Ann Woodbury Starkweather

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Ann Woodbury Starkweather (Philip)

Birthdate: (72)
Birthplace: Mt Hope, {Pokanoket, Bristo, RI, United States
Death: July 11, 1727 (72)
Preston, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Place of Burial: Route 165, Preston, New London County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Metacomet "King Philip" and Wootonekanuske Pokanoket
Wife of John Starkweather, Sr.
Mother of Thomas Starkweather; Timothy Starkweather; John Starkweather; Robert Starkweather; Richard Starkweather and 2 others
Sister of Prentice Pokanoket Stanton; Menton Pokanoket Philip; Lucy Pokanoket Philip and Child Pokanoket Philip

Managed by: Andrew Evans
Last Updated:

About Ann Woodbury Starkweather

Birth: unknown Death: 1727 Preston New London County Connecticut, USA

Anna (last name unknown) was the wife of John Starkweather. Together they had the following children, all born in Ipswich, Massachusetts:

Thomas Starkweather, b. about 1677. Timothy Starkweather, b. about 1679. John Starkweather, b. 1680. Robert Starkweather, b. 1684. Richard Starkweather, b. 1686. Mary (Starkweather) Stanton, b. about 1689. Lydia (Starkweather) Lester, b. about 1693.

Family links:

 John Starkweather (1646 - 1703)*

 John Starkweather (1680 - 1750)*
 Richard Starkweather (1686 - 1760)*
 Mary Starkweather Stanton (1689 - 1761)*
 Lydia Starkweather Lester (1692 - 1760)*
  • Calculated relationship

Note: Last updated 23 June 2014.

Burial: Preston City Cemetery Preston New London County Connecticut, USA

Created by: Leslie Lewis Record added: Apr 28, 2013 Find A Grave Memorial# 109649904


The ancestry of Ann Starkweather is unknown but there are at least two contentious or perhaps "improbable traditions." that attempt to answer this question. The first theory is that she was the daughter of parents with the surname of Woodbury. The origins of this theory are unknown, however we did find a copy of a letter written by someone who signed their name only as F.B., published under a column titled "Genealogical" in a November 11, 1896 edition of the "Boston Evening Transcript" that attempted to answer the question. F.B.'s theory was that since John and Ann Starkweather both had a grandson and a great grandson named Woodbury, then the name Woodbury must be a family name, and it was assumed as likely by this writer that Ann Starkweather's maiden name was Woodbury. This was really a stretch but the name Ann Woodbury now appears firmly fixed as John Starkweather's wife in dozens of family trees on and elsewhere.

On the other hand an equally "improbable tradition" is that Ann Starkweather was the daughter of Metacomet, also known as King Philip, a well known and hated Indian leader in Colonial New England. At least in this theory there is a possibility of truth and the family tradition that Ann Starkweather was an Indian has existed for many, many generations within the Starkweather family. We probably should begin with a brief description of the life of our possible 8th great grandfather, Metacomet, or as he was called by the English, Philip, the sachem of the Wampanoag Indians...

Could John Starkweather's wife have been an Indian? Absolutely. Could she have been a daughter of Metacomet? Possibly. Now me must examine how this "improbable tradition" might have come about.

At the time of the King Philip's War, John Starkweather was living in Ipswich, Massachusetts and if his future wife Ann (an improbable picture as profile photo) was the daughter of Metacomet, then she was probably living somewhere near Mount Hope in southeastern Rhode Island around 100 miles south of Ipswich. In 1676 it was unlikely under normal circumstances that they would have met and married. This assumes of course, that John Starkweather was not part of the Massachusetts Militia during the King Philip's War. As it turns out the Massachusetts Militia was commanded by a Col. Samuel Appleton who just happened to live in John Starkweather's hometown of Ipswich. We have also learned from the book by Carlton Lee Starkweather that we previously referenced, that John Starkweather was a tenant on land owned by John Appleton, whom we believe was Samuel Appleton's brother. Both Appleton brothers were very prominent citizens of Ipswich and as it turns out Samuel Appleton was my 9th great grandfather as well as the son-in-law of previously mentioned William Paine. While we found no evidence that John Starkweather was a soldier in the Massachusetts militia commanded by Samuel Appleton during the King Philip's War, we nevertheless believe that there was a high probability that he did serve as did a large percentage of the male population. If we accept that John Starkweather was engaged in the war then that would certainly increase the possibility that the young and single John Starkweather encountered his future Indian wife in or around Mount Hope or at least somewhere in Rhode Island or southern Massachusetts, and that he returned with her to his home in Ipswich where they were married in 1676. The fact that the year of their marriage coincides with the end of the King Philip's War suggests that this "improbable tradition" of the marriage may indeed have a hint of accuracy. We must also not discount the "long family tradition" that Ann Starkweather was a daughter of Metacomet as being purely without merit. Such traditions do not just spring up from nothing. Furthermore, we must note that Ann's age fits well within the time period when Metacomet had likely fathered children. While it is true that the Puritan soldiers in many cases indiscriminately killed Indians during the war including elderly as well as women and children, this does not mean that everyone in the community condoned that behavior. We believe that there is very real possibly that many of the innocent Indians particularly the women and children might very well have been hidden and then absorbed into the community. Finally, Ann Starkweather did not receive her "full communion" into the Puritan Church until after her husband's death in 1703 and even then her time with the church was somewhat contentious as she was disciplined in 1709 for lying and being obstinate. She apparently "confesses" and was forgiven by the church in 1711 although her delay in becoming an active member of the church and her somewhat belligerent behavior later towards the church is suggestive that she may not have received a strict Puritan upbringing. The reason of course, may simply have been because her earlier years were spent living with her parents in an Indian community. While all of this is not proof of anything, it does seem a little strange that despite all that we know about John and his parents, siblings, and his children, we know absolutely nothing about the background and parents of our 7th great grandmother, Ann Starkweather. No information in this regard has been uncovered in any of the Ipswich public records nor in the abundant church records.

John and Ann Starkweather lived together in Ipswich from the time of their marriage until around 1694 when they relocated with their family to Preston, Connecticut around 125 miles south of Ipswich. We have pointed out a number of times in this Blog about how our colonial ancestors seem to up and move all the time thinking that each time they moved they were just seeking better opportunities for themselves and their children. While this is undoubtedly true, it occurred to us recently that even our generation is constantly on the move. My father was born in Elmira, New York but he ended up spending most of his life with my mother in Niagara Falls, New York. My parents had three children all of us born near or in Niagara Falls but all three of us moved: one of us to Florida, one to Boston, MA, and one to Corvalis, Oregon. This habit of relocating seems to be an inherited trait perhaps in all of us.

John and Ann Starkweather had seven children born in Ipswich between the years of 1677 and 1693 including my 6th great grandfather Richard Starkweather, their 5th child, who was born in the year 1686. We do not know much about the life of John during these years other than it appears he may have continued in his father's trade of raising and grazing farm animals as well as growing crops for food for his family. He was described in one of the historical documents in Preston as a "husbandman" which was old medieval term meaning a free tenant farmer or a small landowner. This expression confirms what is mentioned elsewhere that John Starkweather was a tenant on land owned in Ipswich by John Appleton. John Starkweather was around 46-years old when he moved his family to Preston. Apparently the lure of free land that he was granted in Preston on 26 August 1694 was too much to ignore. The "plantation" of Preston had been established only a few years earlier in 1686 and clearly the city leaders wanted to encourage new settlers. This move and change in John Starkweather's life seems to have encouraged him, especially now that he was a landowner for the first time, to participate in the management of his community. In 1698 John was appointed a "List Gatherer, in 1700 he was appointed a "Fence Viewer," and then on 5 January 1698, at age 50, and again on 30 December 1702, he became a "Selectman" in the city of Preston. The selectmen, there was more than one, were literally selected by the adult males in the community and as a small group they were responsible for running the day to day operations of the city. This honor for John Starkweather was further extended when he want on to represent Preston in the Legislature of Connecticut. During the years of 1698 until his death on 21 August 1703 he was involved in a number of other civic activities within the community many of which are noted in the town records including mention of him in the documents as "M' Starkweather", Mister as opposed to the lessor title of Goodman. His rise from the poverty of his parents to becoming a small tenant farmer in Ipswich, to marrying an Indian princess, and then becoming a landowner and town leader in Preston, Connecticut makes for a truly incredible story. The value of his estate at his death was around 200 English pounds which definitely would have placed him in the well-off category. Ann Starkweather survived her husband by 23 years finally passing away in 1727. Our 6th great grandfather, Richard Starkweather, was around 18-years old when his father died. His parents are buried side by side in the old Preston City Cemetery.


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Ann Woodbury Starkweather's Timeline

{Pokanoket, Bristo, RI, United States
Age 22
Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, USA
Age 24
Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
September 16, 1680
Age 25
Ipswich, Essex, MA, United States
Age 29
December 25, 1686
Age 31
Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts, United States
February 3, 1689
Age 34
Stonington, CT
Age 37
Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts, United States
July 11, 1727
Age 72
Preston, New London County, Connecticut, United States