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.

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