Lyme, CT: detach Mary (Lee) Lord, w. of Thos., from Thos. & Sarah Lee

+5 votes

Dear PGM and others interested,

The brief paper, "William Lord's Wife and the Family of Thomas Lee" (TAG:32:81-2), by Elisa Warren Avery, details why Mary, supposed daughter of Thomas Lee "Jr." and Sarah Kirtland of Lyme, Connecticut, was:

(a) not actually Sarah's daughter, but rather Thomas' daughter by his second wife Mary DeWolf (vital records show this); and 

(b) not married to William Lord, but rather married thrice to other men -- Joseph Beckwith, Deacon (Daniel) Sterling and Captain (John) Riggs, as her cousin Joshua Hempstead noted in his diary.

Well, at least we don't quite have that problem. But an alternate connection of Thomas Lee's daughter Mary to the Lord family is presently depicted in Wikitree, where a Mary Lee (Lee-12085) matching the above somewhat incorrect description is married to William Lord's son, Thomas Lord. 

I believe this is just as incorrect as the claim she was married to William Lord.

I noticed that the Lee-12085 profile cites The Sterling Genealogy, pp. 369-70, and I suppose that an early Sterling researcher's error may be at the origin of this confusion, since the widow Mary (Lee) Beckwith did marry Daniel Sterling on 16 Apr 1745 in Lyme.

My proposal is that the Mary Lee (Lee-12085) be detached from Thomas Lee and Sarah Kirtland, and that the Marah (Lee) Beckwith profile (Lee-1739) should be set as daughter of Thomas Lee (Lee-5623) and Mary DeWolf (DeWolf-57).... with a suitable explanation added to the Lee-12085 profile. 

If Thomas Lord's wife was really born in Lyme, then I have my doubts that her surname was Lee: Joshua Hempstead spelled out his top-level Lee relatives to apparent completion in his diary. I am ambivalent about whether she should retain that name or go to Unknown, and would hope for a ruling by PGM on that question, but if she is to retain the name Lee, setting Lee-12085 and Lee-1739 as rejected matches would probably be wise.

Please advise. Thanks!

WikiTree profile: Mary Lord
in Genealogy Help by Daphne Maddox G2G6 Mach 3 (31.6k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
The Ely Ancestry (source on her father's profile) has Mary as the twin of John, and the child of Sarah Kirtland. It shows she married Thomas Lord.This same information if found in The Lee Family source on Mary's profile.

I'd be interested in the vital sources that support her being the daughter of Mary DeWolf. Do they also suggest that her supposed twin brother John was born to Mary?

UPDATE: I haven't found a birth record for her so far (i.e., date shown in TAG article), but I did find another source that shows a marriage of Marah Lee to Joseph Beckwith May 18, 1699: [ ''The Refugees of 1776 from Long Island to Connecticut''], author Frederic Gregory Mather. This doesn't show who her father was. It also shows her subsequent 2 other marriages as you have above.

UPDATE2: Another source (cited by Torrey), lists her as a daughter of Thomas Lee and Mary DeWolf. It also says that she had an elder half sister named Mary. This source also shows she visited her half brother, Stephen Lee in 1757, which supports her parentage. However, this date is after her DoD shown in either profile. This source says she died in 1759. [ ''Beckwith notes"]

Another Beckwith Notes volume shows her being younger daughter Marah (later called Mary) of Thomas Lee:

1 Answer

+4 votes
In light of the sources I found showing two daughters Mary (and have above as a comment), I think that Mary Lee-12085 should remain as Thomas Lee's daughter with Sarah Kirtland, and that Marah Lee-1739 be added as Thomas and Mary DeWolf's daughter.  I would most likely remove the Mary Lee-12085's spouse in the data fields and just mention it in the bio, accompanied by the TAG source you found. (The Beckwith source(s) do mention that Marah was a baptism name, but that she later went by Mary, even though she had an older sister with that name.)

I didn't find any primary sources that showed her birth in 1679, but I did find secondary sources with the April 1679 date.

It appears that her death date should be changed to 1759.
by S Willson G2G6 Pilot (228k points)
This source, which references the Hempstead diary suggests that Thomas Lord's wife was Marah Lay (not Lee), daughter of John and Sarah. Reference page 91: This might be Marah Laye-9
Hi, S.

Yes, Joshua Hempstead, her 1st cousin, wrote down the identities of the three husbands of Mary Lee on the day he visited with her while she was staying with her brother Stephen Lee. That's pretty strong evidence. gives her birth date as 25 April 1679. Thomas Lee married Mary DeWolf on 13 July 1676, his first wife [Sarah (Kirtland) Lee] having died 21 May 1676, all citing Lyme Book I, p. 10. (Subsequent children of the couple are recorded on Book 1, p. 145 for whatever reason.) That would make the surviving Mary Lee the daughter of Mary DeWolf.

I am glad you found another strong analysis in the NYGBR to concur with the contemporaneous records. Can we we agree to make the changes as TAG and NYGBR find from the records?

From my perspective, I think we should notify the PMs of Lee-1739 of what is being proposed.

In summary, here is what I think we need to do:

  1. Remove Lord-240 as the spouse of Lee-12085, with text supporting the removal in a Disputed Origins section (or similar) on both of their profiles.
  2. Change the death date of Lee-12085 to be approx 8 years after her birth (the first Mary supposedly died as a child), citing sources and including appropriate text
  3. Remove the children from Lee-12085 with appropriate text and sources put on their profiles (Lord-3545, Lord-2706 and Lord-2134). We should contact the PMs of these profiles in advance, as well, to let them know why, etc.
  4. Connect Mary/Marah Lee-1739 to father Lee-5623 and DeWolf-57
  5.  Add text and sources to Lee-1739 with info about 3 husbands, but not Thomas Lord as her spouse.
  6. Add Riggs and Stirling as spouses of Lee-1739, if there is sufficient info to do so. Connect her to the children she had with them, if info is available
  7. Change Lee-1739's death date to 1759
  8. Add info to Thomas Lord about the possible other wife's name - i.e., Lay/Laye - with sources
Did I miss any actions we should take?
Thanks for all your work on researching this, Daphne. It will be nice to have one more ancestor with the correct, source-supported info.

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