Alice Cogswell Bemis came from a long line of good British stock. She was in the eighth generation from John Cogswell, who was born at Westbury Leigh, Wiltshire, in 1592. He was a man of standing and of considerable inherited property. Among the latter were "The Mylls," called "Ripond," situated in the parish of Fromen, Selwood, together with the homestead and certain personal property. He married Elizabeth Thompson, a daughter of the Vicar of Westbury parish. After twenty years of married life, during which they had lived in the family homestead and he had carried on his father's prosperous business, he decided to emigrate to America, and on May 23, 1625, leaving one married daughter in England, they embarked with their eight Other children on the famous ship, The Angel Gabriel. We find no mention of a special reason for their leaving England, but it was probably the same that led many Others of their type to begin life afresh in the new world; here the possibilities of the country to be developed were limitless, and doubtless these offered a better outlook for their children, whose welfare must have been uppermost in their thoughts and plans. The voyage of The Angel Gabriel and its wreck off Pemaquid, on the coast of Maine, in the frightful gale of August 15, 1625, are told in the graphic story of the Rev. Richard Mather, who was a passenger on the ship James, which sailed from England on the same day. The James lay at anchor off the Isles of Shoals while The Angel Gabriel was off Pemaquid.
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