Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XIX: Henry Smith

Henry Smith [1761 VA - 1835 VA]: Based on previous research, Henry served two brief enlistments, one of which was quite eventful. In March 1781 Smith enlisted in Col. Penn's regiment and served for three months. He then enlisted in Cpt. Levinfield Hill's company and was at the siege of Yorktown with the rank of sergeant.

Follow-up research suggests that the above information may be lacking in detail, accuracy or both.
Col. Abram Penn organized a militia unit in March 1781 to go to the aid of Gen. Greene. Penn's regiment was at the Battles of Guilford Court House and Eutaw Springs. Penn's regiment was also at the siege of Yorktown.

Guilford Court House was 15 March, Eutaw Springs was 8 September and Yorktown 19 October.
Henry Smith would have been at Guilford Court House as part of his three month enlistment. If he went home and then reenlisted, Smith might have missed Eutaw Springs. If his service was continuous, then he was at all three engagements.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XVIII: The Sumter brothers

William Sumter [1731 VA - 1820 NC]: William was a captain in the Burke Co., NC Militia under Col. James Rickard. The militia was assigned to defend western North Carolina against Tories.

John Sumter [1733 VA - 1787 NC]: John served as a private in the 9th Virginia militia regiment from Halifax Co. The 9th was added to the Continental Line on 31 Mar 1776 and saw action at Brandywine and Germantown prior to the Valley Forge encampment. John moved to Burke Co., NC and became a militia captain.

Thomas Sumter [1734 VA - 1832 SC]: Known as the "Gamecock," Thomas Sumter became one of the most famous partisan leaders of South Carolina. He was a member of the Charleston Committee of Safety and served as a Ranger Captain against the Tories, a Lt. Col. in the 2nd SC Rifle Regiment at Sullivan's Island, campaigned against the Cherokees and served in the Georgia Campaign before resigning in 1778. With the fall of Charleston in 1780, Sumter came out of retirement to form a militia unit that would operate out of the swamps along the Santee River. He would wage a campaign against British troops and frequently be called on to assist the Continentals under Gen. Nathanael Greene. After the war Sumter was active in SC politics.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XVII: The Simmons Clan

The Simmons family resided in New York City. John, Sr. was a rotund tavern keeper. With the British occupation of the city, John evacuated his family for the duration of the war. Three of the family would see service during the conflict.

John Simmons, Sr. [1730 ENG - 1795 NY]: John enlisted in  Cpt. Daniel Roe's Company, 2nd Regiment of NY Troops, a patriotic militia unit commanded by Col. James Clinton during the spring of 1776. The DAR also credits him with service in the Dutchess Co. Militia and the 5th and 6th NY Regiments under Col. William Humfrey.

William Simmons [1759 NY - 1825 OH]: William, John's eldest son, served in the 6th or 11th Pennsylvania. [Sources conflict over his regiment. SAR & DAR show the 6th; other sources the 11th. His grave application has him as a private in the 6th. Other biographical notes have him as a colonel in the Guards.] He transferred to the Commander-in-chief's Guard in March 1777. Pvt. Simmons was stationed in Orangetown, NY in 1780. On 21 Nov 1781, William took the Oath of Allegiance, probably after transferring as a clerk to the Comptroller's Office. He would later see government service under four Presidents and distinguish himself in alarming Washington DC of the British invasion in 1814.

John Simmons, Jr. [1761 NY - 1843 (W)VA]: John served under Cpt. Caleb Onderdonk [Hays' NY Militia Regiment] from 1778-80, guarding the western shore of the North Hudson River from British invasion. He later served under Cpt. Bowen in Col. Friedrick Wiesenthal's Regiment of New York Levies. [militia drafted into the regular army] The Levies were enlisted to protect NY's northern frontier.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XVI: Provincial Congressional Representative

Amos Singletary [1721 MA - 1806 MA]: Amos Singletary represented his hometown of Sutton in the Massachusetts Provincial Congress for four years during the Revolutionary War. Later he would oppose the ratification of the Constitution on the basis of his opposition to eastern Massachusetts trade and banking interests and support for farmers and millers like himself.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XV: A Seafaring Patriot

Holden Rhodes [1750 RI - 1809 RI]: The US did not have much of a navy to speak of during the war. As a result, it was left up to privateers to antagonize British vessels. Privateers were, in the eyes of the Crown, pirates. Once the privateers captured a British vessel, the crew generally divided up the cargo as payment. Holden Rhodes was the "prize master" [officer in charge of a captured vessel] on two sloops, the "Joseph" and the "Satisfaction." He joined the crew of the "Joseph" in August 1776. Holden was prize master of the "Satisfaction" when the sloop was taken by a British ship. The surviving crewmen were taken prisoner. Holden Rhodes was sent to Forten Prison in England from July 1778 until December 1779.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XIV: Pralls [part 2]

Edward Prall [c1734 NJ - 1803 MD]: Hunterdon Co., NJ native Edward Prall [brother of Cornelius and Benjamin] moved to Harford Co., MD about 1771. He had been a merchant-trader in West Jersey and resumed that trade in Maryland. Edward became a member of the Committee of Safety in 1774 [the committee that, for all practical purposes, ran the colonial government] and served in the local militia. He would also serve on the Committees of License, War and Observation. Prall was among the signers of the Harford [Bush] Resolves [22 Mar 1775] that vowed to support the actions of the Continental Congress.

In January 1776, the Maryland Battalion was formed under Col. William Smallwood. Edward Prall was promoted from ensign to 2nd Lieutenant in Cpt. Thomas Ewings' company in March. Smallwood's Battalion was in New York in early August and played a pivotal role in the Battle of Long Island. The Maryland and Delaware Regiments held the field at the "Old Stone House" and staged five counterattacks against the elite Hessian troops and 42nd Highlanders before being forced to retreat. This allowed Washington to escape from Brooklyn. Of approximately 400 men, the Maryland and Delaware troops suffered 256 men killed, wounded or captured.

Lt. Prall was one of those taken prisoner. He spent about 18 months in captivity and was exchanged in time to join his regiment at Valley Forge, now with the rank of Captain.

The Marylanders saw action at Monmouth Courthouse and Phillip's Heights before settling in for guard duty at Middlebook, NJ during the winter of 1778-79. They would join Gen. Wayne at Stony Point in 1779.

Washington attached his "Immortal" Marylanders and the Delaware Regiment to the Southern Campaign in 1780 under Horatio Gates. They were nearly decimated at the Battle of Camden. Under, Gates' replacement, Nathanael Greene, the Marylanders would see continual action. How much of the field action Cpt. Prall was involved in is unknown. He was sent back to Maryland on multiple occasions to recruit troops for the Maryland Regiments, including his own company.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XIII: Pralls [part 1]

Garrison Prall [c1758 NJ - 1792 KY]: Garrison served as a wagon master in Cpt. Jonathan Higgins' company in the NJ militia. At some point the company was assigned to a Continental Line unit, as some of Garrison's descendants joined the DAR, as did those of Higgins.

Benjamin Prall [c1740 NJ - 1791 NJ]: In 1780, Benjamin was recognized for having provided supplies to his brother, Edward's Maryland troops. Benjamin was a merchant in Hunterdon Co., NJ.

Cornelius Prall, Sr. [1732 NJ - 1813 NJ]: Although the Pralls belonged to the Reformed Church and became Presbyterians after moving to New Jersey, for a time they were forced to utilize the services of the local Anglican Church during the war years. William Frazer was the minister and was paid by a British missionary service. As a result, Frazer included prayers for the royal family during services. This enraged local patriot residents. Yet, the Hunterdon Countians had a great deal of respect for Frazer. Rather than burn down the church or tar and feather the reverend, the patriots hung Frazer in effigy over his pulpit. [Frazer would later baptize Cornelius' daughter, Rebecca.]

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XII: The Rittenhouse Family - partisan activity

Isaac Rittenhouse [1729 NJ - 1809 NJ]: The Rittenhouses were innkeepers and farmers in Rosemont, Hunterdon Co., NJ during the war. West Jersey was a hotbed of activity early in the war. Continental Army and British regulars, Patriot and tory militia were all in the field at one time or another.

Rittenhouse leanings were patriotic. Tory militia units were often on foraging details, searching for food, supplies and livestock. Isaac's family had a system to counteract the Tory horse raids. When the Tory patrols would approach the homestead, Mrs. Rittenhouse would signal her sons. The boys would lead the horses deep into the nearby forest, while Isaac kept the Tories detained long enough for the horses to disappear. After the scavengers tired of hunting for the elusive livestock, Mrs. R would use a pre-arranged signal to let her sons it was safe to bring in the horses.

There was more than one way to serve the cause!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rev War Ancestors XI: Seth Mahruin

Seth Mahurin/Hurin [1729 MA - 1815 OH]: In May of 1776, Seth signed the Articles of Association of Pequanock Twp., Morris Co., NJ. In 1780, he helped supply troops at the Morristown Encampment.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rev War Ancestors X: Nicholas Miller

Nicholas Miller [1749 GER - 1833 OH]: Nicholas was commissioned a captain in the 12th Pennsylvania in October 1776. Col. William Cooke was placed in command of the 12th in January 1777 at Princeton. The 12th was assigned to Thomas Conway's 3rd Pennsylvania Brigade due to heavy losses at Germantown.

The 12th saw action at the Battle of Assunpink Creek or 2nd Trenton [2 Jan 1777],  Princeton [3 Jan 1777], Brandywine [11 Sep 1777], Germantown [4 Oct 1777] and Monmouth [28 June 1778].

The 12th was with Stirling's Division at Valley Forge, leaving with Miflin's Division in June 1778.

Captain Miller retired on 1 July 1778.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Rev War Ancestors IX: Lands of confusion!

The service of the Land family is open to debate. I have three references to service:

Edward Land: Albemarle Co., VA - Capt. Robert McKenzie's company.
Thomas Land: Rev War soldier - Capt. Roberts' Co. - 1776
John Land: His son, Thomas, stated in the pension application of Daniel Isbell, that his father [John] was a soldier for Virginia during the war. Both his father and Isbell had mentioned the other's service.

It is possible that the trio above covers three generations of service, grandfather, father, son.

The Jessamine Co. Historical Society shows John Land, Doherty's Co., 10th Regt., Col. Abraham Sheppard [NC State Records Vol. XVI: 1106] No digital version available.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Rev War Ancestors VIII: Peter Jennison

Peter Jennison [1749/50 MA - 1816 NY]: Jennison, a resident of New Parish [later Ward and Auburn], was a private in Captain John Crowl's company, in Col. Learned's Regiment. The regiment marched on the alarm of 19 April 1775 to support the militia at Lexington. Militiamen were from New Parish, Leicester, Worcester, Sutton and Oxford. Upon learning that the British were in retreat Learned changed course for Cambridge, serving under Gen. Artemas Ward. Peter served 9 days.

Peter Jennison, then of Worcester, served in Captain David Chadwick's Company. Chadwick's company marched to Hadley on alarm at Bennington [now Vermont] under the command of  Lt. Col. Benjamin Flagg by desire of Brig. Gen. Warner on 28 Aug 1777. [Worcester's Revolutionary Soldiers]

A second version of Jennison's service states that in July 1777, a company from Worcester under the command of Jess Stone from South Parish was ordered to New York to augment forces in that region. At Bennington, they were joined by Captain Job Cushing's Regiment and proceeded to Fort Ticonderoga. There, they received orders to return to reinforce Gen. Stark at Bennington. Arriving too late for the battle, the regiment was assigned to guard British POW's. Jennison's company was dismissed on 29 August 1777 and reached Worcester on 2 September. [Historical Sketches of Auburn, Mass.]

It is probably for the latter action that Peter Jennison was credited with Continental Service.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Rev War Ancestors VII: Another soldier changes sides

Conrad Earthenhouse (Bodenhaus) [1755 SAX - 1843 KY]: Earthenhouse was a native of Saxony [Germany] who served with the Lossberg Regiment as a Hessian soldier to fight for the British in America. Earthenhouse saw action at Long Island and Trenton. The Lossberg Regt. was sent to Virginia in 1779. There Conrad and fellow soldier, Jacob Zike, deserted. They made their way to Hanover Co., VA and elisted in the Continental Army. Conrad served under General Edward Stevens in1780. The former Hessian saw action at Camden and Coepens. His regiment was stationed near Redstone Fort in western PA under Mjr. Hickman and engaged Indians near Hagerstown, MD.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Rev War Ancestors VI: The Fighting Quaker

Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene [1742 RI - 1786 GA]: Nathanael Greene was a Quaker who chose patriotism over the pacifist doctrine of his faith. At the outbreak of hostilities in Boston, Rhode Island's congress placed Greene in command of 1600 militiamen and appointed him Major-General.
Upon Washington's arrival the army was reorganized and Greene was named a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. He would be with Washington at Long Island, the retreat across New Jersey, Trenton, the Philadelphia Campaign and Valley Forge. Greene was promoted to Major General, then named Quartermaster General of the Army in 1778. He would replace Arnold as commander at West Point. Nathanael continually campaigned for a return to a field command.

Washington wanted Greene appointed commander of the Southern Department in 1780, but Congress opted for Saratoga's "hero" Horatio Gates. After Gates nearly lost his army and fled the field of battle at Camden, SC, Nathanael Greene received his field command - replacing the publically disgraced Gates.

Greene would take advantage of partisan leaders like Marion, Pickens and Sumter to wage a guerilla war against Cornwallis. He put Daniel Morgan in command of part of his army and Morgan defeated Tarleton at Cowpens. Greene, like Washington, faced defeat after defeat, but kept his men in the field. At Guilford Court House in 1781, Greene used Morgan's Cowpens tactics to punish Cornwallis and deal the British a devastating victory. He would be with Washington at Yorktown.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Rev War Ancestors V: The Gulley Brothers

There were four Gulley brothers, sons of Thomas and Mary of Virginia. It is believed that all four may have seen service during the Revolutionary War.

Thomas [1735 VA - 1814 KY]: No concrete evidence has been found of any service. He would have been 41 at the outbreak of the war. Thomas may have served in the local militia.

John [1737 VA - bet. 1833-40 TN: John was 40 when he was enlisted for duty to guard British prisoners from the Battle of Saratoga at Noland's [sic] Ferry for a month and a half. He saw service for a month in 1779. In 1781, John was drafted to serve under Von Steuben and Muhlenberg at the Battle of Blandford near Petersburg, VA. British troops under Gen. Phillips. Benedict Arnold was also one of the British officers. The militia made an orderly retreat to Richmond. There, John hired a substitute and retuned home. Gulley was called on a fourth time later in the year to once again guard prisoners. Total service time: 6 1/2 months.

Enoch [1750 VA - 1829 IN]: Enoch's service draws some curiosity. A George Gulley served with the 3rd Virginia Regiment. On a descendant's DAR application, birth and death dates, spouse and children listed were those of Enoch Gulley. George and Enoch were undoubtedly the same person.
The 3rd Virginia, Captain Valentine Peyton's company, saw action near the Chesapeake Bay, New York Campaign, Northern New Jersey, Trenton and Princeton, the defense of Philadelphia and Monmouth. While his regiment was stationed at Valley Forge, George/Enoch was on furlough from December 1777 until March 1778. He returned in April and left with his unit in June. His service file ends in 1779, if George/Enoch remained in service with his unit beyond 1779, then there is a good chance he became a prisoner of war. The 3rd Virginia was sent to Charleston, SC in 1780.

Richard [1756 VA - c1840 GA]: Richard enlisted with the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons [eventually 3rd and 1st Legionnaire Corps] and saw action at Baylor's Massacre, NJ [1778] and Lewis' Ferry, SC. During the latter engagement Richard was captured by Banastre Tarleton's cavalry. Gulley was a prisoner for about a year when he and other POWs escaped.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Revolutionary War Ancestors IV: John Faucett

John Faucett [1751 VA - 1838 IN]: John Faucett was born in Augusta Co., VA [now Greenbrier Co., WV] and was captured by an Indian raiding party about 1760. Raised by his captors, John was eventually reunited with white society and found his way to western Pennsylvania.  John resided near Beeson's Town, near present-day Uniontown, Fayette Co., when the war started. John would served six tours of duty as a "ranger and spy" [scout] for local militia. His service totaled 13 mo. and 20 days. During a tour in 1778, Faucett's militia company was attached to a Regiment of the Virginia Line, qualifying John for a pension. Although he saw no action, Faucett helped monitor frontier outposts in western Pennsylvania, the Virginia Neck and eastern Ohio Territory.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Rev War Ancestors III: Nicholas Crousore & James Cunningham

A) Nicholas Crousore, son of Nicholas & Elisabetha, and brother of John. His application for a pension was rejected in 1833. Either he could not prove his service with the Continental Army or Nicholas served with a local militia unit.

B) James Cunningham, son of Clothworthy & Mary [Treadway] Cunningham or Harford Co., MD. No military service [line or militia] has been uncovered, but, with later seafaring activity, he may have done some privateering.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Rev War Ancestors II: Thomas Barlow

Thomas Barlow II [1760 VA - 1825 NC] was the son of Henry and Judith [Livingston] Barlow. His sister Elizabeth married John Land. Thomas enlisted while still underage and served in the Virginia Line.

1781: He served at Yorktown under the Marquis de Lafayette and witnessed the British surrender. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Revolutionary War Ancestors [direct & collateral] I: Hero & Traitor

OK, I'll get Cousin Benedict out of the way right off the bat.
Benedict Arnold [1741 CT - 1801 London, Eng.]
1775: Arrived at Boston and was sent to try to take the poorly defended Fort Ticonderoga [NY]. He had to join forces with Ethan Allen & his Green Mountain Boys, who were on the same mission. Allen received the lion's share of the credit for taking the fort.

1775: Arnold was wounded during the Siege of Quebec City.

1776: Arnold's make-shift navy near Valcour Island on Lake Champlain delayed the British and allowed the Continetal Army to prepare for the defense of New York.

1777: Commanded forces at the Battle of Ridgefield, CT.

1777: After heated arguments with Gen. Gates, Arnold was relieved of command and confined to quarters. Disobeying Gates, he rallied Continental forces and spearheaded the defeat of Burgoyne's Regulars and received a crippling leg wound that nearly cost his life. Gates took the credit for the victory. 

1778: While recovering from his leg wound, Arnold was appointed military commander of Philadelphia. His marriage to Peggy Shippen, daughter of a noted Tory and his financial dealings began his downfall. He would be reprimanded by his beloved commander, Gen. Washington.

1780: Arnold refused a field command and requested to be appointed commander at West Point. He struck a deal with the British through Maj. John Andre to turn over the strategic fort to the enemy. The plot was uncovered, Arnold escaped and Andre captured and hanged as a spy.

1781-83: Arnold joined the British Army and led raids in Virginia and Connecticut. After the war he went to England.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

What's up next?

Having wrapped up the Mary Wright maiden issue without a clear-cut decision, it's time to move on to a new topic. I will be taking a look at my ancestors' service during the Revolutionary War.

Rev War service included more than seeing action in battle between 1775 and 1783. The types of patriotic service included:

1) Serving in a Continental Line unit; this was the regular army. You had to serve with the Continental Army to qualify for a government pension. [DAR & SAR eligible]

2) Serving aboard a naval or privateer vessel. Most of the "US Navy" at the time was made up of privateers. Privateers were considered pirates by the British.

3) Serving in a Militia company. The militia was volunteer and generally unreliable in combat. Guerilla-style militia companies were successful, especially in the Southern campaign.

4) Patriotic service included supplying troops with food, supplies, clothing, wagons, livestock and anything else that might contribute to the cause. [DAR & SAR eligible]

5) Serving in Provincial, State or Continental Congresses. [DAR & SAR eligible]

and then there's the other side:

1) Loyalists/Tories: those who remained loyal to the Crown. Many served in Loyalist militias.

2) Hessians: German soldiers hired to serve the Crown.

3) British regulars.

I just wanted to mention the last three; I sort of have one distant cousin who fits here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XXII: A Decision

I have decided it is time to render a verdict on my "Problem Solving" topic. Who was the wife of Quaker minister James Wright? Was it Mary Bowater, Mary Davis or another Mary?

(1) Stewart Baldwin presented a convincing case in his 1997 and 2000 TAG articles for Mary Bowater.

Mary Wright's 1708 condemning of her marriage contrary to discipline is a major stumbling block. Unless James and Mary were married in a non-Quaker ceremony [this possibility came to light recently] and opted to correct the problem. Still, I would think that a Quaker marriage would then have been recorded to justify the union [and children]. The birth of Mary Bowater was recorded as 3 February 1688/9 and Mary Wright's as 2 February 1689 [1688/9 or 1689/90?]. The dates are one day or one day and a year apart. Still close. Mary was in Pennsylvania in time to have married James Wright.

Witnessing the 5 June 1707 Chester Co., PA marriage of William Pusey and Elizabeth Bowater were, among others, a Mary Bowater, a Mary Wright and a James Wright. In all likelihood, the Mary and James Wright  witnessing the marriage were our Wrights. The witness Mary Bowater was probably the  daughter of John and Frances [Corbett] Bowater. This Mary would become the wife of Stephen Ailes in 1714.

A Mary Bowater witnessed the wedding of Edward Woodward and Abigail Edge on 24 May 1705. The signatures of this Mary and the Mary who witnessed the Pusey wedding show some similarities. I think she is also the daughter of John and Frances. The Wrights were not witnesses. If Mary Wright was Mary Bowater [John Sr. and Ann], she would not have been in Pennsylvania as of yet. [She arrived 28 June 1706.]

There is the fact that James Wright Jr. named one of his children Boyater [Bowater]. Was this to honor his mother's family?

(2) The two main pieces of evidence offered in support of Mary Davis are the wills of John Beals and Sarah Davis.

Beals makes bequests to James Wright and "his kinsman" Mary Davis. The names  follow one another in the will. This does not prove a relationship between Wright and Davis. If Mary Davis were Wright's wife, I would think there would be some mention of that fact.

Sarah Davis named her sister, Mary Wright "of Philadelphia," in her will. Mary Wright [James] was not of Philadelphia at the time. There is no proof offered that Mary Wright, sister of Sarah, was married to the Quaker minister.

(3) A Mary with a maiden name other than Bowater or Davis?

Quite possibly. Without a marriage record or some other document giving Mrs. Wright's maiden
name, it will be in doubt.

Additional research needs to be conducted. Trips to the Indiana State Library, Earlham College and the Allen Co. Library [Ft. Wayne] could shed additional light on the project. Pending that additional research, I offer the following:

Mary Wright's maiden name could well have been Bowater. Baldwin offers the most convincing research.

Davis, based on the primary arguments offered, is out. Could Mary still have been a Davis, but there is no clear supporting evidence.

Maiden name unknown? This is the "safest choice" until a marriage or some other evidence turns up.

I will keep Mary Wright as Mary Bowater in my records until convincing evidence suggests otherwise. It will be noted that her maiden name could have been Davis or something else.

[Note: As I mentioned in an earlier post, I think that the marriage date for James and Mary can be narrowed. Based on the 5 June 1707 Pusey-Bowater marriage, the Wrights were already married. That would place the marriage in early 1707, at the latest.]

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XXI: Some myths about the Wright family

As I contemplate the identity of Mary Wright, I thought addressing a few myths about the family might be of interest.

1) James Wright arrived in 1682 with Penn's Fleet. Among the passengers with him were George and Squire Boone, the latter the father of pioneer Daniel Boone. George and Squire Boone arrived in 1713; their parents and siblings in 1717. James Wright was between 6 and 11 in 1682, so would not have been identified on a passenger's list unless as an indentured servant or with his parents. It is not even definite that he was born in England. James and Mary were parents of three or four children by the time the Boones arrived.

2) Among the families that traveled with the Wrights were the Bryans. Rebecca Bryan would later marry Daniel Boone. The Wrights did purchase land in the Ross - Bryan Tract in Virginia. There was a connection to Rebecca. the Bryan in question was Morgan Bryan, her grandfather. Rebecca was born in NC in 1708.

3) During the French and Indian War, the Wright homestead was attacked by Indians. James and Mary were killed and scalped. The Wrights were burned out by Indians, but survived. Money was raised by Quaker communities to aid the family. James lived until 1759 and Mary until 1764 - scalps intact!   

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XX: Quaker naming patterns

😭I decided to take a look at Quaker naming patterns/customs to see if that would offer any insight into the project.

Several sites offered basically the same information:
1st son after the wife's  father.
1st daughter = husband's mother.
2nd son = husband's father.
2nd daughter = wife's mother.
3rd son = husband.
3rd daughter = wife.
Popular names: John, Joseph, Samuel, George, Thomas, William, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Anna/Hannah, Jane, Catherine, Margaret, Phebe.

Remember, these are traditional naming patterns. There was nothing to stop the parents from juggling things around a bit.

James and Mary had the following children:

Mary* [for James' mother?]
Hannah* [for Mary's mother?]
Thomas* [for Mary's father?]
John* [for James' father?]
James Jr. [for James?]
Thomas (1st Thomas died young)

I think it's a fair bet that James, Jr. was named for his father. If James' father had been James, then Jr. would probably have been James III.

If Mary's parents were John Bowater & Mary Maunder, then the first daughter & 2nd son were named for her parents. If Mary's parents were James Davis & Margaret Jordan, why wasn't a daughter named Margaret? If neither Bowater or Davis? See the list above for options on both sets of parents.

As for James' parents, if we eliminate Mary & John from the mix, then Thomas & Hannah could be viable options for Mr. & Mrs. Wright.

If James & Mary totally ignored tradition, then we are left with Thomas, John & Isaac for the two fathers and Hannah, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah & Lydia for the two mothers.

Seven of the children were given "common" Quaker names.

Note that Thomas died young and the third son following was also named Thomas. This could have been of some significance. If Thomas & John were the names of the couple's father, then the next son was named for his father. Thomas would have been repeated to insure that a son was named for both grandfathers.

As for the other children? They could have been named for godparents, siblings of the parents, aunts & uncles, etc.

What have we learned? James & Mary may or may not have followed standard Quaker naming customs. 

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XIX: Updating the Mister

Straying off topic a bit for one post here, I'm going to discuss James Wright.

1) Birth year: Most sources give his birth as 1671 or 1676. His obituary notice in the Quaker records give his age in 1759 as 83. That would make his birth year 1676. The Hopewell MM records show 1671, but several sources note that the final digit is missing, so what shows in the record is 167_. I would tend to go with the obituary, although folks were known to shave a year or two from or add a couple to the actual year of birth.

2) Place of birth: The sources [unfortunately undocumented] range quite a bit. New Garden MM, Chester Co., PA, Lancashire, England, Yorkshire, England, Cheshire, England, New Jersey and Maryland. With a 1676 year of birth, chances are his parents arrived when he was a youngster or shortly before his birth. I would tend to think he was born in England, but his parents may have arrived before Penn and settled in New Jersey. At this point, it's anybody's guess.

3) Parentage: There are several theories floating around. One of brothers Joshua, Thomas & Samuel of Yorkshire, England was James' father. They settled in NJ. William or James of Maryland. John Wright of Pennsylvania. These are candidates. Looking at the names of the Wright boys, Thomas, John, James Jr. & Isaac, we have possible options for James' father. With the girls, we have some candidates for the given name of James' mother: Mary, Hannah, Elizabeth, Ann & Sarah.

So, we have James Wright, Sr. [b. c1676, probably England, Penn. or NJ. - 1759 Frederick Co., VA]

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XVIII: A Case of Five Marys

So far there are five Marys to consider as the wife of James Wright of PA, MD & VA.

1) Mary Bowater, b. c1659 England, daughter of John Bowater, Sr. & his 1st wife, Ann Carter. No further information. This Mary has "creatively" been assigned as Mary Wright in a few family trees. In reality, she was not, in any way, shape or form, the wife of James Wright.

2) Mary Bowater, b. 3 Feb 1688/9 England, daughter of John Bowater, Sr. & his 2nd wife, Mary Maunder. Per the Stuart Baldwin TAG articles of 1997 & 2000, she was the wife of James Wright. Mary was born when her father was about 60 and her mother about 40. She went to Philadelphia in 1706 to reside near her half-brother Thomas [about 30-35 years Mary's senior]. Mary is clearly a candidate to be James Wright's spouse. Negatives: [a] A Mary Wright condemned her marriage contrary to discipline in 1708. That makes no sense for a Quaker who married a Quaker. [b] Mary Bowater and Mary Wright witnessed the marriage of William Pusey & Elizabeth Bowater in 1707.

3) Mary Bowater, b. 1685 Chester Co., PA, daughter of John Bowater, Jr. & Frances Corbett. She would have been #2's niece, although 3 years older. The 1685 birth year has often been given for Mrs. Wright. This Mary married Stephen Ailes in 1714. She could have easily been the Mary Bowater who witnessed the marriage of her sister, Elizabeth, in 1707.

4) Mary Davis, b. 2 Feb 1689/90 ENG, MD, PA?, daughter of James Davis & Margaret Jordan of Maryland. As discussed in an earlier post, James and Margaret were probably a match of "convenience" as parents of Mary Davis. Therefore, Mary Davis' parents should be recorded as 'unknown' at this time. Mary's birth is given as 2-12-1689 [12th month = Feb] in the Hopewell MM records. [1688/9 or 1689/90?] Some early sources state that Mary's maiden names was Davis; some that it may have been Davis. She remains a viable candidate for Mrs. Wright. Negatives: [a] Alleged parents. [b] Lack of documentation for maiden name.

5) Mary _______, b. 2 Feb 1689, place unknown, parents unknown. Several sources state that the maiden name of Mrs. Mary Wright is unknown. This choice is, by far, the safest bet!

Of the five possible Marys mentioned above, #1 & #3 can be eliminated. #2, #4 & #5 remain viable options. The arguments favoring Mary Davis are becoming weaker with more examination. Bowater and unknown are the stronger candidates.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XVII: Mary Bowater, born 1659

One of the arguments offered by those opposing the Bowater theory is a family group for John Bowater and Ann Carter. Recall that John Sr.'s 1st wife was named Ann/Anne.

That family is as follows:
John Bowater [b. c1629]
Anne Carter [b. c1628]

John Jr. [c1650]
Thomas [c1655]
William [c1657]
Mary [c1659]
Elizabeth [c1661]

Ann Bowater died in 1679.

The argument claims that if Mary Bowater [b. 1688/9] belongs to John Sr., then the above family group negates Baldwin's theory. John Jr. and Thomas were immigrants to America. That the Mary above was a sister to the immigrants, would eliminate Mary [1688/9] from consideration as John Sr.'s daughter.

There is a catch! I have found nothing on Mary [b. 1659] beyond that estimated birthdate. [A handful of online trees have conveniently combined her with Mary, wife of James Wright. That would have made her at least 12 years James' senior, having children well into her 50s and dying at about age 105.] Mary Bowater [b. 1659] may have died prior to 1688. As a result, John Sr. may have elected to name his daughter born in 1688/9 after both his deceased daughter Mary and after his 2nd wife also named Mary. Giving a child the same name as a deceased sibling [or half-sibling] was quite common at that time.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XVI: My records wishlist

As I try to sort out what I have on Mary [Davis - Bowater -_______] Wright, I have been putting together a wish list of records that I would like to access.

1) New Garden MM, Chester Co., PA [and other Chester Co. Quaker Meetings] records pre-1730.      I would like to examine the marriage witness lists from about 1704 on to see what Bowater, Davis, Wright combinations appear.

2) Histories on the Chester Co., PA Quakers.

3) Probate records for Chester Co. to see if any Wright will mention a son James who fits the profile.

4) Genealogies on families that married into the Wright families.

5) Quaker Davis records for PA & MD [maybe NJ] to see if there's a Mary Davis who fits the profile.

6) James Wright's marriage record! That one would resolve ALL of the issues!

Possible road trips:

1) Indiana State Library to check the Hinshaw Quaker Indexes for PA, MD, VA (NJ?) & available PA Quaker resources.

2) Earlham College Library: Earlham is affiliated with the Society of Friends and has a large collection of Quaker records.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XV: English Quaker Records from Ancestry.com

I was able to glean a few Bowater records from England & Wales, Quaker Birth, Marriage & Death Registers on Ancestry.com.

In no particular order:
1) Mary Bowater of Newberry St. near Spittlesfield, wife of John Bowater. Aged about 55. Died 10th day 2nd month 1704.

2) Mary Bowater, daughter of John & Mary Bowater of Spittlesfield in Stepney Parish was born 3rd day 12th month 1688/9.

3) John Bowater of Westbury St., Spittlesfield, aged about 75,died 16th day 11th month [called January] 1704.

4) John Bowater & Mary Maunder married 12 Nov 1685. MM Devonshire House, Houndsditch, London.

5) Jonathan Bowater, son of John & Mary of Spittlesfield, born 3rd day 5th month 1687.

6) Mary Bowater, daughter of John & Mary of Spittlesfield, Stepney Parish, born 3rd day 12th month 1688/9

7) John Bowater of Broomsgrove, Worcester, nailor, son of John of the same place & Frances Corbott, daughter of William Corbott of _______, Staffordshire, nailor, having _____ their intention of marriage in Dudley & Chadwick. 12th day 2nd month 1685. [Witnesses Thomas & William Bowater, James Corbott]

We have here a family group: John Bowater [c1629-1704], Mary Maunder [c1649-1704], Jonathan Bowater b. 1687] & Mary Bowater [b. 1688/9]. Also there is John, who married Frances Corbett, who was the son of John Bowater. These records confirm what Stuart Baldwin stated in his article.

Questions that might arise from the above records are: Was the John Bowater who married Mary Maunder, the father of the John who married Frances Corbett? How many John Bowaters are recorded here?