Re: What's the Evidence That the Two Marthas Were One?
I don't believe it is a transcription error but rather a case of misreporting to the town clerk.
From a previous message of mine in this thread: "That a marriage between Nicholas Ide and Martha Bliss occurred at Springfield in 1647 is a fabrication and a confused one at that. There were two, contemporary Thomas Blisses, one of Rehoboth (d. there between 7 Oct. 1647 [will] and 21 Oct. 1647 [estate inventory]), the other of Hartford, Conn. (d. there shortly before 14 Feb. 1650/1; his wife was Margaret Hulins [TAG 52(1976): 193-97, 60(1984): 202]). At least one of Hartford Thomas’s children was living at Springfield by 1646, and others followed. Thomas of Rehoboth and his children, on the other hand, never resided at Springfield." There is no support whatsoever for the 16 May 1647 marriage date one sees from time to time.
The most reliable transcription of Thomas Bliss's will and inventory appears in _The Mayflower Descendant_ 8(1906):85-87.Copied by the publication's editor, George Ernest Bowman, it has the date of the will as 7 8th month 1647 and that of the inventory as 21 8th month 1647; the eighth month, of course, was October (see below).Jonathan Bliss and Thomas "Willmore" made oath as to the truth of the inventory on 7 March 1647 [presumably Old Style].Probably in relation to Nicholas Ide's petition, dated 7 June 1648, for a child's portion of Thomas Bliss's estate, the will was also exhibited at the Plymouth Court held on 8 June 1649.In light of the foregoing, I see no reason to doubt that the will was written on 7 October 1647.
When numbered months are used in original records, Old Style dating is always assumed; the first month of the year was March.(Although often treated as synonymous, the terms _Old Style_ and _New Style_, on the one hand, and _Julian_ and _Gregorian calendar_, on the other, do not refer to the same things.Julian and Gregorian calendars pertain only to the length of the year, not to the day on which it begins.)The only possible confusion involving numbered months arises with certain dates in the "first month" [March] when the year is not double dated.Although most clerks regarded 25 March as the first day of the Old Style (or Annunciation calendar)--not Julian calendar--year, some used 1 March.But even if all of them had used 25 March, there's still the question of what year was intended for March dates prior to the 25th when the entire month is numbered as "first" and the year is not double dated.The eighth month, however, was October of the year written--period.
For details concerning Old and New Style dating and the proper treatment (then and now) of pre-1752 dates between 1 January and 24 March, see Donald Lines Jacobus, _Genealogy as Pastime and Profession_, 2nd ed. (Baltimore, 1968; repr. 1999 [paperback]), 109–13; “A Member Responds to ‘Ask a Librarian’ Question,” NEHGS eNews 6, no. 6, whole no. 152 (6 February 2004), online at ; Mike Spathaky, “Old Style and New Style Dates and the Change to the Gregorian Calendar: A Summary for Genealogists,” online at .