Tuesday, June 24, 2014

52 ANCESTORS in 52 WEEKS, No 26: Elizabeth POWELL 1630-1664

Following the challenge of writing 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, issued by Amy Johnson Crow , here is my 26th installment, Elizabeth POWELL, continuing to research some of the early females in my lines.  Elizabeth is my 8th great-grandmother on my mother's lines.

Elizabeth is known mainly because she was the first wife of Miles MERWIN; the Miles Merwin Association has detailed genealogies of him and his descendants.  Of Elizabeth, I know little more than her birth and death details, plus the names of the seven children she and Miles produced.  After  she died, her husband went on to marry twice more, having 5 more children with the 2nd wife. 

Elizabeth POWELL, b. before 29 Apr 1630, in Exeter, Devon, England, was baptized 29 Aug 1630 at the tiny ancient church of All Hallows.  Her father was listed as William.  Not listed, her mother seems to be Dorothy SEARLE.  Two other baptisms at All Hallows show the same father, William:  Samuel, born before 23 Sep 1627, and Nathanell, born before 28 May 1629, d. 11 Oct 1629, and are likely her two younger brothers. 

There are notes online that Elizabeth immigrated to the New World aged about 12 years, in order to join her aunt's family after her mother's 2nd marriage in about 1642; Abigail and husband, John Branker, were a childless couple who had arrived in MA about a decade or so earlier; John Branker was made a Freeman in 1632.  I have not found the source of the  notes/details about Elizabeth's mother and Aunt.  However, I have found the marriage of Abigaill Searll and John Branker on 13 Jan 1629 at Honiton on Otter, Devon, England (FamilySearch).  This is a lovely clue which may indicate that Dorothy and Abigail were indeed sisters, giving credence to the assumption that Dorothy Searle is Elizabeth's mother.

There is another story online stating Eizabeth was married first to Theophilus Canfield, who died very shortly afterwards.  This seems somewhat unlikely as her baptism was in 1630 and she was married to Miles MERWIN either in 1647 (aged 17), or 'before' 1650 according to Torrey's published records, (aged 20).  In addition, the only Thomas Canfield/Campfield I found in Milford area, lived to 1689!  However, it is true that the Canfields later intermarried with at least 2 Merwin children. 

As mentioned above, Elizabeth married Miles MERWIN abt 1647 (definitely before 1650), possibly in Windsor, Connecticut.  Miles had emigrated from England in about 1640 with his uncle.  Miles' occupation was as a tanner, merchant/trader, and landowner in Windsor and later in Milford, Connecticut

Our MERWIN couple were early settlers in Milford, and apparently did quite well, as Miles had a tannery business which his son John later ran; plus a warehouse by the water for his trade, and owned ships in the trading business with Boston and the West Indies.

According to the Genealogical Dictionary of New England Settlers, Elizabeth and Miles had 7 children born in Milford, the last infant dying at 2 mos old:
1.  Elizabeth, b. 1648; m. possibly Samuel Canfield; d. 1711; at least 1 daughter Abigail
2.  John, b. 13 Jan 1650; on 12 Apr 1683  m. 1st  Mary Welch; on 6 Jan 1705 m. 2nd Elizabeth Canfield; d. 15 Jan 1728
3.  Thomas, b. abt. 1652
4.  Abigail, 1654; in 1670 m. Daniel Scofield; 8 children
5.  Samuel, 21 Aug 1656; m. 1st, 13 Dec 1682, Sarah Wooding or Woodin; 2nd, 9 Mar 1691, Hannah [wid.Beecher]; d. 22 Jan 1705 or 1706
6.  Miles [ancestor], b. 14 Dec 1658; 20 Sep 1681, m. Hannah WILMOT [wid. Samuel Miles]; d. 18 Sep 1724; 4 children
7. Daniel, 28 Jun 1661; d. 4 Aug 1661. 

Miles married a second time (after Elizabeth's death) to Sara Platt and had 4 daughters.

Elizabeth died 10 Jul 1664, in Milford, Connecticut.  She likely would have been buried in Milford Cemetery, Milford, New Haven, CT, as it opened in 1642.  However there does not seem to be a stone.  Her husband, Miles MERWIN, and his 2nd wife Sara, are known to be buried in the Cemetery, and a stone now lists them on the Founder's Memorial Bridge. No headstones are marked in the earliest burial ground. The Miles Merwin Association has placed a headstone for Miles Merwin.

If you have questions about this post, or further information of Elizabeth POWELL Merwin, please do not hesitate to contact me via calewis at telus dot net, or in the Comments below.  If you have details to correct, I would be very happy to update this post and my tree - with sources, of course.   

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Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis