May 7, 1739 – October 2, 1805
Abigail, along with her twin sister Mercy, was born in Weston, Middlesex County, in Massachusetts on May 7, 1739. She is sometimes recorded with a birthday of May 9th. She is the daughter of William Lawrence (May 20, 1711 – July 11, 1774) and Mary Perry (Parry)(September 7, 1718 – ?).
Abigail grew up in Middlesex County in Massachusetts and on December 27, 1772 married James Priest. It’s still a mystery as to where James Priest came from, as there are no mentions of him in Massachusetts history other than noting his marriage to Abigail. It could be that he was born and came from England to Massachusetts because there are a large number of people in both places with that surname living in those areas at that time.
Abigail is a slightly cracked link in the family tree. She is definitely our ancestor. It’s her ancestry that is under a question mark. Most family trees are in agreement that she is descended from the Ashton Hall Lawrences, but it is not exactly certain, given the number of Johns and Williams that were common Lawrence given names at that time for the males.
If the Ashton Hall Lawrences, where she is listed in their tree, are indeed our ancestors, it is a line full of history, mystery and royalty, going all the way back to Charlemagne.
How I and my generation are related to Abigail Lawrence:
Abigail Lawrence (1739 – 1805) is our 6th great grandmother
Louisa Priest (1795 – 1872) Daughter of Abigail
Jane Crooks (1819 – 1898) Daughter of Louisa
Ananais Dunbar (1843 – 1877) Son of Jane
Sarah A. Dunbar (1873 – 1940) Daughter of Ananais
Alberta Claire Oesterling (1893 – 1976) Daughter of Sarah A.