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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Matriarchs abounding

Well, not much bounding about, but the women from whom I'm descended, who gave me some mitochondrial DNA, are many and wonderful.

Yesterday I included generation 10) Ammi Ayers, who married 10)Samuel Swasey.  Ammi Ayers mother was the branch we followed yesterday.  Her father was 11) Nathaniel Ayers and his father was 12) Capt. John Ayres who died in 1675.

I've found those little hint "leaves" have me stumped at a male ancestor, who may have married one woman, or another.  So I'm off to see which one has documentation to support her being my ancestor.
CAPTAIN JOHN AYRES (ca 1627-1675) of Quaboag (portion of West Brookfield, MA); Memorial of 1675 in West Brookfield, Massachusett
The man in question is John Ayres, Captain, who was killed in King Phillips war, by Indians.  Also he was part of colonial settlers who started a town of Brooksfield, MA, with someone having purchased it (formerly Quaboag) from the Indians.  However there were some Indians who disagreed and attacked the settlers, killing 7 men who barricaded themselves in Ayres Tavern.

But on one sheet of paper, the marriage records of New England prior to 1700, there are 10 John Ayers, or Ayres, or Ayer listed.  Only one has a death date of 1675, and he is listed as John Ayer (-1675) married to Susanna Symonds (1617-1653) c. 1644 or ca. 1642.

I am interested in this colorful ancestor, but wonder if he's really connected to me.  So again I look at his children, so I can determine that he's my ancestor for sure!

Several family trees show John Ayers dying in 1694, and looking at this list, there are 2 marriages listed for that "John Ayers, (-1694+) 1/wf Sarah Williams (-1662) on 5 May 1646, Haverhill MA."  And 4 lines down is the same "John (-1694+) 2/wf Mary Woodham in 1663 also Haverhill."  But though there are ancestry trees by other members that have the John Ayers who died in 1675 at the Tavern, killed by Indians, they are having him marry Sarah, but not Mary Woodham, and they all have him dying in yet another town.

So I'm leaning toward the original information.

OK, on October 28th, 1717.
"A Petition of Thomas Ayres, Joseph Ayres, Mark Ayres, Natt'll Ayers, & Edward Ayres, Sons & Heirs of John Ayres heretofore of Quaboag alias Brookfield, Dec'd Intestate, Shewing that in or about the Year 1669, the Petitioners Father with others bought & purchased of the Indian..."

I don't have the original, and the copy I read is cut off there.
(I'm inserting my own generational numbering, as described in yesterday's blog post)

So this 12) John Ayres, killed in Brookfield did have a son 11) Nathaniel, who was also named as a blacksmith from the source I'm reading.

See how this Ancestry stuff takes you off on tangents...
Now back to the matriarchs.

12) John Ayers' (b. 1623 or 25, d. 1675) wife was finally determined to be 12) Susanna Symonds (b. either 1617 or 1623, d.1682 or 83). The different dates do get confusing, and Ancestry usually lists only one set, but with alternates available.

12) Susanna Symonds Ayers was the source of a document about her husband and her children.
It is mentioned in an earlier genealogical document from 2003.  I'll include it because it does seem to quote an original source.  Talking about her husband 12) John Ayers, she is mentioned only as "his widow."
His widow presented an inventory of his estate, now recorded at Salem, on which she wrote, "I have seven sons and one daughter." Although the births of these children are not all recorded, I have been able to recover all their names without doubt, and I think to arrange them chronologically.
  i John2
 ii Samuel2
iii Thomas2
 iv Joseph2
v Edward2 b. 12 Feb. 1658.     
 vi Mark2 b. 14 Dec. 1661.       
       (all recorded at Ipswich)
 vii Nathaniel 2 b. 6 July, 1664.  
 viii Susanna 2 b.? ; m. (???) Day."

I don't know what the numeral "2" represents after son vii Nathaniel, b 6 July 1664. as well as his younger sister Susanna.  Since the older siblings were recorded at Ipswich, perhaps they hadn't been.

12) Susanna Symonds' parents were 13) Mark Symonds (1584-1659) and 13) Joanna (maybe Edgar) (1588-1666).  Joanna was born in Essex County, England, probably in the town called Birch.

Here's a nice replica of old town architecture from another Essex town, Wedens Ambo.  This name means there were two nearby towns called Wedens, and they combined into this new name.
Wendens Ambo Village, Essex, England, (not Birch, Essex, Eng)
Wedens Ambo, Essex, England

13) Joanna (Edgar?) Symonds (1588-1666) is the earliest matriarch I've found after all these hours beating around bushes at Ancestry.

Her death is listed in Ipswich MA in 1666, on April 29...in the following record.  The scribe for this entry has wonderfully legible handwriting.

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