Monday, July 25, 2011


This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver has us
waxing poetic, Here's the challenge:

1)  Write a poem about "Where I'm From" using the template found at the website
2)  Tell us about it in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post,
or in a Google Plus or Facebook note.

So, for better or verse, here's mine:

I am from Fluffernutter sandwiches with Marshmallow Fluff and peanutbutter,
from jimmies and tonic and frappes.

I am from ranch houses and triple deckers with hot cement steps on a
Summer's day.

I am from the pine trees, and cardinals bright red against the snow.

I am from mountains  and seashores, from Bud and Anne, from Wests & Whites,
McFarlands & Barkers & Offingers

I am from hardworking Yankees,  funloving Irish, and silent Germans.

From  Back Street Maine and busy Boston.

I am from Protestant stock and from Roman Catholics who roamed.

I'm from Massachusetts , pot roast and Boston Baked beans.

From  John Cutter West who farmed and raised a family in Western Maine,
and from John McFarland who crossed the seas from Ireland to raise his
family in Boston as a laborer.
I'm from Plymouth and Boston, from Maine and New Hampshire, from
blood that runs back to the Mayflower and over the sea to Europe.

I am a New Englander, with my roots sunk deep into this place . 

Thanks Randy for an interesting challenge.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Today is the 150th Anniversary of the First Battle of Manassas, also
know as Bull Run. It's the battle that Asa F. Ellingwood took part in
and his Civil War Pension claim was based on the illnesses he came
down with as a result of the chaotic retreat of the Union forces.

First Bull Run is famous for the number of spectators who came out
from nearby Washington, D .C. who were confident they were about to
witness a Union victory. Poet Stephen Vincent Benet wrote about the

 The Congressmen Came Out To See Bull Run

The congressmen came out to see Bull Run,
The congressmen who like free shows and spectacles.
They brought their wives and carriages along,
They brought their speeches and their picnic-lunch,
Their black constituent-hats and their devotion:
Some even brought a little whiskey, too.
(A little whiskey is a comforting thing
For congressmen in the sun, in the heat of the sun.)
The bearded congressmen with orator's mouths,
The fine, clean-shaved, Websterian congressmen,
Come out to see the gladiator's show
Like Iliad gods, wrapped in the sacred cloud
Of Florida-water, wisdom and bay-rum,
Of free cigars, democracy and votes,
That lends such portliness to congressmen.
(The gates fly wide, the bronze troop marches out
Into the stripped and deadly circus-ring,
'Ave, Caesar!' the cry goes up, and shakes
The purple awning over Caesar's seat.)
'Ave, Caesar! Ave, O congressmen,
We who are about to die
Salute you, congressmen!'
Eleven States,
New York, Rhode Island, Maine,
Connecticut, Michigan, and the gathered West,
Salute you, congressmen!
The red-fezzed Fire-Zouaves, flamingo-bright,
Salute you, congressmen!
The raw boys still in their civilian clothes,
Salute you, congressmen!
The Second Wisconsin in its homespun grey,
Salute you, congressmen!
The Garibaldi Guards in cocksfeather hats,
Salute you, congressmen!
The Second Ohio with their Bedouin-caps,
Salute you, congressmen!
Sherman's brigade, grey-headed Heintzelman,
Ricketts' and Griffin's doomed and valiant guns,
The tough, hard-bitten regulars of Sykes
Who covered the retreat with the Marines,
Burnside and Porter, Wilcox and McDowell,
All the vast, unprepared, militia-mass
Of boys in red and yellow Zouave pants,
Who carried peach-preserves inside their kits
And dreamt of being generals overnight;
The straggling companies where every man
Was a sovereign and a voter-the slack regiments
Where every company marched a different step;
The clumsy and unwieldy-new brigades
Not yet distempered into battle-worms;
The whole, huge, innocent army, ready to fight
But only half-taught in the tricks of fighting,
Ready to die like picture-postcard boys
While fighting still had banners and a sword
And just as ready to run in blind mob-panic,
Salutes you with a vast and thunderous cry,
Ave, Caesar, Ave, O congressmen,
Ave, O Iliad gods who forced the fight!
You bring your carriages and your picnic-lunch
To cheer us in our need.
You come with speeches,
Your togas smell of heroism and bay-rum.
You are the people and the voice of the people
And, when the fight is done, your carriages
Will bear you safely, through the streaming rout
Of broken troops, throwing their guns away.
You come to see the gladiator's show,
But from a high place, as befits the wise:
You will not see the long windrows of men
Strewn like dead pears before the Henry House
Or the stone-wall of Jackson breathe its parched
Devouring breath upon the failing charge,
Ave, Caesar, ave, O congressmen,
Cigar-smoke wraps you in a godlike cloud,
And if you are not to depart from us
As easily and divinely as you came,
It hardly matters.
Fighting Joe Hooker once
Said with that tart, unbridled tongue of his
That made so many needless enemies,
'Who ever saw a dead cavalryman?'
The phrase
Stings with a needle sharpness, just or not,
But even he was never heard to say,
'Who ever saw a dead congressman?'
And yet, he was a man with a sharp tongue.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


This week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings
is, as usual, interesting:

Your mission tonight, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places).  [Hint - you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]

2)  Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.

3)  For extra credit, go make a "Heritage Pie" chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the  chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the "Heritage Pie" chart idea.]

4.  Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.

So, here is what I know about my 16 "great greats":

       Jonathan Phelps WEST  was born on 16 Jan 1834 in Letter B Plantation (now Upton), Me.. He died on 8 Jul 1917 in Upton, Oxford,  Me.. He was buried in Upton Cem. He married Louisa Almata RICHARDSON on 31 Jan 1865.

       Louisa Almata RICHARDSON  was born on 23 Jun 1837 in Wilton, Franklin  Me. She died on 4 Oct 1925 in Upton,  Oxford, Me. She was buried in Upton Cemetery.

     Asa Freeman ELLINGWOOD  was born on 4 Apr 1828 in Milan Hill, Coos, N.H.. He died on 11 Mar 1921 in North Paris, Oxford, Me.. He was buried in Wayside Cemetery,West Paris,Oxford, Me. He married Florilla DUNHAM on 22 Aug 1850 in Woodstock, Oxford,  Me..

     Florilla DUNHAM  was born on 29 Aug 1832 in North Paris, Me.. She died on 21 Feb 1917 in  Paris, Oxford, Me. She was buried in Wayside Cemetery,West Paris,Oxford, Me.

    Nathaniel S. BARKER  was born on 13 Mar 1830 in Newry, Oxford, Me. He died on 20 Mar 1884. in  Albany, Oxford. Me. He was buried in Woodland Cemetary, Bethel, Oxford, Me. He married Elizabeth COBURN.

   Elizabeth COBURN  was born on 10 Aug 1842 in Me. She died on 15 Nov 1904 in Albany Oxford, Me. She was buried in Songo Cemetery Bethel,  Oxford, Me.

  Amos Hasting BARKER  was born on 19 Nov 1828 in Rumford, Oxford, Me. He died on 5 Nov 1907 in Bethel, Oxford, Me. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery, Bethel, Oxfor,d Me. He married Betsey Jane MOORE.

  Betsey Jane MOORE  was born on 16 Aug 1842 in Waterford, Oxford, Me.. She died on 12 Mar 1924 in Newry, Oxford, Me..

  Patrick WHITE  was born in 1848 in Ireland. He died in Ma. He married Mary POWERS on 15 May 1870 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma .

  Mary POWERS  was born in 1848 in Nova Scotia, Canada She died in Massachusetts

 Charles J. OFFINGER  was born in 1848 in Wurtemburg, Germany. He died on 17 Jul 1881 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Ma. He married Johanna C. Luick on 11 Sep 1870 in Cambridge, Middlesex, Ma.

  Johanna C. Luick  was born in May 1844 in Wurtemburg, Germany . She died on 14 Aug 1908 in Boston, Suffolk, Ma..  The cause of death was Cancer.

 Michael MCFARLAND .Michael married Nora. He was born and died in Ireland.

  Nora .(LNU)  was born and died in Ireland

  Patrick KELLEY  was born in 1829 in Roscommon, Ireland. He died on 19 Dec 1886 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. He married Anne BYRNE.

  Anne BYRNE  was born in 1831 in Ireland. She died on 9 Jul 1900 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland.

As you can see, most of my great greats were born in the USA. That would be my
Dad's side of the family.  My Mom's side is mostly Irish with two Germans and
one lonely Canadian.

Thanks Randy for a fascinating exercise!

And thanks to Don MacLean for the inspiration for my title!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Lewis Ellingwood Noyes is buried next to his wife, Lucy Ann (Briggs) Noyes:

and next to him is a much smaller headstone:

The inscription reads:
Alcie L Noyes
Oct 10, 1869

The stone has sunk in the ground so the date of death is mostly obscured.
Before I posted the photograph to Find A Grave I wanted to find that date
so I searched the usual internet sites  for Alcie L Noyes. I couldn't find
amything on Ancestry, Rootsweb or FamilySeaarch for anyone with that
name.  Could this have been an error by the engraver of the headstone?
Then  I googled the name  and found that an Alcie R. Noyes  of Abington had
donated the Samuel Fuller  cradle to the collection at Pilgrim Hall in Plymouth.

So I went back to and this time took a different tack. I  checked
the Census for Lewis Ellingwood Noyes and his family. On the 1880 Federal
Census I found Lewis, Lucy, a 24 year old daughter Anna and a 10 year old
Alcie who Ancestry had listed as Alice.  Things got much more complicated
on the earlier 1870 Census: Lewis and Lucy's family includes another daughter,
their eldest daughter Charlotte, Anna. and 10 month old twin daughters Alice E
and Alsie L Noyes.

I could find no other record of Alcie, but I found an Alice Noyes on the 1900 Census
with her mother Lucy living on Walnut St in Abington.(Lewis had died in 1896). Alice
was working as  "Ast Librarian". Lucy died in 1903. There is an Alice Noyes on the
1910 Census for Boston working as a governess at The Home for Little Wanderers
who might be the same Alice Noyes.

So, which was it, Alice or Alcie?

Tbere was one more small gravestone near Lewis E. Noyes grave at Mt Vernon
Cemetery but it was hard to read, so I converted the picture
to negative mode:

My transcription:
Alice Ellwood
Dau. of
Lewis E & Lucy A

Alice died in infancy, but apparently Alcie lived until at least 1910. Did she take the
name Alice as a tribute to her dead twin? Or was it simply a case of people always
mistaking the name "Alcie" as a mispelling of "Alice" so she decided to go by that

I don't know,and since it's been at least a century since she passed, there's no way I
can "go ask Alice"....or Alcie.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I was back at Mt Vernon Cemetery here in Abington the other day taking
pictures again in my project of photographing the entire cemetery when I
came across this monument:

The inscription reads:
Lewis Ellingwood Noyes
July 3 1923.
Sept.  15 1896.
Servant of God, well done.

Well, my first thought was this must be another Ellingwood cousin!  Last night
I checked online, reasoning that Lewis probably had Ellingwood grandparents
or ancestors, hence the middle name. But I found none. Lewis Ellingwood Noyes
was not an Ellingwood cousin.

But... his mother was named Olive Edson and her maternal grandmother was  a
Sarah Packard. My 4x great grandmother through Florilla Dunham was Cynthia
Packard and one of her ancestors was Susannah Edson. It turns out that Lewis
Ellingwood Packard is a cousin after all, but not through my Ellingwood line.
He's my 5th cousin 5x removed through our Packard and Edson ancestors.

Saturday, July 09, 2011


During the Summer Boston has what is know as "Free Fridays",  a series of events
with free admission at  various museums and institutions. Yesterday the NEHGS
was one of the places taking part, and fellow geneablogger Barbara Poole and
I made plans to meet up there. This would be sort of an experiment for me. While
I've been much more active since my medical issues of last year, it's been quite
awhile since the last time I've braved the Boston subway system on my own.

It was pouring out when I got up yesterday so I took my jacket and drove to the
Braintree Tstop where I ended up parking at the lowest level of the garage. I had
no trouble negotiating up the steps to street level but when I walked into the
 station I realized I'd left my wallet in my car. So back out and down the stairs I
went to retrieve it, then back up the stairs and then onto the train to Boston I went.

I had to change over to the trolley line at Park Street and somehow managed to
climb up the stairs to the Inbound platform instead of the Outbound, so back down
I went and across to climb up the correct stairs and catch a trolley.  I continued my
errors by getting off two stops too soon at Boylston St instead of at Copley Sq. which
meant I had to climb up three flights guessed it... more stairs. Sheesh! At
this point I figured I better make sure which way I was going to start walking, and a
handy nearby UPS driver pointed out the way to Copley Sq. Luckily, it had stopped
raining and all those walks in the woods made the distance to the NEGHS a snap.

There was quite a few people taking advantage of the free admission so it took a
few moments before Barbara and I finally met. She is a very pleasant lady and
despite what she told me I don't believe she could possibly be older than I. She
doesn't look a day over 39! Barbara introduced me to Josh Taylor, then helped
me signup for a free 15 minute consult with David Allan Lambert later in the morning.
Since I hadn't been to NEGHS in over 20 years I was grateful that she took me on a
tour until it was time for my consult. (The staff was conducting tours but it involved
climbing a lot of stairs again so I was glad to make use of the elevator.)

My consult with David was at 11:45 on the 6th floor and I made use of the oppurtunity
to see what he might make of the infamous John Cutter West brickwall. He had
good suggestions, including a database and a book on Sumner Maine where John
Cutter West and Arvilla Ames were married. We also discussed DNA testing. The
conversation got around to Civil War reenactments and it turns out David knew my
college classmate Edmund Hands.
Barbara took this picture of my consult with David Lambert

Barbara and I had brought lunches so after the consult she and I walked over to
Copley Sq and found an empty bench to sit on while we ate and talked. By now the
weather had cleared so we soent about 45 minutes in conversation about research
and blogging before heading back to the NEHGS. We stopped outside to get a
picture taken but Barbara craftly left me holding the ballons!

I was going back inside to look at a book about Paris, Maine we'd discovered earlier
but Barbara had to leave so we said goodbye. I spent an hour with the book up on
the 5th floor and then decided I better get going myself on  my way home to avoid
the rush hour traffic. I walked back to Copley Square to the subway stop by the
main branch of the Boston Public Library, stopping to take some pictures along the

It was a nice day all around. I met Josh and David, got a badly needed tour of the
NEHGS, and proved to myself I can take other such trips into Boston by myself in
the future. I expect to see other geneabloggers at the NEHGS over this summer.

Thanks again Barbara Poole for an enjoyable day!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

POST 1000

When I started this blog back on Jan23, 2007, I really didn't know how
long I would stick with it and how far I might go. I certainly wouldn't
have thought I'd write 1000 posts. But I have. I've been blessed with
a plethora of ancestors, direct and collateral, who have provided me
with plenty of blog fodder with no end in sight. There are the silly posts
as well, like the Word Verification Dictionary and the genealogical uses
of flutaphone, and I've thrown in some poetry as well.

Besides the rewards of writing and exercising my mind, I've benefited in
other respects from West in New England. There have been the relatives
who've found me through seeing this blog, and there are the other
geneabloggers (some of whom are distant cousins!) who have befriended me,
offering me advice and giving me assistance in my family research. I'm hoping
to meet many of you face to face in the years ahead.

So, thank you all for the comments and encouragement. I really appreciate it,
and on to post 2000! 


I'm coming up on another blog milepost and realized it's been almost a
year since I last posted a Word Verification Dictionary entry. These are
those words Blogger has us type to verify we're not spambots when we
post comments on each other's blogs.

So without adieu (or a Pepsi), here's the latest entries!

eulaggl- A long awkward pause in an eulogy. "James' eulogy for Aunt Sarah
             was filled with many eulaggls.

mistr-   The male equivalent of mistress.

reman- What you do when you move on to a new mistr. "When Sophie was
            bored with her latest mistr, she knew it was time to reman.

scowa-The look the clerk gives you when you ask for yet ANOTHER of your
            ancestors' deeds

tankes-You're Welcome!


Benjamin Hobart's  History of the town of Abington, Plymouth County,
Massachusetts, from its first settlement  has become my first place to
look for information about my Abington cousins. On page 369 I found the

IV. Worthy C Dunham, born in Abington June 17, 1815; was married to
Irene Shaw of Weymouth, December 24, 1837. Their children were—
V. Rensellaer, born September 16, 1838; died September 17, 1839.
V. Jotham Ellsworth, born May 3, 1842.
V. Sumner Ellis, born September 3,1847; died September 25, 1848.
V. Irene Shaw, born October 23, 1851.
V. Sarah Williams, born July 22, 1855.
V. Abbie Weston, born August 30, 1858; died August 15, 1859.
Irene Shaw, wife of Worthy C. Dunham, died January 4,
1860, aged 42 years, 11 months, 9 days; he next married Marilla Pratt, 
October 4, 1860.

Now I knew there were more children who were not listed on the monument.
Could they have been buried there and the names not inscribed on the blank
western side of the marker? It was far more likely they had survived to
adulthood and were buried elsewhere. But what about the inscription
for Frank, Grace and  Robert on the south side? Grandchildren perhaps?

First though, I wanted to check on Worthy's parents, I looked on the previous
page, 368:

"III. Mr. Ezra Duuham was born in Plymouth, May 10, 1785; married, first, 
Susanna Ford, of Abington, January 30, 1806. They had one son, Henry,
born October 13, 1806; second, married Polly Cary, daughter of Howard 
Cary, Esq., of North Bridgewater. They had seven sons and three daughters,
viz., Susan, Howard Cary, Worthy Columbus, Charles Atwood, Cornelius 
Thomas, Ezra Rider, Angeline Huldah, Elbridge Cary, Francis William, 
and Lydia Howard." 

So, Worthy's middle name was Columbus and he was the half brother of 
General Henry Dunham and full brother to Cornelius T, Dunham, both of
whose graves I had previously discovered in Mt. Vernon Cemetery.

Now what else could I find out about him and his family?


Ever since discovering the Cornelius T.Dunham family plot only
a few yards away from my parents' grave in Mt Vernon Cemetery
here in Abington, I've looked for more Dunham cousins buried
there. I thought I'd found all of them but apparently, I was
wrong. A few days before I discovered David Ellinwood's grave,
I discovered another Dunham family plot.

I found it as I was photographing the graves on the hillside
above the family of Henry Dunham. This is the east side of the

The inscription reads:
"Worthy C Dunham
       His Wife
     Irene Shaw
       His Wife
    Marilla Pratt

On the south side:

The inscription here lists three children:

   Sumner Ellis
   Abbie Weston
    Children of
W.C.& I.S. Dunham"

On the north side:
This side reads:
"Frank E. Dunham
      Grace E.
     Robert E. 

So, not only do I have Dunham cousins buried here in Abington, some of them
were living here while my Dad was still alive, and there may still be some here
living in town.

I'll discuss how I'm related to these latest discoveries in the next post in this series.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011


I've come to a point in my transcription of 2x great grandfather Asa F
Ellingwood's pension file where I'm trying to decide whether or not I
want to post the entire transcription of the April 1884 hearing. A lot
of it is repetitious with witnesses answering the same questions from
F. E. Lawton. I'm going to finish transcribing them and make them available
in full to family members while I'll post a summary of the testimony here.

But there are some other parts of the file that I will post and I hope to be
finished with that by the end of July, well before the Ellingwood Family
Reunion in August.

Monday, July 04, 2011



 Welcome to the 107th Carnival of Genealogy! The intriguing topic for this edition from Jasia is:

"the seasons of genealogy. Do you spend more time on genealogy research in the summer or in the winter, or maybe spring or fall? How does the amount of time you put into research and blogging differ from season to season? Or perhaps you'd like to think of things metaphorically... which season is your genealogy research in?"

 And as usual, there are some great responses. Let's get to them, shall we?

Julie Goucher, in her Carnival Of Genealogy 107 - The Seasons of My Genealogy Research posted at Anglers Rest, shares, "Reflections of my seasons of genealogy"

Charles Hansen's  The Seasons of Genealogy for the COG # 107 posted at Mikkel's Hus, say's, "I really only have two seasons, one I am very busy and do not do much research and the second when I have a lot of time to research."

Ruth Stephens presents The Seasons of My Genealogy Research posted at Ruth's Genealogy.She tells us that in Texas there are only two seasons
and shows the parallel with her genealogy seasons.

Tara Anderson wrote The Summer of My Genealogy posted at A Family Mystery Blog, saying, "Just a little bit about why I feel I am in the Summer of my genealogy research, even though I am definitely NOT on summer vacation!"

Frances Ellsworth presents COG 107 - The Seasons Of Genealogy: Not What I Thought I Would Be posted at Branching Out Through The Years, saying, "Thanks Bill for the stimulating topic. I had to contemplate what season's of genealogy meant to me. Must say metaphorically." ((Well, actually, Jasia was the one who thought up this great topic-Bill))

Shelley Bishop in her Genealogy in Bloom posted at A Sense of Family, tells us, "With summer (finally) here, I thought about how genealogy grows much like a flower garden--through seasons of development, each with its own beauty. I hope you enjoy it!"

Linda Gartz contributes Seasons of Genealogy posted at Family Archaeologist, saying, "Trace how my family history research has blossomed over the years as I view my discoveries as an arc through the seasons, blooming from the early crocus of first awareness through my immersion in a robust summer garden of family treasures."

Dorene Paul in Seasons of Genealogy posted at Graveyard Rabbit of Sandusky Bay, says that "it is always the season for genealogy."

Barbara Cagle presents Seasons of Genealogy posted at Cagle, saying, "As the Leaves Begin to Fall My Pen Furiously Writes in the Names on My Family Tree"

Ed Hamilton views Family History Through Seasoned Eyes at My Old Ohio Home - Articles, saying, "A good landscape artist knows that we never see the same scene in the same way. As the earth rotates on its axis and circles the sun, the light changes from day to day and from season to season. So it is with our family history: each time we visit a part of it we can see things differently."

Jasia adds her The Seasons of My Genealogy Research over at Creative Gene, She says: "I've covered all 4 seasons in my genealogy research. It's time for me to move on to the organizing/writing phase of my family history but I'm finding it hard to let go of the puzzle solving!"

Denise Levenick has The Seasons of Genealogy: Content to be Stuck in a Genealogy Groundhog Day posted at The Family Curator, saying, "Sometimes it feels like Eternal Early Spring with my genealogy research, and I don't think I want these wonder-filled "aha" moments to end."

Greta Koehl presents The Seasons of Genealogy: It’s Okay to Daydream posted at Greta's Genealogy Bog, saying, "I like the cooler seasons for research and research trips, but I seem to be stuck in summer mode in my research. And I don't function very well in the summer."

Jennifer Woods at Climbing My Family Tree One Branch At a Time says 
that her time devoted to research is influenced by two very important 
factors. She beautifully illustrates her point at Carnival of Genealogy: The Seasons of Genealogy

Randy Seaver says his motto is " "life is short - do genealogy first" 
these days.  Genealogy is fun for me, and I'm doing what I want to do 
in this stage of my life." Learn how he goes about it in his post  
The Seasons of my Genealogy Research over at his Genea-Musings blog!

And finally Bill West(aka me) talks about The Endless Summer of the Genealogical Mind. 

And that concludes the 107 edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. My thanks to 
all the contributors and to the inimitable footnote Maven for the great graphic.

Jasia will return to host the next Carnival and here's the call for submissions:

Call for Submissions! The topic for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy will be: Food! We haven't focused on food in the COG in quite a while so we're asking you to bring us your family recipes, stories of picnics, food fights, food allergies, favorite summertime foods you remember, and best of all, photos of family favorite foods. Let's make a great mouth-watering edition of the COG! The deadline for submissions will be August 1st. Bring your appetite!

Submit your blog article to the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy using our carnival submission form. Please use a descriptive phrase in the title of any articles you plan to submit and/or write a brief description/introduction to your articles in the "comment" box of the blog carnival submission form. This will give readers an idea of what you've written about and hopefully interest them in clicking on your link. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


I've blogged in the past about finding distant cousins from the Dunham family
buried at Mt Vernon cemetery here in Abington, the same cemetery where my
parents are buried. Well, today I found another cousin but this time from another
branch of Dad's family. Dad's grandfather Philip J West was married to Clara F.
Ellingwood, Originally the family spelled it Ellinwood or Ellenwood but our side of
the family adopted Ellingwood in the 19th century, (Clara, by the way, was the
daughter of Asa Ellingwood, whose Civil War pension file I've been posting here)

When I saw David Ellinwood's gravestone I was pretty sure we were related. All
the New England Ellingwoods are descended from Ralph Ellinwood of Salem,
Essex, Ma. What I wasn't sure of was how closely related we were. So, when I
came home I looked him up at It turns out he is a nearer cousin
to me than any of the Dunhams I'd discovered earlier, a second cousin five times
removed. Eliza Ann his wife turns out to be one of the numerous Stetsons from
this area and they were married in East Bridgewater, Plymouth, Ma.on 6Nov
1842. They had one child, a daughter. I suspect David probably came here
from New Hampshire to work in one of the local factories.

Here's a chart showing the two lines of decent from  Ebenezer Ellingwood:

Friday, July 01, 2011


Waaay back here in 2007, I wrote a post about my ancestor Lydia Phelps, detailing
how I'd had to revise the information I had on her. I'd discovered  that her parents
were not Jonathan Phelps and Lydia Parker, but were Scottish immigrants whose
names I have yet to discover.I also discovered that my 5x great grandfather John
Ames was Lydia's second husband.  She was the widow of Sampson Read.
(Thanks again to Larry Overmire for allowing the use of his research)

This morning I was looking at the newly released Sons of the American Revolution
Membership Application files at and checking out the names of my
ancestors who served in the Revolution. Then I tried a few that had lived in the right
period but that I've never discovered any records to indicate military service. One of
them is my 4x great grandfather Philip Pierce Richardson, another brickwall
ancestor. The search brought up the name Lydia Phelps Richardson. Now that
piqued my curiosity, as you might imagine, so I clicked to see the image, and this
is what I saw:

This the application of one Ralph Joseph Richardson who claimed descent from
Sampson Read and his wife Lydia (Phelps) Read . Ralph's grandparents were
Joseph Richardson and Lydia Phelps Read.  Could there be a connection to my
Philip Pierce Richardson, or his son Philip Richardson?

I'll let you know what I find out.


One of those testifying in April 1884 was Asa's eldest child, my great granduncle
Walter Fred Ellingwood. I'm don't know why he testified. He could have
asked to do so, of course, but considering the little amount of information
in his statement, I can't see why he would . Besides, how much would he have
been able to understand or remember about his father's physical condition
since he was only 10 years old when Asa returned home in 1861?

A few parts of Walter's statement were illegible. Perhaps the person
recording the statements was tiring?

It starts out by saying "..his age is 33 years, P.O. address Upton, Maine,

Q: Are you not the son of Asa F.Ellingwood the claimant
A: Yes Sir

Q: Do you remember when your father came home from the war in 1861
A: No sir I do not know what month. I know it was in the winter.

Q: What was the trouble with him at the time he came home in Dec 1861
A: He had the kidney complaint and (the rest of the sentence is illegible)

Q: When did you first know he had any ruptures
A: When he came home from the army the last time.

Q: How much of the time each and every yearsince 1865 has he been unable
     to perform manual labor by reason of said disabilities.
A: I don't know for I have not been at home most of the time.

Q: Do you have any interest directly or indirectly in the prosecution of said claim
A: No sir 

To be continued.