Saturday, March 31, 2012

A Large Family and a Long Life – Phebe Boynton

B. 23 Nov 1750 in Coventry, Connecticut
M. about 1765 in (probably) Easthampton, Massachusetts
Husband: Benjamin Clapp
D. 30 Nov 1847 in Easthampton, Massachusetts

Phebe Boynton was born November 23, 1750 in Coventry, Connecticut to Joshua Boynton and Rachel Carpenter. Phebe was their first child and they had a second daughter Anne just before Joshua died in 1752. Phebe's mother married a second husband, Ebenezer French, and she had nine more children.

Phebe married Benjamin Clapp in about 1765 and they settled in Easthampton, Massachusetts. If this marriage date is accurate, she was just 14 or 15 years old; Benjamin would have been 26 or 27. They had 13 children born between 1768 and 1794. Benjamin served in the American Revolution, but left to care for his sick father. Phebe also had two half-brothers who served in the Revolution.

It was said that Phebe took in “for sometime at her table” two British officers who had been taken prisoner at Saratoga. In late 1777, after the surrender of General Burgoyne, the British forces under his command (about 2,400 men) were allowed safe return to England. But the Continental Congress revoked this deal, and some of the British prisoners were held for up to five and a half years. During that time, the prisoners were moved to various locations throughout the colonies, with officers being kept in private homes. It’s not known at what point the Clapp family in Easthampton may have housed the two officers.

Phebe became a member of the first church in Easthampton at the time of its founding in 1785. The church was organized at the house of her brother-in-law, Captain Joseph Clapp. When the first minister was ordained in 1789, Phebe entertained some of the ordaining council at her home. It’s believed that she was the last survivor of the original church members at the time of her death.

Benjamin was said to have been mentally impaired late in his life and Phebe must have cared for him. After he died on November 8, 1815, she lived on as a widow for 32 years. 

Phebe hardly had a sick day in her entire life. She was said to have “a very genial disposition” and she “retained activity, both of mind and soul, till the last year of her life.” On November 30, 1847, Phebe died at the age of 97. Many of her children had predeceased her; it is said that she had about 70 grandchildren and 70 great-grandchildren at the time of her death.

1.  Rachel Clapp – B. 28 Feb 1768; D. 11 Jul 1868; M. Nathaniel Edwards, Jan 1800

2. Ocran Clapp – B. 27 Feb 1770; D. 16 Dec 1835; M. Sarah Lyman

3. Sophia Clapp – B. 9 Dec 1771, Easthampton, Massachusetts; D. 12 Sep 1840, Nelson, New Hampshire; M. Reverend Gad Newell (1764-1859)

4. Anne Clapp – B. 21 Nov 1773, Easthampton, Massachusetts; D. 13 Dec 1802, Charlotte, Vermont; M. Medad Lyman (1770-1813)

5. Clarissa Clapp – B. 22 Feb 1776; D. after 1864; M. Jonathan Lyman

6. Benjamin Clapp – B. 14 Nov 1778; D. 1 Apr 1821

7. Sally Clapp – B. 15 Nov 1780; D. 9 Jan 1844; M. Daniel Lyman, 31 Dec 1806

8. Solomon Clapp – B. 2 Sep 1782, Massachusetts; D. 25 Nov 1827, Easthampton, Massachusetts; M. Pauline Avery (1787-1864)

9. Spencer Clapp – B. 15 Aug 1784; M. Diana Phelps, 1 Jan 1805

10. Phebe Clapp – B. 6 Sep 1786, Southampton, Massachusetts; M. Levi Clapp (1784-1856)

11. Fanny Clapp – B. 24 Feb 1789; D. after 1864; Jared Clark, 5 Jan 1809

12. Caroline Clapp – B. 15 Oct 1791; D. after 1864; M. Milton Knight

13. George Clapp – B. 24 Apr 1794; D. 15 Jul 1825

Obituary of Phebe Clapp, Northampton Courier, 1947
The History of Easthampton: its settlement and growth, Payson W. Lyman, 1866
The Clapp Memorial: record of the Clapp family in America, Ebenezer Clapp, 1876
The American almanac and repository of useful knowledge, Charles Bowen, 1848
Tombstone inscriptions from Main Street Cemetery, Easthampton, Massachusetts
A History of Nelson, New Hampshire, Parke Hardy Struthers, 1968
The Lyman Family in America, Lyman Coleman, 1872

Monday, March 19, 2012

Giving Himself a New Name – Thomas Michael Mitchell

B. 7 Oct 1893 in Oswego, Kansas
M. (1) 11 Nov 1912 in Tacoma, Washington
Wife: Tillie Nack
M. (2) 11 Feb 1921 in Los Angeles, California
Wife: Hazel Laura Elwood
M. (3) 1943 in (probably) Los Angeles, California
Wife: Lillian Johnson
D. 10 Mar 1980 in Monterey Park, California

Thomas Michael Mitchell didn't start out life with the name Mitchell. He was born on October 7, 1893 in Oswego, Kansas to an unmarried 20-year-old woman named Laura Ross. He never knew his own father; his mother told him the man’s name was Thomas Carey and that he refused to marry her when she became pregnant. In 2017, DNA evidence proved that this man was Thomas Michael Carey (1864-1937), who would go on to own a fruit wholesaling business in Coffeyville. Carey married in 1895, and with his wife, he had four more children. None of them was ever told about their older half-brother.

Laura Ross also got married in 1895 — to a man named Howard Sheridan. Sheridan accepted Tom as his own son, and Tom took the name Sheridan. He would have seven younger half-brothers and one half-sister (two of the boys died as a babies). In 1900, the family left Kansas for Tacoma, Washington. During the years 1901-1905, they lived in the remote town of Lake Kapowsin, near Mt. Rainier. Tom's step-father worked for the railroad and their tiny house was next to the tracks that ran through the woods. After 1905, the family moved to several places in the Puget Sound area.

Tom with his half-brothers Forrest and Howard in about 1901

Tom completed his education when he graduated from the sixth grade. Between the years 1907-1915, he worked at various jobs all over the Northwest. He traveled as far north as Alaska, and as far south as Portland. One time he got into trouble at a lumber mill, threatening his boss after he fired him. Later, when the boss turned up murdered, Tom was arrested for it. A girl he was staying with came forward as an alibi and cleared his name. There was also a story that Tom had a brief career as a prizefighter during this time.

On November 11, 1912, Tom married a woman named Tillie Nack. The following summer, Tillie gave birth to a stillborn son, and she died in 1915. In 1916, Tom moved to Los Angeles with the Sheridan family. He found work as an ice cream maker. The following year, Tom's mother died in childbirth at age 43.

In 1918, Tom was drafted into the Army. He was due to be shipped to fight in the war in Europe, then he was delayed when he contracted the Spanish flu. Men died in hospital beds on both sides of him, but Tom recovered, and afterwards, he shipped out to France. The war ended before he got there, and he was sent back to the United States, to be stationed in Newport News, Virginia, where all the returning soldiers were arriving. This was where he spent the bulk of his service.

Tom in about 1918

One evening, Tom went with a friend named Tex Townsend to meet some girls in the restricted zone of town. On the way out, they got into a fight with some MPs. The next day they heard that one of the MPs had wound up dead and they were going to be arrested for it, so Tom and Tex left. They traveled first to Richmond, then Tex said he knew a lawyer in Washington D.C. When they met with the lawyer, he said they should keep running and change their names. Tom chose the name “Mitchell” more or less at random, although he had known of another serviceman named Mitchell who had been court martialed and given a huge prison sentence. After they went their separate ways, Tom never heard from Tex again.

Tom traveled first to Philadelphia where he took a job at a Woolworth's store, and on a whim stole $600. Then he got on a train to St. Louis. By January 1920, he was in Denver, and next he went to Salt Lake City, where he almost bumped into one of his superiors from the army at a dance. Finally he found himself in Caliente, Nevada. After a short time there, he made a deal with someone to trade his own train ticket to Salt Lake City for one to Los Angeles.

Arriving back in Los Angeles, he found that the Sheridans had left and there was no way of finding them. Tom took a job as a cook at the downtown YMCA. There he met his second wife Hazel Elwood, also working as a cook. After a brief courtship, they married in Los Angeles on February 11, 1921.

Tom and Hazel had a son Tom in 1922 and a daughter Patsy in 1924. Tom had wanted to name his boy "Michael," but Hazel chose Tom instead. Still, Tom liked to call his two children "Pat and Mike." In 1926, the family relocated to Oakland, where Hazel had a baby boy, born in September 1926.

Tom holding son Tom in 1922

In 1928, Tom and his family moved back to Los Angeles after a fire destroyed their Oakland house. They eventually settled in Tujunga where Hazel’s family owned property. In 1930, Tom opened a restaurant in Hollywood, but within a year, had an accident with his car that badly injured his knee. He was unable to drive and closed the restaurant, so Hazel became the breadwinner by taking a job as a cook. As a result, she moved on her own to Hollywood, and he stayed in Tujunga raising the kids. They never lived as a couple again.

During the 1930s, Tom became interested in nutrition. He used what he learned in books to help get his knee better. It was the Depression and hard to make ends meet. He kept chickens in the yard and to help feed the kids, he would kill them. For a time he made brandy from grapes growing wild in the neighborhood. He also made donuts which he had the kids sell door-to-door. In March 1934, Hazel had a fourth child, a baby girl.

By the late 1930s, Tom moved the family to the San Gabriel Valley, the area he would live for the rest of his life. He also settled into a career of cabinet making, a trade he first learned in 1923. In the early 1940s, he bought a storefront property on Garvey Boulevard and opened up a cabinet making shop. Behind the shop, he had a house to live in, and a second house that became used by other family members.

Tom in his cabinet making shop in 1953

In 1943, Tom got a divorce from Hazel and married his third wife, Lillian Johnson, whom he met at a dance. They had a daughter born in 1944 with a defective bile duct; she died at 6 months old. Then in 1946, they had a son named Dennis. He had physical problems that showed up later – dyslexia and epilepsy. Dennis was more or less disabled his entire life.

In about 1962, Tom moved one last time, to a house near his shop. He continued to work until he was 80 years old, when blindness from glaucoma forced him to stop. His free time was often spent reading; he surrounded himself with books in his house. He also continued to learn about eating healthy, taking vitamin supplements during the 1960s, way before it was common to do so. He wasn't a religious man, and didn't believe in God. “I believe in reality,” he told people. He liked watching Lawrence Welk and Liberace on television. He had a negative attitude towards war and the military from his experiences in World War I.

Tom in his backyard in 1974

By 1979, Tom was confined to his house, entertained mainly by books on tape from the Braille Institute. He had a little bronchial trouble, but besides blindness, was fairly healthy. One day Lillian told him she was taking him to the doctor for a routine visit, but when they arrived at their destination, he found he was being checked into a nursing hospital. She refused to let him come home again; his son Dennis and wife Judy moved into his house and disposed of all his things.

For the next four months, his health declined rapidly. He died in the nursing hospital on March 10, 1980, and was buried in Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier.

Children by Hazel Laura Elwood:
1. Thomas Milton Mitchell – B. 1 Jul 1922, Los Angeles, California; D. 10 Nov 2007, Winnetka, California; M. Margaret Elizabeth Bolheres (1922-2016), 2 Jul 1949, Pasadena, California

2. Patsy Eleanor Mitchell – B. 23 Feb 1924, Los Angeles, California; D. 27 Apr 2002, Sitka, Alaska; M. James Lawrence Sarvela (1914-1995), 27 Dec 1947, Glendale, California

3. Forrest Leroy Mitchell – B. 21 Sep 1926, Oakland, California; D. 30 Jun 2016, Desert Hot Springs, California; M. Patricia Ann McKenzie (1930-2010), 21 May 1948

Children by Lillian Myrtle Johnson:
1. Carolyn Lee Mitchell – B. 1 Jul 1944, Los Angeles, California; D. 11 Jan 1945, Los Angeles, California

2. Dennis Clark Mitchell – B. 4 Apr 1946, Los Angeles, California; D. 26 Mar 2005, Cheyenne, Wyoming; M. Judy A. Smith, 21 Jan 1973, Rosemead, California

Family Bible of Laura Sheridan
Marriage certificate of Thomas Sheridan and Tillie Nack, Tacoma, Washington, 11 Nov 1912
Marriage certificate of Thomas Mitchell and Hazel Elwood, Los Angeles, California, 11 Feb 1921
Divorce record of Thomas Mitchell and Hazel Mitchell, Los Angeles, 7 Jan 1943
City directories of Tacoma and Los Angeles, 1915-1938
1900, 1910, 1920 and 1930 U.S. Censuses in Kansas, Washington, Colorado and California
Interviews of Thomas Michael Mitchell and Thomas Milton Mitchell, 1976-1997
California Birth Index, 1905-1995
Social Security Death Index
California, County Marriages, 1850-1952

Family Killed by the Plague – Simon Jansen Van Arsdalen

B. 1627 in Nukerke, East Flanders
M. (1) 26 Mar 1650 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wife: Marritje Baltus
M. (2) 1658 in (probably) Flatlands, New Netherland
Wife: Pieterje Claese Van Schouw
D. October 1710 in Flatlands, New York
Emigrated: 1653

The common ancestor of the Van Arsdalen family in America was Simon Jansen Van Arsdalen. He was born in 1627 to Jan Pauwelsz Van Aersdaele and Geertje Phillipsdr Haelters in Nukerke, East Flanders (which is now Belgium). Simon was baptized on February 27, 1628. He was one of at least 5 children. The family left Nukerke around 1642, moving to Gouda in what is now the Netherlands; it's been said that they left because of religious persecution. 

Simon was the only one in his family to migrate to America. While the others stayed in Gouda in the Netherlands, he moved first to Amsterdam, becoming a potter. There on March 26, 1650, he married Marritje Baltus. In 1653, he left his wife and two young children to go to the colony of New Netherlands; it was to be a venture involving his pottery business. But when he got word that a plague struck Amsterdam in November 1655 which killed his wife and children, he decided to stay in America permanently.

He settled in Flatlands (now a part of Brooklyn). In 1658, he married Pieterje Claese Van Schouw. Between 1659 and 1678, they would have six children. Simon held many offices in Flatlands. In 1661, he was magistrate, in 1686 he was church deacon, and in 1687, he took the oath of allegiance. He owned a lot of property in what is now Brooklyn, and in 1700 sold several lots in Gravesend to his son Cornelis.

During his life in America, Simon maintained contact with family members back in Holland. On September 9, 1698, he wrote a letter to his brother and sister in Gouda:

"My kindest regards be written to my so much beloved brother and sister; I let you know I received your letter from Aendries Wandelaer and that I understand the contents of it, I am pleased to say, however, that the accident your daughter has met with causes us sorrow, however, it is the work of God, that we ought to bear patiently; farther I let you know, that I, your brother, and my wife and children are in good health yet thank God for His grace and we hope to learn from you the same in due time; I wonder you didn’t write about our niece; farther I let you know all my children are married and each of them is living in a farmhouse that earns their livelihood; I sold my farm to my eldest son Cornelis, 33 years of age, has got five children, three sons, two daughters; my son Jan, 22 years of age, has got two sons; my daughter Geertje has got eight children; Janneken has got five children; Mettegen has got three children; they are comfortably off but they have to work which God commanded Adam; as for me, I stopped working since I am 71 years old now, my wife is 58 years of age and you, my brother, are, if I remember rightly, 60 years of age; God be pleased to give us a blessed end; I am in receipt of your son Jan’s drawing which pleases me very much; I gather from your letter your daughter’s [?] causes you sorrow and I can well believe it and if I knew you would be pleased I would come to your assistance; please let me know; I do not know anything more to write; I will send this letter along with Pieter Berrij; he is our son Jan’s (nephew/cousin), who knows us very well; you can send your reply along with him; as for Dries Wandelaer: he is not acquainted with us and for this reason he cannot inform of us; God be with you and be saluted heartily by me, Sijmon Janson van Arsdalen, your brother"

Simon died in October 1710 and was buried in the churchyard of the Flatlands Reformed Dutch Church.

Children by Marritje Baltus:
1. Sylyntje Van Arsdalen – B. Feb 1651, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. about Nov 1655, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2. Jan Symonsz Van Arsdalen – B. Nov 1652, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. Nov 1655, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Children by Pieterje Claese Van Schouw:
1.  Geertje Van Arsdalen – B. about 1659, New Netherland; D. about 1730; M. Cornelis Pieterse Wyckoff (~1660-~1730), 13 Oct 1678, New Utrecht, New York

2. Cornelis Van Arsdalen – B.1665, Flatlands, New York; D. 19 Apr 1745, New Jersey; M. (1) Tjelltje Rynierse Wizzelpenning; (2) Aeltje Kouwenhoven (1665-1689), 16 Mar 1687, Flatbush, New York; (3) Marretje Dirkse, 2 May 1691, Flatbush, New York

3. Jannetje Van Arsdalen – B. about 1667; D. Dec 1731; M. Gysbert Tunisen Bogaert (~1668-?), 16 Apr 1689, New York

4. Metje Van Arsdalen – B. 1670; M. Evert Janse Van Wickelen, 27 Feb 1690, Flatbush, New York

5. Jan Van Arsdalen – B. 1676, Flatlands, New York; D. 1756, Jamaica, New York; M. Lammertje Probasco (~1675-aft 1736), 1695

6. Maritje Van Arsdalen – B. 1678, Flatbush, New York

"Remembering Simon Jansze," Charles R. Vanorsdale, The Vanguard, Vol. VI, No. 1, July 2003
"Symon's Early New Netherland Days," Charles R. Vanorsdale, The Vanguard, Vol. I, No. 1, July 1998
"Sijmon's 1998 Letter," Charles R. Vanorsdale, The Vanguard, Vol. IV, No. 2, December 2001

First European Born in Canada – Hélène Desportes

B. 1620 in Quebec City, New France
M. (1) 1 Oct 1634 in Quebec City, New France
Husband: Guillaume Hébert
M. (2) 9 Jan 1640 in Quebec City, New France
Husband: Noël Morin
D. 24 Jun 1675 in Quebec City, New France

When the first settlers arrived in Quebec, among them were a few young women. The earliest birth to take place there was that of Hélène Desportes, born on July 7, 1620 to Pierre Desportes and Françoise Langlois. Hélène was named for her godmother, Hélène Boullé, the wife of Samuel de Champlain. It's believed that she had no siblings. When Champlain died in 1635, he left young Hélène 300 livres in his will, although since the will was overturned, she probably never received the money.

After Quebec was taken over by Englishman David Kirke in 1629, Hélène returned to France with her parents. They moved to the town of Dieppe in Normandy, and within five years, both of her parents died. Hélène returned to Quebec when the French reclaimed it and on October 1, 1634, married Guillaume Hébert at the age of 14. The marriage contract lists her aunt and uncle, Abraham Martin and Marguerite Langlois, as witnesses. Hélène's husband Guillaume was the son of Louis Hébert, who had remained in Quebec during the English occupation. Hélène and Guillaume had three children before he died in 1639.

On January 9, 1640, Hélène married Noël Morin, a wheelwright, in Quebec City. She received a dowry of 200 livres from her new husband. She herself owned a house which measured 24 by 18 feet "near the church of Notre-Dame, with 2 arpents of land near Mont-Carmel and a garden measuring 40 perches." Between 1641 and 1656, Hélène and Noël had 12 children. Hélène became a midwife in the colony, likely because she had so much experience with childbirth herself.

Hélène died June 24, 1675 at age 55. Her husband Noël died five years later in 1680.

Famous descendants of Hélène Desportes include Céline Dion.

Children by Guillaume Hébert:1. Joseph Hébert – B. about Nov 1636, Quebec City, New France; D. 1661, New France; M. Marie-Charlotte Depoitiers (1641-1718), 12 Oct 1660, New France

2. Marie-Françoise Hébert — B. about Jan 1638, Quebec City, New France; D.16 Mar 1716, Montmagny, New France; M. Guillaume Fournier (~1620-1699), 20 Nov 1651, Quebec City, New France

3. Angélique Hébert — B. about Aug 1639, Quebec City, New France; D. young

Children by Noël Morin:

1. Agnes Morin – B. about Jan 1641, Quebec City, New France; D. 30 Aug 1687, Quebec City, New France; M. (1) Nicolas Gaudry dit Bourbonniere (1621-1669), 17 Nov 1653, Quebec City, New France; (2) Ignace dit Beaupre Bonhomme (1647-1711)

2. Germain Morin – B. about Jan 1642, Quebec City, New France; D. 20 Aug 1702, Quebec City, New France

3. Louise Morin – B. about Apr 1643, Quebec City, New France; D. 28 Apr 1713, Quebec City, New France; M. Charles Cloutier (1629-1709), 20 Apr 1659, New France

4. Nicolas Morin – B. about Apr 1644, Quebec City, New France; D. about 1667, Quebec City, New France

5. Jean-Baptiste Morin Rochebelle – B. about May 1645, Quebec City, New France; D. 12 Dec 1694, Quebec City, New France; M. Catherine de Belleau (1639-?), 22 Nov 1667, Quebec City, New France

6. Marguerite Morin – B. about Sep 1646, Quebec City, New France; D.  Oct 1646, Quebec City, New France

7. Hélène Morin – B. about Sep 1647, Quebec City, New France; D. 10 May 1661, New France

8. Marie Morin – B. 19 Mar 1649, Quebec City, New France; D. 8 Apr 1730, Montreal, New France

9. Alphonse Morin Valcourt – B. 12 Dec 1650, Quebec City, New France; D. 30 Aug 1711, St-Thomas, New France; M. (1) Marie-Madeleine Normand (1651-1690), 10 Feb 1670, Quebec City, New France; (2) Angelique Destroismaisons (1670-1744), 1700

10. Noël Morin – B. about Oct 1652, Quebec City, New France; D. young

11. Charles Morin – B. 29 Aug 1654, Quebec City, New France; D. 4 Oct 1671, Quebec City, New France

12. Marie-Madeleine Morin – B. 28 Dec 1656, Quebec City, New France; D. 22 Jul 1720, Quebec City, New France; M. Gilles Rageot (1642-1692), 29 May 1673, Quebec City, New France

A Point in History [website]
One-hundred French-Canadian Family Histories, Philip J. Moore, 1994
Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1990
Hélène’s World: Hélène Desportes of Seventeenth Century Quebec, Susan McNelley, 2014
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

Widow of a Minister – Sophia Newell Kittredge

B. 22 Nov 1824 in Nelson, New Hampshire
M. 7 Aug 1849 in Nelson, New Hampshire
Husband: Reverend James Riddle French
D. 22 Dec 1900 in Los Angeles, California

Sophia Newell Kittredge was born November 22, 1824 in Nelson, New Hampshire to Abel Kittredge and Sophia Lyman, their first child. Her middle name was in honor of her great-aunt, Sophia Clapp, who married Gad Newell; they had raised Sophia's mother from the time she was 13. Sophia had three younger brothers, Edward, Samuel Farrington and Charles, but Charles died young, and her mother, who had difficulty with child bearing, died soon after. Abel remarried his wife's sister Anne and gave Sophia three half-brothers: Minot, Henry and another Charles, who also died young.

When Sophia came of age, she was courted by a minister from Maine named James Riddle French. He was an older man and a widower with a young son. His letters to Sophia have been passed down in the family, and many told of the love they had for each other. In June of 1849, he wrote, "Twin spirit of my being, thy heart shall be my resting place through time, & thy caress sheds o’er my soul a perfect blessedness. I would not have it otherwise, nor live without thee, to love & soothe & bless. My heart expanding doth thy love receive, more valued than the world, or all the world can give."

Daguerreotype of Sophia in about 1850

Sophia and James were married in Nelson on August 7, 1849. The first few years of marriage were spent apart as he worked as a traveling preacher throughout New England. It wasn't until 1852 that he secured a steady position at a Congregational church in Portland, Maine. There she gave birth to son James in 1852. It's likely Sophia took an active role in helping her husband with his work, especially as he became sick with a chronic illness that affected his stamina. In about 1856, they moved to his hometown of Prospect, Maine. Reverend James grew weaker and weaker, but continued to preach, even as Sophia encouraged him to rest. At the end of that year, Sophia had a baby girl named Nancy.

Sophia nursed her husband through his final illness, and after he died on March 23, 1857, she wrote about it to her father: “What we so much feared has come upon us. My dearest earthly friend is ‘not,’ for God has taken him. His body now lies in the cold grave, his ransomed spirit is I trust singing the praises of redeeming love.…None but those who have been there can fully sympathize with me in this time of trial.…O, my dear parents, I am all alone with my fatherless children.… My health is very poor. I am very weak, feel afraid I shall have to give up and be sick.”

Sophia had this locket made containing real hair, either hers or her late husband's

Sophia stayed in Maine long enough to settle the affairs of her late husband in probate court, then took the children to her father in New Hampshire. Many women in her situation would look for another husband, but Sophia decided to support herself. Whether she felt too strongly about Reverend French to remarry, or was of an independent mind is not known. In about 1858, she moved to Dorchester, Massachusetts. There she attended school and afterwards found a job teaching in a boarding school. In 1861, Sophia kept a journal, writing about her life away from her children. "Thurs. eve. Stormy, snow and wind, right down-east snowstorm. Nothing special to-day; wrote a letter to Jamie [her son]. Have much to be thankful for, yet my rebellious heart is prone to look on the dark side of the scene, and long for 'forbidden fruit.' I yearn for my children, and the separation seems sometimes unbearable. O' for faith and patience."

A page from Sophia's journal

The journal covers a period of time when Sophia lost her job as teacher and tried to find other ways to earn a living. Most of her family had relocated to nearby Boston, including brothers Edward and Farrington, and her father and step-mother, who cared for James and Nancy. "Have taken a house in Dorchester, the rent is 300 dollars; have fitted it up for boarders. This is probably a risky experiment, but I feel that the providence of God has led me here. The subject has agitated for some time before. I made up my mind to take this step; several times I gave up the idea of going to housekeeping this season, then it would come up again, and after consulting with my brothers Edward and Farrington, I would come out and look at houses and hunt up the boarders. Finally it was thought best for me to make an attempt — to do something if I could." She struggled with the boarding house venture and could only find a handful of people to rent her rooms. By the end of the year, she turned to her brothers and a widows' fund at her church in order to have money to buy shoes for the children, who were now living with her.

Sophia during the 1860s in Boston

During the mid-1860s, Sophia settled in Boston, working as a city missionary helping the needy. She continued to work for the city missions all through the years her children grew up. During the early 1870’s, James left home, traveling throughout the West. For a time, he cut off correspondence with his mother and sister, and fell into some trouble that caused him to change his name to Frank Emerson. Daughter Nancy stayed close to her mother, and in 1879, married a man named George Hewes, a carriage builder and part-time preacher. The young couple took Sophia into their home, and she retired from the missionary work. Soon there were grandchildren in the household.

In 1882, son-in-law George decided to take the family away from New England and move to the Midwest. Sophia, who was 56, went with them. They moved to the small farming community of Le Mars, Iowa. It was a very difficult climate; a tornado struck their house in June 1885, moving it five feet off the foundation and forcing the family to take refuge in the flooded basement. Sophia notified son Frank, who was living in Los Angeles, and he wrote back suggesting they join him in California, offering to pay their way out, if only he could. Four years later, the family had the money to make the move, and Frank gave them advice on the best train fares, then arranged for their tickets through the Southern Pacific Railroad, where he worked.

In November 1889, Sophia, along with Nancy’s family, took a train to Los Angeles. She lived the rest of her life just south of downtown Los Angeles, a part of Nancy and George’s household. Once they got settled, George founded a church and settlement house to help the poor. It can only be speculated how much influence Sophia had on her son-in-law.

Throughout the 1890’s, Sophia continued to write letters, communicating with those relatives still on the east coast. In 1893, her brother Farrington wrote her from New England with news about the family. Farrington ended his letter with, “…my dear Sophia, don’t forget the loved ones in the old Bay State and remember we all think of you and love you just as much as we ever did if thousands of miles separate us from the vision of sight. Did we not all have the same dear father and mother, and how much our dear mother loved Minot and Henry’s mother, and did not our step-mother love us all? Yes my dear sister, think of us all here and pray that each one may so live that we can all meet with the loved ones who have gone before. As well as those to come after we have left this beautiful world for a better and brighter one…”

Sophia lived long enough to see the marriage of her oldest granddaughter, Eleanor, and the birth of her first two great-grandchildren, Mabel and George Elwood. She died of cancer on December 22, 1900 at the house she lived in with Nancy and George. She was buried in Rosedale Cemetery in Los Angeles.

1. James Riddle French, AKA Frank Emerson – B. 12 Oct 1852, Portland Maine; D. 13 Jun 1913, Los Angeles, California; M. Mrs. May Lynch (1850-?), 25 Aug 1878, San Bernardino, California

2. Nancy Sophia French – B. 21 Dec 1856, Stockton Springs, Maine; D. 12 Jul 1916, Berkeley, California; M. George Henry Hewes (1853-1923), 17 Jul 1879, Boston, Massachusetts

A History of Nelson, New Hampshire, Parke Hardy Struthers, 1968
The Kittredge Family in America, Mabel T. Kittredge, 1936
Family Bible of James and Sophia French
Letters of James Riddle French to Sophia (Kittredge) French 1849-1852
Letter from Sophia French to Abel Kittredge, 31 Mar 1857
1860, 1870, 1880 and 1900 U.S. Censuses, Massachusetts and California
Journal of Sophia Newell French, 1861
"The Wind's Work," The Evening Sentinel, Le Mars, Iowa, 16 Jun 1885
City Directories of Boston, Massachusetts, and Los Angeles, California, 1866-1900
Letters written by Frank Emerson (nee James French) to Sophia French, Los Angeles, California, 1885-1889
Death certificate of Sophia Newell French, Los Angeles, California, 22 Dec 1900
Death certificate of Frank Emerson, 16 Jun 1913, Los Angeles, California
Death certificate of Nancy Hewes, July 1916, Berkeley, California
Marriage certificate of George Hewes and Nancy French, 21 Jul 1879, Boston, Massachusetts

Illinois and Kansas Farmer – Samuel Luckey

B. 7 Jan 1830 in (probably) St. Charles County, Missouri
M. 7 Apr 1853 in Jersey County, Illinois
Wife: Mary Jane Davis
D. 8 Mar 1884 in Labette County, Kansas

Samuel Luckey was typical of a 19th century Midwest farmer: he worked hard all his life, had many children and migrated his family further west.

Samuel parents, Joseph and Esther Luckey, came from North Carolina, but not much is known of their lives. There is no existing record of their marriage; it is believed they lived in Tennessee before moving to Missouri around 1829. Joseph Luckey is listed in St. Charles County in the 1830 census. Samuel was born there on January 7, 1830, although there is no male under the age of 5 in the census listing.

By looking at the birthplaces of the other children, the family must have relocated to Illinois by 1833. Samuel would grow up on a farm in Jersey County. The family is missing from the 1840 census and the first record of Samuel Luckey was on the 1850 census. It appeared by that time that his father had died, and Samuel was the oldest male in the household.

On April 7, 1853, Samuel set off on his own as he married Mary Jane Davis, a young woman whose parents were also from North Carolina. The Luckey and Davis families appeared to be closely related and may have migrated to Illinois together. Samuel acquired his own farm in Jersey County and fathered a large family of ten children born between 1854 and 1878.

In 1879, Samuel decided he wanted to move to one of the western states, to newly cultivated territory. He bought a farm in Labette County, Kansas, and the entire family moved there, including a married daughter with her family. On the 1880 census, Samuel was listed as suffering from ague, a lung disease common on prairie farms. He died four years later on March 8, 1884.

1. Mary Edith Luckey – B. 18 Jun 1854, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 18 Jan 1899, Labette County, Kansas; M. (1) James Ross (1852-1884), 24 Jul 1872, Jersey County, Illinois; (2) Albert Leonartz (1849-?), 8 Aug 1887, Labette County, Kansas

2. Caroline Elizabeth Luckey – B. 29 Nov 1855, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 2 Aug 1887, Labette County, Kansas

3. Eliza Ann Luckey – B. 1858, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 24 May 1862, Jersey County, Illinois

4. Eleanora Luckey – B. 6 Aug 1859, Jersey County, Illinois; D. Jan 1865, Jersey County, Illinois

5. Laura Jane Luckey – B. 2 Apr 1861, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 18 Apr 1954, McMinnville, Oregon; M. John Walter Brown (1852-1919), 23 Oct 1879, Jersey County, Illinois

6. Joseph M. Luckey – B. 23 Feb 1863, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 4 Feb 1941, Parsons, Kansas; M. Rachel Matilda Minder (1864-1953), 2 May 1884, Osage, Kansas

7. Rosa Bell Luckey – B. 30 Sep 1866, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 31 May 1941, Los Angeles, California; M. George Willis Reed (1867-1944), 2 Jan 1889, Parsons, Kansas

8. Margaret Louisa Luckey – B. 24 Dec 1868, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 22 Feb 1952, Parsons, Kansas; M. Alexander Taylor (1857-1940), 25 Dec 1888, Parsons, Kansas

9. John F. Luckey – B. 16 Apr 1870, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 8 Mar 1884, Labette County, Kansas

10. William Anderson Luckey – B. 8 May 1874, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 7 Dec 1935, Sedalia, Missouri; M. Ella Lucinda Mashburn (1880-1959), 23 Dec 1896, Parsons, Kansas

11. May B. Luckey – B. 10 Sep 1878, Jersey County, Illinois; D. 15 Oct 1884, Labette County, Kansas

Handwritten records of Pefley Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas
1830, 1850, 1860, 1870 and 1880 U.S. Censuses, Missouri, Illinois and Kansas
Marriage record of Samuel Luckey and Mary Jane Davis, 7 Apr 1853, Jerseyville, Illinois
Family Bible of Mary E. Leonartz
Marriage certificate of James Ross and Mary E. Luckey, 23 Jul 1872, Jerseyville, Illinois
Records of Pefley Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas
Tombstone inscriptions of Keller Cemetery, Jersey County, Illinois
Jersey County, Illinois marriage index
Death record of John Walter Brown, 29 Mar 1919, Greence County, Illinois
Obituary of Rachel Luckey, Parsons Daily Sun, 1953, Parsons, Kansas
Kansas marriages, 1840-1935
California death records, 1940-1997
Foot Prints in the Sand [], Garland Lively, 2009

Two Brothers in 17th Century Java – Catharina Margetts

B. about 1625 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
M. 7 Mar 1649 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Husband: Adrian Hegeman
D. 1690 in Flatbush, New York
Emigrated: about 1652

Catharina Margetts was baptized in the New Church in Amsterdam on February 4, 1625. Her parents were Joseph Margetts, an Englishman, and Anna van Weedenburch, a Dutch woman. She had six sisters and two brothers. Catharina's mother died when she was ten years-old, and her father remarried, having one more child, a girl.

On March 7, 1649, Catharina married Adrian Hegeman, a silk weaver. At the time of her marriage, she was living on the Oudesyts Achterburgwall in Amsterdam. They had eight children born between 1649 and 1665. The first two children were born in Amsterdam; then in about 1652, the family migrated to the Dutch colony in America. Adrian purchased land in Flatbush and they settled there.

Catharina's two brothers, Joris and Joseph seem to have traveled the globe. Joris was in the Dutch colony in Brazil in 1636, and in 1648, he was in Java (which is now Indonesia). Joseph also made his way to Java and according to a record from 1664, he died there. Catharina was owed money from his estate, and she was named in the record:

"To-day, the 28th of February 1664, appeared before me, Walewyn van der Veen, Notary Public …, the Worshipful Adriaen Heegeman, Schout of the Villages of Amesfort [Flatlands], Breukelen, Midewout [Flatbush] and Uytrecht on Long Island in this Province, who declared that as husband and guardian of Catharina Margits he constitutes and empowers … as his attorney the worthy Sieur Joseph Margits, his father-in-law, living at Amsterdam, Holland, to demand and receive … from the Lords Directors of the Honble East India Company, Department of Amsterdam, such moneys, as are due to his said wife from the estate of her deceased brother Joseph Margits, who died in East India, according to his testament and other vouchers…"

Catharina's husband Adrian died in 1672. In April 1688, Catharina moved from Flatbush to New York and joined the Reformed Dutch church there. She died in 1690 and was buried in the Flatbush Reformed Dutch Church cemetery on April 16th.

1. Hendricus Hegeman – B. about 1649, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. about 1710; M. Ariaentje Bloodgood, 26 Apr 1685, Flatlands, New York

2. Joseph Hegeman – B. about 1651, Amsterdam, Netherlands; D. about 1725; Femmetje Van der Beeck (1657-?), 21 Oct 1677

3. Jacobus Hegeman – B. about 1652; D. about 1741; M. Jannetje Ariens, 14 Oct 1683

4. Isaac Hegeman – B. about 1656, New Netherland; M. Marytje Roelofse Schenck, 15 Feb 1687

5. Denys Hegeman – B.  about 1658, Flatbush, New Netherland; D. about 1702; M. Grace Dollen (1659-1732)

6. Benjamin Hegeman – B. about 1660, Flatbush, New Netherland

7. Abraham Hegeman – B. about 1662, Flatbush, New Netherland

8. Elizabeth Hegeman – B. about 1665, Flatbush, New York; M. Tobias Ten Eyck, 12 Apr 1684

"The Amsterdam Years of Joseph Margetts, Father-in-law of Adriaen Hegeman of New Netherland," John Blythe Dobson, New York genealogical and biographical record, Vol. 131, 2000
Genealogy website of John Blythe Dobson, which cites many other sources

Legendary Teacher and Headmaster – Ezekiel Cheever

B. 25 Jan 1614 in London, England
M. (1) before 1639 in (probably) New Haven, Connecticut
Wife: Mary (last name unknown)
M. (2) 18 Nov 1652 in Ipswich, Massachusetts
Wife: Ellen Lathrop
D. 21 Aug 1708 in Boston, Massachusetts
Emigrated: 1637

It has been said about Ezekiel Cheever that he was "perhaps the first true teacher in America." Ezekiel was born in London on January 25, 1614, the son of a skinner named William Cheever. Ezekiel was educated at Christ's Hospital and later studied classics at the University of Cambridge. In 1637, Ezekiel left England for America. He arrived in Boston and soon after migrated to New Haven, Connecticut. There he married a woman named Mary and between 1639 and 1648, they had six children. Mary died in 1649.

Ezekiel began his long teaching career when he started a school in his New Haven home in 1639. He received £20 a year for his services. One of his students there was Michael Wigglesworth, who went on to become a noted poet. Ezekiel specialized in Latin, and sometime before 1650, he wrote what is thought to be the first school book in America, Latin Accidence; A Short Introduction to the Latin Tongue. This text book was used for over a hundred years, and it was reprinted as late as 1838.

Ezekiel served as a representative to the General Court, but got into some trouble in 1649 for being too outspoken about church decisions, and was censured for it. In an attempt to defend himself, he said to the court, "I had rather suffer anything from men, than make a shipwreck of a good conscience, or go against my present light though erroneous, when it is not discovered." It is said that Ezekiel also occasionally preached. He wrote a book called Scripture Prophecies Explained, which contained three essays on his beliefs about resurrection and related topics.

In 1650, Ezekiel moved to Ipswich, Massachusetts to become the headmaster of the grammar school there. There he married his second wife, Ellen Lathrop, on November 18, 1652. They would have five children born between 1653 and 1664; one son, Ezekiel, would become a prominent figure in the Salem witch trials. Ezekiel Sr. continued as headmaster in Ipswich until 1661, when he moved to Charlestown and became a headmaster there.

On December 29, 1670, Boston Latin School made an offer to Ezekiel for him to become their headmaster. The salary was £60 a year and he accepted; he would continue there for the next 37 years. This is where his reputation as a Latin teacher became almost legendary. One of his pupils later recalled, "Once in making a piece of Latin, my Master found fault with the syntax of one word which was not so used by me heedlessly, but designedly, and therefore I told him there was a plain grammar rule for it. He angrily replied there was no such rule. I took the grammar and showed the rule to him. Then he smiling said, 'Thou are a brave boy. I had forgot it.' And no wonder, for he was above eighty years old."

There are no drawings or paintings of Ezekiel, but a description of his physical appearance survives from an acquaintance, Samuel Maxwell: "He wore a long white beard terminating in a point, that when he stroked his beard to the point, it was a sign for the boys to stand clear."

It seems as if Ezekiel lived on the grounds of Boston Latin School, but in 1702, orders were given to build him a house of his own. Ezekiel's second wife Ellen died on September 10, 1706 in Boston and Ezekiel died on August 21, 1708 at the age of 94.

Ezekiel's teaching career spanned 70 years and it is said that wherever he taught, a large percentage of his students went on to Harvard. His most noted pupil was Cotton Mather, who eulogized Ezekiel at his funeral. “We generally concur in acknowledging that New England has never known a better teacher.” Boston Latin School is still operating today, the oldest school in America. There was also a school in New Haven named in Ezekiel's honor during the early 20th century.

Ezekial was so reknown in the annals of New England, that he was immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his 1840 book, Grandfather's Chair. In the book, Hawthorne imagines a man telling his grandson of a single chair that was passed around to important figures in colonial history. An entire chapter was devoted to an imagined scene of Headmaster Cheever's classroom during his final years at Boston Latin School:

"Do you see the venerable schoolmaster, severe in aspect, with a black skullcap on his head, like an ancient Puritan, and the snow of his white beard drifting down to his very girdle? What boy would dare to play; or whisper, or even glance aside from his book while Master Cheever is on the lookout behind his spectacles? For such offenders, if any such there be, a rod of birch is hanging over the fireplace, and a heavy ferule lies on the master's desk."

Famous descendants of Ezekiel Cheever include Franklin D. Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan.

Children by Mary:
1. Samuel Cheever – B. 22 Sep 1639, New Haven, Connecticut; D. 29 May 1724, Marblehead, Massachusetts; M. Ruth Angier (~1647-1742), 28 Jun 1671

2. Mary Cheever – B. about 1640, New Haven, Connecticut; D. 10 Jan 1728, Farmington, Connecticut; M. (1) William Lewis (1620-1690), 22 Nov 1671, Boston, Massachusetts; (2) Thomas Bull, 13 Jan 1692, Farmington, Connecticut

3. Ezekiel Cheever – B. about 1642; D. young

4. Elizabeth Cheever – B. about 1645; M. Samuel Goldthwaite, 6 Sep 1666, Charlestown, Massachusetts

5. Sarah Cheever – B. about 1646

6. Hannah Cheever – B. about 1648

Children by Ellen Lathrop:
1. Abigail Cheever – B. 20 Oct 1653; D. 24 Jan 1705, Boston, Massachusetts

2. Ezekeil Cheever – B. 1 Jul 1655; M. Abigail Lippingwell, 17 Jun 1680, Salem, Massachusetts; D. 30 Oct 1731, Salem, Massachusetts

3. Nathaniel Cheever – B. 23 Jun 1657, Ipswich, Massachusetts; D. 12 Jul 1657, Ipswich, Massachusetts

4. Thomas Cheever – B. 23 Aug 1658, Ipswich, Massachusetts

5. William Cheever – B. 23 Jan 1664, Charlestown, Massachusetts; D. 5 Feb 1664, Charlestown, Massachusetts

Wikipedia article for Ezekiel Cheever
Ezekiel Cheever Schoolmaster, Elizabeth Porter Gould, 1904
"Trial of Ezekiel Cheever Before New Haven Church, 1649," Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, Vol. 1, 1860
Grandfather's Chair: True Stories From New England History and Biography, Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1841
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]
Ezekiel Cheever and some of his descendants, John Tyler Hasam, Boston, Massachusetts, 1879

90 Years in Massachusetts Colony – Joshua Boynton

B. 10 Mar 1646 in Rowley, Massachusetts
M. (1) 9 Apr 1678 in Newbury, Massachusetts
Wife: Hannah Barnet (possibly Burnet or Burnap)
M. (2) 29 Nov 1723 in (probably) Rowley, Massachusetts
Wife: Mary Syles
M. (3) 30 Oct 1728 in Haverhill, Massachusetts
Wife: Mary (Williams) Boynton
D. 12 Nov 1736 in Haverhill, Massachusetts

Joshua Boynton was born in Rowley, Massachusetts on March 10, 1646 to William Boynton and Elizabeth Jackson. He was the middle child of seven. Joshua married Hannah Barnet (possibly Burnet or Burnap) on April 9, 1678 in Newbury, Massachusetts. Between 1679 and about 1686, they had five children. Joshua was said to be a carpenter. In 1673, his father gave him a 100 acre farm in Newbury, and it was said that he kept this farm for 50 years.

On May 21, 1669, Joshua was a witness to an attack on the wife of one of his friends. He testified in court that he and two brothers named Nathaniel and Jonathan Gage were in the upstairs of Jonathan's house when they heard a man named James Murfee harass, then attack Jonathan's wife Hester downstairs. Murfee was convicted and sentenced to be "severely whipped" and also to pay Jonathan Gage £5.

Joshua served under Major Appleton during King Philip's War, participating in action at Quaboag, Springfield, Narrangansett and Marlboro. He was present at the battle where Captain Brocklebank was "slain by the Indians in April 1676." Joshua filed a petition after the war to be paid for his service, also mentioning that he "lost a coat" while he was a soldier.

On January 12, 1722, Joshua's wife Hannah died. He married again, a widow named Mary Syles, on November 29, 1723. She died on July 28, 1728, and Joshua took a third wife, Mary (Williams) Boynton, widow of his cousin, on October 30, 1728 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.

Joshua died in Haverhill on November 12, 1736, having reached the age of 90. Around this time, land in the township of Narrangansett was awarded for those who served in King Philip's War, and Joshua's lot went to his son William.

Children by Hannah Barnet (or Burnet or Burnap):
1. Joshua Boynton – B. 4 May 1679, Newbury, Massachusetts; D. 29 Oct 1770; M. Mary Dole, May 1708

2. John Boynton – B. 15 Jul 1682, Newbury, Massachusetts; M. Jemima Worchester, Nov 1717

3. Zachariah Boynton – B. before 1690, Newbury, Massachusetts; D. 30 Dec 1750, Coventry, Connecticut; M. Sarah Wicom (1688-?), 15 Nov 1715, Newbury, Massachusetts

4. William Boynton – B. 26 May 1690, Newbury, Massachusetts; M. Joanna Stephens, Nov 1713

5. Hannah Boynton – B. about 1696; M. (1) John Dresser, 2 Apr 1724; (2) Thomas Johnson

The Boynton Family: a genealogy of the descendants of William and John Boynton, John Farnham Boynton and Caroline Harriman Boynton, 1897
"The Burnap-Burnett Genealogy," Henry Wyckoff Belknap, Essex Institute Historical Collections, Vol. 57, 1921
Records of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1667-1671, 1914

Letters to the Old Country – Jan Van Arsdalen

B. 1676 in Flatlands, New York
M. 1695 in New Lots, New York
Wife: Lammertje Probasco
D. 1756 in Jamaica, New York

Jan Van Arsdalen was a second generation colonist and a leading member of the Flatlands (Brooklyn) Dutch Church. He was born in 1676 in New Amersfoort, later known as Flatlands, New York. His parents were Simon Jansen Van Arsdalen and Pieterje Claese Van Schouw. Jan sometimes used variations of the surname Symonsen, which meant "son of Simon." 

In 1695, Jan married Lammertje Probasco. Between 1696 and 1720, they had 11 children. Jan was mentioned in a 1698 letter his father wrote as being 22 years old and having two sons. He bought a farm from his brother Cornelius in Gravesend (now part of Brooklyn), New York on May 7, 1700. He was an elder of the church in Gravesend in 1714, and in 1715, he was listed as a soldier of the Regiment of Militia in Kings County."

Sometime after this, Jan moved to Jamaica, in what is now Queens, New York. He and his wife appear on many church records there. On September 22, 1731, Jan and his brother Cornelius wrote to a cousin in Gouda, Holland regarding the will of another cousin. In 1733, along with Cornelius and their brother-in-law Philip Volkers, Jan wrote again to their cousin saying that there were over 200 Van Arsdalens living in America and they were “living on plantations of their own, breeding cattle and growing corn, maize, etc.” 

Jan wrote his will in 1736 and named all of his children in it. He left instructions that if his estate was sold, sons Jurian and Nicholas woud receive 150 pound each, son Simon would get ten pounds, and the other money would be divided equally amongst the remaining children. Jan died in 1756 in Jamaica.

1. Christoffel Van Arsdalen – B. about 1696, Flatlands, New York; D. about 1772; M. Magdalena Van Henglen (~1698-?), New Brunswick, New Jersey

2.  Simon Jans Van Arsdalen – B. about 1697, Flatbush, New York; D. 1770, Bucks County, Pennsylvania; M. Jannetje Romeyn, 30 Oct 1716

3. Cornelius Van Arsdalen – B. 1698; M. Tryntje Bergen

4. Ida Van Arsdalen

5. Peternella Van Arsdalen – M. Volkert Sebring

6. Jan Van Arsdalen – B. 1705; M. Magdelena Dorland (~1714-?)

7. Maria Van Arsdalen – B. about 1710; M. Garret Snedeker (1708-?)

8. Heletje Van Arsdalen – B. about 1712

9. Nicholas Van Arsdalen – B. about 1716, Jamaica, New York; D. 1784, Jamaica, New York; M. (1) Geertje Lott (1720-?), about 1740; (2) Jane Brinkerhoff, 26 Nov 1761

10. Jurian Van Arsdalen – B. about 1720; M. Altie

11. Sarah Van Arsdalen

"Jan Sijmonsz," Mark Allen Thomas, The Vanguard: The Newsletter of the Van Aersdalen Family Association, Vol. 1, No. 2, December 1998
Letter from Cornelis Simonsen van Aersdal, Jan Sijmonsen van Aersdalen and Mettie Sijmonsen van Aersdalen to Harmanus van Homberg of Gouda, Netherlands, 22 Mar 1733

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ordered to Garrison Soldiers – Thomas Patten

B. October 1636 in Cambridge, Massachusetts
M. (1) 1 Apr 1662 in Dedham, Massachusetts
Wife: Rebecca Paine
M. (2) 20 May 1686 in Billerica, Massachusetts
Wife: Sarah (Kendall) Dunton
D. 14 Jan 1690 in Billerica, Massachusetts

Thomas Patten was born at Cambridge, Massachusetts in October 1636 to William and Mary Patten. He was one of six children. When Thomas came of age in 1654, he moved to the new town of Billerica. His house was on the west of Long Street, south of the Common near the house of Francis Richardson. He owned considerable land in Billerica and an interest in a sawmill in the nearby community of Pattenville.

On April 1, 1662, Thomas married Rebecca Paine of Dedham, Massachusetts. Between 1664 and 1680, they had seven children. Rebecca died 11 days after giving birth to their youngest child and on May 20, 1686, Thomas married Sarah Dunton, a widow from Reading whose maiden name was Kendall. They had two children.

Thomas does not seem to have taken an active part in the public affairs of Billerica; in 1664, he was fined thirteen shillings for not doing required military training. Men in communities like Billerica were expected to do some service in protecting their town from attacks by Indians. In 1675, an order was passed by the selectmen and committee of the militia appointing garrison houses and Thomas' house was one of the places selected. The order named five men who were assigned to his house. Thomas was made "overseer" of his garrison and it was his duty to "regulate the work of the garrison and determine what should be done for fortifying them."

Thomas died in Billerica on January 14, 1690 at the age of 52. He left a will and the inventory of his property showed a value of £308. His wife Sarah was pregnant at the time he died and gave birth to a son four months later.

Children by Rebecca Paine:
1.  Mary Patten – B. 21 Aug 1664, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Benjamin Cromwell, 5 Mar 1703

2. Thomas Patten – B. 22 Mar 1666, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 14 Sep 1752; M. Hannah Foster (~1669-1742), 21 Dec 1699, Billerica, Massachusetts

3. Nathaniel Patten – B. 14 Sep 1668, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 2 Apr 1718, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. Hannah Ross, 6 Dec 1695, Billerica, Massachusetts

4. William Patten – B. 12 May 1671, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 5 Oct 1730, Cambridge, Massachusetts; M. (1) Mary _______ (~1668-1716); (2) Elizabeth ______, 1717, Billerica, Massachusetts 

5. Rebecca Patten – B. 29 Jan 1675, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 13 Feb 1750; M. Joseph Davis (?-1747), 18 Jun 1691, Billerica, Massachusetts

6. Sarah Patten – B. 18 Jun 1677, Billerica, Massachusetts

7. Elizabeth Patten – B. 8 May 1680, Billerica, Massachusetts; M. James Wright, 7 May 1701

Children by Sarah Kendall:
1. Mehitable Patten – B. 28 Feb 1687, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 13 Jan 1743; M. William French (1687-1746), about 1712

2. Kendall Patten – B. 20 Apr 1689, Billerica, Massachusetts; D. 14 Dec 1770; M. (1) Abigail ______ (?-1718); (2) Abigail Kittredge (1700-?)

Genealogical and personal memoirs relating to the families of the state of Massachusetts, Vol. 1, William Richard Cutter and William Frederick Adams, 1910
The history of Peter Parker and Sarah Ruggles of Roxbury, Massachusetts and their ancestors and descendants, John William Linzee, 1918
Patten Genealogy, Thomas Baldwin, 1908

A Woman of Wealth and Status – Anne Derehaugh

B. about 1584 in Badingham, England
M. about 1603 in Badingham, England
Husband: John Stratton
D. after 1642 in (probably) Massachusetts
Emigrated: 15 Apr 1635 on the ship Increase

Anne Derehaugh was connected to royalty in England. She was born in about 1584 to William Derehaugh and Mary Wright of Badingham, England, which is in Suffolk. Anne was one of ten children; her mother was said to be a direct descendant of King John, the English monarch who signed the Magna Carta. In about 1603, Anne married John Stratton of Badingham and they had nine children. John was "an admitted pensioner to Caius College, Cambridge in 1602."

Anne's father died in about September 1610 and her mother died in early 1622. Mary Derehaugh left a will naming some of her children and some of her grandchildren, giving them bequests. Anne's husband died in about May 1627; as oldest son, he had inherited most of the property of the Stratton family, which passed to Anne after his death. This included the house where she lived, Kirkton Manor, as well as another house called Thurkalton.

In about 1630, Anne and her oldest son John, sold Kirkton Manor; it had been in the Stratton family for over 250 years. John, migrated to the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1631, where he had been granted 2,000 acres. A few years later, Anne also migrated there with daughters Elizabeth and Dorothy, arriving on April 15, 1635 aboard the ship Increase. The Stratton family settled in Salem.

In 1641, Anne hired a lawyer in Boston to recover the inheritance of her children from her mother's will of 20 years earlier back in England. The implication is that the grandchildren needed to reach a certain age before receiving the bequests. Anne was recorded in 1642 as being a "plaintiff in suit against Wm. Pester at Ipswich." This was the last mention of Anne and her date of death is unknown.

1. John Stratton – B. about 1604, Badingham, England

2. Thomas Stratton – B. about 1606, Badingham, England

3. William Stratton – B. about 1607, Badingham, England; D. before Dec 1631, England

4. Margaret Stratton – D. May 1617, Shotley, England

5. Anne Stratton – B. about 1612, Badingham, England

6. Elizabeth Stratton – B. about 1614, Ardleigh, England; D. before Jul 1668, Beverly, Massachusetts; M. John Thorndike (1603-1668), 1636, Salem, Massachusetts

7. Anthony Stratton – B. about 1615, Badingham, England

8. Dorothy Stratton

9. Mary Stratton

"The English Ancestry of Anne (Derehaugh) Stratton," Robert Battle, New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 155 & 156, 2001-2002
"Notes on Stratton of Salem," E. W. Leavitt, Putnam's Monthly Historical Magazine, 1896
A Book of Strattons, Harriet Russell Stratton, 1908

First European Born in Dutch Colony – Sarah Jorise Rapelje

B. 9 Jun 1625 in Fort Orange, New Netherland
M. (1) 1639 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Husband: Hans Hansen Bergen
M. (2) 19 Aug 1654 in New Amsterdam, New Netherland
Husband: Teunis Gysbertse Bogaert
D. 1685 in Brooklyn, New York

Sarah Jorise Rapelje was credited as being the first European child born in the New Netherland colony (what later became the state of New York). Her parents, Joris Jansen Rapelje and Catalyntje Jeronimus Trico, had been on the ship which brought the first settlers over from Amsterdam to the colony of New Netherland. The ship didn’t stop at Manhattan, but went all the way up to Fort Orange, where present-day Albany now stands. The new arrivals were needed to help build the fort, and Sarah’s parents lived there when she was born on June 9, 1625.

The Rapelje family moved down to New Amsterdam when Sarah was still a baby, and later settled in Brooklyn. The family grew to include 11 children. There is a story that Peter Minuit gave Sarah 20 morgen of land, but it's not known if this was true.

When Sarah was just 14, she married Hans Hansen Bergen. They had eight children born between about 1640 and 1653, the youngest two being twins. Hans died, and Sarah married Teunis Gysbertse Bogaert on August 19, 1654 in New Amsterdam. They had seven children born between about 1655 and 1668. The family moved to Wallabout (in what is now Brooklyn) in about 1657.

Later in her life, Sarah received a 400-acre land grant from the government. She died in Brooklyn in 1685. Sarah's chair is in the collection of the Museum of the City of New York, and a tankard containing a medallion given to her upon her marriage to Hans Bergen was donated by descendants to the Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Famous descendants of Sarah Jorise Rapelje include Humphrey Bogart and Howard Dean.

Children by Hans Bergen:
1. Anneke Bergen – B. about 1640, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Dirck Jansen Hoogland

2. Brecktje Bergen – B. about 1642, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Aert Anthonize Middagh

3. Jan Hansen Bergen – B. about 1644, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Janetje Teunis (~1641-?)

4. Michiel Hansen Bergen – B. about 1646, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; D. about 1732; M. Femmetje Teunise (~1650-?)

5. Joris Hansen Bergen – B. about 1649, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Sarah Stryker, 11 Aug 1678, New York

6. Marritje Bergen – B. about 1651, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Jacob Ruthszen

7. Jacob Hansen Bergen – B. about 1653, New Amsterdam, New Netherland; M. Elsje Fredericks, 8 Jul 1677, New York

8. Catalyna Bergen – B. about 1653; D. young

Children by Teunis Bogaert:
1. Aertje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1655, New Netherland; M. Theodore Polhemius, 24 Oct 1677, New York

2. Catalyntje Tunisen Bogaert – B. 16 Dec 1657, Wallabout, New Netherland; M. Jan Teunise Van Middleswart (~1654-?), 16 Nov 1679

3. Neeltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1660, New Netherland; D. young

4. Aaltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1661, New Netherland; M. Charles Claasz, 11 Dec 1681

5. Antje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1665, New York; M. Joris Abrahamse Brinckerhoff

6. Neeltje Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1665, New York; M. Cornelis Teunise Denyse, 22 Aug 1687, New York

7. Gysbert Tunisen Bogaert – B. about 1668, New York; M. Jannetje Van Arsdalen (~1667-1731), 16 Apr 1689, New York

Sarah Rapelje [Wikipedia article]
Joris Jansen Rapelje [Wikipedia article]
The Island at the Center of the World, Russel Shorto, 2005
"14 Generations," New York Newsday, 23 Nov 1997
Genealogies of the New Jersey Families: Families A-Z, pre-American nots on old New Netherland families, Genealogical Publishing Company, 1996
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

A Terrible Voyage to New France – Pierre Jean

B. about 1645 in La Rochelle, France
M. (1) 8 Jul 1668 in La Rochelle
Wife: Françoise Favereau
M. (2) 13 Aug 1724 in New France
Wife: Marie-Anne Bourassa
D. about 1726 in New France
Emigrated: 1669 on the ship Pot de Beurre

Pierre Jean was born in in La Rochelle, France in about 1645 to Vivien Jean and Suzanne Herault. He was the second of eight children and he spent his childhood at “Chez Vivien Jean,” in Ecoyeux, a suburb of La Rochelle.

In 1663, at the age of 18, he sailed to New France intending to settle there. This was reported to be a disastrous crossing for two ships that traveled together: La Flute Royale de Brouage and L' Aigle d'Or.  It was said that "60 passengers died at sea, 75 were left in Newfoundland and 159 others who disembarked at Quebec were in an appalling state." It was further stated that "that there were only 20 men ready to work, the others were so weak that they could barely stand." Thirty-eight passengers were taken to the hospital in Quebec and twelve of them died. It is believed that Pierre was among the sick, and that in 1664, he was ordered to return to France along with about a dozen other immigrants.

Pierre stayed in France for several years. He married Françoise Favereau on July 8, 1668 in La Rochelle. Then in June 1669, they migrated to New France together with his two brothers Hélie and Vivien. They all sailed on the ship Pot de Beurre, and it is believed they were under contract as indentured servants.

Pierre and Françoise settled in Charlesbourg, and signed a lease for a farm alongside his brother Hélie. They had four children born between 1672 and 1681. On July 6, 1671, Pierre was hired to remove stumps from a piece of land in Beauport which had previously been owned by Charles Turgeon. He moved around from farm to farm during much of his life and his name appears on many real estate transactions. During his life, he visited the notaries 60 times. He was a tenant farmer, usually signing agreements to pay his landlords in amounts of grain or butter.

In 1681, Pierre was living at Petite Auvergne, Charlesbourg, with 6 head of cattle and 30 arpents of land under cultivation. In about 1689, he “leased a house from Jean Matheiu on Rue Saint-Nicolas” in Quebec City, and practiced the trade of carter. Four years later, he was back to farming in La Canardiere. He sold that farm and signed a lease for another on the Isle aux Oies. The deal stated he would have to pay 300 livres annually along with “80 minots of wheat and 1 fat pig.” His son-in law Jacques Chouinard also settled there. On August 23, 1708, Pierre signed a 3-year lease for a farm at Port-Joli. Then in 1712, Pierre and his wife lived on the land previously owned by their deceased son Antoine.

Françoise died in August 1723 at St-Jean-Port-Joli and on August 13, 1724, the 79 year-old Pierre married a second wife who was just 44, Marie-Anne Bourassa. Pierre died just two years later; the exact date of his death is unknown.

1. Vivien Jean – B. 10 Dec 1672, Quebec City, New France; D. young

2. Pierre Jean – B. 11 Mar 1676, Charlesbourg, New France; M. Marie-Madeleine Prinseau (~1680-?), 1 Jun 1700, Quebec City, New France

3. Louise Jean – B. 19 May 1678, La Canadiere, New France; D. 1 Jan 1750, St-Jean Port Joli, New France; M. Jacques Chouinard (1663-1721), 2 Jun 1692, Quebec City, New France

4 Antoine Jean – B. 7 Jun 1681, La Canadiere, New France; D. 3 Dec 1705, Cap-St-Ignace, New France

Our French-Canadian Ancestors, Gerard Lebel (translated by Thomas J. Laforest), 1990

Making a Fresh Start in Quebec – Pierre Morin

B. about 1662 in Port-Royal, Acadia
M. 8 Nov 1682 in Beaubassin, Acadia
Wife: Françoise Chiasson Lavallée
D. April 1741 in Montmagny, New France

Pierre Morin was uprooted from his native Acadia to the St. Lawrence River area of New France because of the actions of his brother and corruption in the town where he lived. Pierre was born in Port-Royal, Acadia in about 1662, the son of Pierre Morin dit Boucher and Marie-Madeleine Martin. He was the oldest of their 12 children. On November 8, 1682, he married Françoise Chiasson Lavallée in the town of Beaubassin, located on the isthmus where modern-day Nova Scotia joins New Brunswick. Beaubassin had been founded in 1672 by Michel Leneuf, who became the most powerful man in town.

In 1688, Leneuf's unmarried 17 year-old daughter became pregnant and Pierre's brother Louis was named as the father. Leneuf in collaboration with the parish priest Father Claude Trouve sought to punish not just Louis, but all of his close relatives, which included Pierre and his family. It was ruled that the entire clan be banished from Acadia, with Louis sent away on a ship to serve in the French Navy. He was not heard from again by the family.

The Morins first moved to Ristigouche, a village of M'kmaq Indians, where Pierre's father died within a year. The rest moved on to the Quebec City region by 1694. Pierre and Françoise had 11 children together, with three born in Beaubassin, one in Ristigouche and the youngest seven in towns along the St. Lawrence River. By 1697, Pierre lived in Montmagny and he stayed there for the rest of his life.

All of Pierre's children lived to maturity, giving him many descendants. Françoise died sometime between 1727 and 1731. Pierre died in April 1741 at Montmagny and was buried on the 15th of that month.

1. Pierre Morin – B. about Dec 1683, Beaubassin, Acadia; D. 1767; M. Marie Boulé, 10 Jan 1707, St-Thomas, Quebec

2. Barbe Morin – B. about 1685, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Michel Harbour (?-1758), about 1701, Quebec

3. Marie Morin – B. about 1688, Beaubassin, Acadia

4. Sébastien Morin – B. about 1692, Ristigouche, New France; D. Nov 1756, St-Pierre-du-Sud, New France; M. (1) Françoise Blanchet (?-1743), 3 Nov 1717, New France; (2) Marie-Anne Frégeau

5. Denis Morin – B. about Aug 1694, Quebec City, New France; M. Madeleine Boulet, 20 Nov 1718, New France

6. Agathe Morin – B. about Mar 1697, Montmagny, New France; D. Jul 1733, St-François-du-Sud, New France; M. Jacques Boulet, 6 Jan 1715, New France

7. Michel Morin – B. about 1698, Mont-Louis, New France; D. Jun 1767, Kamourska, New France; M. Marie Frégeau, 7 Jan 1727, New France

8. Jean-Baptiste Morin – B. 22 Apr 1702, Montmagny, New France; M. Félicité Lemieux, 25 Jun 1739, Cap-St-Ignace, New France

9. Antoine Morin – B. about Oct 1704, St-Thomas, New France; M. Marguerite Daniau, 25 Oct 1734, St-François-du-Sud, New France

10. Charles Morin – B. about Jan 1707, Montmagny, New France; M. Claire Destroismaisons, 1731, St-Pierre de Montmagny, New France

11. Marie-Françiose Morin – B. about May 1709, Montmagny, New France; D. 1800; M. Joseph Coté, 22 Nov 1734, New France

"The Morins of Acadia," French-Canadian and Acadian Genealogical Review, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1968
Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Acadiennes, Stephen A. White, 1999

English Vicar Turned Puritan – Reverend William Worcester

B. about 1601 in (probably) Rugby, England
M. (1) 11 Feb 1627 in Olney, England
Wife: Sarah Brown
M. (2) 22 Jul 1650 in Salisbury, Massachusetts
Wife: Rebecca Hall
D. 28 Aug 1662 in Salisbury, Massachusetts
Emigrated: about 1637

William Worcester was once a minister in the Church of England, but one disagreement caused him to be demoted, and he ended up founding a family in America as a result.

William's origins are unknown, though some feel he was the son of Joseph Worcester of Rugby, England. He was born in about 1601 and attended St. John's College (Cambridge) in 1620. He was ordained deacon at Peterborough Cathedral on Dec. 21, 1622, and he was made Vicar of Olney, England (in Bucks County) on July 26, 1624. On February 11, 1627, William married Sarah Brown in Olney. They had either 8 or 10 children. 

In 1636, William took a stand against his superiors. He was ordered to read from "the King's book," telling the congregation that they were allowed to participate in sports and recreation after Sunday service was over. This was something William believed was wrong, and for refusing to read the passage, it was said that he was stripped of his office as Vicar of Olney.

Within two years, William migrated to America with his family and he was welcomed as a minister in the Puritan Massachusetts Bay colony. Sometime between 1638 and 1639, he became pastor of the first church in Salisbury. He continued in this position for the rest of his life. He was made a freeman in May 1640 and received land in the first division in Salisbury in 1640 and again in 1654. His name stood second on the list of land grants for the town and first on the list of "commoners and townsmen" in 1650.

William's wife Sarah died April 23, 1650 and he then married Rebecca Hall, a widow, on July 22 of that year. He died on August 28, 1662 at Salisbury.

Famous descendants of William Worcester include Bette Davis.

The Worcester family; or the descendants of Rev. William Worcester, W.W. Kellogg, 1856
The Life and Labors of Rev. Samuel Worcester, D.D., Samuel Melancthon Worcester, 1852
A Wooster Family [website]
The Worcester Family [website] John P. Worcester, Aspen Colorado, 2004
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

Left His Daughters as Orphans – Medad Lyman

B. 18 Mar 1770 in Charlotte, Vermont
M. (1) before 1797 in (probably) Charlotte, Vermont
Wife: Anne Clapp
M. (2) 5 Dec 1805 in (probably) Charlotte, Vermont
Wife: Olive Mead
D. 5 Feb 1813 in (probably) Charlotte, Vermont

Medad Lyman was born on March 18, 1770 in Charlotte, Vermont, to Oliver Lyman and Eleanor Lyman, who were second cousins. He was the eighth child in a family of ten children. His father was a captain who served in the American Revolution when Medad was a boy.

Medad married Anne Clapp sometime before 1797, probably in Charlotte. They had three daughters; the older two were Minerva and Sophia, but the youngest died as an infant, and Anne died about a week after to giving birth to her. Medad married a second wife, Olive Mead, a widow, on December 5, 1805. Medad and Olive had one daughter, Anne, born on October 25, 1806.

Medad died on February 5, 1813 at the age of 42. (The book Genealogy of the Lyman Family in Great Britain and America incorrectly stated that he died in 1803.) Medad was buried in Barber Hill Cemetery in Charlotte. His brother Gad was also buried there and died just a few days after Medad; it was said that Gad and his wife died of "yellow fever." Another brother, Jared, died in Bridport, Vermont on January 26, 1813. Of the 718 known burials in Barber Hill Cemetery, eight people died during February 1813 and they were all under the age of 52. It's likely Medad and the others died of a typhous influenza epidemic that was known to have affected the region at that time. His widow Olive remarried to a man named Jeremiah Barton; she died September 11, 1836 in Charlotte.

Chidren by Anne Clapp:
1. Minerva Lyman – B. 3 Mar 1797

2.  Sophia Lyman – B. 21 Sep 1800, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 2 May 1838, Nelson, New Hampshire; M. Abel Kittredge (1798-1882), 28 Jan 1824, Nelson, New Hampshire

3. Anne Lyman – B. 5 Dec 1802, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 18 May 1803

Children by Olive Mead:
1. Anne Marie Lyman – B. 25 Oct 1806, Charlotte, Vermont; D. 1879, Nelson, New Hampshire; M. Abel Kittredge (1798-1882), 29 Nov 1838, Nelson, New Hampshire

Genealogy of the Lyman Family in Great Britain and America, Lyman Coleman, 1872
Tombstone inscriptions in Barber Hill Cemetery, Charlotte, Vermont
A Systematic Treatise, Historical, Etiological and Practical, on the Principal Diseases of the Interior Valley of North America, Daniel Drake, 1854
The Kittredge Family in America, Mabel T. Kittredge, 1936
Death certificate of Abel Kittredge, 13 Sep 1882, Boston, Massachusetts
Probate file of Medad Lyman, 1802, Chittenden County, Vermont (note: there was another man named Medad Lyman who died in Charlotte in 1802 and the records of both men are mistakenly filed together)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Buried at Westminster Abbey – John Thorndike

B. 1603 in Great Carlton, England
M. 1636 in Salem, Massachusetts
Wife: Elizabeth Stratton
D. November 1668 in London, England
Emigrated: (probably) 1630

John Thorndike was a Puritan who migrated to America, but he was also the brother of an important figure in the Church of England, and this would bring him to be buried at a landmark in London.

John was born in 1603 to Francis Thorndike and Alice Coleman in Great Carlton, England, which is in Lincolnshire. He had at least one brother, Herbert. While Herbert studied theology at Cambridge, John fell in with the Puritans and migrated to America, possibly with the 1630 Winthrop fleet. In 1632, John was one of 12 men named as living in the newly founded town of Ipswich (known as Agawam); the list also included John Winthrop, Jr., who later became the governor of Connecticut.

John eventually settled in Salem, and in 1636, he married Elizabeth Stratton. They would have six daughters and one son born between 1636 and about 1653. One of John's daughters, Elizabeth, married a man named John Proctor who would later be executed by hanging during the Salem witch hunt in 1692 (Elizabeth died 20 years before this).

John appears on many town records in Salem; one reference was a court case in 1636 involving a man named John Adams who was apparently his indentured servant, because he had him whipped for running away. In 1640, a man named John Stone brought suit against John for “defamation.” And in 1645, he appeared in court trying to avoid training for military duty by pleading that he suffered from “weakness of body and [age].”

John's wife Elizabeth died sometime in the 1650s or 1660s. On July 29, 1668, John made out his will and stated that he was proposing "to go this year to England." He did make the trip, bringing daughters Martha and Alice with him (ages 17 and 15). John's brother Herbert had become Canon of Westminster Abbey. The family from America stayed in Herbert's living quarters at the Abbey, and John died there in November 1668. Herbert had his brother buried in the Abbey in a grave in the East Cloister. When Herbert died in 1672, he was buried next to his brother. John's daughters had stayed with their uncle after their father died and were mentioned in Herbert's will which left them a "considerable provision" as long as they didn't return to the Puritan colony in America.

For many years, the area of the Cloisters with John and Herbert's graves was covered by a ramp leading up to the Church; when it was removed in 1998, no trace of the graves could be found. But in 1723, the inscription had been recorded in a history of the Abbey:

Herbert Thorndick

Canon of this Church

John Thorndick


Famous descendants of John Thorndike include John Kerry.

1. Anne Thorndike – B. 1636

2. Sarah Thorndike – B. 1638, Beverly, Massachusetts; D. 1684, Ipswich, Massachusetts; M. John Low (?-1695)

3. Elizabeth Thorndike – B. 1641, Salem, Massachusetts; D. 16721, Salem, Massachusetts; M. John Proctor (1632-1692), Dec 1662, Ipswich, Massachusetts

4. Paul Thorndike – B. about 1642, Salem, Massachusetts; D. 2 Jan 16981, Salem, Massachusetts; M. Mary Patch (1650-1716), 28 Apr 1668, Beverly, Massachusetts

5. Mary Thorndike – B. about 1649

6. Martha Thorndike – B. 1651

7. Alice Thorndike – B. about 1653; M. Francis Hale

Wikipedia article for John Thorndike 
Official Website for Westminster Abbey
Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-33, Robert Charles Anderson, 1995
Biographical sketches of representative citizens of the state of Maine, 1903
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

Widespread Descendants – Guyon Chiasson dit La Vallée

B. about 1638 in La Rochelle, France
M. (1) about 1666 in Port-Royal, Acadia
Wife: Jeanne Bernard
M. (2) October 1683 in Quebec City, New France
Wife: Marie-Madeleine Martin
D. about 1693 (probably) in Chignecto, Acadia
Emigrated: about 1666

By virtue of living in Acadia, Guyon Chiasson dit La Vallée started a family that would end up in far flung places all over North America. Guyon was born in about 1638 in La Rochelle, France to Pierre Chiasson and Marie Péroché. He was one of five children. In about 1666, Guyon migrated to Acadia and settled at Port-Royal. There he married Jeanne Bernard. Between 1667 and 1680, they had eight children.

Guyon spent some of the early years of his marriage at Mouchecoudabouet, which is near what is now Halifax, Nova Scotia. Around 1675, he is said to have gone to Quebec, then back to Acadia to reside in Chignecto, where Jeanne died in about 1682. Guyon returned to Quebec and married Marie-Madeleine Martin in October 1683. They moved back to Chignecto and had four daughters together. Guyon died in about 1693 at the age of 55.

Guyon's 12 children gave him many descendants and they were affected by the instability of the Acadian colony. It was an isolated place, not on the major shipping lane into the St. Lawrence River, and vulnerable to takeover by other European interests. The British took over the colony in 1710. Most Acadians were defiant and chose not to swear allegiance to the British; therefore, they were subject to being forced out of their land. Some of Guyon's family went to towns along the St. Lawrence River, others to places near Acadia: New Brunswick and Île St.-Jean (what is now Prince Edward Island). Those who stayed on in Acadia until the deportations of the 1750s were forcibly moved to Louisiana and South Carolina, and one descendant even went to Haiti.

Famous descendants of Guyon Chiasson dit La Vallée include Céline Dion.

Children by Jeanne Bernard:
1. Gabriel Chiasson dit La Vallée – B. about 1667, Acadia; D. Apr 1741, Chignecto, Acadia; M. Marie Savoie, 1688, Beaubassin, Acadia

2. Françiose Chiasson – B. 1668, Acadia; D. 17 Jan 1724, St-Thomas, Quebec; M. Pierre Morin (~1662-1741), 8 Nov 1682, Beaubassin, Acadia

3. Sébastien Chiasson – B. about 1670, Acadia; D. Chignecto, Acadia; M. Marie Belou, about 1693, Chignecto, Acadia

4. Jean Giasson – B. about 1674, Acadia; D. Jan 1719, Montreal, Quebec; M. Marie-Anne Lemoyne, Nov 1697, Batiscan, New France

5. Michel Chiasson – B. about 1676, Beaubassin, Acadia; D. Mar 1759, Montmagny, New France; M. Marguerite Mourier, 1706, St-Jean, Île d'Orléans, New France

6. Marie Chiasson – B. 1678, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Michel Poirier, 1692, Acadia

7. Anne Chiasson dit La Vallée – B. 1680, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Jean Brault, 1700, Port-Royal, Acadia

Children by Marie-Madeleine Martin:
1. Angelique Chiasson – B. Oct 1684, Beaubassin, Acadia; M. Pierre Cardet, 1702, Acadia

2. Genevieve Chiasson – B. 1685

3. Marie-Madeleine Chiasson – B. 1691; D. 1739; M. (1) Jean Pothier, 1709, Acadia; (2) Joseph De La Foresterie, 1726, Acadia

4. Anne Chiasson – B. 1693; M. Jean Pineau, 1710

Dictionnaire Genealogique des Familles Acadiennes, Stephen A. White, 1999
Acadians in Gray [website]
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

Returning Home to New Jersey – Alletta Van Arsdalen

B. 7 May 1803 in Somerset County, New Jersey
M. 29 Mar 1826 in Boundbrook, New Jersey
Husband: James Ross
D. 13 May 1886 in South Branch, New Jersey

Alletta Van Arsdalen was born and died in Somerset County, New Jersey, but spent much of her life in Illinois. She was born May 7, 1803 to Christopher Van Arsdalen and Sarah Dumont, the youngest of six children. She was baptized in the Reformed Dutch Church with her name being listed as "Alche," a Dutch variation of her name. Her parents called her "Letty." When she was 11 years-old, she was left $50 and two “suits of wearing apparrel” in the will of a female family friend.

On March 29, 1826, Alletta married James Ross in Boundbrook, New Jersey. She had three sons born between 1829 and 1836: John, David and James. When the family moved to Jersey County, Illinois in 1839, Alletta's father loaned James $500. About a year after they got settled in their new home, her father died.

By 1860, all three of Alletta's sons had gotten married. While David and James were well-respected, John was not. In 1866, he was arrested for burglarizing a grocery store in Jerseyville and sent to prison. In a petition by the members of the community, it was suggested they were requesting John's release mainly for the sake of his parents; one signer even wrote next to his signature, "for his mother." John was pardoned by the governor after serving only one year of his 3-year sentence.

Alletta's husband had a stroke in 1874 and died four years later. Sometime after this, she left Illinois and returned to New Jersey, where she owned some property. While she was living in New Jersey, in March of 1885, son David committed suicide. In 1885, she sold the New Jersey property for $1,400, and had a will made out, leaving her assets to son James and her granddaughters. Son John is believed to have died before 1880.

Alletta died on May 13, 1886 at the home of Arthur Schenck in South Branch, New Jersey. When she died, an inventory was taken of her possessions that seemed to indicate she was living alone in one room, since there was only a bed, a chair and a dresser listed. She was buried in Raritan Cemetery in Somerville, New Jersey, but in her will also asked that she be given a gravestone next to her husband in Jerseyville, Illinois.

1. John Ross – B. 1829, New Jersey; M. Ellen Ann Luckey (1829-1882), 3 Apr 1850, Jerseyville, Illinois

2. David R. Ross – B. 1831, Boundbrook, New Jersey; D. 16 Mar 1885, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Eliza McBride (1834-1904), 7 May 1885, Carrollton, Illinois

3. James Christopher Ross – B. 20 Mar 1836, Somerset County, New Jersey; D. 27 Jan 1904, Jersey County, Illinois; M. Elizabeth J. Robinett (1842-1905), 22 Mar 1857, Jersey County, Illinois

Family Bible of Christopher and Sarah Van Arsdalen
Death certificate of Alletta Ross, Somerville, New Jersey, 13 May 1886
Will of Alche Van Deventer, Piscataway, New Jersey, 23 Jun 1814
Will of Aletta Ross, South Branch, New Jersey, 1885-1886
Prison pardon file of John Ross, Jersey County, Illinois, 1867
1850, 1870 and 1880 U.S. Census, Illinois
Tombstone inscriptions, Oak Grove Cemetery, Jersey County, Illinois
Tombstone inscriptions, Oakwood Cemetery, Parsons, Kansas
Marriage certificate of John Ross and Ellen Ann Luckey, 6 Apr 1850, Jersey County, Illinois
Jersey County, Illinois obituary index
History of Jerseyville, Illinois, Reverend Marshall M.Cooper, 1901
Illinois statewide marriage index, 1763-1900