I am planning to spend about three weeks in London this summer with the 2005 British Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. One of my primary research projects is the English ancestry of Edward Convers of Woburn.
While I am convinced that "our" Edward is the son of Allen Convers of Navestock and South Weald in Essex I have been attempting to understand the material which Mary Ann has posted on Converse Connections.
The documents copied there appear to be two handwritten family group sheets from the Winchester Historical Society, dated 1901, a page from a book detailing a pedigree from a Visitation of Northamptonshire in 1681, and a handwritten chart showing the children of Richard Conyers of Wakerly and his wife Isabell from the Northamptonshire Record Office refering to "H. I. Langlen pedigree." (This latter is evidently based on a will of Richard proved by Isabel his widow 26 March 1560.)I will make it a point to try to see and abstract this will, although it doesn't seem to me that Christopher Conyers' ancestry is in question.
The material shown on the pedigree from the Visitation of 1681 appears to be very similar to the pedigree to which Hill refers in his 1887 Converse genealogy, although Hill suggests that the children shown are actually the grandchildren of Edward, and gives some dates for their births and deaths.It does not seem to me that any of these documents advance the theory of Edward of Wakerly as Edward of Woburn beyond the claim put forth by Hill in 1887. It is not surprising that some of these records are in the files of the Winchester Historical Society, as the Society published, in March 1886 (v. II, n. 2) in the Winchester Record a genealogy of "The Family of De Coigneries" which concluded with the family of Christopher Conyers precisely as shown on handwritten family group sheets. Interestingly enough, I cannot find that the article ever makes the specific claim that the Edward Conyers of Wakerly, b. 1590 is the Edward Convers of Woburn, although this is certainly implied by the statement "From these Emigrations to England is descended the Converse family of this country." (The article gives as its source for this statement a "History of Rindge, New Hampshire" which I have not yet examined.)
I'm sure I will have access to the Nicholls "History of Leistershire" and the "History and Antiq. of Northamptonsire while I am at the Society of Genealogists in London and I will verify this information there.Mary Ann has listed on her Converse Connections the following information:
I believe that Douglas Richardson's article in the Register is right on target, although I think he is in error that Edward's second marriage to Sarah (--?--) did not occur until after his arrival in Massachusetts. Sarah Convers does appear on the list of early members of the First Church of Boston, a few lines after the listing for Edward Convers, so this marriage probably occurred in England between the death of Sarah (Parker) Convers in 1625 and the arrival of Edward and Sarah Convers in Charlestown in 1630. Needless to say, I will be searching for a record of this while I am there. It is even possible, it seems to me, that Mary Convers, who married Simon Thompson is a daughter of this second marriage.The most telling argument for the Essex family for Edward, so far as I am concerned, is the status consciousness of our Puritan forebears. The Wakerly Conyers family is clearly gentry. The pedigree lists Edward Conyers b. 30 June 1590 as "gent." (gentleman). Had our Edward held this distinction in England, he would certainly have been listed as "gent." or "Mr." or "Esq." in the early records of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. None of the records I have examined give him this distinction, and in fact, one record refers to him as "Goodman" Edward Convers, a title usually reserved for the yeomanry, as "Goodwife" was used for their wives.
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