Search Hints

When you enter a keyword the database is searched for that exact word and will provide you with a list of every record containing that exact word.  One letter different will make a huge difference in your results.  For example: Postcard vs. Postcards.  About two dozen records contain the word “postcards.”  About 700 records contain the word “postcard.”

Broader Searches
To broaden your search add an * to the end of the word and your results will contain words that are similar to your keyword.  For example:  farm* – will give you results for farm, farms, farmer, etc.

Narrowing Searches
Place quotation marks around a phrase to search for that exact phrase in the database.  For example:  “Little Compton Chair”

Spelling Issues
Several keywords related to Little Compton have various spellings.

The Wilbor Name
The Wilbor name comes from the English Spelling of “Wildbore.”  The first Wilbor emigrant to America was Samuel, who settled in Boston.  His signature appears on a 1638 document as “Samuel Wilbore.”  Samuel’s sons also used this spelling but succeeding generations have modified the spelling for unknown reasons.  Some of spellings currently in use are: Wilbar, Wilbor, Wilbore, Willbur, Wilbour, and, most frequently, Wilbur and Wilber.

The spelling seems to depend on the location of the family’s ancestors.  For example, Rhode Island branches uses Wilbour or Wilbor while the Massachusetts branch tends to use Wilbur. Regardless of the spelling, all are descendents of Samuel Wildbore and his sons.

How do you spell Sakonnet?
Native Americans did not have a written language or alphabet and made limited use of symbols.  English settlers used Indian names for locations or gave the place an entirely unrelated English name. The sounds of their language echo through Little Compton place names: Quoquonset, Nonquit, Nanaquaket, Tunipus, Acoaxit, and, not least, Sakonnet, their word for the area, from which they took their own name.  Soken-et translates from the Algonquin tongue set down in Roger Williams’ famous dictionary as “place where the water pours forth.”  It’s an apt description for the wavy, wind-blown mouth of the Sakonnet Passage, where a powerful thrust of ocean tides control shores as far inland as Mount Hope Bay, and beyond.

In the 19th century, when the meanings of Indian languages were lost, writers and historians associated Sakonnet with wet swampy areas where wild geese were hunted.  This became the romantic description “Haunt of the Wild Goose.”

The spelling “Sakonnet” is the standardized version today but many spellings continue to be used. The following are spellings received on letters to George R. Drowne from 1880 to 1900:

Sakonnet Saconnet Seaconnet Seaconnet
Seaconnett Seconnett Sacconnet Sakonet
Saykonnet Sackonnett Sackonnet Seaconnet
Sogkonate Sakonett Sakownet Seakonet
Sakonnot Sakonett Sekonet Saughokonet
Seakonnett Saconnett Saconnett Sekonnett
Sakonnett Seakonnit Sackonett Seakonnit
Sackonnett Sakonnit Sekonnet Seaconnet
Ceaconnet Seaonette Skonit Pint
Siaconnet Seaonette

2 thoughts on “Search Hints

  1. My 97 year old mother, Margaret (Irish) Burlew Snyder, tells me that our relative, on her father’s side, John Irish, came to Massachusetts as an indentured servant in 1629. She says he knew Miles Standish and Mr. Bradford. His son, JOHN IRISH, JR., second child of John and Elizabeth Irish, was born in 1641 in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He married ELIZABETH SAVORY in 1672. She was born in 1650 in Little Compton, Rhode Island. John, Jr. was a carpenter and moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island ca 1673. He was appointed Constable on July 5, 1678, the oath of office being administered by Captain Benjamin Church. He was a surveyor of highways in Little Compton, Rhode Island in 1683. Elizabeth died on March 8, 1707, in Little Compton, Rhode Island. John, Jr. died February 21, 1717, in Little Compton, Rhode Island. Both were buried on the old IRISH farm across the road from the Friends Meeting House near Little Compton, Rhode Island. After the death of his first wife, John, Jr. married PRISCILLA SOUTHWORTH TALBOT. She was born in 1645 and was the daughter of EDWARD and MARY PABODIE SOUTHWORTH of Duxbury, Massachusetts. Priscilla died on June 11, 1732, and her burial place is unknown.
    The children of John, Jr. and Elizabeth Irish:
    The Children Date of Birth Notes
    a. David Irish 02/1674 died 03/1748
    b. Elizabeth Irish 02/1674 died young
    c. Jonathan Irish 06/1678 died 1732
    d. Joanna Irish 06/1681 married Edward Robertson
    e. Sarah Irish 01/1683 died 10/24/1739
    f. Priscilla Irish 04/30/1686 died ca 1715
    g. Elizabeth Irish 08/28/1687 no data available
    h. Jedediah Irish 10/07/1688 died 1758
    i. Content Irish 09/1691 married William Shaw & Joseph Lawton
    j. Mary Irish 04/09/1695 married William Palmer
    k. Red1.gif (1928 bytes)John Irish, III 05/01/1699 died 07/1773

    Mom says the home of John, Jr is supposedly still standing. There was nothing about him in your historical information. She tells me that he was indeed a surveyor and helped in platting the town of Little Compton and was given 5 plats in various places around town for his services. If at all possible, would you please let me know any information you may have about him or his family other than what is posted here. It’s important to mom to have this verified. Any pictures of his residence, farm, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you for your consideration and assistance.

    Very Sincerely,
    Nita J. Lesh

    • Give me a call on Tuesday and I will be glad to talk with you. Most of your info is correct. The house is not standing but I do have a painting of it that I can send.
      401-635-4035 Marjory O’Toole

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