The Bliss family in the 1600s

June 23, 2009

 

Thomas Bliss (1585 – 1650/51)

Thomas Bliss was born in Gloucester, England.  He married Margaret Hulins in 1621.  We do not know when or how they came to America, but he was in Hartford, Connecticut by 1639, and the records show that he had built a house by that time.  At his death, his widow was granted land in Springfield, Massachusetts, where she lived until her death in 1684.  She vigorously defended their daughter Mary Parsons when Mary was under suspicion of witchcraft in 1656, but in 1674 a formal charge was made resulting in Mary’s trial and acquittal in Boston.

Mary Bliss Parsons, who was charged with being a witch.

Mary Bliss Parsons, who was charged with being a witch.

Lawrence Bliss (1626-1676)

Lawrence, the son of Thomas, was born in England.  We do not know for sure how he came to America, but he probably came at the same time as his father before 1639.  He married Lydia Wright in 1654 in Springfield, Massachusetts.  He died in Springfield in 1676.

William Bliss (1670-1740)

William, son of Lawrence and grandson of Thomas, lived his whole life in Springfield, Massachusetts.  He married Margaret Lombard in 1710.

Bliss Mill at Chipping Norton, England.  Our family may have been associated with this mill that made woolens.

Bliss Mill at Chipping Norton, England. Our family may have been associated with this mill that made woolens.


Winegars in the 1600s

June 23, 2009

Ulrich Winegar was the patriarch of the Winegar in America.  Almost all of the American Winegars descended from him.  We know very little about his early years.  He was born in 1668 in Zurich, Switzerland, and moved to the Wurttemburg region of Germany along the Rhine River (in the vicinity of Stuttgart and Heidelberg on the map).  Ulrich and Anna lived in the Palatine region where residents were called Palatines.  His first child Anna was born about 1698.

The name Winegar probably comes from Ulrich’s occupation as a vine dresser or worker in the vineyards.  The name may have been pronounced something like Vine-ak-er.  For at least the first four generations there was no uniform spelling of the name.  Since the family spoke German, it was as likely to have been spelled and pronounced with a V as with a W.  Early records show the name also as Weyniger, Winniger, Viniger, and even Von Wegener.

A vinyard on the Rhine River

A vinyard on the Rhine River


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