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.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Edward Dillingham 1595 to 1666-67 and Ursula Carter died 1656 of Sandwich, Mass.

This post edited July 2016: My initial post incorrectly identified Edward Dillingham's wife Ursula Carter as the daughter of William and Mary (Anscell) Carter baptized Kempston 20 June 1590. Ursula Carter of Kempston married William Paley there on 26 October 1614 so is not the woman who married Edward Dillingham the following February. Ursula Carter Dillingham's parents are not known. 

Edward Dillingham was baptized 6 December 1595 in Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England, the son of Rev. Henry Dillingham. He is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side.

St. Mary's Church, Cotesbach

Edward married Ursula/Drusilla Carter at Cotesbach, Leicestershire on 14 February 1614/5  and had six children born Bitteswell or Cotesbach:
1.      Elizabeth baptized 2 April 1616, married John Wing
2.      Mary baptized 2 December 1618
3.      Osheah, born February 1622, married Stephen Wing
4.      Henry, born about 1624, married Hannah Perry
5.      Sarah, baptized 23 June 1627, buried 1 February 1628/29 at Cottesbach
6.      John, baptized 1 May 1629, married Elizabeth Feake

They may have had son Nathaniel and another son John that died young, buried at Cotesbach 9 May 1629. I descend from John and Elizabeth. I wrote about them here.

Edward lived in Bitteswell, a village near Cotesbach, where he was a gentleman landowner. He was a member of the Plough Company, or the Company of London, that was made up of group of men coming to America, including Benjamin Crispe whom I also descend from.

It is believed Edward came to America on 5 June 1632 on the William and Francis, a difficult journey lasting 88 days. It is believed that Deborah Wing, the widow of Reverend John Wing, was also a passenger with her four half-grown sons. They arrived Nantasket and settled first at Saugus (now Lynn, Mass.)  

He was in Massachusetts Bay Colony records in 1636 for accounts with Richard Saltonstall, regarding Edward’s brother’s John Dillingham’s estate. John was of Ipswich, Mass., and left his brother Edward one-third of his estate.  

On 3 April 1637, the Plymouth Court granted permission of the ten men of Saugus to settle at Sandwich (then Shawme). Sandwich is the oldest town on Cape Cod.

"It is also agreed by the Court that those tenn men of Saugust, viz Edmund Freeman, Henry Feake, Thomas Dexter, Edward Dillingham, William Wood, John Carman, Richard Chadwell, William Almey, Thomas Tupper & George Knott shall have liberty to view a place to sitt down & have sufficient lands for three score famylies, upon the conditions propounded to them by the Governor and Mr. Winslowe."
Source: SandwichHistory.org

A controversy arose by 1640 about the ten men claiming ownership to the best salt marsh meadows and the rest of the townspeople had to travel longer distances for hay. This did not put the original ten, including Edward, in a good light as being fair with their fellow townspeople. He was on the committee to redistribute the land but looks like it still wasn't fairly distributed. I suppose the original settlers felt some sense of entitlement, thinking they deserved the prime land for their efforts in settling the town.

He was on the 1643 list of Sandwich men able to bear arms and took the Oath of Fidelity in 1644.

Edward remained in Sandwich for the remainder of his days, living east of the upper mill pond. The Dillingham property ran along current day Main Street to at least School Street. The present present First Church of Christ is on Dillingham land. In 1890 the homestead cellar was said to still be there, as well as a pear tree Edward planted. They lived near the Wing family. His home survives on Main Street, Sandwich, currently operated as a Bed and Breakfast. It is widely reported to be haunted.
The Dillingham House, Sandwich
He served as Deputy to the Court once and Surveyor of Highways three times.

The first purchase of new Indian-held land after 13 May 1654 entry in Plymouth records lists Mr. Dillingham was one of five men chosen to petition the Court to grant and assist them in purchasing Manomet land.  He is the only one called "Mr." in the list, an honorific.

In 1657 Quaker sympathizers were brought before Court.  Edward Dillingham Sr. was admonished and released.

Ursula died 6 February 1655/6 at Sandwich. She was buried on 9 February, likely at Spring Hill Cemetery.

Edward died at age 71 between May 1666 and May 1667. His will is dated 1 May 1666, proved 1 June 1667. He left considerable bequests to sons Henry and John, as well as people back in England. The inventory was taken by Stephen Winge and Stephen Skiffe, presented at Court 5 June 1667. His will was signed by a mark.

Sources Not Listed Above:
RA Lovell Jr., Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, 1984

Barbara Gill, CCGS Bulletin, The Ten Men From Saugus, Spring 2005

Simeon Deyo, History of Barnstable County, Massachusetts, 1890

CW Swift, Dillingham Family, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, No. 95, 1912

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Nathaniel Bassett ca 1628-16 January 1709/10 and Dorcas Joyce of Plymouth and Yarmouth

Nathaniel Bassett was born circa 1628, likely in Plymouth, Mass., the son of William and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Bassett. I wrote about that couple here. He is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side.

My line of descent from Nathaniel and Dorcas:

Nathaniel Bassett        1628 - 1709/10
.+Dorcas Joyce           
.3  Hannah Bassett    
+Joseph Covell            1675 -
4    Sarah Covell          Unknown - 1790
+William Nickerson    1701 - 1763
5    Deliverance Nickerson      1728 - 1808
+Ebenezer Eldredge   1706/07 - 1797
6    Elnathan Eldredge            1746/47 - 1837
+Dorothy Freeman      1752 - 1825
7    Nehemiah Eldredge          1775 - 1839
Ruth Harding 
8    James Harding Eldredge   1797 - 1873
+Rosanna Wixon        1789 – 1868
9    Rosana S. Eldredge          1826 - 1911
+Valentine Kelley       1828 - 1882
10        Mary Ann Kelley        1855 - 1941
+David Howes Kelley            1842 - 1925
11        Ethel Florence Kelley 1890 - 1981
+Wallace Cedric Booth          1887 - 1970
12        Mildred Louise Booth            1917 - 1999
+Arthur Elmer Washburn Davis         1913 - 1976
13  my parents
14  me

From the History of Duxbury church records: In 1651 Nathaniel Bassett and Joseph Prior were fined twenty shillings each for disturbing the church and at the next town meeting or training day each to be bound to a post for two hours in some public place, with a paper on their heads with their crime written thereon in capital letters. Whether they paid the fines or suffered the punishment is not noted.

On 16 June 1656, William Bassett formerly of Duxbury, now of Bridgewater, deeded land at Duxbury to his sons Peregrine White and Nathaniel Bassett. Peregrine was his son-in-law, married to daughter Sarah.

About 1661 Nathaniel married Dorcas Joyce, the daughter of John Joyce.* They lived in Marshfield, Duxbury, possibly Sandwich, and later settled in Yarmouth. They had eight children that lived to adulthood, according to Nathaniel’s will. They are listed below in no particular order.

Nathaniel, married Johanna Borden, m. 2nd widow Elizabeth Merrick, removed to Connecticut
Mary who m. Thomas Mulford
Hannah who m. Joseph Covell and Asa Mayo
William who m. Martha Godfrey and Sarah Jenkins
Samuel who m. Susannah Howes and Thankful Hallet
Sarah m. John Nickerson

My research on Nathaniel and Dorcas’ children is a work in progress--I welcome anyone’s input on better sources or additional information. I have seen that a son Nathan was also listed in the will, but I don’t see that in the transcription I have read so need to look at the original.

I descend from Hannah and her husband Joseph Covell.

Some sources say Nathaniel married, 2nd, a woman named Hannah, but I am not certain of this. It seems unlikely if Dorcas predeceased him by only seven months. Unless Dorcas Bassett that died in 1709 is a daughter rather than his wife. It’s difficult to determine because of the lack of surviving vital records in Yarmouth. Also, there was a Nathaniel Bassett married to a woman named Hannah in Sandwich, so perhaps there is some confusion between the two couples.

List of pounds of gunpowder given to military company members from Sandwich Town Records, 25 June 1660: Nathanell Bassett "fore pounds" and Nathanll Basset "one pound." I’m not sure if one of these is “my” Nathaniel.

In 1676, Nathaniel Bassett was taxed toward King Philip’s War: 2:14:09. This was his first appearance on the tax list in Yarmouth. Nancy Thacher Reid writes he came to Yarmouth (a part that is now Dennis) from Plymouth by way of Sandwich.

In 1888 Amos Otis wrote that Nathaniel resided near the first meeting-house in Yarmouth and his descendants still enjoy his lands. After his one lapse of conduct as a young man, he was a very worthy and respectable citizen, and had a large family, ten of whom lived to mature age. 

The first meeting house in Yarmouth is near the Ancient Cemetery which is located on Centre street. 

Plaque on boulder commemorating the original location of the First Congregational Church

Dorcas died Yarmouth on 9 June 1707.

Nathaniel died at Yarmouth on 16 January 1709/10, age 82.

His will was written just six days before his death, 10 January1709/10, and mentions eight children: William, Joseph, Nathaniel, Mary Mulford, Ruth Bassett, Samuel, Hannah Covell, Sarah Nickerson. He also mentions son-in-law Thomas Mulford of Truro, his daughter-in-law Joannah, and grandchildren, although not by name. It was witnessed by Rev. Daniel Greenleaf, Experience Rider and his nephew Col Wm Basset. He mentions no wife as she predeceased him. He writes he is "aged and under much decay of body," being then 82 years old. He gave property to Nathaniel that was his Grandmother Joyce's.  Mr. Thomas Mulford of Truro and his son Joseph Bassett of Yarmouth named executors. He names items such as a loom, a musket, two pairs of spectacles with cases, a chest that was his wife’s, his great Bible and great book, sheep two canoes, a drying yard, his house, barn, orchard, shop and meadow at Yarmouth, land near the dock, land at Middleborough, an island near Cross Creek. He left his son Nathaniel money to buy each of his children a pocket Bible.

An inventory of his estate is dated 25 January 1710/11. It includes items such as cows, oxen, a horse, sheep, books, fire tongs, pewter, earthenware, ironware, iron tools, land to be sold, housing land and meadow land. His estate was appraised at 228 pounds, 11 shillings.

*Savage's Genealogy Dictionary of New England states that Nathaniel married a daughter of John Joyce, no first name given. Her name is given as Dorcas by multiple sources, including Robert Charles Anderson’s The Great Migration Begins. A 1966 article on John Joyce in TAG 43:3 gives proof Nathaniel married Dorcas Joyce.

Sources Not Listed Above:

CW Swift, Pamphlet No. 85 of the Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, The Bassett Family of Yarmouth, 1912

Nancy Thacher.  Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, 1888

Robert Ray King, NEHGR, 125:7), The Family of Nathan Bassett of Chatham

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Benajah Pratt died March 1682/3 and Persis Dunham of Plymouth, Mass.

Benajah Pratt was born about 1630 in Plymouth, the son of Joshua and Bathsheba Pratt. Joshua came to Plymouth in 1623 on board the ship Anne. Benajah is my eighth great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Benajah married Persis Dunham in Plymouth on 29 November 1655 (Plymouth VR). She was born about 1635, the daughter of John Dunham and Abigail Barlow.

Benajah and Persis had up to 11 children. Mehitable and Hannah are considered probable daughters and Mary a possible daughter.

1.      Joshua born about 1656
2.      Abigail born 21 November 1657 (Plymouth VR)
3.      John born about 1659
4.      Benjah born about 1663
5.      Joseph born February 1664/65, died young
6.      Mehitable born about 1667
7.      Hannah born about 1670
8.      Eleazer born about 1672
9.      Joseph born about 1676
10.  Daniel born about 1680
11.  Mary born about 1682

I descend from Daniel who married Martha Lazell. I wrote about that couple here.

Benajah was involved in multiple land transactions.
On 20 January 1657, Benajah Pratt of Plymouth, planter, bought from John Churchill of Plymouth a house and eight acres of land lying next to the land of John Dunham Sr., running from the well to Dunham’s land. 

On 26 December 1657 Benajah Pratt of Plymouth sold for 35 shillings to John Dunham Jr. of Plymouth 12 acres near Plain Dealing Brooke in Plymouth, northeast from the Cedar Swamp and downwards to the sea.
From what I have read, the Plain Dealing area is currently Cordage Park.

Plymouth Cordage Company Tower
On that same day, Benajah sold to William Spooner for consideration of a cow one half of his part and portion of the land called Purchase Land lying between Coaksett (Westport) and Acoakus. 

On 12 April 1661, Benajah Prat of Plymouth, Planter, sold for 10 pounds already paid to him by Robert Ransome land at Acushenah (Acushnet?) and Coaksett (original name of Westport). The land included upland and meadow, a home lot of 20 acres lying between the home lot of William Spooner and the home lot of Samuel Cutbert.

Benajah served on the Jury of a murder trial at Plymouth in 1661:

"Att this Court* likewise three Indians Named Timothy Jacked allies Canjuncke and Nassamaquat and Pompacanshe were Indited for murdering John Knowles John Tisdall senir and Samuell Attkins; The said Indian prisoners Did put them selves likewise on the tryall of God and the Country according to the manor of the English; and had Due processe in law according to the English manor by a Jury of twelve men whose Names ffollow; Mr Thomas Huckens John Wadsworth John Howland Abraham Jackson Benajah Pratt John Blacke Marke Snow Joseph Bartlett Samuell Jenings Arther Howland Samuell West Seth Pope
"The verdict of the Jury followeth
"Concerning Timothy Jacked allies Conjuncke and Nassamaquate; wee find they are very suspicious of the murder Charged on them
"And in Reference unto Pompacanshe wee find Nothing against him;
"There not appeering further evidence against them to Cleare up the Case the Centance of the Court was that the two former were to be sent out of the Country speedily and the other likewise as hee is prisoner taken in warr"
* 6 March, 1676.

Benajah’s death is recorded in Plymouth vital records: "Benajah Prat, March, 17: in his s(worn)" (PChR 249), entered in a place that would make the day 17 March 1682/3. This might mean he was sixty years old or more, which would place his birth about 1622. Were this true, he would be a full decade older than his siblings and he should be accounted for in the 1627 Plymouth division of cattle. The more likely explanation is that the worn entry has been misread and the word that has been read as beginning with "s" actually begins with "f" for some age in the 50s.
Inventory of Benajah’s estate includes "five acres of meddow att the South Meddows" (Plymouth Probate Vol IV (2) p. 12). Division of his lands (Doc. Set No. 536) dated 2 June 1682 names his sons Joshua, John, Benajah, Eleazer, Joseph and Daniel and wife Persis. I have not seen his probate records myself, but doing so is on my ever-growing list of things to do!

After Benajah’s death, Persis married Jonathan Shaw on 2 August 1683. Jonathan and Persis had a prenuptial agreement, witnessed by Joseph Dunham and Eleazer Dunham, Jonathan agreed to bring up "her two youngest children namely Joseph and Daniel Pratt" and do for them in all respects "as if they were his owne Naturall Children." "Jonathan Shaw Senr" signed and "Percis Prat" made her "P." mark. Jonathan further agreed that if he were to die first, Persis would have the right to occupy his house and his twenty-acre lot until her death. Persis died, probably in Plymouth County, after 1 Oct 1702, when she and her stepson, Jonathan Shaw Jr., were to render an account of their administration of Jonathan Shaw's estate.

On 5 Oct 1697 Jonathan and Persis Shaw were among those who by their own request were dismissed from the First Church with a few other members, apparently for the purpose of forming another church (See p 184-6 of Plymouth Church Records, Vol. 1). Their death records are not found, but Persis died after 30 July 1701 when Jonathan Shaw’s inventory was presented with Persis as his administratrix.

Sources Not Listed Above:
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volume III, 1992.

Jayne Pratt Lovelace, The Pratt Directory, Millennium Edition

Jonathan A. Shaw,  NEHGR vol 161 (July 1997), John Shaw of Plymouth Colony, Purchaser and Canal Builder

Sunday, April 7, 2013

William Eldred/Eldredge ca 1622-ca 1679 Yarmouth (now Dennis), Mass. and Ann Lumpkin

William Eldred was the first of the name to come to Yarmouth on Cape Cod from England. I have not found his birth or parents, but he was born about 1622. He is my 9th great grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. Later the name was spelled Eldredge and Eldridge.  I do not have a lot of vital records for William and Ann as many early Yarmouth records were destroyed by fire.

I do not know if it is where William hailed from, but in 17th century many Eldreds were living around Norfolk, England, a prosperous textile center where raw wool was sent to Holland to be finished. King James put an embargo on the sale of raw wool, resulting in an economic disaster for this area. I do not know William’s motivation for emigrating. From what I’ve read, there were many reasons to leave England beyond seeking religious freedom. Often people were motivated by a chance to earn a better living and also to live a healthier lifestyle as there was no sanitation, little medical care and a meager diet for the common classes in England. The poor were often drafted into military, often receiving no pay, food or uniforms.

William is recorded as a resident of Yarmouth in 1645. He was not on the 1643 Yarmouth list of men able to bear arms. Samuel, William and Robert Eldred all showed up about same time in Plymouth. It is not known whether they are related, but some researchers believe William and Robert were brothers. 

About 1647 William married Ann (sometimes Anne) Lumpkin, the daughter of William and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown) Lumpkin. I have also seen William Lumpkin's wife as Tamesin, so another thing I need to sort out. William and Ann settled near her parents by a brook later known as Eldred Brook in what is now Dennis. His land adjoined that of Thomas Howes, who was once a servant to the Lumpkins. I descend from Thomas Howes as well.

Anne Lumpkin came on the Rose from England in 1637, along with her parents William Lumpkin of Norwich, 33, locksmith and Elizabeth, 34, and servant Thomas Howes. 

Ann and William’s children were likely all born Yarmouth, although because of the lack of vital records they are not all known with certainty. Ann and Sarah are recorded at Yarmouth, Elisha and Bethia's names were recorded in their grandfather Lumpkin's will. Jehosophat, Samuel and John are believed to be their sons.
Ann b. 16 Dec 1648 Yarmouth
Sarah b. 10 Oct 1650 Yarmouth, m. William Bentley
Elisha, b. 1653, lived at Wellfleet
Bethia, b. after 1648
Jehosophat, b. about 1658, m. Elizabeth Covell
Samuel, b. about 1655,  m. Keziah Taylor on 6 Feb 1679/80
John, m. Abigail Littlefield, settled in Maine

I descend from Jehosophat, whom I wrote about here.   I don't know with 100 percent certainty that Jehosophat is his son, but it seems very likely.

In 1657 William Eldred is listed as freeman. He was a constable in 1657, 1662, 1674, 1675 and 1677.  His duties included checking the community's readiness to repel Indian and Dutch attacks as well as enforcing the orders of the Court. In 1658 and 1659 he was elected surveyor of the highways.  He was literate as he signed an early Yarmouth church document complaining of minister's sermon. In 1676 he was taxed 3 pounds 12 shillings 3 pence for towards expenses of King Philip's War.

After almost 28 years of marriage, Ann Lumpkin Eldred died in late October 1676. "The wife of William Eldred was buried the first of November 1676." (Yarmouth VR p 125)

William died around 1679 in Yarmouth. 

I have not read it, but there is a book William Eldred of Yarmouth, Massachusetts and Some of his Descendants, by Nelson Beardsley Eldred and Walt Stessy, published in 1995. 

Sources Not Listed Above:

Orville Ward Eldredge, The Eldred Family: Particularly the Descendants of William Eldredge of Yarmouth and More, 1940

William Smith, Early Chatham Settlers, CW Swift Publisher, Yarmouthport, Mass., 1915

Amos Otis, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, No. 47, "The Yarmouth Families of Eldredge," 1914

Nancy Thacher.  Reid, Dennis, Cape Cod from Firstcomers to Newcomers, 1639 – 1993, 1996

Zoeth Eldredge, Eldredge Genealogy,  by Zoeth S. Eldredge, NEHGR 51:46-54, 1897