An Act for Erecting a District in the County of Middlesex, by the Name of Boxborough

Whereas a Number of Inhabitants, living in the extreme Parts of the Towns of Stow, Harvard, and Littleton, labor under many Inconveniences by Reason of their great Distance from any Place of Public Worship, and have requested this Court that they may be incorporated into a District, with all the Privileges of a Town, that of sending a Representative to the General Court excepted:

Be it therefore enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That a Part of Stow, a Part of Harvard, and a Part of Littleton, all which are included within the Boundaries following, viz. : Beginning at the Road Southerly of John Robbins’ Buildings, and running Southerly to Acton Corner Three Miles and Ninety-two Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence running Southerly in Acton Line, to a Place called Flag Hill, being two Miles, three Quarters and ten Rods, to a Heap of Stones ; from thence Westerly in Stow two Miles and a Quarter, to a Stake and Pillar of Stones in the Harvard Line ; then running Northerly through Part of Harvard, to a white Oak Tree, by a Causeway from thence to the Place first set out from, be and hereby is incorporated into a District, by the Name of Boxborough. And all the Polls and Estates that are included within the said Boundaries, shall belong to the said District, except those of such of the Inhabitants of that Part set off from Littleton, as shall not within the Term of twelve Months from the passing this Act, return their Names into the Office of the Secre- tary of this Commonwealth, signifying their Desire to become inhabitants of the said District.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That the said District be, and hereby is, invested with all the Powers, Privileges and Immunities, that Towns in this Commonwealth do or may enjoy (except the Privilege of sending a Representative to the General Court) and the Inhabitants of the said District shall have Liberty from Time to Time to join with the Town of Stow, in choosing a Representative, and shall be notified of the Time and Place of Election, in like Manner with the Inhabitants of the said Town of Stow, by a Warrant from the Selectmen of the said Town, directed to a Constable or Constables of the said District, requiring him or them to warn the Inhabitants to attend the Meeting at the Time and Place appointed : Which Warrant shall be seasonably returned by the said Constable or Constables ; and the Representative may be chosen indifferently from the said Town or District: The Pay or Allowance to be borne by the Town and District, in Proportion as they shall from Time to Time pay to the State Tax.

And be it further enacted, That Jonathan Wood, Esq ; of Stow, be, and he hereby is empowered to issue his Warrant, directed to some principal Inhabitant within the said District, requiring him to warn the Inhabitants of the said District, qualified to vote in Town Affairs, to assemble at some suitable Time and Place in the said District, to choose such Officers as Towns and Districts by Law are required to choose in the Month of March annually : Provided nevertheless, That the Inhabitants of the said District shall pay their proportionable Part of all such Town, County and State Taxes, as are already assessed by the said respective Towns from which they are taken, and their proportionable Part of all public Debts due from the said Towns ; and also provide for the Support of all the Poor who were Inhabitants within the said District before the passing of this Act, and shall be brought back for Maintenance hereafter.

And whereas it is ft and necessary, that the Whole of the said District should belong to one and the same County :

Be it therefore further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That that Part of the said District which is set off from the Town of Harvard, in the County of Worcester, shall be, and hereby is annexed and set to the County of Middlesex. And the Line established by this Act as the Boundary betwixt the said Town of Harvard and the said District, shall hereafter be the Boundary Line betwixt the said County of Middlesex and the said County of Worcester.

Passed February 25, 1783; Signed by Samuel Adams, president of the Senate, and John Hancock, Governor.

Acts and Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; Printed by Benjamin Edes and Sons, Printers to His Excellency the Governor, the Council and Senate of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; M,DCC,LXXXII (1782).

Early Settlers—Sudbury, MA

In The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1639-1889 [1] by Alfred Sereno Hudson, we find that our ancestors played a significant role in founding Sudbury. Among the approximately 130 early settlers, Hudson identifies eight of our ancestors heading families there. They came to America as part of the Great Migration of English Puritans to Massachusetts from 1620 to 1640.

According to Hudson [2], “From the town records we have compiled the following list of the early grantees or settlers, who went to Sudbury Plantation about 1638 or 1639 : —

Peter Noyse (Hampshire, England)
Walter Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Haine (Wiltshire, England)
John Howe (Shropshire, England)
Edmond Rice (Suffolk, England)
John Stone (Suffolk, England)

“The following are names of persons who were at the settlement soon after it began : —

John Moore (Essex, England)
Thomas King (Dorset, England)
…”

Another 11 listed there are cousins or relatives by marriage. Here is a list.

Map of the First Roads & House Lots in Sudbury, Drawn by J.S. Draper. [3]

Below are excerpts from [1] regarding their roles in the affairs of Sudbury.

  • Walter Haynes represented the town in the General Court of Massachusetts in 1641, 1644, 1648, and 1651, and was a selectman ten years.
  • John Howe served as a selectman of Sudbury in 1643.
  • Peter Noyes was a selectman eighteen years, and represented the town at the General Court in 1640, 1641, and 1650.
  • Edmund Rice was one of the committee appointed by the General Court, 4 Sep 1639, to apportion the land in Sudbury to the settlers. He served as selectman from 1639 to 1644, and was deputy to the General Court several successive years.
  • John Stone was an elder in the church, and in 1655 was town clerk.

We also learn there [4] that John Howe of the Wetherbee branch and Edmund Rice of the Watne branch had house-lots next door to each other in Sudbury, 327 years before the Wetherbee-Watne grandparents of MKS married. The map above reflects that John Howe probably sold his lot on The Street (left side of map on Mill Road) to either Griffin or Rice, and took the lot on The Plain (right side of map).

Hudson’s book provides short biographies for each of these first settlers.


John Haynes (1622-1697) and Dorothy Noyes (1627-1715) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Walter Haynes (1583-1665) and Elizabeth Haynes (1586-1659) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Howe (1620-1680) and Mary Martha Jones (1618-1698) are 10th great-grandparents of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Thomas King (1600-1676) and Anne Collins (1608-1642) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Moore (1602-1674) and Elizabeth Rice (1612-1690) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Peter Noyes (1590-1657) is 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch. His wife Elizabeth (1594-1636) died before the family emigrated from England.

Edmund Rice (1594-1663) and Thomasine Frost (1600-1654) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Stone (1618-1683) and Anne Stone (1613- ) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] The History of Sudbury, Massachusetts, 1638-1889, by Alfred Sereno Hudson, 1889.
[2] Reference [1], page 26-27.
[3] Reference [1], map after page 76.
[4] Reference [1], page 74.

Early Settlers—Watertown, MA—William Shattuck

In our 26 Oct 2018 post, we met John Whitney, one of the founders of Watertown, Massachusetts. There is another family member among the founders—William Shattuck. [1]

Watertown was first settled in 1630, 10 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

William was born in England in 1621 or 1622. He likely arrived in America when he was a minor; when it is not known, but certainly no later than 1642 when he is listed as a proprietor in Watertown. [2, 3]

In 1642, he married Susanna, whose last name, birth date and place, and parents are not known. They are believed to have had 10 children. William was a weaver and farmer. [2, 3]

He purchased several parcels of land in the area including a one acre homestead; three acres of upland; a home, garden, and 30 acres situated on Common Hill; 25 acres upland; three acres of swamp; and 4 acres of meadowland. He also bought a farm at Stony Brook, near the present bounds of Weston, Massachusetts; four acres of meadow in Pond Meadow; and a house and farm. [2, 3]

William Shattuck’s son John and John Whitney’s granddaughter Ruth married on 20 Jun 1664, presumably in Watertown.

William’s will was written on 3 Aug 1672. He died 11 days later on 14 Aug in Watertown, at the age of 50. His will was proved on 29 Aug in Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

William Shattuck is interred in the Old Burying Place Cemetery in Watertown. John Whitney is also interred there. [4]


William Shattuck I (1661-1672) is 11th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

John Whitney I (1588-1673) is 10th great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

John Whitney I (1588-1673) is also 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] Founder’s Monument—Watertown, Massachusetts, Life From The Roots blog. The two photos above are from this website.
[2] Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck …, by Lemuel Shattuck, Dutton and Wentworth, 1855.
[3] Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts …, by Henry Bond, N.E. Historic-Genealogical Society, 1860; Volume I, page 427.
[4] Old Burying Place, findagrave.com.

Early Settlers—Watertown, MA—John Whitney

John Whitney is remembered on Founder’s Monument as a founder of Watertown, Massachusetts. [1]

Watertown was first settled in 1630, 10 years after the arrival of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts Bay.

“A party of the adventurous emigrants who came in Winthrop’s fleet, with Sir Richard Saltonstall and Rev. George Phillips at their head, selected a place on the banks of Charles river for their plantation. On the 7th of Sept., 1630, (O. S.) the court of assistants, at Charlestown, ‘ordered that Trimountain be called Boston, Mattapan, Dorchester, and the town on Charles river, Watertown.'” [2]

“In 1632 the residents of Watertown protested against being compelled to pay a tax for the erection of a stockade fort at Cambridge; this was the first protest in America against taxation without representation and led to the establishment of representative democracy in the colony.” [3]

John was born in London, England, on 20 Jul 1588. He married Eleanor Arnold before 1619. [4] [5]

John, Eleanor (listed as Ellen), and their five children arrived in Massachusetts Bay on 13 Apr 1635 on the ship Elizabeth & Ann, and settled in Watertown. [4]

John was admitted freeman 3 Mar 1636, and elected Selectman of the town in 1637. He held the office for many years, until 1655, when he was elected town clerk. He was appointed constable on 1 Jun 1641 by the General Court. [4]

In Watertown, John purchased his homestall, 16 acres, but also was a grantee of eight lots of 212 acres. It is likely he gifted much of the 212 acres to his sons as their homestalls. [4]

John died on 1 Jun 1673 in Watertown at the age of 84 [4], and is interred there at the Old Burying Place Cemetery. [6]


John Whitney I (1588-1673) is 10th great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

[Updated 21 Dec 2018]
John Whitney I (1588-1673) is also 12th great-grandfather of MKS in the Watne branch.

References:
[1] Founder’s Monument—Watertown, Massachusetts, Life From The Roots blog. The two photos above are from this website.
[2] Historical collections: being a general collection of interesting facts, traditions, biographical sketches, anecdotes, &c., relating to the history and antiquities of every town in Massachusetts, with geographical descriptions, by John Warner Barber, published by Warren Lazell, 1844. 
[3] Watertown, Massachusetts, wikipedia.org.
[4] Whitney. The Descendants of John Whitney, who came from London, England, to Watertown, Massachusetts, in 1635, by Frederick Clifton Pierce, W.B. Conkey Company, 1895.
[5] Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts …, by Henry Bond, N.E. Historic-Genealogical Society, 1860; Volume I, page 427.
[6] Old Burying Place, findagrave.com.

Photo Friday—Watne School in Sverdrup Township, 1910

Watne School, Sverdrup Township, 1910.
Andrew Vatne Homestead, Sverdrup Township, Section 8, SW1/4.

This photo of children playing at the Watne school was found during our recent epic road trip that included a visit to the Griggs County Museum in North Dakota.

The Watne school was established in or before 1897, and was located on Andrew and Ane Vatne’s homestead in Sverdrup Township, North Dakota.[1] The area was called Vatne Dal in Norwegian, or Watne Valley in English.

Andrew’s claim (to secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain) to 160 acres in Section 8 of Sverdrup Township was established on 3 Nov 1890. [2]

Their homestead was next to that of Tonnes and Bertha Vatne. Tonnes’ claim (to secure Homesteads to actual Settlers on the Public Domain) to 160 acres in Section 8 of Sverdrup Township was established on 11 Nov 1898.[3]


Andrew Vatne (1861-1941) and Ane Kristine Davidsdatter Lima (1866-1940) are 2nd husband of wife of 3rd great-uncle and wife of 3rd great-uncle of MKS in the Watne branch. Ane was first married to Vilhelm Jonasen Vatne (1864-1888) who is 3rd great-uncle of MKS in the Watne branch.

Tonnes Vatne (1855-1917) and Bertha Jonasdatter Vatne (1858-1918) are husband of 3rd great-aunt and 3rd great-aunt of MKS in the Watne branch.

Vilhelm Vatne and Bertha Vatne are siblings. Andrew and Tonnes are presumably from the Vatne farm in Norway, hence the same last names Vatne as Vilhelm and Bertha.

References:
[1] Cooperstown, North Dakota, 1882-1982, page 55.
[2] U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, BLM Serial Number NDMTAA 114415.
[3] U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, General Land Office Records, BLM Serial Number NDMTAA 114429.

Source: Griggs County Museum and Griggs County Historical Society (photograph).

Photo Friday—Universalist Church, Clarendon, New York

Universalist Church, dedicated in 1837,
Clarendon, New York.

Acknowledgement: This post is based on History of Clarendon from 1810 to 1888 [1] by David Sturges Copeland, published in 1889, and Pullman Architectural News, Summer 2014, Volume 2, No. 2 [2].

The town of Clarendon, Orleans County, New York, figures prominently in the history of our Wetherbee line, and visa versa.

The area of Clarendon was “discovered” by Issac Farwell in 1810, and the first log cabin was constructed there in 1811 by his brother, Judge Eldridge Farwell, and Eldridge’s family. The town was established in 1821. [1]

The Universalist Society of Clarendon and South Murray was formed by the early settlers at a meeting held at the nearby village of Holley on 3 Nov 1832. Among the first 13 members was Henry Wetherbee. By 1834, the society had grown to 50 members. [1]

In June 1837, the church building was dedicated, the first of any denomination in the town. The church was built in the federal style from locally quarried limestone, and the church bell was bought in from Troy. [1] “At that time through auction, people purchased their pews—the highest price paid was $125.00 while the least was $15.00. $2,590.00 was raised from this sale.” [2]

In 1869, David Wetherbee and two others were appointed to a committee “to remodel the church according to their best ability.” [1]

Several Wetherbees were trustees of the church over the years: [1]

  • Samuel Wetherbee in 1838, 1844, 1850, and 1853
  • David Wetherbee in 1863, 1866, 1872, 1875, and 1878
  • John M. Wetherbee in 1868

David Wetherbee was the clerk of the church in 1888, and assisted David Sturges Copeland with his history of Clarendon, providing church records. [1]

Copeland wrote of the church [1]:

“How many have been carried to their last home out of the middle doors! How many steps have sadly moved out of the side doors, when their friends have been taken away, that have years since followed in the same procession to the silent city! If this old church had only a voice, out of its stone walls, out of its solemn bell, out of its galleries, out of its doorways, what would it say for the historian to chronicle? Truly, its silence is golden, beyond the power of all earthly language!”

John Wetherbee brought his family, including sons Samuel and Henry, to Clarendon by 1821. David and John M. are two of Samuel’s sons.

The last regular Universalist service was held in the church in May 1959. Unfortunately, the church building was demolished in the fall of 2006. The Pullman Architectural News [2] tells the story of the building’s demise.


John Wetherbee (1751-1836) is 5th great-grandfather of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Brothers Samuel Wetherbee (1800-1879) and Henry Wetherbee (1810-1879) are 5th great-uncles of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Brothers David Wetherbee (1831-1911) and Sergeant John M. Wetherbee (1838-1875) are 1st cousins 5x removed of MKS in the Wetherbee branch.

Sergeant John M. Wetherbee was terribly wounded at the Battle of Mine Run in 1863 during the Civil War, and died of his injuries 12 years later.

References:
[1] History of Clarendon from 1810 to 1888, David Sturges Copeland, 1889.
[2] Pullman Architectural News, Summer 2014, Volume 2, No. 2.

Source: Alan Isselhard, Clarendon, NY Town Historian (black and white photograph).

Hartford, Connecticut Colony, 1640

Hartford in 1640, drawn by Wm. S. Porter, surveyor and antiquarian, in 1838.

In our post of 1 May 2018, we met Robert White, his wife Bridget Allgar White, and four of their children—John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna—who immigrated to America during the Puritan Great Migration.

This is a map of Hartford, Connecticut Colony,  in 1640—four years after its settlement. This version of the map has lot numbers and a legend added, which were apparently not on the original. Someone has also handwritten in pencil several of the street names of today (Main St., Pearl, Trumbull). On this map, east is up and north is to the right.

Running from top to bottom on this map, Little River and Little Creek do not exist today. They were known later as Hog River because pigs were kept on farms next to it. In the 1940’s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers buried it under the city.

Note these lot numbers:

  • 1—Goodwin Wm. elder
  • 3—Hooker Thomas, paster
  • 101, 105—White John

Lot 1 appears to be about where the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and Burr Mall are located today in downtown Hartford.

Rev. Thomas Hooker led the group of about 100 Puritans that settled Hartford in 1636.


Elizabeth White (1591-1667) is  12th great-aunt of MKS in the Knight branch and the Watne branch.

William Goodwin (1567-) is husband of 12th great-aunt Elizabeth White.

John White (1597-1684) and Mary Levitt (1601-1666) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

This map was found on the Connecticut History Illustrated site of the University of Connecticut.

Windsor, Connecticut Colony, 1654

Plan of Ancient Windsor, 1640-1654, from The Phelps Family of America and Their English Ancestors, 1899.

In our post of 1 May 2018, we met Robert White, his wife Bridget Allgar White, and four of their children—John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna—who immigrated to America during the Puritan Great Migration.

This is a map of Windsor, Connecticut Colony,  in 1654—24 years after its settlement in 1630.

Note these names and places in the bottom-middle of the map, to the left of the title Plan of Ancient Windsor:

  • Joseph Loomis
  • John Porter
  • Trading House, 1633

The trading post was established by the Plymouth colonists in 1633.

Joseph, John, and their families settled in Windsor in 1638, eight years after its settlement.


Mary White (1590-1652) and Joseph Loomis (1590-1658) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

Anna White (1600-1648) and John Porter (1594-1648) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

29 Million and Counting …

Across the pond in Messing and Shalford, Essex, England, we find two ancestors, Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623), with a unique claim on our ancestry.

Robert was born abt. 1561 in Messing, about 60 miles east of London. Bridget was baptized 11 Mar 1562 in Shalford, about 20 miles west of Messing. Robert and Bridget married on 24 Jun 1585 in Shalford, where they raised seven children. They apparently lived there until just before May 1617 when we find them living in Messing according to Robert’s will.

Robert was a yeoman, wealthy, but not a member of nobility. Oxford Dictionary defines yeoman as a “person qualified for certain duties and rights, such as to serve on juries and vote for the knight of the shire, by virtue of possessing free land of an annual value of 40 shillings.” [1] In his will, he leaves 40 shillings to each of “the poore people of Messinge”, “Mr. Richard Rogers preacher of gods word at Withersfield in Essex aforesaid; and to Bartholomew Scrivener Minister of the church of god in Messinge.” Rogers was a non-conformist, and Scrivener was a minister in the established church.

After Robert’s death, four of the children—John, Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna—immigrated to America early in the Puritan Great Migration with their spouses, and most or all of their children.

John White (1597-1684) departed England on the ship Lyon on 22 Jan 1632 with his wife Mary Levitt (1601-1666).

Elizabeth White (1591-1667) and her husband William Goodwin (1567-) accompanied John and Mary on the Lyon.

The Lyon arrived 16 Sep 1632 in Boston, Massachusetts Bay Colony, and they settled in Newtown, now Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1636, they removed to Hartford, Connecticut Colony, led by the Rev. Thomas Hooker, along with about 100 other Puritans.

John White and William Goodwin are listed on Founders Monument, Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mary White (1590-1652) and her spouse Joseph Loomis (1590-1658) followed in 1638 on the ship Susan and Ellen. They arrived in Boston on 17 Jul 1638, and settled in Windsor, Connecticut Colony.

Anna White (1600-1648) and her spouse John Porter (1594-1648) followed, perhaps on the Susan and Ellen in 1638 as well. They also settled in Windsor.

These four families had many children—John and Mary, 7 children; William and Elizabeth, 1 child ; Joseph and Mary, 8 children; John and Anna, 13 children. It appears most of their children accompanied them to America or were born there.

So they arrived in America early, the first of them just 22 years after permanent settlement of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1610, and 12 years after the arrival of the Mayflower to Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.

Where is this leading?

According to Mormon Pioneer Genealogy Library projections, the largest family in America today is the posterity of Robert White (b. ca. 1560) and Bridget Allgar, with a Mormon posterity of 430,000 and an American posterity of 29 million. [2]

Now, one generation after this projection was made, the family is even larger—including one MKS.


Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

Robert White (1561-1617) and Bridget Allgar White (1562-1623) are 12th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Mary White (1590-1652) and Joseph Loomis (1590-1658) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

John White (1597-1684) and Mary Levitt (1601-1666) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Watne branch.

Anna White (1600-1648) and John Porter (1594-1648) are 11th great-grandparents of MKS in the Knight branch.

There are at least eight lines in our family tree up to Robert and Bridget, and FamousKin.com lists many famous cousins including:

  • William Williams, signer of the Declaration of Independence
  • Four U.S. Presidents—Millard Filmore 13, Ulysses S. Grant 18, Grover Cleveland 22 and 24, and Gerald Ford 38
  • Inventors key to the settlement of the American West—Samuel Colt, inventor of the Colt revolver, and Joseph Glidden, inventor of barbed wire
  • Aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, and Amelia Earhart
  • Poet Emily Dickinson and artist Norman Rockwell

References:
[1] Yeoman definition, Oxford Dictionary, 1972.
[2] Mormon Pioneer Genealogy Library Acquired by NEHGS, June 1985.