Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Marcy, Marcy, Marcy!

A while back (and it has been a while -- guess I've been distracted), I introduced you to the Joneses' only known New England ancestry, via one Ambrose Clark, whose parents John and Marcy were married in Vermont in 1810. I'll follow up on John Clark's family in the next post, but this time I'll fill you in on the knowledge we have -- sketchy and sometimes contradictory as it is -- of Ambrose's mother, Marcy Humes. She was apparently born in Douglas, Massachusetts, and moved up to Vermont with her brother, Ezra Humes. It's Marcy's family that connects by marriage to a lot of storied old New Englanders such as John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and John Alden (the Pilgrim who, as Longfellow told it, was urged to "speak for himself" by Priscilla Mullins).

Marcy's father, Samuel Humes, and her mother, Marcy Thompson, were cousins, both descended from a Thayer family that settled in Mendon, Massachusetts. Marcy Thompson's grandmother was Mercy Thayer (so I guess the name Marcy is a corruption of the very Puritan name Mercy), and Samuel Humes's mother was Martha Thayer. Mercy was the granddaughter and Martha the great-granddaughter of Ferdinando Thayer (I love that name and have no clue how a 17th-century Englishman acquired it), who emigrated from England to Braintree, Massachusetts, and was among the first settlers of Mendon. Mendon is only 40 miles from Boston, but in the 1660s it was a wilderness. The town was attacked and burned by Indians during King Philip's war in the 1670s.

(Left: a monument to the founders of Mendon, Massachusetts. Ferdinando Thayer is the first name listed.)

There is extensive documentation of more Massachusetts ancestors of Marcy's, but as I said, the various internet sources sometimes contradict themselves. Some of the trees have her ancestors going back to Cambridge, Massachusetts, as early as 1634. If I can ever sort out all the contradictory claims and find some proof for the lineage, this line would be our best chance of reaching that holy grail of American genealogical snootiness, a Mayflower ancestor. But in truth, I'd rather find some Native American ancestry -- as Will Rogers said, "My ancestors didn't come over in the Mayflower; they met the boat."

No comments: