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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our 10th Great Grand Uncle, Son in Law to William Shakespeare (Mattson/ Pierce / McCrillis Lines)

William Shakespeare

From the Fortress of Solitude
Pleasant Grove

Hello All,
Today we learn about our family's connection to William Shakespeare. This connection may not be 100% definite (what really is when you go this far back along a family tree) but my finding is based on sound judgement which I shall explain.

I begin with what I know....

We know that our Robert McCrillis is our 5th Great Grandfather. Robert was married to our 5th Great Grandmother, Mary Canney. As of 4:00 P.M. this afternoon I hadn't a clue who Mary's parents were. My afternoon goal was to discover her parents and push this family line back to where it disappears into the fog of history.

Our records show that Mary Canney was born in Lebanon Maine. I then found this passage from a book entitled Soldiers of the American Revolution of Lebanon Maine.

I believe that John Canney is a brother of our Great Grandmother Mary. John was born in 1744 and Mary in 1745. I believe our record stating that she was born in Lebanon is incorrect. I believe Mary was born in Dover N.H. and moved to Lebanon with her family. In the passage above is says, "The Father, Samuel, removed from Dover, N.H. to Lebanon about 1747, where he became the first settler within the township". How many Canney families would there be in Lebanon, Maine if Samuel Canney was the first settler in the township in 1747(ish)?

The entire text from the book mentioned above reads:
JOHN CANNEY (Kenney), b. at Dover, N. H., 24 Aug., 1744, was a son of Samuel and Susannah Canney of Dover, N. H., and Lebanon. The father, Samuel, removed from Dover, N. H., to Lebanon about 1747, where he became the Jirst settler within the township. The son, John Canney, enlisted as a private in Capt. Jedediah Goodwin's Co. of Col. Edward Wigglesworth's Reg't. He was in the same company of which Ichabod Cowell was lieutenant, and "Parson" Hasey's diary shows that on "22 July, 1776, our men [Lebanon men] with Lieut. Cowell set out for Canada." His dis-
charge was dated at Albany 30 Nov., 1776.

As a selectman he rendered services in 1770, 1771, 1772 and in 1780, 1781, 1782. He removed from the original Canney farm now (1896) owned and occupied by David W. Varney to the farm now (1896) owned and occupied by Samuel Shapleigh. He was engaged in farming and lumbering until his death which occurred about 1799. He was buried in the "Camp Hill" Cemetery, but the inscription on his supposed stone is unintelligible. In 1782 he was chosen lieutenant of the town militia and a little later Colonel, by which title he was called.

He married Mrs. Elizabeth (Thompson) McCrillis, the widow of Daniel McCrillis of Lebanon. She had no children by Canney, and lived to be 96 years of age. Her children by Daniel McCrillis were : Robert; John, who m. 25 Nov., 1765, Mary Garland ; Elizabeth, who m. 25 Oct., 1768, Daniel Roberts; and Jane, who m. Richard, son of Benjamin and Hannah Furbish of L.

While there is no written proof that our Mary was the daughter of Samuel, I believe the circumstantial evidence is strong. There is also the fact that our Great Grandmother Mary married a McCrillis and so did John as stated in the reference above (whom I believe is her brother); therefore I put Mary as the daughter of Samuel Canney in our family tree.

That being said, there are records which take the Canney line back to England and to Stratford Upon Avon, home of William and Anne Shakespeare.

This therefore, is our tie through marriage to the youngest daughter of the Great Bard himself, William Shakespeare.

Relationship Chart

Shakespeare (1582 - 1662)
wife of our 10th great grand uncle Thomas Quinney (1588 - 1661)

Richard Quinney (1557 - 1602)
Father of Thomas

William Kenney (1593 - 1653)
Son of Richard

Thomas Canney (1610 - 1681)
Son of William

Thomas Canney (1639 - 1677)
Son of Thomas

Samuel Canney (1677 - 1735)
Son of Thomas

Samuel Canney (1699 - 1790)
Son of Samuel

Mary Canney (1745 - 1828)
Daughter of Samuel

John Kenney McCrillis (1785 - 1868)
Son of Mary

Joseph E. McCrillis (1808 - 1890)
Son of John

Isabella Denora McCrillis (1851 - 1896)
Daughter of Joseph E.

Vesta Althea Dennis (1892 - 1978)
Daughter of Isabella Denora

Voilet Mae Pierce (1918 - 1987)
Daughter of Vesta Althea

Violet Pierce married Walter Mattson
Luella, Linda, John, Marvin

Anne and William Shakespeare's younger daughter, Judith, the youngest of the Bard's children was betrothed to Thomas Quiney. Anne and William would have initially approved of the betrothal of Judith and Thomas as Quiney came from a good family. In view of the changes in his family's circumstances, and his own advancing years and possibly declining health, William Shakepeare prudently drafts his will on January 25th 1616, a few days before Judith and Quiney's marriage. Judith married Thomas Quiney, a vintner and tavern owner from Stratford, on February 10th 1616. Judith was 31 and Thomas Quiney was 27 years of age. The initial approval of the marriage quickly changed with the scandalous news that Thomas Quiney had made another girl pregnant. Anne must have been desperately worried about Judith. The scandal would have spread through Stratford. It then appeared that Quiney did not receive the special licence necessary for a wedding during lent before his marriage. The situation was really serious and on March 12th Judith and Thomas were excommunicated. William must have been mortified with the turn of events. He summoned his lawyer and promptly modifies and signs his will on March 25th 1616. The modification of the will was to ensure that Judith would receive a sum of money (300 pounds) inherited in her own name. Shakespeare leaves the bulk of his fortune to his daughter, Susanna. On March 26th Quiney was prosecuted for 'carnal copulation' with a woman named Margaret Wheeler, who had died in childbirth that month along with her baby by Quiney. He confessed and was sentenced to perform public penance. His penalty, however, was commuted to a small fine of five shillings and private penance.

The Signature of Judith Shakespeare

Thomas and Judith Quiney had three children giving the Bard three Quiney grandchildren:
Shakespeare Quiney was born in Nov 1616. He died in infancy, aged 6 months, in May 1617.
Richard Quiney was born in Oct 1617. He died in Jan 1639 aged 21 (possibly of the plague).
Thomas Quiney was born in Jan 1619. He also died in Jan 1639, the same month as his brother, aged 19 (possibly of the plague). So none of the children of Judith survived to continue the Shakespeare line.

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