Patty Vinton

Seven generations back on my father’s side gets to Jonathan Prince, the fellow who left Dudley, Massachusetts after 1809 to settle in Orwell, Pennsylvania. Jonathan married Patty Vinton and they had nine children that I know of, all born in Dudley. When I first started researching this line years ago, not much was available online for Dudley in the 1700’s. Now there is and this is what I learned by going back over my notes and looking for more clues.

Jonathan Prince (1769-1830) married Patty Vinton on 29 February 1792. Patty was the first child of John Vinton and Dorothy Holmes Vinton, born 17 October 1770. I tracked down the marriage record in the Dudley township records and it sent me down a rabbit hole: the record clearly states Mrs. Dorothy Holmes. So what was her maiden name?

Dudley township records 1769_crop

Long story short, Dorothy was 22 years old when she married and I believe that would have allowed her to be called Mistress Holmes, an old maid at the age of 22!

John and Dorothy Holmes Vinton had seven children:

  • Patty Vinton (1770-1831)
  • Lyman Vinton (1772-1841)
  • Joshua Vinton (1774-1842)
  • Phebe Vinton (1775-1775)
  • Huldah Vinton (1777-1778)
  • Huldah Vinton (1779-1835)
  • Susanna Vinton (1787-1851)

This allowed me to track back even further on several lines! Dorothy Holmes Vinton was the daughter of Ebenezer Holmes and Phebe Abbott. She was born 21 Apr 1745 in Woodstock (a town that ends up in Connecticut but at this point is still considered Massachusetts).

1755mapMassachusetts
Jeffrey’s 1755 Map of Massachusetts

John Vinton was the son of Joseph Vinton (1714-1795) and Hannah Baldwin Vinton (1715-1835). Interesting side note: Joseph Vinton was the son of John Vinton, Esq., making him Hannah’s step brother. I will get that generation sorted out later!

Samuel Tompkins

LittleCompton_1831_webI have to admit, after the DeWolfe media frenzy about that family’s discovery that they made their money in the slave trade, I was alarmed when I found that multiple generations of the Tompkins family had lived in Rhode Island during the height of the Atlantic slave trade.  Even if they were not involved in shipping, all the ancillary trades that go into supporting the shipping industry are tied to that profit source as well.  So for this week of #52ancestors I picked an ancestor whose life would have touched on this dark period in American history.
Samuel Tompkins, son of Nathaniel and Elizabeth Waters Tompkins, was born 24 May 1681 in Little Compton, Rhode Island.  He was a middle child in a family of ten.  He married late for that time, he was almost 31 years old when he married Sarah Coe (1690-1741) in 24 January 1712.
Tompkins_Samuel_MarriagetoSarahCoe_Originalrecord_1712_crop
Samuel and Sarah produced twelve children over the next eighteen years.
  • Joseph Tompkins, b. 26 Oct 1712
  • John, b. 14 Sep 1714
  • Elizabeth, b. 8 Dec 1715
  • Christopher, b. 8 Dec 1715
  • Abigail, b. 28 Jan 1717
  • Nathaniel, b. 19 Nov 1719, d. 20 Jan 1724
  • Gideon, b. 19 Nov 1720, d. Mar 1774
  • Micah, b. 20 Jan 1722, d. May 1771
  • Benjamin, b. 26 Jan 1723
  • Augustine, b. 19 Mar 1725, d. 16 Feb 1747
  • Prescilla, b. 6 June 1726, d. 18 Aug 1739
  • William, b. 17 Oct. 1730, d. Nov 1768
Little_Compton_todayLittle Compton and the neighboring town of Tiverton were first established as part of Massachusetts in the middle of the 17th century.  In 1673, the town was plotted and twenty-nine settlers made claims, most of them Puritans.  Later in 1747, the state of Rhode Island formed and the towns became part of that.  A Colonial Census was done at that time and Samuel is listed in Little Compton, New Port County.
I have had a great deal of trouble finding records of Samuel but one of the most useful has been the will and estate papers for his father, Nathaniel Tompkins.  Nathaniel appears to have been a farmer  rather than a mariner, which I have to admit relieves me in many ways as many of the mariners in this part of Rhode Island were involved in the transatlantic slave trade.
Tompkins_Nathaniel_Will_1724_05_crop
Nathaniel’s will is sent through probate in 1724 and names Samuel as the executor.  There is a very helpful inventory of the personal property held at the time of his death which includes one mare, five cows, one yoke of oxen and fifteen sheep.  There is also mention of one and a quarter acres of land.  This makes me wonder if land has already been given over to Samuel or one of his siblings, as that is too little land to feed all those animals.
I have also read through many years of the Town Records for Little Compton, which are a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of a Puritan community in the 18th century.  I have found print sources that state Samuel Tompkins died in 1760 but the Town Records did not confirm this.  They did, however, document the response of the community to a small pox break out that year and I wonder if that is what caused Samuel’s death in May.
LittleCompton_TownRecords_1760_Illness_crop
But the real answer lies in Samuel Tompkins’ will.  Or does it?  I have reviewed all of the pages in the Town Records covering the Council minutes, the will, and the inventory done in June of 1760.  None of these records mention slaves or indentured servants.  However, my ancestor is his son Benjamin Tompkins, who receives very little in this will (compared to his siblings) and I don’t know if that means that he was given money or property before Samuel’s death and therefore gets little of the estate.  It is possible that Benjamin was given a slave or indentured servants were transferred to him before 1760.  I am not off the hook yet, I need to look hard at the next generation.
Tompkins_Samuel_Will_LCRItownrecords_p280_crop