Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Friday, June 29, 2018

More of the Ayers next generation - 7 children of Susanna and Mark

Here's a re-quote of the determination that Captain John Ayers (killed by Indians in 1675) wasn't related to the person of the same name from Haverhill:
Captain John Ayres of Ipswich and Brookfield was not the son of John Ayres of Haverhill. I have carefully examined the deeds of Salem, and have careful copies  of the town records of Ipswich and Haverhill, and these show that the mistake had been made by confounding two persons of the same name”. And so we are left without any definite leads as to the place of origin of the family prior to the immigration to New England. The first concrete fact we were able to associate with the family, is the appearance of the name of John Ayres in the early records of Ipswich. This appears in the year 1643, which indicates the approximate date of coming to Ipswich, but not necessarily exactly, since grants were frequently recorded sometime after they had been made. He was also listed as an inhabitant of Ipswich in 1648, and married Susanna, daughter of Mark Symonds of who’s (Mark Symonds) estate he was appointed administrator. In such capacity, on November 24, 1659, he sold a house and a three acre lot to another son-in-law of the deceased, Edward Chapman (Ipswich Deed 3:351). He was allowed the privilege of commonage in February 1667, and admitted a commoner at Ipswich in March of the same year. Captain John, as he was known at Ipswich, came to Quaboag Plantation before May 1667.
Source:West Brookfield Historical Commission: Meet the Planters - AYRES http://westbrookfield.org/historical-sites/quaboag-plantation/qp-ayres-john-12-49-37-am-2/ Researcher: Terry Owens

Continuing to look at the Susanna and Captain John Ayers children:
1) John Ayers III
2) Thomas Ayers,
3) Joseph
4) Susanna
5) Edward
6) Samuel
7) Mark
9) Nathaniel, my 7 times great grandfather

Modern day photo of site of Captain John Ayers' tavern, Quaboag (Brookfield) MA where the Indians burned the town
1.) John Ayers III (1648-1711) was listed as farmer on one record. I just tore my hair out (figuratively) because this John and his young wife were listed as parents of John's 3 younger siblings, making his wife give birth at age 3...and the other thing on Ancestry trees was that they married 20 years after she died!  That's another 20 minutes of my life I won't get back!

OK, he did remarry and have children of his own, at appropriate ages!
First wife was Abigail Hovey Ayers, who died at 27 years and is buried in Boston, in the Ayers family plot.  John and Abigail Ayers may have sheltered his younger siblings after fleeing the burned town of Quaboag, but who knows why they are still listed as his own!

His second wife was Mary Woodham Ayers (1648-1711) and they had 2 sons and 2 daughters.  One daughter died the same year as her birth.  Again there are records that confuse my genealogy, because there were other John Ayers in the line from Haverhill as well, where the one I  am descended from didn't have clear lineage beyond his arrival at Ipswich, MA.

2.) Thomas Ayers (1652-1722)  He married Hannah Errington in 1677, and they had 7 children of the records I've checked quickly, 5 girls and 2 boys.  When I say I checked records quickly, I mean I noticed two were born in the same year, and only one of those had an exact date, so at this point I've not included the other one.  I also see that most of them only have a birth date, and no death date given.

3.) Joseph John Ayers (1655-1740) He died in Brookfield (formerly Quaboag) MA, which tells us that he must have succeeded in reclaiming his father's land.  He married Sarah Caldwell Ayers in 1677, she was one of 9 children.  They had 6 children. When his wife died in 1710 he remarried to Hannah Lovell Ayers.

4) Susanna Ayers Waite (1656-1683) born and died in Ipswich.  The only daughter of Captain John and Susanna, she died in her 20s, close to the same time her mother died.  Actually one record gives her marriage the year after she died.  (Here goes my hair again, tear tear tear) At least I found a hand written record of her marriage  "Thomas Waite in 1677 to Susan Ayers in Ipswich."  I do note that Susan isn't the same as Susanna, but so many women's names got garbled by scribes.  Her husband pre-deceased her.  We have no information about him, and there don't appear to have been any children, at least no records of any.

5.) Edward Ayers (1657- 1717 [or after 1720 and before 1723]) He also died in Portsmouth, NH, where his older brother, Thomas had died as well. The probate documents in 1723 indicate he was also a blacksmith (same as my ancestor, his youngest brother, Nathaniel). Edward's sons, John Ayers and John Cutt provided the inventory of his estate for the probate.  However, the date of his death might have been closer to the probate documents.  There's also a marriage in 1720 that might indicate he was still alive!

His first wife was Alice Elise Shapleigh Ayers.  They may have had 8 children (as listed among duplicates on Ancestry). Alice may have been just 15 to his 20 years when they married.  This is rather different than his older brothers who waited until they were in their mid 20s to marry.  But the times may have been such that 1677 was a good year to marry.  Alice did die in 1717, and there is a headstone in Point of Graves, Portsmouth, NH, and a broken one beside hers that is assumed to be Edward's. His second wife was Margaret Williams Ayers, who lived till 1734 and died in Ipswich.

6.) Samuel Ayers (1658-1713)  I've noticed as I do this research that the birthdates seem pretty flexible for many of these cousins.  So I'm not sure who was older than whom.  When I originally started, both Edward and Samuel were listed as being born in 1658, but nothing indicated they were twins. And since then, a source gave me a birthdate for Edward in 1657. But I also now have Samuel noted as being born in 1657.  Oh dear.

Samuel married also in 1677, to Abigail Fellows Ayers (1644-1714) who was quite a bit older than Samuel, if her birthdate is correct. One record gives her death date as 1723 rather than 1714. No one has been able to locate a grave for Samuel.

How many children they had is really debatable, and not something I'm willing to invest my time in today.  It looks as if the first birth was twins, which included the only girl.  Then there were 8 more possible births, according to Ancestry.    Samuel's death was in Rowley, Essex County, MA, and his probate was in Nov. of 1713, so his death was sometime just before that.

7.) Mark Ayers (1661-1727 Mark married either in 1684 or 86 to Sarah Williams Ayers (1666-1728).  They had a son named Mark Jr. born in 1682, then 3 more sons.  No information came up on the first son, but the other 3 were born in Portsmouth, Rockingham County, New Hampshire.  In 1689 Mark Sr. was listed as a Petitioner for Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I'm not really sure what that meant, but Ancestry lists it as a census data.  Sarah lived a year after Mark, both of them also dying in Portsmouth.  At least 2 of their sons were living beyond them.

8). Nathaniel Ayers (1664-1731) I already posted about Nathaniel and his wife, Amy Cowell Ferber Ayers (1657-1736)  HERE.

Inscription: Here lyes buried ye body of Mr Nathaniel Ayres aged 67 years & 6 mo dec'd December ye 4th 1731 Burial: Copps Hill Burying Ground Boston Suffolk County Massachusetts, USA Edit Virtual Cemetery info [?] Created by: Thomas A Hawkins Record added: Feb 24, 2004 Find A Grave Memorial# 8434381

 There are quite a few Ayers graves here.
Again there was a son born (Capt. Edward Ayers, 1685-1745) before the record of the marriage in 1686.  Their second child (no others are listed at Ancestry) was Ami (Annie) Ayers Swasey born in 1687 (or perhaps 1683 or 1685)..who married Samuel Swasey.

 This family also resided in Portsmouth NH, but Nathaniel was buried in Boston as the headstone attests, in Copp's Hill Burying Ground.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Not that anyone is interested in this, but I need to write it.

Sorry friends, this is a sharing that is beyond my usual journalling, because I do want to touch base with someone that might have a similar experience of loss.

Yes, grieving as I get used to living without my cat.  I find all this time that is now available, where I would have been thinking about how to help her, or would have been helping her in her critical last days, or would have been looking to see what would next be happening in her decline.  Now this time is mine to do with, and mine to have all these emotions with, and mainly mine to be so utterly alone with.

There's the standard stuff, suddenly being shocked as I walk into the next room, and it doesn't have her in her regular places.  I have gotten so I tell myself before I go into another location at home, "she won't be there."

There's the jolt of energy when I see something in the kitchen which was associated with her, all those bowls and plates to try to get her to eat something, anything.  I took out trash yesterday with the last of the little tidbits I'd been enticing her with.

Yes I have to gird my loins (whatever the heck that means) but mainly clinch my jaw and be strong enough to write a letter requesting the management to return my pet deposit, and include a copy of the invoice I paid the vet for her euthanasia.

I no longer have anyone to talk with.  I know, you would think I could just continue saying strange little things, like calling something (rather than her) a cute little poo-poo and asking her if she is ready to take her medicine, which I've hidden in yet another kind of nibble...instead of just being the strange old lady I often think I am.  But that isn't happening. I am quiet.

Nobody is mewing at me when I wake up. Nobody is cuddling next to me when I lie down in bed in the very particular way a formerly-feral cat would do...never a lap cat, but she would walk up and down beside me, using my hand to sort of pet herself, then settle in just that way that felt right.

I sing mental songs - little tidbits like "we're only here for a short while."  I pray, I meditate, I do all the things I'm remembering to do to honor the life that was shared with me.  I cry.

I remember she's the third death (in that series that old wives tales give us) and there were those really important humans that I've also lost in as many months.  But I wasn't living with them.  I do miss my daily talks via emails with Rosie, especially at the times I would most want to share and hear (read emails) how she was doing.

My dear friend had what would have been her 76th birthday last week, and I wrote her husband to share it...and he said their anniversary was also that week.  I'm sure he's living in a home which is soaked in her life still.

My cat, my friend and my sister are all honored on a little altar that has new photos of the cat centered on it.  When her ashes come home, they will join my other deceased cat that I lost 2 years ago.  I miss them both.

I'm working some clay therapy at the studio, sculpting some cats.  Not so much to look like Panther, but to give me some time to concentrate on catness.

Panther's spirit, wherever you may be, you made a big impact on my life for the 6 years we shared.  I hope I didn't let you down.  I fear I did. I will try to fill the gaps that you've left with joy and sharing with others the beauty that you shared with me.

She used to love sitting in front of the TV when Nature was showing. (See this old post about it.)

She had been feral and a friend had gradually invited her to come into breakfast, though she still lived out in the woods.  But by the time my friend died in 2012, Panther was used to being fed by her daily...and was even using a litter box.  So I asked if I could have her, though she would become an indoor cat.  She was the second "queen calico" in the house until Muffin died 2 years ago.
Panther used to love when people would come over to visit.  She would shyly watch, then lie in the middle of the floor, not to be petted.  She would start chasing her tail to amuse my guests.  It happened most of the times anyone visited.

The water bowl in the bathroom was her favorite place to drink.  A bowl of water by food in the kitchen just didn't taste the same somehow.

She started losing weight, and being very weak, but we found thyroid problems and started giving her pills for that.  Then the vet thought her mouth had problems, so we were looking to relieve pain by giving her transdermal pain relief on her ears twice a day.  It may have helped, but the last couple of months were spent mainly asleep.

There were many times I would throw treats across the floor, and Panther would chase them, and gobble them up.  I kind of limited it to 10 treats at a time.  Later she couldn't chew them, so we stopped doing that.  There are probably some (as well as other toys) under furniture which I haven't found yet.

I've donated all her paraphernelia to various sites and people who care for cats...but the scratching post is still here (where she never used it.)

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Susanna Symonds Ayers family

Susanna Symonds Ayers, (1617-1683) daughter of Mark Symonds (1584-1659) and Susan Edgar Symonds (1588-16179
I spoke earlier this week about her father and mother, Susan Edgar Symonds. (HERE)

Actually most of what I wrote referred to her step mother Joanna Symonds.  And I did mention that over on Ancestry, Susan Edgar Symonds had been merged with her husband's other wife, Joanna Symonds, to be Susan Joanna Edgar Symonds.  No such person! One commentator/researcher is quoted who thought that there was only one wife, but his comments referred to another generation completely.

I admit I copied information glibly from Ancestry...and used the unknown combined names at least once here on my blog.  Shame on me.  But here's a bit of an edited version of one of the old posts.

And here's a good link for Susanna Symonds Ayers husband Captain John Ayers, and Here to learn about the battle of Quaboag MA where he died.

Back to mother Susan Edgar.  She had been born in 1588 in Birch, Essex, England to Joseph Edgar (1565-1694) and his wife (maybe named Ann).  There is also a record of a Joanna Edgar, whose father was Joseph Edgar, but I'm waiting for more to say that she was Susan's sister. Apparently Susan married Mark Symonds in either 1609 in England, or 1612 in New England.  Her first child, Susan was born and died in 1610 in France or England.  Their next daughter Mary Symonds was born in Ipswich, Essex County, MA.  And their third one, Susanna was born in 1617 in Hull Yorkshire, England.  OK, there are some probable impossibilities here.

There were ships going back and forth to New England from old England regularly.  But why would Susan Edgar Symonds go back to England in 1617 when her last daughter was born?  Are the records (as few as there are) incorrect, or refer to another person entirely?

And how long did mother Susan live after the birth of my great times 8 grandmother?  We're pretty sure she died in 1619.  Her husband married his second wife, Joanna in 1620.  That meant the little girls were Mary 5 and Susanna 2 at the most when their mother died.

King Phillips War (colonials retreat after Indians burn Brookfield (Quaboag) MA (with support from French)
My great times 8 grandparents, Susanna and Captain John Ayers had 8 or 9 children before he was killed by Indians in 1675.  In her petition to courts to receive the property which had been abandoned at Quaboag, she said she had 7 sons and 1 daughter.  But other sources said she had 6 children.

Looking on my Ancestry tree, I've got John III, Thomas, Joseph, Susanna, Richard, Edward, Samuel, Mark and Nathaniel.  Richard wasn't on the list that Susanna gave the Massachusetts courts to reclaim her rightful land.  So I figure she must have knp[own who her children were! And since Richard was listed as born the same year as her son Edward, and in New London CT, rather than Ipswich, I'm pretty sure this Richard wasn't part of this Ipswich family.  Remember how John Ayers Sr. wasn't related to the Ayers family from Haverhill.

So I can change my tree on Ancestry.  It's pretty heady, taking an ancestor off.  He still exists, and is on my list of people, just doesn't show any more as child of my Ayers ancestors.

How about the other 6 children of Susanna and John? I didn't look in depth yet at their lives.  They also retreated from Quabog, and grew up in Ipswich, and were parties to the petitions their mother posed to reclaim her properties.

Oh geese, I just found a record of probate for Captain John Ayers, of Quaboag, listing an inventory of his possessions in 1676. Well, I can't read it, it's just listed at Ancestry.  I'm a bit surprised, and wish I could read it, because his tavern had been burned down by the Indians in 1675 when he was killed, and everyone in the town had fled. Perhaps it's related to how Susanna made her petition.

Print of Brookfield (Quaboag) MA being burned by Indians 1675

Monday, June 25, 2018

Mark Symonds' and wife Joanna of Ipswich, MA

Wasn't it fun (well I thought so) to explore some cousins a few times removed who lived in another historic area, Portsmouth NH?  (HERE) The Sherburne family certainly had lots of descendants.  From Henry who first arrived on the Ship James in 1631, to Joseph his great grandson, who lived in Boston and who had his portrait painted by Copley which now is owned by the New York Metropolitan Museum...a family which had many achievements. (Painting link here.) Then there were all the interesting women in the family as well.

OK, now to get back to my own roots, so to speak.

Joanna Symonds is my choice for today. She is second wife of my 9 times great grandfather, Mark Symonds.  My line goes through her predecessor, Susan Edgar Symonds.  Their daughter Susanna Symonds Ayers was my 8 times great grandmother.  For some reason the folks over at Ancestry decided (why?) to merge the two wives into one, Joanna Susanna!  Never mind the data that proves they were two separate people. I spoke about the 2 wives HERE.

Joanna's parents are unknown.  She did marry Mark Symonds in Ipswich, Essex County MA (or perhaps in Essex England) in 1620.  The same listing of New England Marriages before 1700 states Mark Symonds married his first wife in either 1609 or 1612.  It doesn't name his first wife, but it does give Joanna's first name.
The Preston-Foster house on Water St. in Ipswich MA 1790 (not an ancestor, just one of the early homes still standing in Ipswich)
Mark's will written on 25 April of 1659 gives Joanna as his wife's name, and assigns her the job of executrix. (He died on the 28th April.)  He also names his daughters, Susannah Ayers (my ancestress) and Abigail Pierce.  John Warner Jr. (husband of daughter Priscilla) is given a bequest, as well as his estate divided among the 3 daughters, (Susanna, Abigail, Priscilla) and the children of his deceased daughter, Mary Chapman.

"Joanna, the last wife of Mark Symonds stated in her will “God having given me two daughters,” Priscilla and Abigail. This indicates Joanna was not the mother of the older children, and that there was at least one earlier wife of Mark Symonds."

The Ipswich written record of deaths in 1659 lists Mark Symonds, but not that he's the husband of any surviving wife, though Joanna was definitely still alive.

She provided a written record of her inventory of Mark's possessions.

"debts __ from the estate ... delivered in court __ the _2th of June 1659 by Joanah Symonds relict of Marke Symonds as attest Robert Lord clerk"

All of Mark Symonds surviving children had married by the time he died.

Joanna lived another 7 years herself.  She wrote a will giving her 2 daughters bequests.

9 May 1666 – Joanna’s will proven in Ipswich Court:
I Joana Symonds of Ipswich . . . doe make and ordaine this my last will and Testament . . . And for my outward estate I . . . dispose God haueing given me two daughters which are maryed both and have children my will is equally to dispose of what estate I leave behind . . . unto my said two daughters and there children, i. e., namely unto my daughter Prisilla the wife of John Warner and to her children after her decease the one halfe of my estate And to my daughter Abigaill the wife of Robert Pearce the other halfe equally devided … I doe apoynt my loueing Sons in law John warner & Robert Pearce to be my executors . . . and doe declare this to be my last will and testament this sixt day of Aprill 1666. In presents of us William Goodhue, Robert Lord. Joana Symonds.
And an earlier document in Nov. 1659 following her husband's death, had showed that the sons in law (Chapman and Ayers) sold the house and lands, with agreement of the widow.
24 Nov 1659 – Ipswich Deed:
wheras ther was an estate left by Marke Symonds unto his children after the death of his wife. And by agreem* mutually betweene the widdow & them to alow the widdow a certeine Sum yearly dureing her life and for to devyde the estate presently, and by agreement betweene themselves, the lands with some other small things fell to Edward Chapman (who maryed one of Marke Symonds his daughters) for his part of the estate, And the house being by the consent of all hands put into the hands of John Ayres to make sale of . . . This therfore wittnesseth that I John Ayres for . . . four score pounds . . . sell vnto my Brother Edward Chapman of Ipswich the dwelling house, barne & land about it . . . three acres be it more or less . . . wch was lately Marke Symonds … In wittness whereof … 24 November 1659 . . . John Ayers and John Baker

Recorded 1st of Aprill 1673. by Robert Lord

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Goodbye to my last cat (I'm pretty sure)

Panther was euthanized this evening.  She had been steadily declining, but was having a very bad day today.

I'll keep the details to myself and my vet, and of course the sad little girl who wasn't happy at all about not being able to walk, eat or drink.  When she was being sedated she was so angry...with a lot of growling and hissing, and fighting those who were trying to help her.  She went out fighting.

But I was really falling down on my game.  I didn't set up any support for my emotions that were   inevitable.  Actually I hadn't planned this to be the day that everything fell apart.   Fortunately a few dear friends were open and available to let me cry into their ears.  I was able to drive home safely, and now am using a beer to help me dull my feelings, and get to sleep. I can't take care of the cat dishes or litter pan tonight.  They will be there in the morning.

For now, I need to get used to lying down in bed and not having a demanding furry creature want to be petted just this way, not any other way, this way.

Good bye dear Panther.

Webb family of Texas

I would like to shift gears, and go look at my mother's family again, which I haven't talked about for a while.

Today I'm going to look at the siblings of my grandfather who I never knew, Albert (Bud) Webb, (1891-1919). Bud was the next to youngest of 8 children of Leroy 1857-1921) and Annie Elizabeth Williams Webb (1862-1942).

It's also Mrs. Webb's birthday on June 20, so happy birthday great grandmother!
And this former post talks about Annie Williams Webb's ancestors who traveled west to Texas.
HERE is a former blog I wrote about Granddad Bud.

The photo below shows the Webb feed store, including some gentlemen standing up high (which is my link to this week's Sepia Saturday = see below!)

Here is a blog about his father, Leroy (Larry, Leary) Webb and his family.

I have looked a bit more at Bud Webb's older brother, John Webb (1880-1938) Here,
and HERE.

Great grandfather Leroy (or L. F. perhaps) lived with his family in San Antonio at 130 Lewis St. for several census reports. When my grandfather, Albert Bud Webb, signed his draft card in 1917, his address was 96 Lewis St, which is still a small cottage.  At that time he had married my grandmother, and my mother had just been born.

2016 street view of 125 Lewis St, San Antonio, TX  Google image, with some strange coloration through my printer!  There was no 130 Lewis St left (if it ever existed), but the curved 2 story porch on this house situated on a corner, says that it was thoughtfully created. This house now holds offices of a psychological practice.

Grandpa Bud's oldest brother, James Eugene Webb, (1878-1927) married in 1904 to Alvina (Ollie) Albrecht Webb, who had been born in Texas in 1885, and lived until 1971. She had a 4th grade education, and her father Wilhelm came from Germany, but her mother Louise Alwine Dorbritz Albrecht was born in Texas. Ollie was one of 18 children according to the list at Ancestry.  But she and J. E. only had one child.  So that's just 2 grandchildren of the Webbs, so far.

Many German immigrants settled in the area of West Central Texas, part of the Mexican and then early Texan effort to have settlers come and make new communities in the mid nineteenth century.

So after James E, the next son born was John Webb (as mentioned in 2 previous posts.)  He had 3 daughters, bringing grandchildren total to 5.

Then Annie and L. F. Webb had a little girl Laura, who only lived 5 years.  Next birth for Annie and L. F.  was Marguerite Ellen Webb Carroll (1883-1951). Her husband also had his name spelled Carrel, and apparently was born in Arkansas, so probably wasn't related to the Alabama Carrolls who also were on my family tree...though it's always a possibility.  Marguerite and David William Carroll  had one girl that I know of. (Grandchildren total now 6.)

The next youngest Webb was Thomas Ketch Webb, (1886-1959).  When he died in 1959 he was listed as owner of a small cafe in San Antonio.  In 1930 he owned a "Flour and Feed" store. At the census of 1940 he and his wife lived with her parents, and his father-in-law owned a cigar stand and Tom worked for him.  At age 56 he registered for the draft for WW II in 1942.  His wife was Lenora Augusta Bilhartz (Bichortz) Webb, (1896-1972) with either German or Swiss parents.  They had no children. I like knowing that they both returned from Rio de Janeiro in 1947 on a ship, which records include his Brazilian visa and photo.

The next Webb child was Clara Belle Webb Bruce, ( 1888-1971) who married Fred C. Bruce (1881-1972).  Again, they had no children. Fred also was a proprietor of a cafe, in the 1930 census.  He lived a year beyond his wife.

And the baby of the family, born in 1905, was L. F. Webb, Jr.   He and his wife, Evelin Lafortune Webb, lived with the senior Webb family in that house (above at 130 Lewis St.) in the San Antonio Directory of 1929.   There's also a Social Security claim (undated) after L. F.'s death in 1937 with a daughter Evelin listed, who died in 1999, born 1927.  But there's a change I just noticed.  After L. F., (a labor foreman for the Missouri Pacific railroad,) died in 1937, Evelin Lafortune Webb married again. I don't have the date, but the census of 1940 shows her tucked into the Shults family living in "rural Beaxar County TX"

So it looks as if her next husband adopted her daughter Evelin, and she became Evelin Shults...and whether others of the family had been from a former marriage of his, or they were born to Evelin Sr., there were 5 children then.  And that wasn't the last of Mrs. Webb Shults.  Her husband Lt. Ray Shults of the US Air Force died in 1980, and she remarried in 1985 to Alphonse Paul Donaubauer, whom she also outlived.  I don't know if she died in 1997, and the Social Security lagged behind, or if she lived until 2000, when Social Security listed.

I can only share what's available on Ancestry, after all.  So I'm adding the one child of  L. F. Jr and his wife, Evelin Webb, namely Evelin Webb Shuts, giving the Webb family 7 grandchildren, one of whom was my mother.

Sepia Saturday's offering this week show us...