Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

5 Nov 2016: You Should Write a Book About That! November 5, 2016

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Since I’m not only a novelist, but a genealogist as well, over the years I’ve had several friends tell me I should write a book about genealogy.  Well, I’m taking their advice and doing just that.

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I’ve started to write a guide for those just starting out on the journey of tracing their family tree.  I’ve helped dozens of friends over the years do just that so I really just have to write down what I’ve been telling people over the last decade or so.

But it’s never that easy.

My “Step One” so to speak is to have the reader gather up as much information as they can find, things they have scattered around the house, littering the back corners of the attic.  My list of suggested items to look for includes:

  • Newspaper clippings
  • Birth certificates or Baptism records
  • Adoption paperwork
  • Marriage records
  • Military records
  • Immigration records
  • Death Certificates
  • Obituaries
  • Family Bibles
  • Old letters or other correspondence written to or from you ancestors
  • Photos of each family member

vital-records

From these items, most people can begin to gather enough information start with before they reach out to relatives and the dreaded internet to fill in the blanks.

Can you think of any other items to tell people to be on the look out for?

Yes, I’m looking for suggestions, so please comment on this post if you feel so inclined.  :-)

-Jennifer

 

29 Oct 2016: Celebrate the spookiness of Halloween with the Wells vampires. October 29, 2016

For those of you who have read my blog long enough, you know that not only am I a genealogist, but I’m also an author.  Among my novels is a series I wrote where I used my real life Wells ancestors as actual characters, mainly Randall Wells (1747-1821) and his wife Lois Maxson (1748-1819) of Hopkinton, Rhode Island.   To grant myself my fondest genealogical wish of meeting my 4th great grandparents, Lois and Randall, I took the facts we know of their lives and weaved a story around them, breathing literary flesh over those dry bones of the dates of birth, marriage, death.  Then I brought them ahead a few hundred years and made them living people in the modern age we live in today.

How did I do that?  Well … I made them vampires.  Each book in the five book series reveals more of their story, like peeling back the layers of an onion. So for Halloween, I thought I’d share with you a little of how their story begins to unfold in book one of the series, The Purity of Blood.

To set up the quote below, I will introduce Sara Donnelly, the protagonist of my novels.  Like me, she is also the 4th great-granddaughter of Randall and Lois, at least the literary versions of them.  It is through her eyes that we enter the hidden world of vampires that secretly coexists with the humans of the Earth.  But these vampires are not like the ones of popular culture.  Vampires are not immortal.   They can walk in the sunlight.  For the most part the are solitary creatures that have an innate need to hide their existence from the world.

In this conversation, Sara is talking to Daniel Bennett.  Daniel is the adopted son of Randall and Lois.  He is also a vampire, but though he is well over a hundred years old, he has never killed a human.  He was raised by Randall to be as close to human as a vampire can possibly be, and because of this unique lifestyle, they have extended their lives well past the accelerated aging most vampires experience.

Now read as Daniel explains the beginning of Randall and Lois’ back story.

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

Excerpt from The Purity of Blood, Volume I, by Jennifer Geoghan

“So, Randall and Lois. You promised to tell me their story when there was time.”

“I did, didn’t I.” His smile faded a little. “It’s not a very happy one, are you sure you want to hear it now?”

“Well, give me the highlights; you can fill in the details some other time.”

He settled back in his chair and began.

“I guess I have to go back farther than just when Randall became what we are now. You should know that their marriage was arranged by their parents. In those kind of small isolated communities like Hopkinton, most of the time marriages were partnerships more than emotional relationships. Randall will tell you he fell in love with Lois the moment he first laid eyes on her. She, on the other hand, was a sensible woman and only agreed to the marriage because she thought Randall would be a good provider and partner in life. She didn’t love him, but she also didn’t think it was important that she did either.

“He married her knowing this, but he was convinced that in time she would eventually grow to love him. Her sensibilities and his expectations were more common than you would think back then. The lifelong journey together often took two people from strangers to friends, and from friends to lovers. This was what Randall hoped would happen for them in the end.

“Years passed and Lois was an excellent wife providing for all his needs, raising his children and supporting him in every way she could. But he knew she still didn’t love him the way he wanted her too. Still he loved her with all his heart and believed that someday she would return his love with her own.

“Their life went on like this for many years so I’ll skip ahead to 1819 when he was bitten. Randall was an older man when it happened, seventy-four. He had gone out of town for a few days to settle some business up in Providence, I think it was. He was travelling back to Hopkinton in his carriage when he came across what looked like a body in the middle of the road. He got down to see if he could help, but the body was a vampire lying in wait for him. He sprang up, attacked Randall then left him for dead deep in the woods.”

He paused when he saw the look on my face. “You’re wondering why the trap. Why not just drag him down off the carriage and kill him.

I shrugged my shoulders as I chewed.

“Vampires are people too, Sara.”

Then he kind of chuckled when he realized what he’d said. “They get bored and find new ways to capture prey. I have to assume that was why. Anyway, there in the forest, Randall went through his transformation. It took a couple of days he thinks, but you can’t keep track of time when all this is happening to you. The pain is too excruciating.”

“Do you think his attacker meant to leave him alive?”

“He doesn’t know and there’s no way to say for sure now.”

“What do you think?”

Daniel paused for a moment then said “Yes, I think it was probably on purpose. But I’m the only one who thinks so.”

Then he turned to watch a couple at another table kissing in the corner. Although I had no clue why, I think it was clear he didn’t want to talk about it anymore, so I changed the subject.

“So what happened next?”

“When he regained his senses he knew something was wrong. He felt the remains of the bite marks on his neck and when he held his hand up to his chest, he couldn’t feel his heart. Even though his throat burned with an overwhelming thirst he didn’t understand, none of it mattered, his only thought was for Lois.

“He ran back to the house only to find her sitting on the back porch waiting for him. She took one look at him and knew something was terribly wrong.

“He told her what had happened, that he’d been attacked and had woken up in the forest. Of course at this point he had no idea what had really happened to him. Then he reached out, took her hand and placed it on his chest so she could feel that his heart no longer beat.

“Did he look younger then?”

“Yes.”

“That must have freaked Lois out.”

“Yes, I believe it did.” He sighed, I think uncomfortable with the subject.

“So what happened next?” I asked as I twirled my fork around in my pasta.

“She started to cry and told him she didn’t want to be a widow. I think part of her thought he was dead already – some kind of a ghost. She broke down and told him how she’d desperately loved him for years, but had kept it hidden from him because of her pride. She’d thought that if she ever told Randall how much she loved him, that things would change between them. She said she wouldn’t be able to stand it if he ever tired of her and looked at another woman. She knew that by denying him what he’d always wanted most, her heart, that she’d kept him all to herself. And here in the end, she finally realized she should have confessed her love for him years ago.

“Randall was stunned, he’d had no idea. He said in that moment of revelation, he could feel the warmth of her hand on his bare chest. Swept up in his lack of understanding of what was happening to him, he felt her blood as it surged through her hand faster and faster, her pulse quickening under her emotions. He could hear her heart beating so loud and so strong. And in that singular moment, he realized that after all these years, it finally beat only for him. He said he’ll never forget how his eyes stared at her hand on his chest, and how he followed the blood in it up her arm until he looked up to see the desperate emotion that filled her eyes. That was when he lost control. The thought of a life without her overwhelmed him and … he bit her.”

Daniel paused for a moment, waiting for me to take in the enormity of what he’d just said.

“Suddenly realizing what he’d done, he dropped her and ran off, leaving her barely alive. He still didn’t know what he’d become, but he knew what he’d done to Lois, and unable to live with the knowledge of it, he fled.

Totally wrapped up in the story, I stared at Daniel.

“You’re not eating, please finish,” he softly urged.

I cut up a meatball and took another bite.

“So then what?”

“I suppose you could say that’s where their story really begins, but let’s save that for another time.”

He reached over and gently placed his hand on mine, and for a moment ran his thumb across my knuckles. It was the smallest of contacts, but even this small sensation generated a tingling down deep inside me. When I looked up into his eyes, he smiled, then pulled his hand back to pretend to take a sip of water as our waitress passed.

I was satisfied for tonight, but I wouldn’t let him forget to tell me what happened next. It would give me something to look forward to. Of course, I was also wondering how I was going to translate all this new information into my genealogy program. I’d have to give that some more thought as well.

I hope you enjoyed this spinet of my novel.  If you’d like to read the entire novel and the four more that follow to experience the entire story of Randall, Lois, Daniel and Sara, go to Amazon.com to purchase the books as either paperback of ebooks:

https://www.amazon.com/Purity-Blood-I-Jennifer-Geoghan-ebook/dp/B00J142WK2

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

The Purity of Blood, Vol I, by Jennifer Geoghan. Available now on Amazon.com

-Jennifer

 

16 Oct 2016: Wonderful Images from a Bygone Era. October 16, 2016

While sorting through my Dad’s postcard collection I came across this little packet of pictures from the Europa:

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I’ve always been fascinated by these old ships.  Perhaps because I used to work on one, perhaps because I always wonder if someone’s immigrant ancestor came to America on her.  Either way, the photos in this little package are a wonderful peephole into what it would have been like to sail on such a beauty as the Europa.  Here’s a little info I dug up on her history:  (From Wikipedia)

SS Europa, later SS Liberté, IMO 5607332, was a German ocean liner built for the Norddeutsche Lloyd line (NDL) to work the transatlantic sea route. She and her sister ship, Bremen, were the two most advanced, high-speed steam turbine ocean vessels in their day.

Europa was built in 1929 with her sister ship SS Bremen to be the second 50,000–gross ton North German Lloyd liner. They both were powered with advanced high-speed steam turbine engines and were built with a bulbous bow entry and a low streamlined profile.

Europa and her slightly larger sister ship were designed to have a cruising speed of 27.5 knots, allowing an Atlantic crossing time of 5 days. This enabled Norddeutsche Lloyd to run regular weekly crossings with two ships, a feat that previously required three.

Here are the pictures in the pack:

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The Europa

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Dining Room on the Europa

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Swimming Pool on the Europa. (At first I thought this photo was upside down!)

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

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Ship’s Interior on the Europa

Anyway, I thought I’d share these photos.  Maybe it will inspire you to watch Titanic tonight.  :-)

-Jennifer

 

15 Oct 2016: A postcard from the past October 15, 2016

A few weeks ago my cousin, Sharon, mailed me an old postcard she’d come across.  It’s from our great-uncle Frederick Kranz to our great grand father John Kranz.  The card  was sent from Cristobal, Panama on December 1, 1919.  Here it is:

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The caption on the front of the card says “Looking Through arches showing guard gates Pedro Miguel, Panama Canal.”

The note on the back of the card says “Monday 12/1/19 Dear Father, Have arrived safe at Colon, Panama and am leaving for New York Thursday Dec 4. I will expect to see you about the 12th of December.”  It is addresses to Mr. John Kranz, 194 Elizabeth Street C/O Empire Wagon Works, New York, U.S.A.

I don’t know as much as I wish I did about what happened to my Kranz cousins.  Unfortunately I never had to the opportunity to sit down with my Grandmother when I had the interest to know the answers to these questions.  Sadly now that she’s gone, I’m left with holes in my understanding of what happened to my greater Kranz family relatives.  When it came to my grandmother’s brother Fred, I suspected he was the Fred Kranz I found on this ships manifest/crew listing I discovered on ancestry.com, but was never 100% certain until Sharon mailed me this postcard.

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According to these papers, Frederick Kranz is listed an ordinary seaman, age 20, from America, height 5’9, weight 158, sailing on the General W.C. Gorgas arriving in the port of New York on October 13, 1919 from Cristobal, Canal Zone.  So these papers confirm that Fred was sailing on the General W.C. Gorgas at the same time as the postcard was sent.  It also confirmed that my great Grandfather did work at the Empire Wagon Works.  He was a blacksmith and made part for wagon wheels, or so my father always said.

Here’s a picture of the General W.C. Gorgas, the ship Fred was sailing back and from Panama to New York on back in 1919:

General W.C. Gorgas

General W.C. Gorgas

Ironically enough, I too have been through the Panama Canal, four times no less!  I used to work on a small cruise ship and we sailed through the canal on our Costa Rica/Panama cruises.  I even remember sailing through the Pedro Miguel locks, one of the three locks you pass through while sailing the Panama Canal.  Here’s some pictures I took of the Canal when I sailed through back in the mid 1990’s:

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The Panama Canal as seen from the deck of the Yorktown Clipper

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I doubt what I saw a I sailed through the canal was much different from what Fred saw.  It’s pretty old school technology.  I wish I’d known of his adventures on the canal when I was there.  I do remember wondering if I was the first in my family to go that far south in the world.  Looks like I wasn’t.  Fred died back in 1984.  I never met him so I have no memories of this man who led such an interesting life. The lesson to be learned here is to ask those questions of your relatives now, before it’s too late to discover the interesting life stories of the generations that came before us.

-Jennifer

 

6 July 2016: Forgotten Soldiers in a box of old postcards July 6, 2016

My father passed away a little over a month ago and so we’ve started the long process of organizing his belongings.  Dad was a bit of a pack rat but what he did have, I’m finding, was some very odd and interesting items. While home this past weekend I was looking through a box of vintage postcards he’d had and found an odd collection of what look like picture postcards from a military unit stationed in the South Pacific.  From the uniforms I’m going to guess they were taken during World War One.  Wondering who these men might have been I googled US Military in the South Pacific during WWI and discovered that we were indeed fighting there during WWI.  I have to admit, I don’t think I’d ever heard that in school.

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According to Wikipedia:

The Asian and Pacific theatre of World War I consisted of various naval battles and the Allied conquest of German colonial possessions in the Pacific Ocean and China. The most significant military action was the careful and well-executed Siege of Tsingtao in what is now China, but smaller actions were also fought at Bita Paka and Toma in German New Guinea. All other German and Austrian possessions in Asia and the Pacific fell without bloodshed. Naval warfare was common; all of the colonial powers had naval squadrons stationed in the Indian or Pacific Oceans. These fleets operated by supporting the invasions of German-held territories and by destroying the East Asia Squadron.  One of the first land offensives in the Pacific theatre was the Occupation of German Samoa in August 29 and 30 1914 by New Zealand forces. The campaign to take Samoa ended without bloodshed after over 1,000 New Zealanders landed on the German colony, supported by an Australian and French naval squadron.

I’m not sure how much involvement American troops had in these actions but I have to assume we were there in some capacity.  I mean, we’re Americans … we generally don’t sit on the sidelines well.

Where did these postcards come from?  I’m not sure.  Dad could have just picked them up someplace because they looked cool but that seems unlikely.  A few of the other cards in the box were addressed to my great uncle Theodore VanSickles (Husband of Dorothy Pauline Wells – Daughter of Williams Rogers Wells) so maybe one of the men in this unit was a friend of his.

So what clues do I have as to who these men might be?  Well, there is writing on the back of two cards.  The first one is:

img528On the back of the card above with the men in the field is written: “I am all so on this picture were the x is. Please write soon.  From your loving son John.”

img531The only other card with writing on it is this one:

img526It says: “This is a picture of three XX Co. when doing a guard. No. 1 is James A Moore.  2. Mr. Lawrence and 3 Corporal McNally.   From John.  P.S. The next letter you write, why xxx me know how many cards that I have sent you while I was in the Army.”

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From this I know these cards are of an Army unit. Unfortunately the last name of Lawrence and McNally aren’t much help and neither is James Moore as it’s a very common name.  So here I am posting them on the internet in the hopes that maybe a family member of a man in these photos might find me so I can find a good home for these cards.  Plus I’d really love to know more about what these men were doing during their service to our country.

Here are the rest of the cards:

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img540 img543 img541 img539 img538 img537 img536 img535 img534 img533 img532 img527-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

2 July 2016: Using Gedmatch.com to find my cousins July 2, 2016

I’ve posted about my experiences using FamilyTreeDNA.com before.  Their site is fine but of course you’re limited to matches of people who’ve uploaded their DNA to that site only.  To widen my DNA net a little more, I downloaded my DNA info from FamilyTreeDNA and uploaded it to GedMatch.com.

GedMatch.com is a free site.  Refreshing, no?  But it’s not exactly user-friendly.  First of all their dashboard page is totally confusing if you don’t have a degree in genetics.  Be that as it may, it was pretty easy to follow their directions on how to download my data from FamilyTreeDNA and upload it onto GedMatch … which was what I thought would be the difficult part.  However GedMatch does not appear to notify you when you have DNA matches in their system.  I’d uploaded my DNA file a while back and was told it would take a few days to upload into their system.  I was never notified that it had been processed and so … completely forgot about it until a few days ago.

Here’s what the main page looks like after you log in:

Gedmatch.com

Gedmatch.com

HINT #1:  When they say to write down you Kit Number …. DO IT.  You have to have that number for everything.

It was yesterday I found the little sticky note with my DNA Kit Number jotted down on it which was what reminded me I’d never heard back from GedMatch.  So I logged back on to the site to see if I’d had any matches.  Looking at the options on the Dashboard had me a little lost.  I expected something like “See Your Matches.”  No, it seems the best way to see your DNA matches is to click on GEDCOM + DNA Matches.  First I’ll say that the best way to search and also be found is to upload a GedCom file for your ancestors.  How do you to this?  Well, if you use any sort of genealogy computer program you can export a gedcom file from it, which is what I did.  The GedCom contained all the names of my ancestors going back 12 generations.  I uploaded the file and connected it to my Kit Number … remember I told you to write down that Kit number!

So after I clicked on GEDCOM + DNA Matches, this is what I get:

My GedMatch Matches

My GedMatch Matches

For the privacy of my matches I’ve blacked out their private info.  I’ll just say they give names and email addresses.  You can click on the number under the column “GEDCOM ID” to get more info on that member.

Individual Detail Display Gedcom member

Again, I blacked out the info for their privacy.  It was this one, about 5 or 6 down on my list, that caught my attention.  They’re from Lanarkshire, Scotland!!!  Yes, that’s where the trail goes cold on my Geoghan Family.  I sent this member and email this morning with all my Geoghan info to see if it rang any genealogical bells for them.  Wish me luck!

So what else can you do on Gedmatch?

I’m not really into the technical DNA stuff but I like to see a good pie chart.  If you click on “Admixture – Heritage” and select the Eurogenes project, this the kind of report you’ll get:

GedMatch - EuroGenes Report for me

GedMatch – EuroGenes Report for me

Looks a lot like the report I got from FamilyTree DNA (See below)

Mtdan Frequency map close up

So what else is on GedMatch?  On the same “Admixture – Heritage” there are several projects to pick from.  Here’s what the MDLP Project looks like:

MDLP Project

MDLP Project

You’re definitely going to want to click on the “Click here for more information” link.  When you do, it takes you to Wikipedia where all those numbers are explained.  My breakdown goes as follows:

  • 40.18% … ENF: the component of the ancient European Neolithic Farmers with the peak in the ancient samples of LBK culture (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest values have been detected in Sardinians, Corsicans and Basques.
  • 25.97% … WHG-UHG: the native component of the ancient European Mesolithic hunter-gatherers (Lazaridis et al. 2014, Haak et al. 2015). Among the modern populations – the highest percentage in the population of Estonians, Lithuanians, Finns and others.
  • 21.26% … ANE: component from North-Eurasian component by interpolating the non-East-Asian part of Native Americans’ ancestry.
  • 10.59% … Caucas – Gedrosia: identical to Pontikos’s Caucasus-Gedrosia cluster
  • 0.93% … NearEast: the modal component of Middle Easterners
  • 0.50% … Paleo-African: the modal component of African Pygmies and Bushmen
  • 0.47% … Amerindian: the modal component of the Native American
  • 0.09% … Oceanian: the modal component of the aboriginal inhabitants of Oceania, Austronesian, Melanesia and Micronesia(the peak in modern Papuans and Australian Aborigines)

Basically, I’m European … duh … knew that.  I’m definitely not Native American.  Would be nice though.

Here’s what the Dodecad Project looks like:

Dodecad ProjectThis one seems pretty spot on with what I know about my family.   There are a few other projects that give you different pie charts but they’re all pretty similar.

There are also comparisons that you can do between your DNA test kit and someone else’s. I did it between me and the gal from Lanarkshire.  There were a couple of other matches but really distant looking from the numbers.

There’s also a test called “Are your parent’s related?” Of course I had to check that one out.  Good news …..

Are your parents relatedI see there is something called Tier 1 membership which you have to pay for.  To be honest I can’t see that paying the $10 gets you much other than helping support the site.

So … If you’re a relation of mine and have your DNA results from another site, upload your DNA data onto GedMatch.com and let’s see if we’re related!

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, Genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

I’d love to hear from you! So click on “Leave A Comment” below and let me know what’s on your mind.

 

2 June 2016: Samuel Hubbard’s Letters June 2, 2016

While working on cleaning up and enhancing the notes in my genealogy database, I came across a book I’d never seen before that contained an article about the diary and letters of my 8th great-grandfather, Samuel Hubbard (1610-1689) who was the son of James Hubbard and Naomi Cooke.  He is one of my immigrant ancestors as he was born in Mendlesham, England and came to the new world in 1633.  Here in America he married his wife Tacy Cooper.

The book I found is titled “Magazine of New England History.” The book is sort of like a collection of the magazine that have all been bound together to form a book.  The issue that I found was Volume I, Issue 3, dated July 1891, R. Hammett Tilley, Editor and Publisher, Newport, RI, Pages 172-178.  The article is called “Extracts from the Letter Book of Samuel Hubbard. Contributed by Ray Greene Huling, New Bedford, Mass.”

Sam Hubbard page 1

Here is the article contained:

Samuel Hubbard was one of the few Rhode Island pioneers who kept a diary and letter book. The manuscripts which he left covered, it is said, the period from 1541 to 1688, the last forty years of which period Mr. Hubbard resided at Newport. These papers were rich in interesting details of life in that community, especially of contemporary church life. They were seen by RE. John Comer in 1726, and were faithfully used by Dr. Isaac Backus in 1777, when he prepared his history of the Baptists.   They were extant in 1830, but as early as 1852 had been lost. The present writer has a copy of a note book into which Dr. Backus had transcribed much of the journal and a few of the several hundred letters which he saw in the original collection. Dr. Backus had also written on the outside of this note book, “Many more of his letters are in another book, No. 5 in quarto.” It is to be hoped that whoever now possesses this other note book will speedily make public its contents.

Samuel Hubbard, was born in 1610 in the village of Mendlesham, a market town some eighty miles northwest of London, in the county of Suffolk. He was the youngest of ten children born to James and Naomi (Cooke) Hubbard. Of these ten, three came to New England. Samuel arrived at Salem in October, 1633, but the next year removed to Watertown. He joined the company that marched through the wilderness to the Connecticut River and founded the towns of Windsor and Wethersfield. At the former place Jan. 4, 1636-7, he married Tase Cooper, a young woman of some twenty-eight years, who arrived at Dorchester in 1634. The young couple fixed their home at Wethersfield. Soon they removed to Springfield, where Mr. Hubbard kept an inn. After eight years, May 10, 1647, then again transferred their belongings to a new habitation, at Fairfield on Long Island Sound, then the outpost of the English Colonies on the side of the Dutch. Thence, also, he compelled to remove for a reason which he himself shall relate:

“God having enlightened both, but mostly my wife, into his holy ordinance of baptizing only of visible believer, and (she) being very zealous for it, she was mostly struck at, and answered two times publickly; where; where I was also said to be as bad as she, and sore threatened with imprisonment to Hartford jail, if not to renounce it or to remove; that scripture came into our minds, if they persecute you in one place flee to another. And so we did 2 day October, 1648. We went for Rhode Island and arrived there the 12 day. I and my wife upon our manifestation of our faith were baptized by brother John Clarke, 3 day of November, 1648.”

For upward of forty years he continued to live in Newport, at what he termed “Mayford,” probably leading the life of a small farmer and practicing his trade as a carpenter. He was intensely interested in the religious controversies of his day. For twenty-three years he was a member of the First Baptist Church at Newport. He was sent by the church Aug. 7, 1651 “to visit the bretherin who was imprisoned in Boston jayl for witnessing the truth of baptizing believers only, viz,. Brother John Clarke, Bro. Obadiah Holmes and Bro. John Crandall.” In 1657 he accompanied Mr. Holmes on a preaching tour to the Dutch on Long Island. In 1664 he was chosen alternate General Solicitor of the Colony, but does not appear to have assumed the duties of the office.

In 1665 Tase Hubbard first, and a little later Samuel Hubbard himself, became convinced of their obligation to observe the seventh day, instead of the first, as the weekly Sabbath. They remained, however, for six more year more in communion with the old First Church. Mr. Hubbard was even sent in 1668 with Mr. Torrey and Mr. Hiscox, to assist certain Baptists in Boston who had been arrested for their religious views and had been granted a disputation. Dec. 23, 1671, Mr. Hubbard with his wife, one daughter, and four others withdrew from their former church relations and formed the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America. In the controversies of this period Mr. Hubbard had his full share, as also in the subsequent extension of his peculiar beliefs in the new town of Westerly and at New London.

His later days were clouded by the death of friends all about him, and especially of his only son in 1671. He found abundant consolation in religion, nevertheless, and in correspondence with the friends still remaining, among whom were numbered Roger Williams and John Thornton of Providence, and Governor Leete of Connecticut. The last letter from his pen mentioned by Dr. Backus bears date May 7, 1688. He certainly was dead in 1692. His wife survived him and was present at a church meeting in 1697, after which no trace of her can be found. The exact dates of death and the place of burial cannot be determined in the case of either.

Samuel Hubbard was evidently a man of devout spirit, loyal to religious convictions and kindly disposed to all mankind. To his forethought it is undoubtedly due to the preservation of much that otherwise would have been lost concerning the local history of his time. Dr. Backus has pronounced his manuscripts a “valuable collection” containing “a fund of intelligence.” It is hoped that the following excerpts will not be without interest to those who may read them.

Note. Family Record of Samuel Hubbard.

Samuel Hubbard, born 1610 at Mendlesham, Co, Suffolk, England; came to Salem, Oct. 1633, Watertown, 1634, Windsor, 1635, Wethersfield, 1637, Springfield, may 10, 1639, Fairfield, May 10, 1647, Newport, Oct. 2, 1648, Freeman, 1655, perhaps earlier; alternate General Solicitor of Rhode Island, 1664; died after 1688, probably at Newport or Westerly. He married at Windsor, Jan. 4, 1636-7, Mr. Ludlow officiating.

Tase Cooper, born 1608 in England; came to Dorchester June 9, 1634 and to Windsor 1635; died after 1697, probably at Newport or Westerly.

Children:

  1. Naomi, b. Nov. 18, 1637 at Wethersfield; d. Nov. 28, 1637 at Wethersfield.
  2. Naomi, b. Oct. 19, 1638 at Wethersfield; d. May 5, 1643 at Springfield.

III. Ruth, b. Jan. 11, 1640 at Springfield; d. about 1691 at Westerly; m. Nov. 2, 1655, Robert Burdick who d. 1692. Children: 1, Robert, 2, Son, 3, Hubbard, 4, Thomas, 5, Naomi, 6, Ruth, 7, Benjamin, 8, Samuel, 9, Tacy, 10, Deborah.

  1. Rachel, b. March 10, 1642, at Springfield: m. Nov. 3, 1658, Andrew Langworthy. Children: 1, Samuel, 2, James.
  2. Samuel, b. March 25, 1644 at Springfield, d. soon.
  3. Bethiah, b. Dec. 19, 1646 at Springfield: d. April 17, 1707, at Westerly: m. Nov. 16, 1694, Joseph Clarke, Jr., b. April 2, 1643, d. Jan. 11, 1727. Children: 1, Judith, 2, Joseph, 3, Samuel, 4, John, 5, Bethiah, 6, Mary, 7, Susannah, 8, Thomas, 9, William.

VII. Samuel, b. Nov. 30, 1649 at Newport, d. there Jan. 20, 1670-1.

Letters.

I.

From Thomas and Esther Hubbard, dated at Southwark, near London, April 24, 1641.

Note. Thomas was the oldest brother of Samuel, and his senior by six years. Esther was the wife of Thomas. This letter has not been preserved.

II.

From Alice Hubbard.

Dearly beloved brother and sister.

My love to you both remembered, hoping that you are well and yours, and I and mine are at this time, this is to satisfy you that my husband is gone to England, he went from me the 22 day of Dec., 1644 and ye Lord was please to carry him safe thither, so that that day month yt they weighed anchor here they cast anchor at Deal in Kent in England, and there as soon as he came out of the boat he met my brother Thomas Hubbard, tho neither my husband had ever been there before nor my brother. At present the Lord hath cast my husband into Ipswich, at your cousin Joseph Hubbard’s, and there is four of that stock that are very honest Christians. The Lord is pleased by his providence to call me thither and my five children; I wod have been very glad to hear from you before I had gone, but now the time is so short I can’t expect it: my husband also desires yt all his Christian friends might see wt God had done for his soul since he hath gone thither by blessing the changes he hath brought him under. Sister Sarah of Yarmouth in dead, her son Robert Jackson is well; my husband saw him, being returned from the war after 4 years service under Col. Cromwell’ in all weh he hath not been maimed or wounded. When you send to us, send to my brother Thomas Hubbard’s house in Freeman lane near Horsley down in Southwark, London.

Your loving sister,

Alice Hubbard.

From Charlestown, this 24 of October 1645.

Note. The writer’s husband was Benjamin Hubbard, brother of Samuel, and but two years older. Benjamin was at Charlestown with his wife as early at 1633, and became a freeman Sept. 3, 1634. In 1636 he was one of only a dozen householders enjoying the prefix of respect (Mr.) He was a cautious friend of Wheelright. He was made clerk of the writs Dec., 1641. He seems to have acquired rights to land at Seekonk also. After his arrival in England he wrote to Governor Winthrop a letter from London (dated 1644, but written, evidently, after Jan. 22, 1644-5, as the above letter shows) in which he speaks of his invention concerning longitude.” In 1652 he was a minister in Cobdock Co., Suffolk, and in 1654 he was living in Ardleagh; His death occurred in 1660. Savage gives his children as follows: 1, Benjamin, b. March 24, 1634; 2, Elizabeth, b. April 4, 1636; 3, Thomas, b. May 31, 1639; 4, Hannah, b. Dec. 16, 1641; and 5, James, b. Sept. 9, 1644; all at Charlestown. Hannah m. Richard Brooks of Boston.

The sister Sarah mentioned is the letter was Samuel Hubbard’s oldest sister, b. 1593, who had married John Jackson.

III.

From Robert Cooper.

Loving and dear bro’r. and sister, Sam’l and Tase Hubbard, my hearty love rememb’d unto yo. The occasion of this my writing unto yo is to certify yo yt I like N.E. very well. I wod not have yo think yt I repent me of my coming to N.E. for it doth not, for I believe if I had staid there I sho’d never have been that weh now I see to my comfort and I hope it will be for my soul’s good. I rest yr poor yet loving brother.

Robert Cooper.

From Yarmouth, April 11, 1644.

This Robert was a brother of Tase Hubbard, the wife of Samuel. Another brother, John Cooper, was living in London as late as 1680.

IV.

From John Hazel.

Loving and dear Christian cousin and brother in Christ Jesus our Lord, I desire grace, mercy, and peace may be multiplied upon yo and my sister yr wife with a sanctified use of yr present condition, knowing that all this worketh tog’. For the best of those yt love God. Rom. 8. Not only losses and wants but persecutions and death itself for Ch’ts. Sake will be great advantage. Desir’g yt prayers for me unto the throne of grace, w’th my Christ’n rememberances and salutations in the Lord unto all the brethren and sisters; and bro. Clarke and bro. Luker in particular, I rest your loving cousin in wt I am able.

John Hazel.

Rehoboth, March 24, 1651.

V.

From John Hazel.

Rehoboth, June 23, 1651.

It is ordered by the colony of the court, that he whoso is absent from their meeting in public, or set up any other meeting, shall pay 10s a person every day. In this cause we know not one another’s minds; to tarry I see no man forward, and to go, no man as yet, for ought I hear or see, can tell whether to go. I desire yon to be private in what is here written, on be instant with our God for us, yt the Lord wo’d guide our ways, I rest yours in the Lord Jesus to command in wt I am able.

John Hazel.

The enemies treason (threaten), as I hear since I concluded my letter, yt because we were not at the their meeting yesterday, yt out abstenance would prove costly.

Note. The Plymouth Colony Records show that Oct. 2, 1650 the Grand Inquest present to the Court “John Hazel, Mr. Edward Smith and his wife, Obadiah Holmes, Joseph Tory (Torrey) and his wife, of the town of Rehoboth, for the continuing of a meeting upon the Lord’s day from house to house, contrary to the order of this Court.” These persons had recently been baptized, it is believed by John Clarke; and had joined the Baptist Church at Newport. There is no record of sentence passed against them at Plymouth. But on July 20, 1651, Holmes with Clarke and Crandall were arrested while holding a meeting at the house of a brother Baptist at Lynn, and were subsequently imprisoned at Boston. The two latter were released on payment of a fine, but Holmes in September following was whipped thirty stripes with a three-corded whip. As he was led back to prison, John Hazel shook him by the hand, and said “Blessed be the Lord.” For this serious offence, Hazel was sentenced to pay forty shillings or to be whipped. He was resolved not to pay the fine, but after six or seven days imprisonment, on the day appointed for the whipping another paid it for him and he was released. The next day he fell sick at a friend’s house near Boston and within ten days died, being then nearly sixty years old. Just how he was a “cousin” to Samuel Hubbard is not known.

(To be continued.)

The Article continues in the next edition.  I will transcribe that and post it as soon as I’m able.

-Jennifer

Jennifer Geoghan, genealogist and author of The Purity of Blood novel series and If Love is a Lie: A Partly True Love Story.

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Sam Hubbard Stones - Jennifer Sept 2012

Me and Samuel Hubbard’s headstone. September 2012.