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Mrs Hester/Esther Bowen? Ayars
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Birth: 1651
Essex County
Massachusetts, USA
Death: Feb. 27, 1726
Shrewsbury
Monmouth County
New Jersey, USA

Robert AYARS 2# Married Hester/Esther BOWEN? Abt 1685/1886 in Newport, Newport County, Rhode Island, USA.

Their Children Were:
Stephen AYARS?
Caleb AYARS
Joshua AYARS


CAVEAT: Ayars family traditions state that this Esther is Esther Bowen, daughter of Richard Bowen, of Swansey, MA. However, we know from primary records that in 20 August 1682, Richard's daughter Esther married Samuel Millerd in Bristol County, Massachusetts. [see IGI] Richard's will, probated in 1723, lists two sons, Richard and John, the children of his daughter Sarah Bowen-Abel, "and the children of my dau Easther Millerd." [sic]. Given these dates, it is impossible for Robert Ayars to have married this daughter of Richard Bowen. However, six years later, Samuel Millerd's will, probated 9 February 1729, refers to his wife Hannah, and daughter Hannah, and sisters Hester West, Elce Chaffe, and Margeret Orsben. His wife Hannah is Executrix of the will. Richard Bowen's brother, Thomas, is a witness to the will, as is Henry West (husband of Samuel's sister Hester). Did Richard's daughter Esther die between 1723 and 1729? [SOURCE: Bristol County, Massachusetts, Probate Records]. The only evidence we have for the marriage of this woman to Robert Ayars is her signature on a mortgage from William Phipps, made in November 1687, and her name on the membership list of the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church in 1692 and 1708.

SOURCE: ANCESTRAL LINES REVISED: 190 Families in England, Wales, Germany, New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Compiled by Carl Boyer 3rd., Newhall California, Carl Boyer, 1981, pp. 81ff.

SOURCE: George Norbury Mackenzie, COLONIAL FAMILIES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Baltimore, MD, The Seaforth Press, 1913, pp. 60ff.

SOURCE: SALEM COUNTY N. J. GENEALOGICAL DATA, Compiled by H. Stanley Craig, Vol. I, Merchantville, NJ, H. Stanley Craig, ND, p. 12. Death date based upon will of son Stephen. See also NEW JERSEY ARCHIVES, COLONIAL DOCUMENTS: CALENDAR OF WILLS, Vol. I, p. 20.

DEATH: COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY FAMILIES OF PENNSYLVANIA, Wilfred Jordan, Ed., Lewis Historical Publishing Co., Inc., New York, 1936, p. 424. Editor states she died in 1793. However, this would make her over 100 years old: She was listed as member of SDB Church in Newport in 1692. Must be at least in late teens or early twenties when she became a member. Thus, Jordan's death date is wrong!


The William Phipps Mortgage

Three days later, on 29 November 1687, Robert Ayars and Stephen Mumford mortgaged "Braces Farme" to Sir William Phipps, Esq., in Boston:


…Twenty ninth of Novemb…one Thousand Six hundred Eighty seven…Between Stephen Mumford of James Towne…yeoman and Robert Ayres of Newport…yeoman of the one Part, and Sr. William Phips Knight late of Boston…on the Other Part…Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayres for…three Hundred pounds in currant money of New England…by Sr. William Phips or his agent…paid…Have given…their Farme containing about Two Hundred and fourty acres… lyeing…within the Towneship of Newport…knowne by the name of Braces Farme Late in the occupation of Richard Allison now in the actuall possession and Tenure of…Robert Ayres…upland Meadows and Swamps which they…purchased of John Walley of Bristoll Esq…bounded Westerly by the Land now or late of Henry Bull and Irah Bull Sotherly by the Land of Major John Coggeshall Eastwardly by the sea northerly by the Land of John Easton Sen: …and partly by the Common…With all houses Barnes…Trees…

Wit. Stephen Mumford

Nathan. Byfield Robert Ayars

Samll. Crowley Signum

Anne X Mumford

Esther Ayars

Boston 30th November 1687

Stephen Mumford and Robert Ayers…before me one of his majesties Councill…acknowledged

John Walley

Ann Mumford & Esther Ayres…acknowledged before me one of the Councill…the fourth day of May 1688 Walter Newberry 22
The significance of this document, coupled with the previous one, cannot be overestimated. This mortgage restates unequivocably that Robert Ayars was at this time still living in Newport, Rhode Island on "Braces Farme" in 1687.

What is even more significant is that Robert is now married to Esther. Robert's first wife, Katharin, died at the beginning of 1685. Sometime between 1685 and 1687, Robert married again. This second wife is allegedly the Esther Bowen of family tradition.23 However, we do not know for certain that this "Esther" is a "Bowen." We do not know for certain at this time what her surname may have been. That she is a Bowen is so far based upon family traditions only.

We also know from this and the previous document that both Robert Ayars and his new wife, Esther, were literate -- both could sign their names. By contrast, Stephen Mumford's wife, Anne Mumford, could not sign her name; she left her mark, attested by two other witnesses.

We don't know for what purpose Robert and Stephen used the proceeds of this mortgage.

It is obvious that Robert met and married Esther in Newport, not New Jersey.

Sir William Phips, the mortgager, was a very wealthy man at this time. Born in what is now the State of Maine into a poor family on 2 February 1651, Phips began work as a shipbuilder's apprentice. He eventually married a wealthy widow, and set up his own shipyard in Boston. In 1684, Phips led a successful expedition to find the wreck of the Spanish galleon, the Concepción, which had sunk after striking a reef in a storm off the coast of what is now the Dominican Republic. Phips succeeded in finding the wreck, and recovered 32 tons of silver. For this exploit, he was knighted. Three years after making this mortgage, to support England in its war against France which was raging in Europe at this time, the Massachusetts General Court ordered Sir William Phips to lead the attack on the French in Port Royal in Acadia, and against Quebec City. Unfortunately, Phips troops failed. However, despite the failure, King William III appointed Phips as Governor Massachusetts in 1692. Two years later, while visiting London, Phips died of a severe cold.

The next document possibly reveals the religious sentiments of the Ayars family.


The Seventh Day Baptist Church List 1692

The second oldest surviving membership list of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island was made in 1692. The Church had been organized 23rd December 1671. The original seven charter members were William Hiscox, who became their pastor, Stephen Mumford, Samuel Hubbard, Roger Baster, Tacy Hubbard, Rachel Langworthy, and another lady who's name has not been recorded. Was this "unknown" lady Stephen's wife? By 1692, the membership had grown considerably.24 Robert Ayars' second wife, Esther, his daughter-in-law Hannah, and his daughter Esther,25 are included on the list.

MEMBERS OF THE NEWPORT
SEVENTH DAY BAPTIST CHURCH 1692

ARNOLD SARAH 1692
AYRES HANNAH 1692
AYRES ESTHER 1692
BABCOCK JOB 1692
BABCOCK JAMES 1692
BARKER PETER 1692
BARKER FREELOVE 1692
BARKER "____, WIFE OF PETER" 1692

BARNES ELIZABETH 1692
BENNETT MARGARET 1692
BLISS DAMARIOS 1692
BURDICK RUTH 1692
BURDICK ROBERT 1692
BURDICK THOMAS 1692
BUTTON PETER 1692
CLARKE REBECCA 1692
CLARKE BETHIAH 1692
CLARKE JOSEPH 1692
COLLINS AMEY 1692
COTTRELL JOHN 1692
COVE HOPE 1692
CRANDALL PETER 1692
CRANDALL JOHN 1692
CRANDALL JOSEPH 1692
EMERIE ELIZABETH 1692
EMERIE JOSEPH 1692
FOX SAMUEL 1692
GIBSON ELDER WILLIAM 1692
GIBSON MARY 1692
HENRY MRS. 1692
HENRY MR. 1692
HIGGINS EDITH 1692
JAMES HANNAH 1692
JAMES JOSEPH 1692
JAPHETH (INDIAN) 1692
LANGWORTHY ELIZABETH 1692
LANGWORTHY JOHN 1692
LANPHEAR GEORGE 1692
MARTIN WILLLIAM 1692
MARTIN ELIZABETH 1692
MARTIN SARAH 1692
MAXSON JOHN SR. 1692 1771
MAXSON JOSEPH 1692
MILLARD ELIZABETH 1692
MOON EBENEZER 1692
PHILLIPS RUTH 1692
RANDALL ELIZABETH 1692
RANDALL JOHN 1692
REED HANNAH 1692
ROADES JOHN 1692
ROGERS JAMES 1692
ROGERS JOHN 1692
ROGERS NAOMA 1692
ROGERS SARAH 1692
ROGERS JONATHAN 1692
ROGERS MARY 1692
ROGERS ELLEN 1692
SABIN CATHARINE 1692
SABIN JONATHAN 1692
SAUNDERS MARY 1692
SAUNDERS TOBIAS 1692
STONE HANNAH 1692
THORNTON JOHN 1692
TREBY RUTH 1692
VERNON "___, WIFE OF DANIEL" 1692
VERNON DANIEL 1692
WARD AMEY 1692
WARD THOMAS 1692
WEEDEN RACHEL 1692
WEST PETER 1692
WEST ELIZABETH 1692
WEST THOMAS 1692
WEST RUTH 1692


One characteristic of Baptist belief is the insistence on baptism by immersion of believing adults. Therefore, in order for Robert's daughter to be listed among the membership in 1692, she had to be an adult.

If Robert's daughter Esther had been baptized in 1692 at the biblical age of accountability, that is, at age twelve, then the latest year she could have been born is 1680. However, given the average known age for adult baptisms during this period (based upon data preserved in surviving church records), it is more likely that Esther was in her late teens or early twenties at this time. Thus, she could have been born as early as before 1673. This could make her a twin of Robert's first son, Isaac, who was allegedly born in that same year.27

We must also take into account the fact that Robert's daughter-in-law Hannah, Isaac's wife, is also listed as a member at this time. Thus, Hannah is also, at a minimum, around eighteen to twenty years of age. Hannah's husband, Isaac, who was allegedly born in 1673, would have been nineteen in 1692.

Therefore, the mother of Isaac and Esther must be Katharin, and not Esther Bowen. This also reinforces the idea that Robert and Katharin were married sometime before 1673.

It would be so nice if we could recover the lost records of the Newport Church written prior to 1692. It would be nice if the British had not burned them during their occupation of Newport during the Revolutionary War. Alas, this did not happen. We may never know if Robert and Katharin were ever members of the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church. However, lost records of colonial churches continue to resurface; who knows what may be found tomorrow, or next year. We only know for certain at this time that Robert married Katharin in 1672; that after her death in 1685, but before 1687, Robert married Esther; that by 1692, Robert's second wife, Esther, Robert's daughter-in-law Hannah (wife of Isaac), and his daughter, also called Esther, were members of the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church.

 
 
Family links: 
 Spouse:
  Robert Ayars (1640 - 1719)*
 
 Children:
  Stephen Ayars (1675 - 1726)*
  Caleb Ayars (1692 - 1760)*
  Joshua Ayars (1695 - 1759)*
 
*Calculated relationship
 
Burial:
Shiloh Seventh Day Baptist Church Cemetery
Shiloh
Cumberland County
New Jersey, USA
 
Created by: Our Family History
Record added: Oct 29, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 99824635
Mrs Hester/Esther <i>Bowen?</i> Ayars
Cemetery Photo
Added by: The Bull
 
 
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Mary Harrell-Sesniak
 Added: Jun. 14, 2013

- Me2u
 Added: Mar. 10, 2013
This is the mother of Caleb Ayars, who made the bricks for the original Shiloh SDB church. She is the second wife of Robert Ayars.
- Barbarann Ayars
 Added: Nov. 15, 2012
 
 
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