Our interest in Nantucket from a genealogical perspective is related to Ruth’s grandmother’s family. Susan Hervey Wales‘ great grandmother was Mary Elizabeth Easton (1779-1838), the last person in this family line born on Nantucket. She married John Gifford in Nantucket on 19 March 1817.
Mary Easton’s ancstors include three of the original purchasers (Tristram Coffin, Christopher Hussey and Thomas Macy) along with other early settlers, Nathaniel Starbuck and John Gardner. One of her ancestral lines goes back to John Howland, one of the Mayflower passengers. The Hussey family included whalers. Many of these ancestors were a part of the thriving Quaker community on Nantucket, including the dynamic leader, “lady of the island”, Mary Coffin Starbuck (1645-1717).