Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Valentine Huddleston & Catherine Chatham

When I first started reading the Gage family genealogy when I was a teenager, one of the more interesting entries was that of Valentine Huddleston and his wife Catherine Chatham.  Now my handy dandy genealogy program calculates that Valentine and his wife were my 9th great grandparents - so obviously this couple lived a long time ago.  However, there are definitely some interesting stories.

Valentine was born in 1628 in England and was  possibly the son of Valentine Huddleston and Jane Grey. There is a listing for a Valentine Huddleston who arrived in Maryland in 1663 and I believe that my Valentine might be the same fellow.  He would have been about 35 years old and if this is the same Valentine Huddleston, he made his way up near the Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Catherine Chatham had a much more difficult journey to the colonies.  She was born about 1635 in England. As my old Gage genealogy stated it "Catherine Chatham came to Boston from England dressed in sack cloth as a sign of her belief in the Quaker religion.  She had been threatened with death, but instead was stripped to the waist and driven into the forest in the middle of winter and was expected to have died...but survived and married John Chamberlin."  I have seen this same story written down or some variation of it several times.  She seemed to be a woman of strong beliefs and will from what those few sentences spell out.  She married John Chamberlin, who was a widower with five children.  After her marriage, they had three more children and then John Chamberlin died. around 1667, so she was left with the care of eight children.  When she met Valentine Huddleston and married him on 4 Aug 1672 in Newport, RI, she came with quite a bit of baggage.  I have no idea if Valentine had ever married, but when he married Catherine Chatham, he was 43 years old.

So here is the newly married couple...Valentine at 43 years of age and his wife, Catherine who was 37...and if the data is to believed, they had at least four children:  Henry b. 1673, George b. 1677, Catherine b. 1679 and Jean b. 1681.  Catherine died sometime after 1681 although some have her death date as 1679 - which would make the birth of her last child somewhat difficult.  I'm not sure anyone really knows her exact death date.  Since this was a woman in that particular time period, I'm not sure it is a record that survives. Valentine lived a remarkably long life.  He received land from Governor Bradford of Massachusetts and moved there and spent the remainder of his life there and died on 8 Jun 1727 at the age of 98 years of age.

Catherine and Valentine's son, George married Mercy Case.  Mercy's father was James Case and her mother was Anna Chamberlin, the step daughter of Catherine Chatham.  (Anna's parents were Ann Brown and John Chamberlin.) When you think about it...it seems a rather close connection but there is no blood relation.  James Case married Anna Chamberlin about 1675, two years before George Huddleston was even born.

So, here is my ancestry from Catherine and Valentine:

Valentine Huddleston m. Catherine Chatham
George Huddleston m. Mercy Case
Isaac Huddleston m. Elinor Mortimer
Mary Jane Huddleston m. Joseph Gage
William Gage m. Ruth Macomber
Potter Gage m. Cynthia Swan
Gilbert Gage m. Pheobe Allen
Orlando Gage m. Edith Gallup
Ora Silas Gage m. Florence Christine Shawver
Helen Marian Gage m. Frank Stewart Johnson - my grandparents!