Saturday, October 1, 2011

Surname Saturday – Caverly

Charles and Comfort Caverly Family and Cat
by Joseph H. Davis, ink and watercolor, 1836

The first Caverly in New Hampshire was William Caverly, who left a will naming his wife, sons and daughter.    His marriage was unrecorded in town records, but we know his wife’s name from his father-in-law’s will (Walter Abbott), which called her Mary Caverly.   The Caverly family has descendants with the name still in New Hampshire.  Many still meet up every two years at the Caverly Family Reunion at the historic Bow Lake Grange Hall in Strafford.  

William Caverly’s origins are unknown, although he married a wife whose ancestry went back to the first settlers in New Hampshire. There are other Caverly families in the USA, who have different DNA from our branch.

Generation 1.  William Caverly, born about 1650, died before 1732 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire when his will was proved; married about 1696 to Mary Abbott, daughter of Walter Abbott and Sarah Steward, born about 1652 in New Hampshire.  Four Caverly children.  Mary married first to Thomas Guptill about 1672, and he was lost at sea in 1686 after having five children.  Mary married third on 4 November 1707 in Boston, Massachusetts to Leonard Drown (1646 – 1729), a ship builder in Portsmouth and in Boston, and her sister's widowed husband.  Leonard Drown had nine children with his first wife Elizabeth Abbott, and one daughter, Mary Drown, married James Kettle of Charlestown, Massachusetts, the son of my 8x great grandparents, Jonathan Kettle and Abigail Converse (but that's a different story to tell another time!). 
            1. Nathaniel married Jane Fitzgerald
            2. Moses, born about 1694; married Margaret Cotton
            3. Elizabeth, born about 1696; married Thomas Wilkinson
            4. Thomas, no further information

Generation 2. Elizabeth Caverly, born about 1696 in Portsmouth; married  first in August 1715 in Portsmouth to Thomas Wilkinson, immigrant from London, born about 1690, died before 1739.  Two known sons, James born about 1730 and William born 17 October 1736 in Portsmouth.  Probably more children.   Married second on 27 November 1739 in Portsmouth to Phillip Jewell, born in Yanton, Biddeford, England.  No known children.   For more information see my Surname Saturday post on Wilkinson here at this link:

Generation 3. James Wilkinson (b.abt 1730) m. Hannah Mead (1730 – bef. 1759)
Generation 4. William Wilkinson (d. aft. 1840) m. Mercy Nason
Generation 5. Aaron Wilkinson (1802- 1879) m. Mercy F. Wilson (1803- 1883)
Generation 6. Robert Wilson Wilkinson (1830 – 1874) m. Phebe Cross Munroe (1830 – 1895)
Generation 7. Albert Munroe Wilkinson (1860 – 1908) m. Isabella Lyons Bill
Generation 8. Donald Munroe Wilkinson (1895 - 1977) m. Bertha Louise Roberts (1897 - 1990) My grandparents.

The Caverly family was written up by Robert Boodey Caverly in 1879 in the book Genealogy of the Caverly Family.    In 2008 Paul Caverly revised this book and has published it at and he also has a blog at

 The Caverlys have also been written up at the website  but there are some mistakes in the first two generations, so be aware and check your own sources.   The Caverly Family Newsletter has several new articles on Moses and Nathaniel Caverly in the second generation, and their descendants.  You can contact the Caverly Family Association at

There is a Caverly DNA project at

Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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