John Witter b. 1677

John Witter 8th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

John Witter was born on March 11, 1677 in New London, Connecticut. His grandparents arrived from England in the 1630s. His parents Sarah Crandall and Josiah Witter shared a history when on July 21, 1651 “John Clarke, John Crandall, and Obadiah Holmes, came from Newport, and went to the house of William Witter, at Swampscot [Massachusetts], where Mr. Clark preached, administered the sacrament, and rebaptized Mr. Witter. This being reported to the authorities, two constables went down to Swampscot to apprehend them as disturbers of the peace.” It was illegal to hold Baptist services, in that place and time. The 3 preachers were put in a Boston prison and fined.

John Witter married Sarah Tefft in 1703 in Rhode Island, they settled in Westerly, also Misquamicutt and Hopkinton, where they were both members of the First Sabbatarian Church, later Seventh-day Baptists. Hopkinton was a part of Westerly where John was a land owner. On February 28, 1710 he received a grant of 203 acres, on January 24, 1715 he mortgaged 101 acres and on December 22, 1743 he deeded 92 acres to his “Son John Witter Junr.” John was a widow in 1720, he married a 2nd wife Mary.

John died in August 1757 in Westerly, Rhode Island and is probably buried with both his wives at Witter Cemetery, also called First Hopkinton Cemetery near where the original Sabbatarian Church Cemetery stood.

Sources
History of Lynn, Essex County, Massachusetts at HathiTrust
https://hdl.handle.net/2027/njp.32101062078561?urlappend=%3Bseq=250
Witter genealogy; descendants of William Witter at HathiTrust
https://hdl.handle.net/2027/mdp.39015025957898?urlappend=%3Bseq=32
A history of the Baptists in New England at Archive.org
https://archive.org/details/ahistorybaptist00socigoog/page/n41/mode/1up
Rhode Island Historic Cemetery http://rihistoriccemeteries.org/newsearchcemeterydetail.aspx?ceme_no=HP022
Find a grave memorial 136297937

Sarah Tefft b. 1680

Sarah Tefft, 8th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Sarah Tefft was born around 1680 in Providence, Rhode Island. Her parents were Samuel and Elizabeth Jenckes Tefft. Her grandparents came to America from England. Sarah’s family was big, she probably had 11 siblings.

Sarah married John Witter in 1703, an estimated date. They married in Providence or nearby. Many early sources and family trees show Sarah Tefft married Ebenezer Witter, a half brother of John, this has been proven incorrect. By 1712 John and Sarah were in Westerly, later Hopkinton, Rhode Island, 30 miles southwest. Sarah was a Sabbatarian, she and John are listed as members on the church list. The Sabbatarian turned in to Seventh-day Baptists “The Church in Hopkinton, considered a part of the Newport congregation until 1707, grew to become one of the largest in America with almost 1,000 members by 1816.” Mary Witter on this record could be John Witter’s 2nd wife.

Vital record of Rhode Island 1636-1850 at HathiTrust

When Sarah’s dad wrote his will on March 16, 1725, Sarah had already died. Her children were mentioned in the will, their grandad left them money and possessions.

Sarah is probably buried at Witter Cemetery, also called First Hopkinton Cemetery near where the original Sabbatarian Church Cemetery stood.


Sources

Anne Davis b. 1715

Anne Davis, 7th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Anne Davis was born on May 2, 1715 in Westerly, Washington, Rhode Island. Her mom Mary Shorey and dad Peter Davis both came, at different times, to America from England. Her dad was a Friends [Quaker] minister, well known in Colonial America and he may have come up with the phrase ‘honesty is the best policy’, [stated in sources].

Anne married John Witter on September 7, 1740 in Westerly, Rhode Island. Ann and John had 2 sons and 2 daughters. In 1774 John Witter and family are on the census in Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

1774 census, John Witter and family, additional Witter families

Ann was a widow in 1793 moved 265 miles northwest to Brookfield New York, she lived with her son and his family. “In the 1790s Samuel Witter Sr. and his family (including his widowed mother (Ann Davis) and his married son, Samuel Witter Jr.) migrated from Hopkinton, RI and established a farm in the area that later became known as Witter Hill.” Anne died in April 1803. She’s buried at Witter Hill Farm Cemetery in Brookfield. The small family cemetery was part of a Witter family farm, long gone, no gravestones or markers remain. It’s on Davis Road, surrounded by state forests: Beaver Creek, Brookfield Railroad, Gorton Lake, Mt Hunger, and Plainfield, in the middle of New York State.

Sources

Mary Willey b. 1648

Mary Willey 8th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Mary was born in 1648 in New London, Connecticut. Her parents, Isaac and Joanna Willey, were in Boston, Massachusetts by 1640, no clues on where in England Issac and Joanna came from. Willeys were some of the first immigrant settlers of the town. New London was first called Nameaug by native Pequot Indians, in New London for 1000s of years. The English settlers wanted to call their new home ‘London’. The Connecticut General Assembly proposed ‘Faire Harbour’. Settlers “protested, declaring that they would prefer it to be called Nameaug if it couldn’t be officially named London.The legislature relented, and the town was officially named New London on March 10, 1658.”

In 1664 Mary married Samuel Tubbs and they had at least 6 children. Mary’s husband and her brother John Willey were soldiers in King Philips War. Both survived and after the war in 1678, with their families, they settled 30 miles northwest of New London in Haddam or East Haddam, CT.

Widow Tubbs returns to New London, joins church 1701

Mary was a widow in 1696, she returned to New London with her younger children, the older ones married with homes and families of their own. Mary died around 1732. She lived in Closed Cove, a coastal town absorbed into Shaw’s Cove, an inlet, now part of New London. Today only restaurants and medical offices are associated with Shaw’s Cove. In Mary’s time it was one of the busiest colonial ports and in the 1800s was the 2nd biggest whaling port in the world.

Mary Willey Tubbs’s burial place isn’t known. Like her dad Isaac she is probably buried at Ye Antientist Burial Ground in New London. “Pursuing our investigations we might make a long list of the fathers of the town whose graves have not been found, but whom we suppose to have been gathered into this congregation of the dead.–Where were interred, if not here … Isaac Willey.”

Mary’s 2nd great grandson Obed Gaines, born in 1793 was in the first generation to leave New England. He traveled west to Indiana, Michigan and in 1854 to Iowa where his granddaughter Mary Ella Gaines born in 1855 married James Miller, grandparents of Faber Miller born in 1905, my grandpa.

Sources

Ezra Shattuck b. 1751

Ezra Shattuck husband of Rebecca Connable, 3rd great aunt of Faber Miller, my grandpa.

Ezra Shattuck was born August 5, 1751 in Petersham, Worcester, Massachusetts. Ezra was in Leyden, Massachusetts, 20 miles northwest, where he built a mill. He married Rebecca Connable on January 22, 1778 in Leyden. Bernardston, Deerfield and Leyden are all in Franklin County, Massachusetts, within 5 miles. Ezra and Rebecca with other Connable families lived in this area. Ezra was a shoemaker … for the Dorrellites.
William Dorrell was a 6 foot, 300 pound religious leader, founder of the Dorrellites. His religion “spread from neighborhood to neighborhood, respectable people … cast in their lot with their humanitarian leader”. Dorrell preached against killing living things, and didn’t use animal materials for food, clothing, housewares, anything. The majority of his followers wore wooden shoes made by one of their number, Ezra Shattuck.” My sister Angie and nephew Dallas Hobbs on a visit to Deerfield, Massachusetts saw these shoes and shared this photo. The shoes are at Memorial Hall in Deerfield, MA.

Shoes of the Dorrellites at Memorial Hall Museum‘s

Ezra and Rebecca had 10 children, 2 daughters married Dorrell brothers. Ezra died August 8, 1816, Rebecca died in March, 1816. Both are buried at Beaver Meadow Cemetery in Leyden, MA. Ezra’s son Rufus was in charge of his dad’s estate and putting together an inventory. Ezra’s inventory included boots & shoes, 8 earthen plates, an earthen tea set, 4 large and 6 small spoons, 2 flannel shirts, a brown coat and great coat, blankets and an hour glass.

Sources

Thomas Saunders and Ann Blake b. 1558

Thomas Saunders and Ann Blake 13th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree.

Thomas Saunders was born around 1558 in Over Stowey, Somerset, England, southwestern England, UK. Ann Blake was born around the same time, in the same place. They married on August 3, 1573. After their marriage, Thomas and Ann’s church was Lydeard St Lawrence, 20 miles south of Over Stowey’s church. Thomas and Ann had 3 daughters and 4 sons. All the Saunders children were baptized in Lydeard St Lawrence. The church was built in 1350.

Thomas owned land: Preston Close in Woolavington, Northwalk in Chidden Fitzpayne, meadows in Haleswood and land in Chappeoey [Chapel Leigh]. The lands were in Taunton, a town of Somerset[shire] created between the years 500 and 1000 when Saxons divided England into shires with a Shire-reeve or Sheriff. Shires were divided into hundreds, “an area of 100 hides, the ‘hide’ being the amount of land which would support a peasant family, an extended group of several generations, including grandparents as well as married sons and their children”. By Thomas’s time in the 1550s, peasants [not only kings, earls, dukes, etc.] owned and rented out land.

These lands are in Thomas’s will written May 26, 1609. His estate was settled in September 1609, with Ann as executrix and their children named: Agnes, Christopher, Elizabeth, Joan, John, Nicholas, Robert and Thomas. Children and grandchildren received lands and money.

Thomas was buried on June 11, 1609 at Lydeard St Lawrence. Ann probably died shortly after and was buried in the same place.

Sources

John Blake b. 1522

John Blake 12th great grandfather on RootsMagic tree

John Blake was born in 1522 in Over Stowey, Somerset, England about 100 miles west of London. His parents were Humphrey and Ann Blake. For most of his life, John’s King was Henry number 8. Henry VIII, “To six wives he was wedded. One died, one survived, two divorced, two beheaded”.

Map of Somerset in 1646 at Wikipedia 

Like his dad, John was a clothier. In 1545 John Blake married Joan, last name unknown, at St Peter and St Paul Churchyard in Over Stowey. They had 6 children, each mentioned in John’s will.

John wrote his will on November 25, 1576. He gave tenements [rental properties] and lands to his sons. He gave money to his daughters and god children. He gave money to the poor of Over Stowey, Nether Stowey and Spraxton, small villages in Somerset. “Item I gyve and bequeath unto the poore of overstowey tenne Shillinges. Item I gyve and bequeath to the poore of Netherstowey tenne Shillinges. Item I gyve and bequeath to the poore of Spraxton tenne Shillinges” John died in Over Stowey and was buried on December 10, 1576 at St Peter and St Paul Churchyard in Over Stowey, Sedgemoor District, Somerset, England.

John Blake’s granddaughter Elizabeth Saunders migrated to America in 1630. His 6th great granddaughter Leydia Connable Gaines and family went all the way to Bremer County, Iowa, arrived there in 1854.

Sources

Hannah Smith b. 1711

Hannah Smith 7th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Hannah Smith was born on June 24, 1711 in Glastonbury Connecticut. Her parents were Gershom and Hannah Judd Smith. Hannah had one confirmed brother, Gershom Jr who died at age 14. There may have been other siblings, with no records to show this.

On September 24, 1729 in Glastonbury, Connecticut Hannah married Richard Risley. They had 11 children. There is a pubic shared photo of the youngest child, Richard O. Risley. Hannah and Richard’s children settled in Vermont, New York, most stayed in Connecticut, Benjamin went to Ohio.


Records of births, marriages and deaths 1680-1905 at FamilySearch

When Hannah died on December 2, 1785 she had more than 30 grandkids. She had a tragic death at age 74, “of a fall into ye fire”. Hannah and Richard share a gravestone and are both buried at Quarryville Cemetery in Bolton, CT. The cemetery is off the Boston Turnpike, next to the Bolton United Methodist Church, in the middle of Connecticut. In the same cemetery is Hannah’s daughter in law Sarah Smith Risley, wife of Benjamin. Sarah died in 1777 of ‘child bed fever’ at age 33. Sarah’s headstone is intricate and inscribed with: A mournful sight for to behold. Our dearest friends turned into mould. But when we do think of their? dust? Think it will be so with us.

Sources

  • The New England historical and genealogical register at Archive
  • The American genealogist database at American Ancestors
  • Find a grave memorial 4139815
  • Records of births, marriages and deaths 1680-1905 at FamilySearch
  • Quarryville Cemetery in Bolton, CT on Google maps

Samuel Connable b. 1689

Samuel Connable, 7th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

Samuel Connable was born January 16, 1689 in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents were John and Sarah Cloyes Connable. John Connable came from England, sources state all early American Connable’s descend from this guy. Samuel had 2 brothers and 7 sisters. This Samuel is the only son to carry on the Connable name.

Samuel’s first wife was Abigail Treadway they married June 17, 1710. Abigail and their 2 young children died by 1713. Samuel married Mary Wilson 2nd on July 23, 1713 in Boston, she was also a widow. Samuel and Mary had 11 kids.

Mary’s dad William Wilson was a chair maker in Boston and most likely sold Samuel his carpentry shop on January 14, 1714. To Samuel Connable, “housewright, for L45 the west end of their dwelling house and land bounded easterly by their other tenement through the middle of the stack of chimneys which divide the two tenements 17 feet”. The homestead … running from Back Street down to the Mill Pond … had a carpenter shop on Back Street now Salem Street and Cross Street.

In 1715 Samuel with his brother in law Daniel Bell bought more land near Bowker Street, called “Distil House Square”, in a neighborhood of distilleries.

In 1996, there was an archaeological dig about 2 blocks south of Salem and Cross Streets with no specifics on Samuel Connable but some details on the area. “The heyday of artisans on these properties was between 1715 and 1780 when the properties belonged to a joiner, a pewterer, and a goldsmith”. On the map, from the dig, Cross Street is north south, Back Street also Salem Street is east west. Samuel’s shop was a block or 2 from the excavation site, marked by an arrow, image 18 of 260.

Annotated snapshot of map at Arch. dig site, Samuel is pink, dig site is yellow

John, Samuel’s dad, was probably famous for the carpentry skills he brought from London, he left all his tools to Samuel. John’s will of 1724, “my said Son Samuel Cunnabel shall have all my working tools over and above his equal sixth part of my Estate as foresaid and that they be accordingly delivered to him Immediately after my Decease”.

Signatures of Connable kids in Genealogical Memoir at HathiTrust

Samuel died in 1746, age 57, without a will, Mary and children made an agreement to settle the estate. When Mary died in 1759 her and Samuel’s inventory was written up. It included: a small cast brass kettle, a table, a stool and a looking glass, a small picture and hand brush, a number of old books, 4 old swords, 3 silver spoons and “Real Estate consisting of a Tenement or dwelling house & Land in Cross Street near the Mill Pond”. The agreement between the Connable kids was signed, “it was agreed by all the Children that the Estate should be equally [ divided ] among them – that the Widow should have the Income & Improvement of the whole during her Life.

Sources

Julius Howard and Susanna Moss b. 1760

2020 March 13 Julius Howard and Susanna Moss, 6th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree

Julius Howard and Susanna Moss were born between 1756-60. Julius was probably born in North Carolina, Susanna was probably born in Virginia. They married around 1780 and had 11 children.

Julius’s dad John died in 1772, John Howard’s will put Julius in charge of the estate, “This is an inventory of the good and chattels of the estate of Joh Howard … returned by Elisha Simms & Julius Howard his executors on 4th and ordered to be recorded.

Early records of Georgia, Wilkes County book, PDF at FamilySearch

Julius Howard is on more records, it’s likely there was more than one Julius Howard in the area at the time. A 1784 Revolutionary War land deed could be for Julius, showing he fought with Georgia in the war. A 1787 land deed is more certain with Susanna Moss Howard and a William Moss, on the record. A 1790 Georgia tax record is more certain, Julius paid taxes on 1550 acres of land in Wilkes County.

The US census records are definite and show Julius, Susanna and family in 1810 in Knox, Kentucky and in Lawrence, Indiana in 1820. Two Howard children married a ‘McNeil’. Elbert married Phebe McNeil, Drucilla married James McNeil. Howard children lived in Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri. Elbert Howard is the 3rd great grandpa of Faber Miller and was in Floyd County, Iowa by 1855 in a tiny town called Howardville.

Sources

  • Parents ? Boston Evening Transcript: Genealogy Pages, 1911-1940.
  • John Howard’s will, North Carolina Estate Files, 1663-1979 at FamilySearch
  • Early records of Georgia, Wilkes County book, PDF at FamilySearch
  • US Census 1810 and 1820 at FamilySearch
  • Revolutionary War Bounty Land Grants at Ancestry