Sunday, November 1, 2009

Family History

Well, it's almost Thanksgiving and our thoughts turn to a day of cooking or a day of eating, whichever end of the stick you're on, but either way it's nice.

Also we might pause and adjust our thinking a little bit about that original old American holiday and the people responsible for it. If you believed everything they taught in school, that totally Godly, warmly dressed, well tooled and well armed men and women stepped off the boat, bid fond farewell to the captain and immediately joined a feast of turkey, venison, succotash, (that's a corn thing,) and pumpkin pie all over the place, Not So!

Starvation, disease and ignorance killed far more than were ever saved by pumpkin pie and family prayer. I just want you to know that our family was well represented during those hard times and the following centuries before we were finally liberated by the invention of frozen pizza and instant hair remover.

So lest we forget:
Our grandparents were Lewises, Lambs, Allans and an unknown. These predecessors had been infiltrated by the Bakers, Shaws, McDonalds/McDaniels and Wiskersons/Wiskerchen/Whiskersons.

Our first Lewis's got off the boat in 1628. This trip included a sixteen year old young lady by the name of Mary Lewis but she was so obstreperous she was threatened with a dunking. Yes, they actually dunked people, mostly women who did not act godly or talked too much or criticized someone's stupidity, and they had Mary's tank ready. But in her defense, her old Dad, Tom Lewis, had been co-owner of a thriving tavern in London Town and what sixteen year old wants to leave a party place like that for a bunch of dancing savages and pickled succotash ?

But in a document still readable in the Winthrop papers,a kindly and godly older gentleman was moved by her, (how so moved we can only guess) and petitioned Governor Winthrop for her hand in marriage, notwithstanding the age difference , in order to save her from perdition and subsequent lawful punishments.

Permission was granted for her release and marriage to the gentleman. He spent the next several years in the new world's courts trying to protect her from a multitude of defamatory charges against her "character and reputation", one of which was inspired by a gentleman who stated publicly that she "lifted her skirts" for him on several occasions. This particular defamation charge was thrown out of court because the judge said, "there can be no defamation if all statements are true and fact." Well, what can a girl do? Ultimately the nice gentleman gave up and took his girl back to merry old England where heaven only knows what trouble she got into.

So begins our family saga in the new world.

And for all you unbelievers out there..these transactions are documented in 17th century court records, the Winthrop Papers and a wonderful historical publication:,

Appendixes of the Real Founders of New England, Appendix A page 155

1 comment:

  1. I am so gladd you posted this one!! I love it, we are such head strong women in this family!