Welcome! I really enjoy exchanging information with people and love that this blog helps with that. I consider much of my research as a work in progress, so please let me know if you have conflicting information. 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 male 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, and John Howland.
Female Mayflower ancestors: Mary Norris Allerton, Eleanor Billington, Mary Brewster, Mrs. James Chilton, Sarah Eaton, and Joan Hurst Tilley.
Child Mayflower ancestors: Giles Hopkins, (possibly) Constance Hopkins, Mary Allerton, Francis Billington, Love Brewster, Mary Chilton, Samuel Eaton, and Elizabeth Tilley.

Monday, July 12, 2021

Aptuxcet Trading Post, Bourne, Massachusetts


I’ve long wanted to visit Aptuxcet Trading Post and finally did so this weekend. It’s always intrigued me as it’s a replica of the Pilgrim’s trading post, believed to be built on the post’s original foundation. The Bourne Historical Society does a wonderful job of keeping the story of this aspect of the Pilgrim’s story alive.

My 11th great-grandfather and Mayflower passenger John Howland (ca 1592-1672) would have been involved at the trading post since he must have gained experience there before 1634 when he was in put in charge of the Pilgrim’s trading post on the Kennebec River (now Augusta, Maine). I hope to learn more about other Pilgrim ancestors who would have been involved at Aptuxcet. I’m guessing my ancestor and Mayflower passenger Isaac Allerton would have had dealings there as he was involved at the trading post in Machias, Maine, a fish station at Marblehead and was a constant wheeler-dealer.

Later the Pilgrims closed the post and in 1652 sold the land to my 10th great-grandfather Thomas Burgess (ca 1603-1685) of Sandwich. Thomas was allowed to take herring from the river. In 1663 he deeded the land to his son-in-law Ezra Perry (ca 1625-1689), my 10th great-grandfather. Ezra lived on the land with his family and he and his brothers traded at Herring River.

We had an excellent docent, Beth, who gave us such a nice picture of what life was like in the 1620s at the trading post. It is believed that there were typically two men from Plymouth Colony working at the post, sleeping in the upper level, quite possibly indentured servants. She said beer was always on hand for traders to imbibe while they negotiated. The post has one room set up as where the trading, meal preparation, beer brewing and drinking would have occurred and the other room is a tribute to the Wampanoag people. The tool the Native’s used to make wampum from Quahog shells to use as currency is just remarkable.

In addition to the Trading Post building, the property includes the 19th century Gray Gables Railroad Station, which was President Grover Cleveland’s private station used when he visited his vacation home in Bourne, the Joseph Jefferson Windmill built as an art studio for the actor and currently serves as an art gallery, a 19th century saltworks replica, gardens, and schooner replicas. The windmill houses a unique pedal-powered carousel, but it isn't operating because of COVID-19.

The Pilgrims built the trading post in 1627 on the banks of Manomet River to trade with local Wampanoag people and Dutch traders. The river was gobbled up by the construction of the Cape Cod Canal. There were excavations in 1852 and 1926, and an archaeological dig was done by students in 1995. The items discovered in 1995 include animal bones, turtle shells, and pieces of clay pipes, bits of pottery, and shards of glass from windows, all believed date from 1650 to 1770, so likely include items belonging to Ezra Perry’s family.  Some items found in the excavations were used in building the replica including beams and endearingly imperfect bricks.

I always get a shiver down my spine when I walk the same path my ancestors would have walked, but when the terrain is so close to what they would have traveled it really gets to me! After visiting this gem of a place, you can walk a few steps to the paved path that travels along the Cape Cod Canal. There’s also a wooded path to a clearing where you can sit on benches and watch the ships travel along the canal.

I’m now eager to learn more about the Aptuxcet Trading Post, so if anyone has some good resources I’d appreciate hearing from you!

Sunday, May 2, 2021

William Hammond (1568-1662) and Elizabeth Paine (1580-1670) of Watertown, Massachusetts


William Hammond was baptized Lavenham, Suffolk, England 30 October 1575, the son of Thomas and Rose (Trippe) Hammond.

St, Peter and St. Paul Church, Lavenham

On 9 June 1605 William married Elizabeth Paine at Lavenham. She was baptized 11 Sept 1586, daughter of William and Agnes (Neves) Paine. William and Elizabeth are my 12th great grandparents on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Children of William and Elizabeth:

William, baptized 20 September 1607; killed by Indians 1636

Anne, born 1608, died 1615

John, born 1611, died 1620

Anne, born 1616, m. Timothy Hawkins and 2nd Ellis Barron

Thomas, born 1618, married Hannah Cross, died 1655 at Watertown

Elizabeth b. ca 1619, died before 1 July 1662 when she is called deceased in her father’s will

Sarah, b. 1623, m. Richard Smith

John, b. 1626, m. Abigail Salter and 2nd Sarah Nicholas

 I descend from Elizabeth who married Samuel Howes of Scituate. I wrote about that couple here.

William emigrated in 1631 and settled at Watertown, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. He was admitted to the Watertown Church prior to 25 May 1636 when he was made a freeman.

It was interesting to find that William was declared bankrupt in England in February 1629/30, and fled to New England to avoid legal troubles. The timing works out that he would have sailed on the Lyon which left Bristol on 1 Dec 1630 and arrived in New England the following February.

Elizabeth came to New England in 1634 on the Francis with their three youngest children, Elizabeth, Sarah, and John. Her brother William Paine also emigrated, living at Watertown and Ipswich, Massachusetts. Her sister Dorothy Paine Page (wife of John) emigrated to Watertown. How nice it must have been to have her siblings nearby.

William’s mother Rose Steward died in England in 1645, and two years later William’s son Thomas went to England with letter of attorney from William, demanding from the lord of the manor possession of lands in Lavenham, Suffolk, that were in the possession of Rose Steward. 

Rose Trippe Hammond Steward had left bequests to her Hammond grandchildren, William’s children: William, Elizabeth, Hannah, Thomas, Sarah and John.

William was literate and had some education as his inventory included one Bible and three other books. He was involved in local politics, serving as Selectman in Watertown.

William was granted 40 acres at Watertown in 1636, 8 acres in the Remote Meadows in 1637 and a farm of 155 acres in 1642. In the Inventory of Grants he held six parcels of land: homestall of 40 acres, three acres of meadow 40 acres of upland being a Great Dividend, 18 acres of upland beyond the Further Plain, 8 acres of Remote Meadow, and four acres of upland. In the Composite Inventory he also held six parcels but that now included a farm of 155 acres.

William wrote his will 1 July 1662, proved 16 Dec 1662, when he was about 90 years of age. He leaves his full estate to wife Elizabeth, and the land and housing was to go to his son John Hammond after her death. He left 40 pounds to his grandson Thomas Hammond, son of Thomas, deceased. If Thomas dies, then it should go to children of daughter House and children of daughter Barnes (should be Barron). He left 30 pounds to daughter Barnes; 5 pounds each to four children of daughter of Elizabeth House, deceased; one mare to Adam Smith, son of daughter Sarah; five pounds to daughter Sarah Smith. His wife Elizabeth and son John named executors. He signed the will.

The inventory of William Hammond of Watertown totaled over 467 pounds, including 318 pounds in real estate (dwelling house and orchard, 23 acres of pasture land, 11 acres of broken-up land, 15 acres of meadow, 8 acres of meadow remote, 18 acres of land in lieu of township, 1 Great Dividend 40 acres, 1 farm of 160 acres, part of a barn.

William did well for himself—from possibly facing debtors prison in England to being a self-made wealthy man in the new world.

William Hammond died at Watertown on 8 October 1662.

Elizabeth Paine Hammond died Watertown 27 Sept 1670.

I would think William and Elizabeth are buried at the Old Burying Place/Arlington Street Cemetery in Watertown, without surviving stones.


Torrey’s New England Marriages

Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1995



Sunday, April 25, 2021

Daniel Bryant of Scituate, Massachusetts, born 1659/60


Daniel Bryant was baptized at the Second Church of Scituate, Massachusetts on 5 Feb 1659/60, the son of John and Elizabeth (Wetherell) Bryant. His last name is sometimes spelled Briant. He is my 8th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family. I haven't found a great deal of information on Daniel, so this sketch is a work in progress.

Daniel married Dorothy, whose maiden name is not known, by 1688. They had six children born Scituate:

Mercy born 21 Nov 1688

Elizabeth born 4 Feb 1690/91; died 1722

Dorothy born 5 March 1692/93

Rachael born 3 July 1695; died 20 Nov 1695

Rachael born 10 Jan 1696/97

Elisha born 30 June 1701

I don’t have proof, but I believe it is their daughter Dorothy who married Nathan Nye of Sandwich, Mass. and is my 7th great grandmother.

On 20 April 1692, Daniel Bryant of Scituate, planter, for five pounds, sold to Peter Collamer one half of a Great Lott of upland in Scituate near a place called Grassy Plain that had been granted to his father John Bryant. John had bequeathed half of the lot to Daniel and the other half to his brother John, totaling 57 acres. He signed the deed with his mark.

The 17 June 1692 will of Richard Dwelley of Scituate mentions Daniel Bryant on a long list of people owing a debt to the estate.

At Scituate on 11 May 1697 Daniel Bryant was allowed for his one white horse to be allowed on common, unfenced lands. In 1701, he was allowed a dark bay horse to do the same.

On 29 June 1697 Daniel Bryant sold his division of swamplands to his brother John Bryant.

I have not found death or probate information for Daniel or Dorothy. I’ve read other people having Daniel’s death as 1688 in Scituate and 1692 in Yarmouth, but but he is mentioned in the above 1701 record at Scituate.


Dr. Percy Bryant, Descendants of John Briant, Sen., of Scituate, Mass., NEHGR, Vol 48, 1894

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Seventeenth-Century Town Records of Scituate, Massachusetts, V. 3., 2001 

Torrey’s New England Marriages