Sylvester Estes was baptized on September 26, 1596, in Ringwould, Kent, England, in St. Nicholas Church. His parents were Robert Eastes and Anne Woodward.
Sylvester died sometime after 1646 when son, Abraham, born about 1647, was conceived, and before 1649 when his wife Ellin (also spelled Ellen) died, with a will that states she was a widow. In case there is any question, based on Y DNA testing, Abraham, the last child born to this couple, did belong to Sylvester and this was not a case of a widow having a child after her husband’s death and the child taking the deceased husband’s surname. That has happened in the Estes line in the US, but not in this case. The Y DNA of Abraham’s male Estes descendants clearly matches that of the English Estes line.
Sylvester likely spent the first 40 years of his life in the Ringwould area. We know he was active in St. Nicholas Church in Ringwould, because the parish records note him as “sometimes churchwarden.”
What does a churchwarden do? They are a volunteer or lay official with responsibilities of maintaining the church and churchyard, making or paying to have repairs made, keeping the peace, caring for the poor and setting a good example for the rest of the flock. Some churchwardens also collected taxes from anyone who owned or rented property and were responsible for coordinating the maintenance of roads within the parish. Two church wardens were selected each year, one by the minister and the second by the people. The vestry, typically made up of the wealthy landowners in each parish, determined the responsibilities of the churchwarden in their parish. The churchwarden and the overseer of the poor, if they were separate people, were typically amongst the prominent men of the parish. In towns, churchwardens were generally of the merchant class, and in rural areas, of the yeoman class.
In the late 14th to 18th centuries, yeomen were farmers who owned land (freehold, leasehold or copyhold). Their wealth and the size of their landholding varied. Often it was hard to distinguish minor landed gentry from the wealthier yeomen, and wealthier husbandmen from the poorer yeomen.
Yeomen were often constables of their parish, and sometimes chief constables of the district, shire or hundred. Many yeomen held the positions of bailiffs for the High Sheriff or for the shire or hundred. Other civic duties would include churchwarden, bridge warden, and other warden duties. It was also common for a yeoman to be an overseer for his parish. Yeomen, whether working for a lord, king, shire, knight, district or parish served in localised or municipal police forces raised by or led by the landed gentry.
If this was true for Sylvester, it might provide us with a clue as to the possible cause of his death.
Stewart Estes, on his web page, refers to Sylvester as a “husbandman and yeoman,” but doesn’t mention his source.
Churchwardens were responsible for dealing with charitable causes. Many churchwarden account books remain. Aside from maintenance, the charitable causes to which churchwardens allocated the parish funds were manifold, ranging from bounties paid for hedgehogs, ravens, foxes, help to their own poor, donations to less well-off parishes and ransoms for Christian captives of Algerian pirates. The fact that Sylvester was a churchwarden at some time(s) in his life indicates that he was a trusted and well-respected member of the community.
Sylvester Eastes married a local girl, Ellin Martin, on November 24, 1625, in the church in Ringwould.
They married in their home church, where they had been raised, in this lovely chancel, at the altar.
Sylvester and Ellin had several children, the first 7 or 8 of which were baptized in Ringwould, but beginning in 1638, they apparently moved up the road to Nonington. Of course, Google maps today routes you on main roads, but you can see that utilizing the local roads, Waldershare was only a couple miles from Ringwould and about the same distance from Nonington. Great Hardres is another matter and it’s probably another 3 or 4 miles west of Nonington.
Sylvester’s wife, Ellin Martin, was reported to have been born about 1600 in Great Hadres, also spelled Great Hardres. With her last child born in 1647, she certainly would have not been born any earlier than 1600 and quite possibly, later.
Great Hadres is an area not terribly far removed from Ringwould, but also not extremely close. Furthermore, I cannot find any actual source for that location of her birth. The church records in Ringwould show several Martin christenings, marriages and burials, but not Ellin’s. Unfortunately, the Great Hardres records don’t begin until 1764 although the Bishops transcripts reportedly begin in 1563. They are not transcribed.
If Ellin was born in Great Hardres, the local church and cemetery are probably full of Martin ancestors. The church below is St. Peter and St. Paul at Upper Hardres Court. Parts of this church date from the 1200s. A newer church was built 3 miles away in the twin village of Lower Hardres in the 1800s, but this earlier would have been the church in which Ellen Martin was baptized in about 1600. I would surely love to see these church records.
Sylvester and Ellin’s children born from 1638 on, who are reflected in records, were born in Nonington and baptized at St. Mary’s Church, shown below.
Regardless of whether Abraham was baptized here or not, Sylvester and Ellin and their family attended this church, walked these grounds and sat inside this building for a decade of their lives, the last decade of their marriage
Unfortunately, no baptismal record for their last child, Abraham, my direct ancestor, has been found. It’s very likely that he too was born in Nonington. These are the only Estes members of the Nonington church in this timeframe.
The children of Sylvester Eastes and Ellin Martin are:
1. Robert Eastes, baptized 10 September 1626, Ringwould, Kent, died 1692 and buried 23 June 1692, Waldershire, Kent, married Elizabeth, who died in 1676 at Waldershire, Kent, and was buried 8 August 1676. Married second Margaret Coachman, 26 June 1688, Hadres, Kent. Children: Robert (1652), Elizabeth (1653), Susan (1655), Silvester (1657-1692) of Waldershare, Kent;
2. Anne Eastes, baptized 25 November 1627 at Ringwould, Kent, died young;
3. Silvester Eastes, baptized 31 May 1629 at Ringwould, Kent, married — Nash.
4. Susan Eastes, baptized 30 March 1631 at Ringwould, Kent.
5. Thomas Eastes, baptized 20 January 1633, Ringwould, Kent, died 15 April 1682, Pelham, Kent, married Sarah and had children: John (1665) of Waldershare, Kent, and lattr of Acrise, Kent.
6. Richard Eastes, baptized 5 October 1634, at Ringwould, Kent.
7. Mary Eastes, baptized 2 October 1636 at Ringwould, Kent.
8. Anne Eastes, born 1637 at Ringwould, Kent.
9. Nicholas Eastes, yeoman, baptized 9 December 1638 at Nonington, Kent, married Jane Birch, died 1665, Sutton, Kent. Children: John (?-1715) of Sutton.
10. Elizabeth Eastes, born 1639/40 at Nonington, Kent.
11. Ellen Eastes, baptized 11 December 1642, Nonington, Kent, died 1729 and buried 26 December 1729 at St Leonard’s, Kent. Ellen married Moses Eastes, 23 December 1667, at Deal, Kent. Moses was baptized 12 November 1643 at St Leonard’s, Kent and died at Deal, 19 March 1707/8 & buried 23 March, at St Leonard’s, Kent. Children: Richard (1667/8-1668), Constant (1669-1708), Aaron (1671) & Samuel (1674/5), of St Leonard’s, Kent.
12. John Eastes, baptized 29 December 1644 at Nonington, Kent.
13. Abraham5 Eastes, born 1647 at Nonington, Kent, married Anne Burton (widow), 29 December 1672, at Worth, Kent. Abraham immigrated to Virginia and remarried there, having several children. Abraham died in 1720, leaving widow Barbara, who was the mother of at least his younger children, if not all of his children. Although Barbara’s last name is widely reported to be Brock, there is absolutely no documentation of such. If you find original source documentation for Barbara’s last name, meaning not unsourced or recopied Ancestry trees, please, PLEASE send it to me. You can be the hero of the Abraham Estes family!!!
All of this leaves me with questions. What happened to Sylvester? Why is there no baptism record for Abraham, nor a burial record for Sylvester in Nonington or in Ringwould? Did they move someplace else where Abraham was born and Sylvester died? Did Sylvester die before Abraham was born, perhaps forcing Ellin to move?
The records for Nonington are existant and transcribed, but there are no burials recorded for the years 1646-1648, so if Sylvester died in Nonington, those records are lost. Christening records for that time period are recorded, but Abraham is absent and there are no Estes records from 1644 (John’s birth) forward.
And finally, who were Ellin Martin’s parents? The Martin records from the Ringwould church records are as follows:
March 5, 1575 – Roger Howell and Beatrix Martyn, married
Nov. 19, 1576 – William Martin and Margaret Clarke, married
April 16, 1677 – Thomas Martyn, son of William christened
Nov. 1, 1579 – Nicholas Martyn, son of William christened
Nov. 8, 1579 – Nicholas Martin, son of William buried
Jan. 22, 1580 – Emlin, daughter of William christened
April 23, 1584 – John Martyn, son of William christened
May 24, 1584 – Margaret Martyn, daughter of William buried
June 24, 1584 – William Martyn and Elizabeth Harte married
July 25, 1584 – John, son of William buried
April 21, 1597 – Elizabeth Martyn, wife of William buried
January 10, 1607 – Margaret Martin, daughter of Thomas christened
April 13, 1614 – William Martin, an aged man, buried
April 28, 1614 – Margaret Martin, daughter of Thomas buried
May 29, 1621 – Nicolas Martin and Elizabeth Whitten married
July 23, 1622 – Margaret Martin, daughter of Nicolas christened
November 24, 1625 – Silvester Esties and Ellen Martin married
July 29, 1627 – Thomas Martin, son of Nicholas christened
Aug. 6, 1627 – Thomas Martin, son of Nicholas buried
July 27, 1628 – Jane Martin, daughter of Nicholas christened
Jan. 9, 1630 – Thomas Martin, son of Nicholas christened
Sept. 15, 1633 – Ellenor Martin, daughter of Nicholas christened
April 12, 1635 – Nicholas Martin, son of Thomas and Elizabeth
January 21, 1637 – John Martin, son of Nicholas and Elizabeth
September 13, 1640 – Elizabeth Martin, daughter of Nicholas and Elizabeth christened
April 4, 1643 – Mary Martin, daughter of Nicholas christened
Nov. 14, 1644 – Wilman Martin, wife of Thomas, buried
Dec. 29, 1647 – John Martin, son of Nicholas buried
March 24, 1664 –William Martin buried
April 16, 1688 – Daniel Martin and Margaret Bradly married
Feb. 28, 1699 – Nicholas Martin, buried
April 16, 1716 – Mary Martin buried
It’s possible that Ellin was the daughter of William Martin, the old man who died in 1614. It’s unclear whether the William that marries in 1584 to Elizabeth Harte is the same William who has been having children, or if this is a second William. Elizabeth, the wife of the William who marries in 1584 is buried in 1597. This could be Ellin’s mother, if Ellin was born a few years before 1600, but that would put Abraham’s birth when Ellin was age 50 or older, which is unlikely.
Ellin might be Thomas’s child. The first record of Thomas is in 1607 when one of his children is baptized. One thing is for certain, whoever her parents were, it’s likely they were church members in 1625 when Ellin married Sylvester Estes, assuming they were still living. Young women didn’t simply run off and join a church of their choosing in a location where their family was not located.
Ellin died in 1649, leaving Abraham, only 2 years old, on orphan. Ellin had a total of 13 children, 11 living at that time, with Robert, the oldest at age 23. At the time she made her will, she was living at Waldershare. Did she move there after Sylvester died to live with Robert, perhaps, if he was able to find work? Or had the family perhaps already moved there and both Abraham’s baptismal and Sylvester’s burial record would be found in the Waldershare church records? Find My Past claims to have indexed the records for Waldershare, and I found no burial record for Ellin Eastes in 1649. I also found no birth or baptism for Abraham no death or burial for his father, Sylvester.
Thankfully Ellin left a will.
Translation of Ellin’s Will:
In the name of God, Amen, the fifth day of April 1649, I, ELIN ESTES [sic] of the parish of Waldershire [sic] in the County of Kent widow, being sick in body but in perfect memory thanks be given to God, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following,
First, I bequeath my soul to Almighty God hoping by the mercy and merits of Jesus Christ to enjoy Everlasting life and my body to the Earth to be buried at the discretion of my Executor hereafter named.
First, I give to my son, THOMAS ESTES, twenty pounds of current money of England to be paid to him as followeth, that is to say, ten pounds at his age of twenty and one years of age and ten pounds when my youngest child shall come to the age of twenty and one years.
Item, I give to my son, RICHARD ESTES, the sum of five pounds when he shall attain to the age of twenty and one years.
Item, I give to my son, NICHOLAS ESTES, fifteen pounds to be paid to him when he shall attain the age of twenty and one years.
Item, I give to my son, JOHN ESTES, twelve pounds to be paid to him when he shall attain the age of one and twenty years.
Item, I give to my son, ABRAHAM ESTES, the sum of twelve pounds to be paid to him when he shall attain to the age of one and twenty years.
Item, I give to my daughter, ANNE ESTES, twelve pounds to be paid to her at her age of four and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen.
Item, I give to my daughter, SILVESTER NASH, five pounds when my youngest child cometh to the age of twenty and one years.
Item, I give to my daughter, SUSAN ESTES, the sum of twelve pounds to be paid to her when she shall attain to the age of one and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen.
Item, I give to my daughter, MARY ESTES, ten pounds to be paid to her when she shall attain to the age of one and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen.
Item, I give to my daughter, ELIZABETH ESTES, ten pounds to be paid to her [next few words crossed through but said: "when she shall attain"] at her age of one and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen.
Item, I give to ELLIN ESTES, my daughter, ten pounds to be paid to her when she shall attain to the age of one and twenty years or day of marriage which shall first happen.
And I do nominate and appoint ROBERT ESTES, my son, whole and sole Executor of this my last Will and Testament and I give to my said son, ROBERT ESTES, all my goods, chattels and household stuff paying my debts and legacies and funeral expenses.
In witness that this is my last Will, I do hereby publish and declare this to be my last Will and Testament in the presence of those whose names are hereunder written:
Thomas Jenkin, John Peers
Ellin Estes, her mark
Ellin’s will was proved at London before Sir Nathaniel Brent, Knight, doctor of laws and Master or keeper of the Prerogative Court the sixth day of December in the year of our Lord God one thousand six hundred fifty one by the oath of Robert Estes, the son of the deceased and Executor therein named to whom administration of all and singular the goods, chattels and debts of the said deceased which any manner of ways sworn the same will was granted and committed, he being first legally sworn by virtue of a commission in that behalf issued forth well and truly to administer the same.
Why did Ellin’s will have to be proven in London? Was this standard for the time?
And why did Annie have to wait until she was 24 instead of 21, like her sisters? Was Annie the “wild-child” of the group, or was she somehow otherwise challenged?
Given that two of Ellin’s children, son Thomas and daughter Silvester Nash, who was obviously married by this time, were to receive 10# when Ellin’s youngest child turned 21, this might imply that there was an assumption or perhaps an arrangement that these two oldest, adult, siblings would raise the younger children after Ellin’s death – and withholding their inheritance share helped to assure that the children received attention and didn’t die of neglect. Now there’s a morbid thought.
I have often wondered who raised Abraham, given that he is my direct ancestor. There might be a clue in the fact that Ellin’s daughter, Ellen, born in 1642, married Moses Estes, born in 1643. They married December 23, 1667 at St. Leonard’s church in Deal, implying that this was Ellen’s home church at that time.
Moses Eastes was Ellen’s 2nd cousin once removed. Robert Eastes (who married Anne Woodward) was the brother of Henry Eastes, a mariner, who had married Mary Rand. Robert was Henry’s executor in 1590. Henry had son Richard (who married Agnes Dove) and they had son Richard born in 1578 (who married Sarah Norman) and they had son Moses born in 1643 who married Ellen Estes. This Moses Estes was buried in March of 1707 in St. Leonard’s churchyard in Deal, stone shown below, so the Estes family had gone full circle, with Sylvester and Ellin’s daughter, Ellen returning to the same church that her great-great-grandfather, Nicholas, attended. Ellen’s grandfather, Robert Eastes, was Moses’s great-grandfather, Henry’s brother.
Ellen made 6 recorded generations of Estes at St. Leonard’s and her children’s baptisms and burials make 7.
Moses’s stone is the oldest known Estes tombstone. He was followed in death by Ellen in December of 1729, although we don’t know where in the churchyard she is buried.
Moses and Ellen had four children: Richard, January 1667 who died as an infant, Constant, born December 1669, died November 1708, Aaron, born February 1671 and Samuel, born February 1674.
Unfortunately, there are no females to continue the line since daughter Constant died unmarried and without issue at age 36 and is buried beside Moses, so we are unable to obtain the mitochondrial DNA of Ellin Woodward Estes through her daughter Ellin. Hopefully, Ellin’s daughters Silvester Nash, Susan, Mary, Annie or Elizabeth had daughters who have descendants through all daughters, back to Ellin. If this describes you, I have a DNA scholarship for you and we can discover what secrets Ellin Martin’s mitochondrial DNA might hold.
The fact that these two families, both descended from sons of Sylvester Eastes and Jone, obviously kept in touch and lived in relatively close proximity might suggest that Richard Estes and Sarah Norman Estes might have helped raise Sylvester and Ellin’s orphaned children. Abraham, their youngest child, who would have had no memory of his parents, named his youngest son Moses Estes. He would have been age 20 when his sister married Moses, so he was obviously close to Moses, probably before Moses married his sister. The fact that Ellen’s home church was St. Leonard’s in Deal and not the church in Waldershare where her oldest brother lived is also suggestive that Abraham’s children were living in Deal, perhaps with their Estes cousins.
There is something to be said for reading all of the records of an institution, like a church. You can note things like large gaps in records and other, more subtle, changes that could signify important historical events.
For some reason, in the early-mid 1640s, something changed either in the Ringwould church or the surrounding area. There are no more Martin or Estes christenings, and only burials until the old guard is gone. There are a few Estes entries over the next hundred years but not many. The old names disappear from the register and new ones take their places. The English Civil War took place about this time, 1642-1651 and there was significant military action in this region. I don’t know if that had something to do with this, or perhaps church politics were at play, or both. In 1643, the castle at Deal was under a 5 month long siege, so the Dover, Walmer and Deal area might not have been the best place to live. Ringwould, of course, was on the main road connecting those locations. Moving inland some might have been considered safer. And fishing with all of the military activity surrounding the local castles along the coastline was probably highly disrupted, although it seems very unlikely that Sylvester was a fisherman. This might explain the move to Nonington in the 1640s, but it doesn’t explain why they moved in 1638 or why Ellin was in Waldershare in 1649.
Let’s take a look at what was happening in Kent during this timeframe.
Charles I, born in 1600, was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649.
Charles was the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life. He became heir apparent to the English, Irish and Scottish thrones on the death of his elder brother in 1612. An unsuccessful and unpopular attempt to marry him to a Spanish Habsburg princess culminated in an eight-month visit to Spain in 1623 that demonstrated the futility of the marriage negotiations. Two years later he married the Bourbon princess Henrietta Maria of France instead.
After his succession, Charles quarreled with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings and thought he could govern according to his own conscience. Many of his subjects opposed his policies, in particular the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, and perceived his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch. His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, generated the antipathy and mistrust of reformed groups such as the Puritans and Calvinists, who thought his views too Catholic. He supported high church ecclesiastics, such as Richard Montagu and William Laud, and failed to successfully aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years’ War. His attempts to force the Church of Scotland to adopt high Anglican practices led to the Bishops’ Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments and helped precipitate his own downfall.
From 1642, Charles fought the armies of the English and Scottish parliaments in the English Civil War. After his defeat in 1645, he surrendered to a Scottish force that eventually handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors’ demands for a constitutional monarchy, and temporarily escaped captivity in November 1647.
Re-imprisoned on the Isle of Wight, Charles forged an alliance with Scotland, but by the end of 1648 Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army had consolidated its control over England. Charles was tried, convicted, and executed for high treason in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared. In 1660, the English Interregnum ended when the monarchy was restored to Charles’s son, Charles II, who was greatly loved for his easy-going ways, and partly because the populace was weary of the 10 years of Cromwellian and Puritan rule.
The downfall of Charles I took many Kentish men right along.
The Kentish Uprising of 1648
Civil disturbances broke out in London and Canterbury during December 1647 over Parliament’s attempt to suppress traditional Christmas celebrations. In London, the lord mayor personally intervened to calm the situation, but at Canterbury the mayor was driven out of the city, along with several magistrates and clergymen. The Kent county committee was obliged to mobilize the Trained Bands to restore order.
At the commencement of the Civil War Parliament held all 3 castles. When Parliament declared that Christmas Day should henceforth only be observed by a fast, it spurred an uprising in Kent, along with a mutiny.
A Royalist rebellion broke out in Kent after the county committee at Canterbury had attempted to suppress a petition calling for the return of the King and the disbandment of the New Model Army. Canterbury, Rochester, Sittingbourne, Faversham and Sandwich were seized by Royalist insurgents on May 21, 1648.
The following day, at a meeting in Rochester attended by many of the local gentry, an armed gathering of Kent Royalists was scheduled to be held at Blackheath on May 30th in support of the petition. On May 26th, Dartford and Deptford were seized by insurgents. A naval revolt broke out on May 27th when ships of the Parliamentarian fleet declared for the King.
General Fairfax had been preparing to march north against the threat of invasion from Scotland. With rebellion so close to London and the danger that the Kent insurgents would be joined by Royalists from Essex and Surrey, Parliament ordered Fairfax to deal with the immediate threat. On May 27th, Fairfax mustered his troops on Hounslow Heath. Colonel Barkstead secured Southwark to the south of London, while the Trained Bands under Major-General Skippon were mobilized to defend the city itself. By May 30th, Fairfax had advanced to Blackheath. On rumours of his approach, the Royalists at Deptford and Dartford dispersed. Leaving a detachment at Croydon to act as a rearguard against any threat from Surrey, Fairfax bypassed the insurgents’ stronghold of Rochester and marched for Maidstone where an army of Kent Royalists was assembling on Penenden Heath. The main body of Kentish rebels was decisively defeated by Fairfax in the bloody Battle of Maidstone on June 1st.
Sandown Castle declared for King Charles, who was at that time imprisoned on the Isle of Wight. Deal and Walmer Castles then changed their allegiance from Parliament to the deposed monarch as well. These were the last three fortified posts to hold out for King Charles.
In June, Colonel Rich focused on the castles, one by one. Dover was recovered on June 5th. Then Rich turned to Deal, Walmer and Sandowne. He first laid siege to Walmer about June 15th. Conditions were terribly cold, wet and appalling. The Governor of Walmer Castle taunted his oppressors by hoisting a flag painted with a coffin to remind them of their inevitable fate. Another time, soldiers faked an explosion and threw a dummy of the governor over the ramparts and pretended to surrender in order to tempt the Roundheads into the gatehouse where they could attack. It didn’t work. On July 12th Walmer fell.
The Parliamentary forces then focused on Deal, an altogether more protracted and bloody affair. Rich didn’t have enough forces to surround both Deal and Sandown castles, so the castles were able to come to each other’s aid. There were several attempts to raise the siege, the most deadly being on the night of August 13th when 800 soldiers and sailors landed under cover of darkness to aid Deal Castle. The marshaled inland, preparing to attack the Parliamentary camp from the rear. However, a deserter raised the alarm and in the ensuing fight, many were killed, 300 fled to Sandown castle and another 100 or so made it back to the fleet. Another attempt on August 18th failed as well.
On August 17th, Cromwell decisively defeated the Scottish forces at Preston in Lancashire, effectively ending all Royalist hopes of victory. Garrisons in the castles were discouraged by news of Cromwell’s victories in the north which was conveyed by notes attached to arrows fired into the castles on August 23rd. Two days later, on August 25th, Deal surrendered followed by Sandown on September 5th, ending the Kentish Rebellion or Kentish Uprising of 1648.
Colonel Rich surveyed the damage at Deal Castle, saying, “The castle is much torn and spoiled with grenadoes, as Walmer was, or rather more.” Parliament ordered the renovation of all 3 castles.
In January, 1649, Charles, King of England, was executed by beheading before a vast crowd who rushed forward to soak their handkerchiefs in his royal blood. England was yet in turmoil and would remain so until the death of Cromwell in 1658 when King Charles I’s son, Charles II was invited to return to England as King.
We don’t know how Sylvester felt about the Uprising. Did he support the deposed King Charles or Parliament? Did his position within the community dictate that he was in the militia which was fought and was brutally defeated at Maidstone? We do know, from later records, that this was a tough time for the people of Deal, literally caught in the crossfire. Had Sylvester already died by this time? Was Ellin trying to raise those children alone? We know that Abraham was born about 1647 and Sylvester died before his wife in 1649. Did Sylvester lose his life in the Kentish Uprising of 1648?