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Hugh Parson's Wife


Sometime around 1670 our immigrant ancestor Henry Matteson (1646-1693) married Hannah Parsons. There has been much controversy over the years as to Hannah's mothers name. Like many others I had always taken for granted that her parents were Hugh Parsons and Mrs. Elizabeth England. Research now clearly defines who her mother was, at least her name at marriage to Hugh.

Elizabeth was married 3 times. Not proven is her first husband but he is supposed to be John Smith Sr. who was at Taunton in 1638. Her second husband was John Wood of Portsmouth. John Wood's land adjoined that of Hugh Parsons, a widower. John Wood and Elizabeth had 2 daughters, Elizabeth and Susannah. John Wood died in 1655 and Elizabeth married Hugh Parsons thereby joining their lands together.

So where do we get that Elizabeth was an "England"? John Wood and Elizabeth Wood had daughter Susannah. A misinterpretation of part of Hugh Parson's will led to the incorrect assumption that Hugh Parsons wife was Elizabeth England when it fact it was Mrs. Elizabeth Wood, widow.

In 1683 Hugh Parsons bequeaths part of his estate to his Wife's two daughters, Susannah Carpenter and Elizabeth Doty: "And the Remaining part of my Estate undisposed of I freely give and bequeath to my Wifes two daughters, Living on Long Island near Oyster Bay, namely Susannah Carpenter and Elizabeth Doty"1. Earlier in 1675 Hugh Parsons refers to the two daughters of Elizabeth as Susannah England and Elizabeth Doty2.

Susannah's marriage record to Ephraim Carpenter reads: "Ephraim Carpenter and Susanah Ingland were Married ye 3d day of December 1677 by Thomas Townsend Justice in ye North- riding of York Shire"3. Some after reading that, believed that Susannah's mother must have been Elizabeth England. But Susannah was not born to the name England. Susannah married Josiah England (son of William England) first and then when widowed married Ephraim Carpenter.

By Marge Matteson


1) Newport, RI Town Council & Probate Vol 2 page 229
2) Oyster Bay Town Records 1653-1878: 1653-1690, Book A. Page 108
3) Oyster Bay Town Records 1653-1878: 1653-1690, Book A. Page 235

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Last modified on: Sunday, February 10, 2019

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