.

Here, gathered in our beloved South Dakota, are a few members of our Williamson / Mattson Clan. Charles and Luella are to be blamed (be kind, they didn't know what they were doing). We're generally a happy bunch and somewhat intelligent (notwithstanding our tenuous grasp on reality). I'm also proud to say that most of us still have our teeth.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

More on Our Morris Ancestors


From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons,
I’m delighted to share another interesting story with you tonight concerning the ancestors of our Great Grandmother, Effie Helen Victor.

As you may remember, Effie was married to our Great Grandfather William Jonathan Williamson. Grandmother Effie’s mother’s name was Nancy Morris - our doorway into the Morris family of New Jersey.

In tonight’s story we learn about Isaac Morris, his wife Rebecca Hathaway and their children, one of whom was our 4th Great Grandfather Benjamin. This history tell us that we have two more Revolutionary soldiers in our family line, our 5th Great Grandfather Isaac Morris who was a Wagon Master in the Morris County, New Jersey Militia. The other was our 5th Great Grandfather Matthias Spinning who was:
a private minute man of the Essex county, New Jersey, militia, and suffered much for the cause of American liberty. He and his brother Isaac were captured by the British and carried to New York, where they were confined for several months within the loathsome walls of what was called the Sugar House, famous as a place of confinement for the American prisoners of war.

And now, more on the Morris Family of New Jersey. We begin with a Relationship Chart:

Isaac Morris and Rebecca Hathaway
to
Benjamin Morris and Mary Spinning
to
Isaac Morris and ?
to
Nancy Morris and Whitty Victor
to
Effie Helen Victor and William Jonathan Williamson
to
Vennie, Ima Della, Inez, Lillie Ethel, Josie, Emmett, Walt, Charles, Maurice.
to
US
The Morris family came originally from England. Isaac Morris lived in Morristown, New Jersey, prior to and during the Revolutionary war, and during that contest he served as a private with the minute men of the Morris county, New Jersey. militia. He married Rebecca Hathaway and they became the parents of five sons and two daughters, of whom Benjamin, born February 20, 1774, was the second child. At the close of the Revolutionary war the family removed to the Northwest Territory, as Ohio was then called. The route chosen was by way of Pennsylvania, and several weeks were required in making the overland journey through the wilderness and over the mountains to Redstone, near Pittsburg.

After tarrying there for a few months they embarked on a, flatboat with all their possessions and floated down the Ohio river,. landing at Columbia, near Cincimiati, in the year 1790. This site was afterward abandoned because of the frequent overflow of the river, and they went north ten or twelve miles to a place called Round Bottom, on the Little Miami river. In order to protect themselves against the Indians they at once began the erection of a fort. Benjamin Morris, then sixteen years of age, assisted in its construction. A small patch of ground was cleared and such grain as they had brought with them. was planted. While at work, whether sowing or reaping, two men were kept on duty as sentinels, yet the settlement suffered from occasional attacks by the Indians until after General Wayne's successful campaign in 1795. To add to their hardships smallpox broke out among them and carried off several of their number, including the young wife and infant child of Benjamin Morris. He had married a Miss Tichener.

Jacob, the eldest son of Isaac Morris, joined St. Clair's forces against the Indians: and was among the victims of that awful defeat. When General Wayne was organizing his army Benjamin Morris removed. from the fort and enlisted as a pack-horse man, thus taking part in the campaign. After peace' had been established Isaac and Benjamin Morris removed from the fort. The former purchased a tract of land about four miles west of Lebanon, Warren county. He died in his eighty-eighth year. He was. a man of small stature and somewhat original in his religious views.

Benjamin Morris bought a farm a short distance north of that purchased by his father and occupied it throughout his remaining days. He wedded, for his second wife, Mary Spinning, a daughter of Matthias and Hannah (Haines) Spinning, who lived about two miles west of Lebanon. The Spinnings trace their ancestry to Humphrey Spinning, who came to America. in 1639 with the Puritans. He was one of the founders of Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the year 1665. He was married October 14, 1657, to Abigail, daughter of George and Mary Hubbard, and his death occurred in 1689. He was the father of nine children, six sons and three daughters, including Edward, the father of Matthias Spinning. The last-named was born in the year 1750 and died in 1830. He had three brothers and two sisters, including Judge Isaac Spinning, of Montgomery county, Ohio. Matthias Spinning was a quiet and peaceable man of sterling worth. He served in the Revolutionary war as a private minute man of the Essex county, New Jersey, militia, and suffered much for the cause of American liberty. He and his brother Isaac were captured and carried to New York, where they were confined for several months within the loathsome walls of what was called the Sugar House, famous as a place of confinement for the American prisoners of war.
The children of Benjamin and Mary (Spinning) Morris were ten in number-- five sons and five daughters, of whom the subject of this review was the eighth in order of birth. The father died in 1861 at the home of this son, near Bellbrook, Greene county, whither he had come on a visit. After the death of his wife, Mary Spinning, he had married again, the third union being with Sarah Weaver, of White county, Tennessee.

From: George F. Robinson, History of Green County, Ohio (Chcago: S. J. Clark Publishing Company, 1902), 846-848

Our World Wide Readers

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Did you know that this blog is read and enjoyed world wide? About 40% of our readers live outside the United States.

The graphic above illustrates my point. Yesterday's readers of An American Dynasty came from the above nations.

Occasionally I receive emails from these readers. Some ask questions about family research, others are looking for relatives while others turn out to be previously unknown cousins.

A few weeks ago I received an email from a descent of Archer Glen Williamson. He is known as Archer in their family (and Glen in ours). He sent a picture of Archer Glen.

Archer Glen Williamson, our Great Great Uncle.
Brother to William Jonathan Williamson.

I'd like to extend a warm welcome to everyone that visits and reads this family blog. Please feel free to contact me at the following email address:
AnAmericanDynasty@gmail.com

You are welcome on this historical safari as we search for our ancestors. It is our responsibility as their descendants to remember them.

Simply,
Victor

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Our Cousins, Twice Kidnapped By Indians (Williamson Line)


From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons,
In today's digital gathering I'd like to share a story about Jonathan Haines and his son Thomas. Jonathan was our 1st cousin eleven times removed. He was the son of our 11th Great Aunt, Mary and her husband William. Their relationship is outline on the Family Tree (click on the tree at the top of the right side bar) and below:

Relationship Chart



What a story! It would make for an interesting book and movie. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did.

Simply,
Victor

Summary:
Jonathan Haines, our first cousin eleven times removed, was taken prisoner by the Indians along with is son Thomas only to be killed in an attack several years later. Below is an account of Jonathan and his family (I corrected the original spelling errors but left the grammar and punctuation just as found in the original document).
Jonathan Haynes the eldest son of William and Sarah [Ingersoll] Haynes was born in 1646, in Salem, Essex, Massachusetts - He and his sister Sarah were baptised 2 years later on 11 June 1648.

As a young man Jonathan moved to Hampton, New Hampshire, where he first married Mary MOULTON in 1674. His new marriage was not to last. Mary died in July only a few months after their marriage. The is some confusion as the the exact date.

It was on 30 December of that same year that Jonathan married secondly Mary's sister Sarah.

Jonathan Haynes moved his family to Newbury, Essex, Massachusetts for about 10 years and then to Haverhill also in Essex county, Massachusetts, where the birth of their five youngest children are recorded. They settled in the West Parish near Hawk's Meadow Brook.

Coffin's "History of Newbury", says that at the close of the summer of 1665, by invitation of Bobernor Carteret of New Jersey, several persons went from Newbury and settled in a township which was called Woodbridge. Of these emigrants, some stayed, others returned. among those who returned was Jonathan Haynes, Elish and John Ilsey.

Haverhill, inland on the Merrimac River, was still a frontier town, though founded in 1640, and suffered severely from the Indians. On 16 August 1696, during King William's War, Jonathan and his children were working out in a field nearby Bradley Mills, the children were picking beans, and the father reaping nearby.

The Indians attacked, taking Jonathan and his children captive. They traveled immediately with their captives for Pennacook, Concord, New Hampshire. When they arrived they divided their prisoners and separated. The father Jonathan and his eldest son Thomas age 16, were taken to an Indian Village in Maine from which they were able to escape.

After two to three days traveling in the wilderness, with barley anything to eat, Jonathan collapsed from exhaustion. Unable to get his father to move, Thomas started onward for help. Upon coming to the top of a hill, Thomas climbed a tall tree to see if he could discover any signs of civilization. There were no towns in sight. While pondering on this sad disappointment and
trying to decide what he would do next, his quick ear caught the sound of a sawmill - he listened--- there was no mistaking that familiar sound. He excitedly ran towards it and soon found himself at the settlement of Saco, Maine.

His story was soon told to the settlers and with help and a bottle of milk, he hastened back to his father, who was right were he left him. Jonathan had given up hope and had lay down to die, never expecting to see his son again. The milk, and the good news revived him and with much
difficulty he finally reach Saco. Here, both father and son remained until their strength returned and they started for home in Haverhill, where they arrived without difficulty.

In the mean time, the Indian party which took the other children, Mary 19, Jonathan Jr 12, and Joseph age 7 years, went into Canada where they sold them to the French. The tradition is that Mary was carried to Canada on a hand-sled, and it is presumed the Indians tarried at Pennacook until winter. She was redeemed the following winter, with 100 pounds of tobacco, and
afterward married John Preston of Andover, and moved to Connecticut.

Johnathan Jr and Joseph never returned, A deed of 1731 speaks of them as still in Canada. In one of the companies on the Canada expedition of 1757, were three bothers names HAYNES, from Haverhill. While in Canada they had leave granted to make a search for the captive brothers and found them. They had lost the knowledge of the English language and spoke only French.
They could could only talk to their brothers through an interpreter.

One of them asked about his sister, Mary who had one of her fingers accidental cut off by a young lad, and the son of a neighbor, a short time before her capture. He recollected the circumstance, and asked if she was still living. Nether of them could be persuaded to return.

In the year 1698 the Indians commenced their attacks on the settlers. On the 22nd of Feb, a party fell upon Andover, killing five of the inhabitants and captured as many more. On their return, the same party killed Jonathan HAYNES and Samuel LADD, in Haverhill and captured
a son of each. so it was that Thomas HAYNES was kidnapped for the second time by the Indians.

Jonathan HAYNES and Samuel LADD who lived in the western part of town, had started that morning with their teams, consisting of a yoke of oxen and a horse each, accompanied by their eldest sons, Thomas and Daniel, to bring home some of their hay which had been cut and stacked the preceding summer. They were slowly returning from their meadow in the extreme western part of town, when they suddenly found themselves surrounded by Indians, who had
been hiding in the bushes along the path.

There were 7 Indians on each side with guns pointed and cocked. The fathers seeing it was impossible to escape, begged for 'quarter' to this, the Indians replied, 'boon quarter' [good quarter]. Young LADD , who did not relish the idea of being quietly taken prisoner, told his father that he
would mount the horse and try to escape, but his father forbid him, telling him it was a better risk being taken prisoner. He cut his father's horse loose, however, and giving him the lash, the horse started off at full speed. Though he was repeatedly fired at by the Indians, he succeeded in reaching the settlement and gave the general alarm.

Two of the Indians stepped behind the fathers and dealt them a heavy blow to the head. Jonathan HAYNES, was quite aged and fell instantly, but Samuel LADD did not. Another of the savages stepped before the latter and raised his hatchet as if to strike. Samuel LADD closed his eyes, expecting the blow would fall but it did not and when he opened his eyes, the Indian was
laughing and mocking him. At the same time another from behind gave him the fatal blow.

This was on the 22nd of September 1698. Administration of her husband's estate was granted to Sarah "HAINES" HAYNES widow of Jonathan HAINES of Haverhill on 5 Dec 1698 at Salem Court. She with three other residents of Haverhill signed a petition dated 17 Apr 1701, addressed to the Lt. Governor and Council, begging that the act which has passed for
redeeming of captives be put to execution as speedily as possible.

Thomas HAYNES remained a prisoner with the Indians for several years and was redeemed by his relatives. It is said that when he was about to leave his master, in token of his good will and esteem, presented him with his best cane. This cane, 3 1/2 feet long, top being round and rest 8 sided, it is now in the collection of the New England Historic and genealogical Society in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts. Each side in ornamented with figures, some diamond shaped, other square or diagonal, all neatly cut with a pen knife. There is an iron figure and a pur at the end.

He Who Would Valient Be; To Be a Pilgrim.


From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Utah Valley woke to the sound of hail on the rooftops this morning. Hail is a common experience for many, but not so for those of us who live in this green valley weather has forgotten. Our days are spent with abundant sunshine and the occasional wind, rain and snow. Each element shows us their best side, saving the power of their punch for communities on the other side of the mountain ranges running along America's spine.

I watched the pea sized hail pop up and down on the deck like popcorn in hot oil. Only moments after it started, the hail grew bored with us and continued up and over the Wasatch Range, having reminded us that there really was such a thing as hard rain.

Today we pause a moment to enjoy a hymn well known to our Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors. It is another post honoring the faith of those who came before us.

With the music, enjoy scenes from our British ancestral homeland.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our 7th Great Grandparents, First Settlers of Newark, New Jersey

This drawing depicts the landing of the 30 families from New Haven Conn. The family of
John Morris was among them.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Everyone!
Tonight’s digital family gathering brings a return to the Williamson side of our family. Yesterday I sent out an email asking for help in pushing back the family tree along the Morris line. We know that Effie Helen Victor’s (wife of William Jonathan Williamson) mother was Nancy Morris and that was about it. Nancy seemed to have appeared out of nowhere.

Yesterday I received several emails from a distant Morris cousin with detailed research on the Morris line. He gives very convincing evidence from multiple sources that Nancy’s father was Isaac Morris. We are unsure about Nancy’s mother. Isaac’s listed wife if Jane Tway but Jane was born in Ohio and Nancy stated in the 1870 census that her mother was born in Virginia.
It is then assumed that Jane was Isaac’s second wife (although there is no evidence to that fact).

Because we are not 100% sure that Isaac was Nancy’s father I put the “?” in front of his name on the family tree (click on the tree at the top of the right side bar). However, the evidence is convincing enough that I’m willing to continue the Morris line starting with Isaac.

The family tree shows the Morris line back to the 1600’s in New Jersey. So, let’s take a moment tonight to meet one of our ancestors, John Morris. We start with the Relationship Chart:

7th Great Grandparents John Morris b. Dec. 1666. d. 1749 married Sarah Crane b. 1668 d. 1739
to

Daniel Morris and Mary Riggs
to
Isaac Morris and Rebecca Hathaway
to
Benjamin Morris and Mary Spinning

to
Isaac Morris and ?
to
Nancy Morris and Whitty Victor
to
Effie Helen Victor and William Jonathan Williamson
to
Charles Williamson and Elda Vercellino
to
Charles Williamson and Luella Mattson

to

Us


John and Sarah Morris were among the first 30 Puritan families sent from New Haven Conn. to settle Newark, New Jersey.

The following is a short biography of John’s service to Newark.

JOHN MORRIS
It was John whose birth was duly recorded in the New Haven Vital Statistics as 16 December 1666 who grew up to cut a wide swath in Newark as “Captain” John Morris. The official records are fairly spotted with notations of his services to the community. He was, as Mr. Samuel H. Congar, published about 1902, pointed out, the high sheriff of Essex County in 1700. He was chosen in 1698 to “lay penalties upon swine.” The next year he was chosen by vote “To give notice when cattle shall go into the Neck and when it is to be taken out.” in 1702 he was assessor for the north end of town. A few years later he was chosen on a committee to set a table of fees for the town clerk. In 1711 he was on a committee to settle the boundary line between Newark and Elizabeth Town. In 1716 he and James Nuttmann were chosen to select three men to “Seat the meeting house.” He was surveyor of the highways and collector for the overseers of the poor. Captain John lived to a ripe age, and in the delightful phrase of Mr. Congar, “did not soon die as has been said but lived four score years.” He died in 1749. He left at least three daughters, Charity, Phebe, and Abigail; Three sons for sure, Daniel, John, and Stephen. In the book, “First Presbyterian Church in Newark,” by Jonathan French Steam, is the records of the first settlers of Newark 1666-1680, with John Morris in the North West Section.”

The Following is the History Behind John and Sarah's move to Newark with the other Puritan Families.

In 1665 New Haven and Connecticut were merged into one colony. The new constitution allowed baptism of children irrespective of the parents church membership. This was displeasing to the strict church members of New Haven, as the Puritan practice permitted this ordinance only for the children of "the elect". This act created an religious environment that was intolerable for them.

When Governor Carteret of New Jersey sent agents to New England, seeking homesteader for colonization, and carrying the constitution of the Government that granted the religions freedoms sought by the Puritans, they accepted the offer. A yearly quit-rent of a halfpenny per acre was to be paid to the lord Proprietors of New Jersey for the land. In May 1666 about 30 families traveled by sea and arrived at the Passaic River. As they unloaded their goods, they were met by a tribe of Hackenssack Indians who claimed the land. The Puritans learned that the Governor had not attended to the treaty price with the Indians, as he had guaranteed. Reluctantly it was decided to return to Milford. As they prepared to reload their goods, the Governor arrived and acknowledged his failure to fulfill this part of the contract.

The Governor implored the Puritans to stay and arranged for them to purchase the land from the Indians for "fifty double-hands of powder, one hundred barrs of lead, twenty Axes, Twenty Coats, ten Guns, twenty pistolls, ten Kettles, ten Swoards, four blanks, four barrells of beere, ten paire of breeches, fifty knives, twenty howes, eight hundred and fifty fathem of wampum, two Ankors of Licquers or something Equivolent and three Troopers Coats". The Indians also agreed to a Bill of Sales that allowed the Puritans to pay in the Spring of 1667 when Branford and Guilford arrived. And so is the founding of Newark by Martin Tichenor and 29 other Puritain Families.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Our 15th Great Grandfather, Sir William Gascoigne

William Gascoigne refusing to sentence a prelate or peer
Before Henry IV, Sir William Gascoigne, Chief Justice of England, refuses to sentence death charges of guilt and high treason on Archbishop Scrope and Thomas Mowbray. Illustration by James E. Doyle. 1864. Color lithograph. Located in a private collection.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Everyone!
It’s been one of those days. I woke with a one of those headaches that can’t decide where to settle. First in was in my upper neck then the back of my head. I hit it with two Equate generics of Tylenol. I wasn’t impressed with their performance so after my afternoon field trip I walked home from the school, picked up the Battlestar and drove to Walmart. This time I was willing to pay the big bucks for the real stuff - Excedrin Migraine with the full strength of 65 mg of the good stuff (Caffeine). The headache is in full retreat - mind you, I’m a slightly jittery and a bit giddy but back to my old disagreeable self.

Tonight we are going to learn about our 15th Great Grandfather Sir William Gascoigne. Pull up one of those nice overstuffed recliners and join me near the fire. It gets chilly in the Great Hall.


We will start with the Relationship Chart:

Sir William Gascoigne and Margaret Clarell
to
Hugh Hastings and Anne Gascoine
to
Bryan Hastings and Anne Portington
to
Francis Hastings and Jane Restwold
to
Bridget Hastings and Robert Swift
to
William Swift and Joan Sisson
to
William Swift and Ruth Tobey
to
William Swift and Elizabeth Tomson
to
Ebenezer Swift and Abigail Gibbs
to
Ebenezer Swift and Jedidah Benson
to
Judah Swift and ?
to
Phineas Swift and Deborah Dearborn
to
Elmira Swift and Joseph McCrillis
to
Isabel McCrillis and John Mayberry Dennis
to
Vesta Dennis and Walter Pierce
to
Violet Pierce and Walter Mattson
to
Luella Mattson and Charles Williamson
to

Us

A Short Biography of Great Grandfather William

Sir William Gascoigne Knight was born 1370 and died 28 Mar 1422. His reputation is that of a great lawyer who in times of doubt and danger asserted the principle that the head of state is subject to law, and that the traditional practice of public officers, or the expressed voice of the nation in parliament, and not the will of the monarch or any part of the legislature, must guide the tribunals of the country.

He was a descendant of an ancient Yorkshire family. Though he is said to have studied at the University of Cambridge his name is not found in any university or college records.It appears from the year-books that he practiced as an advocate in the reigns of Edward III and Richard II. When Henry of Lancaster was banished by Richard II, Gascoigne was appointed one of his attorneys, and soon after Henry's accession to the throne was made Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench. After the suppression of the rising in the north in 1405, Henry eagerly pressed the chief justice to pronounce sentence upon Lord Scrope, the Archbishop of York, and the Earl Marshal Thomas Mowbray, who had been implicated in the revolt. This he absolutely refused to do, asserting the right of the prisoners to be tried by their peers. Although both were later executed, the chief justice had no part in this. It has been doubted whether Gascoigne could have displayed such independence of action without prompt punishment or removal from office.

The popular tale of his committing the Prince of Wales (the future Henry V) to prison must also be regarded as unauthentic, though it is both picturesque and characteristic. It is said that the judge had directed the punishment of one of the prince's riotous companions, and the prince, who was present and enraged at the sentence, struck or grossly insulted the judge. Gascoigne immediately committed him to prison, and gave the prince a dressing-down that caused him to acknowledge the justice of the sentence. The king is said to have approved of the act, but it appears that Gascoigne was removed from his post or resigned soon after the accession of Henry V. He died in 1419, and was buried in All Saints' Church, the parish church of Harewood in Yorkshire. Some biographies of the judge have stated that he died in 1412, but this is disproved by Edward Foss in his Lives of the Judges. Although it is clear that Gascoigne did not hold office long under Henry V, it is not impossible that the scene in the fifth act of Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2, (in which Henry V is crowned king, and assures Gascoigne that he shall continue to hold his post), could have some historical basis, and that the judge's resignation shortly thereafter was voluntary.

Monday, March 21, 2011

King Malcolm III of Scotland. Our 27th Great Grandfather



From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
We were introduced to St. Margaret of Scotland in our last post. This post continues from that post with our formal introduction to our 27th Great Grandfather, Malcolm III of Scotland, husband of Margaret.

I won't bore you with another Relationship Chart considering the same one from Margaret's post will suffice for Malcolm.

Biography of Malcolm III.

Malcolm Canmore ('great head' or 'chief') was the eldest son of Duncan I. After his father's death, he found refuge in England with his uncle Siward of Northumbria, where he stayed for more than 14 years.

His first wife was Ingibjorg, widow of Earl Thorfinn of Orkney. She died, and in about 1070 he married Margaret, great-niece of King Edward the Confessor of England. She had sought refuge in Scotland with her brother, Edgar the Atheling (Anglo-Saxon heir to the English throne), when William I excluded him from the English succession.

Margaret had a strong influence over her husband, who revered her piety and secretly had jewel-encrusted bindings made for her religious books, which he himself was unable to read, never having learned to do so. He also substituted Saxon for Gaelic as the court language.

According to Margaret's biographer, she corresponded with Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury, brought Benedictine monks to Dunfermline and did away with local usages in the Scottish Church. Margaret also began building what was later to be known as St Margaret's Chapel, situated on the highest part of Edinburgh Castle.

Malcolm was determined to extend his kingdom southwards and take advantage of the upheaval caused by the Norman Conquest. Making the excuse that he was supporting the claim to the English throne of his brother-in-law Edgar Atheling, Malcolm invaded England five times (he was a formidable warrior-king, having killed his two predecessor kings).

Three times defeated, Malcolm was forced under the treaty of Abernethy in 1072 to become 'the man' of the English king and give up his son Duncan as a hostage.

Malcolm and his eldest son were finally killed in battle at Alnwick, Northumberland on 13 November 1093, aged about 62. His wife died when they brought her the news at Edinburgh Castle. She was canonised in 1249.

After Malcolm's death, the frontier between the kingdoms of Scotland and England was clearly defined for the first time. Anglo-Norman influence in Scotland was promoted by the subsequent marriages of Malcolm's sons to English brides.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Our 27th Great Grandmother. St. Margaret of Scotland, Patron Saint of Death of Children, Large Families, Learning, Queens, Scotland and Widows.

Our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland
by Somerset

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Good Morning!

From the deck of the Fortress I see the valley below is in good spirits. The air is fresh and warmer than yesterday. Warming breezes from the south are ominous signs of an approaching storm, but that isn't until tomorrow. Until then, we enjoy the moment and let tomorrow take care of itself.

I'd like to share a few stories with you this morning about our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland. We have another Catholic Saint as an ancestor. If you are a Catholic you could pray to your own Grandmother for intercession on your behalf. How awesome is that! And if your not Catholic, would it hurt to try, especially considering she is the patron Saint of so many things that pertain to family life? An icon of St. Margaret could double as a religious piece but also a family portrait.


Being non Catholic and not a believer in Saints, I can only hope that if I'm wrong and the Catholics are right, that my Great Grandmother will feel mercy on her heathen great grandson and intercede on my behalf for a shorter sentence in purgatory.

Shall we start with the Relationship Chart?

Saint Margaret of Scotland and Malcolm III King of Scotland
to
Matilda of Scotland and Henry I King of England
to
Matilda (Maud) de Normandy Empress and Count Geoffrey V
to
Hamelin Plantagenet and Isabel De Warenne
to
Countess Norfolk Ida Isabel and Roger Bigod
to
Lord Hasting William De Hastings and Margaret Bigod
to
Sir Henry De Hastings, Knight and Ada De Huntingdon
to
Henry De Hastings and Joane De Cantilupe
to
Baron John Hastings and Isabel De Valence
to
Hugh De Hastings (Sir Knight) and Margery Foreliot
to
Hugh De Hastings and Anne De Spenser
to
Edward Hastings and Meryell Denham
to
John Hastings and Ann Morley
to
Hugh Hastings and Anne Gascoine
to
Bryan Hastings and Anne Portington
to
Francis Hastings and Jane Restwold
to
Bridget Hastings and Robert Swift
to
William Swift and Joan Sisson
to
William Swift and Ruth Tobey
to
William Swift and Elizabeth Tomson
to
Ebenezer Swift and Abigail Gibbs
to
Ebenezer Swift and Jedidah Benson
to
Judah Swift and ?
to
Phineas Swift and Deborah Dearborn
to
Elmira Swift and Joseph McCrillis
to
Isabel McCrillis and John Mayberry Dennis
to
Vesta Dennis and Walter Pierce
to
Violet Pierce and Walter Mattson
to
Luella Mattson and Charles Williamson
to

Us



Margaret's life was an example of a true Christian life devoted to her family and the people of Scotland. Please take a moment to learn about this pious and righteous ancestor.

St. Margaret's Church Dunfermline, one of Many Churches of St. Margaret throughout
Scotland and the United States.


A Biography of our 27th Great Grandmother, Saint Margaret of Scotland

Margaret was a daughter of Edward d'Outremer ("The Exile"), next of kin to Edward the Confessor, and sister to Edgar the Atheling, who took refuge from William the Conqueror at the court of King Malcolm Canmore in Scotland. The young prince Malcolm, who was to become Margaret's husband, was still a child when his father, King Duncan, was killed by Macbeth. It was not until 1054 that Macbeth was driven out and Malcolm established on the throne of Scotland, as readers of Shakespeare's Macbeth will remember.

Margaret, as beautiful as she was good and accomplished, captivated Malcolm, and they were married at the castle of Dunfermline in the year 1070. Margaret was then twenty-four years old. Their marriage bestowed great blessings upon Malcolm as well as Scotland. Malcolm was rough and uncultured, but his disposition was good, and Margaret, through the great influence she acquired over him, softened his temper, polished his manners, and rendered him one of the most virtuous kings who have ever occupied the Scottish throne. To maintain justice, to establish religion, and to make their subjects happy appeared to be their chief objects in life.

St. Margaret of Scotland Statue, Stockbridge MA

What she did for her husband Margaret also did in a great measure for her adopted country, promoting the arts of civilization and encouraging education and religion. She found Scotland a prey to ignorance and to many grave abuses, both among priests and people. At her instigation, church councils were held which passed enactments to meet these evils. She herself was present at these meetings, taking part in the discussions. Attendance at Mass on Sundays and holy days was made obligatory, and the rules for Easter communion and Lent were restored. Many scandalous practices, such as simony, usury and incestuous marriages, were strictly prohibited. St. Margaret made it her constant effort to obtain good priests and teachers for all parts of the country, and formed an embroidery guild among the ladies of the court to provide vestments and church furniture. With her husband she founded several churches, notably that of the Holy Trinity at Dunfermline.

God blessed the couple with a family of six sons and two daughters, and their mother brought them up with the utmost care, herself instructing them in the Christian faith and superintending their studies. Their daughter Matilda married Henry I of England and was known as Good Queen Maud, while three of their sons, Edgar, Alexander, and David, successively occupied the Scottish throne, the last named being revered as a saint. St. Margaret's care and attention was extended to her servants and household as well as to her own family; yet in spite of all the state affairs and domestic duties in which she was involved, she kept her heart disengaged from the world and recollected in God. Her private life was most austere: she ate sparingly, and in order to obtain time for her devotions she permitted herself very little sleep. Every year she kept two Lents, the one at the usual season, the other before Christmas. At these times she always rose at midnight and went to the church for Matins. King Malcolm often shared her vigil. On her return, she washed the feet of six poor persons and gave them alms.

She also had stated times during the day for prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures. Her own copy of the Gospels on one occasion was inadvertently dropped into a river, but sustained no damage beyond a small watermark on the cover. That book is now preserved among the treasures of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Perhaps St. Margaret's most outstanding virtue was her love of the poor. She often visited the sick and tended them with her own hands. She erected hostels for travelers and ransomed many captives, mostly those of English nationality. When she appeared outside in public she was invariably surrounded by beggars, none of whom went away unrelieved, and she never sat down at table without first having fed the crowds of paupers and orphans. Often -- especially during Advent and Lent -- the king and queen would entertain three hundred poor persons, serving them on their knees with dishes similar to those provided for their own table.

In 1093, King William Rufus surprised Alnwick castle, putting its garrison to the sword. King Malcolm and his son Edward were killed in the ensuing hostilities. St. Margaret at this time was lying on her deathbed. The day her husband was killed she was overcome with sadness and said to her attendants, "Perhaps this day a greater evil hath befallen Scotland than any this long time." When her son Edgar arrived back from Alnwick, she asked how his father and brother were. Afraid of the effect the news might have upon her in her weak state, he replied that they were well. She exclaimed, "I know how it is!" Then raising her hands toward Heaven she said, "I thank thee, Almighty God, that in sending me so great an affliction in the last hour of my life, thou wouldst purify me from my sins as I hope, by thy mercy." Soon afterward she repeated the words, "O Lord Jesus Christ, who by thy death hast given life to the world, deliver me from all evil!" and breathed her last. She died four days after her husband, on November 16, 1093, being in her forty-seventh year, and was buried in the church of the abbey of Dunfermline which she and her husband had founded. St. Margaret was canonized in 1250. Dunfermline was sacked in 1560, but the relics were safely removed. St. Margaret's body, together with that of Malcolm, was transferred to a chapel in the Escorial, outside Madrid. In 1673, St. Margaret was named a patron of Scotland.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our 9th Great Grandfather, Lt. John Ellis of Plymouth.

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Everyone!
Tonight I’m writing away from home and hearth. I’m sitting at my desk at the Space Education Center reading about our 9th Great Grandfather as our weekly Space Camp is waged about me. The Space Center has five futuristic starship simulators, each running tonight fully crewed with 5th and 6th graders from Lehi, Utah. I’m hearing explosions and the wailing of the alert klaxons as I try to focus on life in early Plymouth MA. My brain is anchored in the 17th Century while my ears are firmly attached to the 23rd.

My 9th Great Grandfather’s name was Lt. John Ellis. To see his place on the Family Tree click here. Follow these simple steps.

Shrink the image by clicking on the “-” magnifying glass at the bottom of the page.
  1. Click on my mother Luella
  2. Click on her mother Violet
  3. Click on her mother Vesta
  4. Click on her mother Isabel
  5. Move up the tree to Emira Swift, then Phineas Swift to Judah Swift to Jeddah Benson then to Jerusha Ellis to William Ellis
  6. Finally to Lt. Ellis Jr.

The following is a quick snapshot of his life and accomplishments.
Thanks for Reading!
Victor

John Ellis Jr.

Born-14 September 1623 at St. Budolph, Bishop’s Gate, London, England.What we know: Before John was born-His parents were in Leyden, Holland in 1619 according to records.

At 21 years old-“As soon as he arrived at the age of 21 he took the oath of a freeman, June 2, 1641 in Boston…”

Around the age of 24-Before August 20, 1644, John Ellis married Elizabeth Freeman at Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts.

At 30 years old-June 5, 1651 John was chosen to be a member of "the Grand Enquest."

At 32 years old-The General Court of Plymouth Colony, sitting at Plymouth June 9, 1653, commissioned JOHN ELLIS to be the Lieutenant, (then Commander) of the Military Company at Sandwich.

At 32 years old-November 7, 1652 he and five others were selected to buy all the fish offered by the Indians; to provide casks, and to prepare the fish for use by the Town.
From age 31 to age 33-February 24, 1652 he and others were selected by the General Court to survey and build a road-on the most convenient line-from Sandwich to Plymouth, which task they completed satisfactorily and so reported to the General Court, June 20, 1654.

At age 33-December 13, 1653 he and two others were given a monopoly on whales captured within the water line of Sandwich, under condition that they pay 16 pounds apiece for each whale.

At around age 39-In 1659 he and others were appointed to take charge of extraction of oil from whales and fish for the public use.

At age 39-As the Lieutenant commanding the Military Company he was allowed, June 6, 1660 two pounds of powder for his command on "Training Day," which was the first Wednesday in July, 1660.

At age 50-July 6, 1671 the Town of Sandwich gave him (Lieut. ELLIS) 20 acres of land from his then-owned land down to the beach. .July 13 he as Lieutenant, with four others, was selected as "Tax rater." Aug. 26, 1671 "JOHN ELLIS, Senior" and one other surveyed a parcel of fund, on the order of the town.

At age 54-February 28, 1675 he, Lieutenant, and BENAMIN HAMMOND, Constable, called a Town Meeting to make arrangements for protection of lives and property and to make new land available for cultivation because of the dangers incident to King PHILIP'S War.

At age 55-May 10, 1676 he as Lieutenant and THOMAS TOBIE, Sen. and STEPHEN SKIFF as agents of the Town, were obligated to form "Sandwich Town Scouts," to hire as many men as they chose for that purpose, and the Town promised to pay all such engagements.

At age 56-He died previous to May 23, 1677 as the inventory of his estate was taken by RICHARD BOURNE, JOHN SMITH, and THOMAS TOBEY May 23, 1677 and exhibited to the Court held at Plymouth June 5, 1677, on the oath of his widow, ELIZABETH ELLIS.

An interesting side note was the charge of fornication against our Great Grandfather John.
At the court held on 20 Aug. 1644 he was accused of fornication, and the record shows that "A warrant was set forth to bring in the bodies of Jonathan ffish & Mary his wife; Nathaniell ffish; Jane the wife of William Wood; Rose the wife of Joseph Holly; the wife of Richard Kerby; the wife of Michael Turner & Joanna Swift, widdow, to give evidence in John Ellis and his wife's case" (Nathaniel B. Shurtleff ed., Records'of the Colony of New Plymouth,* vol. 2, p. 75. 4 June 1645 "John Ellis of Sandwich ... and his now wife. . ..is censured to be whipt at publicke post and Elizabeth his wife to stand by whilst execucon of the sentence is pformed; which was accordingly done. And the said John Ellis for his long and tedious delayes occasioning much trouble and charge to the countrey, for that he would not confess the truth untill the present, is fyned 5 li" (ibid., p. 85).

It has often been observed that neither the colony nor the ecclesiastical courts of the period were apt to view with favor the possibility of a premature birth. In this instance the stubborn refusal-of Ellis to admit guilt may have been based on some other argument. The prominence of the Freeman family may have played a part in the case. It would be interesting to read a transcript of the testimony presented by the young couple and their neighbors.

Whatever may have been the merits of the case, it is clearly of interest genealogically speaking that the marriage almost certainly took place before 20 August 1644 and that the first child by EIizabeth Freeman was born about that date. Yet the first recorded birth, that of "Benet Elles" (no parents listed), took place in 1648-1649.

More Pilgrims in the Branches

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

The sounds you hear in the Family Tree's top branches are the rustlings of newly awoken Pilgrim ancestors.

I spent some time last night researching lines left unattended and found new information I'll be finalizing into several new posts in a series celebrating our family's contributions to the founding of this nation. There are good stories to tell and you know my fondness for a good tale over a warm drink near the fire in the Fortress's Great Hall.

Also, several new names have been added to the family tree. The McCrillis Lines are in along with several others. Be sure to take a look. Remember this family tree is inclusive. To see the branches you must click on a persons name. You can use the magnifying glass icon on the bottom of the screen to decrease the size of the window to see more names at once.

Simply,
Victor

Thursday, March 17, 2011

And A Happy St. Patrick's Day to All

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello all on the greenest day of the year. Today we celebrate our Irish ancestors. There are the McCrillis', the Kenney, and a laundry list of others - some found and listed on our family tree and others still slumbering in Ireland's graveyards waiting to be remembered once again by their descendants.

Start your Irish day right by listening to Ireland's Call by Celtic Thunder.

Simply,
Victor


video

Monday, March 14, 2011

Our 9th Great Grandfather John Tomson (Thompson). An Early Settler of Massachusetts..




From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we gather together in a virtual reunion to learn about the life of our 9th Great Grandfather John Tomson (Thompson). The spelling changes from source to source as is common in this kind of research.

Family Tree

We begin with finding him on the Family Tree.
  1. Click on my mother Luella
  2. Click on her mother Violet
  3. Click on her mother Vesta
  4. Click on her mother Isabel. Climb up the Family Tree to Ebenezer Swift
  5. Click on Ebenezer Swift, Climb up past Elizabeth Tomson to
  6. Our 9th Great Grandparents, John and Mary.

John Tomson was born in 1616 in the northern part of Wales, and it is presumed that he was of Scottish descent. Hence we find a general thickening of our Scottish and Welsh blood. It is said his father died soon after his birth, and his mother married again. Even the name of his step-father is not known.

Ignatius Thompson's "Genealogy of John Thompson" says John came to America in "the third embarkation". The Third Embarkation was a company under the patronage of Thomas Weston, a merchant of distinction in London. The company contained 60 or 70 men, some of them with families. Among them was our 9th Great Grandfather John Tompson who was 6 years old at the time. The company landed at Plymouth early in May 1623.

What is properly called the "third embarkation," the ship "Little James and Anne," actually arrived in AUG 1623 with 60 passengers. There were other other arrivals, the "Sparrow" in MAY 1622, with seven passengers, was indeed sent by Thomas Weston. Still another arrival was the "Charity and Swan" in JUL 1622, also sent out by Thomas Weston, with sixty colonists bound for Wessagusset or Weymouth, which stopped at Plymouth with letters from Mr. Weston stating that he had quit the "Adventurers." John Thompson may have indeed arrived in MAY 1622 as Ingnatius Thompson said, but this was not termed the "third embarkation".

Our Grandfather John was a carpenter, though his primary occupation was a farmer. Besides building his own houses, he built homes for others. In 1637 he and his friend Richard Church built the first framed meeting house in Plymouth. He then sued Thomas Willett, the town's agent, for not complying with the contract. As compensation for his labor, the town gave him a deed to a piece of land extending back from the market house to the herring brook, later called Spring Hill. He was great friends with Richard Church, and after his death, with his brother, Captain Benjamin Church, the Indian fighter.

On March 3, 1645 he purchased a house and garden from Samuel Eddy near Spring Hill in Plymouth.

John Tompson (yet another spelling) married Mary Cooke (daughter of Mayflower Passenger Francis Cooke) on December 26, 1645 at Plymouth, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.

He purchased his first farm in Sandwich, in that part called Nobscusset, where he lived for a few years. He soon came to the conclusion that he could better his fortune by moving further into the interior.

An Interesting Story From the Life of John Tompson Enlarged from the Page Above

He selected a place 13 miles west of the village of Plymouth on the outskirts of Bridgewater, Middleborough, and what later became Halifax. He purchased land from William Wetispaquin, sachem of the Neponsets, the purchase having been approved by the Court. The deed is recorded in Book 4, page 41, in the Registry of Deeds for Plymouth County. His homestead, including other purchases other than the above deed, contained more than six thousand acres. It was later divided into more than one hundred farmsteads. It commenced at the herring brook in the northern part of Halifax and extended nearly five miles south into Middleborough. He built a log house in Middleborough, about twenty rods west of the Plymouth line, where he lived until it was burned by the Indians.

Tradition says that he began clearing land with the intention of locating his house near where the saw mill of Ephriam B.Thompson later stood. After working for a while, he became thirsty and went into a valley near by to search for water. Upon finding a lively brook of pure water, he came to the conclusion that the spring could not be far away. He followed the brook up about one hundred rods and came to the fountain of pure, gushing water. A clearing was made here and a log house built. Charles H. Thompson says,
"The importance of locating near a spring of never failing water, instead of attempting to dig wells, at that time, is apparent when we consider that shovels and spades in those times were made of wood instead of iron; wooden shovels were used by the third and fourth generations from John Thomson. When Ebenezer, a grandson of his, had a wooden shovel pointed or shod with iron, it was considered a very great improvement and was borrowed by the neighbors far and near. The ancient practice of building dwelling houses near springs and running water accounts for the very crooked roads in many localities of the old colony."
Our Grandfather John served as representative from Barnstable in 1671 and 1672. He was a sergeant of the military company in 1673. He became a representative for Middleboro about 1674 and served for the next eight years. He became a Lieutenant of the military company in 1675, and was a commander of a garrison in King Philips War.
Lieut. John Thompson. -1616-1696 of Cummaquid and Patuxet, renamed Barnstable and Plymouth, Mass. He was Sergeant 17 Dec. 1673; was reported, Aug. 1643, in the list of males of Plymouth between 16 and 60 years able to bear arms; had dealings, 1 Nov 1673, with the Sachem of the Neponsets in what is now the town of Middleborough, Mass. Was Lieut. in 1675-6 and was by the Govenor and Council given command of the garrison and the garrison in the field. Served actively in such command during King Philip's War. When the Dutch occupied New York and New jersey, 1673, the Plymouth Court declared war against them and the Govenor bestowed a halbert upon Sergent Thompson. His grave stone bears the inscription: "In memory of Lieut. John Thompson"
He died on June 16, 1696 at Middleboro, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. He was 80 years old, amazing for that time in history. He was buried in the first burying ground in Middleborough, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. His tombstone reads:


"In Memory of LIEUT. JOHN THOMPSON, who died June 16, ye 1696, in ye 80th year of his age. This is a debt to nature due, Which I have paid, And so must you

The Following Provides a Fascinating Look into the Life of John and Mary.
Written by By Gaylen Bunker

In August of 1623 a 140-ton ship, the "Anne", arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts. On board were 60 passengers including Elizabeth Warren and seven children, Elizabeth's husband, Richard, had come on the Mayflower and she was now joining him. Of the seven children with Elizabeth, six were her own and one was her orphaned nephew, John Tonsom. Young John had been born in northern England in 1616 and was six years old, the same age as the Warren's own daughter, Elizabeth.

In 1636 John's cousin, Elizabeth, married Richard Church and from that point on Richard Church and John Tomson became close companions. In 1637 richard and John contracted with the town's agent to construct Plymouth's first frame meeting house. When the building was completed the agent would not honor the agreement and so Richard and John took him to court. As compensation for his labor the court awarded John deed to a piece of land that extended back from the market-house to the herring brook, later called Spring Hill.

In 1645, John proposed marriage to Mary Cooke, daughter of Francis (Mayflower traveler) and Hester Cooke. Mary was born in May of 1624 at Plymouth, Massachusetts, so when she and John Tomson married on March 3, 1645 she was 21 and he was 29. During that first year of their marriage Mary was to catch a glimpse of the demands on John to deal with Indian problems. In August of 1645, John went on an expedition against the Narragansetts and was away sixteen days. He was a man of imposing physical strength and stature, being six feet, three inches in height, and he became a natural leader.

Mary and John lived for several years at Sandwich on the arm of Cape Cod, and it was here that most of their children were born. Adam in 1646, who died when one and one-half years old; John in 1648; Mary in 1650; Ester in 1652; Elizabeth in 1654; Sarah in 1657; Lydia in 1659; and Jacob in 1662. As the land along the coast was becoming more populated, the value and need for more land and room became a major concer for many. Mary and John were no exception.

There was strong sentiment among the ruling fathers that the early residents of Plymouth, referred to as the ancient freemen, were to have preferential treatment in the granting of new land, not only for themselves but for their children. On Jun. 13, 1662, Francis Cooke, an ancient freeman, was granted the option to join with Josiah Winslow and others in the purchase of land near Namasseket. Francis was nearing 80 years of age and could sense that death was not long off, so he called John and Mary to his side. He turned over his rights to part of this land to his son-in-law, John Tomson, and then turned to Mary. On April 7, 1663 Francis Cooke died. It was about this time that John and Mary decided to move to the new property in the inland forests among the Indians.

With the land that Francis Cooke had given them and other land purchased from William Wetis-pa-quin, sachem of the Neponsets, thirteen miles west of Plymouth, Mary and John Tomson carved out a home in the village of Middleborough. In 1662, John, at age 46 and Mary, age 38 commenced to clear part of the land to locate a dwelling. After working awhile John became thirsty and went into a valley near by in quest of water. There he found a lively brook of pure water and came to the conclusion that the spring could not be far away. He accordingly followed the brook up about one hundred rods and came tot he fountain-head of pur, gushing water. It was decided this was a much better place for their home, so a clearing was made and a log house built.

It was here in Middleborough that the last three of their eleven children were born: Thomas in 1664, Peter in 1668, and Mercy in 1671. As the community grew John took on several community responsibilities. Records show that of the three selectmen elected in Middleborough between 1674 and 1687, John Tomson was the first chosen each and every year. John was esteemed for his moral and religious character.

John's cousin, Elizabeth Warren Church, had a son by the name of Benjamin Church. He relocated to an area west of Middleborough, close to the home of Philip, the chief of the Wampanoags. On trips between his hom and Plymouth he would stop and visit with John. On one occasion in 1674 he warned that the peaceful Indians in that vicinity were becoming more hostile. On his advice John contracted with Jabez Soule of Plympton to share the training of an Indian boy named Peter Pringle. Peter would spend two weeks with the Soules at Plympton and the next two weeks with John and Mary at Middleborough. The plan was to teach the youth to learn to work and live like the English. But more subtly, whenever Peter would steal away to meet with his tribe, it was a warning that an uprising was at hand and the Tomsons should tgo to either the garrison at Middleborough or to Plymouth.

In January of 1675 the rumors of increased thenson with the Indians continued to circulate. Sassamon, a Christianized, educated Indian who was a teacher to friendly Indians at Middleborough, was killed by three malicious Indians. Sassamon had at one time served as chief Philip's secretary and the trio feared that he was now warning the Plymouth government of a Wampanoag conspiracy to wage a general war. In the first part of June 1675 the three Indians were tried and subsequently executed for Sassamon's death, which further created unrest. The Wampanoags became enraged, particularly Philip their king.

This was the last straw and culminated 55 years of growing resentment between the English and the Indians. for years the two cultures had been in conflict over the concept of proplerty as it applied to land. For the Indians, land could not be owned but was for all to use. Even when they sold a piece to the English, they still considered it accepssible by all. to the English, land was wealth and status and once purchased, was the exclusive domain of the owner. when the great chief Massasoit, who had been such a good firend of the Pilgrims, died he was succeeded by his two sons. First, Alexander and the Philip. It was this Philip who was pushed beyond tolerance.

One day in mid-June, 1675, Mary was alone working when three young Wampanoag men came into the house. They behaved rudely, kicking over the chairs and creating havoc. One of them went to the pot and pulled a fish out that Mary had been boiling. Mary would have none of this and reprimanded the young warrior where upont he drew his knife and began brandishing it about in a threatening manner. Mary seized a splint broom and went on the attack, driving the three from the house.

The next day was Sunday. John and Mary arose at 4 o'clock in the morning, which was their custom every morning, had breakfast, and John pressed a cheese before sunrise. cheese was a special treat for the Sabbath. John was a regular attendant at the sanctuary. After he had made his clearing and moved into this log house, either he or his wife would go every sabbath to the village of Plymouth, a distance of more than thirteen miles, the only place where they had an Elder to speak to them. The members of the family, male and female, requently walked the distance to attend meeting and return home the same day.

On this particular day, Mary and the children set out for Sabbath meeting and John remained at home in case of trouble. As the family walked on in the darkness toward Plymouth they heard the barking of a pack of wolves. It frightened them to the point that they sought refuge upon a high rock, called "Hand-rock" on the side of the road. There they remained until after sunrise, when the wolves retired and they proceeded on their Sabbath journey.

Later that day saveral Indians came into the house in a rowdy manner. Sensing danger, John apprehensively seated himself on a chair in the corner of the room. He laid his long gun across his lap on which he rested his hands. In one hand he clutched his brass pistol. The Indians would suddenly act firnedly, come over to him, pat him on the shoulder, and try to take the long gun. John would look back at them sternly and raise the pistol slightly, at which the Indians would look at each other and stop back. They laitered about the house a while and then returned to the forest.

Mary and the children returned safely that evening from church and enjoyed the cheese. The next day, John went into the forest with Peter Pringle to work. While working, John talked about the Indians and inquired of Peter, "I wonder why they never attempted to kill me."

At this Peter replied, "Master, I have cocked my gun many a time to shoot you, but I loved you so well I could not."

They returned home as evening was approaching. Once at the house John noticed Peter slip away into the forest. On greeting Mary, John inquired if any Indians had come by during the day. Mary said their had been a number of them and they had been uncommonly friendly and helpful. They followed her into the garden and helped her pick some beans. John replied, "there is trouble ahead; we must pack up immediately and go to the garrison, [at four corners in Middleborough]." They worked throught the night and the next day.

In the early evening the teams were prepared, wagons were packed with a portion of the families belongings, and the rest was buried in a pit by the swamp. As darkness descended they were tow miles along their way to the garrison when a bright light illuminated the forest behind them and they knew their home was being devoured in flames. alomng the road they passed the home of William Danson, and urged him to join them. He said the he could not leave until the morning and would come then.

Tuesday morning John and mary sent their son John with two others from the garrison to inspect their deserted farm. Along the road the riders discovered a pair of leather shoes and Danson's beaver hat. they hurried with all speed to the farm and back. On their return the leather shoes and hat were gone. As they approahced a brook they saw Danson's remains, who became one of the first filled in King Philip's War and the only one killed at Middleborough. The spot where he died was thereafter called Danson's Brook.

At the garrison, sixteen men were aseblemed as the military force and selected John Tomson as their commander. The men had a various assortment of weapons. John was equipped with his long gun, brass pistol, sword and halberd (long spear/hatchet weapon). The total length of the long gun, including the stock and barrel was seven feet four and one-half inches. The length of the barrel alone was six feet one and one-half inches. The rifle weighed twenty pounds twelve ounces and its caliber was twelve balls to the pound. It was quite a muscular feat just to hold the gun at arms length, sight and object, and fire. The sword was three feet five and one-half inches in length, with the blade only two feet eleven and three-eighths inches.

For several days the Indians would come to a point opposit the fort on the south sice of the Namasket river, climb onto "Hand-rock," and taunt the settlers with insulting gestures. On the third day, as a man was looking through a spy-glass, he noticed the taunting Indians were wearing Danson's hat and waving his shoes. He reported to Thomson who turned to Isaace Howland, a heralded marksman, and ordered him to shoot the Indian. the distance from the fort to the rock was nearly a half mile, one hundred and fifty-five rods. Howland took Thomson's long-gun, rested the barrel on the bottom of one of the port hole windows. The settlers grew still and the only sound was of a few faint Indian cries. When Howland was ready he squeezed the trigger and the familiar sound of the musket, clikc-sis-boom, seemed to echo off the forest walls. Instantly after the shot, the Indian, in mid gesture, was hurled to the ground, mortally wounded.

Three points of a triangle were formed by the garrison, hand-rock, and a mill, that was at a glightly lower elevation. As the Indians gathered to inspect their fallen comrade, Ephraim Tinkham from the garrison noticed isaac Billington away operating his mill. Francis Coombs instatnly ran to the warning bell, that was the call for all to come to the garrison as fast as possible and rang out an alarm. Billington looked to the garrison and saw the men waving for him to come quickly. He dropped everything and began to sprint through the trees. the Indians suddenly heard the bell, saw the man running through the forest, and set out to intercept the scrambling worker. Billington's race provided a tense few minutes for the garrison's inhabitants, but it was later said that no person ever covered the distance so quickly. He got to the garrison scarcely in time and was pronounced safe. He had left his hat and coat on a pole, by the mill, which the Indians riddled with balls before setting the mill afire.

As the Indians returned to their wounded warrior, they lifted him high into the air to carry him off into the woods. John Tomson looked through the spy-glass and indentified the limp body of his own Peter Pringle. Thomson lowered the glass and dropped into a chair in dispair. The Indians then carried Pringle two miles to a vacant farm house where he died that night. Ceremonies were held wherein the body and farm house were burned to the ground the next day.

The war continued for almost two years and the governor gave John a general commission as Lieutenant commandant of the garrison, the field and all posts of danger. He was forever afterward referred to as Lieut. John Tomson. One source reports "[John Tomson] and his men were very active in forcibly contending with the Indians in 1675, and in Philip's war of 1676, braving every danger and meeting the enemy at every point where he could be found. Having associated much with the Indians in early life, he made himself acquainted aprtilyy with their language, their habits and customs, and from their manners could discern the motives of their conduct. Often did they attempt to waylan and ambush him, but his vigilance never slept, and his prudence and matured judgment effectually guarded his safety. His stern and positive manner awed them into fear, and his inflexibile courage subdued them to cowardice. Whenever he came in contact with them he triumphed and they were defeated, until they believed the Great Spirit protected him that he could not be killed. Tradition gives him credit for having repeatedly saved the settlements of Halifax and Middleborough by his superior skill and well-timed precaution."

Although King Philip's War broke out in the country around Plymouth, it spread to all the colonies in New England. It was no ordinary war, but a bitter fight of extermination waged by the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, and Narraganset Indians against the settlers of Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay, rhode Island, and Connecticut. It became clear that whoever won the war would dominate the area for years to come. As a resutl of the war over six hundren colonists were killed, of which three hundred were women and children. Thirteen settlements were totally wiped out and over six hundred dwellings were burned. Althought the loss was staggering for the colonists it was even worse for the Indians who were nearly wiped-out.

King Philip's War ended in 1677. The hero of the war for Plymouth was Captain Benjamin Church, son of Richard Church, and cousin, protege, confidant, and friend of John Tomson. Church and his men tracked King Philip to Mount Hope, west of Middleborough, where they encircled him and his outnumbered warriors with a superior force. As Philip tried to excape, he was shot and killed by one of Church's men, thus bringing King Philip's War to an end. The Indian force was annihilated, their property taken, and their culture shattered. The end for the southern New England Indians was total and forever.

At the end of the war, John and Mary returne to their farm, built a framd house near where their former home had stood. Their new home was 38 feet long and 30 feet wide. It was built more like a garrison than a home for it had loop holes and was lined with brick to protect against musket balls. Even at age 61, John put into the building of his home all his loving care and craftsmanship. There is no doubt that John's sons assisted in the construction. The west front room was 18 feet square, and the east 18 feet by 12 feet. Each with a fireplace capable of buring four foot logs, The front of the house was two stories and in the back one story, the lower story being seven feet high. It was built of white oak, there was not plaster, and the insdie was finished in cedar. It was here that John and Mary lived out the remainder of their days with their children around them.

The following tribute was paid to John: "This father of warriors and statemen had but few opportunities for education, and of course his literary acquirements were very limited. Nature, however, had endowed him with a strong, active and vigorous intellect, which he greatly improved by experience and observation. He seemed to have an intuitive knowledge, but whtat chiefly supported him in all these trials and privations, and ever sustained him when surrounded by perils, was his firm conviction of the great truths of the Christian revelation, the duties it imposed, the promises it offered and the hopes it inspired. He was pious from a deep sense of his religious obligation and the well being of society. Chastened in his feelings in obedience to the dictates of conscience, he practiced the virtues of humility, meekness and charity from an abiding confidence in the wisdom, justice, and mercy of God. Honesty, integrity and fidelity with him were common and ordinary duties, while those to his Heavely Father were never avoided or delayed, but with becoming reverence propletly performed. We connot reflect upon the life of such a man without exteem for his virtues and respect for his character. Greatness was incident to his goodness, and his courage the result of moral rectitude."

John passed away June 16th, 1696 at the age of 79 and Mary on March 21, 1714 at the age of 87. They were buried side by side in the first burying ground in Middleborough. There is a marker on John's grave that reads. "In memory of Lieut. John Tomson, who died June 16th, ye 1696, in ye 80 year of his age. this is a debt to nature due; which I have paid and so must you." John originally spelled his last name Tomson, but through the years the family has evolved the name to included an h and p, to where it is spelled Thompson.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

New Additon to the Family Tree. Our 3rd Great Grandparents McCrillis (Mattson / Dennis Line).

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Tonight we read about our 3rd Great Grandfather Joseph and our Great Grandmother Elmira Swift. Also, I'm adding names to the family tree (top of right side bar) to flesh out the McCrillis line. This line will take you to Francis Cooke, one of our Mayflower ancestors.

I'm hoping all is well with you and thank you for reading.

Simply,
Victor

Joseph and Elmira McCrillis. Our 3rd Great Grandparents.

Our 3rd Great Grandfather Joseph E. McCrillis was one of the early settlers of Crawford County, Wisconsin, arriving in 1874. Joseph McCrillis was born in Topsham, Orange Co., Vt., in 1808. In 1831 he went to Massachusetts, where he worked as a shoe-maker. He moved again to Providence, R. I., in 1837, and in the fall of 1838, went to Taunton, Mass. During this period he was worked as a shoe-maker and peddling. From Massachusetts he moved to Vermont. In 1855 he came to Rock Co., Wis., and in October of the same year came to Crawford county.

He was married in Massachusetts in 1832, to Abigail Rist, who died in August, 1835. His second wife, our GGG Grandmother was Elmira Swift. They married in Providence, R. I., in 1837. Elmira was born in Corinth, Vt. on Jan. 6, 1809.

Joseph McCrillis had one son (Joseph) by his first wife, Abigail. Joseph Jr. was killed near Mt. Sterling, Sept. 7, 1880. Joseph Sr. had five children by his Elmira three sons and two daughters --- John H., who lived in Vernon Co., Wis.; Sally A., wife of Elisha Moore; Robert E., who lived in Hampton, Iowa; Hannah E., wife of H. H. Whaley; our Great Great Grandmother Isabella D., wife of our GG Grandfather J. M. Dennis who lived in Hot Springs, Dakota.

The First Sunday of Lent


From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Our family is a collection of individuals, each approaching God differently. We have a history of fierce religious independence as seen from reading and researching our family's history stretching back hundreds of years. But when all is said and done, we sit together as Christians, believing in the power of God in our lives.

Today is the First Sunday of Lent. At the Fortress I pause a moment to ponder the mystery of God as we approach Easter and the celebration of Christ's resurrection.

A Happy Sunday to All...

Simply,
Victor

(Singing today is King's College Choir from King's College, Cambridge England. I lived in Cambridge for several months and grew fond of this chapel and its world renowned choir. Enjoy)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Francis Standfield and Grace Achelly our 8th Great Grandparents (Williamson / Willis Line)

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello Williamsons!
It's a fine Spring like day in Pleasant Grove. Here's hoping our families living in the east are having better weather.

In our last gathering we talked about our 6th Great Grandparents Joseph Bennett and Rebecca Fincher. Today we meet to learn about the grandparents of Joseph Bennett, our 8th Great Grandparents, Francis Standfield and Grace Achelly. We begins with a climb up the Family Tree.

  1. Click on Charles Williamson
  2. Click on Margaret Willis, my Dad's Great Grandmother.
  3. Follow the Tree up from Jonathan Willis to Bennett Willis to Phebe Bennett and up to Edward Bennett
  4. Click on Sarah Standfield and climb up to Francis and Grace.
Biography of Francis Standfield and Grace Achelly

Francis Standfield arrived at Philadelphia on July 29, 1683, aboard the ketch “Endeavor” of Liverpool, George Thorpe was Master of the ship. The Endeavor was one of the ships that brought many of the original Quaker settlers to the Pennsylvania Province beginning in 1682. William Penn made at least one voyage on the Endeavor, when he returned to England in 1684. Francis and his wife, Grace, brought with them five children:
James, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, Grace and Hannah; and eight servants, Daniel Browne, Thomas Massey (Marsey), Isa. Brookesby, Robert Sidbotham, John Smith, Robert Bryan, William Rudway and Thomas Sidbotham. A sixth child, Deborah, seems to have been born after the arrival in Pennsylvania.

Francis Standfield married Grace Achele (Achelly) at the Worcester England Quakers (Friends) Monthly Meeting, about 1661. On June 3, 1678 Mary Achelly (almost certainly a sister of Grace) married Francis Fincher of the City of Worcester. This was a second marriage for Francis Fincher. The Achelly family may have been related to Grace Ashall of Up Holland near Liverpool, where one of the Lancashire Fisher families lived.

The Standfields are usually described as Cheshire (England) people, but they were among a group of Quaker families from around Worcester who came early to Pennsylvania and were associates in Chester County. In 1670, Francis Fincher had all his goods consficated at Grafton-Flyford near Worcester, for attending a Quaker meeting at the house of George Maris. George Maris spent time in prison, and in 1683 came to Pennsylvania and settled in Springfield Township, Chester County.

Francis Standfield had also been subjected to religious persecution in England, and was arrested in 1670 for attending a meeting at “Cartop” in Berkshire, which was almost certainly the village of Cutthorpe in the parish of Brampton near Chesterfield. Others who were arrested with Francis Standfield were from Brampton. Brampton is about 15 miles southeast of Marple (in Cheshire near Manchester), where Grace Standfield Jr. was born in 1673. In August of 1682 James Standfield, son of Francis and Grace, signed a certificate of removal for a group leaving the Congleton meeting in Cheshire with intent to emigrate to Falls Monthly Meeting in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Brampton is a little over 20 miles east northeast of Congleton.

Our Great Grandfather Francis Standfield, a Quaker, was listed as “husbandman” (farmer) when he arrived in Pennsylvania. The Standfields were listed as immigrants from “Garton in Cheshire,” although no village of that name has ever been listed. This may have referred to Gorton near Manchester (then Lancashire,) being very near the Cheshire line. It may be a mistake for Garston, a village on the Mersey River southwest of Manchester, at the lower end of Lancashire (now Merseyside). They had lived at Marthill and Marple, Cheshire, and possibly at Cutthorpe in Brampton Parish, Berkshire, as well as places in Worcester.

Francis Standfield may have been descended from the Yorkshire Stansfield family, who were early Quakers in and around Halifax Parish, in the West Riding of Yorkshire. The Stansfield manor house still stands, in the village of Stansfield near Halifax.

The Standfields were among the earliest settlers of the township of Marple PA, just west of Philadelphia between Darby Creek and Crum Creek. Their land was not far from that of Francis Fincher of Springfield Township, presumed brother-in-law of Grace Standfield, and their friend George Maris from Cheshire. Thomas Achele, across the Delaware at Burlington, was a probable relative.

Francis and a son had numerous land holdings and were active in the community. Francis was an assemblyman for Chester County in 1685, and son James gained wealth and prominance until his untimely death in the 1699 yellow fever epidemic. Grace died in 1691 and Francis followed a year later.

Our 9th Great Uncle, James Standfield joined William Penn’s Free Society of Traders and began a career as a merchant trader. He had a two-masted brigantine, the “Betsy,"

A two masted Brigantine

In 1693 Griffith Jones, a Philadelphia merchant, sold part of his Delaware bank lot in Philadelphia to our Great Uncle James Standfield, also a merchant of Philadelphia. It was a narrow lot on Front Street and extending to the east into the river. It lay about 200 feet north of High Street, and was probably the berth for the Standfield brigantine, the “Betsy.”

In 1697 he bought a similar frontage from William Jenner on the opposite side of Front Street, extending to the west instead of east. The lot is shown on the map made by Albert Cook Meyer’s committee in commemoration of the 250th anniversary of the first arrival of William Penn.

In 1699 Great Uncle James Stanfield of Philadelphia, son of Francis and Grace (Achele) Standfield of Marple in Chester County, left a detailed will and estate accounting that mentioned business in Maryland and Boston, his brigantine two-master the “Betsy,” Jerimiah Collett and the names of various sea captains.

Land records of Chester County reveal that during the 1690’s James Standfield laid out, for the heirs of Francis Standfield, a large tract of land in Kennett, Chester County. The land was abandoned with no survey when James died in 1699.

Our 7th Great Grandparent Edward Bennett married Sarah Standfield, daughter of Francis and Grace.

It has been reported that Samuel Atkins took our 9th Great Uncle James Standfield as an apprentice to learn the shipping trade. (Source unknown.) He bought land near the original Standfield estate in Marple. Samuel divided his time between Sussex County and Philadelphia, and arranged leases of whaling vessels for companies such as that of John McGiver. Samuel’s business sometimes took him on return trips to England.

In 1699, Samuel Atkins sold his land in Marple to John Worral, who was the Standfield’s neighbor to the north, where the present-day “Worral Estates” are located. James Standfield and Samuel Atkins may have died together at their shared house on the Philadelphia waterfront.

Other possible family ties: The Standfield (Stansfield) family seat in Halifax Parish, West Yorkshire, was only a few miles from Clitheroe in Lancashire, where John Fisher and the Hindles lived before their emigration. The Standfields brought a crate of window glass when they came, which would have been needed by the glazier John Fisher. The Standfields had an active trading company, and had large acreage in Sussex County where the John Fishers family lived. The ship-building supplies and artisans mentioned in the John Fisher family tradition could have been associated with the two-masted ship, the brigantine “Betsy,” owned by the trading company. A “carpenter’s shipyard” was located on one of the Fisher tracts in Sussex County.

The Holmes map of the Marple area shows the Francis Standfield estate house in the north-east end of the Standfield 600-acre tract. The site has been identified with two different homesites which can be located today. A house on Crum Creek Road near Marple Road has been discovered to have been built around a two-story log structure. Another residence, a two-story brick house on McClarie Street nearby is also sometimes considered to be on the site of a Standfield house.

For further details concerning the Standfields, see “The Francis Standfield Family of Colonial Pennsylvania” by this author, and “Marple Township, the First 100 Years.”

Original Sources Mentioning Francis Standfield

At a Quarterly Meeting of Friends held 3 mo 3 1686 it was

“Agreed yt a meeting be kept at John Bolters (Bowater’s) upon ye same first day it was used to be at Bartholomew Coppocks, for ye ease of such yt live westerly in ye woods and ye rest of friends living ye other way, upon yt same day, to meet at ffrancis Stanfields until further consideration.”
At a Quarterly Meeting held 6 mo 2 1683, it was
“Agreed yt ye meeting at Francis Stanfields, upon fresh consideration be Removed to Bartholomew Coppock’s ye younger, to begin ye next first day and ye following 4th day untill friends se cause to remove it.”

Francis Stanfield was a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly from Chester County in 1685. He died in 1692. His wife died a year earlier.

Children of Francis and Grace Stanfield

1. James Stanfield, d. 1699; m. Mary Hutchinson, of Burlington, New Jersey, 1689.
2. Mary Stanfield, m. William Huntly, 1692 and had children, 1 Elizabeth, 2 Francis, 3 Deborah, 4 Mary, 5 Sarah. She married, 2nd, Richard Fletcher, 1713.
3. Sarah Stanfield, m. 1st, William Clows or Clews, of Bucks County. She m. 2d, Edward Bennett, of Thornbury, and had children, 1 Edward, 2 Sarah, 3 Joseph, 4 William, 5 Elizabeth.
4. Elizabeth Stanfield, m. 1st Thomas Hope, 1697. He died 1708. She married, 2d, William Horne, 1709. He died 1743. No children.
5. Grace Stanfield, m. 1st Francis Chads, 1695, and had children, 1 Sarah, 2 John, 3 Grace, 4 Betty, 5 Ann, 6 Francis. She m. 2d Guyon Stevenson, 7 mo 16, 1714. She died 1728.
6. Hannah Stanfield, m. Isaac Few, 1699.
7. Deborah Stanfield, m. Richard Woodward, Jr., 1701. She was the second wife of Richard Woodward, (who was four times married) and was the mother of most if not all his twelve children.