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.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Mayflower Ancestors Pt. 11: Francis Eaton

Francis Eaton is an ancestor who tugs at my heart strings as he had a life filled with tragedy. The misfortune started early--all of Francis’s siblings, except for his brother Samuel, died in 1603/1604, apparently due to a sickness that had spread through the household. 

Francis was baptized 11 September 1596 at Bristol, Gloucestershire, England, the son of John Eaton and Dorothy Smith. He became a house carpenter in England, which may have been why the Separatists wanted him to come to America with them. He was not a Separatist but rather a “stranger.” Francis had at least some education as he signed his name to documents.
Francis Eaton Signature from mayflowerhistory.com

Francis married first Sarah, whose maiden name is unknown, about 1618-19, in England. They had a son Samuel who was an infant on board the family’s voyage aboard the Mayflower. Sadly, Sarah died during that first difficult winter at Plymouth. 
 
Francis married second Dorothy, maiden name unknown, before 1623 at Plymouth. She was a maid servant to John Carver who had died in the spring of 1621, as did his wife, leaving Dorothy on her own. 

In the 1623 Land Division, Francis received four shares: one for himself, one for his deceased wife Sarah, one for his son Samuel, and one for his current wife Dorothy. Dorothy must have died soon after the division of land at Plymouth. 

Francis was about 26 years of age and had already lost two wives, but he forged ahead and married yet again. He married third Christian Penn around 1625 in Plymouth. Christian had arrived in 1623 on the “Anne.” They had three children together: Rachel, Benjamin and a third child whose name is unknown. The unknown child was called an “ideote” and was still living in 1651. I can’t imagine how people coped with a child with a severe disability given how difficult life already was for them. 

Francis died in the fall of 1633, apparently dying of an infectious fever that swept hrough Plymouth.  He was just 37 years of age and left behind a wife and four young children. 

His estate included one cow and a calf, two hogs, fifty bushels of corn, a black suit, a white hat, a black hat, boots, four pewter platters, fishing lead, and many carpentry tools including , hammers, an adze, square, augers, a chisel, boards, saws. See a list of his inventory at: http://www.pilgrimhall.org/willfeaton.htm

In July 1634, Christian married second Francis Billington, whose father John was hanged for murder in 1630. She and Francis Billington had nine children together. She died circa 1684, probably at Middleborough.

My line of descent from Francis and Sarah Eaton:

1      Francis Eaton 1596 - 1633
+Sarah Unknown   
2      Samuel Eaton  1620 - 1684
+Martha Billington 1638 - 1704
3      Mercy Eaton   1665 - 1703/04
+Samuel Fuller        1658 - 1728
4      Benjamin Fuller      1695/96 -
+Mary Samson       
5      Samuel Fuller  1724 - 1758
+Ann Tinkham        1726 - 1758
6      Mary Fuller    1748 - 1802
+Jabez Nye     1749 -
7      Desire Nye       1771 - 1858
+David Pierce 1773 - 1820
8      Lucy Nye Pierce      1809 - 1896
+Rowland Sturtevant Bumpus        1804 - 1853
9      Mary Briggs Bumpus      1840 - 1916
+Seth Washburn     1828 - 1921
10    Charles Francis Washburn     1857 - 1941
+Hattie Maria Benson    1861 - 1914
11    Carrie Clyfton Washburn      1896 – 1974
+George Brewster Smith        1895 – 1913
12    Arthur Elmer Washburn Davis      1913 - 1976
+Mildred Louise Booth   1917 – 1999
13    My parents
14   Me 

Richard Gere is a descendant of Francis Eaton.

5 comments:

  1. A have a great grandfather that is named Francis Eaton but it is said he was born in Wales in 1583 and his parents are John Eaton and Dorothy Smith. some say he died in Wales at a very young age of 22 but I don't have any proof but yet it is said he had children. Can you help me? Thanks

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  2. I'm sorry, but I only know about the Francis Eaton born in England! Chris

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  3. Thank you for post on family. My surname is smith frome different smith lines one connected to ralph smith, who is connected to hopkins doty and cook line pilgrims. Enjoy learning aboutt family history and who related to.

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  4. I too am related to Francis Eaton through third wife Christian Penn and daughter Rachell Eaton Ramsden.
    Lee Diauto

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    1. Thanks, Lee, for taking the time to leave a comment! Chris

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