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to, kindly proves Mr. Waters's case for him by admitting that Mr. Rendle's offer of assistance was "neither acted on nor acknowledged" by Mr. Waters.
In an article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register for July, 1885, I expressed my astonishment at what I called this "extraordinary proceeding" on the part of Mr. Rendle. That such a proceeding is happily considered as extraordinary in England as it is here, and that the standard of literary morality is at least as high there as here, is shown by the fact that I have before me, as I write, letters from several English antiquaries whose names are known on both sides of the Atlantic, and who are fully cognizant of the facts in the case, who express surprise at what they call the "strange conduct" of Mr. Rendle. As these are private letters, not intended for publication, I have no right to quote them in this matter, but the evidence thus afforded is overwhelming.
Mr. Rendle's pamphlet, a copy of which I have only lately seen, will, I understand, be reviewed elsewhere and by abler hands than mine. I will therefore not take up space to point out certain inaccuracies in it, which are patent to everyone who has given much thought to the subject. I will content myself with calling attention to the fact that it furnishes not an iota of proof of the connection of John Harvard of Southwark with John Harvard of New England, except what is taken from Mr. Waters's pamphlet on the subject. This indebtedness Mr. Rendle is, however, careful to acknowledge, and he has conspicuously marked with a W. the source of information thus obtained. It is instructive to notice how plentifully sprinkled Mr. Rendle's pages are with this initial letter.
I freely admit-now that Mr. Waters has conclusively shown that John Harvard was a Southwark man, and has put this statement in print so that all may read that Mr. Rendle's local knowledge as a Southwark antiquary may enable him to carry on still further the investigations in that Borough, and I certainly trust that he may supplement and add to the already accumulating data concerning the early life of the benefactor of America's oldest and most famous University. Any such supplemental and corroborative material will command the attention of antiquaries on both sides of the ocean, and will deserve and receive due recognition on their part.
The article on "John Harvard and his Ancestry Part II.," in the REGISTER for October, 1886 (xl. 362) (pp. 180-197 this book), was preceded by the following introduction:
In the article in the REGISTER for July, 1885 (xxxix. 265), entitled "John Harvard and his Ancestry," which formed the ninth instalment of his "Genealogical Gleanings in England," Mr. Waters conclusively established the fact that John Harvard was one of the sons of Robert Harvard of the parish of St. Saviour's, Southwark, London, and Katherine (Rogers) Harvard, his wife, and that he was baptized in that parish, Nov. 29, 1607. In support of this statement he published, among others, the wills of Harvard's father, mother, brother, uncle, aunt, two step-fathers and fatherin-law.
In the present paper he continues still further the investigations so successfully begun. He here gives us, with other new and important matter now for the first time published, the probate of the will of Thomas Rogers of Stratford-on-Avon, Harvard's maternal grandfather, the wills of Rose
Reason, his aunt, and Thomas Rogers, Jr., his uncle, both on his mother's side, with extracts from the Parish Registers of Stratford, setting forth the baptisms, marriages and burials of the Rogers family. Harvard's grandfather, Thomas Rogers, was, at the time of his death, an alderman of Stratford, and the house which he built there in 1596 is still standing. From it John Harvard's father and mother were married in 1605. It is one of the oldest and certainly the best remaining example of ancient domestic architecture in Stratford. The illustration in this number is a heliotype copy, slightly reduced, of an excellent photograph just taken.
When it is remembered that the late Hon. James Savage, LL.D., the author of the "Genealogical Dictionary of New England," made a voyage to England for the express purpose of ascertaining what could be learned of the early history of John Harvard, and that he would gladly have given, as he himself tells us, five hundred dollars to get five lines about him in any capacity, public or private, but that all his efforts were without avail, the accumulation of material now brought to light by the perseverance of Mr. Waters is certainly most surprising. From being almost a semi-mythical figure in our early colonial history, John Harvard bids fair to become one of the best known of the first generation of settlers on these shores. The mystery which surrounded him is now dispelled. No better illustration could be given of the importance of the work Mr. Waters is doing in England, no more striking instance could be found of the extraordinary success which is attending his labors there.
The Committee earnestly hope that funds sufficient to carry on still further these valuable investigations may be speedily raised.
The article on the "Family of John Rogers of Dedham," in the REGISTER for April, 1887 (xli. 160) (pp. 209-236 this book), was introduced as follows:
The article in the REGISTER for October, 1886 (xl. 362), on “John Harvard and his Ancestry, Part Second," which, although published under a separate title, formed the fourteenth instalment of Mr. Waters's Genealogical Gleanings in England, related especially to the family of John Harvard's maternal grandfather, Thomas Rogers of Stratford on Avon, co. Warwick. Mr. Waters's investigations in this direction resulted in the accumulation of a mass of material in regard not only to this but to other families of the name of Rogers, but a part of which is as yet ready for publication.
The article in the present number of the REGISTER, the sixteenth in the series of "Genealogical Gleanings," concerns more particularly the Rogers family of Essex Co., England, and of Essex Co., Massachusetts. It is by no means complete, nor is it intended to be a final report of the results of Mr. Waters's signally successful researches. Mr. Waters has evidently thought it advisable simply to "report progress' in this line of search rather than to wait until he could perfect his work so as to present a finished pedigree of this family. The latter course would necessitate a long delay, while the course he has adopted, although open to the objection of being perhaps a fragmentary and unsatisfactory mode of dealing with the subject, has the positive merit of enabling him to make at once available for the use of antiquaries some of the new and important discoveries he has made in relation to this family.
As is well known to the readers of the REGISTER, the Committee on English Research have repeatedly asserted that the method of search adopted by Mr. Waters would without fail enable him to bring to light what had escaped the notice of all previous investigators, and they have from time to time called attention to the most striking points in the evidence relied upon to support this assertion. The Harvard discoveries undoubtedly made the most impression on the minds of the general public, but Mr. Waters's whole work, in every part, is proof enough to the mind of the trained antiquary that here at last is a new departure in genealogical investigation which cannot fail to produce results not otherwise to be attained. And this present paper on the Essex Rogers is by no means inferior to the Harvard papers as evidence of the truth of the statements above referred to.
It has long been a tradition in New England that the Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, Mass., son of the Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, co. Essex, England, was a descendant of John Rogers the Martyr. This tradition was disproved by the late Col. Joseph L. Chester, himself a descendant of the Ipswich minister. Indeed, it was through the researches that he then made into the history of this branch of the Rogers family that Col. Chester was first led to turn his attention to the genealogical pursuits in which he subsequently became preeminent. His Life of John Rogers the Martyr, published in London in 1861, was his earliest antiquarian work, and was the means of first bringing him to the notice of genealogists in this country and England. Although the result of these investigations was personally unsatisfactory to him, as he himself tells us, and his disappointment was great in finding that the Martyr could not have been the ancestor of the Ipswich minister, he never lost his interest in the subject, and continued almost to the day of his death to accumulate material in relation to the Rogers family in all its branches.
Through the kindness of Augustus D. Rogers, Esq., of Salem, Mass., I am permitted to make the following extracts from three letters written to him by Col. Chester.
In the first, dated January 13th, 1877, after referring to his Life of John Rogers the Martyr, he says:
"I may say generally that I have since discovered nothing to vary the conclusions I then arrived at, but much to confirm them. We shall never, I fear, carry the Rogers pedigree back beyond Richard Rogers of Wethersfield. I have sought earnestly in vain to ascertain who his father was, but I quite accept Candler's statement that he was of the North of England. I have often been at Dedham, where the bust of John Rogers is still in the chancel of the church. I have spared no pains to ascertain his parentage, but in vain. My Rogers collections alone would make a small library."
In the second, bearing date February 17th, 1877, he says:
"For eighteen years I have been collecting everything I could lay my hands on, from every possible source, concerning the Rogers families, all over England. All this material I have kept carefully worked up in pedigree form, and, with all my personal interest in the descent, I have never been able to get back a step beyond Richard Rogers of Wethersfield, nor even ascertain who was the father of John Rogers of Dedham. If any further progress is ever made it will be by accident. But my impression is that the earlier ancestors of the family were of a rank in life so humble that they never got into the public records. If I could think of anything more to do, you may be sure that I would do it. My Rogers collections are
enormous, and I know of nothing that has escaped me.”
The third is dated March 9th, 1878, and he there says:
"You must recollect that I take as deep an interest in the Rogers pedigree as you or anybody else can, as there is no doubt about my descent from Rev. John Rogers of Dedham, and if I had been able to add anything to what I have heretofore published, I should have done so. I have been pursuing these inquiries here for now nearly twenty years, and you may be sure I have left no stone unturned."
It will be seen that these letters were written but a few years before the death of the writer.
It is with no wish to detract from the fame of Col. Chester-for that is now secure, and he is admitted by all to have been preeminent among the genealogists of our day, without a superior indeed either in this country or in England-that attention is called to the fact that in the history of the very family in which Col. Chester had the greatest interest, for it was his mother's mother's family, to which he had devoted so much exhaustive labor with the tireless energy and perseverance for which he was so remarkable, discoveries have now been made by Mr. Waters which, but a short time ago, would have been pronounced impossible.
Mr. Waters now shows us that the Rev. John Rogers of Dedham was the son of John Rogers, a Chelmsford shoemaker, and that this shoemaker and the Rev. Richard Rogers were probably brothers, the sons of another John Rogers, when John Rogers the Martyr was living elsewhere. Nor has this discovery been made by accident, as Col. Chester prophesied, but by a laborious, systematic and exhaustive search on a plan never before attempted. It is another proof that the baffled investigator hereafter need never despair of his case, that genealogical problems apparently impossible of solution are by no means to be abandoned as hopeless. It is a reminder also of the necessity of establishing a permanent fund, by means of which we can carry on these investigations on a grander scale than ever before, and with proportionately greater results.
The first part of Volume I. of these Gleanings ended with the note on the will of Thomas Cotton in the middle of page 116. The will of Stephen Wheatland (REGISTER, Xxxix. 336) has been taken to fill out that page, and the whole page has been reprinted. The names of persons mentioned in the first half of it are to be found in the Index of Persons to Part I., while those in the second half appear in the Index of Persons to Part II. The Index of Places covers both Parts I. and II.
The latter index, originally in two sections, English and American, has been consolidated and is now in one alphabet. To the places in America, and elsewhere, beyond the limits of the United Kingdom, an obelisk has been prefixed, thus:
Boston, Lincolnshire, 109.
In the Index of Persons, the names of those whose wills were probated, or whose estates were administered upon, are printed in small capitals.
These indices were prepared by Frank E. Bradish, Esq., a member of the Society.
Boston, June 1, 1888.