Friday, April 29, 2016


Here's the Findmypast Friday record collection additions for 29April:

New additions from the UK, Ireland and the Boer War feature in this week's Findmypast Friday.

Over 163,000 new records from churches right across Dorset have been added to our collection of British parish records along with significant updates to our collection of historic Irish newspapers.

This week we're bringing you over 691,000 new records and newspaper articles including:

Irish Newspapers
More than 525,000 fully searchable articles and one brand new title from Northern Ireland have been added to the ever-growing collection. See what's new on the blog »

Anglo-Boer War Records, 1899-1902
Find out if your ancestor served in the Anglo-Boer War with over 2,500 new records that reveal their rank, regiment, service number, the awards they received and whether they were killed or wounded in the line of duty. Service history uncovered »

Dorset Baptisms
We've added over 68,000 new baptism records from churches across the English county of Dorset. Our Dorset marriages and burials have also been supplemented. Does your tree have roots in Dorset? »

Coming soon
We have some major new additions from the US and Canada up our sleeves, so be on the lookout for an exciting announcement in the coming weeks.
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.


Elizabeth O'Neal of the Little Bytes of Life blog is reviving the old genealogy blog carnivals with her Genealogy Blog Party challenges. Her first one has a Doctor Who theme where I could visit an ancestor as the Doctor's companion or be a Time Lord myself and the ancestor would be my companion. I would have the opportunity to ask the ancestor any questions. I could help them solve a problem or decide to tell them I was their descendant. It sounded like a fun idea for a blog post.   

So, if I were a Time Lord....

First of all, my name would be Doctor Whowhatwhenwhyandhow. (That's the original family name.The other guy had his named shortened at Ellis Island). Being a traditionalist, I'd dress in a big coat, wear a floppy hat and wear a loooong scarf. And the first thing I'd do is....break the rules!

Why are you surprised? The other guy breaks them all the time.

Then I'd take my TARDIS back to Boston in 1820 to....

Wait! I need a Companion (and here's where I break the rules). I make a stop first in Charlestown,
Massachusetts in the year 1805, to persuade a young lady named Anne Mayhew to take an adventure and go on a short trip with me. Once we're inside the  T.A.R.D.I.S I engage her in a
conversation and ask her about her parents, and their grandparents. I make sure to have K-9 my
robot dog record everything we talk about so I have a record. After all, it's not every day one gets to talk with their 4 x great grandmother.

Eventually we arrive at my destination, Boston in 1820 where we leave the TARDIS and seek out a young apprentice blacksmith named John Cutter West. I tell him I have a blacksmith business in Maine for sale and ask if he'd be interested in buying it. But first, he'd have to tell me about himself because I want to be sure I'm selling it to a man of character. I suggest the three of us go to a local tavern for something to eat while we discuss the matter.

All goes as planned. I get young John to tell me about his family, where he was born, what life was like in the town he grew up in as K-9 records it all through the small microphone on the collar of my coat. The mystery of my 3x great grandfather's  parentage is solved at last.

As the night wears on I notice Anne and John exchanging long glances and realize there is a danger
to the space time continuum and my very existence if nature takes it's course. I bring the conversation
to an end by telling John I have others I need to meet before I sell my business. I help Anne out of her chair and after bidding John goodnight, walk her back to the TARDIS.

We return to 1805 Charlestown. I had decided to tell neither of my ancestors who I am. Better to keep things simple. We say goodbye and I return to the 21st century. I've broken down two brick walls on my family tree in one trip.

My TARDIS sits in the back yard cleverly disguised as a yellow tool shed, waiting for our next
trip. There's the mystery of the identity of my 5x great grandfather Caleb Coburn's wife yet to be solved.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


I've written before about this photo of our Mom & Dad on their wedding day in 1947. They're standing
outside a building in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston, looking so serious on such a happy occasion.
My theory about it is that they'd already had some photos taken and just wanted to get on with the reception or their honeymoon. I wish I'd asked them what their wedding day was like.

Then last week when we were out at Ohio at my Aunt Dorothy's birthday party there was a table with a
display of old family photos, and I saw this picture:

Look at those smiles! They look much happier and more relaxed than in the first picture.

It's a bit overexposed, and it's a picture of a picture, but I think it's a better photo of my parents!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


My 9x great grandfather Michael Metcalf died in 1684. In his article in the NEHGS Register, Dr.Luther Metcalf Harris includes an abstract of our ancestor's will. One of the things I find interesting about it is how particular over which heir gets which of his books, and who he wants to have them after the deaths of those heirs.

Of course the best thing about wills and probate files is when they help establish relationships and the will does that in showing that Martha (Metcalf) Stow was Michael's daughter. Although I wonder why there is no mention of his grandson Nathaniel Stow who was born before Michael's death.

Lastly, I wish the estate inventory had been included in the article.

Here's the abstract of the will:

Michael Metcalf, died, Dec. 27, 1664. Will proved, and an Inventory of his Estate taken, Feb. 1, 1664-5. £364. 18. 05.
Inventory of the Estate of Michael Metcalfe, Jun. made, 31, 1. 1654. Power of Administration, granted, 26 April 1654, to Mary, his widow, "in behalf of her selfe and fiue children."

The following is an Abstract of the Will of Michael1 Metcalfe. 15.9. 1664.

Michael Metcalfe senior, of Dedham, being aged, Doe make this my Last will. Wheras, there is a Couenant Between my selfe and Mary my Wife, made before our marriage, bearing Date the 13th of August 1645, wherein it may appear that she reserued to her selfe, and to her dispose, her Lands, and Estate, so that I receiued no Estate with her; yet, neuerthelesse, I giue unto her ffor the terme of her widowhood, in household stuffe, and other goods, as shee thinkes meete to Chuse, for her use, not exceeding the ualue of sixteene pounds, and being not such as I shall particularly otherwise Dispose of, in this my Last will; which household stuffe, so Chosen by her, shall Bee to ffurnishe the Roome, which my Executor shall prepare for her, at his house, to Receiue her into, after my Decease. All which household stuffe and goods, I giue to my Executor, to haue, after the Decease of my wife. Unto my wife, six pounds, to be paid to her, within one moneth after my Decease, in Currant pay. Unto Sonne John Metcalfe, of Medfeild, one ffeather bed & Bolster, my second Book of Martyrs, Mr Perkins second Book, Luther on the gala; one siluer spoone, one pair of sheets, one Long Chest, in the upper Chamber, one Diaper Boardcloth. Unto my Executor & his Heires, all that my Land in Naponset plaine, and three Acres Laying in ye Low plaine, next Peter Woodwards. Also, halfe my Diuident in y« Cedar swampe, neer the Saw mill, & 3 Commons & ye odde. Unto my Grandchild, Michael Metcalfe, the Elder, all that my Land and Improuements within the Lott I Dwell in, my three acres in ye wigwaom plaine, my swompe next my house, prouided he giue my Executor that itle parcell of his swampe west end of his house, otherwise my gifte to be uoyd. Also I give him my Naticke Diuidend of twenty three acres, more or Lesse; four Cow Commons; halfe my Cedar swampe, at the Saw mill; my wood Land, at the West end of the Towne; all the particulars I haue belonging to husbandry, in one Kind or another; all the Remainer of my Household stuffe not Disposed of in this my Will. Also my first Book of Martyrs, Mr Perkins ffirst Booke, one siluer spoone. To my Daughter Wilson, ffortye shillings. To my Daughter Elizabeth Bancrafte, ffiue pounds. To my Daughter, Martha Stow, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Joane Waker, forty shillings. To my Daughter Rebecca Mackentosh, ffiue pounds. To my wife's Daughter, Martha Bullerd, twenty shillings. To my Daughter, Sarah Onion, three pounds. All which six Legacyes, Last named, shall bee paid at, in, or Before, the second March next after my Decease, in Current payment.

To my Daughter Stowes Eldest sonne, which she had by her first husband, Wm Brignall, ffour pounds, to bee paid him, when he shall attayne to Lawful age. To my Grandchild, abovesaid, Jno. Mackintosh & Robert Onyon, all my wearing apparell, to bee equally diuided by my Execut', in order as their names bee heer set Downe; my Granchild to choose ffirst:—To my Granchild, abouesaid, all the Lumber in my House. Moreouer, if any of ye p sons that are Legatees in y' my present will, shall by themselues, or by any others, make, or Cause to bee made, any Disturbance, or Contortion, in word or Deed, in Reference to any thing given, in this my will; then, all that Legacye, to that p son, shall be utterly uoyde. Thomas Metcalfe, of Dedham, my sonne, to be my executor, to whom I giue all the Rest of my Lands and Goods, not formerly Disposed of. Michael Metcalfe.

Before the witnessing hereof, I giue to my Grandchild abouesaid, my single acre of Meddow, also my Largest gray Horsmans Coate, also two oxen, one Cow, to bee Deliuered to him at Lawfull age. All the Books, aforesaid, giuen to my sonne John, after his Death, I giue them to his sonne Michael, my Grand childe. Signed and sealed in the presence of us,
Peter X Woodioard,
(His Marke)                                              S Edward Rawson, Recorder.
Jonathan ffairbanke

-pp172-173 the new england historical & genealogical register for the year 1852 Volume 6  Thomas Prince, Printer And Publisher, Boston, 1852

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


My ancestor Michael Metcalf had been a weaver in England of a type of fabric called Dornick, a
heavy linen used as table cloths according to Google. After he and his family arrived in Dedham, Ma. he became one of the leading citizens in the town. Here's more from the article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register:

Michael Metcalf was admitted a townsman at Dedham, July 14,1637; joined the church in 1639; and was Selectman in 1641. His name stands first, on the Committee, chosen to "contrive the fabricke of a meetinghouse." His wife, Sarah, died Nov. 30,1644; m. 2d widow Mary Ridge, of Roxbury, Aug 13, 1645.

In 1661, Robert Ware, exchanged land, near the brick kiln; bricks being manufactured here at an early period. "One of the principal clay pits, was on land of Michael Metcalf, on Dedham Island."

-p171    the new england historical & genealogical register for the year 1852 Volume 6  Thomas Prince, Printer And Publisher, Boston, 1852

The article also included a list of his children:
Children of MICHAEL,1 and SARAH'1 Metcalf, all born in England, were,
(2.) I. Michael, 2 b. Nov. 13, 1617, died young, in England.
(3.) II. Mary, 2 b. Feb. 14, 1618, m. Henry Wilson, Nov. 24th 1642.
(4.) III. Michael, 2 (13.) b. Aug. 29, 1620, m. Mary, dau. of John Fairbanks, senr. April 21, 1644, d. in Dedham, Dec. 24, 1654.
(5.) IV. John, 2 (18.) b. Sep. 5, 1622, m. Mary, dau. of Francis Chickering, March 22, 1647, d. Nov. 27, 1675.
(6.) V. Sarah, 2 b. Sep. 10. 1624, m. Robert Onion, of Dedham.
(7.) VI. Elizabeth, 2 b. Oct. 4, 1626, m. Thomas Bancroft, of Reading, Sep. 15, 1648.
(8.) VII. Martha, 2 b. March 27, 1628, m. 1st. Wm. Brignall, 2nd Christopher Smith, Aug. 2, 1654, 3rd ____ Stow.
(9.) VIII. Thomas, 2 (22.) b. Dec. 27, 1629, m. 1st Sarah Paige, Sep. 12, 1655 or 6, 2nd Anne Paine, Dec. 2, 1679. He was Deac. at Dedham; d. Nov. 16, 1702.
(10.) IX. Ann, 2 b. March, 1, 1631, died young, in England.
(11.) X Jane, 2  b. March 24, 1632, m. Samuel Walker, of Rehoboth.
(12.) XI. Rebeka,2 b. April 5, 1635, m. John Mackintosh, of Dedham, April 5, 1659.

-p172 ibid

I'm descended from two of the daughters of Michael and Sarah (Elwyn) Metcalf: Elizabeth, who married 9x great grandfather Thomas Bancroft, and Martha, who married Nathaniel Stow.
The NEHGS Register article also contained an abstract of Michael Metcalf's will, which I'll discuss in the next post.

To be continued.

Monday, April 25, 2016


It's now time to turn attention to the families of the women who married into the Stow family,
beginning with my 8x great grandmother Martha Metcalf who was the wife of Nathaniel Stow.

Martha's father was Michael Metcalf and he left England because of religious persecution. Even
though he was a weaver by trade he was well educated, and is one of the few of my early colonial
ancestors who wrote about coming to New England, The following article in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register contains an abstract of a letter he wrote describing his troubles
in England and how he finally left there:  

                                                          METCALF FAMILY.
[Communicated by Dr. Luther Metcalf Harris, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Mass.]
Michael Metcalf, the emigrant ancestor of this family, was horn in Tatterford, county of Norfolk, Eng., 1586. He followed the occupation of a Dornix* weaver, in the city of Norwich, in the same county, where he was made freeman, June 21,1618. His wife, Sarah, was born in the adjoining town of Waynham, (?) June 17, 1593, where they were married Oct 13,1616. Their seven eldest children were born in St.Benedict's, Norwich, and four, afterward, at St. Edmondsbury. "I was persecuted," he writes, "in the land of my father's sepulchres, for not bowing at the name of Jesus, and observing other ceremonies in religion, forced upon me, at the instance of Bishop Wren of Norwich and his chancellor Dr. Corbet, whose violent measures troubled me in the Bishop's Court, and returned me into the High Commissioners' Court. Suffering many times for the cause of religion, I was forced, for the sake of the liberty of my conscience, to flee from my wife and children, to go into New England; taking ship for the voyage at London the 17th of Sep' 1636; being by tempests tossed up and down the seas till the Christmas following; then veering about to Plymouth in Old England; in which time I met with many sore afflictions.

Leaving the ship, I went down to Yarmouth, in Norfolk county, whence I shipped myself and family, to come to New England ; sailed 15th April, 1637, and arrived three days before midsummer, with my wife, nine children, and a servant." The name of this servant, appears to have been Thomas Comberbach, aged 16. (Manuscript of Hon. James Savage.)

The above extracts, we take from a copy of his letter, written in Plymouth, Eng., Jan. 13, 1636, on his voyage hither; directed, "To all the true professors of Christ's Gospel within the city of Norwich." In the postscript, he remarks, "my enemies conspired against me to take away my life, and, sometimes, to avoid their hands, my wife did hide me in the roof of the house, covering me over with straw."

History informs us, that one of the charges, brought against Bishop Wren, by a Committee of Parliament, was, that during the term of 2 years and 4 months, while he held the See of Norwich, "3000 of his Majesty's subjects, many of whom used trades, spinning, weaving, knitting, making cloth, stuff, stockings, and other manufactures of wool; some of them setting a hundred poor people at work;" "transported themselves into Holland," and " other parts, beyond the seas," in consequence of his "superstition and tyranny." [See Appendix to Dr. Lamson's Hist. Discourses.]

-p171   the new england historical & genealogical register for the year 1852 Volume 6  Thomas Prince, Printer And Publisher, Boston, 1852

Michael prospered once he finally arrived at Dedham, Ma. I'll discuss that in the next post about him.

To be continued...

Sunday, April 24, 2016


My Ohio relatives live near Holmes County, Ohio and the countryside is beautiful 

Friday, April 22, 2016


This week's Findmypast Friday releases include collections from England, Scotland, and Ireland:

This week we've added over 255,000 new records including:

Easter Rising & Ireland Under Martial Law, 1916-1921
Discover your family member among more than 75,000 names of those who participated in or were affected by the Easter Rising of April 1916 and the Irish War of Independence. Try our new browse 
version »

Britain, Directories & Almanacs
Search 90 new volumes of late 19th and early 20th century Kelly's street directories to find out if your ancestor was a prominent local figure or if they owned a business. The Victorian Yellow Pages »

Scotland Registers & Records
We've added more than 4,600 new records from Banffshire and Morayshire to this essential Scottish collection. Uncover historic maps and the details of ancestors who were born, married, and died in these counties. Learn about your Scottish roots »

Coming soon
If you have have ancestors from Yorkshire, England, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for an exciting announcement in the coming weeks.
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.


The plan for Monday was to take Aunt Dot out for dinner that night, which meant Cheryl, Pete and I had time to do a little sight-seeing before that. We looked for a museum or historical site we hadn't visited on previous visits to Ohio and found the town of Roscoe Village.

Roscoe Village was one of the small towns that sprang up along the Ohio canal system in the 1800's and has been restored as a historical site as well as a business area. Many of the original brick buildings are still standing and it's a mix of restaurants and gift shops with exhibits set inside the homes and businesses of the original 19th century inhabitants.

At the Visitor Center we watched a short film about the history of the Ohio canal system and a tour guide showed us the dioramas about how the canal was constructed and it operated. Then Cheryl & Pete took the guided tour of the houses while I sat outside the Center and enjoyed the great weather. A former tour guide talked with me for a bit and told me we'd picked the best time to visit because once the weather warmed up there were a lot of mosquitoes because of the canal.

We headed back for Dover and then met up later with Aunt Dot and some of the cousins at one of the local restaurants where had a nice dinner and spent a few hours talking. But finally it was time to say goodbye for this trip.

We left for home early Tuesday morning, stopped over at Syracuse that night, and were back here in Abington by 1pm on Wednesday.

Thanks again Cheryl and Pete for taking me on a great road trip!

But wait! There's more!

To be continued. 


Last weekend I took a roadtrip out to Ohio with my sister Cheryl and brother in law Peter to attend
our Aunt Dot's 90th birthday party. It was a good trip with great weather. We've usually visited out
there in the Summer when it's hotter and tourist season, but in April it was comfortable weather with not much traffic. Also, I did a few things I don't usually do.

We left here on Friday afternoon, stopping overnight in Syracuse after dinner at a Dinosaur Barbecue restaurant (my first time at one of those). The next morning we were up early, taking a
route that would take us to Cleveland before turning south. Along the way I saw Lake Erie from a distance and miles and miles of vineyards. We stopped for lunch at a Mideastern food restaurant in Erie, Pa. It was the first time I'd eaten Mideastern cuisine and I liked it.(But then again, I ordered the least spiciest food on the menu. )

We arrived in Dover, Ohio Saturday night and we ate dinner at an old schoolhouse that had been converted into a wine bar. It was small but had a very good three man band I enjoyed listening to
while we ate our pizza.

Sunday we went to the nearby town of Midvale, Ohio to Aunt Dot's party. Although I took photos many were blurred because people kept moving around. Here's one of Aunt Dot with some of those moving people:

One of the nice things about the party was that Cheryl and I saw two cousins we hadn't seen in years, Terry and Marion, daughters of our Aunt Flossie. Here's the best picture I took of Aunt Dot, sitting with

The party was in the afternoon, with a cookout that night at my cousin Diana and her husband Gary's house. And unbelievably I didn't take any pictures at all there, because I was too busy eating and talking with Dot and all the cousins! Massive fail on my part.

To be continued....

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Today is the 241st Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington & Concord which
started the American Revolution on 19Apr 1775. They were celebrated yesterday 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 that they took part in those battles and served in the

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.

Monday, April 18, 2016


((I first posted this back in 2012 for the 237th anniversary of the Battles of Concord &
Lexington. I'm posting it again for the 241st anniversary. Many of my ancestors answered
the alarm on 19Apr 1775 and I'll republish a list of their names tomorrow.)) 

We've all heard about the "shot heard round the world" fired at Concord, but there's more to
the poem. So, in honor of the 241st anniversary of the Battles of Concord and Lexington, here's
Ralph Waldo Emerson's  "Concord Hymn":

Concord Hymn
Ralph Waldo Emerson

By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world.

The foe long since in silence slept;
Alike the conqueror silent sleeps;
And Time the ruined bridge has swept
Down the dark stream which seaward creeps.

On this green bank, by this soft stream,
We set today a votive stone;
That memory may their deed redeem,
When, like our sires, our sons are gone.

Spirit, that made those heroes dare
To die, and leave their children free,
Bid Time and Nature gently spare
The shaft we raise to them and thee.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


If you are of Irish descent and have family members who lived in Ireland during the Irish
War of Independence, this announcement from Findmypast is great news! 

Online publication of significant record set reveals the stories behind the Easter Rising
and Ireland under Martial Law

17 April: Findmypast launches online today the most complete collection of British War Office records relating to the Easter Rising and Irish War of Independence from 1916-1921. The collection, digitised from original records held by The National Archives in Kew, reveals the struggles of life under Martial Law in Ireland, and demonstrates how events under the occupying military served to galvanise support for the rebels.

Totalling more than 75,000 records, the collection will be free to access for ten days at from today, 17 April, in advance of the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising on    24 April 2016.

More than 3,000 people were injured or killed in a conflict which saw three civilians killed for every one rebel. The records reveal the impact that the conflict had on men, women and children across Ireland. There are eye-witness accounts, interviews with civilians and reports of the trials of the leaders of the Rising and their sentences of execution.

The once classified records shine new light on the subsequent period of Martial Law in Ireland which was declared by the Lord Lieutenant in 1916, including the War of Independence, when the British military assumed control of the executive, judiciary and legislative arms of the entire country.. The contents of the collection provide a picture of what life was like for ordinary citizens in Ireland during this turbulent time.

The 25,000 search and raid records show the efforts of the military and police to discover arms, ammunition and seditious material through thousands of raids as well as their search for individuals associated with Sinn Féin, Irish Citizen Army, Irish Volunteers and the Irish Republican Army.
Members of the public accessing the records on Findmypast will find the names of the thousands of people who were detained and interned in prisons in Ireland, England and Wales and tried by courts martial, including the names of prominent nationalists and elected officials.

Military correspondence between the barracks in Dublin and the War Office in London grants new perspectives on the motivations and fears of the British Army leadership. The movements and actions of several key nationalist figures are also documented, including those of James Connolly, Eamon De Valera, Thomas Ashe, Joseph MacDonagh, Arthur Griffith, Padraig Pearse and Francis and Hannah Sheehy Skeffington and Countess Markievicz.

Key items from the collection include:

Daily situation reports sent by the British Army from Dublin to London between 24 April and 12 May 1916 documenting events during the uprising

A report from the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief confirming the execution of iconic Irish socialist and rebel James Connolly, who owing to injuries sustained in the conflict had to be strapped to a chair before being shot

Court martial reports sentencing prominent nationalist, politician and suffragette Countess Markievicz to two years in prison for “assisting and promoting crime and murder”

Witness statements from civilians caught up in the Rising

Documents authored by Michael Collins seized from a safehouse used by the nationalist figurehead

Details on raids of pubs such as the Brazen Head, hotels, nationalist club houses such as the Ancient Order of Hibernians and thousands of homes

An urgent and secret warning from Sir C Spring Rice, British Ambassador in America, of gun running in Ireland

A telegram to the Prime Minister to report the expected surrender of the rebels from the Lieutenant General John Marshall

Internment files including the personal letters from prisoners or their relatives testifying to their innocence

Details on the hunger strikes of interned prisoners

Secret documents that reveal the British Military’s own concern with some of the behaviour of the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC)

Friday, April 15, 2016


This week's Findmypast Friday releases include  marriage and voting records, as well as more
British newspaper articles:

This week we're bringing you over 5.6 million new records and newspaper articles including:

British Newspapers
Over 3.9 million additional articles have recently been added, including nine brand new titles. We've also made substantial updates to 38 existing titles. The realities of life in historic Britain »

Suffolk Marriage Index
An additional 71,000 marriage records from over 200 parishes have been added, allowing you to trace your families English roots all the way back to 1538. Did they live during Henry VIII's reign? »

Kent, Bromley Absent Voters List 1918
Delve through a First World War absent voter list containing more than 9,000 names to find out if your ancestor was serving in 1918. These records reveal their service number, rank, regiment and home address. Who fought for King & country? »

Coming soon
Keep your eyes peeled as we will be making an exciting announcement regarding a new addition to our growing Irish collection within the next couple of days. If you had family living in Ireland during the Easter Rising, then be sure to pay close attention. The records you have been waiting for will be within reach very soon.
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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


The Red Sox ran a contest late last year and my brother Phil won tickets to this year's home opener.  He won because he told them how I took him to his first Red Sox game when he was a kid and now he wanted to take me to a game.

So yesterday Phil picked me up yesterday morning and we drove in to Boston. It was a cloudy day in the low 50's and very windy, but we both dressed warmly and were wearing the new Red Sox caps our sister Cheryl had given us for Christmas. Our seats were in right field and gave us a great view of the whole field. We took our seats about an hour before game time and had a conversation with a man sitting in front of us, who turned out to be the son of the great Sox third baseman of the 1950's, Frank Malzone.

Finally the pregame Opening Day festivities started. The giant flag came down over the left field wall and David Ortiz's 15 year old daughter sang the National Anthem.(The Red Sox had kept this a secret from him, so he was surprised.) She has a great voice and I suspect she is headed for a professional career.

Ortiz is retiring. This was his last Fenway home opener and the Red Sox had another surprise, this time for the fans; some of the all time Boston sports legends showed up to throw out the ceremonial First Pitch: Bobby Orr of the Bruins, Bill Russell of the Celtics, and Ty Law of the Patriots.

And finally it was time to play ball! The Sox took an early lead over the Orioles, lost it, took it back, and then finally lost 9-7.

But it was a good day out at the ballpark, and a good day out with my brother! Thanks Phil, for taking me out to the ball game!  

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Continuing the examination of my 7x great grandfather Nathaniel Stow, Jr.: images 8, 9, and 10 are
Thomas Stow's accounting of his activities as Administrator of the estate. It has entries for items that had been left off the estate inventory, debts paid, and things purchased for the family. The purchases
include new clothes for youngest brother Timothy,as well as molasses (several times) and sugar. Among the things subtracted are three swine that had been eaten. 

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.)Case21772 p.8

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.)Case21772 p.9

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.)Case21772 p.10

This is the easier part of probate files, straightforward lists (if they are legible) that give us information on how our ancestors lived.

To be continued.


4x great grandfather Melvin Stow is one of my more aggravating ancestors in seeking information about him online. I know he was born on 6 Jul 1774 at Sherborn, Ma., that he married Ann Mayhew at Charlestown, Ma on 15 Jun 1805, and that he died in Newry, Me. on 6 Apr 1839. He had at least two daughters (one of whom is my 3x great grandmother Luce (Stow) Coburn) and probably one son. And that's all I know for sure.

I've found Melvin listed on the Maine Federal Censuses for 1810, 1820, and 1830. His brother Andrew Newell Stow appears on the same page as Melvin does on the 1820 and 1830 Census, so I believe Andrew followed him there. Both of them were among the early settlers of the Sunday River Valley area of western Maine, but Andrew seems to have been more of a prominent citizen than Melvin since it is Andrew, along with his family, who is mentioned more often in the town histories.

1810 Census for Newry, Maine.

1820 Census for Newry, Maine.

1830 Census for Newry, Maine.

And to add to the aggravation Melvin's wife Ann is another brick wall. I'm still trying to discover who her parents were.

I'll keep digging away on them both!


Friday, April 08, 2016


The Findmypast Friday releases for 8April include two collections for a segment of Irish culture I haven't thought about before. Here's the announcement:

This week we've added over 2.2 million new records including:

Ireland, Society Of Friends (Quaker) Congregational Records
Learn about your ancestor's role within their local community with these fascinating congregational records. Uncover details of the meetings they attended and the activities they engaged in. Over 1 million records »

Ireland, Society Of Friends (Quaker) School Records
Search over 47,000 records, covering more than a century, to reveal your relative’s birth date, parents’ names, the school they attended and the date of their enrollment. Were they educated in Quaker schools? »

British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service and Pension Records, 1704-1919
Explore over 900,000 records to uncover previously unknown details of your seafaring relative's service with the Royal Navy or Royal Marines. You won’t find this resource anywhere else online. Welcome aboard »

 Despite their relatively small size, the Quaker community have kept the most complete set of records of any denomination in Ireland, making this new collection a veritable treasure trove for anyone with Irish Quaker ancestors.

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.

Friday, April 01, 2016


The Findmypast Friday releases this week focus on British school and baptismal records.
Here's the announcement:

This week we've added over 833,000 new records including:

National School Admission Registers & Log-Books, 1870-1914
The final batch of records in this project are now available to search, allowing you to uncover fascinating details of your ancestor's education such as exam results and any illnesses that led to absence. A rare glimpse into their early lives »


Worcestershire Baptisms
Over 8,900 records have been added to our collection of Worcestershire baptisms. Use them along with new additions to Worcestershire marriages and burials to flesh out your family tree. From cradle to grave »
Middlesex Baptisms, 1543-1876
Trace your family line back to the 16th century with over 129,000 new Middlesex baptisms. Search by name, date and location to find out how far back your Middlesex roots go. Delve in »

School records make exciting family history resources, as they provide an opportunity for you to discover ancestors as children, before they chose their profession, married or had families of their own.
Have a great weekend,

The Findmypast team

You can see all this week's releases here.

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.


((First published in October, 2011)) 

I got a kick out of several things in Samuel Stow's Revolutionary War Pension
file statement.

The first is the reference to his being made Sergeant Major because he was
a veteran of the French war of 1756.  I have many ancestors who fought in
the colonial New England Indian wars and I've written posts about some of
them, but this is the first time I've found a statement by one of them  concerning
their service. In this case the "French war" was the French & Indian War.

Another thing is Samuel's name dropping and telling tales on General Washington's
low opinion of the discipline of the troops. I first learned about Washington's
dismay over the Massachusetts militia a few years back when  I read David
McCullough's 1776. There's a lot I'm still learning about the Revolutionary War.
(Although I have a degree in History I was more interested in Ancient and Medieval
History when I was younger. Boy the stories I could tell about Achaemenids, Hittites
and Plantagenets....)

Since Samuel didn't have any documentation or witnesses I checked for his War
Record or the War Roll for his Company at Fold3. I found three images but they
seem to be for another Samuel Stow from a different regiment.

I didn't find any images there either of his Company's Roll. But a Google Search did
lead me to some more information. At this site I found out that Captain Bullard's first
name was Benjamin, Lieutenant Gardner's first name was Thomas, and the Ensign
whose name Samuel couldn't recollect was Joshua Leland. Samuel was listed as
one of four sergeants and one of the men in the Company had the unique name of
Perley Death!

From a site on the Massachusetts Line I was able to figure out that Colonel
Whitcomb was Asa Whitcomb, His regiment was originally designated the 5th
Massachusetts Bay Provincial Regiment and then became the  23rd Regiment of

Since Samuel didn't make claim to any other service after the Battle of Bunker Hill.
I'm guessing her was one of the men of the Massachusetts Militia who didn't enlist
in the Continental Army but instead went home to their farms(much to Washington's
chagrin). After all. Samuel had three young children at home all under the age of five
to feed, including my ancestor Melvin Stow!