  Robert was already a large landowner and, subsequently, he and Elizabeth acquired additional land in Connecticut.  She is considered one of the founders of Greenwich, including what is today called Old Greenwich.  Scandal number two:  A woman with property in her own name was not considered proper by the mores of the times.  Sadly, in 1647, after experiencing persona crises, Feake went insane and abandoned his wife and five children.
Scandal number three: Elizabeth married William Hallett, without divorcing Feake.  In a transcribed letter in the Winthrop Papers, from John Haynes to John Winthrop, Jr. (Elizabeth’s brother-in-law):
Ther is cognisaunce taken by our Court, of somme partyes resident with yow, that are of ill fame, as one that was the wife sometimes of Mr. Feake and who it seemes did confesse her selfe an Adulteresse, (which is vppon record at the Dutch) and now pretends marriadge with another man, how trew, or legall is not well knowen. I am therfor to acquainte yow, that she with somme others are sent for by warrant to apeare att the Court heere to answeare accordinge to the tenure therof. 
Elizabeth and her new husband and family were forced to leave--to avoid a court hearing and possible death sentence--and moved to for the Dutch colony of New Netherlands, New York.  In September 1655, they survived an attack by Indians, but their house and farm were burned down.  Elizabeth Fones Winthrop Feake Hallett died in New York in 1673.
Seems like Elizabeth faced a lot of challenges, but it also looks like she could hold her own.  This is a Puritan I'll celebrate on Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Five Eights (Grandmothers, that is)

Now that I’m at the last of my 8x great-grandmothers (who’ve been identified), I decided to put them all in the same post. 


Hannah Pike (Pyke) was supposedly born around 1632 in England, married Maturin Ballou, and died in Providence, RI in 1715.  She was the daughter of English immigrant Robert Pike and Catherine (Unknown).   Robert and his future son-in-law, Maturin Ballou, were each granted 25 acres in Providence in 1646   and then admitted as a freeman in 1658.


Mary Warren, who married John Youngs, was the daughter of Thomas Warren of Southold, England.  Mary was married first to a Gardiner--her father’s will mentions his daughter’s daughter, Mary Gardiner, who would have been a child at the time of his death. 

I don’t know how uncommon it would have been for a woman to emigrate without her parents or a husband, so I suppose she might have been married in England and thus come to America with her husband, a Gardiner.  She was born around 1600 and died in 1678.


Joanna Boyce (Boyse), born in England to John Boyse and Joanna Stowe, likely came to America with her sister’s family or possibly as a newlywed with her husband, Peter Prudden.  Her birth, marriage, and death dates are undocumented.  She was not married yet in 1631 when she appears in her mother’s will (in England) and her first child was born in 1640 in Connecticut, and her will was written in 1681, so those dates provide a window when events occurred.  Despite the lack of records for those important dates, following her husband’s death in 1656, she is found in the Milford court records and they show she was a woman who knew how to manage her affairs and was not hesitant to claim what she felt was rightfully hers.


Elizabeth Bateman was born around 1631 in England to William Bateman.  She married Henry Lyon in 1652 in Connecticut.

There are multiple William Batemans in the records of the period.  In one instance in 1630 there was an inquest for a William Bateman and a second William Bateman sat on the jury.  A William Bateman was made a freeman of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1631 and a William Bateman of Concord was made a freeman in 1641.  It is thought these two are not the same individual because one person would not need freeman admittance twice.  I did see references to the fact that a William Bateman’s admittance was revoked in 1634, but indicated the reason was unknown.  If the admittance was revoked, there is the possibility it is one person.  There is some support for the revocation as I found in my research on the freeman’s oath:

At the General Court held at Boston, May 14, 1634: It was agreed and ordered, that the former oath of freemen shall be revoked, so far as it is dissonant from the oath of freemen hereunder written; and that those that received the former oath shall stand bound no further thereby, to any intent or purpose, than this new oath ties those that now take the same.

Maybe some intrepid researcher will decide this is an interesting avenue to pursue and uncover more details linking these two Batemans….


On the other hand, lots of details are known about the Winthrops, in fact so much is so readily available, I’ll just provide an overview here.

Martha Joanna Winthrop was born in England in 1630 to Henry Winthrop and Elizabeth Fones.  She was sickly, especially after her marriage to Thomas Lyons and then the birth of her only child, Mary, in 1649.  She died in Greenwich, CT in 1653.

Henry Winthrop died a few months after Martha was born.  He traveled to America, leaving his pregnant wife behind and drowned the day after he arrived in July 1630.  Martha and her mother Elizabeth, still in England, eventually immigrated to America where Martha’s grandfather, John Winthrop, was governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

I’m saving the good stuff for my next post—about Martha’s mother and the Fones line—when I start on my 9x great-grandmothers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

In like Flint

Alice Flint is the last of my 7x great-grandmothers who I’ve uncovered.  Her parents were William Flint and Alice (Unknown). I’ve seen references that she was born in England and some that indicate she was born in Salem, MA.  And the date ranges from 1636-1640.  I’ve found nothing that cites an original source.   [9/17/2011 8 PM:  True confession.  I just realized that my original posting of this had some misleading info that I have now deleted]

She married John Pickering around 1657, after the death of her first husband, Henry Bullock.  Alice appears in the Essex County court record in 1652, accused of wearing a silk hood; but, because she could prove she was worth £200, it was discharged.  In researching this, I found this article, umm...story, umm...historical fiction, or whatever, and was amused by the amount of detail in “hearsay”:

Published in Wide Awake magazine, Volume 27, June 1888:

Alice's father, William, was born around 1603 in Great Britain, possibly Wales, but again, the sources I found seemed to rely on family tradition for the birthplace, as opposed to documented material.  It is said he arrived in America in 1640 and he does actually appear in Salem records in 1642.  It seems there is much more known about William’s brother, Thomas, but in Pioneers of Massachusetts, I did find information that William was an overseer of fences and highways and a juryman.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Southwick Saga

Heather Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy has a nice post about my Southwicks—specifically, Provided and her father Lawrence.

Provided Southwick, my 7x great-grandmother, was born in 1641, married Samuel Gaskill in 1662, and died in 1727, all in Salem, MA. John Greenleaf Whittier’s The Ballad of Cassandra Southwick, although using her mother’s name, is about an incident in Provided’s life: she and her brother Daniel were sentenced to be sold into slavery for failure to pay fines incurred for not attending the Salem Church recognized by the Puritans.

Her father, Lawrence Southwick, was born 1594 in Staffordshire, England and was married in 1623, to Cassandra Burnell of Lancashire.  He left England for America with most of his family around 1636-37.  Once in Salem, he was a glassmaker by profession.  He died 1660 at Shelter Island, NY.

The Southwick story is filled with persecution by the Puritans for first supporting Quakers and, later, for being Quakers. Lawrence and Cassandra were eventually banished in 1659 under threat of death and went to live on Shelter Island where they endured a harsh life until their deaths from deprivation and exposure the following year.

The more research I do on my ancestors of this era, the more difficult it is to think about Thanksgiving without acknowledging what the Puritans were really about.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A Whitman Sampler

I’ve discovered that I enjoy researching more recent generations than older ones.  There are certainly some interesting historical connections in Colonial America, but I like researching the 19th century better.  Maybe because there are fewer people laying claim to those more recent ancestors—they’re more mine.  Also, there’s just less to research because I’m only tracing back to the first immigrant.  Looks like my future posts will be short until I trace as far as I can and essentially start over by going back to the beginning to try to uncover new information.

So, short and sweet:

Another one of my 7x great-grandmother is Susanna Whitman, who was married to James Ballou, was born in Providence, RI in 1657-58 to Valentine Whitman (also Wightman) and Mary (Unknown).  She appears in her father’s will.

Valentine was the son of John Wightman, born about 1626 and emigrated in 1654 with his father and brothers (his mother is thought to have died in England) and settled in Rhode Island.  For a period of time Valentine worked as an Indian interpreter.  Records indicate he was made a freeman in Warwick in 1658 and died in Providence in 1700.

John Wightman was the son of Edward Wightman, the last heretic to be burned at the stake in England.  Little is known about John.  Undocumented sources indicate he was born in England in 1599 and died in 1663.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

This Budd’s For You

Mary Budd, a 7x great-grandmother, was born in 1654 on Long Island to John Budd and Mary Horton.  She married Christopher Youngs around 1675.  She is named in her father’s will of 1684.

John Budd junior was supposedly born in England in 1620-23 to John Budd senior and possibly Catheryn Butcher--that would have made him 15-17 years old when he arrived in America with the family.   Numerous records from this time are difficult to associate with specifically the father or son, but items after 1670 are John junior’s.  His will of 1684 identifies his residence as Southold, NY.  He supposedly married Mary Horton, but I have not yet found any documented source for this.

Based on existing records, John Budd senior was in New Haven, CT by 1639, having sailed from London to Boston in 1637.  Stories of John Budd as one of the first settlers of Southold, Long Island in 1640 from Griffin’s Journal, have been disproven by New Haven records.  He was a resident of Southold, Long Island at least by 1649 because he erected a house there (Still standing, but moved to Cutchogue).   In 1653 he was a deputy to the general court in New Haven.  For the year 1658 there are many records of a dispute involving slander against one of his neighbors and then in 1660 he resigned as a lieutenant from the Southold militia.  Some stories indicate his problems were because he was a Quaker, or at the very least, supported the Quakers.  In 1659 he moved to Rye, Westchester County, CT (now NY) where he was a large landowner.  Records in Rye give an indication he was an early equivalent of a land developer and generated some of the same anger as they can today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

On Lyon, Part 2

So, I Googled ‘mary lyon thomas connecticut’ and clicked on the first result, a Wikipedia page for the Thomas Lyon House.   I have to say, discovering some of my ancestors have Wikipedia pages is kind of cool.

More to the point for this post…My 7x great-grandmother, Mary Lyon, who was married to Joseph Stedwell, was born in 1649 in Stamford, CT.  She was the only child of Thomas Lyon and Martha Winthrop.  She was about 4 years old when her mother died and was then raised with her half-siblings by her stepmother, Mary Hoyt.  She didn’t forget her heritage however; in a an assertive move following the bequest from her father of only a share of movable property, Mary pursued a claim on land that had gone to her half-brothers.  She went to court with the claim that a portion of her father’s land came to him through his marriage to his first wife, Mary’s mother.  The court agreed and she received payment in exchange for a quitclaim.  You go, girl!

Thomas Lyon, the first immigrant of this line of my Lyon heritage, was born in England about 1621 and it was supposed he was the brother of two other Lyons who immigrated, Richard and Henry.  (Henry was in my post earlier this week.)  It is known that Thomas was in Stamford, Connecticut by 1647.  At that time he was married to Martha Winthrop and wrote a letter to her grandfather, Gov. John Winthrop of Salem, MA, concerning the possibility of a bequest from her grandmother who had recently died.  Apparently there were complications at hand because of Mary’s mother’s marital situation (she married a second time while still married to a husband who was deranged) and because of Martha’s very poor health (They hoped for means to assist with her care). Fortunately there exist several letters Thomas and Martha sent to her grandfather and her uncle, John Winthrop, Jr, that give an interesting picture of the times and especially of the circumstances faced by Quakers.  (And include the entertaining spelling where Rhode Island is Road Island and Greenwich is Greenage.)  Thomas died in Greenwich, CT in 1690.

As I prepared this post, I received my first issue (Summer 2011) of NEHGS’s American Ancestors.  As I skimmed through the issue before settling down to read more thoroughly, I spotted a listing on page 56 in the Family Focus section under Family Associations.  It seems the Lyon(s) Families Association is sponsoring analyses of DNA test results.  Included in this listing was this tidbit of information:  The long-held presumption about the relationship of the three Lyon brothers was inaccurate.  It turns out Richard and Henry are connected to a fourth Lyon immigrant, William, and none of them are connected to Thomas.