Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Albion's Seed

There are no Mayflower Pilgrims in my family tree, and if there were I'd probably shake them out.  A strange group of people they were, I don't think, no I know, they would not like me one bit, and I don't think I would like them either. Still, it would be interesting to sit across from them over a Thanksgiving dinner and ask  about their beliefs and their lives.  I wonder if they regretted leaving their homes to pitch up in a harsh and unwelcoming land?
Many of my ancestors came to America during  The Great Migration, 1630's- until the start of the English Civil War.  At that point reverse migration started with folks returning to live in a Puritan England. A book which I found to be very helpful in understanding something of their character, their beliefs, they ways of living is a called Albion's Seed  by David Hackett Fischer.
The book is divided into four sections, each focusing on a group of british migrants to America.  It includes the Puritans, The Cavaliers, and others from across England and Scotland.
Its a great book and I recommend it highly. You can find out more about this book by looking in my Genealogy Store. 
Albion's seed: four British folkways in America [Book]
By David Hackett Fischer

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Princess Nicketti Powhatan

I'm related to a Princess? 

When I was a newbie on I was guilty, unknowingly, of contributing to one of the biggest headaches for genealogist, both amateur and professional,  today.  What was I doing that was so terrible. It was blindly copying names and dates from ancestry trees without bothering to see if the information was even remotely correct.  What, or rather who,  brought that copy and pasting to an abrupt halt was a certain Princess Nicketti.
Princess Nicketti is in hundreds of trees on as well as websites and blogs like this.  She was the niece of Pocohantas and married a "white man" named Trader Hughes. Some trees even include the names of her parents. When I told my husband that he was related to an Indian Princess he looked at me like I was a nut job, and in that moment I realized he was right. Now don't get me wrong, I would be happy to have some Indian genes, to help breakup my seemingly 100% European ancestry. 
I searched both literature and  the web for proof of this Princess and guess what, she is only a figment of someone's, and now a lot of someones,  imagination.  The problem is that hundreds of people are happily passing on this bogus ancestor and hundreds more are adding her to their trees everyday.  Before long, fiction becomes fact and harder and harder to correct, hence the headache for those who really want an authentic tree.
Genealogy is a science, and like all sciences is based on provable facts.  If you are interested in genealogy you cannot include Nicketti in your family tree because there is no possible way to verify her existence. If all you are interested in is family history and lore, that's another thing altogether.  I guess I really take issue with all those people out there who have added specific dates and places to people who may or may not have existed.  
Here are some notes I have made from my search for Nicketti:

This is a copy from the book: "The Cabell's and Their Kin" from which this legend arises:

"Opechancanough, the celebrated chief of the Powhatans, who was brutally murdered, while a prisoner, in 1644, left a lovely young daughter, thechild of his old age, the Princess Nicketti —' she sweeps the dew from the flowers.' Some years after this graceful Indian maiden had reached the years of mature womanhood, a member [the name is not given) of one of the old Cavalier families of Virginia 'fell in love with her and she with him,'and the result was a clandestine marriage, and a half-breed Indian girl who married about the year 1680 a Welshman (others say a native of Devonshire, England,) named Nathaniel Davis, an Indian trader, and, according to some accounts, a Quaker; and from this alliance many notable people in the East and in the West have descended. Their daughter, Mary Davis (born about 1685), married Samuel Burks of Hanover (the ancestorsof the Burks family of Virginia), and their daughter, Elizabeth Burks, married Capt. William Cabell, the ancestor of the Cabells; Martha Davis, another daughter, married Abraham Venable, the ancestor of the Venables. Robert Davis, Sr., a son (the ancestor of 'the black Davises' of Kentucky, and from whom Jefferson Davis descended), had a daughter, Abadiah (or Abigail) Davis, who married William Floyd, the ancestor of the Floyds of Virginia and of the West. A daughter, or granddaughter, of the Quaker, married Gen'l Evan Shelby of Maryland, the ancestor of the Shelbys of the West. Samuel and Philip Davis of the Blue Mountains were sons, and there may have been other sons and daughters.

From this narrative we get the following information:

1. Princess Nicketti is the daughter of Opechanough
2. No mothers name is mentioned
3. Nicketti had to have been born prior to 1644, the year of her fathers death and the narrative says her father left a lovely young girl, not infant or baby, so many she was born even prior to 1634
4. Nicketti married a son of an old Cavalier family of Virginia, not Trader Hughes
5. The marriage results in the birth of one child a "half breed" daughter, unnamed
6. Unnamed daughter marries in 1680 a welshman/englishman named Nathaniel Davis, he is an indian trader
7. Unnamed daughter and Nathaniel Davis have a daughter, b. 1685, named Mary Davis who marries Samuel Burkes.
8.Unnamed daughter and Nathaniel Davis have daughter Martha who married Abraham Venable
9. Unnamed daughter and Nathaniel have son Robert Davis who has a daughter Abadiah, she marries William Floyd
10. Unnamed daughter and Nathaniel also have sons Samuel and Phillip.
11.  Unnamed daughter and Nathaniel have unnamed daughter or granddaughter who marries into the Shelby family.

Nicketti's mother is said to have been "Cleopatra", the sister of Pocahontas. The only time her name is recorded was when Thomas Rolfe, son of Pocohantas, petitioned in 1641 to see her and Opechancanough, his uncle.  Somehow these two have gotten married on the internet and   Nicketti is their child.

Trader Hughes

I recently did a trawl through the internet in search of the "real" Trader Hughes, supposed husband of Nicketti.  I found the following information, Trader Hughes was:
An English Cavalier
A member of Virginia society
His first name was John, Rees, or Rice or William
He was born in 1615, 1635
he was born in Wales but was a Scotsman
He was an African indentured servant! Convincing Blog with evidence that Trader Hughes was an African who married Nicketti
He was a Captain, not sure of what 
He and Nicketti had between one and twenty children
Trader Hughes is supposed to have established a Trading Post in Amherst County, Virginia. Traders began moving into this area of Virginia between 1710 and 1720.  If Trader Hughes was born in as late as 1635 he would have been 85 years old when he set up shop.  Nicketti would also be around 80-85.  This seems highly unlikely in an time when life expectancy was less than 50 and closer to 40. 

This is from a message board, message #10793 from the year 2003:

I have found further evidence in the early records of colonial Virginia which indicate that Rees/Rice Hughes had a wife named Susanna. These records indicate that Rees/Rice Hughes (Hoe) and his wife Susanna had an indentured servant named John Price (Prise) whom they may have either beaten or starved to death. These records also indicate that Rees/Rice Hughes bought an Indian girl, which possibly accounts for the legend that he "married" the Indian Princess Nicketti. Rees/Rice Hughes may have had children with this Indian girl, and it's possible that one of their descendants was the Trader Hughes who lived on the upper James River. I know the actual facts are not as pretty as the legend, but I think we need to be truthful about the past, no matter how reprehensible it was.  Billie Harris

John Richard Hewing

I reference John Richard above, he according, to his descendants, was an African from the    Portuguese colony in Angola. He was an indentured servant, brought to Virginia possibly to grow rice. He married Princess Nicketti. 

John Dodson
This is another family story concerning Princess Nicketti.  It seems that she married John Dodson, who was one of the original Jamestown settlers. He arrived on the ship "The Susan Constant" with Captain John Smith in 1607. Many family trees say that John married the grand daughter of the Algonquin Chief Powhatan, Princess Nicketti Eagle Plume. Her parents were Chief Eagle Plume and his wife Cleopatra. The Dodson family claim that this was a story passed down by their ancestors.

Some tidbits on Nathaniel Davis from an internet family genealogy site: Ancestors of Patrick Martin Stevens, Jr.  

It is said he came to Virginia from Wales, and was a Quaker. He is sometimes noted as Quaker Davis, but, Lorene Martens, notes that "The Complete Book of Immigrants, 1607-1776" suggests that Nathaniel was "reprieved for transportation for Barbados June 1671, London." She recalls seeing somewhere that he was jailed and transported for stealing tobacco. "On 8 June 1671 Newgate prisoners reprieved to be transported to Barbados: London." 

Notes for Hugh Ap Lewis: Perhaps he died in Barbados, say some.... Some assert (see The Reads and Their Relatives, author unknown) that Hugh Lewis and Elizabeth were of "Barbados and Virginia." In the "Venables of Virginia," 1925, Elizabeth Marshall Venable asserts that "Hugh Lewis came first with his wife and daughter, Abadiah Lewis, and lost his wife in America and returned to Britain with Abadiah, his only daughter... both returned again to America, in Virginia, with Robert Davis, who came away without the consent of his parents, and served four years in Virginia, King and Queen, for his passage, and then married Abadiah Lewis, with whom he had immigrated." (Courtesy of Leona Latham-Simonini, 2007) 
So, if I'm reading the above right, he is saying that the first Abadiah was the daughter of Hugh and Elizabeth ap Lewis.  Elizabeth dies, Hugh and Abadiah return to England, where they meet up with Robert Davis, who re-immigrates with them to Virginia.   The daughter of Robert and Abadiah Davis, also called Abadiah marries William Floyd. Hum, there seems to be two versions of Abadiah.  She is also said to be the daughter of Nathaniel Davis  and Mary Elizabeth Hughes. 
Another family tree states that Nathaniel Davis was born 17 April 1765 in St. Michael's Parish perhaps in Devonshire.  So here we are combining a very concrete date to a very indeterminate place, how the heck do you know his birthday? If he married Mary Hughes in 1680 then he would have been  15 on his wedding day. Another site says b. 1646 in Virginia, and other site even includes his middle name: Ambrose. This same site says that Nathaniel Davis' father was none other than Barnabus Davis who was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts in 1610. Don't let the fact that Charlestown did not even exist until after 1630 stand in the way of your family tree.

Here are two short articles written about Nicketti
Title: John Smith Captures Opechancanough
Source: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Princess Nicketti is the name given to a Virginia Indian woman believed by some to have been the daughter of Opechancanough, a leader of the Powhatan Indians and the brother of the paramount chief Powhatan. While the name has been referenced almost exclusively on twenty-first-century genealogy websites by people claiming family relationship, no scholarly evidence exists that Princess Nicketti ever lived. A careful search of seventeenth-century records in Virginia yields no one by that name, male or female. And no name of a child of Opechancanough was ever recorded in that century. The writings about her stem from a single published source: Alexander Brown's genealogy The Cabells and Their Kin (1939). Significantly, Brown calls Nicketti's story only a "very interesting tradition" and adds, "I cannot vouch for it[s accuracy]," but he had heard about her from several prominent Piedmont Virginia families. Subsequent writers have quoted Brown's text as fact.
Another problem with the Princess Nicketti legend is that North American Indian tribes did not have princesses in the European sense. Most tribes were relatively egalitarian, and egalitarian societies do not produce aristocracies. Even the more hierarchical Indian cultures, such as the Powhatan, did not have European-style royalty. For one thing, there was not that great a distance between a paramount chief like Powhatan and the ordinary people, which is why anthropologists have traditionally referred to Powhatan as a chief, not as a king. For another, most Woodland Indian cultures (including the Powhatan one) practiced matrilineal inheritance, at least for ruling positions. That meant that a male chief's sons were not his heirs, and his daughters' social prominence would last only until he died. The real heirs were the children of a female chief, or the elder sister of a male one.
Pocohantas and her son

Title: Pocahontas-Rolfe 
Source: University of Virginia Special Collections
Despite the evidence against Princess Nicketti's existence, she remains a popular figure, especially among those interested in family history. As evidenced by the numerous claims of relation to Powhatan's daughter Pocahontas, and to the privileges granted those alleged relations in the Racial Integrity Acts, Virginians have long valued connections, real or mythological, to Indian "royalty." Those connections have most often been made through women, who likely are seen as less threatening than males like Opechancanough, for instance, who led Second Anglo-Powhatan War (1622-1632). Claims of ancestry through the Powhatan Indians are more common, as well, probably because it was an especially well-known tribe.
The American Indian author Vine Deloria has argued that Americans seek family connections to Indians in order to relate in a more personal way to the frontier and, perhaps, to expiate guilt related to the treatment of American Indians. Others have pointed out that during parts of the twentieth century claims of Indian ancestry sometimes exempted people from laws that segregated whites from nonwhites. For instance, in Virginia the Racial Integrity Acts, passed in the 1920s, outlawed marriage between whites and nonwhites (the latter classification included Virginia Indians, who state officials believed to be black) and required that people's racial statuses be recorded at birth; elite Virginians who claimed ancestry to Pocahontas, however, could still register as white.
"Nicketti" is not an identifiable Indian name, and is probably a corruption of some other name. It could be derived from "Necotowance," the former name of a creek in King William County, taken in turn from the personal name of Opechancanough's male successor. Nothing is known about that man except that he signed the Treaty of 1646 on behalf of many of the Powhatan tribes. He disappeared from the English records after 1649.

Further Reading
Brown, Alexander. The Cabells and Their Kin. Richmond, Va.: Garrett and Massie, Inc., 1939.
Rountree, Helen C. The Powhatan Indians of Virginia: Their Traditional Culture. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1989.
Contributed by Helen C. Rountree, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at Old Dominion University, and author of Pocahontas's People: The Powhatan Indians of Virginia Through Four Centuries (1990) and Pocahontas, Powhatan, Opechancanough: Three Indian Lives Changed by Jamestown (2005). 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Giles Cromwell of Newbury, Massachusetts

Researching my ancestor Giles Cromwell who left England and settled in Newbury, MA has been both extremely frustrating and a great learning experience.  Frustrating because of all the erroneous errors attached to him that, in this great age of the internet, have multiplied and spread by copy and paste family researchers. I have dubbed this stuff "junky genealogy".    At the same time I have learned a great deal about genealogical research and English history while trying to find the "real Giles Cromwell".  

 I think the best place to start is with who Giles Cromwell was not rather than who he actually was. The vast majority of internet based genealogies, including  claim that Giles was the son of Sir Oliver Cromwell.  This is not true and it would be funny except for the fact that so many people have copied this into their family trees confusing anyone who is looking for factual information.

Sir Henry Cromwell Giles Cromwell, son of Sir Oliver Cromwell, grandson of Sir Henry, was born into turbulent times.  His father, born 1562, was the son of Sir Henry Cromwell, "the golden Knight", known for his lavish spending and lifestyle.  The family name was originally  Williams but they took on the name Cromwell in honor of their illustrious and ill fated ancestor Thomas Cromwell of Henry VIII fame.  Sir Henry was knighted by Queen Elizabeth after she spent two nights at Hitchenbrook, the family home, in 1564.  He served as a member of Parliament and served four times as the Sheriff of Huntingdon.  Sir Oliver's mother was Joan, daughter of Sir Ralph Warren, twice mayor of London.  Sir Henry died in January of 1604 and was buried at All Saint's Church in Huntingdon. He had already turned over Hinchenbrook to his son and heir, Sir Oliver in 1602.  

Sir Oliver Cromwell As the eldest son, Sir Oliver inherited the bulk of Sir Henry's estate. The family divided their time between the two great houses of Hitchenbrooke and Ramsey Abbey. Sir Oliver was first knighted Queen Elizabeth I.  He was also knighted by King James of Scotland after his stay at Hitchenbrooke as he made his progress from Scotland to England to claim the English throne, following the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603. Sir Oliver played an active role in Parliament, representing the county of Huntingdon at various times between 1604 and 1625.  He was one time the Sheriff of Huntingdon and Cambridgeshire. Like his father, Sir Oliver lived lavishly.  He was forced to sell Hinchenbrooke house in 1626. Sir Oliver died in 1655. 

Elizabeth Bromley Sir Oliver married twice.  His first wife was Elizabeth daughter of Sir Thomas Bromley, former Lord Chancellor of England.  They married sometime before 1586, she died on 27 July 1600.  

The children of Sir Oliver and Elizabeth were:
Henry b. 1586 d. 1657 m. Baptina Pallavacini #2 Lucy Dyer
John b. 1589 m. Abigail Cleere
Catherine b. 1594 d. 1616 m. Sir Henry Pallavacini
Jane d. 1638 m. Sir Toby Pallavacini, Jane is buried in St. Martin's Chipping Ongar, Essex
Elizabeth d. 1666 m. Sir Richard Ingoldsby

Anna Hooftman Sir Oliver married Anna Hooftman on 7 July 1601. She was the daughter of Gielis van Eychelberg alias Hooftman of Antwerp.  Anna was the widow of Sir Horace Pallavacini a Genoese nobleman employed by Queen Elizabeth to raise funds, he died in 1600.  Sir Oliver's financial situation was vastly improved with this marriage as Anne was quite a wealthy widow.  To keep the money in the family he and Anne arranged for three of his children to marry three of hers. Anna died on 23 April 1626. In her will she left her son Giles various properties in the Low Countries.  

Children of Sir Oliver and Anna 
Anna b. 1603 d. 1663 m. John Baldwine
Mary d. 1634 married Edward Rolte
Giles d. 1634 never married, buried in The Great Church in the Hague.
Oliver d. 1628 in Italy

On the side of the King in the English Civil War  During the English Civil War of 1642-1651, Sir Oliver Cromwell and his sons were unswerving on the side of King Charles I.  Although described as a man of Puritan callings, Sir Oliver was an ardent loyalist, he supported the Crown til the last, even to the point of raising troops at his own expense.  

Henry Cromwell His son and heir Henry had his estates sequestered by Parliament.  Henry fought with the Royalist army at the battle of Winceby in 1643.  Henry's son James was a Colonel in the Royalist army, and his son Henry so hated the name Cromwell that he reverted to using the surname of Williams.

Sir Oliver's son John was a Captain in the First Regiment of Foot sent by King James I to assist in recovering the Palatine for his daughter Elizabeth and his son-in-law Frederick the Elector of Palatine, the once King and Queen of Bohemia. John became a Colonel in Holland and was chosen by the Prince of Wales, the future King Charles II, to deliver a letter from Charles to his cousin Oliver Cromwell asking him to spare the life of his father, King Charles I.  Obviously Oliver Cromwell was not swayed by the missive from Charles.

William, third son of Sir Oliver was also in the service of Frederick, Elector of Palatine. He held the rank of Colonel and served in the wars for the Crown of Bohemia.  He died of the plague in 1655 and is buried at Ramsey Abbey. 

Giles Cromwell son of Sir Oliver and Anna Hooftman was a Gentleman in Waiting to the King of Bohemia.  In a 17th century genealogy of the Hooftman van Eijehelberg family the writer remarks on the death of Anna Hooftman in May of 1626, he goes on to comment that he made the acquaintance of his cousin Giles Crommuel, a young man of about 21 years, who was a page at the court of the Queen of Bohemia, and resided at The Hague.  Giles is mentioned in a book "The Letters of Elizabeth Stuart:  Queen of Bohemia" by Nadine Akkerman.  She writes "he delivered a letter to Elizabeth from her husband Frederick. Giles was a loyal Palatine servant who drew up his will on 2 May 1634, leaving all his possessions to the Gentlemen and Gentlewomen of the Queen of Bohemia". 
Giles wrote his will in March of 1633.  He died and was buried in the Great Church of The Hague in May of 1634.  In his will, of which I have a copy, he named his sister Anne Balwine, the children of his deceased sister Mary Rolte, his brother Henry, John and William.  There is no doubt that this is the will of Giles Cromwell, son of Sir Oliver Cromwell.  The will is kept in the Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies.  You can get a copy from the British website Access to Archives. 
This is a brief synopsis of his will:
Bequeaths. money and jewels to: sisters Anne (wife of John Baldwin) and Mary (wife of Edward Rolte); Uncle Sir Cornelis Hooftman; Cousin Lord Gerard Van Randenrode; Uncle/Cousin Van Nispen; Godson Giles Rolt (nephew); brothers Palavicino; William Cromwell and John Cromwell; William Grudge and Edward Pue, servants; Peter Fannius, secretary of Bewershaven; ladies and Gentlewomen of Queen of Bohemia an Gentlemen (his comrades); cousins Van Sevender and Margaret Van Vosbergen
I don't think you can argue this one.  Giles Cromwell, son of Sir Oliver, served the Queen of Bohemia at The Hague in the Netherlands.  He died and was buried there, he did not come to America. So, who is Giles Cromwell of Newbury?  

Giles Cromwell of Eling, England and Newbury, Massachusetts Okay, I know you're disappointed, but wouldn't you rather have the truth than some made up genealogy.  So, what do we know about Giles Cromwell of Newbury.  If he was the Giles married to Alice Weeks in 1630 he was probably born about 1600-1605. Eling  is quite close to the port city  of Southampton so we can guess that Giles and Alice embarked on their new life from there. 

Arrival It is not known when Giles arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, but we know he was in Newbury by 1645, when he contested the will of one Thomas Cromwell. His relationship with Thomas is unknown, possibly an Uncle or a cousin.  Both of Giles' wives were named Alice.  It is very possible that he was the Giles Cromwell, Miller, who married Alice Weeks in Eling, Southampton, England. 
Alice died sometime prior to 1648 when Giles married a second time to  Alice Wiseman.
He wrote his will in 1672 and died, after a lifetime of hard work, on 24 Feb 1673.  He was unable to sign his name so he made his mark on the will.  He left his very modest estate to his surviving children, Phillip and Argentine.  That, my friends, is about all we know about Giles Cromwell of Newbury.
Note Jane Cromwell Pickering is also not a relation to Sir Oliver, nor is she related to our Giles, see my article on Jane Cromwell.

Conclusion  I hope that you agree that other than their name and the fact that they were contemporaries  living in the same time period, these two men had very little in common.  One the son of a wealthy, educated man, raised surrounded by Royalty and other persons of importance.  the entire family was zealous in it's loyalty and service  to the crown of England. The other Giles is a miller by trade from another part of the country, who leaves England to become a farmer of modest means in New England.  How anyone could suppose that these men are one and the same is beyond me.  I am quite happy to claim Giles Cromwell, miller and farmer, of Newbury as my ancestor. 

related posts
John Cram
Jane Cromwell

James Waylen, The House of Cromwell, A Genealogical History of the Family and the Descendants of the Protector, London, 1897
John Wise, The Fall and Rise of Ramsey Abbey,1882
Fenland Notes and Queries, Vol. 5, p. 216
Mark Noble, Memoirs of the Protectoral House of Cromwell,  
John James Currier, History of Newbury, MA 1635-1902
Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County
Essex Institute Historical Collections, Vol 53, p. 236

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Veterans Day

Well I couldn't pass up posting on 11-11-11 and it's Veterans Day to boot!  My family is full of men and women who have served this country, beginning with King Phillip's War in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1670's, the French and Indian Wars, the American Revolution, the War of 1812, Civil War, both World Wars,  
Korea, Vietnam, and both Gulf Wars.

Here are some of the Veterans in my and my husbands family tree:

Phillip Rowell, son of Valentine, born in Salisbury, Mass, was a shipwright and innkeeper.  He was killed by Indians in 1690. See my Rowell post about this family.

Enoch Rowell and his son, also named Enoch, both served in the Revolutionary War.  They were at the battle of Ft. Ticonderoga in New York.  Enoch Senior died on the return journey to Candia, New Hampshire.

Benjamin Baker and his brothers also served in the Revolution, Benjamin died in 1790, having never really recovered by wounds suffered in battle.  It is said that he was at Bunker Hill and with Washington's forces in
 Cambridge.  Benjamin's daughter, Katherine, married Samuel Thornton II.

Bunker Hill

One interesting Thornton tidbit.  A nephew of the Honorable Matthew Thornton, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was tried and found guilty of treason.  It seems he was aiding the British.  He left the country after the war and lived in New Brunswick, Canada. ( Matthew was the brother of our ancestor Samuel I)

Rubin Thornton,  son of Samuel I, served in the War of 1812. After serving himself for sometime, he was released from duty after hiring a replacement for himself.

On my husbands side of the family is Joseph Oliver Rishiell, originally from Pennsylvania he moved out west and settled first in Henry County, Illinois. He was a private in the 42nd Illinois Infantry, serving for about one year. He was a farmer and later became a circuit minister. He died in Denver, Colorado.

John's Grandfather, Floyd Roberts, was in the Colorado National Guard and served as a Seebee in the Navy during WWII.  My Grandfather enlisted on 7 June 1918 and was released shortly after Armistice Day, in January 1919.  Both our fathers were in the military, John's in the Army, my father served more than 20 years in the Air Force.

One of my uncles was badly injured during the Vietnam War, and received a medical discharge from the Army.

I met my husband while we were both on active duty in the Air Force.  My sister in law was also in the Air Force.  

Currently, I have one nephew serving in the Army.  

Happy Veterans Day to all who proudly served this great country!

I am sure I have left out a lot of relatives and I will update this post when I have time.  

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chloe Flora Blanchard daughter of James and Phebe Carter Blanchard

Chloe Flora Blanchard was the mother of John Clark Thornton, grandmother of Paul Rowell Thornton. Chloe was born in 1819 in Greensboro, Vermont to James and Phebe (Carter) Blanchard.  Her father was from Canterbury, New Hampshire and her mother's origins are difficult to trace.  There were Carters in New Hampshire and in Vermont at the time. She may have been born in Greensboro, Vermont. James Blanchard's father, uncles and some cousins went to Vermont after the American Revolution.

 Chloe seems to have been the youngest of at least 9 children. Her father joined the Congregational Church in 1810 and several of his children were baptized later that year. Her mother was baptized in 1817. Three of Chloe's siblings: Ruth, Royal Carter and James Chadwick left Vermont to become Shakers, they lived in the Shaker Colony in Canterbury, New Hampshire. James Blanchard, her father,  moved to Wheelock by the time of the 1840 census.  Two of his neighbors are Samuel Thornton, on one side, and David Thornton on the other. Chloe's mother died in 1840 and her father died in 1843, they are buried in the cemetery in Greensboro, Vermont.
Record of James Blanchard's Death
Record of Phebe (Carter) Blanchard's Death

Chloe married Samuel Thornton in Wheelock, Vermont in 1841. In the 1850 census, Chloe and her husband and six children are living in Greensboro. Samuel was a farmer, they may have inherited her father's farm after his death in 1843.  One of her children, Alva,age one in the 1850 census, is not listed in the 1860 census, presumably he has died.  Also by 1860 her two oldest children,  Lucinda and Phebe, have left the family home. I cannot find them in the 1860 census, but both are married by 1870.  The rest of her children, William, Jabez, Nathan, Maria, Joseph, Benjamin and John. By the 1870 census the family has moved to Hardwick, Vermont.  In a land deed which refers to the Old Samuel Thornton farm, the farm is described as a sugar maple farm. Living with them are Maria, Nathan, Joseph, Jabez and John.
Chloe Blanchard Thornton

Samuel Thornton 
Samuel Thornton died in 1874 age 58 and Chloe in 1876 age 57. Most of their children lived and died in Vermont.  William went to Troy, New York, he was a laborer in a cemetery.  Nathan died young of TB, Maria died and her husband married the widow of her brother Joseph.

John Clark Thornton married twice, his first wife, Nettie Hazen died after only a year of marriage. He left Vermont for Boston, Massachusetts.  He ran a successful milk delivery business. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thomas Rowell Family Part II

This is one of the first posts on my blog. It was orginally written for my family and meant to be printed out. I decided to instead write it in blog format.  I have changed the layout of the article and have written individual blog post for most of these Rowells.  I was then going to delete this post but decided to keep it until I have a post about all the members of my Rowell family.


John, fourth son and fifth child of Philip and Sarah (Morrill) Rowell, my sixth great grand father, was born in 1683 in Amesbury, and baptized April 30, 1699, in Salisbury, MA. In 1729 he went to Chester, New Hampshire, and settled, June 14, on the north part of lot No. 114. On July 1 of that year he bought lot No. 50, and with Beniah Colby divided the two lots crosswise. He died February 1, 1736, in Kingston. New Hampshire

He married, March 2, 1715, Elizabeth,  daughter of Samuel and Dorothy Colby. She was born December 7, 1694, in Amesbury, and was living in Chester in 1741. Three of their children were, born in Amesbury and the others in Chester, namely: Enoch, Judith, Benoni, John and Eliphalet.

Note about Chester and Candia:  Chester was incorporated in 1722. It is in Rockingham County. Candia was once part of Chester, it seperated and was incorporated in 1763.
Note about Kingston:  Originally part of Hampton, New Hampshire. It was the fifth town established in New Hampshire.

Enoch Rowell, Senior, was my fifth great grandfather. He was born in Amesbury, Essex, Massachusetts in 1725.  He married Miriam Converse in 1746, and died on his way home from fighting in the Revolution at Ft. Ticonderoga, New York. He was 51 years when he died.   There is little information available about Miriam Converse, her parents are unknown. Enoch moved with his father to Chester, New Hampshire.  He assumed control of some of his father’s lands after his death.  Enoch was one of the first settlers in Candia, New Hampshire.  In 1764, Enoch was elected to serve as town constable. 

No.l. Enoch Rowell was the first settler on the lot on the south corner of the road where the Masonic Hall is located. He was a soldier of the Revolution and died at Ticonderoga in 1776. Various parties owned the place and About the year 1820 John Sargeant, who was a son of Jacob Sargeant, jr., and a grandson of John Sargeant, sr., who was the first settler on the B. P. Colby lot, bought the place. He sold to Henry M. Eaton. When Mr. Eaton retired the place was owned by various persons. Moses D. Richardson owned it several years and on his death it fell to his heirs. Mrs. Thomas Bean and her son, Gilman Bean, has resided there few years.

Enoch Rowell, Junior, was my fourth great grandfather. He was born the third of July 1756 in Candia, New Hampshire.  He married Rachael Worthen on 8 September 1778 and died in Plainfield, Sullivan, New Hampshire on 2 August 1840. Enoch was a veteran of the Revolution, his time in service is well documented. (See Enoch Rowell war service). Rachael Worthen came from a long and distinguished New England family; she outlived her husband and died in Plainfield New Hampshire on 1 December 1844. In his later years, Enoch waged a lengthy battle with the War department to reinstate his veterans pay; some of these documents are copied and included. Enoch died prior to the final decision. Both Enoch and Rachael are buried in the Plainfield East Cemetery.


William Rowell was my third great grandfather. He was born 23 January 1789 in Candia, Rockingham, New Hampshire and died 1 August 1871 in Albany, Vermont.  He married Sarah Leavitt on 22 March 1818 in Albany.  She was born 10 August 1795 in Hatley, Stanstead Quebec, Canada and died 4 September 1873 in Albany, Vermont.

This is from the Vermont Gazetteer
 Enoch Rowell, a native of New Hampshire, married Betsey Hodges, of Lebanon, N. H., and resided a time in Plainfield, and from there removed to Irasburgh, in 1806, and thence to this town in 1812, and located upon the farm now occupied by his son, Zuar Rowell, and his daughter, Mrs. Cass, and her husband. In company with his brother William he purchased the farm, and upon it was built the first and only distillery ever operated in the town. They contracted to pay a stipulated number of gallons of potato whiskey for the land, and when the contract was filhd the still was stopped. After paying for the farm the brothers divided it between them, William taking the northern half and Enoch the southern, which contained the buildings where he resided the remainder of his life, dying in 1839, aged sixty years. His wife survived him until 1865, aged eighty-six years. William died in 1870, aged eighty-three years. Both of these brothers took a decided interest in public affairs, and both held town offices, William was a representative in the legislature twenty-two years. He was also a strong Methodist and his house was always made the home of itinerant ministers.Eliphalet Rowell, brother of Enoch, William, Daniel and Converse, was born February 8, 1796, and came to Albany, from Plainfield, N. H., in 1818. He run the distillery for his brothers, Enoch and William, about a year, then purchased the farm where his son, Levi, now resides, near South Albany. He married Sally True, of Plainfield, and reared eight children, five of whom are yet living, and died in 1875, aged seventy-nine years.Converse Rowell, the youngest of the Rowell brothers, came to Albany, from Plainfield, N. H., about 1820. He married Orpha Chamberlin, daughter of Aaron Chamberlin, and in his early life here taught school winters. He lived for a time with his brother, Daniel, but afterwards purchased a farm on the Creek road, where Mr. Ruen now resides. His son, Willard, chose the legal profession, and is now in Arizona. Converse died in the autumn of 1882, aged eighty-four years. Mrs. Rowell died a few years previous.Daniel Rowell immigrated to Irasburgh, from Plainfield, N. H., when twenty-three years of age, and two years later married Miss Mary Johnson, of that town. In 1820, he came to Albany and located on Chamberlin hill, where he resided until his death, aged sixty-two years. Uncle Daniel, as he was familiarly called, was noted for his excellent judgment and unquestioned integrity. He was extensively employed by the merchants of Craftsbury in buying cattle and other stock. He reared a family of eight children, five of whom are now living, Mrs. Plumley, Enoch, Mrs. Miles, and Mrs. Frazer, in this town, and Mrs. Carter, in Craftsbury.

Samuel Duncan Rowell was my third great grandfather and brother of William, He was born 10 July 1793 in Plainfield, Sullivan New Hampshire and died 7 July 1850.  He married Mary (Polly) Moore on 2 January 1825 in Grantham, Sullivan, New Hampshire.  She was born 3 July 1801, daughter of Capt. Reuben Moore (died September 28, 1850), age 75 years and Anna Foss (died May 14, 1862).  Mary Moore died in Plainfield New Hampshire on 9 August 1845.

Enoch Converse Rowell was my second great grandfather, son of Samuel Duncan. He was born in Plainfield, New Hampshire on October 18, 1835.  His father Samuel Duncan Rowell died when he was 15 years old, his mother was already dead at the time.  In 1851 he moved to Albany, Orleans, Vermont to live with his Uncle William Rowell.  Enoch married his first cousin, Viola, daughter of William in 1865. He was a local politician and served in the State Legislature.  He died in 1900.  He and his wife had three children:  William Wallace, Jennie Clover and Mary Viola.

From a copy of the Vermont Gazetteer
ROWELL ENOCH C, (East Albany) r 45, selectman, sugar orchard 1,200 trees, dairy 15 cows, and farmer 300. 
 ROWELL LEVI, (South Albany) r 43, ex-assistant judge of Orleans county, sugar orchard 3,600 trees, wool grower 40 sheep, dairy 15 cows, and farmer
ROWELL LOIS P. Mrs., (South Albany) postmistress, dealer in general merchandise, and owns store and h and lot. Rowell Sidney, (South Albany) r 43, son of Levi, farmer, leases of his father
ROWELL TYLER M., (South Albany) r 45 cor 42, prop. of South AlbanyHouse, and painter. 
Rowell Zuar, (East Albany) r 45, retired farmer, aged 78.

Viola Rowell was my second great grandmother, daughter of William, wife and first cousin of Enoch C. Rowell. She was born in Albany, Vermont on 23 September 1837 and died in Hardwick, Vermont on 16 June 1914. Her son William was living in Hardwick and she probably lived with him.  She married her first cousin Enoch C. Rowell.  They had three children:  William Wallace, Jennie Clover and Mary Viola.

My Rowell Family Ancestry with links:
Phillip Rowell and Sarah Morrill        Phillip Rowell and Anne Carr
Jennie Clover Rowell and John C. Thornton
Paul Rowell Thornton and Elizabeth Marjory Bowker

Are you a descendant of Thomas Rowell of Mancetter, England?  You might be interested in this book on the Rowell Family. The book follows the family through multiple generations. 

Have a great day!