Sunday, December 31, 2017


Since  I wasn't successful in fulfilling all my 2017 geneaplans, I'm realy going to try harder on some of them next year, especially those which require that i get out on the road and go somewhere. This list for 2018 is the first where I haven't resolved to break down the John Cutter West, since that finally happened in 2017.

Items in boldface are 2017 plans  that I didn't work on at all so I will be concentrating on them more in 2018

1.Continue adding more of my ancestors siblings and their lines to my database.

2. Get off my butt and actually visit the places my ancstors lived and are buried here in Massachusetts. I didn't do any road trips in 2017. Getting out of my apartment oncethe weather turns warm is better for my health, too.

3.This year I'm  going to set a more praactical goal for my blogging: to reach at least 200 posts in this blog and to post anything, anything at all, in my Graveyard Rabbits  blog.

4. Take and post more photos for Find A Grave. Another way toi get me off my butt and out of the apartment.

5. Continue to stay organized:  Keep putting images  I download into  the folder they belong in immediately,

6. Transcribe more of the wills and probate files I've downloaded already.

7. Find and download the wills and probate files of female ancestors.

8.  Keep working  on  the timeline for my ancestors who were involved in the Colonial New England Indian wars, including those who were captured.

9. Go back and finish the series about the "Hot Mess" probate file of ancestor Nathaniel Stowe which I forgot to finish in May 2015. (Probably because it's such a "hot mess").

10. Write more  about my ancestor Gov. John Endecott. I keep pushing it aside, I think, because he did somethings that were nasty.

11.Keep having fun with genealogy!

There they are. I hope I do better in 2018 than I did in 2017!

Saturday, December 30, 2017


Before I make my "geneaplans" for 2018, let's see what they were for 2017 and how well I did fulfilling them. My comments on how I did on each are in red type:

 1. Remember to add more of my ancestors' siblings to the family tree. Most of the ones I need to work on are in the older colonial families in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Result: Moderate success. I need to do more, though.

2.  Make a better effort to get out to the towns where my ancestors lived  and take photos of their homes and headstones.This will have to wait until the snow and mud seasons are over.

Result: Abject failure. I visited none of them this year. I don't know why I didn't feel enthusiasm for this .

3. Continue reaching my goal of surpassing my previous year's total blogposts on West In New England, and post much more on The Old Colony Graveyard Rabbit(I won't set a goal for OCGR because when I've done it in previous years I usually fail miserably).

Result: Failed. I got distracted by the DNA test results, and earlier in the year I slacked off for several weeks. As a result I spent much of the year playing catch up. While I did end up with over 200 posts, I fell far short of last year's 240.  

4. Keep posting photos of headstones in Mt. Vernon Cemetery to Find A Grave and fill more photo requests. The latter is another activity for after the snow and mud seasons.

Result: Another failure. Another case of slacking off.

5. Stay organized:  Keep putting images  I download into  the folder they belong in immediately,

Result: Success. I've mangaed to keep this one at least.

6. Transcribe more of the documents I haven't done yet.

Result: Did some, but not enough.

7. Find and download the wills and probate files of female ancestors.

Result: Another abject failure. Didn't do a one of them.

8.  Research and write up the timeline for my ancestors who were involved in the Colonial New England Indian wars,

Result: Moderate success. Timeline is started but still adding more names.

9. Finish the series about the "Hot Mess" probate file of ancestor Nathaniel Stowe which I forgot about last May. (Probably because it's such a "hot mess").

Result: Abject failure #3. 

10. Get around  to writing  about my ancestor Gov. John Endecott. I keep pushing it aside, I think, because he did somethings that were nasty.

Result: Incomplete. I only wrote one post and there is so much more to do.

11. Keep whacking away at that John C Cutter brickwall.

Result: The biggest success of the year thanks to the DNA test that pushed my West line back to Francis West of Duxbury, Ma. , my immigrant West ancestor!

12. And finally, as always, keep having fun researching my family tree.

Result: I'm still having fun!

I need to do better next year!

Friday, December 29, 2017


Edmund Ingalls is both  my 10x great grandfather AND my 8x great grandfather. The first is through his daughter Elizabeth, who married the Rev. Francis Dane; the second is through his son Henry, on the other side of Dad's family. Here's what William Richard Cutter has to say about Edmund Ingalls:

(I) Edmund Ingalls, immigrant ancestor, was son of Robert and grandson- of Henry Ingalls, and was born at Skirbeck, Lincolnshire, England, about 1598. He came to Salem, Massachusetts, in Governor Endicott's company in 1629, and with his brother Francis and four others settled in Lynn, where they were the first settlers. His name is found often on the records of the town, and he was a promnent citizen. Once he was fined "for bringing home sticks in both his arms on the Sabbath day." In March, 1648, while travelling to Boston on horseback, he was drowned in the Saugus river owing to a defective bridge. His will was proved September 18, 1648. He married Ann . Children: Robert; Elizabeth, born 1622, died June 9, 1676; Faith, 1623; John, 1625; Sarah, 1626; Henry, 1627, mentioned below; Samuel, 1634; Mary, married John Eaton; Joseph, died young.-p1010

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 publisshin Company, N.Y. N.Y.,1913

Monday, December 25, 2017


The following story about my 9x great grandfather Rev. Francis Dane from Sarah Loring Bailey's Historical Sketches of Andover is the only piece of writing  we have from him, and it is a touching one:

There is no trace of the minister's grave, nor any sermon or memorial of his ministry, except a manuscript record book, and an autograph letter or petition regarding the witchcraft.

The record book contains a rhymed account of his difficulties and perplexities in search of a second wife : —
". . . . Long have I looked about
 But could not I ye Matron yet find out
 But some objections crosst my purpose so
 As yet I sayd I know not vvt to doe ....
  I sometimes heere and sometimes there have sought
 To see if I the thing could bring about
 That might best suite mee in my pilgrimage,
 And match to one who's sober, chaste, and sage,
 That's Loving, meeke, no Tatler, not unruly
 That loveth goodness & yt hath a mind
 To Conjugal subjection inclined;
 In such a blessing may I have a share
 For other things I need not much a whit to care.
 A vertuous wife's her husband's crowne & shee

                                                  I crowned )
With immortality shall I cloathed J bee.
Who doth her find hath gret cause to confesse
The Ld's free favour & his name to bless.
Let every Xhian ply ye throne of Grace
That with a meete help hee may run his Race.
I bow my knee & humbly do implore
God's tenderness towards mee therefore." 

Historical Sketches of Andover: (comprising the Present Towns of North Andover and Andover)
Houghton Mifflin  And Company, Boston, Ma. 1880 -

Francis' first wife,  had died in June 1676. Considering he had children of various ages, and he had a limited income as a minister (more on that in a future post), he must have thought his prospects for finding a second wife were dim. But he did wed a second wife, a Mary Thomas, sometime in 1677.
And when she died in 1689. he wed for a third time, this time to  widow Hannah (Chandler) Abbott, my 9x great grandmother through her marriage to my ancestor George Abbott Jr. This last marriage lasted until Francis' death in 1697.

Saturday, December 23, 2017


There's a lot of information about my 9x great grandfather Rev. Francis Dane, most of it centering around the Salem Witch Trials. I hope to write a lot in 2018 about those in the coming year. So for this post I'll use this from Sarah Loring Bailey's History of Andover:

The Rev. Franc1s Dane, the second minister of Andover, is also named by Cotton Mather among the young men who finished their studies in the colony before the college conferred degrees. His name is found among the early residents of Ipswich, 1641. "He removed to Andover, 1648," says Felt's "History of Ipswich." He was son of John Dane, settler in Ipswich and Roxbury. No contemporary biography of him has been found. His name does not occur in Sprague's "Annals of the American Pulpit," although he had an important part in the colonial history. He was pastor at Andover over forty-eight years (1649 to 1697). No church records of his ministry are preserved. The history of his pastorate is chiefly gathered from the town, county, and colony records, and, therefore, pertains rather to his secular than to his spiritual influence and interests, but his notebook recently brought to light has some fragments of interest, among them a creed evidently of his own composition, or rather compilation. It is, though moderate in doctrine, in substantial agreement with the creeds accepted in New England. One clause is as follows : —

"I believe y' y* Catholic or universall church consists of all those throughout the world that doe profess ye trew Religion, together with their children, and in ye Kingdom of yc Lord Jesus, and ye house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of obtaining Salvation."

 -pp 420-421

Historical Sketches of Andover: (comprising the Present Towns of North Andover and Andover)
Houghton Mifflin  And Company, Boston, Ma. 1880 -

Ms. Loring gives this information about his family:

Mr. Dane died February 17, 1697, aged eighty-one years. He was married three times: to Elizabeth Ingals, before 1645, who died 1676; to Mary Thomas, 1677,J who died 1689; to Hannah Abbot, widow of George Abbot, 1690; she died 1711. He had two sons, Nathaniel and Francis, and four daughters, Elizabeth (Johnson), Hannah (Goodhue), Phebe (Robinson), Abigail (Faulkner). He willed his house to his son Nathaniel, and also gave him a silver cup. His son, Lieut. Francis Dane, was one of the original members of the South Church. He died 1738, aged eighty-two. -pp423-424

There's more about Francis Dane's ministry and the witchcraft controvery which I will discuss at another time. But is something else that gives an insight into his life, and I'll post about that next.

To be continued.


Dear Genea-Santa,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! My John Cuter West brickwall came tumbling down this
year thanks to the DNA test, but I'm certain you had something to with it. So next year I'm
keeping my wish list down to just a few things.

If you could help get some of my newfound White family DNA matches on Ancestry to answer
my email inquiries that would be great. And could you maybe give some of those myriad DNA matches with private trees or no trees to unlock or post trees so I can figure out how we connect?

And please give me a nudge to get out and visit  more of the towns and cemeteries connected with my ancestors, once the weather turns warmer? I really need that nudge.

Other than that, I'm good for next year.

Thanks again1

P.S. Please help my genealogy friends with their brickwalls, too!


Thursday, December 21, 2017


 It's become a Geneablogger tradition to join our friend footnoteMaven in the annual Blog Caroling Event, when geneabloggers post their favorite Christmas carols. 

This year, my choice is one that our late Mom loved. Mom had a good voice and would 
sing along to the versions sung by Andy Williams or Nat King Cole when she played their
Christmas albums. I think she would have liked Josh Groban's rendition as well. (I'm pretty
sure she would have been a big Josh Groban fan.)

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.
Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from the Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weaknesses no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Before Him lowly bend!
Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


Every Christmas Mom would break out the Andy Williams
Christmas Album to play on the stereo. There was also a Nat
King Cole album and a Mitch Miller “Sing Along With Mitch”
Christmas edition. But for me, even rock and roll dinosaur
that I am, it’s the Andy Williams album that “feels” like
Christmas to me. I need to hear that "It's the Most
Wonderful Time of the Year."

As I’ve gotten older and my musical tastes expanded, I find
myself listening to New Age and Celtic Christmas music. And
Josh Groban just put out a holiday album that we’ve played at
the bookstore since Thanksgiving and it’s easy on the ears.

As for caroling, well, there are some things that one should
never do in public and in my case, singing is one of them!

2010 Update: I splurged this year for the "Now That;s What
I Call Christmas Essentials Collection." It has the Andy Williams
song and Nat King Cole's version of "Christmas Song" on it,
and I plan to play it Thursday afternoon on my day off!

2011 Update Now that Borders has gone out of business and
I avoid the radio stations doing the "All Christmas, All the Time"
since mid-November, I haven't burned out on Christmas music
as early as previous years. But unfortunately, I am now tired of
"It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year". Staples use of it
in the back to school ads was funny. But this year, the song has
been overused by retail stores and car dealerships so much
that it's like beating a dead reindeer! Bah, humbug!

2012 Update: My favorite piece of Christmas music this year
is this performance by Jimmy Fallon, The Roots, and Mariah
Carey. It makes me smile.

2013 Update: One of the things I've noticed since I no longer
work at Borders is I don't find Christmas music as grating as
I did for all those years when I heard it all day long at work. I
have some Celtic Christmas music collections Cds I will start
playing soon here at home, I think. There's also a local PBS
radio show "Celtic Sojourn" that puts on an annual live stage
and this year there is a tv special of it I want to see

2014 Update:
WGBH is showing a taping of "A Christmas Celtic Sojourn"
from a few years ago this year on tv. If you can find it, I think
you'll enjoy it:

2015 Update

 I've been listening to Christmas music on Pandora this year while working on my genealogy research. I haven't any new favorite this year so far, but if I find one I'll blog about it here.

2016 Update

This year my favorite piece of Christmas music is Loreena McKennit's

2017 Update:
Things have come full circle. I have a Kindle Fore tablet and I'm listening to the
Andy Williams and Bat King Cole Christmas albums. I even found some Sing Aong
with Mitch Christmas song!


 ((originally posted in 2007))

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


As I mentioned in my last post, I found the Probate File for my 10x great grandfather John Dane. The images were over at  Here's the will:

Suffolk County, MA: Probate File Papers.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2017 
Suffolk Cases 1-1999

As you can see the writing is a bit difficult to read, but luckily I found an abstract on Googlebooks:

John Dane.—[On file in his own handwriting.] Vpon the sevth day of the seventh month in 1658.—To son John Dane, ten pounds out of my now dwelling house, which will appear in deed, dated 2d. feberi in fift one [1651.]—To son Francis my wood lot, about two & twentie ackers, mor or les, as it doth appear in Town-book.—To dafter Elizabeth How, a black cow now att Andiver in the hand of Georg Abet [Abbot] to be deliuered to her after my deseas emediatly.—To Son John Dane, on feather bede &, on feather boster &, two fether pillows &. a yellow rugg, & also a pewter platter.—To son Francis, on great ketle, also on flaxen sheet & a saver. —To dafter Elizabeth How, a litl kittle, &, on pewter candlestick.—To Son Frances, my old black cow, now at Roxburie, 6s my bible.—To louing wiff Anic, whom I mak sooll exseekitrix all my movable goods that is not expressed
In witnes heer vnto I hav set my hand this
seventh day of the seventh month 58 By me  John Dane
Isaac Heath,
John Johnson, Isack Morrell.
At a county court held at Boston 16 Oct. 1658, Mr John Johnson deposed that he saw Jn° Dane sign & publish it as his last will, &c.

the new england historical and genealogical register for the year 1855  Volume IX, Samuel  G. Drake,Publisher, Boston, Ma. 1855

Two points of my family history interest in the will. First, John Dane's second wife Anic/Annis, is my 10x great grandmother through her first marriage to my ancestor William Chandler,

And the George Abbot mentioned in the will as having the black cow is my 9x great grandfather.

I wish I could decipher the crossed out part. It looks to be something John had left his wife's daughters from her first  marriage and then he changed his mind.

Monday, December 18, 2017


My ancestress Hannah (Dane) Phelps  was descended from my immigrant ancestor(and 10 ggf) John Dane. While his family would play a prominent part of Andover, Ma., John spent most of his life in Ipswich and then Roxbury, Ma.

Here's his entry in one of William Richard Cutter's books:

John Dane (1), of Berkhamsted. Bishop’s Stortford, Herts, England, and of Ipswich and Roxbury, Massachusetts, died at Roxbury, September 14, 1658, married first, ———-: married second, July 2, 1643, Agnes Chandler, widow of \Villiam Chandler,  of Roxbury; she married third, August 9, 1660. John Parminter. of Sudbury, Massachusetts. Children: 1. John, see forward. 2. Elizabeth, died at Ipswich, Massachusetts, January 21, 1693. married James How, who died at Ipswich, May 17, 1702. 3. Francis, minister at Andover, Massachusetts, died there February 17, 1696-7; married first, Elizabeth Ingalls, who died at Andover, June 9, 1676; married second, September 21, 1677, Mrs. Mary Thomas, who died February 18, 1688-9; married third, 1690, Mrs. Hannah (Chandler) Abbot. who died June 2, 1711.-p29

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 1, Lewis historicak Publishing Company, New York, New York 1908

I've found his Probate File and will discuss that next.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


((First published Dec 2011))

It may not snow every Christmas but there is one thing of which we can be
certain:  the 24 hour "A Christmas Story" marathon on cable tv. Now some
folks might be tired of seeing the movie but to me it is like looking back at
my own childhood. No, Dad didn't win a Leg Lamp(and no way our Mom
would have let him put it in her living room if he had) but there are certain
things in the film that bring back memories for me:

1. Ovaltine- Yes, I drank Ovaltine when I was a kid, but by the time I came
along in 1948 Little Orphan Annie was no longer the big radio hit it once was.
In fact, when I was Ralphie's age it was Captain Midnight on tv who was telling
us to drink our Ovaltine.

2. The cars- There were still many of the older model cars around well into
the mid 1950's with cool things like running boards and rumble seats. The
nursery school I went to in Malden, the ABC Nursery School, used to pick up
students in a big old car with a rumble seat and I dimly remember riding in it.

3. The clothes- Here's a picture of me with Santa. As I've said before, stick a
pair of glasses on it and I could be Ralphie. And in the picture of the car above,
that's me (on the left) and my cousin Winnie (Winifred). While I can't recall if it
was hard for me to get around in a snowsuit, I do remember it seemed to take
HOURS to get in and out of it. And Randy looks a lot like one of my younger
White cousins trying to walk around in it once he was bundled up.

4. The school- The first elementary school I went to was the Linden School in
Malden, Ma which was a new building and very modern for the times. But when
I was eight years old we moved to Boston and I went to the Frank V. Thompson
Elementary School, an older building, and the classrooms looked very much like
Ralphie's: the blackboards, the shelves of books, the desks, even the windows!

5. The Lifebuoy- I told fibs when I was a kid. Several times I got the Lifebuoy in
the mouth punishment.  It tasted soap.  Blecch. No, I didn't go blind.

6.The BB Rifle- I don't recall hearing Red Ryder on the radio when I was a kid and
I don't remember ever seeing the tv series. It may have been on at the same time
as one of the other shows I would watch, like the Lone Ranger or the Cisco Kid.
But I do remember seeing the ads in the back of the comic books for a Red Ryder
BB Rifle from Daisy. I wanted one badly. Hey, with a last name like West, a guy just
had to dream about being a cowboy! And just like Ralphie, I heard the same
warnings from my Mom about shooting myself(or someone else) in the eye. Now
my Dad had grown up around guns and was a bit more sympathetic. After all,
he hadn't lost an eye (although he did shoot himself once in the foot with a .22).
So eventually my parents reached some sort of compromise and I got a bb rifle
either for Christmas or my birthday but my Dad was the keeper of the BB
pellets. Eventually the novelty of shooting a rifle that didn't actually have
ammunition wore off and the rifle ended up in the closet. It and the pellets
did, however, make a reappearance a few years later when we were living
in Abington and Dad used it to drive off the more persistent male dogs who
were uh....paying our female dog Brownie.

So that's why I like watching "A Christmas Story" every Christmas!

At least once, anyway.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


There's over 104,000 new records, mostly from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


New additions to the 1939 Register

60,000 ADDITIONAL RECORDS   New records have been opened up and are now available to search and explore. Exclusive to Findmypast, the 1939 Register allows you to find out what your ancestors were doing on the eve of the Second World War. Discover exactly what they did for a living, maps of where they lived and even who their neighbours were.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Vital Records 1706-1895

OVER 18,000 RECORDS Search vital records for births, marriages, and deaths reported in newspapers and town record transcripts from the city of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to uncover valuable details surrounding these significant life events.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Expenses of the Poor 1817-1838

OVER 1,000 RECORDS Did your Portsmouth ancestors fall on hard times? Discover when they received aid and uncover additional details such as family names and the amounts paid for supplies, as well as what the money went towards (e.g. room and board, clothing, etc.).

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Newspaper Abstracts 1776-1800

OVER 10,000 RECORDS Explore abstracts from the Federal Observer, Freeman’s Journal or New Hampshire Gazette, New-Hampshire Mercury, New-Hampshire Spy, Oracle of New Hampshire, and The Oracle of the Day to learn more about your ancestor’s life and struggles.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Warnings Out 1722-1769

OVER 100 RECORDS Was your ancestor driven out of town? “Warning out” was a method used in New England to pressure newcomers to settle in a different town or area. A notice or warrant would be issued by a town’s Board of Selectmen and served by a local constable.

Jersey Wills 1564-2000

OVER 14,000 RECORDS Explore this index of wills from Jersey in the Channel Islands to discover your ancestor’s name as well as the year, location, and original text of the document. The collection spans the years 1564 to 2000.


United States Marriages

New records: 10,946
Total records: 190,477,078
Covering: Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Discover: Couples’ names, birth years, marital status, age, parents’ full names, marriage date and location

Thursday, December 14, 2017


Just a few thoughts about the case and the people in it:

Whenever I find one of these cases the first thing I do is to see if the ages
of the people involved in the case are mentioned. Then I check them against
what I know about the family to see if they match up with the information
I have. For example, here's the family of Thomas and Hannah Chandler from
a Chandler family genealogy:

The children of Thomas and Hannah (Brewer) Chandler were:

i. Thomas, b. 2 Oct. 1652; d. 6 June, 1659, a. 7 years.
Salem Ilecords.

ii. John, b. 14 March, 1655 ; Andover ; m. 20 Dec. O. S. 1670,
Hannah Abbot.

iii. Hannah, m. 2 Dec. 1674, Daniel Bixby, of Andover.

iv. William, b. 28 May. O. S. 1659; m. 21 April, 1687,
Eleanor Phelps, by Rev. Francis Dane, of S. Andover.

v. Sarah, b. 20 Dec. 1661 ; m. 29 May, 1682, Samuel Phelps.

vi. Thomas, b. 9 Oct. 1664; m. 22 .May, 1686, Mary Peters,
by Major Saltonstall.

vii. Henrv, b. 28 May, 1667; in. 28 Nov. 1695, Lydia Abbot,
of Andover.

viii. Joseph.. b. 3 Aug. 1669; m. 20 Nov. 1691, Sarah Abbot.

Chandler, George The Chandler Family: The Descendants of William and AnnisChandler who Settled in Roxbury, Mass., 1637 (Google eBook)
Press of C. Hamilton,  Worcester, Ma. 1883

The case happened in 1678, and the ages given for the Chandlers are:
William, around 19 years old. (I have his birth year in my database as 1659)
Thomas, around 51 years old. (I have his birth year in my database as 1628)
Hannah, around  49 years old  (I have her birth year in my database as 1630)

That, plus the fact that William in my database is married to Elinor Phelps
makes me certain that this isn't another Chandler family.

Two of the witnesses in the case are also my relatives:
William Lovejoy is my 8x great grandfather,
John Ballard is my 8x great granduncle

-I am wondering how much Walter Wright was fined, No amount was given in
case file. And why was he let off so lightly? Were the knife wounds not as
serious as William Chandler testifies? Was there a sense that he had somehow
provoked Wright into the attack? Part of it might also be because Thomas Chandler
didn't seem to want to pursue the matter since he and Wright were neighbors.

-It seems our ancestors had a higher tolerance of pain than we do nowadays.
Even if the knife wounds were not serious ones, being slashed across your face
and in your hands and stomach must have really hurt. But the wounds were
"cured" (stitched?) by Return Johnson and everyone went back about their business. 

-Though the case was brought to court in Ipswich, the actual events took place in
Andover, Ma. where many of my paternal ancestors lived.

Finally, I think Walter Wright didn't follow through on his threat to shoot William
Chandler's horse.

If he had, I'm sure they would have ended up in court over it.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


((I'm reposting this from December 2014 because of my recent newer post about Thomas Chandler))

One of my best sources of information about my Essex County, Massachusetts ancestors
has been the Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts
free ebook editions on Googlebooks. I've gained some insight into the lives and
characters of ancestors from them, as wel as some great stories. This latest discovery
concerns the family of my 9x great grandparents Thomas and Hannah Chandler, in
particular a violent incident between their son William and a  neighbor, Walter
Wright. Remember, the grammar and spelling is exactly as written by the court clerks:   

Court Held At Ipswich, Nov. 6, 1678, By Adjournment.
Upon complaint against Walter Wright for drawing his knife and offering to stab William Chandler, he was fined.*

*Warrant, dated Oct. 29, 1678, for appearance of Walter Wright, upon complaint of Ensign Chandler that he had lately assaulted and wounded his son William Chandler with a knife, also for witnesses, William, Hannah, Thomas Chandler and John Carleton, signed by Daniel Denison,f for the court, and served by Thomas Ossgood,f constable of Andover, by attachment of house and land of said Wright.

Thomas Chandler's bill of cost, Hi. 14s.

William Chandler, aged about nineteen years, deposed that a month ago Goodman Right early in the morning came up to his father's house and deponent being in the yard, he said to him, "Will, I will shoot your horse: I said to him why: because sd he: he hath ben in my lot to night I replyed I ame sorre for that: for I did for git to fetter him to night: but I hop I shall doe so no more: but Goodman Right replyed and sd you will always forgit it: but I will goe home and charge my gun and shoot him for he hath don me forty shillings worth of hurt this sumer: then I replyed knowing how falce the thing was that it was more like to be forty lyes then Right replyed sarar I scorne to lye as littell as you or your father ether: upon his retorting upon my father I was provoked and went to him and tuck him by the coler and sayd to him if he wod not hold his tonge about my father I whould make him and so only at that time gave him a shuf from me but did not then strike him upon which the sd Right caled me Roge and in grat violenc dru his knife and sd I I voe Il stabe you and accordinly stroke me with his knife twise upon the brest or belle be for I cold stop him then I stroke up his heles and lyeing over him to take his knife from him before I could command his hand his knife was in he indeauered as I thoght to cut my throt: which althogh throgh the goodnes of god he did not doe yet he came very nere it and cut a long deep gaus on my ceeke which came very nere my throt as may apere nowe by the scare only ocasiond by that cut as also stabd on deep wonde in my hand besid fiue or six other smaler cuts about my hand: but at length altho I could not get his knife out of his hand yet I brake it in his hand and so let him rise and then I confese I did giue him a smale crack behind and a box of the ere." Hanah Chandler, aged about forty-nine years, and Thomas Chandler, aged about fourteen years, testified to the same. Sworn in court.

Thomas Chandler, aged about fifty-one years, testified that he was not at home when his son was injured but found him very bloody when he arrived, etc. John Carlton told him that Goodman Right was afterward at his master's shop, etc. Sworn in court.

Roger Marke, aged about thirty-five years, deposed that after Wright had cut Chandler he was passing Joseph Willson's shop and talking with John Carlton, who was a little distance from the shop shaving hops, Wright came to the door of the shop and said that he did not care a twopence if he had killed Chandler. Sworn in court.

John Carleton, aged about seventeen years, deposed that he saw Chandler's mother also lay hold of Wright, etc. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Return Johnson, aged about twenty-five years, testified that he told Chandler that in the interest of peace, said Johnson would cure the scratch. Ensign Chandler said that was the best way, for as he and Wright were neighbors they must live together in harmony and deponent cured the wounds for nothing. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Christopher Lovejoy, aged sixteen years, deposed. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

Elner Phelps, aged twenty-three years, deposed. Sworn Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,* assistant.

William Lovejoy, aged about twenty-one years, testified that before the quarrel, Chandler told him that he met Wright on the highway on horseback, and took his horse by the bridle, commanded him to stand and challenged him down from his horse to fight. Wright not wishing to fight, Chandler struck him with a staff. This happened between Wright's and Chandler's houses. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,J assistant.

John Ballard, aged about twenty-five years, deposed. Sworn, Nov. 5, 1678, before Nath. Saltonstall,J assistant. pp95-97

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) Massachusetts. County Court (Essex County), George Francis Dow
Essex Institute, 1919

To be continued...


I don’t recall many holiday parties from my earlier childhood. In our family folks were too busy working or shopping at Christmas time. And when we lived in Dorchester the apartments weren’t
really big enough to hold large parties in, although there might have been one or two. If so, they would have followed the rules of other adult parties my folks had: after saying hello to the adults,
my sister and I would be sent off to our beds to eventually fall asleep while listening to the adults
in the other room laughing at Rusty Warren records. We wondered what "roll me over in the clover" meant.

As an adult, most of my Christmas party experience has been at work, including one at a now
defunct toy chain warehouse(more on that job later) when I was in my early twenties. It snowed
when I left for home. My car at the time was an Olds 98 and being in a hurry to get home, I didn’t completely clean the rear windshield. I backed up, turning the car around….

…and smashed my rear windshield by backing the car up under a tractor trailer box front end as
if it were a big rig hooking up.

The good news was, my Dad worked in the auto glass repair business.

The bad news was I had to call him and tell him what I’d done.

It was an …umm…interesting conversation.

((First published in December, 2007))

2013 Update: I think this is my favorite out of all the things I've posted every year about past Christmases. I remember the windshield incident with a smile now but at the time I was a nervous wreck waiting for Dad's reaction, especially since I'dhad a few highballs at the Christmas party which probably had a lot to do with my backing into the trailer. I also had to drive the car home 
with no rear windshield in a snowstorm and I was worried I'd get pulled over by the police. When 
I got home we covered the broken window with something, probably a cut open garbage bag and masking tape, and a few days later Dad found a replacement at Goldy's, a local junkyard. 

Most of all, I remember Dad getting out of his car when he drove up to the  Child World warehouse, taking a puff on his cigarette, and  giving me The Look before asking me "How the hell did you manage to do that?"

((First published in December, 2007))


Sakuel Phelps Sr.'s wife,  Sarah Chandler, was the granddaughter of immigrant ancestor William Chandler. Her parents were Thomas Chandler and Hannah Brewer,

Here's what William Richard Cutter wrote about Thomas and his family:

(II) Captain Thomas Chandler, son of William Chandler, was born in England in 1630, and died May 15, 1703, probably being buried at North Andover. He was a well-to-do blacksmith, and carried on iron works which were successful. He was rated as a rich man. In 1678 and 1679 he was representative from Andover to the general court. He, as well as his father, was one of the original proprietors and settlers of Andover, and his name was "23d of householders in order as they came to Town." He was lieutenant of the foot company of Andover, Captain Dudley Bradstreet's company. His will was dated September 13, 1700, and proved February 8, 1702-03. Thomas Chandler's son Joseph, in 1718, sold one-half of the iron works in Salisbury. Captain Thomas Chandler married Hannah Brewer, at Andover, and she died there October 25, 1717, aged eighty-seven years. Children, born in Andover: Thomas, born October 2, 1652, died June 6, 1659; John, born March 14, 1655; Hannah, married Daniel Bixby; William, born May 28, 1659; Sarah, born December 20, 1661; Thomas, born October 9, 1664; Henry, mentioned below; Joseph, born August 3,1669.-p1451

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, New York, New York 1914

I am also a descendant of Thomas' sister Hannah Chandler  through her marriage to George Abbott Jr.

Monday, December 11, 2017


Continuing with the ancestors of my 6x great grandmother Hannah (Phelps) Abbott, this post is about my 10x great grandfather Robert Adams. And again, I found  information about him in another of William Richard Cutter's books:

(I) Robert Adams, immigrant ancestor of this branch of the family in America, was born in England in 1602. He came first to Ipswich in 1635, with his wife and two children. He was a tailor by trade and resided in Salem in 1638-39. He removed to Newbury in 1640, where he acquired a large farm and valuable property. He is believed by some to have come from Devonshire, England, and by others from Holderness, county York, England. There is a tradition, also, that he was of Scotch origin. The large, hand-made shears which he brought from England, and which he used in his trade, are now owned by Stephen P. Hale, of Newbury, a descendant. His will was dated March 7, 1680-81, proved November 27, 1682. He died October 12, 1682, aged eighty-one. He married (first) Eleanor Wilmot, who died June 12, 1677. He married (second) February 6. 1678. Sarah (Glover) Short, widow of Henry Short. She died in Newbury, October 24, 1697. Children: John, born in England : Joanna, England, about 1633-34; Sergeant Abraham, 1639: Elizabeth, Newbury, about 164142; Mary, about 1644-45; Isaac, 1647-48; Jacob, April 23, 1649, died August 12, 1649; Hannah, June 25, 1650; Jacob, mentioned below.-p1321

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 publishing company N.Y., N.Y. 1913

Robert's daughter Elizabeth married Edward Phelps and Robert left her a cow in his will. I've found that Probate File and hope to transcribe it soon.

Saturday, December 09, 2017


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As you can see, I had a very formal relationship with Santa.No laps for me. A simple solemn
pose would do, thank you, for the photo-op.

Formal attire was also worn when visiting Santa’s Village up in New Hampshire. A sports
jacket was de rigeur for the feeding of reindeer but one was allowed to be more casual
when posing with the sled and full team. The girls are my cousin Terry and my sister Cheryl.

Actually, I think we might have been there on a Sunday. We’d have attended Mass in Berlin,
NH and probably continued on home to Boston with a stop to visit the Village along the way.

But by the time those pictures were taken, I’d fallen from grace.

I no longer believed in Santa Claus.

I’m not sure how I figured it out but I do know I must have been around six or seven years
old because we were still living in Malden in the two family house that my folks and my
aunt and uncle co-owned. I know this because when I found out there was no Santa Claus,
I shared my knowledge and I heard about it for years afterward.

Yes, I told my cousins who lived downstairs. I think that was theyear I got a lump of coal in
my stocking (but there were still presents under the tree).

I may have told my sister the awful truth later or she found out some other way. I do know
I didn’t tell my kid brother. After all, I was an adult of 17 by then and I had a greater appreciation
for what Santa meant to little kids!

But there it is.

I squealed on Santa.

Originally published in Dec. 2007.


William Richard Cutter describes my 7x great grandfather Samuel Phelps Jr and his family:

(IV) Samuel Phelps, son of Samuel Phelps (3), was born in Andover, November 22, 1684, died there April, 1745. He married Hannah Dane, who died May 26, 1746, sister of John Dane. She was admitted to the church in 1714. His will was dated April 5, 1745, and proved May 6, 1745. He bequeathed to Samuel who had agreed to care for his parents (Samuel (3) and wife), to Thomas, Joseph, Hannah, Abbott and Mary Stevens, his five children. The estate was inventoried at three hundred and ninety-seven pounds, eleven shillings and one penny. Children, born at Andover: 1. Samuel, February 5, 1713, mentioned below. 2. Hannah, married, February 14. 1734, Ephraim Abbott. 3. Mary, born February 14, 1716, married ------- Stevens. 4. Francis, born January 11, 1719-20, married Phebe Holt. 5. Joseph, born March 27, 172324, probably settled in Wilton, New Hampshire.-p888

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2  Lewis historical Publishing Company, 1908, Boston, Ma.

Charlotte Helen Abbott writes that Mary Phelps'  husband  was John Stevens Jr. A check with the Andover, Ma. marriage records confirms his identity. Samuel III married Pricilla Holt.

I've found Samuel Phelps Jr.'s  probate record and will be posting a transcription here when it's done.

Friday, December 08, 2017


Continuing with the ancestors of Hannah (Phelps) Abbott, here's what William Richard Cutter wrote about my 8x great grandfather Samuel Phelps:

(III) Samuel Phelps, son of Edward Phelps (2), was born at Newbury, 1651. He r SR. emoved with his father to Andover, Massachusetts, and married, March 21, 1679. Sarah Chandler, daughter of Thomas and Hannah ( Brewer) Chandler. She was born at Andover, December 20, 1661, died April 5, 1757. She was admitted to the church at South Andover, January 25, 1713. He was a clothier by trade; was one of the twenty men chosen to fight the Indians in 1695 under Captain Gardner. He and his wife Sarah, his brother Edward and wife, Ruth, deeded lands to Thomas Abbott in 1697. He took the oath of allegiance in 1678, and was admitted to the South Church, May 10, 1713. He died January 26, 1746, aged ninety-five years. Children: i. Sarah, born October 16, 1682. 2. Samuel, born November 22, 1684, mentioned below. 3. John, born April 28, 1686, married Sarah Andrews. 4. Joseph, born February 8, 1689, married Elizabeth Abbott. 5. Hannah, born May 18, 1691, died March 24, 1695. 6. Henry, born September 24, 1693, married Abigail Lovejoy. daughter of Deacon William and Mary Lovejoy: second, . Susanna Kittridge, widow of Francis Kittridge, of Tewksbury; his two children died young and his will is particularly interesting as it mentions all his near relatives. (He bequeathed to the poor of the south parish: to his sister Deborah, wife of Stephen Blanchard; to his brother John Phelps's heirs; to heirs of his brother Thomas Phelps; to sister Ann, wife of John Stevens; to his kinswoman, Hannah Chandler, daughter of his brother Samuel Phelps: to kinswoman wife of Thomas Austin, and daughter of his sister, Elizabeth Lovejoy: to kinswoman Sarah Lovejoy, sister of his first wife; to kinsman John Phelps and daughter Abigail: to the wife of Abraham Morss: to the wife of Hezekiah Lovejoy: to kinsman Benjamin Stevens, of Metlmen: kinsman Samuel Fields, of Boston, and gave his freedom to his negro slave Pompey). 7. Thomas, born November 5, 1605, married Mary Blanchard; second, Prudence____ . 8. Elizabeth, born September 6, 1698, married Jonathan Lovejoy. 9. Anna, born February 22, 1701, married John Stevens. 10. Deborah, born 1703-04, married Stephen Blanchard.-p888

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2  Lewis historical Publishing Company, 1908, Boston, Ma.

Again, there are marriages by Samuel's children with the members of the Abbott, Chandler, Stevens and Lovejoy families.

I'm descended from Samuel Phelps Jr.

Thursday, December 07, 2017


The subject for this entry in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is my 9x great grandfather
Edward Phelps. Once again, here's William Richard Cutter:

(II) Edward Phelps, son of Henry Phelps (1), was born in England and came over with his father and brothers, perhaps in the same ship. He settled in Newbury, Massachusetts, near the town of Salem. One account has it that he came from Bolton. England. He took the oath of allegiance and fidelity to the Crown in 1678. Eleanor Tresler, mentioned above, calls him her brother. He married Elizabeth Adams, widow of Robert Adams, of Newbury. His estate was administered by his sons Samuel and Edward, appointed March 31. 1690. He died suddenly October 3, 1689, and his estate was partitioned January 17, 1689-90. Children, born in Newbury: 1. Elizabeth, born 1646, married Joseph Ballard. 2. Samuel, born 1651, mentioned below. 3. John, born December 15.1657. unmarried;killed by the Indians at the survey of Scarborough, Maine, June 29, 1677. 4. Eleanor, born 1660, married William Chandler. 5. Edward, born 1663, married Ruth Andrews. pp887-888

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2  Lewis historical Publishing Company, 1908, Boston, Ma.

I found Edward's probate file and will be transcribing it soon. 

Looking at the people Edward's children married there are  memebers of the Ballard, Chandler, and Andrews familes who are prominent in the founding of Andover, Ma. His son Samuel (my 8x great grandfather) also married a Chandler.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


It's time now to turn to the ancestors of my 6x great grandmother Hannah (Phelps) Abbott.

This Phelps line is  one of two in my Dad's ancestry, the other being through Arvilla Ames, my
3x great grandmother.  Both are descended from my 10xggf and immigrant ancestor Henry Phelps. There seems to have been some confusion about the identity of his wife Eleanor, as detailed
by what William Richard Cutter wrote: MA.

(I) Henry Phelps, of Salem, immigrant ancestor, according to the Phelps Genealogy, came from London, England, on the ship "Hercules" in the spring of 1634. He settled in Salem, Massachusetts. The records tell us very little further and there is some reason for thinking that Henry (1) and Henry (2) were the same. He is said to have been a Quaker. His first wife was a daughter of Thomas Tresler. He married next in 1652 Hannah Bassett. Children: 1. Henry, came over in 1634, arriving in Boston April 16, 1634. (The will of Eleanor Tresler, widow of Thomas, dated February 15, 1654, proved April, 1665, mentions grandchild John Phelps, son of Henry Phelps, indicating that Phelps had but one surviving son by his Tresler wife. The estate of Obadiah Antrim was divided among his heirs—John Phelps, son of Henry, Hannah Burnap, wife of Isaac; children: i. Christopher, married Elizabeth Sharp; ii. Samuel, married Elizabeth . a widow; iii. Thomas, born probably in Salem; iv. John, born about 1664. married Abigail Upton, widow ). 2..Nicholas (perhaps the same as Nicholas Phillips or Phelps, of Dedham and Boston), was a Quaker in Salem; married Hannah Bassett, who was also a Quaker and was whipped for her religious views; Nicholas was sent to the house of correction and finally banished from Salem: is said to have returned to England. 3. Edward, mentioned below. p887

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 2  Lewis historical Publishing Company, 1908, Boston, Ma.

Henry's son Edward Phelps is my 9x great grandfather.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017


My family was fortunate in that we never lived in the sort of place
where Christmas outdoor decorations becomes a blood sport.
Yes, people strung lights in their shrubbery or along their house
gutters but there was never anyone determined to turn their
front yard into the North Pole’s Southern Branch Office.

Now for light shows back then you went to someplace religious,
like Our Lady of La Sallette Shrine in North Attleboro or the local
cemetery with it’s entrance lit up, or even just cruised a stretch
of highway to look at the neighborhood lights that might be seen
from a distance as you drove by.

We didn’t really have outside lights ourselves until we left Boston
for Abington. Up until then the only lights other than on our
Christmas tree were the electric candles we put on windowsills.
But at the house Dad did the obligatory shrubbery and gutter
displays as well as one other spot: the apple tree in the front yard.

Dad had experience both with wiring and tree climbing so putting
a string of lights up in a small apple tree was a piece of cake. It
was the taking down part that didn’t seem to work at least for
the tree. One year, long after the other outside lights were down
and packed away, the lights still were hanging in the apple tree.
I’m not sure exactly when he took them down but I do know it
was well after Spring had sprung. I think they were even plugged
in one or two nights. I don’t know the reasons why they were
still there: my Dad’s sense of humor, perhaps? Or maybe an
instance where Dad’s Maine stubbornness and the Irish
stubbornness of my Mom brought about some impasse on the issue?

On my way home the other night from work I noticed at least
three of those large hot air snow globe scenes on front lawns.

Those families must have big electricity bills!

2010 Update: As I discovered in 2008, the apple tree  in
the front yard of the house is long gone. But a news report
the other night made me think of Dad. The holiday
lighting ceremony at Braintree has been postponed a week
because squirrels had eaten through the wires.

The lights had been left up all year since last Christmas!

2011 Update: The big snowstorms last winter had one
interesting effect. Some of the homes with heavily
decorated outside yards remained that way until
the snow melted. One home in particular had an inflatable
Santa and other decorations buried under snow drifts
and you could  just see the tops of them as you drove by
the house. I think they were there until mid-March!

2013 Update: It's a bit early yet apparently for the lights
to go up for Christmas around here. I don't work anymore
and haven't driven around much after dark so I haven't
seen any houses lit up yet. I did, however, spot two of
those big inflatable figures on someone's front lawn yesterday

2014 Update
 I'm not sure there be many houses lit up this year, or that they
will be many elaborate displays. The electric companies in the
New England area have raised their rates over 30% and that
may be too much for many people to afford to put up Christmas

2015 Update
There's only a few homes along the main streets in the area that have put up
their outside lights so far this year. But there are some in specific neighborhoods
and I've noticed word gets out via Facebook on where the best displays are to take
your kids to see them.

2016 Update:
Since my retirement I don't drive much after dark any more, so I haven't seen
any houses decorated so far. But there's a contest for best decorations going on,
and a Christmas Tree lighting going on at Island Grove as well,

(originally published in Dec. 2007)

Sunday, December 03, 2017


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My 8x great grandfather Ephraim Stevens is the subject of Week 43.  This is Charlotte Helen
Abbott's  entry for him in her Early Records of the Stevens Family of Andover,

Ephraim(2) b. about 1648; he was a Scout; was in the Narragansett War; in 1679
received a grant of land to repay his loss in the Indian Raid; was Sgt.; Selectman;
Assessor; Clerk of Market 169(?) to 1696; Surveyor 1693; m. Oct 11, 1680; Sarah(2)
Abbott, dau. of George Abbott and w. Hannah Chandler; Sarah was b. Nov.14, 1659;
d. June 28, 1711; he d. June 26,1718; no sons lived. pp2-3

Ephraim and Sarah (Abbott) Stevens had eight children, one boy and seven girls, but only
six of the girls survived to adulthood and are named in Ephraim's will:

Sarah Stevens b. 28Oct 1681; d.25 Dec 1750
Elizabeth Stevens b. 7Aug 1683; d. 8Jan 1761
Hannah Stevens b.18Nov  1685; m. Robert Swan
Mehitabel Stevens  b.29Sep 1691; d. 1700
Mary Stevens b. 21 Feb 1694
Ephraim Stevens b. 13Jul 1698
Mehitabel Stevens b. 31 Aug  1700

I'm descended from Sarah Stevens who married Stephen Abbott. They were first cousins.

I have a copy of the will and will be transcribing it soon.

Friday, December 01, 2017


 Originally posted in 2007 as part of Thomas MacEntees's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.

You know that part of the movie A Christmas Story where
the family goes out to buy the tree and the parents have a little
argument over it? Well, I laugh every time I see it because
like so much in that film it echoes my childhood.

Every Christmas when I was younger either we’d go shopping
for a tree or Dad would buy one on his way home from work.
Now as regular readers of this blog know by now, my Dad was
from Maine. But even more than that, he had experience in trees.
He’d helped his father cutting down trees, and he’d worked for a
landscaper in the Boston area when he’d first come home from
the war. Mom would remind Dad of his experience every year
when the tree was fixed into the tree stand, the rope cut from
the branches and the inevitable big empty space was discovered.
Usually the problem was solved by rotating the tree so the empty
spot was in the back facing the wall. The lights were strung(and
here we differed from the film. We never blew out the fuses.),
then the garlands, the ornaments, and the icicles. Finally the
angel went up on top of the tree and we were all set. With
judicious watering the tree would last us until around “Little
Christmas” at which time it would be undecorated and deposited
curbside to await the dump truck.

Of course our tree paled in comparison to the giant my Mom’s
Uncle Tommy and Aunt Francis had in their home down in
Milton. It was so big they cut the top off and the branches didn’t
taper at the top. They were all the same size: large. I could
never believe they'd gotten that big a tree into the house in the
first place!

Then the first artificial Christmas trees hit the market and Mom
began vowing she was going to get one as she vacuumed up pine
needles from the rug. Eventually we did but that provided us
with new challenges, such as assembling the tree.

As we all grew older the prospect of trying to get the tree
together became less enchanting and so it too was replaced, this
time by a small ceramic musical tree that was lit from within by
a light bulb. I used that tree myself for several years after Mom
died although I felt no great urge to wind it up for the music. It
lasted until a few years back when I dropped it and the base

Its replacement is a small artificial tree that I bought at work with
my employee discount along with a garland. Last year some
friends sent me some snowmen ornaments for it. I haven’t put it
up yet but think I will this weekend. It fits on top of the tv.

And at some point over the holidays I’ll see that scene from A
Christmas Story again and grin.

2009 update: I bought a small string of battery powered lights
to add to my tree last week!

2010 update: I lost my Christmas stuff in my move last April so
I'll be picking it up another one at work soon.

2011 update
I bought another teeny Christmas tree with lights and ornaments
at Borders. Since the company closed, it will remind me of my
store when I set it out each year.

2012 update
I haven't put up my teeny Christmas tree yet but plan to do it this weekend.

2013 Update
I'll be putting the tree out tomorrow. I may have to buy a new string of
lights this year since some of the teeny weeny bulbs may have died last year.

2014 Update
I haven't put the teeny Christmas tree up yet again. I think I will do
it tomorrow, though.

2015 Update
The teeny Christmas tree will go up this weekend as soon as I decide 
where it will go this year.   


Wednesday, November 29, 2017


The subject for Week 42 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is John Stevens of Andover, Ma.,
my 9x great grandfather. From Charlotte Helen Abbott's Early Records of the Stevens
Family of Andover,

JOHN (1) STEVENS, born 1605, came to Newbury in 1638, on the ship CONFIDENCE,
from Southampton. He is recorded as a husbandman from Cavesham, Oxford Co.,
England. With him were his wife Elizabeth, born 1613, his mother, Alice and his
brother , William, then 21 years of age. John came to Andover in 1645...

...John (1) Stevens and wife, Elizabeth, had:-
John (2) b. June 20, 1639, in Newbury; was a Lieut .; m. Hannah Barnard
June 13, 1662; she was dau. of Robert Barnard and w. Joan Harvey; she d.
March 13, 1675; he m. 2nd., Esther Barker, August 10 1676; she was daughter
of Richard and Joan Barker; she died "suddenly" June 25, 1713; John was a
Selectman and Surveyor; died March 4 (or 5) 1689 at Casco Bay on service in
the Indian War.

Timothy (2), b.  Sept. 23, 1641 in Newbury; settled in Roxbury; m. Sarah Davis
of Roxbury, March 12, 1665; she was dau. of Tobias Davis, b.1647; she d.April
6, 1695; Timothy was a Deacon; also Ensign. He helped capture Castle and Fort
Hill when Andros was driven away, in 1689; he d. Jan.31, 1708.

Nathan (2), b. 1643; some claim that he was born in Andover and was  the first
white child born on the plantation; he was a Cornet; also  Surveyor; also Tythingman;
 he never married; died Feb. 19, 1718 at 75; said to be buried near his father, under
a freestone slab  or table,-a sort of monument. (This is incorrect; he has a stone standing

Elizabeth (2), b. about 1645; m. Joshua Woodman 1665; he was a carpenter; he was
buried in Byfield; has a monument.

Ephraim(2) b. about 1648; he was a Scout; was in the Narragansett War; in 1679
received a grant of land to repay his loss in the Indian Raid; was Sgt.; Selectman;
Assessor; Clerk of Market 169(?) to 1696; Surveyor 1693; m. Oct 11, 1680; Sarah(2)
Abbott, dau. of George Abbott and w. Hannah Chandler; Sarah was b. Nov.14, 1659;
d. June 28, 1711; he d. June 26,1718; no sons lived.

Mary(2), b. about 1649; m. Capt. John Barker, July 6, 1670; John was son of Richard
and Joan Barker, b. 1643; Mary d. 1703; two of the sons were named in Stevens' wills.

Joseph(2),  b. May 15, 1654;  m. May 28, 1679 Mary Ingalls, daughter of Henry Ingalls and
wife, Mary Osgood, b. Jan.28, 1659; she d. Sept.21, 1699;he m. 2nd, Elizabeth Brown of
Salem, 1700; she was probably a widow; she d. 1745; Joesph was a Surveyor 1694-6;
ws on the Grand Jury at Ipswich, 1696; was a Deacon; d. Feb (?) 1743.

Benjamin(2), b.June 24, 1656; was Justice of the Peace, 1686; Field Driver 1694; Capt.;
Representative, 1712-3; 1721; 28;30; was in Indian War, 1725;while away with his company,
the Indians looted his home; he m. Oct.18, 1715, Susanne, widow of John Chickering of Charlestown; she was the daughter of Zachary Symmes of Bradford and was 38 at marriage
to Benj.; died July 20 1753; Benj. died Jan.8, 1730; buried in old cemetery in No. Andover.    

I visited the Old North Burial Ground in North Andover, Ma in May of 2014. This is a photo

of what probably is a replacement for the original headstone of John Stevens:

Sunday, November 26, 2017


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