Friday, February 28, 2014


This is one of the family lines I need to do more work on.

 My Barrows family ancestry is another family line from the Plymouth-Plympton-Carver
area in Massachusetts, although my immigrant ancestor was originally at Salem in the
late 1630's before moving south to Plymouth. He was my 8x great grandfather. George Barrows married Patience Simmons in 1694 and settled in  the Plympton-Carver area where my ancestors stayed until after the Revolutionary War. I have a double Barrows descent through the marriage of my 4x great grandparents Asa Barrows and Content Benson. (Her mother was Deborah Barrows.) Asa's father Moses Barrows had moved
the family to Cornish, New Hampshire, and then Asa moved to Oxford County, Me.

I have images of a few documents in my database:
-The will of 7x great grandfather Robert Barrows.
-Records of land sales by Robert
-Records of land sales by 6x great grandfather George Barrows
-The Revolutionary War Pension file of 4x great grandfather Asa Barrows
-The War of 1812 Pension files of  3x great granduncles Asa and Caleb Barrows.

I also have an article that Barrows cousin Martin Hollick wrote and kindly sent a
copy to me. 

To Do-
There are some other Barrows wills and probate files on FamilySearch that I've found listed in the index but I haven't been able to find the actual documents as of yet. I need
to do more research on the family history here in Plymouth County. And if this darn
snow ever stops and melts, I want to visit the towns of Plymouth, Plympton, and Carver
to see what I can find there.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


As I said in the previous post on my ancestor Edmond Greenleaf, his second
marriage was not entirely a happy one. The reason why is in the codicil attached
to his will. It's a rather long document, so I'll comment on it in the next post, as as
discuss a few another matter.

Once again, this is from the Google ebook edition of James Edward Greenleaf's Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family (F. Wood, printer, Boston, Ma. 1896):

In the early part of 1671 Mr. Greenleaf died. His will, a very curious document, written, as is supposed, by himself, was proved Feb. 12, 1671, and is recorded in the "Probate Records" in Boston, in the volume for 1669 to 1674, page 112.

The following is a copy, the orthography being corrected :—

"In the name of God, Amen. The two and twentieth day of December, sixteen hundred and sixty-eight, I, Edmund Greenleaf, being mindful of my own mortality and certainty of death, and uncertainty of the same, and being desirous to settle things in order, being now in good health and perfect memory, do make, appoint and ordain this to be my last will and testament in manner and form following: that is to say— first and principally, I give and bequeath my soul into the hands of my blessed Redeemer, the Lord Jesus, who hath died and gave himself for me, and his blood cleanseth from all sin, and through his righteousness I do only look for justification and salvation; and do commit my mortal body, after this life is ended, into the dust from whence it was taken, there to be preserved by the power and faithfulness of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, until the resurrection of the just, and then to be raised up by the same power to immortality and life, where I shall see him as he is, and shall ever be with him; and in this faith and hope I desire, through his grace nd assistance, to live and die, and at last to be found of him in peace.

"Nextly, my will is, being according to God's will revealed in his word, that we must pay what we owe and live of the rest, unto whose rule the sons of men ought to frame their wills and actions; therefore, my mind and will is, that my debts shall be truly and justly paid to every man to whom I shall be indebted, by my executors hereafter named.

"And first I do revoke, renounce, frustrate and make void all wills by me formerly made; and I declare and appoint this to be my last will and testament.

"Imprimis—I give unto my son Stephen Greenleaf, and to my daughter Browne, widow, and to my daughter Coffin, to each of them twenty shillings apiece. Item—I give unto my grandchild Elizabeth Hilton, ten pounds. Item—I give unto my grandchild Enoch Greenleaf, five pounds. Item—I give unto my grandchild Sarah Winslow, five pounds, if her father pay me the four pounds he oweth me. Item—I give unto my  eldest son's son, James Greenleaf, twenty shillings; and after my funeral expenses, debts and legacies are discharged, I give and bequeath the rest of my estate unto my son Stephen Greenleaf, and to my daughter Elizabeth Browne, and to my daughter Judith Coffin, equally to be divided amongst them and their children. And, further, I desire and appoint my son, Stephen Greenleaf, and Tristram Coffin the executors of this my will, to see it executed and affirmed as near as they can; and I further entreat my cousin, Thomas Moon, mariner, to see to the performance of this my will.

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal, this twenty-fifth day of December, 1668.
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"Signed, sealed, published, and declared to be my last will in the presence of us,

"George Ruggell,
"john Furniside."

The inventory of Mr. Greenleaf's estate, which was appended to the will, amounted to £131-5-9.

The following paper is also recorded in the "Probate Records," appended to the will, as, probably, assigning the reason why the name of his second wife, who appears to have outlived him, was not mentioned:—

"When I married my wife, I kept her grandchild, as I best remember, three years to schooling, diet and apparel; and William Hill, her son, had a bond of six pounds a year, whereof I received no more than a barrel of pork of £3-0-0 of that £6-0-0 a year he was to pay me, and sent to her son Ignatius Hill, to the Barbadoes, in mackerel, cider, and bread and pease, as much as come to twenty pounds, and never received one penny of it. His aunt gave to the three brothers £50 apiece. I know not whether they received it or no; but I have not received any part of it.

"Witness my hand. (Signed) Edmund Greenleaf."

"Besides, when I married my wife, she brought me a silver bowl, a silver porringer, and a silver spoon. She lent or gave them to her son, James Hill, without my consent."

To be continued,


Monday, February 24, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. This week my
subject is 10x great grandfather Edmund Greenleaf.

I found the following in  the Google ebook edition of James Edward Greenleaf's Genealogy of the Greenleaf Family (F. Wood, printer, Boston, Ma. 1896).
There's an interesting bit of information at the end of the excerpt:

On the parish records of St. Mary's la Tour in Ipswich, County Suffolk, England, is recorded: "Edmund Greenleaf, son of John and Margaret, was baptized Jan. 2, 1574."
Among the family relics still preserved is the cane brought to this country by Edmund Greenleaf; it bears the initials "J. G." on a silver band near the handle.

Edmund Greenleaf married Sarah Dole, and by her had nine children, whose names appear on the records of the parish of St. Mary's la Tour above mentioned. It is supposed there were two others,—John, born about 1632, and who died in Boston, Dec. 16, 1712; and Mary,— referred to in "Savage's Dictionary," Vol. IV. p. 476: "John Wells, of Newbury, took the oath of allegiance, May, 1669, and was made a freeman the same month, a carpenter, married March 5, 1669, Mary, probably daughter of Edmund Greenleaf, and had, December 16th, Mary, who died the year following. Mary, again, born Feb. 16, 1673. William, born Jan. IS. 1675."

All of the nine children named in the chart, and whose baptismal records and deaths appear on the parish records of St. Mary's before mentioned, were born in England. Mr. Greenleaf lived near the old town bridge in Newbury, where for some years he kept a tavern. He was admitted a freeman on March 13, 1639,* and on May 22d of the same year was "permitted to keep a house of entertainment."

The name of Edmund Greenleaf appears :—
June 1, 1642.—" On a commission of Newbury."
Sept. 8, 1642.—" Ordered to send home an Indian woman."
Sept. 27, 1642.—" On a committee to take charge of certain orders by the council."
Nov. 11, 1647.—Requests his " discharge from military service."
May 2, 1649.—On appraisement of real estate. (" Massachusetts Bay Records," Vol. I. page 258; Vol. II. pages 16, 23, 30, 215, and 276).

Capt. Edmund Greenleaf moved to Boston with his wife Sarah about 1650 (New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. VI. page 102), where he buried his wife, and afterwards married Mrs. Sarah Hill, widow of Wilson, 2d, of William Hill, of Fairfield, Conn., who had several children by her former marriage. This marriage was rather an unhappy one.


The answer as to why the second marriage was unhappy lies in Edmund Greenleaf's
will and I'll discuss that in Part 2.

To be continued.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


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.And this week's entry is a "twofer"
since it's also the latest Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver
over at Genea-Musings.

   The prompt this week is Technology

    What technology changes did your ancestors see?
    What technology changes have you seen?
    Did your family own one of those early changes? - such as television
    Do you like or dislike technology?
    What do you think has been the best technological change in your lifetime and historically?

I've thought  a lot about this over the years. Starting from the 19th century, my ancestors
saw the coming of the steam engine, the telegraph, the telephone, and photography. In the
19th century my grandparents' lives were changed by electricity, automobiles, the movies, refrigerators, electric washing machines, and gas heating. According to my mother, my McFarland great grandparents were the owners of one of the first houses in the Mission Hill district of Boston that had electric lighting. 

My parents owned a black and white Emerson tv when i was a kid, and my aunt and uncle one of the first color televisions.  Before they died, they saw the first atomic bomb, the first computers, and the first men to walk on the moon.  Since I was born in the mid-20th century, I saw all the things my parents did.

I like technology. It makes my life so much easier and richer in comparison even to what my grandparents had during their lifetimes. I cook using a microwave onion, I watch cable tv, I call my sister on acell phone, and I can send email to my cousins in Ohio.  Even though I still prefer real paper books, I own and use an e-reader.

And I use my computer to research my family tree and blog about it here online.

The technologies I'd choose for the best or for having the most important effects aren't those most people might choose, I think.  To me, the best are things like central heating, urban plumbing and water filtration, and of course the medical technologies. They have made our lives easier, safer and healthier. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Today marks the end of a horrific period in my family's history. On this date in 1862 thelast of three children and two grandchildren of John Cutter West and Arvilla (Ames)  died during a diphtheria outbreak in  Letter B Plantation in Oxford County Maine. It started with the death of their daughter in law Orpha Viette Reynolds West who died on New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31st, 1861. She was 19 years old, and she was the first wife of my 2x great grandfather Jonathan Phelps West. They'd been married two months.

Then Jonathan and Arvilla's younger children began to die:

David Pingree West died on Jan. 17th , 1862. He was eight years old, the youngest of the
eleven children, and was mentally handicapped.

Ruth Ellen West died on Jan. 26th. She was ten.

16 year old Arvilla Electa West died on Feb. 6th.

Older brother Asa Atwood West had married and started his own family on his
farm in neighboring Andover, Maine. He lost two children to the outbreak:

8 year old Arvilla died on Feb. 18th.

2 year old Anna Pearl on Feb. 20th.

I don't know if the rest of the older sons and daughters came down with diphtheria as
well, but if they did they recovered because they all lived into the 20th century. Jonathan
Phelps West remarried which is why I am here telling this story. John Cutter West died on
July 24 1862 at age 60. Whether his death was caused by poor health after diphtheria
I do not know.

Emil Behring discovered a vaccine for diphtheria in 1913.

And every time I read an argument against childhood vaccination shots, I think of my 3x
great grandmother Arvilla West, and how grateful she'd have been for something that
might have saved her children and grandchildren.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. This week
I thought I'd write a little about this picture.

These four women are my great grandaunts. My great grandmother Charlotte Lovenia
Barker was their sister. It looks like they posed by age with the youngest sister on the
left going to the oldest on the right. They are:

Lelia Leona Barker, b.13Sept 1875 at Albany, Oxford, Me. She married Fred M Skinner
on 3 Jul 1894 when she was a few months shy of her 19th birthday. They had nine
children and thirteen grandchildren (that I've found so far). Fred passed away in
1944 and Lelia followed him ten years later on 16Sep 1954 at age 79.

Mary Elizabeth Barker was born on 22Dec 1869 in Albany, Oxford, Me. She married
the unusually named Zenas Mills (I've seen the name spelled as Xenon, Zarar and Zaran
on various records) on 22May 1888. They raised a family of seven children and fourteen
grandchildren. Mary died on 8Oct 1951.

Melinda Jane Barker, born on 4Jun 1867  in Albany, Oxford, Me., married Edwin Smith
on 30Jun 1886 at Bethel, Oxford, Me. and had a family of six children and fourteen
grandchildren.  Melinda died on 24Apr 1957.

Lastly, Hannah Eldora Barker,  who was born in Albany, Oxford, Me. on  10Dec 1863, only had two children and seven grandchildren with her first husband John Wyman. They were married on 18Sep 1884 and the marriage lasted 25 years until John's death in 1905.  Five years later Hannah married widower Alvin Brown in 1909. Hannah died in Lewiston, Maine on 22 Maine, 1950.

Since Hannah died in 1950, and going by how old they look in the picture, I estimate
it was taken sometime between 1930 and 1950. 

So altogether the four sisters had 24 children and 48 grandchildren. But they were just following their parents Amos Hastings and Betsey Jane (Moore) Barker's example, who
12 children(including the sisters) and 72 grandchildren! 

Monday, February 17, 2014


Just a few more things about George Barrows and my Barrows ancestry.

First, I have a double descent from George and his wife Patience Simmons.
Here's that list of his children by Lucien Moore Robinson from in the first
post in this series:

16 I. Moses4, b. Feb. 14, 1696-7, m. Mary Carver Dec. 4, 1717.
17 II. George4, b. Mch. n, 1698, m. Desire (Doly.2)
18 III. Samuel4, b. 1700, m. Susannah Tobey, Nov. 21, 1723.
19 IV. Peleg4, b. 1708, m. Hopestill Darling, Nov. 26, 1733.
20 V. Benjamin4, m. Lois Tilson, Oct. 15, 1741.
21 VI. James4, m. 1st, Oct. 15, 1741, 2d Nov. 3, 1726, Mary Coffin.
VII. Patience4, m. Jos. Waterman, 1733.
VIII. Ruth4, m. Seth Sampson, Mch. 19, 1723-4.
IX. Keziah4, m. Saml. Benson, May 21, 1728.
X. Deborah4, m. Caleb Benson.
XI. Sarah4, m. Caleb Cushman, Nov. 1742.

I highlighted the two Barrows children who are my ancestors.I haven't
been able to find a date of birth for Deborah Barrows but I estimate
she was about fifteen years younger than oldest brother Moses. My
double descent comes from the marriage of  Asa Barrows and Content

They were first cousins once removed.

Two years ago in April, 2012, I took a drive down to Lakenham Cemetery in
Carver and found the headstones of George Barrows and his three wives.
Now I'm planning to go back and see if I can find the location of the Barrows


I'd seen reference once before to iron ore and George Barrows in Florence O'
Connor's book on my Dunham and Ellingwood ancestors but hadn't really given
it much thought. But as I was researching George for this past week's 52 Ancestors
in 52 Weeks post I ran into more information in Henry Griffith's History of the Town
of Carver, Massachusetts: Historical Review, 1637-1910.

First, some knowledge about the location of the Barrows homestead which is
of use. The pond mentioned is Sampsons Pond, which was named after a local
Indian sachem:
Reckoned from the standpoint of continued influence, George Barrows and John
Murdock were the pioneers of South Carver. Through marital connections Caleb
Cushman, (whose wife was a daughter of George Barrows), established the Cushman
farm about 1740; and later the Saverys were settled in the village through the Barrows
girls. The Barrows property skirted the west shore of the pond and John Murdock held
the claim to the land on the east side. The pond itself was lightly regarded, except for
the fish it yielded and the grassy coves for their hay giving and pasturage qualities. Grassy Island was also used as a pasture, being approached through a slough from the west shore. The old Barrows' homestead stood at the junction of Mayflower road with Rochester road; the Murdock homestead was the farm on the east side of the pond, later known as the Israel Thomas farm; the Tillson farm was located about midway between Rochester road and Meadows road, in what is now known as New Meadows; and it is probable that the main highway at that time passed the Tillson 

house, the  Silas Shaw house, the Barrows house and the Murdock house and so on to the fishery at the outlet of the pond. Rochester road as we travel it, was laid out in 1698, but it is probable that the main travel south was on the east side of the pond, 
and the old roads leading to Halfway ponds and Agawam, show signs of having once 
been main travelled roads.p61-62

The location of the Barrows and Murdock homesteads came into play because of the
rich iron ore deposits beneath Sampsons Pond.

The operation of Popes Point furnace created a demand for bog ore that gave life to industrial Plympton and the swamps and ponds were regarded as valuable properties.
A rich bed of this ore was found in Sampsons Pond and tributary coves which was being turned to a source of profit to the abutters when the officials of the town raised the point that the bog was public property. The matter found its way into Town meeting in 1749, where the private claimants were defeated and agents appointed to guard the interests of the public. After a few years of clashing between these factions the courts decided in favor of the private claimants and the pond passed to the control of George Barrows and Bartlett Murdock who in 1758 signed an indenture whereby a line was established extending from a point on the northerly shore to a point near the connection of Sampsons brook, Barrows to have the ore on the westerly side of the line, and Murdock the ore on the easterly side, while each was bound to guard the property of the other against poachers.

Eventually Murdock would build a second furnace, the Charlotte Furnace, and for about
a hundred years Carver was one of the leading producers of iron cooking and kitchen utensils in the colonies. When the iron ore deposits began to run out in town, more ore was imported from other town in the area and from as far away as New Jersey. Eventually the industry died out, and today the town of Carver is better known for its cranberry bogs and the Edaville Railroad Park and Museum.

But my ancestor George Barrows and members of his family had played a part when Carver was know for its iron furnaces.

To be continued.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


 Five years back I ran a fun challenge here called The Genea-Bloggers' Just
Make Up Some Lyrics Challenge. My fellow geneabloggers who
took part submitted some funny and clever posts, one of which was by the
renowned footnoteMaven. Well, the other day over on Facebook she found
and shared her entry for the Challenge, and it got me thinking.(always a dangerous
event): five years is a  looooooooooooooog time.

It's time for the Second Great Genealogy `Just Make Up Some Genealogy Lyrics'

Here are the rules:

1. Set the names of your ancestors to the music of any song. It can be
any number of names, any song. Just remember to mention what song
you are using so we can all sing along as we read!

2. Publish your efforts on your blog and send me the link. If you don't have
a blog( and you really should, you know, they're easy and fun to do) then send
me your song in a comment to this blog.

2. Dead line is April 15th. I'll publish the final list of links here on  April

You can see what songs were submitted here in the roundup of links from the
first challenge.

I think that five years is enough time for everyone's funny bones to recharge.
Think of all the new songs that can be used! I look forward to seeing the results! 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something evey week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem. This post is
about George Barrows, (1670-1758), my 6x great grandfather. My research for the
previous post got me interested in my ancestors who lived in the Plympton, Ma.
area, of which George was one.

I found the following in an article  THE BARROWS FAMILY by Rev. Lucien Moore Robinson in  The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, Volume 7 (Google 
eBook) (S.M. Watson, 1893).:

(7) George, (Robert2, John1,) b. 1670, m. Feb. 14, 1694, Patience, dau. of John Simmons, a descendant of Moses Symondson who came in "Fortune" 1621. She died Oct. 30, 1723. George m. 2nd, Anne Dunham, June 25, 1724, m. 3d, Hannah Jackson, Dec. 20, 1736.

16 I. Moses4, b. Feb. 14, 1696-7, m. Mary Carver Dec. 4, 1717.
17 II. George4, b. Mch. n, 1698, m. Desire (Doly.2)
18 III. Samuel4, b. 1700, m. Susannah Tobey, Nov. 21, 1723.
19 IV. Peleg4, b. 1708, m. Hopestill Darling, Nov. 26, 1733.
20 V. Benjamin4, m. Lois Tilson, Oct. 15, 1741.
21 VI. James4, m. 1st, Oct. 15, 1741, 2d Nov. 3, 1726, Mary Coffin.
VII. Patience4, m. Jos. Waterman, 1733.
VIII. Ruth4, m. Seth Sampson, Mch. 19, 1723-4.
IX. Keziah4, m. Saml. Benson, May 21, 1728.
X. Deborah4, m. Caleb Benson.
XI. Sarah4, m. Caleb Cushman, Nov. 1742.

7. George resided in Plymouth till 1711. The next year he is described as of Plympton where he was already the owner of considerable quantities of land. He was known as "Captain George" and being, it is said, a successful negotiator with the Indians he was often entrusted with the settlement of business affairs with them. He seems to have been a very great enterprising and successful man, brought up a large family, which appear to have intermarried with the most respected families of that vicinity,

He gave deeds to each of his sons during the later years of his life, of lands near him and near to each other, on which it seems that most of them resided. One deed conveys to his sons and sons in law the privilege and the right to take iron ore from Samson's Pond in Plympton, (now Carver) for which they are to pay him two shillings sixpence per ton. Sampson's Pond is in that part of Plympton which became in 1790 the town of Carver. The descendants of George still reside in this town and occupy the lands that have been in their families for several generations.

His son Samuel removed to Killingly, Conn., but "in consideration of fatherly affection" etc., is made the recipient in 1748, of 100 acres of land in Plympton, near "the forge standing on South Meadow River." It seems a fair inference that he must have been quite wealthy. His will disposes of additional quantities of land among his sons, and grand children, and directs the payment of small legacies to his daughters. His son Peleg is made executor and residing legatee. The will bears date September 4, 1750. The original is on file in the probate office in Plymouth, and is witnessed by Nathl. Bradford, Nathl. Leonard Jun. and James Hovey. The signature is written as in the other documents named, "Gorg Barrow" (the handwriting in the opinion of good judges being the same in each. This fact seems to leave no possible room for doubt concerning the identity of this person. It seems to establish the fact that he was the son of Robert, who was the son of John the emigrant to Plymouth. There is a record in an old family Bible in Maine, written by a grandson of this George who came to Plymouth from the West of England in 1668 and married a daughter of George Bonum. But this record we cannot explain. The Plymouth records mention the daughters of George Bonum, giving the name of Ruth and the date of her marriage with Robert Barrow2, Nov. 28,1666, and Patience who m. Richard Willis, Dec. 28, 1670, and Sarah who probably died unmarried. But no record or deed is found referring to any other daughter of George Bonum who married a Burrow or any other person. (George Bonum it may be proper to say in passing, was a prominent man, a land Surveyer, often in public service, and his name frequently appears on the town records. He m. Sarah, dau. of Geo. Morton, Dec. 20, 1644, and died April 28, 1704, 95 years of age. He was a member of the Plymouth Church. The record of the church says, "He lived to a good old age, being about 95. He was a man almost all men spoke well of and is gone to receive his crown."
The will of George Barrows was not presented for probate till 1794, nearly forty years after the death of the testator.

There's a lot of information in there, and I'll discuss that in the next post.

To be continued.

Friday, February 07, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem.  I'm about a
week behind do I'm publishing a second post this week to catch up. This post is on
my 10x great grandfather Percival Lowell.

Percival Lowell is another of my ancestors so far back on my family tree that I haven't
done much work on him as yet. I know that through him I am somehow related to the
poet James Russell Lowell, and supposedly there's a Plantagenet connection through
him as well.  Here's what Ellery Bicknell Crane had to say about Percival in Historic
Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 2 (Google

"(X) Percival Lowell, son of Richard Lowle (9), was born in England, 1571, and died in Newbury, Massachusetts, January 8, 1664. He was sixtyeight years of age when he immigrated to America and ninety-three years old when he died. In England he resided at Kingston, Seymour, England. He and his family had a large mercantile establishment at Bristol, England, under the firm name of Percival Lowe and Co. This firm was composed of Percival, his son John, perhaps son Richard, and possibly son-in-law, William Gerrish, who came over with the Lowells and subsequently married Percival Lowell's daughter, Mrs. Joanna Oliver, widow of John Oliver. The Lowell and Percival families were both wealthy. Percival Lowell came to Newbury, Massachusetts, where his sons John and Richard had already settled, in 1638-39 from Bristol on the ship "Jonathan," possibly not his first trip, as he was a proprietor of Newbury in 1638. He was a freeholder when the town was incorporated March 17, 1742. Percival wrote a poem on the death of Governor Winthrop of Massachusetts, which was printed on a "broadside" and generally circulated.

Children of Percival and Rebecca Lowell were:

John, born in England,1595, died at Newbury, Massachusetts, July 10, 1647; married (first) Margaret; married (second), 1639, Elizabeth Goodale. Richard, see forward. Joan, born in England, 1609, died in Newbury, June 14, 1677; married (first), 1639. John Oliver; married (second), in Newbury, April 17, 1644, Captain William Gerrish."


What impresses me the most about Percival Lowell is this: at age 68 he left a comfortable
life and prosperous business to come to the New World and start all over again, and was
just as successful here as he had been back in England!

Thursday, February 06, 2014


Fellow geneablogger Amy Johnson Crow of No Story Too Small has issued the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge. Basically, we have to post something every week
on a different ancestor, whether a story, picture, or research problem.  This week's
subject is my 6x great grandfather Ephraim Griffith.

The Griffith's are one of those families for which I wish I had more information. It's
one of those cases where I know a lot about Ephraim's maternal line, and a lot about
his West descendants, but not as much about the Griffiths themselves. Ephraim's parents
were Samuel Griffith and Eleanor Estey. His great grandmother was Mary Estey(Eastey) who was hung as a witch at Salem in 1692. The Estey family moved out of Essex County
afterwards and Mary's son Joshua settled in Rochester in Plymouth County where Eleanor
was born in 1704. She married Samuel Griffith(Griffeth) on 24Sep 1723 in Rochester.

Ephraim Griffith's birth is given as July 25 1733 in the Rochester "Tan Book" of the town records. They also list his marriage to Mary Ellis of Wareham as occurring on Feb.10 1757 in Wareham, Ma. Among their children was my 5x great grandfather John Griffith.
At some point in the late 1700's the family moved to Plympton Ma. in a part of town which later became the town of Carver.

The rest of what I think I know about Ephraim is a bit tentative because there may have been other men living in the same area named Ephraim Griffith. There was one other
that I am certain of, that being Ephraim's son Ephraim Junior.  What I've pieced together
 is this:

-In his History of the Town of Carver, Massachusetts: Historical Review, 1637-1910, author Henry S. Griffith says Ephraim had a farm on Popes Point Rd. (p61)

-During the Revolution  a Ephraim Griffith was in a company commanded by Capt. Bridgham

-In 1792 Ephraim Griffith and Ephraim Jr were involved in a church dispute (p124) 

From Ancestry, I have images of:
-Ephraim Griffith on the Tax Rolls for Plympton for 1783, 1784, and 1788
-Ephraim Griffith on the Federal Census for Carver  in 1800, 1819, and 1820.
- Ephraim Griffith's identifying ear marks for his sheep on a  list from Carver.

Ephraim's death date in the town records and on his gravestone is given as just
December, 1823. The only hint I have of where Mary Griffith died is that on Ephraim's headstone it says she died in Woodstock, Vt.

Of course the question is are all those for Ephraim Sr. or are some Ephraim Jr's? 

I've also begun downloading  land records from Plymouth County at FamilySearch and
hope to learn more from them.

It seems when I am researching one of these 52 weeks posts I discover something I
hadn't know previously about my family. In this case, I found an article by Gary Boyd Roberts on the American Ancestors website which talks about how basbeball legend
Ty Cobb was descended from Ephraim Griffith's brother, Daniel!