Brig. Gen. Silas Newcomb

Brig Gen. Silas Newcomb. (1723 – 1779) was Alex’s first cousin, eight times removed in the Miller line. Silas had such an interesting career as a Greenwich, New Jersey tea partier and a general under General Washington that I made him his own page

Brig. Gen. Silas Newcomb  was born 17 Apr 1723 Edgartown, Dukes, Mass.  His parents were Capt. Joseph Newcomb and Joyce Butler.  His grandparents were Lt. Andrew NEWCOMB Jr. and and his second wife Anna Bayes.    He married in 1745 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey to Bathsheba Dayton.   Silas died  17 Jan 1779 in “New England Cross”, Farifield, Cumberland, New Jersey.

Bathsheba Dayton was born in 1725.   Bathsheba died in 1781 in Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey.

Children of Silas and Bathsheba

Name Born Married Departed
1. Mary Newcomb 6 May 1749 Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey Capt. John Daniels
30 Jun 1770
Cumberland, Cumberland, New Jersey
6 Jul 1788  Swedesboro, Gloucester, New Jersey
2. Dayton Newcomb 1753
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey
23 Mar 1809
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey
3. Silas Newcomb 1756
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey
4. Dr. Ephraim Newcomb 4 May 1757
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey
Bathsheba Preston
Cumberland, Cumberland, NJ
21 Aug 1795 Cedarville, Cumberland, New Jersey
5. Webster Newcomb 4 May 1757 Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey Abigail Powell
18 Sep 1781
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey
16 Dec 1792
Fairfield, Cumberland, New Jersey

Both General Newcomb and his wife were baptized at Fairfield in 1759 and in the record he is called “Captain.”  He resided near his brother William.

Silas Newcomb served as Lieutenant in the Quebec Campaign of the French War, 1758-1759.

28 Mar 1759 – Appointed by the governor as one of the officers to command a regiment at Perth Amboy, N.J.,

1760 – Elected sheriff of Cumberland County

Dec 22, 1774 – Greenwich, New Jersey was  one of the five tea-party towns in America, the others being Charleston, Annapolis, Princeton, and Boston. Greenwich’s was the last tea party before war broke out. In 1908 the monument seen above was erected in the old market place on Ye Greate Street. It lists the names of the known participants including Silas Newcomb and his son Ephraim.

Greenwich Teaparty Monument

Greenwich Tea Party Monument

In the autumn of 1774, a year after the tea party in Boston, a British ship, the “Greyhound”, that was denied entry into Philadelphia, tried to sell its cargo in Greenwich, Cumberland Co., NJ. She was loaded with a cargo of tea sent out by the East India Tea Company, and was undoubtedly under the impression that the conservative feelings and principles of the people of New Jersey would induce them to submit quietly to a small tax.

Having found a Tory, or English sympathizer, one Daniel Bowen, the Greyhound’s crew secretly stored the cargo of tea in the cellar of his house. However, this unusual procedure was noted by the citizens.

News of the Boston Tea Party had already reached Greenwich and that defiant example was regarded by many of the local settlers as worthy of their own contempt for the British. Fate now presented them with a ready-made opportunity to duplicate the act.

A company of about forty young patriots, including Silas Newcomb and his son Ephraim, disguised as Indians, entered the cellar of Bowen’s house. They took all the cargo from the cellar into an adjoining field and set it on fire.

After the “Indians” had destroyed the tea, a county-wide committee met the next day. It piously resolved: “first that we entirely disapprove of the destroying of the tea, it being entirely contrary to our resolves; second, that we will not conceal nor protect from justice any of the perpetrators of the above act.”

Quite a few tongues must have been in quite a few cheeks when the vote was taken on that resolution. There on the committee sat at least two of the tea burners: Silas Newcomb and Joel Fiftian.

Two legal efforts were launched to punish the tea burners. Neither was successful.

One was a suit brought by the East India Company’s Philadelphia agents, against alleged members of the group, including the two Newcomb boys.Twelve hundred pounds’ damages were demanded. But a public subscription raised funds for the defense, eminent counsel were engaged, and trial was stalled off until the Revolution ended the royal judicial authority in Cumberland County. The other legal move was a grand jury investigation.This was ordered by Chief Justice Frederick Smyth.

Judge Smith gave very Large Charge to the Grand Jury concerning the times, and the burning of the tea the fall before.But the Jury came in without doing anything, and Court broke up.

Judge Smith sent a Jury out a second time, but the Sheriff had packed this jury with Patriots. So again no action was taken.

14 Jun 1776 –  Colonel of the First Battalion of Cumberland Co., New Jersey Militia,

28 Aug 1776 – Commanded a battalion of General Heard’s Brigade, New Jersey Militia, at the Battle of Long Island

28 Nov 1776 – Promoted to Colonel of the First Battalion, Second Establishment, New Jersey Continental Line

15 Mar  1777 – Commissioned Brigadier-General of the New Jersey Militia, .

10 Aug 1777 –  Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb writes General Washington at Neshaminy Camp, Penn., that he is assembling his militia.

In Pursuance of an Order from His Excellency Govr Livingston of the 27th of last month,1 I have assembled here a Detachment of my Brigade of Militia; and expect in a Day or two to have about 500 Men.

I wait for Orders from Your Excellency; and Am, with most dutiful Respect, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble Servt

11 Aug  1777 –  General Washington, then near the Cross Roads, writes Brigadier-General Newcomb, New Jersey, requesting militia for Red Bank.

To BRIGADIER GENERAL SILAS NEWCOMB Head Qurs., near the Cross Roads, August 11, 1777. [Note:Cross Roads later became Hartsville, Pa. ]

Sir: Your favour of Yesterday from Woodbury I have this Moment received. As you have got so many of the Militia collected, I would think it highly impolitic to discharge them until we can with some degree of precision, explain the late extraordinary Movements of the Enemy, and determine the object of them. In the interim my desire is that you order your Men to Red Bank to assist in completeing the Works there [and at Fort Island]. The Officer Commanding will take orders from General De Coudray or whoever he has left there to Superintend them. The disagreeable Suspense we are now kept in, cannot possibly be of long duration, during which, your Corps will be doing a Service to their Country, at least equal to the pay they draw, which I am satisfied will be more agreeable to them than to remain idle. I am etc

20 Aug 1777 – Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb writes General George Washington at Neshaminy Camp, requesting permission to march his detachment home; he at that time was at Woodbury, N.J.

10 Oct 1777 –  Alexander Hamilton writes to Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb, requesting militia for Red Bank.

15 Oct. 1777 – General Washington write Brigadier-General Newcomb and orders him to reinforce Red Bank and hold the place to the last extremity.

22 Oct 1777 –  General Washington writes Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb regarding operations against Fort Mifflin and Red Bank, reinforcements of militia, supplies, etc.

To BRIGADIER GENERAL SILAS NEWCOMB Head Qurs., October 22, 1777.

“Sir: The Enemy seem determined to possess themselves, if possible, of the Forts on the River. Their operations against Fort Mifflin have been carried on for several days with unremitted attention, and from various accounts they mean to storm Red Bank or to invest it. For this purpose, it is confidently said, that a pretty considerable Detachment crossed the River Yesterday morning. It is of infinite importance to us, to prevent them from effecting these objects. I therefore request you to give every aid in your power to that end. If they have or attempt to invest the Fort, I hope you will be able to fall on their Rear with such a respectable number of Militia, as to make them decline the project, and if that should not be the case, it may be the means of further Detachments being sent from the City to their support, which will afford us perhaps a favourable opportunity of striking a successful blow. I will not enlarge upon the Subject. You are sufficiently impressed with the importance of it, and I trust you will exert yourself to render every service you can. The earliest aid should be given, delay may bring on a loss extremely interesting in its nature and irreparable. I am &ca.

P.S. I cannot forbear observing to you, and the Inhabitants of Jersey, the dreadful consequences that must follow should the Enemy keep possession of Philadelphia, and that if they get Red Bank into their hands, a considerable force must consequently be kept there by them, to the distress and terror of those within their reach, this I hope will stimulate the Militia to a speedy and vigorous opposition.

I must request that you do every thing in your power to throw in supplies of provision to Fort Mifflin and Red Bank, this I concieve to be a matter of the utmost importance, as the Enemy may intend to starve them out.”

29 Oct. 1777 –  David Forman, near Red Bank, N.J., writes General Washington at Whiteplain of his attempt to assemble militia, “weather and Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb’s obstinacy retarding.”

General Silas Newcomb was in command of a force detailed to guard Delaware Bay and to prevent any landing of English forces there. Their services were commemorated and their names perpetuated by the state of New Jersey through the efforts of the Daughters of the American Revolution. A beautiful granite and marble tablet, with the names of Brigadier-General Silas Newcomb, Colonel Isaac Preston, and other officers that were in command of the colonial forces, marks the historic spot.

4 Dec 1777 –  General Newcomb resigned his commission


Washington, George, 1732-1799. The writings of George Washington from the original manuscript sources: Volume 9 Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

Smugglers’ Woods, Jaunts and Journeys in Colonial and Revolutionary New Jersey by Arthur D. Pierce

Posted in Historical Monument, Line - Miller, Veteran | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Gorgonio S. Rangel

Gorgonio Sarimiento RANGEL was born 9 Sep 1910 in Malasiqui, Pangasinan, Philippines. His parents were Ponciano RANGEL and Susana RANGEL. (I doubt her maiden name was also Rangel, but that’s what the death certificate says).  He married Susanna ENRIQUEZ. Gorgonio died 5 Feb 1983.

Susanna Enriquez was born in


Name Born Married
1. Ernie Rangel
2. Aida Rangel [__?__] Roque
3. Angelita RANGEL   Rudolfo LOPEZ
4. Araceli (Cely) Rangel [__?__] de Lara
5. Mely Rangel
6. Jun Rangel

Gorgonio was a businessman who operated a printing business. See my post G. Rangel & Sons.

Malasiqui is a first class municipality in the province of Pangasinan, Philippines. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 123,566 people with an area of 123.78 sq. km.

It is mainly an agricultural municipality with rice, corn and tropical lowland vegetables as main crops. It is also famous for its mango fruits having one of the largest concentration of mango tree population in the Philippines.

The word Malasiqui originates from the Pangasinan root word lasi meaning lightning. With prefix ma indicating high degree and suffix qui indicating place – Malasiqui means “place full of lightning”.

The municipality traces its origins during the middle of 17th century when Spanish friars opened a mission intended to convert the native population to Catholicism. The most probable founding year was 1671 when Spanish civil authorities in Manila gave the license for the creation of the town. There were no organized communities in the area before the Spaniards arrived. Attempts to group families into a settlement may have started as early as 1665. The present site was then heavily forested with small family groups scattered along banks of small rivers and creeks. The socio-political history of the municipality parallels that of the Pangasinan province and the country in general. The population participated heavily in some of the bloodiest rebellions during the Spanish period. Ethnically, it is one of the few places in the province of Pangasinan which did not experience in-migration from other regions of the country. Consequently, Pangasinanse is the dominant ethnic group with almost no other ethnic groups mixing into the locality.



Posted in -3rd Generation, Socorro | 1 Comment

William Heath

William A. HEATH (1550 – 1623)  was Alex’s 12th Great Grandfather; one of 8,192 in this generation of the Miller line.

Heath Family Coat of Arms

William A Heath was born in 1550 in Ware, Hertford, England. His parents were Edward HEATH (1525 – 1592) and Alice [__?__] (1529 – 1593). He married Alice CHENEY 9 Jun 1580 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England .  William died 7 Jan 1623 in Ware, Hertford, England.

Alice Cheney was born 1552 in St Martins, Wiltshire, England. Her parents were Robert CHENEY  and Joan HARRISON. Alice died 24 Dec 1593 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

Children of William and Alice:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John HEATH 15 Aug 1574  Salisbury St Martins, Wiltshire, England. Alis BARTHOLOMEW
12 Feb 1599
St Martin, Wiltshire, England
1644 in England
2. William Heath 5 Aug 1581
Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Mary Cramphorn
10 Feb 1616/17 – Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
Mary Perry
29 Jan 1622/23 in Gilston, Hertfordshire
29 May 1652 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.
3. Alice Heath bapt.
23 Dec 1583
Ware, Hertfordshire, England
Nathaniel Larke
19 Sep 1614 Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
10 Oct 1640 Ware, Hertfordshire, England
4. Elder Isaac Heath  ~1585 Elizabeth Miller
14 Jan 1628/29 Ware, Hertfordshire, England
21 Jan 1660/61
5. George Heath 4 Aug 1588 Ware, Herts, England
6. Mary Heath 24 Mar 1594  Ware, Hertfordshire,  England John Johnson of Roxbury
21 Sep 1613 – Ware, Hertfordshire, England
15 May 1629 Ware, Hertfordshire,  England
7. Prudence Heath 6 Nov 1597 – Hertfordshire, England Edward Morrison (Morris)
25 Oct 1622 – St. Mary Mounthaw, London, England
22 Jan 1631 – Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England
8. Thomas Heath  ~1603 Oct 1603
9. Thomas Heath 30 Sep 1604 Ware, Herts, England Elizabeth Mumford
9 Apr 1627 Great Amwell, Herts, England


William’s father Edward Heath was born 1525 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. His father was Robert HEATH (1500 – 1575). Edward died 8 Mar 1592 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England.

William’s mother Alice Carter was born 24 Dec 1529 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Alice died 24 Dec 1593 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England

Alice’s father Robert Cheney was born about 1520.  His father was  Robert CHENEY  (~1490 – ~1542), whose will was written 26 Oct 1542, naming son Robert and daughter Agnes/Annes Donne, and requesting burial in the churchyard of Saint Lawrence, Waltham.  Robert, son of Robert, was grandson of yet another Robert CHENEY (b. ~1460), a resident of Waltham Abbey, Essex in 1494.   Robert’s will was made 1 Oct. 1567 and proved 13 Mar 1567/68 in Waltham Abbey, Essex, and names his children, his step-father Mr. Bryttayne, his sister Donne , his wife’s brother William Harrison, and her brother-in-law Christopher Goldinge .

Alice’s mother Joan Harrison was born about 1525, Waltham Abbey, Essex.  Her parents were John HARRISON and Agnes [__?__].  She was named in her father’s will dated 4 Jan. 1549/50 as Johanne Cheyney. Married second in 1568 to John Hanford (bur. 7 Feb. 1610/11, Waltham Abbey, Essex). John was married second 12 Dec. 1597, at Waltham Abbey to Alice Wicksted.   Joan was buried 14 May 1597 in Waltham Abbey, Essex.


That William, and not either of his brothers Robert or John, was the father of the next generation of Heaths in Ware is strongly suggested by the fact that he inherited his father’s house there, to the exclusion of his brothers. He was probably well established there already. Although the Ware parish registers do not include the name of the father of children baptized there in the period 1581-1604, the spacing of the baptisms strongly implies that there was only one Heath family having children in the parish in the 1580s and 1590s. Beginning in 1604, the baptismal registers include the father’s name, and that year William’s son Thomas was baptized there.

Chronology suggests that this was William Heath’s last child. Significantly, no further children for this William appear in the registers of either Ware or Great Amwell.

2. William Heath

William’s first wife Mary Cramphorne was bapt. 12 Jan 1591/92 in Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, England.  Her parents were Thomas Crampthorne and Mary Lyndesell. Mary was buried at Great Amwell 24 November 1621, as “the wife of William Heath of Ware End.”

William’s second wife Mary Perry was born in Sawbridgeworth. Mary died 15 Dec 1659 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.

William is said to have come from Nazeing, Essex, England but his parents resided in Ware, Herfordshire, England.

Model of the ship, Lyon, located in the lobby of City Hall, Braintree, UK. The Braintree Company and Stephen Hart and family sailed to New England on her in 1632.

Model of the ship, Lyon, located in the lobby of City Hall, Braintree, UK. The Braintree Company and Stephen Hart and family sailed to New England on her in 1632.

William and his second wife immigrated in 1632 from Little Amwell, Hertfordshire, bound for Roxbury on the Lyon bringing 5 children, Mary, Isaac, Mary, Peleg, Hannah. The Lyon #4: Sailed from London June 22, 1632, arriving in Boston September 14/16, 1632. The master, William Pierce, brought 123 passengers whereof fifty children, all in health. They had been twelve weeks aboard and eight weeks from Land’s End.

William and Mary soon joined the Roxbury Church.

Great Migration Begins:

FREEMAN: 4 Mar 1632/33

EDUCATION: Signed his name as witness to the will of John Grave [SPR Case #38], but made his mark to his own will.

OFFICES: Deputy to General Court for Roxbury, 14 May 1634, 18 Apr 1637, 17 May 1637, 13 Mar 1638/39, 22 May 1639, 4 Sep 1639, 13 May 1640, 7 Oct 1640, 7 Oct 1641, 8 Sep 1642. Magistrate for particular court, 25 May 1636

Committee to “consider of the act of Mr. Endicott, in defacing the colors,” 6 May 1635
Committee to distribute “land & meadow at Conihasset,” 13 May 1640
Committee to value livestock, 13 May 1640
Committee to “settle things between Hingham & the plantation to be settled at Nantasket [Hull],” 2 Jun 1641
Committee to “levy & proportion a rate of £800,” 14 Jun 1642
Committee to “consider whether in trial of causes to retain or dismiss juries,” 27 Sep 1642
Committee “to consider of the order for the burning of grounds,” 14 May 1645

On 22 May 1651 at “the request of William Heath, of Roxbury, being above sixty years of age, this Court thinks meet he should be exempted from all trainings”

ESTATE: William Heath died at Roxbury just before the land inventory was taken there. The fourth entry in this land inventory, immediately after that of Rev. John Eliot, is for Isaac Heath, son of William. As there is a later, shorter, entry for Isaac Heath, as well as one for his younger brother Peleg Heath, this early entry would contain the lands which had been granted to the immigrant. At the time of the Roxbury land inventory William Heath’s widow would have held a life interest in these lands, which were at her death to be divided between the two sons. Thus, before his death William Heath held twelve parcels of land, nine by grant from the town and three by purchase: “dwelling house, barn, orchard and houselot, three acres”; “fourteen acres of salt marsh”; “six acres of upland in the calve’s pasture”; “six acres of salt marsh in Gravelly point”; “four acres of upland at Stoney River”; “four and twenty acres not far from Gamblin’s End”; “sixteen acres at the Great Pond”; “six acres … lately bought of Mr. William Perkins”; “in the second allotment of the last division being the eleventh lot … ninety-four acres, three quarters and thirty pole”; “in the four thousand acres two-hundred fifty and six acres”; “three roods of swamp land lately the land of John Stow”; and “four acres … lately the land of Richard Pepper, lying in the upper calve’s pasture”

In his will, dated 28 May 1652 and proved 21 October 1652, “Will[ia]m Heath of Roxbury” bequeathed to “my loving wife” the new end of my house that I now dwell in both above and below and half the great barn and half the barn yard, also all my arable land and meadow, also my cattle and moveables, on condition that she pay all debts, and pay “my daughter Mary Spere” £10 and “my daughter Hannah” £10; “my son Isaac” presently to possess the old end of my dwelling house with convenient yard room for his wood, also half the great barn and barnyard during my wife’s life; “my two sons” to have all my houses and lands, “my son Isaac being my eldest son” a double portion and “my son Pelig” a single portion; to “my daughter Mary that I had by my first wife 40s. a year out of all my lands to be paid by both my sons” and “I do entreat my wife in the mean season to have a motherly care over her and see that she want nothing that is convenient for her”; “my three friends … my dear brother Elder Heath, John Rugles, & Phillip Elliott” overseers.

Children of William and Mary Cramphorne

i. Mary Heath, bapt. Great Amwell 10 May 1618; living unmarried 28 May 1652, the date of her father’s will, and from the wording of the bequest, she was probably incapable of caring for herself.

ii. Isaac Hearth bapt. Great Amwell 21 May 1621; d. 29 Dec 1694 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass; m. 16 Dec 1650 in Roxbury to Mary Davis.

Children of William and Mary Perry

iii Stillborn daughter, bur. Ware 27 Nov 1623.

iv. Peleg Heath, bapt. Nazeing 30 Jan 1624/25; m. by 1652 Susanna [__?__] (In her 14 June 1652 will, widow Dorothy King bequeathed to “my daughter Susanna Heath one little flockbed” ; Dorothy King was three times a widow and Susanna was daughter of her first husband, who may have been a Barker [Weymouth Hist 3:22, 312, 349-50].)

v. Mary Heath bapt. Nazeing 2 Sep 1627; m. by 1644 George Spear (called “Mary Spere” in her father’s will; child bp. 21 April 1644

vi. Hannah Heath bapt. Nazeing 5 Nov 1629; m. by 1658 as his first wife Isaac Jones (daughter Hannah b. Dorchester 20 Nov 1658 and bp. there 21 Nov 1658 ; Elizabeth (Miller) Heath, widow of Isaac Heath, uncle of this Hannah Heath, made a bequest on 1 Jan 1664/65 of 15s. to “Isaack Jones his daughter that he had by Hannah Heath” , leading to the conclusion that the Hannah Jones who died at Dorchester on 28 Nove 1658 was the wife of Isaac and not the daughter .

BIBLIOGRAPHIC NOTE: For many years the best treatment in print of William Heath was that published by Walter Goodwin Davis in 1945 [Annis Spear Anc 29-34]. In 1978 Peter Walne found a few additional items, mostly relating to the marriages of William Heath [NEHGR 132:20-21]. In 1992 Douglas Richardson published an article which detailed the English origin of William Heath and his brother Isaac Heath, as well as others as noted above [NEHGR 146:261-78]; unless otherwise noted, the parish register entries above are from this article. In 1995 Richardson published an article supplementing that of 1992, solidifying the evidence that the immigrants William and Isaac Heath were sons of William of Ware, and identifying their mother [NEHGR 149:173-86].

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine  By Walter Goodwin Davis

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine
By Walter Goodwin Davis

William Heath 2

William Heath 3

3. Alice Heath

Alice’s husband Nathaniel Larke was born 1595 in Little Amwell Ware, Hertfordshire, England. Nathaniel died 24 Feb 1649 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

Children of Alice and Nathaniel:

i. Elizabeth Larke b. 23 Jul 1615 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

ii. John Larke b. 2 Nov 1617 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iii. Mary Larke b. 2 Apr 1620 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iv. Benjamin Larke b. 20 Oct 1623 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

v. Joseph Larke b. 20 Oct 1623 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

vi. Susan Larke b. 1 Jun 1625 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

vii. Nathaniel Larke b. 15 Sep 1626 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

4. Isaac Heath

Isaac’s wife Elizabeth Miller was baptized 3 Mar 1593/94 in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire, England. Her parents were Thomas Miller, gentleman, and Agnes [__?__]. Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire is located about 26 miles North Northeast of London, and about 10 miles Northeast of Ware.

Elizabeth was a sister of Agnes, wife of Robert Bernath, sister of Joseph Miller and sister of Margaret, wife of Thomas Waterman. (all on arrival to Roxbury, Colony of Massachusetts on 22 Dec 1630.)

Isaac immigrated about September in 1635 on the Hopewell, Captain Babb commanding, on its second trip of the year to Massachusetts. His nephew, Isaac Morris/Morrison had come to Massachusetts in the Hopewell on its first trip. Coming with Isaac Heath were his wife Elizabeth, one child, and a cousin, Martha Heath. The record shows:

Isaac aged 50, harnis maker (harness maker)

w. Elizabeth 40

d. Eliz 5 and

Martha 30 ( daughter of Thomas and Agnes Heath and future wife of George Brandied)

William Lyon 14 (William Lyon, orphan child of William and Anne (Carter) Lyon, placed in care of Isaac on the “Hopewell” )

Upon landing the family proceeded to what is now Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts where brother William Heath was already settled. His house was west of the road that led from Boston to the Meeting House. Isaac was one of the chief men of the town.

Time Line

24 Jun 1634 – Isaac appears on the role of the Court of High Commissioners to answer certain charges brought against him.

25 May 1636 – Isaac was made a Freeman in Roxbury.

1637 & 1638 – Isaac represented Roxbury in the General Court in 1637 in 1638.

1637 – Chosen Ruling Elder of the Roxbury church, and held that position until his death.

1645 – Isaac was one of the founders of the Roxbury Free School in 1645.

1659 – John Johnson in his will, proved in 1659 called Elder Isaac Heath “my loving brother,” and named him overseer of the will. (8:261)

21 Jan 1661 – Isaac died in what is now Roxbury, Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, aged about 75 years. He left a will dated 19 Jan 1660/61, two days before his death, and proved 31 January 1660/61 referred to three kin:

first cousin Martha (Heath) Brand, wife of George Brand of Roxbury

niece Mary Mory (John Johnson’s daughter),

nephew and niece Edward Morris and his Elizabeth (Morris) Cartwright children of Isaac’s sister Prudence Heath.

Besides John, Elizabeth, and Mary, children of John Bowles who married his only surviving child, Elizabeth Heath, and he gave the larger portion to his son-in-law John Bowles.

The ancestry of Annis Spear, 1775-1858, of Litchfield, Maine
By Walter Goodwin Davis

Isaac Heath 2

Isaac Heath 3

6. Mary Heath

Mary’s husband John Johnson was born in 1588 in Canterbury, Kent, England. He came to New England probably with Winthrop’s fleet in 1630. He was chosen by the General Court as Constable of Roxbury, Mass., in that year. Mary and John had ten children born between 1614 and 1628, five of whom immigrated to New England.

His second wife, married by 1633, was possibly Margery Scudder, born England, buried 9 June 1655 in Roxbury, daughter of William, died 1607, and Margery Scudder of Darenth, Kent. John married third in 1655 or later Grace Negus, died 19 Dec 1671, widow of Barnabas Fawer, and sister of Jonathan and Benjamin Negus. John died 30 Sep 1659 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass.

John was made a freeman on 18 May 1631. He subsequently served the town and colony in many capacities, including Constable (first on 19 Oct 1630), Surveyor General, Town Clerk, Deputy to the House of Deputies, and Clerk of the Military Company of Massachusetts. The position as Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunitions of the Colonies made Capt. Johnson responsible for the acquisition, maintenance and distribution of the primary means of protection. Gov. John Winthrop wrote in his Journal under the date of 6 February 1645:

“John Johnson, the Surveyor General of Arms and Ammunition, a very industrious and faithful man in his place, having built a fair house in the midst of the town, with divers barns and outhouses, it fell on fire in the day time, no man knowing by what occasion, and there being in it seventeen barrels of the country’s powder, and many arms, all was suddenly burnt and blown up, to the value of four or five hundred pounds, wherein a special providence of God appeared, for, he, being from home, the people came together to help and many were in the house, no man thinking of the powder till one of the company put them in mind of it, whereupon they all withdrew, and soon after the powder took fire and blew up all about it, and shook the houses in Boston and Cambridge, so that men thought it had been an earthquake, and carried great pieces of timber a great way off, and some rags and such light things beyond Boston meeting house, there being then a stiff gale south, it drove the fire from the other houses in the town (for this was the most northerly) otherwise it had endangered the greatest part of the town.”

John was one of the founders of the town and church at Roxbury and, together with his sons Isaac and Humphrey, was an original donor to the Free School in Roxbury.

Children of Mary and John

i. Sarah Johnson b. 12 Nov 1624 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England; d. 5 Jan 1683 in Roxbury, Suffolk, Mass; m. 1657 Lynn, Essex, Mass to William Bartram (1625 – 1690)

7. Prudence Heath

Edward Morris (Morrison) was born about 1595 in England. Edward died 22 Jun 1631 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

Children of Prudence and Edward:

i. Elizabeth Morris b. 11 Feb 1624 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

ii. Isaac Morris b. 3 Feb 1626 in Ware, Hertfordshire, England

iii. Mary Morrison b. 10 Dec 1629 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England

iv. Edward Morris b. 22 Jan 1632 in Great Amwell, Hertfordshire, England; d. 27 Oct 1690
Woodstock, CT; m. Grace Bott


Bartholomew Heath 1 — Source: Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938)

Bartholomew Heath 2


Hudson-Mohawk genealogical and family memoirs:  Volume 2 By Cuyler Reynolds 1911

Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938) By Holman, Mary Lovering, 1868-1947; Pillsbury, Helen Pendleton Winston, 1878-1957

Posted in 14th Generation, Line - Miller | 3 Comments

John Heath

John HEATH (1573 – 1644)  was Alex’s 11th Great Grandfather; one of 4,096 in this generation of the Miller line.

Heath Family Coat of Arms

John Heath was born in 15 Aug 1574  in Salisbury St Martins, Wiltshire, England.  His parents were William HEATH and Alice CHENEY.   He married Alis BARTHOLOMEW 12 Feb 1599 in St Martin, Wiltshire, England.   John died in 1644 in England

Alis Bartholomew was born 1574 in St Martins, Wiltshire, England. Her parents were Thomas BARTELMEW and Alys CORDRAY.   Alise died in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England.   Many genealogies say Alis died 12 Feb 1599, but this was the date of her wedding and too soon for any of the children to be born.

Children of Bartholomew and Hannah:

Name Born Married Departed
1. John Heath Salisbury St Martins, Wiltshire, England Will, dated 28 Dec 1674, proved 10 Apr 1675.
2. Bartholomew HEATH 1615  Salisbury St Martins, Wiltshire, England Hannah MOYCE
~1640  Newbury, Mass
15 Jan 1681 Haverhill, Essex, Mass.


Alis’ father Thomas BARTELMEW was born in 1530 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. Thomas died 1596 in Wiltshire, England

Alis’ mother Alys CORDAY was born in 1543 in Chute, Wiltshire, England. Her parents were Thomas CORDEROY (1490 – 1581) and Jane MORRIS (1523 – 1598). Alis died in 1599 in Chute, Wiltshire, England.



1.  John Heath

17 Jan 1675 – Bartholomew’s brother, John Heath, left bequests to Bartholomew’s children, but named in his will no family of his own. He also lived in Haverhill. No ship records could be found where John Heath was a passenger to New England, but he left a Will, dated December 28, 1674, proved April 10, 1675.  John Heath apparently left no children of his own, and at this time lived with a nephew whom he calls “Cousin” as was the old tradition. John Heath willed that first, all expenses (In the language of that time)

“I have ben att sence I have ben in my Cousin John Heath’s house to be paid out of my  estate,”  and then gave 40 shillings  to Haverhill Church; 40 s. to “the College at Cambridge”; 40s. toward procuring a minister for the Church at  Haverhill after Mr. Ward’s decease; 5 pounds to “my couzen Matha which was my couzen Joseph Heath’s wife, which is now wife to Joseph Page;  Couzen  John Heath’s Son Bartholomew a two yerling Cote”; to “Couzen Joseph Heath ten pounds if he come to age of twenty one yere”; to “Josias Heath’s son Josias a little colt”; to “Sias Heath, five acrese of Land in the plaine,”  etc. to “Couzen John Heath the east meadow, all the rest of real Estate to Brother Bartholl Heath for hee to dispose as he shall see Cause”; to “Couzen Sarah, John Heath’s wife”, to “sias Heath” “Brother Barolomew to be Executor.” (Essex County, Probate Records, 2: 43).

2. Bartholomew HEATH (See his page)


Bartholomew Heath 1 — Source: Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938)

Bartholomew Heath 2


Hudson-Mohawk genealogical and family memoirs:  Volume 2 By Cuyler Reynolds 1911

Ancestry of Charles Stinson Pillsbury and John Sargent Pillsbury (1938) By Holman, Mary Lovering, 1868-1947; Pillsbury, Helen Pendleton Winston, 1878-1957

Posted in 13th Generation, Line - Miller | 2 Comments

Early New England Public Offices

It seems that every other immigrant to New England in the 17th C. held public office.    I’ve tagged over 150 of my ancestors with the category “Public Office” because they held one of these public offices.  With annual terms for selectman, constable, fence viewer, grand jury, general court, etc. everyone who wanted to had a chance to participate.  I think this participation is one of the most important sources of the American identity.  Here are definitions of a few of the terms.

Freeman =  those persons who were not under legal restraint – usually for the payment of an outstanding debt, because they had recently relocated, or because they were idle and had no way in which they could continue the justification of their stay within the colony.

“Freedom” was earned after an allotted time, or until the person demanding “payment” was satisfied – this was known as indentured servitude, and was not originally intended as a stigma or embarrassment for the person involved since many of the sons and daughters of the wealthy and famous of the time found themselves forced into such temporary servitudes. It was a sort of debtor’s prison without the walls, torture, or meager subsistence.

Initially, anyone first entering into a colony, or just recently having become a member of one of the local churches, was formally not free. Such persons were never forced to work for another individual, per se, but their movements were carefully observed, and if they veered from the Puritanical ideal, they were asked to leave the colony. If they stayed or later returned to the colony, they were put to death.There was an unstated probationary period that the prospective “freeman” needed to go through, and if he did pass this probationary period of time – usually one to two years – he was allowed his freedom.

Initially, all persons seeking to be free needed to take the Oath of a Freeman, in which they vowed to defend the Commonwealth and not to conspire to overthrow the government. The first handwritten version of the “Freeman’s Oath” was made in 1634; it was printed by Stephen Daye in 1639 in the form of a broadside or single sheet of paper intended for posting in public placesA Freeman was said to be free of all debt, owing nothing to anyone except God Himself.

To be considered a freeman, adult males had to be sponsored by an existing freeman and accepted by the General Court. Later restrictions established a one-year waiting period between nominating and granting of freeman status and also placed religious restrictions on the colony’s citizens, specifically preventing Quakers from becoming freemen.

However, as time wore on, the name “freeman” somehow became associated with the servitude of slavery, and many of those who had thought that their servitude was only temporary, soon found out that their master was asking them to work a little bit too hard, or that he was taking a little bit too long in setting them free.

As a result, many “servants” began escaping and eventually the entire system of “freemen” was officially eliminated by 1691, though parts of the system did still remain through the 18th century.

Captain- Each town, named in the several counties, contained a company of soldiers. The soldiers of each town chose their own Captain and subalterns by a majority vote. The officers, when chosen, were installed into their place by the Major of the regiment.  The Court order, that all the souldiers belonging to the twenty-six bands in the Mattachusetts government, shall be exercised and drilled eight daies in a yeare, and whosoever should absent himself, except it were upon unavoidable occasions, should pay 5s. for every daie’s neglect.  Each regiment is to be exercised once a year.

Constables – were elected by town officials to serve the writs and processes described in section ninety-two of the General Court and warrants and processes in criminal cases, where their town, parish, religious society or district is a party or interested. They shall have the powers of sheriffs to require aid in the execution of their duties. They shall take due notice of and prosecute all violations of law respecting the observance of the Lord’s day, profane swearing and gaming. They shall serve all warrants and other processes directed to them by the selectmen of their town for notifying town meetings or for other purposes. They may serve by copy, attested by them, demands, notices and citations, and their returns of service thereof shall be prima facie evidence; but this provision shall not exclude the service thereof by other persons.

Among other popular activities, Constables collected taxes.  Since there was very little cash in those days they were required to accept payment in produce at rates set by the town council. The handling of such produce made the collection of taxes an arduous task.

Deacon –  The role of deacon in Protestant denominations varies greatly from denomination to denomination.   In Presbyterianism, the office of deacon is geared toward the care of members, their families, and the surrounding community.  Generally, a deacon is a member of the laity who may undergo some training. He or she may work part time, helping out a minister or pastor with various church tasks, often with a team of deacons who work together to distribute their duties. Because a deacon is not ordained, he or she cannot give sermons, but deacons may offer religious counseling, handle church records, and help organize meetings, events, and church outreach.

The position of a deacon is a position of service to the church and the lay community. He or she may be entitled to wear certain vestments and perform various tasks, depending on the branch of Christianity which the deacon serves. Many deacons establish close personal relationships with the people in the communities which they serve, and they also tend to become close with the church officials that they work with.

Puritans felt that they were chosen by God for a special purpose and that they must live every moment in a God-fearing manner. Every man, woman, and child was expected to attend the meeting on the Sabbath without question. Puritans were required to read the Bible which showed their religious discipline. If they didn’t read the Bible, it was thought that they were worshiping the devil.

Preparatons for the Sabbath began the day before. All of the food had to be cooked and clothes ready. No labor, not even sewing, could be done on the Sabbath. The Sabbath began at sundown the night before, and the evening was spent in prayer and Bible study.

The church was usually a small bare building. Upon entering people would take their appropriate places. The men sat on one side, the women sat on the other, and the boys did not sit with their parents, but sat together in a designated pew where they were expected to sit in complete silence. The deacons sat in the front row just below the pulpit because everyone agreed the first pew was the one of highest dignity. The servants and slaves crowded near the door and rushed to a loft or balcony.

The service began with a prayer given by the minister that usually lasted around an hour. Puritans did not like music in their services. They also felt that music and celebrating were not appropriate in the church meeting house. It was many years before any musical instruments were allowed in the church

Elder – The office of elder is another distinctive mark of Presbyterianism: these are specially ordained non-clergy who take part in local pastoral care and decision-making at all levels.  An elder in Christianity is a person valued for his wisdom who accordingly holds a particular position of responsibility in a Christian group. In some Christian traditions (e.g., Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, Anglicanism, Methodism) an elder is a clergy person who usually serves a local church or churches and who has been ordained to a ministry of Word, Sacrament and Order, filling the preaching and pastoral offices. In other Christian traditions (e.g.Presbyterianism, Redeemer, Baptists), an elder may be a lay person charged with serving as an administrator in a local church, or be ordained to such an office.

Church governance is generally organised in one of three main types:

  • Episcopal polity, in which churches are governed in a heirarchical fashion, with the role of elders being fulfilled by external bishops. It is common in Anglican, Orthodox, Methodist, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches.
  • Presbyterian polity, in which churches are governed on a denominational, geographical basis by committees of elders.
  • Congregational polity, in which each church is responsible for its own governance. Churches employing this method include Baptist, Congregational and Plymouth Brethren churches. Some churches are led by a pastor; some maintain a plurality of elders.

Fence Viewer – A town or city official who administers fence laws by inspecting new fence and settlement of disputes arising from trespass by livestock that have escaped enclosure.

The office of Fence Viewer is one of the oldest appointments in New England. The office emigrated along with New England pioneers to the Midwest as well, where the office still exists.

New England farmers clearing their land during the 17th century were confronted with boulders and stones left by retreating glaciers. They cleared their fields of the boulders with horses and built stone walls along the edges of their fields, frequently at the property boundary. Many of these walls still exist.

A Fence Viewer was needed on those occasions when walls were eroded, moved, or modified illegally. This was a serious offense.

Upon request of any citizen, the Fence Viewer: views fences to see that they are in good repair and in case of disputes between neighbors, works to resolve their differences. Problems such as size, condition, and distance from property lines are complaints that still arise between neighbors.

Early Fence Viewers, armed with wall measurements, were able to arbitrate and/or prosecute such crimes by adjoining farmers. Trespassing by livestock was illegal. Boundaries and fences had to be maintained. If a farmer neglected his fence, his neighbor could do the repairs and charge his nonperforming neighbor twice the cost. If the negligent neighbor didn’t come up with the money, he had to pay 12% interest until payment was made.

In Massachusetts, this position was first established in 1693 by a statute which was amended in 1785 and again in 1836. Early Fence Viewers, armed with wall measurements, were able to arbitrate and/or prosecute such crimes by adjoining farmers. Trespassing by livestock was illegal. Boundaries and fences had to be maintained. If a farmer neglected his fence, his neighbor could do the repairs and charge his nonperforming neighbor twice the cost. If the negligent neighbor didn’t come up with the money, he had to pay 12% interest until payment was made.

Today, the Fence Viewer advises lot owners prior to constructing a fence. The height of the fence can be no higher than six feet except near intersections. Lot owners at intersections cannot erect a fence nor shrubbery closer than five feet to allow good visibility. A fence or shrub near there must be no higher than three feet.

Spite fences erected to annoy neighbors are illegal. The Fence Viewer has the power to order such fences changed to be inoffensive. If hostilities escalate, the building inspector is asked to become involved. His word is final. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws chapter 49 describe in detail the obligations of lot owners

Today, the Fence Viewer advises lot owners prior to constructing a fence

Free Holder = One who by grant, purchase or inheritance was entitled to a share of the “Commons,” or undivided lands. The freeman alone could vote in the nomination of magistrates and deputies to the General Court. A freeholder need not be a freeman or vice versa. He might he neither, yet be qualified to vote in all town affairs. All inhabitants could vote on any question involving raising money. If a free holder was deemed legally incompetent, didn’t pass his probationary period, or again lost his freedom through some irresponsibility of his own, he would have had his land and property confiscated from him and redistributed amongst the remaining freemen even if the inheritor was a well respected citizen.

General Court of Plymouth Colony – Both the chief legislative and judicial body of the colony. It was elected by the freemen from among their own number and met regularly in Plymouth, the capital town of the colony. As part of its judicial duties, it would periodically call a “Grand Enquest”, which was a grand jury of sorts, elected from the freemen, who would hear complaints and swear out indictments for credible accusations. The General Court, and later lesser town and county courts, would preside over trials of accused criminals and over civil matters, but the ultimate decisions were made by a jury of freemen

Grand Inquest / Grand Jury – . As part of its judicial duties, the  General Court of Plymouthwould periodically call a “Grand Enquest”, which was a grand jury of sorts, elected from the freemen, who would hear complaints and swear out indictments for credible accusations. The General Court, and later lesser town and county courts, would preside over trials of accused criminals and over civil matters, but the ultimate decisions were made by a jury of freemen

Pindar – The person in charge of impounding stray cattle.

Selectmen – In most New England towns, the adult voting population gathered annually in a town meeting to act as the local legislature, approving budgets and laws. Day-to-day operations were originally left to individual oversight, but when towns became too large for individuals to handle such work loads, they would elect an executive board of, literally, select(ed) men to run things for them.  These men had charge of the day-to-day operations; selectmen were important in legislating policies central to a community’s police force, highway supervisors, poundkeepers, field drivers, and other officials.

Surveyor of Highways – “By 1638 the General Court, the Colony’s legislative body, ordered that roads be laid out, and in 1640, that roads between the early towns be maintained. Soon thereafter, the construction, care and maintenance of highways was formally placed on the towns by the General Court, primarily to ensure the care of the routes in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1643, the Court ordered each Municipality to appoint two officials, known as surveyors, who were given the power to “call out every Teeme and person fitt for labour, in their course, one day every yeare, to mend said highwayes wherein they are to have a spetiall to those Common wayes which are betwixt Towne and Towne.” This compulsory labor statute was enlarged in the 1650 Code of Laws, which authorized financial penalties on those men who failed to meet their annual road work obligation of two days work a year: “if any refuse or neglect to attend the service in any manner aforesaid He shall forefeit for every dayes neglect of a mans worke two shillings sixpence, and of a Teame, sixe shillings . . .” This act formalized a custom that dated at least from medieval England. It would continue to remain in effect until the nineteenth century, providing the main source of workers for road and bridge construction.  Bridges were also under the jurisdiction of the General Court.  Throughout the seventeenth century, the Court ordered that bridges be built in a variety of locations.

The Surveyor of the Highways also monitored conditions, and arranged and supervised the work parties.   It wasn’t easy to compel neighbors to spend several days a year doing hard labor on local roads—even if it was the law.  Refusing to accept the post could result in a fine, which goes to show the unpaid post was unpopular.

Tithingmen – “By 1638 the General Court, the Colony’s legislative body, ordered that roads be laid out, and in 1640, that roads between the early towns be maintained. Soon thereafter, the construction, care and maintenance of highways was formally placed on the towns by the General Court, primarily to ensure the care of the routes in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1643, the Court ordered each Municipality to appoint two officials, known as surveyors, who were given the power to “call out every Teeme and person fitt for labour, in their course, one day every yeare, to mend said highwayes wherein they are to have a spetiall to those Common wayes which are betwixt Towne and Towne.” This compulsory labor statute was enlarged in the 1650 Code of Laws, which authorized financial penalties on those men who failed to meet their annual road work obligation of two days work a year: “if any refuse or neglect to attend the service in any manner aforesaid He shall forefeit for every dayes neglect of a mans worke two shillings sixpence, and of a Teame, sixe shillings . . .” This act formalized a custom that dated at least from medieval England. It would continue to remain in effect until the nineteenth century, providing the main source of workers for road and bridge construction.

Townsmen –  As terms of elective office in early New England, townsman and selectman are generally  regarded as synonymous. There are instances, however, in which treating them as such is inappropriate. In Rehoboth from 1644 through 1686, a townsman was someone elected to a board of usually seven men to manage the town’s affairs. From 1666 through 1686, a Rehoboth selectman was someone (usually also a townsman) chosen to sit on a “select court” of three (1666–1684) or five (1685–1686) local magistrates to adjudicate minor civil disputes. The Plymouth Colony General Court had in 1665 expanded the powers of a town’s “select men” (town councilmen) to include this judicial function. In contrast to the town of Plymouth, for example, which chose a single set of officers (selectmen) during this period, Rehoboth (and adjacent Swansea) elected its governing board (townsmen) and local magistrates (selectmen) separately. The 1685 edition of colony laws (distributed in mid-1686) reaffirms that both roles belong to the single office of selectman.

Trainbands – Companies of militia, first organized in the 16th century and dissolved in the 18th. In the early American colonies the trainband was the most basic tactical unit. However, no standard company size ever existed and variations were wide. As population grew these companies were organized into regiments to allow better management. But trainbands were not combat units. Generally, upon reaching a certain age a man was required to join the local trainband in which he received periodic training for the next couple of decades. In wartime military forces were formed by selecting men from trainbands on an individual basis and then forming them into a fighting

The exact derivation and usage is not clear.   The issue is whether the men “received training” in the modern sense, or whether they were “in the train” or retinue or were otherwise organized around a military “train” as in horse-drawn artillery.

Posted in Fun Stuff | 2 Comments

Nellie Coleman 1890/91 Letters

Many thanks to Chuck Russell who just sent me these two letters that my great grandmother Nellie Coleman (later Shaw, See Howard Irwin SHAW’s page) wrote to her aunt Elvira Coleman Gilbert.  Chuck is the grandson of Nellie’s sister Lucy and BBF Lucy.   Nellie wrote these letters in pencil because she “hasn’t conquered her aversion to pen and ink” and over 113 years the letters became faint.   However, through 21st century magic, I  adjusted the contrast so it’s easier to read.

Nellie was 13 years old when she wrote this first letter.  She was living “out west” in Anoka Minnesota and her aunts and uncles were in the east in Vassalboro, Maine.

Nellie Coleman age 18, four or five years after she wrote these letters

Nellie Coleman age 18, four or five years after she wrote these letters

See Dudley COLEMAN’s page for descriptions of Nellie’s aunts and uncles

Her father’s younger sister, Eleanor, who everyone said looked like Nellie was born 1 Jul 1850 in Vassalboro and died at age ten 18 May 1861 Vassalboro. I don’t have a picture.

Aunt Elvira is Elvira Brown (Alvira or Vi) Coleman b. 25 Mar 1845 Maine; d. 22 Jan 1930 Vassalboro, Maine; m. 25 Nov 1865 Vassalboro to William Wallace Gilbert.

Aunt Maria is Cynthia Maria Eastman Coleman b. 8 Aug 1830 Vassalboro; d. 20 Mar 1897 Augusta, Kennebec, Maine; m. 1 Dec 1857 Augusta, Maine Daniel Foster

Aunt Roxy is Roxanna “Roxie” Parmenter Coleman b. 24 Feb 1835 Vassalboro; d. 30 Nov 1926 Vassalboro; m1. 20 Apr 1854 to Augustus Plummer; m2. 5 Sep 1863 Kennebec, ME to Charles R. Church; m3. 22 Aug 1869 to Marcellus Lovejoy

Aunt Sophornia Richardson was born Sophronia Sanborn in 1817. Her parents were Timothy Sanborn and Hannah [__?__]. Sophornia married Amasa Richardson Nov 1837. Her mother Hannah had become Amasa’s stepmother in 1833 when she married Seth RICHARDSON as his second wife.  Not only that, but Sophornia’s sister Hannah married Amasa’s brother John.  Amasa Richardson was born 22 Jun 1809 Vassalboro and died after 1885 in Anoka, MN

Nellie 1890

Elvira, Charles, Eliza and sitting Cynthia Maria Coleman

I’m not sure if this is the picture Nellie was referencing, but it has the four aunts and uncles she mentions.  Elvira, Charles, Eliza and sitting Cynthia Maria Coleman
Photo Credit: Margaret Gilbert Peterson

Nellie’s sister Esther was 14 years older. Esther married 12 Sep 1882 St. Paul MN to Edgar Howard Fitz  and already had four children by 1890 and were living in Martin county, Minnesota about 150 miles southwest of Anoka near the Iowa state line. (See Guilford Dudley COLEMAN’s page)

Little Ellen was Ellen Webber Coleman b. 5 Feb 1883, Anoka, MN; d. 1888 Pipestone, MN

Ammi, Nellie’s brother was nine years older.

Ellen Webber Coleman  Age  2 1/2

Ellen Webber Coleman Age 2 1/2

Nellie 1890 2.

Nellie was 14 years old when she wrote this second letter.  She would later join her brother Ammi and sister Eleanor in the “wild and wooly west.”   The mining town where my grandmother was born, Giltedge, Montana is now a ghost town.

Nellie 1890 4
Nellie 1890 3
Edgar Howard Fitz was  a civil engineer and architect from St. Paul, came to work on a bridge spanning the river at Anoka.  ”He went on Sunday to the church” where he met Esther Coleman.  they made their home in St. Paul.  Office work proved too confining for E.H. Fitz so a few months later they moved to the farm in Martin County near the Iowa state line, later known as Cedar Park Farm.  When Dudley was two years old, the farm was rented for a year and the family went to Great Falls, MT to join the King family.
Nellie 1890 5
Emma Prescott was Nellie’s mother’s twin sister.   Emma A. Webber was born 3 Aug 1835 in Vassalboro, Maine. She married Jacob Melvin Prescott bef. 1863   Emma died between 1895-1900 in Tama, Iowa

Nellie 1890 6

Herbert S Prescott  who visited was born Jun 1867 in China, Maine and died 13 Nov 1928 in Salem, Oregon  He married in 1897 to Alice M. Peck (Mar 1864 in Cedar Falls, Iowa – 9 Dec 1940 in Salem, Marion, Oregon)

In the 1900 census, Herbert was working as a mechanic in Waterloo, Iowa. In the 1910 census, Herbert was a newspaper editor in Grants Pass, Oregon. Strangely, Herbert is listed twice in the 1920 census, as a newspaper reporter living with Alice in Salem, Oregon and as a laborer living with his sister Mabel Smith in Atascadero, California.

Mabel Prescott who perhaps visited the next summer was born  1 Mar 1872 in Montour, Tama, Iowa  and died 5 Jan 1956 in Los Angeles, California.  She married Putnam David Smith (b. 11 Aug 1857 Grant County, Wisconsin – d. 27 Nov 1933, Monfort, Grant, Wisconsin) Putnam was 15 years older than Mabel. In the 1910 census, Mabel was an artist (picture painter) in Brooklyn Township, Oakland, Calfornia. In the 1920 census, Putnam was now the artist living in Atascadero, California. By the 1930 census, Putnam and Mabel were retired in Los Angeles. After Putnam died, Mabel married a man named Liddle.

They started a family business making china composition dolls called the American Beauty Doll Company,when German dolls became scarce during World War I.    Artist dolls were hand made by Mr. Putnam David Smith, his wife Mabel Smith and their young daughter Margaret.

Nellie 1890 9

Alice H. Webber was born Jan 1865 in Vassalboro, Kennebec, Maine.  She married in   1889 to  Richard Jude (13 Mar 1857 in Buffalo, Wright, Minnesota – 26 Aug 1932 in Anoka, Anoka, Minnesota) Richard’s parents were from Ireland.  Alice died 2 Aug 1919 in Hennepin, Minnesota. )  .

In the 1900 census, Richard was a butcher in Ramsey, Anoka, Minnesota. In 1910, he was a general farmer in Ramsey.

Alice (Webber) Jude ca. 1885, Anoka, MN

Alice (Webber) Jude ca. 1885, Anoka, MN

Nellie 1890 7


Nellie 1890 8

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Moses Estey

Moses Estey (1656 – 1714) was not a direct ancestor, only a cousin  His Revolutionary pension and famous sons and daughters-in-law are too verbose to put on his grandfather’s page, but are interesting stories.  How did his son-in-law go from a Presbyterian Sunday School teacher from Newark to the first President of Texas?

Moses Estey was born  7 Jan 1752 in Enfield, Hartford, CT; His parents were Moses Estey and Eunice Pengilly (Penguille), His grandparents were Isaac ESTEY and  Abigail KIMBALL . He married first married Elizabeth Fearcio .  After Elizabeth died, he married in 1784 to Anne Kirkpatrick Moses and Anne had seven children born between 1783 and 1801.

Elizabeth Fearcio was born in 1760 Elizabeth died in 1783 of consumption.

Anne Kirkpatrick was born 10 Mar 1764 in  Somerset, New Jersey.  Her parents were David M. Kirkpatrick (1724 – 1814) and Mary McEowen (1728 – 1795) Her brother Andrew Andrew Kirkpatrick (wiki) (1756–1831) was Chief Justice of New Jersey from 1804 to 1825.  Anne died 11 Nov 1809 in Morristown, Morris, New Jersey.

Children of Moses and Anne:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Judge David Kirkpatrick Este 21 Oct 1785 Morristown, Middlesex, New Jersey Lucy Ann Harrison
30 Sep 1819
Louise Miller
1 Apr 1875 Cincinnati, Ohio
2. Elizabeth Estey 8 Jul 1787, Morristown, Somerset, NJ William Nottingham
2 Oct 1808 Morristown, NJ
3. Charles Estey 12 May 1789, Morristown, Somerset, NJ. Mary Johnson 25 Jan 1817
4. William John Estey 9 Jul 1791, Morristown, Somerset, NJ Philadelphia, PA
5. Sarah Ann Estey 30 Apr 1793 Morristown, NJ Lewis Mills
11 Dec 1817 Morristown
13 Jun 1842 Morristown, Middlesex, New Jersey
6. Hannah Este 17 Feb 1800  Morristown, Morris, New Jersey David G. Burnet (wiki), 30 Oct 1857 in Galveston, Galveston, Texas
7. Alfred Augustus Estey 10 Aug 1802 Cincinnati, Ohio Mary Sears
10 Nov 1825 Rome, Oneida, NY
Sarah M. Kelley
1843 Rome, NY
21 May 1899 in Constantia, Oswego, New York
8. Mary Este 1801 in Morristown, Morris, New Jersey Josephs C Clopper Oct 1882

In about 1756, Moses moved with his parents from Enfield, CT to Bucks County, Pennsylvania. About five or six years later, the family moved to Readington township, Hunterdon, New Jersey. Moses received an apprenticeship in Philadelphia and returned to Readington where he lived when the war broke out.

Moses Estey Portrait

Moses Estey Portrait

In 1774, Moses Estey was elected lieutenant of militia in Capt. Joseph Hawkinson’s company. The officers were confirmed by the Committee of Safety rather than Continental or Provincial authorities.  Soon after the outbreak of war, Capt. Hawkinson resigned and Moses was elected Captain, but whether in 1775 or 1776, Moses could not remember in his 1832 pension application.  His commissions were destroyed when his house burned down 19 Jan 1786 along with all his papers.

Many Committees of Safety were established throughout Colonial America at the start of theAmerican Revolution. These committees in part grew out of the less formal Sons of Liberty groups, which started to appear in the 1760’s as means to discuss and spread awareness of the concerns of the time, and often consisted of every male adult in the community. The local militias were usually under the control of the committees, which in turn sent representatives to county- and colony-level assemblies to represent their local interests.    Committees of Safety formed in 1774 to keep watch on the distrusted royal government. By 1775 they had become the operating government of all the colonies, as the royal officials were expelled.

He and his company were called for a month’s of duty during warm weather in 1776 and assigned to Elizabethtown in Col. (probably Major at the time)  Oliver Spencer’s house under Col. John  Taylor 4th Hunterdon Militia. and General William Winds. to perform guard duty upon the lines and at the several points of landing and to protect the inhabitants from invasion of the enemy who at that time was in control of New York and Staten Island and make frequent incursions along the Jersey shore.  At the end of the month his company was released and returned home.

There were regular calls for service from the Colonel of the Regiment and General of the Brigade

He served on tours of duty, guarding prisoners and stores. He was at the battle of Monmouth where he received a gunshot wound in his left thigh.   He was involved in several skirmishes.   In 1832 he was placed on the pension roll for service of captain, New Jersey line and drew an annual pension of $180.

In 1779 or 1780 he moved to Morris County, New Jersey, and lived a year or two at Black River, later Chester and then moved to Morristown.

He was collector of internal revenue for the New Jersey district during President Washington’s administration.

Captain Moses Estey built the Moses Estey house in Speedwell, News Jersey, after a fire had destroyed his earlier house on the same site in January, 1786. Estey, a chairmaker by trade, had at one time a chair factory in the back of his residence.

Moses Estey Pension

Moses Estey Pension

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Este, Moses, Capt NJ Militia; wounded at Monmouth, 28 June 1778

Moses Estey House

Moses Estey House at original location Water and Spring Streets

The Estey House is two-and-a-half stories high over a basement and has a spacious entrance hall flanked by two rooms on each side. The second floor has a similar plan. All eight rooms have fireplaces and the house has two chimneys on both sides. Each pair of chimneys has been brought together in the attic to appear as a single chimney above the roof. Double recessed arches on opposite sides of the cellar support the massive stonework for the fireplaces. The stairway in the front hall is obviously of a later date than 1786 and was probably built as an auxiliary to the original box stair still remaining.

Capt Moses Estey House – American Historical Buildings Survey

Although the Estey House has undergone some renovations over the years, its structural integrity remains intact. Visitors to Historic Speedwell admire its elegance and the classical harmony of its lines.

Moses Estey House  Morristown, New Jersey

Moses Estey House Morristown, New Jersey

The Moses Estey House was removed from its location on the corner of Spring and Water Streets  in Morristown when it faced demolition by an urban renewal project. Three late 18th- and early 19th-century Morristown houses threatened with demolition were moved to Speedwell – the Gabriel Ford CottageMoses Estey House and L’Hommedieu-Gwinnup House. The Speedwell Village made the same agreement with H.U.D. as made for the L’Hommedieu-Gwinnup House. Since then, the roof has been repaired and the chimneys capped. Awaiting restoration.


Two of the daughters, Hannah and Sarah, married well-known men. Hannah married  who became the first president of the Republic of Texas, and Sarah married Lewis Mills, a prominent Morristown citizen. During the 1830s, Sarah and Lewis owned the family home in Morristown. One son, David Kirkpatrick Estey, became a judge of the Supreme Court of Ohio and lived in Cincinnati. He married a daughter of President William Henry Harrison.

It was stated the Moses wrote his name Estey, but his children all wrote their name Este.

1. Judge David Kirkpatrick Este

David’s first wife Lucy Ann Harrison was born in 5 Sep 1800 in Richmond, Richmond, Virginia.  Her parents were President William Henry Harrison (1773 – 1841) and Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775 – 1864).  Lucy died 7 Apr 1826 in Cincinnati, Ohio. David and Lucy had two children: Lucy Ann Harrison Este  (1822 – 1868) and William Henry Harrison Este (1824 – 1830).

William Henry Harrison in 1841;  This is an early (circa 1850) photographic copy of an 1841 daguerreotype.  Harrison was the first President to have his picture taken while in office

William Henry Harrison Daguerreotype. Harrison was the first President to have his picture taken while in office

In 1795 Harrison met Anna Symmes, of North Bend, Ohio. She was the daughter of Judge John Cleves Symmes, a prominent figure in the state, and former representative to the Congress of the Confederation.When Harrison asked the judge for permission to marry Anna, he was refused. Harrison waited until Symmes left on business, then he and Anna eloped and married on Nov 25, 1795.  Afterward, concerned about Harrison’s ability to provide for Anna, Symmes sold the young couple 160 acres of land in North Bend.

Together they had 10 children. Nine lived into adulthood and one died in infancy. Anna was frequently in poor health during the marriage, primarily due to her many pregnancies.  Nevertheless, she outlived William by 23 years, dying at age 88 on February 25, 1864.

Harrison is also believed to have had six children with one of his female slaves, Dilsia. When he ran for president he did not want “bastard slave children” around, so he gave four of his children to his brother, who sold them to a Georgia planter. Through this family line, Harrison is the great-grandfather of famous black civil rights activist Walter Francis White. White was the president of the NAACP from 1931–1955.

David’s second wife Louise Miller was born 15 Oct 1803 in Louisiana. Her parents were Judge William Miller (1762 – 1845) and Ursula Meullion (1781 – 1840). Ursula’s father Ennemond Meuillion, was a French aristocrat who fled before the Revolution, coming to Louisiana “about 1770, soon after Spain took over the government of that vast territory.”

The Meuillions settled on the Red River near present-day Alexandria. The area, called El Rapido by the Spanish and Rapides by the French, was named for the nearby limestone rapids. A Spanish fort, the Post of El Rapido, fronted the river. Meuillion built a home nearby, cleared trees for a plantation, and prospered growing cotton.When war broke out between Spain and Great Britain in 1779, Meuillion signed on as a sublieutenant in the service of Spanish general Bernardo de Galvez, who aided the American cause. After the war Meuillion continued to grow cotton and doctor the community while serving under the Spaniards as commandant of Fort Rapides. He died in his plantation home in 1820 at eighty-three.

Ursula Meuillion, the second child of Ennemond Meuillion and Jeannette Poiret  was born in 1784.   Her granddaughter, Alice Pike Barney wrote more than a century later, “was exquisitely petite, delicate, and adorable. She refused to learn English, which meant that all those about her were forced to learn French.”A favorite family legend told of the time that Ursula received a message from her husband: “Lafayette vient! Préparez inunediatement!” Having no idea who Lafayette was but nonetheless terrified at the thought of his arrival, she urged the household into panic mode. Everyone scurried about, burying the silver, hiding the horses in the bayou, sending the chickens cackling. When everything was locked up, Ursula, the children, and the rest of the household fled deep into the woods. By the time her husband rode home with his illustrious guest, General Lafayette — American Revolutionary hero and friend of George Washington — they found not the hospitable welcome they expected, but a deserted house.

Ursula Meullion married William Miller, one of the early settlers of Rapides, who afterwards became the first territorial judge of the parish. He came here as a partner of Alexander Fulton (Wiki), who founded Alexandria which he named for himself. Judge Miller and his wife had thirteen children.

Judge William Miller, represented France at New Orleans when the Louisiana Territory was transferred from Spain to France and later served as agent of the United States when the Territory was fnially incorporated into the nation.

Judge William Miller (1762 - 1845)

Judge William Miller (1762 – 1845)

His grandson William Miller Este wrote a book in 1892: “Honest” Judge William Miller, Commissioner and Agent, on the Part of the Republics of France and of the United States, to Receive Possession of the Post and Depending Territory of Rapides, Louisiana, in 1804, Commissioned a Judge Under the New Régime

David and Louise had five children: Ursula C. Este (1830 – 1916), Major William Miller Este (1831 – 1900), Louisa Este (1834 – 1915), George W. Este (1836 – 1836) and David K. Este (1837 – 1886). Louisa died 23 Jan 1907 – Baltimore, Maryland.

David Este graduated at Princeton in 1803, and studied law under difficulties, owing to partial loss of eyesight. He removed to Ohio in 1809, settled in Cincinnati in 1814, and became prominent in his profession. He was associated with Henry Clay as counsel for the Bank of the United States for the Northwest Territory, and his practice extended to the U. S. Supreme Court. In 1834 he was elected president judge of the ninth judicial circuit of Ohio, and in 1838 judge of the superior court of Cincinnati. On the expiration of his term in 1847 he retired to private life. Judge Este was an advocate of much force and skill, and a man of great research. In his long life he was singularly above reproach.

In the 1850 census, David was a Legal Professor living in New Haven, Connecticut with Louisa,

2. Elizabeth Estey

Elizabeth’s husband William Nottingham was born in Philadelphia

In the 1840 census, an Elizabeth Nottingham was the head of a large household in Trenton, NJ that included “eight white persons and two colored persons”

3. Charles Estey

Charles’ wife Mary Johnson was born about 1788

In the War of 1812, Charles was a surgeon at the fall of Detroit.

5. Sarah Ann Estey

Sarah’s husband Lewis Mills was born 19 Jan 1788 in Morristown, Morris, NJ.  His parents were Edward Mills (1749 – 1827) and Phebe Byram (1758 – 1795).  He first married  19 Jan 1809 in Morristown, Morris Co., New Jersey to Mary Armstrong Pierson (b. ~1784 – d. 22 Feb 1816  Morristown)  Lewis died 5 Mar 1869.

Sarah and Lewis had eight children born in Morristown between 1819 and 1836.

Lewis was a successful merchant.

6. Hannah Estey

Hannah’s husband David Gouverneur Burnet wiki   was born 14 Apr 1788 in Newark, New Jersey. His parents were Dr. William Burnet (wiki)  (1730 – 1791) and his second wife, Gertrude Gouverneur Rutgers, widow of Anthony Rutgers (a brother of  Henry Rutgers who founded Rutgers University) . His father had served in the Continental Congress and as Surgeon General. Both of his parents died when Burnet was a child and his was raised by his older half brothers.   His brother Isaac (wiki)  served as the first mayor of Cincinnati.   His half brother  Jacob (wiki)  was  lawyer, ardent federalist, and later a Whig who nominated his friend, William Henry Harrison, for president, served as a member of the territorial council of Ohio, state legislator, Supreme Court judge, and United States senator, and was honored for intellectual achievements including a history of the territory of Ohio, , while Ichabod and William, Jr. followed their father as doctors.   David died 5 Dec 1870 in Galveston, Texas.

David G Burnet

David G Burnet

David was an early politician within the Republic of Texas, serving as the first (interim)   President of Texas (1836) and again in 1841,  second Vice President of the Republic of Texas (1839–41), and Secretary of State (1846) for the new state of Texas after it was annexed to the United States.   The first Reconstruction state legislature appointed him to the U.S. Senate, but he was unable to take his seat due to the Ironclad oath

He wrote proudly in 1859 that he had never been a Democrat and deplored the course of the “ignorant popular Sovereignty.” His attitude and politics did not make him popular in Texas, and his entire life was a string of disappointments.  Nevertheless, he was the first President of Texas.

“David G. Burnet united the perferfidium ingenium of the Scotch character with the unbending sternness of principle of an old covenanter.  Old John Knox would have hugged such a character with grim delight.  It does not detract from the virtures of this gentleman that he neither possessed eminent administrative capacity, nor in a high degree that knowledge of human nature and tact in managing men which inferior men often acquire; nor that political wisdom and statesmanship accorded to but few”–Ashbel Smith in Reminiscences of the Republic, 1876.

In 1830 Burnet established his saw mill on 17 acres  of land along the San Jacinto River, in an area  known as Burnet’s Bay, 10 miles east of Houston in Baytown, TX.  (Oakland on Burnet Bay is a majestic and monumental estate home built in the likeness of the 1830’s antebellum plantation mansions of the Gulf Coast area.    The home was built to commemorate the home site of the first Ad Interim President of the Republic of Texas, David G. Burnet. President Burnet and his family lived at “Oakland” in the era of the Battle of San Jacinto and the early Republic of Texas years.

Burnet County Texas

Burnet County Texas

Burnet County was named in his honor when it was formed in 1852, as was the county seat.  The name of the county is pronounced with the emphasis  on the first syllable, just as its namesake David Burnet.

Burnet’s Early Life

In 1805, Burnet became a clerk for a New York counting house, Robinson and Hartshorne. When the firm suffered financial difficulty, Burnet gave his entire personal inheritance, $1,200, to try to save the company. The firm went bankrupt, and Burnet lost all of the money.

David fought with Francisco de Miranda (1754 - 1816) Nicknamed El Precursor  (de Bolivar) y El Primer Venezolano Universal

David fought with Francisco de Miranda (1754 – 1816) Nicknamed El Precursor (de Bolivar) y El Primer Venezolano Universal

Burnet volunteered to serve the unsuccessful revolt led by Francisco de Miranda for the independence of Venezuela from Spain. Wikipedia says he fought in Chile in 1806 and in Venezuela in 1808 and after Miranda broke with Simon Bolivar, Burnet returned to the United States.  I don’t see evidence Miranda fought in Chile.  Also Miranda returned to Venezuela from England in 1810 and was  not betrayed by Bolivar until 1812.  Other sources say Burnet returned to the US in 1806.

Miranda envisioned an independent empire consisting of all the territories that had been under Spanish and Portuguese rule, stretching from the Mississippi River to Cape Horn. This empire was to be under the leadership of a hereditary emperor called the “Inca”, in honor of the great Inca Empire, and would have a bicameral legislature. He conceived the name Colombia for this empire, after the explorer Christopher Columbus.

With informal British help, Miranda led an attempted invasion of the Captaincy General of Venezuela in 1806. At the time Britain was at war with Spain, an ally of Napoleon. In November 1805 Miranda travelled to New York, where he rekindled his acquaintance with Colonel William S. Smith, who introduced him to merchant Samuel G. Ogden (who would later be tried, but acquitted, for helping organize Miranda’s expedition). Miranda then went to Washington for private meetings with President Thomas Jefferson and his Secretary of State James Madison, who met with Miranda but did not involve themselves or their nation in his plans, which would have been a violation of the Proclamation of Neutrality of 1793. Miranda privately began organizing a filibustering expedition to liberate Venezuela.   Miranda hired a ship from Ogden, which he rebaptized the Leander in honor of his oldest son.

On Jan 1, 1806 Burnet received a commission as Second Lieutenant of infantry from    Gen. Francisco de Mirando.  The sons of many noted families of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts, including a grandson of President John Adams, were in the expedition. The invading squadron entered the Gulf of Venezuela, accompanied by the British frigate Buchante, whose launch boat was commanded by Lt. Burnet, under whose orders the first gun was fired in behalf of South American liberty. This was in an attack on the fort protecting  Santa Ana de Coro on that gulf. The assailants carried the fort, its occupants retiring to the interior. At Porto Caballo, a number of the invaders were captured ten of whom were slaughtered, some condemned to the mines, and others died. The death of Pitt, Premier of England and patron of Mirando, caused an abandonment of the enterprise and the return of the survivors to New York. In 1808 Mirando renewed the contest and secured a position on the coast. Burnet hastened to him, but he was persuaded by the patriot chief to return home.

In Jacmel, Haiti, Miranda acquired two other ships, the Bee and the Bacchus, and their crews. It is here in Jacmel on March 12, when Miranda made, and raised on the Leander, the first Venezuelan flag, which he had personally designed.  Miranda’s flag is also the inspiration for the flags of Colombia and Ecuador.  Miranda stated that the colors were based on a theory of primary colors given to him by the German writer and philosopher Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Miranda described a late-night conversation he had with Goethe at a party in Weimar during the winter of 1785. Fascinated with Miranda’s account of his exploits in the United States Revolutionary War and his travels throughout the Americas and Europe, Goethe told him that, “Your destiny is to create in your land a place where primary colors are not distorted.”

First he explained to me the way the iris transforms light into the three primary colors […] then he proved to me why yellow is the most warm, noble and closest to [white] light; why blue is that mix of excitement and serenity, a distance that evokes shadows; and why red is the exaltation of yellow and blue, the synthesis, the vanishing of light into shadow.

It is not that the world is made of yellows, blues and reds; it is that in this manner, as if in an infinite combination of these three colors, we human beings see it. […] A country [Goethe concluded] starts out from a name and a flag, and it then becomes them, just as a man fulfills his destiny.

The yellow band stands for the wealth of the land, the red for courage, and the blue for the independence from Spain, or more succinctly: “golden” America separated from bloody Spain by the deep blue sea.

Flag_of_Venezuela.svgDuring the first half of the 19th century, seven stars were added to the flag to represent the seven signatories to the Venezuelan declaration of independence, being the provinces of CaracasCumanáBarcelonaBarinasMargaritaMérida, and Trujillo.  After the Guayana campaign, Simón Bolívar added an eighth star in representation of the newly freed province, but the eighth star was not officially added until 2006.

On April 28 the small fleet was overtaken by Spanish war ships off the coast of Venezuela. Only the Leander escaped. Sixty men were captured and put on trial, and ten were sentenced to death. The Leander and the expeditionary force regrouped on the British islands of Barbados and Trinidad. The expedition landed at La Vela de Coro on August 3, captured the fort and raised the flag for the first time on Venezuelan soil. Before dawn the next morning the expeditionaries occupied Coro, but found no support from the city residents. Rather than risk a defeat, the small royal force in the city fell back from the city escorting refugees and to await reinforcements. Realizing that he could not hold the city for long, Miranda ordered his force to set sail again on August 13, and he spent the next year in the British Caribbean waiting for reinforcements that never came. On his return to Britain, he was met with better support for his plans from the British government. In 1808 a large military force to attack Venezuela was assembled and placed under the command of Arthur Wellesley, but Napoleon’s invasion of Spain suddenly transformed Spain into an ally of Britain, and the force instead went there to fight in the Peninsular War.

On his return Burnet moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and lived with his two older brothers, Jacob, who later became a U.S. Senator, and Isaac, who later served as mayor of Cincinnati .

In 1817, Burnet moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana and set up a mercantile business and for the next two years traded with the Comanches near the headwaters of the Brazos with John Cotton.  After several months he developed a bloody cough. A doctor diagnosed him with tuberculosis and suggested he move to Texas, then a part of Mexico to recuperate in the dry air.  Later that year, Burnet traveled alone into Texas. A Comanche tribe came to his aid when he fell off of his horse by the Colorado River, and he lived with them for two years until he made a full recovery. Near the end of the year, he met Ben Milam, who had come to the village to trade with the tribe.  [Burnet’s two years with the Comanches may be legendary]

Colorado River Texas

Colorado River Texas

His cough improved, Burnet returned to Cincinnati and studied law.  On leaving them Burnet gave the Indians all his effects in exchange for a number of Mexican women and children held captives by them, all of whom he safely returned to their people, refusing all offers of compensation.

For the seven succeeding years, in Texas, Louisiana and Ohio, he devoted his time to the study and practice of law.  In Cincinnati, Burnet wrote a series of articles for the Literary Gazette detailing his time spent with the Indians.  Burnet practiced law for several years, but returned to Texas after hearing of Stephen F. Austin’s successful colony for Anglos. Burnet settled in San Felipe, the headquarters of Austin’s colony, in 1826. For the next 18 months he provided law advice to the 200 settlers in the town and organized the first Presbyterian Sunday School in Texas. A deeply religious man, Burnet neither drank nor swore and always carried a Bible in his pocket.

Texas Empresario

After a failed venture with Milam, the Western Colonization and Mining Company, in 1827 Burnet traveled with Lorenzo de Zavala and Joseph Vehlein to the Coahuila y Tejas state capitol, Saltillo. The men applied for grants as empresarios under the General Colonization Law of 1824 which he received on December 22 . The grant authorized him to settle 300 families north of the Old Spanish Road and around Nacogdoches, part of the area recently replevined from Haden Edwards, within six years. He was to receive 23,000 acres from the state of Coahuila and Texas for every 100 families settled  The area had already been settled by the Cherokee.  Under the terms of his grant, a married settler could purchase a league of land (4,428 acres) for $200.

Primera Republica Federal 1825

Primera Republica Federal 1825

Burnet spent 1827 in Texas and then returned to Ohio to recruit settlers, but was unable to entice the required number of families. In Oct 1830 , he and refugee Lorenzo de Zavala sold the rights to their colonization contracts   to a group of northeastern investors, the Galveston Bay and Texas Land Company  for $12,000 and certificates for four leagues of land from the new company.  Burnet remained in the United States for several years, and on Dec 8, 1830 married Hannah Estey of Morristown, New Jersey. At the time of their wedding he was 43 and she was 30 years old.

Unfortunately, he was not allowed to locate on his four leagues because of the Law of April 6, 1830  designed to stop the flood of immigration from the United States to Texas. He used the money to buy a fifteen-horsepower steam sawmill and move his bride to Texas.

Eager to return to Texas, Burnet and his new wife chartered the the seventy-ton schooner Call and sailed from New York on Mar 4, 1831, bringing with  them the steam engine to operate a saw mill. A storm grounded the ship along Bolivar Point, and, to lighten the load, they were forced to discard all of Hannah’s furniture and her hope chest. The steam engine was the only piece of cargo that was able to be saved.  They arrived in Galveston Bay on April 4.

Burnet bought seventeen acres on the San Jacinto River, from Nathaniel Lynch for the mill and an additional 279 acres east of Lynch facing what came to be known as Burnet’s Bay.  There he built a simple four-room home called Oakland. Between 1831 and 1835

Under Mexican law, Burnet was entitled to an extra land grant because his saw mill provided a needed public service. At that time, however, the law also required settlers to convert to  Catholicism to receive the extra land grant. The devout Burnet refused, angering the Mexican authorities to the point that they cancelled his grant for operating the saw mill.   Burnet petition  for eleven leagues of land because of the mill was denied.  The mill  lost money, for want of people to buy lumber, and he sold it in June 1835 to Dr. Branch T. Archer at a large loss.

The issue of slavery became a source of contention between the Anglo-American  settlers and Spanish governors.  The 1783 census for all of Texas listed a total of 36 slaves. There was intermarriage among blacks, Indians and Europeans. In 1792 there were 34 blacks and 414 mulattos in Spanish Texas, some of whom were free men and women. This was 15 percent of the total 2,992 people living in Spanish Texas

When the United States purchased Louisiana in 1803, Spain declared that any slave who crossed the Sabine River into Texas would be automatically freed. For a time, many slaves ran away to Texas. Free blacks also emigrated to Texas. Most escaped slaves joined friendly American Indian tribes, but others settled in the East Texas forests

In 1821 at the conclusion of the Mexican War of Independence, Texas was included in the new nation  That year, the American Stephen F. Austin was granted permission to bring Anglo settlers into Texas.  Most of the settlers Austin recruited came from the southern slave-owning portions of the United States.  Under Austin’s development scheme, each settler was allowed to purchase an additional 50 acres  of land for each slave he brought to the territory.  At the same time, however, Mexico offered full citizenship to free blacks, including land ownership and other privileges. The province continued to attract free blacks and escaped slaves from the southern United States. Favorable conditions for free blacks continued into the 1830s.

In 1823, Mexico forbade the sale or purchase of slaves, and required that the children of slaves be freed when they reached age fourteen  By 1825, however, a census of Austin’s Colony showed 1,347 Anglo-Americans and 443 people of African descent, including a small number of free Negroes  In 1827, the legislature of Coahuila y Tejas outlawed the introduction of additional slaves and granted freedom at birth to all children born to a slave.

In 1829 Mexico abolished slavery, but it granted an exception until 1830 to Texas. That year Mexico made the importation of slaves illegal.   Anglo-American immigration to the province slowed at this point, with settlers angry about the changing rules. To circumvent the law, numerous Anglo-American colonists converted their slaves to indentured servants, but with life terms. Others simply called their slaves indentured servants without legally changing their status.  Slaveholders trying to enter Mexico would force their slaves to sign contracts claiming that the slaves owed money and would work to pay the debt. The low wages the slave would receive made repayment impossible, and the debt would be inherited, even though no slave would receive wages until age eighteen.  In 1832 the state passed legislation prohibiting worker contracts from lasting more than ten years.

Burnet was chosen as a delegate representing the Liberty neighborhood  to the Convention of 1833 in San Feliple.  He was elected the chairman of a committee which created a petition arguing that the Mexican Congress approve separate statehood for Texas.   Gen. Sam Houston was chairman of the committee which drew the constitution; Burnet wrote the memorial praying for its adoption, and Stephen F. Austin , as commissioner, carried both to Mexico City.  The base imprisonment of Austin and utter refusal to adopt the constitution and allow Texas to have a separate State government from Coahuila were the causes, direct and indirect, of the Texas revolution.

Burnet also authored resolutions denouncing the African slave trade in Texas.  The anti-slave trade resoultions met violent opposition led by Monroe Edwards and others already involved in the trade, but were passed by the Convention.

In 1834 a law was passed establishing a Superior Court in Texas, with a judge, and three districts with a judge each—Bexar, Brazos and Nacogdoches.  Burnet  hoped to become chief justice of the newly established Texas Supreme Court, instead Burnet was appointed judge of the district of Brazos, that is, all of Central Texas.     Instead of his $1,000 per annum allotment, Burnet wanted a handsome stipend in land like that which Chief Justice Thomas J. Chambers received.  He held terms of court until superseded by the revolutionary provisional government in Nov 1835, and was the only person who ever held a court of law in Texas prior to that time.

Shortly after the Convention of 1833 disbanded, Antonio López de Santa Anna became the new president of Mexico. Over the next two years Santa Anna began consolidating his political control over the country by dissolving the Mexican congress, and disbanding state legislatures. In October 1835 Santa Anna declared himself military dictator and marched north to “reassert control over Texas”.

During this time, Burnet had been appointed the first judge of the Austin district and organized a court at San Felipe. From then on he was known as Judge Burnet.   He and other Texians were determined that Texas should be an independent state within Mexico. In November 1835, the Consultation of 1835 was held at San Felipe. At the consultation, Burnet took the lead in forming a provisional state government based on the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, which Santa Anna had already repudiated.

Republic of Texas

Burnet was against independence for Texas in 1835, although he deplored the tendency of the national government toward a dictatorship. Thus his more radical neighbors did not choose him as a delegate to either the Consultation or the Constitutional Convention of 1836,

The Convention was held on Mar 1, 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos.  On hearing of William Barret Travis’s   plea for help at the Alamo, Burnet immediately set out to offer his assistance. He stopped at the convention to try to recruit others to join the fight, but soon became so “inspired by their deliberations” that he remained as a visitor.  Speaking privately with many of the delegates, Burnet professed that he would be willing to serve as president of a new republic, even if that made him a target of Santa Anna.

He attended the session on March 10, where he successfully gained clemency for a client sentenced to hang.

After hearing of the fall of the Alamo, the chairman of the convention, Richard Ellis, wanted to adjourn the convention and begin again in Nacogdoches. Burnet leaped onto a bench and made a speech asking the delegates to stay and finish their business. They did so, and the new constitution was adopted that evening. The front–runners for the presidency of the new country, Austin, Sam Houston, and William H. Wharton were absent from the convention.  Also the delegates, who were opposed to electing one of their number president of the new republic.  The nominees became Burnet and Samuel Price Carson. Burnet won, on a vote of 29–23, in the early hours of March 17, becoming the interim president of the new Republic of Texas. De Zavala was elected vice-president.

David Burnet – Ad- Interim President Mar 16, 1836 – Oct 22, 1836 Courtesy State Preservation Board

Interim presidency

The fame of President Burnet very largely rests upon his administration through those eight months of peril, gloom, disaster and brilliant success. The Alamo had fallen twelve days before. The butchery of James Fannin and his 345 men occurred nine days later. Houston was then retreating before Santa Anna

One of Burnet’s first acts as president was to transfer the capital of the new state from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg (today part of Houston), which was located nearer the small Texas Navy at Galveston Island. Harrisburg was also closer to the border with the United States and would allow easier communication with U.S. officials. The move took on a sense of urgency when the convention received word that Santa Anna was within 60 miles of Washington-on-the-Brazos. Burnet quickly adjourned the proceedings and the government fled, inspiring a massive flight known as the Runaway Scrape.  Burnet personally carried the Texas Declaration of Independence in his saddlebags.

Washington to Harrisburg

In the Runaway Scrape, Burnet transferred the government 90 miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos to Harrisburg,

Sam Houston, leading the Texan Army, also decided to strategically retreat from Gonzales after learning of the defeat at the Alamo. On hearing of the government’s flight, “Houston was pained and annoyed”, maintaining it was a cowardly action that caused a great deal of unnecessary panic.  Burnet was infuriated by Houston’s criticism and accused Houston of staging his own retreat because he was afraid to fight. Within several days, Burnet had stationed a spy, Major James H. Perry, on Houston’s staff. In an effort to discredit Houston, Perry initiated a groundless rumor that Houston had begun taking opium.

On March 25, Burnet declared martial law and divided Texas into three military districts. All able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 55 were ordered to report for military duty. Four days later, Burnet issued a proclamation declaring that a man would lose his Texas citizenship and any future claim to land if he left Texas, refused to fight, or helped the Mexican army.

In the hopes of gaining assistance from the United States, Burnet sent Carson, now his secretary of state, to Louisiana to approach General Edmund P. Gaines. Gaines had been given orders by President Andrew Jackson not to cross the Sabine River into Texas.  A small amount of relief did come on April 9, however, with the arrival of the “Twin Sisters,” two six–pound cannons that had been sent as a gift from the people of Cincinnati to show their respect for the Burnet family (at that time Burnet’s brother Isaac was mayor of Cincinnati). Burnet immediately sent the guns to Houston.

Out of safety concerns, the government was moved again on April 13, this time to Galveston.  Two days later, Santa Anna’s army reached Harrisburg, to find a deserted town. On April 17, Burnet received word that the Mexican Army was headed for his location. He and his family crowded into a rowboat immediately, leaving all of their personal effects behind. When they reached 30 yards  offshore, Colonel Juan Almonte and a troop of Mexican cavalry rode into view. Burnet stood up in the rowboat so that the army would focus on him instead of his family. Almonte ordered the troops not to fire, as he had seen Hannah (Estey) Burnet in the boat and did not want to put her in danger.


Peactime challenges included:

  • The disposition to be made of Santa Anna;
  • The maintenance of an army in the field, without money, supplies or resources in a country from which the inhabitants had recently fled and were returning without bread—the condition soon aggravated by men poorly fed and idle in camp;
  • The creation of a navy against Mexican cruisers;
  • Indian ravages on the frontier;
  • The regular organization of the Republic, by elections under and the ratification of the constitution

Burnet did not hear of Houston’s victory at San Jacinto and subsequent capture of Santa Anna until several days after the fact. He hurried to the battlefield, where he complained often about Houston’s use of profanity. Houston’s staff “complained that the president grumbled ungraciously, was hard to please, and spent all of his time giving orders and collecting souvenirs. “The two men also argued over the distribution of $18,000 in specie that had been found in Santa Anna’s treasure chest. Burnet insisted that the money should go to the Texas treasury, but Houston had already given $3,000 to the Texas Navy and distributed the rest among his men.

Santa Anna, in his distrust of civil government, had requested that he be allowed to negotiate a treaty with Houston. His request was rejected, and Burnet took him into custody, first to Galveston Island and then to Velasco (today part of Freeport). On May 14, 1836 the two men signed the Treaties of Velasco. In a public treaty, Santa Anna agreed to immediately cease all hostilities and withdraw his troops south of the Rio Grande. Burnet pledged that Santa Anna would have safe passage home. Secretly, the men also agreed that Santa Anna would “use his influence with the Mexican government to secure the recognition of Texas Independence with its southern boundary as the Rio Grande.” Mexico later repudiated the treaty.

The people of Texas were incensed at the terms of the treaty. The public, along with the Secretary of War and Secretary of the Navy, wanted to see Santa Anna executed for his actions.  Despite the criticism, Burnet made arrangements for Santa Anna to travel by boat to Mexico. His ship was delayed for several days by wind, and while it was docked 250 volunteers commanded by Thomas Green arrived. Green demanded that Burnet resign immediately. The ship captain, afraid for his own safety, refused to set sail unless Green approved. With few other options, Burnet ordered Santa Anna brought ashore and imprisoned at Quintana. Many of the Texas army officers threatened to execute Santa Anna and try Burnet for treason.

President Burnet, as well as Houston and even Stephen F. Austin were accused of wrongdoing and even taking and dispensing bribes. Militarism and subversion of civilian authority was a real danger. Rumors abounded that President Burnet would be assassinated and the story goes that on one particular night when an attack was suspected, Mrs. Burnet kept a light burning all night and sat at an open window all night with a loaded pistol. Because of his resistance to militants who at times threatened and even attempted to arrest him and his cabinet, Burnet is credited by some with preventing the rise of militarism and military rule in the new Republic, although it is believed a majority of Texas leaders and the public also opposed such moves.

The majority of Burnet’s time was spent writing proclamations, orders, and letters appealing for funds and volunteers.   As a system of taxation had yet to be implemented, the Texas treasury was empty. There was no money to pay Burnet a salary, and his family soon had trouble paying for their expenses. To make ends meet, they sold a Negro woman and boy.  Filling the treasury would take more effort, and Burnet proposed that they sell land scrip in New York. The bids dropped as low as one cent per acre, so the plan was shelved.

On 12 Jul President Burnet issued a proclamation forbidding the acquisition of private property for military use and revoked all commissions of persons not on active duty in the army or navy. Although popular with the public, this further antagonized the military loyalists. He called for a general election per the Constitution of the Republic. This post-San Jacinto period took its personal toll on Burnet. A child died from exposure due to the primitive living conditions on the coast.

With no money and little respect for Burnet, it was not surprising that “no one followed orders, and the government struggled to direct the state effectively.”  Burnet wished to replace Thomas Rusk as commander of the army, and sent his Secretary of War Mirabeau B. Lamar to take Rusk’s place. Rusk instead proposed that General Felix Huston be named as his replacement. Lamar called a vote of the men in the army, who overwhelmingly voted for Huston, essentially a vote of no confidence in Burnet’s decisions.

His actions angered Sam Houston, the army, the vice president, many cabinet members, and the public, and he left office embittered, intending never to return home, where a number of neighbors had turned against him. He lacked legal clients and was forced to turn to subsistence farming.

Vice Presidency

The first Texas presidential election was held September 5, 1836. Burnet declined to run, and Houston was elected to become the first president. Houston was expected to take office in December. On October 3, Burnet called the first session of the Texas Congress to order in Columbia. Houston arrived at the session on October 9, and the Congress quickly began lobbying Burnet to resign so that Houston could begin his duties. Burnet finally agreed to resign on October 22, the day after de Zavala resigned as Vice-President.

During the transition of power, Burnet’s son Jacob died at Velasco (today part of Freeport). The Burnets returned to their home, which had been looted, leaving them with no furniture or other household articles. To support his family, Burnet practiced law and farmed

Houston’s term as president expired in 1838. Burnet declined offers to run as his replacement, but instead agreed to run as the vice-president for his friend Mirabeau B. Lamar.  Once the election returns were in, Burnet and Houston engaged in a shouting match, with Burnet calling Houston a “‘half-Indian'” and Houston calling Burnet a “‘hog thief'”. Burnet challenged Houston to a duel, but Houston refused, saying “‘the people are equally disgusted with both of us.'” Lamar and Burnet were inaugurated on Dec 10, 1838.

Burnet was an active vice-president. In 1839, he briefly served as acting Secretary of State after Barnard Bee had been sent to Mexico. Burnet served as part of a five-man commission to negotiate with Chief Bowl for the peaceful removal of the Cherokee tribe from their territory to the northwest of Nacogdoches. After a week of negotiations the group was not close to an agreement. On July 15, three regiments of Texas troops attacked the Cherokee at the Battle of Neches. Chief Bowl and 100 Indians were killed; the survivors retreated into Arkansas Territory. Burnet fought in the battle as a volunteer and suffered minor wounds.

In Dec 1841, Burnet became acting president when Lamar took a leave of absence to seek medical treatment in New Orleans for an intestinal disorder.  His first official act, on Dec 16, was to deliver an address to Congress alleging that Mexican armies were preparing to invade Texas. Burnet wanted Congress to declare war on Mexico and attempt to push the Texas southern boundary to the Sierra Madres. His proposal was defeated by supporters of Houston in the legislature.

Presidential candidate

During his time as acting president, Burnet dismissed several of Lamar’s appointees, angering the president. At the conclusion of Lamar’s term, Burnet agreed to run for president.  Lamar and his supporters only reluctantly supported Burnet after they could not entice Rusk to run. Burnet’s primary competition was Houston, and the campaign was dominated by insults and name–calling. Houston questioned Burnet’s honesty, accusing him of taking a $250,000 bribe from Santa Anna and calling him a ‘political brawler’ and a ‘canting hypocrite.’ Houston also accused Burnet of being a drunk. Burnet again challenged Houston to a duel, and, again, Houston refused. Houston won the election, with 7,915 votes to Burnet’s 3,619.

Burnet’s personal flaw was sensitivity to criticism and political enemies to the point that it inhibited his happiness and statesmanship. In contrast to others as Thomas Rusk, Burnet never liked Sam Houston sufficiently to be an amiable partner in development of the Republic and State of Texas although political expediency and common vision caused both to work together positively for the good of the Republic. Political dueling between Burnet and Houston was often vitriolic and apparently resulted in a challenge by Burnet to Houston for a duel with pistols. In the campaign for President in 1841, the Austin Texas Sentinel, supporting Burnet, wrote that Sam Houston would “blaspheme his God, by the most horrible oaths, that ever fell from the lips of man.”

The Houstonian supporting Houston wrote about Burnet“You prate about the faults of other men, while the blot of foul unmitigated treason rests upon you. You political brawler and canting hypocrite, whom the waters of Jordan could never cleanse from your political and moral leprosy.” The latter was supposedly written for the paper by Houston.

Burnet reputedly routinely referred to Houston as a “half-Indian” while Houston often reportedly referred to Burnet as “Wetumpka” meaning a hog thief, which supposedly triggered the challenge by Burnet.  Houston, of course, never accepted the challenge replying in effect that Burnet would have to take his place in line with the others which reportedly at one time or another included Albert Sidney Johnston, Mirabeau B. Lamar, Commodore Edwin W. Moore and possibly Gen. Felix Houston and William and Samuel R. Fisher.

Later Life

After losing the presidential election, Burnet returned to his farm.

Burnet was against annexation to the United States in 1845 but nevertheless applied for the position of United States district judge in 1846. Even with the Whig influence of his brothers, however, he lacked enough political influence. He was named secretary of state by Governor James P. Henderson. in 1846 and served one term. An application to the Whig administration in 1849 for a position as Galveston customs collector also failed.

His feud with Houston continued, and in 1852 Burnet wrote a pamphlet titled “Review of the Life of General Sam Houston” which recounted many rumors and allegations of Houston’s improper behavior. Houston retaliated in February 1859 by giving a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate that disparaged Burnet.

Burnet’s health deteriorated so that he needed help with his farm work. He and his wife purchased an African American slave and his sick wife for $1400. The man robbed them and ran away. Unable to make ends meet on their own, Burnet and his wife rented their 300 acres  to another family in 1857, but continued to live in their house.

Hannah Burnet died on Oct 30, 1858.   After Hannah’s death Burnet had to hire out his slaves and rent his farm in order to have income to pay his room and board in Galveston.  Their only surviving child, William Estey Burnet, took a leave of absence from his military service and helped Burnet move to Galveston, where he lived with an old friend, Sidney Sherman.   Burnet opposed secession, and was saddened when his son joined the Confederate States Army, but later supported his efforts. Col. William Burnet was killed on March 31, 1865 at Spanish Fort, Alabama, leaving Burnet the only surviving member of his family.

He and Lamar intended to publish a history of the republic to expose Sam Houston, and though Burnet furnished Lamar with many articles, Lamar was unable to find a publisher. Burnet burned his manuscript shortly before his death.

In 1865, Sherman’s wife died, and Burnet left his home to live with Preston Perry.  His only other public office was largely symbolic, a reward for an elder statesman. In 1866 the first Reconstruction state legislature appointed Burnet and Oran Roberts United States senators, but upon arrival in Washington they were not seated.   Texas had failed to meet Republican political demands.   Neither man was able to take the Ironclad oath,  Although intellectually opposed to secession, Burnet had embraced the Southern cause when his only son, William, resigned his commission in the United States Army and volunteered for Confederate service.

Burnet’s last public service came in 1868, when he was appointed as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention which nominated Horatio Seymour for president.

In his last years, Burnet suffered from senility, and before his death he carried a trunk of his private papers into an empty lot and burned them all.    He was a Mason and a Presbyterian. He outlived all of his immediate family, died without money in Galveston on Dec 5, 1870, aged 82, and was buried by friends.He was first buried in Magnolia Cemetery, but in 1894 his remains were moved to Galveston’s Lakeview cemetery, where he was buried next to the grave of his friend Sidney Sherman.

7. Alfred Augustus Estey 1

Alfred’s first wife Mary Sears was born 24 Dec 1798 in Rome, Oneida, NY. Her parents were Richard Sears and Mary Ash. Mary died 27 Jul 1832 in Albany, Albany, NY. togehter with 4 of their children from cholera.

Alfred waited eleven years to marry his second wife Sarah M. Kelley in 1843 in Rome, NY. She was born 1824 in Camden, Oneida., New York. Sarah died March 06, 1893 in Constantia, NY.

Alfred enlisted in Company I, the Mohawk Rifles of the 81st New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He served from Sep 5 1862 to Feb 24 1865

Occupation: Painter of wood/furniture

8. Mary Estey

Mary’s husband Joseph Chambers Clopper was born 11 Jan 1802 in Chambersburg, Franklin, Pennsylvania. His parents were Nicholas Clopper (1766 – 1841) and Rebecca Chambers Joseph died 7 Jan 1861 in Cincinnati, Ohio

Mary and Joseph had at least two children Helen (b. 1839) and Edward Nicholas (b. 1841)

In the 1850 census, Joseph and Mary were farming in Millcreek, Hamilton, Ohio


Margaret Swett Henson, “BURNET, DAVID GOUVERNEUR,” Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed March 01, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Lewis Mills Genealogy

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