Disclaimer

My research may not be completely correct and should be taken as a work in progress. Please do your own fact-checking. I welcome collaboration from any distant relatives.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Witness to Assassination

Octavius K. Yates was my first cousin, 4 times removed. He was the son of James & Emma (Cole) Yates and the grandson of William & Martha (Morgan) Yates (my 4th great-grandparents). The Yates Book relates that Octavius was born on September 25, 1833 and after graduating from high school in Bethel, Maine, he enlisted in the Union Army during the Civil War. Octavius was at Ford's Theater on the night of April 15, 1865 when Abraham Lincoln was shot.

The following information comes from the web site www.fordstheater.org.

Ford's Theater was transformed from a church to a theater in 1861. The theater benefited from the influx of population as thousands of soldiers and wartime visitors passed through the city. The sloping ground level had about 600 wooden chairs. These could be removed for dances. The second floor balcony held 420 people in the same type of wooden chairs. The upper balcony seated 600-700 on wooden benches. There were four private boxes, two on either side of the stage.

It's hard to imagine what it was like for those in the theater on that night. The country was celebrating the end of the Civil War. They must have felt that the worst of the hard times was behind them.

After the Civil War, Octavius moved to Canada and was engaged in the oil business before returning to Maine and studying medicine. He became a respected physician in West Paris.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Fools

I have to admit that I've never been a fan of April Fool's Day. It seems to bring out the worst in people who use it as an excuse to behave in ways that would otherwise be unacceptable. I like a good joke but the the best pranks are those that don't bring distress to others. This example of a distressing "prank" was found on the web site Genealogy Bank. Published in the Maine Cultivator and Hallowell Gazette (Hallowell, ME) on April 15, 1843. 



"An Unpleasant Joke. - On April-fool day the downward train of cars from Nashua came suddenly in sight of a man reposing on the track. The shriek was let off and the engine reversed but to no purpose. The cars passed over the man and came to a halt. The passengers rushed out with alarm depicted on every countenance, when suddenly the train of feeling was reversed by the discovery that the man was stuffed with straw. Haw! haw! They crawled into the cars and podged along." 


Saturday, March 29, 2014

52 Ancestors #9 - Thomas Lewis

Thomas Lewis came from Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England to Saco, Maine (then MA) in 1628. He returned to England for a bit and then is back in Saco by June 28, 1631. The date of birth for Thomas Lewis is estimated as about 1590. The Great Migration says he was born in Shrewsbury to Andrew and Mary (Herring) Lewis. In May 1637, we know he was still living as he was sued by his future son-in-law, Richard Gibson for debt. However, he is called "deceased" in court records from April 28, 1640. 




The Council for the Affairs of New England in America granted a patent to Thomas Lewis, gentleman and Captain Richard Bonython on February 12, 1629. This patent extended along the north side of the Saco River for four miles from the mouth of the river and eight miles inland. In return for the patent, the patentees were required to transport fifty people to their colony in the next seven years and pay a small annual rent tot he Council. Thomas Lewis was a vinter and the owner of a tavern in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England called "The Sextry." This tavern was run by his partner, George Cleeve (another Maine immigrant). The web site "Discovering Shropshire's History" has a great deal of information about the tavern which it calls "one of Shrewsbury's best-known and most prestigious taverns." It says Thomas Lewis is of Welsh origin and his parents were Thomas Lewis, a draper and alderman and the daughter of Robert Ireland, Jr. This is in conflict with the information provided by the Great Migration Begins sketch. 



On August 29, 1618, Thomas Lewis married Elizabeth Marshall at St. Chad's, Shrewsbury. Elizabeth was the daughter of Roger and Katherine (Mytton) Marshall. Her will was executed on October 8, 1640 so she likely died shortly before that date. 
St. Chad's Old Church built in the 7th century - a new church was built in 1792
Children: 

  1. Mary Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on June 28, 1619. She married Rev. Richard Gibson in late 1638. It would seem this was not a love story from the court testimony as follows "which marriage was thought a fit means of closing the differences and settling an order both for religion and government...some troublous spirits...have cast an aspersion upon her...which tends to her utter infamy...I married the maid upon long demures..."
  2. Susanna Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on November 2, 1620 and there are no further records for her. 
  3. Margaret Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on April 22, 1622 and there is no further records for her. 
  4. Elizabeth Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on April 7, 1623 and married Robert Haywood of Barbados before March 29, 1662. 
  5. Andrew Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on February 22, 1624/5 and buried at St. Chad's on November 15, 1625. 
  6. Judith Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on October 23, 1626 and married James Gibbons (Gibbins) before 1648 - based on the birth of their first child. 
  7. Andrew Lewis was baptized at St. Chad's on March 25, 1628 and there are no further records for him. 
Thomas Lewis
Judith Lewis
Rachel Gibbons
Thomas Edgecomb
Gibbins Edgecomb
Thomas Edgecomb
Mary Edgecomb
Benjamin Perley Philbrick
Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother


Ancestry.com. The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1755-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Davis, Walter Goodwin,. The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1755-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine. Boston, Mass.: Stanhope Press, 1916.

Ancestry.com. New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3; The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volumes 1-6. Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

52 Ancestors #8 - James Gibbons



James Gibbons is my 9th great-grandfather on my father's mother's side. He came from London in 1635 on the Increase and settled at Saco. He later moved to Kittery. He was a yeoman farmer and was made a freeman on July 5, 1653. Based on his listed age of 21 in the ship's passenger list, James Gibbons was born about 1614. He died sometime after July 17, 1690. James Gibbons and Judith Lewis were married about 1648. He was associated with another ancestor, Samuel Andrews. They came on the same ship, both lived in Saco, and both had a notation beside their name that they were "sent away" by Robert Cordell, goldsmith, of Lombard Street. 

Judith Lewis was from a wealthy family and deeds indicate her consent on records regarding the selling lands that James acquired from her inheritance. Since she was the only member of her immediate family to remain in Maine, she inherited all of her father's land in the area. 

Children

  1. James Gibbons was born on March 19, 1648/9 in Saco and married Dorcas Seeley (Cilley) in December 1668. 
  2. Elizabeth Gibbons was born on April 23, 1652 in Saco and married John Sharp on November 14, 1667 in Saco.
  3. Thomas Gibbons was born on November 23, 1654 in Saco and apparently never married. 
  4. Rebecca Gibbons was born on January 30, 1656/7 in Saco and died on January 3, 1658/9. 
  5. Charity Gibbons was born on January 5, 1658/9 and there are no further records for her. 
  6. Rachel Gibbons was born on October 23, 1660 in Saco and married Robert Edgecomb (Edgecome) on May 30, 1682. Robert Edgecomb was the son of Nicholas and Wilmot (Randall) Edgecomb. They lived in Marblehead from 1690 to 1718 after losing a son to Indian attack. However, they returned to Saco after the Second Indian War. Rachel (Gibbons) Edgecomb died on January 13, 1724 and Robert Edgecomb died on June 1, 1730. They are buried in the Rendezvous Point Cemetery, the oldest cemetery in Saco. According to Maine Provincial Court records the couple were presented on May 30, 1682 for "committing fornication." 
  7. Esther Gibbons was born on August 16, 1664 in Saco and there are no further records for her. 
  8. Anthony Gibbons was born on October 14, 1666 in Saco and there are no further records for him. 
  9. Hannah Gibbons was born about 1668 and married twice. Her first husband was named ____ Hibbert and her second husband was Robert Mace. She married Robert Mace about 1700. 


James Gibbons
Rachel Gibbons
Thomas Edgecomb
Gibbins Edgecomb
Thomas Edgecomb
Mary Edgecomb
Benjamin Perley Philbrick
Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Ancestry.com. The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1755-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Davis, Walter Goodwin,. The ancestry of Charity Haley, 1755-1800 : wife of Major Nicholas Davis of Limington, Maine. Boston, Mass.: Stanhope Press, 1916.

Ancestry.com. New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635[database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.
Original data: Anderson, Robert Charles. The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England, 1620-1633, Volumes 1-3; The Great Migration: Immigrants to New England, 1634-1635, Volumes 1-6. Boston: New England Historical and Genealogical Society, 1996-2011.

52 Ancestors #7 - Samuel Andrews


I have a connection to Samuel Andrews on both my mother's Blake line and my father's Carter line. On both sides, he is my 11th great-grandfather. Samuel Andrews was about 37 years old when he came to Saco, Maine (then part of Massachusetts). He came from London on the Increase in 1635. Records indicate that on April 14, 1635, Samuel, his wife, Jane, a servant, Ellyn Longe, and two daughters, Jane age 3, Elizabeth, age 2,  were examined for passage to New England on the Increase. He was a dyer in England. The Andrews family were part of a larger group coming to Saco on this ship. These included Robert Nanny, age 22, Robert Sankey, age 30, and James Gibbons, age 21. All four of the males have an annotation next to their names "Robert Cordell goldsmith in Limbert [Lombard?] Street sent them away." Samuel Andrews died before August 1, 1638 and his wife Jane remarried about 1641 to Arthur Mackworth of Falmouth (now Portland, ME). The Mackworths lived in Falmouth and Boston. She died in Boston between May and October 1676. 

Children:

  1. James Andrews was born on February 21, 1625/6 and baptized at St. James, Garlickhithe, London on March 5, 1625/6. He married two times. His first marriage was to Dorcas Mitton. On August 6, 1696, intentions were published in Boston for a marriage between James Andrews and Margaret (Phips) Halsey. 
  2. Rebecca Andrews was born on April 1, 1628 and baptized at St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf, in London on April 16, 1628. She was buried at St. James, Garlickhithe, London on October 6, 1629. 
  3. Jane Andrews was born on February 21, 1630 and baptized at St. James, Garlickhithe, London on March 7, 1629/30. She married Francis Neale. 
  4. Elizabeth Andrews was born on May 4, 1632 and baptized at St. James, Garlickhithe, London on May 13, 1632. She was married three times. Her first marriage was to Richard Pike about 1653. Her second was to Thomas Purchase about 1657. Her third marriage was to John Blaney in November 1678 in Lynn, Massachusetts. 
  5. Samuel Andrews was baptized at St. James, Garlickhithe, London on August 16, 1634 and buried there on September 16, 1634. 
  6. Philippa Andrews was born about 1636 and married three times. Her first marriage was to George Felt, son of Great Migration immigrant, George Felt. They married in Falmouth (now Portland, ME) on November 25, 1662.  Her second marriage was to Samuel Platts on December 19 1682 in Rowley, MA. Her third marriage was to Thomas Nelson on April 9, 1690 in Rowley, MA. 

I was intrigued by the name of the area where most of the baptisms were performed. A little research indicates that the word "hythe" refers to a landing place and in that area on the Thames, garlic was sold in medieval times. The church of St. James, Garlickhithe was destroyed in the 1666 Great Fire of London. It's facade was rebuilt by the famous architect, Christopher Wren. St. Peter's, Paul's Wharf (where Rebecca was baptized) was not rebuilt after the Great Fire. 

Rebuilt facade of St. James, Garlickhithe

Another interesting note is that the James Gibbons who came with Samuel Andrews in the Increase is my 9th great-grandfather on my father's Cotton line.  Another connection to this group of men "sent away" by Robert Cordell. 

Carter Line
Samuel Andrews
James Andrews
Dorcas Andrews
Tabitha Davenport
Tabitha Cox
William Moody - brother of Houchin Moody
Elizabeth Moody
William Ackley
Sarah Ackley
Mary Jane Abbott
Fanny May Capen
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Blake Line
Samuel Andrews
James Andrews
Dorcas Andrews
Tabitha Davenport
Tabitha Cox
Houchin Moody, brother of William Moody
Josiah Moody
Hezekiah Moody
Dolly Estes Moody
Charles Galen Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather

Monday, March 17, 2014

My Irish Roots


Happy St. Patrick's Day!
(Originally published on March 17, 2012)
Most of my family lines go back to immigrants who came to New England in the 1600s. However, I have one 3X great-grandmother who came from Ireland, probably in the 1820s according to census records. Eva Bean included John Williamson among the veterans of the War of 1812 but that doesn't make sense with the census records. The family is not in the 1820 census and according to later census records Rebecca was born about 1816 in Ireland. If the family was here in time for the War of 1812, Rebecca would have been born in the U.S. In the 1830 Bethel census John Williamson is the head of the household and there are two females - one between 30 & 40 and one between 15 & 20.  These facts line up with the dates passed down through the family for John, his wife Ann, and his daughter, Rebecca. 

Williamson is not a very Irish sounding name so I wonder if they were English and moved to Manorhamilton somewhere along the way. I also would love to find out why they left Ireland. Regardless of the exact date they came, it is clear they were in Bethel well before the potato famine in Ireland. 
Manorhamilton, Ireland



The family came from Manorhamilton, named for Sir Frederick Hamilton who was granted the land for his services in the European wars of the 17th century. The town was called Clonmullen and in the hands of the O'Roarke clan prior to its being granted to Sir Frederick. Manorhamilton Castle, built by Sir Frederick was burned to the ground in 1652 by the native Irish. This act appears to have been provoked by Hamilton’s cruel treatment of prisoners and his burning of Sligo town.  Here is a sketch of the castle before the fire and three pictures of the castle ruins. 


 


In searching Irish records, I can see general information without paying and I can find several passenger lists with Williamsons on board but none of the dates and ages of the passengers line up with my ancestors. I'm unwilling at this point to pay about $20 just to look at one record. Hopefully some day I will be able to go and look through records myself. For now, I will have to be content with what I know about their time in the United States. Williamson is not a very Irish sounding name so I wonder if they were English and moved to Manorhamilton somewhere along the way. I also would love to find out why they left Ireland. Regardless of the exact date they came, it is clear they were in Bethel well before the potato famine in Ireland. 

In honor of St. Patrick's Day and through the magic of the internet here are two videos of Manorhamilton.

St. Patrick's Day Parade - Manorhamilton, Leitrim, Ireland 2009

Youtube - Manorhamilton


Sources:
http://www.leitrimtourism.com/Places-to-Visit/Places-to-Visit-(1)/Manorhamilton-Castle.aspx

http://www.thebetheljournals.info/Biography/Williamson_Journal.htm#photos
Wikipedia - Manorhamilton

Lapham, Howard B. "History of Bethel:." Google Books. Google.com. Web. 03 Mar. 2012. <http://books.google.com/ebooks/reader?id=4vUgAQAAMAAJ>.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

52 Ancestors - John Dwight #6

John Dwight came from Woolverstone, Suffolk, England to Watertown, Massachusetts in 1635. He moved from Watertown to Dedham in 1638. Based on the date of his first marriage, it is estimated that he was born by 1601 and he died on January 24, 1660/1 in Dedham, Massachusetts. His first wife was named Hannah and she died at Dedham on September 5, 1656. John and Hannah Dwight are my 9th great-grandparents. 


John is described as a yeoman, which means someone who farmed their own land. His brother, Timothy Dwight, was another Great Migration immigrant and in Woolverstone he lived alongside Reverend Timothy Dalton and Richard Evered who also emigrated and settled in Dedham.  Timothy Dalton is my 10th great-uncle and Richard Evered is another of my 10th great-grandfathers. 

All of John's children were with his first wife, Hannah

  1.  Hannah was baptized on September 3, 1626 in Woolverstone. She married Nathaniel Whiting on November 4, 1643 in Dedham. 
  2. John was baptized on July 16, 1629 in Woolverstone and died on March 24, 1638/9 in Dedham. 
  3. Timothy was born about 1631 and died in Dedham on January 31, 1717/8. He married five times - 1) Sarah Pennan (called Sibley in his father's will) on November 11, 1651; 2) Sarah Powell on May 3, 1653 in Dedham; 3) Anna Flint on January 9, 1664/5 in Dedham; and 4) Mary (Poole) Edwards on January 7, 1686/7 in Dedham; and 5) Esther (Hunting) Fisher on July 31, 1690 in Dedham. 
  4. Mary was born August 25, 1635 and married Henry Phillips shortly after June 24, 1653. 
  5. Sarah was born June 17, 1638 in Dedham and married Nathaniel Reynolds in Boston on December 30, 1657. 
John's second wife was Elizabeth, the widow of Thomas Thaxter and William Ripley. John married her at Dedham on January 20, 1657/8.  She died just a few years later when she "drowned herself." 
"About the 6th month last, there was likewise another woman, well reputed of, drowned herself at Dedham, - one Go[ody] Dwite. Two awful strokes unto all that knew them; and no little scandal, by accident, to religion; and a great brand of infamy upon themselves. This is not the death of the righteous" [Hull 196 (entry dated 24 October 1660)]. - Taken from The Great Migration Sketch of John Dwight


John Dwight
Hannah Dwight
John Whiting
Jemima Whiting
Joseph Wight
Abigail Wight
Roxanna Spurr
Mary Frances Stanley
Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online database:AmericanAncestors.org, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.)