The Faith of Our Foremothers and Fathers

Martha Ann Skaggs Armstrong has not only given us our Native American blood. She has provided us with ancestors of remarkably strong religious faith. The Skaggs had a number of marriages with Native American women through the generations. Charles Skaggs, Martha’s grandfather, of mixed blood married Native American/French Huguenot  “Sally” Choudoin. The old census records were hand written. I can’t tell if Sally’s name was Yaratilda or Zaratilda. She was known as Sally.

The strong religious faith comes from Martha’s  maternal grandmother, Louisa Wightman Ogden. Louisa descends from a long line of fiery Baptist ministers and from religious rebels and in two cases outright martyrs. There were two Reverend Daniel Wightmans and a Rev. George Wightman, early ministers to the Second Baptist Church (Newport, Rhode Island) seconded only to Roger Williams‘ First Baptist Church. Roger was married to a Wightman cousin of ours. We are also related to John Clarke, though I haven’t worked this out yet.

2BaptSecond Baptist Church, Newport Rhode Island

John Wightman was the last heretic to be burned at the stake in England is part of  our direct lineage. Click here for a representation. The Rev. Valentine Wightman is a collateral line to ours. He brought the Baptist Church to Connecticut.

There was also the martyrdom of Mary Dyer in the Boston Colony. Mary suffered through torture and humiliation before she was finally hanged for her religious convictions. Wikipedia has this entry for Mary Dyer. This book makes the claim of Mary’s royal birth. For further reading about Mary Dyer, The Quaker Martyr.

Mary’s son married the daughter of Anne Marbury Hutchinson. After a rigorous trial, Anne left the Boston Colony to live in religious freedom. Unfortunately the Native Americans in Pelham Bay were not in a friendly mood: The Hutchinson massacre.

Anne_Hutchinson_on_Trial

The Anne Hutchinson Trial

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