It became apparent to me after seriously searching the sources of numerous Storer records handed down to me by grandmother, Lydia Storer Hatcher, that she had tried to connect her Storer ancestors of Falmouth, Maine with a much larger Storer clan in Kennebunk, Maine. There appears to be no connection. A number of years ago while in Salt Lake City on business I visited the Family History Library and soon found records of my Hatchers back ten generations, or so I thought. I hadn't done any better than Grandma did. The idea that this was going to be easy soon faded. This hobby would have to wait until I retired.
This family history began with the Hatcher branch of the family who had come from England and settled in southern Virginia. At that time it was generally assumed that these Hatchers were the only Hatchers of record to settle in America in the early 1600's. This family was numerous and so were the records. Foremost among them was William, called "the Immigrant", who was born about 1614 at Lincolnshire, England and who settled along the James River in southern Virginia in 1635. He was from a long line of Hatchers, supporters of the Church of England, who were "to the Manor born", so to speak, the Manor being at Careby, Lincolnshire.
The records at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City were helpful, but also turned out to be misleading. The Library displays a warning that one should not take the information in their files verbatim, but verify it elsewhere. How true!
It soon developed that there were two Hatcher family lines in Virginia and their records were mixed together. A number of researchers had mistakenly connected these two Hatcher lines, but the dates and some names didn't add up. After some time spent trying to connect our family to this southern Virginia line, it became clear that our line and the southern branch weren't related.
Fortunately I found records of another William Hatcher in that time period who was born about 1704 at Bucks Co., Pennsylvania and, discovered that our family records did fit perfectly with this William. He arrived in Loudoun Co., in northern Virginia, about 1740 The records of this William and his family are well documented in various records of the Friends (Quaker) Meetings where they were members or had previously been affiliated. Quakers were of a much different social class than those who settled in southern Virginia.
The spelling of surnames has not remained constant over time. In earlier times many of our ancestors did not have surnames or spoke a language other than that spoken by the record keeper, or were illiterate and couldn't tell a record keeper how their names should be spelled. In addition people changed or anglicized their surnames as a result of war or to fit better in the countries in which they settled.
From this William, going back in time, it appears that there is a change in the name. The name in some of the handwritten documents at the time appears to be Thatcher, but could be read as Hatcher. Some time before 1730 the name became established as Hatcher in Pennsylvania. I haven't learned much about William's father, Joseph , or about his grandfather Richard's beginnings in England. However Richard Thatcher received 1000 acres from William Penn. He and those Quakers who came to Philadelphia were a part of William Penn's "Holy Experiment". In this family history you'll read more about the name and and where it leads us.
This is where I seriously began my family search about ten years ago, eventually .leading to the printing of a few copies of my ancestral history for the immediate family. From Whence.... represents the effort of a great many kindred souls. I don't claim to have done all the research, nor am I able to verify all that you see. I've had lots of help. This web site gives me the opportunity to express my thanks and share with those "cousins", friends and family members who have contributed to the contents of this book and whom perhaps I would otherwise be unable to acknowledge.. Without your help it would not have been possible to locate, collect and organize much of this information. My gratitude also to friends who patiently helped this novice learn some of the ins-and-outs of using the computer..
Especially I thank daughter Margaret for her continuing
and for helping me learn to use "Word" when my genealogy programs
failed me; and also for designing the logo and editing the photo
of the book.
To my wife Ellen but for her encouragement, advice and forbearance this story of her ancestors-in-law would not exist.
It is lovingly inscribed to my descendants: Mary Kate, Margaret Ann, Becky Suzanne and Abigail Claire.
My appreciation to family who shared pictures and letters and urged me to continue the project.
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