Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Ruth Johnson

Ruth Johnson, 1708, Haverhill, MA
RUTH ye WIFE OF
THOMAS IOHNSON
DIED AUGUST ye
29 1708 & IN ye
21 YEAR OF HER 
AGE
----------------
----------------
------ TWAS HER LOT
----------- HAND TO DY 

Edited to add:
Many thanks to RJO for looking into this one and finding a rich story:

"Ruth Johnson in her girlhood had been a captive among the Indians, who, March 15 1696-7, murdered her father and mother and her two sisters. Twelve years afterwards, Aug. 20. 1708, when she herself was slain, she held in her arms her only child, Lydia, aged six years and six months, born in the second year of her marriage. Strange to say, the child escaped the tomahawk of the Indians, and grew up to womanhood, and in her twenty-fifth year married Ebenezer Gile, whom she long survived, dying in Enfield, N.H., at the age of seventy-four, leaving issue. Her mother lies buried in Haverhill, Mass., in the old cemetery called Pentucket."

The final lines are said to be:

Once wt ye Indians
In Captivity
After twas her lot
In their hands to dy


Much contained in those few missing words.

—RJO

6 comments:

Bob said...

"Ruth Johnson in her girlhood had been a captive among the Indians, who, March 15 1696-7, murdered her father and mother and her two sisters. Twelve years afterwards, Aug. 20. 1708, when she herself was slain, she held in her arms her only child, Lydia, aged six years and six months, born in the second year of her marriage. Strange to say, the child escaped the tomahawk of the Indians, and grew up to womanhood, and in her twenty-fifth year married Ebenezer Gile, whom she long survived, dying in Enfield, N.H., at the age of seventy-four, leaving issue. Her mother lies buried in Haverhill, Mass., in the old cemetery called Pentucket."

The final lines are said to be:

Once wt ye Indians
In Captivity
After twas her lot
In their hands to dy


Much contained in those few missing words.

—RJO

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

Wow, thanks. I'll bump this up to the post.

Bob said...

And interesting comparative study would be how captivity and/or death "at ye hands of ye Indians" was treated on gravestones specifically.

Heather Rojo said...

Caitlin, I'm a genealogist and I love your blog. I check every day for a new photo on your website. have nominated you for the "Ancestor Approved Award" and posted your name and
a link to your website on my own blog. I hope it generates some traffic for
you. You can read about it at
http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/04/ancestor-approved-award.html You
can pass along the award to another blogger, and display the badge on your website if you would like.

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

Heather,

Thanks so much! I am honored. I am (very slowly) working on a redesign, so I'll be sure to work the badge in!

leslie said...

This woman lead an interesting, though short life indeed. The link by Bob says her father was wounded in the Great Swamp Fight. I live near the Great Swamp and have been in there more times than I know. The site off Rt 2 in South Kingstown where the monument is located is probably not where the "fight" happened. In Church's account, I believe, there's a reference to firing down into the fort from a hillside, as I recall, which is an impossibility in the flat, swampy area where the monument is. I've been told where the real battle site is by someone who I trust knows and it's in a place where colonial forces could fire down into the fort. It's also in a place that's far deeper into the swamp than where the monument is located.