Benjamin Knowlton

M, #40041, (say 1648 - 19 August 1690)
Last Edited:13 Aug 2017

Children with Hannah/2 Merrick:

  • Mary Knowlton6 b. 17 Sep 1677, d. 2 Jan 1707/8
  • Benjamin Knowlton7 b. 9 Dec 1679, d. 15 Jun 1750
  • Sarah Knowlton8 b. 31 Aug 1682
  • Mercy Knowlton9 b. 19 May 1685, d. 16 Mar 1685/86
  • Mercy Knowlton+10 b. 1 Nov 1690, d. 22 Mar 1751
Benjamin Knowlton married, 30 Nov 1676 at Springfield, Massachusetts, Hannah/2 Merrick, daughter of Sgt. Thomas/1 Merrick and Sarah/2 Stebbins.1,2,3 He died at Springfield 19 Aug 1690.4
     
"Benjamin Knowlton and Mary Pike, both of Reading, appeared in [Middlesex County] court, charged with fornication on 6 October 1674, three weeks before Mary gave birth to a child. The justices were faced with a bafflingly contradictory array of evidence collected after the initial complaint of James Pike, Mary's father. Richard Russell had examined the pair face to face on 20 August. Mary said 'Ben Knowlton had the use of her body the first week of April last & no other man whatsoever at one time or another.' Knowlton responded 'as in the presence of God [he] never had the use of her body in his life; he was never in her company save in the presence of her mother and mother.'
     "There was an embarrassing amount of evidence against Knowlton. Not only had the pair been 'together a considerable while before her being with child came to be known in the town,' but he had asked some incriminating questions: 'What is the matter with you? You are not well. Are you breeding?' He demanded later 'why she did not acquaint him with the crime charged on him before she published it abroad in the town.' He was alleged to have said, 'If the said Mary would have told him how it was with her within a month after the fact committed, he would have married her and the world should have been never the wiser.' A neighbor of the Pikes, Sarah Thompson, gave Mary an excellent character; she was 'helpful, diligent and no carriage in her justly offensive.' William Symmes, minister's son and leading selectman of Reading, and Jonathan Poole, the town's representative, described a meeting between the two parties on 3 August at Deacon Cowdrey's with Mary's father present. Mary charged that 'Knollton … did it once & no more … about day light shutting in on the first fift day
[Thursday] in Aprill last.' Knowlton, duly 'cautioned to remember that god & his conscience did know how far he was guilty,' again denied any guilt. He sluffed off one question about some incriminating comments. He was then asked 'what made him to say to a credible person (being urged to owne wherein he was guilty) that he had denied the fact so often & to so many that now he knew not how to owne it.' He admitted the words, 'adding that if he were guilty he would have owned it; that that was his meaning.' This was not particularly persuasive. To a neighbor's challenge, he admitted 'throwing her [Mary] on the cabin bed … on [militia] company trayning day at night.'
     "Knowlton had an alternative candidate for fatherhood and several witnesses to support his case. One had 'seen Mary Pike and Edward Hodsman aloan in the Bushis two or three our within the nit and Richard Beats and Mary Pike likewise both of them severall times.' Another 'heard Edward Hodsman say Mary Pike was such an one as hee could doe what hee would with her.' Several testified that 'Edward Hodsman said that Goodman Pike would be glad ere long for to come with his cap in his hand and entreat him for to have his daughter.' Hodsman then departed for Rhode Island.
     "Why would he want to marry a pregnant Mary unless he had himself made her so? Since she charged Knowlton with one offense only six-and-a-half months before she gave birth, perhaps Hodsman had been with her beforehand. Although Mary quickly changed the date to early February and two witnesses deposed that Hodsman had planned the Rhode Island trip long before Mary conceived, the evidence seems nicely balanced.
     "Someone was plainly lying, and Reading residents thought it was Knowlton. The court shared this view; 'Benjamin Knowlton is to stand as the reputed father of the said child & is sentenced to make provision for the maintenance thereof & to give security.' It sentenced Mary Pike to twenty stripes or a fine of ten pounds, later abated to five pounds.
.
     "When Mary became pregnant, her father orchestrated community pressure on Knowlton both by individuals and by confrontation with selectman, deacon, and deputy. The ostensible purpose of this meeting, three months before the court case, was to bring Knowlton to confess. If he had, would he not then have been further pressured into marriage? Probably unable to bear the odium of public reproach, Knowlton 'lit out for the territories' soon after the case. In Springfield, with poetic justice, he married a woman with an illegitimate child."5

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S929] William Pynchon and John Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 57, Benjamin Knowlton/Hannah Miricke m.
  2. [S930] Pynchon Manuscript Records, 2, Benja. Knowlton/Hana Mirick m.
  3. [S106] NEHGS Register, "Judge Pynchon's Marriage Record: 1685–1711" (Oct 1969), 123:259.
  4. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 58, Benja[min] Knowlton Sr. d.
  5. [S1755] Roger Thompson, Sex in Middlesex, 47-48, 50-53, 211 (footnote 57).
  6. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 58, Mary Knowlton b.
  7. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 57, Benjamin Knowlton b.
  8. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 58, Sarah Knowlton b.
  9. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 58, Mercy Knowlton b.; d.
  10. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 58, Mercy Knowlton b.

Dea. Benjamin/1 Parsons

M, #40042, (say 1620 - 24 August 1689)
Father-CandidateFather/a? Parsons b. s 1590
Last Edited:25 Aug 2017

Children with Sarah/2 Vore:

  • Sarah/2 Parsons9 b. 18 Aug 1656
  • Benjamin/2 Parsons10 b. 15 Sep 1658
  • Mary/2 Parsons11 b. 10 Dec 1660, d. 27 Jan 1662
  • Abigail/2 Parsons+12 b. 6 Jan 1662
  • Samuel/2 Parsons13 b. 10 Oct 1666
  • Ebenezer/2 Parsons14 b. 17 Nov 1668
  • Mary/2 Parsons11 b. 17 Dec 1670
  • Hezekiah/2 Parsons15 b. 24 Nov 1673
Dea. Benjamin/1 Parsons married (1), 6 Oct 1653 at Windsor, Connecticut, Sarah/2 Vore of Windsor, daughter of Richard/1 Vore and Ann Harris.1
     He relocated to Springfield, Massachusetts, where he was second corporal of the trainband, Feb 1662. Springfield selectmen granted him, 14 Jan 1669, 30 acres of land and 6 acres of wet meadow at Stony River (later Suffield, Connecticut).2 He was one of 16 petitioners for the establishment of a plantation at Stony River, presented to the General Court of Massachusetts Bay, May 1670, and granted the following year. "Not one of the petitioners became a settler, but many of them labored faithfully for more than ten years to fill the complement of settlers, as required by the Grant."2
     Benjamin's wife Sarah died at Springfield 1 Jan 16753, and there he married (2), as her 2nd husband, 21 Feb 1676, Sarah Heald, widow of John/1 Leonard.4,5 He witnessed the will of Margaret/1 Hulins, widow of Thomas/1 Bliss, 25 Jun 16846, and died at Springfield 24 Aug 1689.7

Local Notes:

Elected1662, Springfield, MATheir being presented into this Corte by Ensigne Cooper the Names of Severall persons who were by the trayned band of Springfeild chosen to severall places and Offices in the said Company, together with the desire of the said Company that this Corte would confirme the said persons in such Places and offices to which they were chosen:
     The Corte taking into consideration the desires of the Trayned Band of Springfeild thought fitt to confirm and ratify the choyce of the Souldery There: And therefore Doe accordingly declare That Samuell Marshfeild is and shalbe the Clark of the Trayned Band at Springfeild: And that Thomas Stebbins is and shalbe their Eldest Serjeant: And Miles Morgan their Second Serjeant: And that Jonathan Burt is and shalbe their first Corporall: Benjamin Parsons the Second Corporall: Rice Bedortha the third Corporall: and John Dumbleton the fourth Corporall:8
Property14 Jan 1669, Suffield, CTSeverall persons desiring Grants of Land: at towards: or about Stony Ryuer on the west of the Great Ryuer towards Windsor: | Also that John Lamb have 30 acres there & 6 acres of Wet Meadow.2

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S929] William Pynchon and John Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Benjamin Parsons/Sarah Vore m.
  2. [S810] Hezekiah S. Sheldon, Documentary History of Suffield, 46-47.
  3. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 66, Sarah Parsons d.
  4. [S930] Pynchon Manuscript Records, 2, Benja. Parsons/wid Sarah Leanord m.
  5. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Benjamin Parsons/Sarah Leonard m.
  6. [S918] Paul W. Allred, citing Bliss Family in America (1982), 1:29-30.
  7. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Dea. Benjamin Parsons d.
  8. [S31] Joseph H. Smith, ed., Colonial Justice in Western Massachusetts, 266.
  9. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 66, Sarah Parsons b.
  10. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Benjamin Parsons b.
  11. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 66, Mary Parsons b.; d.
  12. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Abigail Parsons d.
  13. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 66, Samuell Parsons b.
  14. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Ebenezer Parsons b.
  15. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 66, Hezechiah Parsons b.

Lydia/2 Leonard

F, #40044, (29 October 1650 - 18 March 1682/83)
Father*John/1 Leonard1 b. s 1618
Mother*Sarah Heald1 b. s 1620
Custom index:Philip's War (1675-76)
Last Edited:13 Aug 2017

Children with Joseph/2 Bodurtha:

  • Mary/3 Bodurtha8 b. 4 Sep 1679, d. 27 May 1684
  • Sarah/3 Bodurtha9 b. 18 Oct 1681
Lydia/2 Leonard, born 29 Oct 1650 at Springfield, Massachusetts1, there married (1), 18 Mar 1674/75, John/2 Dumbleton Jr. of Springfield, son of John/1 Dumbleton and Mercy (–?–),2 who was killed by Indians in November, 1675.3,4 She married (2), as his 2nd wife, 2 Oct 1678 at Springfield, her brother-in-law Joseph/2 Bodurtha of Springfield, son of Reice/1 Bodurtha and Blanche Lewis.5,6 She drowned, with her father-in-law and brother-in-law John, 18 Mar 1682/83, a. 32.7 Two of her siblings married siblings of her 1st husband.

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S929] William Pynchon and John Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 59, Lydia Dumbleton b.
  2. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 50, John Dumbleton Jr./Lidia Leonard m.
  3. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 50, John Dumbleton d.
  4. [S104] George Madison Bodge, Soldiers in King Philip's War, 150: 27 Nov.
  5. [S930] Pynchon Manuscript Records, 2, Joseph Bodortha/wid. Lidiah Dumbleton m.
  6. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 50, wid. Lydia Dumbleton/Joseph Bodurtha m.
  7. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 39, 40.
  8. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Mary Bedortha b.; d.
  9. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Sarah Bedortha b.

Abigail/2 Parsons

F, #40049, (6 January 1662 - )
Father*Dea. Benjamin/1 Parsons1 b. s 1620, d. 24 Aug 1689
Mother*Sarah/2 Vore1 b. s 1632, d. 1 Jan 1675
Last Edited:17 Aug 2017

Children with John/3 Munn:

  • John/4 Munn6 b. 16 Mar 1682/83
  • Benjamin/4 Munn7 b. before 1685

Children with John Richards:

  • John Richards8 b. 26 Jul 1687
  • Abigail Richards9 b. 10 Jan 1688/89
  • Thomas Richards10 b. 7 Nov 1691
Abigail/2 Parsons, born 6 Jan 1662 at Springfield, Massachusetts1, married there (1), 23 Dec 1680, John/3 Munn, son of Benjamin/2? Munn and Abigail/2 Burt.2,3 He died at S. 16 Sep 1684, a. 324, and there she married (2), 19 Oct 1686, John Richards.5

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S929] William Pynchon and John Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 65, Abigail Parsons d.
  2. [S930] Pynchon Manuscript Records, 2, John Mun/Abigail Parsons m.
  3. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 64, Jno Mun/Abigail Parsons m.
  4. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 64, John Mun d.
  5. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 64, wid. Abigail Mun/Jno Richards m.
  6. [S1241] Massachusetts VR, 1841-1910 (NEHGS), Westfield VR, John Mun b.
  7. [S29] Richard B. Wise.
  8. [S1241] Massachusetts VR, 1841-1910 (NEHGS), Westfield VR, John Richards b.
  9. [S1241] Massachusetts VR, 1841-1910 (NEHGS), Westfield VR, Abigail Richards b.
  10. [S1241] Massachusetts VR, 1841-1910 (NEHGS), Westfield VR, Thomas Richards b.

Mercy/2 Dumbleton

F, #40050, (2 March 1652 - 16 June 1689)
Father*John/1 Dumbleton1 b. s 1630
Mother-Candidate*Mercy (–?–)1 b. s 1632
Last Edited:20 Feb 2016

Children with Samuel/2 Bodurtha:

  • Samuel/3 Bodurtha5 b. 27 Feb 1681/82
  • Lydia/3 Bodurtha6 b. 29 Jan 1683, d. 4 Feb 1683
  • Mercy/3 Bodurtha7 b. 11 Mar 1682/83, d. 17 Mar 1682/83
  • Dau1/3 Bodurtha8 b. 6 May 1685
  • John/3 Bodurtha9 b. 8 Aug 1687
  • Mary/3 Bodurtha10 b. 7 Jun 1689, d. 1 Sep 1689
Mercy/2 Dumbleton, born 2 Mar 1652 at Springfield, Massachusetts1, there married, as his 1st wife, 28 Apr 1681, Samuel/2 Bodurtha of Springfield, son of Reice/1 Bodurtha and Blanche Lewis.2,3 (Their siblings Joseph Bodurtha and Mary Dumbleton also married.) She died at Springfield 16 Jun 1689, 9 days after childbirth, a. 37.4

Source Citations/Notes:

  1. [S929] William Pynchon and John Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 50, Mercy Dumbleton b.
  2. [S930] Pynchon Manuscript Records, 2, Samll Bedortha/Mercy Dumbleton m.
  3. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 50, Mercy Dumbleton/Samuel Bodurtha m.
  4. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Mercy Bedortha d.
  5. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Samuel Bedortha b.
  6. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Lydia Bedortha b.; d.
  7. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Mercy Bedortha b.; d.
  8. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, dau. Sam[ue]ll Bedortha stillborn.
  9. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, John Bedortha b.
  10. [S929] Pynchon, Index to Hampshire Records, 40, Mary Bedortha b.; d.