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Sibling Saturday: Cynthia Maria Pomeroy and Her Sisters

Daughters born to William Pomeroy and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy. Massachusetts Town & Vital records,
Daughters born to William Pomeroy and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy. Massachusetts Town & Vital records, via Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

They say that folks can only remember the stories of three generations these days- that would be you, your parents, and grandparents; maybe we can leave “you” out and go to great-grandparents, especially if you were lucky enough to actually know them. That may be why the name “Cynthia Maria Pomeroy” is unfamiliar to many McMurrays- she is more than 3 generations back from all of us.

Most of our McMurray readers know who Dr. Edward A. McMurray (1900-1992) was, and their relationship to him. His mother was Lynette (Payne) McMurray, her mother Nanie Maria (Burnell) Payne, and Nanie’s mother was Cynthia Maria (Pomeroy) Burnell, married to Kingsley Abner “K.A.” Burnell. So C. Maria, or Maria, as she was known,  was Dr. McMurray’s great-grandmother (3 generations). Add the number of generations you are from the Doctor, and that will tell you how many times to put ‘great’ in front of ‘great-grandmother’ to know your relationship to Maria. Easy to see how her name might be forgotten, and the story of her life, since she was born in February of 1824.

I don’t remember Dr. McMurray ever talking about her, and he definitely would never have met her since she died in 1862. (I do believe he knew her name though and shared that many many years ago to help in our genealogical search.) Sadly he would not have met his maternal grandmother, Nanie M. Burnell Payne either, as she died just two years before he was born.

Maria’s parent were William Pomeroy (1785-1867) and Rachel (Edwards) Pomeroy (1785-1860). The family lived in Williamsburg, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, where William had been born. Rachel was from Chesterfield, Hampshire, Massachusetts, where they were married.

The above record is from the Massachusetts Town and Vital records of Williamsburg. Here is my transcription of the record:

137

Joulian Daught to William and Rachal Pomory
born _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 14 June 1811
Nancy Parsons _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 22 April 1813
Elizabeth _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _30 Novmbr 1816
Synthia Maria daughter born               Feb. 1824
Adaughter still born _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 2nd Nov. 1826

“Jouian” was Julia Ann Pomeroy, daughter to William and Rachel Pomeroy.

“Synthia Maria” was later spelled as “Cynthia Maria”- the ‘S’ was common for this name early on, but was changed to a ‘C’ in later years. (We have a few other ‘Synthia’ relatives who became ‘Cynthia.’)

 

Both the Pomeroy and Edwards families have very old roots in New England- back to “the Great Migration” of the mid-1600s. We will tell more of their stories in upcoming posts.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Image per caption.
  2. Oral family history, verified with censuses, vital records, etc.

Please contact us if you would like higher resolution images. Click to enlarge images.

We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Mystery Monday: A Relationship to Jonathan Edwards, Theologian?

Jonathan Edwards, Theologian (1703-1758), via Wikimedia Commons, public domain.
Jonathan Edwards, Theologian (1703-1758), via Wikimedia Commons, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

Deep into records and books of the mid- to late-1600s and the “Great Migration” of the English to America, the name ‘Jonathan Edwards’ kept surfacing. The name was already somewhat familiar from readings about later family members, as Jonathan was a British colonial theologian who influenced so many ministers and missionaries who came after him- and we have quite a few of those in the McMurray-Payne-Burnell lines. Additionally, many of our family members lived in the same area at the same time as Jonathan Edwards, and most listened to his sermons every Sunday during the 23 years of his church service in Northampton, Massachusetts. Since October 5 is the anniversary of Rev. Edwards’ birth (312 years ago!), it seemed a good time to learn more about this man.

I also found some Edwards surnames in our family around the same time and place- related? Possibly. People back then came in groups to America, and were often closely related, or else ‘cousins’ in a much looser meaning of the word than we now use. Research has not yet shown a definite connection, but there may still be one- possibly.  As an example of the families to sort out, family members and other researchers have listed Mehitebel EDWARDS (?-1716) as the spouse of John BURNELL (1696-1744). The Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts marriage records list them as “John BURNULL” and  “Mehitabel EDMONS” married 15 Jan 1716/7 with intention (to marry) filed previously. (Seeing Mehitebel’s possible birthdate, she would likely be a cousin of some degree to Jonathan if actually related.) No other records could be found for a Mehitebel Edwards, but there are records for the Edmons family, although she is not included.  We also have a Rachel EDWARDS in the family who married William POMEROY; she was born in 1785 in Chesterfield, Massachusetts, and died in the same county, Hampshire, in Williamsburg, in 1860, so geographically it is possible. We do not yet know her parents, who may be descendants of the great theologian. So more research is definitely needed on the ‘are we related to Jonathan Edwards?’ question.

There is, of course, also a possibility that there is no family relation at all.

Jonathan Edwards was still important to our family, whether or not genetically related, as he was preaching in places they lived. (Genealogy is not just about being related to ‘famous’ people but it is important to learn about them as they often influenced the non-famous folks and impacted their lives even on a daily basis.) Since religion was a part of the government pre- Revolution/Constitution, what Rev. Edwards said and wrote mattered. He is still considered to be one of the greatest thinkers of all time, definitely one of the greatest theologians, and his books and sermons continue to be published and read.

Jonathan Edwards was born in East Windsor, Connecticut, to Timothy Edwards (1668-1759) and Esther Stoddard , daughter of Rev. Solomon Stoddard; she was said to have ‘unusual mental gifts and independence of character.’ Jonathan was their only son, a middle child of 11 children, and education was important in the family- even the daughters were educated. Jonathan enrolled in Yale College just before he attained 13, graduated at 17, and in addition to spiritual matters, he was very interested in the natural world. Throughout his life he prayed and worshiped in the beauty of nature, rather than only inside a church. He also wrote papers on science topics, and felt that the wonders of science and nature were evidence of what was then called the ‘masterful design’ of God, (today called ‘intelligent design’); he felt science and nature therefore proved God’s wisdom and care for humans. Jonathan’s thinking was shaped by the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ (AKA ‘Age of Reason’) and he emphasized the aesthetic beauty of God, scripture, and the world in his writings and sermons.

Although Jonathan Edwards grew up in a Puritan household with strong Calvinist roots, he came to believe that personal religious experience was more important than doctrine and ritual. He served at a Presbyterian Church in New York City for eight months in 1722-3, became a tutor at Yale, and then was ordained as a minister on 15 February 1727 in Northampton, Massachusetts. His maternal grandfather, Rev. Solomon Stoddard, was pastor, and Jonathan became his assistant. Jonathan worked part-time as a pastor, but also studied 13 hours a day. He became a working pastor after the death of his grandfather about 2 years later, and served the Northampton Church for 23 years. Our Parsons, Strong, Edwards, Warner, Phelps, Pomeroy/Pomroy, Kingsley, Allis, Lyman, and other families who lived in Northampton during his tenure would have attended the church and listened to the sermons of Pastor Edwards.

The second and third generation of Puritans whose parents had migrated to the American British colonies as part of “The Great Migration” were not as pious as their elders. Secular influences such as politics and economics, plus the logic and reason espoused by Enlightenment writers, distracted some younger Puritans from religious obligations and a deep commitment to the church. There was also a decline in morals as a belief took hold that it was easier to get into Heaven than originally thought.

To counter this decline, in July of 1732 Edwards preached a sermon in Boston that declared how absolute was the sovereignty of God in deciding who would be saved by grace, and who would not; his sermon was published as, “God Glorified in the Work of Redemption, by the Greatness of Man’s Dependence upon Him, in the Whole of It.” Shortly thereafter, a revival of religion began in Northampton, a town with only about 200 families about this time. By the winter of 1734 and spring of 1735, the intensity and popularity of the revival actually hampered business in the town- in just 6 months over 300 persons had become new church members. (Some scholars estimate the rate of church attendance as 75-80% between 1700 and 1740.)

The revival spread throughout the Connecticut River Vally and as far as New Jersey. The camp meetings were emotional since Edwards spoke to the heart, and emphasized a personal experience with God and religion. Instead of the usual stern Congregational church decorum, at times listeners would moan, groan, and move about in the rapture of the moment in these great outdoor meetings. Some began to wonder, however, if followers were becoming fanatics. To add fuel to this turn of attitude, some members became convinced of their unavoidable damnation, and, it was believed, urged by Satan, they committed suicide, including Rev. Edward’s uncle, Joseph Hawley II. This dark side of the revivals effectively cooled the religious fervor, although, at the same time, the movement’s premises began to be known and appreciated in England and Scotland.

George Whitefield, a Calvinist British evangelist, came to the American colonies in 1740 and preached ideas similar to Edwards’; this time period and religious movement became known as “The Great Awakening.” Whitefield worked with Edwards and preached in Northampton, with Edwards weeping at the emotion of Whitfield’s discourse.  Whitefield also travelled around the colonies, including the Middle Colonies and Southern Colonies. He drew great crowds- 30,000 persons came to hear him in Boston alone, significantly increasing the number of persons influenced by “The Great Awakening.”

Jonathan Edwards preached his most famous sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” first to his own Northampton congregation. (Our ancestors probably heard it on a Sabbath in June, 1741.) He was then invited by a pastor to repeat the sermon on 08 July 1741 in Enfield, Connecticut. The Connecticut congregation had not been much affected by “The Great Awakening”- at least, not until this sermon.

08 July 1741 sermon of Jonathan Edwards: "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God." via Wikipedia, public domain.
08 July 1741 sermon of Jonathan Edwards: “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” via Wikipedia, public domain.

This most famous of Edwards’ sermons is still studied today. In it, he described in vivid detail the horrors of a very real Hell, and explained that humanity has a chance to rectify their sins and return to Christ, in order to avoid the torment of Satan through eternity. People in the audience interrupted his sermon many times, crying out, “What shall I do to be saved?”

Although seemingly a ‘fire and brimstone’ sermon, Jonathan Edwards did not need to sermonize in such a way- his parishioners were already quite familiar with that aspect of the Bible. Instead, he talked quietly to his audience, but with much emotion although he did not shout. He calmly laid out a series of logical points from which they could easily draw the conclusion he desired- in this case, that humanity was lost without the grace of God.

As might be obvious, the different thinking of Edwards caused a division in the Congregational Church. The actions of followers at revivals that included fainting, crying out, moaning, even convulsive fits led him to defend his evangelical preaching, and he even had to write a second apology. Edwards developed a test for membership in his church, and members old and new balked at taking it. His sermons became unpopular- attended by visitors, but not local church members. (Wonder which of our ancestors followed him?) He then published a list of young people who, he suspected, had been reading ‘improper books,’ (definitely need to check this list for our ancestors) and this incident further distanced him from his congregation. The church council and town meeting voted Jonathan Edwards out of the pulpit, and he preached his last sermon at Northampton Church in October, 1751.

Edwards was still popular in other places, however, and became pastor in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and a Indian missionary and advocate. Although in ill health, he next accepted the presidency of the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University) and was installed on 16 Feb 1758.

With his interest in science, Jonathan Edwards was a supporter of the new smallpox vaccine. It was still experimental, but Edwards became inoculated so that others would be encouraged to get the vaccine and help eliminate one of the great killers of the era. (Mortality rate for smallpox was up to 35%.) Sadly, the health of Jonathan Edwards was not robust enough to recover from the mild fever that most got after the vaccine, or the vaccine may have been contaminated, and he died on 22 March 1758.

In addition to the great changes brought to many versions of Protestantism, Jonathan Edwards influenced society in many other ways, and our family, as well. Our McMurray ancestor Rev. Edward B. Payne (1847-1923) most likely read the works of Edwards, and although schooled in the modified Congregational church inspired by Edwards, he too parted ways with the old tradition. He also embraced Edwards’ conception of the beauty and aesthetic aspects of religious thought. E.B. Payne preached outdoors as well, and many of his sermons also focused on inward discipline to control one’s morals in order to gain Heaven, rather than predestination. A collateral ancestor, Thomas Scott Burnell (1823-1899) was a missionary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, which was heavily influenced by Jonathan Edwards. His brother and our ancestor, Kingsley Abner Burnell (1824-1905), became a lay preacher- a condition made more acceptable by the emphasis Jonathan Edwards gave to personal experience over formal education for preachers. K.A. Burnell also travelled as a foreign missionary. Deacon Moses Kingsley (1743-1829) became the 21st Deacon at Northampton Church, most likely growing up in the church while Edwards was still pastor; Moses Kingsley served there for 9 years.

There is much more to come on these family members, and many more ancestors. Their lives will be put in context by knowing more about Jonathan Edwards- theologian, philosopher, educator, evangelist.

 

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Note in 1741 sermon that an ‘f’ often stands for an ‘s’ in early Colonial writing. Thus “Impreffions” is actually ‘Impressions.’ Also note use of phrase, “…a Time of great Awakenings…”
  2. “Antiquities, Historiais and Graduates of Northampton” by Rev. Solomon Clark, 1882. via Archive.org.
  3. Jonathan Edwards- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_Edwards_(theologian)
  4. Edwards on RevivalsContaining a Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God … in Northampton, Massachusetts, A.D. 1735. Also, Thoughts on the Revival of Religion in New England, 1742, and the Way in which it Ought to be Acknowledged and Promoted” by Jonathan Edwards, Dunning & Spalding 1832, via GoogleBooks.com.

  5. The author is far from a scholar of theology, but there is quite a lot of information online about Jonathan Edwards. Here are some links that were useful:

 

 

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Travel Tuesday: K.A. Burnell Goes Cross-Country in 1869

"Through to the Pacific" by Frances (Fanny) Flora Palmer for Currier & Ives, printed in 1870, via WikiGallery. Public domain for non-commercial use.
“Through to the Pacific” by Frances (Fanny) Flora Palmer for Currier & Ives, printed in 1870, via WikiGallery. Public domain for non-commercial use.

McMurray Family (Click for Family Tree)

Kingsley Abner “K. A.” Burnell was an evangelist- but not of the “tele-” type since he lived from 1824-1905. K. A. had to be there in person to minister to his flock, and to add to it. (He did extend his evangelic reach through his writings- more on that in future posts.)

“Travel Tuesday” was not much of a concept back then- you could not leave Illinois and be in California later that day. Travel took many days, even weeks. If a person wanted to go from the midwest or east to the Pacific Coast, there were three time-consuming, generally unpleasant choices, after taking a train to get to the departure point:

  1. Overland, via wagon train to California, which could take from 3-7 months and required crossing deserts and mountains, dealing with hostile Native Americans, diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, mountain fever, pneumonia, etc; 3,000 miles but generally least expensive.
  2. Take a ship to Panama in Central America, cross through a jungle with poisonous snakes, insects that carried deadly fevers, etc., then try to get a ship to California once on the Pacific Coast. This route could take from 2-3 months to many more, depending on when one could catch a ship. At about 7,000 miles, it was more expensive than the longer all-ocean route.
  3. Take a ship around Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America. Rough storms and huge waves, frigid weather, lack of fresh food, “more bugs than beans” in food, and 3-8 months on board ship in a very small room would be a part of this choice. At about 15,000 miles, the advantages of the Panama Canal, completed in 1914, are obvious.

A much better option presented itself in 1869.

Promontory Summit, Utah- Completion of the Transcontinental railroad on 10 May 1869, via wikimedia; public domain.
Promontory Summit, Utah- Completion of the Transcontinental railroad on 10 May 1869, via wikimedia; public domain.

On 10 May 1869, the “Golden Spike” was driven into the rails at Promontory Point, Utah Territory, completing the first transcontinental railway. This limited the overland trip to 1,907 miles from Council Bluffs, Iowa, to San Francisco Bay, California. For an itinerant preacher, who had likely travelled many a railway mile, this must have been a very exciting time- the west was now readily open to his ministry.

Transcontinental railroad poster, 1869, via Wikimedia. Public domain.
Transcontinental railroad poster, 1869, via Wikimedia. Public domain. (Click to enlarge)

Being an adventurous man, deeply committed to his preaching, K.A. of course had to travel the new railroad- he even planned for it as the construction of the railroad progressed. He would have taken a passenger train to Omaha, Nebraska, and then, in less than four days (!), he would arrive in San Francisco, “… avoiding the Dangers of the Sea!” as the poster promises.

The route must have been incredibly beautiful. K.A. most probably felt even closer to his maker as he travelled across the unique lands of the west that he had only seen in engravings in books, or painted and framed on a wall.

Profile of the Pacific Railroad, 1867, via Wikimedia, public domain.
Profile of the Pacific Railroad, 1867, via Wikimedia, public domain. (Click to enlarge.)

The railroad opened on 10 May, 1869. K. A. later wrote, in August of 1869,  “… I determined to spend this summer in Christian work in Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California…”, and he did. We know that K.A. was in Aurora, Illinois in April of 1869, then Leavenworth, Kansas on 11 June 1869. He wrote from Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, on 5 July 1869 where he made a ten-day stop to study the Mormon faith. (he was an open-minded man!) San Francisco, California welcomed him by the second week of July, just 2 months after the opening of the railroad.

K.A. Burnell speaks at Christian Convention in San Francisco, CA, 14 Jul 1869. Daily Alta [CA] Vol. 21, No. 7055, Page 1, Column 5, via California Digital Newspaper Collection.
K.A. Burnell spoke at a Christian Convention in San Francisco, CA, 14 Jul 1869. Daily Alta [CA] Vol. 21, No. 7055, Page 1, Column 5, via California Digital Newspaper Collection. (Click to enlarge.)
K.A. returned east after his summer of evangelizing in the west, and was in Cleveland, Ohio on 11 Sep 1869 at the union prayer meeting at the YMCA in that city. He made “…eight round-trips to California… three trips to Central California, three to the Puget Sound region, and two to the orange groves of the southwest Pacific” before 1888, per the Biographical and Historical Record of Kane County, Illinois.

K. A. Burnell and his second wife, Helen M. (Merrill) [Beckett] Burnell eventually made the west their home. By 1901, they were living in the Los Angeles area. K.A. died 7 Sep 1905 in South Pasadena, and Helen followed him on 2 Mar 1933. Their bodies made their last cross-country trip home, likely over some of those same rails, to graves in Aurora, Kane, Illinois.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. Routes to California: http://www.nhusd.k12.ca.us/Pioneer/pages/classrooms/FourthGrade/4thGradeGold/pages/Sea.htmlhttp://goldrushofcalifornia.weebly.com/travel-routes.html
  2. Images per citations in captions.
  3. “Behind the Scenes: The Artists Who Worked for Currier & Ives”- http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/8aa/8aa119.htm
  4. Biographical and Historical Record of Kane County, Illinois, Beers, Leggett & Co, 1888, p.712.

 

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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
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Wedding Wednesday: Eltweed Pomeroy’s 3 Marriages

Record of Eltweed Pomeroy's first marriage to Johana KEECH in Beamister, Dorset, England. Unknown source, likely one of the Pomeroy compiled genealogies.
Record of Eltweed Pomeroy’s first marriage 4 May 1617 to Johana Keech in Beamister, Dorset, England. Unknown source for this church record, likely one of the Pomeroy compiled genealogies.

McMurray FamilyBurnell Family (Click for Family Tree)

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.

Eltwidus PUMERY-Johana KEECH marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com.
Eltwidus Pumery-Johana Keech marriage record, Dorset History Centre; Dorset Parish Registers, via Ancestry.com. Probably recopied. (Click to enlarge.)

Latin was used in the church register, translated as:

Marriages

1617

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 Pomeroy's Marriages in Torrey's "New England Marriages before 1700." via Ancestry.com
Eltweed Pomeroy’s Marriages in Torrey’s “New England Marriages before 1700.” via Ancestry.com. (Click to enlarge.)

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: 

  1. 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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We would love to read your thoughts and comments about this post (see form below), and thank you for your time! All comments are moderated, however, due to the high intelligence and persistence of spammers/hackers who really should be putting their smarts to use for the public good instead of spamming our little blog.
 

Original content copyright 2013-2015 by Heritage Ramblings Blog and pmm.

Family history is meant to be shared, but the original content of this site may NOT be used for any commercial purposes unless explicit written permission is received from both the blog owner and author. Blogs or websites with ads and/or any income-generating components are included under “commercial purposes,” as are the large genealogy database websites. Sites that republish original HeritageRamblings.net content as their own are in violation of copyright as well, and use of full content is not permitted.
 
Descendants and researchers MAY download images and posts to share with their families, and use the information on their family trees or in family history books with a small number of reprints. Please make sure to credit and cite the information properly.
 
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Labor Day: Celebrating the Labors of Our Ancestors

First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia.
First Labor Day Parade in the US, 5 Sep 1882 in New York City. Via Wikimedia. (Click to enlarge.)

 

Labor Day officially became a federal holiday in the United States in 1894. “The Gilded Age” included the rise of big business, like the railroads and oil companies, but laborers fought- sometimes literally- for their rights in the workplace. Grover Cleveland signed the law to honor the work and contributions, both economic and for society, of the American laborer. Celebrated on the first Monday in September, ironically the holiday was a concession to appease the American worker after the government tried to break up a railroad strike but failed.

The Labor Day weekend is a good time to think about our ancestors and the work they did to help move our country and their own family forward.

Jefferson Springsteen was a mail carrier through the wilds of early Indiana, traveling for miles on horseback through spring freshets (full or flooding streams from snow melt), forest, and Indian villages. Samuel T. Beerbower, who would be a some-number-great uncle depending on your generation, was the Postmaster in Marion, Ohio, for many years. “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Edward B. Payne, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.
Edward B. Payne, Pastor, circa 1874. Image courtesy of Second Congregational Church, Wakeman, Ohio.

Bad weather, gloom of night, ocean crossings in the mid 1800s, and the threat of disease or injury did not stay our minister, deacon, and missionary ancestors from their appointed rounds either- especially since the felt they were appointed by a higher power. We have quite a number of very spiritual men in the family. Henry Horn became a Methodist circuit rider after coming to America as a Hessian soldier, being captured by George Washington’s troops in Trenton, NJ, then taking an Oath of Allegiance to the United States, and serving in the Revolutionary Army. The family migrated from Virginia to the wilds of western Pennsylvania sometime between 1782 and 1786. A story is told of how he was riding home from a church meeting in the snow. The drifts piled up to the body of the horse, and they could barely proceed on, but Henry did, and was able to preach another day. He founded a church Pleasantville, Bedford Co., Pennsylvania that still stands, and has a congregation, even today. Edward B. Payne and his father, Joseph H. Payne, Kingsley A. Burnell and his brother Thomas Scott Burnell were all ministers, some with formal schooling, some without. Edward B. Payne gave up a lucrative pastorate because he thought the church members were wealthy and educated enough that they did not need him. He moved to a poor church in an industrial town, where he was needed much more, however, he may have acquired his tuberculosis there. He also risked his life, and that of his family, by sheltering a woman from the domestic violence of her husband, and he testified on her behalf.

Abraham Green was one of the best tailors in St. Louis, Missouri in the early 1900s, and many in the Broida family, such as John Broida and his son Phillip Broida, plus Phillip’s daughter Gertrude Broida Cooper, worked in the fine clothing industry.

Edgar Springsteen worked for the railroad, and was often gone from the family. Eleazer John “E.J.” Beerbower worked for the railroads making upholstered cars- he had been a buggy finisher previously, both highly skilled jobs.

Sheet music cover for "Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart," from "The Slim Princess."
Sheet music cover for “Bless Your Ever Loving Little Heart,” from “The Slim Princess.” (Click to enlarge.)

The theater called a number of our collateral kin (not direct lines, but siblings to one of our ancestors): Max Broida was in vaudeville, and known in films as “Buster Brodie.” Elsie Janis, born Elsie Beerbower, was a comedienne, singer, child star in vaudeville, “Sweetheart of the A.E.F” as she entertained the troops overseas in World War I, and then she went on to write for films. Max Broida also did a stint in the circus, as did Jefferson Springsteen, who ran away from home as “a very small boy” to join the circus (per his obituary).

Collateral Lee family from Irthlingborough, England, included shoemakers, as that was the specialty of the town. They brought those skills to Illinois, and some of those tools have been handed down in the family- strange, unknown tools in an inherited tool chest turned out to be over 100 years old!

Will McMurray and his wife Lynette Payne McMurray owned a grocery store in Newton, Iowa. Ella V. Daniels Roberts sold eggs from her chickens, the butter she made from the cows she milked, and her delicious pies at the McMurray store. Franz Xavier Helbling and some of his brothers and sons were butchers in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, and had their own stores.

Some of our ancestors kept hotels or taverns. Joseph Parsons (a Burnell ancestor) was issued a license to operate an ‘ordinary’ or “house of entertainment” in 1661 in Massachusetts, and Samuel Lenton Lee was listed as “Keeps hotel” and later as a saloon keeper in US Federal censuses. Jefferson Springsteen had a restaurant at the famous Fulton Market in Brooklyn, NY in the late 1840s.

From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) "May" Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914.
From left: Edgar B. Helbling, (Anna) “May” Helbling, Vi Helbling, and Gerard William Helbling, on Flag Day 1914. Note ‘Undertaker’ sign- yes, it was all done in his home. (Click to enlarge.)

Many of our family had multiple jobs. William Gerard Helbling (AKA Gerard William Helbling or “G.W.”) listed himself as working for a theater company, was an artist, then an undertaker, and finally a sign painter. George H. Alexander was artistic as well- he created paintings but also worked as a lighting designer to pay the bills.

Sometimes health problems forced a job change. Edward B. Payne was a Union soldier, librarian, and then a pastor until he was about 44 when his respiratory problems from tuberculosis forced him to resign the pulpit. For the rest of his life he did a little preaching, lecturing, and writing. He also became an editor for a number of publications including, “The Overland Monthly,” where he handed money over from his own pocket (per family story) to pay the young writer Jack London for his first published story. Edward B. Payne even founded a Utopian colony called Altruria in California! He and his second wife, Ninetta Wiley Eames Payne, later owned and conducted adult ‘summer camps’ that were intellectual as well as healthy physically while camping in the wild and wonderful northern California outdoors.

Other times, health problems- those of other people- are what gave our ancestors jobs:  Edward A. McMurray and his brother Herbert C. McMurray were both physicians, as was John H. O’Brien (a Helbling ancestor), who graduated from medical school in Dublin, Ireland, and came to America in 1832. He settled in western Pennsylvania, still wild and in the midst of a cholera epidemic that was also sweeping the nation; he had his work cut out for him. (It appears he did not get the same respect as other doctors because he was Irish, and this was pre-potato famine.) Lloyd Eugene “Gene” Lee and his father Samuel J. Lee owned a drugstore in St. Louis, as did Gene’s brother-in-law, Claude Aiken. Edith Roberts McMurray Luck worked as a nurse since she received a degree in biology in 1923.

We have had many soldiers who have helped protect our freedom, and we will honor some of those persons on Veterans Day.

We cannot forget the farmers, but they are too numerous to name them all! Even an urban family often had a large garden to supplement purchased groceries, but those who farmed on a larger scale included George Anthony Roberts, Robert Woodson Daniel, David Huston Hemphill, Amos Thomas, etc., etc. We even have a pecan farmer in the Lee family- William Hanford Aiken, in Waltham County, Mississippi, in the 1930s-40s.

Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress.
Lynette Payne, December 1909, wearing a purple and lavender silk dress. (Click to enlarge.)

We must also, “Remember the ladies” as Abigail Adams entreated her husband John Adams as he helped form our new nation. He/they did not, so 51% of the population-women- were not considered citizens except through their fathers or husbands. Many of these women, such as Lynette Payne McMurray, labored to get women the right to vote, equal pay, etc. (Lynette ‘walked the talk’ too- she was the first woman to ride a bicycle in Newton, Iowa! Not so easy when one thinks about the clothing involved.) Some men, like her father, Edward B. Payne, put their energy into the women’s suffrage movement as well. Many of our ancestors worked for the abolition movement too, including the Payne and Burnell families.

A woman worked beside her husband in many families, although she would get little credit for it. Who cooked the meals and cleaned the rooms for the Lee and Parsons innkeepers? Likely their wives, who also had to keep their own home clean, laundry washed, manage a garden and often livestock- many families kept chickens even if they didn’t have a farm. They raised and educated their many children too, sometimes 13 or more. Oh yes, let’s not forget that women truly ‘labored’ to bring all those children into the world that they had made from scratch. (Building a human from just two cells makes building a barn seem somewhat less impressive, doesn’t it?) Some of them even died from that labor.

June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul in their drugstore.
June 1942- Claude Frank Aiken and his wife Mildred Paul Aiken in their drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri.

Working alongside one’s husband could be frightening due to the dangers of the job. A noise in the Aiken family drugstore in St. Louis, Missouri in 1936 awoke Claude and Mildred Aiken since they lived in the back of the store. Claude look a gun and went into the store while Mildred called the police. Claude fired the gun high to frighten the intruder- Mildred must have been very scared if she was in the back, wondering who had fired the shot and if her husband was still alive. Thankfully he was, and the police were able to arrest the thief, who wanted to steal money to pay a lawyer to defend him in his three previous arrests for armed burglary and assault.

 

We applaud all of our ancestors who worked hard to support their family. Their work helped to make the US the largest economic power in the world, and a place immigrants would come to achieve their ‘American dream.’ We hope our generation, and the next, can labor to keep our country prosperous and strong.

 

Notes, Sources, and References: 

  1. There are too many folks listed here to add references, but using the search box on the blog page can get you to any of the stories that have been posted about many of these persons. Of course, there is always more to come, so stay tuned!

 

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