Tag Archives: Concord

Ezekiel Howe, Rum and Revolution

Ezekiel Howe (1720-1796)

Red Horse Inn

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

Proprietor of the Red Horse Tavern, which would become known as Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, elected leader in his community, father of ten, and military leader who was present for the “Shot heard round the world” at Concord.

When Ezekiel Howe/How took over his father, David How’s Sudbury Massachusetts “How’s Tavern” in 1744, he changed the name to “Red Horse Tavern.”  David had enlarged his two-room house to four rooms to accommodate his own large family plus guests in the tavern.

When Ezekiel, David’s youngest son, married Bathsheba Stone in January 1743 and they moved into the family home/business, they had sufficient space. But as their family grew to seven children between 1744 and 1759, the building had to grow also.

Besides the fact that the family obviously needed more space, Ezekiel and Bathsheba had more guests to feed and entertain. As colonials settled in the area and traveled west from Boston on the Boston Post Road, the Red Horse had to provide more sleeping space and drinking and eating space for visitors.

As I earlier mentioned, it was here in the Red Horse Tavern, according to family lore, that my 4 X great-grandmother, Elizabeth Howe (Stone) was born in 1744. Her father, Israel, was a brother to Ezekiel Howe. (Follow the link for her story)

Wayside Inn bedroom

Old style bedroom in museum of Wayside Inn from Ancestry.com user

In 1748, Ezekiel is listed on an application for a license as innkeeper. The application reveals his prices.

  • Lodging: 4 pence
  • Good Dinner: 20 pence
  • Common Dinner: 12 pence
  • Best Supper and Breakfast: 15 pence each

Best Supper costs less than Good Dinner presumably because dinner was a main meal, and supper a lighter meal. But what do those prices mean? Are the equivalent to what we would pay today at a Holiday Inn, for instance?

*WARNING: this little bit of information set me off on an interesting, but not essential side road. Feel free to skip if you are not interested in the price of things.

The bad news is that it is almost impossible to say how Tavern Keeper Howe’s prices compared to today’s. An excellent article from the history.org site run by Colonial Williamsburg fills you in on why it is so difficult to get equivalents. In that article, they give some prices from Virginia in 1755, which might have been different than Massachusetts in the same general time period, but probably are close.

  • Pound of butter: 4 pence (roughly $1.50 in today’s money)
  • Prayer Book: 35 shillings (roughly $13.40 today)
  • A Yard of flannel material: 1 shilling, 3 pence (roughly $5.60)
  • A saddle: 2 pounds (roughly $15)

Do the English shillings, pence, pounds confuse you as much as they do me? It really doesn’t help a lot to learn that 12 pence = a shilling and 20 shillings= a pound. Not to mention that various colonies valued money differently, and Massachusetts had started making their own paper money by this time.

However, if the assumptions above are accurate, we can conclude that the Red Horse Inn was a bargain compared to what we pay to have a meal or a night in a motel. If you compare to the price of butter, staying overnight would cost $4. If you use the calculator found at this page, you will get the same result. (That same web page contains pictures of the coins and a fairly clear explanation of the English monetary system in the 18th century.)

*End of digression.

Now, where was I?  Oh, yes, the need to expand the inn.  Between 1750 and 1760, Ezekiel plowed a lot of money and effort into growing the property.  He added what is known as the Back Parlor, which doubled the size of the inn, he added the “New Hall” used as a ballroom–a total of six rooms in all. These large public rooms may have been used by the disgruntled colonials to get organized in their rebellion against the British.

Old Red Horse Tavern

Old etching of Red Horse Tavern/ Wayside Inn, used with permission of Longfellow’s Wayside Inn archives.

I have learned through conversation with a historian from Longfellow’s Wayside Inn that tavern keepers in colonial days tended to be leaders in their communities. The townspeople not only had elected Ezekiel Howe (and four other tavern keepers) as a Selectmen for Sudbury (something like a town council member) but he also was chosen town moderator–the person who ran the meetings. And he was a member of the very important Committee of Correspondence, the groups used to tie together the colonies before independence. A short explanation of the Massachusetts Committees–the first formed in the colonies–can be found at this Massachusetts history site.

While all of these civil responsibilities sound fairly harmless, Ezekiel also was an early joiner of the American Political Society, founded in nearby Worchester. In 1776 he was elected chairman of this radical Whig debating society, a spinoff of the Committees of Correspondence who goaded the public to take action against Britain.

The drill field for the Militiamen was just down the road from the Inn, and some speculate that the Minutemen and other patriots held  meetings at the Red Horse Tavern.

In Public Houses

In Public Houses

A terrific book for history buffs called The Public Houses by David W. Conroy, describes Sudbury as a real hotbed of revolution.  And Ezekiel was right at the forefront of rebellion. Rather than get sidetracked with another diversion, I’ll write a separate post about the role of taverns and tavern keepers in the American Revolution, but I just can’t resist this quote about two British spies traveling through Sudbury.

They did not stop at any of the six Sudbury taverns, a wise decision since Sudbury companies had become very agitated in the spring of 1775.

Indeed! And just imagine what a busy life Ezekiel had as proprietor of a tavern that hosted meetings, himself running meetings and drilling soldiers, and still working to make a living to support his enormous family.

By the time the tenth child, Jenny (or Jane) was born in 1765, the oldest daughter Rebecca was twenty and might have been married, but it was quite a houseful of children, most not old enough to help with the guests.

Although we don’t have a concrete date for the death of Bathsheba, we know she died between 1765 and 1772 because in December 1772, Ezekiel Howe (then a Captain in the Militia) marries his second wife, widow Rebecca Ruggles (b. 1751).  Thus, Bathsheba missed most of the drama of Ezekiel’s career in the Minutemen and the American Revolution.

On April 19, 1775, Ezekiel was leader (Lt. Col.) of the Middlesex troops who ran (some quite literally*) to Concord, twelve miles away and fought the battle that began with “The shot heard ’round the world.”

*It is said that his son, Ezekiel, Jr., then nineteen, ran the distance in two hours, loaded down with musket and powder and balls and knapsack.

Luckily, both Ezekiels returned to Sudbury unscathed and in 1776, the father was called back as Colonel of a The 4th Massachusetts Foot Regiment, a position he held for the next three years. He would have been 55 years old when the war started and nearing 60 when he retired from the army, pleading ill health.

When peace returned to Sudbury, he once again expanded the inn.  1785 saw him building a new expanded kitchen with two sleeping rooms above it.

A great deal can be learned about the family from Ezekiel’s will. One of his daughters, Bathsheba Howe Loring, died in 1777, leaving three grandchildren. Two other daughters, Hepzibah Howe Brown and Anna Howe Brown died before their father made his will in 1795 or 1796. Like his father David, Ezekiel gave the Inn and its grounds to his youngest son. Adam Howe would carry on the family business.

On October 15, 1796, Ezekiel Howe, my 5th great grand uncle, died possibly of consumption. He is buried in the Revolutionary War Cemetery in Sudbury, Massachusetts.

Ezekiel strikes me as the kind of person who grasps life with both hands, never shying away from a challenge and slipping naturally into leadership roles. He lived in an exciting, but dangerous time. He took full advantage of the inherited family business to build a political platform and then took full advantage of that platform to fight (with words and bullets) for what he believed was right. Thank you, Uncle Ezekiel.

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 brother of
  • Ezekiel How

Notes on Research

  • 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.
  • The Battle Road by Charles H. Bradford (1988), quoted on personal page at Ancestry.com
  • 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.

Note:  There are links to Amazon on this website because I am an Amazon affiliate.  Even though it costs you no more to shop through our links, it helps finance the research for Ancestors in Aprons when you do. THANKS!  Click on photos to find more about their sources.


A Tough Mother: Elizabeth Hubbard How Barrett

Elizabeth Hubbard Howe Barrett 1720-1802(?)

Since her husband, my 5x great grandfather Israel How had such a simple life, I figured Elizabeth would be a piece of cake.  Surprise! Most of the drama occurred during her second marriage, but she lived a fascinating life.

Although I might not be a blood relative of her 2nd husband, because Elizabeth is my 5th Great Grandmother, her offspring qualify as — 4x great-grand aunts and uncles — never mind–just think of them as related. So perhaps I am justified in spending an inordinate amount of time reading the longest military pension file I’ve run into yet, and beating the bushes looking for clues to when Elizabeth died.

I generally start with a timeline. It helps clarify what information I have and what is missing.  Elizabeth Hubbard‘s starts easily enough.

September 25, 1720: born in Concord Massachusetts to Capt. Joseph Hubbard and Rebecca Bulkeley.

But right away I’m thrown off the rails of my investigation of the How/Howe family of Sudbury, being introduced to two new surnames that now designate two more lines of grandparents, and both have some very distinguished ancestors to add to my tree.  The Hubbards arrived in North America in the early 1600s from England, settling first in Glastonbury CT and then Concord MA.

See their origin and destination here.

On Elizabeth’s mother’s side, the Bulkeley/Bulkely famly also come from England and emigrated in 1635, moving straight to Concord MA. So Elizabeth is 5th generation American on both sides of her family. She beats her husband Israel by one generation, since the Hows had been here for four generations.

Back to Elizabeth’s timeline.  Just glancing through the dates between 1740 and 1759, Elizabeth could be dismissed as a baby machine, but her life, hard as it was,  had some exciting moments.

March 24, 1740: Marries Israel How of Paxton/Rutland. She is twenty.

In the next five years, Elizabeth  gives birth to a son (1741) and two daughters, Lucy (1743), and my 4th great grandmother, Elizabeth (1744). In the fifth year of her marriage, the son, Israel, Jr. died at four years old.

Two more girls follow: Ruth (1746) and Rebekah (1748).

But instead of celebrating the joy of a new healthy baby when Rebekah was born, the mother must have been devastated, for just three days after Rebekah’s birth, Elizabeth’s husband Israel How died at the age of thirty-six.  Being a housewife and family cook was a hard job in Colonial times, but Elizabeth had a specially hard life as Israel’s wife. Now she is twenty-eight years old and has four daughters to care for as well as the farm.

I imagine that the extended How family must have come to her aid, but after all, Israel had moved away from Sudbury, where most of his siblings lived, to Rutland, several miles to the north. And the daughters are not old enough to be of much help–the eldest being only five.

The only thing a widow with so many children can do is remarry. And she does.

May 12, 1750: Elizabeth Hubbard How marries Stephen Barrett of Paxton (which was originally a part of Rutland).

Although she may have been exhausted from having five children in seven years, and grateful to find a husband who did not come with children of his own, she very quickly becomes pregnant again.  A year after Elizabeth and Stephen were married, Lydia was born. [Lydia is doubly connected to me, since she married a Stone–a descendent of the same line of Stones that I am tracing.]

In 1753, Stephen Barrett Jr., who would be very important in Elizabeth’s future, was born.

Either Elizabeth’s tired body decided to take a break, or she lost a baby which did not make it into the records, but her next child, Israel is not born until 1757. [Israel, who grew up to become a shoemaker by trade, has another fascinating story–becoming a soldier in the American Revolution and a prisoner of war for nine months.]

Her last child, Benjamin, was born in 1759 when she was nearly 40.  [Benjamin Barrett was another Revolutionary War Veteran, and after the war moved to Ohio.]

Elizabeth’s fifties must have been a most difficult time for her. One by one, her three sons joined the army and left for the Revolutionary War.  The village hung on news reports from battles and frequently heard reports of sons of Massachusetts dying. Not only her sons, but so many relatives from Sudbury and Paxton and surrounding areas were involved.

The worst year was when Israel was held prisoner for nine months in Quebec and the family had no idea what was happening to him. I wonder if she was having second thoughts about naming her son after her short-lived first husband and the first child, who had died in childhood?

Her son Israel’s wife and two children (Lucy) lived with Elizabeth and Stephen Hubbard Jr. when he reenlisted in 1781.

After the Revolution, when Stephen Barrett, Elizabeth’s husband dies, she moves with her son Stephen Jr., his wife and two little girls to the town of Paris in Oneida County, New York. Stephen was one of the pioneers of Oneida County. While it seems impossible given how long there had been settlement on the east coast, Oneida County was practically wilderness in 1789.

The Oxcart Man

The Oxcart Man, a children’s book.

Since today we could drive the distance in half a day, it is hard to imagine how difficult a journey by oxcart from Massachusetts to New York was in 1789.  Some details of the trip are related in the Genealogy of Thomas Barrett listed below.

…the entire distance from Winchendon, Mass., to
Utica, (then Fort Schuyler*) New York, taking two
weeks, was made with a sled and a yoke of oxen,
he (Stephen Barrett) traveling most of the way on
foot, driving his oxen — his mother, wife and chil-
dren riding upon the sled.

The slow motion of the sled over the rough roads
caused his wife a distressing sickness very similar
to sea-sickness, and she was obliged to lie down
upon the sled the greater part of the distance. At
night if they were fortunate enough to reach a
settlement, they found rest and comfortable quar-
ters in the house of some hospitable settler.

When he arrived at a point (Whiteboro) about
three miles distant from Fort Schuyler (Utica) he
halted, built a temporary log house, and remained
there for a short time to rest. After he and his
family and team had rested, and sufficiently recovered
their nearly exhausted strength they continued
their journey until they reached Paris, Oneida
County, New York, which was as far West as the
Government surveys had at that time (1789) been
made, where he purchased land, settled upon and
cleared it, and became a permanent resident of
Oneida County.

I notice that Stephen’s wife is made “seasick” by the journey, but apparently Elizabeth, nearing 70 years old,  soldiered on. The sturdy grandmother would have been responsible for feeding the family and caring for the two young girls.

On this map you can see Rutland, just NW of Worchester MA, and Paris, NY, due east of Syracuse NY.(You may have to slide the map to see the star marking Rutland off to the East) A short drive today.

Elizabeth could be very proud of her three sons who served honorably in the American Revolution. And particularly of Stephen, who was a leader in his new state–first in Paris and then Sangerfield, both in Oneida County, NY.

He took a deep interest in public affairs, and was a leading
and prominent actor and an important factor in
all matters, church as well as state, that concerned
his town, county and state in those early days.
He was one of the selectmen of Paris, and he was
also a Justice of the Peace of Mohawk. He served
as a soldier for three years in the Revolutionary
War; had the respect and confidence of all who
knew him; was a good citizen, a kind neighbor, an
indulgent and affectionate husband and father, an
earnest and sincere Christian : in short, he was a
model man.

A year after Stephen moved his mother and his family, his brother Israel also moved to New York. The youngest brother Benjamin settled in Ohio after the Revolutionary War, so the family was starting to spread away from New England.

One family tree says that Elizabeth Hubbard How Barrett died in 1802, but I have not yet confirmed that fact. Whether she lived into her eighties or not, I must admire this woman for her toughness. She gave birth nine times, cared for and helped two farmer husbands, worried over three sons and a son-in-law fighting in a war, and as a widow pulled up stakes and took a hard journey to a raw new territory.

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 How (Stone), the daughter of
  • Elizabeth Hubbard (How) (Barrett)


Birth and death records recorded in Rutland and Paxton Massachusetts which I find at Ancestry.com.

Revolutionary War pension records for Israel Barrett, accessed on Ancestry.com
Genealogy of some of the descendants of Thomas Barrett, sen., of Braintree, Mass., 1635, (1888), Compiled by William Barrett.  Available on line

Jeduthan Stone, a Minuteman of Rutland



This is a photograph of the statue representing Captain John Parker sculpted by Henry Hudson Kitson and erected in 1900. This statue in Lexington, Massachusetts is commonly called “The Lexington Minuteman” Photo from Wikipedia

Because this is the week of July 4, following my introduction of Samuel Stone, Fifer, I want to introduce one more Revolutionary War soldier from my line, a Minuteman.

Today begins a marathon of New England Ancestors, particularly Stones and Howes, leading up to a family history trek to Massachusetts and New Hampshire in September. After this week, I will be working my way back from the most recent grandparents to the colonial family who founded the Wayside Inn in Sudbury Massachusetts. That Inn and the many small towns our ancestors lived in will be our family’s destination in September.

But I am skipping some generations to start with a 4x great-grandfather who was a Minuteman.

Jeduthan Stone 1748-1829

I do love the name Jeduthan. You just know that this is an early American, meant to be a Minuteman. And wasn’t a Minuteman one of the most exciting things to learn about in our history lessons on the American Revolution?

 North Rutland MA

Ware River, North Rutland MA, looking as it might have in the days when this was a frontier. Photo by John Phelan, from WikiMedia Commons.

In the early 1700’s, part of the Stone family had migrated to Rutland Massachusetts from Lexington, Massachusetts, led by Jeduthan’s great- uncle Capt. Samuel Stone. Capt. Stone was one of the men to receive a land grant in Rutland as a result of his service in the French and Indian war. Most of the new settlers were from Sudbury , with some from Lexington and other towns.

Jeduthan’s father Nathan, nephew of Capt. Samuel, moved to Rutland from Lexington with his wife new wife in 1740.  Coming from the far away (by their standards of distance) Sudbury (35 miles) or Lexington (50 miles)–close to Boston and close to the seacoast–a move to inland Rutland was quite the adventure.  The author of a history of Sudbury, written in 1889 said:

“It was as the great west to a place near the seaboard settlements as Sudbury; and the romance and adventure of pioneer life very likely took hold of the inhabitants…”

Just 17 years before Jeduthan’s family arrived, Indians had attacked settlers working in their fields and killed two boys and kidnapped two others from the same family. And perhaps knowledge of that attack was part of the reason that Jeduthan’s father, Nathan, enlisted with the troops fighting against the Indians in the French and Indian Wars.

Because there is apparently no record of Nathan Stone’s death or burial in Rutland, it is assumed that he died fighting. He was 36 years old when he died in 1758. Jeduthan was just ten years old when his father died and left his mother with six children to care for.

British Army Marching To Concord

British Army Marching To Concord, New York Public Library collection.

And for another interesting connection of my family lines, see the following story about why Rutland is called the Cradle of Ohio.

The bare bones account of Jeduthan Stone’s service in the Revolution is as follows.

  • Jeduthan  first was chosen as a private in Capt. Thomas Eustis’ company of Rutland Minutemen, when he was 27 years old.  When the alarm was raised about General Gage’s Redcoats marching on Concord and Lexington, the Minutemen of Rutland Massachusetts marched toward Cambridge, Massachusetts, just as Samuel Bassett was marching with the men of Sudbury. It was April 19, 1775–the Battle of Bunker Hill.
  • He next appears in Capt. Adam Wheeler’s company, Col. Ephraim Doolittle’s regiment, on a roll dated at Winter Hill, 6 Oct. 1775.
  • Jeduthan also served in Capt. David Bent’s company, Col. Nathan Sparhawk’s regiment, which traveled 226 miles on a march from Rutland, Massachusetts on 20 Aug. 1777, to Bennington, Vt., on an alarm.

To put a more human face on this military record, Jeduthan  married Elizabeth How of the nearby town of Paxton in January, 1773. Elizabeth was born in Sudbury Massachusetts at the Wayside Inn–and therein hangs a tale which I will tell in due time.

Jeduthan and Elizabeth’s first child was born in July 1773–just 7 months after the marriage–which indicates they might have been under some  pressure to get married.That “premature” child was Elizabeth, my great-great-great grandmother.

Their next child, Willard, was not born until 1776, when Jeduthan apparently was taking a slight break from his military duty.  Augustus, the third child, born in 1777, was nearly blind at birth but nevertheless lived a long and full life as a farmer, husband and father. Four more children were born to Jeduthan and Elizabeth between 1780 and 1786, when he had returned home from active duty, and the countryside was recovering from the Revolutionary War.

Jeduthan’s life was quiet after the Revolution–the life of a farmer in the fast-growing community of Rutland, not showing up in the elected officials or church leaders.

His early career as a Minuteman enabled his family and his neighbors to live peaceful lives. He lived until 1829, when he was eighty years old, never leaving Rutland.  Elizabeth How Stone lived to 1837 when she was eighty-five.

This has been my weekly ancestor story as part of the 52 Ancestors Challenge.  To see other people’s fascinating stories, go to No Story Too Small.

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
  • Jeduthan Stone and Elizabeth How Stone.

Notes on Research:

  • HISTORY OF RUTLAND: Worchester County MASS, by Jonas Reed, (Worchester, Miriet & Bartlett (1836), reprinted 1879 by Tyler and Seagrave), contains a muster roll for April 1775 and a list of the Soldiers of the Revolution from Rutland on pages 176 and 182. The book also presents a picture of life in early Rutland when it was a wild frontier, as well as names of prominent citizens.
  • Cemeteries of Ohio, Genealogical Publishing Com pg. 116 reproduces the words from the gravestones of several members of Stone families.
  • History of Sudbury 1638-1889 by Alfred Serno Hudson (1889;1968), gives history of the settlement of Rutland, mostly by citizens from Sudbury and Lexington.
  • Other details of relationships, birth and death dates come from records found through Ancestry.com
  • Research notes from Daughters of the American Revolution, prepared for my grandmother, Vera Stout Anderson probably in the 1930s or 1940s.
  • Reproduction of The British marching to Concord in April 1775 from the New York Public Library, described as follows:

    The British Army in Concord, April 19, 1775. “Plate II. A view of the town of Concord.” In: “The Doolittle engravings of the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.” New York Public Library Collection Guide: Picturing America, 1497-1899: Prints, Maps, and Drawings bearing on the New World Discoveries and on the Development of the Territory that is now the United States. Humanities and Social Sciences Library / Print Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.