Andover, Connecticut

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My oscar winning cousin :)

Did you know we were related to Katherine Hepburn, the four time Oscar winning actress. Her Eighth Great-Grandparents, Robert Parke and Martha Chaplin are my Ninth Great-Grandparents. I think that makes us second cousins, eight times removed. Does that sound right?

This photo is by Alfred Eisenstaedt who used
to live in the building where I now live!

Here's how it Goes:

.....................................1. Robert Parke
.....................................+Martha Chaplin
2. Samuel Parke.............................................2. Thomas Parke
+ Martha ?......................................................+ Dorothy Thompson
3. William Parke.............................................3. Dorothy Parke
+ Jane Bordwyn.............................................+ Joseph Morgan
4. Abigail Park................................................4. Dorothy Morgan
+ David McWithey.........................................+ Ebenezer Witter
5. Simeon McWithey.....................................5. William Witter
+ Sarah Van Deusen......................................+ Hanna Freeman
6. Levi McWithey...........................................6. Mary Witter
+ Lorinda Church...........................................+ Oliver Spaulding
7. Jane Stephens McWithy...........................7. Erastus Spaulding
+ Nicholas Jones Rosenburg........................+Jennet Mack
8. Elizabeth Delphine Rosenburg..............8. Marth Spaulding
+ Marcus Edwin Hooker...............................+Lemon Garlinghouse
9. Jenny Estella Hooker................................9. Caroline Garlinghouse
+ John Emil Dahlquist Sr..............................+Alfred Houghten
10. John Emil Dahlquist Jr...........................10. Katherine Houghten
+ Florence Mary Bowman............................+ Thomas Hepburn
11. Debra Florence Dahlquist.......................11. Katherine Hepburn
+ Edward Deck Munson
12. Scott Edward Munson

Our common ancestors, Robert and Martha (Chaplin) Parke arrived in Boston from England in 1630 on board the ship Arabella. Robert served a time as secretary to the first governor of Massachusetts, John Winthrop. The couple moved to the newly settled town of Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1639 where Martha died after a short time. Robert served as Deputy to the General Court in 1641 and 1642. He married Alice Freeman in 1644. In 1649, the couple moved to New London, where their newly built barn served as the first house of worship. They finally settled in Stonington where Robert died in 1664 at the age of 84. Alice died two months later.

Monday, June 28, 2010

William the Conqueror, King of England

Ok. It's been a while since I posted, and I promised you royalty, so this is as good a time as any to end the suspense. This ancestry line is actually on the Munson side flowing through my Fourth Great Grandmother, Nancy Nash, and our immigrant ancestor, Elizabeth (St. John) Whiting.

William I, King of England was my Twenty-ninth Great-Grandfather. He was born about the year 1027 in Normandy. Because he was the illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, he was called William the Bastard by his detractors. His father died when he was seven, leaving the succession as Duke of Normandy to William in his will. He became King of England on Christmas Day 1066.

I won't recount a full biography of William the Conqueror here. You can google his name to get a wealth of information. He died in 1087.

1. William the Conqueror, King of England
+ Lady Matilda
2. Princess Gundred
+ William, Earl of Warren
3. William, second Earl of Warren and Surrey
+ Lady Isabel de Vermandois
4. Lady Gundred de Warren
+ Roger de Newburgh
5. Waleran de Newburgh
+ Lady Alice, daughter of John d'Harcourt
6. Lady Alice de Newburgh
+ William de Manduit, Baron of Hanslape
7. Lady Isabel de Manduit
+ William, fifth Baron of Beauchamp
8. Walter de Beauchamp, Baron of Alcester & Powyke
+ ???
9. Giles de Beauchamp, Baron of Alcester & Powyke
+ ???
10. Roger de Beauchamp, first Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
11. Roger, second Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
12. Sir John, third Baron Beauchamp
+ ???
13. Lady Margaret de Beauchamp
+ Sir Oliver de St. John
14. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Alice, daughter of Ser Thomas Bradshaw
15. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Sybil
16. Sir John de St. John
+ Lady Margaret, daugher of Sir William Walgrave
17. Oliver St. John
+ Agnes Fisher
18. Thomas St. John
+ ???
19. Sir Oliver St. John
+ Sarah Bulkley
20. Elizabeth St. John (immigrant ancestor)
+ Rev. Samuel Whiting (immigrant ancestor)
21. Rev. Joseph Whiting
+ Mary Danforth
22. Samuel Whiting
+ ???
23. Benjamin Whiting
+ Rebecca Parmelee
24. Benjamin Whiting
+ Esther Merriman
25. Esther Whiting
+ Captain John Nash
26. Nancy Nash
+ Stephen Munson
27. John Nash Munson
+ Mary J. Warner
28. George W Munson
+ Eleanor A Parsons
29. Joseph Willard Munson
+ Ida E Hotchkiss
30. Sir George Willard Munson of Winsted, Connecticut
+ Lady Ruth E Koerner of Greenwich, Connecticut
31. Lord Edward Deck Munson of Columbia, Connecticut
+ Lady Debra Florence Dahlquist of Wells, Maine
32. King Scott Edward Munson of Jackson Heights, New York
Just in case my claim to the thrown is questioned, I have discovered a second line of ancestry to King William I which goes through my great-grandmother, Ida Hotchkiss. I will post this in the future.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thomas Danforth & The Salem Witch Trials

Tenth Great-Grandfather

1. Thomas Danforth
+ Mary Withington
2. Sarah Danforth
+ Rev. Joseph Whiting
3. Samuel Whiting
+ unknown wife
4. Benjamin Whiting
+ Rebecca Parmelee
5. Benjamin Whiting
+ Esther Merriman
6. Esther Whiting
+ Captain John Nash
7. Nancy Nash
+ Stephen Munson
8. John Nash Munson
+ Mary J Warner
9. George Willard Munson
+ Eleanor A Parsons
10. Joseph Willard Munson
+ Ida E Hotchkiss
11. George Willard Munson
+ Ruth Koerner
12. Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
+ Debra Florence Dahlquist
13. Scott Edward Munson

Thomas Danforth was born in Framingham, Suffolk, England in November 1622. He was the fourth child of Nicholas and Elizabeth (Symmes) Danforth, members of a wealthy family who sympathized with the separatist puritans. His mother died when he was only seven, and his father decided to sell his estate and head to the New World when King Charles I decided to impose a heavy annual tax on wealthy people for a title which Nicholas did not want.

Nicholas and his six children, including Thomas, joined his brother-in-law, Zechariah Symmes, on board the ship Griffin which arrived in Massachusetts in 1634. In the first of two connections to Thomas Hooker, this is the same ship which carried Rev. Hooker across the Atlantic a year before. The second connection takes place in 1636 when Nicholas purchases land from Thomas Hooker in Cambridge when Hooker leaves for Hartford, Connecticut. Nicholas died in April of 1638 in Cambridge, Massachusetts where the family had settled.

As the oldest son, Thomas would have inherited a considerable portion of his father's wealth. He may have helped raising his younger siblings and was admitted to the Dorchester church in 1741 at the age of 19 - a big deal at the time. On February 23, 1643/4 he married Mary Withington, the daughter of Henry Wilthington who was the first ruling elder of that church. Together Thomas and Mary had twelve children, but only three daughters survived him, including my Ninth Great-Grandmother Sarah who married Rev. Joseph Whiting. Six of the Danforth's children died before the age of two.

In 1645, at the age of 26, he was appointed selectman and Town Clerk of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Actor Paul Scofield played Judge Thomas Danforth in
the movie version of the Crucible. Not a guy you'd want
to see on the bench when you show up for court!

Even though Thomas never attended college, he was appointed treasurer of Harvard college in 1650, a position he would hold for nineteen years. After that, he served another 13 years as it's steward. His father had given considerable funds to start the college and his younger brother, Samuel, was a member of the second class to graduate from Harvard in 1643. Josiah Quincy, one of the first Presidents of Harvard, called Thomas Danforth "the earliest, most steadfast and faithful of it's friends."

He was elected Cambridge's representative to the General Court in 1657 and was appointed deputy Governor under Governor Simon Bradstreet in 1679. He may have been elected Governor if the very popular Bradstreet had not lived so long.

During King Philip's War, a Native American uprising in New England which lasted several years starting in 1675, Thomas Danforth was particularly concerned for those Native Americans who had converted to Christianity. They were called "praying Indians" and they remained loyal to the English. He did not want to see them get caught up in the fury of war just because they looked like the enemy. He continued to speak out for them even after being threatened by those who disagreed with him for defending them.

In 1677, Massachusetts purchased the province of Maine and decided to set up a provincial government. Thomas Danforth, while serving deputy-governor of Massachusetts, was appointed the first President of the District of Maine. He traveled to Casco Bay in the summer of 1680 and began the first government there. He spent most of his time in Cambridge but traveled to Maine as necessary, allowing a deputy-president to serve in his absence. By all accounts he was a wise, judicious and kind leader who brought a sense of law and order to the wilds of colonial Maine. Part of his legacy was to lay out Fore Street, Middle Street and Congress Street in Portland, Maine.

Congress Street in Portland, Maine today. I used to live
a block from where this picture was taken!

In 1686, the new King, James II, appointed Sir Edmund Andros to serve as his Royal Governor over all of New England, ending Thomas Danforth's offices and severely limiting government by the people. Many spoke out against this, at their own peril, including Thomas Danforth who wrote: if our ability to rule ourselves is "dissolved by his Majesty, against this people's will and without their fault, what other bond remain to oblige them to him as subjects!" These were treasonous words for that time, and it is probably fortunate for him that the king was across the ocean and that his reign only lasted until 1688.

When word reached New England that William and Mary had replaced James II on the throne of England in the Glorious Revolution, Andros was arrested and Thomas Danforth was returned to his positions as deputy-governor of Massachusetts and President of Maine.

One of the duty's of the deputy-governor was to serve on the Superiour Court. It was in that capacity that Thomas Danforth became entangled in the Salem Witch Trials, which were brought before it in 1692. In Arthur Miller's play and movie "The Crucible" which fictionalize the events of these trials, Thomas Danforth is portrayed as a pompous bureaucrat who oversees the proceedings and allows the letter of the law to over-rule common sense. It's a GREAT movie and I highly recommend seeing it, but don't take away this portrayal of our ancestor as absolute fact. I recommend the following website after seeing the movie:

The truth is that Thomas Danforth only served as a judge on occasion but worked behind the scenes to see the trials come to an end. Samuel Sewell, who was the only judge to publicly express regret over the proceedings, said that Thomas Danforth "did much to end the troubles under which the country groaned in 1692." It was Governor Phipps who finally put and end to the insanity, possibly under the counsel of Thomas Danforth and others.

On March 26, 1697, his wife, Mary, died. He died on November 5, 1699 at the age of 77. His burial is unknown. Since all his sons had proceeded him in death, he left the bulk of his considerable estate to his son-in-law Joseph Whiting, the pastor of the church at South Hampton on Long Island and my Ninth Great-Grandfather.

I wish I knew what ever happened to it!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Bowman or Crogent Photo

This is a tin photo which was passed down from my Nana, Florence Mary Bowman. The problem is that nobody remembers who it is a picture of - a classic family photo mistake. Does anybody have any thoughts?

I am guessing that this may be a photo of William and Sarah (Cartmel) Crogent with their two oldest children, William and Ellenore. That would be Nana's Grandparents and her Aunt Nellie and Uncle Willie. The ages would be about right and would put the date of the photo at about 1893. They lived in New York City at this time.

Any thoughts anyone has based on other pictures you may have or the use of tin photos or the clothing worn, please feel free to comment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Captain Thomas Willett

The First Mayor of New York City
Tenth Great Grandfather

1. Thomas Willett
+Mary Browne
2. Mary Willett
+Samuel Hooker
3. John Hooker
+Abigail Stanley
4. Hezekiah Hooker
+Abigail Curtis
5. James Hooker
+Dorothy Parmalee
6. Thomas Hooker
+Ruth Parmalee
7. Dr. Thomas Gould Hooker
+Esther Sweet
8. Thomas Edwin Hooker
+Lucy Hyde
9. Marcus Edwin Hooker
+Elizabeth Delphine Rosenburg
10. Jennie Estella Hooker
+John Emil Dahlquist Sr.
11. John Emil Dahlquist Jr.
+Florence Mary Bowman
12. Debra Florence Dahlquist
+Edward (Ned) Deck Munson
13. Scott Edward Munson :)

Thomas Willett was born in Norfolk, England about 1610 to Thomas and Mary Willett. The family was a member of a separatist congregation (Puritans) who were pursecuted by the King of England and the family moved to Holland where Thomas would have spent a significant portion of his childhood. This is important later, as it would give him some understanding of Dutch culture and allow him to feel at home in New Amsterdam (New York).

Thomas Willett arrived at the Plymouth Colony in 1629 at the age of 19. He was on board a second ship called the Mayflower (The first Mayflower had arrived in 1620 and established the Plymouth Colony). He was a well respected and honest young man and within a couple of years he was sent by Governor Bradford to Maine where he was soon in charge of the trading post on the Penobscot River. Beaver Furs were the life blood for trading in the New World and competition soon grew fierce. It was not long before a French battalion arrived at the post and chased the English traders, including Thomas Willett, out of the post. In 1635, he was assigned to a new post at the current site of Augusta, Maine.

Thomas Willett traveled extensively as a trader and soon found himself in New Amsterdam (New York) where he established himself as an honest businessman and befriended then Governor Petrus Stuyvesant. He probably spoke Dutch and understood Dutch culture having spent a portion of his childhood in Holland. This would prove invaluable in his business, personal and political dealings with this very important trade city. He was a learned man and probably was able to converse extensively on the affairs of New England, New Amsterdam and the World. In 1650, he actually represented New Netherlands in settling the disputed border with the Connecticut Colony.

In 1636, he married Mary Browne in Plymouth. Together they had 12 Children including my Ninth Great-Grandmother Mary, who married Rev. Thomas Hooker's son Samuel.

In 1647, Thomas Willett succeeded Miles Standish as Captain of the military company at Plymouth. This would have been an extremely important post, as tensions with the French, Dutch and Native Americans would have been a source of continued anxiety in the English settlements. In 1651, he was elected as Assistant Governor of the Plymouth Colony, serving for four years.

In 1660, Charles II became King of England. His brother, James, the Duke of York, decided that the Dutch settlement at New Netherlands was the only obstacle to English dominance in controlling trade in the New World. So, in 1664, a battalion was sent to invade New Amsterdam and take control of New Netherlands from the Dutch. Captain Willett joined the expedition as an advisor, again putting to use his knowledge of the Dutch culture, language and city.

When the people of New Amsterdam saw the show of force which the English were prepared to bring against them, they were ready to surrender. Stuyvesant tried to rally his neighbors for a fight, but the English had sent word that they would be treated fairly and peacefully if they surrendered. On September 8, 1664, the Dutch surrendered and New Amsterdam, New Netherlands became New York, New York, in honor of the new King's brother.

The English treated the Dutch very fairly as they had promised. The new English Governor Nicholls appointed Thomas Willett as the first mayor since he was known and liked in the town - an extremely judicious move. Thomas Willett served for mayor for one year, then as an alderman for one year and then for a second year as mayor.

In 1667 he retired to the Plymouth Colony. His home was in Swansea. His wife, Mary, died in 1669. He married Joanna (Boyse) Prudden in 1671. He died in Swansea in 1674 and is burried on land which was part of his property and is now located in East Providence, RI.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Adam Koerner (1812)

Third Great-Grandfather

1. Adam Koerner
+Marie (Bercke?)
2. Adam Koerner
+Mary (Eberhardt?)
3. Adam Koerner
+Pauline Von Deck
4. Ruth Koerner
+George Munson
5. Edward (Ned) Munson
+Debra Dahlquist
6. Scott Munson :)

Adam Koerner was our first Koerner ancestor to come to the United States. He was born about 1812 in Germany, probably the region of Hessen-Darmstadt, possibly the city of Frankfurt. The first record we have of him is from an 1857 New York City Directory:

"Koerner Adam, tailor, h. 157 Third"

Adam and his wife Maria or Mary (possibly maiden named Bercke) arrived in New York from Germany some time between 1849 and 1850. Their two daughters, Lena and Mary, accompanied them on the voyage. This was during a time of great turmoil in Germany, and many were disgruntled with the new order of things and saw a greater opportunity in the United States. Unfortunately I have not been able to locate the actual immigration records for Adam and his family. Shortly after his arrival here, their first son, Adam (my Great Great-Grandfather) was born. In 1853 and 1854 they had two more children, Philip and Catherine.

There were three known addresses for the Koerners in New York City. The first was at 157 Third Avenue as referenced above. Nine families lived in the same building according to the 1860 Census - all immigrants. One other family was from Germany and the rest were from Ireland. Most were laborers raising families with less than $100 worth of possessions. Adam, as a tailor, would have found it especially difficult to make money from his skilled trade in the new world. With so many tailors moving from Ireland and Germany, the city had more than they could handle, and many were reduced to working at large factories in the garment district for very low wages.

This picture from 1865 was taken three blocks
from 157 Third Avenue

This first address is only a block off of Union Square, a center of social and political activism since the early 1800s. In 1861, 500,000 people rallied there in a show of Patriotism after the fall of Fort Sumpter. One has to wonder what our immigrant ancestors thought of this country when after being her only 10 years it was embroiled in a bloody Civil War. Could the Koerners have been at this major rally as a show of support for their new homeland?

This is a statue of George Washington in Union Square ca. 1870.
It is looking toward Third Avenue where Adam lived.

The second address recorded for the immigrant Koerners is 500 West 12th Street. This address is first recorded in 1876 when Adam becomes a naturalized citizen. This was the heart of Little Germany in the late 1800s and is known today as the East Village. In the 1880 Census, Adam and Marie are in their late sixties and only their youngest son Philip is living with them. Philip is 27 years old and working as a varnisher. Twelve other families live in the building, mostly German immigrants. Adam Jr. is married, working as a barber and living only a block away in 1880. His first son, Adam III, is only 4 months old. This is my Grammy Munson's father.

The last record we have of the immigrant Adam Koerner is in Trow's New York City directory for 1889-1890:
"Korner Adam, tailor, h 406 First av"

This is farther up town than the family had lived before, at about 23rd Street. In 1889, Adam and Marie would be in their late 70s. I have not been able to find a record of either one's death but it was probably not long after this.

This picture was taken about 20 years after we know Adam lived here
but one of these buildings is probably where he lived!
Today it is the sight of the V.A. Hospital.

We know that some time in the early 1890's, Adam Jr. and his family moved to Greenwich, Connecticut. Did the elder Adam move there as well? Did Adam Jr. leave before or after his parent's died? Why Greenwich? I'm not sure. I am hoping to take a trip there one of these week-ends to do some exploring and hopefully answer some of these questions.


OK. So, back in November of 2009, I decided to sign up for a free two week trial at My great-grandmother on my Mother's side was Jennie Hooker, a direct descendant of Thomas Hooker, the "founder" of Hartford and Thomas Willett, the first English mayor of New York City, but that was all I knew. My uncle, Jim Buggie, had been doing some research on that side of the family, so I was especially interested in researching the Munson side. As far as I knew, nobody that I knew had ever taken on that task. What I discovered in those two weeks has opened my eyes to a whole new world of investigation and discovery and has kept me an addicted subscriber to

I decided that I wanted to share some of what I was discovering with family members around the country, and hopefully tap into some of their collective memory and wisdom. At first I was thinking of publishing some sort of newsletter which I could mail or email to family quarterly. How old fashioned! I had been throwing that idea around for several months before it occured to me I could much more easily create a blog to post pictures, articles and stories as I discover them. So here we go.

I have been researching both sides of my family tree using an ancestral approach rather than a descendant approach. I have information on all of my Great Grandparent's names: Munson, Hotchkiss, Koerner, Von Deck, Dahlquist, Hooker, Bowman and Crogent. I hope to present profiles of ancestors in such a way that they are more than just a name and dates, but are connected to the events of the world around them. So far I have found immigrants from England, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. There are original puritan settlers of New England, key members of the Salem Witch Trials and other witch trials and a well-known King. Yes, a King!

I will try to indicate how each post is connected to me so that you will be able to figure out how it is connected to you. Hopefully you will enjoy what you read and maybe be sparked to do some research of your own. Be sure to add any comments you want to the post and make any corrections which need to be made.

I dedicate this blog to my Grandparents: Gram, Gramp, Nana and Grampa John (George, Ruth, Florence and John).