Benjamin Child b. 1631

Benjamin Child 9th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

Benjamin Child was born in 1631 in Cotesbach, Leicestershire, England. Some family trees state this Child family has “genealogy going back to William the Conqueror”. There’s no records to show this.

Benjamin was 3 when his dad died. His uncle Ephraim Child left England for America and probably convinced his nephew to migrate too. By 1652 Benjamin was in Roxbury, Massachusetts and married to Mary Bowen. Benjamin and Mary had 12 kids. They were members of the First Church of Roxbury. “In the records of Roxbury, Mr. Benjamin Child is stated to have been of the thirty who contributed for the erection of the First Church of Roxbury.” Roxbury was a town in the 1600s, today it’s a Boston neighborhood.

Inventory, Genealogy of the Child, Childs and Childe families

Benjamin died on October 14, 1678 in Roxbury. He didn’t have a will. His estate was settled in May of 1679 and included an inventory with a house and barn, 92 acres of land, “money in the House and in good hands”, 3 silver spoons, a wine cup, a trundle bed, wearing clothes, blankets and rugs; and more.

Benjamin is most likely buried at Eliot Burying Ground Cemetery “one of the three oldest [cemeteries] in Boston” named for John Elliot “Apostle to the Indians” and founder of Roxbury. The cemetery is next to a former fire station, “The Eustis Street Firehouse, the oldest standing firehouse in Boston”, and a few yards east of Benjamin’s church, the First Church of Roxbury.

Benjamin’s granddaughter Grace married Timothy Walker, whose granddaughter Cynthia married Asa Angell. Asa’s great granddaughter Matilda Flood in Iowa married Richard Mockford and their great granddaughter Elizabeth was born in Iowa in 1917.

Sources

Richard Risley and Rebecca Adams b. 1648

Richard Risley and Rebecca Adams 9th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree.

Richard Risley was born in Hartford, Connecticut on August 2, 1648. His dad, also Richard Risley, died soon after. Richard and siblings are mentioned in their dad’s estate, “There are three children viz. one daughter by name Sarah Rissly, between 7 and 8 one son by name Samuel Rissly about 2 years old and one son by name Rich: Rissly about 3 months old, distribution to children, daughters age 18, sons age 21. William Hill guiding security to the Court for the payment of the several children portions”. Richard’s mom married William Hill. The Risley Hill family stayed in Hartford. Richard was executor of William Hill’s will at his death in 1683.

Rebecca Adams was born in August 1658 in Hartford. Her grandpa Jeremy Adams was somewhat famous in Hartford during his lifetime. He ran the tavern there and is an ‘original founder’ of the place. Rebecca died 12 years before Richard at age 58.

View of Hartford at Library of Congress

In 1675 Richard and Rebecca married and they had 12 children. The family lived on the east side of the Connecticut River, then called the Great River. Richard owned land, some of it inherited by him and Rebecca, from their fathers and grandfathers.

Richard testified in court on a land ownership issue for his wife’s Adams relatives. “The testimony of Richard risley Sr. Hartford May ye 20th 1726 … I Richard Risly of Hartford Do of my Certain Knowledge Know yt my father John Addams formerly of Hartford Deceased, had seven Children viz : 4 sons and three Daughters : I married one of ye Daughters … ye sisters are all Deceased but they have Left Children as I herd by Jeremiah Adoms … ye above written I am Ready to testifle to If Cald, witness my hand Richard Risle.”

Rebecca died in 1716. Richard died October 19, 1728 in Hartford. They are probably buried in the Ancient Burying Ground, in Hartford, next to Center Church which was The First Church of Christ in their time, founded in 1632.

Richard and Rebecca’s great granddaughter Prudence married David Gaines, whose grandson Obed Gaines was in Iowa in 1854. In Iowa Obed’s granddaughter Mary Ella married James Miller and their grandson Faber was born in there in 1905.

Sources

Edward Morris b. 1630

Edward Morris 9th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

Edward Morris was born on August 30, 1630 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England. In 1651, he sailed on the ship Confidence to Roxbury, Massachusetts.  On February 23, 1652 in Roxbury it was, “Voted that William Peacock and Edward Morris have four acres each William Lyon three acres upon the commons by John Polley.” There were conditions to receiving the land: William and Edward had to build within 2 years and could not  “carry away any wood or timber or sell farther than for building purposes”. 

September 20, 1655 Edward married Grace Bett. “Edward Morris & Grace Bett were married 20th – 9th month by Richard Bellingham Dept. Govr.” Grace and Edward had 12 children, all born in Roxbury.

January 27, 1661 Edward was a selectman and surveyor. In 1662 the townspeople decided no more land should be given away but kept for Roxbury community use. Edward was a constable in 1664, this included being a ‘fence viewer’, settling property disputes. He was a deputy to the General Court during the time when Massachusetts Bay Colony fought against England’s King Charles 2 for a charter. Edward Randolph, “evil genius of New England and her angel of death”, convinced Charles 2 to take away the charter and put Edmund Andros in charge,  who was overthrown in the 1689 Boston Revolt. “We must believe that he [Edward] was in full sympathy with the sentiment of his townsmen and the party which stood in defense of popular liberty in the conflict against the arbitrary power of the King. and his instruments”.

Edward and  family moved to Woodstock Connecticut around 1686 and were some of the first English settlers. Edward’s son Ebenezer was part of the exploring party. Edward died on September 14, 1689, sources say he was the first original settler to die in Woodstock. He is buried at Woodstock Hill Cemetery. There is a memorial to Edward and Grace Bett Morris and Edward’s original gravestone is still there. 

Find a grave memorial

Edward’s descendants moved west across America, his 5th great granddaughter Delia Angell born 1839, in Indiana moved further west to Butler County, Iowa where her great granddaughter Elizabeth Speedy was born in 1917.

Sources

Samuel Risley b. 1679

Samuel Risley 8th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

Samuel Risley was born in 1679 in Hartford, Connecticut, one of 12 children of Richard and Rebecca Adams Risley. Samuel’s grandfathers Richard Risley and Jeremy Adams, born in England in 1615, were in Hartford in the 1630s and were “original proprietor[s] of Hartford”.

Samuel married Rebecca Gaines on August 1, 1704. They had 9 children. In Hartford, Samuel, like his dad, was a fence viewer. Elected in 1703, 1707 and 1712, he  inspected fences and made judgements on property line arguments  for people and grazing livestock.

In 1713 the Risley family moved to Glastonbury, still in Hartford County about 15 south along the Connecticut River. Samuel’s older brother John lived there with his family too.

Samuel died on February 6, 1756 and is buried at Old Eastbury Cemetery in Glastonbury, Connecticut. His gravestone is weathered but still there. HIs gravestone is  intricate with a heart at the bottom and a face at the top and inscribed, “In memory of Mr Samuel Risley who died Febr 6th 1755 in ye 77th Year of his Age”.

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In 1752 Samuel wrote his will: “In the name of God Amen this 9th day of May, 1752, I, Samuel Risley of Glastonbury being, of a disposing mind and memory (thro’ God’s Goodness) do make and ordain this to be my last will and Testament as follows: My mind and will is that my just debts and funeral charges be first paid out of my moveable Estate. I give and bequeath to my Beloved Wife Rebecca one hundred and fifty pounds out of my moveable Estate old Tennor [money] and also ye free use and improvement of ye one half of my dwelling house and cellar and three acres of land by said house as long as she shall Remain my widow.” Samuel’s sons and daughters inherited old Tennor [money] and lands. Thomas, the youngest son was in charge of the estate. 

Samuel’s 2nd great grandson Obed Gaines, born in Vermont, was in Iowa by 1854, 8 years after Iowa became a state. Samuel’s 6th great grandson Faber Miller was born there in Iowa, in 1905.

Sources

Samuel Walker b. 1655

Samuel Walker 8th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

Samuel was born in February, 1655 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. His mom and dad came from England as children in the 1630s, met and married in Massachusetts in 1654. Samuel had 9 brothers and sisters. Samuel was a freeman on May 27, 1674. He fought in King Philips War in 1675. Samuel is referred to as a Captain, Cornet, Gentleman and Lieutenant. 

Samuel  married Martha Ide on November 11, 1681. Samuel and Martha had 8 children. Martha died in 1700, Samuel’s 2nd wife was Elizabeth.

Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991

In 1702 Samuel was the administrator of his mom’s will. In 1693  he was administrator of his sister Sarah Walker Perrin’s will. Sarah, her husband Abraham Perrin and 2 of their 5 children died in an influenza outbreak in Rehoboth. Samuel died  without a will on August 12, 1712. Son Timothy Walker was administrator of his dad’s estate. Samuel’s lands and possessions were divided among Elizabeth the widow and Samuel’s children. Books, a trooping horse, a looking glass, earthenware, leather, wool, flax, a spinning wheel, a grindstone, oats, Indian corn and tobacco were part of the inventory along with about 700 acres of land. The lands included land inherited from his dad, Philip Walker. This land passed on to Timothy who built a house, today known as The Philip Walker House at 432 Massasoit Ave East Providence, RI 02914. The Walker House is an urban farm now, had its 1st growing season this summer.

Samuel is buried at Newman Cemetery, East Providence, Providence County, Rhode Island, USA. His 3rd great granddaughter Delia Angell married William Flood in Butler County Iowa on July 30, 1856 . Their great granddaughter Elizabeth Speedy Roose was born there in 1917.

Sources

Samuel Gaines and Rebecca Couch b. 1670

Samuel Gaines and Rebecca Couch, 8th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree

Samuel Gaines was born in 1670 in Hartford, Connecticut. His grandparents came to America from Buckinghamshire, England. Rebecca Couch was born February 16, 1671 in Hartford, Connecticut. Her grandparents were from Buckinghamshire, England too. Samuel and Rebecca were married around 1694 and they lived near Glastonbury, Connecticut. “At the Glastonbury town meeting of 15 December, 1709 he [Samuel Gaines] was chosen surveyor of highways.” 

Map of the Five Mile Tract 1731 and 1753

Samuel Gaines inherited, bought and deeded land  in and around Glastonbury from 1705 to 1750. Records of land deeds from 1734-1745, show Samuel’s dad had lands in the Three Mile and Five Mile Tracts of  “1672 when Major John Talcott of Hartford bargained with Chief Joshua the third son of Uncas the Mohegan sachem, for a certain tract of land about five miles square” in present day Manchester, Connecticut.

Samuel and Rebecca’s marriage is probable  and the search still continues for an actual marriage record.  From The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, “this Rebecca Couch had a brother Simon Couch, who lived at Glastonbury, and Rebecca named a son Simon. The age is appropriate for this marriage, and the name Simon is significant”. Rebecca Couch has few records, she probably died in 1750 a few years after her husband.
Samuel died on July 17, 1748.

Samuel and Rebecca’s 2nd great grandson Obed Gaines was in Iowa by 1854. Obed’s granddaughter Mary Ella Gaines married James Miller in Waverly, Iowa, 1878. Mary Ella’s grandson, Faber Miller. was born in Greene, Iowa in 1905.

Sources

Epenetus Olney b. 1675

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 

Early Rhode Island houses

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.”

State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations

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.

Sources

Mathias Harter and Anna Shuler b. 1737

Mathias Harter and Anna Shuler 7th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree.

Mathias Harter was born June 5, 1737 in Baden, Germany, the Kingdom of Prussia at that time. HIs parents were Andreas and Anna Zahner Harter. The whole family sailed to America on September 24, 1742 when Mathias was 5 years old. It wasn’t a luxurious journey. Gottlieb Mittelberger, wrote ‘Journey to Pennsylvania 1756’. The book is a “firsthand historic account of the misery and exploitation of German immigrants”. The trip was about 3 months long. There’s a chance Mathias was an indentured servant his first few years in America, he would have worked to pay off his passage.

Anna Mary Shuler was born around 1737 probably in Germany, her parents aren’t known.  Anna and Mathias married September 9, 1759  in New Holland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. They had 9 children. 

Mathias was in the American Revolution, Second Battalion of Cumberland County Pennsylvania Militia and possibly guarded British prisoners of war. Mathias is on a list of Captain Holderbaum’s company on December 25, 1781 and 1782.  “Roll of the Second Battalion of Cumberland County Militia between the Ages of Eighteen and Forty-five Years taken from the Returns made to me on Oath by the Officers Commanding Companies Given under my hand this 4th Day of July A. D. 1783. JNO. ALEXANDER, Lieut. Cumbd. County” Mathias Harter is number 226 on a list of 445 men.

Tax lists of 1779 show Mathias owned and paid taxes on 140 acres, 2 horses and 2 cows. Mathias, Anna  and children were members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Warwick. Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 at Ancestry

Mathias died in January 1790 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. Anna died in March 1816. Mathias signed his will October 29, 1789,  ‘sick and weak in body’. He gave Anna “the east room of their home, use of the garden and forage and stable room for her cows and calf”, furniture and “household goods and kitchen furniture as she might need”. Mathias stated at Anna’s death the real estate would be appraised then sons, starting with the oldest could have the land, whoever owned the land would give mortgage to his brothers, if no one wanted the land, it would be sold, the money would be split between sons and daughters. The will was proved on January 26, 1790.

Mathias and Anna’s 3rd great granddaughter Fiana Druckenbrod married William Miller, they were in Iowa by 1876, their daughter Lola Miller was born there in 1880. Lola married another William Miller, their son is Faber Miller, born in 1905.

Sources

Josiah Witter b. 1638

Josiah Witter, 9th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

Josiah, sometimes called Joseph, was born on March 15, 1638 in Swampscott, Massachusetts, on the Atlantic Coast, 15 miles  north of Boston. Fictional person Carol Brady, Brady Bunch, and real life person Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science religion, are both from Swampscott too. Josiah’s parents William and Annis Churchman Witter of England, were in Massachusetts by 1629,

Josiah’s first wife was Elizabeth Wheeler, they married on December 25, 1661 and had 4 children. They were living in Stonington, New London Connecticut and witnessed the [English immigrant]  founding of Connecticut in 1662. “The Record or Register of the inhabitants names taken this 29th of December 1670 by the selectmen of Stonington according to a town order formerly made the 15th of November 1670 … James Yorke Sr, Josiah Witter, Thomas Bell, James York Jr.”. All are ancestors of Faber Miller, my grandpa. Pequots had been in the area for at least 10,000 years previously.

Elizabeth died around 1671. A Witter family history book suggests she may have died from ‘shock’.  Her death is recorded in a diary of the time and in the book, Wiiter Geneaology. “An item from the curious, old journal of Thomas Minor, one of the early settlers of Stonington, and a neighbor and friend of Josiah Witter, suggests the perils of those far-off Colony days, when savages lurked in the gloom-tangled forests, and it was dangerous to stray far from one’s home save as one of a party well armed.  ‘1671 The Seventh moneth is September and hath 30 days . . . Tuesday the .10 good-wife witer was Lost.’   Whether shock resulting from this incident hastened the death of Elizabeth (Wheeler) Witter , we do not know , but she died on August 5 , 1672 , and was buried two days later . Thomas Minor writes in his diary : ” 1672 The sixth moneth is Agust and hath . 31 . days . . . . the 7th . day wensday Elizabeth Witter was buried”.

Josiah’s 2nd wife was Sarah Crandall,  they had 4 children. The Witter and Crandall families were connected through marriages from the time they came to America in the 1630s. Josiah died around 1690. His will was written on November 24, 1685 the date recorded the Salem Massachusetts court, the paper will is long gone. Josiah may be buried at Avery Cemetery in Preston, New London,  Connecticut, about 2 miles north of the FoxWoods Casino, owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Sources

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