Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Four (actually three) Rogers

1. This account of the Amidon ancestor can be found at Rootsweb.
Roger Amidon, who during the long siege of Rochelle, escaped to England and in 1628 when John Endicot was sent out with the first embarkation of colonists to this country, came to Salem, Massachusetts, in that colony- (As read by Fanny Amidon on March 9, 1898 at the centennial.)

What centennial? I don’t know.

2. Wikipedia says this:
Roger Amidon (or Amadon, Amidown, Amadowne) was an early settler of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Roger Amidon was born to Roger Amadowne & Sarah Hutchings in England. His father, Roger Amadowne, was a French Huguenot, who had arrived with John Endecott's advance company in 1628 after escaping to England from the Siege of La Rochelle. –from the wikipedia entry

The Wikipedia entry on Roger tends to follow the evidence in this largely discredited :
Ammidown,Holmes. Genealogical Memorial and Family Record of the Ammidown Family and a Partial Record of Some Other Families of Southbridge, Mass. (New York: 1877), 54 p. 24 cm. I examined his archives in the historical room at the Southbridge Public Library, and didn’t find any evidence to support the Huguenot legend of the “two Rogers” thesis.

3. Frank L. Best continued with the Huguenot legend, but omitted the “two Rogers:”

Tradition has it that Roger Amadowne was a French Huguenot, who, after the1 revocation of the Edict of Nantes, was compelled to flee from France; that he went to England, where he remained for several years and then emigrated to America. No information has been obtained concerning the date and place of his birth or of his parentage. On the records of Plymouth Colony and at Rehoboth his name is generally spelled Amadowne.
Best, Frank Eugene. Amidon Family: A Record of the Descendants of Roger Amadowne of Rehoboth, Mass. (Chicago 1901)
4. The following correspondence with Professor Roger L. Amidon seems to confirm my suspicion that the Huguenot story is a legend:
Top of Form
Re: Origins of Roger Aimedoune
Posted by: Roger L. Amidon
Date: March 08, 2002 at 05:53:59
In Reply to:
Re: Origins of Roger Aimedoune by Stevens Amidon
of 348
Bottom of Form
Bottom of Form
Certainly there is not one iota of primary data to support a Huguenot origin that has ever been discovered. I've also have consultations from two authoritative sources, neither of whom can discover any evidence of this individual from archives: 1), Jacques Poujol, in 1988, then Secty. Gen. of the Societe de L'Histoire du Protestantisme Francais; and 2) Susan Highley, researcher, in 1992, The Huguenot Society of Great Britain & N. Ireland.Further, George Redmonds, a well-known authority on English surnames, challenged my idea that the name Amidon in some form was more probably French than English. He said that many surnames went extinct between the 15th and 17th centuries. I believe now his doubt is well-founded. If there were any other Huguenots in the Mass. Bay Colong by 1637, I do not know of them, making Roger a highly unusual if not singular case. If one looks at Savage one fids the spelling HANNADOWN, a bonifide contemporary English surname. I have not taken time to discover where Savage found this spelling but someone should. Whether Holmes A. invented the Huguenot "myth" or not, he certainly embellished it! I'd be glad to share my information with you or others, though I can assure you that there will be a lot of people unhappy to accept that Roger almost certainly was no Huguenot.
5. In his fine historical work, Winthrop’s Boston: A Portrait of a Puritan Town (1630-1649) [Institiute of Early American Culture, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 1965) Darrett B. Rutman talks about our ancestor: “Roger Hannadown of Weymouth, a shipwright attracted to the town in 1642 is another example. Presumably he and his wife Sarah rented a house, for all that is known of them is that she bore a child in Boston, Presenting it to the First Church for baptism by virtue of her Weymouth membership, and that they returned to Weymouth in 1648. (p. 198).

6. Not really “all that is known.” The oldest evidence of Roger's existence appears in the early records of Salem, MA. Roger Hannadowne was granted a quarter acre of land on 25 December 1637. Was he an indentured servant freed on Christmas Day? Just a thought. Joseph Barrow Felt’s The Annals of Salem from its First Settlement [w&sb Ives, Salem, 1837] lists Roger Aimedoune as one of the original settlers who was not a member of the Salem church (p. 549).

7. Perhaps the best early compilation is from Ellery Bicknell Crane, Historic Homes and Gneaelaogies of Worcester. Worcester: Lewis. Pub., 1907. It seems the most reasonable in its claims:

Roger Amidon (1) was the emigrant ancestor of Fayette A. Amidon, manager and proprietor of the Worcester Market, Worcester, Massachusetts, and of perhaps all in this country of the name of Amidon. The name has been spelled variously Ammidon, Ammidown, Amadon. Roger Amidon was in Salem, Massachusetts, before 1637, when he was mentioned as the owner of half an acre of meadow. There seems to be no evidence that he was a French Huguenot, except that some of his descendants mingled with the Huguenots and perhaps intermarried with them at Oxford. He removed to Wey mouth in 1640, and was in Boston in 1643. He settled finally at Seekonk, in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. His house was at the northeasterly end of the semicircle of houses comprising the original village of Seekonk, and was about a mile north of the church in the present town. He drew his house lot July 18, 1648, and drew other lots June 3, 1662, June 7, 1665, in 1668 and 1671. He was one of the original proprietors of Rehoboth,' and was there probably as early as 1645, when it was incorporated. He married first, Sarah —, who died at Rehoboth, June 20, 1668. He married (second) Joanna, daughter of George and Jane Harwood. She died July 1, 1711. He was buried November 13, 1673. There were suspicions at the time that his death was not natural, and an inquest was held. He had four children by his first wife and three by the second. His estate was divided March 4, 1674, among, his widow Joanna; son Ebenezer, by his representative, John Coblech, of Swansea; daughter Hannah, wife of Jeremiah Wheaton. John Harrod, of Pa-tucksett, brother of the widow, gave advice in the settlement of the 'estate. The children of Roger Amidon: 1. Ebenezer, mentioned in settlement of estate, 1674, was in Rehoboth 1689, advanced money in King Philip's war, 1675. 2. Sarah, born December 6, 1640, Weymouth. 3. Lydia, born February 27, 1643, Boston. 4. Hannah, born September 20. 1652; married Jeremiah Wheaton, of Rehoboth; had eight children; died at Rehoboth, September 13, 1719. 5. Philip, see forward. 6. Henry, born at Rehoboth, January 24, 1671, was on list of inhabitants of Rehoboth 1689. 7. Mehitable, born at Rehobnth, August 27, 1672; married, December 23, 1709, John Thompson, of Rehoboth.
II) Philip Amidon, son of Roger Amidon 1), born at Rehoboth, January 26. 1670. resided there until the death of his first wife, when he removed to Mendon. In 1717 he removed to Oxford, Massachusetts, where .many French Huguenots settled about that time, and died there March 15, 1747. He was a farmer and cooper. He and his wife joined the Oxford church in 1720. He was a selectman 1730, constable 1735. His will was proved May 12, 1747. Of his old homestead three-fourths belongs to the farm now or recently owned by Franklin H. Clark, and the other quarter belonged recently to Lucinda Morse. He married first, at Rehoboth, May 27, 1698, Mehitable, daughter of Samuel and Mary (Willard) Perry, born April 30, 1680. She had one child and died at Rehoboth, July 4, 1699, aged nineteen. He went to Mendon about 1700 and married (second), September 16, 1700, Ithamar Warfield, who survived him. She was born March 28, 1676, daughter of Deacon John W. and Hannah (Randall) Warfield, of Mendon. His will was proved May 12, 1747. His children: 1. Henry A., see forward. 2. Roger, born February 6, 1702. 3. Ichabod, born May, 1704. 4. Mary, born March 30, 1706, married, July 18,. 1728, Benjamin Chamberlain resided at Oxford. 5. Philip born 1708, resided in that part of Oxford set off as Charhon. and left many descendants. 6. Ephraim, born 1710. 7. Ithamar, born April 25, 1712. 8. John, born May 1O-, 1713- 9. Hannah, born February 2, 1717; marr1ed Samuel Wheelock, of Hardwick.
8. My father and I managed to find an old cemetery near Dudley Massachusetts where Phillip is probably buried. Phillip’s son, Roger Amidon, b. 1702, married Elizabeth Hawkins and had eight children. He was the grandfather of Ralph Amidon. Among the children were Samuel, born Oct. 13, 1742 and Roger, the youngest, born May 12, 1747. Roger and Samuel, both Revolutionary War veterans, were among the earliest settlers of Readsboro, Vermont, and Lieutenant Samuel Amidon is listed in the oldest recorded town meeting (1794) as “surveyor of lumber.” Best says he was school director in Douglas, Mass, in 1791, so the move must have occurred between 1791 and 1794. Roger served in Benedict Arnold’s regiment! He died in Readsboro, in 1825. His son Ralph was born in Douglas, I believe, in 1772.

9. So, in summary, we have:

a. Roger, birth date unknown (the 1614 birth date has no source I can ascertain), probably in England. Died, Rehoboth, MA, 1673. (age-probably at least 60).
b. Phillip, b. Jan. 26, 1670, Rehoboth, MA. Died, May 1747. (age 77).
c. Roger, b. Feb. 6, 1702, Mendon, MA. Died, 18 Feb, 1757, Douglas, MA.(age 55)
d. Roger, b. May 12, 1747, Oxford, MA. Died May 31, 1825, Readsboro, VT. (age 78)
e. Ralph, b. May 3, 1772, Douglas, MA. Died October 31, 1856 in Michigan. (age 84).
That’s Three Rogers! A long-lived bunch they were!


Blogger Mike Eldred said...

Fascinating post. I stumbled across you blog thanks to a Google alert I have for "Readsboro," a town I cover for the local newspaper.

Thanks for the interesting read.


3:35 PM  
Blogger george davis said...

makes my search for the amidon on my grandmother davis line more interesting.

6:05 AM  

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