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Terry Mason's Family History Site

Major lines: Allen, Beck, Borden, Buck, Burden, Carpenter, Carper, Cobb, Cook, Cornell, Cowan, Daffron, Davis, Downing, Faubion, Fauntleroy, Fenter, Fishback, Foulks, Gray, Harris, Heimbach, Henn, Holland, Holtzclaw, Jackson, Jameson, Johnson, Jones, King, Lewis, Mason, Massengill, McAnnally, Moore, Morgan, Overstreet, Price, Peck, Rice, Richardson, Rogers, Samuel, Smith, Taylor, Thomas, Wade, Warren, Weeks, Webb, Wodell, Yeiser.

 

Selected Families and Individuals

Source Citations


Thomas Borden

1Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], pg 71, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "... ... Nevertheless, Mr. Borden was highly successful in his operations and accumulated a good estate which he transmitted to his descendants who were always ranked among the most respectable people in the town.  To his son John  he gave his homestead with all his lands in Portsmouth, together with his ferryboats.  To Joseph and William he gave the Hog Island farm to be divided equally between them; and to each of his daughters, Mary and Sarah, he gave on hundred and fifty pounds; the balance of his money went to his sons.  Some years later Joseph sold his interest in Hog Island farm to his brother William, and bought the homestead of his father and the whole of John's share, and John removed to Dutchess county, New York.  The old family seat of John Borden of Quaker Hiss is a place well known.  It contained, a few years ago, two houses near each other."

2Carile Santos, Richard Borden of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, pg 1494, FHL 1597740 Item 14. From publication, "Your ancestors, a national magazine of genealogy and family history" published in Buffalo, N.Y. by Harry Ferris Johnston from 1947 to 1959. "Thomas 3 Borden, Son of John & Mary (Earle)
b. 12-13-1682 Portsmouth, R.I.
M. 10-24-1727 Mary Briggs
d.
Res. Fall River, Mass." 6 children listed.

3Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F83F-NJ3. "Name: Thomas Borden
Event Type: Christening
Event Place: Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Event Place (Original): Society of Friends, Newport, Newport, Rhode Island, United States
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 13 Dec 1682
Birthplace: SOCIETY OF FRIENDS, NEWPORT, NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
Father's Name: John Borden
Mother's Name: Mary

Reference ID: 2:1781RGB
GS Film Number: 22488
Digital Folder Number: 007837380

Citing this Record
"Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F83F-NJ7 : 17 December 2019), Mary in entry for Thomas Borden, ." Image.

4FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/113070740/thomas-borden. "Vital Record of Rhode Island Friends, page 46, confirms his birth date.

Thomas resided on the paternal homestead. The Bristol ferry leased by his father was operated by him. He inherited the homestead and was a 'substantial and prosperous citizen.' [Joseph Savage, Little Brown, Boston, 1860]." Image.

5Wilber, Philip - town clerk, Rhode Island, Little Compton family genealogies, FHL US/CAN Film 946840 Item 2.

6Portsmouth (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Rhode Island - Portsmouth - The town book of records: marriages, birth and deceases, 1684-1853, Bk 1 pg 44, FHL 946795 Items 2-5.

7Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F829-SYB, FamilySearch.org. Image.


Mary Briggs

1Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], pg 72, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "Thomas Borden died about 1745, leaving a widow much younger than himself.  She subsequently married Christopher Turner of Dartsmouth, a widower with several children.  One of Turner's daughters married Thomas' son, Joseph, thus forming a two fold connection between the two families."

2FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/113070591/mary-borden. "Daughter of Job and Eleanor Briggs of Portsmouth and Little Compton." Image.

3Wilber, Philip - town clerk, Rhode Island, Little Compton family genealogies, FHL US/CAN Film 946840 Item 2.

4Portsmouth (Rhode Island). Town Clerk, Rhode Island - Portsmouth - The town book of records: marriages, birth and deceases, 1684-1853, Bk 1 pg 44, FHL 946795 Items 2-5.

5Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F829-SYB, FamilySearch.org. Image.


Job Borden

1Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F872-X8K. Image.

2Rhode Island, Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8FJ-PM4. "Name: Job Borden
Gender: Male
Death Date: 22 Feb 1727
Death Place: Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Father's Name: Thomas Borden
Mother's Name: Mary
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: I09425-9
System Origin: Rhode Island-EASy
GS Film number: 946795
Reference ID: p 45

Citing this Record
"Rhode Island Deaths and Burials, 1802-1950," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8FJ-PM4 : 10 February 2018), Job Borden, 22 Feb 1727; citing Portsmouth, Rhode Island, reference p 45; FHL microfilm 946,795." Image.


Sarah Borden

1Rhode Island Births and Christenings, 1600-1914, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:F8SK-2Z6. Image.


Benjamin Borden

1Zella Armstrong, Notable Southern Families (Genealogical Publishing Co. Baltimore, 1974.), pgs 23-31, G929.2. Printed from Family Archive Viewer CD191, Broderbund Software, Sep. 17, 2000. "ERROR: On page 23 Zella Armstrong indicates that this is the Benjamin that was married to Jerusah and settled Borden's Manor in Virginia. She confuses him with his first cousin Benjamin who was born in 1675 to this man's uncle Benjamin."


Sarah Ruth Collins

1Massachusetts Birth and Christenings, 1639-1915, https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VQXL-PFF. Image.

2FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/134364836. Image.

3Zella Armstrong, Notable Southern Families (Genealogical Publishing Co. Baltimore, 1974.), pgs 23-31, G929.2. Printed from Family Archive Viewer CD191, Broderbund Software, Sep. 17, 2000. "ERROR: On page 23 Zella Armstrong indicates that this is the Benjamin that was married to Jerusah and settled Borden's Manor in Virginia. She confuses him with his first cousin Benjamin who was born in 1675 to this man's uncle Benjamin."


Thomas Cornell Jr.

1Recorded by Chester Clair Cornell; edited by Elisabeth Cornell, Cornell family history: from County Essex, England to Winneshiek County, Iowa, pages 11 & 12, 929.273 C815cc. "Thomas2 Cornell, the eldest son of Thomas and Rebecca, was bap. Oct. 21, 1627 at Saffron-Walden, County Essex, England. He died May 23, 1673, executed by the Colonial authorities for the supposed murder of his mother Rebecca. Thomas m. (1) Elizabeth , (2) Sarah Earle.

Ch. Cornell:
by first wife
16. Thomas3, b. 1653 (Austin), d. Aug. 11, 1714; m. Susannah Lawton,
17. Edward, b. d. 1708; m, Mary of Long Island.
18. Stephen3, b. 1656 at Portsmouth, living 1716/7 (Moriarty), d. by 1723; m. Hannah Mosher, dau. of Hugh and Rebecca (Maxson) Mosher (Mosher gen.)
19. John, b. ca. 1658/9; prob, followed his uncle John2 to Hempstead, L. I.; m. Hannah by 1684 (Glazier).

by second wife
20. Sarah, b. ca. 1668, d. June 25, 1748 aet. 80; m. (1) Zaccheus Butts (2) John Cole (Glazier).
21. Daughter, pos. m. into the Lake family (Glazier).
22. Innocent, b. ca. 1673; m. Richard3 Borden of Portsmouth 1671-1732; certainly named "Innocent" by her mother as a protest to the unjust execution of her father.

1655, March 17 -- In Portsmouth, he is called Thomas Cornell Jr. and was chosen with three others to prize land and buildings of John Wood, deceased.

1657, March 17 -- He was awarded a grant of ten acres.

1663, Aug. 24 -- He, eldest son of Thomas Cornell, confirmed a deed his mother had made two years earlier to Richard Hart.

1664 -- He was elected deputy to the General Assembly of Rhode Island; served as well in 1670, 1671 and 1672.

1670, May 4-- He was appointed, with three others, to audit the Colony's records.

1671, June 7-- His bill for further encouragement of a troop of horse was referred to the next Assembly. He was appointed as messenger from this court to carry a letter to the Governor of Plymouth and was supplied with 20 shillings in silver by the Treasurer, Mr. John Coggeshall, toward "bearing this charge."

1672, April 2 -- He was appointed as a member of a committee to go to Narraganset and take a view of such places there that are fit for plantations and make "inquirie" of English and Inians, who are the owners of, or "laie claime' to such lands and signify unto them that the Colony doeth Intend such lands shall be improved by "peoplinge" the same, and that the persons doe make return of what the(y) doe therin to the next General Assembly. (R. I. Colony records, vol I1) p. 442 & 486)

1673, Feb. 8 -- The records of the Society of Friends state: "Rebecca Cornell, widow, was killed strangely at Portsmouth in her own dwelling house, was twice viewed by the Coroner's inquest, digged up and buried again by her husband's grave in their own land."

1673, May 12 -- The trial and conviction of Thomas Cornell:
A recent publication, Genealogies of Rhode Island Families, carries an item by Ray Greene Huling of Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Huling reports that while searching historical papers held by the Pawcatuck Valley Historical Society at Westerly, RI., he discovered a small scrap of time-stained paper, without date or signature, bearing these words: "Cornell hung, killed mother with spindle. His daughter Innocent married a Borden..."

We wrote the Westerly Historical Society and were rewarded with an informative reply by their president, Frances W. Kelly. Mrs. Kelly reported that she was unable to locate the scrap of paper, but she enclosed copies from the records of the Colony of Rhode Island referring to the trial. She suggested that the library of Providence College had recently received early R. I. court records and they might have the recording in the "Book of Tryalls".

An inquiry to the Providence College Library brought a reply from the record analyst, Mr. Joseph Urban, with the following account as recorded in the "Book of Tryalls": 1673, May 12, "Upon indictment by the Generall Jurry, Mr. John Easton in the behalf of our (gracious) Lord King (Charles) against Thomas Cornell now prissoner for that on the evening of the eight day of February past in the 25th year of his Majesty's reigne , the said Thomas did murther his mother Rebecca Cornell or was ayding or abetting thereto, the said Thomas Cornell being cald for, brought forth into court, and his charge read, and demanded of whether guilty or not guilty. Pleads not guilty, and resigns himself for tryall to God and the cuntry (after) all lawfull liberty granted by the Court as to exceptions. The Jurriors sollomnly engaged on the case and sent forth. The Jury returns their verdict -- publickly to him dockeded -- guilty. Thereupon the Court does pass (the) following (sentence) to the prisoner.

'Whereas you Thomas Cornell have been in this court indicted and charged for the murthering your mother Mrs. Rebecca Cornell widow, and you (being) by your peers, the jury, found guilty. Know and to that end prepare yourself, that you are by this court (sentenced) to be carried from hence to the comon goale and from thence or, Frynay next, whioh will be the twenty tbre day of this month, May, about one of the clock to be carried from the said goale to the place (of the) gallows and there be hanged by the neck untill you are dead dead.'

The (sentence) being pronounced and to him openly declared, the said Thomas Cornell is remitted t0 the General Serjants custody safely to be kept till the day of execution.

A warrant ordered and granted to seize the estate of Thomas Cornell and make (inventory) thereof to this court.

Ordered that a strict watch be kept in and about the prisson untill the day of the execution of Thomas Cornell, and that the said Thomas Cornell shall be manacled and (securely) fastened to the great chains. And ordered that James Clarke and James Browre constables in Newport are authorized and assigned to assist the Generall Seriant in setting and orderinge the watch for securing the Said prisoner, whicn watch are to be eight in the night time and four in the day time." (General Court of Tryalls for the Colony at Newport)

We are disappointed that this account did not include the testimony of witnesses. we do have the list of witnesses and their testimony as published in Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Their testimony follows:

Thomas testified in his own behalf that "having discoursed with his mother about an hour and a half, he went into the next room and staid three quarters of an hour. His wife then sent his son Edward to his grandmother to know wheth er she would have some milk boiled for her supper. The child saw some fire on the floor and came back and fetched the candle. Then Henry Straight, myself and the rest followed in a huddle."

Henry Straight saw what he supposed was an Indian, drunk and burnt on the floor, but when Thomas Cornell perceived by the light of the candle who it was, he cried out, "Oh Lard it is my mother." Her clothes and body were much burned, and the jury found a wound an the upoermest part of her stomach.

John Briggs testified as to an apparition of a woman that appeared at his bedside in a dream, and he cried out, "In the name of God what art thou?" The apparition answered, "T am your sister Cornell", and thrice said, "See how I was burnt with fire."

John Russell of Dartmouth testified that George Soule told him, since the decease of Rebecca Correll,that once coming to the house of Rebecca in Portsmouth, she told him that in the spring she intended to go and dwell with her son Samuel, but she feared she would be made away with before that.

Thomas, Stephen, Edward and John Cornell, sons of Thomas, gave testimony as to their grandmother's death, saying their father was last with her.

Mary Cornell, wife to John, aged twenty-eight years, testified that three or four years past, heing at her mother-in-law, Rebecca Cornell's, and meeting her on returning from the orchard to the house, she said to deponent that 'she had been running after pigs and being weak and no help and she being disregarded, she thought to have stabbed a penknife into her heart, that she had in her hand, and then she should be rid of her trouble, but it came to her mind, resist the devil and he will flee from you, and then she said she was well satisfied.

Certainly, there was nothing in the testimony of these witnesses as recorded by Austin to convict Thomas of such a heinous crime. The conversation related by John Russell would be considered hearsay evidence and not admissible in court today. The hallucination of John Briggs was certainly not incriminating. Indeed, from Austin's account, no criminal act was presented. The most damaging evidence was the abdominal wound, perhaps caused by the andirons in the fireplace, rather than a spindle. The Rev. John Cornell wrote that he had asked the opinion of a leading lawyer of the day (1902). John expressed the opinion that this seemed like scant evidence to hang a man. The lawyer replied, "There was no evidence." tie suspect that Thomas Cornell was as much a victim of the superstition of the times as were the women burned as witches in Salem, Massachusetts.

1673 -- "Whereas, Thomas Cornell, by his friends and pertickularly William Earll, hath reguested this Assembly that after his execution his body may be carried and hurried by his mother, the which motion the court doe not accept of, but yet, in favor to the prisoner, doe consent that if his friends have a desire, they may interr the body in the lands lately to him belonging, at the upper end thereof, adjoyning to the common made, provided it be within twenty feet of the said common made; and that if the Collony see cause, they may from time to time sett up such monuments on or at the grave as they shall see cause; or otherwise, the said Thomas Cornell is to be hurried under or near the gallows."

"Voted that Robert Butterworth, for the execution of Thomas Cornell and the Indian Punnean, now prisoners and condemned to dye, shall have the sum of fower pounds paid him by the General Treasurer." (RI Colony Records p. 485)

1673, May 23 -- Thomas Cornell was executed for the murder of his mother.

1673 -- "Whereas, Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, who was lately executed for murtheringe his mother, Mrs. Rebecca Cornell, whereupon, accordinge to law the Court of Tryalls have made seizure of his estate: this Assembly (in consideration of the matter, and for the supply of the wife and children to the said Thomas), doe see cause to release the said seizure, and impowere the Council of the Towne of Portsmouth to take care and order that the estate of the said Thomas soe secured and improved that just debts and other charges be first paid and discharged, and that then the wife and children be supplyed, and relieved. And to that end, to order and appoint an executor or executors, for the true performance thereof. And that the said Towne Councill doe make a will and accordinge
to law divide the estate to the wife and children of the said Thomas." (RI Colony records vol. II p. 486)

1673 -- "Voted, that the General Recorder doe record all the proceedings and testimonies that past, and were produced in Court in the tryall of Thomas Cornell, in the record of the Book of Tryalls, who shall be paid therefor, by the General Treasurer the sum of one pound, five shillings." (RI Col. Rec. Vol. II, p. 487)

1673, July 4 -- A writing was presented to the court of Plymouth by William Earle, of Dartmouth, which was by some termed the will of Thomas Cornell of Rhode Island, late deceased, in which is mentioned the disposal of some estate in our Colony. The Court deferred accepting it for the present and appointed William Earle and John Cornell, brother of the deceased, to take care of the estate that it be not squandered. (CG)

1673, Oct. 29 -- The Court ordered that such part of estate as deceased left in Plymouth Colony, should be divided as follows: "To widow and three children he had by her, one-half; to the four eldest children of said Cornell, the other half, which being sons, they were to have in land. The right of widow Sarah for life, in the lands, was to be paid her out of the personal, if she require
it." Dartmouth estate: 8 mares, 4 geldings, 2 two years, 3 colts, 4 heifers, 4 steers, 5 yearlings, house and land (value £77 19s. 6d.) Gun, pair of old wheels, scythe, pair of bandoleers, etc, (value £41). Portsmouth estate: 22 acres land, 100 sheep, cattle, horses etc. (value £452 18s. 5d.)

1679, Jan. 4 -- Differences having arisen between Thomas3 Cornell, eldest son of Thomas Cornell, deceased, and David Lake of Numaquaquit, now husband to Sara, late widow to Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, concerning right of dower belonging to said Sarah in estate of late husband, and more especially in farm said Thomas possesseth, the said differences being in a friendly manner compromised , a full discharge is now given by said Lake except a bill of £20. (CG)." Image.

2Recorded by Chester Clair Cornell; edited by Elisabeth Cornell, Cornell family history: from County Essex, England to Winneshiek County, Iowa, pg 1. "Children of Thomas and Rebecca Cornell:
.
.
5. Thomas, bap. 21 Oct. 1627; d. 23 May 1673." Source Image. Citation Image.

3FindaGrave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35513988. "Courtesy Dave Waz:

Thomas had two wives. His first wife was Elizabeth Fiscock whom he married 2 Nov 1642 in Portsmouth RI. They had four sons:
Thomas (abt 1653 - 14 Oct 1714)
Stephen (1656 - before 1723)
John (b. 1658/9)
Edward (born after 1660 but before 1667 - 1708

Thomas' second wife was Sarah Earle. They had three daughters:
Sarah (abt 1668 - 25 Jun 1748)
Mary (b. abt 1670)
Innocent (after 23 May 1673 - 1720)." Image.

4Clarence Almon Torrey, 1869-1962, New England marriages prior to 1700, Supplement to Torrey's, Andover, Mass. : Northeast Document Conservation Center, [1983?], pg 183, FHL US/CAN Film 929500. "Cornell, Thomas2 (-1673) & 2/wf Sarah [Earle] (-1690+), m/2 David Lake; ca 1660/65; Portsmouth, R.I." Image.


Sarah Earle

1FindaGrave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35514344. Image.

2Clarence Almon Torrey, 1869-1962, New England marriages prior to 1700, Supplement to Torrey's, Andover, Mass. : Northeast Document Conservation Center, [1983?], pg 183, FHL US/CAN Film 929500. "Cornell, Thomas2 (-1673) & 2/wf Sarah [Earle] (-1690+), m/2 David Lake; ca 1660/65; Portsmouth, R.I." Image.

3Recorded by Chester Clair Cornell; edited by Elisabeth Cornell, Cornell family history: from County Essex, England to Winneshiek County, Iowa, pages 11 & 12, 929.273 C815cc. "Thomas2 Cornell, the eldest son of Thomas and Rebecca, was bap. Oct. 21, 1627 at Saffron-Walden, County Essex, England. He died May 23, 1673, executed by the Colonial authorities for the supposed murder of his mother Rebecca. Thomas m. (1) Elizabeth , (2) Sarah Earle.

Ch. Cornell:
by first wife
16. Thomas3, b. 1653 (Austin), d. Aug. 11, 1714; m. Susannah Lawton,
17. Edward, b. d. 1708; m, Mary of Long Island.
18. Stephen3, b. 1656 at Portsmouth, living 1716/7 (Moriarty), d. by 1723; m. Hannah Mosher, dau. of Hugh and Rebecca (Maxson) Mosher (Mosher gen.)
19. John, b. ca. 1658/9; prob, followed his uncle John2 to Hempstead, L. I.; m. Hannah by 1684 (Glazier).

by second wife
20. Sarah, b. ca. 1668, d. June 25, 1748 aet. 80; m. (1) Zaccheus Butts (2) John Cole (Glazier).
21. Daughter, pos. m. into the Lake family (Glazier).
22. Innocent, b. ca. 1673; m. Richard3 Borden of Portsmouth 1671-1732; certainly named "Innocent" by her mother as a protest to the unjust execution of her father.

1655, March 17 -- In Portsmouth, he is called Thomas Cornell Jr. and was chosen with three others to prize land and buildings of John Wood, deceased.

1657, March 17 -- He was awarded a grant of ten acres.

1663, Aug. 24 -- He, eldest son of Thomas Cornell, confirmed a deed his mother had made two years earlier to Richard Hart.

1664 -- He was elected deputy to the General Assembly of Rhode Island; served as well in 1670, 1671 and 1672.

1670, May 4-- He was appointed, with three others, to audit the Colony's records.

1671, June 7-- His bill for further encouragement of a troop of horse was referred to the next Assembly. He was appointed as messenger from this court to carry a letter to the Governor of Plymouth and was supplied with 20 shillings in silver by the Treasurer, Mr. John Coggeshall, toward "bearing this charge."

1672, April 2 -- He was appointed as a member of a committee to go to Narraganset and take a view of such places there that are fit for plantations and make "inquirie" of English and Inians, who are the owners of, or "laie claime' to such lands and signify unto them that the Colony doeth Intend such lands shall be improved by "peoplinge" the same, and that the persons doe make return of what the(y) doe therin to the next General Assembly. (R. I. Colony records, vol I1) p. 442 & 486)

1673, Feb. 8 -- The records of the Society of Friends state: "Rebecca Cornell, widow, was killed strangely at Portsmouth in her own dwelling house, was twice viewed by the Coroner's inquest, digged up and buried again by her husband's grave in their own land."

1673, May 12 -- The trial and conviction of Thomas Cornell:
A recent publication, Genealogies of Rhode Island Families, carries an item by Ray Greene Huling of Cambridge, Mass. Mr. Huling reports that while searching historical papers held by the Pawcatuck Valley Historical Society at Westerly, RI., he discovered a small scrap of time-stained paper, without date or signature, bearing these words: "Cornell hung, killed mother with spindle. His daughter Innocent married a Borden..."

We wrote the Westerly Historical Society and were rewarded with an informative reply by their president, Frances W. Kelly. Mrs. Kelly reported that she was unable to locate the scrap of paper, but she enclosed copies from the records of the Colony of Rhode Island referring to the trial. She suggested that the library of Providence College had recently received early R. I. court records and they might have the recording in the "Book of Tryalls".

An inquiry to the Providence College Library brought a reply from the record analyst, Mr. Joseph Urban, with the following account as recorded in the "Book of Tryalls": 1673, May 12, "Upon indictment by the Generall Jurry, Mr. John Easton in the behalf of our (gracious) Lord King (Charles) against Thomas Cornell now prissoner for that on the evening of the eight day of February past in the 25th year of his Majesty's reigne , the said Thomas did murther his mother Rebecca Cornell or was ayding or abetting thereto, the said Thomas Cornell being cald for, brought forth into court, and his charge read, and demanded of whether guilty or not guilty. Pleads not guilty, and resigns himself for tryall to God and the cuntry (after) all lawfull liberty granted by the Court as to exceptions. The Jurriors sollomnly engaged on the case and sent forth. The Jury returns their verdict -- publickly to him dockeded -- guilty. Thereupon the Court does pass (the) following (sentence) to the prisoner.

'Whereas you Thomas Cornell have been in this court indicted and charged for the murthering your mother Mrs. Rebecca Cornell widow, and you (being) by your peers, the jury, found guilty. Know and to that end prepare yourself, that you are by this court (sentenced) to be carried from hence to the comon goale and from thence or, Frynay next, whioh will be the twenty tbre day of this month, May, about one of the clock to be carried from the said goale to the place (of the) gallows and there be hanged by the neck untill you are dead dead.'

The (sentence) being pronounced and to him openly declared, the said Thomas Cornell is remitted t0 the General Serjants custody safely to be kept till the day of execution.

A warrant ordered and granted to seize the estate of Thomas Cornell and make (inventory) thereof to this court.

Ordered that a strict watch be kept in and about the prisson untill the day of the execution of Thomas Cornell, and that the said Thomas Cornell shall be manacled and (securely) fastened to the great chains. And ordered that James Clarke and James Browre constables in Newport are authorized and assigned to assist the Generall Seriant in setting and orderinge the watch for securing the Said prisoner, whicn watch are to be eight in the night time and four in the day time." (General Court of Tryalls for the Colony at Newport)

We are disappointed that this account did not include the testimony of witnesses. we do have the list of witnesses and their testimony as published in Austin's Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island. Their testimony follows:

Thomas testified in his own behalf that "having discoursed with his mother about an hour and a half, he went into the next room and staid three quarters of an hour. His wife then sent his son Edward to his grandmother to know wheth er she would have some milk boiled for her supper. The child saw some fire on the floor and came back and fetched the candle. Then Henry Straight, myself and the rest followed in a huddle."

Henry Straight saw what he supposed was an Indian, drunk and burnt on the floor, but when Thomas Cornell perceived by the light of the candle who it was, he cried out, "Oh Lard it is my mother." Her clothes and body were much burned, and the jury found a wound an the upoermest part of her stomach.

John Briggs testified as to an apparition of a woman that appeared at his bedside in a dream, and he cried out, "In the name of God what art thou?" The apparition answered, "T am your sister Cornell", and thrice said, "See how I was burnt with fire."

John Russell of Dartmouth testified that George Soule told him, since the decease of Rebecca Correll,that once coming to the house of Rebecca in Portsmouth, she told him that in the spring she intended to go and dwell with her son Samuel, but she feared she would be made away with before that.

Thomas, Stephen, Edward and John Cornell, sons of Thomas, gave testimony as to their grandmother's death, saying their father was last with her.

Mary Cornell, wife to John, aged twenty-eight years, testified that three or four years past, heing at her mother-in-law, Rebecca Cornell's, and meeting her on returning from the orchard to the house, she said to deponent that 'she had been running after pigs and being weak and no help and she being disregarded, she thought to have stabbed a penknife into her heart, that she had in her hand, and then she should be rid of her trouble, but it came to her mind, resist the devil and he will flee from you, and then she said she was well satisfied.

Certainly, there was nothing in the testimony of these witnesses as recorded by Austin to convict Thomas of such a heinous crime. The conversation related by John Russell would be considered hearsay evidence and not admissible in court today. The hallucination of John Briggs was certainly not incriminating. Indeed, from Austin's account, no criminal act was presented. The most damaging evidence was the abdominal wound, perhaps caused by the andirons in the fireplace, rather than a spindle. The Rev. John Cornell wrote that he had asked the opinion of a leading lawyer of the day (1902). John expressed the opinion that this seemed like scant evidence to hang a man. The lawyer replied, "There was no evidence." tie suspect that Thomas Cornell was as much a victim of the superstition of the times as were the women burned as witches in Salem, Massachusetts.

1673 -- "Whereas, Thomas Cornell, by his friends and pertickularly William Earll, hath reguested this Assembly that after his execution his body may be carried and hurried by his mother, the which motion the court doe not accept of, but yet, in favor to the prisoner, doe consent that if his friends have a desire, they may interr the body in the lands lately to him belonging, at the upper end thereof, adjoyning to the common made, provided it be within twenty feet of the said common made; and that if the Collony see cause, they may from time to time sett up such monuments on or at the grave as they shall see cause; or otherwise, the said Thomas Cornell is to be hurried under or near the gallows."

"Voted that Robert Butterworth, for the execution of Thomas Cornell and the Indian Punnean, now prisoners and condemned to dye, shall have the sum of fower pounds paid him by the General Treasurer." (RI Colony Records p. 485)

1673, May 23 -- Thomas Cornell was executed for the murder of his mother.

1673 -- "Whereas, Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, who was lately executed for murtheringe his mother, Mrs. Rebecca Cornell, whereupon, accordinge to law the Court of Tryalls have made seizure of his estate: this Assembly (in consideration of the matter, and for the supply of the wife and children to the said Thomas), doe see cause to release the said seizure, and impowere the Council of the Towne of Portsmouth to take care and order that the estate of the said Thomas soe secured and improved that just debts and other charges be first paid and discharged, and that then the wife and children be supplyed, and relieved. And to that end, to order and appoint an executor or executors, for the true performance thereof. And that the said Towne Councill doe make a will and accordinge
to law divide the estate to the wife and children of the said Thomas." (RI Colony records vol. II p. 486)

1673 -- "Voted, that the General Recorder doe record all the proceedings and testimonies that past, and were produced in Court in the tryall of Thomas Cornell, in the record of the Book of Tryalls, who shall be paid therefor, by the General Treasurer the sum of one pound, five shillings." (RI Col. Rec. Vol. II, p. 487)

1673, July 4 -- A writing was presented to the court of Plymouth by William Earle, of Dartmouth, which was by some termed the will of Thomas Cornell of Rhode Island, late deceased, in which is mentioned the disposal of some estate in our Colony. The Court deferred accepting it for the present and appointed William Earle and John Cornell, brother of the deceased, to take care of the estate that it be not squandered. (CG)

1673, Oct. 29 -- The Court ordered that such part of estate as deceased left in Plymouth Colony, should be divided as follows: "To widow and three children he had by her, one-half; to the four eldest children of said Cornell, the other half, which being sons, they were to have in land. The right of widow Sarah for life, in the lands, was to be paid her out of the personal, if she require
it." Dartmouth estate: 8 mares, 4 geldings, 2 two years, 3 colts, 4 heifers, 4 steers, 5 yearlings, house and land (value £77 19s. 6d.) Gun, pair of old wheels, scythe, pair of bandoleers, etc, (value £41). Portsmouth estate: 22 acres land, 100 sheep, cattle, horses etc. (value £452 18s. 5d.)

1679, Jan. 4 -- Differences having arisen between Thomas3 Cornell, eldest son of Thomas Cornell, deceased, and David Lake of Numaquaquit, now husband to Sara, late widow to Thomas Cornell of Portsmouth, concerning right of dower belonging to said Sarah in estate of late husband, and more especially in farm said Thomas possesseth, the said differences being in a friendly manner compromised , a full discharge is now given by said Lake except a bill of £20. (CG)." Image.


Mary Cornell

1FindaGrave.com. "Entry in her father's FindaGrave:

http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=35513988."


John Earle

1Mrs. Thomas Eugene Hooker, Earle, Patience of Perquimans County, N.C., New England Historical and Genealogical Register 104:227, pg 227. "     John Earle (Ralph, William, Ralph), son of Ralph and Mary (Hicks) Earle, born 24 Feb. 1694 in Freetown, Mass., married 24 Dec. 1719 Sarah, widow of John Borden of Swansea, Mass. (Parents of John Earle who married Patience Stafford). (ibid., p. 40).
    John Earle and his wife, the widow Sarah ( --) Borden, had five children: 1. Mary Earle, born 4 May 1722; 2. Patience Earle, born 2 Sept. 1724; 3. John Earle, born 4 July 1727, married Patience Stafford; 4. Joseph Earle, born 25 Jan. 1730, married 12 Feb. 1747 Eunice Hathaway; 5. Lydia Earle, born 2 Aug. 1732. John Earle, Sr., and his wife, Sarah, deeded land in Swansea on 24 Feb. 1745/6, 19 Jan. 1746/7, and 20 Jan. 1746/7, the later two deeds being for land on Tousisset Neck which was in Rhode Island although often called Swansea. There arc no further references in the deeds of Bristol County, Mass., or Warren, R. I., concerning this John and his wife Sarah. No deeds are to be found in Bristol County, Mass., Warren, R. I., or Tiverton, R. I., showing that John Earle, Jr., ever owned land in any of these places. However, on 12 March 1747, John Earle, Jr., and Patience, his wife, of Warren, deeded their interest in land in Tiverton, which Patience had inherited from her father, Josiah Stafford, of Tiverton (Bristol County, Mass., deeds 34-417; Warren, R.I., deeds I-28; Warren, R.I., deeds I-27; Tiverton, R.I., deeds I-50)."

2Mrs. Thomas Eugene Hooker, Earle, Patience of Perquimans County, N.C., p.228. "     From the New York Historical Collection, it is noted that the estate of Joseph Earl was administered by his widow, Eunice, 31 July 1751, in Dutchess County, N.Y., and that the estate of John Earl, Sr. was administered in the same county by Jacob Haight on 4 April 1754.
    From the office of the Surrogate Court of New York County, we learn that "Jacob Haight of Crum Elbow Precinct in Dutchess Co., Farmer, principal creditor of John Earle the Elder late of the same place, Farmer, Deceased ----", etc. Letters of administration on this estate were granted Jacob Haight on 4 April 1754. On 31 July 1751, "Timothy Ricketson of the Co. of Dutchess yeoman, the Attorney of Euncie Earl Widow and relict of Joseph Earl late of the same County yoeman deceased" was granted letters of administration on the estate of Joseph Earle.
    No further deeds, wills, settlements, etc., are found in Dutchess County.  From these brief items, we conclude that by 4 April 1748 John Earle, Sr., his wife and two sons, John Earle, Jr., and Joseph Earle, and their wives, Patience and Eunice, were on their way to Dutchess County.  John Earle, Jr., was dead by 28 Dec. 1748, when his posthumous child, John Earle III, was born.  Joseph Earle was dead by 31 July 1751.  John Earle, Sr., was dead by 4 April 1754.  These Earles, father and sons, lived in Crum Elbow Precinct, near the town of Clinton, Dutchess Co., where they died."

3Arnold, James Newell 1844-1927, Rhode Island, Vital Record of 1636-1899: a family register for the people (Providence, R.I. : Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1893), Page 8 , FHL US/CAN Book 974.5 V2a. "1-168 Barden, Sarah, (widow,) and John Earl, Jr., Dec. 24, 1719."

4Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8KG-YM3, FamilySearch.org. ""Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8KG-YM3 : 11 February 2018), John Earl and Sarah Borden, 24 Dec 1719; citing Portsmouth,Newport,Rhode Island, reference ; FHL microfilm 908,270." Image.

5Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], page 68-69, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "   John was born in Portsmouth in 1675, and was early settled by his father on a rough farm in Swansea, of eighty acres, on Towasset Neck, now in Warren R. I. He married Sarah ----. her maiden surname is now lost. They had five children three sons and two daughters. and had a comfortable living during the lifetime of his father, But he possessed a feeble constitution naturally, and when his father died, it imposed such a heavy burden upon him that he faltered under it. He was required to deliver one-half of his whole farming produce to his mother at her residence on Rhode Island, a requirement which had not been imposed on his brothers Richard, Joseph or Thomas. though each of them received a much larger share of their father's estate. But in truth, John possessed less energy of character than either of his brothers, he became discouraged and pined away and died about three years after the death of his father, leaving his widow to manage his farm and care for their children. She presented an inventory of his effects, and was appointed to administer his estate April 6, 1719, and December 24 of the same year, was married to John Earl of Portsmouth, who was probably a near relative of her former husband if not also of herself. In this she manifested no want of tact or energy. The property and the children were well cared for until they became of age, when the farm was divided and some of it about one-half still remains in the Borden name. John, one of the sons, with his wife Mary. sold out his portion (2/5 of 80 acres, his father's estate) to James Mason of Warren, R. I., August l5, 1747 for £450. He then lived in Scituate, R.I., where he was admitted a freeman as early as 1739, and was engaged in a forge for the manufacture of iron upon the Ponagansett River. Benjamin remained in Swansea on a part of the homestead, and Capt.
Luther Borden of Warren, lately deceased, was his grandson. He also left one son, and a brother, Martin E. Borden, now living on a part of the old homestead. Joseph married Hannah Stafford, sister of David Stafford of Tiverton, and and settled at Core Sound, Carteret county, North Carolina where he died.
   The descendants of John are quite numerous in Scituate, and are active and industrious people, They are engaged in farming, milling and once in cotton spinning, using the old forge privilege."


Sarah

1Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], page 68-69, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "   John was born in Portsmouth in 1675, and was early settled by his father on a rough farm in Swansea, of eighty acres, on Towasset Neck, now in Warren R. I. He married Sarah ----. her maiden surname is now lost. They had five children three sons and two daughters. and had a comfortable living during the lifetime of his father, But he possessed a feeble constitution naturally, and when his father died, it imposed such a heavy burden upon him that he faltered under it. He was required to deliver one-half of his whole farming produce to his mother at her residence on Rhode Island, a requirement which had not been imposed on his brothers Richard, Joseph or Thomas. though each of them received a much larger share of their father's estate. But in truth, John possessed less energy of character than either of his brothers, he became discouraged and pined away and died about three years after the death of his father, leaving his widow to manage his farm and care for their children. She presented an inventory of his effects, and was appointed to administer his estate April 6, 1719, and December 24 of the same year, was married to John Earl of Portsmouth, who was probably a near relative of her former husband if not also of herself. In this she manifested no want of tact or energy. The property and the children were well cared for until they became of age, when the farm was divided and some of it about one-half still remains in the Borden name. John, one of the sons, with his wife Mary. sold out his portion (2/5 of 80 acres, his father's estate) to James Mason of Warren, R. I., August l5, 1747 for £450. He then lived in Scituate, R.I., where he was admitted a freeman as early as 1739, and was engaged in a forge for the manufacture of iron upon the Ponagansett River. Benjamin remained in Swansea on a part of the homestead, and Capt.
Luther Borden of Warren, lately deceased, was his grandson. He also left one son, and a brother, Martin E. Borden, now living on a part of the old homestead. Joseph married Hannah Stafford, sister of David Stafford of Tiverton, and and settled at Core Sound, Carteret county, North Carolina where he died.
   The descendants of John are quite numerous in Scituate, and are active and industrious people, They are engaged in farming, milling and once in cotton spinning, using the old forge privilege."

2Arnold, James Newell 1844-1927, Rhode Island, Vital Record of 1636-1899: a family register for the people (Providence, R.I. : Narragansett Historical Publishing Company, 1893), Page 8 , FHL US/CAN Book 974.5 V2a. "1-168 Barden, Sarah, (widow,) and John Earl, Jr., Dec. 24, 1719."

3Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916, https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8KG-YM3, FamilySearch.org. ""Rhode Island Marriages, 1724-1916," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F8KG-YM3 : 11 February 2018), John Earl and Sarah Borden, 24 Dec 1719; citing Portsmouth,Newport,Rhode Island, reference ; FHL microfilm 908,270." Image.

4Mrs. Thomas Eugene Hooker, Earle, Patience of Perquimans County, N.C., New England Historical and Genealogical Register 104:227, pg 227. "     John Earle (Ralph, William, Ralph), son of Ralph and Mary (Hicks) Earle, born 24 Feb. 1694 in Freetown, Mass., married 24 Dec. 1719 Sarah, widow of John Borden of Swansea, Mass. (Parents of John Earle who married Patience Stafford). (ibid., p. 40).
    John Earle and his wife, the widow Sarah ( --) Borden, had five children: 1. Mary Earle, born 4 May 1722; 2. Patience Earle, born 2 Sept. 1724; 3. John Earle, born 4 July 1727, married Patience Stafford; 4. Joseph Earle, born 25 Jan. 1730, married 12 Feb. 1747 Eunice Hathaway; 5. Lydia Earle, born 2 Aug. 1732. John Earle, Sr., and his wife, Sarah, deeded land in Swansea on 24 Feb. 1745/6, 19 Jan. 1746/7, and 20 Jan. 1746/7, the later two deeds being for land on Tousisset Neck which was in Rhode Island although often called Swansea. There arc no further references in the deeds of Bristol County, Mass., or Warren, R. I., concerning this John and his wife Sarah. No deeds are to be found in Bristol County, Mass., Warren, R. I., or Tiverton, R. I., showing that John Earle, Jr., ever owned land in any of these places. However, on 12 March 1747, John Earle, Jr., and Patience, his wife, of Warren, deeded their interest in land in Tiverton, which Patience had inherited from her father, Josiah Stafford, of Tiverton (Bristol County, Mass., deeds 34-417; Warren, R.I., deeds I-28; Warren, R.I., deeds I-27; Tiverton, R.I., deeds I-50)."


William Chase

1FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/95065808/william-chase. "William Chase was born in Norfolk England. His father was William Chase Sr. and his mother was Mary Townley. William had four siblings. His father immigrated to America in 1630 settling in Plymouth Mass. They sailed with the Winthrop Fleet. William sailed with his parents to Massacheutts he was only nine years old.

William served in the early military in Plymouth Colony. He was a drummer. He received extra pay for his service as a drummer. Once he found himself in trouble in Plymouth and was sentenced to stay in the stocks for one day while the other soldiers practiced.

Some say the William was married four times and had a child by each wife. Records can only identify one wife Elizabeth Holder. Records indicate that Elizabeth was William's second wife. Elizabeth's parents were Pilgrims from England she was born in Plymouth colony. Elizabeth and William had four children and a set of twins.

After leaving Plymouth they settled in what is now Cape Cod Mass." Image.


Mrs. Elizabeth Holder

1FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/104054031/elizabeth-chase. "Elizabeth Holder was born 4 years after her parents immigrated to America from England. Her parents were Christopher Holder and Mary Scott. Her parents settled in Cape Cod later moving to Rhode Island. Elizabeth's family is an often complicated family to trace. Her parents Christopher Holder and Mary Scott are often confused with another couple related to the family. Elizabeth's brother "Christopher" named after her father married his first cousin "Mary Scott" This is the same name as his Mother. In fact this Mary Scott was his first cousin. Christopher, Elizabeth's brother was an often written about Quaker. He once even had his ear cut off and was whipped by officials for his faith. Many mistakes are made when tracing Elizabeth's family. Her brother is often confused with her father, and her sister in law is often confused with her mother. You can only follow the line by looking carefully at the birthdates.
Elizabeth married William Chase in 1644 on Cape Cod. She and William had 6 children." Image.


Christopher Turner

1Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], pg 72, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "Thomas Borden died about 1745, leaving a widow much younger than himself.  She subsequently married Christopher Turner of Dartsmouth, a widower with several children.  One of Turner's daughters married Thomas' son, Joseph, thus forming a two fold connection between the two families."


Mary Briggs

1Weld, Hattie L. Borden, Borden, Richard & Joan,  who settled in Portsmouth R.I., Historical and genealogical record of the descendants..., Albany, N.Y. : Joel Munsell, [1899], pg 72, FHL US/CAN Film 512. "Thomas Borden died about 1745, leaving a widow much younger than himself.  She subsequently married Christopher Turner of Dartsmouth, a widower with several children.  One of Turner's daughters married Thomas' son, Joseph, thus forming a two fold connection between the two families."

2FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/113070591/mary-borden. "Daughter of Job and Eleanor Briggs of Portsmouth and Little Compton." Image.


Job Briggs

1FindaGrave.com, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/103794764/job-briggs. "Son of John of and Sarah [Cornell] Briggs, both were born in England and they died in Portsmouth, Newport, RI

Job married Eleanor, and they had nine children. Jeremiah, Job Jr., John, Enoch, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, Amey and Waity.

-BIRTH: Birth date from "The Briggs Genealogy", 1953 by Bertha Aldridge.
-DEATH: "The Briggs Genealogy", 1953 by Bertha Aldridge.
-Will made 7 Jan 1732 and proved 17 Apr 1733 in Little Compton,RI (from wills in Taunton book
8, pg.516)

Note: At this time, his resting place is still unknown, poss. at the Briggs Lot Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Warwick #70." Image.

2Wilber, Philip - town clerk, Rhode Island, Little Compton family genealogies, Taunton Book 8, pg. 516, FHL US/CAN Film 946840 Item 2. ""The Briggs Genealogy", 1953 by Bertha Aldridge. Will made 7 Jan 1732 and proved 17 Apr 1733 in Little Compton,RI (from wills in Taunton book 8, pg.516:
" To wife Eleanor the east end of my dwelling house and improvement of all lands where house now stands and half of movable estate. Also Negro woman called Rose. To eldest son Jeremiah 5 shillings; to Mary Borden, wife of Thomas Borden, 5 pounds; to daughter Elizabeth Mallum, wife of Mark, 5 pounds; to daughter Amey Briggs one feather bed that was her mothers and 10 pounds; to daughter Wait Briggs one feather bed and 5 pounds; to son Job the west end of house and one third of homestead; to son John east end of house after his mother's decease and one third of homestead; to son Enoch one third of homestead. He to pay my debts. The executor to sell certain land in Tiverton.
Wife Eleanor, executrix."
Inventory of land: homestead, 12 acres and 37 acres of wild land. This homestead was on the east side of Little Compton, next to the Dartmouth line, now Westport, probably near Adamsville."


Thomas Potts Jr

1FindaGrave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90612593. "Thomas Potts, Jr. was the husband of Mary Borden Potts and father of the Rev. Joshua Potts and William Potts (William also buried in this cemetery). He was the son of Thomas Potts, Sr. and Joani Platts Potts, both born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Thomas was buried February 4, 1754. He is also believed to have been married to Mary Records, with whom he had the following children; Ann, Mary, Nathaniel, Richard, Thomas and Rebecca Potts. Lastly Thomas was said to have married Rebecca Stacy Wright, widow of Joshua Wright." Image.


Thomas Potts Jr

1FindaGrave.com, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=90612593. "Thomas Potts, Jr. was the husband of Mary Borden Potts and father of the Rev. Joshua Potts and William Potts (William also buried in this cemetery). He was the son of Thomas Potts, Sr. and Joani Platts Potts, both born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England. Thomas was buried February 4, 1754. He is also believed to have been married to Mary Records, with whom he had the following children; Ann, Mary, Nathaniel, Richard, Thomas and Rebecca Potts. Lastly Thomas was said to have married Rebecca Stacy Wright, widow of Joshua Wright." Image.