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Louisa May Alcott

her cousinship with
Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson
through the Chatfield family

Louisa May Alcott Louisa May Alcott In an earlier page, we showed our connection to Louisa May Alcott through the Quick family. Here we show a second one, only discovered in 2008, through the Chatfield family, through which Alcott was an 8th cousin of my great-great-grand­mother Mary (Comfort) Kennedy. Unlike the Quick descent, the Chatfield descent is not shared by Dorothy Quincy, wife of John Hancock.
     Francis Chatfield and Anne Peckham, the couple who head this chart, would appear to have been the ancestors of most modern Chatfields, including the various Chatvelt families of the Netherlands.
Anna (Bronson) Alcott Anna (Bronson) Alcott Amos Bronson Alcott Amos Bronson Alcott


                 Francis Chatfield     = Anne Peckham
                  (ca. 1532-1594)      | alive in 1594
        of “Chatfields” in Westmeston, |
                and of Rumboldswyke,   |
                       Sussex          |
          _____________________________|_________________
          |                                             |
 Lt. Thomas Chatfield                           George Chatfield
  (ca. 1568-1636+)                              (ca. 1566-1619?)
of Bergen-op-Zoom and                           of South Mundham,
   Geertruidenberg,                          in the parish of Pagham,
    North Brabant                                  co. Sussex
   = (1) Paulina                                 = Margaret ....
   van Oudenhoven                                (alive in 1619)
   (d. in 1623-33)                                      |
          |                                             |
        Anna                                     Henry Chatfield
  Chatfield/Chatvelt                             (ca. 1588-1637)
   (say 1615-1664+)                             of South Mundham,
     = Johannes                              in the parish of Pagham,
ver Veelen/Verveelen                          and of North Mundham,
  (1616-1699/1701)                                co. Sussex
    of New Harlem                        = (2) Jane (Shepherd) Wickham
          |                                        (d. 1639)
          |                                             |
   Maria Verveelen                              George Chatfield
     (1656-1748?)                                (ca. 1624-1671)
   = Adolf Meyer                          of Killingworth, Connecticut
      (d. 1711)                             “ancestor of most of the
   of New Harlem                              American Chatfields”
          |                                  = (2) Isabel Nettleton
          |                                             |     
    Anna Catharina                               John Chatfield
        Meyer                                      (1661-1748)
     (1677-1762)                              of Derby, Connecticut
   = Abraham Lent                                = Anna Harger
     (1674-1749)                                   (1668-1739+)
  of Tarrytown, N.Y.                                    |
          |                                             |
      Isaac Lent                                Solomon Chatfield
     (1707-1771)                                   (1708-1779)
     of Fishkill,                             of Derby, Connecticut
  Dutchess Co., N.Y.                            = Hannah Pierson
   = Sara Luyster                                  (1715-1801)
     (1714-1767)                                        |
          |                                             |
    Catharina Lent                               Mary Chatfield
  (say 1743-1767+)                                 (1736-1807)
  = Francis Harris                            = Capt. John Alcott
     (1740-1816),                                  (1731-1808)
    of Sandy Cove,                           of Wolcott, Connecticut
 Digby Tp., Annapolis                                   |
 (now Digby) Co., N.S.                                  |
          |                                             |
  Catherine Harris                        Joseph Chatfield Alcox/Alcott
     (1767-1846)                                   (1771-1829)
  = John Comfort                              of Wolcott, mechanic
   (ca. 1755-1830)                              = Anna Bronson
   of Clinton Tp.,                                 (1773-1863)
    Lincoln Co.,                                        |
    Upper Canada                                        |
          |                                             |
   Francis Comfort                              Amos Bronson Alcott
     (1800-1880)                                   (1799-1888)
    of Beamsville,                              of Harvard, Mass.,
Clinton Tp., Lincoln Co.                        transcendentalist
  = Jemima Wilcox                                  philosopher
     (1801-1876)                                 = Abigail May
          |                                        (1800-1877)
          |                                             |
   Margaret Comfort                              Louisa May Alcott
     (1833-1916)                                   (1832-1888)
 = John Kennedy (IV)                                 novelist
     (1832-1897),
    of St. Anns,
   Gainsborough Tp.,
     Lincoln Co.
          |
    John Kennedy (V)
     (1862-1939)
  of Melita, Manitoba,
        Canada
  = Susanna Samantha
     Helena Young
     (1882-1937)
          |
  Jean Margaret Kennedy
     (1917-2000)
   = Richard Harry
    Mitchelson, Jr.
     (1914-1998),
 of Winnipeg, Manitoba
     (my natural
    grandparents)


Sources: For general information on Louisa May Alcott, see AlcottWeb.com. We owe our knowledge of the Alcotts’ Chatfield ancestry to Gary Boyd Roberts, “Nineteenth-Century Heroines, Part One: Literature and Feminism,” NEHGS NEXUS 7(5) (October-November 1990): 154-59, at p. 156, reprinted in Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin, 2 vols. (Santa Clarita, California, 1998-99), 1:198-208, at p. 202. This supplies the line from Solomon Chatfield and Hannah Pierson down to Louisa May Alcott. Working from the top downward, published secondary sources bearing on the ancestral line presented for her here include:

  • John Blythe Dobson, “A note on the family of Thomas Chatfield, great-uncle of the three Chatfield brothers of Connecticut, and probable father-in-law of Joannes Verveelen of New Amsterdam [recte New Harlem],” The Genealogist 22 (2008): 212-20, and sources cited therein (for the collateral connection to Anna Chatfield, wife of Joannes Verveelen).
  • Elizabeth French, “Genealogical Research in England — Chatfield,” New England Genealogical and Historical Register 70 (1916): 55-65, 125-136, especially 131-32, 134, 135-36. J.C. Tyler, “Chatfield,” Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, series 5, vol. 6 (1926): 195-198, apparently unaware of French’s work, produced a conflicting version of the descent of the three Chatfield brothers of Connecticut which is surely incorrect.
  • John Comber, Sussex Genealogies (Cambridge, England, 1933). For the present purposes this is primarily useful for the generation of Francis Chatfield. Likewise apparently unaware of French’s work, the author gives a slightly conflicting account of the earlier generations of the family.
  • Alan A. Wickham and James W. Petty, “Thomas Wickham of Chichester, Sussex, England and Wethersfield, Connecticut, NEGHR 150 (1996): 260-76 (for the identification of Jane Shepherd, whose maiden surname was previously unknown).
  • Samuel Orcutt, The History of the Old Town of Derby, Connecticut, 1642-1880 (1880), 709-10, at p. 709 (which provides almost the entire line from George Chatfield of Killingworth to Louisa May Alcott).
  • William C. Sharpe, The Chatfield Family, principally from records in the Naugatuck Valley, Conn. (Seymour, Conn., 1896). We have seen only the first few pages of this work.
  • Donald Lines Jacobus, “The Chatfield Family of Derby, Conn.,” NEHGR 78 (1924): 259-265 (which provides almost the entire line from George Chatfield of Killingworth to Amos Bronson Alcott).
  • Francis Atwater, History of the Town of Plymouth, Connecticut (Meriden, Connecticut, 1895), 302-05 (on Capt. Amos Bronson, the maternal grandfather of Amost Bronson Alcott, with portraits of the latter and his mother).

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This document is from the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson at johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Alcott.html
Written 11 October 2008
Slightly revised 22 July 2009