Monday, September 16, 2019

ok so this crinkly pape (see below) has turned my world upside down. it is in my great-great-great grandfather's hand; it implies that our line goes up through two johns, and knight the goldsmith, and thomas the barber. i am stuck at a certain point in about 1720 though my real problem is later, about 1760 or so. i'll explain.

there were two brothers, thomas and john. now i'm thomas john, and i was named after thomas and john, first two leveretts in the colonies, but these two were brothers, sons of knight. john was born in 1727, thomas in 1730. both went after money as knight had been poor, and both did very well, staying right there in boston. john dabbled in printing but went more into importing goods from london, and opened a big warehouse on the town dock. thomas stuck with printing. when i tried to find out what he'd printed, lo and behold, i came up with thomas dilworth's grammar of the english language - the very book i'd love to write!

back in those days, a grammar was held and learned by every schoolboy. dilworth's picture had mustaches drawn on it by mischievous boys in abraham lincoln's generation as they learned grammar. in any case, this book was made for thomas leverett.

but more mysteries abound. thomas married a mysterious woman named hannah gray whom i cannot find. one possibility is that she was the daughter of edward gray, neice of harrison gray, treasurer of the colony. she had several children, including a harrison, john w, and benjamin, but then disappeared. perhaps she died with no record, or went back to england, right around the occupation of boston by english troops in 1768.

her uncle, if he was her uncle, was treasurer of the colony, but a loyalist, so he got all his stuff taken and fled for his life back to london, around 1776.

her half-brother, if i'm not mistaken, was another printer, who printed a pamphlet about a currency problem and got in trouble for it. in other words, he pushed the envelope of free speech.

she was the grandmother of c e leverett, who did extensive research on the family, yet still could only say that he suspected she was the daughter of edward gray, neice of harrison gray. the clues are fascinating.

i am related through john, thomas' brother. but john w may yet appear in my story. he appears to be a brother of young benjamin, and harrison, and young hannah, before hannah gray died or disappeared when the british occupied. but what happened was this: col. john, thomas' brother, lost everything when the british sacked his warehouse, and moved to connecticut, with his son john and family. in boston, after hannah died, thomas remarried, and young john w and benjamin were given over to the care of young thomas, the surgeon, older brother of the group. that thomas was to serve in the war and die after a twenty-month imprisonment at the hands of the british. young john w disappeared but may come back to our story. hannah, the sister (not the mother who disappeared) went to connecticut and married the son of col. john, young john. married her own cousin.

thomas the bookseller died right after the war. martha his second wife held a wake and divided up his property in medford; she served spirits and they drank one to the family. if i'm related i guess it would be through john w, who i haven't quite figured out yet, but just knowing about this namesake of mine has me kind of glued to the google, googling my own name. thomas leverett bookseller. thomas leverett thomas dilworth. thomas leverett hannah gray. that kind of stuff. i suspect hannah gray slipped back to england to avoid the same fate her uncle suffered, but i haven't got that far. and her husband, left behind with six or seven children, had no choice but to remarry.


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