Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sampson Wills’ accidental death in Wolverton, near Stony Stratford

 Commons

All Saints Calverton Church, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire (Attribution: Mr Biz, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons license)

Holy Trinity Church in Wolverton, Buckinghamshire, England (Attribution: John Salmon, Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons license)

While perusing some old UK newspapers, I came upon a list of coroner’s inquests that included the accidental death of stone mason Sampson Wills, one of my 4th great grandfathers, father of George Wills, and husband of Ann Gadsden.

I’d mentioned Sampson’s tragic accident in a previous post; he had fallen supposedly while attempting to affix the pinnacle of the All Saints Calverton Church in Wolverton (Buckinghamshire, England). His great grandson chemist G.S.V. Wills had documented the accident in his memoirs. G.S.V. gave no exact date, but based on what he’d written, I’d estimated that the death occurred around 1830.

The newspaper article, published in London’s Morning Post* on Wednesday, 18 April 1827, provides more definitive details, thankfully. For one thing, it places Sampson’s death in or before April 1827. I don’t know how long after a death an inquest would take place, but I assume within weeks? Any ideas?

Copyright restrictions prohibit me from including a clipping of the article here, but in a nutshell, it confirms a fall from Calverton Church– specifically from the east pinnacle which had recently been erected. Sampson had been cleaning it when the scaffolding beneath him gave way. The 50-foot fall left him with a serious concussion, and he died two days later.

The article states his age as 63. Unfortunately that throws into question the birth and christening dates I have for him: 26 Dec 1867 and 20 Mar 1768 (at the Holy Trinity Church in Wolverton), respectively; presumed parents: Thomas Wills and Elisabeth Rainbow. As always, just when one question gets answered,  two more appear in its place!

*Note: The results of the coroner’s inquest were also published in the Northampton Mercury and Oxford Journal newspapers at roughly the same time.

Categories: Death, Gadsden, Obituaries, Rainbow, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, Wills, Wolverton, Buckinghamshire | 2 Comments

Martha Nunn Capon – Haploid Group V

Martha Nunn Capon (cir. 1761-1843)

Martha Nunn Capon (cir. 1761-1843)

Well, still looking for the “Pitt connection” mentioned in the last post, but it does seem highly likely that the previously unnamed sitter for this old silhouette was indeed Martha Nunn Capon, my 4th great grandmother and Mary Capon Wills’ mother. I’m pleased because this is the farthest I’ve managed to get back on my maternal line, and this discovery coincides with another one: that genetically, my maternal line is haploid group ‘V’, a subgroup of ‘R0‘. Coincidentally, Benjamin Franklin and Bono are also “Vs”.

According to information provided by http://www.23andme.com, the company through which I had my DNA test, this group “originated in Iberia during the Ice Age. After a last burst of cold conditions roughly 12,000 years ago, migrations carried the haplogroup northward along the Atlantic coast and through central Europe to Scandinavia. Today it is found in a wide variety of populations from the Basques of Spain to the Saami of Finland”.

While I’d always known of my predominantly English, Irish, Dutch, and to a lesser extent German and French ancestry, I could never have imagined that I could have ancestry from Spain or be genetically linked to the Saami.

Haplogroup V - 23andme.com

Haplogroup V – 23andme.com

The amount of information you receive from 23andme on your ancestry is actually quite overwhelming, especially when it comes to deciphering the “lingo” and digesting the list of those genetically related to you. However, none of the 750+ people listed are closer than 3rd-6th cousins. I’m hesitant to start sharing information with people until I have a full grasp of what I am sharing. Hopefully, some day, some closer connections will present themselves. And, by then, I hope I will understand all this a bit better!

I might add that the health information–both the positive and the negative–is also definitely worth having. Definitely take advantage of the $99 offer if you are even mildly interested. You really do find out an extraordinary amount of information. You may even have, as I did, some “a-ha” moments. While reading through some of my genetic traits, I could not help but react with a few “a-ha”s like having a high tolerance of caffeine.

Apparently the V group is relatively rare, found in just about 4% of Europeans, with the biggest concentration in Scandinavia with the Saami (59%).

Mari El Republic in Russia

Mari El Republic in Russia

One other thing that kind of blows my mind as someone who spent a lot of time studying, working, and living in Russia: about 10% of the Mari people of the Volga-Ural region are group V. I actually almost ended up in the vicinity of the Mari who are to the north of the city of Kazan. In the early 1990s, when buying a train ticket to visit friends in Ryazan (3 hours to the southeast of Moscow), the ticket seller thought I said “Kazan” (some 11 hrs to the east). I did not scrutinize my ticket until just before I was leaving. Nor did I scrutinize the price since back then travel was extremely inexpensive by world standards; thankfully I realized the mistake before I boarded the train—an 11 hour train ride would have been quite a rude awakening to say the least.  Now, 20+ years later, I’d actually quite like to go east to visit the home of the Mari. It’s a funny old world, isn’t it?

Categories: Capon, DNA, Franklin, Benjamin, Sargent, Wills | Leave a comment

George Wills’ wife’s family: The Capons of Newport Pagnell?

 Is this Martha Nunn Capon?

Is this Martha Nunn Capon?

Wills Family Tree

Wills Family Tree

Ages ago, I posted numerous entries on the George Wills family of Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, England. (You can find them easily by clicking on the ‘Wills’ category under ‘Surnames’ in the column on the left of the page.)

2/15/1926 Obituary for Elizabeth Sargent Trewin

2/15/1926 Obituary for Elizabeth Sargent Trewin

As I’d mentioned previously, my mother had a silhouette passed down to her of a woman who was presumably Mary Capon’s mother. Mary Capon was married to George Wills, one of my 3rd great grandfathers. Information passed down to my mother indicated that Mary Capon’s mother was named Mary Pitt and that she (the mother) was a cousin of William Pitt. That’s the extent of the information we’ve had on the Capons. I’ve never found evidence of the Pitt connection, which was mentioned in my great grandmother’s obituary notice. Anyone reading this who knows of a Pitt link, please leave a comment!

Newport Pagnell proximity to Stony Stratford

Newport Pagnell proximity to Stony Stratford

Meanwhile, (using the Family Search website) I came upon a Capon family who lived in Newport Pagnell, a village that is just a stone’s throw from Stony Stratford: the father William Capon married the mother Martha Nunn on 13 July 1779 in Newport Pagnell. The couple had eight children that I know of. Two of them died as infants. There was a daughter named Mary whose date of birth (1789) could easily qualify her to have been George Will’s wife (George was born in 1793). Unfortunately, we’ve never had OUR Mary Capon’s DOB; if we did and the two DOBs matched, I’d have my answer.

I found wills on file with the National Archives for both William Capon and Martha Nunn. He died in spring 1801 and she survived until December 1843. I’ll provide transcriptions of the wills in an upcoming post. Sadly, they don’t help identify any relationship with the Wills family. However OUR Mary Capon Wills died in 1839, so the lack of a mention would be logical.

1-William Capon d. Bef 4 May 1801
+Martha Nunn b. 1761, d. Dec 1843, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England,
bur. 6 Dec 1843, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England

|–2-Mary Capon b. 8 Jun 1780, c. 6 Jul 1780, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire,
| England, d. 18 Feb 1781
|–2-William Capon b. 14 Jul 1781, c. 10 Aug 1781, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Martha Capon b. 2 Oct 1783, c. 28 Oct 1783, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Mary Capon b. 7 Mar 1789, c. 4 Apr 1789, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England

|–2-Rebecca Catherine Capon b. 25 Nov 1786, c. 1 Jan 1787, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England
|–2-Joseph Capon b. 16 Sep 1791, c. 6 Oct 1791, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England, d. 12 Feb 1792
|–2-Ann Capon b. 4 Jun 1795, c. 26 Jun 1795, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire,
| England
|–2-Joseph Capon b. 26 Jan 1793, c. 22 Feb 1793, Newport Pagnell,
| Buckinghamshire, England

So is there a connection or isn’t there? At least one of George Wills and Mary Capon Wills’ children were born in Newport Pagnell (Phoebe, b. 1818). The names of George and Mary’s children include both a William (1st born son) and a Martha (4th daughter). Was this in honor of William and Martha Capon? Anyway, it’s all very curious! If anyone out there has any clues, please get in touch!

From A Dictionary of English Surnames by P.H. Reaney, Oxford University Press, 1997: Capon, Cappon: Simon Capun 1227 FFC; Thomas Capoun 1382 LLB H. OE capun ‘a castrated cock’, metonymic for a seller of capons.

Categories: Capon, England, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire, Wills | Leave a comment

More ‘skeletons’ in Jaques’ family closet?

Last month, in a post dated April 19, I was opining on the wealthy Elizabethtown, NJ, tailor Isaac Jaques (my 3rd great grandfather) and wondering why I had never known that he and his wife Wealthy Ann Cushman had had children other than my 2nd great grandmother Wealthy Ann Jaques (married James W. Angus). It seems bizarre because my Dad was really big on family genealogy so the fact that he never knew about this kind of mystifies me. I know in the overall scheme of things, this stuff is not all that important, but I know my Dad would have been really amazed to find all this out. In any case, the newly updated tree (updated after nearly 100 years, ha ha) as it “stood” last month looked like this:

1-Isaac Jaques b. 8 Aug 1791, Woodbridge Neck, NJ, d. 24 Aug 1880,
Elizabethtown, NJ
+Wealthy Ann Cushman b. possibly 1796, Hartford, CT, d. 13 Apr 1856,
Elizabeth, Union Co, NJ
|—-2-Wealthy Ann Jaques b. 15 Dec 1815, New York City, New York. NY, d. 7 Mar
| 1892, At Home, 25 Reid Street, Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ
|—-2-Walter Jaques b. Cir 1826, New York City, New York USA; d. probably before 1860 (see update in past post)
|—-2-Christopher P. Jaques b. Cir 1832, New York City, New York USA
|—-2-Dr. Charles P. Jaques b. Cir 1834, New York City, New York USA, d. 2 Nov
| 1866, Brooklyn, Kings Co., NY
+Rebecca Robinson b. Cir 1811, CT, d. After 24 Aug 1880

Needless to say all those new developments left me feeling a tad suspicious (where there’s smoke, there’s fire, as the saying goes). I figured even more children may have existed given the age gaps between the four known children. Was Wealthy really the only child until Walter appeared 11 years later in 1826? Was there no child born after that until Christopher appeared six years later in 1832? I’ve discovered the answer to at least one of those questions is “No.”

But, before I continue, I just want to mention that I went back to try to figure out why I was so positive Wealthy (b. 1815) was an only child. The answer came when I looked Wealthy up in the voluminous Jaques Family Genealogy (edited by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques for the Jaques Family Association, published 1995). There on page 457, concerning Wealthy Ann Jaques, I read: …only child of Isaac and Wealthy A. (Cushman) Jaques… I actually read that several times to make sure I was not hallucinating!

The clues that there were other children have come from different places. I now know of 2, possibly 3 other children, and there may well be more.

The first is a daughter named Jane F. Jaques. I came across her on Genealogy Bank website in a marriage announcement that appeared in the Newark Daily Advertiser on Friday, January 6, 1837: In Elizabethtown… Mr. John D. L. Fletcher Birch, of Brooklyn, to Miss Jane F., daughter of Mr. Isaac Jaques of Elizabethtown… Then, on the Family Search website, I found a marriage record for her from 27 Dec 1836. The groom was J. D. La Fletcher Birch. I later found his name in some foreclosure notices where his name was listed as John W. De La Fletcher Birch.

Second Presbyterian Church, where the Isaac Jaques family was known to attend

Second Presbyterian Church, where the Isaac Jaques family was known to attend

Jane’s wedding took place three years before Wealthy Ann Jaques married, so my guess is that Jane was around Wealthy’s age, possibly a bit older. So far I have not been able to find a birth certificate so I have yet to prove this is our Isaac Jaques’ daughter, but the fact that the wedding took place in the 2nd Presbyterian Church (Elizabeth, Union Co., NJ) where the Jaques family were known to attend, and an “Isaac Jacques of this town” is shown as the father all looks a bit too coincidental. (Another “tie-in” could be the fact that Isaac had a sister named Jane F. Jaques, p. 434 of Jaques Family Genealogy, mentioned above. That Jane was married to John B. Quinn.) However, I know one must not assume anything, so I will keep searching for a more solid link. If anyone reading this has evidence pointing in either direction, please let me know.

The marriage record

The marriage record

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

Angus family home in Elizabeth, NJ, from 1848-1871

The next child I discovered was a son named Isaac Jaques. I have not yet found a birth certificate for him either, but his existence as a bona fide member of the Isaac Jaques (Sr.) family is mentioned fleetingly in genealogy papers published in 1969 by Harriet Stryker-Rodda: One Line of Descent of James Angus (1751-1806) (see page 11). In short, Wealthy Jaques Angus lived with her husband James at 927 Elizabeth Avenue in Elizabeth, NJ. (It was a grand home originally built by Moses Ogden in 1754.) The Anguses had purchased the home in 1848. James died in 1862, and Wealthy continued to live there …until Mrs. Angus sold it to her brother, Isaac Jaques, on 24 January 1871. I’ve tried finding out more about this Isaac, but so far “no luck”.

On a closing note, I’ve discovered one other child, so stay tuned. More to come!

[UPDATE 7/23/13: There have been many updates to this post. See posts:

Wayward Jaques son returns home in 1879

Oldest Jaques daughter: Jane F. Birch of Brooklyn, NY

John B. Jaques – Part I – The Early Years

John B. Jaques – Part II – The ‘Infamous’ Brooklyn Case

Monsieur Alphonse P. M. de la Flechelle (cir. 1792 – 14 October 1847)

John B. Jaques – Part III – The 1860s and an Alias, No Less

Civil War drummer boy John B. Jaques, Jr.: Mustered out 148 years ago today

1918 Summons Notice – Angus & Jaques Family Clues

Categories: Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Family Homes, Jaques | Leave a comment

Thomas Trewin of Woolwich, Co. Kent — Last Will & Testament (22 June 1854)

Almost a year ago, I mentioned finding the will of Thomas Trewin online via Discovery at the UK National Archives. You can find that post here. I believe I paid about $10 to download it. Well, I finally got around to deciphering it, sadly not in its entirety, but I think I ‘got’ most of it; the handwriting is difficult to read and the bottom portion is somewhat smudged. I’ll keep taking a stab at figuring out the bits left blank so hopefully at some point they’ll all get filled in.

I’m not allowed to publish the original document so here is my transcription. Feel free to offer corrections. Update 11/2/13: Thanks to Pat Trewin for filling in the blanks of my original transcription.

Google Maps’ link to 27 Joseph Street

Will retrieved from Discovery, UK National Archives online. Transcribed and published in this blog with permission of PJ/UK National Archives

Will retrieved from Discovery, UK National Archives online. Transcribed and published in this blog with permission of PJ/UK National Archives

Categories: Last Wills and Testaments, Plumstead Greater London, Trewin, Woolwich, Greater London | 2 Comments

Samuel B. Jaques (d. 1798/9) of Woodbridge, New Jersey

kapowWhen poking around various websites (Ancestry, Family Search, Rootsweb, etc.) for more information about Samuel B. Jaques, Isaac Jaques‘ father, I was bombarded with all sorts of conflicting, head-spinning information.  You really have to be careful sifting through all the information that’s ‘out there’ because some trees have been very hastily assembled. I found one tree that had three wives attached to the one husband and date-wise, it was obvious that two of the wives belonged elsewhere: one would have been 6 at the time of her ‘marriage’ and the other one would have been dead! But, anyway, most of you have probably seen similar discrepancies. People make mistakes; I know I make mistakes, and sometimes I don’t spot them until much later. The moral of the story is, of course, don’t assume anything and look for folks who have done bona fide research and provide sources. Always check and double-check yourself, when you can. Not easy I know — few of us have time to travel to different states and countries to look at original documents, etc. I know I don’t, much as I would absolutely love being able to do just that. As an aside — and this is something that never crossed my mind before — I read that some people actually manipulate their trees so they connect themselves to famous historical figures — Presidents, the Pilgrims, you name it. I was shocked — so yes, you do have to be very careful.

At any rate, at times this Samuel B. Jaques search had me feeling I was up against the ropes with all jabs heading in one direction — toward me. “Kapow!” from the old Batman series came to mind quite a bit. When I finally got my bearings, I was left with quite a different scenario from the one I’d expected. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

Prior to this new search, I’d always thought that Samuel was the son of Henry Jaques IV (1700-9 Jan. 1751; ‘Henry the Mariner’) and Rebecca Rolph*, daughter of Benjamin Rolfe of Woodbridge, NJ. Other children of the Jaques-Rolph union were Ruth Jaques Hubbell, Henry Jaques V, Colonel Moses Jaques (brickmaker who worked with Samuel B. Jaques), and David Jaques (merchant). While I’d read in Angus family genealogy papers that Henry had had a first wife (name not supplied), I assumed the children were all products of the second marriage to Rebecca.

But, as is often the case when researching one’s ‘roots’, some surprises emerge. Henry the Mariner indeed had a first wife — Hannah Walker  who died on 9 May 1733 (aged ’23 years and 2 months’) — and evidence suggests that Hannah was Samuel B. Jaques’ mother. The remaining children were all a product of the second marriage. The marriage between Henry and Hannah took place circa 1730 in Woodbridge, New Jersey, and Samuel presumably appeared shortly thereafter.

Helpful in figuring this out was a ‘Pedigree Resource File’ located at the Family Search site; the file’s owner quotes copious sources that include wills, cemetery and church records, and other documents, many of which he/she saw firsthand. According to his/her research, Henry and Hannah are both buried in the First Presbyterian Church’s (Woodbridge, NJ) graveyard. I also found corroborating information regarding Hannah and Samuel that came from Jaques Family Genealogy by Roger Jaques and Patricia Jaques (Decorah, Iowa: Anundsen Publishing Company, 1995).

Some Pedigree File info didn’t add up for me such as the date of the Rolph marriage being in 1743/4. I presume that may be a typo since that would have meant three of the other four children were born out of wedlock. 1733/34 would fit much better as Ruth Jaques appeared about 1735.

I am hoping to get my hands on the Jaques Family Genealogy book soon to see whether it contains information about Samuel B. Jaques’ and Mary Coddington’s descendants. At the moment, I am only aware of three children: Lewis, Isaac, and a female who was a year younger than Isaac and married to someone with the surname Quinn. By the way, Samuel’s middle initial “B.” according to Angus family records, stands for “Barron”. I am curious as to where that name came from.

One other extremely curious thing about Samuel is that — if the dates I have are correct–his firstborn arrived when he was 53, and Isaac (my ancestor) arrived when he was 62. You may recall that the ‘In Memoriam article’ about Isaac said that his father (Samuel) died when he (Isaac) was ‘about seven’, which would be around 1798/9. So other than brick-making, what had Samuel been doing during all those years of bachelorhood? Or had he been married before? The saga never ends!

Samuel Barron Jaques
Born: 1730, Woodbridge, Middlesex Co., NJ
Married: Mary Coddington
Died: 1798/9, Gravel Hill, near Rahway, NJ
Buried: Locust Grove Cemetery, Woodbridge, Middlesex, NJ
Commanded a Rahway company during the Revolutionary War; employed in the brick-making business and built one of the first large brick houses on Whitehall Street, NYC.

Jaques Family Links
Jaques Register Report
Family Search – Jaques family pedigree

*Middlesex Co., New Jersey Will #2485-2488: 2nd wife was ‘Rebecca Rolph Alston’ so she had been married previously.

6/27/13 UPDATE: I have since acquired a copy of Jaques Family Genealogy which sheds more light on Samuel’s family. I’ll try to do an updated post soon.

Categories: 1st Presbyterian Woodbridge NJ, Jaques, Locust Grove Woodbridge NJ, Walker, Woodbridge | 2 Comments

Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques (d. 13 Apr. 1856)

The small notice in the New York Times published on April 15, 1856, stated:  At Elizabeth, NJ, on Sunday morning [Apr 13], wife of Isaac Jaques, in the 62d year of her age. The relatives and friends of the family are respectfully invited to attend her funeral, this (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock, from her late residence. Apart from the fact that Wealthy Ann (Cushman) Jaques was born in Hartford, Connecticut, I know little else about her. I’ve no idea where she got her interesting name, whether from her mother or another relative, but I do know that she was the namesake for a number of her female descendants including her daughter Wealthy Ann (Jaques) Angus.

I received her church and cemetery death record information in the mail last week from the NJ State Archives. One record came from Robt Boyle, Sexton of the 2nd Presbyterian Church of Elizabeth, who recorded “deaths in the Township of Elizabeth County of Union State of New Jersey, from the 8th day of April 1856 to the 1st day of June 1857”:

Date of death: April 14 [inaccurate according to the New York Times obit. info]
Name of deceased: Wealthy Ann Jaques
Sex of deceased: Female
Married or single: married
Age: 61 years 4 mos.
Occupation: none listed
Place of death: Elizabeth
Place of birth: Hartford, Conn.
Name of parents: Mr. & Mrs. Cushman
Cause of death: Consumption [a.k.a. pulmonary tuberculosis]
Time of making record: 20 March 1857

Evergreen Cemetery records kept by James Arness [spelling?], Superintendent, listed the following:
Date of death: April 13
Name of deceased: Wealthy Ann Jaques
Sex of deceased: Female
Married or single: married
Age: 61 years
Occupation: none listed
Place of death: Elizabeth City
Place of birth: none listed
Name of parents: none listed
Cause of death: Consumption
Time of making record: 16 April 1856

I am glad I sent off for the record. Not only does it clarify the place of burial and the cause of death, but it also helps pin down her previously elusive date of birth to circa 13 December 1794.

Categories: Connecticut, Cushman, Death, Death Certificates, Elizabeth, Union Co., Evergreen Cemetery, Hillside, NJ, Hartford, Jaques, New Jersey, Obituaries | Leave a comment

Robert P. Brodhead post updated

I have updated the Robert P. Brodhead post of 10 June 2011; to view the changes, please click here and scroll down.

Categories: Brodhead | Leave a comment

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