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Mary Greene, Pioneer Healer

November 27, 2013 ,

My 8th great-grandmother was born in Salisbury, Witlshire in 1633.  She was baptized in  St Thomas church in Salisbury.  She was sailing on the ship James through a hurricane when she landed in America in 1635, as an infant traveling with her parents:

1635 voyage
The ship James of London sailed from Southhampton on April 5, 1635 and arrived in Massachusetts Bay on June 3,[5] 1635 with master William Cooper[disambiguation needed] at the helm.
The ship James left King’s Road in Bristol on May 23, 1635 with master John Taylor[disambiguation needed] at the helm. From England to Massachusetts in a fleet of five ships, the Angel Gabriel, the Elizabeth (Bess), the Mary and the Diligence.
On June 3, 1635, the James joined four other ships, and set sail for the New World with just over 100 passengers as part of a fleet of five ships, including the families of Richard Mather, Captain John Evered and John Ayer. As they approached New England, a hurricane struck and they were forced to ride it out just off the coast of modern-day Hampton, New Hampshire. According to the ship’s log and the journal of Increase Mather, whose father Richard Mather and family were passengers, the following was recorded;
“At this moment,… their lives were given up for lost; but then, in an instant of time, God turned the wind about, which carried them from the rocks of death before their eyes. …her sails rent in sunder, and split in pieces, as if they had been rotten ragges…”
They tried to stand down during the storm just outside the Isles of Shoals, but lost all three anchors, as no canvas or rope would hold, but on Aug 13, 1635, torn to pieces, and not one death, all one hundred plus passengers the James manages to make it to Boston Harbor two days later.
The Angel Gabriel was wrecked off the coast of Maine, but the smaller, faster ships, the Mary, the Bess, and the Diligence outran the storm, and landed in Newfoundland on August 15, 1635.

Mary Greene (1633 – 1686)
is my 8th great grandmother
Benoni Sweet (1663 – 1751)
son of Mary Greene
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Benoni Sweet
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Thomas Sweet (1759 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Thomas Sweet
Sarah LaVina Sweet (1840 – 1923)
daughter of Valentine Sweet
Jason A Morse (1862 – 1932)
son of Sarah LaVina Sweet
Ernest Abner Morse (1890 – 1965)
son of Jason A Morse
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Ernest Abner Morse
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Her father was a physician and surgeon in Rhode Island.  She married James Sweet when she was 17 and began a healing practice:

“This Sweet family is known as the Bone-Setting Sweets.  This gift is said to be inherited from Mary Greene, wife of James Sweet 1622-1698, who was the daughter of Surgeon John Greene.  They also had another gift, the faculty of compounding linaments and washes from the roots and barks found in almost every neighborhood, and are very efficacious in reducing inflammation and swellings and in preventing mortification.”

Her husband James had also arrived as a child with his parents, and was an early settler of Rhode Island.

Birth: 1622 Death: Jun. 18, 1698South Kingstown
Washington County
Rhode Island, USA
The second son of JOHN & MARY SWEET, James Sweet came with his parents to America in 1632. He worked at a grist mill with his step-father, Ezekiel Holliman. He was an inhabitant of Warwick in 1648, Commissioner in 1653/1658/1659, freeman in 1655, juryman in 1656 and lived at the estate of the late William Congdon at the foot of Ridge Hill. He married MARY GREENE, daughter of JOHN GREENE & JOANE (TATTERSOL) GREENE, about 1654 in Providence, RI. On Sept. 30, 1660, he sold to Thomas Greene, the lot he had received from the town of Warwick along with meadow land. Later, the family moved to Prudence Island in Portsmouth Twp. about four miles soutwest of Bristol in 1664 being one of the first families to live on the island from 1664 to about 1685. Several family members are buried in the old family burying ground in the center of the island.

On November 8, 1686, he deeded his land in Providence that he had inherited from his father to eldlest son, Philip of Prudence Island. On the same date, he deeded to son, Benoni, certain land in Mashiantatack, and to son, James of Prudence Island, Valentine of Kingstown, and Samuel & Mary Sweet living with their parents, land in Mashiantatack. In 1695, James deposed and gave his age as 73. He died at age 93 years.

All the “bone-setter” family lines originate with James Sweet and his wife, Mary, who learned the art of bone-setting from her surgeon father, JOHN GREENE. James Sweet & his brother, John Sweet were interpreters to the Indians for first settlers and their names can be found on early Indian deeds. James Sweet signed with his mark.

Family links:
John Sweet (1603 – 1637)
Mary Periam Sweet (1600 – 1681)

Mary Greene Sweet (1633 – 1686)

Benoni Sweet (1663 – 1751)*
Valentine Sweet (1664 – 1725)*
Samuel Sweet (1667 – 1728)*

Sweet – Austin Lot
North Kingstown
Washington CountyRhode Island, USA

What do you think?

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wow.. Increase Mather wrote that? VERY powerful story.. and so well-told too.


Stevie Wilson (@LAStory)

November 27, 2013

They were on the same boat.



November 27, 2013

Salisbury is a really pretty part of England. Fascinating story


November 29, 2013

Benoni is also my 7th great grandfather through daughter Margaret.1690-1727. Also tied to the Phillips family of St. Paul’s (Old Narragansett ) Church.



December 25, 2015

Very cool…Sweet!


Pamela Morse

December 25, 2015

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