Ole Larson's Folks

Category: Early America

Died in Warwickshire, England, on this date in 1613(!): 9th great-grandfather Valentine Rowell. His son Thomas immigrated to New England in approximately 1638, and settled in Salisbury, Massachusetts. Several generations later, a descendant married into the Colby family. In the meantime, Valentine’s great-grandaughter Mary Rowell was caught in a Puritan scandal. Read more … Top photo: Warwick Castle; no known connection to the family. Below: Mancetter Church, where Valentine Rowell and Elizabeth Hampton were married in 1690 or 1691, and…

Baptized in Minsterworth, England, on this date in 1649: seventh great-grandfather Thomas Frame. He came to Massachusetts about 1670, probably as an indentured servant. Previously featured on 18 September, the date of his “shotgun wedding.” Read more … Top photo: the parish church at Minsterworth, currently named St. Peter’s. The building dates from the 1870s, but the 15th-century stone font inside may well be the one at which our ancestor was baptized.

No close family anniversaries. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on this date in 1744 (? date is controversial, possibly as late as 1754): Mary Ludwig (m. Hays), known in folklore as “Molly Pitcher.” While her exploits have been exaggerated in the telling, and some tales undoubtedly refer to other characters, real or fictional, her role in the Revolutionary War battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, June 23, 1778, is well-documented. Her husband, William Hays, was an artilleryman in the 4th Pennsylvania regiment…

Married in Frederick County, Maryland, on this date in 1792: fourth great-granduncle Michael Myers and Elizabeth Fout. Michael was a brother of Philip Myers, Revolutionary War patriot and patriarch of my mother’s family. The massive monument in top photo is located at Mount Olivet cemetery in Frederick. around its base are inscribed the names of several family members, including Michael and Elizabeth and one of their daughters. The stone was erected long after Michael’s death, by one of their grandsons.  Michael is…

Born in Orange County, Vermont, on this date in 1822: Thiel’s great-grandfather George House Litch. = = = Three “famous” birthdays of note. Born in Brooklyn, New York, on this date in 1898, composer George Gershwin. He was not just a composer, but a virtuoso pianist, as evidenced by the short clip below. = = = Born in St. Louis, Missouri, on this date in 1888, poet TS Eliot. = = = Finally, in Leominster, Massachusetts, on this date in 1777: John…

No close family anniversaries. On this date in 1789, the First United States Congress approved twelve articles of amendment to the US Constitution, ten of which were eventually ratified, to become what we now know as the Bill of Rights. This session of the Congress met in Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, later known as Old City Hall, as in this illustration.

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