An American Family History

Rebecca Stanhope Hemenway


Various spellings of Stanhope
Stanape, Stanup, Standhope, Stanhop, Stanop, and Stannup

Childbirth was was perilous. Around 1.5 percent of births ended in the mother's death. Since women gave birth to many children, chances of dying in childbirth were quite high.
The New England Meetinghouse was the only municipal building in a town. Both worship and civil meetings were held there. It was customary for men and women to sit separately and the town chose a committee once a year to assign seats according to what was paid, age, and dignity.
Diseases have transformed history and the lives of our ancestors.

Rebecca Stanhope Hemenway was born on October 29, 1670 in Sudbury, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Her parents were Ensign Jonathan Stanhope, Sr. and Susannah Ayres.  

She married Deacon Joshua Hemenway  in Sudbury. Joshua was born on September 15, 1668 in Roxbury, Massachusetts. His parents were Joshua Hemenway and Joanna Evans.

Rebecca was Joshua's second wife. His children with his first wife, Margaret, were:
Beulah Hemenway (1691, died young),
Hephzibah Hemenway (1691) and
Benoni Hemenway (1694). 

In 1691, Margaret and Joshua were admitted to the church in Roxbury. Margaret died on May 12, 1694 due to complications of childbirth.

Rebecca and Joshua’s children included:
Joshua Hemenway (April 2, 1697),
Ralph Hemenway (October 7, 1699),
Rebeckah Hemenway (1704, died age 3),
Huldah Hemenway (September 30, 1708, died at 10 months),
Phineas Hemenway (April 26, 1706),
Ebenezer Hemenway (May 31, 1710), and
Jonathan Hemenway (August 22, 1712). 

In 1701 Joshua was one of the original members of the First Church in Framingham.

Benoni was one of the men from Framingham in service during Father Rasle's War.

Joshua was one of the founders of the Second Church of Framingham and was in sympathy with the "Great Awakening." The First Great Awakening began in the 1730s and was an ecumenical movement where pastoral styles changed to elicit an emotional response from the congregation.

He died on May 20, 1760 in Framingham, Massachusetts during the Great Sickness along with Joshua, Jr. The great sickness epidemic of 1754 in Framingham may have been an outbreak of diptheria.

He died on May 20, 1760 in Framingham, Massachusetts during the Great Sickness along with Joshua, Jr. The great sickness epidemic of 1754 in Framingham may have been an outbreak of diptheria.

Diphtheria is a serious contagious respiratory illness where a membrane attaches to the tonsils, pharynx, or nasal cavity. Diphtheria can lead to loss of motor control and sensation.
Pertussis is also contagious and was known as whooping cough. It starts with a mild respiratory infection and the coughing develops into uncontrollable fits followed by a high-pitched "whoop" sound as the patient struggles to breathe.
Tetanus was also called lockjaw and occurs when wounds are contaminated. As the infection progresses, muscle spasms develop in the jaw as well as other parts of the body.

Deacons played a respected and important role in early New England churches. They sat in a raised pew near the pulpit and had special duties during communion.

Old Style Calendar
Before 1752 the year began on Lady Day, March 25th,. Dates between January 1st and March 24th were at the end of the year. Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are used to indicate whether the year has been adjusted. Often both dates are used.
Children of
Ensign Jonathan Stanhope
and Susannah Ayer
  • Hannah Stanhope Jennings
  • Jonathan Stanhope, Jr.
  • Sarah Stanhope
  • Joseph Stanhope
  • Jemima Stanhope Rutter
  • Mary Stanhope
  • Rebecca Stanhope Hemenway
  • Father Rasle’s War was between 1721 and 1725. It was also known as Dummer’s War, Grey Lock's War, and Lovewell’s War. Father Sebastian Rasle was a Jesuit missionary in New England and lived among the Abneki people. In 1705, during Queen Anne’s War, tensions escalated between the settlers and Father Rasle and the Abneki. The settlers attacked the mission at Norridgewock and burned the church. Hostilities continued after the end of Queen Anne’s War and in August, 1724 Father Rasle was attacked by the settlers, scalped and killed

    Middlesex County, Massachusetts was created on May 10, 1643. The county originally included Charlestown, Cambridge, Watertown, Sudbury, Concord, Woburn, Medford, Wayland, and Reading.

    Lush forests in Colonial America allowed settlers to build wooden homes.

    Estate inventories give us a glance into the home life of Colonial Americans.


    Early European settlers in the American colonies were mostly farmers and craftsmen. They had to work hard to provide daily neccesities for themselves.

    from A Genealogical Record of One Branch of the Hemenway Family, from 1634 to 1880

    Joshua [Hemenway], son of Ralph (1), m. 1st Joanna Evans of Dorchester Jan. 16, 1667, and had in Roxbury
    Joshua, b. Sept. 15, 1668, bap. Aug., 1669, settled in Framingham; 
    Joanna, b. Oct. 2, 1670, married Edward Ainsworth; 
    Ralph, b. May 18, 1673, died unmarried June 1, 1699; 
    Ichabod, b. about 1675.

    His wife, Joanna, died about this time (1675). He next married Mary, 1678 or 9,and had 
    Ebenezer, b. 1681; "Samuel, b. Sept. 30, 1683;

    His second wife, Mary, died May 5, 1703. He next married Elizabeth Weeks, Apl. 5, 1704. He died Oct. 29, 1716, ae. 73. Elizabeth, his widow, died Sep. 20, 1737, ae. 82.

    Joshua [Hemenway], son of Joshua (4), and wife, Margaret, were admitted to the Roxbury church in 1691; and had children in Framingham 
    Hephzibah, Beulah (twins), b. Oct. 5, 1691; 
    Benoni, b. Apl. 21, 1694, died unmarried Feb. 9, 1754.

    Margaret, wife of Joshua, died May 12, 1694, and he married, 2d, Rebeckah ;and had

    Joshua, b. Apl. 2, 1697; 
    Ralph, b. Oct. 7, 1699;
    Huldah, b.Sept. 30, 1702, died May 1, 1707; 
    Rebeckah, b. , died Apl.30, 1707;
    Phinehas, b. Apl. 26, 1706;
    Huldah, died Aug. 1, 1709;
    Ebenezer, b. May 31, 1710;
    Jonathan, b. Aug. 22, 1712.

    Joshua, the father, was an original member of the church in Framingham, and chosen deacon at its organization. "He was active and influential in town affairs;" "a man of decided convictions and earnest piety."

    Phinehas [Hemenway], his son, was the first native-born son of Framingham to graduate at college (Harv. Coll., 1730); and was elected master of the grammar school at the close of his senior year, and taught one year. He was ordained as the first minister of Townsend, Oct., 1734, and his ministry continued twenty-seven years. He died May 20, 1760, aged 55.

    Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts was first known as Danforth’s Farms. In 1701 the  Framingham Church was organized with the Rev. John Swift as the town's first minister. In 1706 the town hired its first schoolmaster and in 1716 the first schoolhouse was built.

    The Descendants of Major Samuel Lawrence of Groton, Massachusetts with Some Mention of Allied Families: With Some Mention of Allied Families by Robert Means Lawrence published by Riverside Press, 1904

    Joshua [Hemenway], who was baptized April 9, 1643, and who d. at Roxbury in 1716. Joshua m. (first), in 1668, Joanna Evans. He m. (second) Mary, who died in 1703, and his third wife was Elizabeth Weeks, who survived until 1737.

    Their son Joshua was born Sept. 15, 1668. His first wife, Margaret, d. in 1694, and his second wife was Rebecca, by whom were most of his children. Joshua Hemenway, Jr., removed from Roxbury to Framingham in 1693. He was for many years a prominent man in the affairs of the church and town. His interest in religion led him to sympathize with the "Great Awakening," and he was one of the founders of the Second Church of Framingham.

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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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