Reider-Underwood Genealogy

Keziah PresburyAge: 76 years16881764

Keziah Presbury
Birth 1688

MarriageEdmund FreemanView this family
1st Church of Mansfield
about 1707 (Age 19 years)
Mansfield City, Tolland, Connecticut, USA
Latitude: N41.7884 Longitude: W72.2289

Birth of a daughter
Deborah Freeman
April 17, 1722 (Age 34 years)
Sandwich, Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA
Latitude: N41.759 Longitude: W70.4939

Marriage of a childZacariah PADDOCKDeborah FreemanView this family
November 7, 1744 (Age 56 years)
Mansfield City, Tolland, Connecticut, USA
Latitude: N41.7884 Longitude: W72.2289

Death April 20, 1764 (Age 76 years)

Family with Edmund Freeman - View this family
Marriage: about 1707Mansfield City, Tolland, Connecticut, USA
15 years

Shared note

The following is a research report by Andrew Pierce:

Robert S. Wakefield's Mayflower Families Through Five Generations: Fam ily of Richard Warren(1999) offers the most up-to-date analysis of Kez iah(Presbury?) Freeman, who was born in 1687/88(according to age on de ath record?), was named as a granddaughter of Stephen Skiffe of Sandwi ch in his will, dated 1701 (Wakefield's sketch does not say whethe r a surname is given for her in the will). She married Edmond Freema n at Sandwich in 1706; a codicil to Stephen Skiffe's will in 1708 note d that Keziah 'was given her things upon marriage.'

It is apparent from the analysis that Keziah was not a daughter of Ste phen Presbury, either by his wife Deborah Skiffe(daughter of Stephen)o r by a theoretical first wife. Assuming that the age on his tombston e is correct(d.1730 at 58), he was born ca.1672, and was not necessari ly the same Stephen Presbury who witnessed a deed at Kittery, Maine i n 1686. We know that he married Deborah Skiffe by 1694, when their dau ghter Mary was born. They had seven daughters and one son, all of whom (or whose issue)are mentioned in Stephen Presbury's will, and they d o not include Keziah.

Banks' only reason for giving Stephen Presbury of the Vineyard a birt h date of 'ca.1666' is the 1686 Maine deed, and I maintain there is n o evidence that the two Stephens were identical. I have found old Yank ee New England gravestone dates to be largely accurate, and there is n o reason to believe that Stephen Presbury was not born ca.1672 and mar ried a woman four years older. Banks' statement that he was 'probabl y older than his wife' is, in this context, entirely without foundatio n.

My eight-year research into the Native American history of Martha's Vi neyard(to be published by GPC in about two years) noticed several flim sy conjectures, and some outright mistakes, made by Banks in sketchin g both white and Native families, and these have also been noticed b y other Vineyard historians & genealogists such as Katherine (Kay) May hew of the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society.

Unless there is something I missed, I do not think there is any eviden ce at all that Keziah WAS a Presbury. This is only stated, without an y corroborating evidence, in the 1875 Freeman Genealogy, in which man y other conjectures seem to be made based upon hearsay. There is no ma rriage for Edmund & Keziah in any VRs, and the marriage date of ca.170 6 is apparently only based on the birth date of their eldest child, 17 08 in Sandwich.

All we know for certain(and even that is not ironclad, looking at Wake field's sketch) is that Keziah(last name uncertain), born ca.1688, wa s a granddaughter of Stephen & Lydia (Snow) Skiffe of Sandwich. She ma y have been born out of wedlock to one of their daughters(so further r ecords of those daughters might be searched down), and not necessaril y by Deborah, or by any of the daughters known to exist, either; a dau ghter or even a son might have died before Stephen Skiffe made his wil l in 1701, leaving Keziah.

Scanning the long list of Edmond & Keziah's children, I notice they na med eldest daughter Lydia, a son Stephen, a son Skeffe, and a daughte r Deborah, all names found in the Skiffe family. There are no childre n named Keturah, Dorcas, Drusilla or Content, all unusual names foun d among Stephen & Deborah (Skiffe) Presburys' children. It would see m that if Keziah had belonged to the Presburys and been raised by the m on the Vineyard, she would have given some of her fourteen childre n the names of these putative half-sisters. This is obviously not har d evidence either way, but should be considered circumstantial. My opi nion is that Keziah was born and raised in Sandwich, never left ther e and was possibly not even Deborah's daughter, and certainly not Step hen Presbury's.

The above is an example of connections based on flimsy or non-existen t evidence, which compounds itself through numerous repetitions in th e IGI, published genealogies, etc. The good news is that since Kezia h was almost certainly a granddaughter of Stephen & Lydia(Snow)Skiffe , she would have a proven Mayflower descent through Lydia.

Sincerely, Andrew Pierce

Archibald F. Bennett, Saviors on Mount Zion, p.118 Returning to the se arch and a wise use of the card catalog, reveals the names and familie s of thirty-one progenitors of Elijah Freeman on a dozen different lin es. On each line there is a printed genealogy. Also printed vital reco rds of the various towns where these families live give elusive connec tions not found by the family genealogists. By judicious use of thes e last records Kezia Presbury, paternal grandmother of Elijah Freeman , is traced back to her 2nd great-grandfather, Richard Warren, who cam e in 1620 as one of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower, the 5th great, gran dfather of Olive Hovey Freeman Farr!

From: "Marilyn Roth" To: "Tim Farr" <tf©e.emery. kl 2.ut. us> Date: 10/3/00 11:18AM Subject: Re: Stephen Skiff

Dear Tim, Welcome to the group of frustrated descendants of Keziah! Th e will information is from the will itself of Stephen Skiff I have a X erox of it from Barnstable County. The pages are 137-139, but they di d not send the book number. I could Xerox the Xerox if you want to pa y for copies and postage, but I can assure you that there is no surnam e for Keziah.

I also have a Xerox of the will of Stephen Presbury, 6 Apr. 1730, 1 Ju ly 1730, Edgartown, Dukes Co., MA, 2:56-57. To granddaughter Moriah PR ESBURY, only surviving child of son John, decd. To wf. Deborah. Remain der to my seven daughters or their heirs: heirs of dau. Mary, deed.; d aus. Katurah; Dorcus; Abigail; Drusilla; and youngest daughters Conten t and Sarah. [The will is comparatively easy to read, and it is defini tely Katurah, not Keziah. It also says "my seven daughters."]

I have contacted lots of people about this. R. A. Lovell, the Sandwic h genealogist, thinks that Kezia was dau/o Stephen PRESBURY but not o f Deborah. However, that does not make sense at all considering the tw o wills.

I contacted the Mayflower Society. The latest answer said that "Kezia h who married Edmund Freeman is undoubtedly the granddaughter of Steph en Skiff,' but they do not accept the lineage.

Bob Henderson, 62 Summer Ave., Reading, MA 01867, answered my query i n Nexus in 1991. He agrees that Keziah had to have been born Ca. 1688- 90, which is before the marriage of Stephen PRESBURY and Deborah SKIFF . He asks why Stephen SKIFF was providing such a generous gift to gran ddaughter Keziah if her father were living and she had seven sisters . [A cow was worth more than a house to most people at that time.]

My conclusion is that Keziah must have been an illegitimate daughter o f Deborah SKIFF, and she had probably been living with and caring fo r her grandparents. The only other alternative that makes sense is tha t Deborah had a prior marriage, but I haven't found any evidence of th at.