Surname Saturday: John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts

Everson Title Image

As NEHGS celebrates its 170th anniversary, this week the New England Historical and Genealogical Register launched a beautiful new format and style. This Register features my article “Descendants of John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts” which identifies and untangles the early Everson family of Plymouth Colony. In the 17th century, John Everson was an unwelcome transient in both Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony, and he ultimately gave up custody of his three young children, who were each taken in and raised by separate Plymouth families. Very little has been published on the family up until now, and the few publications that have included references to them have often confused the early generations – a significantly repeated error being the division of Richard2 Everson into two men, one who married Elizabeth (_) and another who married Penelope Bumpas. However, my research shows that they were in fact the same man.

The article is part of my larger Everson project, a book which documents John Everson’s descendants through to the sixth generation (as yet unpublished). While many Eversons remained in Plymouth County, some lines were a part of the westward migration through New York and beyond, and others to Northern New England and into Canada.

Below is a copy of the article, which can be cited as: Mary Blauss Edwards, “Descendants of John Everson of Plymouth, Massachusetts,” New England Historical and Genealogical Register 169 [2015]:35-50.


Mount Auburn Cemetery lecture, Boston Public Library

Just received a mailing from Mount Auburn Cemetery, and there is a great lecture coming up:

“W.E.B. Du Bois and the Enyclopedia Africana”
October 18, 2006, 6 p.m. Boston Public Library, Copley Square
Free and open to the public

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
is the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor of the Humanities at Harvard University. Earlier this year he had a fantastic documentary series on PBS entitled “African American Lives“. I watched all the episodes, and loved every moment. Using genealogy and genetics, he researching his own history as well as several famous or high-achieving African Americans such as Oprah, Whoopi Goldberg, and Quincy Jones. It brought to live the thrill of the profession! I am often asked “what is it, exactly, that genealogists do?” The short answer is “research”.. and that’s when others lose interest. They regain it once the research has been done, and answers have been found! But I love the research process… it is a combination of skill and luck, knowing where to look for records, and piece together seemingly disjointed facts to recreate a life, then a family, then an ancestry. Henry Louis Gates documentary focused on the research process – including the frustrations of finding dead ends, the excitement of discovering previously unused documents, and even the personal wonder of seeing a relatives name on some long-forgotten record, and matching it up with a house or town that still exists. Gates documents the search for his own history, then presents the histories of his guest’s to them personally. I love the passionate responses of Oprah when he presents her family history, the look of disbelief and then immediate connection when she learns of people who she never knew existed previously, but then relates to their actions and emotions. It is certainly worth watching. I think I even wrote a review on the series, I will see if I can find where that currently might be…!

So back to the Mount Auburn mailing. Henry Louis Gates is giving a lecture “W.E.B. Du Bois and Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience”, which will discuss the history and culture of Africa and the African Diaspora including references to African Americans buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery. This is part of the anniversary celebrations of Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Facets of Mount Auburn Cemetery: Celebrating 175 Years of a Boston Jewel.” Should be very interesting!!

New England Historic Genealogical Society, Newbury Street, Boston, MA

Ooh exciting! Just got an email from NEHGS today with the fall lineup of lectures. Since I will be in Boston this fall, my interest is peaked! Here’s one I am especially looking forward to:

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War
November 8, 2006, 7 p.m. presentation

Just in time for Thanksgiving, bestselling author Nathaniel Philbrick will speak on the subject of his latest book, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community and War. Publisher’s Weekly’s starred review praised Philbrick’s “remarkable effort” in bringing the founders of Plymouth Colony “vividly to life.” Winner of the National Book Award for In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Nathaniel Philbrick is one of America’s leading popular historians, and his lecture on the subject of the Mayflower will surely be a fascinating one.

Philbrick is a great writer. I ended up reading In the Heart of the Sea after borrowing it from my friend Jojo, but leftovers were spilled over it.. so I bought her a new one and kept the slightly soggy version for myself! I am soon to purchase Mayflower.. but I always hesitate to buy books in hardcover. On the other hand, it should be an excellent addition to my library of colonial history books! Has anyone else read Mayflower yet?