U-Turn: Redmans

In the years since I last wrote about my Redman line, I’ve learned more about them and entered that information into my database. And to my horror, I found that I’d mixed up some of my facts in my blog post. So I’ve done a little editing there and will be expanding on the Redmans here.

Starting with the first Robert Redman (“Robert 1”): he seems to have immigrated from England about 1652 and settled in Milton, Suffolk County, Massachusetts. By 1658, he married Luce or Lucy, and their known children were:

  • John
  • Mary, who died April 24, 1669
  • Ann
  • Ruth, who married Walter Everendon
  • Charles, born August 16, 1666; married Martha Hill on February 10, 1688 in Milton; died 1725 in Suffolk County, Massachusetts (I wrote more about his life in my earlier post)
  • Joseph, born October 20, 1668 in Milton, and died May 7, 1669 in Milton
  • Mercy

One interesting fact I learned about Robert 1 was that on February 24, 1672, he sold some land to the town of Milton for a “burying ground”, which is still there today.

Map of Milton Cemetery. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.

Robert 1 wrote his will on December 30, 1678 and he subsequently died on January 13 in Milton. His son John was the executor of his will.

To expand on Charles and his family, I was able to color in more details on his children:

  • Mary, born December 3, 1689 in Milton
  • Martha, born March 27, 1692 in Milton
  • Robert (“Robert 2”), born March 30, 1694 in Milton; married Mary Kenner (or Kennee) on August 1, 1722 in Boston; died November 8, 1760 in Suffolk County, Massachusetts
  • John, born May 8, 1696 in Milton
  • Marcy (or Mercy), born July 8, 1698 in Milton
  • Thankful, born 1700; married George Blackman in 1728; died 1783

I also found out that Charles held the office of constable in 1724 in Dorchester (of which Milton was a part). Not too bad, considering it was the year before his death!

Skipping down to Robert 2, I wrote about how he received a land grant in 1737 in “Dorchester Canada” (now Ashburnham, Worcester County, Massachusetts), but I didn’t know when he might have disposed of it. It now seems that he must have sold it rather quickly: by 1738, Samuel Hayward owned this particular plot of land.

So those are my newest discoveries on the Redman line. I still haven’t hiked on the Punkapoag Trail, but it is on my ancestral bucket list!

Advertisements

The Redman Legacy

This post has been updated to correct some errors.  To find out more about the Redmans, click here.

I last touched on the Redman name in this post about Seth Billings and Jerusha Redman. Since then, I’ve learned a bit more about Jerusha’s heritage. I’m going to start from the earliest known Redman, because it’s going to get really confusing!

The first Redman I know of was named Robert (he will be Robert 1), who in 1662 laid out 200 acres of land in newly-formed Milton for the ministry of the church. Robert 1 died in 1678.

Robert 1’s youngest some was named Charles. Charles  lived in Milton and on February 10, 1688, married Martha Hill of Dorchester. Just two years later, Charles  was among many soldiers from the Dorchester area that served under Captain John Withington in an ill-fated expedition to Canada (likely as part of the many French and India skirmishes). At least forty-six of his regiment, including Withington, were lost at sea. Fortunately Charles  himself survived the entire experience.

Charles  and Martha had at least six children by 1700, listed in Huntoon’s History of the Town of Canton…: Robert (he’ll be Robert 2) (born March 30, 1694), John (born May 8, 1696), Mary, Martha, Mercy (born July 8, 1698) and Thankful.

March 1, 1704/05 was a significant date in Redman family history: Charles  began a lease of land from the Native Americans, who had been granted an area of land called Ponkapoag (also spelled Punkipog and other various spellings, as you can imagine) in what is now Canton, MA. (There was a five-year period from 1715 when Charles  did not lease this land, but it was back in his hands in 1720.) Apparently Charles  cultivated some apple trees here.

Robert 2 grew up and took on the responsibilities of a man of his time: he married his wife, Mary Kennee (or Keeney) on August 1, 1722 in Boston by Samuel Checkley, Esq. By March 22, 1725, Charles  had passed away, as referenced in a deed of Ponkapoag land from the natives to Robert 2 and the other heirs of Charles. Exactly how much land went to the others, I am not sure, but Robert 2 was appointed the administrator of Charles’s estate on June 14 of that year, so he probably was the one to make that decision.

Robert 2 continued to improve his land by building a sawmill along Ponkapoag Brook, one of the first mills in that area. In 1726, he opened his home for use as the community’s first school. I have to wonder who taught at the school–was it Robert himself, or maybe someone in the church?

Redman Farm was not the only land that Robert owned. In 1737 he received a grant of land in the “Dorchester Canada” settlement, which is now Ashburnham, Worcester County, MA. This grant was among many that were given to the descendants of Withington’s 1690 Canada expedition. It seems that Robert 2 must have sold this grant, since it is not mentioned in his December 18, 1657 will.

Robert 2 passed away on November 8, 1760 and his will (which is meticulously written) was proved on December 19, 1760. Half of his land passed to his living son Robert, and the other half to his wife Mary, to be divided later among their remaining children. (Mary seems to have died sometime between 1768 and 1780.) All their children were:

  • Robert; died in childhood, October 6, 1731.
  • Sarah; died in childhood, March 19, 1725.
  • John, born September 20, 1730, died unmarried June 6, 1761. Robert 2’s will implies that he must have had issues with this son: firstly, he left him just five shillings, then stated that, out of is wife’s Mary’s half of the estate, John could have “two fifths of [the] remainder if he behaves well and dutifully to his mother during her life”, otherwise she could distribute it as she saw fit. These statements and seeing how soon John died after his father’s death makes me wonder about John’s lifestyle. However, John did make a will that left everything to his mother, so I suppose that in the end, he was “dutiful”.
  • Robert, married Mary Dunbar on April 23, 1767; died 1778 with no children.
  • Sarah, born August 10, 1732; married Jonathan Kinney; died before December 1757. She had two children.
  • Martha, married Nehemiah Liscom on October 9, 1761; died before September 1763 with no children.
  • Jerusha, born January 31, 1735; married Seth Billings (probably in early 1750), then Nathaniel Pitty on March 15, 1789. She had four children. I had wondered how she had carried on after Seth’s death in 1766; now I know that her inheritance must have helped.
  • Mary, married Thomas Spurr, Jr. on August 15, 1744; died early 1780. She had ten children.

As a final note, the location of the lands of Redman Farm is at the Ponkapoag Golf Course in Canton, MA and includes part of the Ponkapoag Trail, which is open for public hiking. In fact, the left portion of the trail is called “Redman Farm Path”. I would love to walk on this trail some day and think about my ancestors who may have walked here as well!

The grounds of Redman Farm today. Courtesy Google Earth.

The grounds of Redman Farm today. Courtesy Google Earth.

Seventh-Great Grandparents: Seth and Jerusha Billings

In my last post, we learned of Levi Taunt and his wife, Jerusha Billings. I’d like to continue climbing up the Billings branch. Again, this is a family that needs more in-depth research, but I did find a couple of interesting nuggets along the way.

As stated before, Jerusha’s parents were Seth Billings and Jerusha Redman. Seth was born on February 1, 1728 in Stoughton, Suffolk County, MA. Some online trees suggest he was the second of the twelve children of Stephen Billings and Elizabeth Fenno. He and Jerusha Redman filed their marriage intention on January 3, 1749/1750, but I don’t have an exact marriage date.

Although they may have had more children, I could find four for sure:

  • Jerusha, born August 3, 1750 (perhaps her conception precipitated her parents’ marriage?); married Levi Taunt on February 25, 1768 in Stoughton, Suffolk County, MA
  • Seth, born May 30, 1756; died August 2, 1769 in Stoughton. Interesting story behind his death: Massachusetts, continuing its rebellious spirit spurred by the Stamp Act and those who enforced it, celebrated when Governor Bernard departed the colony on August 1, 1769. Bonfires were lit, cannons went off, and in Stoughton, a salute was fired off as he left. Sadly, young Seth got in the way and was injured, dying the next day.
  • Robert, born December 29, 1759; married Olive Bussey.
  • Zeruah, born August 11, 1762 in Stoughton; married Samuel Gooch, September 1, 1787; died August 31, 1801.

Seth, Sr. himself died on August 7, 1766, only 38 years old, leaving Jerusha widowed with four young children. She did not remarry until March 15, 1789 to Nathaniel Pitty. I can only suppose that she was assisted by her family until then.

Taunt: A Short But Fruitful Branch

Remember Jerusha Taunt? I wanted to document her lineage as well, starting with her paternal line. Sadly, I only had it going back two more generations. Little did I know that there was a surprise waiting for me as I prepared this post!

Let’s start with the basics, beginning with Jerusha’s father, Seth Billings Taunt. He was the son of Levi Taunt and Jerusha Billings, born on September 26, 1772 in Stoughton, Plymouth County (now Norfolk County), MA. On March 11, 1794 he married Anna Capernaum in Braintree, Norfolk County, MA. One source, The Record of Births, marriages and Deaths and Intentions of Marriage in the Town of Stoughton… noted that the intention of marriage was filed in March 1794 between Seth Taunt and “Mrs. Anna Copernaun”. This brings two questions to mind: Which is the correct spelling of her surname (which I know is very subjective back then)? And “Mrs.” — was Anna really married before? If so, what is her maiden name?

The following are Seth and Anna’s children, the facts of whom all took place in Braintree unless otherwise noted:

  • Anna, born August 3, 1794 (by this date you can see why the intention of marriage was filed!); died September 5, 1811.
  • William, born after 1794; died July 15, 1797.
  • Cynthia, born May 21, 1798; married Elisha Savil on December 20, 1818; died April 23, 1876.
  • Jerusha, born February 7, 1801; died October 12, 1803 (obviously not my Jerusha).
  • Seth, born December 16, 1804; married Mary J. Holbrook on January 19, 1825.
  • Jerusha B. (as I stated before, I suspect that “B.” is for Billings), born May 28, 1807; married Ivory Goodwin on January 25, 1824; died October 20, 1870 in Lynn, Essex County, MA.
  • William, born August 24, 1809; died before January 15, 1817.
  • William, born January 15, 1817.

Seth died on April 17, 1837 and Anna on January 29, 1856, both in Braintree. I have no burial information on them at this time.

Going back a generation, we come to Seth’s father Levi, who lived in Stoughton. There are other Taunts in Stoughton around Levi’s time, and I suspect they are related, but I don’t know how. (Again, a job for an in-person research trip to the town!)

On December 7, 1767, Levi and his future bride Jerusha Billings (born August 3, 1750 to Seth Billings and Jerusha Redman) filed their marriage intention with George Crosman, Stoughton town clerk. They were married on February 25, 1768 by Reverend Samuel Dunbar, a long-time minister there.

Although the 1790 census shows more people in Levi Taunt’s home, I’ve only uncovered two children attributed to him and Jerusha:

  • Charlotte (also listed as Charity and Charlety), born December 10, 1768; married Ebenezer Holmes on February 10, 1789.
  • Seth, born September 26, 1772; outlined above.

Now for the interesting part. Normally before I write a blog post, I review what records I have and maybe do a quick second look in Google. Under a spelling variation of “Tant”, I came across Levi’s name in the History of the Town of Canton, Norfolk County, Massachusetts, by Daniel Thomas Vose Huntoon. Though published in 1893, Huntoon wrote the book in the 1860s after having been Town Clerk in Canton (which had been part of Stoughton) and desiring to preserve the history from its records. Under Appendix XX, “Levi Tant” was listed as a private who was in the First Company under Captain James Endicott, among a contingent of minutemen who marched from Stoughton on April 19, 1775 upon hearing news of the Lexington alarm. Under Appendix XXI, “Levi Taunt” is listed among the “Soldiers who served in the Revolution after the Lexington Alarm”. So my sixth great-grandfather was a minuteman and a Patriot!

Lexington Minuteman Monument. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Lexington Minuteman Monument. Courtesy Wikipedia.

Other than this one book, I can’t easily find any other record of his service (which of course will mean more deep digging). However, I have no reason to doubt it either. What a find, just in time for Independence Day!