Saturday, December 31, 2016


File this under strange things you find while searching for your family in old newspapers!

Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, Monday, December 29, 1873, p. 1, accessed April 25, 2015

"A child in Lyndon, eleven months old, a short time since swallowed a large needle, nearly two inches long, and in less than eight days, during which time it was very fretful, the head of the needle was discovered sticking through the child's abdomen, and was successfully removed by its mother. The child is now all right."

 I can't imagine how awful this must have been for the poor child and for the mother.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Immigrant Ancestor - Rev. Thomas Carter

I have already written a bit about my immigrant Carter ancestor, Rev. Thomas Carter of Woburn. He was the first minister of Woburn. Under his ministry the church grew and flourished. In Johnson's "Wonder-working Providence" (published in 1654), he is described as a "reverend godly man, apt to teach the sound and wholesome truths of Christ" and "much encreased with the encreasings of Christ Jesus, of whose labours in the Lord as followeth."
The Ordination of Rev. Thomas Carter

Carter, Christ hath his wayes thee taught, an them [thou]
Hast not with-held his Word, but unto all
With's word of power dost cause stout souls to bow, 
And meek as Lambs before thy Christ to fall:
The antient truths, plain paths, they fit thee best, 
The lowly heart, Christ learns his lovely hest, 
Thy meekness shews thy Christ to thee is nigh; 
Yet must thou shew Christ makes his bold to be
As Lions, that none may his truths tread down, 
Pastoral power he hath invested thee
With, it maintain, least he on thee do frown:
Thy youth thou hast in this New-England spent, 
Full sixteen years to water, plant, and prune
Trees taken up, and for that end here sent; 
Thy end's with Christ, with Saints his praises tune.

When he died, the town paid for his funeral expenses. Among the charges is one for fourteen gallons of wine. According to The History of Woburn, the custom of the day was to bury their paupers with rum and their wealthy men and ministers with wine.

Rev. Thomas Carter and his wife, Mary Parkhurst had eight children.
1. Samuel was born August 8, 1640 and graduated from Harvard College in 1660. He held a number of   town offices and married Eunice Brooks. They had eight children.
2. Judith married first Dea. Edward Converse and second Giles Fifield.
3. Mary was born July 24, 1648 and married John Wyman, Jr. He was killed by the Indians at the Swamp Fight, December 19, 1675. She married as her second husband, Nathaniel Bachiler (Batchelder) of Hampton, N.H. She had eight children with her second husband. Mary & Nathaniel are the 7th great-grandparents of Clayton Blake who married Linona Yates, my mother's mother. 
4. Abigail was born January 10, 1649/50 and married John Smith.
5. Timothy was born June 12, 1653 and married Anna Fiske, daughter of David Fiske of Cambridge (Lexington) on May 3, 1680. They had thirteen children, three of whom died before their parents. Timothy and his brother, Thomas, were husbandmen and proprietors of "several considerable tracts of land."
6. Thomas was born June 8, 1655 and married Margery Whitmore (Whittemore).

Timothy, son of Rev. Thomas and Mary (Parkhurst) Carter and wife Anna had:
1. David born October 17, 1681 and died May 22, 1736.
2. Timothy born July 12, 1683 and died the same year.
3. Anna born July 17, 1684.
4. Timothy born October 17, 1686.
5. Theophilus born October 20, 1688.
6. Thomas born August 14, 1690.
7. Abigail born March 18, 1692.
8. Sarah born November 24, 1694.
9. Elizabeth born August 27, 1696 and died June 26, 1709.
10. Benjamin born March 22, 1699 and died soon after.
11. Mary born June 23, 1700.
12. Martha born July 22, 1702.
13. Benjamin born November 8, 1704. Benjamin married Sarah Stone.

Timothy, son of Benjamin & Sarah (Stone) Carter, married Sarah Walker. Their son, Dr. Timothy Carter married Frances Freeland and moved to Bethel, Maine. Elias Mellen Carter, son of Dr. Timothy & Frances (Freeland) Carter married Irish immigrant, Rebecca Williamson and their son, Augustus Mellen Carter fought in the Civil War. Augustus married Mary Frances Stanley and had Edward Mellen Carter. Edward Mellen Carter married Fannie May Capen and they are the parents of my grandfather, Thomas Richard Carter.
Descendants: Thomas Richard "Dick" Carter & sons, Timothy and Thomas on the right and Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter and children, Edward and Ann on the left. 

Another Carter Post

The History of Woburn
Johnson's Wonder-Working Providence, 1628-1651 ed. by J. Franklin Jameson

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Are Middle Generations the Middle Children of Genealogy?

So we all know that the oldest child gets the full attention of its parents and the baby of the family gets spoiled by being the last in the house. Middle children tend to get neglected. While researching, I've noticed that it's relatively easy to find documentation for my seventeenth-century immigrants since they all were in New England where good recording keeping was the norm. I'm most interested in sources that can tell me something about their lives, beyond the basics of vital statistics. There were also many town histories and family genealogies published around the turn of the 20th century that document the stories of these immigrants. Recent generations benefit from the memories of living relatives. However, the middle generations are tough for me to track down. Does anyone else feel like this is the case? What are your favorite sources for these late 17th century to early 20th century ancestors?

The census is a good starting point to gather a bit of information about one's ancestors. Some of the census years have interesting tidbits that can help flesh out the story of their lives a bit. Some of my favorite things to look at are (some are supplemental questions that are only answered by a few on the page):

  • 1860 & 1870 & 1880 - occupation, value of real & personal property, place of birth, literacy, citizenship, disability (deaf, dumb, blind, insane, idiotic, pauper, or convict). In 1880, the census takers started listing the relationship to the head of household. 
  • 1890 - much of this census is lost but you might be able to find some of your family
  • 1900 - age at marriage, number of children and number of living children (a good way to find children who are born and died before ever being recorded in a census). 
  • 1910 - language spoken, industry (more detailed than occupation), employment status including number of weeks worked in 1909, home ownership, Civil War veteran
  • 1920 - year of naturalization, mother tongue of person and parents
  • 1930 - owns a radio, veteran and list which war or expedition
  • 1940 - many more employment questions such as hours worked in a week, employed by a New Deal program, annual pay, 

The non-population schedules are interesting also. I have used the agricultural schedules to determine what my farmer ancestors were growing on their farms.

What's Growing on Your Farm, Great-Grandpa? - comparing two sides of my great-grandmother's family.
The Carter Farm in 1860 and 1880 - comparing two generations on the same farm
1860 Carter Farm - my first transcription of an agricultural census. Get a blank form and use it to see what is on each line.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Carter Family Portrait

I've written a number of times about my 3X great-grandfather, Elias Mellen Carter and his family. Here is a picture of Elias and his wife, Rebecca (Williamson) Carter and their eleven children. Rebecca was from Ireland and is my most recent immigrant ancestor. The Williamsons came to Maine sometime around 1820 so they were not part of the potato famine migration.  

In the front from left to right are children: Julia Elizabeth, Emily Jane, Timothy Cullen, William Lawson, Sarah Lillie, Helen Louise, and her twin, John Herbert.
In the back from left to right are children: Mary Elizabeth, Frances Ann, Augustus Mellen, and Anna Grace (in her mother's arms) and parents, Rebecca (Williamson) & Elias Mellen Carter.

Elias Mellen Carter
Augustus Mellen Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Other posts about the family:
Five Daughters Suddenly Gone
The Carter Farm - 1860 & 1880
The Carter Farm 1860
Rebecca Williamson - Fearless Female
Squire of the Little Village
We Consider Her Very Dangerous
Thanksgiving in Paris
Letters Found on E-Bay
Close Call

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Spurr Memorial

Some April exploring took me to Spurr's Corner in Otisfield, Maine. I'd been wanting to go for awhile, just hadn't gotten around to actually doing it. My Spurr ancestors came from Massachusetts to Maine in 1776. I wrote about their migration in the post linked below. 

The History of Otisfield

"It is said that the first night they spent in Otisfield, they camped beside a large stone near the road. (A portion of that stone has since been moved to Spurr's Corner and a memorial tablet placed upon it.) He is buried in the yard south of Spurr's Corner. Through a mistake of the stonecutters the name is spelled Spyrr, instead of Spurr. They had nine children living, all born in Dorchester, and all came to Maine unmarried. They came to Windham in an oxcart and were the fourth family in town."

Here is a picture of the stone and a close up of the plaque. 

Spurr's Corner Monument - April 21, 2016
SEPT. 3, 1779
Plaque, April 21, 2016

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr - came to Otisfield in 1779
Enoch Spurr
Roxanna (Spurr) Stanley
Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Moving in an Oxcart

Spurr, William Samuel. A History of Otisfield: Cumberland County, Maine from the Original Grant to the Close of the Year 1944 by William Samuel Spurr. Otisfield, Me.: Published by the Otisfield Historical Society, 1994. PDF.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

1862 Bethel Business Men

Is your ancestor on this list? My 3rd great-grandfather, Elias M. Carter, appears on the left as a farmer in Middle Intervale. Other families are related to me by marriage or as distant cousins.

Handwritten on Title Page: J. P. Boyd January 1862

A Business Directory of the Subscribers to the Map of Maine, with a brief history and description of the state, prepared by William Willis; Also Valuable Statistics and Advertisements.

Portland: Published by J. Chace, Jr. & Co.; Sanborn & Carter, 55 Exchange Street; Bailey & Noyes, 56 and 58 Exchange Street.

Printed by B. Thurston, Steam Book, Job, and Card Printer, proprietor of Commercial News Room, Publisher of "Portland Price-Current" and "Maine Teacher," 79 Middle Street, Portland.

Elias M. Carter
Augustus M. Carter
Edward M. Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Thomas Gardner - Immigrant Ancestor

Thomas Gardner was an early immigrant to Cape Ann and later Salem. It is believed that he arrived in 1624 and from 1626 to his death, he lived in Salem. His estimated birth year, 1592, is based on his testimony given November 26, 1661. He indicated that he was about sixty-nine years old. He died in Salem on December 29, 1674, a month after his third wife died. His sons, George and Samuel served as executors of his estate.

Regarding his education and service to the town, he signed his name, rather than making a mark and he served as a deputy for Salem to the General Court in 1637. From 1641-1658, he served on several juries and was the foreman at least twice. Thomas served multiple terms as a Salem selectman and multiple terms as an overseer of highways.   He was a fence viewer in 1636, constable in 1639, and rater in 1639-1640.

There is no indication of a specific profession practiced until the 1660s. During the 1660s, he was granted a license to be an innkeeper and sell "strong drink." In 1667, his license was amended to forbid him from selling "strong drink" to the local folks. He could only sell it to "strangers."

In 1636, he appears in a list of Salem church members, but a court record calls his commitment into question. In November 1660, among a list of Quakers, the wife of Thomas Gardner, Sr. was one of those fined for frequent absences from church on Sundays. Thomas was never mentioned for having absented himself from church and it is difficult to know his feelings about the matter.

Thomas Gardner was married three times. The name of his first wife is unknown. She probably died around 1636 and possibly in child birth. His second wife was named Margaret, but her maiden name was unknown. His third wife was Damaris, "widow Shattuck," and her maiden name is also unknown. The American Genealogist Vol. 30 has an article about the identities of Margaret and Damaris.

Thomas Gardner and his first wife are my tenth great-grandparents.

Thomas Gardner's children with his first wife were:
  1. Thomas born about 1614. 
  2. George born about 1616. 
  3. John born about 1624.
  4. Sarah born about 1627. Sarah married Benjamin Balch, son of immigrant, John Balch. 
  5. Samuel born about 1629. 
  6. Joseph born about 1630. 
  7. Richard born about 1632. 
  8. Miram born about 1635. 
  9. Seeth (daughter) baptized in Salem on December 25, 1636. 
My Line:
Thomas Gardner
Sarah (Gardner) Balch
Mary (Balch) Stone
Ruth (Stone) Morgan
Luke Morgan
Samuel Morgan
Martha (Morgan) Yates
Moses Yates
Gilbert William Yates
Estes Gilbert Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

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

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Aaron & Mary (Day) Abbott - Tombstone Tuesday

Footstone of Aaron Abbott, III
Footstone of Mary (Day) Abbott - wife of Aaron Abbott, III

While exploring the Capen Cemetery in October 2015, I found two footstones for which the headstones were missing. A little sleuthing and piecing together clues and I believe these belong to Aaron Abbott, III and his wife, Mary Day. Aaron was the son of my 3X great grandparents, Aaron & Sarah "Sally" (Abbott), Abbott. The parents are also buried in the same cemetery. 

According to Findagrave, Aaron Abbott, III was born on December 20, 1802, and died on August 15, 1878, in Bethel, Maine. Mary was born on May 8, 1802, in Kennebunk, Maine, and no date is given for her death. Aaron and Mary married on August 17, 1829, in Kennebunk. Findagrave lists her parents as Moses Wentworth Day & Elizabeth Littlefield. 

Aaron Abbott, Jr. - father of Aaron III and my 3X great-grandfather
Sarah K. (Abbott) Capen
Edward Abbott Capen
Fannie M. (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gilman C. Abbott - Tombstone Tuesday

Capen Cemetery, Bethel, Maine

Gilman C. Capen is my first cousin, 4X removed. He was the oldest son of Stephen & Nancy (Goddard), Abbott. He only lived to the age of thirteen and I know nothing about how he died. He is buried with his parents in the Capen Cemetery in Bethel, Maine.

Aaron Abbott, Jr.
Stephen Abbott
Gilman Abbott

Aaron Abbott, Jr.
Sarah K. (Abbott) Capen - sister of Stephen Abbott, aunt of Gilman C. Abbott
Edward Capen
Fannie (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Samuel Akley

Samuel Akley (name is also spelled Akeley or Ackley) was a Revolutionary War veteran. In 2014, I wrote about his military service. He is buried in the Rumford Center Cemetery in Maine and he is my 5th great-grandfather. Here are some pictures from my recent visit to the cemetery.
Grave with marker & flag

Grave with marker

Grave with decoration moved

The epitaph is difficult to read as the stone needs to be cleaned. I believe it is a variation of this phrase. It seems to match except for the first two words. 

Remember me as you pass by
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so you must be
Prepare for death and follow me

Samuel Ackley
William Ackley
Sarah (Ackley) Abbott
Mary Jane (Abbott) Capen
Edward Abbott Capen
Fannie (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Friday, July 22, 2016

Joseph & Tryphenia (Hancock) Spurr

Joseph Spurr, Jr. was the son of Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr and the brother of my 4X great-grandfather, Enoch Spurr. Joseph Jr. was born on January 6, 1759 and died on December 5, 1825. On February 1, 1797, he married Tryphenia Hancock, daughter of John & Martha (Bragg) Hancock. She was born on July 22, 1761 and died on December 17, 1830. They are buried in the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Otisfield. His brother, Samuel, and sister, Sarah, lived with him in Otisfield. 

Children of Joseph & Tryphenia (Hancock) Spurr
  1. Sarah "Sally" Spurr was born on March 4, 1799 and died on August 28, 1889. She never married. 
  2. Susan "Sukey" Spurr was born on October 25, 1801 and died on July 25, 1893. She married James Weston on November 24, 1825. 
  3. Milly Spurr was born on May 4, 1807 and died on November 6, 1894. She married Joseph Knight on June 5, 1832. 

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr - parents of Joseph, Jr.
Enoch Spurr
Roxanna (Spurr) Stanley
Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Immigrant Ancestor Jasper Blake

Three of my grandparents connect back to Jasper Blake's family, making Jasper and his wife, Deborah, my 9th great-grandparents on one line and my 10th great-grandparents on two other lines. The most direct is that of my grandfather, Clayton L. Blake.

Jasper & Deborah (Everard) Blake were one early settlers of Hampton, New Hampshire. He probably came to America in 1639-1640. Jasper died there on January 4, 1674 and Deborah died there on December 20, 1678. A 1661 deed for a house, barn, and house lot was transferred between Thomas Warde and Jasper Blake, both of Hampton, calls Jasper a fisherman. Jasper was one of several local men chosen to lay out house lots and roads and locate a meetinghouse and a block house for protection. Jasper's will and other documents were signed with his mark. His will was dated on July 18, 1673 and named his wife as executrix. He left land, given to him by Timothy Dalton, to his sons, Timothy & Israel. His son, John, was to have the lot where he currently lived, and son, Jasper, was given other land in Hampton. The inventory of his estate was taken by Samuel Dalton and Christopher Hussey on January 21, 1673/4. His personal property was only £59, 5s and his real property totaled £206, 5s.

Jasper and Deborah had seven sons and three daughters; Deborah, Timothy, Israel, Jasper, John, Sarah, Joshua, Samuel, Dorothy, and Philemon. One source lists another daughter, Maria, born in 1673.

Line to Blake - Generations 2-10

John, son of Jasper and Deborah (Everard) Blake, was born in 1656 and died in 1716. He married Frances ________.

John, son of John & Frances (___) Blake, was born at Hampton on September 2, 1689 and married Mary Dearborn. He moved to Sanbornton, New Hampshire.

Benjamin Blake
David Blake
Micajah Blake
Galon Blake
Charles G. Blake
Harriett May Blake
Clayton L. Blake - my grandfather

Line to Yates - Generations 2-11

Timothy, son of Jasper & Deborah (Everard) Blake was born in 1649 and married Naomi Sleeper. Timothy died in 1718. Timothy & Naomi had five sons and four daughters; Moses, Israel, Timothy, Aaron, Deborah, Martha, Naomi, Ruth, and Samuel.

Israel, son of Timothy & Naomi (Sleeper) Blake married Leah Smith. He lived in Nottingham, New Hampshire and died in April 1753. Israel & Leah (Smith) Blake had four sons and three daughters; Deborah, Sarah, Eliza, Jedidiah, Joseph, Israel, and Benjamin.

Deborah (Blake) Tucker
Hannah (Tucker) Rowe
William Rowe
Stephen B. Rowe
Charles H. N. Rowe
Anna (Rowe) Hayes
Eva D. (Hayes) Yates
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

Line to Cotton - Generations 2-11

Ruth, daughter of Timothy & Naomi (Sleeper) Blake was born on November 3, 1693 and died on June 6, 1717. She married Oliver Smith.

Mehitabel (Smith) Lyford
Oliver Smith Lyford
Nancy (Lyford) Philbrick
Oliver Smith Philbrick
Benjamin Perley Philbrick
Mary Elizabeth "Lizzie" (Philbrick) Cotton
Ray Everett Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton

Some Blake Sources
Cogswell, Rev. Elliott C. "History of Nottingham, Deerfield, and Northwood." Google Books. John B. Clarke, 1878, Original from Columbia University, 10 Mar. 2009. Web. 10 July 2016.
Cutter, William Richard. "Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts; : Cutter, William Richard, 1847-1918, Ed : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive." Internet Archive. Google, 2008. Web. 10 July 2016.
"History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire." Google Books. Ed. D. Hamilton Hurd. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 July 2016.
Hurd, Charles Edwin. "Genealogy and History of Representative Citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts : Hurd, Charles Edwin, 1833-1910 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive." Internet Archive. Boston Public Library, 2008. Web. 10 July 2016.

For information on Deborah (Everard) Blake and her relationship to the Dalton family, see the article published in 2000, by George F. Sanborn, Jr., F.A.S.G. and Melinde Lutz Sanborn, F.A.S.G.,  in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Boston, MA: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 1847-. (Online, New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001-2013.) Volume 154, beginning on p. 259.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Patriotic Family

Thomas Freeland, my 6X great-grandfather, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War. Responding to the alarm at Lexington on April 19, 1775, Thomas and all seven of his sons joined the Patriot cause. Thomas Freeland served as a private in Col. Jonathan Ward's regiment. His sons' service records are listed below:

  • Dr. James Freeland served as a surgeon in the United States army. He is listed with the regiments of Col. Ebenezer Learned and Col. Jonathan Holman. 
  • John Freeland served as a private in Col. Samuel Bullard's regiment and later in Capt. James Mellen's company, Col. Jonathan Ward's regiment (the same regiment as his father). Later he took part in the expedition to capture Fort Ticondergoa and Crown Point in the company of Capt. Thomas Marshall Baker, regiment of Col. James Denny. He and his wife later moved with other Hopkinton families to Clavarack and formed the settlement of Mellenville, New York. 
  • William Freeland served as a Lieutenant in the Revolutionary War.
  • Joseph Freeland enlisted in 1775 and served as a Sargent in the regiment of Col. Jonathan Ward (with his father and brothers, John and Thomas). 
  • Thomas Freeland, Jr. served as a private in the regiment of Col. Jonathan Ward. 
  • Abraham & Asa Freeland are also said to have served in the Revolutionary War.
James and John have lineages approved by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Since neither Abraham or Asa is supposed to have married it makes sense that they are not included in the DAR index

Children of Thomas & Mary (Nutt) Freeland:

  1. James was born in Hopkinton in December 1743. He was baptized on Christmas Day, 1743. He became a doctor and married Mehitable "Hetty" Mellen of Hopkinton on October 31, 1770. She was the daughter of Capt. Thomas & Elizabeth (Wood) Mellen. 
  2. Elizabeth was baptized on March 24, 1745 in Hopkinton. The History of Sutton says she married a man named Graves. The Sutton Freelands says that she married Nathan Hall and lived in Sutton. This may be a confusion with her sister who did marry a Nathaniel Graves. 
  3. John was baptized in Hopkinton on September 28, 1746. He married Mary Mellen, widow of _____ Gibbs. They settled in Claverack, near Hudson, New York. 
  4. William was baptized in Hopkinton on September 18, 1748 and married Lucy Claflin. They lived in Hopkinton. 
  5. Joseph was baptized in Hopkinton on July 18, 1750 and married Judith Gibson. He was a merchant in Hopkinton.
  6. Mary was baptized in Hopkinton on September 24, 1750 and married John Holland, Jr. on April 6, 1775. He was from Sutton. They moved to Dixfield, Maine. 
  7. Anna was born in Hopkinton on January 20, 1754 and Nathaniel Graves on November 4, 1774, according to The Sutton Freelands. However, The History of Sutton says she married a Mr. Hall. 
  8. Thomas, Jr. was baptized in Hopkinton on June 13, 1756 and married Anna Barrett. They lived in Hopkinton. 
  9. Sarah was baptized in Hopkinton on November 26, 1759 and married Joshua Park of Sutton on June 9, 1779. They lived in Hopkinton and later in Milford.  
  10. Abraham was baptized in Hopkinton on October 19, 1760 and never married. He lived in Hopkinton. 
  11. Asa was born and lived in Hopkinton. Neither the History of Sutton or The Sutton Freelands lists any marriage information for him. 

Thomas Mellen died at the home of his son, Dr. James Freeland. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Portraits of Dr. Timothy & Lydia (Russell) Carter

Dr. Timothy Carter

Lydia (Russell) Carter

Dr. Timothy Carter is my 4th great-grandfather. Lydia Russell was his second wife and not in my direct line. These portraits hang in the Brick End House in Bethel, Maine. This house was built by Dr. Timothy and is occupied by my cousin, John Carter, the 7th generation to live there. 

Dr. Timothy Carter
Elias Mellen Carter
Augustus Mellen Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

The Great Debater

Rebecca Williamson "Becky" Carter was the daughter of Edward M. and Fannie May (Capen) Carter. She was my great-aunt. She was fiercely independent and self-reliant. Her father died when she was only ten and she helped her mother raise her four brothers. She not only graduated from high school; she graduated from Bates College in 1933. She would later earn a Master's degree from the University of Wyoming. She married Bruce B. Bailey on October 10, 1942 in a bright red wedding dress. They settled on a relatively isolated farm and happily lived without running water, electricity, or a telephone, cooking and heating with wood stoves for their adult lives. I remember that they even rolled their own cigarettes. Finally, after Uncle Bruce died, the family convinced Aunt Becky that she had to get a telephone in case of emergency. Although they chose to live frugally, they did indulge in the things they really enjoyed. Aunt Becky practiced her French to stay fluent and took a few trips to France. She continued to engage in educational pursuits whether it was a national institute or an adult education class. She & Uncle Bruce were avid readers and subscribed to national newspapers and owned many books. Uncle Bruce and Aunt Becky never had children, but upon her death, she set up a scholarship fund to help her great-nieces and great-nephews and their children pay for higher education. To say that she was unconventional, would be an understatement. 

Rebecca Williamson Carter - graduation photo from The Mirror, 1933
Anyone who encountered Becky or one of her brothers will attest to their ability to debate issues. Therefore, I was not surprised to find the following in the Bates yearbook, The Mirror, for 1933. Becky won awards for debating and was inducted into the forensic honor society, Delta Sigma Rho. 

Freshmen Winning Team and Best Individual Speaker Awards
Women Debaters - Becky is second from the left in the front row

National Honorary Forensic Society

 Source Information:,School Yearbooks, 1880­-2012 [database on­line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010. Original data:Various school yearbooks from across the United States. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Request For Assistance!

Sometimes you just never know who is reading your blog! As I was prepping for my son's wedding, a researcher, Christie Jackson, contacted me because of my posts about the Freeland family of Sutton, Massachusetts. She is preparing a book about cabinetmaker, Nathan Lombard. The book will include relevant information about the community in which he lived and worked. Nathan worked for James Freeland on the Freeland homestead and pictures were included in Roy F. Stone's book, The Sutton Freelands: Legends and Letters. 

Christie is looking for someone with access to these photos and/or any other primary source documents relating to the Freeland family and Nathan Lombard. She has been unable to locate similar photographs in the archives she has visited so far. I found the book at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston. I suggested that Christie get in touch with them to see if they have any other sources related to the Freeland family or the Sutton community. Time is of the essence because the manuscript is due at the publisher by the end of July!

Is there anyone out there who knows a relative of Roy Freeland Stone, son of Clifton & Mary (Freeland) Stone? Roy lives or lived in Wilton, New Hampshire. I believe he was born about 1934. I will be doing some sleuthing over the next few days, but I wanted to get this published in case someone has direct access. If anyone has any leads on pictures of the Freeland homestead in Sutton or any documents relating to the Freeland family, please post a comment so I can follow up.

I will post an update - hopefully, telling you that a connection was made! Thank you in advance for helping.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

John & Zerviah (Abbott) Ellingwood - Tombstone Tuesday

John Ellingwood, son of Joseph & Sarah (Herrick) Ellingwood, was born on September 19, 1765, and died on June 19, 1847. On December 29, 1798, he married Zerviah Abbott in Andover, Massachusetts. Zerviah was the daughter of Jonathan & Mehitable (Abbott) Abbott. She was born on March 19, 1768, and died on October 18, 1847. They are buried in Riverside Cemetery, in Bethel, Maine. They are my 5X great-grandparents. 

Children of John & Zerviah (Abbott) Ellingwood:
  1. Sarah - born September 22, 1790
  2. Ann - born March 12, 1792
  3. Jacob - born February 23, 1794
  4. Joseph - born July 3, 1797 (twin)
  5. Benjamin - born July 3, 1797 (twin)
  6. John Wesley - born June 12, 1798
  7. Daniel - born July 23, 1800
  8. Ebenezer - born October 20, 1804
  9. George V. - born December 10, 1806
John & Zerviah (Abbott) Ellingwood
John Wesley Ellingwood, Jr. 
Asa Freeman Ellingwood
Nina King (Ellingwood) (Gibbs) Cotton
Annie Florilla (Gibbs) Cotton
Fern Lyndell Cotton - my grandmother

Friday, June 17, 2016

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr are my 5X great-grandparents. They moved to Otisfield, Maine in 1779 after short stints in Westbrook (Saccarappa) and Windham. Joseph was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts on November 19, 1731 and died in Otisfield on June 17, 1805. He was the son of Capt. Robert & Jemima (Foster) Spurr. Miriam was born in Stoughton, Massachusetts on April 4, 1731 and died in Otisfield on November 6, 1811. She was the daughter of Elkanah & Meredith (Wyatt) Lyon. 

Joseph Spurr served in the Revolutionary War as a Captain in Perez Cushing's Co., Col. Crafts Artillery Regt. from November 9, 1776 to May 8, 1777. He was a matross (gunner's assistant). Like many Revolutionary War soldiers he served several enlistments. He was a Corporal in Capt. Israel Trows Co., John Daggets Regt. from January 12, 1778 to March 31, 1778. 

On April 21, 2016, I took these photos from the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Otisfield. The History of Otisfield,  says that Joseph is buried "in the yard south of Spurrs Corner." However, I found this marker in the Cedar Crest Cemetery where there are many other Spurr family members and other interconnected families from early Otisfield. It is quite possible that it is a memorial placed at a later date. 

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spyrr

An overview of the Spurr section where Joseph & Miriam's stone is found

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr
Enoch Spurr
Roxanna (Spurr) Stanley
Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Moving in an Oxcart
Enoch Spurr - Revolutionary Service

Spurr, William Samuel. A History of Otisfield: Cumberland County, Maine from the Original Grant to the Close of the Year 1944 by William Samuel Spurr. Otisfield, Me.: Published by the Otisfield Historical Society, 1994. PDF.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday - Spurr Siblings

Samuel and Sarah Spurr are the unmarried siblings of my 4X great-grandfather, Enoch Spurr. Their parents were Joseph and Miriam (Lyon) Spurr. According to The History of Otisfield, they lived with their brother, Joseph Spurr, Jr. in Otisfield. They are buried with other members of their family in the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Otisfield, Maine. These pictures were taken on April 21, 2016. 

Mr. Samuel Spurr died Oct. 26, 1845
AE 78 y'rs & 9 mo.

Miss Sarah Spurr died June 16, 1849
AE 86 yrs. 6 ms.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Gone Too Young - Tombstone Tuesday

Riverside Cemetery, Bethel, Maine

Lewiston Evening Journal - Jun 14, 1893
A little son of Edward Capen of Bethel, eight years old, was killed Wednesday afternoon. His father was tethering his horse in the door-yard and left the horse with his little boy who tied the rope which was around the horse's neck around his wrist. The horse became frightened and ran nearly half a mile, when he was stopped by C.C. Bryant, who cut the rope, but the boy was dead.

Robert Woodbury Capen - born 1884 - buried Riverside Cemetery - Bethel

Robert is listed as Robbie W. 
Robert W. Capen was the brother of my great-grandmother, Fannie May (Capen) Carter. Edward Abbott & Mary Jane (Abbott) Capen had seven children. Four of the children are buried in the same plot with the parents. Two sons who died at young ages and two daughter who never married are listed on the same stone as their parents.

Edward Abbott Capen
Fannie May (Capen) Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Windy Springtime Weather

Ah, springtime in Maine! It's not all flowers and sunshine as evidenced by this news item from May 1891. Thankfully, there were no reports of serious injury. 


During the heavy wind that prevailed Monday, Oliver Blake of Deering, was riding along Ocean street in his covered meat cart when a sudden gust knocked cart and horse wrong side up. Mr. Blake and his goods were dumped into the road, but fortunately driver, horse and cart escaped serious injury. About six feet were blown from a chimney on the building on the building on Exchange street, Portland, occupied by Smith & Sale, Printers, Monday afternoon. The bricks came down through the roof and damaged the ceiling somewhat. 

Courtesy of, Bangor Daily Whig and Courier,
Thursday, May 21, 1891, Page 1. 

I did a brief check for any early hurricanes and found that the first hurricane came in early July. The events described happened on Monday, May 18th.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Tragic Deaths of Two Brothers

My 5X great-grandparents, Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr had two sons named Robert. Both of them died in tragic accidents, thirty-one years apart. Both sons were logging at the time of their deaths. My family has been involved in logging for many generations and it's a dangerous business.

Robert #1
The first son named Robert was born on May 23, 1755 and died on February 23, 1774. A newspaper extraction says that he fell under a sled loaded with wood. There is a Findagrave memorial for him in Wrentham Center Cemetery, but it doesn't have a picture of his gravestone. The History of Otisfield says that he was "killed by a loaded sled running over him." This book says that his tombstone has the following inscription:
As I did walk the road, 
Down hill a sled with me, 
The team ran very fast, 
My fall was the death of me. 
He was killed by a sled in a moment.

Robert #2
The second son named Robert was born on July 15, 1774, just a few months after his older brother of the same name was killed. The second Robert died on May 18, 1805 in Otisfield, Maine. The History of Otisfield says that he was "killed by a landing of logs rolling over him, breaking his back, at Crooked River, Otisfield." This Robert is buried in Bell Hill Cemetery in Otisfield and Findagrave has a picture of his gravestone.

Robert (2) was married on September 21, 1802 to Sarah West. She raised their son, John, alone and remarried on November 9, 1826. Her second husband was Simeon Turner. John Spurr was born on December 15, 1805, five months after his father's death.

Joseph Spurr died on June 17, 1805, about a month after losing his second son named Robert. Miriam died on November 6, 1811.

Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr
Enoch Spurr
Roxanna (Spurr) Stanley
Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
Edward Mellen Carter
T. Richard Carter - my grandfather.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! Here is a picture of my great-grandmother, Fanny May (Capen) Carter and her five children. Fanny's husband, Edward, was killed in July 1923 and she raised her five children as a single mother with the help of extended family. 

From left to right, Stanley Capen Carter (front), Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter (back), Fanny is holding Paul Albert Carter, Rebecca" Becky" Williamson Carter, and Thomas Richard "Dick" Carter. 

I'm guessing that this photo was taken about a year before Edward was killed. 

Fanny May (Capen) Carter was born on November 7, 1878 and died on August 5, 1961.

Edward Augustus "Gus" Carter was born on August 22, 1811 and died on December 27, 1997.

Rebecca Williamson "Becky" (Carter) Bailey was born on February 22, 1913 and died on February 7, 2003.

Thomas Richard "Dick" Carter was born on November 3, 1914 and died on October 7, 2005.

Stanley Capen Carter was born on May 13, 1917 and died on May 5, 1970.

Paul Albert Carter was born on June 10, 1920 and died on December 3, 1992.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Motherhood - 17th Century Style

Peter Brewer of Haverhill married Elizabeth Lilford on November 25, 1669. They are my 9X great-grandparents. Together they had 14 children in the twenty years from 1670-1690. Of 14 children, only Peter, Elizabeth, Dorothy (2nd), and Hannah lived to adulthood. Only twice was the previous child a year old or older when Elizabeth became pregnant with the next child. I can't imagine the physical and emotional toll this took on Elizabeth.

  1. Peter was born on September 15, 1670 and was living at Pemaquid in April 1689. 
  2. Elizabeth was born on March 5, 1672 and married John Tompson of Salisbury. Time between pregnancies: 9 months. 
  3. Dorothy was born on January 25, 1673 and died the next month on February 20. Time between pregnancies: not quite 2 months. 
  4. Thomas was born February 20, 1674 and died on March 6. Time between pregnancies: 4 months.
  5. Dorothy, the second child of that name, was born on February 11, 1675 and married William Middleton of Bradford on May 28, 1694. Time between pregnancies: not quite 3 months. 
  6. Ann was born on July 12, 1678 and died on February 6 of the next year. Time between pregnancies: 2 years and 7 months. 
  7. Richard, a twin, was born and died on December 27, 1679 Time between pregnancies: 8 months.
  8. Thomas, a twin, was born and died on December 27, 1679. 
  9. Mehitable was born on November 12, 1680 and died on January 19th. Time between pregnancies: not quite 2 months. 
  10. Mary was born March 11, 1682 and died on May 1, 1682. Time between pregnancies: 7 months. 
  11. Ebenezer was born on March 30, 1683 and died on July 30th. Time between pregnancies: 3 months. 
  12. Hannah was born on August 25, 1684 and married Adam Draper on March 6, 1704. Time between pregnancies: 8 months. 
  13. Mehitable, the second of that name, was born on February 24, 1686 and died on February 29, 1688. Time between pregnancies: 9 months
  14. Samuel was born on March 30, 1690 and died on May 27th. Time between pregnancies: 4 years and 1 month. 

I used the nine months figure to estimate the time between pregnancies because it was easier to do the math. However, I know there is a normal range of pregnancy between 38-42 weeks.

Peter & Elizabeth (Lilford) Brewer
Dorothy Brewer
Susanna Middleton
Mehitable Cheney
Susannah Blaisdell
Stephen Rowe
Charles H. N. Rowe
Anna J. Rowe
Eva D. Hayes
Linona Alice Yates - my grandmother

    Monday, May 2, 2016

    Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr

    Enoch Spurr is my 4X great-grandfather. He was the son of Joseph & Miriam (Lyon) Spurr. He married twice and I descend from his family with his second wife. He was born on January 28, 1761 in Dorchester, Massachusetts and died in Otisfield on May 2, 1843. His first wife was Patty Druce of Wrentham, Massachusetts. She died on November 11, 1782 at the tender age of 21. Roxana, the only daughter of Enoch & Patty died on December 15, 1782. Both Patty and Roxana were buried in Wrentham. 

    Enoch's second wife was Abigail Wight. According to the Ware Genealogy, she was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts on May 31, 1767 to Joseph & Abigail (Ware) Wight. Her parents were also early settlers of Otisfield. 

    Enoch Spurr fought in the Revolutionary War and his pension file states that he was at the Battle of Monmouth, wintered at Valley Forge, and was present for the surrender of General Cornwallis. 

    Enoch and Abigail are buried in the Cedar Crest Cemetery in Otisfield, Maine. I visited on April 21, 2016 and found that his stone continues to degrade. Another picture from a few years ago can be found on his Findagrave memorial. 


    Children of Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr

    1. Martha Druce Spurr was born on September 12, 1789 and died on March 27, 1831. She married James Cheever on December 8, 1822. 
    2. Roxana Spurr was born on February 29, 1792 and died on February 10, 1863. She married Edward Stanley on November 2, 1815. 
    3. Abigail Spurr was born on March 5, 1794 and died on February 20, 1871. She married George W. Longley on March 2, 1826. 
    4. Ann Spurr (twin of Abigail) died on December 28, 1873. She married Abel Longley on March 21, 1815. 
    5. Margaret T. Spurr was born on July 15, 1796 and died on May 9, 1870. She married James Wight. 
    6. Lydia Spurr was born on August 14, 1798 and died on November 25, 1870. She married Louis Jewel. 
    7. Mary Spurr was born on August 15, 1800 and died on December 8, 1891. She never married. 
    8. Enoch Spurr, Jr. was born on August 6, 1802 and died on November 3, 1883. 
    9. Betsey Spurr was born on December 27, 1805 and died on January 6, 1889. She married Samuel Scribner on September 22, 1830. 
    10. Sophronia Spurr was born on February 4, 1807 and married David L. Perley on October 27, 1885. 

    Enoch & Abigail (Wight) Spurr
    Roxana (Spurr) Stanley
    Mary Frances (Stanley) Carter
    Edward Mellen Carter
    T. Richard Carter - my grandfather 

    Revolutionary War Service
    His parents journey to Maine

    Information on Abigail (Ware) Spurr from Ware genealogy: Robert Ware, of Dedham, Massachusetts, 1642-1699, and his lineal descendants. Boston, Mass.: Charles H. Pope, 1901. 

    Information on Enoch Spurr from: Spurr, William Samuel. A History of Otisfield: Cumberland County, Maine from the Original Grant to the Close of the Year 1944. Otisfield, Me., Otisfield Historical Society, 1994. PDF.