Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Coffin Maker" in New England

Mom and I agreed that Kenelm would have been a dandy name to keep in the family.  After all, neither one of us ever knew a Kenelm while we were growing up and before we saw the name on a family tree, we had never heard of the name.  Kenelm’s older brother was famous for being the third governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and arriving on the Mayflower in 1620 and beings the third signer of the Mayflower Compact.  Kenelm to leave England for the New World until and held the dubious title to those of us in the modern world as coffin maker.

Kenelm was the third son of Edward Winslow and his wife Magdalene Ollyver.  He was born in Droitwich, Worcester, England on 29 Apr 1599 as the fourth of eight children.   Both of his parents were dead by 1620 and of the eight children in his family, two daughters died very young, a sister and brother remained in England and brothers Edward, John, Kenelm and Josiah lived out their lives in the America. Edward lived in Plymouth, John settled in Boston, Josiah in Marshfield and Kenelm became one of the founders of Assonet, MA or Freetown, MA as it is known today.  There must not have been much left for the brothers in England and the opportunities in the New World must have been irresistible.  We learn in history that many of the earliest immigrants came to America in search of religious freedom.  I’m sure that this was a main component for most, but after those first few colonies were established, I’m sure word got back about the opportunity for land and so called riches that were available for any willing to take the risk.  England is a small island with a generation of sons looking for these new opportunities.  By the time, Kenelm and his brother Josiah arrived in 1629, there was already a thriving English community on American soil.

I’m sure that Kenelm probably enjoyed his status as being the brother of an important man in the colony.  He probably had some responsibilities that arose from his brother’s position.  I know that Kenelm was a surveyor of highways for a time and was fined for neglecting his job.  His name also appears on a few legal matters where he didn’t come out the winner.  One of the more interesting things that I read about Kenelm that he was committed to prison for “uttering opprobrious words against the church at Marshfield, saying that they were all liars.”  Kenelm ended up in jail and probably offended most of the town of Marshifield…which might explain why he moved to Assonet, MA. 

I found it rather fascinating to see Kenelm Winslow labeled as a coffin maker.  As it turns out, it meant that he was an excellent carpenter.  In fact, he was probably one of the first carpenters that had been trained in England to bring his craft to the America and train other craftsman here.  There is an interesting article online on at http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=835 that talks about Kenelm Winslow.  There is supposedly some furniture that was made by Kenelm Winslow in the Metropolitan Museum of Art but as I read it, there is no proof that Kenelm was the actual carpenter. 

Kenelm married in Jun 1634 to a widow, Eleanor Newton Adams.  He and his wife had three sons and a daughter who all lived to adulthood.  Kenelm, himself lived to be 73 years old and died on 13 Sep 1672 while on a visit to Salem, Essex Co., MA.  His wife died in 1681 in Marshfield, MA.  So…thanks to the immigration of my 9th great grandparents and their four children, there are many Winslows in America who can trace their lineage back to a coffin maker in New England.

Descendants of Kenelm WINSLOW, Esq.

Generation No. 1

1.  KENELM9 WINSLOW, ESQ.  (EDWARD8, KENELM7, WILLIAM6, THOMAS5, THOMAS WILLIAM4, WILLIAM3 WYNCELOW, JOHN2 WYNSLOWE, WILLIAM1 WYNCELOWE) was born 29 Apr 1599 in Droitwich, Worcester, England, and died 13 Sep 1672 in Salem, Essex Co., MA.    He married ELEANOR NEWTON Jun 1634 in Assonet, Freetown, MA.  She was born Jun 1598 in Hertferdshire, England, and died 05 Dec 1681 in Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA.

               i.   KENELM10 WINSLOW, b. 29 Apr 1635, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA; d. 11 Nov 1715, Harwich, Barnstable Co., MA; m. (1) MERCY WORDEN, 23 Sep 1667, Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA; b. Abt. 1640, Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA; d. 22 Sep 1688, Dennis, Barnstable Co., MA; m. (2) DAMARIS EAMES, Bef. 1693; d. Aft. 27 Mar 1729.

Burial: Nov 1715, Winslow Cemetery, Dennis, Barnstable Co., MA
Military service: King Philips War

Burial: Sep 1688, Winslow Cemetery, Dennis, Barnstable Co., MA

              ii.   ELEANOR "ELLEN" WINSLOW, b. 1637, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA; d. 27 Aug 1676, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA; m. SAMUEL BAKER, 29 Dec 1656, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA; b. 02 Oct 1638; d. 14 Feb 1699, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA.

Burial: Winslow Cemetery, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA

             iii.   NATHANIEL WINSLOW, b. Abt. 1639, Plymouth, Plymouth Co., MA; d. 01 Dec 1710, Freetown, Bristol Co., MA; m. FAITH MILLER, 03 Aug 1664, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA; b. Abt. 1645, Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., MA; d. 09 Nov 1729, MA.

Burial: Burying Hill, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA

             iv.   JOB WINSLOW, b. 1641, Marshfield, Plymouth Co., MA; d. 14 Jul 1720, Freetown, Bristol Co., MA; m. RUTH CHASE COLE, 1673, Swansee, Bristol Co., MA; b. 15 Apr 1651, Eastham, Barnstable Co., MA; d. Aft. Jul 1720.

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