Wednesday, October 31, 2007


One of the many islands of Boston Harbor is Castle Island, though
for many years it’s been “attached” to the South Boston mainland
and is reachable by foot. In fact it was a favorite meeting place
used by the reputed mob boss Whitey Bulger.

The first fortifications on the island were begun in 1634 and
eventually they became Fort Independence, which has a long and
fascinating history.

But for this Halloween I’m writing about a certain young soldier
who, according to Edward Rowe Snow in his book “The Islands of
Boston Harbor”
, enlisted in the First Artillery on 26th May,
1827 and was sent to Fort Independence where he served for five
months under the name Edgar A. Perry.

His real name was Edgar Allan Poe.

While there, Snow speculates, Poe would have heard about a fatal
duel that took place on Christmas Eve seven years before in 1817
between two officers which resulted in the death of a Lt. Robert
Massie. Snow doesn’t give the name of the other officer involved
but he tells about the burial of the dead man on the island and
quotes the inscriptions on it. Lt. Massie’s remains and the
headstone, by the way, were moved three times and as of the
time that Mr.Snow was writing had ended up at the cemetery at
Ft. Devens in 1939. ((pp.68-69))

Snow and others over the years have pointed to the story of Lt.
Massie’s death as the inspiration for “A Cask of Amontillado” but
there are few facts available. For one thing the identity of the
second man varies from story to story. The basic story goes that
Massie’s opponent was a bully and that the dead lieutenant’s
friends took revenge by walling his killer up alive in one of the
casement walls. But again, there is no record showing an officer
mysteriously disappeared without a trace in the time after
Massie’s death.

Snow later in the chapter later says that an elderly man told him
that in 1905 a skeleton dressed in an old military uniform was
found when a sealed casement was opened during repairs to the
fort. They weren’t able to find out who it was and so it was
eventually buried. (p 76)

So far I haven’t found anything online about the discovery and
most critics dismiss the story about the skeleton as folklore. But
whether or not there was someone actually buried alive, it’s quite
possible Poe used some for the elements of the event in his story.

And even the dispute over the folktale is very Poe-like.

There may be another Boston area story that inspired Poe. I
recall reading once about somebody, the wife of the Governor of
the Colony, I think, hosting a party or ball during an epidemic and
that Poe might have been inspired to write “The Masque of The
Red Death” after hearing about it.

That concludes my Halloween postings. What better way than
to end with something about Edgar Allan Poe?

The information for this post came from:

Snow, Edward Rowe, “The Islands of Boston Harbor”
Commonwealth Editions, Beverly, Ma.

copyright© 1935,1971 by Edward Rowe Snow
copyright© 2002 by Dorothy Snow Bicknell

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


For many years the premier writer of books that deal with the
folklore and history of New England was Edward Rowe Snow.

When I was growing up in Boston and had three library branches
within walking distance I took out every one of his books they
had on their shelves several times and read them sitting on the
front steps or lying on my bed in my room. Ghosts, pirates,
shipwrecks, devastating storms: Mr. Snow made them come to
life in my imagination.

Besides writing books and delivering Christmas presents to
lighthouse keepers and their families as “The Flying Santa”, he
also wrote a column for the Quincy Patriot Ledger that recounted
legends of Boston and New England. As part of a program to
support local high school newspapers the Ledger and Mr. Snow
hosted a cruise around Boston Harbor for the school journalists.

I was lucky enough to go on one and get the chance to see his
collection of pirate memorabilia such as the two bladed dagger
and the silver plated human skull used as a drinking cup by some
pirate captain. As the ship passed one of the Harbor Islands he'd
tell us about some story or legend abou t it. I had a great time!

You can see a photo of Edward Rowe Snow working in his study

When I began working as a bookseller some eighteen years ago I
was amazed to find out his books were nearly all out of print and
within a few years they all were. Customers who’d grown up
reading his books and column were disappointed as well so when
Commonwealth Editions brought out new editions of some of his
books they became some of the best selling local interest books
in our store.

Commonwealth published six titles:

A Pilgrim Returns to Cape Cod
Pirates and Buccaneers of the Atlantic Coast
The Islands of Boston Harbor
Women of the Sea
Mysteries and Adventures Along the Atlantic Coast.
Storms and Shipwrecks of New England
The Lighthouses of New England

They all first appeared as hardcovers with brown jackets and the
Storms and Lighthouses books are also available in paperback
editions. Each book has updates to the stories written by Jeffrey
D’Entremont and also include many photographs.

Needless to say I’ve bought my copies but I’m afraid it looks like
these editions will be going out of print soon . I highly recommend
you hunt one down at your local bookstore if you can before they
are gone and enjoy a great storyteller.

There’s a story in one of Snow’s book that involves Edgar Allen
Poe and I’ll discuss that next. But this concludes my survey of
books you might enjoy reading for Halloween.

Go and haunt a book store!

Monday, October 29, 2007

86 + 3

There’s a great children’s picture book “86 Years” by Melinda
Boroson that traces a family of Red Sox fans from 1918 down
to 2004.The pictures start with the great grandfather and his
family at the park, and as the years pass so do the generations.
grandparents and parents age and eventually are succeeded by
their children and grandchildren as clothes and hairstyles of the
family change with the times. There’s some text as well but it
was those images that I think about when I remember the Red
Sox winning the World Series in 2004.

Now it’s three years later and they’ve done it again. My Mom
would have been ecstatic and Dad would have just grunted his
approval in that taciturn Maine way of his.

Sports in New England and in Boston are more than pastimes.
People’s memories of our teams and players are in many cases
intricately bound with memories of our childhood and our family.

My father took me and two friends to a Sox game for my 12th
birthday in 1960 and so I have the memory of seeing in person
Ted Williams playing in his last year. I also have the memory of
the lady sitting a few rows down in front of us in the center field
bleachers who kept up a running commentary that Stan Musial
was a better player then Ted, and how after Ted made a great
catch against the left field wall some beer was “accidentally”
spilled on the lady.

I got to see John Havlicek and the Celtics at old Boston Garden
against the Philadelphia Warriors a few years later, a trip made
memorable by the flat tire on the way home to Abington. My
friend’s Dad had taken us to the game and we all pitched in to get
the tire changed while we discussed if Havlicek or Larry Siegfried
was the better player.

There was the night we watched Pudge Fisk’s World Series
homerun and the church bells in Marshfield rang to celebrate.

I saw Bobby Orr’s dramatic Stanley Cup winning goal over the
St. Louis Blues on the tv at the end of the bar at Morey Pearl’s
Restaurant the night I was working.

I also recall my sister jinxing the Bruins one year because she
was tired of all the hockey we were watching. She told us that
Ken Dryden was going to beat them and win the Stanley Cup
for the Canadiens and they did. Ah, the heresy!!

I took my kidbrother to see the Patriots play. His favorite
players were Russ Francis and Mosi Tatupu. Now Mosi's
son is a player for the Seattle Seahawks. Could that many
years have passed?

When Dennis Johnson passed away earlier this year, I thought
of my Mom. Dennis was one of her favorite players on the great
Celtic teams of the 70’s and 80’s, the other being Larry Bird
because he wasn’t afraid to dive on the floor after a loose ball.

A well known Boston sports talkshow host used to say that when
he died, the inscription on his headstone would say:

“He never saw the Red Sox win it all.”

Well, now he’s seen them do it twice.

But my parents both left us before the Pats won a Superbowl or
the Sox won the Series. My niece and nephews have never seen
the Celtics or Bruins win championships.

I’ve seen them all win.

It’s fitting, I think, that the Red Sox play music by the Dropkick
Murphy’s, a local Celtic rock band. That’s their song “Shipping
Up to Boston” that Papelbon did his impromptu Irish jig to when
they were celebrating first making the playoffs and then the
World Series. Sox fans like the Irish were long suffering and
poetic in recounting the long saga of their tireless devotion to the
cause. They treasure the triumphs, mourn the defeats, and
remember the heroes of yesteryear.

And when they party, they party.

All of these players and teams were and are things that bring
families of sports fans together and give us memories we

Thanks, Red Sox. !

Go, Celtics!
Go, Bruins!
And Go Pats!


As I’ve mentioned before, whenever a book comes into the store
that covers the colonial and 19th century American historical
periods, I look through it to see if a relative might be mentioned
in it.

One such book is Stephen Hawley Martin’s “A Witch in the
Family: an award-winning author investigates his ancestor‘s
trial and execution.”

I have two Salem witches among my ancestory, Mary Townes
Estey (or Eastey) and Rebecca Blake, so I was naturally
interested in the book. Mr. Martin’s Salem ancestress was
Susannah North Martin who was hung on June 29th, 1692.
Apparently her story was well known in his family so his
book is not a genealogical investigation so much as one of the
whole Salem witch trial phenomenon, and while I don’t find
myself agreeing with some of his views, they are interesting .
The Appendix contains documents from Susannah North
Martin’s case, such as the arrest warrant and testimony at her
trial and also the text of Cotton Mather’s tract on witchcraft,
“Memorable Providences”.

One jarring note: the blurb on the outside rear book cover refers
to the Salem Witch Trials as the “ultimate reality show.”
Another book on witches is Edward Lodi’s “Witches of Plymouth
. Although the events in Salem and Connecticut are more
notorious there were people believed to be witches in the
Plymouth area as well, and some of their stories are here. Mr.
Lodi has written quite a few books on occult events, such as “The
Haunted Pram” and “Ghosts From King Philip’s War”, and along
with tales of actual people there is sometimes a eerie short story
or two set in the locale.

Finally, there are the books of author Joseph Citro, such as
“Passing Strange” and “Cursed in New England: Stories of
Damned Yankees”. He also writes horror fiction but his occult
books have been fairly popular in our store, and the best selling
one is “Weird New England” , part of a series of books written by
different authors that are guidebooks to the more offbeat travel
destinations nationwide. ( “Weird New York”, “Weird Michigan”,
etc.). It’s the only hardcover out of all the books I’ve mentioned
so far and it’s sold the most copies.

As I’ve said, most of these books are paperback with prices under
$20 and there are others out there like them written about other
parts of the country. Go haunt a bookstore for them!

The “Haunted Bookstore” will conclude with a post on one of my
favorite local authors, Edward Rowe Snow.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I did some grocery shopping today and fell prey to the store’s
“Crazy Friday” offer of a box of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate
with Mini Marshmallows for .98 cents. I’m on vacation next
week so I decided to treat myself to an occasional cup of hot
chocolate while reading a book or writing.

The next aisle over had a display of jars of Marshmallow Fluff
and Skippy Peanut Butter. That and the cocoa brought back
memories of when I was around 6 or 7 years old. When I was
in the first grade my lunch of choice that I carried to school in
my Roy Rogers Lunchbox nearly everyday was a Fluffernutter

A Fluffernutter was and is made with Fluff and peanut butter, in
my case, Teddy Peanut Butter, because the Cisco Kid on tv said
it was the best peanut butter in the world.

I ate Fluffernutter’s every day until finally one day I couldn’t
stand the sight of them and I switched to pb and j’s. Teddy
Peanut Butter was replaced by Skippy when The Cisco Kid went
off the air. And when we moved from Malden to Dorchester, the
lunch box gave way to more grownup brown paper bags.

But the hot chocolate continued on a little while: either Baker’s
or Hershey’s with a big tablespoonful of Fluff riding on top that
Mom made on snowy days after we shoveled. We lived only a few
miles from Lower Mills where the Baker Chocolate Factory was
and on a damp day you could smell chocolate in the air.

Eventually that changed as well. Our family gave way to the
allure of advertising, and Hershey’s gave way to Nestle’s Quick,
then to coffee as I grew older. And let’s face it, Swiss Miss Cocoa
Mix is a lot easier to fix than making cocoa the old fashioned way.
So I’ll drink it as I think about those days as a kid.

But…umm…I still can’t stand the sight of a Fluffernutter.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Sitting here on my day off basking in the afterglow of last night’s
Red Sox victory as I drink a cup of coffee and surf my fellow
genealogy blogger’s sites.

I’m glad that Randy Seaver and his family have been spared
from the fires in the San Diego area. His post on Genea-Musings
about blog post statistics made me check mine. I regularly check
the Visitor Activity stats at StatCounter to see what the daily
activity has been but I haven’t really checked the Keyword
Analysis or Keyword Activity since “flutaphones” seems usually
to be at the top of the list.

Today, though, I found that “Amos Hastings” had been the
most used term at 6, (albeit it was only by two visitors) followed
by “ruth perley ames murder” with 4.

However, if I add the 2 for “flutaphones” with the 2 for “pictures
of flutaphones”, that puts it right up there for a tie at second place.
It is nice though to think that maybe something I’ve posted here
about my ancestors might help others of their descendants.

Dick Eastman’s post about “jump drives” prompted me to check
the K-Mart across the plaza from my store and I now own a 1gb
flash drive that is small enough to carry around in my shirt
pocket if I so choose. It just amazes me that it was so inexpensive
($19.99) and that it has so much space on so small a device. It’s
more memory than I had on the hard drives of my first two desk
top computers--combined! I’ve already backed up my genealogy
files on it as well as the family photos I’ve scanned.

Finally, last night I downloaded the Revolutionary War Pension
File of my 4th great grandfather Moses Coburn at
and looked through them this morning. Among the documents
there’s a “schedule” of his belongings:
1 Cow $20
1 Hog 8
1 Sheep & lamb 2
Table 0.50
Crockery ware 1.50
glass ware 0.50
Pot & kettle 1.50
Chair 1.00
4 dung hill Fowls .80

As an aside, the dollar amounts on the document were further
over to the right from the items listed. For some reason, I can
never get these sort of lists to publish here the way I enter them.

I immediately had to google “dung hill fowls” and found that they
were chickens. Then looking at the list again, the thought struck
me: where’s the bed? Given that Moses’ family at the time
included his wife Esther Spaulding and three of their children, (the
oldest 14 and the youngest 5) they’d have needed beds, right?

So, where did they sleep?

This is a two cup of coffee problem.

Monday, October 22, 2007


After having spent several hours in hunting for my lost wallet(I
found it, btw) I sat down here with a cup of coffee and calmed
down by browsing genealogy blogs.

First off, I have been remiss in not mentioning that the 34th
Carnival of Genealogy is out and once again Jasia’s call for articles
resulted in great reading. There are the usual fine contributors
but there are also some new names. Thomas Wheatley’s list of
superstitions at Family History Quick Start made me think of
some I recall from my mom’s Irish family. Bob Frank’s
memories of his childhood Halloweens at the Itawamba History
Review made me grin. In fact, there’s a whole slew of posts on
that subject that brought back some memories of my own and
I’ll try to post about them soon. A lot of good reading
as always and if you haven’t read the CoG before, you should!

Other interesting new posts this morning included Tim Abbott’s
at “Walking the Berkshires” concerning an Abbot(t) relative’s
ties to Roger’s Rangers from the French and Indian War. And
isn’t it a great time to be a sports fan in New England, Tim?

Terry Thornton over at "Hill Country of Monroe County,
posted a picture of a friend's grandmother and a
sailor in Smithville, Mississippi 1943 and another of World War
II sugar ration coupons and adds some of his memories of the

Finally, there’s posts at various blogs about the new ties between
A*******.com and the NEHGS. Since I can’t afford the World
Deluxe membership in the first place, the news really doesn’t
effect me. If I can find the money in my budget at some point I’ll
join the NEHGS again at the most affordable membership level
but that’s not likely to happen until next year.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Continuing in the Halloween vein(so to speak) for this month,
there is another story from my days as a camp counselor on
Cape Cod that if I’d thought about I would have also submitted
to the Carnival of Genealogy this month.

We had counselors from all over the country and one year from
other nations. This particular summer, one of the staff was from
Minnesota. He’d never seen the ocean so part of the reason he’d
taken a summer job in Massachusetts was to see the Atlantic.
Since we hiked the kids down to Dennis Beach several times
during the summer Gary accomplished his goal early on, but a
few of us decided we’d take him down to Provincetown so he
could tell the folks back home he’d been as far out to the edge
of the States as he could get without leaving land.

This was back in the late `60’s. We were a bit more innocent back
then and so four of us thought nothing of hitchhiking on the
MidCape Highway. Luckily for us we made it safely down to
Ptown and spent the day walking around the town, poking about
in the great old Army-Navy Surplus Store on the main street,
and then finding and eating the cheapest meal available since we
weren’t exactly in a high paying job.

It was late afternoon when we started back for the highway. Now
I’m not sure of the exact location, because it’s forty years since it
happened, but we took a shortcut through a graveyard and as
we walked along the road we looked at some of the headstones.

And that’s when I saw it: a headstone with my name on it.

“William West”.

You can imagine the jokes from the others. It did spook me out
a little bit but I laughed it off and we eventually moved on to the
highway to “thumb” our way back up the Cape to Brewster.
Since drivers were less likely to stop for four hitchers than two,
we split up into two pairs and made plans to rendezvous at our
exit off the highway.

My companion and I were picked up by a pair of sailors who’d
been sightseeing the hippies at Provincetown as well as doing a
little drinking and it wasn’t long before I realized that perhaps
the one driving the car was a bit drunk and his friend was a whole
lot more drunk. He had a bottle and offered us a drink and when
we declined, he got insistent about us taking a swig. So we did.

By this time I already flashed back to that gravestone with my
name on it. Was it some sort of warning? So I did the sensible
thing. I lied and told the driver that the next exit was where we
had to get off. The other counselor nodded when he asked if we
were sure. He laughed, drove by it, and eventually let us out two
more exits up in what they must have thought was a cool joke.
We eventually caught a another ride, met up with the others,
and made it back to camp safely.

Apparently the sailors made it back to Boston alright as well
since we didn’t hear about any sailors killed in car crashes. And I
took a bit more ribbing over “my” grave.

It was the last time I hitchhiked on Cape Cod. The next summer
that I worked there I had my own car.

And occasionally I think about that headstone. I don’t recall
anything about the dates or the inscription. Maybe someday I’ll
look up the information.

But I certainly won’t do it around Halloween.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Remember what I said in the first post in this series about taking
the word “haunted” and adding a state or city’s name to it for a
Google search for a book with that title?

Well, if you search for “Haunted Massachusetts” you’ll find
there’s two books with that title: the one by Cherie Revai I’ve
previously mentioned and another by Thomas D’Agostino.
It has a stark black and white cover illustration of a lighthouse
station and is one of three books he’s written on the paranormal,
the other three being “Haunted Rhode Island” , “Haunted New
and “Pirate Ghosts and Phantom Ships” .

From a local bookseller and resident’s perspective the
Massachusetts book interests me because of its section on the
Bridgewater Triangle and on ghosts at my old alma mater,
Bridgewater State College. I have to admit that I’m a bit
skeptical about the ghost at the Student Union Center because
the building was completed after I graduated and it just doesn’t
seem right that a place that’s only 35 years old on a campus over
160 years old would be a place that is haunted!

Now if it was in the old Maxwell Library building, that I could

At any rate, Mr. D’Agostino’s book explores an interesting variety
of reportedly haunted locales such as an antiques shop in
Plymouth and the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River. All four of
his books are published by Schiffer Books in soft cover and the
prices on the three New England books are $12.95 while the
newer pirate book is $14.95.

Schiffer also publishes other regional paranormal books in the
same price range, including books on ghosts in cities such as
Baltimore, New Orleans, and Austin.

And remember, all are orderable at your local bookstores if they
don’t already have them in stock. Go haunt a bookstore!

Next in this series, I’ll discuss a book that has a genealogy and
family history connection to the Salem Witch Trials.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Back in my college days, I spent three summers as a camp
counselor at Camp Mitton in Brewster, Mass down on Cape Cod.

One night during my last summer there in 1970, I was sitting at
the Indian Council Ring with the campers and councilors as we
told stories around a campfire. One of the kids started telling a
story about the Black Hell Hounds that chased a murderer’s
ghost on the dirt roads by the camp and I had to grin. I knew the
story well.

In fact, I was the one who’d first told it.

Two years before I was trying to come up with the a story to tell
at the campfire that hadn’t already been told and a combination
of things led me to make up a new one.

One of the elements was the camp’s location. There were several
dirt roads that wound their way through old cranberry bogs,
some of which with old buildings nearby. We occasionally took the
kids on hikes down those roads and so the locale of the story
would be familiar.

Another element was that one of the councilors had snorkeled in
the lake the camp was situated on and found an old buckboard
type wagon on the lake floor. Everyone had wondered how it ever
got there.

And the third element? That would be Queenie the black Labrador
Retriever and two of her grown offspring who frequently hung
around the camp mooching scraps and attention from the kids.
And so, I came up with this story:

“Many years ago there lived down by the cranberry bogs a man
and his wife. They had no children, and the cranberry farmer’s
wife was lonely so the farmer bought her three black hounds to
keep her company and protect her when he was away from the

Things went well for several years until bad weather caused
the cranberry crop to be a small one and the farmer fell into
debt. He took to drinking and when his wife asked him to stop
they would argue. One night the man hit his wife and the dogs
who were trained to protect her attacked the farmer. In a rage
he grabbed his axe and killed the dogs and then his wife, and
then buried them all in an unmarked grave somewhere along
the dirt roads through the bogs. If neighbors asked he told them
his wife had left him and gone off to her parents’ home in

Then one night exactly a year to the night later of the murder
the farmer was driving his wagon down a dirt road, the very
same road that ran right through the center of our camp, when
he heard the sound of hounds baying behind him. He looked
over hisshoulder and by the light of the moon he saw the red
eyes of the ghostly three hounds racing after him in the

He whipped his horse to run faster, but still the hounds came
closer, and closer, and CLOSER until suddenly the wagon hit
the bump in the road just past where the softball field was
today and the horse broke free, while the wagon went racing
down into the lake, taking the farmer with it to drown.

And some said that every year the murderous farmer’s ghost
could be seen in his wagon being chased down the dirt road by
the three Black Hounds.”

Not exactly Poe but it worked well in the dark by the campfire,
especially with Queenie nearby begging for marshmallows.

I didn’t work at the camp the summer after I first told the story
but apparently it had been told by one of the campers that year,
and then the year I returned, another camper told it. I don’t
know if it continued to be told, since that was the last summer I
spent there. But if Queenie and her descendants were around I
suspect it might have been told again.

I think this must be how a lot of legends and ghost stories must
have started, a mixture of the commonplace with fantasy.

Oh. Did I mention that here in my apartment complex nearly
forty years later, my next door neighbor’s pet is a Labrador

Thursday, October 11, 2007


Over the years working in a bookstore I’ve stocked and sold
many titles that are brought in for the Halloween season:
books on ghosts, witches, and eerie events in Massachusetts
and New England. It’s amazing how many books are out there
dealing with such topics for every part of the country. I have
to confess that since my genealogy bug bit me I tend to look
through these books to see if any of my ancestors or their
relatives are mentioned.

Try this: take the name of your state, put the word haunted in
front of it and then google the phrase. Then try the same thing
using the name of a major city in your state and the words
"Ghosts of”. You should find many titles, usually put out by
a regional press and written by local authors.

I’ll try to list some of these over the next few weeks and
occasionally comment on some of the stories in them. But if
you are looking for a book that has stories from all over the
country, I’d recommend the books by Michael Norman
and Beth Scott, such as their Haunted Heartland and others
which are published by larger companies and may be easier
to find quickly.

One of the popular books in my local interest section is
Cheri Revai’s Haunted Massachusetts. This is published
by Stackpole Books and is one of 11 in a series that covers
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states ((All of them are paperback
and priced at $9.95)). This doesn’t surprise me as it’s one of
the two books in the store that mentions the Bridgewater
Triangle(which on this end of the Triangle is sometimes
called the Abington Triangle). Many of the stories are
familiar ones but if you haven’t explored the supernatural
in Massachusetts, this is a good introduction that’s an easy

I might note that Stackpole doesn’t have a book as yet on
haunted New Hampshire or Rhode Island, so maybe you
can do the New Hampshire book, Janice!

Oh, and I’d like to urge you all to patronize your local
bookstores, large or small, in shopping for any of the
books I mention. Online shopping is nice but it’s taking a
toll on brick and mortar stores, especially the smaller local

Haunt a bookstore for Halloween!


Sometimes, the pieces of the genealogy puzzle just seem to fit
together with a life of their own.

I decided to search again for my ancestor Amos
Upton in the Revolutionary War Pension File. He hadn’t been
there the first time I’d looked but Footnote is still updating
those files so I checked, and voila…there it was. As I read it
I found he’d been a resident of Norway, Maine which I hadn’t
known before.

So while I downloaded the images of the file, I did a search on
Google and found A History of Norway, Me. by David Noyes
on Googlebooks. There is quite a bit of information about Amos
in there as well as some on his son Francis. This brought me to
Amos’ granddaughter, Hannah, who I didn’t know much about
other than she had married Cyrus Moore and that their daughter
(my great great grandmother) Betsey Jane had been born in
Waterford, Maine.

The Amos Upton file was still dl so I tried searching Googlebooks
for Hannah Upton & Waterford. I found The History of Waterford:
Oxford County, Maine by Henry Pelt Warren and on pp 273-274
in the Records of Families I found a Hannah Upton who married a
Cyrus, son of Stephen Moore and Millie Davis. There were two
younger Moore children listed, daughters Betsey and Jane.

Perhaps Betsey Jane Moore had been named after her aunts?

By this time the Amos Upton file was all downloaded so I decided
I’d blog about this and then turn in for the night. I’ll try to find
more Moores in the next day or so, but if this pans out I now know
the names of Cyrus Moore’s parents, which I hadn’t before tonight.

Ah, serendipity!

Friday, October 05, 2007


Another leisurely blog brunch. One of the things only a bachelor
could get away with on a day off!

The 33rd Carnival of Genealogy is up and once again Jasia has
gathered a bunch of interesting posts, this time on the subject
of weddings.

The next CoG has a Halloween theme with a call for posts on
stories about the supernatural or eerie in your family. If you
haven’t checked into the CoG yet, you should, because it’s a
great way to discover other genealogy blogs!

On another front, I recently bought two genealogy or history
related books at work.

The first is Evidence: Citation and Analysis for the Family
Historian by Elizabeth Shown Mills. I need to start getting my
sources and citations into shape and this book is mentioned over
and over again by my fellow genealogy bloggers. All I can say is
that after looking through it, I really, really have a lot of work
ahead of me.

The second book is Diane Rapaport’s The Naked Quaker: True
Crimes and Controversies from the Courts of Colonial New
England. All of the stories in it are new to me but some were
previously published in "New England Ancestors" magazine
which is published by the NEHGS.

No, Ralph Ellinwood’s case didn’t make the book but it is full of
fascinating stories that shed light not only on the court system of
colonial New England but also on the society of the period.

And since we’re coming up on Halloween, I’ll be doing some
posts on some books I sell at the bookstore that deal with the
supernatural side of New England, as well as a post or two about
the witches in my family!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


As I’ve mentioned before, when not wracking my brain for
anther genealogy use for a flutaphone, I work as a bookseller
at the local location for a national bookstore chain. From time
to time I’ll be posting something about books I’ve seen or
read that relate to genealogy.

So how about a little mystery?

I was walking past the new paperbacks table and the title of
one of the new books caught my eye: Sins of the Fathers
by Patricia Sprinkle. A quick glance at the description
on the back cover told me the book is the second in a new
series of mysteries involving genealogy and family history.
The first book is entitled Death on the Family Tree.

I want to find the first book before I buy the second, but it
does look interesting. I'll let you all know what I think once
I read them.

Anyone else know of more mystery novels with a genealogy