Saturday, January 30, 2016


Another example why it pays to have a geneablog:

Thursday night I blogged about my Stephan Moore and Millie Davis brickwall. Friday morning
when I checked my email I found this comment from Elizabeth Handler about my post:

Bill, Look closely at all the birthplaces on this 1850 census page. Me is for Maine and MaSs is for Massachusetts. Stephen and Millie were born in MaSs. (I've had the same question about an ancestral line which is why I'm attuned to this Maine-Mass handwriting issue.)

There is a Stephen Moor born 11 March 1777 in Bolton, Mass. to Abel and Betty Moor ( Mass Town & Vital Records), and Bolton is next to Stow. I look forward to seeing if this helps you break down this brick wall.

I took another look at the 1850 Census image I'd posted. Sure enough, I misread the image. I should have had my reading glasses on.

Elizabeth's information that the parents of the Stephen Moor she'd found on Ancestry were named
Abel and Betty Moor was exciting because of the list of Stephen and Millie(Davis)Moor's
children in the History of Waterford:


Abel, m. Sophia Brigham.

Davis, drowned when young; 1817.

Hilton, married in Massachusetts, name not known to us.

Luke, m. Polly Atherton.

Cyrus, m. Hannah Upton.
Rufus, m. Eunice Barker.


-The History of Waterford: Oxford County, Maine   Hoyt, Fogg & Donham, Portland, Me 1879

Two of Stephen's children were named Abel and Betsey (close enough to Betty) who were probably
named after his parents. I believe this is borne out by another son who was named Davis after Millie's
maiden name.

I looked at FamilySearch to see what records I might find.

I searched for Abel Moor and first found a record of the birth of an "Abell Moor" to John and
Susannah Moor on 17 February 1743 in Bolton, Ma. ( Massachusetts Births and Christenings, 1639-1915). I was unable to find a death record. But there was also a link to a Find A Grave 
memorial by a Diane D. which showed a gravestone in the Old South Burial Ground in Bolton for Abel with a death date of 1 April 1777 and which listed him as a Private in the Continental Line. It also gave his wife's name as Betty Whetcomb, a misspelling of Whitcomb.

And that's as far as I've gotten tonight. Thanks, Elizabeth Pyle Handler for that tip!

To be continued.

Friday, January 29, 2016


This week's Findmypast record collection releases for 29January include records from England,
Ireland, New Zealand and Australia. Here's the announcement:

This week's Findmypast Friday marks the release of substantial new additions to our collection of Isle of Man births and baptisms, marriages and deaths. The new additions span four hundred years of the island's rich history and can reveal vital information for tracing your family back through the generations.

New records from the now defunct English county of Middlesex are now available to search as part of the Greater London Burial Index and hundreds of thousands of articles, including one brand new title, have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. Plus, we've also added over 3 million births, marriages and deaths from New Zealand as well as thousands of new additions to our collection of funeral records from Queensland, Australia.

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Have a great weekend,

Jen Baldwin

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.


Two  of my brick walls are my paternal 4x great grandparents Stephen Moore and Millie Davis. I have no information at all about their parents. Here's what I do know:

-They were married in Waterford,  Oxford, Maine on 3Oct 1803. No parents are listed.
( "Maine Marriages, 1771-1907," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moor and Milley Davis, 1808; citing Waterford, Oxford, Maine, reference ; FHL microfilm 12,625.)

-They were life long residents of Waterford. I've found Stephen on the Federal Censuses for 1820, 1830, and 1840.  They appear together on the 1850 Census where they list their birthplaces as Maine:
"United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moor, Denmark, Oxford, Maine, United States; citing family 305, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

-Stephen died on 2Apr 1858. Millie died on 28May 1864. They are both buried in Elm Vale Cemetery in Waterford. According to the image below Stephen was 81 years old, which would put his year of birth around 1776-1777.
"Maine, J. Gary Nichols Cemetery Collection, ca. 1780-1999," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 29 January 2016), Stephen Moore, ; citing Waterford, Oxford, Maine, United States, Cemetery Elm Vale, Maine State Library, Augusta; FHL microfilm 2,184,567.

-The History of Waterford: Oxford County, Maine has this to say about Stephen:
Stephen Moore married Mille Davis in 1804. He came from Stow, Mass.; lived on the east side of "Rice Hill," in "Gambo;" a farmer; was remarkable for his height, six feet and six or seven inches.
-page 273

Given that date of birth I wonder if Stephen's father was a Revolutionary War veteran who got a land grant in Maine. Notice that the History says he came from Stow, Ma., so the birthplace on the 1850 census may be incorrect.

I'll keep looking for more about Moore. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016


As I said in the previous post I was able to find the probate file of my 9x great grandfather
Robert Proctor over at

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.) Case 18219 p1

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.) Case 18219 p2

I found a transcription in a Proctor family genealogy written by William Lawrence Proctor and Dolly Pauline Howard Proctor

In the Name of God, Amen—I Robert Proctor of the Town of Chelmsford in the County of Middlx within his Magtys Province of the Massachussetts Bay in New England being at This present Time of good memory & Sound judgmt thro ye mercy of God, Do make & ordaine This my last Will & Testamt, In manner following. 

Impr. My Will is yt wt Debts I owe to prson shall be discharged & payd by my Executors hereafter named before any Legaeys are paid out of my Estate.

It. I will yt my Sons amongst whome I have Disposed of my lands shall beare the charges of ye Funerall of myself & Deare wife.

It. It is my will yt the severrall parcels of land wch I have Disposed to my beloved Sons by Deeds of the Same to ym given viz—: To my Son Gershom Proctor, to my Son Peter Proctor, to my Son James Proctor. to my Son John Proctor, to my Son Samuell Proctor & To my Son Israell Proctor, shall stand & remaine firm & yt no advantage in Law shall be Taken by ye or any of ye one agnt the other. In case any circumstantiall Errour in the Severall Deeds & Instruments of conveighance should appeare and yt wt Lands. Medows, Houses &v air conveighed to my above named Sons shall be & are theire severall proportions of my estate of Inheritance & that my sd Sons or any one of Them shall not have power & liberty upon any pretence wt soever to Challenge Demand any more of & In my Estate either real or personal & It is my will, Earnest Desire & charge of my Beloved Sons live together peaceably & yt they fall not out or Contend about the Disposall off my lands as is above mentioned according to my Conscience & best Judgmt in ye matter made & ordered.

It My will is yt In case my Beloved Son Thomas Proctor live & return from Sea to New England yt he shall possess & Injoy for himselfe. Heyres & assignes forever all my Remaining lands & medows in Chelmsford not disposed to my other Sons wch I give to him absolutely wth all the priveledges of Highways & other conveniences, as I have granted to my other Sons in yr Deeds. But if my Son Thomas Proctor should not live & Return to New England it is then my Will That the land & medow as above shall be for the use Improvemt & Benefit off my wife Jane. during her naturall life & yt is my will yt my wife Jane, shall sell the sd land & medow to those my Sons yt have land adjoining to it, In case they Desire to purchase it at a valuable price & Consideration, and moreover it is my will yet my wife Jane shall pay out to my Beloved Daughters viz—Dorothy Barrett & Elizabeth Proctor two Thirds of the money or vallue of sd land ( being sold as above) the same to be equally divided between sd Daughters & that my wife shall pay the remainlng Third part of the vallued price of sd lands unto my Beloved Daughter, Sarah Chamberlin, for life & Mary Bourne— That is to say Two parts of it to Mary Bourne & the other part to Sarah the wife of Tho. Chamberlin & yt these several! payments & legacys to my Daughters shall not be Demanded of my wife During her life but shee may dispose thes legacys in any time of her life if shee please. Further it is my will that the vallue & price of the land shall be secured for my Daughters as above & yt my wife shall only have the use & Improvemt of the same as above expressed.

I give and bequeath all my moveable Estate to my Beloved Wife Jane During the term of her naturall life for her use & comfort & after her Death my will is yt it shall be Injoyed by my Two Daughters viz: Dorothy Barrett & Elizabeth Proctor To whome I give an Equall share & Proportion of said moveables & I do constitute & appoint my Beloved wife Jane sole Executrix of this my last Will & Testamt & Require my Beloved Brother Jacob Warren Senr. of Chelmsfd & Impower him to be the overseer of this my last Will & Testamt to advise & assist my Beloved wife in Executing the same & for the Confinuation of this my last will & Testamt I have hereunto set my Hand & Seale this Tenth Day of March 1695-6.

I, Robert Proctor, before signing this Instrumt Declare yt I formerly gave my Daughters Sarah Chamberlin & Mary Bourne yr portions & Therefore I will yt they shall not have power to Challeng any further Interest in my Estate than wt is mentioned to be given to ym in this my Will & Testmt & upon ye conditions expressed.

Robert x Proctor.
Signed, sealed & Delivered in presence of
Thomas Clark, 

Eli Foster,

Joshua Barrus.


Concord, July 15, 1697.
By ye Honble James Russell, Esqr., one of ye witnesses subscribed personally appearing made oath that he was personally present & Saw ye Subscriber, Robert Proctor, Sign and Scale and heard him publish and Declare ye above and within written to be his last Will and Testamt, and yt yn he was of Disposing minde yt he yn saw, Mr. Thomas Clark and Joshua Barrus, signe ye same with himselfe as witnesses.
Sam*l. Phipps, Regr. J. A. Russell.

Charlestowne, July 14th, 1697.
By ye Honble James Russell, Esq. The Reverend Mr. Thomas Clark of Chelmsford, one of ye Witnesses subscribed prsonally appearing made Oath yt he was prsonally prsent and Saw the Subscriber, Robert Proctor, Deeed. Sign and Scal and heard him publish and Declare the above within written to 1)3 his last Will and Testament and yt when he so did he was of a Disposing minde, and yt he saw Eli Foster and Joshua Barms Sign ye Same together with himselfe as witnesses.
Sam'l Phipps, Regr. J. A. Russell. 

A genealogy of descendants of Robert Proctor of Concord and Chelmsford, Mass
Republican & Journl Print, Ogdenburg, New York, 1898

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


My 8x great grandmother Sarah (Proctor) Chamberlain was the daughter of Robert Proctor and
Jane Hildreth, and is mentioned in her father's will. He had immigrated from England, settled at
Concord, Ma. originally, and was one of the founders of Chelmsford, Ma. Here's a biographical
sketch of Robert by William Richard Cutter:

(1) Robert Proctor, immigrant ancestor in America of the Proctor family here dealt with, was probably born in England, and died at Chelmsford, Massachusetts, April 28, 1697. He first appears in this country at Concord, Massachusetts, where he was made a freeman in 1643. He may have come from England with the three other Proctors already named. There is. however, another tradition concerning his ancestry. Under date of July 26, 1897, Mrs. Lucretia H. Lawrence, of Leominster, a daughter of Jacob Proctor, of Littleton, Massachusetts, writes as follows: “My father in his last days dwelt much upon the history of his family and events of his early life. He said his grandfather (who was Nathaniel Proctor. a great-grandson of Robert, of Concord) “told him that three brothers from a wealthy family in Scotland came to this country in a ship of their own. One of the brothers settled in or near Chelmsford. The Littleton branch descended from this brother. My father remembered visits back and forth with the Chelmsford relations”. The conflict between these traditions must remain unsettled. at least until additional evidence in favor of one or the other can be obtained.

In 1653 Robert Proctor, in connection with Richard Hildreth and twenty—seven others, pe— titioned the general court for a grant of land six miles square, “to begin at Merrimack river at a neck of land next to Concord River, and so run up by Concord River south and west into the country to make up the circumference or quantity of land as above expressed". The petition was granted. In 1654 Mr. Proctor removed to the new plantation which was organized November 22, 1654, as a town under the name of Chelmsford. The first four or five of his children were born in Concord, the others in Chelmsford. His descendants resided in many of the neighboring towns. and at an early date some of them pushed back into the wilderness and settled in New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, and have since scattered over the west. Letters of administration on his estate were granted to Jane Proctor, executrix, July 13, 1697. Some of his children settled in what afterwards became the West Precinct, and later the town of Westford.

Robert Proctor married, December 31, 1645, Jane, eldest daughter of Richard Hildreth, of Concord and Chelmsford, ancestor of the Hildreths of America, who died at Chelmsford in 1688. Children: 1. Sarah, born October 12, 1646; married, August 10, 1666, Thomas Chamberlain. 2. Gershom, May 13, 1648. 3. Mary, April 20, 1650; married, 1685, John Bourne. 4. Peter, 1652. 5. Dorothy, 1654; married, December 18, 1679, John Barret Jr. 6. Elizabeth, December 16, 1656; became, in ' 1705, the third wife of Samuel Fletcher. 7. James, January 8, 1658. 8. Lydia, February 19, 1660, died August 13, 1661. 9. John, August 17, 1663. 10. Samuel, of whom further. 11. Israel, April 29, I668. 12. Thomas, April 30, 1671, went to sea, and there is no evidence that he returned.-

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 1 ,
Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, N.Y., 1913

I've found Robert Proctor's probate file on and will discuss that next.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Having found testimony against Henry Phelps' behavior with his future sister-in-law Hannah Baskell in Volume 1 of  Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, I searched for more information. But there was nothing else about the matter there, so I turned to Volume 2, where there were several more mentions of them. The first was at a session of the Salem Quarterly Court on Nov 27 1660:

Henry Phelps, being bound to this court to answer a complaint for keeping company or in the house with his brother's wife, and appearing, was released of his bond. Upon further consideration and examination of some witnesses, which the court did not see meet for the present to bring forth in public, and the wife of Nicholas Phelps not appearing, said Phelps was bound to the next court at Salem. He was ordered meanwhile to keep from the company of his brother Nicolas Phelps’ wife.‘ 

In the footnotes of the page is this: 

Henry Phelps, of Salem, was complained of at the county court at Boston, July 31, 1660, for beating his son, John Phelps, and forcing him to work carrying dung and mending a hogshead on the Lord's day, also for intimacy with his brother's wife and for entertaining Quakers. It was ordered that John Phelps, the son, be given over to his uncle, Mr. Edmond Batter, to take care of him and place him out to some religious family as an apprentice, said Henry, the father, to pay to Mr. Batter what the boy's grandmother left him, to be improved to said John Phelps’ best advantage. Said Henry Phelps was ordered to give bond for his good behavior until the next Salem court, and especially not to be found in the company of Nicholas Phelps’ wife, and to answer at that time concerning the entertaining of Quakers. Copy of judgment, made by Edward Rawson,T recorder. Sureties: Tho. Joy and Nicholas Phillips. Copy of bond, made by Edward Rawson,T recorder.

Henry Phelps bound for appearance at the next Salem court. Copy of Ipswich court record, made by Robert Lord,T cleric.-pp261-262

The next session was held at Salem on June 4 1661

Henry Phelps, appearing under bonds, to answer the complaint against him concerning his brother, Nicholas Phelps’ wife, and no one appearing to testify against him, was discharged of his bond for appearance, but was still bound in 10li. not to accompany his brother’s wife.-p310 

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 2, Essex Institute, Salem, Ma. 1912

The Boston Court awarding custody of Henry's son John to another relative wasn't just a matter
of his harsh treatment of the boy. It was done, I think, more because of the biggest crime of the
Phelps' family. The Phelps were Quakers, and Hannah (Baskell) Phelps was quite vocal about it.
Perhaps that, plus the testimony years before from Janet Johnson about the behavior of Henry
and Hannah, was the reason he was warned off from associating with her. 
I'll discuss Nicholas and Hannah's dealings with the Court in another blogpost. 

Monday, January 25, 2016


Over the years I've found some of the best stories about my ancestors in the free Googlebooks
editions of the colonial Essex County, Ma. court records. The other day I googled my Phelps
family and found this fascinating story. It's strange because it isn't part of a case, just a deposition
that doesn't match up with anything else on the page. It involves the two brothers of my 9x great grandfather Edward Phelps, and is from the Hampton Quarterly Court held on 28Sep 1652:

Deposition of Jane Johnson: "Saith yt: coming our in the ship with Henry Phelps & Hannah the now wife of Nich: Phelps: Henry Phelps going ashore the ship lying at the Downes: Hannah wept till shee made ||her|| selue sicke because mr Fackler would not suffer her to goe ashore with Henry Phelps : & Henry came aboard late in the night, the next morning mr Falckner Chid Henry Phelps & Hannah & said was it not enough for yw to let Hannah lay her head in yr lape but must shee ly in ye Cabbin to & called Hannah Strumpet & this deponent saith farther yet she saw Henry Phelps ly in his Cabbin & Hannah Baskel the now wife of Nick Phelps came & lay down her head by him & pull her head up again often as he lay in his Cabbin: & when he was smocking in the Cook roome tobaca Hannah tooke the pip out of his mouth" pp267-268

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County ..., Volume 1 Essex Institute,  Salem, Ma 1911

"Chid" is a misspelling of chide, I believe.

So, Jane Johnson seems to be saying that my 9x great granduncle Henry Phelps was engaged with a
bit of "hanky-panky" with a woman named Hannah Baskel, who would eventually marry his brother
Nicholas. Jane doesn't say how long ago the incident occurred, but it could have happened as early as 1634 if the brothers came over from England with their father Henry Phelps Sr. Why was Jane
bringing up something that took place years ago?

There were no further details in Volume One of the Records and Files. I decided to search Volume

To be continued

Saturday, January 23, 2016


It's hard to believe that this blog is nine years old today. Sometimes I guess that old saying about "time flies when you're having fun" is as true for me in genealogy blogging as it is for me in researching my family tree. You'd think by now I would have run out of things to blog about but that hasn't happened yet! 

A few stats: This is post 1901. I've had 489,309 pageviews (the majority of which are probably webcrawlers) and I currently have 292 followers (I still haven't cracked the 300 barrier.)

These were my all time Top 5 blogposts as of January 2015:

MEMORIES OF MALDEN                                                                                    938 pageviews


ANCESTRY.COM, 'NEW SEARCH' AND THE C.H.O.P. PRINCIPLE.                  618 pageviews

THE BOOK OF ME, WRITTEN BY YOU 3: THE SKIN I'M IN.                             584 pageviews

And these are my all time Top Ten as of today:

I was inspired to start my own geneablog by seeing the blogs written by Randy Seaver, Chris Dunham, and Tim Abbott, who as it turns out, are all my cousins. I found their blogs while
googling the surnames of my ancestors, and I realized that a genealogy blog might help other
distant cousins find me. It's worked beyond me expectations as "cousin bait".

Finally, thanks to you folks who read what I write and encourage me by leaving comments!

Friday, January 22, 2016


Here's the Findmypast Friday record collection releases for 22 January. And don't forget there's
free access to Findmypast this weekend!

Here's the description of the new releases:

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We hope these new releases allow you to make some fascinating finds and our new collection from Scotland will be an invaluable resource for those with ancestors from there. If you're having difficulty locating Scottish relatives, why not try searching some of our existing collections? These include The influence of Scotch-Irish people in the formation of the US Government and Members of the Scotch-Irish Society Of America, 1891.

Have a great weekend,

Jen Baldwin

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.

Thursday, January 21, 2016


In my previous post about my ancestor Thomas Chamberlain Jr I mentioned I'd found a research
paper entitled "John Chamberlain,The Indian Fighter At Pigwacket." It was presented by George
Chamberlain to the Maine Historical Society in 1897. I was fascinated by the title, so I read pat
the part about Thomas Jr to see what it was about. It turns out that John is my 1st cousin 8x removed, being Thomas' grandson, and Pigwacket was the Indian name for the location of the
Battle of Lovewell's Pond. The theme of the paper was whether John Chamberlain was the man responsible for the death of the Indian chief Paugus.

Here's the story:

The Chamberlain-Paugus tradition was first published at Fryeburg, Maine, in the year 1799, by Elijah Russell in his edition of Rev. Thomas Symmes' "Memoirs of the Fight at Piggwacket." It runs as follows: —
Several of the Indians, particularly Paugus their chief, were well known to Lovewell's men, and frequently conversed with each other during the engagement. In the course of the battle Paugus and John Chamberlain discoursed familiarly with each other; their guns had become foul from frequent firing; they washed their guns at the pond, and the latter assured Paugus that he should kill him; Paugus also menaced him, and bid defiance to his insinuations. When they had prepared their guns they loaded and discharged them, and Paugus fell.

This story was printed seventy-four years after the battle occurred, and one year after Noah Johnson, the last survivor of the battle, had died. Was this story a fabrication invented by Elijah Russell? Did it exist before 1799 in other parts of New England? Does it contain any of the elements of truth?

 Collections of the Maine Historical Society, published by the Society, Portland, Me. 1898
Ironically many other accounts of the battle credit another of my cousins, Seth Wyman, as being the man who'd killed Paugus.

It's an interesting paper, although it seemed to me that while George Chamberlain admits that there
was no factual evidence about the incident, or that his ancestor was even actually at at the battle, George wants to believe it's true.

If you are interested in judging for yourself, you can read the paper here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


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I found only a little bit more about my 8x great grandfather Thomas Chamberlain Jr. than I found about his father Thomas, Sr.  Levi Shattuck has this to say about him:

2.) Thomas Chamberlain, S. of Thomas, (1) above mentioned, settled in Chelmsford, where he d. May 28,1727. He m. Aug. 10,1666, Sarah Proctor, daughter of Robert Proctor, and had the following, and perhaps other children. 1. Thomas, b. May 30, 1667, (noticed below;) 2. Sarah, b. Jan. 11, 1C79; 3. Jane, b. Jan. 19, 1682; 4. Elizabeth, b. July 25, 1685.

Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck: The Progenitor of the Families in America that Have Borne His Name; Including an Introduction, and an Appendix Containing Collateral Information  Dutton & Wentworth, Boston Ma. 1855.

I found a little more information in a paper about Thomas' grandson John Chamberlain presented to the Maine Historical Society by another descendant. From" JOHN CHAMBERLAIN,THE INDIAN FIGHTER AT PIGWACKET." BY GEORGE W. CHAMBERLAIN.
Read before the Maine Historical Society, March 11, 1897.  :

His grandfather, Thomas Chamberlain of Chelmsford, who was both senior and junior, was a soldier in King Philip's war, being stationed at the frontier garrison in Groton on November 30, 1675. He was probably the Thomas Chamberlain who served in Syll's Company and also in Poole's Company in 1676. Thomas, the father, and Thomas, the grandfather, were both stationed at the garrison in Chelmsford on March 16, 1691-92.
 Collections of the Maine Historical Society, published by the Society, Portland, Me. 1898

I'm descended from Thomas Chamberlain Jr.'s daughter Elizabeth who married my 7x great grandfather
Jonathan Butterfield.

Monday, January 18, 2016


It's now time to turn to the families of the Butterfield wives, but there are a few problems with
identifying who the first few generations of wives were:

-Immigrant ancestor Benjamin Butterfield's wife is believed by some to be Anne Jundon but no proof of that has yet been discovered.

- There's a similar problem concerning Samuel Butterfield's wife, who may or may not have been Mary Ballard of Andover.

So I'll begin with the family of Elizabeth, wife of Jonathan Butterfield, and her grandfather,  Thomas Chamberlain Sr., the immigrant ancestor. Thomas Chamberlain is another who I haven't
found much about so far except for this short entry in a genealogy of the descendants of William Shattuck written by Levi Shattuck:

1.) The name of Chamberlain was borne by several of the early inhabitants of Massachusetts. THOMAS, Edmond, and Samuel, first of Charlestown and afterwards of Woburn, were among the petitioners and first settlers of Chelmsford. Thomas, probably the ancestor of all of the name who are mentioned in this volume, was one of those persons who purchased 1500 acres of land lying on both sides of Concord River; granted to Thomas Dudley. He settled in Chelmsford, but the precise date of his death is unknown. His first wife, Mary , d. about 1670. He m. 2, April 19, 1674, in his old age, Mary Parker, who d. Feb. 7, 1692. By his first wife he had, b. in Woburn, Thomas, (noticed below,) Samuel, b. Oct. 7, 1645, Mary, b. June 11, 1649, and perhaps other children

Memorials of the Descendants of William Shattuck: The Progenitor of the Families in America that Have Borne His Name; Including an Introduction, and an Appendix Containing Collateral Information  Dutton & Wentworth, Boston Ma. 1855.

I haven't found a probate file for Thomas and I need to check for records of land sales, so that's all I have for him so far.

I'm descended from his son Thomas Chamberlain, Jr who will be the subject of my next post in the series.  

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Here are the Findmypast Friday record collections releases for15January 2016:

This week we're bringing you over 2.3 million new records and newspaper articles including:

 England, Pollbooks and Directories, 1830-1837
Search through over 62,000 records to discover who your ancestor voted for in the election of 1830. This valuable census substitute can also include details of their occupation, residence, religious beliefs and even a short biography.
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Have a great weekend,

Jen Baldwin

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.

Saturday, January 09, 2016


To recap, I noticed that in an article in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register
the first name of David Butterfield's youngest daughter Joanna was omitted although the full name
of her husband Dennis McLane is there. I surmised the author of the article, George A Gordon, may have gotten the information on the family from David Butterfield's probate file.

The images of pages in probate and pension files are often out of order, and this was the case in
David's probate file. There are 22 images in it, some hard to read and none with any mention of Joanna,  but eventually I found the image of a letter to a judge that gave me an answer as to why.
It seems there was a dispute over the estate, fueled by a distrust in Joanna's husband Dennis' involvement with how the estate was administered:
Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case_Number: 3715 Page 9

Here's my transcription:

To the Honorable Samuel Danforth Esq.Judge of Probate of the
& for the County of Middlesex------
          The Petition of Keziah Shed Widow, Jean Butterfield, Esther
          Butterfield, Jacob Manning and Sarah Manning My Wife,
          Children and Heirs of our Honoured Father Mr. David Butterfield
          Late of Chelmsford Deceased Humbly Showeth that your Petitioners
          Said Father had in his Life time a pritty Comfortable Estate both
          Real and personal and died so Seized thereof and Our Mother Mrs
          Keziah Butterfield administered on Said Estate and we fear is like
          to Ruin and waste the Same for that we have a sister who is
                                                            who is not a very good husband
          Married to one Dennis McLane ^whom our said Mother hath
          Taken in to Manage the Place Contrary to our minds, who we fear
          will utterly Ruin the Same. ________
          Wherefore your Petitioners Humbly pray, that your Honor would
          be pleased to Order Our Said Mothers Third to be Sett of to her So
          as She may have the Improvement of that Only, and that the
          other Two Thirds may be Lett out to best advantage to good
          Husbandry until Our Brother (for we have but one) comes of age
          to Settle it; Or any other way that your Honor in your Wisdom
          Shall think proper So that the Said Estate may not be wasted or
          Spent, and your petitioners as Duty Bound Shall ever pray.
                                                                  Keziah Shed
                                                                  Jean (her mark)Butterfield
                                                                  Esther (her mark)Butterfield
                                                                  Jacob Manning
                                                                  Sarah (her mark)Butterfield

I like that insertion of "who is not a very good husband". I wonder which Butterfield
sister insisted that be added?

The other side of the letter is dated April 16, 1764. From what I can make out from other
page the judge, Samuel Danforth granted the family's request and gave my 6x great grandmother
Keziah (Shuttleworth)Butterfield her third of the estate while the other two thirds were administered
by men appointed by the judge. Samuel Butterfield was granted control his inheritance himself
on 16Jan 1770.

Among those who assessed the estate was John Spaulding, my 6th great grandfather, who is
ancestor through the marriage of his son Lot to Esther Butterfield on 27Jun 1764,

As for Joanna (Butterfield) McLain, she and Dennis lived in Chelmsford long enough to
have a son Willard, but then the McLains seem to have left Chelmsford.

So I think I was right, George Gordon must have used that letter in the file in compiling his
list of the family, which solves one mystery.

There still remain two questions:

Did Joanna and her sisters ever reconcile, and where did the McLains go when they left


Friday, January 08, 2016


Here's the Findmypast Friday new records releases for 8Jan 2016. I need to take a look
at those Kent records!  

Here's their announcement:

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We hope you enjoy exploring these rich and varied collections. The electoral registers in particular are a fantastic resource that can provide you with rare insights into how your ancestors viewed the world.

Have a great weekend,
Jen Baldwin

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.

Thursday, January 07, 2016


So who was the daughter whose name was omitted from George A Gordon's article on the Butterfields in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register ?  I decided to check the Chelmsford Births on the Early Vital Records of Massachusetts From 1600 to 1850 website and found that David and Keziah had three children more than the five Gordon had listed. The three additional children are in boldface:

Benjamin, Oct 17, 1732
Keziah, Feb 25, 1733-34 
Jane , Jan 9 1736-7
Esther, Nov 13, 1738
Joanna, Oct 6 1741
Susanna, bp. Nov 8 1741

Sarah, May 20 1744
Samuel, Dec 9 1748.

None of those three are named in David's probate file. Since I was looking for the daughter who married "Dennis Maclane" it had to be Joanna or Susanna. Next I checked the Marriages page and found this entry:

Joanna, and Dennis McLain, Dec 29, 1762

So why is Dennis "McLane" on George Gordon's list of the family but Joanna (Butterfield) "McLane"
is not?

Looking at Gordon's entry for David Butterfield's family again, I decided he was using the probate file as his source of information. I took a closer look at the images in the file.

And that's where I think I found an answer to my question.

To be continued. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


I'm beginning my 2016 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge series with my 6x great grandfather
David Butterfield of Chelmsford, Ma.  David is another of my ancestors that there wasn't too much
information about on the internet when I first searched, but a little digging revealed an interesting
story about the family. 

Here's what little George A Gordon has to say about David in the BUTTERFIELDS OF MIDDLESEX:

25. David4 Butterfield (Jonathan* Samuel* Benjamin') was born in Chelmsford in 1712. In 1724, he was adopted by his uncle Samuel (9) who was childless, and in 1742 inherited his whole estate. He married Kezia, who, with his adopted mother, Tabitha, were widows on the estate at his decease in 1764. Children:

i. Samuel,4 b. 1749-50.

ii Kezia. m. Benjamin Shed of Billerica, who died 19 Dec. 1760, and she m. 2d, in 1765, David Stlckney, and removed to Grafton, Vt.

iii. Jean.

iv. Esther.

v. Sarah, m. Jacob Manning of Billerica.

vi.______ , m. Dennis McLane.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Volume 44 , Published at the Society's House, 18 Somerset Street. Printed by David Clapp & Son Boston, Ma 1890

I know David's wife Kezia;s maiden name was Shettleworth/Shuttleworth, as shown in this
image of the Chelmsford marriage records. They are the third couple listed at the bottom of the
page under the name Butterfeild.

Looking at the list of children, I can fill in some of the missing information from David's Probate file. At the time of his death, daughters Jean and Esther signed a certain letter (which I will get to in my
next post) about the estate and either they were unmarried or married to cousins,  because both signed as Butterfields. Esther later married Lot Spaulding and is my 5x great grandmother.

It's the last daughter that interested me, the one whose first name is not given but who survived into adulthood long enough to marry a "Dennis McLane". Why is her fist name missing from the
list of David Butterfield?  And that's where that interesting family story comes into the picture.

I'll discuss it in the next post.

To be continued.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016


Here's my list of Genea-Plans (aka genealogy New Year's resolutions) for 2016. Being a realist I know I probably won't reach most of them, especially number 9, but I'll try my best:

1. Work more on my family tree: I still have plenty of collateral relatives to add to my database
but I also need to continue to work on merging the duplicates I put in the database back when I first started researching online and was in my "name gathering" newbie phase. I also need to add citations and sources where I don't have any entered.   

2. Visit more of the towns where my ancestors lived, see their graves and homes, and take photos: I need to make more of an effort at this as soon as the snow season is over, especially getting up to Essex and Middlesex counties, and west to Worcester county.

3. Blog more: I met my 2015 goal for this blog of going over 200 posts by reaching 220. So for 2016
I need to top that, even if it's only by just one more post. And I will institute that 52 Gravestones in 52 Weeks series for my Old Colony Genealogy Rabbit blog.
4. Keep on with Find A Grave activities: I still have a whole lot of cemetery photos to use to create
memorials, and I want to get out and fill some more photo requests. 

5.Transcribe: There's a bunch of Probate Files I haven't worked on yet. I started using the program
Transcript last Fall and it's simple to use, so I'll see if it makes it easier to keep this resolution

6. Stay organized: I need to keep at putting things I download onto my hard drive into whatever folder they belong in immediately, rather than letting them sit in the Downloads file until I get around to it.

7. Scan more: I still have family photos to scan.

8. Index more:  I hope to do some indexing for Familysearch without waiting for another crowd sourcing "event" to motivate me

9. Join a local society: I say this every year. Hope springs eternal.

10. Break down that John Cutter West brick wall: Maybe this will be the year!

And again, as in every year, to keep having fun with genealogy!

Saturday, January 02, 2016


Before I make my "geneaplans" for 2016, let's see what they were for 2015 and how
well I did fulfilling them. My comments on how I did on each are in red type: 

1.Transcribe:  The amount of probate files and other documents I've found increased
substantially last year. I need to establish some sort of routine to get more of them
transcribed. Perhaps regular Amanuensis Monday posts, or maybe Transcription

Results: Not as good as I hoped. I've transcribed some but still have a bunch untouched.
I think this and other things fell victim to blogging. 

2. Make more use of Google ebooks and also the FamilySearch and
websites: I have found a lot of these sites already but I know there is more on them that
I haven't found yet. I need to be more efficient using them.


Results: This was one of plans that went well. I use Googlebooks a lot in my blogging and in researching.  I'm still finding probate files on and I use FamilySearch
frequently when working on memorials for Find A Grave.

3. Organize: I've made a start this past year. I need to keep at it and not backslide because
I'm a hurry. Laziness now will be paid for later.

Results: Moderately successful. I have done better in getting images into files and folders
as soon after downloading as possible.

4. Continue working on my family tree: I need to keep adding information on collateral
lines and keep trimming duplicate entries. I seem to add and trim an equal amount of
entries each year. I need to maybe concentrate on the trimming a bit more.

Results: This is one of those years where I've trimmed or merged as many people as I've added to my database, to the point the number of people went down by 60 on it this year. So this was a

6. Join a local society: Yeah, I say that every year. 

Results: Nope, still hasn't happened.

7. Continue Find A Grave activities: I seem to work on Find A Grave in spurts. I need to
 maybe pick one night a week to work on uploading the photos and creating memorials
to make it a weekly routine. 

Results: Created 67 memorials, added 150 photos and 53 volunteer photos.
Another moderate success

8.Blog more: This year I will break the 200 post mark for this blog and post at least 50
times on my Old Colony Graveyard Rabbit blog. I'd really like to hit 100 there, though. 
The 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks was very successful for me in 2014, and I plan to continue
with that. Maybe I'll adapt it on the Graveyard Rabbit blog to 52 Headstone in 52 Weeks!

Results: Mixed. I had 220 posts for this blog but only 6 for my Old Colony Graveyard Rabbit blog.

9. Scan more: I still have my portion of the family photos to scan. 

Result:Epic fail. No activity on this front at all.

10. Index more: This one may be the toughest. With all the other things it's hard to
fit it in, but I will try.

Results: I took part in the big crowd sourcing indexing project but that was it.

11. Visit more of the  towns where my ancestors lived, see their graves and homes,
and take photos.


Results: While I still gallivanted around in the nearby Plymouth County towns, I didn't make it
North or West this year into other places my ancestors lived.

12. Break down that John Cutter West brick wall: Maybe this will be the year!

Results: Still hammering away but no progress.

And as I say every year, just keep having fun!
Results: I still am!