Rebecca was born in Connecticut in 1688 or so, one of 10 children of Samuel and Anna Burnham Gaines. On August 1, 1704 Rebecca married Samuel Risley in Hartford, Connecticut where they set up a home. Around 1710 Rebecca’s mom deeded land to Rebecca’s husband, “Anna Gaines of Hartford, widow, for 30 shillings, conveys to her son-in-law, Samuel Risley of Hartford, all her right and interest in land formerly sold to her father, Thomas Burnham, late of Hartford, by the Indian sachem Totonimo, which lands are undivided among the children of Thomas Burnham, [Signed] Anna Gaines, her mark..
Rebecca was a widow in 1752. In her husband’s will, “I give and bequeath to my Beloved Wife Rebecca one hundred and fifty pounds out of my moveable Estate old Tennor 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.”
There’s no date, no record for Rebecca’s death and her burial place is unknown. She was a widow at 68, probably died fairly soon after her husband. He has a headstone at Old Eastbury Cemetery in Glastonbury. Rebecca is probably right by him.
Ann was born in Cork, Ireland on May 20, 1615. Her dad John Borodell was a land owner, her mom is unknown. Ann married George Denison of England in abut 1645. There is a story of how George and Ann met, published in several sources. George had sailed to America with his family at age 11, met and married his first wife, she died within a few years, he was heartbroken, returned to England to fight in the English Civil War, was injured in the Battle of Naseby, on June 14, 1645 and sent to John Borodell’s home to recover. John’s daughter Ann nursed George back to health, they fell in love, married and sailed to America. George and Ann lived in Stonington then Mystic, Connecticut and were described as “remarkable for magnificent personal appearance, and for force of mind and character”.
Ann was a widow in 1695. From her husband’s will, “First I give and bequeath unto my dear and loving wife Ann Denison, my new mansion place, to wit the house we live in, the barns and buildings, the orchards, and the whole tract of land, and improvements thereon, as far as Mistuxet, eastward, and aa it is bounded upon record South, West and North, … all the household stuff that was, and is, properly belonging unto us … to be wholly at her disposal, to bequeath to whom she pleaseth, at her death”.
There’s a Denison Homestead Museum and a Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center on the grounds in Mystic, CT. The house is not the 1663 original that George and Ann built. That house burned down, another was built on the land and was in the Denison daily for genrations.
Early New England Families, 1641-1700, George Denison. At American Ancestors
William Holdred or Holdridge was born in London, England in 1610. In 1635 he sailed on the Elizabeth to America. He lived in Ipswich until 1640 when he married Isabelle, last name unknown, and they moved to Salisbury, Massachusetts. He was in Haverhill, MA in 1650, and Exeter, New Hampshire by 1671. William was a tanner, he turned animal skins into leather. He was also a planter, landowner, farmer. He and Isabelle had 9 children. His life story is big with lots of movement, land deeds, purchases and sales, appearances in court for different reasons some good some not so good.
Most fascinating is his parish in London, St Alphage, built in the 1100s. The parish was built right on the London Wall, a defensive wall built by Romans between 190 and 225 in Roman Britain. Through the centuries St Alphage changed names, was built up and torn down, damaged in WW1 and WW2 and now the remaining ruins are in between two modern concrete, steel and glass office buildings. In 2018 the ruins were opened to the public with new garden areas and walkways: St Alphage Garden.
Great migration 1634-1635 database at American Ancestors Volume 3 page 368 – 372 William Holdred
Rebecca Brown was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1676 the youngest of 7 kids. Her mom’s dad and both grandpas were pastors who founded churches in Concord, Massachusetts- Peter Bulkeley and New Haven John Jones. In 1703 Rebecca married Benjamin English.
Eleazer Brown, Sarah bulkeley, their children
Benjamin was a widow from Salem. He and his cousin William Punchard arrived in New Haven in 1701 or so and they married sisters: Benjamin married Rebecca Brown and William married Hannah Brown. Rebecca and Benjamin stayed in New Haven and had 8 children. One daughter, Mary English, had a son John Connable who had a daughter Lydia Connable. Lydia married Obed Gaines and in the 1850s journeyed about 1,245 miles to Iowa where in 1878 the Mary Ella Gaines and James Miller married and had a son William Miller who had a son Faber Miller who married Gladys Cable.
Martha was born in Daventry, England December of 1622. Her dad was Thomas, her mom Dorothy Wheatley Bliss. The Bliss family went to America around 1640, they lived in Plymouth Colony. In 1646 Martha married Nicholas Ide -this marriage is probable, has been and is debated. There’s no record of the marriage or even a record of the last name of Nicholas’s wife, but it’s probable and likely that these 2 married and had at least 10 children. Martha was called to testify in court when Elizabeth Walker, a child, was found drowned in a river by 2 boys who ran to tell Martha. All involved had to testify in court and the child’s drowning was judged an accident. The Ide and Walker families were close, husbands served on committees, children probably played together.
Court record: Rehoboth, the seauenth of August, 1664. Wee, whose names are subscribed heerto, doe heerby signify to all psons whom it may conserne, that Elizabeth Walker, the daughter of Phillip Walker, of the towne of Rehoboth, was accedentally drowned ; shee, being sent to scoole, was found alsoe accedentally in the riuer first by two youthes and they makeing knowne the same to two wemen, the wife of Nicholas Jyde and the wife of Roger Annadowne, and then to Wiliam Sabine, whoe forth with came and drew her out of the water, as hee saith. From the testimony of the afor specifyed psons, together with other concurring cercomstances, wee, the subscribers, conceiue that the child, which was two yeares and an halfe old, before specifyed, came accedentally to her end.
This person’s name may or may not be Lydia Archer, all that is really known is that she was a wife of Francis Sprague and mom of Mercy Sprague. Francis Sprague was a Pilgrim in Plymouth colony. He sailed with Mercy Sprague and Ann Sprague in 1623. It’s proven that Mercy Sprague was his daughter. Ann Sprague could have been a daughter or could have been a wife, could have been the mom of Mercy or not. There’s nothing to show who ‘Lydia Archer’ was.
A great source, New England marriages prior to 1700 by Clarence Torrey, has Lydia as a wife, with questions. “SPRAGUE, Francis & [?Lydia]/?Anna ____; by 1621 in Eng; Plymouth/Duxbury/Dartmouth “
The Great Migration, another solid source, shows no info on Francis’s spouse(s) and a note, ‘there are very few dates for this family and many unanswered questions’.
In the ‘cattle division’ of 1627 Francis, Anna and Mercy Sprague are listed, same 3 from the passenger list of 1623. It doesn’t seem possible that Francis was a widow caring for 2 daughters on his own, for 4 years.
Francis, Anne and Mercy Sprague 1627 ‘cattle division’
So it’s possible Lydia died in England then Francis with 2 daughters sailed to America and married a 2nd wife in Plymouth. Or it’s possible Lydia sailed with her husband and 2 daughters, made it to Plymouth Colony and died shortly after. Then Francis married a woman, probably recently widowed, whose name was never recorded. Lydia Archer’s story is speculative, hypothetical, ’thrown together’ or made up with no proof for names, dates, relationships.
Volume 2 page 1425, New England marriages to 1700 database at American Ancestors
Volume 3 P-W, page 1725-1728, Great Migration Begins at Ancestry
Samuel was born in 1652 in Malden, Massachusetts son of Joesph Hill and second wife Hannah Smith. Joseph, his dad, was well known in Malden: a lawyer, town rep, deputy etc. Samuel fought in King Philips war between 1675-79 in Captain Brocklebank’s command and may have been a Sergeant. On May 20, 1679 in Newbury, Massachusetts on the coast, about 40 miles northeast of Malden, Samuel married Abigail Wheeler.
Samuel Hill and Abigail Wheeler marriage 1679
They stayed in Newbury and had more than 10 children. On August 5, 1732 Samuel was 80 years and wrote his will. ‘Weak in body but of perfect mind and memory, the mortality of my body … give and command my soul to the hands of God that give it’. Samuel’s will mentioned his wife Abigail, then listed his children. His inventory included silver, books, armor, pewter, earthenware, Indian and English corn, barrels and casks and Cooper’s tools to make barrels and casks. Samuel is buried in Bridge Street Cemetery in Newbury his headstone is still there.
Massachusetts town clerk vital and town records 1626 – 2001 database