Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thornton Headstones

Samuel Thornton b. 1816 in Canada East
he died April 28, 1874
Chloe Blanchard b.  March 6, 1819
d. Nov 30, 1876
Phebe Carter Thornton Clark
daughter of Samuel and Chloe
b. 1843
d. Jan 4, 1898
Nathan Thornton
Son of Samuel and Chloe
b. 1853
d. 1878 of TB
 thornton headstone Thornton, Phebe Clark
Benjamin Son of Samuel and Chloe
never married

Friday, January 25, 2013

John Clough of Salisbury, MA

English Origins

John Clough of Salisbury, MA was born approx. 1613 in England and is believed to have sailed from London on "The Elizabeth" in 1635. The ship manifest lists a passenger named Jo:Cluffe - 22 (age). I believe that the spelling using the "ff" gives us an idea of how the name Clough was pronounced. It is not known where he was from in England, and it is believed that he came as a servant to another settler. The General Court of Massachusetts granted John Cluffe a lot with his masters consent in March 1638/9.

In 1639 John became one of the original proprietors of the new settlement of Salisbury.  He was a carpenter and farmer. There seems to have been a second John Clough in Massachusetts at the same time who was a tailor by trade. John engaged in multiple purchases and sales of land.  In 1651 he bought 2 acres of marshland in the 'higgledee piggledee lots'. I love that, higgledee piggledee. Below is a map of the original house lots in Salisbury; John's is outlined in blue.

In 1650 he took the oath of fidelity. He held many town offices including serving on the Grand Jury and acting as town constable.

John signed his will and in his probate inventory were listed several books. 

His wife Jane/Jone was not listed on the manifest for the Elizabeth and it is unknown when she arrived or when they married. Their first living child was not born until 1642, so it seems unlikely that they were married for more than a year or two at that time.

Children of Jane and John Clough 
Elizabeth b. 16 Dec 1642, m. William Horne, named in her fathers 1691 will
Mary b. 30 July 1644 not named in will
Sarah b. 28 June 1646 m. 14 may 1667 Daniel Merrill My Ancestors
John b. 9 March 1648/9 m. 13 Nov 1674 Mercy Page
Thomas b. 29 May 1651 m. 10 March 1680 Martha Gile
Martha b. 22 March 1654 m. 13 Nov 1674 Cornelius Page
Samuel b. 20 Feb 1656/7 m. 3 Aug 1679 Elizabeth Brown, only son to move to Amesbury, he was a blacksmith


Their eldest daughter Elizabeth's husband was killed in the June 1689 attack of Dover, NH. Many histories have Elizabeth also being killed by she was named in her father's will so that doesn't seem likely. Jane Clough died in 1680 and John remarried in 1686/7 to the twice widowed Martha Cilley. John wrote his will on 3 July 1691, he died on the 26th of July.  Their descendants erected a memorial plaque near the area where they are believed to have been buried.

See this post on Nathaniel Merrill husband of Jane Clough

Great Migration 1634-1635, C-F. (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volume II, C-F, by Robert Charles Anderson, George F. Sanborn, Jr., and Melinde Lutz Sanborn. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001.

Hoyt, David Webster, 1833-1921. The Old Families of Salisbury And Amesbury, Massachusetts: With Some Related Families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich And Hampton. Providence, R.I.: [Snow & Farnham, printers], 1897-1917.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Wednesday : Clover Rowell and John Thornton

This is my great grandparents wedding invitation.  I wish I had a wedding portrait.  My great grandfather had previously been married, but his wife died only a year later.  Clover and John were married in 1893, my grandfather was not born until 1899.  They had two sons, but the youngest Wayne, died at age 10.  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Puritan Crime & Punishment #3 Unbecoming Speeches

Have you ever sat in church on Sunday (or whatever day you go) and listened to a really bad sermon.  I admit that I have, and I admit to daydreaming, checking out my fellow suffers and frequent checks of my watch.  Imagine if you have to sit through a really bad, really long sermon every Sunday and complaining about it got you brought into court.  Ditching the Sunday service was not an option, neither was sleeping through the sermon, someone was there watching you, ready to wake you up. 

This comes from the Records and Files of the Quarterly Court of Essex County

Mrs. Holgrave presented for reproachful and unbecoming speeches against Mr. William Perkins, an officer of the church, viz:
if it were not for the law, shee would never com to the meetinge, the teacher was soe dead, and accordingly shee did seldom com and withall pswaded goodwife vincett to com  to her house, on the Saboth daye, and reade good bookes, affirminge that the teacher was fitter to be a Ladyes chamberman, then to be in the pulpitt
Witnesses were: Sarah Vincent, Grace Duch and William Vincent
Punishment: fined and made to confess in public

You know your a Puritan call you minister a bore and you land in court.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Thomas Carter (1610-1675) England to Salisbury, Massachsuetts

Cathedral of St. Albans
English Origins 
Thomas Carter of Salisbury, Massachusetts was born in England around 1610, his origins and parents are unknown.  In 1635 he was listed on the manifest for the ship "The Planter" bound for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.  He was 25 years old and a servant to man named George Giddings. 
George was a yeoman originally from Clapham in Bedfordshire. In 1634/5 he married a young lady from a prosperous family  from St. Albans, Hertfordshire. The wife's name was Jane Lawrence and her family seem to have been the impetus to leave for the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Her mother, step father and sibling also sailed on the Planter.  It seems likely that  Thomas Carter and the other "servants" were also  from. St. Albans. George probably paid Thomas' passage in return of a set amount of years labor.  The ship manifest reads:
2 April 1635
 theis underwritten are to be transported to New England, imbarqued in The Planter, Nicolas Frarice, Mr. bound thither, the parties have brought certificates from the Minister of St. Albans, Hertfordshire, and attestecon from the justices of peace according to the Lords order. 
Those underwritten were George Giddings age 25, his wife Jane age 20, their servants Thomas Carter age 25, Michael Willinson age 30 and Elizabeth Morrison age 12.

George, Jane and Thomas settled first in Ipswich.  In 1638 Thomas was made a Freeman, which implied church membership, and a release from his indenture. He was granted land in Ipswich that year, but did not stay long. The Giddings family  remained in Ipswich and apparently did quite well for themselves. 

Three Thomas Carters There were three contemporary Thomas Carters, each with a wife named Mary, in Massachusetts and their histories are all mixed up on, so proceed with caution if you are looking for background on Thomas. This Thomas was not married to either Mary Dalton or Mary Parkhurst, his wife's maiden name remains unknown. For a bio of Thomas Carter of Woburn see The blog of Heather Wilkinson, Nutfield Genealogy.

Salisbury Thomas was married by the 1641 birth of his and his wife's first child.  They had nine children all told, all who lived to adulthood save one.  By 1641, Thomas was living in Salisbury, Massachusetts.  He was one of the first proprietors of that town. Thomas, unlike some of his neighbors, kept his name out of the courts, so little is known about him. In 1664 he made his mark on the agreement to create the new settlement of Amesbury.  He served on the Essex Grand Jury in 1666. 

RIP His will was written on 30 Oct 1676 and it was proved by 14 November of that same year. He named his wife Mary in his will, so she outlived him. He gave each of his five living daughters 5 pounds and split the rest of his estate between his two living sons, John and Samuel, and his wife Mary. 

Children of Thomas and Mary Carter

1.  Mary b. Oct 6, 1641 m. Joseph Lancaster named in her father's 1676 will
2.  Thomas b. 1643 d. Aug. 14, 1669
3.  Martha b. Feb 1645 died young
4.  Martha b. March 1647 named in father's will 
5.  Elizabeth b. April 1649, named in father's will
6. John Carter was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts 18 May 1650. He took the oath of fidelity in 1677. He married by 1681 to Martha Brown of Salisbury, daughter of William Brown. William Brown is most known for his outrageous accusations and testimony against Susanna North Martin who lost her life as a result of his and others testimony during the Salem witch trials. 
7. Abigail b. Feb 1652/3 m. Stephen Flanders, Jr. 
8. Samuel b. Oct. 25, 1656 
9. Sarah b. ? m. April 1681 John Davis


Hoyt, Old Familes of Salisbury and Amesbury
Henry Sweetser Burbage, Genealogy and Family History of the State of Maine

Thursday, January 17, 2013

1859: A Bad Year for the David Thornton Family

The news of late is full of talk of the current flu season, and how virulent the current edition of the virus is.  The local TV news showed reporters questioning people about whether they had had a flu shot, many had but a surprising number had not. This made me think about the David Thornton family who lived in Wheelock, Vermont who suffered a tremendous loss during a flu epidemic in 1859.  
David Thornton was born in Canada East in 1808. His parents were Samuel and Katherine Baker Thornton, both from Campton, New Hampshire. The Thornton family eventually settled in Wheelock, Vermont. David married Lydia Clark, born in Wheelock, daughter of Dudley and Polly Folsom Clark.  The Clarks were also from Campton, New Hampshire, in fact the marriage occurred in Campton.  
In the 1850 census, David and Polly  as well as her parents lived with their children on the farm.  Next door, was David's brother John, who lived with his family including their Samuel and Katherine Thornton. A third brother, Samuel, who was my ancestor, lived in Greensboro, Vermont. 
Influenza epidemics are nothing new.  The worst on record was the 1918 "Spanish Flu" which killed approximately 25,000,000 people worldwide.  There was an epidemic in 1793 that seemed to have centered on Vermont, it was a "putrid fever" and influenza which killed over 500 people in 5 counties in four weeks. In 1857-1859 there was a world wide out break of the flu that was described as "extremely severe".  
There was no flu shot, no Tamiflu, not even a dose of NyQuil to ease the symptoms.  What they did have was a whole lot of quackery  like Week's Magic Compound. This ad is from the December 30, 1859 edition of the Burlington Free Press.  I guess a desperate person will try anything. 
On 6 Feb, 1859 eight year old Sumner, 6 year old Adoniram Judson and 3 year old Frank Andrew Thornton died. I cannot fathom the pain that the parents must have felt. A few weeks later on 19 March 1859 Keziah C. Thornton, aged 20 died. I do not know for sure that they died of influenza, but I am sure that they died of some type of infectious disease. 
In the 1870 census the David Thornton family had left Wheelock and returned to Campton, New Hampshire. David and Lydia's oldest son, John, died in 1873. The remaining children outlived their parents. 

Chronicling America, The Burlington Free Press, December 30, 1859
Wikipedia, list of epidemics
Adoniram Judson was a Baptist minister from Salem, MA.  At first I thought the name was a typo, but apparently he was named for this man. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Thomas Roberts of Woolaston, Gloucester and Dover, New Hampshire 1600-1673

Thomas is the first Roberts in my family tree, but the name stopped at the next generation as I descend from his daughter Anne.  Coincidentally, my surname is Roberts, I had to keep reminding myself that this was my ancestor and not my husband's.  Thomas, although a very real man, has been the subject of "ancestry inflation". I'm not sure if anyone else uses this term, but what I mean by it is that he was  just an average guy, for the times, whose life accomplishments, and ancestors have been erroneously 'improved' for posterity. So, if you are reading this hoping for Lords and Ladies and Governors this is not the article for you. However if you want to try to discover a little bit about the real man, follow me. 

English origins 

If the information available on and other internet sites about Thomas Roberts is anything to go by then any article on who Thomas was needs to start with who he wasn't.  The only clue to his origins is found in the records of the London Fishmongers Guild to which he was apprenticed.  The entry of interest is found in the year 1615 and reads "Thomas Roberts, son of John Roberts of Woolston, in the county of Wooster, yeoman put apprentice to William Adys for eight years from". This tells us his that his father's name was John, his hometown was Woolston and as most apprenticeships began about age 14, that his approximate year of birth was  1600. 

If you read just about any bio of Thomas on the internet you will find a jumbled mess of ancestry written about him. Here are what I consider to be the most erroneous data that I have found:

Glassenbury House, Cranbrook, Kent
Thomas Roberts was the son of Sir Thomas Roberts and Lady Francis James of Glassenbury House in Cranbrook, Kent. This is so obviously wrong. The family of Sir Thomas had lived in the Cranbrook area for centuries, they were what we know as  the landed gentry, a family whose income came from the rents from their land. Sir Thomas was knighted in 1603 and became a Baronet in 1620 when he served as High Sheriff of Kent. "Baronet" is title created by King James I in 1611 giving the holder the hereditary right to be called be called  "Sir". His sons, Walter, Thomas, William and James, were called 'Gentlemen' as they did not need to work for a living. His eldest son Walter, born in 1586, was knighted in 1624 and inherited the title upon his father's death in 1628. Thomas son of John could not be the Thomas of Dover. His father's name is not John, and he was baptized on 11 October 1590, making him to old to be our apprentice in 1615.  This Thomas did not come from Woolston, he would never call himself or his father a "yeoman" and we know from records that he died unmarried in England and he certainly was never an apprentice fishmonger.  

Adlard and Cassandra Welby tomb
Thomas was also not the son or grandson of John Roberts of Wollaston and Cassandra ap Rhese of Huntington. This John is supposedly from Wollaston  in Northampton. I cannot find any record of him.  Cassandra was born c. 1529.  She was married four times.  In 1545, at age 15,  she married her second husband Peter Assheton of Chadderton, they had five children. He died in June of 1558. In 1559 she married Adlard Welby of Gedney. They too had five children, their eldest son, William, was knighted at the coronation of King James I. Adlard died in 1568. Cassandra married her last husband Robert Carr on May 10, 1574. She died March 1, 1590/1 and was buried at Gedney. There is no record of any children from Cassandra's first marriage, as she was only about 15 when she started her second marriage, John Roberts must have died shortly after he and Cassandra were married. And, as with the Roberts' of Glassenbury, these families, the Asshetons, the Weblys, the Carrs were very wealthy families who would not have sent a child to be an apprentice fishmonger.

So who was John Roberts of Woolston.  There is a small village of Woolstone in Gloucestershire near the Worcestershire border. In 1600 it was the home of John and Margaret Roberts. The baptisms of two of his children were recorded, they were sons Nicholas and George.  George, baptized in 1601 was also taken  to London and apprenticed, his entry into the Drapers guild reads "George Roberts son of John Roberts yeoman of Wolston, Gloucs".  It is possible that this is the family of Thomas Roberts. For more information about this family see the Roberts Family of Woolstone webpage by Fredric Z. Saunders.  

The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers is the official name of the Fishmongers guild in London, it has been in existence for more than 700 years.  The purpose of the guild was and is to regulate the the buying and selling of fish.  I am not sure why the word "aristocratic" usually proceeds the guild name when written about in conjunction with Thomas Roberts. The guilds were at one time very powerful and many "aristocrats", including princes and kings, became members.  You did not have to be a fishmonger in order to be a member. 

Nothing is known about Thomas at this time,  most boys began their apprenticeship at age 14 for a period of seven years.  Thomas was apprenticed for eight years beginning in 1615 and he was admitted as a full member of the guild on April 29, 1623. His entry in the records reads "Thomas Roberts, my apprentice, William Adys... presented and admitted… to Fishmongers Guild, admitted and sworn on 29 April 1623”.  These dates are somewhat different from what you see written about Thomas.  If Thomas was made a freemen in 1623, he could hardly be an apprentice to Edward Hilton and in New Hampshire at the same time.

The last mention of Thomas in the Fishmongers Guild records was made in the 1641 Fishmongers tax roll of London, he as well as Edward Hilton are noted as being "In New England".  

Coming to America

Just when you think the controversies about Thomas Roberts have ended, they kick right back up again.  When did he come to New Hampshire? Most of the older genealogies will tell you that he arrived in New Hampshire in 1623 with the Hilton brothers. However, the Hilton brothers were not in New Hampshire in 1623, so that sinks that story. William Hilton was in Plymouth in 1621 and eventually moved up to the Piscataqua after the arrival of his brother Edward.  Edward arrived sometime between 1625 and 1628. He probably made at least one return trip to England to gain his charter for his patent and to bring back family and settlers. It is entirely possible that Thomas Roberts, having finished his apprenticeship, returned with Edward to New Hampshire. Ultimately no one can really say exactly when Thomas arrived, and if Robert Charles Anderson does not include him in his Great Migration series, it's proof enough for me.

St. Mary's parish church of Witten cum Twansbrook

It is "traditionally given that the wife of Thomas Roberts was Rebecca Hilton, sister of Edward and William Hilton". What does that mean?  I cannot find anywhere anything other than that statement when looking for detail on the wife of Thomas Roberts.  The baptisms of the children of William Hilton of Witton cum Twamsbrook, Cheshire are recorded in the parish records.  His children include Edward, William and Richard who all immigrated to New Hampshire.  There is also a son John, and daughters Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth.  There is no Rebecca. There is no known date of birth and there is no known date of death.  There is no record of their marriage. They did not even name a daughter after her and interestingly only one of her five children named a girl Rebecca.   Everything that is written about her is pure conjecture and not fact.  I'm not even sure her name was really Rebecca. 

While we are on this Hilton topic, the father of the Hiltons was not Roger Hilton, it was William.

Governor Thomas Roberts

 I have seen this written everywhere. Thomas was not a Governor in any sense of the word as we know it today.   In March or April of 1640 he was elected "President of the Court" of the Bristol Company, the owners of Dover.  This position has been described as little more than head of a group of selectmen.  When the Dover Combination was signed on 22 Oct. 1640, there were only about 40 men in Dover. So, as the colony grew in size other men stepped up into leadership roles.  Thomas held various minor offices, but never again assumed a leadership position.  This is not said to belittle him as he was quite successful, but to style him as Governor seems a bit much, not to mention Governor of New Hampshire, which he most certainly was not.   

Children of Thomas and Rebecca named in his will:
John b. about 1630 m. Abigail Nutter
Thomas b. about 1636 m. Mary Leighton 
Hester married John Marytn of New Jersey 
Elizabeth married Benjamin Heard he m. (2) Ruth Eastman 
Ann married James Philbrick of Hampton, he drowned in the Hampton River in 1674, she married (2) William Marston in 1675.
Sarah married Richard Rich Feb 24, 1670 he drowned at sea c. 1690

note: the birth years of the daughters are unknown, the birth order is based on the will of Thomas and the order in which he names his children. The birth dates for the sons are based on the ages they gave when deposed in court later in life.

Thomas wrote his will in 1673 and it was proved the next year.  He was buried in the north east corner of the old burying ground on Dover Neck.   As stated earlier there is no record of his wife's death or burial. The fact that he did not mention any wife in his will makes me think that she was already dead, as most men made provisions for their spouses for their lifetime. His headstone was obviously erected long after his death and perpetuates the story of his arrival in 1623.

In his will Thomas dispersed his possessions as follows:

Son John: 20 shillings
Son Thomas: five shillings
Daughter Hester: five shillings
Daughter Anne: five shillings
Daughter Elizabeth: five shillings
Son in Law of his "dearly beloved daughter Sarah" and their children together: everything else!

Sarah got her fathers house, out buildings, orchards, planting lands, pastures both fenced and in common privilege, rights to the common. He also gave her a four acres plot of planting land and three acres of marshland on the Winnicutt River down near Greenland.

Related Posts:

Benjamin Heard

The English Baronetage, 1741
The Visitation of the County of Huntingdonshire Under the Authority of William Camden
William Betham, The Baronetage of England, Vol 5
The Publications of the Harleian Society, Lincolnshire Pedigrees Vol. 51, p.229
William Betham, The Baronetage of England or the History of the English Baronets, Vol 5, p. 20
Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1633.
Noyes, Libby, Davis, Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire
Roberts Family of Woolstone Website by F. Z. Saunders
George Wadleigh, Notable Events in the History of Dover, New Hampshire, 1913
Rev. Alonzo Quint, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire, reprinted 2002
John Scales, Historical Memoranda Concerning Persons and Places in Old Dover, New Hampshire, 1900
Jacobsen, Thomas A, The Robertses of Northern New England, Heritage Books, Bowie, MD, 1995
New Hampshire Probate Records: the will of Thomas Robert
comment, queries, confrontations welcome...cite your sources

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