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The Bacon family remained intact, despite the scandal. At some point,* they apparently moved to Billerica, five or ten miles north, and some secondary accounts give Mary’s child the name (or perhaps the sobriquet) of “Michael Billerica” Bacon.

Secondary sources also report a Michael Bacon, son of Michael and Sarah, born in Woburn in 1669 and dying 15 August 1721 in Berkeley, South Carolina, with a wife Joanna and a son Thomas, born 2 May 1723 in Dorchester, South Carolina. You’re right: those dates don’t work together. And Michael wasn’t Sarah’s son.

Michael and Sarah went on to record six more children: nine in all, none named Michael, and none born circa 1670-71. If our illegitimate half-uncle grew up as a member of his father’s family, nothing in the record proves it. Nor, for that matter, the contrary.

A reputable account of “Michael Bacon and His Descendants”** reports that our Michael purchased in July, 1682, “…the Rev. Mr. Mitchell’s farm of 500 acres…situated on the Shawshin River.” The Shawsheen, as we spell it these days, runs through both Billerica and Bedford, where Michael and his family finally settled, prospered, and apparently lived very respectably. Quoting Bacon* again:

The families of Bacon prominent in the history of Bedford have almost all descended from Michael3. The name has been prominent in the territory comprising the town, for more than two hundred years.

Go figure. In candor and Christian charity, we’re obliged to gather (and gathering, to rejoice) that Michael seems to have grown up and metamorphosed into a solid citizen. The task of rejoicing comes more easily, perhaps, because our Mary Ball managed to transcend so well the miseries Michael Bacon brought to her own early life.

*A secondary account reports “Michael, birth unrecorded” and indicates that their pre-1669 children were all recorded in Woburn, and those born 1672 and after, in Billerica. One of these days, I’ll verify that.
**Bacon, Leon Brooks, op. cit., p 367.

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