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.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Patrick Kelley (b. 1723) and Bethiah Baker (b. 1723) of Yarmouth and Harwich, Mass.

Patrick Kelley was born 20 February 1722/23 in Yarmouth (now Dennis), Mass., the son of Eleazer and Sarah (Browning) Kelley. His last name was spelled in a variety of ways including O’Killey and Killey and his first name is also seen as Patrach.

On 1 September 1748 Patrick married Bethiah Baker at Yarmouth (now Dennis). Their intentions were published 6 Aug 1748. Bethiah was born 23 October 1723 at Yarmouth (now Dennis), one of the 15 children of John and Hannah (Jones) Baker.

Patrick and Bethiah had six sons: Benjamin, Isaiah, Samuel, Patrick, Oliver, and Ebenezer. Eunice Kelley Randall wrote that Patrick and Bethiah probably had more children. I descend from their son Patrick who married Dorcas Chase.

Could this be the mill originally owned by Patrick?
Patrick was the first in his family to leave Yarmouth, moving to Harwich on the east side of Herring River. He built a water mill shortly after 1762, known as Kelley’s Mill and Lower Mill, below his house which he operated for many years. The mill is believed to have been just north of the Main Street Bridge.

Bethiah died before 30 April 1782 when Patrick married, second, Elizabeth (Betsey) (Ellis) Nickerson.

I have not found his death date, but it was obviously after his 1782 marriage. A stone does not survive, but he is likely buried at the Kelley Cemetery in North Harwich, on or close to his estate.
landscape
Kelley Cemetery, N. Harwich    source:capecodgravestones.com

Sources Not Listed Above:
Eunice Kelley Randall, David O'Killia and His Descendants, 1962

R. Dudley Kelley, David Okillea of Yarmouth, Massachusetts and some of his Descendants NEHGR, April 1997

Simeon L. Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890

Sunday, September 23, 2012

John Booth b. ca 1634, died 1704-09 and Elizabeth Granger of Marshfield and Scituate, Mass.

I started researching the ancestry of my grandfather, Arthur Washburn Davis, much later than the rest of my grandparents because I knew very little about him. My grandmother Milly’s maiden name was Booth, so I was surprised to find Booth’s in her first husband Arthur’s ancestry as well. My great-grandfather Wallace Booth grew up in Quebec and was from a Booth line of anglo-Irish. Arthur’s Booths came from England to Plymouth Colony.

John Booth was born about 1634 probably in England. I have not searched for his parents or county of origin. Much of what I know about him is thanks to the excellent work of Macolm “Mac” Young.

He married, probably at Marshfield in November 1656, Elizabeth Granger, the daughter of Thomas and Grace (Hasse) Granger of Scituate. Elizabeth was born 1636 in England. The first page of the Marshfield town records reads: (worn)th & Elizabeth (worn) were maryed (worn) november 1656.

Mac Young found "Elizabeth" yields no possible matches of names, location and time (birth of child) except for John Booth and Elizabeth Granger.

Sadly, Elizabeth’s brother Thomas Granger Jr. was 16 or 17 years old in 1642 when he was sentenced to death by hanging for buggery with a mare, a cow, two goats, "divers sheep," two calves and a turkey.  

John and Elizabeth’s children were all recorded at Scituate, but the first three born probably at Marshfield:
Elizabeth, b. 5 October 1657
Joseph, b. 27 March 1659, m. Elinor Hethard and Frances Cowdrey
John, b. 1 January 1661/62, m. Mary Dodson
Benjamin, b. 4 July 1667, m. Mary Sutton and Hannah Stoughton
Mary, b. 6 June 1669, m. Abraham Barden
Abraham, b. 07 February 1673/74, m. Abigail Howland
Grace, b. 04 July 1677, m. Ephraim Pray
Judith, b. 13 March 1680/81, m. Isaac Pierce

I descend from Benjamin and his first wife Mary Sutton. Mary was the mother of Joseph’s illeginiate child. Interesting that Joseph fled the state, but his brother Benjamin married the poor woman who had been humiliated by being brought to court for fornication.

John likely turned 21 shortly before 18 May 1655 when Josiah Winslow (son of Governor Edward) sponsored him for a land grant in Marshfield. "At the said town meeting the inhabitants have granted at the request of Mr. Josias Winslow, Jr. thirty acres of land to John Booth which was his servant and for the said John to have and to hold for him and his heirs forever; and the said land is to be laid out next to the mill lands which is three score acres if that thirty acres be found there and if not then the said John Booth is to have it elsewhere in the township as the town see convenient." John has finished his term as servant in the household of Governor Edward Winslow or that of his son Josiah. He probably remained Marshfield until about 1663.

Josiah/Josias is likely acting for his absent father, Governor Edward Winslow, who made trips back to England and he would at times bring servants back with him to replace those that had come of age in the Colony. It is possible he returned from his 1644 trip with replacements which might have included John Booth as a boy of about 10 years of age, a typical age to be a servant then. No records show anyone with the surname Booth in Plymouth Colony before 1655 and no likely candidates appear elsewhere in New England to be John’s parents.

In 1657 John Booth took the Oath of Fidelity in Marshfield. Some claim he was a Quaker because he was not a member of the First Parish Church of Scituate, but his taking the loyalty oath contradicts this as Quakers at the time refused to do so. He also witnessed or acknowledged by oath several legal documents during his lifetime and he would need to be a citizen in good standing to do that.
Map of Plymouth County, current day boundaries

When John married Elizabeth he inherited her family’s Scituate land as her father and both her brothers had died. In May 1659, they sold the inherited Granger dwelling on the North River in Scituate to Walter Hatch of Scituate. John Booth, described as a "Planter" and "of Marshfield" signed by mark, with Humphrey Johnson and James Torrey as witnesses. Elizabeth Booth, in a separate acknowledgement before the magistrate, gave her "free consent to the selling of ‘this’ land...that formerly had been John Granger's," her signature witnessed by John Whiston and Gowen White. Timothy Hatherly the magistrate at Scituate and Elizabeth's recent guardian, swore the witnesses. All eight parties to this transaction were Conihasset Grant proprietors or spouse of one, an area comprising most of the northern part of Scituate. John Granger was Elizabeth’s brother who died in 1655.
North River in Scituate Source: Onthenorthriver.com

On 6 July 1663 Marshfield finally laid out the land for John Booth that was requested in 1655: "At the said towns meeting the inhabitants have granted to John Booth, thirty acres of land as beareth date 18th of May 1655, now so it is they have appointed Maj Josias Winslow, Serjeant Beadle and John Dingley to lay out the said lands near unto lands of Francis Crooker by the brook-side.”

By 8 November 1655 he had sold this grant to Thomas Little of Marshfield as revealed by a boundary reference in Marshfield Town Records of that date and confirmed by the 1764 will of Thomas Little's grandson John Little, who left the "Booth lot" to his sons.

The earliest record of John Booth in Scituate is in the Conihasset Grant proprietors’ record, which discusses a 1662 division of land. If John Booth was eligible to draw lots for order of choice in March, he was certainly a proprietor, but perhaps not a resident, by the 27 February Meeting 1661(/2). Scituate historian Harvey H. Pratt reported that "John Booth obtained the first choice and took a tract of land on the hill over which Blossom Street now extends from Ganett's Corner."  He initially held a full share that had been Joseph Tilden's and obtained a one half share in the original rights of John Woodfield. Pratt states the John Booth "early persuaded his partners that a highway was needed over his hill to reach Accord Pond. It was called Booth Hill Road, which still exists today.

John remained an active proprietor for some 40 years until 1699 when he gifted his property to his sons and retired to their care. Over the life of the Conihasset proprietary which ended about 1767, Booth and his heirs acquired several hundred acres of land, including about 150 acres from his 1 1/2 share of 8 division layouts, a nearly equal amount from the Three Mile Accord Pond Grant divisions, and others by purchase, not including small land grants from the town of Scituate.  Conihasset partners were also eligible with other citizens for land grants from the town's undivided common lands.

Rights to land division and the use of town "commons" were based on the "ancient inhabitants from 1647" rule for eligibility: "All male children born or living in Scituate, children of ratable inhabitants in 1647 or their successors, have rights of common; female heirs who dwell in Scituate have the same rights. Rights of common are associated with a parcel of land on which there is a dwelling house in use."

This indicates that John Booth was eligibility because his father-in-law was was a ratable inhabitant prior to 1647. Commons rights included grazing cattle and horses plus cutting wood for personal use. John was the recipient of five acres of swamp land in 1697.  He sold the inherited Granger property to Joseph Coleman prior to 4 May 1694, sale evidenced only by a boundary reference in a deed recorded on that date by Thomas White.

John Booth’s name is occasionally found in Plymouth Colony court records, mostly performing a civic duty for the court. The earliest entry is 31 October 1666, when he was warned by the court to be ready to serve on a jury scheduled to hear a property dispute concerning Conihasset land.  He also served on a coroner's inquest in 1678. In June 1680 he witnessed a deed by his neighbor John Sutton, regarding a disputed sale of Conihasset Land. Some ten years later, he witnessed the will of John Sutton Sr, dated 12 November 1691 (he signed by mark) and made oath to the will 16 March 1691/2. 

Marshfield Town Meeting minutes show John Booth as absent from town meeting, an offense that was fined 6 pence for lateness and 18 pence for absense, on 3 November 1656, 18 May 1657, 13 August 1657, 10 February 1657/(8), and 15 March 1657/(8).  

John Booth is mentioned three times in records of judicial acts. One as an abutter in a deed dispute, and on 6 March 1682/3 and 6 July 1686 as one of numerous Conihasset partners sued by a smaller group of partners. The plaintiffs claimed the defendants "refuseth, neglecteth, and not complyeth, to devide the aforsesaid undevided land." Bangs states this was not a serious matter but rather impatience by a minority group of partners with the slow pace of surveying and laying out of lots.

No records show him admitted a freeman of the colony. Often freemanship was required for court appointed duties, but apparently not always as on 14 May 1685 John Booth was chosen surveyor for the town of Scituate for a one year term.

From Scituate town records for 17th century earmarks:  
"John Booth Senior on horse a Whitish gray Two wall Ies (eyes?) the Top of the neare cut of a halfpeny cut out of the Right Eare. John Booth Senior on horse of whitish gray Culler with a halfe peny cutout of the Right Eare with peace cut of(f) from the Top Left Eare."  “John Booth Senior one blacke mare A halfepeny Cut out of her left Eare; John Booth (Sr.?) one mouse Colered mare with a hole in the right Eare."

John Booth left no will, instead conveying his land to his sons. On 21 February 1698/99, John made deeds of gift to each of his three younger sons, John Jr, Benjamin and Abraham (all of whom resided in Scituate), while omitting his first-born son Joseph, who had been living in Delware for a decade. Perhaps John disenfranchised Joseph because of his court conviction in 1687 for fathering an illegitimate child and maybe also for moving to Delaware afterward, possibly not returning to Massachusetts until 1709 after the death of his father.

John treated John Jr as his oldest son, granting him approximately a double portion (which was half) of his land, with Benjamin and Abraham receiving the remainder. He gave John Jr "for natural love and fatherly affection" some 54 1/2 acres of Conihasset land (in five parcels), plus "one moiety and a half" of all his meadowland. John was to pay each of his four sisters "seven pounds silver money...either before or within one year after the decease of me & my wife," naming the daughters as "Elizabeth Booth, Mary Barden, Grace Booth and Judith Booth." The deed was signed 21 February 169(8/)9, acknowledged 22 March 1703(/4), recorded 20 June 1704, and witnessed by Abraham Barden (mark), Eunice Dodson (mark) and Jonathan Dodson. The year is based on Benjamin's deed, signed 21 February 1698/9. Despited the careless dating (or clerk making copying errors at recording), these three deeds were almost certainly executed the same year (1698/9), although Abraham's and John Jr.'s deeds were dated "1699." All dates of all three deeds were dated as "twenty first day of February" and show identical names and order of witnesses.

With similar wording, Benjamin was deeded 25 acres in Conihasset land with no meadowland rights and was to pay his sisters 2 pounds 10 shillings each, under the same conditions as his brother John Jr. It was signed 21 February 1698/9, witnessed by Abraham Barden (mark), Eunice Dodson (mark) and Jonathan Dodson, acknowledged 2 August 1704, and recorded 12 June 1705.

Abraham was deeded the "house and barns and all my home lot" of 20 1/2 acres plus the "one moiety and a half" of all his meadowland (being the other half of that deeded to John Jr) and he must pay his sisters 5 pounds each under same conditions as brothers. In addition, Abraham was to "covenant," to house, clothe, feed and otherwise care for both of his parents for the remainder of their lives. Signed 21 February 1699, same witnesses, acknowledged 2 August 1704, recorded 12 June 1706.

A later deed further identifies the children. On 21 October 1709 Joseph Booth of the County of Kent, Territory of Pennsylvania, Benjamin Booth of Scituate, Abraham Booth of "Duxborough," Abraham Barden of Middleborough and Mary his wife, Ephraim Pray of Scituate and Grace his wife, Isaas Pearse of Scituate and Judith his wife, all received 7 pounds 2 shillings 6 pence from John Booth of Scituate in exchange for their right to two parcels of land at Conihasset that had been laid out on 3 July 1699 "unto our father John Booth now deceased" in the right of Joseph Tilden.  It was acknowledge the same day and recorded 17 December 1718. All signed except Isaac Pearse, the Bardens and Ephraim Pray who used their marks. Joseph Booth acknowledged the deed on the same day as his siblings so he must have returned to Scituate for the event. Note that Delaware was part of Pennsylvania at the time.

Each of John's three deeds to his sons carried the usual phrase "the aforesaid John Booth, Sr., does covenant to and with his son...that his wife (Elizabeth) acknowledges this instrument...before some one of his Majesty's justice of the peace." Some ten years later, at about 85 years of age, a feisty, determined Elizabeth Booth spoke out on this matter. About one year after the death of her son John Jr (when Mary Booth, his widow, was administratrix of his estate) Elizabeth executed a dramatic quitclaim deed to correct that she believed to be errors in the gift deeds written without her approval:

"(I) Elizabeth Booth now of Pembroke in ye County of Plymouth formerly of Scituate in County, Widow & Relict of John Booth Senr of Scittuate in County of Plymouth Yeoman Decd Sendeth Greetings - Whereas my aforesaid Husband John Booth Senr (had deeded the entire Scituate homestead to) my son Abraham Booth then of Scittuate in County of Plymouth and now of Pembroke (Farmer) Excepting one moiety or half of meadow lot which he gave to my son John Booth Which (latter) conveyance was not with my Consent or was I then of Capacity; However seeing God in his mercy & good Providence has now restored me in some good measure to my under standing again (I agree to the deed of my husband to my son, John Booth, Jr., excepting the Half (of the aforesaid) Recited meadow Land -- And Whereas my...Son Abraham Booth has for a long time been at great Charge in & hath been kind & careful in maintaining & providing for my...Husband in his Lifetime & for myself since his Death. Know...also that in Consideration of same and for my further maintenance I (give to my) son Abraham Booth...all other Lands or Parcels of Lands Divided or Undivided in township of Scituate Excepting what is mentioned in Deed to my son Benjamin Booth...And also other half of lot of meadow above specified to be granted to my son John Booth in his Deed by my Husband, I by these presents Give Grant Assign Release & Confirm to my...son Abraham Booth to him His Heirs & assigns forever. Signed 7 February 1718(/9), witnessed by Jonathan Bryant, John Ford, acknowledged 11 February 1718(/9) and recorded 22 June 1720.  Elizabeth signed by mark which suggests either that she was too aged to sign her name or that the 1659 deed she signed was transcribed by a clerk who omitted her mark.

On 1 May 1721 Abraham Booth signed a quitclaim deed to his widowed sister-in-law Mary (Dodson) Booth, restoring to her all rights in property originally bequeathed to John Booth Jr by his father and reversed by his mother. It was signed and acknowledged 1 May 1721, recorded 17 May 1721. Abraham almost certainly waited to do this until after his mother's death.

John Booth died between 2 August 1704 (deed acknowledged) and 21 October 1709 (settlement deed by heirs), probably at his son Abraham’s home in Duxbury.

Elizabeth died between 11 February 1718/19 and 1 May 1721 in Pembroke, Mass, likely also at her son Abraham’s home.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Malcom A. Young, John 1 Booth of Marshfield and Scituate, Massachusetts: Servant and Planter, NEHGR, Vol 159, July 2005

Robert Charles Anderson, Elizabeth Granger, Probable Wife of John Booth of Scituate, Mayflower Descendant, Vol 42, 1992

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, The Seventeenth-Century Town Records of Scituate, Mass, 3 volumes

Harvey Hunter Pratt, The Early Planters of Scituate: A History of the Town of Scituate, Mass, 1929

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Surname Saturday: William Chase family of Cape Cod


I have quite a few Chase family members in my ancestry, and they all descend from William 1 Chase who was born about 1595 in England. There were so many Chases on the Cape that it can be a confusing name to research. I have 22 men by the name of William Chase in my database and it's difficult placing them all, but most of the Cape Chases do descend from William 1.

He is said to have come over in the Winthrop Fleet with his wife Mary (maiden name unknown) and their son William. He was of Roxbury in 1630 where he lived until 1638. William was the 13th member admitted to the Roxbury church and his wife Mary was the 29th member.

First Church of Roxbury current building

From Roxbury church records kept by Rev. John Eliot: "William Chase, he came with the first company, 1630; he brought one child his son William, a child of ill quality's, & a sore affliction to his parents; he was much afflicted by the long & tedious affliction of his wife; after his wives recovery she bare him a daughter, wch they named Mary borne about the midle of the 3d month (May), 1637. he did after yt remove (intending) to Situate, but after went with a company who maide a new plantation at yarmouth." (Roxbury Church Records, pp 73-74).

From the same church records, p. 75: "Mary Chase, the wife of William Chase. She had a paralytic humor which fell into her backbone, so that she could not stir her body, but as she was lifted, and filled her with great torture, & caused her backbone to go out of joint, & bunch out from the beginning to the end of which infirmity she lay 4 years & a half, & a great part of the time a sad spectacle of misery. But it pleased God to raise her again, & she bore children after it."  What a horrible thing for Mary to go through. I find it remarkable she recovered and had two additional children and lived for many years, passing away in 1659.

Children of William and Mary:
William born in England as early as 1627; married Mary ____ and had eight children.
Mary born about 15 May 1637 in Roxbury; buried at Barnstable or Yarmouth as daughter of "Goodman Chase, ye elder" 28 Oct 1652
Benjamin born 1639 and bapt Roxbury 18 April 1652; married Phillippe Sherman and had six children.

Considering William only had two children to live to adulthood, he certainly had a large progeny on the Cape. I have five or six different Chase lines, all through his son William’s son John.

William was named 19 Oct 1630 among those "who desire to be made freeman." He was made Freeman in Massachusetts Bay Colony on 14 May 1634.

William was one of Rev. Bachilor's company that spent the winter of 1638 at Mattacheese (Yarmouth, an area that later became Barnstable). He was the only one of the group that stayed and he was named Constable there on 4 June 1639.

He lived in the area of Yarmouth that is present day Dennis. The Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, Spring 2001, printed a map showing the homesteads of the First Comers to Dennis. William Chase lived in Dennisport, on a piece of land now at 533 Depot Street, on the Harwich town line.  His 1638 home was on east side of Swan Pond, next to Chase cemetery and near Thomas Gage.
Map showing location of Chase homestead source: CCGS Bulletin



Swan Pond


It would appear from his will that he lived for some time near the Whelden family at the head of Bass River.
 
William was a housewright by trade. A 1639 agreement shows he was to build a house for Dr. Thomas Starr, which was sold to Andrew Hallet before its completion. Chase agreed to deliver it thatched, studded, and latched, daubing excepted, for ten pounds. 29 acres of land were included in the deal. The house probably had one room on each floor, was daubed in the crevices with clay, and had oiled paper at the windows.

In 1639 Edward Morrell gave sworn testimony in court that William Chase said "he marvelled how any durst join with him in the fast” and further said that some being in presence with the magistrate did hold up his hand and cried "fiel for shame." Subsequently arraigned for language towards Morrell and censured by the court, ordered to find sureties and to depart the place in 6 months. He was relieved of his duties as constable because of his behavior toward Morrell. Dr. Thomas Starr and Andrew Hallett became his sureties, but sentence was never carried out as William stayed in town. Records suggest Matthews lacked tact and discretion.

Rev. Marmaduke Matthews, who was an intelligent man with a sharp wit but had ideals and an apparent lack of discretion that did not rest well with everyone, came to the Yarmouth church. Almost immediately his ministry was attacked by church member William Chase. Chase made repeated derogatory statements against Rev. Matthews, notable saying that he "marvelled how any durst joyne with him in the fast." He was hauled into Plymouth Court in September 1640. During the very next year, he verbally assaulted the Reverend, interrupting church services. Again he was at court, fined, censured and told to leave Yarmouth. Somehow he remained in town and appears to have kept his comments to himself for the remaining years of Matthews' ministry. Within a year, four other members spoke out against Matthews, including physician Thomas Tilley and William Nickerson, and an attempt was made to start a second church in town. In the wake of all this, the Court began to take a closer look at Rev. Matthews, although Gov. Winthrop referred to him as a "goodly minister." He was cited for "weak and unsafe expressions in his teaching." Of the four complaining church members, all but Tilley eventually left Yarmouth, as did Rev. Matthews who in about 1645 relocated to the town of Hull, then to Malden, then back to Wales where his ministry continued to attract controversy until his death in 1683. 

In 1641, William Chase was again in court for disagreement with Nicholas Sympkins concerning a the latter building a fence on William’s land.

On 8 June 1642 he mortgaged "his house and lands in yarmouth containeing eight acrees of upland and six acres more lying at the stony cove with all and singluar the apprtences therein belonging" to Stephen Hopkins for security of 5 pounds debt.

William was on the 1643 list of men able to bear arms.

In 1648 he received, as Goodman Chase, fourscore acres upland and 20 acres meadow in division of lands at Yarmouth.

On 7 March 1647/8 the court authorized Captain Miles Standish to go to Yarmouth to settle troubles. He went there 13 May 1648. At the General Court held at Plymouth 6 June 1654 "grand enquest" presented "william chase, senr of Yarmouth for driveing one paire of oxen in the yoke upon the Lords day, in time of exercise, about five miles."

Despite the trouble he got himself into, William took oath of fidelity at Yarmouth in 1639 and in 1657. He also was named surveyor of highways 3 June 1657.

William Chase died at Yarmouth between 4 May 1659, date of his will, and 13 May 1659, when his will was proved. His will was witnessed by Richard Hoar and Mary Dennis. "William Chase of Yarmouth the elder; being aged" made the following bequest and provisions:  Left 3 cows to son Benjamine, left William 5 shillings "if hee Demand it" because he "hath had of mee already a good portion." Left everything else to wife Mary, including his dwelling house. Describes land at Bass Pond that he bought of William Palmer, orchard he bought from Goodman White. When she dies, Mary could give one third as "shee shall thinke goode" and other two "ptes" to Benjamine. If she married all three parts should go to Benjamine.  Neighbors Robert Dennis and Richard Tayler overseers, Mary executrix. Signed with his mark.

Witnesses deposed before Gov. Thomas Prence 13 May 1659. Inventory made 14 Sept 1659 was taken by Dennis and Taylor, also Edmond Howes. Included 3 calves worth 2 pounds, 4 steers 18 pounds, 2 oxen 11 pounds, 3 yearlings 4 pounds, two yearlings 4 pds, 5 cows 15 pd, 1 bull and steer 5 lb, pair cart wheeles and chaine 1 lb. Also: saw, wedges, axes, hinges, iron pot, skillet and hooks, brass kittle, spitt, hangers, 2 iron kittles, 7 trays and other wooden things, five pieces of pewter, earthen things, baggs and basketts, barrels and ferkins, smoothen Iron, wooden scales, 2 pr sheets, 1 table cloth, new linnine cloth, 5 pillow beers, 6 changes, sev pcs linnine, old skarfe, 2 pettycoates 2 lb 10 s, 1 wastcoate, green apron, only pettycoate and other old things, 2 hatts, 2 pillowes, 2 bolster teekes, 1 Indian coate and old blankett, old fflocke bed, woolen yarn, 2 chists and old chaires, pr tonges, 3 shootes 1 lb 10 s.

Division ordered by General Court 6 Oct 1659, which gave Benjamin two parts of the estate and Wm Jr. one part of estate.. Mary died before this division. Inquest was held about cause of her death finding "wee can find noe other but that shee died a naturall death through inward sickness, as is evident to all men naturally" by Anthony Thacher, Rob: Dennis, John Joyce, John Hall, Samuel Ryder, Richard Hore, John Miller, Andrew Hallott, Richard Tayler, John Crow, Wm. Hedge, Edward Sturgis.

Descendants erected a large monument to William’s memory at the Baptist Church Cemetery, in W. Harwich. It reads:  William Chase, First American Ancestor b. 1595, d. 1659, Served in Narragansett War 1644. It also lists other members of the family.
Memorial stone at West Harwich Baptist Cemetery

Sources Not Listed Above:

George Walter Chamberlain, NEHGR January 1933, Some of the Descendants of William Chase of Roxbury and Yarmouth, Mass., contributed by John Carroll Chase

Simeon Deyo, editor, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, HW Blake & Co., New York, 1890

Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884

Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins, 1995

Marion Vuillieumier, The Town of Yarmouth, Mass., A History, 1989

Plymouth Court Records, vol 1 p 135, 162; vol 2 p 9, p 20, p. 128-130; vol 3 p 52,  p 116; vol 8, 185-6, 194

Vernon R. Nickerson, From Pilgrims and Indians to Kings and Indentured Servants, 1970

Jack Sheedy and Jim Coogan, Cape Cod Voyage, Harvest Home Books, East Dennis, Mass., 2001

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Samuel Fuller 1629-1695, Plymouth and Middleborough, Mass.





Samuel Fuller, the son of Samuel Fuller and his third wife Bridget Lee, was born about 1629 in Plymouth, Mass. (birth year is based on age at death).
Plaque showing location of land owned by Samuel's father on Leyden Street


Samuel’s father was a surgeon, church deacon and was part of the Separatist group that lived in Leiden before coming to Plymouth on the Mayflower.  I wrote about the senior Samuel here.

Fuller Cradle at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth

Unfortunately, Samuel’s first wife's name is unknown. She is the mother of their son Samuel who was born about 1658, whom I descend from, and perhaps Elizabeth born circa 1663.  

Samuel married, second, Elizabeth (Nichols) Bowen between 1663-67. They had five children: John b. about 1667, Experience b. about 1669, Hannah b. about 1671, Mercy b about 1672, and Isaac b. after 1 October 1674. 

The 29 May 1670 list of Plymouth freemen includes Samuel Fuller. 

Samuel served as the Teacher at the Middleborough Church and became the first minister there. He was ordained the year before his death, but had been preaching for years.  There was some back and forth about whether he could remove from Plymouth to Middleborough to be the minister there, delaying his departure. 

I have read (unsourced) that his house at Middleboro was burned down by Indians so he fled to Plymouth until it was safe to return. 

At the October 1678 Court "In answare to the petition prefered to the court by Francis Combe, and likewise the Court being informed that Samuell Fuller is in a likelyhood to be procured to teach the word of Godd att Middleberry, they doe approve therof; and in case hee be obtained, and be likely to settle amongst them, doe hereby signify, that they will indeavor that the propriators of the lands within that townshipp may be healpfull towards his maintaince." 

Plymouth Church Records, 19 Dec 1678:
"Our brother Mr. Samuel Fuller being called to preach at middleberry did aske counsell of the chh, which motion they tooke into serious consideration till the next chh-meeting, which was on Jan: 16 & then chh did unanimously advise & encourage him to attend preaching to them as oft as he could, but not yet to removed his family, but waite a while to see what further encouragement God might give for his more settled attendance upon that service there." 

The 28 June 1677 list of proprietors of "Middleberry" includes Samuel Fuller of Plymouth. 

On 1 June 1680 Samuel Fuller was chosen to be one of the "Celect Men" of Middleberry, showing he had finally become a citizen of the town.

Earlier, the town of Rehoboth in Bristol County was also looking for a minister. On 3 July 1663 the town of Rehoboth invited Samuel Fuller of Plymouth to live in that town (Leonard Bliss, History of Rehoboth, Boston, 1836).

Samuel was involved in a few land transactions that were recorded. Samuel Fuller of Plymouth on 21 November 1660 sold land to William Harlow. 

A 2 May 1667 power of attorney by Elizabeth Fuller of Plymouth, sometime wife of Thomas Bowen, late of Rehoboth, deceased, and Samuel Fuller of Plymouth granted land in New London CT to brother-in-law John Prentice of New London. Bridget Fuller (Samuel’s mother) and Thomas Cushman were witnesses. 

Samuel died 17  (gravestone) or 24 August (Plymouth Church records) 1695 at Middleborough. He is buried at Nemasket Hill Cemetery there. He was buried at the highest summit of the graveyard and his modern stone is inscribed:
Rev. Samuel Fuller "First Minister of the Church at Middleboro" died 17 August 1695, age 70 years
Samuel's replacement stone Source: Findagrave.com


A Mr. Joseph Beals presented the Mayflower Society with a photograph of the Samuel's original gravestone. The stone originally stood in the Nemasket Hill Cemetery, but was replaced some years since by a granite block. The old stone now rests in a closet of the present church edifice, built at the Green in 1828. A portion of the stone has been broken off, but the inscription can be readily completed.
(Her)e Lyes Buried Ye (Body) of Ye Revd Mr. (Sa)muel Fuller who (D)eparted this Life Augst Ye 17th in ye 71st Year of His Age He was Ye 1st Minister of Ye 1st Church of Christ in Middlegh
(From the Mayflower Descendant, Vol 8, p 256)

Does anyone know if the gravestone is still kept within the church?

The later First Church Middleborough built in 1828 source: Recollecting Nemasket

On 25 September 1695 Elizabeth Fuller, widow of Mr. Samuel Fuller, late of Middleborough, was appointed administratrix of his estate. On the same date John Nelson of Plymouth was appointed guardian of Isaac Fuller, son of Samuel. 

On 1 Oct 1696 an agreement was made by the heirs of Samuel Fuller. It names widow Elizabeth Fuller, Samuel Fuller, Daniel Cole and wife Mercy, James Wood and wife Experience, Samuel Eaton and wife Elizabeth, Hannah Fuller, John Nelson as guardian to Isaac Fuller youngest son, and John Fuller. When the agreement was acknowledged 27 July 1696, John Nelson was one of those who acknowledged, which seems to indicate Isaac was still a minor.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Radasch, Katharine Warner and Radasch, Arthur Hitchcock, Mayflower Families Through Five Generations, Volume 10, Family of Samuel Fuller, GSMD, 1996
 Robert S. Wakefield, Samuel 2 Fuller of Plymouth and Middleborough, Mayflower Descendant, Vol 39, No. 1, January 1989

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labor Day—Celebrating my laborer ancestors


One of the things I love about researching my family history is finding out what people did for a living. Some of my ancestors were laborers. Today, in honor of Labor Day, I thought I’d write about some of those laborers who worked so hard to support their (sometimes very large) families.

The dictionary defines a laborer as someone who does unskilled physical work for wages, but I think it’s a rare job that does not require skill.  A good deal of my ancestors performed physical labor throughout their lives, but often they owned their own  businesses or were more skilled, such as being blacksmiths, coopers, carpenters, shipbuilders, and millers.

I believe that many of my ancestors from Plymouth and Barnstable counties worked a variety of jobs to make ends meet. They often lacked education and the opportunities in these areas were often quite limited. They may have worked seasonally—perhaps painting houses or doing odd jobs in the spring and summer, cranberry picking in the fall, ice cutting in the winter. They might have started out as mariners, but when that bottomed out, they tried other things. This was the case with my great-great grandfather David Howes Kelley. He was born in West Dennis on 2 March 1842, the son of Hiram and Abagail (Howes) Kelley. 
David Kelley's house on Ferry Street, West Dennis, built by his father Hiram

He went to sea, but then worked a variety of jobs as a “laborer,” most commonly as a house painter. He was still working at age 83 when on 19 August 1925 he came home from a painting job, felt tired so went to lie down. When his wife Mary Ann went to check on him, he had died from a stroke.
Mary Ann and David Kelley

David Howes Kelley’s daughter Ethel, my great-grandmother, married Wallace Booth, a man from Cowansville, Quebec. Wallace had lost a leg as a child to tuberculosis of the bone (although the family story says it was from frostbite because his family was too poor to buy proper shoes). 
Wallace with family and neighbors, note crutch laying on ground

He moved to Manchester, New Hampshire and then to Brockton, Mass. to work in the shoe mills. He moved onto more lucrative jobs including running a painting and wallpapering business, helping to run his brother George’s Charlestown machine shop and real estate holdings and eventually was an industrial real estate broker. He provided well for his family and owned a nice, although humble, home, drove fancy Cadillacs and traveled with his wife, Ethel. 
Wallace and Ethel with first child Cedric

 When people talk about the American Dream, I always think of Grandpa Booth. He immigrated to the United States as a young man without a high school degree, but was smart and had an incredible work ethic. He never let having one leg slow him down—he climbed ladders, drove all over the country and had a positive attitude as well as a very strong faith.
Wallace Booth at my grandparents' place in Onset



My great-great-great grandfather Seth Washburn lived in Plymouth all of his life. He was born 16 March 1828, the son of Ephraim and Mary (Lucas) Washburn. In 1850 he was a seaman, but after that was a laborer. He worked for Robinson’s Iron Works, as a farmer and for the town’s street department. He enlisted to serve in the Civil War at age 33 and had chronic health issues following his service.
Robinson's Iron Works ca 1880 source: Images of America Plymouth

In 1909, at age 81, Seth was still listed as a laborer in the Plymouth directory. When he died in 1921, at age 92, he had been the oldest man in Plymouth.
Seth Washburn's house, Russell Mill Road, Plymouth

Rowland Sturtevant Bumpus, my four times great-grandfather was born in Wareham in 1805, the son of Jonathan and Martha (Chubbuck) Bumpus. He worked at the Tremont Nail Factory in Wareham, but he had dreams of bigger things as he was a 49er, going twice to San Francisco in search of gold. I don’t think he struck it rich as he came back to his wife and children in Wareham and seems to have led a humble life. He died of consumption in 1853, at just 49 years of age. I wonder if he became sick in California or on the ship to or from.
Lucy (Pierce) and Rowland Sturtevant Bumpus

My great-great-great grandfather Valentine Kelley was born Harwich 14 November 1828, the son of Oliver and Priscilla (Chase) Kelley. He lived his adult life in Dennis Port and was called a mariner at the time of his 1852 marriage to Rosana Eldredge/Eldridge, as well as the 1860 census and his 1863 draft registration card. His death record lists him as a laborer, but I have yet to discover more details about the type of jobs he held. I'd love to hear from anyone who may know. He died of cancer on 8 October 1882, age 54 years.
Valentine and Rosana (Eldredge) Kelley's house on Main Street, Dennis Port
 With all of the opportunities my generation has had--education, plentiful skilled jobs that require little physical labor, weekends, paid holidays and vacations to spend at our leisure, technological advances to make so many things easier--I very much appreciate how hard our forebears worked for their families. Now that I think of it, most of our early female ancestors were unpaid laborers. They worked from morning until night cooking, cleaning, baking, laundering, sewing, gardening, and even doctoring.