Thursday, June 30, 2016


Here's last week's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible! music) is to:

1)  Determine where your ancestral families were on 25 June 1866 - 150 years ago.
2)  List your ancestors, their family members, their birth and death years, and their residence location (as close as possible).  Do you have a photograph of their residence from about that time, and does the residence still exist?
3)  Tell us all about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a Facebook Status or Google+ Stream post.

On my Mom's side of the family, most of my ancestors were still living in Ireland,
Scotland, or Germany, and I have no record of where they were or might have been
in 1866. I haven't found much yet on my 2x great grandparents who were in this country, Patrick J White (1848- 1902) & Mary (Powers) White (1848-?) and their parents.
Part of the problem is the commonality of the Irish family names in a period when Massachusetts was seeing a great influx of Irish immigrants.

Even on my Dad's side with all his family living in Maine and New Hampshire
there are a few missing a date of death, so I don't know if they were even alive
in 1866. In those cases I've left their names off this post.

Anyway, here's what information I was able to find on the paternal side of my

My 2x great grandparents Asa F Ellingwood (1828-1921) and Florilla (Dunham) Ellingwood  (1832-1917)were living on a farm in Dummer, Coos, NH with their 8 children.. My 2x great grandmother Clara Ellingwood 1865-1901) was just 1 year old.

2x great grandfather Jonathan Phelps West (1834-1917) and his second wife Louisa A Richardson(1837-1925) were living on their farm in Upton, Me.

My 3x great grandmother Arvilla (Ames)West (1810-1907) was  a widow of 4 years, her husband John Cutter West having died in 1862. She was living on the farm in Upton, Me. with Jonathan and Louisa

My 2x great grandparents Nathaniel Barker(1794-1884) & Huldah (Hastings) Barker (1798-1884) were living  on a farm in Albany, Oxford, Me. My 3x great grandparents Nathaniel S. Barker(1830-1884) & Lucy (Coburn)Barker(1842-1904) were living with them. My great grandfather Frank W. Barker(1865-1905) was only 1 year old.

My 3x great grandparents Amos Hastings Barker (1828-1907) & Betsy J(Moore)Barker (1842-1924) were also living in Albany, Oxford, Me on another farm with their 6 children.

3x great grandmother Hannah (Upton)Moore Emery (1814-1896) was also living on a farm in Albany, Me with her second husband, Peter Emery.

3x great grandfather James Thomas Dunham(1805-1888) was in Greenwood, Me with his second wife, Polly Lowe.

3x great grandfather Wesley Coburn was a widower living in Albany, Maine.

That's all I know at present.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


Findmypast sent me an email with the following announcement of a great deal to for the next 7 days:

Findmypast celebrates 4th of July with free access to more than 1 billion records

  • From June 29th until July 6th 2016, over 1 billion UK, US and Irish records will be completely free to search and explore on Findmypast
  • This includes all 118 million “Travel and Migration” records, 116 million US marriages, and all UK, Irish and US censuses
  • Over 7 million new US Naturalisation records and over 1.7 million US Passport Applications have also  been released, marking the first phase of two brand new collections ideal for uncovering early immigrant ancestors

Salt Lake City, Utah, June 27th 2016

Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that they will be granting 8 days of free access to over 1 billion records as part of a new campaign designed to help US family historians learn more about their family's path to red white and blue. This will include free access to their  entire collection of Travel and Migration records, all US, UK and Irish censuses and all US marriage records.

The campaign has been launched to coincide with this year’s 4th of July celebrations and will provide customers with exciting new opportunities to uncover the pioneering immigrant ancestors who started their family’s American story.

Researchers will be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights and useful how to videos designed to help them trace their family’s roots back to their earliest American ancestors and beyond. A special webinar will be hosted by expert genealogist, Jen Baldwin, at 11:00 MDT, July 1st, in which she will be sharing essential tips and tricks for getting the most out of Naturalisation records.

The campaign also coincides with the release of two new record sets that will prove incredibly useful to those looking to explore their family’s pre-American roots. Over 2 million US Passport Applications & Indexes (1795-1925), and over 7 million US Naturalisation Petitions have just been released in the initial phases of two brand new collections that will allow family historians to learn more about the first members of their family to become US citizens.

Over 1.1 billion records  will be free to search and explore on Findmypast from June 29th until July 6th 2016. This will include free access to:

  • Over 106,000 US passenger list records
  • Over 116,000,000 US marriage records
  • Over 690,000,000 US & Canada census records
  • Over 265,000,000 UK & Irish census records
  • Over 10 million new and existing Naturalisation records
  • Over 1.7 million brand new US Passport applications
  • Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960
  • Over 827,000 convict transportation records

This vast collection of travel and migration records coupled with unique UK, Irish and US data, makes Findmypast the best place for tracing ancestors back across the Atlantic and uncovering their English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish roots. Findmypast is home to more than 78 million exclusive UK parish baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, the largest collection of Irish records available online (totalling more than 110 million), and over 100 million United States marriages including millions of records that can’t be found anywhere else online.

Ben Bennet, EVP of International business at Findmypast, said: “As we come together to celebrate the birth of our nation, it’s also a great time to discover and celebrate our ancestors who came here from lands far and near.  Whether your ancestors walked through the hallowed halls of Ellis Island or arrived in one of the country’s other ports, Findmypast’s vast collection of records and resources can help you discover your family’s path to red, white and blue.”  

James Tanner of Genealogy Star said: " has proved to be an invaluable aid in connecting with my English ancestors. Not only are the collections helpful, but the searches have database features that help in more easily identifying ancestors with common names. The more I use the program, the more indispensable it becomes."  

 That's a lot of records!

Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

Monday, June 27, 2016


For Week 24 of 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks 2016 it's time to turn to the family of Jeremiah Dean's
wife Mary Fisher, beginning with her great grandfather and immigrant ancestor Joshua Fisher. He
was the first of three with that name, and yet another of my ancestors who was a blacksmith.

Family genealogist Philip A. Fisher wrote this about Joshua:
2. Joshua2, son of Anthony (1) and Mary (Fiske) Fisher, of Syleham, England, was baptized there, Feb. 24, 1585; m. 1st,--------- ;m. 2d, Feb. 7, 1638, at Syleham, England, Anne Luson, a sister of John Luson, who also came to New England, settled at Dedham, and received his houselot there at the same time as the Fishers. Joshua Fisher came to New England in 1639, with his second wife, (Anne Luson), and daughter Mary. His son Joshua had preceded him, arriving some time in 1638; for on "The First of ye 11th Month (1638)," Jan. 1, 1638-9, Joshua, Jr., enters upon the lot granted the smith and is to hold it and make improvements for '' the behalfe of his Father wch is expected this next somer." Joshua was made a freeman, May 13, 1640; was a blacksmith by trade; settled first in Dedham, from there going to Medfield at its settlement in 1650. He drew his houselot in the center of the town of Medfield, where the house of William P. Hewins now stands. Was the first deacon in the Medfield church, and was a selectman in 1653 and 1655. The value of his property in 1652 was L180. In 1656 Joshua and Anne Fisher deeded part of the homestead and other property to their son, John Fisher (7); for an account of which see under John (7). The Medfield homestead was inherited by John3 (7), John4 (16), Samuel5 (37), and finally John6 (78), who, dying childless in 1802, left it to his nephew, Samuel Hill, of Medway. Joshua d. in Medfield, Nov. 9, 1674; his widow d. Jan. 27, 1676-7.-pp4-5

The children are listed as following:

Children b. in England, and by first wife, were:
Elizabeth3, bapt. at Syleham, England, July 3,1619; probably married aud settled in England; no record of her in New England.
6. Joshua3, bapt. at Syleham, April 2, 1621; m. 1st, Mary.Aldis, Nov. 15, 1643; m. 2d, Lydia Oliver, Feb. 16, 1654.
61. Mary3, b.------ ;m. Thomas Battelle, Sept. 5, 1648; d. Aug. 7, 1691.
7. John3, b.------- ;m. Elizabeth Boylston, April 6, 1658.

The Fisher genealogy: A record of the descendants of Joshua, Anthony, and Cornelius Fisher, of Dedham, Mass., 1630-1640   Massachusetts Pub. Co.,   Everett, Ma.  1898

I'm descended from Joshua Fisher Junior and his wife Mary Aldis.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


A few final thoughts about the case of Peter Weare's "fraudilent deed":

-Apparently the Selectmen of Hampton, New Hampshire weren't very optimistic that
 the Governor would rule in their favor.  They presented their petition on Nov 13, 1709,
but had begun selling off  town land lots to help pay the 50 pounds judgement against the
town plus whatever other court costs.

-Peter Weare and his father Nathaniel visited John Marston in Andover on May 13 1708 and said
that Marston was "in his right senses" when they saw him. But John Marston's will was filed with
the Essex County, Ma. Court at Ipswich three days earlier on May 10 1708, presumably three days before John's death. I have a copy of his probate file.

-I'm somewhat bemused that the Governor and his Council so readily accepted Nathaniel Weare's
word about witnessing  the transaction. He was, after all, Peter Weare's father. I can understand the Hampton selectmen thinking the deck was stacked against them. We can't know for certain from
across three centuries what was going on, but it sure seems fishy to me.

- I have not as yet found any record of the transaction between John Marston and Francis Page,
  nor of the one between Marston and Peter Weare.

-Finally, as to how I am related to some of the people involved in all this:
     John Marston was my 8x great grandfather.
     Francis Page was also my 8x great grandfather

     Peter Weare was a distant cousin. His granduncle was my 11x great grandfather, also named
     Peter Weare.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Here are the new records added at Findmypast for this week's Findmypast Friday releases: 

Arizona Deaths
Over 393,000 new death records will help you trace family from Arizona. Uncover their parents' names, places of birth and find their death certificates

Prisoners of War 1715-1945
New additions released in partnership with the UK National Archives covering the Napoleonic, Crimean, Boer, First and Second World Wars.  764 Thousand Records.

Prisoners of War 1715-1945 Browse
Through our unique browse, you can select any archival piece and explore entire documents from beginning to end. 274 Thousand Images.


Full disclosure: I am a member of the Findmypast Ambassador Program which includes a
complimentary one year world subscription to Findmypast and a Findmypast First membership.

Thursday, June 23, 2016


After finding that document concerning a petition by the town of Hampton NH to Governor
Dudley over a land deal between my ancestor John Marston and Peter Weare, I went looking
for more information on Google. Let me be honest here. I am not the best at understanding the
intricacies of some colonial documents, so I was looking to find something that would help me
make sense of the details in the town's petition.  Luckily I found this explanation in Joseph Dow's
History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire :


About this time, a controversy, which excited considerable interest, arose between Peter Weare and the freeholders and commoners, whom he "arrested," for not performing a grant to John Marston, late of Andover. At a meeting held by them, February 23, 1709, to consider the case, they authorized the selectmen to appoint an agent, with power of attorney, to defend them; agreeing that all charges incurred should be paid by the commoners, in proportion to their rights in the commons, and raised by the selectmen for the time being. Nathaniel Weare and Abraham Cole dissented.

This case was tried the next summer and decided in favor of the plaintiff, costing the defendants more than £50. The following autumn, the selectmen, in behalf of the freeholders and commoners, petitioned Governor Dudley concerning the case. The facts, as sot forth in the petition, dated November 13, were these : The suit was brought in consequence of the town not laying out a tract of land at the New Plantation, which at the date of the petition was in the town of Kingston. The grant in question had been made to John Marston, who had sold all his rights in Hampton, more than forty years before, to Dea. Francis Page, who had been in possession till the summer of 1708, when Weare produced a paper, purporting to be a deed of conveyance to him from John Marston, written and signed at Andover, and the same day acknowledged in New Hampshire, before Nathaniel Weare, Esq., the father of the grantee.

The validity of this deed was doubted. It had not been produced till after Marston's death, and it was represented as questionable, whether he was alive on the day of its date. It was also stated, that for several years previous to his death, ho had not, by reason of age, been of a sound and disposing mind and memory; that he had not been able to attend public worship, and far less able to travel in so short a time to New Hampshire, a distance of nearly twenty-live miles, to acknowledge a deed; nor would it have been necessary, for there were several Justices nearer, and, indeed, directly on his way. The petitioners further allege, that some of Marston's near relatives heard him say that Peter Weare had been to him, for the purpose of buying this land at the New Plantation, but that he had refused to sell it. Under these circumstances, it would seem reasonable that the plaintiff should have been required to prove the authenticity of his deed; but he insisted that, in order for a successful defense, it devolved on the town to prove that he had never received from John Marston any such deed. This might not have been easy to prove. The selectmen, therefore, as the agents of the freeholders and commoners, asked that Nathaniel Weare, Esq., should be required to state positively, whether he had ever seen John Marston in this province, since the date of the deed, claimed to have been given to his son, Peter Weare. Being questioned on this point, he stated before the governor and council, that Marston acknowledged the deed to his son, before him, at Andover, the 13th of May, 1708; and he declared that Marston was "then in his right senses."

This testimony, if not satisfactory, was direct and decisive, whatever may be thought of the validity of an acknowledgment made before a justice, when he was out of his jurisdiction.

On the 15th of September, the freeholders and commoners appointed Lieut. John Smith, Isaac Green and Ens. Samuel Marston, a committee, to join with the selectmen in selling some of the lots that had not been disposed of, in the north and west divisions, to satisfy the judgment that Peter Weare had obtained against the commoners, and to pay other charges incurred in the case. If the sales of these lots should fail to furnish a sufficient sum to pay all demands against them, then an assessment should be made ou all to whom shares of the commons had been granted

History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire: From Its Settlement in 1638, to the Autumn of 1892, Volume 1 Salem Press Publishing and Printing Company, 1894 - Hampton (N.H.)

I'll have some thoughts & conclusion in the next post.

To be continued...

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


Here's an interesting story I ran across the other day that concerns some land my 8x great
grandfather John Marston owned in Hampton, New Hampshire, and what might have been
a bit of trickery pulled off by Peter Weare, who I believe is a distant cousin.

The particulars come from the New Hampshire Provincial and State Papers, Vol. 9:

Petition of Abraham Drake and others about a tract of land in Kingstown.

To his Excellency Joseph Dudley Esq. Capt. Generall and
Governour in Cheif in & over Her Majestys province of
the Massatusetts Bay & New Hampshir &c

The petition of ye selectmen of ye Town of Hampton in New Hampshire in behalf of ye freeholders & Comissioners of ye sdl town Humbly Sheweth

That your petitioners this last sumer had Judgment given in favour of Mr Peter Wear at two Courts the Charge where of cost them more than 50 pounds, for not laying out a Tract of land at a place formerly called New-plantation since called Kingstown which sd Grant was to John Marston who sold all his Rights in Hampton unto one Deacon Page more than 40 years since which sd Page hath ever since enjoyed his Rights & devisions of lands in Hampton above sd untill this last sumer ye said Peter Weare produced a pretended deed of conveyance from yc sd John Marston Writen & Signed at Andover & ye same day acknowledged by his Father Nathaniell Wear Esq. in New Hampshire by sd John Marston, which Deed is much to be suspected for a fraudilent Deed, for yt if ye said John Marston were living at ye time of ye Date of sd Deed which is much questioned, yett certainly he was dead before any such instruments appeared, and it is farther evident by testimonies of ye Reaverent Mr Barnard minister of ye town togeather with other principle men of Andover, yt ye sd John Marston by Reason of age had not been able for some years before his death to go to ye publick worship not of a disposeing mind & memory much less able to travill in so short a time to acknowledge a deed in New Hampshire when there were so many justices in his way thether, besides severall other tcstimoneys who are of ye sd John Marstons neer Relation who heard him say yt Mr Wear had been at him to sell him a piece of land at New plantation, but he would not do it. Wee therefore lay this our humble petition before your Excellency, together with ye Above mentioned Evidences and pray yt as ye said Nathaniell Weare Esq is in publickc place of trust, and whose signing an acknowledgment is of more value than two creadable Witnes & without which no Deed by Law can be executed nor Recorded, we pray yt ye said Esq. Weare may answer possitively whether he ever saw ye said John Marston of Andover in this province of New Hampshire since ye Date of ye said Deed made to his son Peter Wear by sd Marston, that so ye truth may appear, it being ye truth of all Testimony or Record yt makes them vallued, and ye said Esq. Wear hath been summoned to ye Court & paid his charge, yet will Say nothing but puts to prove possetively yt Marston did not grant to his son Peter or yt he was not .in ye province of New Hampshire to acknowledge it &c. The proceeding to ye finding out ye truth wee have no cause to dought but your Excellency will Justly do & your petitioners shall ever pray as in duty bound
Abraham Drake
John Moulton
Peter Johnson
Samuel Dow
Dated 13" of November 1708.

Certificate of Nathaniel Weare.
16 November 1708.
Nathl Weare Esq. being Exam'd before his Excellency the Governor and Council Whether he took the acknowledgment of one John Marston, formerly of Andover decd to a Deed of Conveyance from the said Marston to Peter Weare dated the thirteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and seven and now produced in court, and where the said Marston was when he acknowledged the said Deed and at What time.

Mr Weare Answered that he being at Andover the 13th day of May 1707 he went to the House of the said John Marston about noon and exhibited the above said Deed to the said John Marston since decd he being then in his Right senses and the said Marston did then & there of his own free & voluntary Will acknowledge the same to be his act and Deed.
Examd before publick Councill the i6,h Nov' 1708.

Provincial and State Papers, Volume 9 Town Papers  AMS Press New York, (no publication date.)

So, what did this all mean?

An explanation will be in my next post.