Cross connections

The next new Early New England Families Study Project sketch to be uploaded will be for Roger Goodspeed of Barnstable. Roger is a first-generation immigrant who arrived in New England sometime before December 1641, when he was married in Barnstable to Alice/Allis Layton.

Roger and Alice settled and lived in Barnstable for the rest of their lives; they had twelve children. Their daughter Ruth has a cross connection to Early New England Families subject Nathaniel Bacon through Nathaniel’s second wife, Hannah Lambert/Lumbert?, who became the third wife of Ruth’s widower, John Davis! Roger and Alice’s granddaughter, Alice Goodspeed, married Benjamin Shelley, son of Robert Shelley.

Cross connections among the Early New England Families will be popping up frequently as we complete more sketches, and it will be a challenge to keep track of them. Here are a few that have already popped.

Nathaniel Bacon’s daughter Mary Bacon married George Lane’s son Josiah Lane.

John Winthrop the Younger was brother of Henry Winthrop and brother-in-law of Elizabeth (Fones) (Winthrop) (Feake) Hallett. John and Henry’s sister Mary Winthrop was the first wife of Samuel Dudley. Samuel’s sister Patience Dudley married Daniel Denison, and his half-brother Paul Dudley married Mary, daughter of John Leverett.

Cross connections among the Early New England Families will be popping up frequently…

Elizabeth Weld, wife of Edward Denison (Daniel’s brother), was a half-sister to the wife of a son of Thomas Starr. Rev. Peter Hobart’s daughter Rebecca Hobart married Daniel Mason, widower of Edward Denison’s daughter Margaret. Dorothy (Weld) Denison, widow of Edward’s son William Denison, married second to Samuel Williams, whose second wife, Mary (Payson) Capen, was the widow of John Capen. John and Mary (Payson) Capen’s daughter, Mary, married Hopestill Foster, who was a cousin of Thomas Stowe, whose son Samuel Stowe married Elizabeth, daughter of John Stone.

Brothers Edward and Thomas Bulkeley were first cousins to Oliver Mellowes. Jonas Clark’s son Thomas Clark married Edward Bulkeley’s daughter, Mary. The widow of Oliver’s son John Mellowes married Deane Winthrop, half-brother of John and Henry.

Joshua Holgrave and Hilliard Veren married sisters, Jane and Mary Conant. Thomas Dibble’s son Israel married Josiah Hull’s daughter Mary. Daniel Morse’s son Obadiah married Martha, daughter of Humphrey Johnson. Samuel Sherman’s daughter Sarah married Josiah Rossiter, son of Bray Rossiter.

I think those relationships are correct, but one does get a bit bleary trying to pick them all out.

Alicia Crane Williams

About Alicia Crane Williams

Alicia is the lead genealogist on the new NEHGS study project, Early New England Families, 1641-1700. Prior to joining the NEHGS staff, she compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications including The Mayflower Descendant, the Alden Family Five Generations project, and the Harlow Family : Descendants of Sgt. William Harlow (1624/5-1691) of Plymouth, Massachusetts. Alicia has served as Historian of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Assistant Historian General at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and as Genealogist of the Alden Kindred of America. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in History from Northeastern University. In October 2016, Alicia was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists.

10 thoughts on “Cross connections

  1. Oh, what a tangled web… I ended up having to make a flow chart for some of my family connections spanning several generations. Cousins, however distant in relation and residence, seemed to have an affinity for one another.

    1. It is certainly true when some families settled in rural areas, there were fewer “candidates” available for marriage and cousins frequently married each other.

      In tracing my family’s connections, it appeared that some of the cousin marriages were strategic. The most intricate ones solidified merchant families up and down the eastern seaboard.

      I haven’t put the time into studying early Jewish families, but they certainly relied upon family connections for trade, too. There were interesting family and trading alliances because the Jews in Newport, RI and Charleston, SC were mainly Sephardic, while the communities in Baltimore, MD and Savannah, GA tended to be Ashkenazi.

    2. Bruce, true, but social status, education, financial status, political status all played a part in certain families intermarrying. If you were a daughter of a governor, you were high on the list to marry the son of a governor, etc., and once the family connection is made, it gets reinforced by more connections.

  2. Not as early as the Colonials in my families, but in neighborhoods of big families of 12 or more, brothers of one family married sisters of another family. This has happened in both my husbands and my family in the late 1700s into the 1800s & early 1900s. And I discovered well after my maternal Grandparents were long gone that they were 6th cousins once removed, I don’t think either of them knew it certainly it was never mentioned.

  3. You mention the much married Elizabeth Fones who married Henry Winthrop. Her mother was the first wife of Thomas Fones, whose second wife was Priscilla, nee Burges, widow of Bezaliel Sherman c.1582-1618, whose brothers Edmund and Richard emigrated to New England. I descend from another brother, Samuel Sherman,

  4. I’m finding this out with our families now as I get closer to the early 1700 and 1600’s. Can be very confusing. In fact, my husband has an Anna Rising Conant in his line. But I’m loving it.

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