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

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.

Sources

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.

Sources

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

Israel Smith b. 1689

Israel Smith, 8th great grandpa on RootsMagic tree

Israel Smith was born on January 13, 1689. [Israel was a common name family in early America, a biblical name 300+ years before the country ‘Israel’ was created in 1948]. Israel’s mom is Lydia Gardiner, his dad is Joseph Smith. Israel is connected through marriage to the Angell, Arnold, Ballou, Gardiner, Hawkins, Olney, Smith, Tefft and Whipple families, they all arrived from England and lived in Providence, Rhode Island in from 1630 on.

Soon after his grandparents arrival in 1634, the migrant population in Rhode Island was 300, at Israel’s birth the population was 3000, at Israel’s children’s birth the pollution was 33,000, 50+ years before the American Revolution.

Israel was a landowner and farrmer, sometimes called a yeoman in early America. He married Elizabeth Arnold on June 3, 1718. Elizabeth was a widow, her 1st husband was William Hawkins. Elizabeth and Israel had 4 children along with Elizabeth’s 5 children from her first marriage.

1726 inventory snapshot

Israel died on January 20 1726, he was 37. He died in Providence, cause of death is unknown. He didn’t leave a will but left an inventory. Israel’s inventory included ‘bookes’, livestock, tools, seeds, a gun, a feather bed, blankets, linens, clothing, kitchenware, pewter platters, 10 and one half pounds of woolen yarns, thirty eight pounds of flax, spinning wools, furniture, tobacco and candlesticks.

Sources

Asa Lowe b. 1825

Asa Lowe, no relation, friend of William Flood, great grandpa of Elizabeth Speedy, my grandpa.

Asa Lowe and William Flood were born in Vermont. They appear to have left Vermont together for Delaware County, Iowa. In Delaware County Asa married Amelia Henderson in 1846 and William married Maria Dresser around 1853. By 1854 Asa’s family and William were in Butler County, Iowa. William’s wife had died, he lived with Asa and family until he married Delia Angell in 1857. Asa Lowe is the witness of William and Delia’s marriage record.

On June 6, 1854, Asa made a claim on 80 acres of land in Butler Township. September 15, 1857, he filed a plat for the village of Lowell. “There is no explanation for the origin of the name but one can surmise that Mr. Lowe added the two letters to his name in order to avoid (unsuccessfully) the name of Lowtown. The cemetery, a half mile west, and the nearest country school to the south, were given the official name Lowell.” In 1875 the flour and saw mills fell in to the Shell Rock and “Lowell joined Butler Center as ghost towns with only a cemetery to mark its existence”.

Asa and his family left Iowa for Sacramento, California. In Sacramento, Asa was a fruit grower and a member of the National Grange, “a social organization in the United States that encourages families to band together to promote the economic and political well-being of the community and agriculture”.

National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry at Wikipedia

At a July 13, 1885 meeting, “Held at Grangers’ Hall Last Saturday, An Association to be Formed. Another meeting of fruit-growers was held at Grangers’ Hall, in this city, on Saturday. Asa Lowe was elected Chairman of the meeting, and E. Greer, Secretary … forming an association for mutual protection and benefit, and especially with a view to improve the present prices for fruits.”

Asa died on January 1, 1888 and is buried in Elder Creek Cemetery, Florin, California.

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

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