Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Falling Tree Kills Workman

Irene (Blake) & Ray Everett Cotton, Jr.
Leonard Ray "Joe" & Phyllis Cotton
I scanned the picture above from my grandmother's photo collection. I remember my grandmother talking about her brother who was killed in an accident in a beryl mine and my dad was close to his cousin, Joe. They were born in the same year. I remember visits with Joe & Jackie and their girls, Lisa and Jennifer but at the time I never connected the dots and understood how it was all connected. I figured it out when I started looking at the family tree and recently I found the following article in the Lowell Sun from July 30, 1952. 


Ray Everett Cotton, Jr. was the son of Ray Everett and Annie Florilla (Gibbs) Cotton. He was born on April 9, 1916 in South Paris, Maine and died on July 29, 1952 in Alstead, New Hampshire. He married Irene Blake on January 16, 1937. 

His children:
  1. Phyllis born in 1937.
  2. Leonard Ray "Joe" born in 1939.
  3. Arthur born in 1941.
  4. Gary born in 1943.
  5. Alan born in 1945. 
  6. Larry born in 1946. 

He is buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery in Mechanic Falls, Maine.

My grandmother, Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter was six years younger than her brother, Ray.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Drummer Eleazer Cole - 52 Ancestors #29


Eleazer Cole served in the Revolutionary War as a Sgt. in Capt. Hayden's Company in Col. Bailey's Regt. His active service began on June 1, 1775, and he spent 8 months on duty in Roxbury before being honorably discharged. Prior to being enlisted, he served several months as a Minuteman according to witness testimony. In his pension file is a letter from the Quartermaster General's Office of the War Dept, dated May 9, 1938. This letter gives details of Eleazer Cole's service.




Bela Noyes, testimony: "I further testify that the said Eleazer Cole stood as a minuet (sic) man
two or three months previous to the aforesaid enlistment under Capt. David Parker

1938 Letter from The Quartermaster General at the War Dept.
On July 27, 1833, he was awarded a pension of $40 per year with $100 back pay. Eleazer died on August 4 in Greenwood, Maine, and his widow filed for additional benefits in 1837 and was awarded $260 of back pay based on the $40 per year pension originally granted to Eleazer. There are a number of documents related to the pension and I've excerpted some relevant ones below.

Eleazer's Claim
Lucy's Widow's Claim























July 11, 1769. married Eleazer Cole and Lucy Shurtleff - John Porter
Pastor of 4th Church of Bridgewater [Massachusetts]

Lucy Cole's Signature - She was 85 when she signed the pension application
Eleazer Cole
Calvin Cole, Sr.
Calvin Cole, Jr.
Delphina (Cole) Hayes
George Hayes
Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Wordless Wednesday - The Saugus Iron Works

The Blast Furnace
The Blast Furnace
The Blast Furnace
The Blast Furnace Water Wheel in Action
The Forge
The Forge
The Warehouse and Dock
Barn Swallow Fledglings
Barn Swallows under the Blast Furnace
Bog Iron
Flat-bottomed boats for transporting iron



 A beautiful national park!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Travels of John Tuttle - 52 Ancestors #28

Ringstead, St. Albans, Ipswich, Southampton, Carrickfergus
John Tuttle came to Massachusetts in 1635 on the Planter and settled at Ipswich. The Planter set sail around April 10 and arrived in Boston on July 7. He made the journey as part of a large family group that included his wife and mother-in-law, both named Joan, five children (two from his wife’s first marriage).  John had two brothers who also came to Massachusetts in 1635; Richard Tuttle settled in Boston and William Tuttle settled in Charlestown. He was the step-father to the Lawrence immigrants who also came to Massachusetts in 1635; John Lawrence, Thomas Lawrence, William Lawrence, Mary Lawrence (m. Thomas Burnham), and Jane (Lawrence) Giddings.

John Tuttle was born about 1596, son of Simon & Isabel (Wells) Tuttle of Ringstead, Northamptonshire, England. He married the former Joan Antrobus, daughter of Walter and Joan (Arnold) Antrobus and widow of Thomas Lawrence. As with many on the Planter, John is said to be from St. Albans, Hertfordshire. 

John was a mercer (textile dealer) who was involved in the import and export business between England, Massachusetts, and Barbadoes. While in Massachusetts, he was active in town affairs. He served as Deputy for Ipswich to the Massachusetts Bay General Court and on a variety of committees to lay out highways and determine town boundaries.


About 1650, he was living in Boston and sailed for England. John left to straighten out some business dealings that had not gone well. On February 16, 1649/50, an agreement was signed between John Tuttle, William Stanley, and Peter LeGay. Stanley and Legay, merchants from Southampton, agreed to furnish John Tuttle with goods having a value of £1200. In return, John Tuttle would make payment with goods for which Stanley & LeGay had orders in Barbadoes. Unfortunately, John did not have the goods on hand. He also had received thirty pieces of broadcloth and couldn't meet his installment payment without mortgaging his Ipswich home and lands. 

By 1651, he did satisfy his creditors but he never returned to New England and lived out the rest of his life in Carrickfergus, Ireland. The letters of Joan Tuttle show she had considerable skill and took an active part in assisting her husband with his business affairs. His wife, Joan, who also left Massachusetts in 1654 and joined him in Ireland. 

After John's death, Joan would continue to write to those in Massachusetts who were supposed to be working on her behalf. The letters she wrote express a deep disappointment in the lack of communication and the failure to have her wishes followed regarding her husband's estate. She was especially disappointed by her son, Simon, who was dealing with the business in Barbadoes and appears to have been pocketing the proceeds rather than distributing them as his mother wished. 







John Tuttle
Simon Tuttle (yes, the one who was stealing his mother's money)
John Tuttle
Martha (Tuttle) Haskell
Martha (Haskell) Safford
Ruth (Safford) Haskell 
Martha (Haskell) Houghton
Mary "Sally" (Houghton) Dunham
Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood
Nina (Ellingwood) Gibbs
Annie (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Thursday, July 9, 2015

An Independent Streak - 52 Ancestors #27

Memorial Stone for John Emery in the Newbury First Settlers Burying Ground
John and his brother, Anthony, came to America in 1635 on the James. He settled at Newbury, where he worked as a carpenter and an innkeeper. John was married twice. His first marriage was to Alice Grantham of West Dean, Wiltshire, England. There is no record of Alice in New England. In Newbury, on October 29, 1647, John married for a second time. His second wife was Mary (Shatswell) Webster, widow of John Webster. Mary had three siblings who had immigrated to Ipswich, Massachusetts - brothers John and Theophilus Shatswell and sister, Margaret (Shatswell) Curwen, wife of Matthias Curwen.

Despite the fact that he sometimes got in trouble (often for standing up for his beliefs), he also contributed his service to the local officials in a number of different offices. He was a member of quite a few petit juries and grand juries over the years. He was the Newbury constable in 1655 and clerk of the market in 1656. 

His independent streak is well documented through the court system. 
His first recorded brush with the law makes one question whether his first wife was still alive since he seems to have gotten a little fresh with a married woman. The part at the end makes me wonder if she was a willing participant in the interaction. On September 29, 1646, "John Emery, for miscarriage with the wife of Henry Travers, fined £3 or to be whipped, and pay witness fee to Christopher Bartlett. Bound to good behavior and not to frequent the company of the wife of Henry Travers. 

In 1654, John joined with other town leaders to sue John Merrill for selling the town's lands without order. Also in 1654, there was a controversy regarding a petition in support of Lt. Robert Pike of Salisbury. That is a story for another blog post. All of his dealings on behalf of his step-children will also be told later. 

In 1658, John, his son John Jr., his step-son John Webster, and Solomon Keyes were admonished by the court for disturbing the peace and acting disrespectully. They were told to "beware of the like sinful practices for time to come, which this Court will not bear; and that they pay the several charges of their neighbors the last Court & this, in coming for relief from such under courses."

On May 5, 1663, John Emery appeared before the court for entertaining Quakers. 

In another church controversy in 1669, John Emery was one of those opposing Rev. Mr. Parker. He appears on a 1671 list of Newbury church members presented as part of this discontent. 

In 1678, John submitted a bill to the local militia for "a new saddle & bridle" 28s.; a "sword & belt," 12s; 2 pounds powder & bullets," 4s.; and "saddle & cloth," 23s. 









John died on November 3, 1683 and was buried in the First Burying Ground in Newbury. 

For more on John Emery - 
John Emery - lists his children and some testimony about his entertaining Quakers. 
Connections to the TV show Downton Abbey - Maps the areas in England where the family lived near the town of Downton. 

John Emery
Eleanor (Emery) Bailey
Sarah (Bailey) Cheney - Sister of Rebecca Bailey (below)
Eleanor (Cheney) Safford
John Safford
Ruth (Safford) Haskell
Martha (Haskell) Houghton
Mary "Sally" (Houghton) Dunham
Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood
Nina King (Ellingwood) Gibbs
Annie Florilla (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Rebecca (Bailey) Brown
Ruth (Brown) Rogers
Isaac Rogers
Rebecca (Rogers) Blaisdell
Stephen Blaisdell
Susannah (Blaisdell) Rowe
Stephen Blaisdell Rowe
Charles H. N. Rowe
Anna J. (Rowe) Hayes
Eva Delphinia (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Balch House

Visiting colonial homes is always fun but when it's the home of an ancestor, it makes it extra special. Our tour was given by 91-year-old, Nancy Peabody Hood, who has been living here and welcoming visitors for over 40 years. She lives in an apartment that adjoins these four rooms and goes up and down the steep stairs multiple times a day. It was a joy to visit with her while touring the house. Unfortunately, she shared that she will be moving into an apartment soon and the house will no longer be occupied. If you want a tour with this special lady, you need to plan to visit soon. There is a virtual tour with her here. Click on the house to download the video.

John Balch was one of the men sent to New England by the Dorchester Company to settle a fishing colony that started on Cape Ann and relocated to Salem on the Bass River Side that would become Beverly.

The three sons of John Balch:
  1. Benjamin was born about 1629 and married three times. His first wife was Sarah Gardner, who died April 5, 1686. His second wife was Abigail Clarke, who died January 1, 1690, aged about 55 years. His third wife was Grace Mallett. 
  2. John was born about 1631 and married Mary Conant, daughter of immigrant Roger Conant. She would marry William Dodge, Jr. after John's death. 
  3. Freeborn was born about 1634 and by January 20, 1658, he was presumed dead as his estate was being administered by Walter Price of Salem and Benjamin is purchasing the land Freeborn inherited from their father unless "the abovesaid Freeborn Balch appear to be alive." 

Pretty windows

Sign outside



















The front side of the house
The back of the house

The first room with the guestbook. It is estimated by a local house historian that it was only about half this size when originally built. That would mean an entire family living in one room, the size of a very small bedroom. There were no closets - only chests. 
The first room corner
The first room fireplace
This room was added for son, Benjamin and his family. That included his 13 children! This fireplace was modified in the 1700s to include a dutch oven. 
The other side of the second room
The bedroom above the first room - portraits are of Nathaniel & Mary (Fletcher) Balch. Nathaniel was the 4th great-grandson of immigrant John Balch. 
The other side of the bedroom over the first room 
The corner of the bedroom - 1640 chest and old book box with a Balch Bible. A cutout reveals the bricks used for insulation. They were made from the abundant clay in the area.
Mary Conant Balch was the son of John Balch, Jr. This is the other upstairs bedroom.
Mary's room - one of the tiniest colonial beds that I've seen.
Mary's room
Mary's room

John Balch
Benjamin Balch
Mary (Balch) Stone
Ruth (Stone) Morgan
Luke Morgan
Samuel Morgan
Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses Yates
Gilbert W. Yates
Estes G. Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Monday, July 6, 2015

John Balch - 52 Ancestors #26

John Balch arrived in Massachusetts around 1624. He lived first at Cape Ann before moving to Salem in 1626. His home was in the part of town that later became Beverly. Based on his close associations, it is likely that he came as part of the Dorchester Company. He was granted the status of freeman on May 18, 1631.  When he took his oath, Roger Conant, Henry Herrick, and John Woodbury were with him. Balch, Conant, and Herrick are my 10th great-grandfathers and John Woodbury is my 11th great-grandfather. John Balch signed his will and owned several books so he could read and write. He served on a number of juries and town committees from the Salem selectmen to the supervisor of highway repairs and the committee on bridge repairs. In the records, two different wives are listed, Margery and Annis. However, there are no marriage records so it is unclear whether the first wife in the records is the mother of his children. Look for much more about the Balch House coming soon. 

The Balch House was home to John and later his son, Benjamin and their families.

Children of John Balch and his first wife: 
  1. Benjamin was born about 1629 and married three times. His first wife was Sarah Gardner who died in Beverly on April 5, 1686. His second wife was Abigail Clarke. They married on February 5, 1689 in Marblehead and she died on January 2, 1690. He married his third wife, Grace Mallet on March 15, 1692 in Beverly. 
  2. John was born about 1631 and married Mary Conant, daughter of another of my immigrant ancestors, Roger Conant. John was drowned in a storm while ferrying between Salem and Beverly. After his death, she married Capt. William Dodge, son of immigrant William Dodge - yet another immigrant ancestor. 
  3. Freeborn was born about 1634 and seems to have been missing and presumed dead on January 20, 1658 when Walter Price of Salem was acting as the executor and administrator of his estate. Walter sold the land that Freeborn inherited from his father, John to his brother, Benjamin, unless "the abovesaid Freeborn Balch appear to be alive." 
Benjamin made up for his brothers' relatively short lives by having eleven children with his first wife and two more with his third wife! 

John Balch
Benjamin Balch
Mary (Balch) Stone
Ruth (Stone) Morgan
Luke Morgan
Samuel Morgan
Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses Yates
Gilbert W. Yates
Estes G. Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother