Source:Davis, Walter Goodwin. Mary Sloper's Family Record

Source Mary Sloper's Family Record
Author Davis, Walter Goodwin.
Mary Sloper.
Wentworth, John.
Brewster, Lewis W.
Place Portsmouth, Rockingham, New Hampshire, United States
Year range 1637 - 1718
Surname Brewster, Gibbons, Knight, Langdon, Lear, Sherburne, Sloper
Subject Family bible
Publication information
Type Article
Periodical / Series name Ancestry of Joseph Waterhouse, 1754-1837, of Standish, Maine
Volume / Film# / Pages Chapter 3, p. 57-68
Davis, Walter Goodwin.; Mary Sloper.; John. Wentworth; and Lewis W. Brewster. Mary Sloper's Family Record. Ancestry of Joseph Waterhouse, 1754-1837, of Standish, Maine.
Heritage Quest OnlinePaid website

There are at least three versions of the Sherburne Family Record in print. Version I and III are fraudulent, though it is believed Version II is authentic. A particular amusing reference to this fraud can be seen in the reaction of Savage, in Source:Savage, James. Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England (p. 1:247, view here). It is important to be aware of the various versions when using this source. Unfortunately, because of copyright issues, it is easier to find the fraudulent versions, than the authentic version, when searching on the Internet.

There is an excellent write-up on all this in Source:Davis, Walter Goodwin. Ancestry of Joseph Waterhouse, 1754-1837, of Standish, Maine. An entire chapter is devoted to "Mary Sloper's Family Record".

There are three versions which Davis labels I, II, and III, based on when they were published. It is particlarly useful that Davis provides a transcript of all three versions for comparison (ibid, p. 61-4).

  1. Version I (fraudulent) appeared in an article in Source:The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, "Sherburne-Sloper-Brewster-Knight-Langdon-Lear" by John Wentworth (p. 17:252, view here). The author was allowed to see the "original" and was reporting on it, in order to attempt to refute some of the information being claimed by the family record. It contains much of the same data as Version II (the version believed to be authentic), but it had been heavily edited and rearranged, in addition to be apparently being fraudulently embellished with palpably false records, particularly regarding Wrestling Brewster and possible descendants. It is believed to have been created by "GGB", probably Dr. George Gaines Brewster.
  2. Version II (probably authentic) was published in the Portsmouth Journal, volume 77, No. 23, 8 Jun 1867, and again in 1869. Davis argues that this version is likely authentic. It is not chronological, and very neatly written, suggesting it was dictated to a scribe by Mary Sloper, probably later in life. It contains two known errors (death date of Ambrose Gibbons, death date of Richard Sloper), but it does not contain any of the objectionable errors, plus it lacks details that version I and III appear to have added so naively that their omission actually strengthens the case for authenticity of version II. The acceptance of this version probably explains why many of the dates in this family record, not to be found elsewhere, still appear in such sources as Source:Noyes, Sybil. Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire despite the obvious fraud of version I and III.
  3. Version III (fraudulent) was published as A Sherburne Family Record in Source:The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (p. 61:82, view here). This appears to be essentially the same as version I with further embellishments. There is no evidence the contributor of this version, Lewis W. Brewster, was complicit in the fraud perpetrated by his uncle, he seems to have been merely sharing access to a document in his possession.

If this family record is cited as a source, be sure to use Version II.