Sunday, April 20, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For this prompt
I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much as I have others in
my family tree. So for Week 15 my subject is Andrew Mitchell. my 7x great grandfather.

What I already know about Andrew is that he was born in Charlestown, Ma. around
1662, the son of Thomas Mitchell and Mary Moulton. He married Abigail Atwood  in
Charlestown on 12 Nov 1686 and they proceeded to have a family of ten children, five
boys and five girls. Their fifth child and oldest son was my 6x great grandfather Andrew
Mitchell, Jr. At some point after the birth of their eighth child in September 1699 they
left Charlestown and moved to the town of Haverhill, Ma. Abigail died there on 12 Dec 1714. Andrew lived on until 25 Nov 1736.

My descent from Andrew Mitchell & Abigail Atwood  to my grandparents is as

Andrew Mitchell & Abigail Atwood
Andrew Mitchell Jr.& Hannah Ayer
Abigail Mitchell & Jonathan Barker Jr.
Jonathan Barker 3rd & Abigail Swan
Nathaniel Barker & Huldah Hastings
Amos Hasting Barker &  Betsey Jane Moore     Nathaniel Swan Barker & Lucy Coburn
Frank Wesley Barker & Charlotte Lovenia Barker
Cora Berthella Barker& Floyd E West Sr.  

Whenever I have relatives from colonial Charlestown, I look them up in Roger Thompson's excellent book From Deference to Defiance: Charlestown, Massachusetts, 1629-1692 (NEHGS , Boston, Ma. 2012). On p.399 I found a story about how an
Andrew Mitchell had badly beaten his servant Consider Sampson in 1690. The year would fall in the right time period before the Mitchell's left Charlestown so it's
probably my ancestor.

I also was able to find Andrew's Will & Probate file over on the FamilySearch. I'll discuss the provisions in the next post, but the file also contained an interesting
statement from Joshua Bayley, who was Andrew Mitchell's doctor in his final illness:

Honrd Sr I had the care of old Mr. Micthel the whole time of his last illness- at ye first
visit I judged his distemper would prove mortall & on ye Saturdy night when his will
was made I was sent for in haste & was informed by ye messenger yt it was believed
he would dy before morning, but it being verry stormy & late in ye night I could not
go, knowing yt I could do him no good-at all times when I was with him I tho't him in
his right mind-  I am (worthy sir) ye servt  to command-
Joshua Bayley
Haverll Novye 30th 1736

Dr. Bayley was, it seems, a very pragmatic physician.

To be continued.

Saturday, April 19, 2014


Today is the 239th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington  & Concord which
started the American Revolution on 19Apr 1775. While the traditional
reenactments of the battles will take place today, they are celebrated in
Massachusetts on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April, when the Boston
Marathon is run.

These are our colonial ancestors from our Dad' s family lines for whom I have
so far been able to discover records.

Jonathan Barker Jr. My 4x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with rank of Sergeant.
He responded to Lexington and Concord with his sons
Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode
Island and then with Nathaniel Gage's Company in Colonel
Jacob Gerrish's guards from Dec 1777 tol April 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 5x great grandfather
Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John
Davis' Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the
Massachusetts line for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the
conclusion of the term, he reenlisted for another 3 months in
Capt John Allen's Company, Colonel John Waldron's Regiment,
General Sullivan's Brigade in the New Hampshire Brigade at
Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a third time in June 1778
at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel Carr's Company, Col.
James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's Brigade at
White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames   My 5x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 18th,
1775. He then enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain
Oliver Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and
in the Brigade that was commanded in turn by Generals
Putnam, Lee, and Washington and served for 8 1/2 months.

Asa Barrows    My 4x great grandfather

A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of Boston. In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed
there for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time
in a militia company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill
that marched to Tiverton, R.I. .

Moses Coburn  My 4x great grandfather
Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of 1781."
When he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in
Captain Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the
Massachusetts line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in
which he served for nearly two years until it was broken up.
He then transferred to the Company of Judah Alden in the
Regiment commanded by Colonel Sprouts until his discharge
in 1783.

Samuel Haskell   My 5x great grandfather
Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings   My 5x great grandfather
Amos  responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of
Captain Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William
Johnson's Regiment. He later served in Captain Timothy
Eaton's Company in Colonel Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment
and was at the taking of the British General Burgoyne at

Elisha Houghton   5x great grandfather
Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777 in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and
was at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and
twice was busted back down to the ranks.

Amos Upton    My 5x great grandfather
Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from
his home in Reading. He later joined the militia company
commanded by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant
and then enlisted for eight months in the Continental Army
under Colonel Mansfield. He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
He was discharged in October of 1775.

John Griffith  My 5x great grandfather
Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of
the cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain
William Treadwell's Company in Colonel John Crane's
Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard   My 5x great grandfather
A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel
Bailey's militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the
Alarm. He also responded several more times as a Minuteman
for a total of nearly 8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbott   My 5x great grandfather
Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry
Abbott and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Samuel Stowe  My 5x great grandfather
Minuteman from Sherborn, Ma. Served in Capt. Benjamin Bullard's
Company in Col. Asa Whitcomb's 5th Massachusetts Bay
Provincial Regiment.

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan
Barker, Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker.

Friday, April 18, 2014


((I first posted this back in 2012 for the 237th anniversary. I'm posting
it again a day early for the 239th. Many of my ancestors answered
the alarm on 19Apr 1775 and I'll republish a list of their names tomorrow.)) 

We've all heard about the "shot heard round the world"
fired at Concord, but there's more to the poem. So, in honor of the
239th anniversary of the Battles of Concord and Lexington, here's
Ralph Waldo Emerson's  "Concord Hymn":

Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


It'a another Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver over at the
Genea-Musings blog. This week has to do with sources and citations and these
are the rules:

 Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Have you done a good job of citing your sources in your genealogy management program or online family tree?  How are you doing?  How many source citations do you have, and how many people are in your tree?  What is the sources to persons ratio?

2)  Which master source (e.g., 1900 U.S. census, Find A Grave, specific book, etc.) do you have the most citations for?  How many?  How did you figure this out?

3)  Tell us in your own blog post, in comments to this post, or on Facebook or Google+ in a post.  Be sure to leave a comment with a link to your post on this blog post.

So I hope I've done this right:

I post my research primarily on and then download it to my RootsMagic6
database on my hard drive. My last download  was in November, 2013. On that  I have 30,582  people with 78516 citations from 509 sources. Like Randy, I used a Source List
Report. Mine ended up at 2242 pages and these are the sources with the highest number
of citations:

1930 Federal Census: 8344 citations.

1910 Federal Census: 7623 citations

1920 Federal Census: 7240 citations

1940 Federal Census: 5811 citations

1880 Federal Census: 4039 citations

Social Security Death Index: 3578 citations

The Ancestors & Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood & Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood: 3509 citations

The Ellinwood (Ellenwood/Ellingwood) Family 1635-1963
: 2468 citations

1860 Federal Census: 1508 citations

1850 Federal Census:1261 citations.
Two of these are genealogy books about my Ellingwood ancestors. I spent the
last two years adding to my tree and double-checking the information from the
books. The rest are all from There's a lot of citations from
FamilySearch and Find a Grave but these are the ones with the highest number.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014


(Today is the 325th Anniversary of 8x great grandfather Stephen Greenleaf Jr.
reporting a conversation involving a William Sargent. At the time I wrote this 
back in June 2009 I thought it was my 9x great grandfather William Sargent,
but he had died in 1675. I now believe it refers to his son, also named William,
my 8x great granduncle, so the mystery is, I think, solved.))

Stephen Greenleaf, Sr. had come to the Bay Colony with his father Edmund Greenleaf
and settled in Newbury, Essex Co. Ma. On 13Nov 1651 he married Elizabeth Coffin,
daughter of Tristram Coffin and Dionis Stevens and his first son, Stephen Greenleaf,
Jr. was born 15Aug 1652.

Stephen Jr. is most often referred to as Captain Greenleaf in the family genealogy and
is termed a "great Indian fighter." I've found several references to his having had a
prominent role in a battle in 1690 in Wells, Maine but as yet I haven't found any
account of the event anywhere else online. However, I have found several documents
dealing with his military career.

The first of these seems to be a report of a conversation he had or overheard with a man
named William Sargeant(Sargent) of Amesbury. This took place during the campaign in
Maine of 1689:

"Testimony of S. Greenleafe Junr
The testimony of Stephen Greenleaf Jun. That on the 8th of Aprill he heard Wm Sargeant
of Ames bury who came lately from the Indians (among whom he had bin a season) to
affirme these things to be told by the Indians.

That the Gouernour had agreed with three nations of Indians besides the Mowhakes to
come downe vpon the English & on the agree mt had given them some money & some coats,

That the Penicook Indians had no designe for warre, but they being in combination with the mowhakes he thought they would be ruled by them, & do as they did.

That he thought that euery day that it was neglected it was too long, & he was affraid that
there would be bloud shed.

That he had done no hurt agt the English, & he was glad he went no farther then Mr Hinks
his house with the post letters, & mr Hinks stopt him,

Divers other words were spoken, but this as farre as he remembers was the substance of
what was spoken
Taken on oath Aprill 9th 1689. before me Jon Woodbridge J. P".

James Phinney Baxter, History of the State of Maine Maine Historical Society
Portland, Me. 1890 pp472-473

I think the "Gouernor" refers to the French Governor of Quebec.

Now what struck me about this testimony was the name of the person that it concerns:
William Sargeant of Amesbury. One of my ancestors is William Sargent of Amesbury and
now I'm wondering if this is him. And if it is, what was he doing spending a season among
the Indians? Noting the April 8th date, then Sargeant had spent the winter, perhaps
trapping or trading for fur with the tribes .

I've found no answers to this as yet. So now I have a new family mystery to solve!

Tuesday, April 08, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. For Week 14 the subject is my 7x great grandmother Mary Tilden.

Like most of the ancestors I've researched for this series, Mary Tilden was mostly a mystery to me other than some basic information. She was born in Scituate, Ma. on 7Apr 1668. Her parents were Stephen Tilden and Hannah Little. On 3 Jan 1692 she married my 7x great grandfather James Thomas, and I'm descended from their  eldest son John Thomas. I had even less information about her parents, so I set about finding more.

What I found was another Mayflower ancestor connection.

I discovered that Hannah Little was the daughter of Thomas Little and Ann Warren. Ann
was the daughter of  Mayflower passenger  Richard Warren and his wife Elizabeth (LNU).
This is the line of descent down to my grandparents Floyd E West and Cora Bertha Barker:

Richard Warren & Elizabeth (LNU)
Ann Warren & Thomas Little
Hannah Little & Stephen Tilden
Mary Tilden & James Thomas
John Thomas & Abigail Dunham
Mary Thomas & John Dunham
James Dunham  & Cynthia Packard
James Thomas Dunahm & Sally Houghton
Florilla Dunham & Asa Ellingwood
Clara Ellingwood & Philip J West
Floyd E West Sr & Cora Bertha Barker

The irony is I already had a Warren connection from another of his daughters.

Richard Warren & Elizabeth (LNU)
Mary Warren &  Robert Bartlett
Mary Bartlett & Jonathan Mowrey(Morey)
Hannah Mowrey(Morey) & John Bumpas
Mary Bumpas & Seth Ellis
Mary Ellis & Ephraim Griffith
John Griffith & Mary Boyden
Polly Griffith & Jonathan Phelps Ames
Arvilla S. Ames & John Cutter West
John Cutter West & Louisa Richardson
Philip J West & Clara Ellingwood
Floyd E West Sr & Cora Bertha Barker

I need to do more digging on the Tilden, Little, and Thomas families!


There's a total of eight pages of testimony in Thomas Robbin's case against my
ancestor William Pinson for verbal and physical abuse. I've picked out some
passages from them

Rebecca Bligh. aged about forty-three years, testified that she had often come into
the house of her father Robbins where she heard her mother complain of the abuse by
William Pynson by his frequent bawling and railing in the house. Her mother told her
that she would rather die than live in such a place where there was continual scolding
and such contention and disturbance in the family, said Pynson usurping such authority
over them. Sworn, Feb.14 , 1684-85 before John Hathorne, assistant.
Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Volume IX Published and Copyrighted by the Essex Institute 1975 
From  John Bligh Jr, grandson of Thomas Robbins tyme some Indians being
there drinking Pynsons wife came in & fetcht away ye skillett, reproueing him for
doeing so, he said he would rather drinkwith them then with her for he said he was
sure that Peter ye Indians squaw was handsomer then shee..
. p482

Thomas Robbins aged about sixty-eight years, testified that three years ago, the
night before Thanksgiving, Pynson threatened to have his own wife whipped and
deponent objected to  his treating his cousin, Pynson's wife, in such a manner and struck him on the head with his shoe, although his hands were lame.Pynson through

 the shoe into the fire and tried to throw him in also.... He ordered his wife to kill some cocks before he went into the woods and when he came home and found them, he cursed her until she cried bitterly and said if he didn't kill the other two cocks before he slept, he would cut his own throat."But as yet he hath neither cutt his own throate nor killed ye Cocks" p483

George Thomas, aged about forty-eight years, testified that when Robbins lay very sick
upon a low bed, he was a witness to the writing and Robbins was not capapble of
knowing what he did, and had to be helped in guiding his hand. Sworn June 29 1685
before John Hathorne, assistant
. p484

Once again the question was raised whether the document giving William Pinson control
of Thomas Robbins' estate was legitimate. And what of the Blighs? In that land transaction
Robbins had stated that his niece Rebecca Pinson was his only heir, yet it seems he had
a daughter and grandson as well.

So, what was the final verdict given in the case against William Pinson, who celebrated
Christmas, drank with Indians, who behaved abominably to his wife and her elderly
uncle and aunt, and who may have tricked an old sick man into signing over all his

William Pinson, presented for cursing and swearing, was admonished, it not being
proved that it occurred within the year. Tho. Robbins declared he went in fear of his
life and court sentenced  Pinson to give bond for good behavior

I have to admit, I was astonished by this. What did the Court know that could possibly
justify letting off William Pinson so lightly? This is not the first time I wish that there had
been some sort of commentary included that explains the ruling in a case.

But still, it's a fascination story. And I love that aside about "But as yet he hath neither cutt his own throate nor killed ye Cocks"

Monday, April 07, 2014


The deadline for The Second Geneabloggers Just Make Up Some Lyrics Challenge
is only a week away. Here's a reminder about the rules:

1. Set the names of your ancestors to the music of any song. It can be
any number of names, any song. Just remember to mention what song
you are using so we can all "sing along" as we read!

2. Publish your efforts on your blog and send me the link. If you don't have
a blog( and you really should, you know, they're easy and fun to do) then send
me your song in a comment to this blog.

2. Dead line is April 15th. I'll publish the final list of links here on  April

I've already had some great responses and I'm hoping to see more before
next week!