ADAM (1697-1765) AND MARY (1702-1776) LOVE

blovdy tenent

Cover of Roger William’s pamphlet on the need for separation of religion from the government

Adam and Mary Love, who immigrated to America in about 1730 from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, represent the beginning of our Love ancestor line in the U.S. They settled in Rhode Island, where they established a farm and raised five children to maturity, including our ancestor, the Revolutionary War veteran, Sergeant Robert Love.

The Loves were Scotch Irish. Their ancestors were part of a large relocation program instituted by King James I of England. During the early seventeenth century, he encouraged Protestants from southern Scotland to settle in northern Ireland, in order to neutralize the rebellious Irish and to counter the power of the Roman Catholic church there. A hundred years later, these Scotch-Irish, or “Ulster Scots,” as they were called in England, were suffering economic hardship. Absentee English landlords aggressively pursued short-term economic returns on their Irish holdings with no regard for sustaining the productivity of the land. So, in the early eighteenth century, groups of these farmers organized themselves to immigrate to the new world.

Adam and Mary Love came to America in such a group, including Adam’s brother, Gabriel, his wife, and probably other neighbors and extended family members. They were young – in their late twenties or early thirties – and had their toddler age daughter, Elizabeth, with them. Mary was pregnant with her second child, our ancestor, Robert, who was born possibly on board the ship or soon after they arrived in America.

rhodeislandusrapTheir destination, Rhode Island colony, had been founded by Roger Williams a century earlier, and was known for its religious toleration and acceptance of a diverse array of immigrants. We don’t know if the Loves chose Rhode Island, or whether they wound up there because the neighboring colonies, Massachusetts and Connecticut, did not want them.  Those colonies welcomed only Puritans from England who wanted to live in a theocratic state – in other words, immigrants who were like the people who were already there. The Loves immigrated primarily for economic reasons, not because of religious persecution. But they were no doubt aware that freedom of conscience was the bedrock on which Rhode Island was founded.

The Loves settled in central Rhode Island, in the newly established town of Coventry, about twelve miles from the Connecticut border. Adam Love started out by working for an already-established farmer in Coventry.

A New England Kitchen

A New England Kitchen

Colonial Rhode Islanders taking produce to market

Colonial Rhode Islanders taking produce to market.  Some of their farm products would have been  sold in the colonies, and others would have been loaded on the ships seen in the background, to be transported to European markets.

By 1738 Adam and Mary had bought land and begun the back -breaking work of creating a farm. Typically, Rhode Island farmers produced apples, corn, onions, dairy products, and sheep for market as well as home use.

Adam and Mary raised to adulthood five children, three boys and two girls. When the boys were grown, their parents bought each of them a farm of their own, as was customary at the time.

Adam Love gravestone on right, Mary Love’s gravestone on left.

Adam Love gravestone on right, Mary Love’s gravestone on left.

Adam Love died in 1765. His gravestone still stands in a small cemetery just across the state line into Connecticut. His gravestone reads: “In the Memory of Mr. Adam Love who Deceased This Life Aug. 10, 1765. Aged 68 years. The sweet remembrance of the just shall flourish when he sleeps in dust.”

Mary Love lived for another ten years, residing mainly on the homestead farm. During that time she had the care of the infant daughter, Olive, of her son, Robert. In an account it appears that she made charges for board and care as follows: “To keeping, bording and finding your child clothes from the year 1760 to the year 1768 five shillings per week, 84 [pounds] 0 shillings, 0 pence. To fore years boarding and cloathing of your child at two shillings per week from the year 1768 to the year 1773, 20 [pounds] 16 shillings, 0 pence”, (McKillop, p. 29). It is hard to convert colonial money to the current day, but a comparison point is that Adam Love paid 2 pounds 10 shillings for a pair of shoes (McKillop, p. 27), the equivalent of two and a half months of board and care when the child was young. When Olive was eight or nine and old enough to help around the farm, the cost of her care was reduced by more than half.

Mary Love’s gravestone

Mary Love’s gravestone

Mary Love died at age 74 and was buried next to her husband. Her gravestone reads: “In Memory of Mrs Mary wife of Mr. Adam Love who Departed this Life Feb. 27, 1776 in ye 74th year of her age. In hope to sing without a sob, The anthem ever new, I gladly bid this dusty gloab And vein delights Adieu.”

Information about Mary‘s charges for boarding her granddaughter points to an interesting aspect of research on colonial ancestors. For Mary and Adam Love, we have records of several court actions, which have been preserved in Rhode Island since colonial times, but the records themselves don’t tell us the social and legal context within which these actions occurred. So we know, for example, that Adam and Mary were “warned out” of Coventry, RI, as potential vagrants soon after they arrived there. However, we have no context in the record itself for understanding this legal action. Our first conclusion might be that they were considered undesirable residents. However, colonial towns operated under the English Poor Law, which required them to care for town residents who became destitute. To get around this, towns commonly gave a “warning out” notice to newcomers, as a legal statement that these persons were not yet residents, and so not eligible for potential Poor Law benefits.

Similarly, we know what Adam Love paid for shoes because he was sued for non-payment, but once again we have no context. So we don’t know if he was trying to get away without paying the bill or if it was all a misunderstanding. The record of Mary‘s charges to her son for the care of his daughter also raises questions. Was this common practice at the time? Or possibly – my own theory – a legal record created so that when she died, the cost of board could be deducted from Robert’s share of the inheritance. Colonial legal records give us a window into colonial life, but also leave us with unanswerable questions.

How you are related to Adam and Mary Love

On your personal Ancestor Fan, go to Levi Love on the outermost ring.  Then click here to open the Levi Love Ancestor FanAdam and Mary Love are in the blue section, third ring out.

References for pictures of the graves.
Love, William DeLoss. Love Family History. Unpublished manuscript. Hartford, CT, about 1918.
Jones, Maldwyn. “Scotch-Irish.” In Thernstrom Stephan, ed. Harvard Encyclopedia of American Ethnic Groups. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA. 1980.
McKillop, Dorothy, and Love, Mary Anne. Love Family History. Unpublished manuscript, Seattle and Fairfax, VA.

THOMAS LEWIS (1628-1684)

Our Dutch ancestor, Thomas Lewis, was actually Scotch-Irish! He was born in Belfast but spent most of his life in New Amsterdam, a Dutch colony that later became New York City. He lived there during a turbulent period when the Dutch contested the territory with the Indians and the English. The Dutch founded New Amsterdam in 1626 when they purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for 60 guilders, at about the same time that the Pilgrims were settling in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Dutch colony grew and by the late 1650s encompassed western Long Island as well. New Amsterdam was a thriving mercantile town with strong shipping and trading interests. The population consisted of immigrants from all over Europe, particularly Holland and Great Britain, and was known for its religious tolerance. In 1664 the English captured the Dutch colony in a surprise naval attack. The Dutch recaptured the colony in 1673, but in 1674 the English re-took the area, permanently naming it New York City.

New Amsterdam

New Amsterdam as it would have been viewed by Thomas Lewis, arriving from Holland on the Blue Dove, 1656.

17th century Dutch tile

a 17th century Dutch tile with a blue dove pattern.

Thomas Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, about 1628. He immigrated to Holland with two of his sisters to avoid Cromwell’s wars in Ireland. The sisters died in Holland while still young women, after which Thomas departed for New Amsterdam. He sailed in 1656, on a ship called the Blue Dove, owned by the Dutch West India Company. On the ship’s register, he is listed as a carpenter; the company paid his passage in exchange for which Thomas agreed to stay in New Amsterdam for at least three years and work as a carpenter.

Lewis thrived in New Amsterdam and is mentioned in many early records, where his last name is written in Dutch form as Lodowycksen or Lievens. He went first to Albany, where he served out his term as a carpenter. After working off his obligation to the Dutch West India Company, he left carpentry to become a mariner. He married Geesje Barnets, a descendant of Dutch immigrants, in about 1661, and in 1663 he moved to New Amsterdam with his wife and one child. It is through Geesje, and Dutch brides of subsequent male Lewis descendants, that we trace our Dutch ancestry.


Pictured: a sloop, developed by the Dutch in Bermuda, displaying its typical triangular sails. 17th c. woodcut.

Also in 1663, Thomas Lewis served in the second Esopus Indian War, a conflict between Dutch farmers in Ulster County, up the Hudson River from New Amsterdam, and the Esopus Indians. By now he owned a boat, called a sloop, with which he transported troops to the battle site. Governor Peter Stuyvesant also used the sloop as his headquarters during the war.

Thomas Lewis prospered in the shipping business. He travelled around the New York coast, and went at least as far south as Virginia, to bring tobacco back to New York. He seems to have lived a colorful and event-filled life New Amsterdam, which at the time was essentially a frontier town. Court records of 1665 that mention him (usually as Thomas Lodowycx) give a flavor of life at that time.

    • Lewis “states that he brought with him from the Virginias two hogsheads of tobacco for Mr. Petrus Stuyvesant, and that he will not receive them.” Lewis requested “that Mr. Stuyvesant’s wife shall be ordered to receive the same.”
Peter Stuyvesant

Current statue of Peter Stuyvesant, Governor of New Amsterdam, in New York City.

  • Lewis testified in court that “as he was proceeding with Abel Hardenbroeck and some women folk towards the Bouwery, he saw the defendant, Denys Isaacksen, draw the knife on the plaintiff, whom he pursued with many abusive and threatening words.”
  • He was called into court for having been “out playing on the 13th of the month, being Sunday, contrary to the Placard.” He admitted he had been, but as he was not aware of any ordinance to the contrary, he was excused.
  • On another court appearance that same day, “’Thomas Lodowycx, boatman’ stated that ‘when he went last to the South River he took an anker of brandy on freight from Capt Backer to deliver to Pieter de Rangiere.’ De Rangiere sent it back two hours later, saying it was half water. ‘He was thus obliged to bring the same back here, which he did and brought it back to said Backer, who refused to receive it, as he said, it was good brandy, which he himself brought on board. He requests therefore that the Court would order that he should do with it, inasmuch as he and all his crew will make oath, that the same was not adulterated by them.’” The court ordered him to pay Capt. Backer four beavers and costs for the brandy.
  • He sued Hendricx Coustrie for freight to the South River, some of which Coustrie accused him of “’recklessly throwing overboard.’ On Nov. 21st he accused Coustrie ‘of being a liar and a rogue, and undertook to prove it. . . The aforesaid Lodowyx was fined for his abusive words.’ On Dec. 12th he ‘says it occurred through haste: declares he knows nothing of the plaintiff but what is honourable and virtuous.’ But he was fined 25 florins nevertheless.”

These court records reflect the frontier atmosphere of commercial transactions at the time.  As the years went on, New York society became more stable and law-abiding.  In 1668 Thomas and Geesje Lewis bought a house on William Street, adjoining Hanover Square, where they lived for the rest of Thomas’s life. They joined the Dutch Reformed Church, where all their children were baptized, except the first, who had been born in Albany.

By the early 1670s, Lewis was becoming a prominent and well-established citizen. On a list of “’the best and most affluent inhabitants of this city’ appears the name Thomas Lewis, whose property is valued at 6,000 florins. Only 16 other inhabitants of the city rank higher in the list. This shows that Thomas Lewis, from a humble beginning as a carpenter, was able by his trade as ‘mariner’ to amass a considerable fortune. . . .He was appointed Alderman of NY City by Gov. Andros Oct. 17, 1675, and was re-appointed in 1680 and 1682. In 1675-76 he was appointed chairman of a committee to survey vacant land, and to have casting vote in case of tie, ‘wee having conceived a good opinion of the fitnesse and ability of Mr. Thomas Lewis, Alderman.’”

Although Thomas Lewis never returned to Belfast, he maintained contact with relatives there, and his oldest son, Lodowick, spent time there as a young man.

Thomas Lewis died Sept. 28, 1684. He left his widow, Geesje, and five children, Lodowick, Barent, Leonard (our ancestor), Catharine, and Thomas. After his death, his widow became a baker and lived with her daughter, Catharine. The exact date of her death is not known, but it was somewhere between 1720 and 1725. At the time of her death, all her children were also deceased except for our direct ancestor, Leonard.

Map of New Amsterdam, about 1660

Map of New Amsterdam, about 1660

We know quite a bit about our earliest Lewis ancestor to come to the New World, mainly from two journals: the New York Genealogical and Biological Record (Vol. LX, No. 2, New York, April, 1929), the source of all quoted material included here; and Lewisiana or the Lewis Letter, published in New York in the early 20th century.

Two mariners on a Bermuda sloop.  Dutch 17th c. tile.

Two mariners on a Bermuda sloop. Dutch 17th c. tile.

How you are related to Thomas and Geesje Lewis

On your personal Ancestor Fan, go to Adonijah Lewis, in the outermost ring.  Then, click here to open the Adonijah Lewis Ancestor Fan.  Thomas and Geesje Lewis are in the outermost ring.  Below is a brief biography of each person in the line of descent from Thomas and Geesje Lewis to present day Whitelaws.

Line of Descent – Thomas Lewis to Present Day Whitelaws

Thomas Lewis (b. 1628 Belfast, Ireland, d. 1684, New York City.) See above.

Col. Leonard Lewis (b. New Amsterdam, d. 1730, Poughkeepsie, New York). He followed his father’s footsteps as a merchant and community leader. In 1692 he served in an expedition against the French in Mohawk country. In 1696 he was elected alderman from the East Ward in New York City and served several terms. He was a member of the Colonial Assembly from New York County from 1699 to 1701. He became a large property owner, buying into the Hardenburg Patent that included parts of several counties in New York and was owned by his descendants for several generations. In 1710 he moved to Poughkeepsie, and represented Dutchess County in the Colonial Assembly from 1713-1726. He was a judge of the Court of Common Pleas. He married Elizabeth Hardenbergh (b. about 1668, Albany, NY), of Dutch descent, in 1688 in Albany. They had eleven children.

Leonard Lewis (b. about 1707, Poughkeepsie, NY, d. about 1759). He married Rachel Swarthout, of Dutch descent, in 1747, with whom he had three children. He died before his mother, and therefore did not inherit any of the property left by his wealthy father, and was unable to leave an inheritance for his children.

Corporal Leonard Lewis (b. about 1748, in NY, d. in 1817). He resided in Lewisburgh, Ulster County, across the Hudson from Poughkeepsie. He enlisted in the Revolutionary army in 1778, and served with General Washington at Valley Forge and elsewhere. He served for nine months and was promoted to Corporal. His service record and line of descent to us is verified in the records of the Daughters of the American Revolution. He married Hannah (surname unknown) in 1766, in Lewisburgh. They had four children.

Adonijah Lewis (b. about 1780, Lewisburgh, NY, d. 1839, Plattekill, NY.) He was a farmer. He married Huldah Nye (B. 1781, Mass., d. after 1850, Hartland, Livingston, MI) in 1803 in New York. The couple had ten children. Huldah descended from the Nyes of Sandwich, Massachusetts, about whom I have written in an earlier post. Adonijah wrote an extensive will, listing all his household and farm equipment, which still exists in Ulster County Probate Court records. After his death, his widow, Huldah, moved to Michigan with her younger children, where she joined her older children who had moved there earlier.

Adna Lewis (b. 1820, New York, d. 1884, Burlington, Calhoun, MI). Adna, a farmer, married Rachel Freer (b. 1823, New Paltz, NY, d. 1920, Athens, Calhoun, MI). They immigrated to Michigan in 1850, living first on a farm near Lansing and then to Burlington, in south western Michigan. The couple had six children.

Hanna Lewis Love (b. 1854, Hartland Township, MI, d. 1946, Los Angeles, CA.) Hannah spent her childhood on her father’s farm in Burlington, Michigan. She married George Love (b. 1850, MI, d. 1918, Turlock, CA) in 1874, in Calhoun County, Michigan, where they ran a farm. They immigrated to Woodburn, Oregon in about 1905 with four of their five children, all adults. In about 1912 the family immigrated to Livingston, California. After George’s death in 1918, Hannah lived near her children in Los Angeles and Livingston.

Olin Love (b. 1886, Burlington, MI, d. 1930, Portland, OR). He was raised in Michigan and moved to Woodburn as a young man. He married Mabel Goulet (b. 1889, Woodburn, OR, d. 1963, Portland, OR) in 1910 in Woodburn, and they had one child. He worked mainly as a travelling salesman in Oregon, Washington, and California for a stock feed company. He died unexpectedly from complications resulting from ulcer surgery.

Alvis Love Whitelaw (b 1911, Woodburn, OR, d. 1997, Royal Oak, MI.) She married John Whitelaw (b. 1911, Lawrence, KS, d. 1974, Portland, OR) in 1938 in Salem, Oregon. She lived most of her life in Portland, Oregon, and worked as a social worker in Portland. Before marriage and again when in her 60s she worked for the state public welfare department as an administrator and consultant to counties all over the state. She and John had three children. In her later retirement years, she moved to Michigan to be near her daughters.

John (b. 1939, Portland, OR), Susan (b. 1942, Portland, OR), and Nancy (b. 1947, Portland, OR) Whitelaw


Mabel Clara Goulet Love

Mabel Goulet, age 20, 1909

Mabel Clara Goulet, my maternal grandmother, was born in 1889, in Woodburn, Oregon, the only daughter and oldest child of Florence and William Henry Goulet. She was quite beautiful, and was known in the family as “the belle of Woodburn.” Her education consisted of eight years of elementary school in the Woodburn public schools. Even though she was half French, she never learned to speak the language. As a teenager, she was a member of the Rebecca Lodge, a local women’s organization.

In 1910 she married Olin Love, who had recently arrived in town from Michigan, and was working in his family real estate business.   The Woodburn Independent reported on the wedding:

Miss Mabel Clara Goulet and Mr. Olin Wayne Love

Marriage of Miss Mabel Clara Goulet and Mr. Olin Wayne Love

“The marriage of Miss Mabel Clara Goulet and Mr. Olin Wayne Love was solemnized last evening at the home of the bride’s parents, Dr.[an honorific title] and Mrs. W.H. Goulet, this city, Rev. Alexander R. Maclean officiating. Only relatives and one or two friends were invited guests. Four rooms were decorated in pink, green and white, a bower in the parlor being of ivy and white asters. The effect was beautiful. The pretty ceremony was at 8 o’clock. Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” was played by Miss Lucy Moreom as the bridal party approached the bower. The bride, carrying a bouquet, looked beautiful in white net over white silk trimmed with messaline. The bridesmaid, Miss Mabel Livesay, gowned in white silk, was also much admired. Mr. Will Goulet was the groom’s best man. Congratulations and a fine wedding luncheon followed the ceremony. The bride is one of Woodburn’s popular young ladies and the groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Geo. W. Love and in the real estate business in this city. They will make their home in Woodburn. Mrs. Love will be at home to friends after December 1. The bride was the recipient of a number of gifts from relatives and friends. (Love-Goulet)

Alvis and her maternal grandparents, Florence and W.H. Goulet, Woodburn, about 1916

Alvis and her maternal grandparents, Florence and W.H. Goulet, Woodburn, about 1916

Mabel Love gave birth to a daughter, Alvis Ruth Love, on October 14, 1911, after a very difficult home delivery. As a result, Mabel was unable to have more children and suffered  continuous ill-health (Alvis Whitelaw).

During the first several years of her marriage, Mabel traveled extensively with Olin throughout Oregon, Washington, and California, accompanying him in his work as a traveling salesman. They sometimes took their young daughter, Alvis, with them and otherwise left her with Mabel’s parents, Florence and W.H. Goulet, in Woodburn.

Alvis Love, third from right, Atwater School, Livingston, CA, about1918

Alvis Love, third from right, Atwater School, Livingston, CA, about1918. Alvis is the only one wearing white stockings, and has a huge hair ribbon.

In 1917 the family moved to California, living in San Diego for a year and then on a ranch in Livingston, California, which Mabel called “Sand Blow Rancho” because of the heat and the dust. Living conditions were primitive, with neither plumbing nor electricity. This was a great change for Mabel, but according to her daughter Alvis, Mabel “never buckled” and did not make Olin feel guilty for bringing her there. She maintained standards by insisting that Alvis wear white stockings and hair ribbons at all times. Mabel was active in the Farm Bureau Exchange, and was Chairman of the Woman’s Home Demonstration Department. (New Officers in Farm Center) Mabel’s poor health, and the declining health of her father, caused the family to relocate to Woodburn in 1921.

Olin (far left) and Mabel (seated under the awning) on their boat with friends, Willamette River, 1929

Olin (far left) and Mabel (seated under the awning) on their boat with friends, Willamette River, 1929

In 1925 the family moved to Portland, Oregon, so Alvis could attend high school there. Mabel kept house while Olin traveled up and down the West Coast working as a salesman for a stock and farm company.





Olin Love, about 1925, Oregon.

Olin Love, about 1925, Oregon.

Her husband Olin’s early death in 1930 when she was 41 required Mabel to make major changes in her life. She had no experience in living independently, having relied on first her father and then her husband for all practical and financial matters. They both had adored and protected her, but after her father’s death in 1924 and her husband’s in 1930, she was on her own. Neither had provided for her financially over the long term, and this was a time before Social Security. Mabel’s older brother, Bill, lived with her for a year. Then she sold her house and lived with various family members, including her daughter, Alvis, who graduated from college in 1932 and was working as a welfare administrator.



William H. Goulet, Jr., "Bill," in his WWI uniform, 1918. He was Mabel's older brother.

William H. Goulet, Jr., “Bill,” in his WWI uniform, 1918. He was Mabel’s older brother.

The events of this period precipitated a permanent breach between Mabel and her younger brother, Glenn, as he refused to use any of their father’s estate to help her through this difficult time.

Sometime during the early 1930s she married Fred Hannon and together they managed an apartment building in Salem, Oregon. Although she later divorced Mr. Hannon, she learned during her marriage how to manage apartments, an occupation that would support her for many years. By 1943 Mabel was the manager of the Edgewood Hall Apartments in Portland, near what is now Portland State University. (Polks Portland City Directory, 1943-44)

 Mabel Goulet Hannon, about 1934

Mabel Goulet Love Hannon, about 1934

During her later years she continued as manager of Edgewood Hall and shared her life with Douglas Hennessy, who is listed in the Portland City Directory as a tenant at Edgewood Hall Apartments off and on starting in 1950. He was a driver, a shipping clerk and later a foreman for various manufacturing companies in Portland.  She married Doug in 1957 in Skamania, Washington.

After her retirement from managing Edgewood Hall Apartments in 1958, Mabel and Doug rented a house at 3830 S.E. Grant Court where they lived until Mabel’s death in October, 1963. She died of colon cancer at Emanuel Hospital, in Portland. Her tombstone at Belle Passi Cemetery in Woodburn, Oregon.

Mabel’s grandchildren, my siblings and I, remember her as a skilled needlewoman. She knitted sweaters and hats for us, and crocheted elaborate bedspreads and tablecloths. My sister and I sat at her kitchen table while she gave us home permanents, which involved many small plastic curlers and papers, and strong- smelling solvents, which had to be left on the hair for periods of time and tested frequently to see if the curl had set. She took hours to carefully comb out my sister Nancy’s long hair after it became thickly matted during an illness.

Mabel Love Hennessy

Mabel Goulet Love Hennessy, about 1950. As in the previous photo, her beautiful legs, for which she was justly renowned, show to advantage here.)

She always looked very well, though she had limited resources. Our mother said she could squeeze a nickel better than anyone, and she used that skill to keep up a very smart appearance. My sister and I loved to sit at her dressing table, with its side mirrors that allowed you to see the back of your head, and its drawers full of hairnets and hairpins, cosmetics and jewelry. She had a round container on the dressing table with a small hole in the top, in which she put the hair that she pulled out of her hair brush. The hair could later be formed into “rats” for use in creating bouffant hair styles.

She loved to dance, and had a collection of ball gowns and large dinner rings which she wore at the Crystal Ballroom, a local dance hall. She and Doug would dance around their living room to the music of Lawrence Welk. We stood in awe as she showed us how she could kick her leg over her head when she was in her 60s.

Mabel had French tastes in food; I particularly remember that she would buy shad roe in season, saute it in butter and eat it on toast. She knew this was a delicacy, but since few persons thought to eat it, it was very cheap.

She was not a demonstrative grandmother, but she always appeared at birthdays and Christmas with excellent presents, arriving in her little blue Morris Minor, accompanied by her Chihuahua, Mr. Murphy, and her partner, Doug.

Olin Love and Mabel Goulet at the time of their wedding, Woodburn, Oregon, 1910

Olin Love and Mabel Goulet at the time of their wedding, Woodburn, Oregon, 1910

How you are related to Mabel Clara Goulet

Mabel Clara Goulet is located on your personal Ancestor Fan.  She is the mother of Alvis Love Whitelaw, and the grandmother of John, Susan, and Nancy Whitelaw.  Mabel’s maternal and paternal grandparents were all pioneers who came to Oregon from Michigan.  Mabel’s mother, Florence Beach Goulet, came to Oregon with her father, Amos Beach.  Mabel’s father, William Henry Goulet, was born on a wagon train that brought his parents, Samuel and Marcellisse (Duval) Goulet to Oregon.




Mabel Goulet Love, probably the 1920s

Mabel Goulet Love, probably the 1920s

Love-Goulet The Woodburn Independent, Woodburn, Oregon, Oct. 27, 1910, p. 1.

New Officers in Farm Center; More Join Exchange. Livingston Chronicle, Livingston, CA, Oct. 8, 1920.

Polk City Directory for Portland, Oregon. (1943-44) Mabel Hannon, Edgewood Hall Apartments, 1881 S.W. 11th. p. 480 and 2312.

Polk City Directory for Portland, Oregon (1957, 1958) Douglas Hennessy, 1881 S.W. 11th, and (1959, 1960, 1962), Douglas Hennessy, 3830 Grant Ct.

State of Oregon, Center for Health Statistics. Certificate of Marriage, Olin Wayne Love and Mabel Clara Goulet, October 26, 1910, Woodburn, Oregon.

State of Oregon, Center for Health Statistics. Certificate of Death, Mabel Clara Hennessy, September 30, 1963, Portland, Oregon. Woodburn, Marion County, Oregon.

U.S. Census (1900) Mabel C. Goulet Woodburn, Marion, Oregon.

Whitelaw, Alvis. Oral History. Recorded by her daughter, Susan Whitelaw, from 1990 to 1996, in Oregon and Michigan.

JOHN WHITELAW, JR. (1870-1961)

JOHN WHITELAW, JR. (1870-1961)

John Whitelaw, Jr., about 1900

John Whitelaw, Jr. was born in Kidder, Mo., one of eight children of Mr. and Mrs. John Whitelaw, Sr., early settlers of the town. He was a farmer, with farms first in his hometown of Kidder, Missouri, and later in eastern Kansas.  He and his wife, Bertha Bell, raised three children, one of whom was my father, John Moreland Whitelaw.  In his old age he continued to farm on a limited basis; he died in his home at age ninety one.  He was part of a dying breed  of family farmers, who cultivated grain fields and produce and raised farm animals, with most or all of the labor being done by the family.  Like other farmers, he struggled to maintain this way of life during the first half of the twentieth century, when the country was leaving behind small family farms in favor of larger, industrial operations.

His son, John Moreland (my father), recorded memories of his father; here are  excerpts:

“My father [John Whitelaw, Jr.] was born in 1870 and educationally, my dad had a kind of a checkered career. I know he probably got through grade school with no difficulty and he went some to Kidder Institute [a local high-school level institution], but I don’t know just how much he went there. But he also enrolled for a period of time as a special student at Drury College where Mother graduated. They may have known each other, but I’m sure they didn’t go out together and there was no courtship at that time. Dad was there about a year. He took mathematics and mechanical drawing. He was always very good in mathematics. He always read a great deal, not only newspaper and farm journals, but he also read books.”

“In the family my dad grew up in, he felt that Will, his oldest brother, had the whip hand over him. One of the episodes that illustrates this is, when Will was 16, 17, and my dad was 14, 15, they got a job to saw up the wood for the school during Christmas vacation, the wood that would be needed to burn the rest of the year. They were using a cross-cut saw; one guy on one end and one on the other end and you just pull it back and forth. My dad, of course, was the younger and the smaller, but he had to hold up his end when he pulled a cross-cut saw. They worked like the dickens.

John and his brothers. From left to right: John, Will, James, Henry.

John and his brothers in baseball uniforms. From left to right: John, Will, James, Henry, Kidder, Missouri, about 1895

“When they finally got it done, why Uncle Will, being the older, was the one that went to the school board to get the pay. Of course they didn’t get very much way back then, this is probably about 1885 or 1884. What Will did – he was this sort of a scholarly guy – was he bought the best edition he could find of the Arabian Nights, and it took all the money to buy it. My dad didn’t get any money at all out of the hard work; he got sort of an indication from Will that after Will was finished reading the Arabian Nights, well he could read it if he wanted to. He always felt like he had been shafted on that work project. He didn’t have any say in the decision and all they got out of it was the Arabian Nights. We always laughed about that.

“My parents married in 1903. They moved to a farm in Kansas in March of 1910 from Kidder, Missouri. My father had been in the hardware and implement business in Kidder with his father and with another brother, James. Actually, though, he had had a good deal of experience in farming and worked on farms and, of course, knew a great deal about farm machinery from the implement business, so it was really not a strange venture for him to go to farming in 1910.  “

Pictured left to right: James, Henry and John Jr. in the family hardware store, about 1900.

Pictured left to right: James, Henry and John Jr. in the family hardware store, about 1900.

Another reason for the move was that Kidder was in decline as it had been bypassed by the newly built north-south railroad line, which was located about 20 miles west. So John’s father sold the hardware store.

John and Bertha remained on the farm near Lawrence from 1910 to 1919. Their son John Moreland Whitelaw remembered the farm this way:

“I think this was a pretty good farm that Dad had settled on. Wheat was the major crop although we always had corn, oats, alfalfa, Timothy Hay. Dad used to keep as many as eight or ten horses and mules. We often had little colts in the springtime, often little mule colts. The ground was bottom land off the Wakarusa River, and it was called black gumbo. It took a lot of horsepower to plow that land. Mules were pretty good for that. We also kept hogs.

“Dad and mom did a lot of milking on that farm. Dad used to ship whole milk into Kansas City, and every day he would get up and drive the spring wagon with two or three 10 gallon milk cans in it a little over a mile down to the railroad station so it could be picked up on the train and taken into Kansas City.”

The Whitelaws moved to DeSoto in 1919 so the children could attend high school and still live at home; at the farm near Lawrence, they would have had to board in town. On the new farm, John built a house, barn, and various outbuildings.

no date, late 1920s

John and his granddaughter, Mary Whitford, on the family farm in 1942.

The family lived there until the start of World War II, when the U.S. military bought their land to build a road connecting a new ammunition plant to the railroad. John and Bertha bought a house in DeSoto and lived there in semi-retirement until their deaths in the early 1960s.

John’s life centered on his farm and his family. He was not a very successful farmer; family farms all across the country were in decline in the early part of the twentieth century, and John did not always make good business decisions. He expressed his concerns in a letter to his sister in Wisconsin:

“We tried to get a better deal out of our milk business but we don’t know how things are coming out yet. The dairies are terribly obstinate – of course in Kansas City they’ve all had it their own way – setting the price – doing the weighing and testing – and we were about to be crowded out of any returns – I sold 3000 lbs of milk the first half of Sept. for $50.00 and the dairies sold it for $182.00 and it looks like the spread was too wide. We may have to hold our milk again before we win our point – but we’ve got to win.” (no date, late 1920s)

I think of my grandfather as a quiet, somewhat passive man. He was not religious, but he was reflective; one of his neighbors told me that my grandfather said he never minded the daily grind of milking; he said it gave him time to think.

He was sentimental about his family, and for years wrote weekly letters to his adult children, all of whom lived far away, covering mainly the weather and crop reports. His children and grandchildren visited sometimes in the summer.

My brother John remembers:

“sitting on the porch with grandpa marveling at how that old man with arthritic hands could swat flies – barehanded – and he never missed. I also remember sitting for hours on the back porch with a .22 rifle trying to nail a gopher that was terrorizing grandpa’s backyard. I shot a lot of shells but never came close.”

My cousin Bill remembers:

“a number of times when I got into trouble – e.g. chasing the chickens, forgetting to latch the gate to the pasture and the cow got out. One time when I was milking the cow, or more accurately trying to milk the cow, I got up from the stool to turn the job over to grandpa and managed to swing my foot over the pail with the milk. A fair amount of straw mixed with manure from the barn floor fell into the milk. Grandma poured the milk through cheesecloth to separate the milk from the manure. I’m not sure what was done with the milk thereafter.”

After visits from his grandchildren, Grandpa liked to leave the furniture undusted, so that their fingerprints on the furniture would remain undisturbed. (When I visited my grandparents’ grave, I left my fingerprints on the granite tombstone in memory.)

John Whitelaw, Jr. (my grandfather) in the center; to his left, his son John Moreland Whitelaw; to his right, holding his hand, John Whitelaw Rieke (grandson of John Whitelaw Jr.’s brother Henry) and John Moreland Whitelaw, Jr., his grandson. Portland, 1955.

John Whitelaw, Jr. (my grandfather) in the center; to his left, his son John Moreland Whitelaw; to his right, holding his hand, John Whitelaw Rieke (grandson of John Whitelaw Jr.’s brother Henry) and John Moreland Whitelaw, Jr., his grandson. Portland, 1955.

When he retired in his 80s he visited relatives by train. In 1955 he made a long journey to Oregon to visit our family and that of his brother, Henry. However, he was not an experienced traveler. The first night on the train he ordered a large dinner in the dining car and was so shocked at the cost that the next day he got off the train at a stop and bought a bag of hamburgers, which lasted him until he got to Portland two days later. This story appalled my mother, who packed him a hamper for his journey back.
John died in 1961 at his home in DeSoto. His wife, Bertha, saw him through his last years and survived him.

“John Whitelaw, 90, DeSoto, died Sunday at the home. He was born in Kidder, Mo., where he once operated a hardware and lumber business. He later lived in Lawrence and moved to DeSoto in 1919.
“He retired from farming several years ago. He was a member of the Plymouth Congregational Church of Lawrence. He was one of eight children of Mr. and Mrs. John Whitelaw, early settlers of Kidder, Mo. He and Mrs. Bertha Whitelaw, who survives, had been married 58 years.

Jeff, John, and John Whitelaw, DeSoto, Kansas, gravesite of John and Bertha Whitelaw, 2016

Jeff, John, and John Whitelaw, DeSoto, Kansas, gravesite of John and Bertha Whitelaw, 2016

“Also surviving are daughter, Mrs. Eleanor Whitford, Mount Hamilton, Calif.; two sons, Neill G. Whitelaw, Clinton, S.C., and John M. Whitelaw, Portland, Ore.; and six grandchildren.
“Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the DeSoto Methodist Church; burial will be in the DeSoto cemetery. The family prefers no flowers.” (Memorial Obituary)

How you are related to John Whitelaw, Jr.

John Whitelaw, Jr. is on your personal Ancestor Fan.  He is the father of John Moreland Whitelaw, and the grandfather of John Moreland Whitelaw Jr., Susan Whitelaw, and Nancy Whitelaw.

Memorial Obituary, John Whitelaw. The Daily Journal World, Lawrence, Kansas, January 16, 1961.
Whitelaw, John Jr. Letter to Ruth Williams. In: Susan Whitelaw, ed. Dear Sister: Whitelaw Family Letters, 1900-1961 Rocky River, Ohio, 2003.
Whitelaw, John Moreland. Oral History. Recorded 1973, Portland, Oregon.
Whitelaw, Susan. Bertha Bell Whitelaw: A Documentary Biography. Rocky River, Ohio, 2007.

AMOS BEACH (1842-1926)

Amos Beach was born on a farm near Grand Rapids, Michigan, the third oldest of a sibship of seven. His parents had homesteaded land newly acquired from the Indians, and growing up Amos would have had the chance to observe Indian families camped along the Thornapple River. He lived through the gradual establishment of the nearest town, Middleville, which started as a stage coach stop and gradually added a general store, a blacksmith, a grist mill, a shoemaker and a carpenter. (Rosentreter, 1979) Amos grew up to fight in the Civil War, and later migrated to Woodburn, a small agricultural community in Oregon.  In his old age he was a renowned local citizen, sometimes featured in the local newspaper for his colorful exploits and his memories of the Civil War.

Civil War

COME YOU WOLVERINES. Custer leads the Michigan Brigade, Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. By Don Troiani.)

COME YOU WOLVERINES. Custer leads the Michigan Brigade, Gettysburg, July 3, 1863. By Don Troiani.)

Amos Beach‘s life entered the stage of history at age 20 when he and his brother John joined the Union Army to fight in the Civil War (U.S. Civil War). Michigan was strongly pro-Union and about 90,000 Michigan men fought in the war. Amos and John enlisted as privates in the 6th Regiment of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade, on September 20, 1862. (Dunbar & May). The Michigan Cavalry Brigade, also known as the “Wolverines,” was led by the dashing General George Custer. The soldiers were mounted on horseback and fought with sabers as well as pistols and rifles. The Wolverines, as part of the Army of the Potomac, fought in all of the major battles in the Eastern front against Lee’s confederate army. In addition to Gettysburg, the Michigan Cavalry Brigade fought mainly in Maryland and Virginia. (Urwin.) Today a large monument at the Gettysburg battlefield commemorates the Brigade’s contribution to the war effort. The obituary reprinted below lists all the battles in which the Brigade participated.

In his later year years, Amos Beach became a town character and told colorful stories about his war experiences. It is not always possible to reconcile these stories with the facts of the Civil War; however they do illustrate that Amos Beach continued to identify himself strongly as a Civil War veteran for the rest of his life.

An example of Beach’s war memories is in the historical museum at Woodburn, Oregon. Attached to a cord tied to a confederate uniform hat is a large tag. “Written in his own hand,”  Beach wrote this story on the tag:

Michigan Cavalry Brigade Monument

Michigan Cavalry Brigade Monument, Gettysburg Battlefield

“Captured by Amos Beach in 1863 at Rackoon Ford on the Rapidan River from Brigadier General Stewart Commanding the Louisiana Tigers after my escape from Rebbel Prison in which I staid 5 days being fed during the entire time ½ pt. of flour. Said hat cord was cut by a ball shot at him by one before being captured by his command, on being taken to him when captured, I was cursed and my life threatened. Then I was sent to prison to starve. Then a few days after I got back to my command he was captured while under guard. I snatched his hat from his head and kept it and this cord leaving him bear headed to continue his onward march to Prison hoping that he is enjoying the comfort enjoyed in that lake not made by a man nor in the heavens.” (transcribed by Shelley Downs, 1986, Woodburn, OR)

It is very possible that Beach was taken prisoner during the skirmishes around the Rapidan; we know that a number of Union cavalry were captured in these encounters. Beach also recounted that he escaped from prison and was hidden from the Confederate Army by “friendly negroes.” The rest of the story cannot be reconciled with the facts of J.E.B. Stewart’s life, but does show Beach’s vivid and personal style of recounting his war experiences.

After Lee’s surrender in 1865, the Brigade participated in the Grand Review for President Lincoln in Washington, DC on May 23, 1865. However, instead of being demobilized, the Michigan Cavalry Brigade was sent west to combat Indians. According to Beach’s obituary:

“[T]hey were taken down the Ohio river, across plains and mountains to Fort Leavenworth, Fort Laramie and further on, to stop the depredations of the Indians. They were greatly disappointed, not knowing that they were to be used to fight “Injuns”, not finding out the purpose of the movement until they reached St. Louis. It took 38 days to go from Leavenworth to Laramie and they had several fights with the Indian tribes, Sergt. Beach seeing many men, women, and children scalped and killed.” (Death Calls Amos Beach).

He was in the West for six months, but was finally discharged from the army on Nov. 24, 1865 from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with the rank of Sergeant, at the age of 23. During the Civil War the Michigan Cavalry Brigade had a total enrollment of 6,120 men, of whom 265 were killed in action, 120 died of wounds, and 880 died of disease, for a total casualty rate of 21 percent. This casualty rate was about average for the Union Army as a whole. (Harvey)

Marriage and Family

In tracking down the graves of Amos’s parents, I learned that his father died in 1863 and his mother a year later while he was away fighting. It seems safe to say that these losses would have added to whatever trauma and dislocation Beach might have been feeling as a result of his war experiences.

Four months after he returned to Michigan, in March, 1866, Amos married a local young woman, Clara Hatton. Amos and Clara had two children who died in infancy, and six more whom they raised on their farm in Thornapple Township, Michigan, near Grand Rapids. In 1883 Clara died from an accident with a horse and buggy, leaving Amos a widower at age 41 with a large, young family (Whitelaw, Alvis).

Marshall of Woodburn, Oregon

According to his great-grand daughter, Alvis WhitelawAmos had discussed moving to Oregon for many years, but his wife, Clara, was opposed. Her death, though sincerely mourned, removed a barrier to the plan. Amos and his brothers, John and Lauriatt, all moved to Oregon with their families in the 1880s by transcontinental train. Amos and his six children arrived in Woodburn in 1886. At that time, Woodburn was a newly founded small town on the Willamette River, near the state capitol, Salem. It was the center of an agricultural community.  When Amos arrived in Woodburn, his six children, five girls and a boy, ranged in age from 16 to about 2 years old.

Amos Beach in later years

Amos Beach in later years.

Beach became the first Marshall of Woodburn. Located at a railroad junction, the town had a problem with tramps, men who traveled by hiding in box cars, and it was Beach‘s job to move the vagrants out of town. For this he received about $50 a year in salary. He had a reputation for eccentricity, feistiness, and personal courage; his career as Marshall was legendary. Gene Stoller compiled these stories for an article in the Woodburn Independent in 1987, about 60 years after Beach’s death, quoting articles that had appeared much earlier.

“Thirty-one hobos run out of town was Marshal Beach’s record Saturday. The marshal goes about it in a very nice manner. He approaches a gang and accosts them with, ‘Traveling?’ With lighted countenances, glad that someone is taking an interest in them, they reply, ‘Yes. .’ ‘Then,’ says the Marshall, ‘git!’ and they git, for the sudden gleam that comes into the officer’s eye satisfies them that he means business. They think at first that they have met with a Good Samaritan, but soon learn their error. Many are tough looking cases.”

Stoller also reported that:

Those who remember him say that he was not afraid of anyone. His fearlessness almost proved his undoing at one time when he attempted to bring in, single handed, several suspected criminals whom he had apprehended near the Pudding River bridge on the road to Mt. Angel. The men rushed Beach, took his gun, dumped him unceremoniously into a mud puddle and made their escape. Beach was outraged at this treatment and considered it one of the most humiliating experiences of his life.”

Amos beach family

Mary, Sarah, George, Amos, Jeannette, Florence, and Laura Beach, Woodburn, Oregon

According to Stoller, the townspeople remembered Beach’s vigorous way of celebrating the Fourth of July.

“He had a small brass cannon which he loaded with black powder and fired to salute the dawn of Independence Day. He also added emphasis to many a local celebration by slowly walking down the railroad track to the north of town, dropping home-made bombs with short fuses. He had fuses of proper length and timed his walking speed so that he was safely out of the way when the bomb exploded. Old timers can remember the series of blasts set off in this manner.”

Beach continued to relive his Civil War experiences for the rest of his life. Stoller reported that:

“Beach’s grandson, Glenn Goulet, prevailed upon his grandfather to go to the showing of the motion picture, “Birth of a Nation,” in 1916. The old marshal, then in his 70s, at first didn’t want to go as he felt that movie actors couldn’t do justice to the portrayal of the great civil war in which he had fought. Goulet finally convinced the elderly man and they attended the show together.

“[T]hey watched, spellbound, Beach became completely captivated by the drama. At one point in the picture he jumped up excitedly and, pointing to the screen, exclaimed loudly enough for all to hear, “That’s right! That’s exactly like it was – I know because I was there.!” The scene to which he referred was the one depicting a civil war battle in which he had fought.”

Amos Beach and his great granddaughter Alvis Love, my mother, in 1912, Woodburn, Oregon.

Amos Beach and his great granddaughter Alvis Love, my mother, in 1912, Woodburn, Oregon.

In 1890 Beach applied for a Civil War pension on the basis of an injury suffered during the war. He declared in the application that:

“a horse throwed him while being chased by Mosby’s gang in Luray Valley, Va, in 1863 or 1864 and bruised his right ankle very bad and was doctored by Dr. Sleath at Falmouth, Va, then the 3rd of May 1890 a pile of lumber fell on the same leg breaking it between knee and ankle.” (Invalid Pension)

For this he was awarded a pension of $6 a month, starting in 1890, when he was 48 years old. By the time of his death in 1926 his pension had increased to $65.00 a month.

In his later years he lived in a small house next door to one of his daughters. He loved hunting and fishing. In spite of his war injury, he kept up a vigorous life. When he was 78 years old and camping with his family, he climbed Wauna Point, with an elevation of 3,200 feet. According to a newspaper account, he left his red handkerchief on a staff at the summit, so those at the campground could see it with binoculars, to prove that he had done it. (Civil War Veteran.)

He died at home in 1926, at age 84, of a cerebral hemorrhage, and was buried at Belle Passi Cemetery in Woodburn. The bronze star of the Grand Army of The Republic decorated his tombstone, and commemorates the defining event in his life, the War between the States.

How you are related to Amos Beach

Amos Beach is on your personal Ancestor Fan.  He is the grandfather of Alvis Love Whitelaw, and the great grandfather of John, Susan and Nancy Whitelaw.

Civil War Veteran Who Climbed Wauna Point at Age of 78. The Oregonian, 1 Aug. 1920, Sec. 2, p. 20.
Death Calls Amos Beach (1926) Woodburn Independent, Woodburn, OR
Dunbar, Willis F. 7 May, George S. (1995) Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State. 3rd revised ed. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, pp. 316-327.
Harvey, Don & Lois, eds. The Michigan Cavalry Brigade. Available on-line at Retrieved: 9/2011.
Invalid Pension Application of Amos Beach, June, 1891. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.
Rosentreter, Roger. (1979). Barry County. Michigan History, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 3-7.
Stoller, Gene. (Oct., 1987) Indian fighter really meant business. Woodburn Independent, Woodburn, OR.
Urwin, Gregory J.W.(1990) Custer Victorious. University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NB.
U.S. Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles [database on line] Provo, UT. The Generations Network, Inc. 2009.
Whitelaw, Alvis. Interview with Susan Whitelaw, 1985-1993. Portland, Oregon.


Shelley Downs, Beach’s great great great granddaughter at his grave, 1986.

Obituary: Death Calls Amos Beach
Civil War Veteran Succumbs to Attack of Cerebral Hemorrhage. Masonic Funeral Friday.

One of the two remaining Civil War veterans in Woodburn passed away at his home on Settlemeier Avenue at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, December 22 of cerebral hemorrhage, aged 84 years, 5 months and 24 days. The funeral will be Friday, December 24, at 1:30 p.m. Services will be under the auspices of Woodburn Lodge No. 106, A.F.&A.M., of which he was a charter member. Services will be at Masonic Temple and interment at Belle Passi.

This grand old man and esteemed citizen was born June 28, 1842 near Middleville, Mich., in a log-house, the son of Ashbel and Betsy Beach. He grew up on the farm, going to school in the winter, walking 2 miles there and from in order to get an education. On September 10, 1862, he volunteered in the Michigan Cavalry Brigade as a private under General Custer and at the end of the war he was a sergeant. His Civil War record was as follows:

During the service of the brigade it had been engaged with the enemy at Hanover, Va., June 30, 1863; Hunterstown, Penn., July 2, 1863; Gettysburg, Penn., July 3, 1863; Monterey, Md., July 4, 1863; Cavetown, Md., July 5, 1863; Smithtown, Md., July 6, 1863; Boonsborough, Md., July 6, 1863; Hagerstown, Md., July 6, 1863; Williamsport, Md., July 6, 1863; Boonsborough, Md., July 8, 1863; Hagerstown, Md., July 10, 1863; Williamsport, Md., July 10, 1863; Falling Waters, Md., July 14, 1863; Snicker’s Gap, Va., July 19, 1863; Kelley’s Ford, Va., Sept. 13, 1863; Culpepper Court House, Va., Sept. 14, 1863; Raccoon Ford, Va., Sept. 16, 1863; White’s Ford, Va., Sept. 21, 1863; Jack’s Shop, Va., Sept. 26, 1863; James City, Va., Oct. 9, 10, 1863; Brandy Station, Va., Oct. 11, 1863; Buckland’s Mills, Va., Oct. 19, 1863; Stevensburg, Va., Nov. 19, 1863; Morton’s Ford, Va., Nov. 26, 1863; Richmond, Va., March 1, 1864; Wilderness, Va., May 6, 7, 1864; Beaver Dam Station, Va., May 9, 1864; Yellow Tavern, Va., May 10, 11, 1864; Meadow Bridge, Va., May 12, 1864; Milford, Va., May 27, 1864; Hawe’s Shop, Va., May 28, 1864; Baltimore X Roads, Va., May 29, 1864; Cold Harbor, Va., May 30 and June 1, 1864; Travillian Station, Va., June 11 and 12, 1864; Cold Harbor, Via., July 21, 1864; Winchester, Va., Aug. 11, 1864; Front Royal, Va., August 16, 1864; Leetown, Va., Aug. 25, 1864; Shepardstown, Va., August 25, 1864; Smithfield, Va., Aug. 29, 1864; Berryville, Va., Sept. 3, 1864; Summit, Va., Sept. 4, 1864; Opequan, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Winchester, Va., Sept. 19, 1864; Luray, Va., Sept. 24, 1864; Port Republic, Va., July 26, 27, 28, 1864; Mount Crawford, VA., Oct. 2, 1864; Woodstock, Va., Oct. 9, 1864; Cedar Creek, Va., Oct. 19, 1864; Madison Court House, Va., Dec. 24, 1864; Louisa Court House, Va., Mar. 8, 1865; Five Forks, Va., Mar. 30, 31, and April 1, 1865; South Side R.R., Va., April 2, 1865; Duck Pond Mills, Va., April 4, 1865; Ridge’s or Sailor’s Creek, Va., April 6, 1865; Appomattox Court House, Va., April 8 and 9, 1865; Willow Springs, Dakota Territory, Aug. 12, 1865.

In addition to the foregoing war record, many incidents in Sergt. Beach’s active career during the conflict between North and South could be given, one being the time when he shot at General Stuart, hitting the hat and cutting the cord and tassel from it, after which he was taken prisoner and held in a bullpen with scarcely anything to eat for 2 weeks and a day, when he made his escape and with the assistance of friendly negroes got through the rebel lines to his own regiment.

After the grand review in Washington following the conclusion of the war he started with comrades for, as he supposed, home, but they were taken down the Ohio river, across plains and mountains to Fort Leavenworth, Fort Laramie and further on, to stop the depredations of the Indians. They were greatly disappointed, not knowing that they were to be used to fight “Injuns”, not finding out the purpose of the movement until they reached St. Louis. It took 38 days to go from Leavenworth to Laramie and they had several fights with the Indian tribes, Sergt. Beach seeing many men, women, and children scalped and killed. He was in this service for six months before being allowed to return home. This extra service was performed after he had been mustered out at Fort Leavenworth, in the fall of 1865.

In 1866 Sergt. Beach married Clara Hatton, an English girl, at Middleville. To this union were born eight children, two of whom, a boy and girl, passed on. The six surviving children are Mrs. Florence Goulet, Mrs. Nettie Zimmerley, Mrs. Mary Whitman, Mrs. Laura Livesay and George Beach, all of Woodburn, and Mrs. Sarah Hardcastle of Salem.

Sergt. Beach came with his children then living to Woodburn, Oregon, in December, 1886, joining his brother Lauriatt here, the latter dying in California not long ago. Later his other brother, John Beach, afterward deceased, came out. Sergt. Beach worked for awhile for J.H. Settlemier in the nurseries and also on farms in the vicinity. When Woodburn was incorporated he was selected marshal and served in that capacity for 26 years, making a most efficient officer. He was also constable and deputy sheriff. He was extremely fond of hunting and fishing. His experiences of the past, especially during the Civil War, are highly interesting. He met President Lincoln on several occasions and shook hands with him more than a dozen times. He never forgot the time he was taken prisoner at Raccoon Ford, Virginia, December 15, 1863, and his daring act in shooting at the rebel, General Stuart of Alabama. (Woodburn Independent, Dec. 1926.)


The Dillingham, Wing, Tupper, and Nye Families

Ten Men of Saugus

Ten Men of Saugus

Sandwich, Massachusetts was the first town in Cape Cod. The “Ten Men of Saugus,” as they were called, founded Sandwich, Mass., in 1637, by the authority of the Plymouth Colony:

“It is also agreed by the Court that those tenn men of Saugust . . . shall have liberty to view a place to sitt down & have sufficient lands for three score famylies, upon the conditions propounded to them by the Governor and Mr. Winslowe.” (1)

Sixty people walked together 100 miles from Saugus (now Lynn, Mass.) to an area in the wilderness where they would create Sandwich.

We have ancestral links to its founding. Two of our ancestors, Edward Dillingham and Thomas Tupper, are among the “ten men of Saugus,” and two others, Deborah Wing and Benjamin Nye, were among the original 60 families. Evidence of their habitation there still exists and can be viewed by visitors to Cape Cod.

Although the main purpose of the new town was to create economic opportunity through farming and fishing, the town also became an arena where religious differences were fought out.

Sandwhich, Ma

Sandwich, Massachusetts

The Quakers

The Quakers started arriving in New England in the 1640s and were severely persecuted by the authorities, who objected to tenets of their religion and also their refusal to pay church taxes. Quakers risked public whippings, imprisonment, banishment, steep fines, and some possibility of execution for practicing their religion, even though they had come to New England for the same reason that the Puritans had – to live in a place free of English oppression. The leaders of the Bay Colony also punished citizens who in any way aided the Quakers, and prohibited people from listening to them preach.

Sandwich from its founding was less rigid in religious matters than other New England towns. When the Quakers started to arrive, they found people in Sandwich who were sympathetic and interested. However, the toleration for Quakers did not extend to officials of the town or of the Colony of which they were a part. Individuals who sympathized with or aided the Quakers were subject to stiff fines and imprisonment.

Eventually, the Quakers won over many of the citizens of Sandwich. James Cudworth, a Puritan, wrote in a letter of 1658: “They have many meetings and many adherents; almost the whole town of Sandwich is adhering towards them. . . The Sandwich men may not go to the Bay [Boston colony], lest they be taken up for Quakers.” (2)

The first Quaker meeting in America was established in Sandwich in 1658, with a congregation of 17 families. It was not allowed to meet in town, but met covertly in a wilderness about a mile away, now called ‘Christopher Hollow.’ This area still exists and is open to tourists.

Christopher’s Hollow

Christopher Hollow

The Dillingham and Wing Families

The Dillingham and Wing families are a part of the Quaker history of Sandwich. Edward and Ursula Dillingham, both born in Cottesbach, Leicestershire, England, came to America in about 1635 with three children, settling first at Saugus, and then becoming a founding family of Sandwich. Edward Dillingham was a farmer, and served on many juries, commissions and boards until his death in about 1667. He was part of the climate of opinion in Sandwich which was open to the ideas of the Quakers, and in 1657 he came into conflict with the civil authorities of the town: “he was arrested and admonished for showing sympathy with the Quakers, and for ‘speaking approbriesly to the cunstables deputie of Sandwich was admonished and cleared.’” The Dillinghams became Quakers themselves, and were early members of the Quaker meeting in Sandwich. Their descendants were active in this meeting for many years.

One of the Dillingham daughters, Oseath, married Stephen Wing, also a Sandwich resident. Stephen’s mother, Deborah Batchiler Wing, was the widow of a Puritan minister, John Wing. After her husband died in England, she came to New England with her four sons. She was among the 60 people who walked 100 miles from Saugus, Mass. to the wilderness which would become Sandwich in 1637.

Deborah’s father, Stephen Bachiler, was a noted individualist in New England. He was a Puritan minister who was in constant trouble with the authorities. According to historian Robert Charles Anderson, “Among many remarkable lives lived by early New Englanders, Bachiler’s is the most remarkable. From 1593, when he was cited before Star Chamber, until 1654, when he last makes a mark on New England Records, this man lived a completely independent and vigorous life, never acceding to any authority when he thought he was correct.” (4)

Perhaps Stephen Bachiler’s daughter Deborah had some of his spirit and imbued it in her sons, because two of them, Daniel and Stephen, became strong public advocates for toleration of the Quakers and suffered punishments as a result. They refused to take the Oath of Fidelity to the government because the Oath required that they cooperate in the persecution of Quakers, and were fined heavily. They both joined the Sandwich Quaker meeting in the early days of its founding. (5)


Wing family home

Stephen and Oseah Dillingham Wing, our direct ancestors, lived in the Wing family home. This house, pictured at left, was built in 1641 and was occupied continuously by Wing descendants until it was taken over by the Wing Family Association. It is the oldest house in New England owned and occupied continuously by the same family for over three centuries. It has been restored and is open to the public. (6)

The Tuppers and Nyes

Our Sandwich ancestors the Tuppers and Nyes did not become Quakers. Thomas and Anne Tupper were among the original settlers of Sandwich, arriving from Saugus in 1637. Born in Sussex, England, Thomas made several voyages to America in the 1620s, working as a ship’s carpenter. He was one of the original ten founders of Sandwich, settling there with his third wife, Anne, and two children by a previous marriage. Sandwich was without a settled minister for many years, and Thomas acted as a lay minister for the church. He also served on various juries, boards, and commissions, and was involved in missionary work with the Indians. He accrued large landholdings and was a wealthy citizen by the time he died in 1676.

“The painting shown here is from a photograph taken about 1890 of the Thomas and Anne Tupper homestead on Tupper Road in Sandwich, Mass. The house was built by them in 1637 and stood for almost three hundred years before it was destroyed by fire in 1921.” (7)

Nye house

Nye house

Benjamin Nye, born in 1620 in the County of Kent, England, came to America in 1635 as a young man. He was one of the first settlers of Sandwich and served the town as a constable, jury man, and supervisor of highways. In 1640 he married Katherine Tupper, the daughter of town founder Thomas Tupper, and they raised eight children. They were farmers and also built a town mill on a nearby creek. The Nye house is still standing, and is now the Benjamin Nye Homestead & Museum. The house has been restored in colonial style, and is open to the public. (8)

Interior Views of the Nye Homestead and Museum
The museum shows how day to day life was lived in early colonial times. These photos show an important occupation of colonial women – weaving and spinning. Other photos of the interior of this house are available at the Nye family association website,



Spinning wheel

Spinning wheel

These Sandwich families are of interest to us because they are among our earliest ancestors in America. Their history reveals a Quaker strain that runs through our ancestry, and also shows a family tradition of religious toleration.  It is intriguing that two of the homes of our ancestors are still standing in Sandwich, along with street names, markers, cemeteries, and other places, which were part of the lives of these early American relatives. It is still possible today to visit Cape Cod and get in closer touch with these ancestors.

How you are related to our ancestors in Sandwich, Massachusetts

On your personal Ancestor Fan, go to Hulda Nye on the outermost rim.  Then, click here to open the Hulda Nye Ancestor Fan.

1. R.A. Lovell, Jr. Sandwich, A Cape Cod Town, citing the Plymouth Colony Records of 3 April 1637
2. John H. Dillingham, The Society of Friends in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, New York. H.W. Blake & Co., 1891, p. 1.
3. John H. Dillingham, The Society of Friends in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, New York. H.W. Blake & Co., 1891, p. 12 and following. Edward Dillingham: One of the Ten Men of Saugus.
4. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III (Online database:, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2002.
5. Conway P. Wing, A Historical and Genealogical Register of John Wing, of Sandwich, Mass. New York: The De Vinne Press, 1888. Pp. 37-47; 53-55.
6. See the Wing Family Association website,
7. See the Tupper Family Association website,
8. See the Nye Family Association website,



As the series on John Adams, second President of the United States, begins tomorrow on HBO, I thought you would be interested to know that we are – distantly and collaterally – related to this prominent historical figure.

henry-adams-markerWe share with John Adams the ancestors Henry Adams and his wife, Edith Squire, puritans who immigrated to the United States in 1638, during the “Great Migration” of puritans from England to New England. Henry Adams was born in about 1583 in Barton St. David, Somersetshire, England, to a family of yeoman farmers. President Adams claimed that Henry Adams “took flight from the dragon persecution in England” but there is no record of any action taken against him (Bartlett, p. 65). The family immigrated with eight of their nine children, settling in Braintree, Massachusetts, now Quincy. A memorial plaque to Henry Adams, as the ancestor of two American Presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, is on the wall of the nave of the Church of Barton David.

One of their sons, Joseph (1626-1694), was the great-grandfather of President John Adams.  Another son, Samuel Adams, is our direct ancestor.

How you are related to Samuel Adams

On your personal Ancestor Fan, find Eunice Waldo, on the outermost ring.  Click here to open the Eunice Waldo Ancestor Fan.  Samuel Adams is on the outermost ring, in the blue section.  In case you were wondering about all those Waldo ancestors – yes, we are also distantly related to Ralph Waldo Emerson.


J. Gardner Bartlett, (1927) Henry Adams of Somersetshire, England and Braintree, Mass. Privately Printed, New York.
Waldo Lincoln (1901) Genealogy of the Waldo Family. Press of Charles Hamilton: Worcester, Mass.


Valentine’s Day 2008

According to family historian William DeLoss Love, the surname LOVE does not refer to affection but has quite a different origin:

“Love – this name related not to the tender passion, but is an old modification of the French Loup, wolf.” Variations on the French name, Loup, include Loupel, Lovell, Louel, Loue, and Lovett. “In the Norse it is Lufa, in the Dutch Luf, in Italian Lupo, in the old French Lou or Loue, and in the Scotch dialect of early times Lufe, Lulf, Luff, Luffe, Luif, and Luiff.”


In medieval times the wolf was considered to have mystical powers, and in 11th century France, “the name Lupus was a sobriquet that had been given on account of the disposition of a warrior or in compliment of his deeds.” Norman barons named Hugh le Loup, Richard de Louet, and Robert Louel came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066. These families over the centuries had many branches, which took various forms of the name, becoming Lous, Lovells, Wolfs, le Loues, or Loves. Whatever form their name took, however, they all had similar coats of arms, suggesting a common family origin. The crest always displayed the figure of a wolf, usually a row of three, as seen on the banner in the picture, above left.

William DeLoss Love traces our ancestry back to these Norman barons. By the thirteenth century, one branch of the family had settled in Buckinghamshire. A descendant of this house, named Sir John le Loue, was one of the knights of Edward I.   He and others of the name were probably part of a large migration of English who moved into southern Scotland in the wake of Edward I’s wars of conquest. Families with the Scottish form of the name, Luff, or Luiff, lived in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire, regions south of Glasgow, from the 13th century onwards. Descendants of Scottish Love families were part of the colonization of Ulster, Ireland, during the time of James I, in the 17th century. A hundred years later, in about 1730, Adam and Mary Love left their home in Ballymoney, Ulster, Ireland, and settled in Rhode Island. They are the founders of our American line of Loves.
Love crest

1. William DeLoss Love, Love Family History, unpublished manuscript, Hartford, CT, c. 1918, pp. 1-17.
W.D. Love refers to two other sources:
Mark Antony Lower, Patronymica Britannica, A Dictionary of Family Names of the United Kingdom, London: John Russell Smith, 1860; and
Charles Wareing Bardsley, English Surnames, London: Chatto & Windus, 1915.



Ministers’ Monument, in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, commemorates the founders of the Baptist Church in America. Two of the pastors  and one pastor’s wife named on the monument, John Maxson, Mary Maxson, and John Maxson, Jr.,  are our direct ancestors.  Other pastors listed, of the Burdick and Clarke families, were relatives of our ancestors.   These first immigrants to America were pioneer settlers in Rhode Island and helped in its founding.

Into the Wilderness with Roger Williams

Roger Williams's exile from Massachusetts colony to Rhode Island 1635

Roger Williams’s exile from Massachusetts colony to Rhode Island 1635

After being evicted from the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1636 for unorthodox religious beliefs, the Puritan preacher Roger Williams walked into the wilderness to an area he named Providence Plantation, now part of Rhode Island. The first principles of the new Colony were separation of religious and civil authority and absolute freedom of religion, which Williams called “soul-liberty.” Thus, from the beginning, Rhode Island was intended to be very different from its sister colonies, Massachusetts and Connecticut, where rigid religious oligarchies held sway. Because of its religious toleration, Rhode Island became a haven for Quakers, Jews, Huguenots, and other dissenters. Several of our ancestors followed Roger Williams to Rhode Island, and helped him found there the Baptist Church in America.

Tase Cooper and Samuel Hubbard

Rhode Island pioneers were hardy people who were prepared to organize their lives around their religious convictions. Among them were our double-ancestors (ancestors through two lines) Tase Cooper and Samuel Hubbard, an early “power couple” in the Colony and the Baptist Church.

Tase Cooper came to America in the 1630s, apparently as a single woman. In the hard winter of 1635 she was one of a hundred people who walked from the Massachusetts Bay Colony to become the first settlers in Connecticut. There she married Samuel Hubbard, another member of the group. A Baptist herself, she persuaded her husband to also become a Baptist, and they suffered persecution for it in Connecticut and Massachusetts. According to Samuel Hubbard’s diary:

“She was mostly struck at and answered two times publicly, where I was also said to be as bad as she and sore threatened with imprisonment at Hartford jail.” (1)

On this account the Hubbards moved to Newport, Rhode Island in 1648, and lived there the rest of their lives. They were pillars of the Sabbatarian Baptist Church, an offshoot of the Baptist Church whose adherents celebrated the Sabbath on Saturday. William Clarke Whitford, a historian of the Sabbatarian Baptist Church, wrote that Tase Cooper Hubbard was:

“A woman of superior discernment and moral courage, the first convert to the Sabbath in America, truly a sainted mother in our Israel, and the ancestress of all the Burdicks, the Langworthys, nearly all the Clarkes, and their posterity, who have ever been received into our churches.” (2)

Her husband, Samuel Hubbard, came from a long line of Protestant dissenters in England. His grandfather had been burned at the stake during the reign of Queen Mary (Bloody Mary) for refusing to recant his Protestantism. After he and Tase moved to Rhode Island, he became one of the most active and influential members of the Baptist Church in Newport. He was also a prominent figure in the Colony, and was appointed deputy Solicitor General. According to family historian William DeLoss Love,

“Samuel Hubbard was made a freeman of the Colony in 1655. He had a large interest in its welfare. His friendship for Roger Williams, formed at Salem, continued through his life. Other distinguished men of Rhode Island held him in esteem. Though somewhat ready to engage in religious controversy he was a man of amiable disposition, devout spirit, unblemished character, and kindly disposed to all mankind.” (3)

“Rogue Islanders”

Massachusetts Bay map

Massachusetts Bay map

The theocratic leadership of Connecticut and Massachusetts was deeply suspicious of the freedom of religious conscience in Rhode Island. They referred to Rhode Island inhabitants as “Rogue Islanders,” “fanatics,” turbulent inhabitants,” “living in imbecile condition,” and “guilty of outrageous practices.” They determined to attack the Colony by claiming a large portion of land that Rhode Island also claimed for itself, notably most of the area west of Narragansett Bay, called Westerly (see map). The stakes were high in this land dispute, because if Rhode Island lost Westerly, the colony would be reduced to two towns along the Bay and would probably lose its standing as an independent political entity in New England. (4) In order to strengthen the claim of Rhode Island to this disputed land, in 1661, our ancestors, Ruth, daughter of Tase and Samuel Hubbard, her husband Robert Burdick, Joseph Clarke, Jr. (later to marry Ruth’s sister, Bethiah) along with a few others, moved into this largely uninhabited territory.

Robert Burdick, Joseph Clarke, and a third pioneer, Tobias Saunders, were promptly arrested by an agent of the Massachusetts Bay Colony for illegally settling in the area, and brought to trial in Boston. The “Rogue Islanders” were defiant, and disputed the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Court to hear the matter. They refused to pay the fine the court imposed, and were therefore imprisoned for two years in Boston. Their imprisonment ended when Rhode Island seized two Massachusetts agents, and there was a prisoner exchange. (5) Eventually, the dispute was resolved in England, which divided the land between Connecticut and Rhode Island. Meanwhile, Massachusetts put constant pressure on the Rhode Island settlers, threatening them with imprisonment and fines if they refused to leave. The settlers chose to remain, however. Demeaned as ‘intractable backwoodsmen,’ the firmness of the people of Westerly, according to historian William Clarke Whitford, preserved Rhode Island as an independent colony, and thereby also was instrumental in keeping alive the principles of religious freedom and the separation of church and state in New England. (6)

Exhausting Toils in Westerly

Sabbatarian Baptist Meeting House in Westerly

The Sabbatarian Baptist Meeting House in Westerly.

Samuel and Tase Hubbard’s daughter, Ruth, was the first child of European immigrants born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1640. She was raised in Newport, in the Baptist Church her parents founded there. At the age of fifteen she married Robert Burdick, and when she was 21 she moved with him to the Westerly area of Rhode Island. She may have stayed in Westerly during his two year imprisonment in Massachusetts, and they certainly made their home there after his release.

(7) William Clarke Whitford presented a picture of life in the Westerly Baptist community. It could be a description of the Burdick’s life, somewhat idealized:

“As you enter the only room in one of these rude dwellings, you see the few families . . . gathered there for an evening visit. The group form a half-circle in front of the wide fireplace, in which the blazing logs or faggots light up the serious faces of the older members, giving them a glow of cheerfulness, and revealing to you also the rough, home-made furniture. They are earnestly talking about . . . their trials and adventures while on the way to this purchase . . . their exhausting toils in subduing the ground and in providing sufficient food and home-spun clothing for themselves . . . They calmly and understandingly discuss the immutable claims of God’s weekly Sabbath upon their consciences, an obligation recently first apprehended by them. The conversation is interrupted as nutritious nuts, collected in the woods about them, cracked and ready for eating, are passed to each one in the company.” (8)

The Great Swamp Fight

Pioneer life was interrupted by serious Indian trouble. Roger Williams had maintained good relations with the Indians, but the encroachment of white settlement over the next forty years, coupled with Indian-settler clashes in the other colonies, created a volatile situation. The threat of an Indian uprising was always in the background among the Westerly pioneers. In 1666, Ruth Hubbard Burdick wrote to her parents in Newport, Samuel and Tase Hubbard:

“My longing desire is to hear from you, how your hearts are borne up above these troubles which are come upon us and are coming as we fear; for we have the rumors of war, and that almost every day. Even now we have heard from your Island by some Indians, who declared unto us that the French have done some mischief upon the coast, and we have heard that 1200 Frenchmen have joined with the Mohawks to clear the land both of English and of Indians. But I trust in the Lord, if such a thing be intended, that he will not suffer such a thing to be.” (9)

Great swap fight

Great Swamp fFght

In spite of her hopes, New England erupted in a terrible conflict known as King Phillip’s war. Soldiers from neighboring colonies invaded Kingston, R.I., and slaughtered local Indians, who until then had been neutral in the war. This event, known as The Great Swamp Fight of 1675, brought Rhode Island into the conflict. In his diary, Samuel Hubbard reported how he evacuated his daughters Ruth and Bethiah from Westerly.

“In the midst of these troubles of the war Lieut. Joseph Torrey, Elder of Mr. Clarke’s Church, having one daughter living at Squamicut and his wife being there, he said unto me `Come, let us send a boat to Squamicut, my all is there, and part of yours.’ We sent a boat, and his wife, his daughter and son in law and all their children and my two daughters, and their children (one had eight, the other three, with an apprentice boy) all came. …My son Clarke came afterwards before winter, and my other daughter’s husband in the spring, and they have all been at my house to this day.” (10)

In 1676 the War ended, and Rhode Island, except for the burning of Providence, was generally spared massive destruction.

100 Years Later

About a hundred years after her ancestors came to Rhode Island to establish the Sabbatarian Church, our ancestor, Susanna Burdick, great great-granddaughter of Tase and Samuel Hubbard, and great-granddaughter of Ruth Hubbard and Robert Burdick, was born, in 1736. She grew up in the church in Hopkinton, R.I. where her relatives had been leaders for generations. In 1759 she married Benjamin Austin, who was not a Baptist, and may have been of Quaker background. Compared to the staid Burdicks, the Austins were a more contentious family. Benjamin’s grandmother had made a public complaint that she could not live peaceably with her son-in-law, Benjamin’s father. After his father died, Benjamin probably left home to learn a trade, and his mother took two of her remaining sons to court, complaining that they refused to work for her or anyone else to earn their keep. (11)

The records on the family do not indicate that Susanna’s marriage caused a breach with her family. Her father sold land to the young couple near his own farm, which was a standard way for parents to help their children get a start in life. However, two years after their marriage, Susanna and Benjamin Austin left the family home in Hopkinton, and moved to Preston, Connecticut, fifteen miles way. There Benjamin probably followed the trade that he had learned in his apprenticeship. (11)

Levi Hart

Levi Hart

In Preston, the couple fell under the influence of a prominent local Congregational minister, the Rev. Levi Hart, (pictured) and they both became regular attendees of his church. Levi Hart is best known today for a 23 page letter he wrote advocating the abolition of slavery, which became a foundational document of the abolitionist movement. Susanna Burdick Austin became a member of the Congregational Church in 1768. She also brought her six children to be baptized.

One of the children, Susanna Austin, celebrated her second birthday on the day of the family baptism. She grew up to marry Robert Love, another member of Levi Hart’s congregation. This couple were so influenced by this preacher that they named their oldest son after him, our ancestor Levi Love. (11)

Susanna Burdick Austin’s decision to have her children baptized was remarkable. A key tenet of the Baptist faith of her forbearers, and a reason for their break with other Puritans, was that baptism should be reserved for adults, who could make a reasoned choice, and not be imposed on children too young to think for themselves. Thus, in having her children baptized, some of whom were infants, she emphatically ended the family connection with the Baptist Church.

The story of these early Baptist pioneers in Rhode Island is an important part of our Love family history. Their lives reflect their deep religious convictions, which had been the reason that they had come  to America, and guided their lives while they were here. They hoped to create a society following the mandates they saw in the Bible. Their religious faith sustained them during the difficult trials of settling the wilderness, the unrelenting labor, isolation, early deaths, and the constant threat of Indian attacks. Their Baptist beliefs led them to the principles of the separation of church and state and religious toleration, which they fought to preserve in Rhode Island. They helped to make Rhode Island a standard bearer for liberty.

A hundred years later, by the middle of the eighteenth century, the wilderness had been largely won in New England. Many people found the religious controversies of the previous century “deeply boring.” New immigrants came to America for economic opportunity. Benjamin and Susan Burdick Austin’s descendants, our Love ancestors, turned their energies to fighting in the Revolutionary War and to economic betterment. They were interested in religion that would help make life better and resolve social problems, such as slavery, and the old religious controversies no longer seemed so important.

The Congregational Church in Preston, Connecticut

The Congregational Church in Preston, Connecticut

How you are related to our Baptist ancestors in early Rhode Island

On your personal ancestor fan, find Levi Love on the outermost ring.  Then, click here to open the Levi Love Ancestor Fan, and find his mother, Susanna Austin.  All of the Rhode Island ancestors mentioned in the post extend back from her, in the yellow section of the Fan.


1. William DeLoss Love, Love Family History. Unpublished manuscript, Hartford CT. p. 169.
2. William Clarke Whitford, Address, Dedication of Ministers’ Monument, Aug. 28, 1899. First Hopkinton Cemetery Association, Hopkinton, R.I. Printed by the American Sabbath Tract Society, Plainfield, N.J., 1899 p. 19.
3. Love, p. 170.
4. Whitford, pp. 15-16.
5. Nellie Willard Johnson, The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island. Syracuse, N.Y. The Syracuse Typesetting Co., Inc. 1937, pp. 1-6.
6. Whitford, pp. 16-17.
7. Johnson, pp. 1-6.
8. Whitford, p. 12.
9. Johnson, p. 1-6.
10. Online:
11. Love, pp. 75-76, 95. Dorothy Love McKillop, Love Family History, Unpublished manuscript, Seattle, WA, 1992, p. 01.


Roger Williams deals with the Indians