Lighting Ancestral Lamps

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CHAPTER V
Early Forbearers in America

in London for passage to America. There was a Ruben (Reuben) Miles in a subsequent Miles family which might indicate from whence the name "Ruben" came into the Bunn family later on. The name Miles was apparently a revered one among many subsequent Bunn generations for it occurred frequently for many generations. In fact, the name has persisted to the 9th and probably 10th generations, e.g. Hyatt Miles Bunn9. (As well as David Hyatt P. Bunn12, Jonathan Miles Bunn12, and Joseph Miles Armstrong13). Records have not been followed as to the place the church had in the lives of the pioneer Miles; however, early and incomplete records indicate that this early family held the church in high esteem. Deacons and ministers were frequently listed among them.
Commenting further on Esther, wife of Matthew, probably a Miles, this forbearer was recognized as a "herb" doctor by her neighbors and friends. Very frequently leading mature women of the colonial and young statehood period were looked to by the people of a neighborhood as being very helpful toward curing "ager" (chills), and fevers, thinning the blood as springtime approached and in divers other ways through various and sundry concoctions of herbs. Apparently Esther, frequently recorded as Hester in later years while she lived in New Jersey, was a woman adept at this sort of thing. George Washington, our first President, had a wonderful herb garden at Mt. Vernon. Perhaps, ancestor Hester had one nearly a hundred years before at her home farm in New Jersey. Some of these early pioneer women, and those of much later periods for that matter, served as so-called midwives at childbirth. Doctors were uncommon, poorly equipped, and births occurred in the simple pioneer cabin homes, for there were not any hospitals. Thus, the assistance at a birth by an older and experienced woman of judgment called a "midwife" was much sought. Esther or Hester, wife of Matthew, served as midwife on many occasions, as recorded by New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, from records of Rahway and Plainfield (N.J.) Monthly Meeting of Friends (formerly held at Amboy and Woodbridge).

For example, volume 5, pages 164-155, New York Genealogical and
Biographical Record, an account is given follows:

Bunn, Hester, present as midwife when her grandchild, Benjamin
Loofbourrow was born, 1705, 1st month, 21st day, to John Loofbourrow
and Hannah, his wife.

Loofbourrows were recorded as Quakers. Records according to French indicate that Matthew was not a Quaker. Whether or not Esther (Hester) was of that faith, is not known.

Matthew2 and Brother and Sisters: (a) Children of Matthew and Esther (Hester), born in Boston, include:
Matthew2 /5, born June 9, l659; Nathaniel2, born March 23, 1664, and Esther, born March 2, 1665.

Another of the name appears in Woodbridge, New Jersey, who was undoubtedly the child of Matthew and Esther. This is strongly borne out in the record of the birth of a child to Hannah Loofbourrow, a daughter.

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