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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.



  1. Found your blog and read it with great interest. It is very entertaining and thorough. My Cole genealogy is James, Hugh, John, then Ebenezer which is where we diverge. But I hope to still enjoy reading about your branch of the family. My great grandmother was an Indiana Cole (Virtue) daughter of Daniel, great grandson of Ebenezer.

  2. Fascinating,I enjoy this very much. Thanks for all your hard work!

    Debbie Hubbard hogan (Gladys Pye was my grandmother).

  3. Wow! Thank you so much for all of this good information! I am a descendant like you through this same line. Very interesting to learn of the "con" in the Ingraham name. Any leads on what that family line might truly be?
    My line is (earliest to latest) of Coles:
    James- Hugh- Benjamin- Jonathan- Jonathan- Ebanezer- Edward- Edward - Catherine (married to Alexandra Doo in New Brunswick).

    Thanks again for the nice blog & read!