Source:Reed, Jacob Whittemore. History of the Reed Family in Europe and America

Source History of the Reed Family in Europe and America
Author Reed, Jacob Whittemore
Surname Pierce, Read, Reed, Shaw, Stone, Walker, White, Wright
Subject History
Publication information
Type Book
Publisher John Wilson and Son
Date issued 1861
Place issued Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States
Reed, Jacob Whittemore. History of the Reed Family in Europe and America. (Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States: John Wilson and Son, 1861).
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May be ordered through the nearest Family History Center.

FHL film numbers

  • 982070 Item 2
  • 1018886 Item 12

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The format of this book makes it hard to use. In computer terms, it uses a depth-first traversal of the tree, so that descriptions of siblings may be many pages apart. There are no straightforward lists of children, just running text descriptions. Persons are identified by generation numbers, but not given any individual number to help keep them straight.

This book has a horrible reputation and it is well-deserved.

Unfortunately, many of the errors seem to be the result of bad record-keeping, as opposed to strictly lack of research. There are many, many cases of errors so obvious, it doesn't appear the book was proofread before going to press. There are other errors that suggest Reed had a hard time deciphering colonial writing (or his own handwriting?). And there are others suggesting his notes were jumbled and poorly organized as people end up in the wrong families.

Just one example will give a good illustration: the family of Jacob Reed and Patience Goodenow (Goodrew as Reed has it), covered on p. 280.

Reed lists a wedding date of 1757, and then lists children Abel, b. 1752 [VRs say 1758], Asahel, Jacob b. 1754 [VRs say 1764], Sarah b. 1760 m. Ezekiel Stone [VRs say Ezekiel How and on p. 282 Reed says Ezekiel Howe], Eunice [VRs give birth 1765], Pendy, Ruth, Bathsheba, Relief, Nancy, Ezekiel, Curtis, and Susan.

The probate documents for Jacob Reed mention widow Esther [a 2nd marriage not mentioned by Reed]; sons Abel, Isaac [not mentioned by Reed], Jacob deceased; daughters Sarah, Eunice, Ruth, and Experience deceased [Pendy?]

There is no sign in VRs or probate of the following children named by Reed: Asahel, Bathsheba m. Mr. Bisco, Relief m. Samuel Warren, Nancy m. Lawson Buckminster, Ezekiel, Curtis or Susan m. Levi Eaton.

Asahel Reed was a soldier killed in the opening of the Revolution, supposedly about 22 on 19 Apr 1775, so born 4 years before Jacob and Patience married. He is probably Jacob's brother, not his child, though no records of his birth are found.

I did find in Framingham VRs: Bathsheba Howe m. Thomas Bisco of Cambridge, Relief Howe m. Samuel Warren, Nancy Howe m. Lawson Buckminster, and Sukey Howe m. Levi Eaton. Did the wind blow Mr. Reed's notes across the room, and notes for Howes end up combined with notes for Reeds? (Nancy, Susanna/Susan/Sukey, Bathsheba, Ezekiel, Relief, and Curtis appear to be the children of Jacob's daughter Sarah/Sally who married Ezekiel Howe, though Reed conveniently ignored their daughter Sally who m. John Trowbridge and their son Jacob, because they duplicated names of Jacob's own children.) --Jrich 18:55, 1 February 2013 (EST)