Sunday, December 04, 2016


Alma Larkin White included one more field report from John White to  Lt.Governor William
Dummer, which is dated July 10, 1725. Two months later my 7x great grandfather was dead
at the age of forty-one.

"Dunstable July the 10 : 1725.
May it Please your Hon r :
Old Christian Being this morning Being Taken with a violent Bleed-
ing Caused our Companyes to stop and within a few hours he died &
the other mohaucks are not willing to Leave him before he is Buried
& our desine is to march ouer Merimack River and There to Take a
True List of our mens Names, & shall march as Quick as Possible.
Who Remain Still your Honours at Comand

John White
Seth Wyman"
(Massachusetts Archives, LII, 222.)
(From The Early Records of Lancaster, Mass., by Hon. Henry S.
Nourse.) "

Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]
Chase Brothers Publishers, Haverhill, Ma 1900

His widow (my 7x great grandmother) apparently had a pretty strong opinion about what had
caused the death of her husband and two years later she sent a petition to the colonial government:
"To the Hon ble . William Dummer Esq r . Lieut. Governour and Com-
ander in Chief the hon ble . the councill and Representatives for the
Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England in General
Court Assembled at Boston the 23 d day of December Anno Dom

The Petition of Eunice White Relict widow of Capt. John White
late of Lancaster deced. Humbly Sheweth. That Whereas your Pet rs .
sd husband in his life time in the years 1724 & 1725 as well as at
other times performed sundry marches ag'. the Indian Enemy and did
other services for the good of his Country & was active and vigorous
in the Defence thereof against those barbarous Salvages, not only
hazarding his life but Expending good part of his substance therein,
as is well known to many. Some few Instances whereof your Pet r .
would humbly ripresent to this Hon ble Court. Yor . Pet rs . sd. hus-
band altho he had divers times had the honour to bear command yet
voluntarily Enlisted himself under the late Capt. Lovewell, and choose
rather to go as an Under Officer at that time because he would do
what in him lay to Encourage others to Enlist and marched with him
at the time when they killed the Ten Indians, in which march they
were out near Forty days. Then he performed a march to a place
called Cohosse on Connecticut River thinking to meet with the Enemy
there and came in at Fort Dummer, being out thirty four days, tho
they missed of their desired Success ; Then in about Eight days time
he had a Company raised and went to Pigwacket to bury Capt. Love-
well which he performed in a very difficult season of the year. Then
he went to Connecticut at his own cost and charge to get a Company
of Mohege Indians in order to go down to St. Francois to take an
Indian fort there, but failing of his aim, he returned home and then
enlisted a Company of Voluntiers and marched designing for a Fort
beyond Pigwacket, but was taken sick before he got there, returned
home and dyed leaving your Petr. his bereaved widow with seven
Children the Eldest about Fifteen years old and Four of them very
young, & one she then went with who is now living ; In all which Ser-
vices your Petitrs . said husband cheerfully underwent many hardships
and difficulties for the good of his country, and was at considerable
Cost and Charge, by Supplying those that Enlisted under him with
necessaries which could not be readily obtained elsewhere, purely to
make dispatch.

Now Forasmuch as the Sickness of which your Pet rs . husband dyed
was in all probability Occasioned by means of ye difficulties he under-
went in the Publick Service, & that he never in his life time had an
Opportunity of asking your Honrs . Favour for his past Services but
was taken away in the Strength and vigour of his life, without receiv-
ing anything from the Publick more than 2 s 6 d p day for the three
marches he performed as aforesd and in regard your Petr. is left a dis-
consolate widow with several Fatherless Children to bring up who
stand in daily need of relief and Support, your Petr. finding it very
difficult to provide for them, she therefore most humbly Implores
your Hon rs . pity and Compassion to herself & Children, and that as
you have been pleased in like cases to reward those that have served
the Province, and the Representatives of those that have lost their
lives in the Publick Service. So that she may Experience of the
Bounty & Goodness of this Honoble Court to her in her difficult Cir-
cumstances, and that you will be pleased to Grant her Two hundred
and Fifty acres of the unappropriated Lands of the Province that she
may dispose of the same for the Education and bringing up her afore-
sd . Children or that your Honrs, would otherwise relieve her as in
your Great Goodness & Compassion you shall see meet. And as in
duty bound your Petitr . shall ever pray &c.
Eunice White."

In the House of Representatives December 28 th . 1727. Read and
in answer to this Petition, Resolved That the sum of One Hundred
pounds be allowed and paid out of the publick Treasury to the peti-
tioner the widow Eunice White in Consideration of the good Services
done this province by her late husband Capt. John White, and great
expences for which he has had no Consideration, as particularly set
forth in the petition and the better to enable the petitioner to support
her Family and bring up her Children. Sent up for Concurrence

Wm Dudley Spr

In Council Dec. 28, 1727. Read & Concur d . J. Willard Secry
Consented to W m . Dummer.

(Massachusetts Archives, LXXII, 325, et. seq.)

( From the Early Records of Lancaster, Mass., by Hon. Henry S. Nourse.)

- ibid, pp41-43

It feels like Eunice had been fuming over this for the two yearsafter John's death. She knew the exact
number of days her husband had been away from home and the money he had been paid down to
the last cent.

I don't know if 100 pounds was the dollar equivalent of 250 acres, but I'm sure if it wasn't, Eunice
(Wilder) White probably let someone in the colonial government know about it!

Saturday, December 03, 2016


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Thursday, December 01, 2016


You know that part of the movie A Christmas Story where
the family goes out to buy the tree and the parents have a little
argument over it? Well, I laugh every time I see it because
like so much in that film it echoes my childhood.

Every Christmas when I was younger either we’d go shopping
for a tree or Dad would buy one on his way home from work.
Now as regular readers of this blog know by now, my Dad was
from Maine. But even more than that, he had experience in trees.
He’d helped his father cutting down trees, and he’d worked for a
landscaper in the Boston area when he’d first come home from
the war. Mom would remind Dad of his experience every year
when the tree was fixed into the tree stand, the rope cut from
the branches and the inevitable big empty space was discovered.
Usually the problem was solved by rotating the tree so the empty
spot was in the back facing the wall. The lights were strung(and
here we differed from the film. We never blew out the fuses.),
then the garlands, the ornaments, and the icicles. Finally the
angel went up on top of the tree and we were all set. With
judicious watering the tree would last us until around “Little
Christmas” at which time it would be undecorated and deposited
curbside to await the dump truck.

Of course our tree paled in comparison to the giant my Mom’s
Uncle Tommy and Aunt Francis had in their home down in
Milton. It was so big they cut the top off and the branches didn’t
taper at the top. They were all the same size: large. I could
never believe they'd gotten that big a tree into the house in the
first place!

Then the first artificial Christmas trees hit the market and Mom
began vowing she was going to get one as she vacuumed up pine
needles from the rug. Eventually we did but that provided us
with new challenges, such as assembling the tree.

As we all grew older the prospect of trying to get the tree
together became less enchanting and so it too was replaced, this
time by a small ceramic musical tree that was lit from within by
a light bulb. I used that tree myself for several years after Mom
died although I felt no great urge to wind it up for the music. It
lasted until a few years back when I dropped it and the base

Its replacement is a small artificial tree that I bought at work with
my employee discount along with a garland. Last year some
friends sent me some snowmen ornaments for it. I haven’t put it
up yet but think I will this weekend. It fits on top of the tv.

And at some point over the holidays I’ll see that scene from A
Christmas Story again and grin.

2009 update: I bought a small string of battery powered lights
to add to my tree last week!

2010 update: I lost my Christmas stuff in my move last April so
I'll be picking it up another one at work soon.

2011 update
I bought another teeny Christmas tree with lights and ornaments
at Borders. Since the company closed, it will remind me of my
store when I set it out each year.

2012 update
I haven't put up my teeny Christmas tree yet but plan to do it this weekend.

2013 Update
I'll be putting the tree out tomorrow. I may have to buy a new string of
lights this year since some of the teeny weeny bulbs may have died last year.

2014 Update
I haven't put the teeny Christmas tree up yet again. I think I will do
it tomorrow, though.

2015 Update
The teeny Christmas tree will go up this weekend as soon as I decide 
where it will go this year.  

Originally posted in 2007 as part of Thomas MacEntees's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Continuing with the April 1725 campaign journal of my ancestor Captain John White of Lancaster,
Ma. from lma Larkin White's book Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909].

10 day was foul wether and we sent 2 men in to dunstabel with the
sik and Lam men and (they) returned that night to us again

11 day we traueled about 13 milds and then campt about 3 mild
aboue amoskeeg falls.

12 day we traueled 11 milds and then campt at the mouth of pene-
koock riuer.

13 day we traueled 7 milds and then campt at the iarish fort in
penekook Enteruals that day it rayend uery hard all day.

14 day we trauel d 10 milds and then Crost meremack riuer aboue
the mouth of Contookock riuer and then Campt.

15 day we trauel d 8 milds north west from Contockock to a litel
stream that runs into meremack Riuer about 3 milds westard from
meremack and then campt and sent out skouts

16 day we traueld 12 milds and Cam to a pond which was uery
Long and we turned to the east sid of it and then campt, and then
sent out skouts that day we lay about 3 milds westard of the mouth of

17 day it raynd uere hard the fore part of the day and a litel before
night it cleared up & we sent skouts but found northen

18 clay we traueled 14 milds and that day we Crost 2 great streames
that runs in to meremack, one of them comes out of a great pond
which sum indens says it is 3 days jurney round it the Land is uerey
full of great hils and mountains and uerey rockey abundance of spms
and hemlock and fur and sum bech and maple and we campt

19 day we traueld 11 milds and then campt at the Louar End of
pemichewashet Lour Enteruals and sent out skouts.

20 day we lay stil by reson of foull wether and towards nit it Cleard
up and we sent out skouts and found whear Cornol Tyng crost mere-

21 day we traueld 12 milds up pemichewashet Riuer and found old
sines of indens and we sent out skouts that night and found one new
track and we lay that night by the riuer and mad new camps. The
Land that lys by this riuer is uere rich and good the upland uere full
of hils and mountains, uery bad traueling

22 day we traueld 2 milds and then sent out skouts ouer the riuer
and up a stream that runs into the riuer but found northen

23 day we traueld up the riuer about 14 milds and that day we
Crost 3 streames that runs into the riuer this riuer corns sheafly from
the north west & then we campt

24 day we traueld 10 milds westward and that day we found old
signs of indens whear they had bin this spring and in the winter, and
sent out skouts but cold find now indens This day Samil Moosman
actidently kild himself with his own gun

25 day it rained uery hard and we lay stil that day til amost night
it cleard up and we sent out skouts but found northen

26 day we traueld 18 milds and came upon Conetecut riuer and one
of our men was taken uere sik that night we campt by the riuer

27 day we traueld down the riuer and found a bark cannow which
was of great saruis to our sik man & to us ; that day we traueld about
18 milds and then campt.

28 day we traueld 19 milds and then campt This Riuer runs cheafiy
upon a south westerly pint this day we crost seural litel streams that
runs into Conetecut riuer.

29 day we traueld 20 milds and then campt.

30 day we traueld 17 milds and crost one litel riuer below the great
falls and then campt

May the first we traueld 24 milds and came to the fort above north
field and thare lay all night

2 day we traueld 10 milds and came to northfield and there stayed
that night

3 day we lay still it Lookt uery lykly ferr foul wether and we lay
thare that night

4 day we set out for Lancaster a cros the woods and traueld about
12 milds and then campt.

5 day we traueld 15 milds and then campt

6 day we traueld 14 milds and comm to Lancaster about 4 a clock
this day it raind uery hard all day.

(Endorsed) Capt Whites Journal May 1725 "

(Massachusetts Archives XXXVIII, A, 97-98.)

 Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]
Chase Brothers Publishers, Haverhill, Ma 1900

So my 7x great grandfather John White had traveled over 300 miles on foot in a little under a
month, some of it in "foul weather" and most of it cross-country. And this was shortly after he
had returned home from the Lovewrll expedition.

He would go out on at least one more campaign. 


In my previous blogpost, John White mentioned in his report to Lt. Governor William Dummer that he would be sending along his journal of that April expedition against the Indians. Alma Larkin White includes the following in her  book Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]. It is a  diary of that expedition and while the people who discovered it in 1876 had no idea who wrote it,it appears to be
John White's journal.

" In an appendix to an Address delivered in Bolton at the Centen-
nial Celebration, July 4, 1876, by Reverend Richard S. Edes, is printed
part of a diary 'found among the papers of the first clerks of the
town.' The copyist adds, 'How old the book is, no one can tell.' It
is a journal of the scout of Captains Lovell and White 'when tire 10
Indians were killed,' February, 1724 ; probably written by one of the
Lancaster soldiers there present. The minutes of the first eight days
have been torn off."

"9. We traveled 14 miles and camped at the norwest corner of
winipisocket pond.

10. We traveled 16 miles, and camped at the north side of Cusumpe

11. We traveled 6 miles N by E from Cusumpe and there camped
— and sent out scouts, and some of our scouts thought they discovered

12. We sent out scouts, and they discovered nothing.

13. We lay still and sent out scouts, and to strengthen us to go
farther we sent home 29 men.

14. We traveled 10 miles toward Pigwackett, and then came upon
a branch of the Saco river, and sent out scouts.

15. We lay still and sent out scouts and discovered nothing.

lb. We traveled 6 miles and came upon an Indian wigwam — the
Indians being gone we left 16 men with our packs and the rest pursued
them till dark and stayed there all night.

17. We followed their track till eight o'clock next day and then we
came back to fetch our packs, traveled the remaining part of that day
and the night ensuing six miles.

18. We traveled 20 miles and camped at the great pond upon
Sawco river.

19. We traveled 22 miles and camped at a great pond.

20. We traveled 5 miles and came to a wigwam where the Indians
had been lately gone from, and then we pursued their track about 2
miles further, and discovered their smoke and then tarried till about
two o'clock at night and then came upon them and killed 10 Indians
which was all there was.

2 1 . We traveled 6 miles.

22. We lay still and kept scouts upon our back tracks to see if
there would any pursue.

23. We traveled 30 miles and Camped at Cocheco.

Then it becomes the journal of the April campaign:

A tru journall of my travells began the 5 th of April, 1725 We
trauel d to Groten 12 milds and thear stayed by reson of foul wether

6 day we trauel d to dunstabel 12 milds and thear Lay the night

7 day we Lay stil by reson of foull wether

8 day we mustared and went ouer the riuer to the hous of John
Taylors about 3 milds

9 day we marcht up the riuer about 8 milds and then campt one of
our men being taken uerey sik for he kold trauel no ferther, his name
was Thomas Simson, Our Doctor Joseph Whetcomb that night set his
fut into a Ketel of biling broth that he cold trauel no ferther 

 Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]
Chase Brothers Publishers, Haverhill, Ma 1900

Doctor Joseph Whitcomb may have been my cousin or possible 7 or 8x great granduncle.

To be continued

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


In the previous post I included an excerpt from Alma Larkin White's book Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]. Part of it was the text of orders to my 7x great grandfather John White and two other militia commanders pertaining to an expedition to be conducted against
the local Indians. 

When he returned home, John submitted this report to Lt. Governor William Dummer:

"Lancaster, May 9th , 1725.

May it please your Honour.
Being returned home I thought myself oblidged to Inform your
Honour that on the 5 lh of April last, I went from Lancaster to
Dunstable and the 8 th Day of April from thence up Merrimack with
30 men, two of which came back in A short time, one of them being
taken sick, and ye other having scalt himself very badly. I marcht up
Merrimack about 130 mile, and there discovered some signs of Indians,
some old, which we Judged were made sometime this winter and one
new track on the Bank of the River, wch we Judged had gone but a
few days before I sent out scouts but could discover nothing further.
We then turned off to ye Westward towards Coos, marched 10 miles
the 24 th of April. Att evening one of our men viz Samll Mossman of
Sudbury being about Encamping, took hold of his Gun that stood
among some Bushes drew it towards him with the muzzle towards him
some twigg caught hold of the cock, the Gun went off, and shott him
throgh, he died Imediately. We went across to Connecticutt River
came down that to Northfield and from thence across the woods to
Lancaster, we gott in yesterday. I have endeavoured faithfully to at-
tend your Honours orders already recieved, and if your Honour has
any further service for me I desire your Honour would let me know it.
I have not as yet compleated my Journal, but hope to finish it in a
short time that it may be Laid before your Honour. I am your
Honours most obedient humble Servant

On his Majesties Service John White.

For the Honourable William Dummer Esq.
Lieut Governour &c. In Boston. These"

(Massachusetts Archives, LXXII, 230.)

 Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]
Chase Brothers Publishers, Haverhill, Ma 1900

That's quite a lot of ground to cover by foot for a 41 year old man. There were very few roads and since
they were scouting for Indians most of the journey would have been cross country. Never the less John
and his men were back in Lancaster by early May, and he said he was willing to go back out again if the
Lt. Governor thought it was necessary.

As the next post will show, John White was sent out again very soon.

To be continued...

Monday, November 28, 2016


Since much of my Moore line was largely unkown to me until earlier this year, I hadn't run across
any mention of the exploits of my 7 x great grandfather before then. His story seems to have been
well lnown in New England up until the early 19th century and there was even a pamphlet written
about him.  But there is also a substantlal bit about him in Alma Larkin Whites book on her family's
history.  Here's the first part, which quotes a deed that established the parentage of John's wife
Eunice Wilder. It also includes instructions to John and his co-commanders regarding an expecition
they were to lead against the Indians:

JOHN 2 (46), b. in Lancaster Sept. 20, 1684; m. Eunice, dau. of
Lieut. Nathaniel and Mary (Sawyer) Wilder, b. , 1690. The
date of their marriage has not been found, but the following (found in
Worcester Deeds, Vol. 4, page 162), dated May 1, 1724, proves her
parentage :

"To all people to whom these present shall come Greeting. Know
ye we the Subscribers namely Samuel Carter and John White, both
of the town of Lancaster in the County of Worcester in the Province
of Massachusetts Bay in New England Yeoman, together with each
of our wives namely Dorothy the wife of me the said Samuel Carter
and Eunice the wife of me the said John White both our s d wives
being daughters of Lieut. Nathaniel Wilder, some time of s d Lancaster
Deceased, for and in consideration of the Sum, of Forty pounds.
Hereby acquit exonerate & forever discharge our loving brother vis.
Cornet Nathaniel Wilder of Lancaster."

Capt. John White was a cooper and blacksmith by trade. He was
with Capt. Lovell at the killing of the ten Indians.

" Instructions to Captains Willard, White and Blanchard.
S r . Having Commissionated you to Command a Company of Vol-
untiers against the Indian Enemy, you are hereby Directed to Exer-
cise and maintain good Discipline and Government among your Offi-
cers and Soldiers and to Suppress and punish all Disorders, Vice, and
Immorality and to Keep up the Worship of God in your said Com-
pany. You must march to Pigwacket, unless you shall upon mature
Consideration Judge any other tour more effectual for the service,
withall Convenient Dispatch Joining such Companys of Voluntiers in
the County of Middlesex as shall be ready to proceed with you and
from thence march to such places where by your Intelligence may
Judge it probable to meet with the Indian Enemy. If you Judge it
necessary to keep the whole Body together in order to attack any
Tribe or Settlement of Indians I shall approve of your so doing, oth-
wise that Two Companys or halfe your Body proceed East" & the
other halfe to proceed from Pigwacket to Strike over to Amrescoggin
& Kennebeck River, endeavouring to get higher up the said Rivers then
the places of the Indians Settlements one party of which to Come
down Amrescoggin River to Fort George & the other down Kennebeck
River to Richmond, and if your provision should fall short so as that
the whole cannot be sufficiently furnish d for the march to Amrescoggin
& Kennebeck Rivers, some of your Feeblest men must Come into
Berwick. The remaining part of the Body to go off to the North
Westward in Quest of the Indian Enemy said to be there taking with
them the Mohawks for their Guides. Let your Marches be with all
the Secrecy & Silence as well as Dispatch, you are Capable of. You
must Kill, Take & Destroy to the utmost of your power all the Enemy
Indians you can meet with in your March, & Search for their Corn,
destroying all you can find. And give Intelligence from time to time
of every thing of Importance that may happen."
(Massachusetts Archives, LXXII, 250.)


Genealogy of the descendants of John White of Wenham and Lancaster, Massachusetts, 1638-[1909]
Chase Brothers Publishers, Haverhill, Ma 1900

More on John White's part in this expedition in the next post.

To be continued...

Friday, November 25, 2016


My 8x great grandfather Josiah White is one of my ancestors who is overshadowed by his relatives.
His father John White was one of the founders of Lancaster, Ma. and is desribed as the richest man
in town. And his son, another John White, was renowned in his day as an "Indian fighter."  What I
do know is the following:

Josiah White was born in 1643 in Wenham, Ma.  and was a carpenter by trade. His first wife was
Mary Lewis who died in 1678. Not long after that same year Josiah married Mary Rice, whose parents were Thomas and Mary (King) Rice of Sudbury, Ma.  (Thomas' brother Henry is my 9x great
grandfather through another family line.) Josiah held several positions in Lancaster town government over his lifetime. During the Queen Anne's War he was a sergeant in the town militia and at one point was put in command of one of the town garrisons. 

I've found birth records for seven children of Josiah and Mary over on the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts From 1600 to 1850 website:

Sarah 21 Oct 1680
Joseph, 15 Sep 1682
Josiah 16 Sep 1682
John 20 Sep 1684
Thankful 27Mar 1689
Jonathan 1692

It looks like Joseph and Josiah were twins born around midnight, or perhaps those dates are a typo.

Josiah died intestate on 11Nov 1714 and I've found a copy of his probate file at His widow Mary remarried a few years later. Interestingly, her new husband was my 7x great granduncle Thomas Sawyer Jr, whose experiences as an Indian captive I've previously blogged about. Mary died in 1733.


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