Saturday, October 03, 2015


As I said in a previous post, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem about the Battle of Lovewell's Pond was not the first written about it.  I found this one in Walter C Bronson's anthology American Poems (1625-1892). In his notes, Bronson dates it from about 1725, which was a year after the fight.

Several of my colonial ancestors served under Captain Lovewell's command but I haven't discovered if any of them were present on this third expedition. The Wyman credited with killing Chief Paugus may have been a descendant of my ancestor John Wyman.

Some might find it hard to accept the idea that our colonial ancestors took Indians scalps as willingly as the Indians took theirs, but it was a harsh fact of life at the time.                          



Of worthy Captain Lovewell I purpose now to sing,
How valiantly he served his country and his King:
He and his valiant soldiers did range the woods full wide,
And hardships they endured to quell the Indian's pride.

T'was nigh unto Pigwacket, on the eighth day of May,
They spied a rebel Indian soon after break of day;
He on a bank was walking, upon a neck of land
Which leads into a pond, as we 're made to understand.

Our men resolv'd to have him, and travell'd two miles round
Until they met the Indian, who boldly stood his ground.
Then speaks up Captain Lovewell: "Take you good heed," says he;
'This rogue is to decoy us, I very plainly see.

"The Indians lie in ambush, in some place nigh at hand,
In order to surround us upon this neck of land;
Therefore we 'll march in order, and each man leave his pack,
That we may briskly fight them when they make their attack."

They came unto this Indian, who did them thus defy:
As soon as they came nigh him, two guns he did let fly,
Which wounded Captain Lovewell and likewise one man more;
But when this rogue was running, they laid him in his gore.

Then, having scalp'd the Indian, they went back to the spot
Where they had laid their packs down, but there they found them not,
For the Indians, having spy'd them when they them down did lay,
Did seize them for their plunder and carry them away.

These rebels lay in ambush this very place hard by,
So that an English soldier did one of them espy
And cried out, "Here's an Indian!" With that they started out
As fiercely as old lions, and hideously did shout.

With that our valiant English all gave a loud huzza,
To shew the rebel Indians they fear'd them not a straw.
So now the fight began; and as fiercely as could be
The Indians ran up to them, but soon were forced to flee.

 Then spake up Captain Lovewell when first the fight began,
"Fight on, my valiant heroes! you see they fall like rain!"
For, as we are inform'd, the Indians were so thick
A man could scarcely fire a gun and not some of them hit.

Then did the rebels try their best our soldiers to surround,
But they could not accomplish it, because there was a pond
To which our men retreated and covered all the rear:
The rogues were forc'd to flee them, altho' they skulked for fear.

Two logs there were behind them that close together lay:
Without being discovered they could not get away;
Therefore our valiant English they travell'd in a row,
And at a handsome distance, as they were wont to go.

T'was ten o'clock in the morning when first the fight begun,
And fiercely did continue until the setting sun,
Excepting that the Indians, some hours before't was night,
Drew off into the bushes and ceas'd a while to fight.

But soon again returned in fierce and furious mood,
Shouting as in the morning, but yet not half so loud;
For, as we are informed, so thick and fast they fell
Scarce twenty of their number at night did get home well;

And that our valiant English till midnight there did stay,
To see whether the rebels would have another fray;
But, they no more returning, they made off towards their home,
And brought away their wounded as far as they could come.

Of all our valiant English there were but thirty-four,
And of the rebel Indians there were about fourscore:
And sixteen of our English did safely home return;
The rest were kill'd and wounded, for which we all must mourn.

Our worthy Captain Lovewell among them there did die;
They killed Lieut. Robbins, and wounded good young Frye,
Who was our English Chaplain: he many Indians slew,
And some of them he scalp'd when bullets round him flew.

Young Fullam, too, I'll mention, because he fought so well—
Endeavouring to save a man, a sacrifice he fell.
But yet our valiant Englishmen in fight were ne'er dismay'd,
But still they kept their motion, and Wyman's captain made,

Who shot the old chief Paugus, which did the foe defeat;
Then set his men in order, and brought off the retreat;
And, braving many dangers and hardships in the way,
They safe arriv'd at Dunstable the thirteenth day of May.


American Poems ( 1625-1892) University of Chicago Press, Chicago Illinois  1912

Friday, October 02, 2015


This week's Findmypast Friday new collections include more records from New York and
school registers from England:

This week's Findmypast Friday marks the arrival of over 67,000 New York birth, marriage and burial records dating all the way back to 1639! We’ve also released school registers from three of Britain’s top historic schools (where many of the history’s most famous Brits were educated). Explore our new collections to reveal your family’s colonial origins or discover the achievements of any ancestors who attended British public schools.
I hope you find these records of interest. If you have any questions or feedback, do feel free to get in touch!

New York baptisms 1660-1862
Discover your New York ancestors and explore over 200 years of baptism records from Long Island, Staten Island and the city of Kingston to discover if you had family in the region when it was still a Dutch colony.
Add New York ancestors to your family tree »

New York marriages 1639-1900
Reveal undiscovered branches of your family tree with over 50,000 New York marriage records. Find out when, where and to whom your forefathers were married in records that date back to colonial times.
Uncover your families colonial origins »

New York deaths & burials 1758-1862
Locate the final resting place of your New York relatives while uncovering valuable biographical details, such as where they lived, their occupations and the names of their parents or spouse.
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Berkshire, Eton College Register 1441-1698
Uncover the great deeds of old Etonians including Britain’s first prime minister and Elizabeth I’s saucy godson by exploring historic registers from one of Britain’s leading public schools.
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London, Dulwich College Register 1619-1926
Did you have a family member that attended Dulwich College in South East London? Explore over 18,000 records that span four centuries and date back to the admission of the school’s first 12 pupils in 1619.
Was your relative in class with Ernest Shackleton? »

Sussex, Lancing College Register 1901-1954
Search the register of Lancing College in Sussex to discover what pupils went on to achieve later in life. Many of those listed fought in either the First or Second World Wars including WW1 fighter ace Captain John Letts MC.
Discover the achievements of your public school forebears »

Why not explore our fascinating new collections this weekend to see if you have any undiscovered public school connections? Remember if you have any queries, comments or issues with Findmypast, get in touch here. We'd love to hear what you discover!
Have a great weekend,


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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


I've previously written about my colonial Massachusetts relatives who
were among the "snow-shoe soldiers" that fought the French-allied
Indians during "Dummer's War" (known as Queen Anne's War in Europe).
They were commanded by Captain John Lovewell, who led three expeditions
against the Indians, and died in battle at Pequawket, now known as Fryeburg,
Maine on 9Nov 1725. The fight took place near a pond now known
as Lovewell or Lovell's Pond.

As it happens, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's first published work is a short
poem about the battle. It appeared in the Portland Gazette newspaper on 17Nov
1820. He was 13 years old at that time: 

The Battle of Lovell’s Pond

COLD, cold is the north wind and rude is the blast   
That sweeps like a hurricane loudly and fast,   
As it moans through the tall waving pines lone and drear,   
Sighs a requiem sad o’er the warrior’s bier.   

The war-whoop is still, and the savage’s yell          
Has sunk into silence along the wild dell;   
The din of the battle, the tumult, is o’er,   
And the war-clarion’s voice is now heard no more.   

The warriors that fought for their country, and bled,   
Have sunk to their rest; the damp earth is their bed;           
No stone tells the place where their ashes repose,   
Nor points out the spot from the graves of their foes.   

They died in their glory, surrounded by fame,   
And Victory’s loud trump their death did proclaim;   
They are dead; but they live in each Patriot’s breast,           
And their names are engraven on honor’s bright crest.

You can read  more about the poem at:

As it happens, Henry's was not the first poem about the battle. An older one had been
popular in New England for quite some time. I'll discuss that next.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


It's time to start thinking about the Seventh Annual Great Genealogy Poetry

As in the past, I'll be posting the links to the submissions on Thanksgiving Day,
which this year falls on Thursday, November 26th. Deadline for submissions will be
a week before, on Thursday, November 19th. That gives everyone nearly two
months to find (or write) and share their poem or song. If you find one long before
that deadline you can post it on your blog now, but don't forget to send me the link to
it before November 19th!
These are the Challenge rules:

1. Find a poem by a  poet, famous or obscure, about the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal. It can even be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written!
0r if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video of someone
performing the song. 

2. Post the poem or song to your blog (remembering to cite the source
where you found it.).  If you wish to enter an older post, you may as long

as long as it has not appeared here in an earlier Poetry Challenge.
3.Tell us how the subject of the poem or song relates to your ancestor's
home or life, or the area of the country where they lived.

4.Submit your post's link here to me by midnight Thursday, November 19th
and I'll publish all links to the entries on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th!

If  you submit a humorous poem or song that will be entered under the
"Willy Puckerbrush" division. Willy was the late geneablogger Terry
Thornton's alias for some humorous posts and comments.

There you have it, and with nearly two months to work with, I'm hoping that
gives everyone plenty of time to take part this year!

Saturday, September 26, 2015


I've written about Wesley(Westley) Coburn  previously, but before I move onto
the families of the Coburn wives, I wanted to list the children of Wesley and Lucy (Stowe)
Coburn here  because of the interesting connections made by the marriages of
those children:

Lovinia Coburn b. 12 Sept 1828 at Albany, Me. Married Parker V Brown, 5Jun 1851 at
Shelburne, Coos, NH.

Melvin Stow Coburn, b. 4 Jul 1831 at Albany Me. Married: (1) Elizabeth Barker sometime before 1855. (2) Sophronia Merrill 16 Mar 1895

Leander Coburn  b. 1834?  N.F.R.

Moses R. Coburn b. 24 Nov 1835 Bethel, Me.  Married Mary S Reynolds  31 Jan 1858 at
Albany, Me.

Lucy Elizabeth Coburn b. 10 Aug 1842 at Albany, Me. Married Nathaniel S. Barker 31 Jan 1858 at
Albany, Me.    

A few observations about the list of children:
- Melvin Stow Coburn and Lucy Coburn both married children of Nathaniel Barker and
Huldah Hastings. Lucy is my 2x great grandmother.

- Moses R. Coburn's wife Mary S. Reynolds was the sister of Orpha Reynolds, first wife
of my 2x great grandfather Jonathan Phelps West. 

-Mary S. Reynolds' mother was Ruhama Ames, sister of my 3x great grandmother Arvilla Ames, who was Jonathan Phelps West's mother.

Oh what a tangled web!

Friday, September 25, 2015


Today's Findmypast Friday records releases focuses on two extensive collections:
This week’s Findmypast Friday marks the release of over three centuries worth of directories and almanacs covering the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australasia and beyond. Explore these new collections to discover how your ancestors lived their lives hundreds of years ago.

We've added over 829,000 new records and newspaper articles including:

Britain, Directories & Almanacs
122 volumes of fascinating directories and almanacs reveal where your British relatives lived and how they earned their living. Want to know about the history of a particular property? Search by address and find out.
Uncover the social history of Britain »

Irish Newspapers
Find out if your Irish ancestors ever made the headlines in over 724,000 new, fully searchable newspaper articles. These rich resources provide a vivid glimpse into Irish history, dating as far back as the 1700s.
Extra! Extra! »

There are so many amazing discoveries waiting to be made in our latest collections. Delve into them this weekend and see what additions you can make to your family tree. Remember if you have any queries, comments or issues with Findmypast, get in touch here.

Have a great weekend,

The Findmypast team

You can read fuller descriptions here at Findmypast.

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

Saturday, September 19, 2015


Here, finally, is the Inventory of 4x great grandfather's estate. I've left the spelling and
capitalization exactly as written, except for the placement of the names of the appraisers
which is hard for me to duplicate. And for some reason the column of figures wanders all
over the place when I c&p the completed post here from Wordpad. Ah well.

What always fascinates me is how inexpensive things are in comparison to present day prices:

the Following is an Inventory and
appraisal of property of Moses Coburn Late of
Newry, Maid out by the undersigners on the
twenty ninth day of March 1848 according to
an appointment above mentioned
1 Cow                                                                                  20.00
2 Months pay of pention at 8.00 per month                          16.00
2 Beds & Bedding & 2 Bedstids                           18.50
1 pair of pants                                                                        2.75
1 Hat                                                                                        .33
1 Shirt                                                                                      .33
1 Over Coat                                                                            2.00
1 pair of pants                                                                           .12
1 table                                                                                       .25
1 Stove                                                                                     5.00
1 Bed Stid                                                                                1.50
1 Chest of Draws                                                                     2.50
2 Chairs                                                                                  1.50
1 Case of knives & forks                                                     .20 
6 Spoons                                                                                    .10
Cooking ware                                                                           2.75
1 Trunk                                                                                      .50
1 Loom                                                                                    3.00
David Smith
John Frost                       ) Apprisors
Charles Goodenow

Moses left those "two months pay of pention" to his youngest son Lot Spaulding Coburn. I wonder if
Lot was able to collect that $16.00?