George Weekes & Deborah Wing

10.12.15.1149
10.12.15 ~ Island Pond Cemetery, Harwich, Massachusetts

GEORGE WEEKES.
Born in Dorchester Mass.
A.D. 1683.
Came to Harwich, Married
Deborah Wing: Oct. 13, 1714.
Preached to the Indians.
Perished in a snow storm,
when an old man in the
hollow 100 rods south of
this spot. He was grand-
son of George Weekes, a Hu-
guenot, who fled to England
and came to America in
1630.

My 7th great-grandfather, George Weekes, son of Ammiel and Abigail (Trescott) Weekes, was probably born on 20 March 1689 in Dorchester-Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, according to town records, although his gravestone says he was born in 1683, and died in April 1772. He married on 13 October 1714, Deborah Wing, who was born 2 May 1687 in Harwich (Barnstable) Massachusetts, and died there 9 February 1726, daughter of Ananias and Hannah (Tilton) Wing.

It seems that George was a widower for 46 years. Deborah died soon after the birth and death of her seventh child. It’s fascinating that George was most noted for preaching to the Indians. And of course, for the tragic way he died. Researching my family’s history I have discovered that many of my ancestors were deeply involved in various kinds of religious fomentation. According to this gravestone George’s grandfather was a Huguenot, a French Protestant inspired by the writings of John Calvin.

The following is from Wing Family Annals, Vol. 52, No. 1, edited by Grace Wing Barnes (Clinton, Iowa, Wing Family of America, Inc., 1952) pg. 13,14

George Weekes had lived in Boston, but in 1714 removed to Harwich. He was dismissed from the Old South Church in Boston March 27, 1720, and joined the church at Harwich (north side) under the care of Rev. Nathaniel Stone. He afterwards removed to the south part of the town, where many of his descendants now live, and where he carried on a farm.

George Weekes was not “liberally” educated, but was well versed in the theological books of the day, and was familiar with the scriptures. In 1730, though not ordained by human hands, he commenced preaching to the Indians, who were located toward the south and far removed from the the meeting house, which was on the north side of the parish of 23 square miles. Mr. Weekes built a house of worship for the Indians at his own expense. Notwithstanding these facts, the pastor, Mr. Stone, objected, but does not appear to have insisted on a discontiniuance. Learning, however, that Mr. Weekes on one or more occasions preached to some of his white neighbors, who, no doubt, were glad to assemble occasionally on a week day or stormy Sunday for religious instruction and conference, being as they were so far removed from their regular place of worship, Mr. Stone vigorously protested and complained to the church in regard to the matter. His grounds of complaint were that Mr. Weekes had “no more if so much as an early common education,” that he “had thrust himself into the meeting,” that he “had preached to a people of whol I have the pastoral charge, without my leave and against my declared mind.” There does not appear to have been any charge of want of orthodoxy. Some years later, Mr. Weekes seems to have taken pity upon an unfortunate woman and taken her with her child into his house. Some took offense at this and would not come to the Lord’s table with him, in view of which state of feeling he absented himself from communion. On being called to account for his absence, he made explanations which were accepted by the church as in a measure satisfactory, but at the same time he was advised to dismiss the woman from his house and to avoid “her conversations as much as convenient.” There seems to have been no charge against him of impropriety. In the later years of his life, his mind was clouded, which led to aimless wanderings about the country. He died from exposure to the cold in the low ground south of Harwich Academy, known from the circumstance as “Weekes’ Hollow” to the present day — being more than 80 years old.

A sermon preached by Mr. Weekes in 1726, on occasion of the remarkable preservation of Ebenezer Taylor, who was buried for ten hours in a deep well, has been recently reprinted, with an essay entitled, “A Parent’s Advice to his children, in which he declaims and argues very earnestly against the great sin of wearing periwigs and of extravagance of dress.

Deborah & George were the parents of seven children, all born in Harwich:

i. Abigail Weekes, born 29 August 1715.

ii. Mehitable Weekes, born 21 April 1717, died 24 June 1750 in Harwich. She married there, 28 October 1736, Eleazer Robbins, who was born about 1715 and died 15 July 1785. Mehitable & Eleazer were the parents of five children.

iii. Deborah Weekes, born 26 July 1718, died 22 May 1761 in (Dutchess) New York. She married (as his second wife) 6 February 1739 in Harwich, William Penney, who was born 27 May 1716 in Harwich, and died 21 February 1786 in Fredericksburgh (Putnam) New York. Deborah & William were the parents of two sons.

iv. Dea. Ammiel Weekes (my 6th-great-grandfather), born 10 April 1720, died 12 February 1804. He married 12 February 1742 in Harwich, Phebe Small, who was born there 12 October 1717, and died there 21 April 1793, daughter of Jonathan and Damaris (Winslow) Small. Ammiel & Phebe were the parents of six children.

v. Hannah Weekes, born 21 September 1721. She married (as his first wife) 2 March 1742 in Harwich, Jonathan Small, who was born there 26 May 1721, and died about 1810, son of Jonathan and Damaris (Winslow) Small. Hannah & Jonathan were the parents of five children.

vi. Elizabeth Weekes, born 16 September 1724.

vii. an unnamed son, born 24 January 1726, died soon after.

George Weekes (1689-1772)
Dea. Ammiel Weekes (1720-1804)
Isaac Weekes (1747-1792)
Isaac Weekes (1780-1841)
Elisabeth Weekes (1822-1908)
Elisabeth Emma Freeman (1851-1876)
Capt. Martin Freeman Thompson (1875-1965)
Emma Freeman Thompson (my grandmother)

Last Revised: 9 March 2021

16 thoughts on “George Weekes & Deborah Wing”

  1. What a very interesting story, albeit sad how he died. So neat that you have that much information on his life and how he was instrumental in sharing his faith with the Indians.

    1. When I had my DNA tested I was 4% Europe West, which includes France, so I’m thinking this line of ancestry must be where at least some of that genetic material came from. I have to wonder what the Indians thought of George’s need to share his faith…

  2. I’m amazed that you have found so much information on George Weekes, Barbara! It must be wonderful for you to walk on the same ground as your ancestors. A great tribute to a long-gone relative.

    1. Thanks, Joanne! It’s funny, the more information I find the hungrier I grow to know more. It’s all so tantalizing. Would love to spend a few weeks on the Cape doing nothing but research and cemetery-hopping. 🙂

  3. It’s interesting how much information was engraved onto his gravestone. Even though he died more than 300 years ago, we can get a sense of who he was.

    1. It was an unusual find – so often I cannot find a grave or when I do, it only mentions a name. 300 years is mind-boggling – it makes me wonder what my descendants will know of me 300 years from now.

  4. Oh what an amazing amount is told on that stone. And that he was your ancestor is so exciting … I’m hoping to visit England and see the headstone of my Gr. Gr. Grandfather but you have gone much farther back here…

    1. I’m so excited about your coming trip to England, Sybil! Can’t wait to hear about what you will discover. This stone got me wondering how my life story might be summed up in such a limited amount of space…

  5. I love this, and wish you had a “like” button, because everyone’s already said what there is to say. My husband and you share this love for geneology, and the fact that you live in a place where your ancestors are from, unlike me. My husband grew up in the same house until he was 19 and one of his favorite pastimes is finding people from his hometown and learning more about who’s who. We found out that a lot of people from his hometown live around here, so he’s been happily “collecting” more neighbors.

    1. I do have a “like” button, Susan, right at the end of each post. I wonder if it shows up on your browser… A lot of genealogical research can be done online these days and I find the records available on Ancestry.com worth the membership fee. You might be surprised what you find if you start digging around. Sounds like your husband is a lot like me, searching for connections from an early age. Most people don’t find this endeavor interesting until they reach retirement age!

  6. I find it fascinating that you have been able to find ancestors this far back! I only know about my great grandfathers and grandmothers, that’s all.

    1. Because so many of my ancestors on my mother’s side were into genealogy, a lot of the work has been done for me. But like you, on my father’s side, I only know the names and a few details back to my great-grandparents. Most of that information came from my aunt, who grew up with her grandparents in Ukraine before coming here at age 18. There are so many obstacles in some lines!

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