Thursday, January 31, 2013

PRUDENCE CRANDALL


rudence Crandall may only be my half 5th cousin 5 X removed, but I am proud to have her in my tree.  In 1803, Prudence was born in Hopkinton, Rhode Island, as were many of my Crandall ancestors.  She moved with her parents to Canterbury, Connecticut when she was 17. Prudence was a Quaker. She attended school in Providence, Rhode Island to become a teacher. (1)



In 1831, she opened a school for girls in Canterbury. The following year she admitted an African American girl. The town people were alarmed and requested that she remove the girl from her school but she refused.  In retaliation, parents withdrew their white children. In 1833, Prudence opened Miss Crandall’s School for Young Ladies and Misses of Color, and girls from all over New England and surrounding states attended. (2) The town threw a fit. 

On May 24, 1833, Connecticut passed the “Black Law,” which stated that a school with African American students from outside the state had to have the town’s permission.  The town refused to admit Prudence or her students to stores, churches or doctors. Stage coach drivers denied them transportation. The school’s well was poisoned with animal feces. (3)

In July of 1833, Prudence was arrested and placed in jail for one night, later to be released on bond. Prominent abolitionists came to her defense. Eventually the Supreme Court of Connecticut reversed the lower court’s decision and dismissed the case against Prudence for lack of evidence. Unfortunately, the townspeople’s violence continued and on September 9, 1834 the school was set on fire. (4)

For her and her students’ protection, Prudence closed the school and moved with her husband, Rev. Calvin Philleo, out of state, eventually settling in Illinois. Calvin would die in Illinois; Prudence later moved to Kansas. (5)



In 1886, four years before Prudence’s death, Connecticut granted her a small pension as “penance” for her trauma. (6)

I found this poem by Prudence Crandall in the Elmira Telegraph, Sunday, March 9, 1890:


(7)

Prudence died in Kansas at the age of 86.

Today, Prudence’s school is the Prudence Crandall Museum (http://www.cultureandtourism.org/cct/cwp/view.asp?a=2127&q=302260), and Prudence is Connecticut’s State Heroine (http://www.ct.gov/ctportal/cwp/view.asp?a=885&q=246502).



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Women's Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Decorative Silhouettes, 2003.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Full-Color Victorian Vignettes, 2002.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame, 2013
http://www.cwhf.org/inductees/education-preservation/prudence-crandall

(2) Ibid.

(3) Wikipedia (http://www.wikipedia.com), “Prudence Crandall,” rev. 22 Nov. 2010.

(4) Ibid.

(5) Ibid.

(6) Op. cit., Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.

(7) “An Ante-Bellum Character,” Elmira Telegram, March 9, 1890, Old Fulton NY Post Cards, digital image 2080677 (www.fultonhistory.com).


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Artwork by
Jane Williams Cutler Taylor
1923-2005

Artwork by
Jane Williams Cutler Taylor
1923-2005

Sunday, January 27, 2013

MAINE GENEALOGY


p until this week, I have never explored the genealogical resources for the State of Maine.  By using the Places tab on Family Tree Maker, I was able to quickly pinpoint my ancestors who lived in Maine (Brown, Rice and Spaulding). Today I will address my findings for the Spaulding family.



On the Maine Memory Network website under “Maine History Online,” I discovered a reference to Helen F. Spaulding (http://www.mainememory.net/sitebuilder/site/779/slideshow/422/display?use_mmn=1&prev_object_id=1188&prev_object=page).  I learned that Helen was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts (a town whose graveyards are filled with my Spaulding ancestors) and that she was the only female student from out of state at Westbrook Seminary’s Class of 1864. Helen’s photograph was included, and copies can be ordered. (1) For information on Westbrook see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westbrook_College.

At the Maine State Archives “Civil War Officers and Other Misc. Photographs” (http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/archives/military/civilwar/offpix.htm), I found a reference to Capt. Joseph Spaulding in Co. A of the 19th Regiment, Maine Volunteer Infantry, along with a negative number.  Copies of photographs can be provided for a nominal fee. (2)   Also on the Maine State Archives site, I found a list of Spauldings (Eleazer, Samuel and Samuel) who were granted Revolutionary War land grants (http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/research/revwargrants3.html). (3) In addition, the Maine State Archives website has a searchable Death Index (1-1-1960 to 12-31-2009) and Marriage Index (1-1-1892 to 12-31-2009).



On the USGenWeb Maine website (http://files.usgwarchives.net/me/androscoggin/sabattus/families/spfiles.txt), I found a great detail of information on the Spauldings. Joseph Spaulding, one of my distant cousins, was born in 1760 in New Hampshire and married Mary Collins in 1787 in Maine. They belonged to the Society of Friends, and he served in the War of 1812.  Their children and their children’s spouses are listed. (4) Now I have new avenues of research—military and religious records no doubt exist.

Another wonderful site is Maine Genealogy (http://www.mainegenealogy.net). Here, you can do a quick search for an ancestor’s name and get a list of several databases where they appear. I did a search for Joseph Spaulding and got 156 results from several databases including marriages, divorces, legislative index, Maine book search, Maine court records, Maine genealogy archives, Secretary of State correspondence and Mexican War soldiers (http://www.mainegenealogy.net/global_search_results.asp?firstname=joseph&lastname=spaulding&spelling=starts). Under Maine Genealogy Archives, I found Joseph Spaulding listed in Emden Tax Lists, 1810-1890 (5); Revolutionary War Pensioners, 1840 (6); and Fairfield Taxpayers, 1793. (7) You could spend days exploring the Maine Genealogy website.

I visited a number of other websites specific to Maine, too many to mention in a blog post. Two outstanding websites that give you links to genealogy resources in Maine are:

After you have exhausted all the Maine sites, you can, of course, search for your Maine ancestors on sites such as Familysearch.org, Ancestry.com, AmericanAncestors.org, Findagrave.com, Genealogybank.com, Fold3.com and many more. The amount of information out there is staggering.

State of Maine Ship, Castine, Maine

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art,Women Illustrations, 2004.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Historical Illustrations and Emblems, 2001.

State of Maine ship, a teaching vessel for the Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, Maine, Digital ID: (digital file from original) highsm 16492 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.16492 , Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-highsm-16492 (digital file from original) LC-HS503-6442 (color film transparency), Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print: accessed January 27, 2013).


CITATION SOURCES:

(1) "Helen F. Spaulding, Class of 1864," Maine Memory Network, Maine Historical Society, copyright 2012-2013 (http://www.mainememory.net/sitebuilder/site/779/slideshow/422/display?use_mmn=1&prev_object_id=1188&prev_object=page: accessed January 27, 2013).

(2) “Civil War Officers and Other Misc. Photographs” database, Maine State Archives, Department of Secretary of State, State of Maine, copyright 2005 (http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/archives/military/civilwar/offpix.htm: accessed January 27, 2013).

(3) “Revolutionary War Land Grants and Pension Applications” database, Maine State Archives, Department of Secretary of State, State of Maine, copyright 2005, (http://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/research/revwargrants3.html: accessed January 27, 2013), entry for Eleazer Spaulding, Samuel Spaulding and Samuel Spaulding,

(4) "Early Families of Sabattus, Androscoggin Co, Maine: formerly part of Greene, Lewiston, Lisbon, Bowdoin & West Bowdionham" by David C. Young, 1998, MEGenWeb Archives, last edited 16 Jun 2008, part of the USGenWeb Project Archives (http://files.usgwarchives.net/me/androscoggin/sabattus/families/spfiles.txt: accessed January 27, 3013), 

(5) “Embden Tax Lists, 1810-1890” database, Maine Genealogy (http://archives.mainegenealogy.net/2011/03/embden-tax-lists-1810-1890.html: accessed January 27, 2013), entry for Joseph Spaulding, citing Ernest George Walker, Embden town of yore: olden times and families there and in adjacent towns (Skowhegan, Me.: Independent-Reporter Co., 1929).

(6) “Revolutionary War Pensions, 1840” database, Maine Genealogy (http://archives.mainegenealogy.net/2010/02/revolutionary-war-pensioners-1840.html: accessed January 27, 2013), entry for Joseph Spaulding, citing A census of pensioners for revolutionary or military services: with their names, ages, and places of residence, as returned by the marshals of the several judicial districts, under the act for taking the sixth census (Washington, D.C.: Blair and Rives, printers, 1841).

(7) “Fairfield Taxpayers, 1793” database, Maine Genealogy (http://archives.mainegenealogy.net/2009/02/fairfield-taxpayers-1793.html: accessed January 27, 2013), entry for Joseph Spaulding, citing Harry Edward Mitchell, et al., comp., The Fairfield register, 1904 (Kent's Hill, Me., The H. E. Mitchell publishing company, 1904).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

YOU JUST NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU WILL FIND IN THE MAIL


onight I found in my mail the quarterly newsletter “Perry County Quarterly” published by the Perry County Historical Society in Linden, Tennessee (http://tngenweb.org/perrytn/hist_soc.htm).   To my amazement across the front page were the words THOMAS MAGRUDER BRASHEAR followed by two pages about his life. Thomas was my 2nd great grandfather (see previous blog posts at http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/09/three-cheers-for-tennessee.html, http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/09/more-treasures-from-allen-county-public.html  and http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/10/nicknames-and-genealogy.html).  See also my post on the Maryland Genealogy Forum and its response (http://genforum.com/md/messages/17731.html).

Thomas Magruder Brashear (or “T.M.” as he was known) was born 19 December 1816 in Frederick County, Maryland. The Perry County Quarterly article, written by Jessie Ruth Tiller, discusses Thomas’ life starting in Perry County, Tennessee in the 1840s up until his death in 1882. While I was aware of the Census information and political/legal career of T.M. discussed by Jessie, there were other details that I did not know such as:
  • Thomas’ residence at the time of the 1850 Census was a boarding house. (1)
  • Jessie refers to an article by Barney DePriest published in the Perry Countian in November of 1924 which described Thomas Brashear’s great intelligence and knowledge of liberal arts. DePriest’s article also talks about Thomas’ love of music but inability to carry a tune. (2)  I did not know about the publication Perry Countian, so now I want to track it down.

The only problem I found with Jesse’s article is that she states that one of T.M.’s children, William M. Brashear, born 1857, died young.  My great grandfather, WILLIAM M. BRASHEAR, was Thomas’ son. He was born in May 1858 in Tennessee and died 5 March 1924 in Clinton, Oneida County, New York.  Here is a picture of his gravestone and the Brashear marker at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Clinton, New York


Brashear Family Marker
Sunset Hill Cemetery, Clinton, Oneida County, New York

William M. Brashear Gravestone
Sunset Hill Cemetery, Clinton, Oneida County, New York

Perhaps there was another William M. Brashear born in 1857 who died young. Nonetheless, William Magruder Brashear, born May 1858, was very much alive and produced five children, one of whom was my grandmother, MARTHA JANE BRASHEAR (see my blog post “Martha Brashear Taylor Ranke” (http://www.theartofgenealogy.com/2012/08/martha-brashear-taylor-ranke.html).

William Brashear’s obituary was listed in the Clinton New York Courier on Wednesday, March 5, 1924. I quote in part:

(4)
Jessie states that the exact date of T.M.’s marriage to MARTHA JANE TURNER is unknown. This is true; I have tried unsuccessfully to get the exact date. It did not help that the Perry County Courthouse burned in 1863.

There are still many unknowns about T.M.’s life, such as where did he receive his legal education?  I am piecing his life together bit by bit.   I have had my DNA tested by Ancestry.com and have countless cousin hits with the names Brashear, Magruder and Turner.  There is no doubt in my mind that I have acquired a great deal of DNA from that particular side of my family. 

T.M. was an important person in the history of Perry County and Tennessee.  Stay tuned as I unearth more clues about him!

One final note—this is a good example of why you should join the genealogy societies in the places where your ancestors lived. I may never have known about this article but for my membership in the Perry County Historical Society. Thank you, Perry County Historical Society, for taking the time to research and write an article about my 2nd great grandfather!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Tiller, Jessie Ruth, “Thomas Magruder Brashear,” The Perry County Quarterly, December 2012, Issue 18-4, p. 1.

(2) Ibid, p. 2.

(3) Ibid, p. 2.

(4)  “William M. Brashear,” Clinton New York Courier, March 5, 1924, digital image 964145, Old Fulton NY Post Cards (www. Fultonhistory.com).




WORDLESS WEDNESDAY


Artwork by
Jane Williams Cutler Taylor
1923-2005


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Discoveries Await at USGenWeb


U.S. Gen Web (www.usgenweb.org) is a free website dedicated to genealogy. Its content is compiled by volunteers for the USGenWeb Project. The website is organized by state and county. Depending on the availability of volunteers in a given area, your particular county may or may not have as much as another county. There is an enormous amount of information waiting to be explored. 


I have used this site many times, mostly for the New York Counties of Oneida, Chenango and Madison. As an example, I am going to use the Oneida County New York GenWeb page located at http://oneida.nygenweb.net. To get to your place of interest, simply click on the state you want and then choose a county.

On the left of the Oneida County homepage is a list of topics: What’s New, Search, Bibles, Bios, Births, Cemeteries, Census, Deaths, Deeds, Homepages, Indian, Lookups, Maps, Marriages, Military, Miscellaneous, Newspapers, Obituaries, Pensions, Photos, Queries, Resources, Towns and Wills.

The topic I consult the most is Cemeteries. Here you will find a list of cemeteries in the towns in Oneida County. If you click on the cemetery name, you will be shown a transcription of people buried in the cemetery along with a picture, location and a bit of history about the cemetery.  There is now a search engine just for cemetery listings, a wonderful new feature.  I entered “Scripture,” one of my ancestral surnames, into the search box and came up with five cemeteries that contain people with the name Scripture. In the Rome Cemetery, I found 11 hits. The information given is: Last Name, First Name, Interment Date, Lot No. and Section. This will save you quite a bit of time if you are exploring cemeteries for a particular ancestor.  Of course, this information is not definitive, but it certainly is quite helpful and can lead you to more information.  Because the name Scripture is so unique, most, if not all, of the Scriptures buried in Oneida County are somehow related to me.  When I use one of my common surnames, like Taylor, I have to do a lot of weeding out of names.

One fun source on the Oneida GenWeb site is the Bible listings.  It is strictly the luck of the draw here. You might find one of your surnames if you’re lucky.  Don’t be afraid to explore surnames that don’t belong to your people as they often contain references to people who married into that line.

Another useful tool on this site is the Maps of Towns in Central New York (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nycortla/cnytownm.htm). This will give you a visual of where a town was located and the adjoining towns and counties. It can ramp up the effectiveness of searching if you know alternative locations for your ancestors. For example, I see that Sherburne is near New Berlin in Chenango County.  I have ancestors named Cutler who lived in Chenango County.  If I put the search terms “Cutler” and “Sherburne” and “New York” into Google, I will get one set of hits. If I do the same search with “New Berlin,” I will get different results. This type of information will aid you in your Census searching also.

The Miscellaneous tab can give you unexpected and useful results. For example, I found a link to The Welsh in Oneida County, New York by Paul Demund Evans (http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nyunywh/oneidawelsh/page2.html). This is a fantastic resource for anyone with Welsh ancestry.

nder the Oneida County Biographies tab I found an article submitted by Nancy Hauser about WILLIAM E. SCRIPTURE, my 1st cousin 4 times removed. The article also references HIRAM SCRIPTURE, my 4th great grandfather, and ELIZABETH PARKER, my 4TH great grandmother. (oneida.nygenweb.net/bios/scripture.html)

Under “Resources” you will find the contact information for the County historian, County libraries, court houses, offices of vital statistics and historical societies.

I have only scratched the surface of the information available on the Oneida County Gen Website.  If you have a moment, go to http://usgenweb.org, pick a state and a county and discover the hidden gems that just might help you broaden your tree.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, American Folk Art Designs, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Christian Symbols, 2003.


Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

CITATION SOURCES:

Oneida County New York USGenWeb Site, copyright 1999-2008 by Betty Carpenter-McCulloch (http://oneida.nygenweb.net: accessed January 19, 2013).





Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY



Artwork by Jane Williams Cutler Taylor
1923-2005


Closeup of Signature

Sunday, January 13, 2013

DETROIT SOCIETY FOR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH AND THE OAKLAND COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY


esterday, January 12, I attended the joint meeting of the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research (http://dsgr.org) and the Oakland County Genealogical Society (http://www.ocgsmi.org) held at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Christ Church Cranbrook, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

John Beatty, a genealogy librarian at The Genealogy Center in Ft. Wayne, Indiana since 1984 (http://www.genealogycenter.org/Community/Librarians.aspx), spoke about the “Genealogical Resources at the Allen County Public Library.”  I was especially interested in his discussion about how the genealogy library got started and how it continues to grow daily. Library Director Fred J. Reynolds, who was not especially interested in genealogy, nonetheless saw its value and pioneered its expansion. For a brief discussion of the library’s history, see https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/Allen_County_Public_Library.

Mr. Beatty’s speech was flawless and informative.  I am anxious to visit the library again and explore its numerous resources, such as:
  • Family histories
  • Census Records
  • City Directories
  • Passenger Lists
  • Military records
  • Native American records
  • African American records
  • Records from Canada, the British Isles, Germany and more
In addition to the microfilm and book holdings, there are numerous databases that you can use for free on site.  For a list of these, check out http://www.genealogycenter.org/Databases.aspx. Because I have hundreds of British ancestors, I would like to visit Origins.net (http://www.origins.net).

For more details on the Ft. Wayne Library holdings, visit: http://www.genealogycenter.org/pdf/AboutUsBrochure.pdf




If you are lucky enough to live close to the library, there are frequent classes and events. For example, on March 4 there is a presentation entitled “Gathering & Writing the Stories of Your Life -- Beginning Steps.”

John Beatty emphasized that, in addition to the resources available at the Allen County library, there are many items you can explore from the comfort of your home.  See: http://www.genealogycenter.org/Databases/FreeDatabases.aspx

Before the lecture, people mingled, ate cookies and had the opportunity to join the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research and/or the Oakland County Genealogical Society. I joined both.

The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research is sponsoring a bus trip to Ft. Wayne on Saturday, February 9, 2013. See: http://dsgr.org/upload/events/DSGR_Ft__Wayne_Reg_2013.pdf


I visited the Allen County Library last year—it’s just a 3 hour drive from Detroit. I’m still working my way through the piles of genealogical discoveries I accumulated from that trip.

If you plan to visit the Allen County Public Library, be sure to plan ahead so you can maximize your time there. Here is an orientation video:  http://www.genealogycenter.org/Services/Orientation.aspx

The Allen County Library has a blog: http://www.genealogycenter.org/Community/Blog.aspx. Sign up. You’ll be glad you did.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1100 Pictorial Symbols, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.




MORE FUN WITH FULTON: REUNIONS


ant to fill in some branches of your family tree? If you have New York ancestors, The Old Fulton NY Postcards Website (www.fultonhistory.com) can help! In addition, quite frequently you will find references to people from other states and countries.

Try putting in the terms “[surname] reunion” using exact search. Then scroll through the results (or hit Ctrl + F) for a newspaper from a town where you believe your ancestor resided.

Here is an article I found about my Taylor ancestors’ reunion:


(1)

As you can see, it is filled with names and locations—a great springboard for research.  ROBERT and ELEANOR HALL TAYLOR, my 2nd great grandparents, came to this country in the mid-1800s from Lincolnshire, England. I recognize many of the names listed in the article, but there are some I need to investigate.

If you haven’t explored historic newspapers, you are missing a critical tool in unpuzzling your past!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art,Victorian Decorative Letters, 1999.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Decorative Silhouettes, 2003.

CITATION SOURCE:

(1) "Taylor Reunion Held at Clinton," The Utica Observer Dispatch, August 23, 1922, Old Fulton NY Post Cards, digital image 372622 (www.fultonhistory.com).

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

DEATH BY SMALLPOX


hen I think about the horrible diseases that our ancestors endured, I am so thankful to live at this time in history.

SMALL POX – The name makes me shudder.   For hundreds of years our country endured smallpox epidemics on and off throughout the states. The disease was painful and hideous. It was terribly contagious and sometimes whole families were wiped out.  Infected people were treated like lepers and sent off to live in caves and “pest” houses. When they died from the disease, and many did, they were often buried in mass graves. Others were placed in Smallpox Cemeteries where people feared to tread. If people lived after having smallpox, their faces and bodies were often pocked with scars.  Soldiers marched in battle with smallpox.  Can you imagine?



I came across an ancestor, DANIEL STONE, my 6th half great grand uncle, who died from smallpox. Here is the FindAGrave link where it says, “He dyd of ye Small Pox.”

Out of curiosity, I began searching for smallpox victims from some of my other lines. I found a number of Cutlers who died from the disease:
  • Sarah Cutler (d.   Sept. 5, 1690) and Mary Cutler (d. Sep. 12, 1690), daughters of Timothy and Elizabeth Cutler, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. (2)




Have you discovered ancestors who died of smallpox?  Try searching in Google for “smallpox cemetery” and your state of interest.  Here are some of the cemeteries I found. You just might find an ancestor.









Smallpox did not just affect New England. Here are some smallpox cemeteries in other areas of the country:



If you want to read up on this dreaded disease, I found the following articles of interest:







ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, 1268 Old-Time Cuts and Ornaments, 2006.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Trees & Leaves, 2004.


CITATION SOURCES:

(1) Find A Grave, Inc. Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=stone&GSfn=daniel&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=21&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=33440797&df=all&: accessed January 8, 2013), Daniel Stone, Jr.  (1668-1702), Memorial No. 33440797, created by Kevin Avery.

(2) Charlestown, MA: Vital Records to 1850. (Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.) Originally published as Vital Records of Charlestown, Massachusetts to the year 1850. Compiled and edited by Roger D. Joslyn. 2 vols in 3. Boston: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1984-1995, p. 148.

(3) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=cutler&GSfn=david&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=21&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=16639451&df=all&: accessed January 8, 2013), David Cutler (1705-1760), Memorial No. 16639451, created by Bill Boyington.

(4) Find A Grave, Inc., Find A Grave, digital image (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=jones&GSfn=anna&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=21&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=18048993&df=all&: accessed January 8, 2012), Anna Cutler Jones (1729-1761), Memorial No. 18048993, created by Bette Hartman.

(5) “Cornwall, Connecticut Small Cemeteries from the Hale Collection as found at the CT State Library,” Ray Brown’s Place (http://www.rays-place.com/cemeteries/606-s.htm: accessed January 8, 2013).

(6) Provincetown Smallpox Cemetery, Provincetown, Barnstable County, Massachusetts (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?
page=cr&CRid=2212186&CScnty=1173&CSsr=181&: accessed January 8, 2013), 14 interments, created by p reilly.

(7) Gridley Family / Smallpox Cemetery Site, Stoughton Historical Society , Stoughton, Massachusetts (http://www.stoughtonhistory.com/cem-gridley.htm: accessed January 8, 2013)

(8) Smallpox Cemetery, Conant Street, Bridgewater, Massachusetts (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2249560: accessed January 8, 2013), 7 internments, created by chip5610 and eobfindagrave.

(9) “Six Smallpox Victims, One Stone,” Town of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Monadnock Ledger, 7 November 1996 by Jane Eklund (http://town.jaffrey.nh.us/Pages/JaffreyNH_Bcomm/Cemetery/six: accessed January 8, 2013).


(10) “Small Pox Cemetery, Garden Valley Township, Jackson Co., WI,” Clark County History Buffs (http://wiclarkcountyhistory.org/cemeteries/jackson/SmPox/index.htm: accessed January 8, 2013).

(11) Smallpox Cemetery, Georgetown Twp., Ottawa County, Michigan, transcribed by Evelyn Sawyer, 2002 (http://ottawa.migenweb.net/cemeteries/georgetown/smallpox.html: accessed January 8, 2013).




Saturday, January 5, 2013

PROBATE RECORDS OF ESSEX COUNTY, MASSACHUSETTS


f you have ancestors who lived in Essex County, Massachusetts, you need to check out the free online books at archive.org:

  • The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume I (1635-1664)


  • The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume II (1665-1674)


  • The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume III (1675-1681)


These books contain copies of wills followed by abstracts of all documents regarding the settlement of the estate.  If you find an ancestor’s will, you will no doubt learn a great deal about that person and his family. In some cases, there are will contests, which are especially illuminating. Words are spelled exactly as they were in the original document.

In Volume II, I found the will of the Estate of Joseph Redding of Ipswich. (4) Joseph was my 10th great grandfather.  He is married to AGNES ANNIS, my 10th great grandmother. Joseph gave his whole estate to Agnes. After Agnes’ demise, he instructed that the estate go to the children of his daughter Hunt. By Hunt I believe he is referring to his daughter ELIZABETH REDDING, my 9th great grandmother, who married Samuel Hunt. Joseph’s wife Agnes was appointed Executrix and, if she was deceased, his daughter Elizabeth was appointed Executrix. Inventory of the property is listed. 

(5)

Of the legatees discussed in the will (children of Elizabeth Redding and Samuel Hunt), four lived to age: Samuel, William, Joseph and Elizabeth. The estate was divided by four.

There is a complaint in this probate file from Francis Palmer, husband of Elizabeth Hunt (my 8th great grand aunt), as to why he was left out of his share of the estate.

Through further research elsewhere, I read that perhaps Joseph Redding did not trust his son-in-law’s judgment because he had to bail him out frequently. (6)

This probate record was fascinating, and I learned quite a bit about the family. It is unusual in that normally at that time the males were given authority over probate matters.

Essex County, Massachusetts was settled in 1628. Here are some of the towns within this county: Amesbury, Andover, Beverly, Boxford, Bradford/Groveland, Danvers, Essex, Georgetown, Gloucester, Hamilton, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lawrence, Lynn, Lynnfield, Manchester, Marblehead, Merrimac, Methuen, Middleton, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Peabody, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Topsfield, Wenham and West Newbury. (7)

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts is just one more free resource that we are fortunate enough to have available to us in our search to locate and understand our ancestors.



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electrronic Clip Art, 1200 Ornamental Letters, 2007.

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, Old-Fashioned Silhouettes, 2001.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, volume I, 1635-1664, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, 1916 (http://archive.org/details/probaterecordsof01mass: accessed January 5, 2013).

(2) The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, volume II, 1665-1674, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, 1917 (http://archive.org/details/probaterecordsof02mass: accessed January 5, 2013).

(3) The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, volume III, 1675-1681, Essex Institute, Salem, Massachusetts, 1920 (http://archive.org/details/probaterecordse00dowgoog: accessed January 5, 2013).

(4) Op cit., Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Vol. II, Estate of Joseph Redding of Ipswich, pp. 426-429.

(5) Ibid., p. 427.

(6) Miner Descent , Robert Hunt, post April 18, 2012 (http://minerdescent.com/2012/04/18/robert-hunt: accessed January 5, 2013).

(7) Essex County MA Gen Web, Essex County Massachusetts Genealogy Project, Last updated 16 November, 2011 (http://essexcountyma.net/towns.htm: accessed January 5, 2013).




Thursday, January 3, 2013

DON'T GET BOWLED OVER BY NAME VARIATIONS




I have ancestors with the surname Bowles. It is a simple name but you would be amazed what variations occur. Some of these errors are due to spelling or transcription errors, but sometimes it is just because the name has evolved over the years.

The following are excerpts from The History of the Bowles Family; Containing an Accurate Historical Lineage of the Bowles Family from the Norman Conquest to the Twentieth Century, with Historical and Genealogical Notes and Some Pedigrees of Bowles Families in Various Sections of the United States and Britain (1):

(1)
(2)

So far we have:

Bolla
Boel
Bole
Boles
De Bolle
Bolles
Bowle
Bowl
Bowles

According to The Internet Surname Database (3), we can also add to this list:

Bowell
Bowells
Bolle
Boelle
Bowler

As if that weren’t enough…I started looking on FamilySearch.org for my 3rd great grandfather, PHINEAS BOWLES. I found:

Finnis Boales
Finis Bowl
Phenie Bowls
Phil F. Bolls
Pinineus Boles
Phinehes B. G. Bowles
Finnes Bowles
Finis Bowles
Phineas Bolles
Phinius Bowles
Finner Bowles
Phineas Bowlis
Phineas Bowes
Phineas Boules
Finnis Bowles
Pheeneas Bowles

I could go on, but you get the point.  Remember to think outside the box when doing a name search for an ancestor—even if it is a name that seems very clearly spelled one way to you. Not everyone excels in spelling and in the olden days spelling wasn’t that important. Keep in mind too that your surname’s spelling may have changed over the years. 

ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Electronic Clip Art, East Meets West Art Deco, 2010.

CITATION SOURCES:

(1) The history of the Bowles family; containing an accurate historical lineage of the Bowles family from the Norman conquest to the twentieth century, with historical and genealogical notes and some pedigrees of Bowles families in various sections of the United States and Britain, compiled and published by Thomas M. Farquhar, Philadelphia, 1907, p. 51  (http://archive.org/details/historyofbowlesf00farq: accessed January 1, 2013).

(2) Ibid, p. 52.

(3) The Internet Surname Database, 1980 - 2013 Name Origin Research (http://www.surnamedb.com/surname/bowles: accessed January 3, 2013).







Tuesday, January 1, 2013

FAMILY ARTIFACTS: TIME-PIECE


In honor of New Year’s Day, I am sharing a pocket watch that was handed down to me from my Welsh ancestors in Utica, New York. 


Initials are etched on the back. I am not sure if the watch belonged to the person whose initials were on the watch or if the watch was purchased in memory of that person.



To me the initials look like R.O.W., which would stand for ROBERT OWEN WILLIAMS, my grand uncle.  Robert was born in 1883 in New York Mills, New York; he died of typhoid fever in 1906 at the age of 22.

Robert Owen Williams

Life was too short for Robert. His brief life is a reminder of how precious time is. 

Enjoy your life. Happy New Year!



ILLUSTRATIONS BY:

Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, Full-Color Holiday Vignettes, Electronic Clip Art, 2001.