Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Considering Consider Moseley

This is the fifth in a series of posts about four generations of my ancestors in colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut. It includes the Bagg, Burt, Phelps, Moseley, Stanley and other related families between 1635 and 1795.

Consider Moseley (1675-1755), of Westfield, Massachusetts had an unusual name. In Puritan New England, where he was born, people normally named their children after close relatives1 or gave them Biblical names, but the origin of Consider’s name is a mystery. Maybe his parents had good imaginations: they called one of his brothers Comfort.

Whatever the meaning and origin of his name, my six-times great-grandfather was born in Windsor, Connecticut, the fifth child of Lieut. John Maudsley (an earlier spelling of the last name) and his wife Mary Newberry. He had five younger siblings, all of them born after the family relocated to Westfield, Massachusetts2 around 1675.

The Ashley House, built in Deerfield, MA in 1734, may have been similar to Consider Moseley's home.
John Maudsley came to New England in 1638 and settled in Dorchester, Mass.3 He married Mary Newberry in 1664 and the couple moved to Windsor. It had been established on the banks of the Connecticut River almost 30 years earlier, and the founding settlers had received land grants but, as a relative latecomer, John purchased his land.

John sold that property in 1677 and moved to Westfield4 where he purchased a house and store. According to Westfield chronicler Chester Stiles, “Mr. Moseley had already proved his valor in battles with the followers of King Philip. [King Philip’s War, 1675-1676, was fought between some of the indigenous people and the colonists.] Hence, he was warmly welcomed to the stockaded hamlet and chosen lieutenant of the little company of defenders. He was also recorded as one of the seven original members, or “foundation men,” of the [Congregational] church first organized under Rev. Edward Taylor in 1677.” 5

John still owned a mill in Windsor, and he died there in 1690. Mary then married her Westfield neighbour, widower Isaac Phelps.6 Consider was 15 at the time of his father’s death and, as one of the older boys in the family, he would likely have been responsible for many chores on the family farm.

Consider was still a young man in 1700 when he was called upon to assist the whole community. Officially, this was peace time, but there was only a lull between two wars between England and France, King William’s War and Queen Ann’s War. Even in peace time, the people of Westfield were worried that the indigenous people who were allied with the French would come from New France (Quebec) and attack them.7

The town residents agreed that several houses should be securely fortified, and Consider’s house was one of the buildings chosen. Teams of neighbours helped with the work. Consider eventually became a lieutenant in the Westfield militia.

Eight Children including Twins

In 1709, at age 34, Consider married Elizabeth Bancroft.8 The couple had eight children, including twins Elizabeth and Daniel. (Daughter Elizabeth Moseley grew up to marry David Bagg, and they are my direct ancestors.9)  Consider’s wife died and, in 1731, he married Rebecka (Williams) Dewey, the widow of Jedediah Dewey II.10 Rebecka had nine children of her own at the time, ranging in age from five to 26.  

When Consider died in September, 1755, at age 80, he was described as “one of the wealthiest and most influential men of the town.”11 He may or may not have considered wealth important. Puritans valued hard work, but wasting their money on frivolous things was frowned upon. Wealth was tied to influence, however. Wealthier residents were usually elected to their town’s most important offices and, every Sunday when the people of New England went to church, where they sat depended on their social status.12

Lieut. Consider Moseley's grave in Westfield's Old Burying Ground
Many Puritans believed that God ordained all that happened, so an individual’s prosperity was a sign of God’s approval for a commitment to godly living. In his will, Consider noted that, “it has pleased God to bless me in this life.”

When Consider wrote his will in January, 1754, he noted that he was “infirm and weak in body, yet of perfect mind and memory.” Indeed, this four-page document shows how well organized he was. He owned numerous tracts of pasture land and farmland around Westfield, and he identified each one according to its geographic location, neighbouring lot owners or the individual from whom he had purchased it.

He had already signed deeds of conveyance giving the titles of several properties to his sons. He split the land between his two sons, Daniel and Israel, and the sons of his late son Benjamin. Each of his five daughters, and Benjamin’s daughter, received relatively small sums of money and a share of his furniture and household goods.

As for his beloved wife Rebecka, his bequest to her was five shillings “in consideration of the articles of agreement concluded between us at our marriage.” He did not describe that agreement,13  but her children probably looked after her for the rest of her life.

Photos by Janice Hamilton

Notes:

Children of John Maudsley and Mary Newberry:  
Born in Windsor: Benjamin, b. 1666, m. Mary Sackett; Margaret, b. 1668/69, d. 1678; Joseph, b. 1670, m. Abigail Root; Mary, b. 1673, m. Isaac Phelps Jr.; Consider, b. 1675, m. 1, Elizabeth Bancroft, 2, widow Rebecca Dewey.
Born in Westfield: John, b. 1678, d. c. 1690; Comfort, b. 1680, d. 1711; Margaret b. 1683, m. Samuel Taylor; Elizabeth, b. 1685; Hannah, b. 1690, d. 1707.
Source: Henry R. Stiles, The History of Ancient Windsor vol. II, p. 508.

The Bancroft Family:

Immigrant John Bancroft brought his wife and children to New England in 1632 and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. After he died in 1637, his wife may have remarried and moved to Windsor, Connecticut. 

In 1650, John Bancroft Jr. married Hanna Duper in Windsor. John Jr. and Hanna had five children, including Nathaniel, born 1653. After John Jr. died in 1662, Hanna remarried and moved to Westfield.

Nathaniel Bancroft married Hannah Williams in 1677. They had five children, with Elizabeth, born 1682, being the second-youngest. Elizabeth Bancroft married Consider Moseley in 1709.
Source: Henry R. Stiles, The History of Ancient Windsor vol. II, p. 40-41.


Children of Consider Moseley and Elizabeth Bancroft:
Rhoda, b. 1710, m. Nathaniel Weller; Israel, b. 1711, Daniel, b. 1714, m. Ann Abbott; Elizabeth, b. 1714, m. Daniel Bagg; Lydia, b. 1716, m. Israel Dewey; Ruth, b. 1717, m. Thomas Root; Mercy, b. 1722, m. Aaron King; Benjamin?, m. Hannah?                
Source: Henry R. Stiles, The History of Ancient Windsor, p. 509.

Sources:

1. David Hackett Fischer, Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America, New York, Oxford University Press, 1898, p 23.

2. Henry R. Stiles. The History of Ancient Windsor, Vol. II, a facsimile of the 1892 edition, Somersworth: New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1976. p. 508, https://archive.org/stream/historygenealogi02stil#page/508/mode/2up accessed April 10, 2018.

3. Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Directory: Immigrants of New England, 1620-1640, a Concise Compendium. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

4. Henry R. Stiles, The History of Ancient Windsor, p. 508.

5. Chester D. Stiles, A History of the Town of Westfield, compiled for public schools from Greenough’s History of Westfield in the Annals of Hampden County and other sources, Westfield: J.D. Cadle & Company, 1919, p. 22. https://archive.org/stream/historyoftownofw00stil#page/22/mode/2up  accessed April 14, 2018.

6. The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .) https://www.americanancestors.org/DB283/i/12963/239/24672606, accessed April 7, 2018.

7. Rev. John H. Lockwood. Westfield and its Historic Influences, 1669-1919: the life of an early town. Springfield, MA, printed and sold by the author, 1922, p. 295, https://archive.org/stream/westfieldandits00lockgoog#page/n324/mode/2up  accessed April 10, 2018.

8. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016), https://www.americanancestors.org/DB190/i/13251/47/253015607 accessed April 14, 2018.

9. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). https://www.americanancestors.org/DB190/r/253018268, accessed April 10, 2018.

10. Joann River, River-Hopkins, Saemann-Nickel and Related Families (website), Jedediah Dewey II #8003, http://josfamilyhistory.com/htm/nickel/griffin/sheldon/noble/noble-dewey.htm#jed3, accessed April 15, 2018.

11. Lockwood, Westfield and its Historic Influences, p. 386.  https://archive.org/stream/westfieldandits00lockgoog#page/n414/mode/2up, accessed April 10, 2018.
12. Virginia DeJohn Anderson, New England’s Generation: The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1991, p.175.

13.  Westfield, Hampden, Massachusetts, Probate Record of the estate of Consider Moseley, 1755. Case Number 102-30, Hampshire Box 102, 1755, page 102-30:1.
(Consider’s will is missing from the NEHGS online database of court, land and probate records, however, it is on available on microfilm at the NEHGS in Boston.)



Thursday, May 3, 2018

Isaac Phelps and his Blended Families



The grave of Capt. Isaac Phelps, 1638-1725, in Westfield's Old Burying Ground

This is the fourth in a series of posts about four generations of my ancestors in colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut. It includes the Bagg, Burt, Phelps, Moseley, Stanley and other related families between 1635 and 1795.

My seven-times great grandfather Isaac Phelps (1638-1725) was like the Energizer bunny: he never seemed to stop. For much of his life, he worked hard as a farmer and he held many offices in his home town in New England, but he also became a school teacher at age 64 and was named a captain in the militia at age 71. Only death seemed to slow him down, at age 87, and his tombstone is almost as legible now as the day it was carved.

Isaac was born in 1638 in Windsor, Connecticut, the eldest son of George Phelps and Philura Randall,1 both of whom were newcomers to New England, part of a wave of Puritans who fled England, hoping to follow their religious beliefs without persecution.

By the time he was nine years old, Isaac had four younger siblings, but that year, 1647, two of them died. The following April, his mother died.2 Families needed two parents to share the work of running the household and the farm, so his father did not wait long to remarry. George Phelps’ second wife was Frances Dewey, whose second husband, Thomas Dewey, had died two days before Philura.3

From age ten, Isaac grew up in what we would describe as a blended family. The household included his father and step-mother, his brother Joseph, Mary Clark (Frances’ daughter from her first marriage) and the five Dewey children, Thomas, Josiah, Anna, Israel and Jedediah. Eventually, there were three more half-brothers: Jacob, John and Nathaniel Phelps. Isaac’s other brother, Abraham, was adopted by Randall relatives who were childless.4

The Puritans wanted to be able to read the Bible themselves, so education was considered important in colonial New England. Perhaps Isaac went to a neighbour’s house for tutoring. Meanwhile, everyone in the community attended church for the whole day every Sunday.

In 1662, Isaac Phelps married Ann Gaylord.5 (See note i) Isaac’s and Ann’s eldest child, Isaac Jr., was born in 1666 in Windsor. The family moved to Westfield, Massachusetts around 1670 and the rest of their 11 children were born in that frontier settlement. (See note ii)

Dewey House, built 1735, is home to the Western Hampden Historical Society
Ann (Gaylord) Phelps died in 1689 or 1690, when the youngest child was still a toddler. Sometime before 1694, Isaac married his neighbour, widow Mary (Newberry) Maudsley,6 who had eight children of her own. (See note iii) Once again, Isaac was part of a big, blended family.

Members of the extended Phelps/Dewey family were also living in Westfield, including George and Frances and Isaac’s half-brothers and step-siblings. Perhaps these families saw more opportunities to acquire fertile farmland in the new settlement, which was founded by settlers from nearby Springfield and a handful of families from Windsor.

Isaac and his father were amongst the first settlers in Westfield, choosing prime home lots located near the Little River in 1667.7 The colonists purchased the land from the indigenous people and Westfield was incorporated in 1669.

Because Westfield was quite isolated, the residents were afraid of attacks by the indigenous people, especially during King Phillip’s War (1675-76). When colonial authorities in Boston told the residents to go to Springfield because of the danger, Isaac Phelps was one of four people to sign a letter refusing to do so. Instead, Westfield residents built a two-square-mile wooden palisade around the town and dug an underground cellar where the women and children could hide.8 Westfield was not attacked, although Springfield was, and some individuals were.

Map showing Westfield's first meeting house and fortified area
Westfield’s citizens maintained a militia for decades to counter the threat that was fueled by ongoing wars between the English and the French and their Native American allies. In 1709, Isaac became a captain in the militia.

Westfield had about 150 residents in 1676, and the town continued to grow. The Dewey brothers built a mill on one of the many nearby creeks, there was a tavern in the town and a road that led to Springfield. Most important, the town had a minister: Reverend Edward Taylor, a graduate of Cambridge University and of Harvard University, served the people of Westfield from 1679 to 1726. Isaac was one of the founding members of the church, and a deacon.9

Isaac also played a role in Westfield’s civic life. He served as town clerk, assessor, surveyor and town treasurer,10 and, although he was not a scholar, he took on the duties of school teacher at age 64. He was also a legislator of the Massachusetts General Court.

He died in 1725 and was buried in Westfield’s Old Burying Ground. He is my ancestor through his daughter Hannah Phelps, who married Daniel Bagg in 1693.

Photo credits:
Janice Hamilton
www.cityofwestfield.org/DocumentCenter/View/236/Westfield-History


See also:

Janice Hamilton, “George Phelps of Windsor and Westfield,” Writing Up the Ancestors, April 18, 2018, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/04/george-phelps-of-windsor-and-westfield.html

Janice Hamilton, “A Visit to the Old Burying Ground of Westfield, Massachusetts,” Writing Up the Ancestors, April 4, 2018, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/04/a-visit-to-old-burying-ground-of.html

Notes:

i. The Gaylord family. Ann Gaylord’s grandfather William Gaylord (also spelled Gayler, Gaylar, Gaylor, Gailead and Gailer) brought his family from England to Dorchester, Massachusetts aboard the Mary and John in 1630. At the time, he and his wife (name unknown) had six children ranging in age from about four to 15.11

William Gaylord played an important role in Dorchester, initially as one of two deacons of the Congregational church that the colonists and their pastor, John Warham, established there. William was one of four men who signed early town orders in Dorchester, he was chosen as a selectman (town official) for several terms between 1635 and 1637, and he was appointed assessor in 1636. Two years later, the Gaylord family followed Rev. Warham and a number of other Dorchester families to Windsor, Connecticut. There, William was granted a 20-acre home lot and several tracts of agricultural land. He served as deputy for Windsor to the Connecticut General Court for many years. His wife died in Windsor in 1657; William Sr. died in 1673.

Their second child, William Jr., was baptized in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, in 1617, and married Anna Porter in Windsor in 1641.12 John Porter’s family had come from England and settled in Windsor in 1639. After Anna died in 1653, William married Elizabeth Drake.

William Jr. died in 1656, leaving seven children, the oldest of whom was Ann, born 1645. Ann must have shouldered a lot of responsibility helping to raise her younger brothers and sisters. She married Isaac Phelps on March 11, 1662/63.

ii. Isaac’s and Ann’s children born in Windsor:
Isaac, b. 1666, m. Mary Moseley.
Those who were baptized in Westfield were:
daughter b. 1669, d. young.
John b. 1672, married Thankful Hitchcock;
Hannah b. 1674, m. Daniel Bagg in 1693/4 (my direct ancestors);13
Hezekiah b. 1677;
Joseph b. 1679;
Daniel b. 1681, d. 1690;
Noah, b. 1684, d. 1731 at Housatonnuc;
infant, b/d 1686;
Ebenezer, b. 1687, m. Susanna Burbank.14

iii. Some 19th-century genealogies suggest Isaac did not remarry after Ann’s death, but it would have been unusual for a widower with a houseful of young children not to look for a new wife. An article proving Isaac did remarry appeared in The American Genealogist in 1993 (TAG vol. 68, p 239-241). In such a small community, there were multiple connections between some of these blended family members. After Isaac Phelps married Mary (Newberry) Maudsley, his son Isaac Jr. married her daughter, Mary Maudsley.

iv. Windsor and Westfield kept good records and these databases are available online from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Several books have been written about the area and its residents, mostly by amateur historians and genealogists in the 19th century, and the information in these books need to be checked against the databases. Keep in mind that often several individuals living about the same time had the same name. For example, besides the father and son I have mentioned, there were three other men named Isaac Phelps. See The New England Historical and Genealogical Register 163 [2009]: 117.

Sources:

1. Connecticut: Vital Records (The Barbour Collection), 1630-1870 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928. https://www.americanancestors.org/DB414/i/12316/224/138422806, accessed April 7, 2018

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin, compilers, “George Phelps the Emigrant, 1630,” The Phelps Family of America and their English Ancestors, and other interesting papers, coats of arms and valuable records, volume II (Pittsfield, MA: Eagle Publishing Company, 1899), p. 1270.

5. Burton Spear, compiler, Search for the Passengers of the Mary and John, 1630, vol. 5, Gallop – Greenway (Toledo: The Mary and John Clearing House, 1987), p 18.

6. The American Genealogist. New Haven, CT: D. L. Jacobus, 1937-. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2009 - .) https://www.americanancestors.org/DB283/i/12963/239/24672606, accessed April 7, 2018.

7. Rev. John H. Lockwood, Westfield and its Historic Influences 1669-1919: The Life of an Early Town (Springfield, 1922, Printed and sold by the author), p. 58, https://archive.org/stream/westfieldandits00lockgoog#page/n80/mode/2up accessed April 1, 2018

8. Kay Delli Bovi, Barbara Trant, volunteers in public schools, The Westfield Story, printed in 2006, http://www.cityofwestfield.org/DocumentCenter/View/236 accessed April 7, 2018.

9. Lockwood, Westfield and its Historic Influences 1669-1919, p. 94. https://archive.org/stream/westfieldandits00lockgoog#page/n120/mode/2up, accessed April 1, 2018.

10. Phelps and Servin, The Phelps Family of America and their English Ancestors, p. 1269.

11 Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 3 volumes, (Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society), II: 742.

12.  Connecticut: Vital Records (The Barbour Collection), 1630-1870 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928. 
https://www.americanancestors.org/DB414/r/138416737, accessed April 10, 2018.

13. New England Marriages to 1700. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as: New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015.

14. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.) https://www.americanancestors.org/DB202/r/245392558, accessed April 10, 2018.


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

George Phelps of Windsor and Westfield

This is the third in a series of posts about four generations of my ancestors in colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut. It includes the Bagg, Burt, Phelps, Moseley, Stanley and other related families between 1635 and 1795.


For many of the colonists who fled England to become pioneers in New England in the 1630s, rebuilding their lives once was enough. But not for George Phelps. He helped to found the town of Windsor, Connecticut and raised his family there. Thirty years later, he started over as a founding settler of Westfield, a new town on the edge of the Massachusetts wilderness.

His date and place of birth in England are unknown, but he was probably born around 16131 and he probably came to New England on the ship Recovery in 1634.2 Most of its passengers were from southwest England, and George may have been from the same area.

He initially settled in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Some people in Dorchester complained that the leaders of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were too elitist and autocratic.3  They wanted to be part of a more democratic society. In 1635, a group of unhappy colonists left Dorchester with their minister, Reverend John Warham, determined to found a new community they called Windsor, Connecticut. George was one of them.

A trading post had been built at the spot where the Farmington River flows into the Connecticut River several years earlier, and the indigenous people in the area were friendly to the newcomers and willing to sell them land. The spot was well located for trade and its riverside meadows were fertile, so Warham’s group decided to settle there. 

Map of Windsor. The Phelps' house was left of the spot where the Farmington River flowed into the Connecticut. 
Sixty men, women and children travelled overland with their farm animals, while their possessions were shipped by water. The first winter was so difficult that many of the cattle died and some of the would-be settlers fled back to Dorchester, returning to Windsor in the spring, accompanied by additional settlers.

In 1637, the Pequot Indians began attacking the New England colonists, so the settlers surrounded their houses with a protective wooden palisade. By 1639, the danger had subsided and the people of Windsor constructed the most important building in the community: the church and meeting house.
George married Philura Randall, the daughter of Philip Randall, although there is no surviving record of their marriage. They lived in an area known as the Island, overlooking the Farmington River, but not only was that area prone to flooding, in 1640, the house burned.4

Like most of his neighbours, George supported his family as a farmer. According to a 1640 inventory of Windsor properties, he owned nine different tracts of land, including several acres in what was known as the Plimouth Meadow, several properties on the other side of what people called the great river, and several narrow tracts of land that stretched three miles back from the water.5

As well as wheat and Indian corn, George may have grown tobacco, a crop that has been grown in the area since 1640, and he planted 500 apple trees. Apples had been imported to the colony from England and were a staple of the New England diet.

Old Corn Mill, Windsor, built around 1640, as it appeared in 1910
He signed land deeds and his will with a mark, so George probably did not know how to write, however, he did own books.6 He served as a constable in Windsor in 1645 and was on juries a number of times between 1649 and 1667.

George and Philura had five children, including Isaac (my direct ancestor), born 1638, Abraham, born 1642, and Joseph, born 1647. The years 1647 and 1648 were particularly difficult, with many deaths in the community. Two of the Phelps children died in 1647, and Philura died on April 29, 1648.7 George remarried six months later. His second wife was Frances Dewey, the widow of Thomas Dewey, who had had also died in April. Frances had a daughter from her first marriage and five young children from her marriage with Thomas. She and George went on to have three children together: Jacob, born 1649, John, born 1651, and Nathaniel, born 1654.8

In the late 1660s, the Phelps family left Windsor and helped to found Westfield, Massachusetts. Some of their Windsor neighbours made the same move, joining several families who had come from Springfield, Massachusetts to establish the new town. Life was not easy in Westfield, wnich was the westernmost town in Massachusetts, nevertheless, these self-reliant pioneers survived the many hardships they faced and the town grew.

When George Phelps died on May 8, 1687,9 he left his bedding, household goods, some money and the use of part of the house in Westfield to his wife. Frances died in Westfield three years later.
His son Jacob received a four-acre section of the home lot in Westfield that included the house, barn and orchard. To son Isaac, he left “the best coat of my wearing apparel and my mare.”10 He distributed money and his remaining land in Windsor and Westfield between all his sons.

Photo sources:
map: The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, vol. 1, p. 149
Corn mill: photo by Katherine Parker Drake; Windsor Historical Society collection. 

Notes:

All the sources for this article are secondary. The article on George Phelps in The Great Migration series by Robert Charles Anderson, published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), includes references to numerous other sources.

The chapter on George Phelps in The Phelps Family of America was recommended to me by a senior researcher at the NEHGS. Another NEHGS researcher, Alicia Crane Williams, discussed this book on the blog Vita Brevis (https://vita-brevis.org/2018/03/pulling-it-all-together/#more-10613), noting that it was written by a gentleman genealogist in the 19th century. Books of this type often contain errors and, in this case, the information about George’s origins in England is wrong.

I used both the book and the online version of The Great Migration Begins. Links to the other digital books about Windsor can be found on ConnecticutHistory.org, https://connecticuthistory.org/towns-page/windsor/

The organization Descendants of the Founders of Ancient Windsor has published a list of the early settlers of Windsor on its website, http://www.ancientwindsor.org/index.html. See http://www.ancientwindsor.org/founders-list.html.

Sources:

1. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols. 1995), p 445. https://www.americanancestors.org/DB393/i/12107/539/1415511879, accessed March 25, 2018.

2. “The Origin of George Phelps” Phelps Family History in America, http://www.phelpsfamilyhistory.com/research/george/index.asp, accessed March 24, 2018.

3. Howard, Daniel. A New History of Old Windsor, Connecticut. Windsor Locks, CT: Journal Press, 1935. http://www.archive.org/stream/newhistoryofoldw00howa#page/n5/mode/2up, accessed March 29, 2018.

4. Stiles, Henry. The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut Including East Windsor, South Windsor, Bloomfield, Windsor Locks, and Ellington. 1635-1891, Vol. 1. Hartford, CT: Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1891, p. 163. https://archive.org/stream/historygenealogi11stil#page/n357/mode/2up, accessed March 24, 2018.

5. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, p 446.

6. Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin, compilers. The Phelps Family of America and their English Ancestors, and other interesting papers, coats of arms and valuable records. Volume II.  Pittsfield, MA, Eagle Publishing Company, 1899. “George Phelps the Emigrant, 1630,” p. 1267.

7. Connecticut: Vital Records (The Barbour Collection), 1630-1870 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2011.) From original typescripts, Lucius Barnes Barbour Collection, 1928, https://www.americanancestors.org/DB414/i/12316/224/138422806, accessed April 7, 2018

8. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, p 449.

9. Massachusetts Vital Records. 1621-1850 (online database: AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016.) https://www.americanancestors.org/DB190/r/253013871, accessed March 21, 2018.

10. Anderson, The Great Migration Begins, p 447.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Visit to the Old Burying Ground of Westfield, Massachusetts



I have always been fascinated by the carved images found on early American gravestones. Imagine how thrilling it was to discover that this kind of tombstone marked the final resting place of one of my colonial New England ancestors in Westfield, Massachusetts. I found it when I visited Westfield’s Old Burying Ground a few years ago, en route to the New England Regional Genealogical Conference which was being held in nearby Springfield.  

Westfield was founded in 1669. The oldest known gravestone in the burying ground is that of Abigail Noble, who died in 1683. Childbirth, consumption, dysentery, smallpox and accidents were common causes of death, but a surprisingly large number of those interred here lived to more than 80 years of age.

Among the more than 1100 gravestones and several hundred more unmarked graves in this cemetery, I was looking for the resting places of three of my direct ancestors: my six-times great-grandfather Daniel Bagg, his father-in-law, Isaac Phelps, and his son’s father-in-law, Consider Moseley. I found them in the southeast section of the cemetery where many of the oldest plots are located.1

My first stop was the Athenaeum (the public library) to pick up the key to the cemetery. From there, it was a short walk to what is known as the Mechanic Street Cemetery. Set back from street between two houses, the wrought iron gate was a bit hard to find, but once I entered the cemetery, I was amazed at how large it is, and how well cared for. This old burying ground, which is included in the U.S. National List of Historic Places, was carefully weeded and mowed, protected by a fence and shaded by mature trees. The historic tombstones have been cleaned over the years, and local citizens are trying to find the funds to better preserve them..2


The grave of Captain Isaac Phelps (1638-1725) was easiest to find because there was a small American flag next to it. Carved in capital letters on his gravestone are, the words, “Capt. Isaac Phelps Anno 1725  age 87 year.” Westfield lay at the western edge of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the tiny settlement was vulnerable to attack from American Indians, so Isaac probably played a role in protecting the community, and a military title acknowledged that contribution.

Born in Windsor, Connecticut to George Phelps and Philura Randall, Isaac Phelps married Ann Gaylord around 1663 and moved his family to Westfield around 1670. Isaac carried out many civic duties in Westfield over the years: he was town clerk, assessor, surveyor, town treasurer and schoolmaster.3

Isaac and Ann had 11 children, four of whom died young.4 He and Ann were my seven-times times great-grandparents through daughter Hannah, who married Daniel Bagg (1668-1738).  

Lieut. Consider Moseley’s red sandstone tombstone, with a carved face, crown and wings symbolizing everlasting life, was close to Isaac’s.5 
Consider (1675-1755) was the fifth of 10 children of John Maudsley (the name was spelled various ways) and Mary Newberry. The Maudsley/Moseley family moved from Windsor to Westfield around the time of Consider’s birth.

In 1709, when Consider was 34 years old, he married Elizabeth Bancroft. They had eight children, including twins Elizabeth and Daniel, born in 1714. After his first wife died, Consider married widow Rebecca Dewey. His daughter Elizabeth married David Bagg, the son of Daniel Bagg and Hannah Phelps, in 1739.

According to a history of Westfield, Lieut. Consider Moseley was “one of the wealthiest and most influential men of the town,” however, I have found few details of his life.6 He died on Sept. 12, 1755, age 80.

The grave of Daniel Bagg was more difficult to identify. The stone that I suspect marks his grave is almost illegible. The other problem is that there are three individuals named Daniel Bagg buried in this cemetery.

The Daniel Bagg I was seeking was the son of John Bagg and Hannah Burt of Springfield. Many of Springfield’s younger residents moved to Westfield. Daniel became a farmer in the Little River area of Westfield. He and his wife Hannah Phelps had 10 children, and their son David and his wife Elizabeth Moseley were my direct ancestors.


Ann Gaylord, Elizabeth Bancroft, Hannah Phelps and Elizabeth Moseley are also likely buried in the Old Burying Ground, but their graves are not marked.

Photo credits: Janice Hamilton

This article has also been posted on www.genealogyensemble.com.

Sources:
1. Old Burying Ground Mechanic Street Cemetery. http://www.cityofwestfield.org/DocumentCenter/View/419a, accessed March 11, 2018. (The name Bagg is misspelled Back in this 1995 inventory.)

2. Dan Warner. “After 350 Years, Old Burying Ground in need to a fix-up in Westfield.” Masslive.com, June 27, 2014, http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/after_350_years_old_burying_gr.html, accessed March 11, 2018.

3. Oliver Seymour Phelps and Andrew T. Servin, compilers. The Phelps Family of America and their English Ancestors, with copies of wills, deeds, letters and other interesting papers, coats of arms and valuable records. Vol. II, Pittsfield, MA: Eagle Publishing Company, 1899, p. 1269.

4. Henry R. Stiles. The History of Ancient Windsor, Vol. II, a facsimile of the 1892 edition, Somersworth: New Hampshire Publishing Co., 1976. p. 509.

5. Bob Clark, Stories Carved in Stone: Westfield, Massachusetts, West Springfield, Dog Pond Press, 2008.

6. Rev. John H. Lockwood. Westfield and its Historic Influences, 1669-1919: the life of an early town. Springfield, MA, printed and sold by the author, 1922, p. 384. https://archive.org/stream/westfieldandits00lockgoog#page/n413/mode/2up, accessed March 23, 2018.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The Obscure Origins of John Bagg


About 40 years ago, my mother tried to find out who was the first member of the Bagg family to come to North America. (Her mother’s maiden name was Bagg.) The answer surprised everyone and revealed a further mystery that remains unsolved.

Mother turned to Debrett, a company that specialized in researching British aristocratic ancestries. She suggested they look for the Bagg family’s origins in County Durham, in northeast England, but that search came up empty. (We eventually realized it was another branch of the family that came from Durham.)

She told her friend Carol, who lived in Boston, about her interest in the Bagg family. Carol replied, “I’m descended from the Baggs too!” Carol then sent my mother an article about the family’s roots in colonial Massachusetts.1

With that information, my mother went back to Debrett and they prepared a report on four generations of the Bagg family in New England, including our ancestors who fought as soldiers in the American Revolution.2 Carol’s ancestor was Joseph Bagg (1740-1836) and our direct ancestor was his brother Phineas (c. 1751-1823), who moved to Canada around 1795.3 Their great-grandfather, John Bagg (? – 1683) was the immigrant member of the family.

John Bagg first appeared in the records of Springfield, Massachusetts in 1657, 20 years after the town had been founded, and long after the end of the Great Migration, the period between 1620 and 1640 when thousands of people emigrated from England to New England. John married Hannah Burt in Springfield and he stayed there for the rest of his life.

A book about the Burt family written in the 1890s said that John Bagg “is supposed to have emigrated from Plymouth, England,4  but my mother’s research was not able to confirm that.

Several John Baggs

Debrett’s report revealed that there were several individuals named John Bagg in the 17th century. For example, The Original Lists of Persons of Quality, by John Camden Hotten, which listed emigrants, religious exiles, political rebels and others who went from Great Britain to the American Plantations, 1600-1700, included a John Bagg who owned more than 10 acres of land in Barbados in 1638. Almost 50 years later, in 1685, another John Bagg from Thorncombe, Dorset left Bristol, England for Barbados. 

In 1991, Mother contacted British genealogy researcher Peter Bennett. He noted that the wills of several individuals named Bagg, Bagge or Baggs and dated between 1540 and 1667 could be found in the Archdeaconry Court of Exeter, and there were several more wills in Dorset. Devon wills were destroyed by bombing during World War II.

According to a family story, we were descended from the James Bagg who was mayor of Plymouth around 1600, but there is no evidence to support that story.  

A better bet, though still unproven, was the John Bagg, age 16, who was transported to Virginia aboard the ship Safety in August, 1635.5 In 1991, researcher W. Denis Hanley of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) replied to Mother’s query. He wrote that there was no trace of John Bagg in Virginia records at the NEHGS, but that there might be something at the Virginia state archives.

Hanley suggested that John Bagg may have gone to Virginia as an indentured servant, having promised to work the land for several years, but broke that promise and sailed to Barbados where he was granted land, then eventually moved to Massachusetts. Or he might have gone to Virginia as an indentured servant, stayed on the plantation for a number of years and then moved to Massachusetts in the 1850s.

If John Bagg left England at age 16 in 1635, he would have been 38 when he married 16-year-old Hannah in 1657. As for his motivation to leave Virginia, there were few unmarried women on the plantations of Virginia, so perhaps he came to Massachusetts to look for a wife and picked Springfield because he would be able to find employment as a day labourer there until he could acquire land of his own.

My mother did not follow up with further research in Virginia, nor did I. But even if I find John Bagg – or Bag, Bagge, Begg, Bigg or Biggs – in in the records there, it would be hard to say with certainty that he was the man who settled in Springfield, and we still do not know his origins in England.

See also:
Janice Hamilton, “John Bagg of Springfield, Massachusetts,” Writing Up the Ancestors, Feb. 22, 2018, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/02/john-bagg-of-springfield-massachusetts.html

Sources:
1. Lyman Hotchkiss Bagg “Autobiography 1846-1895. Forming a supplement to the “Obituary Notice of a Yale Graduate of ’69 written by himself in 1890.” New York: printed for private distribution by Karl Kron, publisher; reprinted from the Biographical Records of the Yale Class of 1869, vol. I, p 24-32.

2.  Debrett, “The Bagg Family of Massachusetts, America and of Montreal, Canada. Research for Mrs. J.D. Hamilton, July, 1980.”

3. William A. Cooper, “The James Bagg of Lanesborough, Massachusetts” based on research made by John McIlvene. Conshohooken, Pa, 1918.

4. Henry M. Burt, Silas W. Burt. Early Days in New England. Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield and Some of His Descendants. Springfield: Clark W. Bryan, printers, 1893. Google Books, p.249.

5. Michael Tupper, editor. Passengers to America. A Consolidation of Ship Passenger Lists from The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977, p. 98.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Henry Burt: From Devon Clothier to Colonial Farmer


This is the second in a series of posts about four generations of my ancestors in colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut. It includes the Bagg, Burt, Phelps, Moseley, Stanley and other related families between 1635 and 1795.


When Springfield, Massachusetts pioneer Henry Burt died in 1662, an inventory of his estate showed that his belongings included a suit of clothes, a hat, a pound of hemp and flax, his house in the town and 14 acres of farmland nearby, livestock, three blankets and a rug, a brass pan and kettles, a chest and two guns.1 That list suggested Henry had lived a simple, but comfortable, life.

Henry probably brought his family to New England in 1638. Prior to that, he had been a successful clothier in Harberton, Devon, in southwest England, where he had inherited property from his father.2 At the time they immigrated, he and his wife, Ulalia March, had seven children ranging in age from an infant to 18 years old.

England was going through political turmoil in the 1630s, and the textile industry was in decline. Over a ten-year period, some 80,000 people left England for Ireland, the West Indies, Virginia or continental Europe. Between 1630 and 1640, some 20,000 people, many of them members of families with children, went to New England.
Springfield Congregational Church, around 1908

Henry Burt and many other migrants also left for religious reasons. In England, members of the Congregational church were persecuted for their beliefs. In New England, where they were known as Puritans, they could worship as they pleased and build a new society based on their religious values. Henry was undoubtedly a Puritan since records show he became a deacon, or lay leader, of the Congregational church in Springfield.

Henry was born around 1595, the son of clothier Henry Burt sr. and his wife Isett. Henry sr. died in 1617, leaving his son an orchard and gardens, a mansion house and several other houses that were rented out. 

He married married Ulalia (sometimes spelled Eulalia) March on December 28, 1619, in the nearby parish of Dean-Prior.3 Ulalia had been born about 1600 to Richard March and Joan (Martyn?) of Sherford, Devon.4

Before they left England, the Burt family probably sold or rented most of their possessions to help raise money for the trip. They had to take along enough food to feed the family for a year, as well as clothing, tools, livestock and other basic supplies.

The average transatlantic voyage took eight to 10 weeks in a ship that carried about 100 people and their supplies. Most new immigrants stayed in the Boston area until they got their bearings, and the Burts were no different, settling in nearby Roxbury. Perhaps they wondered whether God had sent them a message when the Roxbury house in which they were living burned down in September, 1639.5

The following year, they settled in Springfield, on the Connecticut River. The land was fertile there and, like his new neighbours, Henry became a subsistence farmer. My eight-times great-grandfather, he eventually became one of the town’s leading citizens.

Henry first appeared in the town records when he was allotted a planting lot in 1641. He acquired further agricultural land grants in 1642, and in later years. The family home was on the town’s main street, and Henry acquired farmland on both sides of the river.

In 1644, Henry Burt and three other men were elected as selectmen, or town officials.6  Serving as a selectman for ten years between 1644 and 1655, he was responsible for handling local issues such as taxation, land distribution, fencing regulations and road building. When Henry became a freeman in 1648, he became eligible to vote.

In 1649, Henry became Springfield’s first Clerk of the Writs.7  This was an elected position that involved issuing summonses and recording births, marriages and deaths. He held this position continuously until his own death in 1662. He was also a deacon of the church and, for several years in the 1650s when the First Church of Springfield did not have a minister of its own, he was one of several men chosen to conduct services.8

Besides these activities, Henry had a large family to support. He must have been a hard worker, raising his own crops and livestock and, like many other Springfield inhabitants, working for merchant William Pynchon or his son John. Pynchon owned the only store for miles around, and he also owned the mill and the blacksmith shop. Pynchon generally paid employees in store credits, and Henry purchased precious nails, a pane of glass and the occasional treat, such as sugar.

Henry and Ulalia had a total of 13 children, nine of whom were born in England, and two of whom died there. Daughter Hannah, the first of their children to be born in New England, married John Bagg in 1657. She was my direct ancestor.

When Henry died on April 31, 1662, he left part of his estate to son Nathaniel and the rest to his widow. His possessions were valued at 181 pounds, while his debts, primarily to merchant John Pynchon, came to 50 pounds.
Ulalia lived another 28 years, dying Aug. 29, 1690, but she prepared her will six years before her death. She listed individual bequests including a heifer for daughter Mary, two cows for daughter Sarah and, to daughter Abigail, a cloak, a green apron, a coat and a shift. Daughter Patience received her red stockings. Ulalia divided her land, cattle and kettles between her sons and requested that the rest of her estate be divided according to the needs of her survivors.9

Ulalia’s will did not mention daughter Hannah Bagg or Hannah’s husband John because both were already deceased, but she did want granddaughter Abilene Bagg to receive two yards of cloth.

This article is also posted on www.genealogyensemble.com

See also:
Janice Hamilton, “John Bagg of Springfield, Massachusetts,” Writing Up the Ancestors, Feb. 22, 2018, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/02/john-bagg-of-springfield-massachusetts.html


Notes:
I was able to find an amazing amount of detail about Henry Burt’s life thanks to the careful record-keeping of the early settlers of Springfield, and to the fact that, 120 years ago, another Burt descendant used those records to write two books about the Burt family and the town of Springfield.

For background on New England’s Great Migration, see https://www.greatmigration.org/new_englands_great_migration.html. You can find details on the individuals who moved to New England between 1620 and 1640 in the multi-volume study of the Great Migration published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and members of the NEHGS can access the society’s extensive online database.

The children of Henry and Ulalia Burt were:10
Sarah, b. Harberton 1620/21, m. 1. Judah Gregory of Springfield, 2. Henry Wakley of Hartford and Stratford, Ct.  Sarah was living in 1689.
Abigail, b. in England about 1623, m. 1. Francis Ball of Springfield, Mass. In 1644 2. Benjamin Munn of Springfield in 1649, 3. Lieut Thomas Stebbins, in 1676.
Jonathan, bapt. Harberton 1624/25. d. 1715.  m 1. Elizabeth Lobbell, in Boston, 1651, 2. Deliverance Hanchet, 1686.
Samuel, buried Harberton, 1625.
David, bapt Harberton, 1629, d. 1690. moved to Northampton. m. Mary Holton, 1655.
Mary, bapt. Harberton, 1632, buried there 1634
Mary, bapt. Harberton, 1635, d. 1689; m. William Brooks in 1654 of Springfield and Deerfield, Mass.
Nathaniel, bapt Harberton c. 1637, d. 1720; m. Rebecca Sikes, 1662.
Elizabeth, bapt. Harberton, 1638, m. 1. Samuel Wright Jr. of Springfield and Northampton, 2. Nathaniel Dickinson of Hatfield, Mass.
Hannah, b. Springfield, 1641 m. 1657, John Bagg of Springfield.
Dorcas, b. New England, 1643?, m. 1658, John Stiles of Windsor, Ct.
Patience born Springfield, 1645, m. 1667 John Bliss of Northampton and Springfield.
Mercy, b. 1647, Springfield, m. 1. 1666/7 Judah Wright of Northampton and Springfield.

Footnotes:
1. Henry M. Burt, Silas W. Burt. Early Days in New England. Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield and Some of His Descendants, Springfield: Clark W. Bryan, printers, 1893, Google Books, p. 92-93.
2. George Skelton Terry, “Genealogical Research in England: Burt-March” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1932, vol. 86, Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-, p. 218. (Online database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.)
3. Terry, Ibid, p. 83.
4. Mary Lovering Holman, Ancestry of Colonel Harrington Stevens and his wife Frances Helen Miller, compiled for Helen Pendleton (Winston) Pillsbury, 1948, privately printed, p. 365.
5. Terry, Ibid, p. 219.
6. Burt, Early Days in New England, p. 85.
7. Henry M. Burt, The First Century of the History of Springfield. The Official Records from 1636 to 1736, with an historical review and biographical mention of the founders. Volume 1. Springfield, Mass: Printed and Published by Henry M. Burt, 1898, Google Books, p. 45-46.
8. Burt, Early Days in New England, p. 87.
9. Burt, Early Days in New England, p. 93.
10. Terry, Ibid. p. 219. 


Photo Sources: 

Hannah's birth: Henry M. Burt, Silas W. Burt. Early Days in New England. Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield and Some of His Descendants. p. 115.

Henry's death: Henry M. Burt, Silas W. Burt. Early Days in New England. Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield and Some of His Descendants. p. 91.


Thursday, February 22, 2018

John Bagg of Springfield, Massachusetts

This is the first in a series of posts about four generations of my ancestors in colonial Massachusetts and Connecticut. It will include the Bagg, Burt, Phelps, Moseley, Stanley and other related families between 1635 and 1795.

Seventeenth-century New Englanders were wary of strangers. In Springfield, Massachusetts, newcomers had to be approved by the town residents before they could stay for more than a month, but when John Bagg moved to Springfield around 1657, he not only stayed, he married the daughter of one of the town’s leading citizens.

John’s origins are obscure, but once he settled in Springfield, town records were thorough, and the life of my seven-times great-grandfather was well documented. The first record of John Bagg’s name in Springfield was his marriage to Hannah Burt, daughter of Henry Burt and Ulalia March, on Dec. 24, 1657.1 Soon after, he opened an account at John Pynchon’s general store. He also worked for Pynchon, earning several shillings a day for fetching hay and stones, felling timber, reaping wheat and trimming the orchard.2

View of Springfield and the Connecticut River
In 1659, he was listed in the ninth of 10 rows in the meeting house, where seating was assigned according to status in the community. Three years later, he had moved up a row.
In 1662, John and several friends appeared in court, charged with the illegal act of playing cards. He pleaded guilty and paid a fine.

Another case involving a breach of town regulations was more complicated. John had been named a fence-viewer, an important responsibility since escaped livestock could cause crop damage. When he and his fence-viewing partner Reice Bedortha observed defects in a neighbour’s fence, town officials fined the owner. At the same time, John complained there was a defect in Bedortha’s fence, but Bedortha countered that it wasn’t his fence. Finally both John and Bedortha were fined for not carrying out their fence-viewing duties properly.  

The inhabitants of Springfield all supported their families as subsistence farmers. No one became rich, but neither did they starve. They mainly acquired farmland as land grants from the town. John’s first grant, a six-acre parcel of land, was approved in 1660. In 1664, he purchased 20 acres on the Chicopee Plain and, in the same year, the town granted him 30 acres near the Agawam River (now the Westfield River.)

In 1668, John and two friends leased 40 acres. Cash was always in short supply, so they paid half the rent in “good merchantable wheate, and the other half in Pease and Indian corne, all good and merchantable.”4 The town later granted him several more small pieces of land.

Springfield, the first town built in the western interior of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, was founded beside the Connecticut River in 1636 by a group of eight men. The site was chosen primarily for commercial reasons. The Great River, as people called it, provided transportation, while meadows provided grazing for livestock and the fertile soil allowed the settlers to grow crops.

The town founders purchased land on both the east and west sides of the Connecticut River from the indigenous people. The town was on the east side and most of John’s property was on the other side, in what later became West Springfield.

King Philip’s War

The destruction of much of Springfield in 1675, during King Philip’s War, must have been the most terrifying event of John’s life. Town residents were on friendly terms with many of the area’s indigenous people, but a bloody conflict between the New England settlers and a group of Native Americans erupted in 1675. Some 32 houses and 25 barns in Springfield were burned, as well as several mills and large quantities of corn that had been stored for the coming winter.

King Philip meets with settlers
His wedding was another milestone. When he married Hannah in 1657, she was 16 years old; he may have been considerably older than her. Hannah was the tenth of Henry and Ulalia Burt’s 13 children and the first to be born in New England.

Hannah and John eventually had 10 children: Hannah (1658-1740) married Nathaniel Sikes; Mercy (1660-1738) m. Ebenezer Jones; Daniel (1663); John (1665-1740) m. Mercy Thomas; Daniel (1668-1738) m. Hannah Phelps (my direct ancestors); Jonathan (1670-1746) m. Mary Weller; Abigail (1675-1739) m. Benjamin Cooley; James (1675-1689), Sarah (1678-?) m. 1. Benoni Atchison, 2. Samuel Barnard; Abilene, (1680- 1750).5

Hannah died, age 39, on Aug. 1, 1680,6  several days after giving birth to Abilene. Perhaps members of the Burt family stepped in to help raise the couple’s nine surviving children. Three years later, on Sept. 5, 1683, John Bagg “was sicke and died”.7

John’s probate record shows that Samuel Marshfield became guardian of sons John and James, and of baby Abilene, but it is not clear what happened to the other children. The inventory of his estate listed the simple belongings of a farmer: a yoke of oxen, a horse, some cows and swine, a cart, plow, axe, kettle, bedding, two coats, a pair of britches, a hat and a pair of stockings. His house and adjoining land were evaluated at 16 pounds. His debts totalled 50 pounds.8   

In 1893, Springfield historian Henry M. Burt wrote that John Bagg “appears to have been an industrious citizen and his descendants are among the most prosperous and intelligent people of recent times.”9 Some of John and Hannah Bagg’s descendants still live in Massachusetts today.

See also: 

Janice Hamilton, "Henry Burt: from Devon Clothier to Springfield Farmer," Writing Up the Ancestors, March 7, 2018, http://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/03/henry-burt-from-devon-clothier-to.html

Janice Hamilton, "The Obscure Origins of John Bagg," Writing Up the Ancestors, March 21, 2018, https://writinguptheancestors.blogspot.ca/2018/03/the-obscure-origins-of-john-bagg.html

Photo credits:
Janice Hamilton
Metacom (King Philip) meeting settlers, illustration 1911; Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. (Digital file no. cph 3c00678), https://www.britannica.com/event/King-Philips-War (accessed Feb. 22, 2018)

Footnotes:
1. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/massachusetts-vital-records-1620-1850/image?volumeId=39814&pageName=21&rId=1320087338, accessed Feb. 21, 2018.

2. Henry M. Burt, Silas W. Burt. Early Days in New England. Life and Times of Henry Burt of Springfield and Some of His Descendants. Springfield: Clark W. Bryan, printers, 1893. Google Books, p.250.

3. Henry M. Burt, The First Century of the History of Springfield. The Official Records from 1636 to 1736, with an historical review and biographical mention of the founders. Volume 1 Springfield, Mass: Printed and Published by Henry M. Burt, 1898. Google Books, p. 55.

4. Burt, Early Days in New England, p. 251.

5. Thomas B. Warren, Springfield Families, Vol. 1 (A-E), copied by Mercy Warren Chapter, Springfield, Mass, 1934-1935, p. 22.

6. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/massachusetts-vital-records-1620-1850/image?volumeId=39814&pageName=65&rId=1320089032, accessed Feb. 21, 2018.

7. Massachusetts: Vital Records, 1621-1850 (Online Database: AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2016). https://www.americanancestors.org/databases/massachusetts-vital-records-1620-1850/image?volumeId=39814&pageName=65&rId=1320089032, accessed Feb. 20, 2018.

8. Hampshire County, Massachusetts probate records 1660-1916. index, 1660-1971 [microform].

9. Burt, Early Days in New England, p. 250.

Additional Sources:
Virginia DeJohn Anderson. New England’s Generation, The Great Migration and the Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1991.

Lyman Hotchkiss Bagg “Autobiography 1846-1895. Forming a supplement to the “Obituary Notice of a Yale Graduate of ’69 written by himself in 1890.” New York: printed for private distribution by Karl Kron, publisher; reprinted from the Biographical Records of the Yale Class of 1869, vol. I, p 24-32.

Patricia Law Hatcher. Researching Your Colonial New England Ancestors. Provo, Utah: Ancestry Publishing, 2006.

Nathaniel Philbrick. Mayflower. A story of courage, community and war. New York: Penguin Books, 2007.