The Perplexing Miss Perkins

I’ve been digging into my family tree roots again. With the help of MyHeritage.com and Ancestry.com I’ve been researching the life of my great-grand 8 generations back, Nathaniel Hart Jr.

According to the data that has been assembled, Nathaniel was born circa 1707 in Ipswich, Essex, Massachusetts Bay, British Colonial America. So, years before the USA was even the USA. His father was Captain Nathaniel Hart and his mother was Sarah (nee Rust, according to some records.)

However, this post isn’t about Nathaniel. I’m rather going to tell you a bit about his first wife, Elizabeth Perkins. Other researchers have put her story together and it looks a mite odd. Examining the stats, you can’t help but wonder what prompted her to switch mates so often.

Elizabeth was born to Stephen and Mary (nee Eveleth) Perkins in 1713. She married my ancestor on March 29 1731, when she was seventeen or perhaps already eighteen, and they had a son, Constant Hart. But then on October 16th she supposedly married Captain Elias Lowater — less than seven months from her first marriage.

Huh?? My first thought was that she was widowed, but no,. Nathaniel took his time to marry again. In 1937 he wed Sarah Caldwell, born in July 1705. They had a son, Nathaniel Hart III.

Elizabeth and Elias had a son, Stephen — named after her father, no doubt. Some records say she also had a daughter Mary. Did Captain Lowater die or did she leave him, too? At any rate, she married Nathaniel Fuller (born circa 1711) on Dec 7 1733, just over two years from her second marriage. She died in July 1768 in Ipswich, Massachusetts, USA, at the age of 55.

How I’d love to peek back in history and see the story behind these stats — assuming they are correct. Was she a poor young thing who married two drunken brutes? Or was she the one so hard to live with that two husbands divorced her? Or — even more likely — she was actually two different gals. It happened in our Vance clan that the six boys of Joseph and Sarah (Allen) Vance almost all named their oldest son Joseph and their oldest daughter Sarah. I’ve found the names Sarah and Joseph repeated at some point in almost every one of those homes. Sorting out their wedding records is sometimes a challenge!

So what if Elizabeth Perkins had a first cousin or two named Elizabeth Perkins? Three hundred years, misc fires, lost records, smudges, misspellings, etc, can do a lot to muddy details. Guess I’ll never know.

So it all looks like this:
Nathaniel Hart + Sarah Rust >
Nathaniel Hart Jr + Elizabeth Perkins>
Constant Hart + Annis Holland>
Whoops, a blip in the data! Jerusha Brooker/Brooks (nee Hart) + Nathaniel Powers
Sarah Jane Powers + Samuel Russell Allen>
Sarah Allen + Joseph Vance

family tree roots
untying the knots in
endless squiggly lines
Image by Graham Hobster — Pixabay

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