Sunday, January 14, 2018

"LONGEVITY," for #52ancestors challenge:

This year I am participating in Amy Johnson Crow's genealogy challenge, "52 Weeks/52 Ancestors," which I also followed for two years 2014 & 2015.

We have relatively long-lived ancestors showing in our lines: my father's parents lived to mid-late 80s, my mother's mother/grandmother/great-grandmother lived in their 90s and 100s. I have every expectation of living to 100!

My longest-lived direct ancestor who lived over 100 is my 2nd great-grandmother, Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE.  Here's a 1924 photo of her at 97 years of age, during a visit my grandmother took with her 5 children including my 2 year old mother, from Vancouver BC Canada to Englewood, New Jersey. She is the shortest in the photo, second from left.

My grandmother wrote on the back, identifying each person and their relation to her. I love how this photo shows relationships here. My 2 year old mother is playing with her mother's jewellery, and Madee and GreatGrandma Graves were clearly talking about something while waiting for the photo to be taken. I suspect Madee's husband, my great-grandfather, was taking the photograph.

From left to right:
"Madee" Clara Augusta "Gussie" GRAVES
      b. 5 Nov 1857 Jordan NY, d. 30 Oct 1955 Englewood NJ

"GreatGrandma Graves" Harriet "Hattie" Philena ORMSBEE
      b. 28 May 1827 Manlius NY, d. 20 Aug 1929, Englewood NJ

"Mary" [my mother] 2 years old in this photo

"Mother" - my Grandmother known as GrandPete,
      b. 19 May 1880 Syracuse NY, d. 23 Oct 1973 Burnaby BC Canada

I have a number of long-lived persons in their 90s as well, even back in the 1700s with baptism dates with birthdates as well. Of course, there are also a number of women who died young, likely in childbirth, as well as men who died before 50, perhaps in accidents or due to illnesses.

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If any of these are ancestors of yours, I would be happy to hear from you with your comments or corrected information. I am also very happy to share any details I might have that are not shown on this post. Contact information calewis at telus dot net is found at the very bottom of this blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Monday, January 8, 2018

"FAVOURITE PHOTO," #52ancestors challenge:

For Amy Johnson Crow's year-long challenge: "52 Weeks, 52 Ancestors," here is the 2nd week with prompt, "Favourite Photo." I have too many favourite photos to find it easy to choose one.

There's the 1917 photo of my Gillespie Grandparents and their five children including my 10 year old Dad.

There's also the 1899 tintype photo of my Gillespie Grandparents - their engagement photo.

Or, the 1924 photo of 4 generations in the Terwilliger line with my 2 year old Mom.

Plus the photo of my baby brother with Mom, my big sister and me, on the stoop. And... Too many.

I decided to use the photo of 4 generations with my first baby, me, my Mom, and her mother, sitting on the porch of our house. Summer 1968, and my grandmother is 88 in this photo. She died in late 1973.

Monday, January 1, 2018

"START," for #52ancestors challenge: John BALL, c.1635-1717, Kittery, Maine

John BALL, is my 7th great-grandfather on my mother's lines. Born approximately 1635, likely in Kittery, York, Maine, he is the end-point of this line. Kittery is on Pascataqua River, the border between Maine and New Hampshire. Historically, Kittery began to be settled by the English settlers as early as 1623, and was incorporated as a town in 1647.

I have very few records of John BALL. He had land grants in Kittery, as early as 1649, where he and three other men are listed as having a grant at Cape Nattucke, Kittery. Note the line pointing to his name, Jno Ball, in roughly the top third of the map of Lower Kittery on this page. He's mentioned as a witness on several land sales for Wm. Pepperell, and in regards to his will in 1717, registered/recorded in York County, Maine. His marriage date is estimated from records of his children's marriages, showing their adult status. Not very much information at all for such an early settler in the region.

It is known that he had an uncle, his father's brother Richard Ball, as John (1635-1717) was executor of his [Richard's] estate. His father may have been the John BALL, a fisherman, who was a juryman in court held at Gorgeana, Maine, March 15, 1649.

John BALL married Joanna [unknown surname] perhaps 1665-1670s, in Kittery Maine, per Torrey's New England Marriages to 1700, Vol.1, p78. Her parents were also unknown.

John and Joanna had the following known children, all born in Kittery, in no particular order:
   1.  William, m. Mary Roberts 14 Sep 1687, Kittery, York, ME
   2.  Thomas,
   3.  John [jr.], m. Anne Allen 9 Dec 1717, Kittery, York, ME
   4.  Joanna, d. bef 1717; m. Benjamin Hutchins [s/o Enoch, Mary] in 1702
   5.  Mary,  m. Joseph Crockett jr. 12 Oct 1700
   6.  Elizabeth, [ancestor], d. 1 Mar 1725/26; m. [1] Edward Hammons, 1 dau.; m. [2] Francis PETTYGROVE/PETTEGREW  20 Oct 1706; 7 children; our line through their son Thomas. You can see Francis P's land in the map, above John Ball.

As mentioned above, it is known he purchased land, e.g., at Eagle Point in April 1667, as well as land on Spruce Creek, from Thomas Withers. The map of Lower Kittery at the top of this blog, loosely dated 1635-1700, shows his Spruce Creek land. It is unclear what occupation he had, perhaps a fisherman. He left only a minor mark in the history books, as many do. He worked, married, had children, wrote a will, and died.

He wrote his will on 6 June 1717, which is fully transcribed on p. 398, Vol.8 of  York Deeds, part of the collection Maine: Early Wills and Deeds 1640-1760.  This can be seen on AmericanAncestors website. In his will, signed/marked by both himself and his wife, he provides to give all property, house, goods and chattels, to his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Francis Pettygrew [sic]. This was to be in payment for their assistance in providing nursing and personal care needs. No mention is  made of their other children or grandchildren. Possibly John had already provided for them. One child would have already died before this date, daughter Joanna.

Scarcely 10 days later, on 17 Jun 1717, John Ball died.

John's wife Joanna, died 9 years later, on March 1726, in Kittery, York, Maine.

Several additional sources for these details included [a] The Pioneers of Maine and New Hampshire, 1623-1660, 1908 by Charles H Pope; [b] Old Kittery and Her Families, 1903 by Everett Stackpole;  [c] Genealogical Dictionary of Maine and New Hampshire, 1928 by Charles T Libby; and, [d] New England Marriages prior to 1700, by Clarence A. Torrey.

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If any of these are ancestors of yours, I would be happy to hear from you with your comments or corrected information. I am also very happy to share any details I might have that are not shown on this post. Contact information is found at the very bottom of this blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Gilbert PURDY 1721-1777 - our United Empire Loyalist connection

United Empire Loyalists, aka UE or UEL, were those who not only supported the British against the rebellious 'Americans' in the Revolutionary War [1775 to 1783], but also moved to Canada. Many had all their land and goods confiscated by the Revolutionaries, and were hounded out of their homes and out of the country. In British-governed Canada, they were rewarded by the British government with land grants. Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph for more details.

After starting my genealogy research about 12 years ago, I heard from a cousin that my ex-husband's Lewis family had UEL ancestors, but no one knew his name. Hmmm. How to prove UE links was a bit of a problem, as early Ontario - where the Lewis family had lived during that time period of the late 1700s - had scattered records. I assumed I would find a Lewis UE ancestor eventually, but we all know about the errors of assumptions!  

I had a breakthrough when looking through some Lewis family trees and found several referring to early AIKIN and PURDY families as "UE families". Exciting clues! My friendly helper at our BC Genealogical Society  Library, Marvellous Marvin, in 15 minutes had a pile of applicable UEL books, and two websites for me to do searching! Wow! The link was through the mother of Isaac LEWIS, [my children's great-grandfather], born in Ontario: Alma Jane AIKEN. 

I have only bits and pieces of reserch as yet, and need to do much more digging, but this is what I have to date:

Gilbert PURDY [sr.], b. about 1721 in Newburgh, Ulster, New York, married Mary DORLAND about 1755 and had at least 9 children that we know of.  He was a shipwright, and before he joined the British Army in 1777, he had a 40 Ton sloop just built, up in stocks at his property. 

In 1777, Gilbert died at Chesapeake with General Howe's Army, en route to Philadelphia. This army under Gen. Howe was overwhelmed by the Revolutionary soldiers under Gen. Washington. 

Gilbert and Mary had the following children, born in the Newburgh region of NY:
   1.  David, b. 20 Oct 1756, m. Abigail Ostrum [dau of a UEL soldier], settled in Ernestown, ON
   2.  Mercy, abt 1758, m. about 1785 to Major John Everett [UEL soldier], settled in Kingston ON
   3.  Mary, b. about 1761 [no information]
   4.  Gilbert [jr.] ancestor, b. 9 Jan 1763, d. 5 Jan 1851 Kingston ON; m. Ann E. JENNINGS [1771-1844]; settled in Kingston region ON [Cataraqui]; 8 children, eldest daughter Martha is ancestor
   5.  Micajah, b. 10 May 1766, d. 1844; Kingston ON
   6.  Rhoda, b. 15 May 1768, d. in NY state, USA
   7.  Catherine, b. 24 Aug 1770 [no information]
   8.  Charlotte, b. 25 Aug 1773, d. Kingston ON; m. abt 1795 to Nicholas Herchmer
   9.  Samuel, b. 25 Mar 1775, d. Kingston ON
As is obvious, I need to do research for more information on each child, spouse.

Gilbert joined General Howe's "Pioneers & Settlers" Army, sometimes called "Regiment Guides and Pioneers", and died in 1777. His widow and their children were hounded in New York by those hostile to the British rule, and wanting an independent country.  Goods, animals, and property were confiscated from her over a period of time. 

As the British government began to provide land grants to the loyal soldiers and their families, Mary took her children up to the Kingston region, and petitioned for land. At first her petition was rejected, but eventually, I could find Orders in Council [OC] accepting the petition for various members in the family starting in about 1800, one at a time, over about 10 years. One daughter, Rhoda, returned to New York state, likely to marry, and she did not receive any land.  Mary had petitioned for 200 acres for herself and 350 acres for her 7 children who qualified.

Mary DORLAND Purdy fought vigorously for her children, and the final OC grants were provided in 1810.  She died January 16, 1813 in Kingston Ontario, aged 79 years.  

Our line goes from Gilbert and Mary as follows:
     Gilbert PURDY & Mary DORLAND -> 
     son, Gilbert PURDY [jr.] & Ann Elizabeth JENNINGS ->
     dau, Martha PURDY & Robert AIKIN [AIKINS] ->
     son, John Lewis AIKEN & Eliza Jane BAKER ->
     dau, Alma Jane AIKEN & Isaac Charles LEWIS ->
     son, Charles Wm LEWIS & (1) Ada RICE -> 
            son, Charles LEWIS
                                                & (2) Reba K. RICE -> 
            sons Bill LEWIS & Jack LEWIS  

More information will be coming later in the new year, as I continue to dig further to be certain of each link. I have a list of items to search, such as land grant details, petition details, maps, vital statistics, more information on the spouses, to be certain I have the correct connections. Our PURDY connection is based on information given from a specific person's claims to the UEL Association of Canada, sources as shown on the UELAC website:
   1) BMD - Original Certs
   3) THE OLD UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS by Milton Rubincam, 1976
   4) THE LOYALISTS IN ONTARIO, by William D. Reid
   5) Genealogical Records (Family Tree) by Ron Makin (
   6) VOYAGE OF A DIFFERENT KIND, by Larry Turner, 1984
   7) LOYALIST LINEAGES OF CANADA, by Toronto Branch, UELAC, 1991, Vol 2, pps. 896-897

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I am certain there may be errors of one sort and another as this is my first dive into UEL records, so do feel free to correct my information and/or provide me with information on how I might find more accurate details. I will be in touch with the UEL Association of Canada of course, as well as digging for more Ontario resources.  You can contact me through the address at the bottom of the blogs.

Google Blogger is still not allowing me to directly answer any comments, but do know that I appreciate that this information may be useful to others. And if you do comment, please know that you will make my day!  Cheers.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Siméon Le ROY 1711-1790, 6th great-grandfather in TERWILLIGER line

Siméon Le ROY is my 6th great-grandfather on my maternal TERWILLIGER line in New York state.  His surname ROY is variously spelled of course, as the Dutch heard the French pronunciation of LeRoy or Le Roy, and spelled it Larwa, Larowa, Larroway. Some descendant lines apparently kept the original French form of [Le] ROY, while others took the LAROWAY/LARAWAY spelling.
Image: current iteration of the first 1647 Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral, Québec; Wikipedia.   

As one might suspect from the surname, this Le ROY family travelled from Québec in the early 1700s down to Kingston in northern New York, settling eventually in Schoharie.

Siméon was the grandson of his name-sake, the original French settler from Normandy to New France in the mid-1660s, who married one of the almost-800 Filles du Roi [King's Daughters] in 1668. (That's a different story for another blog post.)

Siméon was baptised 15 Jul 1711 in Kingston, Ulster, New York, of parents: Léonard-Rémi LE ROY  dit AUDY and Maria ZIELLE/UZILE. For details on French-Canadian dit names, click here. For various reasons related to how names were pronounced by Dutch authorities, his father, Léonard-Rémi, became known as Jonas LARROWA. Already there are too many names and variant names, plus spelling variants. It's an interesting challenge to keep who's who straight.

On October 29, 1733, Siméon married Jantje VANDERVOLGEN in Schoharie, New York. Jantje was bap. Oct 28, 1716 in Schenectady, New York. I am still searching for more details on her line.
Sept. 29 [1733];  Simeon Larwa YM  / and / Jannetje VanderVolgen YD 
                    bo[th] at Nesketha / both liv here  Marr. Oct.29 / bo at Schenectady

Children of Siméon and Jantje, all born in Schoharie:
   1. Sara, [ancestor] bap 17 Nov 1737, d. unknown; m. 20 Sep 1754  to Dirk TERWILLIGER, Albany, NY;  5 known children
   2. Maria, bap 29 Jul 1738
   3. Neeltje, bap 12 Oct 1740
   4. Dina, bap 7 Sep 1742

Jannetje VANDERVOLGEN must have died between 1742-1744, although I haven't found a burial record as yet. However, there is a second marriage in the marriage registers of the Dutch Reformed Church, with widower Siméon, on Dec 6, 1744, with Jantje Valkenburgh [single].
Dec. 6 [1744];  Simeon Larrowa, widr & Jantje Valkenburgh YD;
both Schenectady

Children of Siméon and the second Jantje, all born in Schoharie:
   5. Lydia, bap 11 Nov 1745
   6. Jannetje, bap 10 Jun 1753
   7. Isaac, bap 21 Nov 1756

Jantje in various spellings is a quite common woman's name in the Dutch community. I was confused at this second marriage, thinking that perhaps Valkenburgh and VanderVolgen had been mistakenly heard/written, and were the same person. However I have since seen there are several Vandervolgen families in the region. As you can see by the children's birthdates, there is a 7 year gap between the 5th and 6th child. The cause of this gap is not known at this point. Jantje Valkenburgh died after birthing her son Isaac, the only boy in the family, on 21 Nov 1756.

Unfortunately Siméon's second wife died in childbirth with Isaac, the only known boy in this family. I have not yet done further research on the parents of the two Jantje wives, nor of the marriages of the 7 children. I have a list of research, who/where/when.

Siméon died in 1790 in Schoharie, having outlived both his wives. He would have been about 45 years old at the death of his second wife; possibly he moved in with one of his 6 daughters, or his only son's family.

I have additional details still to research: his occupation, taxes, land records, will or probate, and any further church records available... One never stops searching!
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If these are your ancestors as well, please feel free to contact me via the email address at the very bottom of the blogs. I am always happy to share, and to correct any details I may have incorrect.  

Google Blogger still isn't allowing me to reply to any comments, but I do read them and enjoy knowing others find the blog posts interesting. If you comment, you make my day!  

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mary BIRTWISEL / BIRTWISLE c.1790 - after 1871 - Who Is Her Family?

It is always challenging to find information on women ancestors, particularly so when the family are one of the common folk. Mary BIRTWISEL is one of those examples of a woman who shows up on a marriage register, is listed as "Mary" the wife, on children's baptisms. And that is all there is.

Mary BIRTWISEL is the 4th great-grandmother to my son-in-law, in his Atherton-Perry line. Her marriage record of April 29, 1811 shows her marrying Thomas BOSTOCK in the Weaverham Parish, Chester, England.

I began by trying to find any person with her interesting surname, using spelling variations. I searched through,, and Eventually I found a Sarah Birtwisle's baptism record, July 23, 1758, father's name, Thomas, in Gorstage, scarcely a mile away from Weaverham, in parish of same name. Although the age and location would make it possible Sarah could be Mary's mother, unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a baptism record for Mary. I did find that Sarah had two illegitimate children in the several years before when Mary appears to have been born, but no Mary. There appears to have been only one Birtwisle family in the Weaverham region:
1758: Sarah  Daughter of Thomas Birtwisle of Gorstidge [Gorstage] b. July 23
1785: Betty the Illegitimate Daughr of Sarah Birtwisle of Gorstage b. Apr 6
1788: James Son of Sarah Birtwisle b. Feb 2

The Birtwisel family - or Mary on her own? - would have been living close enough to the Bostock family so she and Thomas could have met. Possibly in the Weaverham church, I was certain. The image on the left is St. Mary, the local Church of England church.

I knew FindMyPast has images of the Diocese of Chester Parish Registers, beginning in 1538, so I began my detailed searches there, through the recorded baptisms. Hours were spent page by page by page by page, keeping a  note of the various villages near where the BOSTOCK family lived: Cuddington, Weaverham, Gorstage, Crowton, and others.

I began back in 1730 working forward hoping to find any Birtwisel/Birtwisle Birtwistle Bertwisle - I had a list of possible spellings, and I found it relatively easy to read the images after peering closely. Some were quite faded, others scrawled messily, but in the main, after all those hours, no positive results.

Looking further afield outside Weaverham, I found a small group of Birtwisle families in Whitegate Parish, about 4 miles south of Weaverham. An Ann Birtwisle had an illegitimate daughter, Mary, March 6, 1791. This date makes it somewhat likely to be the Mary who married Thomas BOSTOCK. Ann went on to marry a Daniel Nickson October 1st, 1799, in Whitegate Parish. Now I question why - if Ann was indeed Mary's mother - why Mary didn't go by her stepfather's surname? But further research finds Ann and Daniel Nickson with several children baptised in the same Whitegate Parish after their marriage. So that appears to indicate the Nickson couple stayed in Whitegate Parish area. So how did Mary Birtwisle meet the Bostock family in Weaverham Parish? Although possible, this research leaves me with more questions than answers.

Thomas BOSTOCK and Mary had 5 children found in the Parish records:
    1.  Elizabeth, b. 7 Jan 1812 Cuddington, bap 9 Feb 1812, buried 19 Jun 1819 in Cuddington [near Weaverham].
    2.  Thomas, bap 12 Jun 1814, died 9 Apr 1819, Weaverham.
    3.  George, [direct ancestor] bap 19 Feb 1817 Cuddington, bur 9 Aug 1870 Cuddington; m. 29 Dec 1841 to Hannah/Ann PICKTON, 8 children.
    4, 5.  fraternal twins: James & Elizabeth, bap 15 Apr 1833 Cuddington

There is clearly a question about the long gap between George and the fraternal twins - 13 years. It is certainly possible that Thomas & Mary BOSTOCK are the same parents who had the previous three children. It is always possible there were other children who died at birth, or the baptism record was  not clear. Certainly, no marriage of a Thomas BOSTOCK and a different Mary after 1817, has been found.

Mary was widowed when her husband died, possibly the Thomas  Bostock buried September 24, 1848. The 1851 Census for Cuddington lists her as "AgLab widow", living with her youngest daughter Elizabeth and husband David Shallcross, with their first child, Ann Shallcross, 6 months old. The marriage registration for David and Elizabeth is dated May 2, 1850, witnessed by a Thomas Bostock, possibly her living father, or another Bostock relative.

In the 1861 Census for Cuddington shows her living on her own, widowed, and it states her birthplace as Sandiway, Weaverham, Cheshire. Note the baby Ann does not show up on the 1861 Census, likely deceased earlier.

Ten years later, aged 85, Mary is found in 1871 Census, in Cuddington, living with her youngest daughter, Elizabeth and husband, David Shallcross. On this 1871 Census, it is stated Mary was born in Gorstage, Cheshire. The village of Gorstage is scarcely a mile away from Weaverham. I do not have Mary's death date, after 1871; it is likely she deceased within 5 years.

Both censuses stating her birthplace near Weaverham, would seem to make it much less likely that the illegitimate daughter Mary, born in 1791 to Ann Birtwisle in Whitegate Parish, is the same Mary Birtwisle who married Thomas BOSTOCK in 1811.

So I am back to my first question:
Where are those parents of Mary Birtwisle, born 1786-1780, in Cheshire? 

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If you have further information, suggestions, or corrections, please do not hesitate to contact me via the address found at the very bottom of the blog.  I am always happy to add correct information to my son-in-law's family history.

Blogger seems to have stopped allowing me to directly reply to any comments. I always post a reply to any comments, but you may not get a Blogger notice of this reply. Please do know that I appreciate your stopping by, reading, and offering a reply. You make my day!

Monday, May 22, 2017

John BLANDFORD/BLANFORD 1611-1687, From England to Massachusetts

John BLANFORD, sometimes written as BLANDFORD, is the 8th great-grandfather of my ex-husband, 9th great-grandfather to our children, and 10th great-grandfather to the grandchildren! He is an end-of-line ancestor on our LEWIS-RICE family tree.

We do not have an exact birth date for John, mainly because we are not certain exactly where he was born. A number of people believe he was born in or near Sutton Mandeville in Wiltshire England. The church pictured here, All Saints, dates from 1270, and is still in use, with a fairly small parish. The surname BLANFORD is generally considered a locational surname, referring to the name of a place, but there are other possibilities. Click on this link for a brief explanation. Since he is listed as 27 years on the ship list, described below, he was likely born in 1611 plus or minus a year.

The first mention we have of him is on the ship, Confidence, as listed on Olive Tree Genealogy website, Ships lists:
CONFIDENCE, of London, two hundred tons, John Gibson, Master. She salled from Southampton the last of April, "by vertue of the Lord Treasurers warrant of the 11th of April,1638."

On this ships list, John, aged 27, is listed as "his servant" along with two other young men, in reference to coming with a wealthy linen merchant, Walter Haynes and his family, of Sutton Mansfield [Mandeville], Wiltshire. This is of course a clue to John's possible birthplace in Wiltshire. Note that a descendant of John BLANFORD married a descendant of Walter HAYNES, leading directly to the RICE line. They all braided together, a not uncommon occurrence in early settlements.

Before the time John was 30, he had acreage in Sudbury, and he married Mary ___ [unknown], likely in Sudbury, Massachusetts. To date, we are not certain who Mary was, in this early time of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Over 20,000 immigrants, mainly Puritans from England, came to the region in the 1630s.

Unfortunately, Mary is seen in the Sudbury town vital records to have died April 10, 1641 in Sudbury, likely in childbirth, although that information is not given. It is possible that John and Mary had a daughter named Mary born approximately 1639, but it is not confirmed as yet. On the other hand, there is confusion in these vital records re John and Mary's daughter, Sarah, whose birthday is given as Jan 2, 1642, parents named as John and Mary. This may be a confusion in transcriptions or possibly in writing down the old/new dates issue. Sarah is the direct ancestor here, so I am continuing to search for more details of which of John's wives was her mother. Currently, on logical analysis, it seems most likely Dorothie was her mother, and the transcription was incorrect listing Mary as her mother.

Children of John and Mary:
   1.  Mary? b. abt 1639, d. Feb 1676 Framingham MA; m. 1) Oct 5, 1652 to Jonathan Paddleford; 2) Oct 5 1663 to Thomas Eames.  Not proven.
   2.  Sarah [ancestor], b. Nov 27, 1642 [?], d. March 16, 1724/25 Ashburnham MA; m. 1) Sep 11, 1665 to Elias/Elijah KEYES d. bef 1679,  5 children; m. 2) abt 1679 to John Maynard, 3 children.

After his first wife's death, John married a widow, Mrs. Dorothie Wright [unknown surname], on March 10, 1641/42 [1642], as seen in records in Sudbury MA vital records [transcribed].
Children of John and Dorothie, all born in Sudbury MA:
   2. or is Sarah their first child? b. Nov 27, 1642, d. March 16, 1724/25 Ashburnham MA; m. 1) Sep 11, 1665 to Elias/Elijah KEYES d. bef 1679,  5 children; m. 2) abt 1679 to John Maynard, 3 children.  The record below was a Sudbury MA record sent to Boston with other early MA vital records:

   3.  Hannah, b. Mar 7, 1643/44, m. Dec 23, 1667 to Javits "Jabez" Brown; no further research done
   4.  John jr, b. Mar 6, 1645/46, d. Nov 18, 1719 Sudbury; no further research done
   5.  Lydia, b. Jan 28, 1646/47; no further research done
   6.  Stephen, b. Dec 3, 1649, d. abt Feb 28 1699/00; m. Jun 9, 1682 to Susannah Long; 2 children known
   5.  Thomas, b. abt 1651; no further research done

The Sudbury Archives hold many documents re John BLANFORD, including listings of Sudbury land grants, land adjustments, and various town issues such as sizing the town commons, naming constables, naming surveyors for different purposes. This excellent resource also provides historical context and editor notes to each document, if/as indicated.

John died on Oct 23rd, 1687, in Sudbury, aged 76 years old. His wife, Dorothie lived until some time before 21 June 1703.  In John's will, his inventory of goods and lands amounted to approximately £167  I still need to write out the will, having just found it, along with his wife, Dorothie's will and inventory; her inventory valued at just over £41. Below is a snippet of John's will, which is several pages long, including inventory and probate, plus witness statements.

And what did I realize as I went through researching Sudbury?  That a number of the names on the list of early settlers in Sudbury intermarried and ended up in the RICE line. Somehow I hadn't noticed that when I first started researching John BLANFORD. Blind, clearly. One of the reasons I write on individuals is that I always learn something more about the ancestors, the resources, the quality of sources, and mapping. Some of the surnames are: RICE, NOYES, KEYES, HAYNES, BENT, HOW, KING, GOODENOW. They all show up within 5 generations.

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If any of these are ancestors of yours, I would be happy to hear from you with your comments or corrected information. I am also very happy to share any details I might have that are not shown on this post. Contact information is found at the very bottom of this blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Joseph Jacobus KUHN, 1803-1878 Pennsylvania

Joseph Jacobus KUHN, was the 12th and the youngest child of John Ignatius KUHN and his wife Theresa/Tarasy FRICKER. Of interest is that he was only the 2nd boy of this marriage. The priest used the latin form of his second name, Jacob.

Joseph J. KUHN, was born October 4, 1803 in Conewago, Adams, Pennsylvania.  An early note states he was a drummer boy in the War of 1812, which did not actually end until 1815. Very young. I have not yet researched whether or not his one and only brother, John Kuhn, fought in the war as well; John would have been 5 years older. Later, Joseph was a Colonel in the Pennsylvania State Militia.

The obelisk to the right is on the KUHN burial region in the Conewago Chapel Basilica Cemetery, Conewago Twp, Adams, PA, where many of the Kuhn children and spouses are listed, as well as their ancestors. This obelisk provided much information on my KUHN ancestors, with names and dates to help in genealogy research. [photo, by permission]

On Nov. 5, 1826, in Conewago Chapel, by Rev. I. Barth, Joseph married Jane Rebecca McCABE, the younger daughter of Edward McCABE (from Ireland) and Rebecca HUDSON. Note that my Kuhn ancestors were Catholics who emigrated from the Wurttemburg region of Germany approximately 1730-1740.

Very soon after his marriage, Joseph bought a farm on the banks of the Conewago [the Big Conewago], near East Berlin, Adams, PA, where the family lived. He and his wife stayed here for about 40 years. Note the KUHN family were living only 12 miles or so from the famous battleground of Gettysburg.

From their marriage, there were 9 children known, all born in East Berlin, Pennsylvania:
   1.  Edward John, b. 23 Sep 1827, d. 25 Feb 1906 Hanover PA; m. 1) Annie Gill 1856, dec. 1862 in Troy MO;  m. 2) Sarah Jane Hilt abt 1870; 8 children
   2.  Dr. Louis DeBarth [ancestor], b. 22 Oct 1829, d. 7 May 1908 Brooklyn NY; m. 17 Jan 1864 Port Townsend, Wash.Terr. to Amelia A. PETTYGROVE; 10 children.
   3.  Sarah Jane, b. 25 Dec 1831, d. 29 Apr 1834, East Berlin PA.
   4.  Maria Rebecca, b. 2 Feb 1834, d. 8 Nov 1857 [typhoid] in Cuba on honeymoon; m. abt 1857 NY to Charles F. Leisen
   5.  Charles Edmund, b. 16 Nov 1836, d. 23 Nov 1909 Denver, CO; m. 1862 to Jennie M. Myers; 1 child who died aged 23.
   6.  Jane Elizabeth, b. 5 Feb 1839, d. 8 Jun 1916, Brooklyn NY; m. abt 1865 to Philip Reilly, 5 children
   7.  Joseph Augustine, b. 1 Sep 1841, d. 4 Oct 1918 Port Townsend, Wash. Terr.; no marriage/children.
   8.  John Randolph, b. 28 Aug 1844, d. 2 Nov 1926 East Berlin PA; m. 13 Feb 1870 Brooklyn to Henrietta Marie Rabitte; 13 children
   9.  Dr. George Richard Montgomery, b. 2 Sep 1847, d. 5 Nov 1915 Brooklyn NY; m. 13 Nov 1879 Brooklyn NY to Mary E Hussey; 5 children.

Joseph J KUHN was a farmer, but for a number of years he also acted as Associate Judge of Adams County, as well as other minor offices. He was referred to as "Col." from his military engagement with the PA State Militia. His farm holdings included the original farm on the bank of the Big Conewago, as well as a place in New Oxford, Adams, PA, a few miles away.

Joseph died September 18, 1878, leaving his wife as well as seven living adult children.  He is buried in the KUHN gravesite, and details engraved on the KUHN obelisk, in the Conewago Chapel Basilica Cemetery. Image of chapel on left. He left a considerable estate, which two of his sons administered: Edward J, and John R. Kuhn. It was finally probated in full by Aug 16, 1893.  

There is conflicting details on exactly where he died: either New Oxford or in McSherrystown. These two towns are very close together.  I am researching this currently, along with finding his actual will, plus his wife's will of 1883.

On the 1880 census of Brooklyn His wife, Jane Rebecca, is seen living with her daughter Jane Elizabeth Kuhn who had married Philip Reilly, with five Reilly grandchildren. She died Jun 15, 1883 in Brooklyn, and her body was taken back to Conewago Chapel Basilica Cemetery.

Of his children, Joseph seems to have done well, making sure they had a good education, and worked hard for a good life.  An obituary writeup on his life notes the following about the children:
Edward is a wealthy farmer of Hanover, Pa.  
Louis DeBarth who was a surgeon in the United States Navy during the war is now a practicing physician in Brooklyn; he married Miss Pettygrove of Portland Ore., daughter of the founder of that city.
Joseph A. is a lawyer of considerable wealth, president of a bank at Port Townsend, Wash.; he has been in the legislature and state senate for twenty years and is a prominent Mason, a past master of the grand lodge of Washington, and a shriner.
John R. is a lawyer in Brooklyn
George K. is a physician in Brooklyn.
Maria R. married C.F. Leison, and died on her wedding journey i Cuba.
Jane is the widow of P. Reilly, an eminent lawyer of New York, where she is still residing.
Charles E. has one of the largest ranches in Denver, Colorado, situated near Kuhn's Crossing in Elbert County, and covers an area of ten square miles, devoted principally to grazing.

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If any of these are ancestors of yours, I would be happy to hear from you with your comments or corrected information. I am also very happy to share any details I might have that are not shown on this post. Contact information is found at the very bottom of this blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


APRIL  is a  month where we have a number of birthdays in our family. So I'll post my closest relatives, then add in the direct-line ancestors - only 18 total known for April!

On the left side, Johnny GILLESPIE, my dad, born April 7th in Scotland. [now deceased]  This photo shows him in his Canadian Army uniform, taken in about 1939/1940. He ended up in Halifax area on the new RADAR installation.
On the right side, Jack LEWIS, my children's father, was born April 15th in California USA, but spent most of his life in BC. This photo on the right was taken about 10 years ago.

Our second daughter,
Megan LEWIS, born April 22nd in Burnaby.  Only two days old here in the hospital, and Megan is already busy watching the world!

On the right side, my son-in-law, Brent PERRY, born April 17th in Canada. The photo was taken on his wedding day, to my first daughter Pia.

Other ancestors in our direct line who have
APRIL birthdays include the following:
       -- April  1726  Dirk TERWILLIGER
        3 April 1715  Zerubbabel JEROME
        4 April 1732  Grover BUELL
        5 April 1683  Enoch BUCK
        5 April 1726  Hannah BROOKS
        6 April 1712  Deacon Joseph BAILEY
        6 April 1680  Susannah SPENCER
      11 April 1675  Hannah ORCUTT
      12 April 1811  Thomas Milligan VINEYARD          
      15 April 1576  Annis/Agnes PROWSE
      16 April 1620  Mary ____ m. Thomas AXTELL
      19 April 1727  Huldah KEYES
      19 April 1592  Deacon Gregory STONE
      30 April 1725  Catherine RIFFEL

If any of these names seem familiar to you, do write me. I'm always interested in finding new cousins, or correcting any errors, adding documented information. My contact information is at the very bottom of the blog.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Robert KEYES 1606-1647, Immigrant to Massachusetts

Robert KEYES is the 8th great-grandfather to my ex-husband and his brother, 9th to their children, 10th to the grandchildren. He is an early immigrant from the south of England to Massachusetts in New England. Information for this post came from the book The Great Migration Begins by Robert C Anderson, NEHGS, as well as a book "Genealogy Robert Keyes of Watertown Mass, Solomon Keyes of Newbury and Chelmsford Mass, 1653. And their descendants." by Asa Keyes, 1850. Vital records of early Massachusetts were also consulted.

In the description of Robert KEYES from the Great Migration Begins [1620-1635] pp1128-1131, the editor states that Robert Keyes' history in New England is somewhat anomalous to other immigrants. Amongst some apparently missing birth registrations, and no town grant of land, he does appear to be:
  "...a solid married man with a family in progress, who is in a record made just before his death called "Mr." [high respect]. But in othe ways he does not fit the mold; he did not become a town proprietor, he did not become a freeman, and he does not appear to have left any estate at his death."

It is assumed that Robert and his wife came from the south of England, possibly Kent. However, there is not yet consensus of Robert's English ancestry, nor of his wife. Note the spelling of KEYES is quite variable: Keies, Case, Key[s], Kaye[s], and so on.

Robert was born, possibly in Kent, about 1606 to [possibly] John & Susan KEYES. Nothing is known of occupations of his father, nor of Robert as an adult in England. About 1630, he married Sarah [unknown maiden name]. Their known/accepted children follow, all but the first and last born in Watertown, MA. I have not completed research on all the children of these children:
   1.  Solomon, b. est 1631 England; m. Oct 2, 1653 Newbury MA to Frances Grant, children.
   2.  Sarah, b. May 26 1633 [MA reg.] Watertown MA, d. 1707; m. Jul 8, 1656 in Salisbury MA to Samuel Buswell, children.
   3.   Peter, b. est 1635 Watertown MA, m. Elizabeth est 1660 Watertown MA; children
   4.   Rebecca, b. Mar 17, 1637/38 [MA reg.] Watertown MA, m. est 1660 to William Smith, children
   5.   Phebe, b. Jun 17 1639 [MA reg,] Watertown MA, m. est 1663 to John French, children
   6.   Mary, b. Feb 1641/42 [MA reg.] Watertown MA, buried July 20, 1642 Watertown.
   7.   Elias [ancestor], b. May 20 1643 Watertown MA, d bef 1679 Sudbury MA; m. Sep 11, 1665 in Sudbury MA to Sarah BLANDFORD, 5 children; Sarah m. 2nd John Gage 1679, 3 more children.
   8.   Mary, b. Jun 16 1645 [MA reg] Sudbury MA, d. Dec 20 1668 in Newbury MA to Benjamin Gage; died in childbirth with infant.

Robert purchased a 3 acre homestall of land in Watertown from Wm. Wilcocks. This land was bounded E. and N. by Thomas Brigham, and S. and W. by Sir Richard Saltonstall. Sir Richard Saltonstall  came with the Winthrop Fleet of 11 ships in 1630; he was the nephew of Sir Richard Saltonstall, Lord Mayor of London during the time of Queen Elizabeth I.

It is not clear if the Keyes had a close relationship with Sir Saltonstall, although the senior Sir Saltonstall married a Grace Kaye who has been speculated to be a relation of Robert Keyes. Without knowing Robert KEYES' English heritage nor his birthplace, it is difficult to be certain of relationships between these early immigrants. Note that Robert's name "Robert Keies" can be found at the base of the monument to Sir Richard Saltonstall at Watertown MA. This might imply a specific relationship. Much more research is needed to be certain of this speculation.

Robert's life in this early Massachusetts colony came to an untimely end with his death July 16, 1647, aged 41 years.  His eldest child, Solomon, would be about 16 yrs, the youngest, Mary, only 2 years of age. No details of his death is given, nor any mentioned in genealogies/records of the times that I have found, to date.

Although there does not appear to be a will for Robert, nor any records of his estate, it seems that his wife Sarah managed well enough with her 7 children. On Nov 7, 1658, Sarah married another widow from Ipswich MA, John Gage, who also had 7 children of roughly similar ages. Sarah was widowed for a second time, when John Gage died in 1673. Her estate and inventory showed a total of £28 2s, and the particulars were divided between the three living [married] daughters, Sarah, Rebecca, and Phebe.

As you can see there needs more research to see if any more details might be teased out about Robert and his life in England as well as in Massachusetts. Research is never done...
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If you have more to offer about Robert and his family, including any corrections, I would be very pleased to hear about it. My email contact is at the very bottom of the blog page.

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Nicholas HUDSON c.1712 - 1780, Wales to Pennsylvania

Nicholas HUDSON born approx 1712 in Pembrokeshire Wales, was the second son of George HUDSON, the immigrant, who has been written about previously: [click on link]  

Nicholas is my 5th great-grandfather, the 6th for my children, and the 7th for my grandchildren.

Nicholas' brothers and his own sons seem to have what I would consider as "English" names for the times: Charles, George, John, William, Edward. However, the family definitely seem to have left from Pembrokeshire in Wales to New England after 1720-1730, settling in Caernarvon, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with a number of other Welshmen. Pembrokeshire is the extreme lower eastern part of Wales, as seen on the map here.

The name Hudson is sometimes written as Huttson, by the way. Hudd is apparently a 'pet' name for Hugh, so this is a patronymic surname for 'Hugh's son,' i.e., Hudd-son.

There is a wonderful clear hand-printed map of Caernarvon landowners, drafted in 1834, of the early settlers/land-owners purchases of land in the new township from 1718 onwards. It may be found in the PA Archives, although it's mildly challenging to find - email me and I can send you a PDF of it. [contact info at very bottom of page]. The HUDSON men were in the group of first settlers in Caernarvon, and their names can be found in a number of land plots on this map. Note snippet of the map to the left. Details of Warrent, Survey, Patent dates are quite clear as you can see. One of Nicholas' land patents is at the top, John Bowen's in the middle of this snippet.

In about 1734 [no record found as yet], Nicholas married Jean BOWEN, daughter of John & Elizabeth BOWEN. John BOWEN was one of the first settlers in Caernarvon PA, along with the Hudson family members, and many others who married into our family.

Nicholas and Jean's children were the following, b. in Caernarvon township region:
   1.   John [ancestor], sometimes referred to as Jonathan, b abt 1735,
             d. Sep 1789; m. Jun 20, 1768 to Mary MORGAN; 7 childen
   2.   George, b. 1738
   3.   William, b. 1740
   4.   Elijia/Elijah, b. 1743, d. 1820; m. Jan 2, 1785 to Ann ____, at Little
              Conestoga, Chester, PA, 5 children
    5.   Joyce, b. 1747; m. to Thomas Douglass
    6.   Margaret, b. 1749; m. to Thomas Loyd
    7.   Edward, b. est 1751

Clearly I need to do more research on the 5 children about whom I know little. Both girls married a Thomas: Joyce to Thomas Douglass, Margaret to Thomas Loyd. Nicholas mentions his sons-in-law in his will, making Thomas Douglass one of the executors.

Nicholas was a prosperous landowner in the area, buying and selling land. Several land warrants are to be found: 150 acres, 200 acres. After his father died in 1748, he continued to care for his step-mother Margaret, with direct care of her when she required more care for the three years before her death, before March 3rd, 1761. He also held the inheritances for his younger brother, William's three children, William having left Pennsylvania to the French colony in Louisiana. Two of the 3 children of William did return to Pennsylvania, and received their inheritances set aside from their grandfather George Hudson, held for them by Nicholas.

In 1772, he is listed as "Constable" for Carnarvon region, a one-year commitment. The link gives some details on what the duties of a Constable might be.

He is listed in the 1779 Septennial Census in Pensylvania; these censuses were taken for taxation and representation purposes, every 7 years. Unfortunately this Census list was transcribed alphabetically, so no information about neighbours can be gleaned. Oh to see the original!

His Will was written February 2, 1780, and is recorded in full (almost 3 pages), detailing his land (by the descriptions clearly he has walked it many times), large money disbursements to various adult children, grandchildren, nephews, etc. However, there is no mention of his actual death date. It was brought to the county, with Inventory pages, and proved September 28, 1780, so we may assume he died a month or so before that date. Here is a snippet of the transcribed will:

His will does not mention his wife, Jean, so I must assume she predeceased him. No record of her death has been found to date. It is fairly legible, so I will be transcribing it in full in the next month.

I have no further information. My research plan now has more individuals to research, more details to search for or write for, plus the wills to transcribe - his and his father's wills. My early genealogy work had me simply filling in my direct ancestors, and bare bones information on the siblings. Although when there were several children with duplicate names living in the same area, that problem forced me to do better research. So late, I grow wiser.

If you haven't yet found the map of Caernarvon township settlers' land plots, remember you can simply email me for a copy. Or, click on this link, and look under Lancaster County. It should work for you. The drafting on the map is so clear it may be downloaded and expanded to see all details! A true treasure. I love to delve into old maps like this.

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If you have any further details or suggestions about Nicholas HUDSON or his family, I would love to hear from you; contact through my email address at the very bottom of the blog page.  

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

William AXTELL 1587-1638 Berkhamstead, Hertford, England

William AXTELL is my ex-husband's 9th great-grandfather [in his mother's RICE lines], our children's 10th great-grandfather. He is the father of Thomas AXTELL, the immigrant from England to New England, who arrived in Massachusetts colony before 1642.

William was born aproximately 1587 in or around Berkhamstead in Hertfordshire, although I have not seen a record of his christening, nor of his marriage details. Axtell Genealogy online suggests his father was John Axtell, son of John Axtell. However, I have yet not seen proof of these statements.
Photo of Town Hall is by Robert Stainforth.

Much of my information on the AXTELL family has come from the online details of The Axtell Family Organization, referencing articles in NEHGS Register in various years. Note: many past archived copies of the Register are available both on paid sites [NEHGS] and free sites. Additional details are from early Massachusetts records.

The AXTELL surname (with many spelling variants) comes from Old Norse language, click for more explanation on this origin. There were few Axtells living in Berkhamstead during this early time, as far as I have found. William AXTELL is up at the tip of my research, and there are fewer likely documents and records for such individuals.

William apparently married Thomasine CUTLER about 1610-1612. A Thomasin Cutler, daughter of "Jhon Cutler" was baptised November 9th, 1589 in Lexden, Essex, the county to the east of Hertfordshire. She is not confirmed as the correct wife of William, but is certainly a possible clue to follow up.

William and Thomasine had the following children, baptised at St Peter church in Berkhamstead [image on right], daughters' dates are not proven:
   1.  John, b. abt 1614
   2.  William, bap 1 Dec 1616
   3.  Thomas [ancestor], bap 26 Jan 1618/19, bur 8 Mar 1645/6 Sudbury,
             Massachusetts; m. Mary _____, abt 1637 in England; 3 known children
   4.  [Col.] Daniel, bap 26 May 1622, d. 19 Oct 1660 London ['the Regicide']
   5.  Samuell, bap 15 Dec 1624
   6.  Sarah, b. abt 1628
   7.  Jane, b. abt 1630
   8.  Ann, b. abt 1633

I have  not found significant details of the spouses and children of any of the above 8 children except for the direct ancestor, Thomas.

An article in NEHGS 1899, July, by S.J. Axtell, indicates information about "the will of William Axtell, d. 1637, that mentions his wife, Thomasine, and sons John, William, Thomas, Daniel, and Samuel."  This sent me searching for the will, which I found today. I will have to pore over this will, as the language and writing is a bit challenging - see below for the snippet from the first part of the will. I'll be transcribing it as much as I can. The National Archives in England names this the will of
"William Axtell Bargemaster
 of Berkhamstead St Peter, Hertfordshire" 

The will was probated June 1st, 1638. I do not have his actual death date - clearly he would have died at some point after the will was written on 14 November 1637. In addition, I do not have a burial date as yet for his wife, Thomasine, who appears to have outlived him as she is mentioned in his will.

Bluntly, I have little information on him: no birth record, no marriage record, no death/burial record, no history. Simply these few crumbs of possible information to continue searching, perhaps when I get to Salt Lake City this fall. However, his will provides several clues - giving his occupation, plus his children and wife's names.
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If you have any further details or suggestions about William AXTELL or his family, I would love to hear from you; contact through my email address at the very bottom of the blog page.  

Blooger has a glitch which is stopping me from replying to your comments, but please do know that I appreciate your comments very much. You make my day! Thanks so much for stopping by to read my family blog. 


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis