Hannah Miner (1671-~1708)
Hannah Miner was born on 21 Apr 1671 as the third child of Ephraim Miner and Hannah Avery in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. She had eleven siblings, namely: Ephraim, Thomas, Rebecca, Samuel, Deborah, Samuel, James, Grace, John, Son, and Daughter. Hannah was baptized 16 June 1672 in New London, Connecticut. Her brothers Thomas and Ephraim were baptized the same day.
The Miner surname is often spelled Minor and the two spellings seem to have been used interchangeably during Hannah’s lifetime.
Marriage and Children
When she was 19, Hannah married Samuel Frink, son of John Frink and Grace Stevens, on 06 Jan 1690/91 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
Samuel Frink and Hannah Miner had nine children:
- Samuel Frink was born on 14 Feb 1692/93 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut. He married Margaret Wheeler on 26 May 1714 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Andrew Frink was born on 09 Aug 1694 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Grace Frink was born on 18 Dec 1695 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- James Frink was born on 06 Jan 1697 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Hannah Frink was born about 1699 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Jedidiah Frink was born about 1702 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Jerusha Frink was born about 1704 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Elias Frink was born about 1706 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
- Abigail Frink was born in 1708 in Stonington, New London, Connecticut.
Hannah lived in Colonial America. Her grandparents were immigrants from England and her grandsons fought in the American Revolution. When she was a very young child, King Philip’s War was waging near her in Connecticut.
During her entire lifetime, Hannah would have been subject to the strictness of the Puritan community in which she lived and her Sundays would have been governed by the so-called Connecticut Blue Laws. Things were so strict in Connecticut, that when the Reverend Samuel Peters, an Anglican minister, left America and returned to England on the eve of the American Revolution, he published a book as a hoax so that his fellow Englishmen could laugh about how strict things were in the colonies. His book included a lot of real rules, but also included some that were exaggerated and not true, for example, “No woman shall kiss her child on the Sabbath or fasting day” and “every male shall have his hair cut round, according to a cap and when caps are not to be found, they can be substituted by the hard shell of a pumpkin, which being put on the head every Saturday, the hair is cut.” So, that’s where bowl cuts came from?
Yes, the British were laughing at us.
While those rules were fictitious, there plenty of real rules regulating our ancestors on the Sabbath with fines and penalties attached for noncompliance. Following is a list of some examples of things that were not allowed from sunset on Saturday until Sunday night.
- Publicly kissing your wife.
- Shaving, sweeping the floor, making beds, preparing food and washing dishes.
- Walking or riding unnecessarily or even riding “violently to and from meeting.”
- Hunting and fishing.
- Hanging clothes out to dry.
- Harvesting things from your own garden or picking apples from your tree.
- Not attending church (in other words, church attendance was mandatory).
- Criticizing the pastor or his sermon.
The laws that effected the Colonists daily (not just on Sundays) had basis in their interpretation of Christian scripture. And the penalties were harsh. Here are some of the laws put into place in 1650 that still applied during Hannah’s life:
- If any person shall blaspheme the name of God, the father, Sonne or holy Ghost, with direct express, presumptuous or highhanded blasphemy, or shall curse in like manner, hee shall be put to death. — Lev. 24. 15, 16
- If any person committeth adultery with a married or espoused wife, the Adulterer and the Adulteress shall surely be put to death – Levit. 20, 10, and 18.20. – Deut. 22. 23, 24.
- If any Childe or Children above sixteene years old and of sufficient understanding, shall Curse or smite their naturall father or mother, hee or they shall bee put to death; unless it can bee sufficiently testified that the parents have been very unchristianly negligent in the education of such children, or so provoke them by extreme or cruell correction that they have beene forced thereunto to preserve themselves from death or maiming. -Exo. 21. 17. – Levit. 20. – Ex. 21. 15.
- It is ordered by this Courte and authority theteof, That if any man shall committ ffornication, with any single woman, they shall bee punnished, either by injoyning to marriage, or fyne, or corporall punnishment, or all, or any of these, as the Courte or magistrates shall appoint, most agreeable to the word of God.
You couldn’t even do charity work during the Sabbath hours. In 1676, when Hannah was a child, the following provision was written into Connecticut law.
” Whereas, notwithstanding former provisions made for the due sanctification of the Sabbath, it is observed that by sundry abuses the Sabbath is profaned, the ordinances rendered unprofitable, which threatens the rooting out of the power of godliness, and the procuring of the wrath and judgments of God upon us and our posterity ; for prevention whereof it is ordered by this court that if any person or persons henceforth, either on the Saturday night or on the Lord’s day night, though it be after the sun is set, shall be found sporting in the streets or fields of any town in this jurisdiction, or be drinking in houses of public entertainment or elsewhere, unless for necessity, every such person so found, complained of, and proved transgressing, shall pay ten shillings for every such transgression, or suffer corporal punishment for default of due payment. Nor shall any sell or draw any sort of strong drink at any time, or to be used in any such manner, upon the like penalty for every default. ” It is also further ordered that no servile work shall be done on the Sabbath, viz., such as are not works of piety, charity, or necessity ; and no profane discourse or talk, rude or unreverend behavior, shall be used on that holy day, upon the penalty of ten shillings fine for every transgression hereof, and in case the offense be circumstanced with high-handed presumption as well [as] profaneness, the penalty to be augmented at the discretion of the judges.” — Colonial Records of Connecticut from 1665 to 1677, p. 280.
Hannah seems to have lived well under the rules. She grew up, married, and bore nine children. But, unfortunately, Hannah Miner Frink died about 1708 at Stonington, New London, Connecticut when she was around 37 years old. The exact date of her death is not known, but we know that her last child was born about 1708 and that her husband, Samuel Frink, remarried to Dorothy Stanton Lynde Terice, a twice-widowed woman around 1710. At the time of her death, Hannah’s children ranged in age from approximately 15 down to a newborn. Those children were then orphaned completely five years later when their father, Sergeant Samuel Frink, died on 12 October 1713 at Stonington.
Where is she in the tree?
Ancestry.com, Colonial and Revolutionary families of Pennsylvania: genealogical and personal memoirs [database on-line] (Provo, UT, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005), www.ancestry.com, “Sidney Roby Miner,” Volume II, pp. 719-732.
Ancestry.com, Connecticut, Church Record Abstracts, 1630-1920 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: 2013.Original data – Connecticut. Church Records Index. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut..Original data: Connecticut. Church Records Index. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut.), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com,
Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Birth Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006), www.ancestry.com, Database online.
Ancestry.com, U.S., Sons of the American Revolution Membership Applications, 1889-1970 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011), ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com, U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700 (Online publication – Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2012.Original data – Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Prior to 1700. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2004.Original data: Torry, Clarence A. New England Marriages Pri), Ancestry.com, http://www.Ancestry.com,
Leff, David K., “Once Strict ‘Blue Laws’ Have Largely Faded,” Hartford Courant, 25 February 2015, Web, 20 April 2016, http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-leff-blue-laws-connecticut-0226-20150225-story.html.
Mahoney, Patrick J., “The Long, Ambiguous History of Connecticut’s Blue Laws,” ConnecticutHistory.org, Web. 20 April 2016, http://connecticuthistory.org/the-long-ambiguous-history-of-connecticuts-blue-laws/.
“The blue laws of Connecticut; taken from the code of 1650 and the public records of the colony of Connecticut previous to 1655, as printed in a compilation of the earliest laws and orders of the General Court of Connecticut, and from Dr. Lewis’s book on Sunday legislation; also an extract from the constitution or civil compact adopted by the towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield in 1838-9, showing the Biblical basis of the colony legislation; with an account of the persecution of witches and Quakers in New England and some extracts from the blue laws of Virginia,” Originally published by The Truth Seeker Company: 1898. Archive.org. Web. 20 April 2016. https://archive.org/details/cu31924029253908.
Wheeler, Albert Gallatin, Jr., The Genealogical and Encyclopedic History of the Wheeler Family in America (1914), p. 294.
Wheeler, Richard Anson, History of the town of Stonington, county of New London, Connecticut: from its first settlement in 1649 to 1900 (1900), p. 376; GoogleBooks – PDF, Google books (https://books.google.com/books?id=tvILAAAAYAAJ).