Editorial

NEHGS Vol. 172, Spring 2018

In the lead article, Alice Goble, the First Wife of Nathaniel2 Woods of Groton, Massachusetts, author Allan Gilbertson shows that Nathaniel2 Woods had three wives, not four, and that the first wife was almost certainly Alice Goble, born in Concord, Massachusetts, 11 September 1673, daughter of Daniel2 and Hannah (Brewer) Goble. The evidence, apparently written in 1699 by Nathaniel Woods, is an entry in which he refers to “my brother Ephraim Roper,” the younger half-brother of Alice Goble, whose mother had married second Ephraim Roper, Sr. The authors of 1904 and 1983 Roper genealogies were unable to explain the relationship given in the entry.

Witchcraft in 1725 Maine: A Case of Slander, by Priscilla Eaton, treats the case of Sarah Keene vs. John Spinney, both of Kittery. John called Sarah a witch and said he could prove that she was a witch. After much name-calling by the parties and various witnesses, Sarah was not tried for witchcraft — but probably received little satisfaction from the five-shilling fine imposed on John Spinney.

An abstract of the 1614 will of Edmund Yorke of Cotton End, Hardingstone, Northamptonshire, Father-in-Law of Gov. Thomas Dudley, was published in the Register in 1893. Author Barry E. Hinman has reviewed the registers of Hardingstone and two parishes in the town of Northampton to produce an expanded account of Edmund Yorke’s family. Dorothy (Yorke) Dudley’s mother was named Katherine, but it is unclear whether she was the Katherine Robins who married Edmund Yorke in 1568.

In Confirmation of the English Origin of Richard1 Cooke of Quedgeley, Gloucestershire, and Boston, Massachusetts, author Robert Battle clarifies and expands what was previously known about this family. Richard’s 1673 will in Boston names kinswoman Eleanor Cooke and kinsman John Cooke, evidently living with him in Boston. The author shows that Eleanor and John were children of Richard’s brother, Walter Cooke of Haresfield, Gloucestershire.

The Jacob Family of China, Maine: Quaker Joshua William Jacob (1828–1891) and His Descendants, by Morrison DeSoto Webb, treats an Irish Quaker, Joshua William Jacob, who settled in Maine in 1855. Prominent Quaker ministers Eli and Sybil Jones of China had traveled in England and Ireland in 1852–1854, and Joshua William evidently met them and was inspired to emigrate. In 1858 he married the Joneses’ daughter in Maine.

In John4 Leavitt (1712–1790) of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, author Jane Belcher deals with a difficult situation: two men named John Leavitt lived in Brentwood, Rockingham County, in the mid-eighteenth century. Her careful analysis shows which records refer to John4 Leavitt (1712–1790) and which refer to John4 Leavitt (1719–1770) in Brentwood and in other towns in Rockingham County.

Who Were the Parents of Elizabeth (Terhune) Earle of Bergen County, New Jersey?, by Joseph W. Dooley, identifies Elizabeth’s father based on his 1807 will that names her. The author cites the Revolutionary War pension files of Elizabeth’s husband and brothers to confirm her identification. Also, the names of Elizabeth’s family all followed the traditional Dutch pattern of naming the first two children of each sex for the four grandparents.

Three Generations of South Carolina Freedwomen: Tradition and Records Reconstruct a Meaningful Heritage, by Morna Lahnice Hollister, is concluded with a genealogical summary of the descendants of Charlotte Brown (ca. 1820–1890), her daughter Ellen Hargrove (1840–1931), and Ellen’s children. Some descendants stayed in Charleston, some moved to New York City or elsewhere for job opportunities. Most graduated from high school, one received an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and another received a degree of Doctor in Pharmacy.

We conclude Who Was Pierre Geoffrion of Montréal? by Rhonda R. McClure, with a genealogical summary of Pierre’s children. His oldest son André became a voyageur in the upper Midwest, but the only records found about him as an adult were in Montréal between 1691 and 1693. Another son Toussaint became a mariner and was married in La Rochelle, France, in 1708.

We also conclude 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 a summary of proposed connections between the Benyons and the Carter family of Virginia.


The Register depends on many people, especially associate editor Helen Ullmann. She reviews all submission, edits accepted articles, and often does further research for these articles. Helen and I have now “been on the same page” for seventeen years with the Register.

Helen and I rely on the Register’s consulting editors: Bob Anderson, Cherry Bamberg, Drew Bartley, Chris Child, David Dearborn, David Greene, Charles Hansen, Gale Harris, David Lambert, Rhonda McClure, Gary Roberts, George Sanborn, Scott Steward, and Cliff Stott.

Gary Roberts and Jenifer Bakkala review all the articles for each issue. Cliff Stott does research for most of our English origin articles. Julie Otto produces the index to the Register each year. Leslie Weston prepares the InDesign version of the Register.

Colleagues at NEHGS are always supportive in various ways, especially Sharon Inglis, Ellen Maxwell, Lynn Betlock, Nancy Bernard, and Ryan Woods. The genealogists on each floor of the library answer my infrequent phone queries.

Finally, Helen and I are grateful for the many authors who send us articles. We couldn’t get along without you!

– Henry B. Hoff