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Volume 1: The First Three Generations of Aaron Stark's Descendants in New England
Chapter 3: Aaron Stark [1608-1684] Common Genealogical Myths, Mistakes, & Misconceptions

Part 1: The First Generation in New England

 Page 33

 

 

Chapter 3

Aaron Stark [1608-1685]

Common Genealogical Myths, Mistakes, & Misconceptions

 

Introduction

The following is a list of the most frequent genealogical myths, mistakes, and misconceptions related to Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. It is my ardent hope all of the Aaron Stark Family researchers — present and future — will begin to recognize these genealogical pits falls and discontinue reporting them as factual.

 

Was Aaron Stark [1608-1685] the son of parents named Aaron Stark & Mary Holt???

Many genealogical online files report Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was the son of Aaron Stark and Mary Holt. As discussed in Chapter 2, there was an encounter between Aaron Stark and Mary Holt that occurred in 1639 — well after the birth of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. Mary Holt’s encounter was clearly with Aaron Stark [1608-1685]; not with his father as reported in these files. These files report the following disputable data related to a Aaron Stark born about 1608 in New London County, Connecticut:

• Aaron Stark [1608-1685], was the son of Aaron Stark and Mary Holt, both of his parents born about 1582 in New London County, Connecticut;

• These parents, Aaron Stark and Mary Holt, were married in 1604 in New London County, Connecticut.

These reports of place and time cannot be supported by historical facts. Permanent English settlements in New England did not appear until after the Mayflower landed in 1620. Prior to that year, the region — which much later than 1582 became Connecticut — consisted of a few Dutch outpost trading with the Indians for furs.

Some files report Aaron and Mary Holt were born in England and were married there about 1604. While this would be reasonable, it seems to be more than a coincidence that a Mary Holt born in England married the father of Aaron [1608-1685]. Clearly, it would seem the Particular Court of Connecticut appearances of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] with a women named Mary Holt in 1639 has somehow been confused with being his parents.

The source of this genealogical myth can be found in the Church of Latter- day Saints of Jesus Christ Ancestral File entitled Aaron Stark (AFN FS8H-PL). This source is presented in many of the referenced files presented on web sites. It is most obvious those who copy the data from this source have not attempted in anyway to research the historical facts of that time. Therefore, one must conclude:

• Aaron Stark [1608-1685] was most likely born about 1608, his probable year of birth confirmed by his 1673 deposition — but his place of birth cannot be stated with certainty.

• Historical facts suggest it can be stated with certainty Aaron Stark’s place of birth in 1608 could not have been New London County, Connecticut — nor any other place in New England.

• Aaron Stark’s parentage is not known with certainty — but most certainly cannot be as stated in the files I question.

• Clearly, from the 1639 Particular Court of Connecticut Records, it is most unlikely the Mary Holt was the mother of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] — nor could she have been born about 1582.

The Latter-day Saints file further reports the mythical parents of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] had the following children: Unknown Stark (born about 1616); John Stark (born about 1610); William Stark (born about 1612); Elizabeth Stark (born about 1614); Margaret Stark (born about 1618); Hannah Stark (born about 1620); Stevenson Stark (born about 1622, died 1685); and Aaron Stark, born 1608, died 1685.

The LDS file reported all of these children were born in New London, New London County, Connecticut — all but two born before the Mayflower landed!! Some of these given names agree with children of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and his wife, Sarah; their children born from about 1653 to about 1680. Aaron's name is the only Stark we find in the Connecticut records beginning in 1639 accept for several publications which report the name Henry Stark or Starks — most likely an individual named Henry Packs, Perks or Park. Therefore, the above Ancestral files on the Church of Latter-day Saints of Jesus Christ web site have apparently created and mixed two generations — one generation being the mythical parents of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] with several children who were actually children of Aaron Stark [1608-1685] and his wife, Sarah.

Therefore, based on the above analysis, one must conclude the files under discussion are completely without merit on the subject of Aaron Stark’s [1608-1685] parentage and place of birth.

 

 

 

 Page 34

 

Who Was Henry Stark???

In 1846, R. R. Hinman published a book entitled, "Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut."[1] On page 75 Hinman reported "Stark, Henry, Hartford, 1640 - he was a man of worth, and after a few years died, and gave by will, a clock to the church in Hartford." The next entry on the same page reported "Starks, Aaron, Hartford, 1639 - (This case....). He was palced upon the pillary on a lecture day during the lecture - then tied to the tail of a cart, and whipped in Hartford..." Who was this man named Henry Stark and could he have been a relative of Aaron Stark [1608-1685]?

Some researchers have, on occasion, referred to this publication and speculated Henry was a brother or the father of Aaron Stark. Hinman makes another entry on a Henry Starks on page 72 which reports "Seely, Lieut. Robert - ...He with Major Mason, Stanton, Adams, Gibbs, Henry Starks, and Tho. Merrick were appointed by the general Court to treat with the Indians for corn."

Searches of the records, thus far, have not revealed the name Henry Stark in Hartford in 1640. However, there was a man named Henry Packs, who Willed a clock to the church in Hartford in 1640. In 1850, J. Hammond Trumbell published a book entitled, "The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New Haven Colony."[2] On page 58, Trumbell reported:

"September the 4th, 1640. Henry Packs (?) his Wyll. It is my Will to bestow vppon the Church the Clocke that Brother Thorneton had bought, to Mr. Wichfyeld my best Coate and whoight (?) Cappe, to Mr. [Blank space in original publication] my best dublets."

This would appear to be the same Henry Stark reported by Hinman but interpreted by J. Hammond Trumbell to have the name Henry Packs. Which would be correct? Both of these publications appear to be transcriptions of the original documents. Yet, each seems to have transcribed the individual who Willed a clock to the Church in Hartford with a different surname. Trumbell did place a question mark after the surname Packs. He appears to be letting those using his book for research know he was uncertain if the surname was Packs. Hinman doesn't quote the original document but uses phrases from the original and doesn't let his audience know if he had difficulty transcribing the original document.

On page 17 of Trumbell's publication was the following recorded April 5, 1638:

"It is ordered that there shalbe sixe sent to Warranocke Indians to declare unto them that wee have a desire to speake wuth them, to knoe the reasons why they saide they are affraide of vs, and if they will not come to vu willingly then to compell them to come by violence, and they may leave 2 of the English as pleadges in the meane time and to trade with them for Corne if they can. It is ordered that Captaine Mason, Thomas Stanton, Jeremy Adams, John Gibbes, Searieante Stares and Thomas Merricke, and if Thomas Merricke be gone to Aggawam then Captaine Mason to take another whom he please, shall goe in the said service; and if hee see cause to leave hostages hee may; if hee see cause to goe to Aggawam he may."

This was clearly the event referenced by Hinman. However, Lieutenant Seely was not mentioned; but the other six men were recorded by Trumbell and Hinman's publication places those six men in the same order. Note Trumbell transcribes the fourth man as Searieante Stares while Hinman transcribes the name as Henry Starks. Therefore, we have a contradiction between the two publications. The General Court records have no entries on a Henry Stark, especially in Volume 1 and there are no deed records that have surfaced at this date. If there was a Henry Stark, why are there not deed or probate records?

All later references to a clock Willed to the Church in Hartford in 1640 refer to the deceased as Henry Packs or Parks. In a 1986 article entitled, "Timekeeping: The Lifestyle Of Accuracy," Phillip M. Zea reported:[3]

"The house clock, moving relentlessly in step with the stars, was the first to cross the Atlantic to the New England colonies. The earliest known reference to a clock movement in the Connecticut River valley underscores the community value of timekeeping and its traditional association with the church. When Henry Packs (Parks?) died in Hartford, his will of September 4, 1640, "bestow[ed] uppon the Church the Clocke that Brother Thornton had bought." The rare clocks of the wealthy were accorded a prominent place on the wall of the parlor, which was intended for both public entertainment and family sleeping. When the probate inventory of Connecticut's founder, Reverend Thomas Hooker (1586-1647), was taken in 1649, the "new parlor" contained "3 chaires, 2 stooles, 6 cushions, a clocke, a safe [probably a wooden cabinet], a table, window curtaines, &c.," appraised at £ 5."

It would appear the above two references, transcribed from the original, are not in agreement on the surname recorded . Based on no other existing records with the name Henry Stark, the surname was probably not Stark but most likely Packs or Parks. Therefore, unless contrary evidence is found, Henry Stark or Starks (as presented in the R. R. Hinman publication) will not be considered to have been the person who Willed a clock to the Hartford Church in 1640 — but will be presumed to have been a man named Henry Packs or Henry Parks.

__________

1)

Royal R. Hinman. "Catalogue of the Names of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut with the Time Of Their Arrival In the Colony, and their Standing in Society, Together With Their Place Of Residence, As Far As Can Be Discovered By The Records". First published 1846. (Reprinted Baltimore Genealogical Publishing Company, 1968).

2)

J. Hammond Trumbell, "The Public Records of the Colony of Connecticut, Prior to the Union With New Haven Colony." Published Hartford Brown & Parsons, 1850. Volume 1.

3)

Philip M. Zea, "Timekeeping The Lifestyle of Accuracy--An Interpretive Essay for the J. Cheney Wells Collection of New England Clocks at Old Sturbridge Village." Published 1986.

 

 

 

 Page 35

 

Did Aaron Stark [1606-1685] Receive a Voluntown Land Grant for Service in King Phillip's War???

The Charles R. Stark publication entitled, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations," on pages 1 and 2 report the following:[4]

• "Aaron Stark (Aaron Stark [1608-1685]) was a volunteer in King Philip's War, and was given land in Voluntown in consideration of his service."

• "Aaron (Aaron Stark (Junior)) served with his father in King Philip's War in 1675, and like him received a grant of land in Voluntown, though it is believed that neither of them ever lived in that town."

• "That he (John Stark [Lieutenant]) served in King Philip's War is shown by a list of volunteers in that war made in 1701 in which appears the name of John Stark "deceased."

Aaron Stark [1608-1685], Aaron Stark (Junior), and John Stark [Lieutenant], according to this publication, were all three given land in Voluntown for their volunteer service in King Philip's War. October 1696, the Court of Connecticut approved a land grant of six square miles to be divided among those who fought in King Philip's War. This land was to be taken from the Indians conquered in that war. On October 14, 1697, Captain Samuel Mason, Mr. John Gallop, and Lieutenant James Avery were appointed as a committee to view the tract and October of 1700 a committee was selected to run the affairs of the new town named Voluntown.[5]

July 1, 1701, at a meeting in Stonington Township, the committee chose Captain Richard Bushnell as clerk. He was given the responsibility of making a list of the volunteers in King Philip's War. A separate committee was appointed to review the list of names and vote on those qualified to be granted a parcel of land in Voluntown.[6] July 2, 1701, the list of names was presented and accepted by the committee. On the list were the names Aaron Stark, deceased, and John Stark, deceased.[5] April 17, 1706, the final approval was made and a drawing of lots was made for those approved to receive grants.

__________

4)

Charles R. Stark, "The Aaron Stark Family, Seven Generations." Published 1927, Wright and Potter, Boston, Massachusetts.

5)

Bodge, George M., "Soldiers in King Phillip's War," Boston, 1906. "Narragansett Township Granted to Connecticut Volunteers in the Narraganset War, now Voluntown, Connecticut." Pages 441-442.

6)

Generall Court orders starting 1696, 1697, 1700, 1701, pages 1 thru 3; 1) Stonington Att a meeting of the volunteers July the 1st 1701, "Captn. Richard Bushnell was chosen Clerk to make a list of the names of the volunteers, and to make entrey of all votes as shall be passed by sd Volunteres At the same Meeting above said the Companey proseeded to the choice of a committee Who are empowered to pass all those that shall offer themselves as volunteers and desire theire names to be entred accordingly, and the Clerk to enter no persons names as volunteers, without the approbation of the Committee, hereafter named, or the major part of them, The persons made choice of to do the above sd work are, Liut. Thomas Leffingwell, Liut. James Avery, Sarjt. John Frink, Richard Bushnell and Deacon Caleb Fobes. Voted." 2) Stonington, att a meeting of the volunteers July 2d 1701, "The Company Granted to Capt. Samuell Mason an equall share or interest with them in that Tract of Land Granted to them by the generall Court. Voted. A list of the names of the English volunteers in the late Narragansitt Warr as followeth... [Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman. Among the names were Aaron Stark Deceast, John Stark, Deceast...] Complete list of names can be found at <http//genconnect.rootsweb.com/gc/USA/Ct/NewLondonDeed/10049>. 3) New London November 14th 1705, " At a meeting of the volunteers, the sd volunteers being sencible that the tract of Land formerly granted to them, by the Honoll Generall Court of Conecticutt to settle a plantation upon is so broken by the late agreemnt made by the Committees for the Colonyes of Conecticut and Road Island, that they feare their intended purpose of settling a plantation so accomadable for a Christian Society as they desire is frustorated --- …" 4) New London At a Meeting of the volunteers Aprill the 17th 1706, " The Companey unanimously agreed (and Declared by their vote) to go on to draw lotts, upon that part of the Land laid out, which iswithin the Tract of Land Granted to the said volunteers by the Genll Court October the 10th 1700. …Att the same Meeting the Company Granted Samuell Fish Liberty to take his lott where he hath made emprovement by virture of a grant from Stonington, the lot being already laid out by the Committee." (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman)

 

 

 

 Page 36

 

Aaron Stark, deceased, was issued a grant of 122 acres, later described as Lot #124, for services rendered in King Philip's War while John Stark, deceased, was issued Lot #126.[7] If it's true Aaron Stark [1608-1685], Aaron Stark (Junior), and John Stark [Lieutenant] all fought in this war, as reported in the Charles R. Stark publication, then why would there not be three Voluntown lots awarded to Stark family members instead of only two?

New London probate records reported Aaron Stark [1608-1685] died in 1685 and the same records reported John Stark [Lieutenant] died in 1689. Therefore, both of these men were deceased by 1701as reported in the Voluntown Records and they would most certainly be likely candidates to be the two men receiving lots posthumously for their service in King Philip's War. Because there were only two lots issued, then one must presume the Charles R. Stark publication was mistaken when it reported Aaron Stark [the younger] received land in Voluntown for his service in King Philip's War.

However, this presumption could be a misconception of other possible events. Suppose Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before 1701. Many Stark family genealogical files report Aaron Stark (Junior) died April 24, 1721. The source of this date of death or approximate date of death was a New London Deed dated April 24, 1721 which stated "… to fix a deviding lane between mr. William Stark of sd Groton and his Cozen Aron Stark son to Aron Stark decd ye brother of ye sd William Stark according to ye last will & testament of Mr. Aron Stark decd. Father to ye above said Brothers ye boundary..."[8] Cozen Aron Stark was Aaron Stark [the third]. His father was Aaron Stark (Junior). The deceased brother of William Stark (Senior) was Aaron Stark (Junior) and the father of the brothers was Aaron Stark [1608-1685]. Therefore, this document clearly reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased by April 24, 1721.

There is an earlier deed between Aaron Stark [the third] and his siblings dated May 29, 1716 which states "received our full parts of shears of all ye estate that was our father Aaron Starks of Groton deceased."[9] The siblings named in this deed record were John Stark, Aabiel Stark, Joseph Collver (spouse of Mary Stark), and Sarah Stark, all known to be children of Aaron Stark (Junior). Therefore, this document reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before May 29, 1716 — at least five years earlier than April 24, 1721. Other genealogists report Aaron Stark (Junior) died in New Jersey after 1744 because of a Groton deed record between two men named Aaron Stark, Sr. and Aaron, Jr., both residing in New Jersey.[10] However, the previously discussed Groton deed record most certainly reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before May of 1716, well before this 1744 deed was made. Would there be earlier records suggesting how many years before 1716 Aaron Stark (Junior) may have died.

Helen Stark in a 1937 article entitled, " Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities," reported on page 3:[11] "June 9, 1707. (Aaron Stark (Junior)) Mentioned as deceased in a petition by the daughters of his deceased brother John, in regard to their share of the estate of their grandfather, Aaron 1 (Aaron Stark [1608-1685])."

Helen's source of this document was the New London Probate Records found at Hartford. This document reports Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before 1707. Based on her research, Helen Stark theorized the following in her "Facts & Authorities" article:

"Aaron Stark 2 (Aaron Stark (Junior)), was dead before Groton was set off from New London in 1705. This seems absolutely certain, because a study of Groton records proves that the only Aaron Stark appearing on them in the early years, was not Aaron 2, but his son Aaron 3 (Aaron Stark [the third]). In one record he establishes the bounds between his property and that of William Stark (William Stark (Senior)), stating that he had received his from his father, Aaron, deceased.

A large tract of land, part of the Aaron Stark (Aaron Stark [1608-1685]) homestead, was in the family's possession, but in every case it was already in the earliest records, in the possession of the children of Aaron 2, not in his own possession - Therefore, he must have died before these records began. Most of the children gave receipts to their brother, Aaron (Aaron Stark [the third]), for their share of their father's estate. And it must have been Aaron 2, and he alone who fought in King Philip's war; Aaron 1, was already an old man when that war began, and it seems much more fitting for Aaron 2 to have been the soldier."

But for proof, the heirs of John Stark received a lot at Voluntown, which they sold. The only other grant to a Stark, was lot #124, about 122 A. granted to "Aaron Stark deceased" in 1696 Because we did not believe that Aaron 2 died until many years later, we have assumed, I think, that this must have referred to Aaron 1. But the last time we can know that he was a live was in 1691, and he may easily have been dead in 1696, certainly he was by 1705."

Helen's research agrees with the above information and if her research revealed Aaron Stark (Junior) was deceased before June 9, 1707, then he was probably the "Aaron Stark, deceased" awarded a lot in Voluntown in 1701 for his service in King Philip's War. Therefore, Aaron Stark [1608-1685] most likely was not the recipient of a Voluntown lot for his service in King Philip's War, although he might have served in that conflict. Aaron Stark (Junior) was the most likely recipient of Lot #124 for his service in King Philip's War.

__________

7

Film #5881 CT New London Co. Voluntown; 1) Page 69, 124th Lot. "Lands Belonging to Aaron Stark his heires & assignes one hundred & twenty-two acres, more or less... Laid out March 1706 Pr James Avery, John Prentts & Manassah Minor. Entred July 1706. 2) Page 69 126th Lot. "Lands Belonging to John Stark his heires & assignes one hundred & twenty-six acres, more or less... Laid out March 1706 Pr James Avery, John Prentts & Manassah Minor. Entred July 1706."

8)

Groton, New London County, Connecticut Deed Records, Book 1, pages 551-552. (Transcribed by Gwen Boyer Bjorkman).

9)

Ibid. Page 310.

10)

Stark, The Aaron Stark Family, page 8.

11)

Helen Stark, "Aaron Stark Family, Known Facts & Authorities," Unpublished typed manuscript dated 1937. Archived Connecticut State Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Call Number 929.2 St 2664 & shelved in archive box.

 

 

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Copyright

Other than that work created by other acknowledged contributors or sources, the articles and genealogical data presented in this publication were derived from the research of Clovis LaFleur; Copyright © 2007. All rights are reserved. The use of any material on these pages by others will be discouraged if the named contributors, sources, or Clovis LaFleur have not been acknowledged.

Disclaimer

This publication and the data presented is the work of Clovis LaFleur. However, some of the content presented has been derived from the research and publicly available information of others and may not have been verified. You are responsible for the validation of all data and sources reported and should not presume the material presented is correct or complete.

 

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