Elizabeth, wife of Allen Bread/Breed

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There has been a bit of discussion in the comments of Elizabeth (Unknown) (Ballard) (Knight) Bread regarding the sources for her marriages and LNAB.  This better brought to G2G.

Older sources made her the daughter of William Knight.  More recently it has been shown that she married as her second husband William Knight.  However, not everyone has immediate access to the journal article, and so is wondering about the evidence.

Older incorrect sources:

  • Bread, John Howard.  ''A record of the descendants of Allen Bread, who came to America from England in 1830'', (Philadelphia, 1892). [Archive.org Link]  Source contains many errors.  DO NOT USE.
  • Cutter, William Richard.  ''Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of'' ..., vol. 2 (New York, 1908): 1098. [ Google books Link]  Source contains many errors.  DO NOT USE.

Newer article:

  • Lindberg, Marcia Wiswall, "The Breed Family: Descendants of Allen Breed (or Bread) of Lynn," in ''The Essex Genealogist'', vol. 11 (1991): 196-203, [AmericanAncestors.org, page 198].

Okay John (or anyone else), what were your concerns?

WikiTree profile: Elizabeth Bread
in Genealogy Help by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (224k points)
edited by Joe Cochoit

1 Answer

+1 vote

My principal concern is that we can't really review the evidence from a primary source(s). The cited newer (Lindberg) article, whereas it may or not be of higher value in sorting out this quandary, is behind a subscription paywall, so we can't easily assess it. Yesterday I posted on the public site for this person the following, quoted verbatim from the Breed 1892 anthology pertaining to the second marriage of Allen (I) Breed (the one born about 1601) to Elizabeth Knight:

"...as his marriage took place at that time to Elizabeth Knight, a dau. of William Knight, who settled in Lynn in 1630, and who received, in 1638, sixty acres of land. Her sister, Ann Knight, was called, in Nov. 1646, to witness in Court, in a suit of Taylor vs. King, for recovery for a mare, injured by a bull on the highway. Ann Knight became the w. of Edward Richards, (b. 1616)" 

Certainly this latter part is amusing, but the entry in its entirety gives clues on the parentage of Elizabeth and Ann Knight, and confirms their maiden surnames. It therefore appears that William Knight was Elizabeth's father, not her husband, thus her maiden surname probably should be changed to Knight instead of Unknown. 

So, my principal challenge is: Has anyone gone to the primary reference source, i.e. the Taylor vs. King court case, and tried to discern the relationships among Elizabeth, Ann, and William Knight? In lieu of a birth certificate, family bible entry, or some equivalent testament by a close family relative, it would seem that a court case could elucidate something closer to the truth.

Additionally, you can take an arbitrary position against J. Howard Breed's 1892 anthology [by the way, you spelled his surname incorrectly; it was 'Breed', not 'Bread'], or against any other publication as you may wish, but it seems blithe to do so, and it should not serve the purpose of this Wikitree facility very well if others followed suit without specific contrary evidence about the person(s) being profiled, Elizabeth Knight to be precise. Keep in mind that Wikitree until very recently had Mary Sargent, the wife of Allen (II) Breed (incorrectly) married to both Allen (I) and Allen (II) until it was sorted out and corrected, and it has also put forth other untruths about many other people as if they were fact; so Wikitree is just as fraught with errors, probably more so, than either of the references you cited above.

Thank you for opening this subject for additional comment & input, by the way. It could be helpful.

by John French G2G Crew (320 points)

You seem to mistrust the article because it is behind a paywall.  The link to the AmericanAncestors.org site is just a courtesy to those who might be subscribers, but it is not the source.  The source is the article itself as referenced; if you don’t wish to subscribe to AmericanAncestors.org, you should be able to obtain it at a local library.  It is not reasonable to think that a source is invalid just because it is not immediately available for review on the internet.  A modern, peer reviewed article will always take precedence over a 19th century compiled genealogy.  In this case, A Record of the Descendants of Allen Bread makes many errors and is essentially unusable in these generations.

The identity of Elizabeth who married John Bread is very clear from the primary records.  She was the wife of William Knight, not his daughter as J. Howard Bread incorrectly asserts.

She married first William Ballard who died by 6 June 1639.  By him she had John and Nathaniel Ballard.

She married second William Knight.  When William Knight died in 1654 he named in his will John and Nathaniel Ballard who receipted the legacies “of our father-in-law” (i.e. stepfather).

In 1654, the surviving children of William Ballard and of William Knight “discharged Allen Bread Sr., the legacies of William Knight, their father.”

On 8 May 1854, Edward Richards (husband of Anne Knight) “received of Elizabeth Bread, as executrix of the last will of William Knight, deceased, and of Allen Bread her husband…”  There are similar statements by Thomas Gage husband of Joanna Knight, Nathaniel Ballard, John Ballard, John Farrington husband of Elizabeth Knight, and Mary Knight of Lynn.

On 22 August 1666, Elizabeth Bread, aged about 59 years, deposed that at the match between John Ferrington and her daughter Elizabeth [Knight] to now a widow… Matthew Farrington promised to bequeath to John Ferrington, his brother, the other half of his estate.

On 18 October 1681, Elizabeth Breede “late the wife of William Knight” conveyed to her son Nathaniel Ballard “that parcel of land bought by my first husband.” (This record alone ties all three husbands together.)

Regarding the name of the author of A Record of the Descendants of Allen Bread...

I didn't type that name, I copy-pasted it from archives.org site who states his name was John Howard Bread. 

However, amazon.com sells the book of J. Howard Breed and the book of J. Howard Bread.

The WorldCat lists the book under J. Howard Breed, while Google Books thinks its J. Howard Bread.

 Wal-mart thinks it's Bread, Howard John.  FamilySearch.org went with Breed.

His name actually is not printed in the book, only his signature, which is ambiguous.

(I think you are right that it should be John Howard Breed.)

Dear Joe,

Thank you for taking the time to look into the surname misspellings of the suppliers pertaining to the J. Howard Breed (1892) anthology of the Breed family (my family). If archives.org, Amazon, Google and Walmart have billed it incorrectly, they ratify the sage adage that "By oft repeating an untruth men come to believe it themselves." [Thomas Jefferson]. As the Breed family records state, and continuously demonstrate throughout, our family dropped the 'a' from their surname spelling two centuries before J. Howard. His surname is spelled 'Breed' throughout all of the Breed Family Association records which were compiled over the course of the 20th century by respected genealogists, and whose publications are available now, online as well as in print.

As for the basic concept on the spousal relationships of Elizabeth Knight (b. ~1608), I cannot disagree that the passages you have supplied are supportive of the Wikitree relationships as currently profiled for this person. Presuming that those passages come from the Lindberg article as you have interpreted it, keep in mind, though, that even that article constitutes secondary resource, even though it may have been peer reviewed. I am quite familiar with the peer review process, and fully agree that a thoroughly investigated genealogical record could contain a better representation of the truth than one which comes entirely from supposition, or worse, computerized calculations based on specious sources (find-a-grave comes to mind here).

As for your beginning phraseology "You seem to mistrust the article..." [meaning the Lindberg article], no, that is not correct, and your positioning of that statement at the outset could be unnecessarily combative. In the interest of maintaining civil discourse, I always try to refrain from making value judgments about someone else when addressing their point(s) of view. What I stated originally is that "we can't easily assess it." I also asked the question whether anyone has accessed the Lynn court case (which could constitute a primary source) involving the bull and the mare. That was meant as levity, i.e. humor, which seems to be much lacking in today's society; however my question on reviewing that court case remains unaddressed.

Most of us who contribute to Wikitree in one way or another are dedicated to seek the truth, and as such, we might tend to come across unnecessarily aggressively among our cohort. If I've done that at any point, I do apologize; likewise, my counsel is not to allow Wikitree to devolve into a den of didacticism and diatribe. In an effort to quell any negative sentiments as may have come from my posts to the public bulletin board, I've now deleted them; perhaps you would do the same?

Have a nice day!

Best regards,

John

I've gone into said Essex Genealogist article and pulled the sources the author cited:

She married first William Ballard who died by 6 June 1639 [EG article references this is when Timothy Tomlins was assigned to administer Ballard's estate, citing Charles Frederic Farlow, Ballard Genealogy, Boston, 1911, pp 15-16 and adds: "this date is not found elsewhere"].  

By him she had John and Nathaniel Ballard. [EQ articles cites Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, VII:199]

She married second William Knight.  [EG article indicates he married "Elizabeth (----) Ballard Knight" 28: 1m: 1656 without citation; this same paragraph estimates a 1609 birth for her referencing a 1666 deposition in which she gave her age as 59 years. Later in the narrative the citation for this deposition is given as [Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, VII:199].

When William Knight died in 1654 he named in his will John and Nathaniel Ballard who receipted the legacies “of our father-in-law” (i.e. stepfather). [See previous citation; I think this is there]

In 1654, the surviving children of William Ballard and of William Knight “discharged Allen Bread Sr., the legacies of William Knight, their father.”  [EG says "see below" at this quote; the "see below" doesn't exactly match, but appears to be citing Essex Deeds, 2:52]

On 8 May 1854, Edward Richards (husband of Anne Knight) “received of Elizabeth Bread, as executrix of the last will of William Knight, deceased, and of Allen Bread her husband…”  There are similar statements by Thomas Gage husband of Joanna Knight, Nathaniel Ballard, John Ballard, John Farrington husband of Elizabeth Knight, and Mary Knight of Lynn. [In the EG article, this quote is mixed in with a bunch of data, all of which appears to be citing, again, Essex Deeds 2:52]

On 22 August 1666, Elizabeth Bread, aged about 59 years, deposed that at the match between John Ferrington and her daughter Elizabeth [Knight] to now a widow… Matthew Farrington promised to bequeath to John Ferrington, his brother, the other half of his estate. [EQ articles cites Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, VII:199]

On 18 October 1681, Elizabeth Breede “late the wife of William Knight” conveyed to her son Nathaniel Ballard “that parcel of land bought by my first husband.” (This record alone ties all three husbands together.) [EG articles cites for this Essex Deeds 6:22]

[EG article states she was not named in the 1681 settlement of Allen Breed's estate.]

In any case, this set of sources does clarify that Elizabeth, later wife of Allen Bread/Breed, was indeed a previous wife (not daughter) of William Knight.

Ann Knight may have been William's sister or sister-in-law and by extension "sister" of William's wife Elizabeth.  And the earlier genealogy mis-interpreted the relationships. But the records cited above definitely prove that Elizabeth was married to William Knight.
Thank you for your thorough investigation of these relationships. I agree that the evidence as may be available from the EG does sustain the spousal relationship premise for this Elizabeth (unknown) with William Knight, particularly the Deeds citations. Your work provides good substance for the lineages presumably descending therefrom, as may be garnered among these Wikitree profiles. You have therefore done good service for the users of this site.

Best regards,

John
(It was Joe who did the work; I just took what he did and added citation details from the article.)

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