Grace Child b. 1689

Grace Child 7th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Grace was born October 27, 1689 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Benjamin Child and Grace Morris. Grace’s ancestors came to America from England and Wales in the early 1620-40s. Grace married Timothy Walker on May 14, 1713. Grace’s sister Mary married Timothy’s brother Peter Walker. in 1715. The Walker family ancestors were early colonial immigrants too. Grace and Timothy had 6 children, 5 daughters and a son. Grace and her family belonged to the original church in Rehoboth, today it’s the Newman Congregational Church, they practice and preach “radical hospitality”, established in 1624.

Grace died October 30, 1729, she was 40 years old and is buried at Newman Cemetery, a mile or so north of the Walker House where she and her family lived.

Snapshot of Grace Child’s ancestors, Ancestry family tree

Timothy started building the Walker House in 1724. The house is still there, open for tours and a house study site. Just announced at the site, it will be a farm again in Spring 2021. “When Philip Walker [Timothy Walker’s grandpa] died in 1679 his estate included 177 acres of land,” said Val Talmage, executive director of PRI. “By 1891, the farmland associated with the antique dwelling was 96 acres. And by 1960, the land was reduced to the current configuration of just over one acre. It’s so exciting that this most significant historic place will once again be a productive farm.”

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Timothy Walker b. 1687

Timothy Walker 7th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

Timothy Walker was born on September 14, 1687 in Rehoboth, Massachusetts to Samuel and Martha Ide Walker. Timothy’s 4 grandparents came to America from England in the 1630-40s. Timothy was the 3rd generation to live on his family’s farm. He had an older brother and 4 younger sisters.

On May 6, 1713 Timothy published his intention of marriage to Grace Child and they married on May 14th. Grace and Timothy lived on the Walker family farm. In Rehoboth, Timothy farmed and worked at the family sawmill and inherited both when his dad and his brother both died in 1812. The farm and sawmill are long gone but at 432 Massasoit Ave., East Providence, RI the house Timothy built is still there: The Walker House. Timothy was a widow in 1729 and married 2nd wife Rachel Beverly on January 15, 1730. Timothy wrote his will in November 1744 and died in 1745. The will is 32 pages, it includes his children’s names, an inventory and his signature. Timothy is buried at Newman Cemetery about 1 mile from the Walker House, his house.

The Walker House is on land Timothy’s dad Samuel Walker inherited from his dad Philip Walker. The Walker House stayed in the family until 1812 and was donated to Preserve Rhode Island in 1984. “At the time of its erection it was considered a marvel of architecture. North of the house were apple orchards and outbuildings, including a barn, shed, carriage house, and chicken house.”

Philip Walker House building began in 1724

Major updates were completed in 2008 by Preserve Rhode Island, ‘The Statewide Advocate for Rhode Island’s Historic Places’. Today Timothy Walker’s house is a study house, “for architectural history and historic preservation students, who can benefit from first-hand observations of architectural features”. The website has photos, a field study PDF and an orientation packet PDF, 10 pages of detail about the house, its history and the Walker family. Virtual visit: https://www.preserveri.org/walker-house

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Deborah Bell b. 1650

Deborah Bell 10th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Deborah Bell was born on November 29, 1650 in Boston. Her dad and mom were Thomas and Anna Bell who migrated from England separately, met then married in Boston around 1640. Thomas Bell was one of Boston’s public executioners. Deborah had 7 siblings: John, Joan, Tabitha, Thomas, Hopestill, Moremercy and Joseph.

1670 Stonington census

Deborah married James York on January 19, 1669, probably in Boston. They moved to New London, Connecticut where they were on the 1670 census with 42 other families. Deborah’s brother Thomas Bell and James’s dad James York Sr. were on the census too. They founded a church, The First Congregational Church of Stonington, James Noyes the first pastor is on that same 1670 census. The church is still there today, organized in 1674 it was rebuilt after a fire in 1829. On June 16, 1678 Goodwife York was admitted to the church.

In New London, Deborah and James had 7 children. Deborah was widow in 1676 at age 26. She married Henry Elliot and they had 5 more children. Deborah and Henry Elliot’s marriage is recorded in a diary of the time, “… It was in the 5 day of March 78-79 mrs bruster was buried the 12 day father avery was buried: Henry Eliot was here to be maried Curtice brought the wine,.”

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Joanna Lutten b. 1618

Joanna Lutten 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Joanna Lutten was born around 1618. There’s no information on her parents and arrival in America, she probably came from England in the 1630s when King Charles 1 had dissolved Parliament, imprisoned 9 members and was cracking down on “non-conformist preachers” and believers. English Protestants and Puritans, breaking from the Pope & Catholic Church, left for America.

In America Joanna married Isaac Willey around 1638 in Boston and their first son, Isaac Jr., was baptized at the First Church in Boston. The church was created on July 30, 1630 by John Winthrop of the Winthrop Fleet, “their first official act, even before drawing up a charter for the city, was to create by themselves, and sign, a Covenant for the First Church in Boston. In this document we find these words: [Wee] solemnly, and religiously Promise, and bind ourselves, to walke in all our ways in mutuall love, and respect each to other.”

In 1646 with John Winthrop, the Willey family were original settlers of New London, Connecticut. “1. John Winthrop, Esq., whose home-lot was undoubtedly selected by himself before all others. The next five were probably John Gager, Cary Latham, Samuel Lothrop, John Stebbins, and Isaac Willey, whose home steads lay northwest of Mr. Winthrop’s, on the upper part of what are now Willams Street and Main Street.” New London is on the south edge of Connecticut 20 miles north of Long Island,

History of New London, Connecticut, Joanna fined

Joanna and Isaac had 5 more children and stayed in New London. In 1667 Joanna was written up in the court records. Second on the list, she had failed to being herself and her children to church and was fined 5 shillings. “Minutes of cases, chiefly before the County Court … Goodwife Willey presented for not attending public worship and bringing her children thither; fined 5s”. Joanna’s death date isn’t known, it was before 1670 when widowed Isaac married again.

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Ephraim Child b. 1654

Ephraim Child 9th great uncle on RootsMagic tree

Ephraim was born on February 27, 1654 in Roxbury to Benjamin and Mary Bowen Child. He was the first born of 12 children. Ephraim grew up in Roxbury and at age 21 he fought in King Philips War and died in a battle on September 4, 1675.

King Philips War has an incredible history that changes as perceptions change. Metacom, English name King Philip, was the sachem, chief of the Wampanoag tribe following his dad Massasoit who aided and was friendly with the Mayflower Pilgrims. Metacom aided and was friendly with the New England colonists, tensions rose as the colonist moved further on to Wampanoag lands. In January 1675 there was a murder, 3 Wampanoag men were found guilty and hanged, Metacom was rumored to have plotted the murder. Wampanoag and Indians from other tribes began raiding towns, New Englanders gathered into troops and the war began. On both sides 1 of 10 soldiers was killed. On both sides homes, commerce and stored food were destroyed; citizens killed.

Ephraim joined up with Captain Richard Beers. On Friday, September 3, 1675 Captain Beers with thirty-six men headed for Northfield, Massachusetts to rescue townspeople after an attack. They camped overnight and on the morning of September 4 crossed Sawmill Brook where Indians had set up an ambush and the “company was most exposed, was furiously attacked in front and flank, and all were thrown into great confusion, but soon rallied and fought bravely for their lives, but were forced back by superior numbers some three-quarters of a mile to a narrow ravine on the south of a hill now known as Beers s Hill. Here a stand was made, and here the little band fought about their leader, with the courage of desperation, till their ammunition was exhausted and the captain with nearly every man had fallen”.

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Grace Morris b. 1661

Grace Morris 8th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Grace was born on February 17, 1661 in Roxbury, Massachusetts to Edward and Grace Betts Morris who both came to America from England. Grace was a middle child with 7 siblings. She and her sister Elizabeth married brothers from the Child family. In Roxbury, Grace Morris married Benjamin Child on March 7, 1683 and Elizabeth Morris married Joshua Child on March 9, 1685. Both families had 12 children and stayed there in Roxbury.

Grace died in December of 1723, Benjamin in January of 1724. They are buried in a tiny cemetery that’s now part of Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. The cemetery is kind of hidden and has a few different names: Walter Street Berrying or Burying Ground, Peter’s Hill, Walters Street Cemetery.

Grace and Benjamin Child, Rose Lincoln /Harvard University Staff Photographer

From an article, Hidden Spaces, in The Harvard Gazette, “Under giant Hawthorn trees are the crude, chipping headstones etched with old New England names like Baker, Weld, and Child. One of the earliest markers is a double headstone for Grace and Benjamin Child, husband and wife. Nearby is the stone marking Benjamin’s brother, Joshua, whose wife Elizabeth is also buried in the area. (According to the 1961 edition of the Arboretum publication“Arnoldia,” Joshua and Benjamin were brothers, born a year apart and baptized the same day, and Elizabeth and Grace were sisters. Each couple had 12 children.)”

Inscriptions on Benjamin and Grace’s shared headstone
“Here Lyes Buried The Body of BENJAMIN CHILD Who Died the 24th Day of January 1724 In the 66th year of His Age.”
“Here Lyes the Body of GRACE CHILD The Wife of BENJAMIN CHILD Died Dec. ye 10th 1723 In the 63rd year of Her Age.”

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Mary Hopkins b. 1623

Mary Hopkins 10th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Mary was born in 1623 in England, the daughter of William and Mary Andrews Hopkins.

The Hopkins family were in America by June, 1640 and in Cupheag (now Stratford) Connecticut where Mary’s dad surveyed and divided up land. “Mr. Roger Ludlow, Mr. William Hopkins and Mr. Adam Blakeman shall survey and divyde and sett out the bounds betwixt the Plantations of Cupheag.” The Hopkins family later moved to Hartford, Connecticut. In Hartford, Mary’s dad died around 1643 and her mom married Richard Whitehead.

Mary -by her married name Lewis- was in her step dad’s will. She inherited money and lands in England that were probably in her mom’s family and provided rent income. “… due and owing unto my daughter in law Mary Lewes the sum of one hundred pounds … and the gift and delivery of several goods and chattels … unto the said Mary Lewes, and her heirs forever, my message or tenement, with the backside, orchard and garden and all edifices and buildings upon the same built and standing, lying in Knoll in the county of Warwick in the kingdom of England.”

Hartford 1640 land lots

Mary married William Lewis in 1644 and they had 10 children: 7 sons, 3 daughters. William Lewis was an only child so would have inherited his dad’s home in Hartford. CT. On the map the Lewis family is No. 25 at the top. They lived right by the meeting house, market and jail in the center of town and on the landing of the Big River, or Connecticut River. The oldest Lewis daughter Mary, leads to Obed Gaines and family who were in Bremer County, Iowa by 1855. Mary Hopkins Lewis died at age 46, William remarried and lived a few years longer. Mary’s burial place is unknown.

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Jane Partridge b. 1612

Jane Partridge 10th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Jane Partridge was born around 1612 in Olney, England, one of 2 children of John and Frances Partridge. Jane married Henry Gaines, also of Olney, England. By 1638 Jane, Henry and their 3 sons John, Daniel and Samuel, were in Salem, Massachusetts. The family moved to Lynn, Massachusetts where they lived on the Nahant Bay. In their times there was a small stream called Gaines Neck. Their home was near a salt marsh so they probably ‘fished’ for shrimp, mollusks, and hunted all kinds of game birds that no longer exist. Their south east view was Egg Rock a tiny island. Today Egg Rock is a bird sanctuary, it had a lighthouse for awhile.

Egg Rock, Nahant

Both Jane and Henry died fairly young, in their 30s. Jane’s will survives and shows an inventory of possessions and apprenticeships for each of her sons. John age 13 was apprenticed for seven years to Francis Dowse a shoemaker. Daniel age 11 was apprenticed for eight years to Luke Potter, a tailor in Concord. Samuel age 7 was apprenticed to Nathaniel Hanforth “who was to educate him”. Nathaniel Hanforth was also asked to oversee the money left to each of the boys and improve it if possible.

The inventory showed possessions of the family. A house and a parcel lot including upland, 8 acres of salt marsh. Several bushels of Indian corn, a featherbed, plows, blankets, clothing, one trunk, a straw hat, ten handkerchiefs, four pewter dishes, one kettle, a handsaw, a sword, a pitchfork, 3 spoons, an earthen ware pot, flax and hemp, 2 bibles, a parcel of books.

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Mehitable Child b. 1669

Mehitable Child 9th great aunt on RootsMagic tree

Mehitable was born on June 29, 1669 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Her parents, Benjamin Child and Mary Bowen, migrated to America and married in Boston. They had 11 children: 8 sons, 3 daughters. Mehitable and siblings grew up in Roxbury, today it’s a neighborhood of Boston.

Mehitable married Samuel Perrin who was born in 1671 near Roxbury. His parents came to America from England around the same time as the Child family. Mehitable and Samuel moved to Woodstock Connecticut where Mehitble’s uncle Henry Bowen lived. Mehitable’s younger bother John Child and his wife Abigail Morris went to Woodstock too. The Bowen, Child and Morris families are ancestors of Elizabeth Speedy, the Perrin family are in-laws. They all lived there in Woodstock. Woodstock lands changed acmes and boundaries, sometime New Roxbury, Massachusetts, sometimes Woodstock, Connecticut, all the same spot, today officially Woodstock, CT.

Woodstock homes and lands

On a map of the early days of Woodstock, Mehitable and Samuel are home no. 46, John Child and Abigail Morris are No. 35. with relatives all around. Their church was the First Congregational Church of Woodstock, still there today. Mehitable and Samuel are both buried next to the church, in Woodstock Hill Cemetery. This cemetery has 24 Perrin, 61 Child, 16 Morris and 57 Bowen burials recorded at Find a Grave. Samuel and Mehitable’s headstones are still standing and works of art, I think. Somewhere in a New England library is a dusty old book about the artist who carved these headstones.
Samuel’s headstone inscription: Here lyes Buried y Body of Mr SAMUEL PERIN Who Died March y 10th 1743 Aged 73 Years.
Mehitable’s headstone inscription: In Memory of Mrs Mehetable ye wife of Mr. Samuel perin died September ye 7d AD 1752. in ye 84th Year of her Age.

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Mary Bowen b. 1635

Mary Bowen 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Mary was born in Glamorgan, Wales in 1635, a middle child of Griffin and Margaret Fleming Bowen who had at least 12 children. Glamorgan is an historic county in Wales, at the southern most edge on the Bristol Channel. Mary and her siblings, parents all sailed for America in 1638. They were in Boston and on December 6, 1638 the Bowen family joined The First Church in Boston. They lived at Muddy River on the Charles River. “On the 25th of March 1639 Mr Gryffen Bowen had a great Lot granted to him at Muddy River”. By 1648 Mary’s mom and dad sailed back to Wales, or England to live. The kids all stayed America.

Mary married Benjamin Child in Massachusetts around 1652 and they went 4 miles south to Roxbury, Massachusetts. In Roxbury Mary and Benjamin joined the First Church of Roxbury. Churches also served a meeting houses, Benjamin was one who provided money to build the church and meeting house. Mary’s sisters, their husbands were also in Roxbury.

Mary and Benjamin had 12 children between the years 1654-1673. Mary’s husband and dad died around the same time about 1678, she is mentioned in both wills. In her dad’s will, “Widow Child had a share in the distribution of Griffith Bowen’s estate.“ Mary was administrated of her husband’s estate, she provided an inventory which included the lands, livestock, 3 silver spoons and a silver cup, a feather bed, bolsters & blankets, a rug, 10 lbs. of flax, a frying pan and an iron pot.

Mary died at age 72 on Halloween 1707, “The widow Mary Child dyed the last day of October at night”. Both she and Benjamin are buried in Eliot Burying Ground in Roxbury, their headstones are long gone.

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