Monday, November 23, 2015

Dear Grandparents,
In the ongoing discussions about refugees, it seems common to attribute one's birth in the United States as merely the result of luck. Somehow that seems to negate your efforts to find safe havens for your families, a place to practice your religion freely, and a place where the ownership of land and a better life was possible. These desires were probably as universal among those early immigrants leaving war, religious persecution and societal restrictions behind as they are today.  In the case of our 17th century English immigrant ancestors, they had endured more than 100 years of religious chaos as England vacillated between the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. As we ready ourselves to celebrate Thanksgiving, I want to thank all of you for your courage and commitment. We, your descendants, continue to benefit from your efforts.

Thanksgiving traditions in the United States have roots in the settlement of the Pilgrims in Plymouth. We have several ancestors who were part of the Mayflower community: William Brewster and his wife Mary, William Bradford and his wife Dorothy (May), Stephen Hopkins and son Giles, and Edward Doty who was indentured to Stephen. I thought I would share what I have learned about these brave people beginning with William Brewster.

William Brewster is presumed to have been born in or near Scrooby, Nottinghamshire, England in 1566 or 1567.  The exact date of his birth has not been discovered but according to the affidavit made at Leyden, June 25, 1609, in which "he, his wife Mary and son Jonathan declare their ages to be respectively 42, 40 and 16 years."[1]  He is the son of William Brewster who was appointed bailiff and postmaster at the manor house in Scrooby that belonged to the Archbishop of York.

It is not known how long William studied at Peterhouse College at Cambridge University. He matriculated there December 3, 1580 and studied Latin and Greek but there is no record of his receiving his degree, so it assumed that he left before graduating. After leaving, he became an assistant to William Davison, Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I. He accompanied Secretary Davison on his posting to the Netherlands in 1585 and served him until Davison's downfall in 1587 after which he returned to Scrooby.

William's father died in 1590 and he took his place as postmaster, an office he held until 1607, and lived at the manor house in Scrooby. He opened his home to the other members of the Pilgrim congregation for their weekly Sunday meeting. These meetings were eventually discovered and to escape prosecution the Brewsters and several other members of the congregation fled first to Amsterdam in 1608 and then to Leiden in 1609. It was probably more difficult for Brewster to support his family in Holland as he had been a government official in England and not a tradesman. He eventually found work tutoring students at the University of Leiden in English and Latin.

Map of Scrooby with inset to show location in England[2]

William also joined with other members of their sect in publishing books and pamphlets supporting the separatist religious movement which were then secreted into England. When these were traced back to William, the English pressured the Dutch government to stop their export. With authorities of two countries breathing down their necks, the congregation decided to establish a colony in Virginia where they could pursue their religion without fear of reprisal.

Pamplet published by William Brewster in Leiden
As the second ranking member of the congregation, behind pastor John Robinson, Elder William Brewster was urged to make the trip across the ocean on the Mayflower. He and his wife Mary decided to take their two youngest children, Love and Wrestling, with them. My 10th great grandmother, Patience, stayed behind arriving on the Anne in late July 1623.[3]

William Brewster continued to minister to the Plymouth congregation for the rest of his life but he also worked in the fields and participated in the colony's militia. William Bradford writes in his History of Plymouth Plantation, Elder Brewster "was in no way unwilling to take his part and bear his burden with the rest." John Abbott Goodwin writes in Pilgrim Republic "The good Elder fights as he prays, though he would far rather convert an enemy than hurt him, he would not dream of letting him first fire."[4]

Elder Brewster died at Plymouth, 10 April 1644. He had not made a will however the careful inventories prepared by William Bradford, Thomas Prence, Capt. Miles Standish and Mr. Reynor leave us a complete knowledge of the contents of his home and library. These list can be found in The Brewster Genealogy at the  following

My descent from William and Mary (unknown) Brewster is listed below. I am using the standard genealogical format which numbers the immigrant generation as 1. Changes in surname occur when the descent is on the female side. I hope this is an easier format to understand. Also, not surprisingly, my descent comes from two of William's granddaughters. Hannah and Mercy Prence are both daughters of Thomas and Patience (Brewster) Prence.

Cecily14, Charles13, Charles12, Frederick11, William10 Cone, Joanna9 Warner, Rhoda8 , Elisha7 ,  Nathaiel6 Hopkins, Mercy5 Mayo, Hannah4 Freeman,  Mercy3 Prence,  Patience2, William¹ "the Pilgrim" Brewster

Cecily15, Charles14, Charles13, Frederick12, William11 Cone, Joanna10Warner, Rhoda9 , Elisha8 Hopkins,  Abigail7 Merrick, Lydia6, Thomas5, Nathaniel4Mayo, Hannah3 Prence, Patience2 William1   

Thank you for your bravery and determination, Generations of your descendants have benefited from your efforts.


[1] Jones, Emma, The Brewster Genealogy 1566-1907, New York, The Grafton Press, 1908, 1: 3-4
[2] Contains Ordnance Survey data
[3] Michael Tepper, editor, New World Immigrants; The Mayflower Series of Papers"5-Immgrants on the Pilgrim Ship, p 11.
[4] The Brewster Genealogy, p. lix

Saturday, November 21, 2015

November 21st, 2015 the 395th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact.

Dear Grandparents,
Thought I would up date this blog post that I originally wrote in 2013. Today, November 21st, 2015 is the 395th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact. It was among the first written documents establishing the fundamentals of democratic government in the colonies.

As we begin to prepare for our annual commemoration of Thanksgiving, my mind has been turning to those of you who made Mayflower's historic voyage from England to Massachusetts. What courage it must have required to board that tiny ship leaving every place you had ever known behind! I hope I would have had the courage to join you.

We often focus today on the feast of Thanksgiving you hosted with the Indians and many forget some of the other contributions made by the settlers at Plymouth. We've read about the religious congregation from Leiden and probably most of us think of you as one group. I wonder if you realize that you are often referred to as the "Saints" and "Strangers." I think the implication being that the "Saints" were members of the Leiden congregation and the "Strangers" were the other English families who were hoping for more opportunities in a new land.

What foresight it took to understand that you needed some rules to govern the expectations and behaviors of the community before it was established ashore. I wonder how many of us would have come to that realization.

Mayflower Compact 1620

IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, bu the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politck, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Futherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.

IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.

Mr. John Carver, John Billington, Thomas Williams, John Ridgdale, Mr. William Bradford,        Moses Fletcher, Gilbert Winslow, Edward Fuller, Mr. Edward Winslow, John Goodman,                Edmund Margesson, Richard Clark, Mr. William Brewster,  Mr. Samuel Fuller,                             Peter Brown, Richard Gardiner, Isaac Allerton, Mr. Christopher Martin, Richard Britteridge,          Mr. John Allerton, Myles Standish, Mr. William Mullins, George Soule, Thomas English,             John Alden,  Mr. William White, Edward Tilly, Edward Doten, John Turner, Mr. Richard Warren, John Tilly, Edward Liester, Francis Eaton, John Howland, Francis Cooke, James Chilton,                    Mr. Steven Hopkins, Thomas Rogers, John Craxton, Digery Priest, Thomas Tinker*

*I have bolded the names of my ancestors who signed the compact.

There were women on board the Mayflower though they were not included in the affirmation of the compact they were certainly expected to live up to its requirements.

The transcription of the Mayflower Compact 1620, as well as the signatories, comes from the General Society of Mayflower Descendants Website. Commonly referred to as the Mayflower Society, it is an organization of those who prove their descent from one or more Pilgrims. It is estimated that there may be as many as twenty million descendants of the 102 hardy souls who sailed on the ship including nine American Presidents. My Great Grandfather Frederick Naaman Cone was a member of the Society, as was his son William Laurence Cone.

For family members, we can trace our linage to William Bradford, William Brewster, Steven Hopkins and his son Giles Hopkins, and Edward Doty (who's name was written at Doten on the compact).

Thank you for your bravery, foresight and spirit. I want to tell more of your stories before Thanksgiving.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Could this be their wedding photograph?

Dear Cecil and Hoo Hoo,
Peg recently came across a photograph of the two of you in some of Mom's things that we never remember seeing before. We are all wondering, could this be your wedding photograph?

Cecil Oscar and Ada Grace (Colby) Werst
circa 1924 probably Spokane, Washington.
From personal collection of their granddaughter
Leslie M. Cone
You do look dressed for a special occasion. The weight of your clothing and the leaves behind seem to support that it was summer. Your marriage certificate does not list the time of day you were married.

Certificate of Marriage dated 8 August 1924
Spokane, Washington
H. F. Lange, Minister officiated.
We do not know why you decided to get married in Spokane that August. Perhaps you did not have enough time off from your positions with the Royal Silk Hosiery Company to travel to Pendleton to include the bride's sister Madge and the groom's brother Clem. We know that Grace was estranged from her father because of her stepmother's intolerance for her presence so Grace's home of Newberg was not an option.  Since your first child was born 22 months after your wedding, that does not seem to have been the issue.

Wedding photograph or not, it is very nice to see you as a happy couple.


Updating this post from Veteran's Day 2013 - Thank you for Your Service and Sacrifice

Dear Grandparents,
Each year on November 11th, we honor our country's men and women who have served in our armed forces in both peace and war. This November is the first since 1971 where the family has no one currently serving on active duty. In the honor of those who served, I am endeavoring to put together a list by name, rank and service. These are the family members who have served in the 20th and 21st centuries, I'll cover the 18th and 19th centuries in another post. If you have additions or corrections please leave me a comment.

LCdr, Raul Dominguez, U. S. Navy 2002-2013
Maj. Amanda M. Kelly, U. S. Air Force (ret) 2002-2012
Lt. Kristen Cone, U. S. Navy 2005-2009
Cpl. Agye Danso, U. S. Marine Corps 2003-2007
Maj. Roger Moore, U. S. Army National Guard
Capt. Edward W. Kelly, U. S. Navy (ret) 1971-2001
PH2 Ronald A. Pearce, U. S. Navy 1972-1982
Lt. Charles "Rusty" N. Cone, III U. S. Navy, 1978-1983
Lt. Frederick Allen Cone, JAG, USNR 1957-1960
Sn. Dana A. Pearce, U. S. Navy 1954-1956
1st Lt. Hugo Riecken, U. S. Army 1954-1957
Capt. Charles N. Cone, Jr, U. S. Navy, 1944-1984
PFC Phelps Wilson Long, Jr,  U. S. Marine Corps, Killed in Action Dec. 16, 1943 Bougainville, Solomon Islands
Pvt. Kenneth M. Branchflower, U. S Army, 1936-7; 1944-1946
Sn. Charles Robert Brim, U. S. Navy, 1942-1945
Cpl. Josephine Mary Brim, U. S. Marine Corps, 1943-1945
CM1 Charles C. Black, U. S. Navy 1942-1945
Pvt. Edward Ebert Kelly,  U. S. Army, 1944-1946
Pvt. William Joseph Kelly, U.S. Army, 1942-1945
PO1 Donald Edward Haas, U. S. Navy, U. S. Coast Guard, 1943-1963
Pvt. John Joseph Beaumont, Jr., U. S. Army, 1942-1945
Sn. Richard Hans, U. S. Navy, 1940-1946
Pvt. Daniel Joseph Foley, U. S. Army, 1942-1945
PFC James R. Caldwell, U. S. Army, 1944-1947
Sn David Earl Propes, U. S. Navy, 1944-1945
Pvt. Vern B. Werst, U. S. Army, 1942-1946
Pvt. Emerald J. Caldwell, U. S. Army, 1918-1919
Pvt. Charles N. Cone, U. S. Army, 1918-1918
Pvt. Charles Richard Brim, U. S. Army, 1918-1919
Sgt. William Laurance Cone, U. S. Army, 1917-1919
Cpt. Chester D. Allen, U. S. Army Medical Corps, 1917-1923

Their contributions represent over 100 years of service to our country.

Our family has been blessed that only one member was killed in action. Phelps Wilson Long, Jr. was the daughter of my Grandmother Hazel Bynon Allen Cone's sister Martha Marinda Allen Long. Phelps was my Dad's first cousin. He enlisted in the United State Marine Corps shortly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and was trained at New River, North Carolina. He was part of  Company I, 21st MAR, 3rd Marine Division.

He was killed in action at Bouganville, Solomon Islands on December 16, 1943 and posthumously award the Silver Star for Conspicuous Gallantry and Intrepidity Against Enemy Japanese Forces in the Cape Torokina Area. I do not know if his body was returned to the family for burial in Florida or if they erected the marker just in remembrance. Once while visiting Oahu, My mother, Ed and I paid our respects at the Punch Bowl National Cemetery in Honolulu. My mother had been under the impression that Phelps was buried there but we did not find him.

My Grandmother said her sister never recovered from Phelps' loss. She died five years later at age 48.

Thank you all for your service. For the time you spent away from spouses, children and homes which did not come without sacrifice on both your part and that of your families.