Bored at work, I did a Google of “Clifton Healy” and came up with this INCREDIBLE page of Healy genealogy.
Why is it incredible you ask?
Scroll down to Generation no. 7, no. 54 “Children of Abiel Healy and Mary Adams,” small Roman numeral iii–almost to the bottom of the page . . . which begins:
“CLIFTON DWIGHT HEALY b. January 21, 1848 in Cedar Co., Ia., m. ELIZABETH BROOKS SATTERWAIT 3/10/1870, who was b. 1/22/1849 in Muscatine Co., Ia. and d. 3/15/1885 in Eldorado, Kan.; m. 2nd MARY M. VAN VALKENBURG 11/11/1887, who was b. 9/24/1855; divorced 3/1901; m. 3rd MARY E. GALLUP 2/24/1903; Res. Eldorado, Kan. 1920; Kan. City, Mo. 1929.”
As far as we have previously known, Clifton Dwight is the furthest back we can go in my own direct family descent in terms of how many Cliftons there were. A quick search on the page of the name “Clifton” shows that Clifton Dwight was indeed the first in this family tree. Which means that, as we have thought all my life, I am, indeed, the fifth Clifton (though not Clifton the Fifth).
If you read a little further into the paragraph of children, born-dates/death-dates, marriages, you’ll come to:
“CLIFTON ARTHUR HEALY b. 3/9/1885, m. CORA BUELL 2/14/1910; Res. Latham, Kan. (Had; BEULAH DIMPLE HEALY b. 2/18/1911, CORA OLIVE HEALY b. 6/12/1912, CLIFTON FITZROY HEALY b. 8/9/1913)”
And Clifton Fitzroy is my own grandfather.
Here is a page describing the Healy family crest.
Now, if you trace all that back up to the top of the genealogy page, it seems that the Healy’s have an ancestor in WILLIAM HEALY, b. about 1613; d. December 1683.
From the information linked to William’s name, he seems to have been a, um, not very nice guy. Oh, heck. He was a real jerk. Married to five women, a wife beater.
“The formal complaint lodged on 30 July 1666 against William Healey of Cambridge for maltreating his wife came from her brother Samuel Green and her brother-in-law Thomas Langhorn. However, the most damning evidence came from two servants, Samuel Reynolds and Daniel Beckley.
On the 13th of Aprill William Healey sent us to Boston, but as before our departure he was chiding his wife we therfor went back to the house and saw sd. Healey beating and kicking her. On the 7th of May after all were a bed the child begann to crie and Healey told her to quiet the child but it continuing he bid her to lye further off or else he would stick his teeth down her throat and he struck her with his hand and she cried out, then he took her by the wrists and twisted her to pieces (as she afterwards said) so that she wore a plaister for two weeks and cried with the pain of it for two hours. Healey hearing us talking in bed made a bemoaning of himself as though she had beaten him and listening again he did not hear us and said to her Ah Wicked roan hast though not done houling yet & bid her cry aloud her God was asleep and bid her gett all her lyes in a bag together and present them to her God he would not hear her else. On 27th of May there was a falling out in bed and Daniel Beckley counted three blowes and she said Will you kill me then fove blows then eight. Next morning William Healey owned to Sam Reynolds that he had struck her four or five times. When Daniel Beckley was setting him over to Boston he admitted that he struck her but told him to say nothing, let her prove it. On the last of June a Saturday we were returning with Arthur from Boston when we heard a great noise from the house; we held still our oars and heard three blows and shee looking out at the window cryed for Gods sake help me he will kill me. William Healey said some of us had given her tobacco & now she was mad. His wife came from the chamber and vexed him and he caried her to the chamber and beat her. She spoke without any distemper. His constant dayly course was to curse att her & revile her & her friends, her generation as he called them beggars. He referred to her brothers Langhorn and Greene to their disgrace & all her generation were thieves and whoremasters. Concerning her he would say God had burnt out one of her eyes & drawn up one side of her mouth & he would quickly do the like to the other & make her a spectacle of his wrath. He oft twitt her in the teeth of her being a [church] member, saying the church saw nothing in her wherefore they received her in but that she made two or three fine kerchies…he would oft tell her of her being nailed to the door and threshold…she remonstrated with him saying he must answer for them [his sins] one day before God to which he replyed do you take Gods name in your mouth; you might as well take my arse in your mouth you prophane woman…him let him be brought forth and he would strip in the street…[they were] damned rogues and whores that know any evill by him and do not bring him forth.
Daniel Gookin and Thomas Danforth examined the couple together. The wife (whose first name we never discover from the records) substantiated the servants’ testimony, adding some further details. her husband had also called her “lying slut” and had used “a wand the size of a good riding rod” to beat her. Healey admitted reproachful words and some violence, but it was “not to hurt her” or was merely “accidental blowes riseing from the bed.” The incident heard from the boat on the last Saturday in June arose when “she put out her neck and said Come old Healey cutt off my head and he gave her a chuck under the chin & that was all. The wife says she desired she may never have a like chuck for it was to be seen many days after.
In a written statement to court, Healey pointed out that the servants evidence was “their apprehensions, not what they saw” and that noise and a clamorous woman tend to go together. He cited a statement by Beckley to “my mother Ives (wife of Miles Ives of Roxbury), that if his dame had nobody to scould at she would scould at the wall…If any words have passed from him in his passion, which are not according to godlinesse, he desires to be deeply humbled for them in the sight of God and men.”
Healey’s final counterthrust was to question the motives of his two servants, Reynolds “a loose and scandalous person,” had been refused permission to marry Healey’s daughter. Beckley, “a refractory servant,” sought to “recompense his master for his correcting him for his miscarriages.” Support for Healey’s defense came from two sources. Reynolds was committed on 12 August 1667 for fathering a bastard on Healey’s daughter and for going to his house “in a violent manner causing William Healey to cry out murther.” John Guy, aged twenty-two, who had often worked at Healey’s recounted verbal provocations.
We won morning were att brekfast and she having the child in her armes he cutt her a peece of cheese and asked her if she would have itt and she apon no other ocagion tooke it and threw it at him and bid him eate it himselfe for she did believe that he did gruge it to her and apon no other ocagion cald him Tom Tinker and ould Heiley and ould roge and said he was a murderer and had murdered three wifes already and would murder her; then his answere was to her was this; poor woman I am sory to see thee thus discomposed and desired the lord to give her grase and many times I have heard him say to her that if that she would but be quiet with him he would let her have any thing that she wanted and she should do nothing.
Not suprisingly the aged Elizabeth Green, the wife’s mother, painted a rather different picture, “when her face was burnt he tooke upon him to dres her face, when her face was sore, and spoild it.” She described “his carage and his childrens to her how she was slited and if anything was wasted or amis…she had done it…She hath not so much authority as to give her children any victuals but what she must ask his daughters for. If he was reproved, he threatened “he would leave [her] and now he hath spoild her he would divers times bid her get her to her friends.” Finally in claiming the foresight of mothers-in-law through the ages, she referred to her unwillingness to give consent to the match and the promises the ardent Healey had made to quiet her apprehensions of her daughter’s likely “discouragement in the family from himself or children.”
Although, tantalizingly, the court’s judgement on this case has not survived, the testimony gives us a remarkably vivid insight into family dynamics; generational conflict between an old husband of fifty-three and a wife twenty years younger; the mythic wicked stepmother here transformed into the isolated and pilloried intruder, the jeolousy of a church member of long standing for one of the recently elected saints; the reprisal powers of servants against stern masters; the baby as a source of conflict and bed as a battlefield – one of the few places available for private warfare.
The violent marriage came to an end in 1671 when the fourth Goodwife Healey seems to have died in childbirth. We know from other sources that Healey held the post of keeper of the prision in Cambridge during the 1670s and early 1680s. As such he was able legally to keep his flogging arm in trim as the official executor of corporal punishment. In 1674 his services were employed by Harvard College to give a public whipping to an undergraduate who had uttered blasphemous words concerning the Holy Ghose. In 1682 when he was sixty-nine, he was caught in the prison in the act of copulation with the already heavily pregnant Mary Lovell. For this, he was dismissed from his post, evicted from his house, and sentenced with a certian poetic justice to be whipped twenty stripes in April 1683. Six months later the flogged flogger flagged and died. He left an estate worth only six pounds.” (Sex in Middlesex by Roger Thompson)
“Healey’s age in 1666 was fifty-three, at most twenty-three years older than his wife. Previously he had been married to (1) Grace Ives, whose first child by him had been baptized in 1644; she had died in childbirth in 1649; (2) Mary, daughter of Rev. Nathaniel Rogers of Ipswich, married in 1650, died in 1653; (3) Grace Buttress, married 1653, who was dead by 1660. The Healey’s had had three children since their marriage in 1661; Samuel born in Sept. 1662, Paul in April 1664, and Mary in Oct. 1665. She was in fact Phoebe, daughter of Bartholomew Green who had died in 1635 two years after his arrival in Cambridge. She must have been at least twenty-five when she married Healey on 15 June 1661.
No more children were baptized to them after 1665. On 8 April 1672, Thomas Langhorn was keeping Hannah Healey, born in 1671, and receiving five pounds from the town rate.
Healey’s fifth marriage, in 1677, was to widow and school dame, Sarah Brown.