Anne Hutchinson

Notable Ancestors & Descendants of Anne Hutchinson and Katherine Scott

Notable Ancestors & Descendants of Anne Hutchinson and Katherine Scott Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson & Katherine (Marbury) Scott

Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson, the 17th-century Puritan heretic and cofounder of Rhode Island, died in an Indian attack with several of her children only nine years after she arrived in America. Her surviving four children and the children of her sister Katherine (Marbury) Scott produced many descendants with royal or noble ancestors. For example, their American descendants are in the line of King Edward I of England (d. 1307). Through the Marbury connection to Sancha de Ayala, Marbury descendants are related to Ferdinand of Aragon, who with his wife, Isabella of Castille, completed the reunification of Spain in the late 15th century and sponsored the expeditions of Christopher Columbus. All of the later Kings of Spain, Holy Roman and Austrian emperors, kings of Prussia, and Russian czars starting with Alexander I are distant cousins as well, as are most of the later English and French kings. The Marburys are also related to John Dryden, Jonathan Swift, Horace Walpole, and the wives of the poet Edmund Spencer and the diarist Samuel Pepys. Notable 18th-century American descendants of the Marburys include Mrs. John Singleton Copley, wife of the great American portrait painter; Thomas Hutchinson, Jr., the last colonial governor of Massachusetts; Nicholas Gilman, Jr., a signer of the Constitution; and Nicholas Brown, Jr., whose family founded Brown University.

Researchers will find these relationships worked out in Royal Families: Americans of Royal and Noble Ancestry. Volume 2–Reverend Francis Marbury and Five Generations of His Descendants Through Anne (Marbury) Hutchinson and Katherine (Marbury) Scott. Compiled by Marston Watson, Royal Families is a series of royal and noble descendancies starting with the immigrant ancestor of the line.

The second edition of the first volume of Royal Families concerns five generations of descendants of Massachusetts Governor Thomas Dudley. It contains nearly 900 new Dudley descendants through the sixth generation. It is likely that several million Americans can prove their descent from this noted governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Americans linked to Governor Thomas Dudley will find near or distant cousins in actor Humphrey Bogart, astronaut Alan Shepard, Jr., Ella Botts Rice (first wife of entrepreneur and movie mogul Howard Hughes), Mary Storer Potter (first wife of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow), and many more notable kin.

Volume thee of Royal Families discusses the thousands of Americans are direct descendants of Samuel Appleton (1586-1670) of Ipswich, Massachusetts, who had royal and noble connections to William the Conqueror, and of his wife Judith Everard, whose ancestors included William’s sister Adelaide, as well as Louis IV, King of the Franks. The books covers five generations (with their sixth generation children) of Samuel and Judith Appleton descendants, carrying them up to the period of the Revolutionary War and beyond. Where possible, the identity of the parents of each known spouse is also provided, along with relevant biographical, genealogical, and historical details.

Americans linked to Samuel and Judith Appleton will find near or distant cousins among such distinguished individuals as President Franklin Pierce, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Jerome Napoleon Bonaparte, Jr. Other descendants include “signer” William Whipple, Jr., Mrs. John Singleton Copley, James Russell Lowell, Francis Parkman, Jr., Phillips Brooks, Josiah Quincy, Jr., and poet Robert Frost.

Those of you who are interested in lineage societies will find a Lineage Society Index in Volume Three which lists ancestors through whom descendants can claim eligibility for hereditary societies that honor Mayflower passengers, Revolutionary War soldiers, colonial governors, and physicians.

Image credit: Anne Hutchinson on Trial, by Edwin Austin Abbey [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.



federal land patents, Federal Lands

Federal Land Patents – Using the General Land Office Site

Editor’s Note: In a recently revived two-part post by the late Carolyn Barkley, she discusses the importance of land records to genealogical research. In Part II of those posts there is brief mention of the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM website has a huge amount of original source information. Ms. Barkley wrote another post on utilizing the BLM site as an information goldmine. We have updated and edited her post as much as possible as the search functions she describes have changed. However, the information is still incredibly relevant and meaty, so we are presenting it in two parts. Part I, below, gives an introduction to the types of records you can find in the BLM’s General Land Office and an example of Federal Land Patents, one type of those records. Part II continues the discussion with the two other types of records that are most useful for genealogical research, Federal Survey Plats and Field Notes and Federal Land Status Records.

BLM – General Land Office

As mentioned in an earlier post on land records, the Bureau of Land Management website offers such a significant collection of original source documentation it deserves a fuller exploration. The BLM’s General Land Office (GLO) Records Site provides “live access to Federal land conveyance records for the Public Land States… [and] image access to more than three million Federal land title records for Eastern Public Land States issued between 1820 and 1908.” In addition, the BLM is currently adding images of Military Land Warrants.

Federal land states are those in which land was initially controlled and dispersed by the United States government: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. These land records cover a wide variety of types of records including those for homesteads, military bounty lands, mining claims, and agricultural and timber management. Public lands were first granted to individuals in 1785, with the first land office opening as early as 1797. The government’s intent was to raise revenues to compensate for the costs of the Revolutionary War, grant lands (rather than financial payments) to soldiers, and sustain burgeoning migration to the west.

If you are unfamiliar with the federal township and range system, you may find it helpful to read Graphical Display of the Federal Township and Range System and Range Maps for Dummies before you begin to search. For a very quick overview with little explanation, see here for a graphical display of the federal township and range system. Additional background information can be found on the BLM site’s Understanding Land Patents and searching the Glossary section. A principal meridians and base lines map for public land surveys may be viewed online as well.

The General Land Office records includes four separate sections: Federal Land Patents, Federal Survey Plats and Field Notes, Federal Land Status Records and Control Documents Index Records. We will discuss the first type below, and the two additional types (Federal Survey Plats and Field Notes, Federal Land Status Records) that are most useful for genealogy in a later blog post.

Federal Land Patents

These records are the richest source for genealogists, allowing you to associate a specific individual (a patentee, assignee, warrantee, widow, or heir) with a specific piece of land at a specific point in time. Please note that the states included do not include the original thirteen colonies, territories, and some other states. Select “Search Document” from the top navigation bar of the General Land Office Records page. This will bring you to a search page where you have access to all four record types. Select “Patents” on the left side navigation. If you wish to search land patents for a surname in a specific state and county, complete the information requested. A drop down box will provide you with a list of the states available as well as the counties available within each state. You may also search across all counties within a state. If unsure of specific state information, you can use wildcard options as discussed in this search guide, which I highly recommend reading before you get bogged down with any issues. I entered my standard “Barkley” and “Barclay” searches which yielded 18 pages (about 25 entries per page) of Barkley patents and 16 pages of Barclay patents. Digital images are available for all images except those printed in italics as they are not yet indexed. Certified copies of documents may be ordered online for a nominal fee.

To see how this section works, I looked at two Barkley/Barclay entries:

David Barkley patented 39.75 acres in the “southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of Section 23 in Township 6 north of Range 17 west.” This acreage represented all but a quarter acre of the 40 acres contained in a Bounty Land Warrant (#82038) for 40 acres originally granted under the Scrip Warrant Act of 28 September 1850 (9 Stat. 520) to Thomas Owens, a Private in Captain Padgett’s Company Florida Militia in the “Florida War.” The land was located in Holmes Co., Florida, and the transaction was handled by the Tallahassee Land Office. The assignment of this land to Barkley was dated 2 November 1854.

Charles Barclay received a patent from the Glasgow, Montana, Land Office for 320 acres in Roosevelt County in that state on 24 April 1914 under the authority of 20 May 1862 homestead legislation (12 Stat. 392) which secured “homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain.” Subsequent legislation in 1910 (36 Stat. 583) stated that there was reserved to “…the United States all coal in the lands so granted, and to it, or persons authorized by it, the right to prospect for, mine, and remove coal from the same..” The land description stated that the 320 acres were in 4 parcels, located in the “northwest quarter, the northeast quarter of the southwest quarter, the north half of the southeast quarter, and the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section twenty-eight in Township thirty north of Range fifty-eight east of the Montana Meridian…”

I also looked at a Barkley related entry:

James B[arkley] Yellowly, of North Carolina, received a patent on 27 February 1841 for 241.15 acres in Attala County, Mississippi, as a cash sale under legislation of 24 April 1820 (3 Stat. 566). The acreage was in 3 parcels, described as the “East half of the North East quarter, the West half of the North West quarter, and the East half of the South West quarter of Section nine, in Township twelve North of Range five East in the District of Lands subject to sale at Columbus, Mississippi…”

In each of these three examples, a digital image of the patent document was available and could be printed or saved to my computer. Printer friendly options allowed for quick printing of textual information.

Image credit: A U.S. General Land Office land patent for 40 acres of land in Dixon, Illinois, dated September 1, 1845. It is signed on behalf of President James K. Polk by Col. J. Knox Walker, the President’s private secretary and nephew. By US General Land Office. (The Cooper Collection of Historical US Documents.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.



homestead, homestead act

Home Sweet Homestead, Part II, Obtaining Records

Editor’s Note: the following is a lightly updated post by the late Carolyn L. Barkley on homesteading and homestead records. Her original post has been split into two parts. Part I, previously published, discusses the history of homesteading. Part II, below, discuss the utility of homestead records in genealogical research and how to obtain them. 

Homestead Claims

Not all homestead claims resulted in patents. Of the two million claims entered, only 783,000 resulted in  actual patents. A rejected patent may prove more information than one that was completed, as explanations as to why it was rejected or not completed will be included. These reasons may include death, relocation to another tract, citizenship issues, or a disputed claim. Individuals may have applied more than once, so all files for an individual should be investigated. To research your ancestor’s homestead claim, you will need to request his or her Land Case Entry File.

The National Archives has a thorough reference guide, “Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office,” that can help in your research, though the information that I provide gives an excellent synopsis of the process. The Land Case Files were “filed as either military bounty land warrants, pre-1908 general land entry files, or as post-1908 land entry files. The information required to access and order copies of the records will differ depending on which of these three categories the transaction falls into.” Land Case Entry Files for pre-1908 homestead claims are held by the National Archives in Washington, D.C., and are arranged by land office and final certificate number. Cancellations (forfeits, rejections, etc.) are kept separately from the completed claims. These entry files are not available on microfilm and not all have been digitized. They can be ordered from the National Archives at the following address: National Archives (NNRI), Textual Reference Branch, Washington, D.C., 20408. Use NATF 85C form, which can be downloaded here. If you order online, the cost is $30.  Continue reading…


The Quak­ers – Records and Genealogy

Editor’s Note: The following article is excerpted from the Introduction to Ellen and David Berry’s book, Our Quaker Ancestors, which sets out to acquaint the researcher with the types of Quaker records that are available, the location of the records, and the proper and effective use of those records. This includes guiding the reader through the pyramidal “meeting” structure to the records of birth, marriage, death, disownment, and removal awaiting him in record repositories across the country.

Following is how to recognize towns where Quakers may have lived, an overview of the types or records Quakers have kept, and a brief introduction as to how the Quaker beliefs are intertwined with the method of record keeping. 

“The Quakers and Quaker Genealogy” by Ellen and David Berry

The Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, has a rich storehouse of records kept from its beginning in the mid-1600s to the present. There are vast differences among Quaker records, and the genealogist must know which ones to use. The study of Quaker records is mechanically different from that of other religious organizations. More emphasis must be placed on historical context, because organizational history and record-keeping are closely related. Unless you are careful–and knowledgeable–you can become hopelessly lost and find yourself giving up on one of the richest sources of genealogical records you could ever hope to find.

Across the U.S. are small towns with names that have a certain rhythm or quality of sound. As you move south and west from the eastern seaboard to the Mississippi River and beyond, through Virginia and the swamplands of the Carolinas to Georgia, you will see names like Radnor, Con­cord, Salem, New Garden, Goshen, Cedar Creek, and others which combine Biblical and geographical origins. These names are a part of one of the most interesting facets of early Amer­ican history. They indicate that, at least at one time, the area was populated by The Religious Society of Friends. The Quak­ers were once an influential part of their communities. They moved from their early settlements in the original eastern colo­nies and called their new homes by familiar names, much as they had done when they arrived from England and Wales. In some of these towns, you might find a rectangular building, usu­ally stretching east to west and facing south, which might still be used as a meetinghouse. In all probability, it will have the same name as the village or town.

If you were to visit any of these meetinghouses today, you might find a record of almost every event which took place at that location from the time of its establishment. These records include information on births, marriages, and deaths, but they also note the names of residents moving to and from the area and their places of origin, as well as committee actions on a wide variety of topics, including requests to individuals to leave the meeting and the reasons for the request. In addition, there would be records of announced intentions of marriage, fol­lowed by the actual wedding record naming not only the bride and groom but all of those present, among whom may be found the parents, brothers, sisters, and perhaps other relations of the newlyweds. If the old records are not at the meetinghouse itself, it is possible to determine where they have been sent and where the original records or microfilm copies can be used by the general public. In other words, you will find a genealogist’s dream. There is an amazing number of these records in exis­tence. You only need to know where they are and how to use them. This is the focus of [our] book.

The Religious Society of Friends began in the same religious turmoil of 17th-century England that produced the Puritans. The Quakers also immigrated to America to escape severe religious persecution. Although Quakers first saw American shores during the 1650s, it was not until 1682 that large num­bers started to emigrate from the British Isles and smaller numbers from continental Europe. It was in this year that William Penn landed just south of what is now Philadelphia to exercise his proprietorship of the present states of Pennsylvania and Delaware. Because of their stubbornness or strong-mindedness (depending upon how you view it), the Quakers’ influence far exceeded their numbers. They were a study in contradictions. Although they espoused religious freedom, they required their own members to worship in a specified manner. No organiza­tion had more rules regarding removal from approved status than the Quakers. By today’s standards, these rules seem trivial and even arrogant. It now seems ironic that it was precisely this dictatorial image that the Society wanted to avoid at all costs. They were truly “plain people,” but at the same time they were shrewd merchants. Their honesty in personal and business deal­ings was renowned. Their treatment of the Indians is a classic study in how other white Americans should have conducted themselves. However, even in this area they were not com­pletely faultless. They abhorred slavery, but some families owned slaves. They were against war of any kind, but still some fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

The Quakers were a more mobile society than most religious groups that came to early America. Whether their travels through the South to the Midwest were prompted by religious fervor, the clash of political and religious beliefs (e.g. slavery), or simply the desire for land and opportunities is now a moot point. The fact is they did move in large numbers, and in doing so they left a trail of records unsurpassed by any other religious organization.

There is another side to this story. The same doctrine that required record-keeping also forbade religious rituals and any form of self-aggrandizement. In the early years even grave markers were prohibited, as were personal histories (although some histories do exist, particularly of people prominent in the movement). Therefore, it is often difficult for a genealogist to place an ancestor in the proper historical perspective. However, the voluminous records more than make up for these deficiencies. It is always safe to say that anyone interested in tracing ancestors is indeed fortunate if a connection can be made with Quakers, for it means there is a good chance that comprehensive primary records can be found.

To read more, please reference Ellen and David Berry’s book, Our Quaker Ancestors.

Image credit: The Quaker “Mary Dyer led to execution on Boston Common, 1 June 1660,” By unknown 19th century artist [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

homestead, homesteading

Home sweet Homestead, Part I

Editor’s Note: the following is a lightly updated post by the late Carolyn L. Barkley on homesteading and homestead records. Her original post has been split into two parts. Part I, below, discusses the history of homesteading. Part II will discuss the utility of homestead records in genealogical research and how to obtain them. 

The ability to stand on the exact plot of land where our ancestor lived is a significant goal in family history research. For me, land records are among the most fascinating documents I discover – a fact you may have deduced from the frequency with which I write about them. I have a friend, new to any sort of genealogical research, who searched for his ancestor’s homestead land record this summer during a trip to Nebraska and was able to identify the appropriate piece of land and visit it. I’m hoping that his enthusiasm for this experience will have “hooked” him for further genealogical research. In listening to the story of his trip and his research, I realized that I knew very little about homestead records with all my ancestors clinging steadfastly to their New England landscape. What follows now is a summary of my ongoing research about homestead records and what they can reveal about our ancestors.

The Civil War had been tearing North and South apart for a little over a year when the United States Congress passed the Homestead Act of May 20, 1862. Congressmen realized that by promoting settlement of western lands, they could support the increased flow of immigrants into the country, but perhaps more importantly given the tension between slave states and free states, could promote settlement by individuals with pro-Union sentiments. Their plan was to distribute public lands to those who were without lands in exchange for fulfillment of residency, cultivation and improvement requirements.

The homesteading plan was a quite simple government program. Any individual over the age of 21, whether single or a head of household, was eligible, as long as that individual could swear that he or she had never borne arms against the United States and had never aided or supported its enemies. In many ways, this act was ahead of its time. Aliens who had filed a declaration to become a citizen were eligible and even more importantly, women were eligible to acquire land and could not have their rights to the land forfeited at marriage.

There were few prerequisites, most of which were fulfilled during the application process. Between 1862 and 1909, the acreage available to each claimant was 160 acres. If the individual already owned 100 acres, for example, the applicant could only claim an additional 60 acres. (In 1909, a revised Homestead Act would increase this total to 320 acres for public lands in the Plains and Southwest that were difficult to irrigate.) An individual would choose a piece of land and file a claim, either at the local land office or at the General Land Office in Washington, D.C. The only costs at filing were a $4.00 commission and a $10.00 entry fee. The claimant received a receipt to prove that the claim had been filed. He or she was then required to reside on the property for the subsequent six months. Failure to do so would result in forfeiture of the claim. During the required residency period of five years, the claimant could be absent from the land for only six months out of each twelve-month period and could not maintain a residence elsewhere. (In 1919, this residency requirement was shortened to three years.) Following the five year residency period, the claimant was required to publish, often in a local newspaper, an” intention to close,” thus allowing others an opportunity to dispute the claim and his or her final application for a certificate of patent had to be made within two years. When the final certificate was issued, an additional $4.00 payment was required to cover administrative costs.

Homestead lands could not be repossessed for payment of debts incurred prior to the claim and a discharged soldier or sailor was able to subtract the period of his military duty from the residency requirement. In addition a soldier or sailor’s family could apply for a claim and live on the land while he was on active duty. The Homestead Act, therefore, superseded the bounty land legislation that had applied in earlier wars. In addition, there could be no assignments of land, although it could be mortgaged to finance improvements to the property. If a homesteader died during the initial five-year qualification period, his widow (her widower) and heirs could qualify to continue the claim. If he or she wished to sell the land prior to the completion of the first five years (but only after at least fourteen months), he could “purchase” a patent at a cost of $1.25 per acre ($200.00 for a full 160-acre tract), otherwise the sale of homestead land was prohibited.

The filing requirements for claims and the final certificate created very detailed records, including name, age, marital status, and postal address of the homestead claimant, land description, and the dates of arrival and settlement on the property. Also included were detailed descriptions of improvements made to the property, including houses built, crops raised, trees cleared and fences erected. Other information might include the names of family members and others living with the claimant; dates, heirs, relationships, and depositions from witnesses in the case of the claimant’s death; and military service information.  In case of an alien, the file may include a copy of the declaration of intention, as well as when and where it had been filed, previous residences, port of origin and place of origin.

Image credit:  Interior of claim shack, Quinn S.D. Kansas Collection, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas, [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.