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, August 25, 2013

Samuel Wilbore born 1622 and Hannah Porter born ca 1630, of England, Boston, Portsmouth, RI, South Kingstown, RI, and Taunton, Mass.

Samuel Wilbore was baptized at Sible Hedingham, Essex, England on 10 April 1622, the son of Samuel and Ann (Smith) Wilbore. His father was a founder of the town of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. His last name is spelled in a variety of ways including Wilbour and Wilbur. Savage spelled it Wildbore. Samuel is my 9th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. I haven’t done a tremendous amount of research on Samuel, but this is what I have found so far.
St. Peter's church, Sible Hedingham, Essex - geograph.org.uk - 175022.jpg
St. Peter's Church, Sible Hedingham

Samuel was in America by 1633, when his parents, Samuel and Ann, joined the First Church of Boston on 1 December 1633. Possibly came on the ship Griffin which arrived in Boston on 4 September 1633.

Samuel Senior was banished to Portsmouth, RI for being a follower of Quaker Ann Hutchinson. I do not know if Samuel Jr. and Hannah were also  practicing Quakers, but hope to find that out.

Samuel was one of the original purchasers of Pettaquanscutt (later South Kingstown, RI). Circa 1650, Samuel married Hannah Porter, daughter of John Porter. She was born about 1630 and died 6 April 1722. She is the only known child of John Porter, an important Portsmouth, Rhode Island, citizen who sadly abandoned his wife and child. John Porter was also an original purchaser of Pettaquanscutt.

He was apparently an important person in Rhode Island, being named to the Royal Charter of 1663. 

RI.Royal Charter 1663.angled.jpg
Royal Charter of 1663 at the RI State House

Samuel and Hannah’s children were: Abigail, John, Hannah, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Mary and possibly Joanna. 
I descend from their daughter Rebecca who married William Browning.

Samuel is mentioned in his father's 30 April 1656 will as his eldest son, receiving land in Rhode Island, debts due to his father, two cows, a ewe, and "six hundred of iron lying at Taunton in my dwelling house there".  His father was part owner of an ironworks.

I have read that Samuel died age 74 at death in 1697, at Taunton, Mass., but I don’t know the source for that. I have also read that he died after August 1678 when he wrote his will, but before 1710 when his estate was probated. I haven’t seen his will. It's on my ever-growing list of things to do! 

Hannah died 6 April 1722 in Taunton, Mass.

If anyone has source suggestions to find more on Samuel and Hannah, I'd love to hear about them! 

Sources Not Listed Above:

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

Benjamin Franklin Wilbour, The English Ancestry of Samuel Wilbore, of Boston and William Wilbore, of Portsmouth, RI, NEHGR, 1958-59.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Shubael Baker (1710-1796) and Lydia Stewart/Stuart (ca 1708-1786) of Dennis and Chatham, Mass.

Shubael Baker was born 24 March 1709/10 in Yarmouth, Mass., the son of Samuel and Patience (Berry) Baker (Yarmouth VR). Too bad women didn’t hyphenate their names back then, because Berry-Baker would have been amusing, especially a patient berry baker! Yarmouth Vital Records mention Shubael being born in “Croky Neck” aka Crooked Neck which became Dennis Port. Shubael is my sixth great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

Old Postcard of Dennis Port, Mass.
On 19 June 1733 Shubael married Lydia Stewart (also seen as Stuart/Stuard) at Chatham (Chatham VR). Lydia was born about 1708. She was probably the daughter of Joseph Stewart and his wife Mary (according to Early Chatham Settlers) .

The births of their eight children are recorded in Yarmouth VR:

Sylvanus born 10 March 1734/5, married Hannah Burgess and Jane Crowell
Azubah b. 17 May 1737,  m. Jediah Crowell
Temperance b. 24 June 1739, m. Heman Baker
Shubael b. 11 Nov 1741, m. Rebecca Chase and Elizabeth Chase
Elizabeth b. 2 Jan 1743/44,  m. Abner Nickerson
Lydia b.13 Oct 1746 m. Benoni Studley
Ruth b. 25 June 1749, m. Bassett Nickerson
Patience b. 19 July 1752, m. John Baker

I descend from Shubael and his wife Rebecca Chase. I wrote about them here.

On 19 October 1729, Shubael Baker witnessed the will of Margaret Mitchell of Barnstable. On 25 Feb 1729/30, he made oath to the probate judge that he witnessed her sign her will. Not certain if this is referring to “my” Shubael as he would have been just 20 years old and not sure if he ever lived in Barnstable.

Lydia died 5 March 1786 at age 77 at Chatham (from Rev. Nathan Stone’s diary).

Shubael died 26 April 1796, aged 87 at Dennis, Mass (Dennis VR).

I have not found Lydia and Shubael’s burial location. They are not listed in Cemetery Inscriptions of Dennis, Massachusetts.

I haven’t done a tremendous amount of research on Shubael and Lydia, so any additional information from other descendents is most welcome!

Sources Not Listed Above:

Burton N. Derick, Dennis Source Records, Volume 1: Church Records, Diaries of Rev. Nathan Stone, 2004

William C. Smith, Early Chatham Settlers, Library of Cape Cod History & Genealogy, No. 36, 1915

CW Swift, The Baker Family of Yarmouth, Descendants of Francis , Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy,  No. 73, 1912

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern, Mass.. Vol 12, 1912

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thomas Lucas died 6 January 1678/79 England and Plymouth, Mass.

Thomas Lucas was born about 1630 in England. When he came to Plymouth isn’t known, but his name first appears in the Town Records in 1650 on a list of townsmen. He is my ninth great-grandfather on my Grandfather Arthur Washburn Ellis’ side of the family. His wife’s name is unknown, but they were married about 1655, probably in Plymouth. Thomas was a blacksmith. He was also an alcoholic and at times abusive to his family. He was brought up on more charges of drunkenness than anybody else in Plymouth Colony.

Annabelle Kemp’s 1964 Lucas Genealogy gives a possible ancestry of Thomas Lucas but offers no real proof. It suggests he was born about1630, son of Sir Thomas Lucas of Lexden, Essex, England, and traces the line back to Lucas family of West Stowe, or Little Saxham, Suffolk. Morant's History of Essex Vol. 1 says Sir Thomas left no male heirs and the title then went to his brother John's daughter Mary, but the Kemp thinks it may be that Thomas lost the title because he went to America.

It saddens me not to be able to at least  find Thomas’ wife’s first name. She bore and raised a large family and was abused by her husband, all of which were written in town and court records, yet her name is never mentioned. Even in the settlement of his estate, she is simply “the widow.”

Thomas and his wife had seven children (first five recorded Plymouth VR; last two named in the settlement of Thomas’ estate):

John born 15 July 1656
Mary born 15 March 1657/58
Benoni born 30 October 1659
Samuel born 15 December 1661
William born 13 January 1662/63
Bethia born about 1665
Mehitable born about 1667

I descend from Samuel Lucas and his wife Patience Warren (granddaughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Walker) Warren who came on the Mayflower).

In the twenty-five times he is mentioned in Court records, sixteen records are for drunkenness.

On 2 Oct 1658, Thomas Lucas fined ten shillings for being drunk a second time. On 6 Oct 1660, Lucas was fined ten shillings for being drunk twice.

On 5 March 1660/1 he was found guilty of being drunk a third time, but this time he was sentenced to find sureties for his good behavior. John Wood and George Bonham each put up 10 pounds to assure his appearance at the next court, but on the same day Lucas presented himself at court distempered with drink and for his unseeming behavior both in words and gestures he was committed to prison and fined 40 shillings. No duration of imprisonment was given, but probably a short term of a day or so.

Thomas broke his bonds for good behavior when on 7 May 1661 he was found with Ann Savory, wife of Thomas Savory, at the time of public worship on the Lord's day drunk and under the hedge in an uncivil and beastly manner and he was to appear at the next court. It doesn't seem there was a sexual connotation to Thomas’ involvement with Ann or the wording would have been different. Ann was sentenced to sit in the stocks and fined five shillings.

colonial stocks
Colonial Era Stocks

On 3 March 1662/3 Thomas Lucas, "it being the third time he hath been convicted and sentanced in the Court for being drunk," was sentenced to be publicly whipped; the court ordered that the sentence by stayed "untill heee shalbee taken drunke the next time, and then hee is to bee forthwith taken and whipt, without further presenting to the Court." Though the court seemed to have difficulty in keeping count, it apparently was referring to the higher seriousness of being found drunk three or more times.

On 1 March 1663/4 Thomas Lucas was publicly whipped for being drunk a third time: "Hee was sentanced formerly for being drunke the third time; nevertheles the execution therof was (respited) until hee should bee found drunke againe, which accordingly was witnessed against him, and soe the said punishment was inflicted on him as aforsaid."

In March 1664 Thomas Lucas was required to give surety for his good behavior and appearance at the next session of the court to answer "for his abusing of his wife to her danger and hazard, also for his railing and reviling others, to the disturbance of the King's peace." Although not stated, all of his court appearances were for excessive drinking and the behavior that accompanied it.

On 30 March 1665 he was charged with abusing his wife and Stephen Bryant and George Bonham each put up 5 pounds for his appearance at court. Interesting that despite his battle with drink, he had friends who risked quite a sum to support him.

On 8 June 1664 Lucas was sentenced to sit in the stocks for swearing.

On 9 June 1665 he was sentenced to be imprisoned for 24 hours for swearing by the wounds of God.

On 3 October 1665 Thomas Lucas was fined ten shillings for being drunk.

On 2 March 1668/9 he appeared in court to answer the charge of abusing his wife and children. He promised reformation and his wife testifying that since his presentment he had not abused them as aforesaid, the court cleared him with an admonition.

On 7 June 1670 Lucas was fined three shillings, four pence for striking Samuel Jenney. Again it can be seen it finally abandoned its efforts toward deterrence, for on 3 June 1673 Lucas was found guilty of being drunk again, but the court released him with a warning.

On 1 June 1675 the court tried a new tactic, and when Lucas was charged for being distempered with drink, the court noted "it being soe oftens, and that hee hath borne severall particular punishments gradually, and can not be reclaimed, it was orderd and prohibited to lett him have none." But on 30 Oct 1675 Lucas, for reviling some deceased magistrates and for being drunk, was sentenced to be whipped at the post, which was accordingly done.

Part of me gets a chuckle thinking of how much Thomas’ colorful behavior must have bothered the town fathers, but his alcoholism was sad and had violent consequences. There weren’t many mentions of child abuse in 17th century Plymouth. It is likely that the distinction between discipline and abuse had not yet been drawn in that time, and most child abuse probably went unreported and thus unpunished. It was the male household head's responsibility to keep the entire family unit in line. Thus, punishment of children, wives, and servants could all be viewed as acceptable due to that responsibility.

Thomas Lucas was taxed for his business as a Smith, August 1672, value of 50 pounds.

Thomas Lucas was listed as receiving money owed from Gov. Thomas Prence out of his estate in 1673. Samuel Sturtevant's 1669 estate was also indebted to Thomas Lucas. Probably payments for blacksmith work Lucas had performed.

Thomas Lucas was one of the men who took the 1673 inventory for the estate of John Tilson.

Thomas died at Plymouth on 6 January 1678/79. Some sources state that Thomas died in King Philip’s War (Savage, William T. Davis' book Genealogical Register of Plymouth Families, and Nathaniel Philbrick in his book Mayflower), but it seems to me that would have been another man of the same name.

Robert S. Wakefield listed all documented Plymouth Colony casualties in King Philip’s War in his 1984 article Plymouth Colony Casualties in King Philip's War (TAG, 60 [1984]:236-242). Wakefield did not list Lucas as a casualty.

Rather, it seems Thomas died as he lived, and on 6 Jan 1678/9 a coroner's jury reported that Thomas Lucas, "being very ancient & decrepid in his limbes, and it being very cold, and haveing drunk some drinke, gott a violent fall into a ditch, in a very dangerous place, could not recover himself, but bruised his body, and lying all night in the cold, soe hee came by his end." I wonder if Thomas was older than the ca 1630 birth some have given him to be called ancient and decrepit at his death.

Some poorer residents left estates valued at one to a few pounds. Thomas Lucas, the town drunk, left a more middling estate of $141 pounds, 10 shillings of which 39 pounds was real estate and 30 pounds, 10 shillings, 9 pence consisted of the shovels, hoes, pothangers, etc. in his blacksmith shop.

From the settlement of his estate dated 8 March 1678/9:  “the widow” would have free use of the housing and lands until her sons come of age and then her thirds of the benefits during her natural life and the sum of 38 pounds of movables ... and use of the whole until the children come to their respective ages or marriages.  Benonie, the eldest son, received the house and half the garden plot, half the barn, three acres meadow and grant of four acres excepting his mother's thirds and the sum of 11 pounds 6 shillings in personal estate. Mary Lucas and Bethya Lucas each to receive 12 pounds and Mehitable Lucas 10 pounds.  

I would guess that my grandmother Lucas was a woman of good character and reputation since all her children married well and were held in good repute. It is significant that none of them named a son Thomas for their father. Both Benoni and Samuel were made freemen in June 1689, and in 1690 Samuel was made Ensign and served on the Jury many times.

Mrs. Lucas died sometime after the settling of her husband’s 1679 estate, but no further record of her is found.

Sources Not Listed Above:

Eugene Stratton, Plymouth Colony, It's History and People, 1986

James and Patricia Scott Deetz, The Times of Their Lives: Life, Love and Death in Plymouth Colony, 2001

Jason Jordan, Domestic Violence in Plymouth Colony, 1998

Sunday, August 4, 2013

John Nickerson 1664-1745 and Elizabeth Baker ca 1675-1765, Yarmouth (now South Dennis), Mass.

John Nickerson was born at Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts on 10 September 1664, the son of Nicholas and Mary (Darby) Nickerson. I wrote his parents here.  John’s birth is recorded in the Yarmouth Vital Records birth saying he was 10 years old the 10th of September 1674. John was born and lived his life in the area of Yarmouth that became South Dennis. He is my eighth great-grandfather through my Grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family. 

John married Elizabeth Baker on 19 August 1696 at Yarmouth (Yarmouth VR). She was born about 1675, the daughter of John and Alice (Pierce) Baker.

John and Elizabeth had eight children recorded in Yarmouth Vital Records:

1. Elizabeth born 11 May 1699
2. Mary born 12 June 1701
3. John born 1 June 1703
4. Patience born 15 April 1705
5. Israel born 31 March 1709
6. Tabatha born 15 June 1713
7. Marcy born 22 November 1716
8. Eleazer born 2 April 1718

I descend from their son John who married Mary Small/Smalley.

Some sources also give them a son Gershon, probably a twin of Israel, who died in infancy in 1709.

In the 1712/13 division of land by the proprietors, John Nickerson received considerable land north of his father's land in what is now South Dennis, extending easterly, in some cases as far as the Harwich town line. It was this land on which his sons Israel and John Jr settled, moving up toward what is now Highbank in South Dennis, near the Indian Lands. John's son Eleazer inherited his father's properties.

John built his first house on his father’s land just north of where the South Dennis Congregational Church (aka the Sea Captains’ Church) stands today. He left that house to his son John. Just before his death in 1745.  he built a house directly across from the church on Main Street. His first house also still stands, which he gave to son John. He left the new house to his son Eleazer.

I need to find out if either of these houses still stands today.

John Nickerson died 23 July 1745 at Yarmouth (Yarmouth VR).  I have yet to look for his probate records.

Elizabeth Nickerson died 5 January 1765 at Yarmouth (Rev. Stone’s Diary).

I don’t believe stones survive for John and Elizabeth, but I would imagine they are buried at the Congregational Church Cemetery in South Dennis.

Sources Not Listed Above:

Nickerson Family Association, The Nickerson Family: The Descendants of William Nickerson (1604-1689) First Settler of Chatham, Massachusetts covering seven generations beginning with William Nickerson and Anne Busby, vol. 1-3

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

Burton N. Derick, Nickerson Homesteads, CCGS Bulletin, June 2011

CW Swift, Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, The Baker Family of Yarmouth, Descendants of Francis, No. 73, 1912

Burton N. Derick, Dennis Source Records, Volume 1: Church Records, 2004, Diaries of Rev. Nathan Stone

Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884