Epenetus Olney, 8th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree
Epenetus Olney was born on January 18, 1675, the first generation of his family born in America. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, an English colony founded by his grandpa and others. “Epenetus Olney Sonn Vnto Epenetus Olney and Mary his Wife Was Borne at Prouidence Januarey the Eightenth day on Thousawd Six hundred Seauenty and ffower or Seauenty ffiue it being the Second day of the weeke”.
Epenetus married Mary Williams, her grandpa Roger Williams was another founder of Rhode Island. Epenetus and Mary had 9 children including a daughter named Freeborn. The Olney family farmed, they grew “beans, turnops, wheate, Indian corn, rye, ﬂex, while in the orchard, through which passed the road leading to the Providence settlement, there were Apple and peach tree, fruited deep.” The current address for their farm is 370 Woonasquatucket Avenue, Centerdale, Providence County, Rhode Island, on the banks of the Woonasquatucket River about 6 miles northeast of Providence
Epenetus built a Stone Ender home, a style famous in colonial Rhode Island. A description of Epenetus Olney’s Stone Ender from one of many articles, books, studies. “The solid wall of masonry extending almost its whole width into the second story.” Changes were made through the years, “Little rooms and big rooms , fireplaces and cupboards were added here and there. In the front hall there was a great trap door which led down into the deep , cavernous cellar.”
The Stone Ender home stayed in the Olney family from the time it was built till it was demolished in 1898 -to “make way for modern improvements”. As the Olney house decayed, it was a boon for archaeologists and architects who could study the ‘insides’ and learn about colonial craftsmanship.
Epenetus died on September 17, 1740 in Providence. His burial place is unknown but could be where his house used to be. Epenetus’s 3rd great granddaughter Delia Angell was in Iowa by 1856 where she married William Flood. Their great granddaughter was Elizabeth Speedy born in 1917.
- Epenetus Olney House, 370 Woonasquatucket Avenue, Centerdale, Providence County, RI at Library of congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ri0095/
- The early records of the town of Providence otherwise called the book with brass clasps and Long old book with parchment cover https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/008651161/Home
- Early Rhode Island houses https://hdl.handle.net/2027/loc.ark:/13960/t8x92sr51?urlappend=%3Bseq=56
- State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations at HathiTrust ttps://hdl.handle.net/2027/pst.000024469616?urlappend=%3Bseq=641
- Olney farm location on Google maps, long gone https://goo.gl/maps/HJtznWuVQC4doJrz6