While taking a new look at some of my very early New England lines, I came across two interesting entries in the court records of York, Maine that were cited in The Great Migration Study Project on AmericanAncestors, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
The Maine Historical Society published a multi-volume set of books called Province and Court Records of Maine in 1975, which was cited in a project entry about Sylvester Stover.
Sylvester Stover is my 8X great grandfather. He and his wife, Elizabeth, seem to have had a rocky relationship, even though they were the parents of nine children born c1653-c1677 in York, York, Maine. They apparently made several appearances in York County Court during their marriage:
Source: American Ancestors
So, Elizabeth Stover was accusing her husband of fathering a child with Thomas Crockett’s wife and Sylvester, in turn, was apparently accusing her of also being unfaithful. No marriage record has been found for the Stovers, but they married in the 1650-1653 time frame. Was Elizabeth also involved with someone else or was Sylvester calling her names simply because he was guilty?
I hadn’t come across the name of Thomas Crockett in my research, so I immediately set about looking for documents about him and his family. Sylvester Stover was a fisherman and a ferryman who lived at Cape Neddick in York County. It turns out that Thomas Crockett was also involved in the ferry business, but lived at Kittery, also in York County.
IF Thomas Crockett’s wife had sons born before 1655, then a Y-DNA test taken by a Crockett descendant should yield a result one way or another with some extra effort in the research. However, if Mrs. Crockett gave birth to girls, then it probably wouldn’t be possible to determine the father of her daughters, given that Sylvester is my 8X great grandfather. The autosomal DNA connection would be microscopic, if even that.
Thomas Crockett was likely born c1620 in England. He married Ann (MNU) about 1643, as their first child was born about 1644. Thomas Crockett died by 20 March 1678/79 when administration of his estate began. Ann survived Thomas and married (2) Digory Jeffries before 13 June 1683.
I came across a second surprise in the York County, Maine records:
Source: American Ancestors
Ann Crockett was brought into court, accused by Richard White, of “too much frequent familiarity” with Joseph Davesse (Davis). Thomas Crockett, in behalf of his wife, later sued White and won. However, the court did implement an “act of separation. . .between the said Davisse & Ann Crockett upon the penalty of ten pounds.”
1. Ephraim, born c1644; married Ann (MNU) by 1667
2. Elihu, born c1646; married (1) Mary Winnock (2) Unknown
3. Joseph, born c1648; married Hannah Clements
4. Joshua, born c1650; married Sarah Trickey
So far, this is looking great – the first four children born by c1650 are all sons! But. . . . .
5. Anne, born c1653; married William Roberts, c1673
6. Sarah, born c1655; married John Parrott, c1675
7. Mary, born c1657; married Elisha Barton, before 28 October 1684
8. Hugh, born c1659; married Margaret (MNU), by 1697
My DNA hopes have been dashed, as Ann Crockett’s 5th, 6th and 7th children were all daughters. The only loophole here might be if Sylvester had an affair with Mrs. Crockett BEFORE he married Elizabeth and perhaps Joseph or Joshua was actually the son of Sylvester.
Knowing about these accusations, though, if I were descended from any of these children, I would note the possibility of a NPE in my notes.
My connection to Sylvester and Elizabeth Stover is their 7th child, Deborah, born c1670. If any of their first three children – Elizabeth – born c1651, John – born c1653, or Mary – born c1655 was my direct line, I’d be making the same notes.
Hmmm. John was born c1653. John deposed in 1730 that he was 77 years old. His wife’s name isn’t known, but if you are a Stover and can’t connect directly to other Y-DNA Stovers, you might want to check that out!