Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thriller Thursday - A Head Full of Drink

Hugh Stone, an immigrant living in Andover, Massachusetts, appears multiple times in the Essex County records for drunkenness. 

"Capt. Nath. Saltonstall, Esq., give in Hugh Stone of Andover fined for being drunk, 10s., to be paid in or as money, and John Page, of Haverhill 20s money for disorderly selling drink." 

"Hugh Stone sentenced at Haverhill, April 6, 1683 to pay 12s. 6d. in money or com. Said Stone apprehending that upon a presentment witnesses would testify that he was drunk at Osburne on the day before the last public Thanksgiving in 1682, he came from Andover and confessed." 

"Hugh Stone of Andover, Sept 24, who acknowledged that he was distempered with drink at his own house in April and seemed very pentitent, was fined." 

Hugh Stone was married to my first cousin 12 times removed, Hannah Foster. They had 7 children and Hannah was pregnant with her eighth child in 1689. On April 20th, Hugh and Hannah argued about selling a piece of land. Hugh, as usual, was drunk. He "barbarously reachid a stroke at her throat, with a sharp knife; and by that one stroke fetchid away the soul of her who had made him a father of several children, and would have yet brought another to him if she had lived a few weeks longer in the world." (Cotton Mather)

Hugh was quickly apprehended and hanged in January 1690.

His statements after the murder include:
"It was Contention in my Family."
"I will tell you that I wish I never had had the opportunity to do such a muder. If you say when a Person has provoked you 'I will kill him,' 'tis a thousand to one but the next time you will do it..."

"When thou hast thy head full of drink, remembrance of God is out of thy heart. I have cause to cry out and be ashamed of it, that I am guilty of it because I gave way to that sin more than any other and then God did leave me to practice wickedness and to murder that dear woman whom I should have taken a great deal of commitment in; which if I had done, I should not have been here to suffer this Death." 

Hannah Foster's mother was Ann Alcock, the sister of John Alcock. 
According to the Stone Family Association, the children went to live with a Nathaniel Stone whose relationship to Hugh is unknown. However, the Nathaniel Stone who raised the orphaned children is my 9th great grandfather. 

John Alcock & Elizabeth
Sarah Alcock & John Giddings
Elizabeth Giddings & Mark Haskell
Mark Haskell & Martha Tuttle
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 - my grandmother

Nathaniel Stone & Remember Corning
Nathaniel Stone & Mary Balch
Ruth Stone & Luke Morgan
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

Historical Sketches of Andover - accessed
Stone Family Association

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Case of the Barking Dog that Saved the Garrison

My ancestor - awoken by the dog to save the garrison
For many years the settlers of Cocheco (present-day Dover, NH in the Dover Neck area) enjoyed a peaceful co-existence with the local Native Americans, the Penacook tribe. The Cocheco community was led by Richard Walderne (Waldron), who built a sawmill and later opened a trading post. Over the years there were a few minor problems, as when Walderne was charged with selling liquor to the Indians despite laws forbidding such sales. However, overall the two groups had peaceful interactions with each other. 

During King Philip's War, many Indians fled the fighting in Massachusetts and ended up in New Hampshire, living among the Penacooks. Massachusetts sent troops to round up the fleeing Indians and fearing a battle that would end the peace in Cocheco, Major Walderne arranged a trick to separate the Massachusetts Indians from the locals. The Massachusetts Indians were sent back to Boston for punishment - some were hanged and others were sold into slavery. 

Needless to say, this did not sit well with the Penacooks and the bitterness from this incident and the pressures of the colonists on Indian land kept building during the next decade. To guard the safety of the colonists, every neighborhood built a fortified blockhouse where people could go in case of attack. On the north side of the river, there were three garrisons - the homes of Richard Walderne, Richard Otis and Elizabeth Heard and on the south side the homes of Peter Coffin and his son, Tristram. These garrisons had foot-thick squared logs that bullets could not penetrate and a second story that extended over the first floor by two to three feet. In the overhang, a loose board could be pulled up so boiling water could be poured on attackers and fires could be fought as well. For additional protection, each garrison was surrounded by an 8 foot palisade. Settlers would spend each night within the protection of the garrison and kept their guns nearby during the day. 

It is now 1689... Walderne was cocky and sure they could repulse any attack. He ignored warnings and a letter from Governor Bradford giving him more specific information arrived the day after the massacre. (Maybe that's why a postal system was important enough to be provided for in the Constitution.) When several Indian women asked to spend the night in each of the garrisons, no one thought too much of it since it was a common occurrence. The settlers felt safe enough to go without a night guard and in the wee hours the women opened the gates and let in several hundred Penacooks. 

The Penacooks had special animosity towards Mr. Walderne and he suffered greatly. His ears and nose were cut off and stuck in his mouth and he was forced to fall upon his own sword. The garrison was burned to the ground and the rest of the family was taken captive. The Otis garrison fell and Otis and two of his children were killed. This garrison was also burned and his remaining family taken to Canada. 

At the Heard garrison, Elder William Wentworth was in charge since Elizabeth Heard was away. He was awakened by a barking dog and managed to close the gates and fend off the attack. The Wentworth Geneaology paints a vivid picture of this 73 year old man's heroism; "Elder Wentworth was awakened by the barking of a dog. Suspicious, he hastened to the door and found the Indians entering. Alone, and seventy-three years of age, he pushed them out, shut the door and falling on his back held it until the inmates came to his assistance. While he was lying in this position, two bullets passed through the door and over him. It was the only garrison saved. Twenty-three persons were killed and twenty-nine carried away captive."  
Signature 1654

Signature 1696

It's a colorful story, if a bit incredulous and possibly embellished by time. Evidently the settlers neglected to make the door as thick as the walls - since the walls were supposed to stop bullets from penetrating the structure. But since Elder William Wentworth is my ancestor, I am going to believe it (well mostly). It's like when someone can lift a car to save the person trapped beneath it, right? 

William Wentworth & Elizabeth
Ezekiel Wentworth & Elizabeth Knight
Tamsen Wentworth & Hezekiah Hayes
William Hayes & Olive
Isaac Hayes & Alice Garland
Richard Hayes & Rebecca
Sydney Hayes & Aphia Delphinia Cole
George H. Hayes & Anna J. Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes G. Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Sources for info and images:
The Wentworth Genealogy: English and American by John Wentworth. 1878. Accessed on 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's All Relative

I was absent from blogging for about a month - from mid-May to mid-June. I was, however, heavily involved in research. I had a group of students who wanted to find out about their families and I was helping them rather than doing my own research and writing. I have done this with students before but this time I tried to give emphasis to the story aspect of family history.

Some of my observations:
  • Nothing warms my heart more than to see a student whip out his cell phone and call grandma to find out information and observe an extended meaningful conversation between them. This is an approved use of a cell phone in my class!
  • In today's mobile society, families are often spread out and don't have (or take) the time to talk about their lives and pass on family stories. I'm certain many of my students have not had more than a superficial conversation with their grandparents. It makes me sad because I know a lot of stories from my grandparents' lives. 
  • Everyone can find information and stories. It was great to see students who thought there was nothing interesting in their family, find something special. Even ordinary people have interesting stories. The internet makes it easy to find information if you have some basic information on ancestors who lived in the early 20th century. Almost everyone can get that information on at least one branch of their family. 
Some things my students found out
  • My father was raised as a Mormon
  • There were two Pillsbury families: "One brother founded the baking company and I'm descended from the other one"
  • There's a historic house in Topsham that belonged to one of my ancestors
  • My (how ever many) times great-grandfather designed the logo for Humpty Dumpty potato chips
  • My mother's ancestor and my father's ancestor both fought for the Union at the same battle in the Civil War in different regiments and from different states.
  • My Civil War ancestor survived one of the bloodiest battles of the war and then got a land grant in Maine where he broke his back in a fall while building his home. 
  • Hey, I'm related to Ms. Carter! 
They discovered accused witches, artists, inventors, politicians and writers. Their origins were very diverse: Canada, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Italy, England, Ireland, Scotland and more that I can't remember. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - I Did It My Way!

Bachiler Monument - Founder's Park, Hampton, NH

Stephen Bachiler (variously spelled Batchellor, Batchelder etc) was a minister in Wherwell, Hampshire, England and then in the nearby village of Newton Stacy. He married and began a family and settled into life. His six children, by his first wife, were all born in Wherwell - a nice balance of three sons and three daughters. His first wife was a close relative of Rev. John Bate and many sources give her name as Ann Bate, but the documentation is lacking. His ministry spans a time of ecclesiastical strife as Puritans challenged the Church of England and leveled accusations of corruption and abuse. Despite the optimism among the Puritans that accompanied the ascension of King James I to the English throne, he proved no friend of the Puritan point of view and instead sided with the established church. King James I declared that he would "make them conform or harry them out of the land."  Rev. Stephen Bachiler was one of those who was removed from his pulpit for nonconformity. His son, Stephen Jr., was expelled from Magdalen College, Oxford University in 1610 and in 1613 father and son were sued by a clergyman for slander because they had allegedly written ""some scandalous verse" and were "singing them in diverse places." At the age of 44, he began a nomadic life that would take him to the colonies and eventually back to England. 

The Great Migration profile for Stephen Bachiler states that he came to the colonies in 1632 on the William and Francis. Before he immigrated, he was twice widowed and when he crossed the ocean he was married to his third wife, Helena, age 49. He was unusually old for an immigrant at age 71. Based on records, it is believed that Helena died sometime before May 1647. He moved frequently starting in Lynn, then possibly to Ipswich, was in Yarmouth in 1637/8, Newbury in 1638, Hampton, NH in 1639 and Portsmouth, NH in 1644. He left Lynn because he and some of his loyal followers were at odds with the rest of the congregation. In Yarmouth at age 76, he began his ministry yet again. An entry in John Winthrop's journal states that the group was very poor and taken over by others. Wherever he went dissension seemed to follow. In 1644, Winthrop remarked that  "Mr. Bachellor had been in three places before, and through his means, as was supposed, the churches fell to such division, as no peace could be till he was removed." In 1639, Bachiler moved to the new settlement at Hampton, NH. The Rev. Timothy Dalton was to share the pulpit with him - presumably because of his advanced age. 

 The final conflict with his congregation is reported in Winthrop's journal: Bachiler despite  "being about 80 years of age and having a lusty comely woman to his wife, did solicit the chastity of his neighbor's wife." This "lusty comely" wife would be Helena at age 58. She must have been a pretty sexy 58 as most women I know would not fit that description although they might aspire to it. There is no record of how this situation was resolved but in 1643-4, the town of Exeter invited Rev. Bachiler to be their minister and he hit the road again.

In 1648, he married for the fourth time, Mary, the widow of Robert Beedle. She had been living with him as his housekeeper and the community seems to have suspected that it was more than a working relationship prior to their marriage. Apparently, Rev. Bachiler at the advanced age of 87, was no longer quite able to keep up his end of the bargain and his wife left and went to live in Kittery with George Rogers. In April 1650 the court "ordered that Mr. Bachelor and Mary his wife shall live together, as they publicly agreed to do, and if either desert the other, the Marshall to take them to Boston to be kept until the next quarter Court of Assistants, to consider a divorce."  They did not live together or divorce. Sometime in the early 1650s, he returned to England. Mary became pregnant by George Rogers and was sentenced to receive 39 lashes at Kittery's town meeting and be branded with the letter "A." Some believe this story was the inspiration for the novel, The Scarlet Letter. 

Rev. Stephen Bachiler died in London at nearly 100 years old! Whether you find him an inspiration or an idiot, he lived the sentiment expressed by Frank Sinatra:

And now, the end is here 

And so I face the final curtain 

My friend, I'll say it clear 
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain 
I've lived a life that's full 
I traveled each and ev'ry highway 
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

This blogger has provided an even more detailed account of his life

Other sources of information:
The Great Migration Begins by Robert Charles Anderson accessed at

Connections to my family:
9th great-grandfather of Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather
9th great-grandfather of Linona Alice Blake - my grandmother
9th great-grandfather of Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother
AND grandson Nathaniel married my 7th great aunt, Mary Carter - completing a connection to all 4 of my grandparents!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Truelove Connection

Two of my immigrant ancestors on my father's side came on the ship, Truelove, in 1635. I didn't realize this until today. The ship, captained by John Gibbs, left London in September 1635. Ralph Ellwood, whose last name morphed over time to Ellingwood, was 28 years old. William Barstow, who is listed as "Beeresto", was 23 and he was traveling with his brother, George, who was 21. William started out in Watertown and moved to Dedham in 1637, Hingham in 1645 and Scituate by 1650. George was in Scituate around the same time and then moved on to Cambridge by 1652. The Barstows came from Halifax, Yorkshire, England. The Barstow and the Ellingwood families intermarried a few generations down the line. William lived an interesting life and I hope to write a bit more about him in the future but for now I will start with the story of his brother's death and the ensuing slander case against William.

William accused Rev. Chauncy of Scituate of blocking the admission of his brother, George, to the church in Cambridge. He alleged that this act, which denied communion to his brother, hastened his death by causing excessive grief. 

George died in 1653. On 9 June 1653, "William Barstow of Scituate" acknowledged that whereas "a suit hath been commenced against me the said Will[i]am Barstow, by Mr. Charles Chauncy, pastor of the church of Christ at Scittuate, for slandering him, the said Mr. Chauncy, in saying that he was the  cause of the death of my brother, G[e]orge Barstow, late deceased; also in saying that he, the said Mr. Chauncy, sent his bulls abroad to the church at Cambridge, whereby my said brother was hindered from communion with the said church, which was the cause of my brother's death, through excessive grief; in all which expressions and sayings I do humbly and freely acknowledge that I have done the said Mr. Chauncy manifest wrong." Within a year, George's wife, Susanna, was also dead; leaving their children orphaned.

Ralph Ellwood & Eleanor Lynn - William Barstow & Anna Hubbard
Ralph Ellingwood & Martha Rowlandson - Patience Barstow & Moses Simmons
Ebenezer Ellingwood & Sarah Tuck - Patience Simmons & Moses Barrows
Joseph Ellingwood & Sarah Herrick - Moses Barrows & Mary Carver
John Ellingwood & Zerviah Abbott - Asa Barrows & Content Benson
Asa Freeman Ellingwood & Rachel Barrows
Nina Ellingwood & George Gibbs
Annie F. Gibbs & Ray E. Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Master Craftsman

Kenelm Winslow was a joiner who came to this country in 1631. He was one of five sons of Edward Winslow, Sr. and Magdelyn Ollyver of Droitwich, England. Edward Jr. and Gilbert were passengers on the Mayflower and they were followed by Kenelm, Josiah and John. Carpenters and joiners were in great demand since most immigrants could not bring furniture with them from England and those that could bring a piece or two still needed more once they arrived. From chests to chairs to coffins, every family would need something.  

An article in Antiques and Fine Arts Magazine provides the following information about Kenelm:

Evidence of Kenelm's London training is present in the Master's and Wardens' account books kept by the company from 1621 to 1828. In the relevant account citation the text reads: "Item [received] of Kenelme Winslowe late the apprentice of Abraham Worthington a silver spoone and for his admission iij s iiij d" [3 shillings, 4 pence]. It was standard practice for an apprentice finishing his time to make a payment to the Company, along with a gift of a spoon

Fig. 2: Joined chest, probably Marshfield, Ma., 1630-1700. Red oak, pine, iron handles. H. 33-1/8, W. 44, D. 21-1/8 in. Lent by Licut Henry Lee Watson. Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
See article link below for photo credits
There is circumstantial evidence that a few pieces that may be his work survive today as museum pieces. If not his, at least, similar to work he would have done. The article linked below has pictures and a more detailed explanation of the work of Kenelm Winslow. 

Droitwich, Worcestershire, England
Kenelm Winslow & Eleanor
Ellen Winslow & Samuel Baker - Nathaniel Winslow & Faith Miller - double line of descent
Lydia Baker & Josiah Keen - Nathaniel Winslow & Lydia Snow - double line of descent
Nathaniel Keen & Thankful Winslow
Snow Keen & Rebecca Burbank
Hannah Keen & John Cox
Timothy Cox & Eunice Rand
Christiana Cox & John H. Cotton
Francis Llewellyn Cotton & Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton & Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's Your Excuse?

I was researching some of my grandfather's family and trying to untangle the case of the two William Bassetts. One William Bassett is the son of Roger and Ann (Holland) Bassett. Roger died before 1635. Ann remarried Hugh Burt and he is profiled in the Great Migration series by Robert Charles Anderson. Mr. Anderson does a great job of combing through records to put together a profile of the early immigrants to New England. One of the more interesting parts of the profiles are reading the comments section where he puts miscellaneous court records. I found this one amusing. In November 1661 Hugh Burt was expected in court to witness against Hugh Dickman for absence from public ordinances but the court noted that he did not come because..."Hugh Burt was dead."

I'm guessing that was a good reason not to show up, even in strict culture of Puritan New England.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love Thing


My 8th great-grand uncle, Thomas Wentworth, married a woman named Love. He was a mariner and probably remained at sea most of his life since his inventory shows no property other than real estate. After his untimely death at the in August of 1719, his widow married John Thing.

She became Love Thing!

How would you like to go through life with that name?

Ezekiel Wentworth & Elizabeth (possibly Knight)
Tamsen Wentworth & John Hayes - Tamsen was the sister of Thomas Wentworth
Hezekiah Hayes & Margaret Cate
William Hayes & Olive
Isaac Hayes & Alice Garland
Richard Hayes & Rebecca
Sydney Hayes & Aphia Delphina Cole
George H. Hayes & Anna J. Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates

Image Source:

A Tough Childhood

William Yates' life as a boy is only documented through oral tradition. Unfortunately, his children and grandchildren do not recall the exact same information.

His youngest son, Sylvester, said, "I have heard my father say his father bound him out to a farmer who lived near Portsmouth, NH. This man treated him so that finally father ran away. He was caught and brought back but told the farmer that the next time he ran away, they wouldn't catch him. Afterwards, he ran away again and that time they didn't catch him." Martha Yates Littlefield, William's youngest daughter, said " I have heard father tell of how he was bound out to an Irishman when he was very small and how the Irishman abused him so that he ran away."

Two of his grandsons, Judge Edward M. Yates and Gilbert W. Yates, agreed in saying that they never heard William speak of his parents at all, any more than as if he knew not who they were. Both did recall he worked for a NH farmer for wages rather than being bound out. They remember him saying he had to work very hard and got very little schooling compared to other boys. Judge Yates spent much of his childhood in the home of his grandparents and stated "I always had the impression that he was some sort of castaway, a homeless boy, who in some way drifted to this country and got work in Portsmouth."

William told the following story to Gilbert. "The farmer was slack about having firewood on hand for the kitchen fireplace. His wife stood it as long as she could and then one noon when they were called for dinner, they found on the table was raw meat, potatoes, and unbaked biscuit. The farmer put in the next few days getting up wood."

Regardless of where he came from or what he did as a young boy, William left Portsmouth when he was fifteen and went to work at a brickyard in Saccarappa, near Portland, Maine. He also drove a stagecoach somewhere in the Portland area. When he was 18 or 19, he moved to Minot, Maine.

William Yates & Martha Morgan
Moses Yates & Martha Whittle
Gilbert W. Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Gilbert Yates & Eva Delphinia Hayes
Linona Alice Yates

William B. Lapham & Silas P. Maxim (1884 & 1983), History of Paris, Oxford Co., Maine (New England History Press, Spmersworth, NH (1983).

Yates, Edgar Allan Poe, The Yates Book: William Yates and His Descendants; the History and Genealogy of William Yates (1772-1868) of Greenwood, Maine, and His Wife, Who was Martha Morgan, together with the line of Her Descent from Robert Morgan of Beverly (Old Orchard, Maine, 1906).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Who's Your Daddy?

I found this story while looking for information on my ancestor, William Pinson. While some online trees have Edward and Sarah (Dexter) Pinson as the parents of William, I have been unable to find any documentation to back up that claim. Still, it's a good story so I thought I would share.

Edward Pinson was a "seafaring man" according to his burial record. He was the son of William and Mary Pinson and from this record it appears that he was buried 17 March 1701 in St. Martin, Ludgate, London.

Sailors have a reputation of being risk-takers of questionable morality and Edward seems to have lived up to that stereotype. Sarah Dexter was engaged or expected to marry Obadiah Bridges when Edward came into her life. It is likely that Sarah was enticed by Edward's money and the promise of a life in London. Sarah's father, Richard Dexter, warned Edward to stay away from her but the determined couple put up marriage banns which were later torn down. Then while her parents were at Sunday meeting, Edward and Sarah eloped. When they returned four days later as a married couple, Richard called Edward a "rogue, bastard dogg and son of a whore" and Sarah's mother, Bridget, beat her out of the house. It was later revealed that the couple used a forged letter of parental consent to convince the magistrate in Lynn to conduct the marriage. All that seems scandalous enough but...

Edward was not Sarah's first sailor lover...she had "lost her virginitie being overcome in Boston by a man who promiseth her marriage but afterwards went off to sea and since she heard he had a wife in England." Sarah, it turns out, was pregnant when she married Edward...with this other man's child....

Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699 by Roger Thompson, pages 60-61.