The Birth of the Royal Dames
By Carol and Barbara
May 12, 2002
The search for our roots began in the late 1980’s when, I, Carol , became interested in joining the Daughters of The American Revolution (DAR). Our family had been living in the New England area for decades and there was a strong possibility that I would find a link back at least to the Revolutionary War.
I started the search focused in the MA and ME areas and visited libraries, town offices, NEHGS, archives and county court houses in order to compile the necessary information, Being a school teacher I was able to do this only in the summer months so it took a few years to gather all the facts.
I was able to search back to John Spalding born in Chelmsford MA in 1673. I finally had my ten generations needed to join this organization and I had attained my goal. However I had the urge to go even further to find other ancestors and it soon became an on-going mission.
One of the notables that I uncovered was Sir Robert Lawrence born c1150
in Lancashire, England; he was a Crusader under King Arthur. This was really
fascinating and it spurred me on for more searching. I was hooked on
In early 2000 my sister, Barbara, became interested in this field and
it was not too long after that she also was addicted. I will let her pick
up the story from this point.
Not knowing the first thing about searching, where to begin or how to do it, I had to start with the basics. Although I had computer experience when working in an office, running a personal computer was a completely different game. But I managed by reading books and taking lessons online.
Unfortunately there were no stories passed down through the generations. We were from a line of strong women who had lost their husbands and had to rear their children alone. There were no happy times to relate. To ask questions was unheard of because it brought back sad memories. Besides we were told repeatedly, “Children were to be seen and not heard”. Thus we were on our own to dig up the answers from the past.
Now came the time to tackle the genealogy sites. I was amazed at the quantity of information online: I only had to click on the correct name and compile the needed facts. In the LDS Church site I was able to go through my maternal great grandmother’s line Ladd/Dearborn/Garland/Sears/Hilton/Lumley to King Edward IV. We had hit our first Royal line. Continuing on her line brought me further back to the year 69 AD. This was exciting.
My maternal grandmother Maude Peavey was born in 1881 in Dayton, ME and she was left widowed at age 40. Her husband, a professional photographer, had spilled developing chemicals on his foot. Infection set in and he lost his foot, then his leg and soon his life. They lived in Charlestown, MA and that is where I was born. Her mother, Helen Ladd, was born in Saco, ME in 1855. She married George F. Peavey in 1875 and they had eight children. When George’s father, Levi L., died, he inherited the Peavey land in Dayton, ME but sold it two years later in 1885 and moved the family to MA. I have been unable to find the reason for this move. Around 1902 while they were living in Westwood, MA, George left the family and according to all accounts was never heard from since. Helen was left with the two youngest children and no means of support. Two of the older sons were farmers and lumber-jacks working on farms in other parts of the state. They would come home at times and try to help but being drinkers most of their funds were spent on alcohol. Neither of them ever married which probably was a good thing.
We were able to trace George F. to Levi L. to Abraham, born c1779 and that is where we hit our brick wall. I was corresponding with James Peva in Feb. 2002 and he put me in touch with the Peavey group headed by June Hallie Peavey in WA. She sent me tons of information which explained that we came from Royal families in England and France. This was really interesting because George F. Peavey was from a Royal line and he had married Helen Ladd also from Royalty. Now we were doubly Royal.
I remembered that Helen also had an ancestor named, Sarah Pevey, so I traced her and found her father to be Edward Pevey/Peavey, born 1666 in Greenland, NH. Checking still further I found not only Helen’s grandfather’s line going through the Dearborn’s to Rachel Carter, daughter of Sarah but Helen’s ggggrandmother in another line was Hepzibah Carter, sister to Rachel and also Sarah’s daughter. This was the first female descendency of the Peavey’s to be found in the group. June insisted that we select an appropriate name so wanting to be unique Carol and I settled on “The Royal Dames”. We now had four distinct links to Royalty.
Together with the Preacher, Inventor, Moses, Ichabod, Money Line,
etc., we became the “new Peavey’s on the block”. We are all committed to
find the unknown or missing persons and to finish our “Big Mama” tree so
that we can present it to the world online.
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