Thursday, October 25, 2007

Chapter 14 - From the Pilgrims to Today

From the Pilgrims to Today
Our Family Tree

In a recent conversation with an acquaintance on the subject of our ancestors, I casually mentioned that I was a direct descendent of five of the passengers on the Mayflower. My friend after hearing my ancestral claim paused for a moment and then continued telling me about her own ancestors, ignoring my comment about my Mayflower connections. Either she thought that I was just bragging or she simply did not believe me. In either case, she did not want to hear more on that particular subject. I suppose that it may come across as snobbery when one claims to be a direct descendent of a Mayflower passenger.
The truth is that millions of living Americans and Canadians today are direct descendents of Mayflower passengers although the vast majority of us are ignorant of this fact.

It is also interesting just how many famous Americans both living and dead can claim to be descendents of Mayflower passengers. For example, one of the most famous Mayflower passengers was my great (x10) grandfather, Governor William Bradford, pictured above. His descendents include besides our family, such notables as Noah Webster, actor Clint Eastwood, George Eastman, one of the founders of Eastman-Kodak, George McClellen, Commander of Union forces during the Civil War, and Hugh Hefner. Richard Warren, also one of the Mayflower passengers and my great (x10) grandfather [his granddaughter married one of William Bradford’s grandsons] has as famous descendents General and President Ulysses S. Grant, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Alan Shepard, fifth man to walk on the moon, actor Richard Gere, Walt Disney, Katherine Hepburn, John Wayne, and many others. Finally, Isaac Allerton and his wife Mary, also my great (x10) grandparents sailed on the Mayflower with their daughter, Mary, my great (x9) grandmother and have as descendents many famous people including President Zackary Taylor, actor Jimmy Stewart, and former First Lady, “Lady Bird” Johnson. We are as great grandchildren of these Mayflower passengers in good company with many other famous and not so famous Americans.

Most Americans are familiar with the Mayflower and its landing on Plymouth Rock in 1620. They are less familiar with the ships that followed shortly after the Mayflower including the ship “Fortune” that arrived in 1621, and the ships “Anne” and the “Little James” that arrived in 1623. On board the Mayflower were five of our direct ancestors: William Bradford, Richard Warren, Isaac Allerton, his wife Mary (Norris) Allerton, and their daughter, Mary Allerton. On board the Fortune in 1621 were two more of our ancestors, Robert Cushman and his son, Thomas Cushman. On board the Anne or the Little James were eleven more of our direct ancestors: Robert Bartlett, John Faunce, George Morton with his wife Juliana and their five children including our direct ancestor, their daughter, Patience Morton who later married John Faunce, Alice Carpenter (later to marry William Bradford), Elizabeth Warren, wife of Richard Warren who sailed on the Mayflower, and their five daughters including our direct ancestor Mary Warren, and finally Frances Sprague and his two daughters Anna and our direct ancestor, Mercy. The Sprague family members were the only passengers on the first four ships to Plymouth who were direct ancestors on my father’s side of the family. Also arriving on the Mayflower was one George Soule, whom I believe is one of my great (x10) grand uncles on my father’s side. In total on these first four ships to Plymouth arriving between 1620 and 1623 there were at least twenty-nine of my known relatives on board including great grandparents, great grand aunts and great grand uncles.

The purpose of this chapter in our family’s history is neither to write extensive biographies on our Mayflower ancestors nor to write a history of the Plymouth Colony. There is no shortage of information in books and on the web on the lives and the history of the early Pilgrims therefore to duplicate those efforts would be pointless. I have chosen rather to focus on our family tree and our descendents including brief details only of the individuals and their accomplishments, their families, and where and when they lived. This family history begins with William Bradford. To help in understanding our family’s history, the following family tree has been included.

William Bradford m. Alice Carpenter
(1589 – 1657) (1590 – 1670)

William Bradford (Jr) m. Alice Richards
(1624 – 1703) (1627 – 167

John Bradford m. Mercy Warren
(1653 – 1736) (1653 – 1746)

Mercy Bradford m. Isaac Cushman
(1681 – 1738) (1676 – 1727)

Priscilla Cushman m. Israel Holmes
(1719 - ?) (1720 - ?)

Priscilla Holmes m. Ephraim Buell
(1745 – ?) (1742 – 1820)

Elizabeth Buell m. Silas Hutchinson
(1774 – 1825) (1758 – 1836)

Mosley Hutchinson m. Elizabeth Boardman Hall
(1795 – 1861) (1801 – 1877)

Mary Hutchinson m. David Ferree
(1825 – 1901) (1826 - ?)

Eugene Ferree m. Marian Coapman
(1866 – 1952) (1867 – 1895)

Florence Ferree m. Douglas Patterson
(1891 – 1938) (1888 – 1979)

Marian Patterson m. Charles Baker
(1916 – 1973) (1916 – 2000)

Charles Baker Jr m. Kathleen Mahar
(very much alive in 2007)

Generation 1: William Bradford and his wife Alice Carpenter
The most notable of the original Pilgrim Fathers was probably William Bradford for a number of reasons. He was one of the original 125 English separatists, later known as the Pilgrims, who in 1608 sought religious sanctuary in Holland. He assumed the major responsibility and the leadership role for arranging the details of their emigration to America on the ship “Mayflower.” In April of 1621 after the death of Plymouth Colony’s first governor, William Bradford was unanimously elected to replace him as governor and he was annually reelected 30 times. However, it was Bradford’s “History of Plymouth Plantation, 1620-1647 published in 1856 long after his death for which he earned his place in history. It was from this minor classic and from the hundreds of his other surviving documents that we have been able to learn the details of the early years of Plymouth Colony and its inhabitants. Without this knowledge gained from the writings of William Bradford a huge portion of our American heritage would be missing. It was in Bradford’s writings that the term “Pilgrims” was first used to describe their small group and it was from Bradford’s description of their feast with the native American Indians in 1622 that we drew our tradition of celebrating a “Thanksgiving” dinner each year.

Bradford was born in Yorkshire, England in 1590. In 1613 in Holland he married Dorothy May and together they bore a son John in 1615. In 1620, William and Dorothy without their only son, departed on the Mayflower for their voyage to America. Unfortunately, shortly after their arrival in America, Dorothy fell overboard and was drowned. William married our great (x10) grandmother, Alice Carpenter, in 1623 shortly after her arrival to Plymouth on the ship “Anne.” Together they had three children including their first borne child our great (x9) grandfather, William Bradford Jr. who was born in Plymouth in June of the year 1624. William Bradford died at the age of 67 in the year 1657 and he is buried in Burial Hill in Plymouth. Alice died in 1670 at the age of 79. He was a great leader in very hard times and I am glad to call him my relative.

Generation 2: William Bradford Jr and his wife Alice Richards:
William Bradford Jr. married our great (x9) grandmother Alice Richards in 1650. Alice in the year 1633 at the age of six emigrated with her parents to America. She was twenty-two when she married William and together they had ten children. She died in 1671, the same year as the birth of her tenth child. William married twice more and fathered another five children before he died at the age of 79 in the year 1704. He was no doubt exhausted from raising 15 children but there is no evidence that it contributed to his passing. Just kidding. His youngest child was born when he was 61. William and Alice’s first born child was John Bradford, our great (x8) grandfather who was born in 1652.

William Bradford Jr. is most noted in history as the commander in chief of the Plymouth military forces during the King Philip’s War fought between the Indian inhabitants of southern New England and the English colonists and their Indian allies. The war lasted from 1675 to 1676. “King Philip” is the Anglo name given by the English to the main leader on the Indian side. This war while not well known by most Americans was one of the bloodiest and costly wars in the history of America. Overall of those engaged in this short war nearly one in twenty persons among Indians and English were wounded or killed. The bloodiest battle of the war was fought at an Indian fort in the middle of a frozen swamp in a bitter cold December in 1675 near South Kingstown, Rhode Island. The battle has been named the Great Swamp Fight. It is estimated that during this battle the English suffered a 20 percent casualty rate which was double the casualty rate of American soldiers at D-Day. It was here that our great grandfather William Bradford Jr. received a horrible musket ball wound to his head at his eye. While fortunately he was not killed, he did carry the musket ball and a large scar on his face for the rest of his life. William held the military rank of Major and in 1687 he was named Deputy Governor of the colony. Also in 1687 he moved to Kingston, MA, a community located on Plymouth Bay just north of Plymouth. William Jr. is buried near his father in Burial Hill, Plymouth.

Generation 3: John Bradford and his wife Mercy Warren and her family:
John Bradford and Mercy Warren, both 21, married on January 6, 1674 and shortly after their wedding the construction of their new home was completed in Kingston, Massachusetts. Fortunately for preservationists the Bradford home is still standing today (albeit expanded from its original size) and is currently in use as a museum as well as the home of The Jones River Village Historical Society. For our family, one of the most notable things that John did was to marry Mercy Warren, granddaughter of Richard Warren, another of the 102 passengers on the Mayflower. Great (x10) grandfather Warren’s wife and our great (x10) grandmother, Elizabeth Walker Warren and their five daughters (our great aunts) arrived on the third ship, the “Anne,” to Plymouth Colony in 1623. Unfortunately, from a family history standpoint, Richard Warren is one of the least documented of the original Mayflower passengers. It is known that he was not one of the Separatists (”Pilgrims”) emigrating from Holland. He is believed to be a London merchant who boarded the Mayflower in London. Warren no doubt believed that opportunities for an improved life for his family were greater in America than they were in overpopulated, crime infested, and disease ridden London in the early 1600s. The hardships in America were too much for Richard Warren however, for he died in 1628 less than eight years after his arrival in the New World. Richard and Elizabeth had two additional children born in Plymouth including our great (x9) grandfather, Joseph Warren, their last child who was born in 1627. It must be mentioned in our family’s history story that Elizabeth Warren was a remarkable woman. After a three year separation from her husband, she traveled unescorted with her five young daughters in a small ship across the great Atlanta Ocean never knowing whether she would find her husband alive upon their arrival. After Richard’s death only five years later in 1628, she never remarried and by herself she raised her seven children. This is remarkable considering the patriarchal conventions of the 17th century. Unlike the majority of Plymouth Colony women, Elizabeth Warren’s name appears regularly in the Colony records during the long period of her widowhood. She died in 1673 at the age of 90. The final Colonial record of her death was the well-earned tribute of a eulogy: “Mistress Elizabeth Warren, an aged widow, aged above 90 years, deceased on the second of October, 1673. Who, having lived a godly life, came to her grave as a shock of corn fully ripe.”

Mercy Warren’s family tree is as follows:

Richard Warren m. Elizabeth Walker
(1580-1628) (1583-1673)

Joseph Warren m. Priscilla Faunce
(1627-1689) (1634-1691)

Mercy Warren m. John Bradford
(1653-1746) (1652-1736)

Almost everything that I have read about John Bradford, which is not much, refers to him as Major John Bradford. Since he was in his early twenties at the time of King Philip’s War and his father was the commander of the Plymouth forces, I assume he participated in the war although I did not find any confirmation in that regard. The first child of John and Mercy was born in December 1675 about the same time that the child’s grandfather was seriously wounded fighting in the Great Swamp Fight. Hopefully, the newborn’s father was at home for the birth and not off fighting Indians.

In total, John and Mercy were to have seven children born between the years 1675 and 1688. John was later to serve as the first deputy from Plymouth to the General Court, in 1687; deputy to the General Court 1689-91, Selectman in 1708, and Representative to the General Assembly at Boston in 1719. Historians note that John inherited from his grandfather, William Bradford, the original and only manuscript of Bradford’s The History of Plymouth Plantation. He foolishly loaned the manuscript to a friend who never returned it and it was lost for many years. It was eventually located in England of all places in the mid-1800s and as we previously mentioned was published. John and Mercy’s fourth child, Mercy Bradford, our great (x7) grandmother, was born in 1681. John Bradford died in 1736. Mercy Warren Bradford, his wife, died in 1747. They are buried together in the Old Burying Ground, at First Church, in Kingston, Massachusetts.

Generation 4: Mercy Bradford and her Husband Isaac Cushman
Mercy Bradford had four children with her first husband before he died in 1714. Mercy was 33 when her husband died. Three years later she married our great (x7) grandfather, Isaac Cushman, who had lost his first wife after she had given birth to eight children. Isaac and Mercy together had an additional four children including our great (x6) grandmother Priscilla Cushman who was born in Plympton in 1719. Isaac Cushman is important in our family’s history as three of his ancestors arrived on the Mayflower, including his grandmother, Mary Allerton, who was only four years old when the Mayflower landed, and her parents, Isaac Allerton and Mary Norris Allerton. I am including the following family tree to help in understanding Isaac’s family tree.

Isaac Allerton m. Mary Norris

Mary Allerton m. Thomas Cushman
1616-1699) (1608-1691)

Isaac Cushman m Rebecca Harlow
(1648-1732) (1655- )

Isaac Cushman m Mercy Bradford
(1676-1727) (1681-1738)

It is obvious that there are millions of living Americans today that can claim ancestors on the Mayflower. However, that number is significantly reduced when you calculate, if that were possible, how many living Americans are directly descended from five of the Mayflower passengers. We fall in that group. Our Mayflower ancestors include William Bradford, Richard Warren, Isaac Allerton, his wife Mary Allerton, and there daughter, Mary Allerton. We can also claim as relatives on the Mayflower, two additional great aunts on my mother’s side and one great uncle on my father’s side. Also it is likely that John Allerton, another Mayflower passenger, was a relative of Isaac therefore one of our great grand uncles. Now that is some family tree.

Isaac Allerton and his wife Mary Norris were married in Leiden, Holland in 1611. Isaac had been a long-time member of the Pilgrim’s church in Leiden and it was recorded that he had been a tailor in London prior to moving to Holland. When the family embarked on the Mayflower for the trip to America, their children, Bartholomew, Remember, and Mary, our great (x9) grandmother, were ages 8, 6, and 4 respectively. Furthermore, Isaac’s wife, Mary was pregnant with their fourth child. As everyone knows, the Pilgrims encountered terrible winter conditions at Plymouth before their first shelters were constructed. While still on board the Mayflower in December of 1620, Mary lost her baby, a still born son, and then in February 1621 she lost her own life.

While it is easy to feel sympathy at this point for Isaac and for his young family, Isaac’s behavior in the Plymouth Colony in later years erases any empathy we may have felt for him in 1621. Isaac Allerton was one of the most active and prominent members of early Plymouth and he was elected as Governor Bradford’s assistant in 1621 and continued in that role until the 1630s. In 1627 he was sent to England to negotiate with the colony’s investors. While there and during several subsequent trips to England paid for by the Colony, he engaged in a number of trading schemes to make private gains by purchasing goods in England and them reselling them at a profit in the Massachusetts Bay colonies. These actions were an obvious conflict of interest and when his trading schemes ultimately failed and he was discovered he was asked to leave Plymouth. This took place in the late 1630s. We hold our head in shame, for Isaac was not an honorable and trustworthy man in times of great need.

Isaac’s daughter, Mary Allerton, married Thomas Cushman, our great (x9) grandfather, in 1636. Thomas was born in Canterbury, England in 1608. Thomas moved with his father, Robert Cushman, to Holland with the other Leiden Pilgrims and there Thomas’ father, Robert became the agent for the Pilgrims and very instrumental in making the arrangements for their passage to America. Robert with his young son were originally scheduled to make the initial crossing in 1620, however one of the ships that was to cross with the Mayflower was found not to be seaworthy, and because of space limitations on the Mayflower Robert and Thomas elected to stay behind. In 1621, less than a year after the landing of the Mayflower, the Cushman’s disembarked from the ship “Fortune” onto the shores of America at Plymouth. After meetings with William Bradford and the other administrators of the colony, it was decided that because of the urgent needs of the colony, Robert needed return to England as soon as possible to continue his negotiations with the “Investors” to arrange for additional supplies to be sent to the Colony. He left the Plymouth shortly thereafter when the ship Fortune departed for its return trip to England. Robert left his son Thomas in the care of William Bradford until his return to the colony. Unfortunately, Robert died in London in 1625, supposedly as a victim of the bubonic plague, leaving William Bradford to raise young Thomas who was 13 when his father returned to England.

Thomas was 29 when he married 20 year old Mary Allerton. Together they raised eight children including their fourth child, Isaac Cushman, our great (8) grandfather, who was born in 1648. Thomas was very active in Plymouth Colony serving for several years as assistant to the governor as well as making five trips to London in the interest of the colony. In 1649 he was appointed Elder of the Church, a position he held for 42 years until his death in 1691. Mary outlived her husband by eight years dying in the year 1699. Just before her death, Mary was the oldest surviving person of the original Mayflower passengers. Mary and Thomas Cushman are buried together in the Old Burial Hill Cemetery in Plymouth.

Isaac Cushman and his wife Mercy were members of the church in Plympton of which his father Thomas was the pastor. Isaac was for many years a lieutenant in the town militia. He served frequently as one of the town’s selectmen and assessors, he held the office of Town Clerk for more than 16 years, and it is recorded that he was a “distinguished land surveyor.” Isaac died at age 51 in the year 1727. Mercy died at the age of 57 in 1738. They are both buried at the Plympton Burying Ground Cemetery. Plympton was a small farming community founded in the 1650s located west of Plymouth Colony.

Generation 5: Priscilla Cushman and her husband Israel Holmes:
Without question I spent more time researching our great (x6) grandparents, Israel Holmes and Priscilla Cushman, than any of the other descendents of our Mayflower ancestors. This was not due to any special interest in this couple but merely because there was very little information about them in the historical records and every little bit of information I gathered encouraged me to dig deeper. It is not even clear as to the exact year of Israel’s birth although most of the records point to the year 1720. Israel’s father is believed to be the Rev. Isaac Holmes of Plympton. There is no established family tree for Isaac Holmes although I believe that his great grandfather was one William Holmes who emigrated from England in 1635. This conclusion is based solely on the dating and the frequent use of the names Israel and Isaac in the families of William’s descendents.

It is worth noting that Israel and Priscilla Holmes are the first of the Mayflower descendents in our family to move away from the Plymouth area. They were married in 1739 in Plympton and their first two children were born in Plympton including our great (x5) grandmother Priscilla Holmes who was born in 1744. Their fourth child however, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut in 1752 as were the remainder of their children. It is not surprising to find the later generations of our family beginning to locate to the west. Most of the families during this period were farmers and with the ever increasing population in the Massachusetts Bay area it is not surprising that the need to find land would drive them west. Litchfield is located on the western side of Connecticut. The community was founded in the 1720s. As previously stated, there is not a lot of historical information on Israel Holmes. One source lists his occupation as a Cordwainer, a maker of shoes and other soft leather goods. While this is possibly correct, it also seems unlikely. We know that his first two daughters married in Litchfield in 1760 and 1764 and sometime, probably in the late 1760s the two daughters and their husbands moved to Castleton, Vermont located near the Hudson River in the southwestern corner of Vermont. It appears that Isaac Cushman relocated with his family at this time although there is no real evidence to support this belief other than we know he was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery in Burlington, Vermont in 1808. I could find nothing more about Priscilla Holmes including the date of her death. I suspect that she died before 1760, possibly at the birth of her last child, and she maybe buried in Litchfield. At least one of Isaac’s son-in-laws fought with the Vermont militia during the American Revolution and it is entirely possible that Isaac only in his mid-40s during the War, may have participated in the war as well.

Generation 6: Priscilla Holmes and her husband Ephraim Buell:
In 1764 in Litchfield, Connecticut, Priscilla Holmes married Ephraim Buell. Four years earlier Priscilla’s sister Sarah married Samuel Buell, Ephraim’s older brother. The two couples and perhaps others in the family moved to Castleton, Vermont sometime during the late 1760s. There is some confusion in the records as to whether the family actually lived in Castleton, Vermont or Fort Edward, New York since most of their children are listed in most historical documents as having been born in Fort Edward. In “The Buell Family in England and America” an extensive genealogy of the Buell Family written in 1881, it lists all of the children of both Samuel and Ephraim born between the years 1763 and 1783 as having been born in Fort Edward. In any case, MapQuest tells us that by highway Castleton is only 36 miles west of Fort Edward. The fact that Ephraim Buell was a Captain in the Vermont militia during the American Revolution would lead us to believe that his home at least at some point, was actually in what is now the State of Vermont. Vermont of course was not in existence on paper anyway, prior to the Revolution and the fact that Ephraim actually lived in what is now part of New York State would not have precluded him from commanding a militia based in Castleton, Vermont. Furthermore, he was a member of Vermont’s “Green Mountain Boys” under the command of Brigadier General Ethan Allen during the Revolutionary War. Ethan Allen was a resident of Litchfield, Connecticut prior to the war and may have been acquainted with Ephraim or at least the Buell family. Castleton played an eventful part in the American Revolution in that in May of 1775, Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold planned their attack on Fort Ticonderoga in Castleton. Fort Ticonderoga was only 30 miles to the west or just to the north of Fort Edward. Ephraim Buell is referenced in “Wikipedia” as being part of a committee to consider the “advisability of taking Fort Ticonderoga.” According to the few Revolutionary War payroll records I reviewed, Ephraim served in the Vermont militia from at least 1775 until 1780. The role of Ephraim’s regiment was listed in one source as “scouting for security of the frontiers.” It is worth noted that one source listed an Ephraim Buell as a Connecticut soldier in 1761 during the French and Indian Wars.

In total Ephraim and Priscilla bore nine children including our great (x4) grandmother, Elizabeth “Betsy” Buell who was born in Fort Edward in the year 1774. Fort Edward incidentally, was a British fort during the French and Indian Wars, however after 1766 the fort was abandoned and was pretty much in ruins during the American Revolution and played no role in the War. After the British left the fort the area was quickly inhabited by American settlers including the Buell family. Sometime after the War probably in the mid-1780s the family moved again this time to the recently opened up settlement areas in New York’s Finger Lakes region. The Buells settled near the present day city of Ithaca. Their last two children were born at their new home. It was interesting to discover that the travels of Ephraim and Priscilla Buell did not end in Ithaca for some time in the early 1800s they moved again, this time to Ohio. They are recorded as having died only a day apart in January of 1820 in Hamilton County, Ohio. There is no explanation in the records as to why the Buells then in their late 70s were living in the wildernesses of western Ohio. But then, maybe no explanation is necessary. They were just of strong stock our family ancestors.

Generation 7: Elizabeth “Betsy” Buell and her husband Silas Hutchinson
Silas Hutchinson, our great (x4) grandfather, was born in Tolland County, Connecticut in 1758 the son of Eleazer Hutchinson and Ruth Long. Silas’s father was a Captain in the Connecticut militia during the American Revolution and his older brother by one year was a drummer in his father’s company. There is no record that Silas was a soldier in the War although he was of an age, 18 in 1776, when his enlistment would not have been unusual. By 1788 we find that Silas had moved to Ithaca, New York and in the local historical records he is reported as being one of the original settlers in the area. In June of 1790, Silas married Betsy Buell and between the years 1792 and 1810 that had at least seven children including our great (x3) grandfather, Mosely Hutchinson who was born in 1795. It is interesting to note that when Silas and Betsy were married in 1790 he was 32 years old and she was only 16. This is quite an age difference even in the 1700s although I doubt that Silas had a lot of women to chose from in 1790, and Betsy probably saw her prospective husband as a prosperous landowner, a respected doctor, and a good choice as a husband. Who knows; he might even have been good looking. There is not a lot of information we could find on Silas Hutchinson, we even checked the Tompkins County history books in the Ithaca Public Library, although we did learn that he served as Justice of the Peace for a few of years, and was credited with being one of the earliest doctors in this wilderness community. Silas and Betsy were to have 12 children together including their tenth born child, our great (x3) grandfather, Mosley Hutchinson. Despite their age difference, Mosely outlived his wife by eleven years. Betsy died in 1825 at the young age of 41. We are still searching for the site of her grave. Silas died in 1836 and he is buried in a small cemetery near Besemer Hamlet in Tompkins County. His headstone is missing and according to the cemetery records “someone in Slaterville is using this headstone for a back step.” If only I could get my hands on that person. . . . .

Generation 8: Mosely Hutchinson and his wife Elizabeth Boardman Hall
“One fine day Miss Elizabeth Boardman Hall was out on the Academy’s lawn, watching something on the lake, when John Davis, a prospector from Pennsylvania, passed the school in his search to buy up new land. He saw Miss Hall there on the lawn of the Academy, fell in love with her at first sight, and later married her. He bought two tracks of land (four hundred acres) from Colonel John Harris, south of the village on the lake front and erected a house . . . “ This passage was written in the “History of Cayuga” and the time period discussed was the year 1817. Miss Hall was only seventeen years old at the time. John Davis who was smitten by the beauty of Miss Hall, our great (x3) grandmother, married her in 1818 and unfortunately for Mr. Davis but fortunately for our family, John Davis fell off the Cayuga Lake bridge in 1819 and drowned. Miss Hall was a widow before the age of twenty and the owner of 200 acres of land on the banks of Cayuga Lake in the Village of Cayuga at the northeast corner of Cayuga Lake. Sounds like a good choice for a wife.

Mosely Hutchinson, son of an Ithaca doctor and our great (x3) grandfather, met the young widow and married her in October of 1822. Together they expanded the small house that John Davis had started in 1816, eventually building a much large home which historians refer to as the “Hutchinson Homestead”. Today there is an historical marker on the site identifying the former location of the “Hutchinson Homestead” noting that the original house built by Mosely and Elizabeth had burned in 1910. The Hutchinsons were primarily farmers which was the typical occupation of landowners in the 1800s although Mosely Hutchinson was also an attorney, served as an Associate Judge, and for a period was elected to the State Assembly.

Elizabeth and Mosely were to have at least six children that we are aware of including their third born child and our great (2) grandmother, Mary Rebecca Hutchinson who was born in their home in Cayuga in the year 1825. Mosely died at the age of 66 in the year 1861. Elizabeth ran the homestead for another 16 years finally passing away at the age of 76 in the year 1877. They are both buried in the Lakeview Cemetery near their home in the Village of Cayuga surrounded by many of the children and their grandchildren including my great grandfather, Eugene Ferree, who died when I was ten years old.

Generation 8: Mary Rebecca Hutchinson and her husband David Dewees Ferree
Oddly, since it is relatively recent in our family’s history, we know very little about David Dewees Ferree, my great (x2) grandfather. We know his family’s history, we know he was born in 1825 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and we know what he looked like since a photograph has been passed down, but that is about all that we know. His wife is buried in Lakeview Cemetery near her parents and on her gravestone it is inscribed that she was the wife of David Dewees Ferree, who was born in 1625. No death date is legible. There is no separate gravestone for David nor any other indications that he was buried in Cayuga. I assume that David met his wife in Cayuga since it is more likely that he traveled to New York rather than Mary Rebecca having traveled to Pennsylvania. They probably meet after 1850 since Mary Rebecca was still living with her parents at home according to the 1850 US Census. We can also assume that they married sometime before the birth of their first child in 1860. Mary Rebecca and David were both around 35 when their first son was born and around 40 years old at the birth of my great grandfather, Eugene Hutchinson Ferree in 1866. Family tradition has it that great grandfather Ferree was born in Lancaster, PA. In the 1880 US Census, Mary Rebecca and her children were back living at the Hutchinson Homestead. David was not on the Census list and therefore we might conclude that he died sometime between 1867 and 1880 at which time Mary Rebecca and her children moved back to her family home. My great, great grandmother, Mary Rebecca died on March 11, 1901. My great grandfather Eugene Ferree, whose story is covered in another Family History Chapter, was 35 when his mother died. It was a sad time for Eugene as he had lost his own wife only six years earlier and was left alone without a mother or a wife to help him raise his three young children.

It is unlikely that great grandfather Ferree was aware that he was a direct descendent of five of the Mayflower passengers. In the past, it was very difficult to do extensive genealogy work. What information that was available in written records in libraries, museums and other public buildings was scattered all over the country. The internet however has changed all of this and made it possible for amateur genealogists to stay at home and search websites containing millions of pieces of historical data about people, places, and things. These search sites also allow genealogists to share information about their own family trees with others. This family history chapter could not have been written without the help of internet at least not by yours truly. There is only one question remaining to be answered. Did I inherit my propensity to be slightly overweight from the Pilgrims? After all, it is all in the genes.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I read your wonderful account. I am an ancestor of Capt Ephriam Buell. He was one of the first settlers of what became Castleton Vermont. The first child born there was Capt Ehpraim and his wife's child. He first built a log home there. Next a finished home. I come from the 'Ransom and Drake lineage. My grandmother was a Historian and passed many family books,items on to me. I have an unusual carriage double seat that Capt.Ephriam made. Story has it that he made it for his soon to be bride. I see that you have contributed a great deal of history. Thank you. I am a native Vermonter. Know the Castleton Vt area well. Now residing in Maine.
If you'd like to email me- email Thank you.