Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ann Smith and the Witch Trials

Ann Smith was born on February 8, 1662/63 in Hampton or Exeter, New Hampshire. She was the daughter of Nicholas Smith and his wife Ann. After her mother's death, Ann and her older brother Nathaniel were placed (fostered) in the household of William and Margery Godfrey in Hampton. The Godfreys were older, previously married and widowed, and had raised several children both from their own union and their previous ones. Nicholas Smith remarried, but never reclaimed his children. In 1671, William Godfrey died and Margery married for the third time to a neighbor. Nathaniel remained with his adoptive mother, but Ann was transferred in 1672 to another family. She was now fostered in the household of John Clifford, a very complex household as John was on his third marriage, and his wife Bridget on her second. They had children from all of their earlier unions. In 1672, the Clifford household contained thirteen people including eleven children with four different surnames. Ann Smith eventually married Israel Clifford, the son of John and his first wife Sarah. Israel was born about 1647/48 in Hampton, NH and was married to Ann Smith on March 15, 1679/80 in Hampton by Samuel Dalton. He served in King Philip's War.

While all of this is interesting, what I find most intriguing about Ann Smith is that she was an alleged victim of a witch named Goody Cole. In October of 1672, Goody Cole was arraigned for "appearing under various forms, as a woman, a dog, an eagle and a cat, to entice a young girl, named Ann Smith, to live with her." Cole had previously been jailed for 15 years for witchcraft but was acquitted of these charges. The claim was brought by Sarah Clifford nee Godfrey, wife of John Clifford the younger who lived close to his father's household. There's speculation that Cole may have reached out to Ann, seeing her as a fellow lonely soul. Or that Ann may have reached out to Goody Cole, an elderly woman who may have been nice to her, looking for a place to belong. After all, she was just one child among eleven in the Clifford household and had already been abandoned by her father and her adoptive mother.

Entertaining Satan: Witchcraft and the Culture of Early New England by John Putnam Demos Oxford University Press 1982, Chapter 10.

THE CLIFFORD ASSOCIATION, David Clifford, Keeywaydin, Selsfield Road, West Hoathly, W. Sussex RH194QN (01342811252) England. The Association has a database of 30,000 Clifford related people. It is sponsored by the current Lord Clifford.

Noyes/Libby/Davis, "Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire," (1939), p. 151.

How I'm related to Ann Smith and Israel Clifford - My father is Clifford Cookman, son of Kathleen Frances Forkner. She is the daughter of Harriet Letitia Clifford (born 7 Dec 1898 and Married 21 Aug 1918, both in Anderson, IN). Harriet was the daughter of Hadley Watson Clifford (Born 26 Aug 1869 in Anderson, Married 8 Dec 1891, Died 8 Oct 1857 in Anderson). Hadley was the son of Emery Watson Clifford (Born 21 Aug 1842 in Fairview Fayette Co IN; Married 11 Feb 1864; Died 10 June 1915 in Anderson). Emery was the son of Isaac Clifford (born in 1812 in Vermont; Married 21 Oct 1841). He was the son of Johnathon Clifford (Born 7 May 1769 in Rumney, Grafton, NH; Died 7 June 1836 in Fayette, IN). He was the son of John Clifford (Born 11 Sept 17 43 or 18 March 1737 in Kingston, Rockingham Co. NH; Died 1790 in Dorchester, Grafton, NH). John was the son of Isaac Clifford Sr (Born 24 May 1696 in Hampton, Rockingham, NH; died 11 Sept 1745 in Kingston, Rockingham Co., NH). Isaac was the son of Israel and Ann.

So my 8th great grandmother was a witness during the New England witch hunts.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Puritanical Roots

William Brewster was the religious leader of the Puritan colony at Plymouth. He was born 24 Jan 1560 in Scrooby Nottinghamshire England, married in 1588 to a woman named Mary, also in Scrooby Nottinghamshire England and died 10 Apr 1644 in Plymouth Plymouth Mass. He was the son of William Brewster and Prudence Peak. William came to America in 1620 aboard the Mayflower with his wife, Mary Brewster, and two of his sons, Love and Wrestling Brewster. A third son Jonathan joined the family in November 1621 on the ship Fortune, and daughters Patience and Fear arrived in July 1623 aboard the Anne. Family lore says that Mary helped prepare the first Thanksgiving dinner.

His daughter Patience was Born 1590 in Scrooby Nottinghamshire England and Died 12 Dec 1634 in Plymouth Plymouth Mass. Patience married Thomas Prence on15 August 1624 in Plymouth Plymouth Mass. Thomas was a political leader of both the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies, governor of Plymouth colony and co-founder of Eastham Mass. The son of Thomas Prence and Elizabeth Tolderby, he was born 1599/1600 in Lechdale Gloucestershire England and died 29 March 1673 in Eastham Barnstable Mass. Thomas emigrated to America in 1621 on the ship Fortune. He arrived in Plymouth on November 9, 1621, just after the first Thanksgiving. They had one son Thomas Jr. and three daughters Rebecca, Mercy, and Hannah.

Thomas was a religious zealot and openly opposed those that he believed to be heretics, such as the Quakers. He was infamous for the banishment of those who would not conform to his specific church law, including Samuel Gorton, the first governor of Rhode Island. He restructured the local government to secure his position and led the persecution of numerous people for offenses such as smiling in church, harboring non-church members, and tending garden during the Sabbath. However, he also procured revenue for the colony's grammar schools so future generations would be better educated, so he wasn't all bad.

Mercy (Born 4 Jan 1631 in Duxbury, Plymouth, Mass; Died 20 Sept 1711 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass) married John Freeman on 14 Feb 1649 in Eastham, Barnstable, Mass. He was born 28 Jan 1626 in Pulborough Sussex England; Christened 28 Jan 1626 in Billingshurst, Sussex, England and died 28 Oct 1719 in Eastham or Rochester, Barnstable, Mass. John was the son of Edmund Freeman and Bennett Hodsoll.

Their daughter Hannah Freeman (Born about 1656 in Eastham Mass; Died 15 Feb 1743 in Harwich Mass) married John Mayo on 14 Apr 1681 in Hingham Mass. The son of Samuel Mayo and Thamasin Lumpkin, John was born 15 Dec 1652 in Eastham Mass and died 1 Feb 1726 in Harwick Mass.

John Mayo, son of John and Hannah, was born 8 Jan 1682/83 in Eastham Mass. and died 1 Feb 1756 in Eastham Mass. On 22 Oct 1712 in Eastham Mass, he married a woman named Susannah Freeman and had a daughter, Patience Mayo. Susannah was Born 1691 in Eastham Barnstable Mass. and was the daughter of James Freeman and Sarah Merrick.

Patience was born 8 Sept 1734 in Middlebourough Mass. She married a man named Gideon Braley. He was Born 29 Jan 1729 in Middlebourough Mass. and Died 1774 in Middlebourough Mass. They married in 1750 in Middlebourough Mass. Gideon was the son of Ambrose Braley and Mary Reynolds.

Their son, Samuel Braley, was born 1751 in Middleborough Plymouth Co Mass. and Died 1829 in Augusta Maine. In 1775, he married Sarah Axtill. Samuel was a Corporal in Col. Lippett’s Regiment.

Their son, Amos Braley, was born 23 Aug 1776 in Augusta Maine and Died 10 April 1840 in Rutland Ohio. He married 29 April 1800 in Sidney Maine to Alice Savage. Alic was born 6 Nov 1782 in Belgrade Maine and Died 26 Sept 1848 in Rutland Ohio. She was the daughter of Joseph Savage and Alice Carson.

Newell, the son of Amos and Alice, was born 8 January 1810 in Sidney Maine and died 9 Feb 1884 in Rutland Ohio. He married Susannah Palmer (Born about 1812 in Sidney Maine) and they had a son named Rufus.

Rufus Braley was Born about 1834 in Ohio. He married 10 Nov 1858 Euclid Miller McClintock in Jackson Co Ohio. Euclid was Born about September 1836 in Jackson Co Ohio and Died 1910 in Milton Twp Jackson Co Ohio. She was the daughter of James H McClintock and Margaret Miller.

Their son, Ripley McClintock Braley, was Born January 25 1873 in Milton Twp Ohio and Died 15 Jan 1969 in Jackson Co Ohio. He married 18 March 1899 Cora Evangeline Gleason in Jackson Co Ohio. Cora was born on May 11 1877 in Gallia Ohio and died in 1952 in Jackson Ohio. She was the daughter of Levi Gleason and Calfernie (Esther California) Bishop.

Their daughter Calfernie Euclid Braley (named after both of her grandmothers, the poor woman. She went by "Fern" and the sewing machine that I use is hers and named after her accordingly.) was Born 22 Nov 1902 in Wellston Ohio and Died 27 Apr 1986 (while my brother was in the hospital as a baby. I actually remember Granny Fink, barely. She was a tiny woman, old and frail.) Fern married Homer Dupre Fink and had four children - Esther Josephine, Gretchen, Christine and William Ripley, my grandfather.

William (more commonly known as Bill) was born May 27 1928 in Wellston Jackson Co Ohio and died July 26 1982 in Hamilton Ohio. He married Virginia Lee Curtis and they had two children - William Douglas and Helen Marie.

Helen married Clifford Ray Cookman (my father) on July 13, 1979 and I came along two years later. I am the 12th great granddaughter of William Brewster, elder and religious leader of the Puritan colony at Plymouth, Mass.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

End of Paternal Lines

One thing I find interesting is that I have traced quite a few of my family lines back really far, but both of my grandfathers' lines - the direct Fink line and the direct Cookman line - end after a few generations. The exception to this is my straight maternal line - it ends after about six generations as well, but I'll explore that in a later post.

Fink -- I am the daughter of Helen Marie Fink. Her father was William Ripley Fink (Born May 27 1928 in Wellston Jackson Co Ohio, Died July 26 1982 in Hamilton Ohi). He was the son of Homer Dupre Fink (Born 6 June 1902 in Rocky Hill Bloomfield Jackson Co Ohio, Married 24 March 1923 in Wellston Ohio to Calfernie Euclid Braley, Died 10 April 1968 in Hamilton Ohio). Homer was the son of William Golden Fink (Born 7 July 1876 in Bloomfield Ohio, Died 23 Aug 1944 in Wellston Ohio). Interesting fact - William Golden worked for the railroad. He was the son of John Franklin Fink (Born 14 Apr 1847 in Pennsylvania; Died 8 Jan 1926 in Bloomfield Ohio, Buried in Dixon Run Cemetery). John Franklin, also a railroad man, moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio in the 1850s with his parents - Jacob Fink and Nancy Foy. Jacob and Nancy are as far back as research has led me. Jacob was born 28 May 1809 in East Brunswick Schuykill PA or in 1805. He died after 1880 in Knox Ohio. He may have been from Allegheny or Tyrone PA. Nancy was born about 1816 in Pennsylvania or in 1814. She died after 1880 in Ohio. They had several children -- Elizabeth born Jan 1840, Nancy J born 1842, Martha Ellen born Aug 1846, John Franklin born 4 14 1849 and James T born 12 15 1851 .

The story is that the Finks were Jews from Germany that came over and changed their name when they arrived in America. However, we have no idea what the original German Jewish surname was. Someday, I would love to discover what the original family name was, I just have no idea how to go about it.

Cookman -- I am the daughter of Clifford Ray Cookman, son of Donald Lee Cookman. Donald is the son of Willard Clement "Clem" Cookman. Clem was born 6 Dec 1882 in Anderson IN and died 22 May 1943. He was the son of Minter Bailey Cookman Jr. Minter (Born 23 Dec 1849, Married 15 Aug 1874 in Anderson IN to Sarah Jane Meade, Died 20 Oct 1911 in Anderson IN, Buried: 22 Oct 1911 Place: Westmaplewoodcem, Anderson, Madison, IN) was the son of Minter Bailey Cookman Sr. Minter Sr. was born about 1820, married Margaret Elizabeth Reeding / Reel in January of 1847 and Died 20 Oct 1849 in Anderson IN. Minter Sr. is the last of his line. I have no story to explain the end of the Cookman line.

So on the Fink side, I have traced back six generations to Jacob Fink born in 1809. On the Cookman side, I've only gotten back five generations to Minter Bailey Cookman Sr born about 1820.

I just find it interesting that both direct male lines end in the early 1800s while other lines go back to the Middle Ages in Europe.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Abraham Dupre - updated w more information

Today I'm going to share one of my favorite family members and stories. I love stories about my great-great-great-great-grandfather Abraham Dupre (related through my materal grandfather). He was a boat builder who would build boats and sail them down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers so that he could sell them in New Orleans. In order to facilitate his sales, Abraham spoke five languages -- I doubt he was fluent but he at least spoke enough to haggle and sell his boats. He was born on the Isle of Jersey around 1810 or 1811. By the 1830s, he had immigrated to America. On December 5, 1833, he married Polly Deckard (daughter of Richard Deckard and Hannah Eagle) in Vinton, Gallia County, Ohio. Abraham died on the 25th of September in Sciotoville, Gallia County, Ohio. He was the son of Abraham Dupre and Mary De Merrick or Maria Dumaresq.

According to family lore, he was a hero - when Morgan's Raiders came through the area during the Civil War, Abraham - who was an old man by this time - helped hide the women and children in the woods to save them from the Confederates. Some of the women and children he saved were the ancestors of my maternal grandmother.

The following was taken from an email my great aunt Esther Jo (my grandfather Fink's sister) sent my mother - "A more recent story about our ancestors, when my parents were dating, folks
sat around and told family stories, etc., since there was no radio. One evening they were talking about the Civil War and the time the Confederate troops known as Morgan's Raiders went through Jackson and Gallia Counties. Mother's family told about Gr Grandpa Levi Gleason going out with a local "militia" to help protect the local area from the raiders. I think it was the summer of 1863 (if interested, I have exact date). While Levi was gone his wife Califernia Esther(Cal)(about 17 or 18 yrs old) gave birth to their second child. The little girl was just 3 days old when the Raiders were getting close to the Gleason home (lived in Huntington Twp. Gallia Co then,so far as I can determine). An old one arm man came to the Gleason house. He told young Cal he was too old and too crippled to go with the Militia, so he was trying to make sure the women left behind were safe. He took Cal, her toddler and her 3 day old and hid them in the woods, so the Raiders wouldn't find them and hurt them. The Raiders sometimes hurt the women whose husbands were out with the Militia, or in the Army. Have you guessed who the old man was? It was my Gr Gr Grandpa Abraham Dupre who had lost one hand and 3 digits on the other hand, in a mill accident. When Mother's family started to tell about Grandma Gleason being hid in the woods, they had no idea that the old man was my Dad's Gr Grandfather. But my Dad had heard the story about Gr Grandpa hiding the women in the woods."

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My Cousin and BFF Kristen Prather

One of the most exciting things I discovered in my research is that I'm related to one of my best friends - albeit very distantly and through marriage.

I am the daughter of Clifford Ray Cookman (born 2 Aug 1954). Clifford is the second oldest son of Donald Lee Cookman. Donald is the son of Willard Clement "Clem" Cookman (Born 6 Dec 1882 in Anderson IN; Died 22 May 1943). Clem was the son of Sarah Jane Meade. Sarah (Born 11 Nov 1854 in Florida IN; Died 16 Feb 1930 in Anderson IN) was the daughter of Susan Moore. Susan (Born 25 July 1828 in Mifflin Pike Co Ohio; Died 25 Sept 1856 in Madison Co IN) was the daughter of Samuel Moore (Born 2 Aug 1775 in Layfayette, Christian Co KY; Died 14 Jan 1882 in Anderson IN or in Lafayette Twp Madison Co IN). Samuel was the son of Joseph Moore (Born about 1770 in KY or about 1769 in PA; Died before 15 Apr 1836 in Mifflin Twp Pike Co Ohio). Joseph was the son of Ezekial Moore (Born between 1730 and 1736 in Prince George Co Maryland or about 1740 in KY; Died before 18 Apr 1836 Mifflin Pike Co. Ohio) Some information on Ezekial - He moved to Pennsylvania in the 1770s. In 1779, he sold property in Westmoreland County, PA (modern Greene/Fayette counties). He is reported to have taken part in the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794. By 1797, he was in Ross County (modern Pike County) Ohio. Ezekial's brother Aaron married a woman named Mary Prather.

Kristen contributed the following information: Kristen is the daughter of Douglas Benton Prather. Douglas is the son of Donald Benton Prather. Donald is the son of Clarence Prather. Clarence was the son of John Prather, who was the son of Thomas Benton Prather (and Civil War Vet! Defend the Union!). Thomas was the son of the elder Thomas Prather. Thomas was the brother of Mary, who married Aaron Moore.

According to a cousin chart I found on the State Library of North Carolina's website (found at, we are sixth cousins, twice removed by marriage. Provided of course that I used the chart correctly.

That's all for now.



Hi, my name is Jennilee and I'm a genealogy addict. I can spend hours researching my family, tracking down different lines and seeing how far back I can go.

By the way, I've gotten back pretty far on a couple lines.

In the last few months, I've discovered things I didn't know -- like the fact that my family goes back to Switzerland on both sides, that both of my parents are descended from Charlemagne, and that I have both Quaker and Puritan ancestors. The last one might explain my obsession with orthodox religions actually.

I was reading Family Tree Magazine recently and was intrigued by the idea of blogging my research. So that's what this blog is going to be -- I'm going to use it to explore and share some of my research. I plan to just blog about whatever strikes my fancy on that day.


Jennilee Cookman