West in New England
A blog about genealogy and thoughts about the various roots and branches of my family tree as well as the times in which my ancestors lived.Included are the West, White,and McFarland families.WARNING:DO NOT TAKE ALL OF MY FAMILY RECORDS AS GOSPEL. ALWAYS CONFIRM YOUR OWN RESEARCH!
Thursday, March 23, 2023
Saturday, March 18, 2023
ON THIS DATE: MARCH 18TH
ON THIS DATE:
18 Mar 1657 7x ggf Ralph Ellingwood Jr. was born at Salem, Ma
18 Mar 1648 8x ggm Hannah Lewis was born at Roxbury, Ma.
18 Mar 1667 7x ggf Luke Perkins was born at Charlestown, Ma.
18 Mar 1676 7x ggf Moses Simmons died at Duxbury, Ma.
18 Mar 1693 8x ggf Richard Barker died at Andover, Ma
Thursday, March 16, 2023
|My Irish immigrant great grandparents John and Anna (Kelly) McFarland|
((I wrote this back in 2008 when Borders Books was still in business))
We got a new book in at Borders last week for my "All
Things Local" section and the minute I saw it I knew I'd be
buying a copy. It's Peter F. Stevens' "Hidden History of the
Boston Irish" (trade paperback, $19.99 from History Press)
and a quick scan of the back made me grin. There was a
reference to Barney McGinniskin, who in 1851 became the
first Irishman on the Boston Police force. Barney announced
his arrival with: "Barney McGinniskin from the bogs of
I could picture him roaring that out, an "in your face"
declaration of his presence despite the opposition to his hiring
that Stevens details. Many of the objections against him were
all too familiar to the Irish immigrants of the early 19th
century: he was taking work away from native born
Americans, American culture was threatened by the influx
of low born, poorly educated foreigners, and worst of all,
they were Catholic!
Barney lost his place on the force three years later during the
era of the aptly named "Know Nothing" Party's reign of anti-
Catholic terrorism, but the Irish kept coming, carving out
lives for themselves and their families in New England.
"No Irish Need Apply?' Fine, some of them started their own
businesses while others took on menial jobs that put roofs
over their heads and money in the bank. If they had to work
as maids or ditch diggers, they did; their children would have
the chance for better jobs as clerks or teachers. Bit by bit
they worked their way to their dreams. Among them were
my Mom's grandparents.
One of her grandfathers, John McFarland, started out as a
laborer in 1880 and was working for the Boston City Street
department by the 1910 census and as a gardener for the
City in 1920. At the time of his death he owned two houses.
By 1940, his sons were employed by shoe factories, a bottler,
and a diamond cutting company and each of them owned
their own homes. His grandchildren include three Boston
firemen. It's an American success story that's repeated in
many other families whose ancestors arrived here with very
little and achieved so very much through hard work and
I recently heard a conservative declare we make too much
of being "hyphenated" Americans, of being Irish-American,
or Italian-American or Polish-American. If he had his way,
there'd be no celebration of Columbus Day or St. Patrick's
Day or any other ethnic group festivities.
I was astonished as a historian, as a genealogist, as well as,
yes, an Irish-American. We should be proud of being
Americans but we should also be proud of where our
families came from and the contributions their cultures have
made to American culture as a whole. When I hear the debate
raging over immigration today I hear some of the same
arguments used against the immigrants of other times,
including my Irish ancestors. If those arguments had
prevailed then, what a much poorer country America would
And as a historian I am proud of the contribution Ireland itself
has made to music and literature, and in its role the Irish
monasteries played in preserving much of the Greek and
Roman literature during the Middle Ages.
So that's what I feel about being Irish and Irish-American:
pride in my ancestors for what they overcame, and grateful
to them for what they have given back to America in return!
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
ON THIS DATE: MARCH 15TH
ON THIS DATE
15 Mar 1735 6x ggf Jonathan Williamson was born at Georgetown,Me.
15 Mar 1646 10x ggf Rice Cole died at Charlestown, Ma.
15 Mar 1641 9x ggm Isobel (Denton) Halstead died in Concord, Ma.
15 Mar 1708 7x ggf John Doane died at Eastham, Ma.
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
ON THIS DATE: MARCH 14TH
ON THIS DATE:
14 Mar 1721 5x ggf James Swan was born at Methuen, Ma
14 Mar 1655 8x ggp Ralph Ellinwood & Elenor Lynn were married at Beverley, Ma.
14 Mar 1663 9x ggf James Pitney died at Marshfield, Ma.
14 Mar 1697 9x ggf William Barnes died at Salisbury, Ma.
Monday, March 13, 2023
ON THIS DATE: MARCH 13TH
ON THIS DATE:
13 Mar 1830 2x ggf Nathaniel Swan Barker was born at Newry, Me.
13 Mar 1648 8x ggf John Abbott was born ar Andover, Ma.
13 Mar 1667 8x ggm Abigail Lakin was born at Groton, Ma,
13 Mar 1676 10x ggf John Nutting died at Groton, Ma
13 Mar 1672 10x ggf Adam Hawkes died at Lynn, a
Sunday, March 12, 2023
ON THIS DATE: MARCH 12TH
ON THIS DATE:
12 Mar 1766 6x ggp John Laughton & Jane Adams were married at Pepperell, Ma.
12 Mar 1671 9x ggf Thomas Little died at Marshfield, Ma.
12 Mar 1924 2x ggm Betsy Jane (Moore) Barker died at Newry, Me.
12 Mar 1691 9x ggf Samuel Ward died at Quebec, Ma.