Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little clique of themselves...





“[New Englanders] very contentedly made a little clique of themselves and intermarried very much, with a sure and cheerful faith that in such alliances there can be no blunder.”

John Morse, Jr., in Memoir of Colonel Henry Lee, as quoted by Judson Hale.



Children of the first settlers of the New Hampshire seacoast town of Hampton:  Here, on our family tree,  brothers from one family married sisters from another family, and a child from each of those marriages then got married and had children.  As a result, the fourth great grandfather had the same great grandparents on both sides.

21 comments:

BlueTrain said...

I found the same thing studying the branches of my own family tree in Carroll County, Virginia, though not quite so closely. But as someone put it when writing about the history of the New River Valley, there has been virtually no immigration into the area since the 1840s, so most people are related.

I suspect most people's closets have a story of something like that, either that happened or was prevented from happening, usually with some drama.

Bitsy said...

Similar findings in my family's New England (Massachusetts and Connecticut) family tree from the 1600s.

Parnassus said...

Hello Mrs. Jukes, I mean Muffy,

My grandfather's aunt was married to my grandmother's father, which also causes a lot of confusion, but in this case all is o.k., because it was a second marriage so grandfather's aunt was only my grandmother's step-mother--all clear?

Most important, they were all wonderful people whom I miss dearly. Next summer I will get some pictures and stories about them together and post them.
--Road to Parnassus

Bethany Hissong said...

That definitely occurs in the small farming communities of Pennsylvania! I always kidded my husband that he married outside of the state to bring in new blood. Seriously, when we moved to his hometown and attended his church, I eventually realized that all of the members were in fact somehow related!

Laurie Ann said...

This was also an issue with my husband's family from the northern Catskill region of upstate NY. It was my job to "stir the gene pool!"

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffy,
My Batchelder cousins still live in Hampton, on the same road where they've been for eleven generations. My grandmother was a direct descendant of the Rev. Stephen Bachelder/Bachiler. My mother was the first generation in that line born elsewhere.

We should compare our charts...

Mary G.

Marie said...

My family from Connecticut who with a number of other families were the original settlers of Newark NJ have the same kind of family tree-it continued into the mid-19th century. Look at the positive side fewer name changes!

BlueTrain said...

I've discovered that one issue that carries from generation to generation is disagreement over proper name spellings. My uncles did not all spell their last name the same way. Originally a German name by way of England, it changed form for the first three generations who live in Virginia in the 17th century.

Some of my wife's family still live on land that has been in the family in Alexandria, VA, since before the Civil War, but it keeps getting smaller, both the land and the family!

Katahdin said...

Our family has saved a small fortune on monogramming...

Matt said...

Hello Mrs. Aldrich,

The same is true of my New England ancestry. My great-great grandmother was born in Gloucester, MA in 1860 and had at least five "double-descents" from the 17th century: from Joshua Norwood (b. 1682), from Thomas Low (b. 1632), from Joseph Allen (b. 1653), from Richard Tarr (b. 1646) and from William Andrews (b. 1649).

There is an explanation for this, however, besides the love of tradition. After the Great Migration in the mid-17th century, there was almost no immigration to New England until the 19th century. In any case, if you haven't read Fischer's book "Albion's Seed," you might enjoy it.

Regards,
Matt

Anonymous said...

Hi Muffy,
I grew up in Hampton and all those names are still represented there. There is an active local history museum that is quite interesting.

Greenfield said...

Same here! My great-great grandmother (b. 1860) WAS a Gould and MARRIED a Gould, whose own lineage had split off the same family tree in Fairfield in the mid 1700's. So her daughter, my great-grandmother Clara, went back to Maj. Nathan Gold (later Gould)on BOTH sides! She was the first (m. 1910) to marry anyone who was NOT the product of a local 17th-century Puritan lineage--but certainly not the last! ;)

Marcus Smith said...

I was looking at our ancestry with my dad, and surprisingly, even though his family lived in the same county in south Mississippi FOREVER, there was no intermarrying.

However, in my church, also in south Mississippi, I believe everyone really is related in one way or another (except for me and my wife - I am exaggerating a bit). Every time I turn around I find out someone is someone else's cousin.

Bumby Scott said...

Muffy, I must... OH,
I am my own grandpa.
HA.

BlueTrain said...

My wife has reminded me on the many occasions when the subject has come up, of long forgotten social conditions and conventions in the past. I mention this in relation to cousins who wished to marry but were prevented by parents, at least while they still lived. In the South, and no doubt in the North as well, there were serious shortages of eligible men after the Civil War. It wasn't so much that there was shortage of men so much as a shortage of "suitable" men. A sweet Southern girl from a good family wasn't going to go off and marry just anyone. All the same, I suspect that more of the marriages of closer relations were much earlier, probably well before the Revolution. I wonder if that accounts for the high incidence of "old maid aunts" that figure in so many family histories.

C said...

Even though Muffy is giving a historical example rather than a present-day example, it reminds one of the fact that there are some really interesting cultural similarities between the rural poor and the aristocracy. An affinity for hunting and traditional food are only the tip of the iceberg!

Greenfield said...

Blue Train nailed it--"suitability" IS the issue. In the old New England days, a lot of marriages were all but "arranged;" parents knew every family tree in town, pored over them like the Jockey Club stud book, and were very clear on who could and could not be considered. Then, they carefully orchestrated social events where the "suitable" suitors could meet.

Nowadays, if you don't meet in college, you just might not. As one keeping up the long and distinguished tradition of Old Maid Aunts, must say as I watch the tribulations of my married friends, I'm very grateful for my simple, self-controlled life!

BlueTrain said...

The young woman in my wife's family that I mentioned earlier had wanted to marry her first cousin. The woman was the daughter of General Samuel Cooper, Adjutant General of the Confederate and formerly of the US Army (He was from New York, too). Cooper's wife was a granddaughter of George Mason of Gunston Hall. The cousin was Fitzhugh Lee, nephew of Robert E. Lee. Cooper's daughter was my wife's great-grandmother.

I'm not personally descended from anyone in particular myself.

Anonymous said...

LOL Oh my! I am from the Coal Region of Pennsylvania and I do know of this "intermingling" going on there; it's pretty widely joked about. Fortunately, extensive geneaology research on both sides revealed that no "intermingling" went on in my tree, but have pleasantly discovered that a few schoolmates are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th cousins. A good thing to have known back in the dating years. LOL --Holly in PA

Squeeze said...

Notice lots of Loomis names!

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

Nathaniel Batchelder was my 8th great grandfather—I'm also a Bean, etc. You're my cousin.