Friday, March 25, 2011
Forebear Friday - Marrying the Enemy? Thomas Nickerson & Mary Bangs
Perhaps it was a bit of a Romeo and Juliet story. But at the least it might have made for some interesting family reunions. The union of Thomas Nickerson and Mary Bangs (my 8th great-grandparents) in 1696 had the potential to cause quite a stir among their families. Thomas was the grandson of immigrant William Nickerson, and Mary was the granddaughter of Plymouth colonist Edward Bangs.
The problem goes back to land, and their grandfathers. As a member of Plymouth colony, Edward Bangs was among those who had the first rights, given by the Court, for purchasing reserved land from the Indians. William Nickerson, who sought to acquire land and create a settlement, purchased a great deal of this reserved land himself, illegally, a move said to have greatly angered the colonists. Nickerson claimed ignorance of the law, and the matter was in court for many years. While the land was granted to others, Nickerson eventually re-purchased much of it from the grantees, and so started the settlement of Monomoit (Chatham, Massachusetts) as he wished.
I wonder what the reaction of Edward Bangs and William Nickerson might have been to their grandchildren marrying, had they lived to see it...