Friday, May 30, 2014

2) Researching the Life of a British Loyalist: Abner Wolcott Origins

Now that I have reintroduced Abner Wolcott,  I must declare, in the interest of full disclosure,  there is more than one controversy about him.  Let's begin at the beginning.  Where was Abner Wolcott born and who were his parents?  It seems almost all internet searching leaves one feeling confident his father was Joseph Wolcott and his mother Content Blakeslee.  None of the internet sites give a date or place which make Abner's birth line questionable to me.  The line runs something like this
Abner Wolcott, son of
     Joseph Wolcott, son of
          John Wolcott, son of
               John Wolcott, son of
                    George Wlcott, son of
                         Henry Wolcott of Windsor, Connecticut Colony

I suspect the source identifying Joseph and Content as Abner's  parents comes from either one or both of the following books:


I haven't been to a research library to check either of them out because well, I guess, I am a laptop genealogist! But onto the question: where is the original source for Abner's parents?  I haven't found it and if anyone reading this has a copy of the original source, I and many others would be grateful if you could write a comment to steer us to the origin.

Otherwise, I may have to follow the Wolcott Society's argument that Abner's father was not Joseph Wolcott but rather John Wolcott who was a descendant of John Wolcott of Watertown.  The society coordinates the Wolcott DNA Project - pretty strong evidence of connectivity. If I am interpreting it correctly, the line line runs something like this:
     Abner Wolcott, (born 1747)
son of
          John Wolcott, (born circa 1729 somewhere along the Connecticut River)
son of
              John Wolcott, (born 1695 in Brookfield Massachusetts Colony)
son of
                   John Wolcott, (born 1660 in Newbury, Massachusetts Colony)
son of
                        John Wolcott, (born 1636 in Newbury, Massachusetts Colony)
son of
                              John Wolcott of Watertown, Massachusetts Colony who was born 1599 in Axbridge, Somerset, England.

The Wolcott Society proposes Abner was the son of John who was born circa 1729 to John Wolcott and a woman who was not his Brookfield wife. See THE ILLUSIVE WOLCOTTS.  John, the father (Abner's grandfather), abandoned his Brookfield wife, his Brookfield lands and his Brookfield life for the life he had known as a young captive of indigenous people probably aligned with French Quebec. These may have been Abenaki along the upper Connecticut River north of Fort Number Four in present day New Hampshire.  Using DNA evidence, the researcher with the Wolcott Society argues the five descending Johns and Abner are a distinct line. The story of John's, Abner's grandfather, return to a life in the wilderness after several years of captivity seems plausible, especially because his capture in 1708 coincides with Queen Anne's War (the War of Spanish Succession) in North America, 1702-1713 when many colonialists were taken captive in borderland raids.

In this brief overview with a link to the Wolcott Society, I hope to clearly explain this genealogical conundrum if not controversy.  Forgive me and please correct me in the comment section, or email me at if you can clarify any section.  I would be very appreciative for guidance from anyone with more experience and information about the ancestors of Abner Wolcott.

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