Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

Archives, Labels (tags), and other links appear at the bottom of the page.

Content at Before My Time is protected by copyright and may not be copied for publication elsewhere without permission. © T. K. Sand.

To follow by email, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Surname: Strong

The Strong surname comes to me via my grandpa, Rosmer P. Kerr. His seventh great-grandfather was:
  • Elder John Strong, who was born in the early 1600s in England. He had two children with his first wife, Margery Deane. She died soon after the family arrived in New England on the Mary and John in 1630, and their infant died soon after. John married Abigail Ford in December 1630, and with her he had sixteen more children. He was 94 at the time of his death, 14 April 1699, and had at least 160 descendants. John and Abigail were my ninth great-grandparents.
  • Jedediah Strong, born 7 May 1637 in Massachusetts. He was christened at Dorchester on 14 April 1639. He married Freedom Woodward on 18 November 1662. He died in Coventry, Connecticut on 22 May 1733 at the age of 96, another long-lived Strong man. Jedediah and Freedom were my eighth great-grandparents.
  • Thankful Strong, born 15 April 1672 in Northampton, Massachusetts. She married Thomas Root on 4 March 1691. They had thirteen children, but five died in infancy. She died 16 April 1742 in Coventry, Connecticut. Thankful and Thomas were my seventh great-grandparents.
The first two books listed below give the ancestry of Elder John Strong, but they disagree. Dwight seems quite sure that John's father was Richard Strong, born in Caernarvon, Wales, in 1561, to a long-lived Roman Catholic man originally from Shropshire, England. Richard is said to have moved to Taunton, Somersetshire, England in 1590. For more on this, use the link below to see Volume 1, p. 15.

Spear, on the other hand, cites The Strongs of Strongsville by Albert Strong, 1931:
"...There is no evidence of a Richard Strong in Taunton, Somerset. He [Albert Strong] suggests an explanation to this apparently mistake tradition. In 1777, one of John Strong's descendants, Caleb Strong, Governor of Massachusetts, gave an account, stating the Elder John's father was Richard Strong. Albert Strong suggests the name of John's native place, as shown in some ancient writing was mistaken for his father's name. The final syllable of the name "Richard" is "Chard". Possibly a blurred or ilegibly written account of "John Strong of S:chard" was read as "John Strong of Richard", instead of "John Strong of South Chard", where he apparently originated. The tradition that he came from "Taunton" may be that the name of that town was mentioned in the early families because it was the largest town near South Chard, about 12 miles away. Also, when John Strong came in 1635, on possibly his second crossing, he lived in Taunton Mass.
Spear gives this "provisional ancestry:"
  • George Strong, whose will, dated 1627 and proved 1635 in Chard, Somerset, mentions a grandson named John.
  • John Strong, Sr., who was married at Chard in 1609. He died in 1613 at Chard, long before the death of his father. John's will mentions a son named John and an as-yet-unborn child.
  • Elder John Strong, whose sister Eleanor is said to have emigrated with him. Spear suggests that Eleanor may have been the as-yet-unborn child in the will mentioned above.
I don't know whether any additional research has been done on this question. Reader, if you know more than I do, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Dwight, Benjamin W. The History of the Descendants of Elder John Strong, of Northampton, Mass. Albany, N.Y.: Joel Munsell, 1871.

Spear, Burton W. Search for the Passengers of the Mary & John, 1630. Toledo, Ohio (5602 305th St., Toledo 43611): B.W. Spear, 1985 and 1987.

Messier, Betty Brook, and Janet Sutherland Aronson. The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut. Coventry, Conn. (1712 Main St., Coventry 06238): 275th Anniversary Committee, 1987.

My Strong cousin Miriam, of Ancestories, advises me that Dwight's theory has been disproven and George Strong is believed to be the correct ancestor. In addition, she's shared a link to The Strong Family Association of America. Thanks, Miriam!


Miriam said...

I believe the Wales connection has been disproved and that most genealogists agree that Elder John was the son of George. Since John had children born in Chard, it makes sense that his roots were in that area, and not completely across the country in Wales.

I looked for more info on the Strong Family Assocation website (, but wasn't too successful in finding any.

I descend through son Samuel, cousin!

Joan said...

The good thing about conflicting genealogies is that we are spurred on to find the "right" answer --- well, at least spurred on towards the quest.

T.K. said...

Joan, you're right about that. As I've been working on this series of surname posts, I've run into several examples of conflicting information. It's forced me to reexamine documents and source materials that have languished for years, and to search for new materials online too.

Miriam, I assume you meant "grandson of George" rather than son, is that right? There is a John Sr. in between the two, as Spear said? That's a question, not a statement.

T.K. said...

I've just spent a little while looking at the Strong Family Association website, and I found the answer to my question--yes, there is a John Sr. between George and Elder John. It looks like there's quite a bit to see there, so back I go!

Barbara said...

TK, I also have Elder John Strong, and descend through Return and Thomas. So we are related again!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

Followers, Friends, Family, and Fellow GeneaBloggers:

Follow by Email

Where are you?