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William King (1595-1650), Religious Rebel, Progenitor of Presidents

William King and Dorothy Hayne are the 10th great-grandparents of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy; and 11th great-grandparents of Asher, Owen, Caitlyn, Becky, Emily, Jack, Jill, Jordan, Mike and Brian.

William King is believed to have been born in England in 1595. His parentage is unconfirmed, although he may have been the son of William King (1565-1625) and Ann Bowditch (1573-c1625) of Weymouth, Dorset. William married Dorothy Hayne in Sherbourne Abbey Church of Saint Mary in Sherbourne, Dorset, on February 17, 1617.

Found among the records of the Hull Company as passengers aboard the “Abigail” sailing for Salem in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on March 20, 1635, are the following:

60.  William Kinge, aged 40 years.
61.  Dorothy, his wife, aged 34 years.
62.  Mary Kinge, his daughter, aged 12 years.
63.  Katheryne Kinge, his daughter, aged 10 years.
64.  William Kinge, his son, aged 8 years.
65.  Hanna Kinge, his daughter, aged 6 years.

Another child, Samuel, who would have been two in 1635, is absent from this list, but appears later in Salem. William and Dorothy had three additional children in Salem: Mehitable (1636), John (1638) and Deliverance (1641).

William was a member of the First Church at Salem but joined the Antinomians in 1637. Antinomianism literally means being “against or opposed to the law”, and was a term used by critics of those Massachusetts colonists who advocated the preaching of “free grace” (i.e.  the belief that divine grace, and not earthly deeds, is the only means to salvation) as opposed to “legal” preaching. Antinomians were also called Anabaptists and Familists, and were considered seriously heretic in early New England. William was ordered by the authorities in Salem to sever his connections with the Antinomians but he refused and was forced to surrender his gun.

These Antinomians are scathingly depicted by a contemporary Puritan critic as engaging in such "sinful" acts as enjoying food and music, dancing naked and "loving" one another's buttocks.

These Antinomians are scathingly depicted by a contemporary Puritan critic as engaging in such “sinful” acts as enjoying food and music, dancing naked and “loving” one another’s buttocks.

Sometime later William was banished temporarily from Salem for sheltering persecuted Quakers. One of William and Dorothy’s children, Katherine, married a staunch Quaker, John Swezey.

William died in 1650 in Salem, after which his widow and children left Salem for the more religiously tolerant Southold, Long Island. Dorothy died at Southold in 1684.

Curiously, not one but two of William and Dorothy’s daughters are our direct ancestors. Hannah (1629-1688), who married Richard Brown (c1629-c1687) in Salem in 1650, is 9th great-grandmother to Richard, et al. Deliverance (1641-1689), who married John Tuthill (1635-1717) in Southold in 1657, is another 9th great-grandmother. Hannah’s and Richard’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Brown, married her first cousin, John Tuthill, grandson of Deliverance and John, in 1707.

Another of Deliverance’s and John’s children, Henry, would become the great-grandfather of Anna Tuthill Symmes, First Lady of the United States and wife of President William Henry Harrison. Anna’s grandson, Benjamin, also became President of the United States.

One of Hannah’s and Richard’s children, Hannah, would become the 4th great-grandmother of President Warren Harding.

Not to be outdone by his siblings, John King, brother to Hannah and Deliverance, is the 5th great-grandfather of President William Howard Taft.

Presidential family reunion

Presidential family reunion

 

Did Any of Our Ancestors Own Slaves?

Abraham Woglom's five slaves are recorded in the right hand column of this page from the 1790 United States census.

Abraham Woglom’s five slaves are recorded in the right hand column of this page from the 1790 U.S. census of Westfield, Staten Island.

With roots in America going back to the colonial era, the question becomes inevitable: Did any of our ancestors own slaves? The serious research of family genealogy means accepting the good and the bad, the expected and the unexpected. The uncomfortable truth is, yes, there are confirmed slave owners in our family tree.

Antoine DuChesne (10th great-grandfather of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy) was born in 1640 in Saintonge, France, and died on his farm on Staten Island in 1712. In his will Antoine leaves “to my son Michael… the Negro boy, Mink.”

Abraham Manee (1747-1824; 8th great-grandfather of Richard, et al.) is shown in the first United States census, taken in 1790, as owning two slaves on his farm in Westfield, Staten Island.

Abraham Woglom (1759-1799; 6th great-grandfather of Richard, et al.), also of Westfield, is shown as owning one slave in the 1790, 1800 and 1810 U.S. census. His father, also named Abraham (1731-?; 7th great-grandfather of Richard, et al.), owned five slaves in 1790, four in 1800 and an unspecified number in 1810.

Both John Lay (1717-1792; 7th great-grandfather of Richard, et al.) and John Sill (1710-1796; 7th great-grandfather of Richard, et al.) are shown in the 1790 U.S. census as having one slave in their households in Lyme, Connecticut.

We can render no judgment on these people for living in the times they did, nor can we limn their personal beliefs or their attitudes toward their slaves from the circumstantial record. Slavery was a tragic fact of life in colonial America, and these people lived there.

Slavery was abolished in the state of New York in 1827 and in Connecticut in 1848.

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2013 in Biographies, Family Legends

 

Richard Hartshorne (1641-1722), Settler of the Jersey Shore

Richard Hartshorne is the 10th great-grandfather of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy; and 11th great-grandfather of Asher, Owen, Caitlyn, Becky, Emily, Jack, Jill, Jordan, Mike and Brian.

Richard Hartshorne was born the son of William and Anne (maiden name unknown) Hartshorne in 1641 in Hathearne, Leicestershire, England.

Richard, a Quaker, was educated as a lawyer and emigrated to the Rhode Island Colony c1669. He married Margaret Carr on April 27, 1670, in Newport, Rhode Island. The newlyweds received a partially fenced piece of land from Margaret’s father, Robert, upon which Richard had a house built.

Richard and Margaret had eleven children, beginning with Robert, born December 5, 1671. The others included Hugh (May 15, 1673, died before 1685), Thomas (October 14, 1674), Mary (August 14, 1676), William (January 22, 1678), Richard (February 17, 1681, died before 1689), Katherine (our ancestor; March 2, 1682), Hugh (June 21, 1685), Sarah (July 3, 1687), Richard (December 15, 1689), and Mercy (May 12, 1693).

Shortly after the Dutch surrender of the New Netherland Colony to the English in 1664 a large tract of land known as the Navesink Patent or Monmouth Tract was granted to Quaker settlers from Long Island, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which soon thereafter became the townships of Middletown and Shrewsbury. By 1674 Richard and Margaret had left Rhode Island for New Jersey, where Richard purchased land along the river and bay at present-day Navesink from Vowavapon and Tocus, chieftains of the Lenape.

"A Mapp of New Jarsey", 1677

“A Mapp of New Jarsey”, 1677

In 1677 Richard believed he had purchased present-day Sandy Hook from the Lenape, although there ensued a dispute about whether the Lenape intended to sell the land or just the fishing rights. “The Indians came to my house,” wrote Richard in 1678, “and laid their hands on the post and frame of the house and said the house was theirs, that they had never had anything for it and they told me if I would not buy the land I must be gone…. They at last told me that they would kill my cattle and burn my hay if I would not buy the land or be gone. Then I went to the Patentee office; they told me that it was never bought nor had the Indians anything for it.” Richard negotiated a settlement with the Lenape on August 8, 1678, in the amount of thirteen shillings for full title to the land.

Richard held the office of town clerk of Middletown, New Jersey, was appointed a Justice in 1684 and elected a member of the Provincial Assembly in 1685. He held the position of Speaker of the Assembly from 1686 to 1693 and again from 1696 to 1698. Richard was also nominated for the office of High Sheriff of Monmouth County, a position he declined.

In 1704 Richard made a record of his marriage and the dates of birth of his children. He wrote instructions to his children on serving God, caring for their mother and the necessity of government while on earth.

Margaret died c1719. Richard wrote a will on May 14, 1722, in which he designated a legacy for the poor. Richard died shortly thereafter, on May 22, 1722.

Richard is memorialized today in the name of Hartshorne Woods Park in Middletown Township, New Jersey.

Hartshorne_MAP_Small

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2013 in Biographies, Immigrant Stories

 

Classic Photo: Neighborhood Gathering, c1908

From top: Helene Andersen Riis, Thor Riis, Hans C. Riis, Alfred Riis.

From top: Helene Andersen Riis, Thor Riis, Hans C. Riis, Alfred Riis.

The circumstances of this photo are unknown, but it appears to be summer (clothing, baseball bats) and, except for Hans C. Riis and his wife and children, I can identify no other relatives. My guess is that it’s a gathering of Queens neighbors for some special occasion (Fourth of July, perhaps?) in about 1908, judging by the ages of Thor (born 1904) and Alfred (born 1902).

 
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Posted by on November 26, 2013 in Classic Photos

 

Classic Photo: Family Gathering, 1929

Although the occasion is lost to time, the Riises and Andersens were gathered together in Queens Village in 1929 when this fantastic photograph was taken.

Pictured (left to right): Hans C. Riis, Helene Andersen Riis, Alva Lundquist Riis, Clifford A. Riis, Hans J. Andersen, Helene E. Riis (holding cat), Robert T. Riis, Warren A. Riis (infant), Ida Adams Riis, [Ane] Marie Andersen Gudmundsson, Ingvar Gudmundsson, Thor C. Riis. Not pictured: Alfred Riis, taking the photograph.

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Classic Photos

 

Connection: HRH Prince George of Cambridge

Are we related to HRH Prince George of Cambridge, the world’s most publicized baby? But of course.

Actually, the Prince’s family and ours have many intertwined ancestral lines, but our most recent connection is through the family of Prince George’s paternal grandmother, HRH Diana, Princess of Wales (1961-1997), born Diana Spencer.

Lady Diana’s 16th great-grandfather, John Spencer, Esquire (c1418-c1477) of Hodnell, Warwickshire, is also the 16th great-grandfather of Robert, Warren and Elizabeth Riis and Judith Henken. John and his wife, whose surname was Wardell but whose first name is unknown, had four known sons: Henry, Thomas, John and William. Diana and her grandson George are descendants of William; our line descends from John.

The American branch of the Spencer family tree springs from Garrard Spencer, who was born April 25, 1614, in Stotfold, Bedfordshire, England, and came to America in 1630. After living in Cambridge Town, Massachusetts, he moved to Lynn with his brother Michael in 1638 and ran a ferry from Lynn to Saugus. In 1661 Garrard was one of the 28 purchasers of the town of Haddam, Connecticut, where he died on September 3, 1685.

Diana Spencer was 17th cousin to Robert, Warren, Betty and Judy, and 17th cousin once removed to Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy.

HRH William, Prince of Wales, is 18th cousin to Richard and his generation, while Prince George is 18th cousin once removed.

 

Captain Joseph Sill (1636-1696)

Joseph Sill is the 9th great-grandfather of Richard, James, Gary, Lisa, Carl, Jane, Bruce, Cathy, Ron, Stacey, Matt and Sandy; and 10th great-grandfather of Asher, Owen, Caitlyn, Becky, Emily, Jack, Jill, Jordan, Mike and Brian.

Joseph Sill's signature from 1685

Joseph Sill’s signature from 1685

Joseph Sill was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England, in 1636. He came to America with his parents, John and Joanna Fillbrook Sill, and sister Judith in 1637. The Sills settled in Cambridge Town,  Massachusetts, where John had established a farm.

Joseph married Jemima  Belcher on December 5, 1660 in Cambridge Town. They had six children. Three of four sons died young; the fourth son, Thomas, survived, as did two daughters, Jemima and Elizabeth.

Joseph Sill devoted a large portion of his life to military service. On the roster of  officers of the first American army as organized for the Narragansett Colony, mustered at Pettaquamscutt, Rhode Island, December 19th, 1665, was the name of Captain Joseph Sill. Joseph served during the bloody King Philip’s War (1675-1678). In February 1676 Joseph and his men  captured 300 Indians. Another time Joseph, with a company of only fifty  troopers, conducted a long train of wagons from Groton, Connecticut, to Boston, successfully fending off attacks along the way.

At the close of King Philip’s war, Joseph petitioned the General Court,  assembled at Boston, for a grant of land in return for his service in the  military. Although he was awarded a tract of land, Joseph was convinced by friends, fearing  retaliation from the Indians, to move  away from the area. Joseph and his children – Jemima having died in 1675 – moved to an area north of Lyme, Connecticut, which came to be known as Silltown. His tract of land in Massachusetts was inherited by his daughter, Jemima.

On February 12, 1677, Joseph married his second wife, Sarah Clark Marvin (1644-1715), widow of Lieutenant Reinhold Marvin, in Lyme, Connecticut. Joseph and Sarah had two sons: Joseph (our ancestor), born January 6, 1678, and  Zechariah, born January 1, 1682.

Sarah Clark is another double ancestor, for we are also descended from a son, John Marvin (c1664), from her first marriage. So, let’s sort this out: Joseph Sill is our 9th great-grandfather, Reinhold Marvin our 10th great-grandfather, and Sarah Clark is both our 9th and 10th great-grandmother. Thank goodness for genealogical computer software to keep all this straight!

Joseph spent the remainder of his life as a  farmer and an elected official. He died August 6, 1696, at the age of 60 and was buried in the Duck River Cemetery in Lyme.

The grave of Captain Joseph Sill, Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, CT

The grave of Captain Joseph Sill, Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, CT

 
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Posted by on November 9, 2013 in Biographies, Immigrant Stories

 
 
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