Saturday, March 23, 2013

Sir Thomas SCRIVEN, 10th great-grandfather

Recently, I've been able to discover a few lines in my family tracing back to medieval English nobility and and royalty (many connections to the Plantagenets). These connections are all pretty distant; the most recent (and a questionable one) had been Edward IV as my 15th great-grandfather.

Then this past week I pushed back further on the parentage of Elizabeth SCRIBNER, my 8th great-grandmother, who married Samuel EASTMAN. Elizabeth's father was John SCRIVEN, who came from Wems, Shropshire, England, in the early 1640's (the name evidently mutated from SCRIVEN to SCRIBNER with his children). John's wife was named Mary, but her last name and parents are unknown.

John was the son of Sir Thomas SCRIVEN, who was a colonel in the army of King Charles I. Sir Thomas was knighted by Charles I on 29 September 1642, and he was Lord of Frodesley Manor. He was seriously wounded in a siege on Wem in October of 1643, and died two months later, on 21 Jan 1644. Was his death the result of his injuries? If so, it's awful that he suffered for so long before succumbing.

The early 1640's was a turbulent time in British history, as England was in the grip of a civil war. Thomas's son John (who was born 27 Oct 1623 in Wem) left around this time for the American colonies. Did he leave so that he wouldn't have to fight?

Strangely, John did not succeed his father's position as Lord of Frodesley Manor; his younger brother Richard did. This has led some to suspect that John's mother may not have been Margaret CORBET, his father's wife at the time of his birth; of note is that no mother is listed on the parish record where his birth is recorded. Was John illegitimate? We don't know, but it could explain why Richard succeeded Sir Thomas and why John left England. Another possibility is that Richard succeeded Thomas simply because John had already left.

Effigy of Sir Thomas and Margaret (CORBET) SCRIVEN at the Church of St. Mary and St. Andrew in Condover, Shropshire, England


John Scriven ended up in Hampton, New Hampshire, and was a resident of Dover by 1662. There he was involved in civil affairs as a constable and juryman.

According to the inventory of his possessions, listed following his death, John owned a hay barn with 20 acres of land, a few animals (2 oxen, 4 cows, 1 calf, 3 sheep, 1 lamb, 1 mare, a yearling colt and 6 hogs), farm implements and household goods (Inventory of John Scriven's Property, dated 8 October 1675), as well as a musket and a sword. The sword is an unusual possession among early New England settlers... but it makes sense if his father was a knight and colonel in the king's army; the sword had likely belonged to Sir Thomas.

John's wife Mary has been commonly believed to be Mary HILTON, daughter of Edward HILTON, but there is no record of his having a daughter named Mary-- so the identity of John's wife remains a mystery. 



Ancestral chain:

Sir Thomas SCRIVEN (1584-1644) m. Margaret CORBET (d. 1659) [not John's mother?]

John SCRIVEN (1623-1675) m. Mary UNKNOWN

Elizabeth SCRIBNER (1668-1724) m. Samuel EASTMAN (1657-1724)

Anne EASTMAN (1700-1750) m. Philip HUNTOON (1694-1780)

Ruth HUNTOON (b. 1723) m. Benjamin FRENCH (1717-1785)

Elizabeth FRENCH (1742-1823) m. John WINSLOW I (1729-1816)

John WINSLOW II (1774-1848) m. Mary WEBSTER (1772-1861)

William WINSLOW (1800-1860) m. Mary "Polly" SEVERANCE (1805-1889)

James W. WINSLOW (1838-1905) m. Elizabeth MACE (1847-1906)

Bessie WINSLOW (1886-1970) m. Frank Bailey PALMER (1889-1958)

Dorothy Elizabeth PALMER (1918-1984) m. Henry Richard HOWES (1913-1987)

S. HOWES (1937-1999) m. my father (living)

Me (b. 1974)