January 7, 2012

More Travel Back into the Ordway Line

In previous posts, I've traced down the Ordway ancestry from my grandfather down to Moses Ordway of Tunbridge, VT. 
One can see how the migration has gone so far from Vermont to Ohio and Michigan.  In the next generations, the migration will go from England to Massachusetts to New Hampshire to Vermont.  Much of this history is well-documented in New England vital records and historical books and manuscripts.  My plan here is not to document all of these in this blog, but rather just to trace the ancestry and to tell some of the stories of the ancestors

Moses Ordway Jr, father of that record-breaking family of 22 children in Tunbridge, VT, was the son of another Moses Ordway, my gggggg-grandfather and his wife, Hannah Hadley.  Moses Sr. was born in Newbury, MA, on 20 Sept 1714 and Hannah in Gloucester, MA, on 8 Nov 1714.  The couple were married in Newbury on 29 Nov 1735.  (Newbury has an excellent collection of vital records from the times.) 
Moses Jr was the second son of eleven children they had, all born from 1736 - 1764, just prior to the Revolutionary War.  At the time of his death on 28 May 1792, Moses Sr. lived in Plaistow, Rockingham County, NH which was very near to Newbury and was probably part of MA at one time.
Map pins: On the Atlantic coast is Newbury, Massachusetts and directly west of that in the corner of New Hampshire is Plaistow.  Moses Jr. traveled west to Tunbridge, Vermont.

The earliest generations of our Ordway line have been documented in the book, The Ancestry of Samuel Blanchard Ordway, 1844-1916, by Dean Crawford Smith and published by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1990.  The stories that follow were referenced in that book and were not researched personally by me beyond that.

Moses Sr. was the son of James Ordway (Jr.) and his second wife, Sarah Clark.  James, born 16 April 1651, first married the widow of Thomas Bartlett, Tirzah Titcomb Bartlett in 1690.  Tirzah died in 1695, after having two children with James Ordway - James and Lydia.
  James Jr. then married Sarah Clark who was born 7 Sept 1675 in Rowley, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Together, they had four more children: Johanna (Joanna), John, Mary, and my ancestor, Moses.  James and Sarah Ordway lived in Newbury, MA, and all their children were born there.  In a 1688 survey of the town, James was noted to own 2 horses, 4 oxen, 4 cows, 30 sheep, a dwelling house and a malt house.  It is also known that he owned a Negro man named Jupiter because Jupiter's ownership was passed on in James' will.  Records in Newbury also name James as a member of Captain Thomas Noyes' company of a local militia in Essex County as one who owned "snow shoos and megginsons." (Snowshoes and moccasins)  James's three brothers were also named as snowshoe men.
The date of James' death is murky, but was probably in 1721 or 1722, based on his will which has survived.  In the will, he gave his wife Sarah 1/3 ownership of Jupiter, a life tenacy of 1/2 of his new home, 1/2 the produce from his son, Moses', land and 1/2 the produce of son John's land. 
John received 1/2 the barn and 1/2 the land where one house stood and some other plots of land.  He was directed to manage his mother's estate until Moses turned 21 and to provide 5 cords of firewood each year to his mother.  John also received 2/3 "of my negro man call'd Jupiter."
James died when Moses was but a child of seven or eight, but still Moses gained 1/2 the lands of the homestead, 1/2 of his father's new house and the other half of the house when his mother died.  He inherited his father's farming tools and some other miscellaneous plots of land.  When he turned 21, he was to take over from his brother, John, in supplying five cords of firewood to his mother each year.

So, our Ordway line from my grandfather back would be: Frederick,
Lemuel, Richard, Harrison, Aaron, Moses Jr, Moses Sr, James Jr, and now the immigrant to America, James Ordway Sr.


  1. I have been searching myself as to how i am connected to the Ordway's of west Newbury Mass. I know I am but am so lost. I was not expecting all of my family to pass away so young. My grandmother, all of my Aunt's & my own mother are all gone. I could not find much of anything but I am sure of anything that we are Ordway's of descent I so remember that much. I believe my great great grandmother was Cecile or Cecelia ? No idea. All of the Ordway names are so familiar to me but I cannot make any headway. I believe they are my grandfather's family. His name was richmond Rogers. They are all buried in West Newbury or Byfield Mass. 2 things I do remember Indian Hill ? Right on the road where Cherry hill Nursery is someplace there is a plaque on that road dedicated to a woman who killed an Indian . She is my great great grandmother. My mother grew up in a big yellow colonial home at the bottom of Indian Hill directly across the street. Down the street from Cherry hill Nursery again & near the plaque. I guess whats so very confusing to me is that both my grandfather ( Rogers ) as well as my grandmother are from family histories there in the area it is hard to keep them straight. My grandmother was a Cavagnarro Rita Mae. She married Rogers a whole bunch of them are buried in the South Byfield Cemetary including y grandfather & my mother & my great grandparents. I guess I could start there & walk around but it's so hard to glue the pcs together. :) I recognize all the names of your family. It was great to come across your oage ! :)

    email @ ninelivesracing01@yahoo.com

    1. Hi Jodi - I would suggest you read the Ordway book referenced above to see if the Rogers are mentioned. Keep at it! I know it will all come together for you!