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.
Ancestry.com tells me that Bathsehba’s 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.
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 line to Bathsheba only through her marriage to Ezekiel How and then through 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?
TA-DA! Bathsheba Stone (How) is my 3rd cousin 7 times removed!
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.
TA-DA! Bathsheba Stone (How) is my 3rd cousin 7 times removed! In addition to wife of my 5th great grand uncle.
How we are related:
Notes on Research
- As Ancient Is This Hostelry: The Story of The Wayside Inn, by Curtis 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.
- 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.
- I also have had assistance from the archivist and a historian at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.