Saturday, November 22, 2014

52 Ancestors #46 - Even The Drunkards Thank Us

Rev. Freeman Yates was my first cousin, 4 times removed. He was the son of William & Dorcas (Hall) Yates, and the grandson of William & Martha (Morgan) Yates, my fourth great-grandparents. The 19th century featured many reform movements but one of the strongest and longest lasting was the temperance movement, a precursor to the era of Prohibition of the 1920s. Maine was the first state to ban alcohol thanks to temperance reformer, Neal Dow. While researching my Yates ancestors I came upon the following article about a speech that Freeman Yates gave on the subject. 

Wisconsin Free Democrat (Milwaukee, WI), Wednesday, January 28, 1952, Vol. 8, Issue 8, Page 2. The Maine Liquor Law – No. 5 - Accessed on GenealogyBank, June 19, 2013

Remarks from the National Temperance Convention held at Saratoga Springs on the 20th of August, 1851. The Rev. Freeman Yates, editor of the Gardiner Fountain, spoke as follows:
“Under the old law, we could not get evidence. Men who drank would perjure themselves. The whole system of grog-selling was one of deceit and fraud. We formed a law to meet the enemy in every quarter. Mr. Dow received suggestions in his work from all parts of the State. But our Governor vetoed the bill on its first passage. The veto was his winding-sheet. This year it was passed by a two-third vote, and Governor Hubbard gave it his assent. I will show you its operation in Augusta, which has been called the great rum-hole of the State. (Here Mr. Yates read an extract from the Augusta Age which declared that every hotel and liquor shop had voluntarily cleared itself of the forbidden article.) In Bangor, said Mr. Yates, they have met with a most serious difficulty in carrying out the law. The director of the almshouse has usually employed sixty men, the victims of strong drink, to get in the hay. This year, these have been so scarce that he had to hire a set of sober men, at the city’s charge, or not have the hay gathered. (He then read from a Bath paper to show the operation of the law there.)…We hear nothing in Maine now, for mere moral suasion. All good men are for protection by law. Even the drunkards are with us; and they thank us, for removing the temptation, and that they now live and die sober men.”

I'm not convinced that the drunkards were thankful for removing the temptation. It also makes me chuckle that the almshouse now had to find sober men to get in the hay because drunk men were so scarce. 
Thank Goodness for the Maine Law!
William & Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses & Martha (Whittle) Yates - brother of William Yates, Jr. - father of Freeman
Gilbert W. & Laura (Emmons) Yates
Estes G. & Eva D. (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, November 15, 2014

52 Ancestors #45 - The Reluctant Husband

Thomas Herrick was the oldest son of Henry & Editha (Laskin) Herrick and the older brother of my 9th great-grandfather, Zachariah Herrick. He seems to have been the black sheep of the family. He was left a legacy in his father's will but would only receive it if he met the stated conditions. He was left out of his brother Benjamin's will, although all the other Herrick siblings received a portion of the estate. 

So why was Thomas ostracized by his family? It seems his father wanted him to "not live his life as a single man." His father died in 1670 when Thomas was about 35 years old. Several of his younger brothers were already married - Zachariah at age 18, Ephraim at age 23, Henry at age 23, Joseph at age 20, and only brothers John, age 20, and Benjamin, age 14, were also unmarried when their father died. 

What did Thomas stand to lose by not marrying? The will states, "Also I give unto my soon Thomas all my wearing appaearell except my best great coat & that 20 acres of land where his house standeth, with ten pounds to be payed to my soon John wn my executor seethe need to supply his wants, And if in case he live and dye a single pson, the lands shall remain to my sons Ephraim & Joseph, equally devided & the ten pounds to my son Beanjamin if not make use of to supply him." 
At some point Thomas did marry but I have not found a record of the date. There is a description of a divorce petition in the Essex Quarter Court records dated November 26, 1673. It seems to imply that the marriage had not been a long one. 

Divorce of Thomas & Hannah (Ordway) Herrick:
Whereas Hannah, the reputed wife of Thomas Herrick, at the last Ipswich court, preferred an account against said Thomas, accusing him of impotency, after some deliberation and testimony, court adjudged said marriage between said Thomas Herrick and Hannah Ordaway null and void. She was given her liberty as if such pretended marriage had never been, and he was to return to said Hannah as much as he had received of her, or of her father or other friends in way of marriage portion; she was to make no further claim to his estate. [EQC 5:252).

I do not know if this "marriage" was enough for Thomas to gain his inheritance or not. 

My Herrick line is:
Henry Herrick & Editha Laskin
Zachariah Herrick & Mary Dodge
Sarah Herrick & Samuel Morgan
Luke Morgan & Ruth Stone
Luke Morgan & Martha Pulcifer
Samuel Morgan & Judith Dennen
Martha Morgan & William Yates
Moses Yates & Martha Whittle
Gilbert Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Yates & Eva Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Among My Ancestors

I have more that I haven't written about yet but here are some of my ancestors who served our country. A heartfelt thank you to all who have served our country! 

Francis Ackley - Boston Tea Party Participant

Dominicus Smith - Revolutionary War - Crossed the Delaware with Gen. George Washington

Asa Alden Barrows - Revolutionary War - Responded to alarm at Lexington and Concord

Samuel Ackley - Revolutionary War Artillery

Dr. James Freeland - Revolutionary War Surgeon

Enoch Spurr - Revolutionary War - Discharged by General Henry Knox

Elisha Houghton - Revolutionary War - Was at Bunker Hill

Uriah Thayer - Revolutionary War Minuteman

Oliver Philbrick - Aroostook War

Asa Freeman Ellingwood - Civil War - Injured at First Battle of Bull Run But Returned to Serve

Simeon Brown - Civil War - Died in Louisiana

John H. Cotton - Civil War - Lost an Arm at the Battle of the Wilderness

Octavius Yates - Civil War - Witnessed Lincoln's Assassination

Julia F. Carter - World War I - Worked for Red Cross in France & Germany

Carroll Estes Yates - My great-uncle - World War II

Rebecca Williamson Carter Bailey - WAVE in World War II

Saturday, November 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #44 - Squire of the Little Village

Elias Mellen Carter was born on September 11, 1811 and was my third great-grandfather. He was the youngest son of Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter. He was reportedly not happy to be the one chosen to take over the farm but he did it because that it needed to be done. He married Irish immigrant, Rebecca Williamson and they had eleven children. I have written about their family before a few times and their lives were certainly not easy (see the links below). 
Home of 7 generations of Carters, including Elias Mellen Carter
This time I will focus on the sketch of Elias Mellen Carter in William B. Lapham's History of Bethel. The author recalls that Elias always lived at the farm in Middle Intervale and was the "squire" of the little village and recognized as its best man. The sketch professes that he was a man of "sound judgement and unwavering integrity" and a man possessing "candor, impartiality, and legal acumen." Although he was a farmer, he was very involved in public affairs. He was a town clerk, a selectman, a Representative to the state legislature, a County Commissioner, and a long-time Justice of the Peace. He is listed in town records as having performed numerous marriage ceremonies. The sketch ends with the author noting that Elias "was exceedingly popular with all classes." Elias M. Carter died on November 17, 1880. 
Signature: Your Brother, E, M, Carter ~ 

We Consider Her Very Dangerous
Thanksgiving in Paris
Letters of Elias M. Carter
Close Call - a fire in the home
Tragedy Strikes - The loss of 5 daughters to diphtheria

Elias Mellen & Rebecca (Williamson) Carter
Augustus Mellen & Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen & Fanny May (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Distraught Father Sues After Two-Year Old Daughter Dies in a Pit

Elizabeth Newhall was my 1st cousin, 10 times, removed. I descend from her father's sister, Susanna (Newhall) Haven. She died when she was just two years old when she fell into a pit and drowned. Her three older brothers were Thomas Newhall (the 3rd so-named, age 12), John Newhall (age 10), and Joseph Newhall (age 7). It is a bit unclear whether they are three sons who used the pit to keep alewives for fishing or if it was her father and his two brothers, Francis and John, sons of her grandfather, Thomas Newhall, the immigrant. There were so many dangers of life in colonial times and losing a young girl to an accident seems especially tragic. 

Daughter of Thomas Newhall, Jr. 
The death by drowning of Thomas Newhall's daughter Elizabeth in November of 1665 was a tragedy that resulted in litigation. The distraught father, Thomas Newhall, brought suit against George Keaser "for damage he sustained by his digging a pit to the loss of his child." The little girl, just two years old, had been out of her mother's sight for half an hour or more, when she was found by the wife of Robert Potter and the wife of John Newhall, floating on the water of a pit near her home, dead. The pit had originally been dug by George Keaser as a tan vat, and Newhall claimed he had left it open. Testimony, however, showed that the pit had been drained by the Keasers, and had been reopened and filled with water (to keep alewives for fishing) by the three sons of Thomas Newhall, and the verdict was for the defendant. ~ The Essex Genealogist, 1995, Vol. 15, p. 42

Thomas & Mary Newhall were in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1638. They were the parents of Francis, Susanna, Thomas, John, and Mary. Thomas Newhall, Jr. was the father of Elizabeth. 

Susanna Newhall married Richard Haven before 1645. Susanna was the aunt of Elizabeth Newhall. 

Mary Haven, daughter of Richard & Susanna (Newhall) Haven, married John Tarbox. 

Nathaniel Tarbox
Benjamin Tarbox
Jedidiah Tarbox (female) 
Patience Smith
David Shepard
Sarah Shepard
Laura E. Emmons
Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, November 1, 2014

52 Ancestors #43 - The Interesting Life of Abishag Walton

Abishag Walton must have married mariner Robert Taprill between 1659 and 1663. In 1672 the Taprills were living in a house in Boston that belonged to Mr. William Waldron. The house was purchased by Mr. Waldron's brother, Alexander and when Alexander Waldron died in 1676, he willed the house, land and two gold rings to Mrs. Taprill. The house and land was to revert back to William Waldron after the death of Abishag Taprill. 

The name Abishag comes from the Bible where Abishag was a young woman who tends to King David in his old age. Another site describes her role as "a bed companion to David in the hope that her fresh beauty might induce some warmth in the old man." 

Abishag seems to have been the primary support for her family and her husband, Robert, was often at sea and contributed very little, it at all, to the family's support. One time Abishag even had to borrow money to keep Robert out of jail. 

Eventually she moved back to Great Island where her father built a home and a shop for her. Robert Taprill died in November 1678 while on a voyage on the "Providence." Unfortunately, Abishag died in January 1679 and it's possible she hadn't even received word of her husband's death at that point. Before he died he told some of his crew that he hoped his wife would find a better husband and that she had maintained and clothed him. Alice's father, George Walton, took care of her children until he did in 1685. 

Children of Robert & Abishag (Walton) Taprill:
  1. Alice appears in her grandfather's will and in the local records in 1685 when she was suspected of having had an illegitimate child. 
  2. Priscilla appears in her grandfather's will and married Francis Caswell and died before 1714 when her husband married again. 
  3. Grace appears in her grandfather's will and inherited her mother's house on Great Island. She was presented for having an illegitimate child in 1700. She fled the jurisdiction of the court and when she returned a year later, she named John Tomson of Kittery as the child's father and was fined £2:10. She later married Israel Hoyt. 

Robert & Abishag (Walton) Taprill - 10th great-grandparents
Israel & Grace (Taprill) Hoyt
Sampson & Dorothy (Hoyt) Babb
John & Alice (Babb) Waterhouse
Richard & Lydia (Waterhouse) Garland
Isaac & Alice (Garland) Hayes
Richard & Rebecca (Greenwood) Hayes
Sydney & Apphia (Cole) Hayes
George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Friday, October 31, 2014

Billy Boy - Traditional Folk Song

In honor of my grandmother, Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter, I submit this for Bill West's Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge.  I can still hear her singing this song when I read the lyrics and see the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye. She married young, at fifteen, and was a wonderful cook so I think this song spoke to her. She loved little children and her eyes twinkled most when she was with them. Here she is with my son, Josh. 

I found a folk singer, Ed McCurdy, with his rendition on Youtube for those who don't know the tune. 

Oh, where have you been,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where have you been, Charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife,
She's the joy of my life,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she ask you to come in, Charming Billy?
Yes, she asked me to come in,
There's a dimple in her chin.
She's a young thingAnd cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she make a cherry pie, Charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie,
Quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

How old is she,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
How old is she, Charming Billy?
Three times six and four times seven,
Twenty-eight and eleven,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Fern Lyndell Cotton was born March 22, 1922 and died October 31, 2002. She is greatly missed by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.