Overboard

I found this, thankfully, amusing, almost horrible, article in a newspaper search:

newspaper article
Argus and Patriot (Montpelier, Vermont) 08-07-1878, page 3.

Oscar Ebenezer Hatch and his brother Asa Lyon Hatch are the two gentlemen who were doing a spot of fishing, when this accident occurred. Oscar is my 3xgreat grandfather, and the father of Dillon Hatch.

Both of the men were in their 50s at the time. Thankfully, no one was lost or hurt, except for maybe their pride.

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May 13, 1952 Herman (& Ruth) to parents

Columbus Ohio
May 13, 1952

Dick & Dad:-

How did you find everything up in the North country? Has the lake frozen over again? It has been cold and damp ever since you left. We didn’t go to Harbor View last week end as the weather was to bad. We went to church and while in Westerville stopped in at 22 W. Park and found everything O.K. also stole a quart of milk we found in the refrigerator. I finaly finished painting the basement floor so that it is one of my projects completed. Just like Ruth says I start to many different projects before I finish one. I think I’ll try finishing up a few before I start any new ones for a change.

I am having the cover for your boat repaired and reshaped so it will fit the boat also I’m having a hood made at the rear end of it so the motor will be covered as well as the boat all in one cover. Bessie the woman that makes our seat covers at the shop is doing the job.

[page 2]
We received your cards and was glad to hear about the motor. I tried different plugs in the motor but that didn’t help any Im glad you still have the extra oil in that case, and hope we never need it. How is everyone the Beckers & Forders tell them we said Hello.

I am trying to arrange a week of my vacation for the week end of July 4th and the following week which would give me about 10 days. We thought that would be about the time you folks would be going back up, you could start a few days ahead of us and take the boat with you then we could start after work on July 3 and drive straight through. The only catch I can think of right now is that I might get into a jam at the Straite waiting to cross. As soon as I get the details worked out and decide on that date I’ll get in touch with Edw. Ralph Kring has his vacation the first 2 weeks of July so maybe we can work out something with him. I’ll need some one to help drive if we go straight through. That’s about all the news for now so till I hear from you. So long.

With Love Ruth & Herm

Joanna

 

joanna
Joanna is in bright red.

We don’t know what her surname was at birth, or even her first husband’s name. But we do know that she was known by everyone in town as a chirurgeon (surgeon/doctor), and was recognized as such when her second husband’s probate case was in court.

 

Joanna arrived in the colonies sometime before 1640. As a wife, or a widow, we do not know. Her husband, if she had one, was not around by 1640. This we know because according to testimony regarding her 2nd husband John’s probate in 1680, she had married forty years earlier to John Smith. (I know, right. Just what I need, another bloody Smith in the family). She brought into this 2nd marriage one daughter, by the name of Elizabeth.

They were most likely married in Boston, where John had been working as a tailor/nailor*, and stayed there for about 13 years. (It is believe that he arrived in New England about 1638 with a brother, Nehemiah. This brother helped him out with a loan when the family wanted to moved to New London, Connecticut about 1653.

Joanna and John had no children, or at least not any that lived. (And John had no children when he died.)

She was a noted doctor and was skillful at healing wounds and bruises and made her own salves, which she used on the patients she tended. Her practice no doubt helped to fill the family pantry or coffers. These skills were passed on to her granddaughter Agnes, who married Thomas Pember. (It does not appear that her daughter Elizabeth was interested in learning the healing arts.)

Agnes (traditionally pronounced Inez, silent ‘g’) was an excellent student:

“Agnes studied medicine under her grandmother, Joanna Smith, became her assistant, and took over the practice when the grandmother became enfeebled. Caulkins’ History of New London, (page 355), mentions Agnes Pember, “was who was for many years famous as a nurse and doctress … Tradition related many vivid anecdotes respecting this energetic and experienced race of female practitioners… and unbounded confidence was placed in her female skills to stroke for the King’s evil (scrofula, thought to be cured the a touch from royalty), to cure cancers, alleviate asthma, and set bones.1

When John died in 1679, Edward Smith, a nephew (a son of John’s eldest brother), protested the will stating that the intent of John in inviting him to move to New England, was that he would treat him as his own son, and upon John’s death, Edward would inherit, as if a son. Probate court records indicate Joanna denied Edward the right to any inheritance, as the will never states any such thing, and all Edward could provide was heresay.

Joanna made a statement that she wished the court to consider regarding the matter of the will:

That I stand as the third person distinct from my deceased husband and Edward Smith, with a lawful conveyance of a part my husband’s estate in my hand which cannot be voided by all those former acts which they pretend to be my husband’s.

“He [Edward] is worse than an infidel that provides not for his own house. I was the proper house my husband had to provide for, flesh of his flesh, and bone of his bone, and he could not with good conscience do less than provide well for me. I brought an estate to him: I helped in getting the estate, the bare rents my husband knew would not maintain me, who he knew he was to leave blind and sickly and aged. If he did in former times say he would do more for Edward, and less for me, it is to be supposed that those purposes were upon his view of things as they stood when I was well able to live by my chyrurgery, now I am blind and cannot see a wound much less dress it or make salves, also my husband expected better behavior from Edward: then after he found, in the providence of God altering my condition so much as for being a good help to others, but I was grown to be a great burthen, gave my husband a just call to alter his former intentions and to give me what might purchase me that respect and supply which the necessity of my condition called for, and which was his indispensable duty to provide for which he having done, if it must not be undone, then woe to poor widows when their husbands are dead, and under what doubts must all consider, tender, conscionable husbands live and die when they shall see an instance of one that did what he could to provide for his widow, but it was frustrate the law would not maintain it. But I hope for better things from the prudence and justice of this court, such as may make the widows heart sing for joy and &c. “Joanna Smith”2

The case was in court a while, but eventually Joanna received her due.

In one of the depositions in the probate case from Richard Smith of New London we learn something interesting regarding her daughter Elizabeth:

 “…Furthermore, John Smith added that his wife had been very earnest with him, to make one of her daughter’s children, his heir. But the said John Smith said he wholly declined it because his wife’s daughter was a Quaker and he could not abide Quakers, and also that her husband [George Way] did not please him.”

So apparently John didn’t care for his stepdaughter’s Quakerish ways (or her husband). A common view in New England at the time where Quakers were vilified, harassed, and even hanged for their belief.

Joanna was blind at the time of her husband’s death, which is stated several times in the depositions, and in the statement regarding her granddaughter Agnes taking over the doctoring business.

Deposition of Martha Mould: …and if that any words had passed between them in the last sickness wherein one being sick and sometimes testy and angry, and the other through age, weakness and want of sight, not able to do as formerly she could have done

Deposition of Anne Lattemore: that she was there watching in the time of his sickness, and that Joanna acted “with all tenderness and due respect as a wife could do, being in such condition as she was, in being weak, aged and dark sighted.”

The following court case is found in Connecticut court records from 1682:

“Elizabeth Way presented for not living with her husband. The Court orders her to go to her husband or to be imprisoned.” Elizabeth stated that her husband resided in Saybrook and she would remain with her mother at New London as she was the only daughter of John and Johanna Smith.

So, Elizabeth up and left her husband to take care of her aged, blind mother. As her only child, and a devout Quaker, I would imagine that she felt she had no other course but to do her duty, as both. Maybe she was even glad to get away from the old ball and chain for a while. George certainly didn’t seem inclined to be reasonable about the matter, as shown by his bringing her to court to insist that she return home.

The court order was disregarded by Elizabeth.

Joanna died in 1687, aged about 73, but not before passing on her doctoring knowledge to her granddaughter Agnes, who was also well know for her skills. Joanna’s estate was inherited by her daughter Elizabeth, who was now living in Lyme, Connecticut. At no time does the maiden name of Elizabeth appear in the records, so we still do not know who her father is.

I am imagining a tradition of strong, intelligent women in Joanna’s family passing down these doctoring skills to the next generation. All of them, in their time, a vital part of their community. Just reading her statement to the probate court, in trying to get her just due from her husband’s estate, some of that strength comes through.

Joanna is an ancestor in my Dad’s Cross line. Joanna’s lawyer, representing her in the probate case, was William Pitkin. William is an ancestor on the Shaw side of the family, (through Charlotte Hatch). Ensign Clement Minor, an ancestor on mother’s Shepard side, testified against the nephew, Edward in the case. It’s a small world in the 1600s.

*Naylor is written in the records, some believe that to be a typo and he was a tailor, others think it meant nailor. Which sounds like a very weird job to me, what, you just nail all day. Hey, sir, you need anything nailed today. Hmmm. Doesn’t sound likely.

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Sources:

  1. John Pember: The History of the Pember Family in America, Compiled by Mrs. Celeste Pember Hazen; 1939: self published.
  2. A genealogical history of the descendants of the Rev. Nehemiah Smith of New London County, Conn.: with mention of his brother John and nephew Edward. 1638-1888, by Smith, Henry Allen, 1889; Albany, N.Y.: J. Munsell’s Sons.
  3. Connecticut Way Family, compiled by C. Granville Way. Original manuscript in possession of Mary Elizabeth Way, Martinez, California. Loaned to the public library of Fort Wayne and Allen County, May 1978.

The “Welcome” brings a few of our Quakers

I have known for a while that we have Quakers in our ancestry. So, I thought it was about time I share what little I know about our Quakers who traveled to America in 1682, with William Penn.

The ship was called the Welcome, and it departed from Deal, England, on August 31, 1682. After a 57 day journey across the Atlantic, they finally arrived at the Delaware River on October 27. (Apparently this was considered a pretty slow trip for the time, although, our Isserstedt ancestors traveled 52 days from Hamburg to New York in 1855, so I am not convinced it was all that much longer than normal).

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Drawing of the “Welcome” found online.

In July, 1682, the ship’s master, Robert Greenway, began to load the ship in preparation for the trip…August newspaper articles noted that Penn had “taken leave” of his friends and was preparing to board the “Welcome” to make the trip in the company of five other ships. On September 2nd another paper noted that Penn had sailed two days earlier with “a great many Quakers” to settle “Pensilvania”1

One of the passengers aboard this shipload of mostly Quakers, other than the famous William Penn, was my ancestress Ann Short, one of three children of Henry Adam Short and Miriam Ingram. Sadly, the Short family was not making this scary journey to a brand new world, away from everything that was familiar, with their father. He had died in Walberton, Sussex County, England at the family home.  Instead their Uncle Isaac Ingram, their mother’s brother, was taking on the roll of gentleman protector.

The Welcome was believed to be of an average size for the time period, being around 120′ long, and 24′ wide. Robert Greenway was the captain, who commanded a crew of about 36 men. Onboard were also the passengers of mostly Friends. The current, proven, list of passengers, according to the Welcome Society of Pennsylvania, is 65 (that means there were just over 100 people on this little wooden boat).2 It was a “slow sailer”, because, although it could travel as fast as ten mph, when there was a fair wind and a smooth sea, ships like the Welcome rarely did.

Like many cross ocean voyages in those days, the conditions would have been quite uncomfortable. The passengers most likely slept below deck, on the floor, with no windows to relieve the stifling lack of  fresh air or the gloom, although they would most likely have had covered lanterns of some sort. Rough seas, or rain, meant water would be pouring in through any cracks, soaking everyone and everything below. And of course there were no bathrooms to speak of. Which meant lots of very stinky, unbathed, people, relieving themselves overboard, or in piss pots. Did they have piss pots on ships?

The fresh foodstuffs menu would be short lived, then would begin the boring litany of salted dried meats, hardtack biscuits, etc. Although, they could occasionally add fresh fish to the larder to relieve the tedium of their diet. The barrels of water didn’t stay fresh long, so most folks on board ship would drink beer, liquor. Hence a sailor’s fondness for rum?

These close tight quarters also meant sickness spread like wildfire. And in this the Welcome was no different than any other ship. In their case it was smallpox which lead to the devastating loss of 1/3 of the people on board. This statistic tragically included my 10x great grandmother Miriam Short*, and her brother Isaac Ingram. The Captain had to delay their arrival at Pennsylvania to allow the illness to run its course, so they sat in Little Egg Harbor in New Jersey until it had done so.

Isaac left a will as he lay dying:

Vpon the Twenty-Sixth day of ye Seaventh Month one thousand six eighty & two. I Issaak Ingram late of Garton [sic] late of Surrey yeoman, being weake of body yet of perfect mind and memory doe make and ordaine this my last Will and Testament on board the Welcome Robt Greenaway Mr. bound for Pensilvania (Vizt) as foll.

Item I give & bequeath vnto my Sister Miriam Short lately deseased her three Children Adam Short Miriam Short & Anne Short all that thirty pounds lying in Ambrose Riggs hands living at Garton [sic: for Gatton] in ye county of Surrey to be equally devided betweene them viz ten pounds a peece further it is my will & mind that my Sisters children aforesd haue all the goods on board the Welcome equally divided between them…[other bequests]4

So now Ann, Adam and Miriam were left orphans, in a strange land and with no family to speak of around. Although it is said that another brother of Miriam’s took them in. He is only noted as G. Ingram, but I have seen no source for this statement, if true.

Now when I say orphans, I don’t mean young helpless children, because these “kids” ranged in age from about 20 to 16. With Ann believed to be the eldest. So they are actually young adults coping with the loss of their last parent, and making their way in a brand new world.

Quaker-Meeting

Ann married Joel Baily in 1687, and they eventually had at least 9 children together, all brought up in the Quaker faith. This line came into our tree with Margaret Mobley’s marriage to William A. Buchanan at about 1850. Of course, by then, the family practice of Quakerism had been left far behind. Margaret’s grandfather Caleb Millison and his wife Ruth Buffington were the last to have any connection to the church, as Caleb was kicked out for marrying Ruth who was not of the faith, about 1796.

* There is a slight probability that their mother had died very shortly before they left England, and the children were traveling with just their Uncle.


Sources:
1. Research done by K. William Bailey The Genealogy Interests of K. William Bailey
2. http://www.welcomesociety.org/ancestors-approved-memberships.html
3. Information on the voyage conditions taken from this site https://www.calebpuseyhouse.com/the-voyage-of-the-welcome.html
4. Will transcription found in Journal of the Friends Historical Society, Volume 4, edited by Norman Penny at Google Books, page 5