Friday, March 31, 2017


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A few thoughts about my 9x great grandfather Thomas Tuck and the stolen bell:

I was checking for names of ancestors in the Essex County Court case files last week
when I ran across this case. Thomas Tuck seems to have been a bit of a character, a
man who liked his liquor a bit too much. Most of the mentions about him have to
do with him being drunk. That's a subject for another blogpost. One case though
possibly has a connection with the stolen bell. Some years before, Richard More
had dug a well and Thomas' cow fell in and broke its neck. So that may have been
the reason why Thomas helped steal the bell and then readily admitted doing it
years later: payback.

Also, the case points up again that early Puritan New England was not so much
a shining example of Christian virtue. There was a rivalry not only between the
town of Salem and the settlers of what would later become Beverly, there was one
apparently even between the churches over bells. I've come to think of it as "belfry

Finally, something about all this sounded familiar and then I realized where I'd heard of
it before. About ten years I read a book, David Lindsay's biography of Richard More, Mayflower Bastard, in which the church bell has a certain symbolism in More's life. I lost the book
someplace along the line, but it was very good, and I recommend it.

My Tuck descent down to my grandfather:

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Continuing the testimony in the trial of my ancestor Thomas Tuck charged with stealing
a church bell from the yard of Richard More: 

Capt. William Dixcy deposed that soon after the taking of the forts, Capt. Lawthrop signified by letter to them that he had procured a bell for their meeting-house and had sent it home by Capt. More. He, with others, went to Capt. More who asked if they had a bill of lading or an order from the General. They not having either, he refused to let them have it. Sworn in court.

Capt. William Dixcy, aged seventy-two years, testified that soon after the return of Major Sedgwick from St. John's and Port Royall, the latter, with Major Leverett, being in company on a journey from the eastward to Boston happened to come into deponent's house. They sat down and discoursed there a while and among other things Major Leverett asked "mee what our towns name was. I answered him that wee weer no town as yet: then sayd hee you may do well to lett Major Sedgwick haue the honor of nameing the town when it is made a town for he hath giuen Captain Lawthrop a bell for your place and this to the best of my Remembrance was before wee had any notice giuen us of it any other way." Sworn in court.

Joshua Hobart certified at Boston, Oct. 18, 1679, that he, living at Bass river when the French forts were, by Major Robert Sedgwick, reduced to English obedience, there was a bell at Capt. Richard More's of the spoils, and which in his absence was taken away, etc. Wit: Joshua Hobart* and Isaac Pepper.* Sworn, Oct. 18, 1679, before Joshua Hobart,* commissioner.

Jeremy Hobart* testified to the same, 25 :9 : 1679, before Edm. Batter,* commissioner in Salem.
John Dodge, jr., aged about forty years, and Nathaniel Hayward, aged about thirty-seven years, deposed that being in company with Capt. More about two years ago he told them that the bell which is at Beverly was for Capt. Lowtrop but, said More, "you beuerly men did steal ye bell in yt you took ye bell without order when I was not at home." Sworn in court.

Nathaniell Sharpe, aged about thirty-five years, deposed that he saw some Beverly men take the bell out of More's yard and Thomas Tuck and Thomas Pigdon were two of them. Joshua Ward affirmed the same. Sworn in court.

Georg Stanly, aged about forty-four years, testified that about the time that Salem new meeting house was built, "I being in company with Captain Lawthrop, Capt More and Capt. Joseph Gardner at Capt. Gardners hous I heard Capt. Gardner say to Captain Lawthrop I think said he wee must haue your Bell for our meeting hous is bigger than yours and your bell is bigger than ours I think wee may doe well to change bells. Captain Lawthrop Replyed hee knew no need of that our bell said hee is very well where it is, the bell was giuen to mee for the place where now it is: Captain More answered him that allthough the bell weere giuen to you yet said hee I dont know but I might haue kept the bell as well as you for I brought it home and I neuer gaue a bill of lading for it neither was I euer paid for the freight of it. Captain Lawthrop answered Captain More that hee might haue kept such and such things naming seuerall things as well as the bell for I had no more bill of lading to show for them said hee then for the Bell: Come Come said Captain Mor let us drink up our wine and say no more of it I supose wee shall neuer trouble you for none of them." Sworn in court.

Anthony Needam, aged about forty-eight years, deposed that he was a soldier under Major Sedgwick and heard Capt. Lawthrop ask for a bell for the new meeting house in the plantation where he dwelt. Deponent heard Capt. Lawthrop ask again at Port Royal when Major Sedgwick was standing in the fort and he gave him the bell in the friary, deponent and Capt. Lawthrop throwing it down to the ground. Then deponent and others took it down to Capt. Moor's ketch to ship home. Sworn in court

John Floyd testified that he was at the taking of the French forts, etc. Sworn in court. 

 Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) 1678-1680  Salem, Ma. 1919

I'll have a few thoughts about all this in the third post in this series.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


((Before my 52 Ancestors entry for my 7x great grandfather Thomas Tuck, I want to 
revisit my posts from 2 years ago about his legal situation over a bell.))

In 1654 the Massachusetts Bay Colony sent an expedition against French settlements
at Castine, Maine, and two locations in Canada: St. Johns, New Brunswick,  and Port Royal,
Nova Scotia. The force of 300 men was led by Robert Sedgwick. In the taking of Port
Royal the Protestant colonists looted and burned a Catholic monastery, and one of the
looted items was a church bell. We probably would have never known about the bell except
that twenty five years later it was the object of contention at a session of the Essex County
Court held at Salem in November 1679. One of the people involved was my 9x great
grandfather Thomas Tuck:

Capt. Richard More v. Wm. Dodg, jr. and Tho. Tuck, sr. Verdict for plaintiff.f
fWrit: Capt. Richard More v. William Dodge, jr., and Thomas Tuck, sr.; for illegally taking away a bell from plaintiff without his consent, which bell hangs in Beverly meeting house; dated 18 : 9 : 1679; signed by Hilliard Veren, for the court and the town of Salem; and served by Henry Skerry, marshal of Salem, by attachment of the house and land of Thomas Tuck, and a table and chest of William Dodge, jr.

Richard More's bill of cost, 2li. 12s. 8d.

Henry Kenny, aged about fifty-five years, testified that he was a soldier under Major Sedgwick about twenty-five years ago, at the taking of St. John's from the French and heard Capt. Lawthrop ask the General to give him a bell, which the General promised to do. Sworn in court.

Henry Skerry, marshal, deposed that when he served the attachment, Thomas Tuck told him that he and some others took the bell out of Capt. Richard More's yard.

Mr. Jeremy Hubbard of Topsfield deposed that he had heard divers times Thom. Tuck say that he and Thomas Picton took the bell. This was when deponent was minister at Bass river, now Beverly. Sworn in court.


Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts, Volume 7 (Google eBook) 1678-1680  Salem, Ma. 1919 

So Thomas freely admitted he had stolen the bell from Richard More's yard.

There's more testimony, which will be in the next post.


 My 8x great grandfather Thomas Rowlandson seems to have been moderately active in the
 Salisbury, Ma. community. Here's what David Webster Hoyt wrote about him in his book:

2 Thomas^ Rowlandson [or Rolenson] {Thomas^), of Ipswich and  Salisbury, m. May 17, 1653[S Sm], Dorothy Portland. He was of Ip. in 1648 ; rem. to S. ab. 1652, taxed in S. that year and in 1659 ; signed petitions of 1658 and '80 ; member of S. chh. 1677 ; d. July, 1682[S] ; will July 7, Sep. 21, 1682 ; wife Dorothy ment. ; also son Joseph and four daus., without giving names. Wid. seems to be named " Dorothy Perin," in 1689 ; but " Dorothy Rowlandson " appears in 1694. Children :

6 i Elizabeth,3 b. June 7, 16.54[S]; d. July 29, 16o5[S].
7 ii Thomas,3 b. July 5, 1656rs] ; killed by Indians in the attack upon  his uncle's house in Lancaster, Feb. 10, 1675-6.
8 iii Sarah,3 b. Aug. 5, 1658[S]; m. Dec. 5, 1684[S], (18) Nicholas Bond.+
9 iv Elizabeth,3 b. Feb. 26, 1660[S] ;* [m. John Ellenwood, and d. bef. 1706?].t
10 v Joseph,3 b. Feb. 18, 1663[S]; res. S.; "cordwinder" in 1689; d. bef. Sep. 28, 1694, when his mother Dorothy was ap. adm. his est.
11 vI Mary 3 b. Aug. 24, ]666[S]; m. Feb. 7, 1687-8[S], (1) Jonathan Blodgett. +
12 vii Martha,3 b. Aug. 24, 1666[S],* [twin], prob. m. bef. 1706, Ralph Ellenwood. t
13 viii John, 3 b. March 20, 1667-8[S] ; prob. d. young.
14 ix Ann 3 b. March 16, 1668-9[S] ; prob. d. young.  p.307

The old families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton Vol 1 Providence, RI. 1897

There's also an interesting footnote about his estate:

t In an agreement about the est. of Thomas Rowlandson, signed April 8, 1706, by wid. Sarah Bond and Samuel Joy, of S., (in right as purchaser of J. Blodgett and Mary his wife), " John Eleuwood and Ralph Elenwood and Martha his wife," are given as children of Thomas Rowlandson. The will of Ralph Ellenwood of Beverly, 1674, ment. wife Eleanor, and chil. : Ralph, John, Joseph, Benjamin, David, Mary, and Elizabeth. John  and Benj. Ellenwood, sons of Ralph Ellenwood, deed., were living in Beverly in 1694. p.307 ibid.

I've found the original probate file at but haven't transcribed it as yet.
I haven't found the later agreement, though.

I've been thinking about something that occurred to me when I first read the information in
Hoyt's book. Salisbury is roughly twenty five miles north of Beverly up the Massachusetts
coastline. Today that's not that far by car but back in the mid-to late 17th century that was
quite a distance. I assume Ralph Ellingwood met Martha Rowlandson because she was his
sister in law. But how did his older brother John meet Elizabeth Rowlandson?

Monday, March 27, 2017


My 7x great grandmother Martha (Rowlandson) Ellingwood was the granddaughter of immigrant
ancestor Thomas Rowlandson Sr..
I found the following entry for him in  David Webster Hoyt's book The old families of Salisbury 
and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton Vol 1:

1 Thomas^ Rowlandson [Rolenson, or Rawlinson], of Ipswich and Lancaster, m. Bridget___ . He was in Ip. in 1637 ; free. 1688 ; rem. to L. in 1655 ; d. there, Nov. 17, 1657. Wid. Bridget m. May 31, 1659, William Kerley, Sen. ; she d. June 14, 1662. Children : 

2 i Thomas,2 b. ; m. May 17, 1653, Dorothy Portland. +
3 ii Elizabeth.^ b. ; m. 1st, Dea. Richard Wells of S.; 2d, Oct. 24, or 27, 1677, John Harris of Rw. +
4 iii Martha,2 b. ; m. (2) John Eaton. +
5 iv Joseph,^ b. ab. 1631 ; m. 1656, Mary White. + 


The old families of Salisbury and Amesbury, Massachusetts ; with some related families of Newbury, Haverhill, Ipswich and Hampton Vol 1 Providence, RI. 1897

Hoyt uses the abbreviations S. for Salisbury, Ip. for Ipswich and L. for Lancaster, all in Massachusetts.

Thomas Sr. died intestate. I found the probate file with the estate inventory over on the website but it will take a bit to decipher it.

There's a link here with my dad's maternal Barker line through the marriage of youngest son
Joseph Rowlandson'smarriage to Mary White

Friday, March 24, 2017


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Before I start posting about the Ellingwood wives,a brief overview.

Most of my Dad's colonial  ancestors on his mom's side are from the counties north and west of Boston. But on his father's there are four branches from the south in Plymouth County, and two
are from Ellingwood marriages.

The first is through my 3x great grandmother Rachel Barrows who married John Ellingwood Jr.

The other is 2x great grandmother Florilla Dunham, wife of Asa Ellingwood. Florilla was an Ellingwood descendant herself, and when I try to print out a descendant chart between Asa Ellingwood and my Dad, it gives it through Florilla because she is descended from Ralph's oldest child, Mary Ellingwood,

From the other Ellingwood wives I have more connections to the north and in some cases to 
families on the Barker side of the family,.

I'll be discussing the family of my 7x great  grandmother Martha Rowlandson first.

Friday, March 17, 2017


((In honor of St Patrick's Day and my Mom's Irish family, I'm reprinting this transcription of
the  newspaper account of the death of Frank McFarland, who I believe to be my great
granduncle. Like many Irish immigrants to Boston in the 1800's, he worked at construction jobs ))

Here is my transcription of the story in the Boston Daily Globe on Saturday, August 14th,1886
with the details of the terrible accident that took my great granduncle Frank McFarland's life
on the day before which, I just now realized, was Friday the 13th!  One of his two brothers mentioned
in the report was probably my great grandfather John McFarland . For some reason, the reporter
spells the family name as McFarlane:   

"Dead Under Tons of Land
Frank McFarlane's Living Burial
The Caving Ditch at Brighton And The Struggle for Life
The Successful Search For The Body
Cunningham's Escape"

The body of Frank McFarlane, who yesterday morning at 10.30 was buried by
the accidental caving in of the sides of a ditch in which he was working, was
discovered last evening at 5.26. He was sent about nine days ago to brace the
sewer ditch on Waverley street, Brighton. On account of the treacherous
character of the soil, which is of a sandy, gravelly nature, a skilful man was
required. Yesterday morning Mr. Grace, who is superintending the construction
of the sewer, spoke to McFarlane about polling braces at the bottom of the
ditch, which was about fifteen feet deep. At first McFarlane thought such
precaution  unnecessary, but finally decided to act upon the suggestion,
and, taking Thomas Cunningham, had begun strengthening the bottom of
the ditch when one of the men above cried:

"Come out, both of you, as quick as you can; the ditch is caving!"

Cunningham immediately ran towards the nearest exit, which was at the
westerly end, and McFarlane, after a moment, started for the opening in the
opposite direction. Cunningham succeeded in making his escape while, as
the result showed, McFarlane was overtaken about half way between the
point from which he started and the exit, and was buried alive beneath
tons of sand and gravel.

All the afternoon a gang of about sixty men, many of them without dinner,
labored hard and earnestly with the faint hope that the braces might have fallen
from both sides and prevented him from being crushed. As the afternoon
wore on and the loose soil continued caving and preventing rapid headway
this hope began to vanish, and at about 5.26, when John Coughlin cried,
"Here he is!" scarcely one of the immense crowd that had gathered expected
to see anything but a lifeless corpse.

At the moment the body was found two men rushed in from the crowd which
had been roped off by the officers, and, in spite of the detaining cries of those
in charge, made straight for the edge of the ditch, crying: "Is his name Mcfarlane?
Is he dead?" They were the two brothers of the victim, and had spent the
afternoon in a wild search among the hospitals and police stations of the city
for their brother, whom they had heard was killed.The grief of these two
strong men, both of whom sat around on the ground and wept like children,
was heartrending.

It was almost an hour after the body was discovered that it could be extricated
from the earth and timbers. When this was at length accomplished, and the
body of the unfortunate man was borne in the rough and brawny arms of his
comrades carefully and gently to the ambulance which was in waiting, sobs
and exclamations of pity arose from all sides. The hands were found to be
open with the fingers close together, like those of a man swimming, while
upon the face was a calm look, as if the victim, after a brief struggle with his
hands, had desisted and become resigned to his fate.

The body was conveyed to Station 14, whence it will be removed to 13 Coventry
street, where the unfortunate man lived, Although McFarlane was unmarried
and had no family of his own, he leaves an aged father and mother, to whose
support he was the principal contributor. "

My great grandfather John McFarland  had already lost two infant children and now with
the death of his brother must have decided to purchase a family plot at St. Benedict's Cemetery.
The burial didn't take place until a week later after the children were exhumed and all three were
buried on the same day,

Of the twelve McFarland family members on the list, only the last four are on the headstone:
my great grandparents John and Ann, my grandaunt Winifred, and my grandmother Agnes.

Thursday, March 16, 2017


((In honor of St Patrick's Day, I'm reposting this from March, 2012))

I've written before about the way some work of chance leads me to
encounters with places related to my family's history. Last month
I took some pictures in a local cemetery that I thought might make a
good St Patrick's Day post, a reminder of the perils our Irish ancestors
braved to come to America. But when I researched the story behind
a stone monument, I didn't realize that while I was not related to the
dead it commemorated, I was connected to it in another way.

A tall Celtic cross sits atop a small hill in the midst of the Central Cemetery in
Cohasset, Ma, overlooking a tidal pond. On the landward side is the
following inscription:

This Cross Was Erected And Dedicated
May 30th 1914 By The A.O.H. And The L.A.A.O.H.
Of Massachusetts To Mark The Final
Resting Place Of About Forty Five
Irish Emigrants From A Total Company
Of Ninety Nine Who Lost Their Lives
On Grampus Ledge Off  Cohasset
October 7, 1849 In The Wreck Of The
Brig St.John From Galway Ireland

Edwin Victor Bigelow gives the details of the wreck of the St.John in
his A Narrative History of the Town of Cohasset, Massachusetts, published
by the Cohasset Town Historical Commission in 1898:

On Sunday morning at seven o'clock, October 7, 1849, under a heavy northeast
storm, the British brig St. John, loaded with immigrants brought from Galway,
Ireland, was driven upon Grampus Ledge near Minot, and ninetynine lives
were lost. Another brig, the Kathleen, had managed to creep into the mouth
of our harbor and to anchor; but the St. John was farther out where the gale
struck furiously and made her drag anchors.

The masts were cut away, but still she dragged on. After the first heavy thump
on the Grampus Rock the old hulk rapidly tumbled to bits. Previous to the
breaking up, the jolly-boat was hanging by the tackles alongside when the
stern ringbolt broke and she fell into the waves. Captain Oliver, the second
mate, and two boys jumped into her to clear her, when about twenty-five
passengers poured into her and swamped her so that all perished but the
captain. The first mate hauled in the captain, who caught the end of a rope.

Then the longboat was loosed and the captain with the first mate and eight
of the crew and two passengers scrambled into her, reaching shore at the
Glades. Many more passengers were drowned in their desperate endeavors
to get into the longboat which saved the captain and crew. Ten others, upon
a piece of the deck which was wrenched off by the waves, were floated
safely to shore, seven men and three women.

The St. John was only an hour in tumbling to pieces under the incessant banging
of the waves upon her. Ninety-nine lives were lost and twenty-two were saved.
One of the survivors was a young woman who afterwards settled in Cohasset,
marrying a man whose name was by strange coincidence St. John. (pp463-464)

You can also read about the aftermath of the wreck by no less an author than
Henry David Thoreau who happened upon the scene the day after the storm
as bodies were being recovered and buried by the townspeople of
Cohasset. His account of the incident can be found in his book On Cape Cod.

Now we come to the coincidence:

The wreck of the St John took place while construction was being completed
of a lighthouse at nearby Minot Rock. On page 463 of Bigelow's book, just
before his recounting of the tragedy, there is this on the lighthouse:

"It was finished in the fall of 1849, and Isaac A. Dunham took charge of it,
lighting the lamp for the first time on December 13, 1849."

Isaac Dunham was the first Keeper of Minot Light. Even though it was not
in service at the time of the storm that sank the St John, he was present in
Cohasset and part of the group dealing with the aftermath. He stayed 
at Minot Light only ten months, resigning in 1850 because he felt the
structure was unsafe. A year later the first Minot Lighthouse was destroyed
by a terrible storm, taking the lives of two men stationed there.

My great great grandmother was Florilla Dunham, Isaac Dunham is my 2x
cousin 7x removed, and many of his relatives qre buried in Mt. Vernon Cemetery
here in Abington,

And I wouldn't have known about him except for taking these pictures in
the cemetery in Cohasset, and then using two of them for a St Patrick's
Day post!

Monday, March 13, 2017


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 I received the following press release in my email earlier today:



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                                                        PATRICK’S DAY 2017

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Tuesday, March 07, 2017


I've been stuck in a rut lately as far as trying to blog, especially with the 52 Ancestors Challenge.
The problem is that Asa Ellingwood is my next in line for the Ellingwoods and I've already written more posts about Asa (23) than any of  my other Ellingwood ancestors. So I finally decided to just post this photograph:

It's the Certificate of Intent for Asa's marriage to Florilla Dunham  from the Town Clerk in Paris,
Me. It's dated 22August 1850. Interestingly, the marriage record  transcript at  "Maine Marriages, 1771-1907," on  FamilySearch gives the date of the marriage in Woodstock, Me. as 10Aug 1850.

 I'll discuss the families of the Ellingwood wives next.

Asa & Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood

Sunday, March 05, 2017


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Explore the 1832 census of Lower Canada to discover your ancestor’s address, language, and occupation, or to gain an understanding of the area they lived in.

Britain, Russian Orthodox Church in London
Explore volumes of birth, marriage, and death records from the Russian Orthodox Church in London. The records also include correspondences, congregational records, and church documents.


Yorkshire Memorial Inscriptions
New records: 7,258
Total records: 103,662
Covering: 174 burial sites across the county
Discover: Age, birth year, death year, location, description and inscription

Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth index
New records: 351
Total records: 36,084
Covering: Knighthoods from the 11th century up to the present day
Discover: Birth year, death year, award type, year of award, remarks & biography (often includes rank or position/occupation)

Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902
New records: 295,204
Total records: 298,369
Covering: All ranks of British Army servicemen
Discover: Service number, rank, unit, regiment, honors & awards, casualties, memorials

Friday, March 03, 2017


((I'm in a bit of a writing funk at the moment, so I looked back through past posts. I used to occasionally write some silly posts. This is one I wrote in March 2011.))

A week ago Saturday I was so wrapped up in my blogging about my
grandfather that I forgot to post these for that week's Saturday Night
Genealogy Fun Challenge from Randy Seaver. So here's my contribution
to Genealogism Dictionary:

Genea-vention: What your family might have to perform when you've spent too
much time on genealogy. "Please honey, put down the gedcom and step away 
from the computer!"

Genea-Conventions :No, not gatherings of genealogists but the agreements you
make with your family on how much time you'll spend on your research and how
much with them. Failure to live up to your family Genea-Conventions could lead
to a genea-vention (see above)     

Genea-pet: Remember that half a sandwich that you accidentally covered with
some folders a few weeks back on your desk ? Well, it's now a lovely shade of
green. AND  IT'S ALIVE!

Geneanation: The whole genealogy community

Geneaverse:        Have you heard of a man name of Randy?
                            With geneachallenges he's handy!
                            Each Saturday night,                           
                            A new one he writes
                            And we all think that they're dandy, Randy!

Geneapen: No, I'm using my laptop, but thank you.