Molly Pegan is my sixth great grandmother and a source of much controversy in my small Nipmuc community. Some of us believe her to be Nipmuc, especially since her maiden name is Pegan – a known Nipmuc name. Others (including nameless BIA researchers) don’t think she is Nipmuc and that the name is simply coincidence. Now her last name is not the only reason folks believe she was Nipmuc but you can read my previous post for more information on that here.
Molly is our tribal brick wall. We have no documentation on who her parents were. Her granddaughter identified her as a Dudley Indian (Dudley Indians are a band or subset of Nipmuc Indians) slightly more than 100 years after Molly’s alleged birth. But why take the granddaughter’s word for it? I created a research plan to try and crack this brick wall in my previous Molly post. Here’s an update on my progress:
Before I move on to records that I haven’t researched yet, I want to review the ones I’ve already read through. I can’t help but think I’m missing a clue. Molly’s Revolutionary War widow’s pension file is full of detail on Molly’s life. Perhaps reviewing the file here will lead to a new clue. Page 33 of the file is a favorite of mine so I’ll start there. (Yes, I know it would be more orderly to start at page one. But this is my quest!)
So, what clues are in this document?
1. Molly was not raised by her parents.
2. Molly was raised by Rev. Aaron Brown of Killingly, CT.
3.Molly’s race is referred to as “coloured”.
4. Molly’s husband’s race is called “Black” and “Negro”.
5. Molly was 18 when she married.
6. She moved to Thompson (CT) after she married.
7. Rev. Brown was opposed to the union.
8. Molly had more than one child.
9. Her husband’s surname was Pollock.
10. A wedding did take place.
I am curious about a couple of things. Sarah specifically states that her grandfather raised Molly. She doesn’t include her grandmother in the “raising” of Molly. Also, why was the Rev. opposed to the marriage? Molly was already 18. And, of course, why wasn’t Molly with her family? Were they deceased? Was she indentured? Taken from her Native family to be raised “properly”? Also, why the distinction between coloured, Black and Negro?
Until next time-
2 thoughts on “Who is Molly Pegan? (Part 2)”
I just wanted to give you an update on Molly. As I mention, I found a DNA match with a descendant of Christopher and Mary (Curless) Vickers. I would argue that we are also related through Molly Pegan (Peegan, Peagan, Peggin, Piggins, etc.). There are two possible connections to my ancestry that I believe you could do further research on. My ancestor, Benjamin Wiser Senior, b. 1743, was the son of Ruth Bowman. Ruth had a sister Martha Bowman who married Joseph Pegan, and when their father, Samuel Bowman (Nipmuc) died about 1747 in Worcester, according to his probate records, his daughter Martha and husband Joseph Pegan were living in Dudley, or Molly Pegan Pollock could be the granddaughter of John Pegan and Mary Rumneymarsh (married 1728). Mary was the daughter of Israel Rumneymarsh who was a son of James Quanahpohkit Rumneymarsh Wiser (he is Benjamin's great grandfather and my direct ancestor). It is also possible that both connections are possible (ie. Joseph Pegan could be a son of John Pegan and Mary Rumneymarsh). I haven't done much research on the Pegan line so not sure how all of them are related but this would definitely explain my DNA connection to the descendants of the Vickers as a 5th to 8th cousin. Sincerely-Ron Wiser
Hi Ron, Thanks for that information. I'd like to know who the DNA match is!! Thomas Pegan, Jr. is also a possible parent of Molly. Thomas Pegan and his father (also Thomas) owned land in Natick and served as assemblymen.