Micklethwaites and Micklewhites in the Bahamas

On my blog I wrote:

Back in August 2014 I wrote on my blog about Micklethwaites in the Bahamas. More information has come to light and it now appears that there were 2 families: Richard and Henrietta; Christopher and Jane. Confusingly, both had a son called Richard. Christopher’s Richard was a master mariner, and the families were involved with a vessel called “Penistone”. I suspect, but as yet I have no solid evidence, that Richard and Christopher were brothers, and were sons of Richard Micklethwaite of Water Hall, Penistone, Yorkshire, who married Elizabeth Feyram (or similar) in Roystone, Yorkshire in 1712. To add to the intrigue, I have nothing to show how Richard of Water Hall fits into the wider picture of Yorkshire Micklethwait(e)s. The Loyalist position is also unclear as the families were in the Bahamas before American independence, so why are some of these Micklethwaites listed in the Loyalist Land Grants?

A will of Richard Micklethwaite of 1755 mentions his wife, Henrietta, and 2 sons, Richard (I found a baptism record for 1751) and James.(baptised 1753). His mother-in-law’s will (below) suggests that he wrote his will some years before he died – see below.

Henrietta’s will of 1800 mentions Elizabeth Outten, niece, wife of Mr John Outten; Margaret Newton, niece; Joseph Evans, nephew; Walter Evans and his sister Elizabeth son and daughter of her nephew Joseph Evans; Susannah ?Hatherspoon?, of New Providence, widow; Jane Micklethwaite, of Nassau (no relationship is stated – pity!; Mrs Griffith, dau. of Jane Micklethwaite; Mr & Mrs Glenton; Elizabeth Woodside; Mary Thurston, of Rhode Island, niece; John Thurston, of Rhode Island, great nephew; Mrs Shearman of Rhode Island, cousin; and Mrs Abigail Bliss of the said State. She also mentions her “negro girl”, Rosetta, who was baptized in 1790. So it seems that none of her children survived to 1800. But who are all the nieces and nephews? And what is the Rhode Island connect?

Henrietta’s mother, Mary Rowland left a will in 1758 in which she mentions Henrietta, her son John (no baptism found for him, and no mention of the other sons, Richard and James), and also Richard (her executor). So Richard didn’t die in 1755 after all!

Christopher and Jane had 3 children who have baptism records: Sarah 1756, Richard 1758 and Mary 1759.

The will of Richard Micklethwaite made in 1800 mentions Christopher, his father, Jane, his mother, Elizabeth, his wife, Samuel Johnson, his father in law and Sarah Griffith, his sister.

Richard and Elizabeth had a son Richard Christopher baptized 1793 who isn’t mentioned in his father’s will of 1800 so is presumed deceased by that time.

Shipping records show that Richard snr. and Christopher were involved in shipping and that Richard’s son Richard was a master mariner. There was a vessel called “Penistone”. I have no evidence but suspect they might be sons of Richard of Water Hall, Penistone, Yorkshire.

I have the will transcription for Richard of Water Hall from 1732 – he leaves everything to his wife Elizabeth nee Feyram. They were married in 1712 in Roystone, Yorkshire. They had 4 children baptized: Mary, 1713, Richard, 1715, Christopher, 1717, and Joseph, 1720-3. Sadly, I can’t find any trace of how this Richard connects to any of the Micklethwaite branches.

As I mentioned in the blogs:

Descendants of the slaves who used to work for the Micklethwaites still live on the islands, and some have moved to Florida, although I have not yet identified who first emigrated there. I have tried to work out the families in the Bahamas with little success. It is more difficult when you are several thousand miles and a century and a half away. Additionally, the records do not seem complete, and lack much of the useful detail that appears on English records, like a new-born child’s forename! Micklewhite is spelled Mcklewhite in many cases.

Here are some examples of the “problem” families which illustrate some of the issues.

According to the available records, Elijah Micklewhite fathered the following children:

  • Anne Eliza born 1871 with Mary Anne Sayers
  • Sarah born 1873 with Christiana Stuart
  • Lydia born 1875 with Ann Mckay
  • Girl born 1881 with Margaret Mckay
  • Girl born 1883 with Margaret Mckay
  • Girl born 1886 with Margaret Mckay
  • Girl born 1888 with Margaret Mckay
  • Boy born 1895 with Margaret Mckay
  • Clara said to be born 1900 when she married in 1922
  • Willamae said to be born 1925 when she married in 1944

I have no birth or death record for Elijah. There is one marriage for him – to Margaret McKay in 1874. Note that this is before Lydia’s birth (with Ann McKay!)

Some questions (which also apply to other problems):

  • Were Clara and Willamae misleading officials about their age or are there substantial gaps in the records - where are their births - was there another Elijah?
  • Was it usual to have children with different partners? Was polygamy accepted?
  • - Did officials just get names wrong (Ann/Margaret) or were they different people?
  • - Are the records poorly transcribed?

One or more Courtney or Coventry Micklewhites had the following offspring:

  • Boy born 1852 with Hannah (unknown)
  • Boy born 1854 with Hannah (unknown)
  • Boy born 1855 with Rose (unknown)
  • Boy born 1868 with Jane Johnson
  • Cephas (boy) born 1871with Jane Cash
  • Girl born 1872 with Julia Johnson
  • Albert born 1875 with Julia Johnson
  • Girl born 1877 with Julia Johnson
  • Boy born 1st Feb 1880 with Mary McKay
  • Boy born 21st Feb 1880 with Julia Johnson
  • Boy born 1883 with Laura Johnson
  • Boy born 1885 with Laura Johnson
  • Boy born 1887 with Laura Johnson
  • Girl born 1889 with Laura Johnson
  • Laura born 1891 with Laura Johnson
  • Boy born 1895 with Laura Johnson
  • Girl born 1897 with Laura Johnson
  • Girl born 1899 with Laura Johnson
  • Girl born 4th Feb 1902 with Laura Johnson
  • Girl born 14th Sep 1902 with Laura Johnson (biologically impractical)
  • It seems unlikely (but indeed possible) that one man would be fathering children over the 50 year period. One of the males born in the 1850s could be Coventry/Courtney junior, but if so, which is the father of the children born in the 1860s and 1870s.
  • The 2 children born February 1880 are confusing – were multiple partners common or are the records not accurate?

Charles’ children:

  • Charles baptised 4th Jan 1880 to Charles Micklewhite and Celane Butler
  • Eliza baptised 1st Nov 1880 to Charles A Micklewhite and Ruth Ann Rattray
  • Helinda Jane born Dec 1880 baptised 17th April 1881 to Charles A Micklewhite and Ruth Ann Rattray married 17th Oct 1880
  • Helenda Jane born Nov 1880 baptised 17th April 1881 to Charles Micklewhite and Catherine (unknown) (some sort of duplicate?)
  • Girl born 16th Oct 1880 to Charles Micklewhite and Ruth Petty
  • Eliza born 1882 to Charles Micklewhite and Catherine
  • Girl born 1884 to Charles Micklewhite and Ruth Petty
  • Charles born 1888 to Charles Micklewhite at marriage in 1911 to Ethelinda Johnson
  • Wendall born 1912 to Charles Nicholwhite and Melinda Johnson
  • Dewitt born 1915 to Charles Micklewhite at marriage in 1937 to Louise Robinson
  • Boy born 1915 to Charles Micklewhite and Athalinda (probably Dewitt)
  • Charles Wilmore born 1919 to Charles Wesley Micklewhite and Louise Jane Bethel married in 1945 to Jacqueline Charles
  • Jas Hewell born 1922 to Charles Micklewhite and Louise Bethel
  • Lucille born 1923 to Charles Micklewhite at marriage in 1940 to Cleveland Sinclair Demeritte
  • Girl born 1923 to Charles Micklewhite and Louise Bethel (probably Lucille)

Those born after 1900 are probably children of the Charles born about 1888 who married twice (or had 2 partners). But what am I to make of the events of 1880? How many Charles are there, and how many Ruths?

There matter is further confused by the 4 children of Wiley Micklewhite and Ruth Petty:

  • Girl born 1882
  • Boy born 1887
  • Girl born 1890
  • Girl born 1895

Was one of the Charles either known as or confused with Wiley?

Confused? I am! All help appreciated!