Monday, February 18, 2019


On 14 Aug 1878 some descendants of my 9x great grandfather Thomas Hayward gathered in Easton, Ma. to celebrate the centennial of the construction of a Hayward family mansion. George Washington Hayward gave a commemorative address in which he had this short description of our common ancestor:

Thomas Hayward and his wife Susanna were born in England; were last there at Aylsford in the county of Kent; came over in the ship Hercules of 200 tons, John Weatherby, master, with 5 of their children, in the early part of the summer of 1635. He first settled in Duxbury, and was one of the original proprietors, and one of the earliest and eldest of the settlers of Bridgewater. His will is dated in 1678, and he died in 1681, his wife not living at the date of his will. His children were Thomas, Nathaniel, John, Joseph and Elisha, born in England, and who came over with their father in 1635 ; Mary and Martha, probably born in Duxbury. Mary married Ensign Edward Mitchel; Martha married her cousin John Haward, (Hayward). -p5

Centennial Gathering of the Hayward Family with Address, John S. Sampson,  Printer, 1879, Taunton, Ma

Now Thomas' daughter Martha married my 8x great grandfather John Haward, which family name later became Howard. I don't know for sure if they were cousins.It might simply be another instance of the confusion between the various spellings of the Hayward and Howard family names.

Friday, February 15, 2019


John Howard and his wife Martha (Hayward) Howard had seven children. It is with them that the
complicated  relationships with the Packard, Fobes and Keith familes start:

JOHN m. Sarah Latham. John Jr. owned land in an area of Bridgewater known as Joppa, which is now part of East Bridgewater. It is near Route 18 and there was a restaurant located there called the Joppa Grill. When I went to college in Bridgewater I went through that area every day and never knew it was connected to my family.

JAMES. m. Elizabeth Washburn. James died in 1690 during the New England colony's attack on Canada.

JONATHAN. m. Susannah Keith

ELIZABETH, m. Edward Fobes. Their daughter Elizabeth would marry Joseph Keith.

SARAH, m. Zacheus Packard. Their son James married Jemima Keith, daughter of Elizabeth Fobes  and Joseph Keith

BETHIAH, m. Henry Kingman

EPHRAIM, m. Mary Keith

I'll be discussing Martha (Hayward) Howard's father Thomas Hayward next.

Thursday, February 14, 2019


I'm descended from two  of John Howard's daughters: Sarah, who married Zacheus Packard, and Elizabeth, who married Edward Fobes. I'll be dicussing the Fobes line later. Both they and their husbands are mentioned in the division of John Howard's estate. Heman Howard's book has a transcription of the document:

A true copy of the division of the estate of Lieut, John Howard, late of Bridgewater, who died intestate, as it was mutually agreed and consented to by all the several heirs apparent to said estate, on the fifteenth day of Oct., Anno Dom. 1701, which division is made according to the appraisement in the inventory taken of the said estate:—

To the widow, one hundred and seven pounds out of the moveable estate, and her thirds in the improved lands and housing.

To John Howard, the eldest son, as followeth :—Ninety-one acres of land, lying part of it at John's bridge where he now lives and near thereunto, (£45, 0 s., 0 d.), and the rest at Satucket river and Black brook; more, the house and barn and the land between the river and the highway that goes directly toward the meeting house, and ten acres joining to the said highway, on the north side, lying the whole breadth of the said lands, (£60, 0 s., 0d.) ; more, ten acres toward West meadow, (£05, 0 s.,0d.); half a lot of meadow in Flag meadow, (L04 Os., 0d.); the land at Tetaquat, (£02, 0s., 0d.); more, a quarter part of the undivided lands, and a quarter part of his right in the Cedar swamp, (L1, 07 s., 06 d.); more, a quarter part of a purchase right in the North purchase, (£5, 0 s. 0 d.) ; more, two lots of meadow, one of them in Poor meadow and the other at Black brook, (£10, 0 s., 0 d.). His whole proportion being 146 pounds, he hath given out of it also.. —£5 to his brother Jonathan, and £5 to his brother Ephraim.

To Jonathan Howard, the second surviving son, the land where his house stands, 49 acres, (£30, 0 S., 0 d.); more, 35 acres in the neck of land beyond James Keith's, (£17, 0 s., 0 d. ); more, 35 acres at Lathrop's swamp, (£17, 0s., 0d.); more, 25 acres near the same place, (£12, 10 s., 0d.); more, a quarter part of undivided lands, and a quarter of his right in the Cedar swamp, (£01, 07 s., 06 d.); more, a quarter of a purchase right in North purchase, (£5, 0 s., 0 s.).

To Ephraim Howard, the youngest son, the land on which his house stands, (£60, 0 s.  0 d.); more, 35 acres in the neck (£17, 10 s., 0 d.); ten acres near Bimeleck's hill, (£05, 0 s., 00 d.); one lot of meadow in Flag meadow, (£08, 0 s., 0 d.) ; more, ten acres at Lathrop's swamp, (£05, 0s., d..); more, a quarter part of undivided land, and a quarter part in the Cedar swamp, (£01, 7 s. 0 d) ; more, a quarter part of a purchase right in North purchase, (£05, 0 s., 0 d. ); more, a share in the north lands, (£02, 0 s., 0 d.).

To James Howard, the only son of James Howard, deceased, to be divided, the one moiety to him and the other moiety to his two sisters. The land where his house stands, and the land adjoining thereunto, being 45 acres, (£45, 0 s., 0 d.) ; more, half a lot of meadow in Flag meadow, (£04, 0 s., 0 d.) ; more, 40 acres of land above the stone house, (£08, 0 s., 0 d.); more, in moveables as per inventory, or 

money, (£14, 12 s., 06 d.); more, a quarter part of undivided land in Cedar swamp, (£01, 07 s., 06 d.).

To Edward Fobes, his wife, in money and moveables, (£68, 0s, 0d.); to Zacheus Packard's wife, in money and moveables, (£68, 0 s., 0 d.); to Henry Kingman's wife, in money and moveables, (£68, 0 s ., 0 d.); the said three daughters to have their part as appraised and as set in the inventory; and for as much as the above-mentioned lands divided to Ephraim, amounts to one hundred and three pounds, seventeen and six pence, he is to return to the estate £18, 07 s., 0d 

This above written is the mutual agreement of the sons, sons-in-law, and daughters of the above-named Lieut. John Howard, late of Bridgewater, deceased, made and agreed on the sixteenth day of October, 1701. In testimony whereof they have hereunto sealed and subscribed.
Signed, sealed and declared by the subscribers to be their agreement, in the presence of  

Elisha Wadsworth.
Thomas (T. S.his mark) Snell

Martha^ Howard, [Seal.]
John Howard, [Seal.]
Jonathan Howard, [Seal.]
Ephraim Howard, [Seal.]
Edward Fobes,
E. mark of Elizabeth Fobes, [Seal.]
Zacheus Packard,
In behalf of himself and Sarah his wife, [Seal.]
Henry K1ngman,
In behalf of himself and Bethiah his wife, [Seal.]
 Edward Mitchell,
As guardian of the children of James Howard, deceased. [Seal.]

Memorandum, that on the sixteenth day of October, 1701, the abovenamed parties to this agreement, who have hereunto sealed and subscribed, all of them came personally before me, the subscriber, Judge of Probate for the County of Plymouth, and acknowledged the before written instrument to be their act and deed.

William Bradford. Recorded, October 24, 1701.
Per Samuel Sprague, Register. 


The Howard Genealogy: Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from 1643 to 1903 Standard printing Company, Brockton, Ma  1903

To be continued ...


((This was first posted on 7Jul 2008. It's a nice story with probably a
little truth to it, but true or not it makes a good Valentine's Day story)).

I mentioned in my previous post about John Prescott that
there is a romantic (and probably romanticized) story about
his son Jonas Prescott's courtship of Mary Loker. I've found it
recounted in several different books on Google Books, and
while I'm not entirely sure it's true, it does make for another
interesting family tale.

The story is that Jonas and Mary fell in love but her parents
John Loker and Mary Draper had other plans for their
daughter. They wanted her to marry a lawyer, a man of
prospects, not the son of a blacksmith who was following his
father in the family trade and they forbade Mary from any
more contact with Jonas. One version told by Caleb Butler in
"The History of the Town of Groton" says the Lokers even
went so far as to install gratings on the windows of her room
and would lock her inside if Jonas was nearby. But even this
drastic measure didn't stand in the way of love:

"He (Jonas) took opportunities when the cold wind blew
and the
pelting storm raged when no listener could overhear
the soft
whispering of true lovers to place himself beneath
her grated window and
there enjoy sweet communion
with his dearly beloved ."

But eventually Mary's parents found out about this trickery.
Perhaps Jonas' idea of a whisper in a storm was a bit too loud?
At any rate, Mary's parents next decided to send her away to
a secluded village so Jonas could not find her while they looked
for a more suitable prospect for Mary's hand in marriage.
They sent her off to the small frontier town of Chockset which
is now Sterling, Massachusetts.

Jonas searched for Mary until one day while traveling near
Chockset he met some men of his own age and asked if they
knew of any pretty girls in the area. They told him there was
a quilting and a dance that night in Chockset and invited him
to come along.

You can see where this is going, I bet!

Jonas found Mary Loker and they continued to meet in secret
for some time until her parents once more found them out.
Mary's stubborn insistence that she would never marry any
man but Jonas Prescott at last forced her parents to give in,
although they did so with the angry condition that they would
provide no dowry for the bride. Legend says that the young
couple set up their household with so few essentials that
Mary used a large hollowed out pumpkin shell for a washpot!

I'm a bit skeptical about that pumpkin part but I think the
opposition of the Lokers to Jonas Prescott pressing his suit for
their daughter might have some truth to it. After all, although
Jonas' father John was well off, he was not exactly in the good
graces of the Puritan government, and the Lokers might have
had their hearts set on young Mary marrying someone who
could eventually rise to a position of power. Ironically, the
Prescotts eventually became one of Massachusetts' most
distinguished families.

I am descended from Elizabeth Prescott b 23Jan 1676,
d. 18Mar 1744.

She married Eleazer Green about 1694 or 1695. Their daughter
Elizabeth married John Ames(Eames), and their descendant
Arvilla Ames married my ancestor John Cutter West

Tuesday, February 12, 2019


One of the cool things in Heman Howard's book about the family history is this letter and his transcription. It's from my 9x great grandmother to her son, my 8x great grandfather John Howard:

This letter is a photographic reproduction of the original, which is in the possession of a member of the Howard family. It is supposed to have been written to John Howard, the progenitor of this family, by his mother, who spelled her name Hayward, which was not an uncommon way of spelling the name. As it is very difficult to read the letter, the following is printed as an aid:

London, Aug. 16, 1652. Lov1ng Son :—
Having a fitt opportunity by a friend to send to you, I could not, out of my motherly care to you and your brother, do less than write these few lines to you to certify you that both I and your sister are in good health, praysed be God, and that I earnestly desire to hear from you both, how you do and how and in what condition you are both. Your sister desires to be remembered to you both, and she and I have sent you some small tokens of our love for you. I have sent George 3 bands and a handkerchief, and an handkerchief to yourself, and I have sent you a shilling to you to pay for writing of a letter, if by long silence you have forgott. I wonder, son, you should so forgott your mother, whose welfare she tended more than anything in the world. Your sister hath sent you a book of your father's to you and a bible to George. Did we conceive you were alive, we would have sent you better tokens. Child, with my blessing to you both, desiring to hear from you and whether you ever intend for England, and how your cousing Sarah doth, with my daily prayer to the Lord for you, I rest.
Your Loving Mother,

Mary Hayward. For her loving son, John Hayward,
this :— In case he be dead, to George Hayward in New England.

-pp xvi-xvii

The Howard Genealogy: Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from 1643 to 1903 Standard printing Company, Brockton, Ma  1903

Somethings are universal and timeless. A mother worrying about her sons is one of them.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 10, 2019


My 8x great grandfather John Howard was another of the founding fathers of Bridgewater and West Bridgewater. In 1903 a man named Heman Howard, another of John Howard's descendants, wrote a family history and began with this:

JOHN HOWARD, with his brother George, came from England, and settled in Duxbury. He was among those who were able to bear arms there in 1643. He was about fifteen years old when he came to Duxbury. He lived in the family of Capt. Miles Standish, who came from Shorely, Lancashire, England. He soon removed to Bridgewater, and was one of the original settlers and proprietors of that town. Judge Mitchell, in his history of Bridgewater, says that John Howard, the first Howard to settle in Bridgewater, was a man of much influence in the new plantation.

In 1645 his name appears as one of the fifty-four original proprietors of the grant of land afterward known as Bridgewater. In 1656 he was one of the two surveyors of highways for his town. In 1657 he had taken the Freeman's oath. He was one of the fourteen men whose allotment of land was in the easterly part of the grant. He was one of the first military officers, and was appointed Ensign, Sept. 27, 1664. In May, 1676, during King Philip's War, Ensign John Howard, with twenty others, fought with some Indians and took seventeen of them alive with much plunder, and all returned without serious injury. June 5, 1678, he was a deputy to the General Court of Massachusetts; also on the same date was appointed a selectman of his town. In 1683 he, with Thomas Hayward, was a representative to the General Court. Oct. 2, 1689, he was promoted, and received his commission as a lieutenant. Mr. Howard was a carpenter by trade. He spelled his name Haward, and so did his descendants until after 1700. He m. Martha, a dau. of Thomas Hayward, one of the original proprietors of Bridgewater, who came on the ship Hercules, in 1635, from Sandwich, County of Kent, England, with five children and three brothers.

Mr. Howard lived in a house which he built near the first meeting house. It stood directly north of the house where B. B. Howard now lives, on the corner of Howard and River streets. The accompanying picture shows the spot of ground as it now appears; the well curb seen in the picture is over the well that was used with Mr. Howard's house. This was the first public house in Bridgewater, as Mr. Howard was licensed to keep an ordinary or tavern, in 1670, at this place. It would probably be difficult to find, in the history of all the taverns that have existed in Massachusetts, another of which it can be said, as Judge Mitchell says of this original Howard House, that " He (John Howard), was licensed to keep an ordinary or tavern, as early as 1670, and it is remarkable that a public house has been kept there by his descendants ever since, till within a few years." This house was owned and managed by John Howard and his direct descendants for a period of 151 years. John Howard opened the tavern in 1670, and kept it 30 years, until his death in 1700. His oldest son, John, then became proprietor, conducting it 26 years, until 1726. His son, Maj. Edward, was proprietor from that date to 1771, for 45 years. His son, Col. Edward, owned and conducted the house for 38 years, from 1771 to 1809, when he d. Then his widow and son, Capt. Benjamin Beal Howard, kept the house open 12 years, until 1821. The house was taken down in 1838. A list of the distinguished guests of this tavern, could we know their names, would make exceeding interesting reading. Without doubt, one of the early distinguished visitors was Mary (Chilton) Winslow, (the first lady who came on shore from the Mayflower), who was grandmother of the wife of the second proprietor, John Howard. An occasional guest was John Reed, D. D., who was a member of congress during Washington's administration. Oakes Angier, a young lawyer, Hon. William Baylies and Judge Howard, were other prominent and frequent visitors. Lieut. Howard d. in 1700. His property was appraised in October, the next year. It consisted of about 450 acres of land, and his estate was valued at about 840 pounds. Following is a copy of the division of his estate and of that of his widow, who d. before 1703

The Howard Genealogy: Descendants of John Howard of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, from 1643 to 1903 Standard printing Company, Brockton, Ma  1903

To be continued.

Thursday, February 07, 2019


My 5x great grandfather Reuben Packard was a Revolutionary War veteran (as were several other relatives). He was a sergeant in the company from Bridgewater led by Captain Hayden. He was one of the leading citizens of the town when the war broke out, married to Anne Perkins and by age 38 the father of eight children. After the war he and his oldest son Ichabod had moved to Sheperdsfield, Me. which is now Hebron, Me.

Reuben  followed the family tradition of being active in the formation of a new town. He built a sawmill and a gristmill on his property and led church services in his home until a Conregationalist church was built of which he became a deacon.

He and Israel were also among those who signed this petition:

To the Assessors of the plantation of Shepardsfield:
We the subscribers, being ten of the inhabitants of the said plantation, request you to call a meeting of the freeholders and other inhabitants of the said plantation, on Wednesday the twenty-eighth day of December current, at the dwelling house of John Greenwood, at nine o'clock A. M. for the following purposes, viz:

First, To chose a Moderator.

Second. To see if the inhabitants are of opinion to petition the General Court for an incorporation, also to see if they will agree to petition the General Court to have their taxes abated, and to act on any other business they may think proper at said meeting.
Shepardsfield December 19, 1791.
Agreeably to the foregoing request, the freeholders and other inhabitants of the plantation of Shepardsfield are warned to meet at the time and place, and for the purposes before mentioned. JOHN GREENWOOD
Assessors of Shepardsfield
Shepardsfield December 20, 1791.

Annals of Oxford, Maine   New England History Press in collaboration with the Oxford Historical Society, 1903 - Hebron (Me.

Reuben Packard died on 6Dec 1820 in Hebron, Me. I'm descended from his youngest child, Cynthia, who married James Dunham/Donham.

Thursday, January 31, 2019


Just a few quick thoughts about James Packard's will:

The document appears to be a copy of the original. It's part of a book and the handwriting is the same as on other wills. I wonder when the copy was made and what happened to the original?

I'm puzzled by the use of the name "Packard" as a place name. I wonder why it would be used that way. Does it refer to the original family farm?

I live right next to Brockton and never heard of the Salisbury Plain River before. Looking at a map, the river runs through the heart of the city parallel to Belmont St, a busy road. I suspect much is it is enclosed.

Finally, with a sawmill, grist mill and forge James was a wealthy man by the standard of his times. I wish I could find the estate inventory, 


I was so wrapped up in doing research last week I missed my 12th blogiversary! Time flies when you're having fun! So this is where it stands as of 31Jan 2019{

A few stats: This is post 2485. I've had 1,064,815 pageviews (most of which were likely by webcrawler bots) and  I have 278 followers. So I've lost 2 of the 280 followers I had last year!

These were my All Time Top Ten Posts on last year on 23Jan:

And this is the list as of today:

The post on Malden where I lived as a child still tops the list. The two 52 Ancestor posts are for Caleb Benson and John Benson.

Thanks again to cousins Tim Abbott, Chris Dunham, and Randy Seaver whose geneablogs inspired me to start one of my own.

And as always, a big thank you to those who read my blog and to those who leave comments

I've found a bunch of new relatives to write about, so I'll keep on blogging!