Saturday, October 11, 2014


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.
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

1 comment:

Janice Harshbarger said...

What a fun story! Don't you just love it when you can fill in the "dash" with a tale like this?