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 Joan <I>Purchase</I> Capen

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Joan Purchase Capen

  • Birth 1578 England
  • Death 25 Mar 1653 Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Plot DN/B147
  • Memorial ID 6108090

Joan Purchase, dau. of Oliver Purchase, b. in England. She d. Mar. 25, 1653 at Dorchester, Mass., Æ 75, meaning she was then 74 years old.

In 1907 Julia Evans (Stone) Neil published From Generation to Generation, The Genealogies of Dwight Stone and Olive Evans. This bare-bones work provides no source for the claim that "Joane Purchis," wife of Bernard Capen, was born March 25, 1578. The lack of a source suggests it was copied from some other printed work, but the memorialist cannot find in the literature this or any other purported date with or without citation. Her gravestone infers she was born AFTER Mar. 25, 1578.

According to the fly-leaf of a bible printed in 1615 apparently once owned by her descendant [NEHGR 2:80]:

• Joan Capen, ye daughter of Oleuer Purchis dyed ye 26 of March, 1653, ye night before, aged 75 yeers.

Joan's replacement gravestone is based on the above bible entry, but on its face the actual entry can only be interpreted as she died the night before the 26th of March 1653; i.e., on the 25th not the 26th.

Further, throughout North America prior to the early 1800s one's age in town records, in depositions and at death written in gravestone inscriptions was based on the Latin phrase "Ætatis suæ" versus the modern concept of chronological age. This was represented by the symbol "Æ," the word "Aged" with ending d, or the phrase "in the XX year of his/her age." This concept of age begins on the day of birth, which is the first day of the first year of a person's age. Thus, on the day Joan died she was 74 years old, but also Ætatis suæ (i.e., Æ, "Aged," in the XX year of her Age) 75, indicating she was born AFTER Mar. 25, 1578.

The children of Joan Purchase and Bernard Capen are outlined in their father's memorial.

Edited 7/4/2015


Family Members


Inscription

Here
lies the bodies of
Mr Barnard Capen
& Mrs Joan Capen his
wife; He died Nov 8,
1638 Aged 76 years
& She died March
26 [sic], 1653:
Aged 75 years.

On the day Joan died she was 74 years old and Ætatis suæ (i.e., Æ, "Aged," in the XX year of her Age) 75, indicating she was born AFTER Mar. 25, 1578.


  • Maintained by: Don Blauvelt
  • Originally Created by: Bonnie Weller
  • Added: 22 Jan 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6108090
  • Elton Ellis
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joan Purchase Capen (1578–25 Mar 1653), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6108090, citing Dorchester North Burying Ground, Dorchester, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Don Blauvelt (contributor 46932939) .