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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Jonathan Cole, 1728-1813, Swansea to Sackville

A brief recap of some of the history concerning the Maritime Provinces will help to make this all more understandable. The French had long been settled in those provinces, had built up their farms, built sturdy home and raised their families.  But along came the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. This was a peace treaty of sorts, more like a series of peace treaties. So nearly 100 years after the first French settlers arrived, King George of Britain decided there were too many of them and that they were a decided threat to his territories. It was then the Grand Derangement began, lasting from about 1755 - 1763. The French were driven from their homesteads, some were returned to France, some went to Maine, others scattered from Quebec to Georgia and many more ended up in LA. This is not meant to be a history of the politics of that time. It was not a peaceful time. It was time of the French and Indian War. There were skirmishes and battles. The French often destroyed their buildings and their crops before departing. The Indians also burned and looted. The population of the area was depleted which created the need to invite new settlers to these lands. In 1758, Governor Lawrence issued his first proclamation inviting New Englanders to come to Nova Scotia to settle the lands vacated by the French. This created a huge amount of interest and finally led to a considerable number of New Englanders settling in various parts of the Province. In some cases, the government offered to pay for the transportation of whole families to move them to Nova Scotia.  Many of these people were of the Baptist faith and whole congregations left as a group. In the 1760’s Nova Scotia included all the land that later became New Brunswick. For those doing any family research into the Sackville and Amherst areas of New Brunswick, it’s good to keep in mind that until about 1820 or so, those locations were still in Nova Scotia.

Jonathan Cole was still living in the area of Swansea/Warren/Barrington when he married Elizabeth West in 1750. She was from Rehoboth MA, the d/o Abigail Wheeler and John West. Elizabeth was the great granddaughter of Richard Bullock through her father John West, who was a Mayflower descendant through the Soules. Jonathan Cole was a great, great grandson of Richard Bullock through his father’s mother, Hannah Eddy. They were 3rd cousins once removed. Jonathan and Elizabeth had two sons, James and Edward. But then Elizabeth died in 1755 leaving Jonathan with two young boys to care for. As often was the case, Jonathan then married a young widow, with three children. This was Abigail Martin Estabrooks, widow of William Estabrooks.  To complicate things just a bit more, Abigail was the half sister of Jonathan’s first wife, Elizabeth West. Their mother, Abigail Wheeler, had married John West first and later married Ebenezer Martin. So now Jonathan and Abigail had five children, two of his and three of hers. They were married in 1756 in Warren RI. They then had three more children all born in Warren by 1762. At some time after the third child was born, they joined the exodus to Nova Scotia and appear on the rolls of grantees in 1763.

It’s time for another sidebar. When Abigail Martin Estabrooks entered the scene, she brought with her the connection to the Wheelers. Her grandparents were James Wheeler and Grizzell Squire. Their daughter, Abigail Wheeler (who first married John West and then Ebenezer Martin) is my 5x gt. grandmother. Abigail’s brother James Wheeler (jr.) married Elizabeth West, sister of John West.  This James Wheeler and his wife Elizabeth West Wheeler are 7x gt. grandparents of President George W. Bush. That means President Bush and I are 7th cousins twice removed.

Another interesting connection has been found through the Bullocks. Richard Bullock had three daughters who have played a role in the ancestry of many people. Elizabeth Bullock married Caleb Eddy; Abigail Bullock married Obadiah Bowen and Mehitable Bullock married John West (the father of the above John West). The Eddys and the Bowens are integral parts of the Cole family tree. Mehitable and John West were the parents of Elizabeth, the one who married James Wheeler jr. Therefore the Bullocks are also ancestors of the Bush family. But there’s more. Mehitable Bullock and John West are the 4x gt. grandparents of James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States, also making him my 5th cousin twice removed, the common ancestor being Richard Bullock, Mehitable’s father.
Back to Jonathan Cole and the migration north – It’s not known if the whole family traveled with him and arrived en masse or not. Many lists of people taking advantage of the land exist, but in that day, women weren’t mentioned often so it’s difficult to know how many of the women and families were actually in Nova Scotia during the early stages of settlement and development. In 1763, nearly 70 people made application for lands in the Cumberland area, Jonathan Cole, Jonathan Eddy, Elijah, Obadiah and Joseph Ayre. Nehemiah Ward and Josiah Throop among them. There were also people named King, Peck, Walker, Winslow, Martin, Danks and Gardner. Many of these people came and settled, clearing land and building roads and homes, yet not all of them stayed. An Isaac Cole of Providence Plantation in RI was one such man. (Many farms were called plantations. Isaac had a farm in or near Providence.) He was a 2nd cousin of Jonathan Cole, going back to Hugh and Mary Foxwell Cole as the common ancestors. Isaac was married to Sarah Estabrooks. She may have been related to the William Estabrooks who was Abigail Martin Estabrooks Cole’s first husband, but I haven’t tracked it yet, so I don’t know of any connection. The Estabrooks played a large role in the development of the new lands and the name shows up on a list of subscribers for the Township lying on the Tantramar River in 1761. A word of caution, this name has a variety of spellings, all of them for the same family. If you’re researching this name in Canada, look at all spellings. I’ve seen the name spelled three different ways all in the same document.  But Isaac Cole apparently did not go to Nova Scotia or settle there. He may have had good intentions, but for some reason, they fell through. Because Isaac did not settle in NS, it appears that Jonathan Cole was the only member of his family to go north. Other than Isaac, he is the only one named Cole to appear of any of the early lists.

Jonathan, his two sons, James and Edward, his wife Abigail and her three children, Elizabeth, Grizzell and William Estabrooks, and the three new Cole children Ambrose, Patience and Martin (all born in RI) settled in what is today Sackville, New Brunswick. Two more children were born in NB, Jonathan and Ebenezer (1767). Not much is known about Jonathan so it is possible this child died young. Ebenezer is my 3x gt. grandfather.


April 19 1775 the shot heard round the world was fired as the Minutemen and the Redcoats clashed at Lexington and Concord. This put considerable stress on all the families who had moved into Canada. They were still British citizens but many had deep loyalties toward the colonists and especially, family members who remained in New England. Some of the new settlers moved back to New England, some others joined various components of the Continental Army. It was a time of upheaval all up and down the eastern seaboard. How this affected Jonathan Cole’s family in Sackville, NB will be the subject of the next blog.

The Chignecto Isthmus and its First Settlers, Howard Trueman, 1902  

The History of Sackville, Dr. W. C. Milner, 1934


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Cole Family Goes to Swansea

James and Mary Tibbes Cole had at least four children. As mentioned earlier, it is not known where these two died or where they are buried. Their son Hugh acquired land in Swansea MA, near Rehoboth, which had already been settled. It’s possible that James and Mary were able to make that move with him, but that’s simply speculation. Their son, James, Jr., stayed behind and ran the family business, an ordinary.

This James married Mary Tilson Dec 23 1652 in Scituate, MA. They had six children, the youngest of who was Martha, b. 1672. Martha’s birth mother seems to be in question in many of the reports I read. Mary Tilson Cole died c 1679 and James, Jr. then married Abigail Davenport. The confusion seems to concern Mary’s death date. I have seen it stated that she died before 1660, that she died after 1670 and a variety of dates in between.  The most consistent date I have seen is 1679 so I will stick with that until it is proven false.  The reason I bring this couple into view as a tangent is because they became the ancestors of a very important historical figure.  Obviously, their children were all Mayflower descendants and all their progeny are also entitled to make that claim.  James Cole, Sr., of 1633 Plimouth, was the grandfather of the following Martha Cole.

 This is how the generations fall:

1. James Cole Sr. and Mary Tibbes
2. James Cole, Jr. and Mary Tilson
3. Nathaniel and Martha Cole Howland  
4. Nathaniel and Abigail Burt Howland
5. Joseph and Lydia Bill Howland
6. Susan Howland and John Aspinwall, Jr.
7. Mary Rebecca Aspinwall and Isaac Roosevelt
8. James Roosevelt and Sarah Delano
9. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
This is such a neat piece of history and FDR’s ancestry is so well documented. This makes me a 7th cousin 2x removed to the 32nd President of the United States.  How cool is that?!


But I really wanted to continue on with Hugh Cole who helped settle the area around Swansea MA. He and his wife Mary Foxwell had ten children. One of the boundaries of Hugh Cole’s land was a river, Coles River, which has the same name today. Parts of it are tidal and some of the area has been developed for recreational purposes.

Coles River at Ocean Grove
Their ten children were:

James Cole 1655-1717, m. Mary Cadman
Hugh Cole, Jr. 1658-1738, m. Deborah Buckland
John Cole 1660-1748, m. Susannah Gray
Martha Cole 1662-1711, m. Henry Sweeting
Anna Cole c. 1666-1693, Nathaniel Luther
Joseph Cole 1668-1705

Ebenezer Cole 1671-1719, m. Mehitable Luther
Mary Cole 1676-1756, m. Jonathan Kingsley
*Benjamin Cole 1677-1748, m. Hannah Eddy

Hugh Cole, the elder, is buried at Tyler Point Cemetery in Barrington RI. This land was all once part of the original lands purchased inn 1667. Over the years, the boundaries changed several times until finally, the land Hugh owned now resides in both RI and MA.  

His youngest son, Benjamin with his wife Hannah Eddy, continue the line I am following. Benjamin was a deacon in his church until his death. He was a farmer in the Swansea area. Benjamin and Hannah are both buried in the Kickemuit Cem. in Warren RI.

Their children were:

Hopestill, b. 1703, m. Joseph Butterworth
*Jonathan Cole 1704-1785, m. Elizabeth Bowen
Benjamin Cole 1706-1776, m. Elizabeth Nelson
Foxtil Cole, b. 1708
Israel Cole 1710-1789, m. Susannah Wheaton, moved to Shaftsbury VT
Ebenezer Cole 1712-1794, m. Mary Bosworth, moved to Shaftsbury VT
Andrew Cole 1714-1787, m. Priscilla Luther
Hannah Cole b. 1716, m. Ebenezer Ormsby


The eldest son, Jonathan, who married Elizabeth Bowen, continues the Cole line in the Swansea MA and RI areas. Jonathan and Elizabeth were 2nd cousins, since Elizabeth’s grandmother, Abigail Bullock, and Jonathan’s grandmother, Elizabeth Bullock were sisters.

 Their children were:

Hope Cole - no dates
Rebecca Cole – no dates
Welthian Cole – no dates
Elizabeth Cole – 1727-1755
*Jonathan Cole – 1728-1813
James Cole – 1730-?
Rufus Cole – 1736-1810
Ambrose Cole – 1738-1770
Patience Cole – c 1745-?
Obadiah Cole – 1749-?

There is a totally unsubstantiated story about Elizabeth Bowen’s ancestry. It claims that Elizabeth Bowen’s paternal grandmother, Abigail Bullock, was the granddaughter of Elizabeth Ingraham.  That the first name was Elizabeth seems to be correct, but there is no – none – proof that her surname was Ingraham. The Ingraham line in this tale has very definite Royal connections and was apparently used for that reason. Richard Bullock, the husband of a woman named Elizabeth, died intestate, leaving few records about him or his wife behind. To claim that this Elizabeth was an Ingraham was pure fantasy. I might add that this pedigree was first put forth in the 1800’s when it was a true feather in your cap to have a Royal connection. But it did not stand the test of time and the scrutiny of today’s sharp-eyed researchers.

Jonathan Cole, the son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Bowen Cole is the ancestor who completely changed the family history for my mother’s maternal family tree. If you notice the dates are well into the 1700’s when so much was changing and happening, eventually leading to the American Revolution and our independence from Britain. This next Jonathan Cole was faced with many challenges, successes and sorrows.

My next blog will continue with Jonathan Cole, 1728-1813.


Monday, December 3, 2012

James Cole, Plimouth, 1633

Thanksgiving always brings back a plethora of childhood memories, family gatherings, cold, invigorating air, warm toasty house, smells of turkey and pies, lots of people around the table – oh! What a great tradition and what great fun.  This year it also brought back a reminder that I have another Plymouth connection. This is not a Mayflower connection, just a very early Plymouth one.

 As a child I heard conversations that we had ancestors who had been in Plymouth very early but no one was sure if they had come on the Mayflower. My gt. grandmother had claimed that there was money back in England for the person in the family who would be so brave as to go find/get it. I never knew of anyone who had attempted this and like all other family stories it got filed away.
As the years went by, my sister and I began to take very serious paths in the study of our family branches. I began to more intensely research the paternal ancestors and she took off on the trail of our maternal lines.

My grandmother Broderick lived with us and her maiden name had been Chambers. Her mother had been Rebecca Cole and both ladies had been born in Dorchester, NB, on the Bay of Fundy. It’s amazing to me that I have both maternal and paternal connections to Plymouth, but three out of four of my grandparents were born in Canada. The only one to be born in the USA was my grandfather, John Broderick, who parents were Irish immigrants just prior to his birth.

I’ve already spoken about my paternal connections to Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, so I thought it was the appropriate time to speak of my mother’s ancestors.  My sister did hours, weeks, months of research in the day before computers when everything was on microfilm or microfiche. It was tedious viewing and you could only borrow the film for a certain length of time.  Bit by bit she pieced together the line of decent from James Cole of Plimouth Plantation to our Gt. Grandmother Rebecca Cole Chambers.

The information she had at the beginning of her research, although accepted at that time, has now proven to be inaccurate. Robert C. Anderson in his The Great Migration Begins states that James Cole was b. c 1600, based on his age at marriage.  It isn’t known where he was born or who his parents were, but there is a marriage record for James and Mary Tibbes in Barnstaple, Devonshire on May 1, 1625. There is information out there that says James Cole was the son of William, of Enniskillen, Ireland. This just isn’t true. I have seen the family tree of this William Cole of Enniskillen and although he had children there was not one named James for several generations after him.

 James and Mary had four children, the first two, James and Hugh, were baptized in Barnstaple, Devonshire. James was bapt. on Feb. 11, 1626/1627 and Hugh on June 29 1628. Another son, John, b. Nov. 21, 1637 and a daughter, Mary, b. 1639, were born in Plymouth. At this point it’s necessary to mention that there were at least two other men by the name of James Cole in the colonies at the same time. One went to Saco, ME and the other went to Boston. To add to all the confusion Daniel Cole and his family were also in Plymouth at about the same time and he had children with similar names. To date, no known family connection has been discovered between the Daniel Cole and James Cole families.

James Cole, his wife and children arrived in Plymouth sometime prior to 1633, when he was listed as a freeman. He has been called a sailor, a shoemaker and an innkeeper. He also was a surveyor of highways, served on several juries and was a constable for Plymouth. He must have had some education to be considered reliable for these positions. The land that became known as Cole’s Hill, was first known as Burial Hill. This is where it is said the Pilgrims buried their dead that first winter, 1621, so the Indians would not be aware that their numbers had dropped by half. There are many entries in the records of Plymouth concerning James as an innkeeper. He had many difficulties with the laws of Plymouth. He was fined for allowing people to become drunk, for selling spirits on the Sabbath, for selling spirits to the Indians and for being drunk himself. He lost his license to operate his tavern, but he continued to run his inn regardless. He was obviously a colorful figure in Plymouth society.
In 1670 his tavern was succeeded by his son James, Jr. The business operated smoothly after that as James, Jr. stayed well within the regulations set forth by the Plymouth magistrates.

 Today, Coles Hill has a roadside marker and other memorials to him and the Pilgrims. It faces Plymouth Rock and the Ocean. It was a good vantage point for seeing any approaching vessels bent on doing harm to them. One of the memorials says:

"In memory of James Cole
Born London England 1600
Died Plymouth Mass 1692
First settler of Coles Hill 1633
A soldier in Pequot Indian War 1637
This tablet erected by his descendants1917"

 There were no other entries in the Plymouth records concerning James after the late 1670’s. To follow him and his family we need to go to Swansea MA. It appears that James Jr. may have remained in Plymouth, while Hugh went to find new lands to farm. At first this whole area was known as Warren RI, until sometime later when the boundaries were redefined. It’s believed this is where James, Sr. died. Although there are no records to show where he died or where he was buried.

 Hugh Cole, in 1667, along with others, purchased 500 acres along a river from the Indians. This river became known as Cole River and is still so called today. Hugh’s allotment was 50 acres.  Hugh was also a shipwright, a civil engineer, and a selectman of Swansea for many years and a representative to the General Court.  He was a friend of King Philip, Indian Chief. King Philip's warriors organized against the colonists and terrorized the area for about a year.  In June of 1675, two of Hugh's sons were taken prisoner by the Indians and taken to Philip at Mount Hope.  Philip ordered them freed, but told Hugh he could no longer restrain his warriors.  He advised Hugh to take his family to Rhode Island, immediately.  Hugh did this and within the hour his house was in flames.  In 1677, he returned to Swansea and built a house.  There is no mention of James Sr. through any of this history so one assumes he may not have lived long enough to move to Swansea.

Hugh married Mary Foxwell, daughter of Richard and Ann Shelley Foxwell. The Foxwells left London on Sept. 16 1632 on board the ship Lyon, William Pierce, Master. Hugh and Mary had 10 children, 6 boys and 4 girls. When Mary died, Hugh married Elizabeth Lettice, and then after her death he married Mary Shelley. There are some discrepancies on dates in the various histories I have consulted. Hugh’s children all seem to be the offspring on his first wife. I have found no children attributed to the 2nd and 3rd marriages, but because all the dates don’t agree, I can’t be certain Mary Foxwell was the mother of all of them.

 My next blog will continue with a few more generations of the Coles. I’ve been so busy with substitute teaching that I haven’t been able to put much time into a  blog.