Friday, June 30, 2017


This week's Findmypast Friday release for 30June has nearly 8.5 new records, including the Canadian Censuses of 1865 and 1871:



 Canada Census 1861

OVER 2.9 MILLION RECORDS  Explore the last Census of the Province of Canada. Covering Canada West (Ontario) and Canada East (Quebec), these records allow you to discover where your ancestor was living, who they were living with, when and where they were born, their marital status, and their religion.


Canada Census 1871

OVER 3.5 MILLION RECORDS Explore the first Census of the federation of Canada. Covering 206 districts and 1,701 sub-districts in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario & Quebec, the 1871 census recorded residents’ age, year and place of birth, origin, marital status, family number, and religion.


Yorkshire Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts Browse

OVER 130,000 RECORDS Browse through more than 11,000 volumes of vital records dating back to 1538 and discover ancestors who were born, married, or died in Yorkshire to uncover valuable biographical details.


Yorkshire baptisms:

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My 7x great grandfather Jonathan Abbott Sr. is the first of three ancestors with that name.  
I don't know much about him outside of  the housing of the Acadian families in one of his houses
This is what I have for him so far, from the

JONATHAN ABBOT, m. 1713, Zerviak Holt ; 4 Jonathan, b. 14
Dec. 1714; d. 21 May, 1794; 4 David ; 4 Nathan, b. 1718; d.
28 June, 1798 ; m. Abigail Ames; who d. 27 Aug. 1812, a. 89 ;
no issue; 4 Mary ; 4 Zerviah, m. 1745, Ephraim Blunt, Pem-
broke, N. H. 4 Job, b. 14 Oct. 1724; d. ; 4 Samuel, b. 1 Oct.
1727; d.; 4 Jeremiah, b. 10 Oct. 1733; d. in the French war of 1755.

A genealogical register of the descendants of George Abbot, of Andover; George Abbot, of Rowley; Thomas Abbot, of Andover; Arthur Abbot, of Ipswich; Robert Abbot, of Branford, Ct.--and George Abbot, of Norwalk, Ct ,  J.Munroe & Co., Pub. Boston, Ma. 1847

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


If you don't already have a free Guest membership at, now is the time 
to get one!

The following notice is in this week's The Weekly Genealogist from the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

Free Access to


Celebrate Independence Day with free access to

Family historians and genealogists--declare your independence from an incomplete family tree! Search and browse the 1.4 BILLION records on, the award-winning NEHGS website.

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Visit our website from 12:01 a.m. Eastern time on Thursday, June 29, through 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, July 6, for access to all databases--with only a Guest Registration. Questions? Contact us!

This would be a good time for you to look for the records of your New England ancestors, especially the Probate Records for wills and estate inventories!


((Originally posted back in May 2007))

I mentioned in a post awhile back that I’d found a website with
an account of Acadian exiles who were sent to Andover, Ma. after
their expulsion from their Canadian homes. Some of them ended
up living for a time in a house owned by Jonathan Abbott, one of
my ancestors.

Twenty-six Acadian men women and children were sent to
Andover in February 1756 and the families of Germaine Landry
and his two sons-in-law Jacques Hebert and Charles Hebert were
placed in a vacant house owned by Jonathan:

“It was, however, a great annoyance to the Puritan farmer to
have these tenants,-- foreigners and Roman Catholics, quartered
near his own residence. But, as his descendants relate, the
Acadians completely conquered the prejudices of this family and
of the community and gained the good-will of all acquaintances.
They were industrious and frugal. The women worked in the
fields pulling flax and harvesting. They practised the rites of their
religion in an inoffensive manner and commended it by their
Sarah Loring Bailey, 1880

Going by the dates I believe this Jonathan was the one born in
Andover 1Sept 1687 and who was married to Zerviah Holt.
According to Ms. Bailey the Acadians and the Abbotts parted on
friendly terms. The Landry and Hebert families eventually were
able to move to Quebec but apparently still had good feelings for
Jonathan Abbott for they sent him a token of their esteem in 1770:

“Two of them sent a souvenir to Mr. Abbot, which the family still
keep, a beautifully carved and polished powder-horn, made by
their own hands. It is inscribed:

His horn made in Alenstown
April Ye 5 1770
I powder with my brother ball
Most hero-like doth conquer all."

It is embellished with figures of animals,-- a turtle, a deer, a fox,
dolphins, etc., and also with representations of armies fighting,
soldiers in uniform with muskets, sabre bayonet, (all the soldiers
with hair tied in queues hanging down behind), also artillery
men and field pieces.” (ibid)
There is an ironic twist to the tale of the powder horn. Germaine
Landry passed away two weeks after the date of the inscription on
18 Apr 1770.

In trying to research more for this post I found a website on the
history of Andover which has selections from a historical series
run by the Andover Townsman newspaper. One entry, entitled
“Deserted Farms” notes that:

“(3) Jonathan died just a month before the date on the powder
horn sent by the French Arcadias who had known the old man
and his son (4) Jonathan to be real friends”- Andover Townsman
13 Nov 1896
It’s an interesting tale but I don’t think it was all that warm
and fuzzy as the later accounts would make it. The
people of Andover had lost men in the Canadian
campaign to wounds or illness. The Acadians are
referred to in the records as “Jacky Bear”, “Charles
Bear”, and “Germaine Laundry” which could be
simple ignorance of French pronunciation or nicknames
given the refugees and since there were probably no
priests available nearby to perform Roman Catholic
Mass there were ceremonies to arouse the old anger at
Papists among the townsfolk.

Still, it’s nice to know that those distant Abbott relatives
were able to see past their differences and deal humanely
with the Acadians.

I had never heard that there had been French Canadian
prisoners in Massachusetts, let alone that one of my
distant ancestors had a more than casual acquaintance
with some. Lucie LeBlanc Consentino whose website
is where I first read about Jonathan Abbott and the
Acadians tells me that there were 2,000 deportees to
Massachusetts and others were sent to other of the
English colonies along the Atlantic coastline. Outside of
the poem “Evangeline” by Longfellow, I was taught
nothing about this episode in American history and I’m
not certain that the poem is even read by today’s kids.

My thanks to Lucie LeBlanc Consentino for letting me
make use of her research from her website and my
apologies for the delay in getting this done. By the
way, she is a distant relative of Germaine Landry and
his wife Cecile Forest as well as of Charles Hebert.
If you haven’t visited her website Acadian & French-Canadian
Ancestral Home I highly recommend that you do so.

I’m a bit rusty on writing long pieces and I hope I’ve
cited everything correctly. It’s taken me longer than
I wanted to finally write this, actually.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


As I mentioned in an earlier post, my 8x great granduncle Joseph Abbott was the first person in Andover, Ma killed by Indians. Searching online I found two accounts by local historians of the attack.

First, from Sarah Loring Bailey's Historical Sketches of Andove, written in the highly romanticized style of the 19th century :

But, in spite of all the vigilance and precautions, the Indians surprised the town at last. This was on the 8th [or 18th, N. S.] of April, 1676. In this attack, one of the soldiers, who had passed safely through the bloody Narragansett fight in the winter, was slain within sight of his own dwelling.1 It is not impossible that the savages knew who were the men in town that had helped to murder their brethren in the swamp fight; at any rate, they, on this day, whether by accident or design, took revenge on two of these. They directed their course to the house of George Abbot, one of the garrisons. Tradition says that they were seen crossing the river, and that Ephraim Stevens, a scout, gave the alarm. The villagers fled to-the garrisons ; but the Abbot brothers were at work in the fields, and did not reach the shelter before the savages were upon them. Joseph Abbot, the soldier, a strong, athletic young man about twenty-four years of age, made a brave resistance, and killed one or more of the Indians, but was finally set upon by the whole band and cut down, — the first, and perhaps the only, Andover soldierever slain in the town. His brother Timothy, a lad of thirteen years, was taken captive. The savages then hurried off, leaving the smitten household to its desolation. That such desolation ever came to the now peaceful spot it is difficult to realize. In the calm of a summer afternoon, the writer of this sketch stood upon the ground once trodden by the hurrying feet of the fleeing citizens and red with the blood of the slain. Now the scene is tranquil, and bears no token that any deed of violence was ever done here. Broad fields stretch away, just greened after the mower's scythe; elm, ash, and maple, with the friendly apple tree, make a pleasant shade, and through their foliage the sun streaming in, tessellates the grass with a shifting carpet of light and shade. Birds nest and sing undisturbed; from distant fields come sounds of labor ; the cattle are driven into the farm-yard ; the lengthening shadows and the striking of the meeting-house clock remind of the evening hour. In vain we try to call back to this serenity the struggle, the blood, the groans of the battle, the tears and the lament for the youthful dead. May they never come again to any home of Old Andover! pp 173-174
Historical Sketches of Andover: (comprising the Present Towns of North Andover and Andover),
Houghton, Mifflin & Co., Boston, Ma.1880

And there is this by a member of the family, Charlotte Helen Abbott, in the Abbott Genealogies research papers on the Andover Memorial Hall Library website. It was written about the same time as the above excerpt but not as florid: :

April 18 1676
Timothy (2) took one of the powder horns-as he supposed- the morning that his brother went to cut elder bushes by the swamp, now Brother's Field, but it was a horn of sand, used to whet the scythes, so they had no ammunition.

When the Indians came upon them, Joseph was bound not to be taken or let Timothy go, as he knew that he would be tortured because he was among those who burned Wamesit lodges on the way back from the war. So he resisted, and was killed. Timothy was taken captive and kept with the Indians for a number of months. He was later brought back by a squaw, having suffered much from hunger.

 Early Records of the Abbott Family of Andover

The Wamesit lodges referred to were in an Indian camp the Andover militia destroyed on the way home from the Great Swamp Fight at Narragansett, R.I.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I have a confession to make. I am pretty much a science dummy. I can remember the names of the Plantagenet and Hapsburg dynasty. I can do the same with mythological gods and titles of books.

But ask me to describe how photosynthesis works and I don't recall much of what I was taught about it in school.

This holds true in my genealogical research as well. I can recite my West family forefathers' names, but I have a hard time understanding how this newfangled DNA thingy works.

I had taken a y-DNA test years ago and luckily Mike Maglio was kind enough to explain to me what it said. You can read what he told me at his Origin Hunters blog.  I'd hoped taking the test would help me break down the West brickwall but other than discovering I belong to the J haplogroup, I didn't learn what I'd hoped I would. I am a West family group of one (W309) at the West family DNA project website and after five years I still have no matches.


So I became skeptical about the benefits of DNA in genealogy and pretty much ignored all the hoohaw over DNA and genealogy the past few years. But as many of my genealogy buddies talked about their results from the Ancestry Autosomal DNA test my curiosity was piqued. Finally, when Ancestry offered a discount this month I gave in and dove once more into the gene pool. I ordered a test kit.

The test kit came. I spit into the tube. I struggled with the cap before I realized I was trying to put the cap on upside down. (I actually got a blister on one of my fingers from twisting it so hard!). Once I figured out what I was doing wrong I put the cap on correctly, and then mailed the kit out the next day. Two days later I received an email telling me my kit had arrived and I'd have results in 6-8 weeks. That should be late July-early August.

Now I wait.

To be continued...


(( In my last post I mentioned my ancestor Benjamin Abbott's involvement in  the witchcraft
trial of his neighbor Martha Carrier. Here's his testimony from my 24Oct 2012 blogpost.))

I have some ancestors involved in 17th century witchcraft hysteria in
Massachusetts. Two of them, Rebecca (Blake)Eames and Mary (Towne)Eastey
were among those accused of being witches. Mary was hung ; Rebecca was
pardoned. But I also have relatives among the accusers. So I thought for
Halloween I'd do some blogposts about some of them.

First up are my 8x great grandparents  Benjamin Abbot(t) and Sarah
(Farnham) Abbot(t) of Andover, Ma. They testified against their neighbor
Martha Carrier accusing her of using magic to exact revenge over a land
dispute. If you are a longtime viewer of the PBS show History Detectives
you may have seen the episode they did on Abbott House in Andover and
the dispute with the Abbot(t)s. Here is Benjamin and Sarah's depositions
from Records of Salem Witchcraft: Copied from the Original Documents,
Volume 2
  (Priv. print. for W. E. Woodward, 1864) pp60-62:

"Benjn Abbott v. Martha Carier.

The testimony of Beniamin Abbutt aged about 31 years Saith: last march was
twelfe months, then haueing some land granted to me by the Towne of Andover
near to goodman Carriers his land, and when this land came to be laid out goodwiffe
Carrier was very Angery, and said she would stick as Cross to Benjamin Abbut
as the bark Stooke to the Tree and that J mould Repent of it afore seuen yeares
Came to an End and that docter prescott could neuer cure me: These words were
heard by Allin Toothaker she also said to Ralph farnam Junr that she would hold
my noss so Close to the grindstone as Ever it was held Since my name was 

Beniamin Abbut presently after I was taken with a Swelling in my ffoot and then 
was taken with a payne in my side Exksedingly Tormented, wich bred to a sore, 
which was lancit by docter prescott and Seuerall gallons of Corruption did run 
out as was Judged and so Continued about six weeks very bad, and then one other
sore did breed in my grine wich was lancit by doct. prescott also and Continued 
very bad awhile and then another sore breed in my grine which was also cutt and 
putt me to very great misery, So that it brought me almost to Deaths doore, & 
Continued, untill goodwiffe Carrier was Taken and Carried a waye by the Constable,
and that very day I began to grow better, my soers grew well and I grew better 
Every day and so haue been well ever since and have great cause to think that 
the sd Carrier had a great hand in my sickness and misery.

benjamin Abbut. Jurat in Curia Aug1 3d 1692.
 Attest Step. Sewall Cler."

"Sarah Abbott v. Martha Carrier.
The deposition of Sarah Abbott aged about 32 years testifieth that since my
husband had a parcell of land granted by ye Towne, lying near ye land of Thomas
Carrier, (which as I have heard) his wife martha Carrier was greatly troubled att
and gaue out threatning words that my husband Benjamin Abbott has not been
only afflicted in his body, as he testifies, but also that strange and unusuall things
has happened to his Cattle, for some have died suddenly and strangely, which we
could not tell any naturall reason for, and one Cowe Cleaned a fourthnight before
me Calved but ye Cowe died afterwards strangely though she calved well soe far
as we could perceive, and some of ye Cattle would come out of ye woods wth
their tongues hanging out of their mouths in a strange and affrighting manner,
and many such things, which we can give noe account of ye reason of, unless it
should be ye effects, of martha Carrier threatings.

her mark
Jurat in Curia. Sarah f Abbott
Aug13d 1692. attest. Steph. Sewall Cler"

Martha Carrier was executed on 16Aug 1692. Modern historians now hold that it
was Benjamin Abbot(t) who was landhungry and who engineered the accusation
of witchcraft to gain ownership over the coveted piece of land where Abbot(t)
House was later built about 1711. Benjamin died in 1703.


One of the things you may notice in some  family genealogies written in the 19th century is a tendency to place ancestors on pedestals while not mentioning embarassing incidents. This is especially true if the genealogy was written by family members. Take, for example, the brief biography of my 8x great grandfather Benjamin Abbott, written by  Abiell and Ephraim Abbot:

2 BENJAMIN ABBOT, m. 1685, Sarah Farnum, da. of Ralph F.,
an early settler in Andover ; made and lived on the farm near
Shawshene river, where 6 James Abbot, a descendant, now lives ;
was active, enterprising, and respected ; 3 Benjamin A., b. 11
July, 1686; d. S Dec. 1748; Jonathan, b. Sept. 1687; d. 21
March, 1770; David, b. 29 Jan. 16S9 ; d. 14 Nov. 1753; Samu-
el, b. 19 May, 1694; d. 29 Oct. 1762; he was industrious and
respected for his moral worth and piety ; he lived in Merrimac
Corner ; m. wid. Mary Lovejoy^ 1735 ; had no issue.

They describe Benjamin as "active, enterprising, and respected" They fail to mention his fathering an illegitimate child with the widow of John Lovejoy. FFrom what I've read in snippets of books on Googlebooks, the widow appeared at court and volunteered the information about the child, and Benjamin's maternal uncle Thomas Chandler paid his fine of 40 pounds.

There also is no mention of Benjamin and Sarah (Farnum) Abbott's involvement in the witchcraft trial of their neighbor Martha Carrier.

Perhaps I'm being unfair to the authors, since then again, their book was a genealogical register, not a family history.

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Over 500 thousand new records from Great Britain and Virginia are in this week's Findmypast Friday records releases.


Norfolk Marriage Bonds 1557-1915 Browse
OVER 147,000 RECORDS  

Browse 444 volumes of marriage bonds from four ecclesiastical courts: the Archdeaconry of Norfolk Court, the Archdeaconry of Norwich Court, the Dean & Chapter of Norwich, and the Diocese of Norwich Consistory Court.

Norfolk Poor Law Union Records 1796-1900 Image Browse
Browse 55 volumes of Poor Law records covering 20 unions across Norfolk to discover whether your ancestors fell on hard times. Explore 10 different types of record, ranging from baptism and report books to relief lists and court orders.

Norfolk Non-Conformist Records 1613-1901 Image Browse
Was your ancestor a member of a non-conformist church in Norfolk? Browse through 11 registers covering various denominations including Methodist, Quaker, and Baptist in the parishes of Attleborough, Aylsham, Kenninghall, Norwich, Tasburgh, Walsingham, and Wymondham.

Virginia, Winchester, Evening Star Obituaries 1899-1909
Discover your ancestor’s original printed obituary and uncover a variety of fascinating biographical details, such as their occupation, parents’ names, surviving relatives’ names, and specific time and cause of death. The Evening Star ran from 1899 to 1914 and was a daily paper (excluding Sundays).


Scotland, Post Office Directories
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Discover: Your ancestor’s maiden name, birth year, death year, burial ground, and any additional notes


((I first posted this back on 20Oct 2009.Since I'm now blogging about my Abbott lines
I thought it beared reposting.))

In her book Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language and Social Identity in
early Colonial Andover Massachusetts, distant cousin Elinor Abbot includes an image and
a transcription of a document known as the Faulkner List, which is a list of men who
were "free houlders" in Andover. These were colonists who were not servants and could
own land and build an estate for their heirs to inherit. I'm guessing that the term might be a
shortening of "free landholder".

I wrote a short post back in January of this year about the terms "Covenant" and "Freeman".
In her transcription of the Faulkner List Ms Abbot italicized the names of those men who
were the "Covenanters", the original founders of Andover. Among the names is that of
Edward Faulkner who was the first Andover town clerk and whose handwriting is believed
to be that on the list. I've added asterisks after the names of those men who are my

" house
The order of all the freed ^ holders
in order as they came to town:

Mr. Bradstreet
John Osgood
Joseph Parker*
Richard Barker*
John Stevens*
Nicholas Holt*
Benjamin Woodbridge
John Fry
Edmond Faulkner
Robert Barnard*
Daniel Poor*
Nathan Parker
Henry Jaques
John Aslett (or Aslebe)
Richard Blacke(Black)
William Ballard*
John Lovejoy*
Thomas Poore
George Abbott*
John Russe
Andrew Allen
Andrew Foster
Thomas Chandler*"

At some point the "house" was inserted to reflect possibly a change in how the right to vote
was established.

You might recognize some of my ancestor's names from previous posts. You'll be seeing
more about them as I explore the relations between the families that continued in some
cases from Andover, Massachusetts up into Oxford County, Maine.

Abbot, Elinor, Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language, and
Social Identity in Early Colonial Andover, Massachusetts.
(Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2007) pp20-21


My immigrant ancestor and 9x great grandfather was one of the earliest settlers of Andover, Ma.and  two of his twelve children set  rather unfortunate "firsts" in the town's history. The family name has been spelled either Abbot or Abbott over the years (I prefer the latter spelling)  

One of the first family genealogies I discovered online was one written by distant cousins Abiel and Ephraim Abbot. Here's what they wrote about George and his family:

1 GEORGE ABBOT, the veneiable ancestor of a numerous pro-
geny, emigrated, as tradition reports, from Yorkshire, England,
about 1640, was among the first settlers of Andover, in 1643,
and a proprietor ; lived and died on the farm now owned by
7 John Abbot. His house was a garrison, and was used as such
many years after his death. In 1647, he married Hannah Chand-
ler^ daughter of William and Annis C. Her brother Thomas was
among the first settlers of Andover, and progenitor of a numerous
race. They were industrious, economical, sober, pious and re-
spected. With Christian fortitude and submission they endured
their trials, privations and dangers, of which they had a large share.
They brought up a large family well, and trained them in the way
they should go, from which they did not depart. He d. Dec. 24,
1681, O. S. a. 66. She m. Rev. Francis Dane, minister of Ando-
ver, who d. Feb. 1697, a. 81. She d. 11 June, 1711, a. 82. The
children of 1  George and hannah A. were 2 John, b. 2 March,
1648; d. 19 March, 1721 ; 2  Joseph, b. 11 March, 1649; d. 24
June, 1650; the first death on the town record ; 2  Hannah, b. 9
June, 1650; d. 2 March, 1740; 2 Joseph, b. 30 March, 1652;
d. 8 April, 1676; the first in Andover who fell a victim to Indian
warfare;  2 George, b. 7 June, 1655; d. 27 Feb. 1736  2 William,
b. 18 Nov. 1657; d. 24 Oct. 1713; 2 Sarah, b. 14 Nov. 1659;
d. 28 June, 1711; 2 Benjamin, b. 20 Dec. 1661; d. 30 March,
1703 ; 2 Timothy, b. 17 Nov. 1663 ; d. 9 Sept. 1730; 2 Thomas,
b. 6 May, 1666 ; d. 28 April, 1728; 2 Edward, d. young, drowned ;
2 Nathaniel, b. 4 July, 1671; d. Dec. 1749; 2 Elizabeth, b. 9
Feb. 1673; d. 4 May, 1750; m. 1692, Nathan Stevens


A genealogical register of the descendants of George Abbot, of Andover; George Abbot, of Rowley; Thomas Abbot, of Andover; Arthur Abbot, of Ipswich; Robert Abbot, of Branford, Ct.--and George Abbot, of Norwalk, Ct ,  J.Munroe & Co., Pub. Boston, Ma. 1847

So one Abbott 8x great granduncle was the first recorded death in Andover, Ma.while another was the first to die in an Indian attack on the town.

Three of George and Hannah (Chandler) Abbott's children are my ancestors through my 4x great grandmother Zerviah (Abbott) Ellingwood:
John Abbott 8x great grandfather
Benjamin Abbott 8x great grandfather
Sarah Abbott 8x great grandmother

Friday, June 23, 2017


Starting with my next post in the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series, I'll be discussing the ancestors of  my  x great grandmother Zerviah Abbott, wife of John Ellingwood, Sr. Trough her line I'm related to many of the original colonists of Andover, North Andover, and  Methuen, all towns in Essex County, Ma. but inland from the coast.

Here's a relationship chart from my immigrant ancestor George Abbott Sr. down to Zerviah:

Zerviah's parents Jonathan Abbott and Mehitable Abbott  were 3rd cousins as well as 4th cousins through three other family lines. Here's Mehitable's line:

  I'll start off with a post about George Abbott Sr.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


Great news from Findmypast for those of us with British or Irish Ancestry!

Here's a press release with the details. Be sure to read the last part for how you can participate:


From Thursday 22nd June until Monday June 26th 2017, British & Irish records available on Findmypast will be free to search and explore

London, UK, 22nd June 2017
Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that their unrivalled collection of British and Irish records will be free to access for the next five days. Between 04:00 EDT 22nd June and 18:59 EDT, June 26th 2017, more than 1.1 billion records ranging from censuses and parish registers to military service records will be completely free to search and explore. 

By providing free access to such a wide array of records, Findmypast aims to encourage genealogists to experience the very best of everything Findmypast has to offer. Researchers will also be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights and useful how-to blogs over the course of the free access period, as well as a free downloadable eBook entitled “your must have guide to finding your British & Irish ancestors”. 

An open “ask the experts” question and answer session will also be broadcast live on Facebook at 10am EDT on Monday (June 26th). Findmypast specialists in search techniques, military records, UK family history and everything in-between will be on hand to answer any questions researchers may have, whether they’re just getting started or need help overcoming a brick wall. This will then be followed by a free webinar entitled “20 Unmissable Resources for Tracing Your British and Irish ancestors” at 11am EDT, Wednesday July 5th.

For the duration of the free access period, all visitors to Findmypast will be able to access all of the following resources for free;

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Free access to records included in this promotion lasts from 04:00 EDT on Friday, June 23 2017 until 18:59 EDT on Monday, June 26 2017. To access free records during this promotion, you will need to be registered and signed in to the Site. Not all records on Findmypast are included in this promotion.

The following records are not available during this promotion: the UK Electoral Registers (2002-2013), the UK Companies House Directors (2002-2013), the 1939 Register, our Newspapers and Periodicals, and all non-Britain & Ireland records.


7x great grandfather Robert Woodbury was born in Beverly,Ma. on 4 Jul 1672. When he was around 21 years old he had the good luck of marrying Mary West, the daughter of the wealthy Thomas West, who owned a significant amount of land in Beverly. Ownership of  much ofhat land eventually passed to Robert.

Robert himself was a respected and wealthy member of the community and in 1704 he became the town clerk of Beverly, a position her held for some years. His probate file refers to him as "Captain Robert Woodbury" so apparently he was able to stay active as a merchant while still serving as town clerk.

The children of Robert Woodbury and Mary (West) Woodbury were:
  Robert Woodbury b: 4 Sep 1694 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  Mary Woodbury b: 18 Apr 1697 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  Isaac Woodbury b: 18 Jun 1701 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  James Woodbury b: 20 May 1705 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  Hannah Woodbury b: 22 Apr 1707 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  Ebenezer Woodbury b: 19 Nov 1712 in Beverly, Essex, Ma
  Elizabeth Woodbury b: 17 Jul 1717 in Beverly, Essex, Ma

Sunday, June 18, 2017


I received the following press release yesterday from  Alex Cox of Findmypast:



Ottawa: 16th June 2017
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I haven't found  much so far about my 8x great grandfatherIsaacIsaac Woodbury other than the story about the court case over a runaway servant. There's a tantalizing tidbit on Googlebooks about his ship being taken at sea by the French around 1685 but there are only snippets available online.

I do know Isaac married Mary Wilkes in Beverly, Ma. on 9 Oct 1671 in Beverly, Ma, and that they had three sons and two daughters:

Robert Woodbury, b.4 Jul 1672, m. Mary West
Christian Woodbury, b. 23Mar 1678
Isaac Woodbury,  b.6 Apr 1680
Deliverance Woodbury,  b .18 Feb 1682
Joshua Woodbury,  b. 29Jan 1685

I have found his will over at and plan to transcribe it.

I'm descended from Isaac's son RobertWoodbury.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


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

My Dad, Floyd E West, Jr.


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

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

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

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

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

Great Grandfather Edward J White.

Happy Fathers' Day!


The Findmpast Friday records release for 16Jun has over 730 thousand  brand new records from
Rhode Island and Great Britain:

England & Wales, Crime, Prisons & Punishment, 1770-1935 
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Locate the final resting place of your Rhode Island ancestors, find out when they died, the names of their parents and their age at death. Rhode Island was one of the original Thirteen Colonies – and the very first to renounce allegiance to the British Crown.


Rhode Island Church Records 1671-1899 

Explore transcripts created from Rhode Island church records covering several denominations including Episcopal, Baptist, and Protestant to learn more about your ancestor’s religious beliefs and the community they worshiped with.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017


I love the Essex County Court Case Files;I have found so many stories in them involving my ancestors over the years!

Here's one involving my 8x great grandfather Isaac Woodbury, a runaway servant  and a ship
captain who let the servant slip away.

Nov 1679
Isaack Woodbery v. Roger Rose. Verdict for defendant. Agreed, and judgment satisfied.*

*Writ: Isaack Woodbery v. Roger Rose; for not returning Edward Alfrey, servant of said Woodbery, according to promise made to the constable of Pascattaque, which servant said Rose carried away from Salem to Pascattawaye without knowledge of his master; dated 7:8: 1679; signed by Hilliard Veren,f for the court and for the town of Salem; and served by James Powllen,f constable of Salem. Bond of Roger Rose,f with Dom. Whitef as surety.

Rodger Rose's bill of cost, 3li. 14s.

Warrant, dated 19 : 6 : 1679, to the constables of Salisbury, Hamton, Exeter, Dover and Porshmoth, for the apprehension of Edward Alfry, servant of Isaac Woodbury, who broke open a closet door and stole four or five pounds, "he is about 20 years of age, a midle stature, shorne curld black hair, a short darke Jacket," he went away in Roger Rose's boat, etc., signed by Wm. Hathorne,* assistant.

Warrant, dated Portsmouth, Aug. 21, 1679, to Rodger Rose to carry back Edward Alfrey to Salem whence he brought him and deliver him to the next authority, signed by Richard Martyn,* commissioner.

Jo. Woodbridge,* commissioner, on Oct. 6, 1679, ordered the constable of Newberry to assist Edward Alfry with what help he needed and his master would pay the charge.

William Hathorne,* assistant, ordered the keeper of the Salem goal, 6:8: 1679, to take Edward Alfry into his custody.

Letter of attorney, dated Nov. 6, 1679, given by Isaac Woodberyf of Salem to Mr. John Clifford of Salem. Wit: Richard Stower* and Edmond Bridges.* Sworn before William Browne,* commissioner.

George Deane, aged about forty years, deposed that being at Pascataque river mouth about three months ago Roger Rose of Boston came on board the vessel of which he was master, informing him that he had a young man aboard of his vessel who was put aboard as a runaway by the authority of Pascataque. Rose asked deponent to take him, as deponent belonged to Salem, but he would not unless he were delivered by authority. Sworn, 27 :9 : 1679, before Ed. Batter,* commissioner in Salem.

Tho. Hayward, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that he being a passenger with Rodger Rose at Salem when he was bound for Pescataqua, two men came aboard when he was under sail. They were called William Craift and Edward Albry. Rose doubted his right to take Albry for he thought he might be someone's servant, but Craift, the joiner, declared that he was no man's servant. Sworn, 24 : 7 : 1679, before Edward Tyng.*

John Grafton, aged about fifteen years, testified that he being on board his master, Roger Rose's, vessel, the two men came on board. His master was in his cabin and came out and asked them what they were. Alfry replied that he was a seaman and no man's servant. Rose said if he was a servant he could not carry him. This discourse was when they were outside of Winter Island in Salem. Sworn, Nov. li, 1679, before Edward Tyng,* assistant.

Steph. Griggs, aged about forty years, and Fran. Grant, aged about forty-two years, deposed that in Allfrey's absence they caught 8,000 fish, of which if he had been with them he would have had his share. Sworn, Nov. li, 1679, before William Browne,* commissioner.

Nicolus Maning, Samuell Beadal, and Edmond Bridges testified that they heard Rose say that the men came on board the vessel between Winter Island and Backar's Island. They brought some pork and some clothes, and at Puscattaque, Alfry was seized by a hue and cry and given by authority to Rose to return to Salem, but Rose confessed that he carried him to Salsberry, where he took a freight of hay to Pascataque again, leaving the runaway with one Mr. Huck of Salsberry. He delivered his hay and sailed for Boston, thence to Newbery, where he accidentally spied said Alfry aboa

rd of Doil's ketch. Sworn, Oct. 13, 1679, before William Browne,J commissioner pp306-307

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

Sunday, June 11, 2017


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My 8x great grandfather Humphrey Woodbury had been born in England and came to the Massachusetts Bay colony with his parents as part of the Dorchester Company's settlement on the Cape Ann Rive. Afterward they followed Roger Conant to Salem, Ma.

William Richard Cutter has more details:

(II) Humphrey Woodbury, eldest son and child of John Woodbury, the immigrant, and Agnes his wife, was born in England in 1609-10, and in January, 1635-36, received a grant of half an acre of land at Winter harbor in Beverly, for fishing trade and to build on, for he was a fisherman, as were many of his descendants after him. In 1636 he had a grant of forty acres of land and still another of like area in 1667. The baptismal name of his wife was Elizabeth, but her family name is unknown. She survived him and in her will, May 1, 1689, she mentions her two grandchildren, Peter, son of John Woodbury, and Peter, son of William Woodbury, to each of whom she gave ten shillings because they were named for her own son Peter, who was killed by Indians. Humphrey Woodbury and wife Elizabeth had ten children: 1. Thomas, born about 1639, see forward. 2. John, baptized October 24, 1641. 3. Isaac, baptized February 4, 1643-44, died March 11, 1725. 4. Humphrey, baptized March 8, 1646-7, died April 9, 1727. 5. Susanna, born February 4, 1648-49; married, December 2, 1668, John Tenney, born December 14, 1640, son of Thomas and Ann Tenney, of Rowley. 6. William, baptized May 4, 1651. 7. Peter, born March 28, 1653, killed in 1676 while serving under Captain Thomas Lothrop in King Philip's war. 8. Richard, born February 1654-55, see forward. 9. Elizabeth, born April 28, 1657, married Walker. 10.Elizabeth, born April 20, 1661, married, April 9, 1670, John Trask.-p1123

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

I'm descended from Humphrey's son Isaac Woodbury.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


Mary (Woodbury) Herrick's immigrant ancestor was my 9x great grandfather John Woodbury. Like Roger Conant, he was one of the colonists who first settled at Cape Ann but then moved to join John Endecott at Salem. Ma.

Here's  what William Richard Cutter has to say about John Woodbury:

John Woodbury, the American planter, was born in England of a family whose ancestors are traced to the time of the conquest about the middle of the eleventh century, soon after which heads of families began to take permanent surnames. He came to this country from Somersetshire. England, about 1624-25, in the interest of the Dorchester company of planters, which only a short time before had founded a settlement on Cape Ann, and in 1630 removed to that part of Salem which now is the city of Beverly and settled in the locality which ever since has been known as Woodbury's Point. However, in 1627, he had been called back to England by the Dorchester company "to confer as to the future of the settlement", remained there about half a year, then returned and resumed his former relations with the planters. He was made freeman in 1630, served as deputy to the general court from 1635 to 1638, and from 1637 to the time of his death was one of the selectmen of the town. Among the inhabitants he was called "father" Woodbury, not perhaps on account of his age, but rather by reason of his prominence, usefulness in public and town affairs and the general intelligence he seemed to possess. He owned a considerable estate in lands, which after his death was divided among his heirs, for his will was not proved and recorded. Of his wife little is known, except that her name was Agnes, that she was born in England and that she and her husband were among the original members of the First Church of Salem at its formation in 1629. John and Agnes Woodbury had children: 1. Humphrey, born in 1609-10, was called a fisherman; married Elizabeth , and had ten children,one of whom, Peter, was killed by the Indians. 2. John, called "Senior", married Elizabeth , who survived him and after his death married Captain John Dodge, his second wife. John and Elizabeth Woodbury had five children. 3. Hannah, baptized in the First Church, Salem, December 23, 1636, married, April 6, 1658, Cornelius Baker, who died September 1, 1714. They had eleven children. 4. Abigail, baptized November 12, 1637, married John Hill. 5. Peter, baptized September 19, 1640 (see forward).pp1469-1470

Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Boston and Eastern Massachusetts, Volume 3 Lewis historical Publishing Company, New York, New York,   1908

Thursday, June 08, 2017


I found a transcription of Roger Conant's will and estate inventory in a book, The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts Vol III. It was presented at the Essex Court in Salem in 1679, and by that time the two of his children I am descended from had pre-deceased Roger.  8x great grandfather Lot Conant died in 1674, and 8x great grandmother Sarah (Conant) Leach had been dead for nearly twenty years:

Estate Of Roger Conant Of Salem.
"The Last will & testament of Roger Conant dated the first day of the first month 1677 I Roger Conant aged about eightie fiue yeares being of perfit understanding though weake & feeble in body doe heerby declare my will and minde wherein in the first place I doe bequeath my soule unto God that gaue it & my body to the graue in hope of a blessed Resurrection: & for my outward estate & goods I giue unto my Sonne Exercise one hundred & fortie acres of Land lyeing neere adjoyning unto the new towne of Dunstable as part of two hundred acres granted me by the Generall Court also I giue & bequeath unto him ten acres of Land next adjoyning unto his present homelot and land Lying by the side of william Dodgeses his land & butts one the land of Thomas Herrick: also I giue him two acres of marsh at the south End of the great pond by whenham or if my daughter Elizabeth Conant will Exchang to haue so much at the great marsh neere wenham: also I giue him my swamp at the head of the railes which is it undevided betwixt me and Benjamin Balch adjoyning unto william Dodgeses' swamp: also I giue him my portion of land Lying by Henry Haggats on wenham side: now out of this forementioned Land he is to paye seaven pound toward the discharge of such Legassis as I haue giuen & bequeathed according as is heere after set down More I giue unto my grand child John Conant sonne of Roger Conant ten acres of Land adjoyning to his twenty acres by the great ponds side he paying twenty pounds for the same towards the payment of legassis as after mentioned more I giue unto my grand child Joshua Conant seaventeen acres of Land Lying by the south side of the great marsh neer wenham and bounding unto the land of Peter woodbery: and the rest to returne to my Executor.

"Also I giue unto my daughter Sarah two acres of Land lying between the head of the railes & Isack Hull his ground as part of six acres twixt me and Benjamine Balch this to her and Ilher|| children also sixtie acres of Land out of my farm granted me by the generall Court neere the new town of Dunstable I giue and bequeath into the hands of Captain Roger Clap of the castle neer Dorchester for the use of a daughter of one MHi Pits deseased whose daughter now Liueth in Culli- ton a town in Devon in old England & is in lue for certaine goods sold for the said Mrii Pits in London and was there to be paid many yeares since but it is alleged was neuer paid and the foresaid Captaine Clap to giue a discharge as there atturny according as he is impowered and intrusted in theire behalfe further more as legassis I doe giue unto my sonne Lot his ten children twenty pounds to be equally devided to my daughter sarahs children to John fiue pound to the foure daughters fiue pound between them To my daughter Mary Dodge her self fiue pound and fiue pound to her fiue children equally devided To Exercise his children foure pound betwixt them To adonirum Veren three pound and to his sister Hannah twenty shillings and her two children each ten shillings. To my Cosen Mary Veren wife to Hellier Veren three pound as also three pound unto the daughters of my Cosen Jane Mason deceased to be devided amongst them including Loue Steeuens her children a share my wearing apparrill I giue and houshold impelments not otherwise disposed of and my gray horse and cattle to my sonne Exercise one sheep I giue to Rebacka Connant my grand child and one sheep to Mary Leech.

"And whereas there remains in my hands a certaine portion of cattle belonging unto on mr Dudeny in England and by him assigned unto his nephew Richard Conant valued at twenty fiue pounds and now left in the hands of my sonne Exercise Conant that there be a rendering up of such cattle or theire valuation mentioned unto the said Richard Conant upon seasonable demaund he giueing a full discharge for the same And further my will is that my sonne Exercise be my Executor to this my will and Testament and for further help in seeing these things performed I desire my sonne William Dodge and my grandchild John Conant senior to be overseears of the same. In witness whereof I haue heerunto sett my hand the day and yeare aboue written."

Roger (his R C mark) Conant (seal)
Witness: John Bennet, Benjamin Balch.
Proved in Salem court 25: 9m: 1679, by the witnesses.
Inventory of the estate of Roger Conant, taken Nov. 24, 1679, by John Rayment and William Rayment: 200 Acors of land, 60li.; Liing at Dunstable not improved mor land sould to Elizabeth Conant & not payd for, 40li.; mor land 10 acors, 20li.; land 10 Acors, 20li.; land 23 Acors, 59li.; 2 Acors of medow, 10li.; 2 Acors of land, 5li.; swampy land, 1Li.; more land, 1Li.; 2 cows and a hors, 10li.; more cattell, 15li.; 4 sheep, 1Li. 10s.; a bed & furnytur, 5li.; wareing closse and 1inin, 91i.; a Chest, trunck and box, 1Li.; other things, 1Li.; total, 2581i . 10s.
Attested in Salem court 28: 9m: 1679, by Exercise Conant, the executor.


The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1675-1681 (Google eBook) Vol.III1675-1681 Essex Institute Salem, Ma. 1920

Wednesday, June 07, 2017


My 9x great grandfather Roger Conant is one of those people who were important figures in the early history of Massachusetts but aren't well know today. There's a statue of him in the city he helped to establish, Salem, Ma., but tourists are probably more interested in the Salem witches.

Here's the entry for the Conant famliy in one of William Richard Cutter's  regional genealogies.I've included the entries for his father and grandfather which helped me push my family tree back a few more generations:

John Conant lived in the parish of East Budleigh, Devonshire, England,  probably born about 1520 at Gittisham, an adjacent town; was a taxpayer at East Budleigh, 1571, and in 1577 warden of the church there; was buried March 30, 1596, probably son of John Conant, who died September, 1659, at Gittisham.

(II) Richard Conant, son of John Conant, was born at East Budleigh about 1548, and in 1588 was assessed for land there; church warden in 1606 and 1616. He married, February 4, 1578, Agnes, daughter of John Clarke Sr., of Collyton, who married, June 9, 1544. Anne, daughter of William Macy, of Collyton.. Richard and Agnes Conant were buried September 22. 1630. Children: John, Richard, Robert, Jane, John, Thomas, Christopher, Roger, mentioned below.

(III) Roger Conant, son of Richard Conant, was the immigrant ancestor. He was baptized at East Budleigh, April 9, 1592, and received a good education. He married, November, 1618, and had probably been seven years in London as an apprentice to a salter, doubtless living  there until 1623, when he came to America. He was first at Plymouth, but owing to differences in religious beliefs he followed Rev. John Lyford to Nantasket (Hull). It was probably while there that he used Governor's Island, which was known for some time as Conant's Island. In 1624-25 he was chosen by the Dorchester Company as governor of the Cape Ann colony, and after a year there he moved with those who did not return to England, to Naumkeag, later Salem, Massachusetts; his house was the first built there. Although he is not universally recognized as the first governor of Massachusetts, he is fairly entitled to that honor, for the colony of which he was the head was the first permanent settlement in the Massachusetts Bay territory. Roger Conant was admitted a freeman, May 18, 1631, and held many important offices; justice of the quarterly court at Salem three years: selectman 1637 to 1641, 1651 to 1654, 1657 and 1658; in 1667 he was an original member of the Beverly church. He had large grants of land in Salem, Beverly and vicinity. He died November 19, 1679. He married, November I1, 1618, in the parish of Blackfriars, London, Sarah Horton. Children: Sarah, Caleb, Lot, mentioned below; Roger, Sarah, Joshua, Mary, Elizabeth, Exercise

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 1  Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York, New York   1915

Roger's occupation as salter would have been an important one in colonial New England. He would have been involved in the process of salting fish and meat, a common way of preserving food, something vital to the survival of the colonies.

To be continued...


I haven't seen much for  8x great grandfather John Leach. There's actually more about his wife Sarah, because she was the daughter of Roger Conant, one of the founders of Salem Ma. While I haven't found any record of a marriage, it seems to have been accepted by many genealogists. Author Frederick Odell Conant lays out the argument for it in his A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family in England and America, Thirteen Generations, 1520-1887:

4. Sarah" {Roger), born about 1628; married John, son of Lawrence and Elizabeth Leach. Although there is no direct documentary evidence to prove that she married John Leach, the circumstances indicating such a marriage are considered sufficient to warrant the statement; viz.: 1st, John Leach's wife was named Sarah; 2nd, there is no record of the marriage of either of them to anyone else; 3rd, John Leach was a near neighbor of Roger Conant; 4th, John Leach's eldest surviving child was John, and there were at least four daughters, one of wThom was named Mary, who, at the time of Lot and Roger Conant's death, was unmarried; 5th, in Lot Conant's will Mary Leach is called kinswoman; and in Roger Conant's will she is mentioned in connection with his granddaughter, Rebecca; he also mentions his daughter, Sarah, and her son, John, and four daughters. Lawrence Leach came to New England in the fleet with Higginson, in 1629; took the freeman's oath 18 May, 1631, and died June, 1662, aged about 82.

John Leach had a grant of land 1637, and was made freeman 1681 (Savage).

Sarah Leach was admitted to the First Church, 1648, and dismissed to the Beverly church, 1667; she died about 1681.

Children of John and Sarah (conant) Leach:
i. John, bapt. 3 Sept., 1648;
ii. John  twins bapt. Nov., 1648 , married and had family.
iii.Sarah twins bapt. Nov., 1648
iv. Rachael, bapt, 6 Apr., 1651.
v. Sarah, bapt. il June, 1652.
vi. Elizabeth, bapt. 27 Nov., 1653.
vii. Mary, bapt. 8 Sep., 1654; m. 2 Mch., 1080, Thos, Field, and probably then received the cow or heifer left her by Lot Conant, 1674, "at her being married or leaving my wife."
viii. Richard, bapt. 15 June, 1656, d. y.

A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family in England and America, Thirteen Generations, 1520-1887: Containing Also Some Genealogical Notes on the Connet, Connett and Connit Families Private print. [Press of Harris & Williams],  Portland, Me. 1887

The marriage is also listed in the profile for Roger Conant in The Great Migration Begins page 454

I have a double descent from Roger Conant through his son Lot, who is my 8x great grandfather through my Perkins>Packard>Dunham line. My 2x great grandparents Asa Freeman Ellingwood and Florilla Dunham were 6x cousins through their shared descent from Roger Conant.  

Sunday, June 04, 2017


Usually I find the wills of ancestors over at, But in the case of my 9x great grandfather Lawrence Leach it was in the book The Probate Records of Essex County And it's not really a proper will, but rather a statement to witnesses about how he wanted his estate handled:,

Larance Leach Aged 85 years or thereabouts beinge parfitt in memory neer a yeare befoe his death expressed himselfe vnto vs whose names are heervnder written in the disposing of that wch hee had, we beinge vrgent with him to make his will his expressions to vs was this first he said that he did owe thirtie || pounds || for the mill & his will was that his wife should pay his debts and when his debts ware paid that shee should take all hee had. John Porter John Bacheller

Proved in Salem court 25: 4: 1662 by the witnesses and Elizabeth wife of the deceased appointed administratrix. Essex Co. Quarterly Court Files, vol. 8, leaf 33.

Inventory of the estate of Lawrence Leach of Salem, deceased, taken by John Porter and Jacob Barney: His wearing apparell, 3li.; 2 feather bolsters, 1li.; 3 feather pillows, 12s.; 1 Coverlet & 2 Ruggs,1 li. 10s.; 2 blanketts, 1li. 5s.; a Fether bed & 2 flocke beds, 3li.; 2 paire of sheetes, 1li. 10s.; 3 pillow beares, 6s.; 3 small table clothes, 10s.; 1 single sheet, 4s.; a bedsted and a Chest, 1li. 10s.; 5 Chaires, 15s.; 3 barills, a tub & 8 trays, 1li. 5s.; a table, a forme & 3 dishes, 6s.; 3 old brasse kettles & a skillet, a Chafindish & 1 Candlestick, 2 Iron pots & a skillet, 1li. 6s. M. ; 1 Iron kitle & a morter, 2li. 10s.; a spirit & a dripping pan & a frying pan, 10s.; 6 pewter dishes, 1li.5s; a Baskett with other Lumber, 5s.; 2 Cowes, a heyfer & a Calfe, 12li.; 5 small swine, 4li. ; the howse, with 2 acres of land with the orchard, being parte of the said 2 acres, 30li.; a mill, 40li.; 20 acres of land not improved on Ryall side neare John Baeheler, 10li.; 15 acres of meadow neare John Porters farme bought of Mr. Downing, 20li.; a Bible with another Booke, 5s.; total, 138li. 14s. 8d. Essex Co. Quarterly Court Files, vol. 8, leaf 34.

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1635-1664  Essex Institute, Salem, Ma. 1916

I never saw anything like this before now.Usually when one of my ancestors died intestate there were people appointed by the probate judge to take an inventory of the estate and then determine how it would be divided up among the heirs. It seems like all that was skipped over in the case of Lawrence Leach.

Saturday, June 03, 2017


My 7x great grandmother Sarah (Leach) Herrick's grandfather was Lawrence Leach. I found an
entry for him in one of William Richard Cutter's genealogy books:

The immigrant ancestor of the family in America. Lawrence Leach, came from England and was settled in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1629. He was proposed as freeman 1630, was a member of the first church in Salem before 1636, and that year received a grant of a hundred acres of land from the town. He died in Salem, June 4, 1662. \Vhen he came to this country he was accompanied by his wife Elizabeth and their sons John, Richard and Robert, leaving their eldest son Clement in England. A son Giles was born in Salem. Lawrence Leach held several important offices in Salem and appears to have been a man of influence in the town. It is said that more than ten thousand of his descendants are now living in America, although no definite genealogical effort has been made to trace them, Captain Richard Leach, son of Lawrence, died in 1647, leaving a son John, who inherited his grandfather’s farm on the Rial side.-p365

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

The rest of the entry covers his son Robert's descendants. He moved south to Bridgewater in Plymouth Colony, where he probably knew my Packard and Forbes ancestors who also lived there. I'm descended from Lawrence's son John Leach.

I've found a transcription of Lawrence's will and will post that next.

To be continued...

Friday, June 02, 2017


 I received the following email this morning from Alex Cox of Findmypast:


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