Monday, January 14, 2013

Comstock Breakthrough - More Records

More new Comstock Records? There are additional recorded baptisms at Uxbridge St. Margaret for the years between 1632 and 1646. They were just recorded out of order. It always pays to keeping reading the next page, and the next, and the next. My deepest appreciation to my friend and fellow researcher, Lyndon Comstock, who did keep right on reading! Please be sure to go back and read the previous Blog for the source of the St. Margaret records online. Comstock Breakthrough

On this side of the Atlantic, it has been supposed that William and Elizabeth Comstock had five children - John and Daniel, proved when a son of each of them sold a track of land stating it had come to their respective fathers from their grandfather William Comstock. Samuel and Christopher Comstock, and a probable daughter Elizabeth who was the wife of Edward Shipman, have been added to the family by circumstantial evidence, their estimated ages, and the fact that there simply weren't other persons with the surname Comstock in New England at the time. One or two other names have been proposed as children in some of the old histories, but it is likely they were grandchildren.

Various dates for William Comstock & family's arrival in the colonies exist. Some have proposed he might have served in the Pequot War in 1637. However, since the earliest land records in Wethersfield have been lost, nothing has surfaced to prove that William Comstock was here in time to be in that War. Perhaps he was placed as a possible soldier in light of the list of settlers, described next. What can be proved is that William Comstock's name is on a list of settlers that came to Wethersfield between 1636 and 1640. The explanation accompanying the list is that these settlers are believed not to have come from Watertown as did the original proprietors and that some of them had come directly from England. This list can be found in History of Ancient Wethersfield,p.29, which is available on by subscription. In 1641, Comstock was living on a tract purchased from one Richard Mylles, who is believed to have left Wethersfield about 1637 or 1638.

Here are additional baptisms. These are not quite as clear as the other three of Daniel, John and Samuel; yet, combined with them make a powerful statement regarding this family. There appear to be two baptisms for a son named Christopher. Possibly a son died as an infant? There is what appears to be an incomplete entry 18 Aug 1634. The child is Christopher - the father's abbreviated first name, may indeed be Wm and the surname does look much like Coomestock in the other entries - it has been indexed as "Cumsters" which it certainly isn't. There is a second entry for a son Christor, 17 May 1636. Perhaps an abbreviation for Christopher. The father was William Coomestock, although this time indexed as "Cumscock". There is a word following the father's name - almost looks like "and" and doesn't seem to be "wife" or "uxor", the Latin word used often for the wife.

In my opinion, it would be more unusual for all five children of William and Elizabeth Comstock to have survived, than for the possibility that they lost an infant soon after birth, and gave the next child the same name. However, this is speculation and my own opinion, these entries are certainly not conclusive.  

Now, that leaves Elizabeth. So far, and I will continue to look at these records, I have not postively found her. We have baptisms of children in 1624 - Daniel, 1626 - John, 1629 - Samuel. Then maybe a son Christopher in 1634 who did not survive, followed by a Christopher baptized in 1636. All of these spaced as expected in a time when no birth control expected - except for the gap between Samuel in 1629 and the first possible Christopher in 1634.

There is a baptism at Uxbridge St. Margaret, 29 Jun 1632, for a child named Elizabeth but NO PARENTS are listed at all. Bummer.

Note, that the last of the baptisms was in May of 1636. Plenty of time for the family to then leave for the colonies and purchase Richard Mylls tract in Wethersfield, about 1638 or so.  Likely Comstock was not in Wethersfield to take part in the Pequot War.

Please remember that these are very new findings. Either this is the family of William Comstock or we have a number of amazing coincidences. They certainly indicate places to further our research on the Comstock family.

Further research has revealed a previously overlooked baptism for Elizabeth - we can likely disregard the incomplete entry noted above.

Baptisms at Hillingdon, Uxbridge St Margaret
1631, 18 Dec  Elizabeth fillia William Coomstocke
Note:  filia is Latin for daughter

I did hire a researcher in England to look for additional records - none were found in the Parish records, nor the records of parishes nearby.

1 comment:

  1. Elizabeth Comstock's baptism was found. She was baptized 18 Dec 1631 at St. Margaret of Uxbridge, along with the male children of William & Elizabeth Comstock. Her entry was just more difficult to read, but she was baptized there as well.