Today’s Tidbit | December 16, 1717

On this date in 1717, Hezekiah Newcomb, my 6th great grandfather, made the first of his many land purchases in Lebanon, New London Co., CT.

Hezekiah was born in 1694, in the town of Edgartown, on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Soon after his marriage to Jerusha Bradford (a great granddaughter of the Pilgrim, William Bradford), the couple settled in Lebanon, where they spent the rest of their life. As a youth, Hezekiah learned the trade of carpenter and joiner. In addition to working at his trade, he was a farmer.

Hezekiah and Jerusha are buried in Lebanon’s Trumbull Cemetery.

Thanksgiving Thursday

The Thanksgiving season, and these next several months, are a special time of the year in the history of my family. My 9th great grandfather, William Bradford, came to America on the Mayflower in November of 1620.

Partial Mayflower Passenger List - click to enlarge

Partial Mayflower Passenger List – click to enlarge

The ship left England in September and, after a grueling 66-day journey marked by disease, which claimed two lives, the ship dropped anchor inside the hook tip of Cape Cod. That first winter, half of the colonists perished. And then, in early spring, the colony’s first leader, John Carver, died. William was elected to succeed him as governor, and was subsequently re-elected thirty times, serving until he died in 1657. He had a reputation as a firm and fair leader. William was the second signer and primary architect of the Mayflower Compact.

William’s first wife, Dorothy, died on December 7, 1920 after falling overboard into the icy waters of Provincetown Harbor while the Mayflower was anchored. The Pilgrims had not yet made it to Plymouth. On August 14, 1623, he married my 9th great grandmother, Alice Carpenter Southworth. She came to Plymouth aboard the Anne in July 1623, following the death of her first husband. The description of their marriage sounds similar to that of the first Thanksgiving.

Thus began my English ancestry in America. Soon after, my Puritan ancestors arrived with the family names of Benjamin, Newcomb, Cleaveland, Ormsby, Harris, and many others.

I’m proud that my family has been in America for 389 years!

Surname Saturday | NEWCOMB

My first Newcomb ancestor in America was Andrew Newcomb. He emigrated from the west of England, probably from Devonshire or Wales, and settled in Boston, Massachusetts in the 1630s or 40s. Andrew was a mariner and shipmaster. His descendents eventually made their way to Lebanon, New London Co., CT where many are buried in Trumbull Cemetery. Jerusha Newcomb (who’s mother was a Bradford) married Ezra Cleveland in 1745. This English ancestry continued on through my grandmother on my dad’s side.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | May 24 – May 30, 2009

Joseph Voiland and his wife, Felicitée Marie (Sadie) Romond, arrive in New York City from France on May 27, 1857. Joseph and Sadie are my 2nd great grandparents.

Katherine Protz – Born May 24, 1833 in Württemberg, Germany. She married Leonhard Seybold in 1857. Katherine died on July 15, 1910 in Brillion Twp., Calumet Co., WI and is buried in Forest Home Cemetery in Calumet County. She is my 2nd great grandmother.

Hezekiah Newcomb – Born May 26, 1693 in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard, Dukes Co., Province of Massachusetts Bay. He married Jerusha Bradford on Movember 14, 1716 in Norwich, New London Co., Connecticut Colony. Hezekiah died on August 15, 1772 in Lebanon, New London Co., Connecticut Colony and is buried in the Trumbull Cemetery in Lebanon. He is my 6th great grandfather.

Joseph Bradley – Born May 27, 1770 in Haverhill, Essex Co, Province of Massachusetts Bay. He married Mirriam Currie on September 29, 1798 in Haverhill. Joseph died on July 23, 1845 in Haverhill. He is my wife’s 4th great grandfather.

Ezra Cleveland – Born May 30, 1726 in Canterbury, Windham Co., Connecticut Colony. He married Jerusha Newcomb in May, 1745. He died on November 7, 1802 in Hartford Co., CT and is buried in Elmwood Cemetery, Jefferson Co., NY. Ezra is my 5th great grandfather.

John Jacob Musbach – Born May 30, 1839 in Württemberg, Germany. He married Elizabeth Notten on January 4, 1864. John Jacob died on April 22, 1905 in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co. MI and is buried in Salem Grove Cemetery, Grass Lake, Sylvan Twp., Washtenaw Co., MI. He is my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.

Herbert Harvey – Born May 30, 1879 in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., MI. He married Martha Anne Musbach on March 9, 1904 in Lansing, Ingham Co., MI. Herbert died on March 3, 1949 in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw Co., MI. He is my wife’s great grandfather.

Alice Carpenter and Edward Southworth – Married May 28, 1613 in Leyden, Holland. Alice is my 9th great grandmother.

Patience Chase – Died May 26, 1820 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY and is buried in the Ormsbee Cemetery on the Ormsbee Farm near Porters Corners, Saratoga County. She was born in February 10, 1767 and married Isaac Ormsbee on February 8, 1789 in Warren, Bristol Co., RI. Patience is 4th great grandmother.

Elizabeth Fuhrman – Died May 27, 1964 in Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Co., WI and is buried in Calvary Cemetery, Fond du Lac. She was born on June 22, 1874 in Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac County. Elizabeth married John Hau on June 12, 1900 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co. She is my great grandmother.

Nancy Ormsbee – Died May 28, 1881 in Greenleaf, Brown Co., WI and is buried in Cato Heights Cemetery, Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI. She was born on April 6, 1796 in Barrington, Bristol Co., RI. Nancy married John Earl Harris on November 1, 1820 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY. She is my 3rd great grandmother.

Reuben Gage – Died May 29, 1892 in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co., MI and is buried in Vermont Cemetery, Chelsea. He was born August 20, 1819 in Benton, Yates Co., NY and married Fanny Parker on December 31, 1839. Reuben in my wife’s 3rd great grandfather.

Elizabeth Lowden – Died May 30, 1884 in Leoni Twp., Jackson Co., MI and is buried in Harrington Cemetery, Henrietta Twp., Jackson County. She was born on February 28, 1838 in England and married George Harvey in 1859 in England. Elizabeth is my wife’s 2nd great grandmother.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | April 12 – April 18, 2009

Maria Katherine (Margaretha?) Michels – Born April 13, 1842 in Germany. She died on August 14, 1923 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI and is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co. Maria is my 2nd great grandmother and Anton Fuhrman’s wife (see below).

Anton Fuhrman – Born April 15, 1831 in Germany. He died December 17, 1912 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI and is buried in the St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co. Anton is my 2nd great grandfather and Maria Michels’ husband (see above). They married on June 19, 1860 in Johnsburg.

Andrew Newcomb and Grace Ricks – Married April 15, 1662 in Boston, Suffolk Co. in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. They are by 9th great grandparents.

The above information is based on information from several sources and isn’t fully verified at this time.

Silas Newcomb – Greenwich Tea Burning: 1774

In the autumn of 1774, a year after the tea party in Boston, a British ship, the “Greyhound”, that was denied entry into Philadelphia, tried to sell its cargo in Greenwich, Cumberland Co., NJ. She was loaded with a cargo of tea sent out by the East India Tea Company, and was undoubtedly under the impression that the conservative feelings and principles of the people of New Jersey would induce them to submit quietly to a small tax.

Having found a Tory, or English sympathizer, one Daniel Bowen, the Greyhound’s crew secretly stored the cargo of tea in the cellar of his house. However, this unusual procedure was noted by the citizens.

News of the Boston Tea Party had already reached Greenwich and that defiant example was regarded by many of the local settlers as worthy of their own contempt for the British. Fate now presented them with a ready-made opportunity to duplicate the act.

On the evening of Thursday, December 22, 1774, a company of about forty young patriots, including Silas Newcomb and his son Ephraim, disguised as Indians, entered the cellar of Bowen’s house. The Newcombs are cousin ancestors of mine. They took all the cargo from the cellar into an adjoining field and set it on fire.

After the “Indians” had destroyed the tea, a county-wide committee met the next day. It piously resolved: “first that we entirely disapprove of the destroying of the tea, it being entirely contrary to our resolves; second, that we will not conceal nor protect from justice any of the perpetrators of the above act.”

Quite a few tongues must have been in quite a few cheeks when the vote was taken on that resolution. There on the committee sat at least two of the tea burners: Silas Newcomb and Joel Fiftian.

Two legal efforts were launched to punish the tea burners. Neither was successful.

monumentsmall

Greenwich has been granted the distinction of being one of the five tea-party towns in America, the others being Charleston, Annapolis, Princeton, and Boston. It was the last tea party before war broke out. In 1908 the monument seen above was erected in the old market place on Ye Greate Street. It lists the names of the known participants. (This photo is used under the Creative Commons license and is attributed to Flickr member pwbaker.)

This bold act shocked the community and generated a controversy which led to the crystallization of sentiment between British and Colonial simpathizers. Many families took the cue and departed to Canada. Today, in Nova Scotia and other provinces are many descendants of Cumberland County families.

Silas Newcomb was born in Edgertown, Dukes Co., MA on April 23, 1723. He married Bathsheba Dayton in Fairfield, Cumberland Co. Together they had 5 children – Ephraim, Mary, Dayton, Silas and Webster. He joined the New Jersey Militia and later was colonel of the First New Jersey Regiment and brigadier general of the New Jersey Militia. He resigned in December 1777. Silas Newcomb died in 1779 in Fairfield.