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Francis' sons revisited per new research
Posted by: James Gibbs Date: March 10, 2002 at 12:30:20
In Reply to: Re: Eli > Eleazer > Oliver > Joseph by James Gibbs of 363

From primary land & vital records I just finished in RI, it seems highly probable that the immigrant Francis' son Eli is one and the same as Eli's supposed son Eleazer.

The immigrant Francis and his sons all settled in the area where the modern day towns of Richmond, Exeter, North Kingstown, & South Kingstown bound one another, that is, right in the middle of so-called "South County". In 1705, Francis, Sr., the immigrant, had purchased virgin land just north of today's Shannock Village in what was then still part of Westerly but that is now in Richmond, his "homestead farm" being located on Be(a)ver Brook/River. In 1719/20, he purchased a large tract of land just a short distance to the northeast in what is now Exeter but was then still part of North Kingstown. His land is described in North Kingstown records as bounded on the west by the Town of Westerly, that is, in today's Exeter along Exeter's north-south boundary with today's Richmond. Within the next few years, Francis, Sr., portions off parts of this tract to "Eliezer", John, Stephen, & Francis, Jr., so that by the mid-1720s the immigrant and all his sons have contiguous homestead lands. In time, Stephen moved on to Voluntown, CT, then to Coventry, RI,and finally to that part of Stonington, CT, that is now North Stonington, where he died. Stephen, who had lived in Jamestown prior to his acquistion of family land in Exeter, actually settled in nearby South Kingstown, before moving on in order to Killingly(CT), Warwick, Providence, Coventry, Exeter, and finally back to Coventry. Eliezer & John apparently lived out their lives in Exeter.

"Eliezer" (that is the selling in almost all the many records) acquired his land from Francis in 1723, so it would seem likely that Eliezer was born at least before 1705 and probably before 1702. For Eliezer to be the son of Eli son of Francis would mean that Eli was born before 1687, and probably before 1681. This works fine, but there is no proof that Eli died in 1710, as is usually cited, in Nova Scotia during the Quee Anne's War. Francis, Sr., indeed received reparations from the Colony of Rhode Island for the loss of his eldest son, but I have seen nothing that ever names this eldest son. My guess is that we have an unknown "son" who died in 1710. And who decideitwas Eli who was the oldest inthe frst place? My hunch is that Francis, Jr., is the oldest, he being the only one of the immigrant's sons to join the immigrant as a Freeman of Westerly.

It just seems that we have four brothers -- Eli(ezer), John, Stephen, & Francis -- who settled in with their father and their father's second wife Elizabeth, his first wife Anne having died in 1718. Land records prove that Francis Sr.'s second wife was named Elizabeth. Land and marriage records aso document that it was Francis, Jr., and not Sr., who married Hannah Bailey. Finally, it seems almost certain that Francis, Sr., died in late 1726 or early 1727 on his land along today's Exeter-Richmond border.

I will have all this, plus much more, in a manuscript with all my sources referenced -- in time. In the meantime, please email me...



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