Saturday, November 15, 2014

GENEALOGY: In Pursuit of Ancestry

“Of all the affections of man, those which connect him with ancestry are among the most natural and generous.  They enlarge the sphere of his interests, multiply his motives to virtue, and give intensity to his sense of duty to generations to come by the perception of obligation to those which are past… combining honor to the past, gratitude for the present, and fidelity to the future.”    (Josiah Quincy III, 1772-1864)

excerpts taken from a speech by Josiah Quincy III, Boston, MA 1830.   An Address to the Citizens of Boston: On the XVIIth of September, MDCCCXXX, the Close of theSecond Century from the First Settlement of the City.

Friday, November 14, 2014

ETCHED IN OLD STONE: Hezekiah Hoar, 1633 English Immigrant to Taunton, MA

Smith Family Line:  HOAR-Whipple-Winsor-Dort  
"He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him. For he clave to the LORD, and departed not from following him, but kept his commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses" (2 Kings 18:5,6).
The family crest
My 9th GGFather, HEZEKIAH HOAR (1608-1693) was christened in early Puritan fashion with a Christian name attributed to an important Old Testament king of Judah.  As a child Hezekiah would have learned how his namesake was instrumental in sweeping efforts to bring his people closer to God through the enactment of religious reforms, the reopening of Solomon's Temple and the return of the celebration of Passover.  Hezekiah was a name of honor and distinction, carried to colonial America with our ancestor.  Although this name was borne through two more generations, it would quickly fade from our family tree following the birth of his grandsons, Hezekiah Whipple and Hezekiah Hoar "III".  Our family descends from Hezekiah Whipple's sister Lydia, the daughter of Lydia Hoar and John Whipple -my 8th great grandparents. 

HEZEKIAH HOAR was born in the small eastern Devonshire coastal town of Sidmouth in 1608 where he grew to manhood.  In the spring of 1633/4 he booked passage on the ship "Recovery" sailing from Weymouth for New England. (His name appeared on the ship's manifest as "Ezechia Hore.")  Unlike many emigrants of the Great Migration, Hezekiah did not appear to travel with a family group.  Having just turned 25, he arrived in New England to begin a new life as one of the original proprietors of Taunton, Massachusetts.  What was the motivation behind this young man's emigration?  What were his skills?  -his ambitions?  -dreams?  There are more questions than answers to Hezekiah's story. 

According to a family researcher, Norton T. Horr, "HEZEKIAH HOAR was in Scituate, Mass., as early as 1637, and probably came in 1633.  He was one of the purchasers of the eight mile square known as Cohannett till Sept., 1639, and afterwards as the North Purchase of Taunton, Mass.  He paid L100 for his share.  He was a prominent citizen of Taunton.  He was the first signer of the articles of agreement of 1653 of the "Iron Works Company," operating the "bloomerie"...and was one of its three lessees in 1660."  [The author mistakenly called it "the first iron works in America" when, in fact, it followed the lead of Saugus and Braintree.]
In reviewing the small record left behind about our immigrant ancestor, facts can only be knitted together as loose threads that provide some shape for this family's place in early America. 
  • At the age of 8, Hezekiah experienced the death of his 11-year old brother, 3-year old sister, and his mother in 1616.  Brother Richard was born that year.  His father died a year after he arrived in America.
  • Although some research suggests that Hezekiah joined a brother William in America, it seems unlikely since William may have been only a teenager at the time.  More likely evidence suggests a connection with his cousin Roger Clapp, who emigrated in 1630.  As children of his mother's sister Johanna, his Clapp cousins grew up only a few miles from him in nearby Salcombe Regis.  Besides his cousin Roger (who was closest in age to him), cousins Jane, Sarah, and Edward Clapp also emigrated between the years 1633-1639, most settling in Dorchester, MA.)
  • Hezekiah married 23-year old Rebekah in 1653.  He was 45 years old, with no record of having been previously married.  They had at least nine children (of whom our Lydia was born in 1665.)  Hezekiah fathered their last child, Hezekiah "Jr.," born in 1678 at the feracious age of 70.
  • In our family tree, the Hoar surname disappears with the marriage between Hezekiah's daughter Lydia (1665-1711) to John Whipple "III" (1664-1700).  The legacy brought about through their union includes direct English ancestry from the following immigrants: