Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Alfred Cornelius White, born Nov. 23, 1847 - Mayflower Descendant?

Alfred Cornelius White was born Nov. 23, 1847 in Amherst, Massachusetts to Samuel Newell White and Harriet (Chamberlain), both born in Brookfield. He came to West Brookfield with his parents and siblings sometime between 1850 and 1852 and settled on the White family farm. (now Salem Cross Inn)  Alfred, the only male child among nine children in the family, appears to have left West Brookfield between 1870 and 1880, for a period of at least twenty years.  He returned to the family farm sometime in the 1890's and became active in West Brookfield town and social affairs.  He was a long time member of the school board, the West Brookfield Farmers' Club, the grange, and the Masonic Lodge.

Where was Alfred for those twenty or so years?  According to his obituary in the Springfield Daily Republican of August 8, 1914, he lived in the south and west, and for a time was a "sheep raiser and ranch man in Texas."  I have not yet found any evidence of his whereabouts during those years, but intend to continue my research. One might wonder about the circumstances of his leaving the family farm, and also of his return.

What of the Mayflower ancestors?  It has been written, that Alfred's family was descended from Peregrine White, who was the first white male born in this country.  I have not done the research necessary to verify this information, and some who  have attempted to verify it, have been unable to identify the parents of John White, the first of this White Family to settle in West Brookfield.  Readers might start a search by contacting the Mayflower Society.

Some information on Alfred and his family in West Brookfield may be found online at