Tuesday, April 30, 2013


The westward movement of some members of the Ellinwood?Ellenwood/Ellingwood
family began back in the early 18th century. While my 6x great grandfather Ebenezer
Ellinwood moved north to New Hampshire, his younger brother Thomas moved
westward to Brimfield, Massachusetts. Eventually,one of his descendants would
move even further west, first to Orange County, New York  and then to Rock Creek,

My 4th cousin 4x removed Ralph Everett Ellinwood was born in New York on 28Apr 1838
before his parents moved on to Ohio. He was the eighth out of ten children(seven of
his eight sisters died before age 21)and on 21Sep 1858 he enlisted in the U.S.Army. It
must have been exciting for a twenty year old son of a farmer to be in Company I of the
Eighth Regiment, stationed in the Southwest in New Mexico and Texas. Ralph must
have been a good soldier because he had been promoted to Sergeant by Sept 1860.
He was in Texas when the Civil War broke out and he was taken prisoner by Rebel
forces, then sent to a prison camp on the Saladas River near San Antonio. It
seemed Ralph was out of the War, but he was a very determined young man.

He escaped.

I read about Ralph in Leonard Ellinwood's The Ellinwood (Ellenwood/Ellingwood)
Family 1635-1963 (1963)
pp194-198. He simply says that Ralph made his escape
through West Texas to Mexico, then crossed over to Havana, Cuba where the U.S.Consul
arranged passage to New York City. Think about that: he'd just turned twenty-three
when he'd been imprisoned in April and then escaped. He'd already seen and done
more things than many men three times his age!

Ralph reached New York by  October 1861 and reported to Fort Columbus on New
York Harbor and commissioned a second lieutenant in the 2nd Infantry. He joined
the Union Army in Virginia. In letters to his brother ohn, Ralph talks about nearly
being shot by a Rebel sniper just outside of Yorktown in April of 1862, and of some
grueling conditions during a march on Richmond in May. The Union Army was within
25 miles of the capital of Confederacy and Ralph was confident that the war would soon
be over. He writes of going to Mexico with his wife Eugenia after the war's end. By
July he's recovered from dysentery and been promoted to first lieutenant of Company

Then on 30Aug 1862 the 2nd Infantry took part at the Second Battle of Bull Run. Ralph
was wounded in the right ankle and evemually was taken to an hopital at Alexandria, Va.
Although the wound hadn't seemed serious at first, it soon worsened. He died on 25Sep
1862. The term used for the cause of death on the Union Army record I found on Ancestry
was "vulnus sclopet", a shortening of "vulnus slopeticum", a fancy Latin term for "gunshot
wound". But what really killed him was infection and Ralph's own fear of amputation. A
fellow officer wrote to Ralph's brother John and told him that Ralph "had a horror of being
a cripple and often in conversation had expressed himself to this extent, that if he was 
ever was wounded that death was preferable to being a cripple for life."

Ralph Everett Ellinwood died with the rank of Brevet Captain, a battlefield promotion
at Second Bull Run. He'd risen from the rank of private to captain in just four years from
his enlistment date.

He was just twenty four years old.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


This is the final part of Rev.Wilson Waters'  listing of men who served as "snowshoe soldiers"
under William Tyng. I found it in his History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, pp139-143. Two
of the men in this part are related to me and their names are in boldfaced italics. My
comments explaining how we are related is in red italics.

45. Judge John Tyng, son of Major William and Lucy (Clarke) Tyng, born in Chelmsford, January 28, 1704-5, and graduated from Harvard University in 1725. He lived in Tyngsboro', where he died in 1797, aged ninety-two years. He was a colonel of the militia, a representative of Dunstable, Mass., which then included Tyngsboro', and speaker of the house. He was a delegate to the convention at Boston, in 1768, "for the preservation of the public peace and safety," and a delegate to the Provincial Congress, which assembled at Cambridge and Watertown in 1775, but he is best known as a judge of the courts of Middlesex county, which office he held many years.

46. Col. Eleazer Tyng, Dunstable, son of Col. Jonathan and Sarah (Usher) Tyng, was born in the part of Dunstable now called Tyngsboro', April 30,1690, and graduated at Harvard University in 1712. He was a magistrate and a colonel; an active and useful man. He was buried in the Tyng burial ground, about one mile below Tyngsboro' Village. Upon a broad, horizontal tablet is" inscribed, "Underneath are entombed the remains of Eleazer Tyng, Esq., who died May 21, 1782, aged 92; Mrs. Sarah Tyng, who died May 23, 1753, aged 59; John Alford Tyng, Esq., who died Sept. 4, 1775, aged 44." John Alford Tyng, Esq., was a son of Colonel Eleazer. Fox's Dunstable is in error in calling him Judge Tyng. The judge, John Tyng, is No. 45.

47. Thomas Colburn, son of Edward Colburn of Chelmsford, was born in 1674. He lived in Dunstable, where he died November 2, 1770. The committee of the General Court were instructed to admit six men who served under Capt. John Loveweil and were omitted in the grants of Pembroke, N. H., and Petersham, Mass. In the same connection there appears in the Massachusetts Archives the petition of Zaccheus Lovewell, Thomas Colburn, Peter Powers, Josiah Cummings, Henry Farwell, Jr., and Nicholas Crosby, alleging that they served against the Indian enemy under Captain Lovewell, either on his first or second march, and that all the other soldiers of Captain Lovewell's companies have been rewarded in grants of land. Thomas Colburn appears to have been the only one of the six petitioners who was made a grantee of Tyngstown.

((My 7x great granduncle))

48. John Colburn, Dunstable, son of John and grandson of Edward Colburn, was born in Dunstable. John, the father died December 1, 1700, and John, the son, was the representative of his grandfather, Edward Colburn of Chelmsford, who was killed in an ambuscade in King Philip's war.
((A cousin. His grandfather Edward was a brother to the above Thomas Colburn and to my 7x

great grandfather Joseph Colburn))

51. Jonas Clark, Esq., Chelmsford, son of Rev. Thomas Clark of Chelmsford, was born December 20, 1684. He was a colonel and a magistrate. Several meetings of the proprietors of Tyngstown were held at his house in Chelmsford. He died April 8, 1770. His sister, Lucy or Lucia, was the wife of Major William Tyng, and his sister Elizabeth married Rev. John Hancock of Lexington, and was grandmother of Gov. John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

53. Thomas Parker and William Reed. In a description of lands belonging to this right, the first name is written "Rev. Mr. Thomas Parker." He was a son of Josiah Parker of Groton, Woburn and Cambridge, and he was born in Cambridge, December 7, 1700. He graduated from Harvard University in 1718. At nineteen years of age he was ordained and installed over the church in Dracut early in 1720, and there labored and preached until his death, March 18, 1765. He attended several of the meetings of the proprietors, and was moderator of one or more meetings.

This concludes my series of posts about the "snowshoes soldiers". I'm glad that I was able to find
relatives among them thanks to Google Books, and I hope that by posting all the names here someone else will discover their "snowshoe soldiers" ancestors as well.


This is the second part of Rev. Wilson Waters' partial list of the men who served as
"snowshoe soldiers" under the command of William Tyng. Again, the names of
those I am related to are highlighted in boldface italics and my comments in red
italics. I had originally intended to post this in two parts, but because of the length
of the list there will be a third: 

27. Peter Talbot [or Talbird], Chelmsford, was an emigrant from England. He lived several years in Dorchester, but at the time of his service in the snow-shoe company, under Capt. William Tyng, he was a resident of Chelmsford. At that time he must have been fully fifty years of age. His right in the township was given to his son, George Talbot, who lived several years in Stoughton.

28. Stephen Keyes, Chelmsford. There is no record of his birth and it has been thought that he probably was a son of Elias Keyes of Sudbury. He received land in Chelmsford in the right of Solomon Keyes, and it is possible he was a son of Solomon and Frances (Grant) Keyes. He was married March 7, 1706, by Jonathan Tyng, Esq., to Anna Robbins. He died in Chelmsford, February 6, 1714.

29. Benoni Perham, Chelmsford, lived in Chelmsford. He was living in 1722 and died a short time after that date [1723]. His son, Samuel, represented his interest in the grant of Tyngstown.

32. Josiah Richardson, Chelmsford, son of Capt. Josiah and Remembrance (Underwood) Richardson, was born in Chelmsford May 18,1665. He was a town clerk and selectman of Chelmsford, where he died October 17, 1711. His wife was a daughter of Deacon John Blanchard.

36. Henry Farwell, son of Henry Farwell of Chelmsford. Mass., was born about 1665. He was one of the early settlers of Dunstable. In the later years of Queen Anne's war his house was one of the seven garrisons in Dunstable. His son, Oliver was one of the victims of the Indian ambush at Naticook, September 5, 1724. His son, Josiah, was a lieutenant in Captain Lovewell's Company, and was killed by the Indians in the fight at Pigwacket, May 8, 1725.

38. John Richardson, Chelmsford, son of Capt. Josiah and Remembrance (Underwood) Richardson, was a brother of No. 32. Josiah Richardson was born in Chelmsford, February 14, 1669-70, where he died September 13, 1746.

40. Ephraim Hildreth, Chelmsford, removed from Chelmsford to Dracut in 1712, and there died September 26, 1740. He was town clerk of Dracut, a major of the militia, and an active man in town and business affairs. He was one of the proprietors of Concord and an influential factor among the proprietors of Tyngstown. At one time he was the owner of the saw-mill.

((My 8x great granduncle. His sister Elizabeth (Hildreth) Stevens is my  ancestor))

41. Samuel Chamberlain, Chelmsford, son of Thomas and Sarah (Proctor) Chamberlain, was born in Chelmsford, January 11, 1679. He was a prominent citizen and styled Capt. Samuel Chamberlain in Chelmsford records. He died April 12, 1767. There was a Samuel Chamberlain of about the same age, a son of Samuel and Elizabeth Chamberlain, who was styled in Chelmsford records Lieut. Samuel Chamberlain. The Tyngstown proprietors' records call the grantee Capt. Samuel Chamberlain, which makes it reasonably certain that the Samuel first named was the soldier and grantee.

((My 7x great granduncle. His sister Elizabeth is my ancestor)) 

42. Stephen Pierce, Chelmsford, son of Stephen and Tabitha (Parker) Pierce and grandson of Thomas Pierce of Woburn, was born in Chelmsford in 1678. He lived in Chelmsford and was the owner of many acres of land. He died September 9, 1749This Stephen Pierce was the grandfather of Gov. Benjamin Pierce of Hillsborough, who was the father of President Franklin Pierce.

((A cousin))

43. Timothy Spalding, Chelmsford, son of John and Hanna (Hale) Spalding, was born about 1676. He lived in the part of Chelmsford now Westford, where he died April 14, 1763. He was a brother of No. 13.
((A cousin.His father is my 7x great granduncle))

44. Paul Fletcher, Chelmsford, was the son of Joshua. His father was twice married: First, in 1668, to Gussies Jewell; second, in 1682, to Sarah Willey. I cannot state which of the wives was the mother of Paul. The Fletcher genealogy states that Paul Fletcher was a snow-shoe man in 1724. The date is an error.

Saturday, April 27, 2013


My task of identifying possible relatives among William Tyng's "snowshoe soldiers"
was helped a bit by Rev.Wilson Waters section on them in his History of Chelmsford,
Massachusetts, in which he gives a bit of family background of some of the soldiers.
I'm posting his list in its entirety in two parts. Those soldiers I believe am related are
in boldface and I've put my comments in red. Here's part 1 of Waters' list:    

1. John Shepley, son of John, was born in Chelmsford, Mass., in 1677. A few years
later the family removed to Groton, Mass., where the father, mother and all the
children except John were killed by the Indians, July 27, 1694. John, then seventeen
years of age, was carried into captivity where he remained three and one-half years,
when he returned to Groton. In memory of the massacre of his kindred, undoubtedly
he was a willing recruit in Captain Tyng's company. Subsequently he was prominent
in the town and church affairs of Groton. He was a representative nine years. He died
September 14, 1736. Among his descendants is the late Ether Shepley, a former
United States Senator and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Maine.

2. Joseph Parker, Groton, son of Capt. Joseph and Margaret Parker, was born in
Chelmsford, March 30, 1653. The family removed to Dunstable in 1675, where Joseph, Sr.,
was a constable seven years. Joseph, Jr., had considerable experience in Indian warfare.
He removed from Dunstable to Groton and there died about 1725, leaving a large estate.
((Related by marriage, I think.))

10. Joseph Perham, Groton, son of John and Lydia (Shepley) Perham, was born in Chelmsford, December 22, 1669. He lived in Dunstable and, by revision of town lines, in Nottingham
West, now Hudson. At the time of his service in Captain Tyng's company he was a resident
of Groton.

11. Joseph Butterfield, Dunstable, son of Joseph and Lydia (Ballard) Butterfield, was born in Chelmsford, June 6, 1680. He removed early in life to Dunstable, living in the section of the town now Tyngsborough, where he died in 1757. His daughter, Deborah, was the wife of Col. Samuel Moor of Litchfield.
((Both a Ballard & Butterfield cousin. His parents are my 8x great granduncle & grandaunt.))

12. John Spalding, Chelmsford, son of Andrew and Hannah (Jefts) Spalding, was born August 20, 1682. He lived through life in Chelmsford. He died March 7, 1760.
((My 6x great grandfather))

13. John Spalding, Jr., Chelmsford, son of John and Hannah (Hale) Spalding, was born in Chelmsford, February 15, 1659. Late in life he removed to Plainfield, Conn. His son, Samuel, born August 5, 1686, represented his father's interests in Tyngstown.
((I have my ancestor John Spaulding married to a Mary Barrett. This is probably a cousin.))

14. Henry Spalding, Chelmsford, son of Andrew and Hannah (Jefts) Spalding, was born November 2, 1680. He was a brother of No. 12. He married a daughter of Thomas Lund, Sr.
((My 6x great granduncle))

16. Ebenezer Spalding, Chelmsford, son of Lieut. Edward and Margaret (Barrett) Spalding, was born January 13, 1683. He lived in Chelmsford and later in Nottingham West, now Hudson.
((A cousin))

17. Samuel Davis, Groton, son of Samuel and Mary Davis, was born in Groton, January 8, 1669-70. He removed from Groton to Chelmsford in 1707. Many of his descendants have resided in New Hampshire.
((Possibly a cousin))

22. Nathaniel Butterfield, Chelmsford, son of Nathaniel and Deborah (Underwood) Butterfield, was born about 1676 [1673]. He lived in Chelmsford, where he died in 1749.
((A cousin. His father is my 8x  great great granduncle))

23. Jonathan Butterfield, Chelmsford, was probably a son of Nathaniel and Deborah (Underwood) Butterfield, and a brother of No. 22.
((Same as above))

26. Jonathan Parker, Chelmsford, son of John and Mary Parker, was born in Chelmsford, January 2, 1683. His right appears to have been improved by Thomas Parker. I do not find that he had a son Thomas but he had a brother of that name.
((Another possible cousin by marriage,))

To be continued.


It took me a few days to find the roster of men who served under  William
Tyng. I started a Google search for the Granite State Magazine Vol 1 mentioned
by Wilson Waters but couldn't  find it at first, and when I did, it didn't have the
list. Finally I changed the Google Search to "Granite State Magazine" + "William
Tyng"  and found it. It was in Volume 5, not 1, and  it was part of a text of a speech
entitled "The Snow-Shoe Scouts" given by George Waldo Browne before the
Manchester Historic Association. (Browne was a historian and novelist whose
novels were based in New England history and melodramatic in the style of the
ate 19th and early 20th century.) I immediately recognized some of the last names
as names on my family tree. First, here's the list, with the name of the towns where
the soldiers lived in boldface, and men who I thought could be my relatives in boldface

John Shepley
Peter Talbird
Josiah Richardson
Saml. Chamberlain
Ebner. Spaulding

Henry Farwell
John Spaulding
Jona. Butterfield

Stephen Keyes
Timothy Spaulding
John Spaulding, Jr.

Benony Perham
John Richardson
Paul Fletcher
Nathaniel Butterfield
Stephen Pierce
Henry Spaulding

Jonathan Parker
Ephraim Hildreth
Nathaniel Woods
William Longley

Jonathan Page
Joseph Parker
Nathl. Blood
Thos. Tarble.

Richard Warner
Saml. Davis
Joseph Guilson
Joseph Perham
Joseph Lakin
James Blanchard
William Whitney
Eleazer Parker
Saml. Woods
John Longley
John Holden
Thomas Lund
Joseph Blanchard
Joseph Butterfield
John Cumings
Thomas Cumings
John Hunt
Jonathan Hill
Jonathan Richards
- Granite State Magazine Vol5 p14-15

Out of forty four men under the command of William Tyng, there were eighteen
with last names on my family tree.

Now the question was how might these men be related to me?

To be continued.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I've been lucky finding information about a good number of my colonial
New England citizens but there are a few family lines where I haven't been
as fortunate. One of those are my Butterfield ancestors who lived in the
Middlesex County, Massachusetts  towns of Chelmsford and Dunstable. So
last week I was Googling the Butterfield name in conjunction with the town
Chelmsford and came across a surprising bit of information: some of my Butterfield
and Spalding relatives had been "snowshoe soldiers".

I'd run across references to the snowshoe soldiers before; they were militiamen
who'd adopted Native American methods in their fighting with the local tribes.
Benjamin Church had set the precedent back during King Philip's War. Historian
Wilson Waters gives this account of their creation in his History of Chelmsford :

This war began in 1702 when England declared war against France and Spain. The
French had the sympathy of the New England Indians, who made constant vigilence 

necessary in the frontier settlements to guard against raids and massacres. "For
the first time the Indians were well armed and guided by a superior intelligence."
The war ended in 1713 by the treaty of Utrecht. Newfoundland and Acadia came
into the possession of England, whose prestige was strengthened in North America.

1702. November 19. A bill was passed providing snowshoes for the men of the frontier
towns at the charge of the Province. The Indians were more active and troublesome
in the winter, and companies were organized for service upon the snow. William Tyng 

commanded the first Massachusetts company, and received for services from December
28 to January 25, 1703-4, £71. 11.0, 25 shillings of which was paid to a "chyrugion." The 

company brought back five scalps and received as bounty £200. In the Granite State  
Magazine, Vol. I, is a list, with personal sketches, of forty-four men in this company,
who, in 1735, with sixteen others named, were the grantees of Tyngstown, which 

included the greater part of the present Manchester, N. H. The adjustment of the 
province line in 1741 voided this charter, and Massachusetts gave the grantees the 
township now Wilton, Maine." (p138-139)History of Chelmsford, Massachusetts 
(Google eBook)  Wilson Waters, Courier-Citizen Company, Lowell, Ma. 1917

Another well known New England historian, Samuel Adams Drake, gave more details of
some of the combat. The "Old Harry" he mentions was the name the colonists gave an
enemy whose Indian name actually was "Black Plume":

"In the winter of 1703 Captain William Tyng, commanding a company of "snow-shoe men," 
made a successful expedition to the headquarters of "Old Harry," near Lake Winnipiseogee.
They succeeded in killing six of the enemy, among whom was the traitor, " Old Harry himself," 
who had led the assaults on Dunstable. For this act of bravery the General Court subsequently 
granted to the heirs of those composing this company a tract of land, at first called "Old Harry's 
Town," then Tyngstown, and afterwards Manchester.

In the winter following, Captain John Tyng, with another company, made an expedition to 

Pequawkett, or Pigwacket, and took five Indian scalps, for which they received £200. In 1710 
the gallant commander of this company was mortally wounded by the Indians between Concord 
and Groton, and was buried, August 18, at the former place. The celebrated Joe English, 
grandson of Masconomo, sagamore of Ipswich, was shot by the Indians, near Holden's Brook, 
in what is now Tyngsborough, on the 27th of July, 1706. He was acting as a guard to Captain Butterfield and wife, who were travelling on horseback. Killing the horse and taking Mrs. 
Butterfield captive, the Indians then pursued Joe English, firing at him and wounding him 
while attempting to shelter  himself behind a clump of trees. To escape the torture of the 
savages, he insulted them with taunting words, when they at once despatched him with their tomahawks. His widow "and his two children received a grant of money from the government, because "he died in the service of his country." "
History of Middlesex County, Massachusetts: Containing Carefully Prepared Histories of
Every City and Town in the County, Volume 2 (Google eBook),
Samuel Adams Drake 
Estes and Lauriat, Boston Ma. 1880 p393

I'll discuss what I've been able to discover so far about my snowshoe soldier ancestors.

To be continued  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Just a reminder, there's only a week left to the deadline for submissions
to the Third American Civil War Challenge.
This is how you can participate:

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 of color who enlisted
to fight?

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

The 150 year celebration of the Civil War is a great source for those of us
blogging about our family history. So, let's do a little research over the coming
weeks between now and April 30th . Find out the answers to the questions
I asked and write about them. Or if you think of another topic to do with your
family history and the Civil War, write about that. Send me the link when you
publish it on your blog, and on May 6th I'll publish all the links here.

I'm looking forward to some interesting blogposts!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


My 5x  great grandfather Amos Upton had a good memory for a 90 year old
man when he applied for his Revolutionary War Veteran's Pension in August
of 1832 but unfortunately that was all he had with which to make his case. His
friends who had witnessed his service were all dead so they could not testify
in his behalf, nor did he have any documents he could produce as proof, either.
His statement was termed   "traditionary evidence" on the brief filed with his
application. Now according to Black's Law Dictionary, traditionary evidence is
"Evidence derived from tradition or reputation or the statements formerly
made by persons since deceased." Amos was not dead, but the term was the
closest to his defining statement. The next step was an inquiry into the
military records of Massachusetts where Amos had been living during the
Revolution. The answer came back in  April 1833 and it was not good news:

 "Boston Sec. Office, April 24, 1833
 Thomas Clark, Esq.
I send you a certificate of all that can be found as (pertains?) the service of
John Lombard. Amos Upton I do not find at all. There is one Roll of Capt.
Asa Prince's company, but Upton's name is not on it.
Edward S (Bangsby?)"

But Amos didn't give up. The rely had been written on April 24th and most have
taken two or three days to get from Boston up to Norway in Western Maine. A
few days after that, Amos reapplied for hs pension:

"State of Maine, Oxford SS May 1, 1833. Personally appeared before me, the
undersigned, a Justice of the Peace, in and for the county of Oxford, Amos
Upton who, being duly sworn, deposeth and saith, that by reason of old age,
and the consequent  loss of memory, he cannot swear positively as to the
precise length of his service , but according to the best of his recollection
he served not less than the period mentioned below, and in the following
grade: viz. For six months I served as a sergeant and for such service I
claim a pension.
Amos Upton."

There's none of the names of officers Amos mentioned in his first application.
His signature looks shaky and the "t" in Upton looks as if he forgot it and had
to add it after the original signature. Looking at this statement, with even less
information than on his already rejected first application, it's hard to think that
Amos would have any success this time around. But he did. I believe that someone
in  the Massachusetts state government finally found the records for this entry in
Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the War of the Revolution:

"Volume 16  
page 226
Upton, Amos, Reading.List dated Reading, 2d Parish, May 15, 1775, of men who 

enlisted under Capt. Asa Prince, of Danvers, as returned by Capt. John Flint to Col. 
David Green; also, Sergeant, Capt. Prince's co., Col. Mansfield's regt.; order for 
advance pay, signed by said Upton and others, dated Cambridge, June 8, 1775; also, 
Capt. Prince's co., Col. John Mansfield's (19th) regt. commanded by Lieut. Col. 
Israel Hutchinson; company return dated Oct. 6, 1775."

A certificate of pension was issued on August 2 1833.  Amos Upton was to receive $30
a year, a good amount of money in those days, beginning the following year of 1834. But
he also received $75  immediately, $60 of which was in arrears.

Amos lived for another five years, finally passing away at the age of  95 on 3Apr 1838.
He had been probably the last surviving Revolutionary War veteran in Norway, Maine.

Monday, April 15, 2013


Today Massachusetts celebrates  the Battles of Concord and
Lexington.and in remembrance of that event I'm once more
posting the names of my Revolutionary War ancestors.Some of
them were Minute Men who responded to the alarm that day. 

The italicized names are those whose Pension Files I've found.
If any one reading this shares my descent from these men, I'll be
glad to share the files with you if you don't already have them.: 

Jonathan Barker Jr.
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with the rank of Sergeant. He
was at Lexington and Concord with his sons Jonathan (see below)
and Samuel. Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode Island
and then with Nathaniel Gage' Company in Colonel Jacob Gerrish's
guards from Dec 1777 until April 1778 guarding the captured
troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd

Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John Davis'
Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the Massachusetts line
for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the conclusion of the term, he
reenlisted for another 3 months in Capt John Allen's Company,
Colonel John Waldron's Regiment, General Sullivan's Brigade in
the New Hampshire Brigade at Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a
third time in June 1778 at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel
Carr's Company, Col. James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's
Brigade at White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames
Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 19th, 1775. He
subsequently enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain Oliver
Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and in the Brigade that
was commanded in turn by Generals Putnam, Lee, and Washington.
and served for 8 1/2 months.

Asa Barrows
 A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of  Boston.  In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company  commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed there
for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time in a militia
company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill that marched
to Tiverton, R.I.

Moses Coburn
 Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of  1781." When
he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in Captain
Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the Massachusetts
line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in which he served
for nearly two years until it was broken up. He then transferred to
the Company of Judah Alden in the Regiment commanded by
Colonel Sprouts until his discharge in 1783.

Samuel Haskell
Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings
Amos  responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of Captain
Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William Johnson's Regiment.
He later served in Captain Timothy Eaton's Company in Colonel
Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment and was at the taking of  the
British General Burgoyne at Ticonderoga.

Elisha Houghton
Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain  Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and was
at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and  twice
was busted down to the ranks.

Amos Upton
Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from his
home in Reading. He later joined the militia company commanded
by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant and then enlisted
for eight months in the Continental Army under Colonel Mansfield
He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill and was discharged in October
of 1775.

John Griffith
Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of the
cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain William
Treadwell's Company  in Colonel John Crane's Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard
A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel Bailey's
militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the Alarm. He also
responded several more times as a Minuteman for a total of nearly
8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbot
Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry Abbott
and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan Barker,
Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013


When my 5x great grandfather Amos Upton appeared in court in August 1832
to make application for his veteran benefits, he was two months short of his
90th birthday.His contemporaries, the men he had served with and those with
whom he had helped build the town of Norway, Maine were all dead. Despite
whatever physical weaknesses old age might have given him, it doesn't seem
to have lessened his memory as his statement shows:

County of
Oxford SS.
ON this
25th day of August A.D. 1832, personally appeared in open
Court, before the
Court of Probate, now sitting, Amos
a resident of Norway, in the county of Oxford
and State of Maine, aged 90 years, who being first duly sworn according to law,
doth, on his oath, make the following declaration, in order to obtain the benefit of the
act of Congress, passed June 7, 1832. That he entered the service of the United States
under the following named officers, and served as herein stated.

On the 19th day of April 1775, on the alarm given of the enemie's being at Lexington,
he marched from his then residence, in Reading in Massachusetts, as a volunteer
with others to Lexington, and soon after joined a company of Massachusetts Militia,
commanded by Captain Asa Prince, was appointed an orderly sargeant, and
enlisted into the service of the U.S. in said company in the regiment commanded by
Col.Mansfield, for the term of eight months, with orders to enlist others- and he
accordingly enlisted Stephen Curtis, late of said Norway, a pensioner now deceased-
& Job Bancroft likewise deceased- he marched to cambridege near Boston, where he
was stationed, he was at the battle of Bunker hill on the 17th day of June 1775, he
well recollects  among many other officers at Cambridge, Gen Heath, Col.Ward, &
Gen. Putnam.  He served till about the last of October following, at which  time he
was under the necessity of returning to Reading, and with the consent of his officer,
he gave a young man whose name he does not now recollect, his gun and equipments
to take his place as a substitute, and was thereupon verbally discharged from the
service. He has no documentary evidence to prove his service, & and he knows of no
person whose testimony he can procure, who can testify to his service.  He was born in
the North parish in said Reading on the 30th day of October in the year 1742 and has
a record of his age in his family bible, made by his father. He resided at said Reading
when he entered the service, and removed from thence to Norway aforesaid his
present residence forty one years ago. He is the oldest inhabitant of the town in
which he resides and is personally known by the principal inhabitants- and here
names the Rev. Henry A.  Merrill and David Noyes, Esquire, likewise the selectmen
of said town of Norway all of whom can testify to his character for veracity and their
belief of his services as a soldier of the revolution.

He hereby relinquishes every claim whatever to a pension or annuity except the
present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any
Sworn to, and subscribed, the day and year aforesaid.

Amos Upton
Before Stephen Emory, Judge

So Amos didn't have anyone nearby who could testify for the veracity of his statement
of service and looking through the rest of the file there is no collaborating documents,
either. Would he be awarded his pension?

To be continued.

Thursday, April 04, 2013


More stories about my 5x great grandfather Amos Upton from the book
The History of Norway [Me.]: Comprising a Minute Account of Its First Settlement,
Town Officers, Interspersed with Historical Sketches, Narrative and Anecdote
(Google eBook)
by David Noyes.

I think this is my favorite story about Amos: his cure for being struck unconscious
by lightning:

"Previous to 1800, Amos Upton had built a large one-story house, and in January
of that year Ward Noyes moved from Andover, Mass., into Mr. Upton's house,
and lived there until the next fall. In July there was a terrific tempest of lightning,
thunder, rain and wind. The house was struck by lightning at the easterly end of
the ridge-pole; the electric fluid ran down the rafter and other timbers, and went
almost over the whole house. Seven persons were knocked down by the shock,
and Ward Noyes was insensible for a long time; probably he never would have
recovered had it not been for the application of cold water, which by Mr. Upton's
direction was poured upon him by pail full—he having, a short time previous,
seen in a newspaper an account of its efficacy. Large spaces of thick forest were
prostrated by this wind, and considerable damage done otherwise."

Our pioneer ancestors often worked at various professions to earn a living. Besides
being a blacksmith and carpenter, Amos was a miller. His carpentry skills  came in
handy here as well:

"In 1801, Amos Upton built a grist-mill on a brook .about three-fourths of a mile
westerly of Fuller's Corner. It was rather a rudely constructed thing, as he did almost
all the work himself, even to the making of the mill-stones. His oldest son, Francis
Upton, afterwards owned said mill, and tended it for many years. In the drought of
summer there was not sufficient water to grind; but at other times it did considerable
business, and was a great convenience to the settlers in the northwest part of the town. 

Amos Upton, Jr., another son of Amos Upton, succeeded his brother Francis; he built
a new mill on the same stream, a little above the old one; and did considerable business
in grinding. Jonathan Swift, some twenty-five years age, succeeded Amos Upton, Jr.,
and afterwards built a new mill, which is still in operation."

Finally, in 1802 the citizens of Norway organized a Congregational Church and Amos was
involved in that as well:

"It appears that the church records were to be kept in the house of Amos Upton, who had 
previous to this time built himself a large house for that day, and for many years it was used 
as a place for religious meetings. He was a zealous professor, and spent much time in fitting 
his house with seats to accommodate those who attended meeting on the Sabbath. On Saturday 
afternoon he would bring in blocks and planks, or boards, and arrange seats in his long kitchen, 
in preparation for meeting the next day. Mr. Joseph Martin was a good singer, and understood 
the rules of church psalmody well for that early day. Occasionally a missionary would come 
along, and stop and preach a few Sabbaths with the church and people; and sometimes a 
minister was hired to preach a Sabbath or two, or a month, and once or twice for three months...

...Thus it appears that we were not entirely destitute of the preached word; and when there was 

no minister, the people assembled in Mr. Upton's house, and held what used to be called a 
Deacon's meeting; there would be a sermon read, (the writer has read many in our Sabbath 
meetings,) and prayers offered up by some of the more gifted members of the church, and 
singing, good enough. There were many good singers of the old school method of singing, and 
uncle Jo Martin (as we used to call him) would give us the pitch of the tune with his pitch-pipe, 
and we could make first-rate church melody of such tunes as Old Hundred, St. Martins, Wells, 
&c."- pp75-76

By 1802 Amos was 60 years old, an age far past the average lifespan in that era, but only
two-thirds of the way through his life. Thirty years later, at age 90, he would apply for his
Revolutionary War Veteran Pension.

I'll discuss that next.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


My 5x great grandfather Amos Upton died on this date at Norway, Maine in 1838
and I wanted to do a blogpost about him. I already have his Revolutionary War
Pension file (which has the best handwriting I've seen so far on a document)
but I also did a Google search to see what else I could find online about him.

There's something about my ancestors named Amos on the Barker side of
my Dad's family. I've done posts about Amos Hastings, Amos Hastings Barker,
and now I've found some interesting stories about Amos Upton. I found them
in the book David Noyes wrote and self-published in 1852, The History of 
Norway [Me.]: Comprising a Minute Account of Its First Settlement, 
Town Officers, Interspersed with Historical Sketches, Narrative and 
Anecdote (Google eBook).

It starts with Amos' arrival in the Norway area from North Reading Massachusetts
where he was born:

"This year Amos Upton came down from Reading, Mass., and felled trees on the
lot south of Fuller's Corner, and moved his family in Sept., 1790."

Within a few years Amos was well established there and helping newcomers
as these next two excerpts about the year 1793 show:

"Fuller agreed with Amos Upton, (who was a kind of carpenter, and also partly a
blacksmith) to erect a house and barn for him, early in the spring and summer of
1794, with the intention of moving his family to his new home."

 Apparently there was some delay in the house construction:

"I said that Mr. Fuller moved his- family to his house; but Mr. Upton had not yet
erected the house as Fuller expected; therefore he went into- Mr. Upton's house,
and there remained till late in the fall. After Fuller's arrival, Mr. Upton commenced
in good earnest about the buildings. They went into the woods and cut timber, and
erected a barn in season to put in his grain, and a house as fast as they could. Fuller
procured boards at Rust's mill, and rafted them up to the head of the pond, and then
hauled them up to where they were to be used. The barn was thirty-two feet by fifty,
and the house twenty feet by thirty-eight, and a story and a half high—the largest 

establishment in the Cummings Gore; they got the house so as to move into it, in 
November." p24

In the early days of the settlement,  Amos had another important distinction: he owned
the only horse in the community. This story included his son Francis, who is my 4x
great grandfather : 

"Previous to this time there was but one horse in the Cummings Gore, and that an old
white-faced mare, owned by Amos Upton; and she was used by all the neighbors to
go to mill. They used to lash the bags on to the saddle, a huge, coarse thing made for
that purpose, and let the old mare plod her way along the little pathway. Aaron Wilkins
says (and he knew all about it) she would crook around the trees and rocks very carefully,
so as to avoid hitting the bags against them. Before they had any other practicable
conveyance to Portland, Francis Upton, the oldest son of Amos Upton, went to Portland
with the old mare, and carried a small hog to market, having it laid across the pack saddle,
and strongly lashed on with cords; he went on foot himself, leading or driving the old mare,
and only reached Dudley Pike's the. first day, and put up there that night".