Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Shopping Saturday - Mammoth Mart & Grammie

The Geneabloggers daily prompt of Shopping Saturday got me thinking about my earliest shopping experiences. When I was born, we lived on the same farm as my dad's parents. There were two houses with the barn dooryard between the two. I was the first grandchild and my grandmother spoiled me rotten. She took me everywhere with her. One of her favorite places to shop was the Mammoth Mart in Rumford (Maine). We would go in her VW bug and my favorite place to ride was in the well above the motor in the very back - no car seat rules then. How did we survive without car seats, bike helmets, riding in the back of pickup trucks or on the top of a loaded hay trailer? Grammie had a big checkbook with bubblegum pink checks - the kind with the stub on the left side for recording the check information instead of a separate check register. It was impressive to my child's eyes. My sister was more fascinated by the color and once questioned Grammie at the checkout, "Are those the ones that bounce?" Oops! Be careful what jokes you make around little kids because who knows when they will come back and repeat your words. I doubt my grandmother ever actually bounced a check but her joking comment was remembered and my sister had a knack for just saying the first thing that popped into her head (and she was only about 3). So this post is in honor of my grandmother, Lyndell (Cotton) Carter, Mammoth Mart, and old VW Beetles. Thanks for the memories!
Not the store in Rumford but it looks very simiar
1960 model - I can't remember the color or year of Grammies's but this must be close
Fern Lyndell Cotton Carter - I miss you every day! 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Murder In Agamenticus

Catherine Cornish and possibly Thomas Footman and/or John Hull, Jr. murdered Richard Cornish, Catherine's husband. He was found in the river with a head wound and a pole stuck in his side. His canoe had been filled with clay and sunk. He bled to death. My 12th great-grandfather, Roger Garde, presided over he trial. Thomas Footman is my 10th great-grandfather and her suspected lover. (See disclaimers below)

Catherine was indicted, tried, and hanged for her husband's murder. Catherine had been in trouble with the law before this incident. In 1634 she was brought before the court and then in 1638, she was charged with "incontinency." That's indulging in lust or having an uncontrolled sexual appetite. Catherine accused two men of committing adultery with her. The first, Edward Johnson, confessed. The second, Roger Garde, was a the mayor of Agamenticus (Old York, Maine) and she accused him after he presided over her trial and found her guilty. He denied it although John Winthrop still suspected him.

563-4 (10/4/1644):  "One Cornishe dwelling sometyme in weymouthe removed to Accomenticus, for more outward accommodation, & in the month last was taken up in the river, his head brused & a pole stickinge in his side, & his Canoe laden with Claye fonde sunke: his wife (beinge a leud woman & suspected to have fellowshippe with one Footman) comminge to her husbande, he bledd abundantly, & so he did also, when footman was brought to him: but no evidence could be fonde against him: then somethinge was discovered against the sone of mr Hull their minister & the woman was arrayned before the maior mr Roger Garde, & other of the Province of maine, & stronge presumptions came in against her whereupon she was condemned & executed:  she persisted in the denyall of the murder to the deathe, but confessed to have lived in Adulterye with diverse, she charged 2: specially: the said Gard the maior, & one Ed: Johnson [had been licensed by JW as an Indian trader in Aug. 1632, had lived in York since the early 1630s] , who confessed it openly at the type of her execution: but the maior denyed it: & it gave some likelyhood, that he was not guilty, because he had carried himselfe very zealously & impartially in discovery of the murder, but there might be skill in that, & he was but a Carnall man, & had no wife in the Contrye: & some wittnesse came in against him, of his acknowledgment to the woman &c:  (JW is John Winthrop)

Part of the evidence of her guilt is based on an old superstition that if the body of a murder victim was visited by the murderer, it would bleed profusely. 

The book, The Early Background of the Gard Family in America, says that the last days of Roger Gard's life "were made intolerable by the slanderous statements of his enemies." He died not long after the trial but "in despair" and suffering from a "broken heart." 
Old York Gaol - this one wasn't built until 1719 but no images of the original gaol exist and this one can still be visited if you're into old historical buildings like I am.

My preliminary research indicates that Roger Garde is my 12th great-grandfather. But it's a good story even if the documentation doesn't hold up to closer scrutiny in the future. 
Mary Garde & Arthur Bragdon
Arthur Bragdon, Jr & Lydia Twisden
Lydia Bragdon & Philip Babb
Joshua Babb & Deborah Bickford
Alice Babb & John Waterhouse
Lydia Waterhouse & Richard Garland
Alice Garland & Isaac Hayes
Richard Hayes & Rebecca ? 
Sydney Hayes & Aphia Delphina Cole
George H. Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Thomas Footman - also based on preliminary research
Abigail Footman & Benjamin York
Elizabeth York & Job Judkins
Josiah Judkins & Hannah Huntoon
Philip Judkins & Miram Hunt
Moses Judkins & Aphia Perry
Betsy Judkins & Calvin Cole
Aphia Delphina Cole - see above for the rest of the line

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Wall of Fire

I'm sure you've heard the term "brick wall" in genealogy. Well, I have a  "fire wall." I am trying to find the parents of Elizabeth "Betsy" Clark born 9 Oct 1758 in Falmouth (Portland) and died 23 Feb 1839 in Minot (Auburn), according to records in Woodstock, Maine. Betsy married Lazarus Rand just about time that the Revolutionary War broke out. She was recovering from the very difficult birth of their first child, James, when Lazarus sailed on the Bagaduce Expedition (more on that in another post).

I have scoured my usual places for records pertaining to Betsy and then while reading the pension file of Lazarus, I find the following affidavit from the town clerk in Falmouth.
From Pension File of Lazarus Rand
For those who would like some help with the handwriting, it reads, "I further state that in the month of October 1849 the Records of this town were destroyed by fire, and there are now no records of marriages intentions of marriages or Births for said town from 1700 to 1849 as all the town Records refer to the time above named were destroyed as above stated in 1849. John Noyes Town Clerk of Falmouth." 

And that folks is my Wall of Fire - Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" has been running through my head ever since I found this. 

I fell in to a burning ring of fire I went down, down ,down and the flames went higher. And it burns, burns, burns the ring of fire the ring of fire.

Lazarus Rand & Elizabeth Clark
Eunice Rand & Timothy Cox
Christiana Cox & John H. Cotton
Francis Llewellyn Cotton & Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton & Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

"A Keen Sense of Justice & a Sharp Tongue"

Martha Carrier is one of the most well-known of those executed for witchcraft in Salem. She was born Martha Allen - my first cousin 11 times removed. 
An outspoken old woman makes an easy target for accusations

In 1674, Martha became pregnant by a young Welsh servant, Thomas Carrier and they married. They left Andover, Massachusetts and moved to Billerica, probably to get away from the gossip. In the 1680s, they returned to Andover, still poor and with more mouths to feed. Martha was disliked for freely speaking her mind and not knowing her place. She is described in Historical Sketches of Andover, "Martha Carrier was, too, a woman of a disposition not unlikely to make enemies; plain and outspoken in speech, of remarkable strength of mind, a keen sense of justice and a sharp tongue." 

The second major misfortune came in 1690 when a smallpox epidemic erupted and although her own family suffered greatly, the community blamed Martha for the outbreak. Her family accounted for 7 of the 13 deaths in town...apparently no one considered that it would be unlikely that she would afflict her own family. 

When the Salem girls accused her of witchcraft, her neighbors were quick to come forward with tales of wounds that would not heal and sick or dead livestock. These included Benjamin & Sarah (Farnum) Abbott, my 9th great-grandparents. Martha's response was "it is a shamefull thing that you should mind these folks that are out of their wits."

New accusations were aimed at her children. Sons Richard, 18, and Andrew, 15, were tied "neck to heels until blood was ready to come out of their noses." Daughter, Sarah, age 7, and son, Thomas, Jr., age 10 testified against their mother and admitted to being witches themselves. 

Martha never confessed despite all that was done to her and her family. This was very unusual among those accused. Martha was hanged on August 19, 1692. 

Enders Robinson, in his book Salem Witchcraft, proposed that there was a conspiracy by assistant minister, Thomas Barnard to discredit the senior minister, Rev. Francis Dane. Robinson's evidence is the number of accused who were either related to Dane or to the powerful founding families in the town. Rev. Francis Dane is my 10th great-grandfather and Thomas Barnard was married to Abigail Bull, my 9th great-aunt. 

Historical Sketches of Andover describes how she never gave in to the pressure, even when she was taken to the gallows.

"In the examinations of the accused which preceded the regular trial, most made confession and thus averted the extreme penalty. Martha Carrier was the only one of all, male or female, who did not at some time or other make an admission or confession. From the first moment to the last, under all the persuasions and exhortations of friends, under denunciations and threats of the magistrates and examiners, she held firm, denying all charges, and neither overborne in mind nor shaken in nerve, met death with heroic courage...The prisoner [Martha Carrier] was hanged August 19, 1692, along with four men, among them the Rev. George Burroughs. they were carried in a cart through the streets of Salem, crowds thronging to see the sight. Even from the scaffold, Martha Carrier's voice was heard asseverating her innocence. Her dead body was rudely treated, then thrust into the ground in the same hole or grave with the bodies of Mr. Burroughs and John the year 1711, her [Martha's] name occurs on a list of sufferers, whose legal representatives received money for losses sustained by the imprisonment and death of their relations. Seven pounds six shillings was allowed to the representatives of Martha Carrier." 

Given what we know today about the psychology behind false confessions, it is remarkable that Martha refused to be broken. 

I have connections through three of my grandparents - though the Yates connection is only a half-cousin. 

Martha (Allen) Carrier - First cousin 11 times removed - granddaughter of Edmund Ingalls - my 11th great-grandfather through Fern Lyndell Cotton
Abigail Bull - daughter of Thomas Bull - my 10th great-grandfather through T. Richard Carter. 
Benjamin & Sarah (Farnum) Abbott - my 9th great-grandparents through Fern Lyndell Cotton, Benjamin is also my 7th great-uncle through T. Richard Carter. Sarah is also my 2nd cousin 8 times removed through Fern Lyndell Cotton and my half-2nd cousin 10 times removed through Linona Alica Yates
Rev. Francis Dane - my 10th great-grandfather through Fern Lyndell Cotton and one of his wives, Hannah Chandler, is my 8th great-grandmother through T. Richard Carter