Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and hope this blog will help with that. Some of the surnames I'm researching:

Many old Cape families including Kelley, Eldredge/idge, Howes, Baker, Mayo, Bangs, Snow, Chase, Ryder/Rider, Freeman, Cole, Sears, Wixon, Nickerson.
Many old Plymouth County families including Washburn, Bumpus, Lucas, Cobb, Benson.
Johnson (England to MA)
Corey (Correia?) (Azores to MA)
Booth, Jones, Taylor, Heatherington (N. Ireland to Quebec)
O'Connor (Ireland to MA)
My Mayflower Ancestors (only first two have been submitted/approved by the Mayflower Society):
Francis Cooke, William Brewster, George Soule, Isaac Allerton, John Billington, Richard Warren, Peter Browne, Francis Eaton, Samuel Fuller, James Chilton, John Tilley, Stephen Hopkins, John Howland.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Lucy Nye Pierce 1809-1896, Wareham and Acushnet, Mass.

Lucy Nye Pierce is an ancestor I feel very connected to—one of those women of her era who from a distance appears strong and resolute. She married three times, outliving all of her husbands, seems to have fibbed about her age to her one of her younger husbands, buried three very young children and lived to an advance age.  Her first husband, Rowland Bumpus, went not once but twice in search of gold in California.  If he struck gold, maybe the hardship of being left with the children and no income coming in would have been worth it, but I don’t think that was the case. Other than his miner days, Rowland worked at Tremont Nail Factory in Wareham. What made matters worse was that it appears Rowland contracted tuberculosis during or soon after his last adventure and died in 1853 at age 49.  Lucy is my fourth great-grandmother on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Lucy was born September 1809 (based on age at death), in Wareham, Plymouth Co., Mass., one of the six children of David and Desire (Nye) Pierce.  I wrote about her parents here. 

Lucy Pierce Bumpus Tripp Burnham  (original property of Laurie Howland)
Lucy married, first, Rowland Bumpus, on 5 September 1825, at Wareham.  He was the son of Jonathan and Martha (Chubbuck) Bumpus.  His last name is sometimes seen as Bumpas. Lucy and Rowland had 10 children. I wrote about the family in another post, but below is a short summary:

1. Frederick Adams b. about 1827, he married Jane Yates and they raised their family in Wareham where he died in 1893. He also worked at Tremont Nail Factory.
2. Ambrose D. born about 1829, died 30 May 1833 at Wareham.
3. Adeline B. born 3 December 1831, married Samuel Williams and lived at Wareham where she died in 1897.
4. Rowland, born about 1832, died November 1836 at Wareham.
5. Lucy Maria, born about 1834, she married Calvin Benson at Middleborough on 9 November 1851 but I can’t find anything further on the couple.
6. Caroline born about 1838, married Calvin Baker at Marshfield, 21 August 1858, have not found her death record.
7. Mary Briggs, born about 1840, married Seth Washburn 25 November 1856 at Wareham, lived at Plymouth where she died 27 May 1916.
8. Lucretia W., born about 1842, married Asaph Burbank 12 February 1860 at Wareham, and died at Plymouth 29 December 1880.  
9. Pelina, born September 1845, died 18 August 1846, Wareham.
10. Nathan Cobb, born 23 September 1847, married Susan Ellis 12 August 1870 at Acushnet, died there 27 July 1926.  Was a Civil War Veteran.

I descend from Mary whom I wrote about here.

Lucy and Rowland Bumpus (original property of Laurie Howland)

The 1855 state census, Wareham, Lucy is head of household as Rowland had passed away:
Lucy N. Bumpus 45
Caroline P. Bumpus 17
Mary B. Bumpus 15
Lucretia W. Bumpus 13
Nathan C., 8

There is also a Nathan C., age 8, in the 1855 census for Middleborough/W. Bridgewater in what may be a rooming house as mostly single men working as nailors in a factory.

On my long list of things to do is to find the map of the Agawam section of Wareham that shows where Lucy and Rowland lived, listed as belonging Mrs. LN Bumpus, so after Rowland's death.  There is a dark reproduction of the map inside the back cover of the book Glimpses of Early Wareham, and I hope to find a better copy and share it here. 

Lucy married, second, Deacon Brownell Tripp, on 21 March 1861, at Acushnet, a town near New Bedford in Bristol Co., Mass. He was a farmer, later a shoemaker, born in Westport, Mass., son of Philip and Meribah Tripp.  It was his third marriage and they were married by Frederick Tripp, minister (MA VR Vol. 144, Page 67).  Brownell had married first, Ruby Allen and, second, Eliza Case (or Chase). Lucy was 51 years of age and Brownell was about 11 years her senior.  He died on 11 July 1874 of a diseased limb.   

1865 state census, Acushnet, Bristol Co., Mass.:
Brownell Tripp 66 farmer
Lucy N. Tripp 55
Josaphen B. Cochran 19, single
Almeda B. Smith 11, male

I would guess Josephine and Almeda were servants or boarders.

1870 Federal census, Acushnet, Mass.:
Brownell Tripp, 71, shoemaker
Lucy N., 60, keeps house
Nathan C. Tripp, 23 (this would be Lucy’s son Nathan C. Bumpus)
Tabor, Betsey, 50, at home (family member or servant?)

1880 Federal census, Westport, Mass.:
1880 census, Westport, Mass, taken 17 June 1880
John Howland 82, retired mariner
Nancy Howland 67, wife house keeping
Lucy M. Tripp, 70, nurse
This is likely Lucy before her July marriage to Josiah Burnham, perhaps nursing a sick person in their home as a way to earn an income and have housing after the death of Brownell.

Lucy married, third, Josiah Burnham at Acushnet on 31 July 1880. Josiah was born about 1811, to Josiah and Abigail Burnham of Essex, Mass. He was a physician and died of senility on 13 December 1895.  Josiah’s first wife was Susan Getchell of Salem. In the 1860 census he and Susan are living in New Bedford. She died at Acushnet in 1878. In the 1880 census he is age 69, a widower, living in Acushnet, near his soon to be son-in-law Nathan C. Bumpus.

Lucy and Josiah lived on Main Street in Acushnet.  Josiah died in 1895 and family has told me he is buried on the property.

Lucy’s death is recorded in the Massachusetts state vital records: Lucy Burnham died 29 June 1896, age 86 years, 9 months, widow, daughter of David and Desire Pierce, born Wareham, died Acushnet of heart disease.

She is buried at Tabor Cemetery on Main Street in Acushnet.  She shares a large stone with her son Nathan C. Bumpus and his wife and daughter.  I was in the area last week and took a quick drive through town, stopping to pay my respects to Lucy for the first time. 

Sources Not Listed Above:
Records of the First Parish Church of Wareham, by Leonard H. Smith.
Glimpses of Early Wareham, by Daisy Washburn Lovell, Wareham Historical Society

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Samuel Howes ca 1610-1667 and Ann Hammond, Scituate, Massachusetts

Samuel Howes was baptized 10 June 1610 at Eastwell, Kent, England, the son of John Howes and Alice (Lloyd?). His last name is often seen as House in records. He is my 11th great-grandfather on my Grandmother Millie (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

Samuel likely came over with Rev. Lothrop’s group of Separatists in 1634. Samuel settled at Scituate in 1634/5 near the harbor, southeast of Coleman's Hills, between the lots of Rev. Lothrop and Richard Foxwell.  Samuel went with Rev. Lothrop and others to be among the first white settlers of Barnstable (1639). He later went to Cambridge, eventually returning to Scituate. His family was close with Rev. John Lothrop—Samuel’s sister Hannah was the Reverend’s first wife.  

About April 1636 he married Ann Hammond who was born about 1619. I have sometimes seen his wife’s name as Elizabeth Hammond. Ann’s parents were William Hammond and Elizabeth Paine who were married at Lavenham, a village in Suffolk, England and immigrated to Watertown, Massachusetts.

The couple had four children that I know of: Samuel, Elizabeth, Sarah and John.

I descend from Elizabeth who married John Sutton.

Samuel was a shipbuilder by trade. Capt. George Henry Preble’s NEHGR April 1871 article Notes on Early Ship-Building in Massachusetts, states that “At Hobart’s landing [Scituate] vessels were built by Samuel House as early as 1650.”

From a deposition in England (below), it shows that he was in the English Navy as a young man. It also indicates he was an opinionated and brave man to make a negative comment about taxation under oath!

The Rawlinson Manuscript, A-128, in the Bodleian Library comprising records of the proceedings of the Court of High Commision (Ecclesiactical Division) 1632, gives an interesting account of the prosecution of Rev. John Lothrop/Lathrop and his flock of dissenters who met at a conventicler [a private meeting to hear illegal preaching]
 in the Black Friars, London. Among those arrested were Samuel Howes and his sister Penninah Howes who was a sister-in-law of Mr. Lathrop and their examination by the different members of the court is recorded as follows;

Register: "Samuel Howes," saith the King's advocate, "you are required by your oath to answer to the articles."

Howes: "I have served the King both by sea and by land, and I had been at sea if this restraint had not been made upon me. My conversacon, I thank God, none can tax."

Register: "Will you take your oath?"

Howes: "I am a young man and doe not know what the oath is."

King's Advocate: "The King desires your service in obeying his laws."

Then Penninah Howes was called and required to take her oath but she refused.

London: "Will you trust Mr. Lathrop and believe him rather than the Church of England ?"

Penninah: "I referre myself to the word of God whether I maie take this oath or noe."

Rev. Lothrop served two years in a London prison where many prisoners died because of the deplorable conditions.

The first church services in Barnstable were held at a large boulder known as Sacrament Rock.
Sacrament Rock, Barnstable

Rev. Lothrop’s Bible is on display at Sturgis Library in Barnstable.

Samuel died in Scituate on 12 September 1667 (date of death given in his probate records). Ann survived him but I do not know her date of death.  Samuel had a large estate in Barnstable and Scituate.

Ann was the niece of William Paine of Boston, a man of great wealth, who left 10 pounds to his "kinswoman Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel House.”

The inventory of the Estate of Samuel House Sr. who deceased the 12th day of Sept 1661: appraised at the request of Samuel House Jr. and Elizabeth House, children of the deceased by Timothy Hatherly, Nicholas Baker, Joseph Tilden and Isaac Chittenden. Among the items are the boat as she with the new sayle at Boston, and all belonging to it: 80 lbs. The house and land at Scituate, 60 lbs. His share of a parcel of land granted by the court, to the ancient freemen of Duxburrow, Scituate and Marshfield, 251 lbs. These goods heer underwritten, not being here at Scituate, were appraised by Tristem Hull and John Chipman of Barnstable, because the goods were there.

The property at Barnstable was all personal, including his wife's gown at 1 lb 17s; his sonnes suite at 1 lbs.  Samuel House Jr. was deposed to the truth of the above written inventory. (Mayflower Descendant Vol. 15, p. 59)

Sources Not Listed Above:
Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, 1888

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Thomas Lettice and his Wife Anne, 17th Century Plymouth, Mass.

Thomas Lettice (sometimes spelled Lettis) is my 13th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. He was likely born in England, came to live in Plymouth before 1637 and married a woman named Anne (or Ann), whose maiden name is not known (although it’s sometimes given as Savory but I’ve seen no solid proof of this).

Savage thought Thomas might have been the Thomas Lettyne, age 23, who sailed from London for New England in the Elizabeth on 15 April 1635, but there is no way to confirm this. Thomas Lettice is first mentioned in Plymouth records on 7 March 1636/7 when Francis Cooke brought charges against Thomas Lettice, James Walker, John Browne the younger, and Thomas Teley, who being in the service of John Browne the elder and Thomas Willet, who were also charged, for abusing Cooke's cattle. Cooke was awarded 3 pounds damages and 13 shillings six pence for costs (PCR 7:5). Apparently there were no leftover feelings of ill will as Francis Cooke’s son Jacob married Thomas’ daughter Elizabeth.

 On 25 March 1640 Willm Pontus, Thomas Lettice and John Greemes were assigned to repair the herring weir and draw it and deliver the shares for the ensuing three years (PTR 1:1).

In several 1641 actions against James Luxford, Thomas Lettice (twice) and other complainants were awarded property belonging to Luxford which was in the hands of others (PCR 7:25, 27).

Thomas Lettis was on the list of those able to bear arms in Plymouth in 1643.

Thomas Lettice became a freeman in 1654 (PCR 3:48).

I know of four children born to the couple, order and birth years uncertain:

Anne who married Samuel Jenney
Elizabeth who married first William Shurtleff (who was killed by lightning), second Jacob Cooke (son of Mayflower passenger Francis Cooke) and third Hugh Cole; she died 31 October 1693
Dorothy, married first Edward Gray, second Nathaniel Clark whom she divorced; she died in 1728
Thomas who died 3 November 1650

I descend through their daughter Dorothy who married Edward Gray. I wrote about that couple here.

Thomas was a carpenter by trade. In Plymouth probate records there are multiple instances of estates owing him money. On 17 March 1651, the estate of Webb Audey of Plymouth owed Thomas Lettice 1 shilling 6 pence for an undisclosed service and 6 shillings for a coffin. (The Mayflower Descendant, volume 11).

Jacob Cooke's Plymouth estate owed Thomas Lettice 4 shillings. Exhibited to court 8 March 1675/76. (The Mayflower Descendant,  3;239) Jacob was Thomas' son-in-law.

On 2 August 1653 Thomas and Anne Savory put their five year old son Thomas Jr out as an apprentice with Thomas Lettice, carpenter, until he reached 21. Young Thomas was to receive meat, drink, apparel, washing, lodging and all other necessities and was to be taught the trade of house carpenter and be taught to read the English language. In turn he was to give his master faithful and respectful service, not absent himself by day or night without license, not marry during his term, not embezzle, purloin or steal any of his master's goods, not give away any of his secrets and to be obedient. On completion of term he would be given two suits of clothes and various specified tools.

Thomas was somewhat active in town affairs.  He served at times on juries and as surveyor of highways. In 1651 a John Lettice was constable for Plymouth (PCR 2:167), but this may have been a clerical error for Thomas, since no John is known.

In 1659 Thomas Lettice brought charges against Thomas Pope for abusive carriages at the mill at Plymouth, and Pope was fine 10 shillings to the use of the colony (PCR 3:173).

On 3 July 1666 Elizabeth Shurtleff of Marshfield, widow, and Thomas Lettice of Plymouth, carpenter, gave bond to administer on the estate of William Shurtliff of Marshfield, late deceased (The Great Migration Begins).

Thomas died after 25 October 1681, when he made oath to a document being his last will and testament. Anne died after him as she’s mentioned in his will.

Thomas Lettice’s will was dated only with the year 1678, he of Plymouth, signed by a mark. The will was very succinct. He left five shillings each to his three daughters: Anne wife of Samuel Jenney, Elizabeth Cooke widow, and Dorethy the wife of Edward Gray. The rest of his real and personal estate, after payment of debts was bequeathed to wife Anne who was made executrix. Witnessed by Jonathan Barnes and Joseph Howland. On 25 October 1681 Thomas Lettice did declare the above to be his last will and testament in presence of Nathaniel Thomas. Lt. Joseph Howland made oath to the will at court. (PCPR Volume IV, part II, page 11)

His will seems to indicate a man without much by way of money and property, but records show that Thomas was involved in multiple purchases of land, so perhaps he had already disposed of them to his children before his death. On 2 December 1639 William Fallowell, Robert Finney, John Finney, and Thomas Letttice were assigned garden places near Webb's Field (PCR 1:136). Thomas Lettice bought a house and seven acres of land in Plymouth from Thomas Cushman on 24 March 1641 (PCR 12:77). On 2 August 1653 John Cooke Senior of Plymouth sold to Thomas Lettice of Plymouth for the sum of three pounds a house and garden with a house standing on it where Thomas now lives (The Mayflower Descendant Vol 3, p. 139).  On 20 March 1657 William Browne deeded a garden place to Thomas Lettice next to where he now lives as well as about an acre of meadow called Doten’s Meadow in exchange for two ewe sheep. The garden was bordered by James Cole on one side (The Mayflower Descendant vol. 12). On 27 August 1679 he was living on New Street (now called North Street) in Plymouth (PCR 6:161).

Map showing North Street's location
North Street is a pretty road near Plymouth's waterfront. One historical structure to note there is the 1749 Spooner House, which is open for tours in the warmer months.

Sources Not Listed Above:

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, 1995

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, Its People and History, 1986

James Savage, A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860

Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England, 1860