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  • #39 Royal Descents, Notable Kin, and Printed Sources: The "Connecticut Core" in Print and at NEHGS, Part 2

    Gary Boyd Roberts

    Published Date : September 28, 1999
    Connecticut benefits from a large number of good genealogies. Among “classics” (see column #6) that cover a sizable segment of a town’s population are E.E. Salisbury, Family Histories and Genealogies (1892), for Lyme; the 1864 2-vol. Hyde genealogy, for Norwich; the 1883 3-vol. Humphreys genealogy (with an 1899 supplement), for Simsbury; and groups of genealogies covering the Stonington/Preston area and the Connecticut Valley generally. The Hyde genealogy includes the then young John Pierpont Morgan, and the Humphreys work includes John Brown of Harper’s Ferry. The Stonington/Preston volumes cover the progeny of local “ur-mother”Mrs. Alice Freeman Thompson Parke, a descendant of Ethelred II, King of England, d. 1016, and an ancestor of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and her sons.

    In tracing Mrs. Parke’s notable progeny, and for almost all other families of Stonington/Preston, I have consulted the 1963 Denison genealogy, H.W. Palmer’s multi-volume typescript on the agnate progeny of Walter Palmer (at NEHGS and the New York and Los Angeles Public Libraries); the 1912 2-vol. Avery of Groton genealogy (also for Rockefellers and the descendants of Mrs. Anne Humphrey Palmes Myles, also RD), and the 1903 Chesebrough, 1987 Gallup, 1906 Parke of Conn. (plus Parke Scrapbooks), 1891 Stanton, 1914 2 vol. Wheeler, and 1991 Witter genealogies.

    For the descendants of my own Dwight and Hale forebears, and for the descendants of Northampton “ur-mother” and Princess of Wales ancestor Mrs. Elizabeth Charde Cooke Ford – and once again, for most other genealogical problems in the Connecticut Valley – I frequently consult the 1874 2-vol. Dwight, 1952 Hale-House (by Jacobus and E.F. Waterman of CHS), 1908 Loomis (and 1880 Female Branches), 1893 2-vol. John Porter, and 1871 2-vol. John Strong genealogies (of which the last has several modern updates compiled by the Strong Family Association). For further notes on several of these genealogies, see my already-cited 1979 article in The Connecticut Nutmegger. For the Massachusetts section of the Connecticut Valley, several town histories and “town genealogies” are also quite useful (see column #7). These last include T.B. Warren’s 1935 4-vol. typescript on “Springfield Families;” and the notes of Sylvester Judd on Northampton families; and Rollin H. Cooke on Pittsfield families (part of the Walter S. Corbin collection at NEHGS, widely available on microfilm; the Northampton notes are also bound at NEHGS). Town histories cover Deerfield and Northfield (by George Sheldon), Hadley (also by Sylvester Judd), Hatfield, Sunderland, Whately, etc. NEHGS has also recently acquired three large manuscript collections on Berkshire County – those of Rollin H. Cooke (50+ vols. of transcribed primary sources), Elmer I. Shepard (thousands of cards with one nuclear family outlined on each), and William Bradford Browne (miscellaneous but voluminous notes of a local researcher, with a useful finding aid). The Wayne Hart manuscript collection, mentioned in the previous column with regard to Farmington, often extends to other towns in the Connecticut Valley, as well.

    I am now preparing a second edition of my 1993 compendium, The Royal Descent of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States. I may offer an alternative line for Gov. William Leete (of Guilford) but as I noted in NEXUS 13 (1996): 129, the Haselden/Daneys/Tibetot line fails, and the new alternative will probably extend through the Burgoyne and Dabridgecourt families, and the counts of Ponthieu. Thirty other immigrants to Connecticut or to Massachusetts (but with descendants largely in Connecticut) are treated in my 1993 work, or its supplement in NEXUS 13:124-30, and will remain in the successor work, to be published probably in 2001.

    These 30 in effect RD immigrants to Conn. are Robert Abell of Rehoboth (with descendants in Norwich); Mrs. Margaret Wyatt Allyn, an “ur-mother” of Windsor; Mrs. Elizabeth Alsop Baldwin Fowler of Milford, for whom Albert Muth has developed a new line from Edward I; Griffith and Margaret (Fleming) Bowen of Roxbury (“ur-father” and “ur-mother” of Woodstock); Thomas Bressie of New Haven; Nathaniel Browne of Middletown; Obadiah Bruen of Milford; Rev. Peter and Grace (Chetwode) Bulkeley of Concord (with descendants in Fairfield, but as noted in NEXUS 13:128, Rev. Peter was descended only from Henry II, King of England, not Edward I); Mrs. Elizabeth Haynes Cooke of Mass. (mother of Mrs. Mary Cooke Talcott of Hartford); Rev. John Davenport of New Haven; the regicide John Dixwell of New Haven; Mrs. Anne Lloyd Yale Eaton of New Haven (wife of Gov. Theophilus Eaton and grandmother of philanthropist Elihu Yale) and her children, David and Thomas Yale of New Haven and Mrs. Anne Yale Hopkins of Hartford, wife of Gov. Edward Hopkins (the Yale siblings were of royal descent through both parents); Mrs. Agnes Harris Spencer Edwards, “ur-mother” of Hartford; George Fenwick of Saybrook and both his wives (Alice Apsley and Catherine Haselrige – who left no American descendants, however); Mrs. Mabel Harlakenden Haynes Eaton of Hartford (wife of Gov. John Haynes of both Mass. and Conn.); Roger Ludlow, Dep. Gov. of Mass., later of Fairfield, author of the “Fundamental Orders” of Connecticut; Allan MacLean (McLean) of Vernon, and his brother Neil of Hartford; Oliver Mainwaring of New London; Mrs. Anne Humphrey Palmes Myles of Swansea, Mass., mentioned above, mother of Mrs. Susannah/Anne Palmes Avery of Groton; Edward Palmes of New London; “ur-mother” Mrs. Alice Freeman Thompson Parke, mentioned above, of Roxbury, Mass. and Stonington; Thomas Trowbridge of New Haven; Mrs. Sarah Blair Watkinson of Middletown; and the regicide Edward Whalley of New Haven.

    Of the above 30, Mrs. Allyn, the Bowens, Mrs. Edwards, and Mrs. Parke are “ur-ancestors” (forebears of a sizable percentage of residents post-1750) for Windsor, Woodstock, Hartford, and Stonington. Bressie, Davenport, Mrs. Eaton, Thomas Yale, and Trowbridge collectively serve much the same function for New Haven. Much of Milford is of Alsop/Baldwin descent, and much of New London descends from either Bruen or Mainwaring. For some notable descendants of all except Abell, the Bulkeleys, Mrs. Cooke, Mrs. Edwards, the MacLeans (McLeans), Edward Palmes, and the immigrants who left no American progeny, see the third part of my article on “The Mowbray Connection,” my life’s work, in The Connecticut Nutmegger 10 (1977-78): 393-400.

    Of major guidebooks and articles, in addition to my own Nutmegger items, Thomas J. Kemp, Connecticut Researcher’s Handbook (1982) and Roger Parks, ed., Connecticut: A Bibliography of Its History (1986) offer nearly exhaustive lists of books. “Connecticut Genealogical Research: Sources and Suggestions” by Elizabeth Abbe, in the Register 124 (1980): 3-26, and in Ralph J. Crandall, ed., Genealogical Research in New England (1984), pp. 115-40, is largely a review of primary sources. All of these are now a bit dated, but the Connecticut chapter in the now-at-print 4th ed. of Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research will offer updated addresses, directions, town data, and descriptions of facilities and collections (including LDS Family History Centers), plus some tips for further reading. I hope this review of my own preferences among Connecticut resources, and my delineating of areas well covered in print, in effect the best-treated “core” in American genealogy, proves useful to many readers. For some further discussion of various aspects of Connecticut’s genealogical evolution, I might somewhat immodestly suggest several chapters of my recent Notable Kin anthologies.
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