Pepper Family Puzzles!

Yes, we do have some really BIG questions when it comes to our Pepper family!

1.  How did our Pepper ancestors become Hamilton ancestors?

2.  If we aren’t really Peppers then what happened?

3.  Where did things change?

4.  Which Pepper ancestor was really a Hamilton?

These are questions that my Aunt Judy and I have been asking for SEVEN years!

Through DNA we know that we are biologically “HAMILTON” descendants through John HAMILTON b about 1634 Scotland. At some point a Pepper family gave our Hamilton male the surname of PEPPER. This could be because our Hamilton boy was the child of a Pepper woman.

We run into problems when we get back to Thomas PEPPER and Lucretia MAGOON. The death certificate of Porter PEPPER lists Thomas and Lucretia Pepper as being Porter’s parents, but we do not find a birth record for him anywhere.

Below is a record of some of the research that has been done on Thomas and Lucretia and their children:

From: Doris/Chuck Denton <>
Subject: Re: Thomas and Lucretia Pepper of Palmer, MA
Date: Fri, 31 Mar 2000 00:02:34 -0800

“Hi Everyone:
I discovered some serious errors in my post of a few days ago – the
following is the “new and corrected” version and I apologize for sending off the other one. I don’t think I’m getting enough sleep:

It’s been slow work, but we have just found proof of another child of Thomas and Lucretia (Magoon) Pepper who married in Ware, Hampden Co, MA in 1800, later lived in Palmer.

 As the family works out now:

1. Foster PEPPER, b abt 1806 in Ware, Hampden, MA; d 20 Oct 1866 in Monson, Hampden, MA. His parents were listed on his death record in Monson. He married Salome NEEDHAM, 20 Oct 1831. At one point they lived in Wales.


i Mary M Pepper, b 1834;
ii Albert P PEPPER, b 1842
iii Sarah E Pepper, 1848.

2. (Don’t have this one identified, may be Artemus Pepper, [there are three sons under the age of 10 in the 1820 census])

3. Joseph PEPPER, b abt 1810; m Thankful M NEWELL in 1836. He is identified in his grandmother’s will as the third son of her daughter, Lucretia PEPPER. He lived in Southbridge, Worcester, MA.


i Wilson PEPPER, abt 1840 (died young)
ii Milton Tyler PEPPER, b abt 1841, d 1893, m Amanda Newton in 1866
iii Harlan Newell PEPPER, b 1847
iv Ellen Francis Pepper, b 1849

4. Porter PEPPER, b 1811, Palmer; d 27 Jan 1864, Brimfield. His death record identified his parents. He married Persis Elvira DEARTH in 1833, probably in Brimfield.

Children: All born Brimfield.

i John Prouty PEPPER, b 1833. Married Janette STRICKLAND of Palmer, Massachusetts in 1861. This is my [Doris] line.

ii George Edward PEPPER, b 1835, Brimfield. Married Cordelia Strickland of Palmer.

iii Mehitable Dearth Pepper, b 1838. Married Charles Dimmock of Brimfield.

iv Henry H. PEPPER, b 1840. Married Elizabeth STRICKLAND of Palmer.

v Persis Maria Pepper, b 1842. Married Wallace BARTLETT of Illinois.

vi Thomas PEPPER, b 1843. Married Ellen Minerva HUNT of Illinois.

5. Stephen P. PEPPER, b abt 1816; died 20 Feb 1899 in Maysville, Benton, Arkansas. He lived in Wales, where he is identified as a brother of Foster. He married Sarah PRATT in 1841. He and his family went to Kansas with the Hampden Colony in the mid-1850s and he was still there in 1880. Sarah died shortly after arriving in Kansas, he eventually married again and had more children.

 Children of Stephen and Sarah:

i Emma Louise Pepper, b 1841

ii Sarah Francis Pepper, b 1845

iii Stephen G PEPPER, b 1854

Children of Stephen and Margaret E

i Lydia G, b abt 1863 in Neosho, Coffey, Kansas

ii Lois E, b abt 1865 in Neosho, Coffey, Kansas

iii Wilhelmina, b abt 1869

iv Charles G, adopted, b abt 1878

Census records for Thomas and Lucretia show that they had a daughter. This may be Betsey Pepper who married Asa Strickland and lived in Palmer. She is the mother of Cordelia Strickland (married George E Pepper above). Thomas and Lucretia lived their last years in the household of Asa and Betsey. So far Betsey is the most likely candidate to be their daughter.

I’d like to hear suggestions from anyone who can add to the above, and especially from anyone who is connected to any of these Peppers and/or related lines.

 Doris in California, [31 Mar 2000]”


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