Thursday, May 31, 2012


As I wrote in the last post, I've been going through the Oxford County
Court records over at looking for cases involving
my Dad's ancestors.(Dunhams and Coburns and Wests,oh my!) Most
of what I've found so far has been civil suits involving debts, such
as the one I posted last time about 3x great grandfather John
Cutter West. But yesterday I found a document that was a criminal
case, and it involves one of John's brothers-in-law.   

My 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames) West was one of ten children of
Jonathan Phelps Ames and Polly Griffeth. In 1823 her oldest brother,
15 year old brother Jonathan Phelps Ames Jr ran afoul of the law: 

August Term 1823
Criminal 2
State v Jon. P.Ames Jr

The Jurors for the State aforesaid, upon their oath present, that Jonathan
P. Ames Jr of Livermore in said County of Oxford, laborer, on the second
day of July now last past about the hour of eleven, in the night time of the
same day, with force & arms, at Livermore aforesaid, in the county aforesaid,
the shop of William H. Brinton, there situate, did enter with intent the goods
& chattels of the said  Brinton in the said shop then & there being, feloniously
to steal, take & carry away, and then & there  two dollars in silver change, in
quarters, tenths,  eighths & sixteenths of a dollar of the value of two dollars,
the goods, chattels property, and money of the said Brinton in the same shop
then & there being found, with force & arms, feloniously  steal, take and
carry away against the, law peace & dignity of said state & against the form
of the statute in such case made & provided. And now the said Jonathan P.
Ames Junr. is set to to the bar & has this indictment read to him & is asked
thereof if he is guilty or not guilty, who thereupon for plea says he is guilty.

Whereupon the court having considered the offence whereof the said
Jonathan P. Ames Jr. stands convict, do order that he be punished by
solitary imprisonment for the term of ten days & by confinement afterwards
to hard labor for the term of six months, and that this sentence be executed
upon him withing the Gaol of the County of Oxford.

Sentenced the third day of the term being the 28th day of August A.D.

I don't know how long it took for it to happen but apparently young Jonathan
Phelps Ames straightened his life out and married Rebecca Hutchinson in 1834
in Hartford Maine. Sometime afterwards they moved out to Isabel, Fulton,
Illinois and raised their family,including two sons named Atwood and Americus
after two of Jonathan's brothers.

The name Jonathan Phelps was passed on in the West family. My 2x times great
grandfather was named Jonathan Phelps West after Arvilla (Ames) West father.
When my great grandfather was born, he was given the name Philip Jonathan
West in honor of his maternal grandfather Philip Richardson and Jonathan after his
father. PJ died in 1954, and when my younger brother was born ten years later, he
was named Philip Jonathan after our great grandfather.

And he named his eldest son Philip Jonathan as well.

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