Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Felt-maker from Dorset – Eltweed Pomeroy

B. 1585 in Dorset, England
M. (1) 4 May 1617 in Beaminster, England
Wife: Joanna Kreech
M. (2) 7 May 1627 in Crewkerne, England
Wife: Margery Rockett
M. (3) 30 Nov 1664 in Windsor, Connecticut
Wife: Lydia (Brown) Parsons
D. March 1673 in Northampton, Massachusetts
Emigrated: about 1632

Eltweed Pomeroy was born in 1585 to Richard Pomeroy and Ellen (or Eleanor) Coker in Beaminster, England, which is in Dorset; he was baptized there on July 4, 1585. It is believed he had at least two brothers. Eltweed's father died in 1612.

On May 4, 1617, Eltweed married Joanna Keech in Beaminster. They had two daughters who both died young and Joanna died in 1620. On May 7, 1627, he married Margery Rockett in Crewkerne, England, which is in Somerset. Between about 1631 and 1652, they had eight children.

Eltweed was a felt-maker and was said to have a successful business in Beaminster. It's not known exactly when he migrated to America, and some have said he was on the Mary and John in 1630. But a record in Beaminster shows that he testified on behalf of some tenant farmers on April 5, 1631, so this would make his arrival a little later. He first appears on the records in Dorchester, Massachusetts on March 4, 1633.

In 1637, Eltweed joined the group headed by Reverend John Warham who moved to the new settlement of Windsor, Connecticut. Eltweed owned a mare that was killed by the Pequot Indians in the conflict of 1637 (it took until 1661 to be compensated for his loss by the governor of Connecticut). Eltweed received a land grant in Windsor in 1638 and owned a house on the Palisado (early Windsor's main road), which he sold in 1641. He gave two of his sons other houses in Windsor.

Margery died in July 1655 and Eltweed married a third time to a widow, Lydia (Brown) Parsons, in Windsor on November 30, 1664. In 1671, he moved to Northampton, Massachusetts to live with his son Medad. Tradition says that he became blind. He died at his son’s house in March 1673, at the age of 78.

There has been some research that suggests Eltweed was a blacksmith and a gun maker like his son Medad, but no hard evidence of this has been found. One interesting fact about Eltweed that is true: by typing just his first name into an online search engine, the primary hits that come up are for him or his descendants who were named after him. Presumably, Eltweed is a unique name.

Famous descendants of Eltweed Pomeroy include Franklin Delano Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, Bess Truman and Helen Hunt.

Children by Joanna Keech:
1. Dinah Pomeroy – B. about 1617; D. young

2. Elizabeth Pomeroy – B. about 1619; D. 1620

Children by Margery Rockett:
1. Eldad Pomeroy – B. about 1631, Dorchester, Massachusetts; D. 22 May 1662, Northampton, Massachusetts

2. Mary Pomeroy – B. Dorchester, Massachusetts; D. 19 Dec 1640, Windsor, Connecticut

3. John Pomeroy – B. Dorchester, Massachusetts; D. 1647, Windsor, Connecticut

4. Medad Pomeroy – B. about 1638, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 30 Dec 1716, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. (1) Experience Woodward (1643-1686), 21 Nov 1661, Northampton, Massachusetts; (2) Abigail Strong (~1645-1704), 14 Sep 1686, Northampton, Massachusetts; (3) Hannah Warriner, 24 Jan 1705, Northampton, Massachusetts

5. Caleb Pomeroy – B. 6 Mar 1641, Windsor, Connecticut; D. 18 Nov 1691, Northampton, Massachusetts; M. Hepzibah Baker, 8 Mar 1665, Windsor, Connecticut

6. Mercy Pomeroy – B. about 1644; D. 1657, Windsor, Connecticut

7. Joshua Pomeroy – B. 1646; D. 1689; M. (1) Elizabeth Lyman (?-1676), 20 Aug 1672; (2) Abigail Cook, 1677

8. Joseph Pomeroy – B. 1652; D. 1734; M. Hannah Lyman (1660-?), 20 Jun 1677

Sources:
History and genealogy of the Pomeroy family, Albert Alonzo Pomeroy, 1922
New England marriages prior to 1700, Clarence Almon Torrey and Elizabeth Petty Bentley, 1985
New England families, genealogical and memorial, Vol. 4, William Richard Cutter, 1913
Eltweed Pomeroy [blog], 7 Jan 2007, Allen Family Happenin's
GeneaStar: Famous Family Tree and Genealogy [website]

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