Where did the Ingrahams come From?
No one is sure, but some authorities suggest that the first Ingrahams went into England about 1066, at the time of the Norman invasion, but others say that the family lived in England prior to that time. Those researchers suggest that the Ingraham families trace their line from Scandinavian marauder, Ingebar, who sailed up and down the coast of England, taking what he wanted, in the eighth and ninth centuries.
This theory seems probable and, if true, the name INGRAHAM (or INGRAM) was derived from Ingebar’s name. “Ham” was added to signify “a town.” Most likely, the town received its name from Ingebar and the first Ingraham bore that name when born in that town. The two forms — Ingraham and Ingram — were used interchangeably until the latter part of the eighteenth century. But today there seems to be a greater gap between the two, even though they’re often related. Records indicate that the first Ingrahams were, for the most part, of the landed gentry and yeomanry of the British Isles.
Essex County is their first home
It is believed that the first family seat of Ingrahams in England was in Essex County and that the other branches of the family came from this first group. Ingraham families are also found in the counties of Hereford, London, Warwick, Worcester, Wilts, and Your, and at slightly later dates in Scotland, and Lincolnshire, Somersetshire, Surrey County, and Sussex County. Located on the southeastern coast of England, Essex is one of the original seven kingdoms that went on to form the country known today as England. (Thanks to Wikipedia for the map.)
The name Essex originates from the Kingdom of the East Seaxe which was founded by Aescwine in 527 AD. Aescwine (Erchenwin) (494-587) had been born in ancient Saxony in northern Germany and declared himself king of the area. He reigned until his death in 587. Very little is known about him or his reign. He was succeeded by his son Sledda. The area includes the territory to the north of the River Thames and east of the River Lee. In 825 AD it combined with the Kingdome of Wessex; then, later, it became East Anglia under the Treaty of Wedmore with Denmark.
In 991 AD the Battle of Maldon resulted in complete defeat for the Anglo-Saxons against the Vikings and led to the poem “The Battle of Maldon.” The battle took place on 10 August 991 near Maldon beside the River Blackwater while Ethelred the Unready was king. The Anglo-Saxons fought a losing battle against a Viking invasion said to be between 2,000 and 4,000 men. A source from the 12th century, Liber Eliensis, written by the monks at Ely, suggests that the Anglo-Saxons had only a few men: "He was neither shaken by the small number of his men, nor fearful of the multitude of the enemy". However, not all sources indicate such a disparity in numbers.
In histories of the Ingrahams, it is usually said that “the family was straightforward, conscientious, and progressive, of considerable intellectual ability and possessed of resolute will and initiative. Sociability, loyalty, generosity, and tolerance have also characterized the family throughout its history in America.” Who knows — perhaps some Ingrahams were there at the Battle of Maldon.
The First Ingraham in this Particular Line
The first known Ingraham in this family‘s genealogy is Richard Ingraham (1600-1683). It is not known who Richard’s father was, although many genealogists have claimed his connection to Arthur Ingraham and his wife, Jane Mallory. In many Ingraham family trees, these two people are listed as Richard’s parents, although there is no primary source evidence to prove it. Without positive proof that Richard is Arthur’s son, Arthur is not included in this genealogical discussion.
Richard Ingraham married Elizabeth Wignall (1604-1668) in 1620 in England. Richard and Elizabeth had at least seven children, one born before they arrived from England, and six more in Massachusetts.
It is believed that both Richard and his brother, Edward, immigrated to the New World, Richard in about 1630 and Edward in about 1635. Richard lived and worked in Rehoboth, Bristol County, Massachusetts all of his adult life, and there are a number of documents to prove his existence there. He was a proprietor, probably of lands, and owned land himself.
Richard’s son, William, is first to be born in Massachusetts
William Ingraham (1624-1721), Richard’s first son and second child, was born in about 1630. He married Mary Barstow (1642-1708) in 1656 and they had six children. William moved around a lot within Bristol County, but it is not known what his occupation was.
The First Timothy
William and Mary’s second-born son, Timothy Ingraham (1660-1748), was born in Boston in 1660. He married Sarah Cowell (1669-1743). Timothy’s wife was from Rhode Island (her parents were Edward Cowell and Sarah Wilson) and their six children were born in Bristol Township, Bristol County, Rhode Island.
The Second Timothy
Timothy’s oldest son was also named Timothy Ingraham (1691-1767); he, too, remained in the Bristol County area. Timothy married three times: He married Margaret Maxfield and they were married for nearly 30 years, but after her death he married Jemima Hathaway. Jemima died four years after their marriage. His third wife was Abigail Eddy (1725-1795) who was 30 years younger than him. Timothy and Abigail had three children who survived infancy, but Timothy died leaving Abigail to raise their young children. She married a second time to a man named Benjamin Hathaway. (For more about the Eddy family, see The Eddy Family.)
The Revolutionary War Soldier, Jonathan Ingraham
Jonathan Ingraham (1760-1847) clearly felt a strong loyalty to his new country, especially being the third generation born in Massachusetts. He joined the American Revolution and participated in numerous battles. After the war, he married Mary Howard (1770-1803) and they had seven children. They remained in Massachusetts, although they did move from Bristol County to Berkshire County.
The First David Ingraham remains in Massachusetts
David Ingraham (1832-1919), the youngest child of Jonathan and Mary, remained in the New Ashford area for most of his life. He married Anna Howard (1812-1853) in 1830 in New Ashford, Massachusetts and raised eight children, though Anna may have died while giving birth to her last son, Frank. David was forced to raise several young children on his own.
The second David Ingraham, a Civil War soldier, moves to New York
It was the next David Ingraham (1832-1919) — David Alman Ingraham, the oldest son of David and Anna — who moved the Ingrahams out of Massachusetts and into New York. He was a Civil War soldier, volunteering in the 141st New York infantry as a private at the age of 32. He had married Harriet Lusty (1834-1919) prior to his service. They probably moved to New York before the Civil War. Harriet’s parents were Charles Lusty and Hannah Jackquey.
The Last Ingrahams to Remain in New York: Frank and Belle
Franklin Ingraham (1858-1944), the son of David and Harriet, was born in New York. His mother and siblings struggled to survive while his father was off fighting in the Civil War. He married Belle Captola Lee (1866-1919) in 1885 in Andover, New York, where he and Belle remained throughout their lives. See also: The Lees.
Robert Lee Ingraham and Ratie move to New Mexico
Frank and Belle had only two children and it was their son, Robert Lee Ingraham (1888-1962), who moved the Ingrahams further west than they had ever been before. Born and raised in New York, Robert worked a good portion of his life in Painted Post and Corning as a machinist, but when his wife, Ratie Jane Mosher (1889-1985), became ill with tuberculosis, they moved to Hurley, New Mexico. Ingrahams had never been that far west and probably both Robert and Ratie never got over their homesickness for New York state. (For more about the Moshers, see Mosher History.
New Mexico is Home for three Ingraham Generations
Ratie and Robert’s middle son, Robert Mosher Ingraham (1911-1995), also left his native New York and traveled with his wife, Hazel Herrick (1914-2010), and two children to New Mexico, where he cared for his parents as they aged. The Ingrahams would never again live in New York or Massachusetts. (For more about the Herricks, see Herrick Family History.
This page written and researched by Susan Overturf Ingraham, wife of Robert Philip Ingraham, a descendant of Richard Ingraham and Elizabeth Wignall. Page last updated on November 28, 2011.