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Revised Story of Ann Hill Tallman (c.1633-c.1683) & Thomas Durfee (1643-1712)
Posted by: Rick Durfey Balmer (ID *****8955) Date: June 26, 2008 at 07:26:16
  of 890


This is a revision of my posting of June 18, 2006 #8955 The Story of Ann Hill Tallman and Thomas Durfee of Portsmouth RI. There is new material about Ann’s very interesting mother, and a good amount of new information that, for me, pretty well cements the reality of Ann and Tom’s long-term relationship and five children, even though they did not marry. I welcome any feedback, comments or relevant information!

While Reed’s Durfee genealogy of 1902 left blank “the first wife” of the immigrant Thomas Durfee, there was evidence as to her identity published at least as early as 1857. While Reed may have missed it, I suspect he may have also intentionally omitted the story so as not to offend late Victorian sensibilities. The earliest published theory of her identity appears to date from 1981 (Carl Boyer). I’ve been piecing the story together for about eight years; I’m sure it’s not finished and hope more documentation may turn up.

While I relied heavily on named sources below, I wish especially to thank distant cousins Richard Gifford, who first set me off on this path, Dr. Mary Beth Norton (Cornell Univ. History Dept), who explained why Ann couldn’t marry Thomas Durfee, and Joe Punderson, who quite recently found a piece of evidence indicating Ann and Tom were together as late as 1682.

Note that the narrative below focuses on the Hill family. I do not attempt to include all that is known of Peter Tallman, or even of Thomas Durfee, but only what concerns their relation to Ann Hill. After the narrative follows a chronological list of court record extracts, then some comments and observations of mine, and finally, my sources.


PHILIP HILL and his wife ANN [UNKNOWN] presumably were born in England, possibly around 1610 based on the approximate birth date of their daughter. They settled in Barbados, the eastern-most island in the Caribbean, at an unknown date, but possibly prior to their daughter’s birth around 1633 (noting that the earliest settlement there was in 1627). If they were among the early British planters, they would have likely cultivated tobacco and cotton, as the famous sugar plantations did not develop extensively until after 1642.

The only documentation of where they probably lived is the record of their daughter’s marriage in Christ Church Parish at the southern tip of the island, whose only town of any size was Oistins.

Ann’s marital history appears to include three husbands. She may have been a widow of Philip when she left Barbados with her daughter Ann, son-in-law Peter Tallman and son Robert in late 1649/early 1650 for Newport, Rhode Island. If Ann was not already a widow, Philip must have died very shortly thereafter, as she remarried in 1650 in Newport to a John Elton, who was involved in business with her son-in-law as early as 1650. (For example, he held a power-of-attorney from Tallman in Nov 1650 to collect debts and pursue an escaped slave, and their dealings went back about a year prior to that).

Nothing more of Ann is known until a court record of 14 Oct 1662, which indicates a John Hudson charged Peter Tallman on her behalf for cheating her and her children of £300, a charge to which Tallman pleaded not guilty and was cleared by a jury. Hudson appealed but final resolution is not known. This falling out with her son-in-law may have begun much earlier, for another item from 1650 is apparently copied into the 1662 court record, documenting that Ann had charged Tallman in 1650 with “craftily” obtaining her goods and substance and being unwilling to pay for or return them.

Coincidentally we know John Elton was still alive on 14 Oct 1662 because he sat on the jury that day for two other cases.

At some point after this Ann left Newport and spent time in Flushing, Long Island. Peter Tallman had business dealings there, but they were possibly originally derived from those of her first husband Philip Hill. Ann apparently either acquired 100 acres of land in Flushing, or had inherited it from her first husband, and apparently later left it or gave it to her daughter.

It’s unclear whether John Elton had died or whether she went to Flushing with him. A deposition Tallman made in 1702 omits Elton’s name but states her son Robert Hill accompanied her, which might imply Elton was deceased. However, it is said (with no named source) that Elton was alive in 1665 to arrange Tallman’s second marriage, although we don’t know for sure if Ann was in Long Island by 1665. It’s also possible that Ann left her second husband.

Tallman’s deposition says she next moved to Staten Island and then to Virginia and married there a Captain Hudson and had at least one child with him. Could he be the same “John Hudson” mentioned above? One other document dating back to July 1650 indicates a John Hudson (presumably the same one) involved with Ann in a business transaction. This could be just a coincidence; Ann could also have left Elton for Hudson before leaving Rhode Island; we have no record of Elton’s death.

The exit from Rhode Island presumably occurred relatively soon after 1662 if two other statements were true. First, Tallman said that Ann had another child in Virginia; her age (late 40's at the least) makes this a little unlikely, but if true it must have occurred sooner rather than later. Also, it was said that her divorced daughter Ann fled to Virginia in 1665. The death date for Ann (the elder) is not known.

The only known children of Philip and Ann Hill were:
• ANN HILL (c. 1633-c.1683). See details below.
• ROBERT HILL (c. 1645?-c. 1702). Presumably born in Barbados. Accompanied his mother to Newport, then Long Island, and Virginia, where he settled. It is believed that Peter Tallman’s deposition of 1702 was made in relation to Hill’s estate being settled by Peter Tallman Jr. of Guilford, Conn., who traveled for that purpose to Virginia.

ANN HILL (the younger) was born possibly around 1633, either in England or Barbados, estimated from an early marriage at , say age 16, that would still make just feasible bearing her last child in 1679 at, say, age 48. Nothing is known about her until she married PETER TALLMAN in Christ Church Parish on 2 January 1649.

Tallman had come to Barbados in 1647 from Hamburg, Germany, and was possibly of Dutch rather than German heritage, or possibly both. He was about ten years older than Ann (born 1623) and had a long and “colorful” career. He was involved in many business ventures and apparently traveled a great deal, around New England and to the Dutch Colony of New Netherland. He married three times and had about 13 children. Records indicate he was volatile, stubborn, and prone to dispute and lawsuits.

In late 1649 or early 1650 he left Barbados, along with his young wife, mother-in-law and brother-in-law to settle in Newport. He had been there at least once previously on business, having sailed there from Barbados in 1648 on the Golden Dolphin. Now he set himself up as an apothecary, undoubtedly while maintaining and juggling many other business ventures. He was known to be engaged in “healing” as late as 1660 in Warwick, Rhode Island.

He was documented numerous times being in New Amsterdam (New York City) in the 1650s, sometimes as a translator (which would seem to confirm his being of Dutch heritage), and where he owned a house and lot. He also was active in Flushing, New York, and in Connecticut, and later in the settlement of Martha’s Vineyard. He also purchased land in Plymouth Colony (Massachusetts).

Tallman’s precise residence is not always clear, but he appears to have lived in Newport at least through 1655 when listed there as a freeman. He bought land in Portsmouth, the town at the northern end of Aquidneck Island, in 1658 and became established there at some point, although he was not officially admitted as a free inhabitant of Portsmouth until 2 Jun 1662. Relevant is the admittance of Thomas Durfee, who we presume was in the Tallman household, as a free inhabitant of the same town on 12 May 1662, just weeks prior to Tallman. Certainly they may have been residing there for some time previously. While listed as a commissioner for the General Court from Portsmouth for 1661 and 1662, he was also listed as commissioner for Warwick in May 1661. As late as October of 1662 Ann Elton in her legal complaint named him “Peter Tollman of Newport”.

Ann Hill and Peter Tallman had the following children together, born in Newport/Portsmouth:
• MARY TALLMAN (c.1651-1720). Married John Pearce of Portsmouth.
• ELIZABETH TALLMAN (c. 1654-1701). Married Isaac Lawton of Portsmouth.
• PETER TALLMAN (c. 1655-1726). Later of Guilford, Connecticut, cordwainer and physician. Married Ann Walstone. On 5 Nov. 1703 he sold land he inherited from his uncle Robert Hill at Dragon Swamp, Farnham Parish, Rappahannock (later Essex) Co., Virginia.
• ANN TALLMAN (c. 1658). Married 1) Stephen Brayton of Portsmouth c. 1678 and 2) William Potter. She is probably the Ann Potter named in Thomas Durfee’s will of 1710 (see Additional Notes.).
• JOSEPH TALLMAN (c. 1660-after 1709)
• JOHN TALLMAN (c. 1661-1709). Later of Flushing, New York. While assigned by other sources to Peter Tallman’s second wife with birth date 1672, see Additional Notes for rationale in this placement.
• SUSANNA TALLMAN (c. 1662). Married [Unknown] Beckitt.
• SARAH TALLMAN (c. 1664-bef. 1732). Married William Wilbor.

About the year 1660 a young THOMAS DURFEE (around 17 years old) had arrived in Rhode Island. It appears that he was initially an indentured servant in the Tallman household. He was first documented witnessing a land deed for Tallman in 1661, where Tallman purchased land from the famous Indian sachem Wamsutta. As mentioned above, they were both admitted as inhabitants of Portsmouth in 1662. Tallman launched legal proceedings against Tom starting 12 Jun 1664 for “breach of his bond”. This would likely be a breaking of the indenture, possibly by Tom’s leaving the household; Tom was found guilty by the Court. Records of 19 Oct 1664 document a “bill of indictment” by Tallman against Tom, with an apparent “discharge” of the “redemption” bond by Durfee paying £10 to Tallman.

In addition to the legal “breach”, the underlying cause of the falling out between the two starts to become evident when Tallman in the same month of Oct 1664 started legal proceedings against Tom for attentions paid to his wife Ann. Tom Durfee quite clearly was having an affair with his employer’s wife, who was about ten years his senior. We don’t know when the affair started, but by time of the legal suit it was public. Tallman’s petition emphasized Tom’s “insolent carriage” toward Ann. The court sent for Durfee and he was admonished for this behavior.

In court records of 3 May 1665 Tallman petitioned “to be released from his wife”, and the court asked the governor to issue a warrant to bring her in the next day by 8 a.m. She re-confirmed what she had apparently written her husband, that her most recent “child was none of his begetting, and that it was begotten by another man”. Circumstantial evidence all points to it being Tom Durfee’s eldest son Robert, whose birth date is given as 10 Mar 1665.

Ann requested mercy, and the Court asked whether she were willing to reconcile with her husband, “to which her answer was, that she would rather cast herselfe on the mercy of God if he take away her life, than to returne”. The Court declared her an adulteress and sentenced her to be whipped twice, first with 15 stripes in Portsmouth on 22 May, and a second time on 29 May in Newport. They also fined her £10, and granted the divorce to Peter Tallman. She was to remain in prison until punishment was rendered.
Tom Durfee was also brought in to the Court of Trials and found guilty by a jury on 8 May, sentenced to pay fines and receive 15 lashes.

While Tom presumably endured his punishment, Ann fled the colony before hers could be administered. While it was said she went to her brother in Virginia, other evidence indicates she went to nearby Plymouth Colony, at least initially, where a certain John Arthur was charged on 1 Aug 1665 with “entertaining the wife of one Talmon and the wife of William Tubbs.”

In any case, Ann remained away from Aquidneck for about two years. If she had remained in nearby Plymouth this whole time, certainly Durfee could have visited her. He could possibly have left the colony with her for all or part of that period, for we can find no documentation that Durfee was in Rhode Island for that period. On the other hand, the fact that no additional children were born until “around” 1667 might imply they were apart that entire time.

In 1667 Ann returned to Aquidneck and resumed the relationship with Tom at least by 1668 when they were again “apprehended” by the authorities for their relationship. (Or alternately they both returned together and the relationship was never interrupted).

Court records of 1 May 1667 stated that because Ann Tallman, late wife (i.e. “ex-wife”) of Peter Tallman, escaped her punishment in 1665 and had now returned to the colony, a warrant for her arrest was issued to Constable Anthony Emery. Because she had petitioned the Court for mercy (apparently knowing she had to face apprehension on return to Rhode Island), the punishment was halved to 15 stripes in Newport only, and the fine was remitted.

A year later, however, Ann and Thomas were brought to court again. On 11 May 1668 he was charged with fornication and pleaded guilty, being sentenced to either be whipped with “15 stripes” in Portsmouth” or pay a fine of 40 shillings. Ann was charged with the same (not adultery since she was no longer married) and was found guilty although she did not appear in court. She was sentenced to be twice whipped or to pay a fine of £4.

After this we find no more records regarding their relationship until 1682. No primary sources are known for the birthdates of their children, and the secondary sources (such as Reed) omit her name.

It would appear that things “settled down” and somehow they were “tolerated” as a couple. As the guilty party in her divorce from Tallman, Ann would not have been allowed to re-marry, and thus their relationship was in essence a “common-law” marriage. While there is no direct evidence, Ann must have been the mother of his next four children, born between 1667 and 1679. Thomas was made a freeman of Portsmouth in 1673, implying possibly he had been “forgiven” as normally he would have been eligible at age 21.

The documentation from 3 Nov 1682 records two 50-acre lots at Flushing, Long Island deeded from “Ann Dorfee” of Rhode Island to her son John Tallman, with the deed signed by Thomas Dorfee and Ann A. Dorfee, “his wife”. Ann possibly had inherited this land from her mother. The fact that Thomas and Ann appear here as husband and wife is still not proof that they were legally married, but does indicate their relationship survived to this time. John Tallman also mentioned in his will of 1709 the 100-acre plantation on which he lived, which may have been this same land.

No records are known mentioning Ann after this date, and she may have died fairly soon after. Thomas “remarried” sometime after 1684 (probably by 1685) to Deliverance Hall, who became the widow of Abiel Tripp in 1684. Thomas and Deliverance had two children: Patience, born c.1665-1668 and Deliverance, born c. 1690. Patience notably married Benjamin Tallman, son of Peter Tallman and his second wife Joan Briggs, just months after Peter Tallman died in 1708.

The children of Ann and Thomas, all presumably born in Portsmouth, were:
• ROBERT DURFEE (1665-1718). Married Mary Sanford.
• RICHARD DURFEE (c. 1667-1700). Married Ann Almy.
• THOMAS DURFEE (1669-1729). Married Ann Freeborn.
• WILLIAM DURFEE (c. 1673-1727). Married Ann [Unknown].
• BENJAMIN DURFEE (1679-1754). Married Prudence Earle.


Rhode Island Court, Town and Land Records

These are “extracts” (transcribed quotes or excerpts), mostly from Rhode Island court records, with notes in [brackets]. They provide the basis for much of the family narrative above.

•       25 July 1650. Mr. John Hudson and Mrs. Anne Elton both of Rhode Island sold to Edw. Burt of Charlestown one Roane horse and one young cow. Payment received. Signed John Hudson and Anne Elton (her mark). [Interesting that this comes from Boston records, but the original Hill/Tallman business dealings apparently took place “far and wide”.]
•       28 Nov 1650. A Barbados will for Francis Kinge mentions children of sister Ann Hill. (Also mentions his siblings Arthur, Joseph, Abigail Kinge, Johanna Kinge, and brothers and sisters with surname Arthur). Potentially “Kinge” could be the maiden name for our Ann Hill, wife of Philip.
•       14 Oct 1662. John “Hodson” charges Peter Tallman w/ being "A Chetter," specifically that he cheated Ann Elton and her children of £300 in the 3rd year of the reign of Chas II [i.e., 1662].
Tallman was present and the jury finds Tallman not guilty. Hodson is not a resident of RI and agrees to remain in custody till these matters are resolved by the court; court has otherwise asked him to post security for the same.

A statement by Hodson is included, referring to "how much this Collony hath beine Excercised with the hearing of the Differances Relating to petter Tollman Ann Elton and my selfe," and so even before the jury brings in a verdict he asks for permission to appeal to the King's Bench. He will give security to bear charges, colony will not have to pay anything. He doesn't fear "Iniustice" from the ct, just wants to expedite matters.

[December 1649. The following is dated 13 years prior to the item preceding it, and perhaps was copied into the 1662 record as relevant to the 1662 case].

A complaint by Ann Elton, of Portsmouth in RI, vs. Peter Tollman of Newport, "that hee hath obtayneded in[to] his handes Craftyly: the substance and goods of Ann Elton aforesayd and not wi{ll}ing to pay and Retorne the same goods and debts unto the Sayd Elton aforesayd but at his one will [10] and plesuer Comsuerves the Substance obtayned by Credett of the Sayd Ann Elton for his plesuer and Delecatt living aganst all Reson Equity and good Conscience." This is vs the statute of 7 Eliz. in such cases.

So commissioners are ordered to examine Peter Tallman, his wife, or any other person about the whereabouts of AE's money, goods, cattle, lands, houses, in his possession or not, since the beginning of Nov 1649. You can take into yr hands £300 of his prop "as alsoe all his negers that are and have bine knowne to be petter Tollmanes since his Comminge into new England." They can order constables etc to help them and can enter his premises forceably "if peacable Entrance be Denied" to house or "tronke" containing his property.
•       12 June 1664: “Thomas Durfee being bound in a bond of Twentye pound bearing Date June the twelfe 1664 and being Called in Court is accused by peter Tollman for the breace of his bond The sayd Durfee plead not guiltye and puts himselfe upon Triall.” He was found guilty by the jury.
•       19 October 1664 “peter Tollman Doth Recognice himselfe unto his mejestye Charles the second king of England &c; in the sume of Ten pouonds to procicutt [prosecute] a bill of Indictment that hee hath Drawne up aganst Thomas Durfee of Portsmouth ond to the full and true performance hearrof hee ownes himselfe fully Content”
•       Oct 1664 [no specific date recorded] Thos Durfee petitionss for a remission of the fine placed on him by the late Court of Trials, for breach of his bond last October.
•       24 October 1664 Upon the consideration of Thomas Durfees petitions that have been presented to this Court for remitting the fine that was layd upon him by the late Court of Trialles, for breach of his bond in October last: this Court doe not see cause to remitt any part of his fine. Upon the consideration of Peter Tallmans petition, wherein hee complaines that by reason of the insoelent carriadge of Thomas Durfee with the sayd Tallmans wife, and the danger therein he expresseth hee stands in by reason therof, &c.: the Court doe order that the sayd Durfee be sent for, and admonished for his unsuitable carriadge before the Court.
•       3 May 1665. Whereas, Peter Tollman presented a petition to this Assembly, wherein hee desires this Court to grant him a divorse vpon grownds in his said petition alleaged; vpon which the Court called for Ann Tollman before them, and the aforesaid petition being read before her, and the question being asked what she did say to that which was said concearning her in the said petition; her answer was, part therof I owne, and part thereof I disowne. Being farther asked whether she did owne herselfe to be an adulteress she said she had given it under her hand that the child was none of his, and the writing vnder her hand to that purpose being read, and she being asked whether she did now owne what she had owned in that writtng she did in open Court confesse, that it was the truth that the child was none of his begetting, and that it was begotten by another man. So the court considering her confession, voted that she is an adulteress. And so they order her to receive the prescribed penalty, whipping and fine, under the law passed on 22 May 1655. She is to be whipped at Portsmouth 15 lashes, then after another week, to be whipped at Newport. She is to pay a fine of £10 to the treasurer. And he is to have his divorce. They order that she be whipped first on the next Monday, 22 May 1665, at Portsmouth; and then at Newport the following Monday, May 29; and she is to be held in prison until this is completed and until the fine is paid. She petitions the court for mercy and they call her before them. "And questioned whether she did intend in her petition to returne to her husband, to which her answer was, that she would rather cast herselfe on the mercy of God if he take away her life, rather than to returne." So the court decided the verdict should stand.
•       8 May 1665. Whereas Thomas Durffe Stood Indicted for felony in taking good from peter Tollman and having put himselfe upon the Triall of a Jury is by them found guiltye. He is to whip a Benjamin Wild with 15 stripes and once he does this he will be freed after paying fines. [Wild was convicted of stealing knives]
•       1 Aug 1665. John Arther [sic] apps at this ct [Plymouth Colony], summoned "to answare for abusiue speeches and for entertaining the wife of one Talmon and the wife of William Tubbs." He responds that he can bring in evidence to clear himself from "some of the pticulares" and he is ordered to return with it in October. [No record for October found, but Plymouth Colony records of June/July 1668 show Tubbs being granted a divorce from his wife Marcy for her adultery, and indicate she had fled to Rhode Island].
•       1 May 1667 "Whereas Ann, late wife to Peter Talman, of Portsmouth, was at the Generall Assembly, held May 3, 1665, sentanced to be whipt at the towne of Portsmouth, and at the towne of Newport, and she at the time eseapeinge the exicution of that sentance: and this Assembly being informed that she is now againe come into the Collony, it is ordered, that warrant shall be forthwith issues forth from this Assembly to any Constable forthwith, to apprehend the body of the sayd Ann, and bring her before this Assembly." And the constable is authorized to request aid if necessary.

Anthony Emery, Portsmouth constable, under this warrant, did bring her in; the ct orders Capt Morrison to give him food and drink, and he shall be pd for "his paines and travill therein." She is ordered into the custody of the sergeant.

Whereas, the aforesayd Ann Talman was at the Generall Assembly, held the 3d of May, 1665, sentenced to be twice whipt, which by her escape was not then exicuted; and whereas she hath petitioned this Assembly for mercy, the Court doe agree and order, that one halfe of her punishment shall be remitted, and that she shall be but once whipt with fifteene stripes, at the towne of Newport; and this sentence to be exicuted at the discression and appoyntment of the Governor and Councill; and the fine she was then fyned is wholly remitted.
•       6 May 1667 Anthony Emery, the constable of Portsmouth, is to be paid 15s for "his paines and trouble in aprihendinge and bringinge Mrs Ann Tolman to the Genrl Asembly and that the Sayd Ann Tolman doe pay the Same before she be Released and the sd sum to be noe president for the future." She, "late wife to peter Tolman," is to pay Richard Stours 6/8 "for Exicuting the Courts sentance on her," and she is also to pay all ct charges.
•       11 May 1668. Richard Pearse of Portsmouth was bound for £40 for the appearance of Thos Durfee. Since Durfee appears, Pearce is freed from his bond. Upon and Indictment against Thomas Dorfie for Fornication, he being mandamassed [i.e. served with a writ of mandamus] and in Court called, did not apeere yet after apeering and under his hand owneinge Guilty the Court doe sentence him to be whipt with 15 stripes in the Town of Portsm or pay a fine of forty shills to the Genrl Treasury, and pay court fees”.

Ann late wife of peter Talman being Indicted for Fornication and beinge in Court Cald did not apeere the Court doe juge her Guilty of the Charge. The Court doe sentence her this beinge her second offence to be twice whipt according to law or pay a fine of Fower pounds and pay Court fees.
•       3 Nov 1682. Queens County, Long Island land transaction: “Ann Dorfee” of Rhode Island. Deed signed by Thomas Dorfee” and “Ann A. Dorfee” his wife. To her son John Talman, two fifty acre lots at Flushing.


WAS JOHN TALLMAN A SON OF PETER TALLMAN’S FIRST WIFE ANN HILL, OR SECOND WIFE ANN BRIGGS? The land deed of 1682 from Thomas and Ann Durfee to “her son” John Tallman does raise an issue about the Tallman family. Most sources place John as a son of Peter Tallman and his second wife Joan Briggs, with date of birth in 1672 and death in 1709 in Flushing. There is documentation for the death date, but none for the birth date that I have seen. Flushing records state that John was a “proprietor” in 1683 – not likely at the age of 11. Therefore, he must be the son of Peter Tallman and Ann Hill, born more likely in the early 1660s. Why else would she give the land to John?

WAS ANN POTTER, WIFE OF WILLIAM POTTER, A TALLMAN OR A DURFEE? Note that Reed and others have supposed a sixth child of Tom Durfee and Ann Hill named Ann who married William Potter, based on her being named in Thomas Durfee’s will. However, given that Durfee named everyone in his will as “son”, “wife”, “grandson”, etc., but gave no such title to “Ann Potter wife of William Potter” and placed her after his grandchildren, I am in agreement with others who believe she is really the daughter of Ann Hill and Peter Tallman.

DID ANY RECONCILIATION TAKE PLACE IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE DIVORCE SCANDAL? While there must have been a tremendous amount of social ostracism, there is a good deal of evidence that at least Tom Durfee came into “good graces” eventually, and if Ann remained with him until at least 1682 their relationship must have been unofficially recognized, even if they still were never legally married. And, while Ann must have been separated from all her children by Peter Tallman around the time of the divorce, at least some of them did not remain distant from her later in life. To recap some relevant items:
• In 1673 Tom was made a freeman of Portsmouth at age 30. This would normally have occurred closer to age 21 and may have been a sign of his coming back “into favor”. All the town offices he held later in life would reinforce this.
• The 1682 land deed to John Tallman indicates that this son from Ann’s first marriage was likely reconciled and even possibly close to both Tom and Ann.
• In 1683 Tom bought eight acres at Common Fence in Portsmouth from Peter Tallman Jr. Would this other Tallman son have had dealings with the man who caused his parents’ divorce? He was around nine at the time of the divorce, and possibly was reconciled.
• On 23 Sep 1708 Peter Tallman’s son Benjamin (by his second wife) married Patience Durfee, Tom Durfee's daughter by his later wife Deliverance. Would Tallman Sr. have permitted the marriage of his son to the daughter of a man who seduced his first wife? This does not seem likely, but Tallman did die on 1 April 1708, so the timing of the marriage could explain that.
• In Tom’s will of 1710 he gave a bequest to Ann Potter, probably Ann Hill’s daughter from her first marriage, years after Ann Hill had died. This would imply Tom had been close to another child of Ann and Peter.

GIVEN THE EVIDENCE OF “RECONCILIATION”, WHY DID TOM AND ANN NEVER MARRY? Apparently they were “as married as they could be”. Reference the book in SOURCES below by Dr. Mary Beth Norton of the History Dept. of Cornell University. She is an expert on 17th century women and a descendant of Ann and Peter Tallman. The book emphasizes that while magistrates in New England recognized formal civil ceremonies as a definition of marriage, many settlers did not. Instead, they followed old English tradition where two conditions constituted a marriage: mutual consent (often by marriage contract) and sexual intercourse. This frequently led to prosecutions where premarital sex was charged as “fornication” by the authorities.

Additionally, in an email to me, Dr. Norton stated:
And I underscore that as the guilty party in a divorce on grounds of adultery she [Ann Hill Tallman] would not have been allowed to remarry legally, so she was never Durfee's "wife." On the other hand, she would not have been alone in 17th c. NE [New England] in such a relationship. I discuss other examples of people living together for years and having children without being legally married (though for reasons other than this one) in my 1996 book, Founding Mothers & Fathers. Early NE had lots of rules about who could marry, and not everyone who wanted to marry fulfilled them, .so the rules were sometimes ignored. But no wonder she is mysterious as a wife of Durfee, since she wasn't one by law at the time.
This makes sense to me. Peter Tallman was allowed to remarry (and did so almost immediately to Joan Briggs) as the innocent party in the divorce. If Ann and Tom were able to marry, they would have done so as soon as possible after the divorce, or at least after her return to Rhode Island. Instead, they apparently felt a bond strong enough to face legal charges for a second time and persevered in their relationship, acting as though they were married, and were apparently partially or largely accepted as time passed.


•       1638 Barbados Landowner List at . Transcribed from P.F. Campbell's Some Early Barbadian History, Barbados, 1993, from an earlier work of 1743. [no evidence of Philip Hill; the only Hill listing here is a Thomas Hill.]
•       Anderson, Ruth Alice. Peter Tallman: A Footnote in History. Master’s Thesis, taken from Website:
•       Aspinwall notarial records from 1644 to 1651. A volume of records relating to the early history of Boston. Boston: Municipal Print. Office, 1900-1909. v. 32.
•       Boyer, Carl III. Ancestral Lines. Third Edition, Santa Clarita, CA. 1998. [The first edition of this work (1981) is the earliest source I have found to suggest that Ann Hill was the probable “first wife” of Thomas Durfee and that Robert Durfee was the probable child mentioned in the divorce case.]
•       DeMars, Marian Wright. “The Mysterious First Wife. Was Ann Hill Tallman the First Wife of Thomas Durfee?”. PO Box 115, Wofford Heights CA 93285. Everton’s Genealogical Helper, Jan-Feb 2001.
•       Gritman, Charles T. Historical miscellany. New York, N.Y.?: unknown, 1920?. [Includes Queens County Land Records. Source of 1682 deed from Ann Hill and Thomas Durfee to John Tallman.]
•       Hoff, Henry. Long Island Source Records. From the NY Gen and Bio Record. Abstracts of Wills of Early Queens County Gen. Pub. Soc. Baltimore, 1987. [Mentions a 100 acre plantation where he “now resides”.]
•       NEHGR Vol 85 pg. 69. [Birth year of Sarah Tallman, other dates.]
•       NEHGR Vol 69 pg. 90. [Deposition, almost a “mini-biography”, by Peter Tallman when he was 80 (i.e. 1702/03) concerning his life, with details on his first wife and first mother-in-law.]
•       Norton, Mary Beth. Founding Mothers & Fathers. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, 1996.
•       Portsmouth Town Records.
•       Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, in New England Providence: A. Crawford Greene and Brother, 1856.
•       Rhode Island Court Records: records of the Court of Trials of the Colony of Providence Plantations, 1647-1662. Providence, 1920-1922.
•       Rhode Island Colonial Records, v. 2 p. 85, p. 122, p. 187
•       Sanders, Joanne Mcree (Ed.). Barbados Records
o       Wills & Administrations. Vol. 1 1639-1650.
o       Marriages Vol. 1 1643-1800.
•       Tallman, Virgil Burdette. The Tallman Genealogical Record. Circa 1908. [Private manuscript; mentions that Peter Tallman spent considerable time in Flushing, NY and notes birth date issue for his son John Tallman of Flushing.] Transcribed by Nancy Tallman Walkowski at: Additional source quoted is Essex Co., Va. Deeds Book 11 [p 115 for land of Robert Hill sold in 1703.]
•       Torrey, Clarence Almon. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Genealogical Publishing Co., Baltimore, Md., 1985. p. 597 [Indicates wife of William Potter may be either Ann Durfee or Ann Tallman.]

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