Desperately Seeking...

Hannah Makepeace Trow Winch

NEW! A special message board devoted to Hannah Makepeace Trow Winch!

Calling all genealogists! This one's an "Unsolved Mystery" worthy of Robert Stack. Here's the story of my ancestor Hannah, published in the hope that someone will visit this page and know when and where she died and was buried:

The MAKEPEACE name is well-known in Massachusetts genealogy. It first appeared ca. 1636 in Dorchester, and later in the town of Norton, Bristol County. Hannah's paternal grandparents were William MAKEPEACE (1704-1740) and Experience ALDRICH (born November 11, 1702) of Norton, and her maternal grandparents were George and Elizabeth MOREY of Norton. Hannah's parents were Peter MAKEPEACE (1725-1796) and Abigail MOREY (b. January 27, 1737-8), married in Norton on April 10, 1756.

Hannah was born August 14, 1768 in Norton. Her siblings' names were Abigail (b. October 21, 1758), Eunice (b. April 25, 1762), Isaac (b. October 1, 1760), Lysander (b. August 22, 1771) and Polly (b. June 15, 1764). (The Vital Records also mention an Amasa born to Peter on February 22, 1778, but the mother's name is not given, so I can't be sure about this.)

[This page now becomes the narrative companion to Our Family Tree via the TROW Line; please view it for cross-reference!]

Hannah married Israel TROW, Jr. (1766-1806) of Norton on May 28, 1788 in Mansfield, Bristol County, MA. By 1791, the couple had moved to New Braintree, Worcester County, MA. By 1795, Hannah's father-in-law Captain Israel TROW (1737-1825) and his first wife Mary CLAPP (1738-1809) moved from Norton to the neighboring town of Hardwick, Worcester County, MA, where their dairy farm is still operational today!

Hannah and Israel Jr. had six children together: one who died in infancy, three daughters (Sally, Elsy and Nancy), and twin sons Benjamin and Israel (my ancestor). Israel Jr. died on August 27, 1806 in New Braintree and was buried alone instead of at the ornate family plot in Hardwick.

In February 1807, Hannah became the third wife of Francis WINCH of Holden, Worcester County, MA. They had one child together, a daughter named Levyne WINCH, born February 12, 1808. Francis's first wife was named Judith McBRIDE (m. 1789), and his second wife was named Finis TURNER (m. 1798). Hannah's surviving children accompanied her to Holden. Nancy TROW married David WINCH in 1808. Elsy TROW married John BILLINGS of Rhode Island in 1815. Twin Israel TROW (1802-1868) married Isabelle Green DICKERSON (1806-1892) of South Kingston, RI in 1824. [Twin Benjamin TROW married Aurelia BRIDGMAN of New Hampshire, but this does not appear in the Holden Vital Records; Benjamin's line has been extensively documented by Raymond BRIDGMAN TROW and is kept at the Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN -- the charts are huge!]

Hannah supposedly died in 1850, but aside from handwritten family records with that year appearing on them, no one can prove when or where her death took place. As of this writing, no death information is available about her second husband, Francis WINCH, either. Francis was last recorded in the 1850 census at the age of 89, residing at the home of his son Rev. Moses WINCH in Needham, MA. Although I've been searching since 1991, no records have yet been located in Massachusetts which give any clue.

Another theory suggested is that Hannah may have accompanied her twin sons when they relocated to Walworth County, WI ca. 1840 and later to Winnebago County, WI (where Hannah's daughter-in-law Isabelle TROW's obituary stated that Isabelle was the founder of the town of Eureka). Unfortunately, the Wisconsin genealogists who have tackled this project have come up empty-handed as well.

Please, please, PLEASE, if you have any information which could solve this quest to find Hannah's final resting place, e-mail me at Thank you for taking the time to study this piece of genealogical research!

PS: Special thanks to the lovely people at NativeSoil.Com of Charlestown, Massachusetts, for allowing me a first-hand look at original documents belonging to the family of Francis WINCH which can be purchased or reproduced via their site!

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