Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy 243rd Birthday, Silas Freeman Tupper (1768-1843)!

Gawain Wells' third great-grandfather

Silas Tupper is our connection with Tupperware--so think of him tonight when you put away some leftovers!  Since he died in Nauvoo, Silas was in my heart when we visited the Old Burial Grounds there--he has no headstone, but his name is listed among the honored dead.

Silas Tupper’s ancestry goes back to the founder of Sandwich, Massachusetts, and also the first governor of Martha’s Vineyard.  Captain Thomas Tupper, who founded Sandwich, was a missionary among the Indians.  Governor Thomas Mayhew established the first settlement on the island Martha’s Vineyard.  Thomas treated the Indians very fairly and converted most of the nearby tribe to Christianity.  His only son drowned on a voyage to England as the ship became lost at sea.  Perhaps to avoid similar fates, later generations began moving inland to discourage sons from becoming seafaring men.

A father known as “School Master Silas,” the leading schoolmaster of Barnard, Vermont for thirty years, raised Silas in Puritan New England. Silas was the youngest of six children and became a farmer. His first wife died, leaving him with ten children including four-year-old twins (named Philantha and Cermantha, no less!). The next year Silas married Hannah, and they had seven more children.

Silas and Hannah learned of the gospel from their daughter Hannah and were baptized.  They moved their family to Nauvoo, where George A. Smith laid his hands on the head of Brother Tupper and set him apart to preach to the spirits in prison.  One week from that day he was summoned home to answer the call of that mission, and his descendants gathered genealogical records and did temple work in connection with Silas’ mission appointment in the spirit world.

Silas was the second-great-grandfather of Tupperware inventor Earl Silas Tupper, making the inventor Gawain’s third cousin.  For his birthday, I would give him and each of us some great Tupperware sets!


  1. I'd give him a nanny or someone to help him with all those kids!

  2. Great story, the only problem was when you said the next year he remarried and had 7 children. Please, Anita, not so fast. Their years must have been longer than ours.

    Keep up this incredible work. It is amazing how much you which suggests how much information is still out there to be collected.

  3. Thanks so much for posting this. I am also a decendant of Silas Tupper and a neighbor of Jillyn Wells.

    I am so excited to learn more about my ancestry.

    Thank you!