The World of Grandpa Don

The Royce Family Line
 


Our Royce line in America begins with Robert. One of his descendants married into the Doolittle line of our ancestors.

This is their story, as I know it.

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In England

Robert Royce was born in Somerset, England. His Wife, Mary, had been born in Long Sutton, Somerset, England. Nothing is known of their parents.

In America

The ship Mayflower arrived and discharged its passengers at Plymouth Massachusetts in 1620, the place of the first New England settlement. In 1630 the town of Boston was founded, providing an excellent harbor. The first English settlers arrived in Connecticut 1635 and their settlement was originally called Newtown, but was renamed Hartford in 1637. The name "Hartford" was chosen to honor the English town of Hertford, home of Samuel Stone, one of the settlers. In 1637 the town of New Haven Connecticut was founded.  In the area was called Nameaug by the Pequot Indians. John Winthrop, Jr.  founded the first English settlement there in 1646. Inhabitants informally named it Pequot after the tribe. The name was later changed to New London. The town of Wallingford was settled in October 10, 1667.

 

Generation 1

Robert Royce (1606-1676) & Mary (Unknown) (1609-1696)

Robert Royce and Mary (Surname unknown) (Our 8th great grandparents) were married in England about 1630 where their children Jonathan, Sarah and Nehemiah were born. They sailed to New England about 1640 with the Winthrop Fleet.  The family was known to be living in Stanford Connecticut in 1643 and in New London in 1657. They were also early settlers in Mansfield, Ct. Robert was a representative of the colony in 1660 and 1661. His occupation was Shoemaker. Robert died in 1676. Mary died in Wallingford on July 14, 1697.

Research note:
Claims that he was married to Mary Sims on Jun 04, 1634 in Connecticut are completely unfounded as is a claim that there was a marriage  in 1634 between a Robert Royce by any spelling and a Mary Sims (Syms) in England.  The latter may have been confused with a marriage between a Robert Rayce and a Mary Sims on Jun 04, 1624 in Long Sutton, England.
There also has been much confusion in posted family trees between our Robert Royce and a man of the same name who lived with his wife, Elizabeth, and their family  in Boston at the same time. The children of both families have appeared in various family trees as all being of our Robert Royce.
I thank Curtis Pratt for directing me to Descendants of Robert Royce of New London, Connecticut by Michael Edward Dobson where most of this information is published.

Generation 2

Nehemia Royce (1636-1706) & Ester Moss (1642-1706)

Nehemia Royce, the third child of Robert and Mary, (our 7th great grandparents)was born in 1636 in Long Sutton, Somerset, England and came to America as a small child with his older brother and sister..

On Nov. 20, 1660, he married Hannah MORGAN at New London, New London County, CT. Hanna was the daughter of  James Morgan of Landaff, Glamorgan, Wales, and his wife, Margery Hill. and was born either in New London or Roxbury, Ma on the 18th of July, 1642.  They had their first 2 children; Joseph and Margery;  in New London.  He was one of the original settlers in Wallingford in 1670. Their 3rd child Joanna Hannah, was born in 1670 either just before or just after the family's relocation to Wallingford. Three more children followed between 1673 and 1677; Mary, Mercy and Esther.

Nehemia Royce was a carpenter, joiner and blacksmith by trade. In 1677 he built a house for the family and built it well. It still stands to this date, the oldest house in Wallingford.

The House plaque reads:
Nehemiah Royce House - 1672
Oldest Wallingford home built two years after the town was settled, overlooking "Dog'sRoyce House Misery". When General Washington came to Wallingford in 1775 he said farewell in front of this house. Wallingford was the 19th settlement in Connecticut and Royce one of it's original proprietors on whose behalf the land was purchased from Mantowese and Sunk Squa, daughter of the Great Sachem of the Quinnipiacs.
"The rest of the state was wilderness. The enemies were the Indians, the wolves and bears, and the French, the Dutch and the Devil."

This is the oldest "salt box" in Wallingford. Many times altered and renovated, it was moved from it's original location opposite the site of the "Washington Elm". It's present restoration to fine condition was done by the Choate School now the owner. See Royce House

Nehemiah and Hanna had 6 children between 1660 and 1667. Hannah died in 1677, the year their last child was born. She may have died of complications of childbirth. Then in 1678, there were small children that needed care, he married Esther (Moss). Nothing is known of her parents.   In 1682 a son, Nehemiah was born (Our 6th great grandfather) and in 1680, a daughter, Lyda. Both Nehemia and Esther Moss died in Wallington in 1706. 

 

3rd Generation 

Nehemiah Royce (1682-1725) & Kezia Hall

Nehemia Royce, born in 1682 was the son of Nehemia and Esther. He married Kezia Hall born in 1688 at Wallingford, New Haven, Connecticut. She was the daughter of Samuel Hall and Hannah Walker. We know nothing the family. The couple had 7 children all born in Wallingford between 1711 and 1726. Hannah was born on May 15, 1720. Hannah was to be our 5th great grandmother and was the second of their children to bear that name, the first having been born and died on 30 Nov 1713.  Kezia died 26 Mar 1726 at the age of 38, apparently as a result of complications in the birth of their last child who was given her name.  Nehemia had died 30 Oct 1725 at the age of 43, five months before his last child was born. Cause of death is unknown.

The oldest of the 6 surviving children was only 15 at the time of the death of their parents. Our Hannah was just 9. It is unknown who took over the raising of the children but can only assume that there were aunts and uncles to assume guardianship. It is most likely they were divided amongst relatives and blended into their families.

 

4th Generation

Hannah Royce (1720-1779) & John Doolittle (1712-1747)

This marriage in 1737 leads us to the Doolittle family line. Follow it through the link:
John Doolittle (1712-1747) & Hannah Royce (1720-1797)

 

Postscript:
The Royce line is another of the short lines in our family tree. It is distinguished only by the life of the first Nehemia Royce. With his skills as a carpenter and blacksmith he was most likely a great asset to his community as it was built from the wilderness. That is not to say that his descendants were not as gifted or assets to the community. It is just that we know so little about them.  It took some fortitude to live in the days when "The rest of the state was wilderness. The enemies were the Indians, the wolves and bears, and the French, the Dutch and the Devil."

See the chart for the Royce Line with historical background.

 

Cousins & Stuff

S. T. schvaneveldt Family Tree
Sarah Royce (1665-1738) of the S. T. schvaneveldt Family Tree appears to be the granddaughter of Robert Royce (1605-1676) the patriarch of the Royce family in America and my 8th great grandfather. That tree has her death as 1668, an obvious error since a 3 year old could not have been married and the mother of Lydia Lincoln. She actually lived to age 77, having died 01 May 1711 and was the wife of Samuel Lincoln, father of Lydia and also John Chapman with whom she had at least 4 children. The owner of that tree is apparently a DNA match to me as a 9th cousin 2X removed. See Relationship Chart.

Grandpa Don Plefka
aka Harry Ronald Cecora
12/22/2009
Rev 12/08/2012

 

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