Monday, December 23, 2013

Surname Christmas Tree

Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun for last Saturday was to create a Surname Christmas Tree. I'm a couple days late but here is my surname Christmas Tree made with Tagxedo.  Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Philip & Florence (Bertilson) Carter

Philip Lawson Carter, son of John Herbert & Verna (Kilgore) Carter, was born December 14, 1915 and died December 26, 1980. He was my second cousin, twice removed. However the family ties always seemed closer than that because of the strong friendship he and his wife had with my grandparents, T. Richard & Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter. Phil and Flo had five children and my grandparents had four sons. 

Florence (Bertilson) Carter, his wife, daughter of Oscar & Grace Bertilson, was born April 8, 1914 and died December 20, 1981. 

They are buried in the Middle Intervale Cemetery, on Intervale Rd. in Bethel, Maine. This cemetery is located behind a meetinghouse built in 1816. For much of my life, the meetinghouse was in the possession of the Carter family. When the upkeep became too much, the family donated it to the Middle Intervale Meetinghouse Association. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. 

Family memorial services were held in the meetinghouse two consecutive springs to celebrate the lives of Phil and Flo. They stick in my memory because they were informal and primarily consisted of their children and others telling stories of their adventures or misadventures growing up. The stories were punctuated with lots of laughter as they remembered all the happy times they spent together as a family. 

Common Ancestor - Elias Mellen Carter m. Rebecca Williamson
Their sons included Augustus Mellen Carter - grandfather of Thomas Richard Carter and John Herbert Carter - grandfather of Philip Lawson Carter. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Deck the Halls - 2013 The Carter-Taylor-Allen Christmas Traditions


  1. Do you have any special Xmas traditions in your family?  When I was growing up, we always had a Christmas Eve party at my Grammie Carter's house. I was the oldest grandchild and I got to direct the passing out of presents until I became an adult and my younger cousins took over. There was a buffet dinner and always homemade eggnog. On Christmas Day, after opening presents with my sister and parents, we would go for Christmas dinner at my Aunt Patty's house. When my children were growing up, we went for many years to my Grammie's for Christmas Eve and then my Uncle David started hosting the Carter family party. It eventually moved from Christmas Eve to another weekend date as the "grandkids" (my generation) grew up and had families of their own and it became harder to get everyone together on Christmas Eve. We started a Yankee swap that was lots of fun. My sons would beg for gifts before Christmas so we decided to start a 12 Days of Christmas tradition. Each day the kids got a small present. Often it was socks or underwear or gloves and sometimes a book or candy. It really kept the tension down as we headed into Christmas and were things we would have bought for them anyway. More recently it has become even harder to get the extended family together as people have moved away from Bethel. I have been hosting a Christmas Eve party and hope that as my sons have families of their own that we will evolve into the kind of party that my Grammie always had. 
  2. Is church attendance an important part of your Christmas celebrations and do you go the evening before or on Xmas Day?  Not as a child growing up or when my kids were growing up. However since I've remarried, we have gone to several Christmas Eve candlelight services. Bill and his daughter, Rachel, like to go to a midnight mass to see all the pageantry and be immersed in the Christmas spirit. I think that's too late to stay up considering how busy Christmas is already. 
  3. Did/do you or your children/grandchildren believe in Santa?  I believed in Santa until I recognized my Uncle Timmy when he played Santa at my school. After that it was a gradual realization that my parents bought the presents. My children believed in Santa and one memory is when my son, Josh, figured out that Santa wasn't real. He was very upset. We had a discussion and decided that what was important was believing in the spirit of Santa and what he represented. We both decided that as long as we believed in the spirit of Santa, he would always be real. I have one grandson, Sam, but he was born in October and I don't think he will understand much about Christmas or Santa this year. 
  4. Do you go caroling in your neighbourhood?  No and we don't have carolers come around either. I've had carolers once. That was when some of my students who were part of the Windham Chamber Singers came to my door. It was beautiful and I loved it! 
  5. What’s your favourite Christmas music?  I love the traditional hymns because when I was growing up, my town put on a living nativity every year and the chorus for that sang them so beautifully. My sister, Lorna and I had a favorite Christmas record by the Caroleers with children's Christmas songs. My sons really liked the "Very Special Christmas" cds featuring rock and pop icons singing both traditional and more modern Christmas songs. Two years ago my husband, Bill, found a copy of the Caroleers music from my childhood and I love it. Mostly I've been listening to the Pandora station I created that is a mix of traditional hymns both instrumental and choral, rock & pop singers, and cute kid's Christmas songs. 
  6. What’s your favourite Christmas carol?  When I was growing up, it was Away in a Manger. When my kids were growing up it was Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth by David Bowie & Bing Crosby. Now my favorite is Gabriel's Message by Sting.
  7. Do you have a special Xmas movie/book you like to watch/read? When I was growing up, Rudolph was my favorite because I loved the abominable snowman and Herbie, the misfit elf who wanted to be a dentist. Then A Christmas Carol with George C. Scott. As an adult I really like The Grinch - the original cartoon version because I really love the humor and the songs. 
  8. Does your family do individual gifts, gifts for littles only, Secret Santa (aka Kris Kringle)?  When I was growing up, it was individual gifts for everyone. When my sons were growing up, we did individual gifts for immediate family, my sister's family, and a gift swap for extended family. We have continued to do the individual gifts for closest family and a gift swap for extended family. 
  9. Is your main Christmas meal indoors or outdoors, at home or away?  Christmas dinner is always indoors in Maine! When I was growing up, we went to my Aunt Patty's house. When I had kids of my own, we gradually shifted to Christmas dinner at our house and inviting others to join us. When I remarried, we shifted to doing a big Christmas brunch and going to visit the Allen family on Christmas afternoon. Everyone brings a dish to share and it's lots of appetizers and desserts buffet-style. Nice and relaxed! 
  10. What do you eat as your main course for the Christmas meal?  Turkey dinner with all the fixings at Aunt Patty's. I used to make a spiral cut ham with brown sugar glaze. Now it's usually macaroni and cheese (my sister-in-law make a great one). 
  11. Do you have a special recipe you use for Xmas?  My mother always made cranberry nut bread. I made a lot of cookies (gingersnaps, snickerdoodles, gingerbread men, chocolate crinkles) and candies (different types of fudge, peanut brittle) when my sons were growing up. In recent years, I mix it up with some cookies and candies. I really like Needhams - a unique Maine candy with a coconut center and dark chocolate coating. 
  12. Does Christmas pudding feature on the Xmas menu? Is it your recipe or one you inherited? At my Grammie Carter's house, my great-aunt Becky always made a Christmas pudding. Sometimes it was plum or fig and other times it was "Indian pudding" - made with cornmeal and molasses. Either way, it was always an event on Christmas Eve when we all crowded into my Grammie's darkened dining room and she poured brandy over it and lit it on fire! Very impressive to a young child! I never made a Christmas pudding. A couple of years ago, my step-daughter, Katelyn made a traditional Christmas pudding during her semester in Ireland. It was delicious. 
  13. Do you have any other special Christmas foods? What are they?  None that I haven't already listed. 
  14. Do you give home-made food/craft for gifts at Christmas?  When I was growing up, my mother was a great knitter and often gave knitted gifts. After my grandmother died, I used to give my grandfather cookies because he loved cookies, especially my gingersnaps. I also knit and made my grandson a hat and mittens this year. Sometimes I give home-made gifts. 
  15. Do you return to your family for Xmas or vice versa?  Growing up, my family went to the homes of other family members. When my children were growing up, people came to us. In recent years, it's been a mix of people coming to us and going to visit at their homes. 
  16. Is your Christmas celebrated differently from your childhood ones? If yes, how does it differ? Yes, mostly because the family has grown and spread out. Most of my family was within a 30 minute drive when I was growing up. Now I have one son in Washington state and am almost 90 minutes away from my hometown. It's harder to get everyone together. 
  17. How do you celebrate Xmas with your friends? Lunch? Pre-Xmas outings? Drop-ins? We have a Christmas party with other WHS teachers. Otherwise, there isn't much celebrating with others before Christmas. My friends and I often do something during Christmas break - a movie or game night.  
  18. Do you decorate your house with lights? A little or a lot?  When I was growing up, we didn't do outside decorations. We didn't do much outside decorating other than a wreath on the door when my sons were little but did more as they grew a little older. Now we decorate with outdoor lights and wreaths - a moderate amount. 
  19. Is your neighbourhood a “Xmas lights” tour venue?  No.
  20. Does your family attend Carols by Candlelight singalongs/concerts? Where?  No
  21. Have any of your Christmases been spent camping (unlikely for our northern-hemisphere friends)?  No. I am one of the northern-hemisphere dwellers. 
  22. Is Christmas spent at your home, with family or at a holiday venue?  Home and with family
  23. Do you have snow for Christmas where you live?  Usually, I get really disappointed when we don't have a white Christmas. I hate a brown, rainy Christmas! 
  24. Do you have a Christmas tree every year?  Yes, always! 
  25. Is your Christmas tree a live tree (potted/harvested) or an imitation?  Real while growing up. Artificial while my sons were growing up (heated the house with a woodstove and the kids wanted the tree up for the whole month so it was hard to keep a live tree). Now we are back to real trees and I like them much better. 
  26. Do you have special Xmas tree decorations?  A few sentimental ornaments. This year my favorite ornament celebrates my new grandson, Sam. 
  27. Which is more important to your family, Christmas or Thanksgiving?  Christmas.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cold & Confused - A Deadly Combination

On December 8, 1661, a coroner's jury was impanelled to "view the dead body of Thirston Clarke, Senior, of Duxburrow." Thirston (Thurston) had come to an unfortunate end. According to the court record, he was found on a place called the "Longe Point" that belonged to Joseph Andrews. His body was ice-covered and the cause of death was determined to be exposure to the elements. The facts seem to be that he was returning home from Plymouth to Duxbury and was close to home when his tracks in the snow indicate he became confused and wandered about aimlessly before succumbing to the effects of the cold temperatures and icy waters. His belongings were scattered a over a short distance and before discovering his body, searchers found his basket, his cap, staff, and one mitten, each one closer to the body than the previous object. Mr. Clark was approximately 71 years old.

Thurston Clark was from Ipswich, England and emigrated in 1634 on the Francis. He settled first in Plymouth and in 1652, moved to Duxbury. He was survived by his wife, Faith, and three children.
His daughter, Faith, married Mayflower passenger, Edward Doty on January 6, 1634/5. After his death, she married John Phillips on March 14, 1666/7. He was predeceased by three daughters who died in England, Frances, Mary, and Abigail. He and Faith had two sons, Thurston, and Henry, who were not mentally capable of caring for themselves. These two sons were reliant on others in the town to care of them after the parents died.

Thurston (Tristan) Clark was my 11th great-grandfather
Faith Clark & Edward Doty
Mary Doty
Mary Churchill
Mary Stevens
Eleazer Cole
Calvin Cole
Calvin Cole
Apphia Cole
George Hayes
Eva Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Carter

Every Saturday night, Randy Seaver issues a challenge for bloggers. This week's fun requires one to go to the free data available at and see what data is available for your surname. Here is my data.

Carter Name Meaning
English: occupational name for a transporter of goods, Middle English cartere, from an agent derivative of Middle English cart(e) or from Anglo-Norman French car(e)tier, a derivative of Old French caret (see Cartier). The Old French word coalesced with the earlier Middle English word cart(e) 'cart', which is from either Old Norse kartr or Old English craet, both of which, like the Late Latin word, were probably originally derived from Celtic. Northern Irish: reduced form of McCarter.
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press

In 1840, the states with the most Carter families were Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

In 1880, the states with the most Carter families were Virginia and Georgia. Carters were living in every state except Oklahoma. Oklahoma was Indian Territory and only opened to white settlement in 1880, so this information is not surprising. 

In 1920, the states with the most Carter families were New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, Missouri, and Texas. 

The 1891 England & Wales Census shows the largest number of Carter families in London (16%), Yorkshire (10%), and Lancashire (10%)

The 1881 Scotland Census shows the most Carter families in Lanarkshire (33%), Kirkcudbrightshire (27%), and Midlothian (23%). From the Southwest to Northeast, those counties are Kirkcudbrightshire, Lanarkshire, and Midlothian.

Other information that can be found on the site includes the fact that from 1851-1891, Carters immigration (from New York passenger lists) was highest around 1851, 1871, and the mid-1880s. They were coming from the British Isles (2187), Germany (34), and Spain (18). The average life expectancy based on the Social Security Death Index from 1940-2000, shows the Carters are almost exactly on the average with the general public. Carters serving in the Civil War fought almost equally on both sides; Union 4, 055 and Confederate 4, 506. Based on the 1880 census records 47% were working on a farm, 11% were laborers, 6% were keeping house, and 2% were carpenters. 

©2013 Pamela Carter

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Bounty of New England

William Hilton came to New England in the Fortune,  November 11, 1621. William sent the letter transcribed below to his cousin in England. It was first printed in Capt. John Smith's "New England Trials," edition of 1622. William's wife and two children came to New England in the Anne, in the summer of 1623.

Louing cousin, at our ariuall at New Plimmoth in New England, we found all our friends and planters in good health, though they were left sicke and weake with very small meanes, the Indians round about us peaceable and friendly, the country very pleasant and temperate, yeelding naturally of it self great store of fruites, as vines of diuers sorts in great abundance; there is likewise walnuts, chesnuts, small nuts and plums, wiht much varietie of flowers, rootes, and herbs, no lesse pleasant then wholsome and profitable: no place hath more goose-berries and straw-berries, nor better, Timber of all sorts you haue in England, doth cover the Land that affoords beasts of diuers sorts and great flocks of Turkies, Quailes, Pigeons and Partriges: many great lakes abounding with fish, fowle, Beuers and Otters. The sea affoords us as great plenty of all excellent sorts of sea-fish, as the riuers and Iles doth varietie of wilde fowle of most usefull sorts. Mines we find to our thinking, but neither the goodness nor qualitie we know. Better grain cannot be then the Indian corne, if we will plant it upon as good ground as a man can desire. We are all free-holders, the rent day doth not trouble us, and all those good blessings we haue, of which and what we list in their seasons for taking. Our companie are for most part very religious honest people; the word of God sincerely taught euery Sabbath: so that I know not any thing a contented mind can here want. I desire your friendly care to send my wife and children to me, where I wish all the friends I haue in England, and so I rest

Your louing kinsman  William Hilton

I have Hilton's in my ancestry but I haven't linked any of them to this immigrant. I came across this while looking for my Hilton ancestors and liked the description.

Sources: Genealogies: the Hassam family, the Hilton family, the Cheever family. [database on-line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge - Bethel Academy

Delivered at the Centennial Celebration at Bethel, August 26, 1874, by Jacob Brown, Esq. of Illinois

Bethel Academy
By barren rocks and deeply tangled wildwood,
Mid valley, lake and glen;
Here babyhood was cradled into childhood,
And boys grew into men.

Anear the corner of this quaint old building,
With windows all arow;
That sturdy and that stately growing elm-tree
Grew thirty years ago.

The Androscoggin still is flowing sea-ward,
As thirty years ago;
Oft down those gliding waters just at night-fall
I've paddled my canoe.

Westward winds that little silvery brooklet,
In tune to my poor rhyme;
Life's wreck-besprinkled waters still are surging,
Against the shores of time.

I look adown the lane from this old building,
Down to the dusty street;
But gone are all the bright familiar faces
Of those I used to meet.

And stricken dumb is my poor heart with sadness,
Bright boyhood's dreams are fled,
Flowers that bloomed by every wayside,
All are withered and dead.

Poor third soul! The dead may bury their dead.
As soldier brave in flight;
Conquer the red-hot battles of life and learn
To win and love the right.

Thanks to Bill West for hosting the Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge. Check out is his blog for more poems and genealogy at West in New England.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Frances (Freeland) Carter

This stone is pretty weathered and hard to read but it marks the grave of Frances Freeland who married Dr. Timothy Carter on July 7, 1793 in Sutton, Massachusetts. She and Dr. Timothy came to Bethel in 1799. Her husband had studied medicine under her father, Dr. James Freeland, a Revolutionary War surgeon. Dr. Timothy Carter became the first doctor in Bethel. I wrote about them and their journey to Maine in a previous post. Frances was the daughter of James & Mehitable (Mellen) Freeland. She was born on September 4, 1771 in Sutton, Massachusetts and died November 14, 1815 in Bethel, Maine. 

Dr. Timothy Carter and Frances, or Fanny as she was called (and is recorded on her headstone), were my 4th great-grandparents and had the following children:

Rev. Lawson Carter 1793-1868 - Findagrave memorial
Galen Carter 1795-1870
James Freeland Carter 1797-1840
Timothy Jarvis Carter 1805-1838 - blog post about his death - Congressman from ME
Luther Cullen Carter 1805-1875 - Findagrave memorial - Congressman from NY
Frances Carter 1809-1902
Elias Mellen Carter 1811-1880 - My 3rd great-grandfather

She is buried in the Middle Intervale Cemetery, on Intervale Rd. in Bethel, Maine. This cemetery is located behind a meetinghouse built in 1816. For much of my life, the meetinghouse was in the possession of the Carter family. When the upkeep became too much, the family donated it to the Middle Intervale Meetinghouse Association. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. 

Elias M. Carter married Rebecca Williamson, an Irish immigrant. Their son, Augustus Mellen Carter married Mary Frances Abbott. Their son, Edward Mellen Carter married Fanny May Capen. Their son, Thomas Richard Carter, was my grandfather. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blacksheep Sunday - The Bad Son

My ancestor, Diman Perry, moved to Maine after the Revolutionary War. In 1800, he was married for the second time and most of his children were grown and presumably self-supporting. However, I found this notice on the Genealogy Bank web site. Diman, Jr. was not quite 19 years old and seems to have gotten himself into a bit of money trouble. Because they shared a name, I'm sure Diman, Sr. wanted to distance himself from his son's financial issues. I find the words "harbour" and "trust" particularly interesting and wonder what debts young Diman had accrued and if he had an issue with telling the truth.

The Gazette, Portland, Maine - Vol. III, Issue 127, Page 3
Monday, September 29, 1800
Accessed on Genealogy
ALL persons are hereby forbidden to harbour, trust, trade with, or employ, on my account, Diman Perry, jun. as I will not be answerable for any obligations he may contract.
Diman Perry
Poland, August 25, 1800

Family of Diman Perry
With first wife, Nabby Cushing, married April 28, 1763:
Anna - November 28, 1764
Barnabas - December 3, 1766
Nehemiah - September 3, 1769
Nabby - November 6, 1772

With second wife, Susannah Lincoln, marrried December 30, 1773:
Penelope - March 2, 1775
Levi - February 16, 1776
Thomas - September 26, 1778
Alice - June 10, 1780
Diman, Jr. - December 18, 1781
Apphia - August 19, 1783
Betty - August 27, 1785
Gad - February 26, 1788

I don't believe he had any children with his third wife, Hannah House.

Apphia married Moses Judkins.
Betsy Judkins m. Calvin Cole, Jr.
Apphia Delphinia Cole m. Sydney Hayes
George Hayes m. Anna J. Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes m. Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ancestry DNA Update

Ancestry recently updated the DNA profiles of their customers. I've seen a number of postings on Facebook and on blogs about how things changed. I checked mine yesterday. Originally, my estimate was very generic and boring, but not unexpected. My own research reveals that virtually all of my ancestors came from England with a sprinkling from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and a lone French Huguenot. 

I was hoping to at least reveal a little bit of biodiversity from the Viking, Germanic, or Norman invasions. When the update was released, Ireland was separated from Great Britain and more detail was added. This did, indeed, reveal some Scandinavian, Western European, and Irish ancestry. What was completely unexpected was the 5% from the Iberian Peninsula. The site says that Iberian DNA is common among those with British ancestry. Here are my updated results. 

I am just beginning to understand some of the uses of DNA in genealogy. I do know that the more information that is put into the system, the more refined the results will be. I like the fact that will continue to refine my results without charging more money for each update. I was a bit disappointed that the original results were not more specific but this is more interesting and reflects what I know about my origins. I look forward to learning more and more about DNA and how to interpret and use DNA results in genealogy. 

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Surname Saturday - Gibbs

George Albert Gibbs was born October 20, 1862 on Prince Edward Island in Canada. According to the 1900 census, he came to the United States in 1884. He is my most recent immigrant ancestor. The next year, he married Nina K. Ellingwood and they had a family. He died on November 26, 1919 in West Paris, Maine. His death record lists his parents as John and Annie and says John was a farmer. The cause of death is listed as crerbral (sic) hemorrhage - and the duration is 5 years! I wish my grandmother was still alive because I know she knew more about his family. I remember her visiting relatives on Prince Edward Island and showing me pictures of their farms. I wasn't old enough to realize that I should pay attention to their names and the place names and now it's too late to ask. 

My Great-Grandmother:
Annie Florilla Gibbs was born in 1892. She was one of three great-grandparents I got to know and the only one on my father's side. On July 21, 1909, Annie married Ray Everett Cotton. He was born in 1888 and died in 1962. She died in 1987. 

Her siblings were:
James Williamson Gibbs 1887-1952
Albert Harris Gibbs 1889-1936
Herbert Freeman Gibbs 1895-1960
Ada Polly Gibbs 1897-1986

Related posts

Monday, October 14, 2013

Matrilineal Monday - A Colonial Dress Code

A few times I have come across court records stating a female ancestor was hauled into court for wearing silk or lace so I knew there was some law in Massachusetts that restricted what certain women were allowed to wear. I have listed my connections below. I found that a sumptuary law was passed in Massachusetts in 1651. According to, such laws can be found as far back in history as ancient Greece and Rome. In fact, I had heard of them, i.e. the restriction of purple cloth to royalty, but I didn't know what they were called or that these laws extended to other time periods. The purpose of the laws throughout history seems to be linked to the fear that excessive spending was morally wrong and flaunting one's wealth could be morally corrupting. It may have also been used to force the average person to buy locally and thereby enrich the local economy. 

The full text of the Massachusetts law can be found here. The gist of it is that the Puritan leaders were upset by the "intolerable excess...especially among people of mean condition." They decided to make issue a reminder to be "sober and moderate" and express their "utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same rank to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable..." 

The standard of wealth sufficient to be allowed to wear such finery?  An estate valued at or above £200.  Today, that would be about $304 using a direct exchange rate but Economic Heritage has a series of interesting calculators. Perhaps the simplest is the real value of commodities which gives a modern equivalent of £23,200 or $35374. 

Who got to be the fashion police? The selectmen of the town were "required" to "take notice of the apparel of the inhabitants.." and "whosoever they shall judge to exceed their ranks and abilities in costliness or fashion of their apparel in any respect, expecially in the wearing of ribbons or great boots (leather being so scarce a commodity in this country) lace, points, etc..." 

And the icing on the cake? 
"...this law shall not extend to the restraint of any magistrate or public officer of this jurisdiction, their wives and children, who are left to their discretion in wearing of apparel, or any settled militia officer or soldier in the time of military service, or any other whose education and employment have been above the ordinary degree, or whose estate have been considerable, though now decayed." 

So when you go to get dressed today, remember...

From Ancestral Lines From Maine to Virginia, by Carl Boyer, page 132:
"Nicholas Noyes' wife, Hugh March's wife, and William Chandler's wife were each presented for wearing a silk hood and scarf; but were discharged on proof that their husbands were worth two hundred pounds each. John Hutchins' wife was also discharged upon testifying that she was brought up above the ordinary rank."

Nicholas Noyes' wife, Mary Cutting, is my 11th great-grandmother.
Hugh March's wife, Judith is my 8th great-grandmother

While I have a William Chandler in my line, this refers to Mary (Fowler) Chandler and I am not related to her.
Frances Alcock was the wife of John Hutchins. She was later accused and arrested during the Salem Witchcraft hysteria and released on bond as the hysteria was dying down in December 1692. The use of spectral evidence had been ruled inadmissible and in January 1693, 49 of the 52 surviving prisoners were released. Love, the daughter of John & Frances, married my 9th great-granduncle, Capt. Samuel Sherborn.

Noyes Line:
Nicholas & Mary (Cutting) Noyes
Peter & Hannah (Noyes) Cheney
John & Mary (Chute) Cheney
Edmund & Mary (Plummer) Cheney
Edmund & Susanna (Middleton) Cheney
Stephen & Mehitable (Cheney) Blaisdell
William & Susannah (Blaisdell) Rowe
Stephen & Elizabeth (Hilton) Rowe
Charles & Loann (Churchill) Rowe
George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

March Line:
Hugh & Judith March
George & Mary (Folsom) March
Humphrey & Sarah (March) Deering
Ebenezer & Elizabeth (Deering) Emmons
Eliakim & Molly (Wildes) Emmons
Jacob & Sarah (Shepard) Emmons
Gilbert & Laura (Emmons) Yates
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates - see above

Sherburne/Sherborn Connections: Sisters of Capt. Samuel, who married Love Hutchins
Elizabeth (Sherburne) Langdon - 10th great-grandmother traces to Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother
Ruth (Sherburne) Moses - 9th great-grandmother traces to Linona Alice Yates

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Obituary Sunday - Ada Gibbs Balentine

The Lewiston Daily Sun - Oct. 6, 1986
Ada Balentine
Bryant Pond - Ada Gibbs Balentine, 89, of Woodstock and Bethel, died Sunday at Market Square Health Facility in South Paris. 

She was born on Jan. 3, 1897, at Paris, daughter of George and Nina Ellingwood Gibbs. She received her education in schools at Paris and Hallowell. She was married to Walter G. Balentine on Dec. 12, 1916, and resided at Middle Intervale in East Bethel. Mr. Balentine died on July 27, 1943. She spent 36 summers at her log cabin on North Pond in Woodstock. She spent her winters with her daughter and granddaughters in New Jersey and Bethel. Mrs. Balentine was one of the first persons in the area to operate a foster home for young people. She was a practical nurse and devoted much of her time taking care of sick persons in the area. She also was well-known for her ability in handcrafting and carving toy animals. She was an active participant in community affairs and was a member of West Paris Grange, the Eastern Star of Bethel, Sunset Rebekah Lodge of Bethel, a past president of both Jackson-Silver Post and Ring-McKeen Post American Legion Auxiliaries. She was past president to the Oxford County Council American Legion Auxiliary an past president of La Boutique Bes Huit Chateaux et Quartant Fannes, 8/40. She was a member of the Woodstock Senior Citizens. She was a Gold Star Mother. 

She is survived by a niece whom she raised as a daughter from infancy, Mrs. Philip (Ada) Cummings of Roselle Park, N.J.; two granddaughters, Mrs. John (Debra) Swick of Lyndon, N.J., and Mrs. Howard (Macky) Chapman of Bethel; a sister Mrs. Annie F. Cotton of West Paris; three grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was pre-deceased by two sons, Lester Balentine, who died in 1968 and W. Linwood Balentine, who was killed in action in March of 1945 while serving with the U.S. Army in Germany. 

Google News Archive

Ada Gibbs Balentine was my great-grandmother's sister. She was a very special woman. I remember her most for her generosity and hospitality. Many family reunions and smaller get togethers were held at her camp on North Pond. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Thriller Thursday - Murder in Charlestown

We tend to associate slavery with the Southern colonies  and forget that slavery was legal in all thirteen colonies. The more I research, the more records I find involving slaves in New England. Like this story, they usually do not involve my ancestors but I get caught up in reading the accounts and this story in particular seemed worth sharing. It is shocking in many ways. 

In 1755 in Charlestown, Massachusetts, three of Capt. John Codman's slaves, Mark, Phillis, and Phebe, decided to poison him...although there is no primary record that tells why, it appears that Mark was separated from his family. The deposition, of Phillis, indicates that Mark came up with the idea because he really wanted a different master. The conspirators tried a less direct approach at first - working together Mark and Phillis burned down part of the property, hoping it would force a sale but that didn't happen.  Some secondary accounts say Capt. Codman was a strict taskmaster and a stern disciplinarian who had been violent on occasion.  The mastermind of the plot was Mark and he was able to read the Bible. He came to the conclusion that it was not a sin to kill if it was accomplished without spilling any blood. It might also be harder to detect. Mark was joined by fellow slaves, Phillis and Phebe, who put the poison in the food and drink. Other slaves belonging to other masters were accessories as they helped procure the arsenic and kept quiet about the plot. It did not take long after Capt. Codman's death for the crime to be traced back to Mark and Phillis. 

At the trial, they were both found guilty and sentenced to different, but equally gruesome, deaths. On September 18, 1755, Phillis was burned at the stake. She was one of only two people in colonial Massachusetts to receive this punishment. The other was another female slave, Maria, who in 1681,  tried to kill her master by setting his house on fire. On the same date, Mark was tarred, and gibbeted, or hanged in chains or a cage. Gibbeting involved leaving the body hanging as a warning to others and was most often used with pirates, as seen in this image of the pirate, William Kidd.  

The tarring may have acted as a preservative - read this excerpt from Pirates of the New England Coast.

Nearly twenty years later, Paul Revere even used the spot as a landmark when describing the route he took that fateful night in 1775. "I set off upon a very good Horse; it was then about 11 o'Clock, and very pleasant. After I had passed Charlestown Neck and go nearly opposite where Mark was hung in chains, I was two men on Horse back, under a Tree. when I got near them, I discovered they were British officers."

Phebe appears to have been sold in the Caribbean - a place notorious for its brutality and others may have also suffered the same fate. 

Some sources for further investigation:
From The Freedom TrailCelebrate Boston and New England's Hidden History at
Gibbeting in Colonial America
The Trial and Execution for Petit Treason of Mark and Phillis
Pirates of the New England Coast

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Annis Pabodie

On September 14, 2013, Randy Seaver issued his weekly Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge. This is titled "Do Some Semi-Random Research." Here is my entry.

1. Use the first two letters in your first name and look in your genealogy database for the first surname that starts with those two letters. My first name is Pamela and the surname in my database is Pabodie. Alphabetically, the first Pabodie in my database is Annis Pabodie.

2. What do I know about her? Not much at first but I did a little digging and got a bit more information. So here goes!

Annis was the daughter of John & Isabel (Harper or Brittaine) Pabodie. All of my information about her family comes from the Great Migration Project and was accessed on www. Annis is my 10th great-aunt and the sister of my 10X great-grandfather, William Pabodie. William was born between 1616 and 1619 and his brother, Francis was born between 1612 and 1614. There appears to be one other brother, Thomas without a known birthdate. I will surmise that Annis was born between 1610 and 1625 and probably closer to 1618-1625.

Annis married John Rouse (or Rowse, spelling was not standardized at the time) about 1638 or 1639. John Rouse came to Massachusetts about 1634 and his origins are unknown. He was a servant to Gov. Thomas Prince and in August 1634, Gov. Prince traded him for Richard Willis, servant of John Barnes. He is later called a planter. In June 1658, Rouse and Humphrey Norton were brought before the court for their Quaker beliefs and whipped when they refused to swear an oath of allegiance.

Unfortunately, records for women are scarce. The Great Migration profile of her husband states that her will was dated 10 November 1687 and proved on 12 September 1688 so we know she died sometime between those two dates. In her will she bequeaths a gun, sword, and belt to "my servant Samuel Cornish" and various other items to her daughters, Elizabeth Bourn, Mary Price, and Anna Holmes. It also mentions two sons, Simon and John. These children are also listed in the Great Migration profile of John Rouse along with a son, George, of whom there is no further record.

The only other record I could find for Annis comes from the database on, U.S., New England Marriages Prior to 1700. This data come from the book of the same title by Clarence A. Torrey. It lists her death date as 1688 and marriage as 1640. I could not find any record for Annis on Findagrave.

My descent from William Pabodie:
Mary Pabodie & Edward Southworth
Mercy Southworth & Moses Soule
Alice Soule & Barnabas Perry
Diman Perry & Susannah Lincoln
Apphia Perry & Moses Judkins
Betsy Judkins & Calvin Cole
Apphia Delphinia Cole & Sydney Hayes
George Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Yates - my grandmother

Friday, September 13, 2013

Friday Funny - Not My Ancestor - First Installment

One comes across a lot of names when researching one's family tree. Occasionally, those names ring a bell or bring certain image to mind and it makes me smile. Here are a few from my tree to start you off.

Isaac Hayes, son of William & Olive (Garland) Hayes, was born in 1774 and died in 1812. Not be be confused with Isaac Hayes, the musician, although I feel certain my 5th great-grandfather had a lot of soul!

Robert Barker, my 10th great-grandfather, was born about 1616 in England and died between February 18, 1689 and March 14, 1692, in Duxbury, Massachusetts. He came to Plymouth in 1632 and worked as a ferryman and innkeeper. I wonder if he ever went by "Bob" Barker or if his price was right?

Mary Buckett was the wife of Pilgrim George Soule and my 10th great-grandmother. Of course, her mother was Mrs. Buckett or was her mother a Mrs. Bouquet, like Hyacinth?

William Wallis was the husband of my first cousin 9X removed, Comfort Cotton (can't make this stuff up). I wonder if he was brave like William Wallace or looked like Mel Gibson?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Obituary Sunday - Julia F. Carter

This obituary comes from a newspaper clipping that my grandmother kept. Recently my sister found it while going through her keepsakes and gave it to me. I'm not sure what paper published it but I think it was probably the Lewiston Sun Journal.

Julia F. Carter
Paris - Julia F. Carter, 95, of Paris Hill and formerly of Cincinnati, Ohio died Wednesday at the Norway Nursing Home, where she had resided for several months.

Born in Montclair, N.J., Sept. 8, 1884, the daughter of Jarvis L. and Mary B. Carter. Miss Carter graduated from Montclair (N.J.) High School, Wheaton College (Mass.) in 1905 and Pratt Institute of Library Science in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1906. After graduation, she became the first full-time children's librarian at the New York Public Library. During her fifteen years there, she was granted leaves of absence to assist in the children's divisions in the libraries in Cleveland, Los Angeles, and Portland, Ore.

In 1918, she led a Red Cross unit in World War I, directing a library for American troops near Dijon, France, and Trier, Germany, following the Armistice. After the war she returned to the New York Public Library, and in 1924 became the children's librarian at New Haven, Conn. In 1927 she began a 28 year career with the Cincinnati Public Library where she was supervisor of the children's department of the entire library system of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio. She directed the opening of 14 branches.

Miss Carter presented the first Caldecott Medal and was the first national president of the Division of Library Work with Children and Young People of the American Library Association. She was the first president of the Zonta Club of Cincinnati; the Cincinnati Library children's room was furnished in her honor by Zonta International. A bronze plaque and other honors displayed in the library commemorate her long service there.

Winner of the first Caldecott Meda
In 1955 she retired to her family home in Paris Hill, where she assisted in the Hamlin Memorial Library  program, conducted correspondence, collected memorabilia of the town's history and was historian of the Paris Hill Historical Society. She was also an honorary member of the educational society Delta Kappa Gamma.

Survivors include her sister Mrs. Roger (Dorothea) Davis of the Norway Nursing Home; two nieces, Mrs. J. Eric (Nancy) Bucher of Oklahoma City, Okla., and Paris Hill, and Mrs. A. K. (Frances) Alexander of Paris Hill with whom she resided; two grandnieces; two grandnephews; and two great-grandnieces.

Julia F. Carter was my 3rd cousin, twice removed. She died in January 1980. 
Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter were her 2x great-grandparents. They are my 4x great-grandparents.  They were the parents of, among others,  Elias Mellen Carter and Timothy Jarvis Carter.

Elias Mellen & Rebecca (Williamson) Carter, Augustus Mellen & Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter, Edward Mellen & Fanny May (Capen) Carter, Thomas Richard & Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter - my grandparents.

Timothy Jarvis & Arabella (Rawson) Carter, Samuel Rawson & Julia (Hamlin) Carter, Jarvis Livermore & Mary Blanche (Carter) Carter (Julia's parents were 2nd cousins), Julia F. Carter - my 3rd cousin, twice removed.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mappy Monday - Moving in an Oxcart

The migration of the Spurr family from Massachusetts to Maine

From A History of Otisfield p. 589 (see citation below). 
"They (the Spurr family) moved from Dorchester to Wrentham, previous to 1774 and lived there seven years. It is said they lived in Mansfield, Me. or Mass. for a time. They came to Maine in 1776 and lived one year in Saccarappa, a year and a half in Windham, and moved to Otisfield, September 3, 1779. They settled on lot 16 a little south of Spurrs Corner on the west side of the road. Some lilac bushes and the ruins of the old foundation remains (1930). John Spurr lived in the house afterward and then Joseph Knight moved it to his place on the opposite side of the road and occupied it for a woodhouse. It is said that the first night they spent in Otisfield, they camped beside a large stone near the road. (A portion of that stone has since been moved to Spurr's Corner and a memorial tablet placed upon it.) He is buried in the yard south of Spurr's Corner. Through a mistake of the stonecutters the name is spelled Spyrr, instead of Spurr. They had nine children living, all born in Dorchester, and all came to Maine unmarried. They came to Windham in an oxcart and were the fourth family in town."

Going to Otisfield to photograph the stone and tablet is on my genealogy road trip list. 

Joseph Spurr was born November 19, 1731 in Dorchester, MA and died June 17, 1805. He married Miriam Lyon on September 13, 1753. They were my 5th great-grandparents. 

Enoch Spurr b. January 28, 1761 in Dorchester, MA married Abigail Wight b. May 31, 1767 in Wrentham, MA. 

Roxanna Spurr married Edward Stanley on November 2, 1815. 

Mary Frances Stanley married Augustus Mellen Carter. 

Edward Mellen Carter married Fannie May Capen. 

T. Richard Carter was my grandfather. 

Spurr, William Samuel. A History of Otisfield: Cumberland County, Maine from the Original Grant to the Close of the Year 1944 by William Samuel Spurr. Otisfield, Me.: Published by the Otisfield Historical Society, 1994. PDF.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Surname Saturday - Ackley of Boston

On March 20, 1760, a great fire swept through the city of Boston. According to this site, the 1760 fire was called the "Second" Great Fire of Boston. It destroyed 349 buildings and left 220 families homeless. Many businesses were lost and the Quaker Meeting House on Congress Street was consumed by the flames. It even destroyed some ships in the harbor. My 6X great-grandfather, Francis Ackley was among those who unsuccessfully petitioned the House of Commons for relief after the fire.

Francis Ackley participated in the Boston Tea Party. There are several online accounts that say Francis Ackley was killed in the Battle of Bunker Hill but I have not seen enough proof to elevate this story out of the realm of folklore. If anyone has a source for this information, I would appreciate hearing from you.

Francis married Tabitha Bull on June 8, 1751. They are the parents of Samuel Ackley. He was born on July 17, 1763.

Samuel Ackley served three years in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. He enlisted in Boston on the day he turned eighteen and joined his regiment at West Point and served until the army was disbanded and he was discharged, again at West Point. His pension was filed while he was living in Halifax, Vermont but in 1830, he moved to Rumford, Maine and was still living in 1855, aged 93. Samuel married Elizabeth Moody on November 18, 1791. They were the parents of William Ackley. 
William Ackley married Deborah Capen on March 4, 1814. They were the parents of Sarah Ackley. Rumford, Oxford County, Maine: Town History [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2001. 
Sarah Ackley married John Abbott and they were the parents of Mary Jane Abbott. Mary Jane married Edward Abbott Capen and they were the parents of Fannie May Capen - my great-grandmother. Fannie married Edward Mellen Carter and they were the parents of my grandfather, Thomas Richard Carter.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Centennial Hymn - Bethel, Maine

Celebrating the first 100 years of my hometown:
From Report on the Centennial Celebration at Bethel, August 26, 1874
Composed for the occasion by Geo. B. Farnsworth, Esq., to the tune of Old Hundred

Centennial Hymn
As, - when to Jacob it was given
To see, mid Eastern deserts lone, 
A ladder reaching up to Heaven
Along whose steps the angels shone, - 

He knew the Lord was, surely, there, 
And what had seemed but wilderness
Now God's own dwelling did appear, 
And "Beth-el," thence, he named the place:

So, when our fathers, eastward led, 
Chanced to this lovely vale to roam, 
Seeing its emerald floor outspread
And spanned by yonder crystal dome, 

Into whose depths the mountains soared
Like heavenly ladders angel-trod, 
They said, "Here, surely, dwells the Lord!"
And named their home the "House of God."

And here, from youth to age, they strove

Their goodly heritage to keep
For Freedom, Knowledge, Virtue, Love - 
Now in the dust all, silent sleep!

May we, their children, aye defend
The heritage they loved so well;
This heir-loom from the Past descend
To children's children, nobler still;

A place for homliest labors meet; 
Ever of manly worth the abode; 
And aye a place of worship sweet, - 
A temple high, - a "House of God!"

Dwell with us, Thou! And when the stone
Shall be, at eve, our resting-place
Heaven's ladder be to us let down, 
And may we see Thee, face to face!

Photos courtesy of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter

Edward Augustus Carter, son of Edward Mellen & Fanny May (Capen) Carter, was born on August 22, 1911 and died December 27, 1997. He was my grandfather's brother. He is buried in the Middle Intervale Cemetery, on Intervale Rd. in Bethel, Maine. This cemetery is located behind a meetinghouse built in 1816. For much of my life, the meetinghouse was in the possession of the Carter family. When the upkeep became too much, the family donated it to the Middle Intervale Meetinghouse Association. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998. 

I have many fond memories of Uncle Gus from my childhood. He lived just a short distance from my grandparent's farm in Bethel on the Intervale Road. My sister and I loved to go visit him because he always gave us a snack - usually milk and cookies and we would listen to his stories...the Carter men are well known for their storytelling ability. Uncle Gus was divorced and his grown children lived in California. He saw them and his grandchildren on visits but between visits, my sister and I filled in for them. Uncle Gus worked for the town of Bethel on the road maintenance crew until he was forced to retire at the age of 70.