One of the reasons I wanted to visit Connecticut College (besides the fact that the land it sits on was once part of the farm of John Rogers) was to visit the college library and see a copy of the book “A mid-night-cry from the temple of God to the ten virgins slumbering and sleeping, Awake, awake, arise, and gird your loyns, and trim your lamps, for behold the bridegroom cometh, go ye therefore out to meet him” written by John Rogers (1648 to 1721) my 6th Great Grandfather. To my knowledge this book has never been digitized and the only copy I’ve seen for sale on EBAY was listed for like $400 so it was obvious I wasn’t going to be getting my own copy any time soon. John is one of my favorite ancestors just because we know so much about his personal life. Boy, did that man have troubles!! But I admire him for sticking to his beliefs no matter what the cost.
Unfortunately the book is very brittle and there was no way to photograph each page or time to read it through but was fascinating none the less.
To give a little context of the author, below is an excerpt from the History of Montville, CT about him.
History of Montville, Connecticut, By Henry Augustus Baker, Published by , 1896, Pages 179-181
II JOHN (4), b. 1 Dec., 1648, third son of James Rogers and Elizabeth Rowland; m. 17 Oct., 1670, Elizabeth, daughter of Mathew Griswold. The rite of marriage was performed by the father of the bride, and accompanied with the formality of a written contract and dowry, the husband settling his farm at upper Mamacock upon the wife in case of his death or separation from her during life.. This farm was situated about two miles north of New London, on the Thames River. In May, 1675 after having two children born to them, she applied to the General Court for a divorce, grounding her petition not only upon the heterodoxy of her husband (that of being a Quaker), but upon certain alleged immoralities. The court, after a delay of nearly a year and a half, granted her petition, but in less than two years she mad married again. This marriage was to Peter Pratt, 5 Aug., 1679. She had by him one son,Peter. Her second husband, Peter Pratt, died 24 march, 1688, and shortly afterwards she married a third husband, Mathew Beckwith, 2d, by whom she had one daughter, Grisell. Elizabeth Griswold, the wife of three husbands, died in 1727.
Mr. Rogers was greatly incensed at the decision of the court in granting a divorce to his wife. He lived a single life about twenty-five years,and then married himself to Mary Ransford. She is reported to have been a servant, whom be had bought, and probably of the class of persons then called Redemptionists. Mr. Rogers would not united in the marriage rite by any minister or magistrate, and proposes to his intended that both go in to the county court room while the court was in session, and there publicly declare their marriage intentions, which proposal was agreed to by the intended. He, leading the bride by the hand, entered into the presence of the assembled court, and there requested the whole assembly to take notice that he took the woman he held by the hand to be his lawful wife, the bride also assenting. This connection was however, an unhappy one, violent quarrels afterwards arising between the reputed wife and the youngest son of Mr. Rogers. To preserve peace and quiet, the law in several instances was invoked. The elder Rogers himself was compelled to apply to the court for assistance in quelling their domestic broil.
In 1703, upon the presentation of the grand jury, the court summoned the reputed wife of John Rogers, Sr., before them, declaring her marriage invalid, and sentenced her to pay a fine of forty shillings or receive ten stripes, and prohibited her return to her reputed husband under still heavier penalties. Upon receiving the sentence she came around to the side of the court; acknowledged her marriage illegal, cast off the protection and authority of Rogers and refused to regard him as her husband. Soon after this she escaped from the confinement in which sire had been placed by order of the court end fled to Block Island, leaving her two children by Rogers with him. She was afterwards married to Robert Jones of Block Island.
In 1714, John Rogers was again married to Widow Sarah Cole of Oyster Bay,L. I., the ceremony being performed in the State of Rhode Island. With this connection there was no trouble- He died of small pox 17 Oct., 1721, and was buried upon the bank of the Tames River within the bounds of his mamacock farm, where he had set aside a place for a family sepulcher.
Children by first wife,
23. Elizabeth, b. in New London 8 Nov., 1671; m. Stephen Prentice.
24. John, b. at New London 20 March, 1674; m Bathsheba., dau, of Richard Smith.
Children by second marriage.
25. Gershon, b. at New London 24 Feb., 1699; died at sea
26. Mary, b. at New London 6 March, 1702; m. John Hobbs.. She died 5Oct., 178l, leaving two children, James b. 3 Oct 1721; Jonathan, b. Aug.,1723