Friday, March 10, 2023

Helen Louise (Werst) (Pearce) Caldwell 1928-2019

Dear Grandparents,

I started writing this post in March of 2020 and then COVID happened and all of our lives changed. I'm just getting back to it this year in time to celebrate Aunt Helen's 95th birthday. 

This is the first year in a long while that I will not be sending birthday greetings to Aunt Helen. She is in your company this year, not ours. It is very strange as she has always been an important part of my life. I was named for her and Cecil, so I became Cecily Louise. Like most of our stories, her story is complicated.

Cecil Oscar and Ada Grace (Colby) Werst in Spokane, Washington circa August 8, 1924.

It wasn't a very auspicious beginning for Helen. Her father, Cecil Oscar Werst, had died from an infected tooth 4.5 months before her birth. It was before penicillin, and he was gone in 10 days, leaving behind a stunned, pregnant wife, Grace (Colby) Werst and their 15 months old daughter, Betty Lorraine.

At age 27, death was probably the last thing on Cecil's mind. Times were good. The family was living in a comfortable rented house on McClellan Street in Spokane, Washington. Cecil had been promoted to manager at the Royal Silk Hosiery Company. Grace had worked as the secretary to the publisher of the Spokesman Review Newspaper and left her position to welcome their first child. We're not certain if Cecil or Grace already knew there was another baby on the way. He left no life insurance, some savings but most of that was invested in stocks.

Feeling desperate, Grace and Betty traveled by train to Pendleton, Oregon so she could be with her sister Madge (Colby) Massey during her confinement. Helen Louise Werst was born 10 Mar 1928 in Pendleton, Oregon.

Betty, Grace and Helen from left to right in Spokane circa 1928

Grace tried, really tried, to make it with her two girls back in Spokane. She was a modern woman and wanted to stand on her own two feet. Unfortunately, it was difficult to find a job, childcare, etc.
Complicating things even more was the economic situation in the country. Beginning in March 1929, the Federal Reserve began warning of the dangers of stock speculation and by October 29th everything crashed. The stocks that Grace held became worthless. She wrote to the company heads of each of the stocks she held pleading for a job.

Grace had to give up the rented home, sell many of their belongings and move in with Madge and her husband Harley Massey in Pendleton. Finally, a letter came with the offer of a job as a stenographer at the Smith Tower in Seattle. How could she get there? find a place to live? and most importantly, what about her daughters? I'm certain that she agonized about these decisions. In the end, Betty stayed with Aunt Madge and Uncle Hal in Pendleton and Helen went with her Mom to Seattle.

They probably traveled by train and found a boarding house recommended by co-workers or family friends. She arranged for Helen to stay with an older couple during the day and went to work. This arrangement lasted until the summer of 1932. Grace's father William Wallace Colby wrote asking her to come home and take care of him after his second wife passed.

Helen and Grace in Seattle circa 1930

Grace jumped at the chance to finally be able to raise her girls together at Pine Lawn Farm where she had spent her older childhood years. From the recounted stories, it was quite a change for everyone. Grace had been head of her family, making her own money and deciding how it would be spent. The much youngest of five girls, Grampa Colby was 45 when she was born, now he was 75 and set in his ways.  He thought children should be seen but not heard and he was not shy about expressing his opinions on how Grace should be raising her daughters.

Betty and Grampa Colby (William Wallace Colby 1857-1936) at Pine Lawn Farm

It must have been difficult for the girls also! Betty had been left behind with her Aunt and only saw her mother the few times when she was sent on the bus from Pendleton to Seattle with a family friend who drove the bus. She missed her father and was away from her mother at the same time. Helen didn't get to see her mother during the day and was not fond of the couple who cared for her. She was jealous that Betty had nicer clothes that Aunt Madge had purchased. What a challenge for them all.

Turned out that Pine Lawn Farm was a wonderful place to spend one's childhood. There were animals, chores and kids the same age across the street. There was not much money, but it was the depression and few people had money. They could trade the chickens and prunes they raised for other crops and services they needed. The "farm" gave them a sense of belonging to a place that I've never had in my nomadic life. Maybe that's why we're keeping it in the family.

Above barn at Pine Lawn Farm, below farmhouse

Helen at farm circa 1945

                                              Betty, Grace and Helen at the farm circa 1945                                               
There is much more to add to her story but this is a good place to stop with chapter one. 

Happy 95th birthday Aunt Helen! We miss you!


Friday, February 17, 2023

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks - Catch-up I'd like to Meet Simpson Barnes

 Dear Grandparents,

There are so many ancestors that I would like to meet, that it is a difficult task to select just one. Given that task, I select one of my brick walls, my 2nd great grandfather Simpson Barnes. I have been searching to identify Simpson’s parents for many years. No image of Simpson Barnes has been passed down through my part of the family. Most of what I know of Simpson comes from the census records he left behind.

The earliest record I have is the 1850 Federal Census enumerated on the 31st of August 1850 by W. W. Wood in the Township of Cambria, Hillsdale County, Michigan.

This shows Simpson Barnes, on line 11, as a 23 year old Farmer born in NY state with Angelina Barnes, whom I know to be his wife, age 20 born in Ohio and their 3 months old son Wesley David Barnes, born in Michigan. They are the household listed just below the family of Wesley Burgoyne, age 46, born in Virginia, his wife Sarah age 44 born in Pennsylvania and their son James Burgoyne age 18 born in Ohio.

Of special not is the tick mark for Simpson Barnes that indicates he could not read or write.

By 1856, Simpson Barnes is living in Columbia, Wapello County, Iowa. The others in the family are only identified by initials but A, aged 25 born in Ohio, married and like Simpson has lived in Iowa for 3 years. This person seems to be Angelina. Their son is identified as C. W. born in Mich who has lived in Iowa for 3 years which seems to line up with the son previously listed as Wesley. There is also a one year old female listed as E. E. born in Iowa.

The 1859 Kansas State Census lists Simpson Barnes, who settled in Osakaloosa, Jefferson County in November 1858. Immediately below his enumeration is James Burgoyne who settled there in August 1858. This James Burgoyne is more probably, his wife Angelina's young brothe James. There is another column that mentions those who are not allowed to vote and a Barns, W. C. is listed there. Thre is significant blled through from the next page on the record image so more investigation is needed.

In the 1860 Federal Census, James Burgoyne and family are enumerated directly above the record for Simpson Barnes still in Oskaloosa, Oskaloosa Township, Jefferson County, Kansas. Both men are listed as farm laborers with real estate of $100 and personal estate of $50. Simpson has two additional children, William age 2 and James age 11 months. Simpson can still not read or write but his older children are attending school.

The 1865 Kansas State census gives the most complete listing of Simpson’s and Angelina’s family. Children are still listed only by initials but sone C. W. is 14, daughter E. E. is 11, son W. N. is 10, son J. E is 5, daughter M. J. is 3 and son T. S. is 7 months old. I believe that daughter M. J. is my great grandmother Mary Jane (Barnes) Werst. Sadly, Simpson is still illiterate. However, he is now a farmer with land that he owns.

I listened to a webinar by the noted genealogist and researcher Elizabeth Shown Mills recently. She talked about how often we have the answers to some of our questions in the documents that we have already found but not completely analyzed. Today was the first time I noticed that Simpson was illiterate and is marked so on every census.  I also looked at some other information that I had collected for Simpson. 

Several years ago,  I found a U.S. General Land Office Record for Simson Barnes on The place listed was Crawford, Iowa so I wasn’t entirely convinced that this person was the same as my Simpson so I merely saved it as in 1860, my Simpson was living in Jefferson County, Kansas. This time I went back to the original record from the Bureau of Land Management at|st=IA|cty=|ln=Barnes|fn=Simson|sp=true|sw=true|sadv=false. 

This time there was a complete image of the Military Warrant 46210 issued in Iowa on May 1, 1860 to Simson Barnes “minor Child of John J. Barnes deceased private Captain Stokes Company, Ohio Militia, War 1812.” It further states that the land has been duly located upon, “the east half of the Southwest quarter of Section twelve in Township Eighty-three of Range thirty eight in the District of Lands subject to sale at Council Bluffs, Iowa containing eight acres.”

Turns out, Simson Barnes assigned this land to Andrew L. Grimes, which means he probably sold the land to Mr. Grimes because he was living in Kansas.


Finally! A clue as to who "Simson’s", "Simpson’s" father. John J. Barnes is listed in the Ohio Militia for the War of 1812 and he is in Captain Stoake’s Company. I have to keep reminding myself that spelling does not count and was not standardized until the 20th century and Simpson was illiterate.

Captain Stoake’s Company was raised from Harrison County, Ohio which is due west of Pittsburgh, PA.  I do not have any records of Simpson from Harrison County and every record I do have lists him as having been born in New York state. The Ohio Militia fought in New York State. So now my working hypothesis is that John Barnes met Simpson’s mother in New York and settled there. Clearly, much more research to do. It would be so much easier to just meet and he could provide all the answers.



PS. For family members her is our relationship to Simpson Barnes
Simpson and Angelina (Burgoyne) Barnes, their daughter 
Mary Jane Barnes married Lewis Werst, their son
Cecil Oscar Werst married Ada Grace Colby, their daughter
Betty Lorraine (Werst) Cone is my mother.

Happy National Inventors Day! February 11, 2023

Dear Granddaddy and Grandfather Allen,

We're celebrating National Inventors' Day this weekend. Talk of inventions were standard during my childhood. Each trip to see our grandparents in Oregon entailed a tour of the Pacific Adhesives Corporation, my paternal Grandfather's firm. We had tours of the plant, got to see the new railroad cars, and especially got to visit my Grandfather's laboratory. There were always experiments underway and it was fascinating even if it didn't always smell great. Granddaddy held several patents including US2191070A on the Process of manufacturing plywood which was assigned to M&M Wood Working Co. The original application was filed 19 Feb 1935. Drawing from the patent below.

Granddaddy was not the only inventor in the family. Chester Bynon Allen, Grandmother Cone's father also had several patents to his name. His first patent was filed June 16, 1908 and was approved July 6, 1909. It is Patent No 927,205 for Wainscoting. He developed the process while living in Johnson City, Tennessee and working as President of the Standard Oak Veneer Company and the Allen Panel Company.

Both men had several patents all of which have expired now.

I knew my grandfather well and was lucky enough to know him as an adult. He was always willing to read to us as children and never backed away from an intellectual discussion when we were adults.

Love this photograph of him as a young chemist and inventor circa 1932.

My great grandfather Chester Bynon Allen died October 21, 1945, so I never new him. I talked with one of his older grandchilren, H. Brent Cooke, III, about him several years ago. Brent said that he remembered him sitting at the table reading his newspaper, and looking askanse over the paper at some of the opinions that his wife was expressing. The photograph below was posted by Lawrence Allen, another of his great grandchildren. I think I detect some remainder of the red hair he was supposed to have passed on to my Grandmother.

Febrary 13, 2023 was the 157th anniversary of his birth.


Jeremiah Pratt marries Jennet Pratt February 16, 1790

 Dear Grandparents,

When family historians run across marriage records where each member of the couple's surname is the same, the first thought is often that the bride's maiden name has been lost to time. The second thought might be this is going to be cousin marrying cousin. Such were the ideas that occured to me when I found the record of the marriage of Jeremiah Pratt and Jennet Pratt February 16, 1790 by the Rev. Richard Ely.  They were married in the Second Congregational Church in Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut. The second church was organized June 19, 1726 in an area that is now Westbrook, a town that was formed from Saybrook in 1840. Interestingly, Jeremiah and Jennet are not the only all Pratt couple whose marriage is recorded on the same page of the church records. A marriage between Nataniel Jones Pratt and Tempe Pratt is recorded on December 10, 1789.  So are Jeremiah and Jennet closely related?

Looking at the family tree of their daughter and my 3rd great grandmother Harriet (Pratt) Utley, we can see that there is more than one Pratt to Pratt marriage as Jeremiah's parents Edward and Mary were both Pratts also.

The following chart shows Jeremiah's and Jennet's parentage.

So Jeremiah's 3rd great grandparents are the same as Jennet's 4th great grandparents making them 4th cousins once removed. Interestingly, Jeremiah's mother, Mary Pratt, is not related to the others.

Jeremiah and Jennet are the parents of eleven children. My 3rd great grandmother Harriet Pratt was born 19 Oct 1806 in Burlington Flats, Otsego County, NY and died there 3 Jun 1892 aged 85. She married Philip Utley on 25 Nov 1827 and they were the parents of 8 children. She did not seem to suffer from having a number of Pratts in her family tree.


PS for family members our relationship to Jeremiah and Jennet (Pratt) Pratt
their daughter 
Harriet Pratt and Philip Utley their daughter,
Eliza Harriet Utley and William Warner Cone, their son
Frederick Naaman Cone and Helen Brown Newton, their son
Charles Newton Cone and Hazel Bynon Allen my paternal grandparents

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Ezra Sill DAR Patriot

Dear Grandparents, 
For the last five or so years, I have been serving as the Registrar for my Daughters of the American Revolution Chapter (NSDAR). This is an organization for the female lineal descendants of those who fought or supported America's effort to win its independence. In another five years, we will celebrate America 250... the two hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence. I've been a member of DAR since 2008 and have proven my descent from two Patriots, Evert Van Epps (A117914) and Asa Pratt (A092459). I also have applications pending for Magdalena Schlechty (A002160), Andrew Woodruff (A128621), Elisha Hopkins (A210046), Eleazer Warner (A121071) and James Clark. I am especially anxious for James Clark to be verified as he will be a new Patriot. That means, that I will be his first decendant to prove his service and my descent. James Clark, of Lebanon, CT, responded to the Lexington Alarm, and fought at Bunker Hill and White Plains. I am determined to recognize as many of my ancestors as I can possibly prove including Ezra Sill (A103626). 

Usually, when I write a post for this blog, I am using the calendar report function from Legacy Family Tree software. Today is no exception. Thursday, May 6th 2021, was the 268th anniversary of my 5th great grandfather Ezra Sill's birth in Lyme, New London County, Connecticut. Ezra's parents are Andrew and Elizabeth (Mather) Sill. Andrew is a descendant of John Sill and his son Joseph who immigrated to Cambridge, MA from Newcastle on Tyne, Northumberland, England. Newcastle is in the far north of England, nearly to the border with Scotland.
According to "The Pioneers of Massachusetts, 1620-1650" John Sill heard Mr. Shepard preach in Northumberland and sailed for New England with wife Joanna and son Joseph in tow. John became a proprietor of Cambridge, MA on May 2, 1638. Their surname was spelled variously Sill, Scill, Sell but Sill is the spelling that seems to have prevailed. John is Ezra's 3rd great grandfather. Ezra's mother Phoebe is the daughter of Lt. Joseph and Phoebe (DeWolf) Mather.The Mather family also has deep New England roots. Rev. Richard Mather was born about 1596 in Much Woolton, Lancashire, England. The oldest building in Much Woolton is the "Old School" which is said to date from 1610 and may have been the site of Richard's early education. Today Much Woolton is part of Liverpool.
Richard went on to attend Oxford University's Brasenose College but did not complete his degree. He immigrated on the ship James with his wife and family in 1634. Rev. Mather was paid 100 pounds annually for serving as Dorchester's minister for many years. The family lived in a part of Lyme, CT sometimes referred to as "Silltown" from the time of Ezra's great grandfather Joseph's marriage to Sarah Clark in 1677.
Back to Ezra.... it would be wonderful to know how involved he was in the unrest prior to the Revolution. We know he was only 22 when he responded to the Lexington Alarm. We know he was paid for 29 days of service and we know that he was hospitalized during that time with a fever.
Of course, we all consider ourselves lucky that he survived the fever lest we would not be here. There are many records missing for Ezra. We would like to know the exact date of his marriage to Charity Pratt, daughter of Edward and Mary (Pratt) Pratt. {The untangling of my Pratt lines is the subject for another, or several, other posts because I also descend from Charity's brother Jeremiah Pratt who married Jennett Pratt. You begin to see the problem here but just to relieve your concerns, none of the married Pratts were first cousins.} 

We believe that Ezra and Charity were married about 1778 because their first child Mary was born that year. All of their children (Enoch, Mary, Uriah) were baptized July 17, 1788 at the church in Essex, Lyme County, CT. "Charity, w. of Ezra, was admitted to the church July 20, 1788". Perhaps, they had moved to an area near the church or perhaps the death of their son Edmond on Oct. 10, 1787 followed by the death of Ezra's father Andrew on May 13, 1788 brought them to church. The Essex Church records are our only source for the death of Ezra in Aug of 1808. I am looking forward to submitting my supplemental application for Ezra. Any of Ezra's other female decendants over the age of 18 are eligible to join DAR (contact or your local chapter). I wish all of you who fought, worked and supported the Revolution could make yourself known to me. I don't want to forget anyone.

Love, Cecily 

My descent from Ezra and Charity (Pratt) follows: Their daughter Mary Sill married Rufus Utley. Their son Philip Utley married Harriet Pratt. Their daughter Eliza Harriet Utley married William Warner Cone. Their son Frederick Naaman Cone married Helen Brown Newton. Their son Charles Newton Cone married Hazel Bymum Allen. Their son Charles Newton Cone, Jr. is my father.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

 Dear Grandparents,

Happy Anniversary to Joseph and Mehitable (Young) Sanford my 5th great grandparents who were married March 7, 1769. Joseph, the son of Captain Joseph and Mary (Clark) Sanford, was born about July 28th, 1745 in Litchfield, Connecticut the youngest of their 6 children. The Sanford family were descendants of Thomas Sanford from Hatfield, Broad Oak, Essex, England.

Photograph of St. Mary the Virgin Church and maps are from

Hatfield Broad Oak was well established by the Norman Conquest and the parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin is early medieval so would have been known to Thomas the immigrant. At the time of the Domesday Book, Hatfield Broad Oak was the 9th largest settlement in Essex. Though Thomas arrived in Massachusetts, he soon emigrated to Milford, Connecticut. Three generations later, the senior Joseph relocated to Litchfield.

Not as much is known about Grandmother Mehitable's family. The book "Thomas Sanford, the emigrant to New England; ancestry, life,, and descendants" published in 1911 and compiled by Carlton Elisha Sanford states that Mehitable was from Long Island. There is a Jeremih Young who marries Mehetabel Brown in Southold, Suffolk County, New York in 1747 which would be of a good age to be the parents of Grandmother Mehitable. The Peabody Genealogy, which has been published on, lists a Jeremiah Youngs born 1719 in Oyster Ponds, Long Island who married 3 Sep 1747. His father is given as Jonathan Youngs and his mother Dorathy Browns. Evidently his wife, Mehetable Brown was a cousin of his mother. The genealogy also lists two daughters Ann Youngs and Mehetable Youngs.

Google maps distance between Oysterponds and Litchfield

We don't know how Joseph and Mehitable met. Many would suggest that most people married people who lived in the same county if not the same town. This is not alway true in our family of wanderers. Today the journey between Oysterpond, Long Island, New York and Litchfiedl, Connecticut would take about 3 hours by car. In their day, the trip would have been measured in days not hours. 

Joseph's immediate family were all located in the South Farms area of Litchfield and it was there that they made their home. Seven children were born of their marriage:

  • Stephen 1770-1772
  • Mehitable 1771-1772
  • Joseph 1773-1805
  • Olive 1774-1817
  • Stephen 1776-1841
  • Edmund 1781-1860
  • Osias 1784-1856

In the "Genealogical and Family History of Central New York, Vol. 1, Joseph is referred to as "Captain" Joseph Sanford. On page 445, it states that he served in the revolution and "On June 8, 1778, he was captain of the Eleventh company, trainband in the Thirteenth regiment of the state." He was also at Peekskill with the main army in New York.

Honestly, I did not remember what happened during the Revolution at Peekskill. I also had not thought about how close Peekskill is to Litchfield, Connecticut. New York State has created an almanac website that tells more of this story. In the summer of 1776, the British had more than 8,000 troops on Staten Island and 100 ships were anchored in the harbor. They needed to feed their sailors and troops. The flour, fresh meat and produce that were held on Litchfield farms were just what the British needed. Only the men of the Litchfield Miltia stood in their way. As a farmer, you must have known that you had to keep the British from reaching supplies but also that the survival of the Sanford family and others depended on their ability to stop the British.

       Map from

The New York Almanac has a very sobering description of what was at stake when Militia men responded to the Alarms at Poughkeepsie and Peekskill. "Barley and wheat fields were almost ready for harvest and if left unattended grain would rot on the stalk." A farmer of that time and area typically worked 50 or more acres which was mostly pasture and grain. He would also have an orchard and a garden adjacent to his wood frame house and barn. Each year he would raise cattle and hogs and butcher 1500-2000 pounds of pork and 1200 pounds of beef. His family's survival depended on a successful harvest. 

Things were even more complicated for the Sanford family. Their first two children had died in 1772. If Joseph went with the Militia, Mehitable would be at home with a three year old, a two year old about to give birth early in July. There was extended family around but most of the men were also part of the militia.

Joseph chose to serve and his service has been recognized by the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. He is Patriot #100080. Mehitable has not been recognized for a contribution to the Revolution. This rankles me more than a bit. My husband served a 30 year career in the U. S. Navy and I well know that family members make more than little contributions to their loved one's service. I promise you I had it easier than Mehitable.

Joseph's and Mehitable's marriage lasted nearly 45 years until he passed on 13 Dec 1813. That was a long marriage in those days. Joseph left a third of his estate to his wife.

Joseph's will refers to "his beloved" wife

Three years after Joseph's death, Mehitable married widower Daniel Strong of Bethlem. Their marriage lasted until his death June 15, 1830. Mehitable lived until March 11, 1835.

No headstones survive for either Joseph or Mehitable. An earlier transcription of headstones in the cemetery at Morris, Litchfield County, CT refers to a stone "In memory of Mr. Joseph Sanford who died Dec 13, 1818 aged 68 years. 

Thank you both for your service. We remember you still.



Our descent from Joseph and Mehitable is as follows:

Their son Stephen Sanford married Olive Woodruff (whose father also served). Their daughter Caroline Beckworth Sanford married Reuben Newton. Their son Charles Shepard Newton married Mary Elizabeth Clark. Their daughter Helen Brown Newton married Frederick Naaman Cone. Their son Charles Newton Cone married Hazel Bynum Allen. Their son Charles Newton Cone, Jr. is my father.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Thankful for Intrepid Ancestors

 Dear Grandparents,

A few days before we will celebrate Thanksgiving, we pause to remember that we owe our lives to intrepid ancestors who were willing to take huge risks to settle in an area that was largely unknown. We have many ancestors who came on ships but today I will especially be remembering those who came on the Mayflower 400 years ago. 

My 10th Great Grandfather, William Bradford was one of the religious separatists that fled England for Holland and then Holland for America. William was born around 1590 in Austerfield, Yorkshire, England. His father died when he was an infant and he was raised by older relatives. He was among those imprisoned in Boston, England during their first attempt to escape to Holland. Records from Leiden list him as a fustian maker (a maker of cotton cloth). On November 15, 1613, he married Dorethea May whose father was among the religious separatists. She died in Cape Cod harbor December 7, 1620 slipping on the Mayflower's icy deck and falling in to the water. How sad to have survived the difficult voyage only to drown before setting foot in the new world. 

Bradford married second Alice (Carpenter) Southworth a widow who came in 1623, it is said, in response to a letter from William proposing marriage. 

William Bradford became one of the leaders of the Plymouth Colony, serving as its Governor for nearly 30 years. Much of what we know about their life in Leiden, in the colony and of the Mayflower's voyage comes from his account entitled Of Plymouth Plantation. Below is the first page of his manuscript: (from

Our descent from William and Alice (Carpenter) (Southworth) Bradford is as follows: their son William Bradford, his daughter Alice Bradford, her daughter Abiel Adams, her daughter Delight Metcalf, her son Eleazer Warner, his son Thomas Warner, his daughter Joanna Warner, her son William Warner Cone, his son Frederick Naaman Cone, his son Charles Newton Cone, his son Charles Newton Cone, Jr and me.

My 11th great grandparents William and Mary (unknown) Brewster also came on the Mayflower. They were among the older religious separatists. William was born about 1566 in Nottinghamshire, England. According to Bradford, he attended Cambridge University. He then entered the service of William Davison, Ambassador to the Netherlands and afterward Secretary of State to Queen Elizabeth I. Brewster became Postmaster at Scrooby. This office was rather more involved than today and included occupying Scrooby Manor and entertaining royalty and church prelates. It was through Brewster's friend Sir Edwin Sandys, treasurer of the Virginia company, that he obtained a grant of land in North America. 

William Brewster was a ruling elder of the Plymouth church and until 1629 acted as minister and teacher. When he died in 1644, the inventory of his belongings included separate listings of his Latin and English books totalling nearly 400 titles. The chest below is on display at the Pilgrim Hall Museum in Plymouth and is said to have been brought on the Mayflower by Brewster.

Unfortunately, Mary's surname and origin are unknown. Our descent from William Brewster is as follows: William and Mary Brewster; their daughter Patience, her daugther Mercy Prence, her daughter Hannah Freeman, her daugher Mercy Mayo, her son Nathaniel Hopkins, his son Nathaniel Hopkins, his son Elisha Hopkins, his daughter Rhoda Hopkins, his daughter Joanna Warner, her son William Warner Cone, his son Frederick Naaman Cone.... etc.

Another of my 10th great grandfathers is Francis Cooke. Born about 1583, his English origins have not been discovered. Some think he was from Norwich or Canterbury. He lived in Leiden where he married Hester le Mahieu July 20, 1603. She is said to have been a French Walloon (protestant) whose parents had earlier fled to Canterbury. Their marriage occurred six years before the Pilgrim Church had moved to Leiden. The Cookes returned to Norwich, England for some time but returned to Leiden to have their first son baptized at the French church there. 

Francis and his oldest son, John, sailed on the Mayflower. Hester and their other children Jane, Jacob, Elizabeth and Hester came to Plymouth in 1623 onboard the ship Anne. Francis lived a long life dying at about 80. His wife survived him by at least 3 years.

Our descent from Francis and Hester (le Mahieu) Cooke is as follows: their son Jacob, his son Jacob, his son John, his daughter Sarah, her son Nathaniel Thacher, his daughter Sarah, her daughter Lydia Hornell, her daughter Mary Elizabeth Clarke, her daughter Helen Brown Newton, her son Charles Newton Cone, etc...

My 8th great grandfather Edward Doty was not among the religious separtists who sailed on the Mayflower. His English origins are still unknown. He is believed to have been born between 1597 and 1602. He came on the Mayflower as a servant to Stephen Hopkins and was still a servant in 1623 when the land was divided. He signed the Mayflower Compact so he was probably 18 to 21 in 1620. Nothing is know of his first wife. He married Faith Clarke who came on the ship Francis in April 1634 with her father Thurston Clarke.

Doty has the reputation of being a troublemaker in Plymouth. He fought a sword and dagger duel with another Hopkins servant Edward Leister. Both were wounded. They were sentenced to have their feet and heads tied together for an entire day but were let out after an hour because of their "suffering".

Our descent from Edward Doty is as follows: Edward and Faith (Clarke) Doty, their son Edward Doty, his daugher Mercy Doty, her son Edward Pratt, his son Jeremiah Pratt, his daughter Harriet Pratt, her son Harriet Utley, her son Frederick Naaman Cone, etc....

Stephen Hopkins, my 10th great grandfather, led a very interesting life. Proven descent from Stephen can get you into the Mayflower Society as well as the Jamestown Society. From Hampshire, England, he married his first wife Mary in the parish of Hursley. They had three children Elizabeth, Constance and Giles. Hopkins sailed in the ship Sea Venture bound for Jamestown as a minister's clerk. Unfortunately, the ship was wrecked at Bermuda. The surviving crew and passengers were stranded on the island for ten months eating turtles, birds and wild pigs. 

Six months into this life as a castaway, Stephen and several others organized a mutiny against the ship's captain. The plot was discovered and Stephen was sentenced to death. Pleading with sorrow and tears, he begged for mercy as his death would ruin his wife and children left behind in England. Eventually, the castaways built a small ship and sailed to Jamestown. It is unknown how long Stephen stayed in Jamestown.

Meanwhile in England, Mary Hopkins died and left a probate estate which mentioned their children by name. 

Stephen married Elizabeth Fisher in England in 1617. Their first child Damaris was born about 1618. The entire family sailed on the Mayflower. The others treated him as an expert on Native Americans as he had met some of them in Jamestown. Stephen died in 1644 leaving a will and naming his children. Below is his signature

Our descent from Stephen and Mary Hopkins is as follows: son Giles who also came on the Mayflower, his son Stephen Hopkins, his son Nathaniel Hopkins, his son Nathaniel Hopkins, his son Elisha Hopkins, his daughter Rhoda Hopkins, her daughter Joanna Warner, her son William Warner Cone, his son Frederick Naaman Cone, etc...

Recently, I discovered another Mayflower passenger who is my 11th great grandfather, Richard Warren. He was born about 1585 in county Hertford, England. He married Elizabeth Walker April 14, 1610 at Great Amwell, Hertford. 

Not much is known about Richard's life in America. His wife and five daughters came on the ship Anne in 1623. In Plymouth, they added two sons. All of the Warren children survived to adulthood, married and had large families. At his death, it was written, "this year (1628) died Mr. Richard Warren, who was an useful instrument and during his life bare a deep share in the difficulties and troubles of the first settlement of the Plantation of New Plymouth."

Our descent from Richard and Elizabeth (Walker) Warren is as follows: their daughter Abigail, her daughter Lydia Snow, her daughter Deborah Skiffe, her daughter Keziah Presbury, her daughter Sarah Freeman, her daughter Drusilla Conant, her daughter Rhoda Hopkins, her daughter Joanna Warner, her son William Warner Cone, his son Frederick Naaman Cone, his son Charles Newton Cone, etc...

I am thankful that this group of people, bound by a common experience, braved the ocean voyage and a new, unknown land. I wonder if I would have been as brave.


Cecily Cone Kelly