Database Updates – Oct Nov Dec 2019

The following 47 people were added to or updated in the Conrad-Todd-Garrison-Carman genealogy database between October and December 2019:

Ayars & the Seventh Day Baptists

I was going to restart “This Week in My Genealogy” posts for my direct ancestors, but this week the only ancestral anniversary is Elizabeth Hann who was born May 15, 1765. I don’t know much about her and what I do know I found in a book called Robert Ayars and His Descendants. The book only has her name, birth and death dates.

Seal of Robert Ayars
Seal of Robert Ayars. From “Sources on the Life of Robert Ayars” by James A. Ayars.

She was married to Noah Ayars who was a descendent of Robert Ayars, and that is the family I want to talk about because I find them interesting. According to the book mentioned above, Robert Ayars came from England and settled in Rhode Island in what was a Baptist colony in the 1660’s.  Stephen Mumford, Samuel Hubbard and others formed the first Seventh Day Baptist Church in America there in 1671. Like Seventh Day Adventists, which they predate, Seventh Day Baptists observe the Sabbath on Saturday. Stephen Mumford brought this Sabbath-keeping with him when he fled persecution in England for his beliefs. Robert Ayars knew Stephen Mumford and was likely a Seventh Day Baptist while living in Rhode Island. His wife and daughters were listed in an early church membership list and he is found in court records for violating the law that prohibited working on the (Sunday) Sabbath. Sources on the Life of Robert Ayars has an extensive investigation into the origins of Robert Ayars and his life in America and is well worth a read.

In 1705, Robert Ayars and other Seventh Day Baptists purchased land in an area that would eventually become the town of Shiloh, New Jersey. His family was prominent in the Seventh Day Baptist Church at Shiloh, the land for the church being donated by his son Caleb Ayars in 1738.

I am descended from Robert Ayars through my maternal grandfather’s line:

Robert Ayars (abt 1650-1719)
— Caleb Ayars (abt 1692-1760)
—- Aaron Ayars (1723-1792)
—— Noah Ayars (1762-1853)
——– Addi Ayars (1794 –      )
———- Elizabeth Ayars (1817-1888)
———— Emma M. Irelan (1839-1922)
————– John S. Garrison (1877 –      )
—————- Orville W. Garrison (1907-1968)
—————— Carol L. Garrison (1938-1999)

Elizabeth Ayars married Ansel Irelan who followed his brother out west for a brief period during the Gold Rush. Emma M. Irelan married James B. Garrison who was in the Civil War.

I have standardized the spelling as Ayars, but it shows up in the records in many different ways: Ayres, Ayers, Ayares, etc.