Re: What's the Evidence That the Two Marthas Were One?
I believe that the reference in Thomas Bliss's will to Nicholas Ide's son Nathaniel is what it appears to be, and that the problem lies in the birth date recorded for Nathaniel.
The earliest Rehoboth birth records, organized by family, appear on the last several pages of the first volume of Rehoboth town-meeting records [FHL film #562,558 (uncatalogued)]; none of them is dated later than 1669.These birth records are repeated in the first Rehoboth vital records volume, where all the birth records are again organized by family [FHL film #562,559 (restricted)].Any subsequent births in those families with children recorded in the town-meetings volume are recorded only in the vital-records volume.We may deduce, therefore, that the first volume of Rehoboth vital records was begun no earlier than 1669.
Even though all ten of Nicholas Ide's children were born by 1665, their births are recorded only in the vital-records volume, where Nathaniel's birth appears as 11 November 1647.The obviously retrospective nature of the entire list, however, raises the possibility that his birth date was misreported to the town clerk.One might instead consider the possibility of scribal error, if it weren't for the fact that five of the ten Ide children's birth records contain only the month and year.It therefore appears that the informant's memory was deficient.
I think it's safe to say that the birth date recorded for Nathaniel Ide is incorrect, and that he was born soon before Thomas Bliss made his will, rather than soon after.