Friday, December 28, 2012

Thomas Felbrigge/Philbrick of Hampton, N.H.

philbrick founders stone hampton map Hampton Seal Hampton
Many years ago, I lived in Suffolk, England.  I don’t know if I could have spelled the word genealogy at the time, never mind have taken the slightest bit of interest in it.  Oh, the research I could have done, pictures I could have taken, argh! Oh well, that’s life isn't it. I can remember going to Felbrigge Hall in Norfolk, it was a beautiful house and grounds. The original family was long gone but the name lived on, despite new owners.  Thomas, my ancestor,  may or may not have shared a common ancestor with the Felbrigges of the hall, but he did share their name, at least until he came to Massachusetts when the spelling changed. There is a lot of good stuff written about the Philbricks, and as always a few errors, mostly on  I can't claim any new information but maybe I can correct a few minor mistakes.  So this is what I know about Thomas Felbrigge of Bures, England and Hampton, NH.

english origins
Thomas was born in the small village of Bures St. Mary’s in Suffolk, England. Bures St. Mary’s is on the Stour River, which is the border between the counties of Essex and Suffolk.  The Stour Valley was home to many of the original Puritan founders and immigrants to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, including Governor John Winthrop. In fact it is only 7 miles from Bures to Groton Farm, Winthrope’s home.  The Felbrigge family had lived in the Bures area since the 1400’s and as Thomas was the only one of his siblings to leave, they may be there still. 

The Stour Valley was, at that time, well known for it's cloth making and it has been suggested that Thomas' father, Thomas Sr. was a fuller. Fulling is a step in making woolen cloth which involves the cleaning of the wool. On 5 October 1620, Thomas Felbrigge Sr.  was appointed "searcher of cloths". A "seacher" was an inspector who was responsible for  ensuring the quality and other attributes of the product.  Unfortunately by the 1630's, war, drought, and a poor economy had wreaked havoc on the cloth industry and many of the workers were out of work. 
porch St. Mary's Bures, photo from
British Express
Thomas is believed to be the second son and fourth child of Thomas and Elizabeth Felbrigg. The family eventually included ten children, one of which died as an infant.  Thomas Sr. was born about 1545 and died sometime after 1621.  His wife Elizabeth was buried in 1619. Thomas Jr. was by the a grown man of 37, married with children of his own. It is not known what his occupation was in England. 
Thomas married in Bures on 4 June 1615 Elizabeth Knop daughter of William Knop of Bures. All of Thomas' children were born in England. Thomas is last mentioned in the Manor  Rolls for Bures St. Mary's in 1631 when he and several other men were charged with converting buildings on their properties to cottages, presumably to rent out. This was apparently frowned upon. There is no further court date until 1 Oct 1635 at which time he and his family were in America. 

coming to america, the great debate
For years genealogist have stated that the Felbrigge family came to Massachusetts in 1630 aboard the flagship the Arabella.  The source for this information was given as old family papers.  Some also claim that Thomas was actually a mariner aboard the Arabella. Neither of these two bits of information seem plausible and there is no proof of either. We know Thomas was in England in 1631 because his daughter Martha was baptized in September of 1631, which means she would have been, now don't blush, conceived in late January, or early February of 1631. Thomas was also present at the Court Baron on 12 October. 
There are no records of Thomas Philbrick in Massachusetts in the very first years. I think it is more likely that he and his family left England in 1635.  There were, however families from Bures, and other nearby villages, who Thomas most likely knew and who did sail in 1630.  The Knapp family as well as the French family would have been known to the Felbrigges and they both were part of the Winthrop Fleet. In fact Thomas' son would marry one of the Knapp daughters, maybe that is who the family papers referenced. Any hoo, when Robert Charles Anderson of the Great Migration series says Thomas came on the Arabella I'll change my story, but until then I'm sticking with 1635.
Watertown, one of the first towns of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and many of it's first citizens were immigrants from East Anglia and the Stour Valley. By November of 1635 Watertown declared that it was "full" and would accept no more proprietors. Thomas was obviously there by then as he was given land in the 1636 great Dividend.  Thomas did not have a prominent role in the foundation of the new town, his name is first mentioned in the Watertown records in late 1640 when he was "ordered to set up a house at the waterside, provided it be for a house to received stray goods according to ye order of the court". Hum, not sure what that means. 
Thomas was given land in six divisions including a home stall, meadow, upland and a large farm of 127 acres in the third division. By 1642 almost all the land had been given out and unlike other new towns, no land was set aside for later distribution to the next generation, nor were there any "children's lots".  Thomas' sons had to look elsewhere to find their lands. In 1639 his second son, James, left Watertown for the new plantation of Hampton.

In June of 1640 John Philbrick was granted his first lands in Hampton. According to the Chapman article on the Philbrick family, Thomas sold his Watertown property to one Isaac Stearns in Jan of 1645/6 and joined his sons in Hampton.  He was by then 62 years old.  
He bought land from Captain Christopher Hussey. In his will he left multiple parcels of land to his children including a house lot, orchard, marsh land, and a share in the small ox common.
His name does not come up much in the records of either Hampton or Essex County.  In 1648 he was in court to record a receipt and in 1650 he filed against William Aspinhall of Hampton for "granting an attachment against him contrary to law". He had been covenanted to provide the town of Hampton with powder, bullets and match.  The lawsuit had to do with this.  In 1655 Thomas was appointed the job Culler of Staves.  A large part of the Hampton economy centered on the production of wooden staves used to make barrels.

Elizabeth, of whom very little is known, died in Hampton in Feb of 1663/4. Thomas wrote his will about one month later on 12 March 1663/4.  It was proved on 8 Oct. 1667, Thomas was 83 years old, a great age in those days. His estate was valued at 124 pounds. see below for his will.

Click the read more for the rest of the article

Thursday, December 20, 2012

New look, same blog

Changed my blog again.  never happy! I got tired of the dynamic view from blogger, I found it too limiting. So, I switched back to an older template.  I tried downloading a template from another site, but couldn't get it to work. For a brief period of time I was afraid you would have to read it one letter at a time. Thankfully my moment of panic that I had totally screwed it all up pass and I was able to get my blog back into a readable format.  I'm sure in a few months I'll get the urge to change it all again, but for now it's staying put.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Andrew White of Watertown, MA

international man of mystery

Andrew White is another one of those frustrating ancestors who seem to appear out of thin air.  There are no clues as to where he was born and because of this most of the old genealogies suggest that he was an immigrant.  There was another White family that lived in Watertown, that of John White, and it is possible that Andrew was a kinsman, but it is just as possible that their common surname  was only a coincidence. An Andrew White was deposed in 1689 in Middlesex County Court and gave his age at 23, this would put his birth year close to 1666.

ancestry errors

If you are an subscriber you will have seen, like me, the many trees which claim that the parents of Andrew are John and Hannah French White. John White died Jan 1 1668/69 and left only one son, also named John. And while we are on this blooper, John White, who married Hannah French was the son of William and Mary White of Haverhill. He was not the son of Resolved White, a Pilgrim on the Mayflower. Sorry if I just ruined your day.
Not much is known about Andrew White.  He married Sarah Sanderson, daughter of William and Sarah Sanderson in Watertown on Feb 4 1695/6. If he was born in 1669 or 1670 he was 26 and Sarah was 28 years old. Nine months later, their first child, a daughter was born. 

Their children were:

1. Sarah, born November 17, 1696 married Thomas Hastings, she was baptized on December 12, 1697
2. Andrew, baptized December 29, 1700 married Jane Dix
3. William, baptized December 20, 1701 married Sarah Cutting
4. Hannah, born Jan 15, 1708/9 married Jonathan Learned


The White family, at least Andrew and Sarah, remained in Watertown for the rest of their lives.  Andrew seems to have been fairly successful as he and another man, Nathaniel Sterns, paid 400 pounds for a house and farm.  Andrew also bought land in Cambridge. 
Andrew and his family were also full members of the church.  In a seating chart from 1741, Mr. Andrew White is seated in the second row, his son Andrew Jr. was seated in the front gallery.  Seating in the Puritan meetinghouse was very important   Members were seated according to their age, importance, wealth and social standing. The closer you were to the  front the more "important" your standing in the community.  In 1748, Andrew Jr. took his fathers place in the second row.


Andrew died May 13 1742.  William Richard Cutter is a bit confusing in that he states that Sarah died on December 31 1749 and then turns around and says that Andrew had a second wife named Mary with whom he had more children. 

William Richard Cutter,Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Families Relating to the State of Massachusetts, Vol 4
Watertown Records, East Congregational and Precinct Affairs, 1697-1737

comments, corrections, and confrontations welcome
cite your sources 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Puritan Crime and Punishment #2

The following people were presented to the court in Salem on 28-12-1642

John Holdgrave was admonished for perjury and affirming  untruths before the church of Salem

John Colver presented for carrying a burden on the Lord's day, he was out of the country and could not answer for his crime.

Robert Cotta and Phillip Crumwell admonished for reproachful speeches against Phillip Verrin

Josua Downing for carrying a burden upon his ass on the Lord's Day about two years ago (really two years ago)

William Flynt was presented for not living with his wife. His answer: his mother was not willing to lett his wyfe  come (sure blame it on your mother)

Michael Millner of Lynn presented upon a common fame  for idly and non profitably spending his time. He was not present he had "gone to Long Island" (I'd go to Long Island too, is I couldn't sit down for a few minutes without being dragged into court)

My favorite:
Roger Scott of Lynn presented for common sleeping at public exercise on the Lord's Day and for striking he who waked him.