Sunday, October 29, 2017

James Armstrong and James Armstrong Jr of Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth, Maine

In a previous post, Armstrong Family of Falmouth, Maine - Puzzle Starting to Fall Into Place, I mentioned that it was my belief that James Armstrong arrived in Falmouth with his children in 1718.  We can say confidently that he arrived with his sons John, Simon and Thomas and his daughter Jean who was married to Robert Means.   There is some mentions of James as a brother to John Armstrong and mentions of James as father to John Armstrong. 

In my Armstrong Family of Falmouth post,  I make the point that there are likely two James' (father and son) who arrive in 1718 as records reference a James Armstrong which remarried after his first wife died to a woman named Mary.  The records indicate that they had three children:  Thomas (b. 1717), John (b. 1720) and James (b. 1721).  There is at least one obvious flaw in this assertion....James Sr. already has a living son named John and he is with them in Falmouth in 1718.  I do not know of a circumstance where someone names two of his sons by the exact same name.  Is this is a Scotch- Irish tradition I am not aware of?

I just received a copy of a list of the Heads of Families of Falmouth circa 1733.  Falmouth at this time included Portland, South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, Maine compiled The list was compiled by Peter Walton.  According to Willis in Smith and Deane #8 Walton died in he couldn't have compiled it after 1733.

The list enumerates about 200 families living in this area at this time including (here is a group of  my relatives listed):

  1. Robert Means
  2. James Armstrong
  3. Mary Armstrong
  4. William White
  5. John White
  6. Simon Armstrong
  7. William Simonton
  8. John Barber

The first things I notice is that there is a James Armstrong listed as a head of a family.  We know that a James Armstrong from Falmouth died in May 3, 1724.  Maybe this list was compiled prior to his death.  However, other records indicate James' wife's name was Mary.  The only way Mary would be listed as a head of household is if she is widow.  So to have both James Armstrong and Mary Armstrong listed it would mean that Mary Armstrong's husband is dead and another James Armstrong is still alive.  Therefore this strongly supports the idea that James Armstrong Sr. arrived with a son, James Armstrong Jr and it was the son who died in 1724.  This evidence would appear to be definitive.

Who are these other people?

Robert Means is husband of Jean Armstrong.  Jean Armstrong is James Armstrong Sr.'s daughter.  In a few years, Robert and his family moved to Saco, Maine.  According to some reports, James moves to Saco, too to be close to his daughter and her family.

William White and John White are brothers who are related from the original settlers to Falmouth before that were run out when the local Native American tribe forced them out.  The White family moved to Gloucester, Massachusetts.  They still had claims to the family land there and the White brothers returned to claim that land.  Both men are accepted as Falmouth owner citizens on May 4, 1730.  In addition, I have seen land grants to William White as early as 1728.  William White married Christian Simonton in 1736.  They are my 5th grand parents.

Simon Armstrong is another son of James Armstrong Sr.  Simon married Isabella.  They are also my 5th grand parents.

William Simonton is likely Christian Simonton's brother. 

John Barber (also spelled Barbour) was married to another of James Armstrong Sr.'s daughters, Mary Armstrong.  It appears that John and Mary married in Ireland and may have arrived in Maine after 1718.

This document was helpful in putting final confirmation of my theory about James Armstrong Sr. and James Armstrong Jr arriving together to Maine in 1718.