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Photo Album

Welcome to the Sharing Gallery!  The Sharing Gallery has been organized to share photos, stories, poems  of the Meade/Quesnel families.

If you would like to contribute to the Sharing Gallery, please send your photos, stories, poems etc. to:    Electronic mail: 


Martha Corinne Quesnel (Corinne)

Rachel Josephine Cochrane nee Quesnel

Roly (Roland Henri) Quesnel, February 1, 1910 - February 28, 1966

Murray O'Neill Harvey

Eva Quesnel

The Tribulations and Trial of Martha Mead (Martha Meade, 2nd Generation)



Martha Corinne Quesnel (Corinne)

by Mabel Leaf (nee Dawson)

Corinne was born July 12th, 1904 in Manigotagan, Manitoba – the 5th child and 3rd daughter of Arthur and Mary Quesnel.  Arthur and Mary were off to a fine start on their family which was completed with the birth of their 12th child and 7th son, Napolean Jacques, who thankfully was nick-named “Tap”.

Corinne had life-long precious memories of growing up a member of the Quesnel household, surrounded by loving, caring parents and siblings.  The “family” tradition of concern for and commitment to one another was Arthur and Mary’s legacy to their children.  As the children left home they carried with them sense of family and the pleasures of sharing and caring.  They applied these values to their own marriages, setting a standard for future generations.

Corinne had pleasant memories of attending Bad Throat School.  After completing grade 8 Corinne became a full time worker in one of the Quesnel Enterprises.

The only way into Manigotagan was by boat or pontoon plane and the Quesnel home was a stopping off place for meals and sometimes lodging for weary young men heading on to Bissett, following the trail of gold with hopes of finding work if not their fortune.  Sometimes a romance was sparked over a delicious meal served by one of the Quesnel daughters.  One of these young men was Bert Dawson who found the meal delicious but was far more impressed with Corinne.  Following a courtship of many letters Bert and Corinne were married in Winnipeg on September 15th, 1926.

They began their married life in a rooming house as was normal during that era and after Bert Jr. they moved to Weston where Bob was born in August of 1929 and Mabel in September of 1932.  In 1935 they moved to Morley Avenue where they remained until 1968 when Corinne could no longer manage a 2-storey home.

Times were tough in the early years as permanent jobs were scarce during the Great Depression.  Bert joined the Fire Department, a security that provided him with a regular paycheque and security for himself, Corinne and their young family.  Corinne took the kids every summer to Manigotagan and later they all spent Dad’s days off at the cottage on Netley Marsh.  Corinne devoted herself to her family and there was always an abundance of good food and plenty for unexpected guests who frequently showed up. 

In these days before cell phones and texting Corinne went into panic mode if Bert was 5 minutes late coming off shift.  Her fears were justified in March of 1945 when, in the early morning someone arrived to say that Bert had not survived a fire at the Robinson Webber building on Princess Street.  The news was premature but the family did not know this as they struggled for hours to cope with the tragedy.  Bert’s co-workers had refused to leave the scene and were frantically trying to dig him out from the debris that surrounded him when he fell from the third floor to the basement when the floor collapsed.  Miraculously the foremen were successful and Bert survived but to his dismay and sorrow he learned that 2 foremen had been killed earlier in the same fire.

Bert and Corinne went on with their lives, saw their children married, and were overjoyed to be grandparents to nine grandchildren.

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Rachel Josephine Cochrane nee Quesnel

By Orin Cochrane, March 2008

Rachel Josephine Cochrane nee Quesnel, known to family and friends as Nan, was born at Manigotagan Manitoba on December 26th 1907 and died in Winnipeg Manitoba on September the 23rd, 1976. Nan lived in Manigotagan until she married Robert Earl Cochrane on the 3rd of January 1933. They were married at the home of Earl’s sister Jessie and brother- in –law Charles Victor Combe in Winnipeg. The minister was Clarke B. Lawson and the witnesses were A. C. Coombe and Alva Hudson. The couple lived at Bissett Manitoba where their two children Mary Alvina and Orin Glenn were born. They moved to Winnipeg in 1940. They lived briefly on Toronto Street and Greenwood Place. They moved to Balfour Ave. in 1941. It was a nice house and Nan was happy to be living close to her sister Corrine. Many family members would come and stay for weeks or months when they were in town. When Gramma Quesnel came to town in the winters she would spend a few months at one of her children’s homes, often at Balfour.  It was war time and Earl was working at Mcdonald Douglas Aircraft welding when he got “industrial eczema” from working with aluminum. There were deep cracks in his hands and feet. In hospital he was treated with tar baths and needles so big that they looked like harpoons. At least that was the way he told it. As it was war time when Earl got better he was sent to Port Arthur to work at the boat yards.

In the spring of 1945 Nan had taken a relative to see the doctor. The doctor’s diagnosis was that the relative was fine, but that Nan had a severe goiter problem and would need surgery. This was major surgery in those days and Earl got special permission to return to Winnipeg. Unfortunately when the doctor removed the goiter, he accidently also removed the thyroid gland. This problem continued to trouble Nan from time to time for the rest of her life.  Mary and Orin left in June to spend the summer with Tap and Jessie Quesnel in Pine Falls. 

Immediately after Nan’s surgery, Earl bought a lot on Essar Ave, in North Kildonan which was very rural at that time. While Earl cleared the land and built a house by himself we lived in the old ‘Essar Club”, three box cars that had been put together. We moved into the house that Earl built and stayed there 8 years. The first year there was no electricity, no indoor plumbing, no basement and a well that was 400 yards away. All of those things came in time and we loved that house. Nan would have the ‘ladies” in for tea using her finest china. On Saturday nights Nan and Earl would get together with neighbors to play bridge or the new card game, canasta.  In this home they saw their daughter Mary grow up, go to work in a bank and marry Gerald Mulder in October of 1952. Earl worked at Motor Coach Industries and then at a steam heat company before getting a job with C.N.R. One thing we remember clearly was when it became law that the work week would be shortened to five and a half days and they would all have Saturday afternoon off.  Nan was very happy when Tap and Jessie also moved on to Essar Ave.

In 1954 Earl transferred with the C.N.R. to Saskatchewan and became the Saskatchewan District pipe fitter. This appeared to mean that when anything broke any where in Saskatchewan on the C.N.R. he fixed it. They got a house on Ruth Street in Saskatoon. Nan loved her flower gardens there. She enjoyed working occasionally at The Bay department store. When Orin graduated from Teacher’s College in June of 1959 and left home they bought a car. One of their first trips was to visit Nan’s sister Harriet at The Pas Manitoba. Nan and Earl enjoyed the times when Tap’s job with the C.N.R. took him to Saskatoon and he stayed with them for several months. Other relatives were also welcome guests on Ruth Street.

Shortly after Earl retired they returned to Winnipeg to be near to their family.  It was the first time that they had had a chance to really spoil a grand child. Orin and Donna’s son Braden was at just the right age and they lavished their attention on him.

Nan was a wonderfully intelligent and caring mother. She passed on to her children a love of reading, a belief in their own abilities and the knowledge of how to stretch a dollar if necessary. She also had a wonderful relationship with her daughter-in-law Donna and her son-in-law Gerald and no one loved her grandchildren more than she loved hers. With the arrival of each new grandchild she made them a sweater set. It was a tradition of hers as a welcome to each child as they joined our family. She died before the birth of her last grandson, Justin. To honor Nan’s memory her good friend Florence Whellams made the traditional sweater set for Justin. Nan’s grandchildren are Brent, Danny and Jody Mulder and Dana, Kim, Braden and Justin Cochrane.

                                           CHILDREN REMEMBER 

We remember our mother in her kitchen carving a turkey. The skin was a taste tempting golden brown and children all around her begging for a piece of that skin. The giblets still simmering on the stove the potatoes soon to be mashed, the pies cooling on the counter and the gravy about to be made. And, “OH”, what wonderful gravy it was!!! That tradition of the “WONDERFUL GRAVY” has been handed down through her children and her grandchildren. That kitchen was the heart and soul of the house and of our family. This was where we cooked, ate, talked, shared love and forged family traditions that linked us with our Quesnel heritage. In all our homes the kitchen is the warm center of the family. Family and friends are entertained with tables piled high, with love and friendship and with traditions passed down. Oh, and with lots and lots of gravy!!

Mother’s fingers were never idle. If she wasn’t knitting a pair of “diamond sox” it was a curling sweater, a scarf or a pair of mitts. Brylcream was king in those days and every guy smeared on a half pound of the goop on his hair to keep it neatly in place. Mother spent many an hour crocheting doilies for her chesterfield and chair backs to protect then from the backs of our greasy heads. She also crocheted many layettes for babies. When her nimble fingers found a bit of spare time she would make tiny fancy sandwiches that Eaton’s proudly sold. Nan loved her flowers. While Earl may have been king of our vegetable garden Nan ruled our many flower beds. She rose early each summer morning to take a tour of our yard and to greet her pansies, petunias, asters, sweat peas and nasturtiums. But it was her glorious gladiolas that were her greatest pride.

To know Nan you have to know a bit about the man she married. I am sure that Earl Cochrane could do anything he set his mind on. He taught himself to play both the mandolin and the fiddle. Father could not read music but could play any tune that you could sing or hum. Alas none of that musical talent was passed on to his children. Our dad was a smaller man and when he first went to work in the Bisset gold mine it was grueling work slugging that rock. After one back-breaking week an older man called him aside and asked him if he would like an easier job. He became the assistant to the mine’s welder and learned that trade. He also learned to be a pipe fitter. I remember him as a person who could build or repair anything. Usually with a few parts left over. If he ever got frustrated the expletive “FORTY BALD HEADED BASTARDS” would ring out clearly.

There was never a lot of money in the house that Mary and I grew up in but we were never poor. We were rich with love, traditions and extended family. I could not imagine a better place or time to have been a child or of having finer parents than our Mom and Dad. 

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Roly (Roland Henri) Quesnel, February 1, 1910 - February 28, 1966

By Lynn Poth (Marion-Lynn Eileen Quesnel) Alvor Portugal, Mar. 10, 2007

After Roly finished elementary school in Manigotagan, he was tutored for a year by an Anglican priest at Swan River. Another RC priest convinced Grandpa that Roly should be educated and the next year he was sent to Provencher, a RC boarding school run by a religious order in St. Boniface. It must have had an English stream at that time as French was not Roly’s strong point although he did learn to speak it well during his final years in Quebec. At that time it was not a good idea to have a French name and not speak the language in that province.

During the summer he was 14, Roly was hired as a cook by the Geological Survey of Canada which was working near Manigotagan at that time. I believe Grandpa knew some of the surveyors. What he did in other years during high school I don’t know.

Roly met Erma Boate, the love of his life when she became the teacher at Manigotagan. During the Christmas holidays of 1932 they slipped off to Winnipeg and were married in one of the first civil ceremonies in Manitoba. They were married Dec. 30, 1932 with Aunt Nan as one of the witnesses. The civil ceremony was necessary as Roly was RC and Erma Anglican. They returned to Manigotagan to face the families. The Quesnel clan welcomed the newly weds but Erma’s mother was hostile and remained so for many years even though she lived with Roly and Erma part of that time.

Roly soon left for Beresford Lake to work at Gunnar Gold, the mine partly owned by Uncle Willie. Erma joined him at the end of the school year and continued her teaching career there. They lived in a house Roly built himself with some help from relatives and friends. I came along in 1938 and we remained there until 1942 when the mine closed. I have vague memories of leaving Beresford Lake via boat and numerous portages with horse and wagon until we ended up in Manigotagan – the only time I was ever there. From there we went to Winnipeg and Roly continued on to Sudbury where they were desperate for miners. He got a job at Creighton Mine about 12 miles from Sudbury and soon rose to shift boss. We were able to join him shortly after that. In 1945 the soldiers returned to claim their former jobs so Roly went further north to the gold mining area of the Porcupine where he obtained immediate employment. My mother and I joined him there in late Dec. 1945.

South Porcupine, 5 miles from Timmins is the town we lived in until Dec. 1955. During his time there, Roly was active in the Lion’s Club and became their president. He was also on the board of the Children’s Aid Society in Timmins. Roly enjoyed helping kids and was a softball coach. As soon as spring was in the air there would be young boys at our back door asking if Mr. Quesnel could come out and play. (He had the equipment). Roly and Erma enjoyed curling and had many very good friends in the area. Erma also started the first pre-school in the area and taught there until we moved.

The Porcupine strike of 1953-4 caused Roly to do some reevaluating of his career path. He worked for a while staking claims for a friend (the father of one of my still good friends who was also a mine manager. The two were very close.) Soon another door opened and Roly joined a friend who was with a shaft sinking company. This brought him back to the Sudbury area and we moved to join him in Onaping near Levack in Dec. 1955. Once again in this area he became inaugural president of the Lion’s club, helped get a golf club going, served on local committees and helped the Anglican Church get established – while remaining good friends with the local priest!

After successfully leading shaft sinking crews in that area the company sent him to Ore Knob, North Carolina. There was a small copper mine owned by a subsidiary of the shaft sinking company that needed a shaft sunk. Roly really found his spiritual home there in the Blue Ridge mountains and hated to leave when the contact was up. He was soon back as the company needed a mine captain and remembered his good work and the way he got along with the crews, so he was transferred back there. Again he worked with the Lion’s Club, particularly with their vision care program. Years of inbreeding in the "hollers" of rural N.C. had produced very serious eye problems. It was here that he met the man who became his best friend in his last years, a mining engineer from England named Fred Nabb.

Unfortunatley Appalachian Sulphides had few reserves and closed at the end of 1961. This time Roly was transferred to a very inhospitable area, Chibougamau Quebec. Not only was the weather cold, so was the social climate. The bosses were usually English and the French miners resented that immensely. An English boss with a French name was particularly resented. Roly attended Frontier College to study French until he was completely fluent – even in the local joual. However neither he nor Erma were happy there and left in early 1965. Roly went back to leading shaft sinking crews on Calumet Island in the Ottawa River. Life was better as this is Pontiac County, Quebec which is primarily English speaking and close to Renfrew, Ontario. When that particular shaft was finished, he was transferred to St. Lawrence Columbian near St. Eustache P.Q., just outside Montreal. Things seemed to be going very well for him there until that fatal night, Feb. 28, 1966 when his car was hit broadside. Since seatbelts were not mandatory, he hit his head on the dashboard and was instantly killed.

Roly had a keen mind and was particularly interested in archeology. His dream was to explore the Mayan pyramids in Mexico. While in N.C. he took up photography and became quite good at it. He took a lot of slides which seem to have disappeared.

Roly was a lot of fun to be around and often the life of the party. He could step dance and frequently entertained us all.

There has been a great void in the lives of all he touched. The friends I had as a child and teenager remember him with such great affection it is astounding. While his life was all too short, Roly made an impact wherever he was. I am so glad there is going to be a record of his life and want to thank you Danny for making this possible.

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Murray O'Neill Harvey

By Murray O'Neill Harvey, April 2007

I was born in a small little house on the corner of 7th & Bignell Avenue. My mother (Harriette) told me that after I was delivered my father came back into the bedroom to ask her if he could give the doctor a small drink from the "medicinal" brandy they kept on hand. She says the small sip turned out to be the whole bottle.

I had an interesting childhood. Raised on the "wrong side of the tracks" during the 1930's, my father was one of two men on the street that had a job. All the rest of the fathers worked at a work camp south of The Pas, building the highway with shovels and horses. They were paid 25 cents a day and tobacco, Their families then qualified for "relief".  I don't remember any resentment from the kids about that. Probably because, although my father was employed, he didn't make much more than the families living on relief. We were a mixed bunch there on the street, Irish, Scottish, Ukrainian, French and Metis. The social dividing line in those days wasn't wealth nor national origin but rather who had indoor plumbing and who didn't. We didn't!  The town was small and mostly bush in those days and as there was little money, the bush became our playground.

As we grew older we trapped and hunted east of the town and fished in the Saskatchewan River. We sold our small animal pelts to the local traders and our fish to the Chinese restuarants. We made enough from these pursuits to go to the movie theatre every Saturday matinee; entrance was 5 cents and a 5 cent bag of candy would last through most of the double features. Soon we learned we could buy a five pack of Turret cigarettes for a nickel and many a trip was made to the local corner store with five scraped up pennies and a forged note that said "My Dad needs a pack of Turrets." The storekeepers were more money hungry than perceptive in those days!

I was 9 years old when the war came along and that changed my whole world. All of a sudden every Dad had a job and some went away to war. Even the movies changed from Tom Mix and Hop-a-long Cassidy to John Wayne, Franchot Tone and Humphrey Bogart. Westerns became War Movies and cowboys and Indians became sham battles between rival street gangs. This playing at war became more and more intense until the whole town was lined up one side of the tracks against the other. It came to a sudden stop when one boy lost an eye to a BB gun. We didn't realize it at the time but we were being conditioned to go to war.

Because my father was a Forest Ranger I spent every summer of my childhood at Cormorant Lake. I was much alone there, not accepted by the local kids and separated from my own friends back in The Pas. The forest became my friend and I have loved it and its creatures ever since.

I must tell you I visited Manigotagan twice in my childhood. Once, when I was very young and went by train to Winnipeg, then by train to Riverton, horse drawn sleigh to Hecla and there my uncles picked us up in a horse drawn caboose and took us across the lake to Manigotagan. I was too small to remember much more than the smell of fish in the caboose and the taste of the foam off my uncles' beer!


The second time I visited was in the first year of the war, when my mother and sister and I went by car to Winnipeg, stayed with my Aunt Corrine and Uncle Bert and cousins Bert, Bob, and Mabel in the house on Morley Ave. It had a flushed toilet! A highlight of that Winnipeg stay was a trip to River Park financed by our cousins Charlie and Johnie Wynn. Both the Wynn boys were in the army and sadly Charlie was killed in Italy.  We went on to Manigotagan in the steamer Luberg and Bert and Bob Dawson either came with us or arrived on the next boat.


Manigotagan was a magical place for me that summer of 1940.My father came for us in a Fairchild aircraft and we flew back to Cormorant via Berens River and Norway House.

When I was fourteen I lied my age and joined the Reserve Army and as soon as I could I enlisted in the Active force in 1949. Like my cousin Charlie I was assigned instructor duties during the Korean War and in spite of all my pleadings couldn't get to go overseas. That turned me on an Army career and I took my discharge in 1952.


The next five were wild ones and I spent most of them in the north pursuing a life of dry camps and wet towns.


In 1957 I went back into the army to sort myself out and was discharged medically unfit in the fall 1957.


That fall my cousin Billie Hodgins and I, after a stint in "Uncle Johnies Detox Centre", went to Red Lake to work in the mines. By Spring I had enough of mining and went back to The Pas to live with my widowed mother. The only job available was that of parking meter attendant which is about three rungs lower of the social scale than a dog catcher. However by accepting that position I wound up as a full time police constable, and for the first time in my wayward life saw life for the other side of midnight.


Well one respectable thing led to another and I wound up marrying the girl next door just like you see in the movies.


In the summer of 1959 the RCMP took over policing duties of the town and I joined the Federal Civil Service. I spent twenty years as a civil servant and left to start a newspaper, unaware at the time that I had printer's ink in my veins from my great grand dad Rollin.


I have had a great and satisfying life, not without bumps in the road, but with many adventures, too many and perhaps too risque for this spaces. Stories it would seem for another day.



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Eva Quesnel


Eva was born on Sept.13, 1912 in St. Boniface, Manitoba to Maria & Arthur Clement.  The family moved to St. George when she was a teen and December 12, 1933 she married George Quesnel.  They had 3 children:  Joan, Jeannette and Robert.  Tragedy struck the young family when George died in 1953 from a brain tumor.  Eva never re-married, she said George was her one true love.


She moved her family to Port Alberni, British Columbia in 1955 to be closer to siblings.  Eva was thankful to obtain work at the post office and be able to support her family.  In her 50's she got her drivers licence and her first and only car - Tiger.  She retired after 18 years at Canada Post and enjoyed her life at Pioneer Towers - cruising around in Tiger to visit family and friends.  She travelled further afield with her sister Alida and spent time with her brother Leon, her sister Orize and her children.  She loved picnics, reading and watching hockey or wrestling on TV.  Family time was always important.


Eva attended Sunday Mass throughout her life, and gained strength from her prayers to the 'Virgin Mary'.


In 1997 she moved to Fairhaven in Burnaby (where the food was always cold!) closer to her daughters.  She liked walks, the casino (winning) and family visits.

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The Tribulations and Trial of Martha Mead

By Lee Meade

From Mead-e Family Tree, Vol.1, No. 2, Fall 1996,

(Martha Mead was the subject of a1654 New Haven, Connecticut court case.  Martha Mead was the sister of John Mead (2nd Generation).  John Mead was the great,great,great,great grandfather of Roland Price Meade.)


    It is generally believed that life was simpler during the early days of American colonization.  The settlers worried about attacks by Indians, but they were few and far between.  They had concerns about the weather, but for the most part, the Connecticut climate was mild and crops grew well.  Everyone followed a stoic lifestyle, working from dawn to dusk during the week and socializing between intermittal breaks in the day-long Sunday worship service.


    However, that wasn't always the way it was.  At times, there was social intrigue too that stirred the community to dramatic proportions.


    Martha Mead, believed to be the only daughter of William and Philippa Mead of Stamford, unwillingly became the subject of one of the most controversial legal cases in 17th Century New England.


    If early records are accurate, Martha was born in the town of Lydd in County Kent, England, about 1632.  She had an older brother Joseph, and younger brother John.


    After landing at Boston, the Meads moved first to a new settlement at Wethersfield, Conn., and then on to Stamford, where William was one of the community first landowners.


    She was just 9 years old when her father received a home lot and five acres of land as one of the original 42 settlers in Stamford.  Twelve years later, she married John Richardson of Stamford and seemed to be well on her way to becoming a typical New England housewife.


    But there was trouble and considerable tribulation just around the corner for Martha and her family.


    Martha had a problem.  Several months prior to her wedding, she discovered she was pregnant.  She told her parents, her brothers and fiance.


    "I don't know how it happened and I don't know who the father is," she confessed to her probably disbelieving audience.


    As they attempted to sort through the facts, Martha recalled there was a day while she had been working as a domestic servant in the home of one of the Stamford residents when she lost consciousness during an epileptic seizure.  When she came to, she had been taken to a bedroom in the house and, she suggested, may have been raped.  There were only two men in the house at the time, and, although Martha knew both of them, she could not identify which one may have been her attacker.


    Her husband acknowledged he was not the father, but he did not want her to be castigated in the eyes of the community, so he suggested they move to Roxbury, Mass., a small town near Boston, and live there until after the baby had been born.  Outside the immediate family, nobody knew the real reason for the move.


    The baby was born, but died within its first month of life, and Martha and John returned to Stamford.


    All of this had taken place in 1653, but a year later a rumor surfaced in Stamford that Martha had been pregnant at the time of her wedding, that she had given birth to a baby in Massachusetts and the baby had died under mysterious circumstances.


    One can only imagine the excitement the report stirred in the small, conservative Puritan town.  For weeks, the gossip about Martha Mead was spoken in hushes.  Then it broke into the open, and was brought to the attention of the magistrates in New Haven, the colonial capital of the province.


    When Martha was confronted with the charges, she denied she had ever been pregnant.  However on Oct. 18, 1654, a Court of Magistrates was called in New Haven to hear the case, and "take whatever action it deemed appropriate."


    Present at the hearing were Theophilus Eaton, Esq., Governor of Connecticut; Stephen Goodyeer, Deputy Governor, and Magistrates Samuell Eaton, Francis Newman, Benjamin Fenn and William Leete.


    The charge was that "Martha Mead, now the wife of John Richardson of Stamford, was guilty of fornication, proued by her being with child some months before marriage, and that to avoyde or stopp reproach, her husband had carried her to Roxbury in the Massachusets, where she was delivered of a child in January last, at the house of Mr. Joshua Hughes, wch child luied aboute or aboue a moneth and then dyed, but how and in what manner, the court though worth inquirie."


    Richardson admitted his wife was with child before marriage, that he knew of her condition, but denied he was the father.  He said he took her from Stamford to Roxbury before childbearing to avoid the public shame.


    "When did you marry Martha Mead?" the Court asked.  "And when did she have the child?"


    "I married her at the latter part of wheat harvest," Richardson replied.  "The baby was born in January.  It passed away less than a month later.  We returned to Stamford, but thought there was nothing to be gained by opening our personal discomfort."


    Martha confirmed she had been with child before her marriage, but boldly declared, "I neither did - no do - know who is the father."  "I was in a fit of swooning in my Master's house in Stamford,"  she explained.  "While I was unconscious, I was carried to a bed in another room and I was taken advantage of.  When I came to, I saw Joseph Garnesy in the room, but I do not know it was that abused me."


    The court read the written evidence and heard the verbal testimony of several Stamford witnesses.  In addition to Garnesy, one other man, John Ross, had been in the house when the incident allegedly occurred.  Her brother, Joseph, and several townfolk, including goodwife Knapp, goodwife Stocke, goodwife Buxton, goodwife Webb and goodwife Emry, testified Martha had been subject to "fainting and swooning fitts, mixed with short distempers of frenzy."


    In its findings, the court ruled it could do nothing else but find Martha Mead Richardson "guilty as charged, both of knowne fornication and continewed impudent lying, beeleeuing that no woman can be gotten with child without some knowledg, consent and delight in the acting thereof, and that she deserves to be publiquely and severely corrected by whipping, but considering she is now great with child, and according to testimony apt to fall into the aforementioned fitts, with due respect to her condition it is ordered that tenn pounds be paid as a fine to the jurisdiction within a years time for her heinous miscarriages."


    The court acknowledged that "John Richardson, and her brother, Joseph Mead, did before the court as sureties ingage, and entered into a recognizance of fifty pounds for ye same, and vnder the same penalty promised and bound themselues that betwixt this and the court of magistrats in May next, they would bring a satisfying certificate from Roxbury concerning ye death of ye child, both wch being duely pformed their ingagmnt and recognizance are voyd & discharged, but till ten stand in force, and in ye meane time if she duely acknowlege her sinn and truly declare who is ye father of the child, the court will consider of some further mitigation."


    Final disposition of the case lingered on through three additional hearings.


    On May 28, 1656, Joseph Mead and John Richardson appeared in court at New Haven and acknowledged "payment of the fine of tenn pounds which was not required, but they desired forbearance till next Michaelmas, when they then see it paide."  The court granted their request.


    On Sept. 27, 1657, William Mead, Martha's father, and his youngest son, John, appeared in court petitioning for abatement of two fines.  John had been fined ten pounds in a subsequent slander and harassment action, brought by a Stamford neighbor while the fine against Martha and levied against Joseph Mead and John Richardson remained unpaid.


    The court considered both and granted that "half of each should be abated, provided the other half be paid forthwith."


    The issue was finally put to rest when Joseph brought in two "milch cowes" which he offered as payment of the fines.  The court, following a recess to determine the value of the two cows, argued the "cowes" were worth "only eight pound ten shillings," but "in fauour to them" (Joseph Mead and John Richardson),  "the court would accept the cows as payment, and acquit and discharge the fines."


    As a tragic aftermath, Martha Mead and John Richardson also lost her second baby, who like the first, died early in its infancy.  The Richardsons never had any other children of record and shortly after the case was resolved moved from Stamford to nearby Rye, NY.


    Although there is nothing to suggest the events were connected, both Joseph and John also left Stamford in 1657, crossing Long Island Sound to become involved in the founding of the town of Hemstead, Long Island.  However they liked Connecticut better and two years later returned with their families - not to Stamford, but to its next door neighbour, the new settlement of Hogs Neck, later to be known as Greenwich.


    William Mead and his wife, Philippa, remained in Stamford where they lived on the west side of West Street.  Philippa died in 1657, possibly during an outbreak of malaria.  An epidemic is suspected because records show only 16 deaths the entire year of 1657.  Eleven of them occurred during the period between July 21 and Sept. 19.


    William, the founding father of the family passed away in 1663, apparently of natural causes.  However, neither of his two sons, Joseph and John - nor his daughter, Martha, ever returned to live in Stamford.


    There was early speculation that William and Philippa had a fourth child, who died in 1657.  There is no evidence of such a birth by Philippa and, in fact, it may have been Martha's second child, who was born in 1655, and died young.


Mead-e Family Tree Editor's Note:  There is recent information that Mary and John Richardson did live in Westchester county, New York, and had three children, all girls.  The three were Bethia, born 1654, and married to John Katcham; Mary, born1655, and married Joseph Hadley, and Elizabeth, born 1656, and married to Gabriel Leggett.  As we know from the court records above, Mary was in trial in New Haven in Oct. 1854 and was pregnant at the time.  Thus, it is possible, although not proved, that Mary's second child did live and was named Bathia.  John Richardson died in 1679 and Martha remarried Capt. Thomas Williams.  They had no children.


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