Friday, May 31, 2013


In one of my posts about John Barnes I wrote about how the Plymouth Colony
government struggled to deal with his drinking problem. At one point they even
made it a crime in 1661 to sell him any liquor.  Even that didn't seem to work, and
I wondered how effective that strategy could have been, given that John imported
and sold liquor as part of his business as a merchant. I think this next record shows
one way he could get plenty of liquor.

Up until the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay Colonies merged most of  the towns
south of Boston, such as Yarmouth on Cape Cod  were part of Plymouth Colony. This
record from 1667 deals with how much rum and sacke(white wine from Spain) were
brought into Yarmouth during 1666m and certain discrepancies of amounts on the
invoices of the shipments. Among the people practicing what might be considered
"creative bookkeeping" were Jonathan Barnes and his brother in law, Abraham Hedges.

5Jun 1667
The Account of the Liquors brought into Yarmouth the Year last past, giuen
                                                             in by Mr Thacher.
The 15 of the first month, Elisha Hedge, one barrell of rum.
Mr Hedge, 9 gallons of sacke.
September 14, (66,) by John Barnes, for Elisha Hedge, fifty gallons of rum.
For Mr Sprague, 10 gallons of rum.
For Samuell Sturgis, 30 gallons of rum.
For Edward Sturgis, Junir, 25 gallons.
Jonathan Barnes brought sundry barrells of liquors to the towne, since which
hee did not invoyce with vs, but did after some distanceof time invoyce it
with the Treasurer.

The first weeke of Aprill, (67,) Edward Sturgis, Senir, 22 gallons of sacke, which
was invoyced, tho not in due time according to order.

Att that time, there were fiue or six barrells of rum bought of the merchant att
Satuckett, whcih was not invoyced, but concealed one barrerll ; Jonathan Barnes
had another barrell ; Joseph Ryder three more,  hee seized for the countrey,
which haue bine since condemned, viz : Samuell Sturgis, one barrell of rum ;
Edward Sturgis. Junir, one barrell of rum ; and Abraham Hedge, one barrell of rum,
which lyes responsible for his father to cleare betwixt thia and the Court in July

Boardman, halfe a barrell, or somwhat more, which hee invoced.

The first week in June, 67, Jonathan Barnes invoyced oNe barrell of rum for
John Mokancy, Abraham Hedge had about three barrells last sumer, which it is
vncertaine whether invoced or now. 
Plymouth Court Records Volume 4

I'd be willing to bet that some of the misinvoiced rum ended up in a tankard that
Jonathan's father John drank with gusto!

Thursday, May 30, 2013


John Barnes' son Jonathan  was born 3Jun 1643 and as I'll show later was
involved in his father's merchant business. But this post is about his one
appearance at Plymouth Court for an offense that resembled some of his
father's drinking exploits.

In 1666 the twenty three year old Jonathan had been married for a year
to his wife Elizabeth Hedges. This particular case involved two of his
wife's brothers; Abraham Hedge was a co-defendant and Elisha was a
witness. The third co-defendant Thomas Starr was already in hot water
for some statements criticizing the colonial government.

It also didn't help matters that Anthony Thacher was a deputy to the
General Court from Yarmouth.

The following  is from the Plymouth Court Records:

6Mar 1666
Att this Court, Mr Anthony Thacher complained against Thomas Starr,
Jonathan Barnes, and Abraham Hedge for abbusive carriages towards him in
his house ; in reference whervnto the said Starr, Barnes, and Hedge were
sentenced to pay vnto the said Mr Thacher the sume of fkiue pounds, viz :
the said Thomas Starr the sume of forty shillings, Jonathan Barnes the sume
of forty shillings, and Abraham Hedge the sume of twenty shillings; and in
reference vnto theire rietus carriages att the same time in breakeing the
Kings peace, for the which bonds were taken of each of then vntil this Court,
the court sentences them to bee comitted to prison, and theire to remaine
during the pleasure of the Court ; which accordingly was pformed, and the
next day after their comittment were sett at libertie, and theire bonds
deliured to them.

And in reference vnto  the said Thomas Starr and Jonathan Barnes theire
abusiue carriage to Francis Baker att the same time, they, the said Starr and
Barnes, were sentanced by the Court to pay vnto the said Baker, each of them,
the sume of twenty shillinges.

And in reference vnto the said Francis Baker and John Casley theire breach of
the peace att the same time, they were fined by the Court, each of them, the
sume of three shillinges and four pence to the vse of the collonie.

And whereas Elisha Hege hath giuen testimony that the said Baker and Casley
were drunke att the same time, incase any concurrent testimony shall appear
to cleare vp the truth thereof, they shallbee lyable to suffer the penaltie of the
law for the same.

The stay in prison might have been the Plymouth equivalent of spending the night
in jail to sleep it off and ponder the error of your ways. If it was, it seems to have
worked for Jonathan as this was the only instance I can find of him misbehaving.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


About a year ago I wrote a post concerning the mystery of my distant Ellingwood
cousin Lizzie (Ellingwood). It began when I was contacted by two ladies from New
Hampshire,  Karen and Carol. Karen and her husband had purchased a house in Berlin,
NH and during the course of the remodel had discovered some old letters. The home
had been owned in the late 19th century by Fred Blanchard and Lizzie Blanchard,and the
letters were written by or to the  three Blanchard children. Intrigued by what she had found,
Karen and her sister Carol had started researching the Blanchards, and that led them
to my blog because of my posts about my Ellingwood family.

What especially puzzled them was the question of what had become of Lizzie Ellingwood.
The letters Karen and her husband had found were written after her death and Fred Blanchard
had remarried. I was able to help with finding out information about the children and Fred
and Anna(Hutchinson) Blanchard. They all had eventually ended up moving to Rhode Island.
There was no hint of what Lizzie had died from, when she had died, and where she was
buried. But Karen and Carol didn't give up looking.

Lizzie's grandfather was my ancestor John Ellingwood, one of the first settlers of Milan,
NH and he is buried there in a family plot. Reasoning that Lizzie might be buried in
one of the Milan cemeteries, Karen called the Milan Town clerk who checked the town
records and gave Karen a surprise: Lizzie had given birth to a fourth child, a boy who had been
born on 14Feb 1883 and died six months later. Karen and a friend visited Riverside Cemetery
later and found the boy's headstone but had no luck finding a gravemarker for Lizzie.

Karen's discovery also narrowed down the years when Lizzie died. Fred Blanchard married his
second wife in Jan 1886/ So Lizzie must have passed away between 14Feb 1883 and 10Jan
1886. Given that Fred would have mourned his wife for a year or maybe two, that narrows it
down even more to sometime around 1884.

One thing I think I can say for sure: Karen and Carol haven't given up the hunt for the answer
to what happened to Lizzie!

Sunday, May 26, 2013


((I'm reposting this today in hopes that perhaps the relatives of the men
in the photograph might one day find this picture of their veterans. First posted
June, 2008))

I think I may have posted this photo once before. It's from
when my Dad was training for the Air Corps during World
War II before he washed out due to inner ear problems.

On the back is a partial list of names of his fellow trainees,
and I'm posting that image now and my attempt at
transcribing it here in the hopes that the children and
grandchildren of these men might find it someday and see
how they looked in their uniforms before they went off to

Because of the way the men are grouped it's hard for me to
assign names to specific faces. The only two I can are Michael
D. Piper Jr. and Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?) standing to
either side of my father Floyd E. West Jr. at the far right end
of the back row. I think the first name is actually Lee Mill
Sanders and that he just signed the list "last name first."

I also noticed that Daniel M. Jeffrey's name appears twice.
The first entry is crossed over so I've assumed that either
someone else had posted the name in the wrong place or he
had done so himself and then corrected his mistake. I've
changed the first entry to "unknown".

So here they are. I wonder how many of them made it
home after the war, and I thank them for their service
to our country.

Sanders Lee Mill Artesia N.M.

Palmer E. Severson Wanooka (?) Minn,

Jerald L. Swan, Beatrice, Nebraska

Helmut Paul Zimmerman, Buffalo, N.Y.

Robert L. Rugg Pueblo, Colorado


Charles H. Parman, Skidmore, Mo.



Bill C. Hays, San Angelo, Texas


Ward L. Warnock, Camden, Ark.

Michael C. Sanborn (?) Port Arthur, Tex.

Bob Moffet, St. Joseph, Mo.


Ross Powill, Ellisville Miss

Daniel M. Jeffrey, Jeanette, La.

Allen D. Bailey, Mpls Minnesota





Jack Sessions Colton, California

Jack Wendt, Pecos, Texas


Burton L. Steele, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob E Wick,  Denver, Colorado

James H. Trask, Kansas City, Kansas

William E. Green,  Eden, Texas



Michael D. Piper Jr., Queen City, Mo.

Floyd E. West

Lonnie (or Lennie?) L. Parker (?), Roswell, New Mex.


The estate of John Barnes was submitted to the Court five months after his death by
the four men appointed to take the inventory. (One of them was  Samuel Dunham, another
of my ancestors.) John was successful merchant and his belongings reflect that fact. It's
a long list and I won't go through the whole thing here, but here's a section from the
beginning of it. It certainly is more proof that much of our culture's view of Pilgrim
culture is incorrect. The stereotype is that the male Plymouth colonists all dressed
in black with those tall buckled hats, and in fact there are some black ("sadcolored") items
in John's wardrobe. But there are also red "wascoates" (waistcoats), silver buttons, and
a beaver trimmed ("demicastor" ) hat.

There were a few terms I had never encountered before and had trouble finding defintions
for when I Googled them. So I asked my friends over on Facebook if anyone had any
idea what they meant and several were able to help me out.

Ernie Wallace and Pamela Wile found that a "Parropus coat" was a coat made from
Peropus which was a double layer of camlet fabric. Camlet was made from camel's
hair and silk and originated in Asia.      

Drew Smith and Jennifer Zinck told me that a "Carsey suite"  was made of a woolen
cloth whose name is usually spelled as "kersey".

My thanks to all of them for the assistance!


A true Inventory of the estate of Mr John Barnes lately deceased taken and aprised by us whose names are underwritten this 30th day of August Anno Dom 1671 as followeth

Impr*. his apparell one [Parropus] Coate 00-15-00

Item a sadcullered Carsey suite 01-15-00

Item a broadcloth Coate 01-00-00

It. a serge heire Cullered suite 01-05-00

It. a gray serge Coate 01-00-00

It. a broadcloth suite and a troopers Coate all of them worne 01-10-00

It. a great Russed Cloth Coate 01-05-00

It. 2 old troopers Coates and an old paire of briches 01-05-00

It. 3 Red wascoates 00-18-00

It. 4 paire of drawers 00-18-00

Ite. a night uper garment and a tufted fustian wascoate 00-07-00

Item 3 old dubletts 00-12-00

Item 3 paire of wosted stockens 00-10-00

Item 6 paire of stockens 1 of them holland 00-10-00 /. s. d.

Item a black demicaster of the new fashion; & 1 old satten capp . . 00-12-00

Item 2 Cullerd hatts 00-06-00

Itm 4 old hatts 00-04-00

Item 2 new Cullered hatts 00-10-00

Item 1 hatt more 00-02-06

Item 5 blacke silke hatt bands 00-03-00

Item 2 paire of Cotton gloves and 2 paire of lether gloves fringed . 00-07-00

Item 1 Remnant of sad cullered cloth in bitts and one pair of gater lashes 00-05-00

Item a paire of mittens and a paire of blacke Garters 00-01-00

Item 2 dowlis shirts almost new 00-16-00

Item 2 shirts more 00-16-00

Ite. 2 shirts more 00-10-00

Ite: half a dozen of bands and band stringes and an old wrought capp. . 00-12-00
Item a silk neckcloth.
His cash.

Item io* sent into the bay by George Watson and by him Returned: . . 00-10-00

Item in cash more which we find exstant 05-08-07

Item a set of silver buttons and a silver thimble 00-06-00

Item 7 whole silver spoones and 2 broken ones 03-04-00

Item a silver bason 03-00-00

Item a silver beer bowle 03-00-00

Item a silver dram cupp:& 2 other small peeces of broken silver . 00-16-00

Item a smale psell of Gould and silver case 00-03-00

Item a knot of silver buttons 00-03-00

Item 2 bibles one English and another Indian 01-00-00

Ite old Psalme booke and 2 other old bookes 00-01-06

Nathaniel : Morton
John Morton
Gyles Rickard Senor
Samuell donham 

- "The Plymouth scrap book: the oldest original documents extant in Plymouth archives, printed verbatim (Google eBook)"  by Charles Henry Pope (C. E. Goodspeed & company,  1918 Boston, Ma.) p102

The Inventory goes on and on, counting livestock, armor, weapons, and more clothes. The Estate was valued at  226 pounds, 18 shillings, 8 pence.

John Barnes left behind a sizable estate for his era and place. Despite his bouts of drunkenness he'd
been a productive and valued member of the Plymouth Colony.

Still, I can't help feeling that there may have been some Pilgrims who might have been relieved that
they no longer had to deal with the problem of John Barnes. 

Friday, May 24, 2013


My ancestor John Barnes must have had an intimation of his own mortality four years
before his death, because his will was drawn up and presented in 1667.  He didn't have
many relatives to whom he could leave his estate: his second wife Joan, his son Jonathan
(my ancestor), his two grandsons, the children of his deceased daughter Lydia (Barnes)
Marshall and an unnamed cousin who was married to Henry Sampson. I found this
transcription of his will online in a Google ebook,  Charles Henry Pope's 1918 book "The Plymouth scrap book: the oldest original documents extant in Plymouth archives, printed verbatim (Google eBook)" (C. E. Goodspeed & company, Boston, Ma.) p56-57

New Plimouth
6th of March,  1667
New England
The Last will & Testament of John Barn's which is as ffollows.
To All whome these may concern. (Know you That I John Barn's (being of my Sound Understandinge: doe declaire This to be my Last will and Testament. Knowing not how soon ye lord may call me out of this world, doe theirfore Labor to give noe occasion of strife unto those that shall survive me. But that peace may be Among them. 1. In the first place I doe desire that my body; be decently buryed (and) that Funerall charges to be Expended out of my psonall Estate.
2. That all Legacys be payd . before any division of my estate be mayd.
3. I doe apoynt yt my dear wife Joan Barn's & my son Jonathan Barn's be ye Exectors of this my Last will and Testament.—4. I doe Bequeath unto my wife Joan Barn's half of Every pt. and pcell of my housing and Lands yt I doe now psess in ye Township of New Plimoth dureing The Tearme of her life.—5. I doe bequeath unto my sonn unto my sonn Jonathan the other half part of my above said housing Lands &c. unless my sayd Sonn shall forfitt it on condittions as follow's in an oyr pt of this my will.-6. I doe bequeath all my Land lying Near to Road Island unto my grand-Sonn John Marshall, as also ye silver dish yt I doe usually use to Eat in. - 7. I doe bequeath to my Cozen ye wife of henery Samson forty shilling's out of my Estate to be payd Beffore division of my Estate.8. I doe Bequeath my moveable Estate as follow's one third to my wife for ever in Case she shall not molest any pson to whome I have fformerly sould any Lands unto in Case she shall so doe, yn it shall fall to my Sonn or grandson John Marshall. ye Next third I doe bequeath to my Sonn Jonathan In Case he doe not demand any pt of That Estate yt fformerly I gave to my daughter Lyddyah: Now deceased, in case he shall Soe doe yt third shall fall unto my grandson John Marshall ffor ever. The Next third I doe bequeath to my grandchildren now in being togeither wth my Kinswoman Ester Ricket to pay to each of ym an Equall pt of yt my Estate, hoping That my Last will may be an instrument of peace; shall cease waiting for ye Time of my chang. -9. I doe Further Request and desire Elder Thomas Couchma Lt. Ephraim Morton and Joseph Warren to be the overseers of this my Last will and Testament.
his mark
John x Barnes   (Seal)

Signed & Sealed In
ye presence of
george Soule Senr:
Sam1: Seaburij
Samuell hunt

This Will is Recorded according to
order p me Nathaniel Morton Secretary
see book of Wills and Inventoryes
Recorded beginning att 71; in folio 31

I'll conclude this series with a look at the inventory of the estate of John Barnes.


I think the Plymouth authorities had become resigned to my ancestor John Barnes'
drinking bouts towards the end of his life.Either that, or he became a discreet drunk
and wasn't caught drinking in public. But ultimately, it was a very public and very
foolish display that led to his death at the age of 61 in 1671. A jury of 12 men
were called together to rule on the cause of death. Two of them were also my
ancestors, Samuel Dunham and Sergeant William Harlow:

5March 1671-2
Wee, whose names are vnderwritten, being sumoned together by order
from the Gov to view the corpes of Mr John Barnes, and to giue in a verdict
how wee judge hee came by his death, doe judge, that being before his barne
dore in the street, standing stroakeing or feeling of his bull, the said bull
suddenly turned about vopn him and gaue him a great wound with his horne on
his right thigh, neare eight inches longe, in which his flesh was torne both
broad and deep, as wee judge ; of which wound, together with his wrinch of
his necked or paine thereof, (of which hee complained,)hee imediately
languished ;  after about 32 hours after he died. Vnto the thruth whereof wee
haue submitted our hands.


Plymouth Court Records p88

Some of his Pilgrim neighbors probably shook their heads and murmured about how
he was warned that someday his drinking would kill him. But despite his excessive
drinking, John Barnes died a wealthy man by the standards of his day, and I'll discuss
that in the next post of this series,

Thursday, May 23, 2013


Being a fairly successful merchant, John Barnes had several indentured servants
in his household and apparently at least one slave. He seems to have not been a
cruel master since there are no records of runaways from his service, but there
are a few cases where his servants requested their contracts be taken over by
another colonist.

Two of the cases involving John's servants interested me. The first involves a
servant named John Wade who had taken a boat trip to Duxbury with a man
named Edward Holman, another merchant of Plymouth Colony who would
have been a business rival of John Barnes.:

2Feb 1657
John Barnes complained against Edw Holman for intertaining John Wade, his
seruant, and for carrying the said Wade to Duxburrow in his boate, without
his masters concent. The Court finding the said Holman, vpon examination of
him, to bee faulty both att this time and att other times in like manor, hee was
fined ten shillings ; and the next time hee, the said Holman, shalbee found faulty
in such like carryages, on due proofe, towards any of the seruants of the said
John Barnes, hee is centanced by the Court to pay vnto him the sume of twenty

Att the same Court, the said John Barnes complained against his said seruant,
John Wade, he ran vp and downe like vnto a runagate, and hee could haue noe
comaund ouer him, and therefore desired hee might bee freed from any further
care or inspection ouer him ; on which the Court ordered the said Barnes to keep
his said seruant vntill hee could send word to his father, and take further order
with him about him.  Plymouth Court Records   Vol3 p126

Reading how John Barnes described his "runagate" servant, I wonder just how old
John Wade. Children were indentured sometimes at a young age and his behavior
seems to indicate that John Wade was perhaps just a a normal active boy.

The second case caught my attention because it involves a man from Boston, a
Mr Rocke. Boston was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony's

5Jul 1666
In reference vnto Thomas Barnes, servant vnto Mr John Barnes, of Plymouth, vpon
complaint vnto the Court of the nott agreement between the saiid mr and servant,
the case being refered by such as were interested therein, viz, the said Mr Barnes,
and Mr Rocke, of Boston, in the behalfe of the said Thom Barnes, for a full and finall
determination,vnto our honored Gov, he hath ordered, with the consent of the Court

aforsaid, that the said Thomas Barnes shall be surrendered vp vnto the said Mr Rocke,
to be att his dispose, and that he is released from his master, John Barnes, prouided
that the said Mr Rocke pay or cause to bee payd vnto the said John Barnes the sum of
 ^  ^. Vol 4 p133

The amount to be paid by Mr Rocke is missing from the transcription. All there is are those
two "^ ^". The "Gov" referred to was Governor Thomas Prence, with whom John had once
exchanged indentured servants.

Next, the story of the unusual death of John Barnes,.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Besides being a successful merchant my ancestor John Barnes did a lot of wheeling
and dealing in real estate. His name appears in the Plymouth Court Records more
for land deals than for any other reason. Several times he was appointed by the Court
to settle land disputes between some of the colonists. On one such occasion he was
part of a committee which included a man named Thomas Pope. The irony is that
eventually the Court would be asked to deal in a dispute between Barnes and Pope.

Relations between the two men may have soured first because of a fight Pope had
with Gyles Rickard which came to blows and in which Pope hit Rickard's wife. That
incident took place in 1663. About a year later all three men were in Court:    

7Feb 1664-5
In reference vnto diuers complaints amongst some of the naighbours of
Plymouth, in pticulare John Barnes against Thomas Pope, and the said Pope
against Gyles Rickard, concerning bounds of land whereof they complained
each of the other of encroahment and treaspas by cuting of wood and makeing
of hiewaies ouer the said Barnes his land, the Court haue ordered Leiftenant
Morton and Gorge Bonum, with the healp of some other for a third man, to
measure and bound the said lands in controuersy, the ancient bounds being
lost, that soe all controuersyes about the same might sease for the future. 
V4 pp79-80

("Gorge Bonum" was my 8x great grandfather George Bonham.)

Whatever suggestions Morton, Bonham, and the unknown third man may have
made to deal with the situation, it does not appear to have worked. Thomas Pope
had been involved in several confrontations with other colonists over property
boundaries before and in this case he appears to be the instigator, although we
only have the Court Records to go by. Barnes could have very well done something
to provoke Pope that was never recorded anywhere.

Then the following May the pair were once more in Court:

3May 1665
In reference vnto the complaint of John Barnes against Thomas Pope, for
treaspasing vpon his land in carting ouer it, and the complaint of the said
Pope against the said Barnes for violently oposing the children of the said
Pope in the cart way when they were about theire honest labour, and for
beating the horse of the said Pope, and in strikeing of the horse struck his
boy, the Court ordered, that forasmuchas these contrversyes arose rather
out of prejudice then out of any reall cause, that they should addresse
themselues to the healp of naighbours for the settleing of those matters,
and that the said Pope should goe noe more through Barnes his land.
v4 p89

Despite the accusations that Barnes had hit the horse and the Pope boy, no
action was taken against him by the Court. There were no witnesses called
for either side and it's possible the boy had not been hit. What had happened,
though, was that Pope had trespassed again on John Barnes'  land and was
warned by the Court not to do it again.

Whether it was the Court's warning or the intervention of neighbors that was
responsible, John Barnes and Thomas Pope did not appear in Court as adversaries

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


My ancestor John Barnes must have really perplexed the leaders of Plymouth
Colony. He apparently drank to excess often and in such a way that it was
impossible for the authorities to just ignore it. Yet he was also too important
a member of the Colony to be punished by exile or imprisonment. Finally, in
March of 1657, some limit must have been reached because they tried a
new tactic:

 2March 1657
John Barnes, for his frequent abusing himselfe in drunkeness, after former
punishment and admonition, is fined fiue pounds ; and in case any shall
entertaine him in theire house in a way of drinking, shallbee fined the sume
of twenty shillings ; and if any of the towne of Plymouth shallbee found
drinking in his companie, eury such to pay two shillings & sixpence.
 Plymouth Court Records v3 p128

I think they were trying to use the modern bar tactic of "shutting him off "
but there was a very large hole in it: John Barnes was a merchant, and there
must have been things like wine and rum among the goods he stocked.  He
would also have been traveling to Boston for business where he could find
someone to drink with him. The attempt to curb his drinking problem

Next the Colony government turned to a different method:

6Oct 1659
Att this court, John Barnes, William Newland, and Henry Howland appeered,
being sumoned, and were convicted by law, and sentanced by the Court to bee
disfranchised of their freedome of this corporation ; the said John Barnes, for
his frequent and abominable drunkenes,  and William Newland and Henry Howland
for theire being abettors and entertainers of Quakers, contrary to the aforesaid
order ; likewise Richare beare of Marshfeild, for being a grossly scandalouse pson,
debaughed having bine formerly convicted of filthy, obseane practises, and for the
same by the Court sentanced ;  as alsoe faling vnder the breach of the aforsaid law,
was summoned by the Court psonally to appeer to receiue the said sentance of being
disfranchised as aforesaid, but he appeered not. Notwithstanding his facts and
course of life being pspecuouse and mannifest, hee was likewise sentanced to bee
disfranchised of his freedome of this corporation. V3 pp176-177

This time, John and the others named were now denied the right to vote in Colony
affairs. Even this did nothing to keep John away from drink, because two years later
a new stricter version of the first Court order was issued:

10Jun 1661
The  ordinary keepers of the towne of Plymouth are heerby prohibited to lett John
Barnes haue any liquors, wine, or strong drinke, att any time, within dores or without,
on the penaltie of being fined fifty shillings if they shallbee found to doe, to bee
to the vse of the collonie. V3 p219

Up until now it looks like there was a pattern: the Colony's leaders would try something
to deal with Barnes' public drunkenness and it would seem to work for about two years. But
either this last time was more successful than the other times, or John finally learned
how to be a discrete drinker. Whatever the case, this time it was four years before the
next appearance in Court for John: 

3Oct 1665
John Barnes, being lately detected of being twise drunke, is fined twenty shillings.

Gyles Rickard, Senr, for suffering John Barnes to bee drunke in his house, is fined
five shillings. V4 p106

This was the next to last mention in the Plymouth Court Records of John Barnes'
drunkenness. The last one came six years later and that was on the occasion of his death.

But John had other affairs that needed to be brought up in Court, and we'll discuss those

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


As I wrote in an earlier post, my 9x great grandfather John Barnes was known as
a drunk in Plymouth Colony. It was such a problem that the authorities took
stern measures to deal with the problem, which will be the subject of another
post. But whatever the may have thought about his excessive drinking, John
was also a productive member of Plymouth society. I doubt they would have
been as lenient with someone who was a a layabout alcoholic.

This particular incident caught my attention first because it involves another
of my ancestors,  8x great grandfather Samuel Dunham. The case was originally
about an accusation against a John Smith, Sr. that he had received stolen property
from a servant of John Barnes, but Smith may have tried to get some revenge om
Barnes by bringing up one my ancestor's recent escapades where he arrived at
Samuel Dunham's house after a drinking binge at the house of another neighbor.
It was sort of a "he said that he said" story.

Two things should be explained about the meaning of two phrases in Smith's
accusation. The first is that it was common to say "drink a pipe" rather than
"smoke a pipe" in the 17th century.

The second is that I'm not too sure exactly what John meant about "two rodds"
except that a rod is a unit of measurement, and I think he is referring to the
end result of drinking a lot of beer.

The case is in Volume Three of  Records of the colony of New Plymouth in
New England
, page 27.

2May 1653
A neager maide seruant of John Barnes, att this Court accused John
Smith, Senr. of Plym, for receiueing tobacco and other things of her which
were her said masters, att sundry times, in a purloining way. The Court
what could bee said on both sides, and because sufficient testimony could
not be at psent produced for the clearing of the case, it was ordered, that the
said pties should attend the next Court of Assistants for further hearing, and
then produce  what testimony the haue for the clearing thereof.

Upon occation of the difference betwixt the said neager and the said
John Smith, the said Smith accused John Barnes in open Court, and said that
Samuell Dunham said , att the house of Gorge Watson,on Tusday last past,
before the date heerof, that there was soe much liquore drunke att the house
of John Rickard the same day, whereof John Barnes dranke soe much as hee
coming into the house of the said Samuell Dunham, and assaying to drinke a
pipe of tobacco, hee filled his pipe and could not light it, and that he should
in a threatening way  say hee had two rodds in pise for him and Goodwife

Smith was to be disappointed if he'd thought to get John Barnes in trouble
that day. I suspect the Pilgrim version of eye-rolling took place as they heard
another story of my ancestor having too much to drink because there is no mention
of any punishment being handed down to Barnes at that particular court session.

As to the original case of John Smith and the servant, a final judgement was given
later that year, on 2Aug 1653 before Gov. William Bradford:

Wheras a contravercy depending betwixt  John Smyth, Senr, of Plym, and a neager
maide maide servant of John Barnes, was refered, for want of clearer euidence,
unto this Court bee ended ;  and accordingly whatsoeuer could bee said on either
side was heard ; and with admonission, both pties were cleared.

John Smith Sr was cleared of the charge against him. His attempt to cause trouble
for John Barnes hadn't worked but my ancestor was wearing the patience of the
authorities thin, and as I'll show, there would be consequences.  

Sunday, May 12, 2013


In honor of Mother's day, here are pictures of some of our Dad's female ancestors.

First, on his mother's side:

Amos H Barker & Betsey J (Moore) Barker

Our 2x great grandmother Betsey Jane Moore was born on 16 Aug 1842 at Waterford,
Oxford, Me. She married Amos Hastings Barker in 1856 and they raised a family of
12 children, 11 of whom survived to adulthood. Betsey died 12Mar 1924 at age 82.

My great grandmother Charlotte Lovenia Barker is the lady on the right.
 Our great grandmother Charlotte Lovenia Barker was youngest of  Amos & Betsey's
12 children. She was born on 3 Aug 1879 in Albany, Oxford, Maine and was known as
":Lottie". She married her first cousin Frank W. Barker on 16Oct 1898 and they had
4 children before Frank died in 1905 from pneumonia caused by "La Grippe" (the flu).
She was married three more times before her death on 3Jan 1944 at Bangor, Maine.   

Cora Berthella (Barker) West & her great granddaughter Mindy Sue West

Our grandmother Cora Berthella (Barker) West was born 27Oct 1899 and was the eldest
child of Frank and Charlotte. She preferred the name Bertha, although it was given as
Cora on her marriage certificate. Bertha married Floyd E.West Sr on 24Mar 1919 and
had 5 children, one of whom was our Dad.

 On his Dad's side of the family:

Arvilla (Ames)West

Our 3x great grandmother Arvilla Ames was born in Livermore, Androscoggin, Maine
on 25Jan 1810, one of 10 children. She married John Cutter West on 23Sep 1827
at Sumner, Maine, and five years later they moved to Letter B Plantation (later renamed
Upton), Oxford, Maine. She had 10 children, 3 of whom died in a diphtheria outbreak
in 1862. She died at age 97 at Hermon, Maine.

Louisa A.(Richardson) West
  Louisa Richardson, our 2x great grandmother was born in Wilton, Maine on
23Jun 1837 at Wilton, Maine.  She was the second wife of Jonathan Phelps West,
whose first wife had died in the 1862 diphtheria outbreak. Louisa and Jonathan
married on 31Jan 1865 and had 4 sons. She died 4Oct 1925 at age 88.

Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood & Asa F Ellingwood

Our other paternal 2x great grandmother was Florilla Dunham who was born 29Aug 1832
at North Paris, Oxford, Maine. She married Asa F. Ellingwood on 10Aug 1850 at Woodstock,
Oxford, Maine and they had 11 children.(She was one of 11 children herself.) She died in
Paris, Oxford, Maine on 21Feb 1917.

Clara (Ellingwood) West

Finally, our great grandmother  Clara Ellingwood was the 8th child and youngest
daughter of Florilla and Asa. She was born 6Mar 1865 in Dummer, Coos, NH.
Her first marriage with Charles Tidswell ended in divorce and she married  our
great grandfather Philip J West on 25May 1894 at Shelburne, Coos, NH. She had
three children by her first marriage and two by her second, including our grandfather
Floyd E West, Sr. Sadly, Clara died young after an illness in Augusta, Maine on 10Apr
1901. She was only 36 years old.

And those are the pictures we have of the mothers in our family.

Happy Mother's Day! 


For Mother's Day this year I thought I'd share some pictures of the mothers from
both sides of our family. For our Mom's side we don't have very many since her grandparents
immigrated here from Ireland and Germany in the 19th century.

John McFarland & Annie (Kelley) McFarland
First there's Anna Kelley, born 1Oct 1858 in Kiltrustan, Roscommon, Ireland. She married
my great grandfather in Edinburgh Scotland on 16May1879 and shortly after they came
to America and settled in Boston. She had 17 children, 10 of whom survived to adulthood.
Anna died 15Feb 1945 at Boston,Ma, at age 86.

Pauline (Offinger) White
Our other maternal great grandmother was Pauline Offinger, born 17Dec 1873
in Cambridge, Massachusetts to German immigrant parents. She married Edward J.
White on 27Nov 1895 in Boston, Ma. and had 9 children.          

Agnes (McFarland) White
Our grandmother Agnes (McFarland) White was born 7Oct 1898 in Boston, Ma, the
14th of John & Annie's 17 children. She was known as "Aggie" in the family. She married
Edward F.White, Sr. and had two children,  our Uncle Ed  and our Mom Anne Marie. She
died 12Feb 1957 in Malden Ma.

Anne M. (White) West

Finally, our Mom, Anne M. (White) West. She was born 7Jul 1927 at Boston, Ma and
married our Dad on 29Jun 1947, also at Boston. To her McFarland cousins she was
known as "Red White".She died on 28Jul 1999 at Weymouth, Ma and she is missed
my brother, my sister, myself and the rest of the family.


Among the entries in the Plymouth Court Records Volume 1 1633-1640, there is
this entry for a trial on Sept.3 1638 that would have consequences for my ancestor
Stephen Hopkins:

Arthur Peach, Thomas Jackson, Richard  Stinnings, and Daniell Crosse were indicted
for murther & robbing  by the heigh way.  They killed and robd one Penowanyanquis,
an Indian, at Misquamsqueece, & took from him fiue fadome of wampeux, and three
coates of wollen cloth.
The jurys names that went vpon them were these:-
Sworne                                         Sworne
Willam Hatch,                          John Paybody,
John Winslowe,                      Richard Sillis,
Willm Pontus,                          Humfrey Turner,
Edward Foster,                        Samuell Hinckley,
Richard Derbye,                      Giles Rickett,
John Holmes,                           Gabriell Fallowell,

They found the said Arthur Peach,  Thomas Jackson, and Richard Stinnings
guilty of the said felonius murthering & robbing of the said Penowanyauquis,
but say that they, nor any of them, had any lands or tennements, goods, or cattles,
at the tyme of the said felonie comitted that they know of ; and so say they all.
Daniell Crosse made an escape, & so had not his tryall ; but Peach, Jackson, &
Stinnings  had sentence of death pnounced ; vizt, to be taken from the place from
whence they came, and thence to the place of execucon, and there to be hanged
by the neck vntill their bodyes were dead, wch was executed vpon them accordingly.

Now Stephen had no part in that trial, either as a witness or a juror. The consequences
didn't become apparent for a few months, but eventually they couldn't be ignored
and they led to a few tense days in court the following February. The year is still recorded
as 1638 because under the old English calendar March 25th, the Feast of the Annunciation
was the first day of the new year. That was changed to January 1st in 1752 when the
Gregorian Calendar was adopted by England and all its territories:

4Feb 1638
Concerning Mr. Stephen Hopkins and Dorothy Temple, his servant, the Court doth
oder, wth one consent, that in regard by her couenant of indenture shee hath yet
aboue two years to serue him, that the said Mr Hopkins shall keep her and her child,
or puide shee may be kept wth food and rayment during the said terme; and if he
refuse so to doe, that then the collony ;puide for her, & Mr Hopkins to pay it. p111 

Mr Steephen Hopkins is committed to ward for his contempt to the Court, and shall
so remayne comitted vntill hee shall either receiue his servant Dorothy Temple, or
els puide for her elsewhere at his own charge during the terme she hath yet to serue
him. p112

The connection with the murder trial was that one of the defendants, Arthur Peach,
was  the father of Dorothy's child. I don't know the exact reason  for Stephen's
refusal to fulfill his responsibilities under the terms of Dorthy's indenture contract
with him. Perhaps he may have know the victim since he had dealings with the
Indians on the colony's behalf.  It could also be he felt that Dorothy's association
with a murderer reflected badly upon him as her master. Whatever the reason,
the issue was resolved four days later. The Court Record doesn't say if Stephen
spent that whole time in the jail:   
8Feb 1638
The 8th of Februar., 1638.  Memorand : That whereas Dorothy Temple, a mayde servant
dwelling wth Mr Steephen Hopkins, was begotten wth child in his service by Arthur
Peach, who was executed for murther and robbery by the heigh way before the said
child was borne, the said Steephen Hopkins hath concluded and agreed wth Mr John
Holmes, of Plymouth, for three pounds sterl., and other consideracons to him in
hand  payd, to discharge the said Steephen Hopkins and the colony of the said
Dorothy Temple and her child foreuer ; and the said Dorothy is to serue all the residue
of her tyme wth the said John Holmes, according to her indenture.p113

So Stephen paid John Holmes 3 pounds and some other items to take over  Dorothy's
contract.  While that ended his legal problems, it wasn't quite over for poor Dorothy.
Premarital sex, or fornication as the Pilgrims called it, was sternly dealt with in
Plymouth Colony. By the following June her baby was delivered and Dorothy was back
in court:
4June 1639
Dorothy Temple, for vncleanes and bringing forth a male bastard, is censured to be
whipt twice ; but shee faynting in the execucon of the first, thother was not executed.

I haven't found any mention yet of the fate of Dorothy and her infant son. I hope she
found a husband to take care of them that they lived out the rest of their lives

Friday, May 10, 2013


I've always had a soft spot for my Mayflower ancestor Stephen Hopkins. He was
the only man known to have been both at the Jamestown Colony in Virginia
and at Plymouth Colony. He was one of the "Strangers", a Mayflower passenger
who was not part of the Pilgrim congregation but a representative of the men
in London who had invested in the new colony.  His experience at Jamestown
with the Indians was supposedly the reason that the Pilgrim leaders had Samoset
sleep in the Hopkins house when the Indian leader visited, but I suspect that
as a Stranger he was viewed as expendable.

Despite his status as an outsider, Stephen did quite well in the settlement and
was given a position of authority as an Assistant to the Governor.  He was also
given a license to serve liquor, and that, along with perhaps a bit of temper,
led to some difficulties and appearances in the General Court. They were
recorded  in the Plymouth Court Records Volume 1 1633-1640:   

7th Jun 1636
"At the same Court an accon of battery was tried between John Tisdale,
yeoman, plaintiffe, & Stephen Hopkins, Assistant to the governmt, deft,
wherein the deft, Stephen Hopkins, was cast in five pownds starling to our
sov. lord the King, whose peace he had broken, wch he ought after a speciall
manner to have kept, and also forty shillings to the plaintiffe. both wch he
was adjudged to pay." p42

2Oct 1637
"Presentments by the Grand Inquest
Mr Stephen Hopkins, first presentment, (for suffering men to drink in his
house upon the Lords day, before the meeting be ended, and upon the
Lords day,  both before & after the meetings, servants & others to drink more
then for ordinary refreshing) is respited untill the next Court, that the testimony
of John Barnes be had therein."

"Mr Stephen Hopkins, psented for suffering servants  and others to sit
drinkeing in his house, (contrary to the orders of this Court,) and to play at
shovell board, & such like misdemeanors, is therefore fined fourty shillings.

 5Jun 1638
"Mr   Stepheen Hopkins is presented for selling beer for 2 pence the quart, not
worth one pence a quart. Witness Kenelme Winslow." p87

4Sep 1638
"Mr Steephen Hopkins, upon two psentmnts against him the last Court, and three
psentmnts this Court, for selling wine, beere, strong waters, and nutmeggs at
excessive rates, is fynd 5li.". p97

Hopkins seems to have settled down after that last fine, because I didn't find
any incident involving alcohol after 1638. But there is one other incident
involving a servant, which I'll discuss in the next post.

Thursday, May 09, 2013


One of the best sources I've found of family stories since I began working on my genealogy
has been the Google Books editions of the  Essex County Court Records.  I've found a lot
of blogpost material from them, too! I hadn't been able to find equivalent Plymouth
County online records for my ancestors from that area of Massachusetts, But then last week
I found the Plymouth Court Records on Caleb Johnson's website. I
don't know how long they've been there but this was the first time I'd seen them. (If you
have Mayflower or Plymouth Colony ancestry and haven't visited  Caleb's site before I highly
recommend you do so now.)

Of course, if your ancestor is in a court record and he isn't on the jury, he's involved in a
court case. He's either the defendant on criminal charge or he's involved in some civil suit
over a piece of land or  over livestock. My Essex County ancestors were mostly involved
in the civil suit sort of cases and some were part of the witchcraft trials. My Plymouth
ancestors, on the other hand, seem to been a rather rowdy lot, given to getting drunk
and causing scenes. One of the earliest posts here was one about my 9x great grandfather
John Barnes who was a well known drunk and whose bizarre death was cause in part from
drink. I've found court records of other incidents that would make you wonder why Gov.
Bradford  and other officials put up with him. Apparently John Barnes might have been
a drunk but he was a rich drunk, proof that between drinking bouts he was an industrious
member of the community.

I also found cases involving my Dunham ancestors. My immigrant ancestor John Dunham
might have been a sober pious man but he seems to have a hard time keeping his sons Benajah, Joseph, and John Jr. on the straight and narrow. My Mayflower ancestor Stephen
Hopkins was involved in brawls and was the host on some evenings where his guests
drank too much. (Today we'd call him an "enabler").

And then there are the ancestors who were charged with fornication, even after they
were married to each other!

So like many other Pilgrims, my Plymouth Colony ancestors were naughty boys and girls,
and I'll be telling you all about them here.

Monday, May 06, 2013


Welcome to the Third American Civil War Blog Challenge roundup. This year I decided
to post the Challenge entries today on May 6 in commemoration of the six day Battle of
Chancellorsville which concluded on 6May 1863. It was the second bloodiest battle of the
Civil War and was where Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was fatally wounded
by his own men. 

These were the questions I posed in the Challenge:
"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?"

There are nine blogposts this year but I think the quality makes up for the lack of
quantity. There are posts based on letters, eyewitness accounts, music, a diary, and
documents, and they cover events ranging from Gettysburg to El Paso. So sit down
with your beverage of choice, relax, and read!

Civil War Monument, Hobart Park, Whitman, Ma

Sara Campbell says this about her post "My research goal is always to personalize the 
individuals and gain an understanding of their lives beyond the bare dates and places found 
in the records. After developing a profile of this family for a talk at the Chicopee Library 
in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, I have 'adopted' them and 
want to know more " You can read what Sara learned in her blogpost  entitled
Civil War Research - Holyoke's Richard Wall  at her Remembering Those Who came 
Before blog.

Diane MacLean Boumenot recently discovered some fascinating letters written by

a relative who served in the Union Army . She shares them with us, along with the background 
of the soldier and how the letters were preserved at her blog One Rhode Island Family.
The post is entitled The Civil War Letters of William Wilberforce Douglas .

Heather Wilkinson Rojo at Nutfield Genealogy had done many posts about her distant 
relatives The Hutchinson Family Singers She says " As the first celebrity musical act in
American history, the Hutchinson Family Singers used their fame to advance progressive 
causes.  They sang  about women’s suffrage, abolitionism, temperance, Native American 
causes, and worker’s rights.  They are most famous for their Civil War Era songs." You 
can read the lyrics to  some of the songs and learn more about the Hutchinsons in
Hutchinson Family Singers Civil War Song Lyrics

Civil War Monument, Marshfield Hills Cemetery, Marshfield, Ma.

From A to Zophar is Wendy Grant Walter's blog devoted to her 2x great grandfather
Zophar Skinner. He was another soldier in the Union Army and kept a diary of his
experiences during the year 1863 which included being present at the Battle of Gettysburg.
You can read his entries for July 1st to July 5th 1863 and see pictures of Zophar and his 
diary in Zophar Skinner and the 2nd RI Infantry at Gettysburg

LindaRe shares family stories and  history from Copiah, Jefferson, and Lincoln Counties
in Mississippi at her Between the Gate Posts blog. Her contribution to the Challenge 
deals with what happened during April 1863 when Union cavalry under the command of Col. 
Benjamin Grierson came raiding through the area. The story is told through the eyewitness
accounts of the slaves working that day when they saw A Body of Cavalrymen Coming up the Road .

Like many of us Caroline Cohoe Shultz has some families and relatives that are hard nuts to 
crack as far as information about them goes. Her 2x great granduncle Ralph Fielding was 
one such person for Caroline. Then a record in's lead her to a Civil War
Pension file, which not only yield answers about Ralph but provided more information
about the rest of his family, Follow Caroline's investigation. at her Calling all Cousins
blogpost, Third American Civil War Challenge - I Found Him! The Elusive Ralph Fielding!
It shows why pension files are a valuable resource for genealogists.

Civil War Memorial Bridge, Abington, Ma

Over on her genealogy musings blog, Holly Timm takes a look at the whereabouts of her 
family in the late great unpleasantness...   It illustrates that while you may not have ancestors 
who fought in some great battle, they still were effected someway or another by events that 
happening hundreds of miles away from where they lived.  

Carol A. Bowen Stevens' 2x great grandfather Peter Preston Holsinger was a Virginian and
a Confederate cavalryman who twice was captured in battle and sent to a prisoner of war
camp. Carol shares the details of Peter's experiences along with some documents she
found about them at her geneablog Reflections From the Fence. Read all about it in 
Peter Preston Holsinger, Civil War Veteran, Third American Civil War Challenge

Finally, during my research on the family of my great grandmother Clara Ellingwood West
I've discovered a number of Ellingwood men who fought on the Union side during the War.
The most colorful story I've found so far is that of my distant cousin Ralph Everett Ellingwood
 He was a farm-boy from Ohio who has seen more adventure by the time he was twenty-one
than most men see in an entire lifetime.

Inscription, Civil War Monument, Mayflower Cemetery, Duxbury, Ma.

And that concludes this year's American Civil War Challenge. There will be two more
before the Challenge ends in April 2015 on the 150th anniversary of the War's conclusion.
So if you have any Civil War family stories to share, please blog about them and share them
with us next year in the next edition of the American Civil War Challenge!

Saturday, May 04, 2013


My 4x great grandfather  Jonathan Phelps  Ames was born on 20Apr 1781 in
Groton Ma., the second of the five children of John Ames and Lydia Phelps.
The family moved to Oxford County, Maine  between 1790 and 1810, where
John made his living as a farmer and blacksmith in several towns. It was inone
of those towns, Hartford, Maine, that Jonathan met and married his first wife,
my 4x great grandmother Mary "Polly" Griffith on 6Sep 1807. They were married
twenty seven years and produced ten children, seven boys and three girls.Polly
died in 1834. Three years later Jonathan married Polly's sister Sarah Griffith and
the couple had two more daughters. Jonathan died on 16Dec 1863 at Canton,
Oxford, Maine, at age 82.

I've been lucky with many of my New England lines; they lived in towns that have
had books written about their history and those books have provided me with a lot of information  and stories. But with a few like the Ames and Coburn lines the information
dries up after the families moved north to MaIne, so I piece together what I can with
whatever records and documents I can find online. Recently I found  the 1860 U.S. Federal Census Non-Population Agriculture Schedule for Canton Maine and Jonathan's farm was
one of those enumerated. It gave me a little insight into what his life was like as it was
drawing to a close. Here's a transcript:

Acres of land: Developed-75 acres
Undeveloped-25 acres
Cash value of Farm- 1500 (dollars)
Value of farming Implements and Machinery- 53 (dollars)
Mules and Asses-0
Milch Cows-3
Working Oxen-2
Other cattle-3
Value of Livestock-280 (dollars)
Wheat, bushels of -0
Rye, bushels of- 5
Indian Corn, bushels of -5
Oats, bushels of-4
Rice, lbs of-0
Tobacco, lbs of-0
Ginned Cotton, bales of 400lbs ea-0
Wool,lbs of-65
Peas and Beans, bushels of-4
Irish Potatoes, bushels of-75
Sweet Potatoes, bushels of-0
Barley, bushels of-0
Buckwheat, bushels of-3
Value of Orchard Products, in dolls.-0
Butter, lbs. of-150
Cheese, lbs of-50
Hay, tons of-20
Clover Seed, bushels of-0
Grass seeds, bushels of-0
Hops, lbs. of-0
Dew Rotted, tons of-0
Water Rotted, tons of-0
Other prepared Hemp-0ItalicFlax, lbs of-0
Flaxseed, bush. of-0
Silk Cocoons, lbs, of-0
Maple Sugar, lbs of-0
Cane Sugar,hhds of 1000 lbs,-0
Molasses, gallons of and from what made-0
Beeswax, lbs. of-0
Honey, lbs.of-0
Value of Homemade Manufacture-0 (dollars)
Value of Slaughtered Animals-58 (dollars)

Looking at this, the first thought that struck me was the livestock. We tend to think
of a farmer using a horse to draw his wagon or plow, but nearly all the records I've
seen of ancestors from this period shows them owning at least two pair of oxen. I
think given the rocky New England terrain and the winter snows oxen did most of the
heavy farm work until modern machinery came along. The horse was probably more
for transportation than work. Also, the number of cows is lower than what we think of
when we think of New England farms, but remember, back then there was no milk
pasteurization yet, no refrigeration to transport large amounts of milk to city dwellers.
"Milch cows" were more valuable for the amount of cheese and butter that could be
made from their milk. So while Jonathan had a total of six cows, he had over twice that
amount, fifteen, in sheep. I checked the rest of the entries for Canton and there were
over 1200 sheep on the farms in town. In 1860 the New England textile mills were in
their heyday and wool would have been in demand to make into clothing.

Then I looked at the crops grown on Jonathan's farm and how much he harvested. For a
farm of its size the amounts are low. Jonathan's son -in-law, my 3x great grandfather
John Cutter West farmed fewer acres than Jonathan, forty acres, and had a harvest of
500 bushels of potatoes compared  to the 75 on Jonathan's farm. In every crop planted
on both farms, the yield at Jonathan's farm was smaller.

I don't think it was because Jonathan was a poor farmer. I think the answer is simply that
he was old, nearly 80! All his sons were gone from the farm: Jonathan Jr. had moved to
Illinois, Ezekiel was in Massachusetts. Generous, Hezekiah and Atwood were running
their own farms, and two sons, Ephraim and Americus, had already died. The regular
1860 Census shows Jonathan and Sarah living on the farm with a Henry and Emily Potter.
I believe Emily is their daughter, although I haven't found a record of her marriage yet.

So for the moment that's all I know about Jonathan Phelp Ames, my 4x great grandfather,
but I'm still hoping to find more!