Saturday, December 6, 2014

52 Ancestors #51 - Thomas Bull & the Pequot War

Thomas Bull came from England on the Hopewell and settled in Hartford, Connecticut with the followers of Thomas Hooker. He spent much of his time as a soldier. In the Pequot War of 1637, his exploits are found among the notes of Governor John Winthrop. 

Winthrop wrote:
Bull of Hartford Church filled with faith in entering the Pequot fort, he put off his arms, he was attacked by 3: Indians he laid hold of one of their arrows &c. & cut the other 2: bowstrings, & cleft one of their heads, & broke his sword, & by that occasion rescued a wounded man out of the fire, & used his sword, his piece of hard cheese received an arrow he killed 22.

In 1639, Thomas Bull testified in the colonial courts "that a musket with 2 letters I W was taken up at Pequannocke in pursuit of the Pequatts which was conceived to be Jno. Woods which was killed at the river's mouth." 

Author of this image is unknown - Source: Wikipedia

The Pequot War was the first major conflict with the Native Americans in New England. One of the most brutal aspects was the massacre of 400-700 men, women and children in the Pequot fortification at Mystic, Connecticut. The attack was over quickly and the death toll so high, in part, because the colonists set fire to the village. A few years ago a documentary was made about the conflict. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find a place to view this film but the trailer makes it look pretty amazing. The website for that film has this to say:

"It is a moonlit pre-dawn in May 1637. English Puritans from Massachusetts Bay Colony and Connecticut Colony, with Mohegan and Narragansett allies, surround a fortified Pequot village at a place called Missituck (Mystic). In the village, the Pequots sleep. Suddenly, a dog barks. The awakened Pequots shout Owanux! Owanux! (Englishmen! Englishmen!) and mount a valiant defense. But within an hour, the village is burned and 400-700 men, women, and children are killed.

Captain John Underhill, one of the English commanders, documents the event in his journal, Newes from America :

Down fell men, women, and children. Those that 'scaped us, fell into the hands of the Indians that were in the rear of us. Not above five of them 'scaped out of our hands. Our Indians came us and greatly admired the manner of Englishmen's fight, but cried "Mach it, mach it!" - that is, "It is naught, it is naught, because it is too furious, and slays too many men." Great and doleful was the bloody sight to the view of young soldiers that never had been in war, to see so many souls lie gasping on the ground, so thick, in some places, that you could hardly pass along.

The massacre at Mystic is over in less than an hour. The battle cuts the heart from the Pequot people and scatters them across what is now southern New England, Long Island, and Upstate New York. Over the next few months, remaining resistors are either tracked down and killed or enslaved. The name "Pequot" is outlawed by the English. The Puritan justification for the action is simply stated by Captain Underhill:

It may be demanded, Why should you be so furious? Should not Christians have more mercy and compassion? Sometimes the Scripture declareth women and children must perish with their parents. Sometimes the case alters, but we will not dispute it now. We had sufficient light from the word of God for our proceedings."

Thomas Bull was married to a woman named Susanna. She died at Hartford on August 12, 1680. Thomas died between April 20 and October 24, 1684. 

The eight children of Thomas & Susanna Bull were:

  1. Mary, born about 1639, no further record.
  2. Joseph, born about 1641, married first about 1671 Sarah Manning and married second Hannah Humphrey about 1697. 
  3. Ruth, born about 1643, married Andrew Bordman on October 15, 1669. 
  4. Susanah, born about 1645, married Thomas Bunce. 
  5. Thomas, born about 1647, married first Esther Cowles on April 29, 1669 in Farmington, CT and married second Mary (Cheever) Lewis on January 13, 1692 in Farmington, CT. 
  6. Jonathan, baptized March 25, 1649, married Sarah Whiting on March 19, 1684/5. 
  7. David, baptized February 9, 1650/1, married Hannah Chapman on December 27, 1677 in Saybrook, CT. 
  8. Abigail, born about 1653, married in Salem, MA, Rev. Thomas Barnard on April 28, 1696. 
My line is:
Thomas Bull
Joseph Bull
Nathaniel Bull
Tabitha Bull
Samuel Ackley
William Ackley
Sarah Ackley
Mary Jane Abbott
Fannie May Capen
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

This week was interesting for me. Between the revision of the DNA matches on and the deep discount that allowed me to place my DNA on Family Tree DNA, I am finally getting matches that are meaningful. This week I connected with a man who grew up on Maine but now lives in Florida. He is also a descendant of Thomas Bull. We share the line through Samuel Ackley, making us 5th cousins, once removed. We discovered some other common ancestors too. 

Additional Source:
Great Migration 1634-1635, A-B (online database. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2008.)

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Celebrating St. Andrew's Day

St. Andrew is the Patron Saint of Scotland. St and it is his flag that symbolizes Scotland. St. Andrew's Day is celebrated on November 30th. St. Andrew is also the patron saint of Romania, Greece, and Russia, probably because it is believed that he preached around the shores of the Black Sea. 

  • Who was St. Andrew? He was a fisherman, one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus, and a brother of St. Peter (founder of the Church). Scottish people used this connection to appeal to the Pope for protection from the English kings who sought to conquer them. This Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320 and asserted Scotland's independence from England. 
  • Why St. Andrew? Legend is that a Greek monk had a vision to safeguard some relics of St. Andrew and he took them as far away as he could, to the coast of Fife. This is where the town of St. Andrews is located. Also in 832 AD the Picts were battling the Angles of Northumbria and on the day of the battle a Saltire, an x-shaped cross, appeared in the sky above the battlefield and the Picts were victorious. 
  • Where did the St. Andrew's Cross come from? It is believed that St. Andrew died on an X-shaped cross at Patras in Greece. 
  • St. Andrew is the patron saint of fishmongers, old maids, women wishing to become mothers, spinsters, singers, sore throats, and gout. 
Some Scottish ancestors

John Bean or MacBean
William Yates
John Hayes

Pictures from my visit to the ruins of St. Andrew's Cathedral in St. Andrews, Scotland.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

52 Ancestors #50 - Conflict Among Ancestors

William Longley is my mother's 10th great-grandfather. He seems to have problems with his neighbors, the related families of Haven and Newhall. Richard Haven and his wife, Susanna (Newhall) Haven are my father's 8th great-grandparents. Susanna's husband and brothers, Thomas, Jr., and John, share their stories about altercations with William Longley in the excerpts below from The Essex Genealogist, Vol. 15. 

First Richard Haven threatened William Longley with a cudgel and accused Longley of harming his hogs. After grabbing his beard and threatening to spill his blood, Haven mocked Longley's cries and said he was foaming at the mouth. 

"The Longley and Haven families lived next to each other and had frequent altercations. In February of 1662 William Longley sued Richard Haven for coming on his land...and abusing him in words and deeds. Mary Longley, aged about 19 years, deposed: "Last summer Richard Haven came to me and asked where my father was; and I perceived that he was angry by his countenance and by his carriage. I told him I would not tell him where he was, and said Haven said I will find him and went over the rails into our lot. I saw him break off a great cudgel and go at a great pace up the lot. Fearing he would do my father some mischief, I followed him, and then I met Daniel Mathews and requested him to go with me til we came near to my father sowing turnip seed in his own lot. Haven said to my father why dids't thou lame my hogs,' and I saw Haven take my father by the beard and said 'I could find in my heart to spill thy heart blood upon the ground thou rogue thou.' My father answered...'the Lord will avenge my wrongs one day,' and the said Haven said 'Hark how he cries aloud to his God, and foames at the mouth.'"

About a year later, William Longley accused Thomas Newhall, Jr. of striking Longley's wife. Thomas Newhall, Jr., was the brother-in-law of Richard Haven. There appears to be enough blame on both sides as Longley's daughters and wife attacked Newhall with stones and a broad axe. The jury appears to have believed Longley's account that Longley's wife was struck with the pole after a tussle between the Longley women and the Newhall men. 

"In March of 1663, William Longley sued Thomas Newhall, Jr. for striking his (Longley's) wife. Thomas had been asked to hold a pole in running the boundary line between the property of William Longley and John Newhall (Thomas's brother). Longley's two daughters were said to have thrown stones at him and one of the daughters struck him with a pole, while Longley's wife struck at him with a broad axe. If he had not slipped he would have been wounded if not killed. The adverse testimony set forth that Newhall was holding one end of a long pole, with Longley's wife and daughters the other end, "and the women were too hard for the man in pulling so much that the said Newhall called his brother John and they two together pulled the pole from the said women, and then Thomas Newhall struck Longley's wife with the pole. A verdict against Newhall was brought in."

William Longley - 11th great-grandfather
Hannah Longley
Thomas Tarbell
Elizabeth Tarbell
Sybil Willard
Samuel Haskell
Martha Haskell
Mary "Sally" Houghton
Florilla Dunham
Nina King Ellingwood
Annie Florilla Gibbs
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother - Dad's side

Richard Haven - 9th great-grandfather
Mary Haven
Nathaniel Tarbox
Benjamin Tarbox
Jedidiah Tarbox (female)
Patience Smith
Sarah Shepard
Laura E. Emmons
Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother - Mom's side

Thomas Newhall, Jr. - brother of my 9th great-grandmother, Susanna Newhall. Susanna Newhall was married to Richard Haven (above). 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Mayflower Lines (Maybe)

I will begin this post with a major caveat; I have not gone through the process to prove my connection to these lines with the Mayflower Society in an official way. Furthermore, some lines are still in the preliminary research stages when new evidence could easily break the connection I believe is present. It is interesting that both of my grandmothers have significantly more Mayflower ancestors than my grandfathers.

Maternal Lines: Yates & Blake

John Alden - Yates - Elizabeth Alden - Mary Pabodie - Mercy Southworth - Alice Soule -Diman Perry - Abigail Perry - Betsy Judkins - Apphia Delphinia Cole - George Hayes - Eva Delphinia Hayes - Linona Alice Yates

William Mullins - Yates - Priscilla Mullins - Elizabeth Alden (See Above)

George Soule - Yates - John Soule - Moses Soule - Alice Soule (See above)

Edward Doty - Yates - Mary Doty - Mary Churchill - Mary Stevens - Eleazer Cole - Calvin Cole - Calvin Cole - Apphia Delphina Cole - George Hayes - Eva Delphinia Hayes - Linona Alice Yates

William Bradford - Blake - William Bradford - Hannah Bradford - Hezekiah Ripley - Joshua Ripley - Joshua Ripley - Nancy Ripley - Galen Blake - Charles G. Blake - Harriet Blake - Clayton L. Blake 

Paternal Lines: Cotton & Carter

Isaac Allerton - Cotton - Remember Allerton - Abigail Maverick - Martha Ward - Martha Tuthill (Tuttle) - Martha Haskell - Ruth Safford - Martha Haskell - Mary "Sally" Houghton - Florilla Dunham - Nina K. Ellingwood - Annie Florilla Gibbs - Fern Lyndell Cotton 

Stephen Hopkins - Cotton - Constance Hopkins - Elizabeth Snow - Eleazer Rogers - Experience Rogers - Deborah Totman - Asa Alden Barrows - Rachel Barrows - Asa Freeman Ellingwood - Nina K. Ellingwood (See Above) 

Thomas Rogers - Cotton - Joseph Rogers - Thomas Rogers - Eleazer Rogers (See Above) 

Richard Warren - Cotton - Ann Warren - Hannah Little - Mary Tilden - John Thomas - Mary Thomas - James Dunham - James Dunham - Florilla Dunham (See Above) 

James Chilton - Cotton - Isabella Chilton - Sarah Chandler - Moses Simmons (Simonson) - Moses Simmons - Patience Simmons - Moses Barrows - Deborah Totman (See Above) 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Harriet Blake

Harriett May Blake was the daughter of Charles Galen and Isabelle (Brown) Blake. She was born on November 24, 1886 and died on October 9, 1957. She never married but is the mother of my grandfather, Clayton Leonard Blake. She is buried with her parents and brothers in the East Bethel Cemetery. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

52 Ancestors #49 - Even The Drunkards Thank Us

Rev. Freeman Yates was my first cousin, 4 times removed. He was the son of William & Dorcas (Hall) Yates, and the grandson of William & Martha (Morgan) Yates, my fourth great-grandparents. The 19th century featured many reform movements but one of the strongest and longest lasting was the temperance movement, a precursor to the era of Prohibition of the 1920s. Maine was the first state to ban alcohol thanks to temperance reformer, Neal Dow. While researching my Yates ancestors I came upon the following article about a speech that Freeman Yates gave on the subject. 

Wisconsin Free Democrat (Milwaukee, WI), Wednesday, January 28, 1952, Vol. 8, Issue 8, Page 2. The Maine Liquor Law – No. 5 - Accessed on GenealogyBank, June 19, 2013

Remarks from the National Temperance Convention held at Saratoga Springs on the 20th of August, 1851. The Rev. Freeman Yates, editor of the Gardiner Fountain, spoke as follows:
“Under the old law, we could not get evidence. Men who drank would perjure themselves. The whole system of grog-selling was one of deceit and fraud. We formed a law to meet the enemy in every quarter. Mr. Dow received suggestions in his work from all parts of the State. But our Governor vetoed the bill on its first passage. The veto was his winding-sheet. This year it was passed by a two-third vote, and Governor Hubbard gave it his assent. I will show you its operation in Augusta, which has been called the great rum-hole of the State. (Here Mr. Yates read an extract from the Augusta Age which declared that every hotel and liquor shop had voluntarily cleared itself of the forbidden article.) In Bangor, said Mr. Yates, they have met with a most serious difficulty in carrying out the law. The director of the almshouse has usually employed sixty men, the victims of strong drink, to get in the hay. This year, these have been so scarce that he had to hire a set of sober men, at the city’s charge, or not have the hay gathered. (He then read from a Bath paper to show the operation of the law there.)…We hear nothing in Maine now, for mere moral suasion. All good men are for protection by law. Even the drunkards are with us; and they thank us, for removing the temptation, and that they now live and die sober men.”

I'm not convinced that the drunkards were thankful for removing the temptation. It also makes me chuckle that the almshouse now had to find sober men to get in the hay because drunk men were so scarce. 
Thank Goodness for the Maine Law!
William & Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses & Martha (Whittle) Yates - brother of William Yates, Jr. - father of Freeman
Gilbert W. & Laura (Emmons) Yates
Estes G. & Eva D. (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, November 15, 2014

52 Ancestors #48 - The Reluctant Husband

Thomas Herrick was the oldest son of Henry & Editha (Laskin) Herrick and the older brother of my 9th great-grandfather, Zachariah Herrick. He seems to have been the black sheep of the family. He was left a legacy in his father's will but would only receive it if he met the stated conditions. He was left out of his brother Benjamin's will, although all the other Herrick siblings received a portion of the estate. 

So why was Thomas ostracized by his family? It seems his father wanted him to "not live his life as a single man." His father died in 1670 when Thomas was about 35 years old. Several of his younger brothers were already married - Zachariah at age 18, Ephraim at age 23, Henry at age 23, Joseph at age 20, and only brothers John, age 20, and Benjamin, age 14, were also unmarried when their father died. 

What did Thomas stand to lose by not marrying? The will states, "Also I give unto my soon Thomas all my wearing appaearell except my best great coat & that 20 acres of land where his house standeth, with ten pounds to be payed to my soon John wn my executor seethe need to supply his wants, And if in case he live and dye a single pson, the lands shall remain to my sons Ephraim & Joseph, equally devided & the ten pounds to my son Beanjamin if not make use of to supply him." 
At some point Thomas did marry but I have not found a record of the date. There is a description of a divorce petition in the Essex Quarter Court records dated November 26, 1673. It seems to imply that the marriage had not been a long one. 

Divorce of Thomas & Hannah (Ordway) Herrick:
Whereas Hannah, the reputed wife of Thomas Herrick, at the last Ipswich court, preferred an account against said Thomas, accusing him of impotency, after some deliberation and testimony, court adjudged said marriage between said Thomas Herrick and Hannah Ordaway null and void. She was given her liberty as if such pretended marriage had never been, and he was to return to said Hannah as much as he had received of her, or of her father or other friends in way of marriage portion; she was to make no further claim to his estate. [EQC 5:252).

I do not know if this "marriage" was enough for Thomas to gain his inheritance or not. 

My Herrick line is:
Henry Herrick & Editha Laskin
Zachariah Herrick & Mary Dodge
Sarah Herrick & Samuel Morgan
Luke Morgan & Ruth Stone
Luke Morgan & Martha Pulcifer
Samuel Morgan & Judith Dennen
Martha Morgan & William Yates
Moses Yates & Martha Whittle
Gilbert Yates & Laura Emmons
Estes Yates & Eva Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

2014 Veterans Among My Ancestors

I have more that I haven't written about yet but here are some of my ancestors who served our country. A heartfelt thank you to all who have served our country! 

Francis Ackley - Boston Tea Party Participant

Dominicus Smith - Revolutionary War - Crossed the Delaware with Gen. George Washington

Asa Alden Barrows - Revolutionary War - Responded to alarm at Lexington and Concord

Samuel Ackley - Revolutionary War Artillery

Dr. James Freeland - Revolutionary War Surgeon

Enoch Spurr - Revolutionary War - Discharged by General Henry Knox

Elisha Houghton - Revolutionary War - Was at Bunker Hill

Uriah Thayer - Revolutionary War Minuteman

Oliver Philbrick - Aroostook War

Asa Freeman Ellingwood - Civil War - Injured at First Battle of Bull Run But Returned to Serve

Simeon Brown - Civil War - Died in Louisiana

John H. Cotton - Civil War - Lost an Arm at the Battle of the Wilderness

Octavius Yates - Civil War - Witnessed Lincoln's Assassination

Julia F. Carter - World War I - Worked for Red Cross in France & Germany

Carroll Estes Yates - My great-uncle - World War II

Rebecca Williamson Carter Bailey - WAVE in World War II

Saturday, November 8, 2014

52 Ancestors #47 - Squire of the Little Village

Elias Mellen Carter was born on September 11, 1811 and was my third great-grandfather. He was the youngest son of Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter. He was reportedly not happy to be the one chosen to take over the farm but he did it because that it needed to be done. He married Irish immigrant, Rebecca Williamson and they had eleven children. I have written about their family before a few times and their lives were certainly not easy (see the links below). 
Home of 7 generations of Carters, including Elias Mellen Carter
This time I will focus on the sketch of Elias Mellen Carter in William B. Lapham's History of Bethel. The author recalls that Elias always lived at the farm in Middle Intervale and was the "squire" of the little village and recognized as its best man. The sketch professes that he was a man of "sound judgement and unwavering integrity" and a man possessing "candor, impartiality, and legal acumen." Although he was a farmer, he was very involved in public affairs. He was a town clerk, a selectman, a Representative to the state legislature, a County Commissioner, and a long-time Justice of the Peace. He is listed in town records as having performed numerous marriage ceremonies. The sketch ends with the author noting that Elias "was exceedingly popular with all classes." Elias M. Carter died on November 17, 1880. 
Signature: Your Brother, E, M, Carter ~ 

We Consider Her Very Dangerous
Thanksgiving in Paris
Letters of Elias M. Carter
Close Call - a fire in the home
Tragedy Strikes - The loss of 5 daughters to diphtheria

Elias Mellen & Rebecca (Williamson) Carter
Augustus Mellen & Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen & Fanny May (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Distraught Father Sues After Two-Year Old Daughter Dies in a Pit - 52 Ancestors #46

Elizabeth Newhall was my 1st cousin, 10 times, removed. I descend from her father's sister, Susanna (Newhall) Haven. She died when she was just two years old when she fell into a pit and drowned. Her three older brothers were Thomas Newhall (the 3rd so-named, age 12), John Newhall (age 10), and Joseph Newhall (age 7). It is a bit unclear whether they are three sons who used the pit to keep alewives for fishing or if it was her father and his two brothers, Francis and John, sons of her grandfather, Thomas Newhall, the immigrant. There were so many dangers of life in colonial times and losing a young girl to an accident seems especially tragic. 

Daughter of Thomas Newhall, Jr. 
The death by drowning of Thomas Newhall's daughter Elizabeth in November of 1665 was a tragedy that resulted in litigation. The distraught father, Thomas Newhall, brought suit against George Keaser "for damage he sustained by his digging a pit to the loss of his child." The little girl, just two years old, had been out of her mother's sight for half an hour or more, when she was found by the wife of Robert Potter and the wife of John Newhall, floating on the water of a pit near her home, dead. The pit had originally been dug by George Keaser as a tan vat, and Newhall claimed he had left it open. Testimony, however, showed that the pit had been drained by the Keasers, and had been reopened and filled with water (to keep alewives for fishing) by the three sons of Thomas Newhall, and the verdict was for the defendant. ~ The Essex Genealogist, 1995, Vol. 15, p. 42

Thomas & Mary Newhall were in Lynn, Massachusetts by 1638. They were the parents of Francis, Susanna, Thomas, John, and Mary. Thomas Newhall, Jr. was the father of Elizabeth. 

Susanna Newhall married Richard Haven before 1645. Susanna was the aunt of Elizabeth Newhall. 

Mary Haven, daughter of Richard & Susanna (Newhall) Haven, married John Tarbox. 

Nathaniel Tarbox
Benjamin Tarbox
Jedidiah Tarbox (female) 
Patience Smith
David Shepard
Sarah Shepard
Laura E. Emmons
Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, November 1, 2014

52 Ancestors #45 - The Interesting Life of Abishag Walton

Abishag Walton must have married mariner Robert Taprill between 1659 and 1663. In 1672 the Taprills were living in a house in Boston that belonged to Mr. William Waldron. The house was purchased by Mr. Waldron's brother, Alexander and when Alexander Waldron died in 1676, he willed the house, land and two gold rings to Mrs. Taprill. The house and land was to revert back to William Waldron after the death of Abishag Taprill. 

The name Abishag comes from the Bible where Abishag was a young woman who tends to King David in his old age. Another site describes her role as "a bed companion to David in the hope that her fresh beauty might induce some warmth in the old man." 

Abishag seems to have been the primary support for her family and her husband, Robert, was often at sea and contributed very little, it at all, to the family's support. One time Abishag even had to borrow money to keep Robert out of jail. 

Eventually she moved back to Great Island where her father built a home and a shop for her. Robert Taprill died in November 1678 while on a voyage on the "Providence." Unfortunately, Abishag died in January 1679 and it's possible she hadn't even received word of her husband's death at that point. Before he died he told some of his crew that he hoped his wife would find a better husband and that she had maintained and clothed him. Alice's father, George Walton, took care of her children until he did in 1685. 

Children of Robert & Abishag (Walton) Taprill:
  1. Alice appears in her grandfather's will and in the local records in 1685 when she was suspected of having had an illegitimate child. 
  2. Priscilla appears in her grandfather's will and married Francis Caswell and died before 1714 when her husband married again. 
  3. Grace appears in her grandfather's will and inherited her mother's house on Great Island. She was presented for having an illegitimate child in 1700. She fled the jurisdiction of the court and when she returned a year later, she named John Tomson of Kittery as the child's father and was fined £2:10. She later married Israel Hoyt. 

Robert & Abishag (Walton) Taprill - 10th great-grandparents
Israel & Grace (Taprill) Hoyt
Sampson & Dorothy (Hoyt) Babb
John & Alice (Babb) Waterhouse
Richard & Lydia (Waterhouse) Garland
Isaac & Alice (Garland) Hayes
Richard & Rebecca (Greenwood) Hayes
Sydney & Apphia (Cole) Hayes
George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Friday, October 31, 2014

Billy Boy - Traditional Folk Song

In honor of my grandmother, Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter, I submit this for Bill West's Sixth Annual Great Genealogy Poetry Challenge.  I can still hear her singing this song when I read the lyrics and see the smile on her face and the twinkle in her eye. She married young, at fifteen, and was a wonderful cook so I think this song spoke to her. She loved little children and her eyes twinkled most when she was with them. Here she is with my son, Josh. 

I found a folk singer, Ed McCurdy, with his rendition on Youtube for those who don't know the tune. 

Oh, where have you been,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Oh, where have you been, Charming Billy?
I have been to seek a wife,
She's the joy of my life,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Did she ask you to come in,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Did she ask you to come in, Charming Billy?
Yes, she asked me to come in,
There's a dimple in her chin.
She's a young thingAnd cannot leave her mother.

Can she make a cherry pie,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
Can she make a cherry pie, Charming Billy?
She can make a cherry pie,
Quick as a cat can wink an eye,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

How old is she,

Billy Boy, Billy Boy?
How old is she, Charming Billy?
Three times six and four times seven,
Twenty-eight and eleven,
She's a young thing
And cannot leave her mother.

Fern Lyndell Cotton was born March 22, 1922 and died October 31, 2002. She is greatly missed by her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Disorderly and Dangerous Practice

At the Essex Quarterly Court in 1672, the following edict was issued: Information and complaint being made to this court of a disorderly and dangerous practice of running horses near to houses and taverns to the hazard of themselves, children, and other persons, contrary to the rules of modesty and sobriety, also of an uncomely, offensive and rude manner of riding very fast to and from meetings on the Lord's day and other public church meetings, it was therefore ordered and declared that no person within this county under penalty of 40s. for every such offence and whosoever shall offend in riding or running their horses fast to and from the meetings shall forfeit 20s., unless it be upon some extraordinary occasion or necessity. This order was to remain in force until the General Court take further order concerning the same, and was to be published at the courts of Ipswich and Salem and a copy set upon the meeting houses of said towns. 

I have a number of relatives living in Ipswich and Salem at this time. I'd love to know if any of them were racing to and from the meetings. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

52 Ancestors #44 - Butcher Pirate and Ghost or Respected Fisherman

The Isle of Shoals is a group of very small islands between Maine and New Hampshire. It is rumored that they were a hangout of pirates including the infamous Blackbeard. During this time southern New Hampshire and Maine were under the control of Massachusetts Bay colony. Appledore (formerly known as Hog Island) is the largest of the islands that make up Isle of Shoals. It is here that the ghost of Philip Babb was said to have haunted. Here is the legend of my alleged pirate ancestor. 

Philip Babb is "supposed to have been so desperately wicked when alive, that there is no rest for him in his grave. His dress is coarse, a striped butcher's frock, with a leather belt, to which is attached a sheath containing a ghostly knife, sharp and glittering, which is his delight to brandish in the face of terrified humanity." ~ Celia Thaxter, local historian

Philip Babb made his fortune from dunfish, cod that has been thinly sliced, salted, and dried. His house was on the south side of the island, near a cove. It is generally agreed upon by historians that he and his friend, Ambrose Gibbons (another ancestor) dug a large pit. Legend has it that it is where he found a treasure chest but it was too heavy to lift. "Smoke came from its lid when they tried to beak the lock." ~ Oscar Laighton, local historian. 

Some even name Philip Babb as the pirate in the legend of Ocean-Born Mary. Heather Wilkinson Rojo has written two excellent posts about the true story of Ocean-Born Mary and her haunted house (the one she didn't live in...but hey, who cares about the truth when there's money to be made). See links below for Heather's posts. 

On the other hand, I found these sources...
Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire says:
Philip Babb took the oath of allegiance to the Massachusetts government on November 16, 1652 and served as constable for Isle of Shoals (except for Starr Island) also in 1652. He was one of the commissioners for settling minor cases. He died on April 24, 1671 and his wife died not long after his death. 

This hardly makes him sound like a notorious criminal. 

Genealogical Dictionary of Maine & New Hampshire
Babb, Philip, prominent fishing master at Isles of Shoals (Hog) from 1652 or earlier until his death. Local magistrate. In 1668 Roger Kelly was bonded for abusive carriages toward Mr. Babb and his wife; in 1671 Lawrence Carpenter for cruel usage of Mary Babb's servant. 

And of his son
Babb, Sampson (2), Portsmouth. Lists 334a, 335a. 339. Will 1736-1739. Perh. m. 3 wives: 1st "Elizabeth," in list of church [p.72] members bef. 1708, likelier the minister's error for Sarah (wife of (2); Sarah, named as mother of Esther; Grace, named as mother of Benjamin and in will, prob. Grace (Taprill), widow of Israel Hoit, dau. of Robert and Abishag (Walton) Taprill. Ch. Sampson, m. Dorothy Hoit, dau. of Israel and Grace (Taprill).

This line needs a lot more work to solidify the documentation. Still, I think it's safe to say that Philip Babb was more likely a respected member of the Isle of Shoals community than a blood-thirsty pirate turned ghost. 

Philip Babb
Sampson Babb & Elizabeth? or perhaps Sarah? 
Sampson & Dorothy (Hoyt) Babb
John & Alice (Babb) Waterhouse
Richard & Lydia (Waterhouse) Garland
Isaac & Alice (Garland) Hayes
Richard & Rebecca (Greenwood) Hayes
Sydney & Apphia (Cole) Hayes
George & Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother


Saturday, October 18, 2014

52 Ancestors #43 - Thomas Cousins - Attack at Black Point

In the late 17th century, settlers on the frontier suffered greatly from Indian attacks. Those settlers on the Maine coast were not part of the spread of settlers from Massachusetts and the Indians were seeking to halt the expansion and maintain their lands. The area that is now Scarborough encompassed a number of settlements including Black Point and Dunstan. From October 10-13, 1675, the settlers battled with the Wabanaki. Those at Dunstan were critical of the lack of support from Joshua Scottow's garrison at Black Point. Mary Beth Norton notes that several key figures in the Salem Witchcraft hysteria had connections to the area (see In The Devil's Snare, p. 141-143). 

My grandfather, Clayton Blake descends from Thomas Cousins who was serving in the company of Captain John Wincoll and gave the following deposition accusing Joshua Scottow of cowardice and failure to help those under attack. 

"The deposition of Thomas Cousens aged about 30 yeares makes oath that being with Capt. Winckoll when he was ingaged with the Indians neere Blackepointe and faire within sight of the garrison. Capt. Winckoll sent two men to Mr. Scottow for some reliefe, being then likely to have bene overthrowne, by the enimy, but the said Scottow would not send any help to us, he had at that time upward of forty men in his garrison, but from Mr. Foxwels garrison, which was as farr from us as Mr. Scottows garrison was, we have five men which did us a great pleasure, and they left but two men in the garrison, which if we had had releife from Mr. Scottows garrison, in an ordinary way with gods blessing, we might have given the enimye a great overthrow, and after the fight was over, this deponent went to Mr. Scottows garrison, and heard Souldiers generally say, that they see Capt. Winckoll ingaged with the enimy, and would have gone to have releived them. but Mr. Scottow would not suffer them, but charged them to Keepe the garrison, and further this deponent saith that it was generally reported at Blackpoint, that in theire great distress they could have no help from Mr. Scottows garrison, he being the comander thereof, and further saith not. 

Taken upon Oath the 16th January 1679
before me Sam'l Wheelwright

In answer to the charge, Capt. Joshua Scottow accused Thomas Cousins of perjury and although Thomas was acquitted, he was found guilty of a different charge, "presumptuous and reproachfull expressions" against Scottow. 

Thomas Cousins & Hannah Goodale
Hannah Cousins & George Jacobs
Priscilla Jacobs & Joshua Bartlett
Lydia Bartlett & Joshua Ripley
Nancy Ripley & Micajah Blake
Galen Blake & Dolly Moody
Charles G. Blake & Isabelle Brown
Harriet May Blake & ?
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather

Norton Mary Beth, In The Devil's Snare
Davis Walter Goodwin, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon

Thursday, October 9, 2014

52 Ancestors #42 - Isaac Cousins

Isaac Cousins was the 7th great-grandfather of Clayton Leonard Blake. He seems to have been a wanderer. I don't have any other colonial era ancestors who lived in as many places as he did. His occupation is listed as gunsmith and locksmith. Tracing his steps we find him in: 

Rowley in 1651, Haverhill in 1652, Ipswich about 1654, Boston in 1656, Portsmouth in 1659, Great Island in 1661, Boston in 1668, North Yarmouth, Maine in 1678, Dorchester in 1691, Boston in 1696-1702

Isaac Cousins married three times. His first wife was named Elizabeth and we don't know her maiden name. His second wife was Ann Hunt, whom he married in 1657. His third wife was Martha Priest. He seems to have been seeking to better his lot in life as he moved around and perhaps his best chance was when he became associated with the proprietors in North Yarmouth in Maine. However, Indian attacks doomed this settlement and the he moved back to the Boston area. In 1691 he was warned out of Dorchester and in 1696 he stated in a lawsuit against Richard Priest that he was "an ancient inhabitant of this country...fallen much into decay and waxen so poore." He claimed Richard Priest was withholding his household goods. By the time he died on July 23, 1702 he was a ward of the town. 

Isaac & Elizabeth Cousins
Thomas & Hannah (Goodale) Cousins
George & Hannah (Cousins) Jacobs
Joshua & Priscilla (Jacobs) Bartlett
Joshua & Lydia (Bartlett) Ripley
Micajah & Nancy (Ripley) Blake
Galen & Dolly (Moody) Blake
Charles & Isabelle (Brown) Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton Leonard Blake - my grandfather 

Thanks to the research of Walter Goodwin Davis, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon, for the basic information in this post. 

Saturday, October 4, 2014

52 Ancestors #41 - She Wore the Pants in the Family

Dorothy Hoyt was my 10th great-aunt. She was the younger sister of my 10th great-grandfather, Thomas Hoyt. Her parents were John & Frances Hoyt and she was born on April 13, 1656. While researching the family, I found the following account in Walter Goodwin Davis's book, The Ancestry of Lydia Harmon.

"For her escapade of dressing up in men's clothes, when she was a young woman of twenty-one, the Puritan magistrates ordered her to be severely whipped. She had escaped from the jurisdiction, however, and her father, who doubtless connived at her departure, paid a fine of forty shillings in her behalf." 

It's hard to imagine being whipped for what one chooses to wear. I'm proud that her father stood up for her and helped her get away. 

John Hoyt
Thomas Hoyt & Mary Browne
Israel Hoyt & Grace Taprill
Dorothy Hoyt & Sampson Babb
Alice Babb & John Waterhouse
Lydia Waterhouse & Richard Garland
Alice Garland & Isaac Hayes, Sr.
Richard Hayes & Rebecca Greenwood
Sydney Hayes & Apphia Delphinia Cole
George Hayes & Anna Rowe
Eva Delphinia Hayes & Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

SourceInformation:,1755­1836:wifeofJosephWaterhouseof Standish, Maine [database on­line]. Provo, UT: The Generations Network, Inc., 2005.
Original data: Davis, Walter Goodwin,.
The ancestry of Lydia Harmon, 1755­1836 : wife of Joseph Waterhouse of Standish, Maine. Boston, Mass.: Stanhope Press, 1924.