Found some original notes yesterday in the files: reminiscences collected by three Stott cousins and written up by “H.S.F.,” a granddaughter of Jonathan Stott, sometime after World War I. I’m pretty sure H.S.F. must be Grace Helene Stott Franchot (1867-1939), who was Grandma’s aunt. Still trying to figure out who everybody else is but the contents of the files are gold.
Here’s more background on Jonathan Stott’s family and military career. The story of his mother’s funeral is particularly arresting.[...]
Born at Failsworth in Lancashire, as a boy Jonathan Stott learned the weaving trade in his father’s silk mill. But he chose to follow the military example of his older brother Joseph, who enlisted at 17. (Joseph was killed only two years later, probably in India.) Jonathan joined the Sixth Foot Regiment, now known as the First Warwickshire Regiment of Foot. Formed in 1674, it’s one of the oldest in the British Army.
After fighting in Spain and France, his regiment was ordered to Canada to serve in the Niagara Campaign of the War of 1812. They landed in Quebec in June of 1814. By August, they were fighting the Siege of Fort Erie, the longest engagement of that campaign. For six weeks, the British battered the fort held by the Americans, suffering heavy casualties as well as illness and exposure in their rough encampment. On September 14, 1814, Jonathan Stott was captured by the Americans.[...]
John Colt the younger is our second Colt in America, son of the immigrants John Colt and Mary Skinner of Hartford and then Windsor, Connecticut. He was born probably in Hartford, grew up in Windsor, and spent most of his adult life in what is now known as Old Lyme. He may have worked as a shipbuilder, according to a Rhode Island history that got nearly every other fact about his life wrong – and why are they writing about John Colt anyway?
Somewhere, some time he married Sarah Lord, daughter of William Lord and granddaughter of Thomas Lord and Dorothy Bird, who emigrated with their family from Northamptonshire in 1635 on the Elizabeth and Ann. Thomas Lord was a Puritan and a blacksmith and one of the founders of Hartford. He and his wife are also Pearson ancestors through another son named Richard Lord.[...]
Sir William Lovelace of Bethersden (1561-1629) was a soldier, knighted in 1599 for his role in suppressing an Irish rebellion. He was also a stockholder of the Virginia Company, a Kent magistrate, and a Member of Parliament for Canterbury. His life began on an uneven financial footing and ended in penury.
The son of Serjeant Lovelace, he was only 15 when his father died and left him with substantial property but also lots of debts and lawsuits. Worst was a payment of £800 owed to Roger Manwood, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, tied to a lawsuit stemming from his father’s purchase of the Hospital of St. Lawrence in Canterbury. Manwood waited till after the Serjeant’s death to pounce. He did this despite having said at the time that “as the Serjeant was dead it was time their quarrels were forgotten.” Young Lovelace’s aunt, Margaret Cooke, pleaded with the Baron to settle the suit, as her nephew “was but young, fatherless and almost without friends.” Manwood replied “he might hang himself or sell his land” but clear the title he must.[...]
Mercenary, pirate, double-crosser, jailbird, bigamist, wife-abandoner. “Well, at least he didn’t kill anybody,” says one descendant.
Meet Thomas Baxter, born between 1626 and 1628, either in Shropshire or Norfolk. We don’t know how he got here but he may have come with his father George as part of the Winthrop fleet to Massachusetts in 1630. We don’t know his mother’s name for sure, but it might have been Mary Adams. The Baxters moved to New Amsterdam with a few other English families in 1635, and in 1641 were given a grant of farmland on the site of present-day Bellevue Hospital, on the East River. Thomas probably grew up on that farm. George worked for the Dutch West India Company, was secretary and translator for both governors Kieft and Stuyvesant, and also did business with the bloodthirsty Captain John Underhill (a Vail ancestor), but those stories are for another day.[...]
John Colt, ca. 1630-ca. 1713
I kind of hate to write this boring post and burst any family bubbles. The truth is, we know very little about John Colt, the first immigrant to come here with that family name. And much of what we thought we knew turns out to have been spun in the 19th century to please Colt descendants. We don’t know his birth or death date, the names of his parents, or when and how he got here. We don’t know where he came from, or if he has any connection whatsoever to Colts Hall in Cavendish, Sudbury. Turns out he didn’t come here in 1633 on the Griffin as a ward of the famous Rev. Thomas Hooker, and he probably didn’t get here in 1638 on the Susan and Ellen as some have claimed, either. His first genuine sighting in the records is in 1656, when he was fined for playing cards in Hartford.[...]
Elizabeth Aucher, 1561-1627
One day in 1580 or thereabouts, Elizabeth Aucher wed Sir William Lovelace of Bethersden, about whom I haven’t written yet, though I did recently profile his father. (Update: here’s young Wills.) All of these people lived in Kent, in or near Canterbury. They’re important to us because, within two generations, the Lovelaces would be mixing with the Gorsuch family and colonizing Virginia and Maryland.
I don’t know much about Elizabeth Aucher, but her grandfather and nephew, both named Sir Anthony Aucher, were interesting public characters cut from the same cloth. Specifically, they were both pretty good at making money but even better at spending it.[...]
Back in 1247, the Lovelace family settled at Bethersden, in the Weald of Kent, and in 1367 purchased the property that was to become Lovelace Place. Two members of the family, possibly brothers, joined Cade’s Rebellion in 1450; another allegedly played a crucial role during the Second Battle of St. Albans in 1461 by withdrawing his Yorkist contingent from the fight. It was probably that man’s son, Sir Richard Lovelace, who served as marshal of Calais under Henry VII and was knighted after the Battle of Blackheath (1497).[...]
The Story of Cole’s Harbor
Thomas Cole (1603-1679) was probably a passenger on the Transport, which sailed from London to Virginia in 1635. His age would have been about 32, which means that his wife Priscilla and their children Sarah, Rebecca, and Mary most likely traveled with him. Cole was the second son and third child of the Rev. Humphrey Cole, the Vicar of Tillingham in Essex. The Reverend’s oldest son, William, had already emigrated to Virginia in 1618, and would later move to Maryland.
Cole and his family settled first in Accomack County, on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. By 1649 they had moved to Maryland, probably Baltimore County, and by 1656 they were in Anne Arundel County. By January 1657, Thomas, his brother William, and William’s son “William Coale” were all acknowledged Quakers, and the younger William was on his way to becoming a Quaker leader. The Reverend Humphrey had died in 1624, so we don’t know how he would have reacted to all this free thinking.[...]
When Abraham Isaacks arrived in New York from Holland in 1698, the total Jewish population in the colonies numbered two to three hundred. He may have been as young as 5 years old, in which case he was probably in the company of his parents, whose names are not known to us.
Like many of colonial New York’s Jews, Isaacks became a merchant. He was also a landowner and was actively involved in New York political life – both unusual traits for Jews of the time, even for prosperous ones like Isaacks.[...]
Richard Swain (1600-1682) and his family emigrated to New England in 1635, taking three different ships as a precaution against loss. Richard sailed on the Truelove; his wife Elizabeth (Basselle) and three young children on the Planter; and their two older sons in care of friends on the Rebecca. The family first settled in Rowley, Massachusetts, then followed the charismatic Rev. Stephen Bachiler (a Vail ancestor) to New Hampshire in 1638, where they founded the town of Hampton.
Swain was a leading citizen of Hampton but left twenty years later after a series of difficult events. In 1657 his wife Elizabeth died, and that same year his son William was lost in a tragedy that affected the whole town. The Ghost Ship, newly built and on its maiden voyage to Boston, went down just outside of port and lost everyone aboard. Eight residents of Hampton died. Swain married a neighbor, widowed by the same event, and took in her five children. The following year he was fined and disenfranchised for harboring Quakers. By 1660 he had turned his property over to his daughters and moved with his two remaining sons, his new wife, and stepchildren to Massachusetts, where he and his son John were two of the ten original purchasers of the island of Nantucket from Thomas Mayhew. The purchase price was thirty pounds silver and two beaver hats.[...]
The Rev. Humphrey Cole (1572-1624) first appears on record as a young man of 21 or 22, enrolled at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. There he came under the influence of the most advanced English learning of his day, as well as the new Puritan movement in the English Church. After graduating, he served nine years in two London parishes before moving to the quiet town of Tillingham, Essex, some forty miles to the northeast and close to the North Sea. And there he served as Vicar of Tillingham Parish the rest of his life.[...]
William Pynchon (1590-1662), founder of Roxbury and Springfield, lay theologian, canny trader, friend to Indians, was for a time one of the wealthiest and most important men in Massachusetts. He also wrote the New World’s first banned book, The Meritorious Price of Our Redemption, incensing the Puritans so greatly that they gathered every copy they could and burned them on Boston Common. They missed four. Scandalously, he argued against predestination and in favor of obedience to God as the path to salvation. Then, rather than recant or face ruin, he quietly transferred all his assets to his son and sailed back to England, where he continued to needle the Puritans by writing four more books.[...]
John Warren (1585-1667) was born in Nayland, Suffolk, England, and came to Salem in 1630 as part of the Winthrop fleet, traveling on either the Arabella or the Lyon. With him were his wife, Margaret Bayly, and their four children, ages 1 to 8. The family went first to Charlestown and then settled in Watertown, Massachusetts. There Warren served several terms as selectman, a position of high regard, and was appointed to lay out all highways and see that they were repaired.
But he sympathized with the Quakers and found himself at increasing odds with the Puritans. By the 1650s he was in continual trouble with the authorities as can be seen from the records:[...]