27 April, 2014

Remick/Gowell/Chase Dilemma

I'm trying to work through the parents of Sarah Gowell (1682-1750) who married Thomas Chase (1679-1767). Some on ancestry had her parents listed as Richard Gowell (1646-1749) and Hannah Remick (1656-1749). (Hannah Remick was daughter of Christian Remick of Netherlands and Hannah Foster.) Richard and Hannah were born and died in Kittery, Maine, so at first I disregarded this link and set out to find out who Sarah's parents really were.

I didn't get very far. Couldn't seem to locate an alternate set of parents for Sarah. So, I took a second look at the family from Kittery. I discovered that Sarah's mother Hannah's brother, named Abraham Remick, married Elizabeth Freeman of Eastham, Massachusetts (here on Cape Cod) and settled there. Her aunt named Sarah Remick also married Barnabas Wixon from the Cape and died in Eastham. That got me wondering if perhaps Sarah could have accompanied her uncle or somehow been introduced to Thomas Chase of Yarmouth (not far from Eastham) who she married. It began to seem more plausible that Richard Gowell and Hannah Remick of Maine could be her parents.

BUT... upon searching for records of the Gowell/Remick couple, I find that Gowell was Hannah Remick's second marriage, and according to a few sources, she married Richard Gowell after Sarah's date of birth. Hmmmm..... there goes my theory??

Another source I found indicated that Sarah Gowell had her first child in Maine, and the rest in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, and that she then died in Maine. I wondered if somehow the couple moved between her family in Maine and his in Massachusetts a few times during their marriage.
Kittery, Maine
photo by Mariano Mantel

But why would they do that? The same source cited Sarah's husband Thomas Chase as being involved in the French and Indian wars. Could this have been a reason for their moving back and forth?

Maddeningly, I apparently forgot to bookmark this source and I can 't find it again! Gaaaah! I will continue to work on this family. The dates don't seem to match up, but I find it intriguing that Abraham Gowell married an Eastham girl. It makes me think that a connection with Sarah is likely, but I can't find the threads that connect up. I will update this entry if and when I find the answers, so if anyone knows what the deal is here and can enlighten me on it, PLEASE do let me know!

[update on this mystery here]

02 April, 2014

The Irish Problem

Today I'm working on my children's Dad's family so they will have that information too, as best as I can collect it. His family is harder than mine, because his mother's family is all from Ireland. Ireland didn't have comprehensive census taking as early as England and most of their records are still held by local parishes. Most of this information has not been offered online that I know of, at least not for free. I have found a few sites where you can pay to view parish records, but they are quite expensive and there's no guarantee that the document you pay to view is the right person until you see it!  So, I have hit a brick wall with his Mom's family after just a few generations. I did get most of the immigrants, but there is little indication as to where in Ireland they came from. Frustrating!

Montbéliard, France (where family originated) on the Swiss border
(from WikimediaCommons)

His Dad's family is partially from England and partly from France and Germany. After a few generations into Europe, the only indications of names and dates are offered from other users, so I have no way of knowing how accurate those are. 

I decided to put an asterisk next to the name of anyone on my tree whose accuracy I have not confirmed with at least one independent source. I wish I'd started doing that earlier, as I have many on my own family's tree that are not substantiated by documentation as well.

My husband's Dad's family has an intriguing mystery attached to it. One branch is the Peace family from Sheffield, England. There was a notorious serial killer named Charles Peace whose crime spree lasted from 1851 to 1878. According to family legend, he is related to my husband's family, but I have not found the link yet. Apparently he was not in the direct line. My guess is that he is the brother of someone in the line. He was born in Sheffield, so chances are that he was indeed related.