Monday, June 30, 2014


Before I get on to the particulars of the will of my ancestor Moses Coburn, I thought I'd discuss his death date. You see, I thought it was 4May 1848, but it isn't. Let me tell you the reason why I've changed my mind.

First, I'd found what I thought was the correct date in two places: one was on Find A Grave in a photo of Moses Coburn's gravestone, which you can see here. That seemed to be confirmed by this image of the request for a gravestone in FamilySearch's Maine, Veterans Cemetery Records, 1676-1918 file. Both give the date of death as 4May 1848.

When I downloaded the Will and Probate file, there was a problem. Moses' will was written on 12Mar 1846. That in and of itself was not unusual, however, there is this document in the Probate file:

If Moses' son Lot Coburn presented the will as executor on 20Sept 1847, eight months before the date on the headstone, obviously the date in the headstone request and on the headstone is wrong. Moses might have died on 4May 1847 and whoever filled out the request form gave the wrong date. Or he could have died on some other date in 1847 before 20Sept when Lot Coburn submitted the will to the court.

So I'm left with a mystery date, which for the moment I've changed to just 1847 in my database, and a lesson as to the importance of wills and probates in genealogical research.

Sunday, June 29, 2014


((This is the 337th anniversary of the Battle Of Moore's Brook.  Benjamin Rockwood
 is my 9x great grandfather. I first posted this five years ago in June, 2009))

As I've mentioned before, Benjamin Rockwood was wounded in King Philip's War in Maine.

This took place on 29 June, 1677 at Black Point near Scarborough, Maine in a fight known
as The Battle at Moore's Brook. There's a great account of it by Sumner Hunnewell
posted here at a site from the Lane Memorial Library at Hampton, NH. and I highly
recommend it to anyone interested in colonial history. It has information on many of
the colonial soldiers and their fates, including an image of the actual casualty list
of the battle.

I also found the following on Google Books:

"Many others whose names are not here, appear in the old documents referred to; like
that of Benjamin Rockwood (Rocket), who, in a later Ledger, has credit for Military Service,in 1677. In Mass. Archives, vol. 72, pp. 622- 624, several original documents arc found showing that he was a soldier in Philip's war, was in service at the Westward, and then wassent, under Capt. Swett, to the Eastward; and at Bllackpoynt, was twice severely wounded,and was confined' in Salem Hospital for " a quarter of a year." A memorial of his townsmen testifies to the facts, and other evidence shows that he had " two bullets in his thigh." Muchmore is found about this last case, which, being typical of the times and men, doubtless hadmany parallels, if we knew all."

George Madison Bodge Soldiers in King Philip's War 2nd ed. Self published (?) 1896
page 453

Benjamin Rockwood died in 1747 at age 97. Hunnewell mentions the son in law who
petitioned the colony for a pension to help support Benjamin when he was 93 and who
then was accused of keeping the money for himself. That appears to have been my
ancestor William Man(Mann). The pension was then sent to and administered by the
town of Wrentham


It's easy to forget sometimes in our modern world how long some things took for our
ancestors. For example, my 4x great grandfather Moses Coburn  appeared in court to
apply for his Revolutionary War veteran's pension on 4Apr 1818. It was approved on
15July 1819 by the Secretary of War (the famous John C.Calhoun) but he still had to
submit an inventory of his personal belongings in June of 1820. That's over two years.

Well, the paperwork today for veterans' benefits has something in common with that
for veterans of the Revolution, I guess.

There is this document in Moses' file, a standard form. It says that as of 8Apr 1818 Moses
Coburn  was entitled to a pension of $8.00 a month, and that the Certificate of Pension
had been issued on 15Jul 1819.  Since it says he was owed $135.10 in arrears dating back
to 4Mar 1819 I'm guessing he didn't receive any money until 1820, probably after he had
submitted that inventory. Still, that amount of money, if issued as a lump sum, was a
good deal back then so it and the future monthly pension payments would have done a
lot to make life easier for Moses and his family.

Finally, one more document from the Pension File:

This form is dated 4Feb 1824 and it's an Application For Transfer. Sometime between
1820 and 1824 Moses had moved up to Oxford Count, Maine, and he was requesting
his pension be transferred from the Massachusetts rolls to Maine. I don't know if he
had also received a land grant in Maine or if he was simply following his older children
who were also residing in Oxford County, mostly around the town of Newry.Either way,
Moses Coburn lived another 24 years in Newry in 1848.

When he did, he left a will, and I'll discuss that in a new series of posts.

Saturday, June 28, 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. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. For this entry( the halfway point of the Challenge)
the subject is John Hunting, my 11x great grandfather.

I found this  from old reliable William Richard Cutter on Google Books:

"John Hunting, the first of HUNTING this family of whom there is record in America, was born in England in 1597. He came to New England in the spring of 1638 and settled at Dedham, where he was admitted a freeman March l3' 1639. He was one of the founders of the church at Dedham and was its first ruling elder. Previous to coming to this country he was a "ruling elder." and his living was in the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk, England. The first authentic record of him is on the Dedham Register, under date of August 28. 1638. when he "entertayned to purchase John Boledges lot." From the church records he seems to have taken an active part in religious affairs. He died April 12, 1689. buried at Dedham. He married Hester Seaborne, second cousin of John Rogers, about 1617. Children: 1. John, see forward. 2. Samuel, born July 22. 1640: married, December 24, 1662, Hannah Hackborne. 3. Nathaniel, born December 15. 1643, died in infancy. 4. Matthew, born March 6. 1648. 5. Margaret, born in England, married Robert Ware. 6. Mary, married Buckner. 7. Hester, married Nathaniel Fisher, December 26, 1649. 8. Elizabeth, married John Peck." -p1389

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 3 (Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1908 - Boston (Mass.)

Here's the descent from John Hunting to my grandfather Floyd E West Sr:

I also found a transcription of John Hunting's will, and I'll discuss that in another 

To be continued.

Wednesday, June 25, 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. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. For this post, I'm continuing with my Beaman
ancestors, with 8x great grandfather John Beaman, son of Gamaliel Beaman.

Once more I turned to William Richard Cutter's entry on the family in his New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial:

(II) John, son of Gamaliel Beaman, was born in 1649-50. After the death of his father, he returned to Lancaster, when the town was resettled, and took up his father's old farmat Wataquadock, now Bolton. About 1682 he moved to Taunton, Massachusets, but returned to Lancaster after a few years. He was a probationer at Dorchester, and in August,1681, took out a letter for Taunton; he could not have stayed long at Taunton this time, as his daughter Sarah was born in Lancaster the following February. The second time, 1682, he remained longer in Taunton. On his return to Lancaster he was received into the church as Father Beaman from Taunton; this must have been between 1708 and 1716. In 1704 he was a member of a garrison in his father's house, and there was a garrison in his house in 1711. On January 30, 1729, there was a church meeting at his house to elect deacons. He was buried in the Old Burial Ground at Lancaster, and the following inscription is on the slate stone marking the grave: "Here lies buried ye body of Mr. John Beaman, who departed this life Jan. 15, 1739-40, in Ye 90th Year of his age." He married, about 1674, Priscilla, born in Boston, in 1656, daughter of Robert Thornton. Robert Thornton came from London in the "Elizabeth" in 1635, aged eleven years; he was a carpenter and owned much land. Priscilla (Thornton) Beaman, died August 6, 1729, aged seventy-two years, and was buried in the Old Burial Ground at Lancaster. Children: Mary, born about 1675, died in Dorchester, May 3, 1676; John, February 21, 1677; Zippora, March 4, 1679; Sarah, January 25, 1682; Gamaliel, mentioned below; Ebenezer, 1690; Jonathan, 1697; Priscilla; Judith; Eunice; Jabez, born 1704.

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 (Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, New York  1914

I'm descended from John's daughter Sarah, who married Joseph Sawyer.

A few things about this entry: this is another case where an ancestor had a connection with
a place I lived or worked that I hadn't known about before this. I worked at a bookstore in
Taunton for several years.

The other matter is something I discovered when I looked into John Beaman's father-in-law, Robert Thornton,my 9x great grandfather. Robert's wife Mary Dowling's first husband was Walter Merry.

Yes my ancestor married a Merry widow.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Before going any further , let's see what the entry for Moses is in Genealogy of The Descendants of Edward Colburn/Coburn; came from England, 1635; purchased land in "Dracut on Merrimack," 1668; occupied his purchase, 1669 (1913) :

238. Moses Coburn {Caleb4, Moses3, Joseph2, Edward1) was
born Nov. 24, 1765, and died May, 1845; married, July 17, 1794,
Esther Spaulding, dau. of Lot and Esther (Butterfield) Spaulding
of Pelham, N. H., where she was born Sept. 16, 1769, and died
Feb. 13, 1849; they dwelt in Tyngsboro, Mass., Pelham, N. H.,
and Newry, Me.
Children :
i. Esther, b. Nov. 30, 1794; m. John Miller, Tyngsboro.
ii. Moses, b. Aug. 15, 1796; m. Hannah Barker.
iii. Sarah, b. Oct. 30, 1798; m. John Buck.
iv. Martha, b. Sept. 29, 1800; m. Edward Riley.
V. Wesley, b. Sept. 27, 1802; m. Lucy Stowe.
vi. Dorcas, b. April 9, 1805; m. James Marshall.
vii. Caleb, b. Oct. 30, 1807.
viii. Louisa, b. Aug. 5, 1810; m. Rev. Benjamin Foster.
ix. Lot Spaulding, b. March, 1813; m. Mary Bishop.


So when Moses filed for his pension he'd had nine children, the first five of whom were
probably already out on their own.

One of the images in the Pension File is of a Schedule Submitted by Moses to the Circuit
Court of Middlesex, Massachusetts. It says Moses was residing in Tyngsborough and gives an inventory of his possessions:

1 cow                              $20
Hog                                      8
Sheep and lamb                   2
Table                                      .50
Crockery Ware                     1.50
Glass Ware                             .50
Pots & kettle                        1.50
Chairs                                  1.00
4 dung hill Fowls                   .80
Moses Coburn

And the said Moses Coburn further states that he served in the Revolutionary war
as put forth in the original declaration now in the Secretary of Wars office to wit
he entered the service in August 1781 for three years, entered Capt. Benjamin Pike
company in Lieut Col Calvin Smith's Regt and continued in that Regt about nineteen
months then was transferred to the second Regt in the Mass line and continued there
until discharged having served about two and half years.

That he is fifty-five years old his occupation is that of a common day labourer, that he
is not able to do more than half as much as an able bodied man having been worn out
with fatigue in the last and other war that his family residing with him consists of a wife aged fifty one years, weakly and not able to support herself and three children Dorcas Coburn aged fourteen, Louisa Coburn aged seven years, Lot S Coburn five years neither of them able to support themselves.

Moses Coburn

The interesting thing about this inventory and statement is that it's dated June 9, 1820.
It includes the information that Moses' application had been approved in 1818 and he was
receiving $8.00 a month. Also, it shows that the five older children were indeed no longer
part of the household, and one of the three younger, Caleb, apparently had died young.

To be come  

Monday, June 23, 2014


Included with Moses Coburn's pension request is the following document: 

This may certify that Moses Coburn of Tyngsborough was agreed with by us in 1781 to
go into The Revolutionary War and did go and stay until the war ended.
April 4th 1818                                                                    Isaac Pike
                                                                                           Asa Underwood
                                                                                           ?)Committee for the Clas(?)
                                                                                           who hiered him

I've wondered about the circumstances that led to the 16 year old Moses Coburn being
"hired" by the townsman to enlist in the Continental Army. His father Caleb was 37
years old when the Revolution began and according to a family genealogy had fought in
the Revolution in 1776 "In Capt. Ford's Co., Col. Robinson's Regt.. Also, in 1779, in Capt. Solomon Pollard's Co., Col. Samuel Denny's Regt. Was Caleb still in Capt. Solomon Pollard's company or was he home in 1781, and if so, had he been wounded or taken ill? Did Moses Coburn join the Army to help support his parents? How much was he paid for enlisting? 

So far, I have no answer for those questions.

To be continued

Sunday, June 22, 2014


As mentioned in my previous post, my 4x great grandfather Moses Coburn was a
veteran of the American Revolution. He was one of the generation of children
that grew up during the Revolution, being only ten years old when the war began.
When he enlisted in 1781, he was sixteen years. By that time the action had shifted
to the southern colonies and from I read in his pension file documents Moses served
his enlistment out in New York, so he wouldn't have seen much action  Nor had Moses
enlisted solely because of patriotic fervor: he was paid by some of the citizens of
Dunstable, Ma. to join the Continental Army, possibly so the town could meet a quota of enlistees.

At  any rate, thirty years later Moses Coburn was in dire financial straits and applied for
a pension. Here's his statement about his service , and my transcription:

 Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Be it remembered that on the eighth day of April in the year of our Lord  one
thousand eight hundred and eighteen before me Samuel Dana Chief Justice
of the Circuit Court of Common Pleas for the middle Circuit, comprehending
the counties of Essex and Middlesex in the Commonwealth aforesaid, comes
Moses Coburn of Tyngsborough in the said county of Middlesex and on oath
did aver that he served in the war of the Revolution against the common
enemy two years and six months, that he was hired by a Class of men in the
the then town of Dunstable to go into the continental army in the summer of
the year 1781- that he was mustered at Chelmsford by Oliver Barron Esq,
proceeded to Boston and was there received by Major Pettingil of the army,
from there he proceeded with a party to join the army at Phillipsburgh in New
York where he was placed in the company commanded by Capt Benjamin Pike,
in the sixth regiment of the Massachusetts line commanded by Leut Col Calvin
Smith- that he served under Capt Pike eighteen or nineteen months- then
under Capt Frost about five months- when said regiment was brokenup, and he
was transferred to the second Massachusetts regiment commanded by Col
Sprout and was placed in the company commanded by Capt Judah Alden, in this
company he continued to serve as a private till the last of December 1783, when
he received a discharge at West Point which discharge he is not able to find and
which is not to his knowledge in existence, that he is destitute of property and
by reason of his reduced circumstances in life stands in need of assistance from
his country for his support, being fifty three years of age.
Moses Coburn
Thus made, taken, subscribed and sworn to at Chelmsford in said County of
Middlesex, the day and year aforesaid-

To be continued

Friday, June 20, 2014


This is another in a series of posts in which I list what I've already learned about one of my family lines and then a "To Do" list of things I need to do to learn more.

-My Coburn ancestry comes to me through my paternal grandmother Cora B.Barker  whose own paternal grandmother was Lucy Coburn  of Albany, Oxford, Me. 

- My Coburn immigrant ancetor was Edward Colburn who came to Massachusetts in 1635 on the ship Defence at age 28and settled at Ipswich, Ma.  The family later moved to other towns in Middlesex County, such as Dracut and Tyngsborough.

-The family name has been spelled a number of different ways:Colbourne, Colburne, Colborne, Colbern, Colburn and Coburn. My branch of the family eventually settled on the
using Coburn.

- Some siblings of my ancestors were among those who resettled what became the
Canadian province of New Brunswick after the Acadians were exiled by the British.

.My 4x great grandfather Moses Coburn fought in the Revolutionary War

-Documents I have found so far include:
   -Moses Coburn's Revolutionary War Pension file which I found on Fold3

  -Moses Coburn's Probate file and Will which I found on FamilySearch.

 -Land sale transactions by 5x great grandfather Caleb Coburn from FamilySearch

-The death record of 2x great grandmother Lucy(Coburn)Barker from FamilySearch  

-A copy of The Genealogy of the Descendants of Edward Colburn from Google Books.

To Do List:
-Find  the name of the wife of Caleb Coburn, my 5x great grandmother.
-Transcribe Moses Coburn's Revolutionary War Pension file.
-Transcribe Moses Coburn's  Will and Probate file.
- Add the names of more of my Coburn ancestors' siblings to my database and online trees.

And I'd like to take a drive up to Dracut and Tyngsborough to see what else I can find out
about my Coburn ancestors.

This is how my grandmother Cora Barker descends from Edward Colburn:

Thursday, June 19, 2014


During the last few days there was a problem at the websites
as a DDOS (Denial of Service) attack crashed the main Ancestry site, Find A Grave
and Rootsweb. I'm not a techie so I'm not going to waste time trying to explain the
specifics of DDOS. Thomas MacEntee has a good explanation here. All you need to
know was that no one was able to access the three sites until Ancestry's IT people
were able to fix the problem. (As of tonight, all three sites are once more up and

 By the reaction of some of the posters on's Facebook page you would
have thought the sky was falling. They ranged from demands for refunds to just plain
downright nastiness. It was ridiculous. People could not grasp the concept that this was
not something caused by a problem with ancestry's programming, it was an attack on
Ancestry's websites but hackers.

 I wrote about it on my own Facebook page:
"And lo, the servers of Ancestry were beset by the Plague of DDOS, and then were the genealogists locked out from the Realms of Ancestry. Neither could they work on their family trees, nor add photos nor memorials to Find A Grave. Then great were the lamentations of the genealogists, and many were beset with frustration, weeping and gnashing their teeth in the outer darkness as they waited for the servers of Ancestry to once more open unto them.

Meanwhile, others turned to worshiping the false idol, Television...."

Now, I wasn't worried about not being able to use the Ancestry sites for two reasons:

One was I'd seen these DDOS attacks  before when I was active on mIRC. Once i heard
that this was what was happening with Ancestry, I knew it would probably be fixed within
a day or two. Yes, I was mildly annoyed that I couldn't fulfill a photo request on Find A
Grave until the site came back online, but I could wait.

The second reason was that I'd dropped my Ancestry subscription a few months ago and
my research doesn't depend on access to the records on Ancestry. I use FamilySearch,
Google ebooks, printed books and other online resources. I don't have all my eggs in one basket. I couldn't post to my tree so I did some research for upcoming blog
posts instead.Most of the experienced genealogists I know through blogging or Facebook were able to carry on their work using similar means.

I think is a victim of its own advertising. People see or hear their ads every
day and many of them think the best way to search for their ancestors is to go to So they put "put all their eggs" in the Ancestry basket. Then when there's
a service problem  for some reason they get cranky about it.  But what website doesn't have trouble now and then? How many times has Facebook or Gmail had trouble over
the years?

I can see having issues with certain  aspects on how a website is run; I dropped Ancestry
because I was dissatisfied with the New Search engine. But to whine and complain over
an event Ancestry had no control over is just plain dumb.

Here's an easy way to not be frustrated the next time something like this happens(and it probably will): instead of depending mostly on Ancestry, learn to use the other tools
available to you for research, both on and off the internet.

Spread those eggs around.

It will be easier on you, and the poor folks at Ancestry will get less abuse,.

Monday, June 16, 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. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. For this post, I'm writing about my 9x great
grandfather Gamaliel Beaman.

Gamaliel is one of those ancestors whose name I am not sure how to pronounce.
For me, it's a tongue twister. Leaving that aside I decided to see what Google
Books might have about him, and once again discovered William Richard Cutter
had written about one of my ancestors:

"Gamaliel Beaman, the immigrant ancestor, was born in England, in 1623, and
came to America when he was twelve years old, in the ship "Elizabeth and Ann."
At first he lived with relatives in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and became a proprietor
there in 1649. In 1658 he was one of the incorporators of Lancaster, Massachusetts,
and on May 23, 1659, settled there. On May 31, 1659, he signed the covenant there
as one of the fifty-five original proprietors of the town, and he received Lot 38. He
owned more than two hundred and sixty-six acres of land there. In 1676 the settlers
at Lancaster were obliged to leave their homes because of King Philip's war. The
Indians burnt the town, including the church, and the place was not built up again
until 1680. Gamaliel Beaman returned to Dorchester, and his losses had been so great
that he was unable to pay even his taxes. His new house in Dorchester was situated
on the east slope of Bolton Hills, near a place called the Cold Spring. He died at Dorchester, March 23, 1678.

He married, about 1648, Sarah, daughter of William Clark. She was admitted to the
Dorchester church, February 1, 1656, and was dismissed to Lancaster, May 24, 1668.
Children, the first four baptized together, June 14, 1657: John, mentioned below;
Gamaliel, born 1653; Thomas, 1654; Mary, 1656; Sarah, born at Dorchester, January
19, 1658; Noah, April 3, 1660; Thankful, April 18, 1663; Mehitable, May 26, 1667."

-pp1186-1187  New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 (Google eBook) Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York,
New York  1914

Because Gamaliel removed back to Dorchester and never returned after the end of
the war, there is not much information about him. It's possible there might have
been some records lost for him when the town was burned. His sons, however, did
return to Lancaster, and one, John Beaman, is my 8x great grandfather.

Sunday, June 15, 2014


In honor of Father's Day I'm posting pictures of some of the fathers on my family tree. From the Wests:

My Dad, Floyd E West, Jr.

Great grandfather Philip J. West, Cousin Stanley & Grandfather Floyd E West, Sr.

2x Great Grandfather Jonathan P West & family
3x Great grandfather John Cutter West
Some of the maternal grandfather's from Dad's family:

2x great grandfather Asa F Ellingwood & wife Florilla Dunham.

2x Great grandfather Amos Hastings Barker & wife Betsy Jane Moore.
3x Great grandfather Philip Richardson

And the only picture I have from Mom's side of the family:
Great grandfather John McFarland & wife Annie Kelley.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Thursday, June 12, 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. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree. For this post, I'm writing about my 8x great
John Upton and one of those "family traditions" common in some genealogies.

I recently found this in an edition of the Historical Collections of the Essex Institute:


The following traditions relating to the Upton* family of Danvers and Reading, were obtained by me, Jan. 18, 1849, from Eli Upton, who was born Oct. 7, 1759, and died Feb. 24, 1849; and, as some of the items here given are not recorded anywhere to my knowledge, they are offered for publication in the Collections.

"John Upton was born in Scotland, and, it is supposed, was one of the prisoners taken by Oliver Cromwell at the battle of Dunbar, in 1651, and sent by him to New England, as he was sold on his arrival here. He was bought by a woman, whose name is not remembered, but who lived in that part of Salem now called Danvers. She came from England. Some of the fruit trees on the place were brought out by her. She had been living there some time. 

The place above mentioned has been in the hands of the Uptons from the death of John to the present time (1849); and it is now owned by Mr. Eli Upton. Two houses have been built there.

John Upton aforesaid bought a large lot of land in Reading for a "piece-of eight" and a colt. On this land one of his sons settled, and there John himself died in 1699.
Historical Collections of the Essex Institute (Google eBook) Vol7 Number 6 Essex Institute.,  Salem Ma 1865

A nice story there about how John came to Massachusetts, but probably untrue. There's no
mention of a John Upton on the list of names of the Scottish prisoners sent to the colony. In
his Upton Memorial, John Adams Vinton discredits that story and another that claims the
lady was Upton's wife who somehow got to Massachusetts before the prison ship had
arrived so she could purchase her husband. He also questions the tradition that the wife
was named Elenor Stuart.

There's also this, which concerns some land purchased by John Upton:

1668. Feb. 1.—Jeremiah Swain of Reading, for 22s. 6d.. sells to John Upton half an acre and seven poles of meadow, lying on the north side of Ipseage River, also a quarter of an acre and twenty-eight poles of meadow on the north side of said river, all in Reading -p13
The Upton Memorial: A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of John Upton, of North Reading, Mass. ... Together with Short Genealogies of the Putnam, Stone and Bruce Families (Google eBook)  private use at the office of E. Upton & son,  Bath, Me 1874

It's significant to me because Jeremiah Swain is my 9x great grandfather and John Upton my 8x great grandfather. I always get a kick out of finding these sort of things involving ancestors from two different branches of my family tree!

Thursday, June 05, 2014


Back in my early days of my genealogy research when I was working on my Benson line,
I found information online that my 7x great grandfather John Benson had married Elizabeth Marsh,  and that her parents were John Marsh and Susannah Skelton. That descent supposedly came down through the Bensons to the Barrows and then the Ellingwoods and then to the Wests when my great grandparents Philip J West and Clara Ellingwood were married.

So when I was working on the previous post abut Rev. Samuel Skelton I took another
look on what I had on the Benson descent and found I had no sources for the birth and marriage of Elizabeth Marsh. That set off my genea-sense. It's like Spiderman's
"Spidey sense" and it's something genealogists develop eventually after a few years if
they pay attention to things like records and sources.  John Benson had lived south of
Boston at Hull. Elizabeth Marsh had lived north of Boston at Salem. It was possible they
could have met somehow since there was traffic between the two seacoast towns by
water. But a check of two online databases of early Massachusetts vital records for both
Salem and Hull turned up no marriage records.   

Then I googled Elizabeth's parents John Marsh and Susannah Skelton, reasoning that a
list of their children might include information on their daughter's marriage. No luck
there, either. 

This is from one of Ellery Bicknell Crane's many regional genealogy books:
The children of John Marsh (I), all born in Salem, Massachusetts, were: Zachary, baptized April 30, 1637; John, baptized May 9, 1639, died 1669, married Sarah ;Ruth, baptized or born May 5, 1641; Elizabeth, born July 8, 1646; Ezekiel, born or baptized October 29, 1048; Bethiah, born or baptized September 1. 1650; Samuel, born or baptized October 2, 1652; Susanna, born or baptized May 7, 1654; Mary, born or baptized September 14, 1056; Jacob, born August 6, 1658; Jacob, baptized April 10, 1659; a daughter, born or baptized June 12, 1604; Benjamin, born about 1661.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 3 (Google eBook)

Further searching online failed to produce any confirmation that the Elizabeth Marsh married by  John Benson was the granddaughter of Samuel Skelton. In fact, I found a reference on a Wikitree page that an entry in The Great Migration 1634-1635 mentions there's no record for such a marriage. I'll need to check the local library and see if
it has a copy of that volume.

Meanwhile I'm removing from my databases John Marsh and Susannah Skelton as the parents of the Elizabeth Marsh who married John Benson.

But I still have a Skelton connection through my Barker line!

Wednesday, June 04, 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. For
this prompt I've tried to concentrate on ancestors I haven't researched as much
as I have others in my family tree.This week my subject is my 10x great grandfather
Samuel Skelton.

I thought I had a double descent from Rev. Skelton. One of them is through my great
grandmother Clara Ellingwood but something I've discovered had caused me to reassess
that line of descent. I'll discuss that in a later post. For this post, I found this on Samuel
Skelton in a Marsh family genealogy by Lucius Marsh:

"A sketch of the father of John Marsh's first and only wife will help us to understand the social position of John Marsh Rev. Samuel Skelton is supposed to have been bom in Yorkshire, England about 1584. He entered Clair Hall, Cambridge, about 1599. He graduated about 1G06. He received College degree 1611. He became minister to the regular English established church in Lincolnshire about 1608, married about 1612. Mrs. Skelton died in Salem, Mch. 15, 1631. He died in Salem Aug. 2, 1634. His history is very interesting. At the earnest solicitation of John Endicott, who had just been appointed Governor of the New Colony, called The London Plantation in the Massachusetts bay in New England, Rev. Samuel Skelton while in England accepted the position on Governor Endicott's staff, of Minister to the Colony. There was very near and dear relationship existing between the two, as Governor Endicott said that he was converted under the preaching and teaching of Rev. Samuel Skelton. whom he regarded as his spiritual father. As soon as the charter for the new Colony was promised, Gov. Endicott with his wife and not more than fifty others sailed, the last of June, 1628, and arrived in Salem Sept. 6, 1628. Mr. Skelton and family, "3 daughters and 1 son," waited in England to receive a copy of the charter, and full instructions in regard to all matters appertaining to the administration of the Colony. Mr. Skelton with his family sailed in the George May 4, and arrived in Salem June 23, 1629. He organized the first church of the Puritans July 30, 1629. Then he, Rev. Samuel Skelton, was installed Pastor, and Mr. Higginson was instilled as teacher, Aug. 6, 1629, they having been ordained in England, and Mr. Skelton having been a Minister for many years of the Established English Church in Lincolnshire. This Salem church was organized as one of the Established English churches and continued so up to Jan.1, 1630. The Prayer Book was then dispensed with and the church became the 2d Independent Congregational Church in New England. This change was one of the first In make it possible for the Pilgrims and the Puritans to unite as one colony. Gov. Endicott saw full well the importance of this union. It cost him his office, for Gov. Winthrop was appointed, in the spring of 1630 to succeed him. Mr. Skelton greatly assisted to bring about the union of the two colonies. Of him it is said "He was of gracious speech." Gov. Bradford, who had sent Doctor Fuller to take care of some sick ones in Gov. Endicott's family in the winter of 1628, was greatly pleased with'the straightforward and manly character, and integrity of Gov. Endicott who reciprocated by writing to Gov. Bradford, June 10, 1629, expressing warm and cordial feelings in regard to the simple mode of public worship by the Pilgrims. Mr. Skelton arriving a few days later, June 23, 1629, the way seemed to be opened for a mutual conference, which finally resulted very happily for the two colonies."-pp16-17

Genealogy of John Marsh and his descendants, 1633-1888 (Google eBook)  J.E. Williams, pub., Amherst, Ma 1888

I thought this gives a good backround of the relationship between the Endicotts and Skeltons which resulted in the marriage of their grandchildren Hannah Felton and
Samuel Endicott, my 8x great grandparents.

I'll discuss that question of the other line of descent in my next post.

To be continued.