EARLY SETTLERS MEMORIAL. FOUNDERS AND EARLY SETTLERS OF THE TOWN OF EAST GREENWICH, RHODE ISLAND 1677-1716. Plaque attached to boulder is located in front of the former old jail, at the foot of King Street in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Henry Straight’s name is among the alphabetical list of names of early settlers of the town of East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Founder Rock lists the name of Henry Straight and also John Spencer, the great-grandfather of William Spencer who purchased Henry Straight’s historic land in 1750. The asterisk (*) next to the person’s name means “a founder: Granted a first farm lot as compensation for service in the King Philip War 1675-1678”. Apparently Henry Straight was an early settler but not a founder as his name is not listed in the Act for the Incorporation of East Greenwich. (See copy of Act at the end of this webpage.) An interesting fact is that Henry and Hannah were married February 13, 1676-7 by John Heath, Justice. John Heath’s name is on the Founder’s stone with an asterisk before the name of John Heath.
McPartland’s book covers the history from 1677-1960. This genealogy is slightly different from above data found in Vital Records of R. I. More research is needed. Information in McPartland’s book was found while Spencer researcher was looking up John Spencer’s data. Both Henry Straight and John Spencer are on the Founders and Early Settlers Stone above.
Following is information on one line of Henry and Hannah Straight’s descendants. William, a great, great grandson of Henry and Hannah Straight, went to New Brunswick, Canada in 1793. Today’s Canadian Straight’s descendants think that most of the Straights came to New Brunswick at that time in history, and these descendants have lost any contact with the descendants in the United States. William and Mary (née Carr) Straight’s descendants are still in the New Brunswick area today (2011). Following is their lineage.
The following map shows Henry and Hannah Straight’s land south of Middle Road and east of Carrs Pond Road. At that time in history, because of separation of Church and State, all farms had their own graveyard on their own land. [This map also shows the land of William’s great grandfather, John Spencer. John and Suzanna (née Griffin) Spencer’s land was by the water and to the east of the Straight land.]
The lower right hand corner of above map reads: “East Greenwich was created by the General Assembly on 31 October 1677 to provide farms and house lots to each of 48 men who served in King Philip’s war. The town was divided in 1678 on an east-west line into divisions I & II, as shown above. This map is a composite of several surveys dated 1716 (one based on an earlier survey of 1712.), and the roads, boundary lines and names (with acreage) are shown thereon. Where the 1716 owner was not the original owner, the name of the original grantee is show in: [brackets]. Some modern streets and the highways have been added in dotted line, & we have superimposed the modern names of our old roads. This map is prepared by the Founders Club of the East Greenwich Ter-centenary Commission, and copies may be had from the East Greenwich Preservation Society. July 1977”
The East Greenwich Packet, a publication of The East Greenwich Preservation Society, often included information on the Spencer lands and ancestry. Below is article on page 8.
Following is a Map Platted by William Hall 1716. Henry Straight’s land is south of Middle Road and east of Carrs Pond.
Additional documentation of the “old Straight house” as it became known down through history:
Another reference to Henry Straight in historical writing is page 62 in Rural Roads where Violet E. Kettelle reports on the boundaries of the Spencer farm in 1750, the year of the purchase. The eastern boundary of the farm was “on land formerly belonging to Henry Straight, dec. (dec. is the abbreviation for deceased)
Memo to Straight Family Researchers:
Other information found in Esther Amanda Briggs’ notebook is “Mary Straight’s will-da. 9-15-1750 pro-7-30-1757 … Audrey Mae (nee Spencer) MacDonald’s notes say “Henry Straight m Mary Long…Nov.10 1679…
Since the Spencers purchased the land in 1750, does this change any of the “facts” about Henry and Hannah Straight previously written on this website?
The designer of this website is a Spencer researcher and includes the Straight family information as it relates to the Spencers. No extensive research is made into the Straight family and therefore, designer can not verify total accuracy of Straight family information. Because paper was scarce when Aunt Mandy’s notebook was written, much data is squeezed into every inch of space on the paper, causing additional time in deciphering facts. Additional research on the Straight family is needed.