Among the fourth and fifth cousins of Jennie Jerome - born in Brooklyn, N.Y.
9 January 1854, wife of Lord Randolph Henry Spencer-Churchill and mother of
British prime minister Sir Winston Leonard Spencer- Churchill - were two
“upstate” wives of remarkable men. Helen Pitts (1837-1903), a fourth cousin of
Jennie through the Curtiss family of Stratford and Wallingford, Connecticut,
married in Washington, D.C. 24 January 1884, at age 46 and as his second wife,
Frederick Douglass, the abolitionist leader, orator, journalist and former
slave, later minister to Haiti, then probably aged 66. Caroline Starr Balestier
(1862-1939), a fifth cousin of Jennie through the Stowes of Middletown,
Connecticut, married in London 18 January 1892 (Joseph) Rudyard Kipling, the
British novelist, poet, short-story writer and celebrator of Anglo-India and the
British Empire. Mrs. Kipling was a native of Rochester, New York; Mrs. Douglass
of Honeoye, a part of Richmond, New York, about 40 miles south of Rochester. A
major endpoint of the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves, the home of Susan
B. Anthony (see NEXUS 7:157, 159, 8:153), George Eastman and
Eastman Kodak, nineteenth century Rochester was a center of both reform and
technology. It also had a Jerome/Churchill connection - Leonard Walter Jerome
(1817-1891), Jennie’s father, practiced law and published a newspaper there in
the 1840s. For the Jerome ancestry see The New York Genealogical and
Biographical Record 73 (1942):159-66 and NEXUS 5(1988):94-98.
The marriage of Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts links a major abolitionist
figure, a classic African-American hero, and the prophetic tradition of black
oratory to much of the founding folklore of Yankee New England and America
generally. For Helen Pitts was a ninth- or tenth-generation descendant of six
Mayflower passengers John Alden; Priscilla, William and Alice Mullins;
Thomas Rogers; and Richard Warren. Presidential kin included Alden descendants
John and John Quincy Adams and Warren descendants U.S. Grant and F. D.
Roosevelt, plus Rutherford B. Hayes, a fourth cousin once removed of Mrs.
Douglass through the Austin family of Charlestown, Massachusetts and Suffield,
Connecticut. Other Alden descendants treated in earlier “Notable Kin” columns
include Childerses of Ireland and Masaryks of Czechoslovakia (Mrs. Tomas
Garrigue Masaryk was a fifth cousin once removed); William Cullen Bryant, Henry
Wadsworth Longfellow, the Peabody sisters and Henry and Brooks Adams among
intellectuals prominent in the “flowering of New England”; Hollywood giants
Orson Welles and (probably) Marilyn Monroe; rancher Abel Head “Shanghai” Pierce;
plus, among major revolutionary and patriot families, the Trumbulls of
Connecticut the brothers Jonathan, Jr., Joseph and John (the painter) and their
sister Mary, wife of “signer” William Williams. Further Warren descendants also
covered in other columns include Tupper and Mrs. Diefenbaker among Canadian
prime ministers or their wives; the Childerses; Longfellow, Henry David Thoreau
and George Bancroft among New England “flowers”; “Shanghai” Pierce (a fifth and
sixth cousin of Mrs. Douglass), Mrs. Richard King and the Klebergs among Texas
ranchers; Orson Welles and Mrs. Elia Kazan; Mrs. Mercy Lavinia Warren Bump
Magri; and Laura Ingalls Wilder. A contemporary distant cousin of Mrs. Douglass
is Vice President James Danforth Quayle, whose Alden (and Standish) descent I
outlined in The Mayflower Descendant 41(1991 ):5-6.
Mrs. Caroline Starr Balestier Kipling was not only a fifth cousin of Jennie
Jerome, the great-great-granddaughter of a first cousin of Treasury secretary
and Connecticut governor Oliver Wolcott, Jr., and
great-great-great-granddaughter of a brother of Connecticut “signer” and
governor Oliver Wolcott. Three of Mrs. Kipling’s grandparents - Joseph
Nerée Balestier, Erasmus Peshine Smith (Rochester lawyer and from 1871 to 1876
legal adviser to the Mikado of Japan) and Anna Beatty were natives respectively
of Martinique, New York City, and Hagerstown, Maryland. Through her paternal
grandmother, Caroline Starr Wolcott, Mrs. Kipling was also of royal descent
through Connecticut immigrants Oliver Mainwaring (of New London, a descendant of
Edward I) and Obadiah Bruen (of Milford, a descendant of Henry II). Presidential
cousins of the two Carolines, via Hydes, Gilmans, Clapps or Newberrys, include
Fillmore, Lincoln, Hayes, Garfield, Cleveland, FDR,. Ford and Bush. Other
ancestors of interest include Josiah Winslow, brother and brother-in-law
respectively of Mayflower passengers Edward Winslow, governor of the
Plymouth Colony, and Mrs. Mary Chilton Winslow; and John Dwight of Dedham,
Massachusetts, some of whose notable progeny is listed or treated in NEXUS
5(1988):19-22, 95-98, 6:156-59, 7:209-11.
Mrs. Kipling’s brother, Charles Wolcott Balestier (1861-1891), who died
before his sister’s marriage,  was a noted author, publisher, and
collaborator with Kipling on The Naulahka. Other kinsmen of interest, via
the Wolcotts, include third cousin Mrs. Juliette Magill Kinzie Gordon Low,
founder of the Girl Scouts of America (and a native of Savannah, Georgia);
fourth cousin (Richard) Buckminster Fuller (Jr.), the engineer, architect and
world systems designer (a native of Milton, Massachusetts); Marian Griswold
Nevins, a fourth cousin once removed and wife of composer Edward Alexander
MacDowell; fifth cousins Alfred Whitney Griswold, president of Yale, and the
wives of Alexander Graham Bell (Mabel Gardiner Hubbard), Harvard president
Abbott Lawrence Lowell (Anna Parker Lowell), novelist John Phillips Marquand II
(Adelaide Ferry Hooker, a second wife) and philanthropist John Davison
Rockefeller III (Blanchette Ferry Hooker, a sister of Mrs. Marquand); and, among
fifth cousins once removed West Virginia senator (formerly governor) John
Davison Rockefeller IV and Evelyn Wadsworth and Lilian Louisa Swann, first wives
of (respectively) Missouri senator William Stuart Symington Jr. and architect
Eero Saarinen. Also notable is Mrs. Kipling’s kinship, via Mainwarings, to
feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (see NEXUS 7:156-57, 159).
Outlined below, then, are the Mayflower descents, plus the Curtiss and
Austin lines, of Mrs. Douglass, and, in the usual format for this column, Mrs.
Kipling’s descent from each of her forebears mentioned above. Full dates and
places are given for generations 6-9 of Mrs. Douglass’s Rogers, Alden and Warren
lines; such information for the first five generations, readily available in the
three-, four- or five-generation books or pamphlets published by the Mayflower
Society and cited below, is omitted. Among ancestors of Mrs. Kipling (arranged
by generation, parents before grandparents, etc., with semi-colons separating
generations and commas separating couples of the same generation from the
figure), “RD” indicates an ancestor of royal descent, “MP” a Mayflower
passenger, and “TP” an ancestor of two or more presidents. Following the
coverage for Mrs. Kipling are brief outlines, in similar format, of the descents
of Mrs. Low and Buckminster Fuller from Alexander Wolcott, Jr. and Sr.
respectively. Frederick Douglass and Helen Pitts, I might add, were married for
eleven years, and Rudyard Kipling and Caroline Balestier for forty-four (Kipling
died, in fact, on his 44th anniversary); both Mrs. Douglass and Mrs. Kipling
survived their husbands but did not remarry.
1. Thomas Rogers of the Mayflower =
Elsgen ___2. John Rogers
of Duxbury, Mass. = Anna Churchman3.
John Rogers, Jr. of
Barrington, R.I. = (1) Elizabeth Pabodie, dau.
of William Pabodie of Little Compton, R.I. & Elizabeth Alden, dau. of
John Alden & Priscilla Mullins of the Mayflower and granddau.
of William and Alice (___) Mullins of the
Mayflower4. Elizabeth Rogers =
Sylvester Richmond of Little Compton, RI. and
Dartmouth, Mass.5. Judge WilliamRichmond of Little Compton = Anna Gray, dau. of Thomas Gray of
Little Compton & Anna Little, dau. of Ephraim Little of Scituate, Mass.
(& Mary Sturtevant), son of Thomas Little of Marshfield, Mass. & Anna
Warren, dau. of Richard Warren of the Mayflower & Elizabeth
___6. Abigail Richmond, b. Little Compton
28 Feb. 1744, d. Pittstown, N.Y. 26 July 1807, = (int.) Dighton, Mass. 29 Dec.
1764 Capt. Peter Pitts, Jr.,
b. Dighton 15 Sept. 1737, d. Pittstown 15 Dec. 1812, revolutionary
soldier and a founder of Pittstown, later Honeoye or Richmond, N.Y., son of
Peter & Sarah (___) Pitts8. GideonPitts, b. Dighton 21 April 1766, d. Richmond, N.Y. 29 July
1828, blacksmith and mill operator in Richmond, m. there ca. 1800-2
Lorinda Hulbert, b. Suffield, Conn. 21 July
1780, d. Richmond 13 June 1844. dau. of John and Phebe (Harmon) Hulbert (various
spellings).7. Gideon Pitts,
Jr., b. Richmond ca. 1807, d. there 18 June 1888, ae. 81, m.
there (Honeoye) 5 Dec. 1836 Jane Wells, b.
Manchester, Vt. 4 March 1814, d. Anacostia, D.C. 22 March 1892. Gideon was a
farmer, abolitionist, and colonel in the state militia. Jane was a dau. of
Pascal Paoli Wells & Anna Munson, dau. of Jared Munson (& Annorah Hale),
son of Ephraim Munson & Comfort Curtiss, dau. of Churchill ancestors
Nathaniel Curtiss & Sarah Howe. Annorah Hale was a dau. of Joseph
Hale & Mercy Gillett, dau. of Benjamin Gillett & Elizabeth Austin, dau.
of Hayes ancestors Anthony Austin & Esther Huggins.9.
Helen Pitts, b. Richmond (Honeoye) 14 Oct.
1837, a Mount Holyoke graduate of 1859, d. Anacostia, D.C. 1 Dec. 1903 =
Washington, D.C. 24 Jan. 1884 FrederickDouglass, the abolitionist leader and U.S. minister to Haiti,
b. Tuckahoe near Easton, Talbot Co., Md. as Frederick Augustus Washington
Bailey, a slave to Capt. Aaron Anthony (chief agent of the estate of Col. Edward
Lloyd) ca. Feb. 1817, d. Anacostia, D.C. 20 Feb. 1895, son of an unknown white
father and Harriet Bailey.
SOURCES: R. M. Sherman, ed., Mayflower Families Through
Five Generations, vol. 2 (1978), pp. 155, 158-60, 164-65, 191, 264-65
(generations 1-5); H. K. Shaw and A. C. Williams, Families of the Pilgrims,
John Alden, William Mullins (1986), pp. 1-5; R. S. Wakefield, Janice Beebe
and others, Richard Warren of the Mayflower and his Descendants for Four
Generations, 4th ed. (1991, an MFIP pamphlet), Pp. 4-6, 21,81-82; F. D.
McTeer and J. B. Berndt, Some Descendants of Peter Pitts of Taunton, Mass.
(1979), pp. 24-25, 41-45; Suffield, Conn. VRs (Lorinda Hulbert); E. E
Davenport, David Benton and Nancy Pitts, Their Ancestors and Descendants
(1921), pp. 11-24, 71-84; M.A. Munson, The Munson Record, 1635-1887,
vol.2(1895), pp. 896-98, 901-2, 911-13; DAB (5:406-7) and
National Cyclopaedia of American Biography, henceforth NCAB
(2118991:309-10), articles on Frederick Douglass; Boston Transcript
of 2 Dec. 1903, P. 2, col. 5. For Churchill and Hayes connections see PH.
Curtiss, A Genealogy of the Curtiss Family (1903), pp. 14-15 and H. D.
Curtiss, A Genealogy of the Curtis-Curtiss Family of Stratford, Conn.: A
Supplement to the 1993 Edition (1953), p.8 (Curtiss to Munson and Churchill);
and D. L Jacobus and E. F. Waterman, Hale, House and Related Families
(1952, repr. 1978), pp. 728-79, Register 101(1947):286 (Gillett,
repr. in Genealogies of Conn. Families from NEHGR , 2:63),
 E. A. Moore and W. A. Day, The Descendants of Richard Austin of
Charlestown, Mass., 1638(1969?), pp. 10-11 and G.B. Roberts, Ancestors of
American Presidents, preliminary ed., rev. (1989, henceforth AAP),
pp. 31-33 (Austin to Munson and Hayes).
(JOSEPH) RUDYARD KIPLING (1865-1936) (wife, Caroline Starr
Balesfier; Henry Wolcott Balestier & Anna Smith; Joseph Nerée Balestier
& Caroline Starr Wolcott; Henry Wolcott & Mary Almira Starr; Alexander
Wolcott, Jr. & Frances Burbank, Jehosaphat Starr, Jr. & Mary Warne;
Alexander Wolcott & Mary Richards, Abraham Burbank, Jr. & Bethia
Cushing, Jehosaphat Starr & Sarah Stowe; Roger Wolcott, gov. of Conn., &
Sarah Drake, George Richards & Hester Hough, Abraham Burbank & Mehitable
Dwight, John Cushing 11111 & Mary Cotton, Joseph Starr & Abigail
Baldwin, Nathaniel Stowe & Sarah Sumner; Job Drake, Jr. &
Elizabeth Clark, John Richards, Jr. & Love Mainwaring, John Hough &
Sarah Post, Nathaniel Dwight & Mehitable Partridge, John Cushing, Jr. &
Deborah Loring, Josiah Cotton & Hannah Sturtevant, Comfort Starr & Marah
Weld, Samuel Baldwin & Abigail Baldwin; Daniel Clark & Mary Newberry,
Oliver Mainwaring [RD] & Hannah Raymond, John Post
[TP] & Hester Hyde [TP], Timothy Dwight & Anna Flint, Thomas
Loring, Jr. & Hannah Jacob, John Sturtevant & Hannah Winslow, Joseph
Weld & Barbara Clapp, John Baldwin & Mary Bruen [parents of Abigail];
Thomas Newberry [TP] & Joan Dabinott, William Hyde
[TP] & ___ [TP], John Dwight & Hannah ___,
Nicholas Jacob & Mary Gilman, Josiah Winslow [bro. of Edward Winslow
(MP), gov. of Plymouth Colony] & Margaret Bourne, Nicholas Clapp &
Elizabeth ___, Obadiah Bruen [RD] & Sarah ___; Edward
Gilman [TP] & ___ [TP], Richard Clapp [TP] & Christian
Mrs. JULIETTE MAGILL KINZIE GORDON LOW, 1860-1927; William
Washington Gordon, Jr. & Eleanor Lytle Kinzie; John Harris Kinzie &
Juliette Magill; Arthur W. Magill & Frances Wolcott; Alexander Wolcott, Jr.
& Frances Burbank, above.
(RICHARD) BUCKMINSTER FULLER, (Jr.), 1895-1983; Richard
Buckminster Fuller & Caroline Wolcott Andrews; Arthur Buckminster Fuller
(brother of [Sarah] Margaret Fuller, Marchesa d’Ossoli) & Emma Lucilla
Reeves, Martin Andrews & Caroline Matilda Wolcott; Christopher Columbus
Wolcott & Susan Blinn; Christopher Wolcott & Lucy Parsons; Alexander
Wolcott & Mary Richards, above.
SOURCES for Mrs. Kipling (plus Mrs. Low and Fuller): E. R.
Foreman, The Rochester Historical Society Publication Fund Series, vol. 6
(1927), pp. 231-35, R. C. Griffen and M. R. Alegre, Wolcott Genealogy
(1986, henceforth Wolcott), PP. 127, 153, 207, 214, 283-84, DNB
(Kipling), DAB (C. W. Balestier), Notable American Women (Mrs.
J. M. K. G. Low) and NEXUS 7(1990):155, 158 and Fuller sources cited
therein (R. B. Fuller, Jr.); NEXUS 3(1986): 235-38, F. B. Gay, The
Descendants of John Drake (1933), pp. 25-26, H. R Stiles, The History and
Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Conn., vol. 2 (1892, repr. 1976), p. 153
(Clark) and J. G. Bartlett, Newberry Genealogy (1914), Pp. 35-46; R. H.
Walworth, Hyde Genealogy (1864, henceforth Hyde), pp. 1-5,
12-13,65-66,225-26, 1121; NYGBR 51(1920): 307-8, 310-11 (Richards,
Mainwaring) and Register 141 (1987):104-5 and sources cited therein (for
the royal descent of Oliver Mainwaring); G. B. Sedgley, Genealogy of the
Burbank Family (1928), Pp. 23-24, 46-47 and B. W. Dwight, The History of
the Descendants of Join Dwight of Dedham, Mass. (1874), Pp. 91-99, 102-6,
109-10, 428-29; J. S. Cushing, The Genealogy of the Cushing Family (1905,
repr. 1979), pp. 28-29, 48-49, 96, C. H. Pope and K. P. Loring, Loring
Genealogy (1917), pp. 9-13, George Lincoln, History of...Hingham, Mass.,
vol. 2 (1893, repr. 1982), pp. 371-72 (Jacob) and W. G. Davis, The
Ancestry of Abel Lunt (1963), pp. 157-58 (Gilman); R. H. Sturtevant,
Descendants of Samuel Sturtevant (1986), #s 2-6, 3-16, 4-56 and E. F.
Waterman and D. L. Jacobus, The Waterman Family, vol. 1(1939), p. 619
(Winslow); B. P. Starr, A History of the Starr Family (1879), pp. 117-18,
135, 225-27, 231-32, C.F. Robinson, Weld Collections (1938), pp. 35-52
and M. L. Holman, Ancestry of Colonel John Harrington Stevens and His Wife
Frances Helen Miller, vol. 1(1948, henceforth SMD, pp. 276-80
(Clapp); C.C. Baldwin, The Baldwin Genealogy from 1500 to 1881 (1881),
pp. 411-12, N. G. Parke II and D. L. Jacobus, The Ancestry of Lorenzo Ackley
and His Wife Emma Arabella Bosworth (1960), pp. 247-50 (Baldwin) and TAG
26 (1950):12-25 (royal descent and family of Obadiah Bruen); R. F. Cooke,
“John Stow/Stowe of Massachusetts and His Descendants of Middletown, Conn.”
(1986), pp.8-9, 19, 19b, 43a (including Stowe to Churchill). For the descent of
FDR from Nicholas Clapp (Jr., husband of Sarah Clapp, a cousin), brother of
Barbara (Clapp) (Weld) Stoddard, see A. P. Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s
Colonial Ancestors (1933), pp. 168, 171, 14; for the lines from Jane (Clapp)
(Weeks) Humphrey, a first cousin of the half blood of Nicholas (Jr.) and
Barbara, to Presidents Garfield and Bush see SM1, pp. 271 -75 (Weeks),
266-67 (Carpenter) and AAP, p. 218. This kinship, via Clapps, of Garfield
and Bush to FDR will be included in future editions of AAP; it was first
brought to my attention in March 1990 by David W. Piepho of Indianapolis.
SOURCES for Mrs. Kipling’s Wolcott cousins, general:Wolcott, pp. 127-28, 153-60, 200, 215-17, Hyde, pp. 182-83,
748-49, 884-95, 1012, E. E and E. M. C. Salisbury, Family Histories and
Genealogies, 4 vols. (1892), Griswold chart, Part III asp. and NCAB,
vols. 45(1962):446 (J. W. Wadsworth, Jr.), 53(1971):539-40 (A. W. Griswold)
(for Mrs. Bell, Mrs. MacDowell, Griswold and Mrs. Symington esp.); D. R. Lowell,
The historic Genealogy of the Lowells of America (1899), pp. 222, 284
(Mrs. Lowell); Edward Hooker, The Descendants of Rev. Thomas Hooker
(1909), pp. 171, 284, 401 and DAB, Suppl. 2 (1958), pp. 313-14 (E. H.
Hooker, for his daus. Mrs. Marquand and Mrs. Rockefeller); George Gibbs, The
Gibbs Family of Rhode Island (1933), pp. 69-74,77, 168-69, 171 and H. M.
Sedgwick, A Sedgwick Genealogy (1961), pp. 217-21 (Mrs. Saarinen). In my
1986 treatment in this column of “signet” Oliver Wolcott, the immigrant John
Drake of Windsor, Cons., great-grandfather of Mrs. Sarah Drake Wolcott, was
identified as being of royal descent. Recently the Windsor settler has been
shown (by Douglas Richardson of Tucson, Ariz.) not to be the John Drake
of Wiscombe, Devon whose cousin, Francis Drake of Esher, in 1633 willed John
“twenty pounds to be sent unto him in New England.” A full monograph is now in
preparation. Lastly, for presidential descents from ancestors cited above of
Mrs. Douglass or Mrs. Kipling, see AAP.