Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 65

I am recording another day 65 because I skipped day 64 - and that is an indication of the dysfunction inherent in my research today!

I arrived at the NEHGS at 9:25 prepared to locate and read an article that Barbara Shea had seen referenced to and that I had on my list of "search fors" from this spring. The article was by Gilbert Titcomb written about 20 years ago on the origins and parents of John Tukey. Finally, I thought, we will get some answers. Instead we have soap opera.

At the opening curtain we find Smith and Thankfull Woodward being married in June 1691, in Dorchester, MA. Little Sarah Woodward arrives in Sept. of the same year. Over the years, the Woodward family grows to include Thankfull (1693), Mary (1695), Deliverance (1697), Abigaill (1699), Hannah (1700), John (1702), Submit (1704), and Joseph (1709). All the children with strange names are girls. (We have town and church records for all of these blessings).

Act 2 - it is 1710 and Sarah marries Ebenezer Scott. They have three daughters - Sarah, Anna, and Mary. Ebenezer, exhausted by the effort, dies in 1717. Needing someone to care for her and the girls, Sarah marries for the second time - to John Tookey in 1718. (We have records for the children's births, Ebenezer's death and Sarah's 2nd marriage). Now there is a hole because we find that Sarah marries a 3rd time in Dec. 1724. Mr. Titcomb and others assume that a) John Tookey died by 1724 and b) that Sarah had a son - John Tookey/Tukey Jr about 1722. Please note that there are NO records of his birth or baptism and NO probate records for John's death - but researchers so far seem to be able to make the leap of faith that both the death and birth happened.

In Act 3, Sarah marries husband #3 - William Weeks. There is a marriage record for them in Dorchester, MA and Sarah is listed as "Sarah Weeks" in her father's will. In Dec. of 1727, William and Sarah moved to Chebeague Island, ME and then to Portland/Falmouth, ME in 1744 - magically the year in which John Tukey also arrives (presumably with his mother and step-father) in Portland. Meanwhile, William and Sarah have added little William, Lemuel, Abigail, Esther and Ann to the growing family.

Amazingly, the Weeks family purchased half a lot of land in Falmouth from - you guessed it - Benjamin Sweetser. Thus the two families lived next door to each other. Conveniently (for our readers), William Weeks dies in 1749 as does Constance Row - Benjamin Sweetser's wife. Between the two families there are at least 15 children so the obvious solution is - Sarah marries for the 4th time to - Benjamin Sweetser. Thus Benjamin's daughter Abigail and Sarah's son John (whom we have not proven she had) were step siblings and eventually married. And as the curtain comes down on "As the Stomach Turns" - this makes our ever popular Sarah John's mother AND mother-in-law.

I agree with Mr. Titcomb, the logic is there and Sarah probably is John's mother and therefore John probably was born in Massachusetts - but I would really like to find a birth records. Can't wait for tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment