Tuesday, July 31, 2012


There's been a lot of talk about that trendy computer topic, "The Cloud".
Sometimes I feel like the developers of these concepts are like Madison
Ave. advertising companies that used to tell us how we NEEDED the latest
gadget, should drink the "cool" beers or wear the trendiest clothes. Instead,
we now NEED to put all our stuff online in "The Cloud". (Can't you just
imagine George Carlin doing a routine on "a cloud for our stuff'.?)

Well, grumpy old reprobate that I am, I haven't put any of my genealogy "stuff"
into "The Cloud" via Evernote or Dropbox. I don't have a smartphone so I don't
have a need for their apps on my phone, and while I suppose I could make use of
the two sites with my laptop I haven't. On the other hand, I do make use "The
Cloud" in another way. I have my family tree on five different genealogy

I know that seems a bit of overkill but chalk it up to a bit of paranoia. I figure
if one of my trees disappears, then I have a backup. And a backup to a backup,
and a backup to the backup to the first backup, and so on. These are in various
stages, with the being the most complete gedcom. The plan is to
eventually upload the gedcom from Ancestry to the other sites. Meanwhile,
all five sites act as cousin bait. 

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just remembered I need to back up this blog to my
mirror site on Wordpress.

Monday, July 30, 2012


As I've said before, I sometimes wonder I'm here at all given the
number of ancestors and relatives involved in the Indian wars in
Colonial New England. Some were killed, some were captives, and
some survived because of the mercy shown by their captors. The
following is from Samuel Abbott Green's Groton During the Indian Wars
pages 94-95. The Penhallow book mentioned is Samuel Penhallow's
Indian Wars. Samuel Butterfield was the son of my 8x great granduncle
Nathaniel Butterfield:

"Penhallow, in his History, gives several instances of extreme cruelty to
the prisoners on the part of the savages, and mentions the following case
of a man who was captured in this town: —

`A third was of Samuel Butterfield, who being sent to Groton as a Soldier,
was with others attackt, as they were gathering in the Harvest; his bravery
was such, that he kill'd one and wounded another, but being overpower'd
by strength, was forc'd to submit; and it hapned that the slain Indian was a
Sagamore, and of great dexterity in War, which caused matter of Lamentation,
and enrag'd them to such degree that they vow'd the utmost revenge; Some
were for whipping him to Death; others for burning him alive; but differing
in their Sentiments, they submitted the Issue to the Squaw Widow,
concluding she would determine something very dreadful, but when the
matter was opened, and the Fact considered, her Spirits were so moderate
as to make no other reply, than, " Fortune L'guare. Upon which some were
uneasy; to whom she answered, If by killing him, you can bring my Husband
to life again, I beg you to study what Death you please; but if not let him be
my Servant; which he accordingly was, during his Captivity, and had favour
shewn him." (Pages 38, 39.) '

The account of Butterfield's case was in substance originally printed in a
pamphlet entitled "A MEMORIAL of the Present Deplorable STATE of New
England" (1707),
— now of great rarity, — which appeared twenty years
before Judge Penhallow's History was published. This pamphlet has since
been reprinted in the introduction to the sixth volume, fifth series, of the
" Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society." The account is as
follows: —

`A Man had Valiantly Killed an Indian or two before the Salvages took him.
He was next Morning to undergo an horrible Death, whereof the Manner
and the Torture was to be assigned by the Widow Squa of the Dead Indian.
The French Priests told him, they had indeavoured to divert the Tygres
from ther bloody Intention, but could not prevail with them; he must prepare
for the terrible Execution. His cries to God were hard, and heard; when
the Sentence of the Squa, was demanded, quite contrary to every ones
Expectation, and the Revengeful Inclination so usual and well-known among
these Creatures, she only said, His Death won't fetch my Husband to Life; Do
nothing to him! So nothing was done to him. (Page 58.*)' "

The Butterfields are my ancestors through the family of my Dad's Mom, Cora


Back in May I announced the Second American Civil War Blog Challenge
and set the deadline for August 1st to submit links to your posts. Then like
many of us I got wound up in indexing the 1940 US Census and pushed the
Challenge to the back burner. Frankly, I dropped the ball. I didn't post the
occasional reminders of the Challenge here and on Facebook. As a result,
Ive only received a few submissions at this point.

So I'm extending the deadline for another month and a half to Sept.15th. I'll
be attending a family wedding over Labor Day weekend so I added the extra
two weeks after my return.

Once again, here's the rules:

Did you have ancestors in America during the Civil War? If so, where were
they and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them
and their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of
illness? On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on
BOTH sides? How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find
ways to help the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern
plantations and if so when were they freed, or were they freemen who
enlisted to fight? Did any ancestor take part in a battle that took place in

Write a blogpost on these questions, or, if you think of another topic to do
with your family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link
after you publish it on your blog by August, and on August 8th I'll publish all
the links here.

That gives everyone most of the summer to research and write(or maybe visit
a Civil War location connected somehow to the family). Have fun with it and
I look forward to reading what everyone writes!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Here's another of the letters recently found in the Fred Blanchard house in
Berlin NH. Helen Blanchard was the daughter of Fred Blanchard and  Eliza Ann
"Lizzie" (Ellingwood) and is my 2nd cousin 2x removed. Helen's granduncle
was my 2x great grandfather Asa F Ellingwood.

Helen was 19 years old at the time this was written and apparently had been
ill. I don't know what the nature of her illness was but it must have been
something that required a personal nurse for some time. Also, the letter
is postmarked from Providence RI. I do know that she recovered from
whatever had ailed her and married Lewis Whipple om 1907.  They
ended up living in Rhode Island where Helen died on 29sep 1939. I've
wondered how the Blanchards all eventually ended up in Rhode Island;
perhaps it began with Helen's stay there.

Mentioned in  the letter are several Ellingwood relatives:  William
Ellingwood ("Uncle Willie"), Rosella Ellingwood ("Aunt Rose") and
Lettice Ellingwood ("Aunt Lettie"). "Mamma" was Fred Blanchard's
second wife, Anna Hutchinson.

Thanks again to K. who found these letters and  allowed me to share them.

Dear Papa and Mamma
I thought just a few words written by myself would be welcome even
though you had heard from me other ways.

I am feeling well for me; have been down stairs to dinner every day this
week, and was down for a little while Sun. I had a call from Uncle Willie
that day too. I haven't such a ferocious appetite now but eat enough

Dr Lakes(?) says I cannot come home this week I am only waiting for

(page 2)
a pleasant day to go out on the lawn for a few minutes.
Aunt Lettie and Aunt Rose were down to see me yesterday.
My nurse is still here but she has very little to do for me. Dr says I
don't need a trained nurse any longer, that there is little but what I
could do for myself. But I guess he thinks it is not his place to send
her away now that he has said that. I like to have her stay but dont
want to or feel as if I ought to after I don't need a nurse.
All are well as usual.
Love to you all
Apr.20/98    Helen.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


Last year I posted a series about my  2xgreat grandfather Asa Freeman
Ellingwood who was a Union soldier at the First Battle of Bull Run. when
I read this poem by Walt Whitman, it made me think of the Union retreat
that Asa was part of after the defeat:

A March in the Ranks, Hard-prest
 by Walt Whitman

A MARCH in the ranks hard-prest, and the road unknown;
A route through a heavy wood, with muffled steps in the darkness; 
Our army foil’d with loss severe, and the sullen remnant retreating; 
Till after midnight glimmer upon us, the lights of a dim-lighted building; 
We come to an open space in the woods, and halt by the dim-lighted building;
’Tis a large old church at the crossing roads—’tis now an impromptu hospital; 
—Entering but for a minute, I see a sight beyond all the pictures and poems ever made: 
Shadows of deepest, deepest black, just lit by moving candles and lamps, 
And by one great pitchy torch, stationary, with wild red flame, and clouds of smoke; 
By these, crowds, groups of forms, vaguely I see, on the floor, some in the pews laid down;
At my feet more distinctly, a soldier, a mere lad, in danger of bleeding to death, (he is shot in the abdomen;) 
I staunch the blood temporarily, (the youngster’s face is white as a lily;) 
Then before I depart I sweep my eyes o’er the scene, fain to absorb it all; 
Faces, varieties, postures beyond description, most in obscurity, some of them dead; 
Surgeons operating, attendants holding lights, the smell of ether, the odor of blood;
The crowd, O the crowd of the bloody forms of soldiers—the yard outside also fill’d; 
Some on the bare ground, some on planks or stretchers, some in the death-spasm sweating; 
An occasional scream or cry, the doctor’s shouted orders or calls; 
The glisten of the little steel instruments catching the glint of the torches; 
These I resume as I chant—I see again the forms, I smell the odor;
Then hear outside the orders given, Fall in, my men, Fall in; 
But first I bend to the dying lad—his eyes open—a half-smile gives he me; 
Then the eyes close, calmly close, and I speed forth to the darkness, 
Resuming, marching, ever in darkness marching, on in the ranks, 
The unknown road still marching.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


In my previous post I mentioned that the Indian Symon had figured in
another bit of family history. The ancestor in question was Philip Challis,
my 8x greatgrandfather, and while he and Symon may or may not have met,
Philip Challis was one of three officers who sent the following letter to the
Royal Governor in Boston to report on an attack Symon made on the town
of Amesbury. Ma. This is from Genealogical History of the Quinby (Quimby)
Family in England and America
by Henry Cole Quinby (Tuttle Company,
Rutland, Vt., 1915) pp 68-69


The following is the letter mentioned a few pages back. The heroine referred
to is Elizabeth (Osgood) Quinby, the daughter of William1 Osgood and wife of
Robert* Quinby of Amesbury. The original letter is preserved in the Massachusetts
Archives, vol. 69, pp. 141-2. The words italicized (in parenthesis) are crossed out
in the original.

Amesbury: 9: 5 mo: 1677

Sr: Be pleased by these to undrstand yt yesterday being ye Sabbath. There was 5
Indians seen by Jno: Hoyt Junr follow one another in a strait file upon Thomas
Haynes's hill & goe into ye bushes & a sixth to follow ye five (sixth): seen by
anothr: & in ye Aftrnoone one Indian was seen by two off Sergt: Belchers men:
& ye last night ye Indians weere about ye garison wher Sergt Belchers men keep:
& Just now there was an Indian seen undr the fence creeping towrd Thomas Hayn's
towrds ye place where ye: men were slain on fryday last: Soe yt wee doe assuredly
conclude yt Symon & his party are nott Drawne off fro ye town but evr & anon
shew yms: by one two or some few of ym to draw out or weake strength into ym &
to cuts us off And ye grounds off this or opinion is further confirmed unto us by ye
relacn off ye wounded woman: wch according to yr desire wee whose names are
undrwritten tooke fro her mouth: viz: That there were about ten yt killed or men,
& about twenty yt shee saw in all & yt she knew ye most off those yt shee saw iff
nott all off them to be Indians yt Dwelt formerly here-abouts & att Newbury ffalls:
although she (m) did nott know all yr names butt some shee knew by name: &
named Symon: & Pooky John formerly soe called now Andrew: & one Jeoffry now
called Samuel & one named Joseph as she thinks.(wee asked her how long it was.)
And yt It was Symon yt knockt her on ye head, whome when he came to her she
desired him nott To kill her: why sd he good wife Quinby:(wch was her name) doe
you think yt I will kill you? Sd shee because you kill all english: sd he I will give Qurtr
to never an english dogg off you all, & gave her a blow on ye head whereupon she
called him Rogue & threw a stone att him, & then he gave her twoe more & settled
her for Dead: Wee Asked whither she was sure yt It was Symon & how long It was
ere yt she saw him before she Answrd yt about 3 years since he was att their house
with an otter: wch time pson & Token Sargt: Samll ffoot being then att ye house doth
very well remember & Affirms ye same This Con sidred in Conjunction with Symon's
being & living an apprentisce servant with Goodwife Quinbies father att (during) ye
same time yt her selfe also lived with her father whose name was Will Osgood 

seems to confirme unto us her perfect knowledg of Simon Which things Considred 
wee Doubt Nott but yt Itt is Symon & his party yt layes siege unto or towne Neither 
Do wee scruple ye womans certaine knowledg off Symon Indian.

further more shee relates yt when Symon was about to kill her, & she called 

to ye garrison: He says why doe you call to ye Garrison. I will have that too 
by and by

This is a faithfull & true relac & acct off or
present Concernmts fro Sr yr humble servts

Philip Challis Leift:
Jeremiah Belcher
Samell foot "

Monday, July 09, 2012


In my previous post about the death of John Ames, I mentioned that his wife
Priscilla Kimball's father, Thomas Kimball, had been killed by Indians and that
she, her mother, and four sibings had been taken captive. The incident had
occurred during King Philip's War on 3May 1676 and is recounted in George
Wingate Chase's History of Haverhill Massachusetts:

"Haverhill was not long permitted to escape the murderous tomahawk. On the
2d of May , one of its own people, Ephraim Kingsbury, was killed by the Indians.
He is believed to have been the first person slain in this town by the savages,
but the incidents connected with his death have been lost . The next day,
(May 3d,) the house of Thomas Kimball, of Bradford, was attacked, and he was
killed ; and his wife and five children,— Joanna, Thomas, Joseph, Priscilla, and
John,—taken captive. Phillip Eastman. of Haverhill, was captured at the
same time

This outrage was committed by three well known "converted Indians," named
Symon, Andrew, and Peter. There is a tradition, that they set out with the intention
of killing some one in Rowley, whom they supposed had injured them, but finding
the night too far spent, they did not dare proceed further, and so avenged
themeelves on Mr. Kimball. It is quite probable that Symon intended to wreak his
vengeance on some one who was concerned in securing his punishment for the
theft before mentioned. He was a cruel and blood-thirsty villain, as the following
facts will abundantly show.

Soon after her return from captivity, Mrs. Kimball addressed the following
petition to the Governor and Council:

"To the Hon. Governor and Councell.
The humble petition of Mary Kimball sheweth that Simon, the Indian who
killed my husband, Thomas Kimball, hath threatened to kill me and my children
if ever I goe to my own house, so that I dare not goe to looke after what little I
have there left, for fear of my life being taken away by him; and therefore, doe
humbly entreate the Hon. Governor and Councell that some course may be taken,
as God shall direct, and your wisdom, shall think best, to secure him; for I am in
continual fear of my life by him; and if any course may be taken for the recovery
of what is yet left in their hands of my goods that they have not destroyed, (as
there was two kittens and two or three bags of linnen when I came from them)
that I might have it restored, leaving myself and my concernes under God, to
your wisdoms. Remaine your humble suppliant. 'Mary Kimball." (pp124-125)"

Mary Kimball was born Mary Smith in 1637 9n Ipswich, Ma, the daughter of
John Smith and Isabella Drake. She was my 9x great grandmother.

Symon the Indian was involved in an attack on another town where one of
my ancestors lived, and I'll tell that story next.


During the period of the colonial New England Indian Wars, summer was the
season when raids and casualties increased on both sides. As a consequence,
I've several ancestors who died violently in the summer months. One such was
my 8x great grandfather John Ames of Groton, Ma. John was no stranger to
deaths caused by the wars: his wife was Priscilla Kimball whose father
been killed when she was a child and who had been taken captive . So John
probably took precautions but it didn't save him. The incident was described by
the historian Samuel Abbott Green in his book "Groton in the Indian Wars".(He
quotes several sources which excerpts I've boldfaced since Green omits
the quotations marks for some of them):.

"It was on Thursday, July 9, 1724, that John Ames was shot by an Indian, one of
a small party that attacked his garrison in the northwesterly part of the town.
Ames lived on the north side of the Nashua River, a short distance below the
Hollingsworth paper-mills. He is said to be the last person killed by an Indian
within the township. The Indian himself was immediately afterward shot by
Jacob Ames, one of John's sons. "The Boston Gazette," July 13, 1724, thus refers
to the event: —

A Man was kill'd last Week at Groton, by the Indians, and 't is suppos'd one 

Indian was kill'd by one of our Men in the Garrison; the Indians left their 
Packs, 5 in number, which were taken and secur'd by the English.

In the Gazette of July 27, it is said that " An Indian Scalp was brought to Town 

last Week from Groton."

"The New England Courant," July 13, 1724, reports that "Last week the Indians
kill'd a Man at Groton, and had one of their own Men very much wounded."
The same newspaper, in its issue of July 27, says that "The Scalp of an Indian
lately kill'd at Groton is brought to Town."

"The Boston News Letter," July 16, 1724, gives the following version: —

From Groton we are inform'd, That 5 Indians came into that Place, and kill'd
one Man, upon which one of our Men shot out of the Garrison and kill'd an
Indian and got his Scalp in order to bring to Town, and have likewise taken
the Indian Packs.

The same paper, of July 30, says that "An Indian Scalp from Groton was brought
in here last Week."

These accounts, taken in connection with Jacob Ames's petition, found in the
printed Journal of the' House of Representatives for November 20, 1724, and
herewith given, show conclusively that they relate to the assault in which
John Ames was killed. It is equally certain that Penhallow, in his History, refers
to the same attack when he speaks of the damage done at Groton in the
summer of 1724.

A Petition of Jacob Ames, shewing that he was one of the Weekly Scouts near
the Garrisons on the Westerly part of the Town of Groton; and on the Ninth Day
of July last, when it was the Petitioners Week to be on Duty, a Number of 

Indians appeared at the Garrison of the Petitioners Father John Ames, and 
killed him at the Gate, and then rush'd violently into the Garrison to surprise 
the People there. And the Petitioner did with Courage and Resolution by 
himself defend the Garrison,  and beat off the Indians, Slew one of them and 
Scalp'd him; praying, That altho' it happened to be his Week to be on Duty, 
that this Court would take the Premises  into their wise and serious 
Consideration, and grant what other Allowance more than the Establishment 
by Law, shall to them seem meet, for his aforesaid Service.  Read, and in 
Answer to this Petition. Resolved, That over and above the Fifteen rounds 
due to the Petitioner by Law, for recovering the said Scalp, and the good
Services done this Province thereby, the Sum of Fifteen Pounds be allowed 

and Paid out of the Publick Treasury to the said Jacob Ames for his good 
Service as aforesaid.

Sent up for Concurrence.

Mr. Butler, in his History, gives the following version of this affair, which was
gathered largely from grandchildren of the Ezra Farnsworth mentioned in it. 

The account was taken down in writing more than a hundred years after the
occurrence of the event, which will explain any inaccuracies due to tradition.
Mr. Butler refers the assault to a period much later than the actual fact: —

`An Indian had been seen, for several days, lurking about the town, it was
conjectured, upon some ill design. Mr. Ames, who lived on the intervale, on 

the west side of Nashua river, now owned by John Boynton, Esq., went into
his pasture to catch his horse. Discovering the Indian, he ran for his house; 
the Indian pursued and shot him as he entered his gate. The dead body 
prevented the gate's closing, as it would otherwise have done of itself, and 
the Indian pressed in to enter the house, where Ames had a son and daughter. 
The son seized his gun, and shot at him, as he entered the gate. The ball, 
striking the latch of the door, split, and one part of it wounded the Indian, 
but not severely. As the son attempted to close the door against the enemy, 
after the shot, the Indian thrust his foot in, and prevented. The son called 
to his sister to bring his father's gun from the bedside, and at the same 
time striking the Indian's foot with the breach of his gun, compelled him 
to withdraw it, and closed the door. While the Indian was in the act of 
reloading his gun, the young man found means to shoot through a 
crevice and killed him. Two men, at work about a mile distant in a 
mill, Ezra and Benjamin Farnsworth, hearing the reports of the guns,
and suspecting the cause thereof, were soon at the place, and found 

the bodies of Ames and the Indian both weltering in their blood. This 
is the last man killed by an Indian within the bounds of Groton. 
(Pages no, 111.)'

Mr. Butler says, in his History (page 100), that "in the summer of 1723,

one man was killed at Groton." I am inclined to think that this allusion 
is to John Ames,as I can find no other authority for the statement.

(Groton During the Indian Wars
Samuel Abbott Green pp131-133).

Nearly 20 years later, on 30Jul 1743, John Ames' son, likewise named John
(who was my 7x great grandfather) was, like his father, also killed by Indians.  

There are some who say it was he, not his father, who was the last man killed
by Indians in Groton.

Friday, July 06, 2012


((First posted on 21Jul 2009. I'm reposting it since today is the 322 anniversary
of the Battle of Wheelwright Pond)) 

My 9x great grandfather Gershom Flagg was born in Watertown, Ma. in 1641 but
by 1689 he was residing in Woburn, Middlesex, Ma. That year he was appointed
Lieutenant in a company commanded by Captain Noah Wiswall(Wiswell) which
was sent off to Maine as part of the expedition under the joint command of Benjamin
Church and my ancestor Jeremiah Swain.

There are two different accounts of what sort of company made up Captain Wiswall's
command. One says it was comprised of militiamen infantry, but the other version
says it was made up of friendly Indians hostile to the Maine tribes. Apparently, there
were some who were not all that hostile, as this story from Daniel Neal's "History 
ofNew-England Vol 2" (p80) relates:

"Befides, their Motions were difcovered to the Enemy by fome Indian Auxiliaries, 
whobeing fent out with Lieutenant Flag to get Intelligence of the Enemy, confulted
togetherin their wn Language at Winnopiffeag, and obliging the Lieutenant to 
return with buttwo Indians, nineteen of them ftaid in thofe Parts eleven Days 
without an Englifhman in their Company ; in which Time they found out the Enemy, 
lay with them two Nights,and told them every thing they knew of the Numbers, 
Motions and Defigns of the Englifh: Upon which they retired into their inacceffible 
Woods and Swamps, and appeared no more in a Body while the Army was in thofe 
Parts... "

It was perhaps then inevitable that matters turned out as they did on 6Jul 1690 at
Wheelwright Pond near Lee, New Hampshire (pp95-96) :

"All the open Country was fo infefted with Parties of the Enemy at this Time, that 
it was hardly fafe for a Man to ftir out of his Houfe, or follow his Bufinels in the 
Field. A Council of War was therefore called at Portfmoutb, which ordered Captain 
Wifwel and CaptainFloyd with a large Body of Men to fcour the Woods as far as 
Cafco. They marched out of Quochecho on the 4th of July, withe above 100 Men, 
and on the 6th came up with a large Party of the Enemy at Wheelwright-Pond.
It was obferved, that there were feveral French Soldiers mix'd with thefe Indians, 
to difcipline and inftruct them in a regular Way of Fighting .The Engagement
lafted feveral Hours, but Victory declared at laft for the Enemy, Captain Wifwel, 
Lieutenant Flag, Serjeant Walker, with fifteen of their Men, being killed, and a 
great many more wounded. When Wifwel fell, Captain Floyd retreated with the 
Remainder of the Army, in the beft Manner he could, leaving his wounded Men
behind him-, but next Morning Captain Convers, with twenty Men, being fent 
out towardsthe Place of Battle, found feven of the wounded Englifh yet alive, 
and brought them back to the Camp. The Indians flufhed with this Victory, 
made a Defcent upon Amefbury, furprized Captain Foot, and tortured him to 
death ; but the Townfmen taking the Alarm, fecured themfelves in their Fort: 
However, the Enemy killed three Perfons, burnt three or four Houies, deftroyed 
their Cattle, and then retired..."

July seems not to have been the best month for many of my ancestors..

Wednesday, July 04, 2012


((Originally posted on 6Jul 2009))

On 4Jul 1690 my 8x great grandfather Simon Stone wasn't having a very good day
but displayed amazing tenacity which Cotton Mather pointed to as an example of
why one should never despair. Author Samuel Green quoted Mather in a book
published in 1883:

"Cotton Mather mentions, in his Magnalia, a few instances of "mortal wounds
upon the English not proving mortal," and gives the case of an inhabitant of this
town who was in a garrison at Exeter, New Hampshire, when that place was
assaulted, July 4, 1690. He says : —

`It is true, that one Simon Stone being here Wounded with Shot in Nine several 
places,lay for Dead (as it was time!) among the Dead. The Indians coming to 
Strip him,attempted with Two several Blows of an Hatchet at his Neck to cut 
off his Head, which Blows added you may be sure, more Enormous Wounds
unto those Port-holes of Death,at which the Life of the poor Man was already
running out as fast as it could. Being charged hard by Lieutenant Bancroft 
they left the Man without Scalping him; and the English now coming to Bury 
the Dead, one of the Soldiers perceived this poor Man to fetch a Gasp ; 
whereupon an Irish Fellow then present, advised 'em to give him another
Dab with an Hatchet, and so Bury him with the rest. The English detesting
this Barbarous Advice, lifted up the Wounded  Man, and poured a little Fair 
Water into his Mouth at which he Coughed ; then they poured a little Strong 
Water after it, at which he opened his Eyes. The Irish Fellow was ordered now
 to hale a Canoo ashore to carry the Wounded Men up the River unto a 
Chirurgeon; and as Teague was foolishly pulling the Canoo ashore with the
Cock of his Gun, while he held the Muzzle in his Hand, his Gun went off
and broke his Arm, whereof he remains a Cripple to this Day: But Simon 
Stone was thoroughly Cured, and is at this Day a very Lusty Man; and as 
he was Born with Two Thumbs on one Hand, his Neighbours have thought 
him to have at least as many Hearts as Thumbs.' (Book VII. page 74.)

Many families who have lived in Groton trace back their line of descent to 
this same Simon Stone, who was so hard to kill, and to whom, fortunately, 
the finishing " Dab with an Hatchet" was not given."-

Green, Samuel A., Groton During the Indian Wars, Groton, Ma. 1883 pp56-57

The astonishing thing to me reading this today is how Simon Stone wasn't accused
of being a witch, given the two thumbs and his amazing recovery!

2012 Notes
I forgot in my original posting to mention that the Irishman's advice made me
chuckle. Being Irish on my Mother's side of the family I could appreciate the
man's apparent philosophy that one less Englishman in the world was a good
thing. Luckily his son had already been born so I'd still be here today if they
had given him a "Dab".

"Strong Water" most likely was "Aqua Vitae"  aka whiskey.

It's probable the Bancroft mentioned in the story was one of my Bancroft

And it was a happy 4th of July for Simon Stone because he survived it!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012


My branch of the Ellinwood/Ellenwood/Ellingwood family were farmers, but many  
of my ancestors had siblings who made their living upon the ocean, or married men
who did. One of my collateral relatives, Sarah Ellenwood, married Eleazer Giles
of Salem, Ma. Since tomorrow is July 4th, I thought I'd share what I recently found
about him  in William Richard Cutter's  Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical
and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts
Volume 3, p.932:

"Captain Eleazer Giles, son of Eleazer Giles (4), was born in Salem, now 
South Danvers, October, 1744. Married, March 9, 1768, Sarah Ellen Wood, 
of Beverly. He was a seafaring man, shipmaster, of great personal courage, 
energy and determination. At the age of twenty-four he commanded a schooner 
owned by John Prince and Miles Ward, Jr., of Salem. In the Revolution he 
commanded the armed brig "Saratoga," of Beverly, belonging to John and 
Andrew Cabot, and his brother was a lad in the crew. In 1776 Captain Giles
sailed from Beverly in a brig of ten guns and soon afterward fell in with a 

fleet of  merchantmen laden with stores, bound from Jamaica to London, four 
of which he captured: the ship  ''Lucia," four hundred tons: brigs "Alfred," 
"Success" and another, name unknown, of three hundred tons each. In another 
cruise he was less successful. Falling in with a British vessel of equal or 
superior force and relying on the boasted bravery of a newly shipped crew, 
he gave battle. Immediately upon the attack, a portion of his men proved by 
their conduct that his confidence in their bravery had been misplaced; and 
after a short but sharp engagement, in which he was wounded, he was 
compelled to surrender, and was carried to Halifax. His brothers Thomas and 
Benjamin who were in the crew were killed, and his brother-in-law, Benjamin 
Ives, was wounded. Captain Giles had to have his leg amputated twice in one 
day, after reaching Halifax, once below, then above the knee. The operation 
was performed by Dr. Jeffries, of Halifax, later of Boston, and the surgeon of 
the privateer, Dr. Elisha Whitney, of Beverly. He lived thirty years afterward, 
and continued to follow the sea, having a wooden leg. He was master and 
owner of a brig which he had built and later altered into a ship called the 
"Harriet," the name of his daughter mentioned below, and it was employed 
in the Liverpool trade. He had a large property, but died abroad and in some 
way his heirs were defrauded of the greater part of it. He resided in Beverly 
and was actively interested in politics."

One of the things this excerpt proves that no name is so simple that it can't be
made more complicated: notice how Sarah Ellenwood was transformed into
"Sarah Ellen Wood". If I hadn't Googled her name along with "Eleazer Giles"
I might not have found this.

The other thing is that researching the collateral lines of your ancestry is
just as fascinating as your direct lines!