I had an email the other day from someone representing the local chapter of the Mayflower Society, asking me how things were going with my attempts to link my third-great-grandmother Wealthy Ann (Cushman) Jaques with Mayflower passenger Mary Allerton.
I had not worked on this since before my mother fractured her leg two years ago, and I recalled that there had been some formidable-looking brick walls to hurdle. I advised her of such and then spent a day refreshing my memory and retracing my steps to see if I had missed anything or anything new had surfaced online.
Pretty much everything was as before with the remarkable exception of the appearance of Eleazar Cushman’s 1795 will on Ancestry.com. As you may recall, my theory has been that this Eleazar Cushman was the son of Seth Cushman and Abiah Allen, baptised on 17 July 1768 in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and that he and his wife Mercy (Marcia) Toocker are Wealthy’s parents. (See my previous posts on this topic by typing “Mayflower” into the search box.)
Eleazar (Eleasur) died on 9 August 1795 at age 27 and is buried in the Center Church Ancient Burying Ground in present-day downtown Hartford, CT. Per the Mortuary Notice, Connecticut Courant, Mon., 10 Aug 1795, he was a ship carpenter and died suddenly of “…drinking too freely of cold water.” For an interesting post “Drinking Cold Water and Other 19th Century Causes of Death,” which cites a famous doctor’s observations from 1805—not long after Eleazar died, click here.
Eleazar’s estate’s executors were James Hillyer and Joseph Toocker. This Joseph Toocker was either Mercy’s father or brother, both named Joseph, probably her father.
The materials include a statement submitted by Mercy:
“Hartford April 2nd, 1796 / This Certifies that it is at my request and desire that James Hillyer of Hartford should undertake as Administrator of the Estate of My husband Eleazar Cushman Late of Hartford (illegible word) witness my hand. Mercy Cushman”
The Administrator’s account of the estate, dated April 9, 1796, is not entirely legible to me. It includes an inventory page and an expenses page.
The inventory, which contains 26 items valued at £8.46, includes “one feather bed. under bed and pillows,” sheets and pillowcases, “one old jacket,” “one pair old shoes,” “one old cotton jacket,” “one cravat,” “eight earthen plates”, “stone jugg,” “frying pan,” “shovel & tongs,” “looking glass,” “one set of silver teaspoons,” “chest of drawers,” “9 knives & forks very old,” “iron teakittle” and a few other things.
The expenses page includes items totaling £8.46: burial and grave digging (90 p.), coffin (£1.90), 60p for one doctor and 36p for another, and what appears to be monies (£4.06) for “household furnishings allowed the widow” and “provisions for the family.”
One other thing in the inventory, which really caught my eye, was “rocking cradle” valued at 30p. Could this be the cradle in which my third-great-grandmother spent her earliest of days???
The “quest” continues… It’s not something that keeps me up at night by any means, but I do hope to connect the dots someday for the sake of the young ones in the family and those in my family tree who back in the 1930s tried, but failed to link their great-grandmother Wealthy Ann Cushman to the famed Mayflower passenger.