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Welcome to our site...
... now includes over 8,200 Individuals in over 2,870 Families!

This is our heritage, a record of our ancestors and cousins. You can view our family tree as a subscriber on or for free on

Don't forget to check out the Interesting Facts for stories buried between the lines of this family tree or visit our Places page for information about the towns and countries of our ancestors.  We also are slowly adding PHOTOS - check out the Family Albums or the Events page or pay a respectful visit to the Virtual Graveyard. Video clips of interest are posted on YouTube at under Syiek. You may also visit the Syiek family website at

Please excuse errors and omissions! Send any corrections, updates and suggestions by e-mail to:


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The background music is from Joe Syiek's musical play
The Golden Dream


As one might imagine, buried within this genealogy are many interesting facts and
 tales of human interest. Some of them are more clearly illuminated here. If you have
any other great stories to share, send them by e-mail to: 

Famous Relatives
Hiding in the branches of our family tree you will find:
Name Claim to Fame Relationship
Clara Barton Founder of the American Red Cross 6th Cousin, 5 times removed
Richard the Lionhearted The Great Crusader 24th Great-Granduncle
Madonna Actress/Singer 8th Cousin, once removed
Ernest Hemingway Novelist 8th Cousin, 4 times removed
Emily Dickinson Poet 6th Cousin, 5 times removed
Rebecca Towne Nurse Hung as a witch, Salem Village, MA, July 19, 1692 11th Great-Grandaunt
Mary Towne Estey Hung as a witch, Salem Village, MA, Sept. 22, 1692 11th Great-Grandaunt
Sarah Towne Cloyce Accused as a witch, Salem Village, MA, Sept. 1692 11th Great-Grandaunt
John Brown Patriot (killed in the Battle of Lexington, April 19, 1775) 2nd Cousin, 8 times removed
Charlemagne Holy Roman Emperor 38th Great-Grandfather
and 3 U.S. Presidents! Can you guess who they are?

Give Up? Click Here

President  9th Cousin, 3 times removed
Give Up? Click Here President  9th Cousin, once removed
Give Up? Click Here President 10th Cousin
The Story of Bastogne
Caught in the "Valley of Death" in World War II, Joseph Charles Syiek, came upon the Stations of the Cross carved in marble on a forest hillside and followed them to safety while many of his comrades perished. Forty years later, his son, Joe, returned to Belgium and rediscovered the same unmarked stones deep in the Ardennes Forest.


William Taylor
William Taylor was born 1644 in England. At age 11, he embarked aboard the ship Speedwell at Gravesend, England, arriving in Boston, MA on May 27, 1656. He became a resident of Marlborough, MA and first married Mary Johnson who died in childbirth on December 11, 1672. Their son, Samuel Taylor, died a month later on January 31, 1673.

William Taylor next married Hannah Merriam of Concord, MA. They had one son, Eleazer born April 11, 1678 and then Hannah also died in childbirth on January 21, 1680. The baby, William, died a little more than a year later on May 16, 1681.

William Taylor married again, this time to Mary Cheevers on November 28, 1683. Their first child, Mary, was born December 6, 1684. but died only two months later on February 4, 1685. After this however, William and Mary finally went on to have six more children, one of whom, Elizabeth, born August 1, 1688, married Daniel Rice.


The Wards
William Ward, born May 15, 1603 in Warrington, Lancastershire, England and his wife Elizabeth came to America sometime between 1636 and 1638, as part of the Puritan migration. They had eleven children, among them six daughters three of whom were Behiah, Deborah and Hannah.

Behiah Ward married Daniel Rice (son of the above mentioned Daniel Rice and Elizabeth Taylor) on Jan 10, 1681. They had a son Daniel (1684-1734), who had a daughter Hannah (1714-1796), who married Ephraim Smith (1698-1790) and they had a daughter, Catherine Smith (1765-1838).

Deborah Ward married John Johnson on Nov, 19 1657. They had a son Daniel (1675-1721), who had a son Daniel (1709-1763), who had a son Stephen (1750-1807), who married Catherine Smith (on Nov 28, 1793).  They had a daughter, Catherine Johnson (1796-?).

Hannah Ward married Abraham Howe on Mar 26, 1657. They had a daughter Sarah (1672-1746) who married Joseph Stratton (1666-1732), they had a daughter Elizabeth (1710-1800), who married Abraham Temple (1708-1798), they had a son Joseph (1732-1796), who had a son Joseph (1762-1838), who had a son Ethan (1792-?), who married Catherine Johnson (on Feb 24, 1821).

Ethan Temple and Catherine Johnson had a daughter Nancy Maria Temple (1822-?) who married William Wellington (1818-?), they had a son Charles (1852-?) who had a son William (1872-1947), who had a daughter Florence, Alice and Celia. You know the rest...


A long history of the interweaving of these families begins with Edmund Rice and Thomas Brigham, the first men of these families in North America. After the death in 1618 of his first wife, Thomasine Frost, Edmund married Mercy Hurd Brigham, widow of Thomas Brigham. Henry Rice, the eldest son of Edmund and Thomasine, had a daughter Mary who married Thomas Brigham, the eldest son of Thomas and Mercy. They had a son Nathan who married Elizabeth Howe; they had a son Nathan who married Dinah Rice, a daughter Hannah who married Jabez Rice, and a son Thomas who married Sarah Stratton, daughter of Joseph Stratton and Sarah Howe. Meanwhile, Samuel Brigham, another son of Mercy, married Elizabeth Howe, sister to the aforementioned Sarah Howe who married our Joseph Stratton. Samuel Brigham and Elizabeth Howe's son Jedidiah Brigham ended up marrying Bethiah Howe, daughter of Joseph Howe, son of Abraham Howe and Hannah Ward. Peter Rice, a son of Thomas Rice whose brother Edward is the father of our Daniel Rice also married Rebecca Howe, sister to the afore-mentioned Elizabeth and Sarah. Are you keeping this all straight?? One more thing: to further complicate matters, it seems that there were two unrelated Howe families settled in the area, both of their ancestors having come separately from England. But, it turns out that we are related to both of them! The first above-mentioned Daniel Smith married Lucy Howe, daughter of Daniel the son of Josiah the son of John and Mary (This was the Howe family that founded and operated for several generations the Red Horse Inn in Sudbury, later memorialized in a poem by Longfellow and known to us today as "The Wayside Inn"). Suffice it to say, there were numerous other marriages between these families throughout the years.


Close Connections
As mentioned above, the families that settled this country often shared deeply held religious convictions and developed close ties with one another. Some other interesting connections in our family tree include:

Mary Dix (1639-1678), first wife to Abraham Browne (1640-1667) AND second wife to Samuel Rice (1834-?). Both of these men were sons of two of our 12th great-grandfathers: Abraham was the son of Abraham Browne (1584-1660) and brother to Jonathan Browne (1635-1691 ) our 11th great grand-father. Samuel was the son of Edmund Rice (1594-1663) and brother to Edward Rice (1622-1712), another 11th great grand-father.


How Many of Those Do We Have?
With over 7.500 names in our family tree, we have barely begun to scratch the surface of identifying all of our direct ancestors. The table below shows how many grand-parents each successive generation gives us. And that number doesn't include other relatives like cousins, uncles, aunts, spouses and spouses parents and siblings, all of whom we are including in our tree! If you can help us find any of our missing grand-parents, or any relatives for that matter, we'd love to hear from you!!
Total Known Missing % Known
Parents 2 2 0 100.0%
Grand Parents 4 4 0 100.0%
Great-Grand Parents 8 8 0 100.0%
2nd Great-Grand Parents 16 16 0 100.0%
3rd Great-Grand Parents 32 21 11 65.6%
4th Great-Grand Parents 64 25 39 39.1%
5th Great-Grand Parents 128 35 93 27.3%
6th Great-Grand Parents 256 38 218 14.8%
7th Great-Grand Parents 512 54 458 10.5%
8th Great-Grand Parents 1,024 76 948 7.4%
9th Great-Grand Parents 2,048 93 1,955 4.5%
10th Great-Grand Parents 4,096 99 3,997 2.4%
etc., etc., etc.


Speaking of Great-Grandparents
Ephraim Smith and Mary Smith were brother and sister and both of them are our 9th great-grandparents! No, they didn't marry each other... but here's how it happened:

Ephraim (1663-) married Mary Ramsdell; their son Ephraim (1698-1790) married Hannah Rice; their son, Daniel Smith (1733-1811) married Lucy Howe.

Mary (1658-1726) married John Towne; their daughter, Mary Towne married James Cloyes; their daughter, Esther (1702-1751) married Daniel Howe, their daughter, Lucy Howe (1736-1802) married Daniel Smith. 

This meant that Daniel Smith and Lucy Howe were 2nd cousins, once removed. They were the parents of Catherine Smith who married Stephen Johnson, whose daughter Catherine Johnson...(etc., etc., etc., see above)


More Kissin' Cousins
Another notable name on our family tree is that of William Shattuck. Among William's children were three daughters, Susanna, Mary and Abigail.

Mary married Jonathan Brown and their granddaughter Lydia Brown married Jonathan Hastings; their daughter Lydia married Zachariah Smith; their daughter Mary married Silas Hemenway; their daughter Susanah married Joseph Stratton Temple; they had a son Ethan, the aforementioned father of Nancy Maria Temple.

Abigail married Jonathan Morse; their daughter Hannah married Ebenezer Wellington: they were the great, great grandparents of the William Wellington that married Nancy Maria Temple.

Susanna was the oldest of William Shattuck's children and she married three times. She had seven children by her first husband who was Joseph Morse, brother of Abigail's husband Jonathan. Second she married John Fay and they had four children. Her last husband was Thomas Brigham, the first husband of Mary Rice, granddaughter of Edmund!


MAP of Massachusetts counties:

The French Connection
Jacques Poissant dit LaSaline was born in the Diocese of Saintes, the capital of the Saintonge region of the Bourg Marrennes in France. Saints and Saintonge get their name, not from the Saints of the church, but from the Santon tribe that once inhabited this area. Julius Caesar estimated that the Santons committed 12,000 men to fight against his troops, however, he prevailed and a thriving Gallo-Roman city known as Mediolanum (crowned place) grew up there. Today, the ancient capital of the Santons attracts large numbers of tourists drawn by its heritage and the renowned "Académies Musicales" festival. Saintes boasts a population of 25,000 and the surrounding region is known as Charente-Maritime.  Back to Jacques - he became a French mariner who was sent to New France (the Quebec - Montreal  area) in the late 1600s. After his discharge, he married and settled along the banks of the St. Laurence River in Canada. His descendants migrated to many states in the United States and many are still living in Canada. In addition to our ancestor Marie Salomee Poissant who married Joseph Blanchard, another famous descendant of Jacques is: Madonna! 

To see where Saintes is situated in France click here.
For info on the French-Canadian immigration to the US click here.

If you make it all the way through the family tree posted here, you may want to visit some of the following sites that have more detail on the families linked to ours:
Famille Poissant Family Wellingtons in North America
The Palgrave Society The Ancestry of Thomas Hastings Descendants of Ralph Hemenway
Descendants of William Shattuck Fay Family Genealogies
Roots of the Sixty Colonists The Life of Charlemagne 
Salem Witch Trials
The Edmund Rice Association  and  Descendants of Edmund Rice
Genealogy of the US Presidents  we are related to three, can you guess which ones?
The Genealogy of Diane Yvette Grenier Goyette  our LeBoeuf cousins
Directory of Royal Genealogical Data  our links to the Kings & Queens of England & Wales
McGlaughlin's Genealogy   WOW! 27,659 individuals, 10,497 families including Ashby and ap Rhys