I want to look a bit further into the ancestry of the Ayers family.
Amy Cowell's mother was written about a few years ago, when I was tracing the oldest matriarchs I could find. Look HERE for that post including Agnes Harvey Cowell Snell (1617-1681). I can't find any real records that tie her to the Thomas Harvey who also lived in Portsmouth NH, apparently in the same neighborhood, which is recorded in The descendants of Charles Glidden of Portsmouth and Exeter, New Hampshire. This is apparently a publication from 2005 by Ancestry.com. (And the source of it was - Original data: Chamberlain, George Walter,. The descendants of Charles Glidden of Portsmouth and Exeter, New Hampshire. Boston: unknown, 1925.) It says on page 44, under Gliddens, that...
Mr. Thomas Harvey was settled at Portsmouth as early as 1664 having married a daughter of David Kelley of Boston. Mrs. Agnes Cowell was the widow of Edward Cowell whose home on the water front stood about thirty feet from Charles Gliddens "shop." ...the neighborhood in which Charles Glidden resided in Portsmouth from about 1662 to 1668, contained the most prominent men in New Hampshire..."Since Agnes Harvey had married Edward Cowell in 1640, (or possibly 1645) probably in Suffolk MA, and they raised their 4 children in Portsmouth, this quote above only substantiates a bit of their life that took place on the waterfront until Edward's death in 1677. So though Mr. Gliddens left around 1668, Agnes wasn't a widow until 1677....thus whoever wrote the information given above wasn't very particular about her married status at the time he described, but relied upon his knowledge that she became widowed.
These dates are based on probate records. The people in Portsmouth apparently wanted to keep track of the property of the Cowells, which then went to Amy Cowell Sherburne Ferber Ayers. Incidentally I just read the original record of an inventory of Agnes Snell's estate which was taken in Dec. of 1681, and in May of 1682 was witnessed by Jethro Ferber (the son-in-law of Agnes Snell.)
Don't you wonder if the property might have had some influence in how widow Agnes Cowell married at age 64 just before she died that year, in 1681, and then her new husband apparently died that year as well? We'll never know probably, but I'm pretty sure a widow could keep her own property if it was willed to her by her husband.
And now I'm very curious about this Charles Gliddens and what was his "shop?" Time to go searching... (blacksmith, it says in the below document.) Don't miss the footnote which speaks of
Ah, I've found the original edition of that source which confused Mrs. Edward (Agnes) Cowell as being a widow in 1640. It seems that citation came first from Brewster's Rambles about Portsmouth, 1859.
So I'm including these 2 pages of this wonderful find. At least to me it's wonderful to see how people were interested in these documents, and thus preserved that information over the centuries...it was also again published in 1925. Pg. 44 (below) is where he speaks of Agnes Cowell.
I haven't got much to connect Agnes to Thomas Harvey, who at least was a neighbor in Portsmouth. So until I find who her parents REALLY were, I'm going to see if there's anything to suggest that she was really Agnes Harvey before marrying Edward Cowell.
However, my Ancestry chart information says her father. Thomas Harvey was born before 1595 in England and died after 1650. The Glidden document says he married a daughter of David Kelly of Boston, and settled in Portsmouth in 1664. This would put him closer to Agnes' age than that of her father.
Since Agnes had died before her husband's (Cowell) estate was probated, in 1682, her daughter Amy and then husband Jethro Ferber were to care for her youngest son, by order of the court. The inventory of the estate had been provided at Edward Cowell's death in 1677, but upon Agnes' death in 1681, the courts did a probate, though she also had left a will. They said Amy and Jethro Ferber were to care for and educate Amy's youngest brother, Samuel Cowell until he was 14. This was decided in April of 1682.
Why didn't Edward Cowell, Jr. the oldest son have this responsibility? He had married and moved to the Boston area by the time his youngest brother Samuel was born. The court had no jurisdiction in Boston, is my guess...but there are numerous reasons possible. One might have been that Amy and Jethro Furber/Ferber were there and wanted to raise her brother. They also had their own baby in 1682. And then Jethro died that year. Or maybe not. One source gives that as his death year.
Another source doesn't have a year, and is questionable. But I don't think I'll go into it now. It gave him different parents' names and was written in 1905 by a clerk of the same name as the supposed mother of Jethro. Only 200 some years later.
Amy remarried within a couple of years and had 2 more children, one of which became my great times 6 grandmother.