652 8th Street N E
Mason City, Iowa 50401
William Hedges was the son of Samuel Hedges and Elizabeth Weld. they wer married in England, 4-Mar-1640. In the late 1600's William migrated from England to what is now Delaware, but was then part of New York. (In 1682 the Duke of York ceded his rights in Delaware to William Penn, and New Castle became one of the three "Southern Counties" of Pensylvania) On 3-Jan-1678 he was granted land in New Castle near Wilmington. On the same day he sat on a jury in a civil case in New Castle Court. He is thought to have been a carpenter. He died in New Castle in late 1678.
William's wife was Mary Caldwell. She took on the responsibilities of raising her family following his death. On 9-Jan-1679 she apprenticed her son Charles to Thomas Jacobs of Bread & Cheese Island, 12 miles from New Castle on the Christina River. In March the court awarded her a priority in the claims on the estate of one Walter Wharton. Subsequently the estate paid Mary 100 guilders on the account.
On 3-Nov-1680 the New Castle Court heard the suit of Mary versus Annettie Ollesdotter in a case of slander. Apparently Annettie had been making claims about Mary living with one Jan Corneliuson. Mary took offense, sued, and gained the satisfaction of a public apology from the defendant---not to mention court costs. At court on 5-Jan-1681 she petitoned for a lot near Brewer's Stret in New Castle, which was granted her. It was surveyed a few days later, and Mary built a new house there and earned a living nursing the sick.
In January 1684 she married John Smith also a carpenter. As was the custom then he was appointed administrator of William's estate on 26-Feb-1684, with the responsibility of preserving the estate for the benefit of the minor children. On 23-Feb-1687 they moved next door to a widowed kinswoman of Mary's and helped her raise her three sons.