A Phantom Margaret Luce

I don’t know how to understand how these fables have developed.

The introductory problem is that some researchers attribute Abraham Luce and Cycely (Darke) Luce with a daughter Margaret.

Parish records for Horton, the home of this family, show Abraham and Cycely were married in 1604 and had children Abraham (1605), Israel (1605), and John (1608).

Many Luce researchers will recognize this Israel instantly. He’s often claimed as the father of Henry Luce, immigrant to colonial Massachusetts. There’s no direct evidence but some researchers believe the circumstantial evidence makes the relationship probable.

Anyway, no Margaret.

Yet a Margaret, supposed daughter of this couple, is claimed as an ancestor by two different families in conflicting scenarios. That in itself seems quite a feat for someone for whom there is no evidence anyway.

Margaret is claimed as:

  • Wife of Isaac Wells, the immigrant to Barnstable, Massachusetts
  • Wife of John Harris, of Sandon, Essex

She can’t be both. There’s no evidence she was either. But here she is spread across our Internet world:

Margaret and John Harris were (supposedly) married 15 February 1620 in Sandon, Essex. That’s 160 miles from Horton. If John Harris’ wife was really a Luce it is far more likely she belonged to a Luce family in or near Sandon.

Margaret and Isaac Wells were married, say about 1620, probably near his home at Welches Dam, Cambridgeshire. That’s 170 miles from Horton. Here again, if Isaac’s wife was really a Luce it is far more likely she belonged to a Luce family in or near Welches Dam.

And this doesn’t begin to deal the problems of estimated ages in these different versions.

Someone will have to get serious about this problem and do some comprehensive clean up across the Internet. In the meantime, these lines should be treated with extraordinary caution.

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