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What is our Warren connection?
Lydia (Warren) Betterley died 26 Nov 1839 at the age of 88, according to her gravestone. She married Thomas Betterley on 24 Dec 1772 in Boston, MA and is buried in the Betterley Cemetery in Newfane Twp, Windham Co, VT. The DAR lists her name as Warden, but the family has long insisted otherwise. Marge Howe found a letter supporting the Warren connection at Brooks Memorial Library in Brattleboro, VT.
According to the letter...
Lydia's parents have not been found, but the family says she was a cousin of General Joseph Warren, and that she was living in his family the day he was killed at Bunker Hill. His wife had died and he had several children, two of whom he had sent to Worcester to the Dix homestead for safekeeping.
The History of Charlestown states, "Lydia Warren of Wat., parents poor, taken into Joseph Lynde's family." Another source states that Joseph Lynde's daughter, Dorothy Lynde, married Elijah Dix of Worcester. It was to their home that the Warren children were sent during the seige of Boston.
Thomas Betterley served from Worcester under Captain Lovell, who may have been a brother-in-law of Lydia (Warren) Betterley. The marriage record indicates that Thomas and Lydia were married at the home of Thomas Betterley, Sr. on Pleasant Street, near Haymarket Square, Boston, MA on 24 Dec 1772 by Rev. Wm. Walter, Pastor of Trinity Church. Those present included Mr. & Mrs. James Lovell (formerly Mary Warren, later Mrs. Phillips). Also present were Abigail Warren (later Mrs. Green), Hannah Hutchinson, Hannah Raymond, and Benjamin Coleman. Boston marriage records indicate that James Lovell was married to Polly Warren on 30 Apr 1772 by John Hill, Justice of the Peace.
I have noticed that Mary and Polly are often used interchangeably, so these sources are not conflicting. Now We Are Enemies by Thomas J. Fleming states that the General sent his children to live with his mother in Roxbury. Perhaps some of his children were sent to each house. Can anyone answer this definitively? As for Captain Lovell being related, I believe there was more than one James Lovell. I haven't found what happened to him or when his wife was remarried to a Phillips.
The only Lydia Warren of even close to the right age that I've found reference to was baptized 10 Oct 1752. This from Genealogies of Families and Descendants of Early Settlers of Watertown MA by Henry Bond. This is within one year of the age on our Lydia's gravestone. This is her lineage and that of General Joseph Warren, according to one website:
- John Warren 1555-1613 & Elizabeth Scarlet d.1602 of Nayland, England
- John Warren* 1585-1667 [probably arrived 1630] & Margaret Bayley* 1587-1662
- John Warren* 1622-1702 & Michal Jennison* 1640-1713
- Samuel Warren* 1683-1759 & Lydia Cutting* d.1766
- Samuel Warren** b.1719 & Abigail Wing**
- Lydia Warren 1752-1839
- Peter Warren 1624-1704 & Sarah Tucker 1639-bef.1679
- Joseph Warren 1663-1729 & Deborah Williams d.1743
- Joseph Warren b.1696 & Mary Stevens
- General Joseph Warren 1741-1775
*Buried in the Old Burying Place (aka Arlington Street Cemetery) at Arlington & Mt. Auburn in Watertown, MA as shown below. **Perhaps these as well.
You can read more about this family here and here. Other notable descendants include Presidents James Garfield, George Bush, and George W. Bush. Among this Lydia's nine siblings were older sisters Mary and Abigail, for whom I've found no further information. You will note that Mary (Warren) Lovell and Abigail Warren were present at the Betterley-Warren wedding. Unless proven otherwise, I must state that we have found our Lydia Warren. Unfortunately, I cannot yet claim that Peter Warren was a brother of John Warren. Other sources disagree, so Lydia is not yet officially the General's cousin. They claim that Peter is an immigrant whose ancestry is unknown, but Lydia's lineage seems to hold true.
About General Joseph Warren
Before he was General Joseph Warren, he was Doctor Joseph Warren, a well-respected Boston physician. He was the first doctor in Massachusetts to institute a regular training course for young men who apprenticed themselves to him. He once saved the right hand of John Quincy Adams when a severe fracture of the forefinger caused other doctors to recommend amputation.
Dr. Warren gave the famous oration in memory of the Boston Massacre victims. He was also a good friend of Paul Revere, a leader of the Sons of Liberty, President of the Masschusetts Provincial Congress in the absence of John Hancock, and the man who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes on their famous rides. As stated in Now We Are Enemies, on the day after the Boston Tea Party, he and his good friend were mentioned in the street ballad:
"Our Warren's there and bold Revere With hands to do and words to cheer For liberty and laws."
We cannot say for certain whether they were among the "Indians", but it is probable. Joseph Warren received a commission as Major General. He arrived at Bunker Hill without any official orders, so he fought as a private and was shot in the back of the head by a British soldier who had recognized him as a rebel leader on their third and final assault. After the death of General Warren, Abigail Adams wrote to her husband, John, in Philadelphia:
"Not all the havoc and devastation they [the British] have made has wounded me like the death of Warren. We want him in the senate; we want him in his profession; we want him in the field. We mourn for the citizen, the senator, the physician and the warrior. When he fell, liberty wept."
Dr. Warren's wife had died n 1773, leaving four children. After he died, they were in uncertain circumstances until 1778. Then General Benedict Arnold, a friend of Dr. Warren while at Cambridge, contributed $500 for their education and talked congress into supporting them with half a major-general's pay until the youngest child was of age.
See the General Joseph Warren chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution to read more about him.
Counties, townships, and cities in several states are named for the General. Also, at least one tavern.
Read about the Battle of Bunker Hill at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Military Science Department.
Patrick and Geoffrey Dahling with Joseph Warren statue at Bunker Hill Monument
View the GEDCOM.
Got an Warren question? Visit the Warren Surname Board.
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