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Thomas Sweet of Rhode Island, Blacksmith

June 23, 2015 1 Comment

Rhode Island native

Rhode Island native

My 5th great-grandfather was born in Rhode Island. He was a blacksmith by trade, which is fascinating to me because items he made may still be buried in Rhode Island and New York.  We will never know.  He was in the militia during the Revolution, but his son served in his place for most of his time.  He sold his shop and moved to upstate New York in 1779, where his granddaughter would meet and marry Daniel Rowland Morse.  The rest is history.

Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
is my 5th great grandfather
Thomas Sweet (1765 – 1844)
son of Thomas Sweet
Valentine Sweet (1791 – 1858)
son of Samuel 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

Thomas Sweet, son of James and Mary Sweet was a blacksmith, born in North Kingston, RI.
South Kingston, RI Deed Book 5 p. 639 dated 4-21-1757 states Daniel Stedman yeoman of S. Kingston for 160 pounds in bill of old tenor deeded 2 acres of land in So. Kingston to Thomas Sweet, blacksmith. April 1766 Thomas Sweet freeman of So. Kingston, RI Book 6 p. 383 Indenture 6-19-1766 between Thomas sweet blacksmith of S. Kingston and John Robinson for 150 pounds paid by Robinson – mortgages land in So. Kingston which dwelling house, blacksmith shop and Cole house. Paid in full, signed by John Robinson in 1769.
In 1779 Thomas Sweet sold the land, house and blacksmith shop to Thomas Champlin, Jr. for 1050 pounds. He moved to Albany Co. NY which became Rensselaer County. “Thomas Sweet, a Blacksmith, settled early at South Berlin” and “A blacksmith shop was opened by Thomas Sweet on the east side of the road, a short distance north of Sweet’s Corners”.
He was in the Militia of Rhode Island during the Revolutionary War period, but his son William substituted for him in all but one month in Newport, when William stated in his pension application that his father went for himself. His service is accepted by the DAR, my application approved, A819
Thomas served as a Corporal from RI in the Militia, under Capt. Samuel Potter. RI State Archives Index of Mil. & Nav. Recs. He resided in South Kingston, Washington Co., RI during the war.
He married first possibly Hannah Congdon by 1757, had one child, Thomas Jr., prior to his marriage to Frances Congdon in 1760, in RI.
He died in Rensselaer Co., NY March 26, 1813, in an accident by a falling tree in Little Hoosick, NY.
Declaration of service for Revolutionary War of his son William Sweet.
Compendium of American Genealogy Vol. Vii p. 508
1790 US Census; NY; Albany Co;, StephenTown; p. 286; 1 male over age 16 in household
1800 Census NY, Rensselaer Co., Hoosick p. 16A
History of Rensselaer Co., town of Berlin
DAR Patriot Index Centennial Edition p. 2867.

Fun from the Forge

June 18, 2014 1 Comment

It is always fascinating to watch Jerry W Harris work in his blacksmith shop.  The metal birds are so realistic, some even fly. His latest piece is a forged steel blue teal duck which is able to sway around on the metal mount, simulating flying.  He will add some plants to finish the sculpture.  I love the expression on the face of the duck, which looks happy to me.  It is a blast to experience his creative process.

Self Expression, The Metal Art of Jerry Harris

March 13, 2014 2 Comments

While hanging out in the steam room at my health club I noticed a man wearing a lot of silver jewelry and thought it must be hot on his skin. After a few steam room conversations I discovered that he is a metal sculptor who had worked in a shop in Tucson that I had later used as a pottery studio in the distant past. I have not worked with clay for a long time, but Jerry has evolved from making simple objects to producing very artful and complicated mixed media art. He worked as a ferrier.  He played polo in Colorado.  He bought the Village Blacksmith shop 30 years ago from another blacksmith.  His art today is centered around birds in action.  His knowledge about anatomy of birds has grown deeper as he has worked in this specialty field.  I was very lucky to have a personal tour of the shop and sculpture on display. He participates in the Pima Arts Council open studio tours.  Since there was no fire during my visit I thought my gentle readers would also enjoy watching the tools and Jerry in action:

Thomas Reeves, 13th Great-Grandfather

June 27, 2013 4 Comments

Passengers on the Bevis

Passengers on the Bevis 

Thomas Reeves is not the only one of my ancestors who arrived in America on the ship Bevis, nor is he the only one who came as an indentured servant.  He landed after becoming a freeman in the colony, in Springfield, MA  (a city I drove right past in May) where he was a blacksmith and the town drummer.  How cute, the official drummer!! I wonder who the official town fife player was.  His son Thomas, who moved to Long Island after his father’s death, seems to have continued the family trade of blacksmithing.

Thomas Reeves (1620 – 1650)
is my 13th great grandfather
son of Thomas Reeves
son of Thomas Reeves
son of John Reeves
daughter of Abraham Sr Reeves
son of Hannah Reeves
son of John McGilliard Jr
daughter of John McGilliard III
son of Mary McGill
daughter of John Wright
daughter of Mary Wright
daughter of Emiline P Nicholls
daughter of Harriet Peterson
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
son of Olga Fern Scott
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Thomas Sr (generation #1 in America) came from Southampton, England in 1638 on the “Bevis” and arrived in Boston. He was an indentured servant to Henry Byley, but became the servant of John Gore and lived in Roxbury, MA until 1644 when he became a freeman. He married Hannah Rowe on Apr 15, 1645 at Roxbury. They moved to Springfield, MA where he was a blacksmith and the town drummer. He died at Springfield on Nov 5, 1650 in his late twenties after fathering three children, two of which survived to adulthood (Thomas, Mary, John). His wife later remarried Richard Excell (or Exile) of Springfield on June 4, 1651, by whom she had four children (Mary, John, Lydia, Abigail). She died in 1660 in Spreingfield. He was still in the Springfield are in 1681. Mr. Excell presumably then moved to Southampton, LI with his step-son Thomas Jr and died there Feb 24, 1714, after suffering financial problems, according to his will. He also suffered from wounds received in King Phillip’s War.

There was another Thomas Reeves in MA who was born earlier and married a Mary Purrier.

Thomas Sr may have had an aunt Mary who immigrated with him and married William Webster, or the story about her is inaccurate in her age at death. Her husband was a the son of Gov. John Webster of Conn. She was accuased of being a witch in Hadley 1n 1673 by the county court in Northampton, but was acquitted at her trial in Boston in 1683. She died in 1696, her husband dying in 1688.

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