Climbing My Family Tree, Part 24

Immigrants Francis Cooke, Hester le Mahieu Cooke, Jane Cooke, and Experience Mitchell

Francis Cooke (my ten times great-grandfather) was a Mayflower passenger. I stumbled across his lineage while investigating the Packards in Part 22. Francis was born in England in 1583. Curiously, we find him living in Leiden, Holland, about eight years before John Robinson and the rest of the Pilgrims arrived. This period was before the time of Protestant persecution in England under King James, so the original motivation to move to Holland is unknown. His occupation was that of wool comber. Continue reading

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Climbing My Family Tree, Part 21

Immigrant Stephen Larrabee

Stephen Larrabee (my nine times great-grandfather), most likely was born in France—the first ancestor I have discovered from that nation. The Larrabee name was originally spelled L’Arabie. Stephen was born around the year 1630.

Stephen was a Huguenot (a French protestant). He immigrated to America as a result of religious persecution by Roman Catholics after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (a 1598 law granting religious liberty to French citizens). Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 19

Immigrants Samuel Bagnall, Elizabeth Whitehouse, James Cantelo, Mary Salmon, Elizabeth Ann Dix Cantelo

Samuel Bagnall and Elizabeth Whitehouse (my five times great-grandparents) were born in Derbyshire, England. They sailed for Philadelphia in the mid-1700’s, residing there for a time before moving on to Tryon County, New York.

Samuel, a cabinet maker, prospered so well in the New World it was said he was able to provide his oldest daughter with a dowry equal to her weight in gold coins.

But then came the American Revolution.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 14

Immigrants Thomas Moore, Ann Grafton, Daniel Ladd, George Corliss, Thomas Davis, and Christian Coffer

This week I introduce six more of my ancestors who immigrated from England in the first half of the 17th Century. They were among the original founders of the town of Haverhill, Massachusetts, a part of the wild western frontier of that time.

The immigrants suffered no small heartbreak when one of their sons was killed by Native Americans, and a grandson was captured and physically maimed.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Nine

Immigrant John Fillmore

This week we turn to tales of high sea adventure, complete with swarthy pirates, and we even come across an American president. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Eight

Immigrants Edmund Rice & Thomasine Frost Rice, Thomas King & Ann Collins King, and Samuel Rice & Elizabeth King Rice

The Rice and King families immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony from England in 1638. The two families became extensively entwined when three Rice boys married three King girls. Samuel Rice King (my seven times great-grandfather) was born into the Rice family, and then was adopted into the King family. Because of this adoption 350 years ago, my mother was born Patricia Louise King, as opposed to Patricia Louise Rice.

Although the two families immigrated just eighteen years after the Mayflower, their history in the New World was vastly different from that of their Pilgrim neighbors to the south. The Rice and King families were Puritans, not Separatists, and their family histories involved deadly encounters with the native populations, in stark contrast to the relatively peaceful interactions in Plymouth.

The family story is one of war against the Natives, resulting in a succession of retaliatory attacks including killings, burning settlements to the ground, and the kidnapping of five young Rice children.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Six

Immigrants Matthäus Hoffsäß & Margaretha Wüstin Hoffsäß

I have long known the oral tradition of my great-grandfather’s coming to America from somewhere in Germany in the 1800s, but I was some surprised to discover I have German roots on my mother’s side of the family as well.

Matthäus Hoffsäß, as it turns out, was both my five times and my six times great-grandfather. Continue reading