Saturday, August 29, 2015

Historian Nathaniel Morton - 52 Ancestors #35

Nathaniel Morton is my 11th great-grandfather. He came to Plymouth 
Colony in 1623, on the Anne, with his parents, George & Juliana (Carpenter) Morton. His parents were married in Leiden, Holland in 1612 and it is most likely that he was born there. 

Nathaniel's father died when Nathaniel was only eleven. He was taken in by his uncle, Governor William Bradford. As a result, Nathaniel received an excellent education and became the Secretary of Plymouth Colony for forty years (1645-1685). He was also the secretary of the United Colonies of New England. 

The Guest Commentary portion of the Early Families of New England sketch on Nathaniel Morton includes this information that was very interesting for me. Nathaniel Morton wrote an account of the Plymouth Colony history that expands on and extends William Bradford's manuscript, Of Plymouth Plantation." Morton's work is called New-Englands Memoriall and was published in 1669. This is the only source of signers of the Mayflower Compact and "notes the eight Native Leaders who added their names to the treaty with Massasoit in September, 1621 - but makes no mention of the famous First Thanksgiving." James W. Baker, a Plymouth historian calls this work "the first historical work to be printed in the English North American colonies." (emphasis added)

How cool is that? One of my ancestors authored the first historical work printed in British North America! 

My Line:
Nathaniel Morton
Mercy Morton
Eleazer Dunham
Mercy Dunham
Mary Kempton
Rebecca Burbank 
Hannah Keene
Timothy Cox
Christiana Cox
Francis Llewellyn Cotton
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Early Families of New England is a wonderful database available from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It extends beyond the immigrants covered in the Great Migration series but with the same level of research and detail. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

What's Growing On Your Farm, Great-Grandpa? - 52 Ancestors #34

For week 32 of the 52 Ancestors challenge, I looked at the Carter family farm and then wrote an additional post comparing the farm in 1860 and 1880 to show the expansion over time. This week's challenge is to use the Federal Census Non-Population Schedules (agriculture, industry, manufactures, or the 1890 Union veterans). I decided to look at my mother's side of the family. My great-grandparents were Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates. Gilbert's father and Eva's grandfather had farms near each other and they show up on the same page of the 1880 Non-Population Agricultural Schedule. So this week, I'm doing two ancestors in one post. 

Sidney Hayes was born on August 1, 1820 in Poland, Maine, son of Richard & Rebecca (Bailey) Hayes and married Delphinia Cole on June 2, 1848. The family that knew her
pronounced her name as "Del - fine - ee." She was born on June 20, 1823, daughter of Calvin & Betsey (Judkins) Cole. Sidney died on January 22, 1893 and Delphina died on January 18, 1895. Their son, George Hayes was the father of my great-grandmother, Eva. 

Gilbert William Yates was born on August 5, 1835 in Greenwood, Maine, son of Moses & Martha (Whittle) Yates and married Laura E. Emmons on November 24, 1872. She was born on January 18, 1852 in Biddeford, Maine, daughter of Jacob & Sarah (Shepard) Emmons. Laura died on February 28, 1894 and Gilbert died on April 9, 1925. After Laura's death, Gilbert lived with his daughter and son-in-law, George & Linnie May (Yates) Cole. 

In order to make things fit into one graphic, I eliminated categories that did not pertain to either farm. 

Linona Alice (Yates) Blake - my grandmother
Estes & Eva (Hayes) Yates - her parents
Gilbert & Laura (Emmons) Yates - parents of Estes
George & Anna J. (Rowe) Hayes - parents of Eva
Sidney & Delphina (Cole) Hayes - parents of George Hayes, in-laws of Gilbert William Yates

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Nathaniel Merrill

Memorial Stone - Newbury First Burying Ground
Nathaniel Merrill's Will, Part 1
Nathaniel Merrill's Will, Part 2

Nathaniel Merrill's Inventory, Part 1

Nathaniel Merrill's Inventory, Part 2

The Probate Records of Essex County, Massachusetts, Vol. 1

Nathaniel Merrill
Abel Merrill
Nathaniel Merrill
Priscilla (Merrill) Knight
Eunice (Knight) Sawyer
Hannah (Sawyer) Hilton
Catherine (Hilton) Churchill
Loann (Churchill) Rowe
Anna J. (Rowe) Hayes
Eva D. (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Petition of the Poor, Distressed Widow - 52 Ancestors #33

Grace (Pratt) Dutch came from England to Gloucester, Massachusetts to join her husband, Osmund. Osmund died in 1685 and Grace found herself in dire circumstances. She needed money to support herself. Although she lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Samuel & Esther (Dutch) Elwell, there are indications that they did not treat her well. There were no social programs to provide for her and she needed to petition the court for permission to sell off some of the lands of her late husband. 

"The Humble Petition of the Poore distressed widdow Grace Duch of the towne of Gloucester to the honoured General Courte now setting at Boston this 21st July 1685

Yoer poore humble and distresed petitioner sheweth that whereas it pleased God to take away my deare husband out of this live in December last past with whome I lived above fifty yeeres with whome I Lived very poore in the Later parte of his Life and underwent a great deale of Sorrow and trouble hee being very ancient: by his owne relation above a hundred years of age & was very helpless for several yeeres before hee dyed and but Little wherewith all to mayntayne him and my Selfe but I Laboured for only sume cattle which wee ware Little the better for and Land which have Layed wast with out fences severall yeeres soe that it have not beene any wise benificiall to us while hee Lived nor to mee since his death and which the honoured county Court holden at Ipswich last March when the inventory of his Estate was regestered was informed of at the county court holden at Salem last June and [written over] made my addreses that there might bee some of the Land Sold for my maintenance in my old age haveing nothing to helpe my Selfe neither for ffood nor rayment of which I have not [conveniences?] and now am by Gods providance taken sicke and am in very great want which doth make mee humbly crave of this honoured courte to take into yer serious consideratione and grant mee the favour that there my bee an acre or two of Salte marsh sold for my prsent relieufe which is the only thinge that will yield money without which youer petitioner cannot bee supplyed in the tyme of my great distress I should not have made soe bold with yoer honours but that I was informed by the honoured county Courtes above mentioned that they could not grant the sale of any of the Land or else yoer poore petitioner had not made soe bold with yoer Honours therefore pray pardon on the bldnesse and grant the humble & needy request and desires of yoer Humble and needy petioner whoe prayeth for yoer Honours wealfare  Grace Duch

The Court gave her permission to sell the land belonging to the estate if her children should not provide for her. In June, she sold an acre and a half to her grandson, Christopher Hodgkins and another acre and a half to her son-in-law, Samuel Elwell. The sale to Elwell notes that she was in great want of clothing, meat, drink, and attendance. 

Grace died on October 10, 1694. 
(Not stone of Grace Dutch)

Grace (Pratt) Dutch                                                 Grace (Pratt) Dutch
Esther Dutch                                                             Grace Dutch
Robert Elwell                                                            Samuel Hodgkins
John Elwell                                                               Jonathan Hodgkins
Rhoda Elwell                                                             Rachel Hodgkins
Thomas Edgecomb                                                  Elizabeth Moody
Mary Edgecomb                                                       William Ackley
Benjamin Perley Philbrick                                     Sarah Ackley
Lizzie Philbrick                                                         Mary Jane Abbott
Ray Everett Cotton                                                  Fannie May Capen
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother              Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Crime of Fornication

John Ellis first shows up in Sandwich, Massachusetts in 1643 on a list of those between the ages of 16 and 60 and able to bear arms.

The next time he shows up in the records is on August 20, 1644, when he is charged with fornication with his then wife, Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis. They are my 9th great-grandparents. It would be great to know what the witnesses said in their testimony. It is interesting that part of the sentence was that his wife had "to stand by" while the whipping was carried out.

"A warrant [was] set forth to bring in the bodies of Jonathan ffish & Mary his wife; Nathaniel ffish; Jane the wife of William Wood; Rose the wife of Joseph Holly; the wife of Richard Kerby; the wife of Michael Turner & Joanna Swyft, widdow, to give evidence in John Ellis and his wife's case..." 

Then on June 4, 1645:
"John Ellis of Sandwich...and his now censured to be whipt at publicke post and Elizabeth his wife to stand by whilst execucon of the sentence is pformed; which was accordingly done. And the said John Ellis for his long and tedious delayes occasioning much trouble and charge to the countrey, for that he would not confess the truth untill the present, is fyned 5 li." 

The first child of Elizabeth Freeman was born around August 20, 1644, and it was about this time that John Ellis married Elizabeth. However, no record has been found that names that child. The first Ellis child recorded would seem to be "Benet Elles " (no parents listed) in 1648-49. So what happened to that first child of Elizabeth? It appears that the first child was Elizabeth, my 8th great-grandmother. She married Samuel Briggs. John and Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis went on to have nine more children together.

Children of John & Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis

  1. Elizabeth
  2. Bennett
  3. Mordecai
  4. Deborah
  5. Joel
  6. Matthias
  7. Manoah
  8. Freeman
  9. Gideon
  10. William

John & Elizabeth (Freeman) Ellis
Elizabeth (Ellis) Briggs
Elizabeth (Briggs) Benson
Caleb Benson
Content (Benson) Barrows
Rachel (Barrows) Ellingwood
Asa Freeman Ellingwood - nice tribute with his middle name
Nina K. (Ellingwood) Gibbs
Annie F. (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

See the New England Historical Genealogical Register Vol. 119 for more information.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Carter Farm on Middle Intervale in 1860 and 1880

Haying on the farm in the 1970s
Augustus Mellen Carter took over the farm from his father, Elias Mellen Carter. It is interesting to see how they expanded the farm over the twenty years between 1860 and 1880. The Non-Population Schedules don't have the exact same information in them, but there is enough that is the same to do a comparison. Augustus is my 2nd great-grandfather and Elias is my 3rd great-grandfather. The farm was started by Dr. Timothy Carter, father of Elias, and it is still in the family 7 generations later. However, there are no more males in this direct family line.
Original post about 1860 enumeration
Buckwheat and rye seem to be falling out of favor as corn and potatoes greatly increased. The production expanded into maple products, both sugar and syrup, and making cheese and a lot more butter. The livestock value tripled and seems to be based on the number of sheep and the amount of wool being shorn. 
T. Richard Carter - grandson of Augustus, great-grandson of Elias 
Tom Carter, my dad, logging on family land in the 1980s - 6th generation on the same land

Friday, August 7, 2015

One Maine Farm in 1860 - 52 Ancestors #32

The Carter Farm in Middle Intervale
Elias Mellen Carter is one of my 3rd great-grandfathers and I've written about his interesting life several times before now. However, I keep finding interesting documents that give insight into his life. He was born on September 11, 1811, the seventh child, and the youngest son of Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter. His mother died when he was only four years old. His father remarried and had five more children. He was very active in town affairs. As a Justice of the Peace, he married many couples and he served as the town clerk among other positions. The farm is still in the family so it was especially interesting to find the 1860 enumeration of farm activities.

From the 1860 Federal Non-Population Schedule:

150 acres improved
150 acres unimproved
$3000 cash value of the farm
$50 value of farming implements and machinery

4 horses
7 milk cows
2 working oxen
18 other cattle
30 sheep - yielding 60 lbs of wool
2 pigs
$20 value of animals slaughtered
$500 value of livestock on hand

28 bushels of wheat
20 bushels of rye  
24 bushels of Indian corn
100 bushels of oats

2 bushels of peas and beans
200 bushels of potatoes
60 bushels of buckwheat

$60 value of orchard products - probably apples

100 lbs of butter

8 tons of hay produced

Signature - E M Carter
Elias married Rebecca Williamson on August 10, 1837, and they had eleven children. Unfortunately in September 1861, they lost five daughters to diphtheria. Their son, Augustus Mellen Carter, fought in the Civil War and became a surveyor for the railroads and the paper producer, the Brown Company.

Eventually, Augustus took over the farm and I'll post the 1880 Non-Population Schedule soon to show the expansion of products and increase in value.

The Homestead that has been in the family for 7 generations
Elias Mellen Carter - Squire of the Little Village
Tragedy Strikes - The deaths of five daughters
Letters from Elias to his brother, Timothy Jarvis Carter that I found on Ebay
Transcription of one of the letters
Transcription of the other letter
Newspaper article about a fire in the home of Elias
Passing Down the Mellen Name

Elias Mellen Carter
Augustus Mellen Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Live Long and Prosper - 52 Ancestors #31

Gilbert William Yates was my 2X great-grandfather. When looking for an easy to research ancestor for this week's theme, The Yates Book,  by Edgar Allan Poe Yates came to mind. Not only did Mr. Yates compile this genealogy of my grandmother's family, he also included his own memories of many of the people.

From The Yates Book, published in 1906.
To go off on a Pacific whaling voyage and return with a whale tooth pipe and wings from a flying-fish, certainly makes it sound like he had an adventurous spirit. Curious about the pipe, I went looking online to see what I could find. The British museum has an example here though I doubt Gilbert's pipe was this fancy. I hope that driving around Boston was a little easier in the 19th century, but I wouldn't bet on it. He was back in his hometown of Greenwood, Maine by 1863 when his name is recorded as a man eligible for the Civil War draft.

Flying fish taking off
photographer unknown,
public domain, via WikiMedia Commons

Civil War Draft - I don't have any record that he served in the war.
However, his cousin, O.K. Yates, did and witnessed Lincoln's
assassination. I wrote about that last year. 

In the end, he returned to Maine, married a local girl, and raised his family on a farm. That is more typical of my ancestors. His 6th child, Estes Gilbert Yates, was my great-grandfather. Gilbert lived until 1925 (about age 90), Estes lived until 1977 (age 93), and my grandmother, Linona Alice "Peggy" (Yates) Blake is going strong at 95 and recently announced her intention to make it to 100.

1920 Gilbert is living with daughter, Linnie Cole and her family

Mystery Guy - 52 Ancestors #30

First, I found a newspaper article about a relative who died from his injuries after he was struck by a car. That sent me on a quest to find out more about this relative and I ended up with as many questions as I found answers. In other words, a pretty typical day in the life of a genealogist.
Lewiston Sun Journal, July 11, 1940, accessed on Google News Archive
Guy Morrison Cotton was my 1st cousin, 3 times removed. He was born on February 14, 1888 and died on July 11, 1940, the son of William F. "Frank" & Deborah J. "Jennie" (Lamb) Cotton. He was a teamster, a shoemaker, a member of the National Guard, a servant, and a farm laborer. He married an older widowed woman, Inez (Kenerson/Kennison) Goodwin, on March 20, 1913. Guy's occupation is listed as shoemaker. Tracing this couple through the records in very interesting. Inez was married previously to James Goodwin, who died on April 30, 1911. They appear in the 1900 census and her birthdate is given as May 1866. However, the marriage record between Guy & Inez lists her age as 40 (born about 1873) and he was 25. Since Inez shows up with her parents in the 1870 census, it would seem that she was shaving off a few years when she stated her age for her marriage license in 1913. James and Inez had one adopted daughter, Etta. Guy and Inez have no children as she was about 47 when they married.

So how does a 47-year-old widow end up married to a 25-year-old young man? There must be a story here. Their marriage record makes it look like she's only 15 years older than him, rather than the actual age difference of 22 years.

From marriage record - Note the bride's stated age and Guy's occupation

1900 Census shows Inez (Enez) listed with her first husband and her correct birth date - May 1866
In 1900, Guy is 12 and living in Oxford, Maine with Charles & Lilian Brown. They are only 21 and 17 and he is listed as the brother of the head of household. His parents are renting in the same building with his 14-year-old sister, Florence. My guess is that they were all living together and the census taker recorded Guy with his brother-in-law as head of household. His uncle (my great-great-grandfather), Francis Llewellyn Cotton is living next door in a home he owns. My great-grandfather, Ray Everett Cotton, son of Francis Llewellyn, is the same age as Guy and I imagine that they would have gone to school together.

In 1910, there is no trace of the family in the census. In 1920, Guy and Inez are living with his parents in Paris, Maine. George is 32 and Inez lists her age as 52 (closer to the truth but still shaving off a couple of years). Guy is listed as not working but Inez is a "laborer" and Guy's parents are listed as "farmer" for his father and "laborer" for his mother. There is no sign of any other family nearby but a granddaughter is listed, Dorothy Brown, age 1. She is likely the daughter of Guy's sister Lilian and her husband, Charles.

Where is Guy and/or his parents in 1910? Where are Charles and Lilian Brown in 1920? Lilian is not listed among his surviving relatives in the news article about this death. Is Dorothy being raised by her grandparents or her aunt and uncle, Inez and Guy? Since all the other adults worked, was Guy the caretaker for Dorothy? That seems quite unusual for the time.

In 1930, Guy is listed as singe, living in Northumberland, New Hampshire, and a servant in the household of Ernest Tillaltson (pretty sure the transcription is wrong). Also in the household are Ernest's wife, Gadriella (possibly Gabriella) 56, sons Paul 31 and Blanchard 22, daughters Florence 20, and Barbara 18.

So what happened to Inez? Why is he not listed as a widower if she is deceased? Who is this Tillaltson family and what work does Guy do as their servant?

Guy served in the military. His draft registration card indicates that he works as a teamster but was out of work at that time. In addition, he has six years of service in the National Guard and his application for a military headstone indicates that he enlisted in the 331st Guard and Fire Company on July 29, 1918 and was honorably discharged on January 8, 1919. The war ended on November 11, 1918 and he never was deployed overseas.
Physical description from Guy's draft registration card
Guy's work experience from his draft registration card

Guy's military experience from his draft registration card

On July 11, 1940, the Lewiston Sun Journal, reported the death of Guy Cotton after he was struck by a car. Although the age is not correct, the parents and other relatives are those of Guy Morrison Cotton, born in 1888. That means he was 68, not 40, when he died.

Guy's cousin, Ray Everett Cotton, was my great-grandfather.
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother.