Saturday, November 24, 2012


The consequences of the case presented in Court in March 1663 began to be
felt two months later in the May session:

Ipswich 5May 1663
"Elizabeth Webster, for taking a false oath, was ordered to stand at the meeting
house door at Newbury next lecture day, from the ringing of the first bell until
the minister was ready to begin prayer, with a paper on her head written in
capital letters, "For taking a false oath in Court," the constable to see it done,
or else to pay a fine of five pounds to the treasurer and to be disabled for
taking an oath. She made choice to stand at the door."

And the object of Henry Greenland's advances didn't escape unscathed, either"

"Mary Roffe, upon her presentment for several miscarriages, was ordered to pay
a fine and was bound to good behaviour.§"

The footnote went into more detail as to what those miscarriages were:

"§The wife of John Rofe was presented for reporting a scandalous lie that John
Emery, sr., brought the doctor to her house unknown to her, when she herself
came and invited them. Wit: Jo. Emery, sr., and his wife, Hester Bond and Elizabeth
Webster. For putting fig dust in Mr. Greenland's bed and reporting it was Elizabeth
Webster, and said Greeneland being in the cellar where his medicines were, and
the maid going to draw beer, said Mary Rofe shut the door upon the maid, stood
before it and bade the maid remember her love to all she saw and kiss all she met.
Wit: Jo. Emery, sr., and his wife, and Ebenezor Emery. For coming to John Emerie's
house five nights after the time that she said Mr. Greeneland had assaulted her,
laid down on his bed and the same night put a couple of stones in his bed, and
since said Greenland was bound to good behavior she had sought his company
both in their house and barn. Wit: Jo. Emery and his wife, Elizabeth Webster,
William Neffe and Hester Bond. For keeping company at unseasonable hours
of the night at her house to the disturbance of the neighbors. Wit: Tho. Silver
and his wife. For riding with Mr. Cording at unseasonable times in the night,
since as she says he offered that attempt of uncleanness. For reporting that Mr.
Fuller would have committed a rape with her had he not been hindered by their
coming in. Wit: Peeter Cheny, Hester Bond and Elizabeth Webster."

"Fig dust", by the way appears to be small pieces of tobacco. I'm not sure if this
was some sort of signal or if it was a Puritan variation of short-sheeting.

This was the same court session in which my ancestor John Emery was accused of
entertaining Quakers in his house. One of the witnesses against him was Mary
Rolfe's husband, John. Remember, Rolfe had asked John Emery to watch out for
Mary Rolfe while Rolfe was away. The two families were neighbors and the fact that
Rolfe asked Emery for his help seems to indicate there was trust and friendship
between them. But when John Rolfe returned to Newbury sometime in April 1663
he found his wife involved in a scandal that probably was the talk of all of Essex
County. I suspect he was looking to settle some scores, beginning with John Emery.
So he testified that:

"I doe testifie that I being at John Emerys Sr house about 3 weeks after that time
did see two Quakers there & I herd him say to them & som others that were there
y' Joseph Noyce came to his house & told him that ther were two quakers coming
towards his house & wisht him not to entertaine them, he sayd if they came to his
house they should be welcom & he would not forbid them there they were when
I cam in & there I left them I was there upon occasion neare an houer & there were
prsent in goodman Emerys house wiliam Ilsly Sr & John muselwhitt."

There were still the two men who'd pursued Elizabeth to deal with: Richard
Cording had already left Essex County,but Greenland was still about town in

John Rolfe hired a lawyer.

To be continued.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Welcome to the Fourth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge!
The rules for the Challenge are simple:

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!
Or if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video
of someone performing the song.

While there were no songs or videos submitted this year, there were some
really great poetry submissions. The poets range from famous figures to
a grandmother writing about her granddaughters and a daughter writing 
about her father. There are two that will amuse you and one that will make 
you smile through tears. There might not be as many entries as in previous
years but their quality makes up for the lack of quantity.

So let's begin!

Dorene Paul of  Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay brings us a poem 
written by an unknown poet in which Sandusky Bay itself offers a
Verse in Honor of Sandusky Pioneers  . It reminds me a bit of Walt

Over at TransylvanianDutch John Newmark chose two poets that have
a connection to his ancestors' home in England, and they are both
well-known writers. The first, "The Blacksmith" by Charles Dickens
John chose because some of his ancestors followed that trade. The
second is a satirical poem, "The Bigot", by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Both poems are humorous, but "The Blacksmith" wins the Willy
Puckerbrush Award for Most Humorous Poem. Read them both in    
Fourth Annual Genealogy Poetry Challenge: Portsmouth, Hampshire 

Barbara Poole was researching some names and a location and did a
Google search. What she found was an obituary, and a poem. It's on
Barbara's Life from the Roots blog in the post she entitled
Palmer, Daisy, Lowell and a Poem.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo's submission is Poems by my Grandmother
over on the Nutfield Genealogy blog. Her grandmother wrote many
poems, and what makes the two poems Heather chose  special is that
they are about her and her sister.

My Ellingwood family cousin Pam Carter and I have ancestral roots in
Bethel, Maine. Pam found a poem by Lucy Larcom, a poet from Beverly,
Massachusetts where our Ellingwood ancestors lived. Talk about
synchronicity!  Read On the Ledge by Lucy Larcom at My Maine Ancestry..

When Debbie's father died she couldn't find an appropriate poem for the
back of his funeral card, so she wrote one herself. She did a wonderful job.
This is my favorite submission in this year's Challenge. Go to her post
Funeral Card Friday- Dad at Mascot Manor Genealogy
Boston recently marked the 140th anniversary of a fire in 1872 that 
destroyed nearly a quarter of the city and was especially destructive of 
the business district. Vickie Everhart at her blog
posts a poem about that fire written by a relative, Abner W. Harmon.
Its title is 1872::Great Boston Fire.  

Finally, for my own submission I searched for a poem that would reflect 
on the era of the Salem Witch trials which involved various ancestors, 
two of whom, Mary Towne Estey  and Rebecca Blake Ames, were among
those accused of witchcraft. I found one by the quintessential New England
here on West in New England

And that concludes the Fourth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge.
My thanks to all the participants for some really great posts!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


((First posted November 2011))

Whenever I am talking or writing about my Mayflower descent, for some
ironic reason I always forget about Remember Allerton. The reason for the
irony is that both my Dad's parents were Allerton descendants: Pop from
Remember Allerton and Grandma Bertha from Mary Allerton.:

My Warren ancestry also comes through my Barker line 

Allerton through Ellingwood Line

Isaac Allerton & Mary Norris
Remember Allerton & Moses Maverick
Abigail Maverick & Samuel Ward
Martha Ward & John Tuthill(Tuttle)
Martha Tuthill(Tuttle) & Mark Haskell
Martha Haskell & John Safford
Ruth Safford & Samuel Haskell
Martha Haskell & Moses Houghton
Sally Houghton & James Thomas Dunham
Florilla Dunham & Asa Freeman Ellingwood
Clara Ellingwood & Phillip Jonathan West
Floyd Earl West Sr  & Cora B Barker
Floyd Earl West Jr &  Anne Marie White

Allerton through Barker 

Isaac Allerton & Mary Norris
Mary Allerton & Thomas Cushman
Sarah Cushman & Adam Hawkes
John Hawkes & Mary(Margery)Whitford
Eva Hawkes & John Bancroft         Eunice Hawkes & Jacob Walton
John Bancroft & Mary Walton
Sally(Sarah)Bancroft & Francis Upton
Hannah Upton & Cyrus Moore
Betsey Jane Moore & Amos Hastings Barker
Charlotte Lovenia Barker & Frank W Barker
Cora B, Barker & Floyd Earl Wesrt Sr
Floyd Earl West Jr and Anne Marie White.

Warren Line

Richard Warren  &  Elizabeth (?)
Mary Warren & Robert Bartlett
Mary Bartlett & Jonathan Mowrey(Morey)
Hannah Mowrey(Morey) & John Bumpas
Mary Bumpas & Seth Ellis
Mary Ellis & Ephraim Griffith
John Griffith & Mary Boyden
Polly Griffith & Jonathan Phelps Ames
Arvilla S. Ames & John Cutter West
John Cutter West & Louisa Richardson
Phillip Jonathan West & Clara Ellingwood
Floyd Earl West Sr & Cora B Barker
Floyd Earl West Jr and Anne Marie White.

Monday, November 19, 2012


((First posted November 2011))

Back when I first started researching the family genealogy online I was
thrilled to discover we were descended from several Mayflower passengers.
At one point I even carried around a small folded up piece of paper
in my wallet with the lines of descent to show when discussing genealogy
with some customer at the bookstore. But I lost that some time ago, so I
thought I'd post them here for other family members.

The first two lines come down through my Ellingwood line from
Stephen Hopkins and Thomas Rogers.

Hopkins Line
Stephen Hopkins and..
Constance Hopkins & Nicholas Snow
Elizabeth Snow & Thomas Rogers
Eleazer Rogers & Ruhamah Willis
Experience Rogers & Stephen Totman
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White

Rogers Line
Thomas Rogers
Joseph Rogers & Hannah___
Thomas Rogers & Elizabeth Snow
Eleazer Rogers & Ruhamah Willis
Experience Rogers & Stephen Totman
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White

Chilton Line
James Chilton & ?
Isabella Chilton & Roger Chandler
Sarah Chandler & Moses Simmons
Moses Simmons Jr & Patience Barstow
Patience Simmons & George Barrows
Moses Barrows & Mary Carver
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White


Before I move on to what happened when John Rolfe came home and found
out my ancestor John Emery had done a poor job of "looking out" for Mary
Rolfe while John was away, I wanted to be sure I hadn't missed anything else
involving her in the March 1663 court session. There was, but it didn't have
anything to do with her troubles with Henry Greenland.

This time, it was Greenland's friend, Richard Cordin:

"Richard Cordin was complained of for attempting, on Dec. 9, 1662, to assault Mary,
wife of John Roffe in the stable or cowhouse of her mother Bishop. He desired to
be tried by a jury and was found guilty.. Court sentenced him to prison to remain
until the next session of court and then to be whipped, unless he paid a fine of
twenty pounds."

The footnotes give the details:

"The complaint against Richard Cording was made by some of the selectmen of
Newbery. Mary Rolfe and Sarah Sculler testified that about Dec. 9, 1662, Goody
Bushop being sick, Mr. Cordin was sent for. Her daughter Marie Roffe was there
to attend her: "and then falling in to a fitt as manie times she doth Ether by
suden Joy or suden fer Mr Cordin then acted veri Louingly for hir help: afterward
he gaue hir mother a dram of phisick and bid hir sleep but she being in Extremiti
Could not sleep then he went to supper and neer two houers after she Could not
sleep: then he gaue hir som thing on the point of a knife and said now she will
sleep untill the morning: then he desired Marie to show him wher hir horse was:
she Answered hir horse was well for he was lookt to all Redy and fed well: he
staid a litl while," etc. She went out with him, fearing to cross him, lest he harm
her mother, and telling her sister that she would cry out if she were in any danger.
In the stable he struck the candle out of her hand and she ran in front of the cows.
He charged her to have a care for the cows, and she said she would as soon be
gored by the cows as to be defiled by such a rogue as he, etc. She cried out to

Sara, and she sent out the negro, and Cordin threatened her if she told of it. 
Sworn before Daniel Denison."

"William Neaff and Elizabeth Webster deposed that they heard Goodman Roaffe's
wife say in their house that "Mr Cording was as pretty a Carriadg man as Euer shee
saw in hir life," and at another time "that Mr Cordin had given out som words to
Mr Greeneland aboute hir miscariadg and further she said if Mr Cordin had hold his
tonge she would not have Charged anithing uppon him." Sworn, 1:2:1663, before
Wm. Hathorne.

John Knight, sr., deposed that this last summer, he was at his son's house in the
evening, and Goodwife Rofe and Mr. Cording came in about an hour and a half
after sunset. Sworn before Daniel Denison."

Now we have a second man accused of improper advances towards Mary Rolfe.
I wish there was a picture of her, because I have to wonder what a woman looked
like to inspire such hot pursuit by a pair of rakes like Greenland and Cordin!

Perhaps confinement gave Cordin time to reflect upon the price of his behavior:

"Richard Corddin, upon petition to this court, was released from imprisonment
provided he give security to depart this jurisdiction within one week. Mr. Samuell
Symonds and Major Genll. Denison were ordered to take security."

So Richard Cordin decided to leave Essex County, which was probably just as well,
since he wouldn't be around when John Rolfe returned home.

To be continued.

Friday, November 16, 2012


We're now nearly at the end of the testimony in the case against Henry
Greenland 's advances to the married Mary Rolfe. One of the things I've
wondered about reading the published transactions is whether the order
of the depositions are printed in the exact chronological order they
were given. It would seem so in this case, since in this next deposition
John Emery's wife refers to her daughter's earlier testimony:

Hana (her mark) Noic, aged about twenty years, deposed that Goody Emerie said
that she never saw any evil carriage between Mr. Grenland and Goody Roff.
Further that Mr. Grenland was a traveler and a stranger and one who was very
politic and no fool, and that she loved the woman as her own child and would
not do her harm for her hand, etc. She further deposed that Goody Emerie
accused her daughter, Betie Webster, of taking a false oath before the magistrate
and Betie answered that she had said nothing but what she would stand to.
Then her mother told her she lied and had taken her oath to a paper that she
had heard read but once. "Betie said I never said so: nor never took oth to
Nothing but the truth and that I will stand to the death." Deponent's mother
and herself being together at Goody Rof's, they saw the maid Bete Webster
much troubled and crying. "My mother asked her why she was troubled she
Answered my mother is such a trouble to me I cannot Eate nor sleep My
mother ansur was if you have spoken nothing but the truth what need you be
troubled." Mary Noyes also testified to the same. Sworn in court.

Barbri (her mark) Elsly, aged about fifty years, deposed that being at the new
town where Betie Webster was, she asked her if it were true that the doctor
was in Goody Roff's house, and she said it was. Deponent said, "0 Lasse why
did you let him in at dore: she answered that he did so Fumbel at the dore she
thought he would have broke it open: but she said would we had Lett him haue
broke it open for then it is said he would have bin hanged: I said I wished thay
had not let him in thoug: she said that he desired but to light a pipe of tobaco
and vowed he would not touch them so she said she let him in: I said did not
you nor goody Roffe se him put of his Clothes before he Cam in to bed: she
answered no for she was unreking the fier fore she said she had newly Raked it
up and thought Mr Grenland had stood behind hir: and she said goody Roffe was
a bed feeding her child with her bac towards the fier . . . betie said goody Rofe
was so afrighted that she fell into a greevios fitt: then beti said sir what haue you
don you have put the woman in to a fitt that she fered whether she would be
well to night: and she said he made answer the Devell had such fitts or sent such
fitts and it was nothing but a mad fitt. then I asked betie whether he did not give
her som Comfortabl thing in hir fitt: and she said no no kind of thing but Railed at
hir: betee said when Goody Rofe was Recovred then goody Rofe said sir who haue
giuen the ofenc or what ofenc haue I given that you should speke such words: then
betie tould me that as soon as he se she Could speke he went in to bed again: then
I asked why goody Rofe did not Crie out: Crie out said betie she did Cri out and said
lord help me what shall I do he will . . . and she said upon the out Crie or hering the
out Crie he Cam in and then I hope her up: morour I said to betie dost thinke she
. . . well then said I am perswaded goody Rofe is an honest woman and so am I said
betie," etc. Sworn in court.

All of these depositions starting with Part 2 of this series of blogposts are from
pp47-55 of Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 
Massachusetts Vol3 (Essex Institute 1913).

Looking back on all this, we have the rambunctious Henry Greenland  apparently
taking liberties with both Mary Rolfe and  Elizabeth Webster. John Emery, who
had promised Mary's husband he'd watch over her, seemed to feel it wasn't a
serious matter and in fact ignored his duty as a grand juryman by not reporting
Greenland to the authorities. Mary Rolfe herself doesn't want to report it either,
claiming she doesn't want to see Greenland hung, but I had to wonder if it was
more to protect her own reputation. After all, this was the society Hawthorne
wrote about in "The Scarlet Letter."

Indeed, it did all come out. Greenland was charged with soliciting Mary
Rolfe to adultery and was found guilty.  John Emery was probably dismissed
from the grand jury.  But there was still more repercussions.

John Rolfe, Mary's husband, came home.

To be continued,...

Thursday, November 15, 2012


So far most of the depositions in the case against John Greenland seem to
show that Mary Rolfe was not an unwilling target of his advances. Now her
mother, Rebecca Bishop, stepped forward with testimony supporting her
daughter. It also casts my ancestor John Emery in a somewhat unflattering

I believe the "G:" is an abbreviation for "Goodman":

"Rebbecca Bishop deposed, Mar. 30, 1663, that about Jan. 14, last, "my daughter
Sarah told mee shee being at meeting shee saw her sister Mary Rolf sadd &
mallencholly her eyes swoln with crying, sighed. Shee asked her what was the
matter? Shee wept & saide, shee was so troubled & haunted with Greenland
that shee could not tell what to doe. The next day at night Greenland came to
my house, (wherfore, I know not) I knowing nothing did kindly entertaine him
& haveing a little before Received some kindnes from him I invited him to supper;
After supper hee told stories & drank liker till near midnight, & then went away.
My daughter Sarah desired mee to let her goe to her sister Mary y* night, I asked
her why shee would goe? Shee saide, I am afraide this man will goe thither to
night for shee have been much troubled with him: I told her shee should not goe,
But I would Goe my self to morrow, which I did. When I came neer the house I
mett her boy with a glass, hee told mee hee was going for licker for the doctour
I asked where the doctor was, hee saide hee was within. When I came in, my
daughter & both looked saddly. The maids Mother sent for her, & the old man
my daughters uncle went forth, I staied neer two houres & Greenland did not
goe away: I had no Oppertunity to speak with my Daughter till at length I calld
her forth & saide; what is the Reason this man come hither? She saide I know
not I would he came Less. I told her I heard things were not well; Shee seemed
to feare to tell mee all, But saide, hee had often with many Arguments inticed
her to the act of uncleanes but god had hitherto helped her to resist him &
hoped still hee would. She had told him one word is as good as a thousand,
The Sinn was odious to her and shee would never be unfaithful! to her husband.
I said; will you venture to lay under these temptations & concealed wickednes,
you may Provoak God to Leave you & then you will come under Great Blame.
Shee answered Mother I know not what to doe; Hee is in Creditt in the Towne
some take him to be godly & say hee hath grace in his face, he have an honest
looke, he have such a carriage that he deceiue many: It is saide hee is in Credditt
with those that are in Authority in the Country: It is saide the Gouerner sent
him a letter Counting it a mercy such an Instrument was in the Country, and
what shall such a pore young woman as I doe in such a case, my husband beeing
not at home. Betty & I have promised to bee faithfull to each other & to help
one another. 

Apparently the old man mentioned in earlier testimony was an older
uncle of Mary Rolfe.What's interesting in that first part is that Henry Greenland
was a respected man, despite his behavior, and Mary told her mother that she
was afraid she might not be believed if she brought a complaint against him.

"I asked her if shee had told her uncle that so hee might bee
within. Shee saide if I should tell my uncle it would bee publique I have spoken
to him to bee within and will speake more to him with this I was somthing
aunswered at present & went away. A little while after I came againe &
Greenland was gone, And then my Daughter & the maide told mee all. I
beeing much troubled saide; These things are not to bee kept private, wee
may Justly Prouoake God, y* further mischeife may follow & then wee shall
come under Great Blame: Beside the trouble that will bee to my conscience as
long as I live. Shee saide, Mother, I have told you, & Goodman Emery, and hee
have promised to bee a father to mee, & hee saith it is best to keep it private
seeing there is no harm done, & that hee will looke to him, watch him, & lock
him upp at night. I went home much troubled, And knowing Greenland knew
it was Revealed I was afraide hee would have done some mischiefe that
night. The same night I sent a young man & my daughter Sarah & bade her
tell her sister y* these things were not [to] bee kept private, y* Goodman
Emery beeing grand Jury-man must present them. In the morning my
Daughter Sarah came home and told mee, that Goodman Emery & his wife
desired  y* I would pass it by this time & they would warrant no more harm
should bee done, & if there were they would send mee word, & that their
owne Childe was in as great danger. I saide can G: Emery pass it by. Shee
told mee  G: Emery was coming to satisfy mee about it.

"I Going to my Daughters mett G: Emery, & wee fell into discourse about it,
Hee Advised to keep it Close & warranted there should bee no more harm
done. I asked him how hee could satisfy mee soe? Hee told mee hee would
lock him up at night, & lock the lickers from him, that hee should not bee
drunk. I saide if hee had been drunk hee would have kept his bedd. Hee
told mee thet hee was halfe drunk & then he was worse then dead drunk.
I told him hee might come upon them & spoile them both. Hee answered,
That was true, I then asked Goodman Emery how hee could dispence with
his oath beeing Grandjuryman. He answered, That I cann doe very well, I
see no harm in none of them. This discourse was as we were going toward
G: Emery's house. Hee desired mee not to speak with Greenland, I told
him I did not intend it. When wee came to his house, meeting with Goody
Emery, Shee & I fell into discourse about the buisynes. When Shee
understood it Shee seemed to bee much troubled, & wished hee had never
come to her house, & if they were paide for what hee had shee would hee
were gone shee & I went to our daughters & examined them & found the
matter more gross than at first. more over Goody Emery told mee that hee
saide if Betty . . . shee might lay it to the hatter: I told Goody Emery I dare
not keep such things as these private upon my owne head, Shee wished mee
to doe wisely. I desyring God to direct mee, That night I Revealed all to a
wise man in y* Towne desyring his Advice, who did set mee in a way to bring
it where now it is.'' Sworn in court."

So everyone except Rebecca Bishop wanted to keep things quiet. Even John
Emery, a grand juryman feels that way and tells Rebecca  he sees no harm
in what has happened. That statement that Rebecca "found  the matter more 
gross than at first"  seems to hint that Betty Webster had been intimate
with Greenland. 

There are two more short depositions, and then I'll discuss the fallout.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Now that Mary Rolfe had her say, it was time for her Newbury neighbors to
give their statements. Reading this it would seem the concern she'd voiced
in her petition over what they'd say is understandable.

Once again I've left the grammar and spelling as they were transcribed.
In these statements, it seems the letter"e" from the ends of some words.
So the phrase "one time"  was spelled "on tim". Also, the term "sack" refers
to a type of wine.

The first statement comes from a William Neafe or Nease:

"Will. Neafe deposed that being at John Emery's that night, which was five nights
after Goodwife Rolfe accused Mr. Grinland, she and Elizabeth went up into the
chamber. After they had been there awhile, Jo. Emery came down and after him
Goodwife Bond, Goodwife Emery and Elizabeth, and a good space after came
Goodwife Rofe and Mr. Grinland. At supper she was so loving that she and Mr.
Grinland ate out of one dish and with one spoon. Sworn in court".

"Greenland when he Cam to John Emery's house got a vesel of strong licker and
often was merie and urged me to drinke and tould me if I would not drinke it he
would poure it in . . . and on tim did: and urged me often.

on tim John Emris wife sonn nathan webster Cam for me and bought a horse for
me I asked the boy what to do I not being willing to go: the boy said he did not
know unless it wer to drinke strong licers betie was ther and had it but I did not

So Henry Greenland liked his liquor and apparently didn't like drinking alone.

"Barbri Elsly deposed that she heard Goody Emeri say that her daughter Elen did
belie her own father and that she could not trust her about anything. Wiliam Ilsly,
aged about sixteen years, testified the same. Sworn in court."

I'm not certain what connection Elen(Eleanor) Emery had to the events at
the Rolfe house.

Peter Cheney was next:

"Peeteer Cheney deposed that being accidentally at Goodwife Rolfe's, she
persuaded him to go with her to talk to Goodman Emory, for she said her mother
knew about Mr. Greenland. When she went in she said "father emorey: if you doe
not stand my freend I am quite ondun: goodman Emory replied: if you haue dunn
so I Cann not helpe it," and she persuaded Goodman Emorey to see her mother,
etc. Sworn in court."

But the most damning incident was this one sworn to by Henry Lesenby: 

"Henri (his mark) Lesenby, aged about eighteen years, deposed that the beginning
of last January, he came by the house of John Rolfe about eleven or twelve o'clock
at night and heard a shriek so he went straight into the house. He asked Goody
Rolfe what was the matter and she said nothing, but he went to the bedside because
he thought there was somebody there. "I saw the hed of a man and felt him and I did
know it was Mr. Greenland so the woman and I went out adore to Consider what was
best to be don so we thought becas he was a stranger and a great man it was not 

best to make an up Rore but to let him go away in a priuat maner and first to speke 
of it to som friends and further s° there was a light in the roome & I knew him by 
his face & saw his clothes lye upon a box by the bedsyde." Sworn in court."

Henry had caught Henry Greenland in the bed of  Mary Rolfe, a married
woman, yet neither he nor Mary want to make an uproar over the incident? 

The popular image of Puritans is that they were sober, pious people. Well,
they probably were pious but  sober might be anther matter:

"Mary Emery, sr., Hester Bond and Elizabeth Webster testified that they were 
together at Goodman Emerye's house and Goody Roaf and Elizabeth Webster 
wagered a quart of sack to be drunk among them. Elizabeth lost and Goody Rolfe 
would have it drunk at her house the next night. Sack was not to be had, and a 
quart of liquor was procured instead, so they went down to Goody Rof's to drink 
the liquor being burnt with water they drank part of it. Then Mary Roafe said 
she would save part of it until Mr. Greenland came home for she said he seemed 
to be a pretty man and she desired to be acquainted with him."


Two more statements dealt with what witnesses heard John and Mary Emery
say about the matter. James Ordway, by the way, was their son in law, He and
Anne Emery are my 8x great grandparents:

"James Ordway deposed that he heard Jo. Emery and his wife exhort Goodwife 
Rofe not to carry herself so lovingly and fondly toward Mr. Grinland. John Emery 
owned it in court.

Mary, wife of Jo. Emery, also deposed.

Sara Knight, aged sixteen years, deposed that being at Goodman Emeris to grind 

some corn to make some samp, Goody Emerie said that Goody Rofe was a lying 
woman and if she had not exclaimed against her husband, nobody would have 
said anything against her. Sworn in court."

So the Emery's had  been heard cautioning Mary Rolfe about her behavior.
But since James Ordway was the Emerys' son in law, was his statement true?
Whatever the truth was, most of the people involved were most definitely
not the stereotypical Puritans. Things did not look good for Mary.

Lucky for her her mother had something to say about all this.

To be continued. 


Monday, November 12, 2012


To recap the story so far:  Before leaving on a trip, John Rolfe asked my
ancestor to watch over his wife,Mary Rofe, while he was away. John's
step daughter Elizabeth Webster went to stay with Elizabeth. Meanwhile,
two strangers, Henry Greenland and John Cordin who apparently were
both physicians, had taken a room at the Emerys' husehold.

Two things about the text: in some words the letter v had been transcribed
as a letter u. So "unciuill discourse" is  "uncivill discourse".

The other mater is the word sampe mentioned at the dinner. Sampe was
a corn mush that was originally a Native American dish.

 The first testimony is from Mary Rolfe and Elizabeth Webster:

"Mary Rolfe and Elizabeth Webster deposed "that the first time that Mr Grenland
Came to our house John Emerie brought him and Mr Cordin and goody Emerie
Came with him and it was late in the night: and John Emerie Came before and
asked whether the old man wer a bed and said he would bring the two docters
thither: which he did: and about twelve oclock John Emery and his wife went
away and left the two docters there: but before John Emerie went away Came
Richard Doles boy henerie Lesenbe to our house and John Emerie Charged the
boy he should not tell his master who was there.

"hauing Received severall abuses both my selfe and the maide that is with me,
we did agree to be still together and to help on another: upon a time the maide
had ocasion to go to hir father Emeris house about a pere of bodis shee desired
me to go with hir: and when we Cam ther we hering goody Emerie and hir daughter
was in the Chamber, we went up and ther was John Emeri likwis and though
unknown to us this mr Grenland was in the bed sick as they said: at last thay went
down all but goodman Emeri and I: and I thought to speke to mr Greenland about
the abuse he ofred to me: before goodman Emerie he formerly pretending to be a
friend to me I tooke this opertunitie I siting upon the Chest: but before I Could
speke, mr grenland Called me to speke with him, I bid him speke but he said I
should Com neerer to speke in privat: but I said here is non but goodman Emerie
but he Ernestly desired me to Com neerer, so I came and he Catched me by the
apron and broke my apron strings and I gaue way to saue my apron and he Caught
me by the arme and pulled me . . . then I said sir I wonder you ar so unciuell . . .
then I Called to goodman Emerie and asked him if it wer not an unciuell part:
then Mr Grenland said if his landlord would say it is an unciuell part he would let
me go: but goodman Emerie made no answer but Laught nether would he help me
. . . though I spoke to him: but with striving I got from him and went downe out of
the Chamber: after this Mr grenland Came down: and John Emerie Invited us to
supper and when Mr Grenland and we wer sett down to supper and while John
Emerie was Craving a blesing and before John Emerie had half don Mr grenland
put on his hatt and spread his napkin and stored the sampe and saide Com
Landlord light supper short grace.

"After supper ther was a great del of Rude and unciuill discors mr grenland speking
that if hes wife should dy he would not marrie ... he had a pretee young wife . . .
This besid a greet del of such lik discourc ther being John Emeris young son and
daughter and his wifs daughter and William Neffe and divers others."

So far John Emery doesn't come off too well in this account of events. He doesn't
seem to be too concerned about Greenland's advances towards Mary Rolfe.

There'd been some hanky panky upstairs and downstairs. Now it was about to move
"up in milady's chambers."

To be continued.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


On Veteran's Day I'd like to pay tribute to the members of
our family who have served our country from it's birth. I don't
have all the details of the service records, and I'm sure I will
discover more relatives with service records, but this is what
I have so far. I've updated the list to include my recent discovery
of Nathaniel Barker's service in the War of 1812:

American Revolution: 
Jonathan Barker Jr. My 4x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with rank of Sergeant.
He responded to Lexington and Concord with his sons
Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode
Island and then with Nathaniel Gage's Company in Colonel
Jacob Gerrish's guards from Dec 1777 tol April 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 5x great grandfather

Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John
Davis' Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the
Massachusetts line for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the
conclusion of the term, he reenlisted for another 3 months in
Capt John Allen's Company, Colonel John Waldron's Regiment,
General Sullivan's Brigade in the New Hampshire Brigade at
Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a third time in June 1778
at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel Carr's Company, Col.
James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's Brigade at
White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames       My 5x great grandfather

Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 18th,
1775. He then enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain
Oliver Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and
in the Brigade that was commanded in turn by Generals
Putnam, Lee, and Washington and served for 8 1/2 months.
For a more detailed account of his service see my posts
about his Revolutionary War Pension File starting here.

Asa Barrows    My 4x great grandfather

A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of Boston. In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed
there for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time
in a militia company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill
that marched to Tiverton, R.I. I posted about his
Revolutionary War Pension File starting here.

Moses Coburn  My 4x great grandfather

Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of 1781."
When he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in
Captain Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the
Massachusetts line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in
which he served for nearly two years until it was broken up.
He then transferred to the Company of Judah Alden in the
Regiment commanded by Colonel Sprouts until his discharge
in 1783.

Samuel Haskell   My 5x great grandfather

Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings   My 5x great grandfather

Amos was responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of
Captain Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William
Johnson's Regiment. He later served in Captain Timothy
Eaton's Company in Colonel Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment
and was at the taking of the British General Burgoyne at

Elisha Houghton   5x great grandfather

Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777 in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and
was at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and
twice was busted back down to the ranks.

Amos Upton    My 5x great grandfather

Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from
his home in Reading. He later joined the militia company
commanded by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant
and then enlisted for eight months in the Continental Army
under Colonel Mansfield for 8 months. He was at the Battle
of Bunker Hill. He was discharged in October of 1775.

John Griffith  My 5x great grandfather

Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of
the cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain
William Treadwell's Company in Colonel John Crane's
Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard   My 5x great grandfather

A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel
Bailey's militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the
Alarm. He also responded several more times as a Minuteman
for a total of nearly 8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbot    My 5x great grandfather

Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry
Abbott and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Samuel Stowe  My 5x great grandfather

Minuteman from Sherborn, Ma. Served in Capt. Benjamin Bullard's
Company in Col. Asa Whitcomb's 5th Massachusetts Bay
Provincial Regiment

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan
Barker, Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker.

War of 1812
John Griffith My 5x great grandfather

served in Capt Elias Morse's Company, Col. Holland's Regiment
as part of a artillery company defending Portland, Maine.

Amos Hastings My 5x great grandfather
helped organize the militia in Bethel, Maine and rose
to the rank of Brigadier General  of the 2nd Brigade, 13th Division of
the Massachusetts State Militia.

Nathaniel Barker  My 3x great grandfather
was a private in  the company commanded by Captain William Wheeler
in the Regiment  of Militia commanded by Col. Ryerson, which was
stationed at Portland, Maine.

Civil War
Asa Freeman Ellingwood  My 2x great grandfather

enlisted in Company I, 5th Maine Infantry, on June 24, 1861.
He was at the First Battle of Bull Run after which he received
a medical discharge in Dec 1861. He reenlisted inCo "A" 9th
Veteran R Corps in September 1864 and served until the end
of the war when he was honorably discharged.

Other relatives who served in the Civil War:

 2x great granduncles:

 Leonidas West
 Enlisted in Company G 12 Maine Infantry Regiment on March 1,
1865. Mustered out on  18Apr 1866

Asa Atwood West
Enlisted in Company F of the Maine Coast Guard.

Oscar Phipps Ellingwood
Enlisted in Company E, New Hampshire 14th Infantry Regiment
23Sept 1862, mustered out 9Sep 1863. Transferred to Company
E,  U.S,.Veterans Reserve Corps 21st Infantry Regiment 9Sep 1863,
mustered out 11Jul 1865.


Charles O. Ellingwood
Enlisted 21 Dec 1863 in Company E, 9th New Hampshire Infantry.
Died 13Mar 1864 at Camp Burnside,Kentucky. (18 yrs old)

Henry O. Ellingwood Enlisted 25Oct 1862  Company K,  New
Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment, died  1Mar 1863 in Carollton, La.

Franklin Dunham
Died in the War. Haven't found any details as yet.

Spanish-American War
Hollis J Ellingwood My cousin
Enlisted 2May 1898 in Company A 1st Regiment Maine Infantry
Discharged 28Oct 1898

World War 1

 Floyd E West Sr. My grandfather

Enlisted 29Apr 1918. Served in Company K,303rd Infantry. He was a
corpsman at Camp Devens, Ma during the Spanish Influenza outbreak
and was honorably discharged 12 Mar 1919

World War II

Floyd E West Jr  My Dad

 Enlisted 19 Mar 1943 at 18 years old. After washing out of the Air Corps
Bomber School, he served in the US Army Infantry in the Pacific Theater  and
11 Mar 1946 at age 22

 Edward F White, Jr. My Uncle

Enlisted in the U.S.Navy on 27Oct 1942 at 17years old. He was honorably
discharged 18Apr 1946, a week before his 21st birthday.

Charles Barger My Uncle
I don't know the specifics of his service yet.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
 Paul Skarinka My Nephew

My nephew Paul Skarinka

Saturday, November 10, 2012


((I'm reposting this today in hopes that perhaps the relatives of the men
in the photograph might one day find this picture of their veterans. First posted
June, 2008))

I think I may have posted this photo once before. It's from
when my Dad was training for the Air Corps during World
War II before he washed out due to inner ear problems.

On the back is a partial list of names of his fellow trainees,
and I'm posting that image now and my attempt at
transcribing it here in the hopes that the children and
grandchildren of these men might find it someday and see
how they looked in their uniforms before they went off to

Because of the way the men are grouped it's hard for me to
assign names to specific faces. The only two I can are Michael
D. Piper Jr. and Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?) standing to
either side of my father Floyd E. West Jr. at the far right end
of the back row. I think the first name is actually Lee Mill
Sanders and that he just signed the list "last name first."

I also noticed that Daniel M. Jeffrey's name appears twice.
The first entry is crossed over so I've assumed that either
someone else had posted the name in the wrong place or he
had done so himself and then corrected his mistake. I've
changed the first entry to "unknown".

So here they are. I wonder how many of them made it
home after the war, and I thank them for their service
to our country.

Sanders Lee Mill Artesia N.M.

Palmer E. Severson Wanooka (?) Minn,

Jerald L. Swan Beatrice, Nebraska

Helmut Paul Zimmerman, Buffalo, N.Y.

Robert L. Rugg Pueblo, Colorado


Charles H. Parman, Skidmore, Mo.



Bill C. Hays San Angelo, Texas


Ward L. Warnock, Camden, Ark.

Michael C. Sanborn (?) Port Arthur, Tex.

Bob Moffet St. Joseph, Mo.


Ross Powill, Ellisville Miss

Daniel M. Jeffrey, Jeanette, La.

Allen D. Bailey Mpls Minnesota





Jack Sessions Colton, California

Jack Wendt -Pecos, Texas


Burton L. Steele, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob E Wick - Denver, Colorado

James H. Trask, Kansas City, Kansas

William E. Green - Eden, Texas



Michael D. Piper Jr. Queen City, Mo.

Floyd E. West

Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?) Roswell, New Mex.


The first records I found were from the March 31, 1663 court session held
at Ipswich , Massachusetts. The spelling and grammar are those used in
the period. You'll notice that the spelling of names change back and forth.

 The story starts with this entry. The asterik at the end denotes a footnote.:

"Henry Greeland was charged with several times soliciting Mary, wife of John 

Roffe, to adultery, especially on one night when he came into her own house to 
bed with her to her great affright. Said Greeleland desired to be tried by a jury,
which request was granted, and they found him guilty. Court sentenced him to 
prison to remain until the next session of court and then to be whipped, unless 
he pay a fine of thirty pounds. Greeland was bound to good behavior. Capt. 
Walter Barfoote and George Gouldwire, sureties.*"

Then follows the footnote, which is a letter concerning the sureties that was 
sent to the court the following August:

"Mr. Greenland hauing his wife come over is desirous to withdraw his appeale, 
& yet is not willing to endanger the forfeiture of his bond especially his sureties, 
I told him if he did submit to the sentence of Ipswich court, and could procure 
the consent of the Judge of that court to withdraw his appeale I did suppose he 
might save the forfeiture of his bond he desired me to signify my opinion to 
yourselfe that so if you & Mr Woodman are like minded, he may have that 
assurance that may direct him how to act, he will more fully impart his desires 
& reasons then is necessary for me to doe, hastily I rest
Yrs "Daniel Denison.
"Ips: Aug. 26, 1663.
"I assent to what is above written
August 26th, 1663 Samuel Symonds.

"I do likewise Asent to what is Above written, Auguste 27th 1663
"p Edward Woodman."

So Henry Greenland was accused and convicted of what might be
described as hanky-panky with Mary Rolfe.  He was released pending
his appeal but apparently wanted to drop it by August because of the
arrival of his wife from England.

But back in March, before the case proceeded and the various
witness statements were given, Mary Rolfe petitioned the court:

 Letter addressed: "For the Honord Mr Samuel Symonds, these."

Mary Rofe's petition:

"I would desier the honord Court to here me a few words. I am a poor young 

woman and in an aflicted Condition. My husband not being with me: he Litl 
knowing the trubls I haue met with: being a verie Louing husband to me as
 anie young woman Can Expect and provided for me in his absenc that I might 
liue Cherfully as he thought and want for nothing therefor he went unto John 
Emeris house and got John Emeri and his wife to be willing to let ther daughter 
Elizabeth Webster to Com and liue with me and to lye with me untill he Cam 
whom again: but by the prouidenc of god this fel out to be hurtfull to me: she 
was to worke for hir self and diat hir selfe: and by this means I was occasioned
to go often with hir to hir father Emeris house about his victualls and John 
Emerie promist to be || as || a father to me and a frend and Called me daughter 
and I him father: and I was often merily disposed as young persons use to be 
genrally but no uncivell Carig as goodman Emerie and his wife have both 

But so it fell out in the Intrim this Mr grenland Com to live in John Emeris

house: and this becam a snare to me and Cordin likewise frequenting grenlands 
Companie at that house: and I haue bin a salted by them and not only so: but 
grenland have Labored with manie of my naibours to posesse them that I am 
as guiltie as he and sais he can proue it. I hope it may apeer to the honored 
Court that not on of my naibors in all the toune nether neer nor further of 
Can say they saw anie uncivell Carridg or hurt by me in ther liues: and what 
wittnesses he will bring I know not: what so Euer thay be this is my Comfortt 
that I Can say in the psents of god and before his peopl with a good Concienc 
that nether grenland nor Cordin nor anie other Man in the world . . . what Euer
Aspercions haue bin Cast upon me it is the hand of god that is upon me and I 
desier to be willing to bere it and I hope It shall be a warning to me in what 
Companie I com in to henc forward."
mary (her mark) Rofe.

It seemed to me that Mary was a bit nervous about what her neighbors from
Newbury were going to say about her own part in the affair and wanted to get
her side of the story heard first.

I'll conclude this post with the very practical statement of  Constable Henry

.""My Charg for Bringen Mr Greenland before the magstrat and for looken 
for him is tweleue shilens henry Jaques Constabl neubry"

To be continued.

Friday, November 09, 2012


Before I launch into the story of John Emery and his neighbors the Rolfes, I
thought I'd mention how I'd found it.

I am very grateful for the free full text editions of Records and Files of the 
Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts available on Google
Books. It's been a great source of information and family history for me
because some of my ancestors, bless their souls, were not as "pure as the
new driven snow". Whenever I research one of them in the court files for
some specific case I always use the search feature for any other entries
for them in that particular volume and that often leads to another great
story. I've blogged about some of them here in The Haskell Inheritance
series, in The Case Of Roger Haskell And His Pitchfork, and the posts
about William Gerrish, to name a few.

That's what happened again with John Emery. The case involves John,
his wife, his step-children, his wife's former mother in law, the Rolfes,
and the two rather rakish gentlemen who were boarding with the Emerys.
It certainly had to have been the topic of much gossip and scandal in
Ipswich town, and centuries later has been cited in books on early
Massachusetts colonial history. I don't intend to get into the cultural
or sociological significance of it all. I will say that those who think
that the people of that period were all upstanding moral people need
to do a bit more research into everyday colonial life.

So if you have ancestors who lived in 17th century New England, check
out Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, 
Massachusetts and other early documents available on Google Books.
You might be surprised by what you discover!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012


Yesterday was Election Day. The weather was sunny and cool here in
Southeastern Ma. and the polling place was at the high school just down
the street from my apartment so I layered up and walked down there to
cast my vote.  The line of cars waiting to get into the school parking lot
stretched the length of the street and there were campaign signs
along the side of the road and in the median strip. Supporters of various
candidates were mostly centered around the Revolutionary War Memorial
in front of the school holding signs and waving to the drivers as they came
and went.

Voting was done in the school gym. It was busy but there wasn't a long line
and I was in and out in less than ten minutes. I'm a lifelong Democrat and
voted for President Obama and  Elizabeth Warren for Senator. On the
local offices I also voted for Democrats and one Independent. This area of
Massachusetts is more Republican than other areas so I'm sort of a "lonely
little petunia in an onion patch" on most election days here.

One of the things that hasn't changed in all the years I've voted here is the
Irish names of the state and local Democratic candidates: Lynch and Buckley
for example. This is the legacy of  late 19th and early 20th century politics
when the state Republican Party was anti-Irish immigration. It launched
the political career of  John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald who served as Mayor
of Boston and  was elected Congressman from the 9th Congressional District
in 1894, a district his great grandson Joseph Kennedy III won last night.

I finished filling out my ballot and when it went into the ballot box I learned
I was voter #543 in the town's 5th District. I was glad to hear from one of the
poll workers that there had been an even heavier turnout earlier in the day
with longer lines than normal. We agreed it was a very good thing and that it
was too bad there weren't similar turnouts for the local elections every year.

So that was my Election Day experience. I won't comment on the politics of it.
But I will say that I wondered if anyone would have thought fifty years ago that
an African-American incumbent would be facing a Mormon challenger and
neither of those facts were an issue in the election.

That's something about which I think we can all be proud.  

Monday, November 05, 2012


I thought on this election eve a poem from cousin John Greenleaf Whittier
might remind us of why every man and woman's vote is important. Sometimes,
in all the noise and nonsense of the campaign, attack ads and robocalls, we
forget what makes this country great:


The proudest now is but my peer,
The highest not more high;
To-day, of all the weary year,
A king of men am I.
To-day, alike are great and small,
The nameless and the known;
My palace is the people's hall,
The ballot-box my throne!

Wh serves to-day upon the list
Beside the served shall stand;
Alike the brown and wrinkled fist,
The gloved and dainty hand!
The rich is level with the poor,
The weak is strong to-day;
And sleekest broadcloth counts no more
Than homespun frock of gray.

To-day let pomp and vain pretence
My stubborn right abide;
I set a plain man's common sense
Against the pedant's pride.
To-day shall simple manhood try
The strength of gold and land;
The wide world has not wealth to buy
The power in my right hand!

While there's a grief to seek redress,
Or balance to adjust,
Where weighs our living manhood less
Than Mammon's vilest dust, —
While there's a right to need my vote,
A wrong to sweep away,
Up! clouted knee and ragged coat!
A man's a man to-day!


-Riverside Ed. The Writings of John Greenleaf Whittier ...: Anti-slavery poems:
Songs of labor and reform 
Houghton&Mifflin, Boston 1891 p342

Sunday, November 04, 2012


My 9x great grandfather John Emery was an innkeeper  in Ipswich, Ma
and seemed not to care what the towns people thought about what
sort of guests he kept at his house. Quakers were not welcome in 17th
century Massachusetts and associating with them was a criminal offense.
So at the court session held at Ipswich on 5May 1663 John was brought
upon the following charge:

"John Emery's presentment for entertaining Quakers was referred
to the next court, || and upon his presentment for entertaining a
stranger, he was fined four shillings."

That double bar demotes a footnote, and a long one it was indeed:

"ll Henry Jaques, aged about forty-four years, deposed that he heard Joseph
Noyes say that after the Quakers had their meeting at John Emry's house,
the latter bade them welcome. Further he said that Joseph Noyce said that
John Emry had entertained Quakers both for board and table, and this said
Noyce testified before the church at Newbry. John Emery and his wife
acknowledged it, saying that they would not put them fron their house,
and used argument for the lawfulness of it. Sworn in court.

John Rolfe, aged about twenty-eight years, deposed that whereas John Emery,
sr., affirmed before the honored court that he had not entertained any Quakers
in his house since the meeting when Mr. Parker was sent for and came to them,
"I doe testifie that I being at John Emerys Sr house about 3 weeks after that time
did see two Quakers there & I herd him say to them & som others that were there
y' Joseph Noyce came to his house & told him that ther were two quakers coming
towards his house & wisht him not to entertaine them, he sayd if they came to his
house they should be welcom & he would not forbid them there they were when
I cam in & there I left them I was there upon occasion neare an houer & there were
prsent in goodman Emerys house wiliam Ilsly Sr & John muselwhitt." Sworn in court.

Joseph Noyes, aged twenty-six years, deposed that as he was going to Goodman
Emeries, sr., he overtook two women Quakers, and supposing that they would call
at said Emmery's house, he cautioned him not to entertain them. While he was
talking, they went into the house and stayed until he went away. Goodman Emmery
was in the chamber, because he heard him call out to his wife, the latter being in
the same room with the Quakers. Said Emmery had also entertained two men
Quakers "very kindely to bed and table, & John Emmerie shook ym by y* hand,
and bid ym welcome." Sworn, 24:4:1663, before Simon Bradstreet."

 Constable Jacques wasn't quite done though. He had more to add:

"Henry Jaques, constable of Newbury, acquainted the Ipswich court with the
following: "For as much as John Emerie senr is on of our grand Juri men this Last
yere for our Towne of Newbery and he him selfe having Broken the Law as I do
understand in Entertaining of Travilers and quakere in to his house and on mr
Grenland in all which disorder he haue bouldly Insisted wherby Reproch and
scandall is Com upon our Towne to the dishonor of god and damag and hurt to
som of our Naibours: for which acording to my dutie I am bound to Enform the
honored Court of such disorder and Likewise of Mr Grenland being a stranger
lately Com in to the Countrie and in to our towne for not having licenc according
to the law in paig 73 and 74 and Likewise I do Enform the honored Court of a
quaker Elaacom Aldrous' wife of Hampton Came part naked in to our meeting
house on a lords Day a litl before meeting began."

pp66-68 Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
(Essex Institute 1913)

That last line is interesting since I believe it's a misspelling of Eliakim Wardwell
whose wife  Lydia was the infamous "Naked Quaker". In fact, her case was the
first heard at this same court session.

Two further points:
One is I was bemused at how many times the name Emery was misspelled in this
record, and the number of different ways it was done.

The second was the inclusion of a statement from John Emery's neighbor John Rolfe,
since the Rolfes would figure in the next court case involving the Emerys.


My 9x great grandfather John Emery Sr arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony
in 1635 on-board the ship James with his brother Anthony Emery. I'm not sure if
his first wife Alice Grantham came over on that same ship or arrived later, but
I'm descended from their daughter Eleanor, one of four children born in England
before John's departure. Alice died sometime before 1647 when John remarried.
His second wife was Mary Shatswell, the widow of John Bishop.

One of the neat things about having ancestors who lived in early Essex County
Massachusetts, especially if they misbehaved, is that they might have ended
up being brought to court. I've found many interesting cases involving my
ancestors. John Emery was no different:

"John Emery, for his miscarriage with the wife of Henry Traverse, fined 3li. or
to be whipped, and pay witness fee to Christopher Bartlet. Bound to good
behavior and not to frequent the company of the wife of Henry Traverse."

Ironically. a few lines above that record is this entry:

"Inventory of John Webster's lands and goods sworn to by his widow, Mary
Webster, who is appointed administratrix"
-Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts: 
1636-1641 Vol1  (Essex Institute, Salem, Ma. 1911) p110

The date of their appearances was 29Sep 1646. I like to think they may have met
there waiting to have their names called and one thing led to another. At any rate,
they were married at Newbury on 29Oct 1647.

John and Mary would appear in court again several times, mostly for family
matters, but there were two cases that were a bit more serious. One involved
Quakers, and the other behavior that might be best described as bawdy. I'll
discuss them in the next few posts.

Friday, November 02, 2012


We're in November now and moving towards Thanksgiving. I've done posts
on my Mayflower ancestry but I was thinking of writing some on ny other
early Pilgrim and Puritan ancestors. Toward that end I startled googling
some of their names tonight. One of the family names I searched was

Now when I was a bookseller I used to get a kick out of seeing a kid's
book about Plimoth Plantation, A Day in The Life of Sarah Morton. I'm
descended from Sarah's older sister Patience who married my 9x great
grandfather John Faunce. I knew that their father was George Morton
who came over to Plimouth on the ship Anne in 1623. What I didn't
know was that some historians think he may be one of the people behind one
of the early documents that helped spur more immigrants to New England,
Mourt's Relation. Most think Edmund Winslow and/or William Bradford
wrote the book, with a few thinking George Morton did instead. But most
believe that George was responsible for the book being printed in London
in 1622, a year before he himself emigrated to the New World.

I've read about Mourt's Relation and have intended to read it for some time,
and even seen reference to the Morton connection to it, but never made the
connection between George Morton the historical figure and George Morton
my ancestor. I guess I better finally get around to reading the book!

Now I'm wondering what other connections I've failed to see before between
my early New England ancestors and New England's history!

My descent from George Morton comes from my 2x great grandparents
Florilla Dunham and ASa F. Ellingwood. George's death date on this chart
is incorrect, it should be 1624


Last week while I was posting about my ancestors who'd been among the
accused or accusers during the Salem Witch trials I had a sudden inspiration.
I still need a poem for my own contribution to the Fourth Annual Great
Genealogy Challenge. Why not a poem about the Salem Witches? So off
and on the past few days I've been searching for one that I could use,
one written by a local poet. A poem by distant cousin John Greenleaf
Whittier would have been perfect. Unfortunately, even though he'd
written a number of poems on the witch trial era, they were all very, very
long. Then I wondered if Henry Wadsworth Longfellow might have
written one, and I found this in an anthology he'd edited, Poems of
, P229-231:

Salem Witchcraft

Delusions of the days that once have been,   
Witchcraft and wonders of the world unseen,   
Phantoms of air, and necromantic arts   
That crushed the weak and awed the stoutest hearts,—   
These are our theme to-night; and vaguely here,         
Through the dim mists that crowd the atmosphere,   
We draw the outlines of weird figures cast   
In shadow on the background of the Past.   
 Who would believe that in the quiet town   
Of Salem, and amid the woods that crown           
The neighboring hillsides, and the sunny farms   
That fold it safe in their paternal arms,—   
Who would believe that in those peaceful streets,   
Where the great elms shut out the summer heats,   
Where quiet reigns, and breathes through brain and breast         
The benediction of unbroken rest,—   
Who would believe such deeds could find a place   
As these whose tragic history we retrace?   
’T was but a village then: the goodman ploughed   
His ample acres under sun or cloud;           
The goodwife at her doorstep sat and spun,   
And gossiped with her neighbors in the sun;   
The only men of dignity and state   
Were then the Minister and the Magistrate,   
Who ruled their little realm with iron rod,          
Less in the love than in the fear of God;   
And who believed devoutly in the Powers   
Of Darkness, working in this world of ours,   
In spells of Witchcraft, incantations dread,   
And shrouded apparitions of the dead.           
Upon this simple folk “with fire and flame,”   
Saith the old Chronicle, “the Devil came;   
Scattering his firebrands and his poisonous darts,   
To set on fire of Hell all tongues and hearts!   
And ’t is no wonder; for, with all his host,          
There most he rages where he hateth most,   
And is most hated; so on us he brings   
All these stupendous and portentous things!”   
Something of this our scene to-night will show;   
And ye who listen to the Tale of Woe,          
Be not too swift in casting the first stone,   
Nor think New England bears the guilt alone.   
This sudden burst of wickedness and crime   
Was but the common madness of the time,   
When in all lands, that lie within the sound           
Of Sabbath bells, a Witch was burned or drowned.

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poem Of Places: Vol.2 America  Houghton & Mifflin, Boston 1878