Thursday, April 30, 2015


((I mentioned this in the "When I Was Young" post. Here's the whole
story, first posted back in March, 2007.))

By the time I was born in 1948 all my mother’s McFarland
Uncles were in their mid-fifties or older. Two of them had
already passed away before I was old enough to know them.
Uncle Frank and Uncle Tommy were still around and I have
memories of both, although more of Tommy than Frank. Of
the Aunts only Aunt Peggy was alive and I remember her
very well. Aunt Winnie had died but was not forgotten for
reasons I will mention later.

Uncle Frank was 62 years old when I was born so my earliest
recollections of him come from when he was about 70. Frank
had two children and split time living in Andover with his son
John and in Hanson with his daughter Mary, but occasionally
he spent a week with us in Dorchester. By this time he was
grey-haired and heavy set and used a cane when walking. It
was on one of those visits that Uncle Frank taught me how
to make tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches. This was a big
deal for me since the only time I’d ever used a knife was to
slice whatever was set before me at meals. I’d never actually
cut something up to MAKE a meal. It was the best sandwich
I’d ever tasted.

The next day I decided to make one on my own and I thought
it went pretty well until my Mom saw it. She asked where I had
learned to cut a tomato and then went off in search of Frank,
not for the reason you might think, though.

Awhile later, Uncle Frank came out to the kitchen and explained
to me about cutting thinner slices so I wouldn’t use up an entire
tomato in just one sandwich.

Frank only stayed with us a few times in Dorchester. We lived
on the third floor of a triple-decker apartment and the climb up
the three flights of stairs probably would have been difficult at
his age. Most of the rest of the times I saw him were at Andover
or Hanson during the various family functions. Somewhere I've
packed away an old copy of Zane Grey’s Lone Star Ranger that
I was given on a trip to Andover. I’m not sure if it was Frank’s
or if it had belonged to his son John.

Frank passed away at the age of 82 on September 21st, 1968.

Tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches are still my favorite, by the
way, simply because an old man spent some time to show an 8
year old boy how to make one.


Finally I've caught up with the "When I was Young" meme from Randy Seaver's
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenges on his Genea-Musings blog of a few
weeks back. Here's my answers to Part 3 from questions originally posed by Alona
Tester on her lonetester HQ blog.

16.What was entertainment when you were young?
Mostly tv,  listening to music on the radio, and reading.

17.Do you remember what it was it like when your family got a new fangled invention? 
(ie. telephone, TV, VCR, microwave, computer?)
Not too many newfangled inventions when I was really young. My Mom's stereo console,
and the portable phonograph that my sister and I had to play 45's on come to mind first.

18.Did your family have a TV? Was it b&w or colour? And how many channels did you get?
We had black & white tvs. I remember the Beechwood company tv that was a smallish
tv built into a cabinet of some tan wood. At first there were only two channels in Boston,
Channels 4 & 7, and then Channel 5 came along towards the end of the 1950's. I bought
my parents the first family color tv,  a Motorola portable with a lime green and creme
colored plastic casing that had both UHF and VHF channels. That portable was passed
down and around for nearly 20 years after my folks got a larger tv.   

19.Did your family move house when you were young? Do you remember it?
Four times: From 37 Beach St in Malden to the Dorchester section of Boston at 101
Capen St, Then a few years later we moved to 18 Evans St, a few blocks away. Finally
we left Boston and moved south to a house here in Abington on Bicknell Hill Rd.

20.Was your family involved in any natural disasters happening during your childhood (, flood, cyclone, earthquake etc)
There were several hurricanes that happened when I was younger back in the 1950s while
we were living in Malden. I've blogged before about how Dad drove his car down the flooded
street to get home.

21.Is there any particular music that when you hear it, sparks a childhood memory?
Some of the older songs that were performed on the Mitch Miller albums makes me
remember the parties at 18 Evans St and Mom playing those albums. Also, anything
by Andy Williams or Johnny Mathis reminds me of Mom playing one of their albums while
she cleaned house and she sang along with them.

22.What is something that an older family member taught you to do?
My Granduncle Frank taught me to make tomato sandwiches, much to my Mom's dismay;
I used too much mayonnaise and cut the tomato slices too big. But I was 8 years old when
he taught me.

23.What are brands that you remember from when you were a kid?
Waleco Candy,  Andrews and Swett Carpet Cleaners, Robert Hall Clothing stores, T.V.
Time Popcorn, Cushman Bakery, S.S. Pierce.  

24.Did you used to collect anything? (ie. rocks, shells, stickers … etc.)

Baseball cards and comic books, and postage stamps. I still have my stamp album, but
the baseball cards and comic books are loooong gone.

25. Share your favourite childhood memory.

Hmm. Hard to narrow it down. I think maybe the hot summer nights before we had
air conditioning, when we'd get in the car and Dad would drive us down to the beach,
We had all the car windows open and we'd sit there where it was cooler until finally we
fell asleep. Then Dad would drive us home and wake us up when we got there. 


The deadline for the Fifth (and Final) American Civil War Blogpost Challenge is fast
approaching. You only have two more weeks before the May 13th, the deadline to
submit links to your a blogpost about your ancestors and the Civil War. Some ideas
for your post might be:

 Did you have ancestors in America during the Civil War? If so, where were they
and what were their circumstances? How did the Civil War affect them and
their family? Did the men enlist and did they perish in battle or die of illness?
On which side did they fight, or did you have relatives fighting on BOTH sides?
How did the women left at home cope, or did any of them find ways to help
the war effort? Were your ancestors living as slaves on Southern plantations
and if so when were they freed?  Or were they freemen of color who enlisted
to fight? 

When the war ended, what did your ancestors do? Were they still living where
they had lived when the war began, or did they move elsewhere to find a new

Have you visited a Civil War battlefield or monument to those who fought?
It could be connected to your family history, or just one that you've visited
at some point.

If your ancestors had not emigrated to America as yet, what was their life
like around the time of the Civil War?

Or you might have another idea in mind. When you post your story to your
blog, be sure to send me a link to it. I will also accept previously written
blogposts, as long as they have not appeared in one of the previous Civil
War Challenges.

Remember, deadline is May 13th, the date of the last battle of the War. I look
forward to seeing your posts!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


I'm still struggling to catch up with Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun
challenges from his Genea-Musings blog. This is part 2 of the When I Was Young

1)  Geneablogger Alona Tester has devised a new meme called the "When I Was Young" genea-meme on her blog, LoneTester HQ.

2)  Since the genea-meme is 25 questions, let's do the rest 10 at a time.  This week, answer questions 6 to 15.

3)  Share your answers on your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

6.When you were young, do you remember what it was that you wanted to grow up to be?
A cowboy. Hey, my last name IS West after all! And so was the last name of the Range
Rider's sidekick on tv!

7.Did you have a favourite teacher at school?
Miss Murphy, my second grade teacher at the Linden Elementary School in Malden. My
Mom told me when I was older that I had a big crush on Miss Murphy. 

8.How did you get to school?
I walked, up hill, two miles, in the snow. Ok, not that far, but I did walk. I never took
a school bus to school until we moved to Abington and I took it to high school. 

9.What games did playtime involve?
Hmm. In Malden, cowboys and indians, mostly. When we moved to Boston it was stick ball,
wiffle ball, "Three Flies Out" off the porch steps, and flipping baseball cards. But mostly I read a lot.

10.Did you have a cubby house?
Nope, no club house; in Boston, the front steps were your club house.

11.What was something you remember from an early family holiday?
Most of our family vacations were visits to Maine to visit my Dad's family. I remember on one
trip a bunch of us cousins sat in the back of Aunt Flossie's station wagon as we drove up
to visit our grandfather. We sang "99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall". And there was the fishing
trip where I only caught half a fish. Some animal had already eaten the bottom half.

12.What is a memory from one of your childhood birthday’s or Christmas?
The Christmas our folks got us a portable record player and we heard them playing the
Alvin & The Chipmunks "Christmas Song" several times when we were supposed to be asleep.  

13.What childhood injuries do you remember?
I never had any broken bones. I had corrective surgery several times and during one stay
they put me in a room with adult men, one of whom was a meat packer. I increased my
adult vocabulary and learned to play blackjack as a result.

14.What was your first pet?
Our first pet was a fox terrier named Saddles who was already there when I was born. He
was killed in a dogfight with a larger dog, a boxer, that lived across the street from us.

15.Did your grandparents, or older relatives tell you stories of “when I was young ..?”
Unfortunately, not that I can recall. My Dad's parents lived in Maine , and my Mom's mother
passed away when I was seven, so I can't recall if she told me any stories. I never met my
other grandfather.

Monday, April 27, 2015


I'm running a week behind on the 2015 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge so this is for
Week 16. I've been exploring my Dad's maternal ancestors for the challenge and at the
moment I'm working on the families of the women who married the men in the Upton line.
This will be the first post concerning the ancestors of Sarah Bancroft, the wife of 4x great
grandfather Amos Upton.

Sarah Bancroft's immigrant ancestor was my 10x great grandfather John Bancroft who
arrived in Boston on the ship James in 1632. Apparently there was some scandal about
how his wife Jane was caught in the ship captain's cabin and the couple being fined. So
far I haven't been able to find out anything more about it. Nor have I found much else
about John Bancroft. But thanks to Ellery Bicknell Crane, I found quite a bit about
John's son, my 9x great grandfather Thomas Bancroft:

Lieutenant Thomas Bancroft (1), son of John and Jane Bancroft, was born in England in 1622. He was the immigrant ancestor of Andrew J. Bancroft, of Lancaster. Massachusetts. His father also came over but died in Lynn in 1637. His mother, Jane Bancroft, had land assigned to her in Lynn where the family first settled in New England. She was living in Lynn in 1638.

Thomas Bancroft was living in Dedham, Massachusetts, in 1647, and was admitted to townsman in 1648. He removed in 1652 or 1653, when his name first appears on the church records of Reading, Massachusetts, but there is no proof that he ever lived within the limits of that town, but he certainly lived in that vicinity the remainder of his days. He hired a five hundred acre farm of Samuel Bennett in what is now Saugus, an adjacent town, and the Reading church was the nearest to his home, so he belonged to that parish. The town lines in that neighborhood seem to have been indefinite. He was not a proprietor of the town of Reading, but his son Thomas lived in Reading and became a very prominent citizen there.

The home of Lieutenant Thomas Bancroft was just south of the Straits, a narrow roadway through the rocky hills leading from Reading to Saugus. It is still known as the Bancroft place. The survey of the line between Lynn and Charlestown made about 1670 mentions the "house that was Ensign Bancroft's." About that time he bought seventy acres of land at Lynnfield, three miles from Reading church, which was still the nearest to his home. In 1678 the deed of the adjoining Holyoke farm recites "that it had been for some time in possession and improvement of Thomas Bancroft and a half acre with building thereon was reserved and deeded to Bancroft."

Lieutenant Bancroft died in Lynn, August 19, 1691. The inventory of his estate was filed November 24, 1691, by his son Ebenezer. It shows that he owned land at Reading and Lynn, etc. An agreement for a division of the property was made by the widow, Elizabeth, sons Thomas, John and Ebenezer; Joseph Brown, husband of the daughter Elizabeth, and Sarah Bancroft, the youngest daughter. The widow died May 1, 1711.

He married (first) Alice Bacon, daughter of Michael Bacon, of Dedham, Massachusetts, March 31, 1647-8. She died March 29, 1648. He married (second) Elizabeth Metcalf, daughter of Michale and Sarah Metcalf. She was admitted to the church December 14, 1651, at Dedham, and November 22, 1669, at Reading, by letter from Dedham. The only child of Lieutenant Thomas and Alice was: Thomas, born 1648, of whom later. The children of Thomas and Elizabeth were: Elizabeth, born and died 1650; John, born February 3, 1651-2, married Elizabeth Bacon; Elizabeth, born at Reading, December 7, 1653, married Joseph Brown; Sarah, born 1660, died 1661; Raham. born 1662, died 1683; Sarah, born 1665, married John Woodward; Ebenezer, born 1667, married Abigail Eaton and resided at Lynnfield; Mary, born 1670.

Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 1 (Google eBook) Lewis Publishing Company,  New York, New York 1907

It gives no reason for the title of Lieutenant but Thomas was probably an officer in the Lynn
town militia.

I'm descended from Thomas and Elizabeth's son John Bancroft.

Friday, April 24, 2015


My 8x great grandfather Joseph Herrick took accused witch Sarah Good in custody
as ordered, but before taking her on to the Ipswich jail, they and his deputies spent the
night at the Herrick home. During the night something strange supposedly occurred.
Four months later, Joseph and his wife Mary (Endicott) Herrick were called on to testify
about the events of that night:

"Joseph Herrick Sr. and ux vs. Sarah Good.

The Deposition of Joseph Herrick senr. who testifieth and saith that on the first day of March 1692 I being the Constable for Salem, there was delivered to me by warrant from the worshipfull Jno Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin Esqrs. Sarah Good for me to cary to their majesties Goal at Ipswich and that night I sett a gard to watch her at my own house, namely Samu1 Braybrook Michaell dunell Jonathan Baker and the affore named parsons, Informed me in the morning that that night Sarah Good was gon for same time from them both bare foot and bare legde, and I was also Informed that that night Elizabeth Habbard one of the afflicted persons Complaned that Sarah Good came and afflected her being foot and bare legded, and Samuell Sibley that was one that was attending of Eliza Hubbard Strock Sarah Good on the Arme as Elizabeth Hubbard said, and Mary Herrick the wife of the abouesaid Joseph Herrick testifieth that on the 2th March 1692 in the morning I took notis of Sarah Good in the morning and one of her Armes was bloody from a little below the Elbow to the wrist, and I also took notis of her Armes on the night before, and then there was no sign of blood on them.

Joseph Herrick senr and Mary herrick appearid before us the Jury for Inquest, and did on the oath which the had taken owne this their evidence to be the truth this 28. of June 1692 Sworne in Court. 

Records of Salem Witchcraft: Copied from the Original Documents ... (Google eBook)
Priv. print. for W.E. Woodward, 1864

Sarah Good was hung as a witch on 19Jul 1692 and one of the others executed that day was
Rebecca Nurse. Two petitions had asked the Court to spare Rebecca, one of which had been
signed by Joseph and Mary Herrick. Perhaps they signed it because Mary's parents were
among the other thirty eight signers.

I've only found two other documents so far involving Joseph Herrick with the witch trials, the
warrant ordering him to arrest Giles Corey, and Joseph's report that he had done so. Whether
it was the horrific method of Giles Coreys' death or some other factor that led to Joseph
later opposing the trials, I do not know.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015


In my previous post about my ancestor Joseph Herrick a brief biography by William
Richard Cutter mentioned that Joseph was involved with the "early proceedings"of the
witchcraft hysteria. As Constable for Salem, he was there from the very beginning, as the
following warrant and Joseph's response shows:

Whereas Mrs. Joseph Hutcheson Thomas Putnam Edward Putnam and Thomas Preston yeomen of Salem Village in ye County of Essex personally appeared before vs. And made complaint on behalfe of theire Majestees against Sarah Osborne the wife of Alexr Osburne, of Salem Village aforesd, and Titibe an Indian Woman Servant of mr. Saml Parris of sd place also; for Suspition of witchcraft, by them committed and thereby much injury don to Elizabeth Parris Abigail Williams Anna Putnam and Elizabeth Hubert all of Salem Village aforesd Sundry times within this two months and lately also dont at sd Salem Village Contrary to ye peace and Laws of our Sour Lord and Lady Wm & Mary of England & King and Queene.

You are there fore in theire Majs names hereby required to aprehend and forthwith or as soon as may be bring before vs ye abouesd Sarah Osburne and Titibe Indian at ye house of Lt Nathl Ingerfalls, in sd place. and if it may be by tomorrow aboute ten of ye clock in ye morning then and there to be Examined Relateing to ye abouesd premises. You are likewise required to bring at ye same tyme Eliz. Parris Abigl Williams Anna Putnam, and Eliz Hubert, or any other person or persons yt can giue evidence in ye abouesd Case.. and hereof you are not to faile.

Dated Salem ffebr 29. 1691/2

John Hathorne    }  Affissts.

Jonathan Corwin

To Constable Joseph Herrick Const. in Salem.

Joseph carried out orders of the warrant and sent this report back:

According to this warrant I have apprehended the parsons with In mentioned and haue brought them accordingly and haue made diligent search for Images and such like but can find none.

Salem Village this ist March 1691/2

p me Joseph Herrick Constable.

Records of Salem Witchcraft: Copied from the Original Documents ... (Google eBook)
Priv. print. for W.E. Woodward, 1864

A few days later, Joseph Herrick and his wife Mary Endicott were called upon to testify
about something that happened after Sarah Good was taken into custody.

To be continued...

Monday, April 20, 2015


The recent news stories about Ben Affleck asking that his slave owning ancestors  not be a
part of his Finding Your Roots episode has stirred up a bit of controversy in the genealogy
community. I'm not going to speculate on why he asked for the edit or on how he feels about
the discovery. What I can do is write how I feel about my own family members who owned
slaves or "Negro servants" in colonial America.

I was a bit uncomfortable when I discovered the first instance, that my ancestor John Upton
had left "his negro", thirteen year old Thomas, to his sons William and Francis Upton as
part of his estate. But it was part of my family's history, as were fact that at least three other
colonial relatives (so far) also had "negro" servants or slaves. It was something I had to
accept and acknowledge. Part of that was to share the information with others in my blog.
I felt that doing so might help an African-American genealogist with their own research.

If you are tracing your Massachusetts ancestors, there is a good possibility they may have
owned slaves, too. It was more common in 17th century New England than many people
know or care to admit. How can you find out if your ancestors had "negroe servants"?  One
way is to check the "Tan Books" for Massachusetts towns. You can even do it online at
the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts From 1600 to 1850 website.  Click on the name of
the county your ancestors lived in, and then on the town.  Look at the bottom of the columns
of names for births, marriages, and deaths, and you might find the words Indians and Negroes. 
For example, here is the page for the town of Beverly in Essex County. I clicked on
the bottom of the Births column and saw this:

One of the names is "Cloe,  d. of Jethro and Juno, "Servant of Eben Ellingwood and David
Larcum" bp. Nov. 13, 1763."

My branch of the Ellingwood family had moved to New Hampshire by 1763, so this Eben
was a member of the branch that were successful merchants in Beverly and Salem. Also,
looking at the page, it seems Jethro and Juno moved around several households and also
had other children. Checking the Marriage records. I found that Jethro and Juno
filed marriage intentions on Feb 1st 1756.Further up on the same page I found a record of
Chloe's marriage on April1 1800.

Since slavery was abolished in 1783, if she had been a slave, she was now a free woman.   

Finally, there was this entry in Deaths, under Indians, which told me of Juno's origins:

I saw other of my family names listed among the owners or employers:Woodbury,
Herrick, Kimball, Ellinwood. As Beverly and Salem were bustling trade ports  in this
period of their history, it doesn't surprise me to see those names.  

The Probate Files for your ancestors is another way to determine if there were African-
American servants or slaves in your ancestors' households. That is how I found out about
Thomas and my Upton ancestors.

If and when you discover that your ancestors were slaveholders or had "negro servants",
don't be embarrassed to admit it. Share the information on your blog if you have one, or
share it at websites like Afrigeneas' and their Slave Data Collection page.

As good genealogists, we cannot ignore the darker parts of our family history. And maybe by
sharing what we find, something good can come out of it

Sunday, April 19, 2015


My subject for week 15 of 2015's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge is my 8x great grandfather
Joseph Herrick. He was a prominent citizen of the Cherry Hill section of Salem, Ma.
which later became Beverly, Ma. Here's a brief biography  from William Richard
Cutter's New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial, Vol2:

Joseph, fifth son of Henry (1) and Edith (Larkin) Herrick, was baptized August 6, 1645, died February 4, 1718, in Beverly. He is described as a man of great firmness and dignity of character and was often given the title of governor, from which it is assumed that he was at some time in command of a military post or district, or possibly of a West India Colony. He was a very active citizen in civil, religious and military affairs, and in addition to the care and management of his large farm was engaged in foreign commerce. He served in the Narragansett fight against the Indians, and in 1692 was corporal of the Beverly company. At this time he was a large landholder, doing an extensive mercantile business, and had been abroad; yet, according to the custom of the times, he bore his share in the military duties of the town. His descendants are numerous, many having occupied distinguished stations in civil or military affairs. He was acting constable of Beverly, and as such concerned in the early proceedings connected with the witchcraft prosecutions. For four years he represented Beverly in the general court. In 1713 the second parish of Beverly was incorporated by the general court. Joseph Herrick, with others, was chosen by the first parish to oppose the organization of the second, but this effort failed. Afterward he was appointed a member of the committee to take preliminary steps for the erection of a house of worship in the second parish.

He married (first) February 7, 1666, Sarah, daughter of Richard Leach, of Salem. She died about 1674. He married (second) about 1677-78, Mary Endicott, of Salem, who died September 14, 1706. He married (third) June 28, 1707, Mary, widow of Captain George March, of Newbury. Children of first marriage: Joseph, born April 2, 1667; Benjamin, January 1, 1670; John, January 25, 1671; Sarah, baptized May 4, 1674. Children of second marriage: Henry, baptized January 26, 1680; Martyn, mentioned below; Benjamin, baptized 1680; Tryphosa, November 16, 1681; Rufus, November 21, 1683; Trvphena, April 9, 1685; Elizabeth, October 16, 1686; Ruth, April 29, 1688; Edith, February 20; 1690.

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 2 (Google eBook), Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, New York, 1913 

I'll be discussing some of what is in this in my next post.
To be continued...


Today is the 240th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington  & Concord which
started the American Revolution on 19Apr 1775. While the traditional
reenactments of the battles will take place today, they are celebrated in
Massachusetts on Patriots Day, the third Monday in April, when the Boston
Marathon is run.

These are our colonial ancestors from our Dad's family lines for whom I have
so far been able to discover records.

Jonathan Barker Jr. My 5x 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 to l Apr 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 4x 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 19th,
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.


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. .

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  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. 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 Abbott   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.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


While the will of Henry Herrick is missing from his probate file, the inventory of
his estate is not. I found this image of the document in the Essex County, MA: 
Probate File Papers, 1638-1881 on the website:

I found a transcription in The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674
Vol 2 :

Inventorv of the estate of Henry Herricke of Beverly, taken Mar. 15, 1670-71 by John Rayment, Sr. and Isaack Hull, Sr.: his dwelling howse wth orchard & 70 acrees of land more or lesse adjoyning to the same, 180li.; the English pasture wth the marsh & orchard in itt, 80li.; the farme bought of Mr. Allford conteining 2 hundred acres, 300li.; the farme bought of Henry & Franncis Skerry, 106 acres, 160li.; the 16 Acres of land wch is built uppon by Zakery Herrick, 32li.; the 15 Acres of land bought of Henry Reinald & Rich. Kemball, 22li. 10s.; 6 Acres of meadow in the bounds of Topsfeild, 30li.; Eleaven milch cowes, 40li., 2 oxen & 2 steires, 20li., 60li.; one horsse, 6li., 2 maires & 2 Coltes, 10li., 16li.; 32 sheepe & 17 lambes, 20li., 6 swyne, 3li., 23li.; his wearing apparrell, 7li., one bedd wth furniture, 2li., 9li.; one featherbedd & beddstedd wth the furniture belonging, 6li.; one other bedd & bedsted wth furniture theirunto, 3li.; brasse and pewter wth Earthen vessells in sundry dishes, 9li. 14s.; 3 Iron potts & other iron necissaries, 3li.; 4 bibles with other bookes, 2li.; one muskett, one sword, one rapier, one smothing iron, 2li. 5s.; 4 spining wheeles, wooden vessells, tubbs, traies, pailes, etc., 2li. 4s.; one great Table, one cubboard, 2 chaires, 2 formes, 5li.; 5 chests, 2li. 15s., one bedd & 2 blanketts, 2li. 8s., 5li. 3s.; Tickin for bedd & boulster wth a sett of curtaines, 7li. 10s.; 30 yarrd linnen cloth, a pillow, sheete & feathers, 5li. 2s.; 6 diaper napkins & 20 other napkins & 4 pillowbears, 3li. 14s.; 3 paire of sheets and one Table cloth, 4li.; one paire of cart boxes & hoopes, 2 chaines, 2 old axes, 2 old howes wth a grindstone, an iron Trevitt, 2 old tubbs, 2li. 5s.; looking glasse, box and some other Trifles, 10s.; total, 974li. 17s.

Attested in Ipswich court Mar. 28, 1671 by Henry Herick.

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674 (Google eBook) The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674 (Google eBook) VOL II
Essex Institute, Salem Ma., 1917

Henry was very well off, with a estate valued at 974 pounds and 17 shillings, including over 400
acres of land.

Henry had seven sons, two of whom, Joseph and Henry Jr., were my 8x great grandfathers 
Henry Jr. will be the next person in my 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks blogpost series.


Spring is here in New England, finally! The snow is melted here in Southeastern
Massachusetts and it's time to go out and do some graveyard hopping. Today I
did my first Find A Grave photo requests hunt of the year, and I took my Kindle
Fire along.

I'd filled some requests yesterday for one person using photographs I already had
on my hard drive from the Mt Vernon cemetery here in Abington. But I noticed
the person also had requests for more members of the same family over at
Colebrook Cemetery in Whitman, the next town over from here.  I decided to
drive over this afternoon and see what I could find.

There were 17 photo requests for Colebrook, and in the past I'd have written
out or printed off the list. Today I took a screen shot of the request page on my
Kindle Fire.

I'm familiar with Colebrook Cemetery and headed for the section where most
of people who died in the late 19th and early 20th century are buried. The
family name I was looking for was Cook,  and once I got to the cemetery I
turned on my Kindle, went to the screen shot and zoomed in on the 9 Cook
family names. Since the screen shot was on the Camera Roll, I didn't need
an internet connection to access it. 

I scouted out the headstones near the cemetery roads first and lucked out There
was a gravestone with all 9 people listed on it. I got out ofthe car and took my
pictures. I was done and on my way to pick up some grocerieson the way home
in less than ten minutes.

All in all, it went very well. The one minor problem was seeing the Kindle screen
in daylight, which is why I looked at it inside the car where I could see it more
easily. From now on, I'll be doing my gravestone hunting using this method

DISCLAIMER: I neither work for nor receive any compensation from Amazon or
 Find A Grave.

Monday, April 13, 2015


I was once more disappointed to find that Henry Herrick's Probate File didn't contain a
copy of his will. I was able, however,l to find a transcription of it in Volume 2 of
The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674:

"I Henry Herick of the Towne of Beverly in the county of Essex in New England being in a decaying estate of body but in pfect mynd and me[m]orye, through the Lords mercy do heerby make my last will and testament, wherby I commiting my body to the earth, and my soule to the mercy of god in christ Jesus, I dispose of my estate in order following. Impr I give vnto my deare & loveing wife Edith the westwardmost halfe of my now dwelling house, that is the lower roome and leantoo behind it, together with free egress and regress in and out of it, and also the vse of the cellar, well, yard, out houseing & garden, these to haue & inioy dureing her naturall life, further I giue to my sd wife foure of my best milch cowes & 4 sheepe which shee shall choose and all my household stufe, these to be at her absolute free dispose, also I giue vnto my sd wife, the sixt part of the fruits that shall be raysed from the come lands, & orchard wch I leave with my executor Henry and in the possession of my sonn John Also I give vnto my sonn Thomas all my weareing apparell exsept my best great coate and that 20 Acres of land where his house standeth ||with ten pounds to be paid 1| by my son John wn my executor seeth need to supplye his wants, And if in case he live and dye a single pson, the lands shall remaine to my sonns Ephraim & Joseph, equally devided & the ten pounds to my sonn Beniamin, if not made vse of to supply him, Also I give my sonn Zackery one hundred Acres of land lyeing in Birch plaine wch I bought of ffrancis & Henry Skerry of Salem with 5 acres of meadow lyeing in wenham meadow belonging to it, and 16 acres of land more or lesse wheron his house standeth & fenced in by him, Also I give my sonns Ephraim, Joseph, and John, that farme I bought of mr Allford the 20 acres giuen to Thomas being first measured out to him, the rest to be equally devided betweene them three, yet soe that Ephraim & Joseph may inioy what they have impued, and fenct, and John what is impued by Henry, soe as to pay the sixt part of the pduce to my wife before exprest. Also I giue to my sonn John the two lotts I bought of Henry Rennolds of Salem & Richard Kemball of wenham, also my sonn John is to have two acres of meadow in Bounkards meadow, also the bedding he lyeth vpon and my cart and plow with the chaine therof Also I give Ephraim moreover one milch cow & my best great coate and vnto Joseph I giue moreover two ewe sheepe & my timbar chaine, I give vnto my sonn Beniamyn all that pasture land, called my english pasture, w°h joyneth on the east syde to Andrew Eliott, lyeing betweene the countrye high way & the mill River, I say all that land lyeing on the southeast 6yde of the sd country high way, the wch pasture land | |with the apptenances] | my will is shall remaine in the hands of my sonn Henry to improve vntill Beniamyn be 21 years of age and in case he dye before he be 21 years of age I giue the sayd land to my sonn Henry, he paying vnto my children Zachry Ephraim Joseph & Elizabeth foure pounds a peece Also I giue vnto my daughter Elizabeth forty pounds viz. 14u to be payd by my sonn Henry -within three months after the confirmation of my will and the rest to be made vp in 3 cowes & moveables allredy in her possesion, And to John the youngest yoake of stears, and whatsoever I giue to any of my children heerin mentioned by this my will, I giue to them, there heires executors administrators & assignes for ever And for the rest of my estate, not aboue mentioned I give it all to my sonn Henry, he payeing vnto his mother the sixt part of the increase of the corne land & orchard dureing her life, and pviding for her the wintering of foure milch cows 4 sheepe & her firewood redy cut for fire at the dore, for all the yeare long and liberty to keepe 3 swine at the dore, and (I giue my sonn Ephraim one acre of meadow in buncars Joseph 3 acres of meadow in buncars) And to have the pper vse of the parlour & leaneto behind it with free egresse & regresse to houseing yards for her, necessary occasions as is expresed dureing her life I say these things premised I giue my sonn Henry my dwelling house out houseing orchard tillage land meadows pasture & woodland with my stock & whatever elce within dores & without, not above excepted makeing this my sayd sonn Henry my sole executor of this my last will In wittnes whereof I have set my hand this 24 of november 1670."

Henry Herick.

Witness: Robt. Morgan, Nehemiah Grover: Proved in Salem court Mar. 28, 1671 by the witnesses. Copy, Ipswich Quarterly Court Records, vol. 5, page 136.

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1665-1674 (Google eBook) VOL II Essex Institute, Salem Ma., 1917

To be continued...

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Continuing on with Amy Johnson Crow's 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks,  I'm still exploring
the Barker and related families who are my Dad's maternal ancestors. This post will be the
first on the Herrick family. Edith Herrick was my 6x great grandmother and the wife of
my 6x great grandfather Francis Upton. Her immigrant ancestor was Henry Herrick.

Henry Herrick's own ancestry has been disputed lately. In this excerpt from Volume 3
of William Richard Cutter's  New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial I've
skipped the part tracing the Herricks from a Danish chief named Eric down to  Sir
William Herrick, who until recently was given as Henry Herrick's  father:

(I) Henry Herrick, immigrant ancestor, fifth son of Sir William (2) Herrick, was born at Beau Manor, Leicester county, England, in 1604. He was named by command of the unfortunate Prince Henry, the eldest son of James I., we are told. He probably went first to Virginia and then came north. He was among the first settlers of Salem, and he and his wife were of the thirty who founded the First Church of Salem in 1629. He was a proprietor of the town in 1635. He was admitted a freeman on May 18, 1631. He removed to Wenham, and then to Beverly, the Cape Ann side of Bass river. He bought large tracts of land in Beverly and gave farms there to his sons: Zachariah, Ephraim, Joseph and John, at Brick Plains and Cherry Hill. He was called a good and honest dissenter from the doctrines of the Church of England; he was a friend of Higgenson, but not so bigoted as some of the Puritans, for he was fined a few shillings in 1667 with others for "aiding and comforting an excommunicated person." He and his wife were among the founders of the church at Beverly. He married Editha, daughter of Hugh Laskin. He died in 1671, and the inventory of his estate taken March 15, 1670-71, was presented by his son Henry. The widow Editha deposed November 28, 1672, concerning some land her father, Hugh Laskin, sold "before he went away 25 years ago." She gave her age then as about sixty years, indicating that she was born about 1612. Children of Henry and Editha Herrick: Thomas: Zacheus. born in Salem, baptized December 25, 1636; Ephraim, mentioned below; Henry, baptized at Salem, January 16, 1640; Joseph, baptized August 6, 1645; Elizabeth, baptized July 4, 1647; John, baptized May 25, 1650; Benjamin, died about 1677. -p1180

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, 1913. New York, New York

I have double descent from Henry and Editha Herrick through their sons Henry and Joseph, down to both my Dad's parents.

For more about the question of Henry Herrick's parents and a discussion of the theory he
resided in Virginia before coming to Massachusetts, see the entry for him in Volume 2 of
The Great Migration Begins.

To be continued.

Friday, April 10, 2015


I mentioned in my post for the "When I Was Young" meme that one of the songs
my mother and grandmother sang to me when I was a child was "Pony Boy".  I don't
actually remember them singing it to me but I know they did because the song was
sort of a family tradition. It usually was sung while the child was sitting on your lap or
knee and you bounced the child up and down as you sang. When our younger brother came
along, Mom, my sister and I would sing it to him. Years later when Cheryl and Phil had
children of their own we sang it to their kids.

Last night when I was working on that meme post I wondered how long the "Pony Boy"
song had been around, so I looked it up online. It turns out it was written in 1909 and
the full title is "My Pony Boy". The lyrics were written by Bobby Heath and Charlie
O' Donnell wrote the music. (Wouldn't you know, two fine Irish American lads!). My
grandmother Agnes was born in 1898 so she would have been at least ten years old when
she first heard it. It would probably have been some time later though, probably when the
radio came along.

It turns out that the song that was sung to us kids was only the chorus, which is:

    Pony Boy, Pony Boy
    Won't you be my Tony Boy

    Don't say no
    Here we go
    Off across the plains

    Marry me
    Carry me
    Right away with you

    Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, whoa!
    My Pony Boy.

The only difference in the version sung in our family is "Tony" is dropped for "Pony"
in the second line.

You can hear a performance of the full song here on YouTube:

The song has been sung to children in my family at some point or another for nearly a
century now. I wonder if the tradition will survive another century?


I wanted to do this Saturday Night Genea-Fun Challenge from Randy Seaver of
Genea-Musings but wanted to finish up my blogposts on Thomas Tuck first. So
here it is now. (Better late than never!) The rules for the Challenge were:

 1)  Geneablogger Alona Tester has devised a new meme called the "When I Was Young" genea-meme on her blog, LoneTester HQ.

2)  Since the genea-meme is 25 questions, let's do them five at a time.  This week, answer questions 1 to 5.

3)  Share your answers on your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a Facebook post or a Google+ post.

Here's my answers:

1.Do you (or your parents) have any memorabilia from when you were a baby? (ie. baby book, lock of hair, first shoes etc.)
I have knife from a silverware set my godmother Nancy gave me, I also have a sketch a
friend of my parents did of me,

and telegrams my Dad, grandmother, and Uncle Ed sent my Mom in the hospital after I was
born. I think they came with flowers:    

2. Do you know if you were named after anyone?
Nope, I was the first William that I know of in my Dad's family. 

3. And do you know of any other names your parents might have named you?
My parents were originally going to name me Michael after one of my Mom's uncles.
I don't know why they changed their minds.

4. What is your earliest memory?
 All my earliest memories involve my maternal grandmother Agnes (McFarland) White who
watched me while my folks were at work. One involves her cleaning the goldfish bowl and
accidentally losing the goldfish down the drain of the sink. The other one is of a roofer falling
off the roof of our house and Nana telling me not to look out the window.

5. Did your parent/s (or older siblings) read, sing or tell stories to you? Do you remember any of these?
 My grandmother and mother sang  "Pony Boy" and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" to me, and probably played "Patty Cake" with me. Mom liked to sing so there were probably other songs as well that I can't recall from that far back. And I remember someone reading "Doctor Dan the BandAid Man".

Thursday, April 09, 2015


A few thoughts about my 9x great grandfather Thomas Tuck and the stolen bell:

I was checking for names of ancestors in the Essex County Court case files last week
when I ran across this case. Thomas Tuck seems to have been a bit of a character, a
man who liked his liquor a  bit too much. Most of the mentions about him have to
do with him being drunk. That's a subject for another blogpost. One case though
 possibly has a connection with the stolen bell. Some years before, Richard More
had dug a well and Thomas' cow fell in and broke its neck. So that may have been
the reason why Thomas helped steal the bell and then readily admitted doing it
years later: payback.

Also, the case points up again that early Puritan New England was not so much
a shining example of Christian virtue. There was a rivalry not only between the
town of Salem and the settlers of what would later become Beverly, there was one
apparently even between the churches over bells. I've come to think of it as "belfry

Finally, something about all this sounded familiar and then I realized where I'd heard of
it before. About ten years I read a book, David Lindsay's biography of Richard More, Mayflower Bastard, in which the church bell has a certain symbolism in More's life. I lost the book
someplace along the line, but it was very good, and I recommend it.

My Tuck descent down to my grandfather:

As I said, there will be at least one more blogpost about the troublesome Thomas Tuck in
the future.  


Tuesday, April 07, 2015


Continuing the testimony in the trial of my ancestor Thomas Tuck charged with stealing
a church bell from the yard of Richard More: 

Capt. William Dixcy deposed that soon after the taking of the forts, Capt. Lawthrop signified by letter to them that he had procured a bell for their meeting-house and had sent it home by Capt. More. He, with others, went to Capt. More who asked if they had a bill of lading or an order from the General. They not having either, he refused to let them have it. Sworn in court.

Capt. William Dixcy, aged seventy-two years, testified that soon after the return of Major Sedgwick from St. John's and Port Royall, the latter, with Major Leverett, being in company on a journey from the eastward to Boston happened to come into deponent's house. They sat down and discoursed there a while and among other things Major Leverett asked "mee what our towns name was. I answered him that wee weer no town as yet: then sayd hee you may do well to lett Major Sedgwick haue the honor of nameing the town when it is made a town for he hath giuen Captain Lawthrop a bell for your place and this to the best of my Remembrance was before wee had any notice giuen us of it any other way." Sworn in court.

Joshua Hobart certified at Boston, Oct. 18, 1679, that he, living at Bass river when the French forts were, by Major Robert Sedgwick, reduced to English obedience, there was a bell at Capt. Richard More's of the spoils, and which in his absence was taken away, etc. Wit: Joshua Hobart* and Isaac Pepper.* Sworn, Oct. 18, 1679, before Joshua Hobart,* commissioner.

Jeremy Hobart* testified to the same, 25 :9 : 1679, before Edm. Batter,* commissioner in Salem.
John Dodge, jr., aged about forty years, and Nathaniel Hayward, aged about thirty-seven years, deposed that being in company with Capt. More about two years ago he told them that the bell which is at Beverly was for Capt. Lowtrop but, said More, "you beuerly men did steal ye bell in yt you took ye bell without order when I was not at home." Sworn in court.

Nathaniell Sharpe, aged about thirty-five years, deposed that he saw some Beverly men take the bell out of More's yard and Thomas Tuck and Thomas Pigdon were two of them. Joshua Ward affirmed the same. Sworn in court.

Georg Stanly, aged about forty-four years, testified that about the time that Salem new meeting house was built, "I being in company with Captain Lawthrop, Capt More and Capt. Joseph Gardner at Capt. Gardners hous I heard Capt. Gardner say to Captain Lawthrop I think said he wee must haue your Bell for our meeting hous is bigger than yours and your bell is bigger than ours I think wee may doe well to change bells. Captain Lawthrop Replyed hee knew no need of that our bell said hee is very well where it is, the bell was giuen to mee for the place where now it is: Captain More answered him that allthough the bell weere giuen to you yet said hee I dont know but I might haue kept the bell as well as you for I brought it home and I neuer gaue a bill of lading for it neither was I euer paid for the freight of it. Captain Lawthrop answered Captain More that hee might haue kept such and such things naming seuerall things as well as the bell for I had no more bill of lading to show for them said hee then for the Bell: Come Come said Captain Mor let us drink up our wine and say no more of it I supose wee shall neuer trouble you for none of them." Sworn in court.

Anthony Needam, aged about forty-eight years, deposed that he was a soldier under Major Sedgwick and heard Capt. Lawthrop ask for a bell for the new meeting house in the plantation where he dwelt. Deponent heard Capt. Lawthrop ask again at Port Royal when Major Sedgwick was standing in the fort and he gave him the bell in the friary, deponent and Capt. Lawthrop throwing it down to the ground. Then deponent and others took it down to Capt. Moor's ketch to ship home. Sworn in court

John Floyd testified that he was at the taking of the French forts, etc. Sworn in court. 

 Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) 1678-1680  Salem, Ma. 1919

I'll have a few thoughts about all this in the third post in this series.

Friday, April 03, 2015


In 1654 the Massachusetts Bay Colony sent an expedition against French settlements
at Castine, Maine, and two locations in Canada: St. Johns, New Brunswick,  and Port Royal,
Nova Scotia. The force of 300 men was led by Robert Sedgwick. In the taking of Port
Royal the Protestant colonists looted and burned a Catholic monastery, and one of the
looted items was a church bell. We probably would have never known about the bell except
that twenty five years later it was the object of contention at a session of the Essex County
Court held at Salem in November 1679. One of the people involved was my 9x great
grandfather Thomas Tuck:

Capt. Richard More v. Wm. Dodg, jr. and Tho. Tuck, sr. Verdict for plaintiff.f
fWrit: Capt. Richard More v. William Dodge, jr., and Thomas Tuck, sr.; for illegally taking away a bell from plaintiff without his consent, which bell hangs in Beverly meeting house; dated 18 : 9 : 1679; signed by Hilliard Veren, for the court and the town of Salem; and served by Henry Skerry, marshal of Salem, by attachment of the house and land of Thomas Tuck, and a table and chest of William Dodge, jr.

Richard More's bill of cost, 2li. 12s. 8d.

Henry Kenny, aged about fifty-five years, testified that he was a soldier under Major Sedgwick about twenty-five years ago, at the taking of St. John's from the French and heard Capt. Lawthrop ask the General to give him a bell, which the General promised to do. Sworn in court.

Henry Skerry, marshal, deposed that when he served the attachment, Thomas Tuck told him that he and some others took the bell out of Capt. Richard More's yard.

Mr. Jeremy Hubbard of Topsfield deposed that he had heard divers times Thom. Tuck say that he and Thomas Picton took the bell. This was when deponent was minister at Bass river, now Beverly. Sworn in court.


Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) 1678-1680  Salem, Ma. 1919 

So Thomas freely admitted he had stolen the bell from Richard More's yard.

There's more testimony, which will be in the next post.