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Senator John Kerry

his cousinship with Jean Margaret (Kennedy) Mitchelson through the Stoughton family, part I

John Kerry     
Senator John Kerry
Democratic Candidate for the
Presidency of the U.S. in 2004


Senator John Kerry, Democratic candidate in the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, descends in a remarkably short line from the prolific Stoughton family of Massachusetts, he being only tenth in descent from Capt. Israel Stoughton, one of a group of siblings who came to the colonies in the early seventeenth century. This strain of ancestry is shared by many other notable persons: without going too far afield, we may mention that Capt. Israel Stoughton was the father of Lieutenant-Governor William Stoughton (1631-1701), who presided at the Salem witchcraft trials in 1692 and served as Chief Justice of Massachusetts in 1695-1701 (see DAB). Rebecca Stoughton and her husband William Tailer were the parents of William Tailer, Jr. (d. 1731), Lieutenant-Governor of Massachusetts. Elizabeth Tailer and her husband John Nelson were ancestors, through their daughter Rebecca, of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945). Finally, Mehitabel Nelson and Capt. Robert Temple were ancestors of the Marquesses of Dufferin, to whom Senator Kerry is rather closely related.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt also had, with Kerry (see the forthcoming part II), a second descent from the Stoughtons, more closely allied with our own line, through Elizabeth (Stoughton) (Scudder) Chamberlayne.

            The Rev. Thomas Stoughton = Katherine ….
                 of Sandwich, Kent    |
                  ca. 1551 - 1622?    |
          |                                    |
  Elizabeth Stoughton               (Capt.) Israel Stoughton
    (d. 1645-47)                          (1603-1645)
   of Ipswich, Mass.                   of Dorchester, Mass.
  = (2) The Rev.                         (see D.N.B.)
 Robert Chamberlayne                  = Elizabeth Knight
   of Strood, Kent                         (d. 1681)
 d. 1639 (in England)                  aunt of Elihu Yale
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
 Joanna Chamberlayne                   Rebecca Stoughton
    (1630-1711+)                          (1641-1708)
= Capt. Richard Betts                  = William Tailer
      (d. 1713)                           (1611-1682)
   of Newtown, L.I.,                  of Boston, merchant
    sheriff, judge                             |
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
     Sarah Betts                       Elizabeth Tailer
   d. by Nov. 1713                        (1667-1734)
 = Edward Hunt (Sr.)                    = John Nelson
     (d. 1716)                           (1654?-1734)
     of Newtown                           of Boston, 
          |                      merchant and political agitator
          |                            (see DNB & DAB)
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
    Edward Hunt, Jr.                    Mehitabel Nelson
    (1684-1757/59)                        (1691-1775)
  of Maidenhead Tp.,                 = Capt. Robert Temple
 Hunterdon Co., N.J.                       (1694-1754)
     = ……..                 of Ten Hills, Charlestown, Mass.
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
     Sarah Hunt                         Sir John Temple
     (living 1774)                       (1732?-1798)
  = Isaac Lanning                     styled 8th Baronet
    of Hardwick Tp.       Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire, 1768-74
   Sussex Co., N.J.         British Consul-General to America, 1786-98
       d. 1781                      = Elizabeth Bowdoin
          |                               (1750-1809)
          |                               daughter of
          |                            James Bowdoin, Jr.
          |                         Governor of Massachusetts
          |                                    |        
          |                                    |
    Elsie Lanning                    Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple
     (1739-1805)                          (1769-1825)
  = Benjamin Wilcox                       = The Hon.
     Grimsby Tp.,                    Thomas Lindall Winthrop
   Lincoln Co., U.C.                      of Boston,
     (1737-1816)              Lieutenant-Governor of Massachussetts,
          |                               1826-1832;
          |                             President of the
          |                     Massachusetts Historical Society
          |                                    |
    Daniel Wilcox                    Robert Charles Winthrop
   (ca. 1771-1857)                        (1809-1894)
         of St. Anns,                     of Boston
   Gainsborough Tp.,     Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
    Lincoln Co., U.C.,                and U.S. senator;        
    = Mary McIntyre                    President of the 
        (1775-1816)             Massachusetts Historical Society
          |                     = (1) Elizabeth Cabot Blanchard
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
    Jemima Wilcox                   Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr.
     (1801-1876)                       of Boston, lawyer
  = Francis Comfort                       (1834-1905)
    (1800-1880)                     = (2) Elizabeth Mason
   of Beamsville,                         (1844-1910+)
      Clinton Tp.,                             |
  Lincoln Co., U.C.,                           |
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
   Margaret Comfort                  Margaret Tyndal Winthrop
     (1833-1916)                          (1880-1970)
  John Kennedy (IV)                   = James Grant Forbes
     (1832-1897)                          (1879-1955)
     of St. Anns                               |
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
   John Kennedy (V)                  Rosemary Isabel Forbes
     (1862-1939)                          (1913-2002)
     of Manitoba                     = Richard John Kerry
= Susanna Samantha                        (1915-2000)
    Helena Young                          of Boston
     (1882-1937)                               |
          |                                    |
          |                                    |
Jean Margaret Kennedy                  John Forbes Kerry
     (1917-2000)                            (1943-)
= Richard Harry Mitchelson        U.S. senator from Massachusetts
     (1914-1998)                           since 1985;
of Winnipeg, Manitoba             Democratic Candidate for the
(my natural grandparents)        Presidency of the U.S. in 2004
          |                       m. (1) Julia Stimson Thorne
                                 m. (2) Maria Teresa Thierstein
                                     (Simões-Ferreira) Heinz
                                    (issue by first marriage)

Sources: On the vast Stoughton descendancy in general see Gary Boyd Roberts, Genealogical Thoughts, nos. 22 & 58 (available in the members’ area at New England Ancestors.org). The entire line of descent is given in William Addams Reitwiesner, The Ancestors of Senator John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943), available online at http://members.aol.com/wreitwiesn/candidates2004/kerry.html. Most of Senator Kerry’s Stoughton-Tailer-Nelson-Temple descent had been outlined a little earlier by Roberts in The Royal Descents of 600 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States… (Baltimore, 1993), pp. 148, 573-74, which draws upon a number of sources we have not seen. For the recent generations, we have checked dates against Kimberly Powell, Ancestry of John Forbes Kerry, available online at http://genealogy.about.com/od/presidents/p/john_kerry.htm.
    In the list of works given below, we have cited only the most important and scholarly materials from among the gigantic Stoughton bibliography; of these, the 1997 paper by Fiske is indispensable:

  • (The Rev.) Thomas Stoughton, The Christians’ Sacrifice … or, a logicall and theologicall exposition of the two first verses of the twelfth [letter] to the Romanes … with the author’s postscript to his children, as it were his last will and testament unto them (London, 1622). The autobiographical “Postscript” in pp. 252-58, assists in the estimation of his birthdate; unfortunately, he never identifies his wife.
  • Ralph M. Stoughton, “The Stoughton Families of Dorchester, Mass., and Windsor, Conn.,” TAG 29 (1953): 193-204 (which however contains a number of serious errors).
  • Ethel McLaughlin Turner & Paul Boyton Turner, The English Ancestry of Thomas Stoughton… (Waterloo, Wisconsin, 1958).
  • Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, 3 vols. (Boston, Mass.: Great Migration Study Project, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995), 1773-77 (for Israel Stoughton).
  • Jane Fletcher Fiske, “A New England Immigrant Kinship Network: Notes on the English Origins of the Scudders of Salem and Barnstable, Massachusetts, Bridget (____) (Verry) Giles of Salem, and Joanna (Chamberlain) Betts of Long Island,” TAG 72 (1997): 285-300.
  • “Israel Stoughton,” in Dictionary of National Biography.
  • William Henry Whitmore, “Researches among funeral sermons,” pt. —, NEGHR 18 (1864): 288-89, at p. 289 (for the identification of Rose Stoughton, wife of William Tailer).
  • Temple Prime, Descent of John Nelson and of his children, with notes on the families of Tailer and Stoughton, 2nd ed. (New York, 1894), 54-60 (Stoughton), 51-52 (Tailer), 4-5, 17-50 (Nelson). This work states (pp. 51, 54) that Rose (Stoughton) Tailer “died prior to 1704,” but cf. NEHGR 18 (1864): 289.
  • Alvin Page Johnson, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s colonial ancestors: their part in the making of American history (Boston, 1933), 74-78 (Stoughton, Tailer), 69-74 (Nelson). This work gives (p. 74) the wildly incorrect birthdate of 1580 for Israel Stoughton which is frequently found in print.
  • Henry B. Hoff, “The Temple Family of Stowe,” The Genealogist 2 (1981): 123-28, at p. 126.
  • Gary Boyd Roberts, The Royal Descents of 500 Immigrants to the American Colonies or the United States… (Baltimore, 1993), p. 148 (for John Nelson).
  • Gary Boyd Roberts, Notable Kin: An Anthology of Columns first published in the NEHGS NEXUS, 2 vols. (Santa Clarita, California: Carl Boyer, 1998, 1999), 1:40 (for John Nelson).
  • Gary Boyd Roberts, “Notable Kin: Lygon Descendants in New England, Part One,” New England Ancestors, vol. 1, no. 2 (Spring 2000, 38-41, at pp. 40, 41 (for line from Elizabeth Bowdoin Temple to John Kerry).
  • David Faris, Plantagenet Ancestry of Seventeenth-Century Colonists, 2nd ed. (Boston: NEHGS, 1999), 253 (for John Nelson).
  • “John Nelson,” in Dictionary of National Biography (his dates as there given are erroneous)
  • “John Nelson,” in Dictionary of American Biography
  • W.H. Whitmore, Account of the Temple family, with notes and pedigree of the family of Bowdoin, reprinted from the New England Historical Register, with corrections and additions. Boston: privately printed, 1856. Reprinted from “An Account of the Temple family,” NEHGR 10 (1856): 73-79. Much of the English material in this paper was refuted in the 1925 Temple genealogy, below.
  • Temple Prime, Some account of the Temple family, 4th ed. (New York, 1899), 54-58. This work also requires correction from the 1925 Temple genealogy, below.
  • Arthur Meredith Burke (ed.), The Prominent Families of the United States of America (London, 1908), 184-86 (for Temple).
  • Col. John Alexander Temple, The Temple Memoirs: An account of this historical family and its demesnes; with biographical sketches, anecdotes and legends from Saxon times to the present day (London, 1925), 79-83 (a section entitled “Claim of an American connection of the family to be the eighth baronet … shown to have been incorrect.”)
  • Temple Prime, Some account of the Bowdoin family; with notes on the families of Pordage, Lynde, Newgate, Erving, 2nd ed. (New York, 1894), 5-6.
  • “Robert Charles Winthrop,” in Dictionary of American Biography
  • Edward Elbridge Salisbury, Family Histories and Genealogies: A series of genealogical and biographical monographs… (privately printed, 1892), 383 (for Elizabeth Bowdoin).
  • Mary Caroline Crawford, Famous Families of Massachusetts (Boston, 1930), 62-68 (for Thomas Lindall Winthrop, his son and grandson).
  • “Robert Charles Winthrop,” in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, available online at http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp.
  • Theodore West Mason, Family Record in our line of descent from Major John Mason of Norwich, Connecticut (New York, 1909), 36-37 (for birthdate of Elizabeth Mason).
  • “John Forbes Kerry,” in Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, available online at http://bioguide.congress.gov/biosearch/biosearch.asp.
  • William Addams Reitwiesner, The Ancestors of Maria Teresa Thierstein Simões-Ferreira, available online at http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/wreitwiesn/candidates2004/simoes.html.

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From the Genealogy Page of John Blythe Dobson
URL = johnblythedobson.org/genealogy/famous/Kerry.html
This page written 20 November 2004