Friday, November 29, 2013


I'm taking  part in a meme started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. Using
prompts from "The Book of Me, Written By You" I'm leaving my memories
of my life for present and future relatives. This week's prompt is

Special People
If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special
people who would you invite?
This week You CAN include family.
What meals would you serve and why.

This one will be a family affair.

Like the previous dinner with famous people I'd stick with something everyone
should like: Yankee Pot Roast with carrots, peas, potatoes and a dessert of
apple pie a la mode.  I'd have my sister and brother with me as hosts since
all these people are our ancestors and they should be there.

 I chose the majority of my guests because they hold the answers
to some questions I've had since I started researching my family. They are:

From my Father's side of the family:

Our 3x great grandparents John Cutter West and Arvilla Ames- I can ask John
who his parents were and break down that brick wall, and talk with both of them
about life in early 19th century Western Maine.

John C.West

Arvilla A. West
 Our 5x great grandparents Caleb Coburn & His wife- I can finally find out the name
of our 5x great grandmother and talk with Caleb about his view of the American

 Our 2x great grandparents Asa Freeman Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham- I'd want to
talk with Asa about his Civil War experiences and ask Florilla how she managed a
family of seven kids while Asa was away at war. (They had another three after the
War ended.

Asa F & Florilla Ellingwood

Our 2x great grandparents Amos Hastings Barker & Betsey Jane Moore- I don't have any specific questions for them, but they raised 12 children and they look so happy in this anniversary picture. I just somehow think they'd be fun to talk to over dinner.

Amos H. & Betsey J.Barker

From my Mother's side of the family:

Our great grandparents Edward J White & Pauline Offinger- I have questions about
where their parents came from and also want to hear their perspective on the divorce
between my Mom's parents.
Edward J White

Pauline Offinger

Our  great grandparents John McFarland & Annie Kelly-Immigrants from Ireland and
Scotland. I have questions about the lives and families they left behind, and about
what it was like to be Irish immigrants in late 19th century Boston with 8 children that
survived out of 17 childbirths and again, I'd get their view of my grandparents' divorce.

John & Annie McFarland

Things might get a bit touchy between the Whites and McFarlands, and I'm not sure
how my Yankee ancestors will react to my Irish and German great grandparents, but I
think I could get a lot of information out of such a gathering. 

Thursday, November 28, 2013


Welcome to the Fifth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge!
The rules for the Challenge are simple:

1. Find a poem by a local poet, famous or obscure, from the region
one of your ancestors lived in. It can be about an historical event, a
legend, a person, or even about some place (like a river)or a local
animal. It can even be a poem you or one of your ancestors have written!
Or if you prefer, post the lyrics of a song or a link to a video
of someone performing the song.

This year we have 11 bloggers with 13 poems to share. They range
from Texas to Great Britain, and we have some new participants
along with the veterans. I urge you, please visit each link because
they've all come up with some great poems and stories. And don't forget
to leave a comment at each blog! 

 Here are this year's blogposts:

Dorene Paul starts us off with Cedar Point, a Poem by Harry Lorenzo Chapin, M.D. .
Cedar Point. It's an ode to a popular local amusement park, and Dorene tells us a
bit more about Dr. Chapin's life. It's over at Dorene's blog, Graveyard Rabbit of 
Sandusky Bay. 

New York/New Jersey
Kathleen Scarlett O'Hara Naylor has wanted to take part in the Challenge in previous
years but for one reason or another never quite made the deadline. But this year she
did with a great poem by  Joyce Kilmer, The 5th Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge: The Twelve-Forty-Five , a train ride that both the poet and Kathleen have taken 90 years apart! It's at You Are Where You Came From. I'm glad you made the Challenge this year, Kathleen!

Cousin Vicki Everhart of the Be Not Forgot blog has submitted two entries for this edition
of the Challenge. The first is 1833 :: The Night the Stars Fell in which she shares some Texas history with us along with the  epitaph of Susanna O'Docharty.

The second, Sentimental Sunday :: Dear Home Faces starts off with a section of  "Snowbound" by my cousin John Greenleaf Whitter and ends with a song from the
Judds, and in between there's a bunch of Vicki's family history!

John Tew, our second newcomer, likewise contributes two entries to the
Challenge.The first, Genealogy Poetry Challenge -- "Quite Frankly" by Mark Halliday, speaks to what many of us think when we look at old family photographs.

The second post deals with a poem written by his great grandmother Nettie Flagg
Cooke,the original copy of which John is fortunate to have in his possession. Matrilineal Monday (November 18, 2013) -- Poem by Nettie Flagg Cooke reminds us, in John's
words, "of how fragile life was not so very long ago and of how far we have come in
defeating childhood diseases in this country even as other areas of the world still
suffer the same pains of lost children as our ancestors did."You can read the poems
and the stories behind them at his blog Filiopietism Prism.

Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy has submitted poems written by her grandmother Bertha Louise Roberts in previous years' Challenges. For this Fifth 
Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge she's sent along  another, "Spring Time".
It's a fun poem that Heather feels was inspired by the difference in New England
weather from that of Bertha's native Britain.

One of the things Massachusetts is sadly known for is the Great Witchcraft Hysteria.
Barbara Poole of Life From The Roots shares a poem about a victim of that sad period
in Old Mammy Redd, an Accused Witch, Recently Pardoned. I think where she found
the poem is interesting, too!

Rounding off  Massachusetts is my own entry, "Evangeline" by Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow.   My ancestor Jonathan Abbott housed some Acadian exiles at a
house he owned in Andover, Ma. and they send him an engraved powder horn
to thank him. So I suddenly found that a poem I'd read in school had some bearing
on my family history. The excerpt I chose deals with how the Acadians in one
small town learned of their exile. You can also read about the Abbot powder horn
in this post

New Hampshire
Cousin June Butka, another newcomer, and I have New Hampshire roots, and
for the Challenge she's written a blog post New Hampshire Thankfully in which
she shares the lyrics of a song, New Hampshire Naturally by the Shaw brothers.
There's also links to a YouTube video of the song and to June's own beautiful
photographic tribute to the state. You'll find it all at her Dame Gussie's Genealogy 

It was once much more common for poems to be written for and recited at events
and celebrations. Cousin Pam Carter of My Maine Ancestry found one for a
Centennial Celebration at Bethel, Maine. The poem was written by Jacob Brown
about Gould Academy and Pam's post about it is entitled at Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge-Bethel Academy.

Pam Schaffner's post A Poem for Halloween ~ My Contribution for Bill West's 2013
"Great American Local Poem Genealogy Challenge" at Digging Down East is on
"First Death in Nova Scotia"  bt Elizabeth Bishop, a poignant look at the death of a
young child, and another child's first experience in dealing with death in the family.

My friend (and fourth newcomer) Michael Davies' grandfather was a Pentecostal
minister in Great Britain and a pianist as well. He composed new music for the old
hymn "I Fell In Love With The Nazarene". Michael has the lyrics of the hymn and
more in his post Hymns Of My Fathers - "I fell in love with the Nazarene"  at Tall 
Tales of a Family.

And that concludes the Fifth Great American Poetry Challenge. My sincere thanks
to all who took part this year. Please visit their blogs, leave a comment, and if
you aren't already one of their followers, become one!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm taking  part in a meme started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. Using
prompts from "The Book of Me, Written By You" I'm leaving my memories
of my life for present and future relatives. This week's prompt is:

Special People / Iconic Figures

If you had to hold a dinner party and could invite a maximum of 12 special 
people who would you invite?

You can NOT include family in this – the special people could be famous 
or historical people.

What meals would you serve and why?

Alright,  the meal to start with, I guess. I'd serve something familiar to most of my
guests: there'd be roast beef and for those who prefer it, roast chicken, with mashed
potatoes and various cooked vegetables. There would also be fresh salad for those
who might be of the vegetarian persuasion.

As for the guests, they'd mostly be the writers I've read and loved reading over the course
of my lifetime:
J.R.R. Tolkien
C.S. Lewis
Guy Gavriel Kay
Charles de Lint
Stephen King
Robert B Parker
Andre Norton
Anne McCaffrey
Marian Zimmer Bradley
Ray Bradbury
Isaac Asimov
Harlan Ellison

I've had the pleasure of seeing six of them in person at science fiction conventions
and in Parker's case at several appearances I've worked at over the years. Seven
of them have passed on but this is a fantasy meal, so that doesn't matter. I'd just
like a chance to listen to these wonderful writers talk to each other and perhaps
I'd get to ask each a few questions about their books.

Although I saw Asimov and Ellison give a program once at a convention just talking
with each other. The rest of the writers might have a hard time getting a word in

Sunday, November 24, 2013


((I first posted these Thanksgiving memories in 2011))

Thanksgiving is approaching and it brings back memories of Thanksgivings
when we were kids.

If we were hosting the family that year, Dad would be up early in the
morning cooking the bird. I don't know how many companies do it
today but back then many employers gave their workers a frozen
turkey for Thanksgiving so when that happened my parents would
decide if it was big enough for the whole family and guests. If not,
it would stay in the freezer and they'd buy a bigger turkey. The smaller
one would be used for a Sunday dinner for the family a few weeks later.

When the rest of us got up my sister and I would watch the Thanksgving
Day parades on TV while Mom and Dad started on the rest of the food.
The most critical part of the preparations was the stuffing which had to
turn out moist at the meal. I don't know exactly how this was done
nearly every year except that for most of my childhood my folks used
Bell Stuffing in the bird. (When we were older, there was often "backup"
Stove Top Stuffing for when the "made in the bird" stuffing ran out).
But no matter whether we were hosting Thanksgiving or if  it was at our
Uncle Ed and Aunt Mimi's house, there were certain traditions. One was
the kids' table, usually in the kitchen or at the doorway between the dining
room and the living room. In the early years, four of us were seated there:
myself, my sister Cheryl, and our cousins Winnie and Richie.For us, the
most important part of the meal was who was going to get the drumsticks.
After all, there were only two drumsticks and there were four of us! Our
parents at first solved the problem by using a rotating system that was based
on age: Winnie and I were the older and would get the drumsticks at that
Thanksgiving, and Cheryl and Richie would get them at Christmas, since
the families served turkey for the holiday dinner then, This worked for a few
years until my Aunt and Uncle had two more boys, Little Eddie and Vincent,
but by that time somebody had figured out they could buy extra drumsticks
at the supermarket and chaos was averted.

Eventually, one by one, we all outgrew the kids' table and the need to be
the one who ate the drumstick. I found out that I liked the slices of dark
meat better and that cranberry sauce was my favorite part of the main
meal. I also learned that if we were eating at my Aunt and Uncle's house
I should leave room for the second course of all the Italian food, especially
the lasagna. If the meal were at our house, there was a later leftover
sandwich with turkey and stuffing and maybe a little more cranberry sauce
on it.

One not so pleasant Thanksgiving memory was the turkey I forgot. I was
working somewhere at the time, (I forget now if it were for Child World or
Big L Drug Discount Stores) and I got a frozen holiday turkey from the
company which I loaded into the back of my car before I drove home.

I forgot it was in the car...

For two days....

Luckily, it wasn't a very warm November.

But it did look sort of green when I finally remembered it was there and
took it inside.

Friday, November 22, 2013


George E Donham and Sarah Adelaide Studley were married in Abington, Ma. on
7May 1869, possibly in East Abington which later became Rockland. I don't know
how or where they first met. They had a total of five children, the names of whom
I found in the Federal Census images on All were born in Rockland,
Ma :

Anna Catharine Donham, b.1869, d.1871.

Sarah Agnes Doham, b.12 Jul 1871, d. 1959.  Never married. She worked as a

Benjamin  C. Donham, b. 4Aug 1873  d. ? Married with three children. An engineer.

Wallace B. Donham, b 26Oct 1877, d. 29Nov 1954 at Cambridge, Ma. Married with
four children. A banker.

George H. Donham, b. 29Feb 1880, d.9Oct 1958 Worcester, Ma. Married with three
children. Owned a poultry farm.

As I searched for information on George's family I came across a document image for
his son Benjamin that made my jaw drop:

This is a U.S. Consular Certificate of Registration of American Citizen for Benjamin
Curtis Donham of Rockland Ma. It was issued by Thomas Sammons  U.S. Consul
General at Seoul, Korea on 28May 1908.  It says Benjamin arrived on 6 Oct 1905,
that he was married to Edith McKean and that they had two children who had
been born in Korea. Benjamin was there to construct waterworks

I set out to find more information.

To be continued,

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I was alerted to the burial of my distant cousin George Donham at Mt. Vernon Cemetery
by a link on to a Find A Grave memorial. I didn't want to use the photo
there without asking permission but I could see from it that the Donhams were buried
with the Studley family. Since the cemetery is not quite a mile from my apartment I
drove over yesterday to look for the gravestone and take my own picture.

(Just as an aside: I've been taking pictures of Mt Vernon Cemetery myself for over a
year now and have about 350 posted now. Ironically, I hadn't done the part where the Donhams were buried yet. It's a big cemetery with a lot of multiple name gravestones.)

I found the headstone sooner than I expected since I had a general idea which part of
the cemetery it might be located. The Studley surname is on the front of the stone, and  members of that family are listed on the front and back.

George Donham's wife was Sarah Studley, and they and their children are listed on the
south side panel of the stone. The north side panel is blank.

So just how is George Donham related to me? Here's a relationship chart that compares
him with my grandfather Floyd E West Sr in their descent from John Dunham and Abigail Ballou:

I started this series of posts after I discovered the family plot of Cornelius T Dunham
in the same cemetery. Cornelius and I are 6th cousins 4x removed. George is my 2nd cousin 4x removed. I've now discovered around 10 family plots at Mt. Vernon Cemetery belonging to relatives using either the Dunham, Donham, or Denham spelling of that family name. I have to wonder if any of the others ever sat in Georges' dentist chair and if they discussed if they were related somehow?

Next, the surprising place George Donham's son Benjamin started a family.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I've finished adding names and information from the two Ellingwood genealogy
books to my ancestry family tree and then following up by adding people born
after the books were published back in the 1970's. I now have  5152 descendants
of my 8x great grandparents Ralph Ellinwood/Ellingwood and Elenor Lyn on my
Ancestry tree. Time to move on to another lines of descent.

One of the two Ellingwood genealogies I am using is Florence O'Connor's The
Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman  Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham)
Ellingwood. Most of the book is on the Ellingwoods but there are sections on
the Dunhams and other families. I'd already entered some of the Dunhams and
decided to continue with more from the book.

Now Florilla Dunham's grandfather, James Donham/Dunham, was one of the eleven
children of John Donham/ Dunham and Mary Thomas of Carver, Ma., eight of whom,
men and women, migrated up to the  Bethel,  Oxford County, Maine area.

I was working on the line of one of James' brothers, Thomas. My routine is to enter
the information from the book on my tree, then look for any documents
to confirm it. If I find the information from the book is wrong, I change it. Thomas
and his descendants kept the Donham spelling of the family name, and two generations
later his grandson George Donham ended up in Rockland, Ma. In fact back then,
Rockland was part of  Abington, where I live! I thought it was another case of someone coming down from Maine to work in one of the local shoe factories, but the Federal
Censuses fold me that George was actually a dentist, and apparently quite sucessful at
it. To top it off, George Donham, his wife and two of his children are buried at Mt.Vernon Cemetery where my parents and other Dunham cousins are interred.

I'll go further into all this in the next post. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


((First posted November 2011))

Whenever I am talking or writing about my Mayflower descent, for some
ironic reason I always forget about Remember Allerton. The reason for the
irony is that both my Dad's parents were Allerton descendants: Pop from
Remember Allerton and Grandma Bertha from Mary Allerton.:

My Warren ancestry also comes through my Barker line 

Allerton through Ellingwood Line

Isaac Allerton & Mary Norris
Remember Allerton & Moses Maverick
Abigail Maverick & Samuel Ward
Martha Ward & John Tuthill(Tuttle)
Martha Tuthill(Tuttle) & Mark Haskell
Martha Haskell & John Safford
Ruth Safford & Samuel Haskell
Martha Haskell & Moses Houghton
Sally Houghton & James Thomas Dunham
Florilla Dunham & Asa Freeman Ellingwood
Clara Ellingwood & Phillip Jonathan West
Floyd Earl West Sr  & Cora B Barker
Floyd Earl West Jr &  Anne Marie White

Allerton through Barker 

Isaac Allerton & Mary Norris
Mary Allerton & Thomas Cushman
Sarah Cushman & Adam Hawkes
John Hawkes & Mary(Margery)Whitford
Eva Hawkes & John Bancroft         Eunice Hawkes & Jacob Walton
John Bancroft & Mary Walton
Sally(Sarah)Bancroft & Francis Upton
Hannah Upton & Cyrus Moore
Betsey Jane Moore & Amos Hastings Barker
Charlotte Lovenia Barker & Frank W Barker
Cora B, Barker & Floyd Earl Wesrt Sr
Floyd Earl West Jr and Anne Marie White.

Warren Line

Richard Warren  &  Elizabeth (?)
Mary Warren & Robert Bartlett
Mary Bartlett & Jonathan Mowrey(Morey)
Hannah Mowrey(Morey) & John Bumpas
Mary Bumpas & Seth Ellis
Mary Ellis & Ephraim Griffith
John Griffith & Mary Boyden
Polly Griffith & Jonathan Phelps Ames
Arvilla S. Ames & John Cutter West
John Cutter West & Louisa Richardson
Phillip Jonathan West & Clara Ellingwood
Floyd Earl West Sr & Cora B Barker
Floyd Earl West Jr and Anne Marie White.

Monday, November 18, 2013


(( I first posted two articles about my Mayflower family descents back in
 November 2011 and decided to repost them every year as a Thanksgiving 

Back when I first started researching the family genealogy online I was
thrilled to discover we were descended from several Mayflower passengers.
At one point I even carried around a small folded up piece of paper
in my wallet with the lines of descent to show when discussing genealogy
with some customer at the bookstore. But I lost that some time ago, so I
thought I'd post them here for other family members.

The first three lines come down through my Ellingwood ancestry from
Stephen Hopkins, Thomas Rogers, and James Chilton.

Hopkins Line
Stephen Hopkins and..
Constance Hopkins & Nicholas Snow
Elizabeth Snow & Thomas Rogers
Eleazer Rogers & Ruhamah Willis
Experience Rogers & Stephen Totman
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White

Rogers Line
Thomas Rogers
Joseph Rogers & Hannah___
Thomas Rogers & Elizabeth Snow
Eleazer Rogers & Ruhamah Willis
Experience Rogers & Stephen Totman
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White

Chilton Line
James Chilton & ?
Isabella Chilton & Roger Chandler
Sarah Chandler & Moses Simmons
Moses Simmons Jr & Patience Barstow
Patience Simmons & George Barrows
Moses Barrows & Mary Carver
Deborah Totman & Moses Barrows Jr.
Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Rachel Barrows & John Ellingwood Jr
Asa F. Ellingwood & Florilla Dunham
Clara Ellingwood & Philip West
Floyd West Sr & Clara Barker
Floyd West Jr & Anne M White

Sunday, November 17, 2013


I'm taking  part in a meme started by Julie Goucher of Anglers Rest. Using
prompts from "The Book of Me, Written By You" I'm leaving my memories
of my life for present and future relatives."The year you were born:
What happened....
Historical - internation, national & local
Family events
Using Google and Wikipedia, I was able to find the following information:

Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated
Harry Truman was elected President, defeating three opponents: Thomas Dewey
(Republican), Strom Thurmond(States Rights Party) and Henry Wallace(Progressive
Israel was declared an independent state.
The U.N. created the World Health Organization.
Chiang Kai Shek was elected President of Nationalist China.
Gas was .16 cents a gallon
A loak of bread cost .14 cents
A movie ticket cost .60 cents.

There were only a million television sets in the United States. Wrestling and
roller derby were first broadcast, The CBS network started and one of its new
programs was Toast of the Town hosted by Ed Sullivan.

Top movies included Red River starring John Wayne and The Treasure of the 
Sierra Madre starring Humphry Bogart, but Hamlet starring Sir Laurence Olivier
won the Academy Award.

Bestseller books included The Naked and the Dead, Raintree Country, The Big 
Fisherman, and The Young Lions, all of which would eventually also be sucessful

Popular songs:
Buttons and Bows by Dina Shore
Nature Boy by Nat King Cole
The Woody Woodpecker Song by Kay Kyser
It's Magic by Doris Day
I'm My Own Grandpa by Guy Lombardo & His Orchestra.

Citation won the Kentucky Derby.
The World Series was won by the Cleveland Indians
The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL Championship
The Toronto Mapole Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

Some of my fellow 1948 babies are Samuel L Jackson, James Taylor,
and Glenn Frey of the Eagles.

All and all, 1948 was a very interesting year to be born in!

Friday, November 15, 2013


This is the start of a new series of posts in which I'll list what I've already
learned about one of my family lines. I'll also include a "To Do" list of
things I need to do to learn more. I'll do this alphabetically, so I'm
starting with my Abbott family line.

My 9x great grandfather George Abbott settled in Andover Massachusetts around
1643 and married Hannah Chandler on 12Dec 1646. Supposedly they had been fellow passengers on the same ship, the Arbella, from England. Ironically, my  car is insured
with the Arbella Insurance Company, which uses a picture of the ship as its logo. 

I am descended from two of George and Hannah's sons and one daughter, Sarah Abbott.

Their eldest son John is my 8xgreat grandfather and was married to Sarah Barker,
a daughter of my ancestor Richard Barker

Another son, my 8x great grandfather Benjamin Abbott and his wife Sarah (Farnum) Abbott testified against their neighbor Martha Carrier and accused her of being a
witch during the witchcraft trials. It has since been speculated that they did so in
order to obtain her land.

Two other sons, Joseph and Timothy, were involved in an Indian attack in April,1676.
Joseph was killed. Timothy was taken captive but was released the following August.
Joseph was twenty four and Timothy thirteen years old.

Benjamin's son Jonathan Abbott, my 7x great grandfather, housed some Acadian
exiles in a house he owned in Andover. Initially he was somewhat reluctant but eventually
treated them so well that they gave him a decorated powderhorn in appreciation of his

My Abbott line ends with the marriage of my 4x great grandparents John Ellingwood
and Zerviah Abbott in Andover, Ma. on 29Dec 1789.

Fellow genealogists who are also descendants of  George Abbott and Hannah Chandler are Timothy Abbott, Janice Webster Brown, and Pam Carter.

To Do list:

I have some Abbott generations where I don't know much beyond names and dates,
so I need to work on them. I have a digital copy of the book, Genealogical Register
Of The Descendants Of George Abbott of Andover that I haven't made much use of
yet, so maybe I can find more in that.

I need to examine the Abbott land deeds from Essex County, Ma. and other relevant documents available on FamilySearch

I need to go to Andover and North Andover to view documents and the Abbott Powder
Horn. I'd also like to visit the cemeteries there. Those trips will probably have to wait until Spring now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013


 ((One of my earliest posts, from February, 2007))

I've done some writing elsewhere on my
tree climbing in the past and this is part of

A little background: I was still fairly new at
genealogy and when I stumbled across an
ancestor with the unlikely name of Joanna Unk,
I thought perhaps she was from some other
nationality and this was how the name was recorded
in the town records by someone who didn't know
how it was spelled properly. But the name amused
me and I wrote this poem.

Two weeks later I discovered that Unk is an abrreviated
version of Unknown, used when the maiden name of a
person is unavailable.

Ah, well!

When I started climbing my family tree
I didn't realize what a chore it might be.
I really had nothing much else on my mind
Then to see what else I could possibly find.

I already knew of a number of names
I knew Barker and Dunham and Abbott and Ames.
But never, no never, did I possibly thunk
I would find I'd a relative, Joanna Unk.

It must not have been easy to grow up an Unk.
It's not a name beaus want to carve in tree trunks.
But her story's not tragic, it isn't you see,
Because if it were there would not be a me.

She lived out a typical Puritan life,
Met someone who loved her and became his wife.
And somewhere in heaven she's drinking some hooch
With my distant relative, Mistress Ruth Gooch.

Monday, November 11, 2013


I've been concentrating on my Ellingwood/Ellenwood/Ellinwood lines lately in my
research work on Ancestry. Usually when I sign on there now the majority of "shaking
leave" hints have to do with someone from those lines, but today there was a record
hint for my 3x great granduncle Caleb Benson Barrows. When I clicked on it, it turned out
to be for an entry in the War of 1812 Pension Application Files Index.

This puzzled me. Let me explain why.

The Fold3 website has been scanning & posting the War of 1812 Pension files for awhile
now and making them available for FREE on the site. As with any project of this size it is
a slow process, and they've been posting  them alphabetically by surname. In fact, it
was a little over a year now that I discovered the file there for my 3x great grandfather
Nathaniel Barker.  When I found that, I immediately checked for other relatives who
lived during the period and might have served, and kept checking back as more surnames
beginning with other letters were added. (They've now moved on into the names beginning
with the letter E). But at no time had I seen Caleb Benson Barrows listed under the B's.

So when I saw the hint from Ancestry, I immediately went over to Fold3 site and checked
the "Browse All Records" function for the War of 1812. I narrowed my search down to
just the 1812 Pension Files for Maine, Letter B, surname Barrows, and still came up with
the same two names that have been there for awhile. This is how the screen looks:

Still no Caleb Benson Barrows. I checked under Massachusetts, since the family came
from Plympton, then New Hampshire, where Caleb's father Asa Barrows had moved,
and still no luck.  Finally, I entered Caleb Benson Barrows in the Search box, and  nothing. Then I went back to the Fold3 main page and tried the Search box there using different variations on the name until finally I just tried Barrows and then the 1812 files
on the site wide search.

And voila, there he was, thirty images for Caleb B. Barrows' 1812 Pension file, and just
before him,  twenty images for the pension of his brother Asa. I was able to verify they
were my relatives by the included statements of their widows and siblings. Both files
are for their widows' survivor claims.

There's two lessons here: the first, I need to remind myself to go the extra step when
searching a site and use the Search functions and not just rely on indexes.

The second has to do with Ancestry. A lot of people are worried about  the recent
purchases of Fold3 and Find A Grave and what they might mean for our research. Well,
if I hadn't seen that shaking leaf hint over at Ancestry I might have found the files for
Caleb B. and Asa A. Barrows eventually, but this way, I found them much sooner! 
Now I need to contact Fold3 and let them know about this.


Every Veteran's Day I like to pay tribute to the members of
our family who have served our country from its birth. I don't
have all the details of the service records, and I'm sure I will
discover more relatives to add later, but this is what I have so far.

American Revolution: 
Jonathan Barker Jr. My 4x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with rank of Sergeant.
He responded to Lexington and Concord with his sons
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's Company in Colonel
Jacob Gerrish's guards from Dec 1777 tol April 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 5x great grandfather

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       My 5x great grandfather

Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 18th,
1775. He then 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.
For a more detailed account of his service see my posts
about his Revolutionary War Pension File starting here.

Asa Barrows    My 4x great grandfather

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. I posted about his
Revolutionary War Pension File starting here.

Moses Coburn  My 4x great grandfather

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   My 5x great grandfather

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   My 5x great grandfather

Amos was 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

Elisha Houghton   5x great grandfather

Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777 in 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 back down to the ranks.

Amos Upton    My 5x great grandfather

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 for 8 months. He was at the Battle
of Bunker Hill. He was discharged in October of 1775.

John Griffith  My 5x great grandfather

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   My 5x great grandfather

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    My 5x great grandfather

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

Samuel Stowe  My 5x great grandfather

Minuteman from Sherborn, Ma. Served in Capt. Benjamin Bullard's
Company in Col. Asa Whitcomb's 5th Massachusetts Bay
Provincial Regiment

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.

War of 1812
John Griffith My 5x great grandfather

served in Capt Elias Morse's Company, Col. Holland's Regiment
as part of a artillery company defending Portland, Maine.

Amos Hastings My 5x great grandfather
helped organize the militia in Bethel, Maine and rose
to the rank of Brigadier General  of the 2nd Brigade, 13th Division of
the Massachusetts State Militia.

Nathaniel Barker  My 3x great grandfather
was a private in  the company commanded by Captain William Wheeler
in the Regiment  of Militia commanded by Col. Ryerson, which was
stationed at Portland, Maine.

Civil War
Asa Freeman Ellingwood  My 2x great grandfather

enlisted in Company I, 5th Maine Infantry, on June 24, 1861.
He was at the First Battle of Bull Run after which he received
a medical discharge in Dec 1861. He reenlisted inCo "A" 9th
Veteran R Corps in September 1864 and served until the end
of the war when he was honorably discharged.

Asa & Florilla Ellingwood

Other relatives who served in the Civil War:

 2x great granduncles:

 Leonidas West
 Enlisted in Company G 12 Maine Infantry Regiment on March 1,
1865. Mustered out on  18Apr 1866

Asa Atwood West
Enlisted in Company F of the Maine Coast Guard.

Oscar Phipps Ellingwood
Enlisted in Company E, New Hampshire 14th Infantry Regiment
23Sept 1862, mustered out 9Sep 1863. Transferred to Company
E,  U.S,.Veterans Reserve Corps 21st Infantry Regiment 9Sep 1863,
mustered out 11Jul 1865.


Charles O. Ellingwood
Enlisted 21 Dec 1863 in Company E, 9th New Hampshire Infantry.
Died 13Mar 1864 at Camp Burnside,Kentucky. (18 yrs old)

Henry O. Ellingwood Enlisted 25Oct 1862  Company K,  New
Hampshire 16th Infantry Regiment, died  1Mar 1863 in Carollton, La.

Franklin Dunham
Died in the War. Haven't found any details as yet.

Spanish-American War
Hollis J Ellingwood My cousin
Enlisted 2May 1898 in Company A 1st Regiment Maine Infantry
Discharged 28Oct 1898

World War 1

 Floyd E West Sr. My grandfather

Floyd E West Sr.

Enlisted 29Apr 1918. Served in Company K,303rd Infantry. He was a
corpsman at Camp Devens, Ma during the Spanish Influenza outbreak
and was honorably discharged 12 Mar 1919

World War II

Floyd E West Jr  My Dad

 Enlisted 19 Mar 1943 at 18 years old. After washing out of the Air Corps
Bomber School, he served in the US Army Infantry in the Pacific Theater  and
11 Mar 1946 at age 22

 Edward F White, Jr. My Uncle

Enlisted in the U.S.Navy on 27Oct 1942 at 17years old. He was honorably
discharged 18Apr 1946, a week before his 21st birthday.

Charles Barger My Uncle
I don't know the specifics of his service yet.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
 Paul Skarinka My Nephew

Paul And Jen

My nephew Paul Skarinka

Thursday, November 07, 2013


Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy is once again asking
bloggers to transcribe their local veteran monuments and list the names
on their blog. It's called the Military Honor Roll Project and I wanted to
take part this year so I headed over to the memorial here in Abington
which is located right next to the building shared by the American Legion
and VFW Posts. It's a beautiful spot and there's quite a few names on it for
such a small town. They start with World War 1 and run up to the present
It was a bright sunny day and I thought perfect for taking the pictures I needed
to work with for the transcription, but it turned out to be it was less than ideal.
The nearby trees were casting shadows over most of the monument and the wind
moving the leaves would cause the shadows to shift around.


So for this visit I settled for pictures of the taller central panel which
has the names of Abington residents who had been killed in action:

There are names for the two World Wars and Viet Nam. While there is
a heading for Korea, there is no one listed below it, nor are there any
sections as yet for those killed in Kuwait, Iraq, or Afghanistan. Here's
my transcription:


             KILLED IN ACTION

World War I
Edgar D. Bascomb
Chester W. Belcher
Walter W. Coleman
Charles Cook
Lloyd Crossman
Lewis V. Dorsey
Robert B. English
George H.Gillespie
Henry C. Hurst
John J. Mahoney
Joseph D. Martin
Charles E. Murphy
Charles S. Myers
Myron Stewart
Harold L. Taylor
Shirley S. Thayer
George L.  Whore

World War II
Charles H. Bellows Jr.
Wendell E Chamberlin
Lloyd R. Clapp
John Colburn
George W. Coleman
Edmund G. Crossley
Elton E. Eckstrom
George S. Forsyth
Roy E. Hjelm
Wellington Jamieson
John r. Keeley
Clifford Kimber
Richard L. McCue
Harold R. McGeoch
John F. Monahan
John Rice
Frank D. Warner Jr.


Dennis K. Holly
Peter D. Christianson DFC
Richard F. Gliniewicz
Glenn R. Gordon
Ralph G. Hamlin
Ernest H Laidler
Richard A. Fitts

Daniel Vasellian

I encourage my fellow genealogy bloggers to take part in Heather's
Military Honor Roll Project. You can read more about it here.

Monday, November 04, 2013


Back in August I mentioned here that I had won a copy of a book from Marian Pierre-Louis of Fieldstone Common. It was Roger Thompson's excellent From Deference to Defiance Charlestown, Massachusetts 1629-1692 and in it I found several chapters concerning several ancestors who had lived in Charlestown in that period. I had't done much research on most of them yet beyond names and dates because I've been busy working on more recent relatives. So it was exciting to read the stories in Professor Thompson's work.

One of the early chapters in the book is on my 11x great grandfather Stephen Fosdick who was one of the earliest settlers of Charlestown. I'm descended from his daughter Martha who married Richard Holden through my 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames) West. Reading the Professor's chapter about him inspired me to see what else I could find online about Stephen Fosdick online.  I found this by author Charles Lyman Newhall:

STEPHEN FOSDICK was born in England, and was first mentioned in Charlestown, New England, in 1635. He was a carpenter. He married 2d, Sarah,* dau. of William Wetherell, who came from Maidstone, Co. Kent, England, to Boston in 1635, and was a schoolmaster. Charlestown records say that Stephen Fosdick was fined twenty pounds for reading anabaptist books, and was also excommunicated May 7, 1643. In the division of lands in Charlestown in 1658 he received twenty-five acres of wood and four and one-half acres of common. In his will, made Feb. 23, 1663-4, and proved 21-4-1664, he devised "to wife 4 rooms we now make use of, one over another; half the upper garden, next Mr. Shapley and Michael Long; moveables; after decease, house and lands to return to ex'r. To Hannah Barrett, £10. To Martha Holden, £10, and 40 acres at Woburn. To Mary Webb, £15; if she die, to chn. of John and Thomas Fosdick. To grandchild Stephen, £20. To Samuel, son of John, at father's decease, house, barn, &c, by Mr. Shapley's; hay-lot, wood-lot; 2 cow-commons; to him and his heirs, male or female, and so to run in the generation of Fosdicks forever. 7thly, to grandchild John, son of John, house and land in Malden, i/2 cow-lot in Malden, cow-lot on Mr. Wilson's side, wood-lot bo't of Mr. Roswell. To 2 grandchildren of son Thomas, £20. John, sole ex'r. Inventory, Farm at Mystic side, with the land, £50; 2 commons; 2:/2 hay-lots; 2 wood-lots; 40 acres at Woburn; total, £500." 

Stephen Fosdick resided on the west side of the highway to Mistick Weare, now the present line of Medford street. He died in Malden May 21, 1664. 

The children of Stephen Fosdick were: 
2 Thomas, b. in England; in. Damans ;d. 21-4-1650. 

3 John, b. July, 1626, in England; in. 1648, Anne3, widow ot H. Branson and dau. Nicholas Shapleigh; d. Sept. 17, 1716. 

4 Hannah, m. James Barrett. 

5 Martha, m. Richard Holden. 

6 Mary, b. 1632; m. Thomas Webb. 

7 Samuel, b. May 22, 1649. 

* "John Wetherell motioned court concerning his sister, the widow Fosdick, aged 75 yrs. old; lame-—going with crutches; near 40 years the wife of Stephen Fosdick; and upon her marriage had six of his children to take care of."—Court Files, 1664. 
-The record of my ancestry (Google eBook), Herald Power Print, 1899 pp60-61

A further ironic note: I spent the first eight years of my life in Malden, Ma., and never knew that one of my ancestors had lived there three hundred years before.