Lighting Ancestral Lamps

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Early Forbearers in America

granted in 1670. Others, some of whom we shall hear more about later or their descendents who intermarried with the Bunns, included Daniel Pearce, John Pike, John French, Mason, Samuel Haynes, and Henry Jaques.

In July, 1673, a fleet of Dutch vessels captured New York and New Jersey, but a treaty between England and Holland the following year restored the provinces to England. Philip Carteret was again appointed governor.

According to records listed under Woodbridge and vicinity by Joseph W. Dally. at a town meeting: "On August 27. 1669, it was resolved that Strawberry Hill should be patented as a perpetual sheep common." /4 Matthew Bunn and others were appointed to divide it.

Again records disclose that "Matthew Bunn and Ephriam Andrews were selected as deputies to the General Assembly, 1676, from Woodbridge."

Since nothing has been found to the contrary, it appears that Matthew survived long enough to fulfill the duties of his office. That period of public service, however, is the last listed for him as being active in the affairs of the Colony. It is believed he died shortly thereafter. Esther subscribed as "widow" as early as 1680 but the dower in the lands of Matthew was not assigned to her until 1690, long enough to satisfy the presumption of death if he were lost at sea. Actual knowledge of death at sea is not available; however, the above manner as outlined in deposing of his estate indicates that the tradition "the first emigrant ancestor of the name died at sea" is very probably a fact.

It is interesting, but humiliating to note how little is known of the early female ancestors. Only fragmentary evidence exists in most instances. None is available in others about these worthy souls. They bore large families, largely cared for them, managed their households, were with rare exception servants of their husbands, who in turn were the Lords of the family. In other words, the wives of white men in the early days were not treated very differently from that of the squaws among the Indian tribes. There was great inequality of sexes. What wonderful progress has been made by the mothers of our race over these years!

The maiden surname of the wife of Matthew is not definitely known. Her first name as has been mentioned before, was Esther. Doubtless she and the mothers of the many generations which followed did as much and probably in some instances, more toward rearing the family, building of character, and promoting progress among the generations than the male ancestors. It is certainly unfortunate that historical records are so meager about those splendid pioneer women. It is believed, however, that Esther's maiden name was Miles or Myles. French, lifetime Bunn genealogical research student, is of the opinion that Esther was the daughter of Joseph Miles who came over from London to Boston in 1633 on the ship "Mary and John." This Joseph Miles took the oath of supremacy and allegiance March 24, 1633.

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