Two Sisters, Two Grandmas ~ Freaky Fridays #3

Mayflower-III am not sure this is an unusual occurrence or not but to me, it seemed pretty strange. That may be because it had me confused for a while. My 9th Great Grandfather Jonathan Brewster came over from England on The Fortune the year after his parents and his 2 younger brothers came over on theMayflower in 1620. He was 28 years old at the time. He got married to Lucretia Oldham 2 years later and immediately started having children. They had 3 sons and 5 daughters. This is where my confusion started.

I had been working on another genealogy site to find some missing information on my 8th Great Grandfather Samuel Starr when I found a document that mentioned the name of Grace Brewster. I figured this document belonged to Samuel since his wife’s maiden name was Brewster, so I saved it. As I continued searching, I found a few more references to Grace so those were saved also. Then I discovered a U.S. New England Marriages prior to 1700 hint that gave the name Hannah as his wife! At this point, I started second-guessing myself. Was Hannah his wife and not Grace? Was he married more than once? By this time I was confused.

I sat and thought for a couple of minutes and decided to go to Jonathan’s page in my Ancestry tree. Scrolling down the list of children there was my answer…..Grace and Hannah were sisters! Hannah was Samuel’s wife. Grace had married Daniel Wetherell. But wait, I thought that Grace was my 8th Great Grandmother. Come to discover both Grace and Hannah are my 8th Greats as I descend from Grace and Daniel’s line also! I spent some time combing through both of their pages correcting misplaced documents.

I understand that this happened because there weren’t too many people who survived the first winter at Plymouth and this wasn’t strange for those days. For a genealogist 400 years later, it can cause a little confusion and embarrassment. Shouldn’t I have known better?


I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

2 thoughts on “Two Sisters, Two Grandmas ~ Freaky Fridays #3

  1. Good job untangling that web! While not endogamy, I have several ancestors from who had a limited pool of choices too. For sure colonial America (although yours beat mine by about 8 years, lol), as well as Cornwall and Eggiwil Switzerland. Don’t get me started on how many Magdalena Wutherich’s there were in the mid-1800s! 🙂

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