Sunday, March 20, 2016

Gage & Priest of Weston, Watertown & Waltham, MA

Philip Gage and Anna Priest were married on 7 March 1743/44 in Waltham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.

Philip was born 11 Aug 1723 in Watertown, MA, the son of Robert Gage and Mary Bacon. While nothing is known of Robert Gage's origins, a great deal of research has been done on the Bacon family from which both my ex-husband and I descend.

The Gages and Priests are ancestors of my ex-husband and another mystery, besides Robert Gage, is his daughter-in-law.

What we know about Anna Priest is this: she died 28 September 1805 in Woodstock, Windham County, Connecticut, according to Woodstock vital records. She and Philip Gage had at least 7 children after their marriage in 1743/44:

1. Esther Gage, who married Josiah Underwood
2. Lucy Gage, who married Thomas Child
3. Elisha Gage, who married Olive Underwood
4. Thaddeus Gage, living in Woodstock, CT in 1790
5. Moses Gage, who married Lucy Lincoln
6. Aaron Gage, who married Rhoda Leonard (my ex-husband's ancestors)
7. Mirian Gage, who married Thomas Tupper

Anna Priest's marriage to Philip Gage is documented in Genealogies of the Families and Descendants of the Early Settlers of Watertown, Massachusetts, Including Waltham and Weston (Little Brown & Company, Boston, 1855), Volume 1, page 229 by Henry Bond, M.D. and also in Town of Weston: Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1707-1850 on page 273.

Their intention of 5 Feb 1744 is also documented in Town of Weston: Births, Deaths and Marriages, 1707-1850 on page 54.

There are two church records discussing Anna Priest in 1740, possibly upon her admission to full communion at what I'd guess was roughly the age of 17-20:

"Anna Priest so call'd bro't up at Jas. Pr."

"Anna Priest, so call'ed, bro't up by James & ... Priest."

There is a James Priest of Watertown, Waltham and Weston, MA. His wife was Sarah, however the only documented children for James and Sarah are:

Josiah, b. 30 Mar 1706
Mindwell, b. 27 Jun 1708, m. ? Stone, d. bef. 1756
Abigail, b. 3 Jul 1719, m. 2 Apr 1739 to Isaac Corey in Waltham
Sarah, b. ? (based on church records), m. ? Pike?

In going over James Priest's Will (found in Waltham records, hoping to find a reference to Anna, there were only his four children (Josiah, Sarah, his dutiful daughter Abigail, and Mindwell, deceased) listed.

However, there was one item in his estate's inventory that connected him to Anna: money was paid to Philip Gage out of the estate according to the inventory, first "in part of a bond, 6-13-4", then 7-1-4, for a total of 13 pounds, 14 shillings and 8 pence.

Is this because James Priest was somehow related to or guardian of Philip's wife, Anna? Or was this for another matter of business entirely?

Was Anna a daughter of James Priest and another woman, perhaps? Was she a relative - a niece, maybe, who lost her parents? Was James Priest a relative or guardian? Is Anna's maiden name actually "Priest"?

Anna (Priest) Gage is another of those enduring mysteries in the families I have been researching for many years now.

NOTE: Nancy of the New England Family Genealogy group found a family tree that seems to corroborate my theory that Anna was adopted, and perhaps a niece of James Priest or his wife, Sarah Treadway. I'm focused on "sideways searching" right now in hopes of finding a connection. Thanks to Nancy for adding a second pair of eyes, thoughts and clues!

Copyright (c) 2016 Wendy L. Callahan

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Davage to Daviage: an African American Family

Over the past few weeks, I've brought my sister over to the dork side. That's right - she is now excited about genealogy!

Our family is pretty well researched and documented, and we enjoy sharing photos, stories and more. However, my brother-in-law's family is tricky.

My brother-in-law, Derek, finds it very difficult to dig up documentation on his paternal ancestry. His mother's side is mostly Caucasian and dates back to the Mayflower, as well as various other early settlers in Boston, Plymouth County, and other areas of Massachusetts. We share several ancestral connections.

His father's side is African American and there was a name change somewhere in there - adding an "i" into the name Davage to make it Daviage.

The paternal surnames we've been able to dig up so far are Davage, Pinder and Gross, all in the Baltimore and Washington D.C. areas. However, there seems to be a lack of uninterrupted chronological documentation in censuses, the usual starting point. This is a case where my sister, who has now caught the Genealogy Bug (!), will need to go directly to vital records, as well as build the family with the sideways searching technique.

Usually the state and federal censuses allow people to build a framework, and then fill in the facts from there. This doesn't seem to be the case with this particular family. Whether it is because they are African American or because of name variations, I'm not sure yet. But this is going to be an interesting adventure for myself and my sister as we work to sort out my brother-in-law's paternal ancestry!

Copyright (c) 2016 Wendy L. Callahan