Monday, August 14, 2017


Yesterday I received an email  from Daniel Horowitz  of MyHeritage with some great news:

In celebration of our recent milestone — surpassing 8 billion historical records on SuperSearch — we’re happy to announce that we’re making all of our major census collections from the U.S., U.K. and Ireland, Canada, and Nordic countries free for everybody, for one week! 

Starting on Monday, August 14, until August 20, no Data subscription will be required to access these documents, and you can search through this treasure trove of census records for free. That’s 94 collections, containing over 1 billion census records! Some of the census records are found exclusively on MyHeritage. This is available to users of MyHeritage as well as people who have never used MyHeritage before.

With our earliest census records dating as far back as 1657, and the latest ones extending until 1940, these records are an excellent way to learn more about the lives of your ancestors and to add details to your family tree

I expect many genealogists will be taking advantage of the free access  to the census collections over the next week!

Friday, August 11, 2017


Nearly 3 million new records in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:

United States Billion Graves Update

OVER 2.2 MILLION RECORDS  have been added to the United States Billion Graves Index. Search this extensive record set to find the exact, GPS-tagged location of your ancestor’s burial as well as their birth and death dates


England Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 76,151
Total records: 580,290
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
Discover: Name, birth date, death date, cemetery, city, county, image link

Scotland Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 114,974
Total records: 197,832
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Ireland Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 16,038
Total records: 25,357
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Wales Graves Billion Graves Cemetery Index

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Total records: 58,135
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Canada Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 87,830
Total records: 946,158
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Australia Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 377,389
Total records: 1,608,001
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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New Zealand Billion Graves Cemetery Index

New records: 48,831
Total records: 178,863
Covering: GPS-tagged headstone and burial records from across the country
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Middlesex Monumental Inscriptions 1485-2014

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North West Kent Burials

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New York Researcher

Number of images added: 96
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Covering: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Society’s (NYG&B) quarterly review
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New York Genealogical & Biographical Record

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017


I haven't found very much about 8x great grandfather Henry Holt as of yet. Here's what the 19th century genealogist Ellery Bicknell Crane has to say about him:

Henry Holt, fifth child of Nicholas Holt(1) , was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, 1644. He married, February 24, 1669, Sarah Ballard, daughter of William Ballard. She died at Andover, November 25, 1733. He died January 17, 1719, aged seventy-five years. They joined the church June 3, 1716. He was prominent in town affairs. In 1686 he owned a mill on Ladle brook. Children were: Elizabeth, born in Andover, Massachusetts, December 29, 1670; Oliver, January 14, 1671; Henry, January 24, 1673; James, see forward; George, March 17, 1677; Sarah, August 17, 1678; Josiah, December 13, 1679; Dinah, May 23, 1681; Paul, February 7, 1684; William, February '3, 1687; Zerviah, March 24, 1689; Keturah, December 15, 1690; Humphrey, September 22, 1693; Benjamin, July 8, 1696.
Historic Homes and Institutions and Genealogical and Personal Memoirs of Worcester County, Massachusetts: With a History of Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 1 The Lewis Publishing CO  New York, N.Y.  1907

Henry died without a will  but had distributed shares of his estate to his sons by land deeds before his death. His youngest son William Holt received his inheritance in a deed with the provision that hecare for his parents until they died, I'll have to look for those land records!

Monday, August 07, 2017


I'm a big believer in genealogy blogging as a way to share information about my ancestors online.
I know there are those who prefer to keep their research private but by doing so I feel they miss out on being contacted by distant relatives through a Google search. I've had many such contacts since I started this blog, sometimes through something I posted years ago.

The latest example of this occurred last week when my new found cousin H.F. contacted me because of my posts about our shared ancestor Moses Coburn. We exchanged information in emails, and in of them H.F. mentioned he had a portrait of Moses. Would I like a photo?

Would I? Wow, I sure did!

Shortly after it arrived via email. I asked H.F. for permission to share the photo, which he gave. And here it is:

4xggf Moses Coburn (1765-1848) courtesy of H.F.

Moses Coburn is an Interesting fellow, a member of a prominent family in Dracut and Tyngsborough, Ma. He was paid to enlist by some  citizens of Dunstable Ma in 1781 when he was 16 years old,
and  served over two years. He married Esther Spaulding in 1794 and applied for his pension in 1818 while living in Tyngsborough, Ma. He moved to  Newry, Maine sometime after that where he died in 1848.

And now I have a face to put with his story.

I've shared the probate files for Moses and his grandfather (another Moses Coburn) with H.F.and together the two of us are trying to solve the mystery of the identity of his mother who ws married to Caleb Coburn.

Thanks, H.F., for sharing that portrait with me!

Friday, August 04, 2017


Over 4 million new records from the U.S. and  the U.K. are in this week's Findmypast Friday releases:


United States Marriages

OVER 4.3 MILLION RECORDS  These new and exclusive additions to our collection of US marriages cover Nevada and California. Use them to discover when, where and to whom your ancestor was married. This is the first time these records have been published online.

Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Poorhouse Records 1859-1912

OVER 15,000 RECORDS Did your Scottish ancestor spend time in the poorhouse? Explore admissions, deaths, discharges and sick rolls to discover your ancestor’s admission date, behaviour during their stay, previous residence, and more.

Scotland, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), Burials 1860-1975

OVER 87,000 RECORDS Discover where your West Lothian ancestors were laid to rest with 115 years of transcripts that will reveal the date of their burial, the location of their grave, their occupation, residence, death date and the names of additional family members.

New Jersey Baptisms 1746-1795

OVER 600 RECORDS  Find out if your ancestor was baptised in the Township of Hannover, discover when the ceremony took place and uncover the names of both their parents.

New Jersey Church Records 1747-1794 

OVER 200 RECORDS Explore records covering the Township of Hannover in Morris County to discover when and where your ancestors received Holy Communion.


Britain, Knights of the Realm & Commonwealth Index

New records: 410
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Discover: Birth year, death year, type of award, date of award, your ancestor’s biography and any additional remarks

PERSI Quarterly Index Update

New articles: 14,865
New titles: 7
Covering: California, Maine, North Carolina and Ireland
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Nicholas Holt was one of the first new ancestors I added to my tree back when I began tracing my family's history. I hadn't really returned to that research in several years and now I've found a few  discrepancies with what I had found back then.

They concern Nicholas' wives. I had two marriages in my database for him, and now I've found three, and there is a different names for his second wife.

I had her listed as Mary Manning,  

Daniel Steele Durrie and Charlotte Helen Abbott both say the second wife was  Hannah (Bradstreet) Rolfe who Nicholas married in Andover on 10Jun 1658 and they had two children. Hannah died in 1665.

The third wife (that I had not know about) was a widow,  Martha Preston, who Nicholas married on 21Ma 1666.

I've now found the records of both marriages and changed my database.

While Nicholas didn't leave a will Daniel Steele Durrie's entry on Nicholas has pointed me towards land deed made to the children which I'm going to search for on FamilySearch. 


Big news in the genealogy world! I received the following press release yesterday from Daniel Horowitz of MyHeritage:

MyHeritage Acquires the Legacy Family Tree Software and Webinar Platform

TEL AVIV, Israel & SURPRISE, Arizona, August 3, 2017 — MyHeritage, the leading global destination for family history and DNA testing, announced today its acquisition of Millennia Corporation, makers of the popular genealogy desktop software Legacy Family Tree and genealogy webinar platform, Legacy Family Tree Webinars. This is MyHeritage's ninth acquisition to date.

With hundreds of thousands of devoted users since 1997, Legacy Family Tree consistently ranks among the top three most popular and highly rated genealogy software products in the industry. The Legacy Family Tree Webinar platform — which has amassed a large and dedicated fan base since 2010 — draws speakers who are leaders in their field and covers a wide variety of topics, including genealogical research methodology, DNA, and historical records, representing a full array of educational genealogy content.

MyHeritage, which has developed a world-class, global mobile and Web platform for family trees, historical records and DNA testing, used by more than 90 million users worldwide, will now offer its services to Legacy's users.

Legacy Family Tree will retain its full staff and continue developing its software and webinar platform, backed by MyHeritage's resources. Millennia Corporation and MyHeritage have started joint work on a new version of the Legacy Family Tree software — version 10 — which will include the optional capability to sync family trees to MyHeritage’s website and use the free MyHeritage mobile app to make remote updates to their family trees on the Legacy software. Legacy Family Tree version 9 has already integrated matching to MyHeritage's 40 million family trees and to its historical records collection — which surpassed 8 billion records this week.

Legacy Family Tree Webinars will continue to feature diverse and informative content, and will be promoted to the millions of MyHeritage users, to increase the webinars' audience. The webinar platform will also enjoy infrastructure upgrades to support increased concurrent viewership.

“We are very happy with the Legacy Family Tree acquisition as it gives us valuable assets that are highly complementary to our own, and a solid team.” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We look forward to providing Legacy's software and webinar platform with useful upgrades, and to welcoming Legacy’s huge user base of experienced genealogists to enhance their genealogical explorations through MyHeritage's services.”

“The more I’ve learned about and experimented with MyHeritage, the more I have felt we need to partner together,” said Geoff Rasmussen, founder of Legacy Family Tree Webinars. “The technology behind their online trees and historical records is incredible — second to none. MyHeritage has positioned itself to become the leader of the future of the genealogy industry and we can be a part of it. It’s the perfect match: our software and webinars combined with their resources, technologies, and international reach will help both of us accomplish our mission — to help the world find their ancestors.”

“I’m excited for us to join forces with MyHeritage,” said Dave Berdan, President of Millennia Corporation. “MyHeritage clearly cares for genealogists and continues to invest in desktop genealogy software, in contrast to one of its major rivals that has done the opposite, shutting down its desktop genealogy software and then selling it off. As we’re passionate about genealogy, our team is happy to have found in MyHeritage kindred spirits and we’re excited about the value that we can create together to benefit millions of genealogists worldwide.”

For more information about this announcement and for answers to frequently asked questions, visit:

Monday, July 31, 2017


Daniel Steele Durrie writes about my ancestor Nicholas Holt's family. Some of this either
contradicts what I thought I knew and some is brand new. I'll discuss that in a following post:

 Nicholas Holt was married in England, a few years before he came to Massachusetts. The Christiau name of his first wife was Elizabeth, of whom nothing further is known than that she died at Andover, Nov. 9, 1650. He married second, June 20, 1658, Hannah, widow of Daniel Rolfe, aud daughter of Humphrey Bradstreet. She died June 20, 1665, at Andover.

He married third Mrs. Martha Preston, May 21, 1000. She died March 21, 1703, aged 80 years.

Nicholas Holt lived to a good old age, aud died at Andover, January 30, 1685, aged 83 years. He had the privilege of seeing his family grow up to manhood and womanhood. Of his ten children, eight were married and had families, one died before one - year of age, and one probably died unmarried. As the infirmities of age came upon him he distributed his property to his children, and they agreed to provide for his comfortable maintenance as well as his wife if she survived him. There is no will on record. in early life he probably carried on the business of a tanner, as that calling is attached to his name on the ship roll. While in the prime of life, he was engaged in agricultural pursuits; a few years before his death, in dividing his property among his children, he styles himself "Dishturner," probably a manufacturer of woodenware.

CItildren of Nicholas1 (1) Holt and first wife Elizabeth.
2. 1. Hannah2 (12) prob. eldest child b. in England and came with her parents to Mass. She m. March 8, 1669, Robert Gray then of Salem, Mass., who d. at Andover 1718, aged 80. In 1660, he was fined for attending a Quaker meeting. His father-in-law, March 10, 1680, deeded him lands in Andover, at which time he was a resident of that place. His children were born in Salem and recorded there. 4 ch.

3. 2. Elizabeth2 (16) b. at Newbury, Mass., march 30, 1036; m. by Rev. Simeon Bradstreet, Oct. 26, 1658, Ralph Farnum of Andover. She d. at Andover, Aug. 26, 1683, aged 47. He d. at Andover, Jan. 8, 1692. 7 ch.

4. 3. Mary2 (23) b. at Newbury, Oct. 6, 1638; m. at Andover, July 5, 1657, Thomas Johnson. She d. at Andover, Nov. 15,1700. He d. same place, 1719, aged 88. 6 ch.

5. 4. Samuel2 (29) b. at Newbury, Oct. 6, 1641. He m. Sarah Allen her name, and date of m. not recorded. He d. at Andover, Nov. 7, 1703, aged 62. She d. at same place, April 3, 1716, aged 70. His father by deed, dated June 16, 1682, deeded him one-half of his sixty acres of upland, on which his house then stood; one hundred and thirty acres of his great division; one-half of his meadow called Ladle meadow, and various small pieces. In consideration of which, he was to pay fifteen shillings to the town and church yearly, as a part of his rate to the ministry, and twenty shillings a year to him, the said Nicholas, for his maintenance. Samuel and wife were members of the Congregational church in 1686. He was made a freeman, 1691. 2 ch. ,

6. 5. Henry2 (31) Andover, 1644; m.Feb. 24,1669, Sarah, daughter of William Ballard. She d. at Andover, Nov. 25, 1733. He d. Jan. 17, 1719, aged 75. They united with the Andover church, June 3, 1716. He was a prominent man in the town, and his name is frequently found on committees. In 1686, he received permission to erect a mill on Ladle brook. His father deeded him a portion of his estate, 1681. 14 ch.

7. 6. Nicholas2 jr, (45) b. at Andover, 1647; m. Jan. 8, 1679, Mary probably dau. of Robert Russell. He d. at Andover, Oct. 8, 1715, aged 68. His wife d. April 1, 1717. Sept. 9, 1684, his father deeded him "one-third of the farm where he now dwells," also several parcels of land, also his dwelling house with "ye cellar rooms and Leantowe, and other convenience of house room adjoining." -In consideration of which Nicholas jr. agrees to fulfill certain conditions, and to provide for his father until death, and afterwards to pay a certain sum to his mother-in-law. 11 ch.

8. 7. James2 (56) b. at Andover, 1651; m. Oct. 12, 1675, Hannah Allen, who d. Sept. 30, 1698. He d. Dec. 13, 1690,-aged 39 of Small Pox, on which day his youngest child d. of same disease. Himself and wife united with the Andover church 1686 (North Parish). lie received from his father, April 15, 1681, by deed, a portion of his estate. He left no will. His property was appraised at £230:10. 7 ch.

9. 8. Priscilla2 b. at Andover June 20, 1653; d. Oct. 16, 1653, aged 4 months.

Children of Nicholas Holt (1) hij second wife Hannah.

10. 9. Rebecca2 b. at Andover, Nov. 14, 1662. No further information is found on the records. She probably died young.

11. 10. Johns (63) b. at Andover Jan. 14, 1003—4; m. July 3, 1685, Sarah Geerey. He d. March 10, 1687, aged 24. His widow m. 2d, Nov. 2, 1687, John Preston. He received from his father, June 19, 1685, a portion of his father's estate. 2 ch.-pp11-13

A Genealogical History of the Holt Family in the United States: More Particularly the Descendants of Nicholas Holt of Newbury and Andover, Mass., 1634-1644, and of William Holt of New Haven, Conn, J.Munsell, Pub., Albany, NY, 1864 

To be continued.


((First posted Oct 2015))

A few things about my previous post about Thomas Johnson being charged and convicted
of selling liquor to the Indians:

One of the things that struck me reading the court files was how Nicholas Holt referred
to Thomas Johnson as his son-in law. It was common back in Puritan New England to refer
to in-laws as son, daughter, father, or mother to show you considered them as close to you
as your own parents or children by blood.  So I think by using the term"son -in-law" Nicholas
is trying to show his displeasure with Thomas Johnson and distance himself from his actions.
Conversely, Thomas'  father John Johnson refers to Mary (Holt) Johnson as "his daughter".
Was their a break between Nicholas Holt and his daughter Mary over the actions of her husband? Sometimes I wish there was a way to go back in time to question the people in
these storie to get their thoughts and opinions of each other.

 Another thought I had was about the people involved in the case. It may have been a sign
of changes in Andover, Ma. where they all lived. Here's a list of the original settlers of
Andover. The ones with an asterisk after their names are my ancestors or relatives, the
names in red were witnesses in the case:

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*

Abbot, Elinor, Our Company Increases Apace: History, Language, and
Social Identity in Early Colonial Andover, Massachusetts.

(Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2007)

Nicholas Holt, Willam Ballard, John Lovejoy and Thomas Chandler are all my 9x great grandfathers.  Thomas Johnson was someone who came to Andover after the original
settlers.One can only speculate if my ancestors regarded such activities as selling
liquor to the local Indians as a sign that Andover was straying from the Christian
principles of its beginnings.


((A story involving my ancestor Nicholas Holt and his family, First posted in Oct.2015))

Yet another Essex County, Massachusetts court case involving my ancestors and  their
relatives. This one concerns my 9x great grandfather Nicholas Holt, his daughter Mary,
and her husband Thomas Johnson, all of Andover, Ma. Among the witnesses are my
ancestors Thomas Chandler, William Ballard, and John Lovejoy

Court held at Ipswich, Apr.18, 1671
Thomas Johnson, presented by the grand jury upon a common fame for selling strong waters to the Indians, pleading not guilty and putting himself upon trial by jury, whether he did sell or no. He was found guilty of selling two quarts to the Indians, and was sentenced to pay 8li. for selling. Also fined for perjury, bound to good behavior and disabled for giving evidence. John Perly and Edmond Bridges, jr., sureties.*

*Nicholas Holt, aged about sixty-three years, deposed that sometime in October or November last, hearing of a rumor in the town that his son-in-law Thomas Johnson had sold strong liquors to the Indians and had taken an oath to clear himself, he went to his house to speak with him about it, but he not being at home, deponent discoursed with his wife about it. He told her that he heard her husband carried bottles of liquor to the Indians. She replied that there was a great deal more made of it than there was cause, and that she knew of only two or three quarts that he sold them. Sworn, 11:2:1671, before Simon Bradstreete.t

Ens. Tho. Chandler, aged about forty-three years, deposed that about the time that Thomas Johnson was at Cambridge about his selling strong water to the Indians, deponent was speaking with John Johnson, father of said Thomas, who told him about what Thomas's wife Mary said. Also that Thomas told deponent that he carried up two bottles to the Indians, and that there was nothing in them, but he carried a bottle of liquor in his pocket and gave the Indians a dram and they gave him another. Sworn, 11:2:1671, before Simon Bradstreete,* assistant.

Jos. Ballard, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that if he gave a dram or two to the Indians, what was that to any man? Sworn, 12 :2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreete.*

Joseph Wilson, aged about twenty-six years, deposed that some time the last harvest, he sold two bottles to some Indians whose names he knows not, which bottles they left at Thomas Johnson's. Some time after, deponent went to borrow a bottle of said Johnson, who lent him one of those bottles. He also gave deponent another "which his brother made to bring him some strong liquors from Ipswich, whither hee was goeing but getting noe liquors there, hee left one of the sd bottles wth his brother for his owne use, & there it remaines still for ought hee knowes the other hee sold to yong Tho. Burage att his returne Tho. Johnson was pvoked & angry that hee brought him no liqrs & sd hee should not haue had his horse but vpon yt acct the next day as hee thinks it was the said Johnson came to him to borrow a bottle & sd hee was in great want of it & must haue some, soe not haueing one of his owne hee lett him haue one of his Fathr Loveioyes & wth wch & another hee went to Newbury as hee sd to fetch liquors the next day hee mett him comeing home not farr from his shopp & being something in a sack behinde him knocked on the head of a bottle, wch hee pceiued was full & further sayeth yl one of the bottles found wth the Ind. & now brought to Andour is yt bottle w*h hee sent him." Sworn, 12 :2 :1671, before Simon Bradstreete,* assistant.

John Lovejoy, aged about forty-nine years, deposed that the said Johnson being very angry that he had brought him no liquors from Ipswich said it would be 40s. out of his way for they stayed for it, "cliping his words as it were in yl speech," etc. Sworn, 12 :2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreet.*

Willm. Ballard, aged about fifty years, deposed that being at Mr. Hinchman's and discoursing about Tho. Johnson, said Hinchman said he did not question that he sold to the Indians, and sat upon and delivered to this deponent a bottle which he said he had from the Indians to see whether it would be owned at Andover. As yet he had found no owner, etc. Sworn, 12: 2 : 1671, before Simon Bradstreete.*

John Johnson, aged sixty-seven years, deposed that he never heard his daughter Mary Johnson say that her husband sold to the Indians, etc.

Records and Files of the Quarterly Courts of Essex County, Massachusetts: 1667-1671 (Google eBook) VOL IV, Essex Institute, Salem Ma. 1914


Continuing on with the sncestors of Zerviah (Abbott)Ellingwood, we come to my immigrant ancestor and 9x great grandfather Nicholas Holt. I found quite a bit about him in a Holt family genealogy so this will be two posts. Here's what author Daniel Steele Durrie wrote about Nicholas:

Nicholas Holt was one of the first settlers of Newbury and Andover in the county of Essex, state of Massachusetts. Neither the exact time nor the place of his birth is known. From the record of his death it appears he was born in the year 1602.

The first definite information we have respecting: him, is as a passenger in the ship James of London, William Cooper, master, which sailed from the port of Southampton, Eng., in and about the sixth day of April, 1635, and of his arrival at Boston, in Massachusetts, on the third of June following, after a voyage of fifty-eight days. The names of fifty-three male persons are found as passengers on the ship roll, "besides the wives and children of dyvers of them." Among the former occurs the name of Nicholas Holt of  Romsey, tanner. He was undoubtedly accompanied by his family, which consisted of a wife, and at least one child. He proceeded the same year to Newbury, and resided there for the period of ten years.

In the volume of the Proprietors' Records of that town as one of the grantees, his allotment's of lands are thus desecibed: "A house lot of four acres be it more or less, bounded by High street on the South, Mr. [Edward] Rawson on the North, Archelaus Woodman on the West, and James Brown on the East. Also, a field lott forty acres, be it more' or less, over the little river, bounded by Nicholas Noyes on the South, the little river on the North and East, and Abraham Tappan on the West. Another field lot of thirty acres, be it more or less of upland and meadow, bounded by a great creek on the South, Henry Rolf on the North, the little river on the West, and the way, on the East." The present location of the first two grants of land, and the exact date when they were granted, can not now be ascertained. The last lot of meadow and upland was granted in 1641, and afterwards became the property of William Trotter, and from him deeded to Nicholas Wallington, and from him to John Woloott, and is now owned by Tristram Little, and is called Holt's Neck.

The first book of church records of Newbury, prior to 1674, is lost, and consequently his name is not found; though there is no possible doubt of his being a member of the church at that place.

In 1637, his name appears, as one of ten persons who in order to vote to prevent the re-election of Sir Henry Vane as governor, and to strengthen the friends of Gov. Winthrop, went from Newbury to Cambridge on foot (40 miles),qualified themselves to vote by taking the freeman's oath on the 17th of May, 1637- Winthrop was chosen governor, and Sir Henry Vane and his friends were in a minority.

His name further appears on the Newbury records: Feb. 24,1038, when it was voted that Nicholas Holt and five others should be fined two shillings and six pence a piece for being absent from town meeting, having "due and fitt warning." And on the 21st of April following, he was fined the same amount for the same cause.

While residing at Newbury his children, Elizabeth, -Mary, and Samuel were born.

In 1644, Nicholas Holt removed with his family to Andover, and was one of the original settlers of that place. On a leaf in the town records, containing the list of householders in order as they came, his name is the sixth. He was one of the ten male members including the pastor elect that composed the church, at the ordination of Mr. John Woodbridge, Oct. 24, 1645.

As the early records of the town were destroyed by the Indians, with the exception of a few fragments, it is difficult at this date to ascertain definitely the allotments of lands to him, by the proprietors. In 1656, there is a memorandum " to enter grants of land in a new book, y old being rent and in many places defective and some grants lost." In 1714, the proprietors made their report separate from those of the town, and in them is to be found many records of land sales to the Holts in small lots.

As near as can be ascertained, he had a house lot of 15 acres, 100 acres of meadow land, and 300 acres, on what was known as the Stony Plain. A portion of this laud still remains in the family. The exact spot where his homesead was situated is not definitely known. The following notices of him, are taken from the Records of Massachusetts.'

"May 26, 1647, he was appointed in connection with Sergeant Marshall to lay out the way from Reading to Andover, and with Lieut. Sprague and Sergeant Marshall to view the river, and make return to the court of the necessity and charge of a bridge, and make return to the next session of this court." !! At a general Court held May 27, 1652, he was appointed with Capt. Johnson of Woburu, and Thomas Hanforth of Cambridge, to lay out the bounds of Andover." And May 18, 1653, he was appointed with Capt. Richard Walker, and Lieut. Thomas Marshall, to lay out the highway betwixt Andover aud Reading, and at the next term of court, Sept. 10, 1653, the committee made a report of said Survey.

A Genealogical History of the Holt Family in the United States: More Particularly the Descendants of Nicholas Holt of Newbury and Andover, Mass., 1634-1644, and of William Holt of New Haven, Conn, J.Munsell, Pub., Albany, NY, 1864 

To be continued.

Sunday, July 30, 2017


John Cutter West (from Kimberley Gautreau)

For years I and other West family members had been trying to breakdown a brickwall and solve the mystery of John Cutter West's parentage. I'd taken a y-DNA test four years ago in hopes it would help me find an answer but that hadn't worked. Now I tried the Ancestry autosomal DNA test, and suddenlly that brick wall finally came down.

This is how it happened,

I found I had a DNA connection with a descendant  of my great gransduncle John Cuvier West and in the course of our messaging back & forth Paula mentioned she had  information that traced our ancestry back to Francis West and Margery Reve of Duxbury,Ma.  She offered to mail me a photocopy of it along with a copy of another relative's Mayflower Society application which traced our lineage down from Richard Warren.

Of course I said yes and  thanked her for her help.

A few days later a manilla envelope arrived in the mail with both documents.  The West research is 16 pages long, most of it citations.  And to my surprise, I found I had seen the information before. It was a line that said John Cutter West was the son of Paul West & Hannah Crowell of Liverpool, Nova Scotia.  My sister Cheryl and cousin Yvonne Ball told me about the Paul West connection but I had been skeptical because of the discrepancy in birthplaces and also because my y-DNA test years ago hadn't put me in a haplogroup that showed descent from Francis West. But here was 16 pages of research and citations done by Frank Osgood, husband of West cousin Virginia (Thayer) Osgood.

I decided that John Cutter West may have lied for some reason when he gave his birthplace as  Plymouth, Ma. on his marriage certificate. I also decided to enter the information on my Ancestry tree and see if any new DNA matches were made with it. This is what the new West  line from Francis West down to my father looks like.

The next day I checked the Shared Ancestor Hints on my DNA Resukts Page, and there it was: a match with a descendant of Thomas West and Sarah Hamilton,who I now know to be my 5x great grandparents.

The brickwall is down. The Elusive John Cutter West is no longer elusive.

Thanks to Cousin Paula( whose last name I don't know because I threw out the envelope), Virginia (Thayer)Osgood) and Frank Osgood..