Monday, September 1, 2014

James Potter, 1736-1804, m. Abigail Barnes, Connecticut & New York

I called this lineage Branch 82 and it appeared in Potter Profiles, Vol. 12, 1987:

1. Dr. James Potter, 1736-1804, Sherman, CT, m. Abigail Barnes, 1743-1817.

2. William Cicero Potter, b. 1773 in Sherman, CT; d. 1856 in Orleans Co, NY; m. Nancy Anna Hubbell, 1776-1854.

3.  Herman Boerhave Potter, b. 1804 in Sherman, CT;  d. 1880 in GalesBurg, IL; m. Minerva L'Hommedieu, 1804-1892.

4.  Leander Hubbell Potter, b. 1829 in Orleans Co, NY; d. 1879 in Galesburg, IL; m. Martha Irwin, 1851-1935.

5.  Herman Hubbell Potter, b. 1879 in Galesburg, NY; d. 1966 in Madison, IN; m. Virginia Lois Wymond, 1887-1918.

6.  Charles Wymond Potter, b. 1915 in Madison, IN; m. Betty Jane Andrews.

This lineage was submitted by Charles Potter of Ocala, Florida.

Thanks to Google Images for this map showing the whereabouts of Sherman, Connecticut:


Monday, August 11, 2014

"Notorious" William Potter, 1608 (England) to 1662 (Connecticut)

A good friend here in Spokane recently discovered that she can take her Potter line back to this William Potter, the "notorious" William Potter accused of bestiality. Besides checking into the online issues of my Potter Profiles she did some Internet searching and came up with this. This was new information to me and was not included in any issue of Potter Profiles. 


William Potter

A review of extant source materials by Sara Robbins Hoffman (12 Jan 2011)

William Potter is probably the most notorious ancestor in the family of Daniel & Hope Potter Robins. The name of William Potter first appears on the manifest of the ship Abigail. The ship left Plymouth, England destined for Boston in New England on June 4, 1635, among the passengers were William Potter age 27, wife Frances age 26 & 4 month old son Joseph Potter. However, what is known about the life & death of William Potter is found primarily in the Records of the Court of New Haven Colony. The records indicate William Potter was an educated Puritan & a fairly well to-do land owner. William first settled at Watertown, MA then moved on to New Haven Colony around 1639. He purchased land at New Haven & was occupied there as a “planter” until his death. William’s mother Hannah & his younger brother John Potter also settled at New Haven. The New Haven Court records show he was fined one shilling in 1643 for being late to a militia meeting & later fined for having a defective firearm & lack of ammunition. The records show these offenses were not uncommon ones among the citizens of the Colony. In 1648, William Potter advertises to pick up & deliver grain to the grist mill & return it to homes for a fee. He appears to have been a good citizen, respected & an upstanding member of the First Church of Christ at New Haven. William & Frances Potter had six children, Joseph, Sarah, Mary, Hope, Rebecca & Nathaniel. William Potter witnessed the will of Richard Mansfield in 1654 & appraised Mr. Mansfield’s estate in 1655. William Potter served as executor of his mother Hannah Potter Beecher’s estate in 1657. On May 31, 1658, William Potter was a witness for the plaintiff in the court case of Thomas Wheaton vs John Meigs. On May 19, 1662, William Potter wrote his will leaving his estate to his youngest son, eighteen year old Nathaniel Potter. Frances Potter served as administratrix & was in charge Nathaniel’s inheritance until he reached age 21. The will stated when Nathaniel was of age he was to care for his mother as long as she remained a widow. The oldest son Joseph was to receive 30 pounds to be paid within six years from the date of the will. Daughters Hope & Rebecca were to receive 20 pounds each.

It appears around May 16, 1662 or shortly before William Potter wrote his will his wife Frances & one of his sons accused him of bestiality. The name of his son is not given in the records. On May 26, 1662, William Potter age 54 was called before the court to answer to the accusation. When William Potter was first examined by the magistrates the records indicate he answered with “distinction.” He appeared to be shocked by the accusation & denied it. The records show the magistrates Benjamin Fenn, Robert Treat & Jasper Crane said they were not able to charge him. However, they were not satisfied because his accusers were close family members. It was their decision to turn William Potter over to the church authorities & Deputy Governor Matthew Gilbert for further examination. They stated that “God would bring the truth to light.” The event that followed was an interrogation of William Potter as indicated by the record. The amount of time devoted to this examination was not revealed. The end result was a lengthy, rambling confession, where William Potter said his sin began at age 11, he names numerous animals involved & that he “hath nothing but his sin left upon him & is discouraged, & his sins affright him from God”. An observation made by the court regarding his confession reads “much was said by him by the way of acknowledgement of his euill (evil) but in a confused way, as that sometimes he was filled with horror.” At the end of his confession, he portrays a confused man without hope who believes his sin was so great that God had forsaken him. Before sentencing, Governor William Leete read the law to William Potter & asked if he had anything to say as to why the court should not judge him according to the law. William Potter answered “No” & was sentenced to death by hanging on June 6, 1662.

Frances Potter, according the manifest of the ship Abigail Frances Potter, was born 1609. No reliable documentation has been presented to prove her maiden name. Frances was 53 years old in 1662 when she accused her husband William of bestiality. They had been married approximately 28 years. Frances most likely was aware of the penalty of the crime of bestially when she accused her husband. William Potter stated before the court that he had seen others “put to death for these acts.” Widow Frances Potter appeared in court when William’s will was probated & stated she agreed with the terms of the will. However, she was either not truthful to the court or she later changed her mind afterwards by giving her daughters’ legacies to her son Joseph. This resulted in Frances Potter being summoned to the court of New Haven again where she was instructed to give her daughters their inheritance. The court records states Frances Potter “paid so much to her son Joseph Potter contrary to the Will whereby she was disenabled to pay just debts.”

Joseph Potter, the oldest son, was born 1635 in England. He was 27 years old when his father was executed. William Potter’s legacy to his son Joseph was 30 pounds to be distributed over a period of six years. Joseph appeared with his mother Frances on October 15, 1662 when the will was presented "to the New Haven court for ye proofing of it." After the reading of the will, Frances Potter was asked by the court if anyone had anything to say against it. She answered “Yes” her son Joseph. The records show Frances & Joseph had conversation between the two of them. Then Joseph replied to the court that his mother & he had agreed & they were satisfied the will should stand.

Thomas Wheaton, executioner of William Potter. Mr. Wheaton charged William Bassett & his wife on June 25, 1662 for slandering him. Mr. Wheaton had been given immunity prior to the execution of William Potter by Deputy Governor Matthew Gilbert for any charges of slander made regarding his service as executioner. The Bassetts were neighbors of the Potters & came to New England on the ship Abigail at the same time as the Potters. Mr. & Mrs. Bassett began speaking to others after William Potter’s execution saying they believed Thomas Wheaton served as the executioner for gain They also said the magistrates were “impudent” in selecting Thomas Wheaton for this service because he was a good friend & neighbor of the Potters & at one time had lived at the Potter home. William Potter had also testified on the behalf of Mr. Wheaton in 1658 regarding a dispute Thomas Wheaton had against John Meigs regarding his indentureship with Mr. Meigs. One Sunday on their way to church, Mrs. Bassett told Frances Potter & Mrs. Foote her thoughts on Thomas Wheaton. Apparently, Frances Potter objected to Mrs. Bassett’s statements & Mrs. Foote agreed. Mrs. Bassett told them “the truth was to be knowne on ye Sabbath day as well as at other times.” The Bassetts were summoned to court & reprimanded. They apologized & paid a fine of 40 shillings. William Bassett indicated in his testimony that Joseph Mansfield didn’t think the sentence against William Potter was just. Nothing more was recorded about Joseph Mansfield. Mary Potter, daughter of William & Frances Potter married Joseph Mansfield. It is not known if this was the same man.

1.   Was the confession of William Potter coerced?
2.   Why did Frances Potter wait 28 years to make charges?
3.   Why did William Potter leave his estate to his younger son Nathaniel & not the oldest son Joseph?
4.   Did a family dispute or disputes cause Frances & son to make accusations against William?
5.   Was Frances Potter truthful when she told the court she agreed with William’s will?
6.   Why did Frances Potter give her daughters’ legacies & other funds to her son Joseph?


My question: were people and was society back in the 1600s really much different than it is today???

Monday, August 4, 2014

Branch 3, Descendants of Nathaniel Potter, Machias, New York

Branch 3 Potter Descendants……….. Shared by Loretta Smith, July 2014, email:  smithloretta73@yahoo.com


1. Nathaniel     1616- 1644?     wife Dorothy Wilbur 

2. Nathaniel    1637-1704        wife Elizabeth Stokes

3. Samuel        1675- 1748      wife Mary or Sarah Benton

4. Nathaniel     1703- 1776       wife Serviah Cudworth

5. Ephraim    1731-1801           wife Judith Brownell

5. David         1755-1838            wife Maria (Mary) Chase….have pictures of their tombstones from old Quaker cemetery in Granville,NY

6.Daniel        1783-1870            wife Lydia Hale….. buried Machias NY

7. Silas        1818-1897            wife MaryAnn Waite-entered DAR on her line…  buried Machias NY

8. William Jefferson    1857-1944    wife Linda Harmon...buried Machias NY

9. LaMonte H    1884-1944        wife Clara Starleave

10. Hial LaMonte    1915-1989    wife M. Isabel Carlson

11. Loretta K. Smith    1947-       husband Gene A

Info on Ephraim back taken from Potter genealogy book; I found some hand written notes going back to England from the first Nathaniel but I cannot verify where the info came from-these notes do lend some credence the next info I am going to forward to you in another e mail-talking about a Thomas Potter in England in the 1500s.





Monday, July 21, 2014

Potter marriages in the 1930s in Pend Oreille Co, WA


Ernest Davis, of Spokane, WA, age 34, and
Margaret Potter, age 21, of Spokane, WA
married on 15 Oct 1938.


Ray Potter, age 21, of Ione, WA, and
Esther Sarah Applegate, age 21, of Ione, WA,
married on 28 May 1931.
Also signed: Gertrude Applegate. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

M. Potter, ca 1840-ca1870. Anybody have this fellow in your Potter tree?


"Seeking identity of M. Potter, who married Isabella Detrick or Dedrick about 1860-1862; she was of Augusta Co, Virginia. Their daughter, Mary Belle Potter, was born in Feb 1863. In the 1870 census of Shenandoah Co, Virginia, Isabella and Mary Belle Potter are living with her parents. I assume that her husband, M. Potter, had died by 1870. Isabelle married (2) Francis Moffit in Ohio.

In the 1880 census of Spring Valley, Ohio, Mary Belle Potter says her father was from New York. Mary Belle married George Jones. In the 1900 census of Spring Valley, Ohio, Mary Belle Jones says her father was from Michigan. In the 1910 census of Beaver Creek, Ohio, Mary Belle Jones says her father was from Virginia. Mary Belle Potter Jones died in 1916.

Most confusing!
Contact Sandy Spence at joespenc@bellsouth.net

https://ssl.gstatic.com/ui/v1/icons/mail/images/cleardot.gif


Monday, July 7, 2014

Martin B. Potter, ca 1812-1883, New York...... Anybody?

Potter Profiles reader, Linda Phillips, has submitted a query for all Potter researchers to consider:

Martin B. Potter, b.ca. 1811-1812; d. 7 Feb 1883 in Natural Bridge (town of Diana), Lewis Co, New York.

He married Lucy Thompson on 12 Sep 1847 in Carthage (a village in the town of Wilna), Jefferson Co, New York.

Linda first documents her Martin B. Potter in 1850 in Ellisburg, Jefferson County, New York.


Martin and Lucy had three sons:  (1) Alvah Potter, 1852-1874, buried in the Carthage Cemetery;  (2) George C. Potter, b. 2 Oct 1854, d. 20 Oct 1918;  and (3) Chester E. Potter, b. 29 Aug 1857, d. Oct 1931. 

Linda's Potter ancestor was George C. Potter, 1854-1918.  Any help from anybody related would be welcomed by Linda! Contact her at Linsgenealogyhx@gmail.com. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Edgar W. Potter, Civil War Veteran, New York, Part 3

"............... and having served HONESTLY and FAITHFULLY with his Company in the 9th NY Cavalry is now entitled to a DISCHARGE by reason of being killed in action near Old Church Va , May 30th, 1864. "

There is no part three as on those pages of Potter Profiles I reproduced the same document-image twice.

The most interesting thing about this 2-page file is this, to me:  As busy a time and place as Civil War battlefields were, they took the time to fill out discharge papers for a soldier killed in action only a month after his death? Impressive.

Whatever happened to Edgar W. Potter of Cattaraugus County, New York? Who were his family? Was he sent home to laid to rest?

Do any collateral descendants claim this young 23 year old Edgar W. Potter who served his country honestly and faithfully?

This is from Wikipedia:


Union cavalry horses photographed outside the Old Church Hotel by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, June 4, 1864

The Battle of Old Church, also known as Matadequin Creek, was fought on May 30, 1864, as part of Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War.
As the opposing armies faced each other across Totopotomoy Creek, a Union cavalry division under Brig. Gen.Alfred T. A. Torbert collided with a cavalry brigade under Brig. Gen. Matthew C. Butler at Matadequin Creek, near the Old Church crossroads. After sharp dismounted fighting, the outnumbered Confederates were driven back to within 1.5 miles (2.4 km) of Old Cold Harbor, which preceded the Union capture of that important crossroads the following day.