Friday, September 11, 2009


My ancestor Roger Haskell went to meet his Maker on 16Jun, 1667. (At least I
hope that was the case. But if he went to meet Satan, he at least had experience in
wielding a pitchfork already.) At first the events afterward seemed to follow
the normal course after the death of a husband and father in colonial times: his
widow remarried and her new husband became the guardian of Roger Haskell's
children and their inheritance. But all was not as it seemed, and a few years later,
the Haskell family became embroiled in a series of lawsuits that sound like
something out of a prime time soap opera like "Dallas." (only this one would be
called "Salem"!)

First, let's have a look at our cast of characters:

Elizabeth (Hardy) Haskell, the widow who made a startling statement in court.

Edward Berry, Elizabeth's second husband, accused of mismanaging the inheritance
of the Haskell children.

William Haskell(another ancestor), brother to Roger and uncle to the Haskell
children. Did he have more than the childrens' welfare in mind?

John Haskell, Roger's grown son who sued Edward Berry for what he felt was rightfully

Roger, Josiah, Samuel and Sarah, the younger Haskell children,

and lastly,

William Dodge, son in law of Roger Haskell and Elizabeth (Hardy) Haskell, married to
Elizabeth Haskell the younger.

But while the inheritance of the children was one bone of contention between Edward Berry
and the Haskell family, another was the land that their mother had inherited herself, and the
first court case would be over that, as we'll see next.


Janet Iles said...

I look forward to reading this unfolding story. You have captured my interest.

Heather Rojo said...

I'll be following, too. Roger Haskell is my 9x great grand uncle. I descend from his brother William.

Walter Crean said...

I will also be following this, Roger's brother, Capt. William Haskell, was my 10x-great-grandfather and his wife, Mary (Tybbott) Haskell, was my 10x-great-grandmother.