Tag Archives: Massachusetts

Spotlight on Female Ancestors #4 ~ Sarah Allen ~ Taken Captive

Sarah Marie Allen, my maternal 1st cousin 8 times removed, was born on May 1, 1692, in Deerfield, Massachusetts Colony. She was the 4th of 9 children born to Edward Allen Jr (1663-1740) and Mercy Painter (1664-1740). The following is an account of the events of her life from 1704 to 1764.

In the pre-dawn hours of February 29, 1704, during Queen Anne’s War, joint French and Indian forces (including 47 Canadians and 200 Abenaki, along with some Mohawk, Wyandot, and a few Pocumtuck, all under the command of Jean-Baptiste Hertel de Rouville) attacked the town of Deerfield, Massachusetts in what became known as the Raid on Deerfield. They razed much of the settlement and killed 56 colonists, including 22 men, 9 women, and 25 children. The attackers took 112 captives, including women and children, and forced them on a months-long trek to Montreal, nearly 300 miles to the north. Many died along the way; others were killed because they could not keep up.

Among those taken prisoner was 11-year old Sarah. The prisoners were marched from Deerfield to Montreal. It took them until April 25th to reach Fort Chambly. From here Sarah was taken to a settlement on the other side of the St, Lawrence River. She was kept here for a while before being sold to Jean Quenet, a Montreal merchant. One of his properties was at Baie D’Urfe and that is where Sarah was placed as a domestic servant.

Under enormous pressure, many of the captives converted to Catholicism including Sarah. On May 30, 1705, she was baptised by the Jesuits and renamed Marie Madeleine Helene at St Anne du Bout de I’lle before her appointed godparents Pierre Lamoureux and Etiennette Hurtubise, the wife of Jean Quenet, Sarah’s master.

The town of Deerfield quickly reestablished itself and Edward Allen Jr, Sarah’s father, was named town clerk. During the following three years John Sheldon was hired to led three expeditions to Canada to rescue the captives. Edward was a member of the third expedition in 1707. He was in Montreal in August of 1707. A war broke out between France and England while they were there, and they were prevented from completing their mission. There is no record that Edward found where Sarah was or what the result was. Sarah was living and working at the home of Jean Quenet at the time which was 10 miles west of Montreal.

Sometime in early 1710, Sarah, now known as Marie, met Guillaume Lalonde (1684-1752) whose family owned a farm near the Quenets’. He was a son of an immigrant from the Normandy region of France. On April 10, 1710, she married Guillaume and in May of that same year she was granted citizenship of New France, choosing to make her life in Canada and effectively cutting off any contact with New England and her family. To become a citizen Sarah had to agree to these terms: “they could not leave the country without express and written permission, nor be employed as go-betweens with foreigners on pain of forfeiting their right to citizenship.”

Sarah and Guillaume had 13 children, 9 sons and 4 daughters. During their lifetime they lived in the towns of Baie D’Urfe, Point Claire, Ile Perrot and Les Cedres in Soulange, Guillaume died in 1752 and Sarah died in 1764 at the age of 72. They were buried in the Parish Cemetery of St. Joseph de Soulange.

I can’t imagine the trauma and fear that little 11-year old Sarah endured on her forced trip up to Canada in the winter. She saw many people killed on this trek, some for being slow, some for being sic, and some for trying to escape. One 5 year old girl was killed because the man who carried her could not carry her and supplies at the same time. She must have lived in constant fear! She lived in “survival” mode, having been sold as soon as she arrived in Montreal and at the age of 16 she was forced to change religions in order to fit in. She also had to give up her name and her country to be able to live in peace. I believe that once she married and starting having children, she was able to begin enjoying her life. She was a very strong woman!

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

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Hometown Tuesday #42 ~ Hingham, Suffork County, Massachusetts Colony

The town of Hingham, Massachusetts Colony was called “Bare Cove” by the first colonizing English in 1633. Two years later it was incorporated as a town under the name “Hingham” after the city in England where most of the settlers were from. The town was within Suffolk County from its founding until 1803, and then was in Plymouth County from 1803 to the present.

Hingham was born of religious dissent. Many of the original founders were forced to flee their native village in Norfolk England with both their vicars, Rev. Peter Hobart and Rev. Robert Peck, when they fell away from the strict doctrines of the Anglican Church in England. Peck was known for what the eminent Norfolk historian Rev. Francis Blomefield called his “violent schismatic spirit.” Peck lowered the chancel railing of the church, in accord with Puritan sentiment that the Anglican church of the day was too removed from its parishioners. He also antagonized ecclesiastical authorities with other forbidden practices.

Although the town was incorporated in 1635, the colonists didn’t get around to negotiating purchase from the Wampanoag, the Native American tribe in the region, until three decades later. On July 4, 1665, the tribe’s Chief Sachem, Josiah Wompatuck, sold the township to Capt. Joshua Hobart and Ensign John Thaxter, representatives of Hingham’s colonial residents. Having occupied the land for 30 years, the Englishmen presumably felt entitled to a steep discount.


Josiah Wompatuck

The American Otises of the seventeenth century were of English descent. The emigration of the family from Barnstable, Devon, England occurred during the early days when the settlements in New England were still infrequent and weak. Arriving in 1635, the John Otis Sr. family was among the first to settle at the town of Hingham. It wasn’t long until the name Otis appeared in the public records, indicating official rank and .leadership. He purchased over 60 acres of land, building two houses and a barn. He grew corn on 35 acres of this land. John, born in 1581, and his first wife Margaret (1583-1653), along with their seven daughters and two sons, settled into the larger of the two homes. John was made selectman for the town, a position he held until the death of his wife in 1653.

He then married a widow by the name of Elizabeth Whitman Stream (1592-1672) and he sold most of his land, leaving 30 acres to be divided between his 2 sons. He then moved to Weymouth, Massachusetts. He died there in June 1657, at the age of 76.

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

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“Power” of Love ~ 52 Ancestors #8

During this month where many people celebrate “Love” I decided to write about one of my ancestors who wrote about the “Power of Love”.

George Denison was born in 1618 in Preston, Northamptonshire, England, the son of William Denison (1570-1653) and Margaret Chandler (1575-1645). He moved with his family to Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1631 at the age of 13. He met Bridget Thompson in 1639, and he began to “court” her. They married in 1640 and they had 2 daughters, Sarah (1641) and Hannah (1643). His beloved wife died shortly after Hannh’s birth and George in the midst of his intense grief, left his 2 young daughters with his family and returned to England. He served with Cromwell in the army of the Parliament where he won distinction for his actions. He was wounded at Naseby, and he was taken to the home of John Borodell, where he was nursed back to health by John’s daughter Ann (1615-1712). They were married in 1645, and George returned to Roxbury with his new wife. They went on to have 7 children, 4 sons, and 3 daughters. George died in Hartford, Connecticut, on October 23, 1694, while there on some special business. He was 76 years old. The following poem was written by George for his wife-to-be, the love of his life , Bridget Thompson in 1640 the week before their wedding.

“It is an ordinance, my dear divine

Which God unto the sons of men makes shine.

Even marriage is that whereof I speak

And unto you my mind therein I beak.

In Paradise, of Adam, God did tell

To be alone, for man, would not be well.

He in His wisdom thought it right

To bring a woman into Adam’s sight.

A helper that for him might be most meet

And comfort him by her doing discreet.

I of that stock am sprung, I mean from him

And also of that tree I am a limb

A branch though young, yet do I think it good

That God’s great vows by man be not withstood.

Alone I am, a helper I would find

Which might give satisfaction to my mind.

The party that doth satisfy the same

Is Mistress Bridget Thompson by her name.

God having drawn my affections unto thee

My Heart’s desire is thine may be to me.

Thus, with my blottings though I trouble you

Yet pass these by cause, I know not how

Though they at this time, should much better be

For love it is the first have been to thee

And I wish that they much better were.

Therefore, I pray accept them as they are

So hoping my desire I shall obtain.

Your own true lover, I, George Denison by name.

From my father’s house in Roxbury To Miss Bridget Thompson, 1640.”

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

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This Old House #8 ~ The Allen House

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

The Allen house was built of heavy hewn logs and was both a fort and a public house. The roof of the building was steep, and shingled with hand-riven shingles. The walls between the rooms were of clay mixed with chopped straw. The walls were whitened with a wash made of powdered clam-shells. The first floor consisted of puncheon floors which were pieces of broad, heavy, roughly dressed timber with one face finished flat.. The well-smoothed timbers were sanded in careful designs with cleanly beach sand.

Edward Allen Jr was my 7th Great Uncle, was born in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts on May 1, 1663. He moved to Suffield, Connecticut in 1679 with his father and had a grant of 40 acres. Here he married Mercy Painter (1664-1740) on November 24, 1683. In 1686 he was granted 40 acres on the Green River, at Deerfield, Massachusetts, and he moved his growing family here. He built the “Allen House” within the first year. He was a town clerk between 1704 and 1712 and Moderator of the town meetings twice between 1727 and 1731. He was a selectman eight times between 1694 and 1716.

He was active in the defense of Deerfield in King Williams War and Queen Anne’s War. He was in military service in 1709. On April 17, 1707, he proceeded, along with John Sheldon and others to Canada, by order if Governor Dudley, to recover the English captives there. They returned on September 18th with seven redeemed captives, after suffering great dangers and fatigues. Edward died on February 10, 1740, in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

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

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Sunday’s Salute #45 ~ Benjamin Kimball ~ King Philips War


Seal of Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts Colony

Benjamin Kimball, my maternal 8th Great Uncle, was born in 1637 in Watertown, Middlesex County, Colonial Massachusetts, the youngest of 10 children born to immigrants, Richard Kimball (1595-1675) and Ursula Scott (1596-1661). He married Mercy Hazeltine (1642-1707) on April 16, 1661. On May 12, 1663, they moved to Rowley, Massachusetts, where they bought land. At this time Rowley included within its limits the present Bradford, Georgetown, and Groveland. His land was in what is now known as Bradford. On Nov. 23, 1667, he bought several tracts of land, among them was land that he gave to his older brother, Thomas Kimball. Thomas was killed by an Indian on May 3, 1676, during one of the raids on the town of Bradford during the King Philip’s War. His wife and 5 children were captured and taken prisoner, however, they were returned to the town on June 11, 1676. On Feb. 20, 1668, at the first town meeting in Bradford, Benjamin was chosen an overseer of the town. He served in this capacity until March 15, 1674. On Jan. 6, 1675, he and his wife Mercy, sold forty acres of land to the inhabitants of that town for the use of the minister.


Samuel Appleton

In 1668, Samuel Appleton was chosen to serve as a deputy to the Massachusetts General Court and received the title of Lieutenant. He served in the company of his brother, Captain John Appleton, from 1669 to 1671. He then served by himself from 1673 to 1675. In 1675, King Philip’s War broke out and Appleton was promoted to Captain. On September 24, 1675, Appleton received a commission to command a foot company of 100 men which included the two Kimball brothers. (Benjamin was “cornet” of troops and was known as “Cornet Kimball.”). He proceeded to the Connecticut River Valley, where Captain Thomas Lathrop’s Company had been destroyed on September 18.

On October 4, Major John Pynchon resigned as Commander-in-Chief of the militia headquarters in Hadley and Appleton was chosen to succeed him. Not knowing where the next attack would come from, Appleton divided his army among three towns. He stationed a force in Northampton under the command of Lieutenant Nathaniel Sealy. This group was supplemented by troops under the command of Robert Treat of Connecticut. A second group, under the command of Captains Jonathan Poole and Samuel Moseley, was stationed in Hatfield. Appleton himself commanded the third force, which was stationed in Hadley.

At noon on October 19, several fires were spotted north of Hadley. Captain Moseley sent out a scouting party of ten men who were ambushed two miles outside of the garrison. Six of the men were killed and three were captured. Moseley sent to Hadley and Northampton for reinforcements. Appleton and most of his men crossed the river and joined Moseley. Around 4 pm, a large band of Native American warriors charged the settlement. Appleton defended one side of the town, Captain Poole defended the other, and Captain Moseley defended the middle. Appleton’s sergeant was killed by his side and Appleton just missed getting shot as a bullet went through his hat. After two hours the warriors retreated in confusion. The battle at Hatfield was the Native Americans’ first real setback of the war and a turning point for the English colonists, as it proved that the Native Americans could be repelled if the militia was prepared.

In November 1675, the commissioners of the United Colonies of New England had evidence that the neutral Narragansett tribe was assisting Metacomet. They chose to launch a preemptive strike on the Narragansett. On December 8, 527 members of the Massachusetts militia, led by Appleton, gathered in Dedham, Massachusetts. Plymouth Colony gathered 159 men under the command of William Bradford and Connecticut moved 300 men under the command of Robert Treat, along with 150 Mohegan warriors. Governor Josiah Winslow of Plymouth Colony was named Commander-in-Chief. On December 19, 1675, the Narragansett fort was captured in the Great Swamp Fight. 110 of Appleton’s men were either killed or wounded in the battle. Afterwards, Appleton and his remaining men returned to Boston, and he retired from active service.

Benjamin returned home to Bradford, and he continued his life as a wheelwright, carpenter, and a farmer. They raised 6 children. In 1690, he built a large 3-story house for his family. The house still stands on the junction of Salem Street and Main in Bradford. Benjamin died on June 16, 1696, and he is buried in the Bradford Cemetery.

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

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Spotlight on Female Ancestors #2 ~ Mary Brewster and Susanna White 2 of 4

Susanna Jackson, my maternal 10th Great Grandmother, was born in 1595 in Nottinghamshire, England. She and her father were English Separatists who fled religious persecution in England under King James I for their non-conformity to the dictates and practices of the Church of England. They came to Holland in 1608. There she married William White in 1612 in Leyden, Holland, and they had a son, Resolved. In 1620 William, Susanna, and Resolved boarded a ship that would take them back to England to join 101 other passengers embarking on a voyage to the New World aboard the Mayflower. Susanna was 25 years old and a little over 6 months pregnant when they began the trip on September 6, 1620..


Mary Brewster Statute

Mary, my paternal 11th Great Grandmother, whose maiden name has not been verified, was born in 1569 in Nottinghamshire, England. She married Elder William Brewster about 1593 in England, and she accompanied her husband and 3 young children to Leiden, Holland in 1608. Here they had at least 3 more children. William, Mary and their 2 youngest children also made the trip back to England to make the trip on the Mayflower. Mary was about 51 years old.

There were 3 pregnant women aboard the Mayflower and Susanna no doubt kept close company with matronly Mary Brewster, her family’s friend and neighbor from back in Scooby, England and in Holland. It must have been a great comfort to her. The ship arrived in Cape Cod Harbor on November 21, 1620. Because of the rough waters only the men were allowed to leave the ship, while the women and children were confined to their place on the middle deck of the Mayflower.


Peregrine White Cradle

On December 10, 1620, Susanna gave birth to a son aboard the Mayflower. They named him Peregrine, meaning a traveler or pilgrim. Peregrine White was the first Pilgrim child to be born in the New World. By the time all of the passengers made it to land, winter had blown in and made life miserable because of a lack of shelter. That first winter, death claimed 52 members of the group with the greatest loss being among the women with over three quarters of their number dying. The extremely high mortality rate among women is probably explainable by the fact the men were out in the fresh air, felling trees, building structures and drinking fresh New England water; while the women were confined to the damp, filthy and crowded quarters offered by the Mayflower, where disease would have spread much more quickly.

Susanna’s husband, William, died on February 21, 1621, along with the family’s two young man servants. Being left a widow with 2 young boys she remarried a few months later to fellow Mayflower passenger Edward Winslow, whose wife had also died had first winter, on May 12, 1621. Their marriage was the first marriage at Plymouth.


By the end of the summer of 1621, only four women, Eleanor Billington, Elizabeth Hopkins, Mary Brewster, and Susanna White, would remain alive to care for the Colony’s fifty surviving men and children. These four brave women faced some incredible hardships and heartbreak as they tried to make a new life in a new land. They had to be very strong, not just physically but also in their faith to withstand those first couple of years as the caregivers to so many people. I am proud that Mary and Susanna were two of the four.

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

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This Old House # 5 ~ David Tilden

Once again I was searching through my family trees and I noticed that there were quite a few photos of the homes that my ancestors had lived in. Some of them were built way back in the early 1600s. They varied in size, style, and construction material. They are all as equally unique as each of my ancestors!

One of the first English settlers of this area was David Tilden born in Scituate, Plymouth County, Massachusetts, David was one of twelve children born to Stephen Tilden and Hannah Little. David’s grandfather was Nathaniel Tilden who arrived at Plymouth Plantation in February 1634 aboard the Hercules. In 1654 this area had been established as the Ponkapoag Plantation, 6000 acres of land set aside for the Ponkapoag Indians. And it was from the native people that David received his deed of land. The deed gave land ownership of 20 acres to David Tilden, Husbandman, “outdone of the English Tenants of Lessees…” for 5 pounds 15 shillings, “a certain messuage or Tenement with lands thereto belonging”.

A small building was already on the site where David Tilden planned to build his new home. Jabez Searle, who had received a grant from his father Robert in 1710 and lived on the property until at least 1723 had apparently built a small building which most likely is the rear portion of the present day Tilden House. The original portion of the house built by David consists of the two east rooms in the two-story front portion of the house along with the lean-to built by Jabez Searle.

Portions of the homestead were built as early as 1709 and the main structure was largely constructed in 1725. This historic site still stands on the original tract of land deeded to David Tilden by the Ponkapoag Indians. The house resting on a small knoll overlooking the meadows of the Pequit Brook make this view one of the rare untouched and preserved Colonial views in Massachusetts. The view from the door at the Tilden House is almost exactly as David Tilden would have seen it 275 years ago.

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

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Hometown Tuesday ~ Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts

The early settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony established a series of seven villages in 1630. Roxbury was located about three miles south of Boston, which at the time was a peninsula, and was connected to the mainland by a narrow neck of land, “Roxbury Neck”. This led to Roxbury becoming an important town as all land traffic to Boston had to pass through it. The town was home to a number of early leaders of the colony, including colonial governors Thomas Dudley, William Shirley, and Increase Sumner. The Shirley-Eustis House, located in Roxbury remains as one of only four remaining Royal Colonial Governor’s mansions in the United States.


Shirley-Eustis House

The settlers of Roxbury originally made up the congregation of the First Church Roxbury, established in 1630. The congregation had no time to raise a meeting house the first winter and so met with the neighboring congregation in Dorchester. The first meeting house was built in 1632, and the fifth meeting house is still standing and it is the oldest such wood-frame building in Boston. In the 1600s Roxbury held many of the resources that the Colonists prized: potentially suitable land for farming, timber, and a brook (source of water and water power), and stone for building. That particular stone exists only in the Boston basin; it is visible on stony outcroppings and used in buildings such as the Warren House, and it proved to be a valuable asset to the community that led to early prosperity. The village of Roxbury was originally called “Rocksberry” for the rocks in its soil that made early farming a challenge.


First Church Roxbury

The Roxbury congregation, still in existence as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, lays claim to several things of note in American history:

*Establishment of the first church school in the British colonies.
*The founding (along with 5 other local congregations, i.e. Boston, Cambridge, Watertown, Charlestown and Dorchester) of Harvard College.
*The first book published in the British Colonies (1640).
*The first Bible published in the British Colonies (1663). It was a translation into the Massachusett language by the congregation’s minister and teaching elder, John Eliot who was known as “The Apostle to the Indians”.
*First Church Roxbury was the starting point for William Dawes’ “Midnight Ride”, April 18, 1775. He went off in a different direction than Paul Revere to warn Lexington and Concord of the British raids.

James Morgan Jr, my 8th great-grandfather, was born in Roxbury on March 3, 1644. He was the second of six children born to James Morgan Sr (1607-1685) and Margery Hill (1611-1690). He lived in Roxbury until about 1665 when he was 21 years old. He then moved to Groton, New London, Connecticut. Here he married Mary Vine (1641-1689) in November 1666. They had 6 children, 2 sons, and 4 daughters.

James was a very prosperous farmer, and he was chosen as Captain of the first “train band” in 1692, under an order of the Governor and Council, authorizing a military company to be formed there. He continued as the commander of the “dragoon” force of New London County, under a special commission from the General Court.

He died on December 8, 1711, in Groton at the age of 67.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Here’s Your Sign #13 ~ Old Deerfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large, and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

 

Sarah Allen
Edward Allen Jr, my 8th Great Uncle, was born May 1, 1663, in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was the 3rd of 13 children born to Edward Allen Sr. (1630-1696) and Sarah Kimball (1635-1690). Edward Jr married Mercy Painter (1664-1740) on November 24, 1683. In 1686 he moved his family to Suffield, Connecticut with his parents and several siblings. In 1686 he was granted 40 acres of land on the Green River in Deerfield, Massachusetts Bay Colony. He moved here along with 6 of his siblings. He became the town clerk between 1704 and 1712 and he was the moderator of the town meetings twice between 1727 and 1731. He was also the selectman eight times between 1694 and 1716. Edward and Mercy had 9 children, 3 sons, and 6 daughters. He died February 10, 1740, in Deerfield, at the age of 77. During the attacks from the French and Indians in 1704, Edward’s oldest brother John (1659-1704) and his wife Elizabeth Pritchard (1660-1704) were among the 47 that were killed.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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Hometown Tuesday ~ Northampton, Hampshire County, Massachusetts

hometown tuesdayThe Town of Northampton (originally the town of Nonotuck meaning “the midst of the river”, named by its original Pocumtuc inhabitants.) was granted its Charter in 1654. Northampton’s founders, though strongly Puritan in conviction, were drawn to the area more by accounts of abundant tillable land and ease of trade with the Indians than by the religious concerns that characterized their brethren in eastern Massachusetts. In May 1653, 24 persons petitioned the General Court for permission to “plant, possess and inhabit Northampton MANonotuck.” Northampton was settled in 1654 on a low rise above the rich meadowlands by the Connecticut River. Relations between settlers and Native Americans, though initially cooperative, became increasingly strained, culminating in King Philip’s War in 1675, when Chief Metacomet’s uprising was put down by the English.

800px-Northampton_(Massachusetts)_(NYPL_b12610608-421421)Though Northampton grew as a trade and marketing center in the 18th century, religious fervor was quickened by the ministry of the congregational preacher, theologian, and philosopher Jonathan Edwards. He was a leading figure in a 1734 Christian revival in Northampton. In the winter of 1734 and the following spring, it reached such intensity that it threatened the town’s businesses. In the spring of 1735, the movement began to subside and a reaction set in. But the relapse was brief, and the Northampton revival, which had spread through the Connecticut River Valley and whose fame had reached England and Scotland, was followed in 1739–1740 by the Great Awakening, under the leadership of Edwards. For this achievement, Edwards is considered one of the founders of evangelical Christianity. He is also credited with being one of the primary inspirations for transcendentalism.

Northampton hosted its own witch trials in the 1700s, although no newenglandmathersalleged witches were executed. Mary Bliss Parsons (circa 1628-1711/12) of Northampton was the subject of accusations and charges of witchcraft resulting in at least two legal trials. To head off the allegations, Joseph Parsons initiated a slander case in 1656, which he won. But eighteen years later, Mary was officially accused of and tried for witchcraft in 1674. She was eventually acquitted, but it seemed that the residents of Northampton, despite any court decrees, were convinced that Mary was a witch.

 
Rachel Celeste Moon, my 7th great-grandmother, was born in Northampton on August 13, 1703, the daughter of Joseph and Sarah Moon. When Rachel was 16 years old her family moved to Frederick County, Virginia and here she married Joseph Elijah Lindsey on March 12, 1719. They had 2 known children, Elijah Jr, and my 6th great-grandfather Thomas. Rachel died on February 5, 1768, in Frederick County, at the age of 64.

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: 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.

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