Saturday, April 21, 2018


Over 1.1 million  new records were added in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


British Army Officers' Widows' Pension Forms 1755-1908

OVER 13,000 RECORDS  Explore more than 150 years of pension applications. Released online for the first time in association with The National Archives, the collection includes forms and evidences of vital events extracted from widows’ pension files, including application forms, death certificates, marriage certificates, births and baptisms.

Somerset Registers & Records

NEW PUBLICATIONS These records cover Bishop’s Transcripts from Wells Diocesan Registry, Parish Registers from Chipstable, Raddington, Kittisford, Pitcombe and Wilton, as well as Wells Cathedral Monumental Inscriptions and Heraldry.

Rutland Registers & Records

180 PAGES Search through the pages of Registers of North Luffenham, 1565-1832 to uncover baptisms, marriages, burials and monumental inscriptions.

Northumberland Registers & Records

5 NEW PUBLICATIONS Explore publications of original parish records including ‘Early Deeds Relating to Newcastle Upon Tyne, 1100-1600’, ‘Parish Registers of Alnham, Ceadnell, Chatton & Ilderton, 1688-1812’, ‘Parish Registers of Edlingham, 1658-1812’, ‘Parish Registers of Halton, 1654-1812’ and ‘Parish Registers of Ingram, 1682-1812’.

Nottinghamshire Registers & Records

5 NEW PUBLICATIONS These publications cover parish registers from the parishes of Gedling and Warsop, Archdeaconry Court Marriage Licenses and Parish Register Transcripts from the Peculiar of Southwell, the history of the county and its highways and byways.


British Newspapers

New articles: 787,449
New titles: 17
Covering: Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, Oxfordshire, the British Armed Forces, Music Halls and Theatres
Discover: Family notices, news stories, advertisements, illustrations, photographs and more

Friday, April 20, 2018


 (First posted in May 2013)

In one of my posts about John Barnes I wrote about how the Plymouth Colony
government struggled to deal with his drinking problem. At one point they even
made it a crime in 1661 to sell him any liquor.  Even that didn't seem to work, and
I wondered how effective that strategy could have been, given that John imported
and sold liquor as part of his business as a merchant. I think this next record shows
one way he could get plenty of liquor.

Up until the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies merged most of  the towns
south of Boston, such as Yarmouth on Cape Cod  were part of Plymouth Colony. This
record from 1667 deals with how much rum and sacke(white wine from Spain) were
brought into Yarmouth during 1666m and certain discrepancies of amounts on the
invoices of the shipments. Among the people practicing what might be considered
"creative bookkeeping" were Jonathan Barnes and his brother in law, Abraham Hedges.

5Jun 1667
The Account of the Liquors brought into Yarmouth the Year last past, giuen
                                                             in by Mr Thacher.
The 15 of the first month, Elisha Hedge, one barrell of rum.
Mr Hedge, 9 gallons of sacke.
September 14, (66,) by John Barnes, for Elisha Hedge, fifty gallons of rum.
For Mr Sprague, 10 gallons of rum.
For Samuell Sturgis, 30 gallons of rum.
For Edward Sturgis, Junir, 25 gallons.
Jonathan Barnes brought sundry barrells of liquors to the towne, since which
hee did not invoyce with vs, but did after some distanceof time invoyce it
with the Treasurer.

The first weeke of Aprill, (67,) Edward Sturgis, Senir, 22 gallons of sacke, which
was invoyced, tho not in due time according to order.

Att that time, there were fiue or six barrells of rum bought of the merchant att
Satuckett, whcih was not invoyced, but concealed one barrerll ; Jonathan Barnes
had another barrell ; Joseph Ryder three more,  hee seized for the countrey,
which haue bine since condemned, viz : Samuell Sturgis, one barrell of rum ;
Edward Sturgis. Junir, one barrell of rum ; and Abraham Hedge, one barrell of rum,
which lyes responsible for his father to cleare betwixt thia and the Court in July

Boardman, halfe a barrell, or somwhat more, which hee invoced.

The first week in June, 67, Jonathan Barnes invoyced oNe barrell of rum for
John Mokancy, Abraham Hedge had about three barrells last sumer, which it is
vncertaine whether invoced or now. 
Plymouth Court Records Volume 4

I'd be willing to bet that some of the misinvoiced rum ended up in a tankard that
Jonathan's father John drank with gusto!

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Today is the 243nd Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington & Concord which
started the American Revolution on 19Apr 1775. They were celebrated Monday in
Massachusetts on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April, when the Boston Marathon is run.

These are our colonial ancestors from our Dad's family lines for whom I have
so far been able to discover records that they took part in those battles and served in the

Jonathan Barker Jr. My 5x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with rank of Sergeant.
He responded to Lexington and Concord with his sons
Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode
Island and then with Nathaniel Gage's Company in Colonel
Jacob Gerrish's guards from Dec 1777 to l Apr 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 4x great grandfather
Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John
Davis' Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the
Massachusetts line for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the
conclusion of the term, he reenlisted for another 3 months in
Capt John Allen's Company, Colonel John Waldron's Regiment,
General Sullivan's Brigade in the New Hampshire Brigade at
Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a third time in June 1778
at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel Carr's Company, Col.
James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's Brigade at
White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames   My 5x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 19th,
1775. He then enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain
Oliver Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and
in the Brigade that was commanded in turn by Generals
Putnam, Lee, and Washington and served for 8 1/2 months.


Asa Barrows    My 4x great grandfather
A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of Boston. In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed
there for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time
in a militia company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill
that marched to Tiverton, R.I. .

Moses Coburn  My 4x great grandfather
Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of 1781."
When he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in
Captain Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the
Massachusetts line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in
which he served for nearly two years until it was broken up.
He then transferred to the Company of Judah Alden in the
Regiment commanded by Colonel Sprouts until his discharge
in 1783.

Samuel Haskell   My 5x great grandfather
Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings   My 5x great grandfather
Amos  responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of
Captain Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William
Johnson's Regiment. He later served in Captain Timothy
Eaton's Company in Colonel Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment
and was at the taking of the British General Burgoyne at

Elisha Houghton   5x great grandfather
Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777 in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and
was at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and
twice was busted back down to the ranks.

Amos Upton    My 5x great grandfather
Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from
his home in Reading. He later joined the militia company
commanded by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant
and then enlisted for eight months in the Continental Army
under Colonel Mansfield. He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
He was discharged in October of 1775.

John Griffith  My 5x great grandfather
Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of
the cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain
William Treadwell's Company in Colonel John Crane's
Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard   My 5x great grandfather
A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel
Bailey's militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the
Alarm. He also responded several more times as a Minuteman
for a total of nearly 8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbott   My 5x great grandfather
Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry
Abbott and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Samuel Stowe  My 5x great grandfather
Minuteman from Sherborn, Ma. Served in Capt. Benjamin Bullard's
Company in Col. Asa Whitcomb's 5th Massachusetts Bay
Provincial Regiment.

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan
Barker, Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018


John Barnes' son Jonathan was born 3Jun 1643 and as I'll show later was
involved in his father's merchant business. But this post is about his one
appearance at Plymouth Court for an offense that resembled some of his
father's drinking exploits.

In 1666 the twenty three year old Jonathan had been married for a year
to his wife Elizabeth Hedge. This particular case involved two of his
wife's brothers; Abraham Hedge was a co-defendant and Elisha was a
witness. The third co-defendant Thomas Starr was already in hot water
for some statements criticizing the colonial government.

It also didn't help matters that Anthony Thacher was a deputy to the
General Court from Yarmouth.

The following  is from the Plymouth Court Records:

6Mar 1666
Att this Court, Mr Anthony Thacher complained against Thomas Starr,
Jonathan Barnes, and Abraham Hedge for abbusive carriages towards him in
his house ; in reference whervnto the said Starr, Barnes, and Hedge were
sentenced to pay vnto the said Mr Thacher the sume of fkiue pounds, viz :
the said Thomas Starr the sume of forty shillings, Jonathan Barnes the sume
of forty shillings, and Abraham Hedge the sume of twenty shillings; and in
reference vnto theire rietus carriages att the same time in breakeing the
Kings peace, for the which bonds were taken of each of then vntil this Court,
the court sentences them to bee comitted to prison, and theire to remaine
during the pleasure of the Court ; which accordingly was pformed, and the
next day after their comittment were sett at libertie, and theire bonds
deliured to them.

And in reference vnto  the said Thomas Starr and Jonathan Barnes theire
abusiue carriage to Francis Baker att the same time, they, the said Starr and
Barnes, were sentanced by the Court to pay vnto the said Baker, each of them,
the sume of twenty shillinges.

And in reference vnto the said Francis Baker and John Casley theire breach of
the peace att the same time, they were fined by the Court, each of them, the
sume of three shillinges and four pence to the vse of the collonie.

And whereas Elisha Hege hath giuen testimony that the said Baker and Casley
were drunke att the same time, incase any concurrent testimony shall appear
to cleare vp the truth thereof, they shallbee lyable to suffer the penaltie of the
law for the same.

The stay in prison might have been the Plymouth equivalent of spending the night
in jail to sleep it off and ponder the error of your ways. If it was, it seems to have
worked for Jonathan as this was the only instance I can find of him misbehaving.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


The estate of John Barnes was submitted to the Court five months after his death by
the four men appointed to take the inventory. (One of them was  Samuel Dunham, another
of my ancestors.) John was successful merchant and his belongings reflect that fact. It's
a long list and I won't go through the whole thing here, but here's a section from the
beginning of it. It certainly is more proof that much of our culture's view of Pilgrim
culture is incorrect. The stereotype is that the male Plymouth colonists all dressed
in black with those tall buckled hats, and in fact there are some black ("sadcolored") items
in John's wardrobe. But there are also red "wascoates" (waistcoats), silver buttons, and
a beaver trimmed ("demicastor" ) hat.

There were a few terms I had never encountered before and had trouble finding defintions
for when I Googled them. So I asked my friends over on Facebook if anyone had any
idea what they meant and several were able to help me out.

Ernie Wallace and Pamela Wile found that a "Parropus coat" was a coat made from
Peropus which was a double layer of camlet fabric. Camlet was made from camel's
hair and silk and originated in Asia.      

Drew Smith and Jennifer Zinck told me that a "Carsey suite"  was made of a woolen
cloth whose name is usually spelled as "kersey".

My thanks to all of them for the assistance!


A true Inventory of the estate of Mr John Barnes lately deceased taken and aprised by us whose names are underwritten this 30th day of August Anno Dom 1671 as followeth

Impr*. his apparell one [Parropus] Coate 00-15-00

Item a sadcullered Carsey suite 01-15-00

Item a broadcloth Coate 01-00-00

It. a serge heire Cullered suite 01-05-00

It. a gray serge Coate 01-00-00

It. a broadcloth suite and a troopers Coate all of them worne 01-10-00

It. a great Russed Cloth Coate 01-05-00

It. 2 old troopers Coates and an old paire of briches 01-05-00

It. 3 Red wascoates 00-18-00

It. 4 paire of drawers 00-18-00

Ite. a night uper garment and a tufted fustian wascoate 00-07-00

Item 3 old dubletts 00-12-00

Item 3 paire of wosted stockens 00-10-00

Item 6 paire of stockens 1 of them holland 00-10-00 /. s. d.

Item a black demicaster of the new fashion; & 1 old satten capp . . 00-12-00

Item 2 Cullerd hatts 00-06-00

Itm 4 old hatts 00-04-00

Item 2 new Cullered hatts 00-10-00

Item 1 hatt more 00-02-06

Item 5 blacke silke hatt bands 00-03-00

Item 2 paire of Cotton gloves and 2 paire of lether gloves fringed . 00-07-00

Item 1 Remnant of sad cullered cloth in bitts and one pair of gater lashes 00-05-00

Item a paire of mittens and a paire of blacke Garters 00-01-00

Item 2 dowlis shirts almost new 00-16-00

Item 2 shirts more 00-16-00

Ite. 2 shirts more 00-10-00

Ite: half a dozen of bands and band stringes and an old wrought capp. . 00-12-00
Item a silk neckcloth.
His cash.

Item io* sent into the bay by George Watson and by him Returned: . . 00-10-00

Item in cash more which we find exstant 05-08-07

Item a set of silver buttons and a silver thimble 00-06-00

Item 7 whole silver spoones and 2 broken ones 03-04-00

Item a silver bason 03-00-00

Item a silver beer bowle 03-00-00

Item a silver dram cupp:& 2 other small peeces of broken silver . 00-16-00

Item a smale psell of Gould and silver case 00-03-00

Item a knot of silver buttons 00-03-00

Item 2 bibles one English and another Indian 01-00-00

Ite old Psalme booke and 2 other old bookes 00-01-06

Nathaniel : Morton
John Morton
Gyles Rickard Senor
Samuell donham 

- "The Plymouth scrap book: the oldest original documents extant in Plymouth archives, printed verbatim (Google eBook)"  by Charles Henry Pope (C. E. Goodspeed & company,  1918 Boston, Ma.) p102

The Inventory goes on and on, counting livestock, armor, weapons, and more clothes. The Estate was valued at  226 pounds, 18 shillings, 8 pence.

John Barnes left behind a sizable estate for his era and place. Despite his bouts of drunkenness he'd
been a productive and valued member of the Plymouth Colony.

Still, I can't help feeling that there may have been some in the Plymouth Colony government who might have been relieved that they no longer had to deal with the problem of John Barnes. 

Monday, April 16, 2018


My ancestor John Barnes must have had an intimation of his own mortality four years
before his death, because his will was drawn up in 1667and presented in 1671. He didn't
have many relatives to whom he could leave his estate: his second wife Joan, his son Jonathan
(my ancestor), his two grandsons, the children of his deceased daughter Lydia (Barnes)
Marshall and an unnamed cousin who was married to Henry Sampson. I found this
transcription of his will online in a Google ebook,  Charles Henry Pope's 1918 book "The Plymouth scrap book: the oldest original documents extant in Plymouth archives, printed verbatim (Google eBook)" (C. E. Goodspeed & company, Boston, Ma.) p56-57

New Plimouth
6th of March,  1667
New England
The Last will & Testament of John Barn's which is as ffollows.
To All whome these may concern. (Know you That I John Barn's (being of my Sound Understandinge: doe declaire This to be my Last will and Testament. Knowing not how soon ye lord may call me out of this world, doe theirfore Labor to give noe occasion of strife unto those that shall survive me. But that peace may be Among them. 1. In the first place I doe desire that my body; be decently buryed (and) that Funerall charges to be Expended out of my psonall Estate.
2. That all Legacys be payd . before any division of my estate be mayd.
3. I doe apoynt yt my dear wife Joan Barn's & my son Jonathan Barn's be ye Exectors of this my Last will and Testament.—4. I doe Bequeath unto my wife Joan Barn's half of Every pt. and pcell of my housing and Lands yt I doe now psess in ye Township of New Plimoth dureing The Tearme of her life.—5. I doe bequeath unto my sonn unto my sonn Jonathan the other half part of my above said housing Lands &c. unless my sayd Sonn shall forfitt it on condittions as follow's in an oyr pt of this my will.-6. I doe bequeath all my Land lying Near to Road Island unto my grand-Sonn John Marshall, as also ye silver dish yt I doe usually use to Eat in. - 7. I doe bequeath to my Cozen ye wife of henery Samson forty shilling's out of my Estate to be payd Beffore division of my Estate.8. I doe Bequeath my moveable Estate as follow's one third to my wife for ever in Case she shall not molest any pson to whome I have fformerly sould any Lands unto in Case she shall so doe, yn it shall fall to my Sonn or grandson John Marshall. ye Next third I doe bequeath to my Sonn Jonathan In Case he doe not demand any pt of That Estate yt fformerly I gave to my daughter Lyddyah: Now deceased, in case he shall Soe doe yt third shall fall unto my grandson John Marshall ffor ever. The Next third I doe bequeath to my grandchildren now in being togeither wth my Kinswoman Ester Ricket to pay to each of ym an Equall pt of yt my Estate, hoping That my Last will may be an instrument of peace; shall cease waiting for ye Time of my chang. -9. I doe Further Request and desire Elder Thomas Couchma Lt. Ephraim Morton and Joseph Warren to be the overseers of this my Last will and Testament.
his mark
John x Barnes   (Seal)

Signed & Sealed In
ye presence of
george Soule Senr:
Sam1: Seaburij
Samuell hunt

This Will is Recorded according to
order p me Nathaniel Morton Secretary
see book of Wills and Inventoryes
Recorded beginning att 71; in folio 31

I'll conclude this series with a look at the inventory of the estate of John Barnes.

Sunday, April 15, 2018


I think the Plymouth authorities had become resigned to my ancestor John Barnes'
drinking bouts towards the end of his life.Either that, or he became a discreet drunk
and wasn't caught drinking in public. But ultimately, it was a very public and very
foolish display that led to his death at the age of 61 in 1671. A jury of 12 men
were called together to rule on the cause of death. Two of them were also my
ancestors, Samuel Dunham and Sergeant William Harlow:

5March 1671-2
Wee, whose names are vnderwritten, being sumoned together by order
from the Gov to view the corpes of Mr John Barnes, and to giue in a verdict
how wee judge hee came by his death, doe judge, that being before his barne
dore in the street, standing stroakeing or feeling of his bull, the said bull
suddenly turned about vopn him and gaue him a great wound with his horne on
his right thigh, neare eight inches longe, in which his flesh was torne both
broad and deep, as wee judge ; of which wound, together with his wrinch of
his necked or paine thereof, (of which hee complained,)hee imediately
languished ;  after about 32 hours after he died. Vnto the thruth whereof wee
haue submitted our hands.


Plymouth Court Records p88

Some of his Pilgrim neighbors probably shook their heads and murmured about how
he was warned that someday his drinking would kill him. But despite his excessive
drinking, John Barnes died a wealthy man by the standards of his day, and I'll discuss
that in the next post of this series,