My great great grandfather’s uncle, Asa Lyon Hatch, was one of the men in the boating incident I posted a few weeks earlier. As mentioned he survived that accident, with possibly just the loss of his dignity, and went on to live a few more decades. Sadly, due to bad luck, or crappy karma, neither of his two wives, or only child, survived him when he died in 1895.
I don’t know why, maybe it was just a slow day, but for no particular reason I started to do a very cursory background check on Asa. In the process of this search I learned that Asa was a very well-to-do merchant, who had lived in Rhode Island, Vermont, New York City, Kentucky, and who knows where else.
And then I found his will which he made in 1892, and I’m not really sure why, but I started reading it.
Estate of Asa Lyon Hatch
My Last Will!
In the name of God! Spirit of all things I Asa Lyon Hatch do make and declare this to be my last Will and Testament.
First. After my Spirit has passed to the World of Spirits, I request that my body be clothed in garments of pure white, as I have heretofore stated.
I wish my remains to be placed in a casket of clear white; not expensive.
Second. I desire my body placed in my grounds in the Cemetery in the Town of Grand Isle, State of Vermont. Have the grave dug North and South with the head to the north with the foot of my wife’s Elizabeth grave, on the west, and that of my wife’s Frances, on the North.
I desire to have placed at the head of my grave, a White Marble Head Stone similar to those placed at the head of my two wife’s, with the following words plainly and clearly cut on the same, with the name, cut in a square, raised letter the same as those of my two Wives
“I am the last of those called Mine:
“My resurrection morn; was, when spirit and body parted;
“I have left to join my Loved Ones;
“To spend with them – a Life Eternal!
“Earth Fare The Well! Asa Lyon Hatch
Third. I would name and appoint my brothers Henry R. Hatch and Arthur E. Hatch, both residents of Cleveland, of the State of Ohio, to be my Executors. And request that no bonds be required, of them.
It is my wish, that my friends Aldridge B. Gardiner of Providence, Rhode Island may carry out my wishes, as to the distribution of the small effect that I have left in the City of Providence, R.I.; a memorandum of which, I have left with this will.
Fourth. I give and bequeath, all my Real Estate and personal property, not designated in above memorandum to my two brothers Henry R. Hatch and Arthur E. Hatch; Share and share alike.
Fifth. I request that my Executors, shall set aside the sum of Five Hundred Dollars in cash, to be invested in the Bonds of the Town of Grand Isle Vermont; or of those of the County of Grand Isle; or of the State of Vermont; which shall be perfectly safe, praying an income that shall prove requisitor to carry out my wishes, as herein expressed.
Sixth. It is my wish that the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, may never be allowed to fall below the amount specified, and the income from which shall be used, to keep my grounds, or burial plat clean and free from grass or weeds; also the Marble Coping and Head Stones in place and in order.
Should any of the income remain after being as above applied I request that such of the remainder be used, as may be deemed necessary to keep clean and free from grass, the graves of my Father, my Mother and those of my Brothers and Sisters, as well as those of my Grandfather and GrandMother Lyon, and that of my Uncle Sewell [sic, should be Newell] Lyon.
Seventh. I have made and signed an order or Draft to the order of Mrs. Emma Hewett Taft, now of Providence, R.I for the sum of Five Hundred Dollars, to be paid to her to compensate her for the care and kindness shown me whilst sick, and feeble and I request that my executors have that order or draft honored and protected out of my estate.
Eighth. I request that my executors will see that my funeral expenses are paid as soon as after my decease as possible out of my estate.
In testimony whereof. I the said Asa Lyon Hatch, have to this my last will and testament contained on one sheet of paper, subscribed my name and affixed my seal this ninth day of April Eighteen hundred and ninety two.
Asa Lyon Hatch L.S. [seal]
He actually added a codicil in 1895 giving his caretaker Mrs. Taft another $1000. Only two of his siblings were still alive when he died, the two brother’s mentioned in the will.
I found the will amusing and sad at the same time. Sad because he had no one left to survive him other than his brothers. But then I had to laugh because he was so very particular about his pure white clothes, pure white casket (apparently he was also cheap), pure white headstone, and the placement of his remains.
Thinking about all that white has images of Col. Sanders constantly popping into my head. Maybe he thought that all that white would better grease the hinges of those pearly gates.
There are no descendants to share his life, show off pictures, or brag about his accomplishments. This will is the only thing of his I have found that gives me a sense of his personality. I know thinking about it in the future will make me smile, maybe you will too. That’s something anyway.
I found this, thankfully, amusing, almost horrible, article in a newspaper search:
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.
Charlotte Hatch is my great grandmother. I have vague recollections of meeting her in the early ’70s after we had moved back stateside from overseas. Mom, (as she was known by close family), along with a couple of other folks, probably including her daughter Evelyn, drove up from Ohio to visit at the time. Unfortunately I was too young for the visit to have made much of an impression, but hopefully by telling a bit of her story I can make up for that.
Charlotte was born in Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio on October 10, 1888. She was the daughter of Dillon Franklin Hatch and Almira Brooks and the youngest of their four children. But she only knew one sister and one brother growing up, the eldest son, Harry Douglas, had died at the age of 9 while the family was still living in Vermont.
Her father Dillon was the supervisor of a furniture factory which left the Hatch family comfortably well off. The couple used their good fortune to make sure their children received a well-rounded education, including music lessons. Charlotte learned to play the violin, and possibly the piano. She appeared in the local paper a multitude of times regarding some musical or singing performance, or sometimes simply as part of the local social gossip.
1906-05-13, Sunday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 54 (GenealogyBank.com>newspaperarchives) Social News of the Week Miss Helen Roblee of 9812 Lamont Ave., N. E., entertained five of her friends at an apple blossom luncheon on Monday. The guests were the Misses Mary Fitzpatrick, Helen Whitslar, Charlotte Hatch, Nina Smith and Hazel Lane.
1908-04-14, Tuesday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 7 (GenealogyBank>newspaperarchive): In Society Miss Belle C. Hart gave the second of her series of parlor recitals Saturday afternoon at 111424 Mayfield-rd., S. E. Those taking part were Lois Runge, Charlotte Hatch, Elliott Stearns, Harold Huhne, William Fristoe, Carl Patton and Numan Squire assisted by Miss Olive Harris, Miss Lilian Aokley and Miss Anita Runge, accompanists.
1908-12-27, Sunday, Plain Dealer (Cleveland, Ohio), page 24 (GenealogyBank>newspaperarchive): Music and Musicians Music in the Y.W.C.A. The musical organizations of the Y.W.C.A. have been considered important enough to be given a department of their own, with a committee voted entirely to their interests.
The members of the music committee…are most enthusiastic, and want to do all in their power to see this new department become a center of helpfulness and joy and inspiration. Most excellent work was done last year in laying the foundation of these organizations, and they have already become indispensable. In the coming year they ought to grow rapidly in numbers and efficiency.
The orchestra is doing splendid work under the directions of Miss Belle C. Hart. On Monday evenings its twenty members meet for practice at the association building, where they have a most enjoyable time. The members are:
First violins…Miss Charlotte Hatch…
Charlotte attended East High School in Cleveland, and graduated in 1908.
Less than a year after graduating from high school, Charlotte, at the age of 20, was married to a young man by the name of Montral Goble Shaw March 8, 1909.
While putting together timelines and mapping out Charlotte and Mont’s lives, something immediately stands out — Montral Shaw and his family were from Clermont County, Ohio which is clear down at the bottom of the state, as opposed to Charlotte’s stomping ground in Cuyohoga County, which is at the top. How on earth did these two people, from such distance challenged places, meet. Thankfully, because I do research on siblings and not just my direct lines, the answer to the question became clear. Charlotte’s brother Herbert attended Denison School, which is located in Licking County, as did Mont and even Mont’s sister Viola Shaw, all at about the same time (1900-1904ish).
So it is quite possible that Herb and Mont met at Denison and became friends. Maybe Mont came home with Herbert for a visit during a holiday or break, saw Charlotte, and ‘POW’ it was love at first sight! (Although they wouldn’t be married until a few years later.)
So now these two young newlyweds began to make a life together. And a year later, in May of 1910, Charlotte and her husband are found renting a farm in Jackson County, Ohio. Mont was supporting his wife as a fruit farm orchidist, while Charlotte was learning how to manage her new home. She was also preparing herself for the birth of their first child, Evelyn, who would be born in three months time. She must have been nervous, excited, and also anxious because her mother was very far away, and this would be a time that a daughter would want her mother around. Maybe her mother took a trip down to Lick Township, around the time Charlotte was due, to help her first grandchild come into the world.
Charlotte with her son John. Montral[?] is standing in the shed/barn. This picture was taken about 1913/1914.
After living in Jackson County for only a few years, they packed up their household goods and moved up north to Huntsburg Township in Geauga County where we find them by 1913, according to the birth of their second child John. Here they bought a farm which they owned until December of 1920 at which time they sold the farm and moved to Texas.
Above are the deeds for both when they bought 60 acres of property in Jackson County in 1915, and when they sold the same property in 1920 in preparation to moving to Texas.
When the railroad line was introduced in Cameron County, Texas a large land boom began taking place. (This is about as far south as you can get in Texas, without being in Mexico or the ocean). Agents from the area went out hawking all the great land deals to farmers in the midwest in order to bring new blood, and white people, into the area. There were even special trains being used to bring these new land owners to town. It sounds like Montral’s brother Norman heard about this great deal, proceeded to buy land, sight unseen, then convinced his brother and Charlotte to pack up their household belongings, and now five children, and come with him.
Here is the story as told by my grandmother Lois, who was only 9 months old when they made this trip:
It was December of 1920 – I was 9 months old, the farm had been sold and a new overland touring car purchased. It was loaded with the five children Evelyn 10, John 11, Margaret 6, Gertrude 4, and me 9 mo., Mom and Pop and the basic necessities of travel for a trip to the Rio Grand Valley in southern Texas.
Now in 1920, traveling more than 2000 miles over the highways of the day was not an adventure for the timid. My knowledge of the trip is strictly from the recounts in bits and pieces heard as I grew up. Pop loved to tell the tale with pleasure in the memories, while Mom sarcastically set him straight with the details of the discomfort and misadventures. She always hated Texas!
The reason for this safari was to farm a piece of land in the Rio Grand near Mercedes, Texas which Pop’s brother, Uncle Norman had bought sight unseen.
On the trip down I was awarded the top seat in the Overland a laundry basket made into a bassinet. I’m sure I was held on laps too, but I wonder if the trip created my fear in cars that lasted thru many years of travel all over as an air force wife. They called me a back seat driver when I was 4 & 5 years old. There were floods in Arkansas on the way down and Pop stripped the gears on the Overland and Mom and us children were put on a train for Little Rock, where Pop rejoined us after repairs were made.
Why Uncle Norman, an intelligent person I had always assumed, would buy land sight unseen and then let his younger brother make such a trip, I’ll never know.1
When the family arrived in Mercedes they found the land Uncle Norman had purchased had no water available – so they rented some land that did. It raised great truck crops but seems they couldn’t sell much as they couldn’t ship it north for some reason. The second year they were able with the other farms in the area to send a shipment of tomatoes north, 2000 bushels. A neighbor went with the shipment and evidently skipped with the money.”
Things did not work out as planned. Two years later they moved back to Ohio, leaving everything behind to be shipped. Pop sent money for shipping, but their things were never sent. Winter was coming on, and they had no winter clothes. John H and Evelyn [the two eldest children] lived with John and Sally Shaw in New Richmond for about two years (1922-1923) Pop and Mom moved to Westerville Jersey Farm in 1923 and the family was reunited.
Life in Texas was very unpleasant for Charlotte, especially when she developed malaria. So she would have been very relieved to be heading back to Ohio in 1922, where the weather was milder and the scorpions and malaria were non-existent.
By 1923 the family is back in Ohio, reunited, and living in Westerville, Delaware County (see Ohio map above), trying to get themselves back on their feet. Charlotte was also pregnant with their sixth child.
Nancy Jean was born 5 Feb 1924, but sadly she didn’t live long past her 1st birthday, as she died on the 21st of Mar in 1925. She was the only child of Charlotte’s who died young. They had one last child, Mary Ellen, who was born when Charlotte was 43 years old.
Charlotte was the practical one in their marriage. Like most domestic goddesses, she did the majority of the work: raising the children, taking care of their home, feeding everyone, doing all the laundry, managing, etc. Most of her life the cooking was done on a stove that was heated using wood and coal. Laundry was done in a tub with a washboard.
And while the life was hard and sometimes exhausting, Charlotte always let her children know that she actually enjoyed living on the farm much better than in a city.
Lois — “She liked to bake – always seemed to have cookies on hand – and made ice cream in refrigerator, which tasted like heaven to us kids. She passed on her mint-making skills to her granddaughter and namesake. Charlotte!”
Lois remembering her parents:
Pop seemed always the optimist, living from his dreams perhaps as much as his labors. A mischievous eye, finding joy in so much of life, loving to tell stories of people and events which we heard over and over but didn’t mind as he greatly enjoyed the telling. Mom, the realist, was more pesimistic she had to deal with the numerous tasks of each day, ending in weariness, I’m sure.
When we girls would be dressed up for some occasion he would say “you look very nice, but you will never be as pretty as your Mother”. This never hurt our feelings as by then Mom had gained quite a bit of weight and as we had little money she had no fancy clothes. I’m sure it boosted her ego a little. And she was very pretty before she became so tired and worn. Later when she could afford to go to the hair dresser she looked much prettier and had nicer clothes. She came from a city family and though not rich they had two “hired girls” in those days.
According to their daughter Lois, Charlotte and Mont made another move in 1947. The move kept them in the same county, but their address was now in Powell.
Early in 1947 they bought the farm at Powell, Ohio, in partnership with John and Bertha Shaw. There was a big apple orchard, and many a fall day was spent by the grandchildren in picking up apples for cider. Then the aunts, uncles and cousins would come to make applebutter. The children picked up apples, the women sat in the kitchen peeling, and the men “stirred” the applebutter, while drinking the cider (they had all the fun!)
Charlotte and Montral continued to live and work on their farm in Powell for many more years. Montral passed away in 1976 leaving everything including the farm to Charlotte. He was 90 when he died. Charlotte went on for another 8 years before she died in 1984 at the age of 95.
Her last letter to her daughter Lois was written August 14 of 1984 and talked about the mundane bits of everyday life, including the problems she was having with her current crochet project. Two weeks later she passed away. (I wonder if she was able to finish her afghan.)
Of Centerburg Charlotte H. Shaw Charlotte H. Shaw, 95, of Centerburg, died Aug. 31 at St. Ann’s Hospital.
She was a member of the Centerburg United Methodist Church.
Mrs. Shaw was preceded in death by her husband, Mont G. Shaw; two daughters, Evelyn Nevitt and Nancy Jean Shaw; a brother, Herbery Hatch; and a sister, Frances Herterprime.
She is survived by one son, John H. Shaw, Centerburg; four daughters, Mrs. Margaret Bevelhymer, and Mrs. Gertrude Van Tassell, Westerville; Mrs. Lois Shephard, West Bath, ME; and Mrs. Mary Ellen Adkins, Lucasville; 22 grandchildren, four step-grandchildren; 44 great grand-children; and seven great-great grandchildren.
The funeral service was Sept. 4 in Centerburg with Rev. Mac Kelly officiating. Burial was in Eastview Cemetery, Centerburg.
1 (Uncle Norman [Ewing Shaw] served as Secretary of the State of Ohio for several years under both Democrats and Republicans, he was a Democrat, He was killed in an auto accident in 1930 at 54 years of age. Rockhouse State park in Hocking County Ohio is dedicated to him for his conservation policies. Editor of Ohio Farmer Magazine.)
I recently found a very interesting newspaper article regarding my great great grandfather Dillon Franklin Hatch.
According to the above news article he had been elected as an officer in the Independent Order of Good Templars (IOGT) as a W. O. G. He was only 18 when he became a member.
There are several different types of lodges and organizations I have vaguely heard about over the years in my genealogical endeavors. This one I was unfamiliar with. So I thought I would enlighten myself, and then share.
The IOGT was an abstinence/temperance society. These types of societies had started forming in the early 19th century, in some form or another, due to the large prevalence of societal problems related to drinking that existed at the time. Alcoholism and excessive drinking was having a very noticeable affect on the lives of families and society in general, so organizations were created by concerned citizens to try and curb the problem. (These same issues were also concerns of the suffrage movement, other than the right to vote of course.)
This particular order started in a village near Utica, New York in 1850 and was considered “a radical movement, ahead of its times”1 because they included women in their organization “proclaiming that all were brothers and sisters in one united family.”1
IOGT was also considered one of the more successful organizations because their relapse rate was much lower than that of others. There are several reasons given for its success. One was that it came about at the right time period. Many people were realizing that to help society become better as a whole it was important to control ones relationship with alcohol. Fraternal societies were also in vogue at the time, and because the IOGT was inclusive of women, even giving them places in leadership, it better met the needs of society as a whole. And lastly “it combined temperance and fraternalism” using ritual and degrees that helped educate and train members so that they could better help others who needed support in their abstinence endeavors.
This organization is still in existence today. In the 1970s they made changes to become more relevant to the times. Titles were changed, accoutrements became simplified, or were eliminated altogether. The name was changed from Order to Organization, little things like that. The rituals are also no longer secret.
It is doubtful that Dillon become a member because he had issues with drink, he was pretty young. He was probably just interested in the ideas of temperance and wished to help further the cause? In 1870 this article is found in the newspaper:
Olive Hatch was elected W. V. T. at a regular meeting of Evergreen Isle Lodge No. 128, I.O. of G. T. on Friday evening, May 6th .
This was Dillon’s mother Olive Robinson Hatch. She was elected Worthy Vice Templar of this particular lodge. So maybe her membership influenced her son’s interest in temperance.
In 1867 at the age of 18 Dillon F. Hatch, my g-g-grandfather, wrote a patriotic speech which he possibly gave for a class. We are lucky enough that one of our Shaw cousins has this speech and made copies for others to enjoy. So, I thought that this would be a most appropriate post for the upcoming 4th of July celebration.
First a little background on Dillon. He was born in Grand Isle County, Vermont in 1849 to Oscar Hatch and Olive Robinson. His parents were decently well off members of society, so he received a very modern, thorough, education. He even kept a diary for a short time and practiced his writing in it, something for which he received high marks in school.
He probably apprenticed as a carpenter in his younger years, as he eventually went into the furniture making business. His repertoire included windows, and doors (one of his patented designs was in a previous post on my blog). Sometime in the 1880s he moved his wife, Almira (Brooks) and their children to Ohio, where Dillon managed a large furniture factory until he retired.
He never fought in any wars himself, his age, (too young, too old), would always get in the way of any patriotic fervor he might have had.
The speech that we have here was written in honor of the soldiers who fought in two wars: the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War, which had just ended two years earlier.
I am including a .pdf file of the complete speech in his own handwriting (albeit a photocopy). But below, for easier reading, I am giving you the transcribed version. He had many misspellings and poor punctuation, I tried to keep those errors in the transcription, however, sometimes autocorrect fixes those things, so I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the ‘errors’. Note: because of the time period in which he is writing this speech he does use the term ‘Negro’ when discussing the Civil War, I did not change it to a more appropriate or politically correct term, as that would be presumptive and just plain bad history. Just know that he is not using the term in a derogatory manner and is a reflection of the time period .
The Soldiers of the Republic The present generation owes a debt of gratitude to all who have preceded us, but none, a greater debt than to the Soldiers of the Republic, those who fought and bled for their county’s cause who willingly sacrificed their lives in its defense. This of what our fathers endured to build up this great Republic when they were weighed down by the power of a tyrant whom they so bravely resisted and whose power they threw off , and thus became an independent nation. how staring are those memories of the Revolution, how precious the names of the actors on the theater of war, in the times that tried mans souls. With pride and gratitude we think of Warren, who, when offered the command of different parts of the field at the battle of Bunker Hill, refused, saying that he came out to fight as a common soldier, and not to command, and fighting as such he nobly fell. Warren Putmann, Pomeroy, Stark, glorious names that were not born to die. There were instances in our late war of the Rebellion of unselfish devotion to country such as is seldom seen. Such was the devotion of Ellsworth, assassinated in the very act of raising the Stars and Stripes and of trailing the Rebel flag in the dust.
We honor such as the true, noble, soldier of the Republic. But what do we owe to them. There are very few who really understand and appreciate this.
Look and behold the bright and peaceful homes scattered throughout the land, for their preservation the soldier willingly shed his blood on the field of battle. But let us compare our soldiers with those of other nations. When war was declared between Great Briton and the colonies the nations look upon it as merely an out-break of some inferior power and not requiring much force to put it down, but they are mistaken, they found a nation of soldiers though not, perhaps, as well drilled as some pf the old soldiers of the European armies but they are men that were used to hardships, and toil, and they fought fearless of danger, in defense of home and country, which they loved as life its self. In this they differed greatly from those of other nations. I do not mean to say that the people of other nations do not have this love for their county, for I do not think a nation could long exist were it not for that. But the great difference is this; our soldiers come from the people to defend their homes, instead of being those who fight for pay.
How the nation was moved by the fall of Fort Sumpter. The nation as one man, rose demanding retribution for the act, and they sought it by hurling thousands of men down upon them which crushed them out in a few year’s of war. But it was love of freedom that helped to do this more than any thing else, freedom that great boon which all men seem striving to attain. There is nothing like ones fighting for freedom and home, to bring out all the bravery and courage of the soul. A man hitherto thought to be very timid, will sometimes under the circumstances perform deed’s which seem almost incredible. No love is stronger than that for home and father-land, and it was because of this love of home that our citizen’s rose up in such numbers to defend heir altairs and their homes. (Switzerland in this respect, is most like our own nation. It stands surrounded by Empires and Kingdoms as a monument to freedom it cannot be conquered, nor can or own.) The American nation is alive at the heart and could not be destroyed by a war of centuries. The Rebell’s were actuated[sic] by an impulse to save their homes from destruction, they thought our northern soldiers would bring upon them. The lower class supposed for a time that our soldiers were bands of lawless robbers and murders, but they found their mistake after our army had passed through the country.
We have an illustration showing how love of freedom nerves the arm of the soldier in battle, in the use of negroes as soldiers in the late war. When they were first used by Fremont in Missoura, nearly all of the citizens of that state and of the other states answered him severly, because of it, and even the President refused to let him use them as such, but it was not long before they found that it was a very great mistake. Negroes became after a while some of the best and bravest soldiers in our army. The Rebells soon learned this and tried the same thing, but it did not succeed as well with them as with us, for the reason that they were fighting for their freedom when fighting with us, but when they were on the other side they were only fighting in defense of slavery that great evil they were trying to escape, and thus they fought with us for freedom and found it.
Honor to the soldier. Let his name be cherished let his children be nourished by the Republic let his lonely widow have no occasion to call in question the gratitude of the nation, let the sod be green over his grave, and let the marble colum and granite shaft rise all over the land to perpetuate the name and the noble deed’s of the American Soldier.
I have more goodies to share from my recent research trip to Salt Lake City. Sit back and enjoy.
The Fay family has appeared in a previous post when I talked about Stephen Fay who was the owner of a famous tavern in Vermont during the Revolutionary War. The Fay in this post is either his grandfather or father, I am not 100% sure which one is the principal character.
John Fay, sr. was born in England about 1640 and came to America sometime after. He settled in Middlesex County, Massachusetts and sometime before 1669 he married Mary Brigham (his first wife). She bore him 4 children, dying shortly after the birth of Mary, the youngest, in 1676.
The publication titled: The History of the Brigham Family; Descendants of Thomas Brigham, compiled by Rhonda R. McClure has a quote from Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in Massachusetts County, 1649-1699, by Roger Thompson, which is of interest to us Fay descendants as it regards a court case I have summarized as follows:
William Hudson, came to court in April of 1691 and bewailed “the danger that whores accuse rich single men or married men as the father of their bastards.” Because he was protesting his innocence in the case of fathering a child he was asked to provide evidence that another male could be responsible. Hudson produced evidence that “in August  the soldier John Fay had been at the house of Ephraim Roper** in Lancaster, in or on the bed with sd. Mercy Rugg, lying upon his belly with some violent motions toward her.” By the time of William’s testimony in the case John Fay, sr. had conveniently died, so could offer up no defense. Hudson was judged to be the father.
I was a little taken aback when I saw this entry, then I started shaking my head trying to get the images out that had popped in there. Geez gramps, close the curtains! (Well, that’s assuming they had curtains. Or doors.)
After reading the entry a few time the next thought that came to mind was: “Is it possible Mr. Hudson is actually taking about John Fay, jr., who would have been about 20 years old at the time.” The mention of ‘soldier John Fay’ brings to mind someone younger. But, if it was John, sr. then he was definitely having sexual relations outside of his marriage. Susanna, his 2nd wife, would not have been pleased. If it was John, jr., then he would also have committed adultery, as he was married December 1 of 1690 to my 8x great grandmother Elizabeth Wellington. Or he had relations shortly before his marriage; the case doesn’t say whether Mercy had had the child, or was still pregnant in April of 1691. (As I haven’t seen the actual case it is possible that mention is made of John Fay, sr.’s demise, which would of course answer the question of which ‘John’ (ouch! no pun intended).)
Typically, William, who is being accused, calls Mercy a whore, it is doubtful she actually was one. He was just a little too free with his favors, proceeded to get her pregnant, and didn’t want to pay the price for unprotected sex. I have a little violin playing just for him in the ‘oh woes me’ band.
While investigating this source I ended up reading the whole book by Roger Thompson. I learned quite a bit about our ancestral Puritan’s and everyday shenanigans. They were a group of pretty typical humans whose Puritan beliefs really didn’t change the natural tendencies of human nature, and their children were just as rebellious and annoying as teenagers today. The Puritans fooled around, got into squabbles, swore, and blasphemed with the best of them.
**Interesting side note: The Ephraim Roper mention in the above case file, was the second husband of Hannah Brewer Goble Roper, our ancestress. So this incident involved two ancestors or ours, Hannah Brewer and John Fay, who was having sex in her house, with her servant. And…when Montreal Goble Shaw married Charlotte Hatch in 1909 the two families were now connected by marriage. In our family at least.
One of my goals on my trip to Salt Lake City the week before last, was to see if I could find more out about my crazy 5x great grandmother Esther (Newell) Lyon.
My belief was that because I could not find a death record for her in Vermont, maybe there is something in Asa Lyon’s probate records that could help answer the question. The assumption being that if she wasn’t mentioned in his probate records she had probably died.
I am happy to say that she was.
For those who don’t remember – Esther was born in 1761 in Goshen, Litchfield County, Connecticut eldest daughter of the Rev. Abel Newell and his wife Abigail Smith. She married Rev. Asa Lyon, who was two years younger than her, in 1796 when she was 34 years old. They lived in Grand Isle County, Vermont for most of their married life and had three known children together: Abigail, who married Abijah Hatch, Esther, who married Daniel Brown, and Newell, who married Arrietta unknown.
Asa Lyon, the patriarch of the family, died in 1841, and thankfully he left us probate records regarding his estate. In these estate papers I learned several interesting things, the most important was that Esther, his wife, was still alive at the time of his death. However, it was also learned that his daughter Esther had died. She had lived long enough to marry, but it is doubtful she had any children as they are not mentioned in the probate record. The only two children inheriting any part of the estate were Abigail and her brother Newell.
When Asa died he owned close to 1500 acres of land in Vermont, the largest tract being about 300 acres. not all together, but in various places in the state. Its total worth was about $29,000 (that would be about $830,000 in 2015 dollars). So needless to say the Lyons were a family of means and property. I guess it helps if you are a bit of a skinflint, as Asa was known to be.
Abigail’s husband Abijah had been named as Esther’s guardian:
On Application of Abijah B. Hatch guardian of Esther Lyon, widow of Asa Lyon, late of Grand Isle, deceased, an insane person.
and one of the responsibilities of probate court was to make sure that Esther’s needs were going to be taken care of, as seen in this entry:
The said Abijah & Abigail agree to maintain and support the widow of the said Asa Lyon during the residue of her natural life free of any charges upon the said Newell or upon that part of the estate of the said Asa Lyon which shall in the distribution thereof be set to him by procuring for her suitable apartments in the house in which she now resides, and such meats and drinks medicines, bedding, attendance and other accommodations as shall render her as comfortable and happy as in her circumstances she can be made during her life, and inter her remains and lay her coffin beside that of her husband Asa Lyon.
The court even makes sure that her body is properly ‘placed’ when she does pass out of this world.
The probate case file continues until 1843, at no time during this period is it indicated that Esther has died, but, she is not listed in the 1850 census as living with her daughter Abigail. So I can only assume that sometime between 1843 and 1850 Esther died.
This was more than I knew before, so even if I don’t have an exact date I am very pleased.
Their son Newell married and had 6 children with his wife Arrietta. Only his eldest, Asa N. Lyon, survived to adulthood. But Asa married very late in life and never had any children of his own, so, it was up to my 4x great grandmother Abigail to keep the family line going, which she did with great gusto as she had 11 children with Abijah, (that we know of). Her son Oscar Ebenezer Hatch is my ancestor.