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.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #41 - Thomas Cousins - Attack at Black Point

In the late 17th century, settlers on the frontier suffered greatly from Indian attacks. Those settlers on the Maine coast were not part of the spread of settlers from Massachusetts and the Indians were seeking to halt the expansion and maintain their lands. The area that is now Scarborough encompassed a number of settlements including Black Point and Dunstan. From October 10-13, 1675, the settlers battled with the Wabanaki. Those at Dunstan were critical of the lack of support from Joshua Scottow's garrison at Black Point. Mary Beth Norton notes that several key figures in the Salem Witchcraft hysteria had connections to the area (see In The Devil's Snare, p. 141-143). 

My grandfather, Clayton Blake descends from Thomas Cousins who was serving in the company of Captain John Wincoll and gave the following deposition accusing Joshua Scottow of cowardice and failure to help those under attack. 

"The deposition of Thomas Cousens aged about 30 yeares makes oath that being with Capt. Winckoll when he was ingaged with the Indians neere Blackepointe and faire within sight of the garrison. Capt. Winckoll sent two men to Mr. Scottow for some reliefe, being then likely to have bene overthrowne, by the enimy, but the said Scottow would not send any help to us, he had at that time upward of forty men in his garrison, but from Mr. Foxwels garrison, which was as farr from us as Mr. Scottows garrison was, we have five men which did us a great pleasure, and they left but two men in the garrison, which if we had had releife from Mr. Scottows garrison, in an ordinary way with gods blessing, we might have given the enimye a great overthrow, and after the fight was over, this deponent went to Mr. Scottows garrison, and heard Souldiers generally say, that they see Capt. Winckoll ingaged with the enimy, and would have gone to have releived them. but Mr. Scottow would not suffer them, but charged them to Keepe the garrison, and further this deponent saith that it was generally reported at Blackpoint, that in theire great distress they could have no help from Mr. Scottows garrison, he being the comander thereof, and further saith not. 

Taken upon Oath the 16th January 1679
before me Sam'l Wheelwright

In answer to the charge, Capt. Joshua Scottow accused Thomas Cousins of perjury and although Thomas was acquitted, he was found guilty of a different charge, "presumptuous and reproachfull expressions" against Scottow. 

Thomas Cousins & Hannah Goodale
Hannah Cousins & George Jacobs
Priscilla Jacobs & Joshua Bartlett
Lydia Bartlett & Joshua Ripley
Nancy Ripley & Micajah Blake
Galen Blake & Dolly Moody
Charles G. Blake & Isabelle Brown
Harriet May Blake & ?
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather

Norton Mary Beth, In The Devil's Snare
Davis Walter Goodwin, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon

Thursday, October 9, 2014

52 Ancestors #40 - Isaac Cousins

Isaac Cousins was the 7th great-grandfather of Clayton Leonard Blake. He seems to have been a wanderer. I don't have any other colonial era ancestors who lived in as many places as he did. His occupation is listed as gunsmith and locksmith. Tracing his steps we find him in: 

Rowley in 1651, Haverhill in 1652, Ipswich about 1654, Boston in 1656, Portsmouth in 1659, Great Island in 1661, Boston in 1668, North Yarmouth, Maine in 1678, Dorchester in 1691, Boston in 1696-1702

Isaac Cousins married three times. His first wife was named Elizabeth and we don't know her maiden name. His second wife was Ann Hunt, whom he married in 1657. His third wife was Martha Priest. He seems to have been seeking to better his lot in life as he moved around and perhaps his best chance was when he became associated with the proprietors in North Yarmouth in Maine. However, Indian attacks doomed this settlement and the he moved back to the Boston area. In 1691 he was warned out of Dorchester and in 1696 he stated in a lawsuit against Richard Priest that he was "an ancient inhabitant of this country...fallen much into decay and waxen so poore." He claimed Richard Priest was withholding his household goods. By the time he died on July 23, 1702 he was a ward of the town. 

Isaac & Elizabeth Cousins
Thomas & Hannah (Goodale) Cousins
George & Hannah (Cousins) Jacobs
Joshua & Priscilla (Jacobs) Bartlett
Joshua & Lydia (Bartlett) Ripley
Micajah & Nancy (Ripley) Blake
Galen & Dolly (Moody) Blake
Charles & Isabelle (Brown) Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather 

Thanks to the research of Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon, for the basic information in this post. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

52 Ancestors #39 - She Wore the Pants in the Family

Dorothy Hoyt was my 10th great-aunt. She was the younger sister of my 10th great-grandfather, Thomas Hoyt. Her parents were John & Frances Hoyt and she was born on April 13, 1656. While researching the family, I found the following account in Walter Goodwin Davis's book, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon.

"For her escapade of dressing up in men's clothes, when she was a young woman of twenty-one, the Puritan magistrates ordered her to be severely whipped. She had escaped from the jurisdiction, however, and her father, who doubtless connived at her departure, paid a fine of forty shillings in her behalf." 

It's hard to imagine being whipped for what one chooses to wear. I'm proud that her father stood up for her and helped her get away. 

John Hoyt
Thomas Hoyt & Mary Browne
Israel Hoyt & Grace Taprill
Dorothy Hoyt & Sampson Babb
Alice Babb & John Waterhouse
Lydia Waterhouse & Richard Garland
Alice Garland & Isaac Hayes, Sr.
Richard Hayes & Rebecca Greenwood
Sydney Hayes & Apphia Delphinia Cole
George Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

SourceInformation: Ancestry.com.TheancestryofLydiaHarmon,1755­1836:wifeofJosephWaterhouseof Standish, Maine [database on­line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Davis, Walter Goodwin,.
The ancestry of Lydia Harmon, 1755­1836 : wife of Joseph Waterhouse of Standish, Maine. Boston, Mass.: Stanhope Press, 1924. 

52 Ancestors #38 - Two Murderers - One Gallows

While looking for records relating to my 9th great-grandfather, John Capen, I found a minor notation that he served on the jury in the murder trials of John Williams and and William Schooler. This intrigued me to investigate further and I came across a post by Robert Wilhelm on the blog, Executed Today. 

William Schooler was a man with a checkered past. He was an admitted adulterer who had fled to Holland to escape the law after wounding a man in a duel in England. He came to New England without his wife and lived on the outskirts of the town of Newbury, by the banks of the Merrimack River. 

Mary Scholy was a servant girl who for some unknown reason had come to Newbury from the area called Pascataquack (now Portsmouth, NH) and needed a guide to help her return to her master. 
Google Maps shows that it would be an 8-9 1/2 hour trip walking from Newbury to Portsmouth on modern roads - It would obviously have been more challenging in colonial times. 

When William Schooler heard that Mary needed a guide, he offered his services for fifteen shillings. She accepted without knowing he had never made the trip before. Schooler returned to Newbury suspiciously early with a scratch on his nose that he blamed on walking into some brambles and blood on his hat that he attributed to killing a pigeon. However, there was no evidence to contradict his story so nothing happened until her body was found in the woods north of Newbury by an Agawam Indian. She had been exposed to the elements for several months so not much could be told from her body except that her clothes had been removed and found in a pile nearby. Schooler continued to protest his innocence and refused to confess but in the end was convicted of ravishing and killing Mary Scholy. 

John Williams was a recent immigrant to the colonies who had been imprisoned in Boston for theft. he escaped with another prisoner, John Hoddy. As they traveled near the east end of the Wenham Great Pond, they had a fight that left John Hoddy dead. There are conflicting stories of how this came to be discovered - one blames John Hoddy's dogs for drawing the attention of neighbors and the other says Williams was recognized as a criminal arrested in Ipswich. Either way, the body of John Hoddy was located when a farmer's cows started bellowing and an investigation led to the discovery of Hoddy's naked body covered by stones. Unlike Schooler, Williams confessed to the murder but to protect his rights of due process, his case was tried before a jury and he was sentenced to death. 

Both men were found guilty of murder and hanged together on the same gallows on Boston Common on September 28, 1637. 

Photo by mlhradio/CCBY

For more information see this source: http://www.executedtoday.com/2012/09/28/1637-william-schooler-and-john-williams/ 

John Capen - on jury for both trials
James Capen & Hannah Lawrence
James Capen & Elizabeth Call
James Capen & Sarah Pinson
Thomas Capen & Mary Wyman
Thomas Capen & Mary Abbott
Timothy Capen & Sarah K. Abbott
Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott
Fanny May Capen & Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Edward Abbott Capen & Mary Jane Abbott were second cousins - Timothy Capen's sister, Deborah was Mary Jane's grandmother. Deborah married William Ackley - their daughter, Sarah Ackley married John Abbott and they were the parents of Mary Jane. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

52 Ancestors #37 - Look Before You Leap!

Originally published on Nov. 11, 2012

The Lewiston Daily Sun - July 24, 1923


Bethel Man Hit by Auto on State Road Succumbs From Internal Injuries

Well Known in Bethel Where He Was Engaged in Lumbering Business With Father

Edward Carter, aged 43, of Bethel died at Ste. Marie's hospital yesterday morning from injuries sustained when he jumped from a wagon on the Lisbon-Lewiston road about midnight Sunday directly into the path of an automobile owned and operated by Harry S. Morton of Brunswick. Mr. Carter was driving a four horse team when he jumped to the ground intending to fix something in the rear of the conveyance. He evidently was unaware that a machine was approaching. 

County Attorney James A. Pulsifer and Dr. Blinn Russell, county medical examiner, investigating the cause of death stated that they were were satisfied that the accident was in no sense the fault of the driver of the fatal car but largely attributable to fate and the victim's negligence in not ascertaining if the road was clear before jumping from his perch on the wagon. 

Mr. Carter who has for several years been identified with his father, Augustus Carter, of Bethel in the lumbering business in Maine, New Hampshire and Canada has recently been engaged in road construction work. He was so employed at the time of the accident driving one of two four horse teams over the State road on his way to Lewiston. 

He was born in Bethel March 26, 1875, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Carter. In early life he married Miss Fannie Capen, who, with five children, also his father, one sister, Miss Frances Carter, and an uncle Herbert Carter, all of Bethel, survive him. Mr. Carter's father gave up business about a year ago since which time the son had been employed in road work part of the time.

Edward Carter was my great-grandfather. His wife, Fannie, never remarried and raised her five children as a single mother. The children were Edward Augustus (Gus) age 12, Rebecca Williamson (Becky) age 10, Thomas Richard (Dick) age 8, Stanley Capen age 5, and Paul Albert age 1. 

Newspaper accessed at 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

52 Ancestors #36 - Depositions of William Dixey

William Dixey is my 1oth great-grandfather. He came from England to Lynn in 1629 and later lived in Salem and Beverly. He operated a ferry from Salem to Beverly for both people and animals. He served on a variety of juries and was a fenceviewer (1637), lotlayer (1644), and highway surveyor (1645) for the town of Salem. He rose through the ranks of those defending the community until he acquired the title of Captain. He was married to a woman called Ann or Hannah but it is not known if she was the mother of all his children. 
Both from The Great Migration Begins (see citation below)

"In a deposition taken on July 1, 1657, Ens. William Dixey, aged about fifty years, deposed that about twenty-eight years ago, Mr. Isaac Johnson, his master, wrote to the Hon. Mr. Endicott 'for a place to sitt downe in,' whereupon Mr. Endicott gave them leave to go wherever they would. They went to Saugus, now Lynn, where they met with Sagamore James and some other Indians, who gave them leave to dwell thereabouts, and they and the rest of his Master's company cut grass for their cattle, keeping them on Nahant, and had quiet possession."

Gov. John Endecott
In a deposition taken in February 1680, William Dixey described his arrival in New England:

"William Dixy of Beverly in New England aged about 73 years testifieth that I came to New England and arrived in June 1629 at Cape Ann where we found the signs of buildings & plantation work and saw no English people. So we sailed to the place now called Salem where we found Mr. John Endecot Governor & sundry habitants besides some of whom said they had been servants to the Dorchester company & had built at Cape Ann sundry years before we came over. When we came to dwell here the Indians bid us welcome & showed themselves very glad that we came to dwell among them & I understood they had kindly entertained the English that came hither before we came & the English & the Indians had a field in common fenced in together & the Indians fled to shelter themselves under the English oft times saying they were afraid of their enemy Indians in the country, in particular I remember sometime after we arrived the Agawam Indians complained to Mr. Endecott that they were afraid of other Indians called as I take it Tawateens. Hugh Browne was sent with others in a boat to Agawam for the Indians' relief & at other times we gave our neighbor Indians protection from their enemy Indians. Taken upon oath this 16th of February 1680."


  1. Mary Dixey was born about 1634 and married Hugh Woodbury, son of William Woodbury. 
  2. Abigail Dixey was baptized on December 25, 1636 in Salem and married John Stone.
  3. Anna Dixey was baptized on June 17, 1638 in Salem and married first Nehemiah Howard on August 11, 1657 in Salem and second Thomas Judkins on November 25, 1665 in Gloucester. 
  4. John Dixey was baptized on December 19, 1639 in Salem and married Elizabeth Allen on November 6, 1668 in Swansea. 
  5. Elizabeth Dixey was baptized on October 17, 1641 in Salem and married Samuel Morgan on December 15, 1658 in Salem. 
  6. Sarah Dixey was baptized on July 2, 1643 in Salem and married Edmund Gale by 1666. 

William Dixey
Elizabeth Dixey & Samuel Morgan
Luke Morgan & Ruth Stone
Luke Morgan Jr. & Martha Pulcifer
Samuel Morgan & Judith Dennen
Martha Morgan & William Yates
Moses Morgan & Martha Whittle
Gilbert William Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Gilbert Yates & Eva Delphinia Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother 

Source: Robert Charles Anderson, Great Migration Begins: Immgrants to New England, 1620-1633, Vol 1-3 (Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1995.).

Monday, September 22, 2014

One Lovely Blog

I am excited to be included in this award. I was nominated by Heather Wilkinson Rojo, author of Nutfield Genealogy, one of my favorite bloggers. Thank you for thinking of me, Heather! 

The rules for the "One Lovely Blog Award":

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to that blog. 
  2. Share seven things about yourself
  3. Nominate 15 bloggers you admire (or as many as you can think of!)
  4. Let your bloggers know that you've tagged them for the One Lovely Blog Award
Seven things about myself:
  1. I credit my Carter and Cotton family lines for helping me grow up with a sense of history. The farm settled by my 4th great-grandfather, Dr. Timothy Carter, has been in my family for seven generations. I grew up surrounded by my family's history. I could wander around the house and meetinghouse he built and see the names of my ancestors on stones in the cemetery behind the meetinghouse. My Cotton line is linked into the Ellingwood surname. There was a book about the genealogy of the Ellingwoods that was updated after I was born so I could peruse a book of ancestors while visiting my grandparents. I thought it was fascinating. 
  2. I teach U.S. History and psychology at Windham High School and this is my twenty-first year of teaching. I love the teaching part but could do without the work that comes before and after my classes. I've even found some cousins amongst my students as they work on family history projects. 
  3. I have four sons from my first marriage and my husband has two daughters from his first marriage. Together we have children spanning the ages of 22 to 32 - one every two years. Nick 22, Katie 24, Rachel 26, Ben 28, Josh 30, and Steve 32. The middle names of my sons are all in honor of family members: Stephen (for my favorite uncle), Thomas (for my father and grandfather), John (for my only male Carter cousin and my former brother-in-law), and Carter (my maiden name). 
  4. I was lucky enough to know three of my great-grandparents and many great-aunts and great-uncles. 
  5. I love horses and learned to ride using the saddle that my 2nd great-grandfather, Augustus Carter, used in the Civil War. My family still has his uniform, spurs, and sword too. 
  6. I love to travel. I'd love to be able to go more often. England is my favorite and I'd like to see more of Scotland. I've never been to Ireland or Wales and I'd love to go there too. 
  7. I really like to cook and I credit my grandmothers. My dad's mom made the best rolls, biscuits, baked beans, and molasses cookies! My mom's mom worked as a pastry chef at resorts in Florida and New Hampshire. Her cakes were amazing! 
Many of my favorite bloggers have already been tagged but figuring that some of my readers may not have seen them, I will list some of them again. Here are a baker's dozen to check out. 
  1. Shakespeare's Mom by Kate Parlin is not a genealogy blog but a parenting blog written by a good friend and amazing writer! She has three girls under the age of 5, including a set of twins! She's starting to gain national attention for her writing and I have no doubt that someday she will write a great American novel. 
  2. Some Pig by my friend Caroline is another parenting/teaching/modern woman blog written by one of the best writer's I've ever met. If you like snarky, wise-cracking, wit, this is a blog for you. 
  3. Life from the Roots by Barbara Poole is a great blog with awesome photography. 
  4. Digging Down East by Pam Schaffner
  5. Boston 1775 by J. L. Bell is a great place to dig around and learn more about the American Revolution. I've found several ancestor stories here. 
  6. Jana's Genealogy and Family History Blog by Jana Last in awesome in many ways but it's one of my favorite sites to check out for her Fab Finds posted every Friday with great topics I might have missed. 
  7. Acadian Ancestral Home by Lucie Constantino is not only and interesting blogger but a great speaker. Check out her blog to see if she is speaking in your area. 
  8. Granite In My Blood by Midge Frazel is a great collection of all things genealogy and Midge is a great inspiration to always keep learning. Some day I might be half as organized as she is! 
  9. One Rhode Island Family by Diane Boumenot. I especially enjoy the posts where she elaborates on her process as she searches for information about her ancestors. 
  10. Of Loons and Lady Slippers by T. K. Eldridge is a blog I discovered through the 52 ancestors challenge. I love the name too! 
  11. Maine Genealogy by Chris Dunham has been a great resource for me. Not only the blog but the entire site with many features. 
  12. West in New England by Bill West has already been nominated but Bill is my inspiration and the person most responsible for starting my blog so I can't leave him out. 
  13. Genea-Musings by Randy Seaver is a blog I always check out and a previous nominee. 
I will be contacting the bloggers above but don't expect those who have already done the challenge once to do it again.