Monday, April 19, 2021


 Today is the 246th Anniversary of the Battles of Lexington & Concord which
started the American Revolution on 19Apr 1775.

These are our colonial ancestors from our Dad's family lines for whom I have
so far been able to discover records that they took part in those battles and served in the

Jonathan Barker Jr. My 5x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman from Methuen Ma with rank of Sergeant.
He responded to Lexington and Concord with his sons
Served in Captain Samuel Johnson's Company in
Colonel Titcomb's Regiment for 2 months in 1777 in Rhode
Island and then with Nathaniel Gage's Company in Colonel
Jacob Gerrish's guards from Dec 1777 to l Apr 1778 guarding
the captured troops of General Burgoyne.

Jonathan Barker 3rd  My 4x great grandfather
Enlisted on 19 Apr 1775 in Continental Army, Capt. John
Davis' Company, Col. James Frye's Regiment, in the
Massachusetts line for 8 months in Cambridge, Ma. At the
conclusion of the term, he reenlisted for another 3 months in
Capt John Allen's Company, Colonel John Waldron's Regiment,
General Sullivan's Brigade in the New Hampshire Brigade at
Charlestown, Ma. He then enlisted a third time in June 1778
at Methuen, Ma., joining Captain Samuel Carr's Company, Col.
James Weston's Regiment, in General Lerned's Brigade at
White Plains, N.Y. and serving for another 9 months.

John Ames   My 5x great grandfather
Was a Minuteman under Capt. Asa Parker on April 19th,
1775. He then enlisted in the Continental Army under Captain
Oliver Parker, Col. William Prescott's Regiment and
in the Brigade that was commanded in turn by Generals
Putnam, Lee, and Washington and served for 8 1/2 months.


Asa Barrows    My 4x great grandfather
A member of the militia from Middleborough , Ma. (south of
Boston) in the Company of Captain Joshua Benson, in Colonel
Cotton's Regiment, and General William Heath's Brigade for
8 months during the siege of Boston. In December 1776 he
joined a militia Company commanded by Captain Joshua
Perkins and marched to Barrington, R.I. and was stationed
there for 6 weeks. In July 1780 he again enlisted, this time
in a militia company commanded by Captain Perez Churchill
that marched to Tiverton, R.I. .

Moses Coburn  My 4x great grandfather
Moses Coburn got into the War late and by reason of being
"hired by a certain class of men in the then town of Dunstable
to go into the Continental Army in the summer of 1781."
When he reached Phillipsburgh in New York he was placed in
Captain Benjamin Pike's Company, in the Regiment of the
Massachusetts line commanded by Lt. Colonel Calvin Smith in
which he served for nearly two years until it was broken up.
He then transferred to the Company of Judah Alden in the
Regiment commanded by Colonel Sprouts until his discharge
in 1783.

Samuel Haskell   My 5x great grandfather
Samuel served in Captain Joseph Elliott's Company in Colonel
William Turner's Regiment and then under Captain Hezekiah
Whitney in Colonel Josiah Whitney's Regiment.

Amos Hastings   My 5x great grandfather
Amos  responded to the Lexington Alarm as part of
Captain Richard Ayer's Company and Colonel William
Johnson's Regiment. He later served in Captain Timothy
Eaton's Company in Colonel Edward Wigglesworth's Regiment
and was at the taking of the British General Burgoyne at

Elisha Houghton   5x great grandfather
Enlisted at Harvard Ma as a Private in May of 1777 in the
Massachusetts militia and was at the Battles of Bunker Hill
and Stillwater. He then enlisted for three years in the infantry
company commanded by Captain Joshua Brown in Colonel
Timothy Bigelow's 15th Regiment of the Massachusetts line.
and took part in the Battles of Monmouth and Newport and
was at Valley Forge. He twice was promoted to Sergeant and
twice was busted back down to the ranks.

Amos Upton    My 5x great grandfather
Responded to the Lexington Alarm and marched there from
his home in Reading. He later joined the militia company
commanded by Captain Asa Prince as an orderly sergeant
and then enlisted for eight months in the Continental Army
under Colonel Mansfield. He was at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
He was discharged in October of 1775.

John Griffith  My 5x great grandfather
Enlisted in 1781 as a Matross (he swabbed out the barrel of
the cannons after they fired, or so I've been told) in Captain
William Treadwell's Company in Colonel John Crane's
Artillery Regiment.

Reuben Packard   My 5x great grandfather
A Sergeant in Captain Josiah Hayden's Company in Colonel
Bailey's militia. They marched to Lexington at news of the
Alarm. He also responded several more times as a Minuteman
for a total of nearly 8 months duty.

Jonathan Abbott   My 5x great grandfather
Served as a Sergeant in the Militia under Captain Henry
Abbott and responded to the Lexington Alarm

Samuel Stowe  My 5x great grandfather
Minuteman from Sherborn, Ma. Served in Capt. Benjamin Bullard's
Company in Col. Asa Whitcomb's 5th Massachusetts Bay
Provincial Regiment.

Besides those direct ancestors, these other relatives fought
in the Revolution:

Moses Barrows, brother to Asa Barrows.

Samuel, Jesse, and Benjamin Barker, sons of Jonathan
Barker, Jr. and brothers to Jonathan Barker 3rd.

James Swan, brother in law to Jonathan Barker.

Saturday, March 06, 2021


I know very little about Paul West. What little information I do have is from a NEHGS publication,  The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Any other documents out there are behind paywalls  which I don't have the money to get past right now,

My 4x great grandfather Paul West was born on 28Jan 1765, in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada. He married Hannah Crowell on 15Dec, 1791 . I don't know where the marriage took place yet but since both families originally came from the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts it's a good  possibility it happened there. They were married 33 years and had 10 children, all but one of whom was born in Liverpool, Nova Scotia:

Robert was born on 18Oct, 1792,
Abner was born on 22Aug, 1794
Mary was born on 17Feb, 1797
Malinda was born on 12Jun, 1799
John Cutter was born on 8Oct,1802 in Plymouth, Ma.
Isabella was born on 16Dec, 1803
Samuel was born on 17Sept, 1806,
Thomas Hatch was born on 3Apr, 1811
Edward was born on 3Apr, 1814
Joseph was born on 9May, 1816

I have yet to find a record of Paul West's death.

That one child born in Plymouth, Ma. is my 3x great grandfather John Cutter West.

Thursday, March 04, 2021


 (( This week is the 329th anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Trials.I made several lists of relatives involved in the trials and am reposting them  to mark that anniversary))

This is the last of my "witch lists" of ancestors and relatives who had some connection to the witch trials: I made the lists with the help of  In The Shadow of Salem: he Andover Witch Hunt of 1692 by Richard Hite and by using Custom Tags I created on my  tree using the MyTreeTags app:


Joseph Herrick-8x great grandfather


Henry Herrick-9x great grandfather

VICTIMS (supposedly killed by witchcraft)

Ralph Farnum Sr-9x great grandfather

Elizabeth Phelps-8x great grandaunt

A few thoughts:
The lists are a work in progress. As I add  more siblings and extend consanguineous lines I suspect I will find more relatives involved with the witch trials.

As it is, I am struck by how many of my ancestors were involved. I knew about a few of them already, especially Rebecca (Blake) Ames/Eames and Mary (Towne) Easty/Esty who were my direct ancestors. But there were other things that came as a surprise, such as the death of Ralph Farnum Sr. supposedly being  a result of witchcraft. I also was unaware of my connection to Martha (Allen)Carrier.

As I find other connections, I will be blogging about them here.

Wednesday, March 03, 2021



(( This week is the 329th anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Trials.I made several lists of relatives involved in the trials and am reposting them  to mark that anniversary))

Here's the list I've made of my ancestors and relatives from Andover, Ma who opposed the witch trials by signing petitions  There are some who earlier had made accusations of witchcraft against others,

I made this list using's MyTreeTag function

Thomas Chandler Sr.-9x great grandfather
Thomas Chandler Jr-8x great granduncle
John Chandler-8x great granduncle
William Chandler-10x great granduncle
Francis Dane Sr.-9x great grandfather
Francis Dane Jr-8x great grandfather
Nathaniel Dane-8x great granduncle
Phebe Dane-8x great grandaunt
Oliver Holt-7x great granduncle
Mary Holt-8x great grandaunt
Joseph Herrick-8x great granduncle
Thomas Johnson- Mary Holt's husband
George Abbott-9x great granduncle
John Abbott-8x great grandfather
William Abbott-9x great granduncle
Ephraim Stevens-8x great grandfather
Joseph Stevens-9x great granduncle
Benjamin Stevens-9x great granduncle
Hannah (Poor)Dane-8x great grandmother
Henry Ingalls Sr.-7x great grandfather
Henry IngallsJr.-6x great grandfather
John Ingalls-7x great granduncle
Samuel Ingalls-7x great granduncle
John Barker-7x great granduncle
Ebenezer Barker-7x great granduncle
Samuel Endecott--8x great grandfather
Christopher Osgood-Hannah Barker's husband
Nathaniel Felton-9x great grandfather
Joseph Robinson-married to Mehitabel Ames.

Tuesday, March 02, 2021


 (( This week is the 329th anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Trials.I made several lists of relatives involved in the trials and am reposting them  to mark that anniversary))


Here's the list of my ancestors or relatives who were witnesses/accusers in the Salem witch trial. I made this using the MyTreeTags on my family tree at Some of them would later sign petitions to support the prisoners.

Thomas Chandler-9x great grandfather
Hannah (Brewer) Chandler-9x great grandmother

Sarah (Farnum)Abbott-8x great grandmother 
 Benjamin Abbott-8x great grandfather
Jeremiah Swain-9x great grandfather
Ralph Farnum-8x great grandfather
John Farnum-8x great granduncle
Samuel Farnum-8x great granduncle
Joseph Ballard-9x great granduncle
Elizabeth Ballard--9x great grandaunt
Sarah Phelps-7x great grandaunt
Robert Swan-6x great granduncle
John Swan-6x great granduncle
Timothy Swan -6x great granduncle
Hannah (Foster) Ames- 8x great grandaunt
Ephraim Foster-married to Hannah Ames
Allen Toothaker-2nd cousin 7x removed

Monday, March 01, 2021


 ((Today 1Mar 2021 is the 329th anniversary of the start of the Salem Witch Trials.I made several lists of relatives involved in the trials and am reposting them  to mark that anniversary))


Here's the list I've made of my ancestors and relatives from Andover, Ma who were tried for witchcraft during the Salem Witch Trials. Three of them were executed. I made this list using's MyTreeTag function

Accused Witches

Mary (Towne) Estey-9x great grandmother- (executed)
Rebecca (Towne)Nurse 9x great grandaunt (executed)
Sarah (Towne)Cloyce 9x great grandaunt
Rebecca (Blake) Ames-9x great grandmother
Sarah (Hooper) Wardwell-widow of 10x great grandfather Adam Hawkes
Samuel Wardwell husband of Sarah (Hooper)Wardwell (executed)
Sarah Hawkes-9x great grandaunt
Abigail (Wheeler)Barker--wife of 8x great granduncle
William Barker Sr-7x great granduncle
William Barker Jr.-1st cousin 8x removed
Mary Barker-1st cousin 8x removed
Daniel Ames-8x great granduncle
Abigail (Dane)Faulkner-9x great aunt
Elizabeth (Dane)Johnson-9x great aunt
Dorothy Faulkner-1st cousin 9x removed
Abigail Faulkner-1st cousin 9x removed
Elizabeth Johnson-1st cousin 9x removed
Stephen Johnson-1st cousin 9x removed
Rose Foster-1st cousin 9x removed
Deliverance  (Hazeltine)-wife of 9th great-uncle
Mary (Allen) Hazeltine-1st cousin 8x removed
Martha (Allen)Carrier 1st cousin 8x removed
Roger Toothaker-Mary Allen's husband
Mercy Wardwell- step 10x great aunt



 The next stop on our February roadtrip was Salem,Ma., another town where several of ancestral families lived in early colonial times. The light houses we were looking for were built long after those families had left the area. Bells and perhaps fires were used back in their day.

Our first stop was at  Derby Wharf Light Station. Unfortunately we couldn't get in to get a close shot, but Cheryl found a small street (near the House of Seven Gables, no less) and we got some photos from a distance.


Next was the Winter Island Light, also known as the Fort Pickering Light. We were luckier here, because we were able to get some nice photos from the parking lot.  








And with that we headed home. We hope to get out more often now that Winter is almost over and the warm weather is near!

Wednesday, February 17, 2021


 My sister Cheryl and I have a plan to photograph covered bridges and lighthouses as a way to get out and about during these Covid-19 days. We wear our masks and social distance from others, and because of travel restrictions we are limited to just Massachusetts at the moment. But it's a few hours out of her house and my apartment and we enjoy each other's company

We started last fall and so far we've seen more lighthouses than bridges. We took five weeks off because of the weather and the holidays, but last week we rode up to the north of Boston and visited lighthouses in two towns, Newburyport and Salem. Both  towns are places where our ancestors lived.

Newburyport Front Range Lighthouse  was our first stop and here it became evident that winter was going to make photographing it a bit difficult. When we found a parking lot with a view of it our view was partially blocked by a snow bank.

From a Google search I found out the Front Range light is a bit squat. So maybe we can get back in the warmer weather and get a better view.


We'd passed  by a brick building with a square tower attached to it when we'd entered the parking lot. Cheryl thought it looked like a lighthouse, so we took some photos.


 When we got home Cheryl looked it up online and discovered it was indeed the Newburyport Rear Range Lighthouse. It's maintained by the Lighthouse Preservation Society, and you can make reservations to dine at the top of the lighthouse. You can find out about that at the Society's website.

Next, we moved on to Salem.


Sunday, February 14, 2021


((This was first posted on 7Jul 2008. It's a nice story with probably a
little truth to it, but true or not it makes a good Valentine's Day story)).

I mentioned in my previous post about John Prescott that
there is a romantic (and probably romanticized) story about
his son Jonas Prescott's courtship of Mary Loker. I've found it
recounted in several different books on Google Books, and
while I'm not entirely sure it's true, it does make for another
interesting family tale.

The story is that Jonas and Mary fell in love but her parents
John Loker and Mary Draper had other plans for their
daughter. They wanted her to marry a lawyer, a man of
prospects, not the son of a blacksmith who was following his
father in the family trade and they forbade Mary from any
more contact with Jonas. One version told by Caleb Butler in
"The History of the Town of Groton" says the Lokers even
went so far as to install gratings on the windows of her room
and would lock her inside if Jonas was nearby. But even this
drastic measure didn't stand in the way of love:

"He (Jonas) took opportunities when the cold wind blew
and the
pelting storm raged when no listener could overhear
the soft
whispering of true lovers to place himself beneath
her grated window and
there enjoy sweet communion
with his dearly beloved ."

But eventually Mary's parents found out about this trickery.
Perhaps Jonas' idea of a whisper in a storm was a bit too loud?
At any rate, Mary's parents next decided to send her away to
a secluded village so Jonas could not find her while they looked
for a more suitable prospect for Mary's hand in marriage.
They sent her off to the small frontier town of Chockset which
is now Sterling, Massachusetts.

Jonas searched for Mary until one day while traveling near
Chockset he met some men of his own age and asked if they
knew of any pretty girls in the area. They told him there was
a quilting and a dance that night in Chockset and invited him
to come along.

You can see where this is going, I bet!

Jonas found Mary Loker and they continued to meet in secret
for some time until her parents once more found them out.
Mary's stubborn insistence that she would never marry any
man but Jonas Prescott at last forced her parents to give in,
although they did so with the angry condition that they would
provide no dowry for the bride. Legend says that the young
couple set up their household with so few essentials that
Mary used a large hollowed out pumpkin shell for a washpot!

I'm a bit skeptical about that pumpkin part but I think the
opposition of the Lokers to Jonas Prescott pressing his suit for
their daughter might have some truth to it. After all, although
Jonas' father John was well off, he was not exactly in the good
graces of the Puritan government, and the Lokers might have
had their hearts set on young Mary marrying someone who
could eventually rise to a position of power. Ironically, the
Prescotts eventually became one of Massachusetts' most
distinguished families.

I am descended from Elizabeth Prescott b 23Jan 1676,
d. 18Mar 1744.

She married Eleazer Green about 1694 or 1695. Their daughter
Elizabeth married John Ames(Eames), and their descendant
Arvilla Ames married my ancestor John Cutter West

Saturday, February 06, 2021



It's the 42nd anniversary of the Blizzard of `78. I was house sitting in Abington for my sister and brother in law who were on a trip in Maine at the time. The Blizzard started in NY on Feb 5 but didn't hit this part of Mass. until midmorning on the the 6th. I was a garment worker at Collegetown in Avon at the time and they sent us home around noon, I think. My usual route home was a straight shot down Rte 139 east through Holbrook and it usually took about 15-30 minutes depending on the traffic. But on that day it was backed up from the hill at Holbrook Square. The road was already slippery and cars were having trouble getting traction. I was driving a Chevy pickup back then which my Dad had advised me to fill the truck bed with sand. So when I got to the hill I moved slowly and there was enough weight in the truck to give me traction. I passed several cars who were stuck. Still, the ride back to the house took over an hour in the driving snow.
That's the most vivid memory I have of the whole thing. I remember there was no electricity for a day or so but the house had a fireplace and I cooked hot dogs there. I walked to the convenience store in North Abington Center and bought some milk and junk food. When the power came back on I ate dinner one night with my brother in law's Mom who lived next door and shoveled her car out for her. Most of the rest of the next few days have faded in my memory. My sister and brother in law came home and I went home to Marshfield. 
Oddly enough, my memory of the April Fool's Day Blizzard of 1997 is mostly about driving home from work in Taunton in that storm.

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

ONCE MORE INTO THE GENE POOL is out with new Ethnicity Estimates and once again mine shows changes. 


This time the pie chart shows three larger segments and two smaller. They break down like this:





At one point I had four smaller segments but the ones for Spain and Norway have vanished.  I admit that  only two percent for Germanic Europe puzzles me since my Mom had German grandparents. But The large segments for English, Scots and Irish ancestry jives with the paper trail for my family history.
What's new is the additional classifications of my New England settler ancestors:




Again, the locales match up with what I know about my family and the documents I have found over the years.

While the Ethnicity Estimates are always interesting, I don't take them as the final word and view them as a helpful tool

Sunday, January 31, 2021


There's two generations of the West family that I don't know much about. This is due to they were residents of Canada for all or part of their lives, so access to things like probate records are behind paywalls which is a problem for me. But I will keep looking and share whatever I can find here.

My 5x great grandfather Thomas West was born on 29Mar,1726, in Kingston, Ma. His mother Mary (Bearce) West died two years later, so Thomas was raised for most of his childhood by his father Elisha's second wife Martha (Ransom) West. Then when Elisha died in 1739, Thomas and his brothers became the wards of their legal guardian, James Bearce.   

The next record is of Thomas' marriage to Sarah Hamilton in Chatham, Ma.,  on 21Nov, 1754. They had six children together, the first three of whom who born in Chatham:
Bethia was born on 28Jan, 1756,
Thomas was born on 6Jul, 1757
Sarah was born on 22Sept, 1760

Sometime between 1760 and 1762  Thomas and his family moved to the town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada, where three more children, all boys, were born:
Peter was born on 15Sept, 1762
Paul was born on 28Jan, 1765
Abner was born on 5Mar, 1768

Thomas died there in Liverpool on 16Feb 1804.

I don't know exactly why Thomas moved to Nova Scotia. It was well before the American Revoution, so he wasn't a displaced Loyalist. He may have been one of those New Englanders who took advantage of land made available to English speaking settlers during the French & Indian Wars.
I've been trying to locate a probate file for him but no luck as of yet.

Saturday, January 30, 2021


 As of last Saurday, January 23rd, this blog is 14 years old! There were times last year when I wasn't sure how much longer I would be able to continue, But I did, and here we are. I'm surprised I haven't run out of material to blog about; there's still a bit more and it's more a matter of me having energy that has kept me from blogging more frequently the last year. That's why I used more reposts  than writing more original items. I'm hoping that will change for the better in 2021.

Here's some blog stats as of today:

 2696 posts
1,375,741 views (mostly webcrawler apps, I'm sure) viewed posts

 And here's my all time viewed posts: 

The post on Malden where I lived as a child still tops the list.

Thanks again to cousins Tim Abbott, Chris Dunham, and Randy Seaver whose geneablogs inspired me to start one of my own.

And as always, a big thank you to those who read my blog and to those who leave comments

Tuesday, January 26, 2021


 I came across an unexpected possible connection to my own life when I was researching  my 6x great grandfather Elisha West.

Elisha was married twice, first to Mary Bearce, and then to Martha Ransom. When he died in 1739, the guardianship of his eight children was divided between two men.

James Bearce was appointed the guardian of the four boys. He may have been their uncle or grandfather.

The four girls were put in the guardianship of Timothy Ripley. The Ripley and Ransom families were connected. I suspect Timothy may have been Martha's father or brother. Here's the image I found of the the guardianship document for one of the girls.



Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)


So, what's the connection to my life?:

Well one of my high school classmates and friends is Jeff Ripley, whose family has been here as long as my Dad's. So it's a good possibility that he's related to the Timothy Ripley  in 1739 helped take care of my ancestor's four daughters! 

Genealogy is full of surprises!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Elisha West was born on 2Mar, 1693, in Duxbury, Massachusetts, the son of Patience and Peter. He married Mary Bearce at Plympton, Massachusetts, on 10Dec , 1718  and  had four sons. She died on 29Aug, 1728. He then married Marta Ransom on 17May, 1729 and they had four daughters together. 

Peleg was born on  21Sept, 1719, in Plympton, Massachusetts.
Peter was born on 10Jun, 1721, in Plympton, Massachusetts.
Elisha was born on 22Feb,  1724, in Kingston, Massachusetts.
Thomas was born on 29Mar, 1726, in Kingston, Massachusetts.
I descend from son Thomas.

His four daughters with Martha:
Mary was born on 29Jan, 1732,
Sarah was born on 10Mar, 1733
Fear was born on 4Oct, 1734,
Hopestill was born on 29Mar, 1736

Elisha 's will was presented at court on 4Apr 1738, I found the images of it at and it's fairly interesting. He left his widow , Martha at least fifty pounds and sums of money for each of his living children.   I can't say for certain if any of them actually received the amounts he bequeathed, though, because while there is an inventory of his estate, there is no list detailing the debts he may have owed.

I also found some documents regarding the guardianship of his children that have a connection to my own life and I'll discuss that in the next post.

Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881.Online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2015. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)