As part of my research into some of the Davises in our family tree (related to David Wood, about whom I wrote before), I've been reading about early New Jersey churches. That line was primarily Baptist, and settled there to escape persecution.

Morgan Edwards' work, Materials Toward a History of the Baptists, provided amusement along with information. For example, these paragraphs about the Cohansey Baptist Church [Vol. 1, p. 89]:

In 1710 ... Rev. Timothy Brooks and his company united with this church: they had emigrated hither from Swanzey [Swansea] in Plymouth (now Massachusetts) government, about the year 1687; and had kept a separate society, for 23 years, on account of differences in opinion relative to predestination; singing psalms; laying on of hands, etc.: the uniter was Rev. Valentine Wightman, of Groton in Connecticut: the terms of union were, bearance and forbearance.

In 1714, eight Presbyterians joined this church: the occasion was a[s] follows: Mr. Wightman was invited to preach at Fairfield; but forgetting his situation, he talked away as if he had been in a baptist pulpit.

Clearly the name struck a bell, and indeed, that's our Valentine Wightman: Porter's 6th great-grandfather through his father's side; my 7th great-grandfather through my father's grandfather Willis Johnson Langdon, whose ancestors married into the Wightman line. Willis' wife, my great-grandmother, was Mary Lucy (Nellie) Wood. The Woods and the Davises of my family during that era were Baptists and Seventh-Day Baptists in that area of New Jersey, and it's likely that Mary Lucy Wood's ancestors heard Valentine Wightman preach on one of his visits. One hundred and thirty-four years after Valentine's death in 1747, their lines met when Willis and Nellie married. Ninety-four years after that, they met again when Porter and I were wed.

Posted by sursumcorda on Thursday, May 31, 2018 at 9:39 am | Edit
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Nice find. And humorous, too.

Posted by dstb on Friday, June 01, 2018 at 7:08 am
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