Seeing your ancestors in context

Started by Hatte Blejer on Thursday, April 28, 2011
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4/28/2011 at 7:31 PM

Some time ago I had linked my Stowe ancestors to Bethia Hopkins, daughter of John Hopkins, and her husband, Deacon Samuel Stocking. Their daughter, Bethia, married a Stowe. They were the ancestors of Hattie Hawley Stowe, my great grandmother.

I knew that my family were early settlers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. And in recent generations my Williams great grandparents lived in Hartford, CT.

But I did not know until now that (1) at least three of my ancestors were original proprietors: George Stocking of Hartford John Hopkins, of Gloucesteshire and Thomas Birchard (Birchwood)! (2) it would be natural for these families to intermarry because they lived in a close-knit, small community.

John Hopkins' daughter married George Stocking's son. As for Thomas Birchard, he is connected by marriage with my Baldwin ancestors who were early settlers in Milford, CT.

4/28/2011 at 8:47 PM


I know the feeling.

I worked for months and months and finally found my "first immigrant." He was a "lesser freeman" of Guilford CT, origins obscure, "maybe Wales." A carpenter, perhaps, by trade -- but really, they did whatever needed to be done. I think most were *not* farmers so had to learn?

One of the sources I read said "conditions on the early plantations were far more like medieval villages than the organized shires and towns they were recruited from in England."

I was so humbled and awed.

4/28/2011 at 8:59 PM

From reading the Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, I see that they often came from humble origins but that those who were capable and rose to the challenge of the New World had opportunities they would not have had in England.

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