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!

Saturday, April 05, 2014


The previous statement from Thomas Robbins appears to have been a request for
the Court to hear his case against my ancestor William Pinson. When the case was
actually heard on 30June 1685, he went into a little more detail in his accusations.
First, a few observations:

-Notice how many times William Pinson's last name is spelled differently in the petition.

- I wish I knew what the rule was in Puritan times as to when the letter "v" was to be written as the letter "u". I don't know how many times I typed "v" and had to change it
while doing this transcription(of another transcription)

Here's Thomas Robbins' petition:

Petition of Thomas Robbins June 30, 1685, to Salem Court "whom sence of ye greate afflction he now doth& hath a Long Tyme undergon both himself & his wife in ye howse where I live with William Pincen of wch seuerallof my Friends & neighbors haue bin ey witnesses unto & ye great grieuance that I labor under with this Pynson compells me to trouble this honored Court with a declaration of ye same unto you in wch ye seuerall euidences herewith presented you will sufficiently make manifest unto you how grossely I am abused by him ; as I hope ye honors will find cause not to Judge me Blame worthy in this my Complaint against ye gd Pynson but on ye contrary be solicitious  for me & poore wife to direct unto a way for or help & redress. I would not be ouer tedious in excerising yor patience with too Long a rehearsall of matters agt him but referr to ye euidences sworne: This Pynson in  ye tyme of my greate sickness when to all peoples apprehension about me neer my dissolution & uinsensible of what I did, obtained from me an Instrument of conveyance of my estate unto him,wch I was humbly Judge of noe more value than if a dead man if it was possible had don it ye said writeing being not made by my knowledge understanding or approbation neither was it made in my howse or hearing & so doe hope that ye will Judge the thing to be Fraudently obtained from  me & besides manifest proofe is against him that he hath not onely attempted to murder me in a Barbarous manner by throweing me on ye Fire ; & other horrid & absurd abuses to me & my poore [wife] at Seurall other Tymes both by word & deed but& also in selling & disposeing of my estate contrary to my allowance or consent; wch absolutely hath broken & Forfeited his pretended Interest to my estate & morour as for ye Instrument of Gift wchby that manner he obtained from me since I came to see it ; I find therein mentioned according to conditions as a Bond given me; whereas Indeed that wch he termed a Bond is noe&nbsp Bond as may appeare to ye honord Court & when I asked him for it he tooke it  to me & bid me doe what I would with it he cared not for it--now ye honord  Court may please to think that if I had bin Rational & had taken a Bond from him, whether or noe I should have Left it with him to have kept for me."

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Volume IX Published and Copyrighted by the Essex Institute 1975

Now, this puts another spin on things. Besides accusing William Pinson of physically
and verbally abusing him, Thomas Robbins is now adding the claim that the document which gave William control of the Robbins estate was fraudulently obtained while Thomas was ill and not capable of making such a decision.

I'll have some of the testimony in the case next.

To be continued.

Friday, April 04, 2014


The third court record involving William Pinson is not very pleasant to read. It seems my
8x great grandfather was not a nice person, according to the testimony of Thomas Robbins
and others before the Essex County Court in Salem. The case took place in June 1685. I
had some trouble finding the records, but luckily genealogy friend Genj Composer
located Vol IX on the University of Virginia's Salem Witch Trials website.

Five years earlier Thomas Robbins  had signed over all his property to his nephew by
marriage, William Pinson, in exchange for William' s promise to provide food, clothing
and shelter to Robbins and Robbins' wife. Apparently, he failed miserably:

"June 1686
Thomas Robbins of Salem v. William Pinson of Salem. Foer xuesing, swearing, and
reproachfully speaking speaking of persons and abusing him by throwing him in
the fire. *

*William Pinson's bond for good behavior, dated July 4, 1685, and giving his house and
land  for security, the said land being eleven acres, bounded by Mr. John Clifford on the west, land of Jacob Allen on the north, Mrs. Hollinworth on the east and by the sea on 

the south. Owned in court.

Thomas Robbin's request, dated Jan.10, 1684-5, of the Worsh. John Hathorne, Esq.:
Under ye sence of greate grievance which I haue Just cause to complaine of against
William Pynson. The concerne between us being not unknowne to ye most of ye
Inhabitants of this Towne of Salem. First I declare against him that he hath forfeited
his bond in not prouiding for me & my wifeaccording to the Couenenant, not prouiding
this winter nor other tymes before since he hath bin in ye enjoyment of my Estate
neither cloathing nor drink or severall other things necessary & suitable for ye age of
such people as myself & my aged wife but on ye contrary hath not only much neglected
us in this respect but shamefully abuses us both in word & deed This Pyson hath
notwithstanding taken care of his owne belly  as in getting fresh meat & strong liquor
for himself but wee ye poore Ancient people might have starved for all his care & regard
of us & whereas he made out of my orchard about 15 or 16 barrels of syder: he hath in
a most profuse &Lauish manner wasted & consumed it for about a month or six weeks
agoe so that now not any to be had in ye howse & not aboue one peck of wheate
brought into ye house for neer upon a Twelve month & this peck was brought at
Christmas Last for him & his friends to make merry withall & for my apparrell I am in
such a condition as I am ashamed to relate & hath threatened me that this weeke
he will dispose of of me too as Benj.Fuller can Testifie: & also said that I should be
in hell before Long my wife will owne ye relation aforesaid & to ye grief of her
heart desires that her condition may be considered."-p478-479
Records and Files
of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County Volume IX Published and Copyrighted by
the Essex Institute 1975

Two things about this excerpt:
- From the description of the land William Pinson gave up for security I now know
William's land was somewhere along the coast in Salem.

- I knew already that that the Puritans didn't usually celebrate Christmas. So when
I saw the testimony from Thomas Robbins' that Pinson and his friends had celebrated
Christmas I looked into it. After the Restoration of the Stuart kings in England the law
that punished anyone celebrating Christmas was repealed in 1681. Still, most colonists
held to the Puritan view of the holiday, and the story of William Pinson "making merry"
was not going to help his defense against his father-in law's accusations.

To be continued. 

Thursday, April 03, 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. I'm not done
with my Week 11 ancestor William Pinson yet and I'll return to him in the next post.
B ut for Week 13, my subject is my about my 5x great grandfather Samuel Haskell
This won't be a terribly long post. It concerns an item in his Oxford County Maine
Probate File which I found on FamilySearch. 

Samuel Haskell was born in Harvard, Worcester County Ma. to Samuel Haskell,Sr.
and Sybil Willard on12 Jun 1749. Twenty one years later he married his fourth
cousin Ruth Safford (they were both descendants of William Haskell and Elinor
Cook) on  6 Dec 1770. They had twelve children, the last of whom was born in
1799, and sometime between then and 1810 the family moved from Harvard up
to Gorham, Maine. By 1820 they were in Waterford, Maine, where Samuel died
sometime before 18Jan 1826 which is the earliest dated document in the Probate
File. I'm not sure why it took ten years for the estate to finally be settled. Samuel
died in debt and there are several court orders that the estate be sold over the
course of that decade.Eventually an auction was held, and one of the items on
the list of what was sold caught my attention.

An auction was held on 8 Sept 1834 and the items fill two pages and part of a
third. Here's the image I found on FamilySearch for that page:

The first two items on the page are:
"One bottle of pepper sauce      .17  Eunice  Haskell
Four bottles                               .17     Do       Do "

Eunice Haskell was one of Samuel and Ruth's children. The "Do" under her
name stands for "ditto". When I read what Eunice bought from her parents'
estate on that page I wondered why those two things. Ruth Haskell had died a
year after Samuel, so if Eunice bought the pepper sauce to eat and it was seven
years old, I'm not sure it would still be edible. Maybe it was something Eunice
herself had made since then on the premises since she was single and perhaps she
had stayed on at the family home after her parents died. Those other four bottles
she bought must have been empty, since there's no indication on the list that
they contained anything. Was Eunice going to make more pepper sauce and needed
those jars?

It's not a big question, just one of those things I run across in the Probate Records
that makes me wonder.