Sunday, June 21, 2015

Founding Fathers

The Mayflower

I've had some fabulous luck with my mother's difficult family in the past 6 months, so I thought I had better look at some holes in my Dad's side. His Canadians have turned out to be mostly Loyalists, which means that they left America around the time of the Revolution.

I had previously determined that one line there, Herrington, had begun in New Brunswick with Loyalist Joseph Corbin Herrington, my 4x great grandfather, who arrived there in the Spring Fleet in May of 1783 as a single man. I haven't found anything about his origin. But his wife, Mercey Ryder, is another story!

Mercey's father, Ebenezer, was born in Chatham, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. His parents, John & Mary (Paine) moved the family to Southeast, NY when Ebenezer was four. He grew up, married, bought his own land there and raised a family of 7 children.

When the war started, Ebenezer stood with the Loyalists, which resulted in his property being confiscated and him being driven behind the British line. His wife, still in Southeast, lost an infant and then her own life in 1782. He then packed up his children, boarded "The Two Sisters," and headed for part of Nova Scotia (later to become New Brunswick), where they were promised 200 acres of Crown land and two years' provisions. ( I would guess that this is also what happened to the Herringtons.)

Ebenezer settled in Maugerville in the summer of 1783 and awaited his land grant. He died a year later, with his grant coming just 26 days later. The children ranged in age from 9 to 17, leaving Stephen, the eldest, to raise them.

Signing of the Mayflower Compact

Now to get to the Founding Fathers part of the story! Ebenezer Ryder's mother was Mary Paine, whose father was Ebenezer Paine (1692 - 1762) of Cape Cod. He is descended from two Mayflower passengers - Stephen Hopkins (through his father Joseph Paine) and William Brewster (through his mother Patience Sparrow). Mary Paine also traces to William Brewster through her mother, Rebecca Mayo. Both men are my 11x great-grandfathers and both authored and signed the Mayflower Compact.

Stephen Hopkins was an adventurer who started out on a journey to Jamestown in 1609, having left  his family in England. On the voyage, the ship  hit a hurricane, was blown off course and shipwrecked on Bermuda. While there for 10 months, he was sentenced to death for mutiny, talked his way out of that and helped build 2 ships to carry them back to Virginia. He turned around the conditions of the settlers there, but returned to England upon learning of his wife Mary's death. A factual book on Stephen Hopkins' life is pictured below.)

He remarried, heard of the Mayflower journey and packed up his children and new wife to sail to America. His daughter Constance, also on the ship,  is who I am descended from.

Constance married Col. Nicholas Snow who came over on the ship "Anne"  in 1623. They moved to and founded Nauset, later called  Eastham, on Cape Cod around 1645 with 6 others. He was the first town clerk, a deputy, surveyor of highways, constable and selectman. They had 12 children.

Beaver hat said to belong to Constance Hopkins Snow, in Plymouth Hall Museum

Their daughter Mary married Thomas Paine, Jr, another of the founders of Eastham,  They had 11 children, including my ancestor Joseph Paine.

Joseph was town clerk of Harwich. He married Patience Sparrow and had 11 children.

Patience Sparrow's descendency is as follows:

William Brewster, his wife and 2 of his sons were passengers on the Mayflower. William was the only university educated passenger and a Separatist leader. Upon arrival in Plymouth, he became the senior elder of the colony, its religious leader and advisor to Gov. Bradford. He was granted land on the islands of Boston Harbor which bear his name. His daughter Patience, our ancestor, came over in July, 1823 on the "Anne."
Likeness of William Brewster

Patience Brewster married Gov. Thomas Prence who had arrived on the "Fortune" in 1621. They had 4 children before her death, after which he married 3 more times. He served 3 terms as governor of Plymouth colony. He presided over Plymouth's first witch trial and is said to have handled it reasonably. He, too, helped found Eastham and was one of its biggest landowners on the Cape.

Their daughter Hannah married first Nathaniel Mayo and had 3 children before he died. She then married Captain Jonathan Sparrow.  Jonathan Sparrow came here with his parents about 1632. He was a Lieutenant in King Philip's War, then Captain of the militia of Eastham; deputy, representative to the Massachusetts General Court and magistrate for many years. They had our ancestor Patience Sparrow, who married Joseph Paine.

So, on this Fathers Day, my hat is off to these men and their sons, who founded this great country!