Friday, September 13, 2013

Mary Wood Conspiracy

Mary Wood is my 10 x Great Grandmother  ...

Fact: She was married to Richard Platt .......

This is where things are iffy.

On one hand ... many trees show that Mary's parents were John Wood and Jane (unknown) ... and that is where things end.  There is documentation naming John and Jane as her parents.

However ..... on other trees, it's Henry Wood and Isabell Goodspeed.

Both Mary Woods from these two sets of parents married Richard Platt.   Both have the same back story.  Both ...... well, they are the same person.  Period.

So which set is her parents?

Let's back up a little bit.  Even if Mary Wood has always given me a bit of a difficult time, it's another one of those "dead ends" that felt like it shouldn't have been.

One of my best friends and I did the whole "Famous" relative thing a long time ago.  We both found out that one of the connections we had was Louisa Alcott.  Ya know, the writer of one of my favorite books of all times, Little Women.

So .... the point where it switched directions was Mary Wood.  According to the links, Mary's Mom's name was Isabell Goodspeed..... but I had it as Jane.

So I was all - what the heck.

Well Ancestry has taken down the "Famous Relatives" thing because of inaccuracy issues.  So at first I'm like... well, there you go.  Inaccuracy.

But then I got to thinking ....  what if .... I'm wrong, and it's right?    Mary Wood and Richard Platt are in my family tree, twice, on the same line.  Yeah - I know ........ INBREEDING.

Um...... HELLO .... if you have English relatives, you probably have inbreeding.  ESPECIALLY if you have English Royalty.  Just sayin ...

So ...... this is how it goes ....

Enoch and Anna Comstock had many children, two of which were Ruth and Cephas ....  Cephas married Nancy, and Ruth married Oliver ....  then Cephas' daughter Caroline married her cousin Samuel who was Ruth's son.  Yep.  Was it acceptable to marry your cousin (not even removed) in the 1800s?

I actually was curious - so I googled it.  I found a few interesting answers ....  here and here.

This depends on the location. Since the discussion seems to be heading in the direction of "cousin marriage" that is what I will talk about. In the West in 1870 it was growing more and more taboo. But cousin marriage is still very widespread among areas in the Middle East and Africa even today and is socially acceptable and is often set up within the family through complicated systems. For instance have you ever heard of cross/parallel cousins and double first cousins? It's super complicated so instead of retyping it all I linked the Wikipedia article. They're short but very interesting. The likeliness that we all have some sort of incest in our family history is very strong. Icky, but true. haha

To address your additions to the question, marrying a direct cousin would not be accepted well in France, however first cousin marriage was and still is legal. Most people have heard of Edgar Allen Poe's marriage to his first cousin Virginia Clemm, this was in the mid 1800's in the U.S., it was tolerated (notice the use of tolerated but not accepted) but thought of as strange to put it lightly. By the mid to late 1800's science was suggesting the effects of incest were higher rates of birth defects, so western society was turning away from the practice of marrying your first cousin. This is true, but by about 2% (Charles Darwin was also married to his first cousin). So, would having direct cousins for parents make you an outcast in the time period? Possibly, but based on cultural norms. Further, it depended on the society you lived in and which class you belonged to. If you were a peasant it might not have mattered due to lack of education/knowledge of genealogy. Or it could be the exact opposite, being a peasant could strengthen ties of genealogy and lineage, since one would rely on those bonds for food, shelter etc. my point, each case is individualistic. Thus cannot be answered in a simple way unfortunately (at least from an anthropological standpoint). :) it's so complicatedddd.


And this one too

Back then science and technology was not advanced and marrying a cousin keeps the family riches in the family.

Now, we realized interbreeding closely can result in disabilities in the child, you know what I mean, like mentally retarded and whatnot. Not many royals and rich people are stingy enough to marry relatives to keep royal and rich blood only.

You can still marry your cousin in all countries, but depends on how close. Most don't allow you to marry first cousins or second cousins. While all allow 3rd, 4th, and so on. Because the blood isn't as close so your child won't have any risks due to relation. Also it's a bit taboo now because of it, and cousins are seen like siblings if you are raised close to each other. It'll be hard for your parents and peers to accept it.

And this one...

It was IN the 1800's that genetics was "discovered" and how it worked regarding biological inheritance of traits from parents to offspring, and it became illegal, based purely on genetic inheritance considerations. Close inbreeding damages the gene pool. Just ask ANY breeder of dogs or horses. The closer the blood relationship between parents, the more likely birth defects in the offspring. It was PRIOR to the 1800's that cousins were acceptable. Back in the days of the Pharaohs in Egypt, it was even OK to marry your sister... Just ask the royal houses in England about the results of inbreeding with cousins...

Now back in the days of English Royalty, you do find some inbreeding -but mostly- it was that they brought in other Royals, from France, Italy, Ireland, etc for marriages.   But - like one of the people stated above, if Royal lines wanted things to stay with in the blood line, it wasn't unheard of.

With all that said, lets move on.

Enoch was the child of Deborah and Abijah Comstock,  Abijah was the son of Abigail and Moses Comstock, Moses the child of Christopher Comstock and Hannah Platt.... and Hannah was the daughter of Deacon Richard Platt and Mary Wood.

This is where the problem rises, going back from Mary Wood.

Birth: 1605 Harwich, England
Death: 1675 Milford New Haven County, Connecticut, USA
The daughter of John & Jane Wood of Roydon, Co. Essex, England. She was baptized on November 10th or 11th in Roydon, Co. Essex, England. Richard Platt and Mary Wood were married on 26 January 1628/1629 in Roydon. On 25 April 1638, Richard & Mary sold their property in Ware (which is four miles southeast of Roydon) in England, and prepared to sail to New England.
The family was first at New Haven and by 1640 were in Milford (lot #38 West Main and Cherry Street). Mary joined the Milford church on 29 January 1639/40 the same year as her husband.

Mary precedeased her husband, and the exact date of her death is unknown, but Milford Church records show that she was buried on March 24, 1675/1676. She isNOT buried a the Founders Memorial Site. Most all of the early settlers were buried in Rev. Peter Prudden's garden until around 1675, and after that they were buried in an extension of his garden which is presently the oldest part of the Milford Cemetery.
The picture of the memorial stone placed on the Founder's Bridge over the Wepawaug River in Milford, CT shows Mary's name along with that of her husband. 

You can see there - that they clearly say that Mary was the daughter of John and Jane Wood.  I have run  into a lot of documentation like that.  But so I wonder....... since John Wood is a dead end ....  because if you look above, John Wood is NOT the son of that John Wood listed as his father, because John Wood with the English Flag would have been UNBORN at the birth of his son John Wood with the tree ...  Yeah, that doesn't work......

And Jane (Unknown) - even with the one surname I found listed for her, is a dead end......

I wonder, what if Henry and Isabell ARE her parents....

So I put it in my tree.....  and this is what happens....  and then it's John and Joan are Henry's parents.. but then I start looking closer....... and
That's not right.  John - Henry's Father - was born - AFTER HENRY????   Um... no, that's not right....  So I go back again ....  

And now ......... I'm just stuck.  Who the hell-o are her parents?  It's so freaking frustrating!  

So I pop a name and date in the trusty Google Search and I get directed to and

This is what I found there...... 

Mary Wood's Parents 

John Wood's Parents

So ..... with all that confusion .....  I will share this note.  I have seen other posts by Dennis and I do tend to know he has some information backing up what he says.... 

Elizabeth Rose Wood married John Potter in England. Elizabeth was born in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England. William was born in Manchester, England. They were married April 14, 1630 in Chesham, Buckingshire, England. Elizabeth was born February 26, 1605/06 and John born March 24,1605/06. They had four children; Hannah (b. 1631), Elizabeth (b. February 16, 1631/32), John (b. October 17, 1635), and Samuel(b. October 07, 1641).John Potter died August 10, 1643 in New Haven where he had operated a small farm and made and repaired winches. Elizabeth was a midwife. He and Elizabeth lived in New Haven since it was established in 1639. A number of Massachusetts settlers joined the Davenport Group when they set out to settle New Haven and it is likely they were a part of this group. Elizabeth's sister Mary Wood (b. November 10, 1605) was a member of Reverend Peter Prudens' congregation as they sailed on the Hector with the Davenport Company. Prudens' congregation traveled to New Haven to settle there with Davenports' congregation. Mary married Richard Platt and they lived in Milford, New Haven Colony. I don't know when John Potter and Elizabeth arrived in America or what ship they took. I believe they arrived before 1638 when the Hector arrived in Boston Harbor. John Potter's parents were John Potter, Sr. and Hannah Mead. They were likely from Kent, England. I have John Sr. born March 28, 1580 and Hannah born about 1584. John Potter Jr. had a brother named William, born in 1608, who also came to America and lived in New Haven. William was hanged for beastiality June 06, 1662. Beastiality was relatively common in Colonial America despite the drastic sentence it brought. William fully admitted his offense to the court and stated he hated this "affliction". Elizabeth lived after John's death marrying first my ancestor, Edward John Parker who died soon after William on June 27, 1662. I don't know the cause of Edward's death. Their children were; Joseph (b. February 1647/48), Mary (b. April 1648) , John (b. October 08, 1648), Hope (b. April 26, 1650), and Lydia (b. April 14, 1652). We trace our Parker line from John who first married Hannah Bassett (M. November 08, 1670).Elizabeth married a third time to Pequot War hero, Colonel Robert Rose, himself a widower. The marriage lasted a brief three years with Elizabeth also out living him. There were no children of this marriage. I am presently trying to sort out who might be Edwards' father. There was a William Parker who also died in New Haven in 1662 who it is thought might be related. There was also an Abraham Parker who came to Hartford with Reverend Thomas Hooker. This was the beginning of Connecticut Colony. Abraham had William, Ralph, and Edward John as sons. The William Parker who is the son of this Abraham Parker was an original settler of Saybrooke, a satelite colony of Connecticut Colony The Ralph Parker lived in early Wallingford and married into the Ives family who Charles and Burl trace their ancestry.

note: written by Dennis Wright 

It's Elizabeth (Mary's sister) that links back to Lousia M. Alcott  ..... so I know, regardless, I have that connection - REGARDLESS of who Mary and Elizabeth's parents are.  Right?  

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