Posts Tagged ‘Hempstead Family’
I’ve just read For Adam’s Sake; A Family Saga in Colonial New England. It is extremely interesting, packed with detail (some juicy) and highly readable. Historian Allegra di Bonaventura meticulously researched an abundance of primary sources but relied heavily on the detailed diary Joshua Hempstead kept for nearly 50 years while living in New London, Connecticut,
The lives the Hempstead family, other families of English ancestry, and the Jacksons, an African American family, are interwoven. Adam Jackson, was Hempstead’s slave for 30 years. Informative accounts of Native Algonquins are also part of the saga. Family and daily life, farming, occupations, hard work, disease, travel, Colonial slavery, and disagreements over religion and land are just some of the many facets of late 17th and early 18th century life in Colonial America. Rich detail and intense narratives captured my attention throughout.
The Hempstead name and my ancestors’ experience Colonial New England piqued my interest when I read about the book. I have known Hempsteads all of my life; my Ford ancestors immigrated to Colonial New England in 1621. I dug out a family history and discovered that Hannah Dingley, wife of James Ford, a 4th generation family member, lived in the New London. The Ford family is not part of For Adam’s Sake, but there is a crossover of the names (Beebe, Winthrop, Rogers, and Harris) and similar situations are included in both.
di Bonaventura’s sources span an extensive range of primary source documents and pictures from New England Historical Societies, The Library of Congress, and beyond. The Hempstead family home was occupied by 8 generations of Hempsteads into the 20th century. It is now a historic site.
- For Adam’s Sake: A Family Saga in Colonial New England by Allegra di Bonaventura. Liveright, 2013. More info.
- The Ancestry of the Children of William Arthur and Nellie Clara Ford Van Alstine; Part 2; Ford Ancestry in America, 1620-1976.
Compiled by James Neal Van Alstine, Center Conway, New Hampshire, 1976.
- Hempstead Houses, Connecticut Historic Site
- Excerpt from the Joshua Hempstead Diary, New London County Historical Society
- Ebook Version of Joshua Hempstead’s Diary (Google Books)
- Mary Johnson’s Primary Source Librarian blog alerted me to this intriguing book. She also has a personal connection with the book! Amazing! Thank you!