Thursday, February 23, 2017


My 3x great grandfather John Ellingwood Jr was born at Bethel, Me. on 12 Jun 1798.  He married Rachel Barrows there sometime around 1719 and after the birth of their first child the couple moved to Paulsburg, NH.(now Milan). Florence O' Connor wrote in her book that the journey had to have been done by river on a barge or cross-country on ox-drawn carts or by horse since there were no roads yet between Bethel and Paulsburg.

John was a farmer in an area known as Milan Hill and in 1822 his second child Isaac was the first white child born in that area. John also was a Deacon of the Methodist church.

John and Rachel had six children, at least five of whom survived to adulthood:
Hester Ann  b.27 Apr 1820 at Bethel Me.,  m. Edward Fifield.
Isaac Harris b.20 Apr 1822 at Milan NH.,  m. Columbia Briggs
John Wesley b. May 1824 at Milan NH.,   m. Mariah Flint
Jacob  b .1826  at Milan NH., 
Asa Freeman  b.  4 Apr 1828 at Milan NH.,   m. Florilla Dunham
Oscar Phipps b.1831 at Milan NH.,  m.Ann Andrews

A fire in 1886 burned most of the early records at the Lancaster County Courthouse so not many documents can be found about John and his family. One that has is the list of voters for 1825. It includes John Ellingwood, his brother Daniel Ellingwood, his brother-in-law Asa Barrows, and Moses Robbins who was married to Rachel Barrows' sister Hannah Barrows.

I wonder if Moses was related to David Robbins the criminal?

Rachel ( Barrows) Ellingwood died in Milan, NH  sometime after the birth of her child Oscar and John followed three years later. If there was a probate file or a will from ohn it was destroyed in that courthouse fire. The children were divided among the relatives: Hester and Isaac went to Bethel Me. ; Asa and Oscar went to live with their aunt Polly (Barrows)Curtis and her husband  Morton.

Florence O 'Coonor's book The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood  was the source of the information in this blogpost.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


((Here's a story about an Ellingwood cousin I first posted back in June 2007))

I was googling about on my Ellingwood line the other evening and
stumbled across another distant relative with an interesting story.
I found this one at
which belongs to D. La Pierre Ballard, and the relative is one
Benjamin Ellenwood of Nova Scotia, a privateer for the British
during the War of 1812!

My greatgrandmother Clara Ellingwood is a descendant of Ralph
Ellingwood (Ellenwood/Ellinwood)of Salem and Beverly through
his son Ralph Jr. Another of his sons was Benjamin Ellenwood
whose family and descendants lived in Beverly. Then (as I posted
earlier) after the French and Indian Wars some Essex Co. colonists
migrated to Nova Scotia to take up the lands once held by expelled
Acadians and among these was another Benjamin Ellenwood, the
grandson of the first Benjamin, who went north to Yarmouth,
Nova Scotia in 1764 with his wife Susanna Corning.

Their son Nathaniel Ellenwood married Margaret Freeman on
14 Nov 1781 and two years later their son Benjamin was born on
14 Mar 1783. Nathaniel was a successful sea captain and there’s an
excerpt on the website from a book with entries concerning the
activities of a Captain Ellenwood.

Apparently Benjamin followed in his father’s footsteps and an
excerpt from another book, "Under the Red Jack: Privateers of
the Maritime Provinces of Canada in the War of 1812" by Charles
H.J. Snider details just how successful he was when he turned to

“On April 3, 1813, [Captain] Benjamin [Ellenwood] succeeded
Thomas Freeman in charge of the privately armed schooner
"Retaliation". By July he had brought in nine prizes, besides
those which he had driven ashore. On September 2, 1813, he
was promoted to the schooner "Shannon", also out of Liverpool,
Nova Scotia. With perhaps one exception, he was the most
successful privateersman out of Nova Scotia in the War of 1812,
and only thirty years of age. The "Shannon" measured 146 tons
and had a crew of 50 men with five guns. He had only six men
left when he manned out her sixteenth prize two months later.”

But Benjamin Ellenwood’s success and life was short lived. After
the war he returned to commercial shipping and docked at Dolby’s
Wharf in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 31 Jan, 1815. Sometime after
docking and selling his cargo he was stabbed to death by one of his
own crew, a man named James Archibald who was later tried,
convicted and executed for the murder.

His widow remarried and left Nova Scotia with her new husband
and family, leaving her children by Benjamin with his father
Nathaniel Ellenwood. He moved the family back to the United
States and in a final irony, the grandsons of Benjamin Ellenwood
the Canadian privateer fought in the Civil War for the United

D. La Pierre Ballard is a descendent of Benjamin and also is related
to two more of my ancestors, Simon Stone and William Ballard.
He credits Suzanne Ballard Sell and his Cousin Patricia for some of
the information I’ve used in this post.

It’s an interesting website. Check it out!


Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis and Daniel Ellingwood had captured David
Robbins and brought him back to Lancaster, N.H. to stand trial, but
justice was to be delayed for some months. Now, remember that Abner
and Benjamin Hinds had disappeared back in February and it wasn't
until summer that their friends and family had set out in search of the
father son. It was sometime after the failure of their search that the
warrant for David Robbins had been issued. Lapham gives no information
on when he was captured but it seems likely that it was at least late
summer or early fall. Apparently even though it was the county seat at
the time there was no sitting court and so Robbins had to wait until
the following April for his trial. He was kept in the cabin that served
as the Lancaster jail.

Over the next few months Robbins hired a lawyer who let it be known he
would challenge the warrant on the grounds that it had been issued in New
Hampshire and the area the alleged crime had taken place was in Maine.
(I might add that when I first read the story I wondered if the capture might
have been made in Maine as well, where Loomis would have no jurisdiction.)
But the nameless lawyer never had the chance to argue his case, for on the
day of the trial it was discovered that David Robbins had escaped.

Lapham says that the only venue of escape was an opening in the wall 10
inches in diameter. How could Robbins have possibly escaped through that?
I did a Google search for any other sources of information and found "The
History of Coos County, N.H."
by Georgia Drew Merrill (Syracuse, NY,
W.A. Fergusson, 1888) at Internet Archives. The account of the murder and
capture differs on several points. For one thing, it describes the Hinds
murders: Robbins shot Abner and killed Benjamin with a hatchet. The two
bodies were found in a brook near Little Kennebago Lake and when the
arrest warrant was issued, there was a third man with Loomis and Ellingwood
named Hezekiah Parsons who Ms. Merrill credits as being the one who helped
subdue Robbins. Most importantly from a legal standpoint, the search party
made a detour to Farmington, Maine to obtain an indictment and authorization
to arrest Robbins if they captured him in Maine.

She also provides more information on the escape. The window was covered
by a grating and somehow Robbins got or fashioned tools to loosen it. He hid
the work on the window by hanging a blanket over it, using the excuse that there
was a cold draft coming through it. Of course when Robbins escaped, suspicion
immediately fell on the jailer as being an accomplice but no mention is made
by Merrill if charges were ever filed.

As for what became of David Robbins after his escape, both Merrill and Lapham
agree that the man was never seen again, although he left behind a wife and family
who continued to live in the area for many years.

Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis died in October, 1869.

Hezekiah Parsons, one of the prominent citizens of Colebrook, NH, died in 1857
and his son married a Sarah Merrill. I do not know if she was related to the author
Georgia Drew Merrill.

I haven't found a record as of yet as to when Daniel G. Ellingwood passed away.
Apparently he and his wife, Catherine Brown, left the area. I've found them, I think
on the 1850 census in York, Livingston County, New York and in Nankin, Wayne
County, Michigan on the 1860 census. The ages and birthplaces match up with
what I know about them.

So by 1888 when Georgia Drew Merrill wrote her book and 1891 when William
Lapham wrote his, the principals were long deceased or had departed the region.
Lapham probably talked with Daniel Ellingwood's nephews or nieces in Maine
while Merrill lived in New Hampshire where she had possibly access to the
Parsons family. Their accounts of the pursuit of David Robbins differ in some
points as to Daniel Ellingwood's participation but they do agree he was there.

Maybe someday we'll learn of the final fate of David Robbins. I wouldn't be
surprised if a genealogist is the one to find out what it was!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis set off with Daniel Ellingwood in pursuit of
accused murderer David Robbins. They borrowed a birch canoe from a local
Indian and paddled up the Androscoggin River until they reached Robbin's
last location on the Magalloway River two days later. But when they reached the
area an old trapper they questioned told then that Robbins had left just the
day before with a canoe loaded with traps and supplies. He'd told the trapper
he would be gone on a hunting trip for several months. Loomis believed
that Robbins was really headed for Canada to avoid arrest, and if he and
Ellingwood hurried they could still catch him.

They went back to their canoe. It was a tricky situation. They had to
move quickly because Robbins already had a day's lead on them, but they
also had to be careful because if the fugitive heard them, he might
ambush them from the shore. Both men were familiar with the Magalloway
River and having the advantage of being a party of two began to draw
closer to Robbins. They took every precaution they could, paddling
silently and camping without a fire when they went to shore. Two days into
the chase Ellingwood took over all the paddling while Loomis sat at the
front of the boat with his rifle cocked and ready to return fire if they should
be ambushed. But there was still no sign of Robbins and they put into
shore for another night without their campfire.

The next afternoon they reached a portage point where they had to leave the
water and carry their canoe along the shore until they could once more put
it into the Magalloway. This was a well known spot to trappers and
travelers along the river and Sheriff Loomis suspected that Robbins might
still be nearby. Moving quietly, the two men hid their own canoe and checked
the trail for any sign of Robbins and found his pack hidden off the main trail,
probably left there while he moved his canoe across the portage. They laid
their own ambush, Ellingwood hiding in some nearby trees while Loomis
took up a spot near the pack. Shortly after they took their positions, Robbins
came down the trail and Sheriff Loomis tackled him. During the struggle
Robbins tried to draw his knife but by that time Ellingwood had joined the
fight and helped take the man prisoner.

Loomis and Ellingwood placed Robbins in their canoe and towed his along
behind them for the several days journey back downriver to Lancaster
where Robbins was placed in jail. Robbins and Ellingwood were treated as
heroes and people eagerly awaited the forthcoming trial of the suspected
murderer the following April.

But David Robbins was a crafty man, and he had one more trick up his sleeve.

(This series of posts is based on information from William Lapham's
"History of Bethel, Maine" and can be viewed here at the Oxford Triangle


((Since I'm in the middle of my Ellingwood line in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challege, I
thought I'd revisit the story of how my 3x great uncle Daniel Ellingwood helped capture the
accused murderer David Robbins. This series was first posed in 2008))

One morning in February 1828, Abner Hinds, a resident of Milan, NH., set
out with his 15 year old son Benjamin for the Kennebago River region to hunt
and set out trap lines, expecting to return home in the spring. But they never
returned home, and eventually their family became convinced something was
wrong, because the last time the two had been seen alive they were in the
company of a man named David Robbins.

David Robbins seems to have been the prototype for those "mountain men"
who were starting to populate the American West. He is believed to have
been the first white man to settle in the Magalloway River area of Maine and
New Hampshire, and he seems to have lived by his own rules outside the laws
of "civilization". He was already suspected to have kidnapped a young white
boy named James Wilbur, but no body was ever found so Robbins was never
formally charged with the crime. And he already had a history of violent
confrontation with Abner Hinds. Just the year before the two men had been
trapping in the same area and apparently Robbins had tricked Hinds and his partner
Seth Cloutman to set up camp with him. Then later while they two men were away,
Robbins had burned the camp and stolen their furs to sell as his own, probably
thinking Hinds and Cloutman would die from the snow and cold. But Hinds was
as good a woodsman as Robbins and not only survived but managed to track
Robbins down, confront him, and then forced Robbins to pay back what money
he'd made from the stolen furs.

When it was learned that now Hinds and his son had gone off with Robbins to
hunt once more it seemed strange given their past history. But apparently Robbins
had sworn he'd found religion and was a changed man and wanted to prove it by
further making up for what he had done to Hinds the year before. Perhaps Hinds
had felt confident he'd put the fear of God into him or that he could handle
Robbins again if he needed to do it. Whichever the case, Abner Hinds and his
son went off with David Robbins for what was supposed to be a trip of three to
four weeks. Robbins returned a week later by himself, and the Hinds men were
never seen again. A search party made up of neighbors set out, but the only
evidence they could find were some items that belonged to Abner and his son
that Robbins had sold to some of the other hunters in the Magalloway area.

Still, there was enough outrage from the Hinds family and their neighbors in Milan
to cause a warrant to be issued for Robbins' arrest. Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis
was ordered to carry it out, but when several townsfolk volunteered to go with him,
he took only one man from Milan, Daniel Ellingwood, the younger brother of my
3x great grandfather John Ellingwood, Jr.

Together the two men set off in pursuit of David Robbins.

(This series of posts is based on information from William Lapham's
"History of Bethel, Maine" and can be viewed here at the Oxford Triangle

Sunday, February 19, 2017


I posted previously about my next two Ellingwood ancestors.

My 5x time great grandfather Joseph Ellingwood was born in Beverly, Ma. on 22 Feb 1723, was
married twice and had thirteen children. He died at Lyndeborough,Ma 15Jun 1790 at Lyndeborough, Ma. You can read the posts about his probate file (he used the Ellenwood spelling of the family name  at the link:

Joseph's son John Ellingwood  was born at Amherst, NH on 19 Sep 1765 and married Zerviah Abbott 29 Dec 1789 at Andover, Ma.They had nine children most of whom were born at Bethel Me. where John died on 19 Jun 1847.John was a cordwainer and shoe maker, I did a series of posts about
his probate file which you can find at this link:

My next post in the 52 Ancestors series will be on my 3x great grandfather John Ellingwood Jr.

Friday, February 17, 2017


So I've decided that my ancestor Ebenezer Ellingwood moved his family from Beverly, Ma.
to Souhegan West (now Amherst) NH some time in the summer of 1741. But he still owned
some property back in Beverly, which he disposed of in November 1743 by selling it to another
Ebenezer Ellingwood.  Here's an image of the land sale. It starts on the bottom of the left hand
page and continues on the top of the right. 

"Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Essex > image 589 of 596; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

Here's my transcription; the (?) denotes something I couldn't decipher:.
Ebenezer Ellinwood & (?) to Ebenr Ellinwood recd on Record Nov. 18th: 1743

Know all Men by these Presents that We Ebenezer Ellinwood
of Souhegan West No.3 of the Naraganset Townships so Called in the
County of Essex in the Province of ye Mass Bay in ye New England
Bricklayer and Sarah the Wife of said Ebenezer for and in Consideration
of the sum of Two Hundred and fifty to us in hand paid &
at the delivery hereof by Ebenezer Ellinwood of Beverly in the
County of Essex in the Province aforesaid Mariner have granted & Sold
and Do by these Presents give grant Sell Alien Assign Setover & confirm
to him ye said Ebenezer Ellinwood Mariner his Heirs & assigns forever a Certain
(?) lying in said Beverly situate near ye Ferry consisting
of an House  & about a Quarter of an Acre of Land be it more or less

Bounded Southerly at lowwater mark by the River Water by
by Land of ye Heirs of ye Ralph Ellinwoodof sd Beverly Deceased
Northerly by ye Highway Easterly by ye Way leading to ye Ferry
Also the Well pertaining to said House together withye Way
leading to it To have & To Hold said granted Premises with
all their appertenances clear of all Encumbrances to him ye said
Ebenezer Ellinwood Mariner his Heirs  & assigns forever and we
ye said Ebenezer Ellinwood Bricklayer & Sarah Ellinwood for
our selves our Heirs Exttors & admrs do by these Presents Covenant
& Engage the above (?) Premises Forever to Warrant secure
& defend to him the said Ebenezer Elllinwood Mariner his Heirs
Exettors Admttors & assigns against all  Lawful Claimers whatsoever
InWitness whereof we do hereunto set our hands & seals this ninth
Day of Sept: Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & forty
one annoque Regnis Georgis Secundi Magnee Brittania ye
Regis Decimo Quinto
Sign'd Sealed & Dd
Ebenezer Ellinwood & a Seal
Sarah Ellinwood & a Seal

in presence of
Jno Chipman Junr
Andrew Burleigh Junr
Wm Tuck
William Ellingwood

Recd Beverly Sept: 9th 1741 of ye within mentioned
Ebenr Ellinwood Mariner ye within mentioned
consideration by us Ebenezer Ellinwood

(?) Novr. 9th 1741 Ebenr Ellinwood own'd
this to be his act & Deed
before me John Higginson J Peace

(?) Novr: 18th 1743 Sarah Ellinwood own'd this to be her free act
before me John Higginson Just. of ye Peace

A few points:
-Ebenezer had signed the documents in September, but his wife Sarah didn't until November,
I wonder if she had to go to Beverly to sign or if she did that at Souhegan West, and why did it
it take her two months to sign?

-The designation in the land sale of Souhegan West as one of the Naragansett Townships. I
suspect mont people might not know what that might mean in an ancestor's land records, that
their ancestor was a veteran of the Great Swamp Fight in King Philip's War.

-Who was 'Ebenezer Ellinwood the Mariner"? There were three Ebenezers in the family living
 at the time of the landsale: my ancestor, his son Ebenezer Jr, and a nephew Ebenezer. The nephew
 was the son of William Ellingwood, and one of the witnesses to the sale was "William Ellingwood",
 so I believe "Ebenezer the Mariner" was the nephew. 


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Thursday, February 16, 2017


Sometime between 1636 and 1642 my 6x great grandfather Ebenezer Ellingwood left Beverly,
Ma. and moved to the new township of  Souhegan West. We know this because his son James was
born in Beverly in 1636 and his youngest son Rolandson was born in Souhegan West in 1642.
The move was made because of a land grant given to Ebenezer's father Ralph Ellingwood Jr.for service in the King Philip's War, as explained by Duane Hamilton Hurd in his History of Essex County, Massachusetts:

Previous to the attack upon the Narragansett Fort, when the soldiers were assembled on Dedham Plain, they were promised a reward in land for their services, in addition to their pay, provided they “played the man, and drove the Narragansetts from the fort." This promise was eventually fulfiled, but not until nearly sixty years had passed away, when the soldiers engaged in this campaign were granted several townships of land, each six miles square, in the wild region, now included in the States of Maine and New Hampshire. The township shared in by the Beverly soldiers or their heirs, was known then as Souhegan West, at present Amherst, New Hampshire. The names of the proprietors from Beverly, in 1741, when they met to take possession, were *Henry Bayley, Henry Blashfieid and assigns, *Jonathan Bylcs, * Lott Conant, Andrew Dodge for J. Ellinwood, Jona. Dodge for John Dodge, Wm. Dodge’s heirs, *Ralph Ellinwood, Saml Harris’ heirs, Joseph Morgan for his father, Joseph Picket for his father, Elias, *Thomas Rayment, Wm. Rayment’s heirs, and *Christopher Read. p689

History of Essex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Volume 1  J.W. Lewis &Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 1888

The * before a name means that person was one of the soldiers of the battle at "Fort Narragansett"
(known as the Great Swamp Fight") still living in 1741. Ralph and his brother John had been in
their late teens at the time of their service.

But even though Ebenezer had moved his family north, there still remained some property in
Beverly that had to be sold.

To be continued

Sunday, February 12, 2017


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The announcement at the MyHeritage blog begins:

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