Happy Thanksgiving to all this blog’s readers! Thank you for your support and encouragement this past year, and thanks to all of you who have shared information, supplied material for guest posts, or written guest posts yourself. I have seen this blog continue to help people connect with family members near and far, and for that I am also very grateful.
Today’s post may be of interest to descendants of Isaac Jaques and Wealthy Ann Cushman and it concerns the possible familial link between Wealthy and the youngest of the Mayflower’s 102 passengers—Mary Allerton. (Anyone out there with information on that link, please do get in touch via the comment box below or my email address which appears on the ‘About’ page.)
I had absolutely no idea when I visited Plimoth Plantation at age 12 that I may be related Mary Allerton. I recall wandering that open-air museum on a very cold and raw day, thinking about what it must have been like to get through just one day of life in the 1620s, let alone entire months and years. Brrr—just thinking about it makes me cold. (Ever see the episode of Colonial House where Oprah and her friend Gayle “go back in time” 400 years to experience life in a Maine settlement? See https://vimeo.com/2811969. Again, all I can say is Brrrrrrrrrrr….) Our foreparents were made of extremely tough stuff! (Four hundred years from now, they may be saying that about us, which is hard to imagine given how comfortable life is today, compared to 400 years ago.)
Forward to 2016. You may recall that I was somewhat flabbergasted this past summer to come across an obit for Job Winans Angus Jr. in which it was stated that Job had an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower. A little hand-written note I found from Job’s nephew Thomas Russum seemed to confirm that this was indeed something worth exploring even if it was, perhaps, wishful thinking on their part. The ancestor on whom all this hinged was Wealthy Ann Cushman: wife of Isaac Jaques, mother of Wealthy (Jaques) Angus, and my third-great-grandmother. Thomas’s note mentioned a father Eleazer and a mother Mary Zooker/s with a question mark next to her first and last names. The year of death for Eleazer was given as 1792, again with a question mark. The mother “Mary? Zooker/s?” was noted as having remarried someone named Keeney and having had two children with him: Aaron and Jane. I did find a death record for a Mercy Keeney who was presumably born around 1779. If the circa 1779 birth date is accurate, she would have given birth at age 14/15, so this may be a red herring; if the date is off and she was older when Wealthy was born, this could be the correct Mercy.
I subsequently found, on page 206 of Families of Early Hartford, an Eleasur Cushman listed as having been buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford, Connecticut: “Eleasur Cushman died Aug 9, 1795 ae 27 bur Center Church. Widow Mercy Cushman.” I believe this Eleasur may very well be the father of Wealthy Ann Cushman, who was born in Hartford, CT, on November 11, 1793, and that “Mary? Zooker/s?” was Mercy Cushman, but proving that is an entirely different thing. (Wealthy Ann Cushman married Isaac Jaques on Feb 4, 1812, and they named their second son Eleazer (b. 1820), which may be more than coincidence).
Another thing to prove is the link back from Eleasur Cushman of Hartford to his parents—possibly Seth Cushman (1734-1771) and Abiah Allen. They had a son named Eleazer, born July 17, 1768 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. If you add 27 years to 1768, you come up with 1795, the year of death of Hartford’s Eleasur Cushman.
The links between Seth Cushman and Mary Allerton (1616-1699; wife of Thomas Cushman, 1608-1691) have all been proven and are all documented.
So the challenge is to definitively connect Wealthy Ann Cushman with Eleasur Cushman and Eleasur Cushman to Seth Cushman. If those connections don’t exist, it will be back to square one. I contacted the Connecticut State Archives hoping for some clues about the Cushman family of Hartford, but they had nothing new to tell me. I also contacted the Mayflower Society (MS), but they had no information on anyone using Seth and Abiah Cushman’s son Eleazer to prove Mayflower ancestry. It is up to us descendants to do it. The MS was very helpful and supportive, so as time goes on, maybe they will help steer me in some fruitful directions.
I know from reading some letters that Wealthy’s daughter Wealthy (Jaques) Angus of Elizabeth, NJ, stayed in contact with Hartford relatives and visited them periodically, but I have found no new clues that would better ID them. Perhaps, someone out there has a box of old letters that contains some answers?
Anyway, we are standing before a brick wall of sorts and hopefully, we’ll figure it all out. Perhaps, in time for next Thanksgiving – 2017? It would be fun to be able to pass this info on to the little ones in the family. We shall see!
Again, best wishes to you all for a very blessed Thanksgiving 2016.