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The NSCDA has more than 9,900 qualifying ancestors from whom its members claim descent. This page contains a sample collection of biographies of some of these patriots who played an important part in gaining our country its liberty and Constitution. The entire Register of Ancestors is available to Dames in the MEMBERS area of the website.

 

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  • Adams, Edward

    Edward Adams was born in England. He was baptized at Kingweston, 19 April 1629. He immigrated to New England with his parents, Henry and Edith Adams in 1638. He went with them to Braintree, Massachsetts and there is first mention of him in the will of his father in 1646. On 3 May 1654, Edward Adams and his step father, John Fussell were admitted freemen of the Massachusetts Colony, their names being next to each other on the roll of that date, (Mass. Col. Records, vol. 4, part 1, page 460). About 1654 Edward Adams settled in Medfield, Massachusetts, where his brothers Henry and Peter had already located. In 1689 he was appointed Ensign of the Medfield Company. He served as representative to the Massachusetts General Court in the years 1689, 1692 and 1702. Edward Adams’ first marriage was to Lydia Penniman (baptized in Boston, 22 February 1634/5), daughter of James and Lydia (Eliot) Penniman. Lydia had fourteen children and died in Medfield, 3 March 1675/6. His second marriage was to Mrs. Abigail (Craft) Ruggles-Day (born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 28 March 1634) on 7 December 1678 in Dedham, Massachusetts. There were no children by this marriage. The New England Historical Genealogical Society in Boston has established that Edward Adams was the Great, Great Uncle of President John Adams.

  • Alden, John

    John Alden, 1599-1687, apparently came from an Alden  Family who lived in Harwick, Essex, England and were related by marriage to the master of the “Mayflower”, Christopher Jones.  Alden was hired at age 21 to be the cooper or barrel-maker for the “Mayflower’s” voyage to America.  Given the option to stay or return, he decided to stay in America.

    At Plymouth, he quickly rose from common sense status to a prominent member of the Colony.  About 1622 he married Priscilla, orphaned daughter of William & Alice Mullins.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow celebrated their story, (partially imaginary), in his poem “The Courtship of Myles Standish”.  Newly widowed Captain Myles Standish asked his friend John Alden to propose to Priscilla on his behalf, as was custom, only to have Priscilla ask, “Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?”

    John and Priscilla had 10 children over 20 years.  John was one of the earliest freemen in the Colony and was elected an assistant to the Governor and the Plymouth Court as early as 1631 and was regularly re-elected.  He was involved in administering the trading activity of the Colony on the Kennebec River.

    John Alden and several other families, including the Standish family, founded the town of Duxbury in 1630 and they took up residence there.  Alden served as Duxbury’s deputy to the Plymouth Court throughout the 1640s.  He served on several committees, including the Committee on Kennebec Trade, and sat on several Councils of War.  He also served as Colony Treasurer.  In 1650 he built a house in Duxbury, which still stands.  By the 1660s his frequent public service, combined with the needs of a large family caused his estate to languish, so the Plymouth Court provided him with a number of both land and cash grants to ease his burdens.  Throughout the 1670s, Alden began distributing his land holdings to his surviving sons.  He died at age 87, one of the last surviving “Mayflower” passengers.

  • Benedict, Thomas

    Thomas Benedict of England and Connecticut is identified with the founding of one of the first Presbyterian Churches in America, at Jamaica, in 1662.  Then at Norwalk, he was chosen Deacon, an office he held for the remainder of his life.  His sons, John and Samuel also held that office.  Later, along the way, some of the Benedict descendants became Quakers. 

  • Brewster, Samuel

    Samuel Brewster was born on July 18, 1718 in Brookhaven, New York and died in New Windsor, Orange County, new York.  He was the son of Nathaniel Brewster and Sarah Ludlow.  He had two brothers, Timothy and David.  Nathaniel graduated first in his class at Harvard College in 1642, after which he studied theology in Norfolk, England, receiving later a Batchelor of Divinity Degree from Dublin University, Ireland.  Returning to America he became, in 1663, minister of First Church at Boston, then in 1665 minister at Brookhaven, Long island, for 35 years.

    Samuel Brewster was among the original patentees of the town of New Windsor in 1751 and he was a member of the Committee of Safety during the American Revolution.  He built a saw-mill, forge and anchor shop and assisted in forging the chain which was stretched across the Hudson River in the hope of checking the movement of British vessels up that stream!

    In 1775 Samuel built a residence which tradition says sheltered Lafayette as a headquarters during the American Revolution.  His first wife bore the name of Mary.  His second wife was Mary (also) Wood, who survived him and who died at New Windsor, Feb. 3, 1807.  Their children were Samuel, Timothy, Hannah (married Joseph Dubois), Abigail (married Jonas Williams), Susannah (married (?) Moores).

  • Brewster, William

    William Brewster was born in 1567 in Scrooby, Yorkshire, England and was a member of the local gentry.  He studied Latin and Greek at Porterhouse College, University of Cambridge for three years and left to enter the service of an English ambassador Sir William Davison (1583-1599.)  He served Davison faithfully even after Davison’s disgrace when he was made a scapegoat for Queen Elizabeth concerning the execution of Mary Queen of Scots.  After William Brewster’s father died in l590, Brewster replaced him in the positions of bailiff and postmaster of Scrooby.  He married Mary Wentworth, a descendant of King Edward I.  Mary and William had eleven children.

    William Brewster was becoming aware of the persecution in London of religious dissenters, “the English Puritans,” and also became absorbed in profound spiritual convictions at the same time.  He organized a group of dissenters, “the Pilgrims,” who separated from the Church of England in 1606.  Two years later, together with other Pilgrims, Brewster moved to Leiden in the Netherlands to avoid harassment and religious persecution.  Brewster was the ruling elder of the sect and supported himself by teaching and publishing religious books that had been banned by the English Government.  The Pilgrims enjoyed religious freedom for twelve years in Leiden, but became discouraged due to economic difficulties and Dutch influence on their children.  The congregation voted to emigrate to America.  In 1619, Brewster returned to England with William Bradford, another Pilgrim leader (his junior by 23 years,) to secure a patent for a tract of land in America from the Virginia Company.

    Brewster stayed in England until September 16, 1620, at which time, along with 102 others, he boarded the “Mayflower” at Plymouth, England for the trip to America.  After a voyage of 65 days the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod but were unable to land, as they had no legal rights to settle until they reached the land they had contracted for.  At this time they drew up the “Mayflower Compact,” thus creating their own government.  They soon discovered Plymouth harbor and made landing December 21, 1620.  Brewster was a signer of the Mayflower Compact and of the constitution of Plymouth Colony.  He continued as leader of the colony until 1629 when an ordained minister was appointed.  He was the only church officer at the Plymouth Colony.   He died at age 77 on April 10, 1644 at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

  • Clagett, Thomas

    Thomas Clagett, born in London, April 3, 1645, the youngest son of Edward Clagett and Margaret Adams, daughter of the Lord-Mayor of London, was the first of the Clagetts to immigrate to America.  In England, as a young man, Thomas was an officer in his Majesty’s Navy and is identified as Captain Thomas Clagett in Maryland genealogical records.  He arrived in the Province of Maryland in 1670.  He was a landowner of a number of large tracts of land in the Province-Goodlington Manor on the Eastern Shore, Weston with 800 acres near Upper Marlborough, Greenland and Croome in Prince George’s County, and an estate near St. Leonard’s Town where he lived.  He inherited land in England at his father’s death, which he later willed to his eldest son Edward, who returned to England to claim them.  His second son, Thomas, stayed in America and claimed the estate of Weston which remains today in the Clagett family.

    Captain Thomas Clagett was a vast landowner from the start, which identifies him as a man of credit and worthy of land grants.  He was a Captain in the Calvert County militia.  He held the office of Commissioner of Calvert County, Coroner (1687) and Vestryman of Christ Church Parish in Calvert County (1692).  Until his death in 1703, he remained a respected gentleman, a man of substance and importance in his chosen country.

  • Clarke, Joseph

    Joseph Clarke was born on December 9, 1618 in Westhorpe, Suffolk, England.  He died on June1 1694 in Newport, Rhode Island (another source lists Westerly).  The Clarke family was very prominent in the early history of Rhode Island.  Joseph Clarke immigrated with his three brothers and two sisters to New England, first to Boston, then to Rhode Island as early as 1636, living at Newport and Westerly.

    Joseph Clarke was a large landholder, active in local government and a charter member of the First Baptist Church on the Island of Aquidneck (now called Rhode Island).  He was the only member of the family to leave issue in America.  During the years 1651-1663, Joseph Clarke’s brother John, a physician and Baptist minister, negotiated the Colonial charter for Rhode Island with the government of Charles II of England.

    Joseph Clarke was married to Margaret Turner before 1642.  Their children were:  John Clarke, William Clarke, Joshua Clarke, Thomas Clarke, Susannah Clarke, Mary Clarke, Joseph Clarke, Sarah Clarke, Crew Clarke.

  • Colburn, Oliver

    Oliver Colburn was the brother of the patriot and shipbuilder Major Reuben Colburn.  In 1761, during the formative years of the United States, the Colburn family, parents and seven children, moved to Pittston, Maine on the Kennebec River, which was the remote community of Gardinerston in the northern territory of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

    Reuben became a prominent businessman and one of the first shipbuilders on the Kennebec River.  In 1765 he acquired a square mile of land and in 1765 built a colonial home that still stands today.

    In 1775 Reuben led Abenaki Indians in their canoes to Cambridge for an audience with a surprised George Washington who immediately welcomed and enlisted the aid of the chiefs.  Colburn offered his services to the Continental Army, complete with scouts, maps and boats for 1,100 men for a river journey of 300 miles through Maine wilderness to capture Quebec City.  Colonel Benedict Arnold was the commander of the mission. He and a 19 year old volunteer, Aaron Burr, were entertained in the Colburn home by Reuben and Elizabeth for three days before moving the army upriver to Fort Western, a time that cemented the Colburns in history forever.

    Oliver Colburn, his brother Benjamin and partner Thomas Agry supervised crews who labored to fill the contract of building 200 light batoos suitable for 6 or 7 men with oars and paddles within in a period of fifteen days.  As no dried pine was available at the time of year, fresh green pine had to be cut to attach to the oak ribs.  Low water and cold weather hampered the expedition and rocks damaged the boat bottoms.  The Colburn brothers followed with a company of carpenters fixing the bottoms as needed.

    Somewhere near the headwaters of the Dead River, the army, after living on boiled shoe leather, mutinied.  The army barely made it to Canada and Arnold’s attack on Quebec with 600 remnants failed.  The Colburn brothers returned to Pittston where they continued to build ships and support American causes for the remainder of the war.  The family was never paid the money owed them by Washington because the receipts had been lost.   Subsequently, Reuben was financially ruined by the embargo and the War of 1812.  In addition, his effort, in being the first to vote for Maine statehood, as delegate from the Massachusetts General Court to the Falmouth Convention also failed.

    The writer Kenneth Roberts writes about the Colburn family in his book “Arundel.”

    The Colburn family home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in August 2004.

  • Conant, Roger

    Roger Conant was born on April 15, 1591 in East Budleigh, Devonshire, England, the eighth child of Richard and Agnes (Clarke) Conant.  The Conants were a well-respected family, which was descended from John Conant who lived in Devonshire during the Reformation.

    In 1609 at age 18 Roger went to London to find work with his brother Christopher.   Roger became a salter and Christopher was a grocer.  Roger’s first wife died.  He then married Sarah Horton in 1618.  They had two children, but one died at age two months in 1619.

    In 1623, both for religious disagreements with the church and a spirit of adventure the two brothers paid for a voyage to America.  Christopher arrived at Plymouth Colony in July 1623 on the ship “Anne.”  There is no record, but it’s assumed that Roger, Sarah, and one year old son Caleb came also.  Upon arrival, being a Separatist Roger was at odds with the Puritan settlers.  Some new settlers were expelled to Nantasket.  Roger followed them but Christopher stayed in Plymouth.  Roger resided at “Conant’s Island,” later called “Governor’s Island” in Boston Harbor.

    In 1625, due to his good character and ability, Rev. John White of the Dorchester Company invited Roger to take charge of a fishing settlement at Cape Ann.  After some failures it was not profitable and a new location at Naumkeag (later called Salem) was chosen.  In the fall of 1626 the Conants and 40 other settlers moved to Salem.  Many of their group in Cape Ann went to Virginia, but Roger was determined to remain in what was to become Massachusetts Colony.  In 1626-28 a patent of land in Massachusetts Colony was granted and the news reached Salem in June 1628.  Roger expected to be appointed Governor or agent since he had already been the agent in charge for three years.  However, one of the patentees, John Endicott, was sent from England with about 50 new settlers and was designated the Governor.  Despite the disappointment Roger Conant must have felt, he continued in his effort for a successful venture there, putting the good of the public above his own.  Roger became a freeman May 18, 1631.  He was listed with the church members of Salem in 1636.  He was representative to the First General Court of Massachusetts Colony in 1636.  He was appointed Essex Magistrate and served regularly on the juries of Essex County.  He held many town offices and was a Salem Selectman for many years.  He and Sarah had eight more children.  He died November 19, 1679 in Beverly following the death of his wife.

    A statue of Roger Conant stands in Historic Salem today, in tribute of his contribution and early settlement in Salem and the Massachusetts Colony.

  • Cooke, John

    John Cooke traveled on the Mayflower with his father Francis Cooke.  Francis was one of the 41 signatories of the Mayflower Compact.  Francis Cooke was a wool comber from England who had arrived in Leiden around 1603, earlier than the Separatist migration to the area.  He was born probably in England after August 1583 and died at Plymouth Colony on 7 April 1663.  Although not being part of the Separatist group from England, Francis and his wife Hester Mahieu (daughter of Jennie Mahieu from Canterbury, England) had an affinity to the Separatist movement along with other members of their Leiden Walloon Church.  Hester’s family was part of the French Walloon refuges that had fled to Canterbury, England, where she was born in 1584.  She and Francis were married in 1603.  The Huegenots and Walloons were Protestant exiles from Europe.  Those from France were known as the Huguenots, and those from present-day Belgium were known as Walloons.  Both were persecuted for their religion and left in large numbers, with a large influx coming to England.

    John Cooke’s mother Hester arrived at Plymouth aboard the “Anne” in 1623 with her other children Jane and Jacob.  Two more children, Hester and Mary were born in Plymouth.  The “division of cattle” made at Plymouth on May 22, 1627, lists Francis Cooke, wife Hester, sons John and Jacob and daughters Jane, Hester, and Mary.  This is the earliest record giving names of his wife and children.  Francis Cooke was one of the “Purchasers” who bought in 1627 all the rights of the “Adventurers,” in effect saving the Colony from bankruptcy. 

  • Dudley, Thomas

    Thomas Dudley, the only son of Capt. Roger Dudley and Susanna Thorne was born in 1576 at Northampton, England.  He was fourteen when he and his sisters became orphans.  His mother had died and his father was killed at the Battle of Ivery.  Thomas was raised as a page in the family of Lord Compton, Earl of Northampton.  He became well educated, learning both Latin and the Law.  At the age of twenty he became a Captain in the army and fought as a volunteer with Henry IV, King of France at the siege of Amiens in 1597.  On returning to England he became a Puritan.  In 1603 he married Dorothy Yorke.  He became acquainted with Cotton Mather.  In 1629, he was a signed of the Massachusetts Bay Trading Company and was chosen with five others to take the Royal Charter to America.  John Winthrop was elected governor and Thomas was made depute-governor.  Leaving friends and prosperity, he sailed on the “Arbella” with his wife and children in 1630.  He disagreed with Winthrop on the choice of Salem for a capital.  Winthrop settled in Newtown and Dudley went to Ipswich but later moved to Roxbury.

    At age 54 Thomas Dudley had a long life in public office ahead of him.  He was elected governor four times and deputy-governor thirteen times.  He participated in every event in the life of the colony throughout the rest of his life.  In 1650 he signed the original charter for Harvard College.  He was a strict Puritan and frequently clashed with other leaders.  He was a principal founder of the Church of Boston.  He had a strong body, unyielding temper and unbreakable will.  In 1643 he married Catherine Dighton after his wife Dorothy died.  He had three more children, most notably Joseph, (future royal governor or Massachusetts), when he was seventy.

    Thomas Dudley was an able executive with unimpeachable integrity.  He was something of a scholar and wrote poetry.  He strongly believed in autocracy not a popular government.  He believed that the state should control even the church.  He was positive, dogmatic, austere, and thrifty.  He became one of the largest landowners in Roxbury.  He died aged 77 at Roxbury on July 31, 1653.  The famous poet Ann Bradstreet was his daughter. 

  • Ely, Ezra Cullick

    Ezra Cullick Ely was the great grandson of Richard Ely (“The Emigrant”) of Plymouth, England who came to America between 1660 and 1663.  On the voyage, his son Richard accompanied him.  They resided in Boston before settling in Lyme, Connecticut, where they were the original settlers and had about 4,000 acres under their management.  He too had a son “Deacon” Richard, who with his first wife Elizabeth (Phoebe) Peck, became parents of Ezra Cullick Ely, who was born on January 22, 1728.

    Ezra was married twice.  In 1751 he married Sarah Sterling.  They had three children.  Sarah died in 1759 and in 1760 Ezra married Sarah’s sister Anna Sterling.

    Ezra was appointed to be Ensign of the Third Military Company of Lyme by the Connecticut General Assembly in October 1759.  In October 1762 he was commissioned Captain of the same company.

    See Appleton’s New American Biography for an account of Captain Ezra C. Ely.)

  • Fuller, Edward

    Edward Fuller was born in 1575 in Redenhall, County Norfolk, England.  His father was a butcher by trade and his brother Samuel was a doctor and a deacon.  Edward’s occupation remains unknown.  He married Anne Hopkins about 1605.  They lived in Leyden, Holland, for a while, but Fuller was not a member of the Leyden Colony.  However, he joined the Pilgrims at Southampton, embarking first in the “Speedwell”.  When that ship proved un-seaworthy, he transferred to the Mayflower with his wife and young son, Samuel, and continued the voyage to the New World.

    Edward was the twenty-first signer of the “Compact” which was drawn up in the cabin of the Mayflower just previous to the landing at Cape Cod in November, 1620.  Though he and his wife both died soon after their arrival (1620-21), and are buried in unmarked graves on Coles Hill at Plymouth, their memorial has remained in a “numerous, widespread and worthy posterity, transmitted through their son, Samuel.”

  • Gerrish, William

    The ship “Jonathan” brought William Gerrish and the Percival Lowle family from England to Massachusetts in 1639.  William, who was born on August 20, 1617, in Bristol, Somersetshire, was instructed in the mercantile business by Mr. Lowle while both still lived in England.  Not long after the group arrived in the colony, William married widow Joanna Lowle Oliver.  Together they had ten children, at least eight of whom survived to adulthood.

    Residing with his family in Newbury, William became a freeholder in 1649.  As he grew in the esteem of his townsmen he was appointed to such positions as Commissioner of Common Causes, Lieutenant and then Captain of their local militia (known as band), and ultimately deputy to the General Court (the lower house of representatives in Massachusetts).  He was the equivalent of a road and public works commissioner seeing to road and bridge repair and the town’s water mill construction.

    As he became more involved in his community the townspeople asked that he not be in charge of both the Horse and the Foote troops at the same time, possibly implying he was gaining too much power.  As a deputy to the General Court (ultimately the lower house of representatives in Massachusetts) he and six others listed a number of actions which had displeased the king.  They in turn were asked to defend their statement.  Apparently this was done to the satisfaction of his peers, for in 1686, after he had moved to Boston and remarried, he was asked to give the opening and closing prayers at the semi-centennial celebration of the city of Boston.

    In his final years William Gerrish was the owner of Number Three Long Wharf.  He died on August 9, 1687 at the house of his son Benjamin in Salem, where he wrote and signed a detailed will, regrettably more generous to his sons than to his daughters.

  • Greene, John

    Major John Greene was one of the most powerful and important figures in the early history of Rhode Island.

    Major Greene was the son of surgeon John Greene and Joanne Tatersall.  His wife was Ann Almy.  Oliver Payson Fuller, in his 1875 “History of Warwick”, notes that Major John Greene held at different times the offices of General Recorder, General Attorney, General Solicitor but was best known for his service as Deputy Governor.  He was elected annually to that office from 1690-1700.  He finally retired at the age of eighty.  He received no salary for his services but was exempted from payment of taxes.  He wielded more power than the Governors he served with and left a greater impact on the state’s history than almost any early politician.

    During his tenure the town of Warwick was nearly destroyed by a smallpox epidemic in 1690.  The town also witnessed the introduction of paper money as bills of credit.  In 1692, Greene journeyed to Boston to inquire about establishing a post office and he helped to bring about the development of the Boston Post Road, which ran from Boston through Apponaug and eventually to Virginia.

    Major Greene was one of the 24 named in the permanent charter obtained from King Charles II in 1663, and one of the 10 assistants provided for in the Charter for Rhode Island.  He was one of those commissioned to determine the boundary lines of the colony with the colonies of Connecticut, and Massachusetts.  He is also regarded as a champion for Rhode Island rights and is noted significantly as the man who introduced Rhode Island to the controversial practice of privateering.  It paved the way for a dramatic increase in Rhode Island’s commerce.

    Major John Greene and Ann Almy Greene had eleven children.  Their youngest, Samuel, married Mary Gorton, whose grandfather founded Warwick.  Samuel was very important in Apponaug history and his descendants continued to be important in the history of Warwick and Rhode Island.

  • Griswold, Edward

    Edward and Mathew Griswold were born at Kenilworth, in Warwickshire, England.  According to a deposition in the state records of Hartford, Connecticut, Edward was born in 1607.  The two brothers immigrated to America about 1640.  Edward brought his wife and four children with him.  He settled at Windsor, Connecticut.  He was a representative in Windsor, from 1658 to 1661.  In 1664 he moved to Killingsworth, Connecticut, as one of the leaders in the settlement of that area and he became its first representative.  He, most likely, is the one who gave Killingsworth its name, answering to the popular pronunciation of his native place, Kenilworth, England.

    In 1678, when the County Court took the conditions of the schools into consideration, he represented Killingsworth in a committee of six, “to see what could be done towards establishing a Latin School at New Haven.”

    Records show that Edward, his brother Mathew, and his son Francis were all Representatives in one Court at the same time.  Edward died in 1691.  Nothing is known about his wife except that her name was Margaret.

  • Hart, William

    William Hart was born June 24, 1746 in Saybrook, Connecticut.  He was the eldest son of the Reverend William Hart of Saybrook.  He became a Major General while serving in the American Revolution.  An accomplished equestrian during the Revolution, he led the First Regiment of Connecticut Light Horse Militia to Danbury to take part in resisting Tryon’s Raid.

    In 1767, when he was 21 years old, he built a home for his bride, Esther Buckingham.  This beautiful Georgian house, now known as the Hart House, is the home of the Old Saybrook Historical Society.

    By 1785, he and his brother, Joseph, were in the mercantile business and involved in the West Indies trade.  Old Saybrook served as their fleet’s port of origin. Ships were docked by the entrance of North Cove.

    The Hart House stayed in William Hart’s family until approximately 1827, when his second wife, Lucy Buckingham, sold it to a local ship captain.

    Major General William Hart was married twice, first to Esther Buckingham (1745-1811). They had one child Major Richard William Hart (1768-1837).  He subsequently married Lucy Buckingham (1775-1851): no issue.

  • Haywood, John

    John Haywood, jurist, was born in Halifax county, North Carolina, in 1753.  He was the son of Egbert Haywood, a Revolutionary officer.  He entered the profession of law at an early age.  He served in the militia during the War for Independence.  Later he clerked for several North Carolina sessions of congress and in 1787 he was appointed State Treasurer, a position he held for 40 years.  He was elected the first Mayor of Raleigh, North Carolina.  He helped found the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Raleigh Academy and Raleigh’s Christ Church.  He was active in the operations of all three institutions.

    In 1792, when Raleigh was created as the seat of state government, the legislature passed a law requiring state officials to reside in the city during their term of office.  John Haywood purchased land two blocks east of the State House and built a two-story frame residence with a central portico and extensive interior woodwork, also Federal style trim on the roof cornice and chimneys of Flemish bond brick.  In 1977 the family donated the house to the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina.  The house, “Haywood Hall,” a Raleigh Historic Landmark, is now operated as a museum with many of its original furnishings.

    John Haywood settled in Nashville Tennessee in 1810.  He took high rank as an advocate and was judge of the Supreme Court from 1812 until his death in December 1826.  He was the author of; “A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina”  (Raleigh, 1801), “Haywood’s Justice and North Carolina Law Reports” (1789-1806),  “Tennessee Reports” (Nashville and Knoxville, 1816-18), “Statute Laws of Tennessee” in conjunction with R.L.Cobbs (Knoxville 1831), “Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee” (1832), and “The Civil and Political History of Tennessee from its Earliest Settlement to 1796” (1832).

  • Jaquelin, Edward

    Edward Jaquelin (Jacquelin) was the son of Elizabeth (Craddock) Jaquelin of County Kent, England and a descendant of a Protestant refugee from La Vendee, France during the reign of Charles IX.  He was of the same lineage as the noble family of La Roche Jaqueline.

    Edward Jaquelin went to Virginia, as a Huguenot refugee in 1697 and settled in Jamestown.  He married a Miss Cary of Warwick County.  He died in 1730 leaving issue of three sons, none of which married.  He also left three daughters.  Elizabeth married Richard Ambler.  Mary married John Smith who is believed to have been a member of the House of Burgesses, of the Council and of the Board of Visitors of William & Mary College.  Martha died unmarried in 1804, at age 93.  It is said that Edward Jaquelin “Died as he had lived, one of the most wealthy men in the colony.”

  • Jaquett, Jean Paul

    Tracing the ancestry of many continental families, even though exact places of origin are known, is a difficult task in part because the destruction of records caused by the 30 Years War (1618-1648.)  Records show, however, that the ancestry of Jean Paul Jaquett can be traced back to the 15th century.

    Jean Paul Jaquett was born in Nuremburg, Bavaria, about 1615-1620.  He was the son of Peter Paul and Anna Maria Jaquet (Bavarian spelling.)  He left his native land and settled for a time in Holland, where he became identified with the Dutch West India Company, spending some years in their service in Brazil.  He married in Holland, Maria de Carpentier.  Church records show that he was baptized in New York City at the Dutch Reformed Church, July 18, 1655.  This indicates that he was among the many settlers from a variety of European Communities who were attracted to the New Netherlands, the Dutch Colony along the Hudson River.  He arrived about the years 1650-1655.  Records also show that he was appointed vice-director and chief magistrate of the South River of the New Netherlands.

    After the capture by the English in 1664 he became a subject of Great Britain.  He was appointed Justice of the Peace and served until the delivery of the territory to William Penn in October 1682.  In 1684 he obtained warrant for a tract of land, 290 acres south of Wilmington, known as “Long Hook.”  It was owned until the middle of the 19th century by descendants, of which one was Major Peter Jaquett, a well known personage in the American Revolution.

  • Leeds, Daniel

    Thomas Leeds, a signer of “Concessions and Agreements” arrived in America, from England in 1676, with his wife and three sons, William, Daniel and Thomas.  He settled in East Jersey, near Shrewsbury.  His wife died shortly after their arrival in New Jersey.  On August 6, 1678 he married Margaret Collier of Marcus Hook “On Ye Delaware River” at Burlington Meeting.

    Daniel, the second son of Thomas Leeds and his first wife, was the progenitor of the Leeds Family in Burlington County.  He was married when he arrived in America, but his wife also died shortly after their arrival.  Soon after, he married Anne Stacy at Burlington on February 21, 1681.  The meeting record states “Daniel Leeds, late of Shrewsbury, East Jersey, Cooper” which indicates that he had already settled in the neighborhood of Burlington.  On October 21, 1680 Daniel Leeds purchased a tract of land from Robert Stacy, located near Springfield (now Jacksonville) in Springfield Township on the south side of Assiscunk Creek and settled on this plantation.  Anne Stacy Leeds died on December 3, 1681.  Two years later Daniel married Dorothy Young.  They had eight children.

    Daniel Leeds was an active surveyor and in 1696 he made the first map of Burlington County.  He served as a member of the Governor’s Council, under Lord Cornbury, the first Governor of the Province, after the surrender of East and West Jersey to the Crown in 1702.  He was appointed Surveyor General in 1681 and served until 1710.  He was also a member of the Assembly from Burlington in 1682 and Justice of the Supreme Court in 1709.  He was mentioned as an astrologer by Benjamin Franklin in his “Poor Richard Almanac” for 1735 and Allibone referred to him as “the first author in the Provinces south of New York.”

  • Lucas, Robert

    Robert Lucas was Ohio’s twelfth governor.  His father William Lucas, was a descendant of Robert Lucas, an English Quaker who came to America in 1679, enlisted in the American Revolution and in 1781, when the future governor was only a few months old, volunteered for service against the Indians on the frontier.  Robert Lucas was born at Shepherdstown, Virginia on April 1, 1781.  His mother was Susannah Barnes.  Little is known of his early life, except that a Scotch tutor taught him mathematics and surveying.  At age 19 his family moved to Scioto County, Ohio, then Northwest Territory.  In 1803 he was appointed surveyor of Scioto County.  He joined the state militia.  In 1812 he organized a battalion of volunteers from his Ohio militia brigade.  He was a captain in the summer of 1812 in General Hull’s campaign against Canada, as well as maintaining his position of Brigadier general in the militia.  After Hull’s surrender he returned home to a sick wife, who soon died leaving a daughter of one year and a half.  In 1816 he became a major general in the militia, but saw no more combat.

    In 1808-9 he served in the Ohio House of Representatives.  In 1814 he was elected to the state senate.  He represented Scioto and other neighboring counties until 1822, then again in 1824-28 and 1823-30.  He was returned to the lower house in 1831 for the last time.  He supported legislation for canals, public schools and a strong militia.

    In 1816 he married Miss Friendly Ashley Sumner, moved to Pike County, opened a general store and built a grand house “Friendly Grove,” in honor of his wife, which is still standing on the original site two miles from Piketon.

    He had become very prominent in the state and was an ardent supporter of Andrew Jackson. Democratic Republicans chose him to run for governor against Duncan McArthur, an old friend, but he lost.  In May 1832 he was elected chairman of the first Democratic national convention.  In 1832 he won the election for governor over Darius Lyman.  He was re-elected for a second term over James Findlay, the anti-Jackson candidate.  This term he played a decisive role in the “Toledo War,” a battle between Ohio and Michigan for territory that was the terminus of the Miami-Erie Canal. Ohio won, but Michigan was awarded land around Lake Michigan.  He was unable to negotiate a treaty with the Wyandot Indians in 1834 to move west.  He was involved in various other territorial disputes and finally retired in 1841.  In 1844 he built a brick house at “Plum Grove” and retired to spend time with his wife and family of six children, as well as to compose religious poems and hymns.  He died February 7, 1853 and was buried at Iowa City.

  • Luckett, William

    William Luckett, son of Samuel and Anne Luckett, was born about the year 1711, probably at Port Tobacco, Charles County, Maryland.  About 1725, then an orphan, he was placed under the care of James Middleton, by court orders to learn a profitable trade.  Although Middleton was censured in 1728 for neglecting to teach William Luckett to read and write, William nevertheless became very proficient in letters, as is ascertained by many documents written and signed by him that are preserved in the Court House of Frederick County.

    William’s wife was Charity, daughter of John and Mary (Wheeler) Middleton, born in 1717.   The Middletons deeded William and Charity 195 acres in Prince Georges County in 1740.  William and Charity had ten children.  They settled in the new county of Frederick on the western slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains.  William became a force in the community and one of the most outstanding subjects of the Lord Proprietor.  Before his death he had attained high military and civil honors and was the first of the Lucketts to gain any significant colonial importance.

    William was a vestryman at All Saint’s Parish, the mother church, of Frederick County and was closely identified with its growth.  He commanded a company of militia from Frederick County in the French and Indian Wars, one account showing his company in continuous and active service for 30 days.  His eldest sons, William and Samuel were in the company as well.   In addition to his military campaigns for many years he was one of the magistrates of Frederick County and is known as one of the “Twelve Immortal Justices” who repudiated the Stamp Act of November 23, 1765.  He was most active in the cause of the Patriots in the trying days before the American Revolution.  In 1775 he held the rank of lieutenant colonel and he was actively engaged in the battle of Germantown.  He died in 1783.

  • Marshall, Colonel Thomas

    Colonel Thomas Marshall was born on April 30, 1730 in Westmoreland County, Virginia to Captain John Marshall and his wife, Elizabeth Markham. Captain John Marshall’s father, also John Marshall, had been a Captain of Cavalry in the service of Charles I and immigrated to Virginia about 1650.  He died in 1704 in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

    Thomas Marshall was not formally educated but was ambitious and became a successful surveyor and land agent.  George Washington was a neighbor and childhood friend.  The two became close friends for the remainder of their lives.  They both became surveyors and Washington helped Marshall obtain employment with Lord Fairfax as a surveyor of Lord Fairfax’s royal grant of five million acres in the Northern Neck of Virginia.

    Thomas Marshall moved to Germantown in Fauquier County when his father died in 1752.  In 1754 he married Mary Randolph Keith, the daughter of the Reverend James Keith of Hamilton Parish.  She was intelligent and well educated.  She taught her children at home.  The two lived in a small home in Germantown and began their family, which would grow to fifteen children.  Thomas collected quitrents for Lord Fairfax and later served as both tax collector and sheriff.

    After the birth of their third child in 1760s, the family moved and built a house near present day Markham, a frontier town on the banks of Goose Creek.  The house was known as “The Hollow,” measured 16 x 20 feet with two rooms on the first floor and two in the loft.  Here the next seven children were born which resulted in two parents and ten children living in four small rooms.

    Thomas Marshall became a member of the Fauquier County and represented the House of Burgesses in the 1760s and ‘70s.  By 1773 Colonel Thomas Marshall had accumulated wealth and he purchased an estate near the North Cobbler Mountain.  When he died in 1802 Thomas Marshall owned more than 200,000 acres in Virginia and Kentucky.  The Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, John Marshall, was the oldest of his fifteen children.  Both father and son participated in most of the principal battles of the Revolutionary War.

  • Minot, James

    Lemuel Shattuck in his “History of the Town of Concord,” speaks of the Minots as a distinguished family going back to Thomas Minot, Secretary to the Abbot of Walden in Essex.  His son, George Minot, born in 1594, came to New England and was among the first settlers of Dorchester, Massachusetts.  George had four sons with one named John Minot (1628-1669).  John also had four sons one of whom was James, born 1653.  James attended Harvard College.  He moved in 1680 to Concord, Massachusetts. Shattuck tells further how “James preached in Stow, Massachusetts in 1685 for twelve shillings six pence per day, one half cash, one half Indian corn.”   Also that, “James practiced physic, was a captain, justice of the peace, representative to the Massachusetts “General Court” or House of Representatives and was eminently a useful man.”  He died in 1735.

    Shattuck continues to say that Concord’s James Minot married Rebecca Wheeler (1666-1734), the daughter of an early settler Timothy Wheeler (1601-1687).  Timothy Wheeler, among other things had come to own the mill in Concord.  The shopping area at the center of Concord is still called the “Milldam,” this being where the settlers had dammed the brook and established their first mill.  Timothy Wheeler, who died not long after Rebecca’s marriage, left the mill to her in his will.  This made the James Minot family among the more prosperous inhabitants of Concord.  James and Rebecca Minot had ten children.  The fifth of these was also named James (1694-1759) and Shattuck calls him “one of the most distinguished men of his time.”

    A later ancestor Captain Jonas Minot was the stepfather of Henry David Thoreau.

  • Morris, Anthony

    Anthony Morris, Quaker preacher and Mayor of Philadelphia, was born in the parish of Stepney, London, England on August 23, 1654.  He was the son of Anthony Morris and Elizabeth Senior.  On arrival in America, he settled first in New Jersey and in 1683 removed to Philadelphia, where his name appears as an alderman in the City Charter March 20, 1691.  The following year, he was appointed a Judge of the Courts of Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions and of the Orphans’ Court, of which he became the presiding judge.  In 1694 he was named a Judge of the Supreme Court.  William Penn, reporting to the Lords of Trade in London on the conditions in the Province noted, “Morris is one of the most sufficient as well as diligent magistrates there.”  In 1695-97 he was a member of the Provincial Council and for several years a member of the Assembly.  Eventually, in 1704 he became Mayor of Philadelphia.

    Anthony Morris was a committed Quaker.  He began to preach in 1701 and not long thereafter came to devote nearly all his time to ministerial labor with the Society of Friends, traveling through most of the North American provinces.

    After Morris’s death on October 24, 1721, his son, also named Anthony, followed in his father’s footsteps not only as judge, member of the Assembly and Mayor, but for almost forty years as one of the most influential members of the Society of Friends in Philadelphia
    Robert C. Moon, M.D.,  “The Morris Family of Philadelphia:  Descendants of Anthony Morris (1654-1721),” 5 vols. (Philadelphia, 1898-1909) and “Appleton’s Cyclopedia of American Biography,” ed. James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, 6 vols. (New York, 1887-1889)

  • Robert, Reverend Pierre

    An account states that “Rev. Pierre Robert was the first Huguenot preacher to set foot on the shores of the New World.  He was of sturdy stock, whose fearless spirit, neither the cruelty of religious persecution nor the dangers of the ocean and fear of the savage could intimidate or subdue.”

    Reverend Pierre Robert was born in Basle, Switzerland.  He was ordained in Switzerland in 1682.  In 1686, after the revocation of “The Edict of Nantes,” he immigrated to America along with a Captain Philip Gendron.  He settled on the Santee River, either in or near Jamestown, Virginia.  He led the Huguenot Colony and was the first rector of the Parish of St. James Santee.  He later became an Anglican.  He died in 1715.

    Records tell of the Village of Robertville (most likely named for Reverend Robert) in the Beaufort District.  It is now a small country settlement, but was once of historic interest, renown for the beauty of its churches.  The village’s glory ended during “Sherman’s March,” when soldiers destroyed the noted church and the surrounding plantation homes.

    A famous descendant of Reverend Pierre Robert was General Henry Martyn Robert, the country’s leading parliamentarian.  He was born in Robertville.  His “Robert’s Rules of Order,” an authoritative work on parliamentary procedure was published for the first time in February 1876.

  • Roberts, Thomas

    Thomas Roberts, presumed to have been the son of John Roberts of Woolaston, England, was born around 1600.  Thomas came to the New World by 1623, settling near what is now Dover, New Hampshire, and he was married in 1627 to Rebecca Hilton, who may have been the sister of fellow settler Edward Hilton.

    In 1639-40 Thomas  was elected “President of the Court,” an office of agency for the Bristol Co., the proprietors of Dover.  At the March 1640 elections, Thomas was chosen Governor or President of the County in place of Gov. John Underhill.  He held that office until Dover (then Northam) came under Massachusetts in 1642.   Later he held various minor town offices;  he was a regular member of the church for many years, but was inclined to be liberal in his views, so when the Quaker missionaries came to Dover he favored giving them a fair hearing and opposed having the women whipped, as they were by order of the court.

    Thomas Roberts died in 1671 and was buried in the oldest cemetery in Dover, which is adjacent to the Roberts homestead on the high bank of the Fore River at what was known as Dover Neck. Thomas and Rebecca had four daughters and two sons.

    Sources:  “Colonial Era History of Dover, NH” by John Scales, p. 302; and Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, Noyes, p.589.

  • Sanborn, John

    John Sanborn or John Samborne (as it was spelled then) came to America with his two brothers and his maternal grandfather from Berkshire, England, in 1632.  They settled in Hampton, New Hampshire, and John’s grandfather, Stephen Bachiller, became a minister there.

    John Samborne grew up to be a selectman in Hampton.  He served as Lieutenant in the King William’s War in 1689.  His first wife, Mary Tuck, died in 1668 and he remarried.  John died on October 20, 1692.  Two generations later the name was changed to Sanborn.

  • Shurtleff, William

    William Shurtleff was born in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1657.  He was the son of William Shurtleff (born in Hallamshire, England, on the 16th of May 1624) and Elizabeth Lettice Shurtleff.  He was the first native born Shurtleff.  He was commonly spoken of as “William the surveyor” and was the eldest son and heir apparent.  He spent most of his life in Plymouth where he held offices of “honor, as well as labor and trust.”  He was for many years one of the selectmen of the town, captain of a military company, delegate to the Provincial Assembly in 1694 and town treasurer from 1695 to 1704.

    On June 4, 1707, a portion of the town of Plymouth was set off and incorporated by the name of Plympton.  William Shurtleff was chosen on March 1, 1707/08, for their first town clerk and served until March 2, 1710/11.  It is to him we are indebted for the early records of that town.  He was the first captain of the military company at Plympton.  Tradition says that he was a very wealthy man for the time in which he lived and that he was a distinguished surveyor, owned land all over the colony, built the first wharf in Plymouth, erected the first warehouse and settled the dispute between Sandwich and Plymouth.

    William Shurtleff died in Plymouth on February 4, 1729/30 and is buried there with his wife and other members of the Shurtleff family.

  • Slagle, Henry

    Henry Slagle was born August 20, 1735, in the county of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  During his lifespan he accomplished many noble endeavors.  Throughout his late twenties and early thirties he served as Justice of the Peace of York County.

    Later in life as duty to his country called, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Slagle served in the 3rd Battalion of York County Associators in the year 1775.  Henry went on to become York County’s Delegate to the Provincial Conference of Committees at Carpenter’s Hill from June 18 to June 28, 1776.  He passed away February 14, 1811.

  • Smith, Lt. Samuel

    Lt. Samuel Smith was born in 1602 in Hadleigh, Suffolk, England.  He was christened on October 9, 1628 in Hadleigh, England.  He died on January 17, 1681 in Hadley, Massachusetts.

    In April of 1634, Lt. Samuel Smith, at the age of thirty-two, set sail for America on the “Elizabeth of Ipswich” with his wife Elizabeth and their four children; Philip aged one, Samuel aged nine, Elizabeth aged seven and Mary aged four.  At first the family settled in Watertown, Massachusetts then moved to Wetherfield, Connecticut.  Finally, because of church disputes in Wetherfield they moved to Hadley, Massachusetts, where two more sons were born.

    In Hadley, because of his integrity and soundness of judgment, Lt. Smith was chosen for town affair’s management.  For many years he was deputy to the Massachusetts General Court, Associate Magistrate at the Hampshire County Court and Lieutenant of the Hadley Company from 1663-1673.  He also held important offices in his church and was chosen a Townsman  (Selectman) many times.  He died at the age of seventy five and his wife died in 1686 at the age of eighty-four.

  • Teller, William

    William Teller, of Holland, was the founder of the Teller family in America.  He was born in 1620 and died in 1701.  He arrived in New Netherlands in 1639.  That same year he was sent by Governor Kieft to Fort Orange, now Albany, and subsequently became quartermaster at the fort.  He lived in Albany from 1639 until 1692, when he returned to New York where he became a merchant.

    William Teller was one of the five patentees of the town of Schenectady in 1684, although he never lived there.  The Teller family is prominent in the history of Albany and Schenectady counties, where they had large interests.  William Teller first married Margaret Donchensen with whom he had six children.  His second wife was Maria Varleth with whom he had three more children.

  • Venable, Nathaniel

    The following appears on a bronze plaque on Venable’s gravestone in the family cemetery outside the campus of Hampden-Sydney College near Farmville, Virginia.

    CAPTAIN NATHANIEL VENABLE
    1733-1804
    Planter, Vestry Clerk of French’s Church
    St. Patrick Parish
    Member of the House of Burgesses 1766-69
    Member of the Prince Edward Committeeof Safety
    Captain in the Revolutionary War
    Member of the House of Delegates
    Member of the Virginia Senate 1780-82
    Justice of the Peace Prince Edward County
    County Lieutenant of Prince Edward
    A Founder of Hampden-Sydney College
    And Trustee Until 1804

    ELIZABETH MICHAUX WOODSON VENABLE
    1740-1791
    Wife of Nathaniel Venable and Mother of
    His Fourteen Children, Seven of Whom
    Are Buried Here

    Of such as these were the corner stones
    of our nation

  • Ward, Richard

    Richard Ward was born in Newport, Rhode Island on April 15, 1689, the third child of Thomas Ward (1641-1689) and his second wife, Amy Billings (1658-1732).  Richard’s father Thomas emigrated from Glouchester, England, where he had served as an officer in one of Cromwell’s cavalry regiments.

    Like his father before him, Richard Ward was a merchant.  He served as Attorney General from 1712 to 1713.  He was deputy and clerk of the Rhode Island Colonial Assembly in 1714 and recorder from 1714 to 1730.  He was Deputy Governor in 1740, and ascended to the governorship in July of that year upon the death of Governor Wanton.  He served three terms until 1743.

    On November 2, 1709, Richard Ward was married to Mary Tillinghast (1690-1767).  Their son Samuel, the ninth of fourteen children, also served as Governor of Rhode Island.  Richard Ward died on the 21st of August in 1763.

  • Watkins, Joel

    Joel Watkins was born March 4, 1784 and was married in Virginia.  He moved to Tennessee in 1830.  He served in the War of 1812.  He was a justice of the peace in Tennessee for several years and a member of the Missionary Baptist Church as was his wife Silva.  He died in 1863.

    Joel Watkins was the son of Thomas Watkins, of English descent and an old time Virginian who was an officer in the Revolutionary War.  Thomas was with General Washington at the surrender at Yorktown and represented his county in the state legislature a number of times.  Thomas Watkins’ wife Fanny was a daughter of Thomas White also originally from Virginia.  He was a captain of a company in the American troops during the Revolutionary War.

  • Whitfield, William

    William Whitfield II was born May 20, 1715 and died March 31, 1795.  His father, William Whitfield I, came from Lancashire, England to Virginia in the early part of the 19th century.  He married, settled in Bertie County, North Carolina and had 10 children.  According to legend, while on their way to visit one of their children they were murdered by Indians.

    Their son William Whitfield II married Rachel Bryan (1722-1780) on November 6, 1741, in the Bryan home in Bertie, North Carolina.  After they married they moved to the rich lands on the Neuse River in Dobbs County, North Carolina, where they raised their family 4 sons and 5 daughters.  Over the course of their lifetimes, they built three different homes along the river, “Rockford,” “White Hall” and a plantation called “Pleasant Plains,” where William and Rachel died.

    William Whitfield II was a leader in county affairs.  He was appointed Justice of the Peace by the Council held in New Bern, North Carolina in 1750, represented Dobbs County as a member of the Assembly held in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1761-62 and was a member of Governor Caswell’s council in 1779.  He was also a captain in the North Carolina Militia and later a colonel.

    Three of William Whitfield II sons – Bryan, William III and Needham  – were in the American Revolution fighting from the beginning, at the battle of Moore’s Creek Bridge,  up to the end of the war at Yorktown.  Needham served as a lieutenant in the Continental Army and Bryan rose to the rank of brigadier general in the Militia.  From 1805-1815, Bryan was a trustee of the University of North Carolina.