Eleazer Arnold and Eleanor Smith b. 1651

Eleazer Arnold and Eleanor Smith 9th great grandparents on RootsMagic tree

I could spend the rest of my living days gathering details about Eleazer Arnold, Eleanor Smith and their Providence, Rhode Island family. Eleazer was a man with money, descended from white English immigrants, he has so many records and references, primary documents showing his existence and character and community involvement in 1630s colonial America.

Eleazer Arnold was born on June 17, 1651 in Watertown, Middlesex, Massachusetts. His parents were Thomas and Phebe Parkhurst Arnold, they settled first in Massachusetts then by 1658 were in Providence, Rhode island. Both Thomas and Eleazer were admitted as freemen there on May 18, 1658. Eleazer’s dad was deputy of the colony, a member of the legislature and more. Eleazer was as involved his community. He was on the town council, was a deputy and a justice of the peace.

Eleanor Smith was born in 1655 in Providence. She died on August 29, 1722. Her parents were John and Elizabeth Smith of England. Eleanor and Eleazer married in 1672 or so. They had at least 10 children. They had a tavern or public house inside their house. “Arnold, a landowner with a wife and ten children, secured a license for a ‘Public House’. Tavern customers were probably served in the great room or hall of the house.”

Their home, built by Eleazer around 1693, is still standing and considered “the best of the “stone-enders” remaining in Rhode Island”. It’s an historical site, museum with tours and on Google maps at 487 Great Road, on highway 123 in [now] Lincoln, Rhode Island.

Eleazer Arnold house in 1952 Rhode Island History journal, PDF

Eleazer died August 29, 1722 he left a will, a large estate. Eleanor was not in this will so died before Eleazer. In the will were sons Joseph, John, Jeremiah, daughter in law Sarah [Hawkins], daughters Phebe Smith, Elizabeth [Israel] Smith, Eleanor Arnold, Mary Thomas, Abigail Man, some grandchildren and brother John. An inventory lists possessions.

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Joseph Smith b. 1670

Joseph Smith, 9th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree.

Joseph Smith was born in 1670 in Providence, Rhode Island. Joseph’s grandpa John Smith came to America from England around 1630 then connected with Roger Williams, both banished from Massachusetts for ‘diverse thoughts’, they founded Providence in 1636. Joseph’s dad John Smith Jr and his mom Sarah Whipple were the first generation of English immigrants born in Providence. Smith, Williams, Whipple, their descendants would stay there for years and years.

Joseph and his brother William were both weavers, their dad owned the mill in Providence. “The Records show that Joseph Smith, weaver, another son of the miller, was granted three acres of land near Wanskuck, in the right of his deceased father, in December, 1700.”


The early records of the town of Providence at HathiTrust

Joseph married Lydia Gardiner. Their marriage is recorded in the Early Records of Providence, “Vpon the 4th day of Aprill in ye yeare 1689 Joseph Smith (the weaver) and Liddea Gardiner, (after lawfull publication) were both joyned together in Marriage by Richard Arnold Assistant, both partyes belonging to Providence.” Theys stayed in Providence where they had 7 children. Lydia died in 1723, she was 53, Joseph died January 13, 1749 he was 79.

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Grace Bett b. 1629

Grace Bett, 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Grace was born in London and baptized January 24, 1629 at St Giles’ Cripplegate church. Originally “without [outside of] Cripplegate”, it’s one of few medieval churches in London, near the remains of the London Wall- an ancient fortress built around the city when it was part of the Roman Empire. St Giles survived “devastating bombing during the Blitz” of Germany in WW2.

London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 at Ancestry 

It’s a mystery when Grace arrived in Boston, the first record in America shows her marriage to Edward Morris on September 20, 1655. From Report of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston, City Document No. 130, “Edward Morris & Grace Bett were married 20th – 9th month by Richard Bellingham Dept. Govr.” They married in ’Town’ not in the ‘First Church’.

Grace and Edward had 12 children, all born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The family moved to Woodstock, Connecticut, some of the first colonial settlers. Edward died in September 1690, sources say he was the first ‘original’ settler to die in Woodstock. Grace went back to Roxbury where she died June 6, 1705. Grace’s actual burial place isn’t known but there’s a memorial to her and Edward, and Edward’s original gravestone, in Woodstock Hill Cemetery in Woodstock next to their church, the First Congregational Church, established in 1674, the present building is from 1820.

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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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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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Ann Borodell b. 1615

Ann Borodell 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

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 as 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 family for generations.

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Martha Bliss b. 1622

Martha Bliss 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

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.

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Hannah Littlefield b. 1633

Hannah Littlefield 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree

Hannah was baptized on August 10, 1633 with her twin, Thomas at St Peters Church Titchfield. This church was built beginning in the 7th century, with updates and additions it still stands and has an amazing history involving monks, Henry the 8th, Victorian disapproval and more. Photos on google Maps. Hannah, her dad, grandpa and grandma all lived in Titchfield. Hannah’s grandma Mary Littlefield is buried at St Peters. Hannah would barely remember Titchfield, she left for America at 5 years old. Her dad and a brother sailed earlier, then Hannah, her mom. siblings and two servants, maybe one a tutor sailed on the Bevis in 1638. The Littlefields were in Boston, then left for Wells, Maine where they were among the first settlers on the Webhannet River.

At age 29 Hannah married Peter Cloyes. Hannah and Peter stayed in Salem, they probably had 10 children. Hannah had died by 1683 when Peter married Sarah Towne, also a widow.

Hannah was named in her mom and dad’s wills. Her dad Edmund leaves her 15 pounds, her mom Annis leaves Hannah a bed and bolster, woolens and linens and Annis leaves son in law Peter acres of land.

Sources

Hannah Smith b. 1612

Hannah Smith 9th great grandma on RootsMagic tree.

Hannah was baptized in Leicester, England on September 6, 1612. She probably sailed to America with her parents and then definitely married Edward Mellows by 1636. Then lived in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Hannah was a widow in 1650 and in 1651 she married Joseph Hill, they had children and lived in Boston and Malden, Massachusetts. In May of 1653 Peter Bulkeley, brother of Martha (Hannah’s mother in law from first marriage) helped Hannah with the estate of her Mellows children.
“[345.] Mr Joseph Hills, with the consent of Hanna, his wife, and Mr Peter Buckley [*345.]
Buckley, theire vnkell, offering a petition for the confirmation of the sale of a howse and certayne lands, sould by his wife in the time of her widdowhood, hath his request graunted ; as also power is hereby giuen and granted to the petitioner to make sale of such land as yet remaynes vnsould, by the consent and advice of Mr Buckley, pvided satisfaction be made to the children of Mr Mellowes according to what the land shalbe sould for about what it is prised in the inventory.”

Hannah was a widow again in April 1674 then she died a few months later on July 11 1674. “Deaths: Joseph Hills, Jr. April 19, 1674. Hannah wife of Joseph Hills July 11, 1674”

Hannah’s marriages connect her to both sides of my family tree. Hannah’s first husband was Edward Mellows, his mother Martha Bulkeley 11th great aunt. Hannah’s 2nd husband was Joseph Hills, their son Samuel Hill was 6th great grandfather of Elizabeth Speedy who married Stanley Roose.

Smith, Dean C, and Melinde L. Sanborn. The Ancestry of Eva Belle Kempton, 1878-1908. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1996.

Jacobus, Donald Lines, 1887-1970. The Bulkeley Genealogy: Rev. Peter Bulkeley, New Haven, Conn: Tuttle, 1933.

Massachusetts. General Court. Records of the Governor And Company of the Massachusetts Bay In New England: Boston: W. White, printer to the commonwealth, 1853-54. http://tinyurl.com/y5rjyf86

Hannah and Joesph’s death dates. The Society. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 10. The Society, Boston 1856

John Pierce b. 1639

John Pierce 9th great grandfather on RootsMagic tree.

John Pierce was born about 1639 in America or England. His last name could have been Pierce, Pearce or Pearse or any variation. He was in Boston in 1659 where he married Isabel her last name is unknown. John was a bricklayer and mason in Boston. Mary Pierce (8th great grandmother) had a birth record in Boston: Mary ye Daughter of John Pearse and of Isabell his wife borne 13 March 1661 or 62. The year is listed as 1661 or 1662 because of the worldwide switch from the Julian, of Julius Caesar, to Gregorian, of Pope Gregory 13, calendar. The calendar switch made some years Old Style or New Style, double year dates show this.

John wrote his will April 8 1690 and probably died soon after this. A lot of unknowns.

Pierce coat of arms

Dixit et Fecit: He said and he did.

The Pierce coat of arms shows Three Ravens. The Crest is a Dove with an olive branch.

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