Leverenz Family

Portland, Oregon

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Family photos are no longer just in a shoebox or a family album under the coffee table. Family photos are everywhere - in your iPhone, on your computer, posted to social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook or Flickr. It seems difficult to keep tabs on where all our images are going.

Samuel Hubbard & Tacy Cooper

Samuel Hubbard & Tacy Cooper

Being the progeny of a long line of Roman Catholics, the idea of a religious family background seems to come with the "Gilbert - Laturno" territory.

But, dear cousins, we have deep roots in our ancestry connected to the Seventh Day Baptists.  Seriously.  This branch reaches back through Grandpa Gilbert's side of the family to our 8th Great Grandparents, Samuel Hubbard and Tacy Cooper, born into similar religious persecution experienced by the Puritan's who landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620.

Samuel was born in Mendalsham, Suffolk, England in 1610 and his future wife Tacy Cooper was also born in Mendalsham in 1608. 

_Quick history lesson: by the mid-1620's, the state of religion in England was in an upheaval. Remember at the time, the King of England was also the head of the Church of England. When Charles I became King in 1725, Parliament increasingly opposed the King's authority. By 1629, King Charles dissolved Parliament (not unlike our President dissolving Congress and the Senate) in an unsuccessful attempt to neutralize his enemies, which included numerous lay Puritans. With the religious and political climate so hostile and threatening, between 1629 through 1640 (The "Great Migration") approximately 20,000 colonists migrated to New England. This included nearly half of the residents of Mendalsham, Suffolk, England, which included our 8th Great Grandparents. End of history lesson._

Samuel emigrated to Salem, Massachusetts around the age of 23 on the ship "James Grant".  Soon, he joined the church at Watertown in 1634. At that time, the Congregational Church was the ONLY church in Massachusetts in those early years and the leaders wanted to keep everyone under control - thinking and worshipping the same. Tacy Cooper arrived at Dorchester June 9, 1634. 

Seems our 8th Great Grandmother Tacy refused to go to church on Sunday.  She believed that Saturday was the Sabbath and that was when she intended to go to church.  When Samuel and Tacy were married in 1636 he, naturally, adopted her strong beliefs. 

They moved to western Massachusetts to escape the authorities and their daughter Ruth was the first white child born there in 1640.  Springfield, Massachusetts was still not quite far enough away from the long reach of the church.  They were given the ultimatum go to church on Sunday like everyone else, or face prison.  The only alternative was to leave the Commonwealth of Massachusetts forever.

So they moved to Rhode Island, which was founded by Roger Williams to create a place of religious freedom. After several additional forced moves (onset by threats of imprisonment) by 1671 our 8th Great Grandparents were among the six Charter Members of the Seventh Day Baptist Church in Newport, Rhode Island. One of their core beliefs as Seventh Day Baptists is that the Sabbath of the Bible, the seventh day of the week, is sacred time. 

Samuel made his living as a farmer and a carpenter. He died at his home in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1689. Tacy died in 1697. They had  four daughters and one son. Their daughter, Bethia, is our 7th Great Grandmother, who married Joseph Clarke in 1664 in Westerly, Rhode Island. The next several generations of the family were closely involved with the church, right up through our 4th Great Grandfather, Deacon Thomas Babcock.

So, next time you take a Sunday off to relax and chill... be sure to give thanks to our 8th Great Grandmother, Tacy.

Scott Leverenz
Portland, Oregon

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