What's the Evidence That the Two Marthas Were One?
At the time of my initial GenForum posting on this matter (7 Feb. 2002), I was obviously unaware of the article--published ca. 1999-2000 in the Bliss Family History Society's bi-annual magazine, BLISS--that Grace presents.Two days later, however, I posted the followup message to which Grace's is a reply, indicating that I had been informed of the existence of Martha Bliss's baptismal record and presenting reasons why it didn't affect my conclusion.
I have since seen both the BLISS magazine article and the baptismal record (film) to which it refers.The latter does indeed establish that the child of Thomas and Dorothy (Wheatley) Bliss baptized at Daventry on 8 December 1622 was not a son Nathaniel but a daughter Martha.It is highly inappropriate, however, to assume that the Martha born in England to the eventual Thomas1 Bliss of Rehoboth was the woman of that forename who became the wife of Nicholas Ide.Martha is far too common a name to jump to such a conclusion, and there is no independent evidence establishing that the two Marthas were one; there is, moreover, significant circumstantial evidence suggesting that they were not (see my previous postings in this thread).
Grace's presentation of the article without comment and the wording of her subject line give the impression that the issue has been settled in favor of Thomas Bliss's daughter Martha's being Nicholas Ide's wife.This is not the case.Slightly over a year ago, I debated the issue at length by e-mail with Tom Bliss, publisher/editor of BLISS and, I believe, author of the article presented by Grace.Grace had put me in touch with Tom after I presented my arguments to her; I, in turn, provided her with CCs of my messages to him.(All of which adds to the inexplicability of her posting.)As a result of Tom's and my correspondence, he published in BLISS (last December, I think) a summary of my arguments.(I hope he followed up last June with a few minor corrections.)He and I have each moved from entrenched positions on opposite sides of the question to one of agreement that it remains to be established whether or not Martha (Mrs. Nicholas) Ide was Thomas Bliss's daughter.(In my heart of hearts, I still doubt it, but I do acknowledge that it is possible.)