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Jim Ward's Genealogy Pages

The Royce - Beach Connection

After looking at the table of the three immediate descendants of Thomas Beach -  John, Deacon John, and Linus - you then notice two women named Mary Royce and one named Dinah Royce who married the Beach men. You would be correct in surmising that the Royce women have a common ancestral parent, given the life and times in colonial America at that point.  But the explanation is not a simple one, since Puritan religious beliefs at the time did nothing to discourage intermarriage, partly out of need to increase the population and the fact that 10 miles was a considerable distance in the 1600s.  Isolated pockets of the population were communal groups of people, individuals who didn't have the  opportunity to range far and wide looking for a wife or husband.

Working from and trying to understand an excellent monograph on this subject by cousin Eugene H. Beach Jr., I shall attempt to explain the genealogical mess that is the Royce - Beach connection. I do understand it, but have to work it out this way in order to better explain it to others.

John Beach, son of Thomas Beach and Sarah Platt, married Mary Royce1, an only child of Jonathan Royce and Mary Spinning. Jonathan Royce was the son of Robert Royce.

John's son Deacon John Beach was one of the children of seven children of John and Mary Royce Beach. After Deacon John's first wife Sarah Tyler died in 1716, in 1717 he married Mary Royce2, daughter of Samuel Royce and Sarah Baldwin, and granddaughter of Robert Royce.

Deacon John's son Linus Beach, born in 1721, married Dinah Royce, daughter of Nathaniel Royce and Phebe Clark. Of the 12 children born to this couple, Eugene H. Beach Jr. and I share Michael Beach as a common ancestor. At this point the explanation grows quite complicated!

Thomas Beach & Sarah Platt Robert Royce1 & Mary (Sims?)




|      |--------

Jonathon Royce & Mary Spinning

Samuel Royce & 1.Hannah Churchill

John Beach & Mary Royce1


2. Sarah Baldwin               |


Mary Royce2/


Deacon John Beach---------


Robert Royce & Mary Porter




Nathaniel Royce & Phebe Clark



Linus Beach-----------


----------Dinah Royce

All 3 Royce women are descendants of Robert Royce in one way or another. Both Mary Royce1 and Mary Royce2 are Granddaughters of Robert Royce and Mary (?), while Dinah Royce is a Great-Great Granddaughter of Robert & Mary. Now I need to quote almost exactly the monograph of cousin Eugene:

Mary Royce2 (Samuel & Sarah, Robert & Mary), wife of Deacon John Beach, was first cousin to her husband's mother, Mary Royce1(Jonathan & Mary, Robert & Mary).  Consequently, Deacon John Beach would be his wife's first cousin once removed. The children of mary Royce2 and Deacon John Beach would likewise be their mother's first cousins twice removed and their father's second cousins. The children would also be second cousins once removed to each other.

Confused yet??? Read on!!!

The marriage of Linus Beach to Dinah Royce (Nathaniel-Robert-Samuel-Robert) introduces more complexity. His wife would be his own first cousin once removed when traced through their immediate common ancestor Samuel Royce. Linus and Dinah would also be third cousins when traced their more remote ancestor Robert Royce by way of Mary Royce2.

The children of Linus and Dinah had this confusing array of relationships: Fourth Cousins to each other; second cousins to their mother; first cousins twice removed to their father; and second cousins twice removed to their grandfather Deacon John Beach.

The children of Linus and Dinah also had this to ponder: They had Samuel royce as a great-Grandfather through their father's side, and  a great-great-Grandfather through their mother's side. Also, they can claim Robert Royce1 as a great-great-Grandfather AND a great-great-great-Grandfather.

If you think the above was complicated. then consider the following: My Dad's Fenn and Baldwin lines are connected in this also. Robert Royce and Mary Porter's daughter, yet another Mary Royce, was the mother of Abigail Austin, wife of Edward Fenn.  Sarah Baldwin, second wife of Samuel Royce, was either a niece or grand-niece of the Sarah Baldwin who married Benjamin Fenn (Edward Fenn's Great-Grandfather) in 1638.  I'm getting the chart together, getting the generations right, and then have to figure how to present it on a web page.

See the relationship chart by Bill Curtis to see if you can come up with a different scenario!

Also see The Beach Family Journal website, by Eugene H. Beach Jr.

I'm not going to get into the Sarah Baldwin link until I have a chance to dig into her ancestors to see if she's related to the Sarah Baldwin who married Benjamin Fenn (my Paternal line) in 1638, some 100 years earlier. Wish me luck!

Eugene's Sources:

See generally: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1964, Vol 12, "Inheritance," page 357, re: determining degrees of kindred and affinity under civil law: Vol. 14, "Marriage," page 951, re: prohibitions of canon law.

Morgan, Edmund, The Puritan Family,  Harper & Row, 1944, 1966, especially pp. 150 -153.

Jacobus, Donald L.,  Mary (Royce) Beach,  New Haven, 1926, reprinted from the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Jan. 1926.

Davis, Charles H. S., History of Wallingford, Connecticut, Meriden Connecticut, 1870.

Royce Family Association,  New England Pioneers: Robert and Mary Royce of Connecticut, 1988, pp. 24 -26.

Roys, Julia M. and Dodge, L. I., Roys Family Records, Review Press, Oxford, New York, 1909.

see generally:  Beach, Alfred H. and Cora M., The Beach Family Magazine, Vol. 1, Nos. 1 - 4, 1926, the index of which lists these and other Royce-Beach marriages.