The families on this page date back to the early colonial period and are almost all of English origin with the exception of the Dutch Gereardys who came to New Amsterdam. Many in this line have a deep Rhode Island connection.

See all links in Ford Family Tree

The Ford Family

The first Fords settled on an island off the coast of southern Maine in the 1640s and spent a couple of generations leading a hard fishing life. Later generations relocated to Massachusetts and then Connecticut before Benoni Ford moved his family to upstate New York. It wasn't until the 1850s that the family moved to Michigan.

How We're Related

Catherine Ford married Orson McKay in New York probably near Middleville in about 1844. She and Orson moved west with Catherine's parents and by 1860 lived near Grand Rapids, Michigan. Catherine was highly regarded by her offspring and was called Grandma Ford instead of Grandma McKay after Orson died. She owned a significant amount of property including an "estate" in Muskegon where her son's family lived for a time.


Joel Ford married Catherine Carlisle in about 1823 in New York. Joel was a farmer. In 1850 the family lived on a farm in Aurora, Erie County, New York next to the farm of Orson McKay and their daughter, Catherine. They moved to Ottawa County, Michigan sometime in the 1850s.

Catherine's parents were Ebenezer Carlisle and Catherine Forbes who were both born in Connecticut, moved to upstate New York, then migrated to Michigan with their adult children later in life.

Benoni Ford married Lydia Cadman about 1781. Benoni lived in Fairfield, New York at least from 1790 until his death in 1826. Lydia and Benoni are buried together near Middleville, New York.

Benoni's brother, Jacob was an Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental army and took part in the Battle of Saratoga.


Jacob Ford married Mary Mann on April 14, 1743 in Hebron, Connecticut.


Matthew Ford married Mary Foster on February 10, 1715 in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Matthew had settled in Lebanon, Connecticut by 1717 and the family moved on to Hebron in 1724 where he lived until his death in 1769.


Martin Mathew Ford married Lydia Griffen on March 25, 1684 in Bradford, Massachusetts. In the Bradford Vital Records for the birth of his daughter Lydia, he is identified as a Frenchman due to the remnants of the dialect that he learned from his parents. He only lived to be 31 years old.


Robert Ford married Mary Kent in Haverhill, Massachusetts on March 20, 1666. Robert, born in 1645 on Smuttynose Island to a fishing family. The difficult life there must not have suited him as he moved to Haverhill, Massachusetts about 1660. He and his wife, Mary, had 3 children, Martin Mathew, Robert and Mary who died of small pox at age ten.

Mary Kent's parents, Stephen and Margery (Norris) Kent left Southampton in April, 1638 aboard the Confidence, arriving in Boston with four or five servants. They had been married in Salisbury, England on August 10, 1637. He was a linen-draper in England. Stephen had first come to New England in 1635 with his brother Richard but Stephen returned to England. He lived near brother Richard in Newbury; moved to Haverhill in 1650; then to Woodbridge, New Jersey in 1669. After Margery's death, Stephen married twice more.
An English image

English connection

Stephen Ford married Joan Heywood. Stephen and Joan left Devon, England and settled on Smuttynose Island around 1643. They probably lived in a windowless wooden hut initially. In 1650 there were 60 residents registered on the islands. In 1661, it’s recorded that they sold a house, a boat and related fishing equipment. They spoke a peculiar dialect, probably a hybrid of French and English which eventually became unintelligible on the mainland. This is why their grandson, Mathew Martine Forde of Haverhill, Mass. was called “The Frenchman.”[1]

There is no doubt that the fishermen were heavy drinkers. The Puritans thought it sinful to drink alcohol and exacted punishment on those who disagreed. It is recorded that Stephen Forde, his brother, and several others were brought up on charges of being common drunkards. It appears that the Fordes were very active in opposing the Puritan occupation. York County Court Records show Stephen Ford was presented “for abusing the constable, and calling him rogue and rascal.” In the Sacco Maine Court, Joane Forde, wife of Stephen Forde, of the Isle of Shoals, was presented, and convicted for calling the constable "Horn headed rogue and Cow head rogue." Joane Forde continues the record "was punished for this offence by nine stripes given her at the post at a Court holden in York, December 2, 1665." Shortly afterwards, the same Joane is presented, “for reviling and abusing the neighbors by very evil speeches; and for abusing the constable and other her neighbors.” For this offense, Joane was,” appointed to have ten lashes at the post.”

Apparently, the fishermen had their own social welfare system. Stephen was badly frost bitten in a storm at sea about January 1651 and lost parts of his hands and arms. His neighbors raised the money for his support; and the county court gave more and arranged for his maintenance. Stephen died in 1661 at the age of 38.

Smuttynose Island, Maine

Geography, Smuttynose Island, Maine

The Isles of Shoals are rocky protuberances located 7 miles off the coast Portsmouth, NH. There are nine islands in the group. New Hampshire claims Star Island, White Island, Seavey Island, and Lunging Island. Maine claims Appledore Island, Smuttynose Island, Malaga Island, Duck Island and Cedar Island. Smuttynose is the third largest island. It is one mile long and 23 acres in area.

The Isles were desirable because they provided a safe harbor and were free of Indians and wild animals. The greatest attraction was its proximity to the most productive fishery of the time. Bones indicate that the cod were twice the size of present-day cod. The peak production from this fishery was from 1640 to 1680.

In 1653 the Massachusetts Colony, emboldened by the fall of the monarchy in England, forcibly took possession of Maine and the Isles of Shoals. They expelled the Episcopal minister and sent a Puritan minister along with three judges and constables to maintain order. This occupation was met with fierce resistance by some of the fishermen although some joined the Puritans. The fishermen of the Isle of Shoals have been depicted as lawless, godless drunkards.


The Cadman Family

The Cadman family arrived in Rhode Island and the family stayed on the border with Massachusetts for four generations before settling in the Hudson Valley of New York.

How We're Related

Lydia Cadman married Benoni Ford about 1778, probably in New York.


Edward Cadman married Sarah Seabury on June 3, 1753 in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Later in life he relocated to Austerlitz, New York in the Hudson Valley.


William Cadman married Amy Almy in Dartmouth, Massachusetts in about 1705. William was a yeoman who served in Capt. Sheffield's company during the "King George War" (1740-1748).

It is likely that Amy is somehow related to William's mother Sarah Almy but the relationship is unknown.

Richard Cadman married Sarah Almy in 1682 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. The family relocated from Portsmouth to Dartmouth, Massachusetts, just 25 miles away.

An English image

English connection

William Cadman married Elizabeth Cornell in Portsmouth, Rhode Island about 1655. William had probably arrived from England around 1640 with his parents. He appeared first in Portsmouth, Rhode Island as a witness to a deed of Ralph Earle 1652 and was received as an inhabitant in 1654. Well before AirBnB, William had trouble with his neighbors. In 1666 it was voted that two of his neighbors were to call on him and notify him that there was a town law passed in 1654 which forbids any inhabitant to receive or entertain a stranger above one month without consent of the inhabitants, upon penalty of five pounds for every month he offends his neighbors in this manner, and that he is not to entertain William Maze.

He was an extensive property holder of real estate. He owned Cadman's Neck which may now be described as being that part of Westport, Massachusetts called South Westport.

Elizabeth's father, Thomas Cornell/Cornwell, married Elizabeth Fishcock in 1642 in New Amsterdam. Thomas settled in Gravesend, Long Island and is not related to Thomas Cornell described later.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Seabery

The Seabery Family

The Seabery/Seabury/Seaberry family name is said to have been originally Sedborough, and to have belonged to a Somersetshire family. They seem to be among the rather rare Massachusetts slave-owning families.

How We're Related

Sarah Seabery married Edward Cadman on June 3, 1753 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.


Joseph Seabery married Mary Ladd about 1722 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.


Samuel Seabery married Martha Pabodie on April 4, 1677 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He had settled in Duxbury, Massachusetts, before 1660 and was a physician and surgeon. Samuel's will left his son, Joseph, "those great silver buttons which I usually weare" but to his eldest son, Samuell, "my house and all my housing" including significant land holdings. He also stipulated that "my negro servant Nimrod be disposed off (sic) either by heir or sale" and a second slave, Jane, is to be given to a granddaughter.


John Seabery married Grace Fellows in England. They came first to Providence Island Colony in the West Indies in 1638, then to Boston in 1639. He is described in that record as a “Seaman” and later described as a planter. At some point in time, John Seaberry moved to Barbados and his wife later joined him. Grace Fellowes is the niece of Margery Fellows, the wife of William Ballou on this page.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Seabery/Ladd

The Ladd Family

The Ladd family like many came to Rhode Island because of its relative religious tolerance.

How We're Related

Mary Ladd married Joseph Seabery about 1722 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.


William Ladd married Elizabeth Tompkins on February 17, 1695 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.

Elizabeth's parents were Nathaniel Tompkins and Elizabeth Allen who were married on January 15, 1671. Nathaniel was a shoemaker (cordwainer) and merchant who was in Newport by 1675.

Elizabeth's parents were John Allen and Elizabeth Bacon who married in Barnstable, Massachusetts on October 10, 1650. They were both Anabaptists, yet no objection was made to their marriage, Thomas Hinckley [later Governor of Plymouth Colony] officiating at the nuptials. He was fined for his religious beliefs, once in 1658 and again in 1662. To avoid religious intolerance they went to Newport, Rhode Island. Elizabeth Bacon is the cousin 3 times removed of Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and statesman whose works are credited with developing the scientific method.


Joseph Ladd married Joanna (last name unknown) in 1658 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He had sailed to New England in March, 1634 on the Hercules. It is likely that Joseph's father had died in an accident at sea in 1632 in England.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Seabery/Pabodie

The Pabodie Family

The Pabodie (Paybody/Peabody) family was among the original proprietors of Plymouth, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Martha Pabodie married Samuel Seabery on April 4, 1677 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. After Samuel's death in 1681, Martha married William Fobes.


William Pabodie married Elizabeth Alden on December 26, 1644 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. William settled in Plymouth with his father but later moved to Duxbury, Bridgewater and finally Little Compton.


John Pabodie married Isabel Harper in 1608 in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, England. John was in Plymouth Colony by 1636. He name was on the list of freemen dated March 7, 1636/7. He received land grants on the "Duxburrow side" (Duxbury). He was a member of the jury which convicted three Englishmen of the murder of an Indian on Sept. 4, 1638.

John and Isabel's daughter Annice may be another McKay ancestor through the Scramlins.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Seabery/Pabodie/Alden

The Alden Family

The Alden family progenitor in America was Mayflower passenger John Alden.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Alden married William Pabodie on December 26, 1644 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Elizabeth was the firstborn child of the Plymouth Colony and allegedly the first white child born in New England.


John Alden married Priscilla Mullins in 1622 in Plymouth Colony. John was a crew member on the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower which brought the English settlers to Massachusetts. He was hired in Southampton, England, as the ship's cooper, responsible for maintaining the ship's barrels. Although he was a member of the ship's crew and not a settler, Alden decided to remain in Plymouth Colony when the Mayflower returned to England. He was a signatory to the Mayflower Compact.

He married fellow Mayflower passenger Priscilla Mullins. The marriage of the young couple became prominent in Victorian popular culture after the 1858 publication of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's fictitious narrative poem The Courtship of Miles Standish. Henry Longfellow was a descendant of John Alden.

Alden was one of Plymouth Colony's most active public servants and played a prominent role in colonial affairs. He was annually elected to the Governor's Council nearly every year from 1640 to 1686. He served as Treasurer of Plymouth Colony, Deputy to the General Court of Plymouth, a member of the colony's Council of War, and a member of the colony's Committee on Kennebec Trade, among other posts. He was the last surviving signer of the Mayflower Compact upon his death in 1687.

Priscilla Mullens was the daughter of Mayflower passengers William and step-daughter of Alice Mullins. She was just eighteen when she boarded the Mayflower. She lost her father, step-mother and her brother Joseph during the first winter in Plymouth. Priscilla's mother, Elizabeth Wood, had died in England about 1604.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Almy

The Almy Family

William Almy was one of the earliest settlers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony but returned to England and eventually settled with his family in Rhode Island.

How We're Related

Sarah Almy married Richard Cadman in 1682 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.


President Jimmy Carter

Christopher Almy married Elizabeth Cornell on July 9, 1661. Christopher became a freeman of Portsmouth in 1658. He lived in Monmouth, New Jersey for a while where he and others bought land from the Indians but returned to Rhode Island by 1678. He was elected Governor of Rhode Island in 1690 but refused to serve. In 1692 he was made captain of the militia. In 1693 he was appointed agent to England, and on 24 Aug 1693 he represented Rhode Island in a petition to Queen Mary. Christopher left slaves to his wife, Elizabeth, with the proviso that they would be freed a year after her death.

Christopher is documented to have many notable ancestors. Among them are President Jimmy Carter who is the 7 x great grandson of Christopher Almy.

An English image

English connection

William Almy married Audrey Barlowe in 1626 in South Kilworth, Leicestershire, England. William came to America around 1630. He returned to England and in 1635 came back with his wife, daughter and son, Christopher aboard the ship Abigail.

The family first lived in Lynn, Massachusetts. In 1637 he and nine others founded Sandwich on Cape Cod in the Plymouth Colony but in 1642 he sold his Sandwich property and moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He died there in 1676 and left land to his son, Christopher.

Audrey Barlowe is a direct descendant of Magna Carta sureties William of Huntingfield and William Malet.

McKay/Ford/Cadman /Almy/Cornell

The Cornell Family

Thomas Cornell was the first Cornell immigrant to the New World and a prominent settler both in New York and Rhode Island. Religion played a large part in his life. A questionable murder and conviction tainted the reputation of his family.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Cornell married Christopher Almy on July 9, 1661.


Thomas Cornell married Rebecca Briggs in Essex, England in 1620.

An English image

English connection

Thomas Cornell was one of the earliest settlers of Rhode Island and the Bronx and a contemporary of Roger Williams and the family of Anne Hutchinson. He and Rebecca Briggs immigrated circa 1638 to Boston. In 1640 he resided in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; 1642 we was living in New Amsterdam; by 1644 he was back in Portsmouth. He resided in 1646 at Cornell's Neck, New York.

Thomas Cornell was an innkeeper in Boston who was part of the Peripheral Group in the Antinomian Controversy, a religious and political conflict in the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1636 to 1638. Cornell sold his inn in 1643 and left for Rhode Island, where others from the Antinomian Controversy had settled in 1638 after being ordered to leave the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

Cornell became friends with Roger Williams and co-founded the village of Westchester north of New Amsterdam (later New York City) in 1643. He returned to Rhode Island in 1644 and obtained a land grant for 100 acres in Portsmouth, RI on Aquidneck Island that became the Cornell homestead. His neighbor was Edward Hutchison, a son of Anne Hutchison from the Antinomian Controversy.

In 1646, Cornell was granted a patent on an area of about four square miles that later became part of the Bronx. It was bounded by Westchester Creek, Bronx River, village of Westchester and East River and was called Cornell's Neck. The area is now known as Clason Point.

Bill Gates is the 11 x great grandson of Thomas Cornell. Thomas is also an ancestor to a number of prominent and notorious Americans, including Ezra Cornell, founder of Cornell University, Presidents Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon, Daniel Webster, Secretary of State John Kerry, Amelia Earhart and axe murderer Lizzie Borden by way of Thomas Cornell (Jr.)'s daughter, Innocent.

A Murder and a Questionable Trial

On February 8, 1673 Friends' Records state `Rebecca Cornell, widow, was killed strangely at Portsmouth in her own dwelling house, was twice viewed by the Coroner's Inquest and buried again by her husband's grave in their own land'. May 25, her son Thomas was charged with murder, and after a trial that now reads like a farce, was convicted and executed.

It appears that the old lady, having been sitting by the fire smoking a pipe, a coal had fallen from the fire on her pipe, and that she was burned to death. But on the strength of a vision which her brother John Briggs had, in which she appeared to him after her death, she said "See how I was burned with fire". It was inferred she was set fire to, and that her son who was last with her did it; and principally on this evidence Thomas Cornell was tried, convicted and hung for her murder. As a footnote, his daughter, born after his execution, was named Innocent.


The Mann Family

The Mann family is closely associated with the early settlement of both Scituate, Massachusetts and Hebron, Connecticut.

How We're Related

Mary Mann married Jacob Ford on April 14, 1743 in Hebron, Connecticut.


Nathaniel Mann married Mary Root on February 5, 1713 in Hebron, Connecticut. They had six children before Mary died in 1728.


Richard Mann married Elizabeth Sutton in 1683 in Scituate, Massachusetts. Richard was only three when his father died. He was apprenticed at eleven to Thomas Hinckley, (later) governor of the Plymouth Colony, to work in his service for a term of ten years. Richard served in the militia in King Philip's War of 1675-7. In about 1703 he sold his lands in Scituate and moved to Lebanon, Connecticut.

Richard's brother, Nathaniel made over his estate to Richard and his other brother, Thomas and Thomas signed a bond for his support. This was on account of infirm health: he had "been troubled with fitts, his falling sickness, and sometimes hereterfore hath been distracted or out of his witts." In July 1688 Nathaniel was at the house of his brother Thomas, at Conihassett in Scituate and became "greviously distracted or Lunatized & in a raging manner so continued till towards break of the day & then ran out of the said house & tore off his clothes & ran away in the said distracted frame, & on the 20th Instant was founed in the searf of the Sea between high water & low water mark amongst a body of Rocks lying against little Pond and was dead; that he Running amongst the said Rocks they being very slippery, did fall upon some of them & wounded his head whereof he died.


Richard Mann married Rebecca (last name probably Short) in 1649 in Scituate, Massachusetts. The first appearance of his name on record is found in Scituate, Massachusetts, as having with thirty-one others taken the "oath of fidelity," January 15, 1644. He was a farmer and one of the original proprietors of Scituate. Richard died in February, 1655 when he drowned trying to cross the pond near his land when "he brake through the iyce and was in soe deep that hee could not git out and by reason of the cold of the weather and water made him unable to healp himselfe, neither could any other present aford him any healp, that could healp him out, though they used their best endeavors for the space of about an hour, as is reported to us by the witnesses that saw him in which time he died".

The Mann Farmhouse and Museum on Greenfield Lane in Scituate is not the home built by Richard when he arrived in 1636 but Mann family descendants built this home nearby. Three generations of Manns lived in the house and a seventh generation Mann, Percy Mann, lived in the house until his death in 1968.

McKay/Ford/Mann /Root

The Root Family

The Root family were first settlers in Hartford and Hebron, Connecticut and Deerfield, Massachusetts.

How We're Related

Mary Root married Nathaniel Mann on February 5, 1713 in Hebron, Connecticut.


Jacob Root married Mary Frary on February 2, 1679 in Deerfield, Massachusetts. He was among the first settlers of Hebron, Connecticut, where he moved in 1705.


Thomas Root married Sarah Clark (but identity has been disputed) in Hartford, Connecticut on Dec 23 1638. Thomas was an original proprietor of Hartford, Connecticut in 1636. He was a weaver and a farmer and served in the Pequot Indian War. About 1654, he removed to Northampton, Massachusetts where he was one of the seven first settlers.

McKay/Ford/Mann /Root/Frary

The Frary Family

It is commonly believed the Frary family has its origins with French Huguenots who fled persecution in that country and settled in England. They had first-hand experience with violence with Native Americans on the frontier.

How We're Related

Mary Frary married Jacob Root on February 2, 1679 in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Frary House Deerfield, MA

Samson Frary married Mary Daniels in Medfield, Massachusetts on June 14, 1660. He had come to Massachusetts Bay with his parents by 1637. They settled in Dedham by 1637, and removed to Medfield by 1652. Sampson and his family left Medfield, between 1664 and 1668, to the Connecticut River Valley. Initially they settled in Hatfield. They later became the first European settlers of Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Sampson was slain during the taking of Deerfield, Massachusetts by the French and the Indians on Feb, 29, 1704, during Queen Anne's War. His granddaughter, Mercy Root, was also killed during the taking of Deerfield. His wife Mary was killed by Indians during the march to Canada.

Frary House in Deerfield, Massachusetts was built by Nathaniel Frary, the grandson of John Frary, in the early 18th Century. It was built on the foundation of a earlier home built by Nathaniel's father, Samson Frary.

McKay-Stevens Connection

Mary's parents, Robert and Elizabeth (Morse) Daniels are direct ancestors of the Petersens.


John Frary married Prudence Townsend June 17, 1628 in Norwich, England. John had been apprenticed to a cordwainer there. About 1636, John and Prudence, with their sons, left Norwich and arrived in Massachusetts, probably Watertown. Their future home, Dedham, about 10 miles away and still not organized, was the frontier of civilization. Watertown had ceased granting land to new settlers in 1635. John was one of the founders of the church in Dedham.

John worked as a cordwainer and bootmaker and also farmed. When Boston shoemakers formed a monopoly in 1648, those in the surrounding towns, including John, petitioned the General Court, to whom they wrote: "Keeping out Country shoomakers from Coming into the Market wilbe a greate dammage unto the Country for it wil weaken the hands of the country shoomakers from using their trade, or occasion them to Remove to boston which wilbe hurtful to other towns"

He moved to Medfield in 1650 and there is still a Frairy Street there.

John's widow, Prudence, moved to Boston after John's death in 1675. She was fortunate to leave Medfield at that time, because the following February, during King Philip's War, Indians raided the town, burned 32 houses and other buildings, and killed 17 persons. Half the homes escaped damage, among them the Frary home.

McKay/Ford/Mann /Sutton

The Sutton Family

The Sutton family includes religious dissidents who relocated more than once to escape religious persecution.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Sutton married Richard Mann in 1683 in Scituate, Massachusetts.


John Sutton married Elizabeth House in January 1661 in Scituate, Massachusetts. John apparently lived first at Hingham, later moved to Scituate in the Plymouth Colony, where on December 2, 1653 he sold the lands 'which the town of Hingham gave to John Sutton, my father'. He was an Ensign in Philip's War with Capt. Williams." His commission in the Scituate Company of the Plymouth Colony Regiment dated to 1 March 1670, so he was an officer in the militia five years before the war began in 1675.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Samuel Howse (House) and Elizabeth Hammond who married in Scituate in 1635. Samuel’s older sister, ancestor Hannah had married Reverend John Lothrop, who had left the Church of England and became the pastor of the First Independent Church in London. Samuel and his sister Pennina, became members of this church. Because of his participation in these Separatist activities, Samuel House was imprisoned, along with 41 others in 1632 in London, as a result of which he was interrogated at a Court of High Commission on May 8, 1632, during which he testified that "I have served the King both by sea & by land, and I had been at sea if this restraint had not been made upon me. My conversation I thank God none can tax." He and all the others except John Lothrop were released on bail by the spring of 1634. Not long after Hannah Lothrop died, John Lothrop was released from prison on the condition that he leave England. Samuel followed Lothrop to Massachusetts in 1634. (It is known that Samuel came as a ship carpenter from London to Massachusetts Bay in 1634, based on date of admission to Lothrop’s Scituate church.)


John Sutton arrived in the port town of Hingham, Massachusetts in 1638 from the town of Attleborough, England. He had married Julian Adcocke in 1620 in England. John was a carpenter who arrived on the HMS Diligent of Ipswich. He moved in 1643 to the town of Rehoboth, a place of more religious tolerance.


The Foster Family

The Foster (Forester) family may be able to be traced back to Richard Forester who was knighted by William the Conqueror. A very good history of the Foster family can be found here. However, it must be noted that this history may be a fabrication. One genealogist called the Foster genealogy "nothing short of ridiculous."[3]

How We're Related

Mary Foster married Matthew Ford on February 10, 1715 in Topsfield, Massachusetts.


Jacob Foster married Sarah Wood on September 12, 1688 in Topsfield, Massachusetts. In 1718, they moved to Lebanon, Connecticut.

Sarah's parents, Isaiah Wood and Mercy Thompson, were married on January 26, 1653 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. They had fifteen children. Isaiah had what we today would call a long rap sheet: 1645, Isaiah let the oxen pull down the cart off the bank "where the oxen were hanged by the neck, one of them til he was dead. 1646, Convicted of "an attempt to force the body of his master's child." 1660, Convicted of stealing Indian corn. 1661 accused of shooting a dog and other misdemeanors for which Isaiah was ordered to be whipped or pay a fine of 3 pounds. He chose the fine. 1662, Mary Sheffield charged Isaiah Wood as father of her child and testified that he "refused to own the child..." Mary was whipped for fornication and Isaiah was put in jail and fined for child support.

Isaiah's wife, Mercy, was the daughter of immigrant Simon Thompson who was a rope maker and cow keeper (i.e., a person who kept a cow for the purpose of selling milk) in Ipswich, Massachusetts.


Isaac Foster married Mary Jackson on May 5, 1658. He lived in Ipswich, near Topsfield. He had fourteen children, eleven by Mary and three by his second wife, Hannah Downing.

Mary's parents William Jackson and Joanna Collins came from Rowley, Yorkshire to Rowley, Massachusetts. The Jackson family may have accompanied Reverend Ezekiel Rogers when he arrived from England on the John of London in the spring of 1639 with approximately twenty families. In 1680, after his wife Joanna died, William gave his daughter Mary Foster, out of his estate, two acres of meadow in the common field, one ox and a heifer, valued at £11, 20s, for the great care and comfort she had bestowed upon them in their old age.


Reginald Foster married Judith Wignol in Theydon Garnon, Essex, England in 1619. He came to New England with his wife, five sons and two daughters in 1638. They were among the first settlers of Ipswich, Massachusetts. To his credit, one bio says that he took a prominent part against the witchcraft delusion. He was frequently addressed as Goodman Foster and lived to be almost 90 years old.

McKay-Freeman Connection

Reginald is also related to the Freeman family through his son Abraham.


The Griffin Family

The Griffin (Griffing) family got caught up in the witchcraft hysteria of the era.

How We're Related

Lydia Griffen married Martin Mathew Ford on March 25, 1684 in Bradford, Massachusetts.


John Griffin married Lydia Shatswell on September 17, 1663 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. John and Lydia settled in Haverhill at the time of their marriage. He was deputy constable of the town in 1664; served on the trial jury in 1666 and 1667; was deputy marshal of the county in 1666; and kept the Haverhill ferry across the Merrimac river in 1669. John served in King Phillip's War.

In 1669 he was a witness against John Godfrey who was suspected of witchcraft, testifying that when he started on a journey from the Merrimac river to Andover on horseback he saw Godfrey setting out on foot and yet, although he ran his horse, Godfrey was comfortably seated by the fire in Goodman Rust’s house when he arrived there. Much other testimony dealt with Godfrey’s ability to be in two places at one time.


Humphrey Griffin married Elizabeth Andrews in England. Humphrey was a butcher by trade who came to Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1639. His application for a lot was refused at first "because the town was full ",but he bought a house and a lot in 1641.

There is some question about Elizabeth's parents. They likely were Robert Andrews and Elizabeth Franklin but possibly might have been Robert and a different (unnamed) wife. Robert was a sea captain whose vessel was the first on record wrecked off the coast of Maine. He settled at Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1635.

The records of Ipswich show that on "3 Sept 1635 Robt Andrews licensed to keep ordinarye (an inn) in the Plantacon where he lives during the pleasure of ye court.". He was allowed to sell wine by retail, "if he do not wittingly sell to such as abuse it by drunkenness." This is the earliest reference to a public house in the records of Ipswich.

McKay/Ford/Griffin /Shatswell

The Shatswell Family

The Shatswell family is connected to the Stevens and McKay family through four different lines from the immigrant John Shatswell.

How We're Related

Lydia Shatswell married John Griffin on September 17, 1663 in Haverhill, Massachusetts.


Theophilus Shatswell married Susannah (last name may have been Bosworth) in April, 1642 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. His name first appears upon the Ipswich records in 1639, and in 1642 he was one of the young soldiers sent by the town to disarm the Indian chief Passaconoway. In 1648 he had moved to Haverhill. A partner in a Haverhill saw-mill as early as 1651, he erected a mill at Spiggot river in 1659.

Theophilus' brother John and sister Mary are Petersen ancestors.


John Shatswell married Judith (either Dillingham or Clapp) in about 1627 in England. John arrived in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1633 with his wife and one son. The family was granted a piece of land, and built the original small dwelling here. John was one of the first to erect a house for himself. The house is one of the oldest residences in town, and remained in the family by inheritance from the time of the original grant.

John was appointed a surveyor of the land upon which other homes were built, and was the earliest person in Ipswich to whom the title of Deacon was given. At his death, his inventory included four bibles.

McKay-Stevens Connection

The descendants of John Shatswell and Judith Dillingham include two different connections to the McKay family and two to the Petersen family.

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The Letson Family

The first Letsons in America settled in Rhode Island before relocating to upstate New York.

How We're Related

Rachael Letson married Joel McKay on November 16, 1815.


Isiah Letson married Sally Blanchard in 1800. The 1800 and 1810 census reports show Isiah in Augusta, Oneida County, New York and the 1820 and 1840 census shows him in Aurora, Erie County, New York, 200 miles to the west. They probably made the move about 1817 making them among the earliest settlers there.


Michael Letson married Hannah Albro on September 28, 1760 in Kingston, Rhode Island. At the time of their marriage, Michael resided in North Kingston and Hannah was of Richmond. They settled initially in Exeter, Rhode Island. In 1769, Michael and Hannah moved to Coventry. Michael served in the French and Indian War in Col Angell's Company, and in the Revolutionary War in Capt. Weaver's Company of Col Kassan's Rhode Island Regiment. By April 1799, they had moved to Augusta, Oneida Co, NY, where they purchased 50 acres and were recorded in the 1800 census.

An English image

English connection

John Letson, Jr. married Mary Smith in Kingston, Rhode Island in 1732. John was an immigrant, having been born in Warwick, England in 1701. He reportedly immigrated to America with his brother Robert as indentured servants in the early 1720's. Subsequently he became a farmer. In he was rejected by South Kingstown in April 1729 after requesting permission to move there. John and Mary settled in North Kingstown where they sold land in 1731 and received 23 acres there from Mary's brother Jeremiah in the same year. They moved to Coventry, Rhode Island about 1742 where John was admitted as a freeman in 1745. He took the Oath of Allegiance against England in 1777, and died in 1783.

There is not well documented information about John Letson's parents.


The Blanchard Family

The Blanchards are closely identified with Rhode Island where all the Blanchards in the McKay family spent their lives.

How We're Related

Sally Blanchard married Isiah Letson in 1800.


Samuel Blanchard married Betty Tyler on February 15, 1776 in Foster, Rhode Island. He served in the Rhode Island unit during the Revolutionary War.

Elizabeth's parentage is uncertain.

Moses Blanchard married Anna Whaley in Warwick, Rhode Island on January 1, 1735. Moses bought and sold considerable land in Coventry. He drowned in Carbunkle Pond when he tried to retrieve his fishing tackle after his boat capsized.

There is a story that when Moses' son (also Moses) returned from the French and Indian Wars, he was so happy to be home that he was "giving the glad hand" to everyone he met. Many of these people broke out with small pox and two of Moses' brothers died but Moses lived.

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English connection

William Blanchard married Jane Steere in 1668 in Providence, Rhode Island. At various times William owned property in Coventry and Scituate, Rhode Island. Toward the end of his life he must have fallen on hard times because there is a public debate about his support.

There is little definitive about William's ancestry but there are vague references to his being descended from Huguenots who escaped religious persecution. One possible ancestry connection may be to Pierre Jean Blanchard (1555-1610), a Huguenot who fled Normandy in 1572 after the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. He ended up in Yorkshire England but is unlikely related to this Blanchard line.

Jane's parents were John Steere and Hannah Wichenden. They married on Oct 27, 1660 and resided in Providence, Rhode Island, where they had and raised nine children. John had come to Providence, Rhode Island in August, 1658. In 1686 he moved to Wionkhiege Hill in what is presently the town of Smithfield. He was purportedly one of the first to plant apple orchards in the area and was a prominent farmer and many of his descendants followed in the apple farming tradition.

Providence, RI

John's wife Hannah was the daughter of Rev. William Wickenden. William immigrated to America prior to 1634 and lived in Salem, Massachusetts for a time. Wickenden followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island and sometime between 1639 and 1644 he was one of 12 men who signed an agreement sometimes called the "Providence Compact," and was one of the 39 signers of an agreement to form a Providence government in 1640. Wickenden served in the Rhode Island Legislature in 1648, and from 1651 to 1655 and then again in 1664. In 1656 Wickenden was arrested by Dutch colonial authorities, jailed, and fined for baptizing Christians in Flushing, Queens near New Amsterdam (New York). Upon being informed that Wickenden was a poor cobbler with a large family, the Dutch authorities agreed to exile Wickenden instead. The following year, Dutch colonists signed the Flushing Remonstrance to allow for more religious freedom. Wickenden served as the fourth minister at the First Baptist Church in America in Providence. Wickenden Street in Providence marks where he originally settled in the seventeenth century and is named in his honor.


The Whaley Family

The Whaley family has a strong anti-royalist background with connections to both Oliver Cromwell and the Regicides.

How We're Related

Anna Whaley married Moses Blanchard in Warwick, Rhode Island on January 1, 1735. Anna is a cousin of Oliver Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell

Samuel Whaley married Patience Hearndon/Harrington in 1713 in Providence, Rhode Island. They had seven children. He was the only son of seven children and received 120 acres of land in East Greenwich from his parents in about 1712.


Theophilus Whaley married Elizabeth Mills. He was the brother of Edward Whalley, the regicide. He first came to Virginia, before he was a legal adult, and took part in the Indian Wars. Then he returned to England, where he was a member of the parliamentary army. When the monarchy was restored, he came back to Virginia in 1660, and married in the 1670's. He arrived in Rhode Island in the 1680's, and spent the rest of his life there. Theophilus was an assumed name. His birth name was Robert. He changed his name because of suspicion falling on him. He stood out on the farm he lived and worked on at first, in Rhode Island. He could read Latin and Greek, and said he didn't go without a servant until he was 18. He made an initial living by "fishing and writing for the settlers". Apparently he moved to Rhode Island to escape "the intolerance of Episcopacy", as he was a Baptist. In Rhode Island, unlike Virginia, he had the freedom to worship as he could. He was well off enough to have servants in his house.

Elizabeth was the daughter of John Mills and Joane Russell. Elizabeth was the rare case of a person who was born in the South (Virginia) and then lived out most of her life in the North (Rhode Island). This quote from a family friend shows the family dynamic: “The wife (Elizabeth) was a notable woman, a woman of high spirits, and often chastised her husband for his inattention to domestic concerns, and spending so much of his time in religion and contemplation, neglecting to repair and cover his house, which was worn out and become leaky and let in rain in heavy storms, which used to set her a storming at him. He used to endeavor to sooth her with placid mildness, and to calm her by observing in a storm, while the rain was beating in upon them, that then was not a time to repair it, and that they should learn to be contented, as it was better than sinners deserved, with other religious reflexions; and when the storm was over, and she urged him, he would calmly and humorously reply, it is now fair weather, and when it did not rain they did not want a better house.”


The Hearndon Family

The Hearndon family has connections to two of New England's more interesting settlers, Theophilus Whaley and William White.

How We're Related

Patience Hearndon/Harrington married Samuel Whaley in 1713 in Providence, Rhode Island.


Isaac Hearndon married Sarah (last name unknown) on 10 Feb 10, 1689 in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1688, Isaac's mother, deeded him the homestead, houses, orchard, etc., given to her for life by the will of her late husband.


Bejamin Hearndon married Elizabeth White on July 9, 1647. They had nine children. He was a bricklayer and farmer. Benjamin couldn't write (he signed documents with an X) and his name has been variously written Harrington/Herrington/Errington/Herndell/Harnden/Herinqton and Hearndon. He followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island in 1651 and became a substantial citizen of Providence. In 1670, he became a surveyor, using the name Harrington.

There are many stories about Benjamin and Elizabeth. He was born Benjamin Harrington. His parents were John Harrington and Ann Clinton. His parents were strict Puritans but his father drowned in the Boston Harbor when he was a young boy. His mother sent him to his uncle when he was 15 years old. He soon became a Baptist which angered his uncle. The uncle flogged him in an effort to get him to turn back to Puritanism. He ran away from home and starving bumped into a Quaker family by the name of White. During their travels to a refuge commune for Baptists, he and Elizabeth the oldest daughter, fell in love. When they reached Rhode Island he changed his the spelling of his name to Herendeen or Hearndon to avoid being found by his family and married Elizabeth White. I do not think any of that is true. It particularly fells doubtful that he was the son of John and Ann Harrington.

We do know that Benjamin appeared in court on multiple occasions. Benjamin was brought to court in Lynn, Massachusetts for beating his wife in December 1647. Apparently, Elizabeth was not free from scandal herself. She was presented at court for stealing clothes from Mary Pray and was ordered to make double restitution. It is interesting to note that after the death of Benjamin in 1687, Elizabeth married, as his second wife, Richard Pray whose wife, Mary (the same Mary Pray as named in the suit), had died in 1686.

In 1661, John Clawson was fatally attacked with a Broad Ax by the Indian, "Waumanio," from behind Barberry Bushes near the Burying Ground. Before he died Clawson named Benjamin Herendeen as the instigator and pronounced a curse on him and his descendants, that "he and his posterity might be marked by split chins and be haunted by Barberry Bushes." In Rhode Island Trials, Vol 1, page 70, it states that "the Indian confessed to the killing and was sentenced to be executed. Benjamin Herendeen was charged as an accessory, he plead not guilty and the jury found him not guilty and cleared him."

Elizabeth's parents were William White and Elizabeth Jackson who married at St Gregory by St Paul’s in London in 1629. In London he was associated with the Antinomian preacher John Everard and the writer Gabriel Plattes. He worked as a furnace maker with many customers among alchemists, brewers, dyers, soap‐makers and other trades using heat and assisted Everard in alchemical projects. William and Elizabeth arrived with their family from England between 1635 and 1639. His work was much in demand and took him to many New England locations as well as to the island of Bermuda.

He was much respected by many of his contemporaries including Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop and Rhode Island Founder Roger Williams. A book was written about him titled "A most exquisite fellow" — William White and an Atlantic world perspective on the seventeenth-century chemical furnace.


The Albro Family

The early generations of Albros were Rhode Island residents with varied religious beliefs: Quaker, Anglican and Episcopalian.

How We're Related

Hannah Albro married Michael Letson on September 28, 1760 in Kingston, Rhode island.


John Albro married Freelove Gardiner in 1738 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. He was married twice and had 13 known children, all births recorded in North Kingstown. John was a freeman in Kingstown in 1712, and a vestryman of the Narragansett Episcopal Church in 1718. He carried the title of major when he died.


John Albro married Margaret Sweet in 1714 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. John was a freeman in Kingstowne in 1712, and a vestryman of the Narragansett Episcopal Church in 1718. He carried the title of major when he died.


Samuel Albro married Isabel Lawton in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1670. On 10 Aug 1677 Samuel enlisted in a troop of horse for the protection of Aquidneck Island. Four years later he was living across the bay in the Narragansett country, and in 1671 took the oath of allegiance in Kingstown. Samuel was able to take advantage of two major land giveaways. On 31 Oct 1677 he was one of the 48 who divided a 5000-acre tract to become East Greenwich, and on 5 Dec 1679 he was one of 25 to whom 7630 acres in Narragansett was laid out.

Samuel was a member of the Anglican Church, and before 1709 he and his wife crossed the bay to be baptized at Trinity Church in Newport. On 20 Oct 1715 he and seven others signed a letter to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign parts, earnestly requesting that an Episcopal pastor be settled in Narragansett. Their wishes were soon answered, and on 14 April 1718 Albro was a Warden of the Episcopal Church at Narragansett. He lived to be 94.

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English connection

John Albro married Dorothy Wilbore in 1644 in Portsmouth Rhode Island. He sailed for America on the ship Francis from Ipswich, England in 1634 as a minor under the care of early Portsmouth settler William Freeborn landing in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. He may have had some personal assets because upon the death of his father, Henry Albury, the property at Locks Farm was sold and the money divided among his children.

John was one of the original settlers of Portsmouth. Early in his career Albro was a coroner, and was one of the first men sent for when the burnt remains of Rebecca Cornell were discovered at her home, a death for which her son, Thomas Cornell, was tried and convicted of murder.

He became Major Albro from Captain, in May 5 1680, and was the Major Commandant for Portsmouth until May 1683. Because his death was recorded in the records of the Society of Friends, Albro apparently became a Quaker at some point in his life. He died in 1712 and was buried "in his own orchard" according to the Friends' records.

Dorothy's parents were Samuel Wilbore and Ann Bradford who were married in Essex, England in 1619 and came to America before 1633.


The Gardiner Family

The Gardiner family were early settlers in Rhode Island. There is some fog about who is related to whom.

How We're Related

Freelove Gardiner married John Albro in 1738 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.


Jeremiah Gardiner married Grace Lawton in about 1714. There is no proven information about Grace's parents.


George Gardiner married Lydia Ballou in 1660 in Kingston, Rhode Island. George came to New England (Boston) in about 1637. The first mention of his name in public records is when he went to Rhode Island to settle in Portsmouth in 1638. Lydia was George's third wife. His second marriage was quite controversial. His second marriage to Herodias Long took place in Newport, Rhode Island and they had 7 children. This marriage was the second for both of them and took place in a Quaker meetinghouse in the Quaker tradition and would later be regretted by Herodias and she tried to get a divorce which was not easy in colonial America.

There are stories that she walked to Boston to try to get her divorce, which suggests she was greeted with much resistance. Some questioned the validity of the Quaker union. The matter caused so much consternation, that the Rhode Island body of governors or legislature took up the matter and declared the marriage legal. She then got a divorce and remarried.

There is a possibility that Jeremiah is actually the child of George and Herodias' son Benoni but it hasn't been proven.

Lydia's parents were Robert Ballou and Susanna (last name unknown). Robert's parents were the immigrants William Ballou and Margery Fellowes. Margery Fellowes is the aunt of Grace Fellows, the wife of John Seabury on this page.


The Sweet Family

There is a tradition in the Rhode Island branch of the Sweet family, that their ancestors, including James, the immigrant, had long been gifted by nature with the faculty of setting dislocated and broken bones. The inherited ability to set bones was not regarded by the Sweets as a vocation, but rather as an avocation. They were artisans by calling -stonemasons, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, carpenters. Bone-setting was a side-line.

The Sweets did not deem this a magical thing, but more of an inherited knowledge acquired from their elders. They handled fractures, sprains and dislocations with a skill to be envied by an orthopedic physician. They were known to use massaging with ointments and herbs also. Instances naming local doctors who failed to relieve suffering that later was relieved by one of the Sweets have become folklore.

How We're Related

Margaret Sweet married John Albro in 1714 in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.


Benoni Sweet married Elizabeth Manchester in about 1680 in Rhode Island. He was a middle child of nine born between 1655 and 1674. Benoni was deeded land in Mashiantatack from his father.

Benoni was called "Dr. Sweet", but practiced only in restoring dislocations. where “his skill in bone-setting was of high repute in Rhode Island and in Eastern Connecticut.” Many later Sweets were named for him and/or carried on his trade. A New York Times article of April 4, 1874 called Benoni and his descendants, a family of "distinguished bone-setters."

He was a regular communicant of the historic Narragansett Church and officiated as a vestryman until his death in 1751. Benoni was also known as “Captain Sweet” as he was called by his neighbors since in his early days he had been an officer in the British Army. He was described as a man of education and polished manners.


Dr. James Sweet married Mary Greene on June 17, 1654 in Warwick, Rhode Island. He worked at a grist mill with his step-father, Ezekiel Holliman. James Sweet & his brother, John Sweet were interpreters to the Indians for first settlers and their names can be found on early Indian deeds.

He was an inhabitant of Warwick in 1648, Commissioner in 1653/1658/1659, freeman in 1655, juryman in 1656 and lived at the estate of the late William Congdon at the foot of Ridge Hill. Later, the family moved to Prudence Island in Portsmouth Twp. about four miles southwest of Bristol in 1664 being one of the first families to live on the island from 1664 to about 1685.

James prospered as a physician. All the "bone-setter" family lines originate with James Sweet and his wife, Mary, who learned the art of bone-setting from her surgeon father, John Greene. James “Bonesetter” Sweet died in Kingstown, Rhode Island in 1695.

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English connection

John Sweet married Mary Westcott. John, Mary, sons James and John, and daughter Meribah arrived in Salem, Massachusetts sailing on the Lyon, from Bristol, England in late 1630 as part of the Roger Williams group of Pilgrims, arriving in Salem in 1631. They did not mix well with the religious tenants of the Massachusetts pilgrims, and separated to Rhode Island following Roger Williams. John Sweet left Salem in 1637 and settled in Newbury, Rhode Island near Providence, where he had a grant of land, but he died in that same year.


The Manchester Family

The extended Manchester family were traders in the Long Island Sound with connections to Long Island, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

How We're Related

Elizabeth Manchester married Benoni Sweet in about 1680 in Rhode Island.


Thomas Manchester married Margaret Wood about 1649. Thomas Manchester was an early pioneer in Quinnipiac, called New Haven after 1640, in the Plantation of Connecticut. He was probably an indentured servant of Richard Perry. All was not smooth. In 1639 he was accused by his Master for being drunk, and for gibing his master uncomely language for which his master having given him a correction, the court caused him to be set in the stocks for a certain time. Since he was in New Haven in 1639, it would seem probable that he was of the company of Yorkshire settlers who came in 1638 with Ezekiel Rogers, the famous non-conformist minister, with the view of joining the Quinnipiac Plantation, although many settled elsewhere.

Thomas relocated to Portsmouth, Rhode Island before 1642. He served as town sergeant from 1674 until his death. He was a considerable landowner, owning in addition to his mansion and land in Portsmouth, a portion of Quononquett Island and Dutch Island. In 1657 he was one of the purchasers of Conanicut Island, in Rhode Island, for one 300th share.

Margaret's parents were John Wood and Margaret (last name unknown) who were married in Southwark, England in January 1610. John who is sometimes referred to as "The Mariner" was associated as Masters Mate or captain on the ships Bacheler, Blessing, and Hector. John was a sea captain on Long Island Sound, trading from England and then from Newport where he bought land about 1641-1642. He had considerable dealings with land near New Amsterdam. His wife Margaret may have been killed in the Maspeth, New York Indian attack of 1643.


The Greene Family

The Greene family followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island and Dr. John Greene began the line of healers in the Sweet family by passing on his own knowledge as a surgeon.

How We're Related

Mary Greene married James Sweet on June 17, 1654 in Warwick, Rhode Island.


Dr. John Greene married Joanne Tattersall on Nov 4, 1619 at St Thomas Church, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. John practiced as a surgeon in England for 16 years. On June 6, 1635, John and Joanne and six children, arrived in Boston, Massachusetts on board the ship James. The family first settled in Salem, Mass., where they were associated with Roger Williams. After Williams fled to Rhode Island due to religious persecution in the spring of 1637, John Greene sold his land and bought property in Providence, becoming one of the first settlers of Providence. He was baptized by Roger Williams and became one of the original 12 members of the First Baptist Church in America.

John moved to Warwick, Rhode Island around 1642. He was the first from England to purchase land in Warwick, buying a 700 acre tract, called Occupasuetuext by the chief sachem of the Narragasetts. His descendants lived there for more than 120 years. He was a commissioner to England in 1644 when England granted Rhode Island its first charter.

John has many famous descendants including President William Taft and Marilyn Monroe.


The Lawton Family

The Lawton and Hazard families were early settlers in Rhode Island.

How We're Related

Isabel Lawton married Samuel Albro in Portsmouth, Rhode Island in 1670.


George Lawton married Elizabeth Hazard. George arrived in New England with his brother Thomas before 1638. In that year he was admitted as an inhabitant of Aquidneck, Rhode Island. On April 30, 1639, he was one of the incorporators of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Sometime around 1643, he married Elizabeth Hazard. Elizabeth was much younger than George, having been born about 1626. The couple had ten children, all born in Portsmouth.

Elizabeth came to New England in about 1635 with her parents, Thomas Hazard and Martha, and they settled in Boston. Her family moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1639. Thomas was a ship carpenter.


The Smith Family

The Smith Family members were early settlers in Rhode Island.

How We're Related

Mary Smith married John Letson, Jr. in Kingston, Rhode Island in 1732.


John Smith married Priscilla (or Hannah) in 1696 in Warwick, Rhode Island. John received 300 acres in Kingstown in his father's will.


Jeremiah Smith married Marritje Gereardy in Warwick, Rhode Island on January 2, 1671. They probably moved to Prudence Island, Rhode Island during King Philips War in 1675/6 where his parents were established. Jeremiah and his brother John operated the ferry between South Ferry Rd and Boston Neck on the mainland and Jamestown on Conanicut Island. Jeremiah was a constable in 1688 and justice of the peace in 1709. He continued to acquire land and eventually owned over 1000 acres in Rhode Island. In 1720 Jeremiah left at least three negro females to his family in his will.


John Smith married Margaret in 1640 in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. John emigrated from England sometime before 1640 and first settled on Conanicut Island, now the Town of Jamestown, which is directly across the West Passage from where his sons would build their plantations and operate Smith's Ferry. John Smith is not listed among the 100 Jamestown investors, nor was he accepted as a Freeman until the 1670s, so he must have been a tenant of one of the large owners such as Benedict Arnold. What places him on the island at this time is an indictment read at the October 14, 1662, session of the Rhode Island Court of Trials in Warwick:"There being a bill presented by the atorny genneraIl aganst John Smith living at Cononicott for specking words of reproch aganst Mr Binidick Arnold presedent which words did absolutly tend to his disparedgment in the Excicution of his office the sayd Smith being bound to this Court and being Called Confeseth himselfe guilty and Referes himselfe to the beench". It must be quickly noted that there were many of these cases of the good Governor being disparaged, with defendants paying fines of £5 to £10 if they fessed up and asked the court for mercy, which John did.[2]

John next shows up on Prudence Island, a colonial pig farm and political refuge situated at the top of Narragansett Bay between Warwick Neck and Portsmouth. In 1673, John bought land on the island. Other residents of Prudence at this time included James Sweet, whose cousins, Phillis and Mary Gereardy, would marry two of John's sons. John died on the island in 1677.


The Gereardy Family

The Gereardy family came to New Amsterdam in the person of Phillip from Holland. He and his daughter were prominent and a bit infamous in the Dutch colony.

How We're Related

Marritje Gereardy married Jeremiah Smith in Warwick, Rhode Island on January 2, 1671. She left in her will "one female Negro child named Dinah to my said Grand Daughter".


Jan Gereardy married Meribah Sweet. Jan may have been a pirate (or at least a smuggler). Sometime before 1648 he became an inhabitant of Warwick, Rhode Island where he had been drawn through trade. Jan at various times in his life managed to antagonize the English, the Dutch, the Swedes and the Narragansett Indians as well as his Baptist minister father-in-law.

He had made voyages to the South River (the Delaware) for trade; toward the end of December, 1647, while near the Swedish colony, Governor John Printz did "with force and violence, seize me, Jan Geraet, with my boat called tbe Siraen, visited the yacht and handled the goods in an unchristianlike manner and to the great loss and damage of me Jan Gereat, turned them upside down; took out my munitions of war, which consisted of about 6O lbs. of powder and six guns, but on my promising to use them only when obliged, returned me some powder, about 47 lbs. and three guns; the remainder he kept for himself."

It was well said that sometimes justice during this early colonial era "was sometimes more relentless than fair." In 1666, Jan was banned from town hall meetings in his Rhode Island home, for being a known thief.

Meribah Sweet was renamed soon after she arrived in America as "Renewed" presumably reflecting the families prospects in the New World. Her parents were John and Mary (Westcot) Sweet. They are profiled above under the Sweet family. By the time Meribah married Jan, Meribah's father had died and Mary had remarried the Baptist minister, Ezekiel Holliman. In 1639, Mary Holliman is mentioned in a letter from Rev. Hugh Peters of Salem, to the church at Dorchester. He says that she and certain others had "the great censure passed upon them in this church" and that "they wholley refused to hear the church, denying it and all churches in the Bay to be true churches". She and her husband were followers of Roger Williams and removed from Salem to establish their own colony in Rhode Island. He became the first minister of the Providence Colony under Roger Williams.

McKay-McKay connection

John and Mary Sweet are related to the McKay through both their son James and their daughter Meribah. This can be best shown here .

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Dutch connection

Phillip Gereardy married Marie Pollet. Father and son Phillip and Jan Gereardy were prominent figures in New Amsterdam before the English took it over. Fur trader Phillip has the distinction of being the first private tavern owner in New York. He was granted a lot on “Stone Street, between Whitehall and Broad Street,” to open his Wooden Horse Tavern. Supposedly, the name was a jab at punishment he had received as a soldier, forced to straddle “two boards nailed together to form a sharp wedge that rested on four legs” for being absent from guard duty without leave. In January 1642, he was in trouble for selling beer at a higher rate than that allowed by ordinance, but was permitted to escape punishment.

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General History





[1] THE FORDES of SMUTTYNOSE ISLAND Posted on 14 Jan 2020 by Donald Libby

[2]John Smith

[3] Massachusetts and Maine Families in the Ancestry of Walter Goodwin Davis. Vol. I. Allanson-French p. 569