How it started
I heard from a blog reader on Saturday concerning a post I did a few months ago about my ggg-grandmother Hannah (Andrews) Lamphere. Because Hannah may have been born in Massachusetts and lived near Norwich, Connecticut, the commenter was giving me a heads up that a branch of the Andrews family had moved from Ipswich, Mass to Norwich (the section eventually called Preston) Connecticut just after 1700. The writer was herself an Andrews descendant who happened to move to the Norwich area and accidentally discovered that she lived on Andrews land.
Hannah was born around 1819, so this migration didn’t exactly involve her, but I was intrigued by this story of an Andrews migration to Norwich, which I hadn’t heard about before. This is why blogging and reader comments are so wonderful. Thank you, Susan.
The Ipswich connection quickly led me to a large book on the subject, “The Descendants of Lieut. John Andrews of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts” by Betty Andrews Storey. I was disappointed not to find Hannah, her brother Alden, or the parents Jesse and Sarah Andrews. The book was almost 2,000 pages long so I had to rely on the index, checking names that came to mind, and I found nothing significant. As I was glancing through the sections that dealt with the Norwich branch, I followed up with several sources listed in the footnotes.
That’s when I found the clue. It was in the second New England Historic Genealogical Register article I perused, John Andrews of Ipswich, Mass. and Norwich, Conn., and Some of His Descendants (see below). The first Andrews couple to make the move from Ipswich, Mass. to Preston, Conn., John and Sarah (Cook) Andrews, had a daughter, Thankful, who married Joseph Read. That made an immediate connection. The Norwich line of Lampheres that I’ve been investigating recently as the source of my Lampheres was headed by Shadrack and Experience (Read) Lamphere. I began to read about the details of these families’ lives.
The Long Society Meeting House
To the east of Norwich, Connecticut, a congregational church was formed in the early 1700’s called the East or “Long Society” due to the 11 or 12 mile length of the area where the church rate payers lived. The church building was constructed in 1726 and rebuilt in 1818. This area of Norwich was eventually annexed to Preston, Connecticut. A “Separate Church of Preston” was also established in 1747.
In the Storey book and the NEHGS article, the Andrews who settled in Preston became intertwined with numerous families. In those families I recognized many names: Read, Burnham, Williams, Andrews, Cook, Palmer, and Coit (other names commonly appearing that I don’t recognize include Brewster, Geer, Fitch and Tracy). I recognize the names because of the marriages of Russell Lamphere and his siblings in the 1830’s:
- Russell Lamphere m. Hannah Andrews
- Lydia Lamphere m. Henry Palmer (son of Polly Williams) and had one daughter, Sarah Elizabeth Coit Palmer
- Lucy Ann Lamphere m. Burnham Cook
I am very fortunate to have pictures of my gggg-aunt and uncle Lucy Ann (Lamphere) and Burnham Cook which are owned by a generous cousin (fourth cousin?) that I met through Ancestry.com. She has kindly agreed to let me post them here. My family has never seen them. These are the only pictures I have for that generation.
That cousin had been mystified about Burnham Cook’s origins, but I suspect the answers may be here, somewhere.
What Does This Prove?
Absolutely nothing. I am still without direct evidence about Hannah Andrews’ origins; the earliest record I have is her marriage in 1838 where she is “of Ashford, Connecticut”. Two known details do not yet fit into this idea that her Andrews line had settled in Preston by 1715:
- She and her brother sometimes reported being born in Massachusetts in the late 1810’s
- Her brother’s name, Alden, suggests a family connection that I do not see any evidence of in these articles.
However, I am very excited. To find three siblings marrying into the same group, that did not live extremely close to them (our Lamphere part of Norwich was “the Falls” to the North) seems significant enough to warrant lots of further study. Coincidentally, it provides further clues for my current theory about which Lamphere line I descend from.
Andrews is a hard name to study. Spellings vary widely (Andrus, Andros) and the name is quite common and has numerous early immigrant families, not just one. I suspect there is something unusual about Hannah’s family (a death, perhaps, or moving around a lot?) that has made her hard to track. The NEHGS article claimed that many Long Society records were lost by the late 1800’s, and the Norwich town clerk was relatively far away, leaving these Andrews families poorly documented.
But for the very first time I feel like I have found a clue that links her to some Andrews in particular.
- pursue all published work on the descendants of Shadrack and Experience (Read) Lamphere, as well as other local Read descendants.
- Look at the full sets of census pages for Preston
- Get to the Westerly Town Hall to look at land and probate records for Daniel Lamphere.
- Keep searching NEHGS and other sources for work done on these Andrews lines.
Learning more about the Long Society Meeting House:
- A brief video tour of the Long Society Meetinghouse Cemetery on YouTube, complete with somber band music!
- Pictures of the Long Meetinghouse dating from 1975 when it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- FindAGrave listings for the Long Meetinghouse cemetery
- “The Descendants of Lieut. John Andrews of Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts” by Betty Andrews Storey which is available as a pdf from the Allen County Public Library.
- “John Andrews of Ipswich, Mass. and Norwich, Conn., and Some of His Descendants” by Mrs. Harriett Andross Goodell, NEHGR vol 70, page 102 – 114, April, 1916.
This is part 2 of The Brick Wall Stories – Hannah Andrews.
Link to this article: https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2012/03/18/the-clue/