Monday, December 31, 2018


2018 was not my best year as far as my genealogy plans are concerned. I started out lagging in my blog writing and spent most of this last month trying to catch up on the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks series. (Luckily I finished it yesterday). I didn't do any roqad trips or photo requests for Find A Grave. Part of that is due to car trouble, and the rest to a lack of ambition. This last Spetember was the low point with only three blogposts for the entire month.

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

This is one of the things I did get accomplished this year.

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

Failed. My car was in need of repairs this summer so I didn't make any road trips. And afterwards I just didn't have the ambition to get out for long drive.

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

Failed. This has been my least productive year of blogging. I won't even make 150 posts here this year and I only posted once or twice on the Gaveyard Rabbit blog.
4. Take and post more photos for Find A Grave. Another way toi get me off my butt and out of the apartment.

Nope, didn't do it.

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

This is another one of the few plans I follwed through on.

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

I did do some of this as well.

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

Nope, failed.

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


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

Big fail. Didn't even look at the file.

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

Another fail.

11.Keep having fun with genealogy!
While there were many things I didn't accomplish this year, I did still have fun doing what little I did. 

And I hope to do better this coming year.

Sunday, December 30, 2018


Hester (Wormall) Dunham's father was Joseph Wormall. I don't have much information about my 9x great grandfather. He settled originally at Rowley in Essex County and moved  to  Boston where Hester was 1648. But by 1651 he had left Boston to live in Scituate, Ma.
This is how he disposed of his Boston holdings:

17 2 1650
Joseph Wormall of Boston granted to Henry Sandis of Boston his house & wharfe in Boston —'Scituat neere to Val: Hills house lately purchased of Leonard Buttles, & this was by way of mortgage, wth pviso that if he pay vnto the sd Henry twenty foure pounds eighteene shillings nine pence in merchantable wheate at price current at or before the last of 7her. next then this grant to be void, otherwise the sd Henry to receiue the rents of the said house & wharfe & the same to sett or sell, paying himselfe the aforesaid summe wtt due damages & returning: the overplus to the sd Wormall. This was dated & acknowledged 16(2) 1650 before mr Wm Hibbins.
This mortgage was discharged to mr Jeremy houchin as Administrator to the estate of Henry Sandis and by him desired to be Cancelled. 27.  11mo. 1651:
Edward Rawson Recorder.

-p 217

Suffolk deeds. , Volume 1 Rockwell and Churchill, City Printers, Boston, Ma. 1880 

He and his wife Mariam had four children: Mark, Josias, Sarah and Hester.

Joseph's will was written  on 4 Feb 1661 butwasn't filed until 24Jun 1662


My 6x great grandmother Abigail (Dunham) Thomas is my second line of descent from immigrant  ancestors John Dunham and Abigail Barlow through their son Joseph.   

Joseph Dunham's entry in Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts is brief:
Joseph Dunham, born Nov. 18, 1637, married (first) Nov. 18, 1657, Mercy, daughter of Nathaniel Morton, and (second) Hester Wormall, daughter of Joseph. Wormall, of Rowley. His children, born in Plymouth, were: Eleazer, born in 1058; Mercy, born in 1660; Nathaniel, born in 1665; Micaiah, born about 1680; Joseph, born in 1682; Benaiah, born in J683; Daniel, born in 1689.-p.1691

Representative Men and Old Families of Southeastern Massachusetts: Containing Historical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families  J.H. Beers & Company,  Chicago, Ill. 1912

While you might think by that brief biography that my 8x great grandfather was a upright citizen, he seems to have had a bit of a naughty side which the Plymouth court records described as "lascivious":

5Mar 1660-1
Josepth Dunham. for diuers laciuiouse carriages, was sentanced by the Court to
sitt in the stockes, with a paper on his hatt on which his fact was written in
capitall letters, and likewise to find surties for his good behauior.
Joseph Dunham oweth vnto our sou lord the Kinge the sume of 20:00:00 shillings
John Dunham. Senir, the sume of                                                     10:00:00
Nathaniell Morton the sume of                                                        10:00:00

The condition, that if the said Josepth Dunham shalbee of good behauior towards
our sou lord the Kinge and all his leich people. and appeer att the Generall Court
to bee holden att Plymouth the first Tuesday in June next, and not depart the said Court without lycence ; that then, &c.

It was ordered by the Court, that Mary, the wife of Edward Cobb, of Taunton, should
bee sumoned to appeer att the Court to bee holden att Plymouth the first Tuesday in
May next, to answare for her miscarriages, as appeers by a deposition giuen in to the
grand enquest against Josepth Dunham
. Vol3 p210

It looks like Joseph's father and his father- in- law Nathaniel Morton paid his fine.

Seventeen years later the by now forty something year old Joseph still had a bit of
a wild streak but the Court was a bit more lenient on this occasion:

5Mar 1677-8
Joseph Dunham, for laciuouse carriages vsed toward Elizabeth Ringe. fined
twenty shillings, to the vse of the collonie
. Vol5 p253

One wonders how many other "lascivious carriages" Joseph may have committed without being brought into court.

I'm descneded from Joseph's son Micajah.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


I have two lines of descent from Mayflower passenger Richard Warren; from his daughter Ann (Warren) Little he is my 10x great grandfather and from his daughter Mary (Warren)Bartlett he is my 11x great grandfather.

A fellow Warren descendant, Emily Warren Roebling, wrote a family history back in 1901 and this is what she wrote about our common ancestor:

Richard Warren, the first of the Warren name in America, sailed from Plymouth, Eng., in the historic "Mayflower," 6 September, 1620 (O. S.). He was not of the Leyden Company, but joined the Pilgrims from London,* and he was one of the signers of the Compact framed in the cabin of the " Mayflower" while in Cape Cod Harbor, which was the first plat, form of civil government in the new world, and which converted the band of unknown adventurers into an immortal Commonwealth. Morton, in his New England's Memorial, prints his name as twelfth in the list of signers, and Prince in his New England Chronology adds the honorable prefix of "Mr." from the Register at the end of Bradford's folio manuscript. He was one of the third exploring party which was surprised by the Indians,! 18 December, 1620, at the spot since known as "The First Encounter,"} and, technically speaking, he was one of the first to land at Plymouth, 21 December, 1620, on what might be called the birth-day of New England.

Under the land division of 1623, Richard Warren's apportionment, as one of the "Mayflower" passengers, fell in the north side of the town with William White, Edward Winslow, John Goodman, John Crackston, John Alden, Marie Chilton, Captain Myles Standish, Francis Eaton, Henry Sampson and Humilitie Cooper§; and under those who came in the "Ann," his lands were "on the other side of the towne towards Eele River," where he made his home, in the section later known as Wellingsley or Hobshole, and where he died in 1628. He also owned land along the shore of the present Warren's Cove.||

He was one of the nineteen signers of the Compact who survived the first winter. A cotemporaneous authority described him as "grave Richard Warren," "a man of integrity, justice and uprightness, of piety and serious religion," and as "a useful instrument during the short time he lived, bearing a deep share in the difficulties and troubles of the plantation."

He married in England, Elizabeth —,* who followed him to Plymouth in the "Ann" in 1623, accompanied by her daughters. Mrs. Warren was rated in the Plymouth tax list of 1632-3, and was one of the first purchasers of Dartmouth. A study of the early Plymouth records leads to the conclusion that she was a woman of force and social position in the community, and she is therein usually spoken of as "Mistress" Elizabeth Warren, a designation by no means common

Children of Richard and Elizabeth Warren:
2. i. Mart Warren,* m. Robert Bartlett.

3. ii. Ann Warren, m. Thomas Little.

4. iii. Sarah Warren, m. John Cooke, Jr.

5. iv. Elizabeth Warren, m. Richard Church.

6. v. Abigail Warren, m. Anthony Snow.

7. vi. Nathaniel Warren, b. in 1624; d. 1667.

S. vii. Joseph Warren, b. before 22 May, 1627; d. 1689.

-pp. 3-5

Richard Warren of the Mayflower and Some of His Descendants  David Clapp & Son,  Boston, Ma 1901

The second line of descent from daughter Mary (Warren) Bartlett is comes down to my 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames)West


(originally published in Dec. 2007)

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

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

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

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

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

Those families must have big electricity bills!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2018 Update: 
There's a really good Christmas display over on Lake Street by Island Grove that gets a lot of  visitors every year. It looks like a lot of work to put together. But unfortunately some unusually high winds knocked over the big Christmas tree at Island Grove after it was lit just the week before.

Friday, December 28, 2018


9x great grandfather Thomas Little was another of the early settlers of Marshfield, Ma. Since he was a lawyer he was appointed to several town offices, including constable in 1662.

Marcia Abiah Thomas wrote this brief biography of Thomas in her book Memorials of Marshfield and Guide Book to Its Localities at Green Harbor;


Thomas Little was in Plymouth after 1630, where he m., 1633, Ann, one of the daus. of the Pilgrim Richard Warren. He removed to Marshfield about 1650, settled in the easterly part of the township, a locality since known as Littletown, in the surrounding region.

He had Thomas, killed by the Indians at the Rehoboth fight, 1676; Samuel, who m. Sarah Grey; Ephraim, who m. Mary Sturtevant, 1672; Isaac; Hannah, who m. Stephen Tilden; Mercy, who m. John Sawyer, 1666; Ruth, and Patience.

Thomas Little was probably a lawyer. He deceased, 1671

Memorials of Marshfield and Guide Book to Its Localities at Green Harbor    Printed by Dutton and Wentworth, Boston, Ma. 1854

Thomas and Ann Little are the last of my ancestors on the First Settler Monument at Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, Ma:


I haven't found much yet about 8x great grandfather Stephen Tilden. William Richard Cutter has a very brief description:

Stephen Tilden, son of Nathaniel Tilden (1), born in England about 1630-34; married, 1661, Hannah, daughter of Thomas Little, of Marshfield. He resided most of the time at Marshfield. Children: 1. Hannah, born 1662. 2. Stephen, 1663. 3. Abigail, 1666. 4. Mary, 1668. 5. Judith, 1670. 6. Joseph, 1672. 7. Mercy, 1674. 8. Ruth, 1676. 9. Isaac, 1678.10. Ephraim, born 1680. 11. David,-p. 1927

Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4 Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, New York 1908

I learned from several other online sources that Stephen Tilden made several land purchases in what is now Lebanon, Connecticut, where two of his sons settled. A third son moved to Hebron, Connecticut.

Stephen's wife Hannah Little was the granddaughter of Mayflower passenger Richard Warren.

Stephen and his wife Hannah are among the names on the First Settler Monument at Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, although Hannah's name is given as Ann.

Thursday, December 27, 2018


 My ancestor Mary (Tilden) Thomas was the granddaughter of my 9x great grandfather  Nathaniel Tilden. Judging from this written by William Richard Cutter, Nathaniel was a wealthy man when he arrived in the colony:

Nathaniel Tilden, immigrant  ancestor, came in the ship "Hercules," of Sandwich, England, from Tenterden, England, in March, 1634, with wife Lydia, seven children and seven servants. He settled at Scituate, where he was living and had his house built, according to Parson Lothrop, as early as September, 1634. He was the first ruling elder of the Scituate church, indicating that he was one of the foremost citizens. He held many town offices. His was the third house on Kent street, south of Greenfield Lane. He also had lands at Long Marsh, and in 1640 land on the east side of North river, below the Gravelly Beach. His will, dated May 25, 1641, proved July 31,1641, bequeathed to wife; sons Joseph, Thomas and Stephen; daughters Judith, Mary Sarah, and Lydia; servants Edward Ginkins and Edward Tarte; his wife to have a house at Tenterden. His son Joseph was made executor of the will of his father's brother, Joseph Tilden, citizen and girdler by trade, of London, February i, 1642. The widow Lydia and daughters Mary and Sarah were the legatees, and Lydia afterwards married Richard Garrett. Children: i. Joseph, married Elizabeth Twisden; had the homestead. 2. . Thomas (a Thomas came to Plymouth in 1623 and had three lots assigned to him—perhaps the same). 3. Mary, married March 13, 1630, Thomas Lapham. 4. Sarah, married March 13, 1630, George Sutton. 5. Judith, married Abraham Prebles. 6. Lydia, married Richard Garrett. 7. Stephen, mentioned below-p 1927

Historic Homes and Places and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of Middlesex County, Massachusetts, Volume 4
Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York, New York 1908

Having seven servants certainly would make Nathaniel a man of means! He also has the distinction of being the first recorded beekeeper in the colonies. The inventory of his estate includes mention of ten swarms of bees. I'm not sure if those were in hives!

I'm descended from Nathaniel's son Stephen Tilden of Marshfield.



 My 9x great grandfather James Pitney is another of the early settlers of Green Harbor which is now the town of Marshfield, Ma. As is sometimes the caselater generations may have fudged some of the details of his life, or may have just not known about them.

First, here is a brief biography from Marcia Abiah Thomas' book Memorials of Marshfield and Guide Book to Its Localities at Green Harbor;

James Pitney, a freeman of the Colony 1643, was a felt-maker. He had a number of tracts of land granted him in the township; one at Mt. Skirgo, which he sold to Baker and Adams, 1647; another at Green Harbor, sold to James Lindall, 1646. He removed to Boston after 1650. His will is found on the probate records of the Old Colony, of which he appoints his daughter, Sarah Thomas, executrix. It is probable he returned to his daughter's, at Green Harbor, prior to his decease. His wife Sara, aged 22; and his children, Sara, aged 7, and Samuel, aged 1J years; together with Margaret Pitney, probably a sister of James, aged 22; were passengers to New England in the ship Planter. They were from Sudbury, Suffolk County, England. -p48-49

Memorials of Marshfield and Guide Book to Its Localities at Green Harbor    Printed by Dutton and Wentworth, Boston, Ma. 1854 

 Now  that was researched and written in 1854. But research since then has determined that prior to coming to Marshfield in 1643 James Pitney lived in Ipswich, Ma. He arrived in Boston, 1635 with his wife and two children before going to Ipswich. On 26 Mar 1640 he and another man  made an agreement with the town to keep a herd of pigs. (This information is from The Great Migration pp473-475) 

Since no mention is made in the Memorials of Marshfield book of any of the Ipswich information I'm thinking  Ms.Thomas wasn't deliberately ignoring it but just didn't know about my ancestor's life before his move to Marshfield. 

 James Pitney died in March 1663. He and his wife Sarah are the third couple from the bottom on this side of the monument to the First Settlers at the Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield, Ma.:




Wednesday, December 26, 2018


 7x great grandfather James Thomas is another one of my ancestors that I've had trouble finding information for him online. Luckily some of his other descendants were involved with shipbuilding and it was in a book by Lloyd Vernon Briggs that I found this brief biography:

James Thomas, 4th son of the ancestor John, and Sarah Pitney, settled in Duxbury, near Marshfield; mar. Mary • They had : 1. Mary, b. Sept. 27, 1693; 2. James, b. Feb. 10, 1696; 3. Hannah, b. Aug. 30, 1698, mar. Wrestling Brewster of Kingston, 1722; 4. John, b. Nov. 4, 1700, mar. Hannah Spofford and settled in Lebanon, Conn; 5. Ebenezer, b. Sept. 30, 1703, mar. and settled in Norwich, Conn.; 6. Ezekiel, b. Sept. 29, 1706, mar. and moved to Lebanon, Conn.- p160

History of Shipbuilding on North River  Norwell Historical Society, Coburn Brothers, Printers, Boston, Ma 1889

James' wife was Mary Tilden, who he married in Duxbury, Ma. on 3 Jan 1692. He died intestate
there in 1718, and I've found the probate file which I will transcribe soon.


About forty years ago or so our family was living in Marshfield, Ma., a coastal town south of Boston and one town to the north of Plymouth. At that time I hadn't started researching the family tree so I wasn't as aware of our connection with some of the founding town families: Thomas, Pitney, Tilden and Little.

The connection comes through my 5x great grandmother Mary (Thomas)Dunham who married John Dunham in 1755. She was a descendant of immigrant ancestor John Thomas, whose story I found in a genealogy book about New London County, Ct. where members of the Thomas family were prominent:

The history of the American branch of the family begins with John Thomas, an orphan boy of fourteen years of age, who was a passenger in the ship “Hopewell,” in 1635, to New England, presumably coming from W'ales. He was kindly taken under the care and protection of Gov. Edward \\’inslow, and was long the faithful steward at Careswell. In 1649 he received a tract of land in Marshfield, probably indirectly through his benefactor, and upon it he resided. For generations it remained in the Thomas name. On Dec. 21, I648, he married Sarah Pitney, daughter of James and Sarah Pitney, natives, respectively, of Marshfield and Boston. John Thomas died in 1676, and his widow survived until 1682. Their eight children were: John, Elizabeth, Samuel, Daniel, Sarah, James, Ephraim and Israel, all born between I649 and 1670.-p.472

Genealogical and Biographical Record of New London County, Connecticut: Containing Biographical Sketches of Prominent and Representative Citizens and Genealogical Records of Many of the Early Settled Families  J.H. Beers & Company, 1905 - New London County (Conn.)

I'm descended from  John's son James Thomas.

There is a memorial at the Winslow Cemetery in Marshfield to the first settlers of the town, The names of John and Mary Thomas are at the bottom of the list of names on this side:

Tuesday, December 25, 2018


My 6x great grandmother Abigail (Smith) Dunham's father is one of two John Smiths in my ancestry. This John Smith was originally from Essex County, Massachusetts, where he married my 7x great grandaunt Mary Ellingwood.

Here's an excerpt from COREY (CORY), CLEAVES AND SMITH FAMILY LINES. By Prof. Arthur Adams, Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. that I found online in National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volumes 6-11 :

The earliest certain mention found of the John Smith, progenitor of the Smith family in which we are interested, is in connection with the estate of Ralph Ellenwood, of Beverly, (Salem Wills), proved 3 of 5 mo., 1674, the inventory was taken Jan. 30, 1673-4. He speaks of his wife Helen (called Elenor in the inventory) , and makes her executor. Five sons are named: Ralob. Torn Joseph, Benjamin, and David. The two daughters are Mary and Elizabeth. Evidently the daughter Mary was not yet married.

The date of birth of Mary Ellenwood, as given in Salem Vital Records, is 3 of 2 mo. 1664 so that at the time of her father's death, she was about ten years old. We also find her age given as 14 years in a deposition taken June 4, 1673 (Essex County Court Papers, Vol. 29, JuneNov., 1678, p. 15).

We find John Smith joining in an agreement of division of the Ellenwood land under date of April 17, 1695, in right of Mary, his wife—how long he had been married does not apppear. (Salem Deeds, Vol. II, p. 192).

Nov. 19, 1702, John Smith of Beverly, with consent of his wife, Mary, sells his house and lot in Beverly to Robert Hale for £100. His brother, Benjamin Ellenwood, is mentioned as an abutting property owner. (Salem Deeds, Vol. 15, p. 261).

In the Beverly Vital Records the births of the following children of John Smith and his wife Mary are recorded—since the first child was born in 1686, it is probable that they were married about 1685, when Mary was twenty-one years old. That she was a widow at the time is made probable by the fact that in the Beverly Church Record, the Smith children are baptised in right of their mother, Mary Herrick. We find that a John Smith and Mrs. Mary Herrick were married in 1784—intention published May 23, 1784 (Beverly Vital Records, Vol. 2, p. 159). Can this be in error for 1684?

1. Mary, b. Sept. 5, 1686, m.____ Jackson.
2. Jonathan, b. Sept. 24, 1688.
3. James, b. May 3, 1692, d. Sept. 9, 1763, aged 72.
4. Abigail, b. Feb. 10, 1693-4, m. Ebenezer Dunham.
5. Annes, b. Nov. 18, 1695, bapt. Nov. 24, 1695 (Ch. Ree. says dau. of John and Mary Herrick Smith) m. Ephraim Dunham.John and Mary, bapt. April 3, 1698.
6. Hannah, bapt. 3 Apr, 1697 (dau. of John and Mary (Herrick) Smith), m. John Cox.
7. John, b. Feb., 1703, m. Deborah Barden in 1736. He d. Dec. 13, 1748. aged 46. She d. Jan. 9, 1801, aged 93. (Middleboro Church Record).
8. Melatiah, b. July 31, 1705, m. Gersham Cobb. (Middleboro Church Record).
9. Elizabeth, not married in 1727, named in dist. of Estate.
About—1702, John Smith removed from Beverly to Middleboro, in Plymouth County, Mass. We find of record at Plymouth, the following deed: John Doggett and Samuel Doget, both of Marshfield, sell to John Smith, late of Beverly, in the County of Essex, Marriner, for £55, lot No. 26, in the 26 Men's purchase on Whetstone Brook, containing 100 acres. The deed is dated Feb. 11, 1702-3. (Plymouth Deeds, Vol. 6, page 127).

Oct. 6, 1712, John Smith sold onehalf of this lot to his son Jonathan.

According to the stone in the Old Cemetery, in Middleboro, John Smith died May 16, 1727, in his 69th year. He was born, therefore, about 1658. His widow Mary was appointed administrator July 3, 1727 (Plymouth Probate Records, Vol. 5, p. 266). Since he died intestate, the estate was divided among the heirs by agreement (Plymouth Wills, Vol. 12, p. 222.) This distribution mentions the following persons: the widow Mary; sons Jonathan, James, and John Smith; daughter Mary Jackson, widow, of Middleboro; daughter Abigail Donham and her husband, Ebenezer Donham, of Plymouth; daughter Annes Donham and her husband, Ephraim Donham, of Middleboro; daughter Hannah Cox and her husband, John Cox; dau. Melatiah Cobb and her husband, Gersham Cobb; and daughter Elizabeth Smith—all of Middleboro.

National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Volumes 6-11 Washington D.C. 1917

I must point out that the articlewas written in 1917 and since then it has been determined that Mary Ellingwood was not a widow when John Smith married her. The error came from a misreading of the Salem church records.

I've found a copy of the probate file which I will be posting about sometime in the future.

Monday, December 24, 2018


Dear Genea-Santa,
I've had another good year research wise. I've had success finding lots of information about my West ancestors so I really am all set for the coming year. But there are just two things I'd like this Christmas for the coming year.

One is something I mentioned last year and has to do with my DNA connection cousins on the Ancestry DNA site. It's so frustrating to see all the people who either have private trees or don't have family trees at all. Some of them I've been able to figure out but most of them I've had no luck. I understand that not everyone is into genealogy and they just want the novelty of an ethnicity estimate. But that's all it is, an estimate. There's so much more they could learn by setting up a family tree and connecting their DNA test results to it. Please do something to motivate more of my unknown cousins to do that!

Speaking of motivation, I need you to give me more of that, too. I've been lagging with my blogging and now I'm trying to catch up with the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks posts and I only have a week now to get that completed.

So that's it for me this year, Genea-Santa! Thanks again!


Sunday, December 23, 2018


 ((Originally posted in August 2012))

A week ago I learned that the house built by my 8x great grandfather William
Harlow in Plymouth, Ma. still exists and was open for tours on Thursday afternoon.
Now I live about twenty miles from Plymouth and except for visiting Plimoth
Plantation about forty-five years ago I haven't visited the historical sites down
there. Considering how much of our family history took place in Plymouth and
the adjoining towns I decided it was time I fixed that. So yesterday I drove Ping
the Wonder Car down to visit the Harlow Old Fort House.

It was a nice day and I took one of the backroads, Rte 36, most of the way. I'm
glad I went now because in a week or so when people start visiting Plymouth
on vacation the traffic will be heavier. The Harlow House is located at 119 Sandwich
House just past Plymouth Center and right across from the Plymouth Fire Dept.
headquarters. I arrived twenty minutes before the start of the tour so I looked
around a bit and took a picture of one of the rooms through a window. I also
looked around the gift shop and the workshop where events and educational
programs are held. Pat, the young lady in charge, asked me to sign the visitors'
book and when I told her I was a Harlow descendant she asked if I could add
the details of my lineage. Luckily, I just happened to have a relationship
chart with me that I had printed out that morning.

The tour started at 2pm and there was only myself and an elderly couple from
Colorado.  Our guide was a gentleman named Ron who was very good. He
demonstrated the steps William Harlow would have taken in constructing a
wooden barrel(my ancestor was a cooper by trade) and then led us into the
common room for a discussion of what life was like for the Harlow family in
the late 1600's. The discussion continued in a third room and I was impressed
with how knowledgeable and enthusiastic Ron was talking about the history
of the house.

I won't go into specifics of Ron's tour; after all, if I did that there'd be no
reason for you to go and hear him yourself, and you really should do it if
you are in the Plymouth area on a Thursday afternoon. But I do want to
paraphrase something Ron said: how many people can say they've stood
on the same floor, in the same house, in the same location(the house has
not been moved) that their ancestors did centuries before?

Thanks to the Plymouth Antiquarian Society and their volunteers, I can say that!

((Admission for adults is $5.00, $2.00 for children. You can read more about the
Harlow House and the two other houses maintained by the Plymouth Antiquarian
Society here at their site.))


William Harlow's  Old Fort House

Starting  now with the families of Florilla Dunham's female ancestors, I'll begin with Mary (Harlow) Dunham's father William Harlow, my 8x great grandfather.  William Richard Cutter has this to say about him:

(I) Sergeant William Harlow, the immigrant ancestor in America, came from England to Lynn, Massachusetts, where his name appears on a list of residents in 1629-30. In 1637 he was one of the men from Lynn who settled the town of Sandwich in Plymouth colony. In 1637 he was a witness and legatee in the will of Thomas Hampton, of Sandwich. In 1639 he was proposed for freeman and took the oath of fidelity. He had a lot of four acres assigned to him in 1640. Afterward he removed to Plymouth. He was a cooper by trade and also a carpenter, and built several houses in Plymouth. One of them built in 1667, on a lot granted to him by the town, on the road to Sandwich, still stands; it was framed with the old timbers from the Pilgrim Fort on Burial Hill, purchased after King Philip's war, Sergeant Harlow having charge of the old fort for many years; Sergeant Harlow, a member of the South Company, served under Captain William Bradford. In 1882, when the house was repaired, a ponderous iron hinge from the fort was found and is now in Pilgrim Hall. Another house, built by Sergeant Harlow, known as the Doton House, was taken down in 1808. Sergeant Harlow was admitted a freeman in 1654; was juror, assessor, deputy to the general court, selectman fifteen years, and was active in the church. He died August 26, 1691, aged sixtyseven years. Sergeant Harlow married (first) at Plymouth, December 30, 1649, Rebecca Bartlett, who died in 1657, daughter of Robert and Mary (Warren) Bartlett, and granddaughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Juat Marsh) Warren; Richard Warren came over in the "Mayflower." Sergeant Harlow married (second) July 15, 1658, Mary Faunce. who died October 4, 1664. He married (third) January 15, 1665, Mary Shelley, who survived him. Children by first wife: William, born and died in 1650; Samuel, mentioned below; Rebecca, born June 12, 1655; William, June 2, 1656. Children by second wife: Mary, born May 9, 1659; Repentance, November 22, 1660; John, October 19, 1662; Nathaniel, September 30, 1664. Children by third wife: Hannah, born October 28, 1665; Bathsheba, April 21, 1667; Joanna, March 24, 1669; Mehitable, October 4, 1672; Judith, August 2, 1676-p808

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 2 Lewis historical publishing Company,  New York 1914

I was able to visit William Harlow's house a few years ago and blog about it. I'll repost that blog entry next.


My 3x great grandfather James Thomas Dunham Jr was born in Hebron, Maine on 22Jun 1805. He married Sarah "Sally" Houghton sometime before 1830 which was when their first child was born.

James bought some land in Paris. Maine  from his brother-in-law Samuel Houghton in 1832, paying $150 dollars. His occupation on the 1850 Census was wheelwright and on the 1860 Census it is given as mechanic.

James and Sally had eleven children:

Hiram b.1830
Octavius, b 1832
Florilla, b. 29Aug 1832
Sarah b. 1834
Mary A, b.1837
John, b. 1838
Franklin,  b. 1840
Charles, b. 1848
Martha J, b. 1846
George, b.27Apr 1851
Augusta, b. 1853

Sally (Houghton) Dunham died on 1 Dec 1852 after the birth of their daughter Augusta. James sold his land 1853 and moved to another location in Paris. On 23Mar 1854 he married his second wife, Polly Lowe, in Buckfield, Me.

James and Polly eventually moved to Bangor, Me where they apparently lived with James' youngest child Augusta (Dunham) Steward. James died on 8Nov 1888, and Polly on 13Apr 1896. James, Sally and Polly are all buried in West Paris, Me.   



Friday, December 21, 2018


My 4x great grandfather James Dunham Sr was born in Carver, Ma on 25 May 1775, one of eleven children. Sometime before 1799 he and four of his siblings to what would eventually become Oxford County, Msine. There he married Cynthia Packard on 30 Apr 1799 in Hebron, There were nine children in their family:

Zilpha  b. 10Sep 1801,
Cynthia b.10Apr 1803; d. 14Mar 1808
James Thomas, b.22Jun 1805
Harvey, b. 21Jun 1807
Cynthiab  b.25Jul 1809
Louiza  b.16Jun 1811
Mary Ann  b.27Sep 1813
Lysander, b. 29Jun 1815
John   b. 3Apr 1818

I have a problem with James having to do with his identity. For one thing, he is sometimes referred to as James Thomas Dunham, so in some cases I'm not sure if a record refers to him or his son who is also called James Thomas Dunham. Also, there was another unrelated James Dunham living in the area. What I can say for certain is that my 4x great grandfather James was a farmer and that towards the end of his life he lived with his son Harvey's family. He died  in Hebron on 6 Dec 1864, three years after Cynthia's death in 1861.

I'm descended from James Jr.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


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

This year I'm sharing "I Saw Three Ships" because it was sung by one of Mom's favorite singers, Nat King Cole. Mom loved playing records on the stereo console when we were kids and Christmas time she's load up albums and sing along. (Although I don't remember he singingalong to this one.)

You can hear Nat King Cole sing the song here.

"I Saw Three Ships"

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas Day in the morning
On Christmas Day in the morning

And what was in those ships all three
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day?
And what was in those ships all three
On Christmas Day in the morning?
On Christmas Day in the morning

The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
The Virgin Mary and Christ were there
On Christmas Day in the morning

And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
And all the Angels in Heaven shall sing
On Christmas Day in the morning

Then let us all rejoice again
On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day
Then let us all rejoice again
On Christmas Day in the morning
On Christmas Day in the morning

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


My 5x great grandfather John Dunham is also my 2nd cousin 7x removed. This is because his mother, Mary Smith, was the granddaughter of our common ancestor Ralph Ellingwood Jr. John married Mary Thomas, the daughter of John Thomas and Abigail Dunham on 17Oct 1755 in Marshfield, Ma. She was John's third cousin.

John was made the administator of the estate when his father Ebenezer died but his siblings were not happy with his performance:

Plymouth  Co.- To Mr. John Donham of carver in ye County aforesaid administrator on the
 estate of Ebenezer Donham late of Plymouth in said county yeo-
-man deceased

Whereas complaints on this day made to me on behalf of the Heirs
of the aforesaid Ebenezer deceased, that you unreqasonably neglect to
settle your final acount of administration to the great damage of
the heirs aforesaid___-you are therefore hereby cited to appear
before me at a Court of Probabte to be holden at the Probate
office in Plymouth aforesaid on Saturday next (at ten of the clock
in ye forenoon) being ye 31st day of this present month then & there
to make answer to said Complaints- Given under my hand at Plymouth
aforesaid March 27th 1772.
Joshua Thomas Judge Prob.

To the Sheriff of the County of Plymouth or to either of his deputies
or to either of the Constables of the Town of Carver aforesaid who is
directed to serve the citation & make Return thereof. 

Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881 Case6836 Image 16

The probate file doesn't say how the matter was settled but in June three men were appointed to divide up Ebenezer Dunham's real  estate among his heirs.

One of the things I did learn though was that while John was a farmer, two of his brothers were cod fishermen in Plymouth.

The children of John and Mary (Thomas) Dunham were:
Moses, born Jan. 23, 1757
Mary, born Dec. 15, 1758
Salome, born April 12, 1762
John, born Nov. 16, 1764
Thomas, born Oct. 2, 1766
Elizabeth, born Dec. 25, 1768
Abigail, born April 20, 1771
Caleb, born March 9, 1773
James, born May 25, 1775
Job, born April 20, 1777
Calvin, born April 11, 1781

Five of the children,  including my 4x great grandfather James Dunham, moved to Maine

John died on 30 Apr 1814 in Carver, Ma. and is buried there in Wenham Cemetery


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

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

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

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

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

It was an …umm…interesting conversation.

((First published in December, 2007))

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

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

((First published in December, 2007))

Monday, December 17, 2018


My 6x great grandfather Ebenezer Dunham was born in Plymouth, Ma. on 24 Feb 1692.  On 12 Dec 1719 he married Abigail Smith in the nearby town of Middleborough Ma. He was a farmer, and had enough property to be divided between his children when he died intestate in on 21 Jan 1771.

His children were:

Abigail, b. 23 Nov 1720
Samuel, b. 9 Sep 1722
Ebenezer b. 21 Sep 1724
John,   b. 12 Jul 1726
Moses, b. Jul 1728
Mary, b. Jun 1730
Barnabas, b. Dec 1732
William, b. Jun 1734

Most of the children were still alive when Ebenezer died and are named in the settlement of his estate. His son John, my 5x great grandfather, was administrator of the estate and seems to have had problems with his siblings. I'll discuss that in my post about him.

Thursday, December 13, 2018


Back around Thanksgiving fellow genealogist Dave Robison shared on Facebook a link to a feature from  called Relative Finder. I filed the bookmark on my browser but didn't get around to checking it out until the past weekend

You'll need a free FamilySearch account and then upload your own family tree to the FamilySearch site. Then when you log into the Relative Finder page it will take your tree's information and compare it with information from others to determine how you may be related to famous people. These are divided up into Groups as seen in this list:

I spent some time exploring some of Categories. In Authors and Poets I saw some I already knew are distant cousins, such as John Greenleaf Whittier and Laura Ingalls Wilder. But I was surprised when I looked at the "Famous Americans" to see the name Massasoit Osamequin  at the top of the list. Massasoit was the Native American who helped the Plymouth colonists when they first arrived. According to the website, Massasoit was my 12th great uncle. I clicked on his name to see exactly how we were supposedly related:

The chart shows Massasoit as being the uncle of a Native American woman named Oguina Quadequina, the wife of my 10x great grandfather Gabriel Whelden/Weldon.

This differs from my information, which is that Gabriel's wife was name Margaret whose maiden name was unknown. I checked out the tree of the person who has Gabriel's wife as Oguina and I didn't find any source or citation, so for the moment I am sticking with what I have in my own database.

While this is interesting and fun to look at,  I will need to check all of these out one by one and look for documents and records that will substantiate the relationships. I'll put off starting that until 2019.

Sunday, December 02, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


2018 Update:
I still have the teeny Christmas tree which I haven't put up yet.. I may spring for maybe a few of those electric candles for my apartment window, though.