Friday, January 6, 2017

I'm Intrigued by Teague

It’s the beginning of a new year – 2017, and I wish you all a very happy new year. I started this post on the last day of 2016 and was hoping to squeeze in one last post before 2017 comes. Well, I didn’t succeed. There is just too much going on over the new year holiday and it was hard to sit down and write let alone concentrate.

Image of what Teague and other men may have 
looked like in the Plymouth Colony during the 1600s.

As I trudge away gathering information on my recently known-about 8x great grandfather Teague Jones, I’m reminded this genealogy/family history stuff can leave you hanging high and dry as well as reward you with information which will catapult your research beyond your imagination. I think high and dry takes center stage in its own little way.

I’ll start by explaining I don’t have all the information I need, but nonetheless what I have is a start. I have consulted cousin Kevin’s extensive research on our FOWLER family. I regard his research as being accurate and highly trustworthy. He is the one to tip me onto the lineage of Mercy Jones, my 5x great grandmother who leads me back a couple generations to Teague. So I will lay out this story as best as I can. My other sources vary from NEHGS databases to Find A Grave to FamilySearch and Ancestry to History of Cape Cod and some on Rhode Island.

Fowlers First
In past posts I have talked about my gr-gr-grandfather Luther FOWLER and his father Abel Jr.; some of his father Abel Sr., but not much on Sr.’s father Simeon who married Mercy JONES 20 Mar 1745 in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. So far there isn’t that much to say about Mercy except she was born 17 Jan 1727, East Greenwich, Rhode Island to Jeremiah and Mary [REYNOLDS] JONES. Mercy along with husband Simeon are buried in the Fowler Private Burying Lot in White Creek, Washington Co., New York

Now the Jones
Mercy’s father Jeremiah JONES was born about 1680 in Yarmouth, Barnstable Co., Massachusetts (Cape Cod) to Josiah and Elizabeth [BERRY] JONES. Josiah was born in Yarmouth also about 1661 (but possibly 1652) to Teague JONES. Elizabeth was born about 1656 to Richard and Alice BERRY. I don’t know where, but would think it be Yarmouth also because Teague and Richard were friends and lived in the same area.

We don’t know where or when Teague was born, but the possibility he was born about 1620 is more likely. He could have been born in England or then again his birthplace could be the Plymouth Colony. No one seems to know from where Teague comes. Nor do they know who his parents are. It is so frustrating not being able to go back one more generation which is more than likely across the pond.

There is no proof of who Teague’s wife was either, but speculation on many online family trees states she was a Wampanoag Indian named Ruhamah Samoset. Cousin Kevin just said she was possibly Wampanoag. Ruhamah is a biblical name which could be from her Indian heritage or maybe from a white Christian family. One of Teague’s daughters was named Ruhamah. So my 8x great grandmother’s name is most likely that. I have seen online DNA reports stating there was no native American blood in their lineage. This leads me to believe she was born to a non-native family.

According to "JOSIAH & ELIZABETH (BERRY) JONES, BIOGRAPHICAL ITEMS" article on FamilySearch, Frederick Freeman in his “Annals of Yarmouth” states that "Yarmouth records prior to 1677 were lost and we have only imperfect materials for the early history of this town." So proving anything about Teague is somewhat hard. Some of the information could be just storytelling. In my tree program, I have listed five children born to Teague, but no one seems to be able to be prove much since records are scarce to nonexistent. Conjecture is, they are more than likely his children because of their ages and places born.

Teague is another name for Timothy or Thaddeus. It is said, Teague came to the colonies about 1645 from England, at least that is when his name first shows up in records, but according to the History of Chatham, Early Settlers by William C. Smith, "Teague Jones came first to Yarmouth soon after its settlement, being then a young man." Yarmouth was "organized and incorporated as part of the Plymouth Colony on September 3, 1639" according to wikipedia. In the History of Cape Cod by Frederick Freeman, the part about men of Yarmouth, there was a mention of my 8x great grandfather: "In 1645 the name of Teague Jones appears as a soldier from this town, in company with others in the Narraganset war.” His name was also mentioned on a 1675 list of tax-paying inhabitants and their comparative wealth: Teague Jones, £2.4.

There are accounts of Teague being reprimanded for not going to “meetings.” Also he and his friend Richard BERRY were told to "part their uncivil living together in 1653" and Teague and Richard were found playing cards on the Sabbath much to the chagrin of the townspeople. Teague was accused of sodomy by Richard, but later in the trial, Richard recanted his accusation. After all that, Teague’s son Josiah married Richard’s daughter Elizabeth in 1677. This is the line I descend from. 

The following accounts were among compiled stories found on a website by Scott Robson,
"According to the public records, he was not altogether a desirable citizen. In 1653 he and Richard Berry were ordered 'to part their uncivil living together.' In 1655 he had dispute with an Indian, Mashantampaine, about a gun, which the Court ordered to be restored to the Indian. In 1667 he was complained against for not coming to meeting. His fondness for strong drink, also, caused him trouble with the authorities.”
Another account on same website:
"Oct. 29, 1649, Richard Berry accused Teague Jones of Yarmouth of the crime of sodomy, and Jones was put under heavy bonds for his appearance at the March term of the Court to answer. At that Court, Berry confessed that he had borne false witness against Jones, and for his perjury was whipped at the post in Plymouth. Richard, notwithstanding his humiliating confession that he had sworn falsely, and his visit to the whipping-post, continued to live on excellent terms with his friend Teague at Doctor's Weir, near the mouth of Bass River. The court, however, thought differently, and caused them 'to part their uncivil living together'. Teague's son Josiah later married Richard's daughter Elizabeth Berry in 1677."

There has been speculation he is the son of the Mayflower’s captain Christopher Jones, but no one has been able to prove it. Interesting bit nonetheless. Scott Robson found this:
"Teague is also a surname in England, which led me years ago to surmise that possibly his mother's [maiden] name was Teague. While in SLC last spring I found a marriage in St. James, Clerkenwell, Middlesecc, ENG, 1617, for Richard Jones and Helen Teague. They are certainly the right generation to be the parents of Teague Jones. Unfortunately, I looked through the printed transcriptions of the St. James records, and there are no children being baptised during the right time period with Richard Jones as the father, with or without a mother named Helen. I looked through all the rest of the transcribed & printed London parish registers, and found nothing. Somewhere I have a copy of the actual record as I found it in the St. James parish records, but I can't put my hands on it right now."

Many early deed records don’t exist because of a fire in 1827, but I found an item of interest on about Teague Jones.
Added by Elwin Nickerson II about my Great Grandfather: Citation as Follows: Teague Jones came to Massachusetts at a very early date, since he appears at Yarmouth in 1645 among soldiers ‘school went forth wth the late expedition against Narrohiggansets and their Confederates,” in Oct of that year. [Plymouth Colony Records, Vol. 2, p. 91] On 14 Feb 1673/4 he bought a farm at Monomoit from William Nickerson Sr. bounded on the north by the White Pond and land of John Nickerson and on the east by “the highway that leads into the Inlands”. He also obtained by the same deed six acres of upland at the Oyster Pond, two acres of meadow at Oyster Pond and two more acres on the south side of the pond as well as thirty acres of meadow at Gregory’s Neck on the east side of Taylor’s Pond, South Chatham. On 27 Dec. 1675 he added five acres to this farm lying between the pond and the highway and bounded on the east by Edward Cottle’s land in West Chatham. On 29 May 1691 He sold his farm on the west side of the Bass River to his son Jeremiah. Josiah Jones and Joseph Eldridge owned the adjoining farms.
[added by Elwin Nickerson II, Documents on file- SEE Vital Court Records Barnstable, Year 1737- also Note John Chase on Record the Year April 8/1715 Account of Teague Jones Living on BASS River wife Family (About the Year 1660)?. Taken from family records of Ruhamah Jones my Great Grandmother.]

When I found this description of the land Teague owned in Chatham, I was curious as to where it was in relation to where my brother and sister-in-law lived and Oyster Pond sounded familiar. I found Oyster Pond on the map marked “A” and then looked for Waveland Ave. marked “C”...the arrow shows approximately where Dwight’s house is. “B” is possibly “the highway that leads into the Inlands.” So I can’t be sure without a proper deed, but it sure looks like Dwight and Florine live on or very close to the land of our 8x great grandparents! 

Years ago, I had no idea my mother and aunt Florence’s stories of those times and our family were true. I was of the thinking our Fowlers were the only ones who I should investigate. It was naive of me, I know, but as research continues, I did come to my senses. Dah...where there is one marriage, there are parents and grandparents...well, you know, and soon I had more names to research. 

Not having much conclusive evidence about Teague Jones life and times in the Plymouth Colony kind of leaves me high and dry. Yet, just knowing he is one of my early colonial ancestors, intrigues me; I want to learn more about Teague and my JONES family. 

My having family at the beginning of our country really intrigues me. 


  1. Thank you for being so thorough in your search for the facts about your ancestors. I am looking into Teague Jones's history on behalf of my half and step sisters, and I agree that it is so frustrating that there are not more records available. I would like to comment on two issues, if I may:
    On Native American DNA traces, after all this time:
    I have read about people attempting to join a Native Aerican tribe, where for instance there is the requirement of 25 %.Let's break that down to a Native American marrying a non- native American. Their children would have 50% Native American in their DNA. Their grandchildren would be 25% and their great grandchildren 12 1/2%, and the next generation might be 0%.
    I could be off with my numbers, but my point is that it diminishes with every generation. (Same would be true of German ancestors, French etc)
    Therefore nine or more generations back there might not be a traceable amount in any descendant's DNA. In other words, that alone, is not a reason to be totally discouraged concerning whether or not Teague married an Indian Maiden.
    I am wondering if this belief is solely based on the daughter having been named Ruhamah. It seems to me that as you pointed out, that could go either way since it is a Biblical name for us and a name for the Native Americans as well. But is that all? Was there anything else? Because this would have be something most settlers would have kept quiet about. So, did the ancestors retain that legend or is it just historians trying to decide based on a name? And those descendants who stayed in the area unlike my sisters people who moved to the Midwest, might be the most reliable source.
    The other thing on Nickerson's wife being so difficult, were there any details on her disagreeable or contentious behavior that might have just been her way of doing things that were of her Indian heritage. Or perchance had they shunned her knowing she was Indian just by looking at her eevery day and the problems partly arose because she couldn't "fit in".
    As you might be able to guess by now, I hope she was indeed an Indian Maiden. Such a marvelously romantic idea, and because my half sister has those upwardly slanted eyes. (A real throwback ?)
    Thanks again.

    1. Thanks for the comments. I had thought about the DNA traces, too, but didn't want to go into too much. I would think you are right and by the time we trace back to 8th great grandparents, the amount of native American would be close to 0%.

      I wouldn't be surprised if Teague's wife was native American and wouldn't it be neat to find the proof! I'm sure it is out there, but no one has uncovered it yet...or so I wish.

      I always appreciate another angle to the story. It gives us something else to think about. Thank you.

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  3. I came across this looking to see if anyone has been able to trace their maternal line going back to Teague Jones wife and had the mtDNA test done for this line. Unfortunately, I have not yet found anyone who has a verifiable maternal line who has had this test, and the tests are not usually considered reliable until the same result has been obtained at least twice through different people tracking back to the same ancestor. The more generalized DNA tests that claim to show the percentage of a persons ancestry from different areas are of no use for ancestry this far back. Back in the 1990's, before I had the internet I spent a couple years researching the basis of the story Teague Jones wife may have been indigenous to the area. There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that might suggest this. Personally, I think this is likely enough to warrant trying to find descendants with a maternal line so the mtDNA can be tested, as this would prove things one way or another. But without a maternal line and MtDNA test,there is no proof. Back in 2001 I compiled my research and sent it to the LDS Church in the hopes of saving other researchers the work. At one point they scanned this and it was available in it's entirety online, but I am not sure if this is still the case. It is available here
    At the time I compiled this, I was also researching some stories about the Wheldon family in the area having some indigenous descent, however my conclusion that this family was very likely of Wampanoag descent is probably wrong. Information I have found since then make me much more sceptical of the motives of Franklin Bearse, who first recorded these claims in the 1930's, and the birth records for Gabriel Wheldon's children supposedly born in MA to a Wampanoag Mom have reportedly been found in Nottingham, have me thinking this family was almost certainly entirely English. But I was careful to compile the original records, and keep this separated from my speculation about what they all might mean, so even though I made some mistakes, the compilation could still be useful to other researchers,

  4. Hi, I just received DNA results and am now going online searching other descendants of Teague Jones to see if they have traces of Native American. I, too, am a direct descendant of Teague and his son Josiah. My results show 1% Native American and 1% South Asian (Native Americans rumored to be of ancient Asian origin). I am caucasian looking and mostly European/Scandinavian. The only known ancestor of anything non-European on my tree is the rumored Native Americans through Teague's marriage. Apparently he married a woman who was possibly part Native American as her mother's name was Margaret, so says my family tree. Teague's in-laws, Ruhamah's parents, were Samoset Osamequin and Margaret Amatachee. Samoset's father was the famous chief Wasanegin Massasoit. I am interested in knowing if other descendants of Teague Jones are also showing traces of Native American. So far I have uploaded DNA to Ancestry and MyHeritage.

  5. Interesting about what your DNA suggests about your ancestral mix, but I think the MtDNA passed down exclusively through the matrilineal line is the only sure DNA evidence of that 1 lines ancestral origins.

    It sounds like you have gotten the stories Franklin Bearse told about the Wheldon family in the 1930’s mixed together with the speculation about the identity of Teague Jone’s wife. They are 2 different families who lived in the same area. Gabriel Wheldon’s wife in England was probable named Jane, as a Jane was the wife of a man of that same name who was in the Nottingham area selling off property, shortly before the Weldon’s were first recorded in New England. When Gabriel died his wife was named Margaret. There is stories Margaret was the daughter of Massasoit, but this is very unlikely to be true. If there was any truth in that story, more probably she was somehow related to the leader of the band close to where the Wheldon’s lived on Cape Cod. It had a very similar name to the band led by Massasoit in RI. But Franklin Bearse who claimed this, was sort of a New England version of Gray Owl, and his many stories of descending from various famous people can usually be proven to be fanciful.

    The name and identity of Teague Jones wife is completely unknown, though there is some circumstantial evidence (but no proof) she may have been indigenous to the area. Teague’s daughter, who is my Ancestor was named Ruhamah.

    1. Thank you for the information. I read through your prior comments and clicked on the link which brings up the digital version of your book. I look forward to reading it and understanding more about the family and circumstances. I also really hope others will get tested and share results. Is it possible to track descendants for mtDNA and contact them? Have you also seen the name Helen Gale pop up as a spouse for Teague? It came up on as the parents of Teague's daughter Ruhamah but looks like it's from a private family database, not an official document.