The elusive father of Elisabeth has been found! Genealogically speaking.
For the longest time it was a mystery what his name was, why his wife and kids separated from him, and who his people were. My parents traveled to England and consulted records there, pre-internet, but they were assuming his name was John Francis like my grandfather. Family lore said he was a barrister. Another researcher found him and said he was a coal miner. On the other hand, the Buxton-Hall Family had a sort of genealogy written in the front of the family dictionary–one of the first dictionaries, more like an encyclopedia of misinformation and prejudice, which went back to William Orange. William OF Orange? Hard to tell, but not likely.
Sometimes you have to wait for a bit of serendipity and in this case it came in the form of my second cousin Cathy Freeman Dyorio, and her niece Bonnie Slocum and their Ancestry.com research. That massive collection can steer you wrong sometimes–still tracking down a mention of possible AWOL from military in Australia. But this seems solid: His name was George and he was born in England but his lineage traces way back in the United States!! I’m amazed!
So, here goes: George Freeman was born in 1849 (?) in Chesterfield England which is where Elisabeth, John and Jane were also born, near the crooked spired church there. He died in 1893– in Connecticut!! This is interesting that he ended up in the US because his family came here probably in 1880 or there about. Did they follow him or he follow them or neither? You would think there would be some mention of a father with all the paper and writings they kept, but nary a whisper.
George’s parents were Shubael born 1782 and died 1866 in Connecticut and mother Polly Hanks 1786-1861. Apparently they went to England, had kids and then returned. (But the children were English subjects.) Still a mystery.
Go back a generation and you have Skeff Freeman born 1755 and died 1847 also in Connecticut. And another generation back another Skeff born 1723 in Sandwich on Cape Cod and died 1809 in Connecticut. Can you see where this is going yet?
Now we have generations of Edmunds. The last was born 1683 in Sandwich which I’ve driven by countless times, and stopped once in search of the eponymous lunch. He died in 1766 in Connecticut.
This is truly funny if not verified: Twin brothers were born and one was called Edmund and the other Edmund III. Our man was the third, and he was born and died in Sandwich or nearby Dennis. The other twin, or his progeny was a Revolutionary War Soldier so can we claim DAR status or Niece of the American Revolution? Not that we would as the Daughters of the American Revolution have not had a good track record on racism, just for starters.
Edmund Freeman the first, presumably, was born in 1620 in Billinghurst England and died in 1673 in Plymouth. The Puritans founded Plymouth Colony in 1620 so you can see we are getting close to that Mayflower bunch.
Enter another Edmund whose last name is Perry. I confess I got lost here–perhaps the wife’s father? Needless to say, the matrilineal line is virtually non-existent except for this little footnote: M. Rebecca Prence, related to Edmund Freeman died in childbirth and her father Thomas Prence was governor of the Massachusetts Colony and his records are in the Plymouth Compact.
So mystery man actually has a very long family history on this side of the Atlantic. There are still a lot of unanswered questions but by George, it’s good to know his name.