Happy Birthday Elizabeth Plumb

Elizabeth Plumb (1669-1747)

Elizabeth Plumb was born on 01 Nov 1669 as the first child of John Plumbe and Elizabeth Norton. That was 347 years ago! The spelling of the Plumb surname evolved over time. It was originally written Plume, then Plumbe, then Plumb. Sometimes it is even spelled, Plum or Plump. Elizabeth’s dad can be found in the records with multiple spellings. Elizabeth had nine siblings, namely: John, Mary, Sarah, Hannah, Dorothy, Joseph, Ruth, Josiah, and Robert.

When she was 20, Elizabeth Plumb married Samuel Hickock, son of Samuel Hickock and Hannah Upson, on 16 Apr 1690 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. Hickock also had a variety of spellings including Hickox, Hicox, Hecox, Hecock, and Hickcock. Spelling was not very consistent back in the days when not everyone could read and write.

Elizabeth Plumb Hickock likely could not write, as she made her mark rather than providing a signature. Thomas Hickock, brother-in-law to Elizabeth, wrote his name.

Elizabeth Plumb Hickock likely could not write, as she made her mark rather than providing a signature. Thomas Hickock, brother-in-law to Elizabeth, wrote his name with yet another variation in spelling.

Gideon Hickock signature.

Son, Gideon Hickock, signature.

The Plumb family lived at Milford, New Haven, Connecticut, but the Hickock family in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. So, Elizabeth left home and moved north, to the town of her new husband. Just four years before their marriage, Waterbury had been admitted as the 28th town in the Connecticut colony.

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Samuel Hickock and Elizabeth Plumb had the following children:

  1. daugher Hickock was born on 02 May 1691 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. She died in May 1691 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut.
  2. Ebenezer Hickock was born on 06 Oct 1692 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. Things get confusing trying to trace Ebenezer because he had an uncle, also named Ebenezer Hickock, who was also born in 1692. Some histories list this Ebenezer as being married to Esther Hine and then Abigail Stevens, but others claim that those were his uncle’s wives.
  3. Samuel Hickock was born on 03 Nov 1694 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He died on 07 Jul 1713 at Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut at the age of 18.
  4. John Hickock was born on 18 Nov 1696 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He was baptized at Milford, but “of Waterbury church” on 20 Dec 1696. John married Marah Gaylord at Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut on 18 Nov 1719. He died 14 Feb 1765 at Bristol, Hartford, Connecticut and is buried there at the Old Episcopal Cemetery.
  5. Hannah Hickock was born on 21 Apr 1699 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. She was baptized in Milford 18 Jun 1699. Hannah married Samuel Williams on 13 Nov 1722 in Hartford, Connecticut. He died in 1725 and she married William Bartholomew on 07 Dec 1726 at Branford, New Haven, Connecticut. He died 07 Sep 1734 in Branford, New Haven, Connecticut. She married for a third time to Isaac Ingraham on 15 Apr 1736 at Branford, New Haven, Connecticut. She outlived him too. He died 21 Jul 1780. Hannah Hickock Williams Bartholomew Ingraham died on 17 Feb 1788 at 88-years old at Branford, New Haven, Connecticut where she left a will. She is buried with her last husband at the Northford Old Cemetery in Northford, New Haven, Connecticut.
  6. Elizabeth Hickock was born on 06 Apr 1702 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. She was baptized at Milford 14 Jun 1702. She married John Norton on 9 Dec 1724 at Farmington, Hartford, Connecticut.
  7. son Hickock was born on 03 Mar 1704 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He died on 03 Mar 1704 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut.
  8. Gideon Hickock was born on 06 Sep 1705 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. He married Sarah Upson on 15 Aug 1734. He died in 18 Apr 1798 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut at age 92.
  9. Sarah Hickock was born on 06 Dec 1707 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. She married John Platt Jr.
  10. Silence Hickock was born on 19 Sep 1713 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut. She married Abraham Bennett Sr. on 12 Mar 1737 in Connecticut. She died in Orange, New York.

Tragedy struck Elizabeth and her family on 3 Jun 1713 when, husband and father, Samuel Hickock passed away. A month later, her son Samuel passed away at age 18.  They both died of measles in what was called The Great Sickness. According to The History of Waterbury, Connecticut by Henry Bronson:

In October, 1712, a great sickness, mortal beyond example in the previous history of the town, broke out. It raged until September, 1713, carrying off, in eleven months, more than one tenth of the population. It was known afterwards, for a long time, as the Great Sickness. The well were not numerous enough to take care of the sick and bury the dead. Several families lost three of their number, and several others two. Of the twenty-one victims, (ten of them heads of families,) seven died between the sixth and twenty-first of March 1712-13.

At the time of her husband’s death, Elizabeth was pregnant with their last child and left with other children to care for as well, ranging in age from 20 to 4. Elizabeth and her family would have had to observed a year-long period of mourning which may have included wearing all black and probably covering all wall decorations, mirrors, and pictures in her house with black cloth. The window shutters were closed and possibly tied together with black ribbon or sash and kept that way for a year-long mourning period. This may explain why she named her youngest daughter, Silence.

Besides mourning and looking after her children, Elizabeth also had to navigate through the legal system, working as the administrator of her husband’s estate. Elizabeth and her brother-in-law, Thomas Hickock, had to first post a bond of 100 pounds lawful money of the Connecticut colony. Then an inventory of all of Samuel Hickock’s property was taken. Remember, as a wife, Elizabeth didn’t own anything. Everything in their household belonged to her husband. So about a month after giving birth to her youngest daughter, everything in her husband’s estate was inventoried. The assets included the houses and homestead and land; feather beds and pillows, table cloth, wool blankets, pewter platters, copper and brass things, a frying pan, iron pot tongs and candle sticks, forks, shears and scissors, chests and tubs, a loon, baskets, shoemakers tools, cows, calves, sheep, swine, and horses; saddle and bridle, wool yarn, meadow land, and many more things that I can’t decipher. The worth was estimated at a little over 188£.

Samuel Hickock, inventory of estate.

Samuel Hickock, inventory of estate.

There was discussion in the probate file that deals with the child that was born after Samuel’s death. “The widow was left with child.” I have to tell you that I wish I could read this better. From what I can tell, though, she is getting some compensation (20£) for raising the child to an age of 2 1/2 years, which may be how old Silence was by the time this ruling was given.  It says that she also got another 3£ and something like, “…the widow is hard on it but considering the difficulty of going to the general court if she may have …of the movable estate. She will — it for paying the — and — the child and — of — my situation.

Samuel Hickock, probate discussion of baby.

Samuel Hickock, probate discussion of baby.

Then, an account of Samuel Hickock’s debts was made and those debts were paid. An accounting of the estate was made.

Debt payments and accounting.

Debt payments and accounting.

 

Lastly, in 1719, the remaining property was distributed to family members.  Elizabeth got her widow’s share to use during her lifetime. Note that widow was spelled widdo. Her share included use of some land, the house and half of the barn during her lifetime, and some movable items.

Samuel Hickock, distribution to widow

Samuel Hickock, distribution to widow

She got to keep a couple brass kettles,  three pewter plates, a copper skillet, 12 plates, a copper kettle, and another item.

Samuel Hickock's estate, widow's share

Samuel Hickock’s estate, widow’s share

Ebenezer, the oldest son, received a double-share of the estate.

Samuel Hickock's estate, oldest son's share

Samuel Hickock’s estate, oldest son’s share.

The rest of the children split the rest.

John, who was 16-years old when his father died, received land for his share. Loosely translated, “to John out of the homestead all the land on the south side of the brook,” “land in the meadow —,” and “part of the — homestead the widow has instructions.”

Samuel Hickock's estate, John's share.

Samuel Hickock’s estate, John’s share.

Gideon, the youngest son who was only seven when his father passed, received a little land and some portion of the “widow’s part of the homestead.

Samuel Hickock estate, Gideon's share.

Samuel Hickock estate, Gideon’s share.

The four daughters were taken care of next.

Hannah, fourteen years old when her father died, got some meadow land (assuming that modo was meadow) and a brass kettle.

Samuel Hickock estate, Hannah's share.

Samuel Hickock estate, Hannah’s share.

Elizabeth, an eleven-year old when her father died, received land, a copper skillet and six plates.

Samuel Hickock estate, Elizabeth's share

Samuel Hickock estate, Elizabeth’s share

Sarah, just four when her father died, received land and a copper kettle.

Samuel Hickock estate, Sarah's share

Samuel Hickock estate, Sarah’s share

Silence, not yet born when her father died, received an equal share.

Samuel Hickock estate, Silence's share

Samuel Hickock estate, Silence’s share

Elizabeth was only 43-years old when her husband died, but there is no evidence that she remarried. It is likely that she spent the last decades of her life taking care of her children and then being taken care of by them.

Elizabeth Plumb Hickock died on 17 Oct 1747 in Waterbury, New Haven, Connecticut at the age of 77.

Where is she in the tree?

This tree looks a little confusing, because two of Elizabeth Plumb Hickock’s great-grandchildren, John Bennett and Sally Rockwell, married. They were first cousins. Sally’s mother, Hannah Bennett was the sister of John Bennett’s dad, Abraham. So John and Sally shared Abraham Bennett Sr. and Silence Hickock as grandparents.

Elizabeth-Plumb-Tree

Sources:

Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Death Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).

Ancestry.com, Connecticut Town Marriage Records, pre-1870 (Barbour Collection) (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006).

Ancestry.com, North America, Family Histories, 1500-2000 (Provo, UT, USA, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016), ancestry.com, Book Title: The Baldwin Genealogy, from 1500 to 1881.

Bronson, Henry, The History of Waterbury, Connecticut: The Original Township Embracing Present Watertown and Plymouth, and Parts of Oxford, Wolcott, Middlebury, Prospect and Naugatuck. With an Appendix of Biography, Genealogy and Statistics, (Bronson Brothers, 1858, Waterbury, Connecticut), GoogleBooks, Web, 28 Oct 2016, https://books.google.com/books?id=cUMOAAAAIAAJ.

Cutter, William Richard, Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut, Vol. I-IV [database on-line] (Genealogical and Family History of the State of Connecticut: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation. New York, NY, USA: Lewis Publishing Company, 1911).

Hickok, Charles Nelson, Hickok Genealogy: descendants of William Hickoks of Farmington, Connecticut  (Rutland, Vt.: The Tuttle Publishing Company, 1938).

“Seven Strange Facts About Colonial Funerals,” New England Historical Society, Web, 28 Oct 2016, http://www.newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/seven-strange-facts-colonial-funerals/.

Upson family in America [database on-line] (New Haven, Connecticut: The Tuttle, Morehouse & Taylor Co., 1940), ancestry.com, p. 7.

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