Our summer issue of the Mayflower Descendant consists of an article on my own and Michael Leclerc entitled “The Household of Louis and Lydia (Fosdick) Lambert Ma(s)cillier of Boston, Virginia, and Guadeloupe: The First Identified Catholic Mayflower Descendants in Massachusetts.” Once we first introduced our digitization undertaking of the parish information of the Archdiocese of Boston in 2016, I used to be to seek out such descendants. I wrote in regards to the first individual I discovered within the information with colonial New England ancestry, Caroline (Plimpton) Francoeur (1759-1827)—nevertheless, she had no Mayflower ancestry. I solely wanted to go eighteen pages additional within the parish information to seek out the baptism of the eldest baby of Louis Lambert Ma(s)cillier and his spouse Lydia Fosdick, who was an eighth generation-descendant (two occasions over) of Mayflower passengers William and Mary Brewster.1
All through the colonial interval, no official Catholic congregations had been allowed in Massachusetts. Native legal guidelines forbade any Catholic priest even to enter the colony. The 1780 Massachusetts Structure established non secular freedom within the new state, and the primary public Catholic Mass was held in Boston in 1788. The under baptism of Mary Catherine Elizabeth Lambert in 1796 (who died abruptly within the following yr), and that of her sister Amelia Mathilda in 1798, signify the earliest identified Catholic Mayflower descendants in Massachusetts. I can’t qualify this past the Bay State, as there have been early Mayflower descendants in England, Netherlands, and elsewhere in North America. I state within the article that if any readers can discover earlier examples in Massachusetts (or elsewhere), I’ll fortunately publish an replace.
The story of the Lambert and Fosdick household turned out to be of rather more curiosity past their Catholic first. Louis Lambert was a local of Guadeloupe, an island group within the southern Caribbean Sea which stays beneath the jurisdiction of France to this present day. Lambert was in Boston by the early 1790s, and married Lydia in 1794 on the Second Church in Boston. Lydia’s mother and father had been initially from Connecticut. Louis Lambert and Lydia’s father Alvan Fosdick had been enterprise companions collectively in Boston within the 1790s (extra on that later). The Lambert household’s residence in Boston was comparatively transient. They moved to Alexandria, Virginia, and Louis died in his native Guadeloupe in 1805, aged 49 years. Afterwards, Lydia and her three younger youngsters moved again to Connecticut, however the household would proceed to journey extensively.
As Michael and I pieced the household collectively, I got here throughout a really priceless report set on the Nationwide Archives in Washington, D.C. generally known as “French Spoliation Claims.” In the course of the Quasi-Battle between the US and France, a number of American vessels had been seized by French privateers. Lambert and Fosdick’s schooner Three Associates sailed on a business voyage from Boston in 1798 sure for Guadeloupe. It was captured by a French privateer referred to as Les Amis and carried to Port Liberty, Guadeloupe the place the schooner was “condemned nearly as good prize” by a French Tribunal and ordered to be offered.
Practically a century later, the U.S. Congress handed an act in 1885 empowering the US Courtroom of Claims to listen to and look at proof regarding excellent “French Spoliation Claims” that originated earlier than July 31, 1801. A complete of 5,520 petitioners offered their claims, together with the heirs of Fosdick and Lambert. Alvan Fosdick was the surviving companion, though all of his descendants had been by way of his daughter Lydia (Fosdick) Lambert, as Alvan’s three different youngsters died with out having youngsters of their very own. By 1885, all of Lydia and Louis’s youngsters had been additionally lifeless, and Gilbert Clement Huntington (1841-1893), a grandson of Lydia and Louis, utilized to the US Courtroom of Claims because the household’s consultant to pursue this declare for his or her household’s loss in 1798.
I ought to word that getting this report from the Nationwide Archives was not simple. My colleague David Lambert (no relation to Louis Lambert) was in Washington, D.C. whereas I used to be researching this household, and was not capable of even get somebody to present him the discovering information whereas he was there. Thankfully, he related me with Gopher Records, who’re on the Nationwide Archives weekly, who had been capable of get this report shortly and at a fantastic value. There have been 329 pages on this declare, in each English and French, which revealed a whole lot of details about Lambert, Fosdick, and their enterprise. Finally the property of Alvan Fosdick was awarded $13,517 in 1895—by that time, Gilbert Clement Huntington, who started the proceedings, had additionally died.
Moreover, Alvan Fosdick (1750-1831) by no means had an property probated in Suffolk County, Massachusetts—he truly died in New Hampshire (I’m undecided if his residing descendants within the Eighties knew this; you may learn extra about that within the full Mayflower Descendant article). So, Gilbert Clement Huntington additionally began probate proceedings in Suffolk County in 1886 concerning the property of his ancestor. The funds didn’t start till 1900, seven years after Gilbert’s dying. At this level, the residing descendants of Alvan Fosdick had been all by way of six of Lydia’s grandchildren. Complicating the distribution was that two of those grandchildren had not been heard from for forty years, so the heirs had been listed with shares with two theories of distribution, both in quarters or in sixths, with every sixth or quarter being additional divided if the grandchild was additionally deceased.
Louis and Lydia’s descendants lived all around the world, particularly within the Caribbean. Their daughter Amelia Mathilda largely lived in Connecticut, their son Louis Charles in St. Barthélemy, and their son Gabriel Jean/John in New Orleans, Guadeloupe, and Georgia. The following era additionally lived in Sint Maarten, Philadelphia, Australia, Texas, New York Metropolis, and Key West (sadly, American Ancestors didn’t approve my request to really journey to those locations!). All informed, this text used information written in English, French, Swedish, Dutch, and Spanish.
The heirs took out notices in newspapers to attempt to discover their lacking relations (the daughters of the youngest baby Gabriel Jean/John), however to no avail, so their shares had been despatched to a receiver in 1904. I used to be capable of find one of many two daughters, who moved from New York Metropolis to Key West, Florida along with her husband and kids. Maybe we will nonetheless get very small quantities of cash to their descendants. The opposite heirs of Alvan Fosdick obtained the cash paid from his property in 1901, seventy years after Alvan’s dying, primarily based on the proceeds of the French Spoliation Declare of Fosdick and Lambert’s ship seized in 1798. The chart under reveals the quantity each residing descendant obtained (or was entitled to obtain), ranging wherever from 1/6, 1/30, or 1/54 of the entire property.
 The second Brewster descent of Lydia Fosdick 8-8 (Alvin Fosdick7-7, Ezekiel Fosdick6-6, Samuel Fosdick5, Mercy Pickett4, Ruth 3 Brewster, Jonathan2, William1; Susannah Turner 5 [wife of Samuel Fosdick5], Ezekiel Turner4, Mary 3 Brewster, Jonathan2), is the results of an article by Keith Edward Wilson, “Three Husbands for Mary Turner and One Extra for Susannah Turner of New London and Lyme, Connecticut,” showing on this similar subject of Mayflower Descendant.
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