Monthly Archives: November 2016

Wealthy Ann Cushman Jaques and the possible Mayflower connection

View of Plymouth Harbor fall or spring of 1973

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.)

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Elizabeth Daily Journal obit for Job Winans Angus Jr.

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.

life_1904

Life Magazine 1904

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.

Categories: Angus, Connecticut, Cushman, Elizabeth, Union Co., Hartford, Jaques, Mayflower 1620, New Jersey | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

A Florida Friday: Mangrove tunnels

map

Cropped from Colton’s United States of America. Published in 1865 by J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York. Credit: http://www.davidrumsey.com

We recently took a canoe ride along a portion of the Blackwater River which starts at the 7,271-acre Collier Seminole State Park on the western edge of the Everglades and takes you out several miles through a vast mangrove swamp until you reach the Ten Thousand Islands. Were it not for the fact that the mangroves produce tannin, the water would be crystal clear (which would be much more comforting for the purpose of alligator spotting!). It’s an incredibly peaceful experience; just remember your bug spray and sunscreen and to stay in your canoe so you don’t bring home any physical souvenirs (or lose a limb!). We’ve done this trip several times, and the mangrove tunnels where the river narrows are (for me) the most special part of the journey. The water is like glass and the reflection of the mangroves on the water makes for some heavenly scenes. In winter there’s the added benefit of seeing lots of birds.

When you go through such uninhabitable terrain, it is easy to see why the Seminole Indians were never defeated, and also easy to see why the author of the below small article on the Ten Thousand Islands, published in 1886, found this part of Florida “desolate” and “gloomy” in comparison with the northern part of the state, which was fairly well inhabited and offered comforts that clearly would have been absent in south Florida at that time. Coming here in the hot and humid months of the year especially, one can be eaten alive by no-see-ums and mosquitoes and burnt to a crisp by a relentless and unforgiving sun. The article was printed in November, so hopefully the author escaped the worst of the bugs and weather—in any case, he lived to tell his tale!

Thankfully, we 21st-century South Floridians are able to enjoy these wild  environments by day and return to the comforts of our homes at night.

Have a tranquil weekend, all.

mangroves

Blackwater River mangrove tunnel, November 2016

Starting point for the Blackwater River with canoe/kayak launch area in distance

Starting point for the Blackwater River with canoe/kayak launch area in distance

ten_thousand_islands1Daily Alta California, Friday, November 12, 1886 (Credit: California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside - . All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use.)

Daily Alta California, Friday, November 12, 1886 (Credit: California Digital Newspaper Collection, Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research, University of California, Riverside – . All newspapers published before January 1, 1923 are in the public domain and therefore have no restrictions on use.)

Mango [sic] trees on the jungle trail, Palm Beach, Fla. - Detroit Publishing Company, 1910-1920 Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

Mango [sic] trees on the jungle trail, Palm Beach, Fla. – Detroit Publishing Company, 1910-1920 Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.

Categories: Florida, Ten Thousand Islands | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Garret Brodhead’s Wheat Plains Farm in Pike Co., PA, needs your support

"Wheat Plains," the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

Circa 1900: “Wheat Plains,” the old Brodhead Homestead, Pike Co., Pennsylvania

The sad state of the Wheat Plains house

2016: The sad state of the Wheat Plains house – victim of the Tocks Island Dam project

Hello, Brodhead descendants & anyone with an interest in Pennsylvania history! You may not be aware of an important project that could greatly use your support: the restoration of Wheat Plains Farm in Pike County, Pennsylvania, the old Garret Brodhead (1730-1804) family homestead that Brodhead family members were forced to abandon in the 1970s due to the Tocks Island Dam project. Below is a letter just received from James and Barbara Brodhead who are spearheading the DePuy-Brodhead Family Association’s efforts to restore the home (now managed by the National Park Service). So please take a few moments to read the below letter and see if you can lend your support. PS: Next summer’s DePuy-Brodhead Family Association annual reunion is likely to be held there; it would be extremely positive if as many Brodhead descendants as possible made the effort to be there to show the NPS that the home’s fate is of concern to many, not just a few. I hope to be there—a great opportunity to support a great cause and meet cousins of all kinds.

 

Dear Family,

As many of you know, some members of the DePuy/Brodhead Family Association have been working with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area to preserve the Wheat Plains house. Wheat Plains is the farm started by Garret Brodhead on the land he received as partial payment for his service in the Revolutionary War. From 1790 the farm was owned by the Brodhead family until it was sold to Cornelius Swartout in 1871. Robert Packer Brodhead purchased back the farm in 1896 and his descendants remained there until the 1970’s when the land was acquired by eminent domain as part of the Tocks Island Dam Project. The Army Corp of Engineers headed the project. Later the Army Corp of Engineers determined that the river bed would not support the dam. The land then was transferred to the National Parks Service (NPS) who now manages the property. There are currently about 700 buildings remaining in the park on both sides of the Delaware River. Some have historical significance and most have sentimental value. Many buildings are in poor condition. Wheat Plains is structurally sound and it sits in a prominent place on highway 209.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (DWGNRA) is developing a long range plan to identify which buildings should be restored, maintained, or removed. The NPS has limited funds to do this work. Included in their consideration is the cost of maintenance and what the long term usage of the structure will be. Without a defined usage the preservation efforts will be limited.

Now to get to the purpose of this letter. We have been encouraged to send letters to the Superintendent of the DWGNRA and express our interest and support of preserving Wheat Plains or other structures. Please write a politely worded letter expressing your personal interest in preserving Wheat Plains farmhouse and property. Please include personal memories and historical facts that you have. If you have ideas for the usage for the house, (i.e. museum, vacation rental, etc.) please include that also. These letters need to be sent by the end of the year in order to be included in the evaluation process. The sooner the letters arrive the better. The Association created a good impression when we helped clean the house in 2015. It showed the NPS how much we care and your letter will add to that.

When writing your letter please remember that the NPS had nothing to do with taking the land; they were given the task of maintaining it. Please keep your letter kind and considerate.

Please address your letter to:
John J. Donahue, Superintendent
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area &
Middle Delaware National Scenic and Recreational River
1978 River Road
Bushkill, PA 18324

Please also send copies of your letter to the following at the address above or email a copy to the addresses
given below:
Judson Kratzer – Judson_Kratzer@NPS.gov
Jennifer Kavanaugh – Jennifer_Kavanaugh@NPS.gov

We are in the initial stages of organizing a “Friends of Wheat Plains” non-profit org. to collect donations to help support the preservation of Wheat Plains. More information coming.

We sincerely thank you,
James and Barbara Brodhead
425-418-4742

Categories: Brodhead, Delaware Water Gap, Pennsylvania, Pike Co. | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

A Florida Friday: Coquina ‘flashback’

1966_st_augustine

January 1966 visit to St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos (that’s little moi in the white glasses with mom & big sis)

Below are some shells seen and collected during a recent outing to Sanibel Island… among them, the tiny, colorful coquina. Millions line the shore, and at low tide, you can watch them jiggle and maneuver as they wait, and hope, for the tides to shift back in their favor.

coquina12

Coquina shells

Whenever I see coquina shells, St. Augustine always comes to mind. If you’ve been to that beautiful, historic city on Florida’s NE coast, you know that the Spanish quarried coquina rock (a limestone composed of sand and mollusk shells found in NE Florida) to build their Castillo de San Marcos (known for some time as Fort Marion) from 1672 to 1695.

I first saw the fortress at age 5, and it, and the coquina rock, made a huge impression on me. The old ‘downtown’ as well, of course, which was supplemented by Henry Flagler’s amazing architectural creations in the 1880s. What kid would not be awestruck by all that?! And, goodness, let’s not forget Ponce de Leon’s ‘Fountain of Youth‘ up the street from the fort. (I think I am way more interested in that fountain now than I was even back then!!! 😉 )

Of course, I’m not alone—for generations, St. Augustine has been casting a spell on travelers. I found one visitor’s account from 1890 (below; scroll down); much of what they wrote about then could easily be experienced today.

Well, have a good weekend all; we’ve ‘cooled down’ here to a chilly 82! I think we’ll go fishing.
coquina3
coquinas


coquinas2coquina8

St. Augustine, Florida, 1898

Fort Marion, St. Augustine and harbor, Detroit Publishing Company, 1898 (Library of Congress image LCCN2008678231 - No known restrictions on publication)

Fort Marion, St. Augustine and harbor, Detroit Publishing Company, 1898 (Library of Congress image LCCN2008678231 – No known restrictions on publication)

A visitor’s perspective – Duluth Evening Herald, Saturday, March 15, 1890
(courtesy of http://www.fultonhistory.com)

coquina_fl1coquina_fl2coquina_fl3coquina_fl4

Categories: Florida, Sanibel Island, St. Augustine | 6 Comments

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