Photo Album: Howland and Gorham Descendants (part 1)

Introduction: In this article, Melissa Davenport Berry continues her series about the founders of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and their descendants, showing photos of Howland and Gorham descendants. Melissa is a genealogist who has a website, americana-archives.com, and a Facebook group, New England Family Genealogy and History.

The vast collection of the Nantucket Historical Association (NHA) contains a plethora of old photographs and relics which link to the ancestral lines of Desire (Howland) Gorham, daughter of Mayflower passengers John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, who married John Gorham.

Gorham Hussey and Lydia Macy

One of my favorite images in the NHA collection is a photogravure print reproduced in a painting by artist Alexander Seaverns entitled A Nantucket Grandmother, depicting the island’s old Quaker lifestyle.

Illustration: “A Nantucket Grandmother,” by Alexander Seaverns. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Illustration: “A Nantucket Grandmother,” by Alexander Seaverns. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.

The woman elder is knitting in a rocking chair by a fireplace. There is a cat sitting at her feet in the foreground with fireplace, spinning wheel, and cupboard in the background.

The subject is Mrs. Lydia Hussey (1798-1885), born Lydia Macy, daughter of Job and Lydia (Gardner) Macy. She married Gorham Hussey (1797-1879), son of George Gorham and Lydia (Chase) Hussey. Gorham Hussey’s journal is housed at NHA.

Gorham Hussey is a 6th generation descendant of John and Desire (Howland) Gorham:

  • through their son John Gorham Jr., who married Mary Otis;
  • their son Stephen Gorham married Elizabeth Gardner;
  • their daughter Susanna Gorham married Daniel Paddock;
  • their daughter Deborah Paddock married George Hussey;
  • their son George Gorham Hussey married Lydia Chase;
  • their son is Gorham Hussey.

Gorham and Lydia (Macy) Hussey lived at 13 Vestal Street in Nantucket, Massachusetts. The house was built around 1820, the same year their twin daughters Mary and Martha Hussey were born. Mary never married and Martha is the third wife of William McKeel, son of Jesse Mckeel and Amy Quimby.

Photo: 13 Vestal Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Photo: 13 Vestal Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.

Other children born to Gorham and Lydia (Macy) Hussey include:

  • Susan Hussey (1822-1889), married William R. Gardner (1823-1865), son of Benjamin and Rachel (Folger) Gardner. Their children: Lydia M. Gardner (1845-1908), never married; Emily Gardner (1848-1883), never married; Nelson Gardner (1850-1871), never married; and George Gorman Gardner (1853-1933), married Clara Joy Coyle (1869-1944), daughter of Thomas George and Anastasia Briget (Gauthier) Coyle, and left descendants.
  • Captain George Gorham Hussey (1823–1852), married Avis Myrick Hussey (1829-1906), daughter of Captain John Hussey and Eliza Myrick. They had three daughters: Rebecca Chase Hussey (1847-1911), married artist and photographer Henry Sherman Wyer, son of Charles and Mary Jane (Coleman) Wyer; Susan Elizabeth Hussey (1852-1927), married New York lawyer John E. Roe, son of Samuel T. and Lauraett (Heath) Roe; and Eliza Myrick Hussey (1850-1939), never married.
Photo: Rebecca Chase (Hussey) Wyer. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Photo: Rebecca Chase (Hussey) Wyer. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.

Captain George Gorham Hussey was master of the packet schooner Heroine that sailed between New Orleans, Gulf Coast ports, and Panama in the late 1840s and early 1850s. In 1850 the ship was detained by the Spanish government under suspicion of smuggling arms into Cuba.

Another drama for Captain Hussey was his involvement in a mutiny case involving the American brig Henry Buck, whose Captain David Woodside was threatened with mutiny by four of his crew.

According to this newspaper report, Captain Hussey assisted Captain Woodside, brought him on board the Heroine, and placed the mutineers in irons until the ship reached safe port. Captain Hussey provided evidence and testimony in the case.

An article about George Hussey, Republic newspaper 13 February 1850
Republic (Washington, D.C.), 13 February 1850, page 3

Captain Hussey’s son-in-law, Henry S. Wyer, gifted a painting of the famous schooner.

Illustration: “The Packet Schr. Heroine, Geo. G. Hussey Master, bound for Chagres, March 22nd, 1850.” Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Illustration: “The Packet Schr. Heroine, Geo. G. Hussey Master, bound for Chagres, March 22nd, 1850.” Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
  • Hepsibeth Chase Hussey (1827-1908), a Quaker educator who worked with Quaker abolitionist Emily Howland to build the Sherwood School, known later as the Emily Howland School.
Photo: Hepsibeth Chase Hussey. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Photo: Hepsibeth Chase Hussey. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
  • Elizabeth Macy Hussey (1832-1833), died young.

My last photo for today is this ambrotype of cousins (left to right): Emily Gardner (1848–1883), daughter of William R. and Susan (Hussey) Gardner; and Rebecca C. Hussey, daughter of George G. and Avis M. Hussey, married Henry S. Wyer.

Photo: (left to right) Emily Gardner and Rebecca Hussey. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.
Photo: (left to right) Emily Gardner and Rebecca Hussey. Credit: Nantucket Historical Association.

Stay tuned for more Howland scions.

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Note on the header image: flag of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Credit: NuclearVacuum; Wikimedia Commons.

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