Saturday, October 31, 2009


I don’t play any musical instruments and I can’t carry a tune in a
gedcom file. When I lamented on Facebook about the fact that I
had no post for the next Carnival of Genealogy, some of my geneablogger
friends suggested I post about the “49 Genealogical Uses for a Flutaphone.”

This series started as a humorous challenge from Janice Brown of
“Cow Hampshire.” She posted her dream genealogy blog complete with
sessions hosted by her fellow geneabloggers on topics she assigned. We in
turn were supposed to post something for those “sessions” on our own blogs.

Finding 49 Genealogical Uses for a Flutaphones is not an easy assignment and as
you can see I got off to a way off topic start. But eventually, with the help of
Janice, Apple, Terry Thornton, and Schelly Talalay Dardashti, I completed the list
six months later. In fact, you’ll notice it’s actually fifty uses, since there’s two #29’s!

So here it is, for the first time, the collected, complete 49 Genealogical Uses for a

Hmm. They may take votes away from me on the FamilyTree magazine Top 40
Genealogy Blogs poll for subjecting the genealogy community to this once again!

1. Doorstop- It’s more humane than using dead cats
or dead Wesley Crushers. And it smells better.

2. Windchimes

3. A Habitat trail for Earthworms-All those finger holes.
“The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out…”

4. Tank decoration for guppies- All those finger holes.
“ The fish swim in, the fish swim out…”

5. A defensive weapon-For when that librarian finally
snaps when you ask her to find another dusty volume in
the stacks. Mouthpieces on flutaphones are pointy!!!

6. A diversion: used to exit an overly proprietary historical
society. Make some noise behind the bookshelf with it, and
while the volunteer is investigating the noise, grab your
first born child (the one being held hostage to make sure
you don't steal anything) and run like hell. (Janice)

7. Learn a snake charmers tune and play it when you need
to hypnotize a records clerk to get them to check the books
one more time for that record you KNOW is there.

8. A pry-bar, to break into old file drawers that have been
holding your genealogical notes from 20 years ago. You've
moved a few times, and lost the key. (Janice)

9. Flower holder- for when you visit the ancestral grave.
Stick sharp pointy mouthpiece into the ground and your
flowers into the other end of the flutaphone.

10. Bookmark-When you have to leave your chair for a
moment to ask the librarian to find you another genealogy
book in the stacks use the flutaphone to mark your place.

11. Bookfetcher- That particular tome on a shelf you can’t
quite reach? Using the pointy mouthpiece end, gently rock
the book loose and down.

12. Bookcatcher- See above. Quickly reverse the
flutaphone to catch the falling book on the wide-ended
mouth. If the librarian notices, tell her you are practicing
balancing the books.

13. Eartrumpet- For when a librarian starts yelling. Insert
narrow end in ear after REMOVING the pointy mouthpiece.
Remember, catch any books before they hit the floor if you
were performing uses numbers 11 and/or 12 when the
librarian started yelling. Turn wide end towards librarian
and say “Eh?”

14.backpatter - to pat your own back when you have
solved a particularly difficult family genealogical mystery.
Caution: do not run while performing this action, or you
may put your eye out. (Janice)

15. Temporary flag pole- Tape a Ppatriots napkin
(preferably one with a Patriots logo). Wave wildly when
the Patriots score. (Janice)

16. Distress Signal- IF you become lost in the stacks of a
major genealogical library, DO NOT PANIC! Use your
flutaphone to summon help by blowing as hard as you can
on through the mouthpiece. A series of the highest and
most shrill notes will be most efficacious and a friendly
librarian will arrive to escort you safely back to your chair.

17. Car Buddy-it easily slips over your car antenna (you ARE
still driving the vehicle you bought in 1960 right?) and helps
you to locate your vintage auto in the research library parking lot
(when you leave the library all bleary-eyed). (Janice)

18. Hidden Message DeCoder- It is a long held deep dark
secret that when a flutaphone is held lengthwise under a
bright light over a line of text that certain words in the text
are illuminated to reveal hidden messages only you can see.
It is recommended you only employ this method when there
is no one else present nearby who might steal the secret
message. Send the librarian back into the stacks first for
another obscure text to ensure they will not see you!

19. Treasure Finder- Another little known fact is that when
a flutaphone is held in a certain way outside on a bright
sunshiny day while the holder nonchalantly hums “I Can
See Clearly Now” the reflection of the flutaphone will
reveal the spot where buried treasure is hidden. There have
been recent reports of genealogy bloggers wandering about
Northern New England employing this technique while
searching for the legendary Money Pit. No one had found it
yet but there have been complaints from angry hunters who
claim “the damn humming scared all the deer away!”

20.Social Icebreaker- Use your flutaphone to socially break
the ice on your first Genealogy Cruise. Amaze and delight
your fellow genealogists with your musical prowess and
your unique knowledge of the more arcane uses of the
legendary musical instrument.

21. Nautical Distress Signal- If you should be accidentally
bumped overboard from the Genealogy Cruise ship or
set adrift in a lifeboat during the lifeboat drill. Keep the
flutaphone dry and periodically blow a series of high shrill
notes to help rescuers locate you.

22. Dolphin Repeller- To ward off overly friendly dolphins
who mistake your distress signal for the an invitation
to socialize

23. Icebreaker- Use the sharp flutaphone mouthpiece to chip
away at the ice forming around your lifeboat. Reciting your pedigree
while chipping might make the time go faster.

24.Paddle- Use the flutaphone to help propel your lifeboat after the
Genealogy Cruise ship. Note- If you were accidentally bumped overboard
forget paddling. Grasp the flutaphone firmly in your teeth so you don’t
lose it and swim after the ship instead!

25. Safety Device- Once you’ve been rescued, use the flutaphone to ensure
you remain safely aboard afterward by keeping your fellow genealogists
at least one flutaphone length away from you on deck. Hold the sharp
mouthpiece end outwards towards them at all times!

26 Snake charmer - play it when you see scary snakes in the cemetery,
where you happen to be browsing for your ancestor's stones. Heck,
it works in the movies! (Janice)

27. Measuring instrument- To measure the amount of snowfall
when you visit the grave of 3x great uncle Oswald, as in,

"I had difficulty in finding Oswald's headstone as the grave was
buried in snow over two flutaphones deep!"

28. Measuring instrument(summer)- in genealogy cemetery searches
during the summer: Just how long was that snake among the
headstones? How many flutaphones long? (Terry)

#29 Baton- What could be more appropriate to use when you're
leading the Genealogist’s Parade in the immortal musical
“The Genealogy Man?”

29 Decoration- as a holder for broccoli sprouts on
Schelly’s float in the Genealogists Parade. (Schelly)

30 Prybar- To help remove your backside from the chair
you’ve been sitting in for hours as you stare at the screen of
the computer tracking an elusive ancestor.

#31 Physical therapy- When your hands and wrists begin to
ache from hours of typing, do the following exercise: hold the
flutaphone with both hands at either end and extend your
arms straight out, hands palm side down and flex your wrists
downward. after three repetitions, turn your hands palms
side up and still grasping the flutaphone, flex your wrists
back towards your chest. Repeat three times Then still
grasping the flutaphone bend your arms up and down over
head and then thrust them out and in vigorously in front of
MONITOR!!) Not only is this therapeutic but it is good
practice for...

#32 Stage Prop -in a “Syncopated Genealogist” dance
routine for Talent Night on your next genealogy cruise.
Combine the moves from the physical therapy exercise with a
nifty soft shoe dance!(see Janice, our Music Director for more

#33 Genealogy CD holder- Crazy glue a flutaphone firmly
to the top of your computer desk (vertically so the mouth
piece is at the top). The open center of your genealogy CDs
should fit over the mouthpiece, with some room to spare).

34. Genealogists’ Parade Prop-Musical Accompaniment
-to the song “15 Miles on the Erie canal” on Apple’s float.

35. Genealogists’ Parade Prop-Musical Accompaniment
- to the song “Amazing Grace” on Becky’s kinnexions float.

36. Genealogists’ Parade Prop-Musical Accompaniment
-to the polka dancers on Jasia’s Polish American float.

37. Genealogists’ Parade Prop-Agricultural- A corn stalk
whacker on Randy’s Genea-Musings flat.

38. Moose Defense- As the snow melts and old cemeteries
in more remote northern regions become accessible, use
caution when approaching those sites that might be in areas
where brush and trees are thick. Give several loud notes on
your flutaphone to warn off any mooses (or its that meece?)
in the area of your approach and hopefully you will scare
them away. If on the other hand you see a large moose
approaching with an amorous glint in its eye, use a different
sequence of notes. Quickly. If that fails, run.

39. Goose Defense- Use the flutaphone to ward off flocks of
Canadian geese that might be attracted by your attempts at
warding off the moose.

40. Bear Defense- If as you retreat from the cemetery
back to the safety of your car you should encounter a black
bear, try using the pointed mouthpiece end of your flutaphone
to tickle the bear while saying “kitchy kitch koo.” Then run.
(Warning: Should this be successful, remember to thoroughly
wash the mouthpiece before playing the flutaphone again. You
don’t know what sort of germs may lurk in a bear’s armpit.)

41. Surrender Flag- If there are hunters in the vicinity who
mistake your flutaphone notes for the mating calls of Canadian
geese and they start shooting in your direction, quickly tie
some length of cloth to the end of your flutaphone and wave
the flag vigorously while screaming: “I am a human being!
I am NOT a goose!” (Warning: Do not do this if you are
already being chased by an amorous moose and a non-ticklish
bear. In that instance, the smart thing to do is to just keep

42. Genealogy Record Retrieval- When you are certain that
the moose, bear, geese and hunters are gone, return to the
cemetery and use the pointed end of the flutaphone to
hygienically pick up whatever is left of the paperwork you
might have dropped and upon which the moose, bear,
geese, and hunters might have left signs of their extreme
displeasure in the encounter.

43.Unit of Measurement- Use your flutaphone to measure the
depth of the water in your basement caused by the Rain
Storms of `08. Confound future generations of family
historians by writing an entry in your daily journal:

"The neighborhood flooded and there was water 8
flutaphones deep downstairs.”

45. Family Reunion Picnic Bug Repellent- Use
flutaphones as citronella candle holders. Stick the sharp
end in the ground and balance the candles on the wide
mouth end.

46. Family Reunion Game Part Replacement- If for
some reason the goalstick thingy from the croquet set
should be missing, the flutaphone can be used as a
substitute! Again, sharp end into the ground!

47. Family Reunion Etiquette Instruction Device-
When two or more of your younger relatives reach for
the last piece of cornbread for themselves, rap their
wrists gently and firmly while commenting on the lack of
manners in their generation. Then, reverse the flutaphone
for the next step…

48. Family Reunion Food Fetcher- Use the flutaphone
to pull the plate with the last piece of cornbread closer to
you. If someone else tries to take the last piece, spear it
with the mouthpiece.(NOTE-Be sure you have cleaned
off the mouthpiece end if you have used it as a citronella
candle holder or as part of the croquet game.))


49. Family Reunion Picnic Fanfare Instrument-to
announce the end of the picnic, and to let everyone know
that you have at last finished the list of 49 Genealogical
Uses for a Flutaphone!!

((revised for the 83rd Carnival of Genealogy))


I was offline for a bit in August when Terry Thornton launched his
new blog site at "Terry Thornton's Hill Country H.O.G.S. Webpress"
which is the only explanation I can come up with as to why I haven't
mentioned the event here previously.

Terry is a familiar figure to many of us in the geneablogging community
from his "Hill Country of Monroe County, Mississippi" blog. It
had some great writing and articles about Terry's part of the
country and his memories of a lifetime there. I'm glad to see he's
back with new articles, and urge you to check it out if you haven't
done so already!

Written for Geneablogger's "Follow Friday"


Back when I was in high school and college I had this habit of keeping
3X5 index card files in little metal boxes. One was for mythology and
folklore, and the other was for history. Back then I was enthralled
by ancient, classical, and medieval history. I even copied the
dynastic family trees from history books onto blank graph paper.
I'm afraid many of the cards had little more than names and dates
on the top line because I'd create a card for historical figures or
battles to be filled in later and it was a slow process. I only made it
halfway through the alphabet so while I didn't have much information
recorded for Xenophon, if you wanted to know all about Artaxerxes, I was
your man.

Time went on, and it took me away from academia after college graduation.
The card files sat unused in a closet, and when this amazing machine called
a home computer eventually came along, the files were thrown out.

A few months back I gave up trying to figure out how to create a calendar or
a list of the date of death of my ancestors on PAF and then RTM4. And I also
wanted to do a timeline of all the events in the lives of my ancestors who
lived during the Indian wars in New England. So I went out and bought two
packs of 3x5 index cards.

They sat here on my desk for a few months.

Then the other day Elaine the computer was being fickle about starting
up. While I was waiting, I saw the packs of cards and decided it was a good
way to work on genealogy while waiting on Elaine. First I did the timeline,
using the printed copies of blogposts I've done for the past year. There's
still more to add to it from posts from earlier years but quite a bit of it is
already done.

Then I took out the binders with printouts of family groups and started
making cards for the death dates of my direct ancestors. As I went through
each one, I'd take a card, write the month and day on the top, then skip
a line, then write the year and the ancestor's name. If I came across another
ancestor who'd died in a different year with the same month and day, I
skipped a line, wrote down the year and then the name. So in other words,
if one person died on Jan 1 1800 and another died on Jan 1 1917, they are
both on the card with the header, "Jan 1". I've gotten pretty far along on
this now, too.

Not rocket science I know, but it passed the time and I enjoyed it. It gave me
time to consider some of the family relationships and to make note of family
groups that need fleshing out.

I asked this question already over on Facebook but I'll do it again here:
any other geneabloggers using old fashioned 3x5 cards in their research?

Friday, October 30, 2009


before voting closes for Family Tree Magazine's "Top 40 Genealogy
Blogs". You can cast your vote for the genealogy blogs you feel
deserve the honor here. footnoteMaven has thoughtfully provided
a list of links to each of the nominees and you can use that to help
make a decision if need be.

And if you should decide to vote for "West in New England" in
the Personal/Family category, I thank you.

And thanks once more to those whose votes got me into this next
stage of the competition!


John Stevens’ involvement in the struggle between Thomas Chandler and Job Tyler began in the fall of 1667 and he had difficulties right from the start: “Complaint of John Stevens: that when he attached cattle taken by execution from Thomas Chandler and in the possession of Col. Crowne, the latter abused him, saying that he would make him an example for all the constables in New England for attaching cattle in the highway, etc. One Post of Oborne drove them away, etc. John Stevens, constable, aged about twenty-eight years, deposed that after he attached the cattle of Job Tyler and recovered them, they came to a stand. Post, son-in-law of Tyler, who was with Col. Crowne, asked him why he did not attach the cattle when they were in the yard, etc.” (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol 3 Nov 1667 p470) Now this Col. Crowne had been chosen by Job Tyler as one of the three arbitrators of the dispute with Chandler, so his action here was as a supporter of Tyler. But there’s nothing further in the entry about the particulars of this latest incident. Those came the following spring in March, 1668: "Job Tyler v. Thomas Chandler. Review. Special verdict found: that there was a bond of arbitration wherein both agreed to choose two men, and if they did not agree then a third was to be chosen; that two of the men did agree but the third did not; if two agreed and the agreement ended the case, they found for defendant, if not, for plaintiff. Court gave judgment for defendant.* *Writ, dated Mar. 16, 1667-8, signed by Robert Lord, for the court, and served by John Fry, constable of Andover. George Abbut, sr., surety on bond. Copy of writ, dated 27 : 3 : 1667, and copy of Ipswich court record, dated Sept. 24, 1667, made Oct. 15, 1667, by Robert Lord, cleric. Copy of award of the arbitrators, Edward Denison and Isaac Johnson, copy of letter from Joseph Aldregh, copy of agreement between plaintiff and defendant, and copy of depositions of John Chandler and William Cleaves, made Mar. 30, 1668, by Robert Lord, cleric. Richard Post of Woburn, aged about forty years, deposed that the marshal general called at his house, 24 : 6 : 1667, to have him go to Andiver to levy the execution. Chandler said that his land was made over to Mr. Brown of Salem. The day following, the marshal being obliged to return home on account of the council sitting, gave deponent an order to take the oxen and cows and deliver them to Job Tiler, which he did. But the marshal declared to Chandler before Col. Crowne that the cattle must go to Roxbury upon Chandler's charge before being delivered to Tiler. Then they all went homeward as far as Shawshin river and deponent was left with the cattle. When Col. Crowne returned, he said that he was to take the cattle, and when they reached Samuel Blanchard's house, Chandler and one Stevens, constable, came running after them and took the cattle by force, notwithstanding the fact that he read his deputation publicly to them, etc. William Crowne, aged about fifty years, deposed. Sworn, 11:8: 1667, before Simon Willard. William Park testified that he went with Job Tiller to John Chandler's house upon Mar. 1, 1665, etc. Joseph Alderegh, aged about thirty-two years, testified that Chandler came to him with the summons on Sept. 21 or 22, 1667, as "certanly as I can recken wth out an Almanake," and told said Chandler that Job Tiler did not live there then, for deponent had asked him to remove from his house because he needed the room which he used for corn. "I tould Chandeler he had noe famyly heere nor certaine place of aboade but lay some tyme at one, some tymes an other," but thought he had gone to Roxbury to his wife, etc. Sworn, 27 : 1 : 1668, before Elea. Lusher, assistant. 

(Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol 4 Mar 1668 p1-2) 

 I have to admit I was a bit puzzled by this at first. It appears that the cattle were originally Job Tyler’s taken as surety for the court case by Thomas Chandler. I think they were then returned to Tyler, but he again lost his case in court and were once more supposed to be given to Chandler, which is when the confrontation took place between John Stevens and Col Crowne. I’m also puzzled as to why the marshal general wanted the livestock driven down to Roxbury. Does “Chandler’s charge” mean at his expense? And just what was this marshal general’s name and how had he become involved in this mess? Perhaps this was some circuitous form of revenge on Chandler by some enemies? Lastly, Joseph Alderegh(Aldridge?) stately made me grin when I first read it. A proto-Yankee farmer with a need for an almanac! This last incident seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, as I’ll discuss in the final post of this series.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The dispute between Thomas Chandler and Job Tyler would run its course over
a period of ten years. In 1665 the judgment was made against Job Tyler that he
had to pay 6 pounds and tack the placard on the meetinghouse with his apologies
for slandering Thomas Chandler. I'd thought that was the end of the case until
this past weekend when I found more court records.

Apparently Tyler didn't pay the 6 pounds and that led to Thomas Chandler's
next action in September of 1668 in the Essex County courts:

"Tho. Chandlour v. Job Tyler. Debt. Plaintiff made oath that he left a summons
at the house of John Alldridge, where defendant had lived seven weeks. Verdict for

Writ: Ens. Thomas Chandler v. Job Tylar; debt; dated 27 :3 : 1667; signed by
Simon Bradstreete, for the court; and served by John Stavens, constable of Andover,
by attachment of two oxen, two cows and five acres of land of defendant.

Copy of Salem court record of 28 :9 :1665, concerning the same parties, made
by Hillyard Veren,§ cleric.

Thomas Chandler's bill of cost, for going to Quinopeg about 140 miles from
Andover out and in to serve warrant, Hi., etc., total, 4li. 6s. 4d.

Agreement, dated Oct. 29, 1665, between Thomas Chander of Andover and
Job Tiler of Roxbury, to leave the settlement of their differences to arbitration,
the former choosing Worshipful Mr. Bradstreet of Andover and the latter
Col. Crone; in case Mr. Bradstreet refused to serve, Mr. Edward Dennison
of Roxbury was to be chosen, with Capt. Johnson of Roxbury as third man, etc.
Wit: Phillip Curtis and Joshua Lamb, who made oath before Anthony Stoddard,

Letter dated Mendon, Sept. 23, 1667, signed by Joseph Aldregh, stating that he
did not know where to find Tyler and that he had not been at his house.

Job Tyler testified that he never saw the warrant which Thomas Chandler sent
him. Sworn, 21 : 7 :1667, before Richard Parker,f commissioner.

William Cleaves, aged about thirty-two years, deposed that he went with his
brother Thomas Chandler and heard the latter tell Tyler to pay the debt to
John Chandler, etc. Sworn in Boston, Sept. 21, 1667, before Edward Tyng,

John Chandler, aged about thirty-three years, deposed that he went with his
brother Thomas Chandler, etc. Also that he had never received the money.
Sworn in Boston, Sept. 21, 1667, before Edward Tyng, commissioner.

Award of the arbitrators, Edward Denisonf and Isaac Johnson,f dated Jan. 26,
1665, who ordered that Job Tiler should nail up or fasten upon the posts in
Andevour and Roxbury meeting houses in a plain legible hand, there to remain
fourteen days. Also that whereas no fine can be sufficient for the reparation
of a man's name, and considering Job's poverty and necessities, they judge that
he should pay the costs, 6li.; and for saying that Chandler was a base, lying,
cheating knave and had gotten his estate by cheating, and had cheated him out of 100li.,
he was to make public acknowledgment. Sworn by the arbitrators, 17 :7 :1667, before
Anthony Stoddard, commissioner (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of
Essex County,
Massachusetts Vol II Vol 3 sept 1667 pp442-443)

So now one of my other ancestors, John Stevens, was about to become involved in
this feud and in a way one might not expect in Puritan New England.

There was about to be a jurisdictional dispute.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Awhile back I posted "My Ancestor the Knave?" which contained Sara Loring
Bailey's account of an incident involving my ancestor Thomas Chandler, his
apprentice Hopestill Tyler, and Job Tyler, Hopestill's father. In brief, Job
Tyler had apprenticed his son to Chandler to learn the blacksmith's trade, then
for some reason wanted to nullify the contract. Tyler stole the documents and destroyed
them, but then Chandler sued and won back his apprentice. A series of legal battles
between Tyler and the Chandlers, culminating in a ruling ordering Tyler to publicly
apologize for slandering Chandler's good name.

Recently I found the court record transcriptions of that first case as well for several of
the subsequent ones, all of which I will post here to my blog. Here's the first case
file. Notice the description of how the Tylers stole the indenturement papers:

"June 1662

Thomas Chandler v. Job Tyler. For taking away his apprentice Hope Tyler, and detaining
him out of his service. Verdict for plaintiff, the boy to be restored to his master.J

Writ, dated June 15, 1662, signed by Daniel Denison, for the court, and served by Robert
Lord, marshal of Ipswich, by attachment of a calf and six swine of defendant.

Search warrant, dated June 23, 1662, issued by Daniel Deniison, to the constables of
Ipswich or Wenham, for the apprehension of " Hope Tiler a youth of about 13 yeares
of age, who is run away from his Mr Thomas Chandler of Andouer who as I am
informed is entertained by Richard Coy," and to bring him to the court at Salem, if
sitting, or before said Denison to be proceeded with according to law. Theophilus Wilson, constable of Ipswich, on June 23, 1662, appointed Robert Lord, sr., his deputy.

Thomas Chandler's bill of charges, 31i. 7s.

Nathan Parker, aged about forty years, testified that about four years since, Job Tiler and
Thomas Chandler desired deponent to make a writing to bind Hope Tiler, son of Job,
apprentice to Thomas Chandler, which he did according to his best skill. This writing,
Mr. Bradstreet afterward saw and perused and adjudged it to be good and firm. The
term of years mentioned was nine years and a half and said Chandler was to teach him
the trade of a blacksmith, to read the Bible and to write so far as to be able to keep a book
so as to serve his turn or to keep a book for his trade, and to allow him meat, drink,
lodging and clothes. Deponent was to keep said writing safely, which he did for about three years, and Job Tiler often asked deponent to let him have it, but he refused, because it was agreed by both parties that deponent should keep it. Finally Moses Tiler
came with John
Godfrey to deponent's house, as his maid servant and children told him,
when deponent,
his wife and his maid were not in the house, and sent the elder of the
children out of doors.
As the younger child told deponent when he returned, they took
the writing down, which
he had stuck up between the joists and the boards of the
chamber, and the child thought
they burned it in the fire. And when deponent returned,
he feared the writing was lost,
because he certainly knew it to have been there when he
went out of the house about an
hour or two before, as he had taken it from his pocket
when he came from Mr. Bradstreete's.
He had also warned his children not to meddle
with it, which he verily believed they could
not, for he himself was forced to stand up
in a chair to raise up the board to put it under. The
elder boy before he was sent out of
doors by said Moses, saw said Tiler and Godfrey look
up to the place where the writing
stuck and he told them that they must not meddle with the
writing for their father had charged them not to do so. Deponent had never seen the writing since, and asking said
Tiler and Godfrey for it, they did not deny that they had taken it
down, but said they
did not have it and did not know where it was, etc. Sworn, June 16, 1662,
Daniel Denison.

Georg Abbott, aged about fifty years, deposed. Sworn in court.

Wiliam Balard, aged about forty-five years, deposed that about six weeks since, the house
of Job Tyler being burned, he gave said Tyler's wife leave to come with her family for a t
ime and live at his house. Her husband at that time was not at home. She accordingly did
so and there remained to this date.

John Godfre deposed that he saw Moses Tyler, Goodwife Tyler being there also, take down
the indenture in Nathan Parker's house. Deponent went with them to their farm, and Moses
said to him, " Godfre I haue got my Brothers indentuers and nowe lat Chandler don what
he can wee will take away hope frome him and that night I see the indentuer by moes
burned in the sight of his father and then he said now father you may take away hop when
you will from Chandler and lat him proue a righting if he can and thay gratly Tryemped."
Sworn in court."- (Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County,
Vol II pp404-405)

Job Tyler seems to have been an argumentative man. He would be involved in more
legal disputes and ironically enough many of them were with the same John Godfrey
who been involved in getting the papers from Mr. Parker's house. That would culminate
during the Witch Trials some 25 years later.

And as we'll see, there would also be more court appearances in the ongoing dispute
with Thomas Chandler.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


It appears Elaine my computer may be heading for a crash. One of my
younger coworkers who is wise in the ways of these matters says
it sounds like the motherboard. I shall not speak of that which I
said at that news. I'd have to wash my mouth out with soap.

So I've been busily backing up files onto my flashdrive, and last
night I did my monthly back up of this blog to it's mirror over
on Wordpress. Other than that, not much else I can do but hunker down
and hope Elaine holds out as long as possible.

Two quick reminders just in case she crashes sooner rather than later :

Don't forget to post your entry into the "Great American Local Poem " meme.
You still have a month before the Nov 22 deadline.

They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Say, did you vote for
the 40 Best Genealogy Blogs yet over at FamilyTree?

OK, meanwhile, I keep chugging along for as long as Elaine holds up!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


That's what I have.


A lot of it.

I mean that in a good way. I'm incredibly lucky to have found so much information
online about my New England ancestors, especially this past year. And I keep finding more!
I bookmark websites, copy documents and excerpts, then write about what I've found and
publish it here to the blog and finally add it to my genealogy programs. At times I tell myself
I need to stop looking and analyze what I already have; other times I remind myself that I'm
61 years old and I don't have forever so I need to find everything I can now while I still can.
And there's so much "stuff" out there I want to share with my family and friends.

I guess I'll keep on going the way I have been for now. It's a good problem to have though!


I've found the online version of one of the maps in Elinor Abbot's book
about Andover. It's part of the University of Virginia's website on the
Salem Witch trials, but it's very useful to anyone tracing family who lived in
Andover at that period. I recommend using the frame version and then
enlarging it to the large size. You can zoom in one click on the map and
see the names on the map and consult the list in the left hand frame for the
names of which family members lived in which houses.

Although this map shows Andover in 1692, nearly fifty years after the founding
of the town, it illustrates Ms. Abbot's point of how the town spread out from
it's center. It also shows how some of my ancestors who came from the same
part of England(mainly the southwestern area of England) settled to the south
end of town while my other ancestor Richard Barker, who came from elsewhere
in England, settled to the north. In fact if you look on the map across Merrimack
River from the Shawshin Fields, you see the house of Robert Swan in the town of
Haverhill. Eventually my ancestor Jonathan Barker would marry Nancy Swan.

Check out some of the other links from the main page of the website for images of
documents from the witchtrials!


The Old Oaken Bucket
by Samuel Woodworth

How dear to this heart are the scenes of my childhood,
When fond recollections present them to view!
The orchard, the meadow, the deep-tangled wild wood,
And every loved spot which my infancy knew;
The wide-spreading pond, and the mill which stood by it,
The bridge and the rock where the cataract fell;
The cot of my father, the dairy house nigh it,
And e'en the rude bucket which hung in the well;
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-cover'd bucket, which hung in the well.

That moss-cover'd vessel I hail as a treasure;
For often, at noon, when return'd from the field,
I found it the source of an exquisite pleasure,
The purest and sweetest that Nature can yield.
How ardent I seized it, with hands that were glowing!
And quick to the white-pebbled bottom it fell;
Then soon, with the emblem of truth overflowing,
And dripping with coolness, it rose from the well;
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-cover'd bucket arose from the well.

How sweet from the green mossy brim to receive it,
As poised on the curb it inclined to my lips !
Not a full blushing goblet could tempt me to leave it,
Though fill'd with the nectar that Jupiter sips.
And now, far removed from the loved situation,
The tear of regret will intrusively swell,
As fancy reverts to my father's plantation,
And sighs for the bucket which hangs in the well;
The old oaken bucket, the iron-bound bucket,
The moss-cover'd bucket, which hangs in the well.

Samuel Woodworth was born in Scituate Massachusetts in 1784
and the house and well he wrote about in the poem are still
standing and maintained by the Scituate Historical Society.
The town is about 10 miles from Abington where I live and I've
occasionally driven by the homestead. You can read more about it
at the SHS website here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


In her book Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language and Social Identity in
early Colonial Andover Massachusetts, distant cousin Elinor Abbot includes an image and
a transcription of a document known as the Faulkner List, which is a list of men who
were "free houlders" in Andover. These were colonists who were not servants and could
own land and build an estate for their heirs to inherit. I'm guessing that the term might be a
shortening of "free landholder".

I wrote a short post back in January of this year about the terms "Covenant" and "Freeman".
In her transcription of the Faulkner List Ms Abbot italicized the names of those men who
were the "Covenanters", the original founders of Andover. Among the names is that of
Edward Faulkner who was the first Andover town clerk and whose handwriting is believed
to be that on the list. I've added asterisks after the names of those men who are my

" house
The order of all the freed ^ holders
in order as they came to town:

Mr. Bradstreet
John Osgood
Joseph Parker
Richard Barker*
John Stevens*
Nicholas Holt*
Benjamin Woodbridge
John Fry
Edmond Faulkner
Robert Barnard
Daniel Poor*
Nathan Parker
Henry Jaques
John Aslett (or Aslebe)
Richard Blacke(Black)
William Ballard*
John Lovejoy*
Thomas Poore
George Abbott*
John Russe
Andrew Allen
Andrew Foster
Thomas Chandler*"

At some point the "house" was inserted to reflect possibly a change in how the right to vote
was established.

You might recognize some of my ancestor's names from previous posts. You'll be seeing
more about them as I explore the relations between the families that continued in some
cases from Andover, Massachusetts up into Oxford County, Maine.

Abbot, Elinor, Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language, and
Social Identity in Early Colonial Andover, Massachusetts.
(Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2007) pp20-21

Monday, October 19, 2009


Back when I first joined Facebook the first two cousins I met there were Zac
Anderson and Farrell Stewart. They are both descended from Leonidas West,
the younger brother of my ancestor Jonathan Phelps West. I received word
today from Zac that Farrell had passed away at home last Wednesday, Oct 14th.

Farrell was already interested in genealogy and had been one of the founders
of the Yellowstone Genealogy Forum . During the brief time I knew her
I got the chance to send her some of the things I'd found about our shared
Ames ancestry. She in turn shared her knowledge of the Keller line with Zac,
(Leonidas West had married Valora Abbott. Their daughter Clarinda Britton West
married Frank L. Keller from whom Zac and Farrell are descended.) and had
years ago corresponded with my Aunt Dorothy about family genealogy.

Her obituary can be read here at the Billings Gazette website.

She was a kind and gracious lady and my condolences go out to her children
and grandchildren.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Back earlier this year when I was researching accounts of my ancestors' experiences
in the New England Indian wars I came across an interesting story about some of
my Sawyer relatives. It concerned, of all things, a legend about a disappearing
stone! I bookmarked it to come back to later, or so I thought, because when I
was ready to post about it here I found I'd not saved the site location.

I began googling for the story once more but had no luck. Periodically
I'd renew the search but failed and I'd finally almost come to believe that the
story about a disappearing stone had disappeared itself! But tonight I finally
got lucky!

So here's a story of brothers John and Benjamin Sawyer, my fellow descendants
from Thomas Sawyer and Mary(Marie) Prescott:

"John was a builder, and when he was putting up a house for Charles Buck asked
Benjamin to help him find a big flat stone for the hearth, probably. They found a
stone which by splitting would serve, but left it for another that served without
splitting. Soon afterward, when another such stone was needed for another new
house. John searched for the stone and to his surprise it had disappeared.
Benjamin was sure he could find it, but he also failed in his search. Soon the
stone reappeared, however, in the very spot where it had been first discovered.
The superstitious explained the mystery of the stone that came and went, and the
public came to believe that the stone marked hidden treasure. It was supposed
that the ghostly guards who had to watch over the treasure got tired of their job
occasionally and hid away the stone. At any rate, enough credence was given to
the story of enchantment to cause many parties to dig for the fabled treasure,
and the stories of their experiences add an interesting chapter to the town history."

- Cutter, William Richard, ed. Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical
and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County,
Massachusetts, Vol3 (New York, New York, Lewis Historical Publishing Co.
1908) p.1377

Benjamin Sawyer lived from 1762 to 1843 and this is the only mention I've
found anywhere of hidden treasure and a magical disappearing stone in Reading.
Middlesex, Ma. It is strongly reminiscent of the folktales of England, I think.

If you're up around Reading some day, look for a stone suddenly appearing in
a field and you might find some buried treasure!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I can't believe I hadn't posted this already. Great news from George
Geder on the fate of the Lake Panasoffkee Cemetery!

The Sumter County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously
against relocating the old cemetery which holds the remains
of African Americans and Native Americans. It is now designated
an historical site.

George provided a link to a story with more information.

A happy outcome, and thank you, George, for bringing this situation
to the attention of the geneablogging community!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The deadline for the next edition of the Carnival of Genealogy is about 45 minutes
away and I'm still trying to come up with a piece on "My Favorite Genealogy
Society." The reason it's been so difficult is that I've been a member of only one society,
the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and I haven't renewed my membership
since it expired last summer. As much as I enjoy its website and its publications, I can't
justify the cost of yearly membership when I might only visit the NEHGS building
once or twice a year. This might horrify some of my geneablogging friends but I've
learned more about my family from Google Books than I have from the NEGHS.

The closest local genealogical society is the South Shore Genealogical Society
which meets two towns over in Hanover on the second Saturday of the month from
September to June. Unfortunately the meetings are at 1:30pm in the afternoon
when I'm at work in the bookstore.

I'd like to have the time and financial stability to be an active contributing member
of a genealogical society but the harsh reality is that I work retail. I work on Saturdays
and many nights when I get out of work I just want to go home and relax. Perhaps
in another five years when I reach full retirement age I'll be able to take an active
part in a society. I strongly suspect that I am not alone in having to look at it this way.

Until then, I'll be making the occasional visit to the NEHGS.


The transcriptions for the Essex County court session in Ipswich, Ma for Sept 13th,
1649 include the following tidbits:

"Thomas Cooke to be whipped or fined for his abuse of the ministry and magistrates,
and going into the woods at unseasonable time of night, carrying fire and liquors
with him. Wit: Richard Lowle and Danyell Thirston."

The brief description of the case against Thomas Cooke give the particulars
as to the "abuse of the ministry" :

"Thomas Cooke presented for saying Mr. Norton taught what was false, and also for
reproaching the ordinance of baptism, saying that if he had children he would not
have them so played the fools withal. Wit: Mr. Bartholomew and Joseph Medcalf.
Willm. Varney bound for him."

Infant baptisms were a hotly debated topic in Puritan New England and given the
lack of tolerance for opposing religious beliefs at the time the penalty could have been
much worse. More light is shed on the rest of the charges against Thomas Cooke by
by the next case record:

"Joseph Fowlar, Tho. Scott, John Kemball and Thomas Kemball admonished [for going
into the woods at an unseasonable time of the night, and carrying fire and liquor with them.
— Waste Book.]"

The details?

"Joseph Fowler, Thomas Cook, Thomas Scott and two of the sons of Richard Kimball
presented for going into the woods, shouting and singing, taking fire and liquors with
them, all being at unseasonable time in the night, and occasioning their wives and
some others to go out and search therein. Wit: Nathaniel S_______ and Danyell

Now I'm a descendant of Thomas Kimball through his daughter Priscilla who married my
8x grear grandfather John Eames(Ames) so this of course attracted my attention. I thought
a bit over the incident these past few days, toying with the idea that perhaps Thomas Cook
had been holding meetings of those who shared his religious beliefs and concealing them
under the disguise of some drinking party in the woods. But then I had a better thought:

Sometimes, to quote a worn cliche, it is what it is!

So I'm going to go with the simple explanation on this one: Thomas Cook, the Kimball
brothers and the others snuck out in the woods, built a campfire and passed a jug around
until their wives tracked them down and herded them back to hearth and home.

It might not have great historical significance but the image in my mind of chastened
husbands makes me chuckle!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Recently I've posted two local poems:

"Ipswich Town" by James Appleton Morgan


"Another 'Tea Rebellion' " by Holman Day.

In the mid to late 19th century every region of America boasted of one or
more poets whose works reflected local history and folklore. Chances are that our
had read some of those poems during the course of their lives.

So, my challenge to my readers is this:

1. Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region one of
your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a legend, a
person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local animal.

2. Post the poem to your blog (remembering to cite the source where you found it.)

3. Did it inspire you to research the subject of the poem and how it relates to your

4.Submit your post's link here to me by November 22nd and I'll publish all the entries
on Thanksgiving Day!

So there you have it. There's over a month until the deadline so there's plenty of time
for a Google search for poems. I'm looking forward to a great selection of American

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I'm in one of those occasional periods when I've run out of "juice" so I'm
being lazy today as far as genealogy goes. I've had a pretty busy week
posting and looking back I have a few thoughts I'd meant to include in a few
posts but forgot for one reason or another.

"Ipswich Town" -I remember when I was a kid that the Boston Globe had a
page in the back of their Sunday Magazine supplement with poetry and quotations.
I read "The Face on the Barroom Floor" there. I'm not sure when they stopped
running that page, but seeing poems like "Ipswich Town" reminded me of it.

"Where The Sun Don't Shine" and "Grave Concerns in Sumter County, Florida"-
These sort of stories just infuriate me. It's bad enough we have punks with so little
decency that they damage or destroy gravestones for fun. But perhaps they draw
inspiration by the way cemeteries are allowed to fall into disrepair and become
overgrown with weeds, or ticketed to be relocated in the name of progress. After
all, it's only dead bodies, right? What difference does it make? (I'm being sarcastic

Finally, "Another 'Tea Rebellion' " brought back a memory of my maternal grandmother
Aggie who died 52 years ago today. It wasn't just Yankees who liked to drink their
tea off a saucer. Irish Catholic Aggie did too, and also liked to eat peas off a knife!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings
and here's this week's challenge:

For today's SNGF, if you choose to participate (cue the Mission Impossible music!),

1) Tell us about one (or more) "Satisfying Genealogy Moments" from your family
history and genealogy research. What was it, and how did it make you feel? You
can make a Top Ten list if you want to!

2) Write your own blog post, or make a comment on this post, or make a comment
on Facebook, and tell us about your "moment in time."

So here's mine

1) This has to be when Aunt Dot gave me the West Family Bible last year. The only
thing that could ever top it would be finally breaking down the John Cutter West
brickwall or finding evidence of my Mom's family in Ireland.

2) The visit to Maine this year where I attended the Ellingwood Family Reunion
and especially visiting the graves of John Cutter West, Asa and Florilla Ellingwood,
and James Dunham and Sally Houghton.

3) Discovering online images of the Revolutionary War Pension Request files for
nine. ancestors.

4) Making contact with fellow Barker descendants Nancy Downey and Howard
Kaeplin who helped fill in some blanks in my Barker research.

5) Discovering online transcriptions of correspondence between the Massachusetts
Bay Colony Council and ancestor Simon Willard.

6) Discovering online transcriptions of correspondence between the Massachusetts
Bay Colony Council and ancestor Jeremiah Swain.

7) Discovering online transcriptions of Essex County Quarterly Court case records
involving many of my ancestors who lived in Essex County.

Visiting those gravesites, seeing that family bible and those records, all brought home to
me how long my family has been here in New England. It's given me a greater interest
and appreciation for it's history.

By the way, four of these have happened this year so it's been a very good year for me!

Friday, October 09, 2009


Here's another regional New England poem from the early 20th century.
This is from "Pine Tree Ballads" by Holman Day:


When Mis' Augusty Nichols joined the Tufts
Minerva Club,
She polished up on manners and she then com-
menced to rub
At the hide of Mister Nichols who, while not
exactly rude,
Was hardly calculated for a howling sort of
Now when Augusty Nichols got to see how
style was run,
You bet she went for Nichols and she dressed
him down like fun;
And the thing in all his actions that she couldn't
bear to see
Was to have him fill his saucer and go whoof-
ling up his tea.

After more'n a month of stewing;—making
mis'able his life,
She taught him not to shovel all his vittles
with his knife.
And after more'n a volume of pretty spicy talk
She got him in the hang of eating pie with
just his fork.
She trained him so's he didn't slop the vittles
round his plate,
She plagued him till he wouldn't sit in shirt-
sleeves when he ate,
And then she tried her Waterloo, with faith in
high degree
That she could revolutionize his way of drink-
ing tea.

He drank it as his father always quaffed the
cheering cup,
He poured it in his saucer, raised the brimming
puddle up
And gathered in the liquid with a loud re-
sounding " Swoof "
That now at last inspired Mrs. Nichols' fierce
But here was where the victim—ah, here was
where the worm
Arose and fairly scared her by the vigor of his

—Sat down his steaming saucer and with a
dangerous light
A-gleaming in his visage, he upbore a Yan-
kee's right.
From the days of Boston's party up to now I
think you'll see
That a Yankee's independent when you bother
with his tea.

" Consarn your schoolmarm notions," thun-
dered Mrs. Nichols' spouse,
" You've kept a'dingin' at me till I'm meechin
round the house.
I've swallered that and t'other for I didn't like
to row
But ye ain't a-going to boss me in the thing
ye've tackled now.
I'm durned if I'll be scalded all the time I'm
being stung
So I'll cool my tea, Mis' Nichols, while ye jab
me with your tongue."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * *
There are rights ye cannot smother, tyrants,
whoso'er ye be,
And the good, New England Yankee 's mighty
touchy, sir, on tea.

Day, Holman Pine Tree Ballads : Rhymed Stories of Unplaned Human Natur'
Up In Maine (Boston, Ma., Small , Maynard & Co 1902) pp225-227

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I emailed my concern about the planned movement of the Lake
Panasoffkee Cemetery to an official with the Sumter County
government and received a one line reply, to whit:

"The living are a higher priority and thank you for your input"

I'm hoping that if enough of us send emails to the County
Commission and comment on the story in the Fort Sumter
newspaper we might make them rethink that.

You can find email addresses for the county officials at their
website here.

You can comment on the story here at the Sumter County Times
website here.

Please do it as quickly as you can. If they've already outlined
the unmarked graves with orange paint,work is probably
going to start soon.

Thank you.


George Geder has alerted the genealogical community about another disturbing
case of a cemetery being sacrificed in the name of "progress". The Lake
Panasoffkee Cemetery in Sumter County, Florida is to be moved even though
the developer in the original land deal has decided to build their project in
Georgia instead.

Now the cemetery is a small one with what is now believed to be 50 graves of
African Americans and Seminole Indians. According to an article you can read
here from the Sumter County Times, County Admistrator Bradley Arnold
"said the gravesite is a family cemetery. When asked what criteria were used to
establish Panasoffkee as a “family cemetery,” Arnold stated “the county holds
title to the property.”

The reason for the move is "The cemetery is close to being in the middle of an
industrial area that is encroaching on the present site. We are moving it.”
The Sumter County Historical Society and relatives and descendants of those
buried at the Lake Panasoffkee site have protested the move but the County
seems determined to go ahead with it anyway.

A quick search of Wikipedia revealed that Sumter County is in a mainly rural
area of Florida that has experienced an upsurge recently due, ironically, to the
arrival of a rather large senior citizen retirement community.

It seems to be a trend lately that sites such as these are being sacrificed in the
name of progress, that a people's heritage and local history mean nothing compared
to increasing the tax revenues in town and county coffers. Recently there is
the case of an Indian mound in Oxford, Alabama being used to provide landfill
for the construction of a Sam's Club. According to the Mayor of Oxford:
"We want to take care of people's remains," Smith said. "That can be moved.
What it's going to be is more prettier than it is today."

Right. A Sam's Club is a "more prettier" thing.

The trouble is, many of these sites are cemeteries of Indians and African Americans
who in earlier times either were not allowed to be buried in town or church cemeteries
or who preferred to be buried on ancestral lands according to their cultures' rites and
beliefs. Often they were buried in out of the way places to prevent desecration.

And now ironically the land they were buried in has become valuable and they face
removal to another place.

As genealogists and family historians, we should do what we can to help the Sumter
County Historical Society convince the County Commission that there are some things
more valuable than progress. The website for the Sumter County Government is here
and there are email addresses for Mr. Arnold and the County Commissioners. You
can also make comments to the story at the Sumter County Times website as well as
vote on a poll on the subject. Perhaps some of the other Southern state historical and
genealogical societies can help the Sumter County Historical Society get the word out
to the citizenry?

Folks, you might think it's no big deal. But as time goes on, more and more of us are
going to be facing this sort of situation as businesses look to expand and local
governments look for ways to attract tax revenue.

We need to start taking a stand now before it's our families whose graves are being


I've added some books to my Google books library. Of course they are
all old out of print 19th century local history and family genealogy books,
and the ones I added last night include histories of Dracut, Groton, Harvard,
Ipswich and Lancaster.

The Early Records of Lancaster, Massachsetts 1643-1725 is really a find. My
ancestor Ralph Houghton and his sons and grandsons served as Town Clerk
and there are many mentions of the Houghtons and others from families
I'm descended from. Here's a break down of names followed by the number of
pages they appear on:

Houghton 100
Willard 99
Prescott 85
Sawyer 73

While I've found the information on the early settlers and history of a town to be
fairly accurate, a little caution is advised especially with the sections dealing
with the family or town flourishing at the time the book was being written.
Some of them have turned out to be "puffpieces".

What books are in your Google books library?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Hildreth Cemetery in Lowell here in Massachusetts has been vandalized.
You can read about it here from the Boston Globe.

I understand the kids call these events "kicking parties".

I think they themselves need a few good swift kicks administered to them from
parents, police, and the descendants of the deceased whose graves
they desecrated.

Monday, October 05, 2009


Family Tree Magazine is running a contest to select the Top 40 Genealogy
Blogs and the nominations were released today. Over 130 bloggers
are competing in ten different categories and voting is going to be tough
because there are so many fine writers on the ballot.

You can vote as often as you like here and you'll notice that you
can vote for more than one choice in eight out of the ten categories.

And of you aren't familiar with all the nominated blogs, you'll find a
very helpful list of all the nominees and links to them at footnoteMaven's
blog. (She's a nominee herself, by the way!)

I'm honored (and astounded) to say that West in New England has been nominated
in the Personal/Family Category. Thanks to all my readers for your support.
I greatly appreciate it!

Congratulations to all the nominees!


The latest CoG is up over at Schelly Talalay Dardashti's Tracing the Tribe:
The Jewish Genealogy Blog
. This time around the assignment was to write
an obituary for your blog should it suddenly die and my contribution was
posted here. There' s some inventive takes on the subject so visit Shelly's
blog and the follow the links to some very enjoyable reading!

Kathryn Doyle of the California Genealogical Society and Library blog is hosting
the next Carnival of Genealogy which will be the 82nd and which will focus on
the following topic:

What's your favorite genealogical society?
Do you belong to a society?
Tell us why! Or if not, why not?

The deadline for submissions is Oct 15th and you can submit your
blog post here.

Come on and join us in the CoG!

Sunday, October 04, 2009


Sometimes when I'm researching my ancestors on GoogleBooks
I run across some of the poetry that was popular in the 19th
century. There were quite a few local New England poets who
are largely unknown today. One of them is James Appleton
Morgan, whose poem Ipswich Town I found in the Essex
Antiquarian and enjoyed how he used the local history and
folklore in writing it:



I love to think of old Ipswich town,—
Old Ipswich town in the east countree,—
Whence on the tide you can float down
Through long salt grass to the wailing sea
Where the Mayflower drifted off the bar,
Seaworn and weary, long years ago,
And dared not enter, but sailed away
Till she landed her boat in Plymouth bay

I love to think of old Ipswich town,
Where Whitefield preached in the church on the
Driving out the devil until he leaped down
From the steeple's top, where they show you still,
Imbedded deep in the solid rock,
The indelible print of his cloven hoof,
And tell you the devil has never shown
Face or hoof since that day in the honest town

I love to think of old Ipswich town,
Where they shut up the witches until the day
When they should be roasted so thoroughly brown
In Salem village twelve miles away.
They've moved it off for a stable now,
But there are the holes where the stout jail stood,
And at night, they say, that over the holes
You can see the ghost of Goody Coles

I love to think of old Ipswich town,
That house to your right a rod or more,
Where the stern old elm trees seem to frown
If you peer too hard through the open door,
Sheltered the regicide judges three,
When the royal sheriffs were after them,
And a queer old villager once I met
Who says in the cellar they're living yet.

I love to think of old Ipswich town,
Harry Main, you have heard the tale, lived there,
He blasphemed God so they put him down
With an iron shovel at Ipswich bar.
They chained him there for a thousand years,
As the sea rolls up to shovel it back;
So when the sea cries the goodwives say,
"Harry Main growls at his work today."

I love to think of old Ipswich town;
There's a graveyard upon the old High street,
Where generations are looking down
On the one that is toiling at their feet;
Where the stones stand shoulder to shoulder like
Drawn up to receive a cavalry charge.
And graves have been dug in graves till the sod
Is the mound of good men gone to God.

I love to think of old Ipswich town,—
Old Ipswich town in the east countree,—
Whence on the tide you can float down
Through the long salt grass to the wailing sea,
And lie all day on the glassy beach,
And learn the lesson the green waves teach,
Till at sunset, from surf and seaweed brown,
You are pulling back to Ipswich town.

Friday, October 02, 2009


So was the Edward Berry who married Beatrice the widower of Elizabeth

If my theory that Elizabeth's death occurred earlier that 1677 is correct, it's
certainly possible. It wasn't uncommon in that period for a man to remarry
quickly after the death of a wife. I checked the "Early Vital Records of
Massachusetts" website and couldn't find records for either marriage
or the deaths of all three people. I also googled for Berry under the
three first names "Edward", "Edmund", and "Edmond" since both men
are referred to with all three names in the court records. I found genealogy
and family history web site entries for each but nothing to indicate they
were really the same man

I did, however, find this:

"Edward Berry married Beatrice (Burt), who married, first, William Cantlebury of Salem; second, Francis Plumer of Newbury Nov. 29, 1665; he died Jan. 17, 1672-3 ; and she married, third, Edward Berry; they lived in Salem Village; and she died in 1683, aged eighty-three. William Sibley called her "mother," and claimed to have maintained her for eight years prior to her death. Her inventory amounted to ^181l, 18 s. She was formerly of Frampton, Dorset, England. Edward Berry, a seaman and weaver, lived in Salem, 1668-1689 , married Elizabeth, widow of Roger Haskell, before 1668; she was Mrs. Berry in 1677; he removed to Marblehead in 1678, and was there in 1679. He was deceased in 1693. He had a son Edward, who came to Salem from Painton, Devon, England about 1676, being a weaver and seaman, and of Salem, 1677-1706." —Records
-Sydney Perley Essex Antiquarian v 9 p88

It would seem that they are two different men, but Beatrice did mention that
her husband's son had abused her as well. So there's still a possibility it's the
same Edward Berry.

I'm aware I'm reaching here. But what if they were the same man? Did Edward
Berry have a pattern of marrying wealthy widows and then bullying them into
handing over control of their estate to him? It might explain Elizabeth Berry's
recanting of her first testimony and why her children apparently had already
moved out of the home even before William Haskell was granted legal custody.
And given the outcome of Haskell case, a frustrated Edward might have used
harsher tactics when his new wife Beatrice didn't cave into his demands to
negate their prenuptial agreement.

Of course, he should have known from her past history that Beatrice was no
shrinking violet!

And with that, I'll conclude my posts about Edward Berry. He wasn't my direct
relative but he certainly figured prominently in the lives of those who were.


Once again, definitions and uses for the strange words that we type for
word verification when leaving comments on blogs:

bawed-Admiration of the writing skills of a fellow geneablogger. Example:
"I was bawed when I read that latest post over on "Walking the

gasissi-What one becomes when one worries about what one eats before
attending a genealogy conference Example: "Ted was such a
gasissi he wouldn't eat the onions in his salad."

deduit- What ever they want. Especially on Halloween.

meevil- What me is for coming up with this stuff.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


Now that we've looked at Beatrice's own less than spotless past, let's
return to her predicament of her third marriage.

In June 1677 Edward/Edmund/Edmond Berry was brought up on
charges before the Court. Beatrice submitted a petition detailing
the cruel conditions in which she was forced to live which reads
like something straight out of Charles Dickens:

"Edmond Bery, for being distempered with drink and for abusive carriages
and speeches to his wife, was fined.

Bettorice Berry's petition: "It being not unknowne to this honored Court
how it hath bin with me in respect of my wofull condition with liueing
with my husband Edmond Berry, who in regard of his most bitter, Inhumane
& most ill becomeing carriage to me, as many of my neighbors can give
Testimony. I was compelled to goe away from him; liueing where I could
gett harbor. ye honord Court upon Information hereof, compelld me upon ye
penalty of Fiue pounds to Hue with him againe wch as ye Lord knowes to my
unexpressable sorrow hath bin now for about a Twelue month, as by
Testimony Sufficient may speake for me & what shall a poor woman doe in
the Case; if ye Lord doth not wonderfully help; as for matter of substance, I
haue nothing of him neither haue I euer had but a very small matter euer since
I was his wife, for such was & still is his absurd manner in eating his victualls,
as takeing his meat out of ye pickle; & broyleing it upon ye coales, & this he
would tell me I must eate or else I must fast so that if I had not reserved to my
self a Little of myne owne I must haue perisht; neither will he allow me any
necessary about house for decencey or that wch is absolutely needfull but am
compelled to borrow of my neighbors; by wch it is evident that he exactly goes
about to verifie what he hath reported; namely that he will haue my estate or
elce he will make me weary of my Life; now ye honord Major Hathorne
Knowes ye contract that was made between vs before marriage & acknowledgd
before him; howeuer in hopes of my more comfortable liueing with him was
willing to bring into ye house what I could, & did doe it; although to be sure ill
bestowed upon such a person, as you may please to Judge of him in part what
he is by one late Expression of his to me who when I brought to him a cup of
my owne Sugar & Beare (for he will allow me nothing of his owne) and dranke
to him useing these words) come husband lett all former differences be buried
& trod under Foote; why should we not Hue in Loue & unity as other Folks doe,
he replied to me againe, Thus; Thou old cheating Rogue; The Divell take thee i
f thou doest not bring me Forth this Court; but such like direfull expressing
towards me are not rare with him; wch although my hard portion & very Tedious
to beare, yet was rather willing to groane under it then to make a publique
discovery of his wicked; & brutish carriage to me; but surely ye Lord brings
him forth, & ye grand Jury had cognissance of his Impious behavior towards me
& by theire act is he now presented & it is but rationall that I should speake
something before yor worships for ye clearing up of myne owne Innocency, &
also since ye Thing is brought forth to lay open my grievances before you
althouth god knowes my mind was rather to haue borne my affection & haue
waited upon him who is ye perswader of ye heart, with my poor prayers to my
good god in hopes of ye worke of his grace upon his heart & soule; whereby
he might be brought to see ye evill of his waves & so to carry it to me as
becomes an honest man to his wife; but ye Lord in mercy Looke upon me; I
am now past hopes of him; & ye onely wise god direct you what to doe with
me in this my wofull case, for I am not onely continually abused by my husband,
with most vile, threatening & opprobrious speeches but also his son who lives
in howse with him hath in his Father's presence threatened me to throw me
downe head long downe ye staires; & not onely so but he hath broken up
my chest & taken away a part of that Little wch I had."

If anyone were skeptical of Beatrice's claims, she had the testimony of
several friends and neighbors to confirm them:

"Deborah Winter, aged about thirty-one years, testified that she had heard
Edmond Berry use very reproachful terms to his wife, as bad as possibly could
be spoken and when she was sick he would also then most terribly revile her.
He had said that he desired it for her good and he did not care if there were
a fire in the south field and she in the middle of it. Sworn in court.

Abigail White, aged about seventy-two years, testified that Berry called his
wife Jezebell, cheating rogue, etc., and told her that he could not abide her,
and bade her begone. Also that his wife had proffered to do what she could
for him, such as to dress his victuals, wind his quills, etc., and she would
entreat him to be quiet, but he was angry because she would not join her
estate to his. Also when she was sick, he said that she should have nothing
of him because he had nothing of hers. Deponent had tried to persuade him
to live quietly with his wife but he said it was too late. Sworn in court.

Abigail Gray, aged about twenty-one years, deposed that when his wife was
sick in bed and the nurse at the same time was in bed with her, Goodman
Berry asked for cider. The nurse said that she would rise and get him some.
Goody Berry said he had had enough already, and he replied that he would
have some more or he would pull her in pieces. Sworn in court.

Writ, dated 29 : 4 : 1677, signed by Hilliard Veren, cleric, and served by
Henery Skerry, marshal of Salem, by attachment of a table and a cupboard.
Also summons to Mr. Resolved White and wife Abigail, Abigail Gray and
Deborah Winter."
-Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County,
Vol VI 1675-1678 (pp297-298)

The absence of any testimony from her own children and stepchildren is
perhaps an indication of how bad her relationship with them was due to her
own actions.

This transcript is the last court record I've found online for Edward/Edmund/
Edmond Berry. It's quite possible there are more out there but there are only
8 volumes of the Essex County Court Records on Google books. What remains
now is the question of whether the Edward Berry of the Haskell case and the
man married to Beatrice were one and the same.