Last Updated: 26 March, 1996

Honeywell Heritage

Vol. 2, No. 4

Ambrose Hunnewell

In the Register of the Parish of St. Andrew, Plymouth, Devon, England, is the entry: “Ambrose Hunniwell and Jane Homes were married on the first day of November, 1659” (Hunnewell, Chiefly Six Generations in Massachusetts, by James Frothingham Hunnewell, 1900).

Two years later the name Ambrose is found in New England. “In 1661, Ambrose Hunnewell from whom the point at the Fort takes its name, resided at the lower end of Sagadahock.” (Me. Hist. Soc. II, 193) June 25, 1662, he bought land on the Sagadahock river (indenture). About 1671 he was living on an islet called Hunnewell’s Point (deposition).

This “Hunnewell’s Point” on the western shore of the mouth of the Kennebec River in Maine appears to be the land first associated with the Ambrose Hunnewell family. Here was the first considerable attempt at settlement, that of Popham colony in August, 1607. It was called “Sabino” by the Indians, but on the earliest maps of the period by the English name of “Hunnewell’s Point.”

Ambrose Hunnewell was possibly a close relative of Roger Hunnewell, founder of a majority of the American Honeywell/Hunnewell line, but the connection has never been proven.

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A visit to Hunnewell Point

“Hunnewell’s Point” is an area now more well known as the fishing and tourist village of Popham Beach, Maine. Fort Popham dominates the tip of Hunnewell Point. It is an ante bellum, unfinished stone fort guarding the entrance to the Kennebec River. Hunnewell Beach is a large beach just south of the village of Popham Beach.

Tourists flock to the summer cottages in the area. Route 216 leads from Bath, then route 209 ends at the Point. A State Park watches over part of Hunnewell Beach.

The Hunnewell Beach Coast Guard Station was closed in 1971 and sold to local interests. It is now the Popham Beach Bed & Breakfast, run by Peggy Johannessen. It commands magnificent views of the Kennebec River, historic Fort Popham, and the quaint fishing village. One can watch the seals, cormorants and ospreys from the watch tower.

A short walk from the village brings you to the home of Jane Stevens, author of a charming glass- plate photography book showing the history of the area over the last 100 years. As we sat on her porch with a fantastic view of the village, Fort and the sea, she got out a copy of The Descendants of Roger and Ambrose Hunnewell and proved she was well aware of the area’s earliest settler. She now also has a complete set of Honeywell Heritage newsletters. Just past Jane’s house is a small parking lot and a short path leading to Fort Baldwin, a WW I era defensive set of gun emplacements.

A visit to Popham Beach, Hunnewell’s Point, and Hunnewell Beach will richly reward the avid family history buff. Stop at the quaint village and have a lobster roll, visit the Fort, check out the small library, bed down and breakfast at the old Hunnewell Beach Coast Guard Station, and try to soak up the feeling of what it must have been like 335 years ago.

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More Rice Honeywells

A popular family name

The records of Honeywell Family Association show 16 persons bearing the given name Rice. The first was Rice Honeywell (Vol. 2 No. 3) of Revolutionary War fame, who moved to Canada after the War. All following him were born in Canada. All living are called by the name Rice, even if a middle name.