Tuesday, April 15, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #16: Henry OLIN

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 16th installment, for Henry OLIN.  Henry is my ex-husband's 5th great-grandfather, on his mother's line (Rice).  

Henry OLIN was born approximately 1719, in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. East Greenwich is one of the oldest towns in Rhode Island, legally established in 1677. The first OLIN known to settle in the area was his father John OLIN.  There is an Olin Family Society, also on Facebook [closed group], and their society's 'webcards' genealogy with various OLIN family tree lines, which I have not investigated as thoroughly as I need to. And there are several books published about this very early settler, available through Internet Archive

Henry apparently had 4 wives (sequentially, of course), with a total of 16 children. The records are not clear as to which wife was the mother of which children, specifically the mother of our direct descendant, his son, Caleb, b. in 1753. 

One can see several breaks in the children's births which may indicate the death of a wife, and a subsequent marriage:  (a) after #2, John's birth;  (b) after #7, Henry's birth; (c) after #8, Sibil's birth. The birth years are not listed for daughters Susannah and Rebecca, who are listed in published works as born between son Pelig's birth and son Caleb's birth.  

Henry's children by his various wives : 
  1. Justin,  b. 17 Jul 1739; d. 7 Jul 1821, Liecester, VT
  2. John, (3rd), b. 17 Sep 1741; d. 24 Sep 1831, Shaftsbury, VT
  3. Pelig Olin, b. 20 May 1746; d. Cambridge NY [son]
  4. Susannah, b.?
  5. Rebecca, b. ?
  6. **Caleb [ancestor], b.8 Dec 1753, Old Warwick, RI; m. 15 Jan 1775 to Freelove Mitchell; 11 children
  7. Henry, b. abt 1754, d. young
  8. Sibil, b. abt 1758  [dau]
  9. Paris, b. 1765, d. bef 1780  [son]
  10. Hannah, b. 1767
  11. Sarah, b. 1770
  12. Ezra, b. 1772
  13. Phoebe, b. 1774
  14. Henry, b. 1776
  15. Nancy, b. 1779
  16. Joseph, b. 1781
We know more about Henry's father, than we do about Henry.  Henry's father, John OLIN, was originally from Wales, pressed on board a British war vessel, before 1678. Only 14 years of age, he apparently managed to leave the ship in Boston Harbor and settled in East Greenwich RI in about 1678. John married Susannah Spencer in East Greenwich on 4 Dec 1708; the Spencer family were also originally from Wales. They had at least four children: Joseph, John, Henry, and Eleanor.  John was known to be a farmer in RI.  Interestingly, John is described in one record as being of medium stature and with red hair. 

Henry lived to be over 100 years of age, with a death date of 7 July 1821 (102 years).  He is said to have died in Leicester, Vermont, where others of his family had also settled. 

I clearly have a great deal of research still to do on this line.  My mother-in-law had a brother whose middle name was OLIN, which I thought unusual and got me started researching the Olin line.  

If you have any information or questions about any of the above details, do contact me via calewis at telus dot com, or leave a comment below.  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

"National Siblings Day" -? Okay - here's mine!

I'm on the left, big sister on the right, well-loved baby brother in the middle, raring to get down those steps and go-go-go!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Almost Wordless...
My mother's mother, Marguerite Josephine TERWILLIGER Kuhn, whom we called "GrandPete" (and variations), with two of her three daughters: my two Aunts Barbara Russell and Dot (Dorothea) Mathieu. My mom was the baby of the family, and the shortest.  

I'm amused to see both my aunts smoking cigarettes, as did my mom all her life. I think the photo must have been taken in California, from the background. In 1963, GrandPete is 83, Barb is 51, Dot is 49.

This photo was in my personal photo album which Mom made for us three kids one Christmas - it took her most of the year, and she typed each label.  She scrounged for photos from neighbours and relatives, and made slightly different ones for each of us.  Later, we went through our respective albums, and copied more of each others' photos.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, #15: Vincent MEGGS / MEIGS

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 15th installment, for Vincent MEGGS/MEIGS, my 10th great-grandfather on my maternal side.

Vincent is another immigrant settler from the south of England, apparently from the parish of Chardstock in Dorset.  Luckily the Bishop's Transcripts of the parish [1579-1641] were found in 1991 and copied by a researcher, providing excellent confirmation of 3 of his children, plus the name and details of his wife.  

Vincent's surname is recorded as  "also known as Vincent LOVE" in a record of being landlord of the Angle Inn, in Axminster. This AKA surname might indicate he was an illegitimate child.  

Note that the surname MEGGS comes from 'Margaret's son': i.e., Megs/Maggs as a nickname for Margaret.  It is spelled many ways; John, Vincent's third child, apparently changed the spelling to "Meigs". 

Much of my information comes from Rick Meigs' detailed genealogies of the Meigs brothers, online at http://meigs.org/Vincent.htm  as well as from a book by Henry Benjamin Meigs, who published in 1901 "Record of the Descendants of Vincent Meigs, who came from Dorsetshire, England to America about 1635." pub Baltimore, MD, John S. Bridges & Co. [available online].  I am very grateful for the work done by many individuals on these early settlers to America.  

Vincent is believed to have been born about 1583 in Dorset, and married Emma Strong about 1608 in the parish of Chardstock.  Emma's parents were William & Margaret; Margaret's will in 1621 confirms Vincent as Emma's husband.  We do not know Vincent's parents' names or details.  Interestingly there is another will from Axminster (adjacent parish) of a John Maggs 1632, listing children and wife, and also listing "overseers: Vincent Maggs, Thomas Lovinge".  However the relationship of this John to Vincent is not clarified.  A father? brother? uncle?

Vincent and Emma had 4 children that we know of, the younger 3's christening records were detailed from the parish of Chardstock:

  1. Vincent, b. bef 14 Dec 1608; no marriage/children known of; d. 3 Nov 1700, New London CT
  2. Mary Ann, b. bef 16 Apr 1610
  3. *John, [direct ancestor], b abt 29 Jan 1611/2; m Thomasina FRYE abt 1632; 5 children
  4. Mark, b 25 Aug 1616; m. Avis ___ about 1658; at least one child (Hannah)
Vincent is first found at Weymouth MA in 1641, but the family made plans in 1643 to leave and settle in Rehoboth MA [with Rev. Samuel Newman].  Several years later, the family appears in New Haven, CT, in 1646.  By 1658, Vincent appears to have moved to live with his son John in Hammonasset [Madison], New Haven, CT. 

Vincent made his will, dated September 2, 1658 "on his deathbed", witnessed by son John, which was probated on December 2, 1658.  Local tradition has it that Vincent was the first to be buried at the Hammonasset Cemetery, Madison, New Haven, CT, as the cemetery grave yard opened in 1658.  However any gravestone or exact location is unknown at this time. 
If you know more information on the MEIGS/MEGGS family, I would be pleased to hear from you; contact me directly via calewis at telus dot com, or in the comments below. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS: #14, William LANE

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow, here is my 14th installment, for William LANE, the immigrant settler, my 10th great-grandfather.

Born in the Dorset area in England in the late 1500s (1575?), William LANE was known to be in Dorchester about 1635, and settled in Hingham by 1637.  Question marks about his marriage show the following (p.450, C.A. Torrey's "New England Marriages Prior to 1700," rev. 1992):

Clearly there are more questions than answers about his marriage and birthdate on this record. Taken from the 1992 revision, note that all settlers and wives were listed, with information about birth, date, places, if known or identified. Unfortunately, this marriage item leaves me full of questions.  We clearly don't know if the woman with him was his 1st wife and mother of some or all of his children or, was his 2nd wife, possibly mother of any or none of his children.  His wife's name is not confirmed.  

The record of the Hopewell 1635  shows passengers "William Lane and family". The Great Migrations apparently describe the family as likely including : "William Lane of Beaminster, Dorset, who settled at Hingham, MA.  Family members: Agnes Farnsworth, wife;  Avis (Lane) Lincoln, 28, daughter, and her husband, Thomas Lincoln;  Andrew Lane, 24, son, and daughters  Mary and Elizabeth Lane."   

His children were as follows, all born in Dorsetshire, England between 1606-1619, not listed in any particular order :
 - Agnes/Avis/Anis, m. before 1635 to Thomas Lincoln "The Cooper"; settled in Hingham
 - *Andrew [direct ancestor] abt 1610, m. abt 1639 in Hingham to Tryphena [1612-1670]; Hingham
 - Elizabeth, m. Thomas Rider
 - George, m. Sarah _____
 - Mary, m. (1) Joseph Long, and (2) Joseph Farnsworth
 - William, 
 - Sarah,

He is known to have owned a number of parcels of land in Hingham area. He apparently worked as a farmer and also as a "felt-maker".  

William died before 6 July 1654, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, possibly where his daughter Elizabeth (Lane) Rider and family lived; this date is when his will was probated. The will was signed and dated "28. 12 mo  1650."  The following was taken from the Abstract of the will: 
 "William LANE, of Dorchester.  Inventory, prized by John Wiswall, Wm Clarke,  5 July 1654.
   Amt. 82. 10. 08 1/2.  Joseph Farnsworth deposed.  [Will, vol. V. p. 364.]  (See p.54)."  

His will lists his children with daughters' married names (note variant spellings), in transcribed Suffolk County Wills (p. 54 mentioned above).  Interestingly, in the will, he calls Joseph Farnsworth his "beloved brother", rather than ?brother-in-law. This does give some credence that his wife was indeed Agnes Farnsworth; however, it is still not proved. 

If you have questions or more information about William Lane and his family, I would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment below, or contact me via calewis at telus dot net.  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY - 1970, Reba, Celia, Pia, Megan

Here is one of the very few photos I have of my mother-in-law, in late summer 1970, taken while on the sidewalk outside our home in Kitsilano, Vancouver BC.  I'm holding my second daughter Megan, Reba is holding my first daughter, Pia.  Reba died in August 1974 of liver cancer, likely due to a much earlier hepatitis infection [the most common cause of liver cancer]. 


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis