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Re: Samuel Commander's wife
Posted by: Betty Clay (ID *****7449) Date: July 20, 2008 at 19:23:00
In Reply to: Samuel Commander's wife by Shannon Gorman of 273

You have an interesting idea.

William Screven came to Maine about 1670, and apprenticed himself to a ship builder there. He married Bridget about the same time he finished that apprenticeship. I quote Dr. James A. Baker, formerly head of church history department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary on this.) I've had a look at English records on William Screven prior to 1670, and Dr. Baker did an extensive study on it, which he had printed in the South Carolina Baptist Historical Journal in Nov. 1980. I didn't find a marriage - which is certainly not proof that there was none. Dr. BAker didn't find one, either - again not proof there was not one. I've never seen mention anywhere, though, that he brought children with him to America.

It was Dr. Baker's opinion that it was the Rev. Screven himself who witnessed that paper in Kittery, even though he had moved to South Carolina by that time.

Finding English marriages is not easy, and would be especially hard to find a Baptist marriage because Baptists had stopped keeping records when it became illegal to be a Baptist. I did find Screven's signature on a Baptist confession of faith in 1656. I found a baptism of one William Screven at Cricket St. Thomas parish five miles from Somerton on 3 Feb 1627 - a little early for our William but not impossible. At his death in Oct of 1713, a biographer wrote that 'he had completed his 84th year' indicating that he was 85 at that time. That 1627 date would have made him 86 instead. I've chased too many people with the right name (but wrong person) to insist on this being our Rev. William's birth.

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