Friday, August 10, 2007

William Barrett Haley & Bessie Philenia Harrison

I have a cousin through my Haley side who was a most fortuitous discovery. Actually, she discovered me on the internet. And through our teamwork, we have unraveled the mystery of the name of William Barrett Haley's wife. That was QUITE an accomplishment, considering that in the end, she had 5 different surnames!

Bessie Philenia Harrison was born 29 April 1851 in Sandwich, MA (according to a letter written by her daughter, Martha Lenora Haley) to Roselia (Rosella) F. Shaw and George Lewis Harrison. Roselia died 7 May 1851 in Sandwich, MA, very shortly after giving birth to Bessie.

The father, George, remarried. To whom, we do not yet know. Despite examination of Sandwich records, as well as those of surrounding towns and the 1860 census, we are at a loss as to the rest of George's life.

Meanwhile, Bessie (and, presumably, her siblings) was adopted by another family. Bessie went to John and Pamelia Covill (or Coville) in Sandwich, MA. Thus, her first marriage record is found under the name of "Bessie P. Covill". She married Matthew S. Fletcher in Sandwich on 4 Aug 1869, but he was lost at sea according to her daugther's letter.

So in Middleboro, MA on 28 March 1873, we find a Bessie Fletcher marrying William Barrett Haley. They had two daughters - Martha Lenora Haley and Cora May Haley, and supposedly a son by the name of Ray, who died young (no records have been found yet on a son).

William died rather young as well, in Plympton, MA on 24 Nov 1882. He was only 45, but had suffered as a Union prisoner of war at the Libby and Andersonville Prisons during the Civil War.

Another 6 years later, Bessie Haley married again, this time in Boston in 1888 to Charles Howard Noyes. Although Bessie was 37 years old, she had more children (having children in your late 30's and early 40's was a bit unusual for the 1800's). I am sure these sons - Frank Ellsworth Noyes, born in 1889, and Thomas Sylvester Clement Noyes, born in 1891, went on to have families - descendants related to my cousin Colleen through Bessie Harrison.

Bessie (Harrison) (Covill) (Fletcher) (Haley) Noyes's daughter, Martha Lenora Haley, married Alphonso Francis Cahoon.

These Harrison, Cahoon, and other related families have been the subject of my research this week. My cousin said she wanted to connect with the Cahoons, now that she had everything of her Fuller and Rogers Mayflower connections through Bessie's mother, Roselia Shaw (the Fuller family) and Abiather Cahoon's grandmother (Martha Rogers). These lines also tied in strongly with the Howland family and I found Hopkins for "good measure". :-)

Currently, I am back to the Haley family - specifically to Clarissa Barrett, who married Edward Marshall Haley. We have a mere 3 generations on the Barrett family: Clarissa, born 14 May 1814 in Plymouth; her father William; his grandfather, John.

I suspect the Barrett family will either be found elsewhere in Massachusetts or came from England in the mid- to late 1700's. Today I will see if I can find anymore on their origins. The letter of Martha Haley mentions them as an "old" family in Massachusetts. But census and records give me reason to believe that perhaps they weren't as "old" as all that as far as New England goes.

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