On this Thanksgiving Day, November 22

Gale and I got married on Thanksgiving Day, so it’s sort of appropriate that today is the 258th anniversary of the marriage of Ebenezer Cogswell and Mary Burnham (my 5th great grandparents) in 1749, most probably in Ipswich. Mary was from Scarborough, Maine, and was descended from Thomas Burnham, one of the passengers on the Angel Gabriel, the ship that also brought the Cogswells to America in 1635. Ebenezer and Mary eventually moved to Paxton.

Through the wonders of Google, I inadvertently discovered exactly where in Paxton that was. Title examiner Harvey Schmidt operates a service that researches the history of old houses in Worcester County, including genealogical data on previous owners. His sample report just happens to be about 10 Black Hill Road, Paxton, and he identifies the first owner as “Ebenezer Cogswell: born 13 June 1720 in “Chebacco”—now Essex (before 1819 part of Ipswich), son of William & Mary Cogswell, died 17 November 1801 in Paxton”. (I note that he has a different date for the marriage, but the source isn’t specified, so I’ll stick with my date, which comes from “Cogswells in America”, the official history of the family).

Ebenezer was the first child of William and Mary (Cogswell) Cogswell. (Yes, they had the same surname, and yes, they were first cousins. The American taboo against cousins marrying didn’t come along until much later.) It was a big family, probably the most prolific family group in the tree so far: William and Mary had eight more children before Mary’s death in 1734. William then married Elizabeth Wainwright, and they had seven more children. Sadly, five died in infancy.