Saturday, February 25, 2017


Here's the announcement of the Findmypast Friday new record releases for 24February 2017

New Records Available To Search This Findmypast Friday

Over 455,000 new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;


Northamptonshire Baptisms contains over 14,000 transcripts of original baptism records and covers 34 parishes across the East Midlands county. These records have been transcribed by the Northamptonshire Family History Society from parish registers found at the Northamptonshire Record Office and cover the years 1559 through to 1901

The level of detail found each transcript may vary although most will include a combination of your ancestor’s baptism date, baptism place, the names of both parent’s, document reference, page and entry number.  

The Northampton General Hospital was founded in 1744 by Dr James Stonhouse and supported by local benefactors who paid for patient’s treatments through subscriptions. Today, the Northampton General Hospital is still providing healthcare as part of the NHS Trust.
This collection consists of over 126,000 transcripts of original admission registers held by the Northamptonshire record office. These transcripts will not only allow you to discover whether your ancestors were admitted to the hospital, but also when they were admitted, why they were admitted and the year they were discharged. Most records will also reveal the nature of your ancestor’s ailment and the outcome of their treatment. 


Over 54,000 records covering more than 1,800 counties have been added  to our collection of United States marriage records including substantial updates from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio and Tennessee. Released in partnership with FamilySearch international, these new additions mark the latest phase of efforts to create the single largest online collection of U.S. marriage records in history. 

Each record include transcripts and images of the original documents that list marriage date, the names of the bride and groom, birthplace, birth date, age, residence as well as fathers' and mothers' names. The entire collection now contains over 168 million records and continues to grow.

Warwickshire Monumental Inscriptions is an index containing over 201,000 transcripts. Each record will list your ancestor’s birth year, death year and the location of the monument.

Over 60,000 articles and 10 new titles have been added to the Periodical Source Index this month. PERSI enables you to easily locate key information about people and places through millions of entries from thousands of historical, genealogical and ethnic publications.

PERSI provides access to articles, photos, and other material you might not find using traditional search methods. This can help to build the historical context around your personal research, and the world your ancestors lived in.

Thursday, February 23, 2017


My 3x great grandfather John Ellingwood Jr was born at Bethel, Me. on 12 Jun 1798.  He married Rachel Barrows there sometime around 1719 and after the birth of their first child the couple moved to Paulsburg, NH.(now Milan). Florence O' Connor wrote in her book that the journey had to have been done by river on a barge or cross-country on ox-drawn carts or by horse since there were no roads yet between Bethel and Paulsburg.

John was a farmer in an area known as Milan Hill and in 1822 his second child Isaac was the first white child born in that area. John also was a Deacon of the Methodist church.

John and Rachel had six children, at least five of whom survived to adulthood:
Hester Ann  b.27 Apr 1820 at Bethel Me.,  m. Edward Fifield.
Isaac Harris b.20 Apr 1822 at Milan NH.,  m. Columbia Briggs
John Wesley b. May 1824 at Milan NH.,   m. Mariah Flint
Jacob  b .1826  at Milan NH., 
Asa Freeman  b.  4 Apr 1828 at Milan NH.,   m. Florilla Dunham
Oscar Phipps b.1831 at Milan NH.,  m.Ann Andrews

A fire in 1886 burned most of the early records at the Lancaster County Courthouse so not many documents can be found about John and his family. One that has is the list of voters for 1825. It includes John Ellingwood, his brother Daniel Ellingwood, his brother-in-law Asa Barrows, and Moses Robbins who was married to Rachel Barrows' sister Hannah Barrows.

I wonder if Moses was related to David Robbins the criminal?

Rachel ( Barrows) Ellingwood died in Milan, NH  sometime after the birth of her child Oscar and John followed three years later. If there was a probate file or a will from ohn it was destroyed in that courthouse fire. The children were divided among the relatives: Hester and Isaac went to Bethel Me. ; Asa and Oscar went to live with their aunt Polly (Barrows)Curtis and her husband  Morton.

Florence O 'Coonor's book The Ancestors and Descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood  was the source of the information in this blogpost.


Tuesday, February 21, 2017


((Here's a story about an Ellingwood cousin I first posted back in June 2007))

I was googling about on my Ellingwood line the other evening and
stumbled across another distant relative with an interesting story.
I found this one at
which belongs to D. La Pierre Ballard, and the relative is one
Benjamin Ellenwood of Nova Scotia, a privateer for the British
during the War of 1812!

My greatgrandmother Clara Ellingwood is a descendant of Ralph
Ellingwood (Ellenwood/Ellinwood)of Salem and Beverly through
his son Ralph Jr. Another of his sons was Benjamin Ellenwood
whose family and descendants lived in Beverly. Then (as I posted
earlier) after the French and Indian Wars some Essex Co. colonists
migrated to Nova Scotia to take up the lands once held by expelled
Acadians and among these was another Benjamin Ellenwood, the
grandson of the first Benjamin, who went north to Yarmouth,
Nova Scotia in 1764 with his wife Susanna Corning.

Their son Nathaniel Ellenwood married Margaret Freeman on
14 Nov 1781 and two years later their son Benjamin was born on
14 Mar 1783. Nathaniel was a successful sea captain and there’s an
excerpt on the website from a book with entries concerning the
activities of a Captain Ellenwood.

Apparently Benjamin followed in his father’s footsteps and an
excerpt from another book, "Under the Red Jack: Privateers of
the Maritime Provinces of Canada in the War of 1812" by Charles
H.J. Snider details just how successful he was when he turned to

“On April 3, 1813, [Captain] Benjamin [Ellenwood] succeeded
Thomas Freeman in charge of the privately armed schooner
"Retaliation". By July he had brought in nine prizes, besides
those which he had driven ashore. On September 2, 1813, he
was promoted to the schooner "Shannon", also out of Liverpool,
Nova Scotia. With perhaps one exception, he was the most
successful privateersman out of Nova Scotia in the War of 1812,
and only thirty years of age. The "Shannon" measured 146 tons
and had a crew of 50 men with five guns. He had only six men
left when he manned out her sixteenth prize two months later.”

But Benjamin Ellenwood’s success and life was short lived. After
the war he returned to commercial shipping and docked at Dolby’s
Wharf in Halifax, Nova Scotia on 31 Jan, 1815. Sometime after
docking and selling his cargo he was stabbed to death by one of his
own crew, a man named James Archibald who was later tried,
convicted and executed for the murder.

His widow remarried and left Nova Scotia with her new husband
and family, leaving her children by Benjamin with his father
Nathaniel Ellenwood. He moved the family back to the United
States and in a final irony, the grandsons of Benjamin Ellenwood
the Canadian privateer fought in the Civil War for the United

D. La Pierre Ballard is a descendent of Benjamin and also is related
to two more of my ancestors, Simon Stone and William Ballard.
He credits Suzanne Ballard Sell and his Cousin Patricia for some of
the information I’ve used in this post.

It’s an interesting website. Check it out!


Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis and Daniel Ellingwood had captured David
Robbins and brought him back to Lancaster, N.H. to stand trial, but
justice was to be delayed for some months. Now, remember that Abner
and Benjamin Hinds had disappeared back in February and it wasn't
until summer that their friends and family had set out in search of the
father son. It was sometime after the failure of their search that the
warrant for David Robbins had been issued. Lapham gives no information
on when he was captured but it seems likely that it was at least late
summer or early fall. Apparently even though it was the county seat at
the time there was no sitting court and so Robbins had to wait until
the following April for his trial. He was kept in the cabin that served
as the Lancaster jail.

Over the next few months Robbins hired a lawyer who let it be known he
would challenge the warrant on the grounds that it had been issued in New
Hampshire and the area the alleged crime had taken place was in Maine.
(I might add that when I first read the story I wondered if the capture might
have been made in Maine as well, where Loomis would have no jurisdiction.)
But the nameless lawyer never had the chance to argue his case, for on the
day of the trial it was discovered that David Robbins had escaped.

Lapham says that the only venue of escape was an opening in the wall 10
inches in diameter. How could Robbins have possibly escaped through that?
I did a Google search for any other sources of information and found "The
History of Coos County, N.H."
by Georgia Drew Merrill (Syracuse, NY,
W.A. Fergusson, 1888) at Internet Archives. The account of the murder and
capture differs on several points. For one thing, it describes the Hinds
murders: Robbins shot Abner and killed Benjamin with a hatchet. The two
bodies were found in a brook near Little Kennebago Lake and when the
arrest warrant was issued, there was a third man with Loomis and Ellingwood
named Hezekiah Parsons who Ms. Merrill credits as being the one who helped
subdue Robbins. Most importantly from a legal standpoint, the search party
made a detour to Farmington, Maine to obtain an indictment and authorization
to arrest Robbins if they captured him in Maine.

She also provides more information on the escape. The window was covered
by a grating and somehow Robbins got or fashioned tools to loosen it. He hid
the work on the window by hanging a blanket over it, using the excuse that there
was a cold draft coming through it. Of course when Robbins escaped, suspicion
immediately fell on the jailer as being an accomplice but no mention is made
by Merrill if charges were ever filed.

As for what became of David Robbins after his escape, both Merrill and Lapham
agree that the man was never seen again, although he left behind a wife and family
who continued to live in the area for many years.

Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis died in October, 1869.

Hezekiah Parsons, one of the prominent citizens of Colebrook, NH, died in 1857
and his son married a Sarah Merrill. I do not know if she was related to the author
Georgia Drew Merrill.

I haven't found a record as of yet as to when Daniel G. Ellingwood passed away.
Apparently he and his wife, Catherine Brown, left the area. I've found them, I think
on the 1850 census in York, Livingston County, New York and in Nankin, Wayne
County, Michigan on the 1860 census. The ages and birthplaces match up with
what I know about them.

So by 1888 when Georgia Drew Merrill wrote her book and 1891 when William
Lapham wrote his, the principals were long deceased or had departed the region.
Lapham probably talked with Daniel Ellingwood's nephews or nieces in Maine
while Merrill lived in New Hampshire where she had possibly access to the
Parsons family. Their accounts of the pursuit of David Robbins differ in some
points as to Daniel Ellingwood's participation but they do agree he was there.

Maybe someday we'll learn of the final fate of David Robbins. I wouldn't be
surprised if a genealogist is the one to find out what it was!

Monday, February 20, 2017


Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis set off with Daniel Ellingwood in pursuit of
accused murderer David Robbins. They borrowed a birch canoe from a local
Indian and paddled up the Androscoggin River until they reached Robbin's
last location on the Magalloway River two days later. But when they reached the
area an old trapper they questioned told then that Robbins had left just the
day before with a canoe loaded with traps and supplies. He'd told the trapper
he would be gone on a hunting trip for several months. Loomis believed
that Robbins was really headed for Canada to avoid arrest, and if he and
Ellingwood hurried they could still catch him.

They went back to their canoe. It was a tricky situation. They had to
move quickly because Robbins already had a day's lead on them, but they
also had to be careful because if the fugitive heard them, he might
ambush them from the shore. Both men were familiar with the Magalloway
River and having the advantage of being a party of two began to draw
closer to Robbins. They took every precaution they could, paddling
silently and camping without a fire when they went to shore. Two days into
the chase Ellingwood took over all the paddling while Loomis sat at the
front of the boat with his rifle cocked and ready to return fire if they should
be ambushed. But there was still no sign of Robbins and they put into
shore for another night without their campfire.

The next afternoon they reached a portage point where they had to leave the
water and carry their canoe along the shore until they could once more put
it into the Magalloway. This was a well known spot to trappers and
travelers along the river and Sheriff Loomis suspected that Robbins might
still be nearby. Moving quietly, the two men hid their own canoe and checked
the trail for any sign of Robbins and found his pack hidden off the main trail,
probably left there while he moved his canoe across the portage. They laid
their own ambush, Ellingwood hiding in some nearby trees while Loomis
took up a spot near the pack. Shortly after they took their positions, Robbins
came down the trail and Sheriff Loomis tackled him. During the struggle
Robbins tried to draw his knife but by that time Ellingwood had joined the
fight and helped take the man prisoner.

Loomis and Ellingwood placed Robbins in their canoe and towed his along
behind them for the several days journey back downriver to Lancaster
where Robbins was placed in jail. Robbins and Ellingwood were treated as
heroes and people eagerly awaited the forthcoming trial of the suspected
murderer the following April.

But David Robbins was a crafty man, and he had one more trick up his sleeve.

(This series of posts is based on information from William Lapham's
"History of Bethel, Maine" and can be viewed here at the Oxford Triangle


((Since I'm in the middle of my Ellingwood line in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challege, I
thought I'd revisit the story of how my 3x great uncle Daniel Ellingwood helped capture the
accused murderer David Robbins. This series was first posed in 2008))

One morning in February 1828, Abner Hinds, a resident of Milan, NH., set
out with his 15 year old son Benjamin for the Kennebago River region to hunt
and set out trap lines, expecting to return home in the spring. But they never
returned home, and eventually their family became convinced something was
wrong, because the last time the two had been seen alive they were in the
company of a man named David Robbins.

David Robbins seems to have been the prototype for those "mountain men"
who were starting to populate the American West. He is believed to have
been the first white man to settle in the Magalloway River area of Maine and
New Hampshire, and he seems to have lived by his own rules outside the laws
of "civilization". He was already suspected to have kidnapped a young white
boy named James Wilbur, but no body was ever found so Robbins was never
formally charged with the crime. And he already had a history of violent
confrontation with Abner Hinds. Just the year before the two men had been
trapping in the same area and apparently Robbins had tricked Hinds and his partner
Seth Cloutman to set up camp with him. Then later while they two men were away,
Robbins had burned the camp and stolen their furs to sell as his own, probably
thinking Hinds and Cloutman would die from the snow and cold. But Hinds was
as good a woodsman as Robbins and not only survived but managed to track
Robbins down, confront him, and then forced Robbins to pay back what money
he'd made from the stolen furs.

When it was learned that now Hinds and his son had gone off with Robbins to
hunt once more it seemed strange given their past history. But apparently Robbins
had sworn he'd found religion and was a changed man and wanted to prove it by
further making up for what he had done to Hinds the year before. Perhaps Hinds
had felt confident he'd put the fear of God into him or that he could handle
Robbins again if he needed to do it. Whichever the case, Abner Hinds and his
son went off with David Robbins for what was supposed to be a trip of three to
four weeks. Robbins returned a week later by himself, and the Hinds men were
never seen again. A search party made up of neighbors set out, but the only
evidence they could find were some items that belonged to Abner and his son
that Robbins had sold to some of the other hunters in the Magalloway area.

Still, there was enough outrage from the Hinds family and their neighbors in Milan
to cause a warrant to be issued for Robbins' arrest. Deputy Sheriff Lewis Loomis
was ordered to carry it out, but when several townsfolk volunteered to go with him,
he took only one man from Milan, Daniel Ellingwood, the younger brother of my
3x great grandfather John Ellingwood, Jr.

Together the two men set off in pursuit of David Robbins.

(This series of posts is based on information from William Lapham's
"History of Bethel, Maine" and can be viewed here at the Oxford Triangle

Sunday, February 19, 2017


I posted previously about my next two Ellingwood ancestors.

My 5x time great grandfather Joseph Ellingwood was born in Beverly, Ma. on 22 Feb 1723, was
married twice and had thirteen children. He died at Lyndeborough,Ma 15Jun 1790 at Lyndeborough, Ma. You can read the posts about his probate file (he used the Ellenwood spelling of the family name  at the link:

Joseph's son John Ellingwood  was born at Amherst, NH on 19 Sep 1765 and married Zerviah Abbott 29 Dec 1789 at Andover, Ma.They had nine children most of whom were born at Bethel Me. where John died on 19 Jun 1847.John was a cordwainer and shoe maker, I did a series of posts about
his probate file which you can find at this link:

My next post in the 52 Ancestors series will be on my 3x great grandfather John Ellingwood Jr.

Friday, February 17, 2017


So I've decided that my ancestor Ebenezer Ellingwood moved his family from Beverly, Ma.
to Souhegan West (now Amherst) NH some time in the summer of 1741. But he still owned
some property back in Beverly, which he disposed of in November 1743 by selling it to another
Ebenezer Ellingwood.  Here's an image of the land sale. It starts on the bottom of the left hand
page and continues on the top of the right. 

"Massachusetts Land Records, 1620-1986," images, FamilySearch ( : 22 May 2014), Essex > image 589 of 596; county courthouses and offices, Massachusetts.

Here's my transcription; the (?) denotes something I couldn't decipher:.
Ebenezer Ellinwood & (?) to Ebenr Ellinwood recd on Record Nov. 18th: 1743

Know all Men by these Presents that We Ebenezer Ellinwood
of Souhegan West No.3 of the Naraganset Townships so Called in the
County of Essex in the Province of ye Mass Bay in ye New England
Bricklayer and Sarah the Wife of said Ebenezer for and in Consideration
of the sum of Two Hundred and fifty to us in hand paid &
at the delivery hereof by Ebenezer Ellinwood of Beverly in the
County of Essex in the Province aforesaid Mariner have granted & Sold
and Do by these Presents give grant Sell Alien Assign Setover & confirm
to him ye said Ebenezer Ellinwood Mariner his Heirs & assigns forever a Certain
(?) lying in said Beverly situate near ye Ferry consisting
of an House  & about a Quarter of an Acre of Land be it more or less

Bounded Southerly at lowwater mark by the River Water by
by Land of ye Heirs of ye Ralph Ellinwoodof sd Beverly Deceased
Northerly by ye Highway Easterly by ye Way leading to ye Ferry
Also the Well pertaining to said House together withye Way
leading to it To have & To Hold said granted Premises with
all their appertenances clear of all Encumbrances to him ye said
Ebenezer Ellinwood Mariner his Heirs  & assigns forever and we
ye said Ebenezer Ellinwood Bricklayer & Sarah Ellinwood for
our selves our Heirs Exttors & admrs do by these Presents Covenant
& Engage the above (?) Premises Forever to Warrant secure
& defend to him the said Ebenezer Elllinwood Mariner his Heirs
Exettors Admttors & assigns against all  Lawful Claimers whatsoever
InWitness whereof we do hereunto set our hands & seals this ninth
Day of Sept: Anno Domini one thousand seven hundred & forty
one annoque Regnis Georgis Secundi Magnee Brittania ye
Regis Decimo Quinto
Sign'd Sealed & Dd
Ebenezer Ellinwood & a Seal
Sarah Ellinwood & a Seal

in presence of
Jno Chipman Junr
Andrew Burleigh Junr
Wm Tuck
William Ellingwood

Recd Beverly Sept: 9th 1741 of ye within mentioned
Ebenr Ellinwood Mariner ye within mentioned
consideration by us Ebenezer Ellinwood

(?) Novr. 9th 1741 Ebenr Ellinwood own'd
this to be his act & Deed
before me John Higginson J Peace

(?) Novr: 18th 1743 Sarah Ellinwood own'd this to be her free act
before me John Higginson Just. of ye Peace

A few points:
-Ebenezer had signed the documents in September, but his wife Sarah didn't until November,
I wonder if she had to go to Beverly to sign or if she did that at Souhegan West, and why did it
it take her two months to sign?

-The designation in the land sale of Souhegan West as one of the Naragansett Townships. I
suspect mont people might not know what that might mean in an ancestor's land records, that
their ancestor was a veteran of the Great Swamp Fight in King Philip's War.

-Who was 'Ebenezer Ellinwood the Mariner"? There were three Ebenezers in the family living
 at the time of the landsale: my ancestor, his son Ebenezer Jr, and a nephew Ebenezer. The nephew
 was the son of William Ellingwood, and one of the witnesses to the sale was "William Ellingwood",
 so I believe "Ebenezer the Mariner" was the nephew. 


Nearly 6.4 million new records from Britain and Australia were added to Findmypast in this
week's Findmypast Friday releases:


Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Baptisms 1685-1941
OVER 647,000 RECORDS  Search through thousands of bishop’s transcripts from Norfolk to unearth your ancestor’s baptism record. These copies of parish registers may provide you with your ancestor’s birth date, place of baptism, and parents’ names.

Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Marriages 1685-1941
Find out where, when and to whom your ancestor was married with bishop’s transcripts dating back to 1583. Images of original documents may also reveal your ancestor’s occupation, father’s name and the names of any witnesses.

Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts Burials 1685-1941
Was your ancestor buried in the English county of Norfolk? Discover when they died, where they died and their age at death. Bishop’s Transcripts are a great alternative to parish records and can help plug any gaps.

Norfolk Electoral Registers 1832-1915
Explore thousands of names in the Norfolk electoral registers to follow your ancestor’s movements from year-to-year. Electoral rolls allow you to find your ancestors between the censuses and learn about the type of property they owned.

British Royal Navy Allotment Declarations 1795-1852
Allotment Declarations record the details of sailors who chose to remit part of their wages for the maintenance of their mothers, wives, or families. Discover next of kin, your ancestor’s rank, and the name of the vessel they served on.

Victoria Births
Number of records added: 104,170
Total records: 1,905,370
Covering: Civil registration of births 1837 – 1917
Discover: Birth place, birth year, registration number, parents' names, birth year, birth place, marriage details & previous children

British Newspapers
New records: 1,644,945
New titles: 13
Covering: North West England, South East England, Nottinghamshire, Bournemouth & Scotland
Discover: Family notices, advertisements, local news stories & more

Thursday, February 16, 2017


Sometime between 1636 and 1642 my 6x great grandfather Ebenezer Ellingwood left Beverly,
Ma. and moved to the new township of  Souhegan West. We know this because his son James was
born in Beverly in 1636 and his youngest son Rolandson was born in Souhegan West in 1642.
The move was made because of a land grant given to Ebenezer's father Ralph Ellingwood Jr.for service in the King Philip's War, as explained by Duane Hamilton Hurd in his History of Essex County, Massachusetts:

Previous to the attack upon the Narragansett Fort, when the soldiers were assembled on Dedham Plain, they were promised a reward in land for their services, in addition to their pay, provided they “played the man, and drove the Narragansetts from the fort." This promise was eventually fulfiled, but not until nearly sixty years had passed away, when the soldiers engaged in this campaign were granted several townships of land, each six miles square, in the wild region, now included in the States of Maine and New Hampshire. The township shared in by the Beverly soldiers or their heirs, was known then as Souhegan West, at present Amherst, New Hampshire. The names of the proprietors from Beverly, in 1741, when they met to take possession, were *Henry Bayley, Henry Blashfieid and assigns, *Jonathan Bylcs, * Lott Conant, Andrew Dodge for J. Ellinwood, Jona. Dodge for John Dodge, Wm. Dodge’s heirs, *Ralph Ellinwood, Saml Harris’ heirs, Joseph Morgan for his father, Joseph Picket for his father, Elias, *Thomas Rayment, Wm. Rayment’s heirs, and *Christopher Read. p689

History of Essex County, Massachusetts: With Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men, Volume 1  J.W. Lewis &Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 1888

The * before a name means that person was one of the soldiers of the battle at "Fort Narragansett"
(known as the Great Swamp Fight") still living in 1741. Ralph and his brother John had been in
their late teens at the time of their service.

But even though Ebenezer had moved his family north, there still remained some property in
Beverly that had to be sold.

To be continued

Sunday, February 12, 2017


Saturday morning I received an email from Daniel Horowitz about the new Consistency Checker tool with the following information:

I'm delighted to announce the launch of the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. This new tool scans your family tree and identifies potential mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you can quickly make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.

At MyHeritage, we hold accuracy in high regard and the Consistency Checker is an important tool for family historians of any skill level. We hope it will improve the quality of collaborative genealogy as a whole.

The announcement at the MyHeritage blog begins:

We’re excited to introduce the new Consistency Checker for online family trees at MyHeritage. This new tool scans your family tree and identifies mistakes and inconsistencies in your data so that you could make the necessary changes in your tree, improving its overall quality and accuracy.

The Consistency Checker employs 36 different checks on the family tree data, ranging from the obvious (e.g., a person was born before their parent, or when the parent was too young to be a parent) to the subtle and hard to find (e.g., a person was tagged in a photo and the photo is dated before the person’s birth; or two full siblings were born 5 months apart, which is impossible). Some of the issues it finds are factual mistakes (e.g. wrong birth date entered), some are bad practices (e.g. birth year entered as 22 instead of 1922, or prefix entered as part of the first name instead of in the prefix field), some are warnings about possible data entry errors (e.g. a woman’s married surname was apparently entered as her maiden surname, or a place was entered that looks suspiciously like a date) and some are inconsistencies you may want to fix, such as references to the same place name with two different spellings. Any issue you feel is fine and should intentionally not be addressed can easily be marked to be ignored and will not be reported again.

A similar Consistency Checker tool has long been available in our Family Tree Builder software and has been very much appreciated by the many users who have taken advantage of it. We are now providing it for the 37.1 million family trees managed by our users on the MyHeritage website. Genealogists who care about the accuracy of their information, as all genealogists should be, will be delighted with the opportunity to catch mistakes in their data and fix them. Take the challenge and run the Consistency Checker on your tree! Will your tree come out clean, with flying colors, or is it in need of serious cleanup? Most of the issues are easy to fix and we are sure that you will enjoy the process.

Check out the blog at for more information and a demonstration of how it works.

Friday, February 10, 2017


This morning I received the following press release from MyHeritage:

MyHeritage Launches Photo Discoveries™

Exclusive feature delights users with photographs of their ancestors and relatives, added to their family tree in one click

TEL AVIV, Israel & LEHI, Utah, February 10, 2017 – MyHeritage, the leading international family history and DNA company, announced today the launch of Photo Discoveries, an innovative feature which transforms family trees by automatically adding matching historical photos. A Photo Discovery provides users with a set of photographs of ancestors and relatives they may have never seen before, originating in family trees contributed by others. Users can add the photographs to the matching profiles in their family tree, in a single click.  

Layered on top of MyHeritage's highly accurate Smart Matching™ technology, which locates matching profiles in other family trees, and Instant Discoveries™, which enable users to add entire branches to their family tree in just a few clicks, Photo Discoveries identifies the profiles that have no photographs in the user's family tree and provides photographs of these individuals from matching profiles on other family trees.

Users can add up to ten photographs per Photo Discovery, reject specific ones they do not wish to receive, and apply Photo Discoveries as many times as they would like. The photographs are then copied over to the associated profiles, preserving all useful metadata such as people tags, dates and place names.

“At MyHeritage we’re constantly brainstorming innovative new ways to make our industry-leading matching technologies even better,” said MyHeritage Founder and CEO Gilad Japhet. “Receiving a never-seen-before photograph of an ancestor is a delightful emotional experience, and one that we would like our users to enjoy as often as possible. Photo Discoveries deliver this and fulfill the promise of collaborative genealogy in a slick and gratifying one-click experience."

Viewing Photo Discoveries in thumbnail form is free. Applying Photo Discoveries to one's family tree requires a PremiumPlus or Complete subscription on MyHeritage.


     Here's this week's announcement of the Findmypast Friday releases         

                  Over 31 million new records are available to search this Findmypast Friday, including;

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

Discover your Catholic ancestors from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in this first record release from an agreement we've made with the Roman Catholic Church to digitise their unique records for the first time ever. These baptism records list your ancestor's name, their parent's names, and their residence at the time.

Additional information that you may find from the images include place of birth, sponsors, minister who performed the ceremony, and notice of marriage. Catholic priests were charged with noting all vital events of their parishioners. If, for instance, a parishioner married outside her home parish, the priest who performed the marriage would contact her priest to confirm she was baptised and to share the details of her marriage, hence the marriage notice in the baptism register.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

View a transcript and image of your ancestor's marriage register from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. As well as details such as the couple's names, and marriage date and location, you may also find dates and locations of the couples' baptisms. 

All our Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish records are from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, covering Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia County. Originally formed as a diocese in 1808 by Pope Pius VII, it was made a metropolitan archdiocese in 1875. The Catholic Church has had a presence in the area since as far back as William Penn's founding of the Province of Pennsylvania in 1681.

Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse

In this browse-only search, you can navigate through each of the 199 sacramental registers that make up the Philadelphia Roman Catholic Parish Registers, in their entirety, to discover all there is learn about your ancestor's connections to the church.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Births & Baptisms

Provided by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, these records include images from a variety of sources ranging from the late 1600s to the mid-1900s. Each result has both a transcript and an image of the source document (e.g. original registers, historical society publications, etc.).
This collection is part of a larger body of work that will be published on Findmypast over time. It is important to note that this may not be the only place to find births or baptisms—and there may be records included that are not births or baptisms — in this material from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, rather these were the records that we were able to identify as largely composed of births and baptisms.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Deaths & Burials

As well as details such as name, date of death and burial, parish and diocese, you may find information on your ancestor's military service, age, birth date, or spouse and children. Some even include tombstone inscriptions.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Marriages

Pennsylvanian marriage records ranging from the early 1600s to the late 1900s. You can view a transcript and the original image.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Congregational Records

Gain an insight into your ancestor and the church they attended. Images can include lists of past ministers and those baptised and confirmed, as well as church histories. The lists of confirmations and communicants may also provide the names of parents and spouses.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Word War II Casualty Cards

These cards were created by the Army so if something happened to a local soldier, the newspaper wouldn't have to scramble for the information. These records are particularly relevant in light of the fire at the National Archives and Records Administration in the 1970s when most World War II personnel files were destroyed. 

                                                                                Westminster Roman Catholic Census 1893
As well as the typical information you would expect from a census (occupation, address, birth year, etc.), notes detailing the local priest's opinion on your ancestor's faith and dedication to the church let you find out if your ancestor was a good or bad Catholic.

England Roman Catholic Parish Baptisms

See the record of your ancestor's baptism. The amount of information in each record varies depending on the age of the record, its legibility, and the amount of information recorded by the parish priest at the time of the event. All England Roman Catholic parish records released this week are from the Birmingham and Westminster archdioceses.

England Roman Catholic Parish Burials

View original burial registers to discover more about your ancestor. Every record includes a transcript and an image of the original sacramental register, while some provide additional information such as your ancestor's parents' names or burial plot.

England Roman Catholic Parish Marriages

Discover where and when your ancestor was married, along with witnesses' names and the names of the married couple's fathers

England Roman Catholic Parish Congregational Records

Did your ancestor receive confirmation? Were they a benefactor of a parish? Explore thousands of Roman Catholic congregational records from Birmingham and Westminster to discover your ancestor's relationship with his local parish.

England Roman Catholic Parish Registers Browse

Browse all 747 volumes of the Birmingham and Westminster Archdiocesan Archives from start to finish. The volumes span from 1657 to 1907, listing marriages, baptisms and births, burials, and congregational records including anniversary books, confirmation lists, parish diaries, and more.

US Marriage Records

Had no joy searching our US marriage records collection for your ancestor? We've just added 26,000,000 new records, so it's definitely worth another look.

Thursday, February 09, 2017


It's that time of year again when the various genealogy companies make big announcements
at the Rootstech gathering in Salt Lake City. I like to think of it as Genealogy Christmas.

Today I received this information in my email from Findmypast concerning two record collections:


Findmypast launches Catholic Heritage Archive
Findmypast announces plans to create the most comprehensive collection of Roman Catholic sacramental registers for the United States, Britain and Ireland
When complete, this exclusive collection will contain over 100 million records spanning 300 years of Catholic history
·                                 Millions of exclusive Catholic records published online with more 
                                                                      coming soon

Thursday 9th February 2017
Time: 8am MT, 10am EST, 3pm GMT

Leading family history website, Findmypast, today announced the creation of the Roman Catholic Heritage Archive, a ground breaking initiative that aims to digitize the historic records of the Catholic Church in the United States, Britain and Ireland.

Findmypast is today releasing over 3 million exclusive records including sacramental registers for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1757 to 1916 as well as for the British Archdioceses of Westminster and Birmingham from 1657 onwards. This builds on last year's publication of more than 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers.

 The Catholic Church holds some of the oldest and best preserved genealogical records ever created. However, as many of these documents memorialize important religious sacraments such as baptism, marriage and burial, their privacy has long been protected and access to original copies has traditionally been hard to come by. 

In collaboration with various Archdioceses of the Catholic Church, Findmypast is helping to bring these records online in one unified collection for the first time ever. Exclusively available on Findmypast, images of original documents will be completely free to view in many cases. Fully searchable transcripts will also be included, providing family historians from the around the world with easy access to these once closely guarded records. 

The next phase of the Catholic Heritage Archive will include records from the archdioceses of New York and Baltimore as well as additional records from Philadelphia. There are over 30 million records in just these three dioceses. The digitization of the whole archive is a monumental undertaking and, when complete, will contain hundreds of millions of records for the USA alone. 

10 million new US marriage Records
Findmypast has also just released a further 10 million United States Marriage records in association with Family Search International. The new additions cover 45 states, over 1,800 counties and date from the early 17th century up to the present day. Over 65 million records are currently available to search within the collection.
Covering 360 years of marriages from 1650-2010, when complete this landmark collection will form the single largest online archive of U.S. marriages in history and will only be found in its entirety exclusively on Findmypast. 

The launch of these new US records is central to Findmypast's growth strategy in the U.S. They will complement Findmypast’s massive collection of British and Irish data, providing many more connections and a more comprehensive experience to family historians in the US and all over the world.

I can't wait to see what other news we get from this year's Rootstech!

Friday, February 03, 2017


This week's 1.1 million Findmypast Friday new records include electoral rolls from Australia
and British emigration records:

Australia Electoral Rolls

New additions covering Queensland & Tasmania have been added and our improved search now allows you to search across 12.6 million records from right across Australia at once to discover where your ancestors were living and if they could vote.


Early Emigration From Britain 1636-1815
Did your ancestors leave Britain for North America or the West Indies? Explore these rare early migration records to discover their residence, occupation, year of birth, the year they departed, their destination and the ship they sailed on.


Early Emigration From Britain 1636-1815 Browse
Browse through a variety of different document types and navigate through each piece in its entirety.

Britain, Early Emigration To Barbados
Find out if your British ancestors left for a settlement in Barbados between 1678 and 1715 and explore a variety of documents recording an array of different events, including baptisms, burials, censuses, landowner lists, and more.

Britain, Early Emigration To Barbados Browse
Delve through these early records in their entirety to discover details about your ancestors and early colonial settlements in Barbados and other North American colonies, such as Connecticut and Rhode Island.


Britain, Royal African Company, 1694-1743
Search thousands of passenger lists held by The National Archives to uncover the details of those on board the Royal African Company’s ships to and from Africa as well as the names of those who lived and died at the numerous company forts.

Britain, Royal African Company, 1694-1743 Browse
Browse through individual pieces from The National Archives series T 70 - Company of Royal Adventurers of England Trading with Africa and successors.


My 6x great grandfather Ebenezer Ellingwood married Sarah Tuck, the daughter of John & Sarah (Reith) Tuck on 13Mar 1718. I found the marriage record on FamilySearch: It's on the right hand page next to the orange line I drew in to make it easier to see:

"Massachusetts, Town Clerk, Vital and Town Records, 1626-2001," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 13 July 2016), Ebenezer Ellinwood and Sarah Tuck, 23 Mar 1718; citing Marriage, Beverly, Essex, Massachusetts, United States, , town clerk offices, Massachusetts; FHL microfilm 864,851.

This is an enlarged image of the entry: 

Ebenezer and Sarah had ten children, the first eight of whom were born in Beverly, Ma, the last two in Sowhegan West, NH.:

Ebenezer Ellingwood , b.30Oct 1719 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Sarah Ellingwood, b. 8Oct 1721 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Joseph Ellingwood,  b. 22Feb 1723 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Mary Ellingwood, b.9Mar1726 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Abigail Ellingwood, b. 19Feb 1727 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Jedidiah Ellingwood. b, 23Aug 1730 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Martha Ellingwood b.8Sep 1734 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
James Ellingwood, b.5Nov 1736 in Beverly, Essex, Ma.
Rolandson Ellingwood, b.23 Apr 1742 in Souhegan West ( now Amherst, Hillsborough), NH
Eunice Ellingwood, b. 1743 in Souhegan West  ( now Amherst, Hillsborough), NH

I'll discuss why Ebenezer  moved his family north in the next post.

To be continued