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Gillettes and the Seventh Day Baptist church

First; Who are the Seventh Day Baptists? While, as with most Baptists, rather than holding an over-arching "denominational" creed, each individual church writes its own statement of beliefs, and so some variety exists, still, it may be fairly said that unlike other "sabbatarian" groups (such as the Seventh Day Adventists) the Seventh Day Baptists are not Arminian or what some have termed "legalistic," but rather tend to be Calvinist (Reformed) in theology, like the majority of Baptists. One person expressed it by saying "They're the same as other Baptists except they think 'church day' should be on Saturday."

The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, 2001, says of the SDB church,

"Protestant church holding the same doctrines as other Calvinistic Baptists but observing the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath. In the Reformation in England the observance was adopted by many, and in the 17th cent. there were Seventh-Day Baptists among the followers of Oliver Cromwell. In America the first Seventh-Day Baptist church in the country was organized (1671) in Rhode Island. Their teaching and practice are closely related to the Brethren Church."

Now, as to the Gillettes: Historical sources place William Gillette in New Jersey and Connecticut in the early 1700s, and insist that he was a believer in the Saturday or "seventh day" sabbath; that is, going to church on Saturday rather than Sunday. By some it is claimed that William was from France, a Huguenot, who believed in the sabbath. Others say he was born in Wethersfield, CT, one of the sons of John Gillette and Sarah Tryon. By 1722 William was in Milford, CT, married to Elizabeth Welch. One of their children was Elisha, who grew up to become "Rev. Elisha Gillette," a minister in the Seventh Day Baptist church. It seems impossible to separate William from the early history of the "seventh day" movement in America, and his kin immediately after him from the Seventh Day Baptist denomination.

MORE RESEARCH IS NEEDED, INTO WILLIAM GILLETTE, WHO HE REALLY WAS, AND WHERE HE CAME FROM.

Below is some information gleaned from various sources, that will show the reader a little of what is already known:

Below is a quote about William Gillette, who is called "Rev. William Gillette, M.D.," from the book, "SEVENTH DAY BAPTISTS IN AMERICA PRIOR TO 1802" by Rev. L. A. Platts.

That quote, following, which says, "through his teaching Mr. Noble accepted the Sabbath doctrine" is of interest:

"December 23, 1671, they, with Stephen Mumford and wife, seven in all, entered into solemn covenant with each other, as the First Seventh-day Baptist church of Newport - the first church of that faith on the American continent. In the year 1684, only thirteen years after the organization of the first church of Newport, Abel Noble came to America and purchased a large tract of land in Ducks County, Pennsylvania, about twenty-five miles north of Philadelphia, and about twenty-five or thirty miles west of Trenton, N. J. It has been generally believed that Mr. Noble was a Seventh-day Baptist preacher in England. Data more recently discovered lead to the conclusion that this was a mistake. What his church connection was is not clear; but soon after his settlement in Pennsylvania he began to travel somewhat extensively in various sections of New Jersey, where he met the Rev. Thomas Chillingworth, an eminent Baptist preacher, who was believed to have organized the first Baptist church in New Jersey at Piscataway, near New Brunswick. By him Mr. Noble was baptized. At this time there were large numbers of Quakers in the vicinity of Philadelphia both in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Among, these there arose a dissension concerning the sufficiency of the "Inner Light" and the value of the Scriptures as the rule of faith and practice. This resulted in a division, large numbers embracing substantially the Baptist doctrine under the leadership of George Keith. Abel Noble appears to have been prominent among these people, where he seems to have had great influence.

"Not far from this time, while on a tour through East New Jersey, Mr. Noble met the Rev. William Gillette, M.D., from Saybrook, or Milford, Conn., who was a Seventh-day Baptist, and THROUGH HIS TEACHING Mr. Noble accepted the Sabbath doctrine and returned to his home to proclaim it.

"Through his labors a considerable number of the Keithian Baptists were converted to the Sabbath, concerning whom more will be said in the next chapter of this paper. In the last decade of the seventeenth century, Edmund Dunham was a deacon and licensed preacher in the Baptist church at Piscataway, New Jersey. In 1702 he took occasion to reprove a Mr. Bonham for performing labor upon the First day of the week. Whereupon Mr. Bonham challenged him for the proof that it was sin to labor on that day. Whether Mr. Bonham was a Sabbath-keeper or not is not clear; but the challenge caused Mr. Dunham to make a thorough investigation of the whole subject which resulted in his conversion to the Sabbath."

It should be noted here, that examining the (rootsandtribes) website surnames will show the reader the intermarriage of the Dunhams & Gillettes.

Farther on in the Platts document it mentions Oyster Pond (on Long Island) and the Gillette family, as follows:

"Besides these, churches were organized along this route of emigration, which have long since ceased to exist, but some of which contributed largely to the strength and growth of our people in other localities. Chief among these were Burlington, Conn., 1780, Bristol, Conn., sometimes called Farmington, 1790, and Oyster Pond, L. I., about 1790. Besides these organized churches, there were small groups of Sabbath-keepers, or families of lone Sabbath-keepers, all along this line. From Oyster Pond, Long Island, from Saybrook, Conn., where lived the Gillette family, and from Rhode Island, originated the church in Monmouth County, New Jersey, sometimes called the church of Squam. These nine churches, the result of the New England movement, were all in active existence at the time of the organization of the Conference and numbered, in all, about 1,200 members."

Farther on, while speaking of the Davis family, it mentions Gillette again,

"The first pastor was Eld. Jonathan Davis, who, together with several others of that name, was a descendant of a family of Davises, who came to this country from Glamorganshire, Wales, about 1649, and settled somewhere in New Jersey. Subsequently they lived on Long Island, then near Trenton, N. J.; thence they removed to Cohansey. Somewhere, probably in the course of this itinerary, they came in CONTACT WITH Sabbath-keepers, and most of them appear to have EMBRACED the Sabbath. It is believed that Eld. William Gillette, M. D., who was a Sabbath-keeping French Hugenot refugee, was THE MAN through whose influence this was brought about."

A line in Chapter 13 of "THE INCREDIBLE HISTORY OF GOD'S TRUE CHURCH" by Ivor C. Fletcher

reads

"An important local congregation of 'the Church of God' was established at Piscataway, New Jersey, in 1705. Edmund Dunham was its first pastor."

It says in Chapter IX

"Another church began through Piscataway as the mother church, at Oyster Pond, Long Island, with Elder Elisha Gillette. He joined the Piscataway church in 1769, but continued to live on Long Island. Upon request of the Piscataway church during its yearly meeting of 1786, Gillette was ordained by Elder William Bliss of Newport, Elder John Burdick of Hopkinton, and Elder Nathen Rogers (who in 1787 became pastor of Piscataway).

"Gillette soon organised a Sabbath church in Long Island, which in 1791 was recognized as a sister church of Piscataway. 22"

(The footnote reads 22. Footnote 22 refers to Sabbatarian Baptists in America, R.C. Nickels, page 20).

Some who were especially doctrinally opposed to "open" communion, or, allowing fellowship with "Sunday" people, have written that the demise of the church pastored by Rev. Elisha Gillette was BECAUSE of that (his allowing "Sunday" people through the doors). And perhaps it was. But one cannot help but ask, HOW those writers could KNOW what particular things led to the winding down of the church. In my research I have found no support for the assertion; merely statements made by writers years after the events, saying it.

Following is a case in point:

http://home.flash.net/~rwburks/communion.html

contained

The issue of "open" or "close" communion in the nineteenth century, by Bill Burks 6/13/97

1. Comments from the Baptist Missionary Magazine

The first periodical publication of the General Conference during this period, was The Seventh-Day Baptist Missionary Magazine. This magazine was published from August 1821 to September 1825. (Sanford p. 173)

There are several examples of the "restricted" communion view strongly held by the church at this time, in the pages of this magazine. The magazine speaks with open contempt for churches that practice "open" communion. It relates the story of the church at Oyster Pond N.Y. It says: "In 1791, a Seventh-day Baptist church was organized at Oyster Pond, on Long Island, in the state of N.Y. The leader of this church was Elisha Gillet, who came from Piscataway, 1789. But he soon began to receive members who observed the first day; from which circumstance, intestine difficulties arose, as might well be expected. This church has long since fallen to decay, and shared the portion of other churches that have followed that practice." (SDB Missionary Magazine Vol. 1:4 p. 127).

End quote from http://home.flash.net/~rwburks/communion.html

SLAVERY:

One of the aspects of the Seventh Day Baptists that I think deserves much more attention in studies is the SDB's anti-slavery stance, prior to the American Civil War. In some places that stance was a factor in the response of the community to the message of certain churches. Many people do not realize how deeply the institution of slavery was entrenched in New York state and on Long Island, where Elisha Gillette came in and attempted to establish an SDB church. Most people also do not know that the Gillette family itself, as a family, was intensely anti-slavery; passionately so, and in the days before the Civil War some of them were actively involved in the Underground Railroad and the Abolitionist Movement, long before it was "popular." In the years before the Civil War there was a difference between being merely anti-slavery and being abolitionist. "Anti-slavery" generally reflected one's philosophy on it, while "abolitionist" was used of those passionate enough about it to "put their money where their mouth was," activists, demanding that the institution of slavery be abolished immediately. Abolitionists were not only hated more intensely by the defenders of slavery than were those who were merely anti-slavery, but passionate abolitionists drew much criticism from anti-slavery people as well, who felt that the institution of slavery was too big of a Goliath to bring down all at once by direct challenge. The Gillettes in the main were outspoken, active abolitionists.

LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE:

Those sabbatarians who believed intensely in "closed communion" (not fellowshipping with Sunday-keepers) would naturally believe that letting "Sunday people" into the church was THE reason for the church "winding down," and they could probably never be convinced otherwise. But I think in this case that may be a tad too simplistic of a judgement. My research on the Gillettes has given me a close-up view of this family and its character traits. It is after all my family. I descend directly from the above-mentioned William, through his son, Rev. Elisha Gillette. I share the DNA, and, I believe, some of the traits. I took up genealogy on my family when I was only a kid. I was fully into it by about 1971. I "interviewed" family members and began to be the one in the family that all the stories and family tree info was given to. I had the privilege of living for three years with my grandparents, at a time when my great grandmother (in her 90s) was living in their home (she came to California in a covered wagon).

My vantage point of viewing and researching this family has convinced me that many of the strong traits I see in the family have been there in every generation. My own grandfather Gillette was a medical missionary to China, and his wife was a Pastor's daughter. I had the privilege of pulling stories out of my grandfather. He too lived til he was about ninety.

I am convinced that what historians and theologians have called "LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE" or "CHRISTIAN LIBERTY" has run in this line of Gillettes as a TRAIT, down through the generations. I have seen it, I share the same DNA and feel it, I have been TOLD it, and I have read it in things written by them and things written about them, and in things I dig out in my research. It is inescapeable: In every generation that I have any knowledge on, this Gillette line had as a dominant characteristic, "LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE."

What is my point? I have no doubt whatsoever that Rev. Elisha Gillette allowed "Sunday people" to attend his "seventh day" church. That has been written in the histories. But it is only said as a point of fact, and stops short of telling WHY. And I have a STRONG hunch that the Gillette devotion to "LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE" for the individual is WHY. And THAT is a topic that can be an entire of field of study by itself. Liberty of conscience broke the Waldensians and the Protestants free from control by Rome. Liberty of conscience broke the Puritans free from control by the Church of England. Liberty of conscience broke the Huguenots free from control by France. But, can any church, after it has broken free, THROUGH liberty of conscience, survive, if it continues to PERMIT liberty of conscience in those people who have gotten free? The predominant historical pattern in religion has been, break free of control and then re-institute control over the liberated. So it happens again: a group breaks free of THAT control. But then control is established on those who got free. Each group, after it flees control, then imposes control, using the excuse that their beliefs are true and must be defended. So eventually again another group breaks free of THAT control, and then goes on to re-implement control over their own group. Exactly the same premise is used every time, precisely the same claims, precisely the proclamation, that man must be free to obey his conscience under God. But then, just as precisely identical to the pattern, after a leader or group of leaders has got a bunch of people liberated, they begin to FORBID liberty of conscience. It is the story told in Orwell's Animal Farm. It was put in a song in the 1960s: "Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss. (each time) ... we get down on our knees and pray, that we don't get fooled again." The "new boss" fears the very power that set him and his people free, and so he does away with it. "If the people are FREE, people will dissent, and the church will fall apart." That is their fear. They fear it because that is in fact what got THEM free from the previous denomination, so they KNOW that liberty of conscience is a great power.

How many religious leaders are willing to let people KEEP the great thing that made their group free?

I do not know of a shining example of a group that has gotten free through LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE and has managed to allow liberty of conscience to LIVE in their group, and has also found the formula for the group to survive INTACT. But I do believe that many have tried. The ATTEMPT is usually made immediately upon the founding of a new "startup" group, while they are still fresh and idealistic. They make the ATTEMPT but do not have the FORMULA for it to succeed. Critics will blame the attempt itself, the attempt to maintain liberty of conscience. They are correct only in part, and that, with one glaring OMISSION. They omit the possibility that there is a FORMULA whereby liberty of conscience could be preserved in their religion, and the possibility that the groups that "failed" simply did not implement THAT formula that must be PART of the equasion, that which must ACCOMPANY liberty of conscience. Being either ignorant or unwilling to face what ADDITIONAL FORMULA must accompany liberty of conscience for it to work, they simply wipe out the liberty. But I think there is SOMETHING ELSE that needs to accompany liberty, something that likewise, the new leaders are not willing to implement in the "new regime."

In other words, I believe that SOMETHING OTHER than liberty of conscience is the REAL factor that makes a church fall apart, and religious leaders have been unwilling to speak of it.

But knowing this Gillette family line as I do, I have a STRONG hunch, that Rev. Elisha Gillette made the attempt at the "FORMULA." And, it goes FAR beyond "letting Sunday people in." It has MORE to do with trying to stay true to the principle of liberty of conscience, as opposed to being a controller. I think that the proponents of "closed communion" may be overlooking something great when they minimize and marginalize the matter and make it merely "mixing with Sunday people." That may have been allowed with something profoundly great at heart, involving the love of God, and faith that one truth need not perish in order for another truth to live. So, the historians have stated WHAT Rev. Elisha Gillette did, but perhaps they do not dare ask WHY.

Moving along:

In doing genealogical research on the Gillettes, one continually encounters additional Seventh Day Baptist connections.

__________________________

The following speaks of SDB Elder W. B. Gillette:

2/6/04 a site at

http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyallega/friend-nile.html

had

This Page is part of the Allegany County, New York GenWeb site.

Nile Village, Friendship, Allegany, New York

from Minard, John S., Allegany County and its People. A Centennial History of Allegany County, New York., W. A. Fergusson & Co., Alfred, N.Y., 1896, p. 720

In the early history of the town (Friendship) ... a postoffice was established here and was named "Nile" in deference to the wishes of the inhabitants, a large proportion of whom were Seventh-day Baptists. ... the inhabitants here have never sought prominence, and are in all respects a quiet, industrious, thrifty people. Nearly all are devotedly attached to the Seventh-day Baptist faith and live in strict conformity with their belief. ... The Seventh-day Baptist Church of Nile was organized chiefly through the efforts of Abraham Crandall. The first settlers of this faith came into the town in 1821, and in 1824 their religious society was formed. The first members were:

* Abraham Crandall, founder
* Samuel and Mary Yapp
* Nathan Truman
* Cary Crandall
* Mehitable Crandall
* Benj. and Mary Wigden
* Edith Ayers
* Micah F. and Anna Randolph
* Elizabeth Noble
* Henry Green

Elder John Greene came to the town in 1825 and was the first pastor of the church. ... This church has a present membership of 166. The succession of pastors and supplies has been:

Elders

* John Greene
* W. B. Gillette
* Zeurial Campbell
* A. A. F. Randolph
* B. F. Robbins
* J. C. West
* Leman Andres
* Lewis A. Platts
* J. L. Hoffman
* B. F. Rogers
* U. M. Babcock
* Leman Andres
* W. B. Gillette
* C. A. Burdick
* L. C. Rogers
* H. B. Lewis
* M. B. Kelly
* G. B. Shaw, the latter being the present pastor.

End of info from http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyallega/friend-nile.htm

My own note about the above: This appears to make Lewis A. Platts and W. B. Gillette contemporaries in the same town. I think Gillette was possibly more than 30 years older than Platts. In another record I have Platts still conducting funeral services in 1907. I think from the info I was reading, that Platts must have been quite old at the time. But even if you subtract 80 years from 1907, it would make Platt's birth around 1827. Other records tell us that Walter B. Gillette was an adult and was officiating in important church matters in 1820. If we assume he must have been at least 25 at that time, then it places his birth at least as far back as 1795. Another source has him still officiating at ceremonies in 1880. At age 85? Wow. So, I'm going to guess that his death was at maybe age 90 in 1885, and was maybe in Clarksville, Allegany County, NY.

The above "Walter B. Gillette" is referred to as "W. B. Gillette" below:

http://www.rootsweb.com/~nyallega/rambling.html had

RANDOM RAMBLINGS, By the Editor of the Friendship Chronicle, Richmond C. Hill

No. 4. Among the Archives of Allegany County

It says "By permission of Clerk Blackman we spent a considerable time among the County archives, now placed in the inner room at the north end of the building. We inspected the first deed book of the county, then spelled Alleghany, a volume of 527 pages, paged by hand. The first deed recorded therein was written in December 26, 1806, and is a conveyance of 502 acres of land in the County of Genesee (now the town of New Hudson) from Victor Dupont de Hemors to John B. Churchand wife, Angelica. Jacob S. Holt was then the County Clerk.

The book now in use exhibits as marked a difference compared with that of 1806 as there exists between a stage coach of that period and a Pullman palace car of to-day."

It goes on to say "The Friendship 1st Seventh Day Baptist Society was organized at a meeting held in 7th Day Baptist Meeting House Sunday 5th Day of July 1820. Walter B. Gillette* and James Maxson Presidents. Richard B. Davis, Secretary. Abel Maxon, Samuel Crandall and Henry Smally Jr., were chosen Trustees. Recorded Dec. 7th 1829."

At the bottom, it explains in a note, "In the record of the organization of the Seventh Day Baptist Church the name of Walter B. Gilbert should be Gillette."

This makes it plain that the "W. B. Gillette" discussed above was Walter B. Gillette.

_________

Another webpage at http://www.paintedhills.org/green_family.htm

says

"(a person) was married in Clarksville, Allegany County, January 28, 1880 to Mary A Capen ... She was born October 15, 1853.... The Reverend Walter B. Gillette performed the marriage ceremony at her father's home."

____________________________________________

The following speaks of SDB preacher W. J. Gillette:

2/6/04 a site at http://www.eg.bucknell.edu/~hyde/potter/ChurchHistories.html had

"Early Church Histories in Potter County, Pennsylvania From History of the Counties of McKean, Elk, Cameron, and Potter, Pennsylvania published by J. H. Beers, Chicago, 1890."

It says, under "Oswayo Township"

"Walter Wells, in his reminiscences of Oswayo, is inclined to think that the Seventh Day Baptists were the first regular preachers; Hiram Burdick, W. J. Gillette and others were among the preachers. The Baptists organized a building society in 1877, and had the frame of a church-house complete, when, for want of funds, the building was abandoned. The frame was remodeled by Reynolds Bros., and now forms part of the building occupied by Hiram Cheeseboro. Rev. Mr. Hart was the preacher at this time. Prior to 1834 a Mr. Avery preached Baptist doctrine here."

_______________________________________

The following is about Joel Gillette:

2/6/04 at

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~robinsgenealogypage/The%20Story%20of%20the%20Denison%20Family.html

it said under "Denison Genealogy: Ancestors and descendants of Captain George Denison, by E. Glenn Denison, 1963" that "William Denison of Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, England, left that country for the New World in April of 1635."

It went on to say regarding the "Seventh Generation":

"Joseph, born October 29, 1766, married Desire Wilcox. E. Glenn Denison notes that she was a member of the Seventh Day Baptist church. Probably the Denisons' association with Seventh Day Baptists began with the move to Stonington by Captain George in the 1650s. There were many Seventh Day Baptists in Stonington and more in nearby Westerly, RI. Bethiah Crandall, Joseph's mother, was descended from a Seventh Day Baptist family but may not have been a member herself. Joseph and Desire moved to Brookfield with their three small children in 1796, in company with Joseph's brothers Nathaniel and George. Joseph was a farmer in Brookfield and was appointed highway commissioner. Joseph and Desire had twelve children."

It says of one of those 12 children, Eunice,

"Eunice, born in 1793, married in 1793, married Joel Gillette."

Might we not assume that Joel Gillette was among the Seventh Day Baptists?

I also assume this means that the birth of Eunice was at Brookfield. Perhaps her marriage to Joel Gillette was

there also.

_________________________

Seventh Day Baptist minister, Walter Gillette Ayers:

Posted 12/26/2004 by Jon Saunders cousin.connecter @cox.net (type without spaces) in the SDB-L@rootsweb.com list was,

"The Sabbath Recorder", Vol 40, No 19, p 5, May 8, 1884.
In Westerly, R. I., April 15, 1884, of liver and kidney difficulties, Walter G. Ayers, in his 42d year. He was the son of James C. and Hannah A. Ayers, and was born in New Market, N. J., Oct. 6, 1842. In his eighteenth year he came to Westerly to learn the trade of a machinist in the shop then owned by Messrs. Cottrell & Babcock. He rose to a foreman in that establishment and continued therein till his death. He was greatly respected by his employers and fellow-workmen. He was baptized when fourteen years old, by Eld. H. H. Baker, and joined the Seventh-day Baptist Church of New Market, N. J. At his decease he was a worthy member of the Pawcatuck Church. He leaves a wife and two children, a widowed mother, three sisters, a brother, and many more remote relatives to mourn his departure. Their earthly loss is his heavenly gain. O. U. W.

Further regarding Ayers and Gillette:

2/6/04 a webpage at http://www.ayars.com/ayars/D0007/I313.html

said that

Ellis AYARS married Rebecca DUNHAM who died ABT 1822 at Shiloh, Cumberland, New Jersey. Ellis and Rebecca had Cornelia Gillette AYARS born 1819, Marlboro, Salem, New Jersey. The GILLETTE in Cornelia's name is not explained. Cornelia Gillette AYARS died 1837/1838. This information was on the same page with a note that said "REGISTER OF THE COHANSEY SEVENTH DAY BAPTIST CHURCH: 1737-1830, Ernest K. Bee, Jr., Editor, Plainfield, New Jersey, Seventh Day Baptist Publishing House, 1976, p. 39." While it was not positively clear that this note pertained to the Gillette/Dunham info, it did seem to. So I am assuming the Gillette/Dunham people mentioned here were Seventh Day Baptists. As already partly shown above, GILLETTES & AYARS, and GILLETTES & DUNHAMS intermarried. It appears likely that the SDB is the common denominator they shared. In other words, it is likely that most of these unions came about because these Gillettes, Ayars and Dunhams grew up in the same church circles.

_____________________

http://www.ayars.com/sources/sources.html

says

By James A. Ayars, in collaboration with Barbarann Ayars and David Bryson Ayars

Fifth Edition 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002 James A. Ayars 939 Erringer Rd. Simi Valley, CA 93065 jimayars @aol.com (type without spaces)

Family Traditions about Robert Ayars Family traditions state that Robert Ayars was born in England around 1650; that he came to the colonies in the company of Stephen Mumford in 1664; that he first purchased property in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. He married Esther Bowen sometime before 1673. He later moved to West Jersey in 1685, where he first purchased 200 acres along the Cohansey River across from Greenwich, New Jersey from the daughters of John Gillman which they had inherited from their father; he later purchased another 400 acres from Restore Lippincott. Finally, in 1705, he purchased 2,200 acres from Dr. James Wass.

...

The primary sources documenting the life of Robert Ayars, the founder of the AYARS family in the United States and Australia, include a gravestone, various land deeds and mortgages, Seventh Day Baptist church-membership lists, and documents detailing his last will and testament.

(much text skipped here)

25 July 1708 The Second Seventh Day Baptist Church Membership List

While Robert was making extensive land purchases in West New Jersey, his family remained in Newport, Rhode Island. Until 1708, the Seventh Day Baptist congregations of Newport and Hopkinton, Rhode Island were considered one church. The distance between the congregations was formidable, not only in terms of miles, but also in terms of difficult geography. Newport was situated on a peninsula on the east side of Narragansett Bay, while Hopkinton was on the west side of the bay near the Connecticut border. In 1708, the two groups mutually agreed to form separate congregations.

This list represents those members who remained in fellowship with the Newport Seventh Day Baptist Church as opposed to the First Hopkinton Seventh Day Baptist Church. ... (skipped text here) ....

The membership lists of the Seventh Day Baptist Churches around Hopkinton and Westerly from 1708 onward still exist. There are no members of the Ayars family found there until the middle of the 19th. Century, when Jacob Ayars became the pastor of the Westerly Seventh Day Baptist Church. In the 1840's, there was Francis Drake Ayars; in the 1870's Walter Gillette Ayars; in the 1880's Hannah Maria (Bentley) Ayars; Later, early in the 20th. Century, there was a Hobart Bentley Ayars, and his sister Hannah Louise Ayars, listed among the members.54 These are the ONLY Ayars to have ever lived in or around Westerly or Hopkinton, Rhode Island.

It is important to note, then, based upon the Newport Seventh Day Baptist membership list, that as late as 25 July 1708 his family was still living in Newport, and not in Salem County, New Jersey.

More info on William Gillette and his son Rev. Elisha Gillette can be found on the pages about them, via the following links:


WILLIAM GILLETTE

REV. ELISHA GILLETTE













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