Friday, July 31, 2015


Here's this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records:

"This week's new Findmypast Friday records include parish registers, school records, newspapers and much more. If you have British, Irish or American ancestors, you're bound to find something that sparks your interest in these latest collections...

This week, we're bringing you over 211,000 new family history resources including:
    You can see full details of these collections here at Findmypast.

     Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

    Wednesday, July 29, 2015


    I've blogged before about the value of social media in genealogy research. I belong
    to a number of genealogy Groups and Pages on Facebook, and made a list of them tonight.

    As you can see, there's quite a few of them, and I suspect I've left some more off the list. 
    I don't check each one every day, and sometimes a few weeks will go by between my visits.
    I tend to check in on certain of the Groups devoted to the places my ancestors lived and
    see if I can help someone out with questions concerning families I have in my database.
    I've also made cousin contacts with fellow Group members.

    If you haven't explored what Facebook has that could help you with you genealogy research,
    it's worth a few minutes of your time to do so. 

    Here's my list, divided by subjects:

    Errol, Coos, New Hampshire - Historical
    Newry, Oxford, Maine and Sunday River - Historical Site
    Upton Historical Society
    Wilson's Mills, Oxford, Maine, Historical Site
    Hanover, Oxford, Maine - Historical Site
    Wentworth Location, Coos, New Hampshire - Historical Site
    Maine Genealogical Society
    New England Genealogy
    Maine Genealogy (Maine Genealogy group)
    Massachusetts Genealogy Network
    New Hampshire Genealogy Network
    Massachusetts Society of Genealogists
    Descendants of Merrimack Valley First Settlers
    Descendants of the First Settlers of Old Newbury
    Plymouth County Genealogists, Inc.
    U.S. Northeast Genealogy Research Community
    Society of Early Lancastrian Families (MA)
    New Hampshire Mayflower Society
    Magalloway, Oxford, Maine, Historical Site
    Civil War Maine

    Descendants of New England Phelps
    Ellingwood Reunions!
    Early New England Families after the Great Migration (1641 -1700)
    Descendants of George Abbott of Andover Massachusetts
    The Sargent Family
    Descendants of John Lovejoy of Andover in Essex County of Massachusetts
    Clan McFarland
    Towne Cousins
    The Mayflower Society
    Calling All Mayflower Descendants!!!
    Descendants of the Salem Witch Trials

    The Organized Genealogist
    Technology for Genealogy
    Kindle for Genealogy
    WikiTree for Genealogists
    Genealogy Bloggers

    Find A Grave Volunteers
    Association of Graveyard Rabbits
    Cemeteries R Us
    Find A Grave
    The Cemetery Club

    And more:
    AfriGeneas African American Genealogy Community
    Social Media for Genealogy
    Elmer's Genealogy Corner
    Genealogy & Historical Databases
    Ruth's Genealogy Society
    House of Plantagenet History & Genealogy
    War of 1812 Preserve the Pensions
    Kin o' Mine
    SL Chapter APG
    Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness (RAOGK)
    Nutty Genealogists
    The Book Of Me, Written By You
    The NextGen Genealogy Network
    Genealogists in Second Life
    Military Genealogy Research and History
    Genealogy Friends
    Books About: Family History, Genealogy, Places and such...
    Fraternal Organizations for Genealogists

    Monday, July 27, 2015


    My very first entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge about a year and a half ago
    was a post about my 8x great grandfather Edward Colbourne/Coburn. At that time I hadn't
    as yet hit on the method of concentrating on the ancestors of one of my grandparents and
    I wasn't really happy with the post on Edward. So I'm doing a "do-over" for Edward as I start
    my examination of his descendants among my grandmother Cora Bertha Barker's ancestors.

    I've found some new sources of information since that earlier post: the entry for Edward in
    The Great Migration book, and several online local histories and genealogies that include the
    Coburn family. Not surprisingly, two ofthem were written by Coburn family members. One
    of them is a History of Dracut, Massachusetts, written by Silas Roger Coburn, which had
    this on Edward and his family:

    "In the list of passengers who sailed from Liverpool in 1635 on the Ship Defence in command of Capt. Bostock, the name of Edward Colburn appears. His home was in Wilts County, England, and when, at the age of seventeen, he arrived in Boston, he went to Ipswich and was employed by Nathaniel Saltonstall, who owned a large estate in that town, and who later committed the management of the farm to him. The plan of the town of Ipswich does not include any farm belonging to Edward, although he owned some outlying land. He married Hannah, whose surname is not given in the records, but references in private letters lead to the conclusion that her name was Rolfe. His neighbor, Samuel Varnum, had purchased in 1668, a tract of land in what was known as "The Wilderness north of the Merrimac," which later became Dracut. Large tracts of land in this vicinity were for sale and probably influenced by his neighbor Varnum at Ipswich he purchased a tract as already described in a former chapter. As the Indians were troublesome, he occupied a garrison house near the river, and with his wife and children, who were born at Ipswich, he removed here in 1669. His children were Edward, John, Robert, Thomas, Daniel, Hannah, Ezra, Joseph, and Lydia. The greater part of the Coburns and Colburns in the United States descend from the six younger brothers, Edward2 being killed in King Philip's war in 1675, as already recorded. The descendants of Edward and Hannah had been prominent in public affairs in town and state. In the lists of those who served in the different wars which have occurred since the settlement of the town, the name of this family appears defending the rights and liberties of the country. On the Roll of Honor the names of 33 Coburns appear as serving in the War of the Revolution."

    History of Dracut, Massachusetts: Called by the Indians Augumtoocooke and Before Incorporation, the Wildernesse North of the Merrimac. First Permanment Settlement in 1669 and Incorporated as a Town in 1701,  Press of the Courier-Citizen Company, 1922 - Dracut (Mass.)

    I'll discuss Edward Colbourne's probate file and other matters in the next post.
    To be continued

    Sunday, July 26, 2015


    Before I begin examining the Coburn/Colburn/Colbourne for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks
    Challenge I thought I'd post a relationship chart between Edward Colbourne and my grandmother
    Cora Bertha Barker. As you can see,there's some missing information: the surnames of the wives
    of both Edward Colbourne and his son Joseph. the name of Caleb Colburn's wife, and Caleb's
    death information.

    Between the Coburns and the other associated families, I should have enough blogging material
    to keep me going on the Challenge well into next year!


    Friday, July 24, 2015


    From this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records

    "It's the fourth and final Findmypast Friday of Crime, Prisons and Punishment Month and we've added exciting convict records so you can find out what became of your wayward relatives after their sentence. You could also discover your military ancestors in our new British and Irish army collections...

    This week, we've added over 149,000 new records including:

    From convicts to colonels, uncover fascinating ancestors with Findmypast each and every week.
     The Findmypast team."
    These should really be of interest to my Australian and Irish friends! 

    You can see expanded descriptions of these records here at the FindMyPast website.
     Full disclosure  I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.


    For Week 28 of the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge, I come to the last post (for
    now) on my paternal grandmother Cora Barker's ancestors on her mother's side of her
    family tree. This concerns my 9x great grandfather John Wakefield, who married Elizabeth
    Littlefield, sometime before 1663 when his daughter (and my 8x great grandmother)Mary
    Wakefield was born.

    Much of the records of Wells Maine were destroyed in several Indian attacks during the King Philip's War. There's not much online, either. I was able to find the following in Volume 1 of Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire:

    (I) John Wakefield, the progenitor of the family which has been very numerously represented in Maine, was a native of England. The first record of him found in this country bears date January 1, I637, when at the town meeting held at Salem he was assessed fifteen shillings as an inhabitant of Marblehead in the Colony of Massachusetts Bay. It is presumable that he came as early at least as the previous summer. On the fourteenth of the same month, among the several portions of land laid out at Marblehead. he received four acres "on the Neck." Prior to 1648. he lived in Salem, which then included the present town of Marblehead. He first appears on record in Maine in 1641, when he and his brother-in-law, John Littlefield, received a grant of what is known as the Great Hill Farm. The hill at that time extended much farther into the sea than it now does, and with the projecting land at the eastern end was called the Great Neck. This was in the ligonia patent, and neither of the grantees took possession probably on account of the uncertainty as to their title. John Wakefield settled in the town of Wells, where he attained considerable prominence. He served as commissioner and selectman in 1648-54-57. In each instance his father-in-law, Edmund Littlefield, served in the same capacity. In 1652 John Wakefield purchased Wakefield's island and removed to it in that year and there resided for a time. He subsequently purchased land in Scarboro and resided upon it several years. Thence he removed to that part of Biddeford which is now Saco, where he remained until his death. That he was a man of considerable substance, is evidenced by the fact of his buying and selling lands, and he was frequently called upon to witness deeds for others. In 1670, when he was probably incapacitated by illness or the infirmities of age, his wife acted as his attorney in selling parcels of land. He died February 15, 1674, and was buried at Biddeford. The destruction of the records of Wells, Maine, leaves us no accurate data as to the time of his marriage or his birth or the births of his children. His wife Elizabeth was a daughter of Edmund and Annis Littlefield, of Wells. Her death is not recorded. Their children included: John, James, Henry, William, Mary and Katherine.
    Ezra S. Stearns, William Frederick Whitcher, Edward Everett Parker. editors, Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 1, Lewis Publishing Company, 1908

    Now I'll be moving on to the Coburn family side of Grandmother Barker's family tree.

    Thursday, July 23, 2015


    For this installment of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, I'm going back up the Upton branch
    of my Barker line to the family of Abigail (Frost) Upton's mother, Mary (Wakefield) Frost.
    She was the daughter of John Wakefield and Annis(Agnes) Littlefield, my 9x great
    grandparents. This post will be about her father, my immigrant ancestor Edmund

    I have found very little online about either the Littlefields or Wakefields other than a
    few entries in family or regional genealogies. Here's what I found for Edmund in William
    Richard Cutter's Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 4:

    (1) The founder of the Maine branch of the family on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. Edmund Littlefield, was born in England. 1591. He was knighted for bravery on the battle field, and given a coat-of-arms. He first appears in Boston, Massachusetts. 1635. He was a churchman and royalist, and on account of his political and religious opinions was refused permission to settle in any of the plantations of the Massachusetts colony, hence went to Maine and located in the colony at Wells, in that then sparsely settled region, where he, with John Wheelright, Edward Rishworth. Henry Boade and others, "entered on the land and began to make it subservient to the uses of man." His relations with Wheelright lead to the inference of a close friendship, and one authority says he was one of Wheelright's church in Exeter, and one of the combination to each of whom twenty-one acres of land was assigned under the Gorges proprietary. This church was founded by those whose theology was denounced by the dominant church in the Massachusetts colony, and as Littlefield's name does not appear in the list of those who were driven from the plantation at Boston, it is assumed that he left there before the actual expulsion took place. He built a saw and grist mill on the Webhannet river in 1641. He was one of the committee to settle boundary between Wells and Cape Porpoise, and a commission to try small causes, elected by the people for the years 1654-55-58-60-61. A family tradition is that he came over in a ship of his own building, bringing machinery for his mills. "The programme of the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the town of Wells reads: Sir Edmund Littlefield, with Rev. John Wheelright, shares the honor of founding the early settlement in Wells." The baptismal name of his wife was Annis, but her family name is not known. She died in 1678, having survived her husband seventeen years, he having died in 1661. The children: Francis, Anthony, Elizabeth, John, Thomas, Mary, Hannah, Francis. Seventy-six of his descendants were in the revolution.-p 1244

    Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 4  Lewis historical Publishing Company, Boston, Ma. 1908

    The Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, Volume 1 gives more information about Edmund's involvement with Wheelwright. The town of Exeter that is mentioned is in New Hampshire:

     (I) Edmund Littlefield, born in Southampton, England, about 1600, married Annis. (The records give no family name.) He came to this country from Tichfield, England, probably at the same time as the Rev.John Wheelright, for he was one of his parishioners at Exeter in 1630, and was one of the combination to whom twenty-one acres of land was assigned. In 1638 he sent to England for his family, and on May 16 of that year his wife Annis and six children took passage for Boston in the "Bevis" of Hampton, Captain Townes. The Rev. John Wheelright, owing to a religious controversy precipitated by the teachings of Anne Hutchinson, left Exeter and later went to Wells, Maine, many of his parishioners going with him, and among them Edmund Littlefield, who in 1641, leaving Exeter, went to Wells, Maine, where he was one of the first settlers. He was supposed to have built the first house, a saw mill and grist mill. He was deeded a lot of land by Sir Ferdinand Gorges in 1643, and was a leading spirit in organizing the town and promoting its development. He was on the grand jury in 1645, and it is said was the richest man in Wells. He and his sons were millmen and farmers. He was of fearless enterprise and sound moral principle. On account of this firm, moral character, he was appointed by the governor of Massachusetts agent for the sale of liquors in Wells, it being then of the utmost importance that great discretion should be used in the distribution to the Indians. He was one of the committee to settle the boundary between Wells and Cape Porpoise, and was elected by the people for the years 1654, 1655, 1658, 1660 and 1661 to try small cases. He died in December, 1661. Children: Francis, born 1619; Anthony, Elizabeth, John, Thomas, Mary, Hannah, Francis Jr., born 1631.-page 101

     Henry Sweetser Burrage & Albert Roscoe Stubbs The Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine, Volume 1  Lewis Historical Publishing Company,  New York, 1909

    My ancestor Edmund Littlefield led quite an impressive life, but I think I'm more impressed by his wife
    Annis crossing over with those six children after Edmund had gone before them!

    Wednesday, July 22, 2015


    There  were two accusations against Thomas Tuxbury. The first, and more serious one was
    the question of his wife in England: if she was still alive, he couldn't marry the widow Bartlett.
    I've run across cases in the Essex County Court files where the some of the settlers had left
    there families behind in England and rather than bring them over after them, had taken up
    with other women. The problem with this in early colonial Massachusetts is that many of
    the colonists came from specific areas in England and knew each others'  families back in
    the mother country. Sooner or later  wayward husbands were found out and the Court
    either ordered them to send for their families , or to go back to England and bring them

    In this case, Thomas Tuxbury has a letter from home telling him his wife was dead. The fact
    that there were "two different hands on it" made my ancestor Lt. Phillip Challis suspicious
    that it might have been a ruse to fool Widow Bartlett, But Thomas Wells had seen the letter
    and said while the letter was written by one person, it had been addressed to Henry Tuxbury
    in the handwriting of another. In other words, the letter had been forwarded to Thomas
    through his brother Henry who would be expected to know where Thomas was and give
    him the letter. Other witnesses testified about what the Widow Bartlett had said about the
    contents of the letter and of Thomas' plans for his children.

    In the other instance, it seems strange that Richard and Mary Martin were summoned to
    court because of Mary's "suspicious carriages" with Thomas, yet none of the depositions are
    about her behavior. The statement of Richard Martin and his family give no actual incidents
    of Thomas and Mary being together. Richard tells of a conversation where he says Thomas
    talked about bigamy. There were no other witnesses to that statement. His mother Susannah
    likewise had no evidence of wrongdoing except warnings from neighbors that he might
    cause trouble with her daughter in law.

    Indeed, if Mary Martin and Thomas had been involved with each other before her marriage,
    Thomas didn't seem to desire her afterwards. The witnesses statements about his behavior
    and how he spoke about Mary seem to paint a picture of an embittered rejected suitor who
    had mentioned suicide rather than a determined lover.

    And after all this, the complaint was dismissed by the Court for "lacking legal testimony".
    Apparently the Court was satisfied about the authenticity of the letter from England, and there
    was no evidence of improper behavior with or towards Mary Martin. Having some of
    the more prominent townsfol vouch for his good behavior no doubt was helpful for
    Thomas as well.

    I've run into a bit of frustration in trying to find out what happened afterwards. There is no
    record of Thomas marrying anyone in Amesbury, Newbury, Newburyport, or Ipswich. It's
    possible he and Widow Bartlett married in Boston or another county. If so, I've found no
    record of it as yet.

    Monday, July 20, 2015


    More statements about the charges against Thomas Tuxbury, followed by his rebuttal. Some of the men who vouched for his character are my ancestors: William Gerrish, Stephen Greenleaf, and Joseph Bailey.
    This is a long post, so I'll save my observations for the last post in the series. 

    William Saman, aged about thirty-eight years, deposed that about three years ago, Tuksbery being at Boston, he saw several letters that passed between him and the widow Bartlett, she being at Newbury. Deponent had seen them at Newbery kissing each other, etc. Sworn, Sept. 19, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner.

    Mrs. Susana Goodin deposed that she rode to Newbery with the widow Bartlet when the rumor was that they were to marry and she told her that three of Tuksbery's children were to come over, one of whom was placed out and one his father was to keep. She further said that when her husband Bartlet was alive she thought it was impossible for her to have loved any other as she did him, but that she now loved this man better than she loved him.

    Sworn, Sept. 18, 1674, before Rob. Pike,* commissioner. Wm. Gerrish,* Steven Grenlefe,* Richard Dole,* John Knight, sr.,* Thomas Hale, jr.,* Daniell Peirce,* Anthony Somerby,* Caleb Moody,* Joseph Bayley* and John Webster* certified, Sept. 14, 1674, that Thomas Tewxsbury had lived civilly and like a Christian. Nathanell Clarke* testified that the testimony against this man was of little consequence. "I have known the man euer sins he came to our town and neuer did know any euell of him."

    Thomas Tewxbery's* petition: "lett me beseech your worshipe to consider this my poore condition which I am at this time forsed to lay open before your worshipe to my greife thus it was that I was forsed to fly my contry & to leave my family & kindred for surtyship & when it was soe with me I Could not be satisfied noe wheare in that land but I must com to this country in soe meane estate that I was forsd to bind my selfe for my pasage not longe after by the helpe of my brother got my selfe cleare & lived with him but very much troubled in the mean time my brothers neihbor died & the executor wild me to rent his tenament which after sum consideration I tooke it wiled by the advise of sum frends to send to my family which I have don to my best abelity whearupon I was willing to get if posible sum thing about me expecting every year their coming over & had noe encorigment from them that I might goe to them the times now being amended I have intended all this year to goe for them but god has ben pleasd to viset me with a great lamnes whearby I have ben much disinabled & now I be sech your worshipe consider & see how this people seek to undoe me in state & good name by raising of storys & scandalls about many things that have ben past to or three yeare since not that I have done them any wrong but in suspition that I have caused diferences to arise between their son and his wife because I went to her mother to have my hand cured thay then livinge in house whith her mother the partys them selvs noe ways acusing me

    Charls Anes and Sarah Anes deposed that they had known Thomas Tewxbery ever since he came into the country, living close by him and had been in his company early and late, but never saw any uncivil carriage. They considered that he lived in the fear of God and carried himself well all the time he lived in the house with the widow Bartlet.

    Johne Daves deposed that "I lived in one end of the house with Thomas Tewxbery most parte of the time he lived in house with the widow," etc.

    John Stevens and Mary Stevens deposed that they were his next neighbors and he had milk of them and they never saw any uncivil carriages, but oftentimes gave them good instruction in the way of God to their comfort. John Bayley and his wife testified that when he was at their house, he carried himself well, etc

    Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 5
    Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow
    Essex Institute, 1916 - Essex County (Mass.)

    Saturday, July 18, 2015


    Continuing on with the testimony against Thomas Tuxbury, we get more "he said, she said",
    including something Thomas said that may have led to the suspicions of bigamy, as well
    as his opinion of Mary Martin's morals, which sound like sour grapes from a rejected suitor:

    Richard Marten, aged about twenty-seven years, deposed that this summer when Thomas Tuksbury had a lame hand at deponent's father Hoyt's, he told deponent that if he were in his place, "the case being as it is with my wif he woold go away from her & Leave her and go into another Country & mary another wif To which I sayd if I shoold so do my concienc woold tell me yt I had a wif & it may be a child in another plac: his answer was ther wear good men in former tune yt had mor wives then on as namly daved which was a man after gods owne hart." Sworn, Sept. 16, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner. 

    George Martinn deposed that in a short time after his son Richard was married to Sergt. Jeret Hoyt's daughter, deponent's brother Hoyt told him that Tukesbery said he was sorry that his daughter was married no better, for her husband was but a poor man and had suffered disgrace at Hampton, but Amesbery men would live well as long as they had any land and he told him that although he had suffered disgrace at Hampton, it was not for running away from his wife. Also that Tukesbery said to Mrs. Hoyt that he had murderous thoughts to kill himself because her daughter was married. Also that Tukesbery asked William Samon, the ferryman, to bring over Richard Martinn's wife, and he would pay him for it.

    Mary, wife of Left. Chalic and Mary, wife of Henry Blazdal, deposed that last spring Goody Hoyt told Tuksbery at Blazdel's house that her daughter was to be married to Richard Martin and he said that she would never love any man more than a fortnight and he wished he had never seen her face. He also said that when she lived on Newbery side, she kept such company in the night and there was such swearing and tearing that it made his hair stand on end and upon being asked by Goodwife Chalic how he could bear it, he answered that he had been fain to rise in the night and bid them be gone and that her sister Naomy was as bad as she. Also that said widow Bartlet said that she must have one at every port, and that she wooed Richard and not he her. Sworn, Sept. 10, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner.

    Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 5
    Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow
    Essex Institute, 1916 - Essex County (Mass.)

    To be continued...

    Friday, July 17, 2015


    Here's this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records, which continues
    this month's England & Wales Crime, Prisons & Punishment collections theme, but
    also includes newspaper articles and war records:

    This week, we're bringing you over 1.6 million new records and newspaper articles including:

    Will you discover a law breaking relative amongst our new collections this weekend?

    You can see expanded descriptions of these records here at the FindMyPast website.

    Full disclosure  I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.


    The testimony in the case of Thomas Tuxbury would make a great PBS Masterpiece Theater drama. There's Thomas' unrequited(maybe)love for a married woman, his involvement with a widow, the pesky matter of a wife and children who may or may not exist back in Merry Olde England, and pithy language used as witnesses recount what was said at various times

    Besides Thomas' Hoyt relatives, there are other of my Essex County ancestors appearing here and there in the testimony, like the Baileys and Lt. Phillip Challis.

    Here's the first part of the testimony:

    Summons, dated Sept. 13, 1674, to Richard Marten and Mary his wife, to answer complaints against the said Mary for suspicious carriages with Thomas Tuexbery, tending to evil consequences if not prevented, at the house of Robt. Pike, signed by Robt. Pike*, for the court.

    Bond for appearance at Major Denison's court at Ipswich of Thomas Tuexbury, with John Bayly and Joseph Bayly, his son, as sureties, upon complaint of Georg Marten and John Jimson.

    George Martinn's* and John Jimson's petition, dated Sept. 10, 1674, to the honored Major Pike to stop said Tuexbury's disturbances.

     Left. Philip Chalic and Jaret Hadn, aged sixty-nine years, deposed that they were selectmen with Sergt. Hoyt, and understanding that Thomas Tuksbery was resident in the town at Sergt. Hoyt's house, they forewarned him that he must give a bond not to charge the town. They also understood that said Thomas had a wife and children in England, but Hoyt said he could stay because there was a letter signifying that he was free and could settle as other single men, which letter the widow Bartlett pulled out of her bosom, the letter pretending to be from a minister of his town in England. Seeing two hands on it, deponents conceived it to be some counterfeit thing to delude the widow and so they told her father, etc. Sworn, Sept. 16, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner. 

    Mary Marten and Naomy Hoyt deposed. Sworn, 16 : 7 : 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner. 

    Thomas Fowler, aged about thirty-nine years, deposed that sometime before he loaned his horse to the widow Bartlet to ride to Boston to Thomas Tuksbery, he was at the said widow's house at Newbery and heard them promise to marry one another. Sworn, Sept. 2, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner. 

    Thomas Wells, aged twenty-seven years, deposed that the letter contained news of the death of said Tuxeberry's wife and that upon examination he found that the letter was written in one hand and the superscription in another, that the name subscribed was Charls Chere, as well as he could remember, who said he hoped said Tuxeberry would not forget to show a fatherly affection for his children. Further that the letter was directed by superscription to Henry Tuxeberry in New England, dwelling near Newberey and by inscription to Thomas Tuxeberry, etc. Sworn, Sept. 21, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner.

    Susanna Marten deposed that hearing a rumor and being desired by several of her neighbors to go to her brother Hoyt's house concerning one Thomas Tukesberry whom they thought would be a trouble to her son Richard in making a disturbance between him and his wife, she went and spoke to her sister Hoyt. She asked her to forbear his coming to her house if it were but to stop the mouths of people, for their mouths were open, but her sister Hoyt replied "let them shut them againe, for here he should come in spite of your teeth or any bodys els, can we not entertaine a godly man for a stranger ile tumble your son out a doors I sayd againe if you doo hee have a fathers house to come too my cousin naomy Hoyt then spake thes words and sayd sister if I ware as you if unckell tukesbery migght not come to me I would goe to him for you cannot goe to better man then unckell tukesberry is in my mind." Sworn, Sept. 16, 1674, before Robt. Pike,* commissioner. 

    Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 5Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow
    Essex Institute, 1916 - Essex County (Mass.)

    I got a kick out of the Widow Bartlett's keeping ther letter in question close at hand "in her bosom",
    and the response of the Hoyt women to Susanna Martin's visit.

    To be continued

    Thursday, July 16, 2015


    I'm in a number of New England  genealogy groups on FB. A member in one of them posted a link to a Find A Grave memorial of a common ancestor, John Hoyt, and asked a question about his wife, Frances Tuxbury. This led me to do a Google search....which led to a link to a book collection of Essex County Court Files on Googlebooks....which led to a case that starts out with a letter with the most tortured phrasing in the opening.

    John Hoyt and Frances (Tuxbury) Holt are my 9x great grandparents, but the court case I discovered was about a Thomas Tuxbury, who I believe to be the brother of Frances. By the way, the name is spelled in various ways, the most common being Tewksbury.

    Let's start with that convoluted letter, written to the Court by Constable Robert Pike in September

    "Much Honrd                                 Salisbury ___pt. ye 22, 1674

    "Sr These Lins ar (being sencibl som blame Justly be charged for psuming to give you the trouble of this busnes) to excus it: the cheef cause was that his casse referring to the breach of Law in living from his wif: was with you alredy: & he dwell in your county & himself & neibours much desiring he might therfor com befor yor self rather then ye court: & on the other sid considering if you saw not Reson to Isu it you coold soon bind him either to your court or ours I hoped it might be excusible

    "I haue hear inclosed his bond of appearanc Georg Marten & J Jemsons complaint & their declarasion which consists of Fower pticlers — The first the sd Tusbury do not seem to owne before me: the 2d he owned and sayd it was to see his Low condision by it as an adision to all his other aflictions: the 3d he owned & sayd it was accasioned by words of Richard martns spoke first to yt purpos The 4th he also owned but sayd it was to com about som lawfull bisnes then in hand about the land yt sd Thomas Tuksbury all These wear owned by him before me

    "I haue sent all the evidences that I haue taken in the Case which will expect pay som whear and also the constibl for serving them & the complainer which I pray remember to order if the case be ended with you: not farther troubling you at psent take Leave to subscribe my self

    "Yor worships most humb servant
                    "Robt Pike.

    -p400 Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 5Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow Essex Institute, 1916
    - Essex County (Mass.)

    Robert Pike sent witness statements along with this letter, and they help clear up what Pike
    was dancing around. What Thomas Tuxbury was being accused of was adultery and attempted
    bigamy, and there's a lady's bosom and unrequited love mixed up in it as well.Also involved
    are some of my other ancestors.

    And you'll have to wait for the next part for the details of the "Fower pticlers"

    To be continued.

    Saturday, July 11, 2015

    52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2015 WEEK 26: JOHN HAWKES 1690-1738 PT3

    As I said in the previous post, I realized that I had confused my ancestor John Hawkes
    with his cousin, another John Hawkes, when I examined the probate file I thought belonged
    to my ancestor. What tipped me off was that the names of the widow and children listed
    in the probate file didn't match up with my John Hawkes' family. This is what I had in my
    database already:

    -John Hawkes married Mary Whitford in Lynn, Ma on 12 Aug 1710.

    -They had six children, one boy and five girls. I have no birth dates for them but at least three of them were baptized together on  30June 1728 in Reading, Ma.

     -The names of the children were:
    Eunice (my 6x great grandmother)
    Eve (my 6x great grandmother)

    -Eve's first husband was Ebenezer Giles and after his death she married John Bancroft.

    -Eunice married Jacob Walton

    After discovering that my 7 great grandfather's Probate file had been filed in 1738, not 1748,
    I went back to the Essex County, Ma: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881 collection on American
    Ancestors and found the correct probate file which consisted of 52 images. My John Hawkes
    had died intestate and most of the file deals with paying off his debts and dividing up his estate. I skimmed through the images first before downloading the file to make sure I had
    the right person this time, and found the evidence I needed.

    Here's an image of  a document from 1740 which mentions the widow Mary Hawks and the
    provisions made for her by her son Adam, the executor of the estate. It then mentions
    what was his sisters' shares, listing  "...Ebenezer Giles of Beverly in ye County of Essex in right
    of his wife Eve...", and "...unto his Sister Euneece Hawkes...",

    When Mary Hawks died on 20Apr 1758, the children returned to court to divide up her portion
    of their father's estate in October of that year.  Twenty years had passed and there are changes that confirmed the information in my database. Receiving money were "... Eve Bancroft wife of John Bancroft..." and "...the Leagill Representatives of Unis Walton Dec'd late wife of Jacob Walton..."

    There's an inventory of the estate and the description of the boundaries of the land owned
    by John Hawkes in the file as well. It may take a wile to decipher everything because of the
    difficult handwriting. And I now have the names of the men who married the other three
    daughters of John Hawkes and Mary (Whitford) Hawkes.

    But most importantly I've cleared up the confusion between my ancestor and his cousin
    in my database and online family trees.

    Friday, July 10, 2015


    Here's this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records, which continues
    this month's England & Wales Crime, Prisons & Punishment collections theme:

    "This week's  Findmypast Friday records will help you trace your ancestor's journey through the justice system as Crime, Prisons and Punishment Month continues. We're highlighting criminal petitions and judges' reports as well as adding new military and census collections for you to explore...

    This week, we're bringing you over 197,000 new records including:

    From criminals to corporals, discover your family's remarkable life stories with Findmypast."

    You can view full descriptions of the new record collection here on the FindMyPast website.
    Full disclosure  I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

    52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2015 WEEK 26: JOHN HAWKES 1690-1738 PT2

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, my Hawkes family line used the first names Adam and John
    for several generations.  They were also used in the collateral lines as well, and it caused me a bit
    of confusion between my ancestor John Hawkes, son of Adam Hawkes, and his cousin John
    Hawkes, son of Moses Hawkes. For one thing, the death date I had for my ancestor was wrong,
    it was the date for his cousin's death. I only realized this recently when I was looking at the Probate
    File I downloaded for John Hawkes and realized the names of the widow and children were different from my database. I've now removed that date, 20Oct 1748 from my database and will remove it
    from my online trees.

    I double-checked the documents I had for the Hawkes family and looking at the Hawkes
    descent from Isaac Allerton I noticed it said my John Hawkes' Probate Record was dated
    11Sep 1738.  How had I missed that before? So I went to the American
    page for the Essex County, Ma: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881 and ran a search for the
    file just now,  and I found it!

    All 52 pages.

    It's nearly 2am as I type this, and I am not going to start downloading the file tonight. I did do
    a quick scan and the names of the widow and children match up to what I have in my database,
    so I am pretty sure I have the right John Hawkes. I've bookmarked the web address
    for the file and will download it tomorrow.

    To be continued...

    Thursday, July 09, 2015


    I haven't blogged much so far this month. That's because I was out on a genea-goldrush.
    Several of the top genealogy websites opened some record collections for free to celebrate
    the 4th of July. They included: Free access to the Vital Records of the original Thirteen Colonies. That ended
    on July 5th.

    American Ancestors-Free access to all the New England Great Migration material. That offer
    ended on July 8th.

    Fold 3- Free access to many of the Revolutionary War related records. That  offer is still
    running until July 15th. 

    This, for me, was great news. It was like someone yelling  "Thar's genea-gold on them thar
    websites! Go get it!"

    So I did!

    I worked on the Ancestry collection first since that offer would expire first, and added a
    slew of BMD records for the Barkers, Parkers, Ballards, and Phelps I'd added to my Ancestry
    tree over the past year, being sure to check first the information matched what I already
    knew about each person.

    Then I moved onto the Great Migration collection, adding profiles from the Great Migration
    book to files I already had on individuals, followed by the "Focus On..." articles in the Great
    Migration newsletters.

    On Fold3 I found a Revolutionary War Pension File for an ancestor of another family member.
    I'm still going through that collection but I'd already found pensions for most of my Revolutionary
    War ancestors years ago.

    The Great Migration collection had the biggest nuggets of information. The profiles are great
    resources because of all the records cited which give me clues on where to look for more myself. 
    In several cases they helped push back a line another generation, some over to England. I discovered
    I am descended from George Bunker, the man Bunker Hill was named after, and that in my Starr line I have a 10x great grandfather named Comfort Starr! (Love that name!) I also found some profiles for ancestors of that family member I mentioned earlier.

    Now I will be going through the information I've found and analyzing it. It's going to be fun!

    It was quite a busy weekend, but very rewarding!

    Saturday, July 04, 2015


    I first published this list a few years back, but in honor of the 4th
    of July I'm publishing it again. We know about Washington and
    Knox and Lafayette, but we should never forget that it was the 
    unknown citizens who served under them who fought and bled
    to win us all our freedom. Some of them were my ancestors.

    The italicized names are those whose Pension Files I've found.

    Jonathan Barker Jr.
    Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with the rank of Sergeant. He
    was at Lexington and Concord with his sons Jonathan (see below)
    and Samuel. 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' Company in Colonel Jacob Gerrish's
    guards from Dec 1777 until April 1778 guarding the captured
    troops of General Burgoyne.

    Jonathan Barker 3rd

    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
    Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 19th, 1775. He
    subsequently 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
     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
     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
    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
    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 Ticonderoga.

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

    Amos Upton
    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 and was discharged in October
    of 1775.

    John Griffith
    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
    A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel Bailey's
    militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the Alarm. He also
    responded several more times as a Minuteman for a total of nearly
    8 months duty.

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

    Samuel Stowe 

    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 3rd.

    Friday, July 03, 2015


    Here's this week's Findmypast Friday announcement of recently added records, which this week
    are in the England & Wales Crime, Prisons & Punishment collection:

    "This week, we're bringing you over 1.4 million new records including:

    To find out everything that Crime, Prisons and Punishment Month has to offer, visit our dedicated page now."

    Full disclosure  I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
    complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.