Friday, March 9, 2012

Father or Step-father to 32 Children – Jedediah Strong

B. 7 May 1637 in Hingham, Massachusetts
M. (1) 18 Nov 1662 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Freedom Woodward
M. (2) 28 Dec 1681 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Abigail (Bartlett) Stebbins
M. (3) 5 Jan 1692 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Wife: Mary (Hart) Lee
D. 22 May 1733 in Coventry, Connecticut

Many people can trace their ancestry back to Jedediah Strong. He was born on May 7, 1637 in Hingham, Massachusetts (part of the Plymouth colony) to John Strong and Abigail Ford. Jedediah was the second of 16 children. The Strong family didn't live in Hingham for very long, moving around between several settlements in the Puritan colonies. By 1646, they lived in Windsor, Connecticut. Then in about 1659, they moved up the Connecticut River to Northampton, Massachusetts.

On November 18, 1662, Jedediah married Freedom Woodward in Northampton. They had 14 children; Freedom died May 17, 1681, a week after the birth of their youngest child. He then married Abigail Bartlett, the widow of John Stebbins, on December 28, 1681. Abigail had 11 children from her first marriage, and with Jedediah, she had one more. She died on July 15, 1689. He married a third time to Mary Hart, the widow of John Lee, on January 5, 1692. She had six children from her previous marriage, two of whom joined Jedediah's household and married two of his children with Freedom.

Jedediah was a constable in Northampton in 1683. During the years 1677 to 1679, he was paid 18 shillings a year to blow a trumpet that summoned townspeople to meetings. Over the years, Jedediah own several parcels of land in Northampton. In 1701, he bought 35 acres in Lebanon, Connecticut.

On October 9, 1710, Jedediah and his wife Mary set out on horseback from Northampton to visit their children who had moved to Coventry, Connecticut. Mary, who was 70 years-old, rode on the horse on a pillion, seated behind Jedediah. They reached a point near South Hadley, Massachusetts when the horse slipped on some smooth stones "near the falls." The horse fell and Mary was fatally injured, dying the next morning.

Jedediah, having outlived three wives, moved to Connecticut where he lived out the rest of his years. He made out a will at age 89, then moved in with his son Preserved in Coventry. He died May 22, 1733 at the age of 96.

Famous descendants of Jedediah Strong include Nathan Hale, 19th century fur trader Jedediah Strong Smith, First Lady Lucy Hayes and Princess Diana.

Children by Freedom Woodward:
1. Elizabeth Strong – B. 9 Jun 1664, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 17 Feb 1691; M. Ebenezer Wright (1663-?), 16 Sep 1684

2. Abigail Strong – B. 9 Jul 1666, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 24 Jul 1689; M. Thomas King (1662-1711), 17 Nov 1683

3. Jedediah Strong – B. 7 Aug 1667, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 12 Oct 1709; M. Abiah Ingersoll (1663-1732), 8 Nov 1688

4. Ford Strong – B. 2 Sep 1668; D. 1 Nov 1668

5. Baby Strong – B. 11 Oct 1669; D. 1669

6. Hannah Strong – B. 3 Feb 1671, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 20 Mar 1762, Coventry, Connecticut; M. Benjamin Carpenter (1663-1738)

7. Thankful Strong – B. 15 Apr 1672, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Apr 1742; M. Thomas Root (1667-1756)

8. John Strong – B. 15 Nov 1673, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. Nov 1673, Northampton, Massachusetts

9. Sarah Strong – B. about 1674, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 25 Dec 1726; M. Thomas Cushman (~1670-1727)

10. Lydia Strong – B. 9 Nov 1675, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Jul 1718; M. David Lee (1674-?), 5 Sep 1795

11. Mary Strong – B. May 1677, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. young

12. Experience Strong – B. 19 Aug 1678, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 16 Sep 1678, Northampton, Massachusetts

13. Preserved Strong – B. 29 Mar 1680, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 26 Sep 1765; M. Tabitha Lee (~1677-1750), 23 Oct 1701

14. John Strong – B. 10 May 1681, Northampton, Massachusetts; D. 21 Apr 1699

Children by Abigail (Bartlett) Stebbins:
1. Mary Strong – B. 1683; M. Ebenezer Pixley (1678-1716), 18 Apr 1711

Sources:
The history of the descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass., Benjamin Woodbridge Dwight, 1871
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]
Genealogies of Connecticut Families‬: ‪From the New England Historical and Genealogical Register‬, Volume 1, ‪Genealogical Publishing Com‬, 1983

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