Friday, August 31, 2007


A few random things as I sit and wait to feel sleepy…

Apparently A*******.com was well aware of genealogy bloggers’
opinions on the recent controversy. A post and comment on
Craig's Geneablogie mentioned the location of Pleasant Grove,
Utah and sure enough, when I checked my Statcounter there it
was. So all those posts from the community were being read.

Thanks to Janice at Cow Hampshire and Becky at Kinnexions
for alerting us all!

I gave myself a belated birthday gift and took a monthly
subscription to and straightaway found some
Revolutionary Pension files on another Barrows and two Barker
relatives, as well as another encounter with the name Jessie
Tuttle. More on that in future posts.

Also, I dl Family Tree Legends and am very impressed with it. It’s
much easier to make reports and charts than with PAF and there’s
more types of each to choose from. Editing is easier too I think. But
I’ll be interested to see what more experienced genealogists like
Randy at Genea-Musings think of FTL as compared to the others.

OK, I think I am ready for bed.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Another thought on A*******.com and the scraping/caching topic.

I’ve seen a few people who say they’ll not post any more of their
research to their blogs so that A*******.com can’t harvest it.
That’s their right of course but it seems to me that does nothing
really to The Corporation That Shall NOT Be Named but does
harm the genealogy blogging community.

I hope I can put this coherently.

The reason there is a genealogy blogging community is the way
we share our families with each other. We set out facts, show
pictures, and tell stories about our ancestors. Yes, posts about
the actual research processing and tips about archives and
sources are a vital part of this as well, but it’s the personal side of
our individual searches that makes it a community.

I’ve gained a lot since I started this blog. I’ve met distant relatives
I didn’t know about. I’ve learned things I didn’t know about
history and new ways to do my research. I’ve shared things like
my Aunt Dot’s memories and read about the families of other

None of it would have happened without the openness of this
blogging community.

So. I’ll continue posting my research and photos and family
stories here.

I urge others who are thinking of not posting research to their
own blog because of A*******.com’s actions to reconsider and
continue to keep this genealogy blog community the lively thing
it is.


I have been working a mid day (noon to 9pm)shift at work the
last few nights and so I’ve been getting online a bit later than
I usually do (and that’s fairly late already). So I’ve come to the
discussion over’s newest…er….venture(?) only

I’m not very sharp minded at 3:15am, so I’ll not even attempt to
discuss why I find the scraping tactic ethically challenged except
to say that whenever I’ve used material from others’ sites on this
blog I’ve asked their permission first. I expect the same courtesy
to be extended towards me in using my blog posts.

I do not charge anyone to read or make use of the information. I
would expect that should anyone, oh, say, the corporation in
question, were to make use of my writing posted here that they
would likewise not charge others to read it. (Although I don't
know if they've used anything of mine. I'm not a subscriber.)

I don’t ask readers to register here to view my blog. I would
expect that …well…you get the picture.

Okay, henceforth, the Corporation in Question’s name will be
either referred to as A*******.com or as They Who Shall NOT
Be Named (TWSNBN for short) and there will be no links or tags
with said Corporation’s full name should the occasion arise that
they are even mentioned.

And I’ve copyrighted the blog and added a Creative Commons
Copyright notice, something that in hindsight I probably should
have done earlier but in my innocence and enthusiasm did not
think necessary for a genealogy blog.

Monday, August 27, 2007


"Genealogist Beware -
Trust only your independent verification."
(Yes, I made up the Latin)-Diana, 2000”

I haven’t posted anything here for the past week. I’ve really not
been up to it. My friend Diana, who got me started with the online
part of my genealogy search, had been on life support.

She passed away this Sunday afternoon.

So I thought I’d share some of her thoughts about online
genealogy with you. Keep in mind this was written seven years
ago so some of it is dated.

You can find them at:

Monday, August 20, 2007


It’s been sort of a slow day today here genealogy activity wise.
I’m still concerned about my friend Diana and didn’t feel much
like scanning old family pictures either. So I read some of the
Carnival of Genealogy and laughed (again) at Janice’s “Genealogy
Seminars I’d Like to See” and did likewise at John Newmark’s
“What If” at his Transylvanian Dutch blog. One of the great
things about the CoG is how I keep finding new blogs to add to
my link list. Today I added John’s.

The next CoG, the 31st, will be “Confirm or Debunk: Family
Myths, Legends, and Lore.” I wasn’t sure I’d be contributing to
that since I’d already sent the story of the family Blackfoot Indian
legend in and couldn’t think of anything new to write. Then I
remembered my post back in April about Lydia Phelps and sent

Saturday night I was adding more Ellingwood siblings of my
ancestors to my charts I noticed that one of Ralph Ellingwood
Sr.’s daughters, Mary, had married a John Smith. Since I use PAF
I did a search on FamilySearch, then confirmed what I found over
on several of the RootsWeb WorldConnect files: John Smith and
Mary Ellingwood’s daughter Abigail married Ebenezer Dunham.

Now I’ve always known about the connection between the
Dunhams and Ellingwoods because of the marriage of Asa F.
Ellingwood to Florilla Dunham. And when I looked at my pedigree
charts, sure enough, there was John Smith but Mary’s name was
spelled Ellenwood, one of the alternative versions

Well, that thud you perhaps heard very early Sunday morning
was my jaw hitting the floor. Which was followed by a Homer
Simpson like “DOH!” at my never noticing it. I emailed Chris
Dunham about it and he’d known about it from his own research.

It's the kind of “Would you believe…?” thing that I hope to tell
Diana about soon.

Friday, August 17, 2007


I’ve been busy adding Ellingwood and Barrows cousins to my
family tree the last few nights. A good friend of mine is very ill
and since she lives far away all I can do is keep a good thought
and pray for her. I’m in no state of mind to be too creative so
entering names and dates provides a bit of a distraction for me.

I’ve also been reorganizing my browser bookmarks. The list of
links dealing with genealogy has grown so much I finally made a
separate folder for them. While doing that I realized that I didn’t
have a link on the blog for Chris Dunham’s Genealogue, so I fixed
that oversight as well.

There’s been a discussion going on about the terms “genealogist”
and “family historian” and which one best applies to what many
of us are doing. It started at Schelly Talalay Dardashti’s blog,
Tracing the Tribe and then continued on Jasia’s Creative Gene,
Chris Dunham’s The Genealogue and footnoteMaven’s blogs. As
usual, a lot of good thoughtful writing.

After reading them, I’ve decided I fall under the category Jasia
calls “geneahistorian”: I search for people to add their names and
dates to my family tree but I also look for and write about the
events of their lives. It reflects how I’ve always viewed history in
general, with the emphasis on “story”.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


In Late November 1979 my parents received a letter from
Florence O’Connor, a cousin of my Dad’s, announcing she had
written a book “The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman
and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood”. It would trace our
Ellingwood line from Ralph in Salem, Ma in 1635 and the
Dunhams from 1294 in England. A major part of the book would
deal with Asa and Florilla’s ten children and other relatives. The
hardcover book would cost $17.50.

I’m not sure if it was my folks or myself who sent the money(I’d
just turned 21and was out in the workforce.) The book arrived
and I sent Mrs. O’Connor a letter asking for more details about
the West line. She very kindly sent me a typed out transcription
of her Grandmother West’s Bible. That would have been Clarinda
Britton West, daughter to Jonathan Cutter West and Arvilla
Ames. She also sent information on our Richardson line and
another two sheets on the various West marriages and children.

At some point during the 1980’s I took the book to work and
photocopied the entries for the Ellingwoods and added them to
the file of pedigree and family sheets Aunt Dot had sent us. The
book is packed away somewhere (I hope) after several moves but
I still have those Ellingwood photocopied pages and the typed
correspondence from Mrs. O’Connor.

So, above is a scan of the transcription from Mrs. O’Connor, to
whom I am grateful. Along with Aunt Dot, she gave me the
beginnings of my interest in genealogy.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


((Some of the following information was found on the IGI and at
the Rootsweb Peru, Oxford, Maine and Canton, Oxford, Maine
Genealogy Projects of Craig Bryant and as I say in my blog
header, is not entirely set in stone until its been verified.)

Between them John Ames and Lydia Phelps had ten children;
Lydia’s three children by her first husband, Sampson Read
(Sampson, Lydia and Amy) were not included on John Ames’
petition possibly because as stepchildren their claims were
superseded by his own children. Also, one, Sampson Read Jr.,
was already dead so his sisters might have also passed away

Of the seven Ames children, one, Ezekiel (or Ezekial) is missing
from the list of John’s heirs. Ezekiel died in Hartford Maine on 12
November 1806 at age 23 and may have been the husband of
Lydia Chickering but I’ve not yet found convincing evidence of

John and Lydia’s remaining six children were already middle
aged themselves at the time the petition was filed in 1832.

The eldest, John Ames(another one!), was 53 years old and
married to Grace(last name unknown). They had seven children,
four girls and three boys.

The next son, Jonathan Phelps Ames, married Polly Griffith and
had ten children. Polly died in 1834 and Jonathan married her
sister Sarah with whom he had three more children. (Jonathan
and Polly’s daughter Arvilla is my ancestor through her marriage
to John Cutter West.) He was 51 years old at the time of the

Sally Ames married Isaac Fuller with whom she had at least one
child that I’ve been able to find and was 48 years old when the
petition was filed.

Polly Ames was 47 at the filing and was married to Sylvanus
Poland.They had nine children. Two of her sons had “Ames” as
their middle name

Finally, Betsey (or Betsy) was married to James Putnam and had
two children. She was 42 years old in 1832. Like her sister Polly's,
several of her children and grandchildren had the middle name

Some of the grandchildren married each other. John Phelps
Ames’ son Generous married his cousin Grace Ames, daughter
of his Uncle John Ames.(They had a son with the unique name of
Generous Fernando Ames!) Sally Ames’ son Ezekiel married his
cousin Asenath, daughter of his uncle Ralph Ames. And overall,
John Ames’ tribe increased, with nearly thirty grandchildren at
the time of his death.

I’m sure there are posts in the future about these cousins of
mine, but for now, this concludes my series on John Ames and
his Revolutionary War pension file.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Janice Brown over at CowHampshire has posted about a
genealogy seminar she'd like to see and I am honored to be
listed among the.. umm..presenters.

Now all I have to do is come up with things to do with a

Thanks for the mention, Janice, and for a laugh that I
really needed!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Hmm. My blog traffic has fallen off a bit lately. Maybe my John
Ames' posts are too boring? Wait until I do Asa Barrows.

As an interesting note, the keyword that's attracted the most
hits here lately is "flutaphone"!

Go figure!


I wasn’t able to find much about the other soldiers listed
in John Ames’ petition. It’s possible that David and John
Hazen were cousins of the Ames family through their mother
who was Betty Nutting. John's mother was Sarah Nutting.

But I was more successful with his witness, Obadiah Wetherell.

In History of the Old Towns, Norridgewock and Canaan:
Comprising Norridgewock, Canaan, Starks
by John Wesley
Hanson I learned:

Obadiah Wetherell did indeed continue as a soldier in the
Continental Army for three years and eight months. He was
present at the Battles of White Plains and Monmouth and
the surrender of General Burgoyne. Like many others from the
Groton area he eventually migrated to Norridgewock, Maine.
He and his half brother Charles (another veteran of the
Revolution) were prominent citizens in the new town. The
earliest town record is an warrant to Obadiah to assemble the
free men of the area to elect a government in 1788. At that
meeting Obadiah was one of several men appointed as a town
surveyor. He also owned a farm.

In 1794 Obadiah served on the committee to finish the building
of the town meetinghouse.

A further reference was found on a website with the Journal of
the Senate of the United States of America, 1789-1873
that on
2 Feb 1832 a petition was presented to the U.S. Senate by a Mr.
Sprague on behalf of Obadiah Wetherell asking that he be
restored to the roll of Revolutionary War pensioners. But in June
of the same year Sprague asked that Wetherell be allowed to
withdraw his petition and it was so ordered. Sprague was Senator
Peleg Sprague of Maine. Why Obadiah was removed as a
pensioner in the first place and why he later withdrew his petition
I have yet to discover.

He was 99 when he died in 1847

The final part will deal with John Ames' heirs.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


I’ve been searching the web for information on the men who are
mentioned on the Ames petition and ran into one of those cases
of synchronicity that makes genealogy fun.

Many of the early settlers of Norridgewock, Maine came from
Groton, Mass. I found some lists and besides the names I was
looking for I found John Laughton. Now I have three John
Laughtons among my ancestors, and a quick look at their sheets
told me that the John Laughton on the list was the first of them,
who is my 6x great grandfather. His great great granddaughter
Louisa Almata Richardson married Jonathan Phelps West.
His mother was Arvilla Ames.

I know it’s not all that uncommon for these coincidences to pop
up given the size of the population in Maine in that era but still
it tickles me to think John Laughton and John Ames might have
known each other.

What would they have thought if they knew their descendants
would marry?

Gee, I hope they liked each other!


I’m nearly done with my exploration of the John Ames pension
request file. But I thought it might be interesting to flesh out
some of the different names that appear on it.

So, for this post let’s look at some of the witnesses and

William Allen Jr. to whom John Ames’ Certificate of Pension was
sent was a surveyor, clerk and writer. Among his works are
histories of the towns of Industry and Norridgewock, Maine, and
a journal of his and his family’s experiences as earlier settlers in
the area.

Nathan Weston Jr, Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court before
whom John appeared to make his declaration of service went on
to serve as Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court for seven
years. (1834-1841). Among his descendants was his grandson,
Chief Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court Melville Weston Fuller.

Cornelius Holland the member of Congress cited as a character
witness for John was a practicing physician from Canton, Maine
who had been a Maine State Representaive and State Senator.
He was a member of the Democratic Party and after being
appointed to serve out the term of a congressman, he won
re-election for the seat and served in Congress from 1830-

Charles Fuller, the other character witness from Canton, might
have been a relative of Isaac Fuller, husband of John Ames’
daughter Sally.

William Spaulding, John Ames’ childhood schoolmate, may be
the same William Spaulding who held the position of Postmaster
for Norridgewock in 1816. He also quite possibly was a cousin of
John’s through a common descent from William Green and Mary

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Way back here in my series of posts about John Ames’
Revolutionary War pension file, I listed several questions I had.
One of them was this: One of the witnesses, William Spaulding,
testifies that he knewJohn Ames from childhood and that when
he “was a boy I went to school with him at his fathers house in
Groton.” If John’s father,who was also named John Ames, was
a school master, this is the first I’d seen mention of that. Was
this true?

I have known the answer for a few weeks now but pushed the
topic to a back burner while transcribing my Aunt Dot’s

A search at Google Books brought me to “History of the Town of
Groton: Including Pepperell and Shirley, from the First Grant

of Groton Plantation in 1655” by Caleb Butler. It seems that the
town hadn’t a school house but instead held classes in several
different locations. In 1741 it was voted to hold school “in five
places, six weeks a place.” In 1742 seven places were chosen, and
in 1745 only four. Eventually there was a school house built in
the middle of the town but those living more than two miles away
could have classes held closer to their homes.

As I said, I’d not seen any records to indicate any of the Ames of
colonial Groton were schoolmasters or teachers. But in 1717 the
town was charged as being in violation of the law by the General
Court of Massachusetts for not having a school master. A petition
was sent to the General Court which pointed out that Groton was
at that time a small town with fewer than a hundred families and
many were not able to contribute funds for a school. But it also
explained that the town had hired a school master the previous
December. In light of that fact the town hoped that the charge
against it would be dropped, and it was.

The petition was presented to the General Court for Groton by
John Ames. Given the year was 1717/8 that would have to be
either the first John Ames, son of Robert Ames and Rebecca
Blake, or his son John Ames, Jr. John Ames 3rd would have
owned the house where William Spaulding went to school with
the fourth John Ames.

Too many Johns there! Almost the genealogy equivalent of
"Who's on First?"

So, while there were no schoolteachers in the Ames of Groton of
that period, they seem to have been one of the families active in
seeing the town’s children were getting an education.

Friday, August 03, 2007


The 29th Carnival of Genealogy is up and once more has a bunch
of interesting writing from other genealogy blogs. I’ve spent the
past hour or so reading them as I sat here with my cup of coffee.
The subject is ethical or moral dilemmas in genealogical research
which was what prompted my own post about my White family

Next Carnival is on genealogy conference experiences and since
I’ve never been to one and am not likely to before the next
deadline, I’ll have to sit that one out. (The last conference or
convention I attended featured people in Wookie costumes.
That was some 20 years ago.)

Meanwhile, I’ll distract myself from the heat by digging in the

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


When I went to my nephew’s wedding two weekends ago I had
the chance to spend some time with my aunts from both sides of
my family: Aunt Dot, my Dad’s sister, and my Aunt Emily, my
Uncle Ed’s wife and Mom’s sister-in-law.

I was seated next to my cousin Winnie, Emily’s daughter, and the
subject of our grandfather Edward F. White, Sr. came up. I heard
a few things I hadn’t known. Not only had he been unfaithful to his
wife Aggie, he’d done it under their own roof, and that at some
point my Mom and Emily had gone looking for him and found out
that not only had he remarried, he’d named one of his new family
Edward, the same name as his eldest son, my uncle. I don’t know
if they confronted him or not. I do know that as far as I know, my
mother had no contact with her father for most of her life from her
childhood to her death.

That hurt. I think it had always bothered her not only that he’d
left the family in the first place, but also that he’d never been
around for things a father should have been or made an effort to
know his grandchildren. Not only that, but none of the rest of his
family ever contacted her either.

That’s the operative term: “as far as I know.” Mom might have
heard from her father at some point, or maybe Uncle Ed had, and
they both would never have said anything. They might have
wanted more of a relationship or not, but even if they had, their
loyalty and love for their mother would be stronger.

I've thought about all this over the years but it's sort of become
more frequent since that wedding. Blood is thicker than water,
they say. How could Edward F. White Sr. do what he had and then
cut off all contact?

I’ve always suspected he or perhaps another White relative might
have been keeping tabs on Mom and Uncle Ed. There were times
when the phone rang and I answered it, and while whoever it was
didn’t speak, they didn’t hang up immediately, either. I’d ask who
it was and after they didn’t answer, I would hang up. I’ve thought
about it and I’m fairly certain the phone calls stopped shortly after
Mom died.

So here’s my dilemma: I want to know about my grandfather. Did
he ever tell his new family that they had a half-brother and sister?
Did he try to see Mom or Uncle Ed at any time? Did he somehow
follow news of their lives? How much of story did the rest of his
family and my grandmother’s family know? And what was his
version of why he and Aggie’s marriage ended?

Let’s be clear here. I saw the effects on Aggie and on my Mom.
My love and loyalty is with them and my Uncle. But every story
has two sides and I’d like to hear his side of it, at least what the
surviving members of his second family might have been told.

There’s also a more logical reason to try to find out more about
him. Both Mom and Uncle Ed died of cancer. Is there a history
of cancer in the White family? My grandfather’s family’s medical
history could be important to myself, my sister and my brother.

Another dilemma: if any of his other children are still alive,
they’d be in their seventies. Should I contact them? Do I have
the right to surely disrupt their lives if they had never known
of their father’s first marriage?

I don’t know. I am still debating the question with myself.

Do I really want to know everything?