Thursday, May 28, 2015


I mentioned in my last post that Reverend William Walton's son Josiah died in a strange
way. It happened in 1673 and and was so unusual that Increase Mather, one of the Mathers
of the Salem Witch trials, wrote of the incident:   

"In the same year, on the 21st of June, being Saturday, in the afternoon, another thunder-storm arose, during which storm Josiah Walton, the youngest son of Mr. William Walton, late minister of Marble-head, was in a ketch coming in from sea, and being before the harbours mouth, the wind suddenly shifted to the northward; a violent gust of wind coming down on the vessel, the seamen concluded to hand their sails; Josiah Walton got upon the main-yard to expedite the matter, and foot down the sail, when there hapned a terrible flash of lightning, which breaking forth out of the cloud, struck down three men who were on the deck, without doing them any hurt. But Josiah Walton being (as was said) on the main-yard, the lightning shattered his thigh-bone all in pieces, and did split and shiver the main-mast of the vessel, and scorcht the rigging. Josiah Walton falling down upon the deck, his leg was broken short off. His brother, being on the deck, did (with others) take him up, and found him alive, but sorely scorched and wounded. They brought him on shore to his mothers house. At first he was very sensible of his case, and took leave of his friends, giving himself to serious preparation for another world. His relations used all means possible for his recovery, though he himself told them he was a dead man, and the use of means would but put him to more misery. His bones were so shattered, that it was not possible for the art of man to reduce them; also, the violent heat of the weather occasioned a gangrene. In this misery he continued until the next Wednesday morning, and then departed this life. He was an hopeful young man." pp58-59
Remarkable providences illustrative of the earlier days of American colonisation (Google eBook) John Russell Smith, Publisher. London, England 1856

I am descended from two others of William Walton's children. I mentioned the descent from
his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Lot Conant earlier.  The other is through Samuel Walton, who married Sarah Maverick, the daughter Elias Maverick and Anne Harris.  Samuel
will be the subject of my next post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I found out a bit more about my 9x great grandfather Reverend William Walton on Google
ebooks. For instance, this from a history of Hingham, Ma, south of Boston, which inclides
a quote from a history of Marlbehead:

William Walton [III. 274] came to Hingham in 1635, and had a grant of land in the first distribution of lots. He was educated at Emanuel College, Cambridge, England, where he took his degrees in 1621 and 1625. He remained but a short time in Hingham. "Mr. Walton" had a grant of land in Marblehead, Oct. 14, 1638. This was Rev. William Walton, who was then preaching there. This is the first mention of his name in the records, and it is probable that he began the work of his ministry there in that year. Through his endeavors, with the assistance of others, a meeting-house was erected, and regular Sunday services were established.

Mr. Roads, in his " History and Traditions of Marblehead," says:—

"In October, 1668, William Walton, the faithful and zealous missionary, died, after having served his Master and the poor people of Marblehead for a period of thirty years. Coming to them as a missionary to preach the gospel, he became, without ordination as a clergyman, a loving pastor, a faithful friend, and a wise and prudent counsellor. His advice was sought on all matters of public or private importance, and when obtained wag usually followed without question. That his loss was felt as a public bereavement by the entire community, there can be little doubt."
History of the town of Hingham, Massachusetts, Volume 1, Part 2 (Google eBook) published by the town, 1893

Most interesting was the fact he was present as an observer when Rev. John Eliot questioned eight Christian Indians about their catechism at Roxbury in 1654. William recorded the event and you can
read it in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Volume 24 (Google eBook) Charles Folsom. Cambridge Ma, 1834 pp277-284.

Finally, William Walton and his family were well known by Cotton and Increase Mather, and
it was the latter who recorded the story of the strange death of one of William Walton's sons.

I'll discuss that next.

To be continued...

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


With my entry for Week #21 of the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I turn to the
family of my 5x great grandmother Mary Walton, wife of Francis Upton. Mary has an
interesting group of ancestors, starting with the immigrant ancestor William Walton.
I have a double descent from Rev. William and his wife, Elizabeth.

Reverend Walton was a well known figure in the Bay Colony so I was able to find a lot
of entries about him on the internet, although most are repetitions of the same source
material. Here is information from The Walton Family Records, written by Josiah Proctor
Walton in 1888: 

1. Rev. William Walton was born in England about 1598. He entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge, England, February 18, 1G17 or '18, and took his degrees in 21 and '25. Became a clergyman; came to America before 35; stopped awhile at Hingham, Mass., and afterwards settled at Marblehead, Mass.


1. John, born 1627, in England.

2. Elizabeth, born 1629," Married Lot Conaut.

3. Martha, born 1632,"

4. Nathaniel, born 1636, in Hingham, Mass

5. Samuel 2, born 1639, in Marblehead. He married Sarah Maverick. In 1674, a householder.

6. Josiah, born 1640; killed by lightning at sea.

7. Mary, born 1644, in Marblehead. Married Robert Bartlett.

I received the following note and extracts:

Emmanuel College, Aug. 5, 1895. Dear Sir:—The only information I can find about your 

ancestor, the Rev. William Walton, is that he entered this college on the 18th day of February, 
1617 or '18. There is no information as to his age or county. Yours sincerely,

J. B. Peace, Bursar.

"Sarah Maverick, daughter of Elias and Anne (Harris) Maverick, and niece of Moses Maverick 

of Marblehead, married Samuel Walton of Marblehead, born June 5, 1639. The date of the 
marriage is not known, though he is recorded as a householder in Marblehead in 1674.

"Samuel Walton was the third son of the Rev. William and Elizabeth Walton.

"Rev. William Walton was a native of Seaton, Devonshire, and was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, but came to New England in 1635, settling in Hingham, but removing to Marblehead 

in 1639, where he was the minister of the town till his death in 1668.

"So far as known, Samuel and Sarah (Maverick) Walton had three children—Samuel, John and 


"The daughter married Jonathan Townsend, of Rumney Marsh. The latter died in middle life, 

and Samuel Walton assisted his daughter in administering on the estate.

"In 1707, Nathaniel Walton, brother of Samuel, in his will bequeathed £5 each to his brother, 

Samuel Walton, and his two sons, Samuel and John, and they receipted for it in 1712.

"John Walton3, ( Samuel2, the Rev. William) married Mary and settled in South Reading, near 

Wakefield. Children: John, born, 1710; Josiah, 1711; Mary, 1714; Abigail, 1716 (married Benjamin Howard); Jonathan, 1718; Jacob, 1720; Nathan, 1729; and Isaac, 1733. D. H. B."

"Lot Conant married Elizabeth, daughter of Rev. William Walton, of Seaton Parish, Devonshire, 

England, where his daughter was baptized Oct. 27, 1629.

"Lot Conant's daughter, Martha, married Luke Parkins, May 31, 1688, in Salem or Topsfield, Mass.

"Martha was born in Beverly, Aug. 16, 1664. She died in Plympton, Jan. 2, 1754, aged 90."


Walton Family Records, 1598-1898: With Its Intermarriages, the Oakes and Eatons, 1644-1898 and the Proctor Family, 1634-1898 (Google eBook)  Josiah Proctor Walton, Muscatine, Iowa, 1888

My second line of descent is through the marriage of Elizabeth Walton to Lot Conant, and then
through their daughter Martha Conant's marriage to Luke Perkins. That line is on my Dad's
paternal side, which was another cousin link between his parents when they married.

As I said, Reverend Walton was well known in the Colony, and I'll discuss that in my next post.

Monday, May 25, 2015


For entry #20 of the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks my subject is 5x great grandfather John
Bancroft 4th. It is now that I've arrived at a point I reach in all my father's ancestral lines: the
time when they move north to New Hampshire or Maine. In the case of John and his family,
the destination was Norway, Maine. This was sometime in the early 1800's, and the information I've found is sparse. Here's what I know (or think I know).

John Bancroft the 4th was born on 21 Oct 1749 in Lynn, Ma. On 24 Oct 1768, he married first
cousin Mary Walton of Reading, Ma., daughter of Jacob Walton and Eunice Hawkes.  They had
eleven children, all born in Ma,. mostly in Lynn:
John Bancroft 29Nov 1768
Nathaniel Bancroft 7Feb 1769
Mary Bancroft 4Sep 1770
Eunice Bancroft 3Oct 1772
Betty Bancroft 18Oct 1776
Jacob Bancroft 27feb 1779
Rhoda Bancroft 7May 1781
Sarah Bancroft 8July 1783
Jane Bancroft Oct 1785
Ellen Bancroft 30Dec 1787
Lucy Bancroft  1789?

I have a few problems with that information. One is the apparent short time between
John's marriage to Mary on 24Oct 1768 and the birth of their first child John Bancroft 5th
on 29Nov 1768. The second is that as of yet I haven't found a record of John 4th's death.
I don't know if he died in Massachusetts or Maine. I do know that between 1797 and 1800,
two of his sons, Nathaniel and Jacob, settled in Albany, Maine. Some of the family either
went with them or followed soon after, including 4x great grandmother Sarah Bancroft
who married Francis Upton there. But I can find no record of John 4th's death at Norway,
Me., nor at the three towns associated with him: Lynn, Lynnfield, and Reading, Ma.

So in a family where I have little information, I have the least amount the most recent member
of it.

Friday, May 22, 2015


((I'm reposting this today in hopes that perhaps the relatives of the men
in the photograph might one day find this picture of their veterans. First posted
June, 2008))

I think I may have posted this photo once before. It's from
when my Dad was training for the Air Corps during World
War II before he washed out due to inner ear problems.

On the back is a partial list of names of his fellow trainees,
and I'm posting that image now and my attempt at
transcribing it here in the hopes that the children and
grandchildren of these men might find it someday and see
how they looked in their uniforms before they went off to

Because of the way the men are grouped it's hard for me to
assign names to specific faces. The only two I can are Michael
D. Piper Jr. and Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?) standing to
either side of my father Floyd E. West Jr. at the far right end
of the back row. I think the first name is actually Lee Mill
Sanders and that he just signed the list "last name first."

I also noticed that Daniel M. Jeffrey's name appears twice.
The first entry is crossed over so I've assumed that either
someone else had posted the name in the wrong place or he
had done so himself and then corrected his mistake. I've
changed the first entry to "unknown".

So here they are. I wonder how many of them made it
home after the war, and I thank them for their service
to our country.

Sanders Lee Mill Artesia N.M.

Palmer E. Severson Wanooka (?) Minn,

Jerald L. Swan, Beatrice, Nebraska

Helmut Paul Zimmerman, Buffalo, N.Y.

Robert L. Rugg Pueblo, Colorado


Charles H. Parman, Skidmore, Mo.



Bill C. Hays, San Angelo, Texas


Ward L. Warnock, Camden, Ark.

Michael C. Sanborn (?) Port Arthur, Tex.

Bob Moffet, St. Joseph, Mo.


Ross Powill, Ellisville Miss

Daniel M. Jeffrey, Jeanette, La.

Allen D. Bailey, Mpls Minnesota





Jack Sessions Colton, California

Jack Wendt, Pecos, Texas


Burton L. Steele, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob E Wick,  Denver, Colorado

James H. Trask, Kansas City, Kansas

William E. Green,  Eden, Texas



Michael D. Piper Jr., Queen City, Mo.

Floyd E. West

Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?), Roswell, New Mex.


Still trying to catch up on the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. This post concerns
6x great grandfather John Bancroft, the third of that name in a row on my family tree. Although
in town records and documents he is referred to as John Jr and then John Sr, to me he is John
Bancroft 3rd. Like his father and grandfather, he seems to have lived an ordinary life.

Sidney Perley has this to say about him:

John Bancroft4, born in Lynn June 25, 1708. His father called him "my dutiful son." He was a yeoman, and lived in Lynnfield. He married, first,Ruth____ , and she died Feb. 25, 1745-6. He married, second, Eve____ before 1749; and died in 1777, his will, dated March 16, 1776, being proved June 2, 1777. His wife Eve survived him.

Children, born in Lynn :—
40—I. James5, b. March 21, 1732 ; gentleman, lived in Lynnfield; lieutenant; m.Esther Smith of Reading (pub. July 20, I75S); she d. March 25, 1814, aged eighty-seven; and he d. Aug. 22, 1814, aged eighty-two.
41—II. Mary5, Dec. 28, 1733; m. John Merriam of Sudbury Nov. 24, 1752.
42—III. Ruth5, b. Jan. 15, 1735-6; m. Joseph Newhall (pub. Jan. 16, 1757); and was living in 1776.
43—IV. Lydia5, b. May I, 1738; m. Benjamin Wilson of Danvers Nov. 28, 1759; and was living in 1776.
44—V. John5, b. April 18, 1740; d. young.
45—VI. Sarah5, m. Thomas Bowditch of Salem April 27, 1760, and was living in 1776.
46—VII. Rachel5, b. Nov. 4, 1744; m.____ Berry before 1776.
47—VIII. John5, b. Oct. 21, 1749. See below (47).
48—IX. Ebenezer5, b. July 25, 1752. See below (48).
49—X. Job5, b. April 7, 1754; housewright; lived in Salem, 1789 and 1797; and m. Sarah _____

The Essex antiquarian; a quarterly magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol V Salem, Ma. 1901

The last names of John Bancroft 3rd's two wives are not given in this Bancroft genealogy
but his first wife was Ruth Newhall, who was the mother of the first seven children. Eva
Hawkes, a Mayflower descendant, was the second wife and mother of the youngest three
children, including John Bancroft 4th, my ancestor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


It's time for the blogposts roundup of the final American Civil War Blogpost Challenge.
There have been some great submissions with fascinating stories since I started the Challenge back in 2011. This year is no exception.

Here's this year's blogposts:   

Many monuments were erected for the soldiers and slain after the Civil War ended. Today
you can find one in nearly every town in America. Dorene from Ohio shares the details of
the construction of one such monument along with an old newspaper clipping about the
unveiling ceremony in Civil War Soldiers Monument at Castalia Cemetery on her Graveyard
Rabbit of Sandusky Bay

Cousin Pam Carter visited the site of the Battle of Antietam some years back. She tells
the story about the death there of a kinsman and his final message to his family, and
includes a photo of a famous battlefield landmark in Fatally Wounded at Antietam at
My Maine Ancestry

Janice M Sellers' 2x great grandfather Cornelius Godshalk Sellers enlisted in the Union
Army at age 18. Janice follows the paper trail to detail his service and his life after the
war's end in Cornelius Godshalk Sellers, My Civil War Ancestor  at Ancestral Discoveries.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo and I are distant cousins many times over through a number of
shared ancestral lines, one of which is the Herrick family of Essex County, Ma.  One of
our distant Herrick cousins has the dubious distinction of undergoing The First Amputation of the US Civil War. You can find it at her Nutfield Genealogy blog.

The town in Texas that Amanda the Librarian lives in was named after a Confederate
general,  Hiram B. Granbury. Amanda talks about his career and includes some great
photos in the post Tombstone Tuesday: Confederate General Hiram B. Granbury at her
ABT UNK blog.

Civil War Pension files are a great source of information about an ancestor's military service
and in many cases what his life was like after the war.  Many pension claims are not because
of gunshot  wounds but of accidents and illnesses. Carol A. Bowen Stevens examines the
pension file and other records of on such claimant, her relative William M. Lashbrook, at her Reflections From the Fence blog in The Fifth American Civil War Blogpost Challenge :: William M. Lashbrook, Iowa 

Finally, I recently discovered that two of my Barrows family kinsmen fought in the Battle of Gettysburg. The first is WILLIAM H.BARROWS, a cousin who came back to Massachusetts from Brooklyn, N.Y. to enlist in the Union Army and who died at Gettysburg.  The second cousin.  was from the branch of the family that had moved to Maine and enlisted in one of the most celebrated regiments in the Union Army. He survived some of the fiercest fighting at Gettysburg, and the rest of the War, but his life afterward seems troubled. His story is in ASA ALDEN BARROWS OF THE 20TH MAINE here on West in New England.

That concludes the fifth and final American Civil War Blogpost Challenge. Please visit and read the blogposts from this year's contributors, and leave them a comment  if you can!

I want to thank everyone who has taken part in the Challenge over five years. I truly
appreciate all of you sharing part of your family history!

Saturday, May 16, 2015


So you are thinking of starting a genealogy blog but aren't sure it's for you? I've been
geneablogging now for eight years and if I can do it, ANYONE can do it.  Here's a few things
I've learned over the years that might help you decide to take the plunge:

1. Start off simple. Begin with what you already know about your family history, the names
and dates. Include family photos if you have any. A geneablog doesn't have to be War & Peace.

2.Write for yourself. Worry about what your readers think later. This is your blog, not theirs.
   Blogging is informal writing, and you should feel relaxed while doing it. Which leads us to...

3. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't let comments from the Grammar Police and "Proper Way
 to Cite Your Sources" Police discourage you. See #2 for the reason why. The important thing
 is to WRITE. (Unless you are blogging for professional reasons, in which case you should
 sweat the grammar and correct citation forms.) 
4.That being said, DO try to let us know where you've found that record or quote with the
  name of the book or website where you found it. A link to it is also nice. Don't worry about
  proper form, just post it. You can always go back and fix it properly later.

5.If you are worried about spelling and grammar, write the post first in whatever word
  processing program you have on your computer. Use the spellcheck and grammar check
  functions on it to edit, and afterwards cut & paste the text into Blogger or Wordpress or
  whatever blogging platform you use.  

 6. Remember to use labels on your blogposts if you can. For example, if I write a post about
 Asa Ellingwood, I label the post with "Ellingwood Family" and "Ellingwood Asa". This helps
 other people looking for Ellingwood ancestors find your blog. It makes your blog "cousin
 bait" and you may be contacted by distant relatives researching your shared ancestors. Don't
 expect it to happen immediately though. Cast your cousin bait upon the waters, and be

7. Use the various genealogy writing prompts and memes out there if you are not sure what to write about. There's the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge from Amy Johnson Crow, the Daily Blogging Prompts on Thomas MacEntee's Geneabloggers website, and others.

8. Read other geneablogs. See how other bloggers approach writing. Not only will it help
your own writing, you'll find out all sorts of things you didn't know about genealogy

9. Don't be afraid to occasionally write something SILLY. Silly is fun, and it is not a sin. I
indulge in silliness at the drop of a gedcom.  See Rule #2 again.

10.There are no rules on how often you should blog. Some of us do it every day, or a few
times a week. Others post once a month, some only a few times a year. Blog as often as
you feel comfortable doing it. See #2 again.

My genealogy blog has been so helpful to me. It is a place to write up what I've found
in my research. It has been very successful cousin bait. It's put me in touch with and
made me a part of the genealogy community. It's given me another thing to do in my 
retirement.  And it's been FUN.

Try it. You may find yourself having fun, too!


I'm still two weeks behind on the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Week Challenge. Here's the Week
18 installment on my 7x great grandfather John Bancroft Jr.

John Jr. is another case where there's isn't much information on line. I've found a bunch
of land records in the Essex County Land Records Collection on FamilySearch which require
more study. One of the problems there is he is one of four John Bancrofts in a roll on my tree,
and the first three were contemporaries for some time in Lynn, Ma., so I'll need to be careful
identifying which John the land record is referencing.

Meanwhile,  Sidney Perley's The Essex antiquarian; a quarterly magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol V at Internet Archives has this about John Jr. and his family:

8 Dea. John Bancroft,3 born in Lynn Jan. 25, 1682. He was a bricklayer, housewright and yeoman, and lived in that part of Lynn which is now Lynnfield. He married, first, Mary Clark of Reading April 19, 1704; and she died Oct. 1, 1723. aged thirty-eight. He married, second, widow Mary Mansfield Dec. 19, 1724; and she died July 25, 1763, aged eighty-one. He died Dec. 20, 1768, aged eighty-six.
Children, born in Lynn:
24—I. Mary4, b. June 11, 1706.
25—II. John4, b. June25, 1708. See below (25).
26—III. Elizabeth4, b. May 28, 1711; probably m. Benjamin Carlton Sept.6,1731.
27—IV. Susannah4, b. Oct. 26, 1714; probably married Joseph .
28—V. Timothy4, b. Dec. 25, 1717. See below (28).
29—VI. Eunice4, b. Feb. 18, 1719-20; probably m. David Bancroft of Reading April 24, 1740.
30—VII. Joan4, b. July 8, 1722.
31—VIII. Nathaniel4, b. Oct. 22, 1725. See below (31)
32—IX. Hannah4, b. Sept. 28, 1728; d. July 23, 1738, aged nine.

The Essex antiquarian; a quarterly magazine devoted to the biography, genealogy, history and antiquities of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol V Salem, Ma. 1901

Researching this article uncovered what might be a problem in my tree with the identities of
Mary Clark's parents, which I will discuss later.