"Unsolved Sprague Mysteries" are conflicts between sources
of Sprague information that are not resolved in the
Sprague Database. We invite anyone who can provide
additional facts about these "Unsolved Sprague Mysteries"
to contact the project compiler by going to the Contacting
the Project Developer page
1. Who are the parents of Abiel SPRAGUE? W. V. Sprague in "Sprague Families in
America" identifies Abiel (Abral) as the son of Samuel SPRAGUE and Ruth ALDEN.
Then W. V. Sprague's 1941 Supplement identifies Abral as Abiel and provides a
good bit of information about his descendants. The Alden Kindred Society, however,
disputes Samuel and Ruth as the parent's of Abiel because "Abiel does not share
in the division of Samuel's estate." The Society will not approve membership of
anyone claiming qualification through Abiel Sprague.
2. Who was the second wife of John SPRAGUE, son of John and Ruth (BASSETT) SPRAGUE? Most sources list her as Lois ABEL but some sources such as the Mayflower Families in Progress series for Myles STANDISH list Lois STANDISH as the second wife. They simply add the footnote "The marriage record in the Barbour file calls her Lois ABEL" with no additional explanation.
Further information on this problem, as to who was John SPRAGUE's wife was, has been kindly provided in a letter from Mr. Robert Wakefield of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants. Mr. Wakefield wrote, on May 17, 1998, "I received Russ Warner's Standish file several years after he died. I added much to families that had children, but families with no Standish descendants were a low priority. The Mayflower Societies main purpose is to prove lines of descent. There are three possibilities: 1) The town clerk made an error when he recorded the marriage. I have seen many cases where the town clerk made an error, ususally, the bride's first name, but sometimes the surname. The published church records do not have the marriage, so it can't be checked there. 2) Lois married ______ Abel between 30 Dec. 1723 when she is called widow Loice Calkins and 21 March 1726 when she married John Sprague. There is no record of such a marriage in town or church records. If true, she would have buried 3 husbands in less than 6 years. 3) Lois married _______ Sprague and a Lois Abel married John Sprague. We know Lois married a Sprague before the 26 Jan 1729 deed when she is called Lowis Sprague. There is no record of such a marriage. I do not know the answer and we may never know the solution. The old Standish Genealogy in NEHGR says Lois m (1) 29 Nov. 1706 Hugh Calkins and m (2) 21 March 1727 Lieut. John Sprague. Old undocumented genealogies - Standish, Sprague, or any other families, are not proof." (signed, Bob Wakefield).
3. Lydia GOFFE married John SPRAGUE, son of immigrant Ralph and Joanna (WARREN) SPRAGUE. Who was Lydia's mother. The NEHGS Register listed her as Lydia JOYCE in the memorial to Albert Arnold SPRAGUE. However, most published sources list her as Joyce CUTTER. Was Lydia's mother Lydia Joyce or Joyce Cutter?
4. The Ralph Sprague Genealogy, by E. G. Sprague, page 65, lists 12 children for Benjamin, son of Stower SPRAGUE. The Spragues of Malden, by George Walter Chamberlain, page 185, lists 13 children. The authors disagree on son(s) Joseph SPRAGUE. Chamberlain lists two Josephs, one born 9 Feb 1761 who died young and one born 9 Feb 1763 with no further information. E.G. Sprague lists only one Joseph, born 9 Feb 1761, died Dec 1820, and marrying Alice Dowse on 14 Dec 1788.
Does anyone have sources verifying that the Joseph born in 1761 or 1763 was the husband of Alice DOWSE and that there were two Josephs?
5. The Ralph Sprague Genealogy, by E. G. Sprague and The Spragues of Malden by George Walter Chamberlain list Edward Sprague, son of Stower Sprague, as born at Malden, 29 Jul 1719. E.G Sprague then says that Edward married Lydia HOWARD on 10 Jun 1744. Chamberlain says "He was not the Edward Sprague who married Lydia HOWARD and Dorothy SKINNER. What became of this Edward SPRAGUE is not apparent...."
What did happen to Edward, son of Stower? Who was the Edward who married Lydia HOWARD? Did he have a second wife, Dorothy SKINNER? Chamberlain says that Edward, son of William, son of Capt Edward, was the husband of the two above named wives. Does anyone have knowledge of offspring for Edward, son of Stower?
6. William Heidgerd, in "New York Biographical Dictionary, reported that Samuel Sprague, son of Capt. William Sprague and Ellis (Alice) Brown, married Jerusha Mitchell, daughter of Rev. Edward Mitchell on 24 March 1744/1745.
George Austin Morrison, Jr, in 1898, indicated in King Genealogy, Clement King, of Marshfield, Mass., 1668 and His Descendants that Jerusha King, daughter of James King married the same Samuel Sprague and lists the same names for resultant offspring. Jerusha is named as Jerusha Sprague in her father's will.
It appears that one of these sources is in error. Are there vital records that will prove which of the above is correct and provide the correct spouse and offspring of the one in error?
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