1957. Havens


  1. William Havens (d. 1683) m. Dennis ____ (d. aft. 1692); Portsmouth, R. I.
  2. George Havens (bef. 1660–1706) m. 1674 Eleanor Thurston (1655–1747); Newport, R. I.; Shelter Island, N. Y.
  3. Ruth Havens (ca. 1684–1743) m. (2) 1724 Rev. Nathaniel Mather (1695–1748); Southold, N. Y.


Biographical information on William Havens and his son George may be found in a number of publications, including John Osborne Austin, The Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island; Comprising Three Generations of Settlers Who Came before 1690 (with Many Families Carried to the Fourth Generation) (Albany, N. Y., 1887; reprint with additions and corrections, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2008), 93; Jacob E. Mallman, Historical Papers on Shelter Island and Its Presbyterian Church: With Genealogical Tables . . . (New York: A. M. Bustard Co., 1899), 163; and Henry C. Havens, The Havens Family in New Jersey, with Additional Notes on the Tilton, Fielder, Hance, Osborn, Davison, Cox and Gifford Families, Connected by Marriage (Trenton, N. J.: Phillips & Godshalk Co., Printers, 1933), 6-11. The placement of George’s daughter Ruth is not as readily recognized in print, however. Mallman does not give George a daughter of the correct name, and Barrington S. Havens, The Havens Family in Suffolk County, New York: A Genealogical Survey of Some of the Descendants of William S. Havens, 17th Century Settler in Aquidneck, Rhode Island (Scotia, N. Y.: author, 1975), 7, only recognizes her marriage to one Terry. The Comment below will explain her identification with the wife of the Rev. Nathaniel Mather in more detail.

Related surnames

489. Mather · 3915. Thurston

Comment: Ruth (Havens) (Terry) Mather

This identification of the wife of Rev. Nathaniel Mather is not original to me. I have not been able to determine when or with whom it originated, but it seems to be well grounded in documentary records. As above noted, printed authorities on the Havens family are not universally agreed that George had a daughter of the correct name.

At her marriage to Nathaniel, on 21 January 1723/4, she was called Wid Ruth Terry.[1] The only married woman of this name who is found on the eastern end of Long Island prior to that date is the one named as a sister in the 1716 will of William Havens, who also named Eleanor Terry as his mother.[2] The mother of Ruth and William can be identified as Ellenor ye Wife of Thomas Terry & formerly ye Wife of George Havens, who died in 1747, the year after the will was probated.[3] Ruth’s birth has been dated to ca. 1684, based on her terminal age of 59 years,[4] and if this is correct, then she was born more than 20 years before Eleanor’s first husband had died. Therefore, she must be the child of George Havens rather than Thomas Terry.[5]

There are three adult men of this surname whose deaths are recorded in the so-called Salmon Records before the Mather–Terry marriage, and one shortly after:[6]

Daniel died much too early to make a probable spouse for Ruth. Nathaniel is probably the man of this name who married Mary Horton in 1682 and had children recorded at Southold, including a son Nathaniel born in 1683.[7] Thomas Senr appears to be Ruth’s stepfather. The younger Thomas, therefore, remains the most likely candidate for Ruth’s first husband. We also notice, in the pre-1724 Salmon Records, the deaths of two unnamed children of Thomas Terry, and presumably also of Ruth.[8] If they had already begun a family by 1719, there would hardly be time for her to come of marriageable age if she was born after the death of George Havens in 1706. Thus the evidence for Ruth’s first marriage also contributes chronological evidence to support her Havens paternity.


1 William A. Robbins, ed., The Salmon Records: A Private Register of Marriages and Deaths of the Residents of the Town of Southold, Suffolk County, N. Y., and of Persons More or Less Closely Associated with That Place, 1696–1811, Commenced by William Salmon and Continued by Members of the Salmon Family (New York: New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, 1918), 79.

2 William S. Pelletreau, Abstracts of Wills on File in the Surrogate’s Office, City of New York, Collections of the New-York Historical Society, vols. 25-35 (New York: Printed for the Society, 1892–1903), 4:97.

3 Edward Doubleday Harris, Ancient Burial-Grounds of Long Island, N. Y., New England Historical and Genealogical Register 54 (1900): 53-62, at 56.

4 Horace E. Mather, Lineage of Rev. Richard Mather (Hartford, Conn.: Press of the Case, Lockwood & Brainard Co., 1890), 104; John Harvey Treat, The Treat Family: A Genealogy of Trott, Tratt, and Treat for Fifteen Generations, and Four Hundred and Fifty Years in England and America (Salem, Mass.: Salem Press Publishing & Printing Company, 1893), 184. This statement is not shown in Robbins, Salmon Records, 28.

5 The only known source suggesting that Eleanor had a daughter named Ruth with her second husband is Ralph E. Prime, Prime: The Descendants of James Prime, Who Was at Milford, Conn., in 1644, with Some Names in Allied Families (Yonkers, N. Y.: Printed by G. B. Mottram, 1895), Appendix F.

6 Robbins, Salmon Records, 10, 14.

7 Lucy D. Akerly, Southold, N. Y., Town Records, Vital Statistics from Libers D. and E., in the Town Clerk’s Office, New York Genealogical and Biographical Record 38 (1907): 164-70, 246-50; 39 (1908): 58-64, 129-36, at 38:250.

8 Robbins, Salmon Records, 12 (Thomas Terries child, Aug. 1719), 14 (Thoms Terries child, 20 Nov.–17 Dec. 1722, feb Later end written in at end of line and then crossed out).

Created 23 April 2012; last updated 5 December 2014.
Austin W. Spencer | email: spencer@rootedancestry.com