Sunday, June 30, 2013

Obituary Sunday - Mrs. Nina Gibbs Cotton

Nina King Ellingwood was my 2nd great-grandmother. Her daughter, my great-grandmother, Annie Florilla Gibbs married Ray Everett Cotton on July 21, 1909. In an interesting twist, Nina then married as her second husband, her son-in-law's father, Francis Llewellyn Cotton on November 25, 1926. She was Francis Llewellyn's third wife - his first two marriages ended in divorce.

Dolls made by Nina - Photo from Debbie (Cummings) Brown

Lewiston Evening Journal - Jun 27, 1936
North Paris Jun 29 - Following a short illness, Mrs. Nina Gibbs Cotton, wife of Francis L. Cotton, died Sunday at Rumford Community hospital. She was well known as a home manufacturer of stuffed toys, which she had been making about 46 years. They were a special kind of toy made of wood, excelsior, cotton, flannel, and other materials to give them a natural appearance and were carefully finished in every detail. The Red Cross horse was one of her many famous products.

Mrs. Cotton was born at Dummer, N.H., the daughter of Asa F. and Florilla Ellingwood, November 4, 1863. Surviving are her husband, three sons by a previous marriage, James Gibbs of North Paris and Albert and Herbert Gibbs of South Paris; two daughters, Mrs. Ada Balentine of Bethel and Mrs. Annie Cotton, Mechanic Falls, two brothers I. H. Ellingwood and Joseph Ellingwood of North Paris.

Mrs. Cotton was a member of the West Paris grange and the North Paris United Baptist church.

The Lewiston Daily Sun - Jun 29, 1936
North Paris, June 28 - Mrs Nina Gibbs Cotton, 72, wife of Francis L. Cotton of this town died Sunday at the Rumford Community hospital after about a week's illness.

Mrs. Cotton was born at Dummer, N.H., the daughter of Asa F. and Florilla Ellingwood, November 4, 1863. Surviving are her husband, three sons by a previous marriage, James Gibbs of North Paris, Albert and Herbert Gibbs of South Paris; two daughters, Mrs. Ada Balentine of Bethel and Mrs. Annie Cotton, Mechanic Falls; two brothers I. H. Ellingwood and Joseph Ellingwood of North Paris.

Mrs. Cotton was a member of the West Paris grange and the North Paris United Baptist church.

In Rumford, Mrs. Nina Gibbs Cotton, 72. Funeral services will be held from her late home in North Paris at two p.m., June 20, EDT. Interment at West Paris cemetery.

Her memorial on Findagrave includes these pictures of the headstone for Nina & her first husband, George Gibbs.
Used by permission of photographer DJ Larson

Used by permission of photographer DJ Larson

Friday, June 28, 2013

Funny Friday - The Monkey Was Too Popular

I was searching GenealogyBank newspapers for articles about my first cousin 4 times removed, Freeman Yates. He was a temperance advocate who traveled the country speaking for the cause. Apparently his name was the same as the one adopted by an Italian organ grinder because I came across this snippet in the Kansas City Star from Sunday, May 15, 1910.

"The Monkey Was Too Popular"
"And an Organ Grinder Was Arrested for Obstructing Traffic"
"Freeman Yates, an Italian organ grinder with an Americanized name, was arrested yesterday afternoon at Eighth Street and Grand Avenue because the crowd that gathered to hear his music and watch his monkey interfered with traffic.
When he was searched at police headquarters the jailers found $13.85. Yates and the monkey were placed in the holdover until the money was counted and then released on a bond of $11."


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Imprisoned in the Tower of London

Tower of London

Edward Gove was an early inhabitant of New Hampshire. About 1655, he moved from Massachusetts to Hampton, N.H. There he married Hannah Partridge, not Hannah Titcomb as seen in some sources. Proof of her identity is established in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 146, p. 15. Edward and Hannah lived on their farm and raised a large family - thirteen children, although not all survived to adulthood.

In 1682, Gov. Cranfield became the third royal governor of New Hampshire. Two descriptions of Cranfield come from historians Charles Bell, who called him "a needy, arbitrary and unscrupulous man" and Joseph Dow, who described him as "a man as unprincipled and as greedy of gain as the King himself." He after repeatedly butting heads with the colony's eleven member assembly, he dissolved it completely. This prompted an uprising that is sometimes called Gove's Rebellion. It was really more like a drunken and disorderly evening than a rebellion. Led by a trumpeter, Gove and some like-minded local men armed with pistols and swords "raised a ruckus" and were quickly arrested and then released. They expected that to be the end of it. Gov. Cranfield seemed to have other ideas and had them re-arrested and put on trial for high treason. Two weeks later, at the trial, most of the men were sent home but Edward Gove was found guilty...and the sentence for high treason was death! And what a gruesome sentence it was!

The sentence from Judge Richard Waldern:
"You Edward Gove shall be drawn on a hedge to ye place of Execution and there you shall be hanged by ye neck, and while yet living be cut down and cast upon ye ground, and your bowels shall be taken out of your belly, and your privy members cut off and burnt while you are yet alive, your head shall be cut off, and your body divided into four parts, and your head and quarters shall be place where our Sovereigne Lord ye King pleaseth to appoint."

Gov. Cranfield quickly sent Gove off to England for the sentence to be carried out. Edward Gove spent three years in the Tower of London. In petitioning for her husband's release, Hannah Gove described her husband as prone to "a distemper of lunacy or some such like, which he have been subject to by times from his youth and yet is until now, though at times seemingly rational." Gove decided to go with the "everyone else was doing it, so I didn't think it was wrong" defense citing other disturbances he had witnessed in the past. It's kind of funny that this excuse has survived the test of time and is still popular today. Finally, the King was decided that Gove would be released and he returned to Hampton. I wonder what Hannah's life was like while he was gone and how it changed when he returned. Edward Gove died in 1691.

When I visited the Tower of London (which is really a complex with multiple buildings and grounds) with students in 2008, I had no idea that I had a relative who had been imprisoned there. Here are some pictures I took.

Traitor's Gate
Cages for the ravens kept at the Tower

Students outside the Tower
Edward & Hannah (Partridge) Gove
Joseph & Mary (Gove) Sanborn
Samuel & Mary (Sanborn) Prescott
Jeremiah & Mary (Hayes) Prescott
Elisha Prescott
Thomas & Hannah (Prescott) Edgecomb
Oliver Smith & Mary (Edgecomb) Philbrick
Benjamin & Jane (Matthews) Philbrick
Francis Llewellyn & Lizzie (Philbrick) Cotton
Ray Everett & Annie (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Dearborn, Clarkson. "Seabrook Sketches." The Granite Monthly 15 (1893): 335-41.Google Books. Web. 26 June 2013.
Gove's Rebellion of 1683
1981 Nashua Telegraph article in Google News Archive

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Surname Saturday - Bernard Capen

Bernard (or Barnard) Capen was a shoemaker who came to America in 1633 from Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England. He took the oath of a freeman on May 25, 1636. In some old records his names is written as Barnard and his surname is recorded as "Gapin." His stated age at his death on November 8, 1638 was 76 which would put his birth about 1562. He married Joan Purchase on May 31, 1596. She was the daughter of Oliver Purchase and one of four Purchase siblings who emigrated to the American colonies.
Photo courtesy of Don Blauvelt - posted at Findagrave

There is an article about the Barnard Capen house on the Dorchester Atheneaum site. It tells the history of the house which was restored in 1909 and seems to have been dismantled and moved twice. I couldn't find anything about the current status of that house. However, the parsonage house of Rev. Joseph Capen, son of John and grandson of Bernard, is located in Topsfield, Massachusetts and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Rev. Joseph was my 8th great-uncle.
Parson Capen House - photo from Wikipedia
Two of Bernard Capen's descendants are President Calvin Coolidge and President Ulysses S. Grant.
President Calvin Coolidge - photo from Wikipedia
He is my 8th cousin, twice removed
President Ulysses S. Grant
He is my 7th cousin, 4 times removed

  1. James was born about 1598 and is called a "scrivener" in his will. 
  2. Ruth was born on August 7, 1600 and there is no further record of her.
  3. Susanna was born on April 11, 1602 and married twice. On April 14, 1624, she married William Rockwell and on May 29, 1645 she became the second wife of Matthew Grant. 
  4. Dorothy was born about 1608 and she married Nicholas Upsall on January 17, 1630 at the Holy Trinity Church in Dorchester, Dorsetshire, England. 
  5. Elizabeth was born about 1610 and she married Thomas Swift on October 18, 1630 in the same church as Dorothy. 
  6. John was born January 12, 1612. He married twice. On October 20, 1637, he married Redegon Clap and on September 20, 1647, he married Mary Bass. In 1680, John served on the jury for the witchcraft trial of Elizabeth Morse of Newbury. She was found guilty but given a reprieve and released to her husband. She was not allowed to travel more than a few yards from her house unless accompanied by a minister. 
  7. Honor was born about 1616 and she married William Hannum. 
Line of Descent
John Capen m. Mary Bass
James Capen 1654-1718 m. Hannah Lawrence
James Capen born 1683 m. Elizabeth Call
James Capen 1709/10-1763 m. Sarah Pinson
Thomas Capen born 1739 m. Mary Wyman
Thomas Capen 1762-1808 m. Mary Abbott
Timothy Capen born 1793 m. Sarah K. Abbott
Edward Abbott Capen 1839-1930 m. Mary Jane Abbott - First cousins, once removed - See below
Fannie May Capen born 1878 m. Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Sister of Timothy Capen - Deborah Capen born 1796 m. William Ackley
Sarah Ackley born 1820 m. John Abbott
Mary Jane Abbott - same as above

The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III. (Online database: American, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2010), (Originally Published as: New England Historic Genealogical Society. Robert Charles Anderson, The Great Migration Begins: Immigrants to New England 1620-1633, Volumes I-III, 3 vols., 1995).
Dorchester Atheneum

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - My Dad

 An early Father's Day tribute to my dad! 
As a youngster
Being silly in the 1970s 
Plaid flannel is the go-to shirt in the winter
Working in the woods
Another shot the same day
Christmas - guessing about 1987

Monday, June 10, 2013

Genealogy & High School Students

Once again we are at the end of the school year and some of my students have chosen to research their ancestry as their final project. Each year, I get better at structuring the project for student success. The AP US exam was later this year than in the past and students did not have as much time to work on their projects but still achieved exciting results. Some highlights from this year include:

  • A girl who got so caught up in her findings that she exclaimed, "This is so much fun! I spent two hours last night because I got so caught up in researching." She found many documents including her great-grandmother's immigration record. Her great-grandmother arrived on the Mauritania from Germany. The student thought it was really cool that she found a picture of the ship. Then I told her it was a sister ship to the Lusitania - that we learned about when studying the events leading to the First World War. It was fun to see her connect her family to the history we studied during the year. Students are required to find a minimum of 10 records to document their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. 
  • A girl who knew her family heritage was Italian but had no idea who the immigrant ancestor was or when he arrived in the United States. I was able to help her locate her great-grandfather's immigration record and we also found she had a great-grandmother from Quebec - something she did not know. She found numerous records to show how her family moved around from Vermont to Massachusetts to Maine. I have encouraged, and most have included, maps to show places their family has lived over time. 
  • A boy who got a large packet of information from his grandmother. I love that this project opens the conversations between the generations. Many have never discussed the family with their grandparents. The project also includes a mandatory interview with a grandparent or if that is not possible, with someone who can share what they know about the life of a grandparent. 
Photos of people or of family heirlooms, gravestones, family homes are also highly encouraged. Most students haven't thought of including pictures of things in telling their family's story. They begin to realize that the things can help tell the story of the lives of their ancestors. 
Over the past few years, I've found success in encouraging students to go where the research takes them. Many times school-based family history projects are all about filling in the tree and finding pictures of the people in the tree. I allow my students to focus on one line or multiple lines. Many ask how many generations they need to find. I tell them I would rather have them do it carefully with good research and documentation even if they only get a few generations done. The flexibility to follow the evidence has made it a more fulfilling experience for them. They don't get stressed out about finding "enough" ancestors and focus on finding the stories and learning about the lives of the ancestors they can document. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Surname Saturday - William Yates

William Yeats/Yates was the immigrant ancestor of the Yates line in my ancestry. He moved to Maine from Portsmouth, NH. He is credited with founding the town of Greenwood in 1802. He settled on Patch Mountain where he built a rudimentary log cabin until a frame house was completed a few years later. He was a farmer and a Methodist preacher. Some sources have William coming to the U.S. from Scotland and others from England. His first residence in Maine was New Gloucester where he met and married his wife Martha Morgan. William and Martha had 13 children - 9 sons and 4 daughters. He always spelled his last name Yeats but his descendants all use Yates. 
From The Yates Book by Edgar Allan Poe Yates

Patch Mountain

Things were very different in those days. There were clear rules of right and wrong and none of this "kids will be kids" mentality or "my perfect little Johnny wouldn't do that." 

A biographical sketch of his grandson, Octavius K. Yates in the Biographical Review gives the following story as an example of the character of William Yates. One time while he was preaching in the local school house, some boys put burrs beneath his saddle causing his normally calm horse to rear and throw him to the ground. The horse ran home, leaving William to walk. The next Sunday he delivered his usual sermon. He had figured out the identity of the culprits, kept them after the service, and "administered a sound flogging; then took them into the meeting-house and prayed for them." 

Chris Dunham of the Maine Genealogy Network took the pictures of the graves of William and his wife, Martha in the Patch Mountain Cemetery in Greenwood, Maine. Notice the spelling of his name. 

William Yates & Martha Morgan
Moses Yates & Martha Whittle
Gilbert Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Yates & Eva Hayes
Linona Yates - my grandmother

Biogaphical Review: This Volume Contains Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Franklin and Oxford Counties Maine - Boston 1897. Accessed on March 7, 2012. 
The Yates Book

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Surname Saturday - Jasper Blake of Hampton, NH

Jasper Blake was a mariner and a fisherman. It is surmised that he came from the family owning land in Wimbotsham, Norfolk, England because there is a line of Jasper Blakes there. He appears in New Hampshire in 1647 when he is a witness to a deed for his relative, Timothy Dalton. It is possible he came with Timothy Dalton in 1637. Quite a few sources list Jasper's wife, Deborah, as the sister of Timothy Dalton but in NEHGR Vol. 154, pp. 259-289, the case is made for her true identity as Deborah Everard, niece of Timothy Dalton, daughter of Richard & Sarah (Dalton) Everard.

This is a very interesting immigrant ancestor for me because it appears that three of my main lines trace back to Jasper.

Children of Jasper Blake & Deborah Everard:
1. Timothy was born October 16, 1649 and married Naomi Sleeper on December 20, 1677. 
2. Deborah was born January 15, 1651/52 and married Eleazer Elkins after October 1671. 
3. Israel was mentioned in his father's will but no other records have been found. 
4. John was born October 31, 1656 and died March 29, 1716. He married Frances _____.
5. Sarah was born February 14, 1658/59 and died September 29, 1660. 
6. Sarah was born June 30, 1661 and married Alexander Magoon. 
7. Jasper was born November 16, 1663 and died December 19, 1678. 
8. Samuel was born June 6, 1666 and died before the coroner's inquest was filed on June 27, 1666.
9. Dorothy was born September 17, 1668 and died September 28, 1737. She married Nathaniel Locke. 
10. Philemon was born May 23, 1671 and married Sarah Dearborn on January 20, 1698. 
11. Maria was born on March 1, 1672/73.

Line 1:
Jasper & Deborah (Everard) Blake
John & Frances ( _ ) Blake
John & Mary (Dearborn) Blake
Benjamin & Molly (Connor) Blake
David & Hannah or Joanna (Messer) Blake
Micajah & Nancy (Ripley) Blake
Galen & Dolly (Moody) Blake
Charles Galen & Isabelle (Brown) Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton L. Blake - my grandfather

Line 2: - research on this line needs more sources to confirm 
Jasper & Deborah (Everard) Blake
Timothy & Naomi (Sleeper) Blake
Israel & Leah (Smith) Blake
Ebenezer & Deborah (Blake) Tucker
William & Hannah (Tucker) Rowe
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

Line 3: - research is very preliminary on this line and more sources are needed 
Jasper & Deborah (Everard) Blake
Timothy & Naomi (Sleeper) Blake
Oliver & Ruth (Blake) Smith
Moses & Mehitable (Smith) Lyford
Oliver Smith & Elizabeth (Johnson) Lyford
David & Nancy (Lyford) Philbrick
Oliver Smith & Mary (Edgecomb) Philbrick
Benjamin & Jane (Matthews) Philbrick
Francis Llewellyn & Lizzie (Philbrick) Cotton
Ray Everett & Annie Florilla (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother