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.)