Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sign of the times

Researching Ipswich is an interesting task. They have the largest collection of early 1700 (plus or minus) houses in one area (see Ipswich walking tour). Each of these houses has a history which, then, can help build the picture of a family. And, Ipswich had enough of these houses that one could be disassembled and put in the Smithsonian Museum of American History.


Mother obtaining guardianship
The image is from a 1761 Ipswich court record of a case in which a mother obtained guardianship of her son. Now, this son was over 14 years of age but was still a minor. And, his father had died, leaving three small children (but, he left land for his wife), when the boy was one year old. So, the mother had raised him for 13+ years prior to this request. Okay, she did have to establish her right to the obligation, given the times. As well, she had to have a couple of character witnesses. 

Another point, though, is the next thing we know is that the young man is in the Ipswich military; the time frame was the latter days of the French & Indian war. He is on several rolls including that of Capt. Nathan Brigham's company. So, being a minor, the young man needed someone to sign him up; his father was deceased. 

As an aside, some have said that this bit of friction involving the French was a training ground for the Revolution as many younger males were enlisted, trained, and learned from the experience. So, England trained its own rebels, so to speak. But, too, the revolution could have started in Ipswich, a recent columnist noted, almost a century earlier, to wit, Rev. John Wise's (1687 arrest by Gov. Andros - see Remarks, 08/02/2014) experience (he married Abigail Gardner who was a descendant of Thomas Gardner of Roxbury). 


There are more details in an upcoming article (TEG 34). But, the young man was signed up as John Leatherland, son of Sarah. Usually, the younger enlistees were noted as son of the father. That type of recorded association can be a nice genealogical boost. John, the enlistee in 1761, had been born in 1744. His parents were John Leatherland and Sarah Kimball, of Ipswich.

His great-grandniece married a Thomas Gardner of Salem descendant. 

Remarks: Modified: 09/30/2014

08/02/2014 - Book Review, WSJ, 07/25/2014: The Revolution might well have happened a century before it did. When word reached Boston in April of 1689 that James II had fled England and that William of Orange had arrived from the Netherlands to take his place (the colonists didn't learn the news until months after it had happened), riots broke out across Boston. "The Body of our People," one observer noted, were encouraged to "assert our Liberties against the Arbetrary Rulers that were fleecing them." Already many colonists could think of colonial authorities—governors, even local authorities—as agents of a foreign power.

09/19/2014 -- Sarah (Kimball) Leatherland is mentioned in Gardner's Beacon, Vol. IV, No. 3. Today, I found out about Stories from Ipswich: Sarah Goodhue is Sarah Kimball's grandmother; I found this story on FB through Nutfield Genealogy. Sarah Kimball will feature in an upcoming issue of The Gardner Annals. The article will also appear TEG 34 (November edition).

09/30/2014 -- Sarah is featured in The Gardner Annals (Vol. I, No. 2).


  1. The House at 5 County Street in Ipswich was purchased by William Leatherland in 1799, surely the same family.

  2. Thanks for the comment. It is the same Leatherland family. There are various connections that deserve a closer look. Sarah Kimball Leatherland's sister, Katherine, married John Pinder. So, that is one connection. Then, Sarah's brother, Aaron Kimball, married Sarah Rindge. I'm thinking that there ought to be an article on the Leatherland family (descendants from William, who came with Winthrop's fleet), at least the first few generations. Of course, these three are grandchildren of Sarah Goodhue.