Sunday, May 20, 2012

Surviving A Hurricane

John Cogswell came to America hoping to start a business. The ship he sailed on was the Angel Gabriel and was headed for Massachusetts. The ship anchored at Pemaquid and was caught in a sudden storm (no National Hurricane Center to provide warnings). The strong storm sank the ship but fortunately most of the passengers had gone ashore to camp for the night near modern-day Bristol, Maine. John Cogswell recovered some of his goods but most of the barrels of items he brought to start his business were lost in the waves. He did manage to retrieve a small trunk that contained his personal belongings. The trunk has been passed down in the Cogswell family and last year, it was loaned to the Pemaquid museum. Visitors can view the trunk and a model of the Angel Gabriel.

This shipwreck has been well-documented by some other geneabloggers. Cousin Heather Wilkinson Rojo has written 4 posts about the Cogswell family and they are linked below. One includes a very amusing story about how a young girl saved the life of a cow who was choking on a potato.

John Cogswell & Elizabeth
Sarah Cogswell & Simon Tuttle
John Tuttle & Martha Ward
Martha Tuttle & Mark Haskell
Martha Haskell & John Safford
Ruth Safford & Samuel Haskell
Martha Haskell & Moses Houghton
Sally Houghton & James Dunham
Florilla Dunham & Asa Freeman Ellingwood
Nina Ellingwood & George Gibbs
Annie Gibbs & Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - The Family Tree

This tree is in a field behind the house my where my grandparents lived in Bethel. My grandmother seems to have had an affinity for this tree because it is prominently featured in many of her photos. I have dubbed it "the family tree." 

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's All Fun & Games

Milton Bradley is my 2nd cousin 5X removed. His grandfather and my 5th great-grandmother were brother and sister. Milton was born November 8, 1836 in Vienna, Maine to Lewis Bradley and Fanny Lyford. His grandfather was M. Dudley Lyford, older brother of Nancy Lyford. He began is career as a lithographer before he printed and sold a parlor game called the Checkered Game of Life. In 1864 he formed Milton Bradley and Company to print games and game manuals.
Checkered Game of Life - MB's First Game
File:Milton bradley portrait.jpg
Nancy Lyford - 5th great-grandmother - M. Dudley Lyford
Oliver Smith Philbrick - 4th great-grandfather
Benjamin Philbrick - 3rd great-grandfather
Lizzie Philbrick - 2nd great-grandmother
Ray Everett Cotton - great-grandfather
Fern Lyndell Cotton - grandmother

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Simpler Times

The ready availability of Revolutionary War pension records online gives us a glimpse of life in the early 19th century. Pension applicants were required to submit an inventory of their belongings and show they had no other sources of income. One thing I find quite striking is the limited amount of personal possessions these pensioners list in their inventories. My 6th great-grandfather owned 7 things other than the clothes on his back and possibly some bedding. The inventory of Elisha Houghton equals $43.38 in 2012 dollars! He was awarded a pension of $48 semi-annually and back pension pay of $31.76.  The semi-annual amount is $893.72 in 2012 dollars. 

So how did Elisha Houghton earn his pension? He fought in the Revolutionary War and was at Bunker Hill and Stillwater. Then he re-enlisted for three years in the 15th Massachusetts (Bigelow's regiment) under the command of Capt. Joshua Brown. He took part in the battles of Monmouth and Newport and was at Valley Forge. The Battle of Monmouth is where Molly Pitcher gained fame. 
Engraving of Molly Pitcher at the Battle of Monmouth

Apparently he lost his gun at Bunker Hill because it is reported that he petitioned for remuneration for loss of a gun taken from him while assisting wounded men from the field June 17, 1775. I have no idea if he got the money for the gun or not. 

"And I do solemnly swear, that I was a resident Citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not since that time by gift, sale or in any manner disposed of my property, or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it, as to bring myself within the provisions of an Act of Congress entitled "An Act to provide for certain persons, engaged in the land and naval service of the United States, in the Revolutionary war," passed on the 18th day of March 1818, and that I have not, nor has any person in trust for me any property or securities, contracts or debts, due to me, nor have I any income, other than what is contained in the schedule, hereto annexed, and by me subscribed - schedule of property, necessary clothing and bedding excepted to wit: 1 Tub .33; 1 Iron pot .75; 1 salt mortar .12; 1 teakettle .75; 1 sugar box .19; 1 tin tumbler .6; and 1 old Pail .13 = 2.33.

That I am by occupation a labourer that I am not able to labour that the number of my family residing with me is none

Bunker Hill Monument
Battle of Monmouth
Battle of Bunker Hill
Elisha Houghton - 6th great-grandfather
Moses Houghton - 5th great-grandfather
Sally Houghton - 4th great-grandmother
Florilla Dunham - 3rd great-grandmother
Nina King Ellingwood - 2nd great-grandmother
Annie Florilla Ellingwood - great-grandmother
Fern Lyndell Cotton - grandmother