Tuesday, June 19, 2018

William OTWELL (1610-1690), married KENNER

Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin > Maurice > John F. > William > Francis > William OTTWELL > Francis OTWELL > Charles OTWELL > Francis OTWELL > William OTWELL

The following (indented) is from the research of Rev. Edward H. OTWELL and Edward BREGENZER’s The Otwell Manuscript (The Otwells in America Since 1619) which is a compilation of their research on the Otwell family history, dated 1998. (You can find a link to this document on our resource page.)
  • William was born about 1610 in England. He was married in England to a woman with surname KENNER. William had at least 4 children born in the colonies: our ancestor Francis, Richard and 2 daughters.
  • It is believed that William was the son of Thomas OTWELL who came to the colonies from England. 
  • On the north end of Chesapeake Bay, Kent Island was an English settlement with a trading post as early as 1629. Between 1631 and 1638, colonist were brought north to settle the area. In 1636, William and his brother John travelled to Northumberland and Kent Island. John died and William settled on a tobacco farm on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay. This land was under legal dispute for many years. In 1659, the area was platted for the first time by William TAYLOR, who grew up there, and encompassed about 500 acres, a house and some outbuildings. The home eventually became known as “The Otwell” after either his mother or wife’s family. Successive owners built onto the house, but the oldest portion of the house is supposed to be that built by William OTWELL.  


William was known to have travelled from Virginia
thru Northumberland to Kent Island.
He settled on farm where "The Otwell" now stands.

The document linking William to the KENNER family is interesting. Richard KENNER’s will of 17 September 1627, proved 13 November 1627, states: “Residue to my sons in law William OTWELL als STEVENS and Thomas SKAY executors.” This indicates that William also used the surname STEVENS, at least when he was in England, and leaves us with many questions as to his true identity.

"The Otwell" still exists today and was highlight in National Geographic magazine (April 1955). Where Land and Water Intertwine: An Architectural History of Talbot County, Maryland by Christopher WALES, 1984 has more information on this building. Our cousin Jim O. visited this location a few years ago and shared these photos:
 
The Otwell, photo courtesy cousin Jim O.
 
Front gate of The Otwell, photo courtesy cousin Jim O.
(I wonder who planted those trees.)
 
Little Otwell Road, photo courtesy cousin Jim O.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Francis OTWELL (1630-1700), married to Mary

Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin > Maurice > John F. > William > Francis > William OTTWELL > Francis OTWELL > Charles OTWELL > Francis OTWELL

The following (indented) is from the research of Rev. Edward H. OTWELL and Edward BREGENZER’s The Otwell Manuscript (The Otwells in America Since 1619) which is a compilation of their research on the Otwell family history, dated 1998. (You can find a link to this document on our resource page.)
  • Francis was our first OTWELL ancestor born in America about 1630. His father was named William OTWELL and his mother’s surname was KENNER. Francis married Mary and they had 4 children: two daughters, Thomas and our ancestor Charles (of Nanticoke).

The Otwell Manuscript calls him Francis OTWELL of Bashaw. This may be incorrect. On-line research shared by Mike HITCH indicate that “Bashaw” was located in Worcester Co., MD and that a Francis OTWELL purchased the tract on 6 March 1711. Our Francis would have been 16 years old by then. He sold a portion of the tract in 1755. Our Francis would have been 125 years old. HITCH places the Bashaw tract under our Francis OTWELL of Somerset, but we know he appeared on the Pocomoke Hundred tax records between 1723 and 1740. He may have owned two parcels, or it may be another Francis all together. More research is needed.  We do not believe we are descended from the OTWELLs of Worcester.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Charles OTWELL of Nanticoke, DE (1675-1745), married to Rachel

Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin > Maurice > John F. > William > Francis > William OTTWELL > Francis OTWELL > Charles OTWELL

The following (indented) is from the research of Rev. Edward H. OTWELL and Edward BREGENZER’s The Otwell Manuscript (The Otwells in America Since 1619) which is a compilation of their research on the Otwell family history, dated 1998. (You can find a link to this document on our resource page.)
  • Charles was born about 1675 to Francis and Mary OTWELL. He married Rachel and they had at least 3 children Isaac, an unknown child and our ancestor Francis (of Somerset).

Here is a map showing where Nanticoke is in relation to his son Francis who lived in Somerset.

 
 
  

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Francis OTWELL of Somerset, DE (1695 -1775), married to Hannah


Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin OTWELL > Maurice OTWELL . John F. OTWELL > William OTWELL > Francis OTWELL > William OTTWELL > Francis OTWELL
 
Flag of Delaware
The following (indented) is from the research of Rev. Edward H. OTWELL and Edward BREGENZER’s The Otwell Manuscript (The Otwells in America Since 1619) which is a compilation of their research on the Otwell family history, dated 1998. (You can find a link to this document on our resource page.) 
Francis was born about 1695 in Sussex, Co., DE to Charles and Rachel OTWELL. By 1714 (age 19), he had married Hannah (1689-1750). He may of had at least 6 children: Francis, Solomon, our ancestor William (of Sussex), Charles, James and Nellie. He next married Lurany and she died in 1776.

Maryland and Delaware counties are divided into areas called Hundreds. We found Francis in Pocomoke Hundred, Somerset MD tax records 1723 through 1740 (Thanks to our distant cousin at Betty's Boneyard Blog). The surname was listed as OUTWELL. Besides Francis and his son William, 2 other OUTWELL households listed were headed by a Charles and a Francis (the latter with dependent Solomon). These were likely his sons.

 
 
 

 



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

William OTTWELL of Sussex, DE (1717-1798)

Edna OTWELL-SIM > Edwin OTWELL > Maurice OTWELL . John F. OTWELL > William OTWELL > Francis OTWELL > William OTTWELL

Shilling circa 1798
Finding the parents of Francis OTWELL of Scott Co., KY has been our “brick wall” because there are few documents from this time period. Since Francis had a son with the unusual name of Parker, it is assumed that our family is linked to William OTTWELL and Grace RIGGIN who also had a son named Parker and a son named Francis with similar birth year. It seems likely that Francis named his sons after his father and brother as this appears to be a tradition in the OTWELL family tree. We need additional documents to confirm.

We see many different spellings for the surname in generations prior to Francis of Kentucky.  You will note that William's surname is spelled OTTWELL - this is based on his last will. 

Let's start with a map of Maryland and Delaware.  Just note that Maryland is on the left and is divided by the Chesapeake Bay.  To the right and outlined in red is Delaware.  Keep in mind that in the early days, there was a dispute as to where the border was.  So, in upcoming blogs, areas called Delaware then may be Maryland now and vice versa.

The following (indented) is from the research of Rev. Edward H. OTWELL and Edward BREGENZER’s The Otwell Manuscript (The Otwells in America Since 1619) which is a compilation of their research on the Otwell family history, dated 1998. (You can find a link to this document on our resource page.)

William OTWELL was likely born in Sussex Co., Delaware about 1717 to Francis and Hannah OTWELL. The family later moved to Somerset, MD.
By 1769 at age 52, he was married to 21 year old Grace RIGGIN (1748-1819), daughter of Charles RIGGIN and Amory TOWNSEND of Somerset Co., MD.
10 known children were: William, Hannah BEAVINS, Polly (aka Mary), Parker, Francis, Eleanor SHORT, Druzilla, John, Obediah and Joshua.

Sussex is the southern most portion of Delaware.  The following map is of the Chesapeake Bay area and will be used in the next several blogs.  Sussex County is where William was born and where he died, Somerset County is were he lived in his early years.

The earliest record of William is the 1740 census where he is listed as a dependent in his father's household in Somerset, MD.  Here, the surname was listed as OUTWELL.

The date of marriage is unknown. Because of the age discrepancy, it is possible that William was previously married and his older children were from a previous wife. On various sites, there is reference to up to 3 different wives, but no documents are provided.

William died 10 April 1798 in Sussex. We know that at this time, our ancestor Francis was already living in Kentucky. William’s will was dated 20 December 1797 and it lists his wife and all of his living children. Note the spelling of the surname is OTTWELL in this document:

“William OTTWELL 20 December 1797
To son William OTTWELL -one shilling
To daughter Hannah BEVINS-one shilling
To daughter Polley OTTWELL -cow and calf or money to buy one
To son Parker OTTWELL -one shilling
To son Frances OTTWELL -one shilling
To daughter Elenor SHORT-large pot, ewe and lamb
To daughter Druzilla OTTWELL -bed furniture, cow and calf, pot, ewe and lamb, 6 pewter platted, pewter dish, 6 earthen plates
To son John OTTWELL - my house and the land to the division that was made between him and his brother and yoke of oxen and $10
To son Obediah's OTTWELL - the land that was allotted by the division between him and his brother and yoke of oxen and $10
To son Joshua OTTWELL - three years schooling by his brothers John and Obediah's and 50 pounds if they refuse to give him schooling. If John or Obediah's should die without heir, Joshua to have the land given them
To wife Grace OTTWELL - whole estate for widowhood
Executor: wife and son John
Witness: Levin CONNAWAY, John TRUITT, Barsheba TRUITT 10 April 1798”

In general, wills had the names of children in order of age (but not always). From census records, we know our Francis OTWELL was born between 1766 and 1774.  William, Hannah, Polly and Parker all appear before Francis in the will and likely were his older siblings (though most on-line sites list them all as being born about 1770 and later). It is also noted that these older siblings inherited very small amounts. One shilling in 1797 is equivalent to less than $10 today. It could be that they were already established and William wanted to give his estate to his youngest children. Or, it could mean that only the younger children’s mother was Grace and she ensured that she and her sons received the bulk of the estate with the older siblings given a nominal amount to avoid lawsuits. 

At this period, the US was still using shillings and pounds as they were converting to dollars and cents and you will note that the will refers to several denominations. In addition to the land, John and Obediah received $10 (about $200 today)  Youngest son Joshua was about 14 years old at the time this will was written and William ensured that he receive his education from his brothers else they pay Joshua 50 pounds (about $9,500.00 today).

After the Revolutionary War came the westward expansion and some of William's descendants were early pioneers in the territories.  Our Francis moved to Kentucky by 1797 (along with a Solomon OTWELL, though we are unsure how Solomon is related).  John settled in Pike, Illinois by 1828 after a brief stay in Ohio.  The youngest son Joshua initially went to Pike, then moved to the wilds of Texas.

Widowed at age 51, Grace next appears in 1810 census (age 63) in Delaware next to John SHORT, likely her son-in-law. No additional information was found for Grace.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

DNA Tested for Male SIM - Part 3 of 3

 
Migration Map
In genetic research, they have determined the probably migratory routes our ancestors took based on DNA of different populations in different areas of the world. Above is a map of the probably route our SIM ancestors took. Starting at green circle in central Africa, take orange, blue, green, pink lines north through the middle east, then blue line to Europe and the U. K. 

Males inherit their Y-chromosome from their fathers. The analysis of my brother’s Y-chromosome (which would be the same as my father John SIM, grandfather George SIM, great grandfather John William SIM, 2xgreat grandfather James SIM, -any male in our family with the SIM surname) shows that it belongs to the R-U152 group. This branch is called the Italo-Celtic branch which probably originated in the Alpine regions of Southern Europe during the Bronze and Iron Ages. It is found throughout most of Western Europe, but highest concentration today is found in Northern Italy near the Alps.

The word Celtic in the name of this branch is not in reference to what we normally think of as the Celts of the U.K. Celtic here means the Indo-European people during the Iron and Bronze Ages that had a distinct set of languages and cultures.
Read more about the Celts: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts and https://www.ancient.eu/celt/

Between 500 and 100 B.C., waves of these warring tribes came to Britain directly from Europe or by way of the Iberian Peninsula. The SIM ancestors eventually made their way to Scotland.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

DNA Tested for Male SIM - Part 2 of 3

The results of the LivingDNA test provided information on the specific areas of the United Kingdom that our ancestors lived 10 generations ago (about the early 1700s).  The idea is that people were not likely to move away from their birthplaces and these map regions were secluded allowing them to identify common DNA in each region.

% Area (Autosomal DNA) - maps are included at end of this blog entry
15.2 South England
12.2 Northwest Scotland (includes northern Ireland)
11.1 Southeast England
5.9 Aberdeenshire
4.4 North Yorkshire
3.9 South Yorkshire
3.2 Northumbria
1.6 Orkney Islands
1.2 South Wales




In our family tree research, we have only been able to go back 6 generations for the earliest complete list of ancesters:
Edward SIM married to Mary GALA of Scotland
William GRUER married to Magdelene WHITE of Braemer and Dundee, Scotland
Thomas WALLACE married to Betty DICKIE of Ireland
William HUSTON married to Esther PARK of Balleymoney, Ireland
John F. OTWELL married to Mary TAYLOR of Kentucky, USA (original OTWELLS from Huntington in Southeast England)
William ASH of Ireland
Anna Maria MARKS of Heytesbury, Wiltshire in South England
Robert CHARNOCK married to Margaret BRADLEY of Liverpool, England
Joseph and Mary SCOTT of England

The following map highlights what we know. 



We do not know exact locations of SIM/GALA, WALLACE/DICKIE, TAYLOR, ASH or SCOTT family origins.

For the children of George SIM and Edna OTWELL, we would expect 44% England, 31% Ireland and 25% Scotland based on our family tree research of generation 6.
The DNA results showed 66% England, 34% Scotland/Ireland for generation 10.
  • Some of the Irish families may have originated in England or Scotland and had immigrated to Ireland some time during the 1700s. The Northwest Scotland 12.2% may be some of the Irish line.  It is also likely to be the SIM line since they were part of the Fraser Clan from that same area.  View a map of clans.
  • The remaining Scots 13% is found in Aberdeenshire (10%) and the Orkney Islands (3%).   We know that GRUER/WHITE were from Braemar, Aberdeenshire.  
  • No idea how the Orkney Islands fit into our family- that's a surprise.
  • Nothing found in the Liverpool area - where we know that the CHARNOCK family originated.
  • For the missing families, we should concentrate our research to South England, Southeast England, Yorkshire, Northumbria and South Wales.
Scotland/Ireland Maps

Aberdeenshire

Northwest Scotland (includes northern Ireland)

Orkney

England Maps
South England

Southeast England
North Yorkshire

South Yorkshire
Northumbria

South Wales