Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Early Pope Ancestors

You will never find one of my ancestors listed on the Ellis Island records or probably any immigrant records past 1810.  From what I have been able to discover, most of my ancestors arrived much earlier with a large group arriving in the 1700’s and many arrived much earlier including the group that arrived on the Mayflower and shortly thereafter.  One of these couples both arrived with their families shortly after the Mayflower’s arrival in 1620 and were my 8th great grandparents
Thomas Pope was born about 1608 in England – as far as I know, his parents are unknown.  He arrived in America around 1632 and married Ann Fallowell in 1637 in Plymouth Co., MA and after her death married Sarah Jenney on 19 May 1646 in Dartmouth, Bristol Co., MA.  Thomas first appears on the 1633 tax list and is listed as a cooper by occupation.  He was chosen as a Constable in Plymouth in 1645 and a surveyor of highways in 1651 and 1652.  Thomas owned several lots of land including Plymouth and Dartmouth.  He died before Aug 1683 when his estate is inventoried.  Thomas would be counted as one of the more prominent men of the colony. 

Sarah Jenney, Thomas Pope’s second wife, was born in July 1623 on the “Little James” while crossing the ocean to her parents, John Jenney and Sarah Carey.  I have heard John Jenney described as a cooper and as a brewer.  However, he was most known as a miller and built a mill in 1636 that remained in continuous operation until it was destroyed by a fire in 1847.  The Jenney Grist mill was a center for commerce because John Jenney would usually trade goods and services for the milling of corn, wheat, and rye flours.  When Thomas Pope and Sarah Jenney married in 1646 it was after the death of her father who died in 1644.  They had 7 children.  I am descended from both their oldest son, Seth, and their youngest son, Isaac.  Seth’s son, Elnathan married Isaac’s daughter Margaret Pope.
While Thomas Pope and Sarah Jenney were probably considered to be a fairly successful family in the colony, they experienced one of the worst tragedies that any family could face.  Susannah Pope and her husband Jacob Mitchell and her younger brother, John were killed by King Phillip’s warriors as they were fleeing to the Dartmouth garrison in July 1675.  If you have never heard of “King Philip’s War” you can look at http://www.mayflowerfamilies.com/enquirer/king_philip.htm - King Philip aka Metacomet was the Chief of the Wampanoags who led a war against the Plymouth colony villages.  The whole situation was a disaster for both the Puritans and the Wampanoags.
If you are interested in further information on the Pope family – You can check out the “Genealogy of Thomas Pope (1608-1883) and his descendants” at http://books.google.com/books/about/Genealogy_of_Thomas_Pope_1608_1883_and_h.html?id=E3tIAAAAMAAJ

You can also visit www.findagrave.com and see some of the early Pope gravestones including that of Deborah Perry, wife of Seth Pope a the Acushnet Cemetery which is the oldest stone still in existence at http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=8233908