Thursday, June 30, 2016


Elizabeth O'Neal has an interesting topic for her June Genealogy Blog Party

Which of your ancestors deserve to sit on the Iron Throne?

If I limit it just to my ancestors on this side of the Atlantic, I'd have to say 8x great grandfather
Simon Willard would be the best candidate. He was a pioneer of several towns west of Boston
in the old Massachusetts Bay Colony and held several positions in town governments. More
importantly, he had military experience leading troops during King Philip's War and at the age of
seventy led his troops on a wild ride through the night to save the town of Lancaster from an Indian attack. The only drawback in Simon's resume for the Throne is his family of twelve children,
all of whom lived to adulthood and seven of them were boys. Talk about a dynastic battle!

But I have a better and more experienced candidate further back on my family tree, and he's already royalty. Edward I of England certainly was ruthless enough to sit on the Iron Throne. He
fought in the Crusades before he became king, put down the revolt of Simon de Montfort, and
subdued the Welsh and Scots. (Remember Braveheart?). Even better, he possessed the other requirements for a king of Westeros. He had an overbearing mother, ambitious uncles, and a weak son with a notorious relationship with a male lover.

Yes, I think Edward I would be a perfect fit for the Iron Throne.


Here's last week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 25 June 1866 - 150 years ago.
2)  List your ancestors, their family members, their birth and death years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?
3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

On my Mom's side of the family, most of my ancestors were still living in Ireland,
Scotland, or Germany, and I have no record of where they were or might have been
in 1866. I haven't found much yet on my 2x great grandparents who were in this country, Patrick J White (1848- 1902) & Mary (Powers) White (1848-?) and their parents.
Part of the problem is the commonality of the Irish family names in a period when Massachusetts was seeing a great influx of Irish immigrants.

Even on my Dad's side with all his family living in Maine and New Hampshire
there are a few missing a date of death, so I don't know if they were even alive
in 1866. In those cases I've left their names off this post.

Anyway, here's what information I was able to find on the paternal side of my

My 2x great grandparents Asa F Ellingwood (1828-1921) and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood  (1832-1917)were living on a farm in Dummer, Coos, NH with their 8 children.. My 2x great grandmother Clara Ellingwood 1865-1901) was just 1 year old.

2x great grandfather Jonathan Phelps West (1834-1917) and his second wife Louisa A Richardson(1837-1925) were living on their farm in Upton, Me.

My 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames)West (1810-1907) was  a widow of 4 years, her husband John Cutter West having died in 1862. She was living on the farm in Upton, Me. with Jonathan and Louisa

My 2x great grandparents Nathaniel Barker(1794-1884) & Huldah (Hastings) Barker (1798-1884) were living  on a farm in Albany, Oxford, Me. My 3x great grandparents Nathaniel S. Barker(1830-1884) & Lucy (Coburn)Barker(1842-1904) were living with them. My great grandfather Frank W. Barker(1865-1905) was only 1 year old.

My 3x great grandparents Amos Hastings Barker (1828-1907) & Betsy J(Moore)Barker (1842-1924) were also living in Albany, Oxford, Me on another farm with their 6 children.

3x great grandmother Hannah (Upton)Moore Emery (1814-1896) was also living on a farm in Albany, Me with her second husband, Peter Emery.

3x great grandfather James Thomas Dunham(1805-1888) was in Greenwood, Me with his second wife, Polly Lowe.

3x great grandfather Wesley Coburn was a widower living in Albany, Maine.

That's all I know at present.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Findmypast sent me an email with the following announcement of a great deal to for the next 7 days:

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Salt Lake City, Utah, June 27th 2016

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Monday, June 27, 2016


For Week 24 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2016 it's time to turn to the family of Jeremiah Dean's
wife Mary Fisher, beginning with her great grandfather and immigrant ancestor Joshua Fisher. He
was the first of three with that name, and yet another of my ancestors who was a blacksmith.

Family genealogist Philip A. Fisher wrote this about Joshua:
2. Joshua2, son of Anthony (1) and Mary (Fiske) Fisher, of Syleham, England, was baptized there, Feb. 24, 1585; m. 1st,--------- ;m. 2d, Feb. 7, 1638, at Syleham, England, Anne Luson, a sister of John Luson, who also came to New England, settled at Dedham, and received his houselot there at the same time as the Fishers. Joshua Fisher came to New England in 1639, with his second wife, (Anne Luson), and daughter Mary. His son Joshua had preceded him, arriving some time in 1638; for on "The First of ye 11th Month (1638)," Jan. 1, 1638-9, Joshua, Jr., enters upon the lot granted the smith and is to hold it and make improvements for '' the behalfe of his Father wch is expected this next somer." Joshua was made a freeman, May 13, 1640; was a blacksmith by trade; settled first in Dedham, from there going to Medfield at its settlement in 1650. He drew his houselot in the center of the town of Medfield, where the house of William P. Hewins now stands. Was the first deacon in the Medfield church, and was a selectman in 1653 and 1655. The value of his property in 1652 was L180. In 1656 Joshua and Anne Fisher deeded part of the homestead and other property to their son, John Fisher (7); for an account of which see under John (7). The Medfield homestead was inherited by John3 (7), John4 (16), Samuel5 (37), and finally John6 (78), who, dying childless in 1802, left it to his nephew, Samuel Hill, of Medway. Joshua d. in Medfield, Nov. 9, 1674; his widow d. Jan. 27, 1676-7.-pp4-5

The children are listed as following:

Children b. in England, and by first wife, were:
Elizabeth3, bapt. at Syleham, England, July 3,1619; probably married aud settled in England; no record of her in New England.
6. Joshua3, bapt. at Syleham, April 2, 1621; m. 1st, Mary.Aldis, Nov. 15, 1643; m. 2d, Lydia Oliver, Feb. 16, 1654.
61. Mary3, b.------ ;m. Thomas Battelle, Sept. 5, 1648; d. Aug. 7, 1691.
7. John3, b.------- ;m. Elizabeth Boylston, April 6, 1658.

The Fisher genealogy: A record of the descendants of Joshua, Anthony, and Cornelius Fisher, of Dedham, Mass., 1630-1640   Massachusetts Pub. Co.,   Everett, Ma.  1898

I'm descended from Joshua Fisher Junior and his wife Mary Aldis.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


A few final thoughts about the case of Peter Weare's "fraudilent deed":

-Apparently the Selectmen of Hampton, New Hampshire weren't very optimistic that
 the Governor would rule in their favor.  They presented their petition on Nov 13, 1709,
but had begun selling off  town land lots to help pay the 50 pounds judgement against the
town plus whatever other court costs.

-Peter Weare and his father Nathaniel visited John Marston in Andover on May 13 1708 and said
that Marston was "in his right senses" when they saw him. But John Marston's will was filed with
the Essex County, Ma. Court at Ipswich three days earlier on May 10 1708, presumably three days before John's death. I have a copy of his probate file.

-I'm somewhat bemused that the Governor and his Council so readily accepted Nathaniel Weare's
word about witnessing  the transaction. He was, after all, Peter Weare's father. I can understand the Hampton selectmen thinking the deck was stacked against them. We can't know for certain from
across three centuries what was going on, but it sure seems fishy to me.

- I have not as yet found any record of the transaction between John Marston and Francis Page,
  nor of the one between Marston and Peter Weare.

-Finally, as to how I am related to some of the people involved in all this:
     John Marston was my 8x great grandfather.
     Francis Page was also my 8x great grandfather

     Peter Weare was a distant cousin. His granduncle was my 11x great grandfather, also named
     Peter Weare.

Friday, June 24, 2016


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Thursday, June 23, 2016


After finding that document concerning a petition by the town of Hampton NH to Governor
Dudley over a land deal between my ancestor John Marston and Peter Weare, I went looking
for more information on Google. Let me be honest here. I am not the best at understanding the
intricacies of some colonial documents, so I was looking to find something that would help me
make sense of the details in the town's petition.  Luckily I found this explanation in Joseph Dow's
History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire :


About this time, a controversy, which excited considerable interest, arose between Peter Weare and the freeholders and commoners, whom he "arrested," for not performing a grant to John Marston, late of Andover. At a meeting held by them, February 23, 1709, to consider the case, they authorized the selectmen to appoint an agent, with power of attorney, to defend them; agreeing that all charges incurred should be paid by the commoners, in proportion to their rights in the commons, and raised by the selectmen for the time being. Nathaniel Weare and Abraham Cole dissented.

This case was tried the next summer and decided in favor of the plaintiff, costing the defendants more than £50. The following autumn, the selectmen, in behalf of the freeholders and commoners, petitioned Governor Dudley concerning the case. The facts, as sot forth in the petition, dated November 13, were these : The suit was brought in consequence of the town not laying out a tract of land at the New Plantation, which at the date of the petition was in the town of Kingston. The grant in question had been made to John Marston, who had sold all his rights in Hampton, more than forty years before, to Dea. Francis Page, who had been in possession till the summer of 1708, when Weare produced a paper, purporting to be a deed of conveyance to him from John Marston, written and signed at Andover, and the same day acknowledged in New Hampshire, before Nathaniel Weare, Esq., the father of the grantee.

The validity of this deed was doubted. It had not been produced till after Marston's death, and it was represented as questionable, whether he was alive on the day of its date. It was also stated, that for several years previous to his death, ho had not, by reason of age, been of a sound and disposing mind and memory; that he had not been able to attend public worship, and far less able to travel in so short a time to New Hampshire, a distance of nearly twenty-live miles, to acknowledge a deed; nor would it have been necessary, for there were several Justices nearer, and, indeed, directly on his way. The petitioners further allege, that some of Marston's near relatives heard him say that Peter Weare had been to him, for the purpose of buying this land at the New Plantation, but that he had refused to sell it. Under these circumstances, it would seem reasonable that the plaintiff should have been required to prove the authenticity of his deed; but he insisted that, in order for a successful defense, it devolved on the town to prove that he had never received from John Marston any such deed. This might not have been easy to prove. The selectmen, therefore, as the agents of the freeholders and commoners, asked that Nathaniel Weare, Esq., should be required to state positively, whether he had ever seen John Marston in this province, since the date of the deed, claimed to have been given to his son, Peter Weare. Being questioned on this point, he stated before the governor and council, that Marston acknowledged the deed to his son, before him, at Andover, the 13th of May, 1708; and he declared that Marston was "then in his right senses."

This testimony, if not satisfactory, was direct and decisive, whatever may be thought of the validity of an acknowledgment made before a justice, when he was out of his jurisdiction.

On the 15th of September, the freeholders and commoners appointed Lieut. John Smith, Isaac Green and Ens. Samuel Marston, a committee, to join with the selectmen in selling some of the lots that had not been disposed of, in the north and west divisions, to satisfy the judgment that Peter Weare had obtained against the commoners, and to pay other charges incurred in the case. If the sales of these lots should fail to furnish a sufficient sum to pay all demands against them, then an assessment should be made ou all to whom shares of the commons had been granted

History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement in 1638, to the Autumn of 1892, Volume 1 Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, 1894 - Hampton (N.H.)

I'll have some thoughts & conclusion in the next post.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Here's an interesting story I ran across the other day that concerns some land my 8x great
grandfather John Marston owned in Hampton, New Hampshire, and what might have been
a bit of trickery pulled off by Peter Weare, who I believe is a distant cousin.

The particulars come from the New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, Vol. 9:

Petition of Abraham Drake and others about a tract of land in Kingstown.

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq. Capt. Generall and
Governour in Cheif in & over Her Majestys province of
the Massatusetts Bay & New Hampshir &c

The petition of ye selectmen of ye Town of Hampton in New Hampshire in behalf of ye freeholders & Comissioners of ye sdl town Humbly Sheweth

That your petitioners this last sumer had Judgment given in favour of Mr Peter Wear at two Courts the Charge where of cost them more than 50 pounds, for not laying out a Tract of land at a place formerly called New-plantation since called Kingstown which sd Grant was to John Marston who sold all his Rights in Hampton unto one Deacon Page more than 40 years since which sd Page hath ever since enjoyed his Rights & devisions of lands in Hampton above sd untill this last sumer ye said Peter Weare produced a pretended deed of conveyance from yc sd John Marston Writen & Signed at Andover & ye same day acknowledged by his Father Nathaniell Wear Esq. in New Hampshire by sd John Marston, which Deed is much to be suspected for a fraudilent Deed, for yt if ye said John Marston were living at ye time of ye Date of sd Deed which is much questioned, yett certainly he was dead before any such instruments appeared, and it is farther evident by testimonies of ye Reaverent Mr Barnard minister of ye town togeather with other principle men of Andover, yt ye sd John Marston by Reason of age had not been able for some years before his death to go to ye publick worship not of a disposeing mind & memory much less able to travill in so short a time to acknowledge a deed in New Hampshire when there were so many justices in his way thether, besides severall other tcstimoneys who are of ye sd John Marstons neer Relation who heard him say yt Mr Wear had been at him to sell him a piece of land at New plantation, but he would not do it. Wee therefore lay this our humble petition before your Excellency, together with ye Above mentioned Evidences and pray yt as ye said Nathaniell Weare Esq is in publickc place of trust, and whose signing an acknowledgment is of more value than two creadable Witnes & without which no Deed by Law can be executed nor Recorded, we pray yt ye said Esq. Weare may answer possitively whether he ever saw ye said John Marston of Andover in this province of New Hampshire since ye Date of ye said Deed made to his son Peter Wear by sd Marston, that so ye truth may appear, it being ye truth of all Testimony or Record yt makes them vallued, and ye said Esq. Wear hath been summoned to ye Court & paid his charge, yet will Say nothing but puts to prove possetively yt Marston did not grant to his son Peter or yt he was not .in ye province of New Hampshire to acknowledge it &c. The proceeding to ye finding out ye truth wee have no cause to dought but your Excellency will Justly do & your petitioners shall ever pray as in duty bound
Abraham Drake
John Moulton
Peter Johnson
Samuel Dow
Dated 13" of November 1708.

Certificate of Nathaniel Weare.
16 November 1708.
Nathl Weare Esq. being Exam'd before his Excellency the Governor and Council Whether he took the acknowledgment of one John Marston, formerly of Andover decd to a Deed of Conveyance from the said Marston to Peter Weare dated the thirteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and seven and now produced in court, and where the said Marston was when he acknowledged the said Deed and at What time.

Mr Weare Answered that he being at Andover the 13th day of May 1707 he went to the House of the said John Marston about noon and exhibited the above said Deed to the said John Marston since decd he being then in his Right senses and the said Marston did then & there of his own free & voluntary Will acknowledge the same to be his act and Deed.
Examd before publick Councill the i6,h Nov' 1708.

Provincial and State Papers, Volume 9 Town Papers  AMS Press New York, (no publication date.)

So, what did this all mean?

An explanation will be in my next post.

Monday, June 20, 2016


The subject for week 23 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is 7x great grandfather and my
source is again Marion D. Cooper's DESCENDANTS OF JOHN DEAN OF DEDHAM, MASS. :

JEREMIAH DEAN2, husbandman, b Dedham Mar 24, 1684-5 ch Uov 3, 1745
He styles himself "husbandman" in signing a deed.
His will (SR 51-181) was written Mar 25, 1747 at Dedham and
and was probated Feb 20 I756 He m at Dedham Jan 26,
1710-11 MARY FISHER [31} (DR 36) dau Capt. Joshua and Esther
(Wiswall) Fisher [13] She was b July 24, 1687 (Fisher Gen)
made a will (SR 69-249 July 9, 1770 which was probated Sept
7, 1770 Jeremiah Dean is mentioned in several places in the
Dedham Town Records in connection with surveys and apprais-
als. The last such mention was in March, 1735,  at which
time he was 50 years of age.

Ms. Cooper lists these children for Jeremiah and Mary Dean's family:

Mary b Dec 10, I711 d before 1747, m Dedham Dec ??,
1731 Isaac Bullard who was b Apr 4, 1709

Jeremiah II, b May 13, 1713 m-1 Mary Fisher  May 13, 1741
m-2 Rebekah Scott Nov 23, 1750

Joseph b June 3, 1715  married
-1 Martha Starr Jan 5, 1736
-2 Mary (Wight) Baker Jan 2, I753

Joshua3, b Aug 30, 1718 married
-1 Mary Macnab Feb 13,1746
-2 Mrs. Rachel Clark June 25, 1760
-3 Mary Morse May 9, 1782

Sarah h July 5, 1720 m Jonathan Starr Feh 22, 1737-8

Abigail b July 21, 1721  m Jan 2 , 1737 Nathaniel Dana of Boston

David, twin b.July 28 1723  d Jan 19. 1747

Jonathan, twin b.July 28 1723  d Jan 9. 1725

Esther b June 20, 1725 bapt June 26, 1726
d Dec 21, 1793 unmarried aged 68, "insane for many years,
died of a fever."

I'm descended from Abigail Dean and her husband Nathaniel Gay.

Saturday, June 18, 2016


In honor of Father's Day I'm posting pictures of some of the fathers on my family tree. From the Wests:

My Dad, Floyd E West, Jr.


Great grandfather Philip J. West, Cousin Stanley & Grandfather Floyd E West, Sr.

2x great grandfather Jonathan P.West & wife Louisa Almata (Richardson)West
3x Great grandfather John Cutter West
Some of the maternal grandfather's from Dad's family:

2x great grandfather Asa F Ellingwood & wife Florilla (Dunham)Ellingwood.

2x Great grandfather Amos Hastings Barker & wife Betsy Jane (Moore) Barker.
3x Great grandfather Philip Richardson

And the only picture I have from Mom's side of the family:
Great grandfather John McFarland & wife Annie (Kelley)McFarland.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Friday, June 17, 2016


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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.


Here's the transcription of my 8x great grandfather John Dean's will that was done by

In the name of God, Amen
Dedham Septemter the 30, 1727 I John Dean of the Town of
Dedham of the County of Suffolk within His Majesties Pro-
vince of the Massachusets Bay in New England Yoeman Having
been Some time thinking of Setling my Estate and heing now
Weak and infirm of Body But of a disposing mind am come to
a full determination to doe it as is hereafter expresed
therefore doe make & Ordain this my Last Will and Testament
That is to say Principally & First of all I Give my Soul in-
to the Hands of God that Gave it Hoping for Salvation
through the Merits of my Saviour Jesus Christ and my Body I
Recommend to the Earth to be Buried in Decent manner att the
descresshion of my Executors Beleving it Shall he Raised
again at the General Resurection by the Mighty Power of God —
And as Touching such wordly Estate wherewith it hath pleas-
ed God to Bless me in this Life I Give demise and dispose of
the same in following manner and form.

That is to say I Will and Ordaine that my Just Debts & Fun-
eral Charges be duly & Timely paied out of my Estate

Imprimus I Give and Bequeath to my Son John Dean toe what he
hath already had one Fifth part of all my stock and House-
hold Stuff (not otherwais particularly disposed of) to Him
and His Heirs for ever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to to my Son Ebenezer Dean toe what
he hath already had one Fifth part of all my Stock and
Household Stuff (not otherwais perticularly disposed of) to
Him and his Heirs forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Sary Harden one
fifth part of all my Stock and household Stuff (to what shee
hath already had) not otherwise perticularly disposed of to
her & her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Elizabeth Macknab
toe what She hath already had one fifth part of all my Stock
& Household Stuff (not otherwise perticularly disposed of)
to her & her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give and Bequeath to my Daughter Abigail Fairbanks
toe what She hath already had one fifth part of all my Stock
& Household Stuff (not otherwies perticularly disposed of)
to her her Heirs or Representitive forever.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my Gran daughter Sary Dean Daughter
of Joseph Dean upon Condition that She Lives with me as long
as I live) my Iron Pot and Citle & a pare of Sheets My bed
in the Chamber & my Fryingpan.

Item I Give & Bequeath to my Son Jeremiah Dean (In Consid-
ering that he has lived with me & been helpfull toe me &
done for me for this Severall Years & what he may still doe
for me) to Him And his Heirs forever my House my hom Lots
on both Sides the way with all the Rights Profits Priviliges
and Apurtenances thereuntoe belonging. And further I Give
& Bequeath to him my Carpenter & Husbandry Tooles & Utensils
& my part in the Oxen & Medow att Purgitory

And I Doe Make Constitute And Ordain My Two Sons John and
Jeremiah to be the Executors of this my Last Will & Testa-
ment & 1 Doe hereby utterly disalow Revoke & Disanull all
and every other & all other Wills Testaments & Bequests
Legacies & Executors by me any otherwaies before named.
Ratifying & Confirming this and noe other to be my last will
& Testament,

And. now to all you My Children I Doe In the Name of God and
with the Compasshion & Authority of a father Exhort & Charge
you that you be contented & satisfied with this my disposall
& cary it one towards another with the affections & cores-
pondence of Christians & Brethren & Sisters & Live in Love
and Peace & the God of Love & Peace shall be with you.
I Recomend you to God & the word of his Grace which is able
to Build you up & give you an Inheritance amongst them that
are Sanctified Amen

John Dean

Signed, Sealed, & Pronounced,
Published, & Declared by the
said John Dean, as his Last Will
& Testament, in ye presence of
us. the Subscribers-

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe Jr
James Richards Jr
Desember 4, I727

The said John Dean Did in Addition to his will Declare be-
fore these witnesses that Whereas he had don considerably
for his son Joseph Deceased in assisting him in purchasing
and building and other ways that his will further was that
the Children of his said Son Joseph should have Six pounds
to be paid to them equally divided Amongst them by my son
Jeremiah out of what I have given him.

John Metcalfe
John Metcalfe Jr
James Richards Jr

I was struck by that last paragraph. Was John Dean afraid that his children would
squabble over their inheritance? Or had there already been tension among them
before his death?

Thursday, June 16, 2016


This will begin a series of posts about the family of my 6x great grandmother Abigail Dean,
wife of Nathaniel Stow. As has happened in the past, researching a family line for the 52
Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge has pushed that line back another generation further. In
this case it's to my 8x great grandfather John Dean of Dedham, Ma.

John Dean's early years are a bit of a mystery. He apparently was born after the Great
Migration but there doesn't seem to be any record of his birth so far. I did find a family
genealogy by Marion D. Cooper on the Internet Archive entitled DESCENDANTS OF 
JOHN DEAN OF DEDHAM, MASS. I believe it was self-published in 1957. The pages
are not numbered. It contains a chronology of the various Dedham town offices John
Dean held after his arrival in town around 1672, and this information about his children:   

"JOHN DEAN, carpenter and husbandman, was born about 1650,
the place of  birth and his parentage "being un-
known." He married SARAH, date of marriage unknown,
although probably in I675 or I676. John and Sarah joined
the First Church of Dedham, Mass., on May 29_, 1726 (DC 80)
Sarah died May 20, I727 (DE 52) and John died Dec 13, 1727
(DR 55)* They had seven children, all of whom, exception-
ally for those times, grew to maturity. These children
were all born in Dedham.

*2 John2 b Apr 25, 1677 (DR I4)
m Hannah Savil (WRC, JWD)

3 Sarah b Dec 13, I678 (DR 16) j ch Sept 22, 1728 (DC 80)
d after Sept I727. m -----Harden (SR 26-90) No record
of marriage or children in Dedham.

*4 Ebenezer b May I7, 168I (DR 18)
m-1 Mary White Uov 25, I706 (DR J>S)
m-2 Judith lewis [3] (Lewis Gen)

*5 Joseph b Mar I4, 1683 (DR 18)
m-1 Mary Faxon May 7, 17 07, at Braintree (Br R)
m-2 Prudence Saunders May 25, I72I at Boston {JWD)

*6 Jeremiah b Mar 24, I684-5 (DR 21)
m Mary Fisher [31] Jan 26, I7II (DR 36)

7 Elizabeth b Oct 13, 1689 (DR 23) d before Sept I727
Mentioned as Elizabeth Macknab in her father's will
(SR 26-90) m Dec I7 , I718 John Macnab (DR 43) who was
b Oct 23, 1678 s James and Sarah Macnab (DR I6)

a Mary Macnab b Dedham Oct 5, 1722 (DR 48) d Dedham
Apr 12, 1756 m [32] Joshua Dean s [5] Jeremiah Dean
Feb 13, 1745-6 (DR 74)

b Sarah Macnab b Dedham Jan 4, 1724 (DR 51) m Mar 19,
1752 Seth Fuller, husbandman, of Dedham (DR 83)

c Abigail b May 2, I727 (DR 53) unmd in 1760

8 Abigail b June 12, I694 (DR 26) m at Dedham May 3, I716
Joseph Fairbanks [20] (DR 37) Her father's will mentions
"daughter Abigail Fairbanks." (SR 26-90) Joseph was a
great-grandson of Jonathan Fairbanks, who, in 1636,
built the "Fairbanks House" in Dedham, which was owned
and occupied by eight successive generations of that fam-
ily, and which stands to this day, now used as a museum
of early Americana. In this house Joseph and Abigail
raised their family of eight children..."

I'm descended from John Dean's son Jeremiah. Also, Abigail Dean's husband is my distant
cousin through our mutual ancestor Jonathan Fairbanks.

Ms. Cooper also did a transcription of John Dean's will, which I'll discuss in part 2.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


In my post about my ancestor Nathaniel Gay,  his wife is referred to as Lydia Lusher by the author of the book John Gay of Dedham, Massachusetts: And Some of His Descendants. He tentatively identified her as a daughter of Eleazer Lusher. The book had been published in 1879. Yet in the entry for John Gay on page 40 in The Great Migration, Lydia's maiden name is given as Starr.

So which was it?

 I searched Googlebooks and eventually found an answer in the Dedham Historical Register Vol 2. It was in an article entitled "Lusher Wills" written (ironically) by Frederick Lewis Gay, who'd written the Gay genealogy book twelve years earlier. Here's the part of the article that gives the explanation for the confusion:

 "...Maj. Eleazer Lusher left no descendants to continue his name ; and an examination of his will and that of his wife disproves the supposition, mentioned in the Register (p. 90) for July, that his blood was inherited by the children of Nathaniel and Lydia Gay. Nathaniel Gay named one of his children Lusher, and the name has appeared in successive generations of his posterity down to the present day. This repeated use of Lusher as a Christian name in the Gay family doubtless gave rise to the belief that the maiden name of Lydia Gay, mother of the first Lusher Gay, was Lusher, and that she was a daughter of Eleazer Lusher, one of the foremost men of Dedham in the early days of the town. The wife of Nathaniel Gay was Lydia Starr, niece of Mary, wife of Eleazer Lusher. From the light shed by one of the items of Major Lusher's will it will be seen that he had been regarded by Lydia Starr as standing in loco parentis, and it seems quite natural that she should have named one of her children for him from a sense of gratitude for the favors she had received during his life and later under his will.-pp131-132

Dedham Historical Register, Volume 2 , Dedham Historical Society, Dedham, Ma 1891.

So sometime after writing his earlier book, Frederick Lewis Gay must have started researching the Lusher family and discovered his error while reading Eleazer Gay's will, proving once again the value of probate files to genealogical research!

Friday, June 10, 2016


This week's Findmypast Friday releases for 10 June consist of a series of updates to their collection of UK parish records, including one parish with one of those unique English names:

This week we've added over 580,000 new parish records including:

Warwickshire, Birmingham, St Martin in the Bull Ring Parish Registers
Delve through baptisms, marriages and burials that took place in the parish of St. Martin's-in-the-Bull-Ring between 1554 and 1913. Birmingham's original parish church »

Surrey Marriages
Over 271,000 records have been added to our Surrey marriages index. The index now covers 178 parishes and will allow you to add new branches to your family tree. Here comes the bride »

Warwickshire Burials
Uncover the final resting place of your Warwickshire ancestors with 175,000 new records that reveal when they died, the names of their parents and the location of their grave. Where were they laid to rest? »

Research Tip
If you find an ancestor's baptism, marriage or death within our collection of UK parish records, be sure to try a quick search of our historic newspapers. You may find a report on the event in the form of a family notice which may reveal additional valuable information.
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.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016


The subject for week 21 of 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks is my 8x great grandfather Nathaniel Gay.
 Here's his biography in Frederick Lewis Gay's family genealogy:

3. Nathaniel2 (John1), b. Jan. 11, 1G43; admitted freeman, May 23, 1677; selectman, 1704 and other years. His father left to him a tract of land near Medfield, and confirmed a gift of lands in "Pecumtuck alies Derefeild in Hamshier." His wife was Lydia Lusher (dau. of Eleazer Lusher?). His will, dated Feb. 16, 1712, and proved March 20, 1712, appoints his wife Lydia and sons Nathaniel and Lusher executors. In it he says: "Whereas I have been att considerable expense in bringing up rny son Ebenezer Gay fitt for, and in placeing him at Harvard Colledge in Cambridge, where he now remains, I do appoint that ye charge of his further continuing there until the takeing of his first degree shall be payd and discharged out of my estate, which shall be reckoned and accounted unto him as his full share of my estate." His estate was valued in the inventory at £227 19s. 6d. He died Feb. 20, 1712. His wife Lydia died Aug. 6, 1744, aged 92. They had:
i. Benjamin, b. May 3, 1675; d. Aug. 1, 1675.
ii. Nathaniel, b. April 17, 1676; d. May 1, 1676.
iii. Mary, b. March 30, 1677; m. Jabez Pond, Jan. 11, 1699.
iv. Lydia, b. Aug. 12, 1679; m. Thomas Eaton, Oct. 5, 1697.
9. v. Nathaniel, b. April 2, 1682; d. May 25, 1750.
10. vi. Lusher, b. Sept. 26, 1685; d. Oct. 18, 1769.
vii. Joanna, b. Sept. 3, 1688; m. Ephraim Wilson, Dec. 19, 1706.
11. viii. Benjamin, b. April 20, 1691. ix. Abigail, b. Feb. 15, 169-1.
12. x. Ebenezer, b. Aug. 15, 1696; d. March 18, 1787.

John Gay of Dedham, Massachusetts: And Some of His Descendants  DAVID CLAPP & SON, PRINTERS. Boston, Ma. 1879

I get a kick out of the spelling of  "Derefeild in Hamshier" (Deerfield in Hampshire{county}) as well
as seeing it's original Native American name.

But this entry raises a question about the maiden name of Nathaniel's wife Lydia, which is given here as Lusher. That's not the information I had, so I wondered if what I had was wrong.

The answer will be in my next post.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016


The other day my distant cousin Kimberly Gautreau received a mixed bunch of tintypes and photographs. Unfortunately there were no names on them, so Kimberly asked me to take a look at
some she had posted on her Facebook page. There was one I recognized right away as being a picture
of my 3x great grandfather John Cutter West, and another that I am pretty sure is Arvilla(Ames) West,
John's wife. I already had pictures of them both from my Aunt Dorothy that I could compare with the ones Kimberly had.

Here's the picture I already had of John:
And here's the one Kimberly has:

This is the picture of Arvilla I already had:
And here's the new one that I believe is her:
Looking at the two, I see similarities in the nose, mouth and forehead, but especially the droop in her left eye. Or am I imagining things?

I was unable to help Kimberly identify the rest of the pictures which probably are members of the family of Abel Gage Marston and his wife (my 2x great grandaunt)Ann Matilda West, who was John and Arvilla's oldest daughter.

Thank you Kimberly for letting me share these on my blog!

Monday, June 06, 2016


Samuel Dana, my 7x great grandfather, married Abigail Gay. Her line goes back to immigrant
ancestor John Gay, my 9x great grandfather.

Distant cousin Frederick Lewis Gay wrote a Gay family genealogy which begins with this
short sketch of our mutual ancestor:

 1. John1 Gay emigrated to America about 1630. He settled first at Watertown, and was a grantee in the Great Dividends and in the Beaver Brook plowlands, owning altogether forty acres. He was admitted freeman May 6, 1635. With others of Watertown he was one of the founders of the plantation at Dedham, his name appearing on the petition for incorporation Sept. 6, 1636, and among the original proprietors of lands. He was one of the selectmen, 1654. He died March 4, 1688. Joanna, his wife, died Aug. 14, 1691. She is said in family tradition to have been widow Baldwicke before her marriage to John Gay. His will in the Suffolk records, dated Dec. 18, 1686, was proved Dec. 17, 1689, his wife Joanna and son John being the executors. His estate was valued in the inventory at £91 os. 8d. His children were:

2. i. Samuel, b. March 10, 1639; d. April 15, 1718. 

    ii. Hezekiah, b. July 3, 1640: d. Nov. 28, 1669. 

3. iii. Nathaniel, b. Jan. 11, 1643; d. Feb. 20, 1712.

    iv. Joanna, b. March 23, 1645; married, first, Nathaniel Whiting, Jr.; married, second, John Ware, of Wrentham, Jan. 1680.

4. v. Eliezer, b. June 25, 1647; d. April 13, 1726. (Wrongly called Ebenezer by Savage.) 

    vi. Abiel, b. April 23, 1649; married Daniel Hawes, Feb. 23, 1677. 

    vii. Judith (called Judah in her father's will), b. April 23, 1649 (twin) ;
    married John Fuller, Feb 8, 1672.

5. viii. John, b. May 6, 1651; d. Nov. 19, 1731.

6. ix. Jonathan, b. Aug. 1, 1653.

    x. Hannah, b. Oct. 16, 1656; d. Feb. 26, 1660. 

    xi. Elizabeth, date and place of birth unknown; married Richard Martin. 1660 (see Keg. ante, vol. xix. 168) ; not mentioned in her father's will
. -page 3

John Gay of Dedham, Massachusetts: And Some of His Descendants  DAVID CLAPP & SON, PRINTERS. Boston, Ma. 1879

Since that was written it's been determined that John's wife Joanna was the widow of a John Borden
of Watertown, Ma. when she and John were married and that she had at least one child by him.

I'm descended from Nathaniel Gay, John's second son, and I'll discuss him in the next 52 Ancestors

Friday, June 03, 2016


 Here's the FindmyPast Fridays record releases for 3Jun 2016:

This week we've added over 890,000 new records including:

Ireland Surnames & Family Histories
Discover more about your Irish family name and history with a collection of nine assorted publications containing more than 7,000 individual records. Explore the origins of your family name »

Devon, Plymouth Prison Records 1832-1919
Find out if your ancestor was a prisoner or prison officer in Devon in the 19th or early 20th century with over 13,000 records. They can reveal where they were sentenced and for how long. Uncover black sheep hiding in your family tree »

British Royal Navy & Royal Marines Service and Pension Records Browse, 1704-1919
Browse this collection of Royal Navy and Royal Marine service and pension records to uncover the stories of men who fought in some of history's greatest naval battles. All at sea »

We hope you enjoy exploring this week's new additions. If you have any queries or comments for us, or family history discoveries you'd like to share, get in touch here. We love hearing from you.
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.


I'd fallen behind on my 52 Ancestors  during and after my recent trip which is the reason behind
the recent flurry of posts. With this one, which concudes the series on my Dana family ancestors,
I'm almost caught up.

Sadly, I haven't found much online as yet for my 6x great grandfather Nathaniel Dana. William Richard
Cutter has very little to say about him:

(IV) Nathaniel, son of Samuel Dana, was born in Cambridge, February 1, 1717, and is said to have died of small-pox. He married Abigail Dean, born June, 1722. Children: Nathaniel, born July 24, 1739, died December 9, 1739; Nathaniel, November 14, 1740; Mary, October 22, 1742, died June 6, 1749; Ephraim, September 26, 1744; Abigail, June 6, 1746; David, September 12, 1748, died December 30, 1754; Calvin, October 27, 1751, died 1776; Joanna, December 13, 1753; Rebecca, November 5, 1755; Samuel, July 5, 1757, died October 17, 1758; Sarah, August 25, 1759; Experience, May 24, 1761;-p1143

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 Lewis historical publishing Company, N.Y., N.Y., 1914

I hate the phrase "... is said to have (fill in the blank with "died" "married", etc)...". Nathaniel's death
isn't recorded in Cambridge so I haven't a date for it,

Nathaniel Dana had eleven children, four of whom died young. I'm descended from daughter Abigail 
who married Samuel Stowe.