Climbing My Family Tree, Part 12

Immigrants Robert Lee, Mary Atwood Lee, and Samuel Sturtevant Sr.

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My grandmother’s maiden name was Sturtevant, which can be traced back to Plymouth in the years following the Mayflower landing, and back to England before that.

Samuel Sturtevant Sr. (my eight times great-grandfather) was born in England around the year 1624. He was in Plymouth by 1640, which would put him in his teens at the time he immigrated. The name of his ship and his exact date of arrival are unknown. Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11 B

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

Last week I highlighted my ancestor, Reverend John McLeish (my three times great-grandfather), who was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1809, and who immigrated to Massachusetts in 1832. Some of his children and grandchildren settled in northern California.

This week I have been in San Francisco, and I made some wonderful discoveries! Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11 A

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This week I learned I have family members who sought their fortunes as California 49ers and survivors of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire.  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 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