Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Carter Homestead - 52 Ancestors #25 Dr. Timothy Carter

The Carter Family Farm/Middle Intervale Farm
In 1799, Dr. Timothy Carter and his wife, Frances (Freeland), made the trek from Massachusetts to Maine. They settled in Bethel in an area, along the Androscoggin River, known as Middle Intervale. There they built "The Brick End House" and a farm on land that later encompassed a meetinghouse across the road and another house on the other side of the barnyard. These four buildings are my family homestead. All but the meetinghouse have been in my family for seven generations. My cousin John lives in the Brick End House now and his father, my Uncle Timmy, lives in the other house. In the late 1970s, the meetinghouse was turned over to the local historical society and was renovated, in keeping with the period. 
Aunt Becky & friend in front of the Brick End House
Notice the long shed that at one time connected a stable
and then connected to the barn. 
View of the barn and the other house - taken
from the pasture and cornfield across the road

The old barn and stable
When I was very young, my parents and I lived in the house with the green roof and my grandparents lived in the Brick End House. Later we moved away from the farm and my grandparents moved into the house on the left and my uncle and his family lived in the Brick End House. Still, this place has always felt the most like home.
                                   The Middle Intervale Meetinghouse
The meetinghouse and cemetery
Meetinghouse sign

The meetinghouse from the front
I have many relatives buried in the cemetery

The Brick End House

Not sure of the date on this picture 
Sometime in the 1970s

Me in front of the Brick End House
The massive stand of lilac bushes, roof of my
grandparents' house & view of the Brick End House
My Grandparents' House

My grandparents' house
approaching on the road

Closer and in summer

I always loved these beautiful
doors - Back: Me & my sister, Lorna
Front: Cousins Becky & John 
The old stone steps - notice that the height varied
from step to step

  Other pictures around the farm

Back of the barn
Me and my cousin, Nancy
on Patches
Grammie's Flowers

The Sand Pasture
The Brook
Seated: Gus Carter holding his daughter, Ann, Fanny (Capen) Carter holding Teddy (son of Gus & Dora, Dick Carter holding sons, Timmy and Tommy
Standing: Stanley Carter, Becky Carter, Paul Carter, Frances Carter, Dora (wife of Gus), Lyndell (wife of Dick)

Fanny (Capen) Carter was the mother of Gus, Rebecca, Dick, Stanley, and Paul. Frances Carter was her sister-in-law who never married. Fanny's husband, Edward, was killed in 1922. She raised her children on the farm. 

Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter
Elias Mellen & Rebecca (Williamson) Carter
Augustus Mellen & Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen & Fanny (Capen) Carter
T. Richard "Dick" & Fern Lyndell (Cotton) Carter
Timothy & Jodi (Reue) Carter
John Richard Carter - current owner/operator of the farm

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Escaping Persecution

This is the family history of another one of my students. During his family history project, he explored the stories that he had heard. However, like many of us when we are children, we only half-listen and don't process the full significance of the word or appreciate the historical significance of our family's past. This was a chance to really listen and document the stories. 

J. is the grandson of a noted psychiatrist, author, and professor at Columbia University. However, both his grandfather and his grandmother came from families who fled Eastern Europe to escape persecution. J's 2X great-grandfather fled Ukraine. The family settled in New York City. J.'s great-grandparents were Benjamin William & (Anita Rosenbloom) Glick. Their parents were Abraham & Rae (___) Glick and Joseph & Ida (___) Rosenbloom. 

From the interview with his grandfather:
In 1905, the Russo-Japanese war was going on, and Ukrainian Jews were being conscripted and dragged to fight in Japan, so there was a good chance my great-great grandparents (Abraham and Rae), residents of highly segregated Odessa, would die in combat. So, Abraham (a tobacco merchant), Rae, and their two daughters fled to New York. To sound less “Jewish,” they bought passports and became the Glicks, to sound more German. Allegedly, they were the “Tarnopolskys,” but there is no confirmation. Allegedly, a son stayed in Ukraine. Abraham opened up a candy store in New York, Rae was a seamstress for a living, and my great-grandfather, Benjamin William Glick, was born in 1907. They lived on the Lower East Side in Manhattan, in a very Jewish neighborhood. My great-grandfather was the first in the family to attend college, going to New York University and Columbia Medical School and becoming a doctor. There was fear among Jews on the Lower East Side. They feared of being rounded up or beaten up. One of my grandfather’s aunts married a Jew who carried a gun out of paranoia. When the family lived in Hell’s Kitchen, he wanted to defend them, in case any cops gave them a hard time. There were many limits that Jews had in society, before the First World War. There were limits on joining clubs, attending colleges, and even what buildings they could live in. There was a question about whether or not Benjamin William would be accepted into med school.

J.'s grandmother is the daughter of Kurt & Ursula (Dzialowsky) Bachrach. Their parents were Jacob & Jenny (Wolff) Bachrach and Jacob & Anna (___) Dzialowsky. 
"Auschwitz I Entrance". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

From the interview with his grandmother: 
Her father's father [Jacob Bachrach] was a cantor in a synagogue. He died in a hospital from diabetes-related complications, being taken care of by Catholic nuns. His wife [Jenny (Wolff) Bachrach] was rounded up and killed in Auschwitz. Her father, Kurt Jakob Bachrach, was notified many years later that her name was on the list of Auschwitz victims. Before the Holocaust, they lived a very integrated life in their community in Germany. Before leaving the country, according to my grandmother, Kurt was arrested and questioned many times. He was always able to find his way out with his charm. He was the editor of a Jewish newspaper.  He was a witness to Kristallnacht when Nazis were smashing Jewish storefronts and other belongings owned by Berlinese Jews. He took this as a warning sign to flee. Kurt had gotten married in Germany to Ursula before moving to New York. Her parents were still in Germany when Kurt moved in 1938. Kurt came over because he knew someone who could give him a voucher. Eventually, he was able to send for his wife and her parents. Her parents were able to successfully escape an increasingly anti-semitic 1939 Berlin and flee the country on a ship leaving from Hamburg. Once settled in New York, Kurt sold newspapers at Times Square Station and sold Fuller Brush products in Harlem. Kurt eventually began to work for the Anti-Defamation League. They had him change his name because his name was German, and there was an anti-German sentiment in the United States. He was known in the professional world as “Jack Baker.”

J. asked where he might find a record of his 2X great-grandmother's death in Auschwitz. I suggested that he start with Yad Vashem and this is what he found.
Link to document

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Laying Down The Law - 52 Ancestors #24

In the early 17th century, the areas of southern Maine and New Hampshire had been granted to John Mason and Ferdinando Gorges, respectively. Massachusetts Bay authorities also laid claim to part of the area, but the settlements had no representation in the General Court and were generally left to their own devices without much formal governance. Brian Pendleton moved into this environment when he settled at Strawberry Bank in 1651. Shortly after he settled in, he presented a petition requesting that the town be put under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Bay officials and that they set up courts to meet twice a year to deal with "abuses."

"We may have here & at Dover two Courts every yeare with two magistrates and their assistants, whereof this Barer Mr. Bryan Pendleton to bee one of the Assistants Chosen for this place; And whereas by reason of divers shipping & others coming into this harbour, as likewise some of our owne Inhabitants, several abuses are committed & noe Magistrate neere at hand to administer justice uppon the parteys soe offending, that before justice can be done many depart hence without punishment, & others suffer rather that seek so farre for justice, Humbly praye that Mr. Pendleton may have more than ordinary power what other assistants have for the rectifying & punishing such abuses to be Committed." 

The wording suggests that Brian Pendleton would be the law in the area. The Court granted the request and Pendleton became an Associate Justice in 1651 and was re-appointed in 1652.

In 1652, Pendleton and others again successfully petitioned the Court and changed the name from Strawberry Bank to Portsmouth.

Brian Pendleton - 11th great-grandfather
Mary Pendleton
Pendleton Fletcher
Pendleton Fletcher, Jr.
Sarah Fletcher
Gibbins Edgecomb
Thomas Edgecomb
Mary Edgecomb
Benjamin Perley Philbrick
Lizzie Philbrick
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Brian Pendleton and His Descendants, 1599-1910, With Some Account of the Pembleton Families of Orange County, N.Y., Ostego County N.Y., and Luzerne County, Pa., and Notices of Other Pendletons of Later Origin in the United States, Everett Hall Pendleton, compiler; accessed on 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Finding A Lost Family History

Each year my U.S. History students have the option of researching their family history as their 4th Quarter project. Part of the project is to write a reflection or summary of the findings. This comes from a student with a unique situation. As an emancipated minor with no living relatives other than his estranged mother, I admit that I wasn't sure how much we could fill in the blanks. We started with just his father's name and date of death.

Family History Conclusions:
I have learned a lot from this project. Originally, I thought I was going to do the Individual in History project because I didn't even have my grandparents' names. However, using your knowledge and the power of the internet, something was unlocked that I thought would stay locked forever. It's like the commercial, except it was real.

All of the sudden, I was pulled into my family history and with every name, every place, photo, address, story, I got more and more interested until I was doing more of the Family History project than the Individual in History one. That's what was so cool. I was unlocking the past and it wasn't even required.

After leaving Windham this past summer, I felt disconnected. I had always felt this way. I never knew any relatives and never met anyone who knew any stories. After leaving the last real relative still around, I felt like I would never know who my family was. It didn't bother me much at first, but everyone should know a little of where they come from.

When this project started, it hit me again how little I knew and how sunken inside I felt. Now coming out the other side of the project, I feel so great. I learned so much that I thought would stay hidden from me forever. It has helped me accept how families can change and people can leave, die, or even become unreachable, but in the end, family is family. It is important to keep that in mind.

More about what we found

The Epitomy of Pedigree Collapse - 52 Ancestors #23

This week's 52 ancestors theme is weddings. No good wedding stories come to mind so I thought I would outline all the marriages that link me back to the immigrants, George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott.

George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott had thirteen children, including seven sons who lived to carry on the Abbott name. Add to the confusion with other immigrants with the Abbott surname and untangling the Abbotts is not an easy task. The descendants of George & Hannah also had a habit of marrying cousins so my lines are very interesting. Given the difficulties, I welcome any corrections that might send me off chasing more Abbotts. This is done to the best of my ability at this point in time. 
  1. John b. 2 March 1648 m. Sarah Barker
  2. Joseph b. 11 March 1649 - d. young
  3. Hannah b. 9 June 1650
  4. Joseph b. 30 March 1652 - d. young
  5. George b. 7 June 1655
  6. William b. 18 November 1657
  7. Sarah b. 14 November 1659 m. Ephraim Stevens
  8. Benjamin b. 20 December 1661 m. Sarah Farnum
  9. Timothy b. 17 November 1663
  10. Thomas b. 6 May 1666 m. Hannah Gray
  11. Edward b. abt 1668-1669 - d. young
  12. Nathaniel b. 4 July 1671
  13. Elizabeth b. 9 February 1673
Line #1
The longest line of descent from George and Hannah comes from my great-great-grandmother, Mary Jane Abbott who married Edward Abbott Capen. Edward's mother was Sarah (Abbott) Capen, another descendant of George & Hannah. They were first cousins. Mary Jane was born in 1847 and died in 1940. 

Mary Jane's parents were John & Sarah (Ackley) Abbott. John was born on April 27, 1819 and died in 1902. He married Sarah on March 31, 1841. 

Generation 2. 
John's parents were both Abbotts! They were Aaron Jr. & Sarah (Abbott) Abbott. Aaron was born on April 11, 1778 and died on September 8, 1856. Sarah was born on June 26, 1780 and died on October 23, 1853. They were married on January 1, 1800.  They were second cousins. 

Generation 3. 
Aaron Jr.'s parents were both Abbotts again! They were Aaron Sr. and Lydia (Abbott) Abbott. Aaron was born on February 17, 1732 and died on December 31, 1812. Lydia was born on June 15, 1737 and died on December 15, 1811. I have not found a marriage record for Aaron and Lydia so all I know is that they were married before 1778. They were first cousins. 

Sarah's parents were Stephen & Mary (Gile) Abbott. Stephen was born on October 28, 1746 and died on May 12, 1811. Mary was born March 24, 1754 and died in 1823. They were married about 1778. 

Aaron Sr.'s parents were Thomas & Elizabeth (Ballard) Abbott. Thomas was born January 3, 1699 and died July 11, 1774. Elizabeth was born in 1700 and died July 31, 1782. They were married in 1725. 

Lydia's parents were Edward & Dorcas (Chandler) Abbott. Edward was born June 9, 1702 and died April 14, 1759. Dorcas was born in 1705 and died May 16, 1748. They were married July 15, 1728. 

Stephen's parents were (you guessed it) both Abbotts. They were George and Sarah (Abbott) Abbott. George was born November 7, 1706 and died October 6, 1785. Sarah was born on October 8, 1711 and died June 14, 1769. They were married on February 1, 1737. They were first cousins, once removed. 

Generation 5.
Thomas's parents were Thomas & Hannah (Gray) Abbott. Thomas was born May 6, 1666 and died April 28, 1728. Hannah was born November 30, 1674 and died in 1763. They were married December 7, 1697. Thomas was the son of George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott. 

Edward's parents were also Thomas & Hannah (Gray) Abbott.

George's parents were also Thomas & Hannah (Gray) Abbott

Sarah's parents were Stephen & Sarah (Stevens) Abbott. Stephen was born March 16, 1678 and died May 27, 1766. Sarah was born about 1690 and died in January 1751. They were married around 1708. They were first cousins. Sarah Stevens' parents were Ephraim & Sarah (Abbott) Stevens. 

Generation 6. 
Stephen's parents were John & Sarah (Barker) Abbott. John was born March 2, 1648 and died March 19, 1721. Sarah was born about 1647 and died February 10, 1729. They were married November 17, 1673. John was the son of George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott. 

Line #2
Zerviah Abbott married John Ellingwood. She was born March 19, 1768 and died October 18, 1847. They married on December 29, 1789. Zerviah's parents were both Abbotts! Jonathan (3) & Mehitable (Abbott) Abbott. They were third cousins. 

Generation 2.
Jonathan's parents were Jonathan Jr. & Martha (Lovejoy) Abbott. Jonathan was born December 14, 1714 and died May 21, 1794. Martha was born in 1720. They married in 1739. 

Mehitable's parents were Ephraim & Hannah (Phelps) Abbott. Ephraim was born in March 1710 and died April 25, 1745. Hannah was born about 1715. They married in 1734. 

Generation 3.
Jonathan Jr.'s parents were Jonathan Sr. & Zerviah (Holt) Abbott. Jonathan was born in 1687 and died March 21, 1770. Zerviah was born March 24, 1689 and died March 26, 1768. They were married on May 6, 1713. 

Ephraim's parents were Stephen & Sarah (Stevens) Abbott. Ephraim was a brother to Sarah (Abbott) Abbott, wife of George Abbott. This line goes back to George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott as outlined above. 

Generation 4.
Jonathan Sr.'s parents were Benjamin & Sarah (Farnum) Abbott. Benjamin was the son of George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott. 

Line #3
Mary Abbott was born in 1761 and died in 1843. She married Thomas Capen. He was born April 19, 1762 and died at sea in 1808. 

Generation 2.
Mary's parents were Edward & Deborah (Stevens) Abbott. Edward was born December 27, 1730 and died September 15, 1801.

Generation 3.
Edward's parents were Edward & Dorcas (Chandler) Abbott. Edward was the brother of Lydia (Abbott) Abbott, wife of Aaron Abbott, Sr. This line goes back to George & Hannah (Chandler) Abbott as outlined above.

Lydia (Abbott) Abbott - Aaron Abbott, Jr. - Sarah K. Abbott - see below.

Sarah (Abbott) Stevens - Sarah (Stevens) Abbott - Sarah (Abbott) Abbott - Stephen Abbott - Sarah (Abbott) Abbott - Sarah K. (Abbott) Capen - Edward Abbott Capen, husband of Mary Jane (Abbott) Capen

Mary (Abbott) Capen - Deborah (Capen) Ackley - Sarah (Ackley) Abbott, Mary Jane (Abbott) Capen - Fannie (Capen) Carter - T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Mehitable (Abbott) Abbott - Zerviah (Abbott) Ellingwood - John Ellingwood, Jr. - Asa Freeman Ellingwood - Nina K. (Ellingwood) Gibbs - Annie (Gibbs) Cotton - F. Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Embarking on a Journey of Discovery - Family History Project 2015

One reason that I love the end of the school year is because some of my students choose to work on family history for their end of the year project. Each year this gets better and better. This year I had a few students who did double duty, they wanted to do a different project for a grade but worked on their family history just for fun. A few of the stories deserve their own space and can be found here:

Escaping Persecution
Napoleon, the Bootlegger
Something From Nothing & Finding A Lost Family History
The African Missionaries

A lot of students trace their families back to the Scottish and Irish settlers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. There are also quite a few with French Canadian ancestry. Sam's family comes from the same town, Sackville, New Brunswick, as my husband's family. Alex found ancestors immigrating from Italy, Ireland, and Belgium in the late 19th century.

The best parts are the conversations that take place between my students and their family members as they learn about their ancestors. Alec learned a lot more about his West Virginia branch and the tough life of his grandmother after the tragic death of her father. Maelah decided her family is boring because they didn't have any scandals and were immigrant mill workers from French Canada. I'm still hoping to find something that fills in some details for her and make her family story more interesting.

A number of students have family members who have already done quite a bit of the gathering of names so they are working on finding the interesting stories told by the documents. What was the profession according to the census? Jacob learned that one of his great-grandfathers was a musician in an orchestra. How much (or how little) money did your ancestor make? Adam found that his ancestor worked 52 weeks in 1939 and made $528 for the entire year. They paid $10/month to rent their house.

Of those who can go back to the Great Migration, Jeff is a direct
descendant of Mary (Towne) Estey. She was hanged as a witch on September 22, 1692. A few share distant connections with me. Jack and I connect through Nathan Lord, of Berwick, Maine. Patrick and I connect through the Abbots of Andover, Massachusetts. Ryan and I connect through John Cheney of Newbury, Massachusetts. It became a bit of game to see if they could find a cousin connection with me.

On the military front, we found a few veterans. Patrick found a Civil War ancestor with an awesome name: Ivory Snow. His middle name was Fogg so he was Ivory Fogg Snow. Lauren knew her 2nd great-uncle had been shot down in World War II. She didn't know her great-grandmother also had a fiance killed in the war. Alex found her 2X great-grandmother, who lived in Portland, Maine and was born in Nova Scotia, married a man from Virginia. On the marriage certificate from 1919, it lists his occupation as "soldier." Since many troop ships came through Portland during and after World War I, we speculate that they might be how they met.

I have second generation immigrants who are documenting their family and writing the stories of the home country and the names and dates of relatives before those are lost to future generations. I have a student who had family affected by the Holocaust. He is interviewing the son of the survivor and writing the memories and stories to preserve them. 

The projects aren't complete yet. They are due on Friday. I may have to share more updates and interesting finds after that. I'm excited to see so many of my students take an interest in their family history. 

The African Missionaries

Ryan had heard that his 3X great-grandparents did mission work in Africa. However when we started looking online for records for his family tree, we found someone had posted many photos with great descriptions of their life in Rhodesia. I reached out through my Ancestry account to this other member and discovered that he was another descendant and had been in contact with Ryan's great-grandmother, but he lost contact with the family after her death. Email addresses were exchanged so hopefully the sharing will be able to continue. Jim gave me permission to share some of the photos in my blog. Credit to Jim Lawrence, Ancestry member jimbet112.

Something from Nothing

This story is one of my favorites because it was one of the most challenging. My student, Derek, is an emancipated minor. He has no contact with his mother and his father died in 2001. He chose a different project but challenged me to find anything about his family. All he gave me was his father's name and date of death. I started by looking for an obituary for his father and that gave use his grandparents' names. We progressed along his father's lines and rather quickly added more than fifteen direct line ancestors. The records that were the most useful were marriage records, death records, and census records. We took his father's family back to the early 19th century on all lines and found out all the branches of his father's tree were in Meigs County, Ohio during this time. The Bodkins are one of the families in his tree:
Ohio Bodkins in the 1880 Census
He also knew bits and pieces of his mother's family. He knew his uncle had died and found an obituary for him. He also knew his mother had an Aunt Clara and he found her obituary. Using the names from those records, he started piecing together the records and clues to find more distant relatives. As he searched, he found memories coming back to him of things he had heard throughout his life. His mother lost contact with her father when she was about four years old. However, we found him using Derek's memory of a few details - including the fact that he was in the Air Force. It turns out that he was a pilot in World War II.
Courtesy of - The Fresno Bee, Monday, January 8, 1945
Needless to say, it was great to see Derek's enthusiasm grow. He proved to have great detective skills and was able to come up with clues to help move his research forward. On some days, he was in my room multiple times just to share what he found or check and see if I found more information. He really liked doing the detective work and putting together evidence to make a case for a particular relationship. In the end, he switched from his original project to the family history project. As of now, he has 70 ancestors with 183 census, birth, death, marriage, and military records documenting the connections.
5th great-grandparents - Jonathan Adams served as a Dragoon in the Revolutionary War.
Margaret, his widow, received a pension of $50 every six months.

Napoleon the Bootlegger

While helping my student, Adam, trace his family history we found a connection to the Prohibition era in the newspaper archives. His 2X great-grandfather was Napoleon Cayer of Rumford, Maine. You can see a picture of Napoleon here.

The Lewiston Daily Sun, Sunday, Sep. 1, 1926
Napoleon's problems with illegal liquor didn't end with Prohibition. He was back in court at the age of 83 for violating liquor laws again.
The Lewiston Daily Sun, Sunday, October 7, 1939
Adam's tree has deep roots in Quebec, New Brunswick, and northern Maine.