Tuesday, June 25, 2013


A few observations on this part of the Probate Court records of my ancestor Joseph
Ellingwood/Ellenwood's estate:

-I've already mentioned that this is the first mention I've come across of his
occupation of bricklayer. But looking at the inventory of the estate that listing of the
4500 (" four thousand & half")shingles got me wondering what a bricklayer would be
doing with that many shingles. Could Joseph perhaps have been building brick buildings
and the shingles were for the roofing?

- One of the fun things about reading these old documents is running across the
unfamiliar names of items listed in the inventories. In some cases trying to find
out what they were  is made complicated by what I fondly think of as the "creative
spelling" of our ancestors. Take for example this line:

"To Butte and wedges 5/ to a frow 2/6"

It took me a little while to track down what this meant. "Butte" could be the handle
or "butt" used with the wedges. The frow (now more commonly spelled as froe) is
an ax-like tool that someone working with wood would use to split a log or length
of wood along the grain. According to the Wikipedia article I found here, it would
be of use in making shingles.

-Finally, the mention  of a Joseph Herrick as a co-administrator may have shed some
light on a question inviolving the identity of Sarah Herrick. I'll be devoting a post to
that after I finish with transcribing the other four pages of the file.


Unknown said...

I'm looking forward to your next posting!

Celia Lewis said...

Transcribing all the details is a great way to re-think the information, isn't it? Thanks for reminding us of the value of looking at every single word!