Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Edward & Georgie (Yates) Haines

Edward Arthur Haines, son of George Leander & Grace (Swan) Haines, was born on September 28, 1911 and died May 11, 1977. 

Georgie A. (Yates) Haines, daughter of Estes Gilbert & Eva Delphinia (Hayes) Yates, was born on February 5, 1915 and died March 22, 1968. She was a sister to my grandmother. 

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. 

I don't remember Aunt "Becky" as was her nickname. Don't ask me to make sense of it but all my grandmother's siblings were given nicknames that have nothing to do with their birth names. For example, my grandmother, Linona Alice Yates, is called "Peggy" and her brother, Russell Frank Yates was "Joe." 

I do remember Uncle Ed because he lived not too far down the road from me while I was growing up and one of the milestones of independence was becoming old enough to walk or bike to his house and visit. I remember he made really good cookies. We also stopped in every Halloween and for a couple of years after I was too old to trick or treat, my mother insisted that I dress up and at least visit the family members who looked forward to having us stop by. Uncle Ed always had a special Halloween candy package for family.

Ed & Becky had five children. I only really knew one of them very well. That was their son, Gilbert. I went to school with his daughters, his wife worked in the school cafeteria, and for a brief period in my early adult years, Gilbert & his wife were my neighbors. In a small town, there were numerous occasions when we ended up at the same social gatherings. Gilbert had a lot of the same qualities I remember in Uncle Ed. They both loved to have fun and were kind and caring individuals. Two of the children of Ed & Becky are no longer alive - Elyse died in 2000 and Gilbert died in 2001. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - My Most Interesting Ancestor (Today)

On any given day, I would choose a different answer to the question, “Who is your most interesting ancestor?” Today, the most interesting ancestor I have is George Abbot (1615-1681) because I can trace my ancestry back to four of his thirteen children, John, Sarah, Benjamin, and Thomas. Part of what makes George Abbot interesting is the challenge of untangling the identical names of the successive generations. This is particularly difficult when they married cousins or descendants of another nearby Abbott family. These lines trace to my grandparents, Thomas Richard & Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter, making my grandparents distant cousins.

Surname Saturday - Ellingwood

What's in a name? Well, my Ellingwood immigrant ancestor is variously recorded as Ralph Elwood, Ellwood, Ellenwood and then his descendants have continued the variations with Ellinwoods and Ellingwoods. To continue the confusion his second wife is recorded as Ellen or Eleanor or even Helen...surname Lyn or Lynn. Ralph came to America in 1635 on the Truelove. His occupation is listed as planter. He was married twice - first to Elizabeth (last name unknown) - by whom he had at least one child, Josiah, who was baptized in Salem on May 26, 1644. No one has found a record of the death of his first wife or any further records for Josiah. The first child of Ralph and Eleanor (Lynn) was baptized on March 16, 1655/56 in Salem. Eleanor was almost thirty years younger than her husband. As you will see below, I have a double line of descent from this immigrant.

Line 1:
Ralph Ellingwood II was born on March 18, 1656/57 and married Martha Rowlandson. His first wife, Katherine, had their marriage annulled for "insufficiency." How embarrassing! Bill West wrote about Ralph's troubles - pointing out that Ralph and Martha had seven children so his problem was limited to his marriage with Katherine. 

Ebenezer Ellingwood married Sarah Tuck. He received an allotment of land because of his father's service in King Philip's War and the moved to Souhegan West, later called Amherst, New Hampshire. Three of his sons, James, Jedidiah, and Joseph, served in the Revolutionary War. 

Joseph Ellingwood married Sarah Herrick (Bill West has been documenting the estate settlement of Joseph in a series of blog posts that started here.)

John Ellingwood married Zerviah Abbott. They lived in Bethel, Maine, my hometown. (Bill West has been transcribing his estate in a series of posts that started here.) His occupation is listed as shoemaker. He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Bethel, Maine - Findagrave memorial.

John Ellingwood, Jr. married Rachel Barrows. (Rachel's ancestors also came on the Truelove) He is buried in the Riverside Cemetery in Bethel, Maine - Findagrave memorial.

Asa's Signature from Pension File
Florilla's Signature from Pension File

Asa Freeman Ellingwood married Florilla Dunham. Asa served in the Civil War and was injured in the First Battle of Bull Run. His pension file makes very interesting reading! After he was injured he enlisted in the Veterans Reserve Corp and served as a cook. Bill West did a great job transcribing the long pension file. They are buried in the Wayside Cemetery in West Paris, Maine - Findagrave memorial.
Signature from Asa's Pension File

Nina King Ellingwood - my 2nd Great-grandmother married George Albert Gibbs.
Grave of George & Nina (Ellingwood) Gibbs - photo used by permission of DJ Larson

Annie Florilla Gibbs married Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother 

Line 2
Mary Ellingwood was born on April 3, 1664 and married John Smith. 
Abigail Smith married Ebenezer Dunham
John Dunham married Mary Thomas
James Dunham married Cynthia Packard
James Dunham married Mary "Sally"Houghton
Florilla Dunham - see above

The descendants of Asa Freeman & Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood have been holding family reunions since the early 1900s. I remember attending some of these as a child. Recently, I reconnected with the reunion organizers and hosts through a Facebook page. Although it is primarily focused on the descendants of Asa Freeman Ellingwood, anyone who is related to the Ellingwoods (and its various spellings) is welcome to join and participate in the discussions. The reunion is still held every year on the second Saturday in August - rain or shine. If you have Ellingwood connections, we hope you join the page and try to attend the reunion. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates & son, Russell

Estes Gilbert Yates, son of Gilbert William & Laura (Emmons) Yates, was born on March 11, 1884 and died April 27, 1977. 

Eva Delphinia (Hayes) Yates, daughter of George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes, was born on September 27, 1897 and died September 19, 1982. 

Russell Frank Yates, son of Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates, was born on February 1, 1922 and died July 8, 2007. 

They are all buried in the same plot 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. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - One Piece of Advice

I was recently contacted by a former student and asked for advice about how to start researching his family history. He had one line that his grandmother had researched back for thirteen generations but many other lines with brick walls. He is using Ancestry.com. I gave him my abbreviated version to get him started and I know there are many, many resources out there that describe the process but I was wondering this...

  1. What was the biggest mistake you made when you started? 
  2. What is one thing you wish someone told you when you were starting out? 
  3. What is your most helpful resource today? 
  4. What is one piece of advice that helps you keep your enthusiasm going when you feel lost and frustrated? 

My answers - if you are willing to contribute to a follow-up post, please leave your answers in the comments and if you blog about your genealogy, leave me a link so I can include it in the future post. 

  1. Biggest mistake - not keeping track of/documenting sources of information
  2. I wish I knew - how poorly documented and inaccurate many of the online family trees are
  3. Most helpful resource - probably Dropbox - it's where I save images of the documents I find online to source my family tree. It's important to source but it's taken awhile to find a way to keep electronic images so I can easily go back to them. I create a surname folder and then subfolders for each family group and file census records, relevant images from NEHGS etc. in the appropriate folder. A very close second is the online geneabloggers community. I encouraged him to start a blog. 
  4. One piece of advice - keep two trees. One that is carefully documented and one that is undocumented or partially documented to be used a clues for future research. When one line gets you down, switch to another so you get some success to keep you motivated. 

I don't believe that genealogy is the realm of the retired. I know plenty of young people like this 21 year old who are very interested and excited by exploring their ancestry. It's a matter of finding the time in their busy schedules and encouragement. Like most of us, they will make rookie mistakes but they will get better with practice. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Genealogy Fun

The mission, according to Randy Seaver, at Genea-Musings is to find out several things about the date one's father was born and share online. Now, he titled his post Saturday Night Genealogy Fun but I'm a little behind due to limited internet access at the camp so mine will be Sunday Afternoon Genealogy Fun.

1)  What day of the week was your Father born? Tell us how you found out.
April 27, 1939 was a Thursday. My father was born in Berlin, N.H. but lived in Bethel, Maine.

2) What has happened in recorded history on your Father's birth date (day and month)? Tell us how you found out, and list five events.

1805 - U.S. Marines attack the shores of Tripoli   

1865 - The steamboat, "Sultana", explodes on the Mississippi River, killing up to 1, 547. Many of those onboard were Union POWs on their way home
1937 - The U.S. Social Security system makes its first benefit payment
1967 - Boxer Rocky Marciano retires as undefeated champion
1994 - Richard Nixon is buried

3)  What famous people have been born on your Father's birth date?  Tell us how you found out, and list five of them.
1791 - Samuel Morse - Inventor of the telegraph
1822 - Ulysses S. Grant - Civil War general and U.S. President
1922 - Jack Klugman - actor
1948 - Frank William Abignale, Jr. - con artist turned security consultant, played by Matt Damon in the film, Catch Me If You Can
1951 - Ace Frehley - of the rock band, KISS

4)  Put your responses in your own blog post, in a comment on this blog post, or in a status or comment on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Russell E. Yates - Remembering my Uncle "Joe"

Sun Journal - Jul 10, 2007
Russell F. Yates - pictured with my grandmother, his sister, Linona "Peggy" Yates Blake

Norway - Russell F. "Joe" Yates, 85, of South Paris, died July 8, at Stephens Memorial Hospital, where he had been a patient for two days. 

He was born in Millettville on Feb. 1, 1922, the son of Eva (Hayes) and Estes G. Yates. He graduated from Woodstock High School in 1941. During his high school years, he became a part of every prize speaking contest and won a few. He later became known for the varied monologues he would recite, all dressed up for the occasion, be it a farmer or a friendly neighbor lady come to comfort a poor dying soul. These provided much fun and laughter for the audiences, especially on one occasion when the bed broke while he was comforting the poor soul. 

After graduating from high school, he went to work on the farm for Leslie Estes in South Paris. He contracted undulant fever from the cattle (very similar to rheumatic fever) and was very ill for a period of time. This was the beginning of his heart problems that troubled him in varying degrees for the rest of his life. 

He worked at Bryant's IGA in Bethel for several years, Hanover Dowel Co., Cozy Inn Nursing Home cooking. During the late 1940s and 1950s he worked testing milk throughout the state. He worked cooking or baking in Florida, the Balsams, the Waumbec and in a restaurant owned and operated by his sister Linona "Peggy" and her husband Clayton. He went to Ohio and received instruction in meat cutting. 

He joined the Grange when he was 14 years old and was still an active member of Franklin Grange No. 124 in Bryant Pond and Oxford Pomona Grange No. 2. 

He is survived by two sisters Linona "Peggy" Blake and Laura Hutchins of East Andover; as well as many nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by three brothers, Lawrence, Carroll "Tom" and Bryce Yates; two sisters, Georgie "Becky" Haines and Viva Whitman; and his parents.