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This week I attended GRIP, the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh.  I registered in late winter and managed to get into the “Law School for Genealogists” class led by Judy G. Russell, J.D., CG, CGL and Richard “Rick” G. Sayre, CG, CGL.   The institute was held at LaRoche College, and I stayed, along with many other attendees, in the dorms, and ate meals in the cafeteria.  Others took classes on genetic genealogy and a variety of other topics.

My dorm room was a large triple - there was also a microwave, mini frig, and bathroom to myself.

My dorm room was a large triple – I had the room (as well as microwave, mini frig, and bathroom) to myself.  Since I was driving, I was able to bring a couple things. I was glad I brought the quilt, lamp and extra pillows from home.

Day 1

I arrived on Sunday and moved into the dorm.  I knew several people who planned to attend, but that’s not a necessity – genealogists are friendly.  Some people shared dorm rooms and even those staying at local motels were welcome to pay by the meal to eat conveniently in the cafeteria.  The schedule on Sunday was to check in, get settled, and have dinner in the cafeteria.  This was followed by a welcome session and some door prizes.

I was in for a surprise at GRIP, though, because after the class lists came out, I heard from a young woman named Sara that she was my husband’s third cousin and would be there, and in the same class, and she was looking forward to meeting me.  I had to look back at my email to remember that my husband and I had corresponded with Sara several years ago, and she was obviously an accomplished genealogist who had done some excellent work on my husband’s difficult family tree.  I was very happy to be able to meet her.

Our classroom during a break.

Our classroom early in the morning.

Day 2

Monday morning, my first class was at 8:15.  I enjoyed the talks and quickly realized this was a pretty intense learning experience – for people who truly want to learn more about methods and resources for family history research, these institutes are excellent.

And I discovered there was homework each night.

A takeaway from day one:  get an old copy of Black’s law dictionary and look up each new term you encounter in probate, deeds, etc.  A late 1800’s copy should be available for free download from Google Books.  No point in buying a new one; the old terminology was removed a couple decades ago.

The lunch line, with the table area in the background.

The lunch line, with the table area in the background.

Day 3

By Tuesday I was getting used to things.  Judy Russell is a superb and experienced teacher; she is a clear speaker and very interesting.  I was far less familiar with the material being covered by Rick Sayre, about federal laws and how to find documents related to the federal government, but the wheels were turning as he got me wondering about all sorts of records I’ve never looked for.  Clearly, there are many research projects ahead for me.

Tip for the day:  Try this website: “A Century of Lawmaking” for index entries to government records that you may need to further track down and obtain.

Using my Galaxy Note tablet, I could keep the screen open for writing notes, plus another window for the pdf app to look at the syllabus.  My friend Minda McAully showed me how to open the syllabus in Acrobat Reader so I could also highlight, write on it, etc.  She's brilliant!

Using my Galaxy Note tablet, I could keep the screen open for writing notes (with the stylus), plus another window for the pdf app to look at the syllabus. My friend Linda McCauley showed me how to open the syllabus in Acrobat Reader so I could also highlight, write on it, etc. She’s brilliant!

Day 4

On Wednesday we were treated to two sessions with Marian L . Smith, who leads the Historic Research Branch at US Citizenship and Immigration Services (Department of Homeland Security).  Marian has immense knowledge of immigration and naturalization records and she gave us excellent advice about what records might exist in what era, and about the laws (and purposes) behind the various questions, forms, and records.  Since naturalization procedures were only moved to the federal government in the 1890’s, prior records – like the 1840’s records I am seeking – could be in any state, county or local court of record.  As I listened to Marian I realized I could definitely obtain, at some point, my grandparents’ naturalization records from when they came from Nova Scotia in the early 1900’s.

My takeaway from Wednesday was to pay the $20 for a Genealogy Program Index Search to obtain the correct record numbers for an ancestor processed after 1893 (but not ship manifest records, or records from port locations).  Then I could pursue getting the actual records.

That night I ate dinner with a friend from the DNA class and asked her about some questions I had about testing.  That’s almost the best thing about being here – the mealtime conversations about genealogy.

The season premiere of Who Do You Think You Are? was enjoyed by the crowd Wednesday night.  There were many aspects of the show that related to knowledge of the law for the time and places mentioned.

Some of the crowd enjoying the season opener of Who Do You Think You Are?

Some of the crowd enjoying the season opener of Who Do You Think You Are?

Day 5

On Thursday, the content was focused on laws about women, children, marriage and divorce.  There were also sessions on military pensions and Claims Committees.  I am on a mission to find supporting papers for my ggg-grandfather’s 1878 claim for reparations after the Civil War.  I feel like I have some more things to try now.

Takeaway from this day:  when using those faulty OCR-produced index services on the internet (in other words, indexing NOT produced by humans) try to use as many services as possible (like maybe Ancestry.com, Fold3 and Family Search) since they will all have different index entries.

My books from the Maia's Books exhibit.  She is willing to ship them, also.

My books from the Maia’s Books exhibit. She is willing to ship them, also.

Day 6

On Friday, I finalized my book purchases from Maia’s books, we had our last sessions, received certificates and prepared to depart.  Our teachers sent us a set of electronic documents they had gathered just for us, which I look forward to exploring more at home.

The major point of this week: find the law that will help you understand more about the document you’re reading, and also the reverse of that: continue to learn more about laws that might have impacted our ancestors, and produced record sets we’re not even  thinking of.  The whole process this week was one of reading the informative articles in the syllabus (over 100 pages), listening to and occasionally participating in the lectures, and following that up with homework each night, and, when I return home, with a lot of research I would like to do using my new knowledge and skills, plus the extra documents to go through.

There were interesting talks each night for the whole group, and I heard wonderful things about each one, but didn’t attend them.  I had some quiet evenings with friends or just doing homework.

In closing

I can heartily endorse this program.   The company was wonderful, the classes truly excellent, things ran smoothly and I know that’s not easy, and I am going home with a list a mile long of things I should be trying and ideas for specific problems. Nothing is perfect, and staying in a dorm is never a dream vacation, but overall I have no complaints. I have had more genealogy conversations here (along the lines of Did you try this?  Did you look here?  What about … ?) than probably any other venue I have ever been in.

I am grateful to my teachers Judy Russell, Rick Sayre, and Marian Smith.  I learned this week that there are laws (or occasionally some other motivation) behind records and we need to understand those purposes, look up national and local laws, and think through what was allowed and legal for the time and place that our ancestors lived.  Knowing the law can give us data and genealogical information that never appears in any index.  If person A did x in a certain year, and x could only be done by people of a certain age, that gives you a piece of data you may not find anywhere else.  And legal records are absolutely filled with direct evidence too, for instance when certain facts had to be documented for, say, a pension application.  Did our ancestors ever lie?  Well sure, but that’s just part of the fun.

You can see the 2015 program here.  I had a great week and I look forward to similar events in the future.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/07/25/grip-2014/

I really have not done a lot of research on the MacLeans of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, which is my grandfather’s family.  But recently, I connected with a Canadian relative and he passed along some pictures, and gave me permission to post them here.  I am going to tell what little I know, and hope that others will add to my information in the comments. Most of my information comes from my cousin John and my Aunt Mae.  Yup, this is the side of the family that actually kept track of their heritage.

Unfortunately, none of us have had much success tracing them back to Scotland, although we know they likely arrived in Cape Breton during the 1820’s.  I am leaving some notes here for other descendants (and there are many) who may want to collaborate further.

John Alexander MacLean, 1892-1933

My grandfather, John Alexander MacLean, 1892-1933

John and Josie (MacLeod) MacLean

My grandparents John Alexander MacLean and Josie May MacLeod were married June 16, 1920 in North Sydney, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  John, called Jack, was born 17 Feb 1892, and Josie was born 3 Aug 1892. They lost their first daughter, Josie, but had four children after that:  Kenneth Torquil, Marion Bannington, and twins named for themselves, John Alexander and Josie May.  My grandfather John MacLean died in Providence in 1933, and Josie raised the children in Rhode Island.  My Uncle Ken wrote about the family in this post:  Where We Came From.

Torquil MacLean

Torquil MacLean

Torquil and Sarah MacLean

My grandfather John MacLean’s parents were Torquil and Sarah (MacLean) MacLean.  Torquil MacLean was a farmer and ferryman in Englishtown, Nova Scotia who was born 15 Aug 1841 at Wreck Cove, Victoria, Nova Scotia, and died in Englishtown 29 Dec 1921. He was the son of Donald MacLean and Christine MacLeod.

I believe Torquil MacLean is well known among his many descendants, and locally, as the ferryman, from back in the day when that meant rowing, and coaxing horses on board, with their wagons, and even earlier, when the boat was smaller and the horse swam along behind, held by a rope.  Apparently he took over the ferry from his own father, ran it for 50 years, and his son Allen succeeded him in the business.  Today, the local ferry is still named for Torquil MacLean.  Torquil’s story was told in Issue 2 of Cape Breton’s Magazine.

Sarah (MacLean) MacLean

Sarah (MacLean) MacLean

Sarah MacLean was born in Middle River, Nova Scotia, 24 Mar 1852 and died 1 Jan 1940 in New Campbellton, Nova Scotia.  Her parents were Allen MacLean and Margaret Nicholson.  I do not know the connection between Torquil and Sarah’s families.

Torquil and Sarah MacLean’s children

Torquil and Sarah had eleven children.  Remarkably, they had five girls followed by six boys (family lore has it that they dug a new well).  Those researching Torquil and Sarah MacLean should consult The Road to Englishtown by Bonnie Thornhill (2009), p. 270-288.

  • Christena “Tena” MacLean, 1875 – 1968.  Married Charles Thomas Woolnough.  They lived in Halifax, where he ran a hotel/restaurant.
  • Mary MacLean, 1879 – 1931.  Married Malcolm B. Morrison in 1904.  Resided in Englishtown.  Their children were Dan, Edward, Gordon, Harry, John, Neil, and Sadie. 
Mary (MacLean) Morrison. Photo courtesy of Brian Burnett.

Mary (MacLean) Morrison. Photo courtesy of Byron Burnett.

  • Flora MacLean, 1880 – 1952.  Married Alexander “Sandy” Bain, a blacksmith, in 1899, and resided in New Campbellton, Cape Breton.   Her obituary is on this page of the Cape Breton Gen Web Project.  
  • Margaret MacLean, 1881 – 1948.  Married Donald R. MacDonald. She was a nurse and he was a doctor. She and her husband passed away within a few days of each other in Shediac, New Brunswick. 
  • Alice “Lexy” MacLean, 1883 – 1969.  She may have been married twice, first to John Phillip McLeod and later to Felix Gillan.  She died in Detroit, Michigan in 1969.
Daniel J. MacLean. Photo courtesy of Brian Burnett.

Daniel J. MacLean. Photo courtesy of Byron Burnett.

  • Daniel John MacLean, 1885 – 1918.  Daniel died in an Alberta coal mine in 1918.
  • Allan MacLean, 1887 – 1954. The only son to live a relatively long life, Allen took over the ferry from his father, and is mentioned in the Torquil MacLean article cited above (Cape Breton Magazine).  He married Sadie Grace Campbell, who died in 1930, and afterwards married Annie Urquhart, who lived until 1993.  His children were Daniel Edward, John Campbell, Allen Torquil, Robert K., Malcolm Arnold, Sadie Grace, and Margaret (Peggy).
Kenneth MacLean.  Photo courtesy of Brian Burnett.

Kenneth MacLean. Photo courtesy of Byron Burnett.

  • Kenneth R MacLean, 1889 – 1934.  Kenneth was a sailor, and was working for a Great Lakes transportation company in Buffalo, NY when he drowned.  He was married to Mary Belle Sutherland and had several children.
  • John Alexander MacLean, 1892 – 1933.  My grandfather, see above.  During WWI, he became a U.S. citizen due to the requirements of his job on board ships that were providing transportation services for the U.S. military. He married Josie MacLeod in 1920 and they had four children in Brooklyn, NY. He died in the hospital from an infection in 1933.  The family had recently moved to Rhode Island from Brooklyn and my grandmother decided to stay on in Rhode Island after his death.
Edward MacLean.  Photo courtesy of Brian Burnett.

Edward MacLean. Photo courtesy of Byron Burnett.

  • Edward C. MacLean, 1894 – 1913. Edward was a young coal miner, unmarried I believe, when he died in a mining accident in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in 1913.  My cousin Byron Burnett tells me that he is buried in the Auld Cemetery, Englishtown. 
  • Hugh Neil MacLean, 1896 – 1921.  Hugh served in WWI.  His draft papers from Poccahontas, Alberta, Canada report him as 5′ 9″, blue eyes, light brown hair, working at that time as a miner.  He served overseas during the war.  He was working on a ship after his return, and disappeared in New York City the night he was supposed to report to the ship.  Nothing more was heard from him and he was presumed dead.  At the time, my grandparents were a young married couple living in Brooklyn and were, I would think, the last family members to see him.  

A glimpse of the Torquil MacLean family

The book “Down North and Up Along” by Margaret Warner Morley (New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1900) recounts the author’s travel experiences in Nova Scotia in the late 1890’s. She took the Englishtown Ferry along with a friend and a rented horse named Dan.

TORQUIL McLANE’S ferry is the notable instrument by means of which the traveller can find his way out of Englishtown to the north.
Englishtown lies opposite the narrowest part of St. Anne, which here may be about a mile wide, but that providential tongue of land must not be forgotten which separates the inner harbour from the outer bay, leaving only ” a passage for one vessel at a time,” and making of it a safe refuge in time of war.
Although not at present of military importance, the tongue of land still answers a very good purpose in shortening the labours of Torquil, the ferryman, who Is a man of note all over Cape North, and, for that matter, much farther. For whoever writes an article or even a letter about this part of the country, never fails to adorn the same with the picturesque name of Torquil McLane, the Englishtown ferryman.
Torquil must be pronounced ” turkle,” and Cape Breton on the spot must be called Cape ” Britton.” It is supposed by some that the island got its name from the Basque sailors who came to these shores from Cape Breton near Bayonne, in very early times. Be that as it may, the Basque sailors are no longer there to see justice done their mother tongue, and Cape ” Britton ” it is in the mouths of these former subjects of the British Empire.
Torquil McLane’s ferry was quite as picturesque as Torquil himself, and resembled nothing so little as our narrow-minded ideas of a ” ferry.” To see it was to understand and sympathise with Mr. A.’s concern that we should have a horse willing to cross it !
It had no landing whatever other than the pebbly beach provided by nature. The ferryboat resembled a retired dory, grown broad and flat-bottomed with increase of years. We reached this promising form of transportation by pitching down a stony embankment upon a stony beach.
Torquil was waiting for us, for had he not seen us enter town the night before, and did he not hope and trust that we should be crossing his ferry in the morning ? He was a tall, spare Highlander, and he surveyed us with his shrewd Scotch eyes, and in a deep voice inquired, after the manner of his people, where we came from, where we were going, and what our names were.
We answered and looked at each other in consternation, for while we might get aboard the high-sided boat, rocking in the water, what of Dan ? Could he and would he do this thing ? We did not believe that he could or would.
While Torquil was taking the horse from the waggon, his daughter, aged eighteen, strongly built and rosy-cheeked, appeared upon the scene. She had come to help her father row us over the ferry, and was accompanied by a little boy and a solemn-faced baby.
Torquil and his buxom daughter laid hold upon the waggon and pulled it out into the water and aboard the boat, that vehicle going through the most alarming contortions meantime. Then it was Dan’s turn, and we watched with bated breath as he waded out.
” Get in there ! ” said Torquil the ferryman — and Dan got in ! It was a beautiful sight. He pawed about with his front feet until he got them over the side and in the boat, and repeated the operation with his hind ones until he was all in. Could he have known the feelings with which we regarded him upon that occasion, he would have been a proud and happy horse.
As it was, he was no sooner in than he wished himself out again, and it became necessary for one of us to stand on a seat and keep him from walking overboard, while Torquil and his daughter pushed the boat from shore and turned it toward the other side of the harbour.
The baby was stowed for safe-keeping under the seat in the bow, whence it peered out curious but silent— as became a Scotch baby. The little boy pulled at his father’s oar until his face was crimson, and the strong-armed daughter kept stroke with her father. Thus we passed the perils of the sea.
As soon as the boat grated on the pebbles of the opposite shore, Dan scrambled overboard and Torquil harnessed him to the waggon. We paid the ferryman his fee and watched the clumsy craft go back across the mouth of the harbour bearing the far-famed ferryman, his strong daughter, his crimson-faced son, and his silent baby.

I wonder which daughter was the strong rower?  I suspect my grandfather, born in 1892, was not the solemn baby, but could he have been the boy?

A Map of Cape Breton, Englishtown highlighted, from Down North, p. 158.

A Map of Cape Breton (Englishtown highlighted), from Down North, p. 158.

In closing

I have many cousins on this side of the family and I hear from a new one from time to time.  Please, if anyone has better or further information, share it here where others will find it.  Thank you.

The post you are reading is located at:  https://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/07/15/my-branch-of-the-macleans/

 

Headstone of Torquil and Sarah MacLean.

Headstone of Torquil and Sarah MacLean in the Englishtown cemetery.  Photo by Bonnie Churcher.

Old Smithfield records

As many Rhode Island researchers know, the records of old Smithfield, Rhode Island are located in the Central Falls City Hall. Smithfield was a very early settlement, but grew into many towns, and at some point the early records were placed for permanent storage in Central Falls, and each town has their own more recent records.

I visited there recently, at 580 Broad Street in the tiny city of Central Falls.  It was a typical (for Rhode Island) turn-of-the-last-century city hall, and in fact it is on the same street as the nearby Cumberland Town Hall.

Central Falls City Hall, seen from the side.

Central Falls City Hall, seen from the side.

Like many city halls, it has no real parking, and also is in a popular and crowded neighborhood – in this case, it is next to a busy small park.  I was puzzled about parking but finally realized there were one or two unoccupied spots next to the building, on the street (that would be across the side street from the Dunkin Donuts … you will know you’ve reached Rhode Island if there’s a coffee shop on every corner).

The city clerk’s office was easy to find on the first floor and I thought the staff person who helped me was among the most professional and knowledgeable I have encountered.  I was quickly led into a room filled with the old books and records, with a couple of tables and chairs.  During my stay I encountered a few other visitors, but as in most town halls, they seemed to be strictly doing title or other legal research as quickly as possible, and moving on.

The room with the old records.  To one side, there are some tables and chairs.

The room with the old records. To one side, there are some tables and chairs.

The room was neat and spacious and well organized. I had seen many records on microfilm during a trip to the Family History Library in 2013, so I was there to get a sense of what records were available, to evaluate the indexing, and to do some specific lookups.  Handwritten index pages can be hard to read, so I wanted to photograph some pages and return another time with a list of records I wanted to find.

Vital records

Vital records are just inside the door.  Seeing these in person finally helped me to realize that since they start in 1730, and the information I am seeking (a family for Rachel Arnold) would be be from the 1730’s or earlier, I should also be be looking at the prior repository.  I think that would be Providence City Archives.

Index volumes to the vital records

Early vital records

What surprised me about the vital records was that some early pages were damaged or worn at some point in their history.  They are carefully encased now for protection, but it’s obvious that at some point they incurred some damage.

Some early vital records pages were damaged or worn at some point in their history

Some early vital records pages were damaged or worn at some point in their history

Probate records

I was very interested in finding probate records.  I have never found any death or probate information for Thomas Arnold.    I found the Probate volumes and was told the index to each volume could be found at the front.  For the early volumes I was using, that was not true, but eventually I found index pages towards the back – so scanty and mixed in with the final volume pages that I had missed them at first. The pages are safely bound now to prevent further damage.

A probate index page

A probate index page

I photographed the index pages for study at home.  Given the state of the index, without a page-by-page perusal, it would be hard to be absolutely sure what was in the probate records.  The only place I know of with a more recently compiled index to Smithfield Wills is the Rhode Island Genealogical Register, volume 16.  That has not helped me.

I did find the will, administration papers and inventory of Thomas Arnold’s father, Thomas Arnold Esq (1705-1765) on page 481-498 of volume 2 (1749-1768).  I learned something about my family that I did not know before; there will be a future blog post about The Peleg Arnold Tavern.

Grantor and Grantee index volumes

Grantor and Grantee index volumes

Deeds

There were index volumes for grantors and grantees.  I checked the index for the 1762 John & Mary Smith/Thomas Arnold Jr deed that I wanted to photograph.  I had to inquire where volume 6 of the Smithfield deeds were; turns out they were in the metal cupboard.

The metal cupboard.  Intriguing!

The metal cupboard. Intriguing!

I photographed the deed for careful study later.  I am hoping this John and Mary Smith could possibly be Rachel’s parents.  I had also photographed a probate record for the only possible John Smith I could find in the records.

Other records

I explored the cabinet a bit and found an old tax booklet (1803), and a neighborhood by neighborhood Surveyors List from 1814.

Tax booklet, 1803

Tax booklet, 1803

All in all, I enjoyed getting to know the old Smithfield records and I will be returning soon.  I haven’t yet looked at many town council records or recorded all the vital records I need.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/07/08/central-falls-city-hall/

This old postcard from 1906 makes it clear that City Hall was once a high school.

This old postcard from 1906 makes it clear that City Hall was once a high school.

 

Recently, I began looking at the Arnolds and Smiths from North Providence and Smithfield, Rhode Island again. I am looking for Rachel, the wife of Thomas Arnold (1733 – ?).  I have written previously about Thomas and Rachel in A Hint from an Angell and The Brick Wall Stories, Lucy Arnold, Part 4.  I estimate that Rachel was born around 1735 (based on first child born mid-1750’s), and signed a deed in 1768.  She may have been a Smith.  Based on the naming of her children, she may have had a Lucy, Asa, Aaron, Catherine, Philadelphia or Marcy in her family. I am related to Rachel (Smith?) in the following way:

Rachel (Smith?) (? – ?)    7th great grandmother
- Lucy Arnold (? – ?)
- Marcy Ballou (1778 – ?)
- Nancy Ann Aldrich (1800 – 1879)
- Ellis Aldrich Darling (1824 – 1883)
- Addison Parmenter Darling (1856 – 1933)
- Russell Earl Darling (1883 – 1959)
- Edna May Darling (1905 – 1999)  (My grandmother)

The search

Up until this point, I have concentrated on some good compiled sources on the Smithfield Arnolds (investigating the sources noted in footnotes), and some Smithfield deeds for Thomas Arnold, as well as all the usual sources one might pursue for this period.

I have always been uncomfortable with how Thomas Arnold’s story seems to stop around 1776, and decided to pursue the history of each of his children, to see if I could find evidence of his subsequent life and a possible move away from Smithfield.  There is no evidence that Thomas ever served in the military.

Ultimately, my goals are also to determine if Thomas had dealings or proximity with Rachel’s family, and to find as many links as I can to Smiths, or any family that could be Rachel’s family.

Cumberland Cemetery (CU003), Dexter Street.

Cumberland Cemetery (CU003), Dexter Street, Cumberland, R.I.

Rachel’s children

Richard Benson’s book (see below) gives some information on the children of Thomas and Rachel Arnold.  Lacking birth records for the children, he lists six possible children, gleaned from other sources, such as their marriage records, and records his sources and additional details in the footnotes, p. 242-243.

  • Lucy Arnold married Richard Ballou around 1777.  They had the following children recorded in Cumberland (Arnold, volume 3, p. 78): Marcy, Arnold, Lydia, Augustice, Thomas, Richard, Lucy, Willard, Polly Arnold.
Phylia Collar, wife of Hezekiah Collar, died September 15, 1845. The stone leaning up against hers is Pardon Newell.

Phylia Collar, wife of Hezekiah Collar, died September 15, 1845 Aged 80 years 6 mo. The stone leaning up against hers is for Pardon Newell.  I don’t know who that is.

  • Asa Arnold  1755 -?.  Asa Arnold appeared in the federal census of 1790, 1800, 1810, 1820 and 1830 in Smithfield, however I doubt that’s him. Two reasons:
    • There is another Asa Arnold (son of Rufus Arnold and Ruth Eddy) who married Patience Read in Smithfield in 1797 and later moved to Painted Post, New York. That Asa had a daughter Dianna born around 1800 (same as Aaron, below) who married Paris Wheelock in Smithfield in 1818.  Sometime after that, much of that family departed for Painted Post. Asa and Patience were buried in Corning, New York according to FindaGrave.com. So they were in Smithfield for most of those years.
    • The marriage of “Asa Arnold of Smithfield, R. I., & widow Sarah Jacobs, Sept 14, 1788″ appears in the Middletown, Connecticut section of this book:  Early Connecticut Marriages as Found on Ancient Church Records Prior to 1800, Sixth Book, p. 109.  Although the 1790 federal census record on Ancestry.com has some fading on the relevant page, “Asa Amasa Arnold” seems to be living there.  A petition for divorce by Sarah, wife of Asa [Amasa] Arnold was filed in 1803; the papers are indexed in this volume from the Connecticut State Library, including a marriage certificate.  I will be following up. The 1790 census shows an extra male under 16, and 3 extra females in the household; the 1800 census shows only the couple.  Based on the bad behavior I noted in the divorce records, it’s hard to believe Thomas and Rachel ever came to live with Asa in Connecticut.  After the divorce, Asa’s whereabouts are unknown to me, but he may have returned to Rhode Island.  I do not know the names of children, if any.
  • Catherine Arnold  1757 – ?, married 1777 Joseph Razee (1748-1814), son of Joseph, of Cumberland.  According to Arnold’s Vital Records of R.I., vol. 3, p. 118, they had the following children in Cumberland between 1778 and 1788: Lucina, Rachel, Eunice, Aaron, William and Asa.   There is a Joseph Razey buried in the Ballou Cemetery on Mendon Road in Cumberland, according to FindAGrave.  I have not yet found information about Catherine’s death or burial.
  • Aaron Arnold  c1759 – 4 Jan 1829.  Married his first cousin Amy Eddy in 1799.  Served in the Revolutionary War (see below).  Arnold records children Dianna, 1799, Nancy, 1801, Peleg, 1803, Clarinda, 1807, and Sally, 1814.  Received a military pension beginning 1818.  In April, 1825 the R.I. General Assembly received a petition from Aaron Arnold of Smithfield for the benefit of the act entitled “an act for the relief of insolvent debtors” (Rhode-Island American (Providence, RI) XVII:60, p.4; April 26, 1825).  Died in Slatersville, R.I., 1829 “formerly of Cumberland.”
  • Philadelphia Arnold (1765-1845) married Hezekiah Caller (son of Jonathan) in 1794.  See notes, below.  An examination of the federal census records for Cumberland in 1800 shows the adult couple with a boy and girl, each under 10.  In 1810, the household consists of the two adults and a teenage girl.  Hezekiah and Phylia Collar are buried in Cumberland Cemetery (CU003).  It is south of the area where the Ballous and Aldriches lived.  I do not know the names of children, if any.
  • Lavina Arnold. Benson included this name because of a Quaker church record of Lavina “daughter of Thomas”.  I’m not as convinced that any Quaker was part of this immediate family (and this name was not included in Welcome A. Greene’s manuscript, see below), and there were other Thomas Arnolds, but I will pursue the lead.

Expanding my knowledge through Revolutionary War pension files

I found a Revolutionary War pension file for Hezekiah, which led me to the version of his name used there, Hezekiah Collar (pension S-21138, Rhode Island, Fold3.com).  From that (through FindAGrave.com), I found his grave in the Cumberland Cemetery with his wife “Phylia.”  Using the extremely helpful Google Map of Rhode Island cemeteries, I located Cumberland Historic Cemetery 003, and visited there.  Knowing from the pension file that Hezekiah reported himself as growing up impoverished, and that he substituted for others drafted during the war (something that usually involved a payment, so it was done by those needing money) there is no reason to think he inherited land in that particular area. I wonder if he purchased land in Cumberland – perhaps as a result of his Revolutionary War activities.

Aaron Arnold served in the Revolutionary War as a seaman, and was on the Providence when it went to France. He was captured in South Carolina and imprisoned by the British for eight months in the Bahamas, 1780.  The pension file says that he received a military pension beginning 1818.   He died in Slatersville, R.I., 1829 “formerly of Cumberland”.

Joseph Razee is hard to distinguish from his cousin of the same name (son of Benjamin) although the pension file in Fold3 definitely refers to the cousin. But the service records could be for both.  So I am not yet sure if Joseph served in the war.

The Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland Historic Cemetery 009, Mendon Road.  The graves pictured are of some Carpenters.

The Ballou Cemetery, Cumberland Historic Cemetery 009, Mendon Road. The graves pictured are of some Carpenters.

Visiting cemeteries

In my visits to the cemeteries pictured here, I looked around for Smith graves nearby.  That was productive in the case of Cumberland Cemetery (CU003), Dexter Street, Cumberland, R.I., pictured toward the top of this post, where the Collars were buried.  The neighborhood and the other graves had a familiar feel, like I was related to most of the people there.

When I arrived at the Ballou Cemetery in Cumberland (CU009, intersection of Mendon Road and Scott) to find the graves of Joseph Razee and his wife Catherine, nothing felt familiar.  The names seemed strange and the nearby roads and landmarks were not significant to me. When I found the grave, it was for Joseph Razee, next to his wife, Mary.  So that didn’t seem right.  The gravestone gave a death date of May 8, 1814 (age 66, so born around 1748).  There was a Revolutionary War marker by the grave. I returned home to look at the vital records a little more closely.

Joseph Razee marriage entries in Cumberland portion of Arnold VR, vol. 3, p. 54.

Joseph Razee marriage entries in Cumberland portion of Arnold VR, vol. 3, p. 54.

  • I had been confused in the cemetery,but looking at theJosephRazee marriages made me think that perhaps this really WAS the right Joseph.  There were three marriages:
    • Joseph, 3d, of Joseph, of Cumberland, and Katherine Arnold, of Thomas, of Smithfield: m. by Stephen Arnold, Justice, May 18, 1777 (this was my Joseph).
    • Joseph, of Benjamin, dec., of Cumberland, and Molly Nichols, of Samuel, of North Kingstown: m. by Elder Abner Ballou, Aug. 9, 1781 (this was the other Joseph, of the pension record).
    • Joseph, Jr., of Joseph and Mary Razee, of David: m. by Isaac Razee, Justice, Aug. 18, 1808 (who was this?).
  • So the question is, who was the Joseph in marriage number 3? Did Joseph in marriage 1 lose his wife and acquire a wife named Mary in 1808 (who may have been his first cousin), who later filed for the pension in 1843?  The Fold3 pension record had a statement from the widow that she was called Mary, but had been called Molly earlier in life – so, that widow really seemed to be the one in marriage record two, not the third marriage.
The wrong Joseph Razee, 1748-1814, Revolutionary War veteran.

In Memory of Mr. Jospeh Razey, Jr, who died May 8, 1814, in the 66th year …

  • Arnold VR, volume 19 “Providence Phenix – Deaths” reports a Joseph Arnold died at Cumberland Dec. 8, 1816, age 70.  That Joseph would have been born around 1746.  The Joseph Razee who died in 1816 is buried in Peck Cemetery (CU019, Abbott Run Valley Road, Cumberland).

That means that the grave I saw at Ballou Cemetery - pictured above – very likely WAS my Joseph.  Next question – was it marked with a Revolutionary War marker because someone knows that he served, or because some well meaning person made a presumption that he was the other Joseph Razee?

So I suspect marriage record #3 DOES refer to this couple in Ballou Cemetery, especially since my Joseph did not, according to the Cumberland records, have a son named Joseph.  I know nothing about Catherine Arnold Razee’s death or burial.  I checked the Revolutionary War pension file one more time to find the exact death date of the wrong Joseph Razee  – and it was Dec 8 1816. Therefore, this Ballou Cemetery grave is for MY Joseph Razee.

Mary Razey

Mary Raze, wife of Joseph Raze, Born Jan 15, 1750  Died Jan 20, 1820  AEt. 70

On a whim I visited the Peck Cemetery anyway, to visit the other Joseph Razee’s grave, because I like to see things for myself. I was surprised to discover his marker was near some Collar graves.  Perhaps just a coincidence. There were Arnolds there too.  The marker was in tough shape, and had no flag next to it to mark a Revolutionary War soldier.  But the stone was almost unreadable, so perhaps that was to be expected.

The Razee section of Peck Cemetery, Cumberland Historic Cemetery 19, Abbot Run Valley Road.

The Razee section of Peck Cemetery, Cumberland Historic Cemetery 19, Abbot Run Valley Road – note, Joseph Razee’s marker is just to the left of this row.

Summarizing the cemetery experiences

While I have spent a lot of energy finding Joseph Razee, I still am no closer to knowing the fate of Catherine Arnold after her children were born.

I feel badly because, all in all, I have to conclude the Revolutionary War marker is on the wrong grave, or at least on the grave of the Joseph who served far less.  It should be on the Peck Cemetery Joseph Razee grave, pictured below (note: there is a far better picture of it on FindAGrave in which the medallion is still present).  I checked out the NSSAR Patriot & Grave Record.  Both Joseph Razees are entered as having marked graves, and apparently no membership applications have been submitted by their descendants.

In Memory of Mr. Joseph Razee who departed this life

In Memory of Mr. Joseph Raze who departed this life Dec 8, 1816 in the 70th year ….

Looking at books and journals

Later, I tracked down some Smiths (from the cemeteries) in some usual Smith sources (see list, below).  While not, in the end, leading me specifically to an answer, I am beginning to know much more about the many connections between the Arnolds and the Smiths, and to distinguish the various branches of the Smiths and Arnolds.  Benson’s The Arnold Family (see below), Richardson’s History of Woonsocket (see below) and the John Smith articles by Farnham (see below) are making a lot more sense to me as I recognize many of the individuals named.

Looking at maps and locations

When I encountered, for probably the fourth time, the 1748 list of Smithfield Highway Districts (Richardson’s History of Woonsocket, page 64-68), I realized that the physical descriptions of each area are now very recognizable to me.  Previously, I was mostly trying to examine names.  I would estimate that Rachel was about 14 years old in 1748, and her father could easily have still been alive, or if not, her mother or brother could have owned property.  So I am planning a more detailed analysis of that list, and, as luck would have it, I have also stumbled upon an 1806 geographically-sorted Smithfield list that I will place on the blog at a later date.

As I drove home from these Cumberland cemeteries, I passed through historic areas of Smithfield and North Providence – historic homes, Great Road, Old Louisquisset – and began to get a clearer view of the generation after generation march from Providence north.  Thomas and Rachel’s children headed north into Cumberland – and perhaps Thomas and Rachel went with them as they got older.

The three cemeteries mentioned here in eastern Cumberland - fromthe northeast corner of Rhode Island on the 1875 Rand map.

The three cemeteries mentioned here in eastern Cumberland – from the northeast corner of Rhode Island on the 1875 Rand map.

Looking at my own documentation

Revisiting my chart of Thomas Arnold’s deeds recorded in Smithfield, the names now seem more familiar, and the John and Mary Smith who sold Thomas his first piece of land seem like a HUGE clue, that I am having trouble tracing.  I think the time has come to visit the old Smithfield records at Central Falls, Rhode Island and examine these deeds in person (I had previously captured them from microfilm), along with any probate records I can find.  The deeds show that Thomas Arnold sold the farm he lived on in 1772, and the deeds appear to end completely around 1776, when his children were quite young.  Daughters Lucy and Catherine married around 1777; did the remnants of the family follow one of them?

It’s like they disappeared.  I have managed to convince myself that none of Thomas Arnold and Rachel Smith’s children left northern Rhode Island, with the possible exception of son Asa.  As I visited cemeteries and town halls it occurred to me that only the early portions of this story were happening in Smithfield – the later portions were all in Cumberland.  The two most likely possibilities are that Thomas and Rachel died quite young, in Smithfield, or they moved in with one of their sons or daughters in Cumberland.

Next Steps

  • Analyze each census record for the children to see if there are extra adults in the household.
  • I will also be tracing the John and Mary Smith mentioned in the Smithfield deed of 1764.
  • It is difficult to trace Rachel since she was born in the early 1730’s and the Smithfield records only begin in 1730.  It occurs to me to try the earlier Providence records.  I may go to the Providence City Archives for that.
  • Knowing Rachel’s first name (the SMITH is a bit speculative, based on what the books say) I have the idea that if I locate the vital records for THOMAS’ parents, whether they be in Smithfield records or in Providence, I should look around for Rachel’s family nearby.

Sources for Revolutionary War pension information

 – Arnold’s Vital Records of R.I., Volume 12 We don’t think of military pensions as vital records, but of course they are filled with just that – in some cases, the only surviving proof of a marriage or death.  Arnold’s volume 12 contains several useful indices of Revolutionary War information:

  • Cowell’s “Spirit of ’76,” Index to,
  • Rhode Island Officers of The Revolution, Killed, Died Of Disease or Pensioned
  • Rhode Island Pensioners, Census of 1820,
  • Rhode Island Pensioners, Census of 1835,
  • Rhode Island Pensioners, Census of 1840

 – Cowell’s Spirit of 76 in Rhode Island I picked up a used copy of this book last year, I think, after using it at the Allen County Public Library.  But what I didn’t realize until I started reading dozens of pension files is that author Benjamin Cowell was instrumental in processing many of the Rhode Island federal pension claims.  James N. Arnold described him in his introduction to the Spirit of 76 index which appears in volume 12 of Vital Record of the of Rhode Island 1636-1850:

Judge Benjamin Cowell, the author of this work, which was published by him in 1850, was born in Wrentham, Mass., in 1781, and died in Providence, R. 1., May 6, 1863. He graduated from Brown University in the class of 1803. He studied law and settled in Providence. For a long term he was pension attorney for this district. During this long term he became acquainted with many of the old soldiers and he could, from his large mass of anecdote and collections, have produced several very interesting volumes. The partial list he published was perhaps an afterthought with him in late life for, had he commenced with his first practice with the object 1n view of publishing later, he would have had an immense manuscript which to-day would be priceless.

- Fold3.com (a paid subscription site) is a terrific source for Revolutionary War information. 

Helpful sources for the Smithfield Arnolds/Smiths/Ballous

  • Angell, Frank C.  Annals of Centerdale in the town of North Providence, Rhode Island.  Central Falls, R.I.: Frank C. Angell, 1909.
  • Arnold, Welcome
  • Ballou, Adin. An Elaborate History and Genealogy of the Ballous in America Providence: E.L. Freeman & Son, 1888.
  • Bamburg, Cherry Fletcher. “Amy (Smith) Russell and Her Family.”Rhode Island Roots  37, No. 2 (June, 2011): 57-78.
  • Bartlett, John R. (arranged by).  Census of the Inhabitants of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations … 1774.  Providence: Knowles, Anthony & Co., 1858.
  • Benson, Richard H.  The Arnold Family of Smithfield, Rhode Island.  Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2009.
  • Cowell, Benjamin. Spirit of 76 in Rhode Island, or, Sketches of the Efforts of the Government and People in the War of the Revolution.  Boston: A.J. Wright, 1850.
  • Farnham, Charles William. “John Smith, The Miller, of Providence, Rhode Island – Some of His Descendants” in Genealogies of Rhode Island Families From Rhode Island Periodicals, volume II, p. 1 – 150.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1983 [originally appeared in the 1960's as a series of articles in Rhode Island History, v. 20 - 24].
  • Greene, Welcome A (1795-1870) Notes on the Genealogy of the Arnold Family.  Manuscript C5859, New England Historic Genealogical Society Library, Boston.  Thomas Arnold is person 6114.
  • Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790 – Rhode Island.  Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company, 1977.
  • Richardson, E. History of Woonsocket.  Woonsocket: S.S. Foss, 1876.  
  • Sanborn, Melinda Lutz. “Smithfield, Rhode Island Death Records Culled from Probate.”  New England Historic Genealogical Register, October 1992, p. 343-351.
  • “Smithfield 1778 Tax List” a series of articles in Rhode Island Roots (a periodical from the Rhode Island Genealogical Society), 1995-1997.
  • Steere, Thomas. History of the Town of Smithfield.  Providence: E.L. Freeman, 1881.

For further information on the various Arnold families in Rhode Island, see my post Meet the Arnolds.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/07/04/pensions-cemeteries-patriots/

I recently decided to replace my laptop because it had a few issues, and I wanted to make it our backup or guest computer.  I was able to replace the laptop and connect it to two larger monitors (that I already owned) for under $400.

Technology is moving along so quickly, I decided that in future I will replace my laptop every three years.  Therefore, I didn’t want to spend much.

I wanted several things:

  • Windows 7.  I like it, and I’m putting off a big change until next time.
  • A small laptop with a screen under 13 inches.  I don’t bring the laptop many places (I tend to use a tablet for that) but if I want to pack it, I would like it to fit easily in a carry-on bag, and not weigh too much.
  • low price.

I chose an Acer Aspire V5-131 with Windows 7.  The price was around $350.  My plan was to use the laptop with two monitors, and a wireless keyboard and mouse.  Once everything was set up, I would only touch the laptop to turn it on and off, and I would have two large screens to work on.  The keyboard and mouse were the Logitech Wireless Desktop MK320 Combo ($23.99).

The laptop barely shows behind the two monitors, and its screen is black.

After the setup was complete, the laptop barely shows behind the two monitors, and its screen was black.  This is actually my old wireless mouse, pictured, but a mouse did come with the keyboard.

The monitors

No need to purchase monitors, because I had two.  One was a $79 Acer monitor I purchased 2 years ago.  It’s about 19 inches.  The other is a Samsung 24 inch monitor that I bought last year on Black Friday for $99, quite a good deal.

The first monitor plugs into the video slot.

The first monitor plugs into the video slot.

To hook up the first monitor: I simply plugged it into a power outlet, then plugged the video cable that came with it into the laptop.  To make the screen active, I went to:

Control Panel –> Hardware and Sound –> Connect to a Projector.

Control Panel

Control Panel

If I were only adding one monitor:   On the screen that comes up, if I had wanted to use the laptop screen plus one monitor, I would choose Extend.  When I was using Extend this way, the laptop was “display 1″ and the monitor was to the right, as “display 2″.  During the two years I used this, I raised the laptop up so visually the screen was even with the monitor, and I added an external keyboard at table level, since now the laptop keyboard was too high off the table.  I have to give fellow blogger Carol A. Bowen Stevens some credit for that idea; we consulted each other on Facebook around the time we both were setting up workstations.

The video plug from the second monitor gos into the adapter, then into the HDMI slot.

The video plug from the second monitor goes into the adapter, then into the HDMI slot.  Note the HDMI slot has a funny shape – it isn’t a USB port.

To hook up the second monitor:  This was the part it took me a while to figure out (in fact, I bought the wrong adapter the first time around).

The monitor comes with a video cable.  But you have no place to plug that in.  The answer is to get an adapter and plug it into the HDMI slot on your laptop.  The adapter I got was an Active HDMI to VGA Adapter for $19.99.

To install it, I plugged the second monitor into a power outlet.  Using the video cable that came with the monitor, I plugged that into the adapter, then plugged the adapter into the HDMI slot on the laptop.  I made the screen active:

Control Panel –> Hardware and Sound –> Connect to a Projector.

Screen Resolution settings also allow you to see the settings for each monitor unit, including #1 the original laptop screen, which is now black.

Screen Resolution settings also allow you to see the settings for each monitor unit, including the two monitors and #1 the original laptop screen, which is now black.

On the screen that comes up, I choose Projector Only.  This turned off the screen on my laptop and activated the two monitor screens.  Luckily, the screens came up for me arranged in the proper order, otherwise I would have to have adjusted the display 1 and display 2 settings.  To check out or adjust settings, go to:

Control Panel –> Appearance and Personalization –> Display –> Connect to an External Display

To change the screen resolution, go to:

Control Panel –> Appearance and Personalization –> Adjust screen resolution

All in all, I am happy with my new laptop and my two screens.  Someday soon I may change the 19 inch for a 24 inch, to match the larger one.  But for now, I’m happy with it.  If I want to take the laptop out of the room, I’ll just unplug these two monitors.  Despite all the settings, if I unplug both monitors, the black screen of the laptop comes back to life.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/07/01/two-monitors-laptop/

The two monitor plugs after setup.

The two monitor plugs after setup.

 

First of all let me say, I do expect to pay for services that help me with my genealogy.  To scan documents and make them searchable and viewable on a website involves expenses which I expect to contribute to. To maintain and staff buildings with roomfuls of books and documents that I might need is not free.  To move genealogy forward, and help us to gain access to the best work, and improve our own, certain organizations need to exist, and I would like to support them.

Here is a summary of what I pay for on a regular basis.

  • Ancestry.com.  Ancestry.com has a lot of records, and even the brief index records have tipped me off to records I should investigate elsewhere.  I keep a tree on Ancestry.  I sometimes pay for a U.S. subscription, and sometimes for a Worldwide subscription.  One thing I do not do on Ancestry is pay any attention to the other trees.  Just turn all that off – you’ll feel much better.  If I ever do look at an individual on another tree, it is just to see if they have any sources listed that might help me.  99 times out of 100 they don’t.  I can access Ancestry.com through my cell phone app, meaning I can see my information at any time.
  • Family Tree Maker software.  I keep this updated and currently have version 2014.  It synchs automatically with my Ancestry tree, meaning all the valuable documents I’ve attached to my tree in Ancestry also move to my computer, on their own.  If I ended my Ancestry subscription tomorrow, I would always have what I’ve found so far, right on my computer.  baby-mom from Abroad
  • Fold3.com.  I love Fold3 and use it mostly for U.S. military records.  I also like the city directories, and I sometimes use Fold3 for an alternative index to U.S. federal census records if I am having trouble finding something, although they only have 1860 and 1900-1930.  They allow you to directly attach a document to a person in your Ancestry tree.  That is especially useful for situations of distant relatives where I’m probably not going to save the entire record anyway.
  • AmericanAncestors.org, the website of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  What can I say about NEHGS membership.  They had me at “The Great Migration” series of books, where you can find reliable information on those who arrived in New England from Europe between 1620 and 1635.  Reading the Register when it comes in the mail is an education.  The website is very helpful, and contains access to all this, plus additional outside databases.  The website is useful to me for searching among many genealogical journals.  Visiting the library in Boston is a wonderful and helpful experience.
  • GenealogyBank.com (newspapers and more searchable, online). Newspapers have told me so many interesting things that I would never have known. My favorite discovery so far is competing ads in 1802 by my 5th great-grandparents disowning each other, one of my first finds. Whenever I subscribe to something like a newspaper site, I read the renewal details carefully and learn, in advance, how I would be able to unsubscribe.  If they make it clear they will never refund a fee, even one made without my consent, I move on.  I trust GenealogyBank.com and have had no problems. As I recall, they give me a discount because I have an Ancestry subscription.  children-hoop from Abroad
  • Rhode Island Historical Society membership.  Historical societies in the areas where you are researching are important and they always need support.
  • The National Genealogical Society.  I enjoy getting the Quarterly and feeling like my membership is contributing to the future of genealogy.
  • Rhode Island Genealogical Society.    It is important to me to belong to the group which has the best interests of Rhode Island genealogy as its core mission.  Rhode Island Roots is an important publication, and they publish excellent books, too.
  • Evernote Premium (online notebook). I keep research documents and files on my computer, but Evernote holds an increasing amount of my genea-details, like to-do lists for each repository, details about all these subscriptions, helpful things like blank census records, details about every repository and cemetery I might ever visit, research notes for each family, results of DNA tests, and conference syllabi.  So, I want to support Evernote and get the best features.  I also access all this on my cell phone through the app.
  • Dropbox.com (online document backup).  All documents on my computer are stored in one folder that is synched with Dropbox.  Anywhere that I have access to the internet, I can access all my documents.  All of them.  Books, maps, notes, pictures, screen shots, anything.  The free account is too small; I use a paid account.  If my computer ended up in Narragansett Bay tomorrow, all my work would be safe.  swans- from Abroad
  • FamilySearch Center microfilm rentals.  I use these more and more.  Someday fairly soon, these films will all be online. Until then, for $7.50, I get to use the exact record book I need (if they have it), no matter where in the world it came from.  I prefer to see the original record books, but will settle for this kind of copy if I have to, and find it preferable (and cheaper) than ordering new certificates transcribed by a clerk (mostly because I like to see everything else on the page, or a couple of pages, and like to do my own deciphering of difficult handwriting).  I save the pages I find on a flash drive and take them home for storage on my computer.
  • Mocavo.com.  Mocavo and I have an on-again, off-again relationship. Right now it’s on.  It is best at what it always was, a site for searching the web and getting only historically and genealogically relevant search results.  I love getting these automatically in my in-box.  If your ancestors could possibly be mentioned in old books, genealogies, directories, or other printed matter, this is the site for you.
  • FindMyPast.com.  Since discovering some more recent English ancestors, I have started subscribing briefly to FindMyPast once in a while.  I don’t do enough to make it worthwhile all the time.

train-ride from Abroad

I notice the trend now is that every major site wants to hold your full tree, help you match with others, and have you save everything right there.  Realistically, we can’t do such a thing on 4 or 5 different sites. Can we?  Sounds exhausting.  One thing I avoid, so far, on these sites is the temptation to upload a whole tree (except on Ancestry.com).  I may, in the future, try this on Mocavo or FindMyPast, to see what “hints” come up for individuals, as long as I can keep the tree private, and delete it later (since I won’t be updating it). (Commenters here and on Facebook have alerted me that the FamilySearch tree won’t be working that way).

This list is longer than I thought it would be.  If you find other memberships or subscriptions worth paying for, and want to point them out here in the comments, please do.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/06/22/what-i-pay-for/

The illustrations are from the book “Abroad” by Thomas Crane and Ellen Elizabeth Houghton (London: Marcus Ward & Co, 1884?)

Abroad _ Crane

 

Since my post last year about research in early Rhode Island records “A Research List for 1650-1750 in Rhode Island”, I have had several questions sent to me about my 7th great grandmother Elizabeth Phillips and her possible father, Joseph Phillips of Providence.  Another possibility for Elizabeth’s father is Joshua Phillips of Sutton, Mass.  There are several other Phillips intermarried with the Ballous, so when I actually research this I may find the answer fairly easily.  But for those in the Providence branch of the Phillips, there are serious questions.

My grandmother is descended from Elizabeth Phillips in the following way:

Elizabeth Phillips (1709 – 1755) m. John Ballou
- Richard Ballou (1751 – 1824)
- Marcy Ballou (1778 – )
- Nancy Ann Aldrich (1800 – 1879)
- Ellis Aldrich Darling (1824 – 1883)
- Addison Parmenter Darling (1856 – 1933)
- Russell Earl Darling (1883 – 1959)
- Edna May Darling (1905 – 1999)
The controversy
The great question is about Joseph’s parents.  Barbara and Michael Phillips of Newport and Providence are reported in Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island (on page 152 of the 1978 version published by Genealogical Publishing Co.) as having six children:
  • John
  • William
  • James
  • Richard
  • Joseph
  • Alice

However, some disagree with Austin’s conclusion that Joseph belongs in this family.  A correspondent mentioned to me that there were probate documents at the Providence City Hall that might provide some evidence one way or the other.  Apparently, some of these descendants are involved in a Y-DNA project and they are getting some results that conflict with Austin’s list.

Index to the Providence probate records

Index to the Providence probate records

The probate documents

I had a chance to visit the Providence City Archives recently and I was able to photograph two early Phillips probate documents.  I should stress that these were the only two early Phillips documents in the published index (pictured above) however I suspect there could be other records of deeds, wills, inventories, and administrations scattered elsewhere in Providence records.  Or not.  So, this is all I found today but there could be more out there.

1719 – Bond of Mrs. Elizabeth Phillips.  Document A180, Probate Records, Providence
First of all let me say, being a bond, this was one of those documents that actually stays with the government (not a copy), and so what I saw at the Archives was the actual piece of paper signed (her mark) and sealed in 1719 by, Elizabeth (Malavery) Phillips, who could be my 8x great grandmother.  It is the oldest document I’ve personally seen of that nature.  Amazing.

1719 Bond of Elizabeth Phillips

1719 Bond of Elizabeth Phillips. Clicking through will open it and allow you to enlarge.

Text of the bond of Elizabeth Phillips:

Know all men by these presents that I Elizabeth Phillips of Providence in the colony of Rhoad Island and Providence Plantations in New England, widdow, am holden and firmly doo stand bound unto the Towne Council of Providence above sd in the sum of two hundred and ten pounds and 10 shillings in Current money of New England to be paid unto the sd Towne Council [thereto?] certaine attorney or successors in sd office. To the which payment well and truly to be made and don I bind my self my heirs Executors and administrators firmly by these presents sealed with my seale dated this 5th day off October in the sixth yeare of his Majestyes Reign George King of Great Britain &c: anno Dom 1719–

The condition of this obligation is such that whereas the Towne Councill above sd hath granted administration unto the above bounded Elizabeth Philips — upon the movable Estate of her deceased husband Joseph Phillips as pr an Instrument bareing date [Even?] with those presents Referenced there unto being had will appear : therefore of the said Elizabeth Phillips – doth from time to time and at all times hereafter faithfully honestly and truly perform the trust reposed in her concerning her sd administration and Render an account of her proceedings there in unto the said town [Town Cill?] or their successors in sd office when legally called there unto and in all things relating the promises behave her self as an Executrix ought to doe : without fraud or deceit : then this obligation shall be void or Else the same to stand and remain in full force effect and virtue.

Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us –

Richard Waterman Jr,

Nathan Waterman

—  Elizabeth Phillips

her mark

I have not analyzed this document yet, but a few things jump out at me:

  • Joseph Phillips “her deceased husband” had died by 1719
  • Who were Richard Waterman Jun and Nathan Waterman?  Were they just probate officers?
  • Elizabeth lived in Providence
  • she was granted administration “As pr an Instrument … ” – I wonder if I can find the will. If so, other relatives could be named there.
  • Elizabeth was unable to write her name.

1721 – Bond of Mial Phillips 1721-2, Document A199, Probate Records, Providence

There are two bonds in this file, one from Mial Phillips in the amount of 100 pounds, and the other for approximately two-thirds of that amount, in which Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter have some responsibility.  Other than those details the bonds are very similar.  Here is the first one:

Top of the first bond from Mial Phillips

Top of the first bond of Mial Phillips. Clicking through will open and allow you to enlarge.

bottom of first bond of Mial Phillips

bottom of first bond of Mial Phillips

transcription of the bond of Mial Phillips:

Know all men by the presence that I Mial Phillips of the Town of Providence in the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations Yeoman I am holden and firmly do stand bound unto Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter both of Providence aforesaid; yeoman; in the : sum of : one hundred pounds Current money of New England : to be paid unto the said Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter their heirs Executors and administrators – To the which payment well and truly to be made and done I bind myself my Heirs Executors and administrators firmly by the presents sealed with my seale  Dated this 26 day of february anno Dom 1721/2 and in the Eighth year of his majestyes Reign George King of Greate Brittan &c: -

The condition of this obligation is such that where as the above named Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter became bound sureties for the above Bounden Mial Phillips his true and faithful performeance of his administration Granted him by the Town Councill of Providence above sd upon the Moveable estate of his brother John Phillips : deceased as pr a bond or obligation from under the hands and seales of the said Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter bareing date [Even?] with these presents : may appeare there fore if the said Mial Phillips his heirs Executors or administrators shall and doe from time to time and att all times forever here after [same?] and Keepe the said Richard Phillips and Benjamin Potter theire Heirs Executors and administrators harmless and indemnified from all and any Cost Charge and trouble that shall or may here after arise and accrow by Reason of the above mentioned bond or obligation : then this obligation shall be void : but in default there of the same to stand and Remain in full force effect and virtue.

Signed sealed and delivered

In the presence of us

John Whipple

Hope Angel

Mial phillips

I have a few thoughts about this document, to be explored in the future:

  • Clearly, Mial is meant to be the name Michael.
  • Who is Benjamin Potter?
  • “estate of his brother John Phillips” – Michael is the brother of John
  • Michael is called a “yeoman” “of … Providence”
  • I don’t think the document specifically calls Richard Phillips a brother to the other two, but it seems likely.
  • If, as indicated in the 1719 bond, Joseph Phillips is dead, he naturally wouldn’t be named in this 1721/2 document.  I’m not sure much is proven here with regard to that.
  • By mentioning a brother Michael, alive in 1721/2 (the FATHER Michael died in the 1680’s) this document either disagrees with Austin’s Genealogical Dictionary of Rhode Island or was signed by siblings from a succeeding generation.

I have already left a few research notes in my post “A Research List for 1650-1750 in Rhode Island.”  I would investigate all of Torrey’s references and any journal articles I could find, as well as a more thorough search of the Providence City Archives for further documents, like deeds or wills.  There are Newport and North Kingstown connections for the Phillips, and those should be investigated.  Of course, in my case I would start with the Joshua Phillips of Sutton idea, and pin down the other Phillips intermarriages with my branch of the Ballous.

The additional bond from probate file A199 which pretty much duplicates the Mial Phillips bond, above, I post here for completeness (no transcription):

Top of he second of the Mial Phillips bond documents.

Top of the second of the Mial Phillips bond documents.  Clicking through will open and allow you to enlarge.

The bottom of the second Mial Phillips bond.

The bottom of the second Mial Phillips bond.

The post you are reading is located at:  http://onerhodeislandfamily.com/2014/06/12/phillips-probate-records/

A good day

Elizabeth Malavery Phillips’ mark

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