Our ancestors married many times, in some cases- it’s not (necessarily) that they had itchy feet, but that their life expectancies were much lower than those of today. It was really challenging for a man, and especially for a woman, to make ends meet and accomplish all the tasks of daily life without a domestic partner. Thus a deceased spouse was generally replaced very quickly, especially if there were young children in the family. There were religious aspects to consider too- many of these early immigrant families were Puritans, as the Pomeroys may have been (more research needed), and their church felt a person should be married to prevent, well, too much sexual tension in the community, shall we say?
Eltweed Pomeroy (sometimes called ‘Eldad,’ as was his son) was one of our English immigrant ancestors. He was the fourth great-grandfather of Cynthia Marie Pomeroy, who married Kingsley Abner Burnell. Cynthia was the mother of Nanie Burnell and grandmother of Lynette Payne McMurray. Cynthia died in 1865 at the age of 39, so Lynette would not have known her; she would have known her grandfather Kingsley, however. Eltweed was the seventh great-grandfather of Dr. Edward A. McMurray, so you can figure your generation from there.
Eltweed was born and lived in Beamister, Dorset, England when he first married. Johana Keech, daughter of “John Kiche,” had been baptized at Beamister 15 May 1586. Eltweed and Johana married on 4 May 1617 and had two children. Their first daughter, Dinah, was born 6 Aug 1617, and some authors have stated she died young, although no death or burial records have been found. (Note that Dinah was born ‘prematurely’- just 3 months after they married if these dates are correct. She may have truly been premature, which may be why she died young.) Daughter Elizabeth was born in Beamister 28 Nov 1619, but sadly her mother Johana died and was buried in Beamister one year later, on 27 Nov 1620. Little Elizabeth died the next year, and was buried there 13 Jul 1621; she was just 1 year, 8 months old at her death.
Latin was used in the church register, translated as:
4 May Eltwidus Pumery & Johana Keech
Margery (or Mary) Rockett was Eltweed’s second wife, and they married 7 May 1629, in Crewkerne, Somersetshire, England. Eltweed was identified as being “of Bemister.” Eltweed was 44, Margery just 24 at their marriage. The family migrated to the American Colonies, sometime between 1632 when their son Eldad was born in England, and about 1634, when son John was born in Windsor, Connecticut. Margery was the mother of the remainder of Eltweed’s children, but she died 5 July 1655 in Windsor.
We will discuss Eltweed’s eight children with Margery Rockett in an upcoming post.
Eltweed married third Lydia Brown, who was the widow of Thomas Parsons. (Thomas and Lydia had married in 1641, in Connecticut; he died 23 Sep 1661.) Eltweed married the Widow Parsons in Windsor, Connecticut 30 Nov 1660/1. He was 75, she was 47. They did not have any children together.
[Note: Due to the change from Gregorian to Julian calendar, years and months may be off. Dual dating (such as 1640/1) was often used and the abbreviation O.S. for Old Style, N.S. for New Style calendar used. Unfortunately today’s genealogical sources are not that precise, so there may be an adjustment needed for these dates. More research…]
Notes, Sources, and References:
- Pomeroy-Keech marriage: Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers; Reference: PE/BE:RE1/1. Ancestry.com. Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original data: Dorset Parish Registers. Dorchester, England: Dorset History Centre.
2. Eltwidus Pumery-Johana Keech marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com. Probably recopied.
3. Eltweed Pomeroy’s 3rd Marriage in Torrey’s “New England Marriages before 1700.” via Ancestry.com.
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