Showing posts with label Ellingwood Ralph. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ellingwood Ralph. Show all posts

Sunday, June 24, 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!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


I haven’t mentioned it before but I work as a bookseller which has
led me to some books that I’ve found interesting and helpful in my
genealogy pursuits. I’ll mention some of those in the future but
even though it’s a day late I thought I’d talk about the one that fits
in with St Valentine’s Day.

I was waiting on a customer who was looking for a book for her 70
year old aunt. The woman picked up a book from the new release
large size paperback table and asked me if I knew anything about
it. The title was "If Ever Two Were One: A Diary of Love Eternal "
by Brian Sullivan, the story of the romance between Francis
Ellingwood Abbot and Katharine Loring told from Abbot’s journal
and letters.

This piqued my curiosity. I have ancestors named Ellingwood and
Abbot and a quick glance at the back cover told me this Abbot
was from Beverly where my ancestors lived. So I googled him and
while he's not a direct ancestor he is in fact a cousin. Our common
ancestor was Ralph Ellingwood of early Salem, Ma. but where my
line descends from Ralph Jr., Frank E. Abbot's descends from
another son.

The same is true of our Abbot ancestries descending from siblings
although there are several other incidents of relationship through
marriages of brothers or sisters into both lines.

Seems Frank was a Harvard man, a Unitarian minister, and knew
Emerson and others. He was one of the early American supporters
of Darwinism which led to his break from Unitarianism and a very
controversial reputation for most of the latter part of his life. In
his days as a Harvard divinity student he roomed at the home of
Henry David Thoreau’s mother and he spoke with Ralph Waldo
Emerson on several occasions.

Mr Sullivan’s book details Abbot's romance and marriage of over
forty years with Katharine Loring and the subsequent ten years
after her death, ending with his suicide on her grave in 1903.

It’s fascinating to see the Victorian romantic ideal mindset in the
flowery style of writing popular in those times. But I must confess
that Frank seems to me a bit overly intense in his devotion to his
Katharine.I suspect that when they married their respective
families felt some relief that the two young people were “settled”.

Harvard Magazine of July-August 2002 has a few examples of
entries from Francis Ellingwood Abbot’s journal here.