Sunday, April 27, 2014

 I've been watching the new TV show, Turn, on AMC that tells the story of the Culver Spy Ring. This was a group of spies based out of Fairfield, Connecticut and run by Benjamin Tallmadge that worked with others, Abraham Woodhull (played by Jamie Bell on the show) that were based in Long Island and passed information about troop movements, etc. The show is beautifully filmed (though in Virginia, not New England) and I've found it really interesting.

My family has tenuous links to the Culver Spy Ring through my mother's grandfather, Frank Garfield Beers, who was descended  from Andrew Eliot, D.D. through his daughter Sarah, who married Joseph Squires of Fairfield. The Squire descendents eventually married into the Beers family.
Andrew Eliot D.D. was the pastor of the New North Church in Boston and was one of the few ministers who remained in the city during the Revolutionary War (the letters shown were sent to his son describing the seige).

His son and Sarah's brother, also named Andrew, was minister of the Congregational Church in Fairfield, Connecticut. There are a series of letters written from the younger Andrew to his father that refer to the spy activities going on in Fairfield at the time. A book called Missing Links to the Culper Spy Ring by Bernadette Fawcett details the letters and shows how involved the Eliots were in the spy ring.

As I said, the TV show is excellent and I heartily recommend it to lovers of American history.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

James Maxwell and Susan Austin of Nova Scotia

A brick wall on the Moore side is James Maxwell, husband of Susan Austin and father of Susan Maxwell who married Charles Henry Howe. I just found James and Susan's marriage certificate in the Nova Scotia Archives. Witnesses were James Maxwell (father?) and Alexander Wallace. It's just a tiny step closer to finding more about James. He died before 1846 when his wife and children migrated to Braintree, Massachusetts.

Susan Austen Maxwell was the daughter of Thomas Austen, a Nova Scotia merchant and his wife, Elizabeth Letson. The Austen's originally came from Cork, Ireland. Elizabeth's father, Robert, was a Loyalist emigre who came to Nova Scotia from New York during the Revolutionary War.

Charles Henry Howe
Charles Henry Howe was employed by the B&M Railroad as a machinist. When his two sons, Charles Herbert and Frank Emmons were aged 3 and 1, their mother, Susan passed away. Their father remarried in 1867 to Lucy Sarah Brown, but apparently the new family didn't have room for Susan's two sons.  In 1870 the  two boys were living with their Howe grandparents in Ipswich.

Susan Maxwell

I've always love this picture of Susan Maxwell. She is so sweet and I find it so sad that she died so young, only 24 years old. I think she would have been sad to leave her babies. The younger son, Frank, became a farmer in Ipswich. The older son, Charles Henry, the Moore line ancestor went to Dartmouth College and became the principal of Wakefield High School in Wakefield, Massachusetts.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Abram Williams,

Abram Williams is the farthest back I've gotten on my Williams line. However, thanks to a cousin Pauline who contacted me with handwritten notes from her great-grandmother, I've gotten some new information. Abram was married to Sarah Cronk or Cronkhite and he had a brother, Thomas, who married Sarah's sister Rachel. To make it very Lannister-like, Thomas's son, Solomon, married his cousin, Abram's daughter, Rachel. Whew!
Our line actually comes down from Abram and Sarah (Cronk) Williams thru their son Squire (he's mentioned in the document that Minnie (Solomon and Rachel's daughter) wrote and passed down to Pauline.
The Williams line still ends with Abram and Thomas, but there's a Francis mixed in there also who moved to Indiana (DNA matches with our line).
Sarah Cronk or Cronkhite's line goes much further back to the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam and on her great-great-grandmother's side to Captain John Conklin who came from New Haven and settled the town of Southold, Long Island. He was originally from Nottingham, England and his line can be traced back even further.

John Concklyne's heavy flat-topped tomb at Southold is in an excellent state of preservation. It's inscription reads: "Here Lyeth the Body of Captain John Conkelyne borne in Nottinghamshire in England who departed this life the Sext Day of April att Southold on Long Island in the Sixty fourth year of his age. Anno Dom 1694."