My roots are so deep ….


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Eleven generations of Babbitts

My sister, Nila did a wonderful job of geneology and when we decided to talk ancestors I had this terrific book she’s written to refer to.

Did I dig around to find which ancestor was the richest? The  most famous? The most notorious? (oh, c’mon we all have a few of those.

The oldest ancestor I found in her book was living in America in 1649, 29 years after Jamestown. Not bad. My roots go deep. But by the time I was reading about them all the names I am familiar with were lost.

So what I did was I followed the names back and back and back until I found the oldest name of my four grandparents. Of those four names Frew, Snider, Moore and Babbitt, the one that was oldest to America was Babbitt.

1st Generation

In the entry Edward Babbitt’s name is spelled ALL WITHIN ONE ARTICLE as Babbitt, Bobet, Bobett, Bobbit and Bobbutt. He was born in England or Wales around 1627 and appears in America, Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1652.

2nd Generation…

Edward’s son Elkanah Bobet was born in Taunton, Mass in 1665

3rd Generation…

Elkanah Babbitt , Jr. is born in 1690 in Bristol, Mass.

4th Generation…

Isaac Babbitt was born in Berkley, Massachusetts in 1717. He died in 1777 at age 60 and it was said that he gave aid and comfort to the forces of the American Revolutionary Army

5th Generation…

Elkanah Babbitt (Again with the name Elkanah!) was born in 1767 in Mendham, New Jersey and fought in the Revolution

6th Generation…

Silas Babbitt was born in Berkshire Valley, New Jersey in 1787

7th Generation…

Mary Connealy
Mary Connealy

Amzi Babbitt (pronounced Am Zye) was born in Berkshire Valley, New Hersey in 1816 and was the first Babbitt to leave the east coast. He moved to Nebraska in 1857

8th Generation…

Jesse Amzi Babbitt was born in Nebraska in 1869. His daughter Bernice Vivian is my grandma, my dad’s mom.

9th Generation…

Bernice Vivian Babbitt was born in 1902 in Nebraska…she had one child, my father.

10th Generation…

Jack Moore

Which brings us to me.

11th Generation in America…

Mary Connealy. Who loves to write about history and is it any wonder?

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Author of Romantic Comedy...with Cowboys including the bestselling Kincaid Brides Series

21 thoughts on “My roots are so deep ….”

  1. Hi Janine. All those old documents have weird spellings. I read once that ‘spelling’ as a form of standard use was honestly not invented until Webster’s Dictionary.
    Until then people spelled names how they sounded and there was no right or wrong way.
    Hard to believe now.

  2. How wonderful that your sister did such a good job tracing your family’s history. My brother has researched our and has done a good job. Unfortunately it has not been a very straightforward path. Most of the families came in through Canada very early on. Unfortunately they got caught up in the Acadian exile to Louisiana. Many hid and some snuck back, but they changed their family names so they wouldn’t get caught. His is having trouble with the Irish that came into Canada. Their petitions for citizenship contradict other records. He is beginning to think they were British loyalist and therefore were covering their tracks. Makes his research harder. As with your family, there are a variety of names used. Unfortunately, they are not variations on the spelling but entirely different names.

  3. Isn’t a good feeling to know your heritage puts you right where you belong? With all that history in your bloodlines, I can’t think of any profession you’d be better at.

  4. Loved this post! My great aunt had researched my dad’s mom’s side of the family: all the way back to a baron. Some came over with William Penn. William Rittenhouse had the first paper mill in Pennsylvania and was the first Mennonite minister. I am now trying to research my dad’s side of the family. My ggggrandfather and his family came over in 1854 from Germany. I can’t find any information on him. It is fun to research this, but frustrating when you’ve hit this brick wall lol. There is a rumor my ancestor is the brother to a missionary from Germany who went to Africa. His daughter, Olive Schreiner became a writer. I’d love to find that connection!

    Why did the first Babbitt leave and go to Nebraska? Did anyone go with him, or did he set off on his own? Are any of your books based on his trek? That is very interesting! Thanks for sharing.

  5. Hi, Mary. Wow! So impressive that you can trace your ancestors back so far. Your family could have been on the Mayflower. My Granddaddy has traced our family back into England, but I don’t think we came over until the 1800s. Every time I try to investigate my husband’s family for my kids’ school assignments, we never find anything. “Witemeyer” doesn’t exist on I’m guessing the name is German, but I truly don’t know anything about that side of the family after about 2 generations. Fascinating stuff!

  6. Wow! That’s quite a long list. I would love to be able to go back that far. I’m jealous. Like some of the others have mentioned it’s strange how the spelling of the name changed. But seeing how high the illiteracy rate and lack of education was back then (not saying it’s your ancestors, just a general observation) it’s no wonder at the different spellings. Makes it really hard though for us to trace our lineage.

  7. Mary,what a fabulous post! And an exciting one. I loved every word…all the rich details that can blossom Into future stories for you. My daughter and I started, then got stalled by real life….I’m excited to return to our roots after reading this. Xo

  8. Sally the record in my sister’s book said he went to Nebraska to Homestead…..but my research for books puts the Homesteading Act about five years AFTER his move. So that doesn’t make sense. Did he come later? Or did he come for a different reason?

  9. Susan it was fun writing this post and going through my sister’s book. She’s just printed pages off her computer and slid those pages into a 3 ring binder with plastic protector pages.
    But she was sort of obsessed with this for years and did so much work.

  10. It is fun to know this. My sister followed a few ancestors back to Europe but not these most ancient ones, the Babbitts. But my mom’s father’s father came from Scotland.
    My husband’s grandmother came from Germany and in fact they spoke German in her home.
    My husband’s father’s family, the Connealy’s, go back to about classic Potato Famine days. Mid-1800s.
    So it’s all over the map.
    My husband’s mom’s father’s family had the paperwork to prove an ancestor fought in the Civil War. Great-grandma Evertt, who had passed away long before I joined the family, was intensely proud of her deep roots and we have an ancestor book for the Everetts here, too.

  11. I love genealogy, Mary! It’s been a hobby of mine for a long time. Me and some other relatives have traced our lines back a very long way! England, Denmark, Prussia, Sweden, etc.! I love their stories! Thanks for letting us learn about you!

  12. Valri, I don’t really know how it works, so it’s fascinating at the same time I find it overwhelming. Fortunately for me, I’ve got a lot of people on all sides of our family who are into it. So I get to do NO WORK and just buy copies of their books.

  13. Aren’t those old first names fascinating? I wonder if they had nicknames …

    I did some genealogy research on my husband’s side of the family. Found early Texas Rangers, men who fought in the Mexican-American War and the Civil War women who ran farms and ranches after their husbands died. But mostly I found wonderful items (like some letters) that were a big help with my historical writing.

    I also found the same last name spelled at least a half dozen ways 🙂


  14. Mary, you are so fortunate to have all this information!!v
    Our family can only go back to the beginning of the 18th century!

  15. That’s fascinating. Have you been able to determine was the other family men did besides Isaac? My great Aunt (is there such a thing?) did a geneogy on our family tree, but she was unable to ascertain what their professions were. I guess back then, unless you were prominent and of wealth, there may not be records of the heir’ s profession. But the names themselves are fascinating!

  16. Ever since reading Alex Haley’s ROOTS when I was in 7th grade I’ve wanted to discover my own ROOTS. Thankfully, my grandfather, also born in 1902, told me a great deal about his parents. He traveled to the US in 1919 with $23 at the age of 17 and little comprehension of English(he did speak Gree, Italian and some French). Talk about BRAVE.

    Great your ROOTS go so far back. Sisters are the BEST! 🙂 Thanks for this timely ancestral post!

  17. Mary, sorry I’m late–I’ve been without a computer, and when I text, it “ain’t purty”. This is so interesting! I love genealogy, and would love to have time to just sit down and immerse myself in it.

    I have an aunt who has done a lot of work on it, and she is eager to pass it on to someone in our family–but it seems no one has the interest that she does. My daughter is interested, but she’s 28 and has no time with working and life in general.

    But what a gift your sister gave the entire family! That is just awesome!


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