My recent DNA matches to other descendants of the Andrews family of East Greenwich, Rhode Island helped me to realize that I had found the correct origins for my ggg-grandmother Hannah Andrews, but left many important gaps in my information. I am related to Hannah in the following way: my grandmother Edna May Darling – her father Russell E Darling – his mother Emma L Lamphere – her mother Hannah Andrews. Hannah’s parents are Jesse Andrews and Sarah Arnold.
This branch of the tree looks like this:
Although Hannah’s parents are Jesse Andrews (son of Phillip) and Sarah Arnold (daughter of Joseph) who married in 1795 in Warwick, Rhode Island, there are several problems with Hannah’s tree:
- I am not even showing Jesse’s wife Sarah Arnold’s family here, because I have a theory they are Joseph Arnold and Dinah Wightman, but I am far from proving that. Arnold was a very common name, and there were at least four Joseph Arnolds in the second half of the 1700’s in Warwick, and possibly six or eight. The ancestors of Joseph and Dinah are a Who’s Who of early Warwick – Greenes, Holdens, Wightmans, and Gortons – but so far, nothing is proven yet.
- Jesse’s mother is named Freelove, and was the head of household in Warwick for several decades after the (apparent) death of her husband Philip, sometimes next to Jesse Andrews and Joseph Arnold. Freelove’s family is unknown to me.
- The Andrews ancestors appear in all parts of Philip’s tree, and their genealogy was compiled by Harriet Frances James. I have studied her work at the Rhode Island Historical Society in two forms – a scrapbook of columns she wrote late in life for a local newspaper about the Andrews genealogy, and a more formally compiled version of her work produced by Anthony Tarbox Briggs and published in a few small volumes. Many of the early Andrews appear in local vital, land, and military records.
I don’t want to lose my opportunity at the Family History Library in February to move this along, so I have been working on three particular problems.
1. Is Jesse’s mother really Freelove? What evidence can I find?
The idea that Jesse’s mother was named Freelove came from the fact that she was located next to Jesse in the 1810 census in Warwick, and also appeared in the 1790 census as a head of household. Other evidence such as vital records had eluded me. Rhode Island research can always be assisted by consulting the R.I. Genealogical Society’s Rhode Island Roots, available now on the NEHGS website. I went to Advanced Search:
and chose Category: Journal and Periodicals, and Database: Rhode Island Roots.
Previously I had been making use of my old CD of volumes 1 – 30 of Rhode Island Roots. So the NEHGS digital compilation (which covers volumes 1 – 34, and will remain about 5 years out in the future, I believe) was the first time I saw an index for volume 31. An article by Cherry Fletcher Bamberg appeared in volume 31, March, 2005, p. 33 – 39, “Warwick Residency Certificates, 1737-1820.” The author explained the meaning of “warnings out” and her discovery of “a folder of the original residency certificates at Warwick City Hall.” A transcription of the certificates followed.
Freelove’s entry (p. 36) reads:
For: Freelove Andrew, widow of Philip, and ch. of Philip Andrew From: Coventry Date: 8 Dec. 1787
This was a huge discovery for me, because it was the only time I had seen her name connected with Philip (no marriage record has been found). Philip had died by February, 1786 when son Christopher “son of Mr Philip Andrews, decd” was married by Elder John Gorton (Elder John Gorton and the Six Principle Baptist Church of East Greenwich, Rhode Island by Cherry Fletcher Bamberg, RIGS, 2001, p. 325). How long was Freelove in Coventry? Had her husband Philip been there with her prior to his death, or did she go there after his death, perhaps to be near her own family?
Philip often performed military service in the 1760’s and 1770’s and he may have had other lines of work, but I don’t know. Philip was enumerated in a military census in Warwick in 1777, and, according to cards in the Revolutionary War index at the Rhode Island State Archives, and muster rolls on Fold3, he served during most of the Revolutionary War and was in Col. Topham’s regiment as late as 1780. So his death occurred between 1780 and 1786.
I have already learned from Gleanings from Rhode Island Town Records: Early Coventry Records, compiled by Catherine Hey and published as the 2010 Special Bonus Issue of Rhode Island Roots, that Phillip Andrews was taxed in Coventry in 1768 (p. 126) and 1769 (p. 130). Author Catherine Hey provides an interesting preface about the origins of early Coventry, which was set off from Warwick in 1741, and notes about the record sets.
At the Family History Library, I will be exploring records (particularly deeds) for Coventry, Rhode Island, but I suspect a visit to Coventry town hall will also be needed.
2. What was Freelove’s maiden name?
Freelove was a fairly common name in Warwick, so it may or may not be a clue. I am using two forms of attack on the problem of finding Freelove’s family.
Explore in full her husband’s Andrews tree. This has been very interesting. The Andrews were quite intermarried with each other (not complaining, I think that helped me find so many matches to them in mom’s DNA). The nearest non-Andrews ancestors to Philip were his two grandmothers, Rebecca Sweet and Judith Matteson. I have not gotten too far with reliable information on the Sweets, and I have compiled a list of sources I will be using at the Family History Library and the Rhode Island Historical Society Library. But the Mattesons were easier to explore. Apparently the original immigrant, Henry Matteson, came from Denmark. The Mattesons, Weavers, and Andrews first appeared on the Portsmouth/Newport side of Rhode Island, and moved on to North Kingstown/East Greenwich/Warwick in the late 1600’s. I need to examine the Andrews sources again, and I’ll have another post after I do, but it seems clear these families intermarried a lot and they are NOT the same families I am seeing in the Arnold line I’m investigating as Sarah’s family.
Look at the trees of my mother’s DNA connections where the link seems likely to be early Warwick/East Greenwich R.I. families. Obviously, I don’t necessarily trust the trees of these matches, but I review them and do some exploring on my own. I paid attention to trees where the particular branch I am likely to be related to was obvious, and also used the matrix, common matches, and comparison tools in Family Tree DNA. These are new to me so I spent a lot of time just figuring things out. For this I only paid attention to “Longest Block” matches of 10 cM or more.
By searching for some early Warwick names among the ancestors of mom’s matches, I found that mom was related to two people descended from a Rice/Stafford/Greene/Wightman family of early North Kingstown, R.I. Those people were cousins to each other, so it’s no coincidence their trees matched. This is how they matched mom’s DNA (along with one additional person) – the match is roughly 13 cM, on Chromosome 11:
I later found one or two others in this exact spot, but none had trees on Family Tree DNA. It’s hard to know what to think, but a match with Wightmans/Greenes would support the theory I have about Sarah Arnold. I suspect this little group is related to Jesse’s wife Sarah or his mother Freelove. I find with my early Rhode Island or Massachusetts families that even fairly close matches turn out to be quite a ways back. And more distant matches are not findable at all.
3. The wife of Philip and Freelove’s son Christopher was Freelove Rice. What can I learn from that relationship?
Philip had, I believe, several siblings but I only know the name of one – Christopher Andrews. Christopher married Freelove Rice of Warwick and moved to Pittstown, New York, and they are buried there. The Rice family happens to have some excellent documentation. Cherry Fletcher Bamberg published five articles on them in Rhode Island Roots:
- Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “Major Henry Rice of Warwick and His Family.” Rhode Island Roots 24 (March/June 1998): 1 – 60.
- Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “John1 Rice of Warwick, Rhode Island.” Rhode Island Roots 24 (September/December 1998): 153-168.
- Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “John2 Rice, Jr., of Warwick, Rhode Island.” Rhode Island Roots 25 (September 1999): 81-118.
- Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “John2 Rice, Jr., of Warwick, Rhode Island.” Rhode Island Roots 26 (September 2000): 57-84.
- Bamberg, Cherry Fletcher. “John2 Rice, Jr., of Warwick, Rhode Island (concluded).” Rhode Island Roots 27 (March 2001): 1 – 26.
I printed these articles, placed them in a 3 ring folder, and have studied them carefully. And that was good, because although I saw no solid links to a possible mother for Christopher, studying them helped me find something in the DNA matches. It didn’t strike me at first, not until I had revisited the articles once again.
In the graphic above, several people matched mom in one spot. On the tree associated with two female cousins, I see they are descended from Freelove’s grandparents, Capt. Randall Rice and Dinah Greene. Their tree contains the same details as the articles mentioned above (Family Tree DNA trees do not show sources), giving me a bit of extra confidence in the work of these 2 cousins. Their family descends from son Fones Rice, who married Susannah Havens (and my mom is unlikely to be descended from that couple, since they were in Clarendon, Vermont by 1775 according to article 4 (above), page 11). The link to my mom could also possibly be in Susannah’s early Warwick family, but still, it is interesting to get a clue that mom could be related to Freelove Rice. Freelove’s father is their son Job Rice.
I definitely intend to focus on Freelove’s family going forward. I need to find the ancestor “Freelove” that she may have been descended from (or perhaps it was a sibling somewhere) and move forward from there. The fact that Christopher’s mother had the name Freelove, and his wife did, didn’t seem like a huge clue before, but it’s starting to.
So I have several things to follow up on in Salt Lake City:
- looking at Coventry records in the 1780’s for evidence of Philip’s activities there, and any links to other family
- consult every part of the documentation on the Andrews compiled by Harriet Frances James
- Explore resources I have found for the Sweet and Matteson families
And follow up at home:
- complete Freelove’s ancestral tree
- compile a full military record for Philip, and see who he served with
- keep searching for evidence of Freelove or Philip’s deaths.
If my gggg-grandmother Freelove IS related to the younger Freelove (Rice) Andrews, this would help to build the case of the possible parents I have found for Jesse’s wife Sarah Arnold. They share Wightmans, Gortons, and Greenes. Interesting!
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