Nine Generations of Pioneer Families
Part I
Submitted by Ethel Nielsen

      The goal here is to show how nine generations of family relationships started with the arrival of the first settlers in Massachusetts and how they ended up in Harrison County West Virginia. These relationships represent a period of about 200 years! Also, the goal is to show how kinships developed from the landing of one ship. It shows the ancestry of many Harrison County families who also helped build this nation into its present modern-day phenomenon!

      We start with the Flagship Arbella that landed in Massachusetts Bay in1630 up to 1950, approximately nine generations! Simon Bradstreet and his wife Ann Dudley arrived with the Governor John Winthrop’s party on the Flagship Arbella in 1630. In 1867 John Bee Davis was born in Doddridge County and his wife Florence Virginia Dye was born 1876. John Bee died in 1950. My purpose is to show inter-relationships that evolved between the families of Simon Bradstreet in 1630 and John Bee Davis.

England - Simon Bradstreet

      Simon Bradstreet (1603 - 1697) was born at Lincolnshire, England, a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge (1620). Simon and his wife Ann Dudley came to New England in 1630 with the new Governor John Winthrop’s party on the Flagship Arbella. ,b>Simon Bradstreet and Ann were married in England in 1628. Simon was an assistant in the Massachusetts Bay Company for forty-nine years (1630 - 1679). He also served as secretary to the Company (1630 - 1636). (New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources, as listed on the web.)

      In 1634 Simon Bradstreet was sent with four others to negotiate with the colonies of Plymouth, New Haven and Connecticut about the possible formation of the New England Confederation. In 1629 the Puritan migration to Mass. had brought 350 settlers to Salem in 5 or 6 ships. The Puritan settlers had more population than the Pilgrim settlers at New Plymouth. When the Confederation was formed, Simon Bradstreet was one of two Massachusetts representatives to the organization for thirty-three years.

      After the restoration of the English monarchy, in 1660, Bradstreet went to England and succeeded in having King Charles II confirm the Massachusetts charter. He twice served as Royal Governor of Massachusetts (1679 - 1686, 1689 - 92). The years 1686 - 1688 were spent trying to fight off King James II efforts to cancel the colony's charter. King James had appointed New York's Governor Andros to carry out this work.

Ann Dudley Bradstreet

      On April 11, 1630 Thomas Dudley and wife Dorothy Yorke also sailed to America on the same ship with John Winthrop, the newly appointed governor of Mass. The Dudley’s are descendant from many royal houses of Western Europe and a direct descendant of Charlemagne. The following are notes taken from the book PLYMOUTH PLANTATION, page 265-67, and John Winthrop’s journal of 1632. On Nov. 16 1631, Governor Winthrop and Deputy Governor Thomas Dudley took the oath of office.

      Deputy Governor Dudley’s daughter Anne Bradstreet was America's first poetess. Her poetry is used and appreciated as a part of the curriculum in colleges today. Born about 1612 in Northampton, England, Anne was the first daughter and second of the five children of Thomas DUDLEY and Dorothy (YORKE) DUDLEY, who was, by Cotton MATHER’S account, "a gentlewoman whose extraction and estate were considerable." Her parents' marriage record was found in the Parish Register at Hardingstone, near Northampton, England: "Marriages Anno Dni 1606 - Thomas DUDLEY & Dorothy YORK married the 25th of April, 1603" (NEHGR 56:206 Notes and Queries).

      Anne’s childhood was spent in comparative luxury at Tattershall Castle in Sempringham, Lincolnshire, where her father was the chief steward of the vast estates of Theophilus CLINTON, the Puritan Earl of Lincoln. Her upbringing was largely influenced by her father's position. She had private tutors, access to the Earl's library, the encouragement of a literate father who loved history, and a strict religious indoctrination.

      Her young life was often interrupted by illness; she was bedridden with rheumatic fever and as an adolescent she almost died from smallpox. Shortly after recovering, Anne at age16 married Simon BRADSTREET in 1628. Simon was a protégé of the Earl's, nine years her senior, the son of a nonconformist minister and a graduate of Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In 1630, Anne accompanied him and her parents to America. They were members of John WINTHROP’S party, the first settlers on Massachusetts Bay and they sailed on the flagship, ARBELLA. The party arrived "in June at the half-dying, famine-ridden frontier village of Salem, after a journey of 3 months of close quarters, raw nerves, sickness, hysteria and salt meats," wrote Anne. At first dismayed by the rude life of the settlement, she soon reconciled herself to it. "I changed my condition and was married, and came into this country, where I found a new world and new manners, at which my heart rose. But after I was convinced it was the way of God, I submitted to it and joined to the church at Boston."

The following poem was taken from a rootsweb site

"I am obnoxious to each carping tongue,
Who sayes, my hand a needle better fits,
A Poets Pen, all scorne, I should thus wrong;
For such despighte they cast on female wits:
If what I doe prove well, it wo'nt advance,
They'l say it’s stolen, or else, it was by chance". – BRADSTREET

To be continued.

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