Viking Days #2

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

Last year’s Viking Days at Mystic Seaport was such a success that they decided to have another one this year. The weather was cool and comfortable and there were plenty of Vikings out and about.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

We again enjoyed strolling through the Viking encampment set up by Draugar Vinlands.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

No Norwegian fjord horses this year, instead there were Gotland sheep, a domestic breed named for the Swedish island of Gotland.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ weaving with Gotland sheep wool
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ a bag lunch for sheep
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ one finally came up for air
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ skeins of the wool
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ the wool is very soft
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ close up of weaving
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ ???
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

The Draken Harald Hårfagre Viking ship (above) spent another winter here. I’m not sure what its future plans may be. It was open for tours.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

The majestic wooden whaleship Charles W. Morgan (above) is always a pleasure to see.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ the blessed green of summer

I was happy to see the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center‘s presentation about birds of prey again. The Vikings were falconers but the birds we were shown are from Connecticut. All were injured and brought to the nature center but were unable to live in the wild after their recovery.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ screech owl with head turned away
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ short-eared owl
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ short-eared owl
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ kestrel
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ kestrel

The first birds shown we’ve seen before but a new one has joined the group. It’s a red-shouldered hawk who was found hit by a car and brought in to the nature center. He had a recently broken wing and an x-ray revealed an older break, too, that hadn’t healed well. He’s all right now, but cannot fly far enough to survive in the wild. So he’s getting used to his new life educating the public. This was only his third time being shown. He seemed as awed at the sight of us as we were of him.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ red-shouldered hawk
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ red-shouldered hawk
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ red-shouldered hawk
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ red-shouldered hawk
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ screech owl
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
~ red-shouldered hawk

After the birds of prey presentation we spotted a couple of young Scottish Highland cattle. We were told they are 8 months old.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Scottish Highland cattle
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Scottish Highland cattle
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Scottish Highland cattle
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Scottish Highland cattle

And of course, we were mingling with Vikings…

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

On our way out we spotted these purple alliums.

6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ alliums in sea of green
6.2.19 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ allium

We left with three bottles of mead for summer solstice, two skeins of Gotland sheep wool, and a camera full of pictures in my backpack. It was just as much fun as last year!

Gov. Andrew Hamilton

Exciting day at the Rodgers home! I’ve been trying to trace Tim’s grandmother’s Hamilton ancestors back to Scotland for as long as we’ve been married, almost 44 years. Taking notes from her father’s autobiography and her mother’s research, the line went back only 4 generations.

Allegra Estelle Hamilton 1900-1992
Charles Amos Hamilton 1866-1943
Charles Munson Hamilton 1815-1891
Benjamin Hamilton 1792-1880
William Hamilton 1756-1824

All we knew of Benjamin was that he came from New Jersey and settled in New York, and that his father, William, fought in the Revolutionary War. Charles Amos became a member of the Sons of the American Revolution as a great-grandson of William, on 4 January 1924.

William participated in the battles of the Narrows on the Susquehanna River and at Tioga Point. He was a member of Capt. Morrison’s Co. 1 Battalion.

No one seemed to know the name of William’s father but it was thought that he was born in Scotland. However, it seems he was actually born in New Jersey. As I was browsing Ancestry.com this morning I stumbled across a picture of a page entitled The Hamilton Family, pg. 291. It’s from the book by J. Percy Crayon, Rockaway Records of Morris County, N. J. Families, (Rockaway, N.J., Rockaway Publishing Co., 1902).

But, much to my delight, one of the Benjamins on the page matched up with Tim’s Benjamin Hamilton. And at long last the mystery is solved! William’s second wife, Phebe Hurt, is the name of Benjamin’s previously unidentified mother. And the line now goes back 3 more generations to the Scottish ancestor.

William Hamilton 1756-1824 (Revolutionary War)
Stephen Hamilton ?-1759 (died in the Battle of Ticonderoga, French & Indian War)
John Hamilton c.1681-1747
Gov. Andrew Hamilton ?-1703 (Governor of colonial New Jersey, Tim’s 7th-great-grandfather)

This afternoon I found the following account of Andrew’s life in Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography (1900) edited by James Grant Wilson & John Fiske. It was all one paragraph but I’m breaking it up to make it easier to read. Enjoy!

HAMILTON, Andrew, governor of New Jersey, b. in Scotland; d. probably in Burlington, N. J., 20 April, 1703. He was engaged in business as a merchant in Edinburgh, and was sent to East Jersey as a special agent for the proprietaries. Having discharged that mission satisfactorily, he was recommended as a man of intelligence and judgment to Lord Neil Campbell, who was sent to that province in 1686 as deputy-governor for two years. He was made a member of the council in consequence, and in March, 1687, became acting governor on the departure of Lord Neil for England, who was called there on business and did not return.

In 1688, East and West Jersey having surrendered their patents, those provinces came under the control of Gov. Edmund Andros, and were annexed to New York and New England. Andros, then residing in Boston, visited New York and the Jerseys, continuing all officers in their places, and making but slight changes in the government. In consequence of the revolution of 1688 in England, Gov. Hamilton visited the mayor of New York as the representative of Andros, that official having been seized by the New-Englanders in April, 1689. He finally sailed for England, in order to consult with the proprietaries, but was captured by the French, and did not reach London until May, 1690. He was still residing there in March, 1692, when he was appointed governor of East Jersey, and also given charge of West Jersey.

Although he administered the affairs of the province to the satisfaction of both the colonists and the proprietaries, he was deposed in 1697, “much against the inclination” of the latter, in obedience to an act of parliament which provided that “no other than a natural-born subject of England could serve in any public post of trust or profit.” Hamilton returned to England in 1698, but so great was the disorder and maladministration under his successor, Jeremiah Basse, that he was reappointed, 19 Aug., 1699. He could not, however, right the wrong that had been already done, or repair the abuses that had crept in. Officers were insulted in the discharge of their duties, and the growth of the province was seriously interfered with.

In 1701 he was appointed by William Penn deputy-governor of Pennsylvania, the latter having been called to England to oppose the machinations of those who were plotting to deprive him of his American possessions. On Penn’s arrival in London everything was done to harass him, factious opposition being made to the confirmation of Gov. Hamilton, who was wrongfully charged with having been engaged in illicit trade. The appointment finally received the royal sanction. In the session of the provincial assembly in Oct., 1702, the representatives of the territories refused to meet those of the province, claiming the privilege of separation under a new charter, and expressing their firm determination to remain apart.

Hamilton strongly urged the advantages of union, and used all his influence to secure this result, but without effect. He also made preparations for the defence of the colony by organizing a military force. He died while on a visit to his family in New Jersey the year following. It was to Andrew Hamilton that the colonies were indebted for the first organization of a postal service, he having obtained a patent from the crown for the purpose in 1694. —

His son, John, acting governor of New Jersey, d. in Perth Amboy, N. J.. in 1746. It is not known whether he was born in East Jersey or in Scotland. He is first heard of in public life as a member of Gov. Hunter’s council in 1713. He retained his seat under Gov. Burnet, Gov. Montgomerie, and Gov. Cosby. In 1735 he was appointed associate judge of the provincial supreme court, but probably did not serve, as he became acting governor on the death of Gov. Cosby, only three weeks after the latter’s accession to office, 31 March, 1736. He continued at the head of affairs until the summer of 1738, when Lewis Morris was appointed governor of New Jersey, “apart from New York.”

Hamilton again became acting governor on the death of the latter in 1746, but he was then quite infirm and died a few months afterward. He is usually credited with having established the first colonial postal service, but the weight of authority seems to favor the belief that it was his father who obtained the patent.

Last Revised: 19 April 2019

television

Happy Spring!

Work on the stuff in boxes has slowed way down because one box in particular has loads of my work from grammar school. Work that my mother had saved. The trip down memory lane has been surreal… and slow…

The above drawing was with a group of papers created when I was about seven years old. We had to draw things we were thankful for. I drew my house, the American flag, and this television. It made me smile.

Recently I’ve learned that I think in pictures, rather than words or patterns. I had a reputation for being a bookworm, and I do love read, but I do it very slowly and my reading comprehension is not up to par. (I now have my grade school report cards to confirm that.) I find it very interesting that I did not draw a book for this assignment!

I still love watching T.V., although at times I am embarrassed to admit it. Some people can be pretty snooty about how mind-numbing they think most of what is offered is. And it is. But as I was growing up my parents required us to watch nature (think Jacques Cousteau), science and history documentaries. To this day I still watch and enjoy them!

After my mother died I would watch T.V. with my father on Wednesday nights, Nature and Nova on PBS. And Masterpiece Theatre on Sundays. And nowadays you will find me glued to the set when Finding Your Roots, with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. comes on!

One night in October last year, I found an episode of Nature online. I invited Katherine to watch A Squirrel’s Guide to Success with me on my laptop. To my surprise and delight, she was utterly fascinated — we do watch squirrels a lot when we’re outside — and stayed put to watch the whole program with me. 🙂

I will keep reading books, but I’m more gentle with myself now when I have difficulty following along. And in honor of my inner child, I will now be watching T.V. without apology!!!

many a word ~ a quirk of speech

Credit: Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000/Ancestry.com

Man is no mushroom growth of yesterday.
His roots strike deep into the hallow’d mould
Of the dead centuries; ordinances old
Govern us, whether gladly we obey
Or vainly struggle to resist their sway:

Our thoughts by ancient thinkers are controll’d,
And many a word in which our thoughts are told
Was coined long since in regions far away.
The strong-soul’d nations, destin’d to be great,
Honour their sires and reverence the Past;
They cherish and improve their heritage.
The weak, in blind self trust or headlong rage,
The olden time’s transmitted treasure cast
Behind them, and bemoan their loss too late.

~ John Kells Ingram
(Sonnets & Other Poems)

The things we think and say and do. We don’t grow up in a vacuum, our parents teach us many things, either by word or example. Their parents taught them, too. Messages and mannerisms get passed down through the generations, often without awareness. Subconsciously we just know and do.

When we were getting tucked into bed as children, our mother would tell us to sleep tight and wish us sweet dreams. Who was the first mother who used this expression? At the end of one of the last phone calls I had with my mother before she died, she said “sleep tight” instead of “good-bye.” I hadn’t heard her say that in years, although I was saying it often to my own children at bedtime.

The “tight” in “sleep tight,” meaning “sleep soundly,” almost certainly comes from the use of “tight” and “tightly” to mean “soundly, securely, properly,” a use that dates back to Shakespeare. The phrase “sleep tight” also first appeared in the mid-19th century.
(The Word Detective, August 14, 2008)

Although I may not agree with all the sentiments in John Kells Ingram’s poem, I do love the idea that “many a word in which our thoughts are told was coined long since in regions far away.” It reminds me of a quote I like even better, which I shared in a post seven years ago.

We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies. These spirits form our lives, and they may reveal themselves in mere trivialities – a quirk of speech, a way of folding a shirt. From the earliest days of my life, I encountered the past at every turn, in every season.
~ Shirley Abbott
(Womenfolks: Growing Up Down South)

historic elm

10.23.18 ~ American Elm ~ Carrboro, North Carolina

The other day I went out with Larisa so she could vote. (They have early voting in North Carolina. Tim & I used absentee ballots before we left Connecticut.) We pulled into the Carrboro Town Hall parking lot and a HUGE tree caught my eye. We parked under its massive branches. I looked at the leaves and said, “I bet that’s an elm tree!” An American Elm.

10.23.18 ~ Carrboro, North Carolina

While Larisa went inside to vote I got out of the car and had a nice long visit with the tree. According to the Town of Carrboro, the elm has a spread of 114 ft (35 m) and a height of 40 ft (12 m). It was registered with the Elm Research Institute in 1985.

10.23.18 ~ American Elm ~ Carrboro, North Carolina

The American elm was the most popular tree to plant in the booming cities of the 19th century, so that by the 20th century many streets were lined with only elms and were shaded in summer by a cathedral-like ceiling of their branches. When Dutch elm disease (which actually originated in Asia) spread to the US in the 1950s, it was able to mow down elm after elm through their grafted root systems or with the help of a beetle. Today, arborists and foresters are careful to plant a diverse range of trees that will not all be vulnerable to any particular pest, disease or weather conditions.
~ The Morton Arboretum website

10.23.18 ~ American Elm ~ Carrboro, North Carolina

Some of my readers may remember Grandmother Elm, the tree I fell in love with when I was going through one of the most difficult years of my life. She was a great source of comfort and wisdom. Interestingly, Grandmother Elm is 60 ft (18 m) high, 20 ft (6 m) taller than Carrboro’s American Elm. But this elm is much wider than the one in Connecticut. Both of them are lovely, just the way they are.

Katherine’s Children

Katherine Fusiak (1887-1943) and three of her eight children: Augusta Jean Chomiak (1913-1986), Theodore William Chomiak (1922-2013), and Lillian Elizabeth Chomiak (1915-2016).

It’s simply amazing what comes into the light when cousins start exploring family history, too. Several weeks ago I shared a picture one of my maternal cousins discovered and today I’m sharing a portrait found by one of my paternal cousins.

The woman is my grandmother, Katherine, who died long before I was born. I’ve always been curious about her because she is the one grandparent I never knew.

Катерина Фюшяк (Kateryna Fusiak ~ my Aunt Lil showed me how to write her name in Ukrainian) was born on 19 November 1887 in Luzok Horishni, Ukraine, when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. She died on 22 October 1943 at New London, Connecticut.

Katherine’s parents were land-owning farmers. When her husband William, the son of peasants, left for America, she was pregnant with her second child and they already had a small daughter, Mary. According to my aunt Mary, who grew up with her grandparents in Ukraine, Katherine’s father, Konrad, who did not approve of his daughter’s marriage, was furious about not hearing from William, and with great resentment sold a cow to buy passage to America for Katherine and her new nursing baby boy, Jon. At the tender age of 22, on 19 February 1910, Katherine and 5-month-old baby Jon sailed to America on the SS Finland from Antwerp, arriving in New York City on 4 March 1910. She had no ticket, but was in possession of $19 which she used to pay passage for herself and her son. She was 4’11” tall with a fair complexion. She was identified as a “Ruthenian” on the passenger arrival record, a term used to refer to a group of Ukrainians living in Ruthenia and eastern Czechoslovakia.

Mary stayed behind with her grandparents and so Katherine did not see her firstborn daughter again until Mary was 18, when she finally joined her family in America after World War I. By then, Katherine and William were living on a farm in Montville, Connecticut.

Katherine was a devoted mother who admonished her eight children to stick together no matter what, as she believed that family was all they would have in this difficult world. Her grandchildren called her “Baba.” Katherine died of a strangulated hernia at the age of 55. She lies buried with her husband in Comstock Cemetery in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Three of her children did not survive into adulthood. Jon Stephen died when he was 9 years old, of appendicitis. Augustine was about two when he got into some pills or something that poisoned him. Olga, a toddler, met her death by scalding when she pulled a pot of boiling water off the stove, a horrific accident that my aunt Lil was old enough to remember first hand.

In the portrait above, daughter Mary is missing because she was still living in Ukraine. Jon had already died. My Aunt Jean is on the left, my father is the little boy, and my Aunt Lil is on the right. My Aunt Em was not born yet.

Katherine had a very hard life as a farmer’s wife who made it through the Great Depression living off the land. Her husband was a harsh, bitter man, who regretted leaving Ukraine and apparently hated this country. I admire her courage and fortitude.

My father always spoke of his mother with great fondness and missed her dearly. Even during his last illness he asked for her. He had enlisted in the army during World War II on 4 February 1943. Sadly, only eight months later, on 22 October 1943, his mother died. Only 22 years old, he came home on leave for her funeral and then returned to duty. I am struck with a little synchronicity here because Katherine was 22 when she saw her mother for the last time, and my father was 22 when he saw his own mother for the last time.

My father often credited his mother with raising him to respect women and appreciate their strengths. As an example, he often told the story of her ability to drive a hard bargain. A butcher came down from Norwich to the farm in Montville three times trying to buy a calf for less than the price Katherine wanted to sell it for! But she got her original asking price, impressing her son, and the sale was finally made!

Viking Days

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

Saturday we had perfect weather for Viking Days at Mystic Seaport.

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Norwegian fjord horse

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Norwegian fjord horse

We enjoyed strolling through the Viking encampment…

Draugar Vinlands is a historical reenactment and living history group based out of Exeter, New Hampshire that is dedicated to the accurate portrayal of combat and culture during viking-age Scandinavia.
~ Draugar Vinlands website

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

The costume of the Viking with the long pony tail (above) caught my eye and when I asked him if I could take his picture he posed for me. (below) 🙂

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

We stocked up on mead for summer solstice…

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

And stopped for lunch…

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

While we were eating (outside in the shade at a table under the trees) we spotted this artist painting…

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport

Then we went to see a performance by Flock Theatre, “Viking Fact or Fiction?”

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ the spirit of a Viking ancestor come to straighten us out about our Viking misconceptions

And then Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center gave a talk about birds of prey. The Vikings were falconers but the birds we were shown are from Connecticut. All the birds presented were injured and brought to the nature center but were unable to live in the wild after their recovery.

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ screech owl

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ kestrel

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ short-eared owl

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ short-eared owl

And finally we listened to lovely “Songs of the Sagas” by Lynn Noel.

6.16.18 ~ Viking Days at Mystic Seaport ~ Gudrid the Wanderer portrayed by Lynn Noel.

We had hoped to attend a lecture and book-signing with author James L. Nelson about the 300-year Viking invasion in Ireland, but, alas, the hall was filled to capacity by the time we arrived and they were not allowing any more people in. However, we bought two of his books and left them there for him to sign after the lecture. We can pick them up later. (I have a small collection of books signed by the author.)

It was such a lovely day. Now we brace ourselves for a very hot and humid day, although it looks like it won’t be as bad here on the shoreline as it will be inland. Some schools have already announced early dismissals and there is an air quality alert. Looks like the air conditioner will be going on today… I will miss all the birds singing… Sigh…

Prisoner of War

Tim’s 6th-great-grandfather, Capt. Ezekiel Huntley, son of David and Mary (Munsell) Huntley, was born before 4 April 1731 in Lyme (New London) Connecticut, and died there 25 July 1783. He married (as his second wife) 8 November 1759 in Lyme, Naomi Tiffany, who was born 28 December 1737 in Lyme, and died 25 July 1821, daughter of Consider and Naomi (Comstock) Tiffany.

Ezekiel married (as his first wife) about 1756 in Lyme, Mary Avery, who was born before 4 May 1729 in Groton (New London) Connecticut, and died in September 1757 in Lyme, daughter of Nathaniel and Rachel (Yeomans) Avery. Ezekiel and his family lived in Lyme on property given to him by his grandfather, Aaron Huntley.

Ezekiel served in the American Revolutionary War. Between 11 May and 10 December 1775, he was enlisted in Capt. David F. Sill’s Company in Col. Samuel H. Parson’s 6th Connecticut Regiment, and marched to Boston and remained in Roxbury until he was discharged.

Ezekiel was fifty-one years old when he was joined by his son Asher on the ill-fated April-May 1782 first trip of the brigantine General Green, under Capt. Gideon Olmsted. The ship made its way down the flooded Connecticut River, out into Long Island Sound, and the open Atlantic, and when east of the Nantucket Shoals met the British privateer ship Virginia, which soon overpowered them. All 83 men were taken prisoner and sent to prison ships in New York harbor, where some died. Some came home, including Ezekiel, who died in Lyme a few days after his return. Naomi remained a widow for 38 years until her own death.

Ezekiel & Mary (his first wife) were the parents of two daughters:

1. Abigail Huntley, (twin) born before 20 July 1757 in Lyme, died 19 September 1810 in Franklin (New London) Connecticut. She married 10 December 1779 in Franklin, Martin Abel, who was born 14 April 1754 in Norwich (New London) Connecticut and died 13 April 1817 in Franklin. Abigail & Martin were the parents of three children.

2. Hannah Huntley, (twin) born before 20 July 1757 in Lyme, died after 1803. She married 28 May 1775 in Lyme, Dan Chadwick, who was born 21 October 1753 in Lyme and died 1 September 1798 in Old Lyme (New London) Connecticut. Hannah & Dan were the parents of eight children.

Ezekiel & Naomi (his second wife, Tim’s 6th-great-grandmother) were the parents of eight children:

1. Lois Huntley, (twin) born before 18 September 1764 in Lyme, died 2 February 1844. She married 11 May 1780 in East Haddam (Middlesex) Connecticut, Zachariah “Uriah” Sanford, who died before 1790, son of Samuel and Deborah (Matson) Sanford. Lois & Zachariah were the parents of two children.

2. Rufus Huntley, (twin) born before 18 September 1764 in Lyme, died before 2 September 1778, age 13.

3. Elias Huntley, born before 28 July 1765 in Lyme, died there 10 January 1783, age 17.

4. Asher Huntley (Tim’s 5th-great-grandfather), born 1 March 1767 in Lyme, died 3 March 1849 in Granger (Medina) Ohio. He married 14 November 1792 in Colebrook (Litchfield) Connecticut, his first cousin, Betsey Wilder Tiffany, who was born 25 February 1772 in Hartland (Hartford) Connecticut and died 16 February 1837 in Bath (Summit) Ohio, daughter of Consider and Sarah (Wilder) Tiffany. Asher & Betsey were the parents of five children.

5. Naomi Huntley, born about 1768 in Lyme, died 2 December 1840 in Sharon (Medina) Ohio. She married Matthew Look.

6. Ezra Huntley, born before 2 June 1771 in Lyme, died 13 April 1817 in North Stonington (New London) Connecticut. He married (as her first husband) 29 December 1796 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut, Eunice Holmes, who was born there about 1779, and died 21 April 1832 in Salem (New London) Connecticut, daughter of John and Martha (Stanton) Holmes. Ezra & Eunice were the parents of eight children.

7. Rufus Huntley, born before 13 September 1777 in Lyme, died 24 April 1860 in Sharon Center (Medina) Ohio. He married 22 December 1799 in Lyme, Mary “Polly” Lay, who was born there 11 August 1781, and died 13 February 1870 in (Medina), daughter of Peter and Hepzibah (Peck) Lay.

8. Ezekiel Huntley, born before 21 May 1780 in Lyme, died 6 March 1853 in Granger. He married 8 September 1803 in Lyme, Ruth Minor, who was born there 4 December 1787 and died 12 December 1851 in Granger, daughter of Elisha and Amy (Way) Minor.

Abraham Pridmore, Blacksmith

I cannot recall how or when we first made contact with Tim’s English cousins, and we have long since lost touch with them, but I owe them a debt of gratitude for all the family history material they mailed over the ocean to us. Perhaps one or both of them will see this post somehow and contact us again!

Tim’s 4th-great-grandfather, Abraham Pridmore, son of Thomas and Elizabeth (Shepard) Pridmore, was born in 1790 in Brigstock (Northamptonshire) England, and died 20 March 1867 in Syston (Leicestershire) England. He married 9 June 1811 in St. Peter’s Church, Lowick (Northamptonshire) England, Elizabeth Bramston, who was born in 1791 in Lowick, and died 5 January 1866 in Syston, daughter of William and Alice (—) Bramston.

Abraham was baptized 27 July 1790 in St. Andrew’s Church, Brigstock. He worked as a blacksmith, and later as a machinist and a machine supplement maker. Abraham & Elizabeth were members of the Church of England. The following is from the notes Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky sent to us:

When they married Abraham was already resident in Thorpe Satchville, the age he was would probably mean that he had recently finished his [blacksmith] apprenticeship, usually marriage was not permitted during an apprenticeship, and of course Elizabeth was pregnant. The marriage was witnessed by Robert Pridmore, brother of the groom, and by John Brown who we think was a parish clerk.

The parish records for Syston parish church have suffered some damage, with sections totally unreadable. Syston is larger than Thorpe Satchville, we can only guess why the family moved there, maybe it was due to expanding trade and close proximity to the main city with better business opportunities, also Syston had a major rail link which would of been a benefit for the distribution of goods. Or maybe the move was purely prompted by family attachment, Christiana, George and Sarah were all resident in Syston. Abraham and Elizabeth probably moved there around the mid 1850’s.

The death date on the certificate states 5 January 1866, whereas the headstone states the 6 January 1866. The age on the certificate states 74, the headstone states 76. These discrepancies could arise from the informant Elizabeth Marchant being illiterate. Elizabeth Marchant was a widow whose husband died in an accident while working on the railways, she lived close to Abraham & Elizabeth and possibly worked as a housekeeper for them.

Elizabeth died of “paralysis justified” and Abraham died of pneumonia and they lie buried together in St. Peter & Paul’s Churchyard. Their headstone is inscribed:

Sacred
to the memory of
Abraham Pridmore
Who died Mar 20: 1867
Aged 77 years
Also Elizabeth his wife
Who died Jan 6: 1866
Aged 76 years
And of Sarah Randall
Granddaughter of the above
Who died Nov 15: 1863

Abraham & Elizabeth were the parents of fourteen children. Four of the sons (Thomas, William, Abraham, and Edward) made their way to America:

1. Thomas Pridmore, born 9 September 1811 in Brigstock, died 23 July 1890 in North Bergen (Genesee) New York. He married (as his first wife) 31 October 1842 in Canterbury (Windham) Connecticut, Jerusha Smith, who was born 20 March 1814 in Canterbury, and died 12 October 1851 in Clarendon (Orleans) New York, daughter of Ichabod and Actisah (Allen) Smith. Thomas married (as his second wife) 24 November 1852 in North Bergen, Mary Ann Grieve, who was born 25 October in England, and died 14 August 1885 in North Bergen, daughter of Stephen and Ann (Baker) Grieve.

An obituary for Thomas appeared in The Batavian in 1890:

Thomas Pridmore, Sr., died Last Wednesday (ed. July 23, 1890) about 4 p.m. For several years he has been in delicate health. He came to this country from Northamptonshire, England, when 22 years of age. He was twice married and was the survivor of both of his wives. Five children survive him: Chauncey, of Holley; Charles of Colorado; Frank of North Byron; and Thomas and Luella of North Bergen. He was in his 79th year. The funeral was held at the church last Saturday at 1 p.m. The interment was at the Root schoolhouse cemetery.

2. Mary Pridmore, born 1812 in Thorpe Satchville (Leicestershire) England, died 3 August 1858 in Freeby (Leicestershire) England. She married 26 December 1831 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, Joseph Morris, an agricultural laborer who was born 1810 in Freeby, and died there 9 September 1887.

3. Christina Pridmore, born 1814 in Thorpe Satchville, died 3 December 1855 in Syston. She was a servant and married 24 January 1845 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, George Randall, a publican, inn keeper, and licensed victualler, who was born in 1811 in Milby (Norfolk) England, and died in Syston 18 February 1878, son of James Randall.

4. William Pridmore (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandfather), born before 23 April 1815 in Thorpe Satchville (Leicestershire) England. He was baptized in Thorpe Satchville in St. Michael’s Church on 23 April 1815. He married (as his first wife) 13 October 1835 in St. Luke’s Church, Gaddesby, Mary Anne Smith, who was born in Gaddesby, and probably died there before William married again. William & Mary were the parents of a son. William married (as his second wife) 16 August 1838 in St. Luke’s Church, Gaddesby (Leicestershire) England, Ann Sturgess (Tim’s 3rd-great-grandmother), who was born in 1814 in Gaddesby, daughter of William Sturgess. William & Ann were the parents of six children. All of William’s children were born in England, and he worked both in England and America as a blacksmith. At the time of her marriage, Ann was employed as a servant. The time and place of Ann’s death are unknown. It seems possible that she may have died in England before William came to America in 1857(?) with their children, or perhaps she may have died at sea, because no mention is made of her or the youngest son, Thomas, in family accounts here. There is some mystery surrounding William – a family story says that he went to Chicago on a business trip and was never heard from again, and there is some evidence that he went to South Bend, Indiana with son George in 1875.

5. George Pridmore, born 1816 in Thorpe Satchville, died 16 April 1870 in Syston. He was a blacksmith, machinist, and mechanic and married 4 November 1855 in St. Peter & Paul’s Church in Syston, Mary Jane Dyball, a shopkeeper and dressmaker who was born 1828 in Hanford (Northamptonshire) England, and died 4 April 1888 in Syston.

6. Reuben Pridmore, born 1818 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 7 January 1842, age 24. He was a soldier and married 20 February 1840 in St. Pancras Church, London, England, Caroline Ward.

7. Sarah Pridmore, born 1819 in Thorpe Satchville. She married (as her first husband) 14 September 1846 in St. Peter & Paul’s Church in Syston, Robert Pickard, a husbandman and agricultural laborer, who was born 1816 in Syston and died there 19 December 1853, age 37. Sarah married (as her second husband) 14 October 1856 in The Parish Church, Great Yarmouth (Norfolk) England, George Randall, widower of her sister, Christiana (Pridmore) Randall.

According to Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky:

Sarah’s second marriage to George Randall was illegal because he was her brother-in-law, (previously married to her late sister Christiana). Because an act of parliament between 1835-1907 made such unions illegal and incestuous, attempts to change the law started in 1842 with the ‘Wife’s Sisters Bill’ which was put before parliament annually for 65 years until it was finally passed. Maybe this accounts for the fact that they married outside the district in Norfolk, but they later returned to Syston. Obviously Abraham did not object to the union, considering the contents of his will, he certainly held George Randall in high regard.

8. Abraham Pridmore, born 1821 in Thorpe Satchville, died 21 April 1878 in South Bend (St. Joseph) Indiana. He was a blacksmith and married Anna Sheehan/Scheehan, who was born 18 April 1834 in (Cork) Ireland, and died 28 April 1913 in South Bend.

Indiana Naturalization Records, Abraham Pridmore, Tippecanoe County, IN, Circuit Court, Volume 21, Page 536, Years 60:

To the Judge of the Tippecanoe Circuit in the State of Indiana, Abraham Pridmore, being an alien and a free white person, makes the following report of himself: upon his solemn oath declares that he is aged 31 years; that he was born in England that he emigrated from Liverpool in the year 1851 that he arrived in the United States at the City of New York on 17 July 1851 that he owes allegiance to Queen Victoria and that it is bona fide his intention to become a citizen of the United States and to renounce forever allegiance and fidelity any foreign prince, potentate, state or sovereignty whatsoever. 6 November 1860.

9. Elizabeth Pridmore, born 1822 in Thorpe Satchville. She married 12 May 1851 in St. Michael’s Church in Thorpe Satchville, her first cousin, William March, a carpenter who was born 1828 in Brigstock, son of Daniel Blott and Esther (Pridmore) March.

10. Priscilla Pridmore, born 1825 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 1 July 1838, age 13.

11. John Pridmore, born 1826 in Thorpe Satchville.

12. Charlotte Pridmore, born 1828 in Thorpe Satchville, died 9 November 1896 in The Union Workhouse, Lincoln, England. She was a servant and married (as her first husband) 26 November 1849 in St. Michael’s Church, Thorpe Satchville, William Atkinson, who was born 1828 in Belgrade (Leicestershire) England. Charlotte had a relationship with George Hind, a groom who was born 1811 in Warsop (Nottinghamshire) England, and died 29 May 1897 in Lincoln. Charlotte married (as her second husband) 11 August 1880 in The Register Office, Lincoln, John Thompson, an engine fitter who was born 1820 and died November 1893 in Knight’s Place, Lincoln.

According to Gillian and Gabrielle Rohowsky:

Between the 1851 and 1861 census returns we have no information of Charlotte’s whereabouts. On the 1861 census she was in Lincoln under the name of Charlotte Hind, living with George Hind and their baby son Charles. On the 1871 census she was still in Lincoln, called Charlotte Hind, living with George and their 5 children. We are doubtful that Charlotte and George ever married, we have found no evidence but often people altered the facts to suit circumstances, possibly George was already married because he was 17 years older that Charlotte. If they had married Charlotte would have been a bigamist because George did not die until 1897. [after she married John Thompson]

It was always said within the family that Charlotte was a black sheep, who was disowned by her family, lack of communication between family could account for the fact that she classed Abraham as a blacksmith [on her 1880 marriage record], whereas he had long since been referred to as a machinist/machine maker, or maybe this was purely because of Charlotte’s lack of education, this could be said for her stating that her father was deceased, maybe she just presumed this because he would have been over 90 years old.

13. Eliza Pridmore, born 1829 in Thorpe Satchville, died there 27 July 1841, age 12.

14. Edward Pridmore, born 29 June 1831 in Thorpe Satchville, died 4 March 1910 in Batavia (Genesee) New York. He was a blacksmith and married (as his first wife) 28 November 1850 in St. Michael’s Church, Thorpe Satchville, Jane Marshall, a servant who was born in 1828 in Ashwell (Rutland) England, daughter of Thomas and Mary (Hinman) Marshall. After their marriage Jane & Edward left for America from Liverpool on the Cumberland, arriving in New York on 18 June 1852. Edward married (as his second wife) 11 January 1887 in Batavia, Eliza B. Ware, daughter of T. B. Ware.

An obituary for Edward, in possession of Delorma (Rodgers) Morton, reads:

Inventor of Harvesting Machinery Dead at His Home in Batavia

After an illness of several years with heart disease and complications Edward Pridmore, one of Batavia’s well-known citizens, died at his home at No. 532 East Main street at 2:20 o’clock this morning. Mr Pridmore had not been confined to the house all of the time of his illness, but had not been in good health.

Mr Pridmore was born at Thorp, Satchville, Eng, on June 29, 1831. He spent his boyhood working in his father’s machine shop, where he developed that taste for mechanics and that inventive genius which were so prominent in his after life. At the age of 21 Mr Pridmore came to America and soon afterward entered the employment at Brockport of Ganson & Co, a firm which later became the Johnston Harvester Company of Brockport and now of Batavia. He remained in the employ of the company until the time of his death, a period of over half a century. He was a skilled mechanic and invented a number of improvements and appliances which were afterward used by the harvester company. His inventive work aided largely in perfecting the harvesting machines and he received individual diplomas of honorable mention from the Chicago world’s fair and the St Louis exposition.

Mr Pridmore was twice married. His first wife was Jane Marshall of England, whom he wedded in 1850. By her he had three children, Elizabeth, widow of Homer M Johnston; John W Pridmore and the late Henry E Pridmore, all of Chicago. In 1887 he married Miss Eliza Ware of Batavia, who with two daughters, Fannie and Esther, survives him. He also leaves eleven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, all of whom live in Chicago.

In politics Mr Pridmore was always a Republican. For many years he had been a Baptist and was a member of the First Baptist church of Batavia at the time of his death. Mr Pridmore’s life illustrated the good old English virtues of honesty, thrift and generosity. Although he always lived without ostentation many friends and neighbors recall his kindly words of advice and of material help in their times of need. His integrity of character was above question and his business judgment sound. His death is a great loss to the business interests to which he gave so many years of faithful service and he will be greatly missed by all who knew him.