52 Ancestors: It’s All Relative. #35 Hepzibah Death

Hepzibah Death 1680-1769

I mentioned Hepzibah Death when I was talking about the odd names that I have come across in my family tree. I’d like to know more about this 6 X great grandmother than just her odd name, but sadly, the activities of her husband make the history books (at least the local Sudbury ones) and she, being just a woman, is relegated to the traditional three mentions–birth, marriage and death.

Of course, since women’s lives are often reflected in their children, we also know when she gave birth and when her children left the nest. At least we know how many children she had and because of her husband’s activities, have some idea of her life between 1680-1769. (It’s what you do during that hyphen between the two numbers that really counts. )

Hepzibah was the second child of John (who came in the middle of a long string of John Death’s) and Mary Peabody Death of Sudbury. The Death family were early Puritan immigrants from England. Hepzibah had an older brother named–wait for it–John!  Her parents had moved to Sherborn two years before she was born in the summer of 1680, but her birth is recorded as being in Framingham.  Two sisters plus a brother who died in infancy followed Hepzibah.

On Christmas day, 1700, Hepzibah married David Howe, a very good catch as the son of community leader Samuel Howe. Soon David’s prospects got even better. In 1702, Samuel Howe  announced that his youngest son David was to inherit the land that Samuel had acquired on the west side of Sudbury.

The newlyweds lived with her father-in-law for a short time, until David and his father could complete a new house on the 130 acres of “New grant land” his father gave him.  The 130 acres lay west of the main settlement of Sudbury, which came in time to be called East Sudbury, and is now the town of Wayland.

I picture the couple walking cautiously on Indian paths through the woods, along the stream and waterfall, and envisioning their future in this still wild country.  Indians were still a threat. One of David’s uncles would be killed by Indians in Sudbury in 1676. Two sisters who were his cousins had been attacked in 1692 in Lancaster–one killed along with three children, and the other held captive for months. Another uncle would be captured by Indians in 1744.

Hepzibah’s own son Israel (my 5 X great grandfather) would die at the hands of Indians in Rutland when he was only thirty-six. These incidents, in addition to the several Indian fighters in the family underscore how constant and very personal was the danger.

But the thick woods, as beautiful as it was, also held other threats–namely bears and wolves.  It was in this atmosphere that David and Samuel built the two story house with one big room on each floor, that would be Hepzibah’s new home.

Sudbury Massachusetts

Longfellow’s Wayside Inn Bar in Sudbury MA. The beam across the ceiling may be part of David and Hepzibah’s original home, circa 1702. Photo in public domain from Wikimedia.

It is believed that the old bar of the present Longfellow’s Wayside Inn occupies the original portion of the old house, and I’ll be checking that out personally in September, when I visit Longfellow’s Wayside Inn  in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

The new house was finished in time to provide safety and shelter to babies born in 1703–Thankful How, and in 1706–Hepzibah How.  Sons Elaphelet (speaking of odd names!) and  Israel and daughter Ruth were all born before David and Hepzibah opened a tavern in their home in 1716. (Which makes Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury the oldest operating inn in the country.)

Of course, the Howe’s would need more space to entertain guests, and David built what is probably the front parlor of the present inn and the bedroom above it.

At this time, Hepzibah had five children under 13 years old, and she was pregnant with her sixth, Ezekiel, who would eventually inherit the tavern.   With six children,  Hepzibah did not really need more responsibilities–like cooking and serving drinks to travelers and cleaning the bar room and the bedrooms. The children must have been pressed into service to help care for the traveler’s horses and do what they could for their mother as well as help their father with the farm and their father’s lumber mill.

Not that her husband, David was a shirker. We’ll hear all about him next week.

Five years after the tavern opened, in 1723 to be exact, Hepzibah’s oldest daughter–who probably had been a great help caring for customers– was married to a cousin–son of David Howe’s brother Samuel, Jr. Six years later, Hepzibah Death Howe’s then-23-year-old daughter, Hepzibah Howe also married. Daughter Ruth married a cousin (2nd cousin once removed if you must know) of Bathsheba Stone who would later marry Ruth’s brother Ezekiel.

I know, I know, your eyes are glazing over. Just one more example of how inter related all of the families of the small communities of Massachusetts were. David Howe Jr. married Abigail Hubbard, who was the sister of Elizabeth Hubbard who married my 5 X great grandfather, Israel Howe.

Eliphalet married a woman named Hepzibah (whose  last name I haven’t discovered) and they had at least five children. Like Israel, he settled in Rutland.

Hepzibah’s husband David died in 1759, and left a will that took good care of her. She lived on in the home he left to her for ten more years, probably lending a hand to son Ezekiel and his wife Bathsheba as they continued to run the tavern and care for ten children. Hepzibah Death Howe died in April, 1769 at the rare old age of 89.

How I am related

  •  Vera Marie (Badertscher) is the daughter of
  • Harriette Anderson (Kaser), the daughter of
  • Vera Stout (Anderson), the daughter of
  • Hattie Morgan (Stout), the daughter of
  • Mary Bassett (Morgan), the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Stone (Basset), the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Howe (Stone), the daughter of
  • Israel How, the son of
  • David Howe and Hepzibah Death Howe

Notes on Research

  • In Public Houses: Drink and the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts by David W. Conroy, (1995)
  • As Ancient Is This Hostelry: The Story of the Wayside Inn, by Curtis F. Garfield and Alison R. Ridley(1988)
  • A History of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn by Brian E. Plumb (2011)
  • Howe Genealogies by Daniel Wait Howe (1929), Massachusetts Historical and Genealogical Society. This is said to be the best of the several genealogies of the family. Although I do not have a copy of the entire book, portions of it are available on the Internet.
  • Middlesex County records found on Ancestry.com. Birth, death and marriage.
  • Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts Vol. 1, ed by Ellery Bicknell Crane (1907) Available as a Google Books e-book.
  • FindaGrave.com
  • I also have had assistance from the archivist and a historian at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.


A Flip: Hot Buttered Rum at a Colonial Tavern

Christmas in August

Hot Butter Rum

Holiday Hot Buttered Rum. Photo from Flickr with Creative Commons License.

I was amazed to learn that I had unwittingly served one of my inn-keeping ancestor’s favorite tavern drinks, Flip,.  Was I channeling the Howes when I cooked up a batch of hot buttered rum at holiday parties?

Before I share my crock pot recipe for hot buttered rum, which was called Flip in the taverns of my ancestors, let’s take a look at the place of taverns (called “ordinaries” in the early years) in 17th and 18th century America. It turns out they served up politics as well as tankards of ale and rum!

Citizens had very contradictory thoughts about taverns from the time of the Pilgrims right up into the end of the 18th century.  The Puritans preached abstinence and sobriety, but did not trust water to drink, so they consumed large amounts of ale.

The concern with the evils of drink led to many laws and regulations governing taverns, in an attempt to protect citizens from drunkenness.

And yet, they were so important to life in the colonies that towns could be fined for not providing a tavern.  Locating taverns in convenient places and making them accessible to all citizens dominated the agenda at many a governmental meeting. Militia drilling grounds generally were set aside near a tavern, and drinks after military drills were part of life. Since many meeting houses were not heated, court and legislative sessions would retreat to warm taverns in the winter.

Who went to taverns? Not everyone by a long shot.  For one thing, women were not expected to spend time in taverns. For another, regulations of who was allowed were strict.   Here’s an example from the license of Thomas How, a member of the family from Marlborough who owned the Black Horse tavern.

“[The proprietor] shall not suffer or have any playing at cards, dice, tally, bowls, nine pins, billiards or other unlawful games in his said house or yard, or gardens, not shall suffer to remain in his house any person or persons, not being his own family, on Saturday night after dark, or on the Sabbath days, or during the time of God’s Public Worship…nor shall sell any wine to Indians, or negroes, nor suffer any children or servant or other person to remain in his house, tippling or drinking after nine o’clock in the night…nor willingly or knowingly harbor in his house, barn, stable, or elsewhere any rogues, vagabonds, thieves, sturdy beggars, masterless men or women or other notorious offenders whatsover…”

Well that doesn’t exactly sound like the tavern was a fun place to hang out, does it?

Town selectmen were responsible for regulating the taverns, and when the restrictions began to chafe, tavern owners ran for office. Eventually, 20%  and more of the colonies’ representatives to legislative bodies were chosen from owners of taverns.

Their place of business made a perfect political base. Everyone knew them and they were in rumor central as people passed through with news of the day, so they were very well informed of events and could easily see how the winds of public opinion were blowing. And of course their self interest was served by being a selectman, responsible for regulating themselves.

Some tavern owners supplemented their election chances by buying free drinks for patrons. Others were content with the common practice of running a tab for townspeople. In either case, many voters would be indebted to them.

The Howe family of tavern keepers took full advantage of their position in the center of community affairs to get elected as selectmen and other leadership roles.

  • Pioneer John How, one of the chosen leaders and first settler of Marlborough in 1640, started the Black Horse tavern in 1661and his name continues to turn up in important town decisions.
  • John’s son Samuel, the first in the long line of Sudbury tavern keepers, had his finger in many civic pies.  He worked as a carpenter and glazier, winning contracts from the town and giving his services to those who needed them.  In 1691 he was first elected as selectman, and in 1692 was chosen by his fellow politicians to open a needed tavern in Sudbury. He went on to hold many elected offices.
  • Samuel’s son David built  the building that would eventually  house the Red Horse Tavern that is now known as Longfellow’s Wayside Inn. The building was built by 1707 and in 1716, he opened the tavern. Like his father and grandfather, he served the community in several capacities and in 1740 was elected selectman. In addition to the tavern, he was a farmer and ran a lumber mill.
  • David’s son Ezekiel, perhaps the most activist of the line, took over the family tavern business in 1745, and continued the tradition of community service. I have written about his leadership in the Revolution and in the government of Sudbury.

And while they were ladling out everything from cider to imported French wine, the favorite of the customers was rum and spice hot drink they called Flip.

When I made hot buttered rum for guests at my Christmas or New Year’s parties, the crock pot did the real work.  While I was fixing trays of snacks or frosting cookies, the slow cooker simmered away and filled the house with a buttery, cinnamon-y aroma.

Pewter tankard for hot buttered rum

Pewter Tankard from mid 18th century. From Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery used with Creative Commons License.

If my father (Paul Kaser) were around, he would remind me that the REAL way to make hot buttered rum for your guests gathered around the fireplace, was one mug at a time. Put the rum and cider in a mug, add a pat of butter and spices and a spoonful of sugar. Then heat a poker in the roaring fire and when it gets red hot, plunge it into the mug to heat the drink. Insert a cinnamon stick to stir the drink. (This would probably work much better with the colonial pewter mug than with a delicate glass mug.)



Hot Buttered Rum or Flip

Serves 15-20
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 3 hours
Total time 3 hours, 5 minutes
Meal type Beverage
Misc Serve Hot


  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • dash salt
  • cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 quarts hot water or apple juice or cider
  • 2 cups rum


1. Mix all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low from 3-10 hours.
2. Ladle into mugs and add a stick of cinnamon to each.


Although these instructions are for cooking in a crock pot/slow cooker, it can be cooked on low heat on the stove top as well.

 Research Notes

As Ancient is This Hostelry: The Story of the Wayside Inn by Curtis F. Garfield and Alison R. Ridley (1988)

Public Houses: Drink and the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts by David W. Conroy (1995)

The History Trekker.


52 Ancestors: We’re Related, How? #34 Bathesheba Stone Howe

Bathsheba Stone How(e), 1723- (c)1772

Wherever I inherited my stubborn streak, it led me to uncover my double relationship to Bathsheba Stone Howe– mother to ten and cook and hostess to hordes of travelers. There’s an app for that.

Colonial Cook. Photo by Buck at Flickr.

Colonial Cook. Photo by Buck at Flickr.

Ancestry.com tells me that Bathsehba’ relationship to me is as the wife of my 5th great grand uncle. That would be Ezekiel Howe, the rabble rousing revolutionary tavern owner. But I am focusing on Bathsheba’s maiden name, which is Stone. That is another of my lines, and I want to find out if that would be a closer relationship.

Bathsheba Stone, the eighth child of nine, was named for her mother. Her father, Samuel Stone who had been born in Sudbury, came from a pioneer Stone family as prominent as the Howes in Sudbury. There is a bridge built by the Stone family still known by their name.

When she was twenty-one years old, Bathsheba married Ezekial Howe, already a Captain in the militia.  Bathsheba Stone lived all her life in a war zone. Massachusetts was frequently the site of clashes between the French and English using indigenous people as surrogates, as well as the attacks of Indian groups determined to get back land that had been taken from them by the newcomers.  The French and Indian war simmered up and down the east coast and into Canada from 1689 to 1763.

Red Horse Inn

Proprietors of the How family tavern–How’s Tavern, Red Horse .Inn, Wayside Inn. Photo shared on Ancestry.com

The year after their marriage, their first daughter, Rebecca, also called Ruth for her father’s sister, was born in May. The following December, Ezekial’s father, David gathered the family together and formally turned over How’s Tavern to his youngest son Ezekial and wife Bathsheba.  While the thriving business guaranteed a good living for the couple, it also meant that Bathsheba now had a built in job–in addition to helping run a farm.  The tavern which also was their home, had two rooms for the family and two rooms for guests.

The family continued to grow and the tavern grew along with the family:

    • Ann/Anna in 1747
      • Hepzibah in 1749, named for her grandmother,
      • Bathsheba in 1752, named for her mother,
      • Molly in 1754,
      • Ezekiel, Jr in 1756, named for his father
      • Olive in 1758.

As the inn expanded to accommodate more people, and presumably make more work for Bathsheba, she kept producing babies. Fortunately, her oldest daughters Rebecca and Anna were definitely old enough to help care for the younger children by the time that a second son Eliphalet was born in 1761.In 1763, the youngest son Adam /Adams joined the family, and in 1765 one more daughter, Jenny/Jane (Ames), for a total of ten children.

If Bathsheba was at all interested in the affairs of the day, she was in a perfect position to hear all the news.  Besides the fact that travelers who stopped in brought news of the world outside Sudbury, her husband was deeply involved in the politics of the day and hosted meetings of townspeople meeting to discuss defense against the Indians, construction of bridges, roads and public buildings, and the division of towns and establishment of new ones.

Additionally Ezekiel frequently held positions of responsibility which added to his chores. When he volunteered to feed the army marching through, guess who did the cooking?  Bathsheba must have worked hard from dawn to dusk.

Perhaps she just wore out, because she died in her late 40′s. Although I have not found a record of her death, Ezekiel remarried in December 1772, so we know that Bathsheba died some time before her youngest child turned five .

Although she would have heard the heated discussions of the wrongs of the British government against the colonists, she died just before the Boston Tea Party, and it was Ezekiel’s second wife who fretted about him through his military service in the American Revolution.

Bathsheba passed on to her children the genes of a distinguished family of pioneers.  She was descended from Deacon Gregory Stone, and his son John who emigrated to North America from England in 1635. So although I am related in the Howe to Bathsheba only her marriage to Ezekiel How and his father, I have a blood relationship with her through the Stones, since we share the common ancestor Deacon Gregory Stone.

And what relationship does that make us?  Well, despite the fact that I put some cousin charts up here some time ago, I was struggling, until someone on a Facebook genealogy page suggested “There’s an app for that!”  Sure enough, the Relationship Finder free app for android phones works like magic.  Type in the common ancestor, your relationship to that person and the potential cousin’s relationship, and it tells you how you are related. BEWARE: there are many “relationship finders” that are oriented to romance rather than to cousin-finding, so be sure you get the kind you want.

Or use this on-line version.

TA-DA!  Bathsheba Stone (How) is my 3rd cousin 7 times removed!

How we are related:

Bathsheba Stone (1723 – 1772)
wife of 5th great grand uncle
Col. Ezekiel Howe (1720 – 1796)
husband of Bathsheba Stone
David How (1674 – 1759)
father of Col. Ezekiel Howe
Israel How (1712 – 1748)
son of David How
Elizabeth Howe (1744 – 1829)
daughter of Israel How
Elizabeth Stone (1773 – 1829)
daughter of Elizabeth Howe
Mary Bassett (1810 – 1890)
daughter of Elizabeth Stone
Hariett E. (Hattie) Morgan (1842 – 1928)
daughter of Mary Bassett
Vera May Stout (1881 – 1964)
daughter of Hariett E. (Hattie) Morgan
Harriette Veolia Anderson (1906 – 2003)
daughter of Vera May Stout
Vera Marie Kaser
The daughter of Harriette Veolia Anderson
Deacon Gregory Stone (1592)
John Stone (1618)                      Samuel Stone (1630)
David Stone (1646)                    Samuel Stone (1654)
Samuel Stone(1685)                  Samuel Stone  (1684)
Bathsheba Stone(1723)          Nathan Stone (1722)
                                                        Jeduthan Stone(1748)
                                                        Elizabeth Stone (1773
                                                        Mary Bassett (1810)
                                                        Harriet Morgan (1842)
                                                        Vera May Stout (1881)
                                                        Harriette V. Kaser (1906)
                                                      Vera Marie Kaser(Badertscher)

Notes on Research

  • As Ancient Is This Hostelry: The Story of The Wayside Inn, byCurtis F. Garfield and Alison R. Ridley (1988)
  • In Public Houses: Drink and the Revolution of Authority in Colonial Massachusetts by David W. Conroy, (1995)
  • Howe Genealogies by Daniel Wait Howe (1929), Massachusetts Historical and Genealogical Society. This is said to be the best of the several genealogies of the family. Although I do not have a copy of the entire book, portions of it are available on the Internet.
  • A personal genealogy by Dee Derrico at Genealogy.com While I am cautious about using personal genealogies because they are generally crammed with errors, this one contains an extensive set of footnotes verifying primary and secondary sources.
  • Ezekiel Howe’s will, from the Howe Genealogies, found on Ancestry.com
  • Middlesex County records found on Ancestry.com. Birth, death and marriage.
  • Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts Vol. 1, ed by Ellery Bicknell Crane (1907) Available as a Google Books e-book.
  • FindaGrave.com
  • I also have had assistance from the archivist and a historian at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.