Editorial

NEHGR Vol. 174, Summer 2020

Our lead article is Ancestry of Agnes Spencer, Wife of Thomas Higginson of Berkeswell, Warwickshire, Ancestor of Nine American Immigrants, Cousin to Diana, Princess of Wales, Sir Winston Churchill, President George Washington, and Others. Building on his earlier Higginson article, author Clifford L. Stott shows how all these people were descended from three Spencer brothers of Warwickshire and Badby, Northamptonshire, born in the mid-fifteenth century. The immediate descendants of the three brothers are traced in the text, and a two-page chart shows how those named in the article’s title and U.S. Presidents Washington, Coolidge, Franklin Roosevelt, and the two Bushes are descended from one of the three Spencer brothers. As the author’s major articles have shown, finding a network of distantly related American immigrants is not surprising.

The article begins with “The Despencer Forgery.” In 1595 a successful Spen-cer descendant paid a corrupt herald to grant him arms based on the arms of the extinct noble Despencer family. This Spencer family clearly was not descended from the Despencer family, as proved in print in 1901. However, the Spencers rose to gentry status, several men were knighted, and Robert Spencer (1570–1627), ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales, and Sir Winston Churchill was granted a title.

Descendants of Thomas Low, the Immigrant to Ipswich, Massachusetts, for Three Generations, begins with a discussion by author Edward E. Steele of when Thomas settled in Ipswich (between 1636 and 1640). His first three children were baptized in or near Boxford, Suffolk, and he may have been the Thomas Low who married Margaret Tod in 1630 in nearby Polstead, Suffolk. Thomas of Ipswich had two sons, both of whom had at least ten children. As a result, correctly identifying the records pertaining to the right grandchild was sometimes difficult.

Gaining a Daughter but Losing a Son: The Children of Samuel6 Eddy (1765–1844) of Wallingford and Dorset, Vermont, is the result of author David F. Lowry’s determination that the 1930 Eddy genealogy’s account of the family of Samuel6 Eddy omitted his daughter Lucy (who married Heman Lowry) but included a son Norman who actually was the illegitimate son of Samuel’s nephew Amos. Norman’s identity is established by a petition filed in 1847 by Amos to have Norman named as his heir.

Linking John H. Fuller to His Father, William Fuller of Petersburgh, Rensselaer County, New York, by Robert P. Fuller, shows that William6 Fuller (Ichabod5, Samuel4, John3, Benjamin2, Robert1) of Petersburgh had no probate. Instead, his children transferred fractions of William’s real property to each other until all were owned by one son in 1850. Subsequent research in the Midwest confirmed the dates and spouses of all of William’s children.

Myrtle Stevens Hyde has found much on the ancestry of Samuel and Elizabeth (Smith) Smith, and Samuel’s ancestry was presented in the Fall 2019 Register. The companion article began in the Spring 2020 Register as The English Ancestry of Elizabeth Smith, Whose Husband Was Samuel1 Smith of Hadley, Massachusetts, and it concludes in this issue. Several descendants have commented that they were delighted to learn the ancestry of Elizabeth and Samuel, discoveries they never expected.

The Family and American Descendants of Deacon Edward Collins of Cambridge, Medford, and Charlestown, Massachusetts, by James Wade Ferris Collins, also concludes in this issue with Edward’s younger grandchildren, in Connecticut (mostly Middletown), Massachusetts (mostly Boston), New Hampshire, and Maine. As with earlier installments, marriages and connections between Collins descendants continue to occur.

New England Articles in Genealogical Journals in 2018 indexes articles in fifteen journals by surname, place, and some subjects.

—Henry B. Hoff