Editorial

NEHGR Vol. 172, Winter 2018

One of the things we automatically do is watch chronology. As editors and genealogists, we have seen so many examples of ancestral lines that have collapsed under the bright glare of chronology that we are constantly considering whether someone was the right age to marry or have children — or be in a particular place at a particular time.

Working out a timeline for events in a person’s life may clarify whether there were two or more people with the same name in the same place. This is what was done in the Geoffrion article in this issue. By preparing a timeline, the author was able to establish that there was only one Pierre Geoffrion in 1667, who was listed twice in the census that year.

At the end of the South Carolina article in this issue, the author gives a table of the records pertaining to the three freedwomen from 1840 to 1870, summarizing several records that had been presented earlier in the article.

In the Hepburne article in this issue, the author discusses the chronology of the two daughters of George Hepburne to show that Rebecca, not Hannah, married Manus Sally, and that Rebecca could have been the mother of his children.

A situation often prone to chronological problems is when a man has children by more than one wife and there is no will (or other document) indicating which children were by which wife. Even when birth and/or baptismal records exist, they may be only for a few children or may name only the father. We need to estimate birth dates for the children lacking exact dates, and then try to determine which children are likely to belong to which mother. In the Clifton article in this issue, the author discusses the likelihood that Hope Clifton, the probable daughter, was by a first unknown wife.

Careful attention to chronology may only show that a connection is possible, but frequently it saves us from serious mistakes.


Our lead article is Thomas1 Clifton’s Daughters: Proven, Probable, and Proposed, by William B. Saxbe, Jr. Thomas Clifton was in Massachusetts by 1640, and eventually settled in Newport, where he died in 1681. He had no sons; the author presents the evidence for three daughters: Patience (proven), Hope (probable), and Mary (proposed). Saxbe argues that Mary was identical with Mary, wife of Obadiah2 Bowen (Richard1) of Rehoboth, and mother of his ten children.

In Who Was Pierre Geoffrion of Montréal? Rhonda R. McClure examines the records for Pierre Geoffrion, who arrived in Montréal in the early 1660s, presumably as a servant. The author analyzes the available records and determines that he was listed twice in the 1667 census of Canada, once as age 30, and again as age 33. Although many records for Québec survive, some key documents for Pierre Geoffrion do not, like his contract(s) as a servant, his marriage record, and his marriage contract. This article shows how complex Québec research can be.

Michael R. Paulick and Robert C. Cushman established The 1625 Death of Pilgrim Robert Cushman in Benenden, Kent, by finding his burial record in Benenden, where his relatives lived. Robert Cushman was the chief agent for the Pilgrims in London. He came to Plymouth in 1621 but returned to England the same year. Much of what we know about Cushman is from his correspondence with Governor William Bradford, including a letter in late 1624 indicating that Cushman intended to return to Plymouth.

In The English Origin of John1 Sutton of Hingham and Rehoboth, Massachusetts, Eugene Cole Zubrinsky presents evidence that John1 Sutton was baptized in 1594 in the delightfully-named parish of Great Snoring, Norfolk, and married in 1620 to Julian Adcocke, whose parentage Zubrinsky had already established in an article published in the Register in 2013.

In Three Generations of South Carolina Freedwomen: Tradition and Records Reconstruct a Meaningful Heritage, Morna Lahnice Hollister shows how much can be gleaned from published and unpublished records, especially when compared to family tradition. By researching the family of the principal slave owner and his records (including unpublished memoirs), the author was able to determine much about the lives (and even quotes) of the three generations of freedwomen during the Civil War era. Indeed, all researchers should consider unpublished memoirs for their research.

Based on a 1635 passenger list entry, Randy A. West was able to find The English Origin of George1 Hepburne of Charlestown, Massachusetts, in the parish registers of Whitechapel and Stepney, Middlesex. West then discusses the marriages of Hepburne’s two surviving daughters in Massachusetts.

We conclude The Ancestry of Anne Wilkenson, Wife of George Lloyd, Bishop of Chester, by Scott G. Swanson, on the Suffolk ancestry of Bishop Lloyd’s wife, namely, the Bacon and Calle families. The latter family includes Richard Calle, who had owned a manuscript of medieval poems about Robin Hood, which he passed on to Anne’s grandfather, Henry Bacon.

George Barlow, the Marshal of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and His Descendants for Three Generations, by Ellen J. O’Flaherty, completes the account of George Barlow’s descendants for three generations, most of whom lived in Sandwich or Plymouth County.

We continue Clifford L. Stott’s article, The Higginson Family of Berkeswell, Warwickshire, and Its American Descendants: Daniel Clark of Windsor, Connecticut; Rev. Josias Clark of New York, Boston, and Jamaica, West Indies; Isabel Overton, Wife of Rev. Ephraim Huit of Windsor; Nicholas and Robert Augur of New Haven, Connecticut; Hester (Augur) Coster of New Haven; Robert, Humphrey, and Christopher Higginson of Virginia, with accounts of Isabel (Overton) Huit and her siblings; Margery (Benyon) Augur and her children; Gabriel Benyon and his career as a Virginia merchant (though not a settler); and Robert Higginson.

—Henry B. Hoff and Helen Schatvet Ullmann