Thursday, March 05, 2015


I mentioned in my last post about 6x great grandfather Francis Upton that there were
two things in it I wanted to discuss in this post.

One has to do with names.

In my abstract of the list of the children of Francis and his wife Edith Herrick there are
these two entries:

Edith4, born Oct. 24, 1744: married Amos Upton  the third, oldest son of Deacon Amos Upton, Senior. Feb. 13, 1760. 

Ruth4, born Nov. 2, 1748; married Amos Upton, Junior., son of Ebenezer Upton of Reading, June 30, 1772.

Confusing, isn't it? You'd think that Deacon Amos Upton's son Amos would be the Amos Junior, and that his his cousin Amos Upton, son of Ebenezer Upton, would be just plain Amos Upton.
But that's not how our colonial ancestors did things when there was a bunch of people living
in the same town with the same name. The people responsible for keeping birth, marriage, or death records went by date of birth, not by who was related to who:  

Deacon Amos Upton was born in 1717 in Danvers

Amos Upton Junior, son of Ebenezer  was born May 6 1738

Amos Upton the third, son of Deacon Amos Upton was born Oct 3 1742

According to the index of The Upton Memorial there were ten "Amos Uptons" born in
the area between 1717 and 1817.  I imagine there may have been several instances of
some of the labels changing as older ones died off and new ones were born.
So if you are looking for your colonial ancestor John Smith, Jr. and you find a record for one,
don't just assume it's the person you are looking for, because it could be another relative living
in the same town.

The second item is just something that caught my eye  about Francis Upton's signature
on his will. I had zoomed in on the document and it looks like it was originally written
faintly and then written over more darkly. Was the original too faint to read  and had to be
rewritten? Did someone else write his name for Francis for him to use as a model to
write his own name?

It's not important, but it's one of those little oddities I have run into researching my
family tree that makes me "go hmmmmm".

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