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!

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | August 9 – August 15, 2009

William Salisbury, Jr. – Born August 14, 1659 in Dorchester, Suffolk, Massachusetts Bay Colony. He married Anna Cole on July 30th 1664 in Swansea, Bristol, Massachusetts Bay Colony. William is my 7th great grandfather.

Joseph Benjamin, III – Born August 15, 1699 in Preston, New London, Connecticut Colony. He married Deborah Clark on April 3, 1722 in Preston. Joseph is my 6th great grandfather.

Richard Ormsby and Sarah Upham – Married August 9, 1640 in Saco, York Co., Province of Maine. They are my 8th great grandparents.

William Bradford, III and Alice Carpenter – Married August 14, 1623 in Plymouth Colony. William was the second governor of the Plymouth Colony almost continuously from 1621 until 1656. William and Alice are my 9th great grandparents.

Mary “Polly” Bromley – Died August 10, 1845. She married Asa Benjamin on January 4, 1787 in Worthington, Hampshire Co., MA. Mary is buried in the Hall Rd. Cemetery in Pierpont, Ashtabula Co., OH. She is my 4th great grandmother.

Wilhelm Hau – Died August 12, 1884 in St. Joe, Marshfield Twp., Fond du Lac Co., WI. He came to America from Prussia in the 1860’s and married Kathrine Tuepper on January 12, 1869 in Mt. Calvery, Fond du Lac Co. He is buried in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Marshfield Twp. Wilhelm is my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Louise Harris – Died August 13, 1972 in Clintonville, Waupaca Co., WI. She was born on July 17, 1900 in Appleton, Outagamie Co. Dorothy married Russell Bernard Weller in 1929. She is buried in St. Rose Cemetery in Clintonville. Dorothy is my grandmother.

Maria Katherine Michels – Died on August 14, 1923 in Johnsburg, Fond du Lac Co., WI. She was born in Germany and married Anton Fuhrmann on June 19, 1860 in Johnsburg. She is buried in St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Johnsburg. Maria is my 2nd great grandmother.

Henry Lawrence Heim – Died on August 15, 1959 and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co., MI. Henry married Vera Gage in 1916 in Jackson, Jackson Co., MI. He is my wife’s great grandfather.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | July 19 – July 25, 2009

Joseph Perrin – Born July 19, 1765 in Essert, Belfort, France. He married Marie Anne Courre. Joseph is my 4th great grandfather.

Martha Anne Musbach – Born July 21, 1879 in Waterloo Twp., Jackson Co., MI. She married Herbert Harvey in 1904. They farmed on Harvey Rd. in Jackson Co. Martha died on November 21, 1951 in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw Co., MI and is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery, Chelsea, Washtenaw Co. She is my wife’s great grandmother.

May Belle Cook – born July 23, 1907 in New Orleans, Orleans Parish, LA. She died in Omaha, Douglas Co., NE on November 5, 1923 and is buried in Mt. Hope Cemetery, Omaha. May is my 1st cousin, once removed.

James Cole – Born July 25, 1600 in St. Giles, Cripplegate, Highland, London, England. He married Mary Tibbes in 1625. He was the first settler of and lived upon what is still known as “Cole’s Hill” in Plymouth, MA. He opened the first inn or public house in Plymouth. James died in Plymouth on January 31, 1697/98. He is my 9th great grandfather.

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

George Harvey – Born July 15, 1834 in Kesteven or Holland, Lincolnshire, England. He and his wife, Elizabeth Lowden, farmed in Leoni Township, Jackson Co., MI. He died on February 20, 1901 and is buried in Harrington Cemetery, Henrietta Township, Jackson Co. George is my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.

Helen Alice Heim – Born July 15, 1917 in Sylvan Township, Washtenaw Co., MI. Helen and her husband, Wayne Harvey, owned a farm on Harvey Rd. in Jackson Co., MI. She died on April 20, 2000 in Chelsea, Washtenaw Co. and is buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Chelsea. Helen is my wife’s grandmother.

Nelson Alonzo Harris – Born July 16, 1822 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY. Nelson, his wife, Louisa Cleveland, and their family came to Cato, Manitowoc Co., WI from Indiana in the early 1850s. He engaged in mill business in Cato and Forest Junction. He moved to Florida in 1884 and died in Waldo, Alachua Co. He is buried in Laurel Grove Cemetery in Waldo. Nelson in my 2nd great grandfather.

Dorothy Louise Harris – Born July 17, 1900 in Appleton, Outagamie Co., WI. She was a primary school teacher in Clintonville, Waupaca Co., and Appleton before her marriage to Russell Bernard Weller in July 15, 1929. They lived in Clintonville and owned Weller Hardware. Dorothy died on August 13, 1972 in Clintonville, and is buried in St. Rose Cemetery, Clintonville. Dorothy and Russell are my grandparents.

Joseph Cleveland – Born July 18, 1689 in Chelmsford, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts Bay Colony. He and his family lived in Canterbury, Windham Co., CT where he died on March 11, 1766. Joseph is my 6th great grandfather.

Jonathan Kimball and Lydia Day – Married July 15, 1698 probably in Massachusetts. They are my wife’s 8th great grandparents.

Charles Russell McConnell – Died July 12, 1898 in Michigan. He is buried in Spaulding Cemetery, Bellevue Twp., Eaton Co., MI. He married Sophia Laib in 1859. Charles is my wife’s 2nd great grandfather.

William Bradford, II – Died July 15, 1591 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. He married Alice Hanson in 1584. William is the father of William Bradford, Governor of Plymouth Colony. He is my 10th great grandfather.

Katherine Protz – Died July 15, 1910 in Brillion Township, Calumet Co., WI. She was born in Germany and came to America with her husband, Leonhard Seybold, on June 2, 1857. They farmed in Brillion Twp. Katherine is buried in Forest Home Cemetery, Calumet Co. She is my 2nd great grandmother.

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | June 28 – July 4, 2009

Elizabeth Cooke – Born June 30, 1678 in Preston, New London Co., Connecticut Colony. She married Joseph Benjamin on August 25, 1698 in Preston. Elizabeth died in abt. 1738 in Preston. She is my 7th great grandmother.

Richard Ormsby – Died June 30, 1664 in Rehoboth, Bristol Co., Plymouth Colony. He was born on July 28, 1602 in Lincolnshire, England. Richard married Sarah Upham on August 9, 1640 in Saco, York Co., Province of Maine. He is my 8th great grandfather.

Thomas Ormsbee and Maria Underwood – Married July 1, 1602 in Alford, Lincolnshire, England. They are my 9th great grandparents.

Deborah Sampson – Revolutionary War Soldier and American Folk Hero

Deborah Sampson was the first known American woman to impersonate a man in order to join the army and take part in combat. She was born in Plympton, MA on December 17, 1760, the oldest of three daughters and three sons to Jonathan and Deborah Bradford Sampson.

Deborah is my 3rd cousin, 7 times removed. We both descend from William Bradford, Governor of the Plymouth Colony. I descend from Bradford’s son, William IV. Deborah descends from his other son, Joseph.

Sampson’s youth was spent in poverty. Her father abandoned the family and went off to sea. Her mother was of poor health and could not support the children, so she sent them off to live with various neighbors and relatives. At the young age of ten, Sampson became an indentured servant in the household of Jeremiah Thomas in Middleborough, MA. For ten years she helped with the housework and worked in the fields, which helped developed her physical strength. She attended school in the Winter since there wasn’t as much farm work to be done. She learned enough so that, after her servitude ended in 1779, she was hired as a teacher in a Middleborough public school.

On May 20, 1782, when she was twenty-one, Sampson enlisted in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment of the Continental Army at Bellingham as a man named Robert Shurtliff (also listed as Shirtleff or Shirtlieff). Robert Shurtliff Sampson was the name of her deceased brother. Being almost 5 foot 8 inches tall, she was almost a foot taller than the average woman of her day and taller than the average man. Other soldiers teased her about not having to shave, but they assumed that this “boy” was just too young to grow facial hair. She performed her duties as well as any other man.

Back home, rumors circulated about her  and she was excommunicated from the First Baptist Church of Middleborough, MA, because of a strong suspicion that she was “dressing in man’s clothes and enlisting as a Soldier in the Army.”

Although the last major battle of the Revolution had been fought the previous October when Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown, guerilla warfare was still being fought in several areas by Tories refusing to surrender. It was during one of these skirmishes that Shurtleff suffered a forehead wound from a sabre slash and then was hit by a musket ball in the upper left front thigh. At a field hospital, a French doctor bound up the head wound, but was not advised of the thigh injury. When the doctor began to attend another wounded soldier, Shurtleff limped out of the hospital, and later, removed the musket ball herself.

However, when he was later hospitalized for fever, the physician attending her discovered that she was a woman and made discreet arrangements that ended her military career. Sampson was honorably discharged from the army at West Point on October 25, 1783.

Deborah Sampson returned home, married a farmer named Benjamin Gannett, and had three children. She also taught at a nearby school. About nine years after her discharge from the army, she was awarded a pension from the state of Massachusetts in the amount of thirty-four pounds in a lump payment. After Paul Revere sent a letter to Congress on her behalf in 1804, she started receiving a U.S. pension in the amount of four dollars per month. In 1802, Sampson traveled throughout New England and New York giving lectures on her experiences in the military. During her lectures, she wore the military uniform.

Deborah Sampson Gannett died April 29, 1827 in Sharon, MA, at age sixty-six. Her children were awarded compensation by a special act of Congress “for the relief of the heirs of Deborah Gannett, a soldier of the Revolution, deceased.” She is buried in the Rock Ridge Cemetery in Sharon.

On May 23, 1983, Governor Michael J. Dukakis signed a proclamation which declared that Deborah Samson was the Official Heroine of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Two news services stated this was the first time in the history of the United States that any state had proclaimed anyone as the official hero or heroine.

Born:  December 17, 1760 in Plympton, Plymouth Co., MA
Married:  Benjamin Gannett on April 17, 1784
Died:  April 29, 1827 in Sharon, Norfolk Co., MA and is buried in Rock Ridge Cemetery, Sharon, MA

Relation: 3rd  cousin, 7 times removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Week’s Family Anniversaries | May 3 – May 9, 2009

Asa Benjamin – Enlists in the Revolutionary War at Worthington, MA on May 4, 1775. He is my 4th great grandfather.

Jean Pierre Romont and Marguerite Ancla’eier Eglin – married May 7, 1822 in Urcerey, Belfort, France. They are my 3rd great grandparents.

Duane Max LeVan and Jeanette Rose Patores – married May 8, 1947. They are my wife’s uncle and aunt.

Isaac J. Harris – Died May 6, 1906 in Outagamie Co., WI. He was born on March 17, 1830 in Greenfield, Saratoga Co., NY. Isaac is my 3rd great uncle.

Sophia Laib – Died May 6, 1912 and is buried in Spaulding Cemetery, Bellevue Twp., Eaton Co., MI. She was born March 8, 1837 in Ohio. Sophia is my wife’s 2nd great grandmother.

Gov. William Bradford III – Died May 9, 1657 in the Plymouth Colony and is buried in Burial Hill, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA. William was born on March 19, 1589/90 in Austerfied, Yorkshire, England. He is my 9th great grandfather.

Orville Duloss Harris – Died May 9, 1935 in Appleton, Outagamie Co., WI and is buried in Appleton Highland Memorial Park in Appleton. Orville was born on September 16, 1848 in Town of Morgan, Porter Co., IN. He is my great grandfather.