I have been telling you about some of the family connections I have made recently, and how surprised I have been at just who some of these people are. It isn’t always about them being famous, but rather about what amazing things they have done in their lives. So often we don’t hear what our family members have accomplished…mostly because they are too humble to really share all of their accomplishments. Recently, I made a family connection with the Noyes side of my husband, Bob Schulenberg’s family. This would be Bob’s grandmother, Nettie Noyes Knox’s side of the family. The connection was one that in all reality, I stumbled on. I had been searching for information…over a year ago, and I had copied the web addresses of several sites I thought might help, and put them into a Word document. There they sat for far too long. Finally, I found the time to check on one of them, and found the email for Paul Noyes. What an amazing find that was!!
Paul has blessed me with information that I hadn’t found, and I sent him some pictures I had of Noyes family members, to add to his tree. Then he sent back more information on one of the pictures I sent him. He had no idea where that would lead…but I knew, because I had been thinking about a story about him and his family since I received his first response to my email. I love making these new connections, but some of them turn into a great cousinship and friendship too, and those are the most special ones, for sure. I had sent a picture of Eugene Noyes Jr in uniform…but Paul knew from looking at the uniform, that the uniform was from World War II. He knew this because of the 15th Army Air Forces shoulder patch on the uniform. I suppose I might have caught that too, since I had seen my dad’s 8th Army Air Forces shoulder patch, but it was simply something I didn’t notice at all.
In my defense, I am not a retired after 22 years veteran…and Paul is. Well, that got my curiosity going again. I asked Paul to tell me about his service time. True to the form I have seen with most military men and women…a humble breed…Paul told me a little bit about what he did. He spent most of his 22 year Army career was as an Army aviator. He started out as an Airborne Ranger, then served in Vietnam in Special Forces, where he was wounded. While recovering from the wounds, he was selected for flight school and served in Army Aviation special ops. I did a little research on what Special Operations does exactly, and this is the summary I came up with, “Conduct global special operations missions ranging from precision application of firepower to infiltration, aviation foreign internal defense, exfiltration, resupply and refueling of SOF operational elements.” If you’re like me, that doesn’t clarify much. Upon further research, I found that much of what Special Operations did in Vietnam was to train groups of the Vietnamese Army so they can train the remaining army members. Of course, I am probably generalizing Special Operations to a large degree, and I will have to ask Paul to tell me more about it as soon as I have a chance.
After he was wounded, Paul’s entire career changed when he was selected to become an Army Aviator. Having worked with a pilot for over 18 years now, I have had the opportunity to fly…and I use the term loosely…a small 4 seater plane. Basically what I really did was steer it, and I didn’t do that so well, because it kept climbing, and had to be brought back to level. It was an opportunity given to me with no preparation, and I really enjoyed it. I think to a degree, that is what happened with Paul too. After being wounded, he was given an opportunity to switch gears and do something he never expected to do, and he excelled at it. That is an awesome career change, and one I look forward to hearing more about.
Of course, in a 22 year career, Paul was also building a family. He was married to his lovely wife, Elizabeth, who is an author, and after collaborating with 11 other authors on a book called “A Dozen Apologies”, she released her first book this past August, called “Imperfect Wings”. I look forward to reading both. Paul and Elizabeth have two children, daughter Shari and husband Jimmy Nardello, and their children Cameryn and Reid; and son Chris who is married to Dr Christina Noyes, and they have a son named Owen. I am really looking forward to getting to know these wonderful, new to me cousins as time goes on.
As I have been working through some of the hints on my Ancestry tree, I am amazed by the number of family members from varying sides of my family and my husbands family, who started their life in America, or moved early in their life in America, to the same places. I don’t know if they knew each other, or even if they were there at the same time, but the roots are there nevertheless. They may not have lived in the same town even, but sometimes it was close. One state that I just keep coming up with is Massachusetts. Who would have ever thought some of my roots would have come from Massachusetts?
Recently I started talking to a relative from my dad’s side of the family that was traced to me through DNA matching. We have been unable to connect our two trees yet, because of limited information back through the generations, but DNA doesn’t lie, and we both have Fuller relatives in our background…and both sides come from…you guessed it, Massachusetts. I have also been looking at the Shaw side of my mother’s family because of another recent connection in Ancestry, that I’m not yet sure is related or not. Nevertheless, once again, I have run into Massachusetts as their point of origin to the United States. In the Shaw family, we also find that we have a Mayflower connection, in the form of one Lieutenant John Shaw, who arrived in America on that ship.
Now, switch to my husband’s family, and you will find that the Noyes family, another connection I made recently, also hail from Massachusetts. I have known for some time now, that my husband, Bob Schulenberg, and I are cousins of varying degrees, depending on the side of the family you look at, and now I think I can understand how some of this might have come about. I think much of it can be traced back to Massachusetts. The connections don’t all trace there, but there are enough of them that it made me very curious about all those people who lived in Massachusetts way back then. Then I came across John Spencer, who is my 8th great grand uncle, and the Reverend James Noyes, who is Bob’s 7th great grandfather, both came over on a ship called the Mary and John, and were among the first settlers of Newberry, Massachusetts, so my suspicions are confirmed. That also brings in yet another side of my family…the Spencer side.
This will be a developing story, of course, because as I trace things further, and discuss more of the family history with these new found cousins, more information will come to light. Whenever I find these new connections, I get very excited, because you just never know where they are going to lead you. I had always through that most of my roots were in the Wisconsin/Minnesota area, but of course, that could not have been, because when our ancestors came to this country, they didn’t arrive in Wisconsin or Minnesota, but rather along the east coast, because that was the area of the nation that had been developed at that time. So in reality, I knew we came from the east coast, but Massachusetts…seriously!! I never would have guessed it.
The Noyes side of Bob’s family was a family of prominence. The American side of the family begins with the Reverend William Noyes who was born in England in 1568. While William remained in England all his life, two of his children and a distant cousin left England and immigrated to America, settling in the Massachusetts area. The occupations included ministers of the Gospel, doctors, and commissioned army officers. One interesting fact is that in nearly every generation, there were two siblings who married siblings from another family. I have seen this is many families, including my own, and it makes me wonder if part of the reason is that there were fewer people around with children of suitable age to marry the children of a family. This might have been the case, especially when families began to move out west. In the history of the Noyes family that points out these siblings marrying siblings of another family, I find that Dr James III married Ann Sanford, who was the daughter of Governor Peleg and Mary Sanford, and his brother, Colonel Thomas Noyes married Ann’s sister, Elizabeth Sanford. While this is a bit unusual, it does happen, and there is nothing wrong with it. The fact that it happened about once a generation is a bit more unusual, but I guess it could be that these siblings had similar taste in mates.
One of the main reasons that some of the Noyes men moved to American is the same as the reason that many of the first settlers came to America…religious differences with the Church of England. The United States has always been a country that prides itself of personal and religious freedoms. James, who is my husband, Bob’s 7th great grandfather, and who was born in England in 1608, married Sarah Brown, and they immigrated to America, and shortly thereafter, he became one of the founders of Newbury, Massachusetts, where he and his wife settled. He was a minister of the Gospel there for twenty years, and was very well liked in the area. His memory is still precious there to this day.
The Reverend James II, who is my husband, Bob’s 6th great grandfather, and who is the second son of James I and Sarah, followed in the footsteps of his dad, as a minister of the Gospel. His biggest claim to fame is that he bore an active part in the founding of Yale College, and his name was the first of “Ten of the principal ministers in the colony, nominated and agreed upon by general consent both of the ministers and people to stand as Trustees or Undertakers, to found, erect and govern a college.” He was selected to be one of the first trustees and founders of Yale. By this time he was an old man and lived in a remote part of the county, but his influence was considered essential to the undertaking. During his ministry he is noted to have baptized one thousand one hundred and seventy-six persons.
Deacon Noyes, who is the fifth son of Reverend James Noyes II, and Bob’s 5th great grandfather, married Dorothy Stanton, which is part of the reason I have to wonder in there is a connection between my dad’s half brother’s mother, Edna Stanton, and Bob’s family through Dorothy Stanton. My grandfather, Allen Spencer, and Edna Stanton Spencer had a daughter, who they named Dorothy, and that along with the name Stanton, gives one reason to wonder. I am encouraged a little bit in my search, in that the Noyes family kept good family records. I hope this will be a useful when it comes to a possible connection between the Stantons of the Noyes family, and the Stanton of the Spencer family. Whatever happens, I find that the Noyes family were honorable people of distinction. They were active in their communities, loved and respected, making them a great American family.