Editorial

NEHGR Vol. 175, Spring 2021

Our lead article is The Excommunication of Mayflower Passenger William White and His Half-Siblings Henry and Jacomine May, at Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, by Sue Allan, Caleb Johnson, and Simon Neal. Further research in Ely Diocesan Records has revealed that these three were cited in Wisbech for non-conformity in early 1608. By the end of 1608 all three were living in Amsterdam. William White’s occupation was previously not known; in these records he was called a shoemaker.

By 1636 Thomas French and his wife and almost all but one of their children were living in Ipswich. The account of this family is substantially added to by Three French Daughters and Their Husbands: Three Unrecorded Marriages from Early Ipswich, Massachusetts: Amy (French) Gage, Susan (French) Kingsbury, and Anne (French) Hardy, by Melinde Lutz Byrne and John Edward Hardy. For each of the three French marriages the authors have constructed strong arguments. Thomas French and his family worked for John1 Winthrop of Groton, Suffolk, and as a result, the authors performed extensive research in English records for parishes within a 15-mile radius of Groton, for Gage, Hardy, Howlett, and Kingsbury, surnames of Thomas French’s sons-in-law.

In Richard and Hannah (Hewes?) Woods of Roxbury, Massachusetts, and Some of Their Descendants, John D. Beatty presents an unplaced Woods family, starting with Richard Woods who was married about 1688. The author lists descendants in Maine, Nova Scotia, New Jersey, and North Carolina.

The English ancestry of John Endecott (or Endicott), governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for various years between 1644 and 1664, has been researched for years, without definitive results. James Heffernan’s Update to the Ancestry of Gov. John Endecott (ca. 1588–1664/5) describes what has been found that corrects previous researchers.

In Four Contemporary Men Named Joseph Payson in Massachusetts in 1773, Maureen Markt Dearborn presents what is known of these four cousins, all descendants of Edward1 Payson, for whom there is no complete compiled genealogy. Her first sketch is of Joseph Payson, housewright of Boston, who participated in the Boston Tea Party.

George1 Lanphear settled in Westerly, Rhode Island, and had numerous sons and grandsons, who in turn left many descendants. In Sorting Out Several Daniel Lamphear Men, Scott Andrew Bartley and Diane MacLean Boumenot place some of the Daniels in Westerly and nearby Connecticut from Westerly town records, especially deeds and probate.

There were only two Meakins families in eighteenth-century Western Massachusetts. In The Ancestry of Sarah Meakins, Wife of Thomas3 Miller of Springfield, Massachusetts, Clifford L. Stott shows which family Sarah belonged to and who her immediate relatives were. He makes a strong case for Sarah’s parents being first cousins, a practice that was legal in colonial Massachusetts but discouraged by the Puritan clergy.

In 1762, the Rev. Ezra Stiles wrote a manuscript genealogy of his Stiles family, which he revised in 1764. In Notes on the Stiles Family of Millbrook, Bedfordshire, and Windsor, Connecticut, B. Darrell Jackson updates the later manuscript for recent English research.

The Second Wife of Moses Gile of Hampstead, New Hampshire: Which Mary Clark? by Derek Doran Wood, argues that Mary (Currier) Clark of Amesbury was the second wife, based on her age and place of residence — and the history of other Mary Clarks of Amesbury. The names of the children of Mary Currier by both husbands support her identification as the second wife.

In Identifying Grace3 Fairbanks as the Wife of Ephraim Bullen, Letitia DeVillar Richardson shows that all available evidence shows that Grace, wife of Ephraim Bullen of Sherborn, Massachusetts, was Grace Fairbanks. In addition, the author lists contemporary Graces in Massachusetts, none of whom was available to have married Ephraim about 1681.

Marian Bowers Natale, The New England Ancestry of Reuben Wolcott of Delaware and Virginia, shows how the Wolcott family of Delaware was descended from John1 Woolcott of Watertown, Massachusetts.

William Hills of the Great Migration: Probable Origins in Upminster, Essex, by Perry Streeter, clarifies William1 Hills’s approximate date of birth of about 1607 rather than about 1598. He was probably the William Hills baptized in Upminster 27 December 1608.

We conclude Gale Ion Harris’s Robert1 Harris of Roxbury and Muddy River, Massachusetts. Most of his descendants stayed in Massachusetts or moved to Woodstock, Connecticut.

The descendants of EdwardB Colman are treated in this installment of The Colman and Cutler Ancestry of John1 Thorndike of Essex County, Massachusetts, with the Colman Ancestry of John1 Coggeshall, Muriel1 (Gurdon) Saltonstall, and Jemima1 (Waldegrave) Pelham, by Robert Battle. Edward’s second wife was Ann (Cutler) Rolfe, and they were grandparents of John1 Thorndike — and ancestors of Edward Colman (born in 1636), a Roman Catholic martyr who was beatified in 1929.


The Register depends on many people, especially associate editor Helen Ullmann. She reviews all submissions and edits accepted articles, often doing further research for those articles.

Gary Boyd Roberts and Jenifer Kahn Bakkala review all the articles for each issue. Leslie Weston prepares the InDesign version of the Register.

Helen and I rely on the Register’s Consulting Editors for their knowledge. Colleagues at NEHGS are always supportive, especially Sharon Inglis, Ellen Maxwell, Cécile Engeln, Lynn Betlock, Scott Steward, Ryan Woods, and Brenton Simons.

Helen and I appreciate the authors who send us articles and additions & corrections. It is reassuring to know that the Register has careful readers!

– Henry B. Hoff