Monday, December 14, 2009

Madness Monday -- "God, Love and Lust..." Fascinating Article

For the Madness Monday meme, I found this article online --

Genealogist Jillaine S. Smith has written a fascinating family history article titled "God, Love and Lust: The Tale of Four Revolutionary Families in Warwick, MA" based on her own interest in history and family research. It's a 25 page story about four families in colonial New England.

Here is the story shared with Jillaine by another researcher in 2004:

"In the years approaching the American Revolution, one 'Elder HIX' arrived in the young town of Warwick, Massachusetts. He was an 'itinerant Baptist minister,' going from house to house converting people. Apparently a very charismatic individual, he also preached that men and women had spiritual as well as temporal spouses, and when so moved to love another, 'there was no criminality in such a connection.' The 'bubble burst' when HIX absconded with the young daughter of Amzi DOOLITTLE. Another convert, Amos MARSH, ran off with Amzi DOOLITTLE’s wife, and Amzi, 'to be even with the rest of the family, decamped with Mr. Thomas BARBER’s wife.' "

Read all of Jillaine's manuscript for an excellent example of weaving local history information with the family history of each family involved. While it is still a work in progress, the manuscript is well sourced and sensible to this reader. Thank you, Jillaine, for sharing it with us.

Hat tip to Jillaine Smith for posting about her manuscript this morning on the Transitional Genealogist Forum mailing list in her post "When research results in controversy" here.

Why post this for Madness Monday? Well, wouldn't you be mad if you had one of these persons as an ancestor, or had a DAR line from one of the children with disputed paternity? I certainly would be! It also demonstrates how we cannot explicitly trust the town record book data, the biographical sketches in vanity books, the family stories handed down, etc. We need to perform a reasonably extensive search for our ancestral families and relate the records to the social history of the localities they lived in. Jillaine has done this in her research effort and it shows in her manuscript.


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...


Thank you, very much, for bringing Jillaine's story, and the Forum posting, to our attention. These are very important issues to consider.

Bill ;-)

Jillaine Smith said...

Posting an update: because I ultimately want to publish "God, Love and Lust...", I have been advised to pull it down from any online servers. If you're interested in obtaining a "reviewer" copy, email me at

-- Jillaine