Friday, December 29, 2017

Chapter 56 - Our Bertholf Family

Despite the fact that my DNA test revealed that 63% of my distant ancestors came from Western Europe as opposed to only 24% from Ireland, Scotland, or Wales, and 11% from Great Britain, it would seem that the majority of the stories in my Baker Family Tree blog are focused mostly on my ancestors with English origins. That fact combined with my own English surname of Baker and my mother's Scottish surname of Patterson, makes me wonder if perhaps my DNA test results might simply have been wrong. On the other hand, when I study my family tree on especially looking back at my many ancestors who arrived in America in the 1600s, I have to admit that a large number of my early ancestors did in fact emmigrate from Europe. It would appear that based on the unusual surnames of my European ancestors and their lack of detailed family histories (as opposed to my English ancestors) plus the fact that many of them ultimately married Americans with English sounding surnames, these issues may have led me to ignore them as subjects of my family history stories. This being the case and to be fair, I have chosen for this current chapter to write about my Bertholf family ancestors, a line of my family tree that originated in Holland. Now to their story.

Guiliaem (Guilliam) Bertholf (1656- ca1726): Guilliam Bertholf was my 9th great grandfather on my paternal grandmother's side of my family.  He was baptized on the 26th day of February in 1656 in a small church in Sluis in the Dutch province of Zeeland located in the southwestern corner of the Netherlands. This is the area in the Netherlands that is well known as having large portions of its land below sea level which accounts for it being the least populous province of the Netherlands, a fact especially true during my great grandfather's early life in the Netherlands. Very little is known about the parents and grandparents of Guilliam other than their names and possible birth and death dates and the fact that they too lived and died in Sluis. My 10th great grandparents were Cryn (Quirinus) Bartholf (1620-1675) and Sara Van Coperen (1620-1682). Guilliam was their sixth of at least nine children. Guilliam's grandparents (my 11th great grandparents) were Cristoffel Bertholf (1594-1636) and Catalyne Backhijus (1598-1639). There is some speculation that Guilliam's great grandparents came from Germany although frankly there is no clear documentation to verify this possibility. We could find nothing about the lives of Guilliam's parents and grandparents other than their possible birth and death years and the names of their children, records that were obviously obtained from local church records.

Early map of fortified village of Sluis
It should not be surprising to learn that Guilliam Bertholf, who was then around 28 years old, with his family left Sluis and the Netherlands for America sometime during or just before 1684. Considering the tumultuous past history of their homeland and the almost continuous religious wars between the Catholic countries of Spain and France and the largely Protestant country of the Netherlands during the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, their departure was understandable. Sluis, considering its location on the southern border of the Netherlands and it close proximity with the North Sea, was often under attack. As early as the 14th century the village of Sluis found it necessary to fortify their small town. In 1587, Spanish troops attacked and then occupied Sluis until it was recaptured by the Dutch in 1604. Again in 1606 the Spanish attempted a failed attack to recapture the small fortified village followed later by other failed attempts in 1621 and 1622. In 1672, the village was again attacked this time by the French who fortunately for the residents failed in their efforts to capture the village. Sluis is also well known during this time period as being a refuge town for French Huguenots who were Protestants who had escaped persecution by the Roman Catholics who made up the majority of the French population.

Zwin Channel
There is no evidence to suggest that Guilliam Bertholf nor his father or grandfather had been soldiers or in any way contributed to the leadership or the defense of their hometown of Sluis.  In fact, in one of Guilliam Bertholf's brief biographies, it was written that he owned a bakery and was a "cooper-smith," presumably making barrels and possibly shipping his bakery goods to other parts of Holland or other countries. Considering that Sluis during this early time period had been a major shipping port, this occupation would have been a real possibility. Unfortunately, it is also written, that Sluis' strength as a shipping port depended largely on its access to the North Sea via the Zwin Channel, and what was gradually happening, was that the Zwin was getting shallower as a result of the buildup of silt in its bottom. Hence, it was getting more and more difficult for seagoing vessels to make their way down the Zwin Channel to Sluis. It is entirely possible that Guilliam Bertholf and others in this area of the Netherlands, recognized the growing limitations of business development in their area, and they were thus encouraged to seek far greater opportunities, or so they thought, by emigrating to the New World and America. This possibility, plus the fact that many of the families that left the Netherlands were Huguenots who were seeking religious freedoms, meant that there was a strong flow of individuals out of the Netherlands during this time period in history, including of course our Bertholf ancestors. We found it quite interesting to discover that Guilliam Bertholf (Bertolf) was listed in a book named "The Huguenots or Early French in New Jersey" published in 1955 and written by Albert F Koehler. Mr. Koehler at the time was the Treasurer of the Huguenot Society of New Jersey. Despite the indisputable fact that Guilliam was not French, Mr. Koehler nevertheless listed him as a Huguenot.

Early Dutch settlements in America
Guilliam Bertholf was 20 years old when he married his new wife and my 9th great grandmother, Martyntje Hendrickse Vermeulen, on the 15th of April in 1675. Over the next eight years or so and before they left for America, Martyntje gave birth to three daughters. Their youngest daughter was still a baby when they boarded a ship bound for America. The name of their ship and the exact date of their departure is unknown. What is probable however, is that the ship passengers were largely Huguenots and the ship landed in what was by then the small village of New York on the western end of Long Island. It is well known of course, that the Dutch were the original settlers in New York beginning around 1613 with the formation of a trading post and then by 1625 the settlement of a new village on Long Island by the name of New Amsterdam (the future City of New York). New Dutch settlements rapidly began to expand in the area as far north as the future city of Albany up the Hudson River as well as into the future states of New Jersey and Delaware.  Unfortunately for the Dutch in 1664, the British seized the Dutch colony so that by the time that Guilliam Bertholf and his family arrived in America the land upon which they settled while still largely occupied by Dutch as well as Walloons (Belgians), Germans, and French Huguenots, was then under the control of the British.

Why Guilliam Bertholf is sometimes referred to as a Huguenot is possibly because he and his family eventually settled is an area known as Hackensack in the present day county of Bergen in New Jersey. Hackensack is considered to have been the first permeant Huguenot settlement in New Jersey beginning in 1677. In 1685 however, shortly following the arrival of the Bertholf family in America, the Edict of Nantes was revoked in France. This edict had originally granted the Huguenots the right to practice their religion without persecution, but when this right was totally revoked what followed was a large influx of French Protestants, the Huguenots, into America with large numbers ultimately settling in New Jersey, the new home of our great grandparents, the Bertholfs.

The Bertholf family is believed to have first settled in a community originally named Bergen (now Jersey City) located in present day New Jersey and just across the Hudson River from the village of New York (New Amsterdam.) It was there that he and his wife are recorded as having joined the local Dutch Reformed Church ("The Little Church") on 6 October 1684 and where at least two of his early American born children were baptized. Family historians are a little unclear as to how long Guilliam and his growing family lived in Bergen and some suggest that they soon moved about 15 miles north of Bergen to a small settlement named Acquackanonck where Guilliam owned and operated a small farm. Since most historians also report that Acquackanonck was only scantly inhabited at this point, it would seem probable that the family remained in Bergen. In any case, Guilliam soon met the local Bergen church's visiting minister by the name of Rev. Hendricus Selyns who was so impressed with young Guilliam that in 1690 he offered Guilliam a church job serving as clerk and lay-reader ("voorlezer") in the tiny congregation in Harlem located just east of New York and across the Hudson River from Bergen. At the time church ministers traveled from community to community and the local voorlezers operated the local churches in their absence. The voorlezer effectively had the duties of an assistant minister.

What is known is that at some point probably around 1692, Guilliam Bertholf was offered a job as the voorlezer in a small local church in Hackensack located just north of Bergen where he soon relocated, purchased land, began operating a farm (for needed income of course), and worked for their small local Dutch Reformed church. Shortly following his recent hiring by the church in Hackensack, a new church opened in nearby Acquackanonk (later Passaic) where he also was soon employed as their voorlezer. This position beside being responsible for keeping the church records and leading prayers, etc. in the absence of the traveling minister, also included teaching school to the young local children. Apparently my great-grandfather was more educated than the vast majority of the local residents and as it quickly turned out he soon became a highly respected leader in his community and in the local churches.

Understandably the local people of Hackensack were not at all pleased with their church being run by an out-of-town, non-Dutch speaking, and mostly absent minister especially now that Guilliam Bertholf was there as their voorlezer and whose theology and politics were both congenial to them. Unfortunately the only way for Guilliam to be ordained as a minister was for him to be ordained by the Dutch Reformed Church back in Amsterdam. This issue was so important to the locals that they funded a trip for Guilliam back to Amsterdam where in September of 1693 he was quickly ordained as a full minister of the Dutch Reformed Church.  Guilliam Bertholf returned to Hackensack on 24 February 1694 and his life soon changed.

Sleepy Hollow Church
For the next thirty years Guilliam Bertholf served as the full time minister of the churches both in Hackensack and in nearby Acquackanonk. He is recognized as the first Dutch speaking minister in New Jersey. He also over the many years he served for the church, was responsible for the founding of numerous other churches both in New Jersey as well as a few in New York including the church in Tarrytown, New York which later became famous as the "Sleepy Hollow Church," featured in Washington Irving's book Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Grandfather Bertholf became quite well known during his long service and not surprisingly considering his high character, he was a very highly respected individual. A Rev. Dr. David Cole wrote a book in 1894 wherein he described Guilliam as follows: "His piety was deep, his judgement and tact superior, his grasp of the Bible clear and strong, his preaching reverent and superior, his intercourse with people cordial and magnetic, and his devotion to his work untiring."  I am honestly quiet proud to be a great grandson of the Rev. Guilliam Berthoth.

Considering Guilliam's active role within the church we were a little surprised to discover that the exact number of children born to the Bertholf family is unknown.  Considering however, that if a child died at birth and before they could be baptized, then a record of their birth could easily have been lost particularly since no birth records, only baptismal records, were being kept during this period of history. What is known is that Guilliam and Martina (Martyntje) had at least eight children including two sons who were both my 8th great grandfathers, Hendrick Bertholf, who was baptized on 6 April 1686 at the church in Bergen, and Corynus (Quirinus) Bertholf, who was also baptized at the church in Bergen on the 4th of May in 1688. There are some sources that state that Corynus was born in New York City although this would seem unlikely if the family was at the time still living in Bergen. The last child of Guilliam and Martina, a daughter, was born in 1714 when Guilliam was 42 years old. The exact date and the burial locations of both Guilliam Bertholf and his wife are unknown although it is believed that Guilliam died in 1726 at the age of 69, two years following his retirement. He is believed to have been buried under the pulpit of the original Reformed Church in Hackensack. Considering his highly respected role in his church as well as in his community, his honorable burial within his church should not be at all surprising.

Schraalenburgh Dutch Reformed Church 1728
Their son Hendrick Bertholf was 21 years old when he married my 8th great grandmother, Marritje (Mary) Terhune (Ter Hutne) in the Dutch Reformed Church in Hackensack on the 29th day of March in the year 1707. One has to assume that Hendrick's proud father, minister of the church, was the one who oversaw the marriage of his son and new daughter-in-law. Unfortunately, we really do not know much about the lives of Hendrick and Marritje. Some historians report that they moved to Pompton, New Jersey in 1730 where they purchased 404 acres of land. The land purchase is probably accurate as Hendrick was likely a farmer, although it is unlikely that they moved to Pompton or possibly what is now Pompton Lakes in Passaic County, New Jersey. What is known for certain is that Hendrick Bertholf was one of the many original founders of and donators to the Dutch Reformed Church in Schraalenburgh (now Bergenfield, New Jersey) which was founded around 1723. The original church construction was completed in 1728.  In 1631, Hendrick, then around 42 years old, is listed as being one of the early Church Elders. With Pompton being around 20 miles from their church in Schraalenburgh it would seem highly unlikely that Hendrick Bertholf lived in Pompton. In the early 1700s a trip of 20 miles by wagon might have taken at least four hours or eight hours round trip. Incidentally, Schraalenburgh or todays Bergenfield is only 5 miles or so from Hackensack. Together Hendrick and Marritje had 12 children including my 7th great grandfather, Jacobus Bertholf, who was born in Hackensack in 1717. Hendrick outlived his wife, my great grandmother, by 20 years finally dying in 1766 at the age of 80. Perhaps not surprisingly considering how long ago the family lived, Hendrick Bertholf also outlived eight of his twelve children and most of his brothers and sisters including his brother and my other 8th great grandfather, Corynus Bertholf, who died in 1733 or 33 years before his older brother Hendrick.

Corynus Bertholf, also my 8th great grandfather, is known by a number of names in the course of history most likely because accurate or consistent spelling was not common during this time in our country's history. We have seen his name spelled as Corymus, Cryn, Crynis, and Coynius, and there are probable more variations although we are going to stay with Corynus. We know that on 30 August 1718 Corynus was married in his father's church (like his brother) to a young 19-year old girl by the name of Annetje (Anna) Ryerson whose parents had moved to Hackensack from Brooklyn around the year 1707 when Annetje was only 9 years old. We have to believe that Corynus and Annetje obviously met each other in the church although since he was 10 years older than his future wife, it is certainly possible that their marriage may have been an arranged marriage possibly set up by her parents. Just a guess.

While reviewing the history of Annetje Ryerson's family tree, I discovered that her great grandfather was none other than Joris Janseen Rapalje (1604-1662) [see Chapter 1 of this blog- The Rappleye Family] who just happens to be my 8th great grandfather through another entirely different line of my family tree. What I also discovered that I had not known previously, was that four of Joris Jansen Rapalje's children, Sarah (1625-1685), Jannetje (1629-1699), Jeronimus (1643-1690), and Annetje, Annetje Ryerson's grandmother (1646-1692) were all my great grandparents through entirely different family lines. Wow, we guess we should not be surprised that my DNA reflects 63% Western European ancestry.

Corynus and Annetje Bertholf were to have six children including their fifth child, my 7th great grandmother, Elizabeth Bertholf, who was born on 26 June 1726. Her father Corynus died at the relatively young age of 45 in the year 1733. Most historical writings also report that her mother, Annetje, may have also died in the same year 1733, and assuming that this is accurate, we might conclude that their death may have been the result of a epidemic that hit both of them around the same time. Unfortunately these causes of deaths were very common during this period of our country's history. When Corynus and Annetje died their six children ranged in ages from 5 years old to 14 years old and obviously following their parents deaths, the children must have been sent to live with some of theirs and their parent's relatives. Exactly which relative or relatives accepted the children is unknown but we suspect that their daughter Elizabeth, then only 7 years old, may have gone to live with her Uncle and Aunt Hendrick and Marritje Bertholf despite the fact that this family already had many children. The reason that we suspect that Elizabeth went to live with her aunt and uncle is that nine years later in 1742 she ended up marrying her cousin Jacobus Bertholf, son of Hendrick and Marritje Bertholf. She was only 16 when she married her 24 year old cousin Jacobus. They must have been awfully close friends but at least it was not until she was 20 years old that her first son was born, my 6th great grandfather, Petrus "Peter" Bertholf (1746-1801). Prior to Petrus' birth two daughters were born, one in 1743 and one in 1744.

Unfortunately we know very little about the lives of our married cousins Jacobus and Elizabeth Bertholf including where they lived and what Jacobus did for a living. It is doubtful that they inherited anything much from their parents and most likely they lived on small farmlands that cost little or nothing to purchase. The records for the births of their youngest children including my great grandfather Peter Bertholf, show that they lived in Pompton Plains which is now in Morris County, New Jersey located about 18 or 19 miles northwest of their birth home in Hackensack. At some point however, they moved north into what is now  the Town of Warwick in Orange County, New York located about 40 miles north of Hackensack and about 30 miles north of Pompton Plains. Based on the baptismal record of their fifth child, Henry Bertholf who was born in Orange County in 1750, the family obviously moved north just prior to 1750. We found this quite interesting since the first permanent settlers in this area arrived in 1712 and they were my 9th great grandparents, Johannas and Elizabeth Dumbaugh Wisner. The story of my Wisner ancestors is told in Chapter 12 of this blog. Also early settlers in Orange County, New York were my 6th great grandparents, James and Susannah Seeley Sayre, whose family's history is told in Chapters 13 and 37. Another earlier settler family in this area were my 8th great grandparents Josiah and Patience Corwin Vail. It is obvious that at the time of Jacobus and Elizabeth's arrival in Orange County it was possible to acquire large acres of land at very inexpensive prices which undoubtedly motivated them to relocate.

Gravestones of Jacobus and Elizabeth Bertholf
In total Jacobus and Elizabeth Bertholf had  eight children born between 1743 and 1763 at least four of whom were born in Morris County and four further north up in Orange County. Jacobus died at the age of  63 on 15 April 1781 and he is buried in the Locust Hill Cemetery in Warwick, Orange County, New York.  Elizabeth outlived her husband by around 24 years final dying in 1805 and she too is buried alongside her husband in the Locust Hill Cemetery along with at least four of their children. We found it interesting that engraved on the tombstone of Elizabeth Bertholf is the statement that implies that she was the wife of a Revolutionary War soldier: "Revolutionary War Wife of Jacobus Bertholf." Since this statement is probably not accurate, obviously her gravestone is not the original one. There are no records however, that have been found that might confirm that old man Jacobus Bertholf was enlisted in the Orange County militia during the Revolutionary War although we suppose that it is possible.

My 6th great grandfather Peter Bertholf married my 6th great grandmother, Angenietje (Agnes) Vander Bogart, but there is much confusion as to when and where they were married, how old she was when they married, and when their first child was born, my 5th great grandmother, Elizabeth Bertholf. While the exact dates are not really that important, we find it interesting that there is so much confusion. Grandma Angenietje is often shown as born in 1757 and married in 1768 which would made her only 11 years old when she married, which is ridiculous. Other writings show their marriage in the year 1775 which is more realistic but then they show their daughter Elizabeth born in 1770, which is again ridiculous.  What is probably most accurate is that their marriage occurred around 1775 and Elizabeth was born in early 1776. Considering that their second child, Doortje Bertholf, was born in September of 1777, Elizabeth's birth a year or so earlier makes more sense. We did find one source that reported that their marriage took place in Pompton Plain, New Jersey in 1776 although this is very unlikely considering that by 1775 or 76, the Bertholf family was living in or near Warwick, in Orange County, New York and that shortly following their marriage, Peter Bertholf enlisted as a soldier in the local militia preparing for battle in the Revolutionary War. On the other hand, there is another record showing the baptism of second daughter Doortje Bertholf in the Dutch Reformed Church in Pompton Plains so who knows. Pompton Plains and Warwick are around 28 miles apart, a rather long distance in 1777.

As was very common during the Revolutionary War, Peter was hardly alone among friends and relatives who joined the militia forces fighting against the British. Peter was originally commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Fourth Orange County Militia on 22 September 1775 followed by a raise to Captain on 19 February 1778, quite an honor. Also in the same militia was the future father-in-law of his daughter Elizabeth, one Lieutenant Colonial Henry Wisner (1742-1812), my 6th great grandfather, as well as two of Peter's younger brothers, Ensign Henry Bertholf, and Crines Bertholf. There were also at least four of his Bertholf cousins in this same militia as well as dozens of his close friends. Exactly which battles Peter may have fought in is speculative although it is known that the Fourth Regiment engaged in the Battle of White Plains in 1776, and in their disastrous loss at the Battle of Minisink fought near their home on July 22nd of 1779. In this engagement around 48 of their 120 militia soldiers were killed as opposed to only around a half-dozen or so killed who were fighting with the British forces which consisted of around 60 Iroquois Indians and 27 British Tories.  Obviously Peter's group was not well trained and lacked experience which was not that uncommon for the American militia soldiers fighting during the American Revolution. Thank goodness for George Washington and his full time, professional forces. Following the Battle of Minisink Peter Bertholf's militia was pretty much dissolved or at least no more engagements were fought by them as the major war battles trended southward with the war effectively ending following the Battle of Yorktown and the British defeat in October of 1781.

Gravestone Peter Bertholf
Unionville Cemetery
Obviously Peter Bertholf's engagements in the Revolutionary War did not take him to far from home since besides the birth of his daughter Elizabeth around 1776, his daughter Doortje was born in September of 1777, and his daughter Mary around 1779 or 1780. Clearly his battle loss in July of 1779 did not affect his sex life and in total Peter and Angenietje had six children. Following the war it is unclear what Peter did for a living although based on his role as a captain during the war, he was probably well respected in his community. He may have at some point owned a farm near Unionville in Orange County for it is in a small cemetery in Unionville where my great grandfather was buried following his death at the age of 54 on 14 December 1801. Unionville is also in Orange County located about 12 miles northwest of Warwick where his parents and some of his siblings are buried.  Where Grandma Angenietje is buried is unknown although she did outlive her husband by some 20 years and most likely she too is also buried in the Unionville Cemetery.

While we do not know the exact birth year of Elizabeth Bertholf we do know that she married John Wisner on 16 May 1790 and 14 months later their first child was born at their home in Minisink, located near the homes of both her in-laws and her parents.  Her father-in-law was Henry Wisner who was not only one of the leaders of her father's Revolutionary War militia unit but he and his wife, Susannah Goldsmith Wisner, my 6th great grandparents, were also most likely good friends of both of Elizabeth's parents. John and Elizabeth Wisner had nine children together all of whom were born in Minisink in Orange County. Unfortunately we uncovered almost nothing about John's and Elizabeth's life other than John was reported to be a farmer and that he died at the relatively young age of 40 in the year 1811. Elizabeth died in 1843 outliving her husband by 32 years. Their sixth son and my 4th great grandfather was Henry Wisner. Chapter 12 of this blog continues the story of this line of my family tree forward:

4th Great Grandparents:  Henry Wisner m Maria Smith
                                          (1801-1862)        (1804-1897)
3rd Great Grandparents:  Henry C. Spaulding m Clara A. Wisner
                                          (1812-1902)            (1822-1906)
2nd Great Grandparents: Charles H. Spaulding m Mary Catherine Sly
                                          (1841-1875)             (1844-1917)
Great Grandparents:        Henry C. Spaulding m Ella McBlain Reynolds
                                          (1863-1889)             (1863-1935)
Grandparents:                 Charles S. Baker m Helen Mary Spaulding
                                          (1885-1952)        (1887-1937)
Parents:                         Charles A. Baker m Marian C. Patterson
                                          (1916-2000)         (1916-1973)
Living Generation:           Charles Asbury Baker Jr. (1942-   )
                                          Anne Baker Fanton (1943-   )
                                          Joan Baker (1950-   )

And so ends another family history story . . . .

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Chapter 55 - My Loomis Ancestry

My closest Loomis ancestor is my 8th great grandmother, Elizabeth Loomis, who died in November of 1717, a long time ago. In this chapter we are going to approach our family history story a little bit differently than most of our other family histories. Our plan is to broaden our scope and explore as best we can all sides of Elizabeth's ancestry including both her mother's and her father's parents, grandparents, great grandparents and where possible even her great, great grandparents. Elizabeth Loomis's family tree is shown above. We are going to begin our Loomis tale with what we have learned about her great, great grandparents, John and Kyrsten Loomis, who are my 12th great grandparents on my mother's side of our family.

Thaxted, Sussex County, England
Home of early Loomis Family
One of the common problems when researching our ancestors is that their surnames are often not spelled the same as they are today which then makes it a lot more difficult to do the research. This is especially true in the case of our Loomis ancestors. It is not so much that they changed their last names or it's spelling. The problem was that back in the 17th century and earlier almost no one could read or write. This meant that anyone recording a person's name in the public or church records had to guess as to how their surname was spelled. The end results were multiple guesses as to the spelling. A good example is the spelling of John Loomis's surname in his last will and testament that was written on 19 February 1567. Not only was his name written as "John Lomesse" but almost every other word in the document is spelled incorrectly or at least differently than it is today. His will begins "Fyrst, I bequeve my sowle into the hands off allmyghty god . . ."  It is therefore no surprise that we see my great grandparents' last name spelled in many different ways: Lomas, Lummy, Lummys, Loomys, Lummis, Lomesse, and more.

Church of St. John the Baptist, Thaxted
We really do not know much about my 12th great grandparents, John and Kyrsten (or Christine) Loomis. John was born around 1536 and he and his wife lived their entire lives in Thaxted, County Essex, England located about 70 miles northeast of London. In John's case his life was very short as he was only around 31 years old when he died in 1567 undoubtedly, as was common back in those days, due to the effects of some sort of epidemic. Such an epidemic might be as simple as a run of measles or chickenpox for which there was no immunity and no cure. All that we really know about John Loomis is that he was a carpenter and apparently according to his will he owned his own home "with a garden plotte" which seems to imply that he was during his short life reasonably financially successful. From what we learned about the small village of Thaxted it was a flourishing community during this time period and it was well known for its cutlery and weaving industries which employed a large number of the population. Unfortunately, we know virtually nothing about my great grandmother Kyrsten including for certain her last name and when she was born or died. Her surname is often written however, as Pasfield or Jackson and her death year as 1567 although her dying in the same year as her husband may be unlikely. Although their gravestones have long been lost, it is generally accepted that they were both buried alongside the Church of St. John the Baptist in Thaxted that has been described as a "magnificent medieval church," a fact that clearly shows to be accurate in the above photograph. John and Kyrsten are thought to have a number of children before John's early death including my 11th great grandfather, John Loomis (Jr.) who was born in Thaxted around 1562. John's will simply mentions "all my chyldre" and unfortunately the names of his children other than his son John have never been positively identified other than possibly another son named Edward.

Tailor business in merry old England
If both of John Loomis's parents died in 1567 when he was only five he was probably then raised by another Loomis family member, possibly an aunt or an uncle, but the names of whomever may have raised John and his siblings is unknown. Perhaps it was his lack of an intimate family relationship that motivated his move away from Thaxted at a young age to the nearby village of Braintree, located around 18 miles southeast of Thaxted. Another possible and stronger motive for moving to Braintree was that Braintree was larger in population and thus the opportunity for obtaining employment was far greater. John was 22 years old when he married in Braintree on the 30th of June in 1589 my 11th great grandmother, Agnes Lingwood, who was then around 18 years old. Agnes' father is believed to have been a man named John Lingwood (or Lyngwood) who was known to be a "woolen-draper" (wool cloth merchant) and it is very possible that John Loomis went to work for John Lingwood after he moved to Braintree where he not only learned the "tailor" business but he also meet his future wife Agnes, daughter of John and Jane Marlar Lingwood. John Lingwood is believed by some historians to have died in 1592 [some historians say 1594 or even 1597 which is the date often given for his last will and testament] possibly as a result of the plague. There is no way to confirm this as a fact but it is known that in December of 1592 a plague hit nearby London and over a twelve month period it caused around 17,000 deaths. In any case, his death may have made it possible for John Loomis to continue and expand his father-in-laws business. As best that can be determined, our great grandfather John Loomis did quite well in his business, became a rather large landholder in Braintree, and he was a highly respected man in his church and in his community. Together John and Agnes had five children including my 10th great grandfather, their only son, Joseph Loomis, who was born on 24 August 1590. When John Loomis prepared his final will and testament on 14 April 1619 he mentions only his son Joseph and his four married daughters and he died soon after and was buried in the churchyard of St. Michael's Church in Braintree on 29 May 1619. He was 57 years old. My great grandmother Agnes is listed in most records as having died on the day that her husband wrote his will and the fact that the manner that she is mentioned in his final will would suggest that she probably died sometime shortly after her husband. Undoubtedly she too is buried by the St. Michael's Church.  Here again, the fact that they may have died so close in time to each other might suggest that they were each infected with one of the many diseases that were constantly passing through England during this time period.

St. Andrew's Parish Church - Shalford, Essex
My 10th great grandfather, Joseph Loomis was around 23 years old when he married my great grandmother Mary White on the 30th day of June in 1614 probably at the St. Andrew's Parish Church in Shalford where she and her parents were living. Shalford was and is today a small community located about 5 miles north of Braintree. It is likely that Joseph's and Mary's parents as well as all of Joseph's and Mary's siblings attended the wedding. Joseph's new father-in-law, Robert White (1561-1617), was a man of considerable means for the times and his wealth was undoubtedly a great benefit to young Joseph. Joseph's new business was the purchasing and then the reselling of cloth that he acquired from the many small weavers who had flocked in recent years to the greater Braintree area of Essex County. It is not entirely clear how my great grandfather Robert White had achieved his wealth although it may have been through an inheritance. While he apparently was not a member of the English nobility, he was considered a yeoman and he did own a moderate amount of land. This ownership of land was very unusual during a time period when most of the land in England was either controlled by a small number of noble families who essentially "rented" the land to other less affluent people, or the land was owned by the English church.  Robert White's wealth was pretty much reflected in his last will and testament that he had written near his death in May of 1617 only three years following his daughter's wedding to Joseph Loomis. Robert White not only left his land and goods to his wife and children but the fact that he was wealthy was reflected by his bequeathing money both to "the poore people of Messinge. . " as well to two local church ministers. Messing was a small village east of Braintree where the White family lived at the time of Robert's death in 1617. Unfortunately nothing is known about the ancestry of my 11th great grandfather Robert White. On the other hand, the family history of Robert's wife and my 11th great grandmother, Bridget (Brydgette) Allgar (1562-1605), goes back by tradition a number of generations to my alleged 17th great grandfather, a Sir John Algor (1333?-1398?), who was a member of the English nobility and who lived in what was then called the Manor of Lindsell. Today Lindsell is a small village located near Shalford and Braintree. Sir John was then known as the Lord of Castle Brazen (Brason) Head although from what we read, Castle Brazen was probably just a large farm house. Whether or not all of this is accurate, it is quite apparent that our Loomis ancestry goes back for many, many generations in Essex County, England.

We do not know for certain what motivated Joseph Loomis to move with his wife Mary White Loomis and their children to America in 1638. At the time he was around 48 or 49 years old which was relatively old for this period in history. Besides his wife Mary, they had eight children who travelled with them ranging in age from 10 years old to 23 years old including my 9th great grandfather, Nathaniel Loomis, who was 12.  Joseph was fairly well-off financially. He had an excellent business in Braintree which included a large woolen drapery store that he had developed over many years. Many weavers from Flanders in Holland had settled in Braintree in the 1500s and the village had quickly become a center of cloth manufacturing in England. The family undoubtedly lived in a nice home, were a well respected family, as well as respected members of the local church in Braintree. Furthermore the cost of taking the trip to America was undoubtedly expensive especially for a family of 10. There is no question that Joseph Loomis would have had Puritan leanings although there are no suggestions in historical records that he was an avid and outspoken critic of the Church of England and/or the current King of England, King Charles I. Certainly during this period of English history the country was in turmoil over religious issues as well as King Charles' quarrels with the British Parliament, the public distrust that they had for him, and the threats and the realities of war and higher taxes. We really believe that Joseph Loomis was thinking of his children and their future when he elected to emigrate to America. In America, unlike in England, he believed that there would be religious and political freedoms as well as the right to own land, all liberties that were not offered in their homeland. These beliefs made for him the decision to board the ship "Susan and Ellen" in London with his entire family on 11 April 1638. Not surprisingly one of Mary's sisters and her husband and family as well as one of her brothers had already left for America in 1632.  Mary's sister Anna and her husband John Porter travelled with Mary and Joseph and their family onboard the "Susan and Ellen" when it finally left the shores of England headed for America. After almost three months at sea the ship finally arrived in Boston on July 17th.

After a year living in Dorchester located just south of Boston, Joseph decided in mid-1639 to leave the area and relocate to a new community in Connecticut by the name of Windsor. He was undoubtedly aware and attracted to the fact that in early 1639 the new settlements of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor had issued a written constitution that offered liberality to its citizens and a unified government for these new colonies. A trading post had been established on the future site of Windsor in the year 1633 followed by the group of original settlers of Windsor consisting of around 30 people who arrived in 1634. They were followed the following year by another 60 new emigrants. Most of these original settlers had traveled from Dorchester so it probably should not be surprising that Joseph and his family selected Windsor to be their new home. It is estimated that by the year 1636 there were around 160 families or 800 people living in the townships of Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor. Despite the Loomis family's later arrival in Windsor, Joseph Loomis is universally listed as one of the village's original founders. According to some early town records of Windsor, Joseph was granted in February of 1640, 21 acres of land adjoining the Farmington River near its junction with the west bank of the Connecticut River (noted as the Great River on the adjacent map). Windsor is located around 8 miles north of Hartford and this home village of our Joseph Loomis is usually accepted as the earliest of all English settlements in all of Connecticut.
Loomis Family Home, Windsor, Connecticut

Joseph Loomis at first constructed what has been called a "dugout cabin" on his new land followed sometime before the year 1652 with the construction of a small timber-framed house. Following Joseph's death in 1658, their original home was greatly expanded by one of his sons during the years 1688 to 1690 and what is really wonderful is that the original home as expanded still stands to this day as shown in this old photograph above. The home today has been somewhat modernized since this older picture was taken. The Loomis home today is considered to be one of the oldest timber-framed houses still standing in America.

Monument to Joseph Loomis and Family
Joseph Loomis lived for almost 19 years in Windsor before his death on 25 November 1658 at the age of around 68 years old. Mary, my 10th great grandmother, died at the age of 61 in the year 1652. Joseph lived long enough to attend the marriage of all eight of his children including my 9th great grandfather Nathaniel Loomis, their youngest son, who married Elizabeth Moore in Windsor on 24 November 1654. Joseph and Mary had lived a good life in Windsor. They lived next door to Mary's sister Anna and her husband John Porter. Also living nearby them were another of my 10th great grandparents, Henry and Elizabeth Saunders Wolcott whose family history is told in Chapter 16 on this blog ( While Joseph Loomis was not a young man when he moved to America, he still was able to remain active in his new community. In October of 1640 he joined the local Windsor church. In 1643 and 1644 he served as a Deputy to the Assembly which would have been quite an honor in colonial Connecticut during this time period. There are also several records of him serving on a jury in 1644 as well as in 1652 including once with Nathaniel Foote from Hartford who was another one of my 10th great grandfathers. Joseph Loomis may have died unexpectedly in 1658 for he died without writing a last will and testament. His estate fortunately was settled without any disagreements by his sons and daughters.

Style of Furniture made by Moore Family
John Moore, the father of Nathaniel Loomis' wife Elizabeth Moore, is believed to have been born in Southwold in Suffolk County, England sometime between 1603 and 1614 (who knows) and possibly with his brother Thomas (some say that Thomas was his father) sailed to America in 1630 on the ship "Mary and John". If John Moore sailed alone to America as typically reported, it would seem unlikely that he was born as late as 1614 which would have meant that he was traveling alone to America at the age of only 16. John initially settled in Dorchester but like so many other early Dorchester settlers he eventually moved to Windsor around 1639 (possibly earlier). There is some question as to the name of John Moore's wife and my 10th great grandmother. Some believe that her name was Abigail although the name has never been confirmed in historical records. Furthermore, John Moore's oldest daughter was named Abigail and some believe that some historians may simply have confused the two individuals.  Perhaps the most interesting thing about John Moore was his occupation. My great grandfather was an extraordinarily skilled maker of wood furniture. The furniture, some of which still survives to this day (see photograph as to style) was typically decorated with vines and blossoms carved into the wood, furniture if sold today, would be almost priceless. Thanks to his training, John Moore's sons and two of his son-in-laws continued the business following John's death and it is said that "Windsor became the region's premier woodworking site throughout the mid-1700s", obviously thanks to my great grandfather's influence. John Moore was also a large farmer, a house carpenter, a joiner, a wheelwright, a turner, and a maker of boats as well as paddles and oars. Obviously he was a busy man.

Moore House as it appears today
Besides his occupation, John Moore was a very active patriarch in his community of Windsor. He was not only elected as one of Windsor's five "selectmen," he was ordained as a deacon in Windsor's First Congregation Church in 1651 and he was elected by Windsor as a Deputy to the Connecticut General Court, a position that he served for a least 21 years. He also became a large property owner as well as being credited as being generous via donations to the poor. What is also interesting is that like his son-in-law's father, Joseph Loomis, the home that John Moore had built in Windsor in 1664 still survives in part to this day although like the original Loomis house, it too was later attached to a larger home that subsequently in 1897 was moved to a new location. John Moore and his wife had two sons and four daughters all of whom are believed to have been born in Windsor. My 9th great grandmother, Elizabeth Moore, was born on the 23rd day of July in 1638. She was only 16 years old when she married Nathaniel Loomis on 27 November 1654 who was by then 28 years old. Her father, John Moore, died on 18 September 1677.

King Philip's War, Windsor Troop of Horse
Unlike his father and his father-in-law there is little evidence to show that Nathaniel Loomis was active in his community unless one counts the fact that during the period of his marriage he and his wife had twelve children including my 8th great grandmother, Elizabeth Loomis, who was born on 7 August 1655. Historical records show that Nathaniel's occupation was primarily that of a farmer. He was made a freeman in 1654 and he and his wife were admitted to the local church in 1663. What is somewhat surprising is that only four years after his marriage Nathaniel was listed as a member of the Connecticut Calvary (a/k/a Windsor Troop of Horse) under the command of Major John Mason (also another early Windsor settler).  He undoubtedly maintained his part-time position within this cavalry through much of his life which was probably compulsory, for he is listed again in 1676 as being with this same group during the King Philip's War. At 50 years old at the start of this war, it is hard to imagine that Nathaniel actually engaged in any large battles with the Indians. The population of New England during this time period was around 60,000 people and with around 110 towns with militias and with as many as 16,000 men of military age all of whom would have been required to join their local militias, it would seem Nathaniel Loomis' role may have been primarily to maintain a defensive force around his own town. There are no records that suggest that Nathaniel was at any time an officer in his local militia. Sometime after the King Philip's War, Nathaniel Loomis purchased a large section of land on the east side of the "Great River", now the Connecticut River, showing that during his lifetime he may have gained a certain amount of wealth. Nathaniel died in 1688 at the age of 62 and he is buried in the Palisado Cemetery in Windsor. My 9th great grandmother, Elizabeth Moore Loomis, was only 50 years old when her husband died and not surprisingly, three years following her husband's death, she married a man by the name of John Case. Here again, my great grandmother outlived her second husband, finally dying at the age of 89 on the 23rd of January in 1728. Elizabeth is buried alongside her first husband Nathaniel in the Palisado Cemetery in Windsor. At the time of the arrival of the Loomis family to Connecticut in 1639 the total population was a little under 1,500. Around the time of Nathaniel and Elizabeth's deaths the population had grown to around 17,000 and was starting to increase rapidly such that by the end of the 18th century, the Connecticut population had expanded to around 250,000 people.  When people like our Nathaniel and Elizabeth Loomis have 12 children, it is no wonder that the population would expand dramatically.

Their daughter and my 8th great grandmother, Elizabeth Loomis, obviously named after her mother, was only 33 years old when her father died. Her mother on the other hand outlived her by 11 years.  Elizabeth married my 8th great grandfather, William Burnham, in 1671 when she was only 15 years old and William was 19. They, like Elizabeth's parents, had many children and lived a good and seemly prosperous life. My ancestry from Elizabeth Loomis and William Burnham down until today is listed below: 

8th Great Grandparents: Elizabeth Loomis and William Burnham
                                        (1655-1717)                (1652-1730)
7th Great Grandparents: William Burnham and Hannah Wolcott
                                       (1684-1750)                 (1684-1748)
6th Great Grandparents: Josiah Burnham and Ruth Norton
                                     (1710-1800)               (1724-1762)
5th Great Grandparents: Hannah Burnham and Benjamin Hall
                                    (1746-1797)                 (1736-1786)
4th Great Grandparents: William B. Hall and Rebecca Boardman
                                      (1774-1842)             (1783-1805)
3rd Great Grandparents: Elizabeth B. Hall and Mosely Hutchinson
                                     (1801-1877)             (1795-1861)
2nd Great Grandparents: Mary R. Hutchinson and David Ferree
                                     (1825-1901)                 (1826-1869)
Great Grandparents:     Eugene H. Ferree and Marian Coapman
                                     (1866-1952)                 (1867-1895)
Grandparents:          Florence A. Ferree and Douglas Patterson           
                                (1891-1938)                   (1888-1979)
Parents:                   Marian C. Patterson and Charles A. Baker
                                 (1916-1973)                     (1916-2000)
Living Generation:      Charles Baker (1942- )
                                Anne Baker Fanton (1943- )
                                Joan Baker (1950- )

And so ends another family history story . . . .

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Chapter 54 - My Boardman Ancestors

My name is Christopher Boreman and I have been asked by my great, many greats actually, grandson, Charles Baker, to write a story about my life and about the lives of some of my ancestors as well as some of my descendants, all of whom are related to both Charles as well as myself. When he asked me to write such a story, which was in the middle of the night and we were both sound asleep, my first reaction was to say no. I have been dead for over 370 years and who in their right mind gives a damn about me and some of my many long dead relatives. But following hours of discussion and snoring, Charles finally convinced me that many people do care about their long dead ancestors and besides, writing such as story should be fun and it would give me something to do in this otherwise sometimes boring heaven-above-earth place that is now my home. Anyway, as I said, he finally convinced me, so here goes what I hope is an enjoyable and interesting story about our many common Boreman/Bordman/Boardman ancestry.

St. James the Great Church, Claydon
I, Christopher Boreman, was born in my parents' home in the small village of Claydon in Oxfordshire, England in the year 1581. I was baptized on the 1st of December in 1581 at the beautiful St James the Great Parish Church in Claydon which incidentally still exists to this day as shown in this recent photograph, although honestly the church has changed a lot since I was last there. I was only 6-1/2 years old when my father, Thomas Boreman, unexpectedly died in June of 1587 at the young age of only 27 years old. Obviously I was caught totally off guard with the sudden death of my father and I had no idea that at this time in history early deaths were not all that uncommon. Hospitals did not even exist except as sites for the poor and homeless and for those dying of diseases like leprosy and while the few doctors that could be found were well intended, they were mostly ignorant as to treatments and to the causes of death. In any case, there were no doctors or hospitals in rural Claydon where the total population was no more than 300. My only sibling, my sister Joan, was only three when our father died and we were left to be raised by our mother, Dorothy Gregory Boreman, who was at the time only 28 years old. Fortunately for my mother she had plenty of love and help in Claydon both from her in-laws and from her own family and while I do not remember his name, other than "Father", my mother soon remarried following our father's death and we continued to live in our family home in Claydon. But then, I am getting ahead of myself. Let us begin this family history story with what I have learned, albeit not much, about my great grandfather, William Boreman (Charlie's 13th great grandfather.).

Banbury is in northeast corner of County Oxford
William Boreman's name first appears in the year 1527 in ancient tax records of the village of Banbury in County Oxfordshire.  Banbury is located about 6-1/2 miles south of my hometown of Claydon up in the southeastern corner of Oxfordshire and about 64 miles northwest of London. While it is entirely possible that William's ancestors lived in the area of Banbury for many, many generations, no records exist that confirm this likelihood.  What is known is that people occupied this area as far back as 200 BC and that by the time of William Boreman's life the population of Banbury was somewhere around 1,400.  We do not know the exact years of William's birth and death although based on the birth of his son Thomas, who was born around 1519, and his tax payment records, it is estimated that he was born around 1490.  We could not learn the name of Samuel's wife nor the names of any of Samuel's children other than my grandfather, Thomas Boreman. However, in a subsequent "Lay Subsidy" tax record for Banbury area for the year 1546, there were five Boreman names listed all of whom, including Thomas, were quite likely sons of William Boreman.

King Henry VIII
William Boreman probably lived in Banbury for his entire life which is estimated to have ended in the year 1557. Since his name does not appear in any town records other than the tax records, it is unlikely that he served in any leadership roles in the community. More likely is that he may have been involved in some manner in the weaving industry for Banbury during the period of his lifetime was famous for it cloth and woolen industries. Also prominent during this time period was the leather working industry which engaged numerous skinners, tanners, shoemakers, and saddlers. William of course, may have simply been a farmer and a supplier of material to either or both the woolen and the leather industries. Whatever occupation he served, during most of William's lifetime King Henry VIII was King of England and despite Henry's tumultuous reign including war with France beginning in 1513, and England's departure from the Catholic Church in the 1530s, it is unlikely that our William Boreman ever left the greater Banbury area during his entire lifetime or even cared much about the changes that were taking place within his country of England.

The exact year of the birth of my grandfather (Charles' 12th great grandfather), Thomas Boreman, is not known for certain although it is believed to be sometime between 1517 and 1520 and it is fairly certain that he would have been born in his parents' home in Banbury. Thomas is believed to have married a young girl by the name of Isabel probably in Banbury around the year of 1640 and we believe that they moved up to rural Claydon located about 6-1/2 miles north of Banbury shortly following their marriage. It was here in Claydon that Thomas spent his entire life as a small farmer living in a farmhouse on land that he rented from the head of a wealthy English noble family, titled the Viscount Saye and Sele, whose family had been granted hundreds of acres of land given to them by the English Crown for their services following the Hundred Years War back in the 15th century. This arrangement was very common during and prior to my lifetime as actual ownership of land by the common man was extremely rare.  My grandparents raised a total of nine children during their lifetimes including my father, Thomas Boreman, the youngest of his parents' five sons, who was born around 1560.

Market in Old England
One of the interesting things about living close to Banbury was the frequency of public markets held within the Banbury village. Here my grandfather was able to sell many of the goods that he raised on his farm including not only livestock but also items such as grains and wools that were in high demand at the time.  Each week he undoubtedly would have hooked up his horse and wagon loaded with farm goods and hauled them to Branbury for sale at the market. His sons of course, as they got older would have helped on the farm as well as assisting their father at the multiple fairs and markets that were held in Branbury during the summer months. One thing that can be learned when reviewing Thomas' last will and testament that he wrote in April of 1576 was that his farm contained many tools which may very well have been used to construct items such as wooded barrels, tubs, buckets, butter churns, and so forth. This is interesting because many of his descendants were "Coopers" which was an occupation that constructed such wooden items for a living. My occupation was a cooper as was the occupation of my father Thomas Boreman as well as my son Samuel who moved to America in 1638. Thomas' final will and testament listed among other things that he was passing to his children at his death his horse, his 2 cows, 3 heifers, 60 pigs, and much hay and grain along with of course his tools and household furniture and clothes. My grandfather, Thomas Boreman, died in Claydon in December of 1579 at the age of around 60 and he is buried in the graveyard surrounding the St James the Great parish church in Claydon. My grandmother Isabel outlived her husband although the actual date of her death I do not know. She too is buried alongside my grandfather, her husband, at the St. James the Great parish church.

Thomas Boreman home in Claydon
My father, Thomas Boreman, son of Thomas Boreman "the Elder", was around 19 years old when his father died in late 1679. Fortunately for both of them, my grandfather was able to attend my father's wedding to Dorothy Gregory at the St. James the Great Church that took place on the 16th of February in 1679.  My parents following their wedding moved into a home in Claydon and my father continued working at his father's nearby farm employed as one of its several coopers. I was born in 1581 at my parent's home. The old photograph of their home shown above was obviously taken around 300 years after my birth, closer to your birth Charles, but it really has not changed that much since my younger days. Our windows did not have glass of course, and our toilets consisted most of pots that were dumped outside. Anyway, as I mentioned at the beginning of our story, I was only around 6-1/2 years old when my father unexpectedly died in June of 1587.  We do not know this for certain but the bubonic plague was killing many during this time period in England, and considering that my father was only 27 when he died, the plague might very well have been the cause of his early death. If it was the plaque, fortunately my mother and my younger sister and I survived.  What is tragic however, although I do not know that the cause was the plague, was that at least five of my father's siblings, my aunts and uncles, died like my father at a fairly young age in the 1570s and 1580s. It was not all that uncommon during this time period that adults did not survive on the average beyond their late 50s to their mid 60s. My father's early death obviously lowered the average of age of deaths in this period of the late 16th century.

Living next door to our home in Claydon were Felix and Margaret Tredwell Carter and their six children including their daughter Julian Carter who was several years younger than I. She was born in Claydon in December of 1581. We were friends from a young age and not surprisingly we married on the 19th day of November in the year 1604. She was 20 and I was 22. Our marriage of course, was at the St. James the Great Parish Church. Attending the wedding were numerous family members from both sides of our families including my wife's older sister, Elizabeth Carter, who had married my cousin Thomas Boreman back in 1596. Thomas Boreman was the son of my father's older brother and my uncle, William Carter, who also attended our wedding. He was an old man at the time, around the age of 54 and only one of two surviving siblings of my father.

Shortly following our marriage Julian and I decided to move to nearby Banbury where the possibility of my finding a good job as a cooper had a far greater chance for success.  We lived in Banbury for almost fifteen years and during this period we had five children including our son Samuel, who is your 9th great grandfather Charles, who was born on 20 August 1615.  Unfortunately in May of 1619, my father-in-law, Felix Carter, died and Julian convinced me that it was important that we move back to Claydon so that we could care for her mother who was at this point 68 years old and seriously in need of help. We moved back to Claydon and into the Carter home which we soon inherited; Julian's mother died a few years later in 1621; Julian and I had two more children. I died unexpectedly in March of 1640 at the age of 58 and was buried in the graveyard alongside the St. James the Great Parish Church and next to many of my relatives and ancestors.  I, Christopher Boreman, 10th great grandfather of Charles Baker, lived a good life, fairly long by the standards of the early 17th century.  Most of my children were adults at the time of my death, many were married, and my son Samuel who was now 24 years old was living in America. Julian survived me by over twenty years before her death and burial alongside me. We lived a good life but as illustrated by our son Samuel's move to America, times were changing in England and he understood why it was important for him to leave England and his home.

William Fiennes, Viscount Saye-and-Sele
It is not surprising that my son Samuel Boreman and probably other members of his family became Puritans and that Samuel eventually emigrated to America in 1638. It has been said that by the early 17th century the name "Banbury" had become synonymous with Puritanism as the inhabitants of the villages of Banbury and Claydon were for the most part Puritans who were strongly opposed to both the Roman Catholic practices of the Church of England as well as the leadership of the current King of England, Charles I (1625-1642). In fact one of the king's strongest opponents was a man by the name of William Fiennes who was the current Viscount Saye and Sele who as we stated earlier was the landowning family of much of the property surrounding Banbury and Claydon including land upon which sat most of the Boreman family homes.  William Fiennes besides opposing Charles I on many issues including his attempts to raise money from landowners to fight a war against France, was also a strong advocate of colonization in America and he devoted a lot of time and money to organizing colonies in various states including a settlement bearing his title name, the Village of Sayebrook (now spelled Saybrook) in Connecticut (see map below). Samuel Boreman, like most everyone in his community, including the leaders of his local church, became an avid Puritan and as a young and highly opinionated man it is not surprising that he like so many others chose to leave England and emigrate to America. Both myself and Samuel's mother Julian cautiously gave our son our approval to leave and wished him luck in the New World.

Location of Wethersfield on Connecticut River
Samuel departed England in the early spring of 1638 and after a long voyage his ship landed in the Boston area in early July. Shortly following his arrival he moved north of Boston to the new community of Ipswich located about 30 miles north. It was here in Ipswich where he expected that he might be granted land plus he knew that his cousin [actually his second cousin] Thomas Boreman and his family had settled there back in 1634 and he knew that they would welcome him at their home while he built his own house.  The early records of Ipswich show that my son and your 9th great grandfather Charles was finally granted land in Ipswich in August of 1639 and within a few years he owned three different parcels and his occupation was listed not surprisingly as a "Cooper."  Apparently Samuel soon realized that his business of manufacturing wooden barrels, casks, buckets, tubs, and other containers was not well suited for the Ipswich area as due to the larger population and numerous farms and the general rocky environment surrounding Ipswich, there was a shortage of available trees and saplings that he could cut down. Furthermore the land that he purchased was quickly becoming void of trees. In 1640, Samuel Boreman made the decision that if he was going to grow his business, he needed to move west into Connecticut where forests were more common and land was available. He therefore  sold his land in the Ipswich area and moved to the new community of Wethersfield located on the Connecticut River about 7 miles south of Hartford, Connecticut.

Mary Bett's name on monument
Samuel's move to Wethersfield ultimately proved to be an excellent decision. First, he met soon after his arrival his future wife, Mary Betts, who was living with her mother Mary Betts, in Hartford.  Mary's mother of course, Charles, was your 10th great grandmother.  She and her husband John Betts had sailed to America around 1634 along with their children but unfortunately John died on the voyage or shortly after their arrival. Mary was at this point forced to begin a new life without her husband. She and her children moved to Hartford in 1636 shortly following its original founding. Apparently the "Widow Betts" did pretty well for herself for she was soon granted by the "courtesy of the town" a great piece of land in Hartford (currently near the intersections of Trumbull and Wells Streets) upon which she operated one of  Hartford's first schools for children. Mary Betts died in 1647 apparently stricken by an "epidemical sickness" and she is now credited by the City of Hartford as being one of the town's original settlers. Her daughter also named Mary Betts, married my son Samuel Boreman shortly after Samuel's arrival in Connecticut in 1641.When they married Mary Betts was only 18 years old and Samuel was 26. I should know this but I cannot remember, but it is written by some that the Betts family was originally from our hometown of Claydon in Oxfordshire. If this is the case, it is possible that Samuel may have known the Betts family in Claydon before they left for America in 1634 although in 1634 Samuel would have been only 19 years old when his future wife Mary was only 11. 

The Cooper Business
Samuel Boreman's life prospered following his marriage and his arrival in Wethersfield. As the population of New England increased so did the demand for barrels and other containers and Samuel's soon to be large cooper business was a huge beneficiary of the demand. The fact that Wethersfield sat on the Connecticut River with access to the Atlantic Ocean plus the fertile soil in the area and the growth of multiple varieties of plants from corn to peas and rye resulted in a huge demand for shipping containers. As his wealth increased so did the amount of land that he purchased or was granted from his town. At one point it is said that he owned upwards of 1,000 acres much of which was covered with trees and even at the time of his death in 1673, he owned around 350 acres. Several of Samuel's larger purchases were from an Indian chief by the name of Warramuggus who was the "Sachem of the Wongunks" tribe that lived in the Wethersfield area. Since Indians at the time were ignorant of the concept of land ownership it is likely that Chief (Sachem) Warramuggus had no idea that he was giving up his tribe's land when he accepted gifts from the local whitemen including Samuel.  It is not surprising therefore, that eventually the Wongunk Indian Tribe completely disappeared, a not to uncommon occurance as the whiteman moved westward in America.

My son Samuel unlike his forbearers, myself included, was very active in his town's affairs.  He was elected for eight years as a Townsman, he was a surveyor of highways, and he served on numerous occasions on various town and church committees. In 1646 he was a Town sealer of weights and measures and in 1659 he was a Customs Master. Furthermore he served fifteen times between years 1642 and 1662 as a juror on the Particular Court or Court of Magistrates and on the Grand Jury in 1660 and again in 1662. And finally and most importantly, he served 18 terms beginning in 1657 as the Representative of the Town of Wethersfield as the Deputy to the Colony of Connecticut. This role of course was a great honor and shows how important my son Samuel was in his community.

Samuel Boreman home in Wethersfield
Between 1642 and 1666, Samuel and Mary had ten children including your 8th great grandfather and their seventh child, Daniel Boreman, who was born at his parent's home on the 4th of August in the year 1658. Like so many of his contemporaries, Samuel died fairly young at the age of only 57 in 1673. The fact that he left no final will and testament when he died, strongly suggests that his death was sudden and unexpected. Fortunately Samuel's wealth left his wife Mary in fairly good shape especially considering that she was still taking care of a large family including her youngest daughter Martha who was only seven when her father died.  Mary died at the age of around 61 in August of 1684.  By this point her children were grown and most of them had married.  Unfortunately two of the sons of Samuel and Mary had died in 1675 during the King Philip's War reflecting that even during this period of New England history wherein the population had grown to around 80,000 people, life was still not easy and peaceful.

Daniel Bordman (noticed that he spelled and signed his name differently than his predecessors) was around 15 years old when his father died and around 26 years old when his mother died, and the fact that he was their seventh child and fourth son probably meant that he inherited very little money and no land.  Despite this fact, he was fortunate to marry the oldest daughter and child of Samuel and Mary Butler Wright, a young girl by the name of Hannah Wright, who was only 17 when she married Daniel on the 8th day of June in 1683. The Wright family like the Boreman family had been early settlers in Wethersfield and undoubtedly the marriage between their daughter and the Boreman's son had been prearranged for some time which was not all that uncommon during this period of history. This would have worked out well for both Daniel and his new wife as the Wright family allowed them to live initially on a lot and home owned by Daniel's new father-in-law and then two years later in 1685, Daniel and Mary were given 25 acres of land by Mary's brother, Samuel Wright Jr., upon which to build a house. Undoubtedly, Daniel worked in his father's cooper business while he was growing up, however at some point he changed his focus to the glazing business which during this period would have consisted of making glasswear as opposed to installing window glass. It is likely during Daniel's lifetime that only the very few wealthy families in Wetherfield owned homes with glass in their windows and the glass if it were used had probably been shipped in from England. Most windows at the time were simply covered with wooden shutters and sometimes a thin and partially transparent fabric on the windows. It is no wonder than most homes during this period were rather dark on the interior.  At least one could drink wine from one of my grandson's glasses and hopefully his business became fairly successful.

Daniel Bordman like many of his close ancestors and descendants lived during a rather tumultuous time in American history for it seemed that there was always a war or battle taking place somewhere not far from home. The King Philip's War fought between 1675 and 1678 was a series of engagements mostly between the Americans and the Indians who were under the leadership of an Indian by the name of Metacomet (who I understand Charles is one of your other great grandfathers.) The subsequent King William's War which took place between 1688 and 1697 was a war initiated by the French and the English but here again it was a series of battles fought primarily between the American and British troops and the Indians who were fighting in support of the French. And finally the Queen Anne's War fought between 1702 and 1713 was also a war between the French and English which also involved the Indians who as always were the big losers. This war was fought primarily in Canada or just south of Canada but American troops including some from Wethersfield were engaged. While there is no evidence that Daniel Bordman fought in any battles during any of these three "Wars," it is highly likely that he was a member of the local militia and it is entirely possible that he may have marched with his militia to some of the possible engagements particularly during the King Philip's War when Daniel was still in his late teens and before he was married. As we previously mentioned, we know that two of Daniel's brothers were actually killed during the King Philip's War in 1675.  Whether or not Daniel actually fought in any battles, the effects of constant wars and the threat of Indian attacks must have had a major impact on everyone in all of the New England communities (including, unfortunately, the Native American Indians themselves). Despite the constant threats facing the citizens of Wethersfield from both Indians attacks as well as epidemics, the population grew from around 500 residents at the time of Daniel's birth in 1658 to around 1,000 by the year of his death in 1724.  On the positive side for Wethersfield following the demise of the Indian population, the farmlands and the village itself spread westward and mills and other commercial buildings were built.

Daniel Bordman was by no means as active in his community as was his father, but he did hold several public offices. He was elected as a selectman, a collector (of taxes), a surveyor, and a member of the school committee as well as a few other minor positions such as a fence viewer (administrator of fence laws and inspector of new fences), sheep master (carer of strayed sheep and other farm animals), etc. Also during the Queen Anne's War in 1704 he was appointed with others to help fortify several homes in Wethersfield as forts as a place to hide in the event of an Indian attack.  Perhaps Daniel's biggest role along with his wife's was their job as parents for between 1684 and 1707 they had 12 children including their second son and my great grandson, Daniel Boardman (Jr.) who was born on the 12th day of July in the year 1687. Daniel (Jr.) was your 7th great grandfather Charles. What is really interesting is that their third daughter Martha who was born in 1695 is also your 7th great grandmother. Both Daniel (Jr.) and Martha are your great grandparents on your mother's side of your family. 

New Milford, Connecticut
Home of the Rev. Daniel Boardman
Not surprising in 1724 a serious epidemic again hit the Wethersfield and Hartford area and Daniel Bordman died along with his youngest son Charles who died on the same day as his father. His older brother Israel died several months later. Israel was married and 27 years old when he died, Charles was only 17, and their father Daniel died at the age of 65.  Apparently Daniel was aware that his life was nearing it's end for shortly before his passing he wrote his Last Will and Testament. His will is kind of interesting and at the same time a little confusing. Daniel Bordman left all of his then living sons land that he owned in the nearby villages of Newington, Litchfield, and New Milford with two exceptions one being your 7th great grandfather Daniel Boardman Jr. In Daniel Jr's case his father left him only "one gunn, in his own possession."  His son Israel who died shortly after his father, he left only a small sum of money and also no land. My first reaction was that Daniel Sr. did not get along with his son Daniel Jr. and that willing him only a gun that Daniel Jr. was already using was his father's way of insulting his son, especially considering that Daniel Jr was his second oldest son. However, after reviewing more about the life of Daniel Jr and realizing that at the time of his father's death, he was a minister at a church in New Milford, Connecticut and he and his family were living at a home that was owned by his church, it is very possible that Daniel Jr. had told his father that he did not want to be willed anything when his father died and that everything should be given to his mother and brothers and sisters. If this is truly the case, Daniel Jr. was a remarkable and generous man.

Hannah Bordman Treat's grave
Daniel Bordman's wife and your 8th great grandmother, Hannah Wright Bordman, was 59 years old when her husband died in 1724. Not surprisingly especially during this time period in history, Hannah remarried shortly after her husband's death. Her new husband's name was James Treat (1666-1742) who like Hannah had recently lost his spouse. Hannah Wright Bordman Treat died in 1746 at the age of 80 outliving both of her husbands and five of her children including her son Daniel Jr. whose story we are about to relate.

First Congregational Church
New Milford, Connecticut
Daniel Boardman (Jr.) is the last of your ancestors Charles to have the surname of Boreman or Bordman or Boardman at least in this line. It is not that uncommon back in history where education was limited that spelling of surnames varied considerably. Daniel was somewhat unique among our many ancestors Charles in that unlike myself and some of my ancestors and descendants, this Daniel Boardman was not a tradesman, not a cooper or a glazier or even a farmer.  In 1709 at the age of 22, Daniel graduated from a college in Saybrook, Connecticut then known as "Collegiate School" that had been established by clergy and been founded back in 1701. The school, following Daniel's graduation, moved to New Haven in 1716 and shortly after changed it's name to Yale College (and many years later to Yale University.)  You must be proud that your 7th great grandfather was one of the very early graduates of Yale. Shortly after graduating Daniel was hired as a teacher at the Hopkins Grammar School in Hadley, Massachusetts where he worked for one season lasting around eight months. Then in 1712 he was hired as a minister by the small village of New Milford in western Connecticut and over the next few years they built him a dwelling home and eventually by 1716 a new church.  Our Daniel Boardman remained as the church minister for many years up until his death on 25 September 1744 at the age of 57. He truly must have been a highly respected man and a skilled administrator of what eventually became a large parish over the almost 28 year period that he was their minister.  The First Congregational Church United Church of Christ celebrated its 300 anniversary in 2016. On the website of the First Congregational Church the following is written about their first minister:
    "In 1712, there were twelve families in the "plantation." Mr. Boardman, from Wethersfield, had been called to "preach ye gospel here." In 1713, the town voted to lay out a pastor's lot and dig and stone up a well for Mr. Boardman if he became a settled minister. . . . . The town also voted to pay the minister "one third in grain and two thirds in labor, grain, and pork." They were hard working people, but so poor that Mr. Boardman could not be settled for nearly four years; nevertheless he continued to preach in view of settlement. He was supported by the people as best they could. Finally in 1716, Mr. Boardman was settled, or moved in officially."  The Rev. Daniel was then ordained and served as the minister until his death in 1744.

Gravestone of the Rev. Daniel Boardman
On the 20th day of February in the year 1716, the new Rev. Daniel Boardman married Hannah Wheeler who was possibly from Stratford, Connecticut although I could not verify Hannah's background nor the names of her parents.  Hannah gave birth to a daughter in 1717 whom they named Hannah obviously after her mother. Unfortunately Charles, your 7th great grandmother, Hannah Wheeler Boardman, died unexpectedly in June of 1719. The cause of her death is unknown although it might possibly have occurred while trying to give birth to a second child or more commonly perhaps as a result of a sickness without a cure. During this early period of our country's history, diseases as simple as measles could be deadly. Hannah was only in her early 30s when she died. Not unexpectedly Daniel Boardman remarried within a year following Hannah's death. His new wife was named Jerusha Sherman and like her new husband she too was a widow. Together Jerusha and Daniel had five children, four girls and one boy. Daniel Boardman lived a good life overall and he was a highly respected man within his church as well as within his village of New Milford. He died at the age of only 57 on the 25th of September in 1744 and he was buried alongside his first wife Hannah in the Center Cemetery in New Milford, Connecticut. We have to believe that a large crowd was present at both his church funeral service as well as at his burial.

This Charles is the end of my story about my Boreman ancestors and descendants. Daniel's daughter, Hannah Boardman (1717-1756) married a man by the name of Benjamin Cowles in 1736 and they are your 6th great grandparents. Daniel's sister Martha Boardman married a man by the name of Samuel Churchill and they are both your 7th great grandparents.  Hope you enjoyed the story.

Signed: Christopher Boreman
I would like to thank my 10th great grandfather Christopher Boreman for taking the time out in his boring life in Heaven to write the biographies of my many Boardman ancestors. I cannot promise that he might not have made a few errors in his biographies but overall I think that what he laid out is mostly accurate.  For the record I would like to relate below how my Boardman ancestors tie into our present day family.

6th Great Grandparents: Hannah Boardman and Benjamin Cowles 
                                         (1717-1756)                   (1713-1803)
5th Great grandparents: Thankful Cowles and Asa Johnson
                                         (1738-?)                      (1735-1791)
4th Great grandparents: Anna Johnson and Elijah Starkweather
                                        (1775-?)                  (1756-1847)
3rd Great grandparents: Adaline Starkweather and John J. Yawger
                                        (1818-1849)                    (1817-1895)
2nd Great grandparents: Elsie Ann Yawger and David S. Coapman
                                         (1844-1918)                 (1844-1910)
Great grandparents:        Marian E. Coapman and Eugene H. Ferree
                                         (1867-1895)                     (1866-1952)
Grandparents:                  Florence A. Ferree and Douglas Patterson
                                          (1891-1938)                   (1888-1979)
My Parents:                            Marian Patterson and Charles Baker
                                          (1916-1973)                 (1916-2000)

and the other line from Daniel's sister:

7th Great Grandparents: Martha Boardman and Samuel Churchill
                                          (1695-1780)                  (1688-1767)
6th Great grandparents: Jesse Churchill and Jerusha Gaylord
                                         (1726-1806)             (1731-1769)
5th Great grandparents:  Martha Churchill  Benajah Boardman**
                                         (1751-1813)            (1749-1813)
4th Great grandparents: Rebecca M. Boardman and William B. Hall
                                         (1783-1805)                  (1774-1842)
3rd Great grandparents: Elizabeth Hall and Mosely Hutchinson          
                                         (1801-1877)            (1795-1861)
2nd Great grandparents: Mary R. Hutchinson and David D. Ferree
                                         (1825-1901)                     (1826-1869)
Great grandparents:        Eugene H. Ferree and Marian E. Coapman
                                         (See above for rest of line.)  

 **    Benajah Boardman is also in our Boardman family line. He was a great grandson of Daniel Bordman (1658-1725) and Hannah Wright (1665-1746) through their son Israel Boardman, brother of the Rev. Daniel Boardman.