Friday, April 14, 2023

#52 Ancestors - Bathsheba Ingersoll (1629-1705)

 Week # 15 - Bathsheba Ingersoll (1629-1705)

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

Artificial Intelligence is big in the news so I used Bing ChatGPT to write Week #15's essay. I left in my questions marked as "Hey ChatGPT" in italics so you could see my process. I guess I should go back and read the beginner's guide but I think these results are nice. It still took quite a bit of work for me to format this "essay."

Hey ChatGPT, write a #52ancestors essay about Bathsheba Ingersoll who married John Knight during the Puritan Great Migration

I’m sorry but I cannot write an essay for you. However, I can help you with some information about Bathsheba Ingersoll and John Knight during the Puritan Great Migration if you would like.  

Yes, please.

Searching for: Bathsheba Ingersoll John Knight Puritan Great Migration

Bathsheba Ingersoll [our 9th great-grandmother] was born in Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts about July 1629[1]. She was the daughter of Richard Ingersoll and Anne Langley Ingersoll[1]. Bathsheba was married in Newbury, Essex County, about 1647 to her mother’s step-son, John Knight II, son of John Knight and Elizabeth Vincent Knight[1].

John Knight II was born in Romsey, Hampshire, England before 1626[2] and migrated to New England during the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640). He married Bathsheba Ingersoll in Newbury, Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1647[1]. Bathsheba testified against John’s uncle, Richard Knight and his friend Hugh March who sat down for a game of cards at Uncle Richard’s home. Playing cards was very much against the Puritan moral code[2].

The Puritan Great Migration was a period in the 17th century during which English puritans migrated to New England[2]. The migration began in 1620 and continued until 1640[2]. The puritans migrated to escape religious persecution and to establish a new society based on their religious beliefs[2,3,4,5,6].

Hey ChatGPT, Did Bathsheba and John Knight have children? When were they born.

Searching for: Bathsheba Ingersoll John Knight children

Yes, John Knight and Bathsheba Ingersoll had nine children together: John, Joseph, Elizabeth, Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Richard, Benjamin, and Isaac[7,8,9,10,11]. Unfortunately, I could not find their birth dates in my sources.

Hey ChatGPT, Who were the Puritans?

The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant[12]. They believed that the Bible was the only source of religious authority and that salvation was only possible through faith in Jesus Christ[13].

AI Generated question-

Searching for: What was life like for Puritans in New England?

The daily life of a Puritan in Colonial America New England during the 17th century was a busy one[16]. Puritans believed that idle hands were the devil’s playground! A typical day started at dawn and ended at dusk. Their lives focused on religion and following God’s plan — attending church was mandatory[16]. The Puritan culture of the New England colonies of the seventeenth century was influenced by Calvinist theology, which believed in a “just, almighty God,” and a lifestyle of pious, consecrated actions[17]. The Puritans participated in their own forms of recreational activity, including visual arts, literature, and music[17].

Hey ChatGPT, What was the Puritan wife's role in the family

ChatGPT rephrase: What was the role of women in Puritan society?

The role of women in the Puritan society was one of limited to no rights[18]. Women were inferior and subservient to their husbands[18]. They were considered more to be property than person[18]. Anything they owned became the property of their husband’s including them[18]. The most important role of women in the Puritan community was that of wife and mother[18]. Their only ability to gain social status was through successful child-rearing[19]. Puritan women had no voice in their marriage or their religious worship[19].

Hey ChatGPT: Can you tell me about probate for John Knight (1626-1677) of Massachusetts Bay Colony?

ChatGPT rephrase: Searching for: John Knight (1626-1677) Massachusetts Bay Colony probate

I’m sorry but I couldn’t find any information on John Knight (1626-1677) of Massachusetts Bay Colony probate. However, I found some information on John Knight (bef.1626-1677) of Massachusetts Bay Colony who was born about May 1626 (baptized 14 May) in England, and died 27 Feb 1677/8 in Newbury (Essex) Massachusetts[22]. He married Bathsheba Ingersoll, daughter of Richard Ingersoll and Agnes Langley[22]. John’s will was probated and his inventory confirmed on August 30, 1725[23].

Ask me anything...

BTW- I found John Knights probate info on Wikitree [28].  Now i should go back and read all the footnotes that ChatGPT came up with!



[3]Kansas State

























Monday, April 10, 2023

#52 Ancestors - Jeremiah Howes (1637-1708)

 Week # 14 - Jeremiah Howes (1637-1708 )

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

I have been studying the Howes family for many years since it is such a big part of our family history.  Jeremiah is son of Thomas and Mary Howes who migrated to New England about 1637 with two of their sons. There is a family legend that Jeremiah was born on the ship in the middle of the Atlantic ocean during the two month journey.  

An interesting point is that we have traced our ancestors to all three of Thomas and Mary's sons.  A bit of pedigree collapse occurring due to the small population in Plymouth Colony and the difficulty of travel during those times?  Here is a chart showing the ways that we connect with the three sons of Thomas and Mary.  It took a bit of maneuvering to draw this so that the lines do not cross.

There is an extensively sourced, 34-page pamphlet about this family by James W Hawes written in 1917 and published as part of a collection called The Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy.  I scanned part of my copy of the pamphlet and put it online.[1]

Jeremiah married about 1668 to Sarah Prence, daughter of the governor, and they had 12 children. We are also descended from two of her children causing more pedigree collapse as they married cousins. Jeremiah and family were very involved in the politics and government of the colony.  "He was a deputy to the General Court at Plymouth for seven years, commencing in 1677; and for eleven years" was a selectman for the Town of Yarmouth.  The Plymouth colony records are well preserved.  There are also numerous wills preserved for this family.  Jeremiah's father-in-law, "Gov. Thomas Prence by his will gave to his daughter Sarah Howes (wife of Jeremiah) his biggest beer bowl and a share of the residue of his estate."  "Jeremiah Howes was appointed on the council of war for Yarmouth along with his neighbors Mr Edmond Hawes and John Miller.[2] June 7, 1676."  This was not one of our finer times as "the councell of warr now assembled doe order, that the Namassachesett Indians be speedily remoued to Clarkes Island, and ther to remaine, and not to depart from thence without lycence from authoritie."  There were three men from each of the 11 towns in the colony on this warr councell. There is no record of the individual votes.  Clark Island is in Plymouth Bay and historians think that during King Philips War (1675-76), the colonists banished 1,000 Native people to the island.[3]  It's hard to know what feelings were involved in making these decisions that resulted from the deaths of several hundred colonists, destruction of dozens of English settlements and thousands of indigenous people killed, wounded or captured and sold into slavery.

Jeremiah's will in 1708 is still available for reading and the extent of his family can be seen in bequests to grandson Jeremiah, son of eldest son Jeremiah, deceased;

daughter Mary Howes, relict of son Jeremiah;

two sons Prince Howes and Ebenezer Howes;

four granddaughters, the daughters of son Jeremiah: Hannah Howes, Sarah Howes, Mary Howes and Martha Howes;

grandson Thomas, son of Thomas;

daughter Rebeka Howes;

grandson Joseph Bacon;

eight daughters: Elizabeth Bacon (Baker?), Sarah Mayo, Mary Howes, Bethiah Howes, Marcey Sturges, Susanah Bassett, Thankful Miller, Rebeka Howes;

five grandchildren, children of son Jeremiah;

my children now in being: Prince Howes, Ebenezer Howes, Elizabeth Bacon (Baker?), Sarah Mayo, Mary Hawse, Bethiah Hawes, Mercy Sturgis, Susannah Bassett, Thankfull Miller, and Rebeka Howse;

son (son-in-law) Samuel Sturgis.[4]

I have added many branches to the old Howes Family Tree- you can see some of my latest cousins in this image -link to PDF below [5]

Well that story turned out sadder than I expected. The history is there for the reading, what do we do about it in these times to prevent repeating injustices of the past?

[1] Thomas Howes of Yarmouth-

[2]Vol 5 (1668-1678) Plym. Col. Recs. 185, 186

[3]Clark's Island / Cedarfield-

[4] Jeremiah Howes wikitree profile-

[5] Howes family tree- annotated

Saturday, April 1, 2023

#52 Ancestors - Samuel Hardy (1656- )

 Week # 13 - Samuel Hardy (1656- )

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

Samuel Hardy is our 8th great-grandfather and was the son of Richard Hardy (1595-1684) and Ann Husted (1623-1707) who were migrants from England. He was the second son of Richard and Ann to be named Samuel. The first Samuel had died at age six in 1653.  Richard had nine children.  

Samuel's birth is recorded in the Stamford, CT town records as shown in The American Genealogist [1]

There is an interesting census of Bedford, Westchester co, NY in Sept 1710[2] that says- Samuel Hardy, freeholder [one who holds title to property], aged 54y.; Rebekah his wife, aged 36y; Samuel his son, aged 11 y. [our 7th great-grandfather]; Daniell, his son, aged 8y.; Phineas, his son, aged 6y.; Aaron, his son, aged 4y.; Hannah, his dau., aged 18y.; Elizabeth, his dau. aged 1y.

So this census gives us complete and very early picture of our ancestors. Samuel's profile at Wikitree [3] has been accessed numerous times and contains all these great references. It appears he married first Anne Savory, second Rebecca Hobby and third Rebecca Forbush, our 8th great-grandmother. FamilySearch provides the reference to the last marriage as part of the Stamford, CT vital records.[4]

Once again we have the abstract of a probate record [5], this time of Samuel's father, which lists widow Ann and eight children- this list of 7 girls and one boy with the married names of the women has proven invaluable [children may be listed in order of birth]: Elizabeth, Hannah Austin, Sarah Cloase, Susanna Sherman, Ruth Mead, Mary Hardy, Abigall and Saml. Hardy- the only son listed.

One of the tips that you will hear repeatedly in genealogy is to look at the sources, not just believe what has been transcribed.  In this case we only have transcripts of the sources but actually reading the transcripts and seeing where the original information can be found makes the information come to life. You can see that it is only 13 miles from Stamford, CT (1683) to Bedford, NY (1710) so a visit to these towns would be something to add to our ancestral journey. Discovery of Samuel's probate would be particularly interesting.


[1] Jacobus, D. L., Stamford, Connecticut Town Records, (Vol 10, Pg 44) The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. ( New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .) accessed online 3/1/2014 -

[2]Miller, Robert. “New York Colonial Manuscripts”, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (NYGBS, 1907) Vol. 38, Page 219: English MSS., XLII, Page 58. Census, Sept. 1710, Bedford, Westchester Co.


[4] "Connecticut, Vital Records, Prior to 1850," database, FamilySearch ( : 7 February 2023), Samuell Hardy in entry for Rebeckah Furbush, ; citing Marriage, Stamford, Fairfield, Connecticut, United States, Compiled by Lucius A. and Lucius B. Barbour, housed at State Library, Hartford, Connecticut; FHL microfilm 008143428.

[5] Abstract of Probate Records at Fairfield, Connecticut, Down to 1721 (n.d.) Page 170: Will of Richard Hardy, dated July 21, 1683.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

#52 Ancestors - William Green

 Week # 12 - William Greene ( 22 Aug 1651 - 1732)

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

Continuing my quest to study our ancestors who were children of migrants in the Great Migration (1620-1640) we find William Greene- born 22 Aug 1651 in Woburn, Middlesex county, Massachusetts Bay Colony.  While not exactly "Cape Cod Folks" I cannot ignore the contribution of this 8th great-grandfather to our heritage.  

He was the son of William Green and Hannah Carter who arrived in Charlestown about 1640 - From Wm Senior's wiktree profile [1] "In December of 1640, the elder William [Sr] was one of the original subscribers to "town orders" for the founding of Woburn (incorporated in 1642). These original founders were exempt from taxes for the first two years, so the first year we find William paying taxes is 1645. Little is known about William's life in Woburn; after his death, testimony was given concerning certain lands allotted to him."

William Greene [Jr] married about 1674 Mary Felch He married about 1677 Hannah Kendall. We are descended from his second wife.  "Because his parents died when he was young, he is said to have been raised by his Carter uncles (mother's brothers-possibly Uncle Samuel Carter). He received £38 from his father’s estate in 1670." [2]

William [Jr] and 2d wife, Hannah Kendall (1655-1719), daughter of Francis Kendall and Mary Tidd "had 12 children: Francis (1678-1759); Ebenezer; Mehitable; Hannah; Mary; Samuel; Jacob; Joseph; Thomas; Benjamin (1698-1753)(our 7th Great grandfather); John; and Abigail. Birth records of their children show they remained in Woburn for the majority of their life. In 1676 he was drafted to help in the efforts against the Narragansett in King Philips War [member of the Woburn Garrison]. William died after 1726 in Mendon, Massachusetts. Hannah may have moved to Mendon, Massachusetts, or stayed in Woburn and she is said to have died in 1719."

From Holman's work- "William Green became a cordwainer, or shoemaker."  He moved to Mendon where he "became a proprietor and his rights in land were divided off to him, year by year."  

His death should be at least 1726 and most likely in Mendon- the primary source, Holman, on page 106 says "William Green, of Mendon, deeds land there to his daughter Hannah and her husband, Thomas Beard in 1720; and in 1726 Green gave more land to his grandson, Thomas Beard (Worcester Deeds, 26:592)." There is even another deed on 25 May 1732 which is likely this William [Jr].


[2] This wikitree page has some great sources

[3]Mary Lovering Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and his Wife Frances Helen Miller, 2 vols., (Concord, N.H.: privately printed at the Rumford Press, 1948–1953) Pages: 101-107

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

#52 Ancestors - John Rider

 Week # 11 - John Rider ( < 4 Dec 1636 - ~5 Jan 17095)

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

John Rider is the son of immigrants Samuel Rider and Anne Gamlett.  He was born in England and we find Samuel and family in Yarmouth, Plymouth Colony by 1639.  Samuel was called Lieutenant in the Plymouth Colony Records [1] in a discussion about the Counsell of Warr. On 10 October 1643, "It is ordered by the [Plymouth Colony] Court, that if the townesmen of Yarmouth cannot psently agree tp appoynt a place for defence of themselves, their wiues, and children, in case of a suddaine assault, that then the Court doth order and appount Leiftennant Willm Palmer, Anthony Thacher, Nicholas Symkins, and Samuell Rider, wth the constable, to appoynt a place, and forthwth to cause the same to be fortyfyed wth all speede."

There is a nice profile of John Rider, our 8th great-grandfather, at Wikitree.[2]  We don't know who his wife was although you will see trees that speculate that her name was Hester. She is thought to have died at Yarmouth on 23 October 1691.[3]  The American Genealogist say "John was baptized at All Saints, Northampton, Northamptonshire, England on 4 Dec 1636. Throughout his lifetime he was known as John Rider, Sr, since he was the eldest of that name in that town.  He appears with brothers Sachariah and Joseph who took the Oath of Allegiance in 1681."  Seems like I should make a visit to All Saints to see where grandpa was baptized?

His estate was inventoried and included a pair of looms, two oxen, two cows, land, meadow & housing at £ 140 and just a few debts.[4] Total value £ 200. The inventory was sworn to by Ebenezer Ryder on 19 Feb 1706.

My cousin Isaac was still running around Yarmouth with an ox cart in the 1880s and you could probably picture John Ryder in this same spot maybe with slightly different clothing in this photo from the Dennis Historical Society archives? [5]  Isaac's ox probably trod the same cartpaths that John Rider used.



[3] Martin E Hollick, "The John Riders of Yarmouth, Massachusetts" in The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, (Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2005) Vol 80, p 130

[4] Barnstable County Probate 2:236-40; also abstracted in Bowman, "Rider-Ryder Notes" MD 11(1909):54


Sunday, March 5, 2023

#52 Ancestors - Deborah Willard (1638-1721)

 Week # 10 - Deborah Willard ( < 14 Sep 1645 - 13 May 1721)

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

Deborah Willard, our 6th great grandmother, is the child of a migrant to the Colonies.  I have been writing about children of migrants for 10 weeks now.  One interesting fact about Deborah is that we don't know her mother's name.  There have been speculations that mother was Dorothy Dunster but no records are showing up to prove either her given name, Dorothy, or that her father was a Dunster.  Harvard College President Henry Dunster made a reference in his 1658 will to his sister Willard of Concord. For years genealogists have puzzled over who that sister might be.

So failing our effort to know her mother's name we are pretty sure that her father was George Willard (1614-1656) who came to the colonies about 1638.  There are two sources for George's information in the Puritan Great Migration- Plymouth Colony Records [1] and Willard Genealogy by Joseph Willard and Charles Wilkes Walker [2]. Scituate plantation was composed chiefly of men from Kent with their minister John Lothrop.  We later find that same minister in Barnstable.

On page 11 of the Willard genealogy we see Baptisms in the Second Church of Scituate by the minister William Wetherell, Anno 1645 Deborah ye daughter of George Willard on Sept. 14 so we know Deborah was born before that.  Children were often baptised within a few years of their birth and often together as a family like Deborah and her brother Daniel.  "The two Willard children baptised that day were probably all that the Willard family then had."  George is later found in Maryland, "the home of real Christian liberty."

We know that Deborah moves to Barnstable county because it is there that she meets and marries our 6th Great grandfather Paul Sears (1637-1708) probably about 1658, the year before their first child is born.  If Deborah was 20 years old when she had her first child then she was probably born 1639 soon after her father arrived in Scituate. She would have been just a year younger than her husband Paul.  Deborah and Paul live in the east precinct of Yarmouth at what is now East Dennis.  In the map, circa 1700 below you can see a cross in the middle of the map denoting the Ancient Sears Cemetery and just a little north and east of that, the homestead of Paul Sears and Deborah Willard as imagined by Prof Jim Gould.  The land lies between Quivett Creek and what is now Route 6A, the Old King's Highway.

It is on this piece of land that Deborah [3] raised her ten children. We are descended from two of them. 

Mercy (1659), Bethiah (5th great grandmother)(1662)(wife of John Crowell who we just wrote about), Samuel (1664), Lydia (1666), Paul II (5th great grandfather)(1669), Mary (1672), Ann (1675), John (1678), Richard (1680) and Daniel (1682).  In the map we can find the homesteads of John, Daniel, Paul II, Samuel nearby so the kids were never far from home. They could stop by for a piece of Mom's clam pie just about anytime they wished?

[1] Plymouth Colony Records - 1 Feb 1638- Inhabitant of Scituate took the oath of allegience to the King.

[2] Willard Genealogy -

[3] Wikitree profile for Deborah Willard

Saturday, February 25, 2023

#52 Ancestors - John Crowe II (~1639 - 28 Jan 1689)

 Week # 9  - John Crowe II (<1639 - 28 Jan 1689)

An ancestor a week for 52 Weeks!   #52ancestors

Lots of discussion on the spelling of this family name.  It seems it was once Crowe but then when the II was added for John Crowe 2d, the spelling changed to Crowell.  

John Crowe II, our 7th great-grandfather, son of John and Elishua, was born before 1639,[1] and married Mehetable Miller by 1662.[2] She was born at Roxbury, July 12, 1638, the daughter of the Rev. John Miller.[3] They resided at "Nobscussett [now called Dennis]." John was called, after the death of his father [in 1673], "Senior", to distinguish him from John Crow, son of Yelverton Crowe.[3] He died 28 Jan 1688-9. Mehitable died 23 Feb 1714-15, age 76.[4] Although the record of their children's births is lost, John's estate was settled at the Prerogative Court  [an ecclesiastical court exercising probate jurisdiction] held in Barnstable, and his children then living were named in the settlement. You can see below that we are descended from two of John Sr's children.

In keeping with the theme of writing about children of our ancestors who were part of the Puritan Great Migration (1620-1640) we see that John 2d's father, John Sr., mother and two oler siblings embarked 8 May 1635 on the "Hopewell" under Master John Driver from Weymouth, Norfolk, England. "Family" most likely included Elizabeth and Yelverton, and perhaps Nasare.[6]. They migrated to Charlestown, Massachusetts, and then moved to Yarmouth in Plymouth Colony.[4] There are extensive sources on this family which can be found at Wikitree[5].

Probate once again provides great insight. 6 March 1688/9  "John Crow the Eldest Son ... to have and Injoy the house and all the Lands...after the death of his mother mehittable Crow and the sd mehitable Crow to have and Injoy the third part there of during her natural Life. ...mehittable Crow and Lidya Crow the Daughters of sd deceased having had alredy considerable of theirs the other two thirds of his personal estat to be equally devided between his Children Samuel Crow Jeremiah Crow Elizabeth Crow Susanna Crow and Hannah Crow.  

It sounds like daughters Mehitable and Lydia had already received a "dowery" since they were married before John's death.  Without the will we would have difficulty proving who the children were.

Children order uncertain:

1-John, [our 6th great-grandfather] eldest son, born 1662, married Bethia Sears, 1684


3-Mehitable, mar. Thomas Tobey Jr. about 1675

4-Lydia, married Ebenezer Goodspeed, Feb. 15, 1677-8.

5-Elizabeth, [our 6th great-grandmother] poss. married Thomas Clark 1689

6-Jeremiah, born 1670, married Hannah Rider 1705


8-Hannah, born April 1, 1677, married Joseph Studley April, 1706.

One of my favorite places on Cape Cod is Crowe's Pasture on Quivet Neck in East Dennis.  It is bounded by Cape Cod Bay on the north and Quivet Creek on the south. It has now become a conservation area, part of the Dennis Conservation Land Trust.  I haven't found a detailed description of the source of the name for this parcel but I sure think it is tied somehow to the Crowell family.  It was a favorite place for us to park and walk out to the salt flats at low tide to dig sea clams.  You can be sure our ancestors knew all about harvesting the various kinds of clams in this area: sea, razor, quahog, little neck, steamer, etc.  Our great grandfather would go down to Quivet Creek of an evening to dig steamers and bring them back fresh for dinner. Our most recent direct "Crowell" ancestor is Hannah Crowell, (1725-1802), fourth great-grandmother. The prevalence of this name in Cape Cod lore and marriages between Sears and Crowell families shows that we can find a cousin connection with just about anyone in the Crowell family. It's often referred to as pedigree collapse or consanguinity. You can read more here where you can see 300 people named Crowell living in Dennis in 1880.[7]

[1] C.W. Swift, "The Crowell Family of Yarmouth, Descendants of John," Cape Cod Library of Local History and Genealogy, Pamphlet #72, (Yarmouthport, Mass: Register Press, 1913)

[2] Clarence A. Torrey, compiler, New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (CD version) (Boston, MA: NEHGS, 2001), p. 401, citing MD 2:208, 270, 10:189; Barnstable Co. Prob. 1:53; Cape Cod Lib. 72:1, 103:5; Crowell 21; Foster Anc. 123; Hodges 13; Goodspeed 104; Fallass 153; Harris (,12) 13; Goodhue Anc. 157; Sv. 1:479; Bassett-Preston 73, 74, 189

[3]Amos Otis, "The Crowell Families of Yarmouth," Library of Cape Cod History and Genealogy, Pamphlet #103, (Yarmouthport, Mass: C.W. Swift, 1910)

[4]Anderson, Robert Charles, Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, 7 vols., (Boston; NEHGS, 2001), 2:245-8

[5]John Crowe Sr wikitree profile

[6]Peter Wilson Coldham's "The Complete Book of Emigrants; 1607 - 1660", Vol 1, pg 144.

[7] The Cousin Factor -