Pages

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

HALLOWEEN TALES: "THE NEW WIFE AND THE OLD" PT2

My distant cousin Jonathan Moulton's first wife was Ann Smith who he married
in 1749 and with whom he had a family of eleven children. She died of smallpox
in 1775. He married  Sarah Emery in 1776, and their marriage resulted in four
more children. She is the "new wife" in a poem written by my 4th cousin 6x
removed John Greenleaf Whittier.   It's probable that Whittier may have met
one or more of Moulton's adult children, but as the foreword to the poem
indicates, he certainly was familiar with the legends that had sprung up
about Jonathan Moulton

THE NEW WIFE AND THE OLD.

[the following Ballad is founded upon one of the marvellous legends connected
with the famous Gen. M., of Hampton, N. H., who was regarded by his neighbors
as a Yankee Faust, in league with the adversary. I give the story, as I heard it when
a child, from a venerable family visitant.]

Dark the halls, and cold the feast—
Gone the bridemaids, gone the priest!
All is over — all is done,
Twain of yesterday are one!
Blooming girl and manhood grey,
Autumn in the arms of May!

Hushed within and hushed without,
Dancing feet and wrestlers' shout;
Dies the bonfire on the hill;
All is dark and all is still,
Save the starlight, save the breeze
Moaning through the grave-yard trees;
And the great sea-waves below,
Like the night's pulse, beating slow.

From the brief dream of a bride
She hath wakened, at his side.
With half uttered shriek and start —
Feels she not his beating heart?
And the pressure of his arm,
And his breathing near and warm?

Lightly from the bridal bed
Springs that fair dishevelled head,
And a feeling, new, intense,
Half of shame, half innocence,
Maiden fear and wonder speaks
Through her lips and changing cheeks.

From the oaken mantel glowing
Faintest light the lamp is throwing
On the mirror's antique mould,
High-backed chair, and wainscot old,
And, through faded curtains stealing,
His dark sleeping face revealing.

Listless lies the strong man there,
Silver-streaked his careless hair;
Lips of love have left no trace
On that hard and haughty face;
And that forehead's knitted thought
Love's soft hand hath not unwrought.

"Yet," she sighs, "he loves me well,
More than these calm lips will tell.
Stooping to my lowly state,
He hath made me rich and great,
And I bless him, though he be
Hard and stern to all save me!"

While she speaketh, falls the light
O'er her fingers small and white;
Gold and gem, and costly ring
Back the timid lustre fling —
Love's selectest gifts, and rare,
His proud hand had fastened there.

Gratefully she marks the glow
From those tapering lines of snow;
Fondly o'er the sleeper bending
His black hair with golden blending,
In her soft and light caress,
Cheek and lip together press.

Ha !— that start of horror !— Why
That wild stare and wilder cry,
Full of terror, full of pain?
Is there madness in her brain?
Hark! that gasping, hoarse and low:
"Spare me — spare me — let me go!"

God have mercy !— Icy cold
Spectral hands her own enfold,
Drawing silently from them
Love's fair gifts of gold and gem,
"Waken! save me!" still as death
At her side he slumbereth.

Ring and bracelet all are gone,
And that ice-cold hand withdrawn;
But she hears a murmur low,
Full of sweetness, full of woe,
Half a sigh and half a moan:
"Fear not! give the dead her own!"

Ah ! — the dead wife's voice she knows !
That cold hand whose pressure froze,
Once in warmest life had borne
Gem and band her own hath worn.
"Wake thee! wake thee!" Lo, his eyes
Open with a dull surprise.

In his arms the strong man folds her,
Closer to his breast he holds her;
Trembling limbs his own are meeting,
And he feels her heart's quick beating:
"Nay, my dearest, why this fear?"
"Hush!" she saith, "the dead is here!"

"Nay, a dream — an idle dream."
But before the lamp's pale gleam
 Tremblingly her hand she raises,—
There no more the diamond blazes,
Clasp of pearl, or ring of gold, —
"Ah!" she sighs, "her hand was cold!"

Broken words of cheer he saith,
But his dark lip quivereth,
And as o'er the past he thinketh,
From his young wife's arms he shrinketh;
Can those soft arms round him lie,
Underneath his dead wife's eye?

She her fair young head can rest
Soothed and child-like on his breast,
And in trustful innocence
Draw new strength and courage thence;
He, the proud man, feels within
But the cowardice of sin!

She can murmur in her thought
Simple prayers her mother taught,
And His blessed angels call,
Whose great love is over all;
He, alone, in prayerless pride,
Meets the dark Past at her side!

One, who living shrank with dread,
From his look, or word, or tread,
Unto whom her early grave
Was as freedom to the slave,
Moves him at this midnight hour,
With the dead's unconscious power!

Ah, the dead, the unforgot!
From their solemn homes of thought,
Where the cypress shadows blend
Darkly over foe and friend,
Or in love or sad rebuke,
Back upon the living look.

And the tenderest ones and weakest,
Who their wrongs have borne the meekest,
Lifting from those dark, still places,
Sweet and sad-remembered faces,
O'er the guilty hearts behind
An unwitting triumph find.

pp117-120

John Greenleaf Whittier Poems Benjamin B. Mussey , Pub. Boston, Ma. 1850

Monday, October 20, 2014

HALLOWEEN TALES: "THE NEW WIFE AND THE OLD" PT1

Last year for Halloween I blogged about various New England legends and
folkore, some of which posts I may repost this year. But tonight I was looking
for a new spooky legend and found a poem about a distant cousin written by
another equally distant cousin.

I am a descendant of 10x great grandfather John Moulton and his wife Anne.
One of their other descendants  is my second cousin 9x removed Jonathan
Moulton.  William Richard Cutter says this about him:

(IV) General Jonathan Moulton, son of Jacob Moulton, was born in Hampton, New
Hampshire, June 30, 1726, and died there in 1788, aged sixty-two years. He owned
a large amount of land and was a wealthy man. It was largely through his efforts
that two or three towns in the state were settled, as is told in the "Farmer and
Moore's Gazetteer" of 1823. On November 17, 1763, Moulton borough was granted
to him and sixty-one others by the Masonian proprietors. He had a distinguished
reputation for service in the Indian wars along the northern borders of the new town
before it was settled, in 1763. and many stories are told of his adventures at that time. Doubtless his service against the Ossipee Indians was the principal reason of placing
him at the head of the grantees. Through his efforts the grant for New Hampton was
obtained from Governor Went worth. It is said he obtained it by presenting the governor with an ox weighing one thousand four hundred pounds, which he drove to Portsmouth and for which he refused money, saying he preferred the charter to the 

land which he named New Hampton. The town of Centre Harbor was formed from a part of his grant called Moultonborough Addition. He was known as a fearless commander, and although his reticence and dignified bearing aroused the displeasure of some, he must have been thoroughly trustworthy and competent to be intrusted 
with such important commissions as were placed in his hands. He served many 
years in the legislature. He was a shrewd business man, ahead of his time in many ways. The poet Whittier has made him the hero of his poem, "The New Wife and 
the Old." S. A. Drake, in his "New England Legends and Folk Lore," has written an amusing story founded on the legend of Jonathan Moulton and the Devil...
p2304.

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 4 (Google eBook) Lewis historical publishing Company, 1915


Cutter then includes Drake's story about the Devil which is long so I won't include
it here, but there is this added by Drake at the end of it:

Another legend runs to the effect that upon the death of his wife—as evil report would have it— under very suspicious circumstances, the General paid court to a young woman who had been companion of his deceased spouse. They were married. In the middle of the night the young bride awoke with a start. She felt an invisible hand trying to take off from her finger the wedding-ring that had once belonged to the dead and buried Mrs. Moulton. Shrieking with fright, she jumped out of bed, thus awakening her husband, who tried in vain to calm her fears. Candles were lighted and search was made for the ring: but as it could never be found again, the ghostly visitor was supposed to have carried it away with her. This story is the same that is told by Whittier in the New Wife and the Old.- p2305

So of course when I read that John Greenleaf Whittier has written a poem about the
story of the two wives, I had to look for a copy of it. I found one, and I'll share it
with you in the next blogpost.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

THE 2014 NEW ENGLAND GENEABLOGGERS BASH

This morning I did something I rarely do anymore: I got up at 6am. Today was the
yearly New England Geneabloggers Bash, and it was being held at Sara Campbell's
house out in Erving, Ma. So I got up early, and made sure I had my camera, cellphone,
and GPS all charged up, and away I went.

It was foggy when I left my apartment but most of it burned off as I drove north
and west. I took 495 and then Rte2 (also known as the Mohawk Trail) and the foliage
was beautiful  I don't understand why the state doesn't place a few rest areas along
495 because I sure wanted to take pictures and stopping in the middle of busy 495
to do so just wasn't an option. At any rate,I made pretty good time and I very
nearly made it all the way to Sara's without straying off course....until I took the
wrong left turn onto Bridge St instead of onto Maple. The GPS directed me on a
four mile workaround(which I think it did to teach me a lesson) which included
a stretch on Mormon Hollow Rd (a very appropriate name considering I was going to
a genealogy bash.) It was very hilly, and there was some nice views down into
several valleys.



I finally arrived at the correct address (just as the battery on my GPS died) and
spent the afternoon with some very nice people, some of whom I'd already met
and some who I met for the first time. We discussed genealogy, family history,
computers, cameras, television programs and the weather. There was good food,
good conversation, and a falling pumpkin.












There were about 18 attendees and I wish I had more time to talk with them all.
But I left at around 3pm, and despite missing the 495 turnoff, made it home safely.

I had fun, and I'm looking forward to next years' Bash,

Thanks Sara, for once again hosting the Bash.


Friday, October 17, 2014

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS#41: SAMUEL COLBY

Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family. Recently I've been posting about my Barnes
Hoyt, and Colby ancestors. In this post I'll discuss my 8x great grandfather Samuel
Colby,

I haven't found much about Samuel although there is an interesting connection
between him and an ancestor from another of my family lines:

(II) Samuel Colby, of Amesbury and Haverhill, planter and innholder, was born
in 1639. He was a soldier of King Philip's war and served under Captain Turner in
the Falls fight, March 18. 1676. He married, before 1668. Elizabeth, daughter of William Sargent. Samuel Colby had a grant of land in Amesbury in 1659, again in 1662; was townsman then in 1660; lived in Haverhill in 1668, 1672, 1674, and probably in 1677, although he was in Amesbury in 1676, perhaps for the safety of his family during the war in which he took part. He took the oath of allegiance ;and fidelity in Amesbury in December, 1677, and was representative from there in 1689. His will bears date July 2, 1716. His widow Elizabeth died February 5,1736-37. According to the Amesbury records they had five children: 1. Dorothy,born about 1668; married William Hoyt. 2. Elizabeth, June 1, 1670, died young.3. Samuel, March 9, 1671. 4. Daughter, April 2,1672. 5. Philip, probably married,May 1, 1703, Annie Webster.
p2053

William Richard Cutter, Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 4(Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1910 Boston (Mass.)

The Captain Turner Samuel Colby served under was William Turner, who later was
killed at Deerfield, Ma. Turner's command was then given to another of my ancestors,
9x great grandfather Jeremiah Swain, but I don't know if Samuel Colby continued
his service under Swain. 

And of course his the marriage of his Dorothy to William Hoyt brought the two families
together.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS#40: ANTHONY COLBY

Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family. Most recently I've been posting about my Barnes
and Hoyt ancestors. I am now turning briefly to a third related family, the Colbys.

9x great grandfather Anthony Colby is the immigrant ancestor in the line. From
William Richard Cutter:

Anthony Colby, founder and  American ancestor of one of the prolific families in 
New England, came in Winthrop's fleet in 1630 and his name appears as ninety-third
on the list of members of the church. He came from the eastern coast of England,
and was driven by religious persecution to seek a home in the new world. He appears
in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1632, on his marriage with Susannah Sargent, but in
1634 removed to Salisbury, and thence in 1647 to the west side of Powow river, in what
now is Amesbury. He was recorded as a planter and received land in the first division in
1640 and 1643. He was one of the first commoners in Amesbury. had grants of land in 1654 and 1658. and his widow in his right in 1662 and 1664, he having died in Salisbury, February 11, 1661. His widow, Susannah, married, in 1663, William Whittridge or Whitred, and was again a widow in 1669. She died July 8, 1689. Anthony Colby's children were: John, Sarah, Samuel. Isaac, Rebecca. Mary, Thomas, and one other died young.
-p2053
Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 4(Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company,
1910 Boston (Mass.)

I've boldfaced the name of Susannah Sargent for a reason. There are various theories as to her identity. When I first started working on my family tree I found her name given as
Susannah Haddon. I hadn't seen it as Elizabeth Sargent until I saw the above entry from William Cutter. There is an entry for Anthony Colby in The Great Migration Begins in which the issue is addressed (p416) and since there seems to be no definitive proof to support either name I've now left Susannah's maiden name blank on my database.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS#39: JOHN HOYT JR. PT3

One of my favorite stories about the Colby, Barnes, & Hoyt families is this one
John Hoyt Junior's wife, 8x great grandmother Mary(Barnes) Hoyt:

The wife of (3) John2 Hoyt was living in 1704, when she acknowledged a deed granting
her "youngest son Robert" the homestead where she was then living, which seems to
have been situated in that part of the town now called " Pond Hills." "Quick as Granny
Hoyt's powder-horn" is an expression which has been handed down in different branches of her descendants,—some of whom have been widely separated frorh each other for the last century,—and it seems most probable that she is the "Granny Hoyt" referred to. Tradition says that this lady lived alone and was always up at work early 

in the morning. One day her fire did not kindle well, and she undertook to hasten the operation by pouring a little powder upon it; but the fire spread further than she intended, and an explosion was the result. Authorities differ as to the direction the 
horn took, but the most common and plausible version seems to be that it was blown 
up chimney, while the old lady was no doubt prostrated on the hearth.
-p23
Hoyt family: A genealogical history of John Hoyt of Salisbury, and David Hoyt of Deerfield, (Massachusetts,) and their descendants: with some account of the earlier Connecticut Hoyts, and an appendix, containing the family record of William Barnes of Salisbury, a list of the first settlers of Salisbury and Amesbury, & c (Google eBook) by David Webster Hoyt (C. Benjamin Richardson, Boston, Ma. 1857)


Apparently some of my ancestors had good luck with gunpowder explosions. One
of them (whose name escapes me at the moment) survived unscathed the explosion of
a powder house in Boston.

And when I think about "Granny Hoyt" and her powder horn, I have an image of Lucille
Ball dressed up in colonial dress, with soot on her face and a shocked expression on her
face. 

Thursday, October 09, 2014

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS#39: JOHN HOYT JR. PT2

John Hoyt Jr. held several important offices during his lifetime, one of which
was the position of town constable. Among the duties a constable had in colonial
Massachusetts was the collection of unpaid taxes, and some constables were less
than enthusiastic doing that job. So in order to remedy that, the Massachusetts Bay
Colony adopted a unique policy: if the constables failed or refused to collect the
overdue taxes, they had to pay them out of their own money or be imprisoned.
That's what happened to John Hoyt Jr in 1694, which prompted him to send this
petition:.

"To the Honble their Majties Great and Generall Court of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, now sitting in Boston by adjournemt, March 6th, 1694/5.
"The Petition of John Hoite, one of the late Constables of Amesbury, now a prisonr in
Salem Gaol, "Humbly Sheweth,

"That yor Petitionr is now in Prison undr an Execution for the Nonsatisfaction of the
arreares of the rates comitted to him to collect whilest he was Constable of Amesbury.
That Your Petitionr has Lately mett with great losses, haveing had his house plundered
by the Indians, and has been visited with much sickness through the holy afflicting hand
of god upon him—besides sundry of the persons from whome many of sd arreares be
due are both dead & removed out of ye Towne. Now Forasmuch as yor poore petitionr
by the providence of God is reduced to a necessitous condition, and wholely uncapacitated, by reason of his confinemt, to doo any thing for himself & family or ye paymt of sd arreares for ye prsent, he therefore humbly entreates the favour of this high & honble Court to Consider the premisses, by being pleased to grant unto him two or three yeares space for paymt thereof, as also for areleasemt from his confinemt.
"And Yor petitionr, as in duty bound shall Ever pray, &c.

"John Hoite"

"Voted upon Reading the Petition abovesd that sd Petitioner is granted his Request provided he give security to mr Treasurer to pay sd money within two years into the Treasury. March 8th, 1694/5 past in the affirmative by the house of Representatives & sent up to the honrable Lt Governr & Council for consent. Nehemiah Jewet, Speaker." 

-pp21-22

Hoyt family: A genealogical history of John Hoyt of Salisbury, and David Hoyt of Deerfield, (Massachusetts,) and their descendants: with some account of the earlier Connecticut Hoyts, and an appendix, containing the family record of William Barnes of Salisbury, a list of the first settlers of Salisbury and Amesbury, & c (Google eBook) by David Webster Hoyt (C. Benjamin Richardson, Boston, Ma. 1857)


John Hoyt Jr. died about two years later on 13Aug 1696. He's one of my colonial ancestors who died as a result of the wars with the New England Indians. He and a
man named Peters were killed somewhere along a road between the towns of Haverhill and Andover, Ma.

To be continued, 

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS#39: JOHN HOYT JR.

 Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the
52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every
week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family. In this post and the next I will discuss my 7x great
grandfather John Hoyt Junior, the eldest son of John Hoyt Senior. 

From the family genealogy written by Daniel Webster Hoyt:

John,(2) b. about 1638; m. Mary Barnes, dau. Wm. and Rachel Barnes, June 23, 1659 .
On the Salisbury records, his ""Contry Rate Anno 1659," is given as 2s 3d. He received
his first lot of land ("on the river") in Amesbury, Oct., 1658, and was admitted as a "townsman," Dec. 10, 1660. Among the other lots which he received were one in
"Lion's Mouth," 26 Feb., 1661, and a lot of 120 acres, April, 1662. One of his earliest
purchases consisted of five acres of upland at the "southermost end of Tom: Whitchers
hill," bought of Edward Cottell in 1660. It is difficult to determine the location of his homestead. 

A "Jn° Hoyt of Salisbury tooke ye ffreemans Oath before this prsent Court,"  Salisbury,
2m, 1663. It was probably John,(2) though "Jun." is not added, as it is in most instances where he was referred to. On the records of the Salisbury Court, 9, 2m 1667, we find the three following entries: "Jn° Hoyt Jvn: tooke ye oath of fidelitie: att y" prsent Court." "Jn° Hoyt jvn: vpon ye request & choyce of ye Newtowne is admited by this prsent Court to keep ye Ordinary at ye Newtown of Salisbury, & to sell wine & strong waters for ye yeare ensuing." Also, "Jn° Hoyt jun: is dismist by this Court from all trainings: vntil such time: as  he shalbe cuered of y' infirmity wch doth att prsent disinable him fro trayning." On the records of the following year (Salisbury Court, 14, 2m, 1668) is found the following: "Jn° Hoyt jvn": license is renued to keep ye ordinary at ye new towne: & to pvide entertainmt for horse men & foot men: but hath liberty to sell wt wine & strong waters he hath laid in in respect to ye ordinary, and Lt Challis is to take notis of wt he hath layd in & to make returne thereof to ye clarke wthin 14 dayes." 13, 2M, 1669, he was also licensed "to keep ye ordinary for Amsbury for ye yeare ensuing." He took "ye oath of Allegiance & fidelity" before Majo' Robert Pike in "Eamsbery," Dec. 20, 1677. He is also frequently mentioned as a juror, on the Old Norfolk records.

John* Hoyt always signed his own name in full, and evidently had a pretty good education for a common man of those times. In old deeds (of which he gave and received a large number), he is sometimes called a "planter," and sometimes a "carpenter." He and his father sold buildings and land to the town for the use of the ministry, soon after Amesbury was incorporated. He had a seat assigned him in the meeting house, July 9, 1667. His name frequently appears on the Amesbury records as lot-layer, constable, &c. He was chosen a "standing lot-layer," 12 March, 1667-8; constable, 1674 and '77-8; to rectify bounds of land, 1680-1 ; constable in Thomas Stevens' place, April, 1690; added to committee "to return the bounds of land into the towne book of Records," March, 1690-1;* chosen '" Clarke of ye markett" for the town of Amesbury, 1692-3, &c, &c.

pp20-21
Hoyt family: A genealogical history of John Hoyt of Salisbury, and David Hoyt of Deerfield, (Massachusetts,) and their descendants: with some account of the earlier Connecticut Hoyts, and an appendix, containing the family record of William Barnes of Salisbury, a list of the first settlers of Salisbury and Amesbury, & c (Google eBook) by David Webster Hoyt (C. Benjamin Richardson, Boston, Ma. 1857)

Despite his high standing in the community, John Hoyt Jr. would find himself
in a bit of a legal predicament. I'll discuss that in the next post, along with a story
about his wife, my 7x great grandmother Mary Barnes,

To be continued.  

THE SIXTH ANNUAL GREAT GENEALOGY POETRY CHALLENGE: A REMINDER

Just a friendly reminder about the Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry
Challenge! Deadline for your blogpost submissions is Thursday, November
20th and I'll be posting the list of links here on Thanksgiving Day which
this year is Thursday, November 27th.


Here once again are the Challenge rules:
1. Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal. It can even be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written!
0r if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video of someone
performing the song. 


2. Post the poem or song to your blog (remembering to cite the source
where you found it.).  If you wish to enter an older post, you may as long

as long as it has not appeared here in an earlier Poetry Challenge.
 
3.Tell us how the subject of the poem or song relates to your ancestor's
home or life, or the area of the country where they lived.

4.Submit your post's link here to me by midnight Thursday, November 20th
and I'll publish all links to the entries on Thanksgiving Day, November 27th!

If  you submit a humorous poem or song that will be entered under the
"Willy Puckerbrush" division. Willy was the late geneablogger Terry
Thornton's alias for some humorous posts and comments.


The deadline is about a month and a half away, so there's plenty of time
still to find that poem. I've already received several blogpost links, and
I hope you'll add more to them,