Monday, September 29, 2014

Shattered Dreams: Hannah Snow and the loss of a Mayflower ancestor

All your life you are told you are related to Robert E. Lee.  Your great-great-great grandmother was a Cherokee princess.  You are a Mayflower descendant.  

My case was the latter.  It was one of the few things I really DID know, that I was a descendant of Stephen Hopkins.  Except the evidence has proven this isn't true.  Oh no!  I became yet another victim along the boulevard of shattered (ancestral) dreams!

My 2nd great grandmother, Mary Jane "Jennie" Tibbetts, was a great granddaughter of Benjamin Tibbetts and Hannah Snow.  Jennie's half-sister, May (Tibbetts) Jarvis, an influential Tibbetts genealogist, contended  in the 1930's that Hannah was Hannah Snow, daughter of Captain John Snow and Hannah Larrabee.  Jarvis claimed that the Hannah Snow who married Benjamin Tibbetts was a descendant of Stephen Hopkins of the Mayflower.

[Section: Vol. I. 6th generation. Henry Tibbetts of Dover, New Hampshire, and some of his descendants [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Jarvis, May Tibbetts,. Henry Tibbetts of Dover, New Hampshire, and some of his descendants. San Diego, Calif.,: unknown, 1934-1939.]

Descendants of this Tibbetts/Snow union have since tried to file for membership to the Mayflower Society using this lineage, and have been rejected for decades, with the explanation that Hannah was Hannah Rose, not Hannah Snow.


An 1889 article in The Bangor Historical Magazine contended that Hannah was Hannah Rose (parentage unknown).  Furthermore, the Hannah Snow who was the daughter of John Snow and Hannah Larrabee had married Timothy Kemp.  This is easily verified in Harpswell, Maine records (I will show this later in this article).

So, who WAS Mrs. Hannah Tibbetts (1773 - 1844), wife of Benjamin Tibbetts (1769-1853)?  

I contend that the Hannah who married Benjamin Tibbetts was Hannah Snow, and was the daughter of Phillip Snow and Abigail Townsend.

Benjamin Tibbetts, Hannah's husband,  was in Ohio, Hancock, Maine in the 1800 Census (Ohio was later renamed Corinth in 1811).  Here is the list of the inhabitants, with the place they emigrated to Ohio from helpfully added by the census taker (and I noted the parents and wives of selected people):    

[Year: 1800; Census Place: Ohio, Hancock, Maine; Series: M32; Roll: 7; Page: 169; Image: 92; Family History Library Film: 218677; digital image courtesy of]

  • William Lankester (emigrated from Kennebec)
  • Icabod Clark (emigrated from St Johns)
  • Elisha Mayo (emigrated from Kennebec, married to Abigail Tibbetts, sister of Benjamin Tibbetts)
  • Lem'l Tozier (married Sarah Lancaster, his parents were John Tozier and Sarah Pattee, emigrated from Kennebec)
  • Benjamin Tibbetts (emigrated from Goldsboro)
  • Asahel Skinner
  • Dan'l Skinner
  • Josiah Simpson (emigrated from Nottingham)
  • Robert C(?) Campbell
  • Jer'h Rose (Jeremiah Rose married Sarah Snow, his parents were Joseph Rose and Mary Pattee) (emigrated from Kennebec)
  • Jon'a Snow (married to Mary Tibbetts, emigrated from Goldsboro)
  • Edward Wilkins (emigrated from Boston)
  • Levi Bradley
  • Philip Snow (emigrated from Kennebec)
  • Daniel Budge
  • Pecalus Clark (emigrated from Cornish)

In my research on the men listed above I discovered a VERY interesting fact about Phillip Snow.  He married Abigail Townsend in 1772 and their first daughter was Hannah Snow, born on 21 March 1773 in Hallowell, Kennebec, Maine.  
Source Citation: Maine State Archives; Cultural Building, 84 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0084; Pre 1892 Delayed Returns; Roll #: 93.

Mrs. Hannah Tibbetts, I'm presuming the wife of Benjamin Tibbetts, was listed as born on 21 March 1772 in the Corinth book on births and deaths. Citation: nthhistorical/juliecorinth/RecordOfBirthsDeaths.html  (need to get a better source of this record)

The Philip Snow in the 1800 Census had emigrated from Kennebec, and was living in the same small community as Benjamin Tibbetts.  Furthermore, Philip and Abigail Snow's daughter Sarah Snow had married Jeremiah Rose, who was living in the same community as well.  Philip Snow was a son of Jonathan Snow and Sarah LNU, and descended from the Snow family of Woburn, Middlesex, Massachusetts.  

The Jonathan Snow in the 1800 census above was the son of Capt John Snow and Hannah Larrabee, and ultimately from a different line of Snows than Philip.  I believe that this lead to May Jarvis's confusion about Hannah Snow's parents.  To have two Snow men with different lineages in the same area is confusing enough, but then Benjamin Tibbetts' sister Mary Tibbetts was married to Jonathan Snow of Harpswell (and thus Benjamin was the brother-in-law, not husband, of the Harpswell Hannah Snow). 

The source used to show Hannah was not a Hannah Snow is the The Bangor Historical Magazine, 1889, Volume 4, page 21. "William Tebbets, Senior and Family." by David W. Haynes.  "BENJAMIN, m. Hannah Rose; moved to Indiana." 

May Jarvis saw this record in the 1920's/1930's when she was compiling her Tibbetts genealogy and dismissed it out of hand.  She had been told that Hannah was a Snow, not a Rose.  

I personally spent quite a bit of time researching possibly relevant Roses in Maine, and while I found some compelling leads in York County, Maine, was not able to prove to myself or others that Hannah was a Rose.  The fact that Benjamin Tibbetts' 1800 Census neighbor Phillip Snow had had a daughter Hannah Snow (who was born on the same day and month as the one listed as Mrs. Hannah Tibbetts in the Corinth births and deaths book) convinced me of Hannah's true identity.

I suspect that the reason Hannah was referred to in the Bangor article as a Rose might be due to the fact that Hannah's likely sister, Sarah Snow, married Jeremiah Rose.  Thus Hannah MAY have been referred to as Sarah Rose's sister, as Sarah was probably called Sarah ROSE after marriage, and thus the confusion (possibly).  So in other words, someone could say "Benjamin Tibbetts married Hannah, Sarah Rose's sister, and moved to Indiana."  The person writing it down might erroneously have put down Hannah ROSE, Sarah's married name, instead of Sarah and Hannah's maiden name, Snow.

Many Tibbetts descendants have taken May Jarvis at her word and tried to apply to the Mayflower Society through Hannah Snow.  The problem is, the evidence does not back up the claim that the Hannah Snow who married Benjamin Tibbetts was the daughter of Capt. John Snow of Harpswell, Maine.  Thus, the Society always rejects those applications through that line.  Hannah, the daughter of Capt John Snow and Hannah Larrabee/Leatherby of Harpswell, Maine, married Timothy Kemp.

Hannah Snow (daughter of Capt John Snow and Hannah Larrabee)
b. 22 Jan 1772 (according to Harpswell Births, Book 1, p.1)

Hannah (who married Benjamin Tibbetts)
b. 21 Mar 1772 (according to Corinth, Maine early records, transcribed available at need a better citation/source

Those are different birthdates.

Furthermore, while there is as yet no marriage record found concerning Benjamin Tibbetts, there is both an intention to marry and a marriage record for the Hannah Snow in Harpswell marrying Timothy Kemp:

Harpswell Marriage Intentions: Oct. 3, 1795 Timothy Kemp and Hannah Snow

Brunswick, Maine, Records, vol. 1, p. 475: Dec. 3, 1795 Timothy Kamp married to Hannah Snow 

Hannah's children with Timothy Kemp are recorded this way in the Harpswell Births, Book 1, p. 22 (verbatim):

Timothy Kemp his children born of Hannah his wife daughter of Capt. John Snow. (names of children follow)

William H Waite (of Wilmington, DE), in Genealogies of Mayflower Families, Vol. III, published 1985 (page 583-584, available on Ancestry) had already disproven May Jarvis' claim that her ancestress was the Harpswell Hannah Snow:

It is disappointing to lose such an interesting ancestor such as Stephen Hopkins, but I believe that when one door closes, another door opens.  Phillip Snow and Abigail Townsend should be the focus of Tibbetts/Snow descendants.

© 2014 Copyright, Christine Manczuk, All Rights Reserved.

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