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.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elisha Bourne 1641-1706 and Patience Skiffe 1652-1715, Sandwich, Mass.

Elisha Bourne was born at Sandwich, Mass. in 1647 (based on age at death), the son of Richard Bourne and his wife Bathsheba. I wrote about Richard here. I believe Elisha is my 9th great-grandfather, but I don’t have my line of descent through my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis completely proven yet.

On 26 October 1675 Elisha married Patience Skiffe at Sandwich. Patience was born 25 March 1652 or 1653 (recorded under both dates in the Sandwich VR) at Sandwich, the daughter of James and Mary Skiffe.

Elisha and Patience had seven children recorded in the Sandwich Vital Records:

Nathan b. 31 August 1676
Elizabeth b. 26 June 1679
Mary born 4 February 1681/82
Abigail b. 22 July 1684
Bersheba/Bathsheba b. 12 December 1686
Hannah b. 4 May 1689
Elisha b. 27 July 1692

I descend from Hannah who married Seth Pope.

Elisha was the second eldest son of Richard Bourne and he received his father’s properties in the Herring River and Manomet area. He lived in Manomet near the 1888 location of the Monument Beach Depot on the Cape Cod railroad. The area of Sandwich Elisha lived in later became the town of Bourne. 

Monument Beach Train Station.JPG
the old Monument Beach RR Depot

Elisha was active in the town of Sandwich, serving as a Selectman, Constable and Deputy to the General Court. The town's third grist mill was allowed to Elisha Bourne on Herring River in 1695. There are frequent references after this date about requiring the mill to close each spring for six weeks to allow the herring to get up to Herring Pond to spawn.
Herring Pond in Bourne

Elisha died at Sandwich on 21 December 1706. He is buried at the Old Town Burying Ground, Sandwich.

21 1706
Elisha Bourne
Elisha's gravestone

Elisha’s will is dated 9 June 1686, proved 3 March1706/7. He names his wife Patience, his sons John (this should probably be Nathan) and Elisha (the latter it appears was not in good health) and his five daughters: Abigail, Hannah, Elizabeth, Mary and Bathsheba. The estate was finally settled by agreement, dated 8 April 1718, by which time Mrs. Bourne and her son Elisha had died. The agreement is signed by Nathan "only son" and all the daughters and their husbands.

Patience died at Sandwich 25 October 1715. She's also buried at Old Town Cemetery, Sandwich.

Patience Skiffe Bourne's gravestone source: Findagrave.com

Sources Not Listed Above:

RA Lovell Jr., Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, 1984

Amos Otis, Genealogical Notes of Barnstable Families, being a reprint of the Amos Otis Papers, originally published in the Barnstable Patriot, revised by CF Swift, Volume 1 and 2, 1888

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

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Moses Simmons b. ca 1605, died 1689-1691 and wife Sarah, of Leiden, Holland and Duxbury, MA

Moses Simmons was born probably in England ca 1605, assuming he arrived at Plymouth as a young servant. He moved to Leiden, Holland, with his parents who were Separatists. His parents aren’t known, but there was a William Symonson at Leiden, who had a younger son named Moses, a subject which Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs wrote an article about (see sources). His last name is also seen as Symonson, Symons and Simonson. He is my 10th great-grandfather on my grandfather Arthur Washburn Davis’ side of the family.

Moses came to Plymouth on the ship Fortune in 1621. He settled in Duxbury and is referred to in records as a yeoman (a farmer who owns his land).

That Moses was at Leiden is shown through Edward Winslow’s writing: "Moses Symonson, because a child of one that was in communion with the Dutch church at Leyden, is admitted into church fellowship at Plymouth in New England, and his children also to baptism, as well as our own." (Hipocrisie Unmasked)). He was a freeman in Plymouth and later in the Duxbury section of freeman (1639, 1658, 1670 and 1683/4)
Circa 1910 postcard of Duxbury. Imagine how beautiful and  unspoiled it was in the 17th century?

Moses married Sarah, whose maiden name is unknown, circa 1635. Older sources give her maiden name was Chandler, but no modern evidence supports this.

Moses and Sarah had at least seven children. Their births are not recorded, but all but Rebecca and Moses are mentioned in Moses’ will. Rebecca was already deceased, but in 1674 deeded land to John Soule and his eldest daughter Rebecca of Duxbury. Moses Jr. mentions his father Moses of Duxbury in a land transaction.

Rebecca born about 1635, m. John Soule
Moses born about 1639, m. Patience Barstow
Mary born about 1641, m. Joseph Alden (son of John and Priscilla Alden of the Mayflower) 
John born about 1644, m. Mercy Pabodie
Sarah born about 1649, m. James Nash

Elizabeth born about 1651, m. Richard Dwelly
Aaron born about 1653, m. Mary Woodworth

I descend from Rebecca who married John Soule, son of Mayflower passenger George Soule.

Moses is listed in a number of deeds, which he signed up until 1678 when he used a mark. He served on juries, as a highway surveyor and was on the 1643 list of men able to bear arms.

In the 1623 Plymouth land division "Moyses Simonson & Philipe de la Noye" jointly received two acres (PCR 12:5). In the 1627 Plymouth cattle division Moses Simonson was the 8th person in the first company headed by Francis Cooke (PCR 12:9). On 26 March 1628 Moses Simonson sold one acre to Robert Hicks (PCR 12:7). "Moses Symons" assessed 9s in Plymouth tax lists of 25 March 1633 and 27 March 1634 (PCR 1:11,28). On 3 June 1662 Moses Simonson was 25th on the list of those granted land "as being the first born children of the government," receiving two tracts of land (PCR 4:19). On 13 December 1660 Moses Symons of Scituate sold to Joseph Coleman Sr of Scituate, shoemaker, half of 40 acres of land at Coaksett which was sometimes the land of my father Moses Symons of Duxburrow; acknowledged by Patience, wife of Moses Symons Jr (PCLR 3:183). On 20 April 1669 "Moses Simons" of Duxbury, planter, deeded to "John Simons his true and natural son all that his dwelling house, outhouses and buildings, land, meadow and upland, orchards and garden" in Duxbury, containing 40 acres of upland and 3 acres of meadow "with two acres of meadow...at little wood island in the great marsh" (PCLR 3:139). On 30 Dec 1674 Moses Simons of Duxbury, yeoman "in consideration of a marriage heretofore consummated between John Soule of Duxburrow and my eldest daughter Rebeckah" deeded to them "all my purchased lands at Namaskett" (MD 19:96, citing PCLR 4:43). On 4 Dec 1678 Moses Simmons Senior of Duxbury, yeoman, deeded to "my son Aron Simmons of Scituate" all that my one-half share of land, with upland and meadow lands divided and undivided...that I have as a purchaser or old comer" in Dartmouth (PCLR 4:219).

Sarah died after 3 June 1673 when she is mentioned in a court record, but before 17 June 1689, when Moses does not mention her in his will.

Moses died between 17 June 1689 (will written) and 10 September 1691 (will proved). In his will, Moses Simmons called himself "aged and full of decay.” He bequeathed to "my daughter Mary the wife of Joseph Alden" 4 pounds; to "my son Aaron" 4 pounds; to "my daughter Elizabeth now the wife of Richard Dwelley" 5 shillings; to "my daughter Sarah now the wife of James Nash" 2 lb 10s; to "my son John" 4 lb, he to be executor (MD 31:60, citing PPR 1:106). The inventory of the estate of Moses Simmons was taken 10 September 1691 and totaled 33 pounds 11 shillings, with no real estate included as he had already deeded it to his children (MD 31:60, citing PPR 1:107).

Sources Not Listed Above:

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

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

Jeremy Dupertuis Bangs, Moses Simons of Leiden, Summer 2004 issue of New England Ancestors

Monday, September 16, 2013

John Darby ca 1610 to ca February 1655/56 and his wife Alice of Dorsetshire, England, and Yarmouth, Mass.

John Darby was born about 1610, in England. I have read that he was
from Dorset, but I’m not sure what the source is for that. He is my
10th great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side
of the family. His last name is also spelled Derby and Darbey.  I know
very little about John, so this will be brief!

John was at Plymouth about 1637 and at Yarmouth before 1643.

John married a woman named Alice, maiden name unknown, and they had a
daughter Mary in about 1644, in Plymouth or Yarmouth. They also had a
son born the last of February 1647, but his given name was omitted in
the Plymouth Vital Records, and a son Matthew born 8 February 1649,
recorded Plymouth Vital Records.

Mary grew up and married, as his second wife, Nicholas Nickerson. I
wrote about that couple here.

Plymouth Court Records has information on the 21 Dec 1638 case of Ann
Hynes, wife of William Hospkins, aged about 25, who was deposed in a
case between John Darbey and John Chipman. Ann lived in the house of
John Darbey’s father with John Chipman at the time that John Chipman
came from England to New England to serve Mr. Richard Darbey, his
(John’s) brother, and that the said Ann came afterwards likewise to
serve the said Richard Darbey. This seems to indicate that John
Chipman and Ann Hynes were John Chipman were servants in Mr. Darby’s
household in England and that Mr. Darby had son’s John and Richard who
came to New England. I haven’t seen the original document; perhaps it
mentions Dorset.

John received fourscore acres upland and 20 acres meadow in the 1648
division of Yarmouth lands. Also in 1648, in a dispute over Yarmouth
land, “there was granted also to John Darby to have six acres of
meadow in the Eastern Swan Pond Meadowe, in lieu of 4 acres due to
William Chase, for a debt the town owed him.”

John Darby went to court against Indian Sagamore Massantampaigne for
"his dogs did him wrong among his cattle and did much hurt one of
them." This happened 16 years after English settlement at Yarmouth and
Indians were under subjection to colonial laws.

On 20 September 1655, William and Elizabeth Pearse of Yarmouth sold to
John Darbey of Yarmouth, their dwelling house, 38 acres of upland,
nine acres of meadow, all lying at the Bass Pond River. The sale also
include some items: one closet, bedstead with two shelves, one shelf
in the chimney corner, one mortar, one pestle, one dressing board and
little table by the bedstead, one little bench under the window in the
outward room, one shelf over the door of the inward room. Witnessed by
William and Nicholas Nickerson.

The Cape Cod Genealogical Society Bulletin, Spring 2001, has a map
showing locations of the homes of "Dennis First Comers." John Darby
lived in what is now the Mayfair section of town, on Country Circle
off Mayfair Road. It was a fairly well populated early section of
town. Nearest neighbors were W. Pearse, Francis Baker and David
Kelley. He lived on/near Kelley's Bay.

I have not found John’s death date, but he died before 22 February
1655. An inventory of the estate of John Darby of Yarmouth was taken
22 February 1655, by Edmund Hawes and Robert Dennis, and was proved
before Mr. Thomas Prence, 6 June 1656. Among the items are: five acres
of rye on the ground; children's bedding; ten acres of meadow "which
hee bought of goodman Seares which is to pay for," "one house and 38
Acars of upland and 9 Acars of meddow which hee bought of Willam
Pearse" £15.
The estate was indebted to: "Mr hedge"; William ffalland; "David the
Irishman"; "Peeter the Scotsman"; "goodman Wells"; James Lewis;
"goodman Sturgis"; "goodman Nicarson"; Thomas Phelps; William Chase;
"goodman Seares for Land" £6; "goodman Pearse for house & land" £15.

I also have not found Alice’s death date. Torrey writes that she
married 2nd Abraham Black in 1658. Plymouth Vital records have Allice
Derbey vid (sic) marrying Abraham Blush/Blish on 4 January 1658.

Sources Not Listed Above:

Charles Swift, History of Old Yarmouth, 1884

Vernon R. Nickerson, From Pilgrims and Indians...

Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1800

G. Andrews Moriarty Jr., NEHGR Volume 79, Genealogical Research in
England and Genealogical Research in New England

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Thomas Freeman 1708-1766 and Dorothy Cole 1712-?1782 of Harwich / Orleans, MA

Thomas Freeman was born 13 September 1708 in Harwich, Mass., the son of Thomas and Mary (Smith) Freeman. I wrote about Thomas and Mary here.   Thomas is my eighth great-grandfather on my grandmother Milly (Booth) Rollins’ side of the family.

Thomas received, as eldest son, 120 pounds, 2 shillings, 8 pence in the division of his father's estate 30 July 1718, and was to split his father’s land with his three siblings after the decease of their mother.

On 6 August 1730, Thomas Freeman and Dorothy Cole were married by Samuel Osborn  at Eastham, Mass. Dorothy was born 15 May 1712 at Eastham, the daughter of Timothy and Apphia (Pepper) Cole. Their intentions were recorded Eastham 19 June 1730 and at Harwich on 20 June. Dorothy’s name is spelled in a variety of ways in records, including Dority and Doretha. I wrote about Timothy and Apphia here.

The births of Thomas and Dorothy’s children are recorded in Harwich Vital Records:

1. Thomas Freeman, born at Cape Cod, 26 April 1731, married Esther Ryder, removed to Falmouth
2. James Freeman, born Harwich 23 June 23 1734, m. Hannah King
3. Isaac Freeman, 12 February 1736/7, m. Hannah Higgins
4. Sarah Freeman, born 23 November 1739, died 23 September 1753
5. Marah Freeman, born 9 April 1742, married Jesse Rogers
6. Obed Freeman, born 27 November 1744, married Didamia Doane
7. Timothy Freeman, born 4 May 1747, married Zerviah Nickerson and Mary Deane

I descend from their son Thomas.

Dorothy was mentioned in her father Timothy Cole's 2 April 1760 will as Dorretha Freeman to receive land with her sisters.

A 1765 petition from the Praying Indians of Indian Town at South Yarmouth asked for money to pay their preacher John Ralph. It is doubtful the petition was ever put into effect because the following year smallpox again devastated the lower Cape. Thomas Freeman was their legal guardian at the time, and John Ralph was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Indians in his place. The disease left only six wigwams in Indian Town by the following year.

Thomas and Dorothy raised their family in Harwich (now South Orleans) near the Chatham line at the head of Pleasant Bay.

Thomas is referred to as yeoman in various land transactions. He also was skilled in the art of medicine and was involved with the local Native Americans (called Portanumquts in the Freeman genealogy, but I believe this should be Pawkunnakuts, another name for the Wampanoag people), serving as justice and guardian for the Christian members.

Thomas died of small pox on 19 July 1766, in  Harwich (now Orleans). I have also seen his death as 19 January, which would make more sense for a March 1766 inventory, but the July date is from the transcribed Harwich Vital Records. If anyone could clarify this, I would love to hear from you! Thomas contracted the small pox from Col. Ryder’s family of Chatham where he went to give medical aid. He must have been a brave man and very committed to offering medical assistance as he knowingly had contact with such a deadly disease. 

In his 1917 History of Chatham, William C. Smith wrote that Thomas' grave could still be seen in the field at South Orleans near his home. I'd imagine he was buried separate from family or with other smallpox victims. It would be interesting to find the location of his burial.

Thomas’ inventory was taken 28 March 1766 (or 1767?), but I have not seen it yet myself.  It mentions his widow Dorathy, sons Thomas, Isaac and Timothy.

According to Frederick Freeman, Dorothy died in 1782, but no source is given. I don’t find her death in vital records. Freeman writes that Dorothy was a member of Mr. Bascom’s church in Orleans and she received him at her house on 26 September 1781 because she was sick. She definitely died after 1766 when she was mentioned in her late husband’s estate.
Sources Not Listed Above:

Susan E. Roser, Early Descendants of Daniel Cole of Eastham, Massachusetts, Friends of the Pilgrim Series Vol. 2, 2010

Delores Bird Carpenter, Early Encounters Native Americans and Europeans in New England, From the Papers of W. Sears Nickerson, 1994

Frederick Freeman, Freeman Genealogy in Three Parts, 1875

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Antique Slides of Plymouth, Mass.

I'm veering away from my usual type of post to share copies of antique slides of various scenes in Plymouth. We picked up two boxes of Magic Lantern glass slides at a New Hampshire flea market. We don't know anything about them but thought they were pretty cool and were a good price (a reasoning that has led to our house being quite full!). When I looked through them at home, I found some of them were Plymouth scenes probably dating to about 1910. Yippee!

Please excuse the quality--I don't have the appropriate technology to make proper scans.

I love this slide of a map of downtown Plymouth. It's a bit blurry to read, but the top left area is Burial Hill and the top right area is the Pilgrim Monument (now referred to as the Forefathers' Monument). The lower left is Town Brook (next to it is site of the first house) and the middle is Pilgrim Hall. Other things that are marked include Plymouth Rock near the waterfront, the Railroad Station and the Court House.

This slide is of a woman dressed in Victorian clothing sitting atop Plymouth Rock. The canopy was replaced with the larger one you see today in 1920. The waterfront storehouses are long gone but are a reminder of Plymouth's past as a working waterfront.

Here is how the Plymouth Rock portico looks today, from a photo I took last year looking down from Cole's Hill.

Slide of Burial Hill. The first time I saw the historic cemetery, I was disappointed it wasn't in better repair. Fortunately, there is now a group of volunteers who are cleaning stones and restoring the cemetery.

 Here is a 2012 photo of Burial Hill.

This slide shows the view from Burial Hill looking toward the water. Note the old factory smokestack.

The view from Burial Hill today.

Slide of the Forefathers' Monument. If you haven't seen this, it's wonderful! It was dedicated in 1889. It is 81 feet tall, made of granite and cost $150,000 to complete. The standing figure represents Faith, an important ideal of the Pilgrims.

The seated figures represent Morality, Education, Freedom and Law.

Recent photograph of the Forefathers' Monument.

Perhaps this was the view from the Forefathers' Monument toward the ocean. It's too distant to be taken from Cole's Hill or Burial Hill. If anyone knows for sure, I'd love to hear from you.