Almy Descendant No. 148

7. JOHN3 ALMY (Job2, William1) b. Portsmouth, RI, 25 Jan 1676.

There is no proof today of what happened to this John Almy. However, the book The Onthank Family by Arthur H. Onthank presents very convincing circumstantial evidence that the Unthank/Onthank name in America today descends from him. John Almy's mother Mary Unthank, who married Job2 Almy in 1663, was the only child of Christopher and Susanna Unthank. Job Almy died in 1684 and Mary Unthank, widow, was left with eight children from age 17 down to one year old. The next year Mary married Thomas Townsend who became step-father to the Almy children.

This John was the eldest son, age 8, at the time of his father's death. To this son, Job left in his will of 1684, all his property in Portsmouth, RI, only reserving the best room for his wife Mary while she was a widow. This John Almy disappears from all records after this will.

Christopher Unthank, Mary's father, had sold all his property by 1684 and also disappears from all records thereafter. Christopher, Susanna, and Mary are the only known Unthank/Onthank immigrants to America. However, in 1724 a John Unthank/Onthank was taxed in Framingham, MA, then a frontier town about 35 miles north of Providence, RI. A George Unthank/Onthank was also taxed in Framingham that year. There is no known record anywhere else of John and George Unthank/Onthank, the name being spelled both ways. Who were they? How did they suddenly appear in Framingham? Here is how The Onthank Family book explains it.

"The most logical answer is that Christopher Unthank/Onthank and his grandson, John Almy, who took his grandfather's surname, left Rhode Island together to settle in the outlying area of Framingham, probably some time after 1685. By then, John Almy had a step-father, whom he may have resented. By then, too, his grandfather, Christopher, had disposed af all his real property in Providence and was free to move. Possibly by then Christopher's wife, Susanna, had died and had been entombed in the part of the Providence lot which they had reserved for that purpose. That reservation, made in 1680, become significant. Christopher, probably saddened at the loss of his wife, and footloose to get away from surroundings which then meant little to him, may have been ready, even eager, to find a new atmosphere.

"What more reasonable than in that mood, Christopher would agree with his daughter, Mary Almy Townsend, to adopt her unhappy eldest son, John, and strike out for new ground? This would yield two desirable results. First, it would give Christopher Unthank/Onthank a line of succession for his name and family, through his grandson, John, who would take his name. Second, it would provide Mary, his daughter, with a home and property, with which she could more safely and easily raise her remaining family of seven children; namely, the property which was willed to eight-year-old John Almy and which he would transfer to his mother, his then guardian.

"All things and conditions considered, therefore, it will be accepted in this history that John Almy Unthank/Onthank was the grandson of Christopher Unthank/Onthank; that he took his grandfather's surnames; that he settled at Framingham soon after 1685; and that he was the father of George Unthank/Onthank, who was probably born about 1700, when his father, John would have been 24 years old."

There is other circumstantial information presented in the book, such as occupations, and continuance of names, which is very convincing in support of the above assumptions. Knowing that John (No. 148) disappeared from all records, and after reading this book, I believe that persons that descend from this John Unthank/Onthank are descendants from William1 Almy.