Hip! Hip! Hooray!

1 hipHip! Hip! Hooray!

Sorry. Had. To. Do. This. (Some of you know how I feel.)

Finally finished updating all the Clark branches — including Harris, Westcott, Gilman, Clough, Emery, Folsom, Currier, Sawyer, Kimball, Merrill, Morrill, Pittsley/Pixley/Pigsley, Richardson, Tozier, Treworgye +++ — in my husband’s family tree.

This includes no less than 125 ancestral lines all beginning with a colonial immigrant ancestor who came to New England between 1620 and 1650. And, if possible, parents and grandparents of these ancestors from England and Scotland.

This may not seem monumental. However, the first “finish” was in December 2004. The first update was in 2014 and 2015 — but never completed.

This thorough reformatting and updating was thanks to the many new online databases and my ever-expanding research library both virtual (archive.org, familysearch.org, americanancestors.org, etc.) and actual.

Next: On to the Elliott families, but that can wait until at least this afternoon. And, of course, there will be more Clark branchettes eventually. But, that’s another family story.

Posted in Clark, Clough, Family Tree, Harris, Immigrant Ancestor, Knight, Merrill, Morrill, Tozier, Wescott | Tagged ,

Province of Massachusetts Bay


Map of the Province of Massachusetts Bay from New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers

Posted in Map, Massachusetts Bay, New Hampshire | Tagged ,

Mayflower 2020 Research & Reading Resources

Note: Research and reading materials include primary and secondary sources, as well as popular derivative articles and books. This is a work in progress. Last updated 7/1/18.

The Plymouth Colony Archive Project


• Adams, Azel, The Mayflower and Her Log, July 15, 1620-May 6, 1621. Chiefly from Original Sources (Boston and New York, The Riverside Press, 1901).

• Anderson, Robert Charles, Pilgrim Migration: Pilgrims to Plymouth Colony, 1620-1633 (NEHGS).

• Andrews, Charles McLean, The Founders of New England: A Chronicle of the Puritan Commonwealths (Yale University Press, 1919).

• Arber, Edward, The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers (London, Boston and New York, 1897).

• Ashton, Robert, The works of John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers (1851) with a memoir and annotations by Robert Ashton, 3 Vols (1851).


• Baker, Peggy M., The Plymouth Colony Patent (Pilgrim Society & Pilgrim Hall Museum, 2007).

• Banks, Charles Edward, The English ancestry and homes of the Pilgrim fathers (Baltimore, 1962).

• Bangs, Jeremy Dupertius, Pilgrim Life in Leiden: Text and Images from the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum (Leiden, 1997).

• Bangs, Jeremy Dupertius, Strangers and Pilgrims, Travellers and Sojourners: Leiden and the Foundations of Plymouth Plantation (Plymouth, Massachusetts: General Society of Mayflower Descendants, 2009).

• Bangs, Jeremy Dupertius, The Pilgrims in the Netherlands: Recent Research (Leiden: Leiden Municipal Archives, 1985).

• Bartlett, W.H., The Pilgrim Fathers & Founders (London, 1854).

• Baylies, Francis, An historical memoir of the colony of New Plymouth … with some corrections, additions and a copious index by Samuel G. Drake (Boston, 1866): Vol. I; Vol. II.

• Blaxland, Rev. G. Cuthbert, Mayflower Essays—The Story of the Pilgrim Fathers (London, 1896).

• Bradford, William, History of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1646 (1912): Vol. I; Vol. II.

• Bradford, William and Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation. A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth [verbatim], with an introduction and notes, ed. by Henry Martyn Dexter (1865).

• Bridgman, Thomas, The Pilgrims of Boston and their descendants (New York, 1856).

• Brigham, Albert Perry, Cape Cod and the Old colony (New York and London, 1920).

• Brown, John Irwin, The English Puritans (Cambridge, England, 1910).

• Brown, John Irwin, The Pilgrim Fathers in Holland (1608-1620) (Leyden, 1920).

• Brown, John Irwin, The Pilgrim fathers of New England and their Puritan successors by John Brown; with an introduction by the Rev. A. E. Dunning; With illustrations from original sketches by Charles Whymper (New York, 1896).

• Bunker, Nick, Making Haste from Babylon. The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World. A New History (New York, 2011).

• Burgess, Walter H., John Robinson, pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers. A study of his life and times (London and New York, 1920).

• Burrage, Champlin, The early English dissenters in the light of recent research, 1550-1641 (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1912): Vol. I; Vol. II.

• Byington, Ezra Hoyt, The Puritan as a Colonist and Reformer (Boston, 1899).

See below for more pages.

Posted in Mayflower, Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony, Puritans, Research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Great Advice from Family History Daily: Re-examine Every Genealogy Record

So glad to hear that someone else, namely Barb Bauer at Family History Daily, recommends re-examining every genealogy record after long periods of research. This is precisely what I have been doing for the past few months and must continue to do in the foreseeable future.

As I explained in my “About” mini-bio, I have been — like many others — working on my family history for decades. So much has changed as to the availability of records, especially the wonderful growing online databases, that it is a tough job to just keep up never mind trying to keep ahead of the onrush.

My personal dilemma is not only keeping up with one online family tree I created (a really dumb move on my part) but to make sure that any “new” information “discovered” is added to existing paper files. This includes re-examining the source(s) for that “new” information and incorporating it into existing files.

This is a very time consuming but necessary task.

Therefore, blogging will be scattered (at best) over the summer as I too quickly approach a late fall deadline to transfer and update literally hundreds of these particular files.

If you have not done so, I highly recommend re-examining your genealogy records for your own personal reasons.

Also, the deeper I dig into the past — not having had the luxury of doing so at times — I realize that it is not just the genealogical records that need re-examining. It is the historical records as well. That project will have to wait until a later date.

That said, there is a plethora of online historical material available: archive.org is one example.

Or, you can take a bit of time now (or return anytime) to check out the links in the Publications, Sources, Blogs, and Genealogical and Historical Societies pages on the site. Inspiration is only a click away.

Happy re-examining!

Posted in Research | Tagged , ,

Two Pioneer Families from Northam & Appledore, Devon

Gabriel Tetherly and Nathaniel Piper were baptized in Northam & Appledore, Devon, England, in 1622 and 1627 respectively.

FH Map Northam and Appledore, DevonGabriel Tetherly came to New England sometime after July 1636, when his father, William, took as his second wife, Mary Harris, in Northam. William settled the family in Kittery, York, Maine.

Gabriel may have been a shipwright in Boston before purchasing land at Boiling Rock at Eliot Neck in Maine about 1660.

The sea was in the Tetherly blood. Gabriel married the widow Susanna King after 1653 in Maine. In 1692, Gabriel was appointed administrator of his brother William’s estate, late of Bideford, Devon, England. William was a mariner.

About four years later, administration of Gabriel’s estate went to his stepson-in-law, Richard King. In turn, Richard sold Gabriel’s land and shipyard to his son, Richard Jr.

Nathaniel Piper arrived in New England sometime later, but before December 1653, when he witnessed a deed in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts. About 1655 he married a Sarah Edwards in Wenham, Essex, Massachusetts. Nathaniel’s occupation is unknown.

These two men who came from the same small parish in Devonshire established their new homes in two very different seaside settlements.

Northam & Appledore and the Burrows

More than likely Gabriel Tetherly and Nathaniel Piper, born only five years apart, knew each other. Certainly, they would have known their ancestral village well and quite likely its history.

Appledore and Northam are located north of the Bideford peninsula, a relatively small area which “juts out between the sea and the estuary of the River Torridge.” In between the two towns is a “vast expanse of open sandy land known as the Northam Burrows.”

FH Map Brantona, NorthamThe Domesday Book shows Northam in Brantona, the Merton Hundred (now Shebbear). Appledore does not appear in the Book.

Northam was gifted to St. Stephen’s Church of Caen by Queen Matilda, wife of William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, but was listed as being held by King Brictric, son of Algar, prior to 1066. Brictrac’s holdings had included Tewkesbury, Thornbury, and Whitehurst in Gloucestershire. The number of his holdings in Devonshire prior to the 1066 Conquest were large — 33 — yet he had none afterwards.

Matilda’s ecclesiastical gift was renewed by Henry I and Edward III. The manor later passed to the Priory of Frampton in Dorset, and then the College of Ottery St. Mary. Queen Elizabeth I gave it to the Dean and Canons of Windsor, in which gift it remains.

Northam by contemporary standards was quite large in 1086, with a total population of 37 households, 23 villagers, 5 smallholders, 8 slaves, and “one other.” There was enough land for 20 plough lands, 15 acres of meadow, 15 acres of pasture, 54 acres of wood lands, 1 fishery, and 2 salt houses. Livestock consisted of 23 cattle and 345 sheep.

Even earlier, in the first millennium, legend has it that there was a fierce battle fought between the local Saxon population and Hubba the Dane. The site where the battle allegedly took place, at the bend in the road, is known as Bloody Corner. This lies between Northam and Appledore. In fact, it is sometimes believed to have been the place where a bloody battle took place in 1069 between “the native Saxons and the Norman invaders.”

Sometimes referred to as the “sequel” to the Battle of Hastings, the lesser-known Battle of Northam took place on June 26, 1069.

[The battle] took place after Harold’s two bereaved and vengeful sons – Edmund and Godwine – raised an army in Ireland and sailed to the north Devon coast on 64 longships with the intention of claiming back the throne from the Norman invader.

It was not to be. The Anglo-Saxon and Irish force was seemingly surprised by a waiting Norman and English army, resulting in a nine-hour Battle of Northam which left 3,000 dead and the invasion force routed. …

A combination of factors, including the fact that sunset and the high tide coincided on that day, led to the [conclusion] that the battle could only have taken place within a few minutes of Godwine and Edmund’s landing place at Appledore.

The Battle of Northam “sealed William the Conqueror’s victory over King Harold’s family and in contemporaries [who] believed that it represented the climax of the Norman Conquest.”

According to the Subsidy Rolls of 1334, Northam already had a market granted by King Henry III in November 1252.

The earliest parish records entered for Northam, like many parishes in England, did not appear until 1538, as mandated by Henry VIII at the behest of Thomas Cromwell. Every parson, vicar or curate was required to enter the wedding, christening, and burial for every person in his parish.

Therefore, we have the dates of baptism for the three earliest recorded members of the Tytherly family, including that of John Tytherly in 1541, who was himself later a vicar at Northam.

The records for the Piper family are currently scanty in Devonshire. We do not know when the family may have arrived there.

The Tetherly and Piper families might have been well aware of some interesting facts particular to Northam & Appledore.

FH Map Kenwich Castle, Northam, DevonKenwith Castle, alternatively known as Henny Castle, Henniborough Castle, and Henni Castle, is an earthwork comprised of a natural knoll “fortified on upper slope by a single rampart with a simple entrance at the west end … [that] runs away to the east where there may have been a former entrance; Kenwith Farm interferes with it at the easternmost point.” The southwest base is cut into by a disused quarry. “The rampart has the appearance of a ledge and terrace on [an] oval-shaped mound. The top is relatively level and the enclosure” is about 50 meters running east-west. “There is an old pit at the east end and there was a wooded platform to its west but this no longer remains.”

This sounds like just the kind of place youthful adventurers would be compelled to explore.

Also, towards the Northam Burrows, south of Croyde, there is a cave “worn” into a “consolidated beach [which] discloses a large boulder of slaty rock behind which the red granite boulder is seen partly cemented in more or less consolidated beach material, false embedded in places, and containing pebbles. The boulders rest on the rock reef at 2 or 3 feet above the water mark.”

Nearby is the gravel beach of the Northam Pebble Ridge (video).

Again, the ideal places for young and youngish explorers.

One of the most interesting attractions, reported as recently as 1906, is one they were likely unaware of: the waters off the coast at Northam cover a submerged forest. This discovery, as did others, came in the mid-1800s when fisherman dredged up such artifacts as red deer, horse, hog, and long-fronted ox bones; a mammoth tooth; and a piercing-tool fashioned from a red deer antler.


See: William Page, ed., The Victoria history of the county of Devon (1906), for the information on the Northam Burrows cave, the Northam Pebble Ridge gravel beach, and the submerged forest.

Posted in Devon, Immigrant Ancestor, Piper, Tetherly | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bubonic Plague in Coylton, Devon 1540-1599 and 1646

While poking around in Coylton, Devon records for the recent post on the three Follett brothers who emigrated to New England around 1640, an interesting set of statistics was discovered.

Annual burials registered in Coylton for 1540 to 1599, particularly in August, September, and October in 1557, 1558, and 1592, were in excess of the annual average.

J.F.D. Shrewsbury writes in “A History of Bubonic Plague in the British Isles”:

Plague returned to London in 1543 as the parish register of St Pancras testifies, for 18 of 19 burials registered during the year are entered as plague burials. …

The monthly analysis of the burials [for Coylton] affords a strong presumption that these excessive mortalities are due to outbreaks of bubonic plague. The reason why Colyton was more frequently visited by plague than Ludlow [in Shropshire] was because it was only about 3 miles inland from the fishing port of Beer and midway between the coastal ports of Lyme Regis and Sigmouth, whereas Ludlow was a central inland town and too far up the river Severn to be a river-port.

Ludlow had also shown an excessive mortality but lacked the same geographical factors.

It was believed that sea-oriented communities such as Coylton received “repeated infusions of fresh, virulent strains of the microbe by maritime importations through the port of London, and then erupting in unrecognized epizootics and subsequent epidemics of varying extent and malignancy from time to time when these fresh strains arrived.”

In the next century, between 1640 and 1646, the registered number of burials peaked again in Coylton. By December 2, 1646, the registered number of burials reached 459 “in a population that cannot have exceeded 1,000 souls and in which the average of the annual burials for the decennium immediately preceding 1645 was 65.5.”

FH Map Coylton, Devonshire

“A small market town in Devon, Colyton dates back to Saxon times. The town, lying in a rich farming area, prospered through the middle ages on the wool trade. Colyton is a town of narrow streets and fine Georgian buildings. The fifteenth century church houses some interesting monuments. The map below shows the features of the city, its streets and houses as they were in the mid twentieth century.” OldeMaps.co.uk

It was during the 1540 to 1599 time period that the Follett brothers’ parents and grandparents were born. It would require close examination of parish records to determine whether there had been an impact on the family.

The report on the plague also provided background on the sea-faring tendencies of the brothers — they had grown up within a whiff of the salty sea air.

. . .

See: J.F.D. Shrewsbury, A History of Bubonic Plague in the British Isles (Cambridge University Press, 2005), pp 177, 178, 411. It is available via Amazon and as a Google eBook.

Posted in England, plague | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Missing” John Follett

There are early historical reports about members of the Follett family, Nicholas, William, and John, who emigrated to New England. While there have been speculation and suggestions about their relationships to one another, nothing concrete has been found.

William and John were in Dover and Oyster River, New Hampshire in 1640. Nicholas first appears on the record in 1652, when he purchased a house and land in Oyster River of Thomas Johnson.

A presumption has been made that he was the son of either William or John.

He was, in fact, the slightly younger brother. No records of the Follett brothers’ departures from England or arrivals in New England have been found. We can assume that the two older brothers, William and John, came around 1640 and that Nicholas came a while later — or it is possible all three came at the same time. Nicholas had reached his majority around 1639.

As there are no reports that any of them came as servants, we have to assume that they paid their own passage.

The “missing” John Follett quickly appears in Dover around 1640 but soon vanishes from the record. There is an explanation for that, which comes a bit later.

First of all, John was the oldest of the three brothers, baptized July 17, 1614, in Colyton, Devonshire. William was the second oldest, baptized there March 10, 1616. Nicholas was the youngest of the three, baptized April 13, 1617, in Colyton.

The brothers were from at least the fourth generation of the Follett family born and raised in Colyton. Their parents, interestingly, were both members of the Follett family — which is abundantly represented in Colyton.

Their father, Charles Follett, baptized September 27, 1584, in Colyton, was the son of William and Unknown Follett.

Their mother, Ebbott Follett, baptized September 29, 1588, in Colyton, was the daughter of John and Unknown Follett.

FH BDM Follett, Ebbott d_o John Follett

“Ebbott Follett daughter of John Follett of Coylton” baptized September 29, 1588, Devon Baptisms (findmypast.com)

Between 1640 and 1684, William Follett left behind marriage, tax, and land records in both Dover and Oyster River. His occupation is unknown but he was likely a fisherman. He left behind no male heir and his nephew, Nicholas Follett Jr., was the recipient of his estate.

The records for Nicholas, who was a mariner, which began around 1652, are much the same. The date of his death is uncertain; it was obviously prior to his widow Abigail’s marriage in 1706 to Richard Nason of Kittery.

He owned substantial property, including a wharf and a landing place for his boats “just where Stony Brook broadens into Stevenson’s Creek.”

Customs-house returns noted in September 1692 that The Friends Endeavor of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Nicholas Follett, commander, had arrived from Barbados with sugar, molasses, and salt.

John, the “missing” Follett, slips into and quickly out of the historical record.

John was at Piscataqua in 1640, when he signed the Dover Combination and petition against Dover (then called “Northam”) coming under the jurisdiction of Massachusetts in March 1640.

Early New England marriage records show John and an unknown bride married around 1640 in Dover.

Other records show John Follett with a house on Low Street in Dover between 1640 and 1649, at which time his brother William Follett was at that location. However, there is no proof that John resided there the whole time.

The probability, then, was that he either died or left New Hampshire.

The latter is the most likely. The brothers’ parents both died in 1645-6. Charles Follett was buried December 28, 1645; Ebbott Follett was buried January 29, 1645/6.

Charles Follett’s will was probated in 1646 in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury. Administration of the estate was granted to his eldest son, John.

The mystery of the “missing” John Follett is resolved. It is most likely that John, possibly accompanied by a wife, returned to England.

Posted in Follett, Immigrant Ancestor, New Hampshire | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments