Saturday, August 25, 2012


Back when I really caught the genealogy bug I downloaded the Personal
Ancestry File program and then filled in the pedigree chart using the information
my Aunt Dorothy had sent us years before and then I moved on to what I
found in our original copu of Florence O' Connor's The Ancestors and Descendants
of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood
. Then once that
was done I started trying to fill in the blanks. One of these was the identity of the
wife of Elisha Houghton who was Florilla Dunham's great grandmother.
On page 200 of the O'Connor book, Elisha's wife is listed as "unknown". Eventually
I was able to find a record online for the marriage of an Elisha Houghton and a
Meriah Pairs  in Bolton, Ma on 30Nov, 1765.(Her name is also given as Moriah Peirce
or Pierce in other records.). Here's an image of the record

I moved on to find Meriah's parents. Given the variations of Meriah's last name I'd
already encountered, I tried every spelling I could think of in my search. Her birth
record gave her father's name as John and her mother's as Hannah Pierce, so at
least I had the first name. Given that Elisha and Meriah had married in Bolton, I
seached the online  records for there and the neighboring towns of Lancaster and
Harvard in the years prior to Meriah's birth in 1748. I found  a marriage record with
the date of 22 Nov 1744 for John Pirce and Hanna Stone in Harvard Ma. It fit the right
period of years, and confident that I'd found the right person, I continued on tracing
Hannah Stone's lineage eventually back to Deacon Simon Stone and Mary Whipple. 
Then I moved on to my next "blank".

Neat, huh?

((CUE the "WRONG ANSWER!" buzzer here))

Not hardly, but it would be several years before I discovered why not.

About two weeks ago, I was checking out some of the new shaking leaves on and found two records for an intention of marriage for John Pirce,
and a  Hannah Houghton made on 10Mar 1747.  It would appear  that  Hannah
(Stone) Pierce died sometime between 1744 and 1747, and that Hannah
(Houghton)Pierce is instead the mother of Meriah Pierce. Looking into this
further it adds up. Hannah Houghton' s parents were Thomas Houghton and
Meriah Moore, which would mean Meriah Peirce was named after her grandmother.
Moreover, Elisha and Meriah (Pierce)Houghton were ist cousins once removed,
sharing descent from James Houghton and  Mary Sawyer.

So I've been doing a bit of "Bonsai Genealogy" lately:snipping off the Stones from
my family tree and grafting the new Moore branch on to it.


DianaR said...

"Bonsai Genealogy" - love that!! I know that there are parts of my tree that could use it as well. We ALL were young and foolish at one time ;-)

Pam Carter said...

I have a tale of the two Bethias that I am still trying to sort out. Some sources have the wife as Bethia Marston and some have her being Bethia Moulton. Both married to Ebenezer Philbrick and the mother of Ruth Philbrick. I've only found secondary sources. I need actual vital records to get marriage and death dates which should help. Why can't' they remarry someone with a different name!