Climbing My Family Tree, Part 15

Immigrants Austin Kilham, Alice Gorball, and John Kilham

Austin “Augustine” Kilham (my nine times great-grandfather) sailed from England with his wife, Alice Gorball, and their three children on the Mary Anne in 1637. His son, John (my eight times great-grandfather), was nine years old at the time.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 10

Immigrants William Reed & Mabel Kendall, Francis Wyman & Abigail Justice Reed

Normally we do not think of Massachusetts as a slave state, but there were African-American and Native American slaves in Massachusetts as far back as the 1630s. I am displeased to acknowledge one of my ancestors, Francis Wyman (my eight times great-grandfather) was a slave owner. 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