Are we having fun yet?

Alicia Crane WilliamsI am definitely regretting getting into the “ladies” sketches for the Early New England Families Study Project. While working on the sketch for William Lord of Saybrook, Connecticut, who had fifteen children by two wives, I recognized that his second wife also had at least one child by her first husband, John Brown of Swansea, which qualifies her for an Early New England Families sketch of her own.

Upon closer look, however, I realized that means I have to gather information on Lydia’s parents, William and Mary (Bosworth) Buckland of Hingham and Rehoboth; on her first husband, John Brown of Swansea, and John’s first marriage and children; on Lydia’s third husband, Thomas Dunk; on Thomas’s first two marriages, his children, and the other wives’ previous marriages; on Lydia’s fourth husband, Abraham Post; and on Abraham’s first marriage and ten children!

Pardon me for a moment while I hyperventilate.

This will need sorting out…

Okay, first, I need to find out what has already been done by using Clarence Almon Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (database online at and Melinde Lutz Sanborn’s Third Supplement to Torrey’s New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (unfortunately, not online), plus all of the searchable databases on

Parents: William Buckland and Mary Bosworth are both Great Migration immigrants and their information is in The Great Migration, Immigrants to New England 1634-1635 (database on [hereinafter GM2] under Bosworth (1: 356-57) and Buckland (1: 454-56).

First marriage: Lydia’s first husband, John Brown, was the son of John Brown, also a Great Migration immigrant covered in GM2, 1: 420-29. Marriages Prior to 1700 sources lead to a number of older genealogies that show confusion over the identity of John’s first wife and which of his wives was the mother of which of his children. This will need sorting out and explaining in Lydia’s sketch.

Second marriage: William Lord’s Early New England Families sketch is currently under construction, and, therefore, Lydia’s Lord children will be documented by the time I finish it – a “twofer” situation.

Third marriage: Thomas Dunk clearly had a penchant for marrying widows.  His first wife, Mary (Price) (Pittsfield) North, was widow of Philip Pittsfield and Thomas North. His second wife Elizabeth (Blackleach) Stedman was widow of John Stedman, and daughter of John Blackleach (GM2, 1: 313-18). And, of course, his third wife was twice-widowed Lydia. While there is information on Thomas Dunk to be gathered, there does not seem to be any previously published compilation on Dunk, himself, to crib from.

Fourth marriage: Much better, Michael Rudy’s complete compendium of “The Colonial Post Family of Saybrook and Hebron, Connecticut: Abraham2Post and his Descendants,” in the NEHGS Register (146: 211–29) provides everything I will need.

Sigh. This might take a little longer than anticipated.

About Alicia Crane Williams

Alicia Crane Williams, FASG, Lead Genealogist of Early Families of New England Study Project, has compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications including The Mayflower Descendant and the Alden Family “Silver Book” Five Generations project of the Mayflower Society. Most recently, she is the author of the 2017 edition of The Babson Genealogy, 1606-2017, Descendants of Thomas and Isabel Babson who first arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1637. Alicia has served as Historian of the Massachusetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, Assistant Historian General at the General Society of Mayflower Descendants, and as Genealogist of the Alden Kindred of America. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut and a master’s degree in History from Northeastern University.

21 thoughts on “Are we having fun yet?

  1. Cheer up, Alicia,
    The good news is you have a lot of material to work with – not always the case for many of us trying to document our very early ancestors here in New England – especially in New Hampshire and Maine. We wish you success, and not too many late nights reading and writing!

  2. So in discovering that this person was married more than once, do u still continue studing the family with or without children?

    1. Patty, yes. If the wife of a man treated in Early New England Families Study Project has children by him and another husband, she qualifies for a full sketch — which encompasses all her husbands, regardless of whether she had children by them all. In for a penny, in for a pound.

  3. Good Morning\ Alicia from Canada. I have just located approx. 400 pages of data re Edward Doty of the Mayflower who married Faith Clarke. I have also found more data from my Cousin Jan re Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower. I am also connected to John Alden via DNA links- The latter also links to a distant Ancestor of mine William Hilton – born approx. 1488 in England. There are close to 250 William Hiltons that I know of so far. Keep those links arriving via any method you choose to use. GREAT GOING. Sincerely, Paul Morris Hilton.

      1. I will say HELLO CUZ to you too. The world sometimes feels so large and yet as the saying goes- Its a really small world on occasion. We have so much data linked to us and to each other that it takes a lot of time to do our research. It is great to have a computer as my handwriting leaves so much to your imagination. All the best with your many efforts. Sincere Best Wishes, Paul

  4. It keeps us interested, Fun am not sure about that, but luckily it doesn’t have to be done all at once. And not feeling pushed will eventually be Fun! Or should be:)

    1. Well Alicia, The Bucklands (William) did very well and were very well respected in later life in Rehoboth. I was very proud to read about them and the Bosworth in-laws. I am a 10th great neice of his through Jonathan Bosworth, his brother-in-law. Since we are talking about families, the one curious piece of information remains a mystery to this day. William’s father-in-law Edward who died on deck on the edge of Boston Harbor, or in Nantasket Roads, was taken ashore and buried “at Boston,” according to the original account. (William would have been a central figure in this drama, being Edward’s son-in-law.)
      My heart’s desire is to find out where he would have been buried? His son Jonathan lived in Cambridge, but they all later removed to Hingham. Edward’s wife, Mary, died at a very old age in Hingham –as related in Rev Hobart’s diary. But when I went there, she was not listed in the Old Ship Church Burying Ground. Would she have been taken back to where Edward was buried and interred with him? If so, where, oh where are the elusive Bosworths (and Lydia Lord grandparents)? If you run across this information when you study Lydia, perhaps you would write a Vita Brevis vignette on it?
      I admire your tenacity!!

      1. Hi Judith. I have seen Many of the problems you mention here during the years I have been researching English (England) genealogy and also the Migration folks too. Many times marriages took place and the participants did not know of the links within the family. One might have stated “LOVE IS or WAS BLIND” ??!! You folks are all great to work with and your kindness is much appreciated. One might say LIFE HAPPENS !!!!! Good luck all with your amazing research. LOVE, Paul Hilton

      2. Judith, that is a puzzle. She may still be in the Old Ship yard as their records are not necessarily complete. Edward Bosworth’s grave was probably marked with a wood marker that has since disappeared. One would need to sit down with the histories of Boston to determine where burials were being made in 1634. There would not have been a regular church yard yet.

  5. Alicia, first off, get the largest bottle of Excedrin available, just as I did when I discovered an ancestress’s WEAVERs had a penchant for repeatedly marrying their first cousins (as two of her aunts did). One barnch had 3 sisters marrying 3 brothers who were the girls’ fisrt cousins. Over the years, this produced relationship combinations that not only give me horrendous headaches when I have to add to or update anyone from this line, it literally makes the relationship calculator audibly grind and “choke”. Which in turn produces bizarre cousinships for me. For instance, instead of the “normal” husband being my something cousin X times removed and his wife being only the spouse of same, the wife will be my something cousin on a different level. Or a many times great-aunt’s husband won’t be “just” a husband, but my something-cousin X times removed. Naturally ALL of the children of these now-illegal first-cousin marriages are my cousins of one degree of another, so when I find anyone with Weaver as a middle name going back to certain areas, I automatically groan, park the Excedrin next to the computer and DIVE IN. There’s really no other way. Again, my heartfelt sympathies.

    1. Joanna, Excedrin bottle is at the ready. Fortunately, I have not had to deal with too many first cousin relationships in my professional career, but I have seen some amazing fan charts. If you run out of Excedrin, let me know.

      1. Sorry, no Clement, but then I haven’t added *every* Weaver cousin to the database. “My” Weavers were descendants of two of the sons of Isaac Weaver and wife Sarah DELL:
        *Thomas Dell Weaver (1751-1804) and
        *Hon. Isaac Weaver (1756-1830) and Abigail PRICE.

        The younger Isaac and Abigail’s sons William, Isaac and David married Abigail’s sister Ann “Nancy” (Price) CORNWELL’s daughters Mary (“Polly”), Elizabeth (“Eliza”) and Charlotte. Their sister Abigail (Cornwell) McCLELLAN was my 3rd ggm, and just to muddy the waters a bit further gave her dau Mary (my 2nd ggm) the middle name “Weaver”, which I understandably but wrongly assumed for years was Abigail McC’s maiden name.

        If your Clement connects to either of the Isaacs above, please let me know at JamaGenie@gmail dot com and we’ll compare notes!

  6. Alicia, While this may be yet another Excedrin day, I really appreciate that the ladies are being acknowledged. How many times have we looked for grandparents and the Mother is for example: Mrs. John Smith, ugh. Not very helpful. Thanks for remembering the ladies.

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