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William Little Jr, Seventh Great-Grandfather

January 2, 2017 1 Comment

In this inventory- Jeanette Armour gets a years support-Her son Andrew is the person who did the inventory.

In this inventory- Jeanette Armour gets a years support-Her son Andrew is the person who did the inventory.

My seventh great-grandfather was born in Surry, Virginia in 1685.  His father, William Sr, was born in Massachusetts Colony and migrated to Virginia. There is a William Little in Surry County by 1687 when he and Edward Napkin are convicted of not going to church. Even earlier, in 1673, a William Little is listed in those who took part in the Lawne’s Creek Church uprising, the first tax strike. According to Elizabeth Wright, a William Little is found on the tax rolls as early as 1674. A John Little appears in 1688.

William Little Sr. was involved in the early colonial tax strike in Surry County, Virginia in 1674. Upon his death, he left his son, William Little II, his plantation and 200 acres upon which William II lived. He also set his slaves free (source: Michael C. Little, 2004).

William Little Jr. was born about 1685. He is listed in his father’s will as the oldest son. Thigpen Tribe lists his birth in 1685. He owned Bought land in 1738 in Surry Co. VA.  He owned land that sold on 18 Feb 1755 in Surry Co. VA. William sold 100 acres to Buford Pleasant ” it being part of a tract of land granted by patent to Phillip Hunniford bearing date the 17 Day of May 1666 which was left to the said John Little by his Father in his last will and testament it is part of the tract of land which William Little the father of the sd John Little purchased of Edward Napkin junr” on 5 Jan 1709. He was living on 23 Jun 1755 in Surry Co. VA. 10 Jan 1755 William Little and wife Mourning of Surry Co. to Thomas Davis of Elizabeth City Count 300 acres (being the land William Hart sold him on 16 Mar 1738) bounded by the Mill Swamp, the Meadow Branch, Mile Branch, Benjamin Bell, and the Hog Pen Branch. Witnesses were Thomas Wilson, Benjamin Little, Jacob Little, Joseph Holleman.
On 23 Jun 1755 Mourning Little, wife of William Little, relinquished her Right of Dower in the 300 acres sold to Thomas Davis of Elizabeth City County
In the 1755 tax list for Beaufort; Wm. Little, Abraham Little, James Little, John Little, and Thomas Little were listed. William and Abraham were listed together with only 2 polls (themselves). Amos Atkinson was also listed.
In 1762; Isaac, James, John, Joseph, and Robert Little were listed. He moved before Sep 1755 to Beaufort Co. NC.  September 1755, William Little of Surry Co. VA received 300a on Cheeks Mill Swamp to pay a 40 pound obligation from James Cheek in Halifax precinct NC. Deed was witnessed by Amos Atkinson and Abraham Little. He died in Mar 1756 in Beaufort Co. NC. Beaufort Co. NC March Court, 1756. Son Abraham 100 acres where he now dwells, Thos Sharp, Cheek’s Mill Creek, James Hearn; 12lb to survey the land I bought from James Cheek & then to make a title to his 2 brothers. Son William & James – the remainder of sd tract of land which I bought from James Cheek. Son Jacob – 100 acres where I now dwell joining the Dividing Branch. Son John – 100 acres on north side of sd Dividing Branch except my daughter Jane Moring to have the use of where she now dwells during her lifetime. Son Isaac – pot. Son Joseph 10L VA. Wife Morning – rest of my estate during her lifetime & then to my 5 youngest sons Jacob, William, James, Joseph & John. Wife: Morning. Executors sons Isaac and Jacob Little. Witnesses Amos Atkinson, Mary Judkins, Jane Atkinson
He was married to Morning Kimborough . It is likely that Morning is not the mother of Abraham, Isaac, and Jane. William’s will gives Abraham the land where he now lives, Isaac only a pot, and Jane the right to live where she is now living. He makes other specific requests to Jacob and John. He then gives the balance to Morning as long as she lives and then to be divided between his youngest 5 sons. I believe this indicates these are Morning’s children and the other three are not.

(Notes from Jane M. Lindsay 1/3/99 and updated 2002)

William II was involved as a North Carolina commissioner helping settle the Virginia/North Carolina border in 1728, resulting in North Carolina becoming a royal colony.

William Little Jr (1685 – 1756)
7th great-grandfather
Jane Jeanette Little (1713 – 1764)
daughter of William Little Jr
Andrew Armour (1740 – 1801)
son of Jeanette Little
William Armor (1775 – 1852)
son of Andrew Armour
William Armer (1790 – 1837)
son of William Armor
Thomas Armer (1825 – 1900)
son of William Armer
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Thomas Armer
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Nicholas Atwood, 11th Great-Grandfather

November 25, 2016 1 Comment

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church

My eleventh great-grandfather was probably born in Sanderstead,Surrey, England in 1539.  He died in Surrey May 10, 1586. He married Olive Harman at St. Martins, London on 30 Jan 1569. (Olive Harman was born in 1548 in Sanderstand, Surrey, England,81 died in 1603 in Elstree Church, Herefordshire, England 81 and was buried in 1603 in Elstree Church, Herefordshire, England.)
Nicholas was baptized at All Saints’ Sanderstead.  His parents were John Hewson Attewood and Margaret Grenville.
Nicholas Atwood was assistant of the Queens Carriages. Due to the estate being left to Nicholas eldest son Harman, the younger brother John (Jonanem) sued Harman for the Estate but lost. (See Generation 10 for details of how the estate
passed to Harman)..

Here lyeth Nicholas Wood thirde sonne/ of John At wood of Sanderstead Corte who
served/ Queen Elizabeth sens the second year of her/ rayne & deceased the XIIIth
of May 1586 and left/ behind him a wife & children ix vii sonns HARMON/JOHN

Olive Harman was born in 1548 in Sanderstead, Surrey, She was the daughter of James Harman. She also Married William Marleville and John Buck.

Nicholas Atwood (1539 – 1586)
11th great-grandfather
John Atwood (1582 – 1644)
son of Nicholas Atwood
John Thomas Wood (1614 – 1675)
son of John Atwood
Margaret Wood (1635 – 1693)
daughter of John Thomas Wood
Elizabeth Manchester (1667 – 1727)
daughter of Margaret Wood
Dr. James Sweet (1686 – 1751)
son of Elizabeth Manchester
Thomas Sweet (1732 – 1813)
son of Dr. James Sweet
Samuel 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

A Chancery suit includes a statement that the Court Roll in 1547 show Nicholas Atwood to have then been the heir of Sanderstead Manor. Nicholas Atwood, was born before 1539, most likely at Sanderstead Court. He served Queen Elizabeth after the second year of her reign, as Assistant Sergeant of the Queen’s Carriages with his cousin, John Ownstead as Sergeant.

At St. Martin’s, 30 Jan 1569, he married Olive Harman (1548-1603), daughter and heiress of James Harman. Most of their children were baptized at St. Martin’s. When in the country, they resided at Court farm and here one night, when roads were especially bad, the Queen returning from one of her trips, spent the night at Court Farm.

Nicholas died 10 May 1586, in Sanderstead and was buried in St. Martin’s, 14 May 1586. His wife, Olive married for a second and third time. Her monument in Elstree Church names her Atwood children.

~Ye Ole Atte Wode Annals, pp. 3, 5
• Background Information. 179
~History of the Atwood Family, in England and the United States: To which is Appended a Short Account of the Tenney Family, p. 4, Nycholas Wood, died 1586, was the third son of John Atwoode, who died in 1520, and the father of Harman Attwood, also written Attwoodd. Harman Attwood is called Harman Woode until the entry of the baptism of his third child in the Saunderstead register. The Atte Woodes or Atwoods had many different spelling for their name in the records that can be found.
• Epitath. 110
“Here lyeth Nycholas Wood, the third son of John At Wood of Sanderstead corte, who served Queene Elizabeth seus the second yeare of her rayne, and deceased the 14 of may, 1586, leaving behind him a wyfe and children, – 7 sons, Harman, John, Nicholas, Thomas, James, John, Richard, Allis, Susan.”

~History of the Atwood Family, in England and the United States: To which is Appended a Short Account of the Tenney Family, p. 6

DNA For Hipsters

November 20, 2016 7 Comments

brother's estimate

brother’s estimate

my estimate

my estimate

The subject of DNA testing has become more and more popular since directed some television programming at discovering the ethnicity of celebrities.  Many folks are surprised to learn their DNA reveals a different or much more complex ethnic background than they had assumed.  It is particularly poignant for black people to trace their ancestors back to slavery and find out how much non-African DNA they have.  The show and the advertising have increased the number of people sending samples to the database at This has the effect of defining all of us in the database with more precision.  I think that this is one way to eradicate racism. Our connections are much more complicated than any of us have been thinking.

The more DNA they have to compare, the more specific they can be. When I first took the test the program was new and not well known.  My profile initially told me I was 98% from the British Isles, and trace elements.  I was not very impressed.  As the database grew my profile showed more specificity including western Europe.  Recently my brother sent in his saliva in order to help a man find his birth father.  He has distant DNA links to our family and asked us for some help with his own research.  Male DNA reveals more than female, so my brother complied with his request.  I had heard this before, but when I studied my brother’s DNA results I was surprised to see he had more detail than I did.  We had the same parents for sure.  My partner said it is because my brother is a later model, but this makes no sense. I think it is because he is a male.  I will get to the bottom of this.  In the meantime I have started to investigate some of the 550 DNA matches that Ancestry has compiled for me over the years while I basically ignored this feature.  It is really interesting and fun.  They send me new connections all the time with charts about the lineage.  I am into it, and have made progress on my tree.  I have confirmed some sketchy connections in my research, and found many new ones.  DNA is where it is happening for my investigations right now.  It is yielding progress.  I paid my annual subscription fees this month, but feel really good about all the value I get from  The more DNA they collect the better it is for me, so send your spit to my database, please.

DNA testing for the public is a huge growth market.  It is also the talk of the town.  When I ran into my friend who is a doctor and knows she has Swedish ancestry did the test at 123 and Me recently.  She did it because it is possible to test for genetic predisposition to disease as well as for contraindicated medications.  She wanted to know which meds are going to harm her. I did not know that was part of the information being shared, but that does sound incredibly useful.  I need to check back with her to see what she learned beyond what she knows from that old family bible in Swedish that tells part of her story.  Everyone finds surprises.  Have you done any DNA tests yet, gentle reader? What have you discovered?  What made you decide to do it?

DNA Breakthrough

October 3, 2016 1 Comment

Andrew Armour's fort

Andrew Armour’s fort

I recently started to study the matches that has found for me. I took the test long ago and had paid little attention to that section of the website. I was asked to help a living person who is trying to find his birth father. He contacted me through the message system in Ancestry because he saw I was related to a DNA match he has. This man has done more research and has a much broader understanding of the various kinds of DNA testing available, and how to apply them to answer mystery ancestry questions. I have taken some time to look through the surnames he and I share with no luck in finding a connection.   We are waiting for a y chromosome test from my brother to be processed at Ancestry to see if that reveals more.  The match may come from as far back as 10 generations, so the whole thing is pretty complicated.  I hope we find the answer my distant adopted cousin is seeking.  In the process I am learning more about DNA testing and how helpful it can be.

I have had an excellent breakthrough on my maternal side by searching through all the matches and reading the trees.  Some of the folks with whom I am matched have no tree.  I am not sure what there are doing there.  They are not much use until they get some data to go with the genetics.  By following my matches in the Armer line I have found very early colonists from Plymouth and more new connections yet to be researched in Massachusetts.  I have found Andrew Armour, 5th great-grandfather, born in Scotland 1740, died in Georgia, 1801.  This line is also rich with history and original documents galore.   The map above is of Andrew’s fort.  I also have his will and testament in his own beautiful hand. I always love seeing the ancestors’ handwriting.

In the never ending research to learn more about my ancestors I appreciate any and all breakthroughs that help me verify my family members.  The time spent studying my matches has given me a major breakthrough that will yield much  more data as I dig into it.  I will soon write more bios of this new/old branch of Scotsmen.  If you have access to the Ancestry DNA database I believe you will learn something significant from taking the test.  If you are already studying genealogy I recommend paying attention to the DNA section for possible happy consequences.

DNA, History, Connections

September 11, 2016 2 Comments

My Ethnicity Map

My Ethnicity Map

Europe 99%
Great Britain 85%
Europe West 6%
Trace Regions 8%
West Asia < 1%
Trace Regions < 1%

I have studied my ancestry since 2008, and have made much progress. There are several dead ends that seem kind of hopeless. My maternal grandmother was an orphan who was adopted right after the Civil War in Mississippi in a county where the courthouse burned to the ground with all the records. I know who her adopted parents were, and that she had a brother named Fidel who was adopted by the same family.  My paternal 2nd great-grandfather was part of a Swiss/Pennsylvania Dutch family.  I know who his nephew was because I have written notes form my own great-grandmother. I can trace his nephew back to Virginia, and then to Switzerland, but I can find no record of his birth.  I have not found his parents out of all the Petersons scattered all over the Midwest.  I hold a grudge against the state of Indiana for this oversight/problem, because that was the state of his birth.  I desperately want to hook up the data, but can’t find the hard evidence to do so.

The big problem with records of all kinds is that they were created by human beings.  There are errors for all kinds of reasons.  Since all these cases are extremely cold I have no way to verify anything I might find in writing beyond a shadow of a doubt.  I have made errors because of common names like Taylor, Smith and Morse in my tree that can easily be mistaken for  another person with the same last name.  Still, I do learn a lot about the history of the times even when I am proceeding along an erroneous lead.  When I find errors sometimes I can rebuild with accurate data easily, but often I am back to square one without a clue.

I sent my DNA sample to when the service was first available.  With few folks in the study my DNA was described as 99.9% from the British Isles.  Now the a few years have passed and more comparison DNA has been added I am only 85% from Britain.  I have not paid too much attention to this data, only checking in infrequently.  The impressive part of this data is that I now have 540 4th cousins or closer in the site’s database.  I have started looking at this as a new way to trace the connections because I was recently contacted by an adopted man looking for his birth parents. His closest DNA match is a 2nd cousin of mine.  He and I do not show any match, but male DNA, containing the y chromosome, has more detailed information, as I have recently discovered.  I began to research more about how these tests work and what we can discern from them.  My relative in search of his roots informed me that a match can go back for up to 12 generations.  Finally all my research may be useful to solve this adopted man’s mystery.  He has turned my attention to this fascinating element of genealogy research that I had not really used.  I don’t think I will solve my brick walls (as we call the dead ends in family trees), but it does give me a new way to discover my connections to all my relations.  I am grateful all these 540 people felt curious enough to send in DNA samples for our mutual benefit.  Have you examined your DNA, gentle reader?  Any surprises?

Say It In Latin, Felo de Se

September 6, 2016 2 Comments

Lower Surry Church

Lower Surry Church

Lawnes Creek Parish Church was the first church erected on Hogg Island in 1628 for the citizens of James City County who lived on the south side of the James River. Surry formed from James City County and the first parish for the area now encompassed by Surry County was known as “Lawnes Creek.”
The parish church members would have been buried at their place of worship as was the custom in those days.
This site is now occupied by the Surry Nuclear Plant.
No access permitted.

The peninsula of land about 2 miles in width and 8 in length between Lower Chippoakes Creek and Lawnes Creek and south of Hog Island, was, together with the lands adjoining upper Chippoakes Creek and opposite Jamestown, the first to be settled in Surry away from the James River. Virtually all this land had been patented before 1635, mainly by William Spencer, Captain William Pierce, Roger Delke, and Captain Lawrence Baker.

My 8th great-grandfather, John Holt was born in 1664 in Surry County, Virginia, a British colony.  He died in  1705 Surry County, Virginia, hung by his own hand.  His 8th great-grandson, George Harvey Taylor,  committed the same “Felonious homicide of a man’s self”  by drinking carbolic acid in 1941.  George Harvey was my  maternal grandfather.  It is said that suicide reoccurs in families.

He was listed in the 1687 Cavalry of Surrey County, Virginia.  John M. Holt was born in 1664 in Lawnes Creek Parish, Hog Island, Surry County, VA.  John died 1705 at the age of 41 in Surry County, VA.  John Holt committed suicide.

On Feb 24, 1685 Mr. John Holt and his wife were fined for not going to church by the Surry County Court. (This may have been rather harsh as she most probably was pregnant.)
In 1703 he petitioned the Legislature to be Keeper of the Ferry settled on James River to Archer’s Hope Creek on the north side. Appears on the 1704 Rent Roll for Surry County, VA On November of 1706 the Surry County Court Records state that “John Holt upon his petition is admitted to keep a ferry in Hog Island pursuant to a Law made to that purpose and for his better compliance therewith ordered that he forthwith provide and maintain one substantial flat bottom boat of at least fifteen feet by the keel for carrying over of horses as also one other boat of at least twelve or thirteen feet by keel for passengers with three able men constantly to attend the said service ant that he enter into a bond with good and sufficient security duly to perform the same. In May of 1710 John Holt petitioned the Court and they “exempted him from payment from his bond for keeping a ferry at Hog Island. (Surry County, Virginia Court Records, 1707-1711, Book VI

By 1704 the Holt family would own 2,768 acres in Surry County. Of this, 1,450 acres were controlled by Elizabeth Holt, wife of Randall Holt, Jr.. The remainder was owned by the sons of Randall and Elizabeth..

John Holt (1664 – 1705)
8th great-grandfather
David Holt (1685 – 1749)
son of John Holt
Sarah Holt (1740 – 1792)
daughter of David Holt
James Truly (1755 – 1816)
son of Sarah Holt
Elizabeth Betsy Truly (1782 – 1851)
daughter of James Truly
Minerva Truly Darden (1806 – 1837)
daughter of Elizabeth Betsy Truly
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Minerva Truly Darden
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

By 22 September 1705 John Holt “laid violent hands upon himself”
Suicide was against the law. Without regard to the rights of the heirs, the estate and property of the perpetrator reverted back to the crown.  Govenor of Virginia Colony was Edward Nott decribes John as a man “who being under some indisposition of mind lately hanged himself…troubled with lunacy and distraction of mind.”
John’s eldest son David, had already received a substantial land grant from his grandfather David Crafford prior to David’s twenty-first birthday. John’s sons John Jr., Charles, Benjamin, and Joseph attended the hearing. The deposition of the court read in part: “Having labor’ d long under a very great Indisposition of Mind, and at last layd violent hands upon himself”, a coroner’s jury found that his estate was forfeited as “Felo de Se.” {Latin for “Felonious homicide of a man’s self”}
Governor Edward Nott appealed to the Crown for the family. He inventoried the estate at: 159I, 16s, 6d, and “his Five Surviving Children are fit Objects of Our Mercy and Compassion.”.
Queen Anne commanded the restoration of his estate to them on 7 Jan. 1706. “the said estate consisting chiefly in cattle proper for plantations and other perishable good is hereby to be restored to his five children John, David, Charles, Joseph and Benjamin. ibid, p.512.”

Source: I want to Especially THANK Charles Lindley Holt for sending me his research on this Virginia Colony HOLT family. THANK YOU. I used his dates and many of his ” ” ‘s.
Also:: Familysearch had some of this “(taken from the book “Adventurers of Purse and Person”.}” .


David Thomas, Ninth Great-Grandfather

August 15, 2016 1 Comment

Thomas Coat of Arms

Thomas Coat of Arms

David Thomas is thought to have been born in Wales about 1620, David probably arrived in America about 1640-1 on the ship “Sampson”. It certainly is a fact that a session of the Quarterly Courts at Salem on 8th July 1645 “David Thomas” is a witness in a suit for defamation of character brought by John Bartoll against Alice, wife of John Peach, Jr, for having said that the plaintiffs wife, Parnell Bartoll, had “committed adultery with the Boatswain of the ship “Sampson” in the cabin of Parnell about four years ago.” This is the first record that we know of for David Thomas in America.

David lived in that part of Salem which is about to become the town of Marblehead. David left Marblehead probably early 1661, and removed to the part of Salem which later became Beverly. Two known maps showed the location of the Salem property of David Thomas agree that David owns Lot 16, which seems to have had no dwellings on it while David owned it.

It is significant that his wife Joanna executed her consent to the sale of the Beverly property by an instrument dated at Plymouth 14th July 1669. (Essex County Deeds book 3, pages 57 and 189). It seems this must have been the year David and Joanna Thomas moved to Middleborough. The birth of his son Edward Thomas on 6th February 1669 is the first entry in the Town Records of Middleborough, even though that entry may have been made at a later date, since the Town Records are said to have been destroyed by the Indians during King Philip’s War of 1675.

David is a Farmer at “Middlebury” and his family is one of the 16 families that constituted this Town in 1675. During this year when Indians attacked “Middlebury’s” new white inhabitants, forcing these settlers back into the Old Plymouth Colony Village. After this war ended these early settlers returned and 28th June 1677 those who had owned lands there, numbering 68 persons, met and agreed to re-settle “Middlebury” presently what is now called Middleborough.

David Thomas’s house at Middleborough (not standing anymore) is a little distance southeast of the town proper at the end of what is now Thomas Street at the area that became well known as “Thomastown”.

David Thomas (1620 – 1689)
9th great-grandfather
Mary Thomas (1664 – 1754)
daughter of David Thomas
Ann Northup (1696 – 1772)
daughter of Mary Thomas
Ann Gifford (1715 – 1795)
daughter of Ann Northup
Frances Congdon (1738 – 1755)
daughter of Ann Gifford
Samuel Thomas Sweet (1765 – 1844)
son of Frances Congdon
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

David Thomas and his wife came from Salem to Middleboro soon after 1668, the of he selling his land in Salem. They settled in Thomastown, where their descedants are still living. He bought into the Twenty-six Men’s purchase.
He had sveral children, David, Joanna, William, Jeremiah, and Edward, the last born February 6 1669, the first birth in the early records of the town.

Source: History of the Town of Middleboro.

Phantom Limbs in the Family Tree

May 12, 2016 3 Comments

my ethnicity map

my ethnicity map

My research into family history started after both my parents had died. They each left some written material about their families, but neither parent had been particularly interested in genealogy.  My father said he was Scots-Irish, which is in part true.  Both parents had ancestors who immigrated to America from the British Isles in the 1600s.  The DNA survey on ancestry shows that my DNA is 85% from Great Britain.  When the survey was much younger and fewer participants had contributed my ethnicity was estimated at 99% from the British Isles.  My “trace region” is the Caucasus area of Asia.  The Asian genes may be a fluke, as explained in the accompanying material.

my tree

my tree

I am sure about the first three generations I have listed, but my maternal grandmother was an orphan adopted in Mississippi in a county where the courthouse burned to the ground.  We have no way to find records of her natural parents.  She moved to Texas with her adoptive family.  Some of the branches are easy to research and verify.  Others have me at dead ends. My most irksome dead end is my third great-grandfather, Thomas Peterson, born in Indiana in 1825.  I keep looking for answers about his parentage but have not found any records of his birth.  More official historical records are digitally added all the time, so I could still find something new that would break the case for me.  It bugs me that I can trace his nephew’s line back in time, but not Thomas’.

Along the way I have discovered my own mistakes, and have also had problems pointed out to me by other ancestry enthusiasts.  It is always a drag to find errors because it means you need to remove the phantom family and start again at the point you can verify the data.  I have lost a few big limbs this way.  I had become fond of many of the members of my unverified people.  It is funny to give them up with such great emotion, since they were not really my ancestors, but I can tell you that this feels awful.  I still think about them in history too.  Sometimes I am angry that I made such mistakes in my research, but usually I am glad I met them (historically) and held them in my memory.  When my first cousin gave me the news that I had the wrong John Taylor as my 3rd great-grandfather I was very upset.  I had to admit that she had a point.  This involved chopping down a limb that I had built back to the middle ages in England, with many illustrious stories along the way.  Alas, they were all built on specious data.  Now I am back to Jonathan Aaron Taylor, who fought in the Revolutionary War and was discharged in South Carolina..not born there. I suppose I am happy to have him even though he is not who I thought he was.

Jonathan Aaron Taylor (1760 – 1820)
3rd great-grandfather
John Samuel Taylor (1798 – 1873)
son of Jonathan Aaron Taylor
William Ellison Taylor (1839 – 1918)
son of John Samuel Taylor
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of William Ellison Taylor
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor

Have you ever attempted an ancestry study?  It is really easy now that is there to guide you.  Just be careful as you roam around in that data. Not all of it can be verified, especially the family trees.  Don’t copy another person’s data until you examine it carefully for errors. The ancestors have much to teach us..and one of the lessons is VERIFY your facts before you swallow them whole. Save yourself the heartache of saying good-bye to bogus relatives.


Elizabeth Judith Perkins

December 22, 2015 2 Comments

Perkins COA

Perkins COA

My 10th great-grandmother was born in England and died in Massachusetts.  She sailed to the new world with her parents and settled in Ipswich.  She probably met her husband there.  They moved to Newbury and  then to Amesbury, MA, where they laid down some very litigious history in the records of the courts of that town.  It seems her husband was the more litigious of the two, but I am grateful for the records, so we know something about them today.

Elizabeth came to America with her family aboard the Lyon, William Pierce, master on 1 December 1630 for its first trip to the New World. They embarked in Bristol, England and arrived in Nantasket, Suffolk co., MA on 5 February 1631.
The Sargent family were some of the original settlers of the Agawam section of Ipswich, Essex co., MA, with William receiving 12 acres in the 1634 Ipswich Land Grant. The family later moved to Newbury, Essex co., MA; Hampton, Rockingham co., NH; Salisbury, Essex co., MA and finally Amesbury, Essex co., MA. Remember that NH & ME were all part of MA at the time. The family moved from Newbury to Hampton because “…’Willli[am] Sergant’ was amongst the list of petitioners mostly Newbury men who were headed by Stephen Bachiler, who were on 6 September 1638 granted ‘liberty to begin a plantation at Winnacunnet [what is now Hampton, Rockingham co., NH]..” And “Will[iam] Sargent” is listed as one of the married men in the list of first comers to Hampton.
The Sargents found themselves in court over disputes with their neighbors on many occasions. Given the fact that this pattern of contentiousness continued after Eliabeth’s death, I contend that William was the fractious party in the area. On 26 December 1643, William “Sargeant” sued Mr. William Hook of Salisbury for 56s. in corn[67,68]. William acknowledged the court’s judgment in favor of Mr. Jonathan Wade on 26 September 1648. Michael Spencer sued him for detaining corn and other goods on 2 January 1650.
But the biggest battles were reserved for their near neighbors, the Martins. Either William or his namesake son was sued for slander on 13 April 1669, because the Sargent in question had called Martin’s wife “a witch”. The bad blood transcended generations, for Martin later sued William’s son Thomas Sargent “…for saying that his son George Martin was a bastard and that Richard Martin was Goodwife Martin’s imp…”
In 1672, William Sargent and Joanna his second wife sued Christopher Osgood for debt due part of the estate of Joanna’s late husband, Valentine Rowell. However, Joanna was curiously not mentioned in his will, although she had married him a few months earlier. To contemporary credible researchers, this strongly suggests that there was a pre-nuptial agreement between them which left Joanna nothing.

Elizabeth Judith Perkins (1611 – 1670)
is my 10th great-grandmother
Mary Sargent (1634 – 1716)
daughter of Elizabeth Judith Perkins
John Challis (1655 – 1741)
son of Mary Sargent
Mary Challis (1699 – 1739)
daughter of John Challis
Amos Nicholls (1740 – )
son of Mary Challis
Amos Nicholls (1780 – )
son of Amos Nicholls
Amos Nicholls (1808 – 1868)
son of Amos Nicholls
Emiline P Nicholls (1837 – )
daughter of Amos Nicholls
Harriet Peterson (1856 – 1933)
daughter of Emiline P Nicholls
Sarah Helena Byrne (1878 – 1962)
daughter of Harriet Peterson
Olga Fern Scott (1897 – 1968)
daughter of Sarah Helena Byrne
Richard Arden Morse (1920 – 2004)
son of Olga Fern Scott
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Richard Arden Morse

Elizabeth PERKINS was christened/baptized on 3 MAR 1611 in Hillmorton, Warwickshire, England. She immigrated on 1 DEC 1630 from England to America. She died on 18 SEP 1670 at Amesbury, Essex County, Massachusetts. She has Ancestral File Number 7TTF-7J. Elizabeth’s father came from England in the ship “Lyon” with Roger Williams, in 1631; lived in Boston two years; settled in Ipswich in 1633;

Sailed on the “LYON”, William Peirce, Master, from Bristol December 1, 1630, and arrived February 5, 1631, with about twenty passengers and two hundred tons of goods.

SOURCE: 1. Ancestral File (TM), data as of 2 January 1996, Family History Library, 35 North West Temple, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
2. Perkins Family in Ye Olden Times. p 78-79 (B11C27)
3. Old Families of Salisbury & Amesbury, Mass by Hoyt, p 281 (Mass S&)
4. Dawes & Allied Families by Mary Walton Ferre, p 484-85 (B12F12)
5. Planters of the Commonwealth, Charles E. Banks 1930
6. Hoyt’s “Old Families of Salisbury and Amesbury” page 281/282 (John Perkins #12)

Robert Andrew Pickens, 8th Great-Grandfather

October 14, 2015 1 Comment

Pickens Coat of Arms

Pickens Coat of Arms

My 8th great-grandfather was born in 1644 in France.  He died in 1700 in
County Limerick, Ireland.  He was a Protestant who fled from religious persecution in France.

Robert Andrew Pickens (1644 – 1699)
is my 8th great grandfather
William Henry Pickens (1670 – 1735)
son of Robert Andrew Pickens
Andrew Sr Pickens (1699 – 1756)
son of William Henry Pickens
Jean Pickens (1738 – 1824)
daughter of Andrew Sr Pickens
Margaret Miller (1771 – 1853)
daughter of Jean Pickens
Philip Oscar Hughes (1798 – 1845)
son of Margaret Miller
Sarah E Hughes (1829 – 1911)
daughter of Philip Oscar Hughes
Lucinda Jane Armer (1847 – 1939)
daughter of Sarah E Hughes
George Harvey Taylor (1884 – 1941)
son of Lucinda Jane Armer
Ruby Lee Taylor (1922 – 2008)
daughter of George Harvey Taylor
Pamela Morse
I am the daughter of Ruby Lee Taylor


The following information was compiled by Mrs. Wendell Pickens, Costa Mesa, California.
The old, old story of Robert Pickens I, handed down to us by tradition, tells us that in the last half of the seventeenth century there was a man in France, probably of Scottish birth, by the name of Robert Pickens, who, it is said, held an official position as Chief Justice of the Court, and who was probably a Protestant of the Presbyterian Church. In this account of the Pickens family, he will be known to us as Robert Pickens I.
The name of his wife has been handed down to us as Esther Jane Bonneau, who, it is said, was a widow, possessing unusual beauty and was of the Huguenot faith.
When the Edict of Nantes was unwisely and unjustly revoked 22 October 1685, the persecution of the Protestants in France became so intense that large numbers of useful, as well as rich inhabitants of France, were forced to leave their native land and seek a place of safety in other countries where their industry, wealth and skill found a hearty reception. Robert Pickens I and his wife, with a large number of other refugees, fled to Scotland leaving France by way of La Rochelle, a fortified city of about eighteen thousand people, on the west coast of France.
We do not know how long Robert Pickens I lived in Scotland; but, after a time, we find his living at Limerick, Ireland, where he was living at the end of the seventeenth century.
We have no record of how many children Robert Pickens I had; but tradition tells us that at least three sons came to America to seek their fortunes in the New World, which at that time was being settled.
The names of the three sons of Robert Pickens I, who, we were told came to America, were: Andrew Pickens, John Pickens, Robert Pickens. We do not know the dates of birth of Andrew and John Pickens, but Robert Pickens was born at Limerick, Ireland, in 1697. It is known that these three brothers came to America; but is believed they did not come at the same time, because they did not settle at the same place in the New World. Robert Pickens I and his wife, it is said, were buried at Limerick, Ireland.

A son of Andrew [aka Andre’ Picon] and Isobell (Matthisone) Picken(s), Robert [aka Rob’ert Andre’ Picon] married widow Lady Ester Jeanne (le Benoit) le Bonneau in 1665 in La Rochelle, Charente-Maritime, France.

Known child:
1) William Henry Picken(s) (1669-1735), m: Margaret Pike.

NOTE: This ancestor is still being researched. Available sources have some conflicting information, but the facts seem to hold up that the Pickens family was originally from Ireland by way of Scotland. At some point, some family members fled to France and records show a French spelling of the name; i.e. Henri’ Picon. Some members were actually born in France during this time period, which most likely caused the confusion of ancestral roots.

Excerpt from General Andrew Pickens (1739-1817) letter to General Lee in 1811:
“There seems to be some support for the claim that one ROBERT PICON, a Scotchman or Briton at the court of France was a Protestant who fled from Scotland in 1661 to avoid persecution of Charles II. In France he is said to have married Madam Jean Bonneau, also a Protestant. They fled France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV in 1685. Tradition continues that they went to Scotland, later to North Ireland.”

Miss Eliza Pickens, a gr-granddaughter of General Andrew Pickens, in a paper prepared for D.A.R., said: “General Andrew Pickens’ first home was in Bucks Co PA. The Pickens were French Huguenots and left France after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by King Louis XIV in 1685. General Pickens’ gr-grandfather, Robert Pickens held a good position in France and with every inducement to remain, but he refused to live under Roman Catholic rule. He married an accomplished young widow, Madam Bonneau.”


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