Pages

Monday, May 30, 2016

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2016 WEEK 17: JACOB DANA OF CAMBRIDGE, MA. PT2

8x great grandfather Jacob Dana's probate file is not as much as a "hot mess" as that of my other ancestor Nathaniel Stow Jr. But, as my mother might say sarcastically, it is "a thing of beauty and a joy forever."

First there is the handwriting on some of the court documents which, while not illegible, is a bit of a challenge to decipher.


Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5848 Image4

Then there are the images with multiple small sips of paper with records of debts on the estate being paid.


Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5848 Image15

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5848 Image16

Finally there is the creative spelling used in the estate inventory:

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5848 Image2
"sadel and pilyan" (saddle and pillion)
"brass and putter and iren weare" (brass and pewter and iron ware)
"one trundell beed and beeding" (one trundle bed and bedding)

Transcribing this one will be a piece of cake though, compared to Nathaniel Stow Jr.'s file!
  

   

Saturday, May 28, 2016

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2016 WEEK 17: JACOB DANA OF CAMBRIDGE, MA. PT1

Continuing on with my Dana family ancestors...

My 8x great grandfather Jacob Dana was the eldest living son of Richard and Ann (Bullard) Dana. Here's what William Richard Cutter wrote about him:

(II) Jacob, son of Richard Dana, was born in Cambridge, December 2, 1654. died December, 1698. In the division of his father's estate, he received "the dwelling house and half the barn, with all the appurtenances, as one single share, or half his double portion"; "one-third of all the land near the house," consisting of about five acres; "4 acres on the south pitch of the hill bounded by John McKeen north and west, Thomas Chaney south, and Daniel Dana east, and the remainder of his third part of the upland lying by the roadway, etc., subject to rights of his mother and the payment of three pounds annually to her." He married, probably in 1678, Patience ____, who was buried June 3, 1712. He died in 1698, and his widow was appointed administratrix, January 23, 1698-99, the inventory being dated December, 1698-99. Children: Jacob, born October 12, 1679, died young; Elizabeth; Hannah, October 25, 1685; Experience, November 1, 1687; Patience, Samuel, mentioned below; Abigail; Jacob, 1698. p1143


New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3 Lewis historical publishing Company, N.Y., N.Y., 1914

Some family genealogies say that Jacob's wife was Patience Sabin of Rehoboth, Ma. but I haven't found any marriage record either in Rehoboth or Cambridge. Given that the two towns are in different counties and regions of Massachusetts, (Rehoboth is in Bristol County, southwest of Boston near the Rhode Island border.) I don't think it's likely she was a Sabin.

I'll discuss Jacob's probate file in Part 2.

To be continued.

Friday, May 27, 2016

FINDMYPAST FRIDAY COLLECTION RELEASES FOR 27MAY 2016

 The Findmypast Friday releases for 27May range from Pennsylvania to Ireland:


This week we're bringing you over 615,000 new records and newspaper articles including:

Womelsdorf, Pennsylvania, Bethany Children's Home Indexes
Search nearly 8,000 children's home records to uncover why your ancestor was admitted and to reveal details about their parents and life after discharge. Solve some mysteries »


Irish Newspapers
Over half a million new articles, four brand new titles and significant updates to 7 existing titles have been added to our collection of historic Irish newspapers. 248 years of Irish life »

Ireland, Poverty Relief Loans
Over 5,000 records have been added to our collection of Irish Reproductive Loan Fund records allowing you to find out if your ancestors fell on hard times and applied for a small loan. How did the Great Famine affect your family? »

We hope you enjoy exploring this week's new additions. The Poverty Relief Fund records are an excellent resource as they record the names of individuals who are often missing from official government records and provide valuable insight into the devastating effects of the Famine on families right across Ireland.

Jen Baldwin




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.

THE MILITARY HONOR ROLL PROJECT 2016: ABINGTON, MA.

((I first posted this back in 2013. Sadly another name has been added to the wall since then, 
Abington's first native son killed in Afghanistan))

Heather Wilkinson Rojo of Nutfield Genealogy is once again asking
bloggers to transcribe their local veteran monuments and list the names
on their blog. It's called the Military Honor Roll Project and I wanted to
take part this year.  I headed over to the memorial here in Abington
which is located right next to the building shared by the American Legion
and VFW Posts. It's a beautiful spot and there's quite a few names on it for
such a small town. They start with World War 1 and run up to the present
day.
 
It was a bright sunny day and I thought perfect for taking the pictures I needed
to work with for the transcription, but it turned out to be it was less than ideal.
The nearby trees were casting shadows over most of the monument and the wind
moving the leaves would cause the shadows to shift around.

 





                     DEDICATED
          IN LASTING MEMORY OF
ABINGTON'S MEN AND WOMEN WHO
       SERVED AND SACRIFICED IN
         THEIR COUNTRY'S WARS

             KILLED IN ACTION




World War I
Edgar D. Bascomb
Chester W. Belcher
Walter W. Coleman
Charles Cook
Lloyd Crossman
Lewis V. Dorsey
Robert B. English
George H. Gillespie
Henry C. Hurst
John J. Mahoney
Joseph D. Martin
Charles E. Murphy
Charles S. Myers
Myron Stewart
Harold L. Taylor
Shirley S. Thayer
George L.  Whore




World War II
Charles H. Bellows Jr.
Wendell E Chamberlin
Lloyd R. Clapp
John Colburn
George W. Coleman
Edmund G. Crossley
Elton E. Eckstrom
George S. Forsyth
Roy E. Hjelm
Wellington Jamieson
John R. Keeley
Clifford Kimber
Richard L. McCue
Harold R. McGeoch
John F. Monahan
John Rice
Frank D. Warner Jr.


Korea

Viet-Nam
Dennis K. Holly
Peter D. Christianson DFC
Richard F. Gliniewicz
Glenn R. Gordon
Ralph G. Hamlin
Ernest H Laidler
Richard A. Fitts


Afghanistan
Daniel Vasellian




I encourage my fellow genealogy bloggers to take part in Heather's
Military Honor Roll Project. You can read more about it here.

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2016 WEEK 16:RICHARD DANA OF CAMBRIDGE, MA. PT2

My 9x great grandfather Richard Dana died intestate but his surviving children reached an amiable agreement among themselves as to how the estate should be divided. While it's quite legible the document presents me with a challenge of a different sort.
Here's the backside of the agreement:

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5859-3


 As you can see, it appears that someone taped two pages into one long piece. But since tape of this sort didn't exist in the 17th century, it's more likely it was one long piece to begin with and at some point had to be repaired with tape to hold it together. There's also some water damage.

Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5859-4

This is a problem (albeit a minor one) for three reasons. The first is in the middle where the two pages aren't quite lined up properly so some letters in words along that vertical crease are harder to make out.

Secondly, most of the words in the horizontal crease are obscured by the tape and a few have been damaged by the water.

Thirdly, the document is so large whoever scanned it couldn't get it all in one image so the top part of the second image is the bottom part of the first. It took me a few minutes to realize that when I first read the agreement.
Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871.Online database. AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014. (From records supplied by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives.)Case 5859-5


So I haven't finished transcribing this yet.

But at least there isn't any superscript!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WHY SUPERSCRIPT IS A THORN IN MY SIDE.

Transcribing records is one of those things that can be easy if the handwriting is neat and easy to read, or difficult if the handwriting messy and hard to read.

And then, just for fun, some colonial sadists threw in superscript, those little abbreviations that sort of float just between two lines of text.Here's some examples taken from my ancestor John Wetherbee's will:

This first is a symbol called a thorn which was derived from a letter in the Old and then Middle English alphabets. It's used an abbreviation for several words that begin with th:the, that. this. thou, and which word it stands for depends on the other words it's used with in a sentence. For example, in the example below, I decided it meant that as in "the meadow that belongs to my home lott" . I've usually seen it written as "yt" but for some reason whoever wrote the will used "ty" instead.





The next one is not an abbreviation but the familiar "ye". What is not familiar is that again the writer puts it down as "ey":






Lastly here's part of a sentence with two superscript abbreviations. I must admit the beginning seems like gobbledygook. Ironically the only word I could make out was the abbreviated "wth" for "with". The second part of the example uses "wch" for "which" in the phrase "the wch ten pounds".



Luckily the handwriting itself was mostly legible, otherwise I'd have really been frustrated!




   

Saturday, May 21, 2016

THE FINDMYPAST TREE CHALLENGE

Findmypast is having an interesting challenge contest on their website starting tomorrow; Here's
the press release:

FINDMYPAST CHALLENGES FAMILY HISTORIANS TO FIND THE ANCESTORS THEY’VE NEVER MET IN THEIR TREE CHALLENGE


  • From 23rd May until 30th May 2016 all records hinted against in Findmypast trees will be completely free
  • This includes over 116 million United States Marriages and over 10 million Irish Catholic parish registers
  • Findmypast challenges you to find at least one new ancestor through an FMP family tree
  • Family historians will be supported with expert insights, help videos, how to guides and a dedicated “tree building” webinar at 11am EST on Wednesday 25th May.

London, UK. 23 May, 2016.
Is your family history leaving you stumped? Findmypast is here to help with their “Tree Challenge”, a seven day event to encourage people to branch out and discover ancestors they’ve never met. From 9am, 23rd May until 12pm 30th May 2016, all hints on Findmypast Family trees will be completely free to view and explore. 


Findmypast is challenging family historians around the world to discover at least one new ancestor by building their family tree on the site, or uploading an existing GedCom file. Researchers will be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights, useful how to videos and a special webinar hosted by expert genealogist, Debra Chatfield, dedicated to helping you get the most out of your Findmypast family tree. 


#TreeChallenge week will have something for everyone, from seasoned experts to complete beginners. Keeping a tree on Findmypast is the first step towards exploring our archive of more than 8 billion records from around the world, more than 1 billion of which aren’t available anywhere else online. That’s over 1 billion family connections you won’t find anywhere else, so explore our collections today to ensure you don’t miss out. 


Findmypast trees currently provide matches from birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial and census records across the UK, US, Ireland, and Australia. This includes Findmypast’s vast collections of more than 116 million United States marriages and over 10 million Irish Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials. Findmypast’s entire collection of 570 million UK BMDs - the largest available online - will also be free for the duration of #TreeChallenge, including over 78 million exclusive parish records you won’t find anywhere else. All UK and Irish parish records are hinted against.


Uploading a tree to Findmypast is quick, easy and secure. As you add information, Findmypast does all the hard work for you by sifting through millions of records to instantly identify potential matches. Once potential matches have been made, you can quickly and easily review possible leads before adding the relevant information to your tree. 


To encourage you to make the most of this feature, we are running a special tree themed competition. Share any discoveries you make on your tree via social media with the hashtag - #TreeChallenge and you could be in with the chance of winning an expert bundle worth $1000. This includes a 64 GB Ipad mini4, a three TB hard drive and a 12 month subscription to Family Tree magazine. We will also be giving away a 12 month world sub on our social media channels daily. You can find out more here.


Hinting allows you uncover records for multiple ancestors at once with virtually zero effort. The larger your tree, the more potential matches you’ll be presented with so it’s well worth your while to add as many ancestors as possible. 


As we release new records, our hinting system will continue to grow, providing you with even more opportunities to find unknown ancestors.

Friday, May 20, 2016

FINDMYPAST FRIDAY COLLECTION RELEASES FOR 20MAY 2016

 Here's this weeks Findmypast Friday announcement for 20May:

This week we're bringing you over 15 million new records and newspaper articles including:

British Newspapers
Search 13.5 million new articles, 13 new titles covering Cheshire, Essex, Kent, Lancashire, Wiltshire, Yorkshire and Scotland, and substantial updates to 23 existing newspapers. Extra! Extra! read all about it »

Westminster Burials
Discover if your English ancestor was buried in Westminster with over 517,000 new records that reveal when they were born, when they died and where they were laid to rest. Complete their story »

Ireland, Electoral Registers 1885-1886 Browse
You can now browse through 26 volumes of British Library electoral registers to discover your relatives in an exact location in Ireland. When did they get the vote? »

See all this week's new records.

 
We hope you enjoy exploring these rich and varied collections. Electoral Registers are a fantastic resource that have taught me a great deal about the history of my home and have allowed me to gain a better understanding of my ancestors' place in society. 
Jen Baldwin 


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, May 19, 2016

52 ANCESTORS IN 52 WEEKS 2016 WEEK 16:RICHARD DANA OF CAMBRIDGE, MA.

My 5x great grandfather Samuel Stow's wife was Abigail Dana, a member of  a distinguished Middlesex County, Ma. family. Her immigrant ancestor was Richard Dana, my 9x great grandfather. William Richard Cutter wrote this short biography:

(I) Richard Dana, the immigrant ancestor, is thought to be the ancestor of all the Dana families in this country. He came to Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1640, from England, according to tradition, which also says his father was a native of France who went to England because of religious persecutions. In some records the date of Richard Dana's birth is given as 1620. In 1652, in the division of Shawsheen, he received twenty acres, and in November, 1661, he was constable. In 1665 he was surveyor of highways, and the same years he was allotted ten acres. In April, 1668, he was tythingman; he also was selectman and grand juror. In December, 1683, he had fifteen acres for services to the town. Most of his land was south of the Charles river, if not all of it, in the part now called Brighton. On April 20, 1656, he deeded fifty-eight acres of land to Edward Jackson. He died April 2, 1690, of injuries received from falling from a scaffold in his barn, and an inquest was called by Lieutenant Governor Thomas Dantorth. The inventory of his estate was dated August 2, 1690, and the estate settled April 16, 1691. He married, probably in 1648, Anne Bullard, of Cambridge, and she died July 15, 1711. He and his wife were members in full communion of the church. Children, born in Cambridge: John, December 15, 1649, died August 12, 1650; Hannah, May 8, 1651; Samuel, August 13, 1653, died 1653; Jacob, mentioned below; Joseph, March 21, 1656; Abiah, March 21, 1656, died October 10, 1668; Benjamin, February 20, 1660; Elizabeth, February 20, 1662; Daniel, March 20, 1663; Deliverance, May 8, 1667; Sarah, January 1, 1669, died January 11, 1669.-p1143

New England Families, Genealogical and Memorial: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of Commonwealths and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 3  Lewis historical publishing Company,  N.Y., N.Y., 1914



Richard Dana died intestate but I found his probate file online and I'll discuss that next.

To be continued...