Memories of Stottville: dogs, donkeys, ducks & other critters

These are all stories that we might have heard growing up if our grandmother had been born just ten years earlier. Her older sisters Kate and Jessie joined in some of these memories. But by 1900, when Dorothy was old enough to play with her cousins, Stottville’s heydey was mostly over. -KPJ

“Your mother will remember Schuyler, a little mongrel pup, which your Uncle Will picked up somewhere. Schuyler became a great pet and learned tricks easily. His best one was to sing. Whenever anyone played the piano Schuyler would sit underneath and sing as long as the playing continued.”[...] read more

Memories of Stottville – Kitty Jenks

Kate Oakley Pearson Jenks (1878- ?)

I can shut my eyes now and hear the mill bell ringing before daylight. Bill Hill pumping the well water, the hum of the mill machinery, the horses coming down the hill from the church and over the bridge, and the creek rushing over the dam.

I can smell the wool and grease in the mills, the sulphur water I went with Bill Hill to draw at the springs, the lilac by the north parlor window, the yellow rose bush.

Grandma’s beds of heliotrope and verbena, the buffalo robes in the big sleigh and the ole-kuchen baking in Auntie’s basement kitchen.[...] read more

The oldest tallit in America

The oldest tallit in America, originally owned by Abraham Isaacks (d. 1743)

I can’t believe I left this out of my profile of Abraham Isaacks.

In 2006 a beautiful silk prayer shawl, called a tallit, was donated to the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. It’s been authenticated as the oldest tallit in America, and one scholar makes the case that it may be the oldest in the world.

The first owner of the tallit was our ancestor Abraham Isaacks. On his death in 1743 he passed it on to his wife, Hannah Mears Isaacks, who in turn passed it on to their son Jacob Isaacks, a merchant in Newport, in 1745. Jacob Isaacks and his wife Rebecca (who was also part of the Mears family) had eight children, and passed the tallit on to their eldest daughter. [...] read more

The first colonial Jews

Dutch Jews in New York

On August 22, 1654, a handful of Ashkenazic Jews arrived in the port of New Amsterdam, the first known Jews to set foot in the Dutch settlement. They had sailed from Holland and had passports issued by the Dutch West India Company.

In September, they were followed by 23 Sephardic Jews, this time without passports, fleeing the Portuguese reconquest of Dutch possessions in Brazil and the Caribbean.

Over the extreme objections of Governor Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch West India Company insisted that the Sephardim be granted permanent residency in New Amsterdam on the basis of “reason and equity.” After much back and forth involving letters and long sea passages, the Jews were granted limited residency in 1655 .[...] read more

The Great Migration, 1620-1642

From 1620 until the English Civil War broke out in 1642, a wave of 20,000 people migrated from England to the northeastern United States. It started with the small Plymouth settlement of Pilgrims, who wanted to separate from the Church of England. It was followed by a much larger wave mostly made up of Puritans, who wanted to “purify” the church, and whose views were unwelcome in England during the reign of Charles I.

Driven primarily by religious conviction, these immigrants arrived in family groups or even as entire transplanted congregations – the highest proportion of families ever to arrive in American immigration history. As a result, New England immediately had a multi-age population with relatively equal numbers of men, women, and children. This contrasts sharply with the case of the southern colonies, which at the outset were populated primarily by single young men.[...] read more

Josephs, Wilson, Pearson & Stott immigrants by year

I just added a new page to the history department and am reproducing it here.

Here’s a PDF chart showing every ancestor of our father’s family I can find who came from elsewhere. It shows their dates of arrival but not the ships they came in on; that information can be found here. I separated the immigrants into four lines based on the families of our paternal great-grandparents: Josephs, Wilson, Pearson, and Stott. Altogether I’ve found  228 Josephs forebears who chose to emigrate to this country, and 95% of them got here in the 1600s. Moreover, 85% of them were part of the Great Migration and were here by the 1640s.[...] read more

King Philip’s War

Wheeler’s Surprise and the Siege of Brookfield, August 2–4, 1675

King Philip’s War was an armed conflict between the Native Americans of New England and the English colonists that lasted from 1675 to 1678, named after the Wampanoag chief Metacomet, who was known to the English as “King Philip.” It continued in northern New England – primarily Maine – even after Metacomet was killed in 1676, until a treaty was signed at Casco Bay in April of 1678.

Proportionately, it was one of the most devastating wars in the history of North America. More than half of New England’s 90 towns were assaulted by native warriors. For a time in the spring of 1676, it appeared that the entire English population of Massachusetts and Rhode Island might be driven back to a handful of fortified seacoast cities. 1,200 homes were burned, 8,000 cattle lost, and vast stores of foodstuffs destroyed. One in ten soldiers on both sides was injured or killed.[...] read more